"Kill them all... no... no, that's not me... Help me! I'm scared of me..."Maybe Bob saw an alternate timeline in which he was evil. Or maybe he sees an evil goateed twin indulging in his dark fantasies. Or maybe he simply sees a sordid side to his character gaining ground. Or maybe he meets an evil future time traveling version of himself. Or maybe he delivers Extreme Melee Revenge to a villain, but has to be dragged away and only realizes afterward that he kicked him while he was down. Whatever the case, he is horrified. He may attempt to nip a Face–Heel Turn in the bud (this may or may not backfire). Sister trope to Future Me Scares Me (where the future version doesn't necessarily have to be evil). Often a theme of uses of Evil Twin. One way a character may try to suppress a Superpowered Evil Side. See also Other Me Annoys Me.
— Doc, Red vs. Blue
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Trigun: Vash the Stampede seems to feel shades of this, among other things, toward his Evil Twin, the Big Bad of the series. Especially in the manga, where their truly remarkable biology sets them apart more than in the anime and young Vash came a lot closer to going off the deep end, because Knives' Start of Darkness was a lot more justified.
- In Inuyasha, Inuyasha is afraid of his full demon state, mainly because it could threaten the life of his Love Interest and puts humans in danger as well.
- Similarily to the above example, Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach is afraid of his Inner Hollow taking over, as he transforms into an out-of-control but extremely powerful monster.
- Junji Ito has written a series involving an Ordinary High-School Student named Oshikiri who finds out that his house is a portal to an Alternate Universe, and the other Oshikiri has found a way to cross over. The problem is, the other him is a serial killer...
- Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Only three days after her Heel–Face Turn, Ilulu is shown to be genuinely disturbed when reminded of her former Ax-Crazy personality.
- Pre-Crisis Kara was frightened of Satan Girl, a duplicate of hers who was more powerful, evil, ruthless and extremely conniving.
- Post-Crisis Supergirl was split into her normal self and an evil alternate personality when exposed to black Kryptonite. Supergirl was frightened of her dark, violent and murderous self because "Dark Supergirl" claimed she was the real Kara, and Supergirl's kind and well-meaning persona was only an act.
- In the My Little Pony fanfic Rise Of Empress Midnight, Empress Midnight is the alternate version of Twilight Sparkle.
- In the Harry Potter/Torchwood crossover, The Magic of Torchwood, de-aged Jack is frightened by his - admittedly distinctly unnerving- worst possible future self, portrayed by a boggart (it is explained in-universe that boggarts are very intelligent, it's just rare that a fear is strong enough for them to show it and take a sentient form) though Jack being Jack, he considers it to be good company.
- Legend of Zelda: Sacred Reliquary: Ganondorf of all people - the latest reincarnation regained his past lives' memories and regrets everything. An Eldritch Abomination called the Nameless uses it against him by taking the form of Dark Beast Ganon.
- Inner Demons: Twilight Sparkle is horrified when she uncovers a prophecy that seems to foretell her becoming an Ultimate Evil and taking over Equestria. After discovering the prophecy, she's plagued by Bad Dreams about being consumed by her inner darkness, one of which opens with seeing herself proclaim her rule to the terrified citizens of Ponyville. Eventually, however, the darkness consumes her, and she becomes the thing she feared.
- Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Solvernia. Up to chapter 18, she was a Messianic Archetype, then Kamina dies. And the effect of his death on her is so bad that, adding to the depression, she develops an evil Split Personality inside her mind that manifests as a sentient shadow resembling an older version of her as its shape that wouldn't lose any opportunity to get free.
Shadow!Nia:: "Look at it! Look at what you are capable of! Look at how you killed them: the beastmen who dared to oppose you, your so-called friends who held you back, all of them dead at your hand. And you enjoyed every second of it."
- In the Star Trek fanfic Written In The Stars, both the Fem!Kirk of the Alt Reality and the Fem!Kirk of the original timeline take a look at their counterpart from the Alternate Reality of the Mirror Universe. Younger Jane's reaction is this trope.
I don't think I like this other reality...
- In the Star Trek: The Original Series fanfic Insontis, Spock goes into a brief Heroic B.S.O.D. when he realizes that it was his alternate-universe self who mind raped McCoy, horrified by the thought that he could be capable of such things in any reality.
- In Warhammer 40,000 fanfic Return Of The Primarchs, many Primarchs have this reaction. Good-Horus is terrified of what Chaos-Horus did and when Fulgrim faces his daemonic self, he has a Heroic B.S.O.D. which Ferrus must pull him out of.
Film - Live Action
- We see a touch of this at the climax of Return of the Jedi, as Luke stops himself from finishing his Curb-Stomp Battle against Darth Vader.
- At one point in An American Carol, Michael Malone sees an alternate timeline where the South won the American Civil War, and he is a slaveholder who out-Legrees Simon Legree.
- In Silent Hill, Sharon is initially horrified watching her evil side, Dark Alessa, slaughter the church full of cultists with telepathically controlled barbed wire. The director has stated that, when she stops being frightened, this is a sign that her two sides have fused together again.
Film - Animated
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree, Twilight Sparkle's human counterpart fears that her newly awakened magic will lead to her becoming Midnight Sparkle once more.
- Rachel of the Animorphs goes through a process with results practically identical to Kirk in Star Trek's "The Enemy Within" with a split into aggressive and passive personality characteristics, each with their own flaws that get counterbalanced with the other strengths and with the passive side being frightened of the aggressive violent tendencies of the other.
- As the series goes on, Rachel (no longer split) gets more and more worried about her emerging Blood Knight tendencies.
- In the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures, future alternate Fitz, now known as Father Kreiner, scares Fitz. Being a Sad Clown Deadpan Snarker, he pretends not to take him seriously:
I am the real Fitzgerald Michael Kreiner and I claim my five pounds.note
- Commander Vimes in Discworld has The Beast. It's made clear in several of the books that the reason he's so devoted to the rule of law is horror as to what he might do without it.
- Granny Weatherwax is this way too. Nanny Ogg explains that Granny is so good "because she's got Granny Weatherwax staring over her shoulder all the time".
- In How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Charles Yu says that peering into parallel universes, 35 of the other versions of himself (out of 39) were assholes. He mentions that if that many alternate versions of you are jerks, you're probably not hot stuff yourself.
- In The Dresden Files, Bob the Skull's personality is heavily dependant on who has ownership of him at that time. With Harry, he's a sex obsessed, heavily snarky exposition centre. He is therefore terrified of what he was like when he was owned by the (now deceased) Necromancer Heinrich Kemmler, and has no interest in returning to that state of mind. Which is seriously saying something, because Bob barely understands the concept of morality, so when he says someone is bad, they're bad.
“Bob, would you be willing to take on Evil Bob?""I'd... prefer not to. I'd really, really prefer not to. You have no idea. That me was crazy. And buff. He worked out.”
- Harry himself has met his subconscious a few times, and their conversations fit the trope as well. Subconcious!Harry even has a Beard of Evil, though he's less evil than impulsive. Both of them tend to reject Lasciel's attempts to subvert them.
- At one point in The Wise Mans' Fear, Kvothe is poisoned with a substance that lowers his inhibitions (in an attempt to get him to flunk his exams and have too high a tuition to stay at the University). He correctly diagnoses it, runs to the infirmary, and gets himself a moral touchstone - someone whose judgement he trusts, because he doesn't trust himself until the stuff gets through his system. Based on his remarks under the influence, he was completely right; he talks about mundane activities, science, sexual assault, and murder in the same emotionless tone of voice.
- From the New Jedi Order series, Tahiri, though she only heard her Dark Messiah Bad Future self described by her best friend/love interest Anakin Solo after he had a vision of her rather than encountering her herself. Considering that Yuuzhan Vong Shapers had tried to turn her into one of their species (and partially succeeded), Tahiri is right to be afraid of what she might become. Her relationship with her Yuuzhan Vong Enemy Within Riina ultimately subverts this one- Riina's a bloodthirsty Proud Warrior Race Girl, true, but she's also a scared, emotionally-damaged girl who's spent years trapped alone in Tahiri's subconscious. Tahiri eventually learns to empathize with Riina, and ends up pulling a Split-Personality Merge that may have averted the above Bad Future - or might be the first step in its fulfillment. We'll probably never know.
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who:
- In the story "The Ultimate Foe", it turns out that the Valeyard is an embodiment of the Doctor's darkest aspects, from somewhere after his twelfth incarnation, without any of the Doctor's virtue or morals, pure unbridled darkness. The Doctor is not happy.
- In "Amy's Choice" the Dream Lord, the creepy villain of the episode is the collection of the Doctor's darker side. Chillingly, the Doctor figures this out because, in his own words, nobody else hates him that badly (or thoroughly).
- In "The Waters of Mars," the Doctor finally has enough with the universe screwing him over, and declares that the laws of time are his, and they will obey him as he tries to save a doomed crew of astronauts from a terrible fate. The power trip makes him sound like his archnemesis the Master, and he's finally snapped out of it and realizes the horror of what he was becoming when his companion from the episode commits suicide to keep time on the right track. He grapples with the temptation again in the following episode, but overcomes his demons by sacrificing his current life and triggering a regeneration to save the life of a friend instead of saving himself.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Willow Rosenberg. Although the thing that actually horrifies her is more the fact that she seems into her, and "skanky".
- Later episodes seem to have Willow using call-backs to Evil!Willow's mannerisms, particularly when she goes on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- She also feels this way about her own dark side in Season 7.
- This is very much a running theme of the series. Faith is so disgusted with herself after she turned evil she wants to die. Buffy breaks down when she discovers how much like Faith she had become. Giles would very much like to keep the things he did as Ripper buried, thank you. Angel has that curse that makes him feel regret over the things he did. And part of the reason Spike hates Angelus is because of how much of a monster he made him.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: One of Data's earliest encounters with emotion was feeling hatred when fighting the Borg. The fact that this first emotion of his was a negative one and that he apparently enjoyed indulging in the furious killing of an enemy disturbed him. Then we get his Evil Twin Lore turning up who embraces his negative emotions and so personifies them to Data (and is in fact the cause of Data's sudden unleashing of emotion). Data would probably have been scared of him, if fear hadn't been saved for a later episode.
- Star Trek has a decent history of Evil Twins, what with transporter accidents and the Mirror Universe. There's the example of Kirk being a Literal Split Personality with an aggressive, hot headed side and a passive, weak-willed but logical side and the passive side is afraid of the aggressive one. Major Kira Nerys of Deep Space Nine gets a similar deal to Willow in the Buffy example. However, since the Mirror Universe normally involves plots of being swapped with the guy on the other side (presumably to avoid having to deal with one actor being in a single scene) mostly you get the counterparts never meeting and at most Evil You Scares (but sexually intrigues) Me. Or in Deep Space Nine's version, their opposite is usually dead on one side of the mirror or the other. However, Kira interacts a lot with her Evil Counterpart (though not to the extent the evil counterpart would have liked).
- In Two and a Half Men, Alan worries in the episode "The Price of Healthy Gums Is Eternal Vigilance" that he may have unconsciously shoplifted a Silly Putty egg when he was nine, and has spent his life struggling to keep Bad Alan under control. He hasn't considered the alternative (true) explanation that his brother Charlie planted the stolen Silly Putty in his pocket, assuming that goody-goody Alan was less likely to be caught.
- While under the influence of ibogaine in the Nikita episode "Echoes", Alex hallucinates a version of herself that had defeated Division and regained control of her family's company Zetrov. She had become a Machiavellian Corrupt Corporate Executive. She later remarked to Nikita that the possible future scared the hell out of her.
- A variation happened in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. Karone had thought at that point that Astronema was gone forever, but it wasn't quite true. After Leo lost his powers to Magnetox, she remembered a powerful warrior who had a weapon that might restore them... A warrior that Astronema had turned to stone after killing his tribe. Nonetheless, she and Leo went to the site of the battle, where the spirits of the dead forced her to battle a spiritual replica of Astronema to prove the evil within her was truly gone. The spirit of her evil self didn't truly scare her, but it would be wrong to say this was easy; she defeated it, but Leo was almost killed in the process.
- In the DLC chapters of Alan Wake, "The Signal" and "The Writer", Alan is stuck in the Dark Place as a result of the events of the main game, and has been split in two personalities, a rational and self-determined part, whom the player controls, and an insane and self-destructive part, who has gained control over the world and can shape it to his will. The former is at first very disturbed by the latter, but it later turns into disdainful annoyance as the Dark Alan keeps making up more and more absurd and contrived hindrances to slow his progress towards sanity. The story of the DLC is that the Dark Place drives you insane if you don't have something to focus on. At the end of The Signal, Alan manages to re-merge his insane and sane sides, only to almost immediately go insane again and split for The Writer. It's not necessarily that the insane side is self-destructive, it's that the Dark Place is unknowable, and trying to concentrate on it makes you crazy.
- A major reveal in BioShock Infinite is that Booker DeWitt is, in fact, an alternate version of the game's Big Bad, Zachary Comstock. This affects him enough that he chooses to go back in time and kill himself to prevent the horrors of the game from occurring.
- Injustice: Gods Among Us: Superman has to defeat his Evil Twin from an alternate reality. The alternate Superman became evil when The Joker tricked him into killing Lois Lane and his unborn child and destroying Metropolis. Later, Superman admits that he could have turned out the same as his alternate self had he experienced the same loss.
- In the Assassin's Creed III DLC The Tyranny of King Washington, the events of the DLC turn out to be a vision generated by a Piece of Eden to show what would happen if Washington claimed its power for himself. Washington is so horrified by the tyrant he becomes in this alternate timeline that he begs Connor to throw the Piece of Eden into the sea to prevent anyone from ever taking it. Later, Washington is tempted by a voice in his own head suggesting that he become king of the newborn United States of America, but he rejects it.
- Batman: The Telltale Series has Harvey Dent, the persona of Two-Face. Although it is possible to stop the facial scarring that brings Two-Face's iconic look, it is not possible to prevent a Literal Split Personality within Dent: One is his normal self and the other is a cruel, violent man lashing out at the problems he sees in Gotham - including Harvey, who he views as "weak". Good Harvey is terrified of this dark personality, and at one point, begs Bruce not to leave him alone with the voice.
- In Sinfest, Fuchsia has this reaction to her reflection after losing her temper with Seymour. In all likelihood, this was a side of herself she never wanted Criminy to see.
- After getting mindwiped, Lil' E also has this response.
- In El Goonish Shive, Grace stops attacking Damien when she notices her blood stained hand and its resemblance to her memory of Damien's hand after he killed all those people in the lab where she was born. She is startled (and seems to come to the conclusion that if she kills him she will be just like him) and apologizes to him.
- Hannelore from Questionable Content is definitely freaked out by the evil version of her seen in an Imagine Spot in this comic.
- TwoKinds: Trace Legacy is horrified at who he was before his amnesia (mass-murdered 400,000 Keidran and sent 100,000 humans to the slaughterhouse), so he has resolved to stop trying to cure himself before his split personality kills his new girlfriend (and son). Sadly, there appears to be a THIRD split personality that is all magic-crack addict and no Well-Intentioned Extremist that feeds off the naïve amnesic personality.
- Dirk feels "haunted" by alternate versions of himself who seem to inevitably go bad — such as his sinister, manipulative AI clone and his alternate universe adult self who became an Abusive Parent to Dave (this one is also arguably an example of Future Me Scares Me, since Bro represents the person Dirk could grow up to be if he doesn't watch himself).
- Played with by Meenah, when she first hears about all the atrocities her alternate universe self the Condesce performed, her first reaction is happiness so profound that she sinks into a brief coma. Later she learns what the Condesce did to the Psiionic, the alternate universe version of the mentally-handicapped Mituna, and she suddenly finds herself disturbed and horrified.
- Lackadaisy: Calvin is a shy, quiet, kind young man who wants to be a police officer. He also goes a bit doolally when faced with violence. He is terrified of what he does when he slips into this mode, especially since Ax-Crazy mode got him kicked out of the police academy and drove him to violently kill the pig farmers that attacked the Lackadaisy.
- Happens repeatedly with several characters in Justice League after the titular heroes encounter their Well-Intentioned Extremist counterparts known as the Justice Lords.
- A similar thing happened in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths when they meet their completely evil counterparts.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender Aang actually says, "I was scary" when reflecting on the Avatar State. A little different since the Avatar State isn't evil but rather an implacable force of nature.
- Danny Phantom: In "The Ultimate Enemy", Danny's future self, who crossed the Despair Event Horizon after his friends, family, and teacher were killed. After Danny absorbs Vlad Plasmius's ghost half and goes on a ten year long rampage, Danny's present-day self is brought to the future and is horrified at what he's become.
- Family Guy: When Brian accuses Stewie of getting soft, Stewie decides to maximize his evil side. It backfires, kind of: he ends up creating a separate, wholly evil Stewie. He isn't happy once he sees what the clone is capable of.
- In Ben 10, Ben is shown to be scared of his Ghostfreak form several times. This turns out to be completely justified.
- In Teen Titans, this seems to be the case with Plasmus. Actually a symbiote, while his original form is human, he involuntarily transforms into a large purple ooze monster whenever he is awake. Thus, whenever he is in custody, technology is used by the authorities to keep him asleep. And given what he says the first time he appears, he's terrified of what he turns into, and is willing to stay asleep forever if that's what it takes to avoid it.
- In keeping with tradition, Harvey Dent (later Two-Face) in Batman: The Animated Series is horrified at what his vengeful personality does when it has control.
- Turtles Forever: The 1987 series Shredder is scared absolutely shitless of his 2003 counterpart, the Utrom Shredder. Not without reason — the Utrom Shredder is easily the most dangerous and insane incarnation of the Shredder in the history of the franchise — he nearly destroyed all of reality to kill the Turtles, willingly. Only one other incarnation comes even remotely close to his level of menace, and he appeared in the series after this movie.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Celestia meets her ambitious, sister-resenting inner side in a nightmare and does not immediately know how to deal with it.