Web Video / Carmilla the Series

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Love will have its sacrifices. Oh boy, will it ever have its sacrifices.

Carmilla is a web series adaptation of the book of the same name set in the modern day. It concluded in the fall of 2016, with three good-sized seasons and a large amount of extra material. A movie, set five years after the Grand Finale, is currently in the works, and can be pre-ordered here.

19-year-old Laura Hollis has left her hometown for the first time to attend Silas University, which boasts its own Gnostic Mathematics department, many clubs for the students to enjoy, like the Alchemy Club, and an extensive library where the books will search for you. But then things get weird when Laura's roommate disappears without a trace one night, which no-one seems to notice or care about. Laura decides to investigate herself, and with help from her dorm managers Perry and LaFontaine, and Danny the friendly TA, uncovers a similar string of disappearances and a seedy underbelly of danger lurking underneath Silas.

Meanwhile, her new roommate Carmilla keeps stealing her chocolate! Oh, and she might be a vampire targeting Laura as her next victim.

The series progressively casts the net of danger wider and wider, bringing in bigger baddies and tougher dilemmas, but it never quite leaves behind its love of quirky comedy and lesbian drama. The tone echoes postmodern Urban Fantasy like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The whole series is available to watch on YouTube. There's an official web novella, Silas Confidential, about Laura's dorm neighbor Mary Ringwold.

Now has its own Character sheet.

SPOILERS FROM SEASON ZERO AND SEASON THREE WILL BE WHITED OUT.


This web series provides examples of:

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     A-G 
  • Alternate Universe:
    • The original book takes place in the Victorian era. Sheridan Le Fanu's original story says that Laura is dead in the book's prologue, and at the end of the novella Carmilla dies. In this version, the story is set in the modern day, Carmilla and Laura are roommates, and Carmilla's Back Story is changed. The show leaves just enough wiggle room to imply (via "L") that the events of the novella still more or less happened, sans Carmilla's demise.
    • One appears briefly within the series. Laura visits it briefly near the end of season three. She is sent there by JP/The Library in order to get the fourth talisman but ultimately fails. The sheer darkness of the AU, in which "everyone had given up", convinces her that they have to try and stop the Dean, no matter what.
  • Abusive Parent: The Dean, to Carmilla.
  • Academy of Adventure: Silas is the sort of university The Addams Family or families from Welcome to Night Vale would have sent their kids to. The library has attacked Laura and LaFontaine with books and cards. The campus itself has a number of strange goings as well, such as giant mushrooms with zombie-creating spores by the alchemy club, eyeballs served during lunch, emergency procedures for escaping taco demons, and Mortal Combat is a pre-requisite for tenure. The main cast seem particularly aware of just how wrong these events are, although most of the staff and student body aren't until the Dean dies and the Light is extinguished anyways.
    • In Season 0, Carmilla points out that Silas being an Evil University is on page 3 of the student handbook. Which is a Doorstopper at 700 pages long. And Laura never read it, using it to prop the door open, instead.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Due to The Reveal being well-known the story takes on a new story of Laura and friends attempting to take down a Vampire Cult that includes Carmilla.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Carmilla herself. From Faux Affably Evil Psycho Lesbian Femme Fatale to Jerk with a Heart of Gold Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire.
  • Agent Scully: Perry, to the point that she dismisses the idea of Carmilla being a vampire by claiming she's "a light-averse octogenarian with a severe hemoglobin deficiency and really good skin". The others don't bother gracing this with a response. Character Development has her moving past this and learning to accept the weird.
  • Agent Mulder: LaFontaine, furthering their status as Perry's opposite: not only do they completely throw themselves into the weird right along with Laura, but according to Laura's recounting of their adventure with the faculty club, LaFontaine apparently genuinely believes in the Illuminati, to the point of fighting with a professor over it.
    LaFontaine: It was a chance to raise awareness!
  • All There in the Script: The dean is not named in the first two seasons. The Silas University twitter gives her name as Lilita Morgan, though it could be a pseudonym. It is. She's actually the goddess Inanna, of Sumerian mythology.
  • All There in the Manual: Carmilla, Laura, Perry, and Lafontaine's attempt to escape from Silas in between seasons 1 and 2. Only vaguely alluded to at the very beginning of season 2, but the entire adventure is written up on the twitter accounts the cast cooked up for the characters. The story involved angry villagers, barn fires, Kobolds, riddles, the whole nine yards.
  • Alluring Anglerfish: The true form of Lophiiformes — the light is just a lure.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Laura and friends.
  • AM/FM Characterization: One of the first things Carmilla does when she is introduced is turn on rock music. Considering that she never plays music again (on screen - Laura complains on twitter), this was likely to quickly characterize her as someone who is rebellious, has a bit of an attitude problem and isn't going to be the most considerate roommate.
  • Analogy Backfire: Kirsch has a tendency to reference things that he doesn't realize have tragic endings.
    Danny: Do you even know how Romeo and Juliet ends?
    Kirsch: Yeah, there's kissing!
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Dean leads a cabal of vampires who sacrifice five people every 20 years to appease an entity know as the Hungry Light.
  • And I Must Scream: It's believed, although not confirmed, that the sacrifices to the Light are still conscious within it. Also, Carmilla is punished by her mother by being sealed underground in a coffin of blood for decades, only escaping by accident when the coffin is blown up by landmines during World War II.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The apparent ending to the series, at least, shown in the Time Skip stinger to "Post-Apocalypse".
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The season 2 finale strongly implies the Dean has resurrected Danny as a vampire. Season 3 more than confirms it.
  • Ascended Meme: "Useless lesbian vampire" (which itself has its origins in a Tumblr post) is used in the official merch as well as the series closed captioning. Also, "tiny gay Laura".
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Laura gets very stressed out when she realizes that a cult is trying to kidnap her, her only protection is her vampire roommate (who just bit her) and she has a midterm in five hours.
    • Also, there's this one:
    Carmilla: Well, why does anyone start a cult? Wealth, power, eternal youth... to get back at people you knew in high school...
  • Ask a Stupid Question...:
    Laura: How do two more girls end up kidnapped and murdered when we have you tied up here?
    Carmilla: Because I didn't do it, you dimwits.
  • Asshole Victim: A mild example in both aspects, but the first time Carmilla demonstrates her Super Strength is when she offhandedly pounds Kirsch senseless after he won't leave Laura alone.
  • The Atoner: Carmilla, openly showing regret for the things she did in the cult, especially what happened with Ell, and helping Laura and company with their investigation by providing them with information and backup. In Episode 28 she refers to herself as a "former" minion of the Dean, showing that she's fully switched sides and is helping Laura.
  • Bad Dreams: Seems to afflict all the girls before they're abducted. Then Laura starts getting them...
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Word of God confirms this as the beginning point of Laura and Carm's relationship. The little kindnesses Laura extended to her in season one, like saying even she deserved better than hopelessness, or offering the trash can to throw her kleenex in because she was crying after the Dean chewed her out-apparently that was the first time anyone had been pointlessly nice to Carmilla in quite a while.
  • Betty and Veronica: Laura (Archie) with Danny (Betty) and Carmilla (Veronica). In season three, the roles are reversed, with Carmilla having become much more noble via Character Development, and Danny now Drunk on the Dark Side.
  • Big Bad: The Dean
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Baron Vordenburg. Despite his ambitions, he is just another piece in The Dean's game.
  • Big Damn Kiss:
    • In Season 1 Episode 36, between Laura and Carmilla, FOUR TIMES lasting nearly TWENTY SECONDS. Season 2 starts with one as well, although its slightly more than a simple kiss..
    • In Season 2, Episode 36, there's another one between Kirsch and Danny... but even if you ship them, it's not a good thing.
  • Bilingual Bonus: That the Baron might not be who he presents himself as is telegraphed by the fact that his title translates into English as "The Liar of Vordenberg."
  • Black and Gray Morality: Starting with season 2. Yes, Laura's Innocently Insensitive, incredibly naive, and willing to kill for the one she loves, Danny's self-righteous and tends to jump to conclusions, Carmilla is a snarky, apathetic, semi-murderous vampire, and LaFontaine willingly played God with J.P.'s mind and Will's body, but when you compare them to the Baron, a narcissist who wants to kill all vampires, Theo, a traitor who killed Danny for his own gain, and the Dean, who possessed Perry, turned Danny into a vampire slave, and wants to bring on The End of the World as We Know It, they're all practically saints. Even Mel and Mattie, both of whom are quite openly murderous, don't seem so bad compared to those three.
  • Black Comedy Burst:
    • Laura interrupts Carmilla's Dark and Troubled Past so she can tell it with a puppet show. Carmilla is not amused.
    • The Christmas Special is full of this.
    • An episode after Perry finds a bunch of students brutally murdered, Carmilla makes a joke about it. Too Soon! invoked
  • Break the Cutie: Laura and Perry at season 2. They had your peace and happiness over, for a series of murders, vampire coming back from the dead and break up.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In the Christmas Special, Carmilla (in one of her sweeter moments) suggests to a depressed Laura that they stick candles in outdated East-German snack-cakes and celebrate Christmas their own way. Though the brick doesn't land in the episode itself, it does happen to land on twitter.
    • A twitter only Brick Joke falls on LaFontaine's twitter. Early on they wonder if hot cocoa would taste better made over real fire. Come the mountain hiking and, well...they lost their hair. Considering the access to a real fire perhaps LaFontaine took advantage of that and the hot cocoa that Perry packed...
  • Brutal Honesty: One of LaFontaine's specialties. They refer to themselves as the dorm floor's "unofficial truth speaker".
  • Byronic Heroine: Carmilla
  • Cast Full of Gay: The three main characters are initially all part of the same Love Triangle, and two supporting characters are filled with subtext.
  • The Cavalry: Episode 35 describes how Carmilla, Danny and the Summer Society, and the Zetas rescued Laura, Perry and the other captives from the coven.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Laura's dad, Sherman Hollis, is played by Enrico Colantoni - who also played Keith Mars, Veronica's father in Veronica Mars, frequently referenced in Carmilla.
  • Character Blog: Be warned, as these start from the most recent posts, they will give out spoilers if you haven't seen the entire series. While there are many fan-run blogs, the official ones are as follows:
  • Laura has a Twitter and a Tumblr
  • Carmilla has a Twitter and a Tumblr
  • LaFontaine has a Twitter.
  • Silas University has a Twitter.
  • The Voice of Silas, the University's newspaper (completely biased despite claims otherwise), has a Tumblr
  • The Chessmaster: Carmilla describes to Laura how brilliant her mother was at chess, always letting her opponent feel like they were winning up until the last move. This leads to them realizing that The Dean has gotten everything she wanted and might not actually be dead.
  • Chick Magnet: Laura gets the attention of Danny, Kirsch, and Carmilla in less than two weeks at Silas.
  • Childhood Friends: Perry and LaFontaine.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Kirsch is terrible at taking no for an answer and keeps referring to women as "hotties" instead of their name, but he really does want to protect the other students and leaps at the opportunity to take down the main suspect in the disappearances.
  • Christmas Episode: Taking place after season 1.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Laura has this bad; it's one of the reasons Carmilla and Danny both start being attracted to her.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Since Silas has both the mad scientists of the Alchemy Club and genuine supernatural occurrences, it's not always easy to distinguish "science" from magic.
  • Cliffhanger: Many episodes end with this.
    • The biggest is at the end of season 1 (which was originally a Bolivian Army Ending as it was unknown whether there'd be a season 2); turns out that the abomination under Silas University wasn't slain, and it seems to be waking up after eating Carmilla's mother. The episode ends with the alarm for a town meeting sounding, and everyone looking to the camera worriedly.
    • The ending of season 2 topped it, however. Perry's not Perry — she's being possessed by the Dean. Danny is resurrect and turned into a vampire. Mattie is brought back to life. And the Dean is putting her plans into action...
  • Coconut Superpowers: Carmilla's Super Strength is depicted by the reactions of other characters (Kirsch brought to his knees after a light hit, Laura unable to move a bag Carmilla lifted effortlessly, etc.), and Super Speed is done with the same "sped-up footage of a character walking" that shows like True Blood use. There's also a neat little teleportation that Carmilla does once, but because the lights are out all the audience sees is a puff of black smoke. It's all rather nicely done, considering the near-nonexistent budget.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Carmilla gets one of these. Laura sarcastically quips that Carmilla really is a philosophy major.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: In the Christmas special, LaFontaine does this to Laura while Carmilla is tearing up the baker.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In the Christmas special, Carmilla vs cannibalistic baker witch. Once she actually gets up and starts fighting, her opponent doesn't stand a chance. Carmilla also had one of these victories in Season 1 when Danny comes running into the room with a stake and challenges her.
  • Defecting for Love: Carmilla. She falls in love with Laura, which leads her to go against her mother and help Laura save the girls.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Mattie. Carmilla is heavily implied to have once been this. In season three, the Dean calls her "my high priestess".
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Carmilla has a hell of one. Getting murdered at eighteen and turned into an undead bloodsucker was just the start.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 1 isn't exactly full of fluffy bunnies, but the majority is comedy and the good people get out of the mess mostly unharmed. Season 2 by contrast has a massive body count, including several main characters, comedy levels drop through the floor after about the halfway point, and the lines of good and evil are continually blurred. Season 3 takes it even farther. The Dean isn't a vampire, she's a goddess, and she's not going to destroy Carmilla, or the gang, or the school. She's going to open the gates of hell. From 0 to 100 real quick.
  • Deadpan Snarker: LaFontaine
  • Demonic Possession: Episode 31 ends with the Dean using an apparently evil necklace to possess Laura. Oh, and she's been doing it to Perry for all of season 2.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Laura is hurtling straight toward it throughout Season 2.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: In "Something Wicked This Way Comes", Laura and Carmilla run off to "drink champagne and stargaze". Both seem to be in extra good spirits and rather disheveled the next morning. Word of God confirms that they did!
  • Disney Death: Carmilla gets one that lasts for a whole episode.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Dean is finished by being knocked into a pit...before Laura rolls a massive boulder down onto her in turn. Lampshaded by Laura in the Season 2 finale. Turns out that was a Disney Death too. Oops.
  • The Ditz: Kirsch
  • Domino Revelation: Silas starts as an ordinary university. However, after Carmilla is revealed to be a vampire, everything starts to get exponentially weirder. By Season 2, gamma-irradiated geckos barely register.
  • Double Entendre:
    Laura: If you weren't trying to eat me...what were you...? ...Oh...Oh!
    • Made even better in the extra-material role reversal, with Natasha as Laura, Elise as Carmilla, and the Affectionate Parody levels set to maximum.
    Nat!Laura: Danny told me that Carmilla wants to eat me, and I was like, "Yeah! She's a vampire! Obviously she wants to eat me!" But Danny was like, "No. She wants to eat you." And I was like, "Yeah, Danny, I know she wants to eat me." I just don't understand it!
  • Double Speak: Mattie is the master of this.
    Laura: Attempted to steal several human faces.
    Mattie: Acted out anxieties related to his appearance.
    Laura: Tried to open a time portal.
    Mattie: Flirted with an alternative approach to chronology.
    Laura: Rose from their graves to haunt the living.
    Mattie: Enjoyed a pleasant day out while making new friends.
  • The Dreaded: The Dean is feared by the entire dorm; when Laura suggests talking to her about Carmilla, both Perry and LaFontaine strongly disagree. And this is before it's revealed that she's behind the kidnappings.
  • Eldritch Abomination:The Light, an ancient evil that lurks beneath Silas and demands five Human Sacrifices every twenty years. According to Laura's twitter the Light is just bait for the real abomination, like a "Giant Sumerian Anglerfish Horror".
  • Eldritch Location: Parts of the Silas library only exist after dark. It also somehow transformed JP into a digital intelligence quite a while before the technology was even invented.
  • Enemy Mine: The Summer Society and the Zetas are at each others' throats throughout the series, both in the background, and in the foreground with Danny and Kirsch respectively. Cue them banding together to save the students who are about to be sacrificed.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Laura and LaFontaine discover photos showing Carmilla attends Silas University every twenty years, a pattern going back almost a century.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mattie seems to genuinely care about Carmilla. The Dean also seems to have a soft spot for Carmilla, despite her cruel and twisted ideas of discipline.
  • Evil Matriarch: The Dean,even before she's revealed to be Carmilla's evil vampire mother.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: After The Dean's death control of Silas is up in the air, barely restrained from developing into outright warfare. The Zetas, Summer Society, and Alchemy Club aren't evil, but the Board of Governors almost certainly are.
  • Facial Dialogue: Early in Season 1, Carmilla is mostly just hanging around in the background, while other characters talk. However, her facial expressions as she reacts to those conversations are priceless.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Nobody gets suspicious about how out of character Perry is acting for most of Season 2. Justified as they have a lot more on their minds, between trying to wrangle the University back into shape, dealing with suspicious vampires and board members, and then a crazy guy who is a glory seeker who hates all "monsters". Oh, and Laura also deals with a bad break up with Carmilla that gets worse after Mattie is killed.
  • Femme Fatale: Carmilla at the start of Season 1.
  • Fantastic Racism: This is initially played for laughs, with Lafontaine thinking Laura doesn't want to be speciesist about living with a vampire and Mattie claiming to want to balance the Silas News Network's pro-human bias. However, it becomes a little more serious once Baron Vordenburg starts imprisoning all non-human students and faculty.
  • First Law of Resurrection: Most of the deaths on the show are not permanent.
  • First-Name Basis: Carmilla calls Laura by name for the first time when waking her from a nightmare, having only used nicknames up until then.
  • Five-Man Band: Though they rarely work together as a full group, Laura's allies break down to:
  • Foil: Danny is a foil for Carmilla. She embodies everything that Laura thinks she wants Carmilla to be. She is brave, loyal and fights for all the right reasons. However, she is still unable to win Laura's affections away from Carmilla, revealing a lot about Laura and Carmilla's relationship.
  • Funny Background Event: Notice near the end of Episode 14, when Laura says "...like no one's heard of an anagram...!" All of her friends shift uncomfortably. Danny looks at the ground, Perry averts her eyes to the wall across from her and LaFontaine glances to Laura uncomfortably. Did they not know?
  • Fun with Acronyms: Baron Vordenberg's initials spell out "CHAV".
  • Gambit Roulette: Nearly everything that happens in Season 2 falls right into the plans of The Dean.
  • Gagging on Your Words: Mel does this when she has to ask Danny for help.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Danny and Perry. Though Perry just goes by Last Name Basis — her first name is the very feminine Lola.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: LaFontaine is a non-binary character for whom them/they/their pronouns are used.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Considering the show's budget, we don't get more than a hint of blood, but we hear quite a bit of Carmilla as she literally tears into the cannibal in the Christmas Special, complete with screams, roars, and wet crunches. Notably, LaFontaine has to provide Laura some eye cover; Perry, LaFontaine, and the entire mob outside the cafe they're stuck in, do not have this luxury.
    • We also don't see much of Danny biting Kirsch in the season two finale, or Dean Morgan digging out La F's eye in season three. We do get a nice look at the bloodied makeshift bandages afterward, though.
  • The Ghost: Laura's dad, and the Dean to an extent, depending on whether possessing someone counts as an appearance.
  • Greying Morality: Season 1 has the completely good Ragtag Bunch of Misfits against the completely evil vampire coven, with one of the seemingly evil vampires being Good All Along. Meanwhile the apparent villain of Season 2 is not as evil as everyone assumes, the apparent helpful character is a Well-Intentioned Extremist, and the main characters make a lot of things worse and keep performing morally questionable actions just to stay ahead. The Dean however manages to get even more evil.
  • Group Hug: Perry, JP and LaFontaine have a very sweet group hug, until they all realize how uncomfortable they are showing each other that level of physical affection.

     H-M 
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Right before they disappear, the victims become this.
  • Harmful to Touch: When Carmilla tries grab the possession necklace, she recoils in pain. And again with the Blade of Hastur in s3. Apparently having almost killed an angry anglerfish god with that thing made it....rather powerful.
  • Haunted Technology: Right from the start of the series, Laura mentions that the library's computer systems have been acting strange, and it's Betty's disappearance that distracts her from investigating. When she and LaFontaine go to try and find some information, there's already a list of books they need to check out on the computer screens, as well as some very pertinent warnings. It turns out the systems were literally haunted by the spirit of a boy named JP, who had managed to escape Carmilla's mother before the start of the series. How he did this before computers were even implemented (or invented for that matter) was acknowledged, but was simply summed as being a long story.
  • Head Desk: Laura does this several times.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Carmilla spends a few episodes wearing leather pants and a corset that are almost skintight. Laura approves.
  • Hell Gate: There seems to be a series of these on the Silas campus. To make matters worse, the Dean seems to want them open.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Laura's crush on Danny.
  • Heroic Fatigue: Perry suffers this a lot in Season 1, ending up with a case of Heroic B.S.O.D.. Even perky Laura begins to wear a little thin by the end. Season 2 pushes them far further into this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: How Carmilla defeats the Light. It's only temporary, though.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • Perry suffers one when LaFontaine is taken in Season 1.
    • Season 2 has Laura suffer one, going almost fully catatonic after watching Danny die and then killing Vordenburg.
    • Season 3 pushes Laura's Up to Eleven, with the first few episodes having her stress clean and ignore danger in a decidedly Perry-esque fashion.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Perry and LaFontaine.
  • Hidden Depths: In the "Underwarriors" U by Kotex video, Kirsch shows knowledge of the history of menstrual pads.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: While Carmilla was tied up in Laura's room, LaFontaine took over her Twitter and Tumblr, pretending to be her. Hilarity Ensued.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Danny towers over Laura. In the former's introductory episode they aren't even in the same frame until they both sit down. Though to be honest everyone is taller than Tiny Gay Laura.
  • Humanity Ensues: The Dean's backstory, and Carmilla's ultimate fate.
  • Human Sacrifice: Five girls (or people — they just use girls because "it's traditional") every twenty years.
  • Hypocrisy Nod:
    Laura: I mean...What does she expect us to do, just follow her into terrifying danger? Because you shouldn't put people in a position like that.

    La Fontaine: You don't say.

  • I Will Find You: Laura spends the entire first Season trying to find and save her roommate Betty.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Kirsch and Will are initially the only men seen on screen, with season 2 adding a few tertiary characters and giving JP an actual voice. And then his own body in the form of the reanimated corpse of Will.
  • Improvised Weapon: The way they tell it, Laura and LaFontaine tried to ward off a swarm of attacking books and index cards by creating an impromptu flamethrower from a lighter and a can of mace. But that just means that instead of being trapped in a vortex of paper, they were trapped in a flaming vortex of paper.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Despite Laura's visible camera set up and reputation for recording everything, she picks up on a lot of conversations that were clearly intended to be private.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Carmilla thinks she is not good enough for Laura, in season 2.
  • In-Series Nickname: After the events of season 2, episode 31, LaF refers to Laura as "Tinius Mopius Lesbianus" on Twitter.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Laura
  • I Was Just Joking: It's doubtful Perry wanted them to actually starve Carmilla until she gives them information.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Carmilla denies protecting Laura from the mushroom spores, claiming that she was just saving herself. Danny also invokes this when she claims saving Kirsch's life was completely unintentional.
  • Last Name Basis: Perry and LaFontaine's first names are Lola and Susan, respectively, but nobody calls them that except (occasionally) each other. Justified in LaFontaine's case in that, being non-binary, they probably prefer a less gendered moniker.
  • In the Back: Theo stabs Danny in the back. Needless to mention, nobody, not even his boss, liked him after that.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mattie points out in Season 2 that though the Dean was sacrificing students, it was only five every twenty years in order to prevent an Eldritch Abomination from emerging, with far more people dying from far more mundane means a year, such as dogs or herself (which should raise some red flags). The cutbacks at the university are also justified by her requiring funds, and without a supply from donations and such she will just have to sell what she can to make ends meet, as much as the students and the library disagree.
  • Kick the Dog: Just in case literally stabbing Danny in the back wasn't enough to make everyone hate Theo, he also throws a quick insult at Kirsh, who is often compared to a puppy by fans, before leaving the room. Actually, he did this a lot to Kirsch even before this, frequently mocking his crush on Danny.
  • Large Ham: Mattie, in spades.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Laura and LaFontaine's second trip to the library.
  • Like Reality Unless Noted: Real-world media is frequently referenced and Silas is just like an ordinary college campus. Well, except for the vampires, the Eldritch Abomination and the eyeballs served in the cafeteria.
  • Love Hurts: In season 2.
  • Love Redeems: Loving Laura redeems Carmilla, who had helped the Dean kidnap girls.
    • This is deconstructed in Season 2, and part of the reason why Laura and Carmilla break up. Carmilla does not approve of the idea that she "needs" to be changed by Laura, nor that Laura refuses to acknowledge that being a vampire does require one to do monstrous deeds from time to time. This sticks with Laura and she stops herself and Carmilla from re-igniting their relationship because Laura hasn't gotten past that idea yet.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Inevitable, being based on the Trope Maker, although one doesn't require the other. Much to Laura's surprise Carmilla really is interested in her, not as a meal. Danny becomes one as well, as of the season 2 finale. However, she definitely liked girls pre-vamping.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Laura and Carmilla.
  • Light Is Not Good: The light that Laura sees in her nightmare. "The Light" is actually a lure of the Anglerfish, AKA, Lophiiformes, an ancient Eldritch Abomination.
  • The Lost Lenore: Ell for Carmilla.
  • Masquerade: The Austrian police, at least officially, deny Silas University's existence. It is strongly implied the University is not under the Austrian government's jurisdiction.
  • Magical Library: The library at Silas University not only has huge tomes of ancient Sumerian lore but also appears to be sentient.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Laura (mayfly) and Carmilla (December). Carmilla's sister, Mattie, even calls Laura a mayfly when expressing her disapproval of their relationship.
  • Meaningful Echo: Carmilla tells Laura not to start expecting "heroic vampire crap" from her. She echoes this back in the season finale before sacrificing herself (sort of), by saying, "I'm really starting to hate this heroic vampire crap".
  • Mesopotamian Mythology: References to Mesopotamian mythology (specifically, Sumerian) abound. The book of convenient exposition in Season 1 is referred to by the characters as the "Giant Sumerian Tome of Do-Not-Want." It's very sneaky foreshadowing for a major revelation in s3. Lilita Morgan isn't a vampire. She isn't a demon at all. She's Inanna.
  • Minimalist Cast: Only ten or so people have been seen on screen, and not all of them are main characters.
  • Misery Builds Character: Season 2 was a very much a character building arc, especially for Laura. Of course, the writers put the character through hell and back in order to have them learn the life lessons they needed.
  • Moment of Weakness: Laura has one of these when she decides to save Carmilla, even though it means losing the entire school to the Corvae Corporation.
  • Monster Roommate: Carmilla
  • Mood Whiplash: An episode can go from silly to deadly serious - or vice versa - with alarming speed.
    • Episode 17 instantly goes from the triumph of capturing Carmilla to the tragedy of Sarah Jane's death, and Episode 27 goes from Laura dorkily flirting with Carmilla to the revelation thatLaFontaine has been taken.
    • Season two starts off with an episode that almost solely consists of Carmilla and Laura flirting adorably. Cue the last few seconds, where Perry walks into the room drenched in blood.
  • Morality Pet: Laura becomes this for Carmilla
    • Kirsch becomes this for vamp!Danny.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: A mild, comedic example, where Danny instantly starts looking up ways to kill vampires after hearing that Carmilla has been making "seduction eyes" at Laura. Followed by a much more serious attempt in Episode 24.

     N-S 
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Laura, for effectively acting as Baron Vordenberg's campaign manager and allowing him to replace Mattie as Chair of the Silas Board. In which capacity he seizes total administrative power over the school—and puts out a death warrant for all vampires (confirmed or suspected).
    • And, on a much larger scale, when it turns out that everything Laura did in season 2 played directly into the Dean's hands, allowing the events of season 3 to happen. Possibly a subversion, though; it turns out that the universe in which nothing in season 2 happened was in even worse shape.
  • Nominal Hero: Laura tries to portray Carmilla as the heroic vampire who saved the school. However, Carmilla mostly just wants to keep Laura safe and happy and rarely shows signs of caring about anyone else.
  • No Name Given: Laura's dad.
    • Averted in the third season.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently, Laura's father once got her to wear a hazmat suit for some safety related reason. Equally apparently, it was not a fun experience for her. No other information on the subject is ever given.
  • Noodle Implements: Sometime between the Christmas Special and Season 2, Perry found a way to make waffles. While on the run in an abandoned barn. Oddly enough, it's somehow Laura who notes this oddness on her twitter feed. This also applies to most of what the Alchemy Club does.
    Danny: They're the ones using dander collected at parties to seed an immense interconnected fungus throughout campus...
    Laura: I'm sorry, what now?
    Danny: Apparently it's a communications experiment. Or maybe a very complicated risotto recipe.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted with a vengeance. Season Zero has a plot point about all the girls on campus suddenly not getting their periods anymore, with Mel and Perry specifically commenting on weird and creepy it is. At the end of the season, the periods come back... all at once. The cramps are brutal. In Season Three's bonus episodes of Mel's podcasts, we find out that the aversion of this trope has turned into a bit of a problem in the Pit.
    Mel: I can't believe [Elsie's] doing it in exchange for measly Capri Suns and tampons... which our male oppressors didn't even think of! An entire pit, full of period-having folks, and they're shocked we synced up?! And on that note, please bring tampons when you come to rescue us, because there's only so much you can do with a... thong liner.
  • Not So Different: Vordenburg claims that he and Laura are the same, because they both reject the reality of a harsh world and instead try to live by romanticized ideals.
  • Oblivious to Love: Played with. Laura does notice that Carmilla is apparently hitting on her, but figures that Carmilla is likely just disguising her intent to kidnap her. It's only after Carmilla has been captured that Laura realizes that Carmilla really was flirting with her.
  • Odd Couple: Laura and Carmilla as roommates. Perry and LaFontaine definitely qualify as well.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Since there's only one set, a lot of plot and awesome moments happen off-screen, such as Laura and LaFontaine's crazy adventure at the Dean's party followed by being attacked at the library. The biggest example of this is when Danny and the Zetas take down Carmilla offscreen... despite that, unlike the other awesome moments, it actually happened in the bedroom. The script reading at the CITF reveals that the camera got knocked down thus couldn't record anything.
    • This ends up mostly averted come season 2 as an improvement in budget and set allows them to do some of the more dramatic events on screen, including the finale.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The look on Laura's face when she realizes that Will is also a vampire, meaning that she's now trapped in her bedroom with two people much stronger than her who she knows are literally blood-sucking killers.
    • She has a verbal one in the Christmas Special when she realizes that the group is in the lair of a cannibalistic, serial-killing witch.
    • And again when she realizes putting the Baron in charge was a bad idea.
    • The ending of season 1 is one for Carmilla, Laura, and LaFontaine, realizing they didn't kill the Anglerfish after all.
    • And the ending of season 2 is one for both Carmilla and Laura when they realize the Dean isn't dead.
    • In Act 1 of Season 3, LaFontaine deduces that the Dean is Inanna. Yes, the goddess. "Good Glorificus!" indeed.
  • One-Word Title
  • The Only One: Since Campus Security are controlled by The Dean, the Police's official stance is that Silas University doesn't exist and no private investigator will step foot on campus, Laura and her friends determine that they are the only people who can save the missing girls.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After their disappearances, the once quiet and hardworking Natalie and Sarah Jane become Hard Drinking Party Girls. Eventually, it gets so out of control that even people like Kirsch and the Zetas begin to notice. This also happened to Betty, but since it was before Laura met her, Laura had no clue that that wasn't Betty's normal personality until it was too late.
  • Our Vampires Are Different:
    • Like her literary self, Carmilla is immune to sunlight, though she's still nocturnally oriented. She also seems to have the usual cocktail of Super Strength, Super Speed, and Super Senses. On top of that she can shapeshift into mist or some sort of monstrous panther, seems to possess some degree of pyrokinesis, and she seemingly teleported into her room once in a puff of black smoke.
    • Possibly due to being much younger than Carmilla, Will, after he reveals himself to be a vampire, doesn't display most of these powers, having to conventionally sneak through the door. He does seem to have Carmilla's endurance, considering Laura's snake strike to his throat only momentarily stunned him, and he overpowered Kirsch relatively easily.
    • The Dean has an extra array of powers such as Demonic Possession and some sort of shadow magic, and is implied to be vastly more powerful than Carmilla. Presumably this is due to her connection with the Light. Season 3 reveals that this is because she is in fact not just a vampire – she's a goddess.
    • Matska Belmonde, introduced in Season 2, has a number of powers related to her status as Chair of the Silas Board. Her own powers include the ability to emit powerful screams similar to a sonic weapon. In Season 3, due to being empowered by an ancient Goddess of Death, she can teleport, bypassing the library's defenses.
  • Overprotective Dad: Laura's father, to the point of Crazy-Prepared tactics such as supplying his daughter with Bear Spray (an entire bag of cans of it, per week), having her take Krav Maga since she was eight, and making her have a flip phone so she couldn't send high resolution pictures of herself to others. This smotheringly overprotectiveness is what ultimately makes Laura split up with Danny, as Laura went to University to get away from it.
  • Plucky Girl: Laura, until Season 2 manages to break her.
  • Prequel: Season Zero is set in 2012, before Laura came to Silas.
  • Product Placement: U by Kotex is an executive producer on the series, and bonus videos exist with the cast advertising them in character. It's cleverly worked into the plot via the argument that female vampires need the blood all the more, for … obvious reasons.
  • Professionals Do It on Desks: Laura and Carmilla, in season 3. Twice.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Laura sympathizes and advocates working with Carmilla once she learns her backstory and how she's been helping girls escape to get back at her mother, completely glossing over the dozens of women Carmilla led to their deaths. Everyone else initially does not feel the same way, initially barely tolerating Carmilla and only because they need her on their side, until they fully accept her after her Heroic Sacrifice. In Episode 36 Laura admits that "one grand gesture doesn't make up for centuries of what is essentially murder", but in a later episode explains that she believed Carmilla had already changed and was simply doing what she could to survive.
  • Publicly Discussing the Secret: The characters often discuss secrets with the door to Laura's room open or make remarks about people who have barely left the room. To make matters worse, Laura records everything and put it up online. However, this is acknowledged by Perry, who lectures Laura for doing this and suggests putting the videos on a delay.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Laura and Danny manage to oust Mattie, only to replace her with the even worse Baron Vordenburg.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Carmilla, in SPADES. Natasha Negovanlis makes the goth thing look good.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Laura ends up on the receiving end of several of these, especially from Carmilla. Her naiveté and dangerous obsession with solving problems way out of her league are usually the prime targets.
  • Rebel Relaxation: Carmilla spends most of her time lying on a bed, leaning against a wall or slouched in a chair, seeming generally disinterested in her surroundings.
  • Radio Voice: Vordenburg over the intercom
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Laura spends much of her time spreading word of the vampires and trying to get attention on them, as well as the missing girls, without hiding her identity. She and her friends become targeted in increasingly less subtle ways.
    • In the Christmas Special the girls try to escape over the mountains. They find that mountains are very dangerous and not at all easy to scale. By season 2 they end up right back at Silas University.
    • You would think waking up an even bigger monster from the twisted imagination of HP Lovecraft would be the end of everything. But, that doesn't really account for the fact that the thing physically cannot get itself out because the hole is too small.
    • In Season 2, the defeat of the vampires has left a total power vacuum, leaving the many students there to attempt to establish order and start killing one another, and even without the innate weirdness nobody is coming anywhere near Silas.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Carmilla was born in the 1600s. Her mother is even older than her and Will's been around since at least the 1930s. Her sister, Mattie, is 1,200 years old.
  • Remaster: Season 1 had the audio remastered for its release on VHX.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Laura complainingly asks how the newspaper staff dealt with reporting all the craziness on campus. Carmilla replies that they got themselves brutally murdered.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Laura seems to have a pretty big crush on Danny at the beginning of the first season. However, Danny ends up getting stuck in second place as soon as Carmilla starts making seduction eyes at Laura.
  • Running Gag: People barging into Laura's room.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Dean gives Carmilla one of these in Season 1 when she has to choose between letting Laura die or betraying her trust by letting Laura's friends die. Laura also gets to experience this in Season 2, when she has to choose between saving Carmilla and not letting the bad guys win.
  • Sanity Slippage: Poor Perry starts suffering this as more and more evidence of the supernatural gets pushed in front of her, though she does adapt to a degree. Season 2 seems to had made its mission to break her, however.
  • Setting Update: To modern-day Silas University.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The name of the Anglerfish god is "Lophiiformes." How are anglerfish scientifically classified? Order lophiiformes.
  • Ship Tease: Aside from the teasing Laura and Carmilla get before they become an Official Couple, Perry and LaFontaine get loads and Danny and Kirsch of all people get some.
  • Shout-Out:
    LaFontaine: We are ready for the weird. We thrive on it. We tape our flamethrowers to our pulse rifles and we make the weird submit!
    • Episode 31 mentions The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch and The Blade of Hastur, and Laura wonders about killing a monster with a bazooka.
    • Speaking of Hastur, the Ball of Light bears more than a passing resemblance to The Colour Out of Space. More directly, LaFontaine mentions losing track of Carmilla at The Shunned House.
    • More Buffy in season 3. Laura calls the Dean moving to snap her neck "Jenny Calender-ing" her. LaF ending up with an eyepatch in the Grand Finale could be considered one to Xander's bloody fate in season 7. There's also this lovely line: "The Dean isn't a demon. She's a god."
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After listening to Mattie tell her how worthless and insignificant she is for all of season two, Laura finally tells her to can it in 2.26, pointing out that Mattie's hardly the first person to tell her to give up, and yet, Laura's still around.
  • Significant Anagram: As in the original book, Carmilla goes by a different one for each identity. This gets lampshaded by Laura.
    Laura: What, like nobody's heard of an anagram?
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Betty, twice. It was her disappearance that sparked Laura onto her quest, and it was the idea that Betty had been changed/replaced before Laura met her that led to the connection between all the missing girls.
  • Something Only They Would Say: In one episode, Perry and LaFontaine think Laura's been brainwashed because she untied Carmilla. To convince them she hasn't been pod-personed, she yells at Carmilla about being a horrible roommate.
  • Soul Jar: Mattie's necklace
  • Speak in Unison: Happens creepily with LaFontaine and Kirsch when they are being possessed by Lophiformes.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Danny
  • The Stinger: Here's a tip for watching this show. Do not close it until you have seen it all. No, don't close at the credits. Don't even close at the logo when there's only ten seconds left in the video. Watch the whole thing.
  • Straw Feminist: Mel and Dean Morgan can both come off this way. When the Dean is speechifying at the gang in season 3, she tries to play this angle, complaining about how every time a woman seeks power for herself, she's called crazy. It doesn't work.
  • Super Cell Reception:
    • Though all the cell phones in the series seem to be able to access Twitter and Tumblr at any time (if the constant feeds are to be believed), Laura's outdated flip-phone is exceptional. Over the course of Season 1, it manages to send text messages from both the Silas Library (which is only accessible at night) and from an underground cupboard. This is lampshaded a few times over the course of the series. The only time this is averted is during a quick break in Carmilla's texts when she retrieves an ancient artifact several miles underwater - anyone who's dropped a phone into a puddle knows how long they're able to last in those conditions.
    • The trope is zigzagged during the stretch between Season 1 and Season 2. On the one hand, there are large gaps between the end of Season 1, the Christmas Special, and Season 2, which can logically be put down to main heroes travelling through the mountains to escape Silas, and thus less likely to have cell reception of any kind, much less enough to access twitter. Later, Laura, Carmilla and LaFontaine are sending tweets from within a mountain (a mountain with a magical gnoll in it, but a mountain all the same). Only Laura comments on this.
  • Sweet Tooth: Much like her literary self, the only thing Carmilla will ingest besides blood is chocolate. Laura stocks up on cakes and sweets herself which Carmilla frequently steals.

     T-Z 
  • Take That!: When studying up on vampires, Laura is briefly seen reading Twilight before dismissively chucking it aside. Later, Carmilla mockingly mentions "that sparkly twerp". Repeated in Season 2 when Laura tosses Breaking Dawn aside during the sad breakup music montage.
  • Team Mom: Perry
  • Transsexual: Both Episode 26 and Word of God confirm that LaFontaine is nonbinary, preferring "they/them" pronouns.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil:
    Mattie: You know, since I've arrived, I've been gracious. I've been reasonable. I've been civilized. But all you idiots do are accuse me of murder after petty murder. As if I would bother with one or two...or twenty. I'm going to carve a red swath through your army. I'm going to drink this nation dry. I am death on dark wings. You want to blame me for carnage? I'll show you carnage.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The ancient Sumerian tome in Season 1 is a handy reference on both eldritch abominations and legendary weaponry.
  • Tone Shift: The Christmas Special. It starts out much like the rest of the series...before the baker witch appears, and suddenly the episode is shot like a traditional television episode, away from Laura's webcam.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Carmilla starts out being kind of a jerk. However, as she starts to like Laura she begins to do some kind things, like making her hot cocoa when she is sick. She takes another level in kindness in Season 2, actually showing genuine concern for Laura's friends on a few occasions.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: Carmilla claims her charm does this, making the wearer seem "wrong" to any vampire that touches them.
  • Totalitarian Utilitarian:
    Mattie: Five people every twenty years to keep that monster asleep? More people die from dog bites every year. Hell, more people die from me every year!
  • Tsundere: Carmilla alternates between insulting Laura and stealing her food, and giving her "seduction eyes". Also, she keeps stealing her pillow. Even after their Relationship Upgrade, she alternates between massive snark and a big ball of mush.
  • Unequal Pairing: Carmilla and Laura.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Carmilla surviving her fight with the Light. Apparently this does have an explanation, but LaFontaine interrupts her. Explained later on Twitter: Carmilla didn't kill anything, merely destroyed the Anglerfish's lure. Therefore the sword didn't kill her.
  • The Unmasqued World: When the student body becomes aware of all the supernatural things happening as Silas, the university falls into chaos.
  • Urban Fantasy: Vampires, libraries that come alive, zombies, all set on a modern-day college campus.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: In season 1, the students incapacitate a vampire by duct-taping her to a chair and putting a string of garlic around her neck.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Although she never expresses doing it for moral reasons, Carmilla very rarely drinks blood directly from a person. A soy milk container full of blood seems to hit the spot.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Carmilla. Also, Danny gets pretty aggressive with both the Zetas and Carmilla when she thinks they pose a threat to Laura, even though the two were never officially dating.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Subverted. The Dimwit Squad thinks that the girls being kidnapped for this, but it turns out that, while it certainly is a sacrifice, it doesn't require virgins, or even girls, hence why Kirsch can be kidnapped in place of Laura without it making a difference.
    The Dean: Oh, you’ve been reading Berkeley’s transcriptions. That man was obsessed. No, we just take girls because it’s traditional.
  • Weirdness Censor: At the beginning, the main obstacle is simply getting anyone to acknowledge that the regular goings on at Silas aren't normal, let alone that several missing students might warrant investigation. Episode 35 implies this was an effect of the creature under Silas, and once it's neutralized the effect stops.
  • We Were Rehearsing a Play: The excuse given for having Carmilla tied up. Apparently Arsenic and Old Lace has a torture scene now.
  • World of Weirdness: Silas campus seems to have everything from harpies to occasional zombie outbreaks.
  • Wham Episode: The season 2 finale has The Bad Guy Wins, at least one character killed, two characters Back from the Dead, and the revelation The Dean is behind everything. Sheesh.
  • Wham Line: From the season 2 finale.
    Perry: Hello, Laura's audience. I have been thinking about what a wonderful tool these videos are — to generate empathy. To show your side of the story. Because I just... I can't help but feel that there's a part of this story still missing. Could Mattie really have murdered those little journalists? The Summers? Could the Baron have done it? What if something else has been happening all along? Something that started all those nights ago when that wretched little moppet cast me into the pit, and I have to find... alternative accommodations. At first, I wasn't too thrilled with Raggedy Anne here, but... she grew on me. (Slasher Smile)
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Mattie after drinking the Anglerfish blood.
  • Wildlife Commentary Spoof: Season 2 ep.22 starts out with Laura describing the daily release and feeding of the vampires from their daytime cellar hiding spot as one of these.
  • World of Snark: EVERYONE is snarky in-series. While Carmilla, Laura, and LaFontaine are the most frequent offenders, Danny's quite capable of holding her own, as are Mattie, Mel, and even Dean Morgan, on occasion.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Carmilla often uses rather snarky nicknames for Laura, like Creampuff, Cupcake, and Sweetheart. She usually only calls her Laura when she is concerned about her or is being very genuine about her affections toward her.
  • You Can Turn Back: In the Season 1 finale, Laura tells Perry that she doesn't have to come with her to rescue the girls. However, Perry still insists on coming.
  • You Sexy Beast: Carmilla plays this up for all it's worth... so she could lure in girls for her mother's ritual.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Carmilla sports a Grade B with short shorts. It's surprisingly cute.

Alternative Title(s): Carmilla

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WebVideo/CarmillaTheSeries