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"It's a full moon tonight,
I'm gonna get a bite,
I can't wait till I start transforming."
Calibretto, Mysanthropy and the Full Moon
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A Sub-Trope of Our Werebeasts Are Different, dealing with variations of lycanthropy (i.e. werewolves). As with vampires, the exact parameters of lycanthropy vary, but to meet the definition, a werewolf must be like an Animorph who takes the form of a wolf every month (okay, the exact details do vary — see the Werewolf Analysis Page for a listing of common characteristics and customization options).

Werewolves did not receive the same revisionist treatment as vampires did during the '90s, partly due to the high probability of Special Effect Failure in visual media, but also because the concept is much more difficult to rehabilitate. While having your neck bitten by beautiful people is erotic, being torn into bloody chunks and eaten is not. And in most common depictions, werewolves aren't exactly sapient in wolf form. Hence, they're often relegated to supporting roles in Fur Against Fang storylines and Fantasy Kitchen Sink settings. Surprisingly, such an earlier revisionist treatment happened in medieval times for fictitious werewolves; in the Chivalric Romance, a werewolf could be a perfectly gentle and noble beast.

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Recently the werewolf's cachet has been rising. Recent works of note include the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Raised by Wolves trilogy, and the Mercy Thompson and Kitty Norville books. 2010 also saw a highly-publicized remake of The Wolfman, although this depiction is much more traditional than the above. And they are very popular within the Furry Fandom, usually of the more-in-control-while-transformed variety, and their depictions therein can range from the innocent to outright Yiff.

The word "werewolf" is a compound with the archaic English word wer. Etymologically, "man" was once genderless, and wer referred to a male adult; compare this to the Latin vir, where we get the words "virile" and "virtue". Hence, the not-uncommon female lycanthrope should more strictly be a "wifwolf" (or "woman-wolf"), a term that has not seen much actual use. Generally, werewolves are Older Than Feudalism, going back to the European Middle Ages and to the Ancient Greek myth of a king cursed by Zeus to become one. Werewolves are very popular because of qualities of opposing forces of man versus animal nature.

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A common mistake is to use the word lycanthropy to describe any case of a being able to shift between human and animal forms, as the root word "lyc" specifically means "wolf" (the proper term for other animal types is therianthropy—or, if you like, "werebeast").note 

See also Werebeast Tropes and Wolf Tropes for related tropes. See Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism for information on other tropes related to the combination of human and animal features and Shapeshifting for other tropes related to changing form. Youkai are Japanese supernatural creatures that are sometimes depicted as having features similar to werebeasts.

See Werewolf Works for an index of works that prominently feature werewolves.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Jean Jacquemonde is this in Spriggan as his father before him was a werewolf too, being created as a biological weapon of war by ancient civilizations. The catch? He needs to see his own blood after being shot to death to do this. He transforms back to a man after anyone near him is either gone from sight or dead.
  • Free, of Atushi Ookubo's manga Soul Eater is a werewolf of the Man-Wolf variety. His transformation is entirely voluntary and is little more than cosmetic in regards to adding physical abilities (although it gives him claws and a tail). Free is also apparently immortal: He cannot die of old age and regenerates from practically any form of damage seen so far in the show (no-one have used fire or silver on him onscreen, but the witches probably tried it at some point during his imprisonment). He's also an ice mage and illusionist, which come from the magic eye that he took from the leader of the witches.
  • Okami Kakushi has the "Jouga Wolves", a legendary race of wolves that have become indistinguishable from humans in appearance. They're among the most man-like out there, but they still exhibit a strong wild streak, with powerful instincts that they have to constantly suppress, as well as superhuman strength, speed and senses. Their instincts are their biggest problem, since once they give in to them they start to go wild and mad; the instincts tend to be strongly affected by the moon and by specific "tempting" humans.
  • Jyabura, a villain from One Piece, possesses a Devil Fruit power that allows him to transform into a wolf or a wolf/human hybrid that looks like a typical werewolf.
  • Liru from Magical Pokaan turns into a cute little puppy with anything round, strangely enough, except for the full moon.
  • Ginei from Rosario + Vampire, president of the Newspaper Club and Handsome Lech. As a werewolf, his primary battle strategy involves super speed. He can transform at will, but his power varies according to the phase of the moon. He once lost a fight when a cloud covered the moon. Werewolves are, pound for pound, the second strongest monsters overall in Rosario, right under Vampires. In fact, under a full moon its possible for a werewolf to defeat several Vampires at once. Gin is able to defeat an entire branch of Fairy Tale on his own with his Tengu friend Haji, and overpower several Shuzen Vampires during the final battle.
  • The Captain, one of the villains from Hellsing, is a werewolf. He has several forms which he can go between at will, ranging from a human to a mist-like Dire Wolf. In all forms he has massive physical strength and speed with a Healing Factor. Being (one of) the Evil Counterpart(s) of Alucard, he also qualifies as an Animalistic Abomination, thanks to very similar abilities.
    • Hellsing is confusing because while the Captain actually is a werewolf, several other Nazi characters are referred to as "werewolves" despite showing completely different magical powers. This is probably a reference to the actual German use of "werewolf" to refer to alleged post-WWII Nazi loyalists who were supposedly pre-emptively ordered to commit terrorist acts after Germany's defeat, although actual signs of this happening were rare.
  • Wolf familiars Arf and Zafira of Lyrical Nanoha, who are shown as capable of shifting from giant wolves, to this, to full human (i.e., no wolf ears or tails), to Fun Size versions of the first two forms. And just to punctuate the Wolf Man image, Arf's first on-screen transformation into a wolf was accompanied with a full moon in the background.
  • The Earth Clan from Dance in the Vampire Bund have been for generations the sworn protectors of the Tepes family of vampires. In ages past, they accomplished this with claw, rage, and sword blade. These days, they go with claw, rage, and machine guns. Each and every one of them is badass incarnate, especially Akira, the series' protagonist (naturally).
  • Kotaro Inugami of Mahou Sensei Negima! is technically a dog boy, but he associates himself with wolves. He's also proven capable of turning into a really big wolf at full power.
  • Subverted in Wolf's Rain, in that the main characters are sentient wolves not capable of actual shapeshifting; but can make themselves appear human, through a sort of telepathy; in order to hide among humans who would otherwise fear and kill them. They occasionally drop this disguise to frighten humans; or, in one case, to befriend a human by appearing as an ordinary dog.
  • Dora Nikov from Doraemon transforms whenever he sees a round object, becoming a robotic Werewolf.
    • A chapter/episode featured the Wolf-Man Cream, which turns anyone into a werewolf when they see a round object. Nobita's mother mistakenly uses it for make-up, forcing Doraemon to follow her keeping her away from any sort of round objects that would trigger the transformation.
  • Dragon Ball features a Man Wolf (not a Wolf Man), a humanoid wolf who transforms into a man with the full moon. He tries to take revenge on Master Roshi for destroying the moon leaving him a wolf, but Roshi is able to substitute for the moon with hypnotism and Krillin's bald head to turn him human.
    • The reason Master Roshi destroyed the moon was because Goku transforms into a powerful monkey-monster if he sees the full moon, which is similar in concept to the werewolf, and turns out in Dragon Ball Z to be an inherent trait of all Saiyans.
  • Outlaw Star includes the Ctarl-Ctarl/Kataru-Kataru, a species of dark-skinned feline aliens that can transform into cat-wolf-like creatures when exposed to a planet's moon.
  • Appears in many works by Osamu Tezuka. In Phoenix they're a kind of Shinto nature spirits. Another story, Vampire, features more typical ones that are called, well... Vampires (Though many vampire legends say they can turn into wolves, too). Perhaps the weirdest, and arguably most realistic, example is Ode to Kirihito, which revolves around the mysterious illness known as Monmow Disease, an affliction that gradually turns people into canine-like mutants until the trauma the transformation causes to their organs kills them.
  • Holo is a wise Dire-sized wolf who inhabits wheat that can change into a young Wolf Girl. She needs either wheat or blood to transform from one form to another. She is a wolf-god who transforms voluntarily into a human form, however, not a human who becomes a wolf.
  • AR∀GO: City of London Police's Special Crimes Investigator has a variation wherein a specific wolf's pelt, when worn, will turn a person into a werewolf.
  • Boma from Heat Guy J. He started off as a normal human being, but then committed a murder or series of murders. He got a life sentence (his city-state has no death penalty), and his head was genetically and surgically altered to resemble that of a black wolf. He also has the ability to Flash Step and literally pull a sword out of thin air.
  • In the Wild Series, manbeasts are functionally werewolves from heaven. They are a hereditary magical race and can choose when to transform, but lose control around humans without a master to keep them in check. A master is essentially a cure to their madness.
  • In the Hentai anime La Blue Girl, Yaku turns into a werewolf when the moon is full...unless she has a good orgasm by midnight. She is ashamed of this alternate form (and so usually tries to prevent it), but it can occasionally be handy in fights.
  • The Werewolves are different within the Hyper Police series. Both Batanen Fujioka and Tommy Fujioka are werewolves, but look very different.
  • Hellwolf in Tentai Senshi Sunred is an adorable plush wolf that turns into a fearsome, unstoppable werewolf-monster during a full moon. It only works as long as the full moon's rays are directly touching him, however, so when Vamp schedules the Sunred vs. Hellwolf fight to an overcast night his constant switching back and forth leaves him unable to fight in either mode and drives Sunred nuts.
  • Were-Garurumon of Digimon Adventure is a blue-and-white werewolf in spiky clothing. He is an inversion of the "classic" werewolf; he is the evolved form of Garurumon, and since Garurumon regularly powers up by evolving into Were-Garurumon, we have a wolf that becomes a werewolf, as opposed to a man becoming a werewolf. Then everything gets thrown out when Were-Garurumon's evolution is Metal Garurumon, a robot form of Garurumon. Metal Garurumon X on the other hand retains the werewolf shape under the armor.
  • Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest: Akira Inugami's transformation into a werewolf is voluntary, but near unavoidable around the full moon. On the new moon, he can not transform at all. Depending on the phases of the moon, he could be completely bulletproof or totally mortal. Regardless of the moon, he has incredibly bad luck that tends to get others hurt or killed. Especially when Haguro is involved. The only legitimate transmission seems to be inheritance. Biting is never brought up and blood transmission just turns the recipient into a short-lived ogre.
  • Chibiokami from Anpanman is an adorable wolf pup at all times. However, the full moon turns him into a gigantic monster that makes him go berserk. He never has recollections of what happens when he's in this form, only the damage that he has done. Various items can trigger this state, too, such as headlights or a picture of the moon.
  • In My Monster Secret introduces Shiho, who's a half-wolfman. Yes, wolfman — as in, the sight of the full moon turns her into a guy with some wolf-like traits. This form, named Shirou, is an entirely separate personality, but since Shiho is the main, he doesn't retain her memories when they swap (though she retains his). Shirou also changes back into Shiho at the sight of a full moon, but note that for both of them, photographs of the moon are enough to trigger the change.
  • Kouga's clan from InuYasha are wolf-youkai; their actual true form are wolves but can transform into human form, probably similar to Sesshoumaru, but their true form is never shown. They also have the power to control regular wolves.
    Sango: [About the wolf-youkai] They're youkai who control wolves and even though they transform into a human form, their true nature is as wild as those wolves.
  • Bleach: Komamura is an anthropomorphic wolf who can be mistaken for a dog to Running Gag proportions. He lives by the samurai code of loyalty, honour and respect and possesses Undying Loyalty to Yamamoto for saving his life. His tribe used to be humanoid with typical werewolf traitsnote , but committed a great crime and were cursed with the anthropomorphic form. The further under the curse they fall, the more wolf-like they become until they are trapped forever as an ordinary wolf or dog.
  • Ookamikakushi and its anime adaptation have the Kamibito, supernatural wolves that have assumed human form. Under a bad moon or in the presence of humans - especially those with a strong scent, called Temptations - they lose control of their instincts and go berserk, and can turn humans into Kamibito by kissing them.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics
    • Jack Russell from Werewolf by Night. He inherited the werewolf curse from his father, coming into effect on his 18th birthday. He transforms into a Wolf Man three times a month, and eventually gains some control over his form, being able to shift whenever he wants while retaining his human mind.
    • Spider-Man: John Jameson (J. Jonah's son) was an astronaut who was transformed by a ruby he found on the moon into Man-Wolf. He was later transported to the dimension the ruby originated in, where he became Stargod. (Still a man-wolf, but with Jameson's intelligence & personality).
    • The infamous Man and Wolf story arc from 1992 brought pretty much anything wolf related in the Marvel Universe into play as Captain America had to deal with a whole town of werewolves created by Nightshade via scientific means. This eventually included Captain America himself becoming a werewolf, called "Capwolf" in the series. Eventually, this got Nightshade herself to motivate her to actually cure the problem she started. The arc is frequently mocked these days for how bizarrely Silver Age it felt in the middle of the 90s Dark Age.
    • X-Men:
      • Wolfsbane debuted in 1980's New Mutants and is a mutant shapechanger who originally could become a red-furred wolf, or a 'werewolfgirl' intermediate form. These forms continued to change as she grew, influenced by emotional crises, mind control, drugs, mutant energy influxes, whatever the writers could dream up. She's been stuck in her intermediate form before, too. Twice (at least) depowered and restored, she has served on more teams (and in more different comic books) than most any character. Wolfsbane's Love at First Sight is the Asgardian wolf prince Hrimhari, who is a regular wolf with the power to turn into a wolf-man. She also befriended Catseye of the Hellions, who was a werecat who also changed shape voluntarily. However, she had to be coaxed into human form by her teammates and had a strange way of speaking that suggests that like Hrimhari, she's an animal who can turn into a human and not the other way around.
      • The minor character Wolfcub is stuck in a "wolfman" form. A couple of plots have tried to explain that all mutants with regenerative powers, claws, and heightened senses are a subspecies of mutant (Homo superior lupus) that is the origin of werewolves. The same is said for Demonic mutants (like Nightcrawler), Angelic mutants (like Angel), and Cat like mutants (Feral, Thornn, and Catseye).
      • Myles "Vivisector" Alfred from X-Force/X-Statix is similarly a mutant whose power is to transform into a Wolf Man.
    • In Runaways, the heroes have to go up against a group of "cowboy werewoofs". One character is surprised at this because "there isn't even a full moon tonight". This prompts another character to point out that the "moon is always full."
  • DC Comics has several examples:
    • Anthony Lupus, a werewolf who has fought Batman a couple of times. Lupus was an Olympic athlete who was given a serum by Dr Milo that transforms every full moon. The first appearance of Lupus was loosely adapted into the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Moon of the Wolf", where Lupus' name was changed into the slightly less obvious note  Anthony Romulus.
    • Lar-On is a Kryptonian werewolf whom Superman and Batman fought in World's Finest #256 (way back in the Bronze Age) and who fought Supergirl in Supergirl (Rebirth). His lycanthropy was a sickness caused by Red Kryptonite poisoning (Red-K does weird things to Kryptonians as opposite to the lethal and most famous green type). He turns into a muscled, huge, purple-red, humanoid wolf with firey Eye Beams.
    • In Adventure Comics #387 Supergirl is accidentally turned into a wolf-girl, while a wolf-girl Supergirl from a lupine alternate universe is turned into a human.
    • Young All-Stars, a companion book to All-Star Squadron, had the rather unusual Sea Wolf in Axis Amerika, in that he was an aquatic werewolf who acted as an evil expy of Aquaman. His transformations seemed to willful, as he reverted back to human form when he was knocked unconscious.
    • Brother Donatus Chalice from Hellblazer is a Hound of God variant, seeing as he's a monk in his human form. The only thing keeping his transformations during the full moon in check is the crucifix that he wears at all times. If provoked into anger in his human form, elements of his wolf form may push through, like his nails turning into claws and his incisor teeth lengthening.
    • In Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, one storyline had a wolf who, thanks to a magical artifact, transformed under a full moon into a "wuz-wolf", a feral-looking human being. (The Zoo Crew's Earth having no humans, who are considered only to be fictional creatures, is noted at several points during the story).
    • In the very allegorical House of Mystery story "Maidenhead", the Children of the Blue Gray's lycanthropy is sexual (it's unclear whether arousal leads to the change or vice versa, because as far as they're concerned it's the same thing), but also seems to be tied into their Crystal Dragon Mohammad religion.
  • Bigby Wolf of Fables is a sort of inversion. He was a giant wolf great enough to eat entire armies at one go (indeed, he was the Big Bad Wolf), but he allowed Snow White to cut him with a lycanthropy-cursed knife so that he could take a human form at will in order to live peacefully in our world. In addition to allowing him to pass as human, this gives him the ability to transform into a Wolf Man form as well as a hybrid form, which he uses to keep the peace in Fabletown, but also makes him vulnerable to silver, which several villains have used against him in the comic and in the game The Wolf Among Us.
  • Early in the chronology of ElfQuest, Timmain, one of a group of elfin space travelers stranded on the Earth-like World of Two Moons, shapeshifted into various forms in order to understand the planet's ecology, finally turning herself into a fully fertile she-wolf so that she could mate with the alpha male of a wild pack and have offspring. She didn't just do that on impulse, but so that her descendants would be a part of the planet. In more recent issues (set about 20,000 years later) the elf Kimo has learned from Timmain how to shapeshift into a wolf.
  • Mikola Rostov from The Warlord was a Russian fencing instructor cursed to become a werewolf every full moon. Rostov followed his lover Mariah to the other-dimensional realm of Skartaris, hoping the perpetual sunlight would free him of his curse. He eventually went back in time to the age when the land was called Wizard World. There Jennifer Morgan cast a spell that cured him from his werewolf curse. However he can still use his "wolf spirit" in battle.
  • In Fred Perry's Gold Digger, one of the main characters is one of the last Werecheetahs. Other weres include Lions, Tigers, Rats, and Wolves. Each subspecies is able to shift between human, animal, and a "Wolf-Man" styled hybrid form. All of the weres retain their rationality in each of their forms, although they need to learn to control their instincts during childhood. Although the weres are separate species, they are capable of spreading Lycanthropy to Humans as a disease; they were originally created by a wizard as Super Soldiers before said wizard was betrayed. They have a Healing Factor for everything except attacks by another were — and silver, which literally burns their flesh and souls! Magic and Dwarven Steel disrupts the magic in the were's aura, which slows down their Healing Factor. The main character in question is the last Full-blooded were-cheetah and the werewolves have only one fertile female left due to a war between the two and betrayal by the leader of the werewolves which left Britanny the last were-cheetah and the werewolf clan in ruins.
  • Little Gloomy takes place in Spooksville, Frightsylvania, where the moon is always out, and always full. Accordingly, the sizable werewolf population is a constant danger to the average citizen, with one of the only civilized werewolves being Gloomy's friend Larry.
  • Thicker than Blood features two brothers, one of whom is a werewolf (of the manwolf variety) while the other turns out to be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or at least something like him. The werewolf brother originally only transforms on the full moon nights after being bitten on a family trip, but after drinking his brother's serum he appears to change more frequently and is even stronger and more feral than usual.
  • In the Blood is a limited series, currently held up in production due to the artist suffering from cancer, which centers on a teenager struggling with his burgeoning lycanthropy. He seems to be unable to control when his transformations occur and is styled after the classic Lon Chaney wolfman style. It's been implied in interviews that this is a family affliction.
  • The Astounding Wolf-Man, written by Robert Kirkman, focuses on a man who, after being infected with lycanthropy on a family vacation, uses it as a means by which he can become a superhero. His werewolf powers give him super strength and healing, but only work at night. Also on the night of the full moon he enters a feral state and can no longer control his actions.
  • In Beasts of Burden, it's a demon possessing someone's body, doesn't seem to be restricted by moon cycle when taking over the body, and it gives the person the ability to talk to animals. Silver bullets are still the way to go though.
  • In the Wildstorm title Wetworks, werewolves are a separate species (as are the vampires, with which the werewolves are secretly at war), which spend most of their time in human form, but have trouble controlling their rage when transformed into wolfmen. For the first two years of the title, the titular team was employed as vampire killers by the werewolf king (originally presenting himself merely as a human billionaire concerned about the vampire problem). An interesting twist is that most werewolves find it increasingly difficult to control their rage as they get older, so most of the governing in werewolf society is done by the children.
  • Last Man Standing's Ronin is a Ragin' Cajun salesman who had his life turned around under a Blue Moon...
  • Welcome to Hoxford had a pack of werewolves running a prison/mental asylum, in order to hunt the inmates. These werewolves are huge, skeletal and vicious, and have a propensity for eating human flesh, though notably they lack the invulnerability many werewolves had, and can be killed with physical weapons. They also transform very squickily, and seem functionally ageless.
  • Ferals focuses on a breed of very violent and strong werewolves that do not appear to have any restrictions on when they can transform. While they are certainly not mindless, they do seem prone to unquenchable bloodlust and cruelty while they are in wolf form. They fall closest to the dire wolf flavor of lycanthropy, except perhaps with a gallon of steroids thrown in for good measure.
  • In Creature Commandos, Warren Griffith isn't a mythic werewolf, but rather one created by science. He lacks any of your typical werewolf weaknesses, but he his transformations from human to wolfman are extremely random. His wolf form also has a markedly different personality than his human form.
  • In "'X'-tra 'X'" in Creepy #34 a mutated form of Klinefelter syndrome caused the extra X chromosome to be affected by the full moon's gravity and produce a certain fluid which was responsible for lycanthropic transformations.
  • This is a plot point in the Vampirella story "Isle of the Huntress". Vivienne's lycanthropy is immune to silver, but Vampirella can still kill her by sucking her dry. Jean's, on the other hand, is not immune.
  • Played for Laughs in a Mickey Mouse comic that's centered around a "novel" written by Goofy. It involves various supernatural happenings, but Goofy insists that everything has a natural explanation in the end. At one point, Mickey calls him out for having a blatantly real werewolf transformation. Goofy insists that lycanthropy is perfectly natural — a severe allergic reaction to the full moon. Furthermore, the werewolf transforms back to normal when a character claims it's not the full moon, and then back to werewolf form when another one corrects him that it actually is.
  • Werewolves in Crimson were descendants of Cain after he murdered Abel under the influence of an angelic sword that made him kill his brother. Their condition is seemingly hereditary rather than transmitted through bites like vampirism. They are capable of transforming at will and retain some sense of control and speech in transformed form.
  • Age of the Wolf: The werewolves that show up to herald the end of humanity are initially fairly standard lycanthropes for the most part, turning at the sight of the full moon into bestial predators and spreading their infection through bites. Then over the course of a few decades the werewolves evolve from purely feral creatures to sapient Wolf Man people with their own civilization that aims to hunt down and replace the remaining humans. At one point the female Alpha also resurrects several buried werewolf corpses to lay a trap for the heroine.
  • Werewolves in Requiem Vampire Knight are what religious zealots who spread death in the name of faith become in the world of Resurrection; the most powerful of all is the infamous Inquisitor Torquemada.

    Fan Works 
  • Werewolves in The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments are wolves which turn into bigger wolves during the full moon.
  • In My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return, the Diamond Dogs are reimagined as werewolves, which in this setting are wolves who learned magic and took on human form.
  • The social ramifications of lycanthropy in Harry Potter are fully explored at Absit Omen including direwolves: werewolves engineered by a dark wizard that are more dangerous than the canonical versions, being transformed for the entirety of the full moon cycle.
  • The Calvinverse:
    • Subverted in Attack of the Teacher Creature - the werewolf is really just a wax sculpture.
    • Actual werewolves show up in The Luna Syndicate, which are pretty much bipedal wolves with no indication of transformation. There's also the fact they're from a parallel dimension along with other monsters such as vampires and zombies, all of which whose presences are influenced by a red star.
  • Two different (but related) kinds of werewolf show up in Weres Harry.
    • The Skin-Changers like Harry can shift between forms at any time, with full control in both shapes. They are also noted to look bulkier and more bestial when transformed (If a regular werewolf looks something like a human with claws and a wolf's head, a Skin-Changer looks more like a wolf's head on a gorilla's body, again with claws). The bite is not infectious, with the gift instead being a hereditary talent. Harry is the only one currently known to exist.
    • The werewolves were created when a ritual designed to cut off the Skin-Changers from their alternate forms went badly awry. Werewolves can change only under the full moon, have infectious bites, and go berserk when transformed. "Born" werewolves (werewolves born to other werewolves) retain greater control through the change, to the point where a third-or-fourth generation "born" wolf retains his or her full human mind without the need for Wolfsbane.
  • In the Star Wars fic Ocumwhowurst, someone created werewolves by messing around with mixing wolf DNA with other beings. A serum was created, and although someone guarded it after it was discovered, a couple humans still got hold of some and became werewolves. One of them bites Luke, who then has to try and find a cure.
  • In the Outlaw Star fanfic A Fistful of Dragonite Aisha of the C'tarl Tribe proudly (and loudly) proclaims she is a mystical skinchanger, a rare breed of native capable of changing her shape into a voracious, ferocious beast. Whether or not this is true is... subjective.
  • Lycanthropy is very thoroughly elaborated in the Dangerverse, and given that Remus Lupin is one of the main characters, virtually all the details are plot-relevant at some point or other.
    • Lycanthropy was created when Rhea Silvia, the she-wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus, pronounced a curse on the former for killing the later. The curse is in four parts: 1) That the victim shall transform into the likeness of a wolf at every full moon. 2) That when so transformed they shall have the mind of a rabid beast as well as the body of one, attacking every human they find. 3) That as a consequence of 1&2, the victim shall be forever outcast and friendless. 4) That as Rhea's sole mercy, those so cursed shall be rendered sterile, that they might never know Rhea's pain.
    • Lycanthropy is caused by a combination of a virus (which induces the physical changes) and a curse (which influences the mind). If the curse is transferred, the disease can be cured, but the reverse is not true.
    • Fluid exchange or blood adoption can infect humans with a dormant version of the werewolf virus. This does not cause any of the usual effects, instead manifesting as the disease lupus. However, a wizard infected with this dormant form of the virus can give others lycanthropy when in an Animagus form.
    • The strength of the werewolf curse can be affected by how its victims are treated immediately after the bite. If they are treated badly, then the curse is strengthened, but if they are shown love and friendship, it is weakened. After a short time, the curse "sets" and its strength then shall be its strength thereafter.

    Film 
  • Werewolf of London (1935), the earliest extant werewolf feature film (some silent werewolf films existed, but are now lost), introduced the moon/werewolf connection and the contagion meme. Not only does the full moon cause the infected to transform, but the only antidote for the transformation (the "mariphasa") is a fictional flower which only blooms under moonlight.
  • Curt Siodmak built on the above foundation in the script for The Wolf Man (1941), and added the henceforth near-unavoidable weakness to silver. "Even a man who is pure in heart, and says his prayers at night, may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright." A less copied touch is the trait of having the werewolf seeing the mark of a pentacle on his fated next victim. Even less copied, Lawrence Talbot (the hero/villain of the movie and its sequels) can come back even after being killed with silver if his body is exposed to the light of a full moon. This happens at least twice over the course of the movies.

    There are references to the use of silver against werewolves as far back as in the 18th century or more. Back then silver was considered effective against all sorts of evil entities, and wasn't absolutely necessary in disposing them. In fact there are stories of using silver against them that go back to the 16th century, and possibly earlier, it merely wasn't that common until recently when this film made it popular.
  • An American Werewolf in London used a dire wolf transformation, who proves vulnerable to ordinary gunfire. It also almost single-pawedly popularised the horrible transformation subtrope. The transformation from American Werewolf In London is paid tribute to in Fright Night (1985) where Evil Ed (who is a wolf at the time during that scene) turns back into a human.
  • The modern man-wolf style made its popular debut in The Howling (1981), which featured infectious werewolves who otherwise acted as a species (changing at will and possibly retaining their own minds, though with predatory instincts).

    It should be noted that both An American Werewolf In London and The Howling came out in 1981 (as well as the sorta werewolf movie Wolfen). Together, they make an almost perfect example of this trope in action. In The Howling a character points out that the werewolves must be killed with silver, while saying the full moon thing is just Hollywood made up stuff. In An American Werewolf In London, the titular character is told by his now undead friend to commit suicide before transforming during the full moon, but when the werewolf asks if he needs silver bullets, he's told to get real!
  • Howling II: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch had Transylvanian werewolves who exhibited more vampiric traits (aversion to holy water and only a stake through the heart can kill them) and are weak to titanium instead to silver.
  • In Howling III: The Marsupials, we are introduced to werethylacines. The movie also implies that the therianthropes of that reality are akin to the wolves in Wolf's Rain, as they've evolved to become human to survive human persecution of their baser species (the wolves in Russia, thylacines in Australia). What makes that especially weird is that, despite being ten a penny in the rest of the world, shapeshifting myths are completely unknown in Australia.
  • Teen Wolf and the Animated Adaptation, Teen Wolf The Animated Series, featured a light comedy version of this. These werewolves were hereditary, and could transform at will retaining full mental faculties, but lost control of the transformation on nights of the full moon.
  • Wolf has Jack Nicholson's character Will gradually become more and more werewolfish in his behavior during the days leading up to the full moon. In desperation, he acquires a mystic amulet that will supposedly prevent his transformation, but all it does is keep him in a half-man/half-werewolf (think about that one for a moment) state. Until the guy he bit shows up, more werewolfish than Will and threatening Will's new love interest. Will tosses the amulet aside and quickly catches up to the other werewolf, finally looking like a Wolf Man lite before leaving. At the end of the film it's revealed that the curse has run its course and Will has become a full wolf. And his girlfriend is going to be one, too. After next month, at least.
  • The infamous Cantina Scene from A New Hope showed a Shistavanen, which though not werewolves certainly fit the bill of "wolfman". The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us "wyrwulves", the nonsentient canine immature form of the Codru-Ji; KotOR also provides rakghouls, who in terms of transforming someone who has been bitten fall squarely between werewolves and zombies with a dash of Body Horror.
  • The Company of Wolves has a very different take on werewolves, in that they're actually much more faithful to the medieval version of werewolves, albeit combined with a lot of hard-to-understand symbolism. But hey, the transformation sequences are awesome.
  • Werewolf was wildly inconsistent in its portrayal of the titular monsters; they vary between looking like really hairy men and looking like "a bear with a bat mask." Even a scratch from a dead werewolf's bone is enough to transmit "werewolfism" to other people; one victim gets scratched and transforms while driving. Mike and the 'bots did not let this pass without comment; for instance, the sketch where Mike accidentally gets scratched by Crow and begins transforming into a "were-Crow", or "Where Oh Werewolf". The film has the gall to go out of its way to argue that its titular beast is "not a traditional white man's movie monster", but some obscure Native American curse. And then proceeds to have said werewolf behave... exactly like a white man's movie monster. It is claimed that the silver bullets only incapacitated one of the infected characters. And the inconsistent makeup seems to just show progression; they just look very hairy at the start of their transformation, and wear the bat-mask when they're fully "wolf". By the way, said werewolves aren't very tough; a random bystander gets into a fistfight with one, and almost wins.
  • Ladyhawke features a couple of young lovers cursed to take on animal form at different times, as to keep them apart; the man turns into a wolf at night, and the lady... guess what.
  • Not only is there a Lawrence Talbot in Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman but Theodore is turned into a werepuppy.
  • In Big Fish by Tim Burton, the main character suspects that the circus ringmaster (Danny Devito) is a werewolf; it turns out he actually is one but not an evil or monstrous one.
  • Dog Soldiers has werewolves who change at the full moon, but can hold it back if they wish, though with difficulty. Also, silver isn't absolutely necessary to kill them, even while they're in wolf form. It's just really difficult without it.
  • Silver Bullet has a werewolf who is a church pastor and changes EVERY NIGHT, though he gets less "wolfish" in form and thought the further away time gets from the full moon, and vice versa.
  • Underworld and its oddly named sequels answer the age old questions of what would happen if vampires and werewolves got into a centuries old blood war, and what would happen if someone was turned by both vampires and werewolves. In Underworld, werewolves, or lycans, are from the brother strain of the virus that produced the vampires. There are two strains of werewolves. The first came from the first werewolf, William Corvinus, and all those bitten by him. They're dire wolves, but they can never turn back to humans ever again, and they've permanently lost their minds. The second version is the ones descended from Lucian, who was born from a woman who had been turned by one of William's wolves while pregnant. They are monstrous man-wolves with jet black skin and very little hair. The latter ones go berserk on their first transformations, but as they age they can gain control. They can voluntarily transform during the full moon, but they don't have to, and again, older ones can transform when they please. Both forms are transferred via a bite, though it's briefly mentioned that only a small percentage of humanity can be turned, and in the rest, the virus is fatal. Both forms are regenerating immortals. (Immortal to an extent anyway; silver works, but ripping their head off without silver works too). There's also Michael Corvin, who's a badass hybrid as a result of Selene turning him near the end of the movie, but resembles a werewolf far more than a vampire, likely because he was bitten by a werewolf first. He's a wolf man, and has complete and total control over his transformations, sometimes even doing partial transformations with ease.
    • Lucian is also notable for having learned precise muscle control, allowing him to expel silver bullets before they poison him. Unfortunately, this is useless against silver nitrate, which is a liquid.
    • Similar to Michael, Marcus becomes a hybrid by accidentally tasting the blood of a lycan. However, since he was a vampire first (the first vampire, no less, which is what allows him to survive the transition), his new form is distinctly more bat-like, even including wings that allow him to fly or impale anyone. He still appears to fear sunlight, but that may be a psychological effect from all the centuries of fearing it and the unwillingness to test his limits. He is even tougher than Michael, although being put through a Helicopter Blender appears to do the trick.
    • In later films, more hybrids appear, and they are all immune to silver.
  • Van Helsing features big muscular werewolves that rip the skin off their former human selves when they transform. When they turn back into a human they tear off their werewolf skin.
  • Ginger Snaps has its title character bitten by a werewolf on the night that she gets her first period. Unlike most werewolf movies, Ginger's transformation into the monster (which is of the Man-Wolf type) is gradual, and there're many ties with the onset of puberty. Silver and wolfsbane (usually referred to as monk's hood) work on the werewolves in the Ginger Snaps trilogy, though the latter must be liquefied and injected to have any real effect.
  • In Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, Ginger's sister Brigitte—who survived but was infected—takes regular, weakened doses of monk's hood in order to inhibit her transformation.
  • The Wolfman from The Monster Squad was a pretty solid Wolf Man. Regular bullets didn't work on him, as revealed in the scene with the cops and the coroner guy. In his first encounter with the protagonists in the old house on Shadowbrook Road, he gets kicked in the nards by "Fat Kid" Horace, which proves to be quite effective. After being blown up by the main character and his father and recovering, he's finally finished off when Rudy, the oldest of the titular group, uses a silver bullet to kill him, completely ignoring the fact that you need a cartridge in order for the bullet to actually fire.
  • Bad Moon features a werewolf that changes every night, without the need for a full moon, and that doesn't need any special method to kill (or harm).
  • In the Wes Craven film Cursed, Werewolves have a powerful sexual allure to members of the opposite sex. The curse itself seems to confer an uncanny ability to pull off complex pro-wrestling moves in high school wrestling matches, and killing the cursed werewolf that infected you won't cut it for the cure... you have to kill the natural born werewolf that infected it.
  • Trick 'r Treat features all-female werewolves who change their form by tearing apart their human skin in a rather gruesome way. They also seem to congregate in Halloween nights to party and devour men. (Or sometimes women, they aren't real picky...)
  • Red Riding Hood: One can only be turned into a werewolf if they are bitten by one during the Blood Moon. And only those that are in their bloodline can understand what they say. Everyone else hears only growls.
  • Nosferatu has a scene of a werewolf (actually, a hyena) roaming the inn that the protagonist stops at en route to Orlock's castle in the Carpathians.
  • The Matrix Reloaded uses a very bizarre iteration of this trope. The Merovingian uses old programs from previous versions of the Matrix as his private Mook Army - notably because they are powerful and notoriously hard to kill, even by Agent standards. The programs themselves are said to be variations of werewolves, vampires, and ghosts. But other than The Twins, the rest don't really exhibit any of the typical traits (other than Persephone using a silver bullet to kill a supposed werewolf program).
  • In Big Bad Wolf has a werewolf that can still retain it's human mind, and talks even in werewolf form. Of course, this means nothing when this particular werewolf has the mindset of a serial killer and serial rapist.
  • Werewolf: The Beast Among Us has an In-Universe example - it turns out the particular werewolf in the film is a different kind then the werewolf hunters are used to dealing with. Justified as this werewolf was a result of an experiment of a mad scientist who's using the werewolf to kill people.
  • The Asylum 's Battledogs is basically a Zombie Apocalypse with werewolves.
  • The werewolves in Skinwalkers are of the Wolfman variety. They turn on the full moon, but the existence of a Red Moon causes them to change regardless of the moon phase. Also, if one feeds on human flesh, it causes them to permanently develop a more wolf-like personality, though the severity varies from each werewolf.
  • The Werewolf of Washington: These ones are your standard Wolf Man deal, but they also have a star-shaped mark on their chests in human form.
  • Wolfman: These werewolves are your traditional Wolf Man archeype, except they're caused by a Satanic curse and an index finger longer than the others is a sign of lycanthropy.
  • Werewolves on Wheels: These ones are of the Wolf Man variety, created by a Satanic curse and weak to fire.

    Music 
  • The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion song "She Said" involves a man getting lycanthropy by cheating on his girlfriend (that's a new one), and the transformation is triggered by the blooming of wolfsbane. The song ends with him being killed with a silver bullet.
  • "Werewolves Of London" by Warren Zevon. Some versions mentioned Lon Chaney Jr while some other ones mention Jack Nicholson.
  • Frank Hayes's "Silver Bullet Blues".
  • Of Wolf And Man by Metallica.
  • Full Moon Madness, Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade) and Lickanthrope, by Portuguese Metal band Moonspell. In fact, the name is a reference to werewolves.
  • Zomby Woof by Frank Zappa.
  • Bark at the Moon by Ozzy Osbourne.
  • She Wolf/Loba by Shakira.
  • Go watch Du riechst so gut.
  • "Wolf Like Me" by TV on the Radio.
  • Full Moon by Sonata Arctica.
  • The album Nattens Madrigal - Aate hymne til ulven i manden by Ulver. The title translates to The Madrigal of Night - Eight Hymns To The Wolf In Man, and it does not disappoint.
  • "There's a Lycanthrope On the Bus" and "Werewolfe" by Scary Bitches.
  • Pentagram, "Sign of the Wolf".
  • Horror Of Our Love by Ludo. Also contains Vampires and Ghosts.
  • "Midnight Hunger" by Thornwill.
  • Wolf by EXO. In the Drama version of the music videos for both Wolf and Growl, we can see that being a werewolf in EXO entails having an exotic white hair colour, a cool tattoo on your arm, glowing red eyes at certain times, and no transformation (although the usual werewolf aspects of super-strength are still there).
  • The Animal by Disturbed, which seems to jump between loss of control and enjoying the transformation (or possibly enjoying the loss of control). The narrator does at one point warn the victims to run.
  • The music video for "Heads Will Roll" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs features a wolfman dancer who eventually loses control and massacres his audience.
  • "Howl" by Florence + the Machine.
  • Lobo hombre en paris by La Union is about a wolf that was bitten by a wizard, and turns intro a men. His name is Denis.
  • Curse of the Werewolf and Return of the Werewolf by Timeless Miracle.
  • Wolf by Iced Earth
  • She-Wolf by Megadeth
  • No Spill Blood by Oingo Boingo
  • Powerwolf presents themselves as a group of Heavy Metal Werewolves, and as such, they have many songs such as Night of the Werewolves and Son of A Wolf.
  • Werewolf by the Five Man Electrical Band.
  • Alive (Nightmare) by Kid Cudi
  • The themes for Killer Instinct's werewolf, Sabrewulf, with the original Tooth and Claw theme and the 2013 theme
  • The music video for The Griswold's "Beware The Dog" involves a werewolf and a Red Riding Hood-type going around killing people. The werewolf is revealed to actually be another girl, possibly her girlfriend.
  • Schandmaul has two examples of this. Wolfsmensch is somewhere between Werwolf and Raised by Wolves, while Zweite Seele could also be interpreted as some other kind of Enemy Within
  • AS Ps Lykanthropie (Es tobt ein Krieg in mir) is written from the view of a werewolf who denies that he has been transformed into a wolf.
  • Paul and Storm's "Cruel, Cruel Moon" is a jaunty, upbeat song about a guy whose wife/girlfriend has become a werewolf. The chorus is a plea to the moon not to come out tonight, because "when you shine, that baby of mine will" ... followed by a description of what she's going to do, which gets longer and more gory with each repetition of the chorus.

    Mythology / Folklore 
  • Classical Mythology has one of the oldest examples of a werewolf. A king named Lycaon tried to serve the flesh of his own son Nyctimus as a meal for Zeus. But instead, Zeus punished Lycaon by changing him into a wolf. We call the belief in werewolves 'lycanthropy' ever since.
  • The werewolf of Western medieval tradition tended to fall in the Devil's deal categorynote , with the bargainer typically gaining the ability to become a normal or dire wolf through the use of a magic wolf pelt or wolfskin belt. According to the church of the time, the Devil would not actually be powerful enough to change the physical forms of anyone—that level of control over the fabric of reality was reserved for God. Satanist werewolves thus weren't actually shapeshifters, just illusionists who liked to terrify their victims before slaughtering them. When they killed people with their bare hands and ate the corpses, they were fully human and fully aware of what they were doing. Benighted (Bareback to all you British readers) discusses the mythology in some detail in an appendix.

    Outside the official Church line, magic was considered real and powerful (at least enough to grant powers like shapeshifting), but the legal treatment was purely based on the effects; supposedly killing a person or animal by magic was considered essentially the same as poisoning, for example (and considering that "witch" and "poisoner" were often the same word in many languages, including Latin, this made a certain amount of sense). In any case, many sociopathic serial killers of the era were considered, and possibly considered themselves to be, werewolves. Also, the crime of bestiality was often associated to werewolfism, as well. Accusations of being a werewolf were generally a subset of accusations of witchcraft, with the same deadly punishment.
  • The other common variety is an ordinary man, sometimes even a man of faith, cursed to be a wolf for a certain amount of time, usually ten years. In this case they had all their normal intelligence and personality, but were trapped in the wolf's body. Notably, the cursed variety is normally described to be completely harmless, even less dangerous than ordinary wolves. Often they were described as such lousy hunters that it makes you wonder how they survived their cursed period at all.
  • In Slavic folklore, the process of "turning into a wolf" is sometimes interpreted very literally: one must turn around, or somersault, and land in a new shape. While holding onto a magic blade, stuck into a magic tree. If the blade is then removed by someone, the poor sorcerer-gymnast remains in the animal form. This would be the cursed variety - cursed by their own curiosity and lack of foresight. Evil sorcerers, on the other hand, usually keep track of the knife.
  • Herodotus mentions a people he calls "Neuroi", who might or might not have been ancestors of the Slavs. He records that they were said to all turn into wolves for a couple of days a year. This is generally interpreted as a reflection of shamanic practices and/or belief in werewolves.
  • An interesting variation was the Hounds of God. In Swedish Livonia, a man by the name of Thiess claimed that Werewolves were given their powers not by the Devil, but by God to battle the forces of the Devil. Our Werewolves Are Different indeed. So, no, Van Helsing wasn't just making shit up, and neither was Werewolf The Apocalypse (see Tabletop Gaming). Neil Gaiman used this variant too, in The Graveyard Book.
  • A similar story to that of Thiess is the benandanti ("good walkers" in Italian). According to this legend from the Friuli section of northern Italy, these are heroic creatures born with their powers, who leave their bodies every night, wield iron bars and journey into the underworld to battle evil witches and preserve the fertility of the local farmland. Curiously, only men are said to become animal-like when they leave their bodies; women ride on animals instead.
  • The Castilian "Lobo Hechizado" (lit. "Cursed Wolf"): a man cursed to transform into a wolf in certain nights, where it is dangerous to people, but he can tell when he is going to transform beforehand and is gentle enough to alert his neighbors so they can hide in their houses and be safe when it happens. The identity of the wolfman is known by everyone in town, making it the Ur-Example of a Friendly Neighborhood Werewolf.
  • Celtic Mythology has the Faoladh, another benevolent version of the werewolf. Supposedly they protected children and wounded men. Despite that, they still liked to abscond with livestock when they couldnote .
  • In Norse Mythology, berserkers were warriors devoted to Odin, who turned into wolf-men or bear-men in the frenzy of battle. The usually accepted etymology for the word is ber-serkr, which meant "bear shirt"note . Berserkers who wore wolf pelts were called "úlfhéðnar" (wolf coats).
  • Werewolves are also listed as a side effect of one obscure Scandinavian folk-magic spell. If a woman stretches the afterbirth of a horse (the membrane the foal was in before coming out of the mare) between two sticks, then crawls through the opening without tearing it, it is said she shall never experience pain in childbirth — at the expense of all her boy children being born werewolves, and all of her girl children being born maras (dream witches).
  • In Basque folklore, the wolfman (Gizotso) is the literal hybrid offspring of a human and a wolf, and as a result it suffers no transformation. Fridge Horror sets in when you take into account that it also wears broken chains, as if it has just escaped someone's basement...
  • A very peculiar version of the werewolf is the Galician-Portuguese lobisome(m). Despite its name literally meaning "wolf-man", the lobisomem actually turns into a black pig-dog hybrid thing. Attention is drawn to its large ears falling over its eyes. It eats garbage way more than it kills and eats animals or people. In fact, a lobisomem in human form is easily identified because it has a sickly appearance and acute digestive problems derived from this. Some lobisomem traits:
  • Because of emigration, the Lobisomem myth became particularly rooted in the La Plata basin in South America, to the point that its belief has been related with the persecution of the local maned wolf who is inoffensive and almost vegetarian. Argentina even passed a law in 1907 that declared every 7th son to be the godson of the President, in an attempt to decrease the abandonment of these children by superstitious couples. Possibly because of Guarani influence, in Brazil and Paraguay the lobisomem evolved into a furry monkey-bat thing that sucks human blood, and when on all fours it closely resembles the modern Chupacabra.
    • Speaking of Guaraní mythology, they have stories about a being known as Luisón, who was the seventh son of Tau and Kerana and was the most accursed of them all. He was usually described as an extremely ugly, vaguely humanoid-looking monstrous canine with a rather fetid smell and was often associated with death, to the point he served a similar role as The Grim Reaper in some tales. He was said to dwell in cemeteries, burial grounds and his only source of food was the rotting flesh of corpses. In some versions, Luisón only appears on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night, and it was said that if Luisón passes through a person's legs, said person will transform into a Luisón themselves. With the arrival of European settlers, many legends began to mix with those of the foreigners and changed, and Luisón's myth merged so much with other stories of werewolves that he eventually ended up regarded as being another generic werebeast.
  • Vampires were originally very similar to (or basically were) werewolves. In some historical lore, vampires would turn into wolves rather than bats. The connection is made even further with beliefs that if one fails to properly dispose of a werewolf's corpse, it will rise up as a vampire.
  • Pennsylvania is absolutely crawling with legends of werewolves. Dozens of stories from Western Pennsylvania (no such stories seem to exist east of the Susquehanna or south of the Poconos, so Philly is relatively "safe" if you believe these stories) show what many people have described as werewolves, from different witnesses, multiple times.
  • Then there's the Beast of Bray Road, sighted near Elkhorn, Wisconsin. While reports vary, some of the descriptions closely resemble a Wolf Man.
  • In the oldest versions of the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf was actually referred to as a werewolf rather than being a wolf with sentience and speaking ability. Thus the original versions of the tale averted the Fridge Logic of someone actually mistaking an animal dressed in a nightgown as being their grandmother, in contrast with the later versions that made the heroine a girl who lacked commonsense.
  • Fortean Times recently reported on a rabbinical rationale dating from the fourteenth century that addressed the problem of werewolves in Jewish belief. Living as outsiders in Central Europe, Jews would have been fully aware of the belief in werewolves prevalent in the Gentile world around them. The issue was not if werewolves existed - it was taken as a given that they did. Therefore G-d must have created them, or tolerated their creation by Satan. The problem was how this could be squared with Scripture. A theological argument was advanced that when G-d cursed the serpent in the Garden of Eden to lose its limbs and crawl on its belly hereafter, the Almighty, by default, bequeathed a shape-shifting ability on such creatures. Later in The Bible, the Nephilim come into the world and mate with the daughters of Man, thus introducing a degree of angelic stock into the human race. By default, the Nephilim included the fallen angels of Satan. By mating with human women they introduced the shape-shifting ability G-d cursed the serpent with. (which neatly explains all werecreatures). The issue of the rest of Israel ganging up to nearly exterminate the tribe of Benjamin comes into it too: Biblical scripture notes Benjaminites had the suspicious and thought-to-be satanic trait of being left-handed. A line in the Bible likens Benjamin to wolves who strike mercilessly from the night. Rabbinical thought asked - what if this is not a poetic metaphor, but literal description of a tribe of werewolves within the Jewish fold? The near-extermination of the tribe then becomes an act of ethnic cleansing - to remove the werewolf taint from Israel and allow so few survivors (as there must always be twelve tribes of Israel) who are then explicitly found wives from other tribes, so as to dilute and hopefully eradicate the werewolf taint. And after the Babylonian exile, the lost tribe of Benjamin dispersed into the world, the werewolf strain not completely removed, and, losing their Israeli and Jewish identity, became the source of the world's werecreatures...

     Pinball 
  • In Monster Bash, the Wolf Man transforms whenever there is a full moon and is susceptible to silver bullets. He serves as the drummer of the band and becomes a Jive Turkey after his transformation.

    Podcasts 
  • In The Adventure Zone: Dust, werewolves are born, not turned. They also have an allergic reaction to silver, which ranges from being a minor skin irritant to being deadly if come into contact. Fascinatingly, this doesn't seem to stop the Mathises, a family of werewolves, from owning and operating a silver mine.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Radio 
  • Parodied in The Stan Freberg Show sketch "Gray Flannel Hatful of Teenage Werewolves", in which an ordinary, respectable, well-adjusted werewolf, due to a curse, turns into an advertising man "when the sun is full."
    "I felt as though a strange transfiguration taking place. My fangs became short and blunt. My head became crew-cut. The hair on my body slowly turned to gray flannel. My head filled with senseless metaphors."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Werewolves have always been able to take on the normal wolf form and infect with a bite, but other details have cropped up with the evolution of the game, including the addition of a "hybrid" form equivalent to the Man-Wolf, the existence of natural lycanthropes in addition to infected ones, and the imposition of a whole new alignment (and personality) not just on the nonhuman forms but on the human(oid) as well. The game later inversed the process with the wolfwere (and subsequent varieties of beast-were), who is an evil, intelligent, shapeshifting wolf who assumes a human form to mingle in society and lure potential victims. Werewolves and wolfweres both share intense loathing for each other.
      • In 2nd edition, there was also the seawolf (an amphibious werewolf that could take the form of either a water-breathing man-wolf or a giant wolf-headed seal) and the loup de noir (a "skinchanger" werewolf who assumed wolf form by donning an enchanted wolf's pelt).
      • The Basic D&D supplement Night Howlers gave Known World weres of all stripes the in-detail treatment, including rules on using them as player characters. Newly-infected weres would generally start out much weaker than their default "normal monster"-level cousins and had to earn experience in beast form to get the full range of abilities, but could also eventually end up considerably more powerful (including eventually acquiring the hybrid "beast-man" form at suitably high level). The book also justifies the infectiousness of lycanthropy by making the cause of it an explicit magical virus that escaped from an Alphatian laboratory involved in shapeshifting research centuries ago and mutated into a number of distinct strains as it spread.
    • The Ravenloft setting took this trope to heart for all monsters, introducing "salient abilities" that could make any werewolf (or vampire, golem, mummy, etc) different from any other of its kind. The Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts gives exhaustive details on all forms of lycanthropy.
      • The Demiplane of Dread was also home to its own unique variant of werewolves, the Loup-Garou, which are more powerful than "normal" werewolves in 2e.
    • Forgotten Realms setting got Lythari — elven Chaotic Good variant of werewolf. Lythari have no hybrid form and "convert" others very rarely — this requires a special ritual and done only when they are really sure they want someone to join their tribe.
      • Lythari actually originated in a Planescape monster manual.
    • 4th edition D&D makes yet another change. Shifters are presented as playable races in Monster Manual 1 and Player's Handbook 2. Regular werewolves, however, are monsters only... and they no longer transmit the "curse of lycanthropy" upon biting someone, just a generic disease. They also have a Healing Factor that can be suppressed by silver. As of a few recent sourcebooks, players can once again be full werewolves. There are two variants; one allows the player to transform between humanoid and wolf forms at-will, but makes hybrid form a daily power, while the other makes both encounter powers. Or they could just have played a Druid, who can spend most of their time as a wolf if they want.
  • Shadowrun has a virus which turns people into mindless Neanderthal types which get stronger and vicious during the full moon. However, they don't gain animal traits, beyond the extra hair. What Shadowrun does have are Shapeshifters, as in normal animals of all varieties spontaneously giving birth to magically active stock able to take on human form. Not to mention all the dragons who've learned the ability...
  • Games Workshop games:
    • In Blood Bowl thewerewolves who take part in the game are tormented creatures driven into a wild frenzy by their conflicted nature and are prone to outbursts of crazed violence, something that would make them the prefect Blood Bowl player if they could confine such violence to the opposition. As such, werewolves almost exclusively play for Norse Teams (who don't care about such incidents) Necromantic Horror teams (where any damage they cause to their own side can be easily repaired by the Necromancer Coach).
    • Talisman:
      • The Werewolf NPC introduced in the Blood Moon expansion functions in a similar fashion to the Grim Reaper, in that it's moved around the board whenever a player rolls a one for their movement and attacks any player character it lands on. This attack can result in the player losing a life, a follower, contracting lycanthropy, or (if the player is lucky) choosing from a list of beneficial effects.
      • Player characters can contract lycanthropy, which grants them bonuses to their rolls in battle and psychic combat during the night, at the cost of being forced to attack any player character that is in a space that the lycanthrope lands on. Lycanthropy can be cured by the wolf's bane object, among other means.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • The huge wolf-like beasts that are often used as mounts for Space Wolves to ride into battle are actually the degenerate descendants of the planet's first human colonists after generations of ill-conceived canine/human gene splicing experiments to try to survive the harsh frozen wastelands of Fenris.
      • The Space Wolves' gene-seed contains a specific gene sequence called the Canis Helix which causes animalistic physical changes such as lengthened canines, a heightened sense of smell, and their skin gradually becoming darker and more leathery as they age. However, occasionally these changes go out of control and turn the Space Wolf into a feral monstrosity. This danger is called the Curse of the Wulfen, and each Space Wolf aspirant must confront the Curse as they receive the gene-seed—either their bodies will stabilize so that they become a full Marine, they'll degenerate into a Wulfen, or they'll appear to stabilize only to manifest the Curse in the heat of battle. Wulfen make up the vast majority of the Space Wolves' 13th Company, which disappeared into the Warp millennia ago along with Leman Russ, although the rules supplement Curse of the Wulfen brought the 13th Company back from the Warp to Fenris to help fight off a Chaos invasion.
    • Warhammer Fantasy: Skin Wolves are people cursed with the blood of a Chaos-mutated wolf. In battle, their wolf form erupts out of their body, still draped in their tattered human skin, and only once their hunger is sated does their form collapse and the human has to tear his way out of the wolf's skin.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Player Characters are werewolves, creatures distinct from normal humans and normal wolves, though they probably grew up thinking themselves one or the other. These "Garou" are crusading eco-warriors trying to defend the world from the depredations of evil spirits of corruption and greed (and, to a slightly lesser extent, protect the natural world from regular human encroachment). They can change into a variety of forms at will, their go-to for a fight being a giant humanoid with a wolf's head. They frequently interact with the spirit world and travel back and forth between realms often. Werewolves can breed with either humans or wolves. To mate with another werewolf is strictly forbidden, but of course it does happen from time to time, the result being a deformed and sterile pariah. Werewolves are characterized by Unstoppable Rage, which is a powerful weapon but also an Achilles' Heel.
  • The spiritual sequel to "Apocalypse" is Werewolf: The Forsaken. As in the previous game, these werewolves are dreamspeaking, spirit-walking shaman types who police the border between the realms and keep spirits from setting up camp in the physical world, for the good of all. This game is called "The Forsaken" because the werewolves, called Uratha, are actually outcasts among their own kind, persecuted by other werewolf tribes as part of a blood feud dating to the beginning of the world. Werewolfery is hereditary, almost all werewolves growing up believing themselves human. Shacking up with your fellow werewolf is still a no-no and the result is a scary creature indeed. In all White Wolf games, silver is the big Kryptonite factor for werewolves. A few magical spells in "The Forsaken" use wolfsbane to rob the Uratha of their shapeshifting power for a time.
  • In Ars Magica, lycanthropy is the result of a curse which can be magical or faery in nature, and is tied to the moon cycle. If taken as a blessing, transformations can be controlled. Were-bears and were-lynxes are also possible in the setting.
  • Rifts and other games in Palladium's Megaverse have them as a separate species, ranging from Wolves to Bears, and some of the big cats (and even further, Werepanthers are different than Werejaguars). Rifts also features the Loup-Garou, a werewolf species with a god complex and the statline to back it up against an unaugmented human. It also must die twice, once in Wolf or Man-Wolf form and once as a Human, in order to be truly killed. Killing it only once "kills" that form, preventing it from changing into it ever again.
  • A set of semi-official articles in Palladium's magazine/book The Rifter expands the Werebeasts to the Nightbane game. There Weres form clans collectively known as the Children Of The Moon. These clans run the gamut from Corrupt Corporate Executives, Mercenaries, Seers, Insane Beasts, Superpowered Mutants, and their own internal police force. According to their creation legend, Humans were originally Wereapes, but lost their ability to change to their animal forms due to a curse that also gave the Werebeasts their vulnerability to silver.
  • In Deadlands, the Classic Collection, the DuPonts are a branch of the mad Whateley family who are known for being werewolves, as well as inbred mad magicians. Mina Devlin has a few of them working for her at the Hunt-Phelan house.
  • An optional werewolf template in GURPS is an uncontrollable problem triggered by the full moon. They're very hard to kill but curiously don't have any special level of strength like most werewolves.
    • In the Banestorm setting people so afflicted turn into actual wolves. It's also not contagious; either you or an ancestor has to have been specifically cursed.
  • In Terror T.R.A.X: Track of the Werewolf (reviewed by Spoonyone), the werewolves seem to possess few characteristics that separate them from normal humans. They can be killed by ordinary methods, speak clearly, and fight using automatic weapons.
  • The Lawful Neutral Wolfen from Confrontation.
  • In Miller's Hollow, the werewolves are regular humans during the day and unstoppable monsters during the night, regardless of moon phases. There is also a race that can apparently transform a second time, getting white fur and a taste for other werewolves.
  • Exalted; There is absolutely nothing preventing a Lunar Exalt from having a wolf as their spirit-shape, although they're not exactly your average werewolves. As far as official characters go, Ma-Ha-Suchi is Mode Locked into a humanoid goat hybrid form as a result of Wyld-induced Body Horror. He can still assume his human form, wolf form, or any other form he's acquired. But he's ashamed of his horns and hooves in his non-hybrid forms (not to mention that the hybrid form is designed for maximized asskickery).
  • Unknown Armies, shockingly, decides to make werewolves fucking weird. Werewolves are what happens when a demon, which are themselves a bit different to the norm, accidentally possess an animal instead of a human being, and it goes wrong. The animal/demon keeps shifting between being human and animal, and the entire universe adapts its own history to decide they'd been that all along. So you get attacked by a wolf, but by the time you get to the ER, the wounds are now unmistakably tears by human fingernails and teeth. Goddamnit, Unknown Armies.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Ghostrick Werewolf is a peculiar Ghostrick who usually lives as an ordinary human and only plays pranks on the nights he transforms into a werewolf. He’s always looking forward to the next night with a full moon.
  • Magic: The Gathering: The werewolves of Innistrad typically resemble humans with hair, wolf heads and tails, and large claws, but most designs have an exaggerated chest and arms to emphasise their power and savagery. In theory they transform at night, but in-game this is represented by a turn where nobody casts any spells, with the break of "day" coming when somebody casts two spells in a turn.

    Theatre 

    Toys 
  • Monster High's werewolves such as Clawdeen and her brother Clawd's transformations are triggered by moonlight or a spotlight. Even then, their physical changes are minimal - weres in the MH universe have not been shown to have a fully human or fully lupine form. In Clawdeen's diary, their younger sister Howleen is mentioned as having been sprayed by a skunk, whether this indicates she was hunting, or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time is not mentioned.
  • Resurrection of Monstress features Howling Wolfinica, a punk-rockette werewolf hunter who transforms on the crescent moon.

    Web Original 
  • Limyaael is more concerned with werewolves drowning in the Wangst than in playing with myths.
  • What do you get if you mix this trope with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by random people on the Internet? You get the werewolves at Choose Your Own Change! Warning: May not be sfw since it is a fetish station (registration required). Both Poe's Law and Sturgeon's Law are in full effect.
  • Given its canine features, it's quite possible The Rake of creepypasta lore(as well as Everyman HYBRID) is a really creepy, hairless wolfman. Its features are mostly human, with just enough canine there to be disturbing.
  • In October 2004, writer Ritch Duncan created a Blogspot account under the pseudonym Kirk Thompson, where he blogged about "his life" as a werewolf in New York City, in real time. Taking inspiration from the American Werewolf movies, his lupine form was a classic quadrupedal, full-moon type, which got along with cats and couldn't resist marking it's territory all over his Manhattan studio.
  • Petow: Apparently they can be detected with genetic testing, and is passed down family lines. Werewolves are the most common, and are said to be more aggressive.
  • T.O.T.: Maximus Slade is a strange case, as his appearance describes him as being a scruffy, bipedal black wolf, and he has the ability to speak clear English (albeit in a gruff voice). Maximus also never shifts into a human, and reveals that after turning into a werewolf, he stayed in his lycan form for so long that it became permanent. He never ages and also has Regenerating Health, and can live through getting a shotgun blast to the face. The only quality he shares with most werewolves in fiction is that he's vulnerable to silver.
  • Whateley Universe: Transmissible via bites, and can be affected by a certain substance, like how catnip affects cats. They also get the Most Common Super Power or Bigger Is Better in Bed, if female, or male, respectively.
  • How To Hero features a colony of werewolves that live on one of Jupiter's moons.

    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles:
    • In one episode Xanatos' engagement gift to Fox turned her into a wolf-like being every night until he and the gargoyles were able to forcibly remove it. In this case, it's noted that her were-form is unsustainable; she has to feed constantly and is in danger of burning out and dying.
    • Another episode featured were-leopards who transformed involuntarily because of a magic curse.
    • Also, recurring villain "Wolf", formerly a human mercenary/TV star, who due to genetic engineering is a half-man, half-wolf creature, he can't change back to human form or spread his condition, but he's frequently referred to as a werewolf, which, as werewolf roughly translates as "man-wolf", is technically true, although "mutant" and "hybrid" would be better terms.
  • Freakazoid!! did a parody of the original The Wolf Man with an obvious Lon Chaney Jr. parody coming to Dexter for help with his werewolf problem. Freakazoid, after forcing him to suffer numerous indignities, ultimately cured him by dumping him into the Internet and back out again. The episode even parodied the frame-by-frame transformation of the film for both the Lon Chaney Jr. Expy and Freakazoid himself.
  • The Simpsons did it during a Treehouse of Horror episode where Ned Flanders gets bitten by a large grey Dire Wolf and then becomes a Man-Wolf; a rare case of two types in one show.
    • In the later Treehouse of Horror segment "I've Grown A Costume to Your Face", after a witch curses everyone in Springfield to transform into their costumes, Bart becomes a wolf-man, since he was dressed as Eddie Munster.
  • The title character of the Ruby-Spears cartoon Fangface would transform whenever his human form saw the full moon... or a photograph of it... or anything which vaguely reminded him of it. Hilarity Ensues. The reverse transformation was similarly triggered by the sun. Or any other sun-like image.
    • Even within the show, werewolves were different. One episode of the series featured another werewolf who transformed by way of a "Werewolf Secret Formula", and who was nothing like the Funny Animal-ish title character, instead looking and acting more like a Beast Man. During that episode one of the other heroes accidentally drank the formula, and turned into a werewolf that was a hybrid of the two (looked like a beast man, acted like Fangface).
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command has a very "mechanical" twist: when the robotic vampire Nos-4-A2 accidentally bites a human, the human winds up turning into a robotic wolf-monster called a "wirewolf" when hit by the light of a nearby moon. Buzz and the others destroy the moon, though a piece of it reactivates the curse in a later episode.
  • Gravedale High had a rather nerdy werewolf teen named Reggie Moonshroud.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has two characters who are weredogs, Valerie (a girl who is an honor student) and Ms Thompson (the teacher), Numbuh 5 got turned into one in "Operation D.O.G.H.O.U.S.E."
  • The Real Ghostbusters:
    Peter: Egon, not to be intrusive or unduly nosy, but what do you mean by "worse"?
    Egon: Well, when a vampire bites someone, he becomes a vampire, right?
    Peter: Right.
    Ray: And when a werewolf bites someone, they become a werewolf too!
    Egon: Exactly! So what happens when a werewolf bites a vampire, and a vampire bites a werewolf?
  • In a direct parody of An American Werewolf in London (and Turbo Teen), Futurama has a curse that can turn any mild-mannered robot into a werecar. Unlike the hovercars the characters in the show are familiar with, these cars are "crawling around on round rubber feet...like a wolf!" The Spanish dub correctly calls them "coche lobo", car-wolf (as opposed to "hombre lobo", werewolf). Werecar implies that the monster is some sort of mix between a man ("were") and a car, and Bender is a Man-bot.
  • In the Ben 10 episode "Benwolf", we were introduced to an alien version of the werewolf called a Loboan or Yenaldooshi. It scratches the Omnitrix thus causing Ben to slowly turn into this alien werewolf. Later, the creature is added to the Omnitrix's Big List Of Heroes and he later dubs it Benwolf (renamed Blitzwolfer in Ben 10: Omniverse).
  • Animaniacs featured a somewhat unusual version in the Minerva Mink short "Moon Over Minerva". A geeky wolf, named Wilford B. Wolf, would turn into a hunky wolf when exposed to the full moon. Minerva won't give his geeky self the time of day, but she goes crazy for his moonlit self. Needless to say the short is pretty heavy on the Fanservice for both the male and female audiences. Also doubles as You Sexy Beast.
  • On Ugly Americans, werewolves turn shortly after being bitten, but retain their intelligence. They're still pretty vicious though, one tore a man's arm off just to get tickets to a magic show. After turning, that man grew his arm back, albeit very slowly (it took the entire episode just to grow the arm to half its original size). They also don't turn back, or it hasn't been shown anyway.
  • One episode of Johnny Bravo, called "A Wolf in Chick's Clothing", involved Johnny finding out that his date was a werewolf. He went on the date anyway, reasoning that he just had to stick it out until sunrise for her to turn back into a beautiful woman. Unfortunately, it was a Wednesday, and it turns out that on Wednesdays she turns into an annoying little man named Melvin who keeps trying to show people his stamp collection.
  • In Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, the transformation into a werewolf comes because of a genetic disorder that only affects men.
  • Lycanthropes in Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens Myths and Legends are actually aliens who look like humanoid wolf creatures. They poses the ability to shape-shift back and forth between their true form and a human appearance.
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenhole. The Wolfman can only be killed by a silver bullet. The death will only be temporary and he will heal as soon as the bullet leaves him (even if he has to rot and decay for 70 years before the bullet leaves). The only way for him to permanently die is if a lover fires the silver bullet.
  • Adventure Time has the Whywolves, which are werewolves-like creatures born out of inquiry and bloodlust. Finn mistook them for normal werewolves at first, however, so there might be one than one type. Another episode had Finn get infected by being hugged by a "Hug wolf", a were wolf with heart-shaped hands and feet that hugged anyone it came across.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • After Shaggy is turned into the titular character in Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf he reverts to his old self by saying "Oogly boogly wobbly wye, no more a werewolf am I, I'm going to be a normal guy!"
    • Winnie the Werewolf is a student of the All-Ghouls School.
    • In the direct-to-video Halloween film, Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King, Scooby Doo and Shaggy go to the Magic World and encounter a bartender who was a werewolf. They manage to convince him that they're a werewolf themselves by using a variation of the Totem Pole Trench and switching themselves to make it look like Shaggy transforming into Scooby. Velma becomes a werewolf very briefly (along with Fred who becomes a vampire, and Daphne who turns into a witch) as a result of the Goblin King's magic sceptor.
  • In the episode "A Wolf in Cheap Clothing" of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers a wolf has been robbing homes. It turns out that the villain, Professor Nimnul, has been using an invention that turns him into a wolf, but in order to do so, the device must turn a wolf (in this case a perfectly innocent wolf named Harry from the local zoo) into a human. In other words, it switches Nimnul's humanity with Harry's wolf-ity, making one a voluntary werewolf and the other an involuntary wolfwere.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "Bats!", the characters have to deal with "vampire fruit bats" that are preying on Applejack's apple crop. Their plan to hypnotize the bats into not feeding on the apples succeeds, only for Fluttershy to become something akin to them. While the resultant "Flutterbat" is indeed a batlike creature that drains her prey, her bestial, predatory nature and Alternate Identity Amnesia upon being cured is much more evocative of werewolves.
  • In The Smurfs episode "A Wolf In Peewit's Clothing", Peewit becomes a werewolf when he eats an enchanted condiment called Wolf Gravy with his dinner, and is turned back to normal by eating a garlic bud. The same thing also happens to Greedy, although only his face gets turned into something vaguely resembling a wolf. In "I Was A Brainy Weresmurf", Brainy turns into a furry blue weresmurf by being scratched by a thorny plant called wolfsbane, and is turned back to normal by wearing a garland of silveroot and garlic.
  • The CatDog episode "Full Moon Ever" establishes that Dog transforms into a wolf-like state during the full moon.
  • The Tom and Jerry Tales episode "Monster Con" has Jerry befriending a werewolf that acts like a playful dog. Tom also turns into a "werewolf-cat" after getting bitten by said werewolf.
  • The Toonsylvania episode "WereGranny" had Dr. Vic's grandmother become a werewolf who changes even when she looks at a picture of the moon or hears someone say "moon". Igor and Phil initially think that they've turned Dr. Vic's granny into a werewolf by brewing her tea from wolfbane, but Dr. Vic reveals at the end of the episode that his grandmother has always been a werewolf.
  • PJ Masks has The Wolfy Kids, a trio of werewolf-like villains. Physically, they mostly resemble the beastman version of werewolfs (human looking, but with claws on their hands and feet, sharp teeth, pointy ears and long messy hair). They also display typical wolf behaviour like running on all fours, howling, and biting, though they can also walk on just their hind legs, and are still capable of speech.

    Real Life 
  • Some Real Life explanations for lycanthrope "observations":
    • Potions (made by "witches") with extreme hallucinogenic properties that made men believe they were wolves.
    • It is also thought that the rabies virus may be to blame.
    • There may also be a connection to leprosy; in some medieval legends, werewolves in their human forms had no noses.
    • Clinical lycanthropy is a rare disorder where sufferers think they have transformed into an animal. It affects the parts of the brain that manage a person's body image, so they actually experience shifting shape into something that isn't human, and interpret it as turning into an animal.
    • There is also a genetic disease called hypertrichosis, that consists of people having hair practically in all of their skin. It is nicknamed "the werewolf syndrome".
    • Porphyria, due to the fact that nails and teeth redden and people affected also have photophobia, which means they can only be out at night.
    • And possibly (naturally impossible to confirm) early serial killers. The most well-known werewolf of this type would be Peter Stumppnote .
  • SS Werewolf. Pretty much evil.
  • The Ka-50 Akula's NATO Reporting Name used to be "Werewolf", but was changed to "Hokum" after Ka-52's development. This is a heavily armed gunship mind you.

Alternative Title(s): Werewolves, Lycanthropy, Lycanthrope

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