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Nightmare Fuel / Futurama

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Welcome to the future, at least as seen through Futurama. Please be warned of unmarked spoilers abound. Which makes sense, as this is the future.

Or, to put it another way, Moments pages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.

  • "The Sting" may make you cringe forevermore at the sight of furry bumblebee bodies. Fry's death, Leela's hallucinations, followed by her descending into madness, her attempting suicide just so she can be with Fry, and Leela getting attacked by bees after she throws the honey against the wall. The only consoling thing is that none of this happened, Fry was alive, and that the whole thing was Leela's coma fantasy.
    • It's revealed that Leela was in real danger of dying from her coma, though. It's hinted at when she tries to attempt suicide by eating the honey, knowing that three spoonfuls will kill her. That may have been a sign of her organs crashing and why Fry was begging her to stay.
    • The space bees themselves. You know they're insanely deadly when Professor Farnsworth, who's perfectly fine sending his crew on suicide missions, refuses to send them on this mission, as later heard by the old crew's last recording that Leela found. Except apparently the Professor goaded them into going on the mission by saying they weren't as good as the crew before them...
      Crewman: Captain, the bees have us surrounded! Oh, the Professor was right, we aren't as good as his old crew!
      Captain: Well I aim to prove him wrong. It'll take more than deadly bees to keep us fro - (buzzing intensifies) OH LORD! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHH!
    • The scene in Leela's dream when Fry put his hand inside the hole in his body.
    • One of Leela's apparent hallucinations is the walls with the faces of the other members of the crew chanting, "YOU KILLED FRY! YOU KILLED FRY! YOU KILLED FRY!". That may seem silly on paper, but hearing them repeat to Leela over and over that she killed Fry is pretty chilling. Then again, there is some comedy when she tears the wallpaper off, only for Bender's face to appear on the floor and snidely remark, "You killed Fry."
    • The height of Leela's Sanity Slippage:
      "I'll find Fry's coffin, get his corpse and keep it under my mattress to remind me that he's really dead."
    • The "Don't Worry, Be Happy" scene with the grinning cartoon bees stinging the entire eerily cheerful crew and causing them to swell and blow up one by one. Soundtrack Dissonance at its most primally unsettling. Plus if you pause at the explosions you can see loose eyeballs and teeth!
    • Though it's a throwaway line, the effects of the bee venom if you're allergic to it. According to Professor Farnsworth, the allergic reaction would cause the victim's insides to boil out of their eyesockets.
  • Seeing how Yandere the Planet Express Ship gets in "Love and Rocket" is actually rather terrifying, especially when she reveals she plans to kill Fry, Leela, and Bender to be with Bender forever.
    • Speaking of yanderes against Bender, the Don-bot's daughter Bella going after him while he's in the Witness Protection Program, wearing a mourning gown, armed with a laser gun and her bell making frightening church bell chimes and then it turns out that when she shot him dead, she killed a completely innocent robot and Bender was safe on Earth all along!
    Bella: If I Can't Have You…, NO ONE CAN!!! (shoots Bender)
  • In "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles", the crew (except Leela) all begin to age backwards and get younger and younger as time progresses. By the end of the episode, they're simply fetuses (Bender is a blueprint CD), and would suffer a Fate Worse than Death... pre-life! Then death. They find a fountain of aging to get them back to their right ages, but Zoidberg unfortunately slips in, and he ages at such a rapid pace that he is dead by the time he reaches the center. Luckily, it turns out it wasn't Zoidberg, though. It was just one of his brothers that budded off, while there are miniature Zoidberg heads on a coral reef that they're all attached to. Seeing them all bicker does lighten the mood a little.
  • In "Anthology of Interest", a What If? scenario shows Impulsive!Leela murdering all her friends in shockingly cruel ways. Bonus points for riding around inside a car made from Bender and casually eating Zoidberg like he was seafood. It ends with Leela having sex with Fry, (presumably) killing him as well.
  • The end result of Bender being turned human in "Anthology of Interest II": he's not so much human- as blob-shaped and dies without anyone noticing. No one realizes he's dead because he keeps, apparently, yelling "Woohoo!" It's just the sound of air escaping as his body collapses.
  • People's life forces getting sucked out in "Thief of Baghead", and the fact that it happens so suddenly. Not to mention the horrifying sound that accompanies it. Thank goodness Bender saves the day.
  • The Neptunian slug from "My Three Suns". It looks harmless and kind of cute at first. But when Elzar takes it out of its cage afterward it starts growing rapidly in size with its teeth becoming sharp and menacing until it almost fills up the entire kitchen and looks as though its about to eat Elzar...
    Elzar (arming himself with a big frying pan): See, this is why you always wanna use ''cast iron'' cookware...
  • For the love of god, do not piss off The Hypnotoad. The teleprompter who interrupted Everybody Loves Hypnotoad with breaking news found it out the hard way.
    Teleprompter (Starts to audibly panic): ''Please, Hypnotoad! It's beyond my control! No! Don't make me kill myself - (Choking sounds)!".
  • Kif giving birth to dozens of tadpole babies in the episode "Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch." We're treated to several seconds of Kif screaming in absolute agony as his skin inexplicably flashes from its usual pale green to a glowing, neon green, and we see the entire thing. And there was a lot of (albeit green) blood. The last part of the episode carries some parental fear undertones when Kif wearily asks Amy if their (actually it's Kif and Leela's) babies have made it safely to the pond.... only for the scene to cut to the babies getting attacked by giant, terrifying creatures like bugs and snakes, which are trying to eat them. Luckily, Amy manages to fend them all off and save all the babies.
  • Zoidberg going on a hormone-fuelled rampage through the gym in the first act of "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?". There's something just disturbing about seeing the usually friendly and good-natured Zoidberg going insane like that because that day marked the start of his kind's mating season. Mating Season Mayhem has never looked so scary.
    Instructor: Is there a doctor in the gym?
    Zoidberg: I'M A DOCTOR!!
  • Universe 25 from "The Farnsworth Parabox". The universe's versions of Leela, Hermes, and Fry look normal from behind, then turn around and are revealed to have Eyeless Faces.
    Universe 25 Hermes: We didn't see anything... Ever!
  • In Bender's Game, what's left of the Dixie Chicks after their matter-transporting accident.
    What's Left of the Dixie Chicks: We're in HORRIBLE PAIN!
  • In "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", a bookshelf falls on Fry in his imagined scenario, breaking his neck. The graphic results are shown for a very long period of time.
  • Bender's transformation into a were-car in "The Honking".
  • In the future, Santa is a homicidal robot who goes around the world attacking cities on Christmas Eve.
    • It's Played for Laughs, but the sight of an elderly man's corpse sitting sprawled where Santa killed him, flesh largely (but not completely) rotted away, dead eyes staring into eternity, is very disturbing.
  • "The Inhuman Torch": The sentient, talking flame Bender accidentally brought back from the sun that wants to burn up the Earth.
  • "Murder on The Planet Express" has to be the creepiest episode in the whole series. It's a homage to The Thing (1982) and Alien, with a shapeshifting alien creature that can disguise itself as any of of the crew and can swallow a person whole, which naturally leads to a lot of Paranoia Fuel, though it becomes Nightmare Retardant at the end when the alien is revealed to have never actually killed anyone, as the entire event was an elaborate set-up designed by his business associate to help build the group's trust in each other. The alien was so successful at making Fry and Bender paranoid, that they both repeatedly fire laser guns at the business associate, until all that's left of him is a small pile of dust. Granted, you could file that under Too Dumb to Live, but the horrified expressions of Fry and Bender are so chilling you'd have a hard time stating that, under the same circumstances, you wouldn't do the same thing.
  • From The Beast with a Billion Backs:
    • The tentacles' invasion, though partially Played for Laughs, is still rather unsettling. It takes up a lot of the movie, and the resistance are slowly dwindling, until only Leela is left. And even after Yivo is revealed to be a rather good, well, creature, you have to remember that skhler tentacles are actually, as Leela puts it, "gentacles". Everyone was horrified when they learned about it, which basically means that skhlee raped every living creature in the entire universe at once.
    • And then there's the throwaway gag that one family is responsible for evacuating all the waste of (apparently) everyone on Earth.
      • It could be a very large family...
      • It is now!
    • The church of Yivo is an entire building made up of thousands of tentacles. Squick in architectural form.
  • From "The Six Million Dollar Mon", Roberto (a character who would be a good example of Nightmare Fuel to begin with) comes back from the grave when his brain is inserted into Hermes' robot body.
    • The scene where he rips off part of Hermes' skin so he can eat it (lucky for Hermes, Zoidberg didn't re-install his nerves).
  • In "Meanwhile", Fry jumps off the Vampire State Building believing Leela wouldn't come, only to realize far too late that his watch is minutes ahead due to his constant rewinding of time. What results is him constantly using the button to save himself, endlessly repeating the same near-death fall with no end in sight.
    • And then it gets worse. The Professor distracts him, causing him to lose the button and he smashes onto the pavement, his bloody remains shown in all its glory. Luckily Leela uses the button, but its only enough to see him once again fall to his death. The worst thing about this? He remembers it all.
    • Professor Farnsworth being shredded to oblivion, though he does survive.
    • Finally, the idea that time has frozen for all eternity, while Fry and Leela live and age normally. If the Professor didn't arrive, or Fry threw away the remains of the button, it would've stayed that way forever.
      • Also, the unsettling implication that the moment the Professor returned them all to was just before he invented the Time Button, but with nobody remembering what happened the Professor will still invent the Time Button the second time round, and Fry and Leela will pause the entire world on the eve of their engagement again. And again, and again, and again. . . Unless the Professor remembers what happened and decides not to make the button.
      • What's possibly even worse is the theory that pressing the button the final time reset the entire series back to December 31, 1999, which comes from some networks showing "Space Pilot 3000" immediately after this episode first aired. Nobody having any memories from that point on means that everything will play out exactly the same forever, which is both heartwarming (in Fry and Leela's case, in that they get to "go around again") and completely horrifying.
      • Fortunately the writer of the eleventh season took it in consideration. The characters remember what happened and the time-line was only slightly altered. It took 10 years IRL, but this horror was finally averted.
  • Fry's predicament in "Insane in the Mainframe" is pretty horrific. He's accused of a crime he didn't commit, is unable to identify the real criminal for fear of his life, and then is sent with Bender to an insane asylum for robots just because the human asylums are full. He's subjected to a humiliating physical examination and then ignored when he tries to tell people he's a human (the doctor insists that he must be a robot, since he's at the robot asylum to begin with). He's forced to share a closet-sized room first with Malfunctioning Eddie, a robot who blows up at the drop of a hat and then Roberto, who committed the crime he was arrested for but this time didn't have a meat shield to hide behind since he got sent to the asylum as well. He practically starves because the only food he's given is oil (he's surviving on misplaced candy of all things), his coworkers only seem mildly concerned about getting him out (and their attempts to get his sentence overruled are being ignored) and Bender is completely unconcerned with Fry's rapidly deteriorating mental state. His pleas for the Planet Express crew to get him out some way are possibly the most panicked and desperate he's ever sounded throughout the series, and in the end, he isn't released until he's "cured" of the belief that he's human and is mentally broken into thinking he's a robot.
    • Heck, in the end his Sanity Slippage scares the robot holding the Planet Express Crew hostage. Fry says "beep-boop" and advances despite his friends warning him he will die.
    • Not to mention the reason why the human asylums are full : Judge Whitey has declared that poverty is a mental illness, and so use them to lock poor people away. And he did this enough to fill each asylum in the New New York State. Between the act in itself, and the fact that Whitey is still on the bench, that no other magistrate deemed necessary to put an end to this, and that the laws (be the one of New New York or the Earth government) weren't modified to prevent those kind of juridical abuse, this is a strange mixted horror, of both unrealistic satire toward conservative judges and realistic apathy from judicial and legislative authorities toward the poorest people.
  • The throwaway joke with the kids outside the social security office in "Time Keeps on Slippin'." One second they're children with their wholes lives ahead of them, then time skips forward and, suddenly, they're elderly, and their lives are about to come to an end. Not only have all the intervening years gone by in the blink of an eye, but they have no memory of them. Basically, they've just been robbed of the bulk of their lives.
    • The first time skip is very disturbing, for the sheer Mood Whiplash. The episode seems to focus on lighthearted sports antics, but the sudden disturbing sound effect and strobe light is a Jump Scare.
  • The shot of Kif in the credits of "Where No Fan Has Gone Before". Fitting, considering the shot it's a parodying invokes the same reaction.
  • In the episode "A Bicyclops Built for Two", the guy that Leela almost marries turns out to be a hideous praying mantis looking alien.
  • In "I Dated a Robot", Kidnappster has been stealing celebrity heads for centuries and offering them for illegal downloads. The heads' reactions as they're being downloaded highly suggest that the process is quite painful.
  • In "The Late Philip J. Fry", Fridge Logic says that "our" Leela, the Leela whose stories we've been following throughout all these seasons... one day remains alone, when Bender, Farnsworth and Fry disappear (and are believed dead in an explosion), lives out a life of resentment, has a failed marriage with Cubert (of all people), and overall leads a miserable existence, only forgiving Fry for "leaving" her after a whopping 50 years when she finally finds out Fry disappeared involuntarily. The Leela that we know for the last few episodes? That's a different version of her, from the universe two Big Bangs after our universe. Even worse, Bender, Farnsworth and Fry accidentally kill their own doppelgangers from that universe, bury them and take their places in the lives of Leela and everybody else. Not helped by Fry making it to his date with Leela 3, casually commenting that the old Fry would have been late but "he's dead now."
    • "Fun On a Bun" contains a heartwarming moment in which a selectively amnesiac Leela kisses Fry and suddenly flashes back to her memories of him starting with their earliest meeting in the pilot. Depending on how you read "The Late Philip J. Fry" and your opinion on the "Ship of Theseus" thought experiment, this is either reassuring or very creepy since, if we're really seeing an entirely new universe, the Fry this Leela lived with and fell in love with was crushed to death by Farnsworth's time machine and she has no idea.
    • The giant shrimp monster during the time travel montage.
  • "That Guy's" extremely Family-Unfriendly Death from "boneitus" in "Futurestock": he falls on the floor, his bones cracking and twisting, clearly in extreme pain. In his last death throe his hand involuntarily reaches over his head and pulls his eyelids to maximum stretching point. The disease itself is a Chekhov's Gun, but the actual revelation of what it does to its victims comes out of nowhere.
  • "Obsoletely Fabulous" pits What Measure Is a Non-Human? against Androids Are People, Too in an unexpectedly chilling fashion. Intimidated by the "1-X unit," a more effective (and more subservient) model of robot which seems likely to replace the currently prevalent model, Bender seeks an upgrade that will render him "compatible" with Farnsworth's new 1-X in order to win back what he perceives as the love of his friends. To his horror, he finds that the upgrade simply reprograms the upgraded robot to love the 1-X unit. Unwilling to have his "robo-humanity" violated, Bender breaks out of the machine designed to download the upgrade and strikes out on his own, afraid to face his friends without the "improvement." The resultant adventure eventually requires him to embrace the new technology to save the lives of his friends, causing him to declare his love for the 1-X unit. At which point he wakes up in the machine, the entire episode having been a vision caused by his processing of the upgrade. Just to hammer it home, the robot whose turn is next reacts to Bender's changed attitude exactly as Bender did when he saw the same change in the robot who went before him.
  • "Law and Oracle" introduces the "Future Crimes" division in the NNYPD, powered by a robot "oracle" loaded with enough information on the entire community to predict a crime in advance. All implications of Sinister Surveillance and potential for error aside, the oracle proves to be a Chessmaster with his own agenda and is even able to concoct a believable fake vision when the need arises. That's without getting into the Body Horror of the mechanism itself: the oracle is essentially a supercomputer attached to an actual human brain, which the robot half is seeking to kill off to avoid the overwhelm and misery of always knowing exactly what will happen.
  • Another great Body Horror fate goes to former Planet Express Ship captain Lando Tucker from "Möbius Dick," who is partially integrated into the flesh of a space whale and appears to be rotting alive, with exposed rib bones to prove it. He still looks pretty great when you consider that this process has been going on for a full fifty years.
  • Digby's ship in "Game of Tones" crawls towards planets over a matter of weeks, constantly repeating a series of tones that eventually grow so loud they cause the entire planet to shatter. The tones are incredibly unsettling to hear as they take the form of a discordant Drone of Dread. Even worse, it turns out that this destruction is just a side-effect of Digby looking for his car.
  • While it's played for Dark Humor, there's something undeniable uncomfortable about "The Winnowing" in "Children of a Lesser Bog". Kif and Amy essentially have to watch all but three of their hundreds of children be devoured by swamp creatures (and Zoidberg of all people) as they emerge twenty years later. While not commented upon in the episode, Amy has to look away in horror.
    • The lead-up is also pretty ominous — the Grand Midwife declares that they're about to start "the Winnowing" and that Amy and Kif might want to avert their eyes. When Amy asks what that means, Kif sadly responds with "it means don't start naming them yet…"
    • Beyond that, there's plenty of Realism-Induced Horror of the episode— what decent step-mother hasn't been horrified by the thought of their children rejecting them, or worse, being taken away due to factors completely outside of their control?