The following contains YMMV items to the Twilight
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The series has become rather notorious for having these
- Edward's behavior is basically that of an emotionally abusive boyfriend, and he has all the personality of a cardboard box. Bella uses excuses that real life abused women use to justify his behavior, such as that Edward acts this way because he really loves her.
- Bella's behavior is arguably just as vile. This review takes Dr. Hare's twenty traits of sociopathy and applies every single one to something Bella has done or thought in New Moon.
- This article examines some of Twilight's unfortunate implications: specifically, how interracial relationships never work out, how Bella is essentially marrying an old man who doesn't want sex but always wants to boss her around, how Bella, who wants sex, goes after the painfully prudish Edward instead of the man who wants it as much as she does, and how in the end, Bella essentially chooses not to choose.
- In the official guide to Twilight, Meyer outright says that turning into a vampire causes the person to turn white, no matter what their ethnicity is. This is not so bad, except that in a previous section, Meyer also states that it is the sparkly, pale appearance of the vampires that make them universally beautiful.
- This article (second part is here) outlines many other unfortunate racial implications as well. And also here.
- As stated in this review, the concept of immortal children is terrifying. Meyer (certainly unintentionally) implies that many, many children died in the process of making immortal children so that their vampire creators could have someone to baby and drool over; considering how hard it is for vampires to stop feeding and begin the transformation process, it's very possible that countless children died during this process. Not to mention these vampires were stealing these babies away from their rightful families and condemning them to a life of eternal pain (seeing how painful it is for a vampire to be thirsty), not to mention the fact that they'll never mature or be able to experience life to the fullest. Also, they were responsible for the deaths of literally thousands of people because they couldn't control themselves. And yet we're supposed to believe the Volturi are just so evil for putting a stop to this reign of terror.
Mary Sue Tropes
- Her name is Bella Swan ("Beautiful Swan")
- Or it could be a reference to Bela Lugosi and Swan Lake. Which is still pretentious, so it still fits.
- Her full name is Isabella Marie Swan, which also fits the self-chosen nickname and useless second name often found in Sues.
- Anti-Sue: Despite the fact that the author frequently stresses Bella being plain, awkward and outwardly unremarkable, everyone she meets instantly adores her, she gets perfect grades while barely trying, she has a cool vehicle, all the guys want her and anyone who doesn't like her is eventually revealed to be ether jealous or evil... sound familiar?
- It could possibly be due to Meyer's poor writing, but it's immediately obvious that Bella is a very conventionally attractive girl. Another writer, who wished to convey that a character who did not think much of their appearance was actually very attractive, would have Bella describe her appearance with phrases such as "scrawny" and "pasty" etc, and leave it to the reader to glean from other characters' reactions to Bella that she is actually beautiful but does not realise it. Meyer has Bella describe herself in much more flattering terms, such as "slender" and "pale".
- Almost every boy that Bella meets, at least the ones she spends any significant amount of time with, spend at least one conversation telling Bella how wonderful and special they think she is, usually when they have not even known her very long and haven't actually heard her say or seen her do anything remarkable or even unexpected.
- Despite the fact that Bella acts very socially awkward and off putting, all the other characters react to her as though she were the most dazzling, charismatic, gem of a person they've ever met.
- Also, Edward frequently goes on about how good and pure and kind Bella is despite the fact that the majority of her actions are ether selfishly motivated or panicked reactions to external stimuli; she usually just takes her first impulse and goes with it. In fact, one of the justifications for the vampires being so attracted to her is that she possesses an uncommonly pure "essence". Then again, she's the one person in the world whose mind he can't read, and over the years he seems to have come to rely on that almost exclusively for judging people...
- Black Hole Sue: All the other characters, whether they be minor or major, male or female, good or evil, act as though Bella is the most important thing in their lives, even if they barely know her. All the events of the story, regardless of whether they logically have anything to do with Bella or not, wind up centering around her somehow or featuring her as a vital (though passive) linchpin.
- Canon Sue: Bella is especially this based on how others react to her; everyone who meets her instantly adores her despite the fact that she never really does or says anything to inspire such feelings, she gets perfect grades while barely trying, her flaws (clumsiness and shyness) are the ones typically given to a Mary Sue to make her seem more realistic (and so the author has something to point to as proof that she isn't a Mary Sue), those flaws also only show up under the most contrived circumstances (that lead to Edward and/or Jacob noticing and/or "romantically" saving her) and then go away only to return when they are needed again. Everyone who doesn't adore Bella is eventually revealed to be either jealous, evil, or only acting as if they didn't like her for her own good. Bella's Mary Sue status is hilariously lampshaded in the parody film Vampires Suck. Becca, a parody character, states that "every hot guy finds me irresistible", and moments later a guy puts his arm around her.
- Escapist Character: For the women: Bella Swan. For the guys: Jacob Black.
- God-Mode Sue:
- Bella as of Breaking Dawnnote . But honestly, the whole time, because her latent power was so strong she couldn't be affected by the strongest of vampire abilities before she even had it amplified by vampirism. As a vampire she gains the ability to stretch it out to cover all her supernatural allies as well. In point of fact, she learns how to stretch it out when she realizes she wants to use it to protect her daughter, making one wonder if she could've even done that as a human if she'd only been properly motivated.
- Perhaps the funniest thing about that is Bella's power could only keep the Volturi from using theirs against the Cullens and their friends. For Bella to seem like the most important, powerful and vital member of the Cullens' defense, the author had to completely ignore some vampires with far more impressive and directly useful powers, including of course the one with control over the four elements. He could've just burnt the Volturi to a crisp where they stood, or willed the ground to open and swallow them up. But then nobody would've cared about Bella.
- Edward. He's considered insanely desirable, even by the standards of other vampires. He's incredibly fast and can read minds, so it's impossible for anyone to sneak up on him or escape him. And he's considered the favorite "child" of his family, to the point where he gets everyone to abandon their jobs and lives in Forks in New Moon and actively and successfully orders Alice to not speak to Bella in Midnight Sun and all the Cullen women to kidnap Bella in Eclipse.
- Jerk Sue: Bella blatantly mistreats the people around her, at best showing no concern for their needs or feelings and at worst manipulating those feelings to her own ends with no thought to how she may be hurting them in the process, and they rarely seem bothered by it. They're usually just happy to be given the opportunity to be in her presence (despite the fact that she's always ether annoyed, angry, or depressed, which can't make being around her all that enjoyable), and when one of them does object to the way she's treating them (which is extremely rare) it is written in such a way as to make the reader believe that they are in the wrong and just don't understand Bella. She also makes little or no attempt to conceal the fact that she doesn't care about other people and is just using them but, again, they don't seem bothered by it because they just adore her so damn much (for reasons that are never specified.)
- The only reason Bella is interpreted in a sympathetic light by most of the readers is because Stephenie Meyer works so hard to make her sympathetic (via warped perspective), despite the fact that none of her thoughts or behavior ever indicate that she's a good person. Viewed subjectively, Bella's a shallow, callous manipulator bordering on psychopathic. The most commonly given excuse for the negative aspects of her personality is that she's a teenage girl, but the author lets all the air out of this excuse by making Bella unable to get along with other teenagers because she's supposedly more mature, intelligent and down-to-earth than them.
- Edward would apply as well. All of the girls swoon over him, even though he ignores them and is generally anti-social and unfriendly. He constantly forces Bella to do things she tells him she doesn't want to and throws tantrums if he doesn't get his way. Despite all of this, he is the favorite of the Cullen family and everyone constantly talks about how great he is and how they do anything to please him.
- And how compassionate he is, that's why he is a mindreader.
- Relationship Sue: Robert Pattinson, or RPattz, noted in an interview that Bella was basically a big wish-fulfillment fantasy of Meyer's. And in the fourth book, Renesmee Carlie "Nessie" Cullen is one for Jacob Black, though thankfully there's a hook that the human-vampire hybrid Nahuel will be making a bid for her in the future, which will hopefully be successful, as it's far less creepy.
- Almost all of the shapeshifter teens get them also—Quil gets Claire, Sam gets Emily, Paul gets Jacob's sister, and Jared gets a female classmate who had a crush on him.
- Suetiful All Along: Bella is described as plain and socially awkward, but everyone she meets begs to differ.
- The author makes some feeble attempts at Lampshade Hanging this by having Bella wonder why everyone loves her so much at one point in the story and having her be irritated by her popularity instead of enjoying it, but it's so obvious that she's Lampshade Hanging that it renders it ineffective.
- Plus, complaining about being well liked is a common trait of the Mary Sue (see My Immortal).
- This trope is barely even concealed in the story since even Bella, who supposedly considers herself to be very plain and is supposed to have low self esteem, describes herself in terms that most would consider extremely flattering ("ivory-skinned", "chocolate brown eyes", "slender but soft.")
- Sympathetic Sue: Poor, poor Bella! She's so tortured! Poor, poor Edward! He's so tortured!
- Nearly every character in the series, even ones who barely know Edward and Bella, seem to care about Edward and Bella's relationship so much that they are willing to die to protect it and anyone who ever dares to even imply that their own problems or their own suffering should take priority over that of Edward and Bella (who never experience anything other than self imposed suffering anyway) is swiftly reprimanded by the other characters. It seems that Edward and Bella are the two most important people in existence.
- In the last part, at least in the movie, it's at least implied that people are uniting behind the Cullens because they're fed up with the Volturi for their own reasons (they are, after all, cruel, merciless and tend to dick around with other vampires' lives) and this just happens to be a convenient time for them to do something about it.
- Thirty Sue Pileup: There's Bella (Purity Sue/Mary Sue/Sympathetic Sue/God-Mode Sue), Edward (Straight God-Mode Sue/Sympathetic Sue), (Renesmee (Straight Mary Sue)...
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