A prequel television series based off the movie series of the same name, Hotel Transylvania: The Series is a joint production between Sony Pictures Animation and Nelvana, in association with Nelvana's parent company, Corus Entertainment.
The show takes place sometime before Mavis met Johnny in the first movie and focuses more on Mavis when she was slightly younger (114 as opposed to 118 in the first movie. Essentially she's the vampire equivalent of a 14-year-old and the show is covering her "teenage" years). Dracula has to leave the hotel to conduct some vampire business and left it in the charge of his older sister, Lydia. However, whereas Drac was traditional but a fair enough boss who was open to new ideas, Aunt Lydia is even more strict and uncompromising in her methods. Mavis and her friends Hank N. Stein, Pedro the mummy and Wendy Blob, however, seek to enact their own ideas and make the place more fun for its visitors, much to Lydia's chagrin.
The series premiered on Disney Channel in the United States on June 25th, 2017 and Teletoon in Canada on October 7th, 2017. The remainder of season 1 was released on Netflix in the United States on June 25, 2018, before either network could finish airing it. A second season was announced in September 2018 and began airing October 8, 2019.
Has the following tropes:
- An Arm and a Leg: Hank is unsurprisingly on the receiving end of this trope quite frequently.
- Art Shift: The series is 2D animated rather than CGI.
- Birthday Episode: "Fangceañera" takes place on Mavis' 115th birthday, with Mavis wanting to accomplish a task from the Wheel of Destiny to earn her cape until Drac interferes.
- Brick Joke: In "Fangceañera", Drac says it's an occasion for close family and friends... and Klaus. Klaus is excited about being referenced by name even if Drac doesn't get it right. After Mavis passes the dangerous tasks and the evaluator says she's looking forward to Klaus' turn, Klaus is once again glad to be referenced by name (and the evaluator got it right!).
- Burning with Anger: Lydia frequently does this.
- Canon Foreigner: The series features a lot of exclusive characters who are not present in the film series: Hank N Stein, Pedro, Wendy, Aunt Lydia, Uncle Gene, Klaus, the Cartwrights, etc.
- Catchphrase: Mavis has two phrases she frequently says throughout the series: "Boom Dracka Lacka" and "Holy Rabies".
- Cement Shoes: Part of Lydia grounding Mavis at the end of "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Medusa?" is that she shoots a magic bolt at her that encases her feet in cement.
- Chekhov's Skill: All of the chores Mavis was forced to do in "Fangceañera" turn out to be the key to accomplishing her Wheel of Destiny tests.
- Christmas Episode:
- "The Fright Before Creepmas" (Season 1): Lydia won't let anyone else celebrate the holiday because she didn't get a mace she asked for as a child. Mavis seeks out The Krampus to fix this, but when he says it was no mistake, she steals the mace. Chaos ensues.
- "A Year Without Creepmas" (Season 2): Krampus has been doing a lousy job with the gift-giving lately, but Mavis trying to fix things causes him to take a vacation right before Creepmas. Now, she and her friends have to find a way to deliver all his presents to the entire underworld. Luckily, they meet a bearded man who knows a thing or two about such things.
- Clone Degeneration: In "Doppelfanger" Mavis finds a mirror that lets her see her reflection, but it happens to be cursed and creates a zombie-like clone of her after she looks away from it.
- Clucking Funny: Aunt Lydia is a grimly serious authority figure with a pet chicken named Diane.
- Continuity Snarl: In spite of being a prequel to the movies, there are some rather glaring continuity inconsistencies.
- In the first movie, Mavis mentions she has never seen a real human, but in this prequel she often interacts with a human family next door to the hotel. Also, here she's afraid of humans as a species while in the first movie she was eager to meet and befriend them.
- Mavis' friends and Aunt Lydia are not mentioned in either the first or second movie. The latter is particularly jarring given that the beginning is Mavis's wedding.
- Lydia states that the Hotel has had a sterling reputation for one thousand years, while in the movie it was built some time after 1895 by Drac specifically to protect Mavis. However in "Drac to the Future", young Dracula in 1898 clearly called it the "new hotel".
- Cute Monster Girl: Mavis and Winnie as usual, as well as Wendy.
- Also Charlotte and Sophie, the werewolf scoutgirls.
- Demoted to Extra: Dracula, who makes some cameo appearances here and there but isn't around for a majority of the series.
- Enter Eponymous: Enter the Nosepicker.
- Evil Aunt: Aunt Lydia, apparently due to being a traditionalist in monster ways and trying to impose them when running the hotel.
- Fantastic Racism: Kitty Cartwright doesn't like monsters and does whatever she can to ensure that everyone sees them as a menace.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Pedro has a shoulder angel and shoulder devil try to warn him against competing in the Curse Club tournament in the episode "Curse Club".
- Guilty Pleasures: Throughout the episode "Hotel Pennsylvania", Lydia does everything she can to keep Mavis and her friends from watching the titular human show, even confiscating all of the televisions in the hotel and stationing a guard-hellhound on the bridge to keep them from leaving. By the very end, we find Lydia also watching the show on all of the confiscated TVs.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Kitty Cartwright easily gets angered by everything: monsters, her husband, and being called crazy.
- Halloween Episode: "The Legend of Pumpkin Guts". Mavis and her friends sneak out to go trick-or-treating, unaware that any monster that does so awakens an out of control monster.
- Humanity Ensues: Hank becomes human after being struck by lightning in "Hank and the Real Boy".
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Like in the film, this is the monsters' view of humanity. The difference is they fear that the humans will do to them the things monsters do in other media, top among these is eat them.
- I Ate WHAT?!: In "Hide and Shriek", Demented Debbie force-feeds Hank, Wendy, and Pedro "chocolate treats" that she claimed to have found from a rat's nest.
- Immune to Mind Control: In "Hypnosferatu", Mavis develops the Hypnotic Eyes of her father and aunt, thus unlocking her "Vampnosis" power. However, anyone who isn't weak of mind is unaffected, and the only one she successfully "vampnotizes" is Donald, but she cannot snap him out. Thus she cannot use her powers until she's old enough to use it properly.
- Interactive Narrator: Averted in the Christmas Episode, much to Dracula's annoyance.Dracula: What's the point of narration if you can't influence the story?
- Instrumental Theme Tune: The opening theme does not have lyrics, aside from wordless opera vocals.
- Jerkass: Mavis' cousin Klaus is a competitive jerk who enjoys causing misery for Mavis.
- Lemony Narrator: Dracula narrates the Christmas Episode in this fashion.
- Living a Double Life: In "Hotel Pennsylvania", it is revealed that, by night, Diane the Chicken acts as Lydia's animal familiar, but by day she acts as the pet to the human family across the street.
- Look Behind You: In "Rainbow Doom", Mavis sneaks a forbidden video game cheat code from a spider by claiming to see rain going down the water spout behind him.
- Looks Like Orlok: Mavis' Uncle Gene resembles Count Orlok, being a pale vampire with pointy ears and a bald head.
- My Friends
and Zoidberg!: Dracula pulls this off in "Fangceañera", where he talks of how Mavis' 115th birthday will be a joyous celebration for the entire Dracula family...and Klaus.
- In "Drac to the Future", Kitty Cartwright plans to get rid all monsters to keep her daughter safe... and her husband, she guesses.
- My Little Panzer: In the episode "Hide and Shriek" there's Mavis's Demented Debbie, a haunted Creepy Doll that she was given as a child and left to rot in a pop-up book for 90 years, apparently because of Dracula, who hated her. The in-universe commercials for her warn that she'll annoy and torment her owner until the end of time and beyond, and the girl in the commercials is shown being pestered by her for 800 years because Debbie's batteries last forever.
- Nightmare Face: Aunt Lydia, whenever she's furious.
- Not Where They Thought: In "Exit Sandman", the Sandman has put everyone to sleep. In the dream world, Hank has to pee. Later, the gang finds Diane chilling in a jacuzzi. Hank whispers to Pedro that he thought the jacuzzi was a bathroom, implying that he relieved himself in there.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Vampire Council, with Drac leaving because he has to serve on it for a few years.
- One-Word Title: The episode, "Doppelfanger".
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Gorytelling", Uncle Gene tries to disguise himself with a fake mustache.
- Potty Emergency:
- In "Casket If You Can", Mavis Dracula is tasked with watching over Aunt Lydia's rejuvenation casket for an hour while Aunt Lydia is using the casket. During the hour, Mavis has to pee from drinking a lot of blood and decides to make a quick bathroom break when she can't endure her full bladder any longer.
- Hank needs to pee at one point in "Exit Sandman" and his predicament is used by the gang as a way for him to wake up. We don't see how he resolves his problem after he wakes up to tell Diane, but it's later implied that he mistakenly relieved himself in the hot tub of Diane's new chicken coop that Mavis had built to make restitution for destroying the old one.
- Prequel: Set four years before the first movie with Mavis being 114 years old (the joke being she's the vampire equivalent of a 14-year-old. Essentially the show is covering her "teenage" years).
- Rule of Three: In "Fangceañera", Mavis is forced to accomplish three tasks instead of one to earn her cape and get Drac's cape back as well.
- Rump Roast: Rather than fire, Mavis accidentally does this to Pedro with a watering can full of acid in "Hide and Shriek".
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Hank.
- Self-Parody: Mavis and her friends enjoy watching the TV show Hotel Pennsylvania, a show about a group of human teens - all of which happen to look like the teen monsters (who are also Distaff Counterparts in Mavis and Pedro's case) - getting into misadventures at a human hotel. Aunt Lydia is implied to have one too, as the character Davis mentions his uncle.Wendy: Is it me or did Davis, Tank, Penny, and Petra seem, like, really familiar?
Hank: Don't think so.
Pedro: Clearly just you.
- Shout-Out: In "The Legend of Pumpkin Guts", when Wendy tries to lie to Aunt Lydia that she and Pedro were abducted by aliens, Pedro claims that the aliens were tiny, blue, wore white hats, and all had the same last name.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The movies usually divide up time between Drac and Mavis, though they are mostly about the former and his shenanigans. The series focuses more on his daughter.
- Stable Time Loop: Comes into play in the episode "Drac to the Future", where early in the episode Mavis mentions a battle between two humans and two vampires that determined the future of monsterkind. When Kitty Cartwright goes into the past through the enchanted book of monster history and Mavis follows her to prevent her from changing said past, Mavis eventually finds that she and the past self of her father were the two vampires and that Kitty and her husband Donald were the two humans.
- Start X to Stop X: To get rid of her Demented Debbie, Mavis buys another one to scare her away.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
- Mavis's friends are rather similar to Drac's in the movies save no werewolf or invisible man. Justified as two of them are confirmed to be the children of two of Drac's friends, so them being friends makes sense.
- Aunt Lydia is obviously a female version of Dracula dead-on.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: At the end of the Christmas Episode, Dracula sneaks away from the council to visit a depressed Mavis.
- Time Dissonance: Lampshaded by Drac when he's getting ready to leave, pointing out that since vampires live for thousands of years, a few years away is practically nothing.
- Title: The Adaptation: It's an animated series based on the Hotel Transylvania movies with a subtitle clarifying so.
- Toilet Humour: There are some instances of toilet humor on this show.
- "Bad Friday" has the plot point of everyone thinking that a blood-curdling scream was the result of Mavis successfully scaring a human, when what really happened was that Mavis screamed in response to witnessing a diaper change.
- In "Buggin' Out", it is mentioned that Hank uses Pedro's wrappings to wipe his butt and that Mavis has the embarrassing secret of breaking wind in her coffin when no one is looking.
- "Phlegm Ball" revolves around a sport similar to basketball using a ball made of snot and has Hank and Pedro snickering at Mavis' cousin Klaus constantly referring to his partner as his "number two".
- Unfortunate Names: Drac lampshades that he didn't think naming his shampoo brand "Drac-poo" through.
- Voice for the Voiceless: Wendy does all the talking for her always unintelligible father Blobby.
- Wall Crawl: Mavis does this a lot, being a vampire it's just natural to her.
- Was Once a Man: Mavis mentions in "Fangceañera" that Diane the chicken used to be human.
- Wax On, Wax Off: In "Fangceañera", all chores Aunt Lydia told Mavis to do were useful as training for the tasks.
- We Want Our Jerk Back!: In "Fried Mean Tomatoes", Mavis makes a wager with Aunt Lydia that Quasimodo can handle a cooking class, but finds herself at risk of losing the bet because of Quasimodo being rude and tactless to his students. She makes Quasimodo nicer by having Tiffany help her remove his mean streak, but is forced to put the mean streak back when it makes Wendy become bad and it is revealed that Quasimodo will die unless he has his meanness restored.
- You Mean "Xmas": The monsters celebrate Creepmas, where they ask The Krampus for gifts. For fun, Mavis and her friends see Santa Claus and Christmas decorations—finding it all very strange. In the second holiday episode, Mavis actually meets Santa and keeps correcting him whenever he says "Christmas."