Demons in Fanworks

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Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)Demon AU, demonic possession
Related tropes/genresEvil!Sam
See alsoAngels in Fanworks
Related articles on Fanlore.

This article or section needs expansion.

Demons are a staple of the horror and supernatural genres. They also appear in fanfic and fanart in many fandoms.

Portrayal of demons in fanworks ranges from authentic horror-movie agents of terror to sympathetic woobiefied demons who just want to be loved. Demons may be paired with angels, such as in Good Omens fusions, but not necessarily. Many AU demon fanworks for canons without demons draw on other fandoms with canonical demons for inspiration.

Not to be confused with daemons in fanworks.

Fandoms with canon demons

Demon edits

Starting around 2011 (or before), photoshopping demon eyes onto pictures of celebrities and television characters became a popular pastime among Tumblr users. These edits include still images and animated gifs, and have also inspired fanart. This trend was probably inspired by the popularity of Supernatural, a show with many demon characters. Demonic possession on Supernatural is often indicated with creepy black-filled eyes, though this trope did not originate with the show.

A common, but not universal, element of the demon gif edits is a TV snow effect, as if their demonic power interfered with antenna reception.[1]

Demon edits have appeared in a wide variety of fandoms, from RPF to high school musicals with a bright cheery aesthetic to Supernatural itself. An early example of the trend (or a possible source of inspiration) is a May 2011 gif of a character from Skins by h-e-r-o-i-n.[2] People in Glee fandom were writing demon photoshopping tutorials by September 2011.[3] The account fuckyeahdemonedits was created in October 2011. Demon gifs were present in Sherlock fandom as early as January 2012 and were sometimes called Superwholock crossovers.[4] Here is an example of a XMFC demon gif from February 2012 that immediately inspired a ficlet by zimothy.[5] One Direction became Demon Direction by September 2012.[6]

Demon Stiles has been a perennial favorite in Teen Wolf fandom, where it appears to have exploded all over Tumblr in July 2012, though a few gifs were posted in April.[7] Coincidentally, Demon Stiles became canon, but not until February 2014; in season 3b, Stiles was possessed by an evil fox spirit, but did not acquire filled-in black eyes. Several of the earliest Demon Stiles entries are Supernatural crossovers; see fsoci3ty's July 4[8] and July 10, 2012[9] gifsets, as well as the fanfic 9/10ths of the Law.

There is no one agreed-upon term for these edits; they are variously tagged "demon eyes," "demon eye edits," "demon edits," or "demon AUs."

Fanwork Examples


Recs & Thematic Lists

Fanart and Gifs



  1. ^ For example, see this Demon Stiles gif (direct link) by boundariesman, posted to tumblr July 15, 2013. See also this gif (direct link) of Youtubers Danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil, posted by gettingmildlysuggestive on October 16, 2013.
  2. ^ posted May 29, 2011. archived. The post has 22,694 notes as of 10 October 2015.
  3. ^ blaineisapizza. HOW TO MAKE DEMON GIFS by kat. (archived), posted to tumblr September 30th 2011.
  4. ^ Demon!Sherlock gif by heysammy, posted to tumblr January 28th 2012.
  5. ^ archived
  6. ^ untitled Louis Tomlinson gif (archived) [1] by toewss, posted September 9, 2012. Demon Direction gifset by blueharrycarter, posted October 20, 2012.
  7. ^ For example, see ‘sup, your moose die again? crossover gifset by fsoci3ty, posted to tumblr July 4, 2012. The Demon Stiles tumblr tag has one entry in April 2012, but effectively starts July 6. The demon!stiles tag follows the same pattern.
  8. ^ Account moved to turtle-img
  9. ^ Account moved to turtle-img