"My life is a big, dead rose..."
—Seen as graffiti in an art school classroom
"She's one scary licorice stick."
It can't be emphasized enough, the fact that Hollywood really does not understand the myriad and various subcultures of young people and the many subtleties to be found within. Hence, this trope, which refers to stereotyped Goths in popular culture.
There are, generally speaking, three major Goth stereotypes:
- The Lone Psycho Goth: At best, this character may have an obnoxious level of Wangst. At worst, this character will be well off the deep end of Loners Are Freaks, a card-carrying Nietzsche Wannabe, and may even be Ax Crazy.
- Perky Goths: At the exact opposite of the spectrum from the Lone Psycho. They get their own entry.
- Gloomy Goth: We see these most often in fiction. They are usually pale skinned with some Vague And Grave Affliction. Sometimes, this character is a Deadpan Snarker and/or the sympathetic version of The Snark Knight. S/he may have trace personality traits of the Wangsty type or the more dedicated Nihilist. More often, s/he's The Eeyore. Almost guaranteed in either case to have some kind of family-related drama, usually used as a "justification" for their personality—you will never see a fictional Goth who just happens to be the way they are without reasons.
- Unless, of course, it's played for laughs by making him the black sheep in a The Brady Bunch-style family with no real psychological beef. In this case, they're generally "cosmetic" goths who are in it just to rebel against their parents, or as "posers" who only want in on the fashion statement. They usually grow out of their "existential depression" with the flip of a switch, unless their being a goth is the entire premise of the show.
See also Victorian Novel Disease.
Not to be confused with Hipster, although there is some slight overlap.
Not to be confused with Steampunk, although the two subcultures do share a similar fashion sense and there is some crossover.
Also not to be confused with the Germanic peoples of late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. Though being confused on this one is a stock joke.
Typically, Goths are also portrayed as being big on the BDSM side of life. This is not always an entirely unjustified cliche; but then it's not like it's a core part of being a Goth either.
As it happens, real Goths are mostly harmless and tend to have a (frequently dark or self-deprecating) sense of humor and irony (the Deadpan Snarker without the Deadpan part); which their fictional counterparts largely lack.
Most goths in fiction will be presented as Eerie Pale Skinned Brunettes who wear only black, leather getups and listen to loud depressing music. It's worth noting that goth is neither a skin tone nor a fashion statement, so most media tend to treat goth characters almost as if it were a fashion or fad for a darker Cutie to go after. Of course, thanks to Hot Topic and its ilk, Goth has been hijacked by a large number of people who think it's nothing but a fashion statement, making for a sort of Truth in Television that utterly infuriates (or nihilistically amuses, see above) "true" Goths. There is also a tendency to equate Goths with vampire wannabees and the vampire-obsessed. While, like BDSM, there is some overlap between the two subcultures, and the post-Victorian vampire can be considered a Goth icon; equating the two in the presence of a Goth can be hazardous to your health.
Please note: Goth as a subculture dates to the early 80s. (Teenagers sometimes think they invented it.) And just to keep things clear, Goths are markedly different from emo people. Woe betide the person who gets these cultures confused in real life.
Although there is a sort of Goth template, this template is built upon and changed dramatically to suit the individuals tastes. In order to be considered truly Goth, one must fulfill the majority of the following requirements (in order from least important to most important):
- Most Goths listen to some type of rock music. It can range between 1-11 on the Scale Of Hardness, depending on preference. Goths can also listen to other types of music, but rock is usually the standard preference for various reasons.
- A lot of Goths appear (or are) nerdy. This is because they don't like being told what to like and not like. This may extend to Man Child (or Woman Child). The Goths that are nerdy are nerds for various reasons, one also being to keep a piece of childhood alive, though this is a rare thing. Most Goths don't really know why they like it- that is just what they're drawn to (outside of the TV Tropes reasons they could list). Some of it may be a refusal to allow part of themselves to grow up, but most of the time, it's just something the Goth found that they identify with somehow.
- While maybe not all Goths have had some kind of trauma in their lives, most have. However, Goths are able to take that pain and grow from it. This may even be where their art comes from, or where their music preference comes in if they identify with what the lyrics are saying, or even the singer themselves. The thing that separates Goth from Emo is this quality- Emos hold on to their pain and use it to Wangst, but Goths transcend it and evolve from it.
- Most Goths are not sociopaths, psychopaths, druggies, etc. While there are various Gothic paths that may subscribe to these things, most Goths don't. This is what separates Goth from Punk as well- Goths will fight in defense of something or someone, but punks usually seek to start altercations. Most Goths, though intimidating-looking, are perfectly nice people that will help your grandmother across the street.
- Most Goths do not have a mental illness. As will all cultures and populations, some Goths are going to have them, but this is true for other samples of a population. It is no more or less true for Goth than, say, Gangster. Just because someone is Goth does not mean they are depressed, bipolar, schizophrenic, or have any of the personality disorders (borderline, antisocial, oppositional defiant, etc). A lot of Goths are perfectly healthy people that are not disturbed (though it is rare that a Goth has not endured some kind of great pain). Although the appreciation for the dark side of life may make them seem that way, for a lot of Goths, the cigar is indeed a cigar.
- Every Goth believes differently. There are Christian Goths as well as other Monotheistic faiths, Neopagan, Atheist, and Agnostic. Even within these beliefs (or lack thereof), Goths may disagree on certain facts, just like the non-Goth population of those. There are very few followers of Religious Satanism, and the Goth vs. non-Goth population of Religious Satanists will probably be equal.
- Goths got stuck with the stereotype that they are devil worshippers because of the ability to see the dark sides of life, and either turn them into art, turn them into a life lesson, or find the perverse humor in them. Goths appreciate the negative side of life as well as the positive, and can balance these out. Although most choose to see the beauty in the negative because it's much easier to find the beauty in the positive, and finding beauty in the negative is a challenge. Although sounding more heinous than it is, Goths appreciate the peacefulness in death, the irony of the oncologist getting cancer, the lessons involved in painful experiences, and take the opportunities to make these things into something better.
- One of the themes that will recur is basically "non-mainstream". Most Goths do not adhere to the mainstream because a lot of what mainstream decided was close-minded and stereotypical. Most Goths keep an open mind about things, ranging from the deep (religion, philosophy, whatnot) to the shallow (programs, games, etc). Mainstream largely decided that cartoons were for children and adults couldn't enjoy them (or else they were immature), but most adult Goths lament what adult non-Goths are missing (never mind the fact that cartoons were originally for adults!). This is why Goths consider non-Goths "brainless sheep", because they simply believe what they are told (ranging from "adults aren't allowed to like children's media anymore" to "All pagans are devil worshippers") and don't question or seek to find the truth (that a lot of children's media has Parental Bonus slipped in [even going to What Do You Mean It's for Kids? proportions], and that most pagan/Neopagan religions don't even recognize a "devil" character). Just like mainstream has decided that anyone different is bad, even though Goths know that most Goths are some of the nicest people around, and that liking children's media (especially with Parental Bonus) doesn't make you immature- most Goths are capable of sometimes being more mature than non-Goth in serious situations (like a non-Goth may scream a Big No, while a Goth may stand there stoically.)
- Goths are artists in some respect. Some, like Lady Gaga, are their art, but others stick to more conventional art forms such as writing, music, visual, etc. There are hardly any Goths that are not artistic. They usually take the Darker and Edgier side of life to turn into art. For instance, Amy Lee (of Evanescence) took the premature and unexpected death of her little sister and turned it into not one. but two of the band's most beautiful songs ("Hello" and "Like You"). Edgar Allan Poe wrote some of the best poetry of all time, such as "Annabelle Lee", a poem about his lover's (who happened to be his cousin) death. Edvard Munch painted "Der Schrei der Natur" ("The Scream") because he "felt nature screaming" (note that it was painted around the eruption of Krakatoa, so nature may have indeed screamed in warning). These are not the only examples, far from only, and these are not the only mediums Goths can create art in. In short, Goths are not only creative people, but use what non-Goths are frightened (and thus intrigued by) for art.
- One of the core values of Goths is individuality. All Goths are their art to some extent. Most Goths style their dress as something symbolic to them, or something that expresses who they are. Wearing all black, sharp jewelry, white/dramatic makeup, and outrageous clothing aren't a requirement. Although there is a certain style of clothing most Goths wear, these are not mutually inclusive- you can wear all black non-Goth clothes, or non-black Goth clothes, or both, but hardly ever does neither pass for Goth.
- Not every Goth is just rebelling. Any "Goth" that is rebelling isn't a likely Goth- they are a non-conformist at best, and a non-religious Satanist at worst. Non religious Satanists aim only to shock (usually authority figures) and seem "bad" or "cool" when this truly is just a phase. Should you quiz them and they get hostile or give stereotyped answers, then this person is not a Goth. It's possible, though unlikely, that they are a beginning Goth and will learn the true nature of the Goth lifestyle, but odds are it is something they will grow out of. Goths are Goths for pretty much the rest of their lives.
- Usually, a true Goth didn't choose to be Goth. Either they slowly transitioned to Goth and found their true natures, began hanging out with a Goth and realized that was their true nature, or the Goth lifestyle chose them. Some may have "chosen" it initially and found that they were meant to be Goth, others went the ways listed above. Some may have been raised Goth, but others that were raised non-Goth usually "discover" they are Goth.
Note that a majority of these are required- not all of them. Just because someone doesn't dress Goth doesn't mean they aren't- as long as they fulfill most of the other qualifiers on that list, they are indeed Goth (some people just don't like the style. In fact, Claire's markets to the "preppy Goth" niche, crossing what are usually opposing factions). Also, Goths are going to fluctuate as to what degree they display each trait. The last 5 are the most important- at least 3 of these should be displayed full force (preferably 4). Any less than that, and you're probably not dealing with a Goth.
There are a few other things that Goth is not:
- A religion.
- A fashion statement.
- A phase—a true Goth is not in any phase.
- Ax Crazy
- Hikikomori (although some can be)
Just as much as Biker is a way of life (and overlaps with Goth heavily, if not a subset), Goth is a lifestyle and nothing less.
A handy guide to different (stereo)types of Goths can be found here.
Anime and Manga
- Legato Bluesummers from Trigun could very well be the personification of the The Lone Psycho Goth. Keep in mind, he wears a human skull as an accessory on his shoulder.
- Sunako in The Wallflower is an example of the Lone Psycho Goth.
- Stocking from Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt.
- Misa Amane of Death Note is a Gothic Lolita, which counts.
- Re-l Mayer, the heroine of Ergo Proxy is something of the Deadpan Snarker gloomy goth, dressing in all black and wearing lots of eye liner.
- Mizho from Karakuridouji Ultimo is introduced as one. She dresses like a dead school girl, with bandages wrapped all around her body, along with an eyepatch.
- Sawyer the Cleaner of Black Lagoon dresses as a goth when not "on the job". She's basically the Lone Psycho Goth, although she's more lone, due to having her vocal cords cut, and psycho, because everyone in this series is, than because she is a goth.
- She does have her Perky Goth moments, but even those are tempered by her usual deadpan expression.
- Gaara from Naruto certainly looks the part, and he starts off as a Lone Psycho goth. Later, after his Heel Face Turn, he's more like a Gloomy goth.
- Arguably Dark Chi from Chobits is a goth... she has the Gothic Lolita look, and she is the morbid side of Chi's usually chirpy personality.
- D.Gray-man can be considered a full-on goth shounen series, which is pretty awesome when you think about it.
- Gil of Pandora Hearts frequently looks and acts the part.
- Gregory Violet from Black Butler is an anachronistic Victorian goth, complete with a gloomy demeanor, black eyeliner and black lipstic. Somehow. In a prestigious public school. He is even a prefect.
- Death of the Endless from The Sandman; though she qualifies as a Perky Goth, she's a favorite of the entire community. Her brother Dream is much more of a Gloomy Goth.
- Anne Gwish from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is a (somewhat) Affectionate Parody of the "gother than thou" scene.
- The entire Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl comic would come across as gothic, if there wasn't so much Black Comedy and Parody in it.
- Pretty much everyone from Gloomcookie.
- In the Final Crisis Sketchbook, a tie-in for the 2008 Crisis Crossover showing some of the artist's concept sketches with notes from the author, Grant Morrison apparently redesigned the Forever People (a subset of the New Gods who were basically space hippies) as cynical goths thinking that that's more common of American youth today. He was arguably missing the point of the Forever People, since in their creator's original mythos they represented youthful idealism, which is still around in spades.
- In the end, they didn't appear in the series, although Japanese heroes the Super Young Team are considered their spiritual successors.
- The '90s run of Titans where Damage becomes a big fan of a slasher star named... Goth. Yeah, Goth. Oh, and it turns out Goth is actually a demon who uses his fell powers to convince his fans to kill themselves and shoot up schools. Oh, and Goth also fronts as a Marilyn Manson-style singer, so all the late '90s hysteria bases are covered.
- Screamqueen from Scare Tactics in The DCU.
- Cassie, the protagonist from Hack Slash. She's a Lone Psycho Stripperiffic Monster Slaying Goth Badass Action Girl. Yes, it's as awesome as it sounds. And apart from being very snarky, she's also The Ladette.
- Most of the cast of Wet Moon, a Graphic Novel series by Ross Campbell. The author has considerable knowledge and experience with the scene, which helps.
- Kimmie 66 is all about goth kids.
- Emily The Strange, anyone?
- My Immortal is written by either a brain-dead wannabe
gothgoff or an expert troll trying to make real goths foam at the mouth with rage.
- ...or make them fall out of their chairs laughing.
- In The Return getting turned into a succubus seems to mean all your clothes turn goth-y. No one knows why. Generally it's on the Perky Goth side, especially Yuki's new look.
- A lot of "Bitchiwitch" Mary Sues in the Harry Potter fandom, at least for a while anyway, when they're not punks, tend to be goths. (Usually, they'll also have a hatred of either punks or "preps".) Though of course, a lot of them are Troll Fics still trying to jump on the My Immortal bandwagon.
- Lydia in Beetlejuice; her animated counterpart was more of a Perky Goth. "My life is a darkroom. One. Big. Dark. Room."
- Ghost Rider rescues a rather ample girl who is a stereotypical goth. She mostly accurately describes him as a really thin guy with his hair on fire, but since she looks like a loony nobody believes her. Right before the camera pans away from her, she makes a gesture which some have identified as a gesture from a vampire LARP.
- In the Hilary Duff film Raise Your Voice, a gloomy goth girl (Kat Dennings) and a Hollywood Nerd (Johnny Lewis) were paired as the Beta Couple.
- The bi-polar Tosh from Urban Legend, though her main characteristic is being the Campus Bicycle.
- Sinaed Laren from But I'm a Cheerleader, including stereotyped speech and an obsession with self-inflicted pain.
- Series 7: The Contender has a hilariously accurate Parody of artsy-fartsy student films, in this case a music video to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division. This establishes that two of the main characters, in their Backstory went through a goth phase together. The hilarious music video stands out as the Crowning Moment of Awesome for the film.
- Harold from Harold And Maude dresses and acts not unlike a kind of proto-Gloomy Goth, though mostly during the earlier part of the film.
- Queen of the Damned pretty much summarizes all the goth types, even the poser ones as the female protagonist dresses up in a rather obviously fake attire to attract the attention of Lestat the vampire.
- Son of the Mask: Loki, Norse Night God of Mischief, His gothic attire is mostly black. He also sports a Black Longcoat. His clothing is as black as the clear night sky itself.
- Fang from My Soul to Take is a paradoxical Goth Alpha Bitch, complete with Girl Posse.
- Kelly from Mystery Team is an ex-Goth; she hates shopping.
- Violet from Friday the 13 th: A New Beginning.
- Lisbeth from the Millennium Trilogy
- One of the earlier literary examples of the Gloomy Goth as a social fad can be found in, of all places, War and Peace. See Julia's thoughts on the smile of melancholy in Chapter V.
- Another early example is in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. See Huck's description of (the late) Emmeline Grangerford in Chapter XVII.
- In the Discworld novels, Susan Sto Helit]] may be sarcastic about "idiots who write poetry in their rooms and dress like vampires and are vegetarians really", she certainly fits elements of the trope herself. The young witches of
LucyDiamanda Tockley's coven in Lords and Ladies (referred to as "necro-nerds" in the Companion) might count, although they seem to be more the "fashion statement" type.
- And let's not forget the young vampires in Carpe Jugulum, who try to freak out their elders by wearing bright clothes, stay up 'til noon, and call themselves names like "Henry" or "Pam". They even pretend to drink... wine, although only "real weirdos who file their teeth blunt" actually do. They also spend their days dressing up as accountants...
- Similar to the above example, the rebellious kids of the vampire dimension in Robert Asprin's Myth series express themselves by wearing bright colors and partying in brightly lit clubs. There's also a market for plastic-human teeth, if you want to scare somebody.
- Severus Snape In Harry Potter. Deadpan Snarker? Check. Family drama (namely, abusive father and (possibly) negligent mother)? Check. Nihilist? Check... As a teenager. (At least, he comes off as one at times.) Wears all black and is an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette? Double-check; cosmetic though they may be, they certainly help qualify him. And if the sub-plot with Lily being his lost love doesn't do it, nothing does.
- Lucius Malfoy could also fit this trope
- Four of the five A Nightmare on Elm Street novels by Black Flame featured them as main characters.
- The titular character of Goth Girl Rising, Kyra Sellers, is one, but she doesn't believe in labels and considers calling herself "post-Goth" since Emo has pretty much replaced Goth in the minds of most.
- The "murgatroyds" in Anno Dracula are a parody of fashion-Goths. And are seen as posers despite actually being vampires, most of all by other vampires.
- Lydia of Caught In The Act by Peter Moore.
- Raven of Vampire Kisses.
Live Action TV
- The main character of R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It Made for TV Movie. At one point in the movie, she sat in her room and listen to depressing music all day long. The reason? Well, she dropped food on herself at school. Oh, the inanity!
- Later, when she's asked to take her brother trick or treating, she sulks while the soundtrack plays:
Walking down the street alone.
- Abby Sciuto, The Lab Rat from NCIS, is the quintessential Perky Goth. Just don't mess with her Caf-Pow supply.
- Merton J. Dingle from Big Wolf on Campus was a rather pathetic but strangely endearing simulacrum of a goth.
- Apparently, nobody told him that you can be a goth and a nerd at the same time.
- Goths before the subculture existed: Morticia and Wednesday Addams and Lily Munster.
- Morticia and Lily Munster only dressed the part. But Wednesday had the attitude down perfectly.
- One episode of This Is Wonderland had Elliot defending a goth man who had gotten into a fight with a car dealer who had made fun of him. The goth character was treated much more sympathetically than it sounds, and the judge eventually agreed that the provocation was sufficient. Along the way, they commented upon the unfair stereotypes associated therewith. Elliot even went goth for a few episodes.
- Parodied on The Morgan Waters Show with Trent, the badminton-playing Goth.
- The Blood Ties TV show has Coreen, a fairly well adjusted Goth, as assistant to the main character Vicki. She even has an episode where she gets Vicki to solve murders at her Goth club.
- Richmond from The IT Crowd is either a parody of actual goths or (more likely, given his portrayal by pop culture barometer Noel Fielding) a parody of the goth stereotypes listed above.
- Parodied on Saturday Night Live's recurring "Goth Talk" sketch, starring Chris Kattan as Azrael Abyss, Prince of Sorrows, and Molly Shannon as Circe Nightshade. The show's sponsor was a store called "The Gloom Room"... "It's an orgy of the macabre... located right next to the Pizza Hut on Hibiscus Road."
- Nadine from Girls In Love was normally a gloomy goth, although she would occasionally slip into Perky Goth territory depending on what was happening in her private life.
- Willow's Halloween costume from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And then Vampire Willow. And then Dark Willow. Presumably the writers just liked an opportunity for the normally bright Willow to dress in dark.
- On 3rd Rock from the Sun, Tommy once dated a gloomy goth named Lorna (played by Linda Cardellini) and read her poetry:
Tommy: "Death signed my yearbook. 'Have a good summer,' he wrote, 'see ya next year.' And then I noticed it wasn't my yearbook he signed, it was my tombstone."
- Vivian Wu from Naturally, Sadie.
- One episode of Frasier showed that visiting teenage son Frederick had adopted the goth look. Frasier was annoyed that Lilith hadn't told him.
- Home Improvement
- The youngest son adopted a goth look in his teens, complete with makeup and lip ring.
- There was an episode where the family's at a poetry reading for Wilson, and a goth girl goes up to read/recite her poetry:
Goth Girl: Die... Die... Go on, Die!
- Criminal Minds has a long and varied history with goths.
- Two main characters, Prentiss and Garcia, are former goths themselves.
- There is a season one episode, "The Popular Kids," in which the team suspects for a short time that a local group of goths are responsible for a double murder. They're not.
- In the season three premier, "Doubt," a troubled girl who fits many goth stereotypes develops an obsession with a serial killer, and tries to become his next victim. She ends up killing herself, and him.
- In the season five episode "The Performer," several goth girls are murdered, and the team believes the killer may be a singer who caters to a largely goth crowd. It's actually his completely non-goth manager, aided by a schizophrenic goth fan.
- A suspicious goth was featured in "Risky Business", and his had good reason to be an Emo Teen His chainlink choker was to hide the fact that he was constantly strangled to unconsciousness by his sadistic, Munchhausen-by-proxy/paramedic dad, who also killed his mom.
- One of her flashback episodes portrays Lost's Claire as a goth teen.
- Ellie Nash (until season 5), Ashley Kerwin (in season 2 only), Jane Vaughn, and Eli Goldsworthy from Degrassi.
- An ep of Two of a Kind sees one of the Olsen twins befriending a goth... played by Helga Pataki's voice actress. Replete with dark hair, pale skin, black outfit, nose ring, and love of heavy metal (about a CD by her favorite band "Human Sacrifice": "Don't let the name fool you, they do a good thrash version of You Light Up My Life" [insert Laugh Track here]). And when the other Olsen twin offers to buy her a new backpack (long story), guess what color backpack she offers to buy her?
- One of episodes of the Polish pseudo-docu-soap Tough Matters portrayed a family of Goths as a death-obsessed vampire wannabes, that dressed in typical gothic fashion only for their amusement.
- Many of the vampires in True Blood fit the goth stereotype - not to mention the vampire bar "Fangtasia" is essentially a "goth-bar", with practically every single patron fitting this trope. The setting, theme and even the music playing at the bar further contribute to the gothic stereotyping in the show.
- The card game Gother Than Thou includes cards such as "Fun with eyeliner," "That wasted look," and "Crying yourself to sleep on the fresh grave of your lifelong love who died of consumption and being found the next morning unconscious, naked, and nearly frozen to death by the groundskeeper."
- Old World of Darkness was marketed more or less mainly at goths in the first place.
- The Sluagh from Changeling: The Dreaming take pretty much every goth stereotype and roll them into one big slithery, whispering, spider-loving package.
- Even stronger than that were the Hollow Ones from Mage: The Ascension. One of the common critiques of the Hollowers was "Goth is not a paradigm." However, the "Tradition" as a whole had derived from urban subcultures since the days of the flappers, dealt heavily in the Goth subculture but was not defined by it in modern days, and had the guiding ethos of, "We don't believe in anything, really, but if others believe in it, that means we can use it."
- Warhammer 40,000 has an ork clan (more of a subspecies/ideology than a group) known as the Goffs. They are grim and dour and dislike bright colors. Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka is a member of this clan.
- Henry from the Nancy Drew game Legend of the Crystal Skull seems like an attempt at a gloomy-but-harmless Goth character, but comes across as more fashion-Goth/emo than genuine.
- The entire faction of the Drowning Doom in Brutal Legend, representing the Goth metal genre. Their basic infantry, the Grave Digger, Looks Like Cesare, and a unit called The Bride looks like the ghost of the woman in the page image.
- Violet from the My Sims series is a gloomy, yet well-adjusted goth girl. In contrast to her sister Poppy, who loves cute things and lively flowers, Violet is drawn to spooky things and dead (or dying) flowers.
- Mention Violet, but not Goth Boy? For shame.
- All of the Spooky Sims as a matter of fact.
- Before Violet, there was the famous Goth family of The Sims.
- While Asakim from Super Robot Wars Z doesn't quite have the goth personality, he grabs hold of every goth-related trope and takes it Up to Eleven. His "dark angel" themed mecha has attacks ranging from launching crows at the enemy to cutting itself and using the "blood" to create Geometric Magic that summons gothic artwork to Mind Rape the enemy. Not to mention that he's an immortal Death Seeker who wears what fans refer to as "vampire bondage gear".
- Pandora of Guitar Hero is the representation of the Goth Rock genre. She avoids most stereotypes, though one of her bios mentions that, as a child, she was expelled from ballet school and told a ghost story so scary she got kicked out of Girl Scouts.
- Subverted by Melanippe from Amazoness!; while she looks like a stereotypical goth, the comic takes place in ancient Greece, and she's really a Goth... as in, the tribe of barbarians who would go on to sack Rome.
- Lampshaded in Ozy and Millie: Felicia, a trendy, sheep-like girl, has times when she'll break out the goth makeup in what everyone except the extremely gullible in the strip consider to be a very fake Goth style.
- Haley Starshine of Order of the Stick went through a Gloomy Goth phase in her teen years. She now regards the whole business as kind of stupid.
- Tsukiko is still in her Goth phase. Haley mocks her for it.
- Zebra Girl's friend Crystal, formerly a Genki Girl and bordering on The Ditz, has recently gone Goth in reaction to the strip's Cerebus Syndrome.
- In Acorn Grove, the character Tota the Squirrel briefly becomes a goth, but only because she had identity issues. Later she becomes emo and later a lesbian.
- In Questionable Content, Dora and Raven are both former goths from the same coven. Dora's reason for going goth in the first place was something along the lines of 'because people are retarded.' She eventually drifts away from the coven saying that while it was fun, it had started to feel 'shallow and pointless.' Raven is the classic sheep following whatever herd piques her interest (she tries to be emo at one point to attract 'cute emo boys'), though she may be smarter than she appears to be.
- Nana Avarre, the "Angsty Dentist" from Sluggy Freelance, is a frightening combo of gothiness with stalking and dentistry..
Torg: Novocain please!
- Gothy Beans is a strip entirely devoted to Perky Goth beans.
- And one Deadpan Snarker.
- Alas is all about Goths, and for once created by one. It alternates between playing with and parodying the stereotypes, and doing the same with the real scene. A good antidote to most of the rather dire media portrayals.
- Rhapsodies has Blossom, Francine, Olive, Bian, Stefan and, presumably, Bert.
- Writhe and Shine is a Slice of Life comedy about the New Orleans goth scene, written by a (now former) New Orleans goth.
- Bobwhite. Here and the following page, Cleo and Ivy debate what is and isn't "goth". Marlene ends up resolving the debate for them: "It doesn't matter because actual gothic people stopped existing sometime in the early 2000's. Now there's just a lot of unhappy people who enjoy claymation."
- Nemi. She's pretty much every non-straight lifestyle rolled up together, and dressed in black, save for a sexual minority (she's very straight in that respect).
- There are plenty of Goths at the Super-Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Some are that way for superpowered Raven-like reasons. Some are just magic wannabes who are trying to steal real magic from some of the wizards on campus. Some, like Bloodworm, are actively using Dark Magic to get boons right up until he suffered a fate way worse than death.
- Being about highschool students, there have been a fair amount of gothic characters in Survival of the Fittest over the course of four versions. Most of them are of the "gloomy" variety. One of the examples that comes to most handlers' minds is Meredith Hemmings, who has nicknamed herself "Pandora Black" and is definitely a gloomy goth. This is explained as her not actually being a goth, but a poser who is only acting how she thinks goths act like.
- The Chaos Timeline has an equivalent of them. Tatjana is one of them.
- Uncyclopedia's article for Goths describes them as "a violent East Germanic tribe of barbarians who proved to be a great nuisance for the Roman Empire from the 1970s to 1990s, primarily with their bad taste in music and dark eyeliner." It comes complete with a photoshopped picture of American Gothic (as Goths) and lists the "Emoae tribe" as their chief enemies.
- Persephone and Hades in Thalia's Musings. Hades is, after all, the god of metal.
- Grayvyn on The Nostalgia Chick is a random goth Lindsay pulls off the street because she needs the magical powers all goths have to restrain Dark Nella.
- The first Pico flash, Pico's School, a group of goths led by Cassandra grow tired of the conformist school system and estart a Columbine-inspired massacre. Pico retaliates with an AK-47 to teach Cassandra and her lackeys what non-conformity truly means only to find out that Cassandra is really a hermaphroditic alien monstrosity with "other plans".
- Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do In An RPG
1076. When told to dress like a Goth I will make sure with no uncertainty whether they mean black clothes and eyeliner or chainmail and shield.
- Parodied in South Park; the Goth kids are always railing against the "conformists", while being ridiculously similar in dress, speech, and action.
- Further worked with the 2008 episode "The Ungroundable", where they railed against ... vampires.
- In that same episode they got pissed about being called emos and ended up burning down Hot Topic (complete with a song called "Burning down Hot Topic") to stop the Vampire-obsessed from copying them.
- And in the dance-off contest, they took non-conformism to absurd lengths, where three of the goths, trying to out-nonconform, refuse to join Stans' dance troupe, until the fourth out-nonconforms the rest and joins them, leading one of the three to observe that they "just got Goth-served."
- It's interesting to note that while most fictional portrayals of goths have them listening to some variety of heavy metal, the music the goth kids listen to is a pretty impressive and accurate parody of actual Goth Rock. They also mention several acts popular amongst Goths, such as Industrial band Skinny Puppy.
- It should be noted that Parker and Stone have a significant renown for the quality of their musical (re-)interpretations - which is all the better since if you try to parody somebody you had better do your research...
- Parker and Stone spoke through Kyle in the Mecha-Streissand episode: "Disintegration is the best album ever!" Both are huge fans of The Cure, who are held along with Siouxie and the Banshees as the origins of Goth Rock. Even if they jibe at the subculture, they likely are quite familiar with the musical genre on a personal level.
- Further worked with the 2008 episode "The Ungroundable", where they railed against ... vampires.
- Kylie Griffin from Extreme Ghostbusters exemplifies the Gloomy Goth sub-trope.
- Raven of the Teen Titans fits pretty much all the stereotypes, although there are extenuating circumstances for why she has to be that way.
- Also, Honorary Titan Argent is depicted posing as interested in this sort of dark fashion style.
- Jinx seems to fit, or at least has the general style in mind. Of course, her outlook on life has a lot to do with it, too...
- Master Cyclonis, the Big Bad from Storm Hawks fits the bill. Also Stork.
- Yin turning evil in an episode of Yin Yang Yo is represented visually by her getting a Goth Girl makeover. The Lone Psycho Goth stereotype is alive and well.
- As opposed to her comics persona (a perky Southern belle) Rogue in X-Men: Evolution was given this sort of personality because the creators thought it would fit a girl who was Blessed with Suck.
- The same show's take on the Scarlet Witch has a very strong Hot Topic-Goth vibe.
- Another animated Gloomy Goth: Creepy Suzie of The Oblongs, who seems to be a merciless parody of the stereotype.
- Funny, because that adult cartoon was actually based on gothic art.
- Triana Orpheus of The Venture Brothers is a goth, replete with a skull on her T-shirt and heavy eyeliner. Her father is a necromancer (and her mother ran off with a younger one) so apparently it runs in the family.
- Oddly enough, she's arguably the most sane, level-headed character on the show.
- Hey, she was going for an Adam and the Ants kind of look. And it's not like she can get into her closet...
- Andrea from Daria, though she gets about three lines per season on average, is unmistakably Lawndale High's token Goth kid.
Andrea: (Reciting her own poetry) I'm here. But where are you? Sure, I see your body. Anybody home in that rotting bag of flesh?
- Gwen from Total Drama Island is a sort of half-hearted portrayal. She was given a Goth character design, but her personality is really pretty average for a (slightly downbeat) teenage girl.
- Duncan seems to fit the Lone Psycho Goth more, although he's arguably considered to be a punk rather than a Goth.
- An episode of 6teen had one of the characters dress up as a Goth to try to retain his girlfriend, who was on a Goth kick. In the same episode, the regular cast and a bunch of goths (most of whom were posers) were trapped together in the Mall after a power outage. While it had the typical Goth jokes, the episode had the two groups more or less accepting each other.
- Though ironically, the episode does end on an unusual gloomy note after the not-really-goth couple breaks up.
- Ingrid from Fillmore!. Although, unlike most examples, her goth-ness isn't some sort of defining characteristic. She just happens to like dressing in black and has black hair.
- Not quite a Lone Psycho Goth (she has a boyfriend and a small clique of Goth friends), Chloe Crashman from Carl Squared could be the poster girl for the Angry Goth.
- Creepie Creecher, from Growing Up Creepie. She also has a cadre of goth friends/acquaintances. None are really portrayed negatively.
- Zevo-3: Angel Jones, Voiced by Pamela Adlon.
- Mai for Avatar: The Last Airbender counts in the Gloomy Goth category. She's also a Snark Knight and a Deadpan Snarker to boot.
- Sam from Danny Phantom is said to be goth and goes between Perky and Gloomy, but more often comes off as an activist hippie who wears black.
- German cartoon singer Anna Blue is considered as a less then funny side of Jamster.
- The Simpsons: In "Smart and Smarter", after realizing that she's no longer the smartest, Lisa attempts to gain new identities for herself, such as becoming a Goth.
Milhouse: What are you now Lisa? An Oakland Raiders fan?
- Jillian Venters, the Lady of the Manners, has an entire website devoted to clearing up misunderstandings and stereotypes between Goths and non-Goths, and encouraging civil and civilized behavior from both groups.
- Being Goth is actually more of a mindset than it is anything else, so things like fashion and style oftentimes vary. Also, Hot Topic is one of the few places to buy Tripps and cool T-shirts, so don't be surprised if Goths actually do shop there.