A portmanteau of "die-hard" and Twilight, the young adult vampire romance novel series by Stephenie Meyer, a Twihard is a person with a fanatical interest in the books or film adaptations. The term is often used pejoratively about Twilight fans, who more often call themselves "Twilighters," and sometimes the even less flattering "Twitard" is used. Twihards are not merely people who enjoy the series at face value; they are people who aggressively defend the series' faults, long after it has become apparent that critical literary reception (and, for that matter, common sense about what constitutes a creepy or abusive relationship) is not generally siding in favour of the series.
By extension, the term has become partially synonymous with women and girls who are uncritical about their own media consumption, to the point of characterising obviously inappropriate behaviour by romantic leads as uniquely charming and desirable. In social media environments populated abundantly by both Twilight fans and those who are critical of the series, it is generally assumed that there is major overlap between Twihards and the viewer demographics of other critically dubious and highly popular "monster romance" media, including The Vampire Diaries, the Teen Wolf television series, and the CW's Supernatural, all of which feature openly abusive and creepy behaviour by male leads, toward female love interests, and which are effortlessly forgiven by their most avid female viewers.
In these same social media spaces, there is a separate demographic which proactively seeks out "monster romance" media containing healthy relationship dynamics, including The Shape of Water, As boas maneiras (a Brazilian lesbian werewolf film), the 2018 Venom film (unsarcastically, unironically, and well supported by that film's deliberate similarity to romantic comedy style chick flicks and buddy cop films simultaneously), and the 1990s Disney cartoon series Gargoyles. Members of this community unapologetically use the label "monsterfucker" to describe themselves, calling attention to the rarity of stable and healthy relationship dynamics in media. Screen and literary media are thought too often to rely on incompatible partners, love triangles, abuse, and other manufactured issues to supply drama within romance narrative. Narratives built around nonhuman entities dating human partners are already sufficiently strained by the interspecies romance taboo (and any anatomical and longevity issues relating to species differences) that they are able to have believable, healthy emotional dynamics, without the need for additional contrived sources of conflict. Monsterfuckers seek romance media where both partners are likable and clearly trying to make the relationship work, while Twihards favour the drama itself over compatibility and the likability of the romantic leads.
Instances of use
2009, Ann Donahue, "'New Moon' Rising", Billboard, 3 October 2009
"Getting 'Twihards' who love virtuous vampires to buy the soundtrack is easy — but getting Radiohead fans to plunk down cash for a little bit of the New Moon universe will be a coup."
2011, Craig Romano, Backpacking Washington: Overnight and Multiday Routes
"Beginning at popular Rialto Beach, share this classic coastline with beachcombers, dog walkers (allowed on-leash to Ellen Creek), and scores of Twihards from across the country."
2014, Samantha Tonge, From Paris, With Love, Carina
"Not me, I'm an out and out Twihard, loved the vampires in Twilight – still do, always will – so I know what it's like when people take the mickey. My brothers drew huge fangs and devil tails on all my posters of Robert Pattinson."
Iron Noder 2018, 20/30