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File:Nightmare Before Christmas.jpg

It's the little spiraly design that seems to come up so often in cartoonier media influenced by Goth culture, which itself was heavily inspired by the feel of The Nightmare Before Christmas (pictured). The popularity of this film has influenced an entire generation of young artists with dark proclivities (see Deviant ART) and seems at times so common that one wonders if all one needs to add a bit of gothic appeal to their work is to add a few little spiral designs here and there.

Contrast (or sometimes compare) Everything's Better with Sparkles, and definitely contrast with Spiral Power.

Examples of Goth Spirals include:

Anime & Manga


  • In the Sandman comic Death is portrayed with a small spiral design under her eye.
    • Although she is indeed a Perky Goth, this is more an Egyptian motif (probably the Eye of Horus) in keeping with her habit of wearing an ankh, although the ankh is much more symbolic.
      • The Eye of Horus represents wisdom (it's the facial markings of the hawk), and there's that adage about death bringing wisdom, so it might be meaningful after all.
    • Delirium's sigil is a spiral or a bunch of spirals (at least in the manga-esque At Death's Door), although they're less goth, more insane.


  • Dark City made a repeating theme of spirals: spiraling staircases, spiral patterns carved into victims, spiral rat mazes, spirals drawn by a madman. A good chunk of the movie is devoted to this trope.
    • As seen from the Strangers' map, the entire city is arranged as a spiral.
  • Pretty much the entire filmography of Tim Burton.


  • The title font of Twilight is this. And sparkly.
  • The font used for the italic words in Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan's The Strain contain spirals.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • Found all over the place in Death Jr.: Root of Evil, most prominently in the character designs.
  • Ditto for Psychonauts.
  • In World of Warcraft, Scourge and Forsaken buildings quite often have small spirals on them.
  • In Eversion, the flowers become deadly spiked spirals after many eversions. So do the face blocks in World 7. And a lot of spirals can eventually seen in the background in HD version.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, anything associated with Twilight is going to have these, from the Tron Lines on portals, monsters and Midna to the markings on Zant's robes (even the emblem on the front part of his outfit, which is interesting considering that it's a stylized version of the previously non-spirally Gerudo symbol).
  • Some types of heartless have spirals in their design.
    • And, obviously, The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the recurring worlds.


  • This is also all over Gunnerkrigg Court, especially in vapor and hair. It's particularly associated with the Donlan family.
  • Secret from Keychain of Creation has a small spiral under her eye.

Western Animation

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