The Real Piece Of Obscure Vampire Lore What We Do In The Shadows Hasn't Included (Yet)

Movie vampires are never quite as weird as the "real" thing. On screen, the bloodsuckers are sometimes scary but more often sexy. They're strong and sleek and pretty much unstoppable unless confronted with one of their few weaknesses. All in all, most pop culture vamps are not overtly ridiculous.

But the vampires of "What We Do in the Shadows" have always marched to the beat of their own drum. The hilarious FX comedy, which is headed into its fourth season, has explored all sorts of lesser-known facets of real-life vampire mythology, like the creatures' need for ancestral dirt, or the existence of energy vampires. Apparently, though, there's one quirky folklore tidbit that the team hasn't been able to fit into the show yet.

"Part of vampire lore is that if you throw a bunch of rice on the floor, vampires have to count each grain before they can do everything else, sort of like an OCD thing," series executive producer and writer Paul Simms explained at a press event today. The rice gag seems to be his and fellow EP and writer Stefani Robinson's vampire joke white whale, as the pair admitted they've unsuccessfully attempted to shoehorn the bit in for four seasons and counting. "We've tried every variation of getting it in the script, but it's such a weird thing that requires so much explanation," Simms says.

As hilariously out-of-character as this rice-counting compulsion may seem — I can't picture Lestat from "Interview With The Vampire" being hypnotized by rice — it is a real part of the vampire mythos. According to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, several cultures have legends about undead bloodsuckers who possess a counting fixation. European tales of the being include a caveat about its seed and grain counting compulsion, while a trick Robinson mentions, about spilling a big bag of rice to distract a vampire, apparently comes from China.

Vampire mythology is weird, okay?

Despite the show's endless silliness, plenty of research went into creating the world of the Staten Island vampires viewers know and love, and the rice-counting is just one of several odd-seeming details the team found along the way. At the press event, Robinson also briefly mentioned a bit of lore about throwing a vampire's sock in a river to defeat it, a tradition that Rosemary Guiley's book "The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters" traces back to the Romani myth of the Mullo vampire. It's yet another tradition that seems utterly random in the modern day. Apparently, much of the world has funky variations of the vampire story, and very few of them are anything like Edward from "Twilight."

Simms says the team behind the show "spent a lot of time talking about rules" early on in the series, with Robinson adding that they consulted "vampire textbooks" to try to get a handle on how best to portray the popular figure. Robinson concluded that there's no real common denominator among pop culture vampires aside from their thirst for blood, but it sounds like the writing team has still been diligent about keeping up with the rules they've set up for themselves. For one thing, they admitted to writing themselves into some predicaments by introducing the concept of hypnotism, which should theoretically help Nadja, Lazlo, and Nandor out of just about any situation.

If the "What We Do in the Shadows" team can write around hypnotism, they can surely write in a hilarious gag involving the supernatural allure of a spilled, uncounted bag of rice in season 5. Until then, fans will have to be satisfied counting down the days until the fourth season, which premieres on July 12, 2022 on FX.