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Western Animation / School For Vampires

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"He is right dear, that boy could never pass as a creature of the night".
Clockwise from the top: Leechy (in bat form), Oskar, Ashley, Stoker, and Gothetta

School for Vampires (Die Schule der Kleinen Vampire in German, Scuola di Vampiri in Italian) is a German/Italian horror-comedy children's animated television series, which, not surprisingly, centers around a group of vampire children learning everything that a vampire needs to know at the School for Vampires. Each episode is self-contained and follows the vampire kids' various misadventures without a strong emphasis on continuity. Our hero Oskar might have been one of the best students at the school if it were not for the fact he cannot stand the sight, let alone the taste, of blood; if he does, he faints. To make matters even worse, he is in love with a human girl named Sunshine whose grandfather is a vampire hunter!

Though the show originally ran from 2006-2010, it became available for streaming on Netflix in German, English, and French beginning on April 1st, 2016. The title of the show is sometimes translated as School for Little Vampires, which is how it appears on Netflix.


This show provides examples of:

  • Afraid of Blood: Oskar, which is quite ironic considering he's a vampire.
  • All-Ghouls School
  • Alpha Bitch: Nofre, a one-time character, is an Egyptian princess vampire that controls all the boys but downsizes Gothetta.
  • Art Evolution: The third season onwards features a cleaner art style with more vivid colors.
  • Attractive Bent Species: Happens in "Zoo Time" when the Count is mistaken for a rare bat and captured by a zoo; an actual bat tries to hit on him while he was thinking how to escape.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Count Alarich von Horrificus, with some overlap with Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
  • Babysitting Episode: "Hello Baby", which centers on the kids taking care of a human baby after it got sent up to their castle by a bunch of helium balloons.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In "A Work of Ashley" Ashley finds himself in a museum exhibit. Two people come up to him remarking that just when you think modern art can't get any worse, they find a pile of ash in a stroller... which they find an excellent commentary on how life is short, or to find beauty in the common. See also Mistaken for Exhibit below.
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  • Balloonacy: Happens to a baby in "Hello Baby" when Polidori tied a bunch of balloons to his pram.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Gothetta wears a dark purple shirt with long sleeve opens her belly button. Cousin sister Batoria wears a short green tube-top opens her belly .
  • Better the Devil You Know: In "Polidori geht in Pension" (Polidori Retires) Polidori gives up vampire hunting after thinking of all the failures he's had. However a reporter visits him and after learning he's no longer a vampire hunter decides to take over, and the kids try to convince Polidori to come out of retirement because the reporter-now-vampire-hunter turns out to be much more competent.
  • Be Yourself: Moral of the story in "Dr. Leechy and Mr. Cool"; Leechy ends up wooing his love interest by being his normal geeky self.
  • Boarding School/ Extranormal Institute
  • Body Snatcher: Ashley takes over Oskar's body in the episode "Demon Within" and scares the hell out of their friends.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • In "Dr. Leechy and Mr. Cool" Stoker talks to the audience directly remarking that he thinks Leechy and his new found friend are both uncool.
    • In the episode "Superstition", the fortune-teller tells Gothetta that she blames too much television for children's bad behavior, upon which all characters look at the camera.
    • In "The Vampire Hunter Hunter", the eponymous vampire hunter-hunter gets trapped in one of Polidori's traps. Oskar threatens to reveal the hunter-hunter's weakness to the world unless the hunter leaves Polidori alone. The hunter-hunter agrees to Oskar's conditions, but threatens to come and get him if he ends up reading about his weakness leaked somewhere or seeing it "in a film or, say, an animation show on TV."
  • Butt-Monkey: Stoker
  • Camping Episode:
    • In "Campfire" Oskar and Stoker's arguing causes their dormitory to be destroyed, so the teachers take the opportunity to teach them wilderness survival while Lenny does repairs.
    • In "Blood Relatives" Count von Horrificus worries that he'd been too stand-offish to Oskar in trying not to show favoritsm, so he takes Oskar on a camping trip for some uncle-nephew bonding time.
  • The Chick: Sunshine
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Polidori's right about the existence of vampires, but that doesn't stop him from being a major loon.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The Vampire Hunter-Hunter sends vampire hunters to an always-sunny tropical island where there are no creepy castles for them to snoop around in or any vampires to hunt.
  • Cute Little Fangs: All the vampire kids, except for Stoker (and arguably Leechy).
  • Crusty Caretaker: Lenny, although he is to an large extent more of the Old Retainer of the school.
  • Defanged Horrors (Fang pun not intended)
  • Diary: The Season 4 episode "Fletschers Tagebuch" (Stoker's Diary) involves Stoker losing his diary and being found by a TV producer, who uses it as a basis for a TV show which looks like a meta-parody of this show.
  • Dirty Coward: Stoker, at his absolute worst.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the episode "Ashley in Love," Ashley meets a female vampire ash-pile named Asha. They both get trapped in a vacuum cleaner and some suggestive noises ensue.
  • Dub Name Change: Most characters have different names in the Italian, German, or English version of the show, except for Kryptina, Oskar, and Klot.
    • Lapidina = Gruftine = Gothetta
    • Rotella = Tinto = Leechy
    • Perfidius = Fletscher = Stoker
    • Pulvirio = Ashley = Ashley
    • Sole = Sunshine = Sunshine
    • Mortimer = Nestor = Lenny
    • Sanguinetti = Oxford = Oxblood
  • Edible Treasure: The gold in "Klot's Millions" turns out to be chocolate coins wrapped in gold-coloured paper.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: For some episodes.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Favouritism Flip Flop: In "Inside Out", Polidori disguises himself as a vampire to try and infiltrate the school. Oskar remarks that if they can convince Polidori they're just an ordinary human school he won't bother them anymore, but Oxblood brushes it off saying it's a silly idea. However, Count von Horrificus thinks it's a good one, leading Oxblood to backpedal and also say it's a good idea.
  • Fiery Redhead: Gothetta, although her hair is more of a deep crimson color.
  • Filling the Silence: Occasionally, the English dub adds a few extra lines or vocal sound effects like giggling or grunting that weren't present in the German original. Happens most notably with Leechy.
  • Food Fight:
    • In "Hello Baby" the kids try to stop a baby from crying. Thinking he's hungry they get some food but as they're vampires they only have things like beetle pie. Their arguing eventually lead to pies getting thrown around, which amuses the baby and quiets him down so they throw more pies at each other.
    • Another instance happens in "Klot's Millions" where Klot decides to solve who to give his newly-found treasure by an ice cream eating competition. Unfortunately nobody was able to finish their giant pile of ice cream and everyone eventually wound up just throwing the ice cream at each other's faces.
  • Forbidden Friendship: Oskar and Sunshine.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: In the episode "The Vampire who cried werewolf", a werewolf exchange student is send to the vampire school. At the end of the episode, it's announced that in return Stoker will spend some time as an exchange student at the werewolf school.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Played twice in the Halloween Episode "Trick Or Treat", although it was unintentional on Oskar's part as the store only had vampire costumes left.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Mainly Oskar, but all of the vampire children are this to an extent.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Leechy. Polidori as well, though his inventions are more likely to fail in the end.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Somewhat; Ashley's name, though technically unisex, is considered feminine with English speakers.
  • Generation Xerox: In a couple of Whole Episode Flashbacks, Polidori's ancestors are always shown to be fanatical vampire hunters.
  • Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies: In "Fluffy," Oskar adopts a strange-looking baby bird, only to learn the hard way that he's a Dragon Owl.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Leechy's goggles allows him to zoom in to see distant objects as well as give him night vision.
  • Gold Fever: Essentially the plot of "Klot's Millions". Klot finds a bunch of gold and Stoker, Gothetta, Leechy, and Oxblood all try to convince him to use the gold to fund their project. Eventually it's revealed the 'gold' is actually chocolate coins.
  • Hand Gagging: Oskar does this to Klott in "Walpurg the Wicked" to keep him quiet about Sunshine.
  • Harmless Villain: Vampire Hunter Paulus Polidori.
  • Halloween Episode:
    • "Trick Or Treat" centers around a Halloween party held at Polidori/Sunshine's house.
    • "Der Beißprüfung" (The Biting Test) involves Professor Oxblood taking the kids out on the town on Halloween night to test their bite-someone-without-getting-noticed skills. Unfortunately they fail because they kept getting distracted by trick or treating.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: The kids sing the song in "Bite Me!", although birthday got changed to bite day.
  • Hipster: Ashley's uncle asks if Ashley is one after he says he prefers his cart over an urn (it's actually Stoker pretending to be Ashley, but we digress).
  • Historical In-Joke: In this show's world the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore were originally built by vampires but got stolen by the humans (after removing the fangs, of course).
  • Hong Kong Dub: Happens more noticeably in Season 1; bizarrely, this can still be seen in the German version even though the show is made in Germany.
    • Another interesting thing to note is that the Season 4 episodes are animated to avert this trope ... for English, the most obvious being when characters say "Nein" but their mouths make an 'O' shape.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Stoker says this word-for-word in "Transformer", except it backfires on him as he tries to toss his weapon from his left hand to his right one and ended up dropping it.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Oskar and Sunshine, of course, with some overlap with Interspecies Romance since they both like each other but never get into an actual romantic relationship. Gothetta has also made a few interspecies friendships with trolls and goblins.
  • Ironic Fear: See Afraid of Blood
  • Irony: In "The Guest from Hell" the kids have to try and scare a tourist from Florida, but she turned out to be so obnoxious that the kids end up being scared of her.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: In "The Portrait," the kids learn that Oxblood was very handsome as a young vampire, with a full head of hair.
  • Jerkass: Stoker, sometimes entering Token Evil Teammate territory.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Gothetta and Oskar work together to prevent this from happening between Sunshine and Stoker in "A Vampire's Kiss", as they had accidentally consumed a love potion whose effects would last forever if one kissed the other on the cheek.
  • Lady of War: Whether in the best circumstances or when she has to get scrappy, Lady Kryptina is always an elegant and graceful vampiress. She's even the school's P.E. teacher.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Sunshine and Gothetta.
  • Love Potion: Gothetta brews one in "A Vampire's Kiss" in order to get Oskar to fall in love with her. Naturally, it ends up being consumed by the wrong people (Stoker and Sunshine) and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Loves Me Not: Sunshine is seen doing this in "Zoo Time".
  • Love Triangle: Oskar and Sunshine like each other, while Gothetta has a crush on Oskar, and Stoker has a crush on Gothetta. A mild example since it doesn't get a lot of focus outside of a few episodes.
  • Magic Countdown: Averted. In "Who's Vampello" Oskar is dared to stay in the Forbidden Crypt for a night. After being spooked by bats Oskar remarks that he only has 11 hours, 59 minutes and 38 seconds left, meaning he's been in there for 22 seconds - the exact amount of time that passed on-screen.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Stoker talks big, but when the danger is real, he will cry and beg for his un-life.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: The villainous minion featured in "Super Klot" definitely counts as one.
  • Mistaken for Exhibit: Happens to Ashley in "A Work of Ashley". See also Bait-and-Switch above.
  • Mistaken for Special Guest: "Vampires and Robbers" has Klott letting in a couple of human crooks into the castle thinking they were repairmen.
  • Nerd Glasses: Leechy, although they're technically goggles.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Averted - Polidori uses cages to try and capture vampires, and when they escape he opts to use a stronger, supposedly "vampire-proof" one.
  • Nice Guy: Oskar
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: In "Lenny's Blues" Lenny hides from Oskar by pretending to be a candlestick/statue. Somehow Oskar doesn't notice.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Happens occasionally with Stoker and Gothetta in the English dub.
  • Oh, My Gods!: Vampires swear by, who else, Dracula. Even funnier is the fact that Polidori swears by Van Helsing.
  • Orphaned Etymology: In "Bite Me!" set in the early 1800s Polidori's ancestor states that he'll be a monkey's uncle, a phrase that won't be coined for another few decades (the first known record of the saying was in 1925).
  • Origins Episode: "Bite Me!" explains how Lenny became a vampire, being the only one who was turned and not born.
  • Our Vampires Are Different:
    • A human that has newly became a vampire (after being bitten by a vampire during a full moon) can become human again by replacing all his/her vampire blood with human blood in a blood transfusion.
    • Also; a vampire that is exposed to sunlight does not die, but is instead reduced to a living/undead pile of ash that can still speak and retains the same personality. Yikes!
    • Apparently, in this universe, there are vampires that are born as vampires and those who were turned by bite. Probably as a logical consequence, these vampires grow up and age. They are still immortal, though.
    • Blood is not a necessity to the vampires, at least not the vampire children, who are not allowed to drink blood until they graduate the school for vampires. They eat all kinds of non-blood food; they even love human sweets.
    • Other vampiric powers include hypnosis, bringing one's shadow to life, and turning into bats (but retaining their human faces).
      • Besides some added idiosyncrasies though, the show tends to mostly follow the rules of the Classical Movie Vampire in terms of powers (and occasionally, looks and demeanor).
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Werewolves in this shows universe are wolf all the time. Exposure to the full moon makes them bigger, stronger, and is their Berserk Button.
  • Papa Wolf: Both Count Von Horrificus and Lenny are this towards the kids.
  • Parental Abandonment: It is unknown what happened to Sunshine's parents or if they are still alive.
  • Parental Substitute: Count Von Horrificus is this for Oskar and has probably has been for most of Oskar's life since the episode "All Work and No Play" reveals that Oskar was delivered to the count as a baby.
  • Parodies for Dummies: In "Home Alone" Oskar reads a book called "Humans for Dummies".
  • Perky Goth: Gothetta, and arguably the rest of the vampire kids too.
  • Personality Swap: Between Oskar and Stoker in "Topsy Turvy"; they attempted to use a machine to transfer some of Stoker's ... vampire-ness to Oskar to cure his blood phobia but ended up completely switching personalities.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Played straight with the kids, subverted however with the adult vampires who can be, as shown in some episodes, an actual threat to humans. They are however always stopped by the interfering kids or bad luck.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Lenny overhears the kids talking that they want to hire someone for a job and assumes they're looking for a new janitor.
  • Prince Charming Wannabe: Stoker. In the episode "Superstition," a fortune-teller predicts for Gothetta that she'll meet a tall, dark man that looks like a young Johnny Depp. Stoker naturally assumes that means him.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: The episode "The Arena of Terror".
  • Puppy Love: Oskar and Sunshine, who have shown mutual feelings for each other. Also, Leechy and Ravena.
  • Real Is Brown: Seasons 1 to 3 of the show used a duller color palette since most episodes are set at night, however this was dropped in Season 4.
  • Reluctant Monster: Oskar, who doesn't have much interest in terrorizing humans and sucking their blood.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: In-Universe the teachers dress up as vampire hunters in "1730 war alles andes" (Everything was Different in 1730) to scare the kids into being more cautious, as they felt that they were not taking the vampire hunter threat seriously.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Oskar tends to disobey the teachers' instructions to stay in the castle if the problem is something he caused.
  • Security Cling: Done by Stoker and Klott in "Cousine Batoria"
  • Shout-Out:
    • Count von Horrificus and Lady Kryptina are dressed in the same way as Dracula and Lucy in Bram Stoker's Dracula.
    • Professor Archibald Oxblood looks like Count Orlok from Nosferatu and Lenny is a dead ringer (pun not intended) for Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
    • Vampire hunter Paulus Polidori shares his last name with John William Polidori, author of The Vampyre.
    • Stoker's English name is a clear shout-out to Bram Stoker, while his outfit and appearance reference the Classical Movie Vampire look set by the 1931 movie Dracula.
    • Maxine Schreck, a one-time vampire character, is named after Max Schreck, the actor portraying Count Orlok in Nosferatu. She also bears some resemblance to Morticia Addams from The Addams Family.
    • Arnie, a one-time human character who plays a vampire for a carnival show, dresses in red robes and a hairstyle similar to the infamous costume from Bram Stoker's Dracula.
    • Ravena, Oxblood's niece featured in "Dr. Leechy and Mr. Cool", is dressed in an outfit that strongly resembles Mina Harker's green dress from Bram Stoker's Dracula.
    • In "Super Klot", Stoker says that he wants to do his class presentation on Vlad the Impaler, one of the major historical influences behind the original Dracula.
    • Gothetta's cousin Batoria is named after the Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who was a prolific serial killer rumored to have bathed in the blood of her victims and is another major historical influence on vampire folklore.
    • Orlok Nosferatu, another one-time vampire character, is also named and designed after the titular character in Nosferatu.
    • Polidori's brother Byron is named for English poet Lord Byron, who wrote the fragment that inspired The Vampyre, which was written by Polidori's namesake, John William Polidori.
  • Show Within a Show: "Vampire Town", a human show based on Stoker's diary.
  • Skewed Priorities: During "Home Alone" Leechy tries to make a soup, only to end up with a potion that turns him into a Hulk-like figure, minus the green skin. Leechy simply reacts with mild annoyance that "of course, a soup that tastes that good has to have side effects".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Stoker.
  • Status Quo Is God: Almost always the case with each episode.
  • Stealth Pun: In the English dub of "Dr. Leechy and Mr. Cool", Stoker is shown whistling to the tune of the song "You are My Sunshine". The following sister episode "A Vampire's Kiss" features Stoker accidentally consuming a love potion and falling in love with Sunshine. May also count as a Woolseyism.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Count Von Horrificus. He usually appears as a cold, stoic, and somewhat terrifying headmaster, but he has his moments of kindness and humour, especially towards the kids.
  • Translation Convention: Seemingly averted - The show is set in Transylvania as evidenced by the characters referring to things such as "Transylvanian Idol", however when Leechy starts speaking a bunch of technobabble in "The Arena of Terror" Gothetta tells him to "speak English".
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Stoker and Oskar - the two don't like each other, but often they're forced to help each other when one of them gets in trouble, such as being caught by Polidori.
  • Those Two Guys: Klot and Ashley occasionally fall under this. Because Ashley travels around in a bassinet for Klot's dolls and due to Klot's age and Ashley's state of being, they often cannot keep up with the other vampire kids.
  • Two-Teacher School: Oxblood and Kryptina are the only two teachers at the school. Justified since there are only six students attending.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Ashley tells his classmates that he was reduced to ash because he lost track of time while battling the wolfman, a hunchback, and Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. What really happened was that he was dancing at a party, then fell down the stairs and through a door into the daylight.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Stoker has, on occasion, said "Stake you!" or "Go stake yourself!" to other vampires.
  • Unreliable Narrator: "Fletschers Tagebuch" (Stoker's Diary) features Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Stoker however has had some liberties in his diary describing himself and the others, where he's more suave and charming (also way taller) while the others resemble bad caricatures of themselves.
  • Unwitting Muggle Friend: Sunshine falls squarely into this trope. She even dresses Oskar up as a vampire in one episode.
  • Vampire Hunter: Polidori.
  • Vampire Procreation Limit: Since the main characters are all children, it can be assumed Vampires mostly reproduce sexually, and are thus born as vampires. It is possible for vampires to turn humans into vampires, but only if they bite them during the full moon. And the process can be reversed by giving the victim a blood transfusion.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Zig Zagged. Oskar and the other vampire students apparently aren't allowed to drink human blood until they graduate, but it's mentioned that the teachers do feed on humans.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Vampire Hunter Hunter's only weakness is cheesecake, of all things!
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Gothetta's accent in the English dub sounds like a mixture of British, Texan, German, and Romanian.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Count von Horrificus' only fear is clowns.
  • World of Ham
  • Would Hurt a Child: Klot barely being out of toddlerhood doesn't stop Polidori from trying to stake him.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Even though most of the vampire cast have shown they don't care much for humans, "Hello Baby" shows they would still try to take care of a human baby when one ends up at their castle.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: In "Movie Bites" Stoker tries to audition as a vampire in a movie, only to be told that that's not how vampires act and his teeth look "clearly fake". It isn't until Stoker accidentally bites an armrest off a chair that Polidori realises they're real.


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