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Last Note Nightmare

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So you're listening to a nice, pleasant song about bunnies and rainbows and running in the rain with your best lover by your side. Then the final note of the song falls and, instead of a nice soft resolution, it's a heavily played Sting note in a minor Scare Chord. Then the music fades into a series of dissonant arpeggios with a creepy mechanical voice muttering some nonsensical gibberish that sounds like Satan reciting an Edgar Allan Poe story. It's surely not the ending you expected this particular song to have — and if you happen to be really unlucky, it'll burrow into your mind playing itself over and over like some self-regenerating Nightmare Fuel. Musicians most likely put these kinds of stingers at the ends of their songs to make them memorable. They may even have been intended as humorous, showing that the artists don't take themselves too seriously.

Last Note Nightmare can be very comparable to a Jump Scare, especially of the Screamer Prank variety. The opposite of a Last Note Nightmare is Last Note Hilarity.

(Music geeks might be interested to note that there is an opposite technique, the "Picardy third," or "Tierce de Picardie" in which when a song that has been in minor the whole time goes into major on the very last chord.) Compare HA HA HA—No and Dark Reprise.


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Artists with their own page:


  • Madonna's "Act of Contrition" from Like a Prayer." While the whole song is pretty ominous, the last four seconds will make you jump out of your seat.note 
    • The end of "Hollywood" consists of a heavily synthesised, androgynous voice saying Push the button!/Don't push the button! which gradually slows down as the background music fades and becomes a contorted, almost demonic mess.
  • Here's an inversion of the trope: Michael Jackson's "Another Part of Me" from Bad begins with an Ominous Pipe Organ note, but becomes a normal MJ song after that.
    • The singles "Dirty Diana" and the much more well-known "Smooth Criminal", both from Bad begin with similar noises. The video for the former ends with this noise, which acts as a very effective soundtrack to the video's Downer Ending.
    • "Stranger In Moscow" from HIStory: Past, Present, and Future -- Book I, a slow, moody ballad, ends with a man whispering menacingly in Russian over the end. Chills right up the spine. Allegedly this is a KGB agent interrogating us. The liner notes for Michael's album Blood on the Dance Floor: History in the Mix give a translation: "Why have you come from the West? Confess! To steal the great achievements of the people, the accomplishments of the workers..."
    • "Thriller" famously ends with the chilling Evil Laughter of Vincent Price. Brrr. Especially when combined with the twist ending of its music video.
  • The Carpenters' version of "Superstar" has a morose and unsettling resolution.
  • Carly Simon's "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be", already a rather dark and cynical song, ends with her voice echoing off very eerily.
  • The last part of Lara Fabian's "Une Ave Maria" is particularly creepy. While it could be argued that the sound fits considering the theme is Lara teaching young children about violence in history, it still doesn't change the fact that the last part of the song is incredibly creepy. In fact, watching the video only adds to the dread the song makes you feel.
  • Scissor Shock's surprisingly accessible "Ex-Coroner's Laugh, Part 1."
  • Inverted with the extended mix of Simple Minds song "Jungleland". It starts out with heavy breathing with starts getting louder, and louder, AND LOUDER! The rest of the song is just awesome though.
    • Played straight with "Murder Story," the last song on their first album. The sudden ending is quite jarring and makes listening to their second album even creepier.
  • Somehow by Drake Bell is ostensibly about a battered wife who eventually decides she's had enough, weighs her husband down and throws him into the lake, and is now pondering how to cover it all up. This is creepy enough, but the slow, dark, acoustic guitar-y song ends with a snippet off cheerful piano music, which suggested that the woman snapped entirely and is now in a state of cheerful, giggling insanity.
  • The end of "Pleasant Valley Sunday" by The Monkees is pretty unnerving. At the end, the cheerful harmonies blur into a fuzzy, echoing, almost unrecognizable cacophony. Scary indeed, if you've never heard it before.
  • "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat and Tears is a fairly mellow jazz-rock fusion song, often used as an example of the genre. However, after the lyrics end comes a Last Note Nightmare that spans a quarter of the song. The music continues repetitively but is interrupted - twice - by some frankly demented carnival music. On the third interruption, the carnival music mixes with the "normal" music and slowly overwhelms it before grinding to a halt (at which point the band members can be heard chuckling and admitting that "That wasn't too good.") Can also lead to Fridge Brilliance if one only then realizes that the 'spinning wheel' is a merry-go-round.
  • Dave "Not The One From Eurythmics" Stewart and Barbara Gaskin have two notable examples.
    • Busy Doing Nothing is a quirky, happy song, but immediately after the final lyric, when the song sounds like it should end, it suddenly segues into a minor chord and a sound resembling a ticking clock, with a children's choir softly repeating the final line.
    • More noticeably, Trash Planet is a chaotic but upbeat song, with a bit of social commentary about pollution, but at the end, the key abruptly changes, a high-pitched whistle occurs, and then the piece gradually collapses into a random cluster of noise and the sounds of people coughing/vomiting. After about half a minute of this, there is suddenly an explosion, and then in the silence, a childlike voice says "Bye-bye!"
  • Tears for Fears: The chorus of "Sorry" is pretty serene, but ends with the line "Cut off my nose to spite my face". The last time Orzabal sings this, he repeats this as his voice and the backing instrumentation are increasingly pitch-shifted. Then some of the words are dropped from repetitions: "Cut, spite, face", then finally just "Cut". This segues straight into "Humdrum and Humble".
  • "Cry" by Godley & Creme. A low-key, mournful Motown-ish ballad that ends with a Fake-Out Fade-Out, followed by a few falsetto iterations of "CRYYYYYYYYYY!!" digitally treated to be successively, inhumanly high. The well-known video for the song lampshaded this, and it even made Beavis And Butthead jump out of their skin.
  • Marina Diamandis: "Fear and Loathing" is already a rather uncanny song compared to the rest of the album, and it ends with a muffled female voice singing an eerie tune with indiscernible lyrics. (For some possible Nightmare Retardant, it’s actually a recording of Marina’s grandmother singing a lullaby in Greek).
  • "American Kids" by That Poppy ends with her singing the title over and over, each time getting more distorted. If you listen close enough you can hear some ominous chanting, too. After that, it ends normally with an echo.
  • The Kelly Clarkson song "Yeah." At about the 2:25 mark, the song briefly halts. The chorus is then played a half-key lower for the remaining thirty seconds. It's creepy because it's just so out of the ordinary (thus also making this a Mind Screw).
  • Inverted and played straight with "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright, which opens and closes the relatively calm song with an ominous synth drone. At the time, this wouldn't have seemed ominous but simply an audio version of a Dream Sequence dissolve.
  • An unexpectedly tense chord, accompanied by vocal harmonies, ends the otherwise gorgeously sunshiny Power Ballad "Cherish" by The Association.
  • Thy Slaughter's "Bronze", released through PC Music. The song itself follows PC's trademark quirky bubblegum pop style but abruptly finishes with a startling, distorted voice saying "THY SLAUGHTERRRRRR".
  • Kero Kero Bonito's "Only Acting". What begins as a fairly standard indie-pop song eventually devolves into a mess of distortion, audio glitches, and frightening screams. It's a far cry from the band's usual whimsical sound and aesthetic.
  • "Be With Me" by The Beach Boys, ends with a single violin, which plays in an extremely eerie way, as a blood-curdling scream can be heard faintly in the background as the song fades out.
  • "Deploy" by Jack Stauber abruptly ends with a glitchy-sounding cacophony then glass breaking.

  • John Lennon's solo song "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama" (from the Imagine album) sounds like Lennon was inspired by the swampy trance blues of Dr. John the Night Tripper, and then laid on a heavy-duty "wall of sound." It starts out sounding like an antiwar protest song, but the lyrics dissolve into surreal wordplay as the reverbing music attempts to dissolve your mind, dissolve itself into sonic chaos. Finally, that weird electronic last note nightmare is like a signature, as if to say: From the people who brought you "Revolution 9."
  • "Who Was in My Room Last Night?" by Butthole Surfers ends with a long drawn-out guitar chord complete with crackling in the background that makes it sound like your speakers are about to die.
  • Fall Out Boy: The song "American Beauty/American Psycho" starts out with an ominous xylophone-like noise and then jumps to the upbeat pop-punk song, only to end with the same evil-sounding noise in the beginning. In a way, the ominous portion in the end and beginning can be thought of the psychotic portion, while the upbeat rock section that takes up most of the song is the beauty.
    • The nightmare is slightly reduced when you notice the noise's bizarre similarity to the Beanie Boys chant in ChalkZone.
    • From the same band, there's also "20 Dollar Nose Bleed". The song by itself is a textbook example of Lyrical Dissonance, being a catchy song about a drug-addicted Shell-Shocked Veteran, so what other way to end it than having Pete Wentz rapping some Word Salad Lyrics out of the blue just after the cheerful music stops and when the song had seemingly ended?
  • MikeOldfield: The Scottish martial "Bagpipe Guitars" tune from side 2 of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" ends with a last note nightmare consisting of overdubbed layers of angry electric guitars ascending and cascading. This is backed by Concert Tympani, a crashing angry grand piano, and at least one electric guitar screaming like a girl. This all leads into the even angrier NightmareFuel of "The Caveman Song".
  • On Panic! At the Disco's album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, there is the track "Intermission". It begins with some techno music, which abruptly cuts into static, and a voice akin to a radio announcer telling that due to uncontrolled circumstances, the dance music would have to be replaced with a piano song. Pretty normal, as the piano keeps playing. Toward the end, however, the music begins to break down and become rather loud and very discordant, and quite a bit unsettling.
    • Also more Fridge Brilliance, all the songs before "Intermission" are fairly standard synth-emo-power pop songs occasionally with some literary flavor. Everything after "Intermission" has a swinging cabaret feel.
  • The All-American Rejects song "Dirty Little Secret" is an upbeat pop-punk song, but it ends with a stretched-out guitar note that gets more sour-sounding the more it goes on until it just dies.
  • Blue Öyster Cult:
    • The Michael Moorcock-penned Black Blade, The Elric Saga set to music, ends with the evil sword Stormbringer boasting its evil in an unearthly metallic voice. Most listeners miss the very faint last line:
      You poor fucking humans!
    • "Flaming Telepaths" has about a dozen repetitions of the song's chorus "And the joke's on you!" during the outro. Then, after a final "And the joke-", the song stops dead. Not so much frightening as it is a "WTF just happened?!" moment - but definitely startling if you're hearing it for the first time (or any time, if you keep losing track of the repetitions).
    • They use this with telling effect on the LP Secret Treaties, where eight progressively sinister and moody tracks (ranging from the Lovecraftian Astronomy and Sub Human, through the suspected paedophilia of Dominance and Submission and the teen-on-the-edge-of-going-Columbine Cagey Cretin) are linked with keyboard effects made to sound like a nursery room music box - together with distortion...
  • The Rolling Stones' "She's A Rainbow" from Their Satanic Majesties Request has a good driving beat, Mick sings the praises of a girl who dresses up in colors, underlined with a cheerfully inane 'la la la' chorus, he alternates verses with a sprightly Baroque piano playing the tune...then it ends with strings in a shrill chittering discord with a low-end chord of doom under it bursting through everything else!
    • "Cool, Calm, and Collected" on their Between the Buttons album has a jolly, jaunty music-hall vibe to it - then after the last verse, the beat starts quickening, slowly at first, getting more and more reckless as the piano gets more and more frantic until it all collapses into a big reverberating noise.
  • "Nutted by Reality" by Nick Lowe starts off as a tongue-in-cheek song about "castrating Castro," parodying the sound of The Jackson 5. It then shifts tone a minute later and takes up the rest of the duration as a tongue-in-cheek song set to stream-of-consciousness lyrics about "living in a different world but [being] nutted by reality," parodying the sound of Paul McCartney & Wings. A twangy, country-style guitar solo follows, but instead of leading into an upwards key change and a reiteration of the song's chorus (as years of formulaic pop songwriting have taught us to expect), simply trails off into nothingness.
  • "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam from Ten takes a twist after the final chorus, with a series of slow, agonizing(and depressing) vocal phrases, made even scarier by the "spoke in, spoke in" background vocals, ending with an abrupt scream, after which the song winds down with a tired "uh-huh" vocal section, finally fading to melancholy acoustic guitar. This is supposed to symbolize Jeremy's descent to insanity and death. The music video makes it even worse.
    • With Release, around the six-minute mark, the song segues into a reprise of the album's cacophonic intro.
  • The CD release of Patti Smith's Horses ends with a cover of "My Generation." It's loud, all right, but it appears to stop... only to end on a note a good twenty decibels louder than anything else on the album.
  • "Disturbance" by The Move switches from being a fairly energetic pop-rock to a mix of ominous guitar and theremin playing, creepy background chanting, and the singer snarling, grunting, and screaming unintelligibly. It doesn't help that the song seems to be about the singer questioning his own sanity at various points in his life.
  • "I Ain't Got No Heart To Give Away", from Frank Zappa and the Mothers' Freak Out! is a Subversion. It cuts suddenly to a scream and a weird jumble of instruments, only to return with a triumphant horn blast.
    • Though Zappa also used it straight. "The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny" from We're Only in It for the Money is a nightmarish track that should be understood within the context of Franz Kafka's In The Penal Colony and closes the album. The Title Track of Weasels Ripped My Flesh is a monotone Scare Chord of one dissonant note which closes off the album. Then it is revealed that this piece was performed live, as we hear some people booing, others applauding and Zappa closing off the show. The Perfect Stranger ends with "Jonestown", a haunting instrumental piece inspired by the mass suicide of the members of Jim Jones' cult.
  • David Bowie gives us several examples.
  • Inverted Trope in the Nick Cave song "The Curse of Millhaven", which begins with a cacophony of screams, keyboards, and pounding drums before the actual song kicks in.
  • Alice Cooper is fond of this trope.
    • For most of its length, "Wind Up Toy" is remarkably perky and upbeat for a song following up on the earlier album Welcome To My Nightmare and about the attempts of the deranged Steven to understand his incarceration in a mental institution and the turn his life has taken through a distorted, childish lens... then comes the ending, where everything cuts out except the broken music box, while a strange, distorted, childish voice goes into a deranged rant, followed by a distant, quiet female voice calling out "Steven!"
    • "They come here every night...I see them, don't you see them? Hm, that's odd, isn't it? You seem tired...winding down...YOU HAVE TO GO NOW IT'S BEDTIME"
    • "School's Out" uses a gimmick very similar to the one in "War Pigs." Where the end of the song fades out sounding exactly like an 8-track tape being chewed up. Imagine how scary that must have sounded to a fella who just bought the new Coop' album back in the '70s.
    • The album Killer ends with a mock execution, with its final seconds sounding like an electric chair being activated.
  • Would you believe "Wonderwall" by Oasis? After the vocals are done, the song segues into a beautiful lush strings-and-piano piece and ends with a few acoustic guitar chords with birds chirping in the background. But between these two pleasant interludes, the piano fades, leaving the violin and bass viola to hold one last note. And then even the bass stops, leaving a single violin note which gets less and less melodic until it finally climaxes with a hideous, almost voice-like "BLLLLLEEEEEAAAAAGGHHHH" sound. If you're not expecting it, it's a real Penultimate Note Nightmare.
  • Led Zeppelin:
    • "Thank You", their "bloody wedding song", does this. After the final chorus, all instruments cut out except for the organ, which keeps playing the same relative cheery part, joined every few measures by a solitary guitar chord. After a Fake-Out Fade-Out, the organ comes back but slower, ending on a slightly ominous held note that makes the chord over it seem ominous as well.
    • Inverted by "In the Evening", which begins with about 10-15 seconds of ominous guitar bendsnote  over a synth background along with mysterious thunder/growl soundsnote  The song then goes into its rockin' main riff.
  • The nightmarish strings at the end of Supertramp's "If Everyone Was Listening", from Crime Of The Century.
  • Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed is 64 minutes of nothing but a Last Note Nightmare.
    • The track "The Bed" from album Berlin is a dream-like song with a final moment of pure nightmare.
      • To elaborate, the song is about the fate of one of the main characters of Berlin, and is written through the POV of her boyfriend. The song is eerie and desolate, with Lou Reed describing (in his signature monotonous half-spoken, half-sung tone) the actions in the apartment in Berlin that they resided in:
      This is the place where she lay her head
      When she went to bed at night
      And this is the place our children were conceived
      Candles lit the room at night
      And this is the place where she cut her wrists
      That odd and fateful night
      And I said, "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling"
      And I said, "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling"
      • After each chorus, a Creepy Child choir that is practically drenched in reverb sings the "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling" part. In the last chorus, the choir sings with Lou. After the last chorus, everything drops out, and the choir is still holding the last note which slowly dissolves into a cacophony of dissonant, reverberated, eerie moaning and wailing.
    • What about "The Kids", also from "Berlin", another quiet song that in this case ends with the voices of children hollering for their mother, sounding for all the world like they have just been told she is not coming home ... ever. According to legend Bob Ezrin brought his own kids into the studio, told them their mother had been killed in an accident, and rolled tape. Though he himself denied the story and said the children just were able to cry on command very convincingly.
  • The Who:
    • "Tommy's Holiday Camp" from Tommy is a fun, commercial-like jingle welcoming visitors to the cult of the Pinball Wizard himself, sung cheerfully by his sexual predator uncle, Ernie. At the end of the song, Ernie decides he'll exclaim "Welcome!", but, deviating from the happy tone of the rest of the song, does so in a scratchy and ominous voice.
    • "I've Had Enough" gets bonus points for being the last note heard on the first disc of 'Quadrophenia; out of nowhere comes a loud, distraught "LOOOOOOOOOOVE", which fades into cacophonous dockside noise and a police siren. This sound depicts the lead character, Jimmy, crashing his scooter.
    • "Baba O'Riley" from Who's Next can be this too. The fiddle track, already playing at a pretty frantic pace, becomes an almost panicked, discordant mess in the song's final moments. Unnerving if you've never heard it before (or are only familiar with it via CSI: NY and haven't heard it all the way to the end).
  • Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel had a 1976 minor hit with "(I Believe) Love's A Prima Donna". The single release's B-side was a pleasant (if slightly queasy) instrumental titled "Sidetrack 1". This track eventually fades down, you think, "well, what a nice if bland little tune"...and THEN, you're suddenly hit with a discordant, teeth-grating, violin/synthesiser sting that sounds like an evil extra-terrestrial has taken control of your stereo. Nasty.
    • Also from them is the song "Ritz". It's not the most cheery tune to begin with, but it has a steady rhythm...until after the final verse, where the music starts to fade away to be replaced by what sounds like a horror movie soundtrack, at the very end of which a barely audible, distorted voice says something that sounds like 'Hello there'.
  • "A Season In Hell (Fire Suite)" by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, off the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack. It's a pretty generic Springsteen-ish tune in a minor key until after the last chorus. Then the guitar line ascends...and ascends...and ascends...and then CRASHES with a deafening low chord accompanied by chimes and bells that sound like glass shattering.
  • Not quite as blatant as many, but the Tom Waits song "Johnsburg, Illinois" from the Swordfishtrombones album. The first minute of the short song is a tender piano piece about a sweetheart, but towards the end of the song there is a missed note, and then a couple; the tune eventually grows into a series of dissonances that make for a somewhat creepy ending.
  • "Fire on High" by Electric Light Orchestra is a FIRST note nightmare. It begins with a Scare Chord, segues into a backmask (intended to parody accusations of Satanic backmasking) that, when played forward, says "The music is reversible, but time is not...turn back, turn back, turn back!" and then builds into Psycho strings...before mellowing into a catchy, toe-tapping jam.
    • Bonus points if you listen to the backmask part knowing what's being said when, and realize the Scare Chord is played right when the voice says "time is not."
    • "Don't Bring Me Down" has a rather haunting echo effect on the final note.
    • "Epilogue", the last song from the Time album, just suddenly stops after a rapid crescendo.
    • "The Diary of Horace Wimp", a cheerful little song about a shy man conquering his fears, dating the girl of his dreams, and finally marrying her, slowly fades into a demonic whisper, repeating "Horace WIMP! Horace WIMP!" until it fades to nothing. Particularly unpleasant if you've never heard the song before.
  • The Rentals have one in the entire last minute of one of their newest songs, "Damaris".
  • The Cherry Poppin' Daddies' album Ferociously Stoned features "The Lifeboat Mutiny", which is mostly mellow, if cynical - but near the end, the song starts breaking down, and a woman's voice starts repeating "please turn off the lights" in the background. It's terrifying.
  • Inverted by the Posies with Coming Right Along, where the tune of the song is a little unnerving but ends with a major chord... However, it's still a sort of Downer Ending because it seems so out of place in the context of the song
  • "Susan" by The Buckinghams. Basically an "I love you, and you don't care" song. It's nice to listen to... Up until about 1:30 when suddenly, you feel like you've been kicked out of the '60s and dropped into Hell... Then pulled back out again, greeted by the cheerful chants of "Love love love love..."
    • This actually touched off a "Louie, Louie"-esque moral panic that got it banned from radio play until a cut version without the psychedelic interlude was released.
  • While The Doors' epic "Not To Touch The Earth" from Waiting For The Sun is already fairly creepy on its own with a low, driving bass and some unsettling imagery ("Dead president's corpse in the driver's car"), the end features the low hum of an organ as Jim Morrison utters, "I am the lizard king. I can do anything." The immediate stinger is a quick bang on the organ.
  • Queen
    • From A Day at the Races, there's "You Take My Breath Away". A nice and slow, sweet and sad song for the most part... it starts getting downright spooky at around 4:42 with a quiet reverb loop that steadily grows louder.
      • The same album brings us "White Man" which ends with a nice, acoustic outro, followed by a LOUD drum beat after a pause.
    • From A Night at the Opera there's "The Prophet's Song". After an already bizarre ending, it breaks to a series of repeated guitar riffs which goes on for quite a few seconds before breaking into a A VERY LOUD CHORD WHICH COMES RIGHT OUT OF THE BLUE.
    • "She Makes Me (Stormtroopers in Stillettoes)" ends with what Brian May describes as "New York nightmare sounds", which consists of heavy breathing and police sirens.
    • "In the Lap of the Gods... Revisited" from the album Sheer Heart Attack. A predecessor to "We Are the Champions", it is a calm 6/8 rock ballad which the audience usually sang along to. The last chorus is disrupted by the sudden sound of... atomic blast. It's WAY louder than the rest of the song. Guaranteed to give you a Sheer Heart Attack when you listen to it for the first time. It is also the last song of the album.
  • Queens of the Stone Age
    • "I Think I Lost My Headache" probably fits the bill. It starts with a slow, kinda creepy riff, gets a little bit more upbeat in the verse and chorus, and right at the end, goes back to the creepy riff. And then, the creepy riff is repeated by wind instruments while the song fades. For 3min. And one of them, the high-pitched one, slowly starts to go offbeat, improvising (or to put it more correctly, sounding like a goddamn screech). A Last Note Nightmare that goes on and on and on and on.
    • "Make It Wit Chu" is a pretty mellow, upbeat song that ends with a series of strange and sinister keyboard notes, which are the main riff from "Era Vulgaris."
  • Motorpsycho's "The One Who Went Away" ends with muffled laughter and a deep voice that says; "and listen, we are here to help you". The way it's said makes it sound more like a threat than anything else.
  • The album version of Lordi's "Blood Red Sandman" ends with the sound of a knife being sharpened.
  • Are You Experienced by Jimi Hendrix can easily classify as psychedelic horror by itself. But eventually the shiver-inducing backmasked guitar, bass, and drums fade into silence with Jimi's meandering solo on top...and then a sharp, blaring guitar chord surges at you and fades out just as suddenly. And it really doesn't help that said chord never sounds the same twice, even though it's the same recording.
    • Also, "Wild Thing" on Jimi Plays Monterey. The song ends with Hendrix setting his guitar on fire and smashing it to pieces - cue howl of feedback as the bits o' Strat burn merrily. Eventually it fades out and goes quiet for a few seconds... and then just when you start relaxing there's a last, impossibly loud shriek as (presumably) someone unplugs what's left of the guitar.
  • Rush has several.
    • Their 20 minute epic "2112", after closing with an upbeat hard rock instrumental, closes with a distorted, ominous voice repeating "ATTENTION ALL PLANETS OF THE SOLAR FEDERATION" and "WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL" three times each. It also inverts this at the beginning, starting with a series of ominous synth sounds.
    • "Cygnus X-1" from A Farewell To Kings, also inverts and plays this straight. It starts with ominous bell tolls mixed with synth sweeps, with a distorted voice on top, before morphing into an upbeat funk rock-infused instrumental. It also has a last note nightmare near the end, as at the end of an already heavy part, Geddy Lee's voice shrieks out "Every nerve is... ''TORN APAAAAAAAAAAART..." leaving just Alex Lifeson's guitar and an ominous pulse fading out.
    • "Natural Science" from Permanent Waves, ends with what sounds like a tidal wave forming.
  • "Child in Time" from Deep Purple in Rock and Made In Japan by Deep Purple ends with eerie groans that build up to screams, some of which sound like someone being murdered, after which the song ends on a dissonant Scare Chord.
  • Subverted by Lucifer by The Alan Parsons Project, which begins with a nightmarish sounding string ditty, followed by rapid morse code. Then the song fades into a typical APP instrumental.
  • "Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues ends with a series of ominous string and brass chords, followed by a loud gong. The album version also includes keyboardist Mike Pinder reading a short, somewhat eerie poem by drummer Graeme Edge near the end of the song.
    • Makes sense in context, although the context is often lost these days. The song and poem was originally the final track on the Days of Future Passed album, and the ending serves as a coda to the entire album. Since only a couple of songs from the album receive any significant airplay now, most people don't know about this.
      • On December 8/9, 1980, this was the last song played on Indianapolis' WFBQ before the midnight ABC Radio Network News break, with the gong smash crossfading into Bob Moon's grim voice; "Shots rang out from the shadows, and the man who became a rock legend in the 1960s fell dead." The station was not on autopilot; that song was chosen deliberately, by Q95's Kristy "Frosty" Lee.
  • "White Hammer" by Van der Graaf Generator is a somewhat cheery-sounding song about The Power of Love, until the last two minutes where it suddenly turns into a nightmarish fight between a saxophone and a church organ. The fact that the song is really about the Spanish Inquisition may explain this.
    • Don't forget "Man-Erg"! Probably the example of a Vd GG song that exemplifies this trope more than any other - starts with a calm, soothing simple piano and organ progression, that suddenly descends into honking cacophonous Saxophone blasts, with Hammil shrieking "HOW CAN I BE FREE? HOW CAN I GET HELP? AM I REALLY ME, OR AM I SOMEONE ELSE??". It soon abruptly changes back to the simple piano, not before long doing pretty much the same thing again. "Lemmings" from the same album (Pawn Hearts) is similar, to a lesser degree. And "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers"?, well...
    • From the same album, the track "After The Flood", after veering from pastoral reflection to skronky jazz-rock, climaxes with Peter Hammill screaming 'Total Annihilatiiiiiiioooooooooon!' through a Dalek voice filter. Beyond nightmarish.
  • The last minute and a half of Pink Floyd's "Bike" from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is made up entirely of discordant mechanical sounds and cartoonish laughter.
    • "Don't Leave Me Now" from the film version of The Wall is an already creepy, if quiet song about Pink's pining for his adulterous wife, alternating between his begging her to come back and threatening her with violence. His desperate singing/screaming is punctuated when his wife's shadow appears on a wall, before morphing into a yonic mantis/snake creature as the song crescendos into the second section with drums, bass, and guitar.
    • "Jugband Blues" from A Saucerful of Secrets finishes with a cacophony of a brass band each playing random notes and background distortions, but then at the very end, it fades out into Syd Barrett softly singing the last few lines in a ghostly voice. Even creepier considering that this essentially marked the tragic end of his unraveling involvement with Pink Floyd. The live version adds visuals that take it straight into horror territory.
    • "Speak to Me" closes with screams (which then segues into the opening of "Breathe").
    • At the other end of the album, "Eclipse" has a subtler version of this trope: the song is in an upbeat major key, with all the repeated lines beginning with "all" or "everything" ... until the very last line, which switches to a minor key for "but the sun is eclipsed by the moon." That's followed by heartbeats like the one the album opened with, but fading out slowly rather than coming closer, and shortly after the song ends a voice in the background says "There's no dark side of the moon, really ... as a matter of fact it's all dark."note 
    • Pink Floyd tends to really like this trope. There's the creepy bridge toward the end of the jolly folksy "The Gnome" from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn ("look at the sky, look at the river, isn't it gooooooood?") and then the maniacal screaming at the end of the somewhat calm "Careful With That Axe, Eugene."
  • The old Cog song "Just Visiting" spools up into increasingly discordant machine noise at the end, culminating in a sound like the Hypnotoad squared. Thirty-odd seconds of silence later, the drummer screams FUCK! as if from the end of a long corridor. And then continues incoherently screaming curses of the "Fucking fuck! Who the fuck? What the fuck? Where the fuck?!" variety, sending the whole thing into possibly-intentional Narmsville. Good song though.
  • Inverted in Todd Rundgren's "Saving Grace", in a similar manner to the Gorillaz example: It's an optimistic slightly jazzy soft-rock song that incongruously starts off with a low bass note and a short burst of slowed down unintelligible Black Speech.
    • Played straight with “Golden Goose,” which ends with a Nightmare Fuel synth squawk.
  • The Mars Volta's song "Asilos Magdalena" begins with a loud, high-pitched guitar and keyboard combo, then segues into a quiet, mournful acoustic ballad. Then in the song's final two minutes, the last verse is sung over and over again while the vocals become increasingly and disturbingly distorted until they're nearly incomprehensible. The general creepiness of the lyrics themselves don't help much, either.
    • There are a number of Mars Volta songs that could fall into this category, especially the first three tracks off of Frances the Mute: "Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus," "The Widow," and "L'Via L'Viaquez." All of these tracks degenerate into creepy distortions at their end, degeneration which involves unnecessary slow-downs of the otherwise pleasant rhythms of the songs while throwing in a few distorted and incomprehensible voices (sometimes speaking in Spanish) for good measure. But the worst is at the end of "L'Via L'Viaquez" when there's nothing left but an electronic distortion where the strong rhythms once were and the demonically-distorted voice of the singer over top, repeating the chorus of the song. Granted, it's not like the Mars Volta normally sings about anything bright and happy or even that understandable.
    • TMV just loves this trope. "Goliath", "Illyena", "Ouroboros", and "Wax Simulacra" all end with noisy freakouts. (Though the last one is a bit more mild, it's just an unexpected sax solo)
    • "Tourniquet Man" is the biggest example of this with the already eerie and ominous song turning into complete and utter insanity as the voice becomes more electronically distorted, the drums begin playing in an offbeat-sounding rhythm and the saxophone section just freestyles as if nothing is going on. The effect makes an already creepy song balls-out terrifying.
  • "The Talking Drum" (or its pale copy "Dangerous Curves") by King Crimson — each builds up tension for about seven minutes and releases it in a startling, dissonant blast.
    • Most of King Crimson's work qualifies for this trope- they were well known for it. "Lark's Tongues In Aspic (Part 1)", "21st Century Schizoid Man" (from In the Court of the Crimson King), "Lament", "Starless", etc. King Crimson improvs (live or recorded) pretty much always did this.
  • Peter Gabriel's "Moribund the Burgermeister" tells the story of a mysterious and disastrous plague taking a medieval city by storm. The song is pretty creepy to begin with, but the last few seconds have Gabriel repeating "I WILL FIND OUT" in a deep, echoing voice over a very strange, minimal melody. As the song begins to Fade Out, he begins to address his mother, telling her "when I say I will, I will!" and "You'll be sorry. I'll make sure of it!" When you consider that plague can be interpreted to transform its victims into zombies...
    • An interesting case of this is the radio edit of his big smash hit "Sledgehammer". The album version ends with just a normal fade out, but the radio edit abruptly cuts to very industrial-sounding percussion, followed by what sounds like an echoey, distant bang in its last ten seconds, which, while not scary exactly, definitely can catch one off guard, especially if they're used to the song fading out calmly. The version of this used in the official video uses the same ending, but with an extended fade out of the drum loop rather than the abrupt "bang" sound.
    • "I Don't Remember" has a bit of a tense feel to it, but isn't particularly scary... Then it doesn't end so much as it falls apart into a pile of dissonant feedback.
  • The Fall of Troy's song "Chapter V: The Walls Bled Lust" consists of Epic Rocking for approximately the first five minutes. Then the instruments start playing without any rhythm at all, then the music completely cuts out except for some guitar feedback, then you get a ridiculously exaggerated breakdown where every third note is so high it literally brings pain to your ears.
  • "Radio" by the Dutch group Supersister is a classic bait-and-switch. The first half is a disarmingly cute and upbeat piano/celeste pop tune with soft, low-key vocals. Then it shifts gears suddenly and transforms into a frantic circus music section comprised of discordant fuzz-organ chords and wordless baritone choral singing over which flute player Sacha van Geest narrates a surrealistic tale.
  • The last chord in "Jordan Speaks", Jordan Rudess's "thoughts" about Mike Portnoy leaving Dream Theater.
  • "Abandoner" by Steven Wilson. A mellow (if not exactly cheerful) ballad ending in a series of dissonant chords.
    • "Get All You Deserve" ends similarly. In the album booklet, Wilson is credited with "vocals, piano, electric guitars, mellotron, glockenspiel, bass, total fucking noise."
  • The progressive rock band Pain of Salvation has used this effect at least three times-twice on their second album, One Hour by the Concrete Lake, and once on their first album, Entropia. In the last song of One Hour, "Inside Out," the song fades to an apparent end... but the song continues for a few minutes more, with various ambient noises. Then Daniel Gildenlow starts to sing about the various "machines" all around the world, accompanied by a slow-building, but frightening crescendo of chaotic instrument noise that slowly gets louder and louder before petering off. Two more minutes of silence, then a quick burst of chaotic noise, the sound of something deactivating, and an abrupt end. In Entropia, the song "Winning a War" ends with quiet sounds of various city interactions, followed abruptly by a loud, volume-boosted "YO!" The note can be considered another example of First Note Nightmare, considering it segues into the next song, "People Passing By."
    • The last song on Entropia has a bit of a Last Note Nightmare as well... in an otherwise upbeat song that encourages the listener to practice non-violence, act on their conscience, and overall be a good person, finishing with the line "if death is but a dream, then don't let me... fall asleep..." is pretty jarring, especially considering the fact that Daniel whispers the last two words in an almost fearful tone.
    • There's also two occurrences at the end of Be-one where the last man on Earth shoots himself, at the end of an otherwise upbeat and hopeful song, and another occurrence similar to the one listed above where, after a good amount of silence, there's a sudden burst of sound right at the end of the last song. However, this is offset by a fairly cutesy recording of a little girl saying "There's room for all of god's creatures... right next to the mashed potatoes," while a bunch of people, possibly the band members, laugh hysterically like the terrible human beings they are.
  • Another song with no "nice" parts is Elvis Costello and the Attractions' "Night Rally", from their 1978 album This Year's Model. Between its lyrical subject (the then-contemporary rise of the neo-fascist National Front in English politics) and tense arrangement, the song is ominous throughout — but at the end, Costello starts chanting the title over and over and some sort of weird, high-pitched warbling sound is added the mix. And then the song cuts off suddenly, just like The Beatles' aforementioned "I Want You (She's So Heavy)". For added nightmarishness, "Night Rally" was the last track on the original vinyl album's British pressing.
  • Kaleidoscope's "(Further Reflections) In The Room Of Percussion" is a fairly whimsical, lighthearted number like the rest of the band's psychedelic catalog... until it abruptly ends in the middle of what would normally be a verse. The effect of leaving the melody hanging and unfinished is rather disorienting, and the lyrics it ends with only make things worse: "My God, the spiders are everywhere".
  • Gentle Giant's Concept Album The Power And The Glory ends with a song called "Valedictory", a Dark Reprise of the opening "Proclamation". Unlike its lighter counterpart, the song suddenly ends in the middle of a word with the sound of its tape rewinding.
  • The ending of "Entangled" by Genesis (a song documenting a mentally ill person in a nightmarish asylum) may count, with the unwinding, haunting wobbly synth melody over full-blast Mellotron choir chords.
  • "November Rain" from Use Your Illusion from Guns N' Roses has one of these, and it's also made worse by the music video, but in more of a Tear Jerker way than a scary way.
  • Vanilla Fudge's cover of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra's "Some Velvet Morning" has a doozy. The song's refrain is performed very quietly, with no percussion and very gentle vocals, rather like a hymn. In the final go-round, however, everything is abruptly interrupted by a LOUD blast of atonal noise from the band. Anyone who doesn't realize the end is coming up receives a mild heart attack when it does.
  • Chicago's "Fancy Colours" is a bouncy psychedelic jam with plenty of jazzy, cheery flute. The final thirty seconds (which feel like forever) consist of the same earsplitting brass note being repeated over and over and over.
  • LCD Soundsystem had fairly mellow and groove-based album opener "Get Innocuous!", which out of nowhere ends on some very dissonant and horror movie-sounding strings.
  • The Art of Dying's Die Trying has about 15 seconds of what sounds like a malfunctioning machine after the actual song ends.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Road Trippin'" is a very light and mellow song... until the very end, when the strings become louder and lower, giving the song (and album) a surprisingly ominous closing.
    • "Snow (Hey Oh)" ends in a similar way, but the last guitar notes slowly becoming more and more rough, screechy, and off-key sounding.
    • Anyone ever listen to One Hot Minute when you're really listening to the music? The title track comes in towards the end of the album and is arguably one of the most hardcore songs that the Chilis have ever written. But after the already very dissonant end, you can hear someone yelling in pain. It's presumed to be their bassist, Flea. But still after a really heavy song like that, it's a little more than unsettling.
  • "You Were Good In Your Time" by Morrissey.
    Then you grip with your hand
    now so small in mine
    are you aware wherever you are
    • and the song still has about two more minutes of... noises.
  • The Police had a few of these, mostly on their first album.
    • "Hole in My Life" ends with demented piano notes.
    • "Peanuts" ends with a weird horn solo that continues long after the song (a punk anthem) has finished.
    • "Sally - Be My Girl" has the last note of the chorus fade away into dissonance before a painful shriek into the distance.
    • "Masoko Tanga," with its backwards piano and Sting's gibberish scatting, is the Last Note Nightmare for Outlandos d'Amour, but its fade-out drums are like something out of a '30s horror movie.
    • "Shadows in the Rain" ends with a distorted guitar riff that cuts off abruptly.
  • "Whiskey Trail" by Los Lobos ends with a sustained major chord, followed by a short drum fill that gets abruptly cut off by a crash sound effect and a shriek. Since the song is an Ode to Sobriety (of the "Deconstructed Ode to Intoxication" variety), it's possible the sound effects are supposed to represent the narrator having a drunk driving accident.
  • The title track of Christian rock band PFR's album Goldie's Last Day (in which the group sings about the loss of a dog) ends with a sendup of Taps, with the last note fading out almost completely before the volume fades back in and the note trails off a couple of steps and starts wavering before abruptly cutting off.
  • Styx's "Too Much Time on My Hands" is bookended by musical nightmare. It begins with spacey, slightly spooky synth bursts that then rise in pitch until they suddenly give way to the main synth rhythm part of the song. At the end, Tommy Shaw whispers the title, and repeats it, only to get cut off before "hands" so the same synth sound from the beginning can slowly descend in pitch.
  • U2's "The Unforgettable Fire" is not the most upbeat song to begin with, inspired as it was by the titular exhibit of art by Hiroshima survivors, but its verses are offset by an upbeat, major-key chorus. After the final riff, the strings that joined the song at the bridge remain, with the violin playing a brief, uncertain melody.
    • "Seconds" accentuates its uncertainty about nuclear war, done in a sing-along style, with an abrupt, echoing "say goodbye" at the end.
  • Yes examples:
    • Inverted by "Roundabout", which starts with an ominous swellnote  that abruptly cuts off for the opening guitar harmonics
    • The ending of "Sound Chaser" alternates between dissonant yelling from the band members and frenzied keyboard solos. These get faster and faster until the song ends abruptly. Listening to the song on its album (Relayer) isn't as bad, however, because it segues into the slow finale "To Be Over".
    • "Take the Water to the Mountain" finishes with background yelling from Jon Anderson, alongside some twinkly synth notes that would be comforting in any other context, but just seem strange here. It's an unnerving ending to Union as a whole.
    • Magnification's title track ends with the backing orchestra used for the album pretty much collapsing on itself. Interestingly, "Dreamtime" from that same album has an opposite effect, with an upbeat and hard-rocking song followed by two minutes of stray instrumentation.
    • "Yours is No Disgrace" ends with a long upwards keyboard glissando that has been previewed with shorter bursts twice in the section immediately before it. This last time, the glissando goes all the way up the keyboard, louder than the rest of the song, and just as quickly as it starts fades out at the highest notes, making it more unsettling than anything that's come before it.
  • "Broken Inside" by Broken Iris is a soft-sounding song until the last 14 seconds, which consists of nothing but screaming and loud guitar playing until it abruptly fades out.
  • The Nova Local's "If You Only Had The Time" is an uptempo psychedelic pop song with chiming The Byrds-esque guitars. At the end of the album version the song fades into a continuous, unnerving drone that sounds somewhere between a human voice and a swarm of insects which then segues into the next song- this was said to be accomplished by having a group of people hum the same note and timing things so that no one stopped to breathe at the same time.
  • "Stay Eighteen" by pop-punk/post-hardcore band Alive In Standby definitely fits the bill. The whole song has a very melodic and bright-sounding pop-punk feel to it (with a few breakdowns thrown in as well). However, after the outro breakdown, the song hits and ends with a very deep, dissonant sounding chord.

    Metal / Alt-Metal 
  • Iron Maiden's epic "Phantom of the Opera" comes to what seems to be a normal end...then after about 10 seconds of silence, the singer comes in shouting the final lyric of the song one more time. Startling, to say the least.
  • The last second of Slipknot's "Disasterpiece". The song ends with the sound of a telephone receiver being hooked up...which implies that Corey Taylor had spent the last five minutes screaming the lyrics down the phone line. It's either oddly hilarious, rather creepy, or the crowning moment of Narm.
    • Happens again in "Before I Forget". Within the last 18 seconds of the full-length song, Morse Code can be heard in the left channel, along with creepy ambiance music in the background and Corey muttering 'You're wasting it' in reverse.
  • Metallica's "To Live Is to Die" is a quasi-example; though the song itself has no dissonant ending, the last minute of the song had to be excised to fit CD limitations at the time, so the fade-out has been removed as well. What this translates into, if you're listening to the whole album, is you'll be listening to the pleasant, lilting outro of "To Live Is to Die" when all of a sudden the very loud intro to "Dyer's Eve" will pop up with no warning whatsoever.
    • "The Memory Remains" has a creepy old-lady voice singing wordlessly over the music, which cuts out at the end as the old lady sings "ladadada-dada, ladada-dadada over and over while everything else is completely silent...*shudder*
  • Stealing Axion has a quasi-example similar to Metallica's "To Live is to Die"; the last few minutes of the 9-minute long "Moments, Pt. 1" is a repeated noise with a drone-like quality to it, but at the very end of the song it immediately breaks into the chaotic intro to "Moments, Pt. 2".
  • Subverted-though no less scary-in "Stupify" by Disturbed. It's a heavy song all throughout, but the last chorus is good horror if you don't expect it to happen.
    "Look in my face / Stare into my soul / I begin to stupify...
    • Enough follows a standard progression (opening verse, chorus, second verse, chorus, bridge, etc.) and appears to fade out with the tune it'd been following: fast drum beat and bass/guitar riff ending in a power chord. Until at the last second after fully quieting down, the band threw the power chord in at full volume, then an abrupt end. Even when expected this one isn't easy to go unnerved to.
  • Subverted by Blaze Bayley's tune "Waiting For My Life Begin", which begins with an alarm clock and then segues into a metal tune.
  • The last chords of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" from Paranoid (Album). It was probably originally intended to trick listeners into thinking their record player had suddenly jumped from 33 rpm to 45 rpm of its own accord somehow. The original 'basement tape' version, though, has the opposite- it slows down.
    • Faith No More's version goes for more of a Big Rock Ending approach, but there's still an element of Last Note Nightmare in there because Mike Patton starts shrieking over it.
    • Also, "Children of the Grave" ends with a quivering note that fades in and out that lasts for a good forty-five seconds, and is accompanied by an echoing whisper. White Zombie's cover version is even more nightmarish when this part comes in.
    • "Am I Going Insane (Radio)", which is otherwise one of their poppier songs, has multi-tracked psychotic laughter slowly fades in as the song fades out - and then demonic growls can be heard in the distance.
  • "Eyes of a Stranger" by Queensrÿche. It ends with some chaotic, strange-sounding, nightmare-inducing technological noise, about 15 seconds of silence, and finally a man (Nickie, the main character in the album, Operation: Mindcrime) saying "I remember now"- which is what he says at the start of the album.
    • A little earlier, you have the segment "Waiting for 22", which is a serene guitar sequence, with a soft backing, only to end with a stinging synth chord with a slight drum beat, fading into the spoken part "My empty room", which in turn, has the word "friend" echoed a few times, with that hospital PA sound clip from the start of the album brought back. Queensryche occasionally uses this trope, often on this album.
    • The transition from "Breaking the Silence" to "I Don't Believe In Love" features whispered, "We know you did it? Why'd you do it?" overlapping with Nickie screaming, "No! No! NOOOOOOOOO!"
    • The end of "Anybody Listening?" off of the album Empire is the sound of rain, and you can hear in the background the sounds of some people arguing (and water flowing- likely to be recorded on a boat, or with water running from a nearby tap). Then, BAM! A door slams, and the song, and album, end.
  • Diablo Swing Orchestra's "Justice for Saint Mary" is rather dark in tone, but is mostly slow acoustic for the first five-and-a-half minutes, and is more somber. The outro, however, spins the Genre Roulette Wheel at full speed, turning first into a fast dark semi-orchestral section, then bringing in metal elements, before finally exploding into a furious dubstep segment.
  • X Japan's "Jade". It's a loud song to begin with, but the chorus is quite uplifting and melodious, and at the end, it sounds like it's going to fade out gently. And then the guitars come crashing back in and Toshi goes from Melismatic Vocals into a giant screeching high note. Yikes.
  • A variant appears in Alice in Chains' "Rain When I Die". The song fades out... then it starts to progressively get 2-3 times louder than the rest of the song and cuts off.
    • Played straight with the intro to "Over Now." A scratchy record plays the Taps song. For the final note, Jerry Cantrell creepily says, "Good Night," and the song becomes louder with the bass accentuated for its final note.
    • Also played straight with "Head Creeps", where the song ends with the instrumental band sounding almost like they're dying.
    • The final stinger line of "Would?" ("IF! I! WOULD! COULD! YOU!!") can be a bit jarring for first-time listeners, since it seems to come out of nowhere melodically and doesn't resolve. Since it's an open question, the non-resolution is at least justified.
      • It's also the final track on Dirt, so depending on your taste, it could be a Last Note Nightmare for the whole album.
  • tool:
    • "Disgustipated" on Undertow has an extended version of this. After about 10 minutes of Maynard preaching pure absurd, but meaningful nonsense, an industrial rhythm played by machinery and shotguns accompanied by a cryptic chant, and nothing but chirping crickets, a recorded message that may or may not be about a serial killer plays, cutting off just before the end. Said message was alleged to have been left on the band's answering machine by someone called 'Bill the Landlord'. Let the speculation commence.
    • "Faaip de Oiad" ('Voice of God', in Enochian) is the 'last note' of Lateralus, consisting of mad, inspired drumming and airplane-like drones overlaid by a sample of a caller to Coast to Coast AM. He's panicked and describes things, hints, and rumors, he's discovered while working at an Air Force base near Groom Lake, Nevada (Area 51). If you do your homework, you might find out that it's (most likely) a hoax, but before you do, or if you doubt the hoax story, the fear in the man's voice is genuinely terrifying.
    • "Lost Keys (Blame Hoffmann)" is an odd song, but not hideous. Then, on the way out, it takes a turn for the... suggestive.
    • The track "Intermission" from Ænima is a sort of peppy organ instrumental—which immediately transforms into the heavy, distorted guitar riff of the next track, "Jimmy".
    • 10,000 Days' song "Viginti Tres", which is entirely made out of Hell Is That Noise.
  • System of a Down's "Temper," which goes from a laidback funky groove in the verses to a grindcore chorus.
    • And more notably, their song Mind starts off in a very creepy fashion with quiet instruments and subdued vocals before the music fades out and a few seconds later Serj screams "GO AWAY! GO AWAY! GO AWAY!" and the music goes into what is easily the heaviest part of the album. Later in the song, the song returns to the quiet section that began the song. This section fades out.
    • "Lonely Day"'s last note is horrifyingly depressing, as it segues into "Soldier Side".
    • "Question!" may also count, if only on a small scale. Just when you think it's over... LA, LA LA, LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!
    • Toxicity opens with a first note nightmare. The first track "Prison Song" opens with a very, VERY quick low C power chord, which is so quick you doubt you actually heard it. Similarly enough, after the last track, Aerials, ends, a few seconds pass before a hidden track fades in, but unlike most albums, there's only 10 seconds of silence, thus giving you no time to prepare. Following the ten seconds, a duduk solo fades in before some tribal percussion and chanting fade in as well. The song is a rendition of "Der Voghormia", a traditional Armenian song.
    • "Dam". The song is already hideous sounding with the minimalistic guitar riff and Daron singing through some horrible sounding filter, but he ends it with singing "Everyone is SLEEEEEEEEEPPPPIIIIIIINNNNGGGGG" at full force as the song fades out.
  • "Eleven Regrets" by Manic Drive is a beautiful, if sad, song. But toward the end, there is a sudden refrain of slightly dissonant voices singing a haunting tune wordlessly in the background, that seems to get louder and more chaotic as it continues. It doesn't last very long, but it will give you nightmares.
  • The last nineteen minutes or so of Fantomas's untitled album-length song from Delìrium Còrdia is the looped sound of a needle being lifted off a vinyl record - save the last four seconds, in which someone suddenly yells out "1-2-3-4" while hitting together drumsticks and the sound of a record being scratched plays. Not exactly a Last Note Nightmare in its own right, but certainly very surprising.
    • Worse, though, is the section at about 54 minutes through. Some ambiance and sounds of machinery play before everything turns to chaos and someone breathes frantically over the top. Considering the album is supposed to be a soundtrack to a non-existent horror film about surgery without anaesthetic, this is particularly horrifying.
  • Strapping Young Lad's "Home Nucleonics" ends with razor-sharp low-quality recording of random people screaming. Not to mention the whole track "Info Dump".
  • "Dead Winter Days" by Agalloch ends in totally uncalled for piano chords.
  • On the Mr. Bungle track "Slowly Growing Deaf", the entire song is switching between a calmer, ambient-backed section and a more metal section, descending into chaos on at least one occasion, until finally, the song switches to the calmer section, with Mike Patton crooning softly, until the guitars kick in for a few discordant seconds, with Patton screaming like a madman, before calming down once again. After THAT'S done, however, one final discordant chord is played before the song ends. And AFTERWARDS, there is a long audio segment with what sounds like a boy having diarrhea.
    • This is also done on "Dead Goon", a rather disturbing song on its own, on the song's first ending, so to speak (The album, Mr. Bungle, has various samples at the end of each track), when a wave of discordant synths build up rather quickly, lasting on the whole about 20 seconds, as Mike Patton starts gurgling on top of them in possibly the most disturbing fashion ever recorded on a music album.
    • This is also done on "My Ass Is On Fire" on multiple occasions, the first of which is a metal guitar riff interrupted by Patton whispering "Boo". Another riff later, this is repeated, but with the "Boo" more emphasized. This gives way to the entire song to descend into absolute noise and chaos for a couple of minutes before suddenly being interrupted by silence and a sound clip of someone saying "Excuse me, I am lost. Please help me.", which is sure to be the first-time listener's response as well.
    • While it's got a little bit of a creepy undercurrent throughout, "Pink Cigarette" is an uncharacteristically pretty, doo-wop influenced ballad... then, as it seems to be winding up to a climax, the beep of a heart monitor creeps into the mix, and the song gets abruptly cut off by said heart monitor flat-lining. Of course, the lyrics seem to be a husband's suicide note to his cheating wife, so...
    • Mr. Bungle's music being nightmarish as is, After School Special is an only somewhat eerie song about a kid talking about his abusive parents. The track ends with a horrifying metallic rustling sound and a distorted mutant child-like voice giggling repeatedly saying "Stop tickling me" and then "Why are you touching me?"
    • Though not outright scary, the Fakeout Fadeout of "Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz" is a trifle startling: The song fades out, then after a few seconds of silence, the music suddenly comes back in much louder, with Mike Patton doing some rather suggestive grunting over it.
  • The last few measures of The Ark's "Father of a Son", represented in the video by a guy in a polar bear suit tumbling onto the stage and destroying it.
  • Sentenced's "No One There" ends with about half a minute of ambiance with bird calls.. and then the volume is turned way up with the birds doing their best impression of The Birds.
  • Type O Negative's "Haunted", which is already rather dark, as are most of their songs, abruptly cuts off in midriff at the end. The version featured in Descent II: The Vertigo Series has a middle note nightmare; an orchestral interlude accompanied by orgasmic moans, although it fades out at the end instead of abruptly ending.
  • On the subject of first note nightmares, grindcore band Pig Destroyer has a lovely little song called "Towering Flesh" from Terrifyer. The whole song is heavy, but the instantaneous, ear-splitting scream in the first second will seriously scare the shit out of you if you accidentally have the volume up full. In fact, the same song has a last note nightmare about halfway through. Things become calmer as the singer is now singing in an echoed, relatively clean tone. "Her lips are wet with venom. Her posture serpentine. She touched my arm and flowers grow, they're poisonous and OBSCEEEEEEEEEEENE."
    • Not to mention the album's intro. First track is about a minute of quiet echoing footsteps ending in a sudden inhumane scream, which abruptly opens the next track. Pig Destroyer's music is mostly like this; there are many examples, among which the end of Hyperviolet (which bleeds away into a wailing siren-like drone) from "Prowler In The Yard," but their creepiest closing ever has to be the end of Piss Angel, where a computer-generated voice recites a disturbing story about two girls and an extremely distorted woman voice starts to sing (but not on tune with the already creepy music; it also sounds like she's crying while singing), also from "Prowler In The Yard."
    • The Machete Twins from Phantom Limb begins with around 3 and a half minutes of the grindcore you've been listening to for the last half hour. The song itself is 10 and a half minutes; 7 minutes is ambient noises such as Achy Breaky Heart playing in the background, crickets chirping, and so on. After the song ends a hidden track in the CD starts up. It's grindcore again; it's intense and it's likely to make you jump if you weren't expecting it.
    • "Body Scout" from Prowler In The Yard ends with J.R. Hayes's usual manic shrieking, except it's acapella, and the lyrics go like this:
    Like explosions in space and prostitutes of fire.
    And prostitutes of fire.
    (longer silence)
    And prostitutes of fire!
  • Korn's "10 or a 2-Way"; the ending with the creepy voices and bagpipe riff is surreal and oddly frightening.
  • "VITRIOL" by ETHS. A few seconds after the song fades out, a woman starts screaming.
    • Happens again in "Samantha". And "Bulemiarexia" ends with the sound of someone being violently sick. Eths like this trope.
      • Indeed. The ending of "Priape" has a woman screaming in an utterly terrified voice and repeated thumping in the background. Given the lyrics and name of the song...
  • "Haunted" by Evanescence is a mild version. Throughout the whole song, a beep like that of a heart monitor is used as a recurring theme and isn't an unexpected thing to hear in the song once you get used to the pattern. It's still rather jarring on the first listen when the final note of the song is just one of those beeps on dead silence.
  • "Event Horizon" by Stratovarius combines this with Talky Bookends— alarms go off as an automated voice warns about approaching a black hole, and in the end, the last seconds before entering the event horizon itself are counted.
  • Opeth's "Burden" ends with a mellow acoustic guitar outro, during which, the guitar slowly untunes and then you hear a burst of looped laughter which transforms into some mechanical knocking, which finishes the song. "Black Rose Immortal" also shows a very good example by ending with a whisper "At night I always dream of you..." after which there is a EEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH growl and scary echoing riffs which then dissolve.
  • Dream Theater, being Progressive Metal, does this a lot. The Octavarium album has tons of these. An example is the end of "Panic Attack", in which the last note repeats many times, gradually decreasing in volume, while a collection of unnerving synth noises and some kind of strange growling play in the background. Then there's "Misunderstood". The last 3 minutes of the song could qualify as this.
    • The iTunes version cuts the sing off at the last piano note, as does the live version.
    • At the end of "Finally Free," the last track on the story album Scenes from a Memory, Nicholas, the main character, arrives at his house, satisfied with the apparent end to the mystery of his past life. He plays some triumphant music when his hypnotherapist, the reincarnation of his past murderer, barges in and murders him... the song ends with the sound of the record player's static. The live rendition of the song — at least, the "Scenes from NY 2000" version — cuts this section out and, instead, plays a reprise of an earlier song's epic opening bridge, only to end it with a pair of nice, long Scare Chords. Similarly, "In the Presence of Enemies Part 2" ends with a long sequence of Scare Chords. (It's also fun to listen to the latter song live because the lead singer repeatedly yells "come on" as the sequence starts, lightly lessening its impact.)
      • Also notable is that the static that ends "Finally Free" is the very same static that begins "The Glass Prison", the first track on the following album, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. So, if you lined those songs up, the creepy chimes in the opening of "The Glass Prison" would complete the effect.
    • "Pull Me Under", much like "I Want You" above, just seems to cut off at the last note (Not in the middle of a note, but you get the gist of it). note 
    • "Octavarium's final 20 seconds are an unsettling reprise of the first 20 seconds of its eponymous album's opening track, with a deep, low F piano chord, a pulsing synth note, and what sounds like someone shuffling through a book.
      • An early, very rare, and hard to find version originally ended with a reprise of the flute melody that happens 5 minutes or so into the song, except without the acoustic guitar that accompanies it, and fading out halfway through the melody, very quickly to complete silence, leaving a Nothing Is Scarier feel.
  • Nevermore's "This Godless Endeavor" is actually more of a "Last verse nightmare", but Dane sings most of the song in his general mid-range - until the very last line when he unexpectedly belts a blood-curdling "THE SKY...HAS OPENED!" shriek in a hateful, shrill voice. Given the tense mood of the entire song, it's just the thing to send shivers down your spine.
  • Devin Townsend, famous for being the frontman of extreme metal group Strapping Young Lad, released more albums as a solo artist that, for the most part, contrasted the sound of his band. His first album Ocean Machine ends with a calm and tranquil acoustic song, "Thing Beyond Things" that sounds much like the ocean itself. At the end, it fades out, and then after about 10 seconds of silence, Devin comes back with a BLOODCURDLING, distorted scream, sure to punish anyone who falls asleep with headphones on.
  • Inverted by the Melvins' "The Fool, the Meddling Idiot": An oppressively dark grunge song that near the end turns into upbeat electronic pop.
  • "At The Base Of The Giant's Throat" by Battle Of Mice. The whole song is quite aggressive, but the last three minutes is a horrific 911 call that will scar you for life and has you crying like a baby in the fetal position. Try listening from 7.00 onwards
  • While Anthrax's Sound of White Noise is hardly a comforting album to listen to, the last song "This Is Not An Exit" fades out a little earlier than anticipated, then silence, then suddenly- what sounds like an advisory on an AM radio broadcast (a voice says "they're dangerous, they're unpredictable, and they make a lot of noise") plays, only to be interrupted by- of course- the white noise sound effect at the beginning of the album, which ends abruptly.
  • Fates Warning did an 'album' called "A Pleasant Shade of Gray", which was essentially one song split into twelve parts. Not surprisingly, the nature of this music would have put more than a few listeners to sleep, so there is a sufficiently long gap before the last song ends, followed by a very loud ringing bell — maybe a wake-up call?
  • The very end of "Colony of Birchmen" by Mastodon. As if the whole song wasn't inexplicably unsettling, the final chords are cut off and replaced with crude, distant-sounding indigenous music that appears to be growing closer and closer before getting cut off itself. How close an eye do you pay to the trees in your backyard?
  • "Beyond Belief" by Epica. The lyrics are all about how advances in science and technology will lead us to our demise, but the band's Epic Rocking style kind of obscures this. So, just to make sure you remembered the point, the final chorus ends on a cold wooshing noise, followed by a slowly fading heartbeat...
  • Apocalyptica's "Kaamos" ends so abruptly that many people were concerned that their disc was damaged.
    • Fisheye, from their self-titled album, ends with both a case of this and Ending Fatigue. When you think the song is over, a few more measures of thrashy and cacophonic cello and drum noise ensue.
  • Subverted with the groove metal band Prong's song "Controller" - already a forceful, pounding song, it suddenly stops and you hear a screaming electric guitar run through their effects, and it does feel a little disturbing- only for the band to do the chorus once more.
  • The Pantera song "No Good (Attack The Radical)", which ends with a rather punishing riff repeated for a good 30 seconds, at least, with some extra percussion randomly tossed in during this outro.
    • While we're on the topic of Pantera, the ending for "This Love" is in the same boat as the ending for Metallica's "To Live Is To Die" if you listen to it on the Vulgar Display Of Power album. The song's mellow/light outro is abruptly replaced with the insanely brutal intro for "Rise."
    • "Suicide Note Pt. I" is a soft, morose acoustic rock song. You might think: "Part 2 won't be so bad, amirite?". WRONG!!! "Suicide Note Pt. II" is an entire song based on this trope, and is by far Pantera's hardest song to date.
  • Both inverted and played straight with the Helloween song "The Dark Ride." The song's intro has a Merry-Go-Round tune that slowly fades into some random/creepy noises and a creepy voice telling everybody to "sign on the dotted line." The remaining song, however, is actually a pretty upbeat and energetic tune... until the very end, where the song fades out in the midst of a creepy-sounding chant.
  • Dir en grey makes songs that tend to have this in many cases.
    • The original version of "Kiri to Mayu" has a scream at the end, along with some blast beats.
    • Both versions of "Zan" have a first note nightmare and a last note nightmare, with a scare riff at the end
    • "Audience Killer Loop" from Vulgar starts off with a first note nightmare, which is repeated towards the end of the song, but now followed by a series of demonic growls.
    • "Dozing Green", however, is the worst offender of the lot; it's not a particularly heavy song compared to most of their material, and sounds like it would end with a Perishing Alt-Rock Voice ending. Instead, it ends with Kyo letting out a bunch of terrifying screams that would be best described as the wails of a horrified murder victim.
  • Five Finger Death Punch's "The Bleeding". The song is pretty somber but by the end, Ivan Moody lets out a last "It's over now..." while the music abruptly stops and his voice eerily echoes away. Always gives the chills.
  • "Room No. 99", the final track from Soilwork's second album The Chainheart Machine, starts to gradually fade away at around four minutes with a repeated calm riff and people talking in the background. After a long silence, a hidden track starts, and it can definitely scare you silly if you weren't expecting it.
  • The last track of UNDEAD CORPORATION's debut album, "サニーミルクの紅霧異変", sounds like a calm piano outro, but after a long silence, a brief screech is heard, followed by the most intense few minutes of their musical career.
  • Faith No More's "Helpless" has sort of an ominous mood to it, but is one of their gentler songs. Near the end of the song, Mike Patton starts a self-backing vocal chant of "Help!" in time with the music... As the rest of the song fades out, said backing vocal keeps going on at full volume, and the song very abruptly ends with a louder cry of "HELP!".
  • Slayer's "Dead Skin Mask" is the ultimate example. The song is about serial killer Ed Gein, and towards the end, we hear a child's voice begging to be released. This trope comes into play at the end, where the child screams in terror.
  • Jørn Lande's "Bridges Will Burn" ends with what is apparently 30 seconds of UFO-like theremin sounds alongside a furiously yowling cat.
  • Jack Off Jill's "Witch Hunt" is already pretty creepy, and then, just as she mentions burning something, she starts screaming as she's being burned alive, which gets raspier and raspier as she's dying. It comes out of nowhere for first-time listeners.
  • North Carolina band Swift's cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence", while not being a particularly tranquil song to begin with, ends with a fade-out that's cut off by a sudden burst of static.
  • The last 24 seconds of Atreyu's "Five Vicodin Chased with a Shot of Clarity," which is (technically) the last track on their album The Curse, has a fade-in of high-pitched guitar notes as well as the last few notes quietly echoing out.
  • The last song on Nightingale's debut album The Breathing Shadow, "Eye for an Eye", ends with a quiet section.....followed shortly afterwards by a loud scream.

    Punk / Alternative / Indie 
  • Green Day's Wake Me Up When September Ends sounds like it's going to end on some high notes, but then the synthesized chords slowly shift into more of a mood of uncertainty.
  • "Evil Dildo" by Placebo is a dark punk-ish song all the way through, but at the end, the guitars fade out leaving room for a disturbing voicemail sample and eerie phone dial-like sounds. It's much creepier if you understand what that voice says, and consider it was a real voicemail someone left on Brian Molko's (lead singer) answering machine.
  • The final track on The Clash's huge 36-track triple album Sandinista! is an oddly relaxing dub version of "Police & Thieves" titled "Shepherds Delight". It goes on for 2 minutes before the album suddenly ends with an odd, droning mechanical noise.
  • "Goodnite, Dr. Death" by My Chemical Romance is truly horrifying. The majority of the song is normal enough- it's just the national anthem, but something feels slightly off about it. Then, on the last note of the song, it gets super loud and distorted, and even more jarring is that 'Vampire Money,' an upbeat Take That! song, is right after it.
    • Sleep is an already haunting, eerie song, but the absolute horror of the last minute or so has to be heard to be believed - the guitars screech and the drums pound as a series of long, tortured screams of "WAKE UP!" that only get raspier stretch out over it all, only to die down into another part of the same, creaky recording of Gerard Way talking about his night terrors that opens the song. It makes you wonder just how bad those nightmares might have been.
  • "Pink Flag" by the late-70s punk/post-punk group Wire actually has two Last Note Nightmares. After about three minutes of a song that's already a bit morose, the band erupts into a painful minute-long cacophony highlighted by repeated screams of "How many?" Then, just when you think it's over, there's one more stinger.
    • Wire were big fans of this trope early on. The first song on the album Pink Flag (of which the above is title track), "Reuters", ends with a lengthy coda involving the whole band chanting "RAPE!"
      • "Indirect Enquiries" on 154 takes this to the border of Narm. "You've been defaced..."
    • See also Dome and Colin Newman.
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees made a cover of "This Wheel's on Fire" (the song most famously used as the opening theme to Absolutely Fabulous). It ends with what sounds like an assault on the musical instruments used.
    • Playground Twist is already a pretty scary song, but this is Siouxsie and the Banshees for cryin' out loud!. However, the song ends with the sound of children in a playground as the rest of the song fades out. The B-side of the single is called "Pulled to Bits", which is easily one of the most wrong things ever recorded, has this looped throughout the whole. Friggin. Song.
  • "L.A. Blues", the closing number from The Stooges' 1970 classic Fun House (Album), consists of screeching guitar and saxophone and Iggy Pop screaming unintelligibly like a madman. Ironically, the most eerie part is in the last couple of seconds with Iggy mumbling over a brief feedback loop.
  • Calibretto's "American Psycho" is a pretty energetic horror-punk song. Then the last organ note holds and turns into an ominous drone, and then one of Patrick Bateman's confessions is played over it. It then segues into the ominous bell that begins the next song. The result is far creepier than it has any right to be.
  • "Death Sex" by The Distillers does this, ending with manic laughter and even more distortion than normal, of course this is pretty much par for course.
  • They Might Be Giants:
    • Most of S-E-X-X-Y is played out like a '70s-era funkadelic groove song — until the ending stinger, which features creepily arpeggioing classical violins that totally kill the mood, likely in tribute to "Glass Onion" by The Beatles.
    • "Fibber Island", a gentle folk-rock song from one of their kids albums, which after a false ending, jumps into an outro with some jarringly dissonant flutes, possibly as a nod to The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever".
    • "Employee of the Month", an upbeat song about making crumbs at (what else?) a crumb factory. In and out, fun nonsense, the end. But one instrument keeps going on in a haunting, almost droning whistle.
    • "Hide Away Folk Family", whose genuinely beautiful instrumentation closes with some ominous "fake-backwards singing", then a sound which is best described as being like Courage the Cowardly Dog going into catatonic shock.
    • "Nothin's Gonna Change My Clothes" ends with a deranged scream from the vocalist.
    • Inverted with "Istanbul"; the beginning features creepy and wild violin playing, then the song starts.
    • The live version off "Severe Tire Damage" is even worse, with creepy organ playing and an eerie trumpet.
    • "See The Constellation" from Apollo 18 fades out to reveal a creepy, out-of-place, Middle Eastern-sounding song playing in the background, which also fades away after a few seconds. (This mystery song is actually "Side Two," a Dial-A-Song exclusive.)
    • "XTC v.s. Adam Ant" is a funny song, but it ends with all the other sounds fading out as the already unnerving horn-like riff repeating while getting more and more out of key.
  • Mae's "We're So Far Away" is a slow song played on piano and keyboards, then the final note is accompanied by a loud electric guitar chord that quickly turns into a howling wall of feedback. On the album, this segues into the hard-rocking next song. (Anyone with prior exposure to Mae would have been wondering where the guitars were up until this point.)
  • "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1" by The Flaming Lips. It's an incredibly happy song about, yes, a girl named Yoshimi fighting a pink robotic menace, until the guitar is drowned out by what could be a demonic growling pink robot. With that said, the vocals of Pt. 2 consist entirely of a woman screaming.
    • "Love Yer Brain" is a quiet piano ballad, but it ends with someone trying to smash the piano, followed by a constantly repeating loop of The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" from Revolver ("turn off your mind, relax — turn off your mind, relax..."). This could almost be considered an Overly-Long Gag because of how long it goes on, and because band members can faintly be heard chatting and laughing about it afterwards. However, the fact that it goes on for so long could also make it more disturbing, especially considering the main message of the song is "every man needs something to keep him from going insane". So they are unloading all their negative emotions on the piano.
    • Their latest album, The Terror, contains many examples of this, perhaps most notably in the track "You Lust" which, after ten minutes of a constantly repeating guitar riff and a skeletal, looping, mechanical beat, suddenly transforms into a Boards of Canada-style upbeat electronica coda. While this might not sound like a Last Note Nightmare, it's profoundly disturbing in the context of the song, especially when the strange and entirely unintelligible vocals fade in. Steven Drozd says that, to him, it sounds like "...something bad's about to happen."
  • Our Lady Peace's album Spiritual Machines is a Concept Album that draws ideas from a similarly-named book, complete with tracks that are actually excerpts from the book read by the author. The final track includes the final song, followed by a few minutes of silence, and then a bizarre transhumanist dialog between the author and the fictional "Molly," a once-human who explains that she no longer has a physical form, and, when asked if she is a machine, says that it doesn't have the meaning it once did, and she doesn't properly know anymore. It's actually extremely interesting, but when you're listening at night, alone, in a dimly lit house, it becomes pure horror.
  • Radiohead's "Karma Police" from OK Computer. As the rather mellow melody of the song fades out at the end, some very dissonant feedback fades in... which is in turn followed by a nice closing piano chord. Then again, it is Radiohead; this sort of thing is to be expected.
    • And then it fades right into "Fitter Happier", a spooky monotone over a series of bizarre sound effects that are just darned spooky.
    • And of course "Paranoid Android" features two transitions from slow and sad to heavy and chaotic. One of those is situated near the middle, the other at the very end.
    • "Climbing up the Walls" from OK Computer is scary enough already. And then come the long, piercing screams. And then at the end most of the instruments fade out, leaving 16 violins playing notes separated by quarters. It can leave you thinking "Wait, how long were they there?!"
    • On Kid A, 'In Limbo' ends with a horrifying, electronically-modified wail of Thom Yorke screaming 'come back' as it fades into nothingness, alongside jittery feedback.
    • 'Morning Bell' also deserves a mention with Jonny Greenwood's shrieking, coin-generated guitar outro. You know what, all of Kid A probably invokes this at some point, barring Treefingers, maybe.
    • "How To Disappear Completely" from Kid A also has one of these. It's a gently melodic song for a while, with a violin backing that builds up during the piece, and then partway through the last chorus it collapses into random slides while the singer continues into the chaos.. which then in turn shuts down again and is replaced with a strong, pure chord for the final repeat.
    • "15 Step", the intro track from In Rainbows, keeps a consistent 5/4 rhythm and consistent key until the very end of the song, which fades out on a distorted off-key chord. In the Animated Music Video, it's made even scarier with a completely Off-Model gun zooming in toward the viewer.
    • 'Codex' from "The King Of Limbs" starts with a First Note Nightmare, with just the beginning of...something being shouted, which immediately cuts off to a fairly slow and mournful tune.
  • "Marching Bands of Manhattan" by Death Cab for Cutie is a milder example, which at the end interrupts the repeated chorus with a single note on the piano.
  • The Pillows' "Sweet Baggy Days" ends with the same thing that starts the CD the song was featured on, "Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!": a loud jarring sound that sounds like somebody randomly hitting piano keys. It's a pretty mellow closing song up to that point.
  • U2's "The Wanderer" (closing off the Zooropa album) fades out, stays silent for 30 seconds, then an alarm sound suddenly bursts out (an alarm a DJ hears when there is 30 seconds of dead air on the radio). Completely terrifying.
    • Word of God states that this is a metaphor, telling the listener to "Wake up" as our world, our way of life is slowly coming to an end.
    • U2's "All I Want Is You" has an extended Last Note Nightmare.
  • Eels' "My Beloved Monster" from Beautiful Freak. A great, mellow, happy song a lot of people associate with the first Shrek movie. After the song ends, however, come some rather loud electronic/guitar screeching sounds.
  • "The Day After the Revolution", the final song of Pulp's album This is Hardcore, finishes with approximately ten minutes' worth of swirling ambient noise. And then Jarvis Cocker says "bye-bye" and makes you jump out of your skin.
  • The Shins' early song "One By One All Day" is mostly calm...until the end, where there's a very loud, jarring chord to end the song.
  • An inversion occurs on "Admit It!!!" by Say Anything..., which starts off with them shouting, well, "ADMIT IT!!!!!" which is enough to startle you right after the slow, folksy "I Want to Know Your Plans".
  • Jeff Buckley's song "I Know We Could Be So Happy Baby (If We Wanted To Be)" from Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk has an incredibly dissonant power chord at the end of the chorus. The song's ambiguous subject matter makes it that much worse.
  • The song "Luca" by Brand New is a slow, beautiful song that goes along with a steady, calming acoustic and great vocals on the track that eventually devolve into whispering of the lyrics, that get softer...and softer...and softer...accompanied by the guitar that gets softer...and softer...and the point of prompting one to turn up the volume to hear the song, until it EXPLODES IN YOUR EAR, with the singer SCREAMING AS LOUD AS HE POSSIBLY CAN. The rest of the song continues in the tempo, but nothing could recover the song from the sheer shock it deals you.
    • They did a less extreme version on their first album with "Soco Amaretto Lime." It's a rather peaceful acoustic ballad to teenage love that cuts off rather abruptly halfway through a line as if someone pulled the needle off the phonograph. Not entirely scary, but incredibly unexpected and will make you jump.
    • It's not last note, but "Welcome To Bangkok" is rather, surprising. It starts off with the "space cadet, pull out" lines being repeated rather softly, then the light acoustic guitar, and works its way into full band. Then it suddenly just becomes a mess of drums and guitar. You'll jump the first time, and any subsequent time you aren't paying enough attention
    • The noises at the end of "The Archers Bows Have Broken". It sounds like a horrible wail.
    • The song "Vices" from the album "Daisy" is a perfect example. It starts out with an old hymnal sung by a soft female voice. The vocals trail off and seconds later you're hit with wailing guitars and screaming lyrics for the remainder of the track. (The album closes with the rest of that hymn).
  • A few seconds after pop-punk band Goldfinger's cover of the Cold War anthem "99 Red Balloons" seems to fade out at the end, a man with a deep voice can be heard saying "Goodnight children, everywhere." Eerie, huh?
  • "...A Psychopath" by Lisa Germano is an inversion. It's an incredibly creepy song about a Stalker with a Crush from the stalkee's point of view, with a real 911 call playing in the background. Until the last 30 seconds or so, with a cheerful-sounding instrumental that wouldn't sound out of place at a circus.
    • The same calliope instrumental appears throughout the same album as both its intro and after "...Of Love and Colors", seemingly as a form of comic relief from its dark and sad mood.
  • Muse's "Take A Bow" is already a dark, chaotic song with foreboding lyrics and an overall menacing sound, but the last minute or so is more than enough to scare the living lights out of the listener. Guitar wailing, Matt Bellamy wailing, synths wailing, strings wailing...
    • The last minutes of "Space Dementia". The circus-style manic keyboard line could not possibly be any more sinister, and just when you think it's is over, it kicks back in with this monstrous, threatening coda with rapid piano arpeggios. Even the first chorus transition is tremendously startling.
    • There's a momentary lull in "Darkshines", with quiet bass underscoring a tranquil but unsettling guitar line. And then it explodes into the crazed intensity of before, with screeching guitar riffs and vocals that are practically howled out. The erratic drums don't help much.
    • An early B-side, "Host" starts off with some creepy ringing chords and a generally eerie feel, and moves into mid-tempo minor chord ballad feel. After its bridge, the tone of the song suddenly shifts into speed metal at around 45 seconds from the end. This is guaranteed to shock people hearing it for the first time, though it is an extremely satisfying solo.
    • "Reapers" is another particularly jarring example, ending with a crushing guitar riff that loops over waves of feedback and distorted shrieks of "HERE COME THE DRONES!" Over and over and over.
  • Manic Street Preachers' "This Is Yesterday" has this. It's a relatively laid back song for the band at that point in their career (though plenty of Lyrical Dissonance is going on) until the last crunchy chord, which is followed by a guitar playing a variation on the main rhythm with descending chords... until it gets more distorted and turns WAY minor. Subtle, but it effectively underscores the bleak lyrics.
  • My Morning Jacket's album Evil Urges closes with the melancholy, muted synth beat of "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt. 2" followed by a 5-second track of screaming and someone saying "Okay, cool."
    • Earlier in their discography, At Dawn closes with the 8-minute "Strangulation", which is a bit of a nightmare overall, but its last notes especially fit the trope.
  • Ween's "Don't Laugh, I Love You" is a cute, light song until, after a little of what at first appears to be the setup for the fadeout, becomes over a minute of a sound very much like an audiotape audibly rewinding, overlaid with nonsense syllables. Not scary as much as irritating.
  • The Weezer song "Undone (The Sweater Song)" eventually ends on an extremely unsettling clash of noises reminiscent of someone mashing the keys on the far left and right sides of a piano, concluding with the muffled sound of the piano being slammed shut.
  • Subverted in Lemon Demon's "Mold en Mono". The happy, bouncy song starts to fade into sinister static and backmasking at the four-minute mark, then slides into portentous violins and creepy moaning...then all of the nightmarish sounds go silent, and a squeaky voice says, "Can we have, like, 'dun dun dun dun dun dah', like an ending part? So, just like...'dun dun dun dun dun dah'?" The requested cheerful guitar riff is provided, and the voice chirps, "Great!" Considering Lemon Demon has written a song called "Nightmare Fuel", it's almost certainly an intentional subversion of the trope. And, yes, subversion or no, it's not fun to listen to late at night.
    • Lemon Demon likes to use these to varying degrees in his music, ranging from the slightly startling (the ending to I Know Your Name, which ends on a sound clip of a fire burning, leading into the next track) to moderately creepy (the ending to Subtle Oddities, which might be considered narm when you find out what it actually is) to just downright frightening (inverted with the beginning to Flamingo Legs, which samples the aforementioned Don't Laugh, I Love You from Ween).
    • From the Mouth trilogy (also made by Lemon Demon under his real name, Neil Cicierega) is I'm gonna Let It Be", a mostly humorous mixture of "Let It Be" and "I'm gonna Be" that ends with an ascending synthesized sound that gets louder and louder, before abruptly leading into "Daft Mouth".
  • The untitled ninth track of Sonic Youth's Washing Machine (sometimes called "Becuz Coda" since it picks up exactly where opening track "Becuz" fades out): After 2 minutes and 20 seconds of lulling instrumental jamming, it seems to come to a close... then after a few seconds of silence, a loud chord jumps out at you. Not a hugely ominous one, mind you, but just unexpected enough to potentially make you jump out of your seat a bit.
    • Also, "Mildred Pierce" from Goo, for that matter. The song starts off as a steady, repetitive instrumental jam...which makes it that much more shocking when the WHOLE SONG breaks down into noise. Not to mention the distorted screaming.
  • The song "Dream" by Forest for the Trees is a fairly upbeat blend of psychedelic sitar-strumming and Irish folk melody that segues out at the end into a series of idyllic sounds reminiscent of a sunny morning in the suburbs: birds chirping, grass rustling, the rhythmic "sput-sput-sput" of a lawn sprinkler...and then the harsh BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP of an electronic alarm clock, as though the song itself were a dream that the listener's alarm clock is suddenly waking them from.
  • Phish's "Maze" has an inversion of this: after a very fast, aggressive jam section, the song suddenly quiets down, seeming like it's going to come to a soft, eerie end with the protagonist lost in the "maze" forever. Making it a bit jarring when the last measure of the song is a happy polka riff.
  • A First Note Nightmare, which is most effective when you hear the radio version first: The album version of Blue October's "Hate Me" begins with a rambling phone message from the narrator's mother. Without that bit the song sounds like a girlfriend break up, unhappy but standard fare; when you realize it's his mom, well, that's just heartbreaking.
    • "Hate Me" has a Last Note Nightmare as well, with a distorted recording of children chanting and of lead singer Justin Furstenfeld's mother (from the intro) saying "Hey Justin!"
    • "Razorblade" by the same band ends with about twenty seconds of increasingly desperate yelling over demonic distorted screaming and heavy breathing, which then cuts off rather abruptly. It's not particularly jarring in context, though, because it's all about child abuse.
  • The transition between "Falls Apart" and "Forever" on Hurt's Vol. 1 album. "Falls Apart" is a pretty standard rock song, but at the very end, the song ends suddenly, and is instantly replaced by static, which leads into the next song.
  • Inverted with Beck's "Lord Only Knows" from Odelay, which starts off with a first note nightmare but immediately calms down.
    • Played more straight with the B-Side "Alcohol", a gentle, slightly eerie folk song that ends with about a minute of tribal drumming and harsh feedback. And while "Fume" is a bit noisy and queasy-sounding to begin with, its sudden mock-death-metal coda is pretty jarring.
  • Modest Mouse's song "Parting of the Sensory" ends with what sounds like someone trying to spit something up.
  • "Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel" by Barenaked Ladies ends with a strange opera-esque high note. But somehow it seems appropriate as it seems to coincide with the final result of the title...
  • Another Wire alumnus, Colin Newman, has his fair share of perverse transitions and endings, the most sinister being the bizarre middle-eight to "Image" and gradual breakdown of "The Classic Remains", both on A-Z.
  • Thrice's "Digital Sea" is overall a calm, if a bit melancholy, tune however in the last few seconds the song takes a turn into unsettling territory as the line "here my voice goes to ones and zeros" fades into a murmur... then a distorted murmur... then sounding as if someone is underground and calling out in a guttural voice as they are fading away. All accompanied by radio static. Yeah, just a little haunting.
  • "A Favor House Atlantic," by Coheed and Cambria. This otherwise upbeat song ends with the intro for another of their songs, "The Crowing," reversed. It's quite creepy.
    • Also on the same album, the ending of "Backend of Forever" ends with a creepy piano melody.
    • At the end of Coheed and Cambria's "Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)", the sound of rain and a vaguely creepy piano are punctuated by sobbing and an absolutely terrifying scream.
  • Electric Six's "It Ain't Punk Rock" is a playful new wave/surf rock song that ends in about 2 minutes of feedback and distant, rumbling drums. Which is fairly long for a last note nightmare to go on for, especially considering that the whole track is 4 minutes long.
  • Double-subverted in Spacehog's "In the Meantime". The song ends in a spiraling flurry of spacey synth and guitar feedback...which fades away to reveal a pleasant, quiet piano interlude. The final chord of this interlude, however, is played against a thundering piano chord in reverse — it gets progressively louder and then cuts off abruptly.
  • The last song on Silversun Pickups' album Carnavas is "Common Reactor", which is a kind of light-hearted song until you hit the outro, where all calm is suddenly sucked out and replaced by a good minute and a half of discordant whirring and sputtering.
  • "Rubber Ring" by The Smiths, it's a cool, upbeat tune with an awesome bassline and nice relaxed vocals, but comes to an abrupt end, leaving us with a woman repeating "You are sleeping, you do not want to believe" This was sampled from a record demonstrating EVP, or "electronic voice phenomena" - in other words, the woman is supposedly quoting an electromagnetic ghost
    • That's because "Rubber Ring" leads into "Asleep" on the original "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" 12", on every other release the songs were divided in two.
  • The unearthly wailing and echoing bodhran drum that end The Cranberries' "Dreams".
  • "Wraith Pinned To The Mist (and other games)" by Of Montreal features a stinger note that sounds like muffled audio recorded from a construction site. (The song itself is pretty weird though, so it doesn't sound all that out of place.)
    • A much better example is "Id Engager," an otherwise uncomplicated dance song about a one-night stand — it cuts out mid-measure, all the instruments come in at once, and all settle on a single legato note, except for a fiddle that loops two ominous notes. Both then rise in volume until the song (the last on the album) abruptly ends.
  • The song "Slide" by the The Dresden Dolls is mostly just a very quiet piano piece with a couple drum flourishes, then just before the end is an UNHOLY SCREAM. Granted, the entire song is full of creepy double entendres and it feels like it's building up to a bad ending, but nothing prepares you for "THE ORANGE MAN'S GOT YOOOOOOOOOOU."
    • In the official songbook, Amanda has scribbled "saddest note in the world" with an arrow pointing to the final note.
    • Similarly, "The Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner" is obviously not a happy song, but it is fast-paced and intense. The natural ending of the song is followed by crashing drums and a scream, after which there's a little "dun dun dun" on the keyboard.
  • Spoon's "The Underdog" ends, right in the middle of a big brass fanfare, with what sounds like a piano being slammed shut.
    • The tense, funky "Mystery Zone" cuts off abruptly, after 5 hypnotic minutes of bass, in the middle of a line.
  • "Brighter Day", the last tune on the Jellyfish album Spilt Milk, has a tuneful, circus-like atmosphere reminiscent of an oompah band, until it breaks down into a Parisian-sounding, carousel-like melody on flutes, followed by accordions and strings, followed by a raucous, dissonant, nightmarish jumble of ringing telephones, crashing drums and cymbals, orchestral cacophony, and sound effects. It leads to an ominous high drone of arco strings (similar to that which begins the album) and outdoor noises, like birds twittering, cars passing by, and dogs barking. It seems like you can verrrrry faintly hear near-inaudible female whispering, too. Sounds like waking up from a dream, which is appropriate as the first song is a lullaby.
  • Starflyer 59's "First Heart Attack", the final track on the album Old, is an indie rock song with a space-prog guitar solo in the bridge; then the final chorus is followed by 15 seconds of a drum simulating a heartbeat, while an audio clip of a doctor operating plays over it. "How's the blood pressure?" "Not good... falling." (If you listen closely, you can hear one of the musicians say "Stop," just as the track ends.)
  • The Protomen's "The Fall" is incredibly optimistic and inspiring, but in the last few moments, everything plunges downwards. Literally.
    • Made even more stinging once you realize that the fading main guitar sounds like a typical hospital heart machine flat-lining. Of course, as mentioned above, the story going with the song's liner notes proves that this is because Joe accidentally blew himself off the top of the radio tower after he placed the explosives at the end of his heroic climb.
  • "I Was Meant For The Stage" by The Decemberists begins pleasantly enough, with an upbeat tune, and sweet, if a little depressing, lyrics... and then at about 5:37, the tune starts becoming more and more dissonant, and it gets worse and worse and worse until you're left wondering why the hell you decided to listen to this song at 1 in the morning.
    • Possibly worse is the transition between "The Crane Wife Part 3" and "The Island" from the CD The Crane Wife. The final chords of "Crane Wife", a catchy balladic major song, are held and replayed until the first strains of "The Island" come in, a deep bass minor chord; there's no real break between the songs, so although "The Island" is technically its own song, it still qualifies.
  • "Who Could Win A Rabbit?" by Animal Collective fits. While the entirety of the song is a bizarre romp into the art of making things sound simultaneously horrific and badass awesome, the song itself cuts abruptly to about 20 seconds worth of looped inhuman gurgling and honking sounds. The music video only serves to extrapolate the nightmare; mostly a trippy take on the Tortoise and the Hare story, when the LNN kicks in, the video suddenly cuts to grotesque imagery of the tortoise eating the hare.
    • It doesn't hurt the horror at all that the song itself is currently being used extensively in the Everyman HYBRID ARG series...
  • "Complainte d'un Matelot Mourant" (Laments of a Dying Sailor) by the Avett Brothers has one towards the end of the song. The whole song is creepy as it has a very melancholy instrumental line with vocal accompaniment played over the creak of a ship in the ocean at night, but the vocals start turning into horrified screams and you start hearing the violent rattling of a door as if someone is trying to break in to a room. Considering the album this song is on is called "Mignonette" which is named after an English yacht that sank off of the Cape of Good Hope, this can become horrifying because the song is about the surviving people killing one of their men and eating him. Try listening to it driving at 3 in the morning by yourself as I did.
  • Arguably, The Real Tuesday Weld's song "Return I Will To Old Brazil," as seen here. It's a relaxing, soothing song for most of its duration and quite catchy. Then, right before it ends, you hear crabs scuttling around and a woman's voice screaming out.
  • "Lighthouse" by The Hush Sound is a sad, slow melodic piece with slightly creepy yet not outright scary lyrics. Then you reach the end and it says "The door locked from the outside / Three ghosts in a lighthouse" — and it abruptly ends. Pretty much, it suggests that the narrator and the person they're with are also ghosts along with the one ghost they've been talking about.
  • Kate Nash's "Skeleton Song" has a verse right before the end of a fairly poppy song where she dreams of smashing her skeleton in with a hammer, complete with screeching violins as her speech gets more guttural.
  • Mazzy Star's "Into Dust" is a haunting, five-and-a-half-minute Drone of Melancholy in itself, but it ends with a discordant string riff that doesn't resolve — truly unsettling.
  • Bis' already creepy song "Two Million" has a fake-out ending. But then, a slow beat starts and a new song-within-a-song starts with no resemblance to the song that preceded it. The effect makes you feel like waking up from a dream, but then realizing the dream is real.
  • The Zutons' Oh Stacey (Look What You've Done) has this. It's a fairly cheerful-sounding song, albeit one about a willful girl who drives her father into an early grave and blows her inheritance on drink. And then it suddenly slows down at the end and ends in a minor key, with Dave Mc Cabe singing 'Oh Stacey, look...what you've done', followed by a drawn-out, distorted chord.
  • At the end of "Are Friends Electric 2.0" by Information Society (on their Don't Be Afraid album), there's a weird mechanical whirring noise, accompanied by backmasked robotic speech, which to some, seems to be the voice of the malfunctioning "friend".
  • Klaus Nomi does this twice in a row on his first album Klaus Nomi. The otherwise calm Nomi Chant becomes a Scare Chord in its last second, and his rendition of the aria "Mon coeur c'ouvre a ta voix" from Samson and Delilah ends with what can only be described as him getting back in his space ship and taking off. It makes sense in his live shows.
  • Finch's "Ender" tapers off in to this kind of thing.
  • "Concentrical" by Sonny Moore inexplicably ends with some strange squealing and crackling noises.
  • Chiodos's "Deserving an Explanation". It winds down with your standard Ominous Music Box Tune and a very low growl at the close. Your mileage may vary on how effective this is.
    • Another early song, Bulls Have Horns fades out with a series of beeps, only to then fade back in with a high-pitched scream and the lead singer repeating the chorus once more, which then cuts to the whole band laughing. It's not that scary per se, but... unexpected.
    • From their album Illuminaudio, there's "Love is a Cat from Hell", which ends with Brandon Bolmer repeating the second part of the chorus in a really creepy falsetto.
    • "I Am Everything That's Normal" combines this trope with Ending Fatigue. Four minutes of the song's nearly nine-minute run time is a lengthy breakdown of a single repeated whisper as the instrumentation degrades into discordant, disturbing electronic noise. Only by the time the piano melody from the intro track resurfaces amid the murk is the song finally over.
  • "Labyrinth" by Enter Shikari, probably the most upbeat sounding song on their first album, is even more synth-laden than is standard for Shikari. It fades out from the cheery synth lines into deeper, more subdued ones. VERY unsettling.
  • The blood-curdling scream that interrupts the fade-out coda of The Cure's "Subway Song".
  • The weird ending to "when i was bed" from Christian Death.
  • "Isolation" by Joy Division has one of these more-or-less by accident, ending with the last few seconds of the song being played again in reverse; the "accident" here comes from the fact that it was the end result of producer Martin Hannett attempting to undo a botched edit made to the master tape by a junior sound engineer.
  • The lyrically dissonant "The Perfect Kiss" by Joy Division's successor, New Order, ends with a Last Riff Slowdown followed by a muffled bang, seemingly representing the singer's friend shooting himself.
  • Inverted by Godspeed You! Black Emperor's "The Dead Flag Blues" which is a very dark, depressing, and grim-sounding song but ends with the final two minutes being upbeat and positive-sounding. Probably the happiest piece of music that Godspeed You! Black Emperor has written.
    • Very much played straight by "East Hastings", which, although not a happy song at any point, ends with a few minutes of ghostly droning, before closing out with the faint sound of someone screaming in pain.
  • MkII by Madness. Throughout the song is a wonderful piano tune, at one point breaking into more of a rock song. But at the end of the song, after the vocals end, the piano starts up again, but this time is slower and ends with two notes out of place from the rest of the song. After that, we hear the distant sound of birds singing as it fades out.
  • Reel Big Fish do this on the final track to their 2005 album, "We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy". After an upbeat but angry short track called "Your Guts (I Hate 'Em)", the track ends with what sounds like a tape deck closing, then six minutes of silence. Suddenly, you hear backwards whispering, disjointed guitar and bass, loud, drums, then a snippet of an unfinished song, followed by frontman Aaron Barrett whispering "You're gonna die", then screaming and a guitar that sounds like it's being played by the Devil.
  • Steel Train's B Side "Shapeshifter". Starts with a couple dissonant notes continues into a fairly conventional song with a slightly creepy tinge to it and ends with an instrumental section that sounds completely crazy for the last 13 seconds.
  • Cursive's "Some Red Handed Slight of Hand", a short fast-paced song that ends abruptly with an organ being pounded with the same chord a few times.
  • Matchbox Twenty has a bit of one with "You Won't Be Mine," on their Mad Season album. You get to the end of the song and the guitar fades out into silence - but wait, the track is still running! So you keep listening, dead silence. Then, two minutes later, a full-string section cuts in, in what turns out to be a partial orchestral reprise of the song. Maybe not a nightmare, though the tone of the song is somewhat gloomy, but it will certainly make you jump if you're not ready for it.
    • There's another one at the end of "The Burn," on the same album. After the last guitar segment of the chorus peters out, about five seconds later there's some random drum banging and disjointed guitar music with dialogue between the band members in the background. Not a nightmare, but definitely unexpected if you're not aware of it beforehand.
  • "Reason to Believe" by Sum 41 has a nightmarish beginning, with unsettling-sounding synths and eerie whisper-singing, until it finally builds up to some guitar riffs. "Back Where I Belong" Book Ends with this but to an even more unsettling extent.
  • "Lo" from O'Brother has this, but it is made even worse in the music video because it has the video's cast finding a monster fetus. Extra high-pitched noises are also added to the LNN in the video.
  • The song "Ashes of American Flags" by the band Wilco starts off fairly quietly, but after the vocal ends, the last minute or so gets increasingly terrifying and full of ominous echoing electronic noise, before shifting to a couple of wavering piano chords and then cutting off abruptly.
  • South London art-rockers Louellen gives this in "Bright Paint on a White Wall", where the vocalist screams at the end.
  • "Girls With English Accents" by Fergus & Geronimo is an indie-pop song with some playful British Invasion affectations. The song seems to end normally, then you hear 20 seconds of ominous backwards guitar drones and quiet, unintelligible speech, which abruptly cuts off into the next song.
  • "Nothing Really Ends" by dEUS, from their album Pocket Revolution, is about a relationship where the lovers wonder whether they should end it or start over again? The song concludes with an open ending, where the music dissolves into a mysterious, haunting Last Note Nightmare:
    I once told a friend that nothing really ends, no-one can prove this
    So I'm asking you now: "Could it possibly be that you still love me?"
    Do you feel the same
    Do I have a chance of doing that old dance again
    Is it too late for some of that romance again?
    Let's go away, we'll never have the chance again
    I'd take it all from you.
  • The coda of "Hey Hey Come On" by indie pop band Prettyand Nice features about 8 seconds of some of the most distorted, maniacal laughter you will ever hear.
  • "Goodnight Socialite" by The Brobecks ends on a loud, sudden bang of instruments, similar to the ones that opened the song.
  • The Juliana Theory's final album "Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat" has this for its final track: "French Kiss-Off" has lead singer Brett Detar letting out a good 40-second scream for the finale. The song ends with his wail fading into silence, with some faint distortion in the background. The track itself continues in silence for several minutes, until the haunting, soft guitar of the hidden song "Her Velvet Voice" begins.
  • In "Luxury" by The Wrens, the music cuts out mid-note near the end and is replaced by a 30-second rumbling drone.
  • During the recording of Death Cab for Cutie's "Pity and Fear", the tape machine the band was using broke, resulting in the song suddenly getting louder and then cutting off.
  • "Your Algebra" by The Shins is already a pretty ominous song, but it ends with some strange rustling noises and clips of children laughing which lasts for about 40 seconds. It's....unsettling.
  • "Where You'll Find Me Now" by Neutral Milk Hotel ends with a distorted, mangled sample of carnival music.
    • The eerie tape loops at the end of "Communist Daughter".
    • "Sailing Through", where Jeff Mangum's voice gets louder and more strained until he's basically shrieking.
    • "Tuesday Moon" is capped off with the sound of a gunshot.
  • "Hudson Line" by Mercury Rev (which is a pretty upbeat song) ends with a cold, solitary organ note that goes on for a little too long.
    • Their 10-minute epic "Meth of a Rockette's Kick" finishes off with a swelling wall of noise about twice as loud as the rest of the song.
  • Anathema's "Judgement" just stops suddenly with a Record Needle Scratch. Nothing too scary, but if you're listening to it for the first time without expecting it, it might make you jump out of your seat.
  • The Megas: "Make Your Choice" ends with a garbled electronic noise, presumably the sound of Gamma, Dr Wily's out-of-control "peacekeeping" robot, breaking down as Mega Man kills it.
  • The Garden by Rudimentary Peni is already a creepy unsettling song to begin with. But the final word sung is strained and then suddenly screamed:
    • Forever peace and chaaaaaaAAAAAARM!!!
  • Yves Tumor's "Noid" is a dark song about racism towards African-Americans and police brutality, set to a catchy melody and a slamming beat. If the lyrics didn't make the overall theme of the song clear, then the final verse of the song, which incorporates wailing guitars and the sounds of riots and people screaming, definitely will.
  • Kenna’s “Within Earshot” is already a creepy-sounding, ominous song, but the sudden, loud burst of static at the end is sure to catch many listeners off guard.
  • "Eggs" by Your Neighbors, which is pretty energetic, ends with some jingling sounds (like someone taking out their keys and locking/unlocking a door), a whistling of the song's main melody, and then more background noises and a drone that rapidly increases in volume and abruptly cuts off.

    Electronic / Industrial 
  • The track "The Eve of the War" in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is a pretty upbeat (and very bombastic) song about the Martian invaders coming, that ends with a sound that could be a martian beacon or radar along with a pumping heart.
  • The 30-minute piece "Bayreuth Return" from Klaus Schulze's Timewind album speeds up slightly for the final few minutes, then finally, a sonic boom-like noise blast abruptly ends the piece. The demo version, "Echoes of Time", has a Fade Out instead.
    • Similarly, halfway through "Wahnfried 1883", the tune slowly morphs into a cacophony of eerie distorted organ drones, building up to a final climax with the wind and space sound effects.
  • For an Alternate Music Video, "One-Winged Scout". The start is what you'd expect, Team Fortress 2's Scout "bonking" over Sephiroth's (in)famous theme, then after some time, the Scout's Man on Fire soundbites start playing.
  • "Encoder" by Pendulum fades out while the sound of water splashing can be heard, and a man can be heard breathing heavily as if he just swam a long distance. Then a wham noise begins to fade, but before it does, the song abruptly cuts out. Bam, album over.
    • Similar to it is the upbeat song "I'm Talking 'Bout Me" by Admiral Twin. The chorus is building up at the end and after the second to last word, cuts off abruptly.
  • Portishead's Third: the ending track, "Threads." The whole song is already a nightmare, but if the end of the world doesn't sound like the blasts of noise at the end of the song, I'm going to be disappointed.
    • Inverted with a later track on the same album, "We Carry On". Weird oscillating, then the conga-ish beat starts.
    • Portishead's "Silence" brings together Last Note Nightmare and Nothing Is Scarier: It cuts off abruptly in mid-note. No last note, no fade out, not even some weird sound. Just spontaneous silence. Yikes.
  • The first movement of Kraftwerk's "Kometenmelodie" (from the Autobahn album) is an airy Ambient piece, then while the last chord is still playing, it abruptly cuts to the second movement with a high-pitched screech, it doesn't help that the main melody of the second part is also mostly harsh high-pitched instruments.
  • The Black Bag Project's "Electric Swine" does this. The song itself is horrifying enough, and then you get to the last minute or so, where it disintegrates into hollow-sounding echoing harmonics and faint laughing, with unsettling chords playing... Needless to say, it really isn't something to listen to at night.
  • The 1981 album Claro que si by the band Yello featured a hypnotizing instrumental track "Take It All". At the end, while the song was slowly fading away, a strange noise was growing in the background, kind of a nonsensical robot rambling, really creepy as if a weird and unpredictable robot was closing on to the listener. This immediately segued into the next song, "The Evening's Young", with the robot voice still around. A few seconds into the song, the robot voice started coughing and shut up.
  • After the first movement of the long (28-minute) version of Orbital's "The Box", it delves into horror territory, with creaking noises, dissonant guitars and piano, ominous harpsichord, etc.
    • The Diversions remix of "Impact (The Earth is Burning)" starts out mostly the same as the original, but then halfway through, an ominous buzzing 303 riff takes over the melody, emphasizing the "the earth is burning" subtitle.
  • Daft Punk's "Prime Time Of Your Life" from "Human After All" has also one of these. Expect it goes on for half of the whole song, and there's even another regular Last Note Nightmare at the end within the extended Last Note Nightmare. Also, watching the official music video with it only makes it even more of a nightmare because it has a girl skinning herself and accidentally killing herself because she wanted to be like the pink skeletons she was seeing, but it was all her illusion because she thought she was fat even though she wasn't.
    • Not the first time they've done this, either. Their track "Short Circuit" has an extended Last Note Nightmare too.
    • And less than some of the other examples here, but the last note of the video version of the light and happy "One More Time" is For Doom the Bell Tolls—which, on both the album and film proper, leads into "Aerodynamic".
    • The finale of Random Access Memories, "Contact", is especially terrifying for its LNN, where it gradually gets consumed by noise and distortion until nothing is left at the end.
  • Dome, the Head-Tiltingly Arty side-project of Wire members Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis, produced an album called Dome 2 that is made of this trope. For proof, just listen to the first track, "The Red Tent". Starts off weird enough, but then it changes... You'll never look at hiking the same way again.
    • Subverted at the end of "Madmen" on Dome.
  • John Heartson's "The Silicon Invasion" is an upbeat techno-pop song about how computers are running our world. The vocals get more robotic with every verse, and by the last verse they are completely Machine Monotone:
    Billions of names erased from the file
    Purging is complete
    Only a few organics remain
    The so-called elite
    Illogical species, faulty programming
    Consume more than required
    Fatal exception, self-destructive behavior
    It's why they expired
  • Dark Ambient artist Ezra Yates's song "The Black-Eyed Children" has a creepy atmosphere throughout, including the sound of children singing "Ring Around the Roses" a few times and then a horrifying industrial noise hits you, continuing on for about a minute. Then it fades, and then suddenly comes the sound of freakish laughter descending in pitch, repeating to silence.
  • While the whole song is rather disturbing, the lyrics being a message left on an answering machine by a man who knows his plane is going down, I think 30k Feet by Assemblage 23 qualifies. The last line runs something like "Just one more thing to tell you now before I have to go. I-*SCRIIIICH!*"
  • On the US edition of BT's ESCM, the ambient outro of "Remember" abruptly jumps to the very loud Scare Chord intro of "Love Peace & Grease (BT's Puma Fila Mix)".
  • The end of "Twisted Little Star" by Bertine Zetlitz is a mass of random distortion that grows progressively louder as the song draws to a close, ending in one big distorted mess.
  • All of Nox Arcana's albums end on these if you leave them on after the last track goes quiet. Winter's Knight's example was intended to be uplifting, but may very well be unsettling to some people.
  • Vladislav Delay's album-length piece "Anima" starts with a conversation: "Danny, are you awake yet?" "No, are you"? before slipping into 60 minutes of ambiance and random, sometimes scary synthesizer noises, which finally ends with a splash and the words "I may never go to sleep again, I might stay awake forever". Try listening to it in the dark.
  • Patrick Wolf's "Wolf Song" is a folk song performed with traditional acoustic instruments. The last chord, however (together with a wolf-like howl), is digitally mutilated to be a glitchy stutter. Someone who doesn't know Mr. Wolf's other work might think there's a playback error.
  • Kind of a reversal into First Note Nightmare: Rammstein's "Reise, Reise" is a creepy song in and of itself, moreso if you speak German, but the first thirty seconds or so consist of a clip from the black box of Japan Airlines 123 immediately before it crashed.
    • Then there's the song right after "Reise, Reise", called "Mein Teil", which starts loudly and suddenly after "Reise, Reise" ends, being a last-note AND first-note nightmare at the same time.
  • Nine Inch Nails has used this on occasion.
    • Examples from The Downward Spiral:
      • "Mr. Self Destruct" is an already unnerving, intense song made even scarier by the fact that it ends with 45 seconds of guitars stacked on top of one another playing simultaneously to create dissonant noise.
      • Similarly at the end of "Closer", the song seems to build up to a climax, then peters out with a muted and distorted guitar hook that then fades. The last couple of notes are played much clearer, however, which adds to the atmosphere.
      • "A Warm Place" has a literal Last Note Nightmare if played on repeat. The piece begins with a brief burst of static noise — an intentional artifact from the previous song in the album — which is quickly forgotten about as the sounds develop into a soothing melody that can only be described as "womb-like". You're practically asleep by the time it ends... at which point you're suddenly startled awake by that damned burst of static.
      • "Hurt" is a quiet, melancholy song that morphs into a strangely uplifting ballad...then looks like it's going to taper off quietly. Instead, the last line is accompanied by a crashing, detuned guitar. It fades out for over a minute, followed by an ominous wind/static sound (on the album version).
    • The Fragile taken as a whole. Granted, it's not the happiest album, but it's energetic and has tones of working towards something great. Then comes "Ripe" (including its full version "Ripe (With Decay)".
    • "Twist" ends with someone who may be Trent screaming.
  • "Laser Fear" by Laserdance, from Future Generation, has both a first and last-note nightmare consisting of slowed-down baby cry samples.
  • Myvoice's Nosmo King, shortly after its Truck Driver's Gear Change, abruptly ends with a gunshot-like sound, possibly representing the suicide of the titular character.
  • The after the fade out of the relatively mellow And One track "Sometimes", suddenly a very loud noise that sounds like a UFO crashing or something explodes out of your speakers. It can definitely make you jump.
  • Depeche Mode has employed this trope a couple of times.
    • "Somebody" ends with what sounds like the intro to a horror movie theme.
    • Several seconds after the fade-out of "Enjoy the Silence", the track comes back to life with a nightmarish melody complete with a distorted voice that says "CRUCIFY!"
    • "I Feel You" has an inversion. It begins with plenty of seconds of ear-piercing screeching sounds before the song begins.
  • The song "London Town," the final song from William Control's first album, Hate Culture, features a supposedly real recorded 911 call that starts playing a few minutes after it ends. The authenticity has been debated, but real or not, it's damn scary.
  • The eerie whispering at the end of The Birthday Massacre's "Play Dead" is an example of this.
  • "Untrust Us" by Crystal Castles ends jarringly with the abrupt wailing of a guitar that cuts off 2 seconds in.
  • The Abney Park CD Lost Horizons ends with a "ghost track". Leave the album going after the last song ends, and you might notice the distant sound of seagulls and waves, but quite possibly you won't. You WILL notice the sudden, loud, and profoundly unnerving sound that follows, something like metal scraping and shuddering. Creepy.
  • KMFDM's Nihil ends with a minute of silence followed by a minute or two of similar ear-piercing grinding noises.
    • Xtort's final song ends with a light classical music chord, only to turn into blaring electronic noise with a woman screaming over it. It's inverted with the hidden track, which is so quiet by comparison that it's easy to miss, even after it's started.
    • "The Unrestrained Use of Excessive Force", the closer of What Do You Know Deutschland, concludes with a minute-long drone chord followed by a loud metallic crash. Its impact is reduced on the remaster, thanks to the Loudness War.
  • Doctor Steel, "Build The Robots", which ends with the vocals fading out and a note uncannily like a sped-up version of the THX Deep Note sound.
  • "Diabolical" by Mindless Self Indulgence is an entire song that's sole purpose was to invoke this trope. Seriously. The intro consists of a somewhat unsettling, off-key electronic violin that loops throughout the track. It seems fine until the very end, in which the volume gets pumped up and becomes SO loud that it can literally BREAK your speakers. In fact, the purpose of the song was to do that, as said by the band and in the lyrics, that say "I got the diabolical sound comin' through your speakers", as well as in the album commentary available on the DVD for "Tighter", the re-release of their first album; the band mentioned that they set the overall volume for this track a bit lower than the rest of the tracks present just to trick people into turning up their volume. Needless to say, if it's your first time listening to it, you WILL get the crap scared out of you.
    • The version on the re-release of the first album is even worse; instead of the ending gradually getting louder with note, it bursts in volume with only the last note. What a Jump Scare.
  • "Ecos" by Mexican EBM band Hocico ends with a series of noises that sound like malfunctioning synthesizers-as if the band's equipment suddenly stopped working.
  • "Spindrift" by Covenant ends with an unsettling harpsichord dirge.
    • "I Walk Slow" starts out as a minimalist ballad, then suddenly turns into Sunn O)))-style drone noise for a minute, before changing back.
  • The original mix of "Sun" by Slusnik Luna ends with the lone, fading sound of what seems to be heavily digitized breathing. With the rest of the song having been driven by a percussion beat throughout, it's quite jarring and unnerving.
  • The Avalanches' "Two Hearts In 3/4 Time" is a calm and lovely song supported by sampled "la-la-la" vocals. However, at the end, this discordant, creepy, and dissonant army beat with high-pitched blips fade in just before segueing into "Avalanche Rock". Bonus points for being sampled from a song called "Ghost Story".
  • The album version of Fatboy Slim's "Weapon Of Choice" ends with a section of one of the sampled record scratching sounds being played forward and backward over and over in one ear, and some weird, distorted radio static in the other.
  • "Cubik" by 808 State ends with the song abruptly being spun backwards at different speeds: first, incredibly fast, then incredibly slow and distorted-sounding, and finally, moderate speed that gradually becomes fast again. This all has the effect of sounding very creepy, especially to those who aren't expecting it after the great EDM track they were listening to up to that point.
  • The last track on Skinny Puppy's Remission EP, titled "Brap", is a short but dissonant experimental piece that uses repeated Stock Scream samples. "Sleeping Beast" from the same EP has a somewhat unsettling guitar lick during its fade-out. "Choralone" from Rabies ends with 15 seconds of silence followed by a thunderclap.
  • Inverted in Differnet's "Mycobacterium Tuberculosis", which starts with a distorted electronic screech... then they dial down the distortion and reveal it as a gently plucked semiacoustic guitar.
  • The last track of disc two of the DJ mix Global Underground #017: London abruptly stops the last track, "Live 1999" by Devilfish, holds a synth chord that after about 10 seconds sinks into an endless descent, repeats a sample from disc one of a deep voice saying "THE ENCHANTMENT IS OVER" several times, and then ends with a Record Needle Scratch.
  • Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto's album "Insen" is a mix of classic piano and glitch music. It's quite creepy as a whole, but one of his track, Berlin, is a particularly melancholy melody that ends up in a pretty abrupt and pitched wave of sound-alike telephone static.
  • "Five Nights At Freddy's" by The Living Tombstone, as should be expected for a song about the game of the same name, uses the robots' scream at the end as a sample (the scream is also used at other points in the song, but the music drowns it out and reduces its scariness). People familiar with the game can see this one coming, as the video shows the lyrics over a screenshot of the game, but looking at the bottom left corner reveals that the power is counting down. Guess what happens in the game when it reaches zero.
  • El Ten Eleven's Bye Mom starts out as a relaxing, wistful instrumental song, and it stays that way until the last 5 seconds, when an abrupt Scare Chord goes off, symbolizing the death of one of the band members' moms, who passed away while recording the album.
  • "Tower of Our Tuning" by Broadcast is a hypnotic, repetitive instrumental that is abruptly cut off by a cold, jarring scare chord.
  • "You Are Fragile" by Circle of Dust, already Hell Is That Noise, and then it starts getting slower and slower until it's just a dissonant, distorted drone. If not for the remixes, this would have also been a Last Track Nightmare.
  • Kevorkian Death Cycle's "The Gathering", the finale of I am God, ends with the speaker's voice distorting unintelligibly mid-sentence before cutting to a static screech.
  • The first disc of Junkie XL's double album Radio JXL: A Broadcast From The Computer Hell Cabin, 3PM, has JXL Radio Technical Support, where the fictional radio station Radio JXL experiences major technical difficulties during the final song on the album. The song plays like normal amid moments of distortion that creep in; the station attempts to fix itself throughout the first half before experiencing a literal bluescreen moment where it repeatedly spouts out the phrases "PLEASE CONTACT RADIO JXL TECHNICAL SUPPORT" and "Back in 11 hours." over an unnerving warble and some kind of cut up and processed vocal sample before the whole thing shuts down entirely and announcing that its next broadcast will be heard later on (referring to the second disc, 3AM).
  • Rob Dougan's "Furious Angels", famously used in The Matrix Reloaded, is a fast-paced orchestral breakbeat song that spends its final 30 seconds slowly being consumed by an anxious flurry of dissonant strings.
  • Porter Robinson's "Goodbye To A World", ends with the final iteration of the chorus, heavily distorted and glitched out. The ending results, turn out to be unsettling...
  • Imogen Heap ends and begins "Leave Me To Love" with some heavy screeching.
  • About 90% of Odyssey Eurobeat's song "Luna (NIGHTMARE MODE)" is an upbeat if melancholic Eurobeat piece. The final 30 seconds of the song, on the other hand, are best described as black metal, with eerie lyrics sung in a guttural growling voice. As the author puts it, "sometimes you can't tell a dream is a nightmare until the very end."
    I am the creature that feasts upon dreams
    And turns them to nightmares and all things obscene
    Rue your misfortune, look me in the eye
    The wage of my anger is infinite night
  • Autechre has done this several times, especially from Chiastic Slide onward.
    • "Recury" is a somewhat loud song, but it isn't overly harsh on the ears and it doesn't have many elements of fear to it. However, as the song leaves its main portion and enters a somewhat ambient section towards the end, loud static starts to fade in until it completely overtakes the track.
    • "Uviol" is, for the most part, a more soothing and mellow song on the hellish-sounding Confield album, if not retaining a little bit of the album's ominousness. Then, as soon as the beats end, a screeching noise comes in and grows in intensity until the song ends.
    • A similar thing happens in "Eidetic Casein" from the same album, where disturbing noises that sound like a broken amusement park ride start being heard towards the end until they suddenly merge into a menacing drone that closes the track.
  • Arca tends to invert this, with tracks starting out horrific and ending beautiful.
    • "Mutant" opens with harsh, glitchy bass sounds and yelling, only to end with gorgeous pads.
    • "Turnt"/"Girasol" opens with what sounds like a woman screaming for her life, only for that to fade out into a haunting vocal melody.
    • "Sin Rumbo" opens with a Drone of Dread and stays there for most of the song, but the ending is a lovely piano melody. The Entrañas version zigzags this, as it has loud fireworks after the melody.
  • Mikeyeldey's remix of the United Furniture Warehouse jingle ends with the famous last two notes edited to sound scary.
  • On Sister Machine Gun's album "The torture technique" the majority of the songs ends with a collage of industrial noises with varying lenghts.

    Hip Hop 
  • The last five notes of Lil Romeo's "RomeoLand".
  • "Word Of Mouth" by John Reuben ends with about 15 seconds of the narrator asking, in a whiny voice, if the listener will please like him.
  • SHAKKAZOMBIE's "Recover The Sky Of Day" is a case of First Note Nightmare. Before the actual song, is about one second of what appears to be the members of the band screaming. Thank god they left that out of the Cowboy Bebop recap episode.
  • "Stepfather Factory" by El-P is a song that is highly unsettling and depressing in itself all about domestic abuse. It only gets worse when all you hear at the end is silence and a robotic, Creepy Monotone voice repeating over and over, "Why are you making me hurt you? I love you. Why are you making me hurt you? I love you."
  • "M1 A1" from Gorillaz by Gorillaz is a strange reverse example. The song starts out with a brief clip of a heartbeat, followed by weird, dissonant tones and a creepy-sounding, crescendoing baseline while an echoing voice repeatedly (and increasingly desperately) shouts "Hello? Is anyone there?", sampled from Day of the Dead (1985), but after the first minute and a half or so, the song transitions into something more conventional and upbeat in sound.
    • More recently, "On Melancholy Hill" from Plastic Beach uses this straight. It starts calm and melancholic, but the last note is a gong that has nothing to do with the song.
  • Slenderman: The Album is already full of pretty creepy instrumental hip-hop, but two tracks, "Fighting Back" and "The Library is Flooded", stand out the most. The former is a much more upbeat, triumphant rock-style song than the rest of the album, but near the end, switches to a minor key and then finally slows down into distorted, low-pitched noise before an equally-distorted voice mumbles something about "dark forces". In the latter, the song seems to end about halfway through before returning with distorted, frantic drums and threatening bursts of static and distortion.
  • The chorus of Jeru the Damaja's "Ain't the Devil Happy" contains a sample of a man laughing evilly. The song ends with the sample being played, then the record it comes from being spun backward while gradually slowing down, creating a very unnerving effect.
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's "Nightmare on My Street", featuring Freddy Krueger. Most of the song is a lighthearted, but not-a-little-creepy narrative about Will Smith's encounter with Fred, right up until the end, when Will calls Jeff in order to warn him about Freddy. Jeff brushes him off, annoyed, telling him it's too early in the morning to call him, but then Freddy appears in his room, and he screams for life while Smith yells "Jeff! Jeeeeeff!" as the song fades out.
    • In the six-minute cut of the song, Freddy gets the last word: "I'm your DJ now, Princey!"
  • Tupac Shakur's "Califonia Love" album remix is longer than the original and features a...very strange outro. All the instruments fade away and the background vocalist all of a sudden starts improvising while the only accompanying instrument is an eerie synthesizer. Then at the very end shouts out "COMPUTER-PUTER-PUTER-PUTER-PUTER-PUTER-PUTER-PUTER-PUTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRR AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" It's very unexpected and startling.
  • Scapegoat Wax's "Aisle 10 (Hello Alison)" ends with "HELLO ALISIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!!!!!!!".

    R & B / Soul 
  • Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" from What's Going On? ends with a long instrumental section concluding with a haunting chorus, a dissonant horn, and some drumming. At least one station actually cuts it short.
  • "Russian Roulette" by Rihanna ends with the sound of a loud gunshot, leaving listeners wondering who won...or lost. The video also leaves this to interpretation.
  • Steely Dan's "Josie" has an oddly menacing fade-out.
  • Bill Withers' "Better Off Dead", a mournful but relatively smooth R&B song, has not so much a Last Note Nightmare as a sound effect nightmare: the final iteration of the chorus — "she's better off without me/and I'm better off dead now that she's gone" — is interrupted after the titular phrase... by a gunshot. One of the greatest shock endings in pop music. And to top it all off, it's the last song on Just As I Am.
  • James Brown's "The Payback" ends with a long and ominous string glissando. There's not even a transition into it; the song just seems to stop before it happens.
  • Anouk's "Good God" starts and ends with an eerie twinkling tune. It's creepier when the song fades out at the end.

  • Pick up any jazz CD, and you're likely to find at least one track that ends with a long solo riff over sustained chord that's way more dissonant than the rest of the song.
  • Weather Report's "Cucumber Slumber" ends with, fittingly enough, the very last note of the saxophone solo being given a creepy echo.
  • Serge Gainsbourg's "Les Sambassadeurs" is a loud, wild song, which ends with what sounds like a large crowd of people screaming in panic, while gunshots resonate over them.

    J-Pop / J-Rock 
  • The last minute or so of ''Kono Daremo Inai Heya De" by Gackt is something resembling a spectral chorus singing "Hey, Jude"; the fade-out is a harsh violin crescendo.
    • "Longing" plays with this. The verses are distorted and end on nightmarish notes, and the bridge changes melodies entirely, giving way to Ominous Pipe Organ, more distorted screams from Gackt, a woman screaming in terror...and then it goes right back to normal.
  • Sort of a weird example in Ali Project's lesser-known song, "Akai Suiren no Gogo", for the first 2 1/2 minutes, is a soft, relaxing yet sort of odd melody. Then, towards the end, there are four rather startling fortissimos (if that's the proper term) before going back to normal, except for a chilling, deep "I love you" in English near the end. It should be noted that this is only true for the earlier Gensou Teien + 1 version, not the Moonlight intoxication version.
  • A perfect example is track 4 of Haruka Shimotsuki's Koboreru Suna no ARIA: Third Movement ~Homecoming~, which does it not only at the end, but also at the beginning, and in two very jarring ways. The first time, the song is playing what seems to be a bridal waltz to then abruptly change into something akin to a war persecution song; and near the end, in which the song is playing a magnificent and bright orchestral arrangement of the album's main theme, it suddenly drops in tone and becomes a nightmarish repetition of "FEL LEASRY WEL", which translates to "I warn you" in the album's own language.
  • Shonen Knife's "Bye Bye" (the original closer of the Yama no Attchan album) is an almost ridiculously lackadaisical song with lyrics like, "Marmalade on a glorious day, a lame clown on a tray..." and cutesy instrumentation including sleigh-bells and Big Ben chimes. The mention of a "Toy pistol alone in a foolish way," and some tinny, metallic clanks are the only indication something more sinister may be afoot. As the instrumental break seems to be resolving itself, suddenly BOOM! A realistic gunshot sound-effect much louder than anything else on the album puts a stop to the fun, and all instruments stop except the guitar which meanders to a fade accompanied by three solitary descending church-bell notes.
  • On Kamen Rider: The Next's soundtrack, the final track contains a 'Movie edit.' of Platinum Smile, which lasted for 2 and a half minutes instead of 5. After the first chorus, the song began to distort with various mumbling, whispers and blood-curdling screams playing in the background. The track ends with an increasingly pitched horrifying scream, which abruptly ended the track.
    • This could be a reference to the events of the movie, where Chiharu murders anyone who listens to the song.
  • "Fukai no Yami" by girugämesh ends with Satoshi repeating "Shizunde iku" about six times, and then capping it off with a positively TERRIFYING anguished scream that comes absolutely out of nowhere. The subsequent repeat of the melancholic piano melody from the intro does nothing to soften the effect.

  • "Alice Human Sacrifice" ends on a very creepy chord.
  • "Black/White Ward" ends with the loud beeping sound of a heart monitor.
  • "Knowledge of the Late Madness" ends with the crank organ music heard in of Dark Woods Circus.
    • "Dark Woods Circus" itself ends with the sound of an ominous cymbal and horse hooves.
  • The scream at the very end of Guilty Verse can be pretty startling.
  • "Karakuri Burst" finishes with either a high-pitched scream or a burst of static (it's difficult to tell which).
  • Most of Shoujo Rei by Mikito-p is quite soothing for a song about suicide and bullying. And then you reach the last note, where the song breaks down and fades into echoes and the sound of cicadas...
  • The PV for "Coin Locker Baby" by MARETU ends with an ominous crescendo, accompanied by what sounds like fleshy squishing/crushing.
  • Steampianist's "Secrets of Wysteria" ends with what sounds like a male voice saying gibberish, but it's actually a backwards message. Playing the song in reverse reveals it to be an excerpt from the real-life Albert Fish's letter to Grace Budd's family describing how he killed and ate their daughter.

    Country / Folk 
  • Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead" tells the story of an abused wife waiting in ambush with a shotgun for her husband, who is freshly out on bail. The song seems to trail off normally, only to be punctuated by a shotgun blast, followed by the metallic ring of an ejected shell hitting the ground. Somehow the merry little "ting!" of the shell just makes it worse.
  • The Pete Seeger anti-nuclear song "Odds on Favorite" is creepy to start with, talking about how God designed a universe with built-in obsolescence, then gets more cheerful — for a while.
    Thank God this great combustion day
    Is several billion years away
    So as philosophers all say
    Why fuss, why fume, why worry?
    A jillion moons will wane and wax
    Sit down, make out your income tax
    Enjoy your life, be calm, relax
    For God is in no hurry.

    Reassuring, right? Then it ends:

    But oh, my friends, I have a hunch,
    Mankind might beat God to the punch.

    And it abruptly ends.
  • "Universal Soldier" by Buffy Sainte-Marie has a fairly pleasant melody most of the way through, although the antiwar message is obvious, it's driven home when the last line ("This is not the way we put an end to war") drops into a minor key.
  • Loreena McKennitt's "Never-Ending Road" (from the album An Ancient Muse) is a quiet, pretty love song - but its last few notes are underlined and followed by a few bars of a different, eerie melody.
  • Jay Malinowski's Animal ends with a piano chord that fades out, then back in, gets louder and louder until it abruptly cuts out.
    • Made worse by the fact that on some prints of the album, Animal is the last track.
  • Simon & Garfunkel's "Richard Cory" features this with a stinger just before the final chorus, sure to startle.
    He freely gave to charity, he had the common touch
    And they were grateful for his patronage, and they thanked him very much
    So my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read:
    Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head.
    • The lyric then continues with
      And I wish that I could be, yes I wish that I could be, Oh I wish that I could be Richard Cory. Of course, this was adapted from the poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson, which ended basically with the spoiled line.
    • Their Bookends album has a First Note Nightmare at the start of "Save The Life of My Child", the second track of the album; made more jarring by the fact that the prelude was so gentle and puts the listener in a relaxed state of mind...and then WHAM.
  • Harry Chapin's "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" ends with the tempo of the song getting faster and faster, and then ends with Chapin doing an elongated scream, before the song just...stops right in its tracks.
  • Love's "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This": It's a mellow psychedelic folk song where every verse is followed by a horn fanfare, and the final few repetitions of said fanfare are edited in a jumpy manner to imitate a skipping record.
  • The music of Sufjan Stevens sometimes falls under this trope. "The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!", for example, is a soft, sentimental song, but the last twenty seconds slip into an unsettling white-noise grind that grows louder, then abruptly stops.
    • Not to mention the song "Seven Swans" which has a slow, almost calming cadence thanks to its use of only a few banjo chords throughout most of its length, along with some pretty, but slightly odd, imagery with the lyrics. But, then the last minute or so of the song comes, and we get a crescendo involving a chorus of female voices (eliciting images of an angelic choir), but singing supremely creepy lines such as "He will take you; if you run / He will chase you, / 'cause He is the Lord." And at this point, you realize that the imagery earlier in the song isn't so pretty, is actually reminiscent of the Book of Revelation, and pretty creepy indeed.
    • 'Dumb I Sound', which is a slow, sad song about unrequited love, ends with a full minute of the instrumental slowly deteriorating into something that barely resembles music at all, and caps off with a lion's roar for no apparent reason.
  • "Bowl of Oranges" by Bright Eyes is heartwarming until you get to the sinister instrumentals at the end of the track.
  • "Merry Minuet" by the Kingston Trio is cheerful enough, for a song about nuclear annihilation, and has a catchy melody... but when they get to the last line "What nature doesn't do to us / Will be done by our fellow man", they sing and play the last word on an ear-rending dissonant chord.
  • "Homecoming Queen" by Sparklehorse ends with warped, barely audible calliope music that's cut off by the first chord of the next track.
  • Leonard Cohen's 1970 album Songs of Love and Hate is pretty dark and chilling in general, but the opening track "Avalanche" ends with a loud sting from the strings section that sounds like it's something from right out of a horror movie.
  • The spooky folk song "Old Woman All Skin and Bones" ends abruptly with a scream or a "Boo" as the titular woman opens the door to fetch her broom and sweep up the graveyard. The implication is that something is inside her house attacking her, and the scream is the last thing heard in the song.

  • The last three bars of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "A Musical Joke" are in a polytonal jumble of five different keys.
  • Joseph Haydn was known as a prankster, and several jokes across his works include last note nightmares:
    • The slow movement of the Surprise Symphony has a nice peaceful melody but is then rudely interrupted by a loud BANG! after about 30 seconds. Haydn was known as a prankster, and this is one of the many jokes in his pieces (though he denied that he wanted to wake up his audience; he just wanted to give them something they'd never heard before). Here it is on Youtube, for those of you who enjoy your spines 1 inch out of proper alignment in the vertical direction.
    • The "Farewell Symphony", while not a nightmare ending, is pretty disconcerting. The last movement ends with the musicians, one or a few at a time, quietly leaving the stage, with the final part played by just two violins. This was Haydn's hint to his patrons, the Esterhazy family, that his orchestra's stay at their summer palace had gone on for too long and that they would really like to get back to their families.
  • "Black Angels" by George Crumb, while surreal overall, is something of an inversion. The first section, Night of the Electric Insects, features multiple screeching violins playing loudly then softly then loudly again. It's so terrifying that it will keep you up at night. Not to be listened to while reading the Nothing Is Scarier section.
  • Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" can come across as this. The last time the melody comes in, it is stronger, with much of the orchestra playing the theme, or counter melodies that seem wild. In some recordings, this section comes across as significantly louder. Some of the stated counter melodies also change the chords to dissonant ones. The song is major until then.note 
  • Edvard Grieg seems to scare many with the final chord of "In the Hall of the Mountain King."
  • Johann Sebastian Bach loved these in his organ works.
    • The "Great" Fugue in G minor (BWV 542) is quite soft and quiet for its first half. In the second half, the piece shifts toward being slightly more upbeat and louder, but still not too loud. Then at the very end, the piece shifts toward being loud and angry for a few seconds, contrasting with the light and soft qualities of the rest of the piece.
    • Perhaps Bach's most jarring example comes from the deceptively peaceful Adagio in A minor from the Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C major (BWV 564). Not only is the Adagio not actually positive-sounding, as its name would suggest, it has a short but incredibly aggressive ending portion that can only be described as Ominous Pipe Organ taken up a notch. Never has a shift from minor to major (C major, the relative major and the home key of the ensuing Fugue, rather than A major, the parallel major) sounded so demonic. Listen here.
  • Gustav Holst's The Planets has "Uranus: The Magician" be mostly whimsical and bouncy-bouncy, until the end, where the 4th to last note is a dissonant crash, followed by a softer echo, and an unsettling resolution. It's a near-polar opposite from the previous movement, "Saturn: The Bringer of Old Age". In astrology, Uranus is the planet of weird shit and unusual, unsettling events — not always for the worst — so the conclusion reflects this.
  • In P.D.Q. Bach's oratorio The Seasonings, the final chord of the recitative preceding the chorale "By the leeks of Babylon" falls victim to Stylistic Suck, with the organist's fingers hitting everything but the C major chord.
  • Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6 isn't called "Tragic" for nothing,note  and the coda to the final movement is downbeat, quiet, and gloomy, and slows down to less than a crawl. The final A minor chord, however, is a crashing fortissimo for the full orchestra, including an extra-loud version of the symphony's recurring timpani theme, that takes two bars to fade out.
  • The end of The Sorcerer's Apprentice features a slow and very soft section in 9/8 where peace is restored... followed by two very fast measures in 3/8 with the whole orchestra (except harp, glockenspiel, and unpitched percussion, which remain silent) marked either forte or fortissimo. These two measures fit very well in Fantasia as Yen Sid uses the very same broom Mickey summoned to make him get back to work. Probably exactly what composer Paul Dukas intended.
  • And that is nothing compared to "La danse sacrale", the final tableau in Le sacre du printemps. The whole ballet itself is a musical nightmare, but after a soft glissando near an ever deafening end, Igor Stravinsky scared his listeners on a far harsher chord than Haydn.
  • The final movement to Daniel Bukvich's first symphony. While the rest of the symphony, especially the second movement, is rather dissonant (One of the main motifs of it is a tone cluster), the final movement follows the serene, slow, third movement. Just before the end, the band starts to scream in German, accompanied by loud drums, with the whole band screaming (not playing instruments- besides percussion) for 5 seconds. Then, a single flute plays a few low notes alone, and the symphony ends.
  • Fryderyk Chopin's Nocturne in B Major (op. 32, no. 1) is a perfect example of this. The piece starts off in Chopin's graceful, delicate, and expressive style, but just as the piece sounds like it is about to end, a completely unexpected chord is heard, with a low F ominously repeated underneath. After two surprisingly loud chords out of nowhere, the piece transitions into a very sombre ending in B Minor.
  • Giacomo Puccini did this very deliberately at the end of Madame Butterfly. Butterfly's gruesome suicide is underlined by a repeat of the "curse/suicide" theme, ending on a dissonant shriek. It's a punch in the gut even if you've heard it a million times.
  • Strikingly dissonant endings are common in the works of Charles Ives, but the most famous example is in his Symphony No. 2. This stands out as an example because, unusually for Ives, the piece contains little to no dissonance before the final chord.
  • The end of Smetana's 'Vltava' from "Má Vlast". The movement is finishing up with high pianissimo strings slowly fading out, apparently for a quiet finish - then suddenly, two loud full orchestral tutti chords play a final cadence. This can be quite shocking when you're not expecting it, akin to Haydn and his symphony mentioned above.
  • In Beethoven's 6th symphony, 3rd movement, the first melody finishes, then repeats itself with a few darker undertones, as if something was coming. Then, just as you think things are fine and the orchestra does a tutti, the music brutally stops mid-chord, and we immediately transition into the 4th movement: the storm, which proceeds to announce itself by a crescendo leading into an explosive chord.

    National Anthems 
  • Mauritania's old national anthem due to its timing of the notes and its lyrics. Fortunately, it's been replaced with a much less unsettling version.

  • The Residents' song "Elvis and His Boss" caps off with a slide guitar solo, backed up with saxophone and synthesizers, which then change pitch and distort uncontrollably, verging on static.
  • Easy Star All Stars kept in the nightmarish ending of "A Day In The Life" on their reggae-fied album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Dub Band". Considering the rest of the album has been in syncopated time and overall very relaxed, it comes as even more of a shock.
  • The The Bonzo Dog Band number "Slush" is a variant on this. Another gentle instrumental, it is interrupted about halfway through by a manic laugh. This laugh then repeats at precise intervals for the rest of the tune to the fade-out, and beyond...and beyond...and BEYOND. Genuinely unnerving.
    • They also had "11 Mustachioed Daughters", rather unnerving all the way through, but ending with some...extremely creepy dialogue accompanied by instrumentals, creepy because it's just so strange and leaves you the impression something's really seriously wrong with the talkers. "Worship for Satan! (giggle) Glad that's over with..." "I don't remember too good, but I think John Wayne is here." "Oh yeah?" "I don't remember too good, but I think John Wayne is here." "Oh no." "I don't remember too good, but I think John Wayne is here..." "Oh my..."
  • Parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic, with his single "You Don't Love Me Anymore". After the song ends, there are 10 minutes of silence followed by 6 seconds of backwards drumming, guitar feedback, and Al screaming at the top of his lungs, after which, the song ends. According to Al, this "most annoying 6 seconds of audio ever recorded" was meant to scare the listener if they forget to turn the CD player off. (This snippet is called "Bite Me".) This was a parody of "Endless, Nameless" by Nirvana from Nevermind, which came on about 10 minutes of silence and was, essentially, 6 minutes of cacophony.
    • The song "Christmas at Ground Zero" ends with an air raid siren.
  • "Kingdom in the Sky" by Da Vinci's Notebook ends with the guys' harmonies breaking down terribly on the final "sky" lyric, some late, some early, some just too high for their normal singing range... the lead tenor sing-says quickly at the end "We'll redo that ending."
  • William Shatner yelling "MR. TAMBOURINE MAAAAAAAAAAAN!" at the end of his cover of that song.note 
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor's "East Hastings" ends with what can only be described as a clusterfuck of helicopters and a high-pitched mosquito-like whine reverberating through into your very skull driving you to the brink of insanity.
  • Current 93 is known for pulling this, even in songs that would be scary enough without them, such as "I Have A Special Plan For This World" or "The Frolic"
  • Ferris Wheel's cover of Paul Fenech's "Killing Time's" last 20 seconds are pretty disturbing
  • The Mutton Birds have pulled this off on at least one occasion in Queen's English, with a crescendo of babble over a fairly rapidly repeated single note, which abruptly cuts off. Then (on Nature, at least) it goes off into There's a Limit.
  • Some live performances of Blinding by Florence + the Machine featured a blood-curdling shriek before what would be the last iteration of the chorus in the album version, leading instead into a staccato of high-pitched strings and heavy drumming with some faint wailing in the background. Here's a good quality recording of it.
  • C2C's "Together", an upbeat, somewhat tropical-sounding song resembling something that might be played during the opening scenes of a hip-hop movie. Shortly after 3 minutes, the tempo picks up with just the guitar before going into a steady instrumental build that lasts over a minute and a half, becoming very frenetic before ending abruptly.
  • Tom Turpin's "A Ragtime Nightmare" is actually a very cheerful upbeat ragtime work despite the name, best known for its use in the Good N' Plenty commercials of the 60s. But the last chord sounds like a bunch of random keys hit at once, but you can tell it wasn't because it's pure dissonance. A sharp contrast to the pleasant tune known for its use in candy commercials.
  • Tally Hall: "All of My Friends" has a steady tone throughout, but ends with an increasingly loud, frustrated piano smash.

Other categories

  • "George and Betty", a public information film for electric blanket safety, starts off with a romantic jazzy theme as an old couple enjoys their night together and later get into bed. The music then suddenly becomes very screechy right at the end; the accompanying image (a picture of their burnt-out bed) and tagline ("Old Electric Blankets Can Kill") makes it even more terrifying.
  • Early commercials for Verizon's Android offerings started with Mo Zella's upbeat, "It's Magic" to parody iPhone commercials, switching midway to a much darker theme, to establish Droid as a more serious operating system.
  • The Nissan Juke commercials use Frederika Stahl's cover of a Nursery Rhyme, namely "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Said cover begins with a melancholy wail, but that alone is not nightmarish (and therefore not even one of the cases of "First note Nightmare"). However, some versions of the commercials use such an opening as their ending, thus not only coming off as mildly scary but also just plain sad.
  • An old commercial for Hudson Toffeepops shows a young couple playing around the house while holding the biscuits, and eventually they recline on the sofa, as the commercial looks like it's wrapping up. Then the commercial cuts back to the scene and shows the couple has been devoured by the sofa, as it lets out a terrifying Evil Laugh and smiles.
  • This landmine PSA created by Cinar features a little girl and her dog catching butterflies in the hills, accompanied by a gentle music box tune. Then the two jump on a landmine, and the music changes to a Drone of Dread.

    Anime and Manga 
  • .hack//Legend of the Twilight plays background music normally and then as the Corrupted Mook is about to be summoned from the Chaos Gate, the music begins to slip.
  • In Soul Eater, the soundtrack 'So Scandalous' has a creepy piano playing in between the techno/hip-pop/jazz number.
  • "Reborn," the first ending song from Baki the Grappler, is a mellow guitar song with lyrics about love and happiness, while images of the various cast members who are clearly not thinking about love and happiness float by in the background—for example, Ando is gritting his teeth and swinging an axe. And then as a coup de grace, the song ends with a slightly eerie echo and an image of Yujiro looming over Baki.
  • "Amusement Park", from the Cowboy Bebop boxed set. The song is a creepy carnival theme that fades out into a rather loud eerie note.
  • There's a version of Pachelbel's Canon in D on disc 2 of the "Evangelion Symphony" album that is completely normal. Considering the popularity of the piece, your mind tunes it out as background music... until about five seconds before where it should end, there is a noise like a gunshot and all of the string instruments screech to a halt.
    • The track "Honeymoon with Anxiety" (Fuan to no Mitsugetsu) from the End of Evangelion soundtrack is a cool bit of music that ends with an unsettling... violin... thing.
    • And then from Rebuild 2.0, there's Kyou no Hi wa Sayounara (Farewell for Today). You know, that wonderfully sweet little song that was playing when EVA 01 ripped 03 apart with Asuka inside while Shinji begged his father to turn off the Dummy System. It's wonderful and sweet, but on the soundtrack, we get a weird little... thing at the end, which consists of a somewhat distorted repeat of part of the song... which then gets some absolutely chilling violin chords and echo effects.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry has lots of character songs that start out happy, then turn... disturbing. The best example of Last Note Nightmare is Keiichi's song, Cool ni Nare! ~Keep On Our Love~, which is a Hot-Blooded appeal to Screw Destiny, the final line being Keiichi abruptly saying "Oops, I screwed up" (and, since this is Higurashi, presumably dying).
    • Actually, the line before that is "Yes, Hinamizawa", which is a reference to another character song that featured Keiichi (and Mr. Delicious). So, it was probably more of an "Ah crap, wrong lyrics" thing.
      • ... and that song has it's own Last Note Nightmare. It's a silly nonsensical rap mainly consisting of phrases from the anime... until Keiichi starts scratching out his throat. And it's played for laughs.
      • At the very end, you can hear Keiichi over the phone saying very quietly "Please, someone end this case", with the last word being cut off as soon as he says it. Then you hear a quiet scream. It's a goofy scream, but...
    • The anime gives us its own soundtrack and the track "Oyashiro Sama". It's already creepy on its own, but its creepiness has a musical pattern... and then the final note is not what you musically expect, it goes lower instead of higher and the percussion vanishes as if it wasn't even there in the first place. Absolutely nightmarish and fits the anime incredibly well.
  • "Warera Gatchaman", the closing theme of Gatchaman II. The song itself is a rousing anthem about how awesome the Gatchaman team is and how they're going to defeat Galactor and save the day... but then, out of nowhere, the song ends with a sudden and nasty Scare Chord.
  • Russia's version of "Marukaite Chikyuu" appropriately has the character singing the chorus cute as anything until his "Kolkolkol" chant comes out of nowhere, and then just goes right back into being cute again before you have the chance to process the horror of what you just heard. It also didn't help this was the first time the fans actually heard the chant.
    • Then, of course, there's the part where his voice dips to a deeper, not-so-much-cute-as-menacing tone as the end of the third repetition of the chorus.
    • Then there's the ending of his character song Winter, where there's chanting for the last roughly 40 seconds, and grows louder when the music itself ends. His Hatafutte Parade starts to be this trope too with some surreal echoing, but he stops and screams about Belarus at the last second, acting as Nightmare Retardant.
  • School Days: Kanashimi no Mukou e is hardly a happy song; it's moody, depressive, almost heartbreaking. But when it's almost over, a very ominous and slightly out-of-place drum music starts playing... and you suddenly get the feeling that something has gone very, very wrong.
    • This song is inspired by School Days. The song is entitled "Nice Boat." Watch till the ending and be spooked.
  • Misa's song from Death Note. It starts out slightly creepy, then evolves into a very heartwarming song, only at the end, the piano begins playing a goosebump-inducing minor chord. The lyrics also hint at Misa's suicide at the end of the series.
  • Every episode of Ghost Hunt ends with a last note nightmare. After the slow, eerie ending song, a sudden burst of maniacal piano starts playing, then a voiceover Mai warns us about the next episode.
  • Sailor Moon has Sailor Mars' song, "Sei Hi Ai" (or "Fire Soul Love"/"Holy Flame Love" in English). What is heard throughout the track is a nice, upbeat, "Rhythm Nation"-inspired tune that ends abruptly with the sound of glass shattering.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: There's "Another Face, Same Mind", which starts out as an eerie reprisal of the main villain's theme... before abruptly turning into hardcore thrash metal. As silly as that may sound on paper, it's executed in such a way that it's scary as shit. One should expect nothing less from Yugo Kanno.
    • Golden Wind: Mista's theme song is chiefly an upbeat dance tune reflecting his formerly carefree existence until the sounds of the gunshots that began his life as a criminal intrude, causing what's left of the track to go heavier and darker.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • The popular czech cartoon The Little Mole has various catchy and upbeat tunes that accompany the episodes, since the cartoon has really little talking. Luckily this trope almost never appears and the episodes end with their main themes. The exception is the episode is literally the one called “The mole in a dream” After the titular dream ends the mole and a man (who had the dream) gets along and goes to a joyride, only to witness a that they are going to experience similar things like what was in a dream (The mole presents the same stone hammer to the man he found in the dream too). During the last frames of the episode an eerie melody takes over the lead and after the closing iris, it turns into a creepy tribal drumming. And it’s a cartoon that usually broadcasted as a bedtime story in Europe
  • European kids might remember the polish cartoon Zaczarowany ołówek (The enchanted pencil). Its intro is a simple whiteboard that shows the credits while a soft guitar melody plays in the background but then comes a sudden loud orchestral part, along with the pencil (with the title flashing on it) suddenly zooming out. No wonder many kids always muted the television when they saw the show coming.

    Fan Works 
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged after Cell asks the DJ to play "Video Killed the Radio Star", he breaks into the studio and kills them. The last DJ dies and the video cuts out with the last note from the song echoing.
    Pictures came and broke your heart...
  • The ending of Something Broke (a fan-made rock opera based on Cupcakes (Sergeant Sprinkles)). Tarby begins the song's last part singing in a fairly normal voice, but then you notice that the lyrics start to get a little disturbing. In the basement, not a sound/can be heard above the ground/so the ponies up above/can go on in peace and love/down below some tasty treats/being made for them to eat/granted at a friend's expense/they don't know it won't hurt them/so down in the dimly lit/down comes knife, another hit/draw it forth, eviscerate/soon they'll be on someone's plate. And before you can fully register this, he starts painfully screaming "HELP ME CHASE AWAY MY FEARS!! over a series of loud, abrasive Scare Chords before his voice abruptly cuts off mid-note. Doesn't help that this was a reprise of a much lighter part earlier in this.

    Films — Animation 
  • The song "The Theatre" from Coraline's soundtrack. Now, quite a few songs on the soundtrack are rather creepy, but this one stands out. It starts with vaguely cheerful tinkling, accompanied by a distant-sounding snippet of the earlier track "Sirens of the Sea", progresses to some low-key Ambient noises, and then suddenly explodes into... some kind of discordant noise.
    • Here's the song. Just so you can hear firsthand how creepy it is. (Probably best not to turn the volume up too loud.)
  • On the 2000 American DVD of Disney's Fantasia, the background music that plays on the Title Menu is the Toccata and Fugue in D minor (aka "stereotypical Halloween organ music"). Seeing as the last piece of the film is Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria", having the DVD cut straight back to the Toccata is rather jarring.
  • Disney's Dinosaur: When the Pterodactyl drops the egg...
  • The song "A Girl Worth Fighting For" from Mulan is a rather optimistic ditty sung by the soldiers during their march across the Chinese countryside about how they're trying not to go to war. The song ends with said soldiers arriving at the mountain village they're supposed to protect from the Huns, only to find out that said village was already burned to the ground.
  • At the end of Disney and Pixar's WALL•E, the end credits of the film starts off with some cute animations of the passengers and crew of the Axiom landing back on earth and re-civilizing and replenishing the earth's environment, followed by more animations of Wall-e and Eve playing around the scrolling credits with M-O while all being accompanied by Peter Gabriel's gentle and understated "Down to Earth". However, following the end of the obligatory Disney and Pixar end-film logos (complete with Luxo Jr.'s light going out, Wall-E replacing it, the "R" in "PIXAR" falling down and Wall-E coming over to replace the "R"), from out of nowhere we are suddenly greeted by a jarring Buy n Large Vanity Plate accompanied by the company's "BEEE-ENNN-EEELLLLL!!!!!" chant that accompanies every Buy n Large advertisement featured within the film's setting.
    Whereas at first, it might not seem like much, there is an air of this being scary both in-universe and in the meta-sense. The fact that such a company logo that represents a fictional Mega-cooperation within the film's own setting can just appear up alongside the logos of the actual companies that helped create the film's own setting (particularly after such soft-running credit music) not only comes off as unexpected but given that this is a film about a mega-cooperation essentially contributing to the mass-pollution and subsequent decline of the earth's livable environment (thus setting up for a premise about a lonely robot on earth still gathering up garbage while the humans in the Axiom starships are watched over by an extraordinarily reliant on-board ship A.I.), this logo and its upbeat chant becomes terrifying in its own right in that it indicates that Buy n Large is still in business and providing everything all the time. a film developed by The Walt Disney Company. The fact that there are indicated to be more than one BnL starliners supposedly still in space doesn't help either.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien³ had the standard 20th Century Fox fanfare, right up until the final bar. Instead of finishing the triumphant ditty, it hangs and turns into something quite the opposite.
  • Similarly, Event Horizon has the typical opening Paramount fanfare, but then hits a sour note before lifting into space with an aggressive, dark string section.
  • The soundtrack for Ghost Ship has the track titled "The Souls Ascend", which is the hauntingly beautiful score in which Maureen defeats the Big Bad, frees all the lost souls trapped on the ship, and is later rescued by a passing ship. The score gently fades, as if to say the worst is finally over... but NOPE! We’re suddenly greeted by a blaring Scare Chord to indicate the film’s ending.
  • The grand opening music of Star Wars ends in a dark ominous tone once the narrative text begins to fade.
  • In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the final note of the upbeat "The Candy Man" is off-key. Tellingly, it's on that note that the audience first sees poor Charlie Bucket, who's apparently been on the outside of the shop looking in all along. Later, one of the many variations of "Pure Imagination" plays as the boat starts down the chocolate river, and when it enters the psychedelic tunnel, the music appropriately turns ominous.
    • Parodied somewhat in the scene just before the Grandmaster's introduction in Thor: Ragnarok.
  • A milder, but still significant example: At the end of West Side Story (1961), there is a touching reprise of the song "Somewhere," but just as the scene is ending and the music is calming down, dissonant, deep chords start playing in the background...
  • The soundtrack to The Wicker Man (1973) is a great find as it includes all the Celtic folk songs featured in the movie, including the classic round "Sumer Is Icumen In," which is sung by the townsfolk at the film's climax. It takes a turn for the horror however when that track on the album ends with Sargent Howie screaming, "Oh, God! Oh, Jesus Christ!" in absolute terror as he sees the wicker man.
  • Two words: "Withnail's Theme." The melody itself is haunting and fitting for a Sad Clown but the flat note at the very end of the movie makes you wince every time.
  • "Nature Boy (reprise)" from the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack. The instruments are creepy enough as is, but the ending was edited to sound like the CD was scratched, for a very strange effect.
    • There's also the other version on that soundtrack, in which David Bowie is singing along very nicely until the last word, which is about a million decibels louder than the last song, accompanied by an intensely creepy swell of music.
  • "The Hunt Builds" from the soundtrack to Bram Stoker's Dracula. Not only does it end with 4 scare chords, but sad music can also simultaneously be heard playing as well.
  • The scene where Cyclops reunites with Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand starts off with a romantic/melancholic theme...then quickly delves into a loud dramatic chorus combined with drum heartbeats.
  • The famous The Pink Panther Theme Tune ends suddenly loud with a jarring chord.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: the track "Kirk's Explosive Reply" from the soundtrack album. It's somewhat averted in the film itself, as the music fades out by about 3:30 of that track as the film cuts from the bridge of the Enterprise to an exterior shot showing the ship's damage. However, on the album track, we're bombed at 3:32 with a four-note Scare Chord that repeats once, before fading out on a final note.
  • The opening theme for Star Trek: First Contact is a warm, slow and dramatic one. Then as it fades into silence...WHAM.
  • After the credits of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry says "Mischief Managed... Nox." The map parchment folds and we see the film's title and the seven iconic notes of the Potter theme. The screen fades to black, and after 20 seconds of silence, Peter Pettigrew's eerie theme can be heard. Sure to scare a few.
    • The Chamber of Secrets' Theme ends with no less than four Scare Chords, each when you think that the piece is ending. Made even more unsettling in the film proper, which is followed by a creepy silent Post-credits scene.
  • The opening to Star Trek (2009) (while you watch the Vanity Plates) starts with a warm horn-and-strings combo (a slow variation on the main theme). Roughly 40 seconds in, you see the Bad Robot vanity plate (which is a bit creepy) while the music lets a little dissonance pop in. About 55 seconds in, the music just slams and cuts off—right as the movie begins.
  • "Furious Angels" by Rob Dougan (from The Matrix Reloaded) ends with unsettlingly loud and distorted violins. The fact that Rob sounds a lot like Tom Waits doesn't help.
  • The end credits piece from the Jurassic Park soundtrack. It starts out with the epic Island theme, then transitions into a soft, gentle version of the main theme. However, it ends on a rendition of the rather unsettling Raptor theme.
  • The theme from Poltergeist (1982) is a soft, pleasant tune with children singing...that ends with some very creepy high-pitched laughter. Not that surprising when you consider the source material.
  • "I See Dead People In Boats" from the soundtrack for Pirates of The Caribbean: At World's End. Instead of having the violins play the last note, it's done by an organ.
  • "528491" from the Inception soundtrack has a 'kick' at the end of the song, followed by the sound of a train.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) has the hip hop song "T-U-R-T-L-E Power" which for the most part is a pretty steady-paced dance number... and then the last "Power" hits in the song and a very chilling, nails-on-the-chalkboard echo follows it (it's even louder in the end credit version compared to the one on the soundtrack).
  • "A Swan Song (For Nina)" from Black Swan is mainly a paraphrase of the swan lake ballet theme: it begins as a mourning piano piece, but around halfway through the music slows down considerably, the ballet theme barely recognizable, the tune and instruments becoming gradually darker and ominous, until the final note, that fades in an unexpected, truly unsettling high pitched wail-like sound. In the movie itself, although not in the soundtrack, the wail is coupled by a fluttering of wings.
  • "Vide Cor Meum" from Hannibal. A beautiful and calming classical opera piece. In the version for the soundtrack of the film, it all goes well until you reach the end. For those who wanna know, check it here.
  • "Overtones" from The Master is a lush, orchestral track up until the end, where it has a Fakeout Fadeout and ends with a sound that could be best described as a cross between a train pulling into a station and an orchestra suffering collective heart attacks.
  • "You Baby" by Neil Diamond from the remake of The Jazz Singer falls into this trope, especially if you're listening to the soundtrack instead of watching the film. An upbeat pop number ends with the sounds of glass and wood breaking, screams, and a siren — which makes sense in the film as the song ends with a bar fight.
  • The Norliss Tapes does this for the film itself. It closes with a shot of the main character listening to tape 2 of the titular tapes during the credits.....but then, all of a sudden, it jump scares the living daylights out of you by suddenly cutting to shots of the vampires from the movie. And as if that weren't enough, the movie ends with a slow zoom-in on the vampire's Nightmare Face, complete with horrifying eyes, which continues throughout the credits as the background score intensifies beyond belief.
    • A similar thing happens in Caligula. The film's last scene is Caligula and his entire family being slaughtered by Roman soldiers. The film's final shot is Caligula's corpse with a panicked and bloody face, and said shot accompanies the entire end credits. Lessened in the Italian release Io, Caligola, where the film's final shot is his horse running away.
  • The Sixth Sense has some of the more relaxing musical cues that appear in the film played over the end credits. However, the credits end with a reprise of the film's opening theme... And as the credits finish rolling, the Spanish ghost voice from the tape earlier in the film frightenedly yells "¡No me quiero morir!" ("I don't want to die!") one more time.
  • In The Terminator, as the Terminator homes in on Sarah for the kill at Tech Noir and the action goes into Slow Motion, the driving dance number "Burning in the Third Degree" slowly fades to a metallic Drone of Dread.

  • Invoked in The Ship Who Sang. The protagonist, a sentient "brain ship", is captured and forced to sing by her captors. She sings the song fairly normally, then makes the last note of the song "pure sonic hell", knocking out many of her captors and even killing some of them in the process. Last Note Nightmare indeed...

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Reversed with regard to the first note of the opening and closing theme music which, in the 1970s and early '80s, and again in the revival series of 2005-date, is an electronic "scream"-like sound.
    • Just as the Master and the Time Lords disappear back into the Time War in "The End of Time", and the Tenth Doctor thinks he's somehow managed to avoid his own prophesied demise, we hear four knocks, and the chords played by the strings appropriately fall apart and gliss down with tons of dissonance, mirroring the Doctor's own sinking realization.
    • In "The Pandorica Opens", when the Doctor is sealed in the Pandorica, a beautiful score begins playing and swooping, then the camera zooms out and shows the universe exploding... and the music suddenly stops... mid-note...
  • Lost's soundtrack is full of these, most notably at the end of the episode in which Aaron is born. They can be rather jarring when you're listening to an emotional piano piece, only for it to end with some creepy twinkling followed by a loud brass note.
  • BBC's Sea Monsters ends with an epic credits theme on each episode... when suddenly the final credits pop up with a loud shocking theme.
  • The Bub-Bubs music video from the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! kind of has this more for the video than for the music itself, because the part dancing fetuses at the end can be very disturbing, especially since the music already ended at that part, so the only noise being made was from the dancing fetuses and the woman's man dancing in the open womb.
  • The "My Lovely Horse" Dream Sequence from Father Ted is a happy song about the eponymous horse, and how the owner wants to shower him with sugar lumps, with random pool and table tennis scenes. Then it suddenly cuts to a picture of the horse's head with rainbow-colored outlines coming out while a creepy distorted saxophone plays.
    Ted: We have to lose that sax solo!"
  • Reversed with the opening credits of CSI: Miami which features The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and begins with a blood-curdling scream. Many a poor mook has been blown out of bed by a 3 am rerun after leaving the TV on and having that come on.
  • The opening credits for the US broadcasts of the UK series Danger Man (carrying the new title Secret Agent) feature Johnny River's rock and roll hit "Secret Agent Man". Those familiar with the song are likely caught off-guard when the opening credits of the series end with the song being suddenly cut off mid-note by a loud gunshot! (Note: the very first episode of Secret Agent does not do this, only subsequent episodes.)
  • A skit from The Benny Hill Show involves a golddigger marrying a member of the British royal family, maybe a king, for money. The sketch ends on a close-up of the now widowed and rich woman having married her real lover. The soundtrack playing The Wedding March ends on a Scare Chord as she realizes her husband is killing her the same way she killed her old husband.
  • Sugarfoot - After a rather uncharacteristic episode of dark ghostly doings, the final sting is the camera moving silently in on a guitar (which had a major part in the episode) sitting upright against the wall. The sting is about a minute of silence with the camera pulling in closer and closer to the guitar until only the strings and soundboard are visible. At that exact moment, one of the guitar strings breaks with a loud, discordant, and really scary sound. The camera pulls back quickly and the normal light theme music ushers you out of the episode in the normal way.
  • The opening credits of Married... with Children feature Frank Sinatra's rendition of "Love and Marriage"...which is abruptly cut off at the end by a slamming door.
    • The DVD version, however, ends normally, followed by a less startling clang.
  • Bar Rescue - Done subtly at the end of the Jazz Katz/Back Beat Piano Bar episode. After the rescue, the closing scene is Taffer overlooking the pianist playing to a packed bar. As the scene fades out, the very last chord of the song is edited to sound dissonant before a negative "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue appears.
  • The original version of the St. Elsewhere Grand Finale's credits involving Mimsie the Cat, MTM Enterprises' mascot. The credits show her unconscious and hooked up to an IV and end on her flatlining.
  • The jaunty-yet-sinister theme to I, Claudius ends with an unsettling metallic shriek at the end of the closing credits.
  • Daredevil: In "The Devil You Know," Wilson Fisk puts on his iconic white suit for the first time as the penthouse where he is under house arrest is redecorated, accompanied by the Courante from Bach's Suite for Cello Solo No. 1 in G (the Prelude to the same piece had previously underscored Fisk's morning routine in season 1). As the piece ends and the camera pans up on Fisk's face, the tempo and notes stretch and scratch as if all this beauty and refined luxury can't help but be corrupted by Fisk himself.
  • Helix: The intro credits theme starts off as something resembling The Elevator from Ipanema, but the last note suddenly reverses itself to indicate that something ugly is lurking beneath the surface.
  • The image of Commander Balok staring directly at you at the very end of Star Trek: The Original Series' end credits sequence has unnerved many throughout the decades, serving as a kind of visual last note nightmare.

  • Random Assault: The ending of Episode 050. Ties into the story to Episode 051, after all.

  • The Vocaloid song "Alice Human Sacrifice" is a rather creepy parody of carnival music - which ends with the music getting slower and slower, and then just one note that is creepily off-key.
    • And don't forget the Nico Nico Chorus version of "Daughter of Evil". At the song's end, a few bars start to play from the sequel song, "Servant of Evil", until they're brutally cut off by a terrifying, realistic guillotine sound. Literal Last Note Nightmare, there.
    • DYE by AVTechNO! is at its loudest and busiest near the end, and then the song ends abruptly. It's not as bad in this upload because of the ending credits, but on the version that can be found on [DYE] -synthesis-, the sudden stop is the last thing you hear on the track.
    • Inverted with Kemu's Invisible. It starts six or so seconds of soft piano, which is promptly interrupted by some heavy guitar work that continues throughout the song.
  • The Cyan Inc. logo from 1993 to 1997 has a creepy sounding tympani at the end of some peaceful sounding music.
  • The "Chime of Death" used on older Macintosh computers to indicate that normal startup was not successful may very well count as an "all note nightmare", but for a few models, particularly the Macintosh Quadra, Centris, Performa, LC, and the Macintosh Classic, the Chime of Death consists of four upward notes, followed by four more notes of a descending and dissonant sound.
  • The Amiga sequencer software Music X started up by playing a short arpeggio, and then very quickly playing a single note on every MIDI channel in turn, no matter how your MIDI setup was configured. This could easily become a Last Note Nightmare depending on the instrument configuration (or the exact opposite if you had something goofy like a culca or a honky horn on the highest channel)

  • "Music of the Night," from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of The Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom has lulled Christine almost to sleep, the song's soft, everything's pleasant, then DUN! DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN loud discordant organ. Especially seizure-inducing if you're listening to the song at night in bed and do not expect the ending.
    • Phantom has another example in the song Masquerade. Most of the song is a cheery, fun, ballroom dance, but the Phantom's theme plays right at the end, jarring viewers (and characters) and shocking them into reenterng the plot.
  • More frightful fun from Webber: The opening of Jesus Christ Superstar (just before "Heaven on Their Minds") is a First Note Nightmare. It's 10 meandering notes played on a slightly distorted "Middle Eastern" guitar, repeated four times, then followed up immediately by a wailing, ghostly Moog synthesizer. It's guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies, especially if you're sitting in a theater and are expecting some nice "Broadway" music to open the show.
    • At least one recording of the comical "Herod's Song" has Herod still acting fairly mellow, if put out, when he decides that Jesus is nothing but a fraud, starts effeminately shooing him away — and then, suddenly, he screeches, "GET OOOOOUT!"
  • The song "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" on the Cabaret 1998 Broadway Cast Recording is already kind of creepy since it's intentionally made to sound low-quality and distorted. Then it stops and the MC harshly whispers the last two words. At least they give you a few seconds to brace yourself.
    • Also from the 1998 cast, there is the beginnings of a lovely reprise of "Married" between the sweet old couple. Which is then promptly interrupted by a brick being "thrown" through a shop window. Well, there go all the good feelings.
  • The song "So Happy" from Into the Woods starts out nice and happy... until halfway through when there's a crashing noise and the number takes a very dark, eerie turn. Then there's the blood-curdling scream that occurs after you've think the song has faded out. Something similar occurs with the bouncy, romantic "It Takes Two" abruptly switching to "Stay With Me" (which opens with a blood-curdling scream!) Stephen Sondheim loves this trope.
    • The witch's version of "Children Don't Listen" after Rapunzel's death is a flowing albeit sad song. The last note ends with the witch's voice breaking causing the song to go very sharp.
  • The song "Three-Five-Zero-Zero" from the musical Hair is a Last/First VERSE Nightmare, combined with Lyrical Dissonance. It begins with a melancholy and gory description of war wounds, switches to an upbeat tune about "beginning to kill", then reprises the first verse.
  • The rehearsal version of a A Chorus Line's "One", is a joyful and optimistic song throughout, but the final four shrieks of the word "one" over a terrifying major chord take the cake.
  • The loud factory whistle that screams at seemingly random times in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Definitely something you don't want to be listening to with headphones. In the show, the whistle blows every time the title character kills someone - there's no such siren-like sound in songs without Sweeney Todd. Most of the victims have no lines, so the audio recording provides no warning for the shrieking whistle. That Sweeney is slitting throats casually while singing about other things adds to the nightmarish quality of the recordings.
  • Occurs at the end of Javert's final soliloquy in Les Misérables, after he kills himself. The orchestra plays a soaring reprise of "Stars," his "I Want" Song from earlier in the play, which ends on a horribly dissonant note, revealing it to be not a reprise, but an Ironic Echo.
  • In Pokémon Live!, Giovanni's reprise of "Everything Changes" ends on a creepy minor key. This is exacerbated onstage, where helicopter sounds are played over it as Delia and Professor Oak are captured.
    • The first version of "Everything Changes" ends on minor key violins as Team Rocket enters, interrupting Delia and Oak.
  • "School Song" from Matilda starts as a reprise of "Miracle", then at the line "Mum says I'm an angel", a series of scare chords lead into the main body of the song, where the upper-class students warn the newcomers of the terror that Miss Trunchbull will bestow upon them. At the climax of the second act, "Chalk Writing" inverts this trope when it segues into "Revolting Children".

    Video Games 
  • The end credits for New Super Mario Bros. 2 has this.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog has a slightly inverted case of this in the form of its ending theme "Never Turn Back", which starts out as a slow, sad and somewhat pleasant piano cover of 'I Am...All Of Me before the drums abruptly kick into the main song.
  • Magic School Bus: Ocean is guilty of this, of all games. The short theme for the diatom puzzle is peaceful and relaxing, but the end note is very dark.
  • 111.mp3, "Good Morning" from Ragnarok Online starts off as a peaceful and upbeat piano tune, then at 1:06 onwards starts to slip. It makes more sense when you consider the place where this song plays in-game.
  • Eversion's World X-8 theme is very creepy and filled with "Psycho" Strings, but there are no surprises and it's actually quite calm. Then the music slowly fades out... All of a sudden, there's this really loud, startling drum. It's hard to describe, but really creepy.
  • Silent Hill:
    • In the secret "Revenge" ending of Silent Hill 3, the "Silent Hill Song" ends with the singers being shot to death with a machine gun. It's actually kind of funny, because of how ludicrous and over-the-top that whole ending was.
    • Silent Hill 2: The end of the track ''Null Moon'' fades down to the chime chords, then the instrument shifts to an ominous tone in the last couple of phrases.
  • Much of the music in Endgame: Singularity sounds like this; it starts out one place and goes somewhere else entirely. This holds particularly true for the music that plays when you win, which starts out something like the twilight zone theme and somehow manages to get more chilling.
  • Persona 5 Royal: During the cutscene in the bad ending that plays upon accepting Maruki's world, an ominous note plays as Joker looks down near the end, heavily implying he regrets taking the deal.
  • Spelunky has the moderately cheerful background music trick you into thinking it's just an endless loop like the title and boss music. Then, at the 2-minute mark, the music plays backwards for a second or two and then proceeds to play normally again, except that it's much lower, much slower, and bizarrely warped. You WILL jump five feet into the air the first time you hear it. With such a piece of utterly bizarre warning music, it makes you wonder why they need an ultimate invincible enemy coming in at 2:30 to encourage you to hurry up.
  • The song from the End Credits of Resident Evil 4 springs to mind. As the song starts, it's a pleasant recap of how village life used to be when everything was pleasant...and then the Plagas showed up.
  • When you get a Time Paradox in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the music goes on for a while until the whole screen reverses color and plays a loud noise followed by a gunshot when the letters become "TIME PARADOX".
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
    • The title demo sequence. It originally shows various scenes of Clock Town and its inhabitants, with a peaceful-sounding rendition of the Clock Town theme playing in the background. But at the last 30 seconds, the scene shifts toward the Skull Kid and the falling moon in the night sky, and at this point, the Clock Town theme starts to blend into the ominous theme of the Skull Kid, before transforming into it completely. A definite change from the simplistic yet cheery demo of Ocarina of Time (the previous N64 Zelda title), reflecting this game's comparatively darker atmosphere.
    • Termina Field starts off as an off-kilter but upbeat and catchy remix of the series' main tune, up until the very end, where the chord progression starts repeating itself over and over again, sounding increasingly depressing and ominous for each repetition.
  • Mother:
  • Animal Crossing: Wild World: One of the many songs you can play in your house is "K.K. Lullaby" which is basically what it sounds like - a calm music box tune. The version you hear sung in the coffee shop is normal, but then when you bring the CD home it's a case of Last Note Nightmare; the song goes for about 2 minutes before suddenly devolving into four screechy notes and then abruptly cuts of. Then starts looping the pretty music box tune again as nothing happened. This is probably the tape rewinding, but it still comes off as unexpected.
    • can you tape-rewind A CD?
    • A certain note from the normally calm and quiet song that plays at 11 PM in the original (Wild World for the DS and City Folk for the Wii use a different soundtrack) has a similar effect, as well as the unexpected (during the first time hearing it) and bizarre sneezing sound effect in K.K. Cruisin'.
    • K.K. Swing has an effect very similar throughout the whole song.
  • The track "Showdown at Hollow Bastion" from the Kingdom Hearts II OST. The abrupt transitions are heart-quickening (no pun intended) and can be slightly nightmarish: it begins with a mild little score, suddenly picks up the tempo and sounds like montage music, and THEN suddenly becomes all-out battle music complete with a choir that has a similar effect to Ominous Latin Chanting. And the entire piece is under a minute long.
  • Pac-Man World 2 features a boss fight called "Pinky's Revenge." The BGM starts out as a very upbeat piece meant to evoke happy feelings about the snowy surroundings ... but then a dissonant chord strikes, followed by a couple more ... then it gets back into the happy groove again. But at 0:53, it totally breaks down, with blaring "Psycho" Strings and sudden hard percussion as the whole thing turns absolutely horrifying. It gets a little Narm-y when it starts using Stock Sound Effect muted-trumpet hits later on, but overall it's quite effective.
  • Final Fantasy VI has the soundtrack version of Ghost Train theme. While the entire song is basically a funeral march, the song ends with a loud, piercing train whistle. It also starts with that same whistle; the ending is the first few seconds of the song, slowly fading out.
  • Final Fantasy VIII's "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec," from the orchestral arrangement album of the same name, has a beautiful, dramatic rendition of this iconic piece... and ends, about a minute before the final note, with a horrific, ear-piercing wail with unintelligible (and honestly quite infernal-sounding) lyrics. Even people who know to expect it are jolted by its sudden intrusion.
  • Chrono Trigger has the final boss theme, which last note is similar to trope Hell Is That Noise.
  • IOSYS's (the fellows who brought you Marisa Stole The Precious Thing) "Blue Cirno" is an extremely jovial song that sounds like a mix of upbeat Latin music and happy Christmas music. That is until it ends off with a Last Note Nightmare that makes people think their souls are being sucked out.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Two particular remixes of "U.N. Owen Was Her?" included (1) gradually overlapping lines followed by a somewhat sudden cutoff of the voices, with the music slowing down to normal after the overlapping voices have been building to a more and more frenetic pace, and (2) putting in an increasingly less subtle creepy laugh. Then you remember that this is Flandre's theme... Do you really want to lose your sanity!?
    • Listen to "U.N. Owen Was Her?" again. Doing it right now? Lah lah lah lah la-lalalalah~
    • The original song has a last note nightmare of its own, ending with a disturbing piano crash that is very out of place in a high-energy techno track.
    • "Marisa Stole The Precious Thing" also features a nasty bit near the end, where the song pauses for a moment so loud static can be played. It's all techno popping along and suddenly DRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
    • DRR you say?
    • "Sleeping Terror", Yuuka's stage 5 boss theme in Lotus Land Story is this. Starts out creepy, then a pause, and the real song starts. Are you not afraid yet?
    • "Bewildering Impending Spiriting Away ~ Border of Death" is not frightening, right? Now, get that stereo headphones or earplugs. Can you hear Her singing behind you? Guess who made this remix.
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards:
    • The "bad" ending that you see if you don't get all of the crystal shards is a nice, happy, appropriately victorious song... which happens to end on the creepiest five notes you will ever hear in a Kirby game, synced up with the fairy queen's Psychotic Smirk.
    • This also applies to the music in the cutscenes where Dark Matter possesses Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and Dedede. The first two end with a Scare Chord, the latter shifts to a darker tone when Dark Matter shows up.
    • Also from Kirby 64 comes the OST version of the 100-Yard Hop theme. It's a rendition of the classic Gourmet Race tune, and it plays exactly as you'd expect it to... until the final seconds, where it ends abruptly with a loud crashing noise.
  • Halo:
    • Halo 3:
      • The last movement of "Black Tower" starts with a series of ascending Ethereal Choir notes, but then the choir switches to a tear-jerking dirge-style tune, which is the music heard during Cmdr. Keyes's death cutscene.
      • "Halo Reborn" starts with an Ethereal Choir remake of "Under Cover of Night", then becomes a dark drum and bass piece, then finally a rendition of the "Psycho" Strings piece "Shadows", before concluding with a Scare Chord.
      • Similarly, "Roll Call" begins with a triumphant remake of the Halo title theme, followed by a medley of "Farthest Outpost" and "Under Cover of Night", but the last movement is a sad piano and strings tune, similar to the Easter Egg music "Siege of Madrigal". Apparently to underscore Master Chief's absence from the "roll call", and his presumed death.
      • Then last, but not least, there's "Legend", the Legendary bonus cutscene music, which starts off the peaceful drifting music similar to the opening scene, transitioning into "Psycho" Strings before abruptly ending with this.
    • In Halo 2, the "Antediluvia" movement of the High Charity Suite starts off the same as "Wage" from Delta Halo Suite, but then is interrupted by a Scare Chord and dark ambient noises, as the Flood arrive on High Charity and infect the Prophet of Mercy. BTW, the title is Latin for "before the flood".
  • From Portal 2, "I AM NOT A MORON," which shifts from upbeat techno to horrifying orchestra when Wheatley betrays you.
  • Doom:
    • At the end of the game, you're teleported back to Earth after fighting through the legions of Satan and the fires of Hell itself, treated to a scenery shot of a frolicking meadow before noticing that the demons got here first. The music reflects this.
    • This remix of a song from the original soundtrack basically keeps the same tone as the original song, which is more quiet and mysterious than anything else, but at the end the song begins to rather literally break down and some unidentifiable but hellish noise plays in the background.
    • "Sweet Dead Little Bunny" gives a real "Sudden Downer Ending" feel (or rather, an "Earn Your Happy Ending In The Sequel" feel).
  • The J-core song "to luv me I *** for you" by t+ Pazolite starts off with a sorrowful, gentle melody, then kicks into an extremely fast tune that borders on scary, and ends with the same melody, only playing at a slower tempo and stopping one measure before it were to completely finish playing.
  • Most versions of "One Winged Angel" from Final Fantasy VII have the instrumental break segue right into "Veni, veni, venias" (the creepiest part of the song, but okay if you have buildup to it). This even goes for the Advent Children version that you hear in the movie. However, a new release of the Advent Children version on iTunes kicks it up a notch. The instrumental segue fades into another instrumental, this time a reprise of the verse and chorus that is almost corny. Then it ends, or so you think. Then after a few seconds of dead silence, MI FILI VENI VENI...
  • In Scratches, when quitting the game before finishing it, you are taken to a rolling credits screen with soft piano music, at the end of it there's a very unsettling Scare Chord.
  • The worst ending in Myst III: Exile starts with the return to Tomahna theme (just like two of the other endings), which is a soft wind-instrument piece. Bt then it's interrupted by a violent, percussion-heavy Scare Chord right when your character is hit and killed from behind by the Big Bad, who then goes onto likely kill Atrus and his family. In the official soundtrack, this piece is appropriately titled, You've Been Followed.
  • The Donkey Kong Country series Nightmare Fuel page cites the death-against-K-Rool music to have been cut (from a game with so much Nightmare Fuel, no less) because it was too scary.
  • The final boss music for Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The song looping comes with blaring klaxons.
    • In the mirror section of Amy's Twinkle Park stage, the music initially starts out as cute, quiet, and innocent... Then the music seems to take a darker turn, becoming much tenser, you can also hear a child laughing for a brief moment.
    • An inversion in the Egg Golem/King Boom Boo boss fight music: just before the main melody starts, a sudden hushed voice asks "who's there?" *guitars*
  • Happens in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door when you win but your partner's at 0 HP. The victory music can be quite chilling.
  • While not entirely a Last Note Nightmare, because the transition happens only a third of the way in, the Team Fortress 2 Engineer's theme More Gun qualifies. The song starts out as the pleasant guitar riff (Taken from the Wilco song "Someone Else's Song") that the Engineer plays throughout his Meet the Team video. At 0:54, however, the song quickly changes gears, with a sudden shift from major chords to minor ones, with a louder, deeper, and more ominous guitar riff overshadowing the original and a low, foreboding trumpet playing backup.
    • From the Expiration Date short comes It Hates Me So Much, a twangy pseudo-surf-rock number playing on the dance floor Scout sets out. The song becomes altogether more sinister near the end, at the part where Soldier reveals that he has been teleporting bread for three days straight, after having learned that teleporting bread monster-izes it.
  • "The Rowhouses" from Medal of Honor: Frontline starts with a continuation of the "Nijmegen Bridge" theme from the prior OST track, adding a jaunty oboe motif to it a third of the way through, but then the ominous Panzer leitmotif starts to creep in, completely taking over in the last third.
  • The Mars Maze theme in The Journeyman Project slows down as your Oxygen Meter depletes, decaying to a Heartbeat Soundtrack and heavy breathing.
  • Minecraft actually features one of these. In the record "11", all that can be heard is the sounds of what could be a man loading a gun, or simply shifting around in his chair. For the most part, it's a quiet song, devoid of any music and comprised absolutely of ambiance. Near the end, however, the music abruptly shifts to the man walking down a path, then breaking into a run. As the music builds, we hear some type of inhuman noise roar at the man before it abruptly cuts out, switching to a soft beeping noise before going completely silent.
  • The last few seconds of "Alexander's Suicide" in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. It gets coupled up with Heartbeat Soundtrack, as it is incurred by Alex's heartbeat slowing down to a stop via "Drink Me" potion.
  • In The Path, "forest theme" sounds perfectly soothing and calm in-game. But when you listen to it in the soundtrack, the last two minutes end with a rasping screeching echoey voice screaming repeatedly "and I will eat you!" for the rest of the track without any music playing. Also, the in-game version of "the girl in red" ends with a disconcerting staticy scream overtakes the whole song.
  • DanceDanceRevolution:
    • The Final Boss song of X2, "Valkyrie dimension", ends with a sudden jump to 744 BPM and, on its hardest charts, a sudden stream of notes that can result in stage failure for unsuspecting players.
    • X3 has perhaps one of the most literal examples. The boss song "Tohoku Evolved", primarily played as an Encore Extra Stage. The entirety of the song is difficult, but the ending is what makes it fit this trope. You land on a jump hold and keep it held for a few seconds. The doors have not closed signifying the end, and (for those that use the screen darkening mods) the screen is still dark. You know something is coming. That something is a random jump that scrolls up at about 3 times its speed. Considering that this song's BPM is 340, that means having to GUESS at where the note lands since it's very hard to even try to read notes at that speed. Factor in that the Encore Extra Stage is in forced One-Hit-Point Wonder mode, and you have the worst note in the game to hit.
    • Also from X3, "PARANOIA Revolution" pays tribute to past songs in the "PARANOIA" song series, including samples of Announcer Chatter from DanceDanceRevolution 2ndMIX. The song seems to end with a clip of the announcer saying, "I'm so impressed I could cry! Thank you very much for your best dance!"...but one final drumroll hails the actual end of the song. For those playing on Expert, which is a mishmash of past DDR charts, this final section is hailed by a replica of "Valkyrie dimension"'s ending stream of doom.
  • "Drok" from Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge seems to stop at 2:20 before playing a slow, droning track plays for a few moments.
  • Fallout 3 begins with "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" playing on an old radio, which fades into the ominous main game theme as the camera zooms out to reveal the landscape of the Capital Wasteland.
  • Metroid: Other M makes this with a loud self-destruction siren interrupting a low, sad tone that interrupts Samus while she was hugging Adam's helmet.
  • Mass Effect 3 uses a variation for dramatic effect in the song "Leaving Earth" early in the game. It is a quietly sad piano piece as Shepard watches the evacuation of Earth. Suddenly, a Reaper fires its main cannon, making its trademark BWOOOOOOORRRRRNNNGH sound, which is quite shocking. It happens several more times over the course of the song. Also played straight with the Scare Chord at the end of "An End Once and For All", when the Crucible's beam catches up to the Normandy. Inverted if Extended Cut is installed and you have sufficiently high EMS.
  • Luna Game 3's soundtrack starts with Eurobeat Brony's remix of "At The Gala", but it progressively slows down as the world darkens, ending with a static Scare Chord followed by a Drone of Dread.
  • The Town with No Name: Among many other reasons the song that plays after the line, "Do you have the right time, old man?" assails the player's ears.
  • An extended and potentially terrifying variation occurs in the Good Ending of Dreaming Mary. You're congratulated for helping Mari escape in the real world. Mary is shown passing through a diorama of the dream seen in the game, accompanied by peaceful yet exulting music. Then halfway through, everything goes to hell when the question arises: "Is this the real world, or is this still a dream?" The title theme is reprised, twisted by nightmarish dissonances.
  • Probably the heaviest use of this trope is Tamura from the game The Silver Case. One wonders why they would put something that sounds like a dialing revolver at the end of such a lighthearted track.
  • The battle theme to OFF, Pepper Steak, is a very cheerful electro-swing theme. In-game the horns and percussion loop normally twice, and on the third time, only the horns play for a few seconds before the percussion gets three heavy BANG BANG BANGs in and then the entire song loops. In the OST version of the song, however, the song ends with the first few seconds of the song being played five times over, slowed and pitched down each time until the song is reduced to a grating, dragging nightmare of a sound.
  • "Restoring the Light, Facing The Dark" from Ori and the Blind Forest is initially a Theme Music Power-Up as Ori escapes the rising waters of the Ginso Tree, then it turns sinister when Kuro appears at the top and attacks Ori.
  • In Brütal Legend, Eddie falls asleep while preparing for a stage battle and dreams of sharing romantic moments with his Love Interest Ophelia (read: skipping down a beach together holding hands while slaughtering Tainted Coil demons), set to the suitably romantic "Holiday" by Scorpions. As the dream ends and Eddie wakes up, the music transitions into a particularly screamy part of "So Frail" by Mirrorthrone, which becomes the background music during the stage battle against Drowned Ophelia.
  • A weird, fairly Downplayed example is z30huri2ba0tt12le1110 from Xenoblade Chronicles X. It's an utterly terrifying, loud, unpleasant song that violently abuses Scare Chords throughout, but by far the part of it that's strangest is the ending, where it very abruptly goes from creepy orchestra to near-silence and some strange clicking noise.
  • Chapter 2 of Celeste has the music track "Resurrections", which is a very upbeat piano tune with some drum machines for good measure, albeit a tune with a creepy edge (due to it playing while your character is being chased by her cynical subconscious given human form). At the end of the stage, where it's revealed that most of what Madeline just experienced may have been a dream sequence, we get a synthesized Drone of Dread followed by a Scare Chord to cap everything off.
  • In the prologue of Ori and the Will of the Wisps, "Ku's First Flight" begins with a Triumphant Reprise of her leitmotif as she takes to the skies with Ori onboard, but gives way to the sinister theme of Shriek when the two are caught in a Decay-induced thunderstorm over Niwen and separated.
  • On Furi's OST, the last song, "19:07" by Danger, abruptly ends with a Flatline tone.
  • The ending song of Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, "Torikago ~In This Cage~" is an awesome J-Rock song that ends on a pleasant calming piano solo... until the very last note, which is a very abrupt slam on the piano.
  • Stardew Valley has "The Smell of Mushroom," one of the seasonal tracks that plays during Fall. It's a very relaxing and nostalgic song, which perfectly captures the feel of exploring an autumn forest on a windy day. But as the song fades, it ends with a few seconds of just the wind, an odd grinding noise... and then a very faint, impish giggling can be heard right as the wind dies.
  • In Destiny 2 there is "Deep Stone Lullaby", which plays at around the halfway point of the Deep Stone Crypt raid. It starts off as a Lonely Piano Piece, gradually building up with other instruments, strings soaring as you explore the outside of the space station you've infiltrated, but shortly before it ends, the strings and brass take on a very ominous tone, hinting that something is about to go horribly wrong. It does, as the next encounter immediately after this is the Nuclear Descent Protocol.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • "Let The Squiddles Sleep (End Theme)", from the "Squiddles!" album, a collection of songs meant to be the soundtrack to a made-up kid's TV show that exists in the Homestuck universe. It's especially jarring after the rest of the sickeningly adorable songs. It somehow becomes even worse when used for the "Jade: Wake Up" Flash update.
    • From Volume 5 of the music for Homestuck itself, "Savior of the Waking World" plays like a grand, orchestrated version of the theme for the Land of Wind and Shade. Even if not totally upbeat, it's at least somewhat hopeful sounding, especially with the title. And the song gets to its end, the melody becomes the same as the original song, except heavily distorted by static, and it fades into nothing as a deep gong sounds three times.
    • In an inversion of this trope, Hardchorale starts with the word "MEOOOOOOOOOOOOW" screamed at the top of the vocalist's lungs.
      • Technically could also be viewed as playing it straight - both Hardchorale and the previous song (Happy Cat Song) are remixes of the same song, both with cats meowing. So you're just listening to the happy (if slow) Happy Cat Song, it ends, and then... "MEOOOOOOOW!"
    • While not whiplash-tastic, Midnight Calliope from the Alterniabound soundtrack (also used in one of the flashes) may also qualify for this, as what starts out as a vaguely spooky carnival tune descends into a low, menacing drone. And just as the track fades out... HONK.
    • Also on Alterniabound, the track "Killed by BR8K Spider!!!!!!!!" is an awesome-sounding tune that gives a healthy serving of Vriska's cocky badassery. However at around twenty seconds from the end the notes turn sharp, the guitar playing gets sloppy, the tempo slows, and it ends with one last, faltering note that echoes into silence.
    • A Picardy third is used in Calamity at the very end - then again, Calamity was an upbeat minor action song from the start...
    • Octoroon Rangoon starts out as an active orchestral piece, only for the last thirty seconds or so to move into a menacing piano refrain culminating in a heavily distorted "Make her a member of the Midnight Crew..." that sounds rather like it was remixed in hell.
    • Inverted with Umbral Ultimatum. The song is scary intense, but then the song ends with a light refrain, which is uplifting compared to the circumstances of the rest of the flash.
  • The VG Cats comic "A Magical Wonderland". Even more so here (6:08)

    Web Videos 
  • From Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, the ending of "Everything you Ever" goes from bold and triumphant to Tear Jerker. And then it ends. To elaborate, the final verse of the song is Doctor Horrible singing triumphantly as he finally joins the Evil League of Evil after accidentally killing Penny, the only person he loved in an attempt to kill Captain Hammer.
    (Doctor Horrible walks into the chamber of the Evil League of Evil, putting on his costume...)
    Doctor Horrible: Now the nightmare's real!
    Now Doctor Horrible is here to make you quake with fear,
    To make your whole world kneel!
    Chorus: Everything you ever...
    (The doors to the chamber begin to close before the viewer's eyes, a la The Godfather's ending... The instruments build to a crescendo.)
    Doctor Horrible: And I won't feel...
    (The instruments cut off abruptly, cut back to Billy, Doctor Horrible's alter-ego staring blankly at the viewer.)
    A thing.
    (Smash Cut to black. Roll credits.)
  • Slender Man's rendition of "Still Alive" from Portal. He sings the last bit normally, and then the very last "STILL ALIVE" gives the impression that he's right behind you.
    And believe me I am still alive.
    I'm doing Science and I'm still alive.
    I feel FANTASTIC and I'm still alive.
    While you're dying I'll be still alive.
    And when you're dead I will be still alive.
    Still alive
  • Nico Nico Douga's first medley. Everything is fast, upbeat, and happy, but then a little bit of silence, and following that is a very off-key, very off-beat, 8-bit rendition of Sakura Sakura.
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: You can consider the whole second half of the music video to be a collection of scary moments put together to make up one big Last Note Nightmare. First, there is a sudden switch in the animation, and there's a continuous, soul-crushing long chord. It switches back to "live action" but only to show the cast do art projects with human hearts, cut pies made with gore, and painting the word "DEATH". All while playing horribly distorted music that will stick to your mind for days. After all that, you think everything goes back to normal, but the notepad with a face sings "Let's all agree to never be creative again!" right before the song surprisingly closes out on a regular Last Note Nightmare within an extended LNN. Even after the music video, it also shows credits play with ink coming out of a mouse hole while what sounds like Squidward's clarinet plays in the background.
  • The Living Tombstones Five Nights at Freddy's Song has the final chorus be abruptly cut off by the animatronics' signature screech. An attentive listener can see it coming, since it's also played at the end of the first chorus, softly.
  • This protest video against BP's greenwashing at the 2012 Olympics. The music starts out with peaceful piano, but when the BP cyclist shows his true colors and starts turning the environment into a Crapsack World, the music changes to a dark industrial tune accompanied by dissonant 8-bit-style jingles reminiscent of "game over" music.
  • Brentalfloss's DK Rap 2018 shows how all the protagonists of the game are doing. Eventually, we get to Chunkey, who's dead.
  • While this one is Accidental Nightmare Fuel, Yello - Oh Yeah is playing the background in Dog on Rollercoaster and the video ends during a scary part of the song.
  • Ace's Adventures' tour of the dead Mountaineer Mall in Morgantown, WV is set to heartwarming vintage Muzak until the "Coming Soon" teaser at the end, which shows a shot of the darkened mall interior at night accompanied by creepy ambient music and Anthony shouting "Hello?" into the darkness, followed by a flash to color bars and static.

    Western Animation 
  • At the end of some 1990 Disney VHS tapes such as The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, after a split second of silence, the copyright screen appears with the chime tune from the 80s/90s Walt Disney Television logo (usually if the copyright screen is replacing said logo) that can startle you and catch you off guard, especially if you have your television at high volume. Here is one example.
    • In fact, this was actually more common on releases outside North America, namely the "Walt Disney Cartoon Classics" releases over there, so its certain this would have definitely scared quite a few children all over the world.
  • Unsurprisingly, the song "Source Music of Doom" from the Invader Zim soundtrack has this. Not at the end, only about 30 seconds in, but definitely worth mentioning. Starts out with a strange tune about tacos before going into light flute-ish tune that seems very happy and cheerful before an out-of-place chord blares in your ears and kids sing "Bloaty's Pizza Hog!" over and over in your ears.
  • "Rock-A-Bye Baby" in the Crashcup segments of The Alvin Show, namely the ones where he invents the bed and the baby. Played at the end of the episode - normally the first time around, then as things go awry for good it repeats - but "rolls" like a warped record.
  • The recorder song in South Park's "World Wide Recorder Concert". Everyone in the WORLD will remember the last note of that song...
  • Oddly enough, Muppet Babies features one of these in its ending credits theme: the very last part where Spider-Man jumps down onto the Marvel logo segues from the cheery instrumental theme to a dissonant, screechy horn.
    • Only in the second season onwards. Originally, it was just a straightforward instrumental version of the theme song, which faded out (during the "I got my computer..." part) when it reached the Marvel logo (which then was the standard "static blue background" version).
    • It was actually the theme to its short-lived companion show, Little Muppet Monsters, which was a live-action show with animated segments about three "kid" Muppets airing a TV station from the basement of the Muppet house. It wasn't successful for a variety of reasons, and only 3 episodes aired before it was yanked from the CBS schedule. For some reason, though, they kept the ending theme as the Muppet Babies ending theme until the show ended in 1991. More specifically, it's the theme to "Muppets, Babies and Monsters", the short-lived hourlong pairing of "Muppet Babies" and "Little Muppet Monsters". The theme for that combined the two individual shows' themes into a medley (remixed slightly with castanets and the aforementioned trumpet solo).
  • Happens at the end of the closing sequence in The Flintstones, just after Fred screams, "WIIIIIIIILLLLLLMAAAAAAAAAA!", while continuing to pound the door.
    • Also, in the episode "Hot Lips Hannigan", Fred sings "Do Re Mi" to Wilma. He holds the final "Do" for a ridiculously long time, causing the Flintstones' glassware to shatter.
  • Similarly, the original closing sequence for The Jetsons has George crying out to Jane for help as he gets caught in Astro's dog-walking treadmill.
    • Even the later syndicated reruns of the 1980s, which feature just static shots of the characters over an instrumental of the theme, can be abrupt as the last note of the theme is followed by the loud spinning star logo used for Hanna-Barbera at the time.
  • A "three-note nightmare" happens in Jem. It occurs right after the end of the PSA'snote , and before the "JEM!" at the end.
  • "The 'O' Song", an old animation from Sesame Street, ends with one of these.
  • Rupert and the Frog Song, which is a cartoon about a little bear cub and several cute singing frogs, actually ends with a demonic-looking owl swooping down and scaring away all of the singing frogs.
  • Some of the BGM from The Ren & Stimpy Show can come across as this. Notable examples include "Maniac Pursuit" and "Terror".
  • For your consideration, Inspector Gadget. Wonderful cartoon, catchy theme song, but that last low note sounds rather ominous compared to the rest of the tune. Even more frightening with the end credits variation with Dr. Claw's booming voice saying, "I'll get you next time, Gadget, next time!"
  • The short version Season 1 theme for Young Justice was a triumphant and brash brass-led flourish. The Season 2 theme is the same until it suddenly switches to a somber dirge for the Title In of the "Invasion" subtitle.
  • Rugrats:
    • The music that plays during the end credits of the episode "Under Chuckie's Bed/Chuckie Is Rich" has one of these. It's a very elegant and mellow-sounding piece but abruptly ends with a brutal symphonic crash.
    • Another one at the end of "Dust Bunnies/Educating Angelica". It is a very triumphant superhero-like theme that ends with some creepy dissonant notes.
    • Also the ending to "A Visit from Lipshitz/What the Big People Do", where the latter short ended with a long Scare Chord that echoed into the first few seconds of the usual credits theme.
    • The original pilot episode, "Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing", ends this way as well; towards the end of the credits the sound of Stu, Didi, and Grandpa Lou arguing fades back into the music and continues to play over the Nickelodeon logo.
  • A variation of this: During Season One of Doug, the closing credits music would abruptly change when Porkchop donned his headphones (usually to the central theme of the first of the episode's two sub-episodes). That could be pretty spooky sometimes (which is probably why this was dropped after S1).
    • Related, there is also the first Jumbo Pictures logo after the credits, which was still, indigo blue, had a relatively low singing of "Do-do-do, do-do-do!" and was accompanied by some scatting. This was also dropped after season two with the second "sunrise" Jumbo Pictures logo, which was a yellow-orange color, animated (to resemble a sunrise shining over the logo), and more light-hearted, cornball horn playing.
  • Happens almost literally in the Looney Tunes short "Long-Haired Hare." Giovanni's final note during his performance (where he holds the same high note for a ridiculously long time, consequential disasters happen, and then he STILL has to hold it one last time) definitely ends in a nightmare for the poor singer!!!
  • For the original mini-series that started G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, the end credits theme starts out as an instrumental version of the theme song only to suddenly turn into a very loud, booming noise by the end.
  • Lovely Scenery C from SpongeBob SquarePants. Don't let the title fool you.
  • In the original The Pink Panther show, the moment where any short ends and the screen goes black with the credits for "A Mirisch-Geoffrey-Depatie Freleng Production" while that creepy and loud music sounded. Check it near the end here.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has this in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" when the Sonic Rainboom interrupts Fluttershy's "So Many Wonders" song and scares away the animals.
  • "Telegraph Line" from Schoolhouse Rock!, a cheerful ditty about how the nervous system works. Then you get to the part where "THE END" displays on a telegram, accompanied by two oddly dissonant notes that stick out way more than the rest of the song.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In "The Message", the fourth-to-last episode of the first season, the usually calming end credits theme is suddenly drowned out by creepy static. The ending for the following episode, "Political Power", is nothing but static getting louder, especially at the end, which is emphasized by a Scare Chord.
    • "Lion's Mane" is a very ethereal song used when Steven explores the Pocket Dimension within Lion's mane that supposedly belonged to his mother. The last few seconds of the song become panicked as Steven runs out of air and scrambles to get out of the mane before he suffocates.
    • Synchronize/Sugilite starts with Amethyst and Garnet's themes being remixed together. When the music reaches the point where they fuse into Sugilite, the themes combine into a distorted bass with an echoing diving beat that emphasizes just how menacing Sugilite herself is. The scene in "Cry for Help" where she briefly reappears manages to make it even worse, due to her uncharacteristically quiet rage.
  • The ending to each Action League NOW! short has this, with a slightly higher-toned version of the show's signature fanfare theme suddenly becoming a menacing Scare Chord.


..and so that's how TV Tropes will ruin your LIIIIIFE!!!


Video Example(s):


Video Killed The Radio Star

Right before he enters their studio to kill them, Cell requests TJ and the Wombat to play "Video Killed the Radio Star" which they do. Cell then brutally kills and absorbs the two of them as the song plays and the episode ends.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / SoundtrackDissonance

Media sources: