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In most vampire fiction, vampires tend to be filthy rich or at least comfortably loaded. It's presumed that over the years they've managed to save/squirrel away money so that they can have a comfortable lifestyle, plenty of security so nobody comes in and stakes them in their sleep, and a fabulous wardrobe. Some certainly look like the Rich Idiot With No Day Job, others may be Non-Idle Rich and manage to be financially enterprising. Generally justified in that the vamp is hundreds of years old, and thus has had plenty of time to accrue his wealth. Being technically dead also saves several bills, as there's no need to buy food, water, insurance, you get the idea. Tropologically, it's probably to do with vampires being aristocrats going back to Count Dracula.

Vampires made in recent years, however, may not fall into this trope due to lack of savings, and may end up having to work nights at the Quik-E-Mart in order to pay for a dark enough apartment to sleep in.

Undead Tax Exemption may factor in here.

See also Vampires Own Nightclubs.

Examples of Vampires Are Rich include:


Comic Books

  • Life Sucks brings this up, then explicitly rejects it as unrealistic. The undead protagonist works night shifts at a convenience store, and most of the vampires around him are hardly doing better.
  • The Carpathian/European vampires from American Vampire represent old European nobility and thus are loaded. So much that in the miniseries Survival Of the Fittest they're a major financier of the Third Reich as they are big on racial purity as well.
  • In Runaways, Toph says he made a small fortune during the Great Depression, but lost it all during the Dot Com bubble. His love for an expensive lifestyle means that he and the two vampires he turned spend their nights holding up liquor and convenience stores every night.

Film

  • Cronos: Guillermo del Toro's film features a working class alchemic vampire.
  • Inverted in Near Dark, in which the vampires not only aren't rich, but are essentially penniless drifters who steal as well as kill to survive.
  • Lair of the White Worm features Lady Marsh who, as the name implies, is a noblewoman that often ventures around the world... and yes, she's a vampire to boot.
  • In Twilight the whole Cullen clan has some pretty swanky digs and a fleet of brand new cars. This is hand waved by portraying the daddy vampire as the town's physician. This causes great amusement to real physicians in rural parts of Washington State.


Literature

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker: Count Dracula is the go-to example. Jonathan Harker notes that Dracula doesn't have any servants, as that would be a huge drain for an aristocrat in a poor country. Of course, the true reason for the lack of servants kinda sucks.
    • Dracula doesn't have any servants because no local is willing to come anywhere near his castle, and most vampires are portrayed as far less intelligent and focused than the titular Count, who himself is considered mentally challenged by Van Helsing, so they would make poor servants, as well. Dracula is portrayed as rich, and even the source of his wealth is explained to an attentive reader: Harker sees him put a mark next to a will'-o-the-wisp, and when later questioning him about it he explains that there is a buried treasure in the lands supernaturally marked so that it will only appear in one night in a year. It was this treasure that he used to fund his expedition to England.
  • Both played straight and subverted in the Kitty Norville books, with the vampires in power being the wealthy sort and at least one caller of Kitty's being a Quik-E-Mart employee.
  • Blood Books and Blood Ties: Henry Fitzroy is an aversion: he writes for a living. There's a Lampshade Hanging in the first book where Vicki asks why he has to work, and he says something like, "Oh, sure, I could have bought IBM for pennies back in nineteen-oh-something, but who knew? I'm a vampire, not clairvoyant." He also points out that there is a reason for a high percentage of vampires being aristocracy. A mausoleum is much easier to break out of then a coffin under six feet of dirt.
    • This may be more of a subversion, given that Fitzroy lived a life of luxury while he was mortal.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries and True Blood
    • Eric is clearly the local entrepreneur and runs Fangtasia. And being the local sheriff means that he can force the local vampires to hang out in his bar regularly in order to entice the clientele.
    • There are plenty of middle class vampires. Bill Compton, for example, makes do with a rather old house that's in poor condition. Eddie lived in the suburbs like a normal person.
    • Bill resides in the house he lived in before death. In the second or third book it's revealed that he owns a shopping complex, so he can't be that strapped for cash.
    • Subverted in True Blood with Sophie-Anne Leclerq, who despite being vampire royalty has been taxed by the IRS since coming out of the coffin for all the years that she paid no tax, and resorts to selling "V" and even using lottery scratch cards to pay off her debts.
  • The Vampire Chronicles.
    • Louis was already rich when Lestat sired him, probably just so Lestat could mooch off of Louis. (Also subverted in the case of Lestat, who was an aristocrat, but the youngest son of a family that was so poor they had to go hunting to put food on the table.) Basically, though, all vampires become filthy rich because they steal from their victims. Or just steal from living people.
    • In Tale of the Body Thief, Lestat mentions that he has so much money that he doesn't know how much he has. Somewhere in the high millions. When the titular thief asks him for $20 million in exchange for letting him swap bodies for a day, Lestat knows this is just a drop in the ocean for him but is still hesitant to pay the man.
    • Armand owns an entire island and flies around in private jets.
  • Anita Blake: The vampires vary in this. Jean-Claude is a very enterprising vampire and has businesses all over town, employing various werewolves and vampires as strippers in his nightclub.
  • Twilight: The Cullen family own their own island (off the west coast of Brazil, evidently) and can apparently afford to purchase or build any number of honeymoon cottages, luxury cars, and gemstones. One of the vampires explicitly mentions that it's due to Alice's ability to read the future and the relevant impact it has on the stock market. Before Bella ever meets Edward, the first thing she notices is the incredibly expensive cars that they drive parked in the school parking lot.
  • Some Discworld vampires.
    • Agnes's first impression of Count Magpyr in Carpe Jugulum is that he's the sort of nobleman who never, ever worries about money. Lady Margolotta is also very well off.
    • Otto Chriek works for the newspaper (though it's possible he only does so to indulge his one great passion, photography.)
    • The very middle-class greengrocer Arthur Winkings, Count Notfaroutoe and his Vampire Vannabe wife Doreen, whose determined effort to keep up appearances results in them having the only terraced house with a crypt and a moat.
    • There's a nameless vamp in Feet of Clay works in such places a the holy-water section of a religious supply store.
  • Subverted in a (humorous) how-to book on how to be a vampire. It says that being a vampire doesn't make you rich, so it recommends ways of making money for which being a vampire is helpful: selling collectibles (objects that are cheap can become valuable when you sell them after decades or centuries), theft, being a con artist or cardsharp.
  • Subverted in the graphic novel Life Sucks. Vampire Vannabe Rosa imagines a society of rich and cultured vampires; real vampire Dave is stuck working for his vampire master at the all-night convenience store.
  • Night Watch: Mostly subverted in Sergey Lukyanenko's series. Since vampires are, basically, the lowest of the low in the hierarchy of the Others, their jobs in the Day Watch are limited to security guard duties. High Vampires fare a little better. Played slightly straight with Kostya Saushkin's father, who makes a decent living as an interior decorator. Not so much in The Movie, where he's a poor butcher, who only has one pair of pants.
  • Played with in Elrod's The Vampire Files, in which Jack Fleming gets a lot richer over the course of several books, but only because he pockets some cash each time he gets into a feud with the mob. If only the gangs had left him alone to un-live his un-life, he'd still be scraping by selling stories about spider-gods to pulp magazines.
  • In Elizabeth Bear's New Amsterdam, vampire Sebastien de Ulloa observes he has more money than he could ever spend. However, his lifestyle tends to upper middle class comfort more than complete luxury.

Live Action TV

  • Angel
    • Angel himself is not as rich as he could be. However Angel always does seem to have enough money to start over when he moves. He also had enough money stashed away to pay Cordy, Wes, Gunn and Fred their salaries yet rarely does he accept money from his clients. And he owns a hotel that never has guests. He did stash that bag of loot from the unfortunate lady in he hotel for fifty years, so he certainly has a major emergency fund at hand.

  Cordelia: You aren't exactly rolling in it, Mr. I-Was-Alive-200-Years-And-Never-Put-Together-A-Share-Portfolio.

    • Russell Winters, head of Rusell Winters Enterprises from the first episode is a straight example.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: after being de-fanged, Spike has to resort to scaring people into giving him money. Sunnydale being what it is, it doesn't exactly make him rich.
  • Forever Knight: Subverted where LaCroix actually argues against Nick's accumulation of material wealth, denouncing it as a useless burden. Of course, LaCroix's no Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, so could always rob someone he's feeding on if he does find a use for cash.
  • Moonlight has Josef, Nick's Mick's best vampire friend, who is the head of a major corporation. Mick himself is not rich and makes a living as a private investigator. Then again, he is fairly young by vampire standards (about 90). The show has plenty of vamps both rich and poor, just like humans.
  • In the fourth series of Being Human, Tom asks Hal why he doesn't have any money seeing as "vampires are always loaded". Hal tells him he lost it all due to bad investments.
  • While never explicitly stated, the Salvatores were among the town's elite before they were turned and appear to still be wealthy. The Originals/Mikaelsons are definitely rich and Tyler after he becomes hybrid also qualifies.

Tabletop Games

  • In Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem, this can be played straight or averted depending entirely on how many dots in the "Resources" merit a vampire has. Stereotypically, vampires tend to get richer with age and certain clans are more liable to collect wealth and earthly goods than others. Some clans, like the Ventrue, tend to Embrace people who were already rich while still alive. Other clans, like Gangrel and Nosferatu, tend (or may even prefer) to live in destitution. The flavor description of the Finance skill in Vampire: The Masquerade has an elder Ventrue informing a neonate that money does not come with becoming a vampire. The elder offers to demonstrate his financial acumen by playing the stock market.
  • Night Life: Vampyres and other Kin in theRPGhave to work and/or steal to get money, in keeping with the grungy motif of the game.
  • Magic the Gathering: The vampires in the Innistrad block (and world) are aristocratic and walk around like they own the joint wherever they go.

Video Games

  • In Touhou Project, Remilia and Flandre seem comfortable in the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Complete with a Ninja Maid with Time Hax that helps her speed up chores, and a Kung Fu master for a gate keeper. According to Memento in a Strict Sense the mansion often holds party at night and invite other people in Gensokyo.
  • The Sims 2: In the Night Life expansion vampires are introduced, with vampires NPCs that fit this trope (since they are obvious parodies of Dracula, even being counts) adding them to your household can give around 50 thousand simoleons. Rich Idiot With No Day Job might fit them as well since vampires have problems with the Sun.
  • Tsukihime: Arcueid Brunestud can rent out entire floors of hotels and apartment complexes despite having no obvious source of income. Subverted though, she just hypnotizes the staff into giving her the space. Her real income source comes from being an elemental; she can suck gold from her magic castle. A fanboy of hers in the Magic Association then sells the gold and gives her the loot.
  • In the Legacy of Kain series, Vorador lives in sweet Victorian style mansion, where as by Soul Reaver, Kain's empire has conquered all of Nosgoth, and thus he lives in a grand palace.
  • Anton from Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box , until it's found out that he's not really a vampire.
  • Jurgen in Sam and Max Beyond Time and Space is living in a Gothic-looking German castle. The Devil's Toybox reveals that, prior to being bitten, he was an amateur archaeologist and a follower of Yog-Soggoth. He was either already a wealthy aristocrat or made his money after becoming a vamp.
  • LaCroix, Ming Xao, Strauss and Isaac in Vampire: the Masquerade- Bloodlines (who are old vampire leaders who are 'upper class') play this straight. Other vampires, like Bertram, Nines (and his crew) and Beckett, not so much.


Web Comics

  • Nosfera: Nosfera has her own castle complete with servants.

Notes

  1. Can't forget the High Collar of Doom though
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