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* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' featured several episodes which were darker than the rest of the series as well as children's animation in general. Linka's cousin dies of a drug overdose in "Mind Pollution", a drive by shooting of a family is shown in "Utopia", "Formula For Hate" covers the topic of AIDS, a teacher and a friend of Gi gets shot in a gang shoot out in "Teers in the Hood" (and the episode also shows realistic images of victims of gang violence, including a dead child), Wheeler's friend is killed in "Talkin' Trash", and throughout the series, the deadly effects of pollution are shown.

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* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' featured features several episodes which were are darker than the rest of the series as well as children's animation in general. Linka's cousin dies of a drug overdose in "Mind Pollution", a drive by shooting of a family is shown in "Utopia", "Formula For Hate" covers the topic of AIDS, a teacher and a friend of Gi gets shot in a gang shoot out in "Teers in the Hood" (and the episode also shows realistic images of victims of gang violence, including a dead child), Wheeler's friend is killed in "Talkin' Trash", and throughout the series, the deadly effects of pollution are shown.



** Several episodes focused on Tom and his relationship with Jane and Daria have a darker tone.

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** Several episodes focused that focuse on Tom and his relationship with Jane and Daria have a darker tone.



* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' may have been DarkerAndEdgier by the standards of WesternAnimation/TheDisneyAfternoon, but it's a Disney show; even with the characters averting NeverSayDie it's still lighthearted by most shows' standards. Then we get "[[Recap/DarkwingDuckS1E50TimeAndPunishment Time and Punishment]]", an episode in which Gosalyn visits a BadFuture caused by Darkwing reinventing himself as a KnightTemplar called Dark Warrior Duck after she disappeared. While Dark Warrior had a fairly humorous ideal (based largely on DisproportionateRetribution for crimes like jaywalking) the episode he was in, for the most part, took itself seriously.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'' was mostly a light-hearted kids show, but it had a few dark episodes:
** One of the Beagles turned the Nephews into gold statues in the GrandFinale. That is, they were basically ''murdered''.

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* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' may have been DarkerAndEdgier by the standards of WesternAnimation/TheDisneyAfternoon, but it's a Disney show; even with the characters averting NeverSayDie it's still lighthearted by most shows' standards. Then we get "[[Recap/DarkwingDuckS1E50TimeAndPunishment Time and Punishment]]", an episode in which Gosalyn visits a BadFuture caused by Darkwing reinventing himself as a KnightTemplar called Dark Warrior Duck after she disappeared. While Dark Warrior had has a fairly humorous ideal (based largely on DisproportionateRetribution for crimes like jaywalking) the episode he was is in, for the most part, took takes itself seriously.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'' was is mostly a light-hearted kids show, but it had has a few dark episodes:
** One of the Beagles turned turns the Nephews nephews into gold statues in the GrandFinale. That is, they were basically ''murdered''.



** The alien robots in the episode "Money to Burn" not only stole Scrooge's money bin, so they could melt down the coins to make new robots. But they also were really close to melting Scrooge and Launchpad into grease. Not to mention the FridgeHorror that these robots had probably killed off the alien race, who had once created them in the first place...
** The mites in "[[Recap/DuckTalesAttackOfTheMetalMites The Attack of the Metal Mites]]" were played ''very'' seriously, despite the fact that they were tiny insects. After all, they were designed to eat metal! So they caused plenty of damage all over the city, and they even devoured Fenton's otherwise indestructable Gizmoduck suit.

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** The alien robots in the episode "Money to Burn" not only stole steal Scrooge's money bin, so they could melt down the coins to make new robots. But they also were are really close to melting Scrooge and Launchpad into grease. Not to mention the FridgeHorror that these robots had probably killed off the alien race, who had once created them in the first place...
** The mites in "[[Recap/DuckTalesAttackOfTheMetalMites The Attack of the Metal Mites]]" were are played ''very'' seriously, despite the fact that they were are tiny insects. After all, they were designed to eat metal! So they caused cause plenty of damage all over the city, and they even devoured devour Fenton's otherwise indestructable Gizmoduck suit.



** The GrandFinale titled "Destination Imagination". It was even rated TV-PG.
** The first episode "House of Bloo" could count as well. There are much more serious and TearJerker moments dealing with possibly losing a friendship. The next episodes became LighterAndSofter when that conflict was resolved.
** "Good Wilt Hunting", while not without comedy, got very heavy in revealing Wilt's DarkAndTroubledPast.

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** The GrandFinale titled "Destination Imagination". It was is even rated TV-PG.
** The first episode "House of Bloo" could count as well. There are much more serious and TearJerker moments dealing with possibly losing a friendship. The next episodes became become LighterAndSofter when that conflict was is resolved.
** "Good Wilt Hunting", while not without comedy, got gets very heavy in revealing Wilt's DarkAndTroubledPast.



* ''Literature/MillyMolly'' was mostly happy, but when it got dark, it ''really'' got dark.

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* ''Literature/MillyMolly'' was is mostly happy, but when it got gets dark, it ''really'' got gets dark.



* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Milo}}'' episode "Prickly the Porcupine" dealt with the porcupine's death.

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* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Milo}}'' episode "Prickly the Porcupine" dealt deals with the porcupine's death.



** The fourth season finale features a BigBad who drains the energy from ponies' very ''souls'', threatens to destroy and conquer Equestria, and engages Twilight Sparkle in a physical battle that is shockingly violent and intense for this franchise.
** The fifth season opener is ''even darker'', verging into WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids territory. Instead of a powerful ancient evil, the ArcVillain is a perfectly normal unicorn who runs a FalseUtopia where IndividualityIsIllegal, and any pony who stumbles upon the village is brainwashed through MoreThanMindControl into never leaving. The town's VillainSong is, according to WordOfGod, inspired by WWII era propaganda, and every pony in the town sports incredibly disturbing fake smiles. What's more, the villain captures the Mane 6 and locks them in a room full of speakers that chant her philosophy non-stop, refusing to let them out until they accept her way, and they can ''slowly feel themselves losing their identities'', essentially a disturbingly realistic take on a cult or dictatorship.
** Then there was the dream episode. Already starting out as surprisingly action-packed with high stakes for a mid-season episode, more like what you'd see in a season premiere, the kicker comes when we find out what the dream demon really is. [[spoiler: Luna created it to torture herself for her crimes as Nightmare Moon. In other words, the Tantibus is nothing less than a form of ''self-harm.'']] Next to that, the fact that ''creating an EldritchAbomination that could end the world is well within the princesses' capabilities'' almost went unnoticed by fans.
** And then comes the season 5 finale, which includes (among other things) a [[spoiler: G-rated depiction of an ''actual pony war'' and a BadFuture apocalyptic version of Equestria that is nothing but a ''lifeless ash-swept wasteland'']].
** The Mean Six, which has Queen Chrysalis making evil duplicates of Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. What's dark about them is they intervene with the real Mane Six in various situations, and they mistake the clones for their actual friends behaving horribly out of nowhere and almost destroys their friendship. Things go from bad to worse when [[NightmareFuel the evil doubles die]].

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** The fourth season finale finale, "Twilight's Kingdom" features a BigBad who drains the energy from ponies' very ''souls'', threatens to destroy and conquer Equestria, and engages Twilight Sparkle in a physical battle that is shockingly violent and intense for this franchise.
** The fifth season opener opener, "The Cutie Map" is ''even darker'', verging into WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids territory. Instead of a powerful ancient evil, the ArcVillain is a perfectly normal unicorn who runs a FalseUtopia where IndividualityIsIllegal, and any pony who stumbles upon the village is brainwashed through MoreThanMindControl into never leaving. The town's VillainSong is, according to WordOfGod, inspired by WWII era propaganda, and every pony in the town sports incredibly disturbing fake smiles. What's more, the villain captures the Mane 6 and locks them in a room full of speakers that chant her philosophy non-stop, refusing to let them out until they accept her way, and they can ''slowly feel themselves losing their identities'', essentially a disturbingly realistic take on a cult or dictatorship.
** Then there was the dream episode. "Do Princesses Dream Of Magic Sheep?" Already starting out as surprisingly action-packed with high stakes for a mid-season episode, more like what you'd see in a season premiere, the kicker comes when we find out what the dream demon really is. [[spoiler: Luna created it to torture herself for her crimes as Nightmare Moon. In other words, the Tantibus is nothing less than a form of ''self-harm.'']] Next to that, the fact that ''creating an EldritchAbomination that could end the world is well within the princesses' capabilities'' almost went unnoticed by fans.
** And then comes the season 5 finale, "Th Cutie Re-mark" which includes (among other things) a [[spoiler: G-rated depiction of an ''actual pony war'' and a BadFuture apocalyptic version of Equestria that is nothing but a ''lifeless ash-swept wasteland'']].
** The "The Mean Six, Six", which has Queen Chrysalis making evil duplicates of Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. What's dark about them is they intervene with the real Mane Six in various situations, and they mistake the clones for their actual friends behaving horribly out of nowhere and almost destroys their friendship. Things go from bad to worse when [[NightmareFuel the evil doubles die]].



** The episode "Knock it Off" had them sell the formula Dick Hardly, a villain who, despite having no superpowers, was thought by most fans to be the worst villain they ever fought, even worse than Him. He was an unscrupulous and cruel man who used the stuff to started cranking out "EXTREME" Powerpuff Girls. He used more Chemical X and less of the other ingredients resulting in malformed girls, whom he abused or callously destroyed, and for no reason other than greed. Later when he wouldn't give up the Chemical X he drinks it and turned into a monster and nearly sucked the life out of the girls leaving them sickly green and covered in spots. The professor and their clones were just barely able to save them. It was little wonder that Dick was the only originally-human villain on the show who was KilledOffForReal.

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** The episode "Knock it Off" had has them sell the formula they were created with to Dick Hardly, a villain who, despite having no superpowers, was is thought by most fans to be the worst villain they ever fought, fight, even worse than Him. He was is an unscrupulous and cruel man who used uses the stuff to started start cranking out "EXTREME" Powerpuff Girls. He used uses more Chemical X and less of the other ingredients resulting in malformed girls, whom he abused abuses or callously destroyed, destroys, and for no reason other than greed. Later when he wouldn't won't give up the Chemical X X, he drinks it it, and turned turns into a monster and nearly sucked sucks the life out of the girls girls, leaving them sickly green and covered in spots. The professor and their clones were are just barely able to save them. It was It's little wonder that Dick was is the only originally-human villain on the show who was KilledOffForReal.



* ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', despite being a light-hearted show about group of kids and their adventures at school, had a few dark and serious episodes:
** "Prickly Is Leaving". We were introduced to Dr. Slicer, the most evil villain in the series, who [[WouldHurtAChild employed cruel and unusual tactics]] to control the school and, unlike Finster or Prickly, only cared about power without regard for the students' welfare. His behavior [[EvenEvilHasStandards even disgusted Miss Finster]], and TJ (who was never afraid to stand up to adults before or since) was completely scared of him. He was ousted in the end, but [[FridgeHorror consider this]]: Third Street wasn't the first school he was principal of, and likely would not be the last.
** "The Biggest Trouble Ever" is a WhamEpisode for the series. It involves the gang accidentally breaking the statue of Thaddeus T. Third III and become the town's most hated people. Ms. Finster punishes them by making them work menial jobs. But the real reason why the episode is so dark is what happens later: Mayor Fitzhugh, the mayor of Third Street, decides to [[MoralEventHorizon send the Recess Gang to six separate schools]], even though they were remorseful and [[EvenEvilHasStandards even Prickly and Ms. Finster objected]]. Throughout the episode, Fitzhugh looked very gleefully sadistic about the whole thing, and only relented when Third's own grandson, demanding that they be pardoned, threatened to expose Fitzhugh's own (deliberate) past misbehavior regarding the statue.

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* ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', despite being a light-hearted show about group of kids and their adventures at school, had has a few dark and serious episodes:
** "Prickly Is Leaving". We were are introduced to Dr. Slicer, the most evil villain in the series, who [[WouldHurtAChild employed employs cruel and unusual tactics]] to control the school and, unlike Finster or Prickly, only cared cares about power without regard for the students' welfare. His behavior [[EvenEvilHasStandards even disgusted disgusts Miss Finster]], and TJ (who was never afraid to stand up to adults before or since) was is completely scared of him. He was is ousted in the end, but [[FridgeHorror consider this]]: Third Street wasn't the first school he was principal of, and likely would not be the last.
** "The Biggest Trouble Ever" is a WhamEpisode for the series. It involves the gang accidentally breaking the statue of Thaddeus T. Third III and become the town's most hated people. Ms. Finster punishes them by making them work menial jobs. But the real reason why the episode is so dark is what happens later: Mayor Fitzhugh, the mayor of Third Street, decides to [[MoralEventHorizon send the Recess Gang to six separate schools]], even though they were are remorseful and [[EvenEvilHasStandards even Prickly and Ms. Finster objected]]. object]]. Throughout the episode, Fitzhugh looked looks very gleefully sadistic about the whole thing, and only relented relents when Third's own grandson, demanding that they be pardoned, threatened threatens to expose Fitzhugh's own (deliberate) past misbehavior regarding the statue.



* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' had the episode "Mother's Day", which revealed that [[ShrinkingViolet Chuckie]]'s mother Melinda died of an [[SoapOperaDisease undefined illness or injury]] and he almost forgot she existed but his dad still misses her. What drives it home is that, aside from a few moments, this episode lacks humour.

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* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' had the episode "Mother's Day", which revealed reveals that [[ShrinkingViolet Chuckie]]'s mother Melinda died of an [[SoapOperaDisease undefined illness or injury]] and he almost forgot she existed but his dad still misses her. What drives it home is that, aside from a few moments, this episode lacks humour.



* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' was already pretty dark for a ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' series (barring some of the films), but "The Devouring" takes special mention since it's mostly a comedic filler episode involving a demon that eats anything with gluten in it and ends a [[TemporaryBulkChange morbidly obese]] Shaggy and Scooby beating the bad guy in a sumo wrestling match. All this goes on while Mr. E and Professor Pericles struggle for control against each other, until the very end of the episode reveals Pericles has injected Mr. E with mutated cobra venom and can kill him with a single press of a button.

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* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' was is already pretty dark for a ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' series (barring some of the films), but "The Devouring" takes special mention since it's mostly a comedic filler episode involving a demon that eats anything with gluten in it and ends a [[TemporaryBulkChange morbidly obese]] Shaggy and Scooby beating the bad guy in a sumo wrestling match. All this goes on while Mr. E and Professor Pericles struggle for control against each other, until the very end of the episode reveals Pericles has injected Mr. E with mutated cobra venom and can kill him with a single press of a button.



** The earlier Sideshow Bob episodes were also quite dark and dramatic. This eventually went away after his gradual VillainDecay (although he's still trying to kill Bart, and now has escalated to a full-blown vendetta against the entire family).

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** The earlier Sideshow Bob episodes were aree also quite dark and dramatic. This eventually went away after his gradual VillainDecay (although he's still trying to kill Bart, and now has escalated to a full-blown vendetta against the entire family).


* The Netflix series ''WesternAnimation/AskTheStorybots'', while viewed as a harmless kids show to teach the young audience about very important issues, has shows that it’s not afraid to touch upon dark topics, like in ‘How Do People Catch a Cold’ where the audience learn just how destructive a simply cold can be from the inside. Another example is ‘Why Do We Have To Recycle?’, where the characters end up in a Mad Max-esque environment (in this case a landfill) where they see the horrid repercussions of not recycling frequently..

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* The Netflix series ''WesternAnimation/AskTheStorybots'', while viewed as a harmless kids show to teach the young audience about very important issues, has shows shown that it’s not afraid to touch upon dark topics, like in ‘How Do People Catch a Cold’ where the audience learn just how destructive a simply cold can be from the inside. Another example is ‘Why Do We Have To Recycle?’, where the characters end up in a Mad Max-esque environment (in this case a landfill) where they see the horrid repercussions of not recycling frequently..

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* The Netflix series ''WesternAnimation/AskTheStorybots'', while viewed as a harmless kids show to teach the young audience about very important issues, has shows that it’s not afraid to touch upon dark topics, like in ‘How Do People Catch a Cold’ where the audience learn just how destructive a simply cold can be from the inside. Another example is ‘Why Do We Have To Recycle?’, where the characters end up in a Mad Max-esque environment (in this case a landfill) where they see the horrid repercussions of not recycling frequently..


** "The Curse of Castle [=McDuck=]" is pretty dark too. Not only is it atmospheric thanks to the old castle setting for most of the episode with a vicious hound, but it's far more personal for scrooge as it's part of "my heritage" to retake Castle [=McDuck=].

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** "The Curse of Castle [=McDuck=]" is pretty dark too. Not only is it atmospheric thanks to the old castle setting for most of the episode with a vicious hound, but it's far more personal for scrooge Scrooge, as it's part of "my heritage" to retake Castle [=McDuck=].


* Even though ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' has had a [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS1E3TheSadStoryOfHenry lot]] [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS3E21Escape of]] [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS4E1Grandpuff dark]] episodes over the years, one episode that really takes the cake is [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS5E13StepneyGetsLost Stepney Gets Lost]]. Stepney ends up getting well.. lost and is unable to flee from Arry and Bert who [[CharacterizationMarchesOn are portrayed here as two psychopaths with a desire to see a steam train melted down]] when they push him up to a claw that would've dropped him into a smelting pot. Thankfully, [[BigDamnHeroes The Fat Controller]] saves him at the last minute, but there's a reason why the episode is the page image for the [[NightmareFuel/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas The Tank Engine's Nightmare Fuel page.]]

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* Even though ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' has had a [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS1E3TheSadStoryOfHenry lot]] [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS3E21Escape of]] [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS4E1Grandpuff dark]] episodes over the years, one episode that really takes the cake is [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS5E13StepneyGetsLost Stepney Gets Lost]]. In this episode, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Stepney ends up getting well.. lost lost]] and is unable to flee from Arry and Bert ([[CharacterizationMarchesOn who [[CharacterizationMarchesOn are portrayed here as two psychopaths with a desire to see a steam train melted down]] down]]) when they push him up to a claw that would've dropped him into a smelting pot. Thankfully, [[BigDamnHeroes The the Fat Controller]] saves him at the last minute, but there's still a reason why the episode is the page image for the [[NightmareFuel/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas The the Tank Engine's Engine Nightmare Fuel page.]]


** Some episodes with [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Mr. Burns]] are darker and more dramatic than any other episodes (except the ones mentioned here). Examples include "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" (where he crossed MoralEventHorizon by trying to drown Bart), "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" (where he blocked all the sunlight from Springfield, and he screwed over other characters in the same episode and his action were played seriously. It makes his shooting look justifiable.), "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E8MotherSimpson Mother Simpson]]" (where he was involved with biological warfare and he is responsible for making Homer's mother, Mona Simpson, to run from the law, even though she saved him), and "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS28TheGreatPhatsby The Great Phatsby]]" (where he is betrayed by a superstar hip-hop artist who idolizes him, and schemes to get revenge on him). Mr Burns' actions also set future episodes in motion...

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** Some episodes with [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Mr. Burns]] are darker and more dramatic than any other episodes (except the ones mentioned here). Examples include "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" (where he crossed MoralEventHorizon by trying to drown Bart), "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" (where he blocked all the sunlight from Springfield, and he screwed over several other characters in the same episode and his action were characters, all of which is played seriously. It makes seriously enough to make his shooting look justifiable.), justifiable), "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E8MotherSimpson Mother Simpson]]" (where he was involved with biological warfare and he is responsible for making Homer's mother, Mona Simpson, to run from the law, even though she saved him), and "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS28TheGreatPhatsby The Great Phatsby]]" (where he is betrayed by a superstar hip-hop artist who idolizes him, and schemes to get revenge on him). Mr Burns' actions also set future episodes in motion...



** Things really get dark in "The Curse Of Princess Ivy". It involves the titular antagonist wanting to get rid of Sofia's amulet so she can stay in Enchancia to rule if forever. She has special butterflies that can erase people's memories to varying degrees, leaves Sofia and Amber, two children, in a chasm ''to die'', and her song implies that she wanted to ''murder her sister''.
** "Elena And The Secret Of Avalor" really cranks it up a notch, thanks to its antagonist Shuriki, the greater scope villain for this series, and the primary antagonist of ''WesternAnimation/ElenaOfAvalor''. Let's see what she's done, shall we? Right off the bat, we see that she ''murdered'' Elena's parents, trapped her in the amulet for ''41 years'', and ruled Avalor with an iron fist. She also imprisoned the family in her dungeon when she was exposed. [[spoiler: The ending shows that we haven't seen the last of her.]]

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** Things really get dark in "The Curse Of Princess Ivy". It involves the titular antagonist wanting to get rid of Sofia's amulet so she can stay in Enchancia to rule if it forever. She has special butterflies that can erase people's memories to varying degrees, leaves Sofia and Amber, two children, in a chasm ''to die'', and her song VillainSong implies that she wanted to ''murder her sister''.
** "Elena And The Secret Of Avalor" really cranks it up a notch, thanks to its antagonist Shuriki, the greater scope villain GreaterScopeVillain for this series, the series and the primary antagonist of ''WesternAnimation/ElenaOfAvalor''. Let's see review what she's done, shall we? Right off the bat, we see that she ''murdered'' Elena's parents, trapped her in the amulet for ''41 years'', and ruled Avalor with an iron fist. She also imprisoned the family in her dungeon when she was exposed. [[spoiler: The [[spoiler:The ending shows that we haven't seen the last of her.]] ]]



** The series finale, "Forever Royal", ''really'' qualifies for this. Vor is by far the deadliest villain for the series. She possessed Prisma so she can regain physical form, tries to ''murder'' Sofia, uses mind control and a robot army to force people to do what she wants, takes sadistic glee in emotionally torturing Sofia, and even [[spoiler: pulls her into her amulet to make sure she suffers the same fate Elena did.]]

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** The series finale, "Forever Royal", ''really'' qualifies for this. Vor is by far the deadliest villain for the series. She possessed Prisma so she can regain physical form, tries to ''murder'' Sofia, uses mind control and a robot army to force people to do what she wants, takes sadistic glee in emotionally torturing Sofia, and even [[spoiler: pulls [[spoiler:pulls her into her amulet to make sure she suffers the same fate Elena did.]]


** "Action Packed" is an example of this. Even the physics of the animation is darker and edgier when Timmy wished to be in an action movie.
** TheMovie titled ''WesternAnimation/AbraCatastrophe''. Crocker is much more evil than in other episodes, even crossing the MoralEventHorizon when kidnaps and tortures Wanda for use as a power source. In fact, the consequences are quite threatening and Timmy has no choice that faces Crocker in a fight during the climax.

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** "Action Packed" is an example of this. Even the physics of the animation is darker and edgier get DarkerAndEdgier when Timmy wished wishes to be in an action movie.
** TheMovie titled ''WesternAnimation/AbraCatastrophe''. Crocker is much more evil than in other episodes, even crossing the MoralEventHorizon when he kidnaps and tortures Wanda for use as a power source. In fact, the consequences are quite threatening and so threatening, Timmy has no choice that faces but to face Crocker in a fight head-on during the climax.


** The second season starts on a [[SarcasmMode light note]] with the [[VileVillainSaccharineShow new villain]] brutally [[MindRape twisting the minds]] of most of the main cast and [[SugarApocalypse consuming the world in chaos]].

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** The second season starts on a [[SarcasmMode light note]] with the [[VileVillainSaccharineShow new villain]] brutally [[MindRape twisting the minds]] of most of the main cast and [[SugarApocalypse consuming the world in chaos]].



** The fifth season opener is ''even darker'', verging into WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids territory. Instead of a powerful ancient evil, the ArcVillain is a perfectly normal unicorn who runs a FalseUtopia where IndividualityIsIllegal, and any pony who stumbles upon the village is brainwashed through MoreThanMindControl into never leaving. The town's VillainSong is, according to WordOfGod, inspired by WWII era propaganda, and every pony in the town sports incredibly disturbing fake smiles. What's more, the villain captures the Mane 6 and locks them in a room full of speakers that chant her philosophy non-stop, refusing to let them out until they accept her way, and they can ''slowly feel themselves losing their identities''. Yes, a show about coloured horses for kids has a disturbingly realistic take on a cult or dictatorship.
** Then there was the dream episode. Already starting out as surprisingly action-packed with high stakes for a mid-season episode, more like what you'd see in a season premiere, the kicker comes when we find out what the dream demon really is. [[spoiler: Luna created it to torture herself for her crimes as Nightmare Moon. In other words, the Tantibus is nothing less than a form of ''self-harm.'']] Next to that, the fact that ''creating an EldritchAbomination that could end the world is well within the princesses' capabilities'' almost went unnoticed by fans. Almost.

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** The fifth season opener is ''even darker'', verging into WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids territory. Instead of a powerful ancient evil, the ArcVillain is a perfectly normal unicorn who runs a FalseUtopia where IndividualityIsIllegal, and any pony who stumbles upon the village is brainwashed through MoreThanMindControl into never leaving. The town's VillainSong is, according to WordOfGod, inspired by WWII era propaganda, and every pony in the town sports incredibly disturbing fake smiles. What's more, the villain captures the Mane 6 and locks them in a room full of speakers that chant her philosophy non-stop, refusing to let them out until they accept her way, and they can ''slowly feel themselves losing their identities''. Yes, a show about coloured horses for kids has identities'', essentially a disturbingly realistic take on a cult or dictatorship.
** Then there was the dream episode. Already starting out as surprisingly action-packed with high stakes for a mid-season episode, more like what you'd see in a season premiere, the kicker comes when we find out what the dream demon really is. [[spoiler: Luna created it to torture herself for her crimes as Nightmare Moon. In other words, the Tantibus is nothing less than a form of ''self-harm.'']] Next to that, the fact that ''creating an EldritchAbomination that could end the world is well within the princesses' capabilities'' almost went unnoticed by fans. Almost.



** The series finale, "Forever Royal" , ''really'' qualifies for this. Vor is by far the deadliest villain for the series. She possessed Prisma so she can regain physical form, tries to ''murder'' Sofia, uses mind control and a robot army to force people to do what she wants, takes sadistic glee in emotionally torturing Sofia, and even [[spoiler: pulls her into her amulet to make sure she suffers the same fate Elena did.]] Wow!

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** The series finale, "Forever Royal" , Royal", ''really'' qualifies for this. Vor is by far the deadliest villain for the series. She possessed Prisma so she can regain physical form, tries to ''murder'' Sofia, uses mind control and a robot army to force people to do what she wants, takes sadistic glee in emotionally torturing Sofia, and even [[spoiler: pulls her into her amulet to make sure she suffers the same fate Elena did.]] Wow! ]]



* While it does have its occasional dramatic moments, ''WesternAnimation/TangledTheSeries'' is still pretty lighthearted. Then came "Queen for a Day", in which Rapunzel is forced to make some tough decisions in order to save her kingdom from a blizzard, the King and Queen nearly ''die'', and [[spoiler: Varian -- who, up until now, has been portrayed as a sweet, {{Adorkable}} alchemist -- suffers a ''major'' case of BreakTheCutie and ends the episode by making a FaceHeelTurn]]. ''Yikes.''

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* While it does have its occasional dramatic moments, ''WesternAnimation/TangledTheSeries'' is still pretty lighthearted. Then came "Queen for a Day", in which Rapunzel is forced to make some tough decisions in order to save her kingdom from a blizzard, the King and Queen nearly ''die'', and [[spoiler: Varian -- who, up until now, has been portrayed as a sweet, {{Adorkable}} alchemist -- suffers a ''major'' case of BreakTheCutie and ends the episode by making a FaceHeelTurn]]. ''Yikes.''


* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted!" has Candace succeeding at busting her brothers, and they get sent to a military school where they are broken down and stripped of their identities and creativity. Such scenes included being forced to watch propaganda films ''[[Film/AClockworkOrange Clockwork Orange]]''-style, working on a chain gang and ''faux-waterboarding''. ItWasAllADream in the end, but ''dude''.

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* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted!" has Candace succeeding at busting her brothers, and they get sent to a military school where they are broken down and stripped of their identities and creativity. Such scenes included being forced to watch propaganda films ''[[Film/AClockworkOrange Clockwork Orange]]''-style, working on a chain gang and ''faux-waterboarding''. ItWasAllADream in the end, but ''dude''.''still''.



* Even though ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' has had a [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS1E3TheSadStoryOfHenry lot]] [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS3E21Escape of]] [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS4E1Grandpuff dark]] episodes over the years, one episode that really takes the cake is [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS5E13StepneyGetsLost Stepney Gets Lost]]. Stepney ends up getting well.. lost and is unable to flee from Arry and Bert who [[CharacterizationMarchesOn are portrayed here as two psychopaths with a desire to see a steam train melted down]] when they push him up to a claw that would've dropped him into a smelting pot. Thankfully, [[BigDamnHeroes The Fat Controller]] saves him at the last minute, but there's a reason why the episode is the page image for the [[NightmareFuel/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas The Tank Engine's Nightmare Fuel page.]]

to:

* Even though ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' has had a [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS1E3TheSadStoryOfHenry [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS1E3TheSadStoryOfHenry lot]] [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS3E21Escape [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS3E21Escape of]] [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS4E1Grandpuff [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS4E1Grandpuff dark]] episodes over the years, one episode that really takes the cake is [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS5E13StepneyGetsLost [[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS5E13StepneyGetsLost Stepney Gets Lost]]. Stepney ends up getting well.. lost and is unable to flee from Arry and Bert who [[CharacterizationMarchesOn are portrayed here as two psychopaths with a desire to see a steam train melted down]] when they push him up to a claw that would've dropped him into a smelting pot. Thankfully, [[BigDamnHeroes The Fat Controller]] saves him at the last minute, but there's a reason why the episode is the page image for the [[NightmareFuel/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas The Tank Engine's Nightmare Fuel page.]]


** The short "Heavenly Puss" is a lot darker than most ''Tom and Jerry'' cartoons. Tom is killed trying to catch Jerry, and is told that if he wants to get into Cat Heaven, he has one hour to make amends with Jerry... otherwise, he'll be condemned to eternal torment by a demonic bulldog. Tom ''[[YankTheDogsChain just]]'' [[YankTheDogsChain misses the deadline]], and is literally dropped into Hell, where demon Spike dunks him in a cauldron of boiling water. Fortunately for Tom it was AllJustADream, but it was still a harrowing experience for him, and for young children watching, too.

to:

** The short "Heavenly Puss" "WesternAnimation/HeavenlyPuss" is a lot darker than most ''Tom and Jerry'' cartoons. Tom is killed trying to catch Jerry, and is told that if he wants to get into Cat Heaven, he has one hour to make amends with Jerry... otherwise, he'll be condemned to eternal torment by a demonic bulldog. Tom ''[[YankTheDogsChain just]]'' [[YankTheDogsChain misses the deadline]], and is literally dropped into Hell, where demon Spike dunks him in a cauldron of boiling water. Fortunately for Tom it was AllJustADream, but it was still a harrowing experience for him, and for young children watching, too.


** A Pal For Gary: In this episode, Spongebob adopts a new pet which transforms into a monster that attacks Gary, and Spongebob does nothing about it.
** Demolition Doofus: Mrs. Puff enlists Spongebob to be in a demolition derby in order to kill him as revenge for severe injuries she sustained from a recent failure. Thankfully, he survives.
** One Coarse Meal: Mr. Krabs finds out that Plankton [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes is afraid of whales]]. Sensing this opportunity, Krabs uses the knowledge of Plankton's phobia to drive him to suicide. [[KarmaHoudini Mr. Krabs ends up getting away with it in the end.]]

to:

** A Pal For Gary: In this episode, Spongebob [=Spongebob=] adopts a new pet which transforms into a monster that attacks Gary, and Spongebob [=Spongebob=] does nothing about it.
** Demolition Doofus: Mrs. Puff enlists Spongebob [=Spongebob=] to be in a demolition derby in order to kill him as revenge for severe injuries she sustained from a recent failure. Thankfully, failure, but his bad driving ironically makes him a racing superstar and she's furious when he survives.
does not get hurt.
** One Coarse Meal: Mr. Krabs finds out that Plankton [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes is afraid of whales]]. Sensing this opportunity, Krabs uses the knowledge of Plankton's phobia to drive him to suicide.suicide by willing wanting to be run over by a bus. [[KarmaHoudini Mr. Krabs ends up getting away with it in the end.]]

Added DiffLines:

* Even though ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' has had a [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS1E3TheSadStoryOfHenry lot]] [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS3E21Escape of]] [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS4E1Grandpuff dark]] episodes over the years, one episode that really takes the cake is [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS5E13StepneyGetsLost Stepney Gets Lost]]. Stepney ends up getting well.. lost and is unable to flee from Arry and Bert who [[CharacterizationMarchesOn are portrayed here as two psychopaths with a desire to see a steam train melted down]] when they push him up to a claw that would've dropped him into a smelting pot. Thankfully, [[BigDamnHeroes The Fat Controller]] saves him at the last minute, but there's a reason why the episode is the page image for the [[NightmareFuel/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas The Tank Engine's Nightmare Fuel page.]]


** The Mean Six, which has Queen Chrysalis making evil duplicates of Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. What's dark about them is they intervene with the real Mane Six in various situations, but they mistake the clones for their actual friends behaving horribly out of nowhere and almost destroys their friendship. Things go from bad to worse when [[NightmareFuel the evil doubles die]].

to:

** The Mean Six, which has Queen Chrysalis making evil duplicates of Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. What's dark about them is they intervene with the real Mane Six in various situations, but and they mistake the clones for their actual friends behaving horribly out of nowhere and almost destroys their friendship. Things go from bad to worse when [[NightmareFuel the evil doubles die]].


** The Mean Six, which has Queen Chrysalis making evil duplicates of Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. Things go from bad to worse when [[NightmareFuel the evil doubles die]].

to:

** The Mean Six, which has Queen Chrysalis making evil duplicates of Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. What's dark about them is they intervene with the real Mane Six in various situations, but they mistake the clones for their actual friends behaving horribly out of nowhere and almost destroys their friendship. Things go from bad to worse when [[NightmareFuel the evil doubles die]].



** "Cleanliness Is Next To Nothing" has Crud. He may be a cartoony blob of slime but in a series where every villain is a HarmlessVillain ([[NoAntagonist if it even has a villain]]), this guy stands out.

to:

** "Cleanliness Is Next To Nothing" Impossible" has Crud. He may be a cartoony blob of slime but in a series where every villain is a HarmlessVillain ([[NoAntagonist if it even has a villain]]), this guy stands out.


** A Pal For Gary: In this episode, Spongebob adopts a new pet which transforms into a monster that attacks Gary.
** Demolition Doofus: Mrs. Puff enlists Spongebob to be in a demolition derby in order to kill him as revenge for severe injuries she sustained from a recent failure.

to:

** A Pal For Gary: In this episode, Spongebob adopts a new pet which transforms into a monster that attacks Gary.
Gary, and Spongebob does nothing about it.
** Demolition Doofus: Mrs. Puff enlists Spongebob to be in a demolition derby in order to kill him as revenge for severe injuries she sustained from a recent failure. Thankfully, he survives.

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