Nightmare Fuel: The Ren & Stimpy Show
"And with these hands, I hold the fate of millions.
The Ren & Stimpy Show
is one of the most controversial cartoons of the 90's, with all of its disgusting
imagery. Sometimes, the show intended to use these terrifying imagery or plotlines in most episodes, and we end up getting these. Take notice of how the Spümcø episodes ironically have FEWER examples than the Games episodes (the ones made after John K. was fired). However, there are more Games episodes than Spümcø episodes, so it's sort of justified.
The deranged duo's antics were intended to amuse us. Sometimes they frighten us, whether or not it was intentional.
open/close all folders
- Ren, in his Ax-Crazy moments, is incredibly creepy. Every single moment when he is angry, is Nightmare Fuel at best. The best example is in the "Sven Höek" episode.
- In the episode "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen", we first learn that the aforementioned group is sent to find a barren wasteland and always die as soon as they get out there. In the middle of the episode, one of their Yaks gets tired of Stimpy singing the Canadian Kilted Yaksmen song. We are treated to an almost one-minute-long sequence of him going completely bonkers in front of the camera, foaming at the mouth, developing neck veins, screaming and bugging out. (You can see it at about 4.30 here)
- The episode "Space Madness," especially Ren's space-induced panic attacks and its ending.
- "Stimpy's Fan Club", where Ren is jealous of all the attention Stimpy is getting, so he plots to kill him in his sleep. As you can see in the page image, all of the lights go out and all you see is Ren's face and his hands (It kinda looks like Andross or Master Hand or whatever.). And as if that wasn't bad enough, toward the end of the scene, you see his brain pulsating from his skull as he screams and what could be described as fires of hell engulf him.
- The end of "Sven Höek" (Spumco) where Ren Goes Mad from the Revelation upon finding out what a mess Stimpy and Sven made in his house. What made it Nightmare Fuel of the highest degree was when Ren went from genuinely angry and raving to eerily pleasant at the drop of a hat while he described how he would get his revenge by "gouging out their eyes", "tearing off their lips", beating them up, and wrenching their arms out of their sockets. He imagines committing said acts by demonstrating with his hands, and we hear what each horrible act of violence would sound like. Made worse when Sven and Stimpy are shown to be terrified out of their wits and Ren expresses his happiness at seeing how scared they are by giving them a huge Slasher Smile and continuing on with his Psycho Rant. The worst part is that when he says "tear your arms out of the sockets" and we hear the sound, you can see a brief splash of blood as we hear the snapping.
Ren: Oh what I'm gonna do to you.
The Devil: So, you whizzed on the electric fence, didn't ya?
- Poor Sven and Stimpy are crying and hugging each other, shaking in pure terror, during the whole thing. It can remind some people of how little kids react when they are abused by their parents. Their reactions just sell the scene and make it even more disturbing.
Stimpy: W-we don't like this, Ren!
Sven: Yeah- you're scaring us!
Ren: Good... You're scared, huh?
- In "Haunted House", the ghost's last resort to scaring Ren and Stimpy was to approach them wearing a mask and wielding a chainsaw. His eyes, while wearing the mask, look realistic and when he approaches the sleeping duo, his eyes widen and turn red.
Ghost: Wake up you...PIGS!
- "Stimpy's Invention". Stimpy invents a Happy Helmet and sticks it on Ren's head, forcing him to smile against his will. In one scene, Ren is cleaning Stimpy's cat box. "See how I love to clean filthy cat boxes!" he yells, then lets out the most horrifying laugh you've ever heard. Fortunately, some Nightmare Retardant comes in the form of the "Happy Happy, Joy Joy" song.
- "Happy Happy Joy Joy" has a brief spoken line in it that's actually shockingly dark.
- Ren screaming at the end of "Robin Höek".
- "At last I have control of your TV set!"
- Ren's Up to Eleven Wild Take in "In The Army". Ren is badmouthing the domineering sergeant, not noticing he's rising up out of the mud behind him. Not only do his eyes bug out in shock, his face melts off and his skull and brain pop out as he screams.
- Stimpy's downright bizarre rant about his friend Darren in "Mad Dog Höek" is either this or a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- And in the "Rubber Nipple Salesmen" episode, we're treated to a Memetic Mutation phrase: "Call the poliiiiice..."
Adult Party Cartoon
- The scene from "Ren Seeks Help" where Ren gets therapy from Mr. Horse and tries to find out why he's behaving the way he always does. When Mr. Horse angrily said that he (Ren) is insane because of his acts, Ren was horrified by the fact he turned on him. Mr. Horse then started to beat the mess out of him. Unfortunately for him, Ren hits him with the phone and scratches him viciously. When Mr. Horse reaches for the gun, Ren grabs it and pistol whips him mercilessly until he's dead. When the authorities came, they saw Mr. Horse dead on the ground and Ren, whose face resembled something like a demonic dog at the time. Ren was then carried away while he was wriggling rabidly. The ending was rather dark, even by the show's standards.
- Before being hauled away, Ren actually bites off the hand of one of the officers and SWALLOWS IT. And his tongue comes out like a snake's and licks his lips. That wasn't even the most horrifying thing about that episode. The most frightening part of the episode was the exploration of Ren's twisted childhood. The origin of Ren's anger comes from memories of his birth- being in the "dark... and stinky" womb, and receiving a slap from a nurse, which leaves a bright red mark and leaves the baby stunned. Sound funny? It wasn't played for laughs, surprisingly. It was played completely straight. "My first memory was of unspeakable pain... and from that moment on, I wanted to inflict the pain on others." We see Ren age from a baby to an adolescent, and we see that he grew up torturing little animals. The audience is treated to several long scenes such as baby Ren gleefully plucking the legs off of a screaming caterpillar, burning ants with firecrackers, and a young child Ren torturing a frog in multiple, horrific ways.
- Ren's voice is even creepier in this cartoon. John K (the original voice actor for Ren) lowered Ren's voice and made him sound very emotional and unhinged, even while speaking calmly. This episode has some of John K's best acting. Not only can you hear the genuine pain in Ren's voice at the beginning while he's talking to Stimpy, but his calm narration of his entire life story is downright horrifying.
- The unmade episode "Life Sucks" probably would have been this for the bulk of its length for it' dark message and scathing honesty, but the storybook sequence especially stands out; it's a scene where Ren tells Stimpy a bleak tale of a colony of Christian crusaders (made entirely of children, drawn in an art style that homages the work of artist Mary Blair) many of whom die horribly in a winter storm during their long journey, and when they reach the promised land, they end up attacked en masse by the lands inhabitants and are graphically killed via stabbing or decapitation on-screen—and the children that did survive ended up growing up and inducted into harems and slavery for the rest of their lives! Outside of Ren's infamous outbursts, this easily would have counted as one of the darkest (and chillingly nihilistic) moments, in what probably would have been the darkest episode in the entire series. And most frightening is that it wasn't made up for the episode—it was based on something that (in some form or another) actually happened.
That's life, Stimpy! Meaningless, stupid and cruel
! I tell you, life SUCKS! It's a damn miracle there's any living lifeforms left on the planet!