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Everybody wants to be a bat...
Vampires are surrounded by humans who, while they haven't been bitten, do their masters' bidding in the hope that they will be. Sometimes they're under some sort of mind control, but often they're just willing vampire groupies. How likely their loyalty is to actually be rewarded depends on the vamp, however - they might be exploiting this trope as a not-so-Secret Test of Character in order to keep the bloodline pure.
The wannabe's desire can be justified, if the work's version of vampires are Cursed with Awesome, gaining great powers and few if any weaknesses. This can lead to Moral Dissonance if the wannabe is portrayed as a foolish coward regardless of this - perhaps because being a vampire is just inherently evil. Or possibly because the Vampire Wannabe leaves him-/herself wide open to a Pretender Diss, whether from actual vamps or their enemies.
Can work as a deconstruction of the exponential population growth that would result from the more traditional "everyone bitten becomes a vampire" model - in this case, the familiars may be feedstock as well, with conversion requiring some more complicated ritual the vampire can choose to initiate.
Polar opposite of I Hate You, Vampire Dad, although that can be the end result if the gig isn't all it was cracked up to be. These characters are often Goths, at least in their minds, and always Les Collaborateurs, usually Working for a Body Upgrade. Compare The Renfield, Transhuman Treachery. Contrast Super Loser, when being a vampire is no guarantee of coolness.
Anime and Manga
- In Vampire Hunter D, one of Count Lee's minions is in it for the goal of becoming a vampire himself one day.
- In Hellsing, several members of the British army and government betray their home country in the hopes of getting turned. The ones that do get turned are easily destroyed by the Hellsing Organization or indeed by Rip van Winkle.
- Not necessarily vampires, but groups of Homunculi in Busou Renkin are often assisted by humans called familiars, who help the homunculi when possible in the hopes of becoming humanoid homunculi themselves. Failure results in being eaten.
- In the graphic novel Life Sucks, Dave and his friend Jerome, who are actually vampires, have a good laugh at a Goth guy who goes around in a black cape using a fake Transylvanian accent. More seriously, Dave's crush Rosa wants to be a vampire, based on her fantasy of vampires being rich, cultured and sexy.
- There is a Jhonen Vasquez story where a Goth boy who wants to be a vampire for real finally meets an undead guy willing to grant his wish. The results... aren't pretty.
- The vampire claims that beauty would come with time and patience, which was a downright lie, as the condition only got worse.
- Though it manages to play it straight and subvert it- while Eric (the victim) is one hideous vampire, the one who did the turning was plenty attractive.
- The vampire claims that beauty would come with time and patience, which was a downright lie, as the condition only got worse.
- Les Enfants du Sang in Preacher (Comic Book). Weird goths who act as groupies to the Lestat parody Ecarius.
- For a vampire wannabe who has actual powers to back it up, Chew has the The Vampire, a criminal who dresses and acts like a vampire so he can scare his enemies. Due to his cibopathy, he's able to get psychic impressions off the things he eats. He prefers to use this to drink blood and gain the knowledge of his victims.
- The vampiric Batman villain called the Monk has a minion named Dala who, in her modern incarnation, is a Goth human who wants to become a vampire. In earlier incarnations she was a vampire herself.
- The Hack Slash story Murder Messiah had a normal human serial killer who wanted to become a slasher. He assumed the best way to try and figure out how was by getting Cassie's attention.
- The vampire AU is its own genre in many fandoms.
- My Immortal.
Films -- Live-Action
- All the Blade films feature Scannable Man versions of these, known as "familiars"; they have the glyph of the vampire who owns them tattooed somewhere on their body. Some of them serve because they believe that it will protect them from being bled dry. Doesn't always work.
- The Vampire's Assistant.
- Dracula's groupies in various Hammer Horror flicks.
- The Stranger from 30 Days of Night, who paves the way for the vampires by stealing and destroying the town's means of communication in exchange for being turned. They don't.
- The main character in the Tales from the Grave, Volume 2: Happy Holidays segment "Love Bites".
- Beetlejuice. Goth girl Lydia Deetz wants to die and become a ghost like the Maitlands.
- The "vampire" in Transylvania 6-5000 turns out to be a once-ugly woman who began dressing like one to get attention, and continued to do so even after plastic surgery made her gorgeous.
- The premise of the George A. Romero film Martin.
- Even Dracula itself has one, of a sort, in Renfield (yes, that Renfield) who tries to emulate vampire immortality, but with a rather mistaken and icky method.
- In The Saga of Darren Shan, Darren's friend was like this, to the point of blackmailing a vampire to try and get bitten.
- At the end of Interview with the Vampire, the journalist actually asks to be 'turned', which pisses Louis off to no end, since the entire POINT of him recounting his life-story was to show how being a vampire had made his 'life' a living (undead?) hell. (The journalist ends up getting his wish in Queen of the Damned.)
- Daniel Molloy (the journalist) actually spends a decent chunk of Queen of the Damned as Armand's companion, constantly begging to be turned. Armand only does it to save Daniel from alcoholism. Daniel ends up losing his mind later, this time under Marius's wing.
- On the flipside is David Talbot, an old man in charge of an organization that studies the supernatural. Lestat constantly offers to turn him, only for David to refuse on the grounds that he is too old. When David gets a new, younger, body (Tale of the Body Thief), Lestat turns him by force For the Evulz.
- Arthur and Doreen Winkings in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Middle-class citizens of Ankh-Morpork, he is, very technically, a real vampire (who Just Wants To Be Normal), while she desperately pretends to be from Uberwald.
- Carpe Jugulum features a sort-of inversion, with teenage Uberwaldian vampires giving themselves deliberately mundane names and playing at being Muggles.
- Marginal notations in the vampires' edition of the Discworld Diary suggest that one member of Ankh-Morpork's League of Temperance is actually a human who looks like a vampire and enjoys hanging around with them. Even the other League members are fooled.
- In Twilight the Volturi have a human secretary who is under the impression that they'll be turned. Really they're going to be snack food after a few months. Bella also wants to become a vampire. But let's face it, Meyer's vampires are basically sparkly, ridiculously overpowered, cold, immortal people. What was the downside again? A bloodlust that you can learn to control with enough training? Wow, that's really off-putting.
- This site has featured advertising for First Bite, described as "a personalized vampire romance novel ... where you are the star!" Oh joy unto the ages.
- In George R. R. Martin's Fevre Dream, this is how Damon Julian, the leader of the evil vampires, motivates his competent (but not too bright) human servant. However, in this setting, it isn't even possible for humans to be made into vampires. Apparently, Damon likes to string his servants along with the promise of eventually being turned as a reward for their service, then when they're too old to be useful, he abandons them and doesn't even have the decency to end their wretched lives. A good vampire encounters one such former servant and realizes the old man has been murdering and eating people in a hopeless attempt at prolonging his life.
- Lonely Werewolf Girl has a werewolf wannabe in the form of Big Bad Sarapen's spy Madrigal. You can guess how this went.
- Red Court vampires in The Dresden Files tend to attract groupies like this. Some of them mistakenly believe they can become immortal; others are just addicted to the vamps' narcotic saliva.
- The short story "It's My Birthday, Too" deals with a somewhat unpopular member of a Vampire-type LARP becoming a vampire and seeking revenge on the group that spurned her. In something of a twist, she's turned by the Black Court, and already looks dessicated despite only being a vampire for a few months. Not that she cares...
- The Kitty Norville series has several callers who want to be turned into vampires, werewolves, etc. Kitty's advice is always that it is a one-way trip to a life that's not as romantic as it sounds. Don't do it.
- In Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls, Christian runs into some of these, of course with Poppy Z's vamps being a totally different species, he just tells them he will and then eats them.
- In the novel Twelve, one of the vampire wannabes isn't a vampire. This is a major surprise to the reader, the main character, and in the sequel, even to other vampires. Being able to pretend to be a blood-sucking torture-loving inhuman monster is not played for laughs.
- In the Shadowrun/Earthdawn novel Worlds Without End, an immortal elf recalls being confronted by a mortal who'd figured out her secret and demanded she make him immortal as well. She stages a fake "conversion ritual" in which she cusses him out viciously in long-dead languages, then causes him to die of a brain aneurysm.
- In the first of Neil Gaiman's short stories "Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot," the Fool spends night after night waiting in a graveyard in hopes of being turned into a vampire because of the promise of eternal life. But when he finally explains his motivation to a real vampire, it laughs at him for thinking being Undead is anything like being alive.
- An episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured a group of vampire wannabes who thought they were going to be turned. They were really going to be food, as a payment of sorts from the one character who was actually going to be turned (who was dying of cancer).
- Also, there's an episode of Angel (Eternity, S01E17), where an actress wants to become a vampire for the eternal youth. After getting a glimpse of soulless Angel and finding what being a vampire was really about, she ran off and never returned.
- The Angel comic book is currently using this plot, with a group of Corrupt Corporate Executives trying to use a VERY unwilling Angel and a hired Gypsy to turn rich idiots into ensouled vampires. It works about as well as you would expect.
- "Fangbangers" in True Blood and The Southern Vampire Mysteries fit this to a T. On the other hand, the main character Sookie is a subversion as she has repeatedly said she doesn't want to be a vampire, she just likes them because she can't hear their thoughts.
- Actually, most fangbangers apparently have no desire of being turned themselves. They just like to have vampiric sex partners.
- In Forever Knight, why does every other woman who discovers that Nick is a vampire throw herself into his arms and demand to be turned?
- One of the clients in The Collector made a Deal with the Devil to become a vampire. She didn't realize at the time, but vampires were completely fictional before she got her wish.
- After Mitchell tells the vampires in Being Human to go clean, one of them finds a chatroom full of these and argues that they shouldn't count, since they want to be bitten.
- Twice in Dracula The Series. First in "The Vampire Solution", when Gustav goes to save his friend Arthur Bauer only to find out he planned to be captured and another time in "Bats In The Attic" Subverted in the fact that Lawrence Lei already is a vampire.
- In an episode of Sanctuary, a group of college dropouts get turned into vampires, and then quickly fall headlong into this trope, trying to turn their friends into groupies. The resident True Vampire tries to convince them that it's not everything the stories (or even his own papers on the subject) say, yet.
- Tesla's plan is to make them into vamps over several decades. Presumably, by that point they're a little wiser. He doesn't anticipate one of them crashing his car and dying, which triggers a premature change. He then proceeds to kill all his friends who attended the same rehab clinic (a front for Tesla's research), turning them as well. They then attempt to bite a friend of theirs only for him to bleed out on the floor. Biting doesn't work. Then again, they're not true vampires, and neither is Tesla. All true vamps were killed centuries ago.
- In the Supernatural episode "Live Free or Twi-Hard", the alpha vampire has his minions target and turn young women interested in being Bella to their Edward. Unfortunately for them, the vampires of Supernatural are much less sparkly.
- The villain of the Fear Itself episode "Something with Bite" was a man copycatting werewolves in the hope of attracting the attention of a real one who could turn him.
- Robin in Young Dracula.
- An episode of The X-Files had a vampire wannabe who was also a vampire, only a different one: Everyone in the town had glowing green eyes and drank blood, but he also wore fake fangs.
- "Wannabe Vampire" is a monster in Munchkin. Clerics can scare him off by saying "Ooga booga."
- A sort of Meta example happens in Vampire: The Requiem. This trope is played straight(ish) with a lot of Ghouls and the blood addicted, but there is a vampire bloodline, The Players, who want to be the stereotypical "cool" vampires. Y'see, the game has five vampire clans; the sexy ones are the Daeva, and the shadowy ones are the Mekhet. The Players are what happened when a Mekhet wanted really badly to be like the Daeva. The result? They gained some of their special powers, but not their actual "cool". Every time a Player fails an action using a power, those who witnessed it see him as the poser he is and are immune to further uses of that power.
- Ironically, other vampires are at the least wary of them, if not outright scared - because with the way vampires work, something that weak has to have some nasty surprises in store... right?
- Lahmian vampires in Warhammer are a sect of Vamps so alluring they can control men's minds. Their army list includes mortal human characters fighting for their favour.
- Call of Cthulhu supplement Cthulhu Companion, adventure "The Rescue". Jocko wants to become a werewolf like Rafe Pelton. Pelton has lied to him, telling him he can gain the power of transformation by performing ludicrous and humiliating "meditative rites".
- In the spoof of Twilight 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons adventure "Dusk", one of the characters is a fake vampire. The Player Characters will probably kill him, thinking he's a threat, or wonder why Turn Undead doesn't work on him. There are also vampire fangirls.
- Morrowind featured an optional quest only for players who had become vampires. It featured a mother hoping you could talk some sense into her son, who wanted desperately to be turned. If you tried to fight him, you'd kill him easily. The only way to complete the quest was to let him wail on you for a while until he decided vampires were weak and overrated.
- The chance to become a vampire is offered as a reward for achieving a certain rank in the Dark Brotherhood in Oblivion.
- Heroes of Might and Magic 4 had captain Enric, who betrays his village and frames a random barbarian warlord with it's destruction, when the necromancer Gauldoth promises to turn him into a vampire. Later while scavenging the remains of a village under Gauldoth's jurisdiction, that was destroyed in a demon raid, Vampire Enric attacks a survivor for her blood, because it's what vampires do. Gauldoth being the way he is, stops Enric and brutally executes him as an example to anyone who harms his living subjects.
- Parodied in this Wondermark strip.
- Cal Warden's army of fangirls, who attack Spinnerette.
- The Kingfisher has at least one vampire wannabe, who misses her big chance and does not become a significant character: Arsonella Jones.
- Played hilariously in the South Park episode "The Ungroundable" when a group of kids pretended to be vampires because it was the 'in thing', and Butters got swept up in the fad, much to the annoyance of the local goth kids who everyone kept confusing for the 'vampires'. Of course, they weren't really vampires but it was still in the spirit of the trope.
- An episode of Batman Beyond had a man aiding Inque because he was obsessed with her, and wanted to be like her. When the time came to reward him, she only administered half the treatment, leaving him a humanoid Blob Monster.
- Beavis and Butthead once decided that emulating Twilight vampires or werewolves would be a good way to meet girls, so they went searching for one or the other to bite them. They succeeded in getting bitten, but by a grimy deranged human bum whose teeth gave them nasty infections.
- ↑ Only Red Court nobility is allowed to turn humans, and while a vampire will retain all the memories of the original, they're a completely different, demonic entity with a different personality