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Fridge Horror: Advertising
Warning: It probably isn't a good idea to read this if you are the one who does the shopping for your household.
  • In a Skittles advert on UK television, it shows a man whose very touch turns things into Skittles. Everyone seems to think this is fine, except for the man himself, who is understandably annoyed when his desk phone and then the whole desk turns into Skittles. The horror of these two incidents barely scratches the surface. How long has he been wearing those clothes? Bathroom ablutions must surely be horrendous. Shaving impossible. And eating a exclusive diet of Skittles would kill him eventually.
  • In a Pediasure commercial, two mothers are sitting on the sidelines of their children's soccer game. One mother asks if her child looks 'slow'. The child is shown to be a giant container of french fries. The mothers continue to talk and the responding mother says that her daughter has been drinking pediasure and that 'kids are what they eat.' The mother's child is shown to look like a normal girl, not a giant food, which means that pediasure is made out of children. Also, every other child on the field not dressed as a giant food is a cannibal.
    • That, or they all feed on soccer uniforms
  • In a Charter TV commercial, a man is sitting in his arm chair puzzled by the remote control. The advert talks about their DVR and so forth, ending by saying that the record button will not cause the house to blow up or other such effects. It then gives the remote combination for blowing the house up and the man tries it, causing the house to blow up and him to land safely on his lawn. That's fine until you remember that he brushed the child's toy off of the chair before he sat down. He just blew up at least two other people.
    • Assuming, of course, that he a) has a spouse and b) spouse and child were home at the time.
  • There is a Sprite commercial that shows people walking into each other and jumping into crowds. And then they explode into thousands of droplets of Sprite and splash the bystanders. Which implies that if you drink Sprite, you are drinking people...
    • Another implies that Sprite contains human semen (this commercial was, of course, banned).
  • The same could be applied to a razor commercial which showed the cartridge announcing that it was time to change itself out, and cheerfully yelling as it was being shot off the handle into the trash.
    • Even worse is the Electrashave commercial, in which hundreds of hairs with the same face as the guy they're on get shaved off. And they enjoy it!
  • Bug spray commercials tend to anthropomorphize insects into talking, sometimes singing bugs that are cheerfully killed by a compound not too dissimilar to nerve gasses like Sarin.
  • In a Skittles commercial, three kids are shown thousands of feet in the air sitting on top of a rainbow while eating skittles. When one of them begins to wonder if the rainbow exists or not, the part of the rainbow he's sitting on opens like a trap door and he begins falling out of the sky while the others showing little to no concern. Although it's not shown, we already know what's going to happen next...
  • Those "Disrespectoids" commercials for Capri Sun that have the kids transforming into inanimate objects for doing something bad to the drink pouch. It's supposed to be funny, but then you realize that these kids are going to be like this for the rest of their lives.
    • One has a girl turn into a living sand sculpture, and her arm falls off and dissolves. She is standing near the tide, so it stands to reason that sooner or later she'll completely dissolve into sand, and maybe still be alive.
    • Thankfully, it's a little better in the games and flash cartoons, where we get to see that the kids are actually getting along fairly well, Sandy Mandy included. Although, it's hard to say for Pancake Peggy, who doesn't even seem capable of moving around much...
  • Jelly Babies. How cute, a baby... which you will promptly bite the head, torso and legs off of, not necessarily in that order.
  • What about the Jolly Green Giant? Think about it: The Jolly Green Giant is cultivating and selling his own kind as food. And why? Why is he doing this? Was he ostracized as a child for being half-human? Is he bitter about being called "Corn Dog" as a child, since he was vegetable on the outside and meat on the inside? And now he's indoctrinating Little Sprout, another of his kind, so that his reign of evil may continue!
    • Make this into a webcomic and you may have my lifetime supply of Internets.
  • During the fifties, Jim Henson made a series of commercials for Wilkins Coffee, featuring a Kermit-like Muppet named Wilkins and another Muppet named Wontkins. The general plot of a commercial was thus: Wilkins asks Wontkins to have Wilkins Coffee, Wontkins refuses, Wilkins murders Wontkins. The implications here are quite clear: buy Wilkins Coffee or Wilkins will murder the shit out of you! Don't believe me? See for yourself!
    • In other Muppet-Advertising Fridge Horror, Miss Piggy was once EATING BACON in an advert for Denny's and Pepe the King Prawn was spokesman for Long John Silver. So Piggy and Pepe want you to eat their family members. Kermit, on the other hand, refused to be the spokesperson for a frog legs restaurant in The Muppet Movie.
  • A commercial for Pizza Hut's Full House XL pizza featured Audrey II. Yes, THAT Audrey II. That red stuff between the cheese and the crust? It's not tomato sauce, it's human blood!
  • McDonald's once proudly advertised that their Chicken McNuggets were "now" made with white meat. So what part of the chicken were we eating before? Good question.
    • McDonald's chicken nuggets were probably just made with dark meat, which is fattier and more caloric. By advertising their switch to all-white meat, they're also advertising they've greatly reduced the amount of fat and calories in their chicken nuggets.
  • A commercial for Acorn Stairlifts portrays an old man walking down the stairs with his cane, but he drops it down and he's stuck. It then cuts to the man riding down the stairs on the stair lift from the same position he was in when he dropped his cane... with the cane still on the floor. Was he stuck on that stairwell the entire time until the Stair Lift was installed?
    • He probably used the stairlift to ascend the stairs in the first place and was just demonstrating what to him would've been his worst nightmare. Before, he probably didn't even dare walk up to the second story, which is rather sad and depressing to think about.
  • This Axe commercial is disturbing enough in its own right, but a Cracked commentator gives us an even more upsetting fact to add to this:
  • The Mini Wheat commercials. They seem a little happy with the singing and what not, considering we're going to eat them alive. It doesn't help that the new product is "Mini-Wheats Mini-Bites".
  • Goldfish commercials. They may seem light hearted, but once you realize that one goldfish is basically putting his friends and family up to be eaten by us, they don't seem as happy as they used to.
    • The Goldfish commercials have always been creepy. "The wholesome snack that smiles back — until you bite their heads off!"
  • The Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercial where they keep trying to lick/eat one another is basically an instance of cannibalism.
  • Any "anthropomorphic food" ads; the happy pig selling barbeque, the Happy Meal guys, etc. The whole cheerful, sentient, wants to be eaten, and sometime alive is pervasive and horrifying.
  • M&M's commercials, especially the ones depicting individual M&M's trying desperately to hide themselves from humans who want nothing more than to mash them apart with their teeth. Seeing the look of pure horror on their colorful faces is enough to make anyone think twice about that next handful...
  • The adverts in the UK for Mazuma, a company that specialise in recycling old unwanted mobile phones and throwing a bit of money your way for the trouble. The cute little cartoon phones happily leap into the envelope, but no mention is made of what horrors happen when the envelope is opened in the recycling plant and the phones are gutted for their parts...
  • Four words: Snickers. Peanut. Butter. Squared. [1]
    • What's probably worse is that this company is willing to feed their own employees (or possibly even unwitting volunteers they picked off the street) to sharks for a profit.
    • And what about that one where a lifeguard, who should be doing his job, is just staring at seagulls and thinking a voice calling "Help!" is coming from the seagulls instead of that poor boy far away who we then see dip under.
  • A K9 Advantex commercial shows a white dog singing "there may be bugs on some of you mugs, but there aint no mugs on me". This sounds cute until it sounds like it says "mutts"; where it almost sounds like a doggie version of racism. Plus due to the fact that the singing dog was white and the itchy dogs were not. I am not saying it was racist; just pointing this out.
  • The Mucinex commercials feature anthropomorphized mucus that are moving into a human's lungs, throwing family reunions, and playing with their children. At the end of the commercial, with the aid of Mucinex, the human coughs up the mucus, evicting them from their lungs. Congratulations, you just made an entire family homeless.
    • It's OK, we're obviously supposed to hate the guy because he looks like a disgusting working class luddite. Or maybe he's supposed to be a jew? Lesson: evicting the mucus wouldn't be OK if it were a respectable middle class family.
  • Trix: children starve a rabbit, insisting that their cereal is for them and not to be consumed by rabbits.
  • This commercial for gushers has a kid with gushers for an eye. Everybody loves him because his eye is so delicious...
    • That's nothing. While on the topic of fruit snacks, there's this Fruit by the Foot commercial with two kids that keep wishing stuff onto each other. After wishing hands and hair into fruit by the foot, one kid wishes the other person's DNA was made of fruit by the foot. Cue a human-shaped lump of fruit by the foot with clothes on. He just killed the person by switching his molecules with a sugary food substance. That he'll probably eat.
  • An ad for Campbell's Soup involves a snowman melting away from the warmth of the soup into a little boy. The Fridge Horror comes when you think about how he got that way...
  • The Swiffer commercials. You mean I'm sweeping up and then throwing away tiny people?
    • Tiny people who are actually enjoying being swept up and thrown away...because they equate being carried away by a cleaning product with true love.
  • The commercials for Dow Bathroom Cleaner with scrubbing bubbles. You have all these sophisticated, anthropomorphic bubble-creatures meticulously cleaning up a bathtub. But they all get washed down the drain at the end, with an echoic, signature " you don't have toooooo....." emanating from the pipes. Mister Rogers actually wrote a song to allay kids' fears of going down bathtub drains.
  • In a commercial for a woman says, I believe, her "great great(?) grandmother had five children and only one survived. It can be so easy to forget just how lucky you are." I used to think she meant that she was lucky she didn't lose four out of five children like that woman; but I later saw it a different way: did she mean she was lucky that one child survived for her to descend from?
    • She's fortunate because she could've very easily not existed at all, considering only 1/3 (she mentioned only three children in the actual commercial) of her great-grandmother's children survived.
    • A less scary alternative is that she means she's lucky to live in a time and a place where infant/child mortality rates are so low.
  • There this one Buffalo Wild Wings commercial in which one of the employees pulled a switch to inform a power plant worker to shut off all power in the entire city except for the restaurant itself. A city that includes hospitals with patients hooks up to respiratory systems or babies in life support.
    • YMMV on this one, too. Hospitals have backup generators on-site specifically to keep from being crippled by outages.
    • I don't know, I still think it's Fridge Horror. What if a little old lady was walking down the stairs of her home when the lights suddenly shut off? Or someone chopping vegetables/carrying sharp objects when they're pitched into darkness and slip? All the people who might take advantage of the chaotic situation to raid shops, and the bystanders who get caught in their way? Most of them won't have backup generators, but they could just as easily end up in life-threatening situations.
    • At the very least, it's Fridge Jerkassness.
  • A commercial for an insurance company shows people being inspired to commit random acts of kindness by seeing others do the same. The ad starts with a woman preventing a distracted pedestrian from wandering into traffic. A driver sees this and is nice to someone else later, which is seen by another person who...yada yada yada. In the penultimate scene, a man at an airport helps an elderly gentleman retrieve his suitcase. This is witnessed by...the same woman from the first act of kindness, and the last scene sees her saving a distracted pedestrian from wandering into traffic. Dear God. What kind of cyclic hellscape have we wandered into here?
    • Yet again, YMMV. It's supposed to be cyclic, showing that good deeds will always come back to you in the end. Don't see how that's a hellscape.
      • Every single one of these is YMMV by their very nature. Relax.
  • A commercial for Chef Boyardee has a girl picking a can of the stuff out of the grocery store, only for her mom to put it back as they've had Chef all week. Luckily for the girl, the can gains sentience and rolls all the way home towards her. That's cute, until you realize the mom is gonna think that she stole it. Better hope the can is capable of explaining itself, too!
    • You also have to wonder if the can realizes that the girl didn't want it for a pet or anything, she wants to open it up and consume its insides!
  • A commercial for a cell phone company has two parent phones cooing over their new baby phone. While remarking about how much better their child is, another phone in the nursery has a low signal and a battery runs out on a third and shuts off.
    • Speaking of cellphones, extend the Verizon Galaxy Nexus commercial using the same sort of thinking. These real life friends rush into various circles when the phone categorizes them. Now, what happens when people get deleted from your contact list?
      • Also, all his friends are in a category, but there's nobody in his circle besides him.
  • The Jell-O Temptations ads are full of this. Abusive Parents played for laughs.
    • Also, if the kids are punished like that for eating goddamn pudding, what would their parents do if they did something genuinely bad?
    • The parents probably bought the Jell-O Temptations for themselves and the regular Jell-O pudding cups for the children. They probably also explained this to the children. Therefore, I see absolutely nothing wrong with the parents punishing their children for consciously and knowingly taking something that wasn't theirs to have, especially since this is the parents' money to spend. If you're an adult who buys all your own stuff, you'd understand.
      • Though that is a possibility, the fact that we never actually see it keeps this in Fridge Horror territory, since for all we know these children really were being punished just for eating pudding, which they may or may not have known they weren't supposed to take.
  • The Bing commercials, where you have all these people looking blankly ahead reciting random information in a blank voice. While one sane person looks around in utter horror.
    • The Christmas one especially as you see the little kid get more and more desperate to find a non-pod person.
  • I forget what the company was, but in the late '90s/early 2000's (forget which), there was a commercial for high speed internet. A guy who had it proudly proclaimed that due to the fast internet connection, he had been across the internet and back. If you think about it, that could mean he looked at every single site on the internet, which means every twisted, disgusting porn site (including the underage variety...), every shock site, every hate site, and probably downloaded everything illegal in existence. Yikes.
    • On the bright side, this commercial predates TVTropes.
  • In one of the early American commercials for the Nintendo DS commercials the protagonist is almost omnipotent with his touch-powers. There is a lot of Horror looking at the portrayed sketches. In one of them there are 5 guys in the showers, and 2 throw their towels at the protagonist, and laugh at them, it is later seen that he shrinks their reproductive organs, not enough to make them unusable or infertile, but enough to socially kill the guys in the showers. Now imagine the rejections of future potential girlfriend, or the daily confrontations these guys must face for the REST OF THEIR LIVES, only 2 were actually teasing the protagonist so the rest are just being the Victimized Bystander, they will all probably get into depressions, and 1 of them might commit suicide in the short term, and the rest maybe in long terms since they will no longer able to lead normal lives anymore. Later in the same commercial the protagonist is featured moving a plane to form a heart-shape, and you see the pilot and the co-pilot vomiting, now imagine if their would be a pregnant woman inside that aeroplane, she could give birth to a mentally and physically damaged baby, or worse get a miscarriage due to the aforementioned event. Imagine if you would sit on that plane and was on the toilet when the protagonist moves the plane, YIKE!
  • In one Direct TV commercial, man with cable + scrambled cable divided by work ethic —-> An innocent man goes to JAIL! Flash forward and we see the defendant working out thinking of the lawyer that had failed to defend him before getting release; what is the first thing that man does the moment he gets out of prison? HE BLOWS UP THE LAWYER'S FRICKING HOUSE!
  • For this Pokemon Blue And Red commercial, you should be worried about the fact that they thought it was okay to show an advertisement of 151 different creatures being trapped on bus, then violently crushed into a single tiny rectanglur console, by some sadist bus driver, just to advertise a childrens game!
  • In an aluminum foil advertisement, it shows sentient beings like humans, and animals made of aluminum foil. There is one wearing a chefs hat, and that to is aluminum foil. And they cook what seems to be sentient chicken nuggets, which is horrifying enough, in an oven, in aluminum foil. That all came from the same roll. That aluminum foil is probably, to them, flayed skin or muscle fibers or other giblets along that vein. They seem perfectly fine with it, is the worst part
  • A promotional comic for the Chocapic's cereal brand had the brand's mascot go back to ancient Aztec time. There, he helps the local prince, who suspiciously looks like his human friend (Who, by the way, is a white, blond kid), to win a ball game. Everything's looks cool... Until you remember a detail that got mentioned earlier (and that is historically correct) : the losing team is to be sacrificed to the Aztec gods. Yay ! The prince's team won ! It still means that a dozen men will have their hearts painfully removed from their chest while they're still alive ! Yipee !
    • Except that there's evidence that it may actually be the WINNERS that get sacrificed...
  • A commercial for New Super Mario Bros. 2 has a bunch of coins popping up and things turning into Mario coins. At one point a ice cream van turns into coins and the driver falls through it. The next scene has a whole city of skyscrapers turning into coin. Now if a car turning into coin means the driver can no longer sit in it, what happened to all the people in the upper floors of the Skyscraper?
    • This one is so blatant that it almost doesn't fall into Fridge Horror territory, as the comments section of the ad illustrates how many people realize this.
  • Once upon a time there was a commercial for Subway which featured a man making a wish... causing his wife to turn into a sandwich.
    • And what spouse hasn't told their spouse, "Oooooh, you're so sweet, I could just eat you up!"
  • In an ad for a pertussis foundation, the speech from the concerned woman about how pertussis can be spread from parent to child is inter-cut with the child in question showing the side effects. The sound effect of a child enduring whooping cough is bad enough, but then you realize that they sat beside a child, put a microphone on him, then sat and listened to him hack himself unconscious for the sake of the commercial.
    • For a disease that has a distinct auditory symptom, it's only sensible to make a recording for the purpose of educating patients and training medical professionals. And the point of the commercial is education, they're not exploiting a sick kid to sell something. It's a still a horrifying sound, but it's deliberate.
  • There was an ad for Ribena fruit drink where a group of animated sentient berries drink the sugary drink while SMILING. One would think this would be like humans drinking each other's blood. Maybe they're vampire berries?
  • A commercial aired for MLK that started with telling us on his gravestone, he has "Free at last" written. This isn't the problem. They then go on to say that death is the "free man's freedom" (exact words). The scary part comes in when they say they want to spread this freedom to everyone. It is perfectly acceptable to cower in fear.
  • The wall decor in Pita Pit restaurants shows whole chickens and turkeys frolicking with anthropomorphic body parts of butchered animals, including a bacon strip, a ham, and a T-bone steak.
  • In a commercial for genital herpes medication, it was stated that nearly 70% of people with genital herpes got it from their partners when they had no signs or symptoms. The horror comes in when you realize the implication - over 30% of people with genital herpes saw the herpes and didn't care.
  • In a Gatorade commercial, the Oklahoma City Thunder is playing the Miami Heat. Kevin Durant of the Thunder is about to dunk the ball, but then Dwyane Wade of the Heat blocks Durant's shot...only to reveal it is All Just a Dream by Kevin Durant. So Durant decides to step up his game by intensely practicing, so when the Thunder/Heat game actually takes place, Durant is able to successfully dunk the ball despite Dwyane Wade's attempt at blocking it...only to reveal it is All Just a Dream by Dwyane Wade. It seems like a clever twist at first, until you realize that Dwyane Wade is going to step up his game by intensely practicing, where he successfully blocks Kevin Durant's shot, then Kevin Durant will wake up, decides he needs to step up his game...and so on...and so on...
  • The "Crazy Good" animated Pop Tarts commercials which are in the same vein as the aforementioned cannibalistic Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials. We see these poor, unsuspecting treats being tricked in a variety of ways (going on a tour bus to meet a beloved band of theirs, a day at the spa, even one method which was used as a means of escape, etc.) by people who not only want to burn them alive and then consume their corpses. The commercials are usually played during daytime hours on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

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