Theo: You're pretty hard-boiled, Tinkerbell.Basically all the various kinds of fairies in folklore. Fairies today are thought of as little or human sized Winged Humanoid with butterfly wings, that fly around in a sea of sparkles, and have magical powers (including granting wishes). This is not the original concept; genuine folkloric fairies are alien, dangerous, powerful, and never winged. Although these vary depending on the story (hence the trope title). Much like Demons, what classifies as "Fairie" is often as varied as "Mammal". Three standard forms stand out, however:
Applecore: Call me that name again and you'll be wondering how your bollocks wound up lodged in your windpipe — from below. Just because we don't get to your side of things much anymore doesn't mean we don't know anything. 'If you believe in fairies, clap your hands!' If you believe in fairies, kiss my rosy pink arse is more like it. Now are you going to shut your gob or not?
Applecore: Call me that name again and you'll be wondering how your bollocks wound up lodged in your windpipe — from below. Just because we don't get to your side of things much anymore doesn't mean we don't know anything. 'If you believe in fairies, clap your hands!' If you believe in fairies, kiss my rosy pink arse is more like it. Now are you going to shut your gob or not?
- A tiny humanoid between one and twelve inches tall. Variations other than size include skin or hair colors, what they wear (if anything), and often whether or not they generate their own light. Usually called some variation of "Fairy", "Sprite", or "Pixie".
- A small, often old-looking or childlike, humanoid between one and three feet tall. Leprechauns are the most common type seen, but other types such as Brownies, Redcaps or Spriggans are often common. Gnomes and even Goblins may also fall into this category.
- An inhumanly beautiful/graceful human-sized humanoid, often with pointed ears. Usually an Elf in all but name with more overt magical nature or ability than your "standard" Fantasy Elves. Sometimes they are that work's version of Elves. Other common variations are water (often called Nereids or Undines) or tree/forest Fey (usually called Nymphs or Dryads). Others may have animal features, such as a stag's head, goat legs, or a fox's tail, or plant features like wooden skin or vines wrapping around their body (especially Nymphs/Dryads). These always seem to be near or at the top of the fairy totem pole. They'll usually be called some variation of "Fae" or "Sidhe"note .
- The Fair Folk (fairies may not be harmless, and this can range from impulsively acting without consequence to outright wickedness)
- Fairy Companion (a fairy hanging around giving help)
- Fairy in a Bottle
- Fairy Godmother
- Fairy Sexy
- House Fey
- Leprechaun (most common Irish, as well as male fairy in fiction)
- Spark Fairy
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Anime & Manga
- Digimon Adventure has Palmon's Ultimate Form - Lilymon. She takes the form of a pink flower pixie with the power to shoot energy out of a "Flower Cannon". Her Mega Form - Rosemon - is quite similar though overlaps with Lady of War.
- Digimon Frontier has Azumi (Zoe in the English dub), whose Human Spirit form is Fairymon (or Kazemon).
- In Wandaba Style, one of the characters sees invisible fairies that look like small, bald, musclebound, winged men.
- Durarara!! focuses heavily on a Dullahan who rides a headless horse disguised as a motorbike around modern day Japan.
- Soul Eater has the fairies that live in the cave where Excalibur resides. Like everyone else they can't stand him.
- In Berserk, the Fairy Companions Puck and Ivalera (stated to be of a race of Elves) are revealed to actually be a sort of wind spirit.
- Humanity Has Declined: They're about 10 centimeters tall, don't have wings, grin stupidly constantly, have undefined supernatural powers, and really like sweets. Oh, and they're apparently evolved from normal humans (who are still around, but dying out).
- The second story arc of Sword Art Online introduces an MMO called ALfheim Online, with all players assuming playing as fairies. By the end of the arc, everyone from SAO is playing, with each player using a different race:
- Kirito selects a Spriggan, a race that specializes in illusory magic and treasure-finding (making this race fairly unpopular, since neither skill is useful in combat).
- Leafa, the second story arc's deuteragonist, is a Sylph, and as such specializes in wind-based magic and high agility.
- Asuna plays an Undine. Her race's forte is support and healing magic and underwater combat. She also has an alternate Sylph character.
- Lizbeth selects Leprechaun as her race. While having no combat specializations, it's an ideal class for item crafters.
- Silica plays a Cait Sith. Aside from being agile, Cait Siths are the only race in the game that can be beast tamers.
- Klein rolls a Salamander, specialists in fire-based magic and possessing naturally-enhanced strength.
- Agil picks Gnome as his race. Gnomes specialize in earth-based magic and, among the other fairy races, are quite massive.
- In The Seven Deadly Sins, King and his sister, Elaine, are long living child-like wingless humanoids capable of levitating themselves and other things. King, though, can transform himself into an older, fatter version of himself as he sees it as a form of respect when dealing with royals and others.
- In the Pretty Cure franchise, all fairies are different. They don't even look remotely human, being Ridiculously Cute Critters instead, and every series shows another kind of fairies from different worlds. Most fairies can transform into something, e.g. Transformation Trinkets or humans, and some of them have special powers to support the heroines. A few mascots are able to fight, and two of them are even heroines themselves.
- In Cardcaptor Sakura, many of the spirit forms of the Clow Cards appear humanoid, with a majority of them resembling elves or fairies.
- A few of the tiny humanoid variety appear in Axis Powers Hetalia. They, along with the other magical creatures of the world, are Invisible to Normals, and they're the close friends of both England and Norway.
- Magic: The Gathering: Faeries appear in multiple sets and planes as diminutive winged humanoids.
- In Lorwyn, they're often particularly insect-like, with insectoid legs and antennas, and are cruel and mean-spirited tricksters. Unlike other depictions, they don't live particularly long, often just a few years, and send their lives pursuing amusement, often at the expense of others. They're particularly fascinated by the dreams of other races, which they frequently harvest. The faeries and their Queen, Oona, are also the only creatures not affected by the Great Aurora that periodically turns the idyllic Lorwyn into the dark and haunted Shadowmoor and back. There's also a variant of faeries named groundlings, which do not have wings.
- Fairies in Proof are dangerous carnivores that can easily kill humans in swarms. Female fairies are only a few inches tall; males are much larger than humans and have no wings. Their society and behavior is fairly insectoid, in that the females dramatically outnumber males, and males are usually eaten after mating.
- Fairies in Polish comic book series Lil i Put (Lil and Put) have coal-black skin, humanoid bodies with what appear to be cross between antennae and horns on top of their heads. They live in dark caves, are technology obsessed and appear to be the most tech advance race in the land (to the point of making references to contemporary objects in contrast to series medieval setting) Their language sounds like ringing of a bell which is represented by drawings of bells in their speech bubbles (which leads to a lot of variation depending on what their expressing at the moment. )
- In Keepers of the Elements, fairies are magical females that can transform into their own unique fairy forms. The Keepers themselves are this, but with Elemental Powers thrown in as well.
- In The Blue Blur of Termina, fairies are brightly colored winged humanoids around Sonic's general size, instead of the tiny, winged orbs of light from the original game.
- Child of the Storm has the vaguely Tolkienian Light Elves of Alfheim - to the point where Prince Faradei is described as the in-universe inspiration for Legolas - and the Faerie Courts of The Dresden Files, who are a fairly quintessential example of The Fair Folk. Even the Summer Fae can be a bit alien.
- Their Midnight Revels: There are some differences in Miranda and Ariel’s interactions with Thomas and Edith that are contrary to typical folklore portrayals. For example nothing goes wrong when Edith and Thomas eat the food in Faerie, perhaps because they are enchanted already or because Miranda and Ariel swore that they were under their magical protection, nothing would happen to them.Also Miranda and Ariel make it clear that nothing is being done with Edith or Thomas’ free will. They ask them to join the Revels and later ask them to remain in Faerie letting them know all of the consequences beforehand.
While O’Brien mentions the possibility that Sybil’s child may be a changeling, one look shows that he is not, perhaps because Bobby was not taken by either his own free will or his parents'. Also, Miranda and Ariel’s characters evolve when they realize that they love Edith and Thomas.
Films — Animation
- Tinker Bell of Peter Pan included elements such as Clap Your Hands If You Believe.
- The Disney version is now the main character of Disney Fairies. Except that Disney keeps trying to call them "pixies" or (when male) "sparrow men".
- The blue fairy of Pinocchio. She appears as a full sized woman with exceptionally large wings. Naturally she's dressed in blue.
- The fairies of Sleeping Beauty. Shorter than the average human but larger than dwarves, all take the forms of sugary older women. They have wings but they can make those disappear. It appears they can't do magic without their wands. Word of God claimed that Maleficent is also a fairy — one that takes the form of a green-skinned horned sorceress.
- The fairy godmother of Cinderella. Appears as a kindly older woman with no wings but seems to have to sing to get her magic to work (or at least say the magic words "bibidi bobidi boo").
- Ralph Bakshi's Wizards has human(ish)-sized elves with wings, elves without wings, and tiny winged fairies, too.
- Strange Magic: The fairies look like attractive humans with butterfly wings. They're very small, except the film operates on their scale. The have knights who can fly despite being fully armored. They live in a kingdom with other sentient races and seem to be the ruling class.
- Fairies also have a pivotal role in FernGully: The Last Rainforest and an environmental message.
Films — Live-Action
- Pan's Labyrinth:
- Fairies that look like flying praying mantises... which can shapeshift into more human-like shape when shown a picture of what they're "supposed" to look like.
- The Pale Man, a monstrous, child-devouring fae.
- Willow has a scene with a whole swarm of tiny, glowing fairies...and their enormous, hovering queen, Cherlindrea.
- The fairies in Labyrinth look like your stereotypical little magical flying sparkly things, but they bite. Sarah thought they were kind and wish-granting and was surprised and horrified to see Hoggle coming after them with an insecticide gun.
- The Shobijin, Mothra's twin fairy companions, in the Godzilla films. They stand about six inches tall and are able to teleport short distances as well as understand what the monsters are saying... Oh, and they can summon Mothra as well to aid them.
- Both Photographing Fairies and Fairy Tale: A True Story are (loosely) based on the Cottingley Fairies.
- Many fairies appear in Maleficent, Disney's Perspective Flip / Twice Told Tale adaptation of their 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. Here, "fairy" is used to identify any magical creature that inhabits the Moors, much like how Scandinavian countries would use the term "troll" for a similar purpose. Fairies range from Winged Humanoids like the title character, to small pixies, to Plant People, and all manner of water, dew, and stone fae. And just like actual folklore, Cold Iron burns them and is their one true weakness, a fact which is a major plot point throughout the film.
- Fairies appear prominently in Leapin' Leprechauns and it sequel Spellbreaker: Secret of the Leprechauns, in the second film their queen joins the main cast of Leprechauns in their quest.
- Fairies — especially the complicated character of Tinker Bell, a friend of Peter and a great enemy of Wendy at the same time — are very important in Peter Pan books by James Matthew Barrie. It is said that since they are so small, they can only feel one emotion at a time. Unfortunately for Wendy, Tinker Bell decides to feel possessive jealousy at that particular time.
- In Elfstruck, she makes a ticking noise like a clock and her wings are silver and crystal, with visible gearwork inside.
- In The Dresden Files, Faerie is more of a descriptor for certain kinds of creatures from the spirit world, particularly the ones that originate from the region called, well, Faery. The most prominent of the fay races is the incredibly humanoid, achingly beautiful, frighteningly amoral Sidhe (pronounced as "She"). Others run the gamut from tiny, pizza-loving pixies, to hulking trolls, to centaurs and humanoid Billy Goats Gruff, and even possibly Santa Claus. Everything that shows up in the books that's not a mortal, vampire, deity, or demon is likely a kind of Faerie. All of them are burned by iron. Of course, to the Sidhe specifically, being called a "Fairy" is considered to be a slur, similar to calling a human an "ape".
- In The Last Dragon Chronicles, the Fain are mistaken for fairies by the toddler Alexa. ("Fainies") It's a bit of a twist, considering that they're thought beings and so they don't have an actual form without a host.
- The short story "Ever After" by Susan Palwick is about a fairy godmother who takes a young woman under her care. The girl is well aware of the Cinderella type myths and is looking forward to finding a prince to marry. The twist comes when we find out that the "fairy godmother" is actually a vampire who is changing the girl into her vampire daughter.
- In the Harry Potter universe (according to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) fairies are non-intelligent creatures that reproduce by laying eggs and metamorphosing like insects, and can't do anything more impressive than ward off predators with weak magic or be summoned to serve as decorations. The good press Muggles give them is a matter of some confusion to wizards. They can't speak either.
- "Fairy" or "The People" in Artemis Fowl is a catch-all term for all non-human sapients, which includes Centaurs and Demons, and Unicorns before their extinction, as well as more obviously fey creatures like Elves, Pixies, Sprites, Gnomes, Gremlins, Goblins and Dwarves. Only Sprites have natural wings, other species use mechanical ones, and they're a metre tall on average (though one character is said to be 'barely half a metre' tall, and they could find clothes to fit a 13-year-old human, so there's obviously a high standard deviation). In most People, magic gives healing ability, invisibility, hypnotism, and the ability to speak any language; only a few, called 'warlocks', can use it for anything more complicated, like playing with the flow of time. They also have very strict rules they must follow to use their magic. They have to perform certain rituals to recharge their magical energies, and forfeit their magical ability when they break certain rules. Each species also has certain unique qualities, such as sprite's wings, demonic metamorphosis, and dwarven Fartillery.
- ...Though the ability to speak any language, while perhaps helped along by a bit of magic, actually comes from the fact that the People's Gnomish is the ancestor of all languages (including American Dog!).
- It is also noted that all of the fairy species evolved from pterosaurs of all things towards the end of the Cretaceous.
- Merry Gentry's fey relations resemble the Fair Folk of the Old World in name, power, appearance and moral ambiguity. But with that special LKH twist.
- Elphin from Soon I Will Be Invincible is a thousand-year-old fairy who looks like a teenage girl with wings, is abnormally strong for her size, skewers people with her magic spear and is vulnerable to cold iron. She can also summon lightning, much to Fatalle's dismay.
- Bones of Faerie has faeries that are humanoids with powers. Though not immortal, they have a longer life span, and can be identified by their white hair.
- The Fairies in The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries look like beautiful humans except for their pointed ears. Claudine chooses to cover hers with her hair, while her brother Claude had them surgically altered. They are allergic to lemons and iron and Vampires are very attracted to their blood.
- Shows up in the Discworld canon
- Strictly speaking the Nac Mac Feegle from Discworld, being small humanoid beings from Fairyland, probably count as fairies. They prefer "Pictsies". Several other weird beings that are probably fairies appear in The Wee Free Men, mostly based on Richard Dadd's painting "The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke".
- Discworld mythology also counts any supernatural being who exists to bring something or take it away as a fairy. The Tooth Fairy is the most famous, but Hogfather introduces the Hair Loss Fairy, the Veruca Gnome, and various others. In the same book Ridcully off-handedly mentions "them little buggers that live in flowers, used to collect 'em myself as a lad". the Tooth Fairies, so called, are actually not fairies at all but a franchise operation employing humans. They ultimately work for a creature akin to a proto-bogey-man, who collects the teeth to prevent a very ancient sort of posession magic, although this isn't generally known.
- The actual Fairies, so-called, are portrayed in Lords and Ladies and are very much The Fair Folk; people are afraid of them, they are very dangerous, and they have a Queen and King reminiscent of Titania and Oberon in some ways, and horned gods like Cernunnos in others.
- The fairies/hobgoblins of The Stolen Child are largely in the Fair Folk mold, with the twist being that they were all human originally. They kidnap a human child and, though some mystical process not fully explained, turn him or her into a fairy, while one of their own makes himself into the child's double and replaces him or her. They're functionally immortal until they turn themselves back into humans, and don't age in any normal way (although they're implied to be odd-looking), and are just generally uncivilized and self-interested.
- The Anakim, servants of the Nephilim in Angelology are short, albeit human sized, and of delicate build with yellow eyes and insectile wings, as opposed to the avian ones of the Nephilim.
- In Brandon Sanderson's The Stormlight Archive series one of the main characters has a companion windspren named Syl that takes the traditional fairy form and she really is different even from other windspren who mostly just look like streaks of mist and lack self awareness. This is because she's actually an honorspren
- Done with almost religious fervor in the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels. L. Frank Baum wanted to distance his "American fairy tale" from the old fairy tales of Europe, so he went out of his way to make them different. For instance, none of Baum's fairies fly, with only a couple possible exceptions. Fairies in Baum's universe are on a god-like level, immortals ruling over various aspects of nature (an entire pantheon is given in Tik-Tok of Oz).
- The fair folk in Jack Chalker's River of Dancing Gods series take the place of our world's natural processes. They live eternal, but sadly limited, lives.
- The Rooftoppers in Tad Williams Shadowmarch quadrology although they don't have wings. Rather they use birds, bats and rats as transport.
- The War of the Flowers, also by Tad Williams, is set in Another Dimension populated by all kinds of fairies. The ruling class, however, seems to resemble standard elves more, including the attitude. Actually, this novel plays with all three elf tropes.
- Cicely Mary Barker's (and her successors') Flower Fairies, who are the standard "tiny winged humanoid" but resemble their flower in appearance and personality (for instance, the Buttercup fairy is cheerful and "sunny"). Basically very small dryads.
- The fairies in Fablehaven. Despite the whole "Looking like insects and birds to most people" thing, for the most part, they resemble traditional fairies... And then you get to their rather alien moral system, as well as their bizarre history. Oh, and by the way, unicorns are the ancestors of all fairies.
- Wings by Aprilynne Pike is completely built on this trope. Fairies are actually highly evolved plants who resemble humans. They don't have wings, though, but they do 'blossom'.
- In the web-novel Domina, the fey are insane people who use the toy maker to make monsters. They also apparently actually think they're Celtic fairies, and lapse into Irish when angry.
- In The Twelfth Enchantment fairies actually are the undead.
- In The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, faeries are born from the dreams of humanity and sustained by humans and other fey remembering them. This leads to you having not just the traditional fey (The Fair Folk) represented by the Summer (Seelie) and Winter (Unseelie) Courts, but the Iron Fey that named the series. The Iron fey are born from dreams of science and technology, of innovation and industry, and thus are not only immune to iron, but are essentially walking faerie krptonite. They also do not try to capture you in favors as much as the "oldblooded" fey, as they call the older fey species. Ferrum, their first king, was born when mankind first started to forge iron.
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's On Fairy-Stories, he describes the little and winged conception as the sophisticated and literary creature, not rooted in folklore.
- In Rebecca Lickiss's Eccentric Circles, Aelvirum is careful to point out that he's an elf, not a fairy.
- In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, even the little, winged Foletti, like Pretty Butterflies, are still nasty.
- A Fantasy Attraction has a fairy popping in to steal a cookie, and a pixie causing trouble is also mentioned.
- The races on Emis, the world of Tough Magic, are fairy, leprechaun, pixie and sprite. However, as they are about human size and without wings; the only distinguishment between them and regular humans is the unusual colors of their skin, hair and eyes.
- The John Golden series from Ragnarok Publications has fairies create pocket-dimensions in computer networks. This necessitates humans called "Debuggers" physically entering them in order to slay the fae within. Otherwise they might play havoc with the data around them—or steal the souls of users.
- The Aellisar from the Clandestine Daze books are a modernized 21st century society which employs covert agents to influence events in the human world. They have their own countries, technology, and Spy Speak.
- The fae in Stranger And Stranger are taller than humans, gifted with a powerful type of magic called a Blessing,rarely have wings, and tend to isolate themselves from humans. For example, the fae of Duircean, where the book is set, live in a forest. The fae also practice something called "snatching", where they cast a spell over a human child to turn them into a changeling faerie (which they actually have legal right to do).
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell takes the Fair Folk trope and adjusts it to fit the Georgian-era setting. The basic concept, as one of the many easy-to-miss footnotes explains, is that logic and magical ability are diametrically opposed; humans have great powers of logic and very little magical skill, while Faeries have tremendous magical power but most of them would be considered severely mentally ill by human standards. Accordingly, they don't even need wings since they can travel wherever on Earth they want via the King's Roads, and they wear clothes that are made of broken dreams or are "the color of heartbreak" or that sing or scream. They also have tremendous powers that no human can fight while simultaneously having a wide variety of Weaksauce Weaknesses, and are shown to stay out of human affairs less for the standard reasons than because they just don't care—they'd rather be at their all-night balls. In other words, they're a Shadow Archetype of what human British society was like at the time.
- The Wandering Inn: Faeries only are seen in the world, when winter comes, as it is their duty to bring it to the world. Citizen of the world can't actually see their real appearances, instead of they only perceive a blue blur, thus don't think of them as actual people, but as a natural phenomenon.
- Episode 13 of Monty Python's Flying Circus has a sketch about fairies on the police force. For once in the series, "fairy" is not synonymous with "poofter."
- Merlin has several episodes with the Sidhe, a fairy race associated with the legends of England and Ireland. They're blue-faced and many carry magic staffs. A Sidhe can entrance a human and can be placed inside a human child to take full control later in life. The two in "The Gates of Avalon" had been banished and were seeking a human prince to sacrifice so the daughter could return to Avalon. Pixies, another race, sometimes work with them.
- Queen Mab also makes an appearance in the Dark Tower episode. She is a mischievous trickster.
- Once Upon a Time has the tiny, winged vareity who grant wishes.
- According to seasons 3 and 4, all fairies in the ONCE-verse are not all good wish granters and not always humanoid. The "Black Fairy" is said to be the most evil and most powerful dark fairy and also the giant demonic Chernabog (yes, THAT◊ Chernabog) is also heavily implied to also be a fairy.
- There was a horror-themed show on CITV (name forgotten) that had a segment on a girl wishing she could see a fairy one day and finding some at the bottom of her garden. Unfortunately, instead of being happy, wish-granting creatures they were these horrible little creatures with large teeth that bit her... and after she found them, they started turning up everywhere, causing her to cage them to stop from being attacked, but they just kept on coming...
- In Torchwood fairies are actually children snatched out of time and turned into creatures humans initially see as light, but who have a true form of a gremlin-like monster. They choke people with rose petals that wrong the children they'd chosen to join them and spontaneously cause severe weather.
- In Power Rangers Mystic Force a fairy is actually a zord. The Mystic Sprite belongs to the (what else) Pink Ranger.
- In Charmed fairies can only be seen by children, though adults can see them if they believe and a spell can be cast to make them innocent again. Along with trolls, fairies live in 'in-betweens' - windows, doorways, shadows - and thus are able to cross over into our world. They are able to do so freely during midnight when the world itself becomes an in-between. After the fairies' debut episode, the sisters apparently created a spell that allows them to see fairies from then on as they appear frequently in the series. They are also notorious for stealing things - which results in a Crowning Moment of Funny when (taking Paige's advice too literally) the fairies return everything they ever stole from Henry, including things he lost in high school.
- The fairies in Shadowhunters are known as Seelies. They are among the Downworlder species (species that are part demon) and have the distinction of also being part angel. They cannot tell lies, but are still considered untrustworthy. Meliorn is a Seelie that has an affair with Isabelle and helps Clary and Jace open a portal to another dimension in "The World Inverted".
Myth & Religion
- Look back far enough into history and you'll find that just about every culture, country and locality has their own local variation of fairy-like creatures. For example, Greek Mythology has Nymphs, Naiads and Dryads (water and tree spirits respectively), fawns, satyrs, centaurs and other semi-divine races of creatures, usually a One-Gender Race.
- The butterfly fairy in Farfalla hangs out in flower gardens and entices players with her attractive looks.
- Dungeons & Dragons.
- This list contains just some of the canon and fan-made species.
- Pixies are noted for being one of the few truly playable high ECL (basically you get racial abilities instead of a higher character level) races, thanks to their strong racial ability scores, invisibility, spell-like abilities and flight.
- As of Heroes of the Feywild, Pixies have become an official PC race for 4th Edition. Along with Satyrs and Hamadryad.
- In Arcana Evolved, the fairies are made when either "Loresong" or "Quickling" Faen, essentially Elves and Halflings, secrete a sticky substance that becomes a chrysalis, and within 7 days time, the faen permanently metamorphs into a Spryte.
- In the Mystara supplement Tall Tales of the Wee Folk, a centaur scholar claims that fairies are, in fact, the Immortals (gods) of a previous iteration of the multiverse. They helped nurture and preserve the Sphere of Life when opposing forces dominated the cosmos, and will do so again when the present Life-dominated reality yields to the Sphere of Death in an ever-repeating cycle. Until then, the fairy folk — pixies, sprites, leprechauns, sidhe, wood imps, drakes, brownies, pookas — retain their immortality but their power is diminished.
- Fairies in GURPS: Fantasy are living illusions. Their magic can be as easily destroyed by iron as they are. Of course, due to the modular nature of GURPS, Fairies can be built in countless other ways resembling other examples on this page.
- Both Changeling gamelines in the World of Darkness series use the Fae:
- Changeling: The Dreaming splits its changelings up into Kiths; the Kithain, European-style fairies, range from Boggans to Nockers to Pooka to Redcaps to Sidhe to Trolls. And that's just the Kithain — you've got the Nunnehi (Native American fae), the Inanimae (elemental embodiments), the Hsien (Asian "small gods")...
- Changeling: The Lost has the True Fae, which are so different from one another as to give you whiplash. Not only that, but every single of them ends up different over the years; what may have been a man-eating giant a century ago could turn into La Belle Dame Sans Merci (or Baba Yaga). There's even a True Fae transforming robot (his alt is a motorcycle). Then you have the changelings, their escaped servants, who are split up into Seemings (general patterns of their durances in Arcadia) and Kiths (specified durances). A Ogre kept in a charnel pit may turn into a Gristlegrinder or an Oni, a Beast kept as a falcon may be a Windwing or a Cleareyes, or a Wizened forced to maintain his Keeper's estate may turn into a Chatelaine or a Drudge, or some combination if you use optional rules. And then you have the hobgoblins...
- Fairies in Ars Magica are treated much like roleplayers in the 5th edition of the game. Put simply, faeries subconsciously take on roles from human stories and reenact them with (usually) unwitting humans to obtain the vitality they crave. This trait makes faeries difficult to combat (except by apotropaic magics) since in many cases their "death" is part of the story and only provides additional vitality.
- Similar rules as in Ars Magica apply to The Fair Folk in Exalted. Unlike most other beings, they don't have a Motivation. Rather, they have something they adopt as a passing fancy, a role they enter into because it seems dramatically appropriate at the time. Oh, and they come from the chaos outside reality, and eat souls. Basically, they're role-playing gamers, Creation is their gameworld, and your PCs are just NPCs to them. Usurprisingly, they have a hard time with concepts like empathy and consequences.
- Faerie Folk in Rifts and the Palladium RPG come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be less than six inches or up to three feet tall, cute or horrendous, friendly (for a given value of such) or mean, and have varying powers. And of course, this being Rifts and all, can take almost as much damage as a modern Armored Personnel Carrier. Also, don't eat their food. They seem to have a penchant for Incredibly Lame Visual Puns involving the name of their food and what Transformations or charm effects it causes. For example, Tarts tend to make women extremely amorous, Burgundy wine turns you that color, and you should stay the hell away from the Frog's Legs, unless that's what you want.
- The Small Folk has fairy folk whose ancestors were very traditional, but who've moved with the times to survive in the modern world.
- Warhammer: Spites (often corrupted into “Sprites” in peasant folklore) are a kind of diminutive forest spirit found in woodlands throughout the Old World, and especially in the vast enchanted forest of Athel Loren. In a callback to old fairy folklore, they’re universally cruel tricksters with extremely nasty tempers, and not to be trifled with lightly. They’re adept shapeshifters, and can appear as glowing orbs of light, tiny elves riding beetles or black birds or skeletal horses, diminutive winged humanoids, odd-looking forest animals or anything else they’ve a mind to.
- Most fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream are of The Fair Folk mold, but Titania's attendants are generally more common portrayed as child-sized winged creatures.
- Tinker Bell in the original Peter Pan is basically similar to Disney's version, except she isn't a humanoid figure but just a floating point of light.
- The ballet La Sylphide (or The Sylph) — the protagonist falls in love with a beautiful fairy with rainbow wings. He abandons his mortal fiancee to chase after her. Wicked Witch Old Madge tells him she is unable to be with him as she will always fly away. She then presents him with a magic scarf that will prevent her from flying away. It makes her wings fall off and she dies.
- The fairies of The Legend of Zelda games. At first they restored hearts. Starting with the The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Great Fairies could also grant gifts, like extra powers and more item carrying capacity. In Majora's Mask we met fairies who had been broken apart into dozens of littler fairies, and you had to restore them... and Wind Waker introduced us to the Queen of the Fairies, who looks like a little girl. Also, they constantly switch from being winged to wingless and having insect-like antennae or not.
- The fairy familiar of Castlevania games.
- In MOTHER 3, the "fairies", called Magypsies, look like men in heavy makeup and dresses. Apparently, they transcend mortal genders as well as mortal lifespans.
- Final Fantasy:
- In the original game, a Fairy gives the player an item that enables them to breathe underwater.
- Final Fantasy III: They inhabit the Living Wood and will give the player a gift if they save their home.
- They appear as enemies in Final Fantasy Legend II and III'.
- Faerie is a summon in Final Fantasy Tactics and heals the party. She has wings of a bird rather than the traditional dragonfly or butterfly wings.
- There's also the recurring summon Sylph that appears either as one or a group of fairies. The traditional attack "Whispering Wind" drains HP from the enemy and gives it to the party. In Revenant Wings Sylph instead deals non-elemental damage with "Aero".
- Bravely Default has Airy, a crystal fairy who turns out to be the Big Bad and a despicable liar who serves an Eldritch Abomination.
- Seiken Densetsu 3, faeries (spelled as such in the fan translation) protect the Mana Tree and require Mana to live. They can harmlessly inhabit the head of a human, allowing them to live away from the Mana Holyland for extended periods of time, but can't inhabit a new human until the chosen human dies. And the one faerie who follows around the heroes eventually becomes the new Mana Goddess.
- Rayman: Big fairies, small fairies, fairies with wings, fairies with tails, fairies that glow, fairies that don't, fairies with or without silly hats. You name it.
- La Tale, sylph show up in this form on the icons for all of the Wizard's Wind skills, as well as generic fire faeries in the Lair of the Evil Dragon instance, and eventually the Xenadia area.
- Fairies in Gust's Atelier series of games are males the size of little boys and dressed in green. The only exceptions are their old village leader, and the hideous muscle-bound "fairy" from Mana-Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy.
- Also, despite the fact that they don't age physically, faeries can age in personality. This becomes a minor plot point in the third Atelier Iris game, in which an npc gets majorly weirded out by a fairy talking like an old man.
- Fairies are also recurring Mooks and/or Red Shirts in Touhou, and occasionally appear as bosses. Here, they keep the mischievousness of most depictions of fairies, but some pranks go too far, like shoving someone off a cliff or setting them on fire (though, the fact they mean no ill will puts them in generally a better light then the man-eating Youkai they share their territory with). As spirits of nature, should they die, they just pop up back, good as new, as long as the element they embody exists, and they don't see why this doesn't really apply to anybody but fairies. Unfortunately, The Fog of Ages and general idiocy are constants for them (they never learn from their mistakes due to their Resurrective Immortality). The smartest and strongest fairy in Gensokyo, Cirno, is literate, has a modicum of power (though many still tower before her), and some memory capacity, but is considered an extreme rarity among fairies. There are fairies who live in Hell, too, as evidenced by Clownpiece, who's strong enough to be the King Mook boss of the fifth stage in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom.
- The fairies from the Spyro the Dragon games. Mostly serve as checkpoints.
- The faeries in Folklore are wingless creatures who are roughly three feet tall, and only appear in the Lost Woods-like "Faery Realm". Some are helpful to you, while others (later in the game) are not.
- In La-Mulana, once you get the Diviner Sensation ROM (or Isis's Pendant in the remake), you can summon fairies to restore your health and, by equipping it with another ROM at specific spots, key fairies which unlock many things necessary for 100% Completion.
- Panel de Pon: Ruby is the stereotypical winged fairy. The other non-villanous playable characters, and the final boss, are fairies as well, but they look more like long-eared humans.
- One boss in the Mega Man Zero series is called Sol Titanion. It is a fire-specialized robot who is inspired by the fairy queen Titania.
- The Gameboy Advance installment of Tactics Ogre gives you fairy units, and they are typical foot-tall-winged-girl Squishy Wizards. One hit splatters them but they make for good healers.
- Faeries are a playable race in later Wizardry games. Their small size restricts them from most weapons and armor, but they make excellent mages, priests, and (funnily enough) ninjas.
- Pokémon have always had a few creatures that are based on fairies and fairy-like creatures. Many of them are small adorable creatures like Clefairy, Roselia and Snorunt. All of them belong to an egg group (a classification of Pokemon that can breed with each other) called the Fairy egg group (including Series Mascot Pikachu). It wasn't until Pokémon X and Y that Fairy was introduced as an actual type in order to combat the overpowered Dragon types, and many older Pokemon were given the new type. These range from the previously mentioned Clefairy, to more mystic ones like Gardevoir and devious ones like Mawile. The Fairy-types introduced in later generations include the elegant and stately Florges, the mischievous key-stealing Klefki, Ribombee, which approaches the traditional winged humanoid image by way of being a humanoid bee, and the legendary Xerneas, a massive deer and effectively a god of rebirth.
- The faeries of RuneScape are tiny, flying, mostly-female humanoids, who live in a blue-tinted magical kingdom where sheep and cows can talk. The fairies are responsible for things like the weather changing, crops growing and teeth being collected. There is also a Faerie Mafia.
- Holly, the player character of Plantasia, looks almost exactly like a normal human, albeit with pointed ears and pink hair. She can apparently pull clothes out of nowhere to disguise herself as a human, as seen in the intro of the game, and can make multiple shovels, watering cans, weeding tools, and extermination tools work simultaneously on the field, depending on how many of the tool she has and how many are available for her to use at the time. She can also fly or at least hover, despite having no visible wings.
- In Shining the Holy Ark you can capture various types of "pixies". The Pixie a blond that looks like she's wearing a swimsuit; the Fairy a "traditional" looking fairy; the Succubus a green haired woman that shows a lot of ass; the Incubus a male fairy and the Leprechaun who looks as you would expect. You would collect each type and unleash them just before a battle to cause quick damage. The direction the enemy would enter the screen would indicate which type of fairy to use. Once you had all 50 pixies you could visit the queen of the pixies to get a magic wand that would allow you to attack with all 50 pixies at once, no matter the direction the enemy entered the battle.
- In Solomon's Key, fairies are summoned by obtaining the Bell of Lyrac, and collecting ten fairies gives Dana an extra life.
- The spring fairies in Valley Of Unicorns are horses with fairy wings. They're the second least common species on the site in terms of color variations, and the majority have been released only during events or for real-money purchases.
- Shin Megami Tensei offers a wide selection of The Fair Folk to serve as the Fairy race - from the standard Pixie, to Oberon and Titania themselves, to Trolls and Jack Frost. Other entities commonly associated with the race such as Setanta and Tam Lin sometimes join them.
- The planet Vubble from Meteos is home to a species of bubble-like Starfish Aliens that resemble fairies. They are 10 cm in height, breathe out bubbles, sport butterfly wings, loathe all sharp objects, and spend their free time skating on the surface of Vubble's foamy oceans.
- The combo fairies of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat resemble flying balls of light that circle around Donkey Kong in larger numbers the longer his combos get.
- Kyu from HuniePop is a love fairy, which means basically she goes out to hopeless young men and helps them find romance. She can also produce a device for tracking women, and turn invisible and change colour at will. She's also The Lad-ette.
Kyu, after eating pizza: Mmmmmm, fuck, that's good! Yo, I'm about to bust a nut over here!"
- In Faery: Legends of Avalon, the titular faeries come in various shapes and sizes. The player character is small by human standards, but there are faeries who are even smaller. Their wings and other attributes vary, but are generally insect-derived (dragonflies, butterflies, etc). They can also be a variety of colours — your own character can be particularly striking, if you use the character creator. They raise in attractiveness from Fairy Sexy to Gonk.
- Willo from Paladins is a fairy who looks like a plant-based organism, with her clothes and body appearing to be merged to a certain degree. She may be the size of a small child, but with her wand and seedlings, she's a powerful damage champion that specializes in explosive area damage.
- Since all the characters in Daily Grind are talking animals, the Fae are, of course, big glowing spiders. They also claim to have no free will but say that they're animated by the spirit of Lord Cyrios in everything they do.
- In Drowtales, any humanoid or animal with an aura is counted as a fae. The drowalath (black drow), drowussu (grey drow) and vanir (light elves) are the dominant kinds. There are also fairies, also known as Locust Queens, who are small humanoid/insect hybrids, and are considered vermin by the Drow.
- Gunnerkrigg Court has "Regional Fairies". They have spots on their shoulders showing which "region" they live in. They learn magic and make their own wings, and they don't gain names until they've come of age.
- City Face, which is canon for Gunnerkrigg, shows the regional fairies offering important advice to pigeons and magpies. Their dialogue hints that they don't distinguish between lengths of space and lengths of time—and the twin sisters Ogee and Torus can never be seen at the same time by humans, because they occupy the same space and time, but at different periods along a non-linear time scale.
- Giselda of Seekers is a Wingling, not a Fairy. And she'll be sure to correct you.
- The wold of Virtual Pet Planet has a race of Pixies that basically run everything. Some of them even sell curious wares.
- El Goonish Shive has Nanase's Fairy Doll Spell. The user's mind temporarily leaves the body to inhabit a tiny version of themselves with wings. Great for communication/scouting, not so great for fighting. Unknown if there are real fairies though.
- The introvert Dex gains summoning magic through mysterious means. His main summon is a fairy companion, since he's lonely. He acknowledges that she's not a real fairy, and is guided by his own desire for friendship.
- Susan has an item-summoning spell that, when she tries to summon one of Nanase's Fairy Dolls, winds up creating a fairy not unlike Dex's, which independently acts on the emotions and desires Susan herself doesn't want to express.
- The Fey in the webcomic Footloose are fairly badass swords-and-sorcery fairies. Smart people don't mess with them.
- Fairies in Arthur, King of Time and Space (fairy-tale and space arcs) look like this. (In the contemporary arc the same beings are fictional aliens from Merlin's [and now Arthur's] webcomic.)
- Subverted in So Damn Bright by Flikker and others, who seem to be basically humans with some unspecified difference, and butterfly wings growing from their backs. No magic powers or ability to fly has been shown, and they seem to have sexual relations with humans ( a dating site asks if you are looking for "fae" or "anthro", and on another occasion Flikker mentions that one of the other human characters didn't strike her as the sort who might be "faesexual" ).
- Flikker sheds her lower wings at one stage, this apparently being a mark of ageing or growing up. Fairies seem to shed and regrow their wings from time to time.
- My Roommate Is an Elf features a pixie named Flint. He's very small and from a distance resembles a glowing shape with wings. Griswold, the elf, rescused him some time before the comic began and is very protective of him, threatening Dearg after Dearg tried to eat him.
- The Order of the Stick has Celia, an air elemental sylph (originally one of matched set of four). She sometimes forgets the differences between herself and mortal creatures.
- In No Rest for the Wicked, the innkeeper expects a disguised fairy who reward the kind and generous after testing them in disguise.
- At Arm's Length:
- Greg is a college-frat type transformed into the winged human-sized variety, and he's none to pleased about it.
- Plus Britt and 2Q, who are of the cute winged pixie variety.
- Roommates (and it's spin offs like Girls Next Door) has The Fair Folk type and most are human sized and wingless (pointy ears are common but not required) except to date the Green Fairy who is small winged and Fairy Sexy.
- Fairy Dust's fairies are tiny, have insect wings and could live indefinately, but have short life spans due to being vulnerable to predators. Seeing friends crushed or devoured is such a common occurence that they evolved a selective amnesia to protect them from PTSD. Their dust is usually an effective natural defense, as long as they see the threat coming in time. Fairy dust is sometimes used as a recreational drug ans has sufficient market value to interest organised crime.
- The Wolf At Weston Court: Faeries are all-female human-sized creatures with pointed ears, retractable wings, and a penchant for gun powder. They have no apparent magical advantage over other races, but they pride themselves in their powerful military. At the time of the story, they wear World War I-esque uniforms (with open backs for the wings) and their canon accent is standard American.
- Defection: Fairies are any sentient being not currently residing in their dimension of origin, I.E. A dimensional traveler. Strange things happen when you aren't where you are supposed to be.
- Everything2 has detailed instructions of how to gather pixie dust.
- In Arcana Magi, some fairies, so far, work for Avalon Tech Enterprises. One fairy is on the Board of Directors and another fairy is a scientist dealing with chemicals and diseases
- Felarya has size-changing, man-eating fairies.
- Moonflowers is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink set in Ireland, where the traditional version of The Fair Folk are Nature Spirits... and The Wild Hunt is a hundred-strong group of warriors terrorizing the rural areas, whose leader the Horned Hunter is the Anthropomorphic Personification of predators. They cursed the Asian-American protagonist and her family to impending death in a ritual hunt called the Fairy Raid, which has pissed off a growing number of deities.
- Willow from A Kind of Magic is a humanoid fairy.
- Barbie Fairytopia and Barbie: A Fairy Secret has Barbie and friends as fairies.
- The Fairly Oddparents are Fairies that have taken up the task of watching over a miserable human child in need. There is, however, a distinction between a fairy and a fairy godparent. Fairies are able to roam free in fairy world, living as they please. By going to the Fairy Academy, a fairy can become a fairy godparent and get assigned to a godchild. Fairy Godparents have more power in reality warping than normal Fairies, and are trained in happy wishmaking, as shown in "This Is Your Wish".
- Gargoyles' "Third Race" aka "Oberon's Children" leans more towards The Fair Folk variety: All Myths Are True (though not necessarily "accurate"), and these "fairies" basically include all sorts of legendary creatures, from Norse and Egyptian gods to Shakespearean characters.
- In a Gravity Falls one episode briefly features an actual fairy, which is accidentally killed by Soos, to the horror of the twins. In another episode, one acts as a mosquito and tries to bite Stan, and it is later shown that fairy dust acts as as unicorn knock-out gas.
- The G3 and G4 iterations of My Little Pony have fairy-like creatures called "Breezies". Basically they're ponies with antennae and insect wings, much like stereotypical fairies.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic also has changelings who are closer to The Fair Folk. They resemble a cross between winged-insects and partially decomposed corpses of ponies. They have the ability to perfectly mimic a pony's appearance (although their nasty personalities give them away) and can become more powerful as they feed on someone's love. Their favorite tactic is draining the love from others that is intended for the one they captured and copied which is what they did to Princess Cadence before her wedding.
- The fairies from the Amalgamated Do-Gooding Fairies in Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You?
- Winx Club fairies are human-sized Magical Girls from different planets all around the Magic Dimension. Though they're not always nice, they usually try to help people and protect the realms from evil. They also only have wings when they're transformed.
- In Filly Funtasia, Fairies are actually another race of Filly entirely. One of the main characters, Will, is one of them.
- The French series Avez-vous déjŕ vu... ? features two. One, "la fée fagot" (the faggotnote fairy), is the "tiny flying humanoid" type and grants wishes, but only to wood (Pinocchio is a frequent recipient/victim). The other, human-sized, is a lazy bum who uses magic to do everything without ever getting up from her couch.
- A fairy befriends Flora in episode "Adventures on Big Island" of the 2000s Babar series.
- The Cottingley Fairies were supposedly photos of actual fairies (small and winged, not the other kind) in 1917. A numbers of celebrities were caught up in the hype, including Arthur Conan Doyle, before the cousins who took the photos confessed they were fake. They still claimed to have seen actual fairies, and one cousin would later insist that one◊ of the pictures (the lowest-quality one, incidentally) was real. Also served as the inspiration for two films in 1997: Photographing Fairies and Fairytale A True Story.