Follow TV Tropes

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


Nightmare Fuel / Kirby: Right Back at Ya!

Go To

As a Moments page, all entries are Spoilers Off.

Surely such a bright and innocent show based on such a bright and innocent series couldn't have its moments, could it? Wrong!

  • The fact that Kirby is essentially a Child Soldier. It's said he's supposed to be in his infancy, and that he was woken up for active duty approximately two-hundred years too early. Now add Meta Knight's reaction from the first episode when he sees him for the first time...
  • King Dedede's portrayal in the anime. While comical and buffoonish, he is still a borderline sociopathic and abusive manchild of a leader who constantly mistreats his citizens. Also, the fact that he would stop at nothing to best and even get rid of Kirby for good, especially calling Nightmare Enterprises to sic demons (monsters in the dub) on him. This includes having monsters attempt to set him on fire, freezing him to death, cooking him and even going so far as trying to convince him into eating Dyna Blade's egg so that she would hunt him down out of retribution. He's arguably even worse in the original Japanese version as he and Escargoon casually threaten to give citizens the death penalty whenever they oppose them. It's truly a miracle that he and Escargoon haven't been kicked out of Cappy Town in spite of everyone resenting them.
  • Anytime this song plays in the original version is sure to give you chills and make you dread, especially considering that it often plays whenever bad things happen. It's even titled "Watch out, Kirby!" on the official soundtrack, and for good reason. A commenter even said that the beginning of the tune almost sounds like something out of Resident Evil 2.
  • The Nighmare Enterprises Theme from the original version is surprisingly terrifying and mysterious.
  • Nightmare himself really lives up to his name. Not only did he conquer countless planets, he also wiped out an entire resistance group (with Meta Knight being the Sole Survivor) and sent a meteor crashing into Popstar. And since his only weakness was the Star Rod, he was completely unstoppable until Kirby arrived to do so. To make matters even worse, he would always exist as long as there was darkness in people's hearts (though this fact is only stated in the Japanese version).
    • Then there's the treatment his company gives to their monsters, such as forcibly having Fofa split in two and placing a self-destruct device inside of the Robot Pet who, despite being mechanical, is completely sentient and just wants to be its intended target's friend. And that's not getting into what he did to Knuckle Joe's father who his forces captured.
    • His defeat also leads to the destruction of Night Mare Enterprises. His Sales Guy makes a run for it, but in the Japanese original, we can hear him screaming morbidly as the spaceship explodes, implying he didn't make it out. To punctuate that, when Dedede and Escargoon try to call NME again later, all they get is a black screen. Depending on how you look at it, the 4Kids dubs make the scene scarier, as the Sales Guy cannot be heard screaming at all, with Dedede still getting the blank screen at the end. This makes the scene fall into Nothing Is Scarier territory.
  • The weekly monsters are primarily filled with this. Most are actively violent and willing to cause harm, and with some imagination, it's pretty much guaranteed to score some frights. For example..
    • WolfWrath. It's a fire-breathing wolflike creature with massive claws, which rampages through Dedede's castle and nearly kills Meta Knight. As it is, Meta Knight spends most of the episode under a paralyzing curse, with Sword and Blade disregarding what nearly were his final words in favor of trying to find a way of freeing him from said curse.
    • Masher. A Killer Robot filled to the brim with so many weapons, it's not even funny. It also returns a second time, this time even more dangerous. The latter episode opens with Knuckle Joe fighting a losing battle against Masher 2.0, and then waking up in the castle after a dream about his dead father, covered in bandages with Tiff and Kirby standing over him. He sports said bandages for the rest of the episode, with Tiff repeatedly telling him to stay in bed, but no option to actually do so because Masher 2.0 has found him.
    • Kirisakin. An apelike creature with scythes for hands, and probably the only creature of the show to directly kill someone, complete with a Dead-Hand Shot.
    • Destroya. A flying saucer that is more Mechanical Abomination than Masher could ever hope to be. It is enormous, dwarfing King Dedede's castle. It fires off swarms of homing missiles that tear down the entire castle, and absolutely nothing short of Crash Kirby, the Halberd's lasers or other Destroyas could destroy it. Its missiles were so powerful they could actually damage the Warp Star, putting Kirby in a temporary coma and essentially chipping a sliver off of his soul. And then Nightmare Enterprises decides to send down a whole fleet to tear down all of Dream Land.
  • Some of the deaths can get a little more violent than might be expected from a kids show. Examples are burning to death, eaten (though that one is to be expected to an extent, given that it is Kirby), launched into the sun, disintegration, getting slashed in half... among others.
  • The very first scene (or second in Japanese) in the series shows a flock of sheep being attacked and devoured by a giant octopus. It even shows their bones and skulls falling to the ground afterwards.
  • Tiff almost getting crushed by the Dedede Stone. Partly because it's one of the few times King Dedede actually attempts to murder her, which took a lot of people used to his usual antics by surprise. Including our heroes, as Kirby looks on with an "Oh, Crap!" Jaw Drop and Tuff covers his eyes as the monster tries to crush her. If it wasn't for Meta Knight, she would have been squished for sure.
  • Escargoon Squad. Very similar to Scare Tactics, it features Escargoon attempting to get revenge on King Dedede. Such examples include a torture room. Also, one lightning flash causes Dedede to go into a horrific state of distortion, almost to the point of being unrecognizable.
  • Knuckle Joe in his first appearance was consumed by his obsession to avenge his father's death. Night Mare Enterprises misled him into thinking Kirby was the one who did it. When he reached Popstar, he attacked Kirby and gave him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown so intense that Kirby was smashed through a boulder, knocked out cold and filled with bruises. Only Meta Knight's timely appearance kept Joe from killing him with his bare hands. And in his second encounter, Joe almost suffered a Face–Monster Turn after his anger and hatred consumed his sanity, even cursing his own father as he transformed. Fortunately, he was saved by Kirby and Meta Knight before it was too late and became an ally, but imagine if he had lost himself completely... Meta Knight would've had to kill him too.
  • The ending to the episode where Dedede has a cavity. Throughout the episode he summons a monster to get rid of the pain only for him to later ask Kirby to destroy it. The scene cuts to Dedede making horrified and crying noises before he gets his cavity taken care of. The episode ends with Dedede passing out while Kirby, Tiff and Escargoon are watching it getting removed. It's a lot more disturbing in the English dub.
    Escargoon: His Majesty's had low points, but I don't think he's ever been this down in the mouth.
  • Escar-Gone. The episode is about Escargoon not being recognized by anyone at all, due to the Erasem monster entering his mind. The only way it can be driven out so that he can be remembered again is to essentially torture him until it leaves, though the Looney Tunes-esque silliness of the torture methods in question can leave you not quite knowing if you should be horrified or laughing. It's ripe with Paranoia Fuel, and the fact that the monster actually lives at the end only adds to that.
  • The first part of the two-parter "Prediction Predicament" starts off with King Dedede having a nightmare about a giant flaming monster with fangs chasing after him that looks strikingly like Kirby, which causes him to think Kirby himself is trying to burn him up. Just the imagination of Kirby being huge, ablaze, and fanged and chasing after you with the psychotic intent of burning you to ashes in your dreams is absolutely terrifying. And don't even get us started on the Nightmare Face made by said monster, complete with a Slasher Smile...
  • Scare Tactics. From the numerous horror movie references (including an homage to the shower scene from Psycho), the ghosts (like a plasma ghost that leaps at the camera, and a baby ghost with a seriously disturbed face) to a seemingly bleeding skull (it was red paint, but still) to that clock room, to a torture room (containing Dedede's apparent death, complete with more red paint) to the chaos of it all, and the fact that it's an elaborate death trap Haunted House that Nightmare sent over without anyone knowing initially. In the end, the place burns down, thanks to a mishap with Fire Kirby.
  • "Cartoon Buffoon" is a Breather Episode with a lot of meta-jokes and funny moments, but there's a bit of Realism-Induced Horror in how Dedede cracks his staff to work overtime, considering how some animators (or companies in general) often force their employees to work overtime and even stay in the office overnight, which happens here too. Bookem even points out it violates union law.
  • The episode "Sweet and Sour Puss", in which Dedede spends most of the episode under the influence of a monster that makes him never get angry. In actuality, the monster is storing all of his pent-up rage inside itself, and the fuller it gets the Dedede starts acting. However, none of the characters know this, and take the opportunity to pummel Dedede senseless with hammers. By the time the monster reaches a boiling point, the bumps on Dedede's head begin glowing and his eyes start flashing red. In a way, this build-up is even more terrifying than the Roaring Rampage of Revenge Dedede has immediately after.
  • And speaking of Demonic Possession, an later episode of the anime dipped its hat in (literally) with "eNeMeE Elementary". In it, we're introduced to the Teacher Creature, which usually takes the form of a scholar's cap and possesses anyone who wears it into becoming a Sadist Teacher of the ninth degree. At one point, it even accidentally lands on Tiff. The headstrong girl who, at one point, shrugged off mind control with The Power of Love, briefly becomes a victim of the cap's powers and attacks Kirby until Tuff knocks the cap off of her. Something this powerful was used for a school-based episode?
  • Mumbies are mummified assassins that go around hunting and killing star warriors in the night. Not helping was the fact that its Hypnotic Eyes make you too sleepy to escape or fight back. If it weren't for King Dedede's stupidity, Kirby might have been destroyed for real.
    • Professor Curio was behaving pretty creepily when he was digging up the Mumbies in the first place, thinking it was a good luck charm. His glowing green eyes don't help.
  • The first half of "Tooned Out" is dripping with Fridge Horror. A trio of "professional animators" (Biggy, Boney and Sleepy) gain an unhealthy obsession with Tiff after seeing her animated self from "Cartoon Buffoon". They proceed to stalk her, record her voice without her consent or knowledge, and even take pictures of her while she sleeps to gather material for their cartoon. Even Dedede would cringe at that. Sort of.
  • The Waddle Dees rebelling in "Hunger Struck". In addition to something so cute turning chillingly unnerving, they show no mercy as they attack everything and everyone from their Bad Boss to even Tiff, Tuff and Kirby (who never even had a hand in starving them in the first place). It shows how fed up they are with what King Dedede is putting them through and that they will not stand for this.
    Escargoon: (as the Waddle Dees are chasing him and Dedede) I've heard of hunger strikes before, but this is ridiculous!
  • One of the last episodes, dubbed Frog Wild in the English version, has Demon Kirby. You wouldn't imagine innocent, little Kirby destroying almost the whole of Cappy Town with such glee, would you? Plus, his Nightmare Face! It's surprising 4Kids even let this episode air.
    • The Demon Frog itself. It possesses its victims and amplifies any malicious thoughts a million fold, making them behave like irredeemable scum. Anyone could be swayed to the side of darkness if their hearts have even a tiny bit of impurity in them - even Kirby, who you might expect to be played as the kind of character who's simply too good or innocent, isn't exempt from this and is able to be turned into a twistedly playful little monster under its influence.
  • At the start of episode 98, Cappy Town is destroyed. When Tiff, Tuff and Kirby try to gather all the Cappies, they all coldly turn towards them; seeing Kirby as indirectly responsible for the Destroyas being sent over. This is especially chilling because they were all nice towards Kirby in every prior episode.