Series: Teen Wolf

Main cast of Season 4. From left to right: Malia Tate, Stiles Stilinski, Lydia Martin, Scott McCall, Kira Yukimura, Derek Hale, Liam Dunbar.

Be a man. Be a wolf. Not a Teen Wolf. Be a werewolf.
Stiles

Teen Wolf was revamped in 2011 by MTV, and focuses more on the drama and angst of being a werewolf. A few of the elements of the story have been changed and this series tries to take a different route from the original. Starring Tyler Posey as Scott, this Teen Wolf takes a Darker and Edgier feel to it. The series revolves around social outcast Scott McCall, a young lacrosse-playing student at Beacon Hills High. Scott's life drastically changes when he is bitten by a werewolf, which in turn transforms him into one of these mythical creatures. He must henceforth learn to balance his problematic new identity with his day to day teenage life. The following characters are instrumental to his struggle: Stiles, his best friend; Allison, his girlfriend, who comes from a family that partakes in werewolf hunting; and Derek, a mysterious werewolf. Throughout the show, he strives both to keep his loved ones safe and maintain the relationships and secrets he shares with each person around him. The theme of "finding your place" is a prevalent undertone that is mirrored by the pack mentality of the werewolves.

Has a Character Sheet. It's unlocked again albeit this may be temporary. Now has a Recap page!

Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all available on MTV.com. The series was renewed for a 5th season in July 2014 that is set to air in 2015.

Spoilers are whited out only for the most recent Season (right now that's Season 4), so beware.

The TV series contains examples of:

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    A-B 
  • Abandoned Warehouse: Beacon Hills seemingly possesses an extraordinary number of very large, abandoned buildings. These are frequently the scene of supernatural conflicts. In Season 2, Derek and his betas even live in an abandoned subway train.
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Stiles tried to warn everyone that blocking the door with desks and chairs wouldn't do anything to secure the twenty-foot wall of windows, but gets not now, kiddo'd.
  • Academy of Adventure: Beacon Hills High School has officially become this, but most of the student body is unaware of the supernatural nature of the strange events and murders in town. They also have no idea about the growing number of werewolves among their classmates. Werewolves and other supernatural creatures battle inside the school, human sacrifices are committed on the premises by an evil druid who doubles as the English teacher and the entire school orchestra is possessed during a concert (also by said druid).
    • In Season 4, we have assassins attending classes, mouthless men sneaking around, and a visiting instructor who has some interesting applications for Canine Distemper...
  • Adult Fear:
    • Sheriff Stilinski's reaction and horror at Stiles' kidnapping is a very accurate portrayal of every parent's worst nightmare of losing their children.
    • In "Fury", when Matt shoots Scott, Stiles' father is locked in another room when he hears the gunshot. He panics and begins shouting for his son and Scott, not knowing what is happening or who was hurt. Made worse because Scott's mom saw her own son shot and Matt refused to let her go to Scott, despite her pleas.
    • In 3B, things point to Stiles developing the same illness that killed his mother. Fortunately, it turns out to be a trick by the entity who tried to possess him.
    • "Echo House" takes this Up to Eleven when the sheriff must commit Stiles to a mental institution, because he's a very real danger to himself and others.
  • Alliterative Name: The show seems to be a fan of this, even for characters whose full names we don't know: Allison Argent, "Stiles" Stilinski, Melissa McCall, Sheriff Stilinski, Marin Morrell.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted with Stiles. And the virgin sacrifices. Possibly played straight with many of the other teenage male characters so far.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Invoked by Scott's father when he says that Scott and his friends are not half as traumatized as they should be over the recent events at school.
    • Subverted with Liam, who actually reacts with fear, anxiety and bad dreams to the things that happen over the course of Season 4.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Wolves for most of the leads, including those who aren't actually werewolves.
    • Fox elements are added in season 3B with the introduction of Kitsunes.
    • Fireflies are associated with druid magic, while houseflies are connected to the Nogitsune.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Mountain Ash, which can serve as a general purpose Deflector Shield against supernatural creatures like werewolves and can also be used to prevent someone from turning into a werewolf if consumed before being bitten. However, it is prone to Phlebotinum Breakdown under assault from very powerful supernatural beings.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Subverted: Scott has difficulty at first believing that the murderer in Season 3A is a druid, but quickly changes his tune once Stiles reminds him he is a werewolf.
    • Averted: When Lydia starts hearing voices in "Motel California", Allison automatically believes her because of everything else the group has been through.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • The spiral in Season 1, which represents a werewolf vendetta.
    • The triangular triskelion in 3A, which is the calling card for the Alpha Pack, and the tree that appears in the opening credits and Lydia's drawings.
    • The "backwards 5" in 3B.
  • Arc Words: "The Sun, the Moon, the truth" in Season 4.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Chris Argent's "rabid dog" speech in S01E04. For starters: the bats in the United States and Canada ARE occasionally born with rabies, but they're all microchiroptera — which feed on insects and do not willingly approach other species. It is unlikely to that a dog would have contracted rabies from a bat bite anywhere in the upper part of North America. The so-called "vammpire bat" (which generally preys on livestock) is in Central and South America. The rabid behavior he describes is also false.
  • Artistic License – Pharmacology: Most varieties of wolfsbane, or aconite, are actually quite poisonous to humans. On the show, they'll only cause hallucinations for humans, but have various different effects on werewolves, from letting them hallucinate to sedating them to killing them outright.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Lydia kisses Stiles to stop his panic attack. Which wouldn't work in Real Life.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: When Scott and Stiles try to tell Jackson that Lydia might be turning into a werewolf, his response warrants this reaction from Stiles.
    Jackson: Turning?
    Scott: Yeah, turning.
    Jackson: Into?
    Stiles: A unicorn. What do you think, dumbass?
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Allison and Kira have a memorable moment battling the possessed twins and Isaac in De-Void. They even switch their signature weapons.
  • Badass In Charge:
    • All Alphas and all leaders to the hunter clans count as this.
    • Derek when he is an Alpha in Seasons 2 and 3A. Also in Monstrous, despite being a beta and having lost all his werewolf powers.
    • Scott, who is a True Alpha as of season three.
  • Bad Black Barf: Happens to werewolves when they are poisoned with wolfsbane or supernatural weapons. Also happens to people whose bodies reject the werewolf transformation.
    • When Derek is poisoned and dying in Season 1 after being shot with a wolfsbane bullet, he vomits black fluid.
    • In Season 2, Jackson vomits similar-looking black fluid briefly, which serves as a sign that he's not transforming into a werewolf as planned.
    • Also in Season 2, Derek breaks Erica's arm after she is poisoned by the kanima, draining black venom from her bloodstream and kickstarting her Healing Factor.
    • Gerard by the bucketload after being bitten by Derek. He had been consuming cancer medication laced with mountain ash without knowing it, leading to a magical chain reaction between the werewolf virus and what is essentially Anti-werewolf powder. When we see him again in Visionary, he still has black fluid leaking from his nose and mouth.
    • Poor Paige in Visionary.
    • The twins after they are shot with wolfsbane bullets.
    • Also Aiden after being lethally wounded by one of the Oni.
  • Bash Brothers:
    • Scott/Stiles, Scott/Isaac and Scott/Derek. Scott and Stiles are Heterosexual Lifepartners, and he comes to consider both Isaac and Derek brothers over the course of the show. He knows all of them would have his back in battle.
    • Ethan and Aiden are a literal example.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Scott and Allison in season 1 and 2. One is a werewolf with superhuman abilities (Scott) and one is a badass werewolf hunter (Allison) born into a Badass Family with a Secret Legacy. They would often fight side by side during battles and missions.
    • As of season 3, Scott and Kira are shaping to be this, as Scott is an Alpha and Kira is a badass kitsune.
    • In Season 4 we get Derek and Braeden, complete with Back-to-Back Badasses.
  • Battle in the Rain:
    • Between Scott, Kira, and the Oni in "Letharia Vulpina". There's one in the snow as well in "The Divine Move".
    • Kira gets another one in "Monstrous," defending two werewolves against rogue hunters.
  • Bedlam House: Eichen House Asylum is an example of this, with creepy orderlies, mysterious suicides, and supernatural inmates locked away in high-security cells.
  • Bi the Way: Caitlin, the girlfriend of Emily, one of the Darach's victims, and Lydia's grandmother Lorraine.
  • Big Bad/Big Bad Ensemble: Similar to other shows in this genre, each season has at least one.
    • In Season 1, Scott and the others deal with a mysterious Alpha werewolf who turns out to be Derek's Evil Uncle Peter. Additionally, there is Allison's aunt Kate, who is responsible for the death of Derek's family.
    • In Season 2, it looks to be the Kanima, but the role goes to Gerard Argent, Chris's father and Allison's grandfather. The Kanima is however The Heavy.
    • In Season 3A, it's the Darach, a dark druid. She is revealed to be the new English teacher, Jennifer Blake, whose real name is Julia Baccari.
    • In Season 3B, it's the Nogitsune, a dark kitsune, who takes possession of Stiles.
    • In Season 4, the Big Bad is Kate Argent, who working with Peter Hale, but there is also a...
    • Bigger Bad: The Benefactor/Meredith Walker in season 4, who is funding a bunch of assassins to kill all supernaturals in Beacon Hills using money stolen from the Hale vault.
      • The Man Behind the Man: In a way. The deadpool was Peter's idea, back when he was going insane from pain while lying in a coma. A mentally vulnerable Meredith listened to his ravings for months on end.
  • Big Bad Friend: In Season 3B, Stiles is possessed by an evil fox spirit known as the Nogitsune.
  • The Big Bad Wolf: The Alpha in Season 1. In true fairy-tale like style, he's the season's Big Bad, nigh-indestructible and psychopathic.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Stiles and Lydia kiss in "Alpha Pact" complete with appropriate lighting, angles, and background music. Subverted when they don't get together afterwards: Lydia continues dating Aiden and Stiles hooks up with Malia later in the season.
  • Big "OMG!": Stiles, in regards to not being able to help Scott out at sneaking over a fence, Batman style. Actually, he pretty much goes "OH MY GOD" all the time. In every episode.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: In the Pilot, Scott's mother worries about him having a new girlfriend, and says she won't be on "some show with a pregnant teenager." Teen Mom also airs on MTV.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In Season 2, Erica's the blonde, Allison's the brunette, and Lydia's the redhead.
    Stiles: "[Lydia's] hair's actually strawberry blonde."
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Season Two ends with the already-weakened werewolves Erica and Boyd surrounded by the Alpha pack, who appear to be itching for a fight.
  • Bottle Episode:
    • "Night School", takes place...well, in the high school at night. It has Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Allison and Jackson form a temporary alliance while trying to evade the Alpha.
    • The third season's "Motel California" similarly traps the students at a motel while the deadly events happen.
    • Season 4's "Weaponized" quarantines most of the main characters in the school due to a virus outbreak - together with the assassin who orchestrated said outbreak.
  • Bound and Gagged: The hunters like using this method. For example Chris had himself and Allison bound up and gagged as a training exercise and Gerard did this to Erica and Boyd once they'd been captured.
  • Break the Cutie: Multiple characters, notably Scott in Season 1, Allison in Season 2 when her mom dies, and Stiles in Season 3, when he is possessed by an evil spirit. A big part of many backstories, such as Derek's (who had to kill his first love and inadvertedly helped the second one murder his family) and Isaac's (who was abused by his father).
  • Brick Joke:
    • A dramatic use of one. Throughout the first season, all the werewolf incidents are dismissed as mountain lion attacks. In "The Tell", the school parent teacher conference seems to be under attack by the alpha. Turns out after Mr. Argent shoots it, it was a mountain lion.
    • Scott attempts to literally sniff out the other werewolf on his lacrosse team. He crashes into his teammates, causing them to fall so that they are in one place long enough to smell them. When he falls on top of Danny, Danny says, "It's Armani," referring to his aftershave. Scott flirtatiously says, "It's nice." Viewers are left to simply see this scene as Fanservice until four episodes later, when Scott is chasing down the Kanima using his sense of smell, and realizes he smells... Armani. It leads him to realize that the Kanima is seeking out Danny.
  • Buffy Speak: Many of the characters use this on occasion, but Stiles is by far the worst offender during his Motor Mouth tangents.
  • Bullet Seed: A variation where Stiles can spit a highlighter cap to the ceiling of a classroom (and then catch it).
  • Bullets Do Not Work That Way / Pretty Little Headshots: In Season 4, Agent McCall shoots an assassin into the back of his head to keep him from killing Stiles. In reality, the bullet would also have hit the person he is trying to save.

    C-D 
  • California Doubling: Inverted in the first two seasons: the show takes place in Northern California, but was then shot in Atlanta. After the show won a lottery rewarding it tax credit for shooting in California, principal photography moved back to Los Angeles, subverting the trope from Season 3 onwards.
  • Call Back:
    • The school principal demands that whatever happened in the library be fixed, and also demands, "And what... the bloody hell... is this?"... holding up Gerard's sword.
    • In "117", Malia highlights the same way Stiles does (as in, everything). The same episode also has Stiles refer to Derek as "cousin Miguel from Mexico" just as he did in season 1 with Danny.
    • When Liam is turned into a werewolf, Scott spends "The Benefactor" failing to communicate with him exactly the same way Derek did with Scott in season 1, up to regurgitating random useless and faintly alarming quotations. The issue is resolved in a scene where Chris Argent shoots at the new werewolf when he and Scott crouch against a tree, a scene-perfect recreation of a shot from the first season with Scott and Derek—though the ammo is nonlethal this time, and Chris is a friend. It's a "the more things change" kind of episode.
    • In "Smoke and Mirrors", Kira has a vision/hallucination of her mother, who helps her calm down and focus to activate her healing. In "Motel California", Allison used a memory of her mother to help her focus.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Most of the guys in the show range from drop-dead gorgeous to just very, very pretty. Examples include Scott, Stiles, Derek, Jackson, Danny, Boyd, Isaac, Aiden, Ethan, Parrish, etc. Depending on your type, you could add in Chris Argent, Peter Hale, Sheriff Stilinski, Agent McCall, Deaton, random extras on set...
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Stiles points out that the events occurring in "Motel California" are similar to the party where Lydia unintentionally poisoned everyone with wolfsbane. While he's saying it to explain his fears that someone might be manipulating her again, it actually foreshadows that the wolves present were doused with wolfsbane hidden inside the coach's whistle, which is why they're hallucinating.
    • After noticing the deep claw marks in the back of Jackson's neck, Kate asks Chris if it's possible for a werewolf to turn someone from a scratch. Chris comments that it is possible, if the claws go deep enough. That was in season one. During the Cliff Hanger of season 3, it turns out that this method was able to turn somebody after all: Kate Argent herself.
    • The Kanima's venom shows up a few times in season 3B to harmlessly subdue people, until it's finally used on possessed Stiles.
    • After the Nemeton is reactivated due to the events of Season 3A, Deaton mentions that it will draw supernatural beings to Beacon Hills, acting as a beacon. One episode later, the Yukimuras show up, who turn out to be a Human-Kitsune family. And then, another few episodes later, Sheriff Stilinski's newest deputy Parrish mentions that he came to Beacon Hills because he felt drawn there. In Season 4, Parrish does turn out to be supernatural, without having known about it himself.
    • In Echo House, Stiles has to spend time at Eichen House Asylum. Shortly after he arrives, a patient kills himself, which happens regularly, as another patient tells Stiles. In Season 4 we discover that one of the orderlies is a serial killer, who disguises his murders as suicides.
    • One that was cocked way before it went off: in the parent-teacher-conference shown in Season 1, Lydia's father wonders seemingly out of the blue if Lydia behaves strange and erratic at school. In Season 4, it turns out that Lydia's grandmother behaved like this due to her own banshee powers, leading her son to believe his daughter inherited her "mental illness".
    • And in a case of Chekhov's Bomb rather than Chekhov's Gun, one of the assassins in Season 4 tries to blow up Derek and the Sheriff with a claymore mine. It's defused and put into the Sheriff Department's lock up, only to be used by the Sheriff to kill a Berserker in the finale.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The first two episodes of season 3B are spent trying to find Malia Tate, a werecoyote who accidentally killed her mother and sister when she first transformed. Six episodes later she reappears in the same asylum where Stiles is staying, and then is revealed to be Peter Hale's daughter.
    • In "The Wolf And The Fox", we're introduced to Satomi, a Japanese werewolf imprisoned in an internment camp in World War II. In season 4, we find out that after losing control there, she devised the Arc Words "The sun, the moon, the truth" as a mantra to help werewolves maintain control.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Stiles' smile from Frayed.
  • Comic-Book Time: If we are to go by the date on a newspaper at the end of season 1 that says it's 2011, season 4 should be in early 2012 judging from how the school years have been. However, in season 2, it seems to be 2012 judging by how much time is said to have passed since a certain class graduated. In other words, each season seems to be in Present Day; the show is on a sliding timescale.
  • Conspicuous CG: In the pilot episode, we're treated to a sequence of stampeding deer as well as quick shots of a werewolf.
  • Cool Bike: Scott's motorcycle. It's definitely an upgrade for Scott considering that he was either getting around in Stiles' Jeep or on a regular bike.
  • Cool Car: Derek's 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and Stiles' Jeep CJ-7.
  • Creepy Crows: Dramatically disrupting the first day of the year at the Beacon Hills High School by breaking a classroom window and attacking those inside.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The first season was basic werewolf lore. The second season drew inspiration from Greek and Aztec mythology (both referring to the kanima). Season 3A had some more Greek (the supposed origins of werewolves) and many Celtic (druids, the darach, and the nematon) elements, and 3B introduced heavy amounts of Japanese folklore (kitsunes and nogitsunes). Season four sees a return to more Aztec folklore, such as the god Tezcatlipoca and werejaguars, and also briefly features Wendigos (Native American). Then there are the berserkers (mentioned in season 3, appearing in season 4), which are a literal crossover of Norse and Aztec folklore since they originated in Norse mythology but are utilizing jaguars, which are associated with Aztec myths. There may even be Judeo-Christian mythology involved, since the Argent bestiary mentions Beelzebub.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Averted and subverted throughout the show, as there are werewolves who are more good/neutral, werewolves who are bad, creatures that are involuntarily evil, people that are purely evil, and so on. Taken Up to Eleven by the Oni from Season 3. They get played up as unstoppable villains in their first few appearances, but it is revealed that they are actually a force of nature tracking down something much, much worse.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the '85 movie.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Derek, via Dead Family, and eventually, ripped-in-half older sister. Also, Isaac, Liam, and a whole bunch of the villains (naturally).
  • Deadpan Snarker: The whole cast in spades; Stiles and Isaac in particular, though Melissa and the Sheriff easily outsnark all of them.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: A number of characters (e.g. former Beta Couple Lydia and Jackson), but it happens to Stiles the most.
  • Discriminate and Switch: Sorta. In one episode, Scott is banned from a school dance, shows up anyways, and when his coach starts chasing him, he comes across an openly gay classmate and convinces him to dance with him. When the coach catches up to him and starts yelling, the whole gym thinks he's yelling about the two boys dancing together rather than the fact Scott isn't supposed to be at the dance. Also a scene showing Scott's intelligence, especially since he came up with that ON THE FLY.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Danny never stood a chance with a shirtless Derek in the room. Invoked because Stiles is actually making him change shirts.
  • Druid: Introduced in Season 3, they are revealed to be advisers, or "Emissaries", to werewolf packs, like Deaton and Morrell. One of the villains in season 3 is a dark druid, aka a "Darach", who performs human sacrifices to gain new powers.

    E-F 
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Scott, Allison, Chris, and Kate versus the Alpha in the season one finale.
    • Then Peter with Derek versus Gerard and Kanima!Jackson in season two (Although it's really more "cheering Derek on" then "joining Derek in the fight.")
    • After the Darach kidnaps Sheriff Stilinski and Melissa McCall, Scott joins the Alpha Pack.
    • The Calaveras temporarily align with Scott's pack because it means getting the resurrected Kate out of Mexico. Araya is quite clear that if Scott ever turns an innocent, then the truce is over and she'll come for him.
    • In the Season 4 finale they join forces with Chris Argent and Parrish and function as The Cavalry. They've also made a deal with Chris to leave the supernaturals in Beacon Hills alone, if he helps them catch Kate.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The end of each season (or half season, in season 3's case) usually results in some form of this.
    • In Season 1, it's the Alpha vs. Kate Argent.
    • In Season 2, it's the Kanima and its master vs. Gerard Argent.
    • In Season 3A, it's the Alpha Pack versus the Darach.
  • Exceptionally Tolerant: See Discriminate and Switch above. Beacon Hills High School is clearly at the forefront when it comes to opposing homophobia.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: Beacon Hills, full stop. Werewolves and other supernatural creatures battle each other, frequently inside the high school or the hospital. Human sacrifices happen left and right. People get shredded by werewolves and kanimas. Flocks of birds smash through windows and kill themselves. The entire high school orchestra gets possessed in the middle of a performance! Yet most people think that Beacon Hills is just a pleasant town with an oddly high number of accidental deaths, murders and/or wildlife attacks. Ironically, the heroes are the only ones making any effort to cover up what is going on, and usually from specific people rather than the whole town. Near the end of season 3, though, it becomes evident that it's closer to a Buffy-level masquerade: most people know that Beacon Hills actually features quite a lot of strange occurrences, and some - such as Danny - have long since figured out what's going on.
  • Eye Colour Change: Alpha's have red eyes. Betas have orange/topaz eyes, which change to blue once they've taken an innocent life. Kitsunes have flame-colored eyes, werejaguars have green eyes, wendigos have blank white eyes, and Parrish has reddish-orange eyes. In all cases, their eyes change to show they're powering up.
  • Fingore: Happens when Peter falls victim to the Calaveras' Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
  • Follow the Leader: To Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. Might even have some influence of Smallville and The Walking Dead and lately, "Series/Hannibal".
  • Foreshadowing: Each season's opening sequence (aside from season 1, which didn't have one) is basically nothing but this.
  • Fountain of Youth: Enforced in the first episode of Season 4 when Derek is cocooned by Kate in an old church, only to be discovered as a teenager when Scott and Braeden show up to rescue him.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: The Werewolf variety. Scott and his pack. Derek, despite extreme grumpiness and No Social Skills. Talia Hale and Deucalion, back in the day. And in Season 4, Satomi and her pack really just want to be left alone and lead a quiet life away from hunters and other dangerous creatures. It doesn't work.
  • Functional Magic: Basically absent from seasons one and two, where the only supernatural phenomena explicitly depicted were mainly related to werewolves. With druids taking more of a center stage in season three, actual spellcasting, possibly Rule Magic and/or Theurgy (with a healthy dose of Blood Magic for flavoring), has been introduced.

    G-H 
  • Gay Bar Reveal: When Scott and Stiles pursue the Kanima into the Jungle.
    Scott: Dude! Everyone in here's a dude! I think we're in a gay club!
    Stiles: [surrounded by drag queens] Man, nothing gets past those keen werewolf senses, huh Scott?
  • Genre Blind: There's at least one Horror Movie Stupidity Cliche in any given episode. The first episode takes the cake, though. Two teenagers— one of whom is asthmatic— search for the other half of a corpse. At night. In the woods.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • In Season 1, Stiles is much more aware than Scott of the 'rules' governing werewolves and chides him for not recognizing wolfsbane.
    • When Stiles notices that Scott is showing signs of being a werewolf, he proceeds to read what seems to be all available info on werewolves online and in the library.
    • Derek parodies this when he talks to Scott in the second episode.
    Derek: Do you think your little buddy, Stiles, can just look up werewolves and now you've got all the answers?
    • In the sixth episode, Stiles tries to do experiments with Scott's heart-rate by throwing Lacrosse balls at him.
    • in the season finale:
    Scott: Don't say it was too easy. Whenever someone says it was too easy bad things happen.
    • When Erica and Boyd are in the woods in Season 2, Boyd stops because he thinks he heard something. Erica points out that that means they should run, not stop.
    • Season 4: In "I.E.D.", a pair of assassins are discussing which werewolf to kill, a beta or Scott. When one mentions that Scott would fetch more on the hitlist, the other points out Scott has taken on a pack of alphas and been the last one standing.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Out bowling, Lydia bowls a perfect frame, after a game of lackluster throws. Allison tells her she should stop sucking for Jackson's benefit.
    Lydia: Believe me, I do 'plenty' of sucking for his benefit.
    • Another instance in the second episode, again with Lydia when she was talking to Scott about him not playing.
    Lydia: I prefer my boyfriend to be at peak performance.
    • In the season 2 opener, Stiles and Scott try to persuade Jackson to help them search for a missing [Lydia who they believe is becoming a werewolf. Jackson tells them to worry about the search party instead.
    Jackson: You've got this all backwards McCall. When I was with Lydia, you should've seen the scratch marks she left on me.
    • In the eleventh episode of season 2, when Coach Finstock is finally going to let Stiles into a lacrosse game.
    Stiles: I'm playing? On the field? With the team?
    Finstock: Yes! Unless you'd rather play with yourself!
    Stiles: I already did that today. Twice.
    • In the seventh episode of season 3, Allison and Scott end up hiding in a closet, standing face-to-face closely together, resulting in him getting a bit excited. Apparently he has less control over that than he does over his werewolf transformations. Allison chastises him and turns around, which causes him to remark that that only makes it worse...
  • The Ghost: Greenberg, a member of the lacrosse team who possibly may only exist in the mind of Coach Finstock.
  • Go: A rather important element of season 3B.
    • Satomi, one of Noshiko's fellow inmates in the Oak Creek internment camp, is constantly playing Go to keep herself calm and conceal her werewolf nature.
    • The Nogitsune holds Stiles captive in his own mind by forcing him to play an endless game of Go.
    • Noshiko explains to Kira and the rest of the group the strategy of the Nogitsune, Scott's pack, and herself using the game.
    • Finally, the Season 3 finale is titled "The Divine Move" and features a version of such a move.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Arguably played by Scott under the effects of wolfsbane in Season 1.
    Stiles: Scott, you okay?
    Scott: No. I'm so far from okay, right now!
    • Surprisingly averted in quite a few instances, particularly in the first and sixth episodes.
    Scott: Son of a bitch!
    Stiles: You're the one always bitching that nothing happens in this town.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Redemption is a recurring theme.
    • Chris Argent has come a long way from being hostile towards werewolves by default to now seeing some of them as valuable allies, and being willing to protect whole packs.
    • Isaac starts off his werewolf career as what seems like a potential bad guy, but he gets better.
    • Ethan, who may never have been truly evil in the first place based on Scott's judgment, decides to stop Kali from killing Derek. To get his brother to back him, he recruits Lydia, guessing that Aiden will not be willing to allow Kali to hurt her either. It works.
  • Hell Hotel: In "Motel California;" Coach Finstock decides to put the kids up for the night in the motel with the highest suicide rate in the state. Needless to say, trouble ensues.
  • His Story Repeats Itself: Derek has first-hand experience and reasoning as to why he thinks Scott shouldn't date an Argent. Additionally, both their First Loves died in their arms.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Quite a bit between Scott and Stiles, in the traditional best-friend type. He seems utterly unfazed by Stiles coming in his window, hanging off his roof, etc.
    Stiles (to Scott): Do you enjoy hurting me?
    • Stiles also has his own copy of the key to the house.
    • Scott has no problem with Stiles walking in on him showering.
    • Stiles wonders if Danny doesn't like him and asks Scott about it, saying, "Am I unattractive to gay guys?" Although Scott completely ignores this. He later asks Danny himself if he finds him attractive.
    • Derek does not care for anyone's personal boundaries. If you slow down any scene which involves Derek getting a little too close... Well...
    • Any scene between Derek and Scott is going to come off this way. In fact, as written, Derek is the Angel to Scott's Buffy.
    • Any scene between Derek and Jackson. Namely when Derek forces Jackson against walls and intimidates him. All of which while Jackson is COMPLETELY naked, except for one flimsy towel around his waist. Did I mention that all of the above takes place in a locker room?
    • Stiles using a shirtless Derek to get Danny to help him.
    Stiles: You may bat for the other team, but you still play ball, don't you, Danny?
    Danny: You're a horrible person.
    • Actually, this happens a lot. Scott pins Danny down and smells him during lacrosse practice, Derek really enjoys pinning Stiles to walls, and the males in this series are just really really touchy-feely.
  • Honey Trap: Used repeatedly, by both female and male characters.
    • Prior to the series, Kate Argent insinuated herself into Derek's life by seducing him for the sole purpose of gathering enough information to murder his entire family.
    • Erica took on this role a couple of times, notably with Stiles and Jackson, with a somewhat low success rate.
    • Ethan and Aiden in Season 3 are also serving as this, seducing Lydia and Danny because one of them might be used as a lever against Scott. Subverted, as both end up falling in love with their mark.
    • Lydia turns the tables, luring Aiden away from Ethan so that Scott and Stiles can ask him some questions. Aiden is surprised that Lydia is willing to have anything to do with him after he helped murder Boyd, but it doesn't prevent him from accepting her advances.
    • Jennifer does this with Derek, both to get his help and because she is infatuated with him.
  • Hotter and Sexier: In comparison to the movie. Sex scenes, gorgeous actors and shameless fanservice out the wazoo.
  • How Many Fingers?:
    • Used by the coach during a particularly brutal lacrosse game.
    • Used again in season 3B to see if someone is dreaming or not.
  • Human To Werewolf Footprints: Except as photographs of a beast-like figure in one, and then a human-like figure in another.
  • Hypocritical Humor: "Can someone in this town stay dead?" Said by Peter, who managed to come Back from the Dead in Season 2, about Kate Argent, who was Not Quite Dead all along.

    I-J 
  • I Am a Monster: Discussed in "Monstrous" when Satomi says that werewolves are inherently violent creatures. Chris Argent agrees, and she retorts "Aren't we all?". Meredith also believes this about all supernaturals, including herself.
  • Idiot Ball: For some unknown reason, Deucalion plans his confrontation with Jennifer to occur right around the time of a lunar eclipse that will render him and all the other werewolves powerless, raising serious questions about his tactical skills.
  • In Name Only: Aside from the title and a few character names (protagonist Scott, best friend "Stiles" Stilinski, coach Bobby Finstock), the series goes well out of its way to be completely different from the original film, specifically tone wise and going for a style similar to The Vampire Diaries.
  • In-Series Nickname: Stiles calls Derek a sourwolf. The fandom took it and ran.
  • Inconvenient Itch: Scott's mom and Sheriff Stilinski while tied up by Jennifer.
  • Intimate Healing:
    • Jennifer has sex with a badly-injured Derek and his wounds begin to miraculously start healing, because by this point she has acquired the power to heal.
    • Lydia kisses Stiles to stop his panic attack. Combined with Artistic Licence Medicine, because that's really not how it should be done in Real Life.

    K-L 
  • Kill It with Fire: The assassins in "Perishable" attempt this with their targets. Deputy Parrish survives it, while Scott, Malia, and Liam are rescued.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Courtesy of Kate Argent, who does not approve of her stooge's lame jokes.
    Kate:A dog joke? Really? You're gonna go there and that's the best you got?
    • Of all the cars in the school's parking lot, Derek stumbles in front of Stiles' in Magic Bullet. —>Stiles: You've gotta be kidding me, this guy is everywhere.
  • Left the Background Music On: A rare serious and even creepy example in 3.04: Lydia discovers an audio recording of the high school's band teacher being attacked by the killer, and after his body hits the piano keys, the chanting swells seemingly as part of the soundtrack... and then Lydia lowers her head to the speaker, indicating that it's part of the recording she's been listening to.
  • Ley Line: Beacon Hills has unusually strong telluric energy currents running through it, making certain locations appropriate for magical rituals. Unlike traditional ley lines, these currents are not straight lines. Their presence may explain why the city is a Weirdness Magnet.
  • Lightswitch Surprise: A frequent occurrence in Scott's bedroom in the first two seasons. Initially, it's Derek waiting in Scott's chair for Scott to turn on the lights, but eventually Gerard, Isaac, and even Scott manage to surprise someone coming into Scott's bedroom by waiting patiently in the dark.
  • Little Dead Riding Hood
    • Scott is wearing a red hoodie the night he's bitten.
    • An inversion, where the wolf is the one in danger: In Season 2, Scott wears a red hooded shirt the night he's almost killed by Mrs. Argent.
  • Lock and Load Montage:
    • Season 1: Chris Argent and his associates preparing to hunt down Derek, Scott, and the Alpha.
    • Season 2: Allison's preparations to hunt down Derek for the death of her mother.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Most of the parents and friends are initially locked out of the loop, but are eventually let in on the secret, usually by necessity: by the end of Season 4, all parents except Lydia's parents and Scott's father know, and Agent McCall has figured out something is up and has demanded an explanation.
    • Subverted with Danny, who has been aware of the supernatural for an unknown period of time, and even knows about Beacon Hills being a Weirdness Magnet.
    • Kira used to be Locked Out of the Loop about her mother's true nature, until her own kitsune powers manifested.
    • Deputy Parrish figured out that something was going on, but came to the wrong conclusions, believing for instance that Lydia was psychic. He also didn't know he was supernatural himself.

    M-N 
  • Made of Iron: Justified for werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Their bodies naturally have a much more powerful Healing Factor than humans.
  • Magic Pants: Zigzagged. Aiden and Ethan need to take their shirts off before merging, but their pants aren't a problem. On the other hand, werewolves who can turn into a full animal form have to take off their clothes before transformation and change back completely naked.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Subverted with Coach Finstock when he gets shot in the abdomen by an arrow. His first response is a deadpan "aw crap". Then he begins to freak out about dying.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The entirety of "Motel California" thrives in this. Throughout the episode, a couple of people including Scott, undergo visions of their haunted past and present and hearing voices as well, making some of the others to believe that the hotel is haunted since it was site a few grisly murders. As it turns out, the werewolves were purposefully poisoned with wolfsbane, while Lydia experienced a surge of her burgeoning powers.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Scott said it to Allison at the formal, then after the fight, the exchange is reversed.
      Allison: Why did you do that?
      Scott: Because I love you.
    • Allison echoing Kate by shouting "COME ON!" to goad an unseen adversary foreshadows how very like Kate she'll become under Gerard's influence after her mother's death.
  • Meaningful Name: The town's name, Beacon Hills, is revealed to be entirely descriptive. When active, the Nemeton acts as a "beacon" drawing energy from telluric currents, which attracts supernatural creatures.
  • Metaphorically True: A lot of the lies and half-truths that Scott and Stiles have been using to hide the werewolves would fall into this category. Stiles even gets caught in an Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap! moment by his father when the alibis start blending together.
    Sheriff Stilinski: So you lied to me?
    Stiles: That depends on how you define lying.
    Sheriff Stilinski: Well, I define it as not telling the truth, how do you define it?
    Stiles: Pff...reclining your body in a horizontal position.
  • Mistaken for Prank Call: The Alpha in Season 1 makes sure this will happen. The call—someone is breaking into the high school—would not normally have been ignored as such, except there was an anonymous tip-off telling the Sheriff's office that there would be prank calls on that very topic.
  • Mr. Fanservice: All the younger male characters - with the exception of Stiles - seem to spend an oddly significant amount of their time shirtless, but Derek is heading into Taylor Lautner territory.
    • The scene in Season 2 when Derek hallucinates himself naked in the big empty white space for no apparent reason? It was literally added because Tyler Hoechlin had bulked up for the second season and he was surprised he didn't have any shirtless scenes.
    • The characters are actually aware of it in-universe. Stiles manages to get Danny to trace a text by making Derek go shirtless in front of him.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Werewolf hunters can be extremely effective and deadly in their usage of modern weapons and technology. Season 4 proves that human assassins are pretty good, too.
  • Never Mess with Granny:
    • Araya Calavera, the iron-fisted leader of the Calavera hunters.
    • On the werewolf side, we have Satomi Ito, who not only dispatches gun-toting assassins, but taught herself how to control her rage through mantras and playing go.
  • Never My Fault: Isaac's father, the swim coach of Beacon Hills High, takes this Up to Eleven. It does get him killed in the end.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: In the pilot, this is what motivates Stiles and Scott to go into the woods looking for half a body in the middle of the night. This, of course, leads to Scott getting bitten.
    Stiles: You're the one bitching that nothing happens in this town.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Unsurprisingly happens a lot. For instance, Sheriff Stilinski catches Stiles and his girlfriend Malia with chains in the fourth season and gets the wrong idea, a Call Back to a similar scene with Scott.
  • No Ontological Inertia:
    • The Darach's magical storm and earthquake immediately cease when she is killed.
    • The magical wounds inflicted by the Oni begin to heal as soon as the Nogitsune is defeated.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted with female werewolves.
    Peter: Don't feel bad. If she lives, she'll become a werewolf. She'll be incredibly powerful.
    Stiles: Yeah, and once a month she'll go out of her freakin' mind and try to tear me apart.
    Peter: Well, actually, considering that she's a woman...twice a month.
    • A dialogue in Season 2 gives us this lovely exchange:
    Derek: There's a price you pay for this kind of power. You get the ability to heal; but tonight you're going to want to kill anything you can find.
    Erica: Good thing I had my period last week, then.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. Erica admits that she's wet herself during a seizure at least once. And this one is not Played for Laughs, though her classmates didn't seem to agree.

    O-P 

  • Oh, Crap:
    • Scott has one in the pilot when he learns that the werewolf hunter from the forest is the father of the girl he has the hots for.
    • Stiles has one as well when he realizes that he's surrounded by both an Alpha Peter Hale and his human accomplice.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Derek seems to appear out of nowhere in the weirdest places, including the boys' locker room.
    • Derek spends more time time in the boys' locker room than most of the boys on the lacrosse team, but nobody ever seems to notice him at the school.
  • Off with His Head!: One of the assassins hunting supernatural creatures in season 4 ( Violet) uses a thermo-cut wire that can burn through necks while choking someone.
  • Only Friend:
    • From what's seen, Scott seems to be Stiles' only friend. And possibly vice-versa. At least until the Love Interest pops up.
    • Despite being the obvious Alpha Bitch, this also appears to be true for Lydia whose only friend seems to be Allison. Jackson has some other friends floating around, such as Danny.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Jackson in that everybody but him cheers on Scott's rather miraculous change of athletic ability. He almost seems frustrated that no one else thinks that something is wrong with Scott - even his girlfriend starts hitting on Scott. However, as the story progresses, Jackson seems to fall very far and very quickly on the scale of actual sanity.
    • Shortly into season 2, the role was been doubly passed onto Stiles (for Jackson and Scott), and Lydia (for Allison). Although, like Jackson, one wouldn't really call Lydia sane as of the second season.
    • Of Derek's pack, Boyd is easily the most level-headed the group, including Derek.
  • Our Banshees Are Louder: Lydia. Season 3B introduces Meredith.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: While werewolves are the primary focus of the series, more shapeshifters have appeared as the series progresses, all of which have ties to werewolves and many of the same perks.
    • The Kanima that is created by a mutation of the werewolf bite, with quite a few differences:
    • Werecoyotes, specifically Peter Hale's daughter Malia, seem to be more similar, if not identical to werewolves.
    • Werejaguars like Kate Argent, due to being scratched by an alpha are introduced in Season 4. They happen black spots and have blue skin, as well as glowing green eyes.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different:
    • They transform when angry, aroused, or otherwise feeling strong emotions or increased heart rate and can tap into advanced senses, reflexes, coordination, regenerative abilities and strength even when not transformed.
    • Alphas who lose control of their powers risk turning into full-on monster lords
    • Wolfsbane also has some effect, though what it is at this point is unclear. Scott doesn't like it. At this point, we can tell that one form, Nordic Blue Monkshood, has the ability to kill a werewolf when encased in a bullet. Another form can cause pain and breathing problems to a werewolf when one is in close proximity and perhaps trigger a transformation by raising the heart rate. However, under certain conditions, wolfsbane can even be beneficial to werewolves.
    • Electricity of a certain voltage and current can keep betas from transforming and can even revert them back to human form.
    • If a beta or omega wolf is wounded by an alpha, the wound will take longer to heal. This is also true of other supernatural beings, such as Oni.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Mr. Argent. Except he wants to protect his daughter from an actual werewolf.
    • And Sheriff Stilinski will not hesitate to pistol whip anyone who's stupid enough to hurt his son. To be more specific, he threatened to pistol-whip TEENAGERS who he thought had hurt his son. When Stiles goes missing again in 3x18, he is distraught and, despite his ordinarily calm demeanor, outright yells at Lydia when her intuition turns out to be a dead end. Bottom line: don't mess with Stiles.
  • Parental Issues: Each and every one of the main characters has this.
    • Scott's dad left him.
    • Stiles' mom died, and he seems to blame himself for it.
    • Lydia's parents went through a divorce and forced Lydia to choose which one of them she wants to live with.
    • Derek, obviously, since his whole family was killed by rogue hunters.
    • Jackson was adopted and has never met his birth parents, which causes him to strive to be the best at everything he does to prove himself to the biological parents he's never met.
    • Allison at first sight would seem to have the least parental issues. Her parents are Happily Married, although they do force her to move around a lot. Because they're werewolf hunters. But then her mother gets bitten by Derek and commits assisted (by her husband) suicide, in Allison's bedroom, rather than become a werewolf. Grandpa Gerard wholeheartedly endorses the act, mostly because he wants his granddaughter to become unhinged.
    • Malia may have killed her mother and her father is distant and had her institutionalized upon her return to him. And then it's revealed that they weren't her biological parents, who are really Peter Hale and an unknown woman known only as The Desert Wolf, leading to a whole new level of this.
    • Kira stands out as the lone aversion among the protagonists; while her mother is a nigh-immortal kitsune who is responsible for the events of Season 3B and her dad is an amazingly embarrassing teacher, they're obviously quite a stable family.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Ironically done with human Allison as the pitbull and werewolf Isaac as the puppy.
  • Place of Power: The Nemeton.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Scott and Lydia. As of season three, they have become closer with each other and Scott is even seen comforting and supporting Lydia during times of need. Scott has even become a minor Living Emotional Crutch for Lydia. Whenever trouble comes up, Lydia's first instinct is to find Scott.
  • Police Are Useless: The Beacon Hills cops aren't incompetent by any means. But they don't know what they're up against and aren't equipped to handle it if they did know. The fact that the sheriff's teenaged ADHD son is the one who most consistently puts the clues together doesn't help their image.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Scott claims that this is the main reason why all of the characters are having so many problems in season two. He points out that nobody trusts anyone else and this lack of communication between the werewolves and even the other humans was eventually going to get someone killed.
    • Also, most of the plot of the first five episodes in season one could have been skipped if Derek had just taken five minutes out of brooding and told Scott he hadn't been the one to bite him.
    • Victoria Argent wasn't able to talk to Allison one last time before Victoria kills herself before she is able to tell her daughter what led to her death. Of course, whether she would have admitted to trying to murder Scott is open to debate.
    • Melissa knows about werewolves generally, the existence of the Alpha Pack and the fact that many of the current mysterious deaths are sacrifices of some kind. She has apparently opted not to tell Sheriff Stilinski what she knows, leaving it up to the teenagers to decide if/when it is appropriate for him to be brought into the loop. She does not end up spilling what she knows until they are both tied up in a root cellar, in the middle of the woods, by an evil druid, waiting to become the next round in what has been multiple trios of human sacrifices.
  • Precision F-Strike: "I thought you were psychic, bitch."
  • Principles Zealot: Hunter rules require that any Hunter that becomes infected with lycathropy must die, either by suicide or at the hands of their fellows. Chris Argent helps his wife Victoria kill herself when this happens to her. It is also implied that he would do it to Allison too if she were ever bitten.
  • Product Placement: Everyone in Beacon Hills shops at Macy's. Everyone. They also really like Canon cameras, Apple computers, Samsung phones, Adidas clothing, and Pandora. Cool Alpha werewolves favor Ice Breakers as a way to combat dog breath. Occasionally they are subtle, but often fairly obvious, making sure to show closeups of the products and their labels.
  • Professional Killer: Season 4 sees a bunch of assassins arriving in town.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • "Give me...the bottle...of Jack."
    • "We. Are. Closed."
    • "I! Am! The! DEMON WOLF!"
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Arden Cho (Kira) and Shelley Hennig (Malia) in season 4.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • In the Season 3 premiere, Jackson is mentioned to have moved to London with his father after breaking up with Lydia. Lydia gets over this by taking Allison on a double date under the guise of helping her get over Scott.
    • Derek mentions in "Riddled" that Cora had been living in South America after the Hale fire and that he took her back there during the Season 3 break.
    • Isaac is away travelling in Season 4.

    Q-R 
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Every member of Derek's pack was a confirmed misfit before being turned into a werewolf. Scott and Stiles both consider themselves to be misfits as well. The group of heroes counts as well, with werewolves (Scott, Derek, Isaac, Cora), werewolf hunters (Allison, Chris), a cop (Sheriff Stilinski), a nurse (Melissa), a druid (Dr. Deaton), a normal human (Stiles), and a banshee (Lydia).
    • In season 3B, we add more werewolves (Aiden and Ethan), a kitsune (Kira), and a werecoyote, (Malia).
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Stiles always gets up to some serious shenanigans like stealing police property and kidnapping one of his fellow students... which then causes his dad, the town Sheriff, to lose his job. And Scott always misses out on school due to being a werewolf... which causes him to have terrible grades and risk being held back a year.
    • The Beacon Hills police, specifically Sheriff Stilinski, have a lot of trouble closing cases due to most homicides having to do with the supernatural - which the police obviously have no experience with. At the start of season 3B, Agent McCall is looking to impeach the sheriff due to his seeming inability to do his job.
    • Thanks to all the damage it took in Season 3, the hospital is starting to have money issues.
    • Likewise, Sheriff Stilinski is having trouble paying off the debt he owes to Eichen House in season 4 after Stiles was placed there and summarily escaped in the previous season.
    • An assassin is poised to shoot Stiles, and Agent McCall is forced to shoot him first. In the next episode, we see him going through the procedures to prove that lethal force was necessary in that situation, and he has to leave town for review.
    • In "The Fox and the Wolf":
    Sheriff Stilinski: I don't know how you guys do it. You're all so strong. You're fearless. Hell, you manage to keep your grades up.
    Allison: Well, I'm failing Econ.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Coach Finstock gives one to Scott. Jackson is on the receiving end of one of these from Derek late in season 1.
  • Refusal of the Call:
    • Scott doesn't want to be a werewolf, so he ignores the call as long as possible. Unfortunately for him, the call keeps calling, so the choice ends up being: Man up and deal with your new-found werewolfness, or kill your loved ones.
    • In season 3, Lydia is in serious denial about her psychic powers. Near the end of 3A she starts accepting them more.
  • The Red Baron: Season 4 introduces several professional assassins that mostly go by monikers The Mute, The Orphans, and The Chemist. They are apparently so well known that even the FBI has heard of a few of them. Peter told Meredith about them as well. The Desert Wolf deserves a special mention, given that she's Malia's mother.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: An Alpha werewolf's eyes turn red. In monstrous form they visibly glow. However, it is a subversion as not all Alphas are evil.
  • Red Herring: Practically a plot necessity for this kind of show, several people were heavily hinted at as the Alpha in Season 1 and later the Kanima and its master in Season 2, only to turn out as Red Herrings. Most notably the veterinarian Deaton as the Alpha and the chemistry teacher as the master of the Kanima.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The motive of several villains so far Peter Hale is avenging the Hale fire in season 1, Matt is after Lahey and the swim team for nearly drowning him, Gerard claims to be on one against all werewolf kind for Kate's death, but is really just plotting to get the bite to cure his cancer. Alison goes on a brief one after her mother's suicide. In season 3A Jennifer Blake makes multiple human sacrifices in order to gain the power to avenge herself on Kali and the rest of the Alpha pack.
  • Rule of Three: Appears at various points throughout the show.
    • Derek's Triskelion tattoo, which specifically represents the three types of werewolf: Alpha, Beta, and Omega.
    • Stiles and his dad's saying about incidents: "One is an accident, two is a coincidence, three is a pattern."
    • The above phrase is mentioned by Lydia in the season three premier, concerning how she's been attacked by animals twice (a deer and her dog). Immediately after, a flock of crows crash through the windows and terrorize the class.
  • Running Gag: The Baseball Bat and the almost hitting of Stiles with it by members of the McCall family. Stiles's reaction is always to question why they have baseball bats if no one in the house plays baseball.
    • It gets a callback in "Overlooked" where Stiles brings it to the hospital and it shatters when he hits "Voltron Wolf" (Aiden & Ethan) over the head with it. Gets another callback in "Lunar Ellipse", where Stiles uses a new (aluminum) bat to keep the root cellar from collapsing.
    • Also Stiles wanting to know if gay guys find him attractive.
    • Coach Finstock yelling at Greenberg, a member of the lacrosse team who may only exist in his head
    • As of season three, people try to explain Lydia's abilities by saying she's psychic; when corrected, they snap in irritation that she's "something!"
  • Running on All Fours: The fastest way of travel for Betas and Alphas.

    S-T 
  • Samus is a Girl
    • The Darach is Jennifer Blake.
    • Same with Meredith Walker, the Benefactor.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: Zig-zagged in "Motel California", the most suicide-heavy motel in California. Lydia hears the voices of the aforementioned suicide victims, implying that the place is haunted as all get out, a hypothesis supported when the werewolves (including Ethan) start acting... out of character and hallucinating. As the episode unfolds, it seems as though what is driving the four boys to attempt suicide (except Isaac, because he's a survivor, damn it) caused the previous 198. But, at the end, it's revealed that the boys' erratic behavior was caused by being dosed with wolfsbane by Coach Finstock's tampered whistle. Except the whistle tampering was done by the Darach, a Druid with legitimate power who tries to subvert Stiles's attempt to save Scott from a suicide attempt by psychically rolling the lit flare back onto the gasoline puddle. And we still have no idea if the motel was actually haunted or if Lydia can just hear the dead, given that Lydia actually stated that the number of suicides isn't actually that mathematically improbable. And they would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids.
  • Secret Relationship: Scott and Allison tried this, using Stiles as their liaison. It didn't work.
  • Self Deprecating Humour: In the third season episode "Galvanize", Barrow is talking about Village of the Damned and specifies that he means the original, not the remake, because nobody likes crappy remakes.
  • Serial Killer: The first three seasons had one whose primary motivation is revenge:
    • Season 1 had alpha werewolf, Peter Hale, first kill his niece to become an alpha and then all of the people responsible for his family's murder, notably Kate Argent.
    • Season 2 had the Kanima's master, Matt Daehler, who used the Kanima to murder the swim team who let him drown and forgot about it.
    • Season 3A had the Darach, Jennifer Blake, whose motivation for sacrificing innocent people is to gain power in order to kill the Alpha Pack, specifically Kali, for disfiguring her and leaving her for dead.
    • Season 4 reveals Eichen House Orderly Brunski to be an Angel of Death.
    • In Season 4, there is also a Wendigo family who keeps a whole bunch of corpses in a meatlocker.
  • Shipper on Deck:
In Season 1, Stiles for Scott/Allison and Allison for Lydia/Stiles, in Season 2, Jackson for Danny/Matt and Matt for Derek/Stiles, and in Season 3, Lydia for Allison/Isaac. The Sheriff seems generally very happy when girls are interested in his son.
  • Ship Tease: Lydia and Stiles.
  • Shirtless Scene: The male cast members who aren't adults or Stiles are guaranteed to get this.
    • Scott. He seems to go on without one for about one-third of the whole pilot episode, if not more. This occurs significantly less in following episodes.
    • Derek. He really spends a disproportionate amount of his time shirtless in the first season. In the second season, he specifically requested a shirtless scene because he had worked out during the break in preparation for filming as many shirtless scenes as before.
    • Jackson gets in on the action as well, especially in season two what with constant transformations into the Kanima tearing up his shirts
    • Rumor had it that Stiles would be getting in on the shirtless action in season 2, as well. It was lockerblocked by Scott in Ice Pick. So close.
    • The second season opening manages several shirtless scenes within 30 seconds.
    • Obligatory whenever Aiden and Ethan do their Fusion Dance. Oddly, they do not also have to remove their pants or shoes.
    • Danny and Isaac start getting shirtless scenes in season 3.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Averted, simply by moving a lot of the action into the school. Which, for reasons that are unclear, conveniently has lots of vacant hallways, classrooms, offices and the locker room during the middle of the school day. It is also seemingly unlocked 24 hours a day and individuals who are neither students nor faculty can come and go as they please, thus allowing for things like fights with blind Alpha werewolves in the music room in-between periods.
  • Shout-Out:
    Stiles: Why is it starting to feel like you're Batman and I'm Robin? I don't wanna be Robin all the time!
    Scott: Nobody's Batman and Robin ANY of the time.
    Stiles: Not even some of the time?"
    • Also in 2x07.
    Stiles: You wanna play Catwoman? I'll be your Batman.
    • And then, later,
    Erica: Stiles... you make a good Batman.
    • Stiles says he would make a better Yoda than Derek.
    • Scott compares himself to the Incredible Hulk.
    • So far, at least one to The Wolfman (1941) in the second episode when referring to Wolfsbane.
    Stiles: Haven't you ever seen The Wolf Man?
    Scott: ...No
    Stiles: *Sighs* You're so unprepared for this.
    • There was also a shout-out to the original Teen Wolf in Lunatic, in Scott asking for "the bottle of Jack" back, instead of a kegger.
    • Another shout-out to the original is when the Alpha says that when he was in high school they played basketball. Derek was also on the basketball team.
    • And again in the second season when the lacrosse team they're playing against is the Beavers, the name of the team from the original film.
    • Another Michael J. Fox film gets a Shout-Out when Melissa says the next town over is Hill Valley.
    • Gerard Argent quotes Macbeth:
    Gerard: Careful gentlemen, something wicked this way comes...
  • Silver Bullet:
    • Stiles thought that Derek got shot by one, which caused Derek to call Stiles an idiot. It was actually laced with a specific variety of Wolfsbane. According to Jennifer, it turns out the myth that silver kills werewolves is not a reference to the metal, but to the Argent family. Argent being the French word for silver.
    • The Argents forge a silver bullet as a symbolic initiation ritual.
    • Silver weapons, like bullets and arrowheads, are the only known way a mortal can hurt an Oni. If the silver stays inside the Oni long enough, it will destroy it.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
    • Allison has no problem being with apparent loser Scott.
    • Scott's mother seems to be seeking a good man, too. Too bad the one she found was Peter Hale.-
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Scott, Scott, Scott... Animals are going berserk all over town. Heretofore unknown werewolves are attempting to abduct his friends from the hospital where his mother works. Said friend was severely injured by said werewolves. What is Scott most worried about? His tattoo!!!
    • Derek, too, in "Motel California". The rest of the pack think he died, but he survived to drag himself to Jennifer Blake, who he then proceeds to have sex with instead of, you know, CALLING THEM TO REASSURE THEM THAT HE IS ALIVE. Distracted by the Sexy and Out-of-Character Moment, much? With the reveal of Jennifer Blake being the Darach, and the implication that the virgin sacrifices gave her some sort of seduction powers, Derek's prioritizing getting lucky can be seen as a combo-platter of Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror.
  • Smart People Know Latin: Lydia can read not only classical Latin, but also Archaic Latin.
    Lydia: I know Archaic Latin.
    Allison: You know Archaic Latin?
    Lydia: I got bored with classical Latin.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Seriously, Beacon Hills apparently has nobody keeping track of wayward teenagers, even if they are attending public school seemingly without any parents. The sheriff's department might notice if they go missing, or turn up dead, but that is about it.
  • Spotting the Thread: How Stiles can tell if he's awake or in a dream during season 3B (which are also real ways to tell). In dreams you can't read anything (the letters scramble or become unrecognizable) and people have too many fingers. The first one becomes an issue when he begins hallucinating it while awake, but Scott manages to bring him down from a panic attack by making use of the second method. These come back in the 3B finale, when Derek can't remember if he's dreaming or not and grabs Stiles' hand to check the fingers. He's dreaming.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: In the season one finale, Peter does this to Kate, rendering her pretty much helpless in seconds.
  • Straight Gay:
    • Danny, the lacrosse goalie. Apparently he's a catcher. Ethan also counts, even if Lydia called it within seconds of seeing him. That he was openly checking out Danny probably helped call that one.
    • Mason, Liam's best friend. Until he started checking out the captain of the opposing lacrosse team, there was no indication that he's gay.
  • Super Cell Reception: Zig zagged. The cell phones that almost every teen carries have never fallen into any of the usual dead battery or no service cliches. It would be completely implausible, seeing as how they are in the middle of the suburbs. Oftentimes, the phones worked into the plot without breaking it, with missed and interrupted calls taking the places of complete silence.
  • Super Senses: Being a werewolf grants one such powers.
    • Unfortunately for Derek, when he was feeling the incapacitating effects of the wolfsbane bullet, he received a painful sensory overload from the overwhelming noise and activity happening in the school. Especially from the school bell that happened to be placed right above him.
  • Survivor Guilt:
    • Derek obviously blames himself for his family's death, as Kate Argent seduced him to get to his family.
    • In his hallucination, Stiles reveals that he feels guilty for his mother's death and believes that his father blames him.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Peter explains the werewolf mind meld to Isaac
    Peter: One slip and you could paralyze someone. Or kill them.
    Isaac: You've had a lot of practice though, right?
    Peter: Well, I've never paralyzed anyone.
  • Tainted Veins: Whenever werewolves absorb pain from someone, their veins blacken. Also shows up when the nogistune absorbs pain from Scott, who has accumulated pain from other people.
  • Tap on the Head:
    • Poor Stiles. The werewolves seem to consistently forget that whacking a human on the head can cause permanent brain damage.
    • Subverted, too. Werewolves seem to have problems healing brain injuries. At least, Cora does after getting hit in the head by a 50 kg weight.
  • Teen Genius: Stiles, Lydia, Danny and possibly Matt all qualify.
  • Tempting Fate: Scott really shouldn't correct his loony coach. Especially when said coach is also the Economics teacher:
    Coach: Remember, there's no 'me' in team!
    Scott: Uh... Yes, there is.
    Coach: Fine, then there's no A in Econ unless you score a win tonight!
    • A lesson Stiles has learned well ("Call me Biles from now on!")
    • Lydia in the season three premier, when talking about how she's been attacked by animals twice in the past two days.
    Lydia: What's that thing you [Stiles] say about threes? One, two -
    Bird crashes into the window, followed by an entire flock
  • They Were Holding You Back: The Alpha's opinion of Scott's friends and family.
  • Those Two Guys: Scott and Stiles. They're best friends and would do anything for each other, including dying for each other.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Scott, Stiles and Allison.
  • Title Drop: In the sixth episode.
    Stiles: Be a man. Be a werewolf. Not a teen wolf, a werewolf.
    • Also doubles as a Stealth Pun and Bilingual Bonus.
    • This actually happens quite a few times with episode names: "Abomination", "Fury", "Currents", "The Overlooked", "Galvanize", etc.
  • Token Minority: Jackson's best friend Danny fulfills this role in Season 1, being the only semi-prominent gay character in a minor supporting role. He subverts the trope in Seasons 2 and 3, by slowly getting more of a storyline and a regular boyfriend. In Season 4, his role of Season 1 seems to be taken over by Liam's best friend Mason while Danny is MIA. They are not the only LGBT characters, but the ones making the most impact.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Allison and Lydia. They are close friends, but are in many ways total opposites. Allison is an Action Girl whereas Lydia is usually The Chick. Allison is likely to fight with a bow or knives, Lydia is more intellectual and otherwise tends to scream for help, although this makes sense in context.
  • Too Dumb to Live: By default, anyone who doesn't watch their step in this show, there being at least one serial killer throughout each season. Special mention goes to Scott and Stiles:
    • Half of Derek's conversations with them start with something like "You idiot! You could have gotten yourself (and me) killed!".
    • Hell, Scott got the bite because he and Stiles were looking for the body of a woman that had been cut in half. They were deep in the woods before it occurred to them that the killer might still be prowling around. It is. It finds Scott...
    • And Stiles uses this very reasoning to explain why Scott should listen to him.
    Stiles: How about I’m always right, and you should never disagree with me ever, ever for the sake of your wolflihood.
    • Lydia went to the lacrosse field alone at night when there had been a multitude of 'animal attacks' in town, to the point where there even was a police enforced curfew. Yet she goes to look for Jackson in a place where no one was likely to hear her scream for help. Little surprise that she gets attacked by Peter. Not learning from that experience, she also goes off alone into the darkened halls of the school, alone, at night, with violent werewolves and an evil druid running amok, because her Alpha boyfriend supposedly sent her a text message saying they needed to meet right away. Even though he was in the same room with her when she got it, and there was no reason she couldn't have tried to leave with him, or at least tell Scott, whom she was standing next to, where she was going.
    • Lampshaded by Coach Finstock when he notes the idiocy of the lacrosse bonfire: a bunch of teenagers getting drunk around an open flame.
    • Despite the fact that Derek's loft is the second most frequently besieged location in Beacon Hills (number one being the high school), it remains occupied and people feel free to hang out and relax there even with the incredibly high odds of something supernatural-related bursting in and attacking.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Several characters in season two - Scott can now beat the crap out of two betas at once without breaking a sweat; Derek goes from being a pretty badass Beta werewolf to being the badass Alpha. Allison gets trained by her hunter family and transforms from helpless little girl to badass with a bow.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: A key event in the season three finale, appropriately-named "Lunar Eclipse".
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Beacon Hills is just full of them.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sheriff Stilinski and Stiles both seem to share a particular love of curly fries.
  • Training from Hell: Allison is put through this by her father (Chris Argent) and to some degree, her aunt. Both threatened to kill her boyfriend in front of her, leading poor Allison to hysterics, and her father left her tied up and alone to struggle out and untie herself as part of her training, too. When her mother ends up dead (having killed herself because she'd been bitten and she'd rather be dead than turn into a werewolf), Allison is hysterical and asks if this is just another one of her father's sick training exercises. It's not, but the fact that she thought it might be speaks volumes about what kind of off-screen "training" she may have had to endure. And on this show, it's definitely played straight, and she's a master archer and hunter in every way now.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: When Ethan and Aiden combine, people mainly stand around with dread instead of trying to do anything to stop them. The one exception is when the darach took the opportunity to attack while they were indisposed. After that, they waited for her to be distracted so they could finish transforming without her notice.
  • Transhuman Treachery: The fullness of the moon triggers a shift in personality for werewolves, which can be overcome by experience (Derek) or a special focus (Scott). Then, there are cases like Isaac, Erica, and Boyd, who are generally more bully-like regardless of the lunar phases.
    • Although in the case of Derek's betas, they accepted their werewolf status. Interestingly, they also had a much more easier time than Scott did because of it. Isaac, Erica and Boyd could command their abilities and shifting more easily in their first week compared to Scott who couldn't really control it over the course of a month. Even after mellowing out, they never really lost their edge or aggressive streaks compared to Scott who remained the same personality-wise.
    • Took a Level in Jerkass
    • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!.
  • True Companions: Scott's pack, consisting of himself, Stiles, Allison, Lydia, and Isaac, are all very close in their friendships; if one needs help, the others will do whatever it takes to help them. The two characters that go above and beyond even this, though, are Scott and Stiles, who love one another like brothers.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Scott, Stiles and Allison. Also, Scott, Allison and Isaac.
  • Two-Teacher School: Averted. We've seen the economics teacher/lacrosse coach, chemistry teacher, English teacher, French teacher/guidance counsellor, math teacher, English teacher, music teacher, history teacher, and biology teacher. Several have appeared multiple times. And whenever one of them gets killed, they are quickly replaced.

    U-V 
  • Urban Fantasy: Werewolves, lizardmen, witchcraft, and magic all taking place in a modern-day California town.
  • The Unreveal: "Hey look! They're showing us the Alpha transforming into a human— ...Oh wait. You can't tell who it is with that shadowy silhouette."
  • Unreliable Narrator: Used by name in-universe. When Gerard Argent and Peter Hale each tell the events surrounding Deucalion’s origin story and the death of Derek’s girlfriend, they both distort facts or outright lie to make themselves look better and/or more sympathetic. The audience knows they’re lying through the use of Unreliable Voiceover and the other characters call them out on it.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Scott and his team spend the first two episodes of season 3B trying to help Malia Tate, who was trapped in her coyote form after killing her mother and sister. When she reappears six episodes later she reveals that she didn't want to be human again, because now she can remember and feel guilt about killing her family - something she couldn't as a coyote.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Chris, Victoria and Allison Argent, along with the rest of the hunters, have no idea that they are just enabling Gerard's plot to become a werewolf in order to survive terminal cancer. The ultimate however is Jackson, who does not even remember transforming into the Kanima, much less the murders that it commits at the direction of Matt.
  • The Vamp:
    • Lydia TRIES to be this. With anyone. Including Scott. And Allison's dad. While Allison is in the room. Neither of them notice. She does eventually succeed with Scott.
    • After a childhood of feeling sickly and unattractive due to her epilepsy and the meds she had to take for it, Erica wants as much attention as she can possibly get when the bite makes her healthy and beautiful. It goes to the degree of overcompensation.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: It becomes fairly clear over time that the Argents and their fellow hunters enjoy what they do and some of them are not all that interested in whether any given werewolf they kill is really a threat to anybody, or if they are a werewolf at all as opposed to simply being associated with one somehow. Their willingness to tolerate Scott is due to a complicated mix of him being a minor, not having killed anyone and being important to Allison. Even so, this is a very tenuous tolerance as shown by Gerard stabbing Scott in the gut and Victoria trying to murder him because they were still dating despite their having been ordered to break up.
  • Villain over for Dinner: Scott's mom gets asked out on a date by Peter Hale, aka the Alpha and Big Bad, much to Scott's horror.
  • The Virus: Seems to be the case with lycanthropy, but mainly to those who have been turned and never wanted to be a werewolf to begin with. Some people, like Derek and other members of the Hale family, are naturally born with it.
  • Viral Transformation: Anybody bitten by an Alpha werewolf either dies or becomes a werewolf themselves. Except for Lydia, who is somehow immune.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Alphas and any other werewolf who can shift into a true wolf form.

    W-Z 

  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: For Scott, Stiles, Allison, and Isaac. Somewhat more murky on Lydia (who has no idea of the goings-on until the end of the second season) and Jackson (who's unknowingly the creature that's a threat).
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: All of the male werewolves have their shirtless moments, but Derek really seems to be competing for the grand prize of shirtlessness.
  • Was Once a Man: Scott, Isaac, Erica, and Boyd were all humans before receiving the bite. Derek, Laura, and Cora are confirmed to have been born as werewolves. But for any other wolf, either one is possible until otherwise stated.
  • Weirdness Censor:
    • Scott and Stiles often have werewolf-related conversations in the halls of the school or in the locker room while surrounded by lots of people.
    • No one notices Scott breaking a locker off its hinges in the middle of the hallway.
    • Coach flat-out states that he does not want to know why Stiles has chains (to bind Scott during the full moon) in his locker.
    • Also, no body seems to notice that Scott leaves frantically, right after the game in the second episode, both times. Right after he injures Jackson (which they also pay no mind to, except really Lydia), and right after he wins the game for them (except Stiles and Allison).
    • Scott bashing his head into the wall, repeatedly, during school, anyone?
    • New werewolf Isaac Lahey leaves visible claw marks across the locker doors without anyone commenting on it.
    • On two occasions Ethan has allowed himself to be beaten bloody in front of his classmates. Nobody seems to notice that he is perfectly healed almost immediately afterward. Especially notable was the second time, where he was bleeding from the mouth quite a bit. Just hours later he was making out with Danny, who never so much as questioned whether his jaw hurt.
    • Averted in Season 3, however, when Agent McCall acknowledges that bizarre things happen in Beacon Hills; he just doesn't know what, exactly, they are.
    • Also Averted by Danny as he reveals by the end of season 3. It was pretty easy for him to figure out he was dating a werewolf considering everything else that happens in Beacon Hills.
  • Weirdness Magnet:
    • Beacon Hills definitely draws some interesting people to it. Part of it is due to the configuration of telluric currents around the city, as well as the presence of the Nemeton (a magical, sacred tree stump). The Nemeton is restored to full potency halfway through season 3, and according to Deaton will cause the city to literally become a beacon drawing in the supernatural.
    • Stiles often laments his tendency to be a human form of this as well.
  • Wendigo: In "Muted", a family of Wendigos briefly appear before being murdered. From what was shown, they are usually nice people as long as they're able to regularly eat human flesh. Otherwise they gain Horror Hunger, a bad attitude, and some new teeth.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Insatiable": Allison dies. This marked the first death of an official main character.
    • Followed immediately after by the season finale, "The Divine Move": Aiden dies, Danny reveals he was never really Locked Out of the Loop like everyone assumed, and Kate Argent is alive again. And no longer human.
    • In "Muted", Scott gives Liam the bite. It's the first time he's bitten another person as an Alpha, and now he not only has a beta to look after but also knows that the Calaveras will be coming after him.
  • Wham Line: In "Alpha Pact," Stiles continually talks to an FBI agent investigating the disappearance of Papa Stilinski. Stiles is very frosty towards him. At the end of the episode, Stiles says to Scott, "If I don't make it back... Your dad's in town."
    • Another one in "Echo House," when Deaton reveals that the only way to extract a nogitsune from a human is to change the host's body.
    Scott: So, turn him into a werewolf.
    • In "The Divine Move" Danny drops one, revealing he knew about the supernatural goings-on all along.
    Danny: I just don't think I can do this.
    Ethan: Date me?
    Danny: Date a werewolf.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Stiles reaching through one of the Oni's body that is haunting for the dark spirit, taking out its firefly and effectively killing the Oni in "Silverfinger", which changes the character from that point to the end of the season.
    • Lydia reveals another part of the supernatural deadpool in "I.E.D." One of the names is Jordan Parrish. As in, Deputy Parrish. And it's implied that he himself doesn't even know that he's supernatural.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: "Party Guessed" highlights our motley crew of Dysfunction Junction teenagers, after Lydia's wolfsbane-laced punch at her birthday party causes hallucinations. Jackson fears losing his identity due to his severe parental issues; Allison, in a subtle Foreshadowing, fears becoming a cold-blooded killer; Stiles fears his father blaming him for his mother's death. And Scott worries that Allison will run off with Jackson.
    • Losing Allison is actually a justified fear for Scott, as Allison is his anchor and the thing that helps him control his wolf side. Losing her could mean losing control and hurting someone, and considering that Scott appears to generally be a pacifist and sweetheart, it makes sense that losing Allison and potentially losing control would be his biggest fear.
    • Also, Scott doesn't just hallucinate losing Allison to Jackson. His hallucination has Jackson in Kanima form. And given that the Kanima kills people, it's not just about her leaving him, but possibly her dying. His priorities are definitely not skewed when put in the proper context.
    • Motel California counts for this as well. Boyd, Isaac, Scott, and Ethan all have hallucinations about the things from their past (and present) they fear. For Boyd, it's his sister's death; for Isaac, it's his abusive father; Scott is afraid of his mom dying; Ethan has a particularly graphic moment where he hallucinates his brother Aiden's face moving under his skin.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Isaac lays this speech on Derek during "Alpha Pact" for sleeping with the killer rather than helping Scott and Stiles find the Darach, still doing nothing to help even though Jennifer has captured Melissa and the Sheriff and is waiting to kill them along with a some I Hate You, Werewolf Dad for turning him, Erica and Boyd, leading to their deaths out of loneliness and a desire for power.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Stile's answer to Peter Hale's proposition in the season one finale. Of course, the latter said he could tell he was lying, so there's definitely more to this.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: Scott and Stiles wander into one in "Frenemy" while following the Kanima.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Beacon Hills is located somewhere in California, but pinpointing the exact location is complicated by mutually exclusive clues:
    • The local flora and geography would put it somewhere north of Sacramento and with its 95921 zip code, Beacon Hills would occupy the same location as Inskip, California.
    • But its 925 area code would place it in either Alameda or Contra Costa Counties near San Francisco, 200 miles away.
    • In the episode "I. E. D." the sheriff says the town has a population of 30,000 people and is located in the equally fictitious Beacon County, which itself has a population of over 500,000 people. These numbers don’t match any real world demographics in California.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Zigzagged with Isaac and Erica. They don't seem to channel their anger at those who tormented them once they turn to werewolves. Then they reveal they do have grievance they want to rectify, but only act on them opportunistically.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Some believe that Stiles and Lydia's relationship is completely platonic, while others think quite the opposite. The cast and showrunners seem to be somewhere in the middle, resulting in this.
    Holland Roden: Stiles and Lydia, it would be nice to have closure on that. Are they friends, are they more than friends? I’m a fan of ‘Friends,’ and I loved the Ross and Rachel connection and how they ended that.
  • Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: There's an unnamed killer in "Muted" who looks completely human except for lacking a mouth. Since he has to feed himself through a test tube, it's probably not natural.
  • Wolf Man: Of course, a wolf teenager. Betas develop claws on their hands and feet, grow sideburns, and have lupine and savage facial features. Alpha wolves have the ability to become full wolves, though it isn't used as much because it's harder for them to stay in control (and because of CGI restrictions).
  • Worst Aid:
    • The treatment of Erica's seizures is downright unrealistic. During her first one in "Ice Picked", Allison instructs Scott to put her on her side while she's seizing. In reality, she would flail violently enough to smack him away if he tried that. You're meant to wait out the seizure and put them on their side afterwards in case they vomit. In "Restraint", Scott goes ahead and picks her up even though, again, that would be nearly impossible with a real seizure victim. Of course, she was conscious and talking, so maybe Kanima poison-induced seizures are different.
    • Lydia is smart so she should know that you don't kiss someone who is having a panic attack.
  • The Worf Effect: The quickest way to show that a bad guy/antagonist means trouble is to have them beat up or harass Derek. Poor guy...
    • Derek spent the whole first season being outclassed by the alpha and harassed by hunters that he couldn't harm for fear they would declare all out war on him. Even after he became alpha, the kanima easily disabled him. He can barely control his own pack. He once got taken out by Lydia. He was never pitched as the best or most trained, it's just the newly bitten wolves and most humans that can't match him. Worf could totally take Derek.
      • In his defense he seems to be getting better in fighting, actually being on defense against the Kanima, going on against Ennis, going against Kali for half an episode, he does seems a little suicidal some moments, so maybe that's something to think about?
  • Wound That Will Not Heal:
    • Derek's accidental clawing of the back of Jackson's neck.
    • Scott's wound from one of the alphas in "Frayed", to the point where Allison actually has to perform emergency surgery on him because his Healing Factor won't kick in.
      • This was largely considered psychosomatic, was it not?
    • Deucalion's eyes after Gerard stabs them out.
    • The head wound inflicted on Cora by Aiden using a 45lb weight. For some reason Healing Factor alone does not repair the injury, forcing Derek to sacrifice his Alpha power to heal her.
      • Thought it may had something to do with her being poisoned with mistletoe, and Jennifer using that as a bargaining chip to get Derek on her side.
    • Even after gaining powerful healing abilities by sacrificing three doctors, Jennifer cannot truly heal the grievous disfiguring wounds inflicted on her by Kali, and relies on Glamour to conceal her true form and appear beautiful.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: To a fairly egregious level. The timeline in the first two seasons was fairly easy and straightforward to follow, but the third and fourth seasons have contradicted ages, birthdates, past events, and school years on numerous occasions, leading to quite a bit of viewer confusion over canon continuity.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Quite a few instances, several of them very different. Stiles seems to think he's in a buddy superhero show, Scott thinks the universe is simplistic with a clear villain (Derek) to defeat. We quickly learn that it's a lot more complicated. Lydia seems to think she's the main character of a chick-flick - and doesn't realize she'd be the bad guy in that situation. Stiles does, however, show shades of being Genre Savvy in regards to werewolves, recognizing wolfsbane and signs of lycanthropy.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Kate offers to team up with Derek in exchange for giving her the identity of the Alpha. When she finds out that he doesn't know anything, she more or less declares this and tries to off him.
    • Ennis fails to kill Derek or any of his betas, leading Deucalion to perform this on him.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The Driving Question of season 2 was "Who is the Kanima?" midseason, it was revealed to be Jackson's Superpowered Evil Side, and the question became "Who is the Kanima's master?"