Series / Night Gallery

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"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Night Gallery."

An (initially) hour-long horror and Speculative Fiction anthology series, hosted by Rod Serling, which ran on NBC for three seasons (1970–73). Each episode includes multiple segments tied together by the Framing Device of a gallery of paintings inspired by the featured stories. The stories include both originals (many written by Serling) and adaptations of works from the likes of Richard Matheson, Fritz Leiber, Basil Copper, and H.P. Lovecraft. (The segments "Cool Air" and "Pickman's Model" are the first, and still the most famous, Lovecraft adaptations made for television.)

Unusually for the formatnote , the individual segments are not of a set length. They range from one-minute vignettes to long stories that take up most of the episode's run time (and everything in between); the number of segments per episode therefore varies accordingly.

Although the show was subject to Executive Meddling from the beginning (much to Rod Serling's displeasure; unlike with The Twilight Zone, he didn't have creative control) the third season saw the most of this (and possibly a bit of Screwed by the Network), with the episode length reduced to a half hour and the timeslot moved from Wednesday to Sunday. It was cancelled midway through the season.

In syndication, the run was stretched by adding repackaged stories from the short-lived Paranormal Investigation show The Sixth Sense and by splitting the first two seasons' episodes into half hours. The latter change led to heavy re-editing, with longer stories cut down and shorter ones padded to fit the new length.

This series provides examples of:

Episodes of this series provide examples of:

  • Academy of Evil: "Class of 99" and "The Academy," where it's implied the students never graduate, in the case of The Academy, because it's actually a prison for juvenile criminals, where they are simply left to rot rather than reformed. In the case of the Class Of 99, the students are robots that are being trained to replace humans.
  • Adam Westing: Phyllis Diller, known for her piercing voice and laugh, plays the titular Pamela in "Pamela's Voice." That is, she's a dead woman who is haunting the husband (John Astin) that killed her because, among all the things he hated about her, her voice was the number one thing he couldn't stand. It turns out he's dead too, and his punishment in Hell is her heaven, where she can just keep talking, and talking, and talking, and he can't do a thing about it.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Jackie Slater in "Make Me Laugh" is repeatedly described as fat and ugly in the original short story. He's played in the show by the rather handsome Godfrey Caimbridge (also a Race Lift). Possibly also a Casting Gag as Cambridge had recently lost a lot of weight.
    • The original short story of "The Escape Route" describes Josef Strobe as looking like a pig. The actor in the series is old, but pretty good looking.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • "Escape Route": A Nazi officer learns the trick of escaping into a painting...but instead of escaping into a peaceful one, he escapes into one of a concentration camp victim.
    • Malloy, the Jerkass protagonist in "A Question of Fear" is told that he was injected with a serum that will slowly turn him into a worm. He shoots himself to avoid it... for nothing.
    • "The Dead Man". He has psychic abilities that allow him to exhibit and suffer from symptoms of diseases before returning to full heath. Then his doctor friend tricks him into thinking he's dead for months...
    • "Last Rites for a Dead Druid". The man trapped inside the statue switches places with our protagonist.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" is the least supernatural episode in the entire series, other than the protagonist being haunted by past regrets. It's also one of the most critically acclaimed episodes in the show's history.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie:
    • The ending of "The Ghost of Sorworth Place" has a ghost hunter become a ghost himself.
    • "Pickman's Model". Pickman turns into one of the ghouls he has been painting.
  • Argentina is Nazi-Land: The pilot featured a fugitive officer trying to forever escape from pursuit into a painting in Latin America somewhere. He does, but not in the one he wanted.
  • Asshole Victim: Comes up a lot. For example: The Fultons of "You Can't Get Help Like That Anymore", and the long-lost nephew heir in "The Cemetery."
  • Atomic Hate: The ending of "Little Girl Lost". Don't piss off the scientist that has nothing to live for after his beloved daughter has died. Especially if he holds a button that sets of a bomb that destroys the entire world.
  • Badass Grandpa: Count Dracula, of all people. "The Devil is Not Mocked" has his son telling his grandson how he served his country in the war when he and his werewolf servants killed a number of Nazi officers.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Several episodes, such as "Since Aunt Ada Came To Stay." The ending implies the witch was indeed successful in her Body Swap.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • In "Make Me Laugh", Jackie Slater, a failing stand-up comedian, makes a wish with the help of a klutzy genie to be able to make people laugh. The problem is, he can't turn it off when he wants to make a career as a serious actor.
    • In "Escape Route", an ex-Nazi wishes and concentrates with all his might to escape into a painting...only to find when it works that the painting was switched, and the new one is much less comfortable than the old.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: "Certain Shadows On The Wall." How does Stephen end up getting what he deserves for poisoning Emma? Sweet, ditzy Rebecca secretly gives him a giant overdose of the medication he was slowly killing Emma with, and explains it to their sister Ann that it will "Help him sleep." Whether or not Rebecca truly did it on purpose is left for interpretation, but the minute Ann hears that Stephen is "taking his own medication," she's clearly horrified.
  • Big Blackout: One hits at a most inopportune time for the protagonist in "Eyes". She misses most of the eleven hours of sight given her by her operation because it happens to coincide with a blackout.
  • Bloody Horror: Averted for the most part, as violence usually occurs off-screen in this series. Played straight in "A Feast of Blood" and "Return of the Sorcerer" as we are given graphic shots of bloody dead bodies.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: "The Academy" from the titular episode. On the surface, it's a military academy for troubled children. In reality, it's little more than a dumping ground for kids whose parents would rather not have to deal with them, with the strong idea that most students never graduate. The man at the entrance is an old student; he's 55.
  • Body Swap:
    • "The Housekeeper". A husband is on the quest for the perfect personality to put in his beautiful wife's body.
    • "Since Aunt Ada Came To Stay." An old woman tries and ultimately succeeds in stealing her young niece's body.
  • Body Horror: "The Dead Man", one of the characters has an unusually powerful psychosomatic ability that lets him manifest advanced symptoms of all sorts of diseases under hypnosis, even viral ones even though he has no trace of the virus itself. His body shown both emaciated and discolored, and bloated and blue from edema, only to immediately revert to the peak of health when the suggestion is broken. It works after he has been made to think he died too. LONG after he thought he died.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: A gender-flipped version occurs in "Cool Air" when Agatha falls in love with Dr. Munoz, who, unbeknownst to her, died ten years ago and has clung to (un)life only through willpower and constant cold.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: "Brenda." The only true friend she makes is a shambling monster that gets trapped in a pit.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: Subverted and parodied in "A Midnight Visit to the Neighborhood Blood Bank." A vampire breaks into a woman's room and goes down to suck her blood. At the last second, she wakes up and says "I gave at the office." He apologizes, makes a note in his book, and flies off.
  • Broken Record: "The Tune in Dan's Cafe" concerns a jukebox in a cafe that skips over and over right at the spot that was playing when a criminal inside the diner was gunned down.
    till, death...'till, death...'till, death... 'till death...
  • Breaking Bad News Gently: In "The Caterpillar", the doctor tells Macy to sit down before telling him the bad news about the earwig. Macy initially says it's not necessary, but the doctor insists, and given the news, he might have been right.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: The vampire in "Death on a Barge."
  • Caustic Critic: "A Fear of Spiders," although the critic in question is a subversion. He's not shown writing pointlessly cruel gourmet reviews, but he's pointedly cruel to a female suitor and the building supervisor.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: "Clean Kills And Other Trophies." It ends with hunter learning what it's like to be the victim.
  • Covers Always Lie: Many of paintings are connected to the stories symbolically or thematically rather than being literal illustrations of events, meaning much of the images in the drawings never actually show up in the shorts. Subverted in "Pickman's Model", "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes", "The Cemetery", "The Escape Route" and "Eyes", as the paintings actually show up in the episodes, painted by the characters inside them.
    • "The Funeral" and "A Midnight Visit to the Neighborhood Blood Bank" have some of the creepiest paintings ever featured on the show, but in reality both are lightweight and humorous stories.
    • The painting associated with "The House" features a woman's face superimposed over an apartment.
    • Also subverted with all of the Sixth Sense episodes, as the paintings actually are illustrations of the stories featured within.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: "The Cemetery." It's actually a trick played by the butler on the evil nephew, both to avenge his former employer, and to gain the inheritance himself... After the nephew's death however, the painting suddenly changes on its own...
  • Creepy Crows: While Chris is digging the old man's hole in "Big Surprise", there are numerous cuts to scenes of a setting sun and dark sky that gets progressively more filled with cawing, frantic crows, adding to the suspense of what he will uncover. What he actually does find is kinda funny.
  • Creepy Doll: The eponymous doll from "The Doll", which is actually a curse sent by an Indian mystic to a British colonel, as revenge for the colonel ordering his brothers death back in India (said brother had been an anti-British rebel who led raids on British outposts). Making matters worse, the doll ended up with the colonels granddaughter who became incredibly attached to it. By the end of the episode, the colonel accepts his death, so the doll can be destroyed and rid his granddaughter from the curse, as well as leave her with his insurance money and in the protection of her kindly governess. That same night, the mystic gets a package of his own, which contains a doll that looks like the colonel, with the same creepy slasher smile the first doll had...
  • Cute and Psycho: Nurse Frances Nevins in "Room with a View." She's bright, adorably shy, with a cute smile... But tends to turn completely homicidal when she gets jealous of her fiancé.
  • Dead All Along: The whole cast in "Lone Survivor". They're really just phantoms in the Ironic Hell of a damned sailor.
    • Jonathan and Pamela in "Pamela's Voice".
  • Death by Adaptation: In the short story "Stop Killing Me" is based on, Mrs. Turchin survives. The adaption has her step in front of a car and perish.
  • Death of a Child: In "Little Girl Lost", Professor Putnam lost his young daughter Ginny and the government asks the protagonist to humor his delusion that she's still alive in order to get him to continue his work.
  • Downer Ending: Several, such as "The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes", which ends with the young seer predicting that the sun will soon go nova and explode, engulfing the earth.
  • Dirty Coward: The main character of "Lone Survivor", who reveals he had been a sailor on the Titanic, and had forced his way onto a lifeboat dressed in women's clothing, then the overcrowded lifeboat had broken its cables, and he was the only person who managed to hold on before it hit the water. He's well aware that his cowardice was unforgivable, and can give no excuse other than that he was out of his mind with fear. He's also been damned for his deed, and is cursed to float forever on the ocean, from doomed ship to doomed ship throughout history.
  • Driven to Suicide: Colonel Malloy shoots himself in "A Question Of Fear" after Mazi tells him that he was injected with a serum that will turn him slowly into a worm. Completely unnecessary at that, as Mazi was lying about the serum.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Professor Putnam, a military scientist, has delusions that his dead daughter is alive. A wounded pilot becomes his bodyguard and must act as if he is interacting with the daughter. At the end of the episode it is revealed that the scientist has realized that his daughter is dead and has found a way to be reunited with her and get revenge on who killed her. And it turns out he has been working on nuclear fission. Oops.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • "The Funeral": A Clthulu-esque creature requests a funeral.
    • "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture": A college professor is turned into one by pissed-off Old Ones after he won't stop saying their names.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: "The Devil Is Not Mocked". It turns out that the resistance force that the Nazis have been looking for is made up of vampires and werewolves, and led by none other than Count Dracula. They may feed on humans, but that doesn't mean they condone the evil the Nazis are perpetrating.
  • Evil Hand: In "The Hand of Borgus Weems", the hero finds his right hand taking control and trying to commit murder. The condition begins to spread to other parts of his body before he gets it amputated. It's eventually implied that the hand was possessed by a man called Borgus Weems and the three people it tried to kill were his killers and their lawyer.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Prime examples of this trope include "There Aren't Any More McBanes" and "I'll Never Leave You - Ever."
  • Exact Words:
    • The titular "Other Way Out": the bullet the Old Man gives for Bradley Meredith's gun.
    • From the same episode, but earlier, the Old Man tells Bradley Meredith (the guy who killed his granddaughter) that someone named "Sonny" is going to come by soon to see him die. Sonny, the Old Man's grandson, does in fact come by near the end to see him die... as in, being left alone in a pit he can't get out of... with the aforementioned gun.
    • In "Lindemann's Catch", a fortune teller sells Lindemann a potion that will give his mermaid human legs. It works...but it moves the fish part of her to the upper half of her body.
  • Fate Worse Than Death:
    • In "A Question of Fear", Mazi tells Colonel Malloy that he dosed him with a serum that will turn him into a worm. Malloy shoots himself rather than go through it.
    • "The Caterpillar," as it's revealed that the earwig in question was female, and probably laid eggs.
  • Female Monster Surprise: In "The Caterpillar", man pays to have a romantic rival murdered by having a carnivorous earwig placed in the man's ear. The plan goes wrong, however, and the next morning he awakens to find that the earwig has been placed in his ear instead, and has crawled inside his head. He endures weeks of agony as the earwig eats its way through his brain, but he remarkably survives the ordeal. He is then told by a doctor that the earwig was female... And it laid eggs.
  • Flying Dutchman: The castaway from "Lone Survivor" calls himself this.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes", Herbie's grandfather muses about what a terrible burden it must be for Herbie to be able to foresee catastrophes but not be able to do anything about it, which happens on a planetwide scale at the end of the episode.
    • Another example from the same episode: it's established that Herbie can't predict further than one day into the future. This provides an early clue that he's lying when he predicts that things will improve from here on out.
    • In "Green Fingers", Mrs. Bowen tells the developer how she once planted a piece of wood that started growing. This hints what will happen when she plants her fingers.
    • In a sense, Rod Serling appearing in the painting for "Midnight Never Ends" acts as this to the episode's twist. A meta painting, for a meta story, if you will.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: In "Junior", the "baby" calling for water is a Frankenstein's Monster.
  • Fright Deathtrap: Attempted by the "villains" against the protagonists of "A Question Of Fear" and "The Other Way Out." Both end up killing themselves instead.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": In "The Funeral," a vampire pays to host his own funeral. It quickly becomes less than dignified thanks to the guests.
  • Gaslighting:
    • "The Cemetery": The butler of the mansion is changing the painting to psych his deceased employer's long-lost nephew out.
    • "The Spectre In Tap Shoes". The haunting is just a ploy by the protagonist's sister's killer to get the protagonist to hand over incriminating evidence.
  • Giant Spider: In "A Fear Of Spiders", the spider grows almost every time Justus sees it until it's as big as a dog.
  • Gainax Ending: "The House" ends very ambiguously, with Elaine somehow switching roles between her dream self and reality. It's obliquely suggested that the "haunting" has been an astral projection of her recurring dream all along, but the story doesn't give a concrete explanation of what's really going on, nor exactly what sort of ghostly activity the house's previous owners experienced that horrified them enough to sell the house.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Bloody violence is primarily kept off-screen in this series. Averted in "A Feast of Blood" and Return of the Sorcerer", where we are given very graphic shots.
  • Green Thumb: Or rather, "Green Fingers". The old lady who is being pushed to move out of her home by a realtor claims she can make anything she plants grow. Even, it turns out, bits of herself.
  • Grand Theft Me: The witch from "Aunt Ada" had stolen multiple bodies of girls in the past, and at the climax stole the one of the protagonist's love interest.
  • Happily Married: "The Caterpillar." The jealous suitor thinks he's saving the object of his affection from her marriage because her husband is so much older than she is, but the woman is quite happy how things are and thinks the suitor is an asshole for making assumptions about her happiness.
  • Henpecked Husband: "House - With Ghost" and "Stop Killing Me". Both concern husbands that are fed up with their nagging, overbearing wives. Both try to turn to murder to get rid of their problems. Both succeed.
  • Here We Go Again!:
    • "The Housekeeper": the husband, having switched his wife's personality with that of the new housekeeper, switches her personality with that of a newly hired one once she plans to leave him without a cent to punish him for his deed.
    • "The Caterpillar": Macy starts screaming after the doctor tells him that the earwig laid eggs, meaning he'll have to endure more of the same agony in which he's spent the past week.
    • "The Hand of Borgus Weems": After the hero has forced the doctor to cut his hand off to prevent him from committing murder, the doctor's hand begins writing in Latin, one of the symptoms the hero's possessed hand exhibited.
    • "The Funeral": Having successfully handled a funeral for a vampire, the funeral home director finds himself dealing with another unusual client to whom the vampire recommended him.
    • "Lone Survivor": The man sinks in another ship and is picked up by another vessel doomed to go under.
    • "Midnight Never Ends": The writer starts his story over, and his characters start the whole scene over again.
    • "The Ghost of Sorworth Place": Burke takes the place of Ann's deceased husband in haunting her.
  • Human Head on the Wall: "Clean Kills and Other Trophies". When an evil trophy hunter forces his son to kill a deer, he is punished by African tribal gods. He is killed and his head is mounted on the trophy wall in his own house.
  • Idiot Ball: Col. Malloy in "A Question of Fear" commits suicide out of belief in the Doctor's serum, in spite of being quite skeptical up to that point and uncovering plenty of evidence that the doctor had fabricated everything else he tried to scare the Colonel with. The doctor himself seems a bit shocked that Malloy didn't just call his bluff and go look in the cellar.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: "Satisfaction Guaranteed". An affluent man that appears to be trying to find a secretary at a hiring firm is actually looking for his lunch.
  • Informed Attractiveness: "The Different Ones". A hideously deformed young man is part of an exchange program with a student from another planet who is part of the program for the same reason. Only the student from the other planet looks like a normal human, and the natives of his planet all look like the student from Earth- and the alien girls all think the new arrival is pretty cute, leading to a surprise Happy Ending. (Keep in mind, the boy and the aliens look like this. A bit strange looking, but not much worse than what you'd see on Star Trek)
  • I Lied: "A Question Of Fear", there never was any mutating serum, the villain just lied about it to break the main character.
  • In-Name-Only: The series sometimes had the tendency to mess with the source material quite a bit. The most obvious breaks from the events of the original stories include "The Doll", "The Ghost of Sorworth Place", "Green Fingers", "Last Rights for a Dead Druid", and "The Painted Mirror".
  • Ironic Hell:
    • "Hell's Bells": A hippie is forced to spend eternity in a boring room with drab pastimes.
    • "Certain Shadows on the Wall": A doctor murders his sister, but her shadow won't go away from the wall. In the end, he dies too and his shadow remains with hers.
    • "Pamela's Voice": A man that murdered his talkative wife is forced to listen to her chatter on for all eternity.
    • "Lone Survivor": A cowardly man that dressed up as a woman to escape on a ship's lifeboat is left floating on the sea forever, being continuously picked up by vessels that are doomed to sink.
  • Kid from the Future: "Tell David...," but this is a subversion. The woman's son David has already been born, but she somehow finds herself travelling into the future where he is an adult.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • In "The Miracle at Camafeo", a man pretends to be paralyzed to collect money and then pretends he was cured by a shrine in the titular city. At the end, he loses his sight, and this time it isn't pretend.
      • The ending of the short story that this tale is based off fits this trope even moreso, where con-man actually becomes paralyzed, like he had been pretending all along.
    • In "The Caterpillar", Macy plots a gruesome murder (having a bug placed on the pillow of his rival in love to eat through his brain) but is accidentally made the victim.
  • Last of His Kind: "There Aren't Any More MacBanes". Our hero is the only remaining member of the once prosperous MacBane clan.
  • La Résistance: During WW2, the Nazis tried to exterminate the Hungarian resistance. They ran into its true leader Count Dracula.
  • Let Them Die Happy: In "The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes", Herbie decides to tell his viewers that the next day will be the start of a new and better world, rather than tell them the harsh truth — the next day, the sun will go nova.
  • Lighter and Softer: Series writer Jack Laird was notorious for creating short, humorous tales to serve as breathers between the heavy horror. Unfortunately, many of these (such as "Miss Lovecraft Sent Me", "Junior", "A Matter of Semantics", "The Funeral", "Room For One Less", "Smile, Please", and "An Act of Chivalry") are seen by fans as the weakest and most skippable segments on the show.
  • Living Doll Collector: "A Death In The Family." That undertaker loves his embalmed charges just a bit too much...
  • Literal Genie: "Make Me Laugh." The genie in question might be considered a Jackass Genie, but he tells his "clients" beforehand that he's a klutz and the wishes he grants can backfire. For instance, one wisher wanted to go to Tibet — and wound up on Mt. Everest in the middle of a snowstorm.
  • Magic Mirror: "The Painted Mirror." It leads to an alternate dimension full of monsters and prehistoric nightmares.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: "A Fear of Spiders" never answers one way or the other whether the spider is a supernormal being intended to take revenge on Justus or a hallucination he's having because of his arachnophobia.
  • Meta Fiction: "Midnight Never Ends." It turns out the events of the story all take place within the novel a writer is working on.
  • Mercy Kill: "The Merciful". A woman appears to be walling her husband up alive so he won't suffer. The Stinger reveals that she's actually walling herself up so she won't be a burden to him.
  • Mugging the Monster: SS troopers hunting Transylvanian partisans come to a castle that turns out to be owned by Count Dracula. Turns out vampires are patriotic; who knew?
  • Murderer P.O.V.: In "The Cemetery", the undead Jeremy's attack on Portifoy is filmed from Jeremy's point of view.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Jackie Slater from "Make Me Laugh" spent sixteen years wanting people to laugh at his jokes, but once a miracle worker grants his wish to make people laugh, he finds that the success without the effort is boring.
  • Non-Human Lover Reveal: The series was in love with The Reveal in general.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: "The Cemetery." We never actually see the old man rise from his grave, but just seeing it happening on the painting and imagining it happening for real makes it all the more frightening. The same occurs for his nephew at the end. And unlike the previous case, this time it's happening for real.
  • Obfuscating Disability: One episode had a con man faking being crippled to collect a fat settlement visiting a shrine in Mexico with reputed miraculous healing powers visited by sick and infirm pilgrims - he intends to get "cured" and walk out scot-free in front of an insurance investigator. As he saunters out, a miracle does occur - just as a blind child gains sight again, the con man's miraculously stricken blind.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: "The Phantom Farmhouse." Werewolves are said to have a longer index finger than middle finger and red nails when they're in human form. When transformed, they look fully like animals, although apparently some of their human mind stays with them.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: "Logoda's Heads." The titular witch doctor is found gruesomely torn apart, and the person responsible turns out to be another magic practitioner who sought to avenge the anthropologist Logoda unjustly murdered.
  • Pendulum of Death: In "A Question of Fear", Colonel Malloy lies down on a bed in a supposedly haunted house. Steel restraints suddenly emerge and cover his chest, locking him in. Then a swinging razor-sharp swinging pendulum descends, moving closer and closer to his neck. Just short of slicing his throat, the pendulum stops. The next morning the restraints and pendulum are gone.
  • The Power of Hate: In "The Cemetery", the butler deliberately plants the idea that his current master's grandfather may have a hatred strong enough to outlast the grave. The idea turns out to be true, but it's not the grandfather's.
  • Predator Turned Protector: In "The Phantom Farmhouse", Mildred and her family are werewolves. They have no scruples against killing people; however, Mildred falls in love with Joel and ends up protecting him against her parents.
  • The Punishment Is the Crime: In "The Caterpillar", Mr. Warwick says he's just going to have Macy sent back to England; he doesn't intend to press charges for the murder attempt. It's implied he thinks what Macy will have to deal with as a result of his scheme backfiring is worse than the legal punishment he could potentially expect.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The demon in "There Aren't Any More MacBanes" is only fully revealed at the end. Before that, we only get to see its freakishly glowing red eyes in the darkness and its clawed hands.
  • Rich Bitch: Joan Crawford's character in "Eyes", a rich heiress who's been blind since birth and pays a man in debt a pitiful amount of money for his eyes, for an operation that'll only give her sight for a few hours.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots:
    • The robotic servants in "You Can't Get Help Like That Anymore" are capable of adaptive learning, feeling emotions like pain and distress, and as the abusive Mr. and Mrs. Fulton learn the hard way, defending themselves by force.
    • The "Class of '99" is similar, except replace "pain and distress" with "hate."
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The twist at the end of "Nature of the Enemy" reveals that humans are miniscule creatures compared to whatever lives above us, as evidenced by a scene where an astronaut is killed by a giant mouse.
  • Sadistic Choice: "The Other Way Out" ends on this: either Bradley Meredith dies a slow, possibly painful death in the pit he can't escape from, or he takes the titular "other way out"... and shoots himself.
  • Sadist Teacher: "Class of '99". The teacher, played by Vincent Price, is instilling in his graduating class lessons in bigotry and hatred. It helps that they're robots.
  • Sanity Slippage: "The Diary." The gossip reporter given the seemingly prophetic diary has herself locked in a mental institution to save herself from the diary's last entry. The episode ends with her proclaiming to have found a way to beat the diary... and then we find out from her doctor that she's been a patient there for three years now.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: The ending shot of "The Caterpillar" cuts to the outside of the Warwicks' house as Macy, having been told that he's going to have a repeat of the last two weeks, screams in pain or fear.
  • Shackle Seat Trap: The booby-trapped bed from "A Question Of Fear" has bars which spring up and trap Malloy when he lies down.
  • Shmuck Bait: "Big Surprise." A creepy old man asks you to dig a hole deep in the forest for a "big suprise"? Hand me a shovel!
  • Shout-Out: H.P. Lovecraft is repeatedly mentioned if his works aren't the basis of one of the stories. "Miss Lovecraft Sent Me," is one of the shorter stories, and in "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture," the eponymous Professor is reading off the names of numerous Lovecraftian deities, and three of his students have the last names "Bloch", "Derleth", and "Lovecraft".note 
  • Snake Oil Salesman: "Dr. Stringfellow's Rejuvenator." The titular doctor makes his living selling fake medicine to the people of a small Western town.
  • Spot the Thread: The narrative for "Midnight Never Ends" feels incomplete, in a way: both characters only have general ideas of what they are doing that night, but don't know anything concrete. After all, the author of the story is drawing the same blanks; it's late at night, and he's grasping at straws by this point.
  • Stable Time Loop: "Tell David..." A woman travels to a futuristic house where a young man tells her his mother killed his father on his fourth birthday. She goes back home and sees her husband having an affair, and kills him. It's then she realizes the man looked quite a bit like her four-year-old son...
  • Staircase Tumble: Quite a few stories, most notably "House - With Ghost" and "The Ghost of Sorworth Place" feature characters perishing in this manner.
  • Tempting Fate: "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture." It's not s good idea to constantly say the names of the Old Ones when it's widely know that they don't like it.
  • Title Drop: In the beginning of "Miss Lovecraft Sent Me", the babysitter says the title words when talking to her client.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The psychic attacks that kill Walker and the convict in "Lady, Lady, Take My Life" causes the simultaneous rupture of three major arteries, any one of which would've been fatal on its own.
  • This Isn't Heaven: "Pamelas Voice". Correction, it IS Heaven for Pamela, but not for her husband who killed her. Now he's trapped forever, listening to her grating voice.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: One interpretation of "Silent Snow, Secret Snow."
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: "Tell David...". The man's futuristic house has lots of gizmos like Skype-esque TV phones and a precursor to Google Maps.
  • Twin Switch: A subversion. In "Spectre In Tap Shoes," one of the twin sisters has died before the episode began, but the switch occurs when the dead sister possesses the living one.
  • Twist Ending: The endings often put a twist on what the reader expected.
  • The Unwitting Comedian: "Make Me Laugh." Tired of his career in stand-up comedy, Jackie tries to make a new start as a serious actor. Unfortunately, his wish makes the directors laugh even though the lines he's delivering are heart-wrenching. This is the final straw for Jackie, who tracks down the genie to get rid of his comedic "talent."
  • The Vamp: "The Girl With The Hungry Eyes". She's a thin, ghostly, wisp of a woman that acts strangely.
  • Wham Line:
    • While more of a Wham Noise, "The Merciful" has the doorbell.
    • "The Caterpillar" ends with one that has haunted many years after the fact: "And females lay eggs."
    • "The Other Way Out", which doubles as a Title Drop, when the Old Man is about to leave Bradley in the hole for a month:
      Bradley Meredith: You said there was another way out! There is no other way out is there?! You lied to me!
      The Old Man: No, I didn't. (pulls something out of his pocket) Here, Mr. Meredith. Here's the other way out. (tosses the object down... and it's a bullet for his gun).
  • Woman Scorned: "Something In The Woodwork". A wife's plan to murder her ex-husband that abandoned her with the help of a ghost in her house works. A little too well.
  • You Killed My Father: The "villain" in "A Question Of Fear". His father had been a conscript in the Italian Army during World War 2. He wasn't killed, but the main character burned off his hands, destroying his life as a pianist. The villain swore revenge on his father's behalf.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: "The Dead Man", which revolves around a hypnotist working with an unusually strong hypochondriac, who can show extensive symptoms of any sickness through hypnotic programming, far beyond what psychosomatic symptoms are capable of. The hypnotist intends to have him simulate death, to see if a man can be brought back from beyond brain death. He can. From death far longer than the hypnotist intended.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/NightGallery?from=Main.NightGallery