Stephenie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga was, and continues to be a cultural phenomenon that defined the vampire genre. These books and movies introduced a new breed of supernatural being — a sleeker, sexier vampire that didn’t wear gimmicky capes or sport huge fangs, but fell irrevocably in love with humans.
In fact, Twilight is no longer just for teens. The franchise’s fan base spans from tweens to adults who treat it like a comfort watch. The Cullens were something totally new, and predictably people had a lot to say about them. They had autumn eyes and ice-cold skin, and a fondness for Porches and designer wear, subverting all stereotypes. Naturally, the fans over at Reddit have some contentious views about the “First Family” of vamps.
7 Vampires Should Have Been Able To Eat Food
The biology of vampires was quite well-defined by Stephenie Meyer, and the first distinct trait was that the Cullens didn’t eat human food. They toyed around with it in the cafeteria, and ate it only if they really had to, but Johanna_X11 said “(I wish) That vampires were able to eat normal food instead of hacking it up afterwards. Also the venom to allow them to act those bodily functions.”
Vampires are by nature blood-drinking creatures. The foremost trait that sets them apart from humans is their diet of human or animal blood, and there is no logical reason why the Cullens should be able to eat blood and normal food. If human food could sustain them, then they would choose not to drink blood at all — which might unravel the entire foundation of the story, as there would be no high stakes romance between Edward and Bella in Twilight, because he would pose no danger to her at all.
6 Carlisle And Esme Didn’t Look 23 and 26
The heads of the Cullen clan were also the oldest in terms of the human age that they had been turned. Carlisle was turned at 23, and Twilight books fans would know that Esme was 26 when Carlisle turned her into a cold one. The casting of the two characters was perfect too, but Nikkiadv thinks that they didn’t look very young, “Unpopular opinion but.. why in the world did they decide that Carlisle was 23? He and Esme have to be the crustiest young people in that whole town.”
Carlisle’s history justifies the young age that he was converted at. He was a human in the 1600s, a time when marriages and children happened much earlier. If he had been in his thirties when he turned, he would most likely have had a family. Appearance-wise, Carlisle and Esme had to make themselves look a bit older since their story to humans was that they were the adoptive parents of 16-17 year olds. If they looked as young as they were, people would never have been convinced that they were a family.
5 Bella’s Instant Acceptance Into The Family Was Unrealistic
Edward’s family was a special one. They readily took to Bella being Edward’s mate, despite the obvious species difference, and their support meant that Bella survived several supernatural enemies. Redditor princesscatclaw was not entirely on board, though. They said “I actually loved Rosalie in Midnight Sun. I appreciate her character being skeptical of Bella instead of instantly accepting her and loving her like everyone else. To me it made it more of a realistic interpretation of when a brother brings a girlfriend home.. I’ve never liked my brothers girlfriends, so I understand Rosalie’s reactions in MS. You can’t be liked by everyone.”
It’s helpful to remember that the Cullens weren’t an ordinary family be any means. They had gone against their very nature by switching to an animal blood diet, all because they wanted to be kind to the humans around them. The clan was extremely accepting of newborn vampires from other covens, which was rare too. The values that the Cullens followed included accepting and celebrating differences, and seeing the good in everyone. When they saw how happy Bella made Edward, it was but natural that she would be welcomed with open arms.
4 Bella Should Have Not Let Renesmee Out Of Her Sight
When Bella woke up in Breaking Dawn, she was no longer human. Her trials from the night of Renesmee’s birth and all the new sensations that she was feeling made her confused and eager to do a lot, at once. Redditor samsambobam11 feels that her sole focus should have been her daughter and nothing else: ” The fact that Bella was down to go bone Edward at the cottage the whole night knowing how fast Renesmee grows. I am pretty sure moms with kids that grow at normal rates don’t want to miss a thing, and gets sad when they are away from their baby for even a short while, let alone a whole damn night and the next half of the day.”
This argument is flawed in several ways. In the context of Twilight, Bella was kept away from Renesmee for her own safety and as somebody who turned into a supernatural being, she was well within her rights to go and test her powers out. Objectively, just because a woman has given birth, doesn’t mean that she ceases to have needs of her own. She is allowed to have sex with her partner, or even just take some time away from her child. The notion that she can’t have a life of her own is outdated.
3 The Family Seemed Incestuous
The Olympic Coven had many similarities, not limited to their chilly pale skin, their delicate features, the tawny eyes, and perfect hair. Some Redditors thought they looked too alike and thus incestuous, since they were all also partners, except for Edward. They said “But instead they’re kind of an incestuous cult (at least from the perception of non-supernatural people).”
The Cullens did their best to seem as normal as possible to the world, but as fantastical beings that were a result of old magic, some things were bound to stand out, like their appearances. They had woven a yarn about how all the kids were adopted, and that Jasper and Rosalie were Hales (which was explained in the Twilight books) instead of Cullens, so it wouldn’t be weird that they were seeing each other. It made sense to have them all in high school so that they could stay in Forks longer, since moving around was tedious every few years.
2 Rosalie Was Selfless
This is perhaps one of the most debatable opinions about the ferocious Rosalie Hale, but MyrkoMyrkos thinks that she doesn’t use people for her selfish motives even when she could: “Rosalie is the opposite of selfish. She wants to keep the Cullen alive by avoiding or getting rid of a huge threat: Bella. She’s also the only one interested in letting Bella live her human life away from vampires.”
Rosalie was the biggest antagonist within the family, and with good reason. The character herself accepts that she only thinks of her own interests, whether it is when she helps Bella with Renesmee (because she wanted a baby to nurture herself), or when she’s jealous of the human girl (because she can’t believe that Edward could ignore her beauty for Bella’s simplicity). Rosalie doesn’t hide her flaws, and she only got worse as Twilight progressed. Calling her altruistic is absurd.
1 There Wasn’t Enough History About The Family
The Twilight books had a plethora of intriguing characters, which was another factor that drew audiences in, apart from Edward and Bella’s star-crossed romance. Citizens of Reddit like pbjrunner opined that more of the family story could have been a part of the movies and books: “I wish we had more info on Esme, more insight into Alice’s level of brain-work with those visions, more about Emmett, with regards to his past (and the brief little snippet we learn about him falling off the band-wagon in Midnight Sun is just incredibly cool, but not enough).”
This is a valid ask, but the Cullen history has been covered extensively in companion books like The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. Detailed histories of all the characters and how they came to be, right down to Alice and Esme’s human lives can be found here. With respect to the movies, the limited run time makes it tough to fit in character histories, since Bella and Edward’s own story had so much going on in it.