Follow TV Tropes


Literature / My Babysitter Is a Vampire

Go To
My Babysitter Is a Vampire is a children's series written by Ann Hodgman in The '90s. It tells the story of Meg Swain, a normal eleven (and later twelve)-year-old girl from Delaware, who encounters the supernatural for the first time on her family's annual trip to Moose Island, Maine when their usual babysitter is away and their mother hires Vincent Graver, one of her coworkers at the local blood bank, as a replacement. Meg soon comes to suspect, and rightly so, that Vincent is actually a vampire.

The series consists of six books:

  1. My Babysitter Is a Vampire (1991)Summary 
  2. My Babysitter Has Fangs (1992)Summary 
  3. My Babysitter Bites Again (1993)Summary 
  4. My Babysitter Flies by Night (1994)Summary 
  5. My Babysitter Goes Bats (1994)Summary 
  6. My Babysitter Is a Movie Monster (1995)Summary 

Not to be confused with the unrelated 2010-2012 TV movie and series My Babysitter's a Vampire.

My Babysitter Is a Vampire provides examples of:

  • Actually Not a Vampire: Book 4 introduces Voldar Constantin, an exchange student from Drazylvonia in Europe. For a while Meg thinks he's a vampire, since he looks like one, talks in a strange, formal way, and is far more interested in blood than a normal seventh-grader; there's also his staring at Brooke's neck, carrying a box of dirt in his room, and drinking from a flask at lunch. Then she asks Vincent's spirit, and he has no idea what she's talking about — he does have kin in Drazylvonia, but Voldar isn't one of them. and if Voldar was a vampire, Vincent would have heard of him. It turns out he's just weird and really into scientific stuff, and he becomes one of Meg's best friends and allies, helping her out in both that book and its immediate sequel.
  • Adapted Out: Happens In-Universe in book 6, where Trevor's character is left out of the film version of My Babysitter is a Vampire to save money.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • After being disembodied in book 2, Vincent manages to possess a stone gargoyle in an ornamental fountain in book 3. He later regains his full body and powers in book 5.
    • Discussed in book 5, after Boris is decapitated and Vincent tells Meg he could still come back somehow.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In book 5, young Grebiv lands on a suit of armor and making its arm — and the sword it carries — swing back and forth, decapitating the evil vampire Boris. Meg lampshades the irony of it, thinking to herself that he'd earlier dismissed Grebiv for being "sweet".
  • Brick Joke: In book 5, Meg gives Grebiv her scarf when he's cold. In book 6, Vincent stops in Delaware to return that same scarf, and sticks around to help her with the other vampire who's in town and out to kill her.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • In book 6, Meg describes the events of book 1 to her father in the guise of a movie idea. He chalks it up to good imagination.
    • In book 6, Grebiv/Gribev gleefully tells his day care teacher about being centuries old and having spent most of that time as a bat. The teacher assumes he's just being imaginative.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Downplayed.
    • Some vampires, like those of Vincent's bloodline, can survive indirect sunlight — for instance, he survived the sun rising in book 1 by ducking underwater. Direct sunlight was still sufficient to destroy Vincent's body in book 2, though due to his inherited powers, it wasn't permanent.
    • Those who haven't been fully changed can also survive it, though it still pains them.
    • The villain of book 6 uses a combination of sunscreen, staying out of direct sunlight and an ancient amulet to protect herself from the sun.
  • Deal with the Devil: In book 4. Meg agrees to carry out a mission for the disembodied Vincent if he turns her friend Brooke back into a human. If she fails, she and Brooke will both become vampires.
  • The Disembodied: Vincent's original body is lost in the climax of book 2; he manages to take over an ornamental gargoyle in book 3, but is left without a body again with its destruction, and spends all of book 4 as a spirit, which he is furious over. In the climax of book 5, when Boris is destroyed, Vincent is restored to his full powers and body.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Vincent suddenly becomes able to fly in human form in book 6. He's as surprised as Meg, since he hadn't known he could do that.
  • Forced Transformation: Beneficial version in book 5 with Grebiv, the eternally three-year-old vampire, in his first appearance; he was too young to be able to turn into a bat on his own, so Ahmla's ancestor triggered the transformation for him. He seems to have graduated to full-on Voluntary Shapeshifting by the end of the book though.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Book 4 introduces Voldar Constantin, an exchange student from Drazylvonia. Meg's friend Brooke Donohue had also spent the previous six months as an exchange student in France.
  • Given Name Reveal: Book 6 reveals that "Vincent" is short for "Vincenzio".
  • Heel–Face Turn: Vincent in book 6, initially out of gratitude for Meg helping Grebiv/Gribev in book 5, but by the end he's sworn to help her when she needs it.
  • Holding the Floor: Inverted in book 5, when Meg and Voldar get Boris to talk and tell them his side of the story, so as to distract him from killing them.
  • Horror Hunger: Vampires feel a burning desire for blood, as shown in book 4.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "My Babysitter [Phrase]": My Babysitter Is a Vampire, My Babysitter Has Fangs, My Babysitter Bites Again, My Babysitter Flies by Night, My Babysitter Goes Bats, and My Babysitter Is a Movie Monster.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: As explained in book 5, naturally-born vampires age normally until they reach a certain point, which varies depending on the individual. Vincent Graver, the titular vampire babysitter, was sixteen when he stopped aging. Subverted with his younger brother Grebiv, who stopped aging when he was just three.
  • Implied Death Threat: Vincent's message (a sprig of a plant called Death's Head Thyme) to Boris, which Meg has to carry for him in book 5, is this. And then Meg finds one in her luggage after getting home, indicating that Boris isn't done with her yet.
  • In-Series Nickname: In books 2 and 3, Meg and Jack privately refer to obnoxious newcomer Kelly Pitts as "Pittsy", but never to her face. Until Meg lets it slip during the final battle in book 3. Luckily, Kelly only asks about it once and then gets distracted before she can get an answer.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: In book 6, the vampire Gabrielle is insistent that Meg and Vincent are in one of these. Vincent points out that the age difference is a big reason why they're not romantically involved.
  • Motor Mouth: Kelly Pitts, in books 2 and 3, just will not stop talking about whatever she feels like.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: This turns out to be the villain's plan in book 6. Gabrielle is madly in love with Vincent, but thinks he's chosen Meg as a love interest, and tries to kill her so she can have Vincent for herself.
  • Mysterious Note: Meg gets one written in the sand in book 6. Unlike most examples, it's pretty clear who sent it, but they still don't tell her exactly who the vampire out to get her is, in part because Vincent doesn't know himself.
  • Named After First Installment: The series and the first book share the same title, whose subject is the name's concept.
  • Napoleon Delusion: In book 4, when Brooke is confessing how she became a vampire, she tells Meg about how this man in black was caught trying to bite a horse, claiming he was a vampire and that he'd already bitten and turned half the people in town via turning into a bat to enter their homes. The authorities apparently thought he was suffering a version of this, since they packed him off to an asylum. Likely subverted though, since Brooke's fairly certain he was the bat who bit and turned her.
  • Never Found the Body: In the climax of book 6, the vampire trying to kill Meg falls off a cliff with her. While Meg is rescued by Vincent, they look over the edge of the cliff and don't see the attacking vampire's body; Meg hopefully suggests a wave washed it away, while Vincent suspects she turned into a bat at the last minute and escaped.
  • No Body Left Behind: Played straight with vampires destroyed by sunlight, but also surprisingly subverted in some cases.
    • As Vincent explains in book 3, vampires who die natural deaths leave behind bodies, and the bones can be made into teething rings that are sent out to infect infants and put them on the road to becoming vampires.
    • Subverted in book 5 when Vincent's rival Boris is decapitated, and doesn't vaporize.
  • No Name Given: Boris's six companions in book 5 are never named, only described as "the oldest vampire", "the female vampire" and so on.
  • Not Me This Time: Used multiple times.
    • In book 4, Meg realizes her friend Brooke is showing signs of vampirism. When she finally speaks to Vincent's spirit, he admits that while he senses signs of vampiric possession in her, it's not his doing.
    • In book 6, when Meg receives her mysterious note about another vampire being near her who means her harm, Brooke (who had wanted to feed on Meg during her time as a vampire in book 4) immediately says it's not her. Meg quickly reassures Brooke that she already knows that.
  • Oblivious to Hatred: Kelly Pitts, in books 2 and 3, has no idea that Meg and Jack find her utterly obnoxious and can't stand to be around her.
  • Off with His Head!: How evil vampire Boris dies in book 5, when he runs afoul of a sword carried by a suit of armor in Castle Vladestan.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: In book 5, when Boris decides to kill Meg and Voldar, he stops his followers from going after them by saying that "Vincent's messenger belongs to me alone!" and threatening them with death if they so much as leave the room.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Book 2 has Meg discovering Vincent's ring and start wearing it. She later finds that a vampire's ring can only properly be wielded by that vampire; anyone else can use a portion of its power, but is hit with bad luck as a result.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: Book 3 features an ornamental gargoyle in the fountain in front of the Grimm's home. Vincent is able to inhabit and later animate it, until a partly vampirized Vaughn bites him.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The vampires of this series have the following features:
    • Blood drinking, per usual; human or animal blood will work. Some have also been shown to eat normal human food.
    • Reproduction: Vampires can sire and birth more of their own kind, who continue to age normally until they reach a certain point (which varies depending on the individual — one was a teenager, another a young child); turning a human requires three bites. Killing the vampire responsible for the biting will reverse the transformation, even if they're fully turned (and even if the vampire isn't dead permanently).
    • Vulnerabilities: garlic, decapitation, direct sunlight (though they can survive indirect exposure; also, partially transformed victims are pained but not killed by it), the need to sleep in the soil where they were buried (which is usually kept in their coffins). The bite of another vampire is also fatal. Some have been known to die "natural" deaths, leaving skeletons that are always saved by their kinfolk; these bones can be made into teething rings that help spread the vampiric infection to human infants.
    • Other powers: Vampires have been shown turning into bats, and some have ways to resurrect themselves after being killed in some way. Some also have some variety of Psychic Powers, such as second sight.
    • It is noted that the weather can turn violent in the presence of vampires, trying to repel them from an area.
  • Poltergeist: In book 4, soon after the Swains return home, they begin experiencing poltergeist activity all over their home, from a light fixture falling out of the ceiling to eggs frying on the kitchen floor. It turns out to be a disembodied Vincent, who's effectively possessed the house in order to get revenge on Meg for costing him any chance of taking a normal body.
  • The Prima Donna: In book 6, both the actress who plays Meg's mother and the actor who play Vincent in the TV movie being made are this — Caryl keeps trying to rewrite the script to give herself more scenes, and Mortimer's obnoxious in his own way, insisting on staying in-character all the time and jumping out at people.
  • Psychic Powers:
    • Some vampires have been shown with this, such as second sight. Meg picks up a degree of them when she wears Vincent's ring in book 2, but loses them along with the ring.
    • Book 4 introduces Minerva, a medium who has a very minor degree of these, who's hired to come to the Swain house and try to deal with the spirit haunting the place. She ends up channeling Vincent's spirit, exposing his plan to Meg.
    • In book 5, Meg receives an unguent that will grant a degree of second sight if used in a time of dire need; otherwise, as in Meg's case, it stuns the user's senses and gives them visions of a possible future.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Meg's friend Jack Cornell is featured in books 1 and 2, but is absent from book 3 — Meg explains early on that he was tired of dealing with vampire stuff and had signed up for an all-day sailing class for the rest of the summer. He's also absent from books 4-6, since he lives on Moose Island year-round and Meg had gone back to Delaware (or in book 5's case, to Drazylvonia) for those stories.
    • Kelly Pitts is featured in books 2 and 3, but absent for the rest of the series. Again justified — she was on Moose Island for the summer, and books 4-6 take place elsewhere.
    • Voldar Constantin plays a role in books 4 and 5, but is absent from book 6 since Meg's back home in Delaware and he stayed in Europe.
  • Revenge:
    • Book 4 revolves around Vincent making life very hard for the Swains back home, his way of getting revenge on Meg for destroying his ability to inhabit a normal body ever again.
    • Book 5 mentions that when Vincent's father was killed by peasants, the local vampires "exacted revenge, of course".
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: In book 6, Vincent comes to Meg's aid while on his way back home from a meeting with other vampire leaders in California.
  • The Runt at the End: Grebiv, Vincent's younger brother, is somewhat stunted; he stopped aging when he was three, and refused to feed on blood, claiming he didn't like the taste.
  • Selective Obliviousness: In book 6, Gabrielle is obsessed with Vincent, proclaims to love him and is in utter denial that he can't stand her; she's also convinced that he loves Meg now, and doesn't believe either of them when they tell her that's not the case.
  • Ship Tease: Meg and Jack (or at least, Kelly seems to think there's something between them), and Meg and Voldar, since the two do go on a sort of date after finishing their mission. Book 6 also has some between Meg and Vincent, or at least that's what Gabrielle thinks. After she's defeated, there is some Unresolved Sexual Tension between them (at least from Meg's POV), but the plot is left dangling.
  • Show Within a Show: Book 6 is about a TV movie being made based on Meg's adventures in book 1.
  • Spanner in the Works: Meg's actions in helping Vincent in book 5 managed to ruin centuries' worth of plans by Boris and his henchmen, prompting the villain of book 6 to come after her. At least, that's what the prologue suggests. It turns out Gabrielle is really jealous of Meg because she thinks Vincent prefers Meg as a love interest over her, though she's also offended by a human interfering in vampire business, restoring Vincent to power after he'd been dethroned centuries before.
  • Spoiled Brat: Downplayed in book 3 with Vaughn Grimm, who's only one year old, but his parents basically let him do whatever he wants — he picks out his own food and clothing, and if he doesn't get what he wants from his babysitter, he screams until they give in.
  • Sudden Name Change: In book 6, Vincent's brother Grebiv is suddenly called Gribev instead. Brooke's surname also changes from "Donohue" to "Donahue".
  • Takes One to Kill One: As Vincent casually reveals in book 3, the bite of another vampire could destroy him permanently. It turns out a partially-turned victim's bite can also destroy his current body, though his spirit survives the incident.
  • Time Skip: Book 1 ends midway through the summer after the plot's been resolved. Book 2 picks up at the start of the next summer, and the rest of the series continues on from there.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In book 2, Kelly Pitts can't tell she's being bitten by a vampire as he's doing it.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: Twice, by the same vampire. It doesn't last once he vacates that body though.
    • In book 3, Vincent takes over a stone gargoyle in an ornamental fountain, and is able to animate it until he's bitten by the partially vampirized Vaughn Grimm.
    • In book 4, the medium Minerva channels Vincent's spirit twice, and her face turns into his each time.
  • Translator Buddy: Voldar in book 5, who translates when Ahmla and Meg are conversing, since Ahmla doesn't speak English.
  • Uncertain Doom: Gabrielle, the villain of book 6, is not seen after falling off a cliff, leaving Meg and Vincent uncertain if she's actually dead. Meg hopes she is, but Vincent has his doubts.
  • Undying Loyalty: Vincent has this for his family; he was willing to kill to protect his younger brother, no matter how stunted his growth was. The other vampires saw it as proof that he was unfit to rule them and banished him from Drazylvonia for it.
  • Vampire Doctor: Vincent volunteers at a Blood Bank despite the inherent temptation of being near bleeding humans in order to abuse his position to steal blood.
  • Vampire Monarch: As explained in book 5, Vincent's father used to be this for the vampires of Drazylvonia, until he was killed by a stake through the heart. Vincent himself then took up the throne until he refused to destroy his younger brother, whom the others considered tainted. His intense loyalty to young Grebiv, to the point of attempting to murder the vampire who'd locked the child up and away from food, led a council to declare him unfit to rule, and Boris, the vampire he tried to kill, became Prince in his stead; when Boris was eventually slain, Vincent reclaimed his throne.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Vampires really hate garlic, though it just drives them off and won't kill them — Vincent Graver can't even stand to be in the same room when there's a commercial for garlic bread on TV. His rival Boris, on the other hand, was driven back but not fatally injured when a bulb of garlic was shoved into his mouth in book 5.
  • Vampires Sleep in Coffins: Vampires don't actually have to sleep in coffins, but they do have to sleep in the dirt they were buried in. Vincent Graver keeps that dirt in his coffin for conveniences' sake. As seen in book 5, the vampires in Castle Vladestan also sleep in their coffins.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Vampires can survive on human food, as evidenced by Vincent Graver's little brother Grebiv, who needed it because he refused to drink human or animal blood (in the latter case, he claimed he didn't like the taste, but the vampire explaining this claims it's more likely because he was just too "nice" to harm them). Vincent Graver also qualifies as a part-time vegetarian — while he's explicitly bitten humans with the goal of turning them, he gets most of his blood from a blood bank.
  • Villain Respect: By the time of book 6, Vincent admits that he considers Meg to be very brave and intelligent.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Into bats. Grebiv was too young to be able to do it on his own, so a local village seer had to do it for him; he seems to have overcome this by the end, when he assumes bat form again to escape the destroyed Castle Vladestan.
  • Walking the Earth: Vincent has been doing this for hundreds of years, since his exile from Drazylvonia, as it turns out.
  • Weakened by the Light: Direct sunlight destroys vampires; even the slightest bit of it pains those who've been bitten at least once or have been infected via other means.
  • When the Planets Align: Downplayed in book 5, when the planets are in alignment for Meg's visit to Drazylvonia, unleashing "cosmic forces" upon the Earth for one week. The exact consequences of this, however, never come up.
  • Wooden Stake: Discussed more than once.
    • In book 1, Meg and Jack opt not to use this on Vincent, just in case it turns out he's really just a weird human.
    • In book 5, it's mentioned that Vincent's father died to this. Vincent himself later attempted to stake Boris for the other vampire's actions against his brother Grebiv.
  • Written-In Absence: Meg's mother and Trevor are away for most of book 6, visiting Disneyland while Meg is on the movie set with her father.