[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Crypt_Keeper_9572.jpeg]]
[[caption-width-right:256:Ah! Hello, kiddies!]]
-->''Welcome, boils and ghouls!''

A critically acclaimed [[GenreAnthology horror anthology]] series that ran from 1989 to 1996. Every week, the show featured the Crypt Keeper telling horrifying tales based on stories from the gruesome ECComics of the 1950s. Because the show was on the premium cable channel {{HBO}}, it was not subject to FCC censorship and featured lots of gore and sexual situations. The Crypt Keeper, a gruesome undead puppet voiced by John Kassir and performed by PattyMaloney, served as [[{{Narrator}} host]] in a manner similar to that of RodSerling on ''TheTwilightZone'', providing lead-ins and closing comments... which were filled with IncrediblyLamePun after pun of a macabre nature.

Related loosely to the [[Film/ECComics 1972 film]] of the same name, as both had stories based on comics from the same company. For the animated adaptation, see ''TalesFromTheCryptKeeper''.

Has a [[Recap/TalesFromTheCrypt Recap page]].
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!!This show provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: Winona, ''in spades''.
** Charlie in "Dead Right". Kathy puts up with him due to a prophecy that he will die and inherit a huge amount of money. Of course,[[ProphecyTwist It doesn't quite work out the way she expects.]]
** In "'Til Death", Margaret becomes one. A similar arch occurs in "Loved to Death."
* ActingForTwo: TimCurry plays an entire family in "Death of Some Salesmen."
* AffablyEvil: Some of the episodes' main characters like the narrator of "You, Murderer".
** FauxAffablyEvil: Several other main characters and the Crypt Keeper himself.
* AlasPoorVillain: In some episodes. One example is "Staired in Horror" where an antebellum widow's house is cursed so she gets older upon descending the stairs but any man ascending the stairs gets older. A killer who meets up with her flees much higher into the house to hide from a police dog and is rendered a completely helpless old humanoid in the attic.
* AllStarCast: Sort of the entire point. Everyone from Christopher Reeve to Ben Stein showed up at some point.
* AmoralAttorney: "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime".
* AnAxeToGrind
* AndIMustScream: "You, Murderer" is completely from the point-of-view of the protagonist, even when he dies shortly into the story. Thing is, he is still in his body afterwards, but no one can hear him, and he can still feel pain. Only the last one is of any concern to him (because he finds it annoying), as he has the unfolding story to narrate and concern himself with.
* AntiHero: In a rare instance of this trope in Tales From The Crypt, the narrator of You, Murderer continues to have our sympathy in spite of being a wanted criminal who has killed, robbed and cheated many people. One of the very, VERY few instances when an amoral character is actually portrayed sympathetically on the show.
* ArtifactTitle: "Forever Ambergris." The main characters of the original story were an old sea captain and one of his men, and ambergris was very important to the actual plot. In the TV adaptation, they're war photographers- and nowhere near any whales.
** "What's Cookin'." The original comic story had ''nothing'' to do with squids, cannibalism or a landlord.
* ArtisticLicenseChemistry: The woman who reduced her ulcer-prone husband into bathroom soap, then she got burned by his 'stomach acid' by using it in the shower. (Soap-making requires some lye, which would actually neutralize the pH.)
** The end of "Oil's Well that Ends Well" has the con artist KillEmAll by tossing her cigarette butt into crude oil and causing a massive explosion. The stuff is flammable, but not by that much, and a lit cigarette won't even ignite ''gasoline'', let alone crude.
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: The TriggerHappy husband from "Judy, You're Not Yourself Today" is depicted as a die-hard NRA member, even though his extremely careless gun handling would have easily gotten him kicked out of those meetings he attends.
* AssholeVictim: Oh, so many - and sometimes they're the main character of an episode.
** Sometimes the show would turn undeserving victims from the source comics into assholes to make for less of a DownerEnding. In the original "Death of Some Salesmen" story, for instance, the main character isn't a con man and wasn't even trying to sell anything to the creepy old couple who murder him.
* TheAtoner: The main narrator of You, Murderer attempted to be this in a bid to try and put his criminal past behind him. It backfires on him horribly.
* BadHumorTruck: "People Who Live In Brass Hearses"
* TheBadGuyWins: Given this is a horror series, this happens at times. Notable examples include:
** A very tragic example occurs in the episode "People Who Live in Brass Hearses" where brothers Billy and Virgil seek revenge on Billy's former employer, a jolly ice cream man, for reporting the criminal behavior that landed Billy in jail. Billy and Virgil fail initially, but finally break into the ice cream man's home and murder him, albeit by Virgil accidentally shooting him. [[spoiler:In the end, it is revealed that the man they seek revenge against is one of two conjoined twins who promptly murders Billy and Virgil in revenge. But at the episode's end, the ice cream man is dead, his rotting corpse will likely lead to his conjoined brother's death, and the ice cream truck's wares are shown to be 50% off, indicating a failing business. [[FridgeHorror Which means Billy ultimately got the revenge he sought]].]]
** "The Third Pig" features poor Dudley Pig getting framed for the Wolf's murder of his brothers by a rigged wolf jury. His dead brothers bail him out of jail and lead him to create a Frankenstein's Monster pig that devours the Wolf alive. But Dudley, feeling guilty for [[HeWhoFightsMonsters creating another monster to combat one]], goes to kill the Frankenpig, succeeding in electrocuting it. [[spoiler:But then the Wolf, reanimated by the electricity, emerges from the dead pig monster's body and devours Dudley alive.]]
* BadSanta: "And All Through The House"
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: In "Last Respects," a trio of sisters gets a hold of TheMonkeysPaw itself. Delores tries to use the ThreeWishes and her first one is for one million pounds. It turns out Marlys had a big life insurance policy, so she dies in a car accident. Thinking she can beat the Paw, Delores uses the second wish to restore Marlys to before the accident. [[spoiler:It turns out that Marlys was really shot by the third sister Lavonne, meaning the second wish simply undid the cover-up and exposed the truth to Delores]]. Delores does find a way to beat the Paw in the end. [[spoiler:She wishes that her last wish go to her sister... but doesn't say ''which'' sister]].
* BerserkButton: Don't hurt Anita's pets.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Longtooth from "The Relunctant Vampire" [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire really doesn't like to kill people in order to satisfy his thirst for blood]], but he will still bite your neck if you try to mess with him or his heart-crush or, in a lesser extent, if you are a criminal.
** "Split Second" HOLY SHIT Snazz, Artie and the rest of the lumberjacks...
* BigNo: The end of "Let The Punishment Fit The Crime"
* BittersweetEnding: "My Brother's Keeper": Frank watched his Siamese twin brother Eddie murder the love of his life, but (before both blacked out) he managed to sign the release for surgery. When they wake up, they're "free," with Eddie taken away by the police and Frank planning to live his life to the fullest. Although this can actually be viewed as a DownerEnding when you consider that Frank "living his life to the fullest" involves [[HeWhoFightsMonsters acting quite a bit like his brother used to.]]
* BlackComedy: The episode "Cutting Cards" is a particularly vivid one, as a game of Russian roulette devolves into a round of "chop poker" that goes nowhere good in a hurry.
** Of course, the Crypt Keeper himself ''specializes'' in this.
* BlackComedyRape: In the episode "Death of Some Salesman". Counts as both DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale ''and'' DoubleStandardRapeMaleOnMale, since Winona is quite obviously played by a man (TimCurry, no less!). Technically he agreed to it...but it certainly wouldn't have been any better if he hadn't.
* BloodierAndGorier: Than the comics, which were 'plenty' gory enough on their own.
** HotterAndSexier: More nudity, at any rate.
* BloodIsTheNewBlack: Every episode ends up with someone getting gorily dismembered, if not the main character.
* TheBluebeard: ''None but the Lonely Heart''.
* BodyHorror: How about the episode with the mask and the TV adaptation of ''Forever Ambergris'' where the main character's nose and his body [[spoiler: drop right off]].
** KarmicTransformation
** TransformationTrauma
* {{Bookends}}
* BrainFood: The Great Zambini's fate in "Food for Thought." Shouldn't have pissed off the man-eating gorilla by killing the only guy who was nice to her, dude.
* BuriedAlive: "Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone."
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Standard, with one or two KarmaHoudini subversions.
* CatsHaveNineLives: In "Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone," a homeless dude is offered a chance at (gruesome) fun and profit after he has a cat's brain gland implanted into him; it gives him the mythical extra lives, which allow him to die repeatedly as a circus performer. [[spoiler: Too bad he forgot to count the death of the cat to begin with before pulling his final stunt...]]
** Also played with in the episode "Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow".
* ChristmasEpisode: "And All Through the House" with a [[AxeCrazy maniac]] Santa.
** BadSanta
** "The Pit" was aired at Christmas and had a Christmas-themed segment for the Crypt Keeper, although the story itself has nothing to do with Christmas.
* CinderellaCircumstances: Bobby from "Fitting Punishment".
* CirclingVultures: An episode (inspired by the "Carrion Death" example in comic books) ended with an escaped convict [[AndIMustScream paralyzed in the middle of the desert and getting eaten alive by a vulture]].
* CompilationMovie: The first three episodes were edited together as one movie for some airings. Notably, though, there is no new linking footage. The episodes appear together as they would separately.
* ConjoinedTwins: The episode "My Brother's Keeper" is about [[SiblingYinYang completely opposite]] conjoined twins. This is also used in a twist in at least three other episodes: [[spoiler:"The Ventriloquist's Dummy", "People Who Live In Brass Hearses", and "About Face".]]
* CrazyJealousGuy: Steve Dixon in "Split Second" rapidly becomes one after getting married, and unfortunately for him, his wife has no intention to remain faithful.
** Mitch Bruckner in "The Thing from the Grave."
* CreatorCameo: Not unusual, especially if a given director happens to have an acting career of their own. MichaelJFox plays a prosecuting attorney in "The Trap," Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger helps get the Crypt Keeper in shape in "The Switch," Creator/TomHanks shows up in a bit part in "None but the Lonely Heart" [[spoiler:and even [[DeathByCameo gets killed]]]], and Bob Hoskins is in the opening to "Fatal Caper."
* CreepyCrossdresser: [[spoiler: Roger in "Came the Dawn" by way of split personality.]]
* CruelTwistEnding: A few episodes.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The final episode, "The Third Pig", gives this treatment to ''Literature/ThreeLittlePigs''.
** The whole show in general is Darker and Edgier than the comics, although they weren't exactly family-friendly to start with: The lack of censorship allowed them to basically throw in as much sex, violence and swearing as they liked.
* DeathByMaterialism: This is a recurring theme.
* DemonicDummy: Subverted in "The Ventriloquist's Dummy". "Morty" is actually [[spoiler:Ingels' vestigial twin brother underneath a dummy costume]].
* TheDogBitesBack: If someone committed an immoral act, you can be absolutely certain that he will meet his end by the end of the episode often in a spectacularly gruesome manner.
** A literal example occurs in "Curiosity Killed" with the bitter old woman who berates her husband's dog with the implication that she regularly mistreats it. During the story, the old woman sabotages her husband's friends' plan to make a youth potion to spite her husband, which leads to them dying via RapidAging while she takes the untainted youth potion for herself. [[spoiler:She doesn't get to enjoy her youth for long when her husband's dog, who has also taken some of the potion, leaps up and violently avenges his master.]]
* DoubleEntendre: Tons of it in "Spoiled" between the housewife and the cable man, before they begin an affair of course
* DrJerk: "The New Arrival"
* EatTheEvidence: "The Assassin" ends with [[spoiler:Janet, revealed to be the missing assassin (she has [[{{Transsexual}} had a sex change]] to disguise herself) serving up the remains of the CIA agents to her husband, though he doesn't know what he's eating.]]
* EverybodyLives: A rare example with a macabre BlackComedy twist in "Cutting Cards".
** Another rare example is "Spoiled" about a scientist who's on the verge of working a new anesthetic while his wife has an affair with a cable man. Everybody lives but [[spoiler:the scientist gets revenge on his adulterous wife by performing an operation that switches the heads of her and the cable man]].
* EvilUncle: "Fitting Punishment"
* EyeScream: Relatively often, but "Carrion Death" is by far the most notable (and NauseaFuel-filled) example.
* FakeTwinGambit: "Split Personality".
* FakingTheDead: In "The Trap," a deadbeat {{Jerkass}} decides to fake his own murder for the insurance money - getting his abused wife to tell the cover story, and his little brother (a doctor) to fake an autopsy and cremation. It works, so he skips the country and gets a little plastic surgery. He returns to find out why his wife never came out to join him, though. He finds his wife and brother now married and "unaware" of who he is, as well as police eager to know why his fingerprints and blood are on the murder weapon.
* FateWorseThanDeath: "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime".
* {{Fingore}}: "Cutting Cards" has its two gambler protagonists engage in a game of "Chop Poker", where the guy with the losing hand gets a finger chopped off by a meat cleaver.
* {{Flanderization}}: The Crypt Keeper is far more subdued, more ominious in Season 1, whereas he is more tongue-in-cheek in the rest of the series. According to John Kassir, production always wanted the latter approach, but budget constraints required the Season 1 approach. Renewal and a budget increase allowed production to make the Crypt Keeper the way viewers remember him.
* FracturedFairyTale: "The Third Pig".
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Anita from "Collection Completed." She has many pets of different species and is always willing to take in strays.
** [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Her husband]] would define her as a CrazyCatLady instead.
* FriendVersusLover: "Operation Friendship". More like Imaginary Friend versus Actual Lover.
* FunWithAcronyms: The episode "Mournin' Mess" revolves around a reporter investigating the mysterious deaths of several homeless people, which he believes are connected to a charitable organisation called the "Grateful Homeless Outcasts and Unwanted Layaway Society". What do you think their secret is?
* FurAgainstFang: The ending to [[spoiler: "The Secret"]].
** ''And'' [[spoiler: "Werewolf Concerto"]].
* GambitRoulette: Lampshaded in "A Slight Case of Murder". [[spoiler:The old woman behind everything admits that things didn't work out exactly the way she planned, which genuinely surprised her.]]
* GenreAnthology: Of modernised horror stories.
* GoldDigger: Several. And then they get what they deserve.
* GroinAttack: Joe Pesci starred the most gruesome example in "Split Personality".
** The greedy wife in the episode "And All Through The House" throws a swift kick in the family jewels towards the killer dressed as Santa Claus in their first confrontation.
** How Enoch strikes back at Mr. Sickles in "Lower Berth".
* GroundhogDayLoop: "Whirlpool" features a comic artist who experiences the same day of getting fired for a story her boss doesn't like and a confrontation that kills her boss which ends with her being killed by policemen. [[spoiler:It's revealed to be a story created by an employee featuring his JerkAss boss as the female protagonist. And his final words suggest he's trapped in one of his own.]]
* GuestHost: One episode had William Sadler 'reprising' his role as [[BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure The Grim Reaper]] to co-host with the Crypt Keeper.
** Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger also showed up in the Season Two episode, "The Switch", which he also directed.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: The ending of "Split Second" where loggers help a new employee blinded by their HairTriggerTemper boss get revenge by [[spoiler:having him chainsaw the boss in half while he's bound and gagged inside a hollow log]].
** Also in "Split Personality", where a guy pulls a FakeTwinGambit in order to date two beautiful twin sisters at the same time. When they find out, [[spoiler:they resolve the problem by sawing him down the middle so they can each keep half.]]
* HappilyEverAfter: Rare all things considered, but not unusual for sympathetic characters to get what's coming to them.
** "Four-Sided Triangle" and "Korman's Kalamity" provide reasonably happy, if bloody, endings for TheWoobie. "The Reluctant Vampire" gives Donald a happy ending after all.
** "The Trap" also ends quite happily for Irene and Billy. Irene's abusive husband Lou, [[KarmicDeath on the other hand...]]
* HauntedHouse: "Television Terror." Also the twist ending for [[spoiler:"Surprise Party"]].
* HeartInTheWrongPlace: In the episode "Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone", a bear-shaped archery target has a valentine-shaped cutout on the left side of its chest. They do get it right on the occasions where somebody gets their heart ripped or cut out, though...
* HellHotel: "Horror in the Night"
* HenpeckedHusband: Jim Korman in "Korman's Kalamity".
* HollywoodAcid: Used as an ending twist in [[spoiler:"99 & 44/100% Pure Horror"]] -- apparently soap made from a human body is acidic enough to ''melt'' someone's skin right off.
* HowWeGotHere: "Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone" has the cat-gland-implanted/coffin-housed protagonist tell the audience via flashbacks the tale that led to his being willingly buried alive prior to his ninth life. [[spoiler: And experience a massive OhCrap moment when he realises that because the cat had to be ''killed'' to get the gland out, he only had ''eight'' lives all along instead of nine...]]
* HurricaneOfPuns: The truly terrifying element of the show is the Crypt Keeper's awful sense of humor.
* IdiotBall: There's often an easy way to avoid the horrible fates characters either have in store or bring upon themselves, but a firm grasp on this keeps them from thinking of it.
* IfIHadANickel: "Only Sin Deep" has, "You know somethin' honey, if I had a dollar for every time you stood in the mirror admirin' your face, I could get off these streets and retire to the Bahamas."
* ImAHumanitarian: "What's Cookin'", "The Assassin"
** "Mournin' Mess" and "House of Horror" also touch on this.
* IncomingHam: "HELLO KIDDIES!"
* IncrediblyLamePun: The Crypt Keeper is proclive to this, along with some of the episode titles.
* IndulgentFantasySegue: A long and brutally tragic one makes up the second half of "'Til Death Do We Part."
* InkstainAdaptation: People who read the comics after seeing the show are usually surprised by how the Crypt Keeper looks, as in the comics he is simply an ugly old man with long white hair instead of the cackling rotting corpse most people are familiar with.
* InNameOnly: While most of the earlier stories hewed fairly close to the original tales, episodes in later seasons had increasingly little in common with the comic stories, aside from the titles.
** Additionally, not all the stories came from ''Tales''. ''Haunt of Fear'', ''Vault of Horror'', ''Crime [=SuspenStories=]'' and ''Shock [=SuspenStories=]'' also supplied material (and were acknowledged as such in appropriate episodes' credits.)
* IronicEcho: There have been several.
-->"I'd rather be dead than you."
-->"You gotta have that killer instinct."
-->"It wasn't lies, it was ''salesmanship!''"
* JerkAss: Uncle Ezra from "Fitting Punishment." As well as being TheScrooge who nickel-and-dimes his customers for every little thing, he treats his orphaned nephew like dirt.
* JokerJury: "The Third Pig"
* JustEatGilligan: At the end of "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime", the one thing the main character never thought of to do is pointed out to her - [[spoiler:paying off the jury.]]
* KangarooCourt: "The Third Pig", "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime"
* KarmicDeath: Pretty much the whole idea. Someone horrible does something horrible and then has something horrible done in return. Rinse, repeat.
* KarmaHoudini: While it was common for the murderer to get away, the person killed was always the one the audience hated most. There are exceptions however, as this WAS a horror show, after all; generally, the less an episode centers around a despicable character, the more likely they are to succeed with their evil plans and get off scot-free in the end.
** The Crypt Keeper himself is one, considering the occasions he's periodically tortured, mutilated, and/or killed people during the bookends. He occasionally gets tortured and/or mutilated himself, but then, he ''likes'' stuff like that.
** The main character from "The Man Who Was Death" had a motive to hunt down {{Karma Houdini}}s who were found not guilty. Ironically, he was eventually caught and executed for his murders.
* KarmicTwistEnding: Most episodes.
* KnightTemplar: Talbot in "The Man Who Was Death." After his state repeals the death penalty, he goes around killing people that got away with murder.
* LampshadeHanging: John Kassir, who voices the Crypt Keeper, also plays a minor character in one of the main stories. At the end of the episode, the Crypt Keeper compliments that character's performance.
* LargeHam: The Crypt Keeper's bombastic introductions provided as much entertainment as the actual stories.
* LicensedPinballTable: Released by Creator/DataEast in 1993. [[Pinball/TalesFromTheCrypt Click here for details.]]
* LovePotion: Both "Til Death" and "Loved to Death" involve men who use this to win over otherwise unattainable women. This goes about as well as you would expect, given what show they're on.
* MagicPlasticSurgery: A trifecta in the episode "The Assassins": The trope is [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] when a team of government agents show a photograph of a rogue assassin to a housewife and it's obvious that the man in the picture doesn't look anything like her husband. It's [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] when the rogue assassin proves not to be her husband and [[DoubleSubversion Doubly subverted]] when the mandatory twist ending reveals that the rogue assassin is actually the [[{{Transsexual}} wife]].
* MandatoryTwistEnding: One for just about every episode. However, some were quite happy to the good characters, [[KarmicTwistEnding delivering well-deserved vengeance to the unsympathetic]].
* MeaningfulName: Leah and Angelica, the twins in "About Face." Angelica is the angelic, beautiful, "good" twin, while in Literature/TheBible Leah is the name of one of Jacob's wives, who is unloved and ignored by Jacob in favor of her sister (especially appropriate given that the twins' father is a priest.)
** The weaselly AmoralAttorney from "Let The Punishment Fit The Crime" is named Geri ''Ferret''.
* MetaFiction: Particularly notable in some episodes, such as "Korman's Kalamity" and "Whirlpool" which feature writers/artists of the ''Tales from the Crypt'' comic as their protagonists (with the Crypt-Keeper even holding a copy of the comic in the former). Another notable example is the end of "Oil's Well That Ends Well" where the Crypt Keeper rewatches the final two-three minutes of the episode and comments upon John Kassir's character for being a "great hacktor" and [[LampshadeHanging wondering where he's heard that voice before]].
* MonogenderMonsters: A variant of this in "Lover Come Hack to Me", where [every baby born into Peggy's family is apparently female.
* MonsterClown: Played with in "Strung Along" where it appears Joseph's clown puppet Koko has come to life and murdered his adulterous wife. [[spoiler:It's subverted in that it was all an act by his wife and her lover to make Joseph suffer a fatal HollywoodHeartAttack. It's then played somewhat straight when the Koko puppet, implied to be possessed by Joseph, murders the adulterous wife and lover in revenge.]]
* TheMovie: Technically six. Two films were produced in the 1970s by Creator/AmicusProductions -- [[Film/ECComics a self-titled movie and ''The Vault of Horror'']]. (Unsurprisingly, though, this series has a loose connection to those movies.) In 1989, a CompilationMovie was put together, consisting of "The Man Who Was Death", "And All Through the House", and "Dig That Cat, He's Real Gone". Three [[ThematicSeries stand-alone franchise films]] were made in the 1990s: ''DemonKnight'', ''BordelloOfBlood'' and ''Ritual'', the last of which was released straight to video.
** Note that ''Ritual'' was produced as a ''[=TFtC=]'' movie, but later edited to remove any connection to the franchise. This connection was later restored in an effort to increase awareness of it.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: This pops up a lot, and it tends to be the specific IdiotBall many characters latch onto.
* NoFourthWall: At least as far as the Crypt Keeper is concerned.
* NotInTheFace: On one episode which stars a pair of bandit lovers, the man is always paranoid about something happening to his visage. Predictably, there's more to this fear than simple vanity, as revealed by the twist ending.
* NotJustATournament: There are a few episodes where a contestant murders the odds-on favorite, but finds out too late that the "prize" for winning is death. In one case, an actor literally kills for a chance to play Theatre/{{Hamlet}}, but discovers that he was really auditioning to play Yorick [the skull]. In another case, a BeautyContest contestant kills another, but discovers that the pageant is "Miss Autopsy".
* OnceAnEpisode: A somewhat loose example. The Crypt Keeper will make at least one "ghoul" pun, no matter how nonsensical or how much of a stretch. Any word with a G and an L in there is fair game, usually "girl" or "gal," but on occasion "goal" and "gill" have fallen victim.
* OffWithHisHead: Happens in more than a handful of episodes.
* OriginsEpisode: "Lower Berth" establishes how the Crypt Keeper came to be. Appropriately, the episode was directed by Kevin Yagher, who helped the Crypt Keeper come to be in real life.
* POVCam: "You, Murderer" (with the added bonus of being from the POV of HumphreyBogart), "Abra Cadaver"
* PreciousPuppy: Played for BlackComedy at the end of "Curiosity Killed" when a couple discovers a cute little puppy [[spoiler:with its AssholeVictim hidden a few feet away]].
* ProductPlacement: Curiously, Perrier-Jout champagne turns up in several episodes, with its distinctive painted bottle always clearly visible on-camera. Whether this was a deliberate plug or just what the prop department happened to have handy isn't clear.
* ProphecyTwist: A fortuneteller assures a [[GoldDigger greedy woman]] that she will soon marry a man who will inherit a fortune from a rich relative and die himself soon afterward. No points for guessing that one important bit of information was left out of that.
* PungeonMaster: The Crypt Keeper.
* PyrrhicVictory: "Mute Witness to Murder" ends with Susan finally killing the murderous doctor by denying him his heart pills. But said doctor killed Susan's husband, [[KarmaHoudini got away with murdering his wife]], and Susan, if the Crypt-Keeper's comment at the end is any indication, likely [[DownerEnding becomes fully insane]].
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Grunwald in "Revenge is the Nuts". It's not enough that he steals the home's funds to spend on himself while the blind inmates starve and freeze, but what's presented as the MoralEventHorizon is his sexual harassment/abuse of a new female arrival.
* RapidAging: In "Only Sin Deep", a vain prostitute "sells" her looks to an eccentric pawnbroker, only to start quickly looking like an old woman. "Curiosity Killed" features this happening when a JerkAss old woman sabotages her husband and his friends' attempt at creating a youth potion. Also a version of this appears in "Staired In Horror" with any young man who goes up a staircase in a cursed house aging tremendously, while the woman who lives there goes from young to elderly when she descends the stairs, and vice versa.
* RecklessGunUsage: In the episode "Judy, You're Not Yourself Today", a husband points his rifle at a random solicitor, and pulls the trigger while pointing it at his wife to prove to his wife the gun was unloaded. In the end he ends up trying to physically subdue his wife's body snatcher (a old witch traded bodies with her) while holding the gun, and ends up shooting his wife.
* ResurrectedRomance
* RuleOfScary: In full force, just like it was in the EC comics that inspired it. Admittedly, the stories and plot twists don't usually make a whole lot of sense, but if someone who watches the show complains about them [[MST3KMantra they're doing it wrong]].
* TheScrooge: Uncle Ezra from "Fitting Punishment".
* SelfDeprecation: Between the Crypt Keeper occasionally deriding the audience for watching too much of the show, and characters in the actual segments tending to have a low opinion of it (or its namesake comic) whenever it was bought up, it seems Tales from the Crypt had no problem poking fun at its own low-brow appeal.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Stella King in "Creep Course" for the majority of the episode is pretty mousey and okay looking in baggy clothing and thick glasses. After encountering the mummy, she is smoking in revealing Egyptian garments and eyeshadow.
* SiblingYinYang: In one episode, a pair of twins come to live with the lecherous priest who fathered them. One twin is attractive, sweet-tempered and generally kind to him, while the other is a deformed and violent religious fanatic who deeply resents their father for abandoning them.
* SinsOfOurFathers: The big twist of "The Surprise Party." It's pure luck that the ghosts' victim ended up being a murderous arsonist just like his father, because they make it clear they were going to exact revenge on him either way.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: The final episode, a re-telling of "The Three Little Pigs", was animated.
** Arguably "Lower Berth," too. Whereas most episodes are set in the present-era, "Lower Berth" takes place in the early 1900s.
** "Yellow", "Showdown", and "King of the Road" are rather tonally different from the rest of the show. This is because they were originally part of a pilot for a planned TV version of ''TwoFistedTales'' instead. Of these, "King of the Road" stands out the most for being a completely straight action yarn with no grisly or macabre themes whatsoever.
** "The Pit" isn't based a ''Two Fisted Tales'' story, but also has zero horror elements, being a martial-arts themed action piece.
** "Fitting Punishment" is notably the only episode with an entirely black cast.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: In the original story of "The Reluctant Vampire", Longtooth is discovered and staked in the heart. In the episode of the same name, it's the JerkAss who harasses Longtooth that gets staked in the heart after being mistaken for a vampire. Given the InNameOnly reputation of the episodes, this probably isn't the only example.
** Another example occurs with "My Brother's Keeper" wherein the original comic story featured the good twin committing suicide via alcohol and pills while taking the evil twin with him due to [[SiameseTwins their shared body]]. In the adaptation, both survive and are surgically separated, leaving the evil twin to be arrested.
* SpinOff: The animated ''TalesFromTheCryptKeeper'' and the Creator/{{CBS}} GameShow ''Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House'' were aimed at a younger audience, but still horrifying.
** There was also a brief audio series produced for Sci-Fi Channel's Seeing Ear Theatre and done as a RadioDrama. Kassir again returned as our horror host (even singing the opening lyrics) and several high-profile guests (such as TimCurry and Luke Perry) took part.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror'' will seem very familiar to fans of this series, from the BlackComedy to the charismatic host to the godawful puns. The first segment will also seem very familiar to ''Manga/DeathNote'' fans, but [[FollowTheLeader that's a whole different story]].
** ''Perversions of Science'', a short-lived series that essentially replaced this one after the final season.
* SwallowTheKey: In "Carrion Death," a criminal and a cop are handcuffed together. The cop is killed, but he manages to swallow the key before the criminal can get it, forcing the criminal to lug the dead cop along as he attempts to escape across the desert.
** Mr. Duvall swallows the black pearl to keep Red from the stealing it in "Dead Wait." Since Red is packing both a sharp blade and an extremely poor regard for the value of human life, this backfires pretty gruesomely.
* TitleDrop: Happened a few times, but perhaps the most (purposefully) blatant was by the Crypt Keeper in "Korman's Kalamity":
-->"...because long before my eerie offerings appeared on your silver screen, they were a magazine called - get a load of this - ''Tales from the Crypt''!"
* TomatoInTheMirror
* TooDumbToLive: Richard's wife Della and his friend Alan in "Three's a Crowd." While trying to keep a joyous secret ([[spoiler:he's gonna be a daddy!]]) from Richard so the announcement will be a surprise, both seemingly go out of their way to make it look like they're having an affair instead, with Della spending most of her time alone with Alan and then running to his arms whenever Richard tries to confront her about it. But what really makes them this trope is that when Richard finally snaps and moves to kill the two, and it dawns on each of them that ''he's seriously going to do it'', they '''still''' refuse to just come clean about all the secrecy, even though it could have avoided the major TearJerker that ensues.
* {{Transsexual}}: The twist of [[spoiler:"The Assassin", where the wife of an AWOL assassin turns out to be the rogue "himself", who had more work done than "his" would-be killers initially assumed.]]
** This is also the twist of [[spoiler:"Fatal Caper", where the female lawyer turns out to be the father's disowned third son, which she reveals right after seducing him and disrobing.]]
* UndeadChild: [[spoiler:"The New Arrival", coupled with RevenantZombie.]]
* TheUriahGambit: In "Forever Ambergris", an aging photographer sends his young protege to a village that was ravaged by germ warfare, knowing the younger man will fall victim to the same flesh-rotting disease that killed the villagers, leaving his hot girlfriend for the older man's taking. [[spoiler:Naturally, it backfires when the older man learns his protege sent some germ-infected flora to his girlfriend before he knew anything was wrong.]]
* VegetarianVampire: Again, Longtooth in "The Reluctant Vampire".
* VigilanteMan: "The Man who was Death".
* TheVirus: "Forever Ambergris"
* VocalEvolution: The Cryptkeeper's voice in the first season and roughly the first third of season two sounds noticeably different compared to his more usual one. It's a bit more quiet and raspier and slightly accented, like a sort of high-pitched VincentPrice impression.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Lampshaded at the end of "Mute Witness to Murder":
-->'''Crypt Keeper:''' I suppose you're wondering what became of Susan. If you give me a scream, I might just tell you! ''(laughs)''
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Some of the Crypt Keeper's closing segments allude to what became of the characters after the end. The DrJerk in "The New Arrival" [[spoiler:eventually escaped his predicament]]. Charlie from "Doctor of Horror" [[spoiler:opened a club and even sent our horror host a postcard about it]]. Clyde from "Staired in Horror" [[spoiler:eventually managed to reverse his age by slowly shuffling down the stairs, but was then left waiting for Lily to grow.]]
* WorthlessYellowRocks: ''Dead Wait''. The voodoo priestess (WhoopiGoldberg) tosses away a huge, valuable black pearl, because she finds the red hair on Red's (severed) head far more valuable.
* WouldntHurtAChild: The Crypt Keeper assures us that the psychotic Santa from "...And All Through The House" didn't harm the little girl who let him inside, as "He preferred older women... in pieces!"
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Liz in "Split Second" seduces an unwilling young lumberjack and, when caught, tells her husband that he tried to rape her. [[ForTheEvulz She did this because she was bored.]]
* YouLookFamiliar: William Sadler plays Talbot in "The Man Who Was Death", [[BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure The Grim Reaper]] in "The Assassin", Brayker in ''DemonKnight'' and a mummy in ''BordelloOfBlood''.
** Miguel Ferrer appears in prominent roles in "The Thing from the Grave" and "In the Groove", as well as having an uncredited minor role in "As Ye Sow."
** Michael Ironside has roles in both "Come the Dawn" and "The Sacrifice."
** Joey Pants appeared in both "Dig That Cat, He's Real Gone" and "Split Personality."
** Larry Drake appeared in "...And All Through The House" and "The Secret."
** Lance Henricksen appeared in both "Cutting Cards" and "Yellow."
** Character actor Roy Brocksmith appeared in a few episodes: He has a prominent role as the mad surgeon in "The Switch" and had minor roles in both "The Man Who Was Death" and "Cutting Cards" (interestingly enough, playing bartenders in both).
* YourCheatingHeart: Several stories feature adulterers, both male and female. By the end, they get their comeuppance.
** SympatheticAdulterer: That said, sometimes that isn't the case, such as in "The Trap" wherein a physically and verbally-abused housewife conspires and becomes intimate with her brother-in-law to get revenge on her JerkAss husband.
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