"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 surpress a Superpowered Evil Side
. See also Other Me Annoys Me
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Anime & Manga
- 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 The Messiah, 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.
: "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.
- 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 Wise Mens' 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, 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
- In the Doctor Who 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.
- Also 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.
- Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 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.
- 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.
- One of Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation'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.
- 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 BIONICLE, an alternate-universe Makuta Teridax who never turned against Mata Nui enters the main universe to confront the Big Bad who is just about on the verge of winning. It's not so much "Evil Me Scares Me" so much as "Evil Me Has To Die".
- Happens repeatedly with several characters in Justice League after the titular heroes encounter their Well-Intentioned Extremist counterparts known as the Justice Lords.
- 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.