Nightmare Fuel / SpongeBob SquarePants

Kenneth Parcell: Is SpongeBob SquarePants supposed to be terrifying?
30 Rock

SpongeBob SquarePants is one of Nick's best and most hilarious shows since the fall of Rugrats. Some people think it's past its prime, others think it's gotten too sweet or too cruel, but most of them agree that these moments were downright nightmarish.

Remember, this page is for describing general sources of Nightmare Fuel.

Examples from the movie go HERE.

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  • Plankton, in the early seasons, certainly was terrifying. In a series that began with colorful and humorous people, with good intentions and friendly, he stood out to be a very sociopathic character (of course, before its Villain Decay after the movie).
    • In an episode of the first season, SpongeBob gets to a dream of Plankton, where he is a giant monster, and destroys all Bikini Bottom and presumably killing people. Worse, has a sadistic joy with this dream and nearly crushes Gary, just For the Evulz.
    • The Chum Bucket. When you take into account what chum is actually made of, you start to realize why nobody eats there, chum is ground up fish used to attract sharks. That's right, Plankton's a cannibal..
    • One newspaper article ran Plankton out of business: "Plankton's chum made of your chums? The Chum Bucket serves your friends in more ways than one?"
  • Surely, he reaches the top of its evil in The Movie. All hail Plankton, anyone?
  • Often Mr. Krabs shows a pretty frightening behavior. Sometimes it makes you start to question his mental health, bordering the line that goes from a insane psychopath who would do anything for money or frighten their employees (this is is evident in episodes like "Clams" and "Wet Painters" ), to a Sadist who loves to watch the suffering of others ("Nasty Patty", "No Hat for Pat" and "One Coarse Meal") or just a greedy Jerkass who is willing to do some pretty cruel things to make money ("Jellyfish Hunter" and "The Cent of Money ")
  • Depending on whom you ask memetic faces are either hilarious or horrifying...
  • The terrifying-ness of SpongeBob SquarePants is lampshaded in 30 Rock, where after Kenneth gets cable TV for the first time, he remarks "Is SpongeBob SquarePants SUPPOSED to be so terrifying?"
  • There's plenty of Nightmare Fuel in the movie, such as the ice cream vendor monster, and her "cat".
  • Another example is in the video games Battle for Bikini Bottom, and SpongeBob's Truth or Square in Rock Bottom. The music there is HORRIFYING. It's also not helped by the fact, that those Sleepy Robots are both REALLY ANNOYING AND IN THE WAY but also VERY HARD TO KILL!! And it will hurt you very easily. Especially with Sandy. Rock Bottom in BFBB is also one of the most complicated places in the game.
    • The Kelp Caves. The music is a sluggish, lower version of the regular Kelp Forest music, with added background noises like the noises of cave-dwelling animals. Its combination of eerie setting, disturbing music, and cramped space is disturbing. Not helping is the fact that some get stuck in the cave for literally years before figuring out the solution...the Sleepytime robots are also scary, mainly because of the fact that it makes a loud noise when striking. For some reason, some also find the Monsoon robots scary. Not helping is the fact that one of each can be found in the Kelp Caves...
  • A lot of episodes feature SpongeBob's brain for some reason, and all of them are extremely creepy. For example: see Plankton, Scaredy Pants, Welcome to the Chum Bucket, Penny Foolish, Bucket Sweet Bucket, and The Inside Job.
  • The scarily realistic close-ups of only horrifying things.
  • Many of the cast, especially SpongeBob, display creepy moments of Sanity Slippage.
  • Patrick's laugh here.
  • This music. It combines an atonal creepy music box with quiet ''Psycho'' Strings, an off feeling, and ends in a Scare Chord. It's used to signify insanity. The name of the track would be "Unease".
  • Speaking of creepy unnerving music, there's also this music called Shock, which usually plays when characters go batshit insane especially in Squid's Day Off or Earworm. Both are creepy enough episodes, but this music adds to the creepiness factor.
  • Squidward's Suicide, though this is a fan-made episode. Watch the Some Ordinary Gamers video here, if you dare.
  • Some of SpongeBob's faces belong to the Uncanny Valley side. Patrick's, Squidward's, Sandy's, Plankton's and Mr. Krabs' should be in there too.
  • The Krusty Krab is a New England Crab Trap, and one day, a human will pull up the crab trap, and kill everybody in it, *including* Mr Krabs!
  • This educational short from 2005 called "The Endless Summer", which played as part of Earth to America. It's mainly the ending that's creepy.
  • Hell, even the painting from the intro isn't immune from being a scary face. A lot of little kids are known to be just a bit freaked out by it.

    Pre-Movie Seasons 

Season 1

  • There's "Tea At The Treedome", which revolves around SpongeBob slowly dehydrating in Sandy's tree dome. The fact that Patrick gets trapped in the treedome towards the end as well doesn't help.
    • And all the while, he's convincing Sandy that he's fine, and also kinda giving into Patrick's peer pressure, until he can't stand it anymore.
    • SpongeBob's Madness Mantra of "I don't need it" before he finally snaps, complete with Heartbeat Soundtrack and Gross-Up Close-Up of his face.
    • Pretty intense when you realize that all that time he's been slowly suffocating to death.
    • Sandy discovering SpongeBob and Patrick dried up is accompanied by a Smash Cut to a live-action sponge and starfish, respectively and a matching Scare Chord. It's especially jarring the first time you see it.
  • Near the beginning of "Naughty Nautical Neighbors," Squidward laughs as he's eating a meal, and due to getting distracted for a moment, he chokes on his fork. We're treated to a shot lasting several seconds of Squidward choking on the fork, which is painfully lodged in his throat, all while he makes painful choking sounds. Eventually, his face tuns blue and he passes out. If Patrick hadn't intervened, this situation wouldn't have ended well. Even worse is that some kids have choked like that.
  • The jellyfish stinging SpongeBob angrily after he stops their music in "Jellyfish Jam" is DAMN unsettling, and the disturbing music certainly doesn't help either. We see graphic, violent shots of SpongeBob being stung by the jellyfish in full detail and in one frame, after he gets stung, you can see that he's blue and ripped in half for a split second! (no pun intended). Definitely one of the scariest moments in the whole series, let alone a from a 1999 episode.
  • "Squeaky Boots", which is a parody of The Telltale Heart. Mr. Krabs becomes annoyed by the squeaky sound of these new boots he gave SpongeBob, so he steals them and hides them under the floorboard of the Krusty Krab. Back at the Krusty Krab, he has a disturbing hallucination sequence (animated in Conspicuous CGI!) as a result of his guilt, in which he hears the squeaking everywhere and goes mad from it.
    "STOP IT!!! STOP IT!!! Oh, oh, don't you hear it?! Yes, I did it! I did it! I did it! I took the boots! They're here! Under the floor board! Oh, please! Make it stop! IT'S THE SQUEAKIN' OF THE HIDEOUS BOOTS!!!
  • Patrick going crazy in "Nature Pants" when he started to miss SpongeBob, who had decided to give up his old life and live among the jellyfish. Especially the scene where he takes a swing at SpongeBob with a jellyfish net, and as an Ominous Music Box Tune is heard in the background, Patrick tearfully but angrily says "If I can't have you as a friend, I'm gonna make you a trophy!" He then shows SpongeBob a jar with SpongeBob's name on it and tells him "I even picked out this nice jar for you!"
  • All the chaos caused by the fish trying to 'do the sponge' in "The Chaperone" was really funny, but also kind of disturbing, such as breaking their own legs clean off, getting their bodies and heads swapped with each other, getting chased (for some reason) by a giant apple, and just straight up plopping unconscious willingly onto the paramedics' stretcher!
  • In "Scaredy Pants", SpongeBob wanted to dress as the Flying Dutchman for Halloween, but his square body didn't allow this. Patrick decided to give him a "haircut" for it to fit. It's not until after a botched attempt at a prank that the real Flying Dutchman tells him to take off the sheet, and flies off screaming. The camera then cut to SpongeBob, where it turns out Patrick didn't just cut off his edges, he cut him down to his brain! Everyone else then ran away from them. Patrick doesn't realize why they all ran off at first, but shortly after Sponge Bob explains about his brain, Patrick suddenly runs away too. Despite all this, as was pointed out, "Don't worry-- it grows back".
  • In "I Was A Teenage Gary" SpongeBob turns into a weresnail after being injected by snail plasma. Naturally, it was quite a painful transformation, and left him unable to talk.
    • Oh, he talks all right... by meowing. He even gets a deliriously happy grin and blissfully blank eyes. Basically, it's a human being acting like an animal while still sounding human, and it's unsettling.
    SpongeBob: I take it back, Gary. Something's wrong with meeeeeeeeeow!
    • ...and the music that plays shortly afterward is absolutely horrifying
    • Bonus points if you've read Uzumaki and Parasyte before watching the episode.
    • Near the beginning of the episode, SpongeBob leaves Gary in the care of Squidward, who ends up neglecting Gary by not remembering to give him food and water. And Squidward only realizes he forgot about Gary three days later with Sponge Bob coming home! SpongeBob comes home to find Gary extremely weak and shriveled due to dehydration, prompting SpongeBob to burst into tears, thinking that Gary is going to die. Definitely a major Adult Fear for pet owners.
  • In "SB-129", Squidward travels through time and ends up in a blank white void. He remarks to himself that he can finally be alone... which is when the word manifests itself as a colorful caption. Then a series of disembodied voices start saying the word "alone", accompanied by more colorful representations of the word, until Squidward finally snaps and tries to get out.
    • What made that scene particularly nightmarish for some wasn't so much the surrealism of garishly-colored words appearing out of nowhere, but the Fridge Logic of being trapped alone, in a blank white void for all eternity.
      • There's also a major Fridge Horror factor to that. Were those voices coming from other people who had been trapped in the same void? Extra Fridge Horror: What if he really is alone?! They may be just projections from the void! Or for that matter, what if he's not alone after all...?
    • "SB-129" also has a mega case of Fridge Horror. Squidward is in the freezer for 2000 years, and then he gets sent back to the past, and eventually to his own time. Fair enough, right? But then you realise that there are now two Squidwards: the one that returned to the present, and the other which is still STUCK INSIDE THE KRUSTY KRAB'S FREEZER. Presumably it never gets discovered, hence why Squidward isn't freed for 2000 years, which essentially means that after that episode, there's a frozen replica of Squidward inside the freezer. Just as well none of the customers know that...
      • It kind of gets worse when you realize that in another episode SpongeBob says he checked every freezer in the Krusty Krab. Considering how stupid SpongeBob has been lately, it wouldn't be a shock if he saw the frozen Squidward and did nothing about it.
      • There is at least one other episode, "Nasty Patty," where the Krusty Krab freezer is seen again, completely empty. But it's funny, in that episode, they were trying to hide a body in there from the police (yeah...); but supposedly at least one body was already inside...
  • The face on the hot sauce drop in "Karate Choppers". ''Uuuuugh...''
    "By the powers of naughtiness, I command this particular drop of hot sauce to be really, really HOT!"
  • SpongeBob's eye falling out in "Suds".
    • The rather horrifying face SpongeBob makes when he's at the Krusty Krab insisting to his boss that he's okay. Benign compared to other examples of this trope in the series, but still rather unsettling.
    • The fact that Sponge Bob is so terrified of going to the doctor that he goes to Patrick, who ends up impersonating a doctor and literally torturing him.
      • And SpongeBob actually screams in agony as he sneezes and destroys the Krusty Krab, like the treatment hurt him and it hurts to sneeze now. Sandy was right - Patrick should've been arrested for being a quack.
  • In "Valentine's Day", Patrick goes on a rampage due to thinking SpongeBob didn't get him a Valentine. Eventually he corners everyone and prepares to apparently kill all of them, starting with his best friend, all while having bizarre swirling eyes.
  • The episode where SpongeBob is trapped overnight in Rock Bottom definitely plays to childhood — and adult — fears.
    • The things that come out of the bathroom. What makes it scarier is that all of those beings are based on real animals.
  • "Arrgh!". Mr. Krab appearing right behind SpongeBob and Patrick without warning.
  • "Fools in April". After one too many a prank by SpongeBob, Squidward sets him up a prank that crosses the line, sending SpongeBob home crying. That in itself is horrifying, but that's not what gets most people about this episode. Earlier in the episode, SpongeBob, as part of one of his pranks, pretends to lose his tongue, which turns out to be a fake. But the part that gets scary is that the tongue is alive, laughing cheerfully and innocently with SpongeBob. It's never explained what it/he/whatever is exactly, which makes it a bit creepy. The scene is somewhat mitigated by the fact the tongue looks like Patrick, however.
    • A lot of that episode went WAY beyond Tear Jerker, and became disturbing. First of all, Squidward laughing like a freaking SADIST as he pranks SpongeBob, who runs off crying. Squidward's hallucinations caused by his own guilt are REALLY unsettling. Especially when he imagines his mother scolding him. (Which becomes Nightmare Retardant when you hear the voice come out of her. "YOU STINK!") And it's the stuff that post-movie seasons are notorious for!
    • Oh, and Squidward tries to say sorry, but his face turns into a hideous donkey (or ass) for a few seconds. Then his head explodes!
  • In "Hooky", while Patrick and SpongeBob walk towards the hook infested area, Patrick mentions there was a kid who came by earlier, and then cue the scene of a pair of children's shoes lying beside a rock.

Season 2

  • "Your Shoe's Untied" has a scene where SpongeBob, who doesn't know how to tie his shoes, tries to give Squidward a Krabby Patty. He hallucinates his shoelaces as hideous-looking snakes who choke him!
  • "Squid's Day Off" where SpongeBob is left in charge of the Krusty Krab while Squidward goes out to do some "errands". After running back and forth Squidward finally barricades himself in his house. "I'm not going to think about you know who, at the who know what, doing I don't care." Cut to creepy laugh and a psycho-looking Squidward with wide bloodshot eyes.
  • In the episode "Bubble Buddy", a man asks SpongeBob to bury him in the sand. He does and then asks Bubble Buddy to dig him out and walks away. The tide comes in and we later see him as an angel/ghost. Talk about Fridge Horror.
    • Also, Bubble Buddy is shown to be fully sentient at the end of the episode, after making the fish experience high tide. So he was sentient the whole time and could have helped the fish, but he just watched the fish drown.
  • In "Dying For Pie" when Squidward is doing all of the things SpongeBob wanted to do with him, there's a part where SpongeBob is doing surgery on Squidward and poking Squidward's heart while Squidward is still conscious. A few moments later, BLOOD STARTS SQUIRTING OUT. You know, for kids!
    • The entire premise of that episode is nightmare fuel. The concept of a bomb being hidden in food so there is no way to see it or defuse it? Jeez.
  • Wormy. The live-action bug close-ups were horrible and must've made some kids develop mottephobia.
    • It's not the horsefly that gets some (yes, that's what it is), but the loud buzzing that drones when it pops up, followed by the ensuing screams that follow.
    • Knowledge that real life people can fear horseflies (their bites HURT!) make it less Idiot Ball-like that the residents of Bikini Bottom think it's a monster.
  • In "Survival of the Idiots", the vision of hibernating Sandy is horrifying. And many would fear the inevitable moment when Sandy is going to wake up...
    "Hah, that really is disturbing!"
  • "Squid on Strike" ends up with SpongeBob and Squidward having to work for Mr. Krabs "FOREVER". The next scene cuts to them being reduced to skeletons and they are still working.
  • "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic" ends with dorky Jellyfish catcher Kevin's scalp ripped off and worn as a hat.
    • It gets worse. Said "scalp" is shaped like a crown, and in marine biology, a sea cucumber's crown corresponds to its anus.
  • In "Pressure", Sandy gets into an argument with the other main characters about which is better: land animals or sea animals. They taunt her until she tries to prove her superiority by ripping her suit off and taking off her helmet and smashing it, leaving her wearing a bikini. The scene is frightening because her smashed helmet releases an air bubble which quickly floats away, and you can't help but think, "That was her only air!" The worst part is that her friends laugh at her as she begins drowning, until her lungs shrivel up and break off of her airways in an x-ray. Once she realizes she's about to die, she quickly finds a pickle jar which inexplicably has air in it and sticks her head into it.
    • In the same episode, SpongeBob demonstrates his "sponginess" by budding off several new heads.
  • "Shanghaied" features Squidward being thrown by the Flying Dutchman into the "Fly of Despair," an apparently endless abyss filled with terrifying imagery and sounds.
  • "Welcome to the Chum Bucket". Plankton has SpongeBob working for him, and SpongeBob doesn't want to cook any Krabby Patties for Plankton. So Plankton takes SpongeBob's brain and makes a robot version of him. At the end, SpongeBob's head is bandaged, and his face is all messed up, implying Plankton didn't put his brain back in right.
    • In that same episode SpongeBob was trying to cook in the Chum Bucket kitchen and opened the oven (or whatever it was) to reveal a mutated burger. The meat part of it actually formed into a hand which it used to pull itself forward in an attempt to get at SpongeBob all the while muttering something incoherently (and creepily).
    • The concept of the episode is filled with Fridge Horror. If Plankton planned to take out SpongeBob's brain and put it into a robot, that would most likely mean killing SpongeBob and leaving his lifeless body somewhere. Off-screen, this is most likely what occurred.
    • And at the very end of the episode, SpongeBob has a band-aid on his forehead where Plankton took his brain out.
  • "Frankendoodle". For some, it's not scary at all, but for others, that babbling, raving voice, its violent intentions, and the way it's drawn are deeply disturbing.
  • The episode "Graveyard Shift" ended with all the scary things being explained rationally. But it turns out the lights had been going on and off because the vampire from Nosferatu had been flipping the light-switch. He's not even animated!
    • The way Squidward and SpongeBob's eyelashes reacted to the visitor in that episode was creepy.
    • SpongeBob repeatedly eating his own arms as Squidward tells the tale of the Hash-Slinging Slasher. It's played for comedy, with no real consequences... but he was still eating his own arms. Full of skin, bones, blood and who knows what else.
      • As a sea sponge, his arms only contain the last one.
    • Nosferatu's smile at the end. Brrrrr.
  • This line from "The Secret Box": "Or maybe Patrick's a deranged maniac who keeps his victim's severed heads in a box!" How did they get away with that?!
  • "Band Geeks" has a scene where two members of Squidward's marching band propel themselves into the air and hit a blimp, causing it to explode. To make matters worse, this episode aired four days before 9/11.
  • In "Procrastination", SpongeBob dreams that his house catches on fire as a result of SpongeBob putting off doing a report, and it suddenly becomes sentient, using its door for a mouth and port-hole window for an eye, and screams in agony as it burns. There's also the snail clock coming to life and saying in a sinister deep voice "Time's up, SpongeBob!"
    • The moment that got some was when the power goes out in SpongeBob's house. He lights a candle and hears someone cooing out his name. He turns around and sees his chair has gained a horrific-looking mouth and eyes and is coaxing him to "put his feet up" in a obscenely creepy voice.
    • The candle flame coming to life, saying "Only 799 words to go!", giving an Evil Laugh, and burning the report.
    • The cut scene, in which we see a lovely shot of a REAL LIFE violent car crash. *shudder*
  • The episode "Jellyfish Hunter", in addition to siccing the nightmarish "Moar Krabs" upon us, contains a genuinely disturbing scene in which SpongeBob is being stalked by a jellyfish, including an infamous "heavy breathing" phone call. It's even worse when No Name, the jellyfish who was stalking SpongeBob, takes him to Mr. Krabs factory where we see the jellyfish SpongeBob had caught for Mr. Krabs are inside tubes, and being forcibly drained of their jelly like they were oranges. The dried out/dead ones are even put into trash cans.

Season 3

  • From the episode "Just One Bite": "Does this look unsure to you?!"
    • And this:
    SpongeBob: But it's good for you!
    Squidward: Good for you? That thing is a heart attack on a bun!
    SpongeBob: No, Squidward... I meant, good for your soul...
    (angelic background and singing)
    Squidward: Oh, puh-leeze... I have no soul!
    (hellish background and evil music)
    Demonic Voice: Bwahahahahahaaa!
    (Squidward's eyes widen, music stops short and he walks away)
    • The creepily insane look on Squidward's face after he eats the patty he buried underground and runs back to the Krusty Krab.
    • The deleted scene is also frankly disturbing. See, Squidward first checks if the Krusty Krab has security measures for the Patty Vault. He realizes that it's just a bucket of water placed on top of the door. He laughs about it, opens the door, and the bucket spills over the floor. He steps on the puddle and comments that it's too easy. He then sniffs the liquid and realizes that the 'water' is really gas. A robotic arm then appears and drops a lit match into the gas, resulting in a huge explosion. Squidward then opens the kitchen door, setting off another burglar alarm. The kitchen bursts into flames for a few seconds. At least they didn't show that scene since the premiere, since it was removed following 9/11. However, the scene is still shown is some countries outside of the USA.
  • "Nasty Patty". SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs believe the health inspector at the Krusty Krab to be a phony who's faking it for free food, so they serve him the a disgusting, moldy Krabby Patty which apparently kills him. The rest of the episode is creepily monochromatic, and about them hiding the battered body from the police.
    • The health inspector choking on a fly and SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs begin laughing at his expense, thinking he ate the Nasty Patty. Funny Moment, right? Wrong. He was choking to death and SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs were (possibly) watching him die and laughing at him.
  • Squidward's attempt at making a Krabby Patty in "The Algae's Always Greener". Besides being a filthy concoction that could rival the Nasty Patty in sheer nastiness, it has an eyeball hanging from it! Even Plankton is shocked at the sight of it!
  • The fourth Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode takes Body Horror to a new level; when trying to reverse the ray, SpongeBob puts Squidward through an increasingly painful series of agonizing morphs — catching fire, being cut in half by scissors, having no skin... the worst transformations happened offscreen, with hideous gurgling sound effects that left the true horror to the viewer's imagination, which only made it worse.
    • Even more startling is when you realize that these were on Mermaid Man's belt!
    • And then there's the part where the shrunken citizens attack SpongeBob from the inside. Especially jarring are Squidward sawing a vein and Nancy Suzy Fish chopping off a kidney.
  • "Doing Time", which Ms. Puff is blamed for SpongeBob's inept driving and winds up in jail, which to her is a respite from the hell of her normal life. SpongeBob and Patrick, failing to understand, repeatedly try to rescue her, but instead make the guards think she's insane and throw her in an isolation cell. In the cell, she goes insane for real and starts hallucinating that the padded walls are made of sponge, and that each has SpongeBob's laughing face on it. Then she starts hallucinating the beginning of the episode over and over, each time a little different and a little weirder. The episode ends with her giving up on deciding what's real and what's not and resigning herself to insanity. Good thing for Negative Continuity.
    • It is actually implied that the entire jail episode was just a hallucination Mrs. Puff had while still falling off the cliff, which makes it all the more disturbing. After the solitary confinement scene and Mrs. Puff is shown falling off the cliff again, she has two more hallucinations, and the episode ends with her still falling off the cliff, her fate left ambiguous. Ten times more disturbing in that context. Good thing for Negative Continuity indeed.
    • What leads to Mrs. Puff getting tossed into an isolation cell. SpongeBob and Patrick reveal to Mrs. Puff that they're disguised as prison guards and Mrs. Puff begins freaking out and the two walk away. Then the real guards come, but Mrs. Puff believes them to be "SpongeBob and that guy who likes the chili" and rips off their faces.
  • "Can You Spare a Dime?":
    "We're like brothers— only closer."
    • Oh, God. You can see the clip here.
  • "No Weenies Allowed". A tough-looking fish describes how tough you have to be to get in:
    Fish: You need to have muscles. (flexes) You need to have muscles on your muscles. (flexes again) You need to have muscles on your eyeballs! (HIS EYES FLEX)
    SpongeBob: (disgusted) Ew.
  • The "appetizer" Mr. Krabs serves as food in "Squilliam Returns". Squidward, and later everyone else, was freaked out by it. Who'd eat something with fly wings on it?!
    • The face Squidward makes when he says "T-t-t-tonight?", while hilarious, can be freaky to some.
  • There was a scene in the episode "Wet Painters" where SpongeBob sees a microscopic drop of paint on Mr. Krabs' first dollar and his eyes crack open, causing his irises to ooze out.
  • The scene in "Krab Borg" where Mr. Krabs accidentally gets salt in his eyes is rather disturbing, what with his red eyes and him screaming in pain.
  • SpongeBob's "OVERTIME?!" face from "Rock-A-Bye-Bivalve", while absolutely hilarious for some, can be considered rather unsettling due to his squinty eyes and huge teeth.
    • In the same episode, a sentient worm emerges from an apple proclaiming "Greetings from Apple World!" only to be promptly Eaten Alive by Junior.
  • Mary the "young" lady's mother in "Chocolate with Nuts". Looking like a mummified corpse with no hair or eyes, and she was literally just a head with a spine! It was supposed to be funny, but it was a little jarring... A bit of Nightmare Retardant is provided when she says she hated chocolate.
    • Tom the "Chocolate Maniac". His loud, psychotic screams of "CHOCOLATE!!! CHOCOLATE!!!", while funny and popular, are more than a little unnerving.
    • The story that the con artist comes up with while he's in the full body cast is both terrifying and heartbreaking, even if it is a scam.
    "I was born with glass bones and paper skin. Every morning I break my legs, and every afternoon I break my arms. At night, I lie awake in agony until my heart attacks put me to sleep."
  • "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V", the episode where Barnacle Boy becomes evil and forms a league of supervillains after feeling under-appreciated. To stop the league of supervillains, Mermaid Man loans the costumes of retired superheroes to SpongeBob, Sandy, Patrick, and Squidward. Each costume gives them the superpowers of the hero that wore it. During the fight with Barnacle Boy and the other villains, everyone's superpower backfires in horrible ways (Squidward, as Captain Magma, thanks to a mis-aimed water-ball shot by Mermaid Man, ending up burning him to cinders, and SpongeBob, as The Quickster, getting caught running in a circle with his super speed and DISINTEGRATING are two of the most jarring). In the end it is revealed that everyone is still alive, albeit injured.
  • In "Clams" after Mr. Krabs loses his millionth dollar we see him slowly go completely insane. The cut back to Mr. Krabs, who begins giggling maniacally and tears his two eyes out, using them as a jumprope is genuinely disturbing and shows Mr. Krabs's true colors as a greedy boss.
    • Additionally, right after the clam eats his millionth dollar, we cut to Mr. Krabs' tear-filled eyes staring right at the viewer in rather grotesque detail. There's just something genuinely disconcerting about an extreme closeup of someone's eyes staring right at the viewer like that.
  • "The Great Snail Race" has two moments that qualify for this trope. First, the part where SpongeBob overworks Gary, causing the latter's shell and eye stalks to burst in the middle of the race. Then there's the part where Gary crashes in a giant fireball against a wall of tires.
  • The live-action gorilla, emerging from his animated Patrick suit in I Had An Accident and proceeding to beat the snot out of Patrick and Sandy. He even tears SpongeBob in half!
  • The scene in "SpongeBob Meets The Strangler" where SpongeBob gets really pointy cleats to jump on the Strangler's shoulders to go to a window, but misses and lands into the strangler's eyes.
  • "The Bully" features Flatts the Flounder transferring into boating school and threatening to bully SpongeBob. The Running Gag of "I'm gonna kick your butt!" aside, he constantly stalks and harangues SpongeBob at every turn, reminding him of what eventually awaits him. To make matters worse, when SpongeBob tries to tell Mrs. Puff about Flatts's threatening remarks, she doesn't buy it, and falls for Flatts's lie of "I'm gonna kick your butt!" being a regional gesture of friendship. He spends the whole episode fearing for the eventual beatdown from Flatts. Perhaps worst of all, at the end of the episode when Flatts delivers said "butt kicking", only for SpongeBob to be immune to the bully's punches and Flatts to wear himself out and collapse, Mrs. Puff sees the result and believes that SpongeBob beat up Flatts rather than the other way around! Obviously, the episode is meant to be funny, but Flatts's continuous psychological torment of SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff's misguided siding with the bully can hit too close to home for victims of real-life school bullying, something that can and will scar the victim for life if it's not dealt with accordingly.
    • Fridge Horror sets in when you consider that Mrs. Puff could have known exactly what Flatts was going to do to SpongeBob but purposely ignored it due to her hatred of SpongeBob in later episodes. In other words, Flatts wasn't the only bully in this episode.
  • Believe it or not, the "cheap walk cycles" Fake-Out Opening in "The Sponge Who Could Fly" actually creeped out some younger audiences. This is mostly because SpongeBob acted really, really strange where he goes from being happy, to being goofy, to acting paranoid about being followed, to explosive shock, over and over again without any explanation whatsoever. Sure, the scene is just for laughs, but even for this series and for that time (it was aired in 2003, before the movie), the comedy in this scene is so bizarre that young audiences can't help but feel creeped out by it. Patchy's Heroic B.S.O.D. afterwards doesn't help matters.

    Post-Movie Seasons 
For a while after the first movie, SpongeBob episodes had become infamous for being very violent with characters getting skinned, melting flesh, and getting ripped in half. They also made copious use of the Uncanny Valley trope. Maybe the creators have been "researching" this site.

Season 4

  • "Fear of a Krabby Patty." SpongeBob hallucinating? Check. Uncanny, giant talking Krabby Patty that speaks only in horrifying gurgles? Check. SpongeBob terrified? Check. Disturbing allusions to real life psychiatric practices involving convincing patients they are sick just to squeeze more money out of them? Check. CHECK. CHECK!
  • The "Where's Gary?" episode. Seeing those empty shells in grandma's closet. . .
  • Carl from "Selling Out" is rather creepy, especially considering how happy he is during his every line.
    Mr. Krabs: (after witnessing Squidward as a Stepford Smiler) What have you done to the real Squidward?
    Carl: The less you know, Eugene, the better.
    • Just prior to the lines above, Squidward absolutely insists that Mr. Krabs take a look at a certain page of the employee handbook. The page he indicates has a piece of paper taped to it with the words "HELP ME" written on it. Just to add a little nightmare fuel to the fire, that creepy, plastered-on smile never leaves Squidward's face.
  • "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture". When SpongeBob was shooting the movie, after a scene (specifically, Pearl falling off the cliff) destroys the whole set, SpongeBob is disappointed but still relieved that they got the footage. Patrick agrees, but then SpongeBob notices something blocking the lens. Patrick then reveals that it's a lens cap, and that he put it on right before they started filming, therefore rendering the whole movie useless. SpongeBob then goes insane by breaking off a big chunk of the pavement and slurping the worms under it!! Even the characters were shocked. Granted, he gets better, but still...
    • People in Bikini Bottom keep worms as pets, and the worms even act like dogs. Think about it...
    • "And they're using...actors."
    • Let's not forget Squidward doing...*ahem*..."make-up" for Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
  • The episode "SquidBob TentaclePants" features Squidward and SpongeBob becoming biologically fused due to one of Sandy's inventions. It's not so bad at first, but once everything seems to be resolved, Squidward wanted to be fused again, just so he could be a star... It ends with all the characters becoming trapped in an AKIRA-esque hideous flesh-colored blob with random moaning heads sticking out of it. It's probably one of the most crowning Nightmare Fuel moments in the show: in fact, it was so bad that some countries removed the scene entirely, thus leaving the episode with No Ending.
    • You know what's worse? There is an eyeball. A huge one, too! Who did it belong to? Probably Plankton, who wasn't in the previous scene...
  • "Ghost Host", in which the Flying Dutchman's ship breaks down, forcing him to take up residence in SpongeBob's pineapple. The Dutchman tried several mildly scary things in order to disturb SpongeBob, and, towards the climax of the episode, appeared as a huge snake with a huge, grotesque baby's head, which melted, turning into an effigy of SpongeBob, whose eyes elongated into hideous wiggling white worms and squiggled onto the floor while spiders crawled out of his eye sockets and mouth. Also among his forms are a clown's head on the same worm-like creature, and a giant, disturbingly realistic (for this show) insect. It was intended to be a parody of an over-the-top horror movie, but managed to be incredibly horrifying.
    • In all fairness, the point is that the Dutchman has been in SpongeBob's house so long by that point, and pulling so many scary stunts each day, that SpongeBob has become immune to and bias about them.
    • One of the Dutchman's forms is inexplicably J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, who comes from the satirical religion of the Church of the SubGenius. While "Bob" is usually funny, if strange, the reference is so out-of-place that his presence is a bit disconcerting.
    • The Flying Dutchman also did the same thing to scare Squidward in the end because Squidward didn't believe in ghosts. He also manifested himself as a vision of Squid's mother moaning "Why haven't you called meeeee?" and then melting, prompting Squidward to run out of his house screaming.
      • Actually, what caused Squidward to run away screaming was when the Dutchman did a parlor trick that made it look like he was pulling his thumb off one hand.
    • At one part, SpongeBob opens a fridge and a huge monster head suddenly pops out and screams.
  • In "All That Glitters", SpongeBob breaks his spatula in the beginning when trying to lift a massive glob of patty meat. As SpongeBob is screaming in terror, we get a lovely shot of the half of the spatula's body squirming around in pain under the meat, the Spatula supposedly 'dying'.
    • Fridge Horror kicks in with other times his spatula was damaged if you believe that the spatula has always been sentient.
  • In the episode "Once Bitten", Gary gets "Mad Snail Disease" and goes on a biting spree, turning everyone into zombies. Some "survivors" are barricaded in the Krusty Krab, and when SpongeBob arrives (followed by a horde of zombies), the survivors refuse to let him in (although he manages to anyway). But Gary appears out of nowhere and SpongeBob protects him when the survivors decide to kill him "for his own good." However, there was no disease in the first place, and Gary was acting strangely because of a "splinter" stuck in him. Even so, the episode still ends with Gary biting Mr. Krabs for no reason whatsoever.
  • In one scene in the episode "Bummer Vacation", SpongeBob's sitting in Patrick's house after being forced by Mr. Krabs to take a vacation and hiring Patrick as his temporary replacement. When Patrick finds him, SpongeBob looks (and acts) completely insane! Look!
      • Then, in the next scene, it's implied that SpongeBob killed Patrick and is wearing his skin. He's not, but just the thought that SpongeBob would prioritize his job over his best friend in the creepiest way imaginable...
  • The entirety of the episode where SpongeBob and Patrick go inside Squidward to get his clarinet reed out of his throat. During which they are screwing around with his bodily functions and at the end they end up GROWING inside of him...submarine and all.
    • At the end of the episode, Patrick uses the submarine's toilet INSIDE SQUIDWARD. This may seem funny at first, but then you realize that's gotta go somewhere...
    • The scene where they went into Squidward's brain! They messed around with his brain and made him spaz out against his will. One YouTube commenter actually said this episode made her paranoid that her brain hurt due to someone being in it. However, the brain cannot feel pain, so she'd be fine, but still, this episode can cause Paranoia Fuel!
  • The end of "Wishing You Well". Yeah...
  • In one episode, Patrick has given SpongeBob his prized possession: a house sized collection of gum that he's had for years, which apparently has all sorts of stuff like pizza, clothing and OTHER PEOPLE (they were living in it though). A good moment is when a pair of underpants comes out of the wad and it crawls to SpongeBob until it reaches his face, then it FUCKING TALKS TO HIM!!!
    Underpants: YOU'RE... NOT... PATRICK...!!
    • Gummy is an Eldritch Abomination made out of gum and junk.
      SpongeBob: (to Sandy in a weak voice) The more you touch it, the angrier it gets.
      Sandy: Oh, that's just crazy talk. HI-YAH! (She attempts to chop a strand of gum, causing her hand to be caught in it. As Sandy pulls away, Gummy rumbles...)
    • There is some Nightmare Retardant, though, if you remember one thing...
  • "Rule of Dumb" has "King Patrick's" Villainous Breakdown. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this episode is that Patrick's IQ seems to go up with his evilness.
    Patrick: My loyal subjects have deserted me! And it's all because of that horrible Squidward! This is all his fault! His, his! Not mine! HIS! (a spring seems to pop out of Patrick's head)
    SpongeBob: Patrick, what's happened to you?
    Patrick: I don't know what you mean.
    SpongeBob: Um...(chuckles nervously) You know, actually, Mr. Krabs is probably wondering where I am, and—-
    Patrick: (threateningly) "And" what?
    SpongeBob: (meekly) And...well, it's...just're kinda bein' a...jerk.
    Patrick: Heheh...I thought you were going to say I was abusing my power...
    SpongeBob: (Nervous laughter) Well, I—-
    SpongeBob shrinks and high-tails it while Patrick is screaming
  • In "New Leaf", when Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob and Squidward to keep their eyes peeled for any tricks Plankton's playing, SpongeBob takes Mr. Krabs literally and peels his eyes.

Season 5

  • "Money Talks". Mr. Krabs wishes he could talk to money, so the Flying Dutchman grants him that ability. However, the money wants to be spent, and Mr. Krabs, having a Money Fetish, refuses to do so. During the night, the money moan, "Speeeeeennnnnnd uuuuuuuuusssss..." in the creepiest tone possible.
    • Forgot to mention the fact that Mr. Krabs sold his soul for that to happen. Then it turns out he had already sold his soul to at least 20 other demonic entities, and SpongeBob to weasel out of a paycheck. What the hell is wrong with you, Mr. Krabs?!
  • "The Ick". It's a virus that causes green ooze to grow all over the victim's body. It's contagious on both touch and ingestion. Somehow, Squidward doesn't realize he's scratching a Ick-y spot, and a restaurant full of diners don't notice they're eating it. The only other known symptom is itchiness, but you have to wonder why Krabs called the SWAT team. And why they called the HAZMAT squad.
    • Ich is a real fish disease. The best way to explain it is that it's the equivalent of a flea to dogs and cats. It reproduces like crazy and feeds on blood and dead skin cells. However, it doesn't manifest itself as green fuzz, rather, it looks like somebody sprinkled salt on the fish.
      • It becomes more disturbing if you've ever dealt with Ich in aquarium fish. Ich is extremely contagious among fish because it has a fast breeding cycle and the fact that once the parasite encysts, it can stick to just about anything in the tank. If someone doesn't treat Ich, it's 100% fatal among fish.
    • May be more Nausea Fuel, but there's the GREEN PUS that was SPEWING from SpongeBob!
  • In "To Love a Patty", SpongeBob destroys a bunch of scallops trying to eat the Krabby Patty he falls in love with. This includes smashing them into pieces and RIPPING ONE IN HALF. This is pretty disturbing on its own, but couple in the fact that they spent an episode raising a baby scallop and it's just doubled. Indeed, as The Mysterious Mr. Enter pointed out, one of those scallops could've been Junior!
    • How "pretty" Patty looks when she's not eaten for a while. Simply put, it makes the Nasty Patty look appetizing! It also counts as Nausea Fuel when he eats it.
  • "A Flea in Her Dome": In this episode Sandy brings a flea back from Texas. There's only one flea at first, but then it multiplies... and multiplies... until there's a huge WAVE of fleas inside the tree dome.
    • The worst part was seeing the details of the flea. And the screech...sweet mother of God, the screech.
  • The episode where Plankton brainwashes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy into hating the Krusty Krab. At one point, Plankton does what he did in his debut appearance and goes INSIDE OF MERMAID MAN'S HEAD THROUGH HIS EAR, STOPPING BEHIND HIS EYE!
  • "Eat... or be eaten..."
    • SpongeBob's crazed look as his sanity slips.
  • In one episode, SpongeBob and Patrick unearth a submarine apparently buried in SpongeBob's yard. Upon entering, SpongeBob shoves aside a human skeleton to flip the engine switch.
  • The demented shot of SpongeBob's face from "WhoBob WhatPants", quite possibly the most terrifying thing to have ever come out of the show, arguably more scary than the "Moar Krabs" and "Sure Squidward" faces. If you're truly feeling brave enough, here's the image.
    SpongeBob: Is there something wrong with me?
    • It once was the main image for this page, but you can probably guess why it was removed.
  • "Spongehenge". Most of that episode is pretty funny, but the ending — where a bearded, crazed SpongeBob heads back to the Krusty Krab only to find it a derelict ruin, evoking the finales of both Planet of the Apes and the original ending of Army of Darkness — is unsettling: And the final shot of the far-future alien tourists examining the now-abandoned, eerily-piping huge stone SpongeBobs even more so. It was all somehow reminiscent of the ending of the original The Wicker Man...
    • A somewhat not-so-scary example, but the sun and moon with live-action faces. There is some Nightmare Retardant if you remember one thing...
    Moon: My shift's over.
    Sun: Time for work, SpongeBob!
    • In the final seconds, we close in on one of the happily-smiling, piping SpongeBobs, and we hear - over it - SpongeBob's usual merry laughter. But it now sounds completely crazed. Is the implication that a now-maddened-with-loneliness SquarePants has retreated to a recluse's existence inside it?
    • The echo that SpongeBob's Big "NO!" created!
  • In "Two Faces of Squidward", an incident causes Squidward to become handsome, however, when SpongeBob tries making him look back to normal in the end, but it makes him more handsome. Needless to say, he looks rather disturbing. A fan looped the clip with Mega Man music. This is what he looks like.

Season 6

  • The episode "Penny Foolish" where Krabs grows obsessed with getting a penny that he saw SpongeBob pick up. At one point, he picks up SpongeBob and shakes him down...KNOCKING HIS BRAIN OUT! SpongeBob acts normal even with it off, but to add even more creepiness, the brain GROWS LEGS AND SCURRIES AROUND LIKE A BUG! It even crawls over Squidward, who doesn't even react! And to make things even more sickening, the brain squirts juice (looking like water) at Krabs!
  • "Not Normal". Horrifying. Squidward gives SpongeBob a tape on "How To Be Normal". He gets "normal" and looks creepy and says things like "Wonderful weather we're having" in a very dull and disturbing voice... and then Squidward turns "normal" too, and it's FRIGHTENING.
    • Lampshaded in that the sight of "normal" Squidward scares SpongeBob back to normal.
    • Earlier in the episode, SpongeBob tries to return to his old self by clenching. He clenches so hard, his eyes pop out, complete with very realistic stalks. His eyes have popped out before, but those gags were usually done in a cartoonish manner.
  • The episode "Gone" where SpongeBob is the only person in Bikini Bottom and slowly goes insane from loneliness. Finding out that the others were out of town burning SpongeBob in effigy (including his friends) was somehow immensely comforting. Then everyone (including SpongeBob) leaves town to burn Patrick in effigy.
    • Other aspects of "Gone" were unnerving. The title card itself evokes a sense of how empty the town is during the episode just seeing the word over a barren landscape. Plus, the idea that everyone organizes a special occasion to burn you in effigy and that you even partake in it when it's someone else being burned in effigy isn't too pleasant either.
  • The episode where SpongeBob gets a splinter in his thumb. All of it.
  • In "A Life In A Day", Patrick ends up pissing off some angry bikers and SpongeBob tries to talk them out of beating him up, saying that "he has been left a hollow shell of his former self." A cutaway is then shown of an Uncanny Valley-ish Patrick with big empty black holes where his eyes and mouth should be. (Warning that that video contains flashing, bright lights.)
  • There's a rather gruesome scene in "Plankton's Regular", where SpongeBob is lying in front of the Chum Bucket's door, and the regular customer opens the door over him, scraping off his face in the process. It doesn't get really disturbing until he sits up, and you can see all the (rather detailed) muscles of his face exposed.
  • The scene in "No Nose Knows" where Patrick uses a hermit crab as a nose and it bites his face hard! Patrick can even be seen crying in pain.
  • In "Grooming Gary", Gary is forced to go to a pet show and causes the pets to overrun the owners. Gary spontaneously grows pseudopod-like arms and rips his collar off. It's much scarier than it sounds.
  • "Squid's Visit" has a somewhat creepy premise, with SpongeBob making his entire house look EXACTLY like Squidward's down to every minor detail. But the real creepy parts are when SpongeBob is heavily breathing with a crazed look while staring at Squidward, and at the end when Squid's house burns down-he then gets a VERY weird looking expression, and then has a fantasy of him having tea with his vacuum and he then says "Yes, I'd love another spot of tea, Mr. Vacuum Cleaner!" and "care for some casserole?" in an eerie tone underscored by unsettling background music, and then he starts laughing insanely with his eye-twitching while the screen zooms in on his face.
  • "Shell Shocked", in which Gary breaks his shell and needs a new one. SpongeBob goes to this discount snail shell dealer named "ANGRY JACK" and breaks all his shells. Afterward Jack asks SpongeBob to "pay him back" in terms of body parts. He takes his one of his arms, a leg, and his heart (which looks realistic). Why Angry Jack wants those, beyond the obvious pun ("it costs an arm and a leg"), aren't something to be thought about.
    • The close ups of Gary's exposed under-shell body.
  • The cave dwellers in the episodes Chum Caverns and another one are downright horrifying. You would think the scene where Plankton gains control over them, despite them being 50x his size, would be funny. Plankton whips them into submission, and they begin crying in fear, and obviously pain from the whip. So, you would think it's just the evil empire of the Chum Bucket that harnesses their power, but later on, The Krusty Krab also uses them. But not to fear, they're treated better. The cave dweller monsters get to use the whips.
  • "House Fancy": The infamous toenail scene. Which you can see here. Just be warned, it's a very graphic scene.

Season 7

  • "Someone's In The Kitchen With Sandy" features Plankton stealing Sandy's fur and puppeteering it like some sort of grotesque flesh-robot. The act of obtaining the fur isn't so bad, as Sandy apparently wears it like a suit so she can just take it on and off, but the flesh-puppet that it becomes, with its Zombie Gait and nothing in its mouth and eye sockets...
  • The premise of "The Inside Job" is that Plankton has a new plan to get the secret recipe for Krabby Patties by going inside of Mr. Krabs, which ends up being SpongeBob due to a misfire, and taking over his senses. First, he takes over his sight, causing SpongeBob's eyes to go COMPLETELY BLACK, and for him to panic at being blind and make a patty out of soap, sponges, and a scouring pad. That doesn't work. Plankton takes over his hearing next, which doesn't lead to anything Nightmare Fuel-ish other than the idea of suddenly losing your hearing because somebody's stolen it. Plankton then decides to go into SpongeBob's brain, where there is a complete version of SpongeBob's house made out of brain, including Gary! The episode then turns into utterly terrifying Body Horror. Plankton plugs his sense-stealing device into SpongeBob's heart, and becomes a SpongeBob-looking thing, completely with a scary transformation sequence. He later becomes Patrick, which is played for laughs but doesn't excuse the second transformation sequence.
  • Greasy SpongeBob. In the episode "Greasy Buffoons", The Krusty Krab has to clean up a lot of grease before they can reopen. So, they use SpongeBob. He became this saggy giant SpongeBob with all the holes swelled up and full of grease. Ughhh...
  • In "A Pal For Gary", Gary is paired with a creature of similar size (a green blobby-thing that SpongeBob names "Puffy Fluffy") that opens its mouth and reveals tons of horrible-looking teeth. After eating a fridge worth of food, it grows into a massive, disgusting, all too detailed Eldritch Abomination with multiple Sarlacc-like tongues and tries to eat Gary and SpongeBob.
    • SpongeBob's behavior towards Gary in that episode was nightmarish; beyond sheer stupidity and ignorance. The entire episode Fluffy is flat out trying to murder Gary and everytime Gary goes to SpongeBob to help him, the yellow idiot thinks Gary is being mean to Fluffy and not attempting to give the new pet a chance. At one point, Fluffy chews apart one of Gary's chew toys savagely with SpongeBob in the same damn vicinity and just casually eats food and goes on to blame Gary.
  • "One Coarse Meal". Mr. Krabs takes advantage of Plankton's cetaphobia and drives him to suicide. And when SpongeBob tells Krabs about this, Krabs just laughs.
    • Plankton's nightmare is also unsettling to watch. He dreams he's being chased by Pearl in a cellar. Pearl catches up to Plankton and eats him, and we can see Plankton in the inside of Pearl's disgusting mouth, banging on her teeth, wanting to be let out. Pearl uses her tongue to knock Plankton down her throat into her stomach, in which Plankton sees his relatives from "Plankton's Army", all charred up in the acid. Then we cut to Pearl, who laughs evilly with Dramatic Thunder in the background. It's horrific for people with a phobia of WombLevels to sit through.
    • The fact that Mr. Krabs is dressing up as his daughter to scare Plankton. Pearl even explicitly states that whales eat krillin, not plankton. She doesn't want to scare Plankton. So Mr. Krabs actually dresses up as her! Combined with the above nightmare, this is insane, as Pearl is one of the nicest characters on the show.
  • Squidward's nightmare sequence in "Squidward in Clarinet Land". Some, uh, highlights:
    • The disembodied Eagle head threatening him and laughing oh-so-creepily.
    • The file cabinets in the safe getting bigger and more maze-like was scary, it was not helped by SpongeBob laughing and running around in there.
    • Mr. Krabs opening the locker and there being a skeleton inside. He makes a comment about SpongeBob asks Mr Krabs "Who is that?" and he responds "That appears to be Corporal Sterling. Forgot about that prank..." Meaning he locked someone in the locker and they DIED! Mr. Krabs KILLED SOMEONE!
      • Plus, when SpongeBob goes to open the locker, maggots eat the flesh off his hand!
  • "The Abrasive Side:"
    • Sandy ripping the abrasive side off SpongeBob. He even screams in pain.
    • The ending, where it's revealed SpongeBob's grandma got an abrasive side too. The delivery of her line comes completely out of nowhere, as does the Dramatic Thunder afterwards.
    "Make your own hot cocoa! I'm BUSY!"
  • To some extent, parts of "Earworm". One scene when SpongeBob ran back home like crazy while singing to the tune of "Musical Doodle, "The song that you ran from is back again. You wonder will the madness will ever end".
    • That whole scene. The Room Full of Crazy and SpongeBob's weird humming/babbling and whatever he was doing with his hands, "running" home on all fours looking utterly deranged, crawling up and down around the outside of his house and in through a window while creepy music plays...that whole sequence was just unsettling. The very premise of the episode: if a song gets stuck in your head, a parasite will take up residence in there and drive you completely insane.
    • "Round n' round, the record spins all day, listen again, it takes you FAR away..." feels like the song is telling you that you'll go mentally insane (which SpongeBob does) and wind up in a mental asylum if you listen to it repeatedly.
    • One scene that really crossed the line was when the earworm crawled into Squidward's head through his eye in his sleep. Then at the very end, Squidward screams.
  • "Whelk Attack", in which Bikini Bottom is invaded by giant sea whelks who eat everything in sight. As if the premise wasn't scary enough, there's a scene near the end where SpongeBob and Patrick lend their corneas to Sandy.
  • "Buried in Time" revolves around SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward getting stuck in a time capsule and buried alive.
  • "That Sinking Feeling", where SpongeBob and Patrick get everyone's houses buried underground. The premise isn't scary, but we get a scene where we see from first person view Squidward ANGRILY walking down a dark, claustrophobic tunnel up to SpongeBob and Patrick, like something out of Amnesia or Slender. Said scene also switches between the first person view of Squidward & the fearful reactions of SpongeBob & Patrick.

Season 8

  • The snow-monster thing from "Frozen Face-Off". It looks like a cross between Squidward and a Yeti, which is a lot worse than it sounds, especially because it's not animated in 2D animation, but in something that looks like Claymation.
  • In "House Sittin' for Sandy", SpongeBob suffocates once again by being inside Sandy's treedome sans helmet, but the newly redesigned way it's shown is beyond anything they've shown before.
  • In "Walking the Plankton", Plankton gets chopped in half by the boat's propeller blade.
  • "Plankton's Good Eye". Plankton decides to grow another eye resulting in many body horror scenes. Including one where eyes grow all over his body including inside his mouth. "I CAN SEE EVERYTHING!!!"
  • The second half of "InSPONGEiac", dear gosh. SpongeBob loses sleep and halfway through the episode, Patrick gives him coffee to help him which makes him run uncontrollably. The scary part is when he starts hallucinating.
  • In "Squiditis", when Squidward fakes being sick and lists his symptoms, mentioning "itchy eyes," he scratches his eye! Later, SpongeBob does it too!
  • Squidward being fried alive and almost eaten in "Restraining SpongeBob".
    • Hell, Squidward's reaction to SpongeBob right afterwards. He's so traumatized and terrified that he shakes, screams, cries and hides under a table, then starts crawling up the wall just to get away from SpongeBob. It's clear that SpongeBob finally broke him and made him have a nervous breakdown.
  • Karen preparing to cut open Plankton with a saw to remove a Krabby Patty from his stomach in "For Here Or To Go". What makes this even worse is that she did it without giving Plankton any anesthetic first.
    • The context for this was that she was going to cut the Krabby Patty out of Plankton's stomach to analyze its composition so that they could recreate the Krabby Patty themselves. It works at first, with the Krusty Krab's customers flocking over to the Chum Bucket, only for them all to leave in disgust. When Plankton asks the reason for this, she states she did what he said, to analyze his stomach contents. ALL of his stomach contents...including his entrails.
  • "Planet of the Jellyfish" where, in a parody of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, alien jellyfish invade Bikini Bottom. They replicate everyone, except for SpongeBob and Sandy, speaking in a robot-like tone and having soulless black eyes. The alien leader is keeping the real Bikini Bottom citizens in pods hanging from the ceiling in the freezer. It becomes slightly Nightmare Retardant when you find out the aliens Weaksauce Weakness is... mayonnaise.
  • "Demolition Doofus". Mrs. Puff gets deflated (creepy in itself) and tries to kill SpongeBob. Not beat or injure him. Murder him.
    • If that wasn't bad enough, her dialogue only makes it more disturbing:
  • "Face Freeze". The entire episode consists of the main characters (aside from Sandy), making the most grotesque faces in the entire series. Especially in the end...Mr. Krabs and Squidward...
  • Santa, of all people, in the Christmas special, who looks like a pig-goblin hybrid straight out of the Uncanny Valley. Considering it's a Rankin-Bass parody, this was probably intentional.

Season 9

  • In "License to Milkshake", Captain Frostymug is graphically sucked into a milkshake maker.
  • The old snail from "Gary in Love" makes another cameo in "Plankton's Pet".
    • Also, the scene where Mr. Krabs attacked the baby which was Plankton in disguise. The customers were so horrified by this that they started beating Mr. Krabs up.
  • "Squid Baby" may have the most horrifying And I Must Scream moment outside of the movie to date. Squidward gets a brain injury so bad, he has the mentality of an infant for the majority of the episode. The doctor said that he would stay a baby forever if his head kept getting hit long enough. Guess what happens to Squidward for most of the episode regardless of the fact he gets better at the end.
  • SpongeBob's Madness Mantra in "Bumper to Bumper" is rather surreal.
    Focus on the road. There is nothing but the road.
  • SpongeBob reaching under the grill in "Eek, an Urchin!".
    • In the same episode, one of the fish actually eats the stems of the urchin!
  • In the episode Evil Spatula, after an explosion occurs in the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs look like charred skeletons. Ugh...
  • The whole "Don't Look Now" episode where SpongeBob and Patrick are convinced that a villain from a movie is after them. Their fear of said villain bothers Squidward so much that he decides to scare them.
    • Scarier than that is that this is a legitimate threat. Hooky proved that fisherman are a real concern.
    • When Patrick has Squidward's (as the Fisherman) hook lodged in his nostril, the hook line gets caught in SpongeBob's door, causing Patrick's face to rip off. We later see Patrick's exposed skull when he goes up to SpongeBob's room in the dark, and SpongeBob turns on the lights.
  • In "Kenny the Cat", SpongeBob enters Sandy's treedome without his water helmet, and we see him GASPING FOR WATER, ALL WHILE SLOWLY SCREAMING!
  • "Company Picnic" SpongeBob slapping a candy pen out of Mr. Krabs' hand, going towards Simmy, on of Plankton's robots. Thankfully, it's only a hologram.
    • That goes for the rest of Plankton's other stuff: The candy pens are caterpillars, his boat is an old worn out boat, his food is his chum, his roller coaster is indescribable, and the plush walruses are WALRUS SKELETONS!
  • In "The Fish Bowl", when Sandy sends SpongeBob and Patrick to get sand from the beach, SpongeBob says it'll be "easy sneezy", prompting Patrick to sneeze which causes his brain to hang out of his nose. Patrick then sniffs it back into his head. Sandy is unsurpisingly disgusted by this.
    Sandy: Ew.
  • In "Pineapple Invasion", Plankton crawls into Gary's shell thinking the formula is there. The shell's Bigger on the Inside, consisting of not only your usual Womb Level environment, but caves and psychedelic landscapes. All while Gary's eye stalk is chasing Plankton. At one point, we see Plankton on an Alice in Wonderland-esque world full of Escher staircases. And then the episode ends with Gary at the vet's office and the vet revealing that it wasn't even real; Plankton had been in Gary's shell so long, the stink in the shell caused him to hallucinate. And the so-called formula he found? It was just an old grocery list.
  • "Salsa Imbecilicus", where Plankton makes a sauce that turns everyone stupid. The scene in question is when Plankton is going to get Patrick's DNA. He rows a boat through Patrick's drool, which is creepy enough, but then he goes into his mouth and uses a cotton swab to get the DNA. Then Patrick's tongue starts attacking Plankton, which causes him to run out of there with the DNA. The entire thing is unnerving.

Season 10

  • The whole concept of "Whirly Brains", and the fact that almost all of those who had a Whirly Brain got it kidnapped by a grumpy old fish. Imagine getting your brain kidnapped and not being to able find it.
    • Hell, imagine turning your brain into a toy!
  • "Mimic Madness" sees SpongeBob get the 'mocking mimicry madness,' which leads him to imitate everyone he comes across thinking this is the 'sincerest form of flattery.' While it's mostly funny at first, and leads us to gems like this one, near the end of the episode; he can't remember who he is and launches into a heart-rending musical number. His friends come there to the rescue, though, and start imitating him, thus he remembers who he is again. However there is a twist - his friends get the 'mocking mimicry madness', and the episode ends with Squidward having his subconscious (represented by two copies of himself knocking on his eyes) begging to be let out of his real self! WHAT THE HELL?!
    • Some of SpongeBob's imitations when he goes too far with are also pretty disturbing, namely his impressions of Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, and Plankton at once.
  • "Feral Friends", in which a strange moon devolves the sea creatures of Bikini Bottom and Sandy appears to be the only one left unaffected. It's pretty unsettling seeing the normally anthropomorphic, energetic population of the town transformed into realistic, primitive wild animals. Some, like SpongeBob and Patrick, are left mostly harmless, while others like Squidward and Pearl, become gigantic, monstrous beasts willing to devour anything in their path.
  • "Code Yellow" has the scene where SpongeBob performs surgery on Squidward: his heart flies up into the air, he chops him up into sushi to serve to the other fish, and accidentally chops his head off offscreen.

Season 11

  • The scene set inside SpongeBob's mind in "The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom" triples as this, a Funny Moment and a Moment of Awesome, since it was animated by Sally Cruikshank, but you gotta admit the Flying Dutchman was right to be freaked out by that baby SpongeBob.
  • The ending of "Teacher's Pests", where after SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs, and Plankton are caught in an explosion, they're sewn together; Plankton is now replacing one of Mr. Krabs' eyes, and Mr. Krabs' head is sewn to SpongeBob, who's missing the top of his head where his eyes were. And the episode abruptly ends right there.
    SpongeBob: Now we can be together forever.
  • The entirety of "Krabby Patty Creature Feature", as the premise has Sandy Cheeks create a new Krabby Patty that causes everyone who eats it to become a Krabby Patty zombie. The Krabby Patty zombies are scary alone, but they also are shown to be able to infect people and make them become Krabby Patty zombies by feeding themselves to their victims. And then at the end, Patrick, who is still a patty zombie, attempts to offer a bite to the viewer. This means two things. (1. that the zombies may still be out there and this time there may not be any more chum to cure them, and (2 that Patrick was trying to offer a bite to the viewer. Now how did the patty monsters infect the uninfected again?)
  • "Cuddle E. Hugs". SpongeBob meets an imaginary friend, the titular Cuddle E. Hugs, a giant hamster who can only be seen by eating an old, moldy Krabby Patty. Things start off innocently enough and is even heartwarming at points. However, things start to go wrong when SpongeBob becomes sad that his other friends don't believe Cuddle E. Hugs is real, and is then suggested by the hamster himself that he shares the old sandwich to everyone in town. And when everyone does eat the moldy Krabby Patty at The Krusty Krab, Cuddle E. Hugs goes on to eat all of SpongeBob's friends in a rather creepy manner. Granted, the fact that everyone wasn't really eaten since Cuddle E. Hugs is just imaginary dilutes the horror, but the subject matter is still pretty dark for a SpongeBob episode. And the "E" in Cuddle's middle name? It stands for "Eat".
  • At one point in "Ink Lemonade", Patrick rips a band-aid of his armpit in a grotesque manner.
    • Later, to scare Squidward and make him sneeze more ink, Patrick rips off his skin and shows his internal organs. Then:
    Patrick's intestines: May I borrow a cup of squid squeezings?
    • Later, after the lemonade stand goes bust, Patrick and SpongeBob decide to bake cookies instead. The secret ingredient? Spider eggs. The episode ends with Squidward screaming while spewing out ink and spiderlings at the same time!

    Video Games 


  • SuperSponge has bosses like the shark sub, sea snake, bronze dogfish, and The Flying Dutchman. The former three can be quite scary looking, not to forget the accompanying boss music. In the GBA version, some enemies and bosses have a more aggressive appearance than in the PlayStation version. Some later levels can look grim.

Revenge of the Flying Dutchman

  • The whole idea of The Dutchman stealing SpongeBob's friends one by one.
  • Some of the levels seem dark and depressing, such as Downtown Bikini Bottom, which is Always Night and has no background characters, only eel thugs patrolling the streets.
  • Enemies can be unsettling, particularly the first Eel you meet just standing at an empty counter, and the clown anglerfish.
  • The Lighthouse and Shipwreck, It has no music at all, save for the sounds of rain and thunder, making for an unsettlingly somber and atmospheric level. There's also something unnerving about a horde of giant jellyfish just floating calmly during this storm at the top, silhouetted by the lighthouse light.
  • The fact that there are wildcat snails close to playing children in Jellyfish Fields.
  • Chum Land due to its hazardous nature, and the fact that most of the friendly clowns seem to off themselves by going into the sickeningly polluted goo, after their mini-games are beat.
  • The mini-games are nothing but the inside of SpongeBob's head with his eyes turned back and looking around while everything involved in the current level swerves about with great madness.

Battle for Bikini Bottom

  • SpongeBob when he's in Sandy's treedome.
  • Rock Bottom, the Industrial Park, and the Flying Dutchman's Graveyard.
  • Patrick's Dream; it's nothing but a big black void with just Patrick, a lightbulb, the spatula, you, and a gate suspended in the middle of nowhere. Its obviously intended to be a joke, but it can be rather unsettling, especially compared to how Patrick's Dreams are portrayed in the show. Should you try to explore the void, the layout just ends up looping and you might find yourself back with Patrick.
  • Squidward's Dream is full of portraits of his "does this look unsure to you?" face, with a huge one right behind where you start the level.
  • The Robot Patrick boss fight. Think about it. You're fighting a giant, robotic version of one of the strongest characters in SpongeBob history, who's bathing in a pool of acid so you can't get to him, and he can freeze you solid, which can screw you over on several occasions. Not to mention that his ice cream is poisonous, which he spills everywhere when he licks it. And all just to save Squidward.
  • Some of the robots can be this.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Creature from the Krusty Krab

Creature from the Krusty Krab is cited as the darkest SpongeBob game ever. And no wonder why, the game has added much more Nightmare Fuel than any other SpongeBob game.