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Nightmare Fuel: Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z isn't the Darker and Edgier version of Dragon Ball for nothing. It has some of the vilest villains in anime, and that's not even getting into the traumatic past of Trunks, the excessive violence or even some traits of the good guys. This may be a series where Death Is Cheap, but that doesn't diminish how scary it can get.

For Nightmare Fuel in the original series, go here, and for the Abriged Series, go here.
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     The Series 

Violence

  • Most of the Family Unfriendly Deaths/Cruel And Unusual Deaths in general, while not as bad as these kinds, are pretty uncomforting, such as the picture above, of Dr.Gero killing an ordinary human just because he bothered him.
  • The unusual amount of focus given to Android 18 shattering Vegeta's arm with a single kick. Never mind that broken limbs are often Real Life Nightmare Fuel in and of themselves. It was the fact that Trunks and everyone up on the hill realizes how screwed Vegeta is right on impact. Or the scream Vegeta lets out right as his arm goes limp. By this point, Vegeta's pretty much established himself as a guy that can not only take a pounding, but talk crap the entire way. To hear Vegeta scream out in pain to that degree is hair-raising (no pun intended) because it's something Vegeta just doesn't do.
    • For the lulz, 18 dislocates Vegeta's other arm a few minutes later.
  • This creepy, pedophile-like look that Vegeta gave to Gohan back on Namek.
    • Doesn't help that he hits Gohan in the most painful way possible soon after, then makes the threat that one he's done, he plans to destroy Earth.
    • Just... this...

Saiyans

  • The reveal that Goku was actually an alien is quite the shocker at the time, but what's really horrifying is how strong Raditz, Goku's older brother is. He has no problem dealing with both him and Piccolo. Goku was knowing what it was like for the first time to feel utterly hopeless.
  • Nappa. For those used to how he is in the abridged series, you'll be in a return of shock when you realize that he is every bit as sadistic and serious as Vegeta in canon. None of the scenes that were played for laughs in the abridged series are done so here. (Beware the Silly Ones, though.)
    • How about when he tore Tien's left arm off CLEAN? The scream thrown in great pain was more than adequate.
    • It goes From Bad to Worse when Chiaotsu tries to do a suicide bombing on him and it not only fails, it doesn't even scratch the brute!
    • There's some scary foreshadowing in-universe for the Piccolo, Krillin, and Gohan when they see Nappa being terrified when Vegeta yells at him for attempting to disobey. Piccolo came to the correct conclusion that the one tearing them was actually the weaker one.
  • Vegeta himself, for that matter. When he becomes Oozaru to stomp Goku, he does a damn good job of it. Made worse that unlike Goku and Gohan when they became Oozaru, he retained his conscious, amplifying the already scary transformation.
    • Him squeezing Goku with his bare hands in cold blood is especially terrifying.
  • In a filler episode, the human z-fighters are sent in a special room to prepare for the saiyans. While there, they are all defeated with little to no effort. But what really made it scary was how Kami confirmed that they did well considering how strong saiyans are known to be, and that Vegeta and Nappa are far stronger than the illusion saiyans that the human z-fighters had to take on.

Frieza

  • Word of God says that Frieza was inspired by Akira Toriyama's worst nightmares. And no wonder, considering many of its transformations and actions in the series. And for a bonus, Frieza is voiced by Ryusei Nakao, who voiced Mayuri Kurotsuchi.
    Frieza: *After blasting a (at most) ten-year-old child into a smoldering corpse* "I promised you, didn't I? To show you a nightmare beyond the horrors of Hell? But it seems the little one won't be joining us. Such a shame, don't you think? When you see him in the next world I suppose you'll have to tell him what he missed."
    • Another example is when he impales Krillin on his horn, and bucks him up and down as blood spatters around.
    Frieza: Stay with it. Yee-haw! That's it buck-a-roo. Ride 'em cowboy!
    • To add to it, he was not created to be evil like Cell and Majin Buu. He commits xenocide regularly because it is simply cheaper than buying the planet before he sells it off to someone else. It's all a real estate scam!
    • And of course, the line in the Z dub after he kills Krillin, Freeza tells a joke which should be so bad it's funny but it goes right past that and makes Freeza seem as evil as possible.
      • Get to the uncensored version, and you see Krillin's chest expand right before he explodes. OH MY GOD...
    Frieza: Pop goes the weasel.
    • And of course there's the sheer power Frieza wields. The Saiyans and the Ginyu Force were all intimidatingly strong, but Frieza is this close to being a horribly evil Physical God. When Goku shows up to fight Nappa or the Ginyu Force, we know everything will be okay, but after he shows up to fight Frieza, and seems to be winning for a while, Frieza states that if he uses half of his full power, he can finish Goku. Okay, this is all trash talk we've heard before, but then Goku realizes, with a look of genuine fear, that Frieza isn't bluffing. The alien tyrant then gives him a savage No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, stopping only to say:
    Frieza: "Never mind half max power; I'm not even using one third of it."
    • Goku tries to turn things around with the Kaioken x 10, greater than anything we've seen before... and it doesn't even slow Frieza down. That's the moment where the viewer realizes just how bad things are for the heroes. And after that, he does a Kaioken x 20, smacks Frieza around a little, and then fires a Kamehameha at fairly close range. Then the smoke clears, and Frieza's injuries amount to nothing more than a second-degree burn on his palm. It's at that point that Goku realizes that Frieza isn't bluffing about being at half power.
      • Also keep in mind that pretty much every opponent after Frieza was either augmented or artificially developed, either by science or magic. Until his defeat by Goku, he was the strongest person in creation.
    • Vegeta, who was absolutely terrified of Frieza's previous forms decides he has to put himself near-death and get Dende to heal him just to even stand up to the bastard. Vegeta becomes so confident of his new power that the convinces himself he's reached Super Saiyan-status, but his confidence quickly evaporates even he realises that the power boost still wasn't enough and that Frieza had been toying with him throughout the fight. Even his Desperation Attack was casually deflected by Frieza. The realisation that 1) he's not a Super Saiyan and 2) He will be mercilessly killed by his former master actually makes the proud Vegeta shed tears and resign himself to his fate. That's how terrifying Frieza was.
    Frieza: Are you done? Then I'll reciprocate...gently.
    • Cue Frieza torturing Vegeta in the most horrific manner possible. And those damn screams of pain Vegeta lets out as he's getting tortured.
    • Moments before he actually decides to smack around Vegeta during their fight in the anime, and just before the latter's Desperation Attack: Frieza makes it a point to demonstrate how he outclasses Vegeta, when the latter goes ballistic, and starts firing a cluster of huge Ki Attacks at him. Frieza simply dodges them before they detonate, and at one point, moved so fast he appeared in front of Piccolo, Gohan and Krillin watching on the sidelines, and deviously smirked at them. He only did it out of pure intimidation and amusement, and the fact Vegeta's attacks were covering the air with smoke, and darkening the sky made the whole thing creepier. Needless to say, Piccolo was scared shitless, and either out of the risk of being blown to bits by Vegeta or whatever Frieza he thought had in store, quickly grabbed Gohan and Krillin and high-tailed it way out of the expanding battlefield.
    • There's also the fact that Frieza's forms were specifically designed to look like monsters from the author's own childhood nightmares. Frieza's 4th form is pretty freaky when he first transforms into it, mostly because of how his chalk-white skin combined with it being his most humanoid form makes him look ghostly. Of course, it doesn't hurt that his first order of business is to blast Dende.
    • The scene when Frieza appears shortly after the Dragon Balls become useless:
      Frieza: "It'll be quick. You needn't worry... death is my specialty."
    • Frieza floating in space with a chunk of his face, an arm, and his lower half missing is pretty disturbing. Surprisingly, the Nicktoons broadcast of Dragon Ball Kai only edits this for blood, and nothing else.
      • An in universe example is when Frieza's being healed. Look at the faces of the medics; you can't tell if they're concerned for Frieza or terrified wondering what the hell did that to him. All they know is that someone took on Frieza at full power and their boss got cut in half.
    • His actions, by themselves, are very disturbing. His attitude, however? When he's not angry at you, He's rather polite.
    • After being ineffectually beaten up by Gohan, he gets up, very effectively beats up Gohan, and then begins to slowly crush his skull. Judging by Gohan's screams of agony, it's excruciatingly painful, and Frieza is laughing. Gohan is 5.
      • Even worse, while this is going on, Goku is in a healing tank. Since he can sense ki, he is fully aware that not only is his son in horrible agony, but that his energy is rapidly dwindling and he will die if something isn't done fast. His son is being tortured to death, and Goku is absolutely helpless to stop it.
      • Speaking of Gohan, in the anime, Gohan has a dream about Goku finally returning home. However, when Gohan follows Goku outside, the dream turns into a nightmare when Goku morphs into Frieza and mocks Gohan about Goku's supposed death. The Nightmare Fuel part? This shows that Frieza's sadistic assault on Gohan left him traumatized.
  • The unique attack Freeza used to kill Krillin. It involves shooting a benign (at first glance) energy ball about the size of a pinprick into an enemy's chest cavity and then expanding it whilst still inside them. Never mind the implications of your body being invaded by anything against your will, but consider that Freeza's energy was probably burning away at his insides. And you can see Krillin's chest heave unnaturally right before he explodes. At least some of Freeza's other victims got a much quicker death... some of them.
    • On that note, anyone who was unfortunate enough to be on a planet at the moment of its explosion.
  • At the time of being the most ultimate powerful figure within the entire DBZ Universe Frieza proved that he can go beyond his ability in power. During the epic showdown between Goku, Frieza wanted to up the ante by going 100% Full Power. Just like the previous transformation sequences it is brutal, cold and downright terrifying transformation sequence. His muscles enlarge to giant proportions, veins throbbing wildly and uncontrollably and his screams into his ascended state made things even worse for Goku for awhile. The whole scenario shows just how much he's willing to go to take down Goku and flee Namek which at that point was a ticking time bomb ready to explode at any given minute.

Goku Super Saiyan

  • Goku's first Super Saiyan transformation, in the original Japanese version. Other versions have scored the scene to look like something dramatic and awesome is happening, but in the original version, the music gives the impression that not only is there no clue as to what the hell Goku turned into, but no indication that it's something good, shocking even Frieza. Imagine what the kids who first saw this scene, to see their hero Goku go through that...
    • Also remember that the color gold can symbolize perfection. While this means Goku had achieved an ultimate form, it also meant he's the perfect Saiyan warrior. The first thing he does is order Gohan to leave, meaning he's on the verge of being overwhelmed by bloodlust and can't trust himself with his son.
  • And for anyone who thinks a Super Saiyajin is cool/beautiful and not terrifying; THIS ghastly apparition is what you would be seeing if you met one for real. No wonder Freeza was quaking in terror...

Cell

  • Cell, Doctor Gero's greatest creation. He wants to eat you and all your friends. Slowly. Through a large, natural syringe. Even if you're strong enough to rip that natural syringe clean off to try to control the damage, it'll just grow back. There's no way to stop him - machine guns, tanks, and entire armies only serve to annoy him... or amuse him. And after he eats you, he wants to destroy all traces of everything you know and love, but only after sending all the survivors into absolute soul-crushing despair. The icing on the cake is that one of the world's most brilliant scientific minds saw fit to create this thing.
    • Though to be fair, it's very likely Doctor Gero simply had no idea what kind of a personality his creation would develop. Had he known that the ultimate being would inherit the personality of the most sadistic warlord in the universe, combined with the ambitions and love for combat of an entire warrior race, things may have turned out differently.
    • Cell's battle aura in his Imperfect Form is made of the souls of the people he absorbed. And they're crying out in pain.
    • If you think the way he absorbs normal people is bad, wait till you see how he absorbs Androids 17 and 18. His stinger opens up into a funnel and he sucks them in whole like a snake. Watch as the bulge in his tail that was once Android 17 gets smaller and smaller as he advances towards Cell's torso until completely disappearing... You have the pleasure of watching from Android 17's PoV as Cell's tail slowly opens and descends. You actually see the throat of his tail. On top of that, what Cell says as he does this:
      Cell: All that you fail to understand will now be made clear to you. Hahahahaha!! Welcome home!!!
    • Cell's absorption of Android 18 is even worse. 17's reaction to the final attack was a look of shock and then a bit of swearing, and Cell swallowed him pretty quickly. With 18, there's something perversely sexual about it. It takes a long time to swallow her, and it's not a smooth process either; there's lots of creepy sucking motions, accompanied by 18's frightened cries, not to mention that when the tail first sweeps down over her, she screams.
      • Something similar happens when Cell confronts 16, 17, and 18. Cell looks at 18 in a way that seems almost covetous and says one of the creepiest lines ever:
      Imperfect Cell: Ahhh. You too, my little peach. I'm going to gobble you up!!
    • Another thing that's really disturbing is how after Cell absorbs Android 17, he imitates his voice in order to try to convince Android 18 to be willingly absorbed. The worst thing is that for a split second she seriously looks like she's considering doing that, until Cell makes the mistake of using 17's voice to call Dr. Gero 'great'. (Or refer to him as Dr. Gero-sama, depending on which version of the show you watch.)
    • Cell's overall design is creepy, especially compared to Frieza and Buu because of how different it is to the rest of the cast. He/It was a lizard/insect hybrid with Hellish Pupils and was generally menacing. And when he absorbed 17, Nightmare Retardant aside, it's surreal seeing a monster like that getting an expressive, humanlike face. Thankfully, the effect dissappears when he reaches perfection.
    • When Cell absorbs Piccolo's arm. Fortunately, Piccolo can simply rip off that husk that was once his arm and grow a new one, but imagine if Cell did that to someone who does not have regenerative powers...
    • The scenes of clothing littered all over the ground from hundreds if not thousands of people from Nicky Town is pretty chilling, Cell absorbed each and everyone of them, sparing no one, not even children. To him, they are all just a part of his endless buffet. And The Z Warriors can do nothing to stop him.
    • During one of his rampages he's at a carnival and a young couple is fleeing from him in a house of mirrors. Imagine running for your lives from a creature who's appearing and cackling in all the mirrors, not having any clue where he could be, the last shot is his tail piercing through the mirrors and impaling the couple as they scream in terror.
    • The absolute worst part is that, when Goku steps down and states that someone else is going to fight Cell, (In the Kai Dub on Nicktoons) Vegeta looks on in horror and shock and says that "None of us have the slightest chance of beating him (Cell)!" Cell is so powerful, cocky Badass Vegeta is afraid. Holy Shit.
      • Keep in mind that this is the second time Vegeta has acknowledged that an opponent was capable of beating him, the first being Broly. He NEVER does that, to the point that in all previous fights he has either won or been incapacitated in some manner.
    • Cell's transformations as well. Unlike Frieza, where he at least retains some traits of his previous forms, Cell's head crest and some other minor traits is about the only thing to remain consistent throughout his transformations. But he still physically transforms into his new forms, meaning we get to see his body twist and contort itself into his new form. It's even worse when he finally becomes his Perfect Form, as after the Body Horror part, an energy cocoon forms around him and his sheer power sends shockwaves throughout the world. Trunks tries to interrupt the transformation, but as he's trying to pierce the coccoon, he, and the audience, are treated to an absolutely horrifying shadowed Cell midway between forms, emitting an inhuman screech. The scary part is given how much changed between his first and second forms, there's the feeling of mystery at just what he's turning into now.
  • When Cell comes across Piccolo and a random man in the street, who begs Piccolo to take his money. Cell stabs him with his tail, and it starts... moving, like it's drinking, and the man is petrified. The man's entire body STARTS TO MELT; his face eventually caves in, and his body is sucked up until there is nothing left but his clothes.
    • Piccolo who was usually stoic is too petrified by fear to do anything but watch in horror!
      • The other thing that made it all the more scary was that even Piccolo was both scared and disgusted at how emotionless Cell was in killing a random civilian.
  • His Announcement of The Cell Games, Cell goes to a local tv station and interrupts all broadcasts by going through the floor much to the shock and horror of those there and watching it. When he reaches the top floor he announces himself as Cell and that he was the one responsible for the deaths and terrorizing all the towns and cities as The Big Monster of Nicky Town and reverts to his Imperfect Voice. He then announces The Cell Games to all who's watching and states that if is not defeated he will destroy all life. To cap this off he then blows a hole through the building destroying a mountain in the nearby distance before flying off.

Super Saiyan 2 Gohan

  • When Son Gohan achieves the Messianic powers of a Super Saiyan 2, he turns from a sensitive and kind-hearted little boy into a cold blooded and sadistic murderer that would make Frieza or Broly proud. Watching the once kind-hearted boy coldly sneer "Kill him now? Hmph, not yet Dad. He deserves to suffer much longer!!" is really uncommon in his personality. This is the same Cell that is fueled on the lives of thousands, if not millions of people and laughed with glee as he absorbed the two teenagers his creator turned into cyborgs as they screamed for their lives. He also stated he loves seeing the twisted faces of terror in people, and said to Goku that if it wasn't for the tournament he created, he'd wipe out the earth in one shot without batting an eye. Cell even called him "a monster". When Goku called out to Gohan that he should end the fight since Cell, while cornered could become more unpredictable than before, Gohan's response was to glare at him and give his most sadistic smirk he's ever shown, before giving the line that he'd like to carry on what was effectively torture. That kid was clearly Not Himself.
    • The part of the battle most people remember is this one, but one has to watch the entire fight to really get the full impression. The contrast between Gohan before he ascends and afterwards is startlingly dramatic.
    • Gohan is right about Cell deserving it, though, considering that Cell DRANK 600,000 innocent people and intended to kill everyone on Earth just to see the terror on their faces before they die.
      • That may be the case, but the fact that Gohan beats the crap in Cell in uncontrollable rage is somewhat disturbing. But the sheer freakishness of it goes Up to Eleven when you consider this- this Super-Powered Evil Side has been lurking in him since he was 4 years old.
      • However, it is quite reasonable to sympathize with Gohan, even in Super Saiyan 2. He has lived through traumatic experiences since he was 4 years old, so it is logical to assume that sooner or later would explode with anger. Remember the Nappa's fight? Namek's battle? And how he saw Namekians being killed by the Frieza's army since he was 5 years old? and bullied by Vegeta in the end of the Namek saga?
  • The look into Trunks's nightmarish future, coupled with "Mind, Power, KI" gives an idea of how bleak things are under the Androids reign. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewzi45xuuzU

Buu - All Forms

  • Even though he only appeared in one episode, Evil Buu (gray) arguably is pretty freaking scary given his depressing, morbid appearance. Any child who sees this haunting stare [1] would most likely crap their pants. Let's see. Soulless white eyes within black sclera which originated the Black Eyes of Crazy trope? Check. Gray, melancholy color compared to bright, jubilant pink? Check. Sickly, anorexic body? Check. Even when anorexic Buu is pink [2], that unnerving smile isn't exactly doing anyone's conscious any favors.
    • How he was extremely deathly stoic in his fight with Good Buu, and then when he eats him, it results in an utterly crazed laugh with completely wide eyes and smile as he turns into Super Buu. Talk about Not So Stoic
  • During Super Buu's fight with Vegeto, he forces himself into the fused Saiyan's mouth and tries to destroy him from the inside. Vegeto's powerful enough to resist it, but Buu is able to remain inside his body. The following few minutes are outright disturbing as we see random parts of Vegeto's body swelling to ridiculously grotesque size as he attempts to beat Super Buu back out.
  • Super Buu. While Fat Buu was more like an innocent child that didn't know how not to break stuff, Super Buu was, along with Kid Buu, the most deranged. He has this trademark pose where he's standing straight up, but his long neck is tilted to one side and he's got a Cheshire Cat grin about two sizes too big for his face.
    • His actions in this form don't help. As mentioned before, the other forms just liked Stuff Blowing Up. His methods of killing/torturing are extremely sadistic, yes, even worse than Frieza, Cell, or Broly. That include turning one into a food of choice and eating them (keeping them fully conscious the whole time), shrinking someone and then stepping on them, and liquefying himself and force-feeding his own body down another's throat, then expanding inside them until they burst. Once Buu makes this, Mr. Satan is completely horrified.
  • Kid Buu was frightening as well. Yeah, he looks smaller, and maybe not as intimidating, but his first act in this form is to attempt to blow up the Earth, seemingly out of pure spite. When that is blocked, he prepares a blast ten times larger that they can't block. Goku begs him to not go through with it, that "There will be nothing! Nothing left at all!" Buu's response is a giggle and one of the most seriously evil smiles of all time, then he destroys the planet. That's when it was clear: this Buu had nothing resembling reason, unlike his previous forms. He had no ambitions to prove himself or to be the strongest, no need for anything to entertain him. He was simply going to kill... and kill... and kill... until nothing was left. For no reason.
    • Kid Buu then travels to the after-life and Yamcha, in complete horror, makes light of the fact that IF enough energy is used, someone could KILL someone who was already dead. He then goes on to say that doing so would cause them to cease to exist and not even Dragon Balls can bring them back. Kid Buu was strong enough to do just that. This means that, if he were more sadistic, he could subsequently torture you for all eternity and you wouldn't die unless he destroyed your soul!
    • He's the only villain that's completely incapable of being reasoned with. Frieza and Cell may be inhuman in nature and power, but you can still reason with them. Even Super Buu could be distracted for a good fight. That won't work with Kid Buu. He has no pride to manipulate, no ambitions or understandable emotions to get a rise out of, and nothing you can bargain with. It just wants to destroy everything, pure and simple. And there's nothing you can do to stop it.
    • Kid Buu's very body language is chilling in how utterly lacking in restraint it is. And then there's his scream. Psychotic doesn't even begin to describe it. It's... primal.
  • Even Fat Buu gets one. After deciding he's gonna eat Dabura, he starts dancing towards him in an innocent, yet menacing fashion while chanting "Me eat you up, me eat you up, me eat you up". Dabura tries to put up resistance, pummeling him, blasting him, spitting petrifying saliva at him, but no matter what he does, Buu continues to dance towards him until the Demon King is finally consumed.

Others

  • Doctor Gero, the mastermind behind the Red Ribbon Army, definitely deserves mention. His methods for creating Androids 17 and 18 involved kidnapping teenage siblings and wiping them of their memories. And that's not the worst he does either. It is implied the reason he created Cell, if he had any idea what kind of sadism his creation would obtain, was to enact revenge against humanity for his Red Ribbon Army's destruction. The worst part is that like General Tao, he's human and not created to be evil like Buu or an alien like Frieza so he's perfectly aware of the suffering he's causing people and he loves every minute of it.
  • Garlic Jr's fate.
  • Major league Adult Fear territory: Everything that happens to Gohan through the Saiyan saga - especially if you're Chi-Chi. First kidnapped by a stranger, then rescued only to be kidnapped again by someone Chi-Chi would have known for a fact was Goku's mortal enemy. He then disappears for an entire year, only to return just in time for him to be thrown into a fight with two more guys that are even worse. Chi-Chi gets mocked on occasion for her coddling ways, but after a year like that, who could blame her for being a bit rattled?

Babidi

Trunks Past

  • "In The History of Trunks," when Future Gohan dies. It was horrifying to see him get hit by those beams, while he's screaming in agony, and he's laying on the ground helpless!
  • Gohan's death in Trunks' future. (Already mentioned; deserves a second mention) But not only the death, but the fact that he had already lost his arm. You begin to realize how hopeless the situation was, even though it seemed Gohan was holding his own. When Trunks faced his own beatdown at the hands of the Androids, for some reason, they made the incredibly intelligent decision to use the creepiest Gregorian-chant BGM as a backdrop. Nightmare Fuel much???

Oozaaru

  • Any transformation in the Great Ape/Oozaru by Goku or Gohan. Not only do they have an appearance of a monster, but whenever a Saiyan turns into one, unless they're an elite, they lose all senses of themselves.
  • But an Oozaru with conscious thought— ala Vegeta— sounds even more terrifying. This means that they know exactly what they're going to do, and you're the helpless grunt about to have your bones ground to dust- at best.
    • Well, at least with a conscious thought, you'd be able to know when to stop destroying when the jobs done. With an out of control Oozaru form, you just kill and kill.... and you don't stop until the transformations over, and you have no memory of what happened...
    • When Goku gets his ribcage crushed by Oozaru Vegeta in the Saiyan Saga. He'd already weakened his body to the point where a light slap from Yajirobe made him wince, so when you think about how much this had to hurt it's amazing that he was able to contribute to the fight at all.

Spopovich

  • Early in the Buu saga, we see the fight between Videl and Spopovich. Long story short, this entire episode, if you remove the fantasy elements, is a wrestler pounding a young girl in a tournament, and absolutely no one is coming to help her!!. There's a shot of Spopovich stepping on her head, and all Videl can do is cry out in pain!! She's lucky Gohan defied his father and flew in to save her, which, really, brings up a whole 'nother issue! Even Goku is really disgusted with this guy (Spopovich), and went on his way to mutter "I don't like him" and "there's something wrong with that guy" more than once. Still, he didn't actually intervene, but it was more of a matter of time: if Gohan didn't do it first, Goku would have.
    • Even if you keep the fantasy elements in, for not one, but two solid episodes, the fight between Videl and Spopovitch is pretty horrific. Videl, struggling to even make him rect to her attacks, delivers a kick that spins his entire head around. After a scene in which everyone thinks she did kill him, HE GETS BACK UP, NEARLY PULLS HIS HEAD OFF, AND SETS IT BACK INTO PLACE! From there, he gets his revenge. Her screams are horrifying. Both episodes are considered as nightmarefuel in universe by spectators and the narrator.
    • Then we find out that Spopovich lost easily to Hercule in the last tournament, bringing out the Fridge Horror of what was able to make him at least ten times stronger and teach him to fly and use energy attacks. And then Vegeta falls under Babidi's influence.

Van Zant

  • Van Zant, the bandit who shot Buu's dog and later Mr. Satan. In his first scene he kills an elderly couple and revels about how awesome it feels to kill someone. Then we see him shooting people at random in a nearby town. It all leads up to Van Zant shooting Buu's dog and Mr. Satan and this triggers the release of Buu's evil side, making everything what Buu does afterwards his fault. All this for no reason other than the sheer thrill of killing people. Even worse is that at the time Buu had reformed and posed no threat to anyone. What's worse is that he uses Buu's destruction spree as an excuse, reasoning that everyone will be killed eventually, and even going so far as to pretend that Buu killed his victims. And just why he does all of this? He's reckoned that with Buu flying around basically laying waste to the planet, he's probably going to die soon, and he decided it'd be fun to try to take as many people with him as possible. That's his entire motivation. The most terrifying thing about him is that he is a completely normal human being with no superpowers. Put emphasis on completely, since he is just a simple human with no superpowers or martial arts training. All other human villains were leaders of evil organization (Commander Red), or were mercenaries and later cyborgs (Tao Pai Pai), but he is just an average human. All other Complete monsters in the series are intergalactic warlords, androids or other supernatural creatures and use ki- blasts and other superpowers for evil, Van Zant uses normal guns to accomplish bad things. It is terrifying to see that a regular human, who uses normal guns to accomplish bad deeds, can be just as bad as intergalactic alien warlords or insane androids.
    • And, partially related to this is how Zant and his crony Smitty die. Zant's death is standard fare for DBZ (vaporized by a point-blank Ki Blast from Skinny Evil Buu), but Smitty suffers what may be the most horrifyingly brutal death of the entire series note  And, in a series where the main characters routinely get holes blown through them, lose limbs, and get bones snapped, that's saying a LOT.
    • This doesn't mention the look that Majin Buu gives him just as he's starting to explode. This may be one of four times in the entire series that we see Fat Majin Buu with his eyes wide open.
    • Someone had to mention how Mr. Satan reacts to the whole thing. Mr. Satan is absolutely furious at Van Zant and attacks him. Mr. Satan, the same guy who acted all fearless in Cell Games and felt more awkward than scared when he first met Buu, became pissed off and Took a Level in Badass That's saying a lot.
    • Although he used it as an excuse, this only goes to show you how lowly the people of Earth feel about themselves in the face of Buu, that they no longer hold any respect for life. Considering that we historically love killing off whole peoples and races just because of assumed, fantastic threats, imagine what the humans in Z must've considered doing to those people they baselessly felt responsible for Buu's existence. Buu suddenly gets a lot more dangerous, indirectly, through this terrible act. And this whole saga occurred within the span of only 48 hours. If that.

Piccolo

  • This may be more Nausea Fuel than Nightmare Fuel, but Piccolo being forced to basically reassemble himself after Trunks knocks him over as a statue. Presuming that Piccolo was not conscious for his time as a statue and only regained consciousness when the attack wore off (i.e. when Buu killed Dabura), imagine if your first conscious realization after being turned to stone is, "Oh Crap. I'm in pieces." And then there was the effort involved. It's already a known fact that, yes, while Piccolo can regenerate limbs, it's not an easy process. And he had to regenerate several portions of his body.
    • Trunks, at the time less than 10 years old, freaked out as soon as he saw the others coming back to life, remembering that he had broken the statue. He looked over the ridge where Piccolo had been standing and visibly blanched. What kind of visceral, meaty horror he saw can only be imagined, and at such an age.
    • It also helps to remember that this is a show that is all too pleased to show you the gore of battle...yet it did not let you see what Trunks was seeing. Instead, all you saw was young Trunks looking as if he's about to throw up at the ghastly sight, before informing Goten and Krillin that "you don't wanna go up there, guys." Take Our Word for It indeed...
    Films/Specials 

The Tree Of Might

  • Word of God stated that Turles is essentially what Goku would be if he never landed on his head, wiping his memory.
  • When he plants the Tree of Might. It turns the planet to a desolate wasteland. Also, whoever eats from this fruit obtains immense power.
  • When Turles forces Gohan's eyes open to see the moon, going Oozaru.

Slug

  • Slug when growing into a Super Namek.

Broly

  • Broly's screams when going Legendary Super Saiyan. He sounds like a baby crying interspersed with maniacal laughter.
    • At the last part of the transformation, if you watch closely, it looks like Broly's power tore his skin open before resetting into the finished product.
  • That`s not even close to the scariest part of him. Frieza, Cell, Bojack, Buu... every villian in that series when being fought has taken hits and bled. They always... ALWAYS get a beating here and there. Broly doesn`t get hurt... in fact he only took one hit that affected him in any way and that`s at the end of each movie. He can take everything that you can throw at him and not notice. On top of that, he`s insane. You can`t bargain with him or surrender. You can`t scare him, you can`t team up on him and all he wants to do is kill you... as slowly and painfully as he can. And unlike the other villains, he`s not doing it because you`re in his way or for profit... it`s because he loves it. He`ll hunt you down and go after your children if he has to... or wants to...
  • Legendary Super Saiyan Broly. One of the things he's most noted for is his Empty Eyes. This gives him a demonic appearance, on top of the fact that he grows nearly twice as tall as his original self, is bulkier than the Ultra Super Saiyan 2nd state, and destroys a slave race's planet just to see them cry about it. But all you need to realize that he's a bad mofo is to watch one of the many scenes in the first movie where there's a close-up onto his eyes.
    • The most chilling in Broly is the fact that in this state is completely irrational and insane, yes, on par with Kid Buu. Gohan in Super Saiyan 2 is nothing compared to Broly. In this state, the reason will not, and he will not stop beating and torturing his opponent until he's dead, of course, with his maniac laughter, is Nightmare Fuel at best.
      • This goes even further in that, for most of the series, the use of 'empty eyes' signifies that a character is either enraged or releasing stupidly high amounts of energy. In this case, it's very clearly both.

Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans

  • In Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, Frieza, Turles, Cooler and Slug come back as ghosts. After they are defeated, Hatchiyack absorbs their spirits, which is apparently very painful. We are then treated to a sequence of each villain's ghost being trapped inside of a ball and writhing in agony.
    • Its stated and mentioned by Goku that Hatchiyack is either the same power level as Broly or a bit beyond it. It doesn't help and adds fuel to the fire that he reemerges as an android hellbent on slaughtering Goku and his friends.

Battle of the Gods

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