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->''"I think it's a testament to Creator/{{Pixar}} that they went there, and they said 'what is the story of the toys?' The authentic story is 'Well, what happens when your owner grows up?' That's a cycle-of-life thing and it's cool that they went there and tackled it."''
-->-- '''Joan Cusack''', on ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'', from [[http://www.aintitcool.com/node/45519 this]] interview.

So let's say some work has a form of FridgeHorror, at least according to some interpretations of said work. It could be entirely by accident, and just be a product of FridgeLogic. It could be deliberate, but still left to thaw on its own in the audience's imagination through subtle FridgeBrilliance. Whatever the case, obviously said disturbing aspect of the work is not definitive as of yet, as there could in theory be some way around it. So far, it has left explaining it up to the viewers, [[TemptingFate so you could probably expect that pattern to continue, right]]?

Well, sometimes you'd be wrong.

This is for when a prior FridgeHorror concept is openly a major part of the series later on. That disturbing aspect of the series has just gone from ambiguous to absolute, and the series has become DarkerAndEdgier for it.

This trope is frequently used in {{Deconstruction}}s, where the UnfortunateImplications of genre conventions and tropes tend to be explored in [[BrutalHonesty unsparing detail]].

Compare AscendedFanon for a (usually) more benign category. Might lead to CerebusSyndrome.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Ryan Matthews, a ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' fanfic writer back in the [=USEnet=] days, took some of the UnfortunateImplications of Adam Warren's [[ComicBook/DirtyPair version of the series]] (for Creator/DarkHorseComics) to their logical, horrifying conclusions. A few years later, "Fatal, but Not Serious" officially confirmed several of those.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''
** The series takes the idea of a child as the pilot of a HumongousMecha and strips it down to spotlight the fact that these shows are about ChildSoldiers. Alternatively, but still in keeping with this trope, it's about the whole concept of placing the responsibility for the future of the world on one person, when that person is not at all cut out for that kind of responsibility, and what that kind of responsibility would do to a person, and what kind of person would put that kind of responsibility on them in the first place.
** The deconstruction of DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou. What kinda guy ditches his elementary-school-aged son and doesn't write or call until he says "hey, there's this HumongousMecha we need you to use to go beat up monsters with city-wrecking power?" Somebody who's not a contender for dad of the year, that's who.
* The ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' manga acknowledges and occasionally shows that the eponymous creatures are ''indeed'' capable of harming or killing others outside of sanctioned matches (humans included).
* ''Popotan'' is about a trio of sisters who travel through time along with their maid. The catch is that when they are given the signal to leave, they have to, otherwise [[spoiler: they will be unable to age normally]]; as such, they are forced to leave any friends they make behind over and over. It's understood quite early that Mai, one of the sisters, is not all that happy about their situation, but it takes episode 9 to show just how it can mess with the lives of both them and their friends: [[spoiler: Konami, one such friend of Mai, died hoping she would eventually return to her]], putting Mai into a serious depression.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' takes MagicalGirl tropes and deconstructs them, highlighting that said magical girls are essentially ChildSoldiers. And then things [[FromBadToWorse get far, far worse]] [[spoiler:[[BittersweetEnding then]] [[{{Reconstruction}} better]] at the last second.]]
** [[spoiler: And are implied to get much, much worse by the end of the movie.]]
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' similarly takes the MagicalGirl, [[PrinceCharming prince]] and [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses princess]] tropes from the first half and deconstructs them in the second. This is especially the case with Anthy, who demonstrates exactly what someone treated as a prize to be won [[BrokenBird would actually be like]].
* One theory behind ''YumeNikki'' is that Madotsuki is not a {{Hikikomori}} by choice, but is locked within her room, with the only means of escape being [[spoiler:[[DrivenToSuicide suicide]]]]. The manga adaptation uses this [[ClosedCircle to force Madotsuki to stay until all the effects in her dreams are collected]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ComicBook/TheAvengers #200, MsMarvel was kidnapped by a character named Marcus — the apparent son of Avengers foe Immortus — and taken to an alternate dimension, where she was brainwashed, seduced, and impregnated. The character gives birth back on Earth to a child that rapidly ages into another version of Marcus, who takes Ms. Marvel back to the alternate dimension with no opposition from the Avengers. The whole storyline felt in bad taste to a number of people, especially Creator/ChrisClaremont. He wrote an Avengers-X-Men crossover, where Ms. Marvel would escape to Earth, be un-brainwashed with the help of Professor X, then let the rest of the Avengers have it for so callously dismissing what was tantamount to an extradimensional rape.
* In ''Franchise/SpiderMan: Reign'' Mary Jane was said to have died of leukemia developed because of her continued exposure to her radioactive husband's sperm.
-->''[[SpiderMan1967 Is he strong/Listen bub/He's got radioactive blood...]]''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Many a DeconstructionFic exploits things that are glossed over or ignored in the source material and wrings them our for maximum horror.
* One day, a troper named Tropers/DoctorFluffy, a huge fan of FanFic/TheConversionBureauTheOtherSideOfTheSpectrum, wondered to himself just what effect the [[AdvancingWallOfDoom Barrier]] would have on the world's ability to feed itself, and just what happened to all the WarRefugees. Then [[Tropers/AK47Productions somebody else]] added on to the entry on the FridgeHorror page for Spectrum as to [[NoPartyLikeADonnerParty how far refugees would go for a decent meal]], so Doctor Fluffy went and asked the author if he could write a side story. It happened, and [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/143840/1/the-conversion-bureau-the-other-side-of-the-spectrum-side-story-starvation/starvation Starvation]] was born.
* The ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' fic ''FanFic/MorkAndMindysTwentyFifthAnniversary'' deals with the implications of Mork's MerlinSickness in his relationship to Mindy.
* In ''Fanfic/TheSweetieChroniclesFragments'', what happened to Sweetie's home universe in the wake of the explosion in the prologue is left to the readers' imaginations at first. It starts to actually get answered in Chapter 3.
* ''FanFic/MegaManRecut'' likes to delve into the darker implications of all versions of ''Mega Man'' such as what kind of emotional stress the heroes would suffer from, the problems Roll would develop from always being shoved to the sidelines by Mega Man, and the abuse the Robot Masters suffer from Wily.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' series starts out taking the concept of sentient toys pretty lightly, but as the series goes on, it explores the FridgeHorror of the concept more and more thoroughly; and eventually, to a further extent than most people would probably expect from a children's movie series. [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16570_the-6-most-depressing-happy-endings-in-movie-history.html This]] article from Website/{{Cracked}}, which touches on the Fridge Horror hinted at in the end of ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'', quite accurately predicted the themes of the ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' (two years before it was released, no less).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster'' put a [[{{Deconstruction}} very cynical]] spin on the idea of anthropomorphic appliances and electronics: Like ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'', the plot kicked off with the main characters believing that they had been abandoned by their owner, introduces newer appliances which threaten their coveted favorite status, and delivers a truly horrific climax where, [[spoiler: like ''Toy Story 3's'' incinerator scene, the appliances (and their master) are dumped into a junkyard, thrown onto a conveyor belt by a psychopathic magnet, and almost crushed to death.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}} 2'', by calling attention to the darker implications of [[spoiler:Mater's]] prior ButtMonkey status, turns him into TheWoobie.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica was first created as a UsefulNotes/WorldWarII propaganda mascot. While the character himself has improved, said propaganda today is seen as trite and soulless. ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' acknowledges this in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxRKwKJI_uI one brilliant scene]].
* The MarvelCinematicUniverse seems to be just fine using this trope. [[Film/MarvelOneShots Item 47]] is about a couple who [[spoiler: restore to working condition a Chitauri weapon that'd been laying around in the wreckage after the battle in New York. They then use it to go rob banks.]]
* The ''Film/{{Bean}}'' movie somehow manages to [[InvertedTrope invert it]]. In the film Bean destroys a priceless historical artifact, but he covers it up by replacing it with a poster of the same painting, and cue the happy if hilarious ending. As it's really only a short-term solution however, the forgery would undoubtedly be uncovered sometime after the film's events. The original script had apparently already considered this, as it ends with someone noticing the change after the painting is slightly damaged, which didn't make it into the final film.
* More like Ascended FridgeLogic, but ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' implies that slaying the Emperor defeated the Empire. Taken apart by Website/{{Cracked}} [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16570_the-6-most-depressing-happy-endings-in-movie-history.html here]], and indeed, in the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' the Galactic Civil War drags on another fourteen years before the two sides sign a peace treaty and effectively switch positions. The Rebels become in charge with a high approval rating and TheEmpire becomes TheRemnant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Seven Sorcerers'' by Carol King
** Boogeymen are super strong, super fast, can breathe fire and are invisible to adults. However, they usually use all this to scare and kidnap children (for example, invisibility ensures adults don't believe the child). Since there are just "a few dozens" of them and they spend weeks or months on one child, their total impact is pretty negligible, right? Well, in "Shadow Spell", two of them start a killing rampage on ''adults'' (who, unable to see them, are mostly defenseless) and kill '''hundreds''' of humans per night. [[spoiler:Thankfully, Skerridge, another Boogeyman, rebels and kills them both, ending the rampage.]]
** Same goes for [[spoiler:Vespilio's BodySurf, distillation machine, and the Maug]]. The body count in ''Shadow Spell'' is gigantic, yet almost completely based on things we learned earlier.
* The Creator/CharlesStross novel ''Literature/SaturnsChildren'' describes the adventures of Freya Nakamichi-47, a {{gynoid}} {{sexbot}} in a solar system colonized by robots [[HumanitysWake after the extinction of mankind]]. She was programmed to be overwhelmed by lust at the mere sight of ''Homo sapiens'' - how, [[DontAsk you may ask]], do you condition a robot to behave in such away? Later on in the novel, we find out that [[AbusivePrecursors Freya's long-dead designers]] did so by [[spoiler:[[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil inflicting traumatic sexual abuse on her during her "adolescence"]].]]
* Sukhinov's ''Emerald City'' series, continuation of ''Literature/LandOfOz'', explores the fact that animals in OZ are sentient. Carnivorous animals (and ogres who are also carnivores) are completely ostracized and slowly driven to extinction, with the exception of cats (mice have to be kept in check after all). This makes the life difficult for several characters who keep carnivores as pets.
* Creator/NickPerumov shows the ramifications of AndNowYouMustMarryMe in ''The Joyless Land''. Eltara, an Elven princess, is forced to marry the mage Gordzhelin the Uncaring in exchange for saving her father's kingdom. The oath she gives explicitly states that she will have sex with Gordzhelin '''any time he wants it''', and this will go on until she bears a child for Gordzhelin. Ouch.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'' we're introduced to the technology to reprogram people's memories and personalities, and it's being used to provide rich people with high quality midwives and fantasy lovers. Why aren't the people with this technology using it for more ambitious and nefarious purposes? [[spoiler: Halfway through the season we find out that they are.]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Willow activates the powers of all of the Potential Slayers in the finale, so there are thousands of girls who would have started having horrific nightmares they don't understand and new powers that could be abused (the latter of which we've already seen with Faith). As the Watcher's Council has already been destroyed, they have no one to help them. ''Series/{{Angel}}'' season 5 shows that there is a slayer that was traumatized in her youth, and the nightmares made it worse, so she ends up breaking out of a hospital and killing people. In the season ''Buffy'' 8 and 9 comics there are quite a few rogue slayers who reject Buffy's leadership and use their powers to hurt others (a couple of them plotting to kill Buffy), so Giles recruits [[AntiHero Faith]] to help [[GodzillaThreshold deal with them]], which required [[ShootTheDog desperate measures]] at times.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** The new series has Rose leave to travel with The Doctor, though she doesn't think to tell her mother about this. When she returns a year later, her mother is very angry, having feared that she might have died. Rose's boyfriend, the last one to have seen her before her disappearance, is accused of murdering her and was even questioned by the police a few times. This was touched upon in the last regular Classic Who story "Survival", where Ace returns to Perivale and finds she is thought dead.
** Numerous episodes end with it being very uncertain as to whether the Doctor has fixed anything after he abruptly leaves, and quite a few have been speculated to have ended up ''worse'' for his interference. "Bad Wolf" is an episode dedicated to showing what happens when the Doctor's actions ''do'' [[NiceJobBreakingItHero make things worse]].
*** This was done in the [[OlderThanYouThink 1977 story]] "The Face of Evil", in which the threat was caused by an unseen event where the Doctor made repairs to the computer Xoanon, but left his personality in the computer driving it insane.
*** The First Doctor story "The Ark" also dealt with this, showing the crew causing a plague on a {{Generation Ship}}s, fixing it, leaving, and then rematerialising hundreds of years in the future of the same ship after the slave race had TurnedAgainstTheirMasters as the result of the instability caused by the plague. Unfortunately, editing left the fact that the last two episodes happen as a direct result of the Doctor's actions in the first two ambiguous, though it is still quite obvious if looked for. "The Ark" also deals with the question of whether the humans are spreading diseases through the universe that the natives have no defence against.
** In season 5, there are cracks in the universe which were first discovered in Amy's house, and those who get absorbed into the cracks were erased from existence. Amy never explained what happened to her parents, but it was [[IKnewIt widely speculated that they were erased. It was confirmed]] in "The Big Bang", and [[ResetButton they returned.]]
** "Blink" derives a lot of its scare potential from one particularly unsettling bit of FridgeHorror regarding the Weeping Angels' abilities: at several points in the episode, they appear on-screen as stone statues when none of the characters appear to be looking at them, [[note]]For the uninitiated, Weeping Angels are predatory aliens who automatically turn to stone, as a natural defense, the instant that another living being lays eyes on them.[[/note]] leading many fans to conclude that [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou they can also sense]] ''[[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou the audience]]'' [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou looking at them]]. Then in "Time of Angels", it's confirmed that the Weeping Angels can, in fact, project themselves through pictures and video footage of themselves--and that an image of a Weeping Angel can even become a living Weeping Angel.
** Season 4 introduces River Song, a character who will apparently become very important to the Doctor, but due to time travel [[TimeyWimeyBall his first time meeting her is her last time meeting him]] (she dies at the end). Future episodes reveal just how horrible this situation is from River's point of view; they keep meeting each other in the opposite order, so every time she encounters the man she loves, he loves her ''less''. She knows (and we've already seen) that one day she will find that he doesn't know her at all and "I think it's going to kill me". It makes her HeroicSacrifice look more like a DrivenToSuicide.
** [[spoiler:When Gallifrey was saved]] in "The Day of the Doctor", [[spoiler:though it is in another Universe, some people pointed out that if the Time Lords return it could mean another Time War]]. This is the threat being staved off in the next episode, "The Time of the Doctor".
** The new series handles the old series's occasional dependence upon AngstWhatAngst to keep the characters from being utterly destroyed (notable instances include the Fourth Doctor's apparently blasé attitude to the departures of Sarah Jane and Leela, and how none of the TARDIS crew even begin to process the unimaginable scale of destruction in "Logopolis") by suggesting that maybe the Doctor ''does'' actually deal with that, through a combination of StepfordSmiler behaviour and forcible denial, because if he stopped to think about all of the loss he'd have a complete mental breakdown.
* Season 4 of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' introduced a Prophet who had been seeing visions of the Winchester brothers' adventures and writing a book series about them, selling them as fiction because he didn't know they were real. It was humorously treated as a nice way of adding metafiction to the series, but this raised a lot of FridgeHorror issues about Sam and Dean's entire lives and thoughts, fully detailed, being openly available for everyone to see. In season 8 one of the villains finally gets his hands on the books. He uses them [[spoiler:to track down and kill off the people they have saved in the past so he can destroy their life's work and deny them the only comfort they have in knowing that these people are still alive because of them, while deconstructing their heroic self-image to break them.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/{{Eminem}}'s 2000 song "Stan", from his MagnumOpus ''The Marshall Mathers LP'', ends with the eponymous Stan (an obsessed, stalkerish fan) dying by driving his car off a bridge. However, a throwaway line mentions that Stan's little brother Matthew "likes you (Eminem) more than I do". [[spoiler:Come 2013, and the first song from ''The Marshall Mathers LP 2'', "Bad Guy", is all about Matthew attempting to kidnap and murder Eminem, as he blames what happened to Stan on the latter's fanship of the former. And he succeeds]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* The first act of ''IntoTheWoods'' is a cheerful FracturedFairyTale. The ''second'' act is every single nasty consequence of every single person's actions coming back to haunt them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''EccoTheDolphin'' series does this in ''[[DarkerAndEdgier Ecco: Tides Of Time]]'', (the sequel to the original game) with the questions the concept of time travel raises. The original had Ecco time travel into the past one time to [[spoiler:get a globe from past-Asterite to bring to present-asterite]], and another time to [[spoiler:save his fellow dolphins from a Vortex invasion]]. One cannot help but think the developers noticed this left various questions about the effects of time travel in the minds of fans, because the sequel explored them in [[NightmareFuel frightening]] and [[MindScrew confusing]] depth.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''
** ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' introduces Team Plasma, an AnimalWrongsGroup that believes keeping Pokemon is slavery and forcing them to battle is cruel, which is an idea that's been around ever since the start of the franchise. [[spoiler:However, it turns out that while N is sincere about his motives, Ghetsis only preached this to try and convince everyone else in the world to release their Pokémon so that he'll be the only one with Pokémon.]]
** On the same note as ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' listed above, ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'' and ''[[VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness XD]]'' let the [[ElephantInTheLivingRoom Donphan]] out to play with Cipher attacking trainers that try to obstruct their operations. The ''[[SaharanShipwreck S.S. Libra]]'' is the biggest case, with its human crew lost at sea after [=XD001=] takes their ship away.
* When Marle is temporarily removed from the timestream early in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', she's still alive and conscious in some sort of void. ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' explores the implications of changing the timestream and condemning people to that void.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', Link goes to the future and saves the almost post-apocalyptic world, then goes back in time to prevent the world from ever needing to be saved. Some fans theorized that that future world didn't cease to exist, and continued on on an alternate timeline. Then came ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', which confirmed that theory, revealing that in said timeline the whole world was flooded because Ganon returned and Link wasn't there to stop him from taking over.
* The [[AuthorsSavingThrow Extended Cut]] of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' retconned various aspects of the endings, after [[InternetBacklash fan outcry]] pointed out that the original ending had accidentally caused several major {{Inferred Holocaust}}s. However, getting the [[spoiler:Destroy ending with low EMS]] takes all the horror from the vanilla endings and makes it that much worse.
* The ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' series used this trope to its advantage when it was called to make a PostScriptSeason. ''Zero 3'' was the original GrandFinale, and while its ending ties up most loose plot threads and resolves Zero's concern over his identity, it leaves one big loose end hanging--by the end of ''Zero 3'', a revived Copy X and the remainder of his ruling cabinet are killed off, leaving BigBad Dr. Weil alive and essentially with sole rulership over Neo Arcadia. ''Zero 4'' explores this and kicks off its plot with a caravan of human refugees fleeing the hellhole that Neo Arcadia has become under Weil's iron fist.
* ''PhantasyStarIV'' deconstructs the idea of "the chosen one" with Chaz. Being informed that he's one of the Protectors of the Seal, destined to defend Algo from the forces of evil, he [[RefusalOfTheCall outright rejects it]], saying that mindlessly following the orders of an uncaring, distant god would make them no different than the story's villains.
* In the third ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' game, that fact that one of the game's culprits was executed is a plot point. It's never stated whether any of the other killers you've helped convict were given the death penalty, but seeing as most of them don't appear afterwards, it's certainly likely, though it's never addressed. ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'', however, doesn't sidestep the issue: the true culprit of the second case ''is shown being excecuted on-screen'', and via [[BurnTheWitch horrifying]] CruelAndUnusualDeath to boot.
* The ending of ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'', [[spoiler:at least the "good" ending"]], shows us the results of Atrus's decision on how he'll handle the atrocities that his son committed. That result left the player wondering what really happened to them when Atrus enacted his decision. ''Myst IV: Revelation'' put that wondering to rest quite firmly.
* The "Moriya Arc" in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' [[note]]''Mountain of Faith'', ''Subterranean Animism'', ''Undefined Fantastic Object'', ''Hisoutensoku'', and ''Ten Desires'', named because [[UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom all of them are caused directly or indirectly by the Moriya shrine]][[/note]] introduces three new factions to Gensokyo, each wanting to expand their worshipers and ideology, and each having reason to dislike the others and the local authorities. With each introduction fans were wondering whether war would break out, and speculated endlessly over how it would happen. Then comes ''Hopeless Masquerade'', where the human population falls into desperate pessimism because [[TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed Gensokyo Is Always Doomed]] (another bit of Ascended Fridge Horror) and all three exploit the crisis to gather more faith for them themselves, fighting the other factions over worshipers. [[spoiler:Turns out they were all manipulated by an independent party, though.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' Meg is quite dark example of a ButtMonkey, being horribly abused by her parents and is always played for BlackComedy. The episode "Seahorse Seashell Party" deconstructs the abuse as a serious issue, turning her into TheWoobie. Even Meg mentions that "If people in the outside ever saw how Peter treats her, he would've been put in jail along time ago." One would think Meg finally catches a break as her family breaks down in tears from the revelation, but Meg later realizes that the reason her family treats her like shit is because they need someone to expel all their negative energy into and without Meg for that, they would turn on each other. Meg decides to apologize for what she said and lets her family abuse her again for the sake of keeping everyone slightly sane. Some fans may see this as a cheap in-universe reason for why Meg is abused in nearly every episode, giving the FamilyUnfriendlyAesop that abused people should continue to be abused if it keeps their abusers happy.
* ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM'' did this with the concept of [[BigBad Robotnik]] [[UnwillingRoboticisation turning innocent creatures into evil robots]]. The prior video games did not explore the process of roboticization in much depth, other than implying that the robots were more like mecha being piloted by a brainwashed animal (hence why a random critter pops out of one and runs away when a Badnik is smashed) while ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' sidesteps the issue by having Robotnik build the robots from scratch. ''[=SatAM=]'', on the other hand, thoroughly explores the BodyHorror and loss of identity implicit in the robotic transformations; Uncle Chuck stated that roboticized people [[AndIMustScream actually know what they are doing, but cannot do anything about it]].
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''
** The series is built on the premise that some people can "bend" different elements: water, fire, earth, air. To waterbend, one needs a source of water to do it. In the episode "The Puppetmaster" Katara meets a Waterbender elder who teaches her that she can draw water from almost anywhere: the ground, plants, even from the atmosphere around her. But wait! Isn't the human body 70% water? Can't a waterbender theoretically control a person or draw the water right out of them? In this episode, the creators answer those questions to a [[DarkerAndEdgier horrifying degree.]] [[spoiler:Hama doesn't call it [[BloodyMurder Blood]][[PeoplePuppets bending]] for no reason.]]
** SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has many of its major and minor plot points based on the Fridge Horror of what if the special talents exhibited by the main characters became widely used. Ty Lee's [[SheFu chi-blocking]] is the main combat form of [[FantasticRacism anti-bender]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist terrorists]], [[spoiler:''all'' the main villains]] can Bloodbend, and Aang's "[[AssPull spirit bending]]" is how [[BigBad Amon]] plans to rid the world of benders ([[spoiler:though he's actually just Bloodbending]]).
** The anti-bender movement of Season 1 in itself points out the downsides of being a normal guy in a world full of people who can tear steel and shoot lightning.
** ''Comicbook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderThePromise'' confirmed several fan theories that ending a hundred years war did not suddenly fix all problems created because of that war.
** Season 3 of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has a dearth of new Airbenders popping up after [[MassSuperEmpoweringEvent Harmonic Convergence]]. Now, while the Air Nomads were pacifistic, developing their bending into a primarily defensive art, FridgeHorror has long abounded among the fans since discovering Monk Gyatso's body and those of the soldiers who tried to kill him regarding what an airbending could do if the user ''wasn't'' focusing on defense, especially since there isn't much that can easily stop an airbender. These fears have now been realized as the apparent BigBad of the season is one of the new benders, and he is ''not'' holding back with his new powers.
* ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' liked to play around with some of the implications of various Creator/HannaBarbera cartoons, the one most following this trope being that WesternAnimation/TheJetsons really do live above a [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic wasteland]] (as well as that commuting everywhere on moving sidewalks instead of walking means that even moving across a room under their own power is a monumental feat).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' explore the dark idea of how messed up a boy adventurer would grow up to be and verbally expresses it through Rusty's despair of the gloomy future that awaits his boys only because they were born with the Venture name.
* * ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** The episode [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E10SecretOfMyExcess "Secret Of My Excess"]] applies ascended fridge horror to the implications of a dragon living in a pony community, even though most other episodes before it stepped around it. Later, though the issue isn't explicitly dwelt on for very long, "Dragon Quest" addresses the fact that Spike is an orphaned child and neither he nor Twilight knows where his egg came from or who/where his real parents even are. [[TearJerker Ouch]].
** [[http://porpoiseoflife.org/my-little-dv-survivor-761/ It's been suggested by some]] that Fluttershy's ShrinkingViolet characteristics are at least partially the result of childhood trauma. "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" establishes that she was bullied, but Rainbow Dash seemed to get it about as badly as her (at the hooves of the same bullies, no less), and [[BoisterousBruiser look how she turned out]]. But then "Hurricane Fluttershy" shows us just how pervasive the problem ''really'' was, and how it affected her to the point that its resurgence is enough to provoke graphic, demonic hallucinations well into her adulthood.
** "Keep Calm and Flutter On" confirms the popular theory that Discord is [[AndIMustScream still aware of everything]] while in his [[TakenForGranite stone]] [[SealedEvilInACan prison]].
** "Princess Twilight Sparkle" revolves around how Discord, a [[ForTheEvulz massively vindictive]] {{Reality Warp|er}}ing ManipulativeBastard, left a few nasty surprises around for his captors even after he was defeated the first time, an idea that fanfiction writers used constantly ever since his debut.
** Despite the show itself [[AngstWhatAngst glossing over it]], fans quite reasonably speculated that Celestia being forced to banish [[CainAndAbel her sister]] to the moon for a thousand years, to save Equestria from [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Nightmare Moon]], would have been devastating to her. Cue Twilight's vision of the past in "Princess Twilight Sparkle", which shows Celestia ''desperately pleading'' with Luna to stop, tried to stop her by herself, only using the Elements of Harmony when it was clear Nightmare Moon was too powerful, and when she makes that decision she starts ''crying'', one of only two times in the series she does so (the other being when Luna returns to her old self in the pilot).
*** Similarly, the first part of the season opener addresses Celestia's feelings about the Summer Sun Celebration, with Celestia confirming to Twilight that to her, the Celebration was for a thousand years little more than a bitter reminder of the banishment mentioned above, with Celestia [[StepfordSmiler putting on a brave face for her subjects while hiding her inner pain]], and that she's happy that it can now be a reminder of their reunion.
** When ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E20ItsAboutTime It's About Time]]'' introduced the realm of Tartarus, where various monsters and villains were sealed away, many people feared that someone may have been able to escape it while Cerberus was away from his post in that episode. In season 4's [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E25TwilightsKingdomPart1 finale]], it turned out [[spoiler:Tirek]] HAD.
*** The same episode also addresses the fan-theory that [[spoiler: Discord may not have been sincere in his HeelFaceTurn.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': The Ice King's AesopAmnesia and rampant sociopathy led to the idea that he is physically incapable of learning his lesson or changing in any way, and that he will be forever doomed to repeat the same behavior no matter how many times it fails. Cue the reveal of his [[ArtifactOfDoom back]][[WasOnceAMan story]], which among other things shows this is exactly what happens.
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