Horrifying the Horror

Generally speaking, when scary things get scared? Not good.
Xander Harris, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It's one thing to Punch Out Cthulhu. It's something else entirely to scare the living bejesus out of him. This is a trope for when someone — or something — is frightening enough to scare things that would usually be a subject of terror themselves. If someone can scare demons, monsters, and Eldritch Abominations, they're probably a force to be reckoned with.

Played for Laughs in comedies almost as often as it's played straight in horror stories or action-adventure stories. All too likely to happen when a Food Chain of Evil is in effect. See also Break the Badass, for when this happens to more human entities. May overlap with Mook Horror Show for sufficiently monstrous mooks. Compare Even Evil Has Standards for when the horror is morally outraged at what he's seen.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Night Wizard features a Journey to the Center of the Mind, where the Band of Brothers faces off against a Devil-Queen of Nightmares who preys on dreams and devours the minds of the sleepers. Inside the mind of Elis Shiho, the mild-tempered Friend to All Living Things/MacGuffin Girl, she is defeated...but manages to survive and hide out in a weakened state, determined to bide her time as her powers return so she can seek vengeance. While looking for a good place to hide out, she finds a strange, black door in the dreamscape, and goes inside...followed by a Stock Scream, and her running wild-eyed out of there on the verge of a complete breakdown. What could possibly exist in the mind of such a nice girl, that is capable of terrifying a creature that lives off nightmares?
  • Tanaka Punie of Dai Mahou Touge is scary in ways that defy categorization. She activates this trope when she takes on a huge Dark God/Demon-thing... with wrestling-techniques. As soon as it realizes who she is, the huge beast is terrified and flees screaming back to the other realm.
  • The first act of true Badassery in One Piece is when Shanks scares off a giant sea serpent just by looking at it. It's revealed that he actually used his Haki of the Supreme King.
    • Played for comedic effects in Thriller Bark Arc. When Usopp, Nami and Chopper land on Thriller Bark, they're scared shitless by ALL the zombies. The favor is returned to the zombies when the other crew members arrive as well.
    • Admiral Akainu is one of the most powerful characters in the series. He kills Ace and is ready to kill Luffy, not caring if the Whitebeard Pirates are trying to protect him. He is left frozen in terror when Whitebeard himself comes up behind him and beats the daylight out of him. He is also visibly wary when Shanks shows up.
  • Toriko can do this. His intimidation is such that it can quell a herd of angry, monstrous apes.
  • Hellsing: Alucard loves doing this. He really enjoys knocking lesser monsters off their high horses.
    • The Ax-Crazy murderous vampire Rip Van Winkle completely falls apart from fear upon just sensing that Alucard is approaching.
    • Luke shits himself when he realizes just how outclassed his by Alucard.
      Luke Valentine: [a powerful vampire himself] What are you!? WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU!? MONSTER!.
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • Big Bad Cell, a creature that killed thousands of humans, by absorbing their bioextract, and doing the same to cyborgs #17 and #18 achieve his complete form was utterly terrified by the power displayed by Gohan in his Super Saiyan 2 form.
    • Before him, Frieza, The Dreaded of the universe whose power was such that even badasses like Vegeta and King Kai were horrified of, is left shaking in terror and epicly losing composure after fighting Super Saiyan Goku.
  • In Slayers, dragons and many demons are absolutely terrified of Lina Inverse. When she gets a letter from her older sister Luna, Lina freaks out, trying to hide in a pyramid.
  • The World God Only Knows:
    • Nora (an immortal demon) attempts to Mind Rape Keima (a human). After a bit of confusion as to the nature of his brain (it displays a loading screen and a copyright notice), she tears apart his image of his beloved Yokkyun. He gets pissed, and chases Nora around like a maniac, demanding she bring Yokkyun back. Nora runs away screaming at the scary monster.
    • Variant: Shortly after meeting Haqua (another demon), Keima casually deduces a few embarrassing facts, and blackmails her without so much as looking up from his game. Haqua agrees, but is annoyed.
      Haqua: To blackmail a demon...what a human.
      Keima: To be blackmailed by a human...what a demon.
      Haqua: Sh—shut up!
  • Franken Fran: A group of Fran's former patients arrive at her home one night. Over the course of the evening, several of them are hideously maimed, requiring Fran's skills to survive. Then she figures out that they're addicted to surgery, and are maiming themselves to force Fran to operate on them. Fran—who has very little in the way of ethics and extremely skewed morals—is absolutely horrified.
    • Played for Laughs in an earlier chapter, when Fran's staff—a group that looks like the Universal Monsters line-up—recoil in terror at a horror movie Fran's watching.
  • In Paranoia Agent, three suicidal people are very excited to see the dangerous and potentially-eldritch serial assaulter, Lil Slugger, but he panics and runs away as fast as he can. This seems to be because his purpose is to attack those who are cornered, and these three were extremely happy despite being suicidal, and he doesn't know how to handle that. However, it also seems to be foreshadowing that they are already dead, meaning Lil Slugger saw them as ghosts or some other horrifying undead thing.
  • Happens to at least one Shinigami in Death Note: Higuchi horrifies Rem so much through his corruption, perversion, and plan to force Misa to marry him that she sympathizes with Light.

    Comic Books 

  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry says "boo" and dementors flee in terror.
  • Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams features Psyko, an Evil Counterpart to Sleepwalker who terrifies even the other sadists and psychopaths who make up New York's supervillain population. This is because many of them have fallen victim to his mass Mind Rapes at one time or another and were forced to relive their worst nightmares over and over again while Psyko uses their bodies as People Puppets.
  • Time Braid has Sakura of all people pull this off. Orochimaru summons his Kusanagi and stabs Sakura in the heart then promptly freaks out when she ignores it to study the seal he uses to contain his sword.
  • In the Death Note AU The Faceless this happens thanks to Ryuk's boredom. Ryuk takes to telling horror stories that give the little Shinigami nightmares. Stories of a legendary human hero and Godslayer named "Light Yagami". It was just the name of some random human Ryuk once saw but never got around to killing. So now just the name "Light Yagami" strikes fear among the Shinigami and so when a real human shows up with that name, they surrender en masse.
  • In Justice Society of Japan, Mister Nobody completely freaks out when he tries to possess Shirley.
  • In Echoes of the Fallen, Xander uses Magneto's memories to intimidate (or more accurately terrify) Angelus. Later, when Angel returns from Hell, he flees the moment he sees Xander.
  • Xander in Jedi Harris leaves a wraith (which feeds on negative emotions) in utter terror by not feeling any negative emotions at all. It's actually destroyed by him confronting it without feeling fear.
  • In 20XXV, we have Yume Ni who the other kids tend to fear because she was noted to be a bully and she did what she did with a passion, however, she was noted to be terrified of Reimu, when the latter stabs her with pair of scissors.
  • In A Charmed Life the Shinigami Sidoh is utterly terrified by Ryuk's "pet human."
  • In Ned Stark Lives, the Great Other is so terrified of what Jon Snow could do that he hired the Faceless Men to kill him even before he arrived to the Wall.
  • In Wizard Runemaster, Harry Potter became a boogeyman for the Burning Legion after he not only survived their attempted assassinations but also constantly ran suicide missions against them and succeeding, including infiltrating their bases and butchering everyone there.
  • From Maim de Maim, what a twelve-year-old Nui did gave even Ragyou, her mother, the one that created her, pause. To elaborated on what she did, she skinned another girl alive. What she did also horrified herself.
  • Xander and his "tenants" in Hotel California leave the Goa'uld possessing him so terrified that it begs SG1 to get it out of Xander.
  • In Takamachi Nanoha Of 2814, Tsukuyomi breaking into Arkham to spend Christmas with her father the Joker so horrifies the rest of the inmates (Apart from Harley, who had no previous experience with her) that they fall to their knees and start praying... to Batman.
  • Child of the Storm: After their encounter in Paris, it's revealed that Gravemoss is left terrified of Harry Dresden.
  • In It's a Stretch, Xander's plan for taking out the guards at a concentration camp (since they can't change the past), namely blowing the whole place sky high, causes Angelus to quickly reassure Xander that he's an opportunity killer and not a racist.


  • Blade is this to vampires, creating a terrifying path of death as he slays whole legions of vampires. Nyssa actually brings this very fact up in Blade II.
  • In The Hunger Games, Clove is one of the most dreaded and skilled of the Tributes. Although she's a normal human like everyone else, she's an Ax-Crazy Knife Nut who has been raised The Spartan Way to compete in the Hunger Games, and crosses the Moral Event Horizon by gloating about killing Rue. However, even she is visibly terrified of Thresh, desperately screaming and pleading when he grabs her by the throat, enraged at the death of his Morality Pet Rue. Justified by the fact that he then proceeds to kill Clove in a single blow.
  • The extended edition of King Kong (2005) has a sequence that starts with the rescue party being attacked on their makeshift rafts (they're in a swamp) by a pack of cat-sized scorpio-pedes, which abruptly break off the attack and flee moments before the arrival of a piranhadon -- a predatory fish the size of a small whale.
    • In the theatrical cut, Anne is attacked by two lizards the size of tigers and crawls into a log to escape them. As she does, one is pulled offscreen and upwards by something, and the second stares at whatever it was and promptly beats it. Anne, exiting the log, finds a V-Rex standing there staring at her, the remains of the first beast in its mouth.
  • Inglourious Basterds: Pretty much the idea behind assembling the Basterds:
    Aldo: We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are. And they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us. And the German won't not be able to help themselves but to imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives. And the German will be sickened by us, and the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us. And when the German closes their eyes at night and they're tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with. Sound good?
  • The Lord Of The Rings The Fellowship Of The Ring. A swarm of goblins surround the Fellowship, only to scurry off in fear after hearing the roar of a Balrog.
    • Orcs and Goblins in general can be routed by their own shadow. See the example under Literature below.
  • In Serenity, the Operative has a small panic attack when he realizes Mal has lured a fleet of Reavers to his location.
    The Operative: Target the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target everyone! SOMEBODY FIRE!
  • Many of the most hardened convicts aboard Con Air are freaked when the Serial Killer Garland Greene joins them.
  • In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, when the Monster is introduced it takes a close look at Costello's face, only to recoil with a cry of fear. Dracula reassures him.
    "Don't worry. I won't let him hurt you!"

  • In The Light Fantastic, Rincewind (the ultimate coward) ends up fighting a creature from the Dungeon Dimensions (where everything H.P. Lovecraft ever thought of lived), while it possesses a man that may be the most powerful wizard on the Disc at that moment in time. He fights it using nothing but his hands, feet, elbows, knees and teeth. In the end, the author points out that this is the first time anything has ever run away from Rincewind instead of the other way around. He not only beat up Cthulhu, he actually scared away Cthulhu with a fist-fight.
  • This comes up at the end of I Am Legend following The Reveal that not all of the vampires are mindless, bloodthirsty monsters. The vampire-hunting protagonist realizes that, to the vampires, he has become a terrifying figure, a myth of godlike proportions. Basically, he's become a legendary monster that vampires tell each other ghost-stories about.
  • In H.P. Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, servants of Nyarlathotep, including (and especially) the monstrous Shantak birds are absolutely terrified of Nightgaunts, because they serve Nodens, Nyarlathotep's (im)mortal enemy and the only being who really poses any kind of threat to him in the Dreamlands.
  • The basilisk in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets scares ten-foot-long talking spiders to death.
  • The Dresden Files: Ghouls and vampires have been known to run away screaming at the sight of Harry Dresden.
    • Early in Changes Harry comes face-to-face with a Red Court vampire. Keep in mind, a Red Court vampire can disembowel a half dozen mortal combatants in a matter of seconds, and this one in particular is one of the Court's best assassins. On seeing Harry, it shrieks in terror and bolts through a wall in the process of running for its life. Of course, over the course of the war, Harry has garnered himself a bit of a reputation.
    • As for the ghouls, one of them managed to get hold of two young Warden trainees that were being taught fire magic. After killing the one that abducted them by lighting its body fat on fire and dropping it down a mineshaft, Harry blasted a captured ghoul into a hole he created, buried it up to the neck (melting the sand into glass as he did so) and laid a trail of orange juice to a nest of fire ants. He only put it out of its misery after he realised the other trainees were staring at him in horror. The only surviving ghoul was left to take a message to its kind. Never again. Note that this incident occurred while Harry had the shadow of a Fallen Angel secretly living in his head and whispering to his subconscious in an attempt to make him more evil. He had a very major My God, What Have I Done? moment when he actually realized what was happening. He was still happy to take advantage of the reputation it earned him.
    • Perhaps topping his list of achievements in this category is the fact that Nicodemus, a couple thousand year old agent of evil who has bonded his soul with an honest to God fallen angel is actively terrified of Harry, seeing as Harry is apparently the only person who has come even remotely close to actually killing him...on two occasions no less.
      • Not Harry himself, but one of his closest companions, Mouse the Foo dog, deserves special mention: in Skin Game, his arrival actually scares the living bejeebers out of Anduriel, the Fallen angel that's attached to Nicodemus. Anduriel was one of Lucifer's generals before being coin-bound for being The Starscream.
    • Several readers have noted that a certain Black Court vampire mage has not been seen or heard from since Harry gave her a brief rundown of all the things he could do to make her unlife Hell, should she try to target his friends ever again.
  • In Anthony Reynolds's Warhammer 40,000 novel Dark Apostle, a Chaos Space Marine is out-weirded-out by the architecture of the Necron tomb.
  • In Black Legion, another group of Chaos Astartes, this time accompanied by a daemon and a Dark Eldar, is horrified at the sight of Fabious' experiments, especially his attempts at cloning the Primarchs.
  • At the end of Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East trilogy, the demon-prince Orcus, mightiest of all demons and founder of the eponymous empire realizes just what Ardneh is, and what Ardneh's plan is, he flees screaming. Of course, by that point, it was much too late.
  • The Children in Galaxy of Fear, a group of somewhat sympathetic cannibals, are terrified of a creature they call the Imp. It's Yoda. They're willing to follow our heroes after giant knobby white spiders, but not where they think they've seen the Imp.
  • Say the name of John Taylor anywhere in the Nightside, and most of the things that go bump in the night will fall over each other trying to get on the next train to Swindon.
  • In Strata, the explorers end up capturing a demon, which proves itself to be rather uncooperative. Marco, a particularly unbalanced member of a species that's already Ax-Crazy by default, gets fed up with it. "You said you can read minds? Then read mine." The demon does so...and spends the rest of its time with the group absolutely horrified of the alien.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire.
    • Rorge is a serial killer and his companion Biter is a cannibal. What scares them? Their cellmate, the Faceless Man Jaqen H'gar.
    • The witch known as The Ghost of High Heart is freaked whenever she sees Arya Stark.
    • Evil Sorcerer Melisandre is frightened of the lackwit jester Patchface.
    • Roose Bolton, head of the most ruthless noble family in The North, is wary about the cannibalistic inhabitants of Skagos Island.
    • The Ironborn aren't too keen about the Crannogmen. Heck, Roose Bolton is more than a bit warier than usual going anywhere near the Neck, as well.
    • Even Gregor Clegane's men know better than to even think about going against the Hound: they'd much rather leave that to the boss... with a major sigh of relief.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: Goblins and Orcs of all stripes are very easily panicked and dismayed. They can certainly be bold if they think they're in a position of advantage or are attacking something weaker than themselves, but if the tables are turned or they don't have the Will of their master (either Morgoth or Sauron) behind them, they can and will collapse and rout at the drop of a hat (for example, when the Ring went into the fire at the end of Return of the King, only the Men under Sauron's control continued to fight. The Orcs broke and ran). Boromir's horn alone was enough to hold off the Uruk-hai sent by Saruman to claim the Ring for a few moments, and they only regained their courage when they realized no help was coming. When Théoden later sounded Helm's Horn during the siege of the Hornburg, the Orcs threw themselves on the ground and stopped their ears, and only the Men of Dunland put up any sort of resistance. The very sight of an Elven blade such as Sting or Glamdring is enough to terrify armies of Orcs, and very few Orcs were willing to stand against Andúril.
    • Sauron himself was so terrified of the armies of Valinor led by Eonwe that he outright surrendered when they laid siege to Angband.
    • Morgoth was also sent running in terror by Tulkas
  • Unique has werewolves terrified by vampires, vampires who recoil in horror from the light of the Magi, and all three of them feel a need to change their underwear in the presence of the Veiðimaðr. And ALL of them have a good reason to fear The Men in Black...
  • In Act II of The First Dwarf King the first indication that Father Kiyoshi is a force to be reckoned with is his first encounter with the Osthan. To be specific, his very presence is enough to put them on edge. He then proceeds to slice their assault rifles in half, single-handedly hold all three of them off in a Sword Fight, then'' summons a katana out of thin air — which he then uses to slice the hand off of one Osthan. All three of them flee before him. For the record, the Osthan are Made of Indestructium Hero Killers who have been known to take on entire armies and win.
  • In The Belgariad by David Eddings, Hettar qualifies for the entire Murgo race, possibly even more so than even Belgarath himself.
    • Speaking of whom, Belgarath more than qualifies for Angarak as a whole.
      • To be fair, the general Angarak populace isn’t really all that bad on the whole, but the military and especially the clergy? Yeah, they definitely qualify as horrors to be horrified by those two and a few others in the cast.
    • The sight of Errand is enough to send a Demon Lord fleeing in abject terror at one point.
    • Urvon is briefly snapped out of being Brainwashed and Crazy when Beldin puts in an appearance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Teacher's Pet". A vampire is scared off when trying to attack a seemingly harmless substitute teacher. She turns out to be a giant shape-shifting praying mantis.
    • Later on, Glory scared a few vamps away by basically existing at them. This was before we found out she was a god.
    • Slayers, and Buffy in particular, are this by their very nature.
    • Glory's backstory reveals that when she was in her home dimension, she grew so powerful that the other two Hellgods who ruled alongside her trembled before her might.
    • Happens to Anya too, when Xander casually mentions that the mayor's planning an Ascension. Her reaction? She leaves town. Though not before conveying dire warnings about how as someone who has seen some pretty horrible things, most of which she caused, she also was a personal witness to a previous Ascension - so she knows what she's talking about.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Girl in the Fireplace", when asked what monsters have nightmares about, the Doctor responds, "Me."
    • He has a similar line when he's trying to reassure young Elliot in "The Hungry Earth":
      Elliot: Have you met monsters before?
      The Doctor: Yeah.
      Elliot: Are you scared of them?
      The Doctor: Nah. They're scared of me.
    • This has become one of the Doctor's specialties. After untold centuries of defending the universe against the Daleks, the Cybermen, creatures too varied to count and too disturbing to name, he is the most feared creature in the Cosmos. A race of supremacist, immensely powerful, intelligent living war machines, murderers of untold billions upon billions of beings, with no other emotion left to them but hate, refer to him as "The Oncoming Storm".
    • By the beginning of season 7, the Daleks have added an even more revealing name for the Doctor: The Predator of the Daleks.
      Rose: 5 million Cybermen? No problem. One Doctor? Now you're scared.
    • And then The Doctor himself becomes horrified at the end of the episode Dark Water after learning who Missy really is. It's enough to send him running and shouting at everyone in a vain attempt to warn everyone one of his most dangerous enemies has returned.
      Missy: Missy. It's short for Mistress. Well, I couldn't well keep calling myself The Master now, could I?
  • In the Angel episode "I've Got You Under My Skin", an ancient Ethros demon possesses a boy hoping to corrupt and steal his soul, only to realize too late that the boy had no soul. Instead, there was a dark void that trapped the demon inside the boy. All of the creepy antics during the episode were the demon's attempts to escape by getting its host killed, even if that escape meant death for himself as well. When the demon is finally freed of the boy and Angel is about to kill him, it calmly accepts death and warns Angel about the boy's true nature.
    Ethros Demon: Do you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? Nothing. That's what I found in the boy. No conscience, no fear, no humanity. Just a black void. [...] I just sat there and watched as he destroyed everything around him. Not from a belief in evil, not for any reason at all. That boy's mind was the blackest hell I've ever known. [...] I know you bring death. I do not fear it. All I have ever feared is in that house.
    • The next scene shows said boy about to burn down the house starting in his sister's room because she had more marshmallows in her cocoa.
    • Angel's son Connor is this to the demons of Quor'Toth, "darkest of the dark realms". They refer to him as "The Destroyer" and will break into other universes to escape from him.
  • In a Halloween episode of Two and a Half Men, the brothers are terrorized by a witch who appears to have real cursing-type powers. Charlie has just capitulated to her demands that he become basically a slave to her coven, after she threatened to make his manhood "a shriveled husk." Then their mother shows up, and the uber-badass witch recognizes her and is so terrified of her that she flees in a panic.
  • In an episode of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, Ryuuji pushes his powers to the point where he loses control. Before he's done, the Monster of the Week is begging for mercy before he basically lifts it onto his sword, impaling it like a meatball on a toothpick. Then he turns toward the other Rangers...
  • The idea of Grimms is that they traditionally hunt down the creatures on which the monsters of our bedtime stories are based, so all but the most dangerous of said creatures are naturally terrified of them. Played with slightly in that the second, (counting his aunt) Grimm we meet is a pretty nice guy who treats these Wesen like he would anyone else, but they still react to him like he's a serial killer because his ancestors lived up to that reputation.
    • Interestingly, the fact that Nick is a cop tends to calm down some of them, since they rightly assume that there'd be questions if suspects and witnesses suddenly went missing or were found dead, all connected to cases of the same detective. Adalind, whom Nick is forced to protect as a witness at one point, points out that if he kills her, it won't be a Grimm killing a Hexenbiest, but a cop killing a witness.
  • Reavers have this effect on everyone in the Firefly 'verse.
  • Supernatural:
  • In the Walking with Dinosaurs episode "Cruel Sea", a birthing Ophthalmosaurus is surrounded by sharks... which are then scared off by a Liopleurodon.

  • Played for laughs in the "Dream Warriors" music video attached to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. The only thing that scares Freddy Krueger is the band Dokken.
    Freddy: What a nightmare...who were those guys?!
  • At the end of Leslie Fish's Filk Song "Banned from Argo", a gang of Klingons land on Argo, see the havoc wreaked by the crew of the USS Enterprise, and turn and run away. Years after the original song was written, a Firefly variant was made, with the Serenity crew scaring off Reavers.
  • The Disturbed song "Fear" is written from the perspective of the victim...so now it's the criminal that is experiencing fear:
    Reject, are you no one?
    Feel you nothing?
    You know I'll bet you think
    You have a good reason to be living
    In the limelight of the fortunate ones
    You're too weakened by the poison
    That they feed you in the living lie
    They don't believe you:
    Call to no one
    Trust in nothing,
    Little impotent one

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Deadlands universe, the Undead are animated by evil spirits called Manitou. However, the uber-undead Stone is such an evil son of a bitch, that his resident manitou is afraid of him.
  • The Aboleths of Dungeons & Dragons are aquatic Eldritch Abominations so unfathomably old that they ruled the world in its primordial youth, before the current crop of races (and even deities) existed. And this is why the Mind Flayers scare them - even though the Aboleths have perfect Genetic Memory that stretches back to a time before creation, as far as they can tell the Illithids just showed up a few thousand years ago. There's a simple explanation for this.
  • In Warhammer, the Skaven are deathly afraid of Nagash, the very first Necromancer and most powerful sorcerer who has ever lived (and unlived). To put it in perspective, the Skaven Under-Empire is a massive underground civilization that stretches across the known world with a population of over a billion, with access to Magitek war machines and Fantastic Nukes.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Although they're loath to admit it, followers of Chaos are all at least a little unnerved by the Necrons. Because they have no souls, only badly degraded digital copies of the personalities of long dead aliens, they're immune to most Chaos powers, and any sorcerer trying to read their minds only sees an empty void. They also have a similar problem with the Tyranids, only in reverse - the Tyranid Hive Mind is so overwhelmingly powerful and, more importantly so utterly alien, that it tends to disrupt the energies of the Warp that give Chaos sorcerers and daemons their power. Often fatally.
    • As for the Tyranids, one alarming theory is that they aren't so much invading our galaxy as they are fleeing from something.
    • The Chaos God Malal is the omnicidal, suicidal embodiment of Chaos' self-defeating tendencies, and wants to destroy everything, including Chaos and itself. The main four Chaos Gods and their followers refuse to associate with him.
    • The Dark Eldar are fey pirates and slavers who strike from the shadows and drag their victims off to their inter-dimensional city, to be raped and/or tortured to death in order to sustain the Dark Eldar's life force. Eldar Harlequins are allowed to come and go from this nightmare city as they please, because they Dark Eldar are fully aware of the consequences if they tried to stop them.
    • The Night Lords Chaos Marines, specialists in terror tactics on a planetary scale, are freaked by the Eldar Phoenix Lord Jain Zar who moves so fast even the Marines' super senses can't pick her up.
  • Even powerful elder vampires in Vampire: The Requiem know to lay low and band together when the Strix are in town. Not only are they responsible for wiping out an entire bloodline, whenever they gather in a city, serious carnage is about to ensue.
    • On a smaller scale, any vampire that receives the message "Who is Cain?" had better run as fast as they can. It means the Cainite Heresy is coming for them: fanatical vampire hunters who willingly sacrifice their own (and innocents) to make the kill.
  • Prometheans are revived corpses gifted with an internal magic power that keeps them alive but also repulses everyone else. The environment around them starts to decay and die the longer they stay in one place. And they are scared of the Zeka, a rare line of Prometheans powered by nuclear fire.
    • Example: Most of the Created are trying to reach their "New Dawn" to be reborn as real humans. No Zeka has completed the journey yet, and there's a rumor that if one ever does, the result won't be a human—it'll be a nuclear explosion.

    Video Games 
  • In the end of MOTHER, the protagonists use Maria's lullaby to defeat Gyiyg, an alien Eldritch Abomination whose very presence has thus far thrown the world into chaos. As the song grows nearer to completion with each iteration, Gyiyg is reduced to screaming incoherently for the protagonists to stop.
  • In Star Control 2, the Ur-Quan are a race of slavers who want to control or lock away every other sapient race (Kzer-Za) and outright omnicidal maniacs (Kohr-Ah). If you meet one with the right item in your inventory, it gives the following speech:
    We sense...something...something ancient...a sickly smell...a chilling wind. My ancestors scream from within their chambers in my mind...but I cannot understand their words. This feeling...a memory? It sickens us, and for the first time in our lives...for the first time in generations...we fear.
    • To clarify, said inventory item is a Dnyarri, one of the psychic aliens who enslaved the Ur-Quan in ages past. As a whole, the entire race was so evil that the Chmmr claims that if there was ever a devil, it was the Dnyarri.
  • Alex Mercer of [PROTOTYPE] may be a shapeshifting man-eating Humanoid Abomination and the stuff of New York's nightmares, but even he is shocked and disturbed by the sight of Elizabeth Greene's gigantic One-Winged Angel form, composed entirely of human flesh, crashing upward through the middle of Times Square and killing everything in sight.
    • Let's not forget The Reveal. The one responsible for the outbreak was the original Alex Mercer. The current Alex Mercer was an amalgamation of The Virus, the original Mercer in his death throes, and lots of other victims. After learning the reason why the original Mercer did what he did (out of spite), apparently The Virus was disgusted.
  • The Malkavian from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is scared witless by the Cabbie and deeply disturbed by Mr. Ox. Exactly what these two characters are is unknown, but they've managed to unnerve a vampire otherwise able to laugh off just about everything else the game throws at you, and probably are nothing good.
    • The end of the game strongly hints that the Cabbie is actually Cain, aka the original vampire.
  • In the single player campaign for Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, Eliphas the Inheritor of the Word Bearers Chaos Legion recoils in genuine horror when he tries to read the soul of the Necron Lord.
  • Alma, the Anti-Villain from First Encounter Assault Recon inspires terror in anyone who sees her, but even she runs away from The Creep in F.E.A.R 3.
  • Played for Laughs example with this scene in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
  • By the Leviathan DLC for Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard is the only thing the Reapers can really be said to fear. Bear in mind that the Reapers are a billion-year-old unstoppable force of hundreds or thousands of Eldritch Abominations that can, in many cases, throw down with entire fleets by themselves or in small numbers. And even though they're winning, they are afraid of you, although this generally manifests as them dropping all other efforts in order to attempt to laser you to death.
  • Early in Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal the PCs stumble upon a vampire ring. Vampires, for most of the base game, have been tough opponents. However, at this point in the saga, the party is supposed to be so beefed up, they do what they can to avoid the PCs. They still face the party, though.
  • In Monster Hunter, this is pretty much Deviljho's biggest noteworthy feature. Other monsters of comparable size and menace actually run from this thing, not because of its appearance, but because of its bottomless appetite.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has The King trying to push Yuuya over the Despair Event Horizon by reminding him of Yuuya's greatest failure, in the hopes that Yuuya will agree to have his soul absorbed to forget the pain. Yuuya stands stalwart; he accepts what he's done, knows he can't change it, and wants to remember in order to go forwards. He's found meaning in the pain. The King retreats in a hurry.
  • In Persona 3 once your party is leveled enough and you decide to return to earlier floors, you'll find out that Shadows there, which you might have experienced quite some trouble fighting before, are terrified of you. They flee, squeaking, at the sight of your party. It makes them kind of cute even.
  • Dragons in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are winged beasts of death and fire whose very speech is volatile magic and who cannot truly die like mortals can. As such, concepts such as "mortal", "temporary", and "finite" are quite alien to them. Then the Dovahkiin—the protagonist, who can absorb and consume a dragon's soul, thus destroying them forever—shows up. The first dragon you fight (not the one at the beginning) will actually cry out in terror when he's about to die and realizes what Eldritch Abomination has arrived to end his existence: "Dovahkiin? Niid!" For bonus points: the theme that sometimes play when a dragon attacks is called "The One They Fear". No guesses who "they" are in this context.
  • In the world of The Witcher, Geralt is this to the various things that go bump in the night. It's best encapsulated in the song used in the trailer "A Night to Remember" for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It's essentially an Ironic Nursery Tune sung by monstrous parents to their children about the big bad Witcher.
    Wolves all asleep amidst the trees
    Bats all a-swaying in the breeze
    But one soul lies anxious, wide awake
    fearing all manner of ghouls, hags and wraiths.
    Birds all silent for the night
    Cows turned in as daylight dies
    But one soul lies anxious, wide awake
    For the Witcher, brave and bold
    Paid in coin of gold
    He'll chop... and slice you
    cut... and dice you
    Eat you up whole
    Eat you whole

    Web Comics 
  • User Friendly has strips about Cthulhu being scared/bothered/worried/amazed about mundane things such as the RIAA's tactics, finance and accounting, etc.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Mort's duties involve getting people frightened. But this girl is really scary. And this one is just that sneaky.
    • And then there's Zimmy, who even freaks out Reynardine, a body-snatching demon, enough that he won't voluntarily touch anything that belongs to her.
      • And Zimmy is herself freaked out by Kat. This is what Kat looks like to her.
  • In Homestuck, the Lovecraftian Horrorterrors turn out to be terrified of something that's killing them, and their horrifying communications are pleas for help.
    • The Horrorterrors themselves terrify the trolls, a culture of violent psychopath Proud Warrior Race Guys, to the point of sleeplessness.
  • Malory from Head Trip is plain Ax-Crazy whenever any deserving target is in sight. However, Twilight scares her reliably.
  • Girl Genius:
    • The Other, the genocidal entity that wiped out major parts of Europe and created Mad Science monstrosities of every stripe, is afraid of the mere mention of the name Barry Heterodyne.
    • The Jägergenerals, massive Lightning Bruisers, are absolutely terrified of the Dreen.
    • Apparently, at some point in the past, Old Heterodynes meddled with time itself, but while doing this they discovered something that terrified even them, the worst Spark overlords that the whole continent trembled before. They turned their back on all the power they could possibly gain because of this.
  • Amazing Super Powers in the Ghosts Of Christmas episode.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy frequently scares off demons and the like with her terrifying aura.
  • Bugs Bunny
    • In the short "Hair-Raising Hare", Bugs tells the monster who's been pursuing him that he's being watched by the audience. The monster says "People!", screams, and turns and runs through a series of walls.
    • Bugs pulls this again in "Herr and Hare" when he surrenders himself to "Fatso" Goering and is presented to Adolf Hitler. Both of them are freaked out by Bugs dressed up as Josef Stalin.
    • One short has a shivering great white shark jump out of the water and cling to a pole for dear life at the sight of the Tasmanian devil.
  • In the episode "Ultimate Deadpool" of Ultimate Spiderman there is only one person that the dreaded Taskmaster is afraid of: the merc with a mouth himself, Deadpool.
  • The Classic Disney Short Lonesome Ghosts: Ghosts call Mickey, Donald and Goofy (who are ghost exterminators) and spend the rest of the cartoon scaring them. Then the three fall in the basement and end up covered in molasses and flour. The ghosts take one look at them, scream "Ghosts!" and run away.
  • On the Reboot episode "Wizards, Warriors and a Word From Our Sponsor", Mike The TV defeats the evil Bob clone by showing him The Commercial Channel—"All Commercials, All The Time—An Eternity of Useless Products To Rot Your Skeevy Little Mind Forever!" The Evil Bob screams in terror and runs away frantically.
  • In the Wacky Races episode "Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist", Dastardly lures the other racers into a Ghost Town, where he plans to scare them by dressing as a Bedsheet Ghost. It turns out that the town really is haunted, and its resident ghosts send several of the racers running away screaming. It might have gone on working, if they hadn't tried to scare the Gruesome Twosome and their dragon.
  • Monster Clown Zombozo from Ben 10's first series. Ben shows him what's underneath Ghostfreak's cowl, and he explodes.
  • Wakfu pretty much has a Benny Hill Show sketch of this trope where the girls are being chased by some monster, only for that monster and the girls to be fleeing from another bigger monster, and so on for about five different monsters.
  • Ickis from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters has a record of scaring other monsters. And one grizzly bear. Being able to grow to tremendous size certainly helps.
    • The Gromble was terrified of a human he called the Sewer Eater (a plumber) when the man was cleaning toilets.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, the Joker is not afraid of the Dark Knight, but he would never ever dare cross the IRS.
    • He also screams for Batman when Charlie Collins, whom he spent most of the episode terrorizing, threatens to blow them both up with a bomb and calls the man crazy. Granted, that's because Charlie guessed (correctly) that the Joker would hate dying "next to some miserable little nobody." And then there's the Creeper, whom the Joker calls a lunatic and begs for help from Batman.
  • Heloise from Jimmy Two-Shoes has terrified Lucius on a few occasions.
  • The Angry Beavers: Evidently, sapient evil rivers are just as scared of heights as normal people are, as Norbert and Daggett exploit in "A Dam Too Far".
  • Spongebob Squarepants: The Flying Dutchman runs away terrified at the end of the Halloween special when Spongebob reveals his enhanced Halloween costume.

    Real Life 
  • The main reason for the existence of gargoyles on churches is that they are so terrifying, they frighten off demons and evil spirits.
  • Sharks are known to migrate and stay out of waters they have spotted Orcas roaming in.
  • Honey badgers have been known to chase lions and leopards away from their kills.
    • In cold climates, it's wolverines that stand off bears or whole packs of wolves to retain possession of a scavenged carcass.