"My life is a big, dead rose..."It can't be emphasized enough that Hollywood really does not understand the myriad and various subcultures of young people (or these days, aging former young people) and the many subtleties to be found within. Hence this trope, which refers to stereotyped goths in popular culture. There are, generally speaking, three major goth stereotypes:
—Seen as graffiti in an art school classroom
- The Lone Psycho Goth: At best, this character may have an obnoxious level of Wangst. At worst, this character will be well off the deep end of Loners Are Freaks, a card-carrying Straw Nihilist, and may even be Ax-Crazy. It's worth pointing out that this formerly obscure stereotype was pounced upon and dragged into the spotlight after the Columbine tragedy, simply because the shooters wore black trenchcoats and were erroneously reported to have listened to Marilyn Manson (who is, contrary to popular misconceptions, not connected with goth culture at all).
- Perky Goths: At the exact opposite of the spectrum from the Lone Psycho. They get their own entry.
- Gloomy Goth: We see these most often in fiction. They are usually pale skinned with some Vague and Grave Affliction. Sometimes, this character is a Deadpan Snarker and/or the sympathetic version of The Snark Knight. They may have trace personality traits of the Wangsty type or the more dedicated Nihilist, though they often don't go far enough to be the Straw Nihilist. More often, they're The Eeyore. Almost guaranteed in either case to have some kind of family-related drama, usually used as a "justification" for their personality — you will never see a fictional goth who just happens to be the way they are without some tragic reasoning behind it. Unless, of course, it's Played for Laughs by making him the black sheep in a The Brady Bunch-style family with no real psychological beef. In this case, they're generally "cosmetic" goths who are in it just to rebel against their parents, or as "poseurs" who only want in on the fashion statement. They usually grow out of their "existential depression" with the flip of a switch, unless their being a goth is the entire premise of the show.
- The gothic subculture began with a certain genre of music, which we now recognize as Goth Rock but was originally considered no different than other Post-Punk. As such, listening to both goth rock and some post-punk is a basic requirement for participation within the subculture. Examples of goth rock bands include Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, Fields Of The Nephilim, and The Cure. Post-punk bands popular with goths include Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees (Siouxsie Sioux being a major fashion inspiration for gothic women even now), Adam and the Ants (like Siouxsie Sioux, Adam Ant was a major influence on gothic fashion), and Killing Joke. Many other genres of music are popular in the goth scene as well, including Dark Wave, Deathrock, Ethereal, New Wave, Synth-Pop, Coldwave, Horror Punk, Gothic Metal, Glam Rock, Dark Cabaret, Industrial (and sometimes Industrial Metal), Neofolk, Classical Music, and sometimes avant-garde jazz and blues. Examples of bands from these other genres can be found on last.fm or Google. Certain other groups are sometimes seen as being goth, such as Marilyn Manson or Evanescence, but these bands do not have a clear musical connection to the two essential genres and are therefore not goth (and should also generally not be brought up around most goths).
- Goth is not a religious thing, but a secular youth culture based on a shared taste in music, books, and some fashion much like The Mods of the 1960s. However, one of the things that is very goth is open-mindedness. Therefore, people such as Neopagans and yes, even Satanists found themselves drawn into the creation of the early scene as they often felt like outsiders in "normal" society, and are still prevalent today. This can lead to nasty stereotyping that all goths are "devil worshippers"; however this is still a rather small minority of goths. Despite these people being a minority, their presence is one of the things that make the modern scene as distinct and colourful as it is. The "open minded" part of being goth has also lead to the subculture having a higher than average number of gay, queer, or trans individuals and BDSM enthusiasts.
- Goths are likely to be artistic; there are many who take an artful pride in their wardrobe, in making music related to their subculture, or any other creative field. Although it is very rare, however, non-artistic goths can still exist. Goths tend to value individuality and thinking differently, and this is where the distinctive wardrobe comes in. Black is the most popular colour of clothing in the scene, but many other colours are used, and back in 1978 (the year goth was born) when people complained about the "depressing wardrobe" of Joy Division fans they were complaining about grey, not black. Spooky clothing is popular, as is avant-garde fashion, Elegant Gothic Lolita (and related styles) and DIY Punk Rock clothing and haircuts. That being said, individuality is important; dressing to the nines 24/7 is not. And because of the emphasis on creativity, there are several clothing tropes commonly embodied by gothic fashionistas. The most common are: Impractically Fancy Outfit, Of Corsets Sexy, and, of course, Pimped-Out Dress. Applies equally to male and female outfits.
- Since gothic rock and post-punk are both musical genres that often explore pain, death, and suffering, many people with trauma in their lives can feel drawn to the music and the subculture. Goths have also been shown scientifically to have a slightly higher level of mental illness than the general population; however this is still a minority of members of the subculture. No violent crime has ever been connected to the true, non-Marilyn Manson goth scene.
- Goths may be seen as eccentric. This probably has something to do with liking a few somewhat obscure genres of music to the point of obsessively identifying themselves with those genres. There are likely many more goths in fandoms in relation to the total population than in "mainstream society;" however since goths are not space aliens the fandoms that they do enjoy are not likely to be different from ones popular outside of goth, except for maybe Tim Burton films.
- Goths are usually in it for the long haul; that is, they are generally not "in a phase." Individuality being valued means that many goths have a strong sense of self. Goths know who they are, what they listen to, what they read, and how they dress, and they aren't likely to change completely; they may simply "bend the rules" and express themselves as they choose within set guidelines (example: dressing in black clothing with an ankh pendant at work but still not violating the dress code).
- Don't be surprised to learn that some goths enjoy Classical Music, especially ones involving piano or violin pieces. Many of the songs can be gloomy, triumphant, or potentially inspiring, which many goths can relate to at times.
- A fashion statement.
- An outdated trend, or Deader Than Disco. (Many observers in Real Life mistake goth for a trend of The '90s, and see its current fans as an example of Disco Dan type characters. The portrayal of adult goths in movies like The World's End don't help, nor do I Was Quite a Fashion Victim jokes about someone's past "goth phase.")
- A sign of immaturity, a Peter Pan complex, or a refusal to grow up.
- Hikikomori, although some can be.
- A gateway to true mystical power.
- A stereotype fuelled by depression. Once again this is a fashion choice; not all real goths purposely become sad for nothing.
- Something to be shunned; again this stereotype only praises or enjoys demonic and dark interests. It doesn't make them real for all you religious types.
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Anime and Manga
- Belarus and Romania from Axis Powers Hetalia both wear rather eccentric clothing, not to mention the two have a rather dark nature behind their normality. In truth, Belarus is quite feared for its dictatorship lifestyle, and Romania's connected with vampires.
- Sawyer the Cleaner of Black Lagoon dresses as a goth when not "on the job." She's basically the Lone Psycho Goth, although she's more lone, due to having her vocal cords cut, and psycho, because everyone in this series is, than because she is a goth.
- She does have her Perky Goth moments, but even those are tempered by her usual deadpan expression.
- Arguably Freya from Chobits is a goth. She has the Gothic Lolita look, and she is the morbid side of Chi's usually chirpy personality.
- D.Gray-Man can be considered a full-on goth shonen series, which is pretty awesome when you think about it.
- Misa Amane of Death Note is a Gothic Lolita and a perky type.
- Re-l Mayer, the heroine of Ergo Proxy, is something of the Deadpan Snarker gloomy goth, dressing in all black and wearing lots of eye liner.
- Fairy Tail has quite a few examples.
- Gajeel Redfox mixes this with a few punk elements. For bonus points even his powers correspond to the many piercings that he has.
- Mystogan and Juvia both also count. Juvia starts as a Gloomy version, but eventually gets Perky whenever Gray is around her. Mystogan wears darker and more torn clothing than his Earthland counterpart Jellal and surprisingly possesses a shy side, being reluctant to show his real self without a good reason.
- Midnight of the Oracion Seis Guild, a rather lazy villain at first, but don't be fooled as he manages to fend for himself even when he's sleeping. Like his name suggests this rather feminine-looking man has the appearance resembling typical Goth features such as dark lip-stick and twin-coloured hair. A formidable character and, impressively, has enough power to even fend against both Jellal and Erza.
- Mizho from Karakuridouji Ultimo is introduced as one. She dresses like a dead school girl, with bandages wrapped all around her body, along with an eyepatch.
- Gaara from Naruto certainly looks the part, and he starts off as a Lone Psycho goth. Later, after his Heel–Face Turn, he's more like a Gloomy goth. His siblings, Temari and Kankuro would also count. They become more sociable as the series progresses.
- Hanzo the Salamander wears rather dull clothing mixing with an industrial theme which in turn symbolizes the Hidden Rain. The Hidden Rain itself is basically the Ninja World equivalent of a "Goth Country." Gloomy? Yes. Creative? Very, but somehow willing to change if it means improving its image.
- Two Uchiha arguably tip-toe near this stereotype, Madara and Itachi. Madara's appearance gives off the "vibe" mixed with his infamous personality and power; he represents the more negative parts of the trend. Itachi, however, leans towards the more positive, since like most goths he appears as a villain but once again looks can be deceiving.
- Tomoko Kuroki from No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! may not dress like a goth, but I kid you not her mindset is closest to one. Though that long, untamed hair and permanent shadows under her eyes does this style justice.
- Perona from One Piece.
- Gil of Pandora Hearts frequently looks and acts the part.
- Stocking from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.
- Soul Eater could be best described as "gangsta goth", incorporating urban American-style themes (like hip-hop music and graffiti) with gothic touches (like Goth Spirals, monsters, and dark colors). A lot of characters live up to the series' gothic style as well, like Death the Kid, who is literally the son of (the series' equivalent to) The Grim Reaper.
- Speaking of the characters, Arachne submerges herself in this style. But then again her theme is that of a Spiders, so no surprise there.
- Legato Bluesummers from Trigun could very well be the personification of the The Lone Psycho Goth. Keep in mind, he wears a human skull as an accessory on his shoulder.
- Sunako in The Wallflower is an example of the Lone Psycho Goth and an example of playing with a trope. She does Lone Psycho, she occasionally tries to kill people she's attracted to, she can be really nice and happy, she loves the macabre, she can be a badass, she can be ugly, she can be beautiful, even to girls, she cooks, cleans and she juliennes.
- Death of the Endless from The Sandman; though she qualifies as a Perky Goth, she's a favorite of the entire community. Her brother Dream is much more of a Gloomy Goth.
- Anne Gwish from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is a parody of the "gother than thou" scene.
- The entire Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl comic would come across as gothic, if there wasn't so much Black Comedy and Parody in it.
- Pretty much everyone from GloomCookie. Gloom Cookie is, or at least started out as, a social satire of the (mainly San Francisco) goth scene; written by someone who has a more than passing familiarity with it.
- In the Final Crisis Sketchbook, a tie-in for the 2008 Crisis Crossover showing some of the artist's concept sketches with notes from the author, Grant Morrison apparently redesigned the Forever People (a subset of the New Gods who were basically space hippies) as cynical goths thinking that that's more common of American youth today. He was arguably missing the point of the Forever People, since in their creator's original mythos they represented youthful idealism, which is still around in spades.
- In the end, they didn't appear in the series, although Japanese heroes the Super Young Team are considered their spiritual successors.
- The '90s run of Titans where Damage becomes a big fan of a slasher star named...Goth. Yeah, Goth. Oh, and it turns out Goth is actually a demon who uses his fell powers to convince his fans to kill themselves and shoot up schools. Oh, and Goth also fronts as a Marilyn Manson-style singer, so all the late '90s hysteria bases are covered.
- Screamqueen from Scare Tactics in The DCU.
- Cassie, the protagonist from Hack/Slash. She's a Lone Psycho Stripperiffic Monster Slaying Goth badass Action Girl. Yes, it's as awesome as it sounds. And apart from being very snarky, she's also The Lad-ette.
- Most of the cast of Wet Moon, a Graphic Novel series by Sophie Campbell. The author has considerable knowledge and experience with the scene, which helps.
- kimmie66 is all about goth kids.
- Emily the Strange, anyone?
- X-23's look in some of her appearances, particularly NYX.
- Nico Minoru from Runaways who also fits the stereotype by having magic-based powers.
- Sam of Death Vigil runs afoul of a group of these in the first issue, likening them to poseurs in the face of the real enemy, the Necromancers and their Eldritch Abomination allies.
- Nemi. She's pretty much every non-straight lifestyle rolled up together, and dressed in black, save for a sexual minority (she's very straight in that respect).
- Dethany Dendrobia, in On The Fastrack, is almost a textbook Perky Goth. This rather unsettles Ms. Trellis, but her immediate superior, Wendy Welding, is OK with it because Dethany's such a good worker.
- My Immortal is written by either a brain-dead wannabe goff [sic] or an expert troll trying to make real goths foam at the mouth with rage.
- ...Or make them fall out of their chairs laughing.
- In The Return getting turned into a succubus seems to mean all your clothes turn goth-y. No one knows why. Generally it's on the Perky Goth side, especially Yuki's new look.
- Seishi Shino (aka Neo Sailorsaturn) from Sailormoon Millennia Trilogy fits the Gloomy Goth version of the trope despite not explicitly identifying herself with the goth subculture.
- Lydia in Beetlejuice; her animated counterpart was more of a Perky Goth. "My life is a darkroom. One. Big. Dark. Room."
- Ghost Rider rescues a rather ample girl who is a stereotypical goth. She mostly accurately describes him as a really thin guy with his hair on fire, but since she looks like a loony nobody believes her. Right before the camera pans away from her, she makes a gesture which some have identified as a gesture from a vampire LARP.
- Colin from Jennifer's Body. While on his way to a date with Jen, he's seen listening to a punk-rock cover of "I Can See Clearly Now".
- In the Hilary Duff film Raise Your Voice, a gloomy goth girl (Kat Dennings) and a Hollywood Nerd (Johnny Lewis) were paired as the Beta Couple.
- Magenta from Sky High (2005), possibly a Perky Goth.
- The bipolar Tosh from Urban Legend, though her main characteristic is being the Campus Bicycle.
- Sinaed Laren from But I'm a Cheerleader, including stereotyped speech and an obsession with self-inflicted pain.
- Series 7: The Contender has a hilariously accurate parody of artsy-fartsy student films, in this case a music video to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division. This establishes that two of the main characters, in their backstory went through a goth phase together. The hilarious music video stands out as the Crowning Moment of Awesome for the film.
- Harold from Harold and Maude dresses and acts not unlike a kind of proto-Gloomy Goth, though mostly during the earlier part of the film.
- Queen of the Damned pretty much summarizes all the goth types, even the poseur ones as the female protagonist dresses up in a rather obviously fake attire to attract the attention of Lestat the vampire.
- Son of the Mask: Loki, Norse Night God of Mischief, His gothic attire is mostly black. He also sports a Black Longcoat. His clothing is as black as the clear night sky itself.
- Fang from My Soul to Take is a paradoxical Goth Alpha Bitch, complete with Girl Posse.
- Kelly from Mystery Team is an ex-goth; she hates shopping.
- Violet from Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning.
- Lisbeth from the Millennium Trilogy.
- Mouth to Mouth: Sherry is a Gloomy Goth turned Crust Punk.
- The Craft is basically about a psychotic goth who, naturally, develops evil witchy powers. In fact the movie's primary antagonist is a walking, talking crystallization of the goth stereotype.
- Goth-kid from The Book of Life, has dyed hair, wears black wrists cuffs, and is called Goth-kid.
- The title character Gypsy Vale from Gypsy 83 and her best friend Clive are both goths. The plot revolves around their road trip to see Gypsy's idol Stevie Nicks in concert.
- One of the earlier literary examples of the Gloomy Goth as a social fad can be found in, of all places, War and Peace. See Julia's thoughts on the smile of melancholy in Chapter V.
- Another early example is in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. See Huck's description of (the late) Emmeline Grangerford in Chapter XVII.
- In the Discworld novels, while Susan Sto Helit may be sarcastic about "idiots who write poetry in their rooms and dress like vampires and are vegetarians really," she certainly fits elements of the trope herself. The young witches of Diamanda Tockley's coven in Lords and Ladies (referred to as "necro-nerds" in the Companion) might count, although they seem to be more the "fashion statement" type.
- And let's not forget the young vampires in Carpe Jugulum, who try to freak out their elders by wearing bright clothes, stay up 'til noon, and call themselves names like "Henry" or "Pam." They even pretend to drink... wine, although only "real weirdos who file their teeth blunt" actually do. They also spend their days dressing up as accountants...
- Similar to the above example, the rebellious kids of the vampire dimension in Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series express themselves by wearing bright colors and partying in brightly lit clubs. There's also a market for plastic-human teeth, if you want to scare somebody.
- Severus Snape in Harry Potter. Deadpan Snarker? Check. Family drama (namely, abusive father and (possibly) negligent mother)? Check. Nihilist? Check... As a teenager. (At least, he comes off as one at times.) Wears all black and is an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette? Double-check; cosmetic though they may be, they certainly help qualify him. And if the sub-plot with Lily being his lost love doesn't do it, nothing does.
- Lucius Malfoy could also fit this trope.
- Voldemort himself holds a high regard to this trope. Even as Tom Riddle he was eerie and creepy despite only being a student at the time. The Death Eaters (especially Bellatrix Lestrange) followed his style down to every sinister cranny.
- Four of the five A Nightmare on Elm Street novels by Black Flame featured them as main characters.
- The titular character of Goth Girl Rising, Kyra Sellers, is one, but she doesn't believe in labels and considers calling herself "post-Goth" since emo has pretty much replaced goth in the minds of most.
- The "murgatroyds" in Anno Dracula are a parody of fashion-goths. And are seen as poseurs despite actually being vampires, most of all by other vampires.
- The Dresden Files has Molly Carpenter, a Well-Intentioned Extremist Hot Witch who turns to goth subculture as a way of rebelling against her religious parents.
- Lydia of Caught In The Act by Peter Moore.
- Raven of Vampire Kisses.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Thalia Grace, of the Emo Teen variety. She's got her reasons.
- Lu, the main protagonist of Murderess, is of the gloomy variety, although she keeps her snark and self-loathing to herself.
- In the children's chapter book Waylon! One Awesome Thing, Waylon's sister, Charlotte, has taken to calling herself "Neon," dying her hair and painting her nails black and generally behaving as a gloomy, nihilistic goth. However, it's all an act so that she can get some peace from the cliques that have started forming at her school. Things get a lot more comfortable for her and her family once she admits to them that it's all an act and they agree to keep her secret.
- Daniel Gonzalez' Leonor in the eponymous children's novel.
Live Action TV
- The main character of The Haunting Hour Made-for-TV Movie. At one point in the movie, she sat in her room and listen to depressing music all day long. The reason? Well, she dropped food on herself at school. Oh, the inanity!
Walking down the street alone.
- Later, when she's asked to take her brother trick or treating, she sulks while the soundtrack plays:
Everything I've ever loved is gone, gone, gone...
- Abby Sciuto, The Lab Rat from NCIS, is the quintessential Perky Goth. Just don't mess with her Caf-Pow supply.
- Merton J. Dingle from Big Wolf on Campus was a rather pathetic, but strangely endearing simulacrum of a goth.
- Apparently, nobody told him that you can be a goth and a nerd at the same time.
- One episode of This Is Wonderland had Elliot defending a goth man who had gotten into a fight with a car dealer who had made fun of him. The goth character was treated much more sympathetically than it sounds, and the judge eventually agreed that the provocation was sufficient. Along the way, they commented upon the unfair stereotypes associated therewith. Elliot even went goth for a few episodes.
- Parodied on The Morgan Waters Show with Trent, the badminton-playing goth.
- The Blood Ties TV show has Coreen, a fairly well adjusted goth, as assistant to the main character Vicki. She even has an episode where she gets Vicki to solve murders at her goth club.
- Richmond from The IT Crowd is either a parody of actual goths or (more likely, given his portrayal by pop culture barometer Noel Fielding) a parody of the goth stereotypes listed above.
- Parodied on Saturday Night Live's recurring "Goth Talk" sketch, starring Chris Kattan as Azrael Abyss, Prince of Sorrows, and Molly Shannon as Circe Nightshade. The show's sponsor was a store called "The Gloom Room"... "It's an orgy of the macabre... Located right next to the Pizza Hut on Hibiscus Road."
- Nadine from Girls In Love was normally a gloomy goth, although she would occasionally slip into Perky Goth territory depending on what was happening in her private life.
- Willow's Halloween costume from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And then Vampire Willow. And then Dark Willow. Presumably the writers just liked an opportunity for the normally bright Willow to dress in dark.
- On 3rd Rock from the Sun, Tommy once dated a gloomy goth named Lorna (played by Linda Cardellini) and read her poetry:
Tommy: "Death signed my yearbook. 'Have a good summer,' he wrote, 'see ya next year.' And then I noticed it wasn't my yearbook he signed, it was my tombstone."
Lorna: What d'you think?
Tommy: [lying] I like it. I especially like the surprise ending here.
Lorna: You're the first one to get the irony.
- Vivian Wu from Naturally, Sadie.
- One episode of Frasier showed that visiting teenage son Frederick had adopted the goth look. Frasier was annoyed that Lilith hadn't told him.
- Kamen Rider Fourze. features a psychic goth girl as one of the protagonists.
- Home Improvement:
Goth Girl: Die... Die... Go on, Die!Randy: You first.
- Mark, the youngest son, adopted a goth look during the seventh season, complete with all black clothes, a spiky haircut and (briefly) wearing black nail polish and lipstick. This was eventually done away with during the eighth and final season, however.
- There was an episode where the family's at a poetry reading for Wilson, and a goth girl goes up to read/recite her poetry:
- Criminal Minds has a long and varied history with goths.
- Two main characters, Prentiss and Garcia, are former goths themselves.
- There is a season one episode, "The Popular Kids," in which the team suspects for a short time that a local group of goths are responsible for a double murder. They're not.
- In the season three premier, "Doubt," a troubled girl who fits many goth stereotypes develops an obsession with a serial killer, and tries to become his next victim. She ends up killing herself, and him.
- In the season five episode "The Performer," several goth girls are murdered, and the team believes the killer may be a singer who caters to a largely goth crowd. It's actually his completely non-goth manager, aided by a schizophrenic goth fan.
- A suspicious goth was featured in "Risky Business," and he had good reason to be an Emo Teen His chainlink choker was to hide the fact that he was constantly strangled to unconsciousness by his sadistic, Munchhausen-by-proxy/paramedic dad, who also killed his mom.
- One of her flashback episodes portrays Lost's Claire as a goth teen.
- Ellie Nash (until season 5), Ashley Kerwin (in season 2 only), Jane Vaughn, and Eli Goldsworthy from Degrassi.
- An ep of Two of a Kind sees one of the Olsen twins befriending a goth... Played by Helga Pataki's voice actress. Replete with dark hair, pale skin, black outfit, nose ring, and love of Heavy Metal (about a CD by her favorite band "Human Sacrifice:" "Don't let the name fool you, they do a good thrash version of You Light Up My Life" [insert Laugh Track here]). And when the other Olsen twin offers to buy her a new backpack (long story), guess what color backpack she offers to buy her?
- One of the episodes of the Polish pseudo-docu-soap Tough Matters portrayed a family of goths as death-obsessed vampire wannabes that dressed in typical gothic fashion only for their amusement.
- Many of the vampires in True Blood fit the goth stereotype — not to mention the vampire bar "Fangtasia" is essentially a "goth-bar," with practically every single patron fitting this trope. The setting, theme and even the music playing at the bar further contribute to the gothic stereotyping in the show.
- Victorious has Jade West.
- Alex experiments with a goth-influenced look under the brief influence of a goth friend in the fourth-season Modern Family episode "Snip."
- Wizards of Waverly Place: Justin's first girlfriend, Miranda. Although, aside from the clothing, she seems relatively un-gothic.
- The Addams Family: Morticia and Wednesday were Goth before the scene existed. The whole concept of the show, to contemporary viewers, is a comedy about a family of bohemian arty goths in stereotypical white-picket-fence suburbia (although Fester is more of a rivethead).
- The Big Bang Theory has the episode "The Gothowitz Deviation" featuring Howard and Raj attempting to dress as Goths, in order to date one from a local Goth Bar. At first it went fairly well, but it quickly went downhill when both were too nerdy at heart to keep up their disguises.
- The Murdoch Mysteries episode "Master Lovecraft" portrays the teenaged H.P. Lovecraft as a member of a coterie of morbid, rebellious youths who wear funeral clothes and read a lot of Bram Stoker and Edgar Allan Poe.
Mythology & Folklore
- Dark Magic throughout history has always been seen as negative and gritty, wielders of said magic like Witches are often depicted to be early Goth characters.Sadly these stories were to blame for the murder of many potentially innocent women back in the Early Modern period.
- Necromancers also fall in line with Witches, Necromancy is the mythical power over the dead and undead. So expect such wielders to be related to (or specifically) this stereotype.
- Of course Vampires rightfully have a spot here. Spawning fans for many years, Vampires are heavily influenced by this stereotype and yet they always have new depictions keeping them fresh story material.
- Russian Mythology foretold the existence of Lichs, a Lich was the remains of a powerful ruler or sorcerer who'd seal his/her's soul away when they die then gain immortality as a vile undead ruler making them a lot more threatening than the average Zombie.
- And WCW unleashed upon the world Daffney Unger. She does strive for creativity, as far as dress as personal appearance goes. Daffney is loving and open minded and perhaps most importantly, crazy. Sometimes harmlessly goofy, sometimes she shows great empathy, sometimes horrifically vindictive and violent, sometimes she boasts in a voice grating like a strangled cat, sometimes her speech is clear and eerily calm, sometimes she simply screams for no reason. She's your self styled goth goddess, hunger for Unger!
- WCW: Also gave us the glory that was Crow! Sting, sternly looking down on us all while hanging in the rafters. Crow Sting would make a reappearance in TNA but eventually be phased out for Joker! Sting, who was not an example.
- The WWF had the Brood, with the exception of Gangrel, who was an outright vampire. The rest were just a bunch of black wearing goofs who hung out with him and mocked local sports teams. They started as part of the satanic Ministry of Darkness but turned on the larger group for mistreating one of their own.
- Shelly Martinez has had about 17 goth gimmicks of different flavors. Hardly any of them got so much as a raised eyebrow in places like Santa Ana, California or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but while working for Ohio Valley Wrestling she said the locals would stare at her and then shy away as if she was a devil woman even though her gimmick there was little more than a chatty tease who happened to dress outlandishly. She eventually just became outright vampire Ariel when called up to WWECW.
- The card game Gother Than Thou includes cards such as "Fun with eyeliner," "That wasted look," and "Crying yourself to sleep on the fresh grave of your lifelong love who died of consumption and being found the next morning unconscious, naked, and nearly frozen to death by the groundskeeper."
- Old World of Darkness was marketed more or less mainly at goths in the first place.
- The Sluagh from Changeling: The Dreaming take pretty much every goth stereotype and roll them into one big slithery, whispering, spider-loving package.
- Even stronger than that were the Hollow Ones from Mage: The Ascension. One of the common critiques of the Hollowers was "Goth is not a paradigm." However, the "Tradition" as a whole had derived from urban subcultures since the days of the flappers, dealt heavily in the Goth subculture, but was not defined by it in modern days, identified strongly with Romanticism, and had the guiding ethos of: "We don't have a belief system, really, but if others believe in it, that means we can use it."
- The card game Munchkin Bites is a parody of the World Of Darkness, and thus is goth-y, but more perky goth-y.
- Warhammer 40,000 has an ork clan (more of a subspecies/ideology than a group) known as the Goffs. They are grim and dour and dislike bright colors. Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka is a member of this clan.
- Chez Goth, a goth-y version of Chez Geek.
- Henry from the Nancy Drew game Legend of the Crystal Skull seems like an attempt at a gloomy-but-harmless goth character, but comes across as more fashion-goth/emo than genuine.
- The entire faction of the Drowning Doom in Brütal Legend, representing the Gothic Metal genre. Their basic infantry, the Grave Digger, Looks Like Cesare, and a unit called "The Bride" looks like the ghost of the woman in the page image.
- Violet from the MySims series is a gloomy, yet well-adjusted goth girl. In contrast to her sister Poppy, who loves cute things and lively flowers, Violet is drawn to spooky things and dead (or dying) flowers.
- Mention Violet, but not Goth Boy? For shame.
- All of the Spooky Sims as a matter of fact.
- Before Violet, there was the famous goth family of The Sims.
- While Asakim from Super Robot Wars Z doesn't quite have the goth personality, he grabs hold of every goth-related trope and takes it Up to Eleven. His "dark angel" themed mecha has attacks ranging from launching crows at the enemy to cutting itself and using the "blood" to create Geometric Magic that summons gothic artwork to Mind Rape the enemy. Not to mention that he's an immortal Death Seeker who wears what fans refer to as "vampire bondage gear."
- Pandora of Guitar Hero is the representation of the Goth Rock genre. She avoids most stereotypes, though one of her bios mentions that, as a child, she was expelled from ballet school and told a ghost story so scary she got kicked out of Girl Scouts.
- Ashei from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess; her appearance gives a gloomy goth impression.
- The Ghost Type from Pokémon, unlike the Dark Types (who are based off villainy) the Ghost Type Pokemon are creations of the dead, spirits, and general Macabre-like creatures, However like real life goths, The Ghost Types are NOT always negative and depressing, but more dark humor if anything.
- Other characters that have a goth-inspired design include Marley (a girl joins you as an ally for a short time), Hex Maniacs (A trainer class that resembles goth girls that have ghost, psychic or dark types) and the Gothia family (Psychic Pokémon that resemble goth girls).
- Sephiroth from the Final Fantasy series. Probably one of the most threatening goths in video game history, as a villain he is often very calm, sneaky and scarily good at hiding the horrors he's more than willing to release against you. Ironically many fans describe, Cloud Strife (his arch nemesis) as Emo so it's like a battle between two stereotypes.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The game itself can appeal to players of this stereotype as well. Becoming a Necromancer (Conjuration Mage), a Vampire (Dawnguard DLC), or an Assassin (The Dark Brotherhood) are all gothic-designed play styles and all three pay-off with many of the games most powerful features.
- During the Dragonborn DLC, everything is set up to be a simple "save the people" quest....until Miraak is introduced. Miraak is played similar to Sephiroth, he's highly intimidating and creepier than even Alduin in comparison. Miraak is the embodiment of every negative aspect normal people think Goths are, but that's why he's such a great Villain.
- Lili Zanotto from Psychonauts matches in this trope in style and general attitude, being aloof and brooding and wearing dark clothing and makeup.
- Every major entry in the Saints Row franchise has had some kind of gothic representation. The second game had fat and skinny goths patrolling the streets of the university district, the third game had an entire gang of Cyberpunk goths known as "The Deckers." Both 3 and 4 had Matt Miller, a goth hacker and one of the youngest members of the gang. Even the player can become a full blown goth - an entire store is devoted to this, known as "Nobody Loves Me." A thinly veiled parody of Hot Topic.
- Celestia Ludenberg from Dangan Ronpa is one of the straightest examples of this category.
- Jack from Mass Effect 2 is a SPACE goth. She's revealed to be a fan of deep, dark poetry, thinks little of herself, has no hope for the universe to change, an admiration for death, wears black eyeliner, and has hundreds of beautiful tattoos that reflect her inner pain all over her. In the third game, she later gets Hell-Bent for Leather.
- Yandere Simulator has Oka Ruto, the shy and somewhat odd President of the Occult Club. She wears gloves and stockings with a spider web design, and has dedicated her life to finding the supernatural. Word of God says the inspiration for her came about when someone suggested a goth girl rival. However, as a rival, she will have to be dealt with by our Villain Protagonist. The other members of the Occult Club also have elements of this.
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has Konstantinos Smith, a studio guest on in-game public-radio station VCPR as a parody of a stereotypical Goth.
- Gilly of Dork Tower is a classic perky goth. Her brother is more gloomy.
- Subverted by Melanippe from Amazoness!!; while she looks like a stereotypical goth, the comic takes place in Ancient Greece, and she's really a goth... As in, the tribe of barbarians who would go on to sack Rome.
- Lampshaded in Ozy and Millie: Felicia, a trendy, sheep-like girl, has times when she'll break out the goth makeup in what everyone except the extremely gullible in the strip consider to be a very fake goth style.
- Haley Starshine of The Order of the Stick went through a Gloomy Goth phase in her teen years. She now regards the whole business as kind of stupid.
- Tsukiko is still in her goth phase. Haley mocks her for it◊.
- George Gothington, the gothest president of them all, in Mandatory Roller Coaster.
- Zebra Girl's friend Crystal, formerly a Genki Girl and bordering on The Ditz, has recently gone goth in reaction to the strip's Cerebus Syndrome.
- In Acorn Grove, the character Tota the Squirrel briefly becomes a goth, but only because she had identity issues. Later she becomes emo and later a lesbian.
- In Questionable Content, Dora and Raven are both former goths from the same coven. Dora's reason for going goth in the first place was something along the lines of 'because people are retarded.' She eventually drifts away from the coven saying that while it was fun, it had started to feel 'shallow and pointless.' Raven is the classic sheep following whatever herd piques her interest (she tries to be emo at one point to attract 'cute emo boys'), though she may be smarter than she appears to be.
- Nana Avarre, the "Angsty Dentist" from Sluggy Freelance, is a frightening combo of gothiness with stalking and dentistry...
Torg: Novocain please!
Nana: Nothing is real but pain. Would you rob yourself of that last grasp of truth? (Lunges at Torg with her dentist's drill) FEEL MY EMBRACE, TO FILL THE CAVITY OF YOUR HEART!
- Gothy Beans is a strip entirely devoted to Perky Goth beans.
- And one Deadpan Snarker.
- Alas is all about goths, and for once created by one. It alternates between playing with and parodying the stereotypes, and doing the same with the real scene. A good antidote to most of the rather dire media portrayals.
- Rhapsodies has Blossom, Francine, Olive, Bian, Stefan and, presumably, Bert.
- Writhe and Shine is a Slice of Life comedy about the New Orleans goth scene, written by a (now former) New Orleans goth.
- Bobwhite. Here◊ and the following page, Cleo and Ivy debate what is and isn't "goth." Marlene ends up resolving the debate for them: "It doesn't matter because actual gothic people stopped existing sometime in the early 2000's. Now there's just a lot of unhappy people who enjoy claymation."
- In El Goonish Shive, Elliot's Superheroine spell has a alter ego form that makes him look and act◊ like a gloomy goth girl.
- Given the way certain events have unfolded like Elliot's preference for the goth alter ego, as well as his and Susan's mutual attraction, it's not surprising that the "nurture" aspect of Susan's personality is also a goth◊.
- In the April Fools' Day alternate universe, Sarah is a goth. Word of God is that the above may be a factor there as well.
- Minor character Liz is also a goth, as is her ex?-boyfriend ... sometimes. When we first see him he's decidedly ungoth, revealing that his former goth-act was just that, and now he'd found another one. He goes back to the goth look later.
- Victoria and Jax are '90s goths, in the webcomic Poseur Patrol.
- In Overwatch Zarya has two skins which look very goth.
- There are plenty of goths at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Some are that way for superpowered Raven-like reasons. Some are just magic wannabes who are trying to steal real magic from some of the wizards on campus. Some, like Bloodworm, are actively using Dark Magic to get boons right up until he suffered a fate way worse than death.
- Being about high school students, there have been a fair amount of gothic characters in Survival of the Fittest over the course of four versions. Most of them are of the "gloomy" variety. One of the examples that comes to most handlers' minds is Meredith Hemmings, who has nicknamed herself "Pandora Black" and is definitely a gloomy goth. This is explained as her not actually being a goth, but a poseur who is only acting how she thinks goths act like.
- The Chaos Timeline has an equivalent of them. Tatjana is one of them.
- Uncyclopedia's article for goths describes them as "a violent East Germanic tribe of barbarians who proved to be a great nuisance for the Roman Empire from the 1970's to 1990's, primarily with their bad taste in music and dark eyeliner." It comes complete with a photoshopped picture of American Gothic (as goths) and lists the "Emoae tribe" as their chief enemies.
- Persephone and Hades in Thalia's Musings. Hades is, after all, the god of metal.
- Grayvyn on The Nostalgia Chick is a random goth Lindsay pulls off the street because she needs the magical powers all goths have to restrain Dark Nella.
- The first Pico flash, Pico's School, a group of goths led by Cassandra grow tired of the conformist school system and start a Columbine-inspired massacre. Pico retaliates with an AK-47 to teach Cassandra and her lackeys what non-conformity truly means only to find out that Cassandra is really a hermaphroditic alien monstrosity with "other plans."
- An episode of 6teen had one of the characters dress up as a goth to try to retain his girlfriend, who was on a goth kick. In the same episode, the regular cast and a bunch of goths (most of whom were poseurs) were trapped together in the Mall after a power outage. While it had the typical goth jokes, the episode had the two groups more or less accepting each other.
- Though ironically, the episode does end on an unusual gloomy note after the not-really-goth couple breaks up.
- The Lich from Adventure Time this is the result of mixing two very similar themes together: "Gothic" and "Villainy." His appearance could only be described as "twisted and frightening beyond all belief".
- Marceline, being a vampire, is a goth of the more perky variety.
- In season 1 of American Dragon: Jake Long the Oracle twins were identical twins and Kara looked punkish or grunge looking if anything. Come the massive art overhaul in season 2 Kara is a stereotypical goth while her, now fraternal, sister Sara is a preppy blue-eyed blonde.
- Mai for Avatar: The Last Airbender counts in the Gloomy Goth category. She's also a Snark Knight and a Deadpan Snarker to boot.
- Desna and Eska from The Legend of Korra also count in the same category as Mai being The Stoic and Creepy Twins making even Bolin freak out.
- Book 3 gives us Handicapped Badass Dark Action Girl Ming-Hua, with her slate-gray outfit, bitter snark, hair worthy of a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, and facial expressions that (at least, until one of her friends dies in the finale) seem to be limited to "ominous glower" and "malicious grin." (She's probably the most overtly temperamental and vicious of the antagonist group, too.)
- Book 3 also introduced us to Huan Beifong, one of Toph's grandsons through her daughter Suyin. While he doesn't wear much black, he is the angsty artist type and cares deeply for his individuality. Also his hair looks like Skrillex.
- Not quite a Lone Psycho Goth (she has a boyfriend and a small clique of goth friends), Chloe Crashman from Carl Squared could be the poster girl for the Angry Goth.
- Sam from Danny Phantom is said to be goth and goes between Perky and Gloomy, but more often comes off as an activist hippie who wears black.
- Andrea from Daria, though she gets about three lines per season on average, is unmistakably Lawndale High's token goth kid.
Andrea: (Reciting her own poetry) I'm here. But, where are you? Sure, I see your body. Anybody home in that rotting bag of flesh?
- Kylie Griffin from Extreme Ghostbusters exemplifies the Gloomy Goth sub-trope.
- Ingrid from Fillmore!. Although, unlike most examples, her goth-ness isn't some sort of defining characteristic. She just happens to like dressing in black and has black hair.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy runs on this, as well as Dark Is Not Evil. Just to give you an idea, some of the major/recurring characters include The Grim Reaper, a girl who reflects many goth stereotypes (while dressed in pink and other bright colors), a Humanoid Abomination and his son, Dracula, and the son of a Mummy and the son of the aforementioned Dracula. (In the latter's case, it's even more obvious in Underfist, where his superpowered monster form looks like this trope mixed with Ancient Egyptian motifs.)
- Creepie Creecher, from Growing Up Creepie. She also has a cadre of goth friends/acquaintances. None are really portrayed negatively.
- Ophelia from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee. One character comes right out and calls her a goth; she doesn't deny it, simply responding with a cold glare.
- Queen Chrysalis and King Sombra the prominent Villains of My Little Pony Friendshipis Magic an example of both a extroverted goth and an introverted goth. The proof of why they qualify here is rather obvious, both have rather sinister, eerie and (in Chrysalis' case) broken appearances that makes them "sore thumbs" in a usually cheerful cartoon.
- Another animated Gloomy Goth: Creepy Suzie of The Oblongs, who seems to be a merciless parody of the stereotype. Funny, because that adult cartoon was actually based on gothic art.
- Ruby Gloom show lives and breathes this; specifically, the entire show is Perky Goth, Dark Is Not Evil, and Moe in the form of an animated series.
- The Simpsons: In "Smart and Smarter," after realizing that she's no longer the smartest, Lisa attempts to gain new identities for herself, such as becoming a goth.
Milhouse: What are you now, Lisa? An Oakland Raiders fan?Lisa: It's called "Goth," eternally clueless one. My new name is "Ravencrow Neversmiles."Milhouse: Cool. We could be goth together.[Milhouse gets off the Jungle Gym].Milhouse: We'll go to the cemetery and summon the dark Lord by kissing and junk.Lisa: Okay... But first you must apprentice, by kissing the Goddess Ironica. Who lives in this rock.[Lisa picks up a rock. And hands it to Milhouse. Lisa sneaks away].Lisa: Do it for an hour, hour and a half.Milhouse: Yes, my mistress.
- Parodied in South Park; the Goth kids are always railing against the "conformists," while being ridiculously similar in dress, speech, and action.
- Further worked with the 2008 episode "The Ungroundable," where they railed against... vampires.
- In that same episode they got pissed about being called emos and ended up burning down Hot Topic (complete with a song called "Burning down Hot Topic") to stop the Vampire-obsessed from copying them.
- And in the dance-off contest, they took non-conformism to absurd lengths, where three of the goths, trying to out-nonconform, refuse to join Stans' dance troupe, until the fourth out-nonconforms the rest and joins them, leading one of the three to observe that they "just got Goth-served."
- It's interesting to note that while most fictional portrayals of goths have them listening to some variety of heavy metal, the music the goth kids listen to is a pretty impressive and accurate parody of actual Goth Rock. They also mention several acts popular amongst goths, such as Industrial band Skinny Puppy.
- It should be noted that Parker and Stone have a significant renown for the quality of their musical (re-)interpretations — which is all the better since if you try to parody somebody you had better do your research...
- Parker and Stone spoke through Kyle in the Mecha-Streissand episode: "Disintegration is the best album ever!" Both are huge fans of The Cure, who are held along with Siouxie and the Banshees as the origins of Goth Rock. Even if they jibe at the subculture, they likely are quite familiar with the musical genre on a personal level.
- Further worked with the 2008 episode "The Ungroundable," where they railed against... vampires.
- Master Cyclonis, the Big Bad from Storm Hawks fits the bill. Also Stork.
- Raven of the Teen Titans fits pretty much all the stereotypes, although there are extenuating circumstances for why she has to be that way.
- Also, Honorary Titan Argent is depicted posing as interested in this sort of dark fashion style.
- Jinx seems to fit, or at least has the general style in mind. Of course, her outlook on life has a lot to do with it, too...
- Total Drama
- Gwen is a sort of half-hearted portrayal. She was given a goth character design, but her personality is really pretty average for a (slightly downbeat) teenage girl. Indeed is more a Perky Goth.
- Duncan seems to fit the Lone Psycho Goth more, although he's arguably considered to be a punk rather than a goth.
- The spinoff Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race introduces two new goth characters, Ennui (boy) and Crimson (girl). They seem to be more of the Emo variant, as opposed to Gwen's Perky Goth personality.
- Triana Orpheus of The Venture Bros. is a goth, replete with a skull on her T-shirt and heavy eyeliner. Her father is a necromancer (and her mother ran off with a younger one) so apparently it runs in the family.
- Oddly enough, she's arguably the most sane, level-headed character on the show.
- Hey, she was going for an Adam and the Ants kind of look. And it's not like she can get into her closet...
- As opposed to her comics persona (a perky Southern Belle) Rogue in X-Men: Evolution was given this sort of personality because the creators thought it would fit a girl who was Blessed with Suck.
- The same show's take on the Scarlet Witch has a very strong Hot Topic-Goth vibe.
- Yin turning evil in an episode of Yin Yang Yo! is represented visually by her getting a Goth Girl makeover. The Lone Psycho Goth stereotype is alive and well.
- Zevo3: Angel Jones, Voiced by Pamela Adlon.
- Lucy Loud from The Loud House is an eight-year-old who breathes the idea of "goth"- she dresses in and dyes her hair black, is obsessed with all things morbid and otherworldly like fortune-telling and the occult, keeps creepy animals like bats as pets, speaks in a monotone and writes depressing poetry. Noticeably, this has nothing to do with her family life; she very much loves her family and they her even if even they're creeped out at times by how far she takes her lifestyle, and flashbacks show she had this mindset even when she was younger.
- Blanche in Gravedale High, her official stereotype is the Southern Belle, but her black clothing and make-up, cold personality and general attire puts her easily in the Goth too (of course it helps that she's a zombie).
- The character of Janice in Creep School is Goth, as her heavy make-up, black dress and personality show.
- Jillian Venters, the Lady of the Manners, has an entire website devoted to clearing up misunderstandings and stereotypes between goths and non-goths, and encouraging civil and civilized behavior from both groups. Well-known for years as a prominent member of the Seattle Goth scene.
- Pauley Perrette, the actress who plays Abby Sciuto in NCIS, is very much a Perky Goth herself, and much of her on-screen persona is based on her real-life persona.
- Goths often face discrimination in real life, based strongly on the negative media and popular stereotypes of goths. Many have been subjected to verbal and physical attacks, particularly following the Columbine shooting, and some have even been killed because of their image. One of the most notorious cases is the murder of Sophie Lancaster.
- While the stigma against goths is dying down a bit, there's still a trend of hatred towards goths (and emos) online. Unlike previous cases of goth prejudice, which is based on misconceptions of goths being murderous Satanist criminals, online prejudice and cyberbullying seems to be based mostly (if not purely) on stereotypes about goths being Wangsty, self-harming teens who seek attention by being edgy and dressing differently. In the most extreme cases of Unfortunate Implications, online haters will claim to hate goths for being gay or crossdressers.
- During the Victorian Era of England, this style was the grandfather of all fashion. However it was significantly more elegant and regal and was mostly worn by the Middle or Upper class of the time. The style introduced top-hats and bland coloured dresses which may be complemented with umbrellas and canes.
- Edgar Allan Poe was famed for his gloomy and rather scary style of storytelling. Thanks to South Park characterizing him as one of the Goths (no doubt an extreme exaggeration), in truth this depiction isn't entirely off from the real man who was (and still is) famed for his deep and depressing literature.