main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Nightmare Fuel: The Powerpuff Girls

  • HIM - a crossdressing, nameless embodiment of all that is evil, whose voice ranges from a cheerful lisp to a raging roar to an insidious whisper, with a constant creepy reverb throughout. His appearance is always accompanied by a Scare Chord. The only recurring villain not obsessed with ruling Townsville or monetary gain, but rather, with utterly breaking the girls' spirit for no reason other than because he's just plain EVIL. He lives in a rundown apartment building. His room is illuminated by an eerie pink light. The walls and the floor are pink. There's no furniture, appliances (except a TV), logic or causality. It's less a bachelor pad and more an entrance into the Eye of Terror.
  • "Tough Love" in which Him discharges some odd red gas that causes everyone in town to hate them and the place overall has a much more menacing look. It's pretty creepy seeing it for the first time. His appearance as a large, menacing head above nighttime Townsville is, fittingly, based off an adaption of Faust
    • The actual premise of the episode where everyone in Townsville turns against the Powerpuff Girls. What makes it more disturbing is how subtly it's played off for most of the episode. People treat the girls badly but not dissimilarly to how they treated them in the prequel movie- besides dragging up painful memories, their behaviour would still seem in-character to the girls. In fact, Him completely missed an opportunity to break them by turning the town into a mindless mob and revealing his hand.
      • Even worse is that Him could have forced the Powerpuff Girls to kill their loved ones and the entire town. Sure, their use of non-lethal force on the citizens was effective in temporarily disabling them. But if Him kept them brainwashed, eventually the girls would have been forced into a stalemate where they either begin killing citizens, surrender to Him's conditions (if he's merciful enough to even have any) or kill themselves. Him really would have the Powerpuff Girls beat if not for his idiotic "No repeat performances" rule.
      • Imagine it from the townspeople's perspectives: some omnipotent evil casually mind rapes you, you're forced to be cruel to and later attack your heroes, then endure their all-out beating on you and finally you wake up in a hospital with full body injuries that you did nothing to earn.
      • Professor Utonium walking menacingly towards the girls telling them to "Come here, girls" has some Unfortunate Implications...
  • In the episode "Divide and Conquer", after the Amoeba Boys and their copies go on their orange heist, there is a scene where the Mayor calls the girls to inform them that thanks to the sudden disappearance of the oranges, Townsville is being hit by the disease known as scurvy. The focus on scurvy in this episode is limited to just this one scene, but it's so detailed ("yellowish flaky skin, spongy purple gums, and painful swollen joints") that you may get uncomfortable from just thinking about it.
  • Mojo Jojo's trip through the fifth dimension in "Get Back Jojo".
  • In "Twisted Sister", after the girls scold Bunny and send her away, they are suddenly ambushed by the prisoners Bunny inadvertently set free earlier. The ambush is so big (apparently made up of every non-supervillain criminal in Townsville), the girls can't even fight back, rendering them completely helpless! The Narrator was so freaked out by this, he was basically calling for Bunny to go back and save them!
  • "Paste Makes a Waste". The sheer grossness of the boy eating glue is only eclipsed by seeing him swallowing a radioactive bug that turned him into a giant glue monster.
  • Twiggy - a giant radioactive hamster on a rampage. In the end the Powerpuff Girls punish their classmate Mitch Mitchelson for not taking care of Twiggy and turning her into a monster by having him be chased nonstop by Twiggy on a giant hamster wheel. Basically, if he stops running, Twiggy will probably maul him, eat him, or both.
    • What about when Twiggy falls into a container of radioactive sewage? That hand (paw) that comes out of it? Creepy.
      • Before Twiggy became a radioactive monster, the way Mitch treated her was rather horrifying. It's disturbing to see such a young child being so abusive toward a poor, innocent animal.
  • When the Broccolorian Aliens invade, the children of Townsville find the only way to fight them off is to eat them alive. When Blossom first tries this she squicked her sisters and the alien leader. The bit with the head Broccolorian begging for his life before being devoured and having his scepter smashed is especially creepy.
    Broccoli King: BARBARIANS!
    Bubbles: EW! EW! EW! EW! EW!
    Buttercup: Ugh! That is nasty!
  • The girls' nightmare in the cooties episode. After hearing one of their classmates has "cooties", they become scared that they'll be infected. It's actually kind of funny, until they have a nightmare about tiny versions of said classmate popping out of their skin... all over their bodies.
    Bubbles! You've got something on your... aaarrrmmm... aaaarrrgghhhhhh!
  • The episode where we learn about about Mojo Jojo's origins and how when the Power Puff Girls came along his brain started growing through the top of this skull. The same thing happens to various monkeys in The Movie. Only this time, it's slower and you see them convulse as they undergo the process. He also has to live with a brain that is constantly exposed to the world, except when he wears his helmet.
  • "Dream Scheme". The Sandman wants everyone in the world to sleep forever so that he can get some sleep. How do the girls beat him? By giving him a nightmare so horrible that he will never want to sleep again.
  • The 'Robbing Leech'... probably because of Fridge Horror and Not-So-Harmless Villain potential. The part where he attacks a security guard and we see what looks like blood fly from the spot (though that was likely to actually be saliva, which is horrifying on a whole 'nother level), and the marks the victims have on their heads resemble vampires. What's even weirder is we never learn anything about the Robbing Leech, not even a backstory. He's just...there.
  • The climax of "Knock it Off". As the Powerpuff Girls are confronting Professor Dick about the Chemical X he's using to make knockoffs, Dick swallows the Chemical X in an attempt to hide any evidence against him. This results in him turning into a really creepy monster complete with a fake out and a horrible transformation sequence of course. Dick then traps the girls to start draining them of their Chemical X. Professor Utonium arrives at Dick's lair, but can't do anything to help them, and as he's being carried off by the clones he tells the girls he loves them. At this point, all the Powerpuff Girl clones turn to Professor Dick and say in Creepy Monotone that he never said that he loved them. Utonium and the Powerpuff Girls escape as the clones take down Professor Dick and burn down his evil hideout with all of them still inside. The last line of the episode (not counting the narrator's ending Catch Phrase) is Hardly's anguished scream as he slowly burns to death...
    • The clones themselves are pretty horrifying. Creepy Monotone, Uncanny Valley... One of the Blossom clones had Red Eyes, Take Warning and monstrous teeth (the same one that Professor saw at first. Her turning around was scary as well...), and some of the clones had one HUGE EYE for a head. Not to mention the scene where we see a different Blossom clone lying in dismembered pieces while her owner makes an angry call to Dick, asking, "What kind of stuff are you trying to push on us?"
    • The concept of mass-producing artificial human beings that only live for about five hours is in and of itself quite scary. The music played during the factory scenes really doesn't help.
    • Dick Hardly himself. His treatment of the clones is downright despicable (killing a perfect Buttercup clone for more Chemical X). He treated Professor Utonium badly in college and took advantage of him. He tried to absorb the power of the real Powerpuff Girls right in front of the Professor who watched them suffer. He's entirely selfish, greedy and only thinks of himself, doing whatever it takes (be it lying to the girls, or seeing the clones as simple tools to make more money) for personal gain. He's the only villain to be Killed Off for Real.
    • How about the professor meeting the clones? Imagine walking into a mad scientist's lab, and discovering hundreds of copies of your children, all recognizable as clones, but all deformed, many monstrously so, and with Creepy Monotone voices.
  • The Roach Coach episode, where the girls fly into a giant swarm of cockroaches. Before that there is a scene with a guy who merrily takes a bite out of a hot dog... and then we hear horrific crunching noise and see a discolored closeup on his distorted face as hundreds of roaches crawl out of his mouth.
  • The episode "Speed Demon", where the girls manage to travel several decades into the future, where they weren't around to protect the town. Everything is destroyed. The sky is a blood red. The mayor was murdered. Miss Bellum became a shrieking madwoman hiding in ruins. Miss Keane standing in place in the ruined school reciting Madness Mantra. The insane Professor desperately trying to recreate the girls. The girls are so overwhelmed that all they can do is run away so fast that they go back in time and vow to never leave Townsville again.
    • HIM in that episode. How dangerous can the jazzercizing Camp Gay devil man be? Turns out that the only thing in between him and turning the city into a blasted, apocalyptic wasteland was the Powerpuff Girls. Whoops. And then he goes One-Winged Angel & shows just how evil he can be.
    • The thing that makes this episode even more terrifying? The fact that this all happened just as much by the hand of the girls THEMSELVES as it did HIM. That, and as opposed to other examples here, this issue wasn't resolved with some fight like usual. It was such devastation that even the girls had no choice but to run.
      Him: Beat you? Why, girls! Don't you see? I've already WON!!!!!
    • There is a notably disturbing shot, while the Powerpuff Girls fight Him, where the camera pans over a series of dilapidated posters detailing Townsville's descent into hell. First the Powerpuff Girls go missing, then Professor Utonium is accused of fraud, then the Mayor disappears and finally Him comes into the picture. The juxtaposition of the last two posters is particularly creepy as it suggests Him may have been voted into power.
  • The detailed Imagine Spots the girls have in "Substitute Creature". One that deserves special mention is the Imagine Spot where a cookie that Blossom gives to a classmate turns her into an Eldritch Abomination. Mr. Green's appearance in the Imagine Spots is also very unsettling.
  • "Abracadaver" involves an old-timey magician called Al Lusion who comes back from the dead as a zombie. He was killed during an accident on stage when he fell into an iron maiden. What Do You Mean, It's for Kids? And then it happens to Blossom. (Of course she survives, but the image is still unnerving)
  • The episode where Him invades the girls dreams to bring about their worst possible nightmares. The worst of the nightmares isn't Bubbles's or Buttercup's, even though they are both frightening. The worst is Blossom's, where she is in Mrs. Keane's classroom, answering questions for a quiz, in which she is getting everything wrong. That, at first, doesn't sound like much, but think about it. Blossom's worst nightmare is pretty much saying she believes her self worth is judged by her intelligence, and her intelligence alone. This comes into Nightmare Fuel territory when you realize that most people who think like that on that extreme level are SUICIDAL. The LEADER of our heroes being SUICIDAL deep down? Add in the fact that she's only FIVE YEARS OLD and that hits a whole new level of HONF.
    • The part where Bubbles saw her demonic toys for the first time. She begs Blossom and Buttercup (who are either still asleep or illusions conjured up by HIM) to help her and Blossom simply tells her that "whatever it is, it's not real and if you just tell yourself that it'll go away". So Bubbles closes her eyes and says "It's not real". When she opens them, the toys are still there. She does it again. They're closer now. She does it again. This time, they're right in her face! The fact that it cuts to commercial and then Blossom's nightmare directly after doesn't help at all.
    • HIM's speech prior to the nightmares beginning makes it all the creepier.
    HIM: (Affably Evil laugh) What's this I hear? Tortured by the things you fear? Nighty-night, Girls. Pleasant dreams! Pleasant screams! (demonic laughter)
    • And as Blossom's dream progresses, everyone starts to look more and more like HIM.
    • Buttercup's nightmare would not be pleasant for arachnophobes.
    • HIM going One-Winged Angel at the end.
  • Bubbles going BATSHIT INSANE in "Bubblevicious".
  • Mask Scara is pretty creepy for a villain that's Played for Laughs.
  • On "That's Not My Baby", when the girls try searching for the kid (who's actually the baby of the monster in this episode) in the middle of the night, they see a cute little dog with a pacifier in its mouth. But when they get near it, the dog growls at them with an unearthly growl that would make a Doberman piss itself on the spot. And the glare it gives them? Looks more like a hellhound than a cute little dog!
  • The nanobots in "Nano of the North".
  • Fuzzy Lumpkins flying into an absolutely wild rage and brutalizing citizens for "taking his property" in "Fuzzy Logic." The fact that it causes them to repeat Madness Mantras doesn't help.
  • Mojo Jojo going literally APESHIT in prison due to his repeating defeats at the hands of the girls in the beginning of "The Rowdyruff Boys".
  • Whimsical Willy's Sanity Slippage in "Neighbor Hood". It makes him look like a pedophile.
    "VERY GOOD!"
  • The entire episode of "Uh Oh... Dynamo!" Quite possibly the most violent episode in the series, with the entire city being leveled in the most graphic way a cartoon can depict.
  • Many of the psychotic and evil expressions the Gnome makes in "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey."
  • HIM the end of "Octi Evil". After being defeated by the Powerpuff Girls in the form of Bubbles' toy, HIM yells a Big "NO!" then smaller no's as he faded away. The way he says it is just unnerving.
  • In "Town and Out", when the girls destroy the Citiesville bridge to catch the robbers, they expect a congratulatory thanks from the police officer they meet. What they instead get is one seriously pissed off cop. His face gives the girls the hint that they gotta scram.
    • Also when the girls are called into the town's mayor's office, the superhero-ish music suddenly turns into a soft silence broken only by the clock on the wall before the mayor yells at them over the property damage they caused.
    • When the girls have to walk all the way back to their crummy apartment after they're told that they're forbidden to use their superpowers, they pass a few scummy looking men on the side of the streets. The comments from those men are creepily pedophilic sounding, and appropriately enough, Bubbles is particularly freaked out by them.
  • Monster Clown Rainbow after he is covered with bleach and becomes Mr. Mime. He is mute, and is able to make others black and white like him, and freeze them just by touching them. The music that plays in the background when he does this to people doesn't help any.
  • The episode where Mojo Jojo turns everyone in the world into dogs is just really creepy, especially because it shows some of the challenges a human turned into a dog would have maneuvering a world designed for humans.
    • Not only that, but with only a few exceptions (like the girls and the Professor) he uses the Anubis head to brainwash almost all the transformed citizens. Having your humanity stolen from you is bad enough, but then having your free will removed as well? That's just too frightening to imagine.
  • The giant eye monster in the episode "The Mane Event" where Bubbles and Buttercup give Blossom a bad haircut was one of the scariest villains to me. Despite the simple design it was very scary looking and the fact that it could see all around itself and destroy anything in its path with its laser vision made it nearly unbeatable. It became less frightening when it started laughing at Blossom's haircut but that didn't last long.
  • When Mojo turns the Girls into cyborgs in "Dance Pantsed". Both the way they look, particularly their unblinking Black Eyes of Evil, and the way they speak are unnerving.
  • The Mayor displays his insanity in "Hot Air Buffoon". But the worst comes near the end, when the Girls manage to stop three out of four missiles from destroying Townsville, and while they did stop a fourth one, the Mayor's boxing glove accidentally collides into it, causing a massive explosion that reduces the town to rubble. Despite this, it's all Played for Laughs and the Mayor is told he could go back to his old job of calling the Girls.
  • The episode with the Boogie Man and his minions terrorizing kids. Especially the invisible guy walking an invisible... something. We never find out what that is.
  • In "All Chalked Up," Buttercup breaks Bubbles' chalk, and Bubbles ends up receiving magic chalk from Him, who is disguised as a butterfly. The Nightmare Fuel comes into the picture when Bubbles draws a bunch of monsters out of anger, and they all come to life - and when this happens, for an uncomfortably long time, we just get the students staring at the monsters in horror, with no sound at all save for the monsters' creepy roars and growls.

PinguNightmareFuel/Western Animation TVRainbow Brite

alternative title(s): Powerpuff Girls
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy