A lot of comedies/dramas/urban fantasy works need some way for magic to leak into an otherwise mundane world. Sometimes it's through a Gypsy Curse
, or a magical wishing trinket, or the brain fart of a passing genie. But if you need a reliable human factor for this magical working, you can't go wrong with a Goth
girl. After all, they wear black and occasionally have pentacles! That's what magic is all about, right?
This trope seems to be especially popular in films and other fiction since the release of The Craft
, but its roots lie in real life teenage rebellion. If a teen girl wants to rebel against the status quo, it's likely she might a) go Goth, b) take up some form of paganism, or c) do both at the same time. Fiction tends to take this farther, with Goth girls automatically casting hexes and flushing the Rule of Three
down the toilet.
Examples of this trope include:
Anime and Manga
- Hilda from Beelzebub
- Marion Fauna from Shaman King
- Nico Minoru from Runaways is a Goth girl who ends up wielding the sorcerous artifact known as the Staff of One, which is powered by Blood Magic. In a bit of a tweak on the trope, her parents—both dark sorcerers—adopted the guise of devout Christians and vocally disapproved of Nico's Goth trappings.
- Black Alice from the Birds of Prey and Secret Six series is a Goth-styled anti-hero with the ability to effectively steal the powers of any magical being and temporarily use them as her own.
- The Craft, as mentioned above, wherein teenage rebellion and Goth style leads to magical terrorism.
- The film version of Beastly has a Goth witch (played by Mary-Kate Olsen!) cursing the lead to "Embrace the suck," effectively turning him into the most rad Beast ever.
- The Dane Cook vehicle Good Luck Chuck has the titular Chuck cursed to have female troubles all his life by a Goth chick he turned down for a round of "Seven Minutes in Heaven" during his youth.
- The Hollow Ones from Mage: The Ascension are often shorthanded as the "Goth Tradition." While their history is linked to subcultures reaching back to the flappers and Bright Young Things, and their magic style is basically chaos magic, they're tightly linked in with Goths in the present day.
- The resident Perky Goth Ophelia from Brutal Legend shows aptitude for the heavy metal magic. Justified by the setting: goths seem to be a separate ethnicity descended from the members of the ill-fated Black Tear Rebellion, who drank from the Sea of Black Tears and were granted ancient powers.
- Gothita, Gothorita and Gothitelle are a family of feminine-looking Psychic type Pokémon, with designs based on both goth fashion and fortune tellers.
- Final Fantasy X: Lulu, who begins the game with elemental spells and (provided you stay on her Sphere Grid Path, goes on to learn many other black magic spells.
- During the "Dark Nella" arc, The Nostalgia Chick invokes the trope (and uses it as an excuse to review The Craft) by picking up a random Goth girl off the street to try to fix Nella via magic.
- Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost had some Wiccan goth girls who are seen making a potion. However, their version of magic appears to be mostly harmless/ineffective, and doesn't do a thing against the villain.
- Of course, this was also the same Scooby Doo movie that had said character claim to be 1/16 Wiccan on her mother's side. So this might really be a subversion, in that Thorn's power came from her in-universe Wiccan side, rather than her supposed Gothiness, which was played more as just the Hex Girls' stage personas.
- Also, the "potion" was just an herbal treatment for their vocal cords. No actual magic was involved.
- A somewhat less surprising (and less "rebellious", as it's actually the "family business") example is Triana Orpheus of The Venture Bros.. The Goth girl daughter of necromancer extraordinaire Dr. Byron Orpheus, Triana is studying magic with her mother, also an accomplished sorceress.