Gremlins Wiki
Gremlins Wiki

Y'know they're still shippin' them over here. They put 'em in cars, they put 'em in yer TV. They put 'em in stereos and those little radios you stick in your ears. They even put 'em in watches, they have teeny gremlins.

Gremlins, also known as Corrupted Mogwai, are creatures who are the primary antagonists of the Gremlins franchise. They made their debut in the 1984 film, Gremlins following with an appearance in its sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, and in the animated series, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.

In both movies and the animated series, the gremlins have a leader that is smarter than all others. Stripe is the leader in the first movie, while Mohawk is briefly the leader in the second movie (before being replaced by the smarter Brain Gremlin). In the series, the gremlins are led by a female one known as Claw.


In ancient China, the sibling gods of creation Nuwa and Fuxi created the Mogwai as a test of humanity's morality. Nuwa created the mogwai species, and Fuxi created the rules for their care; one of the rules was to never feed it after a certain point when the moon is at its highest point in the sky (Midnight), or they would transform into a corrupted form of themselves, a Gremlin. Fuxi also cursed the mogwai that were spawned from other mogwai to be destructive tricksters for the first century of their lives and thus determined to transform into their corrupted forms when the chance presented itself. Humanity, however, became greedy about the mogwai and broke a rule to make more of them, and the other rules soon followed. This spawned a wave of corrupted mogwai that laid waste to Fengdong and many people died. Before the rest of China could fall, Nuwa stopped the test and intervened, reverting all the gremlins back into mogwai and hid them in the Valley of Jade.


Gremlin types

Gremlins in different colors and with different looks.

A Gremlin is the form that a mogwai takes when they eat after midnight. They are just about one meter tall and they have scaly reptile-like skin, large batlike ears, three sharp claws on their feet and hands and equally sharp teeth. Their looks and color may vary, ranging between various shades and combinations of green, brown, yellow, and even black.

Gremlin birth

How new gremlins are born.

Even after their metamorphosis, gremlins still retain traits they had as mogwai, such as their vulnerability to bright light and sunlight, and most dangerously their ability to multiply upon getting wet with water, unlike the mogwai, where small furballs pop out from their backs and quickly inflate to turn into new mogwai, the backs of the gremlins get riddled with big blisters that contain smaller gremlins, which rather quickly break free and start to grow. The gremlins that are giving birth to new gremlins are often more vulnerable because the birthing process is often extremely painful for them, afterwards, they continue to live as if nothing happened, often along with the newly-born gremlins that have quickly grown to full gremlin size.


Gremlins are all very mischievous, dangerously violent, and crazily fun-loving. Their level of intelligence varies, though all are capable of working (and sabotaging) complex machinery and devices, as apparent in folklore where they were believed to have brought down hundreds of planes in WWII.

No Gremlin has so far proved to be good-willed and nice, and most of them don't seem to even value the lives of their fellow Gremlins, sometimes beating or even killing each other for fun. Even though they are very energetic and often aggressive, their are certain people they will not hurt. For example, when Grandpa Fred was doing an inside scoop of what was happening inside the building, not a single gremlin behind him laid a finger on him. Also, in the deleted scenes when Grandpa Fred was doing his section, George, Lenny, and Daffy were present but did not try to scare or hurt him, rather joining him for fun.


Gremlins appear to be mostly omnivores as they are shown to eat both meat and vegetation.

However, they usually eat food other than candy and other junk food. But while as Mogwai, Stripe and his fellow mogwai “excluding Gizmo” ate baked chicken legs, and Mohawk, Lenny, and George ate ice cream. Daffy had eaten corn, but he doesn't like chicken or mashed potatoes. Earl liked eating a sandwich left by Mr. Hanson that had lettuce, meat, and possibly cheese as he said, "Yum yum." Earl also liked the Snickers candy bar that Mr. Hanson gave him. However, Earl did not like the apple that he took a bite out of in Mr. Hanson's office, but he did like eating one of the glass test tubes. They also seemed to like Dr. Catheter's serums from Splice O' Life lab. Both Mogwai and Gremlins may have personal tastes and preferences for certain foods. Although the Mogwai from the first film enjoyed the chicken Billy gave them to eat in the first movie, in the second movie, Daffy appears disgusted by chicken, only caring to eat corn and Hostess snack cakes.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Basically all the Gremlins in the film series were portrayed on screen by using animatronics and puppetry, as it was the only technique other than stop-motion to bring the creatures to life on screen.


  • The Gremlins are often seen drinking beer, but they don't multiply. One reason this might be is that they can only multiply from coming in contact with normal water. anything like Beer, Soda, and Milk don't trigger their ability to multiply. Funnily, Claw was shown drinking water without multiplying at all as a giantess in Never Ever Expose Them To Bright Light.
  • In the first two films, it was initially unclear if gremlins had a concept of gender.
    • Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai revealed that they do in fact possess genders.
    • Gremlins: Gizmo had at least two female Mogwai: Valerie and Grace. However, they were non-canon to the franchise.
    • The second film technically did have a female gremlin, though that was originally a normal gremlin which had ingested a gender bend serum.
  • In contrast to Mogwai, most Gremlins seem to love wearing clothing - even if they have no real sense of style.
  • In the George Pipe novelization, it is said that the Gremlins are considered to be an unwanted side-effect from when the Mogwai were created on a far-off planet to be used as ambassadors of peace on other planets.
    • In the novel, the Gremlins are said to have caused many accidents in the past: the Memphis runaway escalators of 1972, the 1969 Super Bowl, the East Coast power failure of November 1965, a lesser known power failure a month later in Texas, New Mexico and Juarez, Mexico, the closing in 1963 of the New York Mirror (a newspaper that could not rid its systems of the Gremlins), the 1962 collision of a runaway train, jet plane, and a seagoing tanker at Danzig, Poland, the Bay of Pigs paramilitary fiasco of 1961, the three day episode at the Onawa, Iowa, buttonhole factory in 1957, countless casualties and incidents during WWII, and the disappearance of Vansk which was, until 1936, the largest city in Siberia.