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"Generally speaking, when scary things get scared? Not good."
Xander Harris, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It's one thing to Punch Out Cthulhu. It's something else entirely to scare the living bejesus out of him. This is a trope for when someone — or something — is frightening enough to scare things that would usually be an object of terror themselves. If someone can scare demons, monsters, and Eldritch Abominations, they're probably a force to be reckoned with.

Can equally well be played straight or Played for Laughs — for example, as a Scared of What's Behind You bait-and-switch gag.

All too likely to happen when a Food Chain of Evil is in effect. Break the Badass is when this happens to more human entities. May overlap with Mook Horror Show for sufficiently monstrous mooks. Compare Even Evil Has Standards for when the horror is morally outraged at what he's seen.

See also Always a Bigger Fish, The Worf Effect, Eviler Than Thou.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Played to shockingly strong effect in Ah! My Goddess. When Mara, the Big Bad Wannabe who's been the protagonists' main threat so far, hears that Urd's mother, Hild, is arriving, she's absolutely horrified. It so happens that Hild is in fact her boss and the Queen of Hell. For Hild's entire stay, the comedy is almost completely dropped despite her not outwardly doing that much in the way of evil, as merely her presence is so terrifying that just being around her causes people to collapse in fear. Mara spends the entire episode cowering in the corner, barely speaking, and the normally all-loving Belldandy is constantly on the verge of breaking her polite front.
  • Mononoke displays the Medicine Seller, a man who slays demonic spirits for a living. Oh, and those aforementioned demonic spirits? They're absolutely terrified of him. When Nue, one of the demons, finally realizes who he is, it experiences a massive Oh, Crap!
  • Night Wizard features a Journey to the Center of the Mind, where the Band of Brothers faces off against a Devil-Queen of Nightmares who preys on dreams and devours the minds of the sleepers. Inside the mind of Elis Shiho, the mild-tempered Friend to All Living Things, she is defeated...but manages to survive and hide out in a weakened state, determined to bide her time as her powers return so she can seek vengeance. While looking for a good place to hide out, she finds a strange, black door in the dreamscape, and goes inside...followed by a Stock Scream, and her running wild-eyed out of there on the verge of a complete breakdown. What could possibly exist in the mind of such a nice girl, that is capable of terrifying a creature that lives off nightmares?
  • Tanaka Punie of Magical Witch Punie-chan is scary in ways that defy categorization. She activates this trope when she takes on a huge Dark God/Demon-thing... with wrestling-techniques. As soon as it realizes who she is, the huge beast is terrified and flees screaming back to the other realm.
  • The first act of true Badassery in One Piece is when Shanks scares off a giant sea serpent just by looking at it. It's revealed that he actually used his Haki of the Supreme King.
    • Played for comedic effects in the Thriller Bark Arc. When Usopp, Nami, and Chopper land on Thriller Bark, they're scared shitless by ALL the zombies. The favor is returned to the zombies when the other crew members arrive as well.
    • Then played straight when, after a group of zombies have abducted most of our protagonists and are about to do the same to the subdued Franky and Robin, an unseen Brook begins to sing and the undead collectively piss themselves in fear.
    • Admiral Akainu is one of the most powerful characters in the series. He kills Ace and is ready to kill Luffy, not caring if the Whitebeard Pirates are trying to protect him. He is left frozen in terror when Whitebeard himself comes up behind him and beats the daylight out of him. He is also visibly wary when Shanks shows up.
  • Toriko can do this. His intimidation is such that it can quell a herd of angry, monstrous apes.
  • Hellsing: Alucard really enjoys knocking lesser monsters off their high horses.
    • The Ax-Crazy murderous vampire Rip Van Winkle completely falls apart from fear upon just sensing that Alucard is approaching. Unlike most of the other Millennium vampires of the series in general, Rip has dealt with him before and knows exactly what this guy is capable of.
    • Luke shits himself when he realizes just how outclassed he is by Alucard.
      Luke Valentine: [a powerful vampire himself] What are you?! WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU?!
    • When Seras finally becomes a full vampire, the spectacle is enough to freeze Nazi Vampires in their tracks with sheer pants-shitting terror.
    • But the most prominent example of this trope comes from Abraham Van Helsing, the mortal man who defeated Alucard when he was at the peak of his power. Alucard's defeat was so complete and traumatizing that he still has nightmares about that man. In fact, it was Abraham's strength that instilled in Alucard a new sense of respect and admiration for humanity, which he did not previously have.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • From the original series, the Demon King Piccolo who was so feared that Master Roshi absolutely refused to even consider fighting him and tried to use the Dragon Balls to beat him. Despite this, King Piccolo came to fear Master Roshi after he revealed he knew the Evil Containment Wave. Piccolo tries to run for his life and only escapes this fate because Roshi missed the rice cooker. Piccolo also comes to fear Goku after he survived a blast that destroyed an entire city. By the end, he is left shivering in terror before a mere child.
    • His son, Piccolo Jr., comes to know the same fear with Goku after he tanks a blast that reduced an island into dust.
    • Frieza, The Dreaded of the universe, whose power was such that even badasses like Vegeta and King Kai were terrified of him, is left shaking in terror and losing his composure when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan. After his battle on Namek, Frieza fears the Super Saiyan so much that he has a major Freak Out when he sees Trunks transform.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Super Frieza is also terrified of the mere presence of the God of Destruction Beerus. Beerus, in turn, is terrified of the Omni-King Zeno. Justified as Beerus can destroy planets with minimal effort, and Zeno can erase a universe or two with even less. In the Dragon Ball Super manga, even the army of Fused Zamases is terrified as soon as Future Zeno appears.
    • Cell, a creature that killed thousands of humans by absorbing their bioextract, and absorbs Cyborgs #17 and #18 to achieve his complete form, is left utterly terrified by the power displayed by Gohan in his Super Saiyan 2 form.
    • Vegeta manages to scare Kid Buu after he keeps getting up despite getting the crud beaten out of him. Keep in mind, Kid Buu showed no fear to the much more powerful Super Saiyan 3 Goku and should be akin at this point to a primal force of nature running crazy. Vegeta was able to instill the emotion of FEAR into what was a mindless beast just by refusing to give up.
  • Played for Laughs in Dr. Slump where one episode has a vampire named Trampire go to the Norimaki household where she tries to suck Arale's blood, but can't due to her being a Ridiculously Human Robot, causing Arale to get up half-asleep and fire her N'Cha Cannon at the wall, scaring Trampire away.
  • In Slayers, dragons and many demons are absolutely terrified of Lina Inverse. When she gets a letter from her older sister Luna, Lina freaks out, trying to hide in a pyramid.
  • The World God Only Knows:
    • Nora (an immortal demon) attempts to Mind Rape Keima (a human). After a bit of confusion as to the nature of his brain (it displays a loading screen and a copyright notice), she tears apart his image of his beloved Yokkyun. He gets pissed, and chases Nora around like a maniac, demanding she bring Yokkyun back. Nora runs away screaming at the scary monster.
    • Variant: Shortly after meeting Haqua (another demon), Keima casually deduces a few embarrassing facts, and blackmails her without so much as looking up from his game. Haqua agrees but is annoyed.
      Haqua: To blackmail a demon... what a human.
      Keima: To be blackmailed by a human... what a demon.
      Haqua: Sh—shut up!
  • Franken Fran: A group of Fran's former patients arrives at her home one night. Over the course of the evening, several of them are hideously maimed, requiring Fran's skills to survive. Then she figures out that they're addicted to surgery, and are maiming themselves to force Fran to operate on them. Fran—who has very little in the way of ethics and extremely skewed morals—is absolutely horrified.
  • Fairy Tail: Kyouka terrifying Minerva. That is all.
    • Kyouka herself is somewhat fearful of her boss, Mard Geer. But even Mard Geer is terrified when he sees that Zeref has arrived.
    • Zeref, the greatest dark wizard of all time, still feared by even other dark wizards centuries after his heyday is scared of Acnologia, Dragon of the Apocalypse, a being so powerful he tore the souls out of other dragons.
  • In Paranoia Agent, three suicidal people are very excited to see the dangerous and potentially-eldritch serial assaulter, Lil Slugger, but he panics and runs away as fast as he can. This seems to be because his purpose is to attack those who are cornered, and these three were extremely happy despite being suicidal, and he doesn't know how to handle that. However, it also seems to be foreshadowing that they are already dead, meaning Lil Slugger saw them as ghosts or some other horrifying undead thing.
  • Death Note:
    • Happens to at least one Shinigami: Higuchi horrifies Rem so much through his corruption, perversion, and plan to force Misa to marry him that she sympathizes with Light.
    • Played for Laughs when Misa's manager comes by to tell Misa to get back to work. Misa, Light, and L are all shown to be visibly unnerved by her. For reference: Two of these people are serial killers and the third is the extremely unorthodox detective hired to catch them.
  • In Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, the residents of the Demon King's Castle have nightmares about the Princess. She really couldn't give a shit.
  • Black Lagoon: Roberta, aka the Bloodhound of Florencia, is a superhuman assassin who can bring terror to the criminals of Roanapur, including a chainsaw-wielding madwoman, who was scared shitless when Roberta broke her chainsaw.
  • In Sailor Moon, the Dark Kingdom is utterly terrified at Sailor V's sudden reappearance, due to her body count including an entire branch of the Dark Kingdom, her successfully posing as the Moon Princess (that is, the one person that can use the Silver Crystal and thus annihilate Queen Metallia), and her reappearance being heralded by killing Zoisite messily. Later Queen Beryl, once she's been outed as Sailor Venus, stops being scared of her... Only to resume the instant before she's Gutted Like a Fish.
  • Saitama from One-Punch Man is a very unassuming figure and most of the monsters and villains he faces think nothing of him. Those monsters and villains die very quickly. In contrast, Carnage Kabuto and Geryuganshoop were able to recognize how dangerous he is and lasted marginally longer than most of the others, Carnage Kabuto because his animal instincts warned him and Geryuganshoop because he was watching Saitama effortlessly tear his way through the alien ship he was on and wanted nothing to do with him.
  • Food Wars!: Erina Nakiri is admired and respected for her beauty and culinary talent, but she also has a fearsome reputation, to the point all applicants (except Soma) for a transfer exam ran away screaming in terror when they found out she was going to be their examiner. Then come the Moon Banquet Festival, when her father Azami barges into her restaurant, she can only stand there gazing at him in terror, completely paralyzed.
  • The Mermaid Princess's Guilty Meal: Shark the Ripper boasts of eating ten fish, a crime that landed him in a Hannibal Lecter-style straitjacket and mask. Ela, who by this point has eaten more than twice that amount, is naturally mortified by what that means for her: when her mutterings catch Shark's attention and he demands her look him in the eye, he's struck by a terrifying vision of her surrounded by the skeletons of the fish she's eaten. He ends up equally scared and impressed.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Yami Marik is the sadistic and cruel Superpowered Evil Side of Marik. He shows the depths of his depravity by subjecting Mai to a horrifying Shadow Game designed to break her mind, motivating Joey to duel him in order to set Mai free. Despite being at a disadvantage for much of the duel, Joey manages to make Marik sweat a few times, the best one being when he comes within a hair's breadth of winning the duel but faints before he can declare an attack. This is the first time Yami Marik shows actual fear, the second being when he is eventually defeated by Yami Yugi. That's right, Joey Wheeler, the guy with no shadow magic or god cards, scared Yami friggin Marik.

    Comic Books 
  • Many horrific creatures are scared shitless of Doc Stearne, aka Mr. Monster.
  • As stated by the Trickster in Underworld Unleashed, in DC, when super-villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories.
    • As is shown later on in Justice League Rebirth, even The Joker has a villain he fears. The Batman Who Laughs. The Joker even says he may kill people, but the things The Batman Who Laughs does are just... wrong and do not belong. That this was one dark path he would refuse to let Lex Luthor tread!
  • Squirrel Girl:
    • Doctor Doom fears nothing!... Except for her. When she shows up to borrow his time machine, he just lets her have it, with a caption reaffirming that their previous encounter is canon. Deadpool finds her terrifying as well. In fact, she's slowly gaining a reputation as The Dreaded among Marvel's villains.
    • The Titan of Death, Thanos, was once defeated by Squirrel Girl... or, at least, a copy of him as he claims. After it's pointed out that beating a perfect, exacting copy of him is no different than beating him for real, Thanos visibly pales and leaves.
  • Used in a plot arc in DC's old Forgotten Realms comic. The dragons of Faerun are generally badass, aloof, and most if not all of them have killed plenty of "lesser" beings before for some reason or other...but even they have a collective Oh, Crap! moment and are earnestly considering leaving their familiar home grounds behind and moving into places more commonly populated by humans, elves and so on when a mysterious killer starts to leave a trail of headless dragon corpses behind him-, her- or itself.
  • Even The Joker is scared of The Creeper and Junior. And, as shown by Death of the Family, his own name.
    • In Saga of the Swamp Thing, the most disturbing omen of Anton Arcane's resurrection and unleashing of the powers of Hell is that the Joker stops laughing at Arkham.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:
    Captain Nemo: We...we cannot know what feelings our enemies have...But we may be certain at least, that Hyde taught them terror.
    • For clarification, Nemo is commenting on Hyde ripping apart a Martian tripod with his bare hands...and then ripping apart the Martian inside and eating him, right in front of his fellow invaders.
  • The Shadow is a Terror Hero but in Dynamite's Special #1, he has a disturbed look when he learns just what his old comrade has been up to.
  • Paperinik New Adventures offer us a few examples:
  • Allegedly (it's not entirely clear if the issue in question just made it up for a quick laugh) monsters scare their kids with stories about Vampirella. Not entirely unreasonable, since she's often portrayed as a relentless Hunter Of Her Own Kind a la Blade.
  • Megatron is still The Dreaded of many Autobot stories. He's directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of billions of people. And he is absolutely pants-shittingly terrified of mnemosurgeons. Just seeing one in prison (the sullen, depressive, and not particularly intimidating Chromedome) had him calling for guards and threatening that the only way they would read his memories would be after he was dead. The series makes it abundantly clear just how justified his fear is in several story arcs.
  • Jordan Borchardt of Revival is a typical emotionally detached reviver, which makes her a textbook Creepy Child. Over the course of the series her separated soul is destroyed, allowing her to imprison someone else's soul inside her. The Passengers find this terrifying.
  • Nearly every sorcerer and supernatural being in the DC universe is afraid of John Constantine. Neatly shown in Books of Magic when an entire room of very evil magical entities stop dead when John enters and tells them Tim Hunter's coming with him.
    • Later in the series, Tala, a "Queen of Evil", needs help from Zatanna, despite them normally being on opposing sides of the Good vs Evil magic thing. Tala tellingly reveals that Good can be just as scary to Evil as the reverse:
    Tala: Don't look at me that way. Please. Do you know how terrifying you are to us? You creatures of the Light, with your pitiless eyes. You're so quick to judge us... but what do you know of the imperatives of Darkness? You've never seen past the Shadows.
  • Robin Series: Fright Knight has the ability to utterly horrify opponents with a simple "Boo" no matter what they've witnessed before. This becomes hilarious when they come up against the Terror Hero Ragman, who routinely creeps out his own allies and occasionally even unsettles himself, as they send him running a block away to cower in an alley after casually asking him if he wanted to see their power.
    Ragman: It's the scariest thing I ever saw, and now I can't recall what it was. But I'd rather fight a dozen specters than face that horror again.
    Blue Devil: It was obviously some kind of mind attack. Nothing to beat yourself up about Rags.
  • X-Men: Proteus manages to horrify Wolverine so bad he vomits in terror, and Cyclops has to enrage Logan to get him back on his feet. This applies double with Ultimate X-Men, where Wolverine is decidedly more amoral, and he calmly tells Charles Xavier the amount of hatred Proteus has for him scares Logan.
  • Immortal Hulk: The titular version of the Hulk, already proven to be one of the most outright malevolent of the Hulks (maybe not out-and-out evil, but he sure as Hell ain't nice), screams in fear and terror when he encounters Brian Banner. The fact the Hulks are born out of the trauma that was Bruce's childhood, the Devil Hulk in particular from his desire for a loving dad, feeds into this.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Natalie Essex reminisces about when her "brother" Nathaniel's experiments horrified Josef Mengele, all while she's busy humming and vivisecting people.
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry says "boo" and dementors flee in terror. This is because he's discovered the true form of the Patronus spell, which destroys dementors instead of just driving them away.
    Toronto Magical Tribune:


  • Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams features Psyko, an Evil Counterpart to Sleepwalker who terrifies even the other sadists and psychopaths who make up New York's supervillain population. This is because many of them have fallen victim to his mass Mind Rapes at one time or another and were forced to relive their worst nightmares over and over again while Psyko uses their bodies as People Puppets.
  • Time Braid has Sakura of all people pull this off. Orochimaru summons his Kusanagi and stabs Sakura in the heart then promptly freaks out when she ignores it to study the seal he uses to contain his sword.
  • In the Death Note AU The Faceless this happens thanks to Ryuk's boredom. Ryuk takes to telling horror stories that give the little Shinigami nightmares. Stories of a legendary human hero and Godslayer named "Light Yagami". It was just the name of some random human Ryuk once saw but never got around to killing. So now just the name "Light Yagami" strikes fear among the Shinigami and so when a real human shows up with that name, they surrender en masse.
  • In Justice Society of Japan, Mister Nobody completely freaks out when he tries to possess Shirley.
  • In Echoes of the Fallen, Xander uses Magneto's memories to intimidate (or more accurately terrify) Angelus. Later, when Angel returns from Hell, he flees the moment he sees Xander.
  • Xander in Jedi Harris leaves a wraith (which feeds on negative emotions) in utter terror by not feeling any negative emotions at all. It's actually destroyed by him confronting it without feeling fear.
  • Accidentally happens in If Wishes Were Ponies: The Cutie Mark Crusaders, after only spending less than a WEEK at Hogwarts Scootaloo accidentally informs Professor Binns that he's been dead all this time and allowing him to go on his Last Great Adventure because of it. After Professor McGonagall puts up a rule into effect to prevent further accidental exorcisms of Ghosts from the School, Twilight sends them a book about Ghosts; and they use it to bring Moaning Myrtle back to life. Peeves the Poltergeist rightfully avoids the CMC afterwards, completely terrified of what they might do to HIM!
  • In 20XXV, we have Yume Ni who the other kids tend to fear because she was noted to be a bully and she did what she did with a passion, however, she was noted to be terrified of Reimu, when the latter stabs her with pair of scissors.
  • In A Charmed Life the Shinigami Sidoh is utterly terrified by Ryuk's "pet human".
  • In Ned Stark Lives, the Great Other is so terrified of what Jon Snow could do that he hired the Faceless Men to kill him even before he arrived at the Wall.
  • In Wizard Runemaster, Harry Potter became a boogeyman for the Burning Legion after he not only survived their attempted assassinations but also constantly ran suicide missions against them and succeeding, including infiltrating their bases and butchering everyone there.
  • From Maim de Maim, what a twelve-year-old Nui did give even Ragyou — her mother, the one that created her — pause. To elaborated on what she did, she skinned another girl alive. What she did also horrified herself.
  • Xander and his "tenants" in Hotel California leave the Goa'uld possessing him so terrified that it begs SG1 to get it out of Xander.
  • In Takamachi Nanoha Of 2814, Tsukuyomi breaking into Arkham to spend Christmas with her father the Joker so horrifies the rest of the inmates (apart from Harley, who had no previous experience with her) that they fall to their knees and start praying... to Batman.
  • Child of the Storm: After their encounter in Paris, it's revealed that Gravemoss is left terrified of Harry Dresden (or, as the Lemony Narrator puts it, joined the "scared-of-Harry-Dresden" club).
    • The Phoenix has this effect on pretty much everything evil and horrifying — even the proverbially indestructible Darkhold seems to shiver in genuine fear when it senses a mere flicker of Phoenix fire. Of course, this fear isn't just limited to the bad guys, and for very good reason.
    • Magneto scares more or less everyone witless, including the aforementioned Harry Dresden — who tries to hide behind Wanda when Magneto looks like he's weighing him up. Since Wanda's 5'6' at best, and Dresden is nearly seven feet tall, he fails miserably. Since his first on-screen appearance in chapter 77 is heralded by a geomagnetic storm, Northern Lights style auroras, before he crumples HYDRA's vibranium hulled helicarrier like a tin can, his first major appearance in the sequel has him crippling the Winter Guard in less than two minutes and taking out the Red Son a.k.a. a Brainwashed and Crazy Harry with one figurative hand behind his back, combined with a reputation as a mostly reformed ex mutant supremacist terrorist, you can kind of see why.
    • Harry Potter himself has shades of this, although unusually for this trope, it's less about what he is now and more about what he will become. While he starts out as little more than a moderately talented quick thinking 13-year-old Squishy Wizard, a mixture of training and rapid development of his powers (partly thanks to his circumstances) make him first a Glass Cannon, then, by Book II, a fully fledged Person of Mass Destruction. And the fact is that once he grows into his full powers, he'll be a Flying Brick, a monstrously powerful psychic and a wizard trained by people like Albus Dumbledore, Loki, and Doctor Strange to boot. And that's not even counting his skills in stealth and espionage, thanks to Bucky, Natasha, and the Red Room. Oh, and he's the firstborn son of the Crown Prince of Asgard, meaning that he's got a potentially huge amount of political power and influence to bring to bear (if he ever wanted to use it). This is a large part of why quite a few villains are after him in Books 1 and 2: They want to kill him before he can really become a threat.
  • In The Doctor's Faith Healing, when the Doctor realises he's in a club full of vampires, he gets up on stage at the Bronze to deliver the following;
    "Is everyone having a good time?" [Vampires cheer]] "Glad to hear it... Because I want to let you know that while I'm in town, this will probably be the last time any of you vampire half-breeds have any fun at all. I'm guessing that most of you have never heard of me, but I suggest that you go find something really old and really evil. When you do, ask it one simple question. Ask it 'When you have nightmares, what do you dream about?' I guarantee everyone of them will tell you the same thing…ME!"
  • In It's a Stretch, Xander's plan for taking out the guards at a concentration camp (since they can't change the past), namely blowing the whole place sky high, causes Angelus to quickly reassure Xander that he's an opportunity killer and not a racist.
  • In Dog of War, the Kyuubi is completely horrified by the actions of Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters. So much so that while explaining what's to Naruto that his body is being changed into something more like Angron's, he warns Naruto that he will kill them both should he head down that man's path. Kyuubi later shows Angron's memories to Sarutobi, Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Shizune so they can both help Naruto keep from being like him and to prepare for the worst should he do so anyway.
  • Cultural Artifacts has the Big Guy. He grew up with World War II, he helped develop the Avro Arrow, he became more or less the equivalent of the badass — and when his mind was under assault by Tirek, Discord, Nightmare, and a half a dozen others, he showed them things that had Discord begging Twilight Sparkle and the rest of the Mane Six to open fire and get him back to normal. Nightmare tried to invade his mind again. It didn't go well for her. At least, at first.
  • In This Bites!, Hogback, proponent of necromancy, is aghast at the capabilities of Lily Carnation, bringing an entire crew back to life with hardly any problems whatsoever. Ivankov, master of the Horm-Horm Fruit and witness to all its biological changes without batting an eye, throws up when he sees the Body Horror that is Lily Carnation with its embedded prey.
  • In an omake of Don't Look, the Slender Man finds Rei Ayanami creepy.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition fanfic Walking in Circles, when Solas has been taken into the Ostwick Circle and has to go through Harrowing, within the Fade, a rage demon looks at him, he looks back and the demon just backs away without a single word.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Hunter J is as ruthless and effective as a mercenary as she is in the Pokémon anime, to the point she's feared even in the criminal underworld. However, when she's contacted by the Bloodline King's Emissary with a job, she makes it clear that she doesn't want anything to do with the man, and only accepts partly out of fear and partly because she needs the money. By the time she's done with it, all she wants is to cope with some alcohol to forget the whole ordeal.
  • In The Raven's Plan Robert Baratheon is a terror and a brutal man, but interrogating a Lancel Lannister plucked straight out of his time in the Faith Militant disturbed him so badly that he lost all drive to interrogate anyone else for some time. Note his Robert had just been informed about a lot of Cersei's actions, yet dealing with Lancel was enough for him to put off confronting her for a while.
  • Alucard admits in Daughter of Darkness that Pinkie Pie freaks him out... and turns him on.
  • In Hope for the Heartless, the Horned King is a ruthless warlord lich and a Walking Wasteland whom about everyone fears instinctively. However, after he's released from the Black Cauldron for his only chance to earn his freedom, he remains haunted by the torment he endured in the Cauldron at the hands of his former master Arawn, the Death Lord of Annuvin.
  • Outcry: Leviathan was freaked the hell out by the monster Taylor became and tried to flee. Keyword being tried.
    • Nashandra was poking Taylor's soul fragment and threatening to crush it right up until Nadalia made it clear she would end her if she didn't cut it out right then and there.
  • In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv) Light literally scares the crap out of Shinigami.
    Light: [with red Glowing Eyes of Doom] I loved you, L, and you smashed my heart into a million pieces. I will never love again.
    Ryuk: Light, uh... you're scaring me.
    Light: Oh, Ryuk, I haven't even begun to scare you yet! [Evil Laugh]
  • Happened offscreen in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. The Season 0 version of Yami Yugi has this exchange with a villain:
    Jirou the Yellow Spider: Let me ask you something kid: Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
    Yami Yugi: As a matter of fact, I have. We were on a blind date. Unfortunately, he never returns my calls. Says I'm "too creepy".
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters: Calisto is one of the co-wardens of Cavigor, a Shapeshifter with an incredibly powerful tiger form which makes him one of the most dangerous fighters in the story. Yet when he realizes that Drago has escaped from his prison cell, he's left terrified.
  • Nightfall Eclipse in Crisis of Infinite Twilights is the leader of a group of alternate reality Twilights. She overthrew her version of Celestia and doesn't bat an eye at anything... but is utterly creeped out and scared of Twilight Twilight, a sparkly vampire Twilight who thinks an underage filly is her soulmate.
  • In Taylor Varga, the Endbringers are so scared of Taylor Hebert that the thought of her being even a stone's throw away is enough to make them just nope out of whatever they're doing and go hide on the exact opposite side of the planet.
  • My Ridonculous Race: Crimson and Ennui do this to several scare-actors when they go through a haunted house in a Japanese theme park. When they miss one of their challenge requirements and might have to go through the labyrinth again one of the workers tosses the sign they needed to find outside for them.
  • The MLP Loops: Pinkie Pie, starting from very early on when she sends Sovereign running on sight. Mainly because she's a Warp Goddess who got that job by eating Slaanesh. Conversely, if something manages to scare Pinkie Pie, that's Bad. Such as the Smooze, where Pinkie's only response is to run.
    Narration: Some monsters could be laughed at. The Smooze just laughed back.
  • What If I Know Too Many Reasons I Can Be Strong?: Tanjiro terrifies every demon he encounters, including even Muzan and the Twelve Kizuki. More often than not, it is mostly Played for Laughs.
  • In Twenty Years Late, when a Sectoid attempts to mind-probe a Combine Elite-turned-MEC, it starts screaming. And it doesn't stop screaming in horror until its field commander pulls it aside and kills the mutilated cyborg it was trying to probe with a plasma cannon.
  • Ben in Miraculous: Hero Time manages to horrify Zombizou, Hawkmoth, Marinette, and even Tikki by showing them Ghostfreak's true form.
  • In A Knight's Tale as Inquisitor, while in Arturia's mind in order to perform an Grand Theft Me on her, the Envy Demon ends up causing her dragon side to come to the forefront. This encounter is so overwhelming and traumatizing to Envy that it wants to vomit.
  • In Harry and the Shipgirls, the Dementors of Harry Potter canon literally got scared shitless by Muramasa-no-Kagotsuruhe, the Sword of Hopelessness, who is arguably even scarier than they are.
  • Remnant Inferis: DOOM: The creatures of Grimm, as per canon, are animalistic abominations drawn to negative emotion like fear and rage. They outright show hesitance at the thought of facing the Doom Slayer, which stuns Winter Schnee, who thought such was impossible. Much later, Salem takes a peek into the Slayer's mind in an attempt to manipulate him, and is terrified beyond words at what she sees.
  • In The Awakening of a Magus, the Lightning Patronus some Magi can cast is The Dreaded for the Dementors and their leader... not only can it destroy them, but it deprives the collective of all the souls the destroyed Dementor had ever consumed.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Beowulf (2007), Grendel is a hideous deformed troll of a man who haunts the land of Herot, committing brutal violence against merry-makers and revellers. When Beowulf comes to Herot to fight Grendel, the former almost immediately turns the tide on Grendel and gains the advantage while completely naked and unarmed. Scared shitless, Grendel can only shrink in size and try to escape, only for Beowulf to trap him in a large doorway and slam the door on his arm. Repeatedly. Until his arm pops off.
    Beowulf: *slam!* Your blood-letting *slam!* days are finished, *slam!* demon! *slam!*
    Grendel: Ich nayt daemon 'ere! (I'm not the demon here!)
  • Children in Monsters, Inc. scare monsters... including the ones whose job it is to scare children for a living. Played for Laughs.
  • Played for laughs with Snoopy and a grizzly bear in Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown.
  • Osmosis Jones: Frank's childhood, lack of self-restraint, and outright mental insanity (all of which is NOT helped by his unhealthy lifestyle) freaks out Thrax, a serial killer virus (The RED DEATH) who has infected and killed over 12 people.
    Thrax: This cat was sick before I even got here!
  • The Land Before Time: In the first movie, Littlefoot, Petrie, Ducky, and Spike end up glued together after falling into a tar pit, and their combined form looks scary enough to frighten away a group of pachycephalosaurs that were attacking Cera.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Stoik realizes something's gone horribly wrong with the assault on the dragons' nest when the thousands of dragons occupying it take off flying as fast as their wings could carry them, paying no heed whatsoever to the vikings. Moments later, the furious Green Death comes barreling out of the side of the mountain.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blade is this to vampires, creating a terrifying path of death as he slays whole legions of vampires. Nyssa actually brings this very fact up in Blade II.
  • In The Hunger Games, like in the book, Clove is one of the most dreaded and skilled of the Tributes. Although she's a normal human like everyone else, she's an Ax-Crazy Knife Nut who has been raised The Spartan Way to compete in the Hunger Games and crosses the Moral Event Horizon by gloating about killing Rue. However, even she is visibly terrified of Thresh, desperately screaming and pleading when he grabs her by the throat, enraged at the death of his district partner Rue. Justified by the fact that he then proceeds to kill Clove in a single blow.
  • John Wick is this to the criminal underworld. Even the head of the Russian Mafia presence in New York is stopped cold at the news that his son crossed Wick.
    Viggo: They call him Baba Yaga.
    Iosef: The Boogeyman?
    Viggo: Well, John wasn't exactly the boogeyman. He was the one you sent to kill the fucking boogeyman.
  • The extended edition of King Kong (2005) has a sequence that starts with the rescue party being attacked on their makeshift rafts (they're in a swamp) by a pack of cat-sized scorpio-pedes, which abruptly break off the attack and flee moments before the arrival of a piranhadon -- a predatory fish the size of a small whale.
    • In the theatrical cut, Anne is attacked by a pair of Foetodon, land crocodilians roughly around the size of tigers and crawls into a log to escape them. As she does, one is pulled offscreen and upwards by something, and the second stares at whatever it was and promptly beats it. Anne, exiting the log, finds a V-Rex standing there staring at her, the remains of the first beast in its mouth.
  • Inglourious Basterds: Pretty much the idea behind assembling the Basterds:
    Aldo: We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty, they will know who we are. And they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us. And the German won't not be able to help themselves but to imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives. And the German will be sickened by us, and the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us. And when the German closes their eyes at night and they're tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with. Sound good?
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. An army of goblins surround the Fellowship, only to immediately scurry off in fear after hearing the roar of the Balrog.
    • Orcs and Goblins in general can be routed by their own shadow (although in this case, they did have good reason to run). See the example under Literature below.
  • In Serenity, the Operative has a small panic attack when he realizes Mal has lured a fleet of Reavers to his location.
    The Operative: Target the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target everyone! SOMEBODY FIRE!
  • Many of the most hardened convicts aboard Con Air are freaked when the Serial Killer Garland Greene joins them.
  • In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, when the Monster is introduced it takes a close look at Costello's face, only to recoil with a cry of fear. Dracula reassures him.
    "Don't worry. I won't let him hurt you!"
  • Will Graham invokes this in the film adaptation of Red Dragon when Francis Dolarhyde holds his young son hostage by putting on a show of parental abuse that hits the deranged Serial Killer right in the Freudian Excuse. It unsettles Dolarhyde enough for Will's son to get away.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Tie-in materials reveal the Big G himself is keeping a healthy distance from the site that contains Ghidorah. In the film proper, Rodan lets out a panicked screech upon realizing he's flown right into Ghidorah's storm...right before battling him anyway.
  • In Avengers: Endgame, Thanos the Mad Titan - Greater-Scope Villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Dreaded to much of the known galaxy - is left staring in horrified dismay when Carol Danvers singly takes on Thanos' dreadnought, and punches her way straight through yet another warship, bringing it crashing to the ground. Shortly before that, he is nearly overpowered by a very angry Wanda, and panics just enough to call an airstrike from said warship to fend her off.
  • Freddy vs. Jason:
    • In the final battle, sadistic dream stalking Serial Killer Freddy Krueger looks like he's about to wet himself when he realizes that he's been pulled into the real world - where an extremely pissed off Jason Voorhees is approaching him with a machete.
    • Goes both ways—after realizing that Jason's fear is water, Freddy throws him into a nightmare where he's forced to relive his traumatic childhood memories, being relentlessly bullied and picked on and then pushed into Camp Crystal Lake to drown.
  • In Scary Movie 2, a Monster Clown gets the tables turned on it when it tries to "play" with Ray.
    Clown: Hey... W-what are you doing?!
    Ray: Uncle Ray-Ray's got a game...
    Clown: Hey, get your finger outta there!
    Ray: Tickle, tickle, tickle!
    Clown: AAAHHHH!! OH GOD!!

  • Back in the age of Chuck Norris jokes, people would occasionally counter them with the following:
    Every night, before he goes to sleep, Chuck Norris looks under his bed for Willem Dafoe. (Or in some tellings, Christopher Walken or Neville Longbottom)
    • Speaking of those jokes, quite a few follow the pattern of something terrifying being afraid of ol' Carlos Ray Norris:
      • "Chuck Norris died six years ago; Death has been trying to work up the courage to let him know."
      • "The dark is scared of Chuck Norris."
      • "Freddy Krueger has nightmares about Chuck Norris."
  • On various circulated lists of "Why Kirk Is Better (or Badder, or Cooler) Than Picard," one of the reasons is stated to be "The Klingons didn't even have a word for 'surrender' until they met Kirk."

  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): When Crinis gets going with her razor-barbed tentacles operating like chainsaws, even giant monstrous spiders tend to run away in fear (but not always successfully). The fact that she has skills like Greater Fear Inspiration probably contributes, too. Oh, and she later develops a scream that has an associated psychic component, directly attacking the mind with terror. But then, to cap it off, she picks up "soul seeker cilia", allowing her to drive her tentacles into her enemies' brains and push them over the brink of insanity.
    If I hadn't been paying such close attention, I might not have noticed how those root-like, ethereal appendages drilled down into the monsters, slipping straight through whatever hide, skeleton or mucous covered them and penetrating their brains. I held my breath as they grew still for a moment, each of the beasts frozen in place like a nightmare painting.

    Then they screamed.
  • Inheritance Cycle: The high priest/ess of the Cult of Helgrind had all of their limbs amputated out of faith but is psychically strong enough to incapacitate a Dragon Rider, elven princess, and dragon simultaneously. When Angela manages to move enough to pose a threat, they begin freaking out. When Angela whispers her true name to them, they’re utterly horrified.
  • In The Belgariad by David Eddings, Hettar qualifies for the entire Murgo race, possibly even more so than even Belgarath himself.
    • Speaking of whom, Belgarath more than qualifies for Angarak as a whole.
      • To be fair, the general Angarak populace isn’t really all that bad on the whole, but the military and especially the clergy? Yeah, they definitely qualify as horrors to be horrified by those two and a few others in the cast.
    • The sight of Errand is enough to send a Demon Lord fleeing in abject terror at one point.
    • Urvon is briefly snapped out of being Brainwashed and Crazy when Beldin puts in an appearance.
  • In Black Legion, another group of Chaos Astartes, this time accompanied by a daemon and a Dark Eldar, is horrified at the sight of Fabius Bile's experiments, especially his attempts at cloning the Primarchs.
  • Discworld
    • In The Light Fantastic, Rincewind (the ultimate coward) ends up fighting a creature from the Dungeon Dimensions (where everything H. P. Lovecraft ever thought of lived), while it possesses a man that may be the most powerful wizard on the Disc at that moment in time. He fights it using nothing but his hands, feet, elbows, knees, and teeth. In the end, the author points out that this is the first time anything has ever run away from Rincewind instead of the other way around. He not only beat up Cthulhu, he actually scared away Cthulhu with a fist-fight. (It's made clear in the books that the Things don't really "get" the material world; a physical attack simply isn't something they're equipped to deal with.)
    • Earlier, the first time a Thing From The Dungeon Dimensions is mentioned is at the Temple of Bel-Shamaroth in The Colour of Magic. The demon that powers Twoflower's iconograph complains that the place is "weird", leading to the following exchange:
      Twoflower: But you're a demon. Demons can't call things weird. I mean, what's weird to a demon?
      Demon: Oh you know, things. Stuff.
      Twoflower: What things?
      Demon: [nervous cough] Oh, things. Evil things. Things we don't talk about is the point I'm broadly trying to get across, master.
    • In Guards! Guards!, the giant dragon's summoner-turned-lackey explains that the citizens of Anhk-Morpork will, in time, get used to the idea of sacrificing maidens to it, and even come to endorse the practice eventually. The dragon, in disbelief, reads the lackey's mind and discovers a litany of the awful things humans regularly do to one another without a dragon bullying them into doing it, and is utterly appalled.
  • In H. P. Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, servants of Nyarlathotep, including (and especially) the monstrous Shantak birds are absolutely terrified of Nightgaunts, because they serve Nodens, Nyarlathotep's (im)mortal enemy and the only being who really poses any kind of threat to him in the Dreamlands.
  • The Dresden Files: Ghouls and vampires have been known to run away screaming at the sight of Harry Dresden.
    • Early in Changes Harry comes face-to-face with a Red Court vampire. Keep in mind, a Red Court vampire can disembowel a half dozen mortal combatants in a matter of seconds, and this one, in particular, is one of the Court's best assassins. On seeing Harry, it shrieks in terror and bolts through a wall in the process of running for its life. Of course, over the course of the war, Harry has garnered himself a bit of a reputation.
    • As for the ghouls, one of them managed to get hold of two young Warden trainees that were being taught fire magic. After killing the one that abducted them by lighting its body fat on fire and dropping it down a mineshaft, Harry blasted a captured ghoul into a hole he created, buried it up to the neck (melting the sand into glass as he did so) and laid a trail of orange juice to a nest of fire ants. He only put it out of its misery after he realised the other trainees were staring at him in horror. The only surviving ghoul was left to take a message to its kind. Never again. Note that this incident occurred while Harry had the shadow of a Fallen Angel secretly living in his head and whispering to his subconscious in an attempt to make him eviler. He had a very major My God, What Have I Done? moment when he actually realized what was happening. He was still happy to take advantage of the reputation it earned him.
    • Perhaps topping his list of achievements in this category is the fact that Nicodemus, an agent of evil thousands of years old who has bonded his soul with an honest to God fallen angel is actively terrified of Harry, as Harry is apparently the only person who has come even remotely close to actually killing him...on two occasions no less.
      • Not Harry himself, but one of his closest companions, Mouse the Foo dog, deserves special mention: in Skin Game, his arrival actually scares the living bejeebers out of Anduriel, the Fallen angel that's attached to Nicodemus. Anduriel was one of Lucifer's generals before being coin-bound for being The Starscream.
    • Several readers have noted that a certain Black Court vampire mage has not been seen or heard from since Harry gave her a brief rundown of all the things he could do to make her unlife Hell, should she try to target his friends ever again.
    • Michael Carpenter also has this, especially in Skin Game. When Uriel temporarily heals his leg by giving him his grace allowing him to briefly take back up the mantle of Knight of the Cross Nicodemus immediately backs down despite being on the verge of winning. Michael's one of the most successful Knights of the Cross just by surviving as long as he wields Excalibur. Later, even though they knew he was coming Nicomedius' guards freak out at the very sight of him, Horrifying the Horror indeed.
    • "Jared Kincaid" (almost certainly an alias, but we never find out his real name) is introduced as a Combat Pragmatist and One-Man Army with Improbable Aiming Skills and centuries of experience. He's a very good ally to have in a fight, and definitely not someone you want coming after you. He explicitly states that if he'd known Harry was calling in his old mentor Ebenezar McCoy, to work together on a job, he'd be in another state by now. This is because Ebenezar is the Blackstaff, the White Council's assassin, who can pull off party tricks like an incredibly accurate Colony Drop or setting off Krakatoa. And for some reason, he's pissed off at Kincaid for something the latter did a hundred years before in Istanbul.
  • At the end of Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East trilogy, the demon-prince Orcus, mightiest of all demons and founder of the eponymous empire realizes just what Ardneh is, and what Ardneh's plan is, he flees screaming. Of course, by that point, it was much too late.
  • In Act II of The First Dwarf King the first indication that Father Kiyoshi is a force to be reckoned with is his first encounter with the Osthan. To be specific, his very presence is enough to put them on edge. He then proceeds to slice their assault rifles in half, single-handedly hold all three of them off in a Sword Fight, then'' summons a katana out of thin air — which he then uses to slice the hand off of one Osthan. All three of them flee before him. For the record, the Osthan are Made of Indestructium Hero Killers who have been known to take on entire armies and win.
  • The Children in Galaxy of Fear, a group of somewhat sympathetic cannibals, are terrified of a creature they call the Imp. It's Yoda. They're willing to follow our heroes after giant knobby white spiders, but not where they think they've seen the Imp.
  • Harry Potter
    • Professor Dumbledore is said to be the most powerful wizard in the world and the only person Lord Voldemort ever feared.
    • On a similar note, before Voldemort's time there was the Dark Wizard Grindelwald who took over most of Europe in the 1940s but never attacked Great Britain because of Dumbledore. While it was partly due to their former friendship, it's also believed because he knew Dumbledore was still more skillful than himself. He presumed correctly, as when they eventually confronted each other, he lost to Dumbledore even while wielding the most powerful wand in the world.
    • The basilisk in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets scares ten-foot-long talking spiders to death.
  • This comes up at the end of I Am Legend following The Reveal that not all of the vampires are mindless, bloodthirsty monsters. The vampire-hunting protagonist realizes that, to the vampires, he has become a terrifying figure, a myth of godlike proportions. Basically, he's become a legendary monster that vampires tell each other ghost stories about.
  • Brian Yi, Proxy, becomes this in The Infected. Brian has the power to take the place of people who are about to die, anywhere in the world, which is initially treated as a death sentence. Since Brian could be dropped into any number of bad situations at any moment with no support or weapons, he's trained from the beginning to go for the throat. After a few fights (including ripping out a superpowered serial killer's throat with his teeth) Proxy achieves a Memetic Badass state and becomes the boogieman to murderers, who now must forever wonder if their next victim is going to suddenly turn into an angry and buff Asian guy.
  • Played for Laughs in The Monster Bed. Dennis protests going to bed one night, telling his mother he's afraid that humans will get him while he's asleep. Later, a young boy wanders into Dennis' cave. He checks under Dennis' bed before he goes to sleep on it, and gives them both a scare.
  • Say the name of John Taylor anywhere in the Nightside, and most of the things that go bump in the night will fall over each other trying to get on the next train to Swindon.
  • In Paradise Lost, the Devil and his army of wicked semi-gods are so horrified by the gaze of Jesus that they throw themselves into Hell rather than wait for Son of God to annihilate them.
  • In Perdido Street Station, the city authorities attempt to bargain with the forces of Hell to aid them against the escaped slake-moths. The demonic ambassador refuses point-blank, which its summoners deduce means that demons are scared of the consciousness-consuming moths.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire.
    • Rorge is a serial killer and his companion Biter is a cannibal. What scares them? Their cellmate, the Faceless Man wearing the persona of Jaqen H'gar.
    • The witch known as The Ghost of High Heart is freaked whenever she meets Arya Stark's gaze. As Character Development kicks in for Arya and the resulting casualties pile up, you kind of get why.
    • Evil Sorcerer Melisandre is frightened of the lackwit jester Patchface. Nobody really knows why, beyond her having a seriously bad trip upon reading him.
    • Roose Bolton, head of the most ruthless noble family in The North, is wary about the cannibalistic inhabitants of Skagos Island.
    • The Ironborn, bona fide terrors of the seas, aren't too keen about messing with the Crannogmen. Heck, Roose Bolton is more than a bit warier than usual going anywhere near their home, the Neck, as well.
    • Even the bulk of Gregor Clegane's Punch Clock Psychopaths know better than to even think about going against the Hound: they'd much rather leave that fight to the boss... with a major sigh of relief.
    • According to Fire & Blood, Alysanne Targaryen tried to venture beyond the Wall three times by riding her dragon, Silverwing, but she refused every time. Bear in mind that adult dragons are fire-breathing, airplane-sized monstrosities who are stil brave enough to go to the ruins of Valyria and back, so... just who or what it is that lives beyond the Wall?
  • In Strata, the explorers end up capturing a demon, which proves itself to be rather uncooperative. Marco, a particularly unbalanced member of a species that's already Ax-Crazy by default, gets fed up with it. "You said you can read minds? Then read mine." The demon does so...and spends the rest of its time with the group absolutely horrified of the alien.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Goblins and Orcs of all stripes are very easily panicked and dismayed. They can certainly be bold if they think they're in a position of advantage or are attacking something weaker than themselves, but if the tables are turned or they don't have the Will of their master (either Morgoth or Sauron) behind them, they can and will collapse and rout at the drop of a hat (for example, when the Ring went into the fire at the end of Return of the King, only the Men under Sauron's control continued to fight. The Orcs broke and ran). Boromir's horn alone was enough to hold off the Uruk-hai sent by Saruman to claim the Ring for a few moments, and they only regained their courage when they realized no help was coming. When Théoden later sounded Helm's Horn during the siege of the Hornburg, the Orcs threw themselves on the ground and stopped their ears, and only the Men of Dunland put up any sort of resistance. The very sight of an Elven blade such as Sting or Glamdring is enough to terrify armies of Orcs, and very few Orcs were willing to stand against Andúril.
    • Sauron himself was so terrified of the armies of Valinor led by Eonwe that he outright surrendered when they laid siege to Angband.
    • Aragorn deliberately invokes this trope when he confronts Sauron in the Palantir in order to make Sauron focus on him and draw his attention away from Mordor where Frodo and Sam are sneaking towards Mount Doom. Purportedly, Sauron has a minor freak-out at the sight of both Isildur's Heir and the reforged Narsil.
    • Morgoth was also sent running in terror by Tulkas
    • The Watcher in the Water is a large, aquatic monster of enigmatic origin that threatens the Fellowship of the Ring as they approach Moria. Apparently it lived in the waterways far underneath Moria, just doing its thing, until the Balrog woke up and scared it out from under the mountain just by existing.
  • Unique has werewolves terrified by vampires, vampires who recoil in horror from the light of the Magi, and all three of them feel a need to change their underwear in the presence of the Veiðimaðr. And ALL of them have a good reason to fear The Men in Black...
  • In Anthony Reynolds's Warhammer 40,000 novel Dark Apostle, a Chaos Space Marine is out-weirded-out by the architecture of the Necron tomb.
  • Worm: There are very few things that superheroes and supervillains tend to be utterly terrified of, in that universe. The Endbringers are one, Contessa and the Number Man are another. A third, however, is the Slaughterhouse Nine, and even amongst them, each and every one of them is very wary, very careful, and very scared of the Grey Boy.
  • In The Zombie Knight, Ibai Blackburn, a soul-eating Humanoid Abomination (albeit a well-raised one) nearly devoid of fear, is terrified when he comes face-to-face with Gohvis.
    Never had the aberration seen such demonic eyes. He'd never believed it was possible to stare into someone's soul, but with the way Gohvis was looking at him, he was beginning to have doubts. In fact, he was starting to think it might be possible to look at someone to death.
  • In The Trials of Apollo the titular former sun god recounts a time when he attended one of Caligula's parties when the emperor was having "An off day." Apollo, as narcissistic and apathetic to the plight of mortals as he is, is utterly terrified of Caligula, enough to the point that he momentarily forgets he's immortal and Caligula can't hurt him. He stays away from Rome for decades after that particular encounter.
  • Ryn, the immortal goddess of vengeance and protagonist of The One Who Eats Monsters, so named because her entire existence is based on hunting down monsters and eating their hearts, which causes their souls to spend the rest of time burning in the fires that rage inside her body. At one point a demon freezes time as she attacks him, to try to talk her out of it. She calmly asks him what others call her. He says “The Implacable One” and promptly accepts his death.
  • In Log Horizon, when Shiroe finally meets the final boss in a dungeon raid, he realizes that said boss is sweating in fear. He then has the revelation that from the boss's perspective, Adventurer's like Shiroe are Humanoid Abominations that are not only strong and smart enough to represent a threat, they're effectively unstoppable because no matter how many times the boss kills them, they just keep coming back ready to fight again but this time with strategies to counter whatever the boss threw at them before.
  • In The Laundry Files, Class 6 Cthulhu Mythos Horrors like Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu seems to be extremely afraid (and are at war with) the beings called the Cold Ones. Their attempts to take over governments (UK for Nyarlathotep, USA for Cthulhu) seems to partly be for getting extra resources for said war, and other part being to help fully wake them up.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Aida is a hyperintelligent artificial intelligence with a body composed of extradimensional matter and a self-created winner of the Superpower Lottery. Within a minute of meeting the Ghost Rider, she is fleeing for her life and utterly terrified.
  • In the Angel episode "I've Got You Under My Skin", an ancient Ethros demon possesses a boy hoping to corrupt and steal his soul, only to realize too late that the boy had no soul. Instead, there was a dark void that trapped the demon inside the boy. All of the creepy antics during the episode were the demon's attempts to escape by getting its host killed, even if that escape meant death for himself as well. When the demon is finally freed of the boy and Angel is about to kill him, it calmly accepts death and warns Angel about the boy's true nature.
    Ethros Demon: Do you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? Nothing. That's what I found in the boy. No conscience, no fear, no humanity. Just a black void. [...] I just sat there and watched as he destroyed everything around him. Not from a belief in evil, not for any reason at all. That boy's mind was the blackest hell I've ever known. [...] I know you bring death. I do not fear it. All I have ever feared is in that house.
    • The next scene shows said boy about to burn down the house starting in his sister's room because she had more marshmallows in her cocoa.
    • Angel's son Connor is this to the demons of Quor'Toth, "darkest of the dark realms". They refer to him as "The Destroyer" and will break into other universes to escape from him.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Teacher's Pet". A vampire is scared off when trying to attack a seemingly harmless substitute teacher. She turns out to be a giant shape-shifting praying mantis.
    • Later on, Glory scared a few vamps away by basically existing at them. This was before we found out she was a god.
    • Slayers, and Buffy in particular, are this by their very nature.
    • Glory's backstory reveals that when she was in her home dimension, she grew so powerful that the other two Hellgods who ruled alongside her trembled before her might.
    • Happens to Anya too, when Xander casually mentions that the mayor's planning an Ascension. Her reaction? She leaves town. Though not before conveying dire warnings about how, as someone who has seen some pretty horrible things, most of which she caused, she also was a personal witness to a previous Ascension — so she knows what she's talking about.
  • Doctor Who:
    • This has become one of the Doctor's specialties. After untold centuries of defending the universe against the Daleks, the Cybermen, creatures too varied to count and too disturbing to name, he is the most feared creature in the Cosmos. A race of supremacist, immensely powerful, intelligent living war machines, murderers of untold billions upon billions of beings, with no other emotion left to them but hate, refer to him as The Oncoming Storm and The Bringer of Darkness. As the Ninth Doctor says to the Daleks in "The Parting of the Ways":
      The Doctor: You know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm. You might have removed all your emotions, but I reckon right down deep in your DNA there's one little spark left. And that's fear. Doesn't it just burn when you face me?
    • It's not a new phenomenon, either: "The Chase", the third-ever Dalek story from the second season, had the Daleks inventing a time machine and sending a hit squad after the Doctor throughout time and space.
    • In "The Girl in the Fireplace", when asked what monsters have nightmares about, the Doctor responds, "Me."
      • This example originates from the Expanded Universe; specifically the Doctor Who New Adventures, wherein it is revealed that among the many sobriquets that the Doctor has picked up throughout his many years of travelling is "The Man Who Gives Monsters Nightmares". Let's just say that there's a reason.
    • "The Runaway Bride": The Empress of the Racnoss spends most of the episode assuming that the Tenth Doctor is a Martian because that's what Donna's been irritably calling him, and the Doctor's not really seen the point in correcting her. Then, when she calls him a Martian again, just after he's given her his "one chance" and she turned it down, he corrects: his home planet is not Mars. It's Gallifrey. The Empress, who's been in full Evil Gloating mode for most of the episode, with plenty of terrible, mocking jokes spread around, completely freaks out. This would have a lot to do with the fact that but for her children, she's the Last of Her Kind, and the Time Lords made her that way. Then the Last of the Time Lords finishes the job by coldly drowning her children, whose creepy screeches echo up from the centre of the Earth. You can kind of see why she was horrified.
      Racnoss Empress: My children may feast on Martian flesh!
      The Doctor: Oh, but I'm not from Mars.
      Racnoss Empress: [confused] Then where?
      The Doctor: My home planet is far away and long since gone. But its name lives on... Gallifrey. [the Empress screeches in horror and fury]
      Racnoss Empress: They murdered the Racnoss!
    • "The End of Time": At the end of the Time War, the Time Lords planned to create a paradox so gigantic that it rips the Time Vortex into pieces and destroys all of creation. When the Master finds out about this, even HE is horrified.
    • The Doctor has a similar line when he's trying to reassure young Elliot in "The Hungry Earth":
      Elliot: Have you met monsters before?
      The Doctor: Yeah.
      Elliot: Are you scared of them?
      The Doctor: Nah. They're scared of me.
    • By "Asylum of the Daleks", the Daleks have added an even more revealing name for the Doctor: The Predator of the Daleks.
      • It even goes beyond fear for the Daleks. The Dalek Prime Minister comments that perhaps the Daleks have failed to kill the Doctor for so long because they practically admire him for his single-minded hatred of them.
    • And then the Doctor himself becomes horrified at the end of "Dark Water" after learning who Missy really is. It's enough to send him running and shouting at everyone in a vain attempt to warn everyone one of his most dangerous enemies has returned.
      Missy: Missy. It's short for Mistress. Well, I couldn't well keep calling myself "The Master" now, could I?
    • The Doctor's encounter with the Boneless, two-dimensional beings from another reality, who "flatten" people and objects (by siphoning their third dimension) and then attempt to come out into the third dimension by taking on shifting appearances of the people they've flattened and killed. Some of the scariest monsters of the season. Then they encounter "the man that stops the monsters".
      The Doctor: I tried to talk. I want you to remember that. I tried to reach out. I tried to understand you, but I think that you understand us perfectly. And I think that you just don't care! And I don't know whether you're here to invade, infiltrate or just replace us. I don't suppose it really matters now. You are monsters! That is the role you seem determined to play, so it seems that I must play mine: the man that stops the monsters. I'm sending you back to your own dimension. Who knows? Some of you may even survive the trip. And if you do, remember this: You are not welcome here! This plane is protected! I am the Doctor, and I name you the Boneless! [sonics them into oblivion]
  • Reavers have this effect across the board in Firefly 'verse. Alliance is a military superpower that bombarded planets into oblivion basically out of spite and they are still scared shitless when those sadomasochistic berserks come into the picture. On a personal note, the possibility of an encounter with them is one of the few things that scares the trigger-happy Psycho for Hire Jayne Cobb. The other things are paralysis and death by spacing.
  • On Forever Knight, Lacroix is a nearly 2000-year old vampire feared for his ruthless ways. He tells Nick of how, during World War I, he met a young soldier and was tempted to kill him. But confronting the man later, Lacroix was struck cold when he looked into the eyes and felt a hate and evil like nothing he'd ever seen before. He simply bid goodbye as the soldier turned back to complete his newly shaved mustache...
  • Game of Thrones: Melisandre, who regularly practices Human Sacrifice and Blood Magic, communes with a fire god and helps prepare for an apocalyptic war with the White Walkers, is visibly shaken by the darkness and death she sees when she looks into Arya's eyes, as well as all the eyes of those that Arya will kill.
  • When Crowley of Good Omens kills a fellow demon by dumping holy water on his head, Hastur responds by completely freaking out. From Hastur's point of view, it's a Disproportionate Retribution. From Crowley's point, it's a preventive measure.
  • Grimm: The idea of Grimms is that they traditionally hunt down the creatures on which the monsters of our bedtime stories are based, so all but the most dangerous of said creatures are naturally terrified of them. Played with slightly in that the second, (counting his aunt) Grimm we meet is a pretty nice guy who treats these Wesen like he would anyone else, but they still react to him like he's a serial killer because his ancestors lived up to that reputation.
    • Interestingly, the fact that Nick is a cop tends to calm down some of them, since they rightly assume that there'd be questions if suspects and witnesses suddenly went missing or were found dead, all connected to cases of the same detective. Adalind, whom Nick is forced to protect as a witness at one point, points out that if he kills her, it won't be a Grimm killing a Hexenbiest, but a cop killing a witness.
    • In the final season, Nick is the one terrified by the new Big Bad Zerstorer, who appears to be some kind of Wesen devil. Indeed, it takes four Grimm, two of whom are already dead (Nick's mom and aunt), to finally take him down.
  • The monsters of Kamen Rider prey on humans, some literally and some just for a sick game. That's the thing for Grongi from Kamen Rider Kuuga. One of them met a particularly grisly end by being beaten to death by Kuuga after forcing many people (and the guy himself) over Despair Event Horizon. No mercy was given on either side.
  • The League of Gentlemen: One day a mysterious carnival named Papa Lazarou's circus dropped to Royston Vasey. It consisted of various freaks of mysterious origins including a giant, a bearded woman, and three depraved dwarfs. The ringmaster himself was grinning knowing that it was his time once again to spirit away his preferred victims among the townsfolk, to have a secret feast of his own while the carnival lights would blind the people to anything else other than the feast of the funfair. It sounds like a standard dark-fantasy story and would be one if it wasn't for the uncanny and dark nature of the Royston Vasey citizens which out-freaks all the carnival employees including Papa Lazarou himself so badly that they decide to pack up their stuff at the very first night and ride away.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow, Eobard Thawne freaks out over being hunted by the Black Flash. In a later season, Nora Darhk, who previously served as the vessel to the demon Mallus, is horrified by the appearance of a different demon named Neron.
  • In Stargate SG-1 the Goa'uld are Always Chaotic Evil and the System Lords are the most powerful and terrible of them, each responsible for mass murder and mass torture. Even they were appalled by Anubis' deeds, and the news that he has returned provokes a Mass "Oh, Crap!"/Freak Out from them. It effectively serves as an Establishing Character Moment for Anubis, despite him not actually appearing yet.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode 'The Thaw', The Clown was a simulated manifestation of the fears of people hooked up to a computer system. When confronted with the fact that he would have no more fear to feed on and would die, he became afraid.
  • Supernatural:
    • "The Man Who Would Be King" reveals that the reason Crowley, the King of Hell, works with the Winchesters so often despite their natural animosity is because he's terrified of what they'd do to him if he ever really got on their bad side.
      Crowley: Am I the only one who refuses to underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares!?
    • Crowley also visibly shakes in the presence of Cain, the Father of Murder.
    • When Sam asks the demon Ruby if she's ever seen an angel, she replies "no, but I'm scared of them."
    • Every other Leviathan is horrified of Dick Roman.
    • As with Slayers and Grimms above, Hunters tend to be this by nature. The Winchesters in particular seem to have achieved something of a Memetic Badass and The Dreaded status in the demon community. In the episode "Damaged Goods", it's even stated that the demons are monitoring Mary Winchester 24/7, so if she moves somewhere, the demons have time to vacate the premises.
      Cain: Dean Winchester is asking for help? That's not the man I read about on demon bathroom walls.
    • Exaggerated when Death himself is shown to fear The Darkness. Later, after The Darkness is accidentally unleashed, half of Hell hears a scream coming from the Cage, implying that Lucifer and Michael are afraid of her too.
    • In "Nightmare Logic", a djinn gets into Dean's head and tries to feed on his nightmares, only to back away in fear. Given that by this point Dean's spent time in Hell and Purgatory, been a demon, and been a host for Michael, it's understandable that there's plenty in there to ward the djinn off.
  • In an episode of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, Ryuuji pushes his powers to the point where he loses control. Before he's done, the Monster of the Week is begging for mercy before he basically lifts it onto his sword, impaling it like a meatball on a toothpick. Then he turns toward the other Rangers...
  • In Torchwood, Death is one victim away from manifesting permanently on Earth. Unfortunately, the only person present is Owen, who is undead and the only thing that can seal it away. Cue Death trying and failing to escape the horror standing before it.
  • In a Halloween episode of Two and a Half Men, the brothers are terrorized by a witch who appears to have real cursing-type powers. Charlie has just capitulated to her demands that he become basically a slave to her coven after she threatened to make his manhood "a shriveled husk." Then their mother shows up, and the uber-badass witch recognizes her and is so terrified of her that she flees in a panic.
  • In the Walking with Dinosaurs episode "Cruel Sea", a birthing Ophthalmosaurus is surrounded by sharks... which are then scared off by a Liopleurodon.
  • The Wire: Most normal people are terrified of the drug dealers and gangs that control the Baltimore streets. Karmic Thief Omar Little, who only steals from drug dealers and other criminals, is the one who terrifies the gangsters. Even the toughest criminals rarely attempt to resist when Omar robs them, and many of those who do try to fight back quickly learn a hard lesson about why they shouldn't.

  • Played for laughs in the "Dream Warriors" music video attached to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. The only thing that scares the film's main villain Freddy Krueger is the band Dokken.
    Freddy: What a nightmare...who were those guys?!
  • At the end of Leslie Fish's Filk Song "Banned from Argo", a gang of Klingons land on Argo, see the havoc wreaked by the crew of the USS Enterprise, and turn and run away. Years after the original song was written, a Firefly variant was made, with the Serenity crew scaring off Reavers.
  • The Disturbed song "Fear" is written from the perspective of the now it's the criminal that is experiencing fear:
    Reject, are you no one?
    Feel you nothing?
    You know I'll bet you think
    You have a good reason to be living
    In the limelight of the fortunate ones
    You're too weakened by the poison
    That they feed you in the living lie
    They don't believe you:
    Call to no one
    Trust in nothing,
    Little impotent one

  • In the The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Nightmares the Clown is an Emotion Eating Monster Clown who feeds on fear and is a recurring nemesis of Frank and Sadie Doyle. In their fifth encounter, he finally has the Doyles on the ropes, forcing upon them their two biggest fears of sobriety and being separated from each other. Frank's response is a Badass Boast about how dangerous he once was and could be again if he got serious, and that Sadie is even more dangerous than him. The ultimate effect is to cause Nightmares to realize what it is he truly fears: Frank and Sadie Doyle.

  • Laurel and Hardy managed to do this in the single episode of their never-picked-up radio show. The two are hired by a poultry shop, and while out on what they believe to be a delivery run, accidentally encounter a group of gangsters. Stan and Ollie mistake them for their customers, the hoods mistake Stan and Ollie for a pair of tough hitmen they're supposed to meet. Thanks to the magic of One Dialogue, Two Conversations, when the hoods ask Stan and Ollie about their work, they are made green with nausea as they hear how the two dispatch their victims with a butcher knife or axe, dunk the tough carcasses in boiling water, and then deliver them, sometimes as often as 12 times a day (especially weekends and holidays) to the people who ordered them killed. The police arrive before the duo can clarify that they were referring to slaughtering chickens.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Deadlands universe, the Undead are animated by evil spirits called Manitou. However, the uber-undead Stone is such an evil son of a bitch that his resident manitou is afraid of him.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Aboleths are a race of aquatic Eldritch Abominations so unfathomably old that they ruled the world in its primordial youth before the current crop of races (and even deities) existed. And this is why the Illithids scare them — even though the Aboleths have perfect Genetic Memory that stretches back to a time before creation, as far as they can tell the Illithids just showed up a few thousand years ago with a fully-developed culture. They're exactly right.
    • Ironically this goes both ways, and the brain-eating Mind Flayers avoid Aboleths as the one horror in all the Underdark with greater mental powers than themselves, lest they end up like their own psionically-dominated thralls. Illithids are also legitimately fearful of the undead, since they can't be psionically detected, have no minds to dominate, and aren't slowed down by having their brains bit out of their skulls, which doesn't leave the Illithids with many options when it comes to combating them.
    • The Baatezu are the devilish tyrants of the Nine Hells and some of the most fearsome and sadistic creatures in existence. But in one corner of the layer of Malbolge, a strangely-glowing cavern called Maggoth Thyg sometimes emits horrible cries that Hell's damned souls cannot hear, but the devils can, and they find the sound instinctively terrifying. It's suspected this is related to the ancient Baatorians, the race of fiendish Precursors that ruled Hell before the devils' arrival.
    • In the Eberron setting, Droaam is a land of monsters for whom "civilisation" and "diplomacy" are still somewhat new concepts. Ogres and trolls make up a sizeable chunk of the population, the heads of state are evil night hags, and finding a settlement ruled by a medusa or even a mind flayer is far from unheard of. The people of Droaam are also terrified of Mordain the Fleshweaver and refuse to go anywhere near his tower, for fear of ending up as one of his experiments.
    • Also in Eberron, both the quori dream-devils of the Dreaming Dark and the ageless rakshasa of the Lords of Dust try to give the daelkyr a wide berth, because while quori are hard to permanently kill and rakshasa generally reform, the daelkyr are embodiments of change - and being remade by a daelkyr is not only the closest thing to death an immortal could face, they would also likely view it as meaningfully worse. On top of that, the daelkyr are neither central to the Prophecy in the way the Overlords the Lords of Dust serve arenote , nor do they dream, so the Dreaming Dark can't get information that way either - and their mindsets are so inhuman that you can't reason out their strategies either, to whatever degree they even have them.
    • The githyanki, psionic interdimensional raiders who ride red dragons and choose to battle the illithid, once invaded Athas, the world of Dark Sun. Then left, sealed up the portal behind them, and never came back. Almost everything there is psionic, even the wildlife, and it's ruled by archmages who power their spells by draining life force out of the people around them. Although it helps there's nothing on that barren wasteland of a world worth taking besides perhaps some of its absurdly dangerous animals.
  • In Warhammer:
    • The Skaven have a world-spanning Under-Empire with a population of over a billion, and have access to Magitek war machines and Fantastic Nukes, but they're still deathly afraid of Nagash, the very first necromancer and the most powerful sorcerer who has ever lived (and unlived).
    • The Sword of Khaine is an Artifact of Doom that scares the Chaos Gods.
    • The Fear and Terror rules mean that while trolls, ogres, and similar creatures (which cause Fear) are not intimidated by other creatures that cause Fear, they're still vulnerable to Terror (generally possessed by dragons, Greater Daemons, and similar monstrosities) unless they have another special rule to counteract it.
      • Undead troops tend to cause Fear and are themselves immune to it. Enter Harald Hammerstorm, a Chaos champion who's spent so long beating the crap out of undead that he makes them afraid.
  • One of the rules of Warhammer 40,000 is that no matter how big, bad and fierce something is, it'll be afraid of something else.
    • Although they're loath to admit it, followers of Chaos are all at least a little unnerved by the Necrons. Because they have no souls, only badly degraded digital copies of the personalities of long-dead aliens, they're immune to most Chaos powers, and any sorcerer trying to read their minds only sees an empty void. They also have a similar problem with the Tyranids, only in reverse — the Tyranid Hive Mind is so overwhelmingly powerful and, more importantly so utterly alien, that it tends to disrupt the energies of the Warp that give Chaos sorcerers and daemons their power. Often fatally.
    • As for the Tyranids, one alarming theory is that they aren't so much launching an attack on our galaxy as they are Invading Refugees fleeing something even worse. And if the Hive Fleets are going out of their way to avoid a particular system, you probably don't want to visit it either.
    • The four great Chaos Gods are the twisted rulers of a realm of daemons, but even they are disgusted by the minor Chaos entity Malal, the omnicidal embodiment of Chaos' self-defeating tendencies who wants to destroy everything, including Chaos and itself.
    • The Dark Eldar are fey pirates and slavers who strike from the shadows and drag their victims off to their inter-dimensional city, to be raped and/or tortured to death in order to sustain the Dark Eldar's life force. Eldar Harlequins are allowed to come and go from this nightmare city as they please because the Dark Eldar are fully aware of the consequences if they tried to stop them.
      • Harlequins in turn are scared of Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra.
    • The Night Lords Chaos Marines, specialists in terror tactics on a planetary scale, are freaked by the Eldar Phoenix Lord Jain Zar, who moves so fast even the Marines' super senses can't pick her up.
    • One of the reasons Abaddon the Despoiler is the most feared Chaos warlord, beyond his devastating Black Crusades, is because he carries Drach'nyen. It looks like a daemonic sword the size of a man, but in truth, it's a miniature Eldritch Abomination that creeps out daemons.
    • Orks generally see dangerous things as something that would be incredibly fun to fight, and fear tends to be something they just don't even feel. They managed to not notice the personification of death instilling fear of it into all the other races. However, Sebastian Yarrick put up such an incredible battle against an Ork force, slaughtering such an enormous number of them, that he is now the only known thing the Orks are afraid of.
      • Not the only thing. From the same war, The Third War for Armageddon, the Flesh Tearers - a loyalist chapter descended from the Blood Angles with the Black Rage So traumatised the Orks with their brutality that it caused the only recorded instance of Orks refusing battle en masse.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Even the most depraved vampires fear the Tzimisce, sadistic flesh crafters whose atrocities cannot be cured, and the Baali, demon worshippers who can re-embrace vampires into their bloodline.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • Even powerful elder vampires in Vampire: The Requiem know to lay low and band together when the Strix are in town. Not only are they responsible for wiping out an entire clan — the Julii of ancient Rome — but whenever they gather in a city, serious carnage is about to ensue.
      • On a smaller scale, any vampire that receives the message "Who is Cain?" had better run as fast as they can. It means the Cainite Heresy is coming for them: fanatical vampire hunters who willingly sacrifice their own (and innocents) to make the kill.
      • Vampires from both Old and New Worlds of Darkness steer clear of Werewolves. Werewolves hate Vampires with a passion, but knowing that Werewolves are stronger, faster, and tougher than them, most vampires could only respond with fear.
    • Prometheans are revived corpses gifted with an internal magic power that keeps them alive but also repulses everyone else. The environment around them starts to decay and die the longer they stay in one place. And they are scared of the Zeka, a rare line of Prometheans powered by nuclear fire. Example: Most of the Created are trying to reach their "New Dawn" to be reborn as real humans. No Zeka has completed the journey yet, and there's a rumor that if one ever does, the result won't be a human — it'll be a nuclear explosion.
    • Slashers, sociopathic Serial Killers who rival most monsters in how horrible they are and frequently develop supernatural abilities, are absolutely terrified by Sin-Eaters; indeed, the many violent death Slashers cause during their killing sprees tend to create a lot of ghosts, and Sin-Eaters, in addition to being near-unstoppable, constantly resurrecting powerhouses themselves, possess multiple abilities allowing them to enhance the abilities of ghosts around them— meaning the presence of a single one in the area can result in an entire army of very pissed off former victims coming back from the grave.
    • Beasts are Humanoid Abominations with a literal Horror as a soul, who feed by terrorizing mortals and see most supernaturals as kin. There are, however, two major exceptions to this: Demons, who leave them uncomfortable due to their alien, mechanical nature... and the Insatiable, an even older race of Humanoid Abominations who creep them out so much one of their nicknames is the Nightmares of Beasts.
    • When a Princess crosses the Despair Event Horizon, she is most likely to end up corrupt by the Darkness and become a Dethroned, a warped monster trapt in her own suffering and dangerous to anything in sight. Seeing how the Darkness is a force of evil and sorrow and grows in every dark place it can find, you'd expect this kind of transformation to be a good thing for its servants. It's not; not only are Dethroned insane and impossible to truly control (at best, they can lure them close to their enemies and hope for the best), but they also constantly warp every other creature of the Dark that gets too close into their mindless slaves, destroying any self-awareness they had. Because of this, sapient minions of the Darkness will usually run away from them as fast as they can and keep their distance. Attracting a Dethroned on the battlefield is considered their equivalent of the Godzilla Threshold.
  • Magic: The Gathering: The original art for Cruel Ultimatum showed a demon lord wounded and cowering before the shadow of its attacker. The shadow was later revealed to belong to the legendarily powerful and evil dragon planeswalker Nicol Bolas.
    There is always a greater power.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Demons and devils terrify mortals and immortals alike, and rightly so. The demons are a seemingly infinite tide of horrors that rebounds from every setback and pours from the rifts of the Abyss to invade even the slopes of Heaven, while the devils are sadistic, cunning, brilliantly evil tyrants scheming to rule all of existence and whose convoluted plans seem to assure their eventual victory no matter what their enemies do. And then there are the daemons, nihilistic, soul-eating psychopaths whose end goal is nothing less than the utter annihilation of every form of life and the downfall of the multiverse into absolute entropy, and who are so backstabbing and untrustworthy that any form of deal with them is tantamount to suicide. Demons and devils will ally with each other and even angels to combat daemons — they're terrified by what the daemons do and with good reason.
    • Giants are some of the greatest threats, dragons and liches excluded, that most mortals ever have to face. They're immensely powerful and horribly strong, and most species have fearsome reputations — fire giants are slavers and warmongers capable of crushing any army and fort, frost giants are ferocious barbarians who engage in brutal, bloody raids on anyone they meet, evil storm giants are living engines of destruction capable of turning the very weather against their foes, and so on. All giants, without exception, are terrified of rune giants. These were created in Thassilon to control enslaved giants, and can magically turn any giant they meet into a mind-controlled slave, which they do often and with relish. When rune giants turn up, even the most fearsome and bellicose giants quietly pack up, leave and flee as far as they can.
    • Mi-go and the Outer Gods — the very ones from the Cthulhu Mythos — are both easily Eldritch Abominations and among the more sanity-destroying foes a hero on Golarion can meet. And then there's the Dominion of the Black, an interstellar empire of depraved, possibly omnicidal horrors. Mi-go don't go into Dominion Space, and the Outer Gods consider the Dominion enemies. Outer God cultists will readily seek to attack and undermine followers of the Dominion, even though outsiders can rarely tell the two fations of abomination-worshipping lunatics apart.
  • Autochthon in Exalted may be a benevolent (ish) Eldritch Abomination, but he is still an Eldritch Abomination, and within his theomechanical body is an entire populated world. He is currently marooned in an endless void by his own deeds because taking that near-suicidal risk seemed less dangerous than dealing with the Solar Exalted at the height of their power and madness.
  • Even the mightiest dragons in Iron Kingdoms fear Toruk the Dragonfather, their creator, to the extent that if Toruk actively goes on the warpath, they will all unite to fend him off because it's the only way they get to continue existing - and cooperation does not come naturally to IK dragons.
  • The insect spirits of Shadowrun are parasitic alien invaders from another "layer" of reality who are dangerous enough that detonating a tactical nuke in the middle of a city to take out a hive was considered a reasonable strategy...except that it still wasn't enough to wipe them out. And yet there are a number of things that utterly terrify them, such as anything related to the Horrors or the Yama Kings of Hong Kong.

  • There's a stock routine in Pantomime that uses this. Three characters, one of them the dame (an older female character played by a man), are onstage and comment that the place they're in is haunted and they need to be on the lookout for ghosts (or other monsters), and ask the audience to tell them if they see one (they may then start to sing a song to keep their spirits up). A ghost (or whatever) then enters behind them, prompting the audience to shout "Behind you!" in the classic panto style. The characters then look around and fail to spot the ghost, as it follows them and always stays behind them until it exits (they never think to look in different directions to cover the whole area between them because that wouldn't be funny). Then the routine is repeated, except one character (unseen by the other two) spots the ghost and runs offstage in terror. The others wonder where they've gone and repeat the routine (more nervously) and a second character is scared off, leaving only the dame. The routine is repeated once more - except this time the ghost runs offstage in terror at the sight of the dame.

    Video Games 
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: This is a gameplay tactic. The orcs are ruthless, slave-driving, cannibalistic, industrialist murder machines whose sheer ugliness (especially when they cheat death) drives men mad. You make them shit their collective leather trousers. Many orc captains have specific weakness, and will outright flee in terror if the conditions of one of their phobias is activated. Some captains are even afraid of you specifically, and will run as soon as you show yourself. As for mooks, there's a high-profile takedown called Brutalize that stealthily sneaks up to an orc, only to abandon all subtlety and tear the poor fellow ten new ones as all the other nearby orcs flee in terror at the sheer viciousness of your murder.
  • The sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War continues the above gameplay examples, and there's also Carnán. Celebrimbor was an immensely powerful and skilled One Elf Army in life, a smith second only to his grandfather Fëanor, and after crafting the New Ring as a wraith he becomes powerful and arrogant enough to take on Sauron himself. His advice to Talion upon meeting Carnán? "Drop your weapons and kneel."
  • At the end of Mother, the protagonists use Maria's lullaby to defeat Giegue, a near god-like alien whose very presence has thus far thrown the world into chaos. As the song grows nearer to completion with each iteration, Giegue is reduced to screaming incoherently for the protagonists to stop. Of course, it's less likely that he's afraid and more so that he's deeply disturbed that you're bringing back memories of his dead adoptive mother by singing her lullaby to him. This probably leads poor Giegue into becoming an Eldritch Abomination later on in Earthbound when he becomes Giygas, the Universal Cosmic Destroyer.
  • Alex Mercer of Prototype may be a shapeshifting man-eating Humanoid Abomination and the stuff of New York's nightmares, but even he is shocked and disturbed by the sight of Elizabeth Greene's gigantic One-Winged Angel form, composed entirely of human flesh, crashing upward through the middle of Times Square and killing everything in sight.
    • Let's not forget The Reveal. The one responsible for the outbreak was the original Alex Mercer. The current Alex Mercer was an amalgamation of The Virus, the original Mercer in his death throes, and lots of other victims. After learning the reason why the original Mercer did what he did (out of spite), apparently The Virus was disgusted.
  • In Star Control 2, the Ur-Quan are a huge, implacable race of slavers that think they're the only species in the universe with the right to travel through space, have locked hundreds of other races under "slave-shields" on their homeworlds, and aren't above exterminating a race completely if even a few members misbehave. They're currently at war with a huge, implacable race of murderers that think they're the only species in the universe with the right to exist, and have wiped out hundreds of other races. One single intelligent Dnyarri is enough to make members of either race wet their pant-equivalents.
    For the first time in generations... we fear.
  • The Malkavian from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is scared witless by the Cabbie and deeply disturbed by Mr. Ox. Exactly what these two characters are is unknown, but they've managed to unnerve a vampire otherwise able to laugh off just about everything else the game throws at you, and probably are nothing good.
  • In the single-player campaign for Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, there's a moment in the Chaos Stronghold mission when Eliphas the Inheritor, a champion of the Word Bearers legion, a daemon-worshipping Ax-Crazy super-soldier from hell itself tries to whisper to your commander. If you are playing as the Necrons, he attempts it... and then recoils in surprise and horror when he finds out that Necrons don't have souls, and then just coolly vows to destroy you utterly, as if you are an affront to everything he believes. Later on as you are tearing through his defences, he communicates with you again and the Lord seems to whisper something to him (we hear nothing), causing him to reply curtly "No, that cannot be so." Brrrr.
    • All Orks dedicate their entire lives to fighting war, they are violent, thuggish, and Ax-Crazy to the extreme. Their morale is incredibly hard to drop, but when it does hit zero, they'll panic and cry out "WE'Z ALL GONNA DIE!!" In the setting, the Nightbringer instilled the fear of death in every race except for the Orks (because they were the youngest race). Your men have just instilled the fear of death in a race of green-skinned psychopaths who shouldn't by definition be able to. Gets even more awesome if you're playing as the Imperial Guard.
  • In DOOM (2016), the various codex entries indicate that the demons of Hell are absolutely terrified of Doomguy, whom they fearfully call "The Doom Slayer", due to one of his previous rampages through Hell from before the start of the game, during which he utterly wrecked the place and slew even its strongest demons.
    They are rage, brutal, without mercy.
    But you. You will be worse.
    Rip and tear, until it is done.
    • In a great piece of Gameplay and Story Integration, several of the Glory Kills show the demons in DOOM Eternal have a look of sheer horror on their faces (especially the Arch-Vile) as the Slayer tears them apart. It's not just the fodder, for all their tough talk, the Hell Priests are utterly mortified of the Slayer, with one bargaining for his life before his untimely decapitation.
  • Alma, the Anti-Villain from First Encounter Assault Recon inspires terror in anyone who sees her, but even she runs away from The Creep in F.E.A.R 3.
  • Played for Laughs example with this scene in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
  • By the Leviathan DLC for Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard is the only thing the Reapers can really be said to fear. Bear in mind that the Reapers are a billion-year-old unstoppable force of hundreds or thousands of Eldritch Abominations that can, in many cases, throw down with entire fleets by themselves or in small numbers. And even though they're winning, they are afraid of you, although this generally manifests as them dropping all other efforts in order to attempt to laser you to death.
  • Baldur's Gate II
    • In Shadows of Amn the Big Bad's dragon, a massively powerful epic-level vampire, is sent running when the player character's Superpowered Evil Side first surfaces. You can even rub it in her face later on.
    I was not the one that fled our last encounter, Bodhi. Sorry if I... scared you.
    • Early in Throne of Bhaal the PCs stumble upon a vampire ring. Vampires, for most of the base game, have been tough opponents. However, at this point in the saga, the party is supposed to be so beefed up, they do what they can to avoid the PCs. They still face the party, though.
  • In Monster Hunter, this is pretty much Deviljho's biggest noteworthy feature. Other monsters of comparable size and menace actually run from this thing, not because of its appearance, but because of its bottomless appetite. Exaggerated with Elder Dragons, whose presence renders entire maps completely deserted except for either the most diminutive of wildlife—or Remobras.
  • In Persona 3 once your party is leveled enough and you decide to return to earlier floors, you'll find out that Shadows there, which you might have experienced quite some trouble fighting before, are terrified of you. They flee, squeaking, at the sight of your party. It makes them kind of cute even.
  • The Courier in Fallout: New Vegas is easily this by the end of the Lonesome Road DLC. As they leave the Divide, the various horrors — Marked Men and Tunnelers, the latter of which easily took down Deathclaws on introduction — left them alone. The same is said for when an Evil Courier sides with House; he's terrified of you, and tries to do his best to appease you.
  • Dragons in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are winged beasts of death and fire whose very speech is volatile magic and who cannot truly die like mortals can. As such, concepts such as "mortal", "temporary", and "finite" are quite alien to them. Then the Dovahkiin—the protagonist, who can absorb and consume a dragon's soul, thus destroying them forever—shows up. The first dragon you fight (not the one at the beginning) will actually cry out in terror when he's about to die and realizes what Eldritch Abomination has arrived to end his existence: "Dovahkiin? Niid!" For bonus points: the theme that sometimes plays when a dragon attacks is called "The One They Fear". No guesses who "they" are in this context.
    • Even better, the Dragonborn can weaponize this weakness with the "Dragonrend" shout, composed of the words Joor, Zah, and Frul, meaning "mortal", "temporary", and "finite", respectively. Mechanically, all it really does is force a dragon to land, robbing it of its mobility and making it much easier to hit. The in-story reason for this is that the Shout forces the dragon to understand the concept of mortality, so incomprehensible to the immortal mind that they become too disoriented to fly.
  • In the world of The Witcher, Geralt is this to the various things that go bump in the night. It's best encapsulated in the song used in the trailer "A Night to Remember" for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It's essentially an Ironic Nursery Tune sung by monstrous parents to their children about the big bad Witcher.
    Wolves asleep amidst the trees
    Bats all a-swaying in the breeze
    But one soul lies anxious, wide awake
    fearing all manner of ghouls, hags, and wraiths.
    Birds all silent for the night
    Cows turned in as daylight dies
    But one soul lies anxious, wide awake
    For the Witcher, brave and bold
    Paid in coin of gold
    He'll chop... and slice you
    cut... and dice you
    Eat you up whole
    Eat you whole
  • Undertale has two specific examples:
    • First of all, there's the weakest character in the game, the local Almighty Janitor, Sans. When you sorta-befriend the Big Bad, he will tell you to stay away from him, as he's caused him "more than his fair share of resets." And if you go for the No Mercy route, you will find him blocking your path as the toughest boss in the game, so tough that even the presupposed epitome of horror in the game , The Fallen Child is visibly wary.
    • And then there's YOU, the player, who will absolutely terrify the Big Bad in No Mercy. Complete that path, and the player character will butcher him to nothingness, despite him pleading for his life in tears. As well, you can be this to the opponent above, judging by his unique dialogue if you kill him and reset the game twice for no other reason than to fight him again. Of course, that's just one way of interpreting it — given his lack of voice acting and very unreadable demeanor, they could just as easily mean he's impressed, surprised, or just outright disgusted.
      ... that expression that you're wearing... ... well, i won't grace it with a description.
      ... that expression that you're wearing... ... you're really kind of a freak, huh?
      • Considering the previous point, anything that can scare YOU in this game applies as well.
  • Deltarune: The epilogue of chapter 1 makes it quite clear that Kris is a Creepy Child when you're not playing as them. Chapter 2 has an obscure "Weird Route" that substantially changes the story by having Kris emotionally abuse Noelle, during her brief time as a Guest-Star Party Member, into using her ice magic to kill — not just defeat, but kill — as many enemies as possible for the sake of "becoming stronger", eventually culminating in killing Berdly with a One-Hit Kill spell. Afterward, Ralsei and Susie, who were absent during these events, note that Kris looks seriously freaked out, suggesting that, despite their behavior at the end of the previous chapter, they do have a line and you just crossed it.
  • King Boo, or Big Boo as he's called in Super Mario 64 DS is terrified of Wario, and claims that he even has a face "that could scare a ghost".
  • The final boss in Kirby: Planet Robobot is Star Dream, a hyper-advanced, omnipotent, reality-warping supercomputer who can very easily create an Apocalypse How Class X-5 scenario. During the final phase of its battle, pausing the game will show some flavor text from Star Dream's point of view. In it, the machine attempts to analyze Kirby, only to realize that the small pink orb's power can only be calculated as infinite. The rest of the text is Star Dream recalculating its own chance of survival down to around 0% as it desperately begins erecting barriers around itself in the actual fight.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse if Broly is fighting Super Saiyan God Goku, Broly will freak out, roaring out "What are you? WHAT ARE YOU?!", with Goku replying "I'm in a world of power you will never know."
  • The Secret World:
    • Addressed almost by name in the mission "Who Horrifies The Horrors?" in which the newly-arrived Dark Woods Horror sends the normally-fearless werewolves fleeing in terror.
    • The Talking Heads are known and feared by all Illuminati employees, with even Kirsten Geary dreading their seemingly limitless vision and unknown powers. However, the sudden appearance of Lilith has them sounding the alarm, prompting a very tense mission briefing from Geary, who isn't at all comforted by the fact that the Talking Heads sent word directly to her in order to make it clear how serious things are.
    • The Black Signal is a monstrous Filth-spirit haunting the electronic systems of Tokyo, mind-raping and tormenting innocents on a whim... but even the memory of Lilith is enough to send him into a blind panic.
    • Bong Cha, Voice of the Dragon, serves as an impressive manipulator of probabilities throughout the game, so poised and skilled that not even the sudden appearance of Lilith phases her. However, Daimon Kiyota leaves her disturbed and ill-at-ease; despite being the Dragon's apparent ally in Tokyo, she frequently muses aloud how unaccountably frightening he seems to her, noting that his angles are "all wrong" and his backstory doesn't seem to make sense. Quite tellingly, Kiyota ends up replacing her as Voice Of The Dragon.
    • And finally, even dreaded Lilith herself fears the Nephilim; upon discovering the rebel angels descending on her from above, the expression on her face is one of pure deer-in-the-headlights terror.
  • Jurassic Park: The Game: Both Raptors and Dilophosaurus flee when they hear the call of the Troodon.
  • In Silent Hill 2, all the eldritch abominations that plague the titular town and have no problems attacking you, will run away as soon as they hear the scraping of Pyramid Head's sword. If you turn off your radio and light and start dragging that same sword, you'll be able to keep them away.
  • After the final battle of the Golden Ending route of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, the godlike being Ishmelga, the source of the curse of Erebonia, retreats to another realm. Rean pursues Ishmelga, and finds him trembling in absolute terror of Rean, begging him not to come any closer. Ishmelga offers him a Deal with the Devil just to spare his own life, but Rean is having none of it and cuts him into two, fully destroying the curse of Erebonia for good.
  • Appears to happen in Resident Evil 7, when Lucas begins pulling out his own fingernails on camera, and is told to stop off-screen by Eveline, the bio-organic weapon responsible for all the horrors in the game.
  • In Mogeko Castle, Mogek-ko does this to King Mogeko, who created Mogeko Castle, in the Normal End. When he tells her Yonaka got away, she angrily tells him that she'll have to play with him, causing him to burst out crying.
  • Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer II feature some units that have the Fear (enemy units suffer a morale penality from being in melee with it) and its upgrade Terror (enemy units also suffer the same morale penality, will run away sooner and have a chance of briefly running away when charged by the unit) traits but, unless they also have Unbreakable (morale will never drop), they can still suffer morale loss (and be made to flee) from other means such as taking heavy damage, being under fire, having their general killed/flee, etc...
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, Niko, a freelance hitman for basically every mob and gang in town, who was also a child soldier in a horrific war, is still freaked out by Eddie Low, a completely batshit insane, sexually sadistic serial killer.
  • The Force Unleashed II: Supplementary materials reveal Darth Vader spliced a clone of Starkiller with Darth Maul's DNA, creating a being called Maulkiller. Maulkiller quickly went insane and had to be terminated. Maulkiller struck fear into all who faced him, including Darth Vader himself.
  • The Binding of Isaac: There's a share of items that can cause temporary fear on enemies, making them run away from you, but the one that really fits this trope is the item called "2spooky". It causes Isaac to take an incredibly nightmarish appearance and enemies that get too close will immediately suffer the fear effect. Yes, the face is so scary that you can literally terrify Satan.

    Visual Novels 
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has The King trying to push Yuuya over the Despair Event Horizon by reminding him of Yuuya's greatest failure, in the hopes that Yuuya will agree to have his soul absorbed to forget the pain. Yuuya stands stalwart; he accepts what he's done, knows he can't change it, and wants to remember in order to go forwards. He's found meaning in the pain. The King retreats in a hurry.
  • In every route of Yo-Jin-Bo, Harumoto is in full Villainous Breakdown mode by the climax, ready to blow up the watchtower that he and the heroes are standing on in order to die taking them with him rather than live to be captured; in Ittosai's route, he uses Sayuri as a Human Shield and forces her to make an Anguished Declaration of Love to Ittosai just to twist the knife by making Ittosai choose between killing them both or doing nothing until they all die from the impending explosion. When Ittosai declares his willingness to run his sword through the woman who loves him in order to get to Harumoto and then kill himself afterwards, even Harumoto is thoroughly unnerved.
  • Combining this trope with Even Evil Has Standards, Jimmy Aleister of Code:Realize acknowledges how he is so unfathomably evil and twisted that the most hardened and depraved killers were themselves horrified at glimpsing his true nature.
  • Fate/stay night: The Shadow that appears in the Heaven's Feel storyline has such ominous powers that it creeps out even the servants, extremely powerful spirits themselves. However, even this nightmare flees in terror when faced with Gilgamesh. When it actually manages to devour him, it immediately breaks him down to magical energy, fearing that he could take control from the inside.
  • The Big Bad from Dies Irae, Reinhard, is a man said to have been born in the wrong universe and is so unreasonably powerful and has such an overwhelming presence that anyone who faces him can't help but shake in their boots, even those that are honest to goodness monsters themselves. He is just in a different league. Mercurius meanwhile tend to cause a different kind of fear in those same individuals. Instead of a fear based on awe, it is one based on hatred and disgust born from just how odd his entire existance is, like he is detached from the very fabric of reality in both body and spirit.

    Web Animation 

  • User Friendly has strips about Cthulhu being scared/bothered/worried/amazed about mundane things such as the RIAA's tactics, finance and accounting, etc.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Mort's duties involve getting people frightened. But this girl is really scary. And this one is just that sneaky.
    • And then there's Zimmy, who even freaks out Reynardine, a body-snatching demon, enough that he won't voluntarily touch anything that belongs to her.
      • And Zimmy is herself freaked out by Kat. This is what Kat looks like to her.
  • In Homestuck, the Lovecraftian Horrorterrors turn out to be terrified of something that's killing them, and their horrifying communications are pleas for help.
    • The Horrorterrors themselves terrify the trolls, a culture of violent psychopathic Proud Warrior Race Guys, to the point of sleeplessness.
  • Malory from Head Trip is plain Ax-Crazy whenever any deserving target is in sight. However, Twilight scares her reliably.
  • Girl Genius:
    • The Other, the genocidal entity that wiped out major parts of Europe and created Mad Science monstrosities of every stripe, is afraid of the mere mention of the name Barry Heterodyne.
    • The Jägergenerals, massive Lightning Bruisers, are absolutely terrified of the Dreen.
    • On that note, we have the fight between Gil and General Vole conclude with Vole baffled by how it seems Gil wants to die at his hands.
      Gil: No, no! I want you to try! After all, I have to show that I'm strong enough to rule the Empire! We'll make it a game: "Who's the scariest monster?!"
      Vole: Urg... mebbe hyu could just keel me instead?
      Gil: Oh, no! Just think how impressive it will be when word gets out - that I keep a pet Jäger around to attack me - just to keep me sharp!
    • Apparently, at some point in the past, Old Heterodynes meddled with time itself, but while doing this they discovered something that terrified even them, the worst Spark overlords that the whole continent trembled before. They turned their back on all the power they could possibly gain because of this. Turns out, that thing was also the Dreen. The novels are clearer on this: everybody is scared witless of the Dreen: the Other, Wasps, Jägers, the Pirates...
    • And something worse than that may be coming, now that the original incident that revealed that something has been replicated in an even worse fashion. When Castle Heterodyne gets a good look at what exactly is coming from the new rift caused by the Baron stopping time, it starts screaming. Sure, the Dreen were dozens and had hats, but they were much smaller than whatever is coming this time.
  • Amazing Super Powers in the Ghosts Of Christmas episode.
  • Daughter of the Lilies: Whatever protagonist Thistle's face looks like, it's enough to send one of the cannibalistic night elves running away in panic. There's a reason she always wears a hood. It turns out the Cave Elf was just horrified that he had attacked and tried to eat a fellow Cave Elf — a female one at that (Cave Elves have a matriarchal society).
  • The Sanity Circus: When Safeguarde spirits are summoned, even the Scarecrows become afraid.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, the main threat in the Death World Forbidden Zone that the main characters are exploring are Plague Zombie monsters that mutated from humans (trolls) and animals (beasts). Later in the story, they start running into ghosts that are a danger to all living beings. Chapter 10 showed that animals sharing space with ghosts tend to avoid the rooms in which they dwell. Chapter 12 shows that trolls that roam in an Abandoned Hospital with a ghost-room avoid the place as well.
  • In Ow, my sanity, "Nancy" is a Humanoid Abomination, who discovered fear at the hands of the art building's manager.
  • Boyfriend of the Dead: A Zombie Apocalypse happens, turning most of Tokyo into an undead wasteland. The zombies view the humans as nothing but food — that is until they meet Alex. Alex is an ordinary girl who wants to go shopping now that there are no crowds. She kills over a hundred zombies without breaking a sweat, to the point that she befriends a couple of them because they're so little threat to her it doesn't occur to her to be scared. The zombies, on the other hand, see her as a horrifying monster and flee from her whenever they can. At least a few zombies regain their sanity out of sheer terror.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: The multiverse is split into 7 parts, each ruled by one of the seven Demiurges, including a decadent witch queen, a titanic dragon banker, an eldritch abomination made of worms, a kung-fu god-king, a master of dreams, and an all-knowing corpse entombed in glass. All of them powerful enough to rule one-seventh of the multiverse, all of them deathly afraid of the last Demiurge, a nigh-invulnerable warlord zealot dead set on destroying all existence.
    • Also Zoss. Incubus is understandably scared when Zoss shows up in the same dream as he's visiting. Zoss is the one who used to rule all the multiverse before vanishing without a trace, allowing the demiurges split it between themselves.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: Scarlet’s demon form is powerful enough to scare Brook badly, far more than he would like to admit. It’s implied he would much rather ignore her than risk her going out of control again.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation:
    • The Foundation's attempts to pit living SCPs against SCP-682 in a bid to destroy it usually leave 682 alive but injured and the other SCP utterly terrified of 682. SCP-173 is noteworthy because it is the only thing that 682 fears.
    • SCP-1730 is a Foundation site from an alternate reality where they had a merger with the GOC and became something utterly horrifying, becoming endlessly worse than the monsters they fought. In our reality Bobble the Clown is some kind of signal-born abomination that has been meddling with humanity from the start and now teaches children murder and violence through a brainwashing TV show the Foundation has to contain. In this alternate site, he was one of the "lucky ones" who was merely locked up and experimented with, and is still a mangled, crippled, and utterly traumatized survivor, who witnessed atrocities so huge burning an entire alternate dimension to the ground and salting the ashes was just the start.
  • Trevor Henderson's monster Cartoon Cat is only one of many monsters he depicts in his artwork, but according to him, all the others are so terrified of it that they actively avoid the dirt mall it's trapped in "if they know what's good for them".

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • While the main objective of the gang in the Scooby-Doo franchise is to capture the horrifying villain, sometimes they do so by horrifying them, like for example with a witch doctor seeing his reflection in a mirror.
  • Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy frequently scares off demons and the like with her terrifying aura. One even asks Grim, "is she one of ours?"
    • Mandy herself is on the receiving end of this trope in Big Boogey Adventure, when she comes face-to-face with her worst fear—a future where she becomes a perky, kindhearted housewife... to Irwin.
    Mandy: (very shaken) You're not me! Y-You can't be me! I'm supposed to do something important!
    "Future Mandy": Nothing is more important than friendship! Except maybe LOVE! (jumps into "future Irwin's" arms and kisses him)
    Mandy: (screams)
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In the final part of Sozin's Comet, subtitled "Avatar Aang", we get to see the most terrifying tyrant in a world with Elemental Powers get thrown about like a ragdoll and desperately try to flee from a 12 year old child.
  • In The Legend of Korra, Zaheer is generally established as a massive threat, even before getting his airbending. The third season finale shows him flying away for his life from an enraged Avatar Korra.
  • Bugs Bunny
    • In the short "Hair-Raising Hare", Bugs tells the monster Gossamer who's been pursuing him that he's being watched by the audience. The monster says "People!", screams, and turns and runs through a series of walls.
    • Bugs pulls this again in "Herr Meets Hare" when he surrenders himself to "Fatso" Goering and is presented to Adolf Hitler. Both of them are freaked out by Bugs dressed up as Josef Stalin.
    • One short has a shivering great white shark jump out of the water and cling to a pole for dear life at the sight of Taz the Tasmanian Devil.
  • In the episode "Ultimate Deadpool" of Ultimate Spider-Man there is only one person that the dreaded Taskmaster is afraid of: the merc with a mouth himself, Deadpool. This is likely due to a Logical Weakness carried over from the comics; Taskmaster relies heavily on the ability to instantly memorize an opponent's fighting style, but Deadpool is so unpredictable that he never fights the same way twice.
  • The Classic Disney Short "Lonesome Ghosts": Ghosts call Mickey, Donald, and Goofy (who are ghost exterminators) and spend the rest of the cartoon scaring them. Then the three fall in the basement and end up covered in molasses and flour. The ghosts take one look at them, scream "Ghosts!" and run away.
    Donald: So you can't take it, you big sissies!
  • On the Reboot episode "Wizards, Warriors and a Word From Our Sponsor", Mike The TV defeats the evil Bob clone by showing him The Commercial Channel—"All Commercials, All The Time—An Eternity of Useless Products To Rot Your Skeevy Little Mind Forever!" The Evil Bob screams in terror and runs away frantically.
  • In the Wacky Races episode "Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist", Dastardly lures the other racers into a Ghost Town, where he plans to scare them by dressing as a Bedsheet Ghost. It turns out that the town really is haunted, and its resident ghosts send several of the racers running away screaming. It might have gone on working if they hadn't tried to scare the Gruesome Twosome and their dragon.
  • Monster Clown Zombozo from Ben 10's first series. Ben shows him what's underneath Ghostfreak's cowl, and he explodes.
    Ghostfreak: You want to see something really scary?
    • In the reboot, Vilgax panics when Ben unlocks Shock Rock, since the alien is a Batman Gambit from the Fulmini Empire to invade Earth through the Omnitrix.
    • In Omniverse, Vilgax comes to earth to challenge Ben only to turn tail and leave at the sight of Ma Vreedle.
  • Wakfu:
    • Rubilax in full rampage mode stops dead on his tracks at the mere sight of Goultard (and tries to inconspicuously slither away while in the body of a giant worm — hilarious).
    • Episode 21 of season 2 pretty much has a Benny Hill Show sketch of this trope where the girls are being chased by some monster, only for that monster and the girls to be fleeing from another bigger monster, and so on for about five different monsters.
  • Aaahh!!! Real Monsters:
    • Ickis has a record of scaring other monsters. And one grizzly bear. Being able to grow to tremendous size certainly helps.
    • The Gromble was terrified of a human he called the Sewer Eater (a plumber) when the man was cleaning toilets.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, the Joker is not afraid of the Dark Knight, but he would never ever dare cross the IRS.
    • He also screams for Batman when Charlie Collins, whom he spent most of the episode terrorizing, threatens to blow them both up with a bomb and calls the man crazy. Granted, that's because Charlie guessed (correctly) that the Joker would hate dying "next to some miserable little nobody".
    • And when he crosses paths with The Creeper, he infamously exclaims "He's a lunatic!" to Batman himself.
    • At the beginning of "Lock-Up". the Scarecrow escapes from Arkham, not for any particular plot but because he's that terrified of the title character.
  • Heloise from Jimmy Two-Shoes has terrified Lucius on a few occasions.
  • In the Mixels episode "Mixel Moon Madness", The Infernites and the Orbitons scaring off the Glowkies by using their cubits to mix which causing them to flee and goes back inside the cave.
  • The Angry Beavers: Evidently, sapient evil rivers are just as scared of heights as normal people are, as Norbert and Daggett exploit in "A Dam Too Far".
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The Flying Dutchman runs away terrified at the end of the first Halloween special when SpongeBob reveals his enhanced Halloween costume. He has a similar reaction in the second when he enters SpongeBob's mind and sees a overly saccharine world that looks like a drug trip on sugar.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: One short has Dexter taking lessons from Dee Dee to "loosen up" after Dee Dee gave him a well-deserved speech about how much he's wasting his life, locked in his lab. The "final test" of her lessons is him cutting loose on the lab (to "remove his earthly connections" on the Zen sense)... and he becomes such a demented savage during this "cutting loose" that Dee Dee (who had so repeatedly trashed the lab herself For the Lulz that she had become Dexter's idea of what a Person of Mass Destruction was like) becomes seriously scared of Dexter and slaps him back to his senses, and then tearfully tells him that she regrets trying to change him.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • In "The Fight", a Tyrannosaurus rex tells Gumball that his mom is pretty scary.
    • In "The Sale", Gumball and his brother Darwin attack their mom with demonic faces and voices because she said their neighbor could be replaced by anyone else.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "Frenemies", Chrysalis is climbing a mountain, when she finds herself stalked by eyes gazing from the darkness. She turns around and screeches at them, causing the monsters and the darkness to whimper and flee.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Darth Maul has already proven himself to be quite the badass. But when he senses Darth Sidious arriving, he looks terrified and almost grovels.
  • Parodied in a Season 1 Rick and Morty episode. The two are basically attempting to pull off the plot of Inception when they encounter "Scary Terry", a dream monster obviously based on Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. The two manage to evade Terry, then follow him home where he's having a bad dream. They wonder what could scare a guy like Terry... and it turns out to be a "Not Wearing Pants" Dream combined with Terry failing in school.
  • South Park has the Woodland Critters — a bunch of chipper Ridiculously Cute Critters... who worship Satan and hold blood orgies. When they make their second appearance in the "Imagination Land" arc alongside iconic villains, we get this line.
    Jason: Man, I do not want to meet the kid that dreamt those things up.
  • Implied in the Gravity Falls episode "Sock Opera", when Bill Cipher addresses Mabel's rather large and muscular female friend "Grendo" saying out of her earshot:
    "Oh, I'LL hold my horses...I'LL hold monster."
  • In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Misadventures in Babysitting", Luigi scares away two Boo Diddleys who attempted to scare him first.
  • The whole premise of Ernest Le Vampire is that the titular character (who is quite a disturbing-looking hybrid of a vampire and an elephant) is tormented and terrorized by all kinds of nightmarish things. All the time they are literally nightmarish as they are bad dreams that ruin his sleep and make him close his coffin.
  • In Steven Universe White Diamond is scary enough to frighten even Blue and Yellow Diamond.
  • In the Beast Wars episode "Bad Spark", Rampage manages to get a scream of terror out of Tarantulas.
  • One Halloween Three Shorts episode of Tiny Toon Adventures had Elmyra wishing for her dead pets to come back to life, which they do as vengeance-seeking zombies because she's responsible for every single one of their deaths. Unfortunately, Elmyra is so destructive when trying to "take care" of them that they decide to run back to their graves while they are still intact and (un)alive to do so.
  • Wander over Yonder: In "The Heebie Jeebies", Wander is afraid to enter a dark and spooky forest, warning Sylvia there might be "a Frankenstein" in there. Just as Sylvia tries to assure Wander, a Frankenstein's Monster comes running out of the forest, screaming in terror, and yells "Forest bad!" as he runs over the horizon.
  • Ducktales 2017: During the Halloween Episode, the triplets and Webby end up in a haunted house run by actual monsters in order to steal children's candy. Then Launchpad shows up, wearing a hockey mask and wielding an ACTUAL buzzsaw, and is honestly on the warpath due to not knowing what Halloween is. The monsters end up running through their own haunted house terrified out of their wits, more so when they run into Della, Donald, and Scrooge (the former two they mistake for Creepy Twins, and the latter breaking through a door in a "Here's Johnny!" Homage). Once the misunderstanding is cleared up at the end, they thank Launchpad for the good scare, saying they hadn't had that kind of a rush in years.
    Witch: Bravo! You black-hearted devil!
    Vampire: I haven't felt so undead in centuries!
    Frankenstein's Monster: We learn from you.
    Werewolf: Evil Mechanic is the true master of Halloween.
  • In season 2 finale of Amphibia a pair of notorious villains Sasha and Grime has just successfully betrayed the heroes, took over a kingdom, and arguably reached their lowest point, at least morally. Then they discover a hidden mural that makes them realize the king Andrias was not a good person at all and his plans are uncomfortable even for them.
    Sasha: Woah… Is that the king? With the music box?

    Real Life 
  • The main reason for the existence of gargoyles on churches is that they are so terrifying, they frighten off demons and evil spirits.
    • On a similar note, this trope is also the theory behind exorcism: which is why creepy masks and such are often part of the ritual.
  • This is what spawned the tradition of dressing up for All Hallow's Eve (a.k.a. Halloween), as the costumes were meant to confuse or scare potential monsters away from the festivities.
  • Sharks are known to migrate and stay out of waters where they have spotted orcas (which have been known to attack and kill sharks, including adult great whites) roaming in. In one case, after orcas killed a great white off the California coast, another radio-tracked great white that normally hung around the area took off to Hawai'i. However, Orca-preyed sharks are understood to have been quite young. As noted on the page for Orca: The Killer Whale, Orca have been known to avoid dense great white population.
  • Honey badgers have been known to chase lions and leopards away from their kills.
  • In cold climates, it's wolverines that hold off bears or whole packs of wolves to retain possession of a scavenged carcass.
  • Golden eagles will take on wolverines, honey badgers, bears, and wolves.
  • Any time an animal frightens a human. Humans are top tier predators, and everywhere we go, we tend to drive out or kill every other apex predator. And yet humans are often frightened of any number of animals, including many, such as most varieties of spiders, that cannot hurt us at all. Zig-Zagged since not all humans are equally capable or willing to do damage and not everyone is scared of harmless things. Also certain animals and plants are genuinely dangerous for humans.
  • Gustave is a giant, vicious man-eating Nile crocodile who is known to strike fear in even hippopotamuses, some of the most aggressive and powerful animals in Africa.
  • Britain was never invaded in World War II. Why is this? Well, one of the reasons could be because Adolf Hitler is reported to have once described Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, as "the most dangerous woman in Europe".
    • Even some Nazis found the Rape of Nanjing horrifying. John Rabe — a German businessman and Nazi party member — was one of the key figures in setting up the Nanjing Safety Zone at the height of the massacre and tried to save as many civilians as possible from rampaging soldiers. Rabe wrote to Hitler, expecting him to intervene if he knew, but the Gestapo intercepted the letter and arrested Rabe. They eventually released him but forbade him to mention the atrocities again.
    • The notorious Oskar Dirlewanger was nearly sentenced for war crimes, stripped of rank and imprisoned after an investigation by an SS judge. This didn't stop Himmler from employing him at the head of a penal battalion, however.
    • Some Gestapo agents complained to Himmler the Ustase were behaving in a "bestial manner" against Serbs.
  • Britain's most violent prisoner, Michael Peterson, a.k.a. Charles Bronson, a.k.a. Charles Salvador, once sat in the cell next to serial killer Robert Maudsley. Peterson was a carnival strongman prior to his sentence and is still a mountain of a man even though he's pushing seventy. He requested to have his cell changed because Maudsley freaked him out.
  • Many tactics for repelling dangerous animals rely on the human horrifying the animal, even though said animal could quickly get very aggressive and seemingly effortlessly turn the human into bloody frappé in few enough seconds. Bear Bangers are harmless but effective at scaring off bears, and scaring off a cougar involves opening one's jacket and/or standing on someone else's shoulders to look big enough to scare it out of attacking. Examples could fill this entire page.
  • Yellowjackets are widely feared, and for good reason. But they're terrified of Asian giant hornets, to the point of abandoning their nests if just one is detected nearby. Considering how much damage the hornets can do to bee and wasp hives even when outnumbered by thousands to one, this reaction is entirely justified.
  • An official title given to St. Joseph by the Catholic Church is "Terror of Demons".


Video Example(s):


Dokken to Freddy Krueger

In the music video to the Dokken song "Dream Warrior" (a tie-in song to the third Nightmare on Elm Street movie), Dokken manages to scare away Freddy with the power of music, Freddy waking with a fright as though he was having a nightmare.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / HorrifyingTheHorror

Media sources:

Main / HorrifyingTheHorror