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Nightmare Fuel: Western Animation TV

The Japanese don't hold a complete monopoly on mind-warping animated horror...


Make sure the example you're adding is not already in one of the series listed above. If it is, please add it to that specific page.

Examples below are in alphabetical order. Please provide context or an explanation for your example, and do not simply add a link to a video of a scene you found scary.

  • The ending of "Interview With a Campfire" from All Grown Up! When the kids are watching their video at the end it goes crazy and shows that their 'friend' from the camp was actually a GHOST the entire time! it also doesn't help that said ghost had red eyes and a very demonic, scary appearance. *Shudder.
    • "Don't ever got no brain or nothin'!"
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood: Several of the main animal characters were killed off during the journey: shot by hunters, cooked as meal, run over by a car,... Highly traumatic since it seemed to be a general TV series about cute talking animal characters from the start, but actually the makers strived for realistic death scenes.
  • Animaniacs
  • Even by the standards of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the Halloween episode "The Shaving" takes the gold medal. The opening scene features a really creepy Eye Scream. The actual episode features a "harmless" monster named Willie Nelson (he likes juice!) whom Master Shake tries to help become scarier. With less than a minute to go before the end credits, we see what's in the attic... Dozens of bloody corpses piled like cordwood and hanging from the ceiling. Turns out the juice he drinks? It's human blood. Which he then gets by ripping Carl's arms off.
    • The closet as seen in "Video Ouija" and "Dickesode" are some of the scariest moments.
      "Frylock: I told you this closet is not to be opened! It is a horrible horrible place in there!"
    • What happens to Santa Claus after Eggzilla burns him alive.
    • "Global Grilling". Shake buys a dangerous grill that burns a hole in the ozone layer, brings the temperature up to 242 degrees, melts the icecaps, and leads to the invasion of Mucous Men that conquer the planet in 12 years time. Luckily, that was All Just a Dream that Shake had.
  • From Archer, Len Trexler's "reprogramming."
  • As Told by Ginger: The "And She Was Gone" poem. Many fans of the show felt it to be rather depressing and scary. In addition to being awesome.
  • HBO's Babar, based off of the famous book series, aired from 1989-1994 and while most of the series offers "slice of life" morality lessons, complete with anthropomorphism, the first few episodes of the first season are quite depressing for a 7 year old or even an adult (despite the fact that, as Babar tells these stories in flashback, you know he survives and all will be well).
    • The pilot episode, "Babar's First Step", in which a viewer is introduced to the merry elephant tribe before Babar grew up and "civilized" them, in which Babar's blissfull times of playing in ponds with other baby elephants and his mother are ended by a hunter with a rifle. He gets no name...he is "the Hunter". The elephants don't know what the sound of his rifle blasting means, and the elders assume it is a "monster". Babar's mother is eventually shot while the herd are fleeing the Hunter, complete with Babar being thrown from her back and screaming for her in the mud after she is shot, and then getting to watch her make a last, desperate attempt to cover their escape by charging the Hunter; she is then shot and falls over on screen, close range. This is complete with sad music, an elephant funeral, AND getting to watch baby Babar wail and try to snuggle with his (dead) mother. Much of it is depicted here [1], from about 1:40 in to 4:20. It is so bad that it even causes Babar to have nightmares in the first half of episode 2, "City Ways", about his mother's death, complete with a spooky storm outside. Thankfully, the Hunter dies a deserving death in episode five.
    • Made in 1989, elephant cognition (funerals included) had already received considerable publicity. You could not tell your children that this was "just a cartoon".
    • The episode "The City of Elephants". Halfway through the episode [2], starting around 2:11, Babar has this twisted nightmare where he gets confronted by "The Beast of Misfortune", a giant red elephant that laughs/growls etc. in a very deep voice, and "The Beast of Haste", a small white ghost elephant thing capable of contorting itself into various shapes.
    • Here is an explanation on what's really so twisted; a door forms on the end of the Beast of Misfortune's trunk, that same beast's head going through a floating window, the Beast of Haste contorting itself into a spiral around Babar as he falls into the other beast's mouth, the Beast of Haste being split into an army of six mini-Beasts, and The Beast of Misfortune...slowly...melting...away as Babar chases away the beasts. It just looks so wrong.
  • Batman Beyond
    • "Lost Soul". First, the Batman suit is taken over by the cyber-ghost of a dead businessman. But wait, that's just so he can use the suit to be able to put his cyber-soul into the very meatspace body of his grandson. But that's not the scary part, oh no. That comes when Batman defeats the cyber-ghost, still in the Batman suit, causing his "program" to be wiped out, slowly. [3] The cyber-consciousness get degraded, his mind devolving from teen, to kid (reciting basic arithmetic, no less), to infant, and then... gone.
    • "Earth Mover". The dessicated, rotting and still alive corpse of a man who was buried in a cave-in along with toxic waste who managed to learn to control the earth.
  • The Faceless Hunter, from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Holy hell, this thing is a monster. He roams the universe, finding worlds that his master, Starro can conquer, by attaching horrible mind-control probes to their faces. He's a physical god, can teleport, turn invisible, and has a terrifying arsenal of traps and weapons. He spends most of the series tracking, defeating and mind-raping the various DC heroes. And if you can't be posessed by a Starro spore? He'll horribly kill you. It get's worse though. How and why did he become Starro's herald? He asked Starro to destroy his homeworld, because his people were pacifists. It's pretty bad when a world-conqueror makes you look good by comparison. And the creepiest John DiMaggio voice imagineable doesn't help matters.
  • In two episodes of the 2006 Biker Mice from Mars series Stoker changes into an aggressive, insane rat-like creature called Stoker Rat by the light of the sun due to the effects of radiation.
  • The episode of Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot where a "fusing" ray strikes Rusty's gradeschool teacher against the wall, fusing her into it so she looks like a distorted—and completely inanimate—life-size wall plaque, arms splayed to the side in terror.
  • CatDog: The dentist episode. As well as the movie the Great Parent Mystery where Catdog encounters an alien invasion, gets eaten and almost digested by a sea monster, among other horrors.
  • If you were an 80's kid and grew up in either Latin America, Europe or Turkey, you will probably remember a French-Japanese cartoon called Clementine. But if you don't remember the entire series, you will certainly remember two things about it. One being the catchy opening song and the other, the scary, nightmare indulging villain: a demon called Malmoth. He was a humanoid fire demon with a permanent Nightmare Face who was so obsessed with the titular character, a 10-year old handicapped girl, that he wanted to kill her to keep her soul forever. And whenever his human minions failed their mission, he punished them by turning them into worms, rats and other ugly animals with human heads to boil them alive. He also had the creepiest theme music ever. Here you can find some of his best moments, in french though. And this was a kids show, by the way.
  • The Cleveland Show episode "A Rodent Like This" has Cleveland's pet rodent "Rat Lauer" getting rabies and becoming hellbent on attacking Cleveland and Donna, who hide in their car in fear of when he'll attack next.
    Cleveland: He's crawling up the exhaust pipe...HE'S IN THE CAR!!!
    • In the same episode, it is shown that Junior is a member of a secret force made up of ex-CIA agents considered to extreme for the force. This scene provides some "explanation" regarding the disappearance of the hyperactive Junior from Family Guy.
  • Cow and Chicken: The cartoon was already pretty creepy and disturbing itself, but some episodes were just plain nightmarish. Like the episode where Chicken gets kissed by a girl and the boys give him the old school-age "cootie" scare, but the way the boys tell it is anything but harmless: it causes your eyeballs to fall out and squirt, your mouth to shrink, and your legs to fall off! And the nightmare Chicken has is scary too. He dreams he gets infected with the cooties and he starts having the symptoms, so he goes to the hospital. When he gets sent to the room for the cootie patients, the guys infected with the cooties look like something out of a zombie apocalypse! Thank God it was only a dream.
  • Doug: Some of Doug's fantasies could qualify as this. Such as in "Doug's Lucky Hat," where Roger steals his hat, and he imagines he's a homeless sock peddler while Roger's an enormously successful financial tycoon. The fantasy ends with Roger's limo splashing dirty rainwater at Doug (who has a pathetically desperate facial expression). No doubt, that fantasy gave more than a few kids nightmares for years!
    • "Mr. Dink, I broke your grill."
    • Also, Judy And Her Dancing Cats.
  • Drawn Together. Sometimes it crosses the line a time too many, and becomes High Octane Squick. A few examples:
    • Wooldoor accidentally shooting a truck driver, then trying (and failing) to tell the news to the driver's family...while wearing his skin.
    • The meat made out of Clara's forest friends flopping along to her song.
    • A crazed mall cop taking hostage and killing a random woman. For that matter, there are a lot of scenes where random bystanders are horrifically mutilated and/or killed with no further comment, which are very unsettling in general.
    • The candies made of the body parts of Wooldoor's relatives.
      • Which was a VERY thinly disguised Holocaust reference.
    • What Foxxy hints happened to "Timmy".
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • An episode where the villain caused interdimensional portals to appear under kids' beds and his minions dragged them through to perform slave labor for him — complete with terrified parents trying to keep their kid from disappearing through the rift. On the other hand, when Bobby, the youngest of the featured characters, is snatched, the other kids and their new ally force the portal open and dive in after the kidnapper with a determined look that promises a world of hurt for anyone who tries to stand in their way.
    • One of the characters got turned into a bogbeast. Eric must've failed his saving throw against Polymorph.
    • The fun moment in "Quest of the Skeleton Warrior" when Hank's entire outer meat layer starts to melt off.
    • The kids once accidentally summoned Venger's master, which manifests as the top half of a giant green face with slit-pupil eyes above the cloud layer, and as a cyclone of absolute hellfire from there to the ground. Might not look so threatening in a cartoon, but imagine seeing something like that yourself and doing anything other than crapping your pants and curling up into a whimpering ball. Now imagine that it's following you, and can appear anywhere in the world within seconds, and you've got a taste of what Dungeon Master and the kids went through.
  • There was one episode of Extreme Dinosaurs that featured the heroes investigating the appearance of some kind of dinosaur-like creature that was terrorizing miners. A blind miner tells them the legend of the creature, how it was a miner who fell down a shaft, and came into the lair of a giant, Cockatrice-Dragon-Apatosaurus thing, that attacked him to protect its eggs. He escapes, wounded by venom from its mouth/scratch from a claw, and is able to make it out of the mine. Right as he does though, the full moon appears, and he turns into a human version of the same monster.
  • The episode of Extreme Ghostbusters where one of the main characters gets turned into a grinning clown creature.
    • The episode of Extreme Ghostbusters with a Pied Piper character who led the ghosts out of the city. It turned out that he was also a ghost and when he didn't get his payment he attempted to lead the children out of the city as well, and into the sea. The musical riff that the piper plays was scary too.
  • Freaky Stories. Several episodes, including the accidental eating of defecation via gas-siphon, and a visit to the weiner factory.
    • The episode where a couple buys a mansion and finds they have a barrel of wine the previous owner never got rid of. Said couple enjoys the wine profusely, until it runs dry... And they open it up, finding a mummified corpse. As a lot of episodes are based on urban legends, but often slightly softened because it's aimed at a younger audience, it can also be very unnerving to encounter the same story you remember from years ago with a much different, much gorier ending.
    • One episode is a musical version of the urban legend about the escaped madman with the hook hand, and the couple in the car who find his hook attached to their car door after they've driven away from the lover's lane. The fact that it was sung rather than told made it all the creepier, and the tale gives her the creeps to this day as a result.
    • The telling of the urban legend about the recently escaped psycho killer hiding under the bed of a fearless little girl who's home alone is another scary moment. She hears a strange howling sound and lowers her hand by the floor and receives a reassuring licking from her dog. After a few times she checks what the noise is and finds it's her dog, locked in the basement. She looks out the window and sees the maniac running away, yelling "Humans can lick too." In most versions of the story the dog is killed and the line is written in it's blood. However, the fact that a maniac would hide under a little girl's bed and do nothing but lick her hand a few times is possibly creepier.
  • There was an episode of G.I. Joe where the Joes had to stop an older woman who was using a machine to steal the faces of pretty girls to restore her lost youth. As if that wasn't creepy enough, after the Joes destroy the machine, the old woman covers her face with her hands and starts wailing "My Face! My Face!" We never find out exactly what happens to her face, and the final shot is a birds eye view of the Joes consoling the model for almost getting her face stolen while the woman is kneeling in the alone, sobbing, and covering her face.
    • There's also the scene in the Faked Rip Van Winkle episode "There's No Place Like Springfield", where Shipwreck's friends and family turn out to be Synthoids trying to pump him for information, and his neighbors start to melt in front of his eyes.
    • "Bazooka Saw a Sea Serpent" was another one. Giant robotic sea monster with flat-yellow glowing eyes that eats ships and turns their mass into more girth, so it keeps getting larger. The appearance was scary enough, but then you see that the humans eaten by the monster get turned into slaves that are worked so hard that they collapse in a dead sleep in the brief moments that ever-vigilant shock-prod tentacles let them have a "coffee break". And then an attempt to stop the thing fails and it turns from a Cobra-controlled monster into an uncontrolled monster, some laser-eyed Godzilla serpent that wants to eat EVERYTHING, just a blind malicious hunger in the shape of a giant robotic snake.
  • Grimm's (sic) Classic Fairy Tales was, unsurprisingly, a television series based on the folktales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The episodes were more faithful to their printed sources than Disney films were, censoring none of the cruelty and very little of the violence and sex, which was strange for a program on Nick Jr.! Appropriately for the title, subtle instances of Grimmification were also common. As such, these episodes were sometimes even scarier than the Disney films:
    • The titular character in "Mother Holle" magically dumps a dark, sticky substance and a live snake onto the lazy stepsister, who is ridiculed by the family cockerel upon returning home.
    • The protagonist of "The Six Swans" is sentenced to be burnt at the stake for allegedly eating her infant son, the prince. Her brothers rescue her, but not before she nearly meets her fiery death.
    • Satan himself bargains with the protagonist of "Bearskin." Yes, he lets the soldier know who he is.
    • "The Marriage of Mr. Fox" was already inappropriate for children, being centered around Mr. Fox's suspicions of his wife's infidelity. Not only was this theme retained entirely in the cartoon adaptation, but Mr. Fox was accompanied by an equally vulpine imp that only he could see and referred to as a "demon" throughout the episode. At the episode's end, when Mr. Fox questions the fox-thing's identity, it replies, "I'm the real you!" If anything, the cartoon is less family-friendly than the original version.
    • The witch in "Hansel and Gretel" is evil enough to evoke video-game boss battles, gradually becoming less and less human until she transforms into a skeletal, bipedal, sword-wielding goat-woman with bat wings. That's something you won't find in any other version of the story, along with the magic bird that leads the children to the witch's house in the first place.
    • The confrontation with the fiendish creature at the end of "Puss in Boots" is rather unsettling, involving a lit fireplace and monstrous shape-shifting in a manner evoking small glimpses of Hell. Plus, the overall Moral Dissonance (especially when Puss wins the battle) becomes evident when one applies Fridge Logic.
    • Villains' tendency to be casually cruel to the protagonists and supporting characters is widespread throughout the series, particularly in "The Bremen Town Musicians," with its scenes of inhumane treatment of animals.
    • One particular episode trumped all the above examples. "The Spirit in the Bottle" opens with a little demon alone in the dark, trapped in a bottle, shouting for help. Then there's a segue into the protagonist and his father entering a forest to chop wood, which seems innocuous until the young boy wanders off, releases the trapped demon, tricks his way out of being eaten, and gets a magic cloth as a reward for freeing the spirit. The cloth turns metal into silver. From there, the story takes a drastic turn from the original, becoming An Aesop about realistic expectations and handling money carefully. The boy's father's dying wish is for him to throw away the magic cloth, which he refuses to do but does by accident. When he runs to the tree where he found the spirit to beg another cloth from him, he falls into a hole. Then there's a scene of another young boy and his father entering the woods...and the episode ends with the protagonist trapped in the bottle, screaming for help.
    • One of the scarier episodes was a cartoon to go with the poem The Duel. It was just unbelievably creepy, the narrator softly reciting how the cat and dog killed each other while the clock ticked in the background.
    • Another terrifying tale has got to be "Bluebeard". When Bluebeard leaves his mansion and Josephine, his new bride, is given the keys to all of the doors, she ends up going to the forbidden door and finds all of Bluebeard's previous wives that he murdered. Not only that, but all the white roses change red, the petals fall, and all the fallen petals change into a flood of blood, ala 'The Shining''. And of course when Bluebeard finds out, he coldly states that he has to kill her and chases her throughout the mansion, even when it catches on fire.
  • The cartoon Halloween Is Grinch Night consists of concentrated, surreal horror and a flimsy plot that sets it up. Especially the "Spooks' Song" sequence. The monsters would be mild to moderately creepy on their own, but coupled with the music, they're suddenly the scariest effing things ever. [4]
  • The vein transplant scene in the I Am Weasel episode "Plant Life". Ewww.
  • You can make any fan (or just viewer) of the 80s cartoon Inhumanoids soil himself with just one word (6:37 into the clip): "DECOMPOSE!"
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: Heloise during her more Ax-Crazy moments.
  • [adult swim]'s Korgoth of Barbaria may consist of just the pilot, but that pilot alone contains enough gore and mayhem for ten more programs.
  • The Little Engine That Could is a cute half an hour kids' film based on a short story. With the exception of a short 20 seconds segment towards the end that features a creepy talking cliff that sounds like some sort of demon from the depths of hell. Even if you don't remember the film, you're likely to remember the nightmares that thing gave you.
  • Liquid Television had many disturbing shorts, but one that stands out is The Wonder Hospital is a trippy animated short film about a little girl with a crooked nose wandering into this mysterious hospital and is convinced that they can fix her nose after seeing their before/after ads, and goes through a the hospital to reach her surgery room, seeing all sorts of unsettling sights and characters before she gets operated on by bunch of puppet doctors. The twist ending is that they don't fix her at all, they make her look worse, and the worst part is that you don't get to see what her face actually looks like from the front, only from the behind, and to top it off you can hear her bones clacking and her muscles stretching around inside her messed up face.
  • Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil has a literal nightmare generator, disguised as calming sleep music, where The Devil himself comes to two main characters in their dreams with a fake accent, finds out their fears, and then tries to kill them through the dreams.
  • Martin Mystery had lots of creepy stuff like Martin being possessed by the alien creature Gastromo and being turned into something that reminds one of The Exorcist or the episode where the shadowy creatures capture almost everyone on Earth
  • The Maxx is much scarier in its animated form than as a comic. For example, the bit of Deranged Animation that happens when The Maxx exits through the wrong door in Julie's subconscious.
  • Men In Black: The Series had some pretty creepy stuff, like the hideously mutated recurring nemesis Alpha.
  • There was an episode of ¡Mucha Lucha! that ends with The Flea getting ready to burn the polar ice caps. As he is about to set them on fire, a devil appears on his shoulder (in the typical angel and devil fashion) telling him "Do it! Do it!" Then another one appears, saying the same thing, and then The Flea laughs sinisterly as the camera cuts to a black screen with the words "THE END" appearing in flames.
    • One episode began with The Flea eating things he is not supposed to. Buena Girl says something like "You shouldn't eat that! It's bad for your digestive system!" It then cuts to a freaky and disturbing X-ray shot of The Flea as he is eating (his skeleton and organs are all visible). That scene scared the shit out of me when I was young.
    • Also The Gross-Up Close-Up and Nausea Fuel of The Flea's rotten teeth. It scared me when I was 8 or 9 years old.
    • Watch Out for El Malefico, Misterioso Grande, The Masked Toilet and the other villains they might try or may might scare, injured,hurt or even kill you.
  • The late-night Cartoon Network anthology O Canada. Between the creepy noise/sound reverb, freaky visuals, and either no dialogue or the equivalent to "Sim Speak", what made O Canada even worse was that it was shown in the wee hours of the morning. Possibly even the last thing you saw before going to sleep. Yeah...
  • The opening for the old French educational cartoon called Once upon a time... man. You follow the evolution of the human race, then its technological advances, and the end of the sequence shows the Earth exploding after a rocket blasts off, killing a number of potential survivors who were running to it in panic. Bonus points for the music it's set to. See for yourself.
    • And have you seen the last episode of that series? It shifts from history to a documentary on the problems of modern world — pollution, consumerism, the arms racenote  — and where they could lead if left unchecked. The music, the tone, the imagery all make an excellent work of building up the anxiety. In short, it's the Earth-Shattering Kaboom from the opening, expanded to twenty minutes.
  • A video tape called Night-Time Tales. It was a compilation of short stories but the one that stood out was a story about some sort of Nightmare Man who came into people's dreams like Freddy Krueger and terrorized everyone. It was animated in really crazy neon-on-black colours and ended with the Nightmare Man being trapped in his own bad dreams for all eternity. The last shot was the man kneeling over in the fetal position, complete with really creepy music.
  • Pinky and the Brain:
    • Their distorted faces while riding a mini-centrifuge from "Where No Mouse Has Gone Before".
    • Brain's nightmare from the first part of the "Brianwashed" trilogy.
    • Brain Hulking Out in "Brain Meets Brawn".
  • The Pirates of Dark Water. The Big Bad is a sentient black blob that can warp people and destroy everything it touches. And it's trying to engulf the world. (Also, the episode where the old woman tries using the Dark Water in a youth potion and winds up being consumed from the inside is probably one of the most disturbing things in a kid's show.)
  • You would never think that Rankin/Bass Productions would be the one to do it, but their version of A Christmas Carol, The Stingiest Man in Town, features easily the freakiest version of the famous Marley-knocker scene from the story. The Nightmare Face it makes as it transforms falls under nothing short of horrifying.
  • ReBoot: The Medusa Bug (from the eponymous episode in the first season) spawned a city devouring plague that threatened to petrify a city and doom its residents to death by energy decay. The fact that nothing could stop it made it scary, the fact that there was nowhere to run made it terrifying, and seeing the woman who unleashed it laughing as it consumed Mainframe made it even worse. Thankfully, Bob was immune and got Hexodecimal to reverse it with a Victory Is Boring speech. She let out a Big "NO!" upon the realization that w/ everything petrified there would be no audience for her mad antics.
    • The end of "Game Over", in which Enzo's Beginner's Luck finally runs out, leaving Mainframe without a Guardian and everyone presuming him (and AndrAIa and Frisket) nullified. Beware of everything following the computer's announcement of "Game Over".
    • End Prog. Its the end of the world and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Everything falls apart as the system voice says "Warning, System Crash" over and over with an alarm noise constantly going off. Everyone dies as everything fades to black. But the User restart the system, which Bob was counting on, even though it was risky.
  • Return To The Planet Of The Apes: The opening sequence has a scary thunder/lightning scene with an ape soldiers face. But it also includes the upside down crucified figures that briefly appeared in the 1968 film. This opening was actually omitted in some syndicated airing of the cartoon.
  • Robot Chicken has quite a lot of this. For instance,in one sketch where a scared child tells his mother there are monsters in his closet. Her eyes tun red,and with a sinister tone of voice she says, "I know."
    • "Sunny Muffins." A little girl rips a pegasus's wings off and kidnaps him, brutally whipping him and taking him as a prisoner in her barn.
    • The infamous "tooth fairy" sketch.
      • "Darkest sketch! Darkest sketch!"
  • The all-but-forgotten 80s cartoon Sectaurs shows people graphically mutating into mutant lifeforms in the opening sequence. Maybe its a good thing that it only lasted 5 episodes.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: Horde Prime. Shown as not much more than a voice and a giant robotic hand, but that's enough.
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast had the episode "Girl Hair" which features Santa Claus transforming into an Eldritch Abomination known as "Bizarro Santa."
  • Superjail! has great animation, a kick-ass opening song, is more colorful than a box of Crayola crayons, is quite humorous, and its main character, The Warden, is an adorable megalomaniac, Psychopathic Man Child (imagine Willy Wonka running a prison facility). Then... near the end of each episode, a four- to five-minute-long fight scene takes place, amounting to what can only be described as "candy-colored ultra-violence on some of the most illegal hallucinogens/weed you can imagine."
  • There was actually an attempt to turn the trippy adult-themed comic Swamp Thing into a kid-friendly show. They did not succeed.
  • "Enter the Fly" from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is without a doubt the darkest episode from the original cartoon (barring the "Red Sky" episodes". Shredder, who's usually apt to take April hostage and place her in all sorts of crazy death traps, instead poisons her and forces the Turtles to seek an antidote, which he then manages to steal and forces them to confront him to get it back. Seeing the Turtles confronted with the fact that April could very well die and seeing her comatose body lie closer to death is disturbing enough. But the real thing that makes this episode horrifying is Baxter Stockman's fate that gets him transformed in the first place. When he winds up in Dimension X Krang attempts to immediately dispose of him by tossing him into the Technodrome's disintegration unit, which then activates and causes his skin to disappear even as he frantically cries to be released. Then a random fly that also winds up in the unit merges with Baxter, and his scream as the thing combines with him permanently is damned unsettling.
    • In "Enter: Mutagen Man", a guy falls apart in a vat of toxic chemicals. It's Played for Laughs and the guy survives, but it's still a creepy scene in an otherwise light-hearted episode.
    • Poor Baxter gets a similar treatment in another TMNT series. Look up "Insane in the Membrane".
  • Zombie Ezekiel from Total Drama World Tour. Here's what happened: After spending numerous days inside of the plane, Ezekiel ended up having green skin, having bloodshot eyes, and lost his ability to speak. Several episodes later he looked even worse, with all of his hair gone and is shown in a complete feral state. During the finale after he retrieved the million, he ends up falling into the volcano extremely graphically as he is slowly consumed by the lava, in an homage to Return of the King. After that he is presumed to be dead by many fans, is launched out of the volcano while screaming in pain as his skin is completely burnt by the lava (although he is still shown to be alive), wasn't seen resurfacing after crash-landing on a boat, and it could be currently assumed that he will never recover from his experience.
    • His deterioration was a parody of Smeágol's gradual devolution into Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, for context.
  • Toxic Crusaders, all about people hideously mutated by chemical or nuclear accidents. Considering that it's a cartoon about the Toxic Avenger, a character from a series of R-rated Troma films. It was softened by the sheer ridiculousness of their acceptance to the mutations. Still, Melvin's transformation into Toxie is rather frightening, especially as he screams to the people nearby for help as his skin seems to melt.
  • ''What A Cartoon Show. Tales of Worm Paranoia''. Considering it was done by some of the staff who worked on 'Ren and Stimpy'', it's not really surprising.
  • The Animated Adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The White Seal: The first scene with the seal hunters — a faceless, hooded mob with red eyes who chase the seals onto the killing grounds by waving giant rattles in unison to the most foreboding music.
  • Wicked which was quite similar to Toxic Crusaders only with animals being mutated and the villain being Appleman.
    • Mutant League. Just the opening itself is freaky since it's one of those openings that shows how it all begin and we see the main character's skin melted off, turning him into a skeleton man. Seriously, was Quentin Tarantino working on this show between movies?
  • "Winx Club" has a suprising slew of horrific moments. In the episode "The Nightmare Monster", the title creature messes with the Winx's dreams to gain power from their fear. Most of the dreams are pretty tame, but Tecna's features her either having a massive seizure or a violent system failure (depending on whether or not you believe she was a robot). And you get to see this on-screen.
    • In one episode in the first season, Mirta challenges the Trix on their attitude towards fairies. Darcy's response is to throw a gob of ooze onto Mirta's face, which covers her nose and mouth. I'm not sure which is worse, watching Mirta trying to get it off while gasping for air, or Lucy begging Darcy to remove the stuff before she suffocates. In the end, Mirta only gets to live because the spell used to create the blob only lasts a minute; Darcy admits to wanting it to last longer.
    • During the Season One finale, Bloom and Icy are flying over Magix when Icy blasts Bloom out of the air and into a lake, into which Bloom sinks under the surface. Icy immediately freezes over the water, with the apparent intent of DROWNING her; if Bloom hadn't suddenly manifested the ability to teleport, it's likely that she would have done exactly that.
    • In Season Three, Stormy develops a spell that murders a person with lightning. Icy and Darcy don't believe her, so she follows the Winx to Flora's home planet, where she unleashes the spell on Flora's kid sister, right in front of Flora. To make matters worse, the three of them start laughing maniacally once the spell stops.
    • Tritannus, the villain of Season Five, takes the cake for scary villains. Not only is he a monster himself, but he turns his ENTIRE FAMILY into his mutant minions; the sad part is that, aside from his father, they're all trying to bring him back from his madness. At one point he uses them as a living shield, laughing at Aisha when she won't attack him through her other relatives. When the Winx finally manage to restore his brother and sister to their non-monster forms, their conversation hints at them being able to remember everything they did, but being unable to resist his mind control in any way. Oh yeah, and his whole motivation for wanting to turn the universe's oceans to toxic wastelands and bring the entire Magical Dimension crashing down around everyone? He was passed over for the title of Crown Prince.
  • Wonder Showzen is really scary. From the initial warning that this show isn't some happy little Sesame Streetwith horror movie trailer music/screaming in the background, to its creepy little opening involving footage of someone chucking knives at a little girl and creepy, jerky animation with pictures of nuclear explosions among other things. And don't even try and ask about the sketches (which is even more disturbing since these are real children between the ages of 5-8 saying and doing some of the stuff that's on this show)...
    • In one scene, they torched an actual beetle and showed its death throes.
    • There was an episode where, for no reason, they showed a time lapse shot of a dead fox decomposing.
  • Xavier: Renegade Angel has its fair share of disturbing moments
    • Suring "Signs from Godrilla" when Xavier comes to a small town where the inhabitants rush over to him, cheering and lifting him up into the air like they're happy to see him...just before suddenly eating him alive.
    • "Sand Madness". While walking through the desert, he comes across a freakish mollusk-thing MADE ENTIRELY OF TV STATIC which raspily calls out "Feeed meee..." Xavier's response? TEAR OFF HIS OWN FACE and give it to the mollusk, whose model promptly adopts the skin of his face. Its return at the end becomes ever worse, whereupon Xavier opts NOT to feed his face to it, only for it to turn towards the viewers and call out "Will yooouu feeed meeee?" As the camera zooms in until the only thing left on your TV is just static. * shudder*
    • In season 2's "Damnesia Vu," Xavier is trapped in a limbo dimension that leads to a various number of parallel worlds - where he keeps dying in grotesque and disturbing ways (i.e. vaporized by a child molesting Transformer, eaten by a monitor lizard, becoming a sun god and committing "sacricide"...)
  • X-Men: Evolution episode 25 (Mindbender) in which Mesmero appears. There was no blood, no ultra violence, no huge fights... just him kidnapping and brainwashing a bunch of innocent kids ( Jean, Kitty, Evan and Kurt), using them to set off his Evil Plan to wake up his master Apocalypse and slipping unnoticed under their caretakers' watch. And he starts this by entering the kids's dreams and turning them into nightmares. Poor, poor Jean Grey. Watch it here, with the Latin-american dub conveying the feeling almost as well as the original...
    • Blind Alley wasn't much better. Scott gets stranded in a deserted town as Mystique's revenge for him derailing her Evil Plan without his visor, completely unable to even open his eyes or he'll blast everything on sight into nothingness...
  • The animated adaption of the post-apocalyptic Days Of Future Past storyline in the X-Men 90s Animated Series, especially the telepathic vision Xavier recieves from Bishop of the nightmarish future.
    Xavier: We have FAILED...
    • The ultimate fate of Graydon Creed in the series, being left at his father's doorstep. Said father? Sabertooth. The line Sabertooth delivers is simply chilling.
    Sabertooth: Come to papa...
  • TheAngry Beavers episode "Open Wide for Zombie" is full of Nightmare Fuel. From the creepy Swamp Witch wanting their teeth for a Voodoo spell to the creepy zombie men with skull-like faces to gator man. Here's a link to the episode.

Courage the Cowardly DogImageSource/Western AnimationSand Is Water
Western AnimationNightmare FuelWestern Animation (Film)

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