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Nightmare Fuel / Bob's Burgers

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Bob's Burgers makes its name in crowning moments of awesome, rockin music, well-done jokes and humor, things that warm our heart, references to movies, TV shows, and more, and even its emotional scenes. But to say that the Spiritual Successor to King of the Hill (as some fans call it) is capable of scaring people is an Understatement, because the show, more often than not, can serve up loads of scares in the kitchen. And really, what else do you expect from the guy who created Home Movies and was one of the main producers of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist?

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

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    Season 1 
  • In "Sacred Cow", there's a petting zoo with nursery rhyme-themed exhibits run by a elderly couple who steals Moolissa. Not only is it cheap & poorly constructed, but also... the animals are mistreated by being put in very cruel displays and the worst offender may or may not be the two mice tied up in a grandfather clock.
  • In "Weekend at Mort's", Bob is nearly cremated alive trapped in a coffin by his kids, who have no idea that their father's in the coffin.
  • In "Torpedo", Bob attempts to tell Gene via microphone that he shouldn't cheat to win a race. Mr. Fischoeder, in an attempt to quiet Bob down, begins firing his starter pistol at him... except it's not a starter pistol, it's a fully-loaded handgun. Mr. Fischoeder was seriously trying to shoot Bob down, only stopping because he ran out of ammo. And because of his status, he escapes punishment even though he did so in front of a giant crowd.

    Season 2 
  • In "The Belchies", the kids and their friends search the abandoned building for a treasure, as it'll be demolished the next day, and they'll never have another chance. Cue the kids, Bob, and Linda being trapped beneath the building and hearing the wrecking balls start. They just barely make it out alive.
  • In "Bob Day Afternoon", Bob gets caught up in the middle of a hostage crisis. Tensions are eased when it turns out the hostage-taker is Affably Evil, but Linda is so terrified that she thinks Bob is going to die.

    Season 3 
  • Louise's Sanity Slippage in "Ear-Sy Rider" when she thinks her bunny ears had been destroyed by Logan. She cashes in a favor from the One-Eyed Snakes to slice off Logan's ears in revenge. While the One-Eyed Snakes were just trying to intimidate Logan and weren't going to actually do it, Louise clearly intended to have them actually cut off Logan's ears, and gets mad when told after the confrontation that they wouldn't have gone through with it.
    • The One-Eyed Snakes themselves. They're a biker gang with a soft spot for the Belchers. And when they don't hang out with the Belchers, they do the wholesome team-building exercises of cooking meth, brutally murdering cops, committing armed robbery, and associating with white supremacists. Good thing the Belchers got on their good side...
  • The kids' fake drowned bodies to fool the crooked insurance agent in "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks". The audience knows they're faking, and Bob and Linda know they're faking, but they certainly don't look like they're faking.
    • There's also Tina in her Imagine Spot of being in Hell Jail, where all they serve for lunch everyday is Tina's lies.
  • Tina nearly gets killed in Louise's science fair project in "Topsy". While she was only acting, her playing dead is good enough to convince Bob and Linda otherwise.
  • Rudy suffering an asthma attack on an observation deck in "Carpe Museum", with no way to get down and access his inhaler. Bob is left to watch as a kid his own daughter's age suffers from something that could very well kill him.
  • Tina's Trainspotting-like hallucination induced by coffee withdrawal in "The Unnatural", complete with a porcelain baby with Jimmy Jr.'s face crawling under the counter like the baby in the movie.

    Season 4 
  • "A River Runs Through Bob" is full of Adult Fear. Bob and Linda go missing, leaving the kids alone to fend for themselves for two days. Then, when Bob and Linda come back, they find their kids missing, and are trapped inside an RV by insane survivalists who claimed to know where their kids were. It's all too lucky that the kids were able to get back in time to save them.
  • "Fort Night" is chock full of this. It preys upon several adult fears by having the children completely trapped and at the mercy of a deranged child who won't let them go simply because they won't be her friend. Even worse is when they nearly get crushed to death by the compactor that's pinning them down.
    • There's also the Jump Scare in the Title Sequence, right after the pest control truck Couch Gag. The actual image is pretty innocuous (Louise's Kuchi Kopi nightlight on a black background with "Happy Halloween" in orange) but the fact it's a jump scare at all is certainly a bit startling, especially in the title sequence.
  • "Christmas in the Car" is rather unnerving for a Christmas Episode. To explain: Bob and family go out on Christmas Eve to get a tree last minute (due to the other two trees being bought way early and dying before Christmas). On the way out, Bob gets the car stuck in the path of a giant candy cane truck, and Linda makes the situation worse by repeatedly honking the horn (in a misguided attempt to get the driver to experience holiday cheer via "Jingle Bells"). From there, the episode basically turns into "Duel: Christmas Edition".
  • Some of the zombie basketball players in Tina's story in "The Frond Files" are especially graphic. One's entire face is gone with his skull visible, and one has an eyeball hanging down the back of his socket and into his mouth.
  • "The Equestranauts" has a few moments, especially with Bronconius's increasingly disturbing behavior.
    Bronconius: "Some day, you will all DIE, and I will have the body of a twenty-year old!"
  • One of Tina's beloved horses from the carousel in "Wharf Horse" is described with the name "Henry Human Feet". Yeah, imagine that horse for a second. For all Tina claims to love the carousel, maybe it's a good thing that it was being torn down.
  • The Mood Whiplash at the end of "Wharf Horse", where Felix approaches Bob and Calvin with a smile on his face... and a loaded gun in his hand. Keep in mind that Felix isn't the most mentally stable of people, and it suddenly interrupts a possible Heartwarming Moment.
    • Oh, and after that, he ties Bob and his own brother underneath the pier so that they drown in the incoming tide. It doesn't pull through, of course, but it's probably the most suspenseful episode to date.
  • The climax of "World Wharf II: The Wharfening". Felix pulls a Heel–Face Turn and goes to rescue Bob and Calvin, but not before telling his girlfriend Fanny what he nearly did. The Belchers accompany Felix to save the two, and so does Fanny... but she doesn't have the same goal in mind. She instead steals Felix's gun and intends to kill not only Bob and Calvin, but the entire Belcher family—kids included, mind you—willing to end an entire family tree because Calvin refuses to sell Wonder Wharf for the sake of her stupid nightclub. Nobody is harmed and the Belchers make it out in one piece, but seeing Fanny so absolutely deranged might be enough for one to think twice about the Belchers' chances, even if just for a second.
    • Also, Bob still isn't untied during this scene, meaning he's Forced to Watch as Fanny waves a gun around threatening to kill his wife and kids. He already thought he was going to die, and now he's faced with a prospect that's a million times worse (with the very minor consolation of Fanny planning on shooting him first, meaning he wouldn't at least have to see his family die). The season opened with two episodes that were full of Adult Fear, and it goes out on an episode that's full of Adult Fear.

    Season 5 
  • Bob's nightmare from "Friends with Burger-Fits" is pretty disturbing. It starts with Teddy's doctor calling the restaurant, then Reaching Between the Lines to pull out Teddy's still-beating heart and cram it with hamburgers, causing it to swell grotesquely. Then Bob realizes that he's sprouted extra arms that are cramming burgers into Teddy's heart, and Bob wakes with a start just before Teddy's heart literally explodes.
  • "Dawn of the Peck" has Wonder Wharf host a Running of the Turkeys. As Linda herself lampshades, it sounds like it should be safer than the Running of the Bulls, right? Well, as it turns out, not exactly. The episode starts out showing us a guy innocently giving a piece of pretzel to one of the birds and the bird yanking his arm into the cage.
    • Then in the present, Linda and Teddy run in the event, but once again, the turkeys (and chickens, ducks, and geese) go haywire and attack everyone. A menacing one-eyed turkey (nicknamed Cyclops) even knocks out Linda!
      • While the rest of the episode is more Awesome and Funny, there is one last moment where Bob goes to buy and cook a turkey after all. It starts out suspenseful as no one is at the store, then when he finally gets a (frozen) turkey, Bob turns around and is faced with none other than Cyclops, who stares at Bob menacingly before charging him.
  • "The Millie-churian Candidate" features the return of Millie Frock, whose obsession reaches a brand new level when she literally attempts to kill another student for the sake of having Louise as her best friend.
    • Louise's nightmare: Millie gets elected... and then has Louise brought to her by the wrestling team and SEWN TO HER.
  • "Housetrap" ends with the very strong implication that Linda and Louise were right that Helen killed her husband. All because Bob just happened to find an old toolbox containing a single hammer and two bent nails buried in the backyard (but he was too high on painkillers to draw the proper conclusion). The unnerving music, plus the stare Helen gives as the Belchers drive away just enforces it.
    • Fridge Horror ensues when one wonders what would have happened if Bob had found the evidence and he was able to draw the proper conclusion. Helen might have had a grudge against her husband in particular, but she might not be averse to practicing the good old He Knows Too Much trope...

    Season 6 
  • In-universe, the Belchers consider Tina's segment in "Sliding Bobs" to be this, when she presents a hypothetical scenario where Linda married Hugo like she originally intended. It's kind of disturbing to see Tina, Gene, and Louise act so out of character. "Mona" is not socially awkward, couldn't care less about boys or horses, and has very little interest in Jimmy Jr. when he actually pays attention to her. "Dean" is quiet, withdrawn, and speaks in a slight monotone voice, as if he's just going through the motions of life. And finally, "Charlize" is a sweet and adorable princess lover who thoroughly enjoys helping her dadnote . There's also Hugo in Bob's place running the restaurant, with a mustache-less Bob as the health inspector investigating a claim that Hugo's hot dogs are made from actual wiener dogs. AND THEY ARE!
    Louise (To Tina): You got dark, girl. You got real dark.
    Bob: That was... disturbing.
    Linda: I think I need to go lie down.
    Gene: I kinda want a hot dog.
  • "The Hauntening" was the sixth season's Halloween Episode, and a legitimately creepy one at that. Bob and Linda try to put together a haunted house so Louise can finally say she's been scared by one, but it goes... poorly. When the family tries to leave, all the car's tires are flat, and they're being watched by an old man holding a pair of gardening shears. Literally all the man does is stare at them from the driveway, not even moving or blinking. Once the Belchers get back inside the house, the power goes out and they hear terrifying noises coming from the basement. The old man tries getting into the house, and while looking for a place to hide, Tina finds a room only containing a baby doll with sharp tree branches jammed into its eye sockets. The Belchers try to hide in the upstairs bathroom, only to find themselves trapped when they hear someone or something coming up the stairs, and finally reach the bathroom door. They flee through the bathroom window, only to find themselves trapped on the roof. A group of people in hooded cloaks surround the house, making a horrifying chant. and a ring of fire appears on the lawn. Finally, the old man from before appears in the bathroom window, the Belchers are trapped, and for the first time in her life, Louise screams in true and utter terror.
    • Thankfully, the episode ends with the reveal that the entire ordeal was a set up to give Louise a legitimately scary haunted house.
    • Even with that, seeing Bob suddenly change to Dissonant Serenity when he's about to do The Reveal because it's so unexpected and clashes with everything else that has happened so far in the episode, since there's really no foreshadowing that it was all fake.
  • Nurse Liz in "Lice Things Are Lice". Louise rubs the nurse's hair against Tammy's hair thinking it'll slow her down. Not to be outdone, she promptly shaves off all her hair, including her eyebrows and her appearance afterwards is creepy too. She then tries to do the same to anyone she thinks has lice.
    • The whole episode is rather creepy, playing heavily on the Adult Fear of someone who's supposed to be looking after kids going completely off the deep end and abusing them. A whole group of kids are in terror of an impending Traumatic Haircut. They appeal to Mr. Frond, who at first completely turns his back on the kids until it's revealed he's going to need said traumatic haircut as well. He then is forcibly shaved by the insane nurse while crying, his jerkassery still not enough to save this from seeming like serious Disproportionate Retribution. In the climax, Louise (who has the most to lose, seeing as her beloved hat will also get burned if she's caught, the very same hat she almost chopped a kid's ears off over a couple seasons ago) escapes but basically sees the other kids getting caught as a Fate Worse than Death and goes back for them. In the end Louise realizes Tammy never had lice, just dandruff, and Tina calls Nurse Liz out for not wearing glasses and therefore not being able to see the flakes/lice anyway, and everyone (sans Frond and the nurse) keeps their hair. Still a weirdly unnerving episode, though.
    • There's some Fridge Horror with Nurse Liz, as it's mentioned that a regular hospital/clinic wouldn't take her. Considering her actions in this episode, it's not really hard to see why and it brings up many questions (namely how the school thought it'd be a good idea to hire her, who the other options were if she's the one they went with).
  • While not as extreme, Joel repeatedly tricking his elderly and senile Aunt Meryl into thinking it's his birthday every week so she'll write him a check in "Secret Admiral-irer" is a shockingly straight depiction of Elder Abuse.

    Season 7 
  • Gene getting the reverse Norwegian stink-hold in "Large Brother, Where Art Thou?" shown only in shadow on the wall behind a horrified Louise.
  • While it's never discussed or even played up as scary, "Ex Mach Tina" reveals that Nurse Liz is still working at Wagstaff. This veritable maniac somehow completely evaded culpability for her previous actions and is still in the same position she held before. Wagstaff must have been very desperate to hire her in the first place if they can't find any replacements.
  • Linda's nightmare in "The Grand Mama-Pest Hotel" is pretty creepy and also kinda sad. It starts with Linda and baby Tina in an animated picture in a scrapbook, only for Tina to undergo Rapid Aging into a teenager. The now teenaged Tina yells at Linda for embarrassing her, pushing away and running out of the scrapbook. Linda desperately runs after Tina, but the cover to the book slams shut, trapping Linda inside a dark void with a somewhat-unhinged version of Dillon's mom Amy, who offers to share her scrap-booking supplies in a creepy, distorted voice.
  • The Nightmare Face that scares Gene at the beginning of the laser light show in "The Laser-Inth". From his point of view, the mouth looks like it's coming right at him.
  • "Into The Mild" basically pins this for both the claustrophobic and the acrophobic among the audience. More or less at the same time.

    Season 8 
  • In "The Silence of the Louise", Louise ends up having to work with Millie Frock to solve the "murder" of Mr. Frond's therapy dolls, but Millie will only cooperate in exchange for playdates with Louise. Cue a cheesy "playdate/crime solving" montage and a deliberately silly, over-the-top song to go with it that is hard not to laugh at... until you notice that the lyrics constantly repeat that "(Millie) will play with (Louise) till (they) Die", befitting her psychotic attraction in terrifying fashion. The song is even song with a just slightly off-kilter "cutesy" voice.
    ''"Playdates, playdates, having lots of playdates / I'm gonna play with you till we die / Playdates, playdates, super fun playdates, gonna play together until we die"
  • "V for Valentine-detta" has an almost literal example of Nightmare Face. When the girls get Valentine's Day makeovers, Louise winds up spending most of the episode in grotesque facial makeup that makes her resemble an Oni — a look she says was inspired by her nightmares. Inspired by her nightmares, but no doubt inspiring the audience's.

    Season 9 
  • In "PTA It Ain't So", Linda has a guilt-ridden nightmare caused by keeping quiet about Joanne stealing stuff from the charity auction. It starts with Linda and Joanne talking in the restaurant, then Joanne offers Linda a contract. When Linda doesn't have a pen, Joanne says she can sign in in blood and begins laughing maniacally. Then she rips off her face to reveal a Big Red Devil as flames surround her and Linda. Then, she rips off that face to reveal Linda's own face.

    Season 10 
  • Tina's nightmares in "Pig Trouble in Little Tina" are pretty messed-up, especially the one she has in class where she nearly drowns in pig intestines.

    Season 11 
  • "Bob Belcher & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Kids" showcases a fire that nearly destroys the restaurant. This is already frightening on its own (the Belchers nearly lost their home and livelihood), but as Teddy points out the Belchers themselves were in genuine danger. They could have died that night.

    Season 12 
  • "Manic Pixie Crap Show" has Linda revealing she once bonded with a stray dog she named Bottlecap as a kid, only for the dog to get killed by a hot dog truck. Linda spends the episode obsessing over a flower bouquet styled to look like a dog that was delivered to the restaurant by mistake, which apparently looks uncannily like Bottlecap. She repeatedly talks about Bottlecap's death in a happy, almost manic tone of voice while she dotes on the bouquet and calls it "Bottlecap II." Bob and Teddy are understandably upset and horrified by Linda's behavior, and are genuinely worried she might very well have a psychotic breakdown when the bouquet inevitably wilts. Linda's story gets even sadder and more horrific when we learn that she didn't just hear about Bottlecap dying—she saw him get run over right in front of her.

  • The unaired pilot’s original plot, where the burgers are made of flesh of dead humans. This became a simple Development Gag in "Human Flesh," with Hugo accusing Bob of this thanks to Louise's rumor, but we nearly got a version of Bob's Burgers where the rumors were true.
  • The original character designs. Bob and Linda look very creepy, but Louise in particular looks completely deranged.
  • The concept footage has Bob and Linda having more or less the same conversation about their anniversary as in the pilot, only surrounded by blood and body parts as they grind human meat for the restaurant. Things take a turn for the deeply disturbing when Bob takes a ring and a pair of shoes off of a dead woman to give to Linda as gifts. The fact that the only color comes from the bloody meat with everything else in black and white, in contrast to the bright colors of the show proper, makes it all the worse.