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Series / Being Human (US)

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Aidan: Hey, you know—there's a better way to do this.
Josh: Do what, be a better monster? No thank you.

Being Human is a North American remake of The BBC's Being Human (UK), created by Toby Whithouse. It debuted in January 2011 on Syfy. As with the original British show, it centers around a trio of friends, each a different sort of supernatural being: Aidan Waite (Sam Witwer), a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire; Josh Levison (Sam Huntington), a geeky and uptight werewolf; and Sally Malik (Meaghan Rath), a Cute Ghost Girl; they are later joined by Nora Sergeant (Kristen Hager), Josh's (initially) Muggle love interest who he turns into another werewolf and moves in with the others. They all live in an old Boston brownstone where they try (and usually fail) to be as human as possible.

While the first season of the American version mirrors the plot of the BBC version's Series 1 to some extent, the plots diverge entirely in subsequent seasons, resulting in two shows with very different characters, lore, and storylines.


News of the remake was initially met with a strong negative reaction, as most American remakes of British works end up being relatively poor. However, the show has proven to be very successful, being Syfy's highest-rated scripted drama for multiple seasons in a row, and is well-regarded by Toby Whithouse himself. In the summer of 2013, Being Human made it full circle around the Atlantic, with the US version premiering in Britain on the UKTV-owned channel Watch.

The show lasted four seasons before concluding in 2014.


This series provides examples of:

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  • Affably Evil: Bishop and, later, Donna.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Marcus. After an entire season of acting like a hateful bastard, he gives us his origin story, where we learn that he was made a vampire only because Bishop couldn't turn his more desirable older brother, and then he was passed over as soon as Aidan came along. Marcus is basically the loyal good son who does what his father tells him, but Bishop only has love for the prodigal Aidan, and that burns him up with jealousy. When he finally gets a chance to act on his jealousy and kill Aidan, he ends up getting staked himself.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Vampires plotting world domination in Boston.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Zoe can see ghosts and transfers them into babies as a method of reincarnation; and yet she doesn't initially believe in vampires or werewolves.
    • Season 3 has Josh and Nora visit a witch in order to help Sally. As in an actual magic-using witch. Josh in particular is skeptical but this is perhaps justified since they've already been to a lot of fake mediums and outright magic (versus something personal and innate) is not something any one of them have ever encountered or even thought about.
  • Ascended Extra: Nora becomes a member of the main cast in season 3, though she's definitely been an important character since the beginning.
    • More properly goes to the character of Nina in the UK original, whom the character of Nora was based on. Still applies, though.
  • A Storm Is Coming: One of Sally's opening monologues uses this metaphor.
    Sally: Right before a big storm, I used to go with my dad to the harbor. To look at the clouds, feel the air. There's an eerie stillness before the sky cracks open, a hush. You can feel the storm gathering, smell the flood on its way. When you know you're going to die a violent death, when that's the only way you can die, it's all about the waiting for that final storm … if the waiting doesn't kill you first.
  • A Taste of the Lash: How Suzanna punishes herself every night in order to atone for killing her and Aidan's son Issac during her first feeding.
  • The Atoner: Aidan and Suzanna.
  • Babies Ever After: Nora and Josh end up having two children that they name after Sally and Aidan.
  • Back from the Dead: Sally and two of her previous ghost friends, with the help of some very dark magic.
  • Batman Gambit: Bishop uses the fact that the Dutch prefer to kill and fully drain their victims to poison the blood of the 'donors' and thus make the Elders powerless, allowing him to easily kill them off. If they were less 'greedy', they would have been fine.
  • Big Bad: Each season has its own. It's Bishop in season 1, Mother in season 2, Donna in season 3, and the townhouse itself in season 4.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Aidan to Josh: Aidan beats the living hell out of Marcus for going near Josh, two episodes later? He offers himself up to Bishop to protect Josh
  • Big Good: Josh has somewhat developed into this for the household by season 3, in combination with his Team Mom status. Should he die, chances are Nora would go berserk, Aidan would jump off the slope, and Sally would be lost.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Although there are certainly villains in this series, the ways that the protagonists deal with their problems aren't always noble.
  • Black Comedy: This show REVELS in gallows humor. A good example would be when Aidan kills the two girls he brought to Henry to feed upon; Henry makes the remark "Five-second rule!" and continues draining one of their corpses.
    • Those two girls come back as ghosts to 'play' with Aidan in a sort of karmic retribution scheme using their own form of Black Comedy.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Vampires acquire these when they "vamp" out, such as when they're about to feed or fight.
    • This also occurs when vampires consume garlic. Rather than being repelled by it (as in most vampire fiction), garlic makes a vampire's inhuman appearance come out.
  • Blessed with Suck: Sure, everlasting youth, superhuman strength, and mind control are all neat perks, but vampires trade their souls for these powers, and are they worth being turned into a cold-blooded murderer for? Some vampires view their condition this way, others don't. See also Cursed With Awesome.
    • Mediums of varying power can talk to and help ghosts, but since their power is passive, any ghost that happens to be around is free to accost them and disrupt their lives. As a result, even a well-adjusted medium like Zoe is something of a loner and is forced to take various measures to have some sense of privacy.
    • Zombies, at least of the form we've seen so far, they get a second chance at life but outside of a craving for raw meat, they also kill anyone they knew the last time they were alive. When that restriction is lifted, the craving for raw meat evolves into slightly more fresher flesh like mice or cats and then larger meals.
  • Blood Magic: The means by which Sally was resurrected.
  • Body Horror: Josh's werewolf transformation looks and sounds extremely painful and grotesque: it's depicted as basically every bone in Josh's body breaking and re-fusing, every muscle tearing and re-attaching, every organ moving and changing, and various other bits (man and wolf) growing or being absorbed in the span of a few minutes.
    • The resurrected corpses in Season 3 begin to rot if they don't eat fresh kills. One infamous scene in particular sees Sally put a toothbrush through her cheek by accident.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul
  • Breaking Speech: Delivered by Sally to her roommates when she's "inhabited" by the Reaper/Scott.
  • Broken Masquerade: Suren almost causes one as a result of Henry's infidelities. Mother is not pleased and gives a Kill 'Em All order on the entire hotel in order to protect the Masquerade.
  • Broken Pedestal: Aidan becomes a bit of one for Sally in Season 4 after her time skips allow her to see him as an evil vampire. As she puts it "I always knew you killed people, I just didn't know how much you enjoyed it."
  • Bullying a Dragon: Mocking Aidan after trying to kill him was probably not the smartest move, Connor. Seeing as how he had a gun with silver bullets, and you just killed a friend of his, it was positively suicidal.
    • The werewolves out hunting sick and dying vampires run afoul of a strong, healthy and recently-fed Aidan. It does not go well for them.
      • Doubles when the previously sick and dying vampires discover the cure for the virus is werewolf blood.
    • In season 4, Mark and his "alpha wolf" mentality. He's socially obnoxious, ultimately crashing Josh and Nora's party with his "pack." He then prompts a fight between some wolves and Kenny and Aidan, which goes about like you'd expect. Then after his wife's wolf has sex with Josh's wolf during a full moon he tries to go after Josh, not knowing that Josh's wolf can come out at any time. This also goes about as you'd expect.
  • Buried Alive: What happened to Suren, for decades. In the season 2 finale, Mother also has Aidan buried.
  • Bus Crash: One that apparently took out most of the vampire race. During the time that Aidan spent underground, a plague caused most of the vampires to die out, including Mother.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: If Nora just told Josh that she fears she might have been turned into a werewolf, some of their arguments at the start of season 2 would be avoided and they could take precautions or at least discuss what to do if she is.
  • Cartwright Curse: One of Aidan's defining tropes, it even seems to extend to platonic relationships. The only people that seem to be safe are Josh and Sally. Lampshaded in Season 3.
  • Cassandra Truth: Aidan eventually comes clean and tells Kat that he's a vampire. She (understandably) laughs in his face. Subverted however in that he quickly finds a way to prove it.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Heggeman's antique rifle and three silver bullets change hands several times throughout season 2. Heggeman tries to kill Josh with it, but misses when Nora attacks him. Josh takes it and keeps it under his bed, and we don't see it again until halfway through the season when he gives it to Cecilia to kill Brynn and Connor. After Cecilia fails to do so and gets torn apart by the wolves, Aidan shoots Connor with the second bullet. Finally, in the last episode of the season, Josh brings the rifle with him into the woods and tries to kill Ray with the last bullet.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Aidan knocks the fangs out of the vampire priest in order to prevent the priest from turning anyone in 'his' hospital. It's probably a side benefit that this also means the priest is going to have a much harder time feeding.
  • Continuity Nod: While the show in general is pretty heavy on continuity, the Professor's book on werewolves shows up again in season two as something Nora is reading, then once more in the third season when Erin takes it from Josh's room to look at.
  • Cultural Translation: The remake's plot is almost completely different from that of the UK version to begin with, but even some of the elements that were carried over across the pond are tweaked for a North American audience. For instance, Aidan was turned during the American Revolutionary War, not World War 1. The old aristocracy of vampires consists not of European nobility, but of a Mafia-like criminal organization who answer to a group of vampires who live with the Amish to live as they did centuries ago. Some characters (including the protagonists) also own and use firearms in the remake, which obviously couldn't happen in the UK because of British gun control laws.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Werewolves can lift the curse on themselves by killing the werewolf that first turned them. The catch? It has to be done while in human form. Josh finds this out first hand when he tracks down Ray and kills him in the Season 2 cliffhanger/Season 3 opener.
    • However, it only works on the killer rather than lifting the curse on anyone the cured werewolf turned. As we find out into Season 3 when Nora is still a werewolf and Josh is human, again.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Vampires get a laundry list of superpowers, which do offset the downside of their compulsion to murder innocent people somewhat. Some vampires view their condition this way, others don't. See also Blessed with Suck.
    • Quite a lot of werewolves enjoy their "curse" as well, especially purebreds.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Sally, of course.
  • Dead Guy Junior: The finale shows that Josh and Nora have a daughter named Sally and a son named Aidan.
  • Demonic Possession: Sally accidentally possessed the medium who attempted to exorcise her in Season 1, an act she likens to a panicked mother lifting a car that has rolled on to her child. But she learns in Season 2 that she can possess certain people, particularly when they're open to suggestion or intoxicated (some people simply cannot be possessed at all). The experience is pure ecstasy for ghosts, as they are able to experience the senses of touch and taste again, but there are obviously ethical dilemmas about stealing someone's body, which is why certain ghosts won't do it. Sally ends up repeatedly possessing a woman to the point where the woman starts 'remembering' some of Sally's memories, both alive and dead. The poor woman gets all the bad ones too, such as Sally dying and the Reaper coming after her.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Josh isn't so good with the ladies, poor guy. Or, apparently, anyone living. Or dead. Or...yeah. Let's just say Josh excels at this.
    Nora: You're like an artist and awkwardness is your medium.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The way the show seems to treat vampirism, lycanthropy, and er... ghostlyness. Vampirism is a pretty blatant metaphor for alcoholism or drug addiction, werewolves behave like people with PTSD, and ghosts often have elements of a myriad of personality and mental disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, dementia, agoraphobia, and dissociative identity disorder.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Oh, very much so. Our three protagonists are only the most obvious ones with serious issues. Evil boyfriend Danny, emotionally-closed-off abuse victim Nora, Josh's divorced parents and rebellious sister...the list goes on. And sadly, they're decidedly among the more functional members of their respective communities and among humans in general that we see.
  • Enemy Within: Sally and the Reaper.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: There's a reason vampires don't turn kids. See Shoot the Dog below.
    • Bishop feels that the Council Elders are greedy for insisting on killing the humans they feed on and draining them completely of blood. He prefers to feed on willing donors and does not kill them since it is a waste.
      • He's still willing to compel a pregnant woman into serving as a meal for the visiting vampire elders, and has no problem with taking a bite out of her himself. Bishop's standards are motivated by practicality, not morality. Case in point being Bernie. He sends Marcus out to kill two boys in order to demonstrate to Aidan why having vampire kids is a bad thing.
  • Exact Words: Donna - and possibly other witches - uses this when making her deals. Outwardly it seems like a formality or simply as a way of making sure the deal is proper... but she usually leaves out one or two minor details that swings things in to her favor.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Being Buried Alive is said to be this for vampires, as they can't die. They'll just become weak and slowly go insane due to hunger. At the end of Season 2, Mother even says this is the worse fate for vampires as she is burying Aidan. He however points out she has it even worse. She will live forever knowing she killed her daughter, the only person to ever truly love her.
    • At the start of season 4, the strain of being a wolf for 29 days a month has taken it's toll on Josh. It's very clear he's starting to forget how to be human - he has trouble walking and talking, and generally becoming more wolf than man.
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door: Season 4 shows that Aidan has a sordid history of this. Consistently Jumping Off the Slippery Slope into villainy, then later becoming The Atoner and a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire to make up for his horrible deeds.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The ghosts of the two girls Aidan murdered walk around in their bras and panties … while still drenched in their own blood.
    "We are the definition of Hot Mess!"
    • Sally's gross rotting body, both in-universe and out. Invoked when she gets annoyed with Josh and Aidan and flashes her underwear-clad, rotten sore-covered body at them in retaliation.
  • Fanservice: Hello, dream Sally.
    • The camera very deliberately pans over Nora's naked, face-down body the night after she transforms.
  • Fantastic Racism: Vampires are disgusted by werewolves, werewolves often see it as their moral imperative to kill vampires when they're strong enough to do so.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Vampires call werewolves "dogs", werewolves call vampires "leeches" and "ticks".
  • Final Boss: The house itself.
  • Flaying Alive: How Suren punishes Henry for his infidelity.
    • He spends virtually the entire next episode walking around without any skin.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: The conversation between Aidan and Bishop seemed pretty intense...not to mention Bishop looking in on Aidan when the other vampire is feeding.
    • And in episode 12, we see Bishop with tears in his eyes when Celine says Aidan keeps running away, not coming back. This is right after he practically said that he turned Aidan because he loved him.
    • And in episode 13, at the end of the Boss Fight, Bishop reaches up towards Aidan's cheek, almost a caress, as Bishop is being beheaded BY Aidan. Hard core.
      • At one point, Bishop says something to the effect of he wasn't going to allow Aidan to (live to) hate him anymore.
    • And now in season two Aidan's seeing hallucinations of Bishop, and Bishop essentially tells him he never could've killed him anyway.
  • Forced Prize Fight: Josh is forced to participate in a cage match against an older werewolf as "entertainment" for a group of visiting vampire elders.
  • Foreign Remake: A pretty good one, too.
  • For Want of a Nail: Sally travels one year into the past and prevents herself from dying. Her presence causes a few deaths, Aidan and Josh's relationship falling apart, results in Josh and Nora never getting together, causes Aidan to pull a Face–Heel Turn and somehow causes Nora to descend into pill popping substance abuse and illegal blood smuggling with Aidan.
  • Foster Kid: Erin.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Played straight for the most part with Aidan and subverted with the rest of them.
  • From Bad to Worse: Watching this show is a little like watching a train wreck full of little children that manages to spiral into an orphanage and explode a pound full of cute, fluffy bunnies. It just keeps getting worse and worse for the characters. So much disaster. So much. SO MUCH. Pretty much the only thing that goes right for them is finding an apartment together and maintaining a steady job. Everything else is fair game. NOPE!, the apartment is a murderous evil entity.
  • Frozen Fashion Sense: The "Dutch" vampires choose to live in Amish country because they're old-fashioned. When they come to visit the city, they're still wearing the same clothes.
  • Fur Against Fang: While Aidan and Josh are friends, vampires and werewolves really dislike each other in this setting. Vampires seem to think that werewolves are disgusting and mistreat them, which in turn breeds resentment among the werewolves. In addition, vampires are stronger and scarier than wolves 27 out of 30 days in a lunar month, but stand almost no chance against one around the time of a full moon. Arrogance and insecurity lead to vamps picking on wolves only at their most helpless.
    • After the plague all but wipes out the vampire population and weakens the rest, the werewolf population is booming, and they seem to be making a push to reverse the trend if not wipe out their kind completely. Liam seems to be a leader in this movement but the fact that Aidan remains strong gives him pause. And then Liam's actions to try to kill Aidan result in the discovery that werewolf blood acts as a vaccine to the plague, allowing vampires to feast on any human's blood, again.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Never mind that Kat is attractive, Aidan finds her so very fascinating due to her interest in American history... specifically the time period during which he was alive. In fact, you can almost hear his brain stumbling when she mentions she has period clothing and does reenactments.
  • Genius Loci: The house itself, as revealed in Season 4, was once the site of a sacrificial ritual meant to appease one of the demon lords of Hell. As a result, the house has a will of its own, personified by the little girl, Ramona, who was sacrificed. It has remained hidden until now because every death that has occured there has fed its hunger, but with the roommates moving out, it has finally turned on them.
  • Genre Savvy: Kenny the bubble boy is an aficionado of classic horror films, so when his pale night nurse draws extra blood he immediately jumps to the least logical but correct conclusion. Played with when the classic tests he uses to verify his suspicion all fail because the myths they're based on aren't true.
  • Ghost Amnesia: Sally can't remember how she died, probably because it was so traumatic.
    • Played with in that she knew, subconsciously, that she had been shoved down the stairs by Danny after she lost her engagement ring down the bathroom sink. The house's plumbing issues were her way of trying to get herself to remember.
  • Grim Reaper: A ghost appears to Sally in the second season claiming to be the Grim Reaper. Instead of sending souls off to the afterlife, he says his role consists of 'reaping' ghosts who cause an unbalance in the universe. Which turns out to be complete bullshit, as the Reaper is no more than the product of Sally's swiftly-disintegrating sanity.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Josh is seen doing this before his transformation. Even when he's completely alone in the middle of the forest.
    • Nora also makes sure to cover her breasts with her arm when she transforms.
  • Handsome Lech: Henry the vampire. Notably, he was forced to go into hiding for several decades after cheating on Suren.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners - Josh and Aidan.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Aidan/Josh, commented on in universe.
    • Towards the end of Season 4, Sally makes out with Aidan while possessing a Bob Sapp-looking werewolf. Aiden liked it.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Sally teases Aidan about not having sex for a year.
  • Hollywood New England: The show is often mocked by Bostonians, especially for its "Friends" Rent Control, although to the show's credit it avoids specifics as much as possible.
  • Horror Hunger: Blood addiction.
    • In wolf form, werewolves have an uncontrollable urge to kill and eat seemingly every living thing they come across.
      • In the third season, after Sally renegotiates her deal with Donna, she and the other resurrected corpses Nick and Stevie feel intense cravings for raw meat to counteract the decay of their bodies. Both are driven to eat small animals like mice and cats before feeling the urge to chow down on human flesh. Stevie actually does.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Aidan stakes Rebecca after she asks him to kill her in Season 1.
    • In Season 3, Josh performs an assisted suicide on Stevie.
  • Idiot Ball: Mostly Aidan and Sally, though Josh and Nora have carried it from time to time.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Aidan's response upon coming home after reviving Mother's daughter and being told Nora's been turned into werewolf by a nervous Sally.
  • Invisible to Normals: Humans can't usually see or hear ghosts.
  • I See Dead People: One of the side effects of being supernatural.
    • Zoe is a medium- an otherwise normal human who also has the ability to see ghosts, and knows more about them than even Aidan.
  • Improbable Antidote: The cure for the vampire-killing flu is werewolf blood.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: "Why are there ghosts [in the kitchen] punching each other in the balls?!"
    • "You already died once and lived through it."
  • It's A Wonderful Plot: Inverted in an alternate timeline in which Sally prevents herself from being killed by Danny.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Cecilia the vampire cop, who has been tortured and is badly injured, tells Aidan to leave her behind when they're being hunted by a pack of werewolves. She gets torn apart.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Sally, in the second season.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Zoe is rather abrasive to the ghosts who hang around her, but it's mostly to ensure that the right ghost is allowed to reincarnate into the right baby.
  • Karma Houdini: In season 4's alternate timeline, Danny gets away with murdering Bridget.
  • Killed Offscreen: Most of the vampires from the flu between seasons 2 and 3. Also, Nora claims she killed Brynn during their wandering together.
  • Kind Restraints: Most werewolves try and isolate themselves from humans during the full moon. Josh and Nora opt to either go deep into the forest to change, or lock themselves in storage units that they rented.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: While vampire bites are generally depicted as extremely painful in this series, Aidan is very tender when he drains Celine.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Aidan is cured of the vampire-killing flu by Erin's infusion of werewolf blood. And Aidan has put the word out to the other vampires. If Liam had left well-enough alone, it never would have come up.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Played straight down the middle "but we only had sex once" when Josh knocks up Nora and generally joked about for a few episodes, and then turned brutally into an in-Convenient Miscarriage after zigzagging through several other pregnancy tropes along the way.
    • It works in the other direction in one of Aidan's flashbacks to his time as a human, where he and his wife kept trying to have a child and only succeeded after two miscarriages.
  • Little "No": In the pilot, we get one from Josh, when the door shuts, locking Josh and his sister in together just before he's about to turn.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Sally becomes trapped in a cheery fantasy world when Scott takes control of her mind. Notably, he even played the part of her fiancee. Season 4 begins with her trapped in one, alongside Donna, although this is one of Donna's creation as it's better than being hanged after falsely being accused of being a witch at the height of the Salem witch trials.
  • Lovecraft Country: Boston and the surrounding New England countryside can be a pretty eerie place in this show. Haunted Victorian architecture, creepy agrarian communities with dark secrets, perpetually overcast skies, and huge, dimly lit forests are all present in spades.
  • The Mafia: The Boston Family functions in a similar manner.
  • Magic Pants: Averted. Josh is completely naked before, during and after a werewolf transformation. In the series premiere he does manage to steal a dress, though.
  • Masquerade
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: A recurring problem for the characters.
  • Mexican Standoff: A variation of this occurs at the end of Season 2, with Ray holding a gun on Josh and Nora pointing a gun at Ray.
  • Mind Rape: While vampires have the power to influence and even brainwash people, it is not easy and takes lot of skill and constant practice. Bishop is quite good at it, but he practices a lot and has centuries of experience. Aidan, on the other hand, is really bad at it, and when he tries to cover his tracks by erasing a man's memory of an event, Bishop suggests that it might be kinder to just kill the man. Aidan ends up damaging the guy so badly, he kills himself the next day
    • What Bishop did to Aidan's ex-girlfriend, Celine, has got to count for something. It went straight over into both Rape as Drama and Scarpia Ultimatum territory. She never gets over it, even on her death bed.
  • Mistaken for Gay - Josh and Aidan by their landlord. Josh doesn't get what the guy is trying to say, but Aidan just shrugs it off with 'It's okay'.
    • Josh's parents also do this.
  • Monster Mash - You've got a vampire, werewolf and ghost girl living in the same house. How is that not awesome?
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Apparently Boston is within walking distance of woodlands heavy enough for a werewolf to roam free at night...
  • Mood Whiplash: Josh makes Sally and Aidan a nice dinner to have some semblance of a normal evening without any monster-related business... then reality hits when the only things they have to talk about are monster-related things. Not to mention that Josh is the only one of them that still eats food.
    • The show revels in its ability to go from, admittedly, Black Comedy to the more depressing nature of the show.
    • A really good example goes to Kat and Aidan admitting that they love each other and like their mundane life together to Suzanna flogging herself in penance as we find out through flashback that she killed her son Issac during her first feeding.
  • Morality Pet: Josh plays this as well as the Only Sane Man. Notable so in season 3 where an increasingly hostile household is explicitly held together 'for Josh's sake'.
  • Must Be Invited:
    • Played straight. A vampire can enter a home uninvited, but he starts burning and quickly dies.note  On one occasion, a vampire breaks into someone's house and attacks him, but flees before he suffers permanent harm.
    • If the owner or resident of a house changes, all invitations lapse. On one occasion, someone arranges for a house to be legally sold while vampires are inside; those now-uninvited vampires burn to death before they can escape.
    • In Season 4, Kenny reveals that he can enter the group's home without an invitation because he was "born" there, and so apparently has permanent access.
  • Mythology Gag - Aidan is named after Aidan Turner who plays the leading role of Mitchell in the original BBC incarnation.
    • The other names can be construed as (very) vague references to their UK counterparts as well. Just say them out loud: George/Josh, Annie/Sally, Nina/Nora. They're phonetically close without being pointlessly similar.

  • Neck Snap: How Aidan is forced to dispose of two hysterical girls who find themselves in bed with a recently-flayed Henry.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Sally had basically given up on taking revenge on her former fiancee. Danny's attempt to exorcise Sally from the house only reveals to Sally's friend (and his current girlfriend) that he murdered her.
  • Non Human Lover Reveal: Nora discovers that Josh is a werewolf at the end of the first season. She's cool with it. She's also hiding that he scratched her, and that she too will become a werewolf, until she's trapped in the car during the next full moon.
    • Aidan reveals his vampiric nature to Kat in season 4. She can't deal with it and not only breaks it off with Aidan, she cuts Josh and Nora out of her life as well. Aidan takes it surprisingly well...after going on a bender with Kenny.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in the appropriately named "That Time of Month". Sally reveals one of the ingredients for the spell to turn Josh into a human (or at least a normal werewolf) again is menstrual blood, to Nora and Aidan's disgust. Then Aidan sheepishly reveals that as a vampire, he can smell when a woman, namely Nora, is on her period, much to her disgust, as she realizes he has known such an intimate detail about her for the past several months of living together. The next scene, Nora's got a coffee mug that she really wishes she didn't have to hold onto, but Sally can't interact with the physical world anymore to take it from her.
  • Nothing After Death: This is the fate of vampires that are slain. No door, no afterlife, just oblivion.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: It isn't until late in season two that the word "supernatural" and other implications of such is even used.
    • Season 3 has an aversion. Josh outright wonders if Sally will come back as a zombie.
  • Off the Wagon - When normal people fall off the wagon, they end up hurting themselves (unless they're drunk drivers). When Aidan does, he usually kills someone.
  • One Bad Mother: In Season 2, we are introduced to an elder vampire referred to as "Mother" who exhibits speed and strength far beyond other vampires. She also seems to possess additional powers not seen by the others.
  • One Curse Limit: Vampires can't become werewolves, and vice-versa. Vampires can't become ghosts when they die (they have no afterlife; they're annihilated when they're destroyed). Werewolves seem to have normal human afterlives, which would presumably mean being a ghost if the door doesn't show up promptly, though this is never specifically addressed.
  • Only Sane Man: Josh finds himself in this role a lot, though he slips too.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: There's an enormous amount of complicated rules that dictate the existence of ghosts:
    • They are invisible, incorporeal, and inaudible to most humans, but vampires and werewolves can see ghosts perfectly.
    • Ghosts generally have no ability to interact with the physical world, outside of Sally's emotional state giving her some poltergeist-like powers. Ghosts can improve their control over these powers to haunt people. An exception is any object directly tied to their death, like Sally's engagement ring.
    • Jacob Marley Apparel is in full effect; ghosts wear the clothes they died in. Sally, because she was murdered right before she was to go to bed, is stuck in her pajamas for two seasons. When her mother is in the hospital and is about to die, she forces Josh to give her some comfortable clothes to wear as a ghost. After being brought back to life in season 3 only to die again towards the end, Sally makes sure she is wearing something other than her pajamas during her second time as a ghost.
    • Ghosts remain in the physical world until they resolve any issues still remaining as a result of their death. Once they have done so, a Door to the other side appears for them, allowing them to properly move on to the afterlife. Some ghosts, such as suicide victims, never get a Door, and are theoretically trapped on Earth for all eternity. Ghosts that remain on Earth for too long begin to lose their grip on reality.
    • Ghosts can possess humans who are open to suggestion, or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, but the ghost can get stuck if they stay in the body for too long, and the possessed person's memories will be slightly mixed with the ghost's.
    • Solid iron objects will temporarily banish a ghost, but they will reform in the place where they originally died. Ghosts also cannot cross lines of salt on the ground.
    • Ghosts can be exorcised, usually by trapping them in a salt circle and then using sage and the Lord's Prayer to purify the house they inhabit. Another way to destroy a ghost is to completely destroy the place where they died.
    • Ghosts are able to destroy each other via a process called "shredding", completely annihilating the spirit energy of the other ghost. The shredded ghost is sent to a torturous reality known as Limbo where they are psychologically tortured by existing within limbo by either being forced to relive their death daily or receive a more ironic punishment.note 
  • Our Vampires Are Different: There are also a lot of weird quirks regarding vampires:
    • Vampires are created when another vampire drinks from a human, then that human drinks the vampire's blood in turn. A vampire is immortal, but will become weak and sick if they don't drink blood, and will become mindless with hunger if deprived of it for too long. The only way to kill a vampire is decapitating them or impaling them .
    • Vampires are unnaturally strong and fast. The older a vampire is, the greater these abilities are.
    • Garlic is not harmful to them, but it will expose their vampiric traits (fangs, black eyes, etc.). Juniper, however, paralyzes vampires and robs them of their abilities.
    • There was a time when sunlight was fatal to vampires, but they seem to have adapted to a daytime existence, Aidan describes them as being "photosensitive". Most vampires seem to deal with this by wearing sunglasses during the daytime.
    • The Must Be Invited rule is also in effect. If a vampire enters the home of a mortal without being invited, their skin begins to boil and burn.
    • Vampires can compel humans into thinking whatever they want. Some vampires are better at this than others. Aidan is particularly bad at it, and often relies on others to help him.
    • A particular strain of the influenza virus seemingly affects the entire world between Season 2 and Season 3. The virus itself and antibodies in the humans who were infected are deadly to vampires, causing them to come out in sores before crumbling away to dust. There is a cure, and it's werewolf blood, normally toxic to vampires.
      • Vampires that are sired shortly after the cure is found are horribly deformed and have an insatiable thirst for blood that cannot be sated. The only upshot is that they're capable of compelling other vampires.
    • Vampires can be restored back to life through the same magic that brings ghosts back to life, but the long extra years they lived catch up to them quickly, and they age decades in a span of days.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different:
    • The werewolves in this show are of the "transform during the full moon" variety, and are former humans that were bitten or scratched by another werewolf. When transformed, they have the appearance of mangy, four-legged wolf creatures with a vaguely human bone structure in their limbs. Werewolves have dramatically improved senses and strength in the days before and after the full moon, and a transformed werewolf is one of the only beings that vampires fear.
    • Like in most werewolf fiction, werewolves are burned by silver. Any wounds a werewolf sustained while transformed will heal, unless inflicted with a silver weapon.
    • Werewolf blood is extremely toxic to vampires, inducing seizures even when ingested in small quantities. It is however the only way to stop the effects of the human flu that has been killing vampires.
    • Being a werewolf can cause premature aging if someone has the curse for a long time due to how arduous the transformation is. An older werewolf Josh and Nora meet reveals that he is in his 39, despite looking well into his 60s.
    • A human and werewolf couple cannot have a baby, but two werewolves can. Their offspring are known as "purebreds", and are far hairier more wolf-like when they are transformed. Purebreds are constantly agitated and aggressive, and have the benefits of enhanced senses and strength all the time, not just around the time of the full moon.
  • Our Witches Are Different: Witches come into the equation in Season 3.
    • Witches practice wield magic through a spellbook.
    • Witches appear to be immortal, but only because they consume the ghosts of people that their blood magic kills by proxy. Donna, in particular, has been alive since the 17th century, although that's when she died the first time around.
    • Witches can only be killed through another magic spell, which Sally is taught by the medium that Danny first hired to exorcise her.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Through the use of magic, the dead can be brought back to life. Sally, Nick, and Stevie all come back to life through these means, while Ray is brought back through different means.
    • The revived ghosts have full faculty of their original bodies. They are also like other supernatural beings in that they can see ghosts.
    • Revived people can never see anyone from their prior life (people the ghost knew during their afterlife are not affected). The result is that their old friends and loved ones are doomed to die and become spiritual nourishment for the witch. This restriction can be lifted, at the cost of the revived person's soul upon their second death.
    • The revived seem to be unusually hungry at first, eating simply more than a normal person would (perhaps as a result of not having eaten anything in years), and they will (apparently) live a long and happy second life. After Sally renegotiates her deal to save her brother, all bets are off. The three begin to decompose and become insatiably hungry as a result. Sally begins to lose her hair in clumps and pierces her own cheek with her toothbrush. The only way to stave off the decomposition is by consuming raw meat, but simple ground beef isn't enough and they begin to need recent kills to restore their bodies to normal. Sally uses a mouse caught in a trap in the house. Nick eats the neighborhood cats and nearly cannibalizes Zoe. Stevie eats his parents (already killed by the initial curse) and then the mailman. Sally manages to hold onto her morals enough to not eat anything else alive, but when she has to go seek out help from the medium from season 1, Aidan allows her to take a bite out of himself so she safely travel without the fear of decomposing on the way there. When Nick and Stevie die, their ghosts get a Door soon after, but Sally is horrified to discover that the Door is the same for each of them, meaning they are not going to the afterlife but are becoming food for Donna, as she will be destined to be upon her death as well.
    • However, none of the above actually applies to beings actually considered "zombies" within Being Human, as "zombie" specifically refers to a revived corpse controlled by another person. Donna brings back Ray in this manner, tracking down his corpse using his heart that was given to her by Josh and Nora to revive Sally.
  • Painful Transformation - Werewolves go through this.
  • Papa Wolf: Liam is literally one. Josh has become one for his adopted family. Ironically, he's more of a Papa Wolf as a human protecting his family than he ever was as an actual werewolf. Even Liam is impressed.
  • Parental Substitute: Nora and Josh become this for Erin when she is infected with lycanthropy, teaching her how to deal with the wolf and seeing her through the first change. Nora obviously wants to take this the whole way (her wolf even bonds with Erin's) while Josh at least tries to maintain a realistic emotional distance. However, he goes completely Papa Wolf on Nora's little brother when he catches them in Erin's bedroom together.
  • Person as Verb: This exchange in Season 4.
    Zoe: You obsesses over things and you can't let them go. Now when I get all wound up about something I say "don't Sally this up."
    • Josh in season 1 actually uses the term "Sally this up" when their discussing the plan to take out Bishop.
  • Phoning the Phantom: Since only supernatural creatures can see ghosts, Josh at one point gets the bright idea to wear a headset while talking to Sally in public so that if anyone wonders why he's talking to himself, they'll see the headset and not assume he's crazy.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome - The basic premise of the series.
  • Poltergeist: Sally meets another ghost who specifically refers to herself as a poltergeist. She has learned to project frightening visions into the minds of the living and uses her powers to torment her former boyfriend.
    • By the end of season one Sally is able to move the pages of a newspaper and even close a heavy door. Though to clarify, she has learned how to do this consciously and willingly. She was always able to do these sorts of things, just never in a way she could manage.
    • Sally tends to involuntarily shake the house and make the lights flicker when she's angry or upset.
  • Power Trio - Aidan is Id, Sally is Ego; Josh is usually Superego, though his werewolf side is pure Id.
  • The Plague - A particular strain of influenza shows up in season 3 that kills vampires if they drink the blood of a person that had it at one time.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Josh gets a few in during his fight with Ray. Though certainly used for similar reasons as most, it's more importantly a show of how the events of the third season (and the show as a whole) has changed him into somewhat of a Butt-Monkey friend to Aidan into the Team Dad and probably the most powerful (from a mental and spiritual standpoint) of the four.
  • Really 700 Years Old - Aidan is over two hundred years old (257 as of the first season, to be exact), having been turned during The American Revolution, but looks to be in his mid-20s. Bishop, the vampire who transformed him, is older, although we don't know by how much.
    • Heggeman is stated to be over thousand years old. The other 'Dutch' vampire elders are probably close to that age as well.
    • Mother is even older still since as old as Heggeman is, he doesn't display anywhere close to the level of power that Mother demonstrates and he treats her as effectively a living legend.
    • In the fifties, Suren was almost 700, so she's this trope almost to the year.
  • Recurring Character: The show likes to get their mileage out of characters, small and large. Even if certain characters don't always speak much, their actions will usually have dramatic ramifications.
    • The medium that initially tries to exorcise Sally shows up as the person who directs Nora and Josh to Donna, the witch that raises Sally. Sally also seeks her out to learn magic to stop Donna.
    • The two girls Aidan brings to Henry return as ghosts to haunt Aidan in retribution.
  • Refusal of the Call: In Season 3, Sally no longer wants anything to do with trying to help people as it has always ended badly for everybody. She goes so far as to disperse ghosts who try to ask her for help.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: One way of killing vampires if a stake isn't handy is by beheading them.
  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job: The purebred werewolf twins, Brynn and Connor.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Aidan slaughters almost everyone in Corwich when the 18th century villagers execute his wife Suzanna for allegedly consorting with the Devil.
    • When Mark and the rest of his pack have Nora at gunpoint in order to have Josh recaptured, Josh transforms in broad daylight and kills all of them. Helped by "Ramona", of course.
  • Self-Deprecation: This is the canon reason why Josh's transformation hurts so much more and why he has so little control over his wolf compared to Nora and other werewolves. However, it's not that his wolf hates his weak human side. Quite the opposite. His loathing of his wolf side has actually made his wolf afraid of him! To the point that when he finally meets his wolf during a meditative trance, his wolf runs away from him in fear.
  • Serial Killer: The majority of vampires. While they do require blood to survive, Suzanna manages to live off and stay vital on 70 milliliters a day, while most vampires are shown to frequently drain people fatally for pleasure. Keep in mind that the average human body holds about 12 pints of blood (almost 6000 milliliters).
  • Shiksa Goddess: Emily says this of her girlfriend.
    Emily: God, what if [Josh] never even gets to meet Jackie? ...I really wanted to rub it in his face that I ended up with a shiksa goddess.
  • Ship Tease: Aidan and Sally have a moment on the couch in the beginning of Season 3 after Sally is brought back to life, but Aidan gets weirded out and backs off.
    • And then again in "Cheater of the Pack", when a drunk Aidan tries to "get with her". This time it's Sally who gets weirded out.
  • Shirtless Scene: Aidan can't apparently afford a blanket that covers his entire body when he sleeps.
  • Shoot the Dog: Aidan kills a recently turned Bernie because the latter can't control himself. And he's not taking it well.
    • Done a second time with Rebecca. Poor guy can't catch a break.
    • Josh insists that Aidan to do this with Kenny at the end of season 3. Aidan can't bring himself to do it and lets him go.
  • Shout-Out: Sally aptly compares Josh and Nora's situation at the beginning of Season 4 to the movie Ladyhawke.
    • Several characters have referred to Twilight on multiple occasions in order to tease or insult Aidan.
  • Shown Their Work: In order to make it appear that Sally is a ghost, when Meaghan Rath had to sit on anything on set, it was upholstered concrete, preventing her from leaving an imprint on any cushion. She once sat down too hard on set and bruised her tailbone. They would also often have to redo takes if she accidentally moved something or instinctively touched one of her co-stars, or if her outfit got snagged on part of the set.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: While most character fantasies involving bodily harm to their enemies are inherently funny, it is simultaneously sad, and appalling that Danny made some level of his fiance's consciousness want to see Aidan tearing at the guy's throat.
    • It's even a little bit cute that Sally imagines that Aidan thinks of her as "their girl."
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness - In the lower middle. It's possible to be good... but it's like going off a hard drug while it walks around you. Aidan talks about it a bit in season two and the show continues to emphasize the comparison to drugs: feeding 'live' is fairly euphoric and stopping cold turkey is extremely dangerous.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Sally suffers the most from this, as she unlocks more of her ghostly powers, she begins possessing innocent people so often she drives them insane and learning to shred other ghosts results in her developing an Ax-Crazy Grim Reaper split personality. Aidan is always just one bad breakup away from a Face–Heel Turn. Josh Becomes a murderer and begins to like violence and the power it gives him. And Nora's transformation into a werewolf unlocks a hidden violent side in her.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Used regularly.
  • Snuff Film: Aidan receives a DVD from Rebecca which features her having sex with a man and then killing him.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Reaper to Sally though it turns out to be more of a case of Screw Yourself.
  • The Starscream: Henry plays this role with Aidan early in life, but later subverts the trope by defending Aidan from other vampires when he runs off with Suren.
    • Marcus towards Bishop in the first season.
  • Status Quo Is God: Much of Season 3 deals with the characters' deepest wishes seemingly being fulfilled: Josh's werewolf curse is lifted, Sally is back from the dead, and Aidan is free from his ties to the vampire mob. But as the season drags on, everyone falls back in line in the final episodes: Josh is scratched by a transformed Liam who is then murdered by Aidan in human form, a new vampire mob forms in the power vacuum left from the deaths of Mother and the Dutch, and Sally's new lease on life is revoked after she has to renegotiate the details with Donna to save her brother leading her to begin decomposing and dying a second time.
  • Stronger with Age: Both vampires and werewolves are implied to grow stronger as time passes in this series.
  • Supernatural Angst - The entire show is this trope...
  • Supernatural Soap Opera
  • Tainted Veins: Sally displays these after surviving an exorcism.
  • Take That!:
    Sally: Are you guys going to go all Twilight on each other at some point, or...?
    Josh: Excuse me?!
    Sally: It's all you guys ever talk about. "I want to be normal, but I can't, 'cause I wanna eat people!" Et cetera.
  • Tears of Blood: Aidan gets these after drinking Josh's blood.
  • Technophobia: Some of the ancient vampires awake to pay a visit on the Chicago district. They are notably wary of all the technological advancements, and frequently make remarks about how the old ways were better.
  • This Was His True Form: Inverted. When Aidan shoots Connor while he's a human, he reverts to his werewolf form in death.
  • Together in Death: Aidan and Sally.
  • Tomato Surprise: There was never any Reaper. It was Sally all along who was killing the other ghosts.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yeah, Connor, totally a good idea to taunt the pissed-off silver-bullet-gun armed vampire whose ally you just brutally killed. On the other hand, not only are werewolves overly aggressive near a full moon (and this was the next morning), but Connor was already taking wolfsbane because he was hyper-aggressive to begin with.
    • The thing is, Connor was so idiotically cocky in that encounter, it's possible he wasn't trying to taunt Aidan, but legitimately trying to congratulate him for surviving
    • In season 4, the entire wolf pack. Since Josh can turn at will, they lock him up and torture him until he turns so he can make more wolves, then show up at his house and hold Nora at gun point. What kind of reception were they expecting to get after all that? It's no surprise they're all viciously slaughtered by him when he transforms to protect Nora. Of course, Ramona helped.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: A complete solar eclipse has an unexpected result on the supernatural world during the second season. First, it causes all the ghosts that Sally shredded to return from the limbo that they were sent. Secondly, it causes Josh to partially transform into a werewolf just as he's trying to tell Julia about his curse.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Aidan. Has dark hair, loves leather jackets, drinks blood to survive, and is universally loved by the ladies.
  • Undead Child: Bernie.
  • Undeath Always Ends: In the series finale, Aidan is reverted to human by a spell cast by Sally, who sacrifices herself in the process. Aidan then dies destroying Ramona and joins Sally in the afterlife.
  • Vampires and Werewolves Are Sex Gods: Aidan can't walk down the street without attractive women throwing themselves at him. In Season 4 alone, he has several beautiful women competing for his attention at various points.
    • In the two or three days before he transforms, Josh becomes way more aggressive in the sack.
  • Vampire Bites Suck - In the first episode.
  • Vein-o-Vision - Sort of. It's more that the person's skin looks flushed. It's accompanied by the amplified sound of blood rushing through his/her veins.
  • Vegetarian Vampire - Aidan's job as a nurse gives him access to donated blood, which is enough to keep him going (though, as he tells a new vampire, bagged blood "tastes like ass"). Evidently animal blood won't do the job.
  • Villain Ball Magnet - Every time Aidan tries to do the right thing, he ends up making things WORSE than Bishop, the show's main villain would have. Sally is even worse in this regard, every time she says the phrase "I can help" expect the lives of everyone around her to be worse off then before she met them.
    • That's debatable, given what Bishop was ultimately planning: dominion over all humans.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Erin's death by pillow takes a mere 12 seconds.
  • Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere
  • Wham Shot:
    • In the Season 2 finale, Aidan is being buried alive for disobeying Mother; Josh, Nora, and Ray are in a stalemate over two rifles to try to lift the werewolf curse when a shot is fired; and back in the empty house, after Sally shredded herself to enter the afterlife instead of stealing her mother's Door, a radio turns on, with Sally's voice begging Josh, Aidan, and Nora for help in returning back from Limbo.
    • At the end of the Season 3 finale, it's the morning after a full moon but Nora finds that Josh hasn't changed back from being the wolf.
    • From the same episode, Suzanna, Aidan's wife from the 18th century who was thought to have died after being tried for witchcraft, is shown walking out of a taxi in the present day.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human? - A major theme of the show.
  • Working-Class Werewolves: Josh was in med school and headed for a bright future until he was infected with lycanthropy, compelling him to drop out and live on the fringes of society. At the start of the series, he is working in a diner until Aiden gets him a job as a hospital orderly.
  • World of Snark: Everyone manages to be a little snarky.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Liam suffocates Erin in her hospital bed after she fails to murder Aidan
  • Xanatos Gambit: Donna's 'deal' for raising the dead. They come back to life and kill everyone they knew - she gains whatever it is she gains from the slain souls. They come back to life and change the deal so they don't kill everyone they know - she gains their soul for the same purpose. Either way, the risen are still very hungry zombies so their new life may not be as long lived as they think - she gains their soul and/or that of their victims.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: All the goddamn time. Somewhat literally with Josh.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Suren makes this comment to Josh during an awkward dinner party. Julia misinterprets it as a Jewish slur. Aidan is able to cover it by saying she meant Josh kept a clean house for a guy.
  • You Can See Me? - Sally is more than a little surprised that Aidan and Josh can see her. note 
    • Occurs again in Season 2 with Nora and Zoe, and in Season 3 with Trent. Basically, this is the reaction that every ghost has when they first meet another supernatural being.
    • Once more in Season 4 with Robbie before Sally discovers he's died and become a ghost as well.
  • Younger Than They Look: Pete, the vegetarian werewolf, mentioned he was 39 when he looked at least a decade or so older than that. He explained that the strain of being a werewolf for most of his early life took its toll.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Played with. While Sally ended up changing the lives of her and her friends quite significantly in the alternate timeline she created, there are still some key events that proved to be immutable. Sally was destined to die young, and Aidan was going to kill Bishop sooner or later.

Alternative Title(s): Being Human Remake


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