Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Fullmetal Alchemist

Go To

This cheerful story focuses on two kids who, respectively, lose an arm and a leg and a whole body while trying to bring back their beloved dead mother (the magnificent result of which is shown on the right).

Though an idealistic series, a certain mangaka threw in some vivid portrayals of horrific biological mutations, ridiculously murderous monsters, serial killers, utterly hellish warfare, and a sadistic deity.

Ladies and gentlemen, Hiromu Arakawa presents Fullmetal Alchemist.


All spoilers are unmarked.

Brotherhood/The Manga:

  • Basically every form of Human Transmutation results in you getting tossed through the Gate of Truth — except for one form: Transmuting other people into a Philosopher's Stone. You pay no price — it's all on them.
  • Isaac McDougal from Episode 1 of Brotherhood. From his powers, to his plan for Central, to his increasingly unhinged facial expressions... augh. He mostly freezes people from the inside out, and at one point, he knocks a guard over, and it looks like the guy shatters into bits. Then there's at least one case where he boils another guard's body fluids, and we're only shown his hand, which is red and raw... And this guy claims he's just trying to get revenge on Bradley for Ishval.
  • Episode 2 of Brotherhood, "The First Day", is full of this. Ed and Alphonse's bodies disintegrating, the screaming, the blood...
  • The thing that Ed and Al created when trying to bring back their mother. All those twisted limbs, the pulsating, the horrible gaping mouth, the eyes and that strained, gasping noise... It's like the creature was struggling to breathe.
    • Its ribs were sticking out of its chest, and its limbs were halfway through its body in some places. And Al's soul was in its body. No wonder he blocked out that memory.
    • The fact that... whatever it is wasn't actually Trisha is somehow both relieving and even more terrifying. On the one hand, Ed and Al didn't have to worry about their mom dying twice. On the other, two kids managed to create a complete Eldritch Abomination.
    • The same can be said for Izumi Curtis. In her attempt to bring her stillborn babe to life, she ended up losing her sexual organs and left with a misshapen thing. She is very relieved when Ed tells her it's not her child, but she still brought an unholy creature into the world just like her pupils.
  • Shou Tucker himself. The very thought that a man could transmute his wife and later his five-year-old daughter and her dog into a chimera is just nauseating in all sorts of ways. From Nina's garbled speech, she wasn't even fully aware of what had happened. Worse yet, remember, the chimera is half-dog. It's hard to tell how much of her understanding is Nina, or her pet. And then Scar shows up and Mercy Kills her.
    • Also, Nina doesn't seem to be aware about what her dad did to her mom (at least not until Ed reveals the truth after seeing Nina as a chimera), which manages to be an unholy trinity of Nightmare Fuel, Tear Jerker, and Paranoia Fuel. Imagine someone you love doing that to your mother, while you're "blissfully" unaware, and they continue to simply pretend to care about you.
    • When Roy Mustang tells Ed and Al about Tucker's first chimera, there's a shot of a creature crouching in darkness, its face a grimace of agony, as Roy sombrely adds that the only thing it ever said was "I want to die", and that it either managed to starve itself to death or got someone to Mercy Kill it. Even worse, until Ed and Al found out the Awful Truth, no one realized what Tucker had done, and Mrs. Tucker spent her last days as a mutated experiment suffering horrific pain.
    • Shou's complete obliviousness to the idea that he did anything wrong is frightening all on its own. Anybody with a healthy mind would immediately realize that performing these kinds of experiments on humans, especially their own loved ones, is beyond immoral. Sociopath extraordinaire Shou Tucker intellectually understood that he would be convicted as a criminal if he was found out (sure enough, that's exactly what happened when Ed and Al pieced it together), but not only did he think that what he did to his wife and daughter was acceptable, he expected to be rewarded for it. Remember, the only reason he was "rewarded" the first time is because he wasn't caught. In the Brotherhood anime, a scene is added after Ed is restrained by Al to keep him from beating Shou to death, where Shou picks up his State Alchemist pocket-watch and happily declares that he gets to keep his job. Ed immediately kicks the pocket-watch out of his hands where it breaks, and tells him that there's no way in hell he'll continue to be employed by the Military now that his secret is out.
    • Consider this: it's pretty easy to figure out that something is wrong with Shou long before The Reveal, what with Roy's sombre recount of what happened to the first chimera i.e. Mrs. Tucker, the Scary Shiny Glasses, and his asocial personality which does not escape his five-year-old daughter Nina's notice and leaves her feeling lonely. Yet the sheer depths of Shou's depravity in his obsession with remaining a State Alchemist is such that he still manages to be horrifying. A rare example of an Obvious Judas that still manages to shock viewers, because his actions are that horrible.
    • Worst of all is the fact that, not too far in, we actually see multiple people who are human/beast chimeras, some of which are mostly human with a few animalistic qualities and a few that are full-beast men. It's very likely that some people within the military did indeed figure out exactly what Shou had done to his wife and instead of reporting him or punishing him, they decided that they should instead expand on his research. Shou's crime is horrible on a personal level, being that he turned his wife and later his daughter into chimeras just to keep his job. Meanwhile, someone else decided to effectively industrialize the process to mass produce chimeras for no other purpose than to see if they could and whether the results would be worth using in warfare.
  • Ed's nightmare after Nina's death is turned Up to Eleven in the Brotherhood anime. It features a front view of the Nightmare Face of the resurrected "Trisha", while in the manga, it's only living Trisha with Blood from the Mouth. What made it infinitely worse is that he tried to play it off as not so different.
    • Said nightmare then features Nina and Alexander turning into the chimera Shou made.
  • Scar's M.O. as an alchemist killer. His right hand takes you apart from the inside out, which looks way more graphic and painful in the manga. Tucker's blood bursts from parts of his body, complete with a shot of his blank, dead eyed face. And then he was about to do this to Edward. As in, a child who had nothing to do with the war in Ishval!
  • Roy Mustang. Episode 53/54. What happens when Envy reveals he's the bastard who killed Hughes? Roy's facial expression immediately changes into the Death Glare to end all Death Glares. Not to mention his personality does a complete 180, acting like a demon of unfathomable fury and rage has possessed him to torture and kill Envy in the most brutal, cruel, and frightening ways imaginable. Not to mention that after Envy tries to get Mustang to hesitate by imitating Hughes, Mustang's glare actually gets worse. Then comes a barrage of flames to Envy, making the whole scene as terrifying as watching The Emperor torture Luke Skywalker all over again.
    • Not to mention, watching Roy char "Hughes" is rather unsettling. Even Envy was horrified that Roy could be so ruthless.
  • The ways in which a Homunculus dies in the Brotherhood anime — listening to them scream in terror as we see, in vivid, gory details, each layer of the human body being rotted away layer by gruesome layer!
  • The inside of Greedling. Those huge, demonic screaming faces staring constantly at its victims behind a constantly-shifting, blood-red background.
    • And Ling is still conscious inside of all that. True, he took in Greed willingly, but it's still amazing he stayed sane in all of that.
      • Also, notice when Ling is making the deal? We can see him grab and bite one of them!
  • The armors with souls attached to them that were guarding Laboratory #5. There are sixty-six, or possibly even more revived souls like Barry the Chopper and the Slicer Brothers whose souls were sucked out of their bodies, in a process so painful that it prompts Barry the Chopper to say matter-of-factly that he wishes that the perpetrators had just executed him. Unsurprisingly, a vast majority of those souls are completely off their rocker, just like the... people... who brought them back.
  • The fate of the first Greed. He got melted down to his core... slow and painfully in a vat of molten metal. To make it worse, the Big Bad drank his remains. Greed's reaction to this? Insane laughter.
  • The making of the Philosopher's Stones... Which involves your body internally exploding and and getting your soul ripped out and trapped in a tiny, rock-sized container... along with probably a dozen more souls. And you are conscious. The whole time. Those screams of despair aren't there for no reason... And it has been done for centuries...
  • Maria Ross's "death". She gets flame broiled by Mustang in Episode 17, and her burnt corpse is very graphically displayed. It was actually a cadaver created by Mustang, but still...!
  • Every single time Gluttony stares at the screen.
  • Envy's true form. As if the idea of turning souls into Phlebotinum wasn't scary enough, this consists of seeing their distorted faces begging you for release from their tortured existence. A melting, dripping, mutating bodymash of emaciated faces begging for their mommies and/or death. The true form is Upped To Eleven in the anime. It's the way that all the faces are moving, all the time...
    • During Ed's fight with Envy in this form, he hears one of the faces calling out "Big brother... wanna play?" Understandably, this immobilizes him due to reminding him (and the audience) of Nina Tucker.
    • Envy's Sleep-Mode Size. It's particularly abhorrent and uncanny. Looks like the hybrid of a maggot, a human fetus, a caterpillar, and some wide-eyed fish. It also somewhat invokes Vagina Dentata.
    • The disturbing imagery gets turned up even further in Brotherhood in the scene where Marcoh defeats Envy. Misshapen heads vomiting out misshapen heads and tortured screaming.
      • And then there's the almost half-melted-looking Envy, writhing around on the ground while screaming for everyone to not look at him... augh.
  • Gluttony's true form is shown several episodes/chapters before Envy's. His entire front half splits open, baring his open ribcage, which extends from his jawline to his groin and rakes forward. His entire lower jaw is gone, leaving tusk-like ribs near his jawline, and his exposed, Ouroboros-tattooed tongue slavering in the open air. Looking inside the opening reveals nothing but inky blackness and a single eye, almost exactly like the one in the Door of Truth. And then he goes on an insane rampage, erasing large sections of the landscape with what appears to be some sort of invisible Kamehame Hadoken, but is actually him extending his ribcage faster than the eye can see and swallowing whatever he catches. From the most cheerful, childlike, and seemingly least dangerous and malicious Homunculus, this was a nasty surprise.
    • And then he eats Ed, Ling, and Envy, and we're treated to an inside view of his stomach; or rather, where everything he eats goes. It is an infinite, featureless plane, with chunks of all the evidence, ruins, and people Gluttony's ever eaten still intact inside. The plane is filled with a similarly infinite ankle-deep sea of blood. Worst of all is how, as Envy fatalistically explains, there is no way out. The place is another dimension: literally infinite. The only thing normal people can do is wander in the sea of blood, waiting to die. Ed finds a way out, but that method isn't pretty either, and if it weren't for Envy's Philosopher's Stone, probably fatal.
  • The episode... The Ishvalan War of Extermination. It's as horrible and nightmarish as it sounds. We see Amestrian soldiers gunning down civilians of all ages en masse, the sheer horror of the genocide, and learn the scary reality of what it means to be a sniper from Riza Hawkeye herself. Seeing all the horror makes one understand why Scar despises Amestrians for much of the story.
  • Pride, what with all the giant mouths and eyes as his true form inside a human child-looking container. And the anthropophagy. And the homunculus cannibalism. And all those Slasher Smiles after eating Gluttony. Enfant Terrible indeed. More so in Brotherhood than the manga, since apparently Studio BONES learned a bit when they animated Soul Eater; he grins like Medusa.
    • As Gluttony dies pleading for Pride to stop and crying out in pain, Edward and Ling stare in pure horror and disgust, realizing just how ruthless Pride truly is.
    • Especially in the anime, where he absorbs Kimblee... alive. Worst part is, you watch it from Kimblee's point of view, and those jaws... those horrible jaws... then... CHOMP.
    • And in the end, when Kimblee reveals that he's still alive within Pride, because the sounds of all the people screaming in agony, non-stop, is like music to his ears.
    • Don't forget, all of this is coming from a kid, whose first appearance is gushing over Ed. When you re-watch it, all of Selim's interactions prior to being found out as Pride are incredibly creepy, akin to a predator toying with its prey.
  • Here's one in the manga that is more psychological horror than a scary image, but still pretty scary. Riza discovers Pride's identity. Pride is a Living Shadow of eyes and mouths and likes to rip people to shreds or eat them (that's the visually scary part). What makes it even scarier, is that Pride can basically appear anywhere there's a shadow, so for several scenes, Riza is paralyzed with terror just by seeing a shadow near her, as Pride could devour her at any time and could hear everything she said. Luckily, she is able to pass a coded message to Mustang and escape from this, but it's still pretty horrifying she could die from a single misstep.
  • What happened in Hohenheim's backstory. Realizing way too late that you may have made a huge mistake in helping your friend in the flask, just before everyone starts dropping like flies, an ENORMOUS eye opens up beneath you that sucks you in, and your body is disassembled while you shriek in fear and agony. And then waking up to discover that you're the only one still alive in your ENTIRE COUNTRY, have been manipulated into practically causing genocide against your own people and thus share responsibility of the horror — and then discovering you've become immortal and the souls of half of the inhabitants of your country are within you, screaming in pain, sorrow and anger every minute? The Scream says it best.
    • Add to that his realization that because the Homunculus was made from his blood, it mirrored his own desires: When he was a slave, he wanted freedom and knowledge, at least subconsciously.
    • The sounds of Xerxes' end. You can hear people crying out in fear or pain as the transmutation spreads — then a shock wave runs from the center of the circle, and the cries stop. Dead.
  • The Cyclops soldiers, which look like the unholy spawn of the Mass-Produced Evas and an especially ugly zombie. The Brotherhood anime has them all awaken with a chorus of horrible screeching. Like millions of souls screaming of unexplainable torture. Equally disturbing is their tendency toward creepy giggling and Psychopathic Manchild behavior which along with some of them calling for their parents strongly implies the ravenous monsters contain children's souls.
  • When Envy recreated his body using those said Cyclops soldiers. They basically devoured each other and then formed an abomination/blob.
  • A small but still frightening moment comes just before Envy restores his body. Watching May run from all of the mannequin soldiers, with little to no help, looks like something out of a horror movie. If Envy had waited to absorb the mannequins, since watching them eat May wouldn't be out of character at all for the little sadist, then she would've been in for a rather gruesome fate.
  • Father's 'true' form in Chapter 97, a black humanoid thing with huge eyes all over of his 'body', the mouth, and how the black goo-thingy came out of his body.
    • It's not helped by the fact that he immediately eats his own skin in an animalistic way with only his mouth showing at first before revealing his eyes.
    • It's implied that the blob is actually a small bit of Father's true form; there is a giant eye in the middle of the dark ceiling and when he absorbs all of Amestris, he's revealed to actually be this giant black cyclops. That thing had been living underneath Amestris for centuries.
  • Chapter 102, when the Homunculi force Roy to open the Gate, and he loses his eyesight even though he didn't do anything.
    Mustang: "What are you talking about? Are you with me, Fullmetal?"
    Ed: "Huh? What are you talking about..."
    Mustang: "It's pitch black... I can't see a thing. Where are we? Can you see any lights?"
  • The... thing... which was created from Pride using the Gold-Toothed Doctor as 'raw materials' for the transmutation. Sure, he deserved it, but still...
  • The Blind Alchemist Gaiden/OVA. Not just physical horror, either. The sheer psychological shock is pretty disquieting as well.
    • To be more specific, Ed and Al hear word of an alchemist named Jude, servant of a noble family, who has successfully performed Human Transmutation to bring back their daughter Rosalie after her untimely death. For this, he has to pay a toll of both his eyes, rendering him incapable of seeing the smiles return to his masters' faces. The kicker? The Humbergang family is actually lying to him to spare his feelings. Not only did he fail to revive her daughter, they wind up adopting a young girl to pretend to be Rosalie in order to keep up the charade. Meanwhile, a room in the house now contains a bed hosting the zombified remains of what was brought back during the Human Transmutation. And given what we discover about Ed's attempt at reviving Trisha, it's not even the real Rosalie in that bed.
  • Chapter 104. Everyone is dead. Everyone. Havoc? Breda? Falman? Fuery? They're dead. The Briggs soldiers in Central and in the East? Dead. Winry? Dead. Pinako? Dead. Gracia and Elysia? Dead. The Ishvalans, the people in Rush Valley, the Youswell coal miners, every cast member that has ever made an appearance in the series is dead, their souls stored inside a monster. Their bodies? Empty like the people of Xerxes.
  • Episode 61 "He Who Would Swallow God": after Father absorbs God instead of the normal intro song we're shown everyone whose souls were taken in complete silence.
  • In Brotherhood, they show the Ishval Massacre. The parts that show the Ishvalan civilians being trapped in the city and mowed down mercilessly while they scream for help (particularly images of the children being shot to pieces) is very haunting. The music and Deliberately Monochrome effect do not help.
  • Father answers the question: "What if I was to give birth to humans?" The humans he means? Hohenheim's friends from Xerxes, who are emaciated and barely conscious as they walk with a Zombie Gait while bursting from Father's humanoid body. The King is in there, still thinking that he is immortal. And then Father proceeds to nuke them all into oblivion. Those poor souls have been trapped for centuries in an endless torrent of crazed, screaming companions, only to abruptly obtain freedom — giving them just enough time to see the world, and then be blown away to nothing.
    • And that's only in the anime — the manga's version of this scene was somehow even worse. Right before Father proceeds to vaporize the Xerxesians, you can see their bodies rapidly decomposing as they stumble about — and they don't even seem to realize it the entire time. Their eyes begin melting out of their sockets and the King's jaw begins to fall off as he tries to talk to Hohenheim. Father reducing them all to ashes almost comes off like long overdue Mercy Kill for them.
    • The characters' reactions to the sight of this says all that needs to be said about it: they're horrified at the sight before them, the absolute extreme of the Uncanny Valley, and Alphonse says aloud that everything about this is completely and utterly wrong.
    • Half Nightmare Fuel and half Tear Jerker, but Izumi's reaction to the zombie baby trying to get her attention suggests that she's trying not to vomit from sheer emotional shock.
  • In Chapter 106 of the manga, Pride's body is slowly falling apart from forcing Roy to open the Gate. So what does he decide to do? He makes a cut on Ed's face and forces his shadow arms inside to take over Ed's body as a new container. You can see the shadows force their way inside and slowly spread across Ed's face and shoulders.
    • The Brotherhood version, where he gives his speech, then uncovers his eye to reveal that half his face is just a gaping hole into a raging storm of tormented, screaming souls. And then some of his shadows stick out of where his eye socket should be! OWOWOWOWOW. It's heavily implied that Pride feels no pain from that.
    • Pride is really, really angry in that scene in sharp contrast to his normal unflappable self. Moments before he tries to take over Ed's body, he screams furiously at him, with that creepy Voice of the Legion of his.
    Pride: Why should I care if Father doesn't? I am not a puny weakling like you! I am one of the HOMUNCULI! WHAT DO YOU KNOW, HUMAN!?!?
  • In Chapter 107, Ed finally regains his right arm. This is a good thing, right? Except... if you look closely, you can see there are now automail parts fused into his flesh where the arm regrew. Not to mention the fact that it looks like it belongs on a malnourished beggar, particularly in contrast to his other arm.
  • Father's original form, "The Dwarf In The Flask", because it seems like he's the embodiment of pure evil, and you don't even expect or even know it, more or less, is somewhat frightening.
  • Father getting trapped in the gate by Truth. The Brotherhood episode came out, and watching Truth talking with a cold indifference while Father gets pulled in complete with him screaming and sobbing, asking for repentance.
  • When Lust is burned to death in Episode 19. Dear God, that scene. When Roy sets her alight the first two times she gasps in pain, then the third time we get a good look at what's left of her scorched face as she starts to scream. And then he does it again and again and again and she keeps screaming in utter agony. No doubt she deserves it, but damn is it hard to listen to.
    • Just before Lust is completely incinerated, she lunges at Roy whilst roaring with rage. The look on her face as she does so is terrifying. It stands in sharp contrast to how calm and collected she usually is.
  • Then there's Envy's turn to get burnt. The man known as Roy ceased to exist for a few moments, replaced by some wild primitive beast man that happened to look like him. And one of the first things he does is set Envy's eyes on fire! "How does it feel to have the liquid in your eyes boil?!" Though he was talked back to his senses.
    Envy: (writhing in what can only be assumed to be horrible agony) MY EYYYYYEEEESSS!!!! THEY'RE GOOOONNNNE!!!
  • The moment in Chapter 107 when Greedling punches God!Father in the eye and it shows his hand stuck in his eye socket. Nerves seem to be traveling from said eye-socket, under Greedling's skin, and up his arm, trying to take his Philosopher's Stone with him.
  • Episode 41. The scene where Ed gets gored through the stomach by the beam. Edward's bone-chilling screams of pain as the Chimeras pulled it out of his stomach as he simultaneously healed himself. He was burning through his soul to do so. This with him screaming in agony and trying desperately to focus through the pain for just long enough to seal his wound.
  • The Sacred Star of Milos. There was one hell of a cure for insomnia when the man we thought to be Long Lost Sibling of Julie Crichton, Ashleigh, reveals that he was actually a former bodyguard who murdered her parents, ripped off skin with the tattoo of half the Milos transmutation circle and the face of her brother and grafted both of them to his body. This was just after he impaled her friend and his underling with a sword that opens up to drain their blood so it could fill the city wide 3-dimensional transmutation circle, and before he tore off skin with the tattoo from his body so he could match it up with the one on her body. And we later find out not only was her real brother fully conscious when his face was ripped off, but he survived it when he appeared to give his identity thief a very painful death.
    • Sacred Star also has the Industrialized Evil of the city-wide transmutation circle. The entire city was built into a machine for mincing people and turning them into a Philosopher's Stone; we don't see what it does to the soldiers, but we do see a lot of blood going through the pipes. Notably, no homunculi seem to have been involved; the whole thing was, to all appearances, of purely human construction.
  • The Gold Tooth Doctor's creepy Slasher Smile, from one of the most depraved characters in the series. Not only did he make the failed Wrath-would-bes monsters, the bastard slit Riza's throat, nearly killing her. She's left bleeding out on the floor as Roy is torn between screaming at Gold Tooth in rage and screaming for Riza to stay alive.
  • While he is a bastard for being so willing to sacrifice most of Amestris just to become immortal and being a Dirty Old Man, General Raven really doesn't have any nightmarish qualities about him. However, one of the eyecatches of the episode wherein he's killed by Olivier Mira Armstrong shows Raven with this utterly sinister Slasher Smile, revealing his true nature.
  • The Liore Riot. Even after Cornello's defeat, Envy ended up impersonating him and used his charisma to turn the populace into a howling lynch mob obsessed with bringing "the Father's word" to the world. Disagreements began, and what began as a simple riot became what is described as the single bloodiest conflict in the entire history of the world, full of massacres, destruction and Cold-Blooded Torture. The fact that Liore is still around afterwards is nothing short than a miracle.
    • It's even worse in Brotherhood than in the manga, since we see the riots immediately start at the end of the episode, and there's a huge raging mob outside the church... Not helping is how Rosé of all characters tries to pull a gun on the Elric brothers for what they did.
    • This isn't even the first time Envy has pulled this off. The powder keg that was the annexation of Ishval only descended fully into a war of extermination after Envy took the guise of a soldier who had been against the occupation, offered a seemingly friendly smile to a child to come across like the same guy, then shot that child in cold blood. The fact he can do this kind of thing taking the visage of someone who's either been shamed or who would seem completely OOC doing what he intends to do with his look, yet still get all the desired effects is extremely frightening. Imagine your staunchly anti-war relative initiating a shootout at the local police department which goes so bad it sets an entire town into lockdown. Envy can do that. In fact Envy gets his kicks that way.
    • In a smaller (but nonetheless completely horrifying) instance, Envy uses this trick to get the drop on Hughes. Hughes had just escaped from Lust, seen through Envy's charade as Lt. Maria Ross, and palmed a knife to stab Envy with. Then Envy shapeshifts into Hughes' wife. The look of despair on his face right before he dies is heartbreaking. Well, except to Envy, who brags about it later on two separate occasions.
  • Hughes' death, full-stop, from how sudden the scene was (in the manga, anyway; Brotherhood extended it a bit). The last thing Hughes sees before he dies is something that looks exactly like his beloved wife, smiling as she is about to murder him. Contrary to how happy he usually is to see her, the look on his face right before Envy pulls the trigger is pure horror and despair, and then he's gone. That is the last face the reader sees him make alive. The next shot of him is his blood-soaked corpse, still lying in the phone booth with Envy long gone.
    • Not helping is how Hughes had attempted to call Roy, only to get killed just before/as Roy answered the phone. Roy naturally freaks out after he calls Hughes's name and gets no answer for it, making for some in-universe Nothing Is Scarier.
  • After Scar captures Tim Marcoh, he decides that it'll be easier to travel if Marcoh can't be recognized, so he blows the skin of his face off, complete with lots of blood and a close-up of Marcoh's eye between his fingers that clearly shows exposed muscle. And he's crying from the pain. All of this happens without the slightest bit of warning beforehand.
  • When Envy confirms to Mustang that he's the one who killed Hughes — and then shifts into Gracia again, just to rub in the fact that Hughes was killed by someone wearing the form of his beloved wife. It's really quite dreadful to watch the face of the normally kind and gentle Gracia wearing a huge, demented grin as her husband's killer babbles about how great the 'utter shock, the dumb confusion' on Hughes' face was as he died. Naturally, this slams down hard on Mustang's Berserk Button.
  • Mustang ripping the Philosopher's Stone out of Lust only for her body to regenerate around it. The image of it is not pretty, and serves to remind you that Lust is a monster in both the figurative and literal sense.
  • In "Yet Another Man's Battlefield," a Freeze-Frame Bonus is one you may want to miss. When Maes Hughes shoots Heathcliff Erbe (who'd just shot Roy), the look on his face is one you'd never expect to see on the guy: unrestrained, sheer fury mirroring Heathcliff's own furious despair. Considering we never see anything quite like this with him, it's actually quite disturbing and terrifying to see, and makes one wonder what Maes might have gone on to do if Roy had been killed. Take a look for yourself at 1:46.
    • From the same: his response to Roy's Armor-Piercing Question at 3:16. That desperate look in his eyes gives away that yes, he has realized the horror of the guilt of which Roy speaks as well as how very little he can do about it now.
    "Can you really hold the woman you love, with your blood-stained hands?"
    • The incident weighs on both men so much that Roy has to ask for 30 seconds to recuperate and get back up and Hughes gives him that time, neither man moving a muscle. The sun was down at the start of the 30 seconds. It was up again by the time they finished. That's a hell of a weight to carry on your shoulders. It also makes it look pretty freaky when Roy, Maes, Gracia, and some walking soldiers seen in a far shot from above are the only ones moving in the train station scene afterward.
  • When Scar is healed by his brother in Ishval, he is helped by Winry's parents and wakes up in a medical tent. In the last attack, he'd lost his arm... so you can understand his confusion and horror when it looks like he woke up with his brother's arm in its place. No wonder he had a major Freak Out.
  • Episode 27, Interlude Party, or Hohenheim's flashback/dream episode, just for how... weird it is. It starts out normal enough, looking like a flashback to an old conversation between Hohenheim and Pinako at a party of some kind. Then the younger Pinako makes reference to stuff she shouldn't know about yet (Ed and Al's transmutation attempt), Hohenheim starts fatalistically talking about how hopeless everything is while the other people there seemingly start dropping like flies, and Father randomly shows up at one point and attempts to give a Breaking Speech to Pinako. And then he grabs her and rips her face off, only for her to turn into Hohenheim. And it's all interspersed with bits of previous episodes, just making it weirder. Sure, it's implied that Hohenheim may have drank himself to sleep, since there's a bottle next to him when he wakes up, but still... It's one creepy Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.

First anime

  • Shou Tucker's reappearance as a chimera. His spine was fused to whatever animal he was combined with in a way that makes his head look upside down. And the fact that Shou talks entirely in a WHISPER after this event.
  • Nina's death: "Edward, why does it hurt here?"
  • When Edward comes across the crime scene of one of Barry the Chopper's victims. Upon accidentally having the cover taken off her body, its position reminds Ed of the transmutation attempt on Trisha, and he gets a flashback of its horrible, pulsating face, causing him to (understandably) pass out from remembering it.
  • The scenes in the decaying, bombed out shell of a city. That's WWI era London. While that may not seem so disturbing, bear in mind that in the first anime series, it is said that every time alchemy is performed, some dead soul from that world will have to lend its energy to make it happen. Even if the manga/Brotherhood 'verse works differently, it's still creepy.
  • All the freaky shit from the first episode. When Al and Ed are in the Gate and Al is being forcibly pulled in, screaming for his brother to help him while Ed reached for him. Their hands barely touch for an instant and then Ed is screaming in disbelief, anger, and then bloodcurdling pain as he clutches the bloody stump of his leg.
  • The chimera that Cornello put together to resemble Rose's lover.
  • The time when Wrath, pre-"awakening", accidentally fused himself with a bed. It's a bit like the Tele-Frag article when you think about it.
    • When he fuses himself with Sloth and she is literally evaporating because Ed transmuted her into ethanol. The reaction with his body causes his skin to become permanently burned, and he tears free of her while screaming in pain.
  • Envy killing Ed via a blade through the chest with blood spewing everywhere. Top that off with a closeup shot of Edward's pupils dilating as he finally dies. And Envy's freaking huge Slasher Smile as he was doing so.
  • The Mind Screw moment when you see the flashback of Izumi trying to bring her baby back to life: It looks like the transmutation worked because her baby's body swells and actually starts crying, but it failed, and she hands her child to the Gate. The creepy shadow arms grab it and yank it back through the Gate while it's still crying. Izumi is shown remorsefully reaching out to her helpless baby as it is pulled away from her. When the Gate closes, she lets out a bloodcurdling scream.
  • Kimblee's method of dispatching his foes or just people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Plus unlike the Brotherhood version, this version of Kimblee forgoes any charm or etiquette, relishing causing death and pain out of ruthless nihilism and slowly turning human beings into bombs or mutilating them for kicks.
    • Speaking of Kimblee, like Barry the Chopper mentioned below, he is much more horrifying in the first anime and considering the Blue-and-Orange Morality of the Brotherhood counterpart, that's really saying something. In the Ishval flashback early on in the series, Kimblee is seen blowing up entire buildings with a Philosopher's Stone and laughing maniacally. And remember, this guy actually influenced Barry to become the serial killer he is now.
    • Kimblee's death deserves a special mention. He is first impaled by Scar in a duel at Liore and just when you thought he was already done, Kimblee crawls with the last of his remaining strength towards Al and transforms him into a walking time bomb. All while literally having his intestines blown apart, spewing blood from his mouth, and unleashing one of the most disturbing Nightmare Faces in the series. The man was so nihilistic and hell-bent on turning Alphonse's hollow armor into a bomb that he didn't even care what would happen to himself. And just to add more nightmarish undertones into his twisted philosophy on humanity and its pointlessness, Kimblee deliberately makes his armor react slowly with oxygen, just so Al can realize with time how pointless his efforts have been. And then he dies believing that no one could ever save him. Holy shit.
  • The death of Basque Grand at the hands of Scar. After Scar deconstructs his gray matter with alchemy, blood shoots out of his ears, nose and eye sockets in slow motion. Even creepier is how fragments of Red Stone shards fuse with the flesh on his tattooed arm upon contact.
  • What happened to Rose after she was captured during the raid on Liore.
  • In the video game Curse of the Crimson Elixir, the Elric brothers are sent to investigate the village of Bord'wan with Riza. You find the place in complete shambles — all the houses are blown out and many are covered with bloodstains (even the path you're walking on). It's dark as night, infested with scores of inky-black Golems, and has some suitably creepy music in the background.
    • An early chapter has the brothers investigating Shou Tucker's house. Know Resident Evil? You'll be getting familiar vibes walking through the mansion, but not because of zombies. When you look at Tucker's diary, it's clear that he's lost it. And then you find his glasses.
    • Near the end of the game, Ed's contact with the Crimson Stone causes him to end up in a blank white void. His only guide are blinking red lights, and touching them allows him to see Crowley's memories of his slow and steady descent into complete madness after failing again and again to create the perfect Golem body to place his lover's soul into.
    • In The Broken Angel (of which Elixir is a prequel to), Carmilla melting into a human-shaped mass of inky-black goo. Her screams of pain and rage don't help matters.
  • "Can I... eat him??"
  • The episode where people in a town are infected with a disease that slowly kills a person by turning their skin into a stone-like substance. Made all the worse with the closeup of one of its victims: Lydia, an innocent young woman, has her face disfigured so it resembles rotted, stony bark.
    • Lujon attempts to save a small boy from the disease with alchemy at one point. The poor kid pretty much exploded. While screaming in agony.
    • Also something of a Tear Jerker, but, at the end of the episode, the entire town has become infected with the illness. Their bodies are shown on-screen, and seeing all of them with the rocky skin is just flat-out horrifying.
  • The whole thing with being stuck inside the Gate. Wrath described it pretty well: Stuck there. Sentient. No way to escape. And now let's think about Al's body being there, surrounded by all those eyes...
  • Envy's final form in Conqueror of Shamballa. To put it into simple terms, the movie has Envy as this enormous dragon-like serpent, with razor-sharp fangs, that can move at lightning-quick speeds and more or less relies on the single emotion of envy. This, and witnessing dragon!Envy chomping down on Hohenheim, all of Hohenheim's blood gushing out and then dripping out of dragon!Envy's mouth... Brrrr....
  • Envy and Hohenheim in the movie. Hanging up there, having something pierced through your body, waiting for something finally to happen... Highly unsettling, especially considering the time period Hohenheim hung there in Envy's mouth!
  • The expression on Mustang's face as he is ready to kill himself in the Ishbal flashback episode is nothing short of haunting. What's worse is that unlike the Brotherhood incarnation, Mustang was the one who killed Winry's parents under orders from the military!
  • Barry The Chopper. Unlike in the manga/Brotherhood anime, his sadism is not only played seriously, it's also terrifying. In episode 8, he kidnaps both Winry and Ed. He has Ed tied to a chair with his automail arm taken off and has Winry Bound and Gagged. He graphically talks about how he likes slicing people into pieces and makes several nightmare faces. He slices Ed's arm and mentally tortures him while trying to murder him.
    • There's Ed's reaction to this scene that makes it scary. Keep in mind, he was twelve when this happened, and he reacts the same way anyone, especially a preteen boy, would. And he was all alone, and no one knew where he was. Ed manages to escape by turning the chains into a spear. That's when Barry starts swinging, and when Ed starts screaming. And when we realize that he's actually terrified. The only time we've seen him so scared was when he and Al tried to bring their mother back. After Al and a few State Alchemists arrive to save them, Ed breaks down sobbing.
      Ed: I thought he was going to kill me. I honestly thought I was gonna die. I was so scared... so scared...
    • Much later, Al meets Barry again, now as a disembodied soul attached to armor just like him, and — also unlike the manga — there is absolutely no humor attached to this. Al is terrified to see that the serial killer who almost murdered his brother and their friend is not only still alive, so to speak, but is more dangerous than ever before, and now the skull-faced psychopath has the government's blessing to kill as much as he pleases so long as he does it on the grounds of Lab 5.
  • Martel's death. It's roughly the same as in the manga, but the most major difference is that the actual killing is shown from Al's point of view. Also, Al told her to hide in his armor to get away from Bradley/Pride.
  • The way Greed's body contorts when he dies. His eyes are bulging, his skin is dried up, and his mouth is agape as if he wants to scream but can't. Ed's scream of agony as his dissolving body sinks into the floor makes it all the more chilling.
  • Hughes' death is only a little different in this version, but in a way that largely changes the atmosphere. The part with Lust is mostly the same, it's when Hughes goes to use the phone in the lobby. The random girl he runs into is replaced with the Fuhrer's secretary, who is the anime's version of Sloth and also tries to kill him. It gives it a kind of Paranoia Fuel feeling, like the homunculi can be anybody and anywhere, and there's nowhere to run.
  • That horrible thing that Ed and Al made when attempting to revive their mother? It lives on and eventually becomes Sloth.
  • Gluttony's monster form in the movie.
    • The fact that they never revealed how he turned out like that in the first place.
    • In episode 50 of the series, Gluttony is unable to eat Alphonse in order to create the Philosopher's Stone due to his grief over Lust's death. Envy becomes infuriated and Dante is annoyed with his inability to cooperate. So Dante activates the ouroboros tattoo on his tongue and erases it, reducing Gluttony to a mindless being whose only desire is to eat. This even shocks Envy, who seems scared of Gluttony's "pure" form.
    • The point in the movie where Gluttony chomps down on poor Wrath. He is caught between Gluttony's jaws, and blood oozes from his mouth. As Gluttony drags Wrath further in, a horrible crunch is heard as Wrath screams out in pain. By the time Al transmutes them both, Wrath appears to already be dead. It's especially horrifying in the dub, where Luci Christian actually sounds as though she's in horrible agony as she speaks.
  • Scar's older brother is revealed to have suffered Sanity Slippage. The combination of his lover's death, failing to revive her through human transmutation, and the imposing threat of a war on his home eventually pushed him over the edge. Using his own body, he misguidedly planned to create a Philosopher's Stone out of Ishval's people during the massacre to resurrect his dead beloved. He wandered out onto the battlefield completely tattooed and naked with Ax-Crazy eyes and tears streaming down his face as Scar watched in horror. It didn't end well.
    • Not to mention the reason he was naked; the sacrifice he made for human transmutation to bring back his lover/Lust? It's strongly implied to have been his own genitals. OUCH.
  • Eckhart and her Thule Society mooks in the movie crossing the Gate over into Amestris... and subsequently getting themselves transformed by whatever the hell's in there. The viewers can even see said mooks practically screaming as the Gate morphs them. When Hughes shoots a heavily mutated Eckhart on the return trip, it comes across as a blessing.
  • Lyra's death. We never see it happen, but we do see the end results. They're NOT pretty.
  • King Bradley revealing himself to be a homunculus is way more chilling and foreboding in the 2003 anime, certainly helped by the fact that in this version, The Reveal is much later in the series, and Bradley's true identity as the homunculus Pride had not even been foreshadowed. It's a much more terrifying version of the above mentioned change to Hughes' death, as it not only gives the idea that the homunculi can be everywhere and nobody is safe... but they also have so much hidden influence that ''the leader of the country'' is one of them.
    King Bradley: (to Marta) Your agile moves won't work against me, snake chimera. I have the Ultimate Eye!
  • Lust attacking Scar in the Central Library. The difference here is, instead of sporting her usual smirk, Lust instead goes into an almost doll-like, wide-eyed Slasher Smile, and it is unsettling.
  • The lifeless Nina dolls that Tucker has created in his attempts to revive her.
    • They just... stare blankly at everything, don't react at all, and seem unable to move or speak. Even after Tucker attempts to use Al's Philosopher's Stone to "finish" them, they're still Empty Shells. It's straight out of the Uncanny Valley, and it's even more wrong considering how cheerful the original Nina was.
  • Dante's death, as cathartic as it was, is also pretty creepy—she's escaping in the elevator when suddenly Gluttony chews his way through the floor and grins at her hungrily. She tries to talk him down only to realize that he doesn't even remember who she is because she alchemically destroyed his mind, meaning that she can't control him anymore. He then lunges at her and she tries to defend herself with alchemy. We never see what happens next, as the elevator is empty the next time it opens, but Word of God confirmed that Dante didn't make it out alive.