Gothic Punk

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A place which is like the modern-day real world, only a lot more goth. Various supernatural creatures control the world just below the surface, treating humans as cattle at best, and vermin at worst. There's also usually pandemic angst.

The term was coined in the first edition rulebook for White Wolf's Tabletop Game Vampire: The Masquerade, and has since been applied not only to The World of Darkness series as a whole, but also to many other works that are similar in tone.

If a film takes place in a Gothic Punk setting, expect its soundtrack to include something by either Trent Reznor or Danny Elfman.

If this takes place Twenty Minutes Into the Future, and with more robots, it's Cyberpunk. (Which very quickly became a borderline Discredited Trope itself and was replaced by Post Cyber Punk).

Examples of Gothic Punk include:

Comic Books

  • Sort of played in the comic Witchblade. Although New York in the comics is a big, shiny, towering metropolis, evil still manages to lurk deep inside the dark sewers and alleys.
  • Speaking of hell, Hellboy!
  • The Crow is certainly the Trope Codifier in this genre, if not the Ur Example itself.


  • As the name implies by coincidence, Gotham City in most of its incarnations, especially within the live-action Batman movies. Both the city and its protector serve as a contrast to the lively, sometimes World of Tomorrow, city of Metropolis. "Gotham" is actually an old name for New York, first used by Washington Irving.
    • A theory worthy of note is that Gotham is basically New York at night, and Metropolis NY during the day. that said, both Canon for their film versions tend to use NY as the set.
    • The Nolan Batman films actually use Chicago more than NY. The Dark Knight is pretty much explicitly set in a DC Universe version of Chicago.
  • The Blade movie trilogy may be the epitome of Gothic Punk, at least in action flick form.
  • The movie adaptation of James O'Barr's The Crow comic exposed millions to the Gothic Punk aesthetic.
    • Alex Proyas tends to do this a lot. Dark City was very much a Gothic Punk film
  • The Underworld films exemplify this trope so much that White Wolf accused the filmmakers of ripping off the Old World of Darkness.
  • The film Constantine features Keanu Reeves - as an exorcist/demon hunter who's out to save the world from a race of rampant hell-demons.
  • Daybreakers takes place in a Twenty Minutes Into the Future Earth where the vast majority of the humanity has been turned into vampires. Cue angsting teens, kiosks serving blood coffee, windowless buildings, cars with UV-proof black windows, lots and lots of blue lighting and pretty much everyone dressing in black.


Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • The Nasuverse. Oh ye gods. Tsukihime is this moreso than Fate/stay night, although the Heaven's Feel route of the latter dabbles in it what with Kotomine attempting to unleash Angra Mainyu, an unstoppable world-ending Eldritch Abomination that most people may know better as Ahriman.
  • Sekien no Inganock, a H-game heavily influenced by this in conjunction with Steampunk (a rare example that is combined with that trope). Basically, every characters in the game is seeped with gothic drawings, clothes and personality. The protagonist constantly have to slay monsters with his trusty companion spirit. The tone... angsty enough that it makes the daily life looks sad.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines provides a great translation of this trope into video game form.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni may be this. It's set in the modern age, but there's definitely a lot more emphasis on the "gothic" than the "punk."

Western Animation

  • Parodied in Arthur with "Dark Bunny," a caped crusader who fights crime in "a city that's always nighttime".
  • In the Teen Titans episode "Fractured", after being endowed with reality-bending abilities, the grunge biker boy Johnny Rancid Gothic Punk-ifies Jump City, much to Raven's delight and later regret, after they've saved the day.