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I'm Your Worst Nightmare
Thunderstorm: Who are you?
Calvin: Who are we? Your worst nightmare.

A common way for a character to announce him/herself in an intimidating manner. It doesn't matter whether he's a good guy or a bad guy, as long as the character is Badass enough to live up to this claim. That is, unless people are spoofing this line (often by the second character describing his actual worst nightmare).

It can also be used as a Characterization Trope. In that the person using this stockphrase is a Geek of sorts, based on the fact that he uses Cliches to present himself.

Compare Prepare to Die.

Not to be confused with Your Worst Nightmare (which is about actual nightmares).

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 

    Comics 
  • Batman often uses this phrase when a criminal asks what he is.
  • The Sandman's Merv Pumpkinhead: "Lady, I'm your worst nightmare. A pumpkin with a gun." Justified, as Merv is a literal nightmare.
    • Which is based on the infamous subplot from Steve Gerber's run on The Defenders: "I'm your worst nightmare. An elf with a gun!"
  • Used as a joke in a Frank and Ernest strip where Ernest is being chased by a giant sausage that says: "I'm your WURST nightmare!"
  • Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) to a group of alien invaders in JLA: "I'm your worst nightmare. A Manga nut with a power ring!"
  • Grushko from Global Frequency introduces himself:
    "Did you ever have a nightmare about a large man who killed your parents, and your siblings, and then your lover, and then everyone you know? And then burned down your house and destroyed everything precious you've ever conceived of? That was me."

    Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • Occurs in Rambo III.
  • UHF spoofs the Rambo films, including this line.
  • Parodied in Loaded Weapon 1:
    Mr. Jigsaw: I'm your worst nightmare.
    Mr. Jigsaw: Okay, alright, so I'm not actually your worst nightmare. But I am right up there.
  • This is said in Mulan by Mushu. Depending on who you ask, this is either a Batman reference, or it refers to 48 Hours, where Eddie Murphy actually says the quote, making it a self-reference.
  • Cop and a Half: "I'm your worst nightmare. An eight year old with a badge."
  • 48 Hours:
    Eddie Murphy, in a redneck bar: "I'm your worst nightmare... a nigger with a badge."
  • Spoofed in Canadian Bacon: The main characters use the line on a Canadian, only for the character to whom they say the line to describe their actual worst nightmare.
  • Look Who's Talking Too:
    Mikey: Who are you?
    Julie: I'm your worst nightmare!
  • The Santa Clause:
    E.L.F.S. Leader: We're your worst nightmare. Elves with attitude.
  • In Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, Kimberly does this for the Rangers.
    Kimberly: Power Rangers, this is Divatox. Divatox, this is your worst nightmare.
  • In The Lorax, O'Hare warns Ted that if the boy doesn't stop trying to find out about trees, he'll become his worst nightmare. Which, in his view, is Frankenstein's head on a spider's body.
  • Raising Arizona: Glenn turns up after getting punched out by H.I, sporting a black eye and a neck brace, and proceeds to blackmail him. He triumphantly states that he's H.I.'s worst nightmare, apparently ignorant of how ridiculous he looks, then ungracefully spits on the sidewalk.
  • Hilariously used by Gary Busey in the 80's cheeseball flick Bulletproof:
    Bad Guy: What the fuck is this?!

    Literature 
  • Discworld:
    • Spoofed in Hogfather. Teatime uses this line on a guard, but his would-be victim wants to know which nightmare that would be. When it's clarified that he means, "The one where the man appears out of nowhere and kills you stone dead", the guard relaxes and points out that that nightmare isn't particularly scary. Then Teatime kills him stone dead.
    • Guards! Guards! has: "Someone out there was going to find out that their worst nightmare was a maddened Librarian. With a badge."
    • In Snuff, Vimes makes Stinky the goblin a Special Constable, and Stinky responds to Vimes' quip that someone's worst nightmare is "a goblin with a badge" with "Stinky donít need no badges, fellow po-leess-maan! Stinky worst nightmare all by himself!"
  • Sidorio from Vampirates describes himself as the sort of thing your worst nightmares "wake up screaming about."

    Live Action TV 
  • Uttered verbatim by Riker while showing off his poker skills in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • The Titanium Ranger's introduction in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue
    Rita: Oh no, not you again!
    Tommy: Afraid so, Rita.
    Kimberly: We're like, you're worst nightmare.
  • Used for comical effect in an episode of Herman's Head where Louise (Yeardley Smith, better known as the voice of Lisa Simpson) says it to a tyrannical boss two heads taller than her.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Teenage Caveman" the bots have a squirrel say this to the title character when he has rather more trouble catching than he should.
  • Tales from the Crypt: One story has a woman tangling with three CIA agents. She has killed two of them (not bad for a housewife) and faces the last agent, woman to woman. The housewife tells the agent, "I'm your worst nightmare. I'm a woman with balls!" The agents acts dismissive about it. The housewife ends up revealing that s/he's the male rogue CIA agent they're looking for. S/he easily kills off the agent! She clearly wasn't kidding when she said that!
  • Burn Notice: Simon is called a "walking nightmare" by several characters as well as the on-screen character designation captions.
  • In the miniseries Stephen King's IT, Pennywise says to the Losers' Club, "I'm every nightmare you've ever had! I'm your worst dream come true! I'm everything you ever were afraid of!"
  • In the L.A. Law episode "Spanky and the Art Gang," Gwen Taylor finally meets the woman who's been stalking her:
    Gwen: Who are you?
    Woman: Bad dream. Your worst nightmare.

    Music 
  • Emilie Autumn's "Gothic Lolita":
    "I am your sugar, I am your cream, I am your anti-American dream
    "I am your sugar, I am your cream, I am your worst nightmare, now scream!"

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Parodied on SF Debris where the evil Mirror Universe Star Fleet captains are arguing. Kirk says this line, leading Picard to shock him by asking if he's going to be raped by a giant spider. Picard is then severely underwhelmed by Kirk's actual intention of shooting him, pointing out that he has to worry about that all the time, and that you might as well say slipping in the shower is his worst nightmare.
    Picard: Oh no, it's Jim! And he's slightly miffed.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Batman replies with this when a terrified criminal asks "Who are you?!" in episode 5, ''Pretty Poison.''
  • From Justice League, "Only A Dream":
    Doctor Destiny: I'm your worst nightmare.
    Batman: You have no idea what my nightmares are like.
    • The exact same sequence occurs between Payback and Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond.
  • The Transformers in the episode "War Dawn" when Optimus Prime is built from the wrecked body of Orion Pax, he steps onto the battlefield and quotes "You've caused enough destruction for one day, Megatron!" Megatron retorts with "I haven't even started!" then takes aim and blasts Prime - only for it to glance off. He then says in a panic "You! Who are you?!" Optimus responds with "Your worst nightmare!" and promptly inflicts a Curb-Stomp Battle on Megatron's drones. Doubles as a CMOA for Optimus
  • The Penguins of Madagascar, "Can't Touch This":
    Randy: Is somebody there?
    Skipper: Yes, somebody's here. Your worst nightmare!
    Randy: A flying coyote with eye laser beams?
    Skipper: Huh? No! Four angry penguins.
    Randy: Phew! Cause if coyotes ever develop flight and eye laser technology, it's game over, you know?
  • Used to comedic effect on King of the Hill. Conspiracy nut Dale Gribble, who has a virtually encyclopedic knowledge of the ins and outs of government bureacracy, intimidates a worker at the Department of Motor Vehicles into providing better service by naming all of the worker's superiors in ascending order, then threatening to call them, using this exact line:
    I am your worst nightmare! I have a three-line phone and absolutely nothing at all to do with my time!"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Said by Cad Bane to C-3PO in the episode "Evil Plans".


Implied Death ThreatThreatening TropesIneffectual Death Threats
'I Am Great!" SongThese Tropes Love To BragKnew It All Along
I'm Your Biggest FanStock PhrasesI'm Okay

alternative title(s): I Am Your Worst Nightmare
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