Follow TV Tropes


Film / Once Bitten

Go To

Once Bitten (1985) is a comedy spoof of the "vampire seducer" genre.

It is notable as a very early vehicle for the career of Jim Carrey, who plays Mark, a sex-minded teenage boy in love with his girlfriend Robin (Karen Kopins), a "good girl" who won't put out, keeping them both virgins.

Along comes the mysterious and beautiful Countess (Lauren Hutton), an ancient vampire who needs the blood of a male virgin to stay young and beautiful — but it's The '80s, and where is a vampire going to find a male virgin in Los Angeles ?

Mark, frustrated by Robin's refusal to give him any, goes into Los Angeles. The Countess spots him, and decides to take his blood for her youth and add him to her coterie of immortal teenage vampires. Robin knows something's up — will The Power of Love be enough to pull Mark back from the clutches of an undead seductress?


This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Age Without Youth: The Countess' fate when she isn't able to drink from Mark the third time — in time.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Well, Affably Evil in this case.
  • Auto Erotica: Mark seeing the parking lot of cars bouncing and shaking with other people having sex after getting the cold shoulder from Robin. Ouch... just ouch.
  • Bad Humor Truck: Mark has an after school job as an ice cream truck driver — but his partial transformation into a vampire terrifies all the children away from him.
  • Camp Gay: The Countess' manservant, Sebastian.
    Sebastian: "I came out of the closet centuries ago."
  • Catchphrase: Russ uses the same pick up line three times in the film.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe : The Countess, being an atheist, is unaffected by the cross.
  • Death by Sex: Inverted, as sex is what saves Mark's life. And dooms the Countess to being an old woman.
  • Advertisement:
  • Don't Come A-Knockin': Robin finally realizes that the Countess will turn Mark into a vampire unless she deflowers him. Cue the bouncing coffin.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Aside from Mark, the oldest male virgin the Countess's minions could track down is eleven. The Countess is repulsed by the idea of biting a pre-teen.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Inverted. Mark shows up at the costume party in all black and everyone thinks he has come as a vampire, except Robin, who is upset he didn't bother to be Jack to her Jill.
    Mark: I'm not wearing a costume!
  • Funny Background Event: When Jamie and Russ are arguing in the Hamburger shack, Russ is cleaning off the trays into a big bucket labeled "Secret Sauce"
  • Improbable Weapon User: During the dance battle, the Countess threatens Robin and then attempts to stab her with an opera-length cigarette holder.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: The Countess' bite is enough to generate euphoria, strange dreams, and partial amnesia on Mark's part.
  • Mate or Die: If Mark loses his virginity before the Countess can drink from him for the third time, his blood becomes worthless to her.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Robin pretty much embodies this, to Mark's frustration.
  • Nature Abhors a Virgin: The movie begins with Robin balking at going all the way.
  • Offscreen Inertia: When last seen, Jamie, and Russ seem to have been seduced by two of the Countess' female minions, and the movie never gets back to them. Given what the Countess herself wanted from Mark, those two might have gotten a little in over their heads...
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Robin asks Jamie and Russ to check Mark's inner thigh for bite marks. They do this by Russ grabbing him from behind and Jamie getting on his knees and moving close in (he was half blind from shampoo at the time). Jamie remarks later that their lives in high school are over. He's not wrong, given the time.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Played for Laughs as Mark's transformation progresses. He stays cute despite the preference for fresh blood.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Countess needs a virgin's blood to keep her youth and beauty. She likes men, so it has to be a male virgin. But she only needs to do it once a year.
  • Poke the Poodle: About the only "evil" thing the Countess does is pushing over an old lady and a nun who were in her way — the latter of which was merely someone in a costume.
  • Precision F-Strike: Robin for the win:
    Robin: He doesn't want you because you're mean and evil. He wants me because I'm nice and sweet and pure. So fuck off!
  • Running Gag:
    • Russ getting shot down after his well-practiced come-on speech:
      Russ: I'm a mature person, and you're a mature person, so why don't we just skip all of the bullshit, get rid of our inhibitions and do what we really wanna do?
    • Butt-Monkey Jamie being afraid of everything from dating to being gay.
  • Sinister Tango Music: The film opens with a tango number as Sebastian gets his vampire mistress all done up for an evening of hunting virgins.
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: Despite needing a virgin "sacrifice", the countess and her coven seemed to be in the middle of friendliness scale. As befits a light comedy, the death in her wake was a big 'ol zero, and there were no morality shifts or ravening thirst. The Countess herself was pretty friendly for an evil seductress, and two girls from the coterie and Mark's friends got on pretty well.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Good girl Robin and Mark share an inexplicably appearing after-sex cigarette in the coffin now that she's been the ultimate good girl and given him sex to save his life. Also an odd example of Good Smoking, Evil Smoking.
  • Speed Sex: How Mark and Robin eventually render him ineligible for the Countess's attentions.
    The Countess: {incredulous} You've had less than a minute!
  • Vampire Dance: Robin and the Countess have a dance-off/tug of war over and with Mark — to a song called "Hands Off".
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Or Sex Goddesses, in the Countess's case.
  • Virgin Power: The only reason the Countess is interested in Mark — because his virgin blood keeps her young and beautiful.
  • Virgin-Shaming: Subverted. Not only is Mark a virgin, but so are his two best friends, not for lack of trying. The bookseller still makes fun of Mark, saying that if he's an 18-year old virgin, a vampire trying to get him should be the least of his worries.
  • Virus Victim Symptoms: In uncomfortable places.
  • Why Didn't I Think of That?: After embarrassing incident in the shower, Mark asks Jamie and Russ why they didn't simply ask to look. They get looks of horror on their faces. Jamie assumes he's an Armored Closet Gay while Russ tries to go with I Can Explain.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: