Nightmare Fuel / Samurai Jack

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If you can watch the whole series without one squeak of terror, then you have more gumption than Jack himself. Some episodes were entirely built around Nightmare Fuel; even the episodes not revolving around horror have scenes that are traumatic.

The frequent robot carnage that the censors let pass in every episode occasionally goes way beyond the borders of "not too bad"; once you reach dismembered robots impaled on spikes, things have gotten bad.

Season 5 raises the horror to new levels; now that the show has moved to [adult swim], it gets to have a little more freedom with its violence, leading to some very dark and disturbing scenes that are guaranteed to leave you sleeping with both eyes open.
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    Season 1 
The Beginning
  • Aku's assault on young Jack's home city in the very beginning. He shows up looking bored, the garrison attacks him, and finally he smiles entertained as he wipes them out with the very arrows they shot at him, and then he starts attacking half-seriously.

The Samurai Called Jack
  • Aku punishes a young alien for openly disrespecting him by shooting Eye Beams, seemingly disintegrating him. The grieving father is then told by Aku that the boy was teleported to the Pit of Hate, where he would eventually learn to respect Aku.
  • Jack witnesses the aftermath of the talking dogs' persecution by Aku; he sees silhouettes of crucified dogs, and it's implied that they are dead. Aku has been committing so many atrocities like this since Jack's original time period to the present day, to many races throughout many planets. For thousands of years.

The First Fight
  • An angry Jack is a terrifying Jack. He becomes a raging, screaming warrior amidst all of the injuries and the beatings he takes from Aku's Beetle Drones, as he is practically covered in oil. Even the Drones look terrified of him, before he promptly slaughters them all.
    • Even worse, there's this long hold on his face. And he's covered in oil, his entire head and eyes. And his head just sloooowly turns to stare at the Drones in complete silence. It's downright spooky and ominous as all get out.

Jack and the Lava Monster
  • Jack is traveling through the scorched countryside that was once the Lava Monster's home, implied to be in Scandinavia. It's bleak, cold, and littered with ash and corpses. On top of that, there's an ominous voice constantly beckoning Jack to follow it.
    "Come... Come...!"
  • As Jack comes closer and closer to reaching the end of an increasingly lethal series of traps placed by a cursed warrior, you see dozens of skeletons strewn about his labyrinth of death, all killed in brutally horrific fashion when they each made a lethal mistake on the way in.
  • After Jack breaks the curse on the warrior, he returns to human form; but the entire time he was locked away in that demonic prison, he was separated and left untouched from the natural flow of time. He rapidly ages into a frail old man in an instant and dies. Fortunately, he's carried off to the afterlife paradise of Valhalla to live in eternal bliss.

Aku's Fairy Tales
  • Even one of the most hilarious episodes where Aku is involved merely paints him horrific in a different light. He rounds up kids from within the capital city, with no reason given to them or their parents. The room they're led to is large, red, and spiky as always, but has monitors of adorable, yet... off animals, which eventually switch off. The camera focuses on a large red throne in the room. And Aku just appears. No fanfare, no flashy effects, no booming monologue. He's just there. This is how he starts reading propaganda stories to children. It's just fortunate that Aku really sucks at brainwashing.
    • Imagine if you were a child forced to go into that arena; the moment Aku appeared, you'd piss yourself in terror.
  • One of his stories shows an Evil Jack inside the Three Bears' home, hung over. Bleary, blood-shot eyes are never a pretty sight.

    Season 2 
Jack Tales
  • Jack encounters a seemingly-human family who turn out to be metal-eating robots. The robots, in a fit of hunger, rip each other to shreds, and the insides of the robots look just graphically enough like human flesh to creep you out.

Jack and the Ultra-Robots

Jack vs. Demongo, the Soul Collector

    Season 3 
Chicken Jack
  • The creatures that the chickenized Jack battles in the animal-fighting arena ranged from downright creepy to outrageously grotesque. And this was a lighter episode!
    • Jack previously showed a real distaste for being forced to fight for entertainment, back in the Dome of Doom. Here in a cockfighting pit that's decidedly less guarded, he makes all of one attempt to escape; then just applies himself to fighting opponents, and moping when the man who caught him won't feed him. Combined with how the episode stops showing POV shots where he speaks, even if his words are just chicken sounds to onlookers, it seems like The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, and he became just a clever rooster.

Jack and the Zombies
  • Some of those zombies were just plain freaky, like the long-armed zombie, and the one that steals Jack's sword. And when he falls into the crypt... that wail.
  • The look on Jack's face when Aku starts to use his own sword against him. Sure, Jack is still able to fight back, but a good chunk of that fight is Jack trying to run away or dodge Aku's attacks. Unfortunately, Aku doesn't let Jack escape that easily...
    Aku: "Oh, Samurai? Where are you, Samurai? You can run, but you cannot hide, 'cause I can smell your blood!"
    • The way Aku's voice changes for those last five words just really pushes his creepy-meter to the red.
    • The entire sequence after Aku seizes the sword. Jack can't hurt him at all. All he can do is run and block Aku's attacks, and while Aku starts with the sword he pulls out all the stops - eyebeams, fire, shapeshifting on a scale not otherwise seen on this show. There's a part where Aku is just a spreading mass of tendrils, and the camera pulls back to show just how big that mass is. It really emphasizes how screwed Jack, or anyone else, is when trying to oppose Aku without the sword.
    • And then Aku's close-up as he's about to stab Jack, his eyes look creepier than normal. Fortunately, Aku is surprised to learn that the sword can't even hurt Jack.

Jack in Egypt

Jack and the Traveling Creatures
  • As Jack tries to fight off the Guardian of the Time Portal, he finds that he is outmatched by a far more powerful opponent. The Guardian has slayed many more would-be time-travelers before Jack, and (correctly) declares that our hero will not be successful either.
    • The fight ends with the Guardian delivering a very one-sided and brutal beating that knocks Jack into unconsciousness, and then the Guardian is about to finish off Jack by dropping a boulder on him; but he only relents and spares Jack after the time portal shows him a vision that Jack is indeed The Chosen One of prophesy, who may (eventually) go back in time.

Jack and the Creature

Jack and the Haunted House
  • This episode provides the page image, and for good reason. Here, Jack follows a scared little girl named Kuni to an old, decrepit house. He receives several nightmarish visions about what happened to Kuni's family (her brother, mother, and father) who used to live there, all of them appearing to have been attacked and taken away by some faceless horror. Not even Aku, just some nameless demonic being with a sadistic streak. And that's only the first half.
    • The creepiest part is when Jack walks into the eerily tranquil, fake tea room. Kuni's family are seemingly okay and invite Jack to drink tea and chat with them, in a room that looks bright and pristine (unlike the rest of the house). Jack is (correctly) suspicious of this situation, but he soon gets lulled into a false sense of security. Kuni looks at Jack nervously, while her family pretend that everything's alright. Then the ruse is dropped when the brother, mom, and dad start convulsing violently, finally revealing the demon who casted the illusion.
    • Then the demon captures Jack and takes him to, well, another dimension, where the family's souls are also held captive. There's a constant cacophonous distortion, which sounds like something you'd get if you blasted really loud music out of your speakers at full volume.
    • Unlike most villains who appear on the show who all either work for Aku or are involved with him some way, this Demonic Spirit has nothing to do with Aku(Though there is a certain theory of the creature's origins: See Fridge Horror. We know nothing of what it is, except that it wants to steal human souls.
    • If all that isn't terrifying enough, Season 5 presents a whole dimension to it; Even though Jack defeated it at the end of the episode, when he returns to the past and destroys Aku in the Season 5finale, everything he's done in the future, including when he destroyed the demon, changes with the new timeline and never happens. Which means...

The Birth of Evil
  • As the title would suggest, this episode reveals the origin of Aku. Millions of years ago, he was originally some sort of giant, shapeless, featureless entity that roamed around outer space, attempting to destroy everything around it. The gods Odin, Ra, and Rama fought this terrible thing and almost destroyed it, except for a smaller fragment that got cut off and drifted away to Earth...
    • When this primordial monster crash-landed on prehistoric Earth, it took the form of a meteor that burned nearly all of the dinosaurs down to charred skeletons, then proceeded to gobble up the few remaining survivors. The carnage is abominable.
    • Soon, proto-Aku became a giant puddle of living black goo inside the earth that would send large, deep cracks through the ground. The cracks were filled with a black tar-like substance, and it would then absorb living creatures to get stronger. This includes an unlucky group of cave-people. At one point, a man calls out for his dog, goes to the back of his house, and sees one of the cracks filled with black goop, and half the dog's leash sticking out. Doubles as a Tear Jerker when we hear the man's anguished and horrified screams.
      • Bit of a meta-example: the dog's name is Shinichi. Considering the fact that Aku was little more than a parasitic life-form growing bigger and stronger from devouring other life-forms at this point in time, and the fact that the Parasyte manga features a dog overtaken by a parasite eating another dog, creates a creepy crisscrossing reminder of each work's Nightmare Fuel.
    • Worse, every time the goo swallows up a living creature, a giant black tree springs out of the sludge with violent crackling sounds. Pretty soon, so many creatures have been devoured it has grown into a veritable forest encroaching upon civilization and threatening to engulf Japan.
  • Later, the Emperor (the soon-to-be father of Jack) goes on a mission to try and destroy the monster, charging into the forest of black spiky trees, along with an army of samurai in tow. As they get closer and closer, more trees burst up from the ground, and we hear samurai start screaming as their horses (now riderless) run by the Emperor.
    • The scene where the blob monster evolves into Aku. After the Emperor tried to kill it, the magic arrow he used instead has the opposite effect. At first, it seems like it worked, but then we're shown the two red flames that would become Aku's signature flaming eyebrows. Then, we see all the trees in the pool recede... only to be replaced by one singular towering mass that gushes out of the pool. Its appendages creak, groan, snap, and contort into place until they form that all-too-familiar shape of the Shogun of Sorrow from behind, just like in the first episode. Then we see the flaming eyebrows ignite atop his head, and his eyes snap open for the first time. And then come his first words.
    Aku: (groaning and wondering how he came to life) "Oh..." (spies Jack's father) "OH! YOU!! THANK YOU!!!"
    • And then immediately afterwards, the Emperor futilely tries to attack Aku again. So Aku ties him up to a black tree, slips into the ground, then pops back up by his kingdom and attacks it. When the king is bound in a crucified pose and forced to watch while screaming in horror, just imagine how terrified the citizens of his city were.
    • During the final battle between the Emperor and Aku, Aku slips into the armor of fallen soldiers and makes clones of himself to surround him. They all promptly laugh at him and then just... stop. It's surprisingly unnerving.

    Season 4 
Samurai vs. Ninja
  • It gets downright hectic and overall a bit eerie, since you have two of the deadliest warriors hunting one another in the art of ninjutsu. All the while, they're both clad for the appropriate elements. One fights in the shadows, while the other fights in pure blinding light. The whole fight in the very wooden tower is both a respectful mix of Nightmare Fuel and Paranoia Fuel. And to add even more fuel to an already deadly, adrenaline-rushing encounter? The soundtrack throughout the whole fight! ... Horror chords and all. Here is the fight in its entirety.

Samurai vs. Samurai
  • This is a mostly a goofy episode involving Jack dealing with the Da Samurai, until the last few minutes. Suddenly, an army of Aku's assassin robots from earlier in the episode show up, but these ones are dual wielding swords and opening the panels in their heads to reveal creepy long faces with razor-sharp teeth. That alone is scary enough, but after Jack finally defeats the entire army, they all combine into what can only be described as a Mechanical Abomination. Thankfully, it goes down easier than the army did, but it's still freaky to watch.

The Aku Infection
  • Aku unwittingly infects Jack with a small piece of himself, and soon Jack starts to look scarier and scarier as time goes on.
    Jack: "I'm getting..."
    (Lifts up cloak to reveal Jack is looking and sounding more like Aku)
    Jack: "...STRONGER."
  • The Aku-possessed Jack carves up an innocent robot bystander's face for bumping into him on the street. We get a very close, slow shot of this happening; never before has the Symbolic Blood looked so terrifying.
  • Jack disguises his changed features with a makeshift cloak, and goes to the adorable Lizard Monks; Jack wants help, Aku wants to find and eliminate them. By the time he meets them, it's deliberately ambiguous who's in control, and how far the changes have spread. All that's visible by that point is his eye, which cries when he tries to talk to the avuncular leader of the monks — and then he tears the cloak off and reveals the eye is all that's left, the rest of him is Aku.
    • None of the monks he attacks in the ensuing fight are cut in half by the sword, but they're sure knocked around and don't stand a chance until their leader throws a potion in his face.
    • Even then, a restrained Jack with many patches of the infection scattered across his skin is told that all the monks can do is slow the progression, but it's up to him to fight it off. He says he cannot and begs for help, sounding broken when they can't give it to him. At that point his body transforms completely, and Aku bellows that he'll eat them all.

The Princess and the Bounty Hunters
  • A group of bounty hunters team up to capture and/or kill Jack once and for all, by attempting to attack him all at once. Unfortunately, it backfires and Jack defeats them all, with the Princess being the last member of the group standing. Jack seems to have killed living beings, flesh and blood (or not)note , as opposed to robots or demons. Pretty grim when you think about it.

Tale of X9

Jack and the Baby

    Season 5 
XCII
  • The very first scene opens with Aku's Beetle Drones destroying a village and chasing after the sole survivors: a mother, her young daughter, and her baby. They try to escape, but the Beetle Drones encircle them. All they can do is use their antennae to communicate their love for each other and await their inevitable and brutal demise. Granted, Jack saves them just in time, but still, it really sets the tone for the rest of the season.
  • Throughout this episode, we see that Jack has been suffering from a hell lot of post-traumatic stress, in the form of guilt, depression, and nightmarish hallucinations:
    • In each of the hallucinations Jack sees... SOMEONE on horseback. We're never told or fully shown who it is... but whoever it is? It's something that TERRIFIES Jack. Yes JACK IS TERRIFIED OF SOMETHING.
    • Jack's first hallucination. While drinking from a stream, he starts to imagine leaves falling from a nearby tree are his parents and the tortured forms of his people. At the end of the vision, we get to see hordes of zombie-like people floating downstream, screaming and reaching out for Jack to save them. Jesus Christ, Tartakovsky.
      Mother: "You left us all... to... DIIIIIIE!"
    • The second hallucination starts with Jack sitting by the fire while eating a dead rat, when he sees a vision of his father in the fire, asking why he never came back. As Jack desperately tries to explain himself, the vision gets bigger and the fire spreads out of control as his father gets angrier. It ends with Jack's father screaming at his son, accusing him of abandoning his destiny and people while making the mother of all nightmare faces.
      Father: "HE DESTROYED EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS BURNING! YOU'VE FORGOTTEN YOUR PURPOSE! YOU'VE FORSAKEN US!"
    • The third and final vision shows Jack imagining small children (the kids from the village who were murdered by Scaramouche) futilely pleading for his help. But what makes it frightening, is not so much what it contains, but when it happens: during the middle of the fight with Scaramouche. Jack is still in danger when he starts hallucinating! Scaramouche even uses his distress to land a shot on him! While the attack wasn't lethal, next time he might not be so lucky. It really does paint a picture that Jack is a broken man, and that these hallucinations (much like in real life) aren't just limited to when he's alone. They could happen anywhere, at any time no matter what he's doing or what kind of danger he's in, making Jack his own worst enemy.
  • Scaramouche, despite being a silly villain, slaughtered an entire village just to draw Jack out. The fact that Scaramouche was able to wipe out the whole settlement by himself is also unsettling, indicating that he is a One-Man Army. No mooks needed, just himself.
    • What makes the above even scarier is that Jack allowed it to happen. He was in the area when Scaramouche attacked the village, he saw the smoke rising from the village, but he chose to ignore it and go about his business. It takes a severe attack on his guilt to get him to go back... days later. By then, Scaramouche has massacred everyone in the village. To summarize: Jack's inaction allowed Scaramouche to slaughter an entire village of innocents, which really sets the tone for the season and shows just how broken Jack is. You know things have gone bad when The Hero of the series stops helping people in need.
      • It's even harder to stomach knowing the Ultra-Robots destroyed settlements for the exact same reason — to draw Jack out — and he was unable to get to these places in time to save their victims. This time, he did have time to make a difference, but chose not to because he's used to these kinds of outcomes, and the result ended up being the same. Talk about a Shaggy Dog Story.
    • At some point during the fight, Scaramouche pulls out his Vibro Weapon. After destroying one of Jack's daggers with it, he casually throws it into his other hand and hits a pillar with it saying that no one is better than him at bladework. Scaramouche, who throughout the entire fight has been nothing but jovial, fun loving, and even downright polite suddenly screams ''NO ONE'' at Jack as the pillar explodes. He then goes right back to jovially scatting and trying to kill Jack. The rage just comes so quickly and leaves just as quickly, perfectly showing how frustrated he is that he hasn't killed Jack yet and how unhinged he is beneath the facade.
    • The way that Scaramouche dies is pretty gruesome. First, Jack slices him in half with his own dao, causing a horrific amount of oil to spill out of him. His body then explodes after he is killed, but his head goes flying and lands in front of the foreground. His face is etched with pain, and his lifeless eyes stare straight at the viewer while a Scare Chord plays.
      • Although this is mitigated by the fact that in "Episode XCVII", Scaramouche's severed head somehow reactivates, and he merrily boasts of how he's still alive.
  • A big source of Fridge Horror in this episode is The Reveal that JACK LOST HIS SWORD. He lost the only weapon on Earth that can harm Aku. And while he's managed to keep that fact hidden so far, it's only a matter of time before Aku himself finds out about it. Good luck, Jack. You'll need it.
  • Every single scene with the Daughters of Aku. They are the seven daughters of a crazy female cult leader who worships Aku, and she has been raising and training them since birth to become assassins with one goal: to kill Samurai Jack. All the while, these girls are deprived of a normal childhood.
    • The first scene showing their birth was rather disturbing. We are basically watching a woman give birth to septuplets in a dark room without any anesthesia or any proper medical aid. Most real-life mothers wouldn't survive such an ordeal in such conditions. Her screams of pain combined with the rhythmic chimes of the gong made the whole ritual look like a Human Sacrifice, though without any killing.
    • The worst part of it all is how even as little girls, their own mother puts them through extremely harsh non-stop training. Any time they fail a test or get distracted, she throws them over to older women to give them a brutal beating. She even discourages her daughters from helping out their own sisters when they're down or wounded, believing them to be too weak to live.
    • The sisters' graduation test is an impressive showcase of their talents and abilities, and they complete the whole scene without breaking stride... even the part where one of them (Ashi) brains one of her instructors with an arrow. It quickly becomes clear that this isn't just another exercise, it's actual mortal combat, and all the trainers that guided them from birth are dropping like flies. After four seasons of having every casualty restricted to robotic lifeforms, it was quite a shock to see actual flesh-and-blood deaths introduced with such nonchalance and ruthlessness. It honestly made one fear for Jack's well being.

XCIII
  • The way that Aku and his "therapist" yell "DIE!" at the beginning of the episode. It's hammy and over-the-top, but in a chilling way that shows that, much like Jack, the 50 years appear to be taking a toll on his mind as well.
  • The Daughters of Aku hunting Jack. The whole scene felt like the "Jack in Egypt" episode. They're systematic, thorough, and well-trained. When they lose track of Jack, they don't panic. They hide in the shadows at various points in the ruins they've chased him into to lull him into a sense of security, then strike from the darkness, letting the others know his location. After that, it's not even really a fight. It's an escape. Jack is forced to hide in a coffin at one point, looking more terrified than we'd ever seen with only a firefly to give him light, as if silently begging for them to go away... which they obviously won't. The light is slowly snuffed out... and the next thing we see out of the darkness is all seven Daughters shattering the coffin he's in, Jack springing out of it through desperation. It's the worst trial Jack's been through for the entire series, bar none.
    • At one point during the chase, while hiding from the Daughters, Jack is confronted by another vision of himself, which tries to talk him into committing "honorable" suicide. If his enemies can't end him, Jack may as well try to do it himself...
    • Stripped of his weapons, beaten, bruised, and forced to constantly evade the Daughters of Aku given their numerical advantage and constant ambushes, Jack is forced to hide amongst a vast amount of coffins all centered around the skeleton of an ancient king. The episode already highlighted it earlier to some degree, but the sheer terror Jack has is unlike anything else he's ever shown before during this. He's absolutely shaking, uncertain, and desperately, silently begging for a firefly to go away before he's exposed to a threat he cannot beat like this. And his bedfellow is the skeleton of one of the king's followers, who is glimpsed by the light of the firefly. The fact that Jack has been forced to lie down with the bones of the departed to find refuge is so macabre it hurts.
    • At one point, Jack is forced to flat out run from the Daughters of Aku, racing down twisting, turning passages in the dark, then we get a Jump Scare when Jack actually runs into one of the girls, who has managed to outmaneuver and get ahead of him. It's only fortunate for Jack that separating from her sisters proved to be a fatal mistake for her. Leading to...
      • We actually get to see Jack killing a human being up-close for the first time. He spent the episode believing that the Daughters were just another one of Aku's machines, and after being confronted by one of them, he slices her neck. That is genuine blood Jack's seeing. While it was undeniably in self-defense, his reaction is one of genuine guilt and horror.
      • The sound made during the Slashed Throat is probably one of the most brutal noises in the entire series up to this point. It isn't just skin being penetrated with a blade and blood splashing out, there's almost a bone-like sound adding a disgusting edge to the strike. Odds are, Jack was inches away from dealing out a full-on decapitation.
    • The music that plays throughout the Daughters' hunt for Jack is terrifying. It is a cover of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold", from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Now what does that say to this conflict?
  • The side-plot with the lone white wolf fighting against a pack of tiger-like alien beasts. While the blood from the Daughter was more subdued, the animal fight is a total bloodbath where everyone involved seems to die gruesomely, quite a bad omen for Jack and the Daughters.
    • Just the appearance of the alien tigers. Think of the Ultimate Chimera from MOTHER 3, but painted green with stripes and covered in fur. Not to mention the demonic roaring...

XCIV
  • After watching an entire series of Jack only getting scratched, beaten, and broken down, the first portion of this episode shows him bleeding gallons of blood from his stab wound.
    • Worse, we see Jack pass out over and over from this bleeding for what seems like days on end. Then he encounters a seemingly normal frog that suddenly shouts, "THEY'RE COMING!" and it becomes unclear if that is just a hallucination or an actual sapient frog that can talk trying to warn him of danger, either way being very disturbing.
    • While Jack is still bleeding out and retreats for shelter, he starts to see the green spectral samurai again. Only now, with Jack on the verge of death, the Omen starts following him like some sort of Grim Reaper.
    • Especially when Jack and the White Wolf meet personally, as they both are covered from head to toe in symbolic lines of blood across their bodies. It's quite a miracle that Jack and the Wolf somehow survived these near-mortal wounds. And the tension beforehand where Jack is forced to pick up the dagger used to wound him as his only means of defending himself is proof of how backed into a corner Jack is and that this is his only option left if he wants to live.
    • What is probably the most difficult part of the episode to get through is watching Jack finally force himself to extricate the dagger from his chest. It is not pretty- he has to slowly work it out of his body as it's wedged in VERY tightly, during which time he squeezes his eyes shut, sweats bullets, and grits his teeth, steeling himself for the pain of ripping it out. Then, as he does pry it loose, darker-colored blood from his insides begins to ooze out and he groans very weakly, having grown extremely tired. Finally, he yanks the blade out and screams with INCREDIBLE pain... then promptly passes out one more time from the agony. Keep in mind this is the kind of pain that is so excruciating that a person would risk biting their tongue from gnashing their teeth and would have to have a stick or something else sturdy to bite on!
  • At one point, Jack is taunted by another apparition of his past self... only now the apparition is twisting and contorting in strange poses with fanged teeth, and bears a constant cruel expression on his face. The animators are taking a character design we know and love, and making it look... so wrong. To elaborate: this apparition appears inhumanly tall and slender, like a Humanoid Abomination. His face is more narrow. He moves inhumanly fast. He has sharp, jagged teeth like a shark, and his expressions showcase them quite well, being the very embodiment of Nightmare Face: cruel scowls, Psychotic Smirks, and Slasher Smiles galore. Lastly, he speaks in a much more malicious and psychotic tone, getting very creepily excited over the thought of more killing and mocking Jack, trying to goad him into embracing Blood Lust. Not to mention he resembles Mad Jack, or how Aku portrayed Jack in his fairy tales. The brutal speech combined with the pained "no" Jack gives in response made the whole scene feel like he was tortured.
    Inner Jack: Look at you. You've survived worse. This isn't about your pathetic little cut, it's about that girl you killed. We've never killed a human before, have we? Sure, mountains of robot corpses. But this... This was the first human being. Real flesh and blood. What happens when the others find you? You'll have to kill them too. Can you? Will you be able to when the time comes? Maybe they will kill you? (Beat) Or is that what you want?
    Jack: (pained) No.
  • In Jack's childhood flashback: the way that his father dispatched the assassins coming after them, while awesome, could also be terrifying due to how swift and brutal it is. At one point he cuts a guy in half, with his blood splattering through the carriage window into poor Jack's eyes. Needless to say, little Jack is scared to see all this raw carnage up-close, even if those thugs had it coming. No wonder Jack doesn't like killing.
  • Jack's wound continues to bleed out relentlessly, and it forces him to stitch it up by improvising a thread and needle with an animal bone fragment and some wood fibers. We see his silhouette in the dark cave wincing in pain as he seals up his own wound in a crude manner. It leaves a remarkable scar on his chest, his first lasting wound from his time in the future.
    • Heaven only knows if the way he administers self-surgery is even sanitary- he's had an open wound for who knows how long and the means he's closing up his injury can't be sterile (he didn't even cauterize them with fire at the very least)- the only thing we can count on is his unbreakable willpower to stave off death, and that includes infection; he fought off Aku's pure evil infecting him, for pity's sake! If he can fight off that, he can fight off any infection, really!
    • It's implied that Jack's recovery is a very slow and painful one with the passage of time. At the start of this season, it was clearly fall in the region of the world he was in. By the time he reaches shelter, fall is giving way to winter, and then by the time he has fully healed, winter has come entirely. And that gives plenty of time for his enemies to dig themselves out of oblivion and catch up to him. Worse, he has been caught Exposed to the Elements in the dead of winter considering all his clothing has been stripped from him but the tatters of his underclothes. For a normal person, this kind of bleak survival situation would probably be their downfall.
  • We see the true extent of the Daughters of Aku's abusive upbringing, and how it affects their interactions with each other and the outside world.
  • Upon coming to terms with his guilt and that, like his father, he'd have to take lives if he wanted to complete his mission, Jack's first act is to attempt to prevent a fight. The Daughters of Aku reject this notion.
    • Not even seconds later, he pops out from beneath their feet in the snow and harpoons two of the sisters before they can even react.
    • After Jack kills one of the Daughters with a thrown sword through the chest, her sister just pulls it out to fight Jack with it, without even looking at her.
    • One of the Daughters spears a crow through the neck with her sai and pins it to a tree so efficiently it doesn't even bleed. It gets killed so fast its eyes stay open. Scarier still, because the snowdrifts are obscuring the trees, it looks as though the crow has been pinned to the air itself.
    • When Jack decides to drop the Daughter's weapon and resort to using his bare hands, he kills a Daughter by punching her in the face hard enough to make her neck snap instantly and her body spin out and fall to the depths.
    • In the end, the defeated Ashi starts fanatically ranting about killing Jack, even after having seen all of her sisters die at his hand, and likely being seconds away from death herself.

XCV
  • When he first wakes from his fall into the snow, Jack's mind quickly flashes back to the fight with the Daughters of Aku, only he imagines one of them with the real Aku's face in place of the mask, distorted into a more violent looking sneer with the same humanoid proportions of one of the Daughters, kind of like a mix between a Jump Scare and a Freeze-Frame Bonus. It just goes to show in Jack's eyes, the fight isn't over even when the enemies have fallen, and that the Daughters of Aku were Not So Different from the genuine article.
    • As Jack recollects himself after his most recent battle when several Daughters of Aku met their end at his hands, he gradually gets surrounded by droves of crows, perhaps drawn by the carnage that just took place, and maybe angered by the fact one of the crows died in the crossfire. When he discovers a blood trail, he follows it to find Ashi lying seemingly dead on the ground. Then, the crows start mocking him.
      Crow: "MURDERERRR!!"
      Another Crow: "KILLERRRRR!!!"
      Jack: "No... no... NO! THEY CHOSE THE PATH...! THEY CHOSE!!!"
  • Just how huge the gigantic monster that swallows Jack and Ashi is really rather terrifying. As the two explore and try to escape from it, they find other scary creatures inside this enormous body.
  • Ashi's relentless fanatical ranting and borderline psychotic raving for about a minute straight after being saddled to Jack shows how deeply poisoned with hate she's been. It's a wonder he didn't just muzzle her. Worse, she shows absolutely zero concern about the loss of all her siblings and being the only apparent survivor, now alone and the only child. She instead stays steadfast and unfeeling anything but hate like she was conditioned, only showing self-preservation toward fulfilling the one purpose that she was born for — killing Jack.
    • For nearly the entire episode, Ashi demonstrates the corrupted version of a Large Ham; just about everything that comes out of Ashi's mouth is I'll Kill You!, and she won't shut up. Heck, every single thing she says and does is basically a death threat, be it thinly-veiled or over-the-top, and a never-ending tirade. Her hate for Jack makes her so stupidly blind that she's nothing but an obstacle to their survival (when monsters attack them, she still has her sights set on Jack first), and when she hasn't the means to hurt Jack, she just hurls insult after insult at him in a way that would make the Scotsman blush. It becomes ridiculously intolerable once Ashi fails to take the hint that nothing she's saying is demoralizing Jack in the slightest, so she starts telling Jack to die passively, and claiming that Jack is (as good as) dead when they've both been swallowed just to spite him in her misery. Broken Record has never been so accurate. If words could kill, she would have wiped out a galaxy. It's so bad, Jack actually snaps at her — and this is the man who took all of the Scotsman's and Da Samurai's badmouthing without batting an eye.
    • Yet somehow, Jack's time spent with Ashi gets him to be the most chatty he's been so far at this point in time, which eventually puts a damper on his hallucinations (the ghostly figure on the horse appeared back-to-back in each of the episodes of this season until now, when it was nowhere to be seen and the ones that do appear are not morbidly psychotic or frightening). It's very sad to know a deranged Tyke Bomb is the one thing causing Jack to recover his grip on reality, and that because he had no one to talk to in all this time, his mind really, really crumpled, so that may explain why he didn't shut her up: because he wanted someone to talk to and probably pitied her own mental twisting, too.
  • The various smaller monsters that all live inside the larger monster; for example, the blue insectoid creatures with huge rodent-like buck teeth. And there's a very large swarm of them, so Jack and Ashi can only flee instead of killing them all. Worse, while Jack is fighting them off, Ashi keeps trying to interfere and get him killed. Her fanaticism drives her to not even care that Jack wants to save both their lives.
  • Ashi remembering her mother's task for her.
    High Priestess: "Ashi... Ashi... Ashi... KILL THE SAMURAI!!!"
    • Just knowing that Ashi remembers her mother's appearance by her mask in a warped, demonic form, and not by her real face is heartbreaking. What kind of mother keeps her face hidden from her own children their entire lives?? Not only does it show how cold and detached she is from her daughters, but how inhuman she is, because she's more akin to a monster than a human in at least one of her daughter's eyes; for all Ashi knows, she was born from a monster instead of a human, and that's probably not far from the truth!
    • Hell, the fact that even Ashi, one of her children that she raised from birth and who accepted her lies about Aku and Jack, thinks of her as a monster. That's how bad she is.
  • The way that crab creature abducts Ashi, without so much as a gasp. The idea that this creature is smart enough to so easily and silently snatch its prey is kind of creepy. Imagine if Jack's hallucination had decided not to speak up.
    • The fact that a hallucination has to be at the wheel of Jack's senses for Jack to pick up on danger is just as bad, if not worse.
  • As Jack is trying to climb his way out of the creature, Ashi deliberately kicks out to disrupt his balance and send them plummeting down. Needless to say, Jack is not amused and forces her to dangle from her chains beneath him like The Load she has chosen to be.
  • That... flying fish-like creature. It has six eyes that can cover all its blind spots like the Red Death, and transparent bioluminescent skin that makes its bones see-through. When bathed in light, it looks like an even more ghoulish version of Kingfin is chasing after Jack and Ashi.
  • Even after all they've been through, Ashi picks up what's left of her broken sickle, and tries to kill Jack while he's sitting in meditation. Jack has a resigned look on his face, like he's well aware of what she's doing, even though she's trying to sneak up on him, and like he's finally decided to just let Ashi have it her way. Fortunately, a passing ladybug causes Ashi to have a change of heart when she sees Jack is a Friend to All Living Things — while remembering her mother was a bloodthirsty tyrant.

XCVI
  • The episode begins with a human army launching an attack on Aku's lair. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't have chosen a worse time, as Aku decides the best way to break himself out of his funk... is to annihilate them all. Making matters worse, the leader of the army is the Scotsman. He's become very elderly and is now stuck in a wheelchair, making his chances of survival look very bleak.
    • This also makes one wonder just how desperate (or foolish) anyone would have to be to attack a mighty demon who's well known for being nigh invulnerable, without even trying to use Jack's holy sword on him.
    • We've seen Aku take on the forms of everything from an army to a mass of darkness. Here, Aku merely shapeshifts into a giant ball and steamrolls over all the attacking tanks. After all this time, this is probably the simplest form he's ever assumed (possibly out of sheer laziness or lack of imagination), but never has something so simple worked so effectively, and it shows how little effort he has to put into killing enemies.
      Aku: "Oh? Better make it a complete annihilation!"
    • The Scotsman's death. In order to buy his daughters enough time to escape, the Scotsman fearlessly puts himself and a few hard-hitting insults between Aku and their retreat, which ends with the Scotsman getting incinerated by Aku's heat vision, leaving behind a skeleton that crumbles into black ashes. Though the horror is lessened somewhat when the Scotsman immediately returns as a jovial spirit.
      • Perhaps the worst of it all is that in the Scotsman's last stand, the ultimate warrior of the future who was effectively Jack's one equal in all the world, accomplished nothing. Aku wasn't even vaguely entertained. He just slipped back to his depressed boredom and buggered off to his tower. The Scotsman's passing wasn't even given the slightest fanfare, and again, this was the definitive, most powerful individual opposing Aku after Jack himself. Granted, he was an old, wheelchair-bound man and nowhere near his prime from 50 years ago, but how quickly it happened is rather chilling.
  • Jack shows Ashi the destruction and devastation that Aku's forces cause on a daily basis, even without his direct involvement.
    • Perhaps the most chilling example is when they sneak into the City of Aku and witness a ship carrying exiled alien criminals who were banished from their homeworlds arriving. They are subsequently welcomed and referred to move into peaceful towns, with a video screen placing emphasis on two children; and when a confused criminal points out that the area is already occupied, the disbelieving clerk scoffs and asks him if that's an issue. Cue the penny dropping as the criminal realizes what they're getting at. As noted by Jack, this sort of thing happens on a routine basis under Aku's rule.
  • The entire climax when Jack and Ashi go off to rescue the kidnapped alien children from the Dominator, a pure sadist who gets his kicks from torturing and manipulating children.

XCVII
  • It turns out that Scaramouche's head is still alive, and he is trying to contact Aku to tell him that Jack has lost his sword. While the whole subplot is mostly Played for Laughs due to his ineffectiveness (due to him being reduced to only his head), it's only a matter of time before he succeeds in informing Aku. Better hope Jack can find his sword in time...
    • No need to worry now, seeing as Jack later gets his sword back in the next episode. Scaramouche and Aku are in for a rude surprise... yet Scaramouche telling Aku that bit of news is still not something to be taken lightly, because even with Jack's sword back in his hand, he was still in for a much bigger nightmare...
  • The reveal that Ashi, along with her sisters, were only children when they were stripped naked and forcibly dropped into a pit of burning rocks. Topped off with a lovely image of a young Ashi getting burned alive. What makes this even worse is that what were thought to be the Daughters' fanservicey skintight black bodysuits were actually charred black skin. What's worse is that the moment we saw might not be the only time the girls were burned. For that matter, there's no telling how many of the other cultists are similarly burned. As if their mother had not crossed the Moral Event Horizon far enough.
    • To further expand on this, when Ashi finally decides to remove the old burnt skin and soot, she had to use rocks to scrub it off, and it still took her an entire night. It was that heavily bonded to her skin.
    • Mildly (very mildly) mitigated, if one considers that since Ashi had perfectly-healthy skin beneath the black layer, it might not have been a layer of charred skin, so much as soot and ash that had bonded with her skin. But none of that changes how agonizing the whole process was for Ashi, and how horrific her childhood was.
  • When Ashi visits Da Samurai's pub, she encounters many old villains that have faced Jack in the past. One of them is a robot who wears tin armor because his body was reduced to a bundle of wires (which look a lot like nerves and blood vessels), and the armor is the only thing holding him together. Behold and sweet dreams. It's a very minor example compared to the other events in the episode, but still a testament on how brutal Jack can be against evildoers.
  • The dark specter that is The Omen is real. And he will kill anyone that tries to interrupt Jack's suicide attempt. When Ashi tries to interfere, he comes after her with a drawn sword, throwing her through tombstones, and growing increasingly vicious as Ashi gets closer and closer to breaking Jack away from his Despair Event Horizon.
    • Speaking of which, Jack doesn't even look up when Ashi's trying to get through to him. He just holds the short sword that the Omen gave him, holding it above his abdomen for the killing blow. That's how close he was to giving up completely.
      • For that matter, the mere fact that Jack, our beloved childhood hero, the ultimate Lawful Good paragon, the best Friend to All Living Things, the greatest Nice Guy to have ever lived, was on the verge of committing seppuku. Not just any kind of suicide, it's seppuku (or hara-kiri): a ritual suicide that would have him disembowel his own stomach before getting beheaded by the Omen himself, while Ashi is forced to watch. The sheer horror of such a scene makes the whole fight between Ashi and the Omen that much more intense given what is at stake.

XCVIII

XCIX
  • When Jack and Ashi are visiting a Bazaar of the Bizarre, Jack eats a weird and still-living worm creature which he thinks tastes delicious... but then his face suddenly turns into a colorful fish. It creeps out Ashi so much she decides not to eat it. Even though the effect is temporary and Played for Laughs, it's still a little bit freaky.
  • While inside an animal-driven transport, Jack and Ashi are surrounded by a large group of green tiger men. As the tension builds up, it doesn't take long before Jack realizes they're yet another gang of bounty hunters, as they assemble with shirts that spell out "DIE SAMURAI JACK".
  • Lazarus-92, an alien monster composed of many carnivorous leech-like critters that pursues Jack and Ashi for most of the episode. No matter how many of the leeches they cut down, they never stop coming back.
    • The crashed prison spaceship containing Lazarus-92 is empty of all life except for the creature, but the presence of other cells (and scratches on the walls marking the passage of time) indicates that there were other prisoners. Did the inmates escape, or were killed by the initial crash-landing, or did Lazarus devour them all (along with all the guards and crew members)? Exactly how everyone else died is up to your imagination.
    • The Lazarus leeches can bite and infect their victims with a deadly green poison. Ashi gets bitten in the leg, and it's clear she's in intense pain. Jack has to suck and spit out the venom to save her leg, and that was only from one worm.
    • In the climax, Lazarus comes very close to killing the heroes when they both get covered head-to-toe with the worms, attempting to eat them alive. They're only saved when Jack finally manages to activate the weapon he found to kill Lazarus, which electrifies every single worm to death, while also shocking Jack and Ashi as they scream out in agony.

C

CI
  • Aku's gleeful ranting as he boasts to the world that he has captured Jack. Yet another reminder that this silly jokester is still a monstrous dictator.
    Aku: To all those who dare oppose me, YOUR HERO IS DEAD! YOUR HOPE IS DEAD! I AM THE ONE TRUE MASTER! Let this be a lesson to all! TIME TO DIE, SAMURAI JACK!
    • Not only that, but he uses the intro from the past four seasons as a prelude. That means the intro we used to hear was a propaganda piece by Aku all along.
  • Aku planning to have Ashi, who is suffering from And I Must Scream under his control, kill Jack, the man she loves, while the whole world watches.
  • The way that Ashi assails Jack when he tries to recover his sword; she begins swiping at him with deformed arms like a distorted mantis before scuttling towards him like a blade-legged spider. It's even worse knowing that there's a young girl trapped somewhere in that black mass, being forced to contort herself in ways her body was never meant to bend...
  • Aku corrupting several of Jack's old allies just by touching them.
  • Aku's reaction after Ashi invokes Eleventh Hour Superpower to help Jack finally return to the past is rather chilling, even if he deserves it:
  • Ashi fading away, leaving only her bridal gown, because Aku's demise means he never gave the High Priestess the essence she used to make her.
    • There's a mountain of Fridge Horror attached to this: Jack going back to the past to defeat Aku essentially meant he erased the entire future that existed because of Aku. But if he and Ashi had refrained from going back to the past, chances are all the people in that future would have remained extant, though at the cost of going back to those he cared for in the past and losing them. And Jack had to sacrifice one or the other. Pick one for the greater good of those to follow by taking Aku out in the past, or just take him out in the future and rebuild from there? One hell of a Sadistic Choice if there ever was one.
    • Ashi lives on only in Jack's memory which is exactly what he feared might happen.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/SamuraiJack