Non-alien Creatures Wiki
Others Gremlin
Average height ~ 1 ft. (Mogwai)
~ 3 ft. (Gremlin)
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Sapient
Aggressivity Harmless to High, depending on individual and life stage
Extreme if they become gremlins
Place of origin China
Habitat Valley of Jade
Diet Omnivore
Lifespan Biologically immortal
Subspecies Mutated Gremlins
Status Data Deficient
Behind the Scenes
Universe Gremlins
Created by Chris Columbus

Mogwai are rare sapient beings that are furry, cute, and very curious. They can transform into reptilian, highly destructive creatures called corrupted Mogwai or Gremlins.


There are three "rules" for keeping a Mogwai. The first is "keep them away from bright lights... especially sunlight". Sunlight will kill a Mogwai and bright light is known to hurt it. The second is "Keep them away from water, Don't gave them water to drink, ans whatever you do don't give them a bath" as, when they wet with water, they immediately reproduces more of its kind asexually by budding from their backs. And the third and most important rule is "Don't ever feed him after midnight", because if they eat after midnight, they'll create a cocoon, going through changes like a butterfly or moth, becoming a ferocious, reptilian monster called a Gremlin.

Gremlins are bigger than Mogwai and considerably more vicious and deadly (possessing fangs, claws, an instinctive impulse to spread chaos and, in some cases, cunning intellect, although it should be noted that Mogwai themselves are already sapient). They are also governed by the first two rules of owning a Mogwai: vulnerable to sunlight, and if wet will spontaneously generate more Gremlins (these are born as Gremlins, not as Mogwai). However, eating after midnight has no effect on them. Usually, Mogwai are mean-spirited and mischievous, with Gizmo, friendly and kind Mogwai, being a rare exception.

The level of maliciousness in the personality of Mogwai and Gremlins vary. Stripe, Brain, and Mohawk are exceedingly violent and show great delight in hurting others. Others just delight in scaring people, causing hijinks, and general destruction. All Mogwai (including Gizmo) are energetic and extremely curious, the latter quality often getting them into trouble.

Mogwai/Gremlins are also pack-minded, following a leader who is dominant but also has a quality that differentiates them from the others of their kind. Examples of this come from the primary Mogwai/Gremlin leaders: Stripe, Mohawk, and Brain. Stripe and Mohawk both had a strip of fur the others didn't, and were more violent and more dominant than their brethren. Unlike Stripe, Mohawk spent most of his time torturing Gizmo than leading the pack. Brain was originally a normal gremlin but after his mutation with a brain hormone serum became much more intelligent than the rest of his kind and replaced Mohawk as the leader. While Stripe and Mohawk were spawned from Gizmo, Brain was spawned from another Gremlin.

Little else is revealed about the Mogwai's biology. It has been speculated that Mogwai are rodents. However, others believe that the Gremlins are reptiles or viruses. The scientists also note they are uncertain as to whether Gizmo's cuteness is genetic. It is also explained that Gizmo's fear of bright lights is an allergy.

Mogwai are biologically immortal, and thus can't die of old age. Consuming a Mogwai will make the consumer immortal as well. Conversely, trying to consume a Gremlin won't work, as Gremlins are inedible and trying to eat one will simply result in vomiting.

Several Gremlins were also genetically modified, and gave rise to several new varieties of the species.

Rules of Keeping a Mogwai[]

  1. Keep them away from the light: Bright lights can hurt them. Sunlight will kill them.
  2. Never get them wet: If they get wet, Mogwai will budd furballs on its back, which detach and give rise to a new generation of Mogwai, considerably more aggressive than their progenitor.
  3. Never feed them during the hours when the moon is at its highest point in the sky, generally simplified to Never feed them after midnight: Feeding a Mogwai during this time will cause them to create a cocoon, going through changes which turns them into a more dangerous creature called a Gremlin.


  • Gremlins (1984)
  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
  • Ready Player One (2018)
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)
  • Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (2023)



  • The word "Mogwai" comes from Cantonese and can be roughly translated as "evil spirit" or "demon". Traditionally, they're said to mate/reproduce during the rains. This might have been the inspiration for how the film's Mogwai and Gremlins spontaneously start budding when they get wet.
  • In the novelization of the film, it is established that Mogwai are in fact extraterrestrial. For more details see the Mogwai page on Alien Species Wiki. However, this information is contradicted by the animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, in which the Mogwai were created in China by the goddess Nüwa, and the rules for keeping them were created by the god Fuxi.