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Nightmare Fuel / DuckTales (1987)

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Scrooge and Launchpad just seconds away from a surprisingly Cruel and Unusual Deathnote 


Nothing to Fear

  • The entire episode could count as this; it features everyone's worst fears coming to life and attacking them. For young minds watching this episode in the dark, it is one of the scariest things you can possibly ever watch. Just wait until you see the vacuum cleaner.
  • Realistic or not, the kids in the audience might relate to some of the boys' fears:
    • First Doofus's banana turns into a monster (with creepy green eyes, red slithering tongue, rows of sharp, jagged teeth and a scowling voice provided by none other than Frank Welker which sounds surprisingly similar to Megatron). Then his nightmares quickly get a lot more serious when his school bully Bully Beagle shows up and threatens him. When Scrooge finds him, Doofus cries about how much he hates it when Bully picks on him.
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    • Another relatable fear is Huey admitting that he's scared of a video game villain who's one of the illusions terrorizing them. Many of us can remember being afraid of fictional monsters and villains (Such as Plankton, Freddy Krueger, the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil, Scar, etc.) as young children, considering that they're truly evil, but we never admitted it because we were afraid our friends would think we were wimps. Hell, video game villains can arguably be worse than ones from TV or movies because you effectively have to confront them yourself as part of the game, even games meant for younger or all-ages audiences. Imagine being a kid and being confronted by, say, Dracula from Castlevania, Ganon from The Legend of Zelda, Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy, Bowser from Super Mario Bros. or Dark Matter from Kirby.
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  • And then there is the nephews' teacher, Mrs. Quackenbush, an ugly (anthropomorphic) vulture with crazy eyes, talon-like fingernails, and a raspy voice.
  • Seeing Uncle Scrooge as an abusive guardian who wants nothing more than to get rid of the nephews and the nephews sneering at Uncle Scrooge is as scary as it is heartbreaking.

Magica's Shadow War

Home Sweet Homer

Merit-Time Adventure

  • The Sea Monster, a gargantuan green-skinned red-eyed horned sea serpent who is introduced attacking one of Scrooge's cargo vessels with a disturbing roar and eating Archibald Quackerbill alive. Shortly afterward, it appears out of nowhere to grab Scrooge himself and carry him off. Then it goes after Launchpad and the kids.

The Golden Fleecing

  • Scrooge's Gold Fever — not in a scream-out-loud fashion but in a subtler, quietly unsettling one. Scrooge's mania for anything valuable is often just accepted casually or Played for Laughs, but the events from the dragon's big entrance to the climactic Friend or Idol Decision ultimately play it deadly seriously and draw attention to what severe consequences it could have if he ever failed to control it.

Luck o' the Ducks

  • The leprechauns dragging the Ducks across the floor to throw them into a pit full of hissing serpents.
  • King Brian threatening to throw Far Darrig into the snake pit if he doesn't either convince Scrooge to leave the Golden Caverns alone or kill him.
  • The initial appearances of the banshee and the dullahan, especially the former's chilling wails.
  • Just how close Scrooge comes to being sealed inside of the Golden Caverns forever.

Sphinx for the Memories

  • The mummy. His moan is a call for "sweet dreams".
  • Donald while he's possessed by the pharaoh. Him coldly ordering Scrooge and his own nephews to be tied up and eaten alive by vultures circling overhead without a second thought is bad enough, but hearing the orders coming from a beloved animated character like Donald Duck manages to make the whole scene even more disturbing.

Hotel Strangeduck

  • The episode is creepy, no doubt, but there wasn't anything in it that sent it into complete nightmare territory... at least up until the point where the shadow of a skeleton comes out and starts strangling Uncle Scrooge. Then he goes limp. Granted, we knew he wasn't dead (he's the hero and this is a Disney story), but the visuals could have fooled the viewer.
  • The scene where Mrs. Beakley and Webby are making the bed and suddenly discover the outline of a person under the sheet is genuinely hair-raising since at first there is no sound or movement, or anything to indicate something like that is about to happen. It's just...there.

The Golden Goose

  • The Golden Death nearly overtakes the entire world before it's stopped. Scrooge ultimately has to throw the heavy goose just because he can't get there in time. That means that everyone (whom the viewer has been getting to know and love for the entire show) was effectively dead, even if it was only for a moment or two.

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