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Faux Horrific

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This is the cast of the Wing Commander movie?
The horror! The horror!
Spoony: Can't we come up with something new and original for an evil computer to do other than launch nukes and crash the stock market? Something legitimately scary? Guys, please, I'm begging ya'.
Professor Roswell: He could make... Gary Coleman President.

A comedy trope where something is played up to be terrifying, and it clearly is not. It's not even something that sets off a common phobia. Sometimes the scene is shot like a horror film. Bonus points if the "Psycho" Strings are playing.

Advertisements can do this, to show how either not using the product or using a rival product can be horrific.

Often a Caustic Critic will do this with finding out he has to review some works he really hates, as a way to show that Suckiness Is Painful. Sometimes, even just holding the work in hand is enough to cause emotional scars.

A Super-Trope to Place Worse Than Death.

Compare Absurd Phobia, Cool and Unusual Punishment, Evil Cannot Stand Cuteness, Felony Misdemeanor, Lightmare Fuel, Screaming at Squick, Nightmare Retardant, Mundane Ghost Story, Comical Overreacting, Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking, Played for Horror, and Anything but That!.


Contrast Fridge Horror (portrayed as not scary, but ends up being so).


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In episode 2 of Season 2 of K-On!, after cleaning out the closet of the music room, Mio and Asuza find out that Yui left a lot of things behind and get mad at her. Yui pouts and claims that Ui would get mad and make a scary face if the latter brought more stuff home. Cut to a "scary" Ui giving a thumbs up to Yui, after the latter had dropped other stuff she took home earlier and apologized profusely. Both Mio and Asuza wonder if Ui isn't the older, more responsible sister after all.
  • In Zombie Land Saga, Lily died of a heart attack from stress overload, the cause of her death was the result of seeing a single strand of facial hair on her face.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, Tamaki has a nightmare about the squalor Haruhi might be living in.
  • An episode of Sailor Moon does this with going to the dentist. Usagi and her daughter from the future imagined it to be practically going to a serial killer's house. Then it's subverted when the dentist is revealed to be legitimately dangerous, being a Monster of the Week.
  • Angel Densetsu does this all the time, since its premise is that its good-hearted, gentle main character is scary to everyone around him.

    Comic Books 
  • Not Brand Echh: the Marvel superheroes react to the coming of the dread Forbush Man with utter horror. For reference, Forbush Man is a guy wearing tattered red tights and a frying pan. This seems to be a trend with Marvel's comedy books, as The Watcher reacted similarly to the contents of What If? #34.
    Uatu: If only I could violate my sacred trust and again meddle in human affairs, I would save you from this!

    Comic Strips 
  • Back when Apple released the first iMac, Jason of FoxTrot dressed up as one for Halloween. Peter didn't understand how it was supposed to be scary, to which Jason replied "I have no floppy drive!" which quickly reduces Peter to a quivering wreck.
    • Roger is utterly terrified of the Halloween decorations Jason puts up. Not the spiders or ghosts. But the fake credit cards with Paige's name on them.
    • Don't forget this line: "...and when she opened the closet door, all the clothes were polyester!"
    • One Halloween, Jason obtains massive amounts of candy by dressing up as a Blue Screen of Death
      Jason: A fatal exception 0e has occurred.
      Man: AAAA!
      Jason: The current application will be terminated.
      Man: AAAA!
      Jason: Press any key to continue.
      Man: Here! Take it all! Just go away! Please!
      • Jason then says that he "should send Microsoft some of this [candy]".
    • One of Jason's nightmares has him taking an extremely easy math test.
    • One of Paige's nightmares is acing a test only to realize she is Jason.
  • Garfield brings us a couple of examples:
    • There's this:
      Jon: {reading a book labeled "Scary Stories"} Then the zombie crept closer and closer!
      Garfield: Lame.
      Jon: Then he broke down the door and walked into the house!
      Garfield: Ooohh, I'm so scared.
      Jon: And he ate the last of the roast turkey.
      Garfield: OH NO!
    • And this gem:
      Garfield: Welcome to Garfield's Horror Theater.
      Garfield (cont.): WE'RE OUT OF COOKIES!
      Garfield (cont. again): You've been watching Garfield's Horror Theater.
    • And when cleaning out the fridge:
      Garfield ...mutating over untold eons, gradually achieving consciousness...until that terrible day when it is unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.....THE COLESLAW THAT TIME FORGOT!!! AAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!"

    Film — Animated 
  • Monsters, Inc. offers a variation on the old canard, "He's more scared of you than you are of him." Namely, the monsters are all convinced that children are the most dangerous things in the world. "There is nothing more toxic or deadly than a human child!" Seeing as monsters use children's screams as a power source, their fear is somewhat understandable. How would you feel if a rod of active plutonium started following you around and calling you "Kitty"?
  • Tarzan: Tantor, a Nervous Wreck of a Cowardly Elephant, freaks out at all the man-made objects he sees in the Porters' camp when he goes there for the first time, including such eldritch horrors as clocks, tents, and—GASP!—a tea set!!!

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The squirrel scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, where everyone reacts to the tiny rodent as if it were a knife-wielding lunatic.
  • The story of getting a perm in Troop Beverly Hills.
  • High Anxiety, naturally, being a spoof of Alfred Hitchcock films, especially the shower scene.
  • The Doctor Who Made-for-TV Movie has two examples within about five minutes. First, the newly-regenerated Doctor is set up to be kind of scary, with the whole Finger-Twitching Revival, Barrier-Busting Blow thing when he wakes up at the morgue, and then he's shown wide-eyed, shivering, and clutching a shroud around himself. Also, he's rather short, skinny, and cute. Nonetheless, the morgue attendant does a Girly Man Faint when he sees him. Then, when the Doctor goes to remedy his no-clothing situation, he finds a Nixon Mask in someone's locker. He flinches and there's a Scare Chord.
  • In Addams Family Values, Wednesday clearly knows her audience at summer camp, because when pressed to continue a ghost story, she has the evil spirit prove its power by giving the heroes of the ghost story back their old noses. The shallow preteen socialites scream in horror at the thought.

    Fan Works 
  • Harveste Addams And The Prisoner Of Azkaban: Harveste reacts this way when his boggart turns into a scene involving fresh air, happy music, flowers, and kittens. It takes one and a half bottles of Vodka to calm him down.
    He stepped forward, curious to see what it would change into. What was an Addams afraid of, after all?
    The Boggart flickered and disappeared into a pool of sunshine. Peppy music seemed to bloom through the air on the wings of a pine-scented breeze, lightening the shadows, inducing a spate of foot-tapping with its catchy riffs. There was a yellow, sunflower-patterned boot. It had three wriggly kittens, one green-eyed, one blue and one silver. They mewled ingratiatingly and one tumbled out in a furry little heap.
    There was a pot of flowers in full bloom.
    Harry took a step back with speed. "Loki's womb…" He breathed with horrified despair. "It's awful."
    Draco and Blaise watched Harry stumble into the common room, closely followed by an anxious Hermione.
    "What on earth happened?" She asked them, her eyes on their friend. He was in the closet, throwing out skirt after skirt, blouse after blouse. "He's shaking."
    "Boggart." They both said together.
    "Oh no. What did it turn into? Some huge, slavering, scaly, blood-soaked beast?"
    "Don't tease me so, darling." Harry moaned, desperately burying his hands into black lace and chiffon to try and forget. "It was the most horribly disgusting thing I've ever seen. The fresh air…the music…the flowers…"
    It took a bottle and a half of strongest vodka before Harry could control himself, but he twitched every time someone even mentioned cats.
  • Chapter 59 of You Got HaruhiRolled! is called "The Scariest Chapter Yet". It's only scary if you think the Cut and Paste Translation of 4Kids Entertainment are frightening instead of silly. Further cementing this trope is that the chapter was written as the Grand Finale of a special week of horror-story chapters in the lead-up to Halloween.
  • The Chosen Four: The ghosts in the tunnel scare our heroes and the Runaway Five with ADVANCED CALCULUS and a COPY OF SUPERMAN 64! "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!"
  • Taya in Diaries of a Madman seems to view getting dressed up like this. After being forced to do so for the Gala, you'd almost think the girl went through a war zone.
  • This video, in which the narrator has the same reaction to the first three episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as someone did to Boku No Piko, complete with the speaker being so traumatized he believes himself to be The Soulless.
  • Tealove's Steamy Adventure does this twice in one scene. First, Big Jim brushes Snowcatcher's mane, and her reaction is "You monster! My mane’s already fabulous! I don’t need your help!" Later, Big Jim hosts a tea party. Tealove takes one sip and spits the tea out, and says:
    “What is this?” she said, wiping her mouth off.
    “It’s tea, silly!” Libra took another sip from her own cup.
    “No, this isn’t! This is a crime against taste. This is an abomination. This is the stuff that tea growers tell campfire horror stories about!” She sniffed her cup, then recoiled. “Oh Celestia, he really did it. He reheated cold tea.”

  • In My Godawful Life, a parody of Misery Lit, all characters react with extreme horror at the mention of Northumberland (a county in the north of England.) Being forced to live there is described as far and away the most horrific event in the main character's life, even though he has suffered every misfortune and indignity imaginable. The author has said in interviews that this is a Take That! at the "Wife in the North" blog, written by a woman who had moved from London to Northumberland with her family.
  • In the Discworld books, the males of the Nac Mac Feegle (who outnumber the females about 100 to 1) live in fear of such feminine wiles as "the foldin' o' the arms", "the pursin' o' the lips", and "the tappin' o' the feet". Tiffany uses these tricks in Wintersmith when confronting them about stealing food from an elderly witch's "going-away party", and can't help but burst out laughing at the frenzy of guilt the Feegles work themselves into.
  • Journey to Chaos: When Tiza offends Mia, the receptionist threatens to send Tiza on the most horrifying of missions— trying on dresses for a seamstress! Tiza immediately apologizes.
  • In the Historical Romance Nicola and the Viscount, an upper-class mother threatens to send her daughter to Surrey (away from the bastion of socializing and sophistication that is the capital city). The horrified daughter replies;
    "Surrey? What on earth would I do in Surrey?!"
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Percy, while observing tortures in the Fields of Punishment, notes that one of the punishments is being forced to listen to opera music.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Married... with Children, Peg redecorates the bathroom, and Al finds all the pink terrifying. He looks at some photos and instead sees the Grim Reaper. At one point in the episode, there's a POV shot of Al inspecting the bathroom, in a manner similar to the shower scene in Psycho. It ends with him fainting at the sight of knitted cozies on the toilet seat.
  • Basically anything that ever happened in Garth Marenghis Darkplace, like in the episode "Scotch Mist".
  • An episode of My Family has Ben react this way when Susan plays the cello after Janey moves out. The music causes him to back into a corner, making the cross sign with his fingers.
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, the gang visit a hippie-run resort, and when they find out there's no meat or alcohol available, their reactions come complete with a Scare Chord.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • The episode It Lives by Night begins with Mike showing the bots paint samples as they prepare to redecorate the satellite a bit. The bots have humorously weird reactions to the first colors, including one supposedly the color of dried blood that is said to make the viewer mad. (Tom: "I think it would be perfect for the can!") Both are frightened to the point of hiding, however, by the eggshell sample.
      Mike: Good. That'll keep 'em out of my bippy.
    • The opening skit for The Rebel Set has the bots pestering Joel to tell them a really scary story - Joel perhaps goes too far, reading excerpts from "Life's Little Instruction Book", leaving the two whimpering in terror. Dr. Forrester added his two cents worth;
      That's nothing, Joel. Stephen King said, "I have seen the future of horror and it's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten!:
    • The series in general runs on this trope, with a lot of the humor coming from Joel/Mike and the bots' over-the-top horrified reactions to the bad movies they watch. Even the Mads get in on the Faux Horrific action, such as with their reactions to Manos: The Hands of Fate, The Beast of Yucca Flats, and Hobgoblins. To be fair, those are some legendarily awful movies.
  • A running gag in The Good Place is that the Bad Place is filled with classic torture, but also more mundane things like college improv and children's dance recitals.
    • When Shawn decides on Michael's eternal punishment, he opts to lock him in an empty room for eternity, with his only entertainment being a large stack of New Yorker magazines. Also, he asks Bad Janet to fart in the room, the smell of which would linger for ten million years. Luckily, Bad Janet attacks Shawn and immobilizes him, revealing herself to actually be Good Janet and helping Michael escape.
    • When contemplating what their punishments will be like in the Bad Place, Eleanor believes she'll be forced to be camping all the time, Jason thinks he'll be at a dance club waiting for a bass drop that will never come, and Tahani thinks she'll be forced to spend eternity in the Swiss Alps— during the off season.
  • X-Play did a review of a Disney Princess game as though it was the most horrifying game ever. They even interpreted Belle saying an outfit could melt Beast's heart as meaning it was so horrible, it would liquefy your internal organs.
  • In the remake of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Jeff and Jeannie are shown various sinister experiments in the laboratories of the PAIN corporation, before they are shown something we don't initially see. Creepy music is played until their guide nonchalantly introduces the room as "...the gym".
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: "Cardinal Fang! Fetch...THE COMFY CHAIR!"
    • In the "Piranha Brothers" sketch, Luigi Vercotti is being interviewed about Doug Piranha. When asked what Doug's methods of brutality were, Luigi's eyes grow wide with the horror as he recounts "He used...sarcasm!"
    Luigi: He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, pathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious.
    • A sketch exclusive to their "Matching Tie and Handkerchief" album is a dramatic narration of an occurrence where there was emphatically no mayhem, violence, or other criminal activity whatever, narrated with an ominous, emphatic voice and plenty of alarming background music.
  • A The Kids in the Hall sketch has some office workers becoming sick over innocent things like someone licking a stamp, or the name Mel. Interestingly, the idea of eating cow brains or licking the belly of a bloated dead rat does not bother them.
  • A Touch of Cloth: At a crime scene, both Oldman and Cloth nearly throw up when they see a framed photograph of Piers Morgan.
  • The Muppet Show: A horror-themed sketch with Vincent Price ends with the reveal that, at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, Vincent Price's character turns into... Jack Parnell (the show's composer). The rest of the cast flee screaming from his rendition of "Auld Lang Syne".
  • This Morning With Richard Not Judy: This trope was used in the weekly "Richard Herring's Food and Milk" segment of the show where Richard Herring would try an unusual milk such as shrew, American Beaver or the milk of human kindness. Once the milk that Richard would be sampling was named, a documentary style clip was played to illustrate, over which loud stock horror music was played.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch gave us David S. Pumpkins, a character on a 100 Floors of Frights ride who said he was going to "scare the hell out of you", but who only confused the people on the ride because he was so random.

  • An episode of soccer-based BBC comedy Lenin of the Rovers features an Apocalypse Now parody in which the Colonel Kurtz character is driven insane not by the horrors of Vietnam, but by witnessing the (real-life) occasion when English soccer player Jeff Astle missed an open goal against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup on the TV in a G.I. bar.
    Ricky Lenin: The horror! The horror!
    Colonel Harris: I relive that miss every day, Mister Lenin.
    Ricky: As does Jeff Astle, I should imagine. On his way to work with his ladder, his bucket of soapy water and his shammy leather.

    Video Games 
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island:
    • Guybrush is afraid of porcelain. He says “When will this nightmare end!”
    • And Skull Island:
      Guybrush: That's a duck!
      Boatman: What?! Can't you see the skull?
      Guybrush: It actually looks like a duck.
      Boatman: Well, okay... but if you turn and look it like this then... ooooooooooooo... it looks sooooo scary!
      Guybrush: Actually it now looks like a rabbit...
  • In The Binding of Isaac, most things that happen to Isaac are actually horrific. However, one of his traumatizing memories is of a moment in which he was going to the bathroom and noticed there was no toilet paper left. His horrified reaction is the same as when he is actually being tortured.
  • Spookys House Of Jumpscares consists of you walking through a "haunted" house while cardboard cutouts of cutesy monsters occasionally pop out of the walls with a Scare Chord. The computers you can find in certain rooms say that they have managed to kill four people by giving them heart attacks. Also, this trope is subverted starting with room 50 where you start to encounter real, dangerous and scary monsters.
  • Occurs in BattleBlock Theater on a few occasions with the Lemony Narrator. Since the game is presented as a cutout puppet-show in the cutscenes, there are often references to terror and horror (along with warnings) followed by totally underwhelming visuals.
    "WUSH-USH-USH-USH! Huge waves smashed the boat, to and fro, fro and to! [...] And there was this huge whale, like WAAAAAAH! and made it super scary! And I think there was a shark! There it is! Oh God!"
  • In Borderlands 2 DLC, at one point, you are tasked with telling a baby something terrible in order to make it cry. (It Makes Sense in Context, kind of.) The problem is that the Vault Hunters are Bunny Ears Lawyers who don't process the world in the same way as most people, leading to the most terrible things they can think of being things like:
    Zer0: Life is very short. / One day you will grow older. / And then you will die.
    Gaige: Ugh. Country music exists.
    Salvador: Sometimes you'll be, like, hungry? But there won't be any food around, so you'll have to, like, get up and go all the way to the store and buy some.
  • In Psychonauts, Sasha Nein is training Raz to use his Psy-Blast power, providing him with a target range to learn the basics. The targets he chose? Something so hideous and horrible, something so disgusting that it simply must die: Tacky stain-glass lamps!
    "Ugh, it's so tacky, I can't... look... directly... at it!"


    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation has quite a few examples, mostly joke SCPs:
    • SCP-006-J are a bunch of normal insects considered to be Keter by the entomophobic researchers.
    • SCP-5208-J are a bunch of normal objects (some granite, a piece of paper, a pen, a cat, and a young boy) with extremely complex security protocols.
  • Almost any web reviewer has used this at least once throughout their career.
  • As in the picture, The Spoony Experiment does this all the time.
  • The Nostalgia Critic does this a few times, like the reveal that Good Burger would be his next review.
    • "Wanna know what's really scary? Stephen King is writing Drama again!" *SKREEM!!*
    • In the review of IT, the Critic was terrorized to death by a silly-looking red balloon with eyes.
    • He and Phelous were once attacked by an evil toaster. (Well, they did ask what other common household objects could turn against you...) Naturally they pretended to be frightened before starting to laugh.
  • Like Spoony and Critic mentioned above, Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation constantly employs this trope as part of his general Accentuate the Negative tactics, often explaining in detail the excessive and disgusting bout of self-mutilation brought on by the latest game. Though unlike those two, he tends to do so in a deadpan tone of voice.
  • The Nostalgia Chick has been known to scream or recoil in terror by what she has to review. Such as the time a frog in tits and heels came on the screen in Thumbelina.
  • JonTron spoofed Final Fantasy XIII and its linearity in this video.
    "The game's playing itself, Jon. The game's playing itself, Jon!"
  • Uncyclopedia parodies an infamous shock video, describing something involving two girls getting off on a "horrific, shocking perversion of mathematical law."
  • In Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse, Raquelle fails to enjoy getting dragged to Barbie's camping trip after mistaking butterflies, daisies, and Blissa the housecat for killer bees, poison ivy, and a bear, respectively. Though, when Raquelle finds an actual bear in the jacuzzi, she decides not to freak out about it.
  • The "2spooky" internet meme consists of people taking various pictures of skeletons and acting like they are the most horrifying thing in the world.
  • Perhaps fittingly seeing above, the TGWTG txt account boasts tales of terror from said fandom but instead of sexism or anything else the producers complain about, it just has mundane quotes from women thinking the conventionally attractive men are attractive and fanfic quotes that the site has often encouraged.
  • In the Ultra Fast Pony episode "Derp and Destruction", the cast remains "on the verge of panic!" due to a visit by a creepy postman... with a letter for them.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "date", the Cheat is scared off by a crude cardboard cut-out of a Bear Holding a Shark.
    • The 2015 Halloween cartoon "The House that Gave Sucky Tricks" is loaded with this. Homestar's haunted house has attractions like a handkerchief made to look like a ghost, a tennis racket decorated to look like a monster, a pile of "scary shoes" (not to be confused with the "spooky shoes"), and an incomplete jigsaw puzzle (which seems to actually scare the Cheat). Meanwhile, Strong Bad imagines up "St. Cadaverstump's Totally Not Just an Old Furniture Warehouse Morgue-tuary", with such attractions as the Horrible Painting of Somebody's Dad, a room that smells like "Strong Mad oyster-smoothie-breath-caked-armpit-latte", a crappy two-star bed-and-breakfast, and "the new face of terror, Large Bean!"
  • Google Translate Sings gives us this line in its version of "Bohemian Rhapsody":
    "Oh my God! No! You do not need to go to the United States!"
  • The Hobo Bros do this a lot. One example is their video on "Barney's Hide and Seek Game", where they make up a backstory about Barney being a Satanic Creepy Doll, and react with mock horror with almost everything Barney does in-game.
  • The SuperMarioLogan video "Bowser's Biggest Fear 3" has the movie "No Milk", where the protagonist absolutely panics and even calls 911 because there's no milk for his cereal.

    Western Animation 
  • Wormy, the caterpillar turned butterfly in SpongeBob SquarePants, is played like this, although the closeup shots of Wormy's face were of a horsefly, not a butterfly, to try to make it look more menacing. Happens again as SpongeBob and Patrick were chased by a grasshopper with scuba gear.
    • "Oh my gosh...a FLOATING SHOPPING LIST!"
    • The episode "Krab-Borg!" has SpongeBob so utterly terrified from a B-Movie (what little we see is an obviously cardboard robot chasing a live-action man in side-view) so much that he sees Mr. Krabs as a robot.
    • "Sing a Song of Patrick". Patrick's song is something of a Brown Note in-universe; to the viewers, it can range from "not that horrible, really" to "quite catchy". Justified that while the lyrics are very, very terrible to the point of killing the band, the band itself was legitimate.
    • In "Suds", SpongeBob reacts in horror of Patrick's description of the terrors of the doctor's office. "They make you read... OLD MAGAZINES!"
    • "Hall Monitor": Patrick is so scared of the Maniac that just seeing a police sketch of him sends him into a screaming fit. Said sketch is clearly a stick figure rendering of SpongeBob, and they didn't even draw him scary-looking.
    • In "No Free Rides", Spongebob hangs on to his stolen boat through a field of vicious giant clams and a field of cheesegraters without flinching, but freaks out at the sight of the last obstacle: "EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION? OH NO!!!"
    • In "Shanghaied", Spongebob and Patrick are locked in the brig of the Flying Dutchman's ship, and their only way of escape is through... the perfume department. Cue the two of them running through a live-action background, cringing and flinching as they get doused with perfume samples.
  • In The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" connecting segment parodying Night Gallery, Bart directs the viewer's attention to a painting he claims is so horrific that "merely to gaze upon it is to go mad." Cut to Homer looking at one of the Dogs Playing Poker paintings, freaking out and collapsing in hysterical laughter. Bart follows this by saying, "We had a story to go with this painting, but it was far too intense." So it turns out to be a lead into an unrelated vampire story.
    • Another "Treehouse of Horror" segment had Homer accidentally go back in time and change history, forcing him to repeatedly go back and change different things in the past trying to put everything back to normal. He eventually ends up in a timeline that seems even better than normal: He's filthy rich, his kids are well-behaved, Patty and Selma are dead, you name it. It seems like Homer has his every wish come true, and is obviously very happy to stay in this timeline until he learns that donuts apparently don't exist here, at which point he runs screaming back to his time machine. However he Gave Up Too Soon, since moments later, donuts start falling from the sky by the hundreds.
      Marge: [annoyed] Oh dear, it's raining again...
    • In one episode, Lisa says in a horrified tone that she won't get into Yale and might not even get into Vassar. Vassar College, while not on the level of Yale, is a highly prestigious liberal arts school in its own right,note  making this a non-letter version of The B Grade.
      Homer: I've had just about enough of your Vassar bashing, young lady!
  • In Robotomy, Dreadnot tells the class if they fail their exam, they will sold as slaves to rot in an acid mine where they will be driven insane. No one in the class cares in the slightest... until Dreadnot also mentions they'll repeat the ninth grade, causing everybody to have a Freak Out
  • Tiny Toon Adventures did a similar gag in their Night Gallery spoof. The picture in question was Babs' third-grade school photo.
  • Freakazoid!: The scariest thing in the world would be if they gave Sinbad another show.
    • Government agencies have been established to prevent it from ever occurring again.
      • Or if you went to reach for something... but it wasn't there. Because it turned into wood!
      • Or if you were stupid enough to say "Candle Jack" and then he kidnapped you're not very nice. I'm quite scary. Also, I'm going to need some more rope.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • The ponies are terrified of the Everfree Forest, where plants grow wild, animals care for themselves, and the weather changes all on its ownnote . There are legitimately dangerous creatures living here but this "wild" status is still considered the scariest.
    • There's the bunny stampede from "Applebuck Season". "The horror... the horror!"
    • Rainbow Dash in "Read It and Weep" when she realizes she likes reading.
    • In "Magic Duel" Trixie uses her magic to torment various ponies via Body Horror (giving Rainbow Dash uneven wings, attaching Snips and Snails together by the horn, etc.) Then when she targets Rarity, she merely forces Rarity to wear a tacky dress. Rarity's response? Faint. In general this is Rarity's response to almost anything that is tacky.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", everypony is terrified of Zecora because she has stripes (she's a zebra), digs at the ground (a natural zebra habit), and "lurks around the shops", when she's just trying to buy medicine but the stores all close down whenever she comes around since ponies are so terrified of her. Twilight points out how ridiculous everypony is being about Zecora. Not that anypony listens, or, when the truth comes out, acknowledges that Twilight was right.
    • In "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?", the Tantabus warps the ponies' dreams into nightmares by making something they love become a monster. Rainbow Dash is already fighting Changelings in her dream, so what's her nightmare? ''Flowers singing to the tune of "This Old Man" while one of them plays a flute!
  • Family Guy
    • Stewie sees a picture of a fully nude woman, and as he's just a baby, seeing her crotch made him scream and shoot the magazine with a machine gun.
    • Quagmire tells a Ghost Story about a man whose lover is still in bed with him the morning after.
  • Futurama
    • Professor Farnsworth is rescued from a Lotus-Eater Machine at the Near Death Star. He describes what it's like as thus: "It was as though I were living in a facility in Florida with hundreds of other old people. All day long we'd play bingo, eat oatmeal and wait for our children to call." Cue gasps of horror from the crew.
    Leela: It's a hundred times more horrible than anything I could imagine.
    • In "War is the H-Word", a ball alien tells a story that, judging by his tone of voice, is supposed to be a Scare 'em Straight story:
    The elders tell of a young ball much like you. First, he bounced 3 meters in the air. Then he bounced 1.8 meters in the air. Then he bounced 4 meters in the air. Do I make myself clear?
    • There's also Bender's campfire story in one episode, but on Bender's word it's only this trope if you're a human:
      Bender: Even though the computer was off and unplugged... an image stayed on the screen! It was... THE WINDOWS LOGO!!!
      Fry: That isn't scary!
      Bender: It is if you're a laser printer.
  • On The Amazing World of Gumball, a robber holds up a gas station with only a spoon, which the other characters think is a lethal weapon. When he gets caught in the end, the cop laughs it off.
  • On Tales from the Cryptkeeper, the episode "The Sleeping Beauty" ends with vain Prince Charmless Chuck getting turned into a vampire, which to his horror means he can no longer admire himself in the mirror. "No more handsome checks!"
  • Garfield and Friends :
    • "Uncle Roy To The Rescue" opens with Wade doing a Wild Take, fleeing, and hiding in a trashcan because he got a free sample of soap in the mail. Roy has a similar overreaction when he finds out his niece Chloe is coming for a visit.
    • In the Garfield cartoon "Monday Misery", Garfield freaks out when he learns that it's Monday, his least favorite day of the week, and does all he can to escape from its wrath — including moving to Samoa, only to learn that, thanks to the International Date Line, it's still Monday. Oops. The opening begins with a mock horror movie trailer, complete with "Psycho" Strings:
      Announcer: From the people that brought you the terror of Wednesday and the horror of Friday...
      Housewife: The kids'll be home all weekend! AAAAAGH!
      Announcer: ...comes the day invented just to make the rest of the week seem good... MONDAY!
  • In Gravity Falls episode "Dungeons Dungeons and More Dungeons", Grenda has a freak out over the sight of graphed paper.
  • In an episode of Mike, Lu & Og, Mike has a flashback to her life in Manhattan where she reveals that she's always hated going shoe shopping, describing it as if it was a claustrophobic nightmare.
  • South Park dedicates an entire episode to this in "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining", which takes it Up to Eleven. Not only is the boredom of ziplining (and other camping activities) enough to torture and traumatize, it can even kill you. Or at least Kenny.
  • On T.U.F.F. Puppy, when Larry takes over D.O.O.M. and changes his name into Murray, everyone in T.U.F.F. gasps in fear at the sound of it.
  • Daria has Quinn trying to tell a scary story:
    Quinn: So Cinderella said, "I can't go to the ball in these rags." And her Fairy Godmother waved her wand and behold, she was wearing a gown of silver and gold. Big, clunky silver and gold sequins, like you wouldn't wear to one of those 70s nostalgia proms, much less a formal party at a palace! And when she went to check out herself in the mirror, the one that usually made her look thin? Instead, she looked bloated!
    Helen: Quinn, honey, is this really a scary story?
    Quinn: Wait! I haven't gotten to the shoes yet!
  • Invader Zim: Zig-zagged in "A Room with a Moose". Zim decides to send Dib and his classmates through a wormhole into a room with a moose. Initially, Dib appears to be terrified but soon realizes that a moose is not particularly frightening.
    Dib: Noooo! (beat) Wait a minute, did you say moose?
    Zim: Yes, your fear is overwhelming, no?
    Dib: Um, no. What's so scary about a room with a stupid moose in it?
    • Then, upon watching the moose eat some walnuts, Dib becomes inexplicably horrified and determined to escape the wormhole at all costs.
  • From Pinky and the Brain: The Brain's attempt at a horror story.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Keystone Motel", Steven is horrified that, on top of everything else that's gone wrong on their trip (thanks to Garnet de-fusing due to an argument between Ruby and Sapphire), the pizza places in Keystone serve square pizza.
    Steven: What's wrong with this crazy state?!
    Greg: Son, there will come a time in your life when you learn to accept all pizza.
  • In an episode of Voltron: Legendary Defender Coran and Allura see an Earth cow being milked for the first time. It terrifies and squicks them out all at once.
  • In one of Nickelodeon's Halloween 2019 bumpers, which were brief CGI shorts showing monsters living together, some of them are sitting on their couch watching a movie. They all look on in horror and scream... at a man and a woman kissing.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fauxriffic, What Do You Mean Its Not Horrific


David Pumpkins

David Pumpkins is going to scare the hell out of you.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / FauxHorrific

Media sources:

Main / FauxHorrific