"You don't know how to change your body into mist or a bat. You can't heal any of your gunshot wounds. And now that you're out of bullets, you can't even defend yourself. You
dare to call yourself Nosferatu? You disgust me!"
A consequence of the Our Vampires Are Different
trope. This is a form of Take That
where one author takes a shot at another author for the choices they made in depicting vampires.
Vampires are likely the most ubiquitous fantastic creature
in Urban Fantasy
. They are clever
, enticingly dangerous
, and have the perfect skillset for living among humans
Or are they?
There are many tropes associated with vampires, few authors use all of them, and they all have opinions about which ones to use. For example, in one author's work the idea that vampires can fly might be perfectly reasonable, but the idea that they fear moving water is just silly. In another author's work it might be reversed. These two authors feel it is necessary to point out why their choice was the right one and the other guy's the wrong one. This also leads to the other vampires being mocked for both having
specific weaknesses, especially the traditional ones (eg. what kind of a vampire is it that can't even withstand sunlight?), and for lacking
them (what kind of a vampire walks outside in broad daylight?)
is probably the most common vampire to be on the receiving end, since he is the source of almost every modern vampire trope, and hence embodies most of them in some version or another
. On the modern end, Twilight
is another very common easy potshot for vampire parodies, partly for the opposite reason that it averts so many traditional tropes (and partly because it was badly written). The other two frequent targets are Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and The Vampire Chronicles
, mainly because those are the only two additional works for which the writers can be sure the audience will know what's being mocked.
This is used in vampire comedies, or at least for adding some fun in a serious vampire tale. Show the vamp garlic? He takes a bite. Hold out holy water? He drinks it down. Cross? "Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire!
The trope sometimes occurs with other fantasy creatures — Terry Pratchett did it
with most of his dragons
, though he includes more than passing nods to classical interpretations as well — but an overwhelming majority of these seem to be centered on vampires. This may be due to vampires being the most common creature in Urban Fantasy
, and it would be difficult, for example, for Dungeons & Dragons
elves to comment on Lord of the Rings
elves, since Middle-Earth doesn't exist in Greyhawk
— even in fiction. One cannot have a pop culture commentary in a world with no pop culture
This trope is not just Our Vampires Are Different
, it requires there to be a Take That
, or at least some commentary on how this
vampire is different from (and probably better than) other
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Alucard from Hellsing, though most other vampires in the series crumble to dust when shot through the heart with an explosive silver bullet.
- This is even Lamp Shaded after Anderson seems to slay him.
Integra: Cut off his head? Pierced his heart? He is nothing like any vampire you've ever known. Your tricks won't kill him!
- Alucard is a special vamp on MULTIPLE levels, though. He makes every vampire — in his own series and in every other, with the possible exception of Caine — look absolutely pathetic by comparison. Especially given he's got power levels more akin to a Cosmic Horror Story villain than to those of a vampire.
- In one scene, Alucard casually demonstrates his superiority to all other vampires for Pip by sipping wine, sitting in direct sunlight, and traveling (by plane) over a moving body of water in the most pimptastic manner he can manage. Seras, on the other hand, has to stick to the coffin for the trip, much to her displeasure.
Pip: A vampire drinking wine on a private jet, flying to Rio de Janeiro in broad daylight? The stories got everything wrong.
- Alucard's character almost seems designed around this concept. His main battle strategy is to let his opponent tear him to shreds, then when they think they've won, he regenerates just to show off how much better than them he is before curb stomping them.
- In Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, the opening of the very first episode involves Alucard blowing a certain sparkly vampire into oblivion. Soon after, Seras guns his girlfriend down while Alucard is trolling her.
- Karin gets a lot of mileage out of this. Especially in the anime where Winner's earliest episode contains a montage of Winner's various vampire traps based on traditional vampire slaying methods...with an explanation from Karin about how silly some of them are: vampires are atheist, so crosses are out. Garlic might overwhelm a vampire's delicate sense of smell, but it's not poisonous, and even Karin has no idea where the running water thing came from. Carrera also looks horrified when Kenta mentions the stakes to the heart — because that would kill anyone. Though apparently not everyone as a few vampires are shown living quite well post-staking...sunlight is about the only traditional method shown to work reliably. Shown...extensively at one point during a flashback of the Sinclair Family executing a family of innocent vampires.
- Evangeline A.K. McDowell from Mahou Sensei Negima! can go out in the sunlight easily enough. Garlic won't kill her, but she does hate it (along with leeks) which is how she was defeated in the past by Negi's father. She's also unbothered by the cross necklace that she occasionally wears. No word yet on stakes, though.
- Considering that at one point, an ancestral guardian beast — a giant, intelligent monster that could probably best be described as looking like Godzilla — is described as "nearly as powerful as a Hi-Daylight Walker." This is a thing that can take on countries. So...yeah.
- While she explains her backstory, she notes that at first, she had all the traditional vampire weaknesses. Presumably, she eventually grew powerful enough to circumvent, or simply power past, most if not all of them.
- Bloody Kiss. As soon as our poor protagonist tries to drive the vamps from "her" home, one eats the garlic (while stating that he loves it), while the other literally does toss the cross over his shoulder.
- The movie Vampire Wars had vampires that survive sunlight, have sparkly hair, and are really aliens.
- A somewhat different example: This Magic: The Gathering card is likely a subtle Take That at the romanticization of vampires in general.
- Another in game example; Sorin Markov, a more archetypal Draculan vampire, takes a jab at what he sees of the savage native vampire tribes of Zendikar.
- But even he laments at what the vampires of his own bloodline have become in his absence from Innistrad.
- Blade already hates vampires, but in the Ultimate universe, he has a recurring dream where he stalks an Edward Cullen spoof, only to wake up before he can ever kill him. He was pretty mad.
- The Preacher one-shot starring Cassidy makes tremendous mockery of Anne Rice and the Universal horror versions by way of Eccarius, a self-indulgent vampire whose pretensions and assumptions about his origins and weaknesses Cassidy mercilessly removes. And then Cassidy kills him after Eccarius reverts to type and plays out a "conversion" scene with a female admirer with lethal consequences. Of course, Cassidy eventually proves to be no better in his own way...
- Runaways has a vampire mockingly describe how "[Joss] Whedon got it wrong" after taking a wooden staff through the heart. Amusingly enough, several years later Runaways was being written by... Joss Whedon.
- In Scare Tactics, resident vampire Screamqueen is mightily pissed when the band's manager/minder Arnie Burnsteel lines her coffin with grave dirt. She rails at the stupidity of a man who believes that the movie JFK was part of a massive disinformation campaign (Arnie is a Conspiracy Theorist) but accepts everything he sees in a Universal horror film as gospel.
- Used in Nodwick when Yeagar refuses to acknowledge that Count Strahd von Zarovich is a vampire because he doesn't have a single piercing — and their continued ignorance and mockery using this trope eventually drives the Count to suicide.
- In an earlier D&D-inspired comic, Yamara, the vampire Persephone is a parody of the Ravenloft-inspired craze for unique variant vampires in D&D, as she was immune to traditional vampire-banes but vulnerable to laundry products. The paladin she turned was able to transform into a giant flying squirrel instead of a bat.
- Lampshaded in Alan Moore's Top 10 story "Deadfellas", in which Hungarian vampires are analogous to Sicilian mobsters. The younger vampires laugh at the older "widow's peak Vlads" for their horror-movie behavior and dress style, much as the Real Life "Mustache Petes" were derided and ousted by younger and less honor-bound mobsters. It's then subverted when all the vampires turn out to have the usual weaknesses of the pop-culture versions.
- Inverted in a Munden's Bar episode in Grimjack. A vampire patron tells Gordon (the barkeep) that as they discovered different dimensions, vampires discovered MORE things that were an anathema to them. He was destroyed by someone using his weakness to Tourbots.
- A major element of American Vampire is that there are actually a multitude of Vampire types throughout the world, with wildly different appearances, powers, and weaknesses. When psychotic Wild West outlaw Skinner Sweet becomes the first American Vampire, he discovers that he's hit the Superpower Lottery as he clashes with the "Carpathian" variety, (the traditional, Dracula type) and wastes no time in telling them how much they suck as he rips them to shreds.
- Deadpool's wife, Shiklah, is a succubus that has an ongoing war against Dracula style vampires. One day she picks up Twilight and is amazed that Dracula allows humans to mock his people so severely. She also can't stop reading it.
- The Beatles Fan Fic archive Rooftop Sessions had a piece titled The Hunter, narrated by a mostly Friendly Neighborhood Vampire who briefly gets mixed up with Brian Epstein and The Beatles. This story is a sequel to another story where a vampire who acted vulnerable to the classic vampire weaknesses had selected George Harrison as a potential lunch, and so John recognizes our narrator as a vampire, calls him on it, and eventually tries to fight him off. Our narrator is resistant to most of those weaknesses, though (sunlight doesn't harm him); when John tries to ward him off with a silver crucifix, our narrator takes it and kisses it!
- In an interesting inversion of the norm, Dracula himself gets to give one of these speeches to the rest of the worlds vampires in a Cat Tales spin-off called Capes and Bats.
- Buffy vs Edward: Twilight Remixed: Buffy making fun of Edward's creepy behavior and then kicking his ass. Not much else to say, really.
- Moderately subverted in Chris Jones' Ranma ½ fanfic The Clan. Vampires appear to be an all female subset of humans that primarily specialize in exorcising Eldritch Horrors from reality and prefer to drink from willing hosts. The Tendōs all eventually volunteer to become vampires to help deal with the latest incursion and this causes trouble with the Amazons who have a kill-vampires-on-sight policy. Kasumi is trying to reason with Cologne while ignoring holy water, a cross and other such weaknesses. Being her normal, mocking self, Nabiki decides to drive the point home by grab a bulb of garlic and taking a large bite out of it despite Kasumi's attempts at warning. Nabiki spends the rest of the scene vomiting as Kasumi notes that their enhanced senses make certain flavors and scents a bit much for them... Nabiki has it even worse than normal vamps since the power she got above normal powers was highly advanced senses. Nabiki's response: "But I like garlic."
- A quote like this is given by a character who's not a vampire (he's more like (but not) a werewolf) in this roleplay.:
- Professor Dracula explains the differences between bad vampires and awesome vampires to some familiar faces.
- Bonus points for having Headmaster Nosferatu stab the sparkles coming off Edward's body
- Applied Phlebotinum example in The Wrong Reflection, a Star Trek Online fanfic. Two Bajoran characters watch The Fifth Element, resulting in this comment:
That was … pretty good. Science was way off, of course. Eleya: (bursts out laughing)
Well, what do you expect? They didn’t know how this shiel
worked back then!
Films — Animated
- Near the end of Hotel Transylvania, Dracula (in bat form) is flying after an airplane. He looks in one window and sees Jonathan sitting in front of a screen showing Twilight. All he can say is "This is how we're represented? Unbelievable!"
Films — Live-Action
- A fantastic example of this occurs in Interview with the Vampire when Malloy starts asking Louis if he is affected by the usual vampire weaknesses, specifically mentioning crucifixes. Louis responds by saying he actually rather enjoys looking at crucifixes. He even describes such superstitions as the "ravings of a demented Irishman," a Take That at Bram Stoker. What makes this ironic is that one of the only bits of vampire lore that Anne Rice's vampires abide by is death by sunlight, which is not only not part of real vampire lore, but entered into popular culture as a plot contrivance in Nosferatu — itself an adaption of Stoker's Dracula.
- The Countess in Once Bitten comments that a cross only works in movies. Besides that, she's an atheist.
- John Carpenter's Vampires made fun of anything but stakes and sunlight working against the undead.
- While not really making fun of it, the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula comments on the fact that vampires aren't killed by sunlight, just as Dracula wasn't in the original novel.
- In the film The Fearless Vampire Killers, someone holds a cross up to a vampire, only to hear:
- The Frog brothers in The Lost Boys get most of their vampire-hunting lore out of comic books. When their information proves incorrect ("Garlic don't work, boys!"), it could well be taken as a Take That to comic-book vampirism as well as Dracula, or even to comic-book reality in general.
- Holy water works well, too.
- Lampshaded slightly in My Best Friend is a Vampire, when the professor is about to attempt to stake Ralph, the non-vampire, through the heart. Real vampire: "A stake through the heart would kill anything."
- In From Dusk Till Dawn, virtually anything can be used as a weapon against vampires. It especially makes fun out of the whole "weakness against crosses" that vampires sometimes have, as anything that even remotely resembles a holy cross causes them to shun away.
- The Vampire's Assistant: When asked if they can turn into bats, Crepsley overtly responds, "No, that's bullshit."
- In Horror of Dracula, the first Hammer Horror film featuring Christopher Lee as the Count, Dr. Van Helsing scoffs that the idea of vampires being able to turn into wolves or bats is "a common fallacy."
- The first Twilight movie goes to great lengths to show that the vampires do not have the normal weaknesses. Must be invited? Edward enters Bella's room to spy on her. Garlic? They cook Italian food for Bella. Sunlight? They are not only immune, it actually makes them sparkle. Sleeping in a coffin? They have bedrooms with normal beds (and don't even sleep). Stake through the heart? Does nothing. No reflection? The final battle is in a mirror room with clear reflections of everybody. Drinking human blood? A major plot point is the fact that, even though animal blood works just fine, Bella is especially tantalising to Edward.
- The book has a pretty big one: Carlisle keeps a giant wooden cross in his house.
- The opening lines of the movie Razor Blade Smile sum the trope up nicely: "I bet you think you know all about vampires – believe me, you know fuck all!" The movie includes the vampire main character going to goth clubs and getting into arguments over what vampires are actually like, and a brief fantasy sequence of her imagining herself turning into a bat.
- The entire Vampires Suck movie mocks the vampires of Twilight.
- An amusing non-vampire example: An American Werewolf in London and The Howling, both released in 1981, seem to take direct shots at each other. In The Howling a character points out that the werewolves must be killed with silver, while saying the full moon thing is just Hollywood made up stuff. In An American Werewolf In London, the titular character is told by his now undead friend to commit suicide before transforming during the full moon, but when the werewolf asks if he needs silver bullets, he's told to get real!
- In a scene of Fright Night remake, one of the characters make fun of Twilight.
- The Vampire Chronicles:
- Interview with the Vampire:
- Both the book and movie versions state that a vampire being killed by a hawthorne stake through the heart is a ridiculous fairy tale. And Louis enjoys looking at Holy Crosses.
- Also, for the first half of the movie there is a scene with a mirror about every five minutes, just to make it clear to everyone that yes, they are visible.
- In The Vampire Lestat:
- Lestat approaches the goth-band who practices above his crypt and tells them he is the Vampire Lestat, and is going to be their new lead singer. Lestat is surprised when the goths are pleased he took Lestat as his stage name (having read Interview With A Vampire) and not Dracula — "everyone calls themselves Dracula."
- There's a scene where Lestat reads a load of vampire books and specifically pokes fun at a scene in Dracula where the Count is shown climbing down the wall of his castle like a spider. Lestat wonders why Dracula went to all that effort when he could just have turned into a bat and flown down. There's actually what appears to be an in-universe reason for that, of all things. The novel's Dracula seems to be only able to transform into one particular creature each night (bat, wolf, mist, etc) and is mostly seen turning into a wolf at that point.
- Dora Wilk does this to Twilightish Bishie Sparkle in one of the short stories:
He turned to face me, very slowly.
Roman (vampire master): One more comparison to Twilight and there'll be nothing left when I finish with you.
- There's also a moment in book two when main characters dress up as pop-culture vampires (Miron as Dracula, Joshua as Lestat and Dora as Selena) for a vampire party and local vampiress mocks the suits as unclassy and overly cheesy.
- In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files :
- Fool Moon makes fun of movie werewolves. While the setting's werewolves take almost every form you can think of, none of them are "contagious", and Bob has to repeatedly remind Harry that "they stole that from vampires." The majority of modern werewolf tropes originate with the loup-garou.
- Grave Peril Harry Dresden makes fun of the notion of vampires giving interviews, and says that they'd almost certainly kill anyone who tried. Of course, as a pop-culture-obsessed Deadpan Snarker, he makes similar comments for most supernatural nasties he meets, mocking Fairy Tales when compared to The Fair Folk, or for zombies, demons, etc., and he's not always right.
- Death Masks begins with Harry and a vampire on a talk show, being interviewed. The vampire is posing as human and rubbishing the idea of magic. The trope is eventually subverted when Harry realizes Bram Stoker wrote his novel on the orders of an opposing White Court of vampires who don't suffer the standard weaknesses (while possessing different ones themselves). It acted as a how-to guide for muggles on killing Black Court vampires by exposing their existence, weaknesses, and abilities, and was pretty successful at that. Nowadays only a handful of Black Court Vampires still exist. They're all extremely powerful and cunning, because they're the ones who managed to avoid the hunters. Based on this, many fans have joked that the White Court had the Twilight series written to portray them sympathetically.
- The Saga of the Noble Dead series has an unusual way of doing this. It was set in a sword-and-sorcery world, but was still able to do this by explaining that certain folklore about vampires had been passed down until even the vampires believed them. Until they found out it was a myth, the vampires carried around coffins filled with native soil, and let victims they wanted to turn drink their blood (it was actually the act of draining them very quickly that turned them).
- Monster Hunter International takes potshots at Twilight, as well as The Vampire Chronicles. An Anne Rice fan gets eaten when she tries to reason with vampires, and Z blames people who want to reason with monsters on Twilight.
- Carpe Jugulum. Starts out as a send-up to the "traditional" vampire model, then turned around when the New Age-ish vampires start to lose their cool and resistance to traditional vampire wards, and the villagers reveal that they prefer the Large Ham old vampires.
- Also used in-universe, in a way, as the leader of the "new" vampires reveals that he wrote the texts that a priest had been relying upon to tell how to kill vampires. In this case, the Your Vampires Suck trope manifests as his having slipped a load of hooey into the monster-hunting literature, the better to spread disinformation.
- Miss Tick in the Tiffany Aching books used the same ploy with a "Witch Hunting for Dummies" book, which advises doing things like giving a captured witch a nice cup of tea and cookies.
- In The Saga of Darren Shan, Larten Crepsley mocks many assumptions about vampires ("Bite people? Only stupid vampires use their teeth!"), sometimes to the extent of bursting into laughter when one is suggested. When he's threatened with a bottle of holy water, he drinks it. One character relates how he attempted to stake a sleeping vampire, but since the series' vampires are Made of Iron, the vampire woke up and nearly killed him before bleeding to death. It is pointed out, however, that many beliefs about vampires are based on distorted details of their culture (vampires use stake-filled pits in executions, for instance, and believe that dying in running water traps a person's soul).
- A running gag in Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story is Tommy attempting to use Ann Rice's The Vampire Lestat as a "vampire handbook" for Jody, his vampire girlfriend. It isn't long before she gets angry from just hearing Lestat's name.
- Noted in Garry Kilworth's Welkin Weasels: Vampire Voles. Count Flistagga mentions that most vampires dislike crossing running water, but he has "long since overcome that weakness". It should be noted, however, that the other vampires are defeated with ridiculous ease.
- In Mercedes Lackey's Children of the Night, vampire Andre dismisses several traditional limitations as "silliness," in particular the inability to cross running water, which he ascribes to a misunderstanding of their tendency to set territorial boundaries. He tells Diana that it could just as easily be said that they do not cross mountain ranges or major highways, since they define their territories by major landmarks.
- Brian Lumley's vampire series Necroscope outlines a very interesting type of vampire, also called wamphyrie or vamphyrie in many places within the novels, as well as one book title.
- They are actually from a parallel dimension, birthed from spores from a type of mushroom, which, when inhaled, lay an egg inside the host body. The egg hatches into a leech which adheres to the spinal column and runs tendrils into the brain, causing both mental and biological changes.
- Most of it makes fair sense in even how they are killed. The stake through the heart pins the leech so it cannot escape the body once the head has been decapitated. Without the head, the body dies, as does the leech.
- However, being infected with vampirism here comes in a variety of forms which lead most of the primary cast to treat it more like a disease (getting their blood on you, being bitten, getting touched or touching a leech egg, or even letting a vampire telepathically communicate with you can turn you into one).
- In some instances, there are nods back to the classic vampire weaknesses, running water, silver, and the like. Some of these are even rather humorous. In one of the later books, one vampire traverses from Sunside/Starside (parallel Earth) to our world, stuck in an underground cave, with only one exit, with running water. Around him are evidence of previous vampire exiles, all of which sat and died, fearing to tread the water to attempt escape.
- Also crosses and mirrors only worked because traditionally they were made of silver which is a deadly poison to them.
- Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. When Bella asks vampire Edward if he does things like turning into a bat, sleep on coffins and specially when asked if he burned in the sunlight, he laughs and says it's a myth. He then shows her what really happens when he goes into the sunlight.
- Edward lampshades the Cullens having a giant wooden cross in their house. Plus, the fact that Carlisle was a preacher.
- As should be evidenced by now, Twilight itself is a major target of this trope. It is in fact even likely that it's furthest down on the pecking order.
- In China Miéville's The Scar, it's more like "all vampires suck," as vampires are described as having a reputation as "junkies" among the other undead.
- In The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike, the protagonist is a vampire named Sita who possesses few of the traditional weaknesses. She sometimes has the "what about crosses, garlic, running water, coffin?" conversation with humans she reveals herself to. She can even stand the sunlight, though she explains she couldn't really do this until she'd aged a few THOUSAND years. Vampires in this series were first created when a demon (a yakshini) was summoned and possessed the corpse of a baby who was still inside its dead mother's womb.
- Scott Westerfeld's Urban Fantasy Peeps starts off with a discussion of how vampires can't turn into bats, still show up in mirrors, etc. Vampirism is a parasitic infection that grants Super Strength and senses, sometimes super libido, and makes you hate whatever you used to love (including crosses for devout Christians). And makes you hate giant worms, even if you didn't used to love them.
- In Vampire High, Justin explains to Cody that while vampires can shapeshift, they rarely do bats because their mass stays the same and thus they'd just become a bat too huge to fly. Cody later jokes about using crosses and garlic and Justin informs him that his mother wears a cross and cooks with garlic, indicating that those don't work on vampires.
- Also, they usually get their blood at the blood bank. Later when Justin is dying from a lack of blood, Cody offers up his own blood. How do they get Cody's blood? By using a syringe to take blood from Cody and give it to Justin.
- Shows up regularly in McLendon's Syndrome and its sequel The VMR Theory, despite it being a comedic sci-fi setting where vampirism is a well-documented and somewhat believable disease causing promiscuous cell replacement, hypersensitivity to UV, severe and broad food allergies, and erratic hormones. The catch is that people in these books are generally uninformed, stupid, superstitious, or outright insane, and therefore believe fervently (or feverishly) in vampire myth. And vampires who are not main characters are treated just like people.
- In George RR Martin's novel Fevre Dream, vampires are fast, strong, and hard to kill but have no supernatural abilities, can't infect anyone else (though they let their servants believe they'll be turned for loyal service) and don't know much about their origins. They're still scary as hell and do not deal well with sunlight. The novel is about a vampire trying to save his subspecies from extinction. In a memorable scene, he walks about his steamboat in full daylight to allay his human crew's suspicions — coming close to killing himself — for the sake of his quite heroic cause.
- Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher series makes fun of vampires to the great extent. Most of common folk in his dark fantasy world believes in most of vampiric tropes, while in reality (the book's reality) vampires are immune to fire and drink blood only for recreational purposes (blood affects them as alcohol affects mankind). The main vampire character used to drink blood because otherwise he felt too shy to approach vampire girls.
- In Night Watch, many of the traditional vampire weaknesses are said to be made up by the vampires themselves to give humans a false sense of security.
- One time the Night Watch operatives find out that a rogue vampire had drained fifty people in a row to become a High Vampire (in the Watchverse with its severe limitations on human-killing it's far out of all reasons). As they carry half-decomposed corpses out of the beast's lair, the head of the Watch disgustedly comments how he would like to bring a couple of vampire-wannabe whelps there, so they could see with their own eyes how different a real vampire is from their fantasies about a pale courteous gentlemen alluring young women in his castle.
- An early topic of discussion for Escott and Jack in P.N. Elrod's The Vampire Files is about how traits that Jack lacks might've become falsely associated with vampires. Jack suggests that garlic might've been credited with repelling vampires because old-time European peasants considered it a cure for everything. Then he points out the inherent silliness of using something that smells bad to ward off creatures that don't need to breathe.
Jack: Vampires? Try garlic. Can't hurt. Can't help, either.
- He also has no problem with holy symbols, saying that he was a nice guy when he was alive, so why should he care now that he's undead?
- Fred Saberhagen takes a mostly science-fictional approach to vampires in his Dracula series. Many vampiric abilities have naturalistic origins, while some are not fully understood even by Dracula himself, though he believes science will eventually explain them. Several aspects of vampire lore are completely debunked, though. Vampires find garlic (and all other strong-smelling substances) unpleasant, but no more than that. And religious symbols like the crucifix are completely irrelevant. Dracula in fact (having converted from the Orthodox faith in his breathing years) still considers himself a Roman Catholic — so he'll avoid religious symbols not because they harm him but because he feels it'd be verging on blasphemy to risk damaging them.
- Derek Gunn's Vampire Apocalypse: The Series novels are all about restoring vampires to being horrible creatures of the night. According to Word of God, it was a major motivation for writing the series. Vampires are asexual walking corpses who eat babies and delight in carnage. Oh and they've taken over the world too.
- In Beth Fantaskey's novel Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Lucius scoffs: "Please. A bat? What self-respecting vampire would want to turn into a flying rodent? (...) What would be so wonderful about dissolving in sunlight? Or not being able to look in a mirror and judge whether you've dressed yourself properly?"
- One character in the Skulduggery Pleasant novels is a (perpetually) 19-year old vampire called Caelan, more or less an Captain Ersatz of Edward from Twilight (which is even lampshaded by Valkyrie), right down to stalking the female lead. He's almost universally hated by vampires for killing one of his own, and humans for pretending to be something he's not, every time he meets another vampire they beat him within an inch of his life, and the protagonists only tolerate him when Valkyrie makes them.
- In Meg Cabot's Insatiable, this happens a lot. The main character Meena works as writer for a paranormal soap opera about vampires, the titular Insatiable, and eventually meets real vampires.
- In the Falcon Quinn series, Ms. Redflint, the dean of students, is not fond of vampires. She hates how they all seem to be walking superiority/inferiority complexes, what with the "twilight brooding" and general angst, and dearly hopes none of Falcon's group are vampires. The vampires quite live up to her expectations, as the vampires use their supposed "awesomeness" to assume the role of the Alpha Bitch in the monster hierarchy.
- The Tumbleweed Dossier takes several shots at Twilight.
- Many Paranormal Romance books written after Twilight take time to mock it. With this excellent example from the Night Huntress series:
Bones: Ask me if I sparkle and I'll kill you where you stand.
- The protagonist of The Sanguine Chronicles has a special hate for Twilight. In part this is rooted in a loathing for bad literature, but also rooted in resentment of Stephenie Meyer for trivializing and romanticizing his own condition. He feels about vampire fans the same way an AIDS patient might feel about Bug chasers.
- Sabina Kane: The title character remarks in her internal monologue that the vampires themselves propagated a number of the common vampire tropes. Specifically, their weakness to crucifixes is completely fake (crosses annoy them, but it's a religious thing, not physical), and the weakness to garlic is a smokescreen for their actual Weaksauce Weakness to apple-related substances.
- While it seems strange given the show's heavy use of folklore, Supernatural did this heavily by throwing out virtually all traditional vampire traits, and starting from scratch. The most notable example of this was that the vampires were sensitive to sunlight to the point of getting a sunburn, not to the point of being disabled, let alone killed, which aligns well with Stoker, whose Dracula was merely less powerful in sunlight. See the oft-maligned Coppola version, in which the Count walks around with a parasol and dark glasses.
- Shows up several times in Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- The episode "Lie to Me," when the Scoobies encounter a group of would-be vampires who have bought into the idea of vampires as romantic and misunderstood. Angel grouses at moderate length about their misapprehensions, noting in particular "Do they really think we dress like that?" ...Only to have one of the groupies push past him wearing his exact outfit.
- In his first appearance, Spike expresses incredulity that people still buy into "the Anne Rice routine" about romantic, tortured vampires.
- Ironically, being exactly that defines his character a few seasons later.
- Later, in the Fifth Season opener, much fun is had at Dracula's expense, except that he actually is more powerful than most vampires, even if Spike dismisses his mind control, shapeshifting, and apparent unkillability as "a few Gypsy tricks". The trope is played straight in the same episode when Buffy mentions meeting more than a few pasty-faced, pimply vamps who called themselves "Lestat".
- In one episode of Angel, Angel becomes offended when asked by a demon if he should be sleeping in his coffin. Then again, the demon was playing Obfuscating Stupidity with Angel.
- The Buffyverse occasionally mocks its own version of vampires:
Dawn: Ooh, scary vampires — they die from a splinter.
Buffy: A vampire with a soul? My God, how lame is that?
- Dracula gets this a lot from Spike. To be fair, Drac still owes him money.
- The X-Files episode "Bad Blood", already mentioned on the Our Vampires Are Different page, played with this trope as well. One deluded teenager in a town full of nonstandard vampires blows the whole deal for the rest of them with his media-inspired Universal Horror vampire playacting.
- Subverted in Big Wolf on Campus, where a group of vampiric teenage malcontents are subject to all the classic weaknesses, and agonize over it. To their particular chagrin is their inability to enter someone's house without an invitation. One protagonist's knowledge of this limitation comes from... Buffy, season 2.
- The series Special Unit 2, about a division of the police force which deals with supernatural crimes, begins with the chief telling a new recruit that every myth and legend is real in one way or another. Except vampires, the whole idea of which he waves off as being ridiculous.
"And not only did they hunt them down, kill them off, but they turned our species into a cultural joke...
And now people think that we're allergic to garlic and that we can turn into bats at will. It's beyond insulting...
Or vile, stale, water blessed by some priest would have any other effect than a bad taste..."
- This is said in an episode where he gets staked (through the heart even) and is perfectly fine, except a bloodstain on his coat.
- Season 2 also has a group of teens who attempt to turn non-treated friends of theirs into vampires and end up horrified when she realizes that she actually killed the guy she was attempting to turn.
Tesla is even shown to be enjoying sunlight earlier in the episode.
- It should be noted that neither Tesla nor the trust fund teens are true vampires. Tesla became a sort-of vampire after receiving an injection of the Source Blood (the last remaining vampire blood), while the other members of the Five received vastly different powers (longevity, teleportation, invisibility, and super-intelligence). Tesla also got electrical powers. The teens were turned in one of Tesla's experiments, making them even less of vamps than the originals.
- We do get to see an actual vampire in an episode where Magnus and Tesla find an ancient vampire outpost that contains a vampire queen (and an entire vampire army) frozen in amber by her brother who usurped her throne. Tesla is happy that there are others like him. While the queen initially takes to Tesla, she's disgusted to learn that he's not a true vampire and doesn't feed on live humans. This episode also shows that vampires can be killed by a nuclear explosion just like everyone else.
- When Bon Temps' resident vampire Bill Compton is invited to speak before a historical society in True Blood, the meeting is held at a church. Someone hurriedly throws an American flag over a big cross, but Bill prefaces his speech by collecting the flag and rehanging it, saying that he is "one of God's creatures" and has no trouble standing in front of a cross or on holy ground.
- Sunlight doesn't kill these vampires immediately either, and Bill later tells Sookie that garlic is only mildly irritating. However, silver is dangerous for them, burning their skin and suppressing their powers on contact. It is also confirmed that Vampires do have reflections and do appear in photographs, which Bill explains as a rumor that the Vampires started themselves, as then it was all the easier to create a false sense of security in their victims.
- In a nice twist on the usual expectations, sunlight kills older vampires faster. Bill survives, albeit badly burned, for a few minutes in the sun whereas the ancient vampire Godric is reduced to dust in a matter of seconds.
- Then again, the even older Russell Edgington survives for about 10 minutes in the sun with only minor burns. Sookie's blood may have something to do with it.
- Moonlight's vampires are immune to garlic and holy water, and wooden stakes only immobilize them. Sunlight basically poisons them over time.
- The sunlight is not so much poison as dehydration. Silver is poison. Fire turns them to ash on contact, except for a certain old vampire whose abilities are unexplained due to the series cancellation.
- The series also features a temporary cure for vampirism in the form of a compound that was created during the Reign of Terror period of the French Revolution (which was partly a vampire hunt, which is why the main methods of execution during this time were burning and beheading). There is precious little of the compound left, although Coraline is shown trying to synthesize more using modern technology. The "cure", basically, suppresses vampiric traits to the point that the vampire becomes, for all intents and purposes, human. A "cured" vampire can be re-turned by another.
- The Vampire Diaries:
- Damon reads Twilight and laughs at it, saying that Edward is whipped, and when asked he says that he'd burn in the sunlight like any normal vampire, if not for his ring. When asked why doesn't he sparkle, he says that he "lives in the real world where vampires burn in the sun." However, he did profess an admiration for Anne Rice in the same conversation. In general taking potshots at Twilight, with which the show has something of a Fandom Rivalry, is something of a Running Gag.
- A werewolf version happens in season 2. Damon stabs a werewolf in the back with a silver knife. The wolf laughs it off and tells him that werewolves' weakness to silver is a story they made up.
- Happens in My Babysitter's a Vampire with the in-universe book Dusk, an obvious parody of Twilight.
- In an episode of the short-lived series Blood Ties, Henry Fitzroy shows that things like garlic, holy water, and crosses are useless against vampires. In fact, Henry himself is religious (you kinda have to be in a world where ghosts and demons are real) and carries a crucifix. In one episode, Henry and Vicki are watching Nosferatu, and Henry calls bullshit on Orlok being surprised by the sunrise. Apparently, every vampire instinctively feels the coming of dawn, so Orlok not fleeing before being incinerated is actually a Heroic Sacrifice (if you can call Orlok a hero). Additionally, unlike other vampires, these ones are highly territorial to the point where it's usually one vampire per city (maybe more in very large cities). A vampire attempting to move into another's territory sparks a deadly turf war. A family of humans keeps track of which vampires live where, in case a vampire wants to switch locales but doesn't want to fight for it.
- Both Vampire role playing games by White Wolf have a section at the beginning that explains which vampire tropes the game does and does not follow. It often acts with derision towards the tropes that it doesn't use. For instance, it points out that if every vampire victim became a vampire, the world would be swarming with them, and if vampires couldn't cross running water, they wouldn't be able to walk around a modern city, what with all the pipes and such underground.
- While the classical weaknesses and unusual powers of Dracula and so on are incompatible with the systems, the games — particularly Vampire: The Requiem — explain that since Dracula was a very old vampire with a very strong will, he might well be able to do things other vampires, even older and ostensibly stronger ones, simply can't. And, last but not least, there's plenty of weaknesses and powers, both made-up and referencing old myth, in various clans, bloodlines, and rarely individual characters.
- In addition to that, some Vampire: The Masquerade clans have their own special traditional weakness. The Lasombra have no reflection, the Tzimisce must rest in two handfuls of their native soil, and the Ventrue can only gain nourishment from specific humans (virgins, gay men, priests, etc.), to name a few.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade you can certainly use Flaws to create a "mutant" vampire who is repulsed by garlic, cannot cross running water, and/or cannot enter a home uninvited. But then you can also make one who resembles a more lifelike version of The Count from Sesame Street if you really want to. (In fact, the Malkavian clan book has tips to make a "Hollywood"-type vampire who really believes all the myths...and thus, thanks to Malkavian craziness, the weaknesses work on her.)
- The Hunter: The Vigil book "Night Stalkers" deals with vampires from around the world and how to adapt them. Yes, it's entirely possible every vampire is Kindred. It's also entirely possible there are also vampires who arise from demon possession, vengeful murder victims risen from the grave as bloodsuckers, and specifically cautions against wise-cracking vampire rodeo clowns.
- Similarly, the army book of Vampire Counts in Warhammer explains the various vampire weaknesses. For example, inability to cross running water or having to sleep in a coffin filled with grave dirt isn't true, unless the water has some mythical properties that harm the undead or the dirt is from a place tainted by dark magic in which case it can help recharge the vampire's powers. Sunlight weakens them, but can't kill them outright unless they're already very weak. For vampire armies it's not an issue, as any vampire powerful enough to raise an army of the undead also has enough power to control the weather and call forth thick cloud cover.
- The sunlight thing varies. One White Dwarf article had the victorious Empire forces using Sunlight to kill a Vampire lord, but it should be noted that this was only after they had ran him over with a tank first.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The Ravenloft campaign setting, being Gothic Horror, comes with all the standard vampiric weaknesses... Plus a few more, and some that are downright bizarre. But it not only takes pains to explain that a given vampire may possess many or none of these... it also explains how vampires can get around them. A vampire might still be carried over running water in a carriage for instance, or use their Charm Person ability to enter a house. More than anything it is stressed that vampires are smart. And patient.
- The Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium also had rules for vampires of all the various playable races with powers and weaknesses appropriate to their origins. Elven vampires, for example, can only come out during the daytime and their presence kills plants; halfling vampires must be slain by driving a stake made from a log that burned in a home's fireplace through their heart, etc. It's implied that many vampire hunters get themselves killed because they dismiss the possibility of vampires that break "the rules" as much as these variants do.
- Non-vampire example: In Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts, Ravenloft's greatest monster expert poo-poos the notion of lycanthropes transforming into creatures that aren't partially or wholly carnivorous. Ironically, he's not 100% correct in this, as there's a unique (curse-born) weregorilla in the Children of the Night: Werebeasts supplement.
- Truthfully, Van Richten has been mistaken about some things and just plain wrong about others more often than you'd think, at least compared to actual Dungeons & Dragons (and even Ravenloft) continuity.
- Vampires in 4th Edition seem to have done away with many of the weaknesses of "traditional" vampires, at least as far as building them into the mechanics. The lore entry even makes mention of it: "Contrary to popular folklore, vampires are not hampered by running water or repelled by garlic, and they don't need invitations to enter houses." Likewise, a (true) vampire in direct sunlight is merely unable to regenerate.
- Vampire spawn, however (the minion-level vampires created when a vampire "lord" kills a victim via blood drain) are in fact destroyed by sunlight. 4E vampires are also bound to some extent to their personal coffin or gravesite and weakened if they can't rest there... but can simply change which coffin or grave counts as their "personal" one by resting in a new one for three consecutive times.
- In the "X-Files meets GI Joe" setting of GURPS: Black Ops, vampires are actually victims of a mysterious vampire that turns them into monsters who have a craving for blood and raw organ tissue which makes heroin addiction mild in comparison. They don't care about holy water, crucifixes and running water, but as their skin is extremely sensitive to ultraviolet rays, even Indoor lighting can slowly damage them. They are also solitary by nature and shun human contact except when going out to kill, which they need to do about 3-4 times a week. They also retain all their human skills, and if they had them before, their psionic powers. The Book's fictional narrator in fact plays on the classic clichés.
Ivan Decker: Or maybe [your closest friend is] a vampire. No, if he were a vampire, you'd be dead. Vampires don't have friends. They even hate each other. All they want to do is feed. If you're normal, the only time you'd see one is right before it killed you, drank your blood and ate your internal organs, leaving you to steam like roadkill until you died... or worse, became one of them.
- Mortasheen has a very strange Take That (given that most of Mortasheen's vampires are based on aquatic lifeforms) to Twilight with the monster Twileye.
Vain, brash and sometimes juvenile, Twileye regard themselves as simply "too amazing" for "lesser beings" to appreciate. To them, the pained howls of their victims are the shamed cries of those who have finally seen "true beauty" and understand "how ugly and stupid they really look."
- In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , vampires became extinct years before the comics events, mostly due to harsh competition in the whole prey-by-night business, being weak against sunlight (and usually living in crypts with unlockable doors), and the last remaining group of them being accidentally stomped by a dragon. A flashback to 1616note features a group of adventurers expressing their annoyance that the "monster" reported to them turned out to be vampire, as if someone had been spooked by a wild raccoon.
- Charby the Vampirate pulls this on itself as it has both regular vampires and the Elites, who have many more strengths and none of the weaknesses. Neither get along.
- In Sluggy Freelance, each clan of vampires has a different set of powers and weaknesses. In "Muffin the Vampire Baker", Sam — a Lysinda circle vampire with Anne Rice of Vampire: The Masquerade abilities — goes to an Adventure Town that's an obvious parody of Sunnydale, and mocks the vampires there for turning to dust at a stake to the heart.
- PvP: Monster Fighters, Part 2.
- One story arc in Sam and Fuzzy features a vampire named Edwin Colin. It turns out that all vampires are creepy, obsessive stalkers utterly convinced of their own romanticism.
- Later, over lunch on a sun-lit patio, Edwin explains that he subsists on canned blood, and finds the idea of biting someone disgusting ("Couldn't you just go out and butcher your own cow?")... although this doesn't stop him from biting in self-defense when he gets into a fight. This backfires, since vampire bites actually turn people into werewolves.
- In Sequential Art, Pip's response to finding Scarlet and her sisters have been watching Twilight is to break out his copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula.
I will not
have one of cinema's greatest monsters belittled by hair-product-obsessed pretty-boys. Not while my
movie selection still stands! Oldman
, you are needed!
- A full chapter, Bloodsuckers are not sexy of Fafnir The Dragon was half this towards, and half grisly deathscenes of Twilight's vampires at the hands of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula.
- Spinnerette takes a jab at the Twilight concept of vampires by having them encounter a vampire who turns women into raving fangirls, and who gets all sparkly when he goes out into the sunlight and starts speaking with a lisp.
- Weregeek, during Vampire: The Masquerade LARP:
- And Shine Heaven Now joins in the Twilight mocking bandwagon by saying that fangirls were what caused Twilight vampires to sparkle in the first place. That said, in Shineverse fangirls had Reality Warper powers.
- One strip of Nerf NOW!! had someone with a chain whip murder Edward Cullen.
- Bite Me! riffs extensively on this theme.
- Of particular note is the fact that when the main characters finally rescue their coven, each of the totally-out-to-lunch non-protagonist vampires turns out to be a parody of one Anne Rice character type or another.
- Also, one of the bits of swag the author includes with print editions is a bumpersticker that says Real Vampires DON'T FRICKING SPARKLE.
- Elf Only Inn thoroughly parodies vampire weaknesses by showing a typical overpowered vampire role play character with no weaknesses whatsoever. Despite his claims to immunity to whatever the others think up, he still gets his "real vampire butt shoved into his big, fat, loud mouth" by Woot, though.
- The Order of the Stick, naturally, has some of this after Durkon gets turned into a vampire and has to feed on the rest of the team to stay alive. From strip #958:
So, how long do my strange quasi-vampiric powers kick in? Durkon:
Uh, they dinnae. Na unless I drain ye all tha way. Elan:
Huh. Do we at least share a mystical bond that draws me into a mesmerizing web of erotic subtext
Man, real vampires are way
less interesting than fictional ones.
- Transylvania Television was a bit more blunt in their Take That. They had an episode of Interviews with the Vampire wherein Count LeShoc openly insults Anne Rice and Bram Stoker, but doesn't want to lower himself by talking about Stephenie Meyer.
- Hellsing Ultimate Abridged opens with this, directed at Twilight. Edward and Bella are making out in an abandoned house, there comes a knock, Edward asks whose there, gets shot a few times, and Alucard answers "A real fucking vampire."
- Another part of the episode shows Anderson decapitating Alucard and impaling his head to a wall with a silver sword blessed by the Catholic Church; thinking he's killed the vampire, he brags to Integra Hellsing how he killed him. After a pause, Integra laughs in his face. Chopping his head off is step one. Anderson forgot steps two through ten. And considering how hard step one was to accomplish...
- I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC did this in one parody episode featuring Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood, and Bella from Twilight. It even extended to an episode of "F My Life" between Edward and Bill over whose life sucks more.
- Down for the Count!
- "This cartoon remembers when men were real men, and vampires were real vampires": the old Count doesn't like Bishie Sparkle.
- In Carmilla The Series Laura researches vampires by reading vampire novels. She makes a face and throws Twilight aside. Carmilla also makes comments on how inaccurate vampire movies are, saying "pop culture has so much to answer for."
- The TV show Mighty Max featured an episode, "Fly by Night", with a horsefly vampire, who thought bats were laughably inferior to insects. The episode also made a point of debunking many of the popular myths about how to destroy vampires, and in the end the vampire was defeated when Norman crushed it with a giant piece of artwork he used as a makeshift flyswatter.
- Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil has an episode centering around the Special Fathers fighting an invasion of altar boy and choir boy vampires who have been preying on Catholic priests. They meet up with a guy who is supposed to get them reacquainted with vampire hunting, with amusing results:
As I'm sure the Special Fathers will tell you, hunting vampires... well, forget everything you've seen in the movies. It's all bunk. Sister Mary:
Oh, no, actually, OK. Sunlight is real. Sunlight can
kill a vampire. Sister Mary:
Stake in the heart? Nightshade:
Y-yeah, hold on, let me give you my spiel, okay? Sister Mary:
Forget what you've seen in the movies. It's all bunk. Father Cantalupi:
You know, Nightshade, I've heard that line
in the movies.
- The vampires' biggest weakness? Balloons.