Nightmare Fuel: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)
While not as dark as it's predecessor, this version of TMNT has got enough to fright you for days.
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- Mutations in this series tend to be much more horrifying than in any of the previous versions. Most mutants either end up hideously deformed, completely feral, or both. To list, Dogpound is a hulking brute with bone covering parts of his body, and asymmetrical arms. When he becomes Rahzar, he becomes symmetrical, but also an emaciated apparently-undead figure with glowing eyes and exposed bones Fishface lost his legs, and can't breath outside of water. Mutagen Man is a blob of organs in acidic slime, and completely insane. Rat King looks like a corpse. Wingnut has a hideously swollen brain and mismatched hands. Snakeweed is a plant monster that can't be killed. Spider Bytze is mostly mouth... The list just goes on.
- Several things happen to the boys throughout the show that may bring back bad memories of the infamously sad and dark 2k3 series episode, "Same As It Never Was" (SAINW). When in pain Mikey is consistently seen clasping his left arm. During one of Leo's encounters with Karai she throws a type of dust into his eyes that WOULD have blinded him had it been more potent. Lastly when Karai gets mutated into a snake monster she spits an acid like substance at Raph's left eye. It's almost like the writers a deliberately toying at the 2k3 fans and their traumatized memories of SAINW.
1x01 & 02; Rise of the Turtles
- Snake's mutation into Snakeweed, even though it's silhouetted.
- What about his mutated form? That pumping thing just below his face is quite clearly his heart, and when he separates his legs, you can see the bone and muscle inside.
- Heck, any mutation falls under this, whether they were Asshole Victims or not. Just because we only saw Snakeweed's mutation on-screen doesn't make the others less horrifying.
1x03; Turtle Temper
- Vic's scream during his (thankfully offscreen) transformation in Spyder Bytez.
1x04; New Friend, Old Enemy
- The Amount of Adult Fear present here! Just the thought of meeting someone online only to see that he isn't what he seems should be fear enough.
- Stockman getting stronger and stronger when time passes.
- Although most of their dialogue could be considered Nightmare Retardant, the line by the Kraang about eliminating the turtles "from this place and all other places" is pretty sinister.
1x07; Monkey Brains
- The revelation that Dr. Falco was experimenting on/mutated Dr. Rockwell.
- Rockwell himself when he's nuts
1x08; Never Say Xever
- There's the fact that Xever isn't above hurting disabled people.
- He almost succeeded in killing the turtles, had it not been for the fact that one of the Purple Dragons tossed Leo his sword back.
- Perhaps one for Murakami - He's blind, so he can't see what's going on, but he can hear just fine. And he was hanging above a very high balcony.
1x09; The Gauntlet
- The Turtles' battle with the Shredder.
- Worse yet was how Prior to every fight before this where it looked hopeless, there was a chance and the turtles took it. Snakeweed? Leo saw something conveniently to shock him. Spiderbytez? Big Damn Heroes moment courtesy of Raph. Baxter Stockman? Weak point that only needed one shot. Bradford and Xever? Swap places. The Shredder, however, showed no obvious signs of being at a disadvantage. He was THAT MUCH STRONGER THAN ALL FOUR TURTLES AT ONCE.
- There was also the way Xever begged for help after he mutated.
- Or when Raph got electrocuted.
- And Mikey getting crushed under a sign.
- Then there was Splinter's quote at the end:
Splinter: You were all very lucky. Few have ever faced the Shredder and survived.
- It may not be much of a surprise to long-time TMNT fans, but it can still be rather frightening knowing Shredder has killed people in combat before.
1x10; Panic in the Sewers
- Splinter's nightmare of the Shredder killing the Turtles at the beginning of "Panic in the Sewers." Yes, technically we don't actually see them die (in truth, they really get sucked up into shadows and disappear when they "die") but the dark atmosphere and screams of terror they make don't make it any less nightmarish. Case in point, Michelangelo's death - we just see the Shredder grab him, and then, nothing else. Nothing is Scarier, indeed.
- Of special note is the part just before Splinter wakes up. Shredder has Leo cornered and slowly approaches him, dragging his claws along the wall. He raises his arm and swipes. The camera then cuts to Leo screaming, and a line slices across his neck. The line divides the scene in half and cuts to Splinter waking up, but the implication is that Shredder cut Leo's head off.
1x11; Mousers Attack!
- The Mousers' pursuit of the Turtles due to being covered in a radioactive isotope used to detect them. Doesn't help that whenever one is taken down, many more keep appearing.
1x12; It Came From the Depths
- Poor Leatherhead was subjected to various horrific experiments by the Kraang. Now, he suffers from massive Sanity Slippage because of them.
- Leatherhead's consistent Mook Horror Show treatment of the Kraang.
- The Turtles and Leatherhead being surrounded by the Kraang in the subway car. The way they're slowly breaking into the car and several of their limbs are crawling around inside it looks like something out of a horror film. One even starts cutting into it with a saw that nearly hits Leonardo!
- The final line of the episode from Leatherhead:
"You won't be telling anyone anything."
1x13; I, Monster
- Concept art depicting the Rat King◊ shows him to look much more like a corpse in a black coat rather than a strange bandaged person that lives in the sewers that the previous series showed him to be.
- It gets worse in the actual episode with most of what we see of him in the episode usually limited to just his gnarled teeth and his burned lower jaw. Whenever it's particularly close to his mouth, you can hear a gross, clattering noise when he speaks.
- His Mind Rape of Splinter the entire episode.
- The rats swarming all over New York and in the sewers.
1x14; New Girl In Town
- What happened to the pizza guy and blonde woman. And all the other humans in that scene, once you realize the context.
- After the Turtles freeze Snakeweed with a tank of liquid nitrogen and shatter him to pieces, the camera zooms in on his heart... which begins to beat again.
1x15; The Alien Agenda
- Ms. Campbell. Uncanny Valley to the max. And then she starts shooting missiles.
- And then there's Justin.
1x16; The Pulverizer
- The ending shows that for some reason, the Kraang are after April.
- The reveal that the Kraang's ultimate goal is to use the mutagen to alter the planet so they can comfortably live on it, which would make it toxic to mankind, is horrifying.
- The Kraang dressing up as humans. While Played for Laughs, it's still rather creepy to see them putting on their Uncanny Valley disguises.
- Donnie's angry face near the end of the intro.
1x17; Cockroach Terminator
- The whole premise of the episode, really, especially for those who have katsaridaphobia.
- Pretty much anything to do with the mutant Spy-Roach, who becomes even more disturbing after it molts. And that last shot of a roach embryo screeching inside of a slimy egg...
1x21; Karai's Vendetta
- Don showing what happened after dipping a pizza slice into a sample of Kraang-made water. Mikey gets shocked and says "How can you sleep at night?!"
- Slightly mitigated by the fact that Michelangelo was more likely upset about the pizza being destroyed than the implications that the water is capable of destroying living beings.
- Karai going after April, in a civilian alias, at Murakami's diner. Especially the subtly unnerved reaction Murakami has to Karai's order: (Turtle Soup).
1x22; Pulverizer Returns!
- Pulverizer's new mutant form. He turns into a sickly green blob of goo with visible and graphic internal organs. This, compounded with his head being fried by the mutagen on initial impact, him losing his mind, and going completely feral on the turtles, makes him absolutely terrifying.
- What he says when he's mutating, which is garbled due to the ooze on him: "It burns! I didn't think it would burn so bad!"
- How the turtles look when they're being controlled by the wasps. Their eyes turn black, they drool some yellow substance in place of saliva, and they all around act like wild animals.
1x24; Operation: Break Out
- Newtralizer EATS a Kraang.
- What Shredder looks like beneath his helmet.
- The fact that Shredder kidnapped Splinter's daughter and raised her to hate her own father, believing he was her father and Splinter murdered her mother.
- Kraang Prime is every bit as nightmare-inducing as you'd expect.
- Not to mention April being hooked up to that device.
- Traag deserves a mention. I mean, Leo keeps blasting Traag's limbs and he keeps on coming and when all his limbs are blown off, he just reassembles himself no sweat. He's a frightening example of The Juggernaut.
2x01; The Mutation Situation
- All the canisters of ooze falling down in slo-mo.
- Kirby's mutation, his face and screams of pain with a grotesque crunching sound to go with it.
- The Squirrelanoids. They force themselves into someone's mouth, duplicate themselves in the host's stomach and have the host vomit them out. Their final mutation stage depicts them as giant zombie alien squirrels with a savage mindset.
2x03; Follow The Leader
- The new Foot Robots, who make distinctly non-human buzzes, constantly swarm the enemy, and are far more powerful than the standard Foot from last season.
2x04; Mutagen Man Unleashed
- Mutagen Man's scratchy synth voice. Just...ugh.
- It's even more frightening when he's got Raph pinned down, about to melt off his upper body.
- Mutagen Man still being able to move for a split second even after Donnie froze him.
2x05; Mikey Gets Shell Acne
- Dog Pound's secondary mutation into Rahzar.
- And not just the process either. Which involved him falling into a vat of mutagen, which made it look as if he died in the most painful manner. He has a more terrifying undead look.
- Mikey's acne problem, especially when the zits get into places like his tongue and his eyes. Also qualifies for serious Squick
- When Rahzar, Fishface, and Stockman get electrocuted.
2x06 Target April O'Neil
2x07 Slash and Destroy
- Slash is perhaps one of the most violent characters to appear in the show, settling on greatly bruising or injuring Raphael's brothers, most of which is offscreen, but imagining the details of what happened is perhaps the worst part.
- His first attack on Mikey on the rooftop is pretty brutal. That roar he gives before he starts slamming him around and making him bounce around like a ball. The description may sound humorous, but it's not.
- The way Slash just... flails Mikey around, smacking him against anything and everything.
- The scene where Slash pretends to be Leonardo, luring Mikey close enough to get at him. The way he emerges from the shadows, grabs Mikey and yanks him in, cutting away before we see what he does to Mikey is just damn creepy. Made even creepier by how he manages to not only imitate Leo's voice flawlessly, but how he somehow makes it so he can perfectly imitate Leo's silhouette (not only in size but also the katanas on Leo's back) in the shadows, completely fooling Mikey.
- Slash himself is this trope. He shows himself to be bigger and stronger than the turtles, yet also just as fast and agile as them. Despite his size, he can be as stealthy and silent as the turtles, and he's also very cunning, showing how he can use stealth, trickery and misdirection to lure his prey into a trap. Taking everything into account, Slash cements himself as what may be the turtles' deadliest enemy, right up there with Shredder, in just one episode.
- And what makes that even scarier? He knows where they live.
- Casey's mask and face paint.
- How about the part of the fight where Raph literally nearly killed him? His sai was less than a few inches from the hockey mask.
2x09 "The Kraang Conspiracy
- The first April clone's mad laughter and her face while doing it. Then the turtles have to fight a deformed clone. Words do not describe how terrifying that thing is.
- April Derp. Body Horror incarnate!
- April almost having some sort of needle/drill jabbed into her face.
- The Kraang admitting that they could just take a hair sample, but this was more amusing.
- It's minor compared to the other stuff, but the Kraang had a few moments: The Kraang bots just staring into space, before waking up. Or the Kraang hovering silently while they communicate telepathically. The Kraang can be really… alien when they're not blabbing away.
2x10 Fungus Humongus
- The whole episode is Nightmare Fuel, especially in-universe.
- Raph: Cockroaches, especially Spy Roach.
- Mikey: Squirrelanoids.
- Donnie: April detesting him for being a mutant freak and for ruining her life.
- April: Bats, specifically her dad's mutant bat form.
- Casey: Rats.
- Leo: Failing his duties as team leader.
- And in the creature-based fears, it's usually whole floods of that specific creature, swarming over everything. At one point Raph thinks he's found Mikey... only for "Mikey's" head to pop off and spray Raph with cockroaches before his lifeless/headless body drops to the ground. And in another instance, Casey visualizes rats swarming over and burying Raphael and Michelangelo! "Horrifying" does not even begin to describe this episode.
- The others' fears, while not disturbing, is pretty painful to watch. From seeing April being terrified seeing her dad like this to Donatello's breakdown and even Leo losing it.
2x11 Of Rats And Men
- The cat melting as it mutates.
- The test subject that got mutated, begging for cheese.
- Stockman's mutation can be incredibly disturbing (Unlike his 80's cartoon counterpart, which looked much more tame and kid-friendly). The buzzing, constant muttering to himself, and throwing up digestive juices on his food make it one of the more unsettling mutations of the series.
- Made even worse by the fact that he captures the 1986 remake of The Fly of Seth Brundle's portrayal quite disturbingly well. Especially, when we get to see how he can feed on those candy bars. Squick*
2x18 Pizza Face
- Two words: "Eeeeeaaaat meeeeee..."
- Pizza trying to eat humans is rather disturbing. For pizza-lovers, the entire plot is the stuff of nightmares.
- There's one thing hearing about voraephilia, and another about seeing it on television.
- One can only wonder the fate of the pizza that Mikey locked in the freezer with Ice-cream Kitty.
- The same goes for Antonio's chef AKA Pizza Face.
- One that note, Mikey eating sentient pizza, ESPECIALLY when he ate the majority of Pizza Face's body from the inside out.
- It gets worse; considering the fact that Pizza Face was created from the mutagen being exposed to a human and pizza, while Mikey is a turtle exposed to human DNA, he technically committed cannibalism. It might have been the only option, but still...
- The fact that the scene where Mikey eats his way through Pizza Face from the inside out is similar to the infamous "chest-burster scene" from Alien.
- The turtles fighting Tiger Claw in the meat shop. To make it worse, a buzz saw is on while this is all happening. After already seeing in the flashbacks that the 1987 Ninja Turtles were sadly defeated by this guy, it makes the scene even more intense. And the thought of not knowing if they're going to land on it or be thrown into it like Karai almost was made it hard for this troper to watch that he needed to take a breather after that.
- Karai's fate at the end of the episode. The Shredder is unlikely to be kind to his prisoners
2x22 ''Vengeance Is Mine
- Karai's mutation into a snake creature, and she can also transform back into human form at will with sharp teeth and creepy green eyes◊.
- Shredder's plan in general: mutate the turtles into mindless snake creatures that will see Splinter, their father, as nothing but prey to be killed.
- The mutated Karai sprays venom into Raph's eyes. Seeing him flailing and screaming in pain after the tragedy that just occurred...
2x24 ''Into Dimension X
- Mikey spends most of the episode wearing what appears to be a Kraang skull. Did Mikey seriously just murder someone off-screen?
- Given how he mentioned being gone for months, not years, and it would take well over a year to decay to that point, it's more likely that he just found it. Though that makes him a alien grave robber, which could be worse.
- Seriously no one is going to talk about the fact that Dimension X has a giant eyeball in the sky that casually zaps flying creatures? It's kind of funny sure but in reality think about how terrifying that would be.
- Irma's reveal...
- The fact that the Kraang can disguise themselves as cops without giving away who they are.
- The people and animals mutated by Kraang Prime
- The second Leatherhead pulls a Big Damn Heroes he seizes Shredder's torso in his jaws and proceeds to bash him boddily against the ground before throwing him. Even with Bloodless Carnage it's terrifying.
3x01 Within the Woods
- The Creep, a hillbilly sort of fusion of Jason Voorhess and Man-thing made of swamp muck. It never talks, only makes weird animal-like noises. What it does to Raph is also pretty creepy.
3x2 A Foot Too Big
- The Finger keeps a shrunken head with him and keeps referring to it as "mama" and for some bonus points, he puts on a feminine voice to hold a conversation between himself and "mama".
- Probably more along the lines of squick and nausea fuel, but Big Foot gives Mikey a road killed squirrel and later drops it in a cooking pot and attempts to feed his stew to Donnie.
3x3 Buried Secrets
- The episode itself is meant to be a homage to The Thing (1982), and BOY does it show...
- Mrs. O' Neil revealing her true nature.
- Damn. Near. Everything. In this episode. Highlights include, but are not limited to:
- Mrs. O'Neil's true form, which could give The Thing a run for it's money.
- The creature immitating Mikey...with the single creepiest smile on it's face it can possibly create.
- The situations that Leo and Raph are in, when they realize that the alien is among them...with the alien taking Donnie and Leo's form, with hideous Kraang tentacles sticking out of his body.
- Join us, April. Join us...
- A little Fridge Horror too; the fact that no one but Mikey suspected something was wrong with Mrs O'Neil. She is that good at acting, and the only reason she was found out was because she got over-emotional and revealed her true appearance because of it. If Mikey hadn't thought something was strange, or if she'd kept her cool just a few seconds longer...
- Even before The Reveal, Mrs O'Neil's behavior is a bit unsettling, especially for people who have experienced abuse. She tells April that her friends are freaks, she raises her voice to her increasingly-often, and at one point even grabs her by the wrist and forcibly drags her off, while April is obviously in pain and fearful.
- How about the way it attacks Leo in its "Donnie" form. Donnie. The brother who feels 100% at fault for his brother's suffering is not hurting him again against his will. Whelp.
3x5 In Dreams
- The Dream Beavers. Despite the odd name (which Donnie found humorous), the idea of soul-sucking inderdimentional creatures is quite frightning, especially when one finds the Fridge Horror that they are basically furry Freddy Kruegers.
- Out of the Dreams, Raph's is the freakiest: starting with a blank eyed versions of his brothers, it turns into a crazy rock concert from Dread Beaver is quite terrifying.
- Clownface Leo. Oh god. Oh god.
- Bernie's paranoia can be scary, especially when he goes crazy with a chainsaw at Casey. This is because he hasn't slept in over 40 years!
- The personalities of the Dream Beavers are quite disturbing, even the goofy Dave beaver is quite disturbing when you think about it.
- He's literally eating Mikey alive while they're happily playing ball.
- During the turtles' training session, Raph kicks Leo in the leg and we're given an X-Ray perspective of Leo's leg bones crunching together.
- The Body Horror Speed Demon inflicts on Donnie.
- Speed Demon's actual Reveal. Donnie's Oh Crap! moment as he realizes the true mutant is the car instead of the human he's dragged out of it, and then the car turns its headlights on. Right behind him. And then we get treated to the lovely shot of Donnie screaming as Speed Demon surges forward and eats him onscreen.
- This whole episode can be horrifying for anyone who's seen or been part of a traffic accident or for those who lack confidence in their driving abilities.
- One of the chickens mutating into Dr. Cluckingsworth (M.D.) especially with her swollen, exposed brain. Thankfully she's not malicious and was a valuable asset for Donnie and Casey's fight against Speed Demon.
- Of the Fridge Horror variety: the end of the episode has Donnie talking about Casey's race with his possessed self. If he actually knows what happened, in full detail, then he was probably aware the entire time.
- April is blind for most of the episode and as a visual aid, her eyes are completely blank and given the mental link between her and the Chimera, she briefly acts like the creature and attempts to eat Leo.
- Needless to say, the titular Chimera itself. Who knew three common animals fused together would be so scary?
- Much like the training session in Dream Beavers, Leo hurts his leg and we're given an X-Ray perspective of his leg bones.
- We see several human skeletons in the Chimera's nest.
- The Kraang mind controlling the entire Earth Protection Force unit that had been previous sent to NYC to prevent their invasion.
- The mere appearance of New York itself, it's no longer an Inferred Holocaust.
- Let's add to the fact that there used to be eight million people living in NYC. Now there's only a few hundred left. The Kraang are ruthless.
- The fact that Shredder is STILL obsessed with his revenge against the Hamato family even though it's basically the apocalypse outside and he's still trying to blame Splinter for every bad thing that has ever happened to him. It really speaks about how deeply rooted his insanity is.
- Speaking of Splinter, just... ugh.
3x10 Serpent Hunt
- Zeck and Sterenko's mutation, which is treated almost like an execution.
- The idea that Karai is slowly losing her sentience. While she seems okay for the moment, it's a horrible thing to think about.
- Although he considers it to be an awesome moment afterwards, Casey's attempt to spy on Shredder by pretending to be a busboy at a restaurant during one of the latter's "business deals" early in the episode ends with Casey nearly being killed in cold-blood by the Shredder, who suspected him to be a spy. The few seconds of silence as Shredder contemplates killing the boy before he decides to let Casey off with a warning (he doesn't recognize Casey and assumes that he's just an eavesdropping nobody) are pretty disturbing, especially if one considers this could have happened to any busboy who was a bit too curious around mobsters.
Donatello: If it works, he can use it on Karai, or us, or every single person in New York City.
- The ending has Donny discovering in horror that the serum is something worse than mutagen... a mind-control formula... and with a chemical factory under his control, Shredder can make plenty of it. The Big "NO!" the others give when learning this sums it up.
3x15 The Noxious Avenger
- Despite being a good guy, Muckman is possibly the most gruesome mutant yet. He is a shambling, ooze-covered zombie with pulsing tumors and exposed bones, his sentient eyeball can rip itself out of his socket at will, and his intestines are hanging out of a giant gaping hole through his torso. Said hole also prominently displays a horrifically shattered spinal column with exposed spinal cord, apparently a result of falling off a building during his mutation. Which adds some Fridge Horror in that, had he not mutated, his injuries would have been fatal.
- Stockman's mind control worms. The design is creepy enough, but it is implied that they drill into the brains of their victims in order to take control of them. If Raph's screaming when he was brainwashed was any indication, it is a very painful and unpleasant process.