YMMV: Tales from the Darkside

  • Bizarro Episode:
    • "If the Shoe Fits". And that's saying something.
    • "Barter", which is essentially half "Tales" goodness and half "I Love Lucy".
  • Crazy Awesome: The mummy in "The Grave Robbers". When he challenges the robbers to a game of poker he outsmarts them by counting the cards the whole time. The mummy is freed after winning the game and places the robber in his position as the cursed guardian of the tomb. For extra points the mummy also takes his girlfriend.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The mummy from the episode "The Grave Robbers" is well liked for being a Crazy Awesome Affably Evil Magnificent Bastard. The fact that he's also played by Top Cat also helps.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Love Hungry" is about this lady who buys a magic hearing aid and pair of glasses as a weight loss treatment and begins to see and hear her food talking to her, that episode aired in 1988, 21 years later we got The Annoying Orange, even funnier, two of the fruits she made friends with were an apple and a pear making this even funnier.
    • "The Grave Robbers" is about a mummy fighting against people who stole from his tomb. The mummy would eventually regain his human side, his only cherished memory is that of a girl in his past who he lost, and he gained an interest in the main protagonists love interest because she resembled the woman he loved.. A few years later The Mummy was made and introduced a character with the same story. However, that mummy was unsuccessful at the end of his story, while the one in Tales won.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Both protagonists in "Snip, Snip."
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Mummy in "The Grave Robbers" successfully pulls a Batman Gambit and traps the Dirty Coward Jerkass in the tomb forever. Now the robber takes the mummy's place as the cursed guardian of the tomb. To make it all the more sweeter, the mummy gets to be free and takes the robber's girlfriend. The Bad Guy Wins ending has never been so epic.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Linda in "Parlour Floor Front" crosses it by Killing her cat, lying that her unborn child was killed by a curse, and causing Mars to be Driven to Suicide. This was all to get Mars to move out of her apartment building because she disliked him. She suffers a Karmic Twist Ending for her cruelty.
  • Most Annoying Sound: In-universe and out, the constant phone rings in "Answer Me." Although, they are only there to create fear in the audience.
  • Nightmare Fuel
    • "Answer Me" : The malevolent presence in the adjacent room, a telephone, was trying to break through the wall, right where the protagonist's bed is...
      • Just the whole idea of strange, persistent noises coming from a next-door apartment you know is empty and whose occupant recently died violently. And then there's the protagonist's conversation with "the operator"...
        Operator: (Creepy Monotone): She strangled herself.
    • "Trick or Treat" : A hated and spiteful old man with an obsession for documenting and exploiting debts owed to him, offers trick-or-treaters the chance to search his house for their parents' mortgages, only to terrify them with animatronic "spirits." Unfortunately for him, the old man finds himself the victim of a particularly frightening trick-or-treater, namely a real demon.
    • "The New Guy": A strange boy is harassing a recovering alcoholic, claiming to be his son. The alcoholic has no idea who this boy is and desperately tries to find out whether he's real or not and get him out of his life. The boy is actually out there ruining the lives of recovering alcoholics For the Evulz. In the end, our protagonist has returned to alcoholism and lost his family. The boy is now targeting his coworker.
    • "Anniversary Dinner": A girl ditches her Jerkass boyfriend and runs to an elderly couple for a place to stay since she has no way of returning to town. The couple treat her like their own child and ask her to stay forever, to which she gladly accepts. Then on their Anniversary, the two kill the unsuspecting young girl by boiling her alive in their "hot tub" and prepare to eat her for their Anniversary dinner. The husband later reveals that they never raised children, only ate them. The last shot shows the collection of skulls from all the unsuspecting people they ate.
    • "Snip, Snip": The Villain Protagonist breaks into a mysterious woman's apartment to take her lottery ticket and get himself out of trouble. However, the woman also has connection to the dark arts just like him. She proves to be more powerful than he is and kills him. The last shot shows that she took his head and turned it into a model for her hairdressing business, with all the other men who threatened her.
    • "The False Prophet": Throughout the episode we follow a Dumb Blonde who listens to a creepy fortune-telling machine. The episode gets more and more disturbing when the machine comes across as a rapist and a Domestic Abuser that refuses to let the girl to leave. The machine is soon revealed to be a Yandere and absorbs the girl inside of it so she will be with him forever. Ironically, she originally came to it so she could search for her true love and the machine tells her that now she has it. Unfortunately, not the way she dreamed of.
    • "Lifebomb": The protagonist gains a special device so he can't die... ever. It was revealed in the end that his insurance company intended to prevent him from dying so the could just save themselves from paying his family when he would die.
    • "Halloween Candy": A misanthropic old man torments trick-or-treating children and is visited by a rather terrifying goblin demanding MORE candy. Believed by many to be the most disturbing episode, along with "Ursa Minor", and "The Geezenstacks".
    • "Madness Room": A sleazy couple trick an old husband into having a heart attack by playing a Ouija board to lead them to a dark hidden room, only for the husband to drop the (only) key to outside into a crack of the room's floorboard... Then a fire suddenly starts up- they're all locked in the hidden room. Cue screaming and coughing.
      • Even better? The only reason why he did that was that, due to the couple's scam, he was led to believe that getting rid of the key would fix everything. Whoops.
    • "Ursa Minor": A little girl blames her new teddy bear for various pranks in her parent's house. They do not believe her-until giant claw marks on the walls and lumbering sounds at night convince them. The mother destroys the teddy, but forgets one of the most basic rules of the wild — harm the child, and you must meet the mother...
    • "Beetles": The ending has our protagonist die from being swarmed by the insects and killed. When the police come to check it out, we get a close-up of the beetles all over his face and climbing out of his mouth. Apparently, they're still eating him.
    • "The Last Car": A woman who just wants to catch a train for her home boards the last car. She meets a playful child, a nice old woman, and an old man. She starts to notice strange things occur on the train car. Her reflection disappears, the people with her are afraid of tunnels, and the train hasn't stopped since she boarded. It turns out that she was taken by a ghost train and is forced to ride the rails forever.
    • "No Strings": As if making your former partner's corpse into a puppet wasn't bad enough, the mob don's "old friend" possess a Monster Clown puppet and attacks the don's crew. However, the mob don survives and confronts the puppet master on how he did that trick. Then his friend's corpse rises behind him and impales him with hooks to make him a puppet too, as the puppet master watches in horror. Fortunately, the puppeteer was spared.
    • "Love Hungry": Although the episode is about Anthropomorphic Food and a Fat Girl trying to stop gaining weight, the episode gets increasingly darker as it continues. First she purchases devices that will prevent her from eating...by imagining the food as people. She hears their screams of pain as they are Eaten Alive and begins to talk to them. Then se starts to die from starvation and almost gives into eating. But she stops herself by sewing her mouth shut with a needle and thread. Her landlord and boyfriend find her corpse and we get a close-up of her disfigured face.
    • "The Geezenstacks": A father realizes his daughter's dollhouse can change their family's future when the dolls were played with, yet only he believes in it. Things become strained in the household until near the end... when the dollhouse transports the whole family into it, like all of its other owners. ... Also, the violin music didn't make things better.
    • And, of course, "The Cutty Black Sow": On Halloween, a boy is warned by his dying great-grandmother about the Cutty Black Sow, a Celtic demon that steals the souls of those who die on All Hallow's Eve, and tries to prevent it from getting hers.
      • And guess what? While he saves his grandmother's soul, the creature takes his! No Infant Immortality here!
    • The opening introduction music/narration. That is all.
    • "Inside The Closet", featuring a mysterious, child-sized door in a woman's bedroom. A touch of Uncanny Valley at the reveal, but horrifyingly suspenseful until that point.
      • Made all the more worse when her landlord dismisses her death to her parents and reveals that the monster in her room was his pet. Not to mention that the poor girl was not and won't be the last victim.
    • "Hush". A child creates an odd looking mechanism that was programmed to stop all the noise annoying those he loves. It works too well... Namely, it takes the life out of the thing that's making the noise! Seeing the machines being robbed of their noise is okay, but what's NOT okay is that horrible nozzle and noise of the machine itself. Also, a parrot and the boy's mother fall before it! PAINFULLY. The world is certainly a better place when the babysitter makes the machine suck out its own life.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The series finale. Seriously, a momma's boy wrestler (said momma is his manager) fights a demon from hell.
    • The monster from "Inside the Closet."...it looked like an aborted Muppet...
    • The Cutty Black Sow in ... "The Cutty Black Sow". ...seriously, look me in the eye and TELL me it doesn't look like a black-furred ALF.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Every episode will make you wonder if anyone or anything is trying to kill you.
  • Squick: "A Case of the Stubborns" is about a man who refuses to believe he's dead and resumes living a normal life, or tries to. However, he fails to notice that he's decaying and starting to fester over time. He finally realizes he's no longer alive when he sneezes off his nose. Then, we're treated to a Gross-Up Close-Up of his nose.
  • Tear Jerker
    • The ending of "Miss May Dusa". May catches sight of herself in the mirror and turns into a statue again, her blind boyfriend goes in to find her, only to get shot by the burglar from the opening. He dies, not three feet away from the May-statue, weakly calling out for her.
    • The ending of "Mary, Mary". A Shrinking Violet begins to doubt her abilities of finding love and spends so much time interacting with Creepy Dolls. She ends up transforming into a mannequin at the end because she felt like a waste as a human being.
    • The ending of "The Spirit Photographer". When Algernon realizes that he has died, he doesn't feel broken or depressed as most characters would. Instead he accepts his time has come. After saying his goodbyes to his closest friend, Algernon tells him not to cry over this because it is a natural part of life.
    • The ending of "Going Native". An alien trying to study human beings gets caught up in their emotions and begins to feel separate from her species. She breaks down and realizes that she cannot return home to her kind because of her emotions. She's realized the worst human emotion: solitude.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The mother in the closing minute of "Ursa Minor". Yeah, don't bother climbing out of your window and escaping with your daughter. Screaming in the corner, while Ursa Major is about to break down the door with her arm and enter the room is CLEARLY safer! ...sigh...
    • The mother in the ending of "The Serpent's Tooth." After she tries to reform and give up the magical item that makes everything she says come true, she retakes it because she is too attached to its power despite being warned by her family and friends that it is too dangerous. When her daughter gives her a What the Hell, Hero? speech the mother says that she loves her children so much that she would turn into a pillar of salt. She pretty much made herself suffer a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • The Woobie: Mars Gillis. He's Driven to Suicide when he thinks that he's killed a baby, when he never did. He later gets revenge by killing Linda for making him kill himself after she caused his suffering to begin with.