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Our Demons Are Different

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"We are called demons precisely because we do bad things."
Tablet, Graffiti Kingdom

Demons. Devils. Fiends. They're all over the place in storyland, but no two authors portray them in exactly the same way.

Demons in western fiction tend, by default, to be of a vaguely Abrahamic nature, most often red or black with horns, hooves, and maybe a tail. They're generally found torturing the souls of those that wind up in Hell, making deals with mortals in order to claim their souls for the pit, and are usually on the side of Evil, often opposing Angels.

Demonic names are quite a bit looser than those for Angels, though in the west, they often take inspiration from Hebrew, biblical or mythological sources, as well as the Ars Goetia.

The prospective demon has many options available for customization:

There's no doubt about it. No matter what you choose, Your Demons Are Different.

  • If the source is Japanese, and the demons are really different, the reason may be simply that, in translation, the word "demon" is being substituted for a completely different word, youkai, which really doesn't have a correlating concept in English. "Faerie creature" is probably closer when it comes to traditional function in folklore (in fact, on the occasions where "fae," etc. is translated into Japanese, the term will probably contain the same "you" as "youkai"), but "demon" sounds more likely to kick ass, despite faeries being pretty damn scary.
    • And even if they don't use youkai, Japan still has a lot of words that get translated as "demon", most of them having ma (魔), which means "demon", somewhere in them: Mazoku, Mamono, Majin, Youma, Akuma...

Specific Types:

Individual Demons of Note:

Series which have protagonists up to Demon Slaying especially rely on this trope, as the various ways a demon can be different can often determine how a demon hunter actually operates.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs": Although he is supposed to be explicitly Satan, the Devil behaves more like the kind of giant seen in tales like "Hop-o'-My-Thumb" (living in a house, being looked after and bossed around by a female relative, having an appetite for humans...). Being called a snake is the only classic devil trait he has.

    Fan Works 
  • In Between Dreams and Memories Universe, Dreamons from the Dream SMP are elaborated on, and the concept behind them seems to deviate from canon: Dreamons can only be seen by their Hosts, fellow Dreamons, and the few people they have a close bond with, and while the Dreamon is dependent on their Host for survival, the Host is also able to survive the unsurvivable (e.g. being shot in the heart) due to their connection with the Dreamon. Dreamons can also become bound to a different Host through an elaborate ritual.
  • Demon Spawns Series: In this series of Grojband fanfics, siblings Corey and Trina Riffin are revealed to be demons. They can alter their appearances and have their own different Elemental Powers. However, they lose all of their demon powers for the day if they come in contact with holy water. They're also the children of Satan.
    • Both siblings are half-human. While Trina takes after her father, Corey is more like his human mother Amethyst.
  • Lupine Tree has Lumber Jack, a human soulnote  fused with a timberwolf tree's soul. This fusion fits within Equestria's broad definition of a demon. Once Celestia learns of this, she orders him to be observed by the Paladin Order.
  • In The Night Unfurls, there is no specific "demon" race, but some beings are referred to as "demon".
    • The term "demons" is sometimes used to refer to any "barbaric" Standard Fantasy Races within The Horde, like orcs (the word "orc" derives from an old word for "demon"), goblins, or mutants (which may overlap with the former two).
    • Kyril isn't a demon, but the guy is so inhumanly strong and fast that he is rumoured to be a demon wearing a man's skin. He's actually a great one, but no one knows this.
    • The remastered version introduces The Rat, an entity that draws power from the souls of the survivors, the desperate, and the ambitious. He has made deals with mortals before to gain such souls, and now he seeks to accompany Kyril as a means to gain more souls. He compares himself with "the Gods", but he is later revealed to be one of the many "lesser known entities" whose influence faded away due to the presence of Laurendau and Garan, the two prominent goddesses. On a humorous note, he seems to be a bit perturbed when someone calls him a demon.
      Claudia: Demon! You dare make your presence known to the Goddess Reborn?
      The Rat: Demon? Oh... you small-minded little things are so unimaginative.
  • In 1000 tearz or deth (a Harry Potter fanfic) there's a patron demon of emoness, a talking tree that sprouts legs when four emos stand in a forest.
  • In the Pony POV Series, General-Admiral Makarov/The Shadow of Chernobull is commonly called an "Imagination Demon", though Mother Deer implied it wasn't the case but "close enough". The Shining Armor crew also apparently had a run in with a "fear demon" somewhere in Zebrafrica, but this was a largely Noodle Incident. The creatures sealed in Tartarus are quite demonic in nature, but are actually entities from a destroyed universe. It turns out that Demons in this universe are Fallen Draconequi, making Discord one of them.
  • Demon Penguins, from the Club Penguin Fanon have a weakness to silver, are created through a cloning machine, and have their heads explode when they die. They can also be resurrected through cheese and have retractable horns. They are usually red, and carry pitchforks which allow them to teleport.
  • In Read the Fine Print (Evangelion), Bwynvienne, the agent sent by the Infernal Administration, wears a pitch-black business suit and low-heeled shoes, and looks like a woman normal except for her literally flaming hair cascading down her shoulders like a cloak. She can appear and disappear silently at will and detect lies.
  • In Thousand Shinji:
    • The Keeper of Secrets is a daemon of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, created by one of the Chaos Gods and unable to survive out of its home dimension.
    • The new Chaos Gods create new lesser daemons called Black Pharaohs, Valkyries and Reiglings. They're "fragments of their masters' wills, creatures sent out to do their bidding, mirrors of their thoughts and emotions." They're not nice but they're not necessarily evil.
  • In The Mansionverse, emons are similar to ghosts, but were never alive in the first place, being purely ectoplasmic spirits. They take a wide variety of forms (and, indeed, are skilled shapeshifters), and are very magically powerful. Not all demons are evil, although a vast majority of them are (most of those live in the Underworld and can be summoned).
  • There's an abundance of fic made by Buzz Feed Unsolved fans in which Shane is a demon. There are literally hundreds of takes on this concept. Most of the time he's explicitly not evil, just mischievous and more often than not, protective.
  • The Story Shuffle series: Demons appear in both series:
    • Story Shuffle: From "In the Details", a title that references the phrase, "The Devil's in the details", and deals with Laplace's Demon.
    • Story Shuffle 2: Double Masters: From "Doom Inevitable":
      the demon spread his wings.
      He was an immense and muscular figure, bipedal, though with arms that stretched past his knees. His batlike wings stretched in the night air, flapping a few times as they shook off the last bits of pitch. Four horns gleamed in the starlight, and four eyes glowed red as he took in his surroundings. He grinned, revealing a set of teeth somewhere between a shark and a paper shredder.

    Films — Animated 

  • The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse: These are normal beings who just happen to look like everything humans fear. While they're made of things like darkness and decay, they're not Always Chaotic Evil, with even their king being kind and helpful. They take many forms, such as a Winged Humanoid, a green imp, or a ball of red light.
  • In the Spanish dub of Dumbo, the Pink Elephants are implied to be this. They are referred to in the lyrics as "las ánimas del terror" ("the spirits of fear") and speculated to be "parientes de Satanás" ("relatives of Satan").

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Though not stated as such in the film itself, the title monster of The Babadook is this sort of creature.
  • Bedeviled: These are humanoid creatures from Another Dimension that can interact with ours via digital signals. They can also create constructs from thin air.
  • Belzebuth: These are fallen angels who seek nothing short of the destruction of the Messiah. They can only interact with the human world by possessing people or objects, but possess complete control over such barring an exorcism. If they're sufficiently powerful, they can destroy the soul of their host, but any human who manages to overcome them is forever immune to demonic influence.
  • Bird Box: Charlie's theory in regards to the creatures' posits them as being demons or something like it, showing people their dead relatives or worst fears and causing irresistible suicidal urges as a result. While his theory on their origin is never confirmed, it is shown that the victims are drawn to visions of past regrets, such as the woman who tried to save Malorie on the street.
  • Black Butler: These appear human, but are completely immune to harm by Earthly objects, can throw a butter knife with the strength to make it cut through bone, and can move faster than the naked eye. They can be bound to contracts to serve humans, but are simply waiting until it's met to eat their souls.
  • Bloody Mallory: There's two varieties: Common demons, a nearly Always Chaotic Evil group of humanoid beings, and super demons, fallen angels who are immensely powerful and have enslaved the common demons.
  • Ciaran the Demon Hunter: These are incorporeal beings who possess people to cause chaos. They resemble blue light and humans they've possessed have yellow eyes.
  • Dark Angel: The Ascent: Demons look pretty similar to humans, but have horns and bat wings. They marry and reproduce, running Hell on God's behalf while piously worshiping Him (yet oddly enough still can't touch any holy objects without harm).
  • Dead Before Dawn: These are dark spirits that can cause suicides and raise the dead.
  • Dead Birds: If demons is even the right term for them. They’re brought into our world by means of gruesome Human Sacrifice, and whoever is possessed receives a Nightmare Face, with a mouthful of sharp teeth and a lack of eyes.
  • Demon Hunter (2005): These come in many levels, from fallen angels at the top to pathetic wretches made of the darkness on the bottom. They are humanoid, but can sometimes be red and have tails, horns and wings. They can possess people, which is only sometimes curable, and breed with humans.
  • Demon Hunter (2016): These are gray, sharp-toothed humanoids who used to be human until Black Magic made them into what they are today. They have Super Strength and arm-blades, and can shapeshift to blend in with humanity. They can only be killed by decapitation and burial on holy ground, but will come back the second their head is removed from the grave.
  • The Demonologist: These are green-skinned horned humanoid who can manifest as a black smoke to possess humans. While they are in human vessels, they can keep them young by bathing in blood. Their blood can grant Age Without Youth.
  • Die You Zombie Bastards!: These are small, wrinkled monstrosities that love to torment people with food products.
  • Don't Kill It: These are incorporeal beings that only exist to destroy humans' lives. They can only interact with the world via possessing people, which traps the souls in utter agony, but each one has its own way of doing so. Their form when not possessing people resembles an orange, glowing orb.
  • Dust Devil: While the term "demon" is never used, the Dust Devils certainly seem demonic. They’re vicious wind spirits of human origin that have to reside in human bodies, but wish to escape into the spirit realm through use of black magic.
  • The Kandarian Demon from The Evil Dead borders on Sentient Cosmic Force of evil. It doesn't have a physical form of its own (until Ash gives it one at the end of the second movie, to better kill it), appearing as a disembodied Impending Doom P.O.V.. It can, however, inhabit numerous dead bodies at once, turning them into horrific Deadites.
  • Flesh for the Beast: These are incorporeal succubi who have their souls bound to human bodies via Human Sacrifice.
  • Ferriman in Ghost Ship is a wicked former human who became a servant of Hell because of his sins. He collects souls for his infernal masters, calling himself a "salvager". He doesn't make deals, and instead tries to tempt people into committing crimes out of the sin of Greed to damn their own souls, which he can then take "home" when he fills his quotum. He can shapeshift, recover from gunshot wounds, and mark ghosts to become his servants in death.
  • Hellbenders: These are incorporeal beings that interact with the world by possessing morally compromised humans. When they transfer bodies, they resemble a swarm of flies. They are weak to holy things, and are sent back to Hell when their host body is killed.
  • Hellbinders: These are beings who don't belong in the realm of the living, and have to possess something that does to enter. They resemble balls of light when not possessing somebody, and hop bodies as soon as their host is killed.
  • Hereditary: These are beings from Hell who seek to enter the Earth. They are incorporeal most of the time, but can take the forms of people's loved ones to torment them further, and seek to possess vulnerable people.
  • Jack-O: These are pumpkin-headed beings who act as automatons for powerful sorcerers.
  • Jennifer's Body: These possess non-virgins sacrificed in Satanic rituals, and give their hosts superhuman abilities in exchange for feeding roughly once a month. If that feeding isn't met, they fade away and cause their hosts to wither. They can be killed via a blade to the heart, and those who survive their bites can inherit their abilities.
  • Legend of the Red Reaper: These are white-skinned humanoids with ridged eyebrows and long hair. Their blood grants immortality at the cost of addiction, they can breed with humans, and they can only be killed by decapitation.
  • Little Evil: These are giant, flaming, skeletal monsters who are trapped in hell and can only escape via sacrificing half-demon children.
  • Nekrotronic: These are evil spirits summoned by Blood Magic, eat souls and have recently figured out how to travel through the Internet. Their true forms resemble glowing green humanoids or black smoke clouds, but they can only interact with the material world by fatally possessing a human.
  • Never Cry Werewolf: In this film, demons are Hell Hounds who can take on the forms of regular dogs. They are also weak to silver just like werewolves.
  • The Dream Demons in A Nightmare on Elm Street. They are ancient and serpentine in appearance, and hold lordship over all nightmares. They find the most evil human imaginable, who they will grant the power to turn dreams into reality. They chose Freddy Krueger, and made him immortal too.
  • Paranormal Activity:
    • Toby, the central demon that serves as the Big Bad of the series, is an invisible being who mostly acts like a poltergeist. It starts out doing harmless things at first, such as moving objects here and there or flipping the switch on and off, but devolves into more malevolent acts. Although it can act on its own, it seems that the demon becomes more powerful by possessing people. In the second film, it is revealed that the demon began to haunt Katie and Kristi because their family made a deal with it to gain wealth in exchange for sacrificing their firstborn son's soul.
    • The Big Bad of Next of Kin is Asmodeus. Like Toby, it is an invisible being who can possess humans. Unlike Toby, who exists in this world because it was summoned, Asmodeus deliberately targets humans because it wants to. It once inflicted a terrible calamity to a Norwegian village, which only stopped when someone managed to trap it in the body of a woman. Since then, it has been passed through the female descendants of said woman.
  • Satan's Slave: These are humanoid beings capable of Black Magic, who go after those whose faith in Islam lapses to torment, kill and enslave them. Their bodies can be destroyed by prayer, which sets them on fire, but they can return to Earth in new forms.
  • The Seventh Curse: These are vicious creatures that eat human flesh and only speak in growls. They're blue, skeletal and have pure white eyes int heir base form, but have a super form that resembles a Xenomorph with bat wings.
  • The Slaughter: These are terrifying Humanoid Abominations from prehistoric times, who have magical powers and can control the dead.
  • Stitches (2001): These are manipulative fiends who wear perfect disguises made of human skin and trap souls in horrible fates via deals.
  • Tales of Halloween: These are Horned Humanoid monsters who can take more human forms and love murder. However, despite that descriptor, they aren't Always Chaotic Evil. Some are vigilantes who bring Karmic Death on the wicked.
  • Truth or Dare (2018): Demons can possess places and even ideas here.
  • The genie race in the Wishmaster series are largely merged with much of the folklore about demons. The Djinn are one of three entities made by God (the others are Angels and Humans) while demons are not stated to exist as separate beings, the wish-granting is identical to a Deal with the Devil since the Djinn's prize is the wisher's soul, and their home dimension is almost identical to Fire and Brimstone Hell, where the souls he collects are gathered to suffer eternal torture.
  • The VVitch: These are servants of Satan who take animal forms and empower witches. They can speak, and spin lies to corrupt their victims.

  • Clamavi de Profundis: Demons are typically depicted as ancient, powerful and unspeakably evil beings, often found deep underground.

    Myths & Religion 
  • While described as water monsters in cryptozoological circles and pop culture, the term "Bunyip" is traditionally taken to mean "dark spirit" in Gamilaraay culture and adjacent cultures like the Wiradjuri (this may in part explain why accounts of these things are so over the place; if its a generic dark spirit, everything goes). Notably they are etymologically connected to "Bunjil", the Top God of the Kulin Nation and ancestor of the people of the eagle moeity, giving some Fallen Angel vibes.
  • The Bible: In the Old Testament, demons like Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies, were the gods of other tribes in the near East. Beelzebub was a corrupted form of Ba'alzebul, or translated from Phoenician, "Lord of the Temple". Zebub means "flies" in Hebrew, so it was a kind of a Take That! to old Baal. Didn't help that at least one Baal (there were a bunch of them; not surprising since the word just means "lord" in most of the languages of the region) had a habit of divination by watching flies (hey, the Romans did it with birds...).
  • Greek Mythology: "Daemon" referred to spirits in a general sense, without inherent moral connotations. Malevolent spirits were referred to as kakodaimons. Many of them were personifications of things that were bad or unpleasant, such as disease, famine, murder, rage, war, broken pottery, etcetera. They seemed to largely issue from Tartarus and many were either children of Nyx and Erebus, goddess of Night and god of darkness respectively, or were the sons and daughters of Eris, goddess of discord. While they were often seen as enemies of the gods (for example, Apollo would often kill/drive away plague demons with his arrows), they would also sometimes be contracted out by the gods when exacting divine punishment on a mortal or mortals for their crimes. Ares is also often described with kakodaimons of war as servants, either riding out to battle with them or having them guard his fortress-palace in Thrace. The benevolent counterparts of kakodaimons were referred to as agathodaemons or eudaemons.
  • Japanese Mythology: What are colloqiually referred to as "demons", usually but not always called "悪魔 (Akuma)", are a hodgepodge of folklore yokai, Buddhist ashuras and the occasional malignant kami, which is pretty different from the Christian interpretation of them as fallen angels.
  • Buddhism has the maras. The term "mara" can refer to three things, three psychological phenomenons, the Mara (as a particular very powerful semi-deva) and the race of demons ruled by Mara itself. The ten hell realms are also often portrayed as ruled by sadistic maras who torture the denizens, however should be notice that as everything in Buddhism, the maras are also living beings who eventually die and be reborn in something else.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Batista was billed in OVW as "The Demon of the Deep" Leviathan. He was summoned from somewhere underwater by the Disciples of Synn and was Bald of Evil with Cute Little Fangs.
  • The Undertaker, "The Demon of Death Valley". One would be remiss to mention the Undertaker without also bringing up his brother Kane, a.k.a. The Devil's Favorite Demon (among other nicknames)
  • Finn Bálor is a curious case, since his WWE "Demon King" persona is inspired by two unrelated figures from Celtic Mythology: folk hero Fionn MacCumhail, and Balor, King of the Fomorians (the Irish equivalent of the jötnar)
  • Rosemary, the demon-possessed version of the former Courtney Rush.
  • CHIKARA had Obariyon and Kodama of The Batiri. They were billed from Bled Island, Slovenia, wore green-and-black facepaint, teamed with a masked goblin named Kobald, and, until Deucalion destroyed Kobald at the return show You Only Live Twice on May 25, 2014, never spoke on camera. When UltraMantis Black brought Kobald, in the storyline, Back from the Dead, he noticed Obariyon and Kodama talking and asked when did they start talking, and they said, "A lot's changed."
    • Gavin Loudspeaker announced Toshie Uematsu as "the dark demon of Joshi" over all three nights of CHIKARA JoshiMania and, on Night III, she teamed with The Batiri in an eight-person mixed-tag match, even wearing Obariyon and Kodama-styled face paint.

    Visual Novels 
  • In The Second Reproduction, the demons are a powerful race with pointy ears and magical powers. All of them also have red eyes and really long lifespans.
  • SHUFFLE! has a demon race, and a god race. It basically means they're capable of magic, and they have long ears. Demons have longer ears than gods.
  • Trapped with Jester: Jester is the Demon of Betrayal and Nightmares. Besides the red eyes and sharp teeth, he appears as a conventional jester, but has powers to bring people back to life and restore their memories.

    Web Animation 
  • Burakku Channel features the titular Burakku, a demon YouTuber. He mostly resembles a high-school-boy in a black and red Gyakuran uniform, with yellow-tinted skin, pointy ears, beady eyes, a constant grin and bangs swept over the left side of his face. There is a red “play” button where his left eye would be on the bangs which mysteriously functions just like a normal eye. He also has the ability to levitate, sprout leathery orange and black wings from his back and summon paperwork contracts for people to sign at a moment’s notice, as well as having a special smartphone that appears to be magic and is friends with a small being with a camera for a head named “Camera-chan”. He, however, still eats, sleeps, bathes and “relieves himself” like any other human.
  • Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss are set primarily in Hell, so a good majority of the characters are demons. In this setting, there is a rigid demon hierarchy: At the bottom are Imps and Hellhounds, Hellborn demons that serve as Hell's lower class. One step up are other Hellborn demons, whom can take all sorts of shapes and appearances and hold a variety of occupations throughout the Seven Rings. Above them are Sinners, humans that underwent demonic apotheosis upon their deaths, their new forms a reflection of their past life somehow. Sinners are among the most common denizens of Hell, because of all the people who die and find themselves there. Ruling over them are the Overlords, a combination of Hellborn and Sinner demons who have eked out a dominion for themselves and have increased their influentiality and power as a result, gaining new magical abilities and acting as Hell's aristocracy. The 1% of Hell is dominated by the Goetia family, a unique brood of avian demons with special duties and delegations assigned to them, as outlined in the Ars Goetia. Above them are seven demons who each rule over a Ring of Hell and represent a Deadly Sin, such as Asmodeus, Mammon and Belphegor. Finally, the Apex of Hell is ruled by the royal family, consisting of Lucifer Morningstarnote , his wife Lilith, and their daughter Charlotte, the protagonist of Hazbin Hotel.
  • The demons of Hells Belles certainly look the part, particularly the horns, but are actually good. After all, their purpose is to punish evil people. They're big on consent (they *were* the first ones to say "no" to G-d), and they are all himbos.

    Web Original 
  • In The Antithesis, Demons only differ from angels by their phenotypes of black wings and dark hair. They live in the same world, but exist on lower layers of a planet that encapsulates Heaven and Hell, called "The Atrium". They do not possess the evil characteristics of the Judeo-Christian religion, but are actually a population of humanoid-looking beings, and their society contains moralistic values, political hierarchies (the highest being Lucifer, their leader/Military Commander/President, the second highest being the Archdemons) that formulate their Parliament, known as the "Obsidian Court". They are characterized with eccentric personalities, and their culture is embellished in art, literature, and theater.
  • In Demonic Symphony the demons are the embodiments of emotional energy projected on the world
    • In theory this means that there should be demons for other strong emotions such as love, but this isn't really touched on during the book.
  • Dreamscape: Keela was a Demon of Human Origin who made a Deal with the Devil to become one.
    • Kaila is a demon from the Unworld as well. Unlike Keela, she was always a demon. And also unlike Keela, she is evil.
    • Vladmare is a demon swordsman who IS the sword.
  • Dream SMP:
    • BadBoyHalo is a Demon, whose Demonic blood grants him semi-immortality, as his life force is tied to Skeppy (who serves as his Soul Jar) and he only loses a canon life when Skeppy does. He is also incredibly tall, standing at 9 feet and 6 inches (289.56cm) — not that you'd be able to tell by looking at his character in-game.
    • Dreamons are a completely different type of entity than Demons. They are able to take on Hosts to do their bidding, but have a variety of weaknesses, which the Dreamon Hunters use for exorcisms and preventing detection by them. Transmuted Dreamons are a rare variation where the Host and the Dreamon constantly and rapidly shift between each other.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Psycho Man calls himself a 'demon lord' and a 'master of the forces of darkness'.
  • Fire Emblem On Forums:
    • Fire Emblem On Forums Wonderful Blessing: In addition to the nebulously-defined demons emerging from Hellrealm, a good portion of the races are designated as Demon Races, not created by the Goddesses, such as goblins, beastkin and gargoyles. Otherwise, they are portrayed as no different from other races.
    • Fire Emblem On Forums Demon Soul Saga: There are three types of demons in the setting:
      • Inner Demons, mental entities that lay dormant in a person's psyche until awoken with the use of an Akuma Seed. These feed on negative emotions such as stress to get stronger, until they get strong enough to engage their hosts in a Deal with the Devil.
      • Akuma, monsters that are the results of Inner Demons overcoming their hosts in the Deal with the Devil. They create their own Pocket Dimension called Domains and are obsessed with the wish that drove them to make the deal. They are also Mook Makers, creating lesser creatures called Onibi that are hostile to anything that isn't their Akuma. They can only be defeated by a Kaijin.
      • Kaijin, superpowered individuals that are the result of the host overcoming their Inner Demon. They have complete control over their abilities, transforming between their demonic and human forms at will, and are tougher than a normal human even untransformed.
  • How to Hero recommends setting traps with peanut butter if you're looking to catch a demon.
  • In the online novel John Dies at the End, the demons turn out to be extradimensional genetically engineered bioweapons created by an insane organic supercomputer from an Alternate History. Somehow, they are still affected by crosses, prayers and the Bible.
  • Limyaael has a checklist of what to consider when creating demons.
  • Word of God says that the Mortasheen equivalent to demons are The Devilbirds, birds that have been psychically charged with certain emotions and must eat said emotions for sustenance, tending to do it in the most horrifying ways possible.
  • Object Destruction has a blob for a demon (also holy water easily just RIDS of said demon)
  • In Pact, demons are Always Chaotic Evil beings of entropy. Each one appears to be a unique entity, and they are divided into seven choirs based on their abilities. The most powerful of these choirs, the Choir of Dark, are straight-up Eldritch Abominations that simply erase things, sometimes even from memory.
  • In The Questport Chronicles, many of the demons are said to be demon transformers who can take on any appearance they wish.
  • The Grimm from RWBY are monstrous Living Shadow creatures who are stated to have no souls and are attracted to the negative emotions of humans. They seek to kill any humans they come across, not for food or territory, but simply because they can. They are described as personifications of destruction, originally created by the God of Darkness to rival his brother's creation of living creatures. How exactly they are born is as yet unknown, except that they seem to emerge from black, tar-like "pools of destruction" located in the place the God of Darkness used to inhabit before he and his brother left Remnant millenia ago.
  • The Salvation War has several different variants of demon. They are fallen angels, distorted by their environment. They invade 21th century Earth as part of the apocalypse. It doesn't work. That said, even the angels and, by extension, God/Yahweh and his brother, Satan are more akin to Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, with all their magic explained through various levels of EM field telepathy and generating of massive bursts of electricity, not to mention "body not built for flying" able to do so through internal sacs of gas that give enough buoyancy for their wings to lift... But tend to catch on fire or explode when damaged too much.
  • On the online Spec Evo project A Scientific Fantasy, demons are a family of giant lemurs.
  • In Soon, I Will Rule The World! this trope is invoked here and parodied here involving our world's demons taken from the Ars Goetia.
  • In Tales of MU demons need to feed from humans to survive, and they have a craving for human flesh well beyond said need... and most of the rest is hearsay. They do have a strong association with fire, and have been shown to possess humans and tempt them. The story also has another class of creatures called "yokai" who in Fanon sometimes fall prey to the translation problem mention above.
  • In Void Domain, demons are eternal beings from Hell, also known as the Void. On a surface glance, the Void is anything but. Domains provide anything a demon could ever want. It creates the opposite problem. There's nothing to work for. Nothing to live for. And yet, dying leads to something much worse. A demon's death sends them to a place that lives up to the name until they can claw their way back to their domain.
  • Whateley Universe: There are several types of Angels, Devils and Squid, and the extent to which Infernal demons (of which both Christian and Buddhist forms appears) and Mythos Beings differ isn't entirely clear; there is some indication that they all started out the same, but over time some became more adapted to this universe and began to take forms and behaviors similar to the native inhabitants. Even being 'evil' isn't universal; Mythos Beings are shown as either being Above Good and Evil and/or having a Blue-and-Orange Morality which has nothing in common with human morality - indeed, some demons (e.g., Carmilla, Thulia, and to a lesser degree, Gothmog) are notably nicer people than many of the mortals in the series, and even Nyarlathotep is shown as more put-upon than malevolent.
    • The one place they do get specific is in the difference between 'demons' and 'devils': a demon is from a Hell, and their form on Earth is only a projection into our universe; a devil is a spiritual predator from this reality, and exists wholly in the here and now. In practical terms, this means you can banish a demon, but you can't kill it (on Earth, at least), whereas you can't banish a devil (it has nowhere else to go) but you can destroy it permanently.


King and the Boiling Isles

King gives a lecture on the demons of the Boiling Isles to Luz.

How well does it match the trope?

4.52 (33 votes)

Example of:

Main / OurDemonsAreDifferent

Media sources: