Nightmare Fuel: Tom and Jerry

The Tom and Jerry shorts (both past and present) are filled with rib-tickling comedic violence, but it is definitely a product of its time — not just with the racial jokes or how women are treated (which isn't as bad as how other animation studios do it, but it does have its moments), but with how the violence and its implications are represented, which, these days, can be considered terrifying for sensitive viewers.

  • The famous "Don't you believe it!" line from the shorts "Mouse Trouble" and "The Missing Mouse".
  • Many Gene Deitch-directed Tom and Jerry shorts due to the deranged, limited animation and odd sound effects.
  • There's also the "Heavenly Puss" short where Tom gets sent to Hell, even after getting Jerry's forgiveness (though it turns out that it was All Just a Dream.) That probably scared a few kids rather than amusing them. Matt Groening (the man behind The Simpsons, Futurama, and Life in Hell) even cited this as one of the darkest things he's seen.
    • Also in "Heavenly Puss" is the moment where the gatekeeper calls the name of Fluff, Muff and Puff, and we see a sack hopping along the floor accompanied by wet sounds before it pops open and three mewling kittens emerge. If the image of three kittens whose owner tied them in a sack and drowned them in a river wasn't enough, the gatekeeper's resigned response to it implies he has seen the same thing a lot.
      Gatekeeper: What some people won't do...
      • Some of the other souls in the line weren't too happy, either. One, who looks like Butch, is stated to have been brutally killed by vicious dogs.
      • How about Demon Spike constantly stabbing Tom with the pitchfork and laughing evilly?
  • And then there's "Blue Cat Blues", which has a Downer Ending of a depressed Tom and Jerry sitting on the train tracks with the train just about to come. No wonder it's not shown much in syndication (TNT and a lot of independent local stations in the 1980s and 1990s showed this, but good luck finding it on Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and on officially released DVDs).
    • This short aired plenty on Cartoon Network in the 1990s (not so much after that). And it's on the DVDs, it's other ones that are having a problem with that.
    • Tom's depressed face in itself is somewhat disturbing due to his eyeballs having prominent veins.
    • This might have a Fridge Horror on its own, but after what Tom has gone through, it is implied that Jerry thought the girl was a Gold Digger, plain and simple. So who is to say that she won't smooch up Butch's wealth, until he's become poor and then dumps him for another rich cat until Butch suffers the same fate as Tom and Jerry?
  • There's also one where Tom's about to eat Quacker, then Jerry throws a brick at Tom, and Tom breaks apart, leaving only his outline.
  • In "Year of the Mouse", Jerry and a mouse friend basically gaslight Tom. The poor cat's just trying to nap, but keeps waking up to find signs that he might be trying to kill himself as he sleeps. The cartoon is a remake of the Chuck Jones-directed Warner Bros. short "Mouse Wreckers," which had Hubie and Bertie gaslight Claude the Cat and get away with it. This short is pretty much the same, only Jerry and the unnamed mouse who gaslighted Tom got their comeuppance.
  • "Southbound Duckling" ends with Jerry and Quacker in a beach thinking they've defeated Tom. End of episode, right? Not so fast; Tom is right behind them and traps them under a bucket. Then he pulls down an umbrella to hide both him and the bucket, laughing evilly. Common enough sight in the middle of these cartoons, but in this case, that's where the episode ends...
  • "Pecos Pest" features Jerry's Uncle Pecos chasing Tom with an ax, because he needs "Yer wisker for mah' git-ar string!". It sounds funny until you see that Pecos is The Determinator when it comes to getting that string, and consider the consequences had he wanted anything else.
  • The early forms of the characters could count. Especially Spike, who was also completely berserk in his debut appearance. ("Dog Trouble")
  • And how could this list be complete without Tom actually getting guillotined at the end of "The Two Mouseketeers"?
    Nibbles: Pouvre, pouvre, pussy cat. (shrugs) C'est la guerre.
  • Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry-ous is a lot Darker and Edgier than the show it's based on, with several characters actually dying onscreen (and many more dying offscreen). Perhaps the worst death goes to the Corrupt Corporate Executive head of Globwobbler Studios (the company behind the race): The President of Hollywood (depicted here as a middle-aged guy in a stereotypical Egyptian Pharaoh outfit) shoots a ray from his staff that burns the guy to ashes.
    • A similar situation happened with one of the characters in Blast Off to Mars.
  • The alley cats in "Mouse in Manhattan." These aren't the comical ones like Butch and his gang, these were genuinely menacing. Well, we are looking at things from a mouse's POV, after all.
  • Jerry coming EXTREMELY close to being chopped clean in half by Tom, at the beginning of "The Cat's Me-Ouch." His petrified expression is pretty jarring.
  • The episode "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse was a bit unsettling whenever Jerry turns into a monster and tries to kill and hurt Tom, the ominous music while he is going after Tom doesn't help either.
  • The haunted mouse episode, in the scene when Jerry's cousin hypnotized Tom and walked into his body was a bit creepy. creepy stuff
  • In the cartoon The Flying Sorceress the witch points out to Tom a cemetery with her previous cats with tomb stones included, which is a bit unsettling.
    • When the witch tells Tom to "sleep over there" which is a scary looking cat sized coffin and there's really eerie music being played which makes the scene nightmare fuel.
    • There is also the tone of the witch's voice when showing the graveyard. She sounds extremely excited, making it seem like she intentionally is trying to kill the cats. Making it worse, she already has a grave with Tom's name engraved on it, supporting the idea even further.
  • Hell, the freakin' MGM cartoons logo (which used Tanner, widely considered by logo experts to be among the scariest lions MGM ever used) counts, particularly if you are not a fan of roaring lions in general.