[[quoteright:237:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Terminator_HONF_3046.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:237:From Sarah Connor's nightmares to yours!]]

Creator/JamesCameron once had a nightmare about a metallic creature. [[{{Franchise/Terminator}} Said creature]] now [[NightmareFuel scares many people worldwide.]]
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* {{Two Words|ObviousTrope}}. "[[GetOut GET OUT]]"
!!The Terminator
* The scene where the T-800 performs his self-diagnostics/self-repair. Hell, ''any'' time the T-800 has its flesh exposed, particularly [[GlowingMechanicalEyes those]] '''''[[RedEyesTakeWarning eyes.]]'''''
* The scene where Sarah is talking to her mother, before it's revealed that it's actually [[spoiler: the Terminator using the mother's voice]]!
* Before Sarah Connor's dream in Terminator 2 stole the spotlight as the reigning king of NightmareFuel in the series, the future war scenes from the first film filled that role. [[SceneryGorn These scenes featured a destroyed cityscape washed with blue moonlight, and massive tower-like tanks rolling over human skulls scattered around like debris.]] Later on comes Kyle Reese's flashback of a terminator attack on a base of LaResistance. The door guards let a group of refugees into the shelter, when suddenly one of them throws up his garments to reveal a massive gun. Before anyone can react, the cyborg opens fire on the soldiers, as well as on women and children. Kyle attempts to fight back, but an explosion knocks him to the ground, sending his photograph of Sarah Connor into the inferno. As he watches it burn, he gazes up to see the silhouette of the terminator, [[RedEyesTakeWarning eyes burning fiendishly red.]]
* The fact that Reese is not even remotely joking, exaggerating, or lying when he says that a Terminator will never ever ''ever'' '''ever''' '''''ever''''' '''''EVER''''' stop trying to kill you. No matter how badly damaged it is, it will not falter; no matter how many times you escape, it will not give up; no matter how many times you put it down, it will not despair. From its creation to its utter destruction, that thing is your ''death''.
-->"It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."
* The beginning of the first movie, where T-800 gets into an unintentional fight with several thugs. One of them stabs the cyborg, and in response, he ''[[AndShowItToYou rips the thug's heart out]]'', [[AfraidofBlood covering his left arm with blood]]. The surviving thug, knowing that he is next, decides to do what he is told, giving his clothes to him.
** He doesn't just rip the guy's heart out T-800 grabs it and lifts the guy into the air before dropping the poor bastard.
* Hell, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68I3j2luW64 theme]] can inspire fear because there's something so primal about it. CHNKCHNK CHNK CHNKCHNK. CHNKCHNK CHNK CHNKCHNK. CHNKCHNK CHNK CHNKCHNK. CHNKCHNK CHNK CHNKCHNK.
* The T-800's rampage through the police station. It really drives home how unstoppable this thing is, especially when the police break out the big guns and still get mowed down like grass.
** I've always found Reese's rant to the police officers to be disturbing:
--> "You still don't get it. He'll find her. That's what he does. That's ''all'' he does! You can't stop him! He'll wade through you, reach down her throat and ''pull her fucking heart out!''"
* The scene in the BadFuture where we first see the Terminators, with a focus on a bleached human skull under a dark sky seconds before a mechanical, skeletal foot crushes it to powder, was the most iconic scene of the movie for how terrifying it was. It was only displaced by Sarah's nuclear nightmare in the second movie.

!!Terminator 2: Judgment Day
* If you are not even marginally horrified by Sarah's nightmare, which depicts a ''chillingly'' realistic portrayal of a nuclear holocaust in ''Terminator 2 Judgment Day,'' check to see if you have a pulse.
* The death of the T-1000. It was just so utterly surreal, and somehow completely lacked the satisfaction that should have come with seeing that thing killed...
** Not to mention the T-1000's face turning inside-out before slowly melting away...
* InUniverse Fuel for T2. An escaped mental patient with a history of violence and known to have previously attacked tech companies launches an attack on one of the biggest ones. She is aided by both her delinquent son and a man who matches the description of a cop killer from 1984 that was apparently immune to any conventional weapons, and who still seems to just tank bullets without flinching. Not a story I'd want to be in the middle of.
* The T-1000, full stop, and also doubling as ParanoiaFuel. Let's recap -- it can be anyone it touches, allow it to impersonate your family and your friends to get to you. It can become ''other'' objects, so that chair or that table in the corner could well be him, and when someone sits down on it it's sampled them so now it can look like them. It can perfectly mimic human expression and emotion to blend in perfectly with normal society. It understands how to actually ''look'' for you by getting pictures and asking people where you are and searching for your personal data on computers. It understands how to manipulate people like torturing them or playing to their fears. When it finds you, it doesn't need a weapon, it ''is'' a weapon, turning its fingers and hands into knives, blades or hooks as it chases you down. Like the other Terminators, it ''will not stop'' until you are '''dead''', and destroying it is pretty much impossible unless you have a vat of molten metal nearby. And on top of it all, he's a cop chasing a child. Able to be anyone, anywhere, without being detected, never stopping, impossible to reason with, and all it wants to do is kill you -- it's about as basic and terrifying as a boogeyman can be.
* When the T-800 is telling Sarah and John how Skynet comes to be. The entire scene is terrifying because of how it plays on your paranoia that machines can become self aware and wipe out their creators. Plus Arnold's monotone really does make it scarier, especially when he is telling how the future will turn out bad.
* Speaking of which, the T-800 [[SelfMutilationDemonstration running a knife along his arm so calmly before tearing it off]] sent chills down many a spine when it was first seen. When he runs it ''up'' his arm is the creepy part. No wonder John took Danny out of the room ...
** What makes it scarier is that at first, Miles, like his wife are [[{{Squick}} grossed out]] seeing this man before him cutting his own arm up. But upon seeing the endoskeleton arm, which looks like the exact same arm he's been studying. His look is a mix of awe from being able to see the finished result to [[OhCrap sheer terror.]]

!!Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
* The third movie, while considered inferior by many, still has many scary scenes. One in particular: a disguised T-X is in the back seat of a police car. She makes her arm go through the driver's seat ''[[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice and the driver]]''.
** There's a creepy scene where Scott Mason awakens, thinking that his fiancee, Kate Brewster, is sitting on his bed. It turns out to be the T-X, who ''contorts'' her upper body to face him before [[spoiler: murdering him]]. The visuals aren't perfect and there is no sound, but the scene can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89xKjdD8wGk
** The ending of T3 gives us the rather chilling sequence of the nuclear missiles being launched on Judgment Day. With a soft violin piece playing in the background just in case the imagery wasn't enough.
* The number of {{Jump Scare}}s in the movie, particularly the one at the gas station. Everything suddenly goes quiet...then BOOM, a giant robotic hand smashes through the roof and grabs someone.

!!Terminator Salvation
* The thick bulky [[http://terminator.wikia.com/wiki/Series_600 T-600s]], despite being the precursor model to the T-800, are much less refined in human design. From a distance they appear human, but the simplistic rubber skin sends them right off into UncannyValley.

* Anyone else kinda creeped out by the homage to the original films' openings with the T-800 (or whichever one looks actually human) just trudging out of the fire as John Connor repeatedly shoots it with grenades? Then there was the factory...the fact that at any moment, one of those Terminators could wake up...and then there's the one pursuing the heroes, which appears [[StealthHiBye out of FREAKING NOWHERE]] from behind a row of moving inactive Terminators.
* From the 4th movie, and also counts as SceneryGorn -- Marcus standing on a hill, overlooking a bombed out Los Angeles. Also the scene where John Connor and Marcus Wright are talking admist flaming trees. Did these guys reach into my childhood nightmares or what?
* When Marcus finds out the hard way that he himself is a terminator. This is a guy who is atoning for the deaths he caused prior to his execution. A guy who until meeting John Conner was protecting Kyle Reese and Star before their capture, fighting machines trying to kill them. [[YouAreWhatYouHate Then he finds out that he is one of them. ]] A machine whose only purpose is extermination.
* The revelation that in ''Salvation'', nowhere is safe from Skynet. Even when John's helicopter crashes into a river near the Resistance base as they chase Marcus and Williams, you'd think "Oh, they just need to swim out, no big deal." WRONG. The water is crawling with a horde of swimming robots, and we get to see them ''drag John's screaming copilot underwater and filet him''.
* One could be forgiven for thinking that John Connor had his T-800 problem licked in ''Salvation'' when he caused molten metal to be poured upon it. However, this only slows it down. After it has fully risen, the T-800 looks like the GrimReaper, with the only difference being that its hooded robe is composed of molten metal.