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Nightmare Fuel / My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW)

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Given that the original show has a surprising amount of creepy content, it should be pretty obvious that the comics based on the show have some pretty freaky stuff as well.
Who would thought this was suitable for kids?!!?note 

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    Issues #1-4: The Return of Queen Chrysalis 
  • The entire sequence of the townsponies being replaced by changelings in the first issue. It's downright surreal seeing everypony acting inexplicably zombie-like. What makes it worse is the first ponies we see acting like this are the CMC, and at that point it hadn't been revealed that they'd been kidnapped and replaced, making it look like a couple of kids got brainwashed.
  • Throughout the arc, Chrysalis is occasionally illustrated in a downright grotesque fashion.
  • Almost everything the Changelings do. When they're not acting like the aliens from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they're acting like just-this-side-of-kid-friendly Things. "Infected" indeed.
  • We see the process of a pony being forced into a cocoon demonstrated on sweet little Derpy Hooves, and the mucus they use is drawn with rather disturbing visceral detail.
  • Changing into Pinkie Pie of all ponies to combat the group. Think "Too Many Pinkie Pies", only all on evil mode.
  • Even worse in issue #3 where Chrysalis and her minions utterly take over a town of adorable, innocent cat-like creatures filled with WUB- errr love and consume their souls as they reduce said town to a grim dystopia that looks like it's made of rotting viscera. Remember, this is what they wanted to do to Equestria.
    Chrysalis: Hmm... these creatures are very loving. (licks her lips) And we do feed on love... I guess we could eat.
  • Queen Chrysalis herself is a lot more frightening in the comic book version. Her looks can especially kill. Particularly, her first appearances in Issues 1 and 2 are utter Nightmare Fuel showing off her demonic side (especially as Issue 2 has her angrily glaring with her teeth bared), although the rest of her expressions tend to be more comical. As of Issue 4, it's even implied that she's willing to consume the CMC regardless and things get a lot more scary as the story goes on. Even the covers featuring her of issue #4 is more frightening. Not to mention the drooling and razor-sharp teeth, either.
  • In issue #3, Chrysalis takes one of the leftover kitten creatures and in the next panel, all you can see is a white background splattered by black and the Cutie Mark Crusaders' screams; the implication being that the Changeling Queen bludgeoned it to death in front of them. See the page image at your own risk.
  • The cover of issue #3, featuring the Mane Six minus Twilight as Changelings. Also the cover of issue #4, with the Mane Six trapped in Changeling goo as a giant, detailed Chrysalis in the background bares her fangs in a horrific Slasher Smile. It's the current page image for Vile Villain, Saccharine Show for good reason.

    Issues #5-8: The New Nightmare Moon 
  • Given that the entire arc is about nightmares, this was inevitable.
  • The entire premise of the arc is rather freaky when you put yourself in the ponies' position. Imagine being plagued for a week with nightmares, unable to get a good night's sleep. Desperate to fight them off, they have a sleepover, reasoning that if they're together, they won't be scared. They still have nightmares (and very realistic ones, at that). The ponies then awake to find Rarity screaming and being dragged out of her bed by an indistinct black mass. They're unable to save her. The entire concept is something straight out of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
  • When they're having the sleepover, Rainbow Dash has a nightmare about watching other pegasi flying while she can't. Why can't she fly, you ask? Because her wings have apparently been shredded almost completely off, leaving a pair of thin protrusions that appear to be the front edge of her wings, with the rest of them nowhere to be found.
    • And remember, flying is Rainbow Dash's WHOLE LIFE. Imagine how she would feel if that really happened.
    • Some of the other nightmares are also pretty unsettling. Highlights include Celestia dismissing Twilight from her studies forever (similar to her dark magic-induced nightmare in the season 3 premiere), Applejack's whole family surrounding her with pure hatred in their eyes after all the trees on her farm died (a wrathful Granny Smith is really something to behold), and Fluttershy's animals running from her like she was the plague - including a few bunnies, one of which may be Angel.
  • NIGHTMARE RARITY. Especially after it's revealed she can control dreams and nightmares.
  • The whole arc has some really dark imagery. When Nightmare Rarity is trying to persuade Spike to join her, she gives him a scepter and tries to place a crown upon his head. When he snaps out of the dream, it turns out the "scepter" is actually a broken stick. The "crown" is even more unsettling: it's a really creepy-looking mess covered in dust and cobwebs with a chain hanging off its side, emblematic of what Nightmare Moon II was about to do to Spike.

    Issues #17-20: Reflections 
  • Celestia disappears one day, with even her sister uncertain of what happened to her after seeing her vanish through a magic mirror. At the end of the first issue in the arc, Celestia re-emerges from the mirror, battered and bruised, ultimately collapsing into her horrified sister's embrace... and the shadowy figure of King Sombra is shown in the mirror's reflection...!
    • Worse? It wasn't Sombra's fault, that Sombra is a good guy. It was actually done by Mirror!Celestia and Luna.
  • The reactions of the heroes (and audience) upon seeing Mirror!Canterlot... The castle town is in ruins and a dull volcanic gray. The sky is a crimson red with dead trees and several broken statuesnote . The major contrast with the colorful and beautiful normal Canterlot is just jarring...
    • When Twilight notes how bleak everything looks, Rarity makes the comment that seems to be on everyone's mind: is this what their Equestria will look like if they fail? Considering everything from Nightmare Moon and Discord to Chrysalis and Sombra, it really cements just how much is at stake each time a new evil rises.
    • Taken to a whole new level when back in the Season 4 finale, Tirek absorbs everyone's magic except the princesses'. When Twilight goes to face him, the sky is the same sort of red as Mirror-Equestria, showing just how close the nation was bought to the same level of ruin.
    • Up to Eleven with the Season 5 finale. With Starlight undoing the Sonic Rainboom, we see several bad futures of villains winning. From the eternal night of Nightmare Moon to the ruins by Tirek, or even the horrific unexplainable wasteland near the end, it is truly frightening just how much is at stake each time our beloved protagonists fight.
  • The obviously fake smile on Mirror!Celestia's face as she "affectionately" strokes her sister's chin... while already planning to backstab her. Worse, Mirror!Luna takes this gesture at face value, even though Mirror!Celestia has never been particularly trustworthy to begin with.
  • AU!Sombra's Face–Heel Turn is brought about by an obviously very painful transformation thanks to the Elements of Harmony.

    Issue # 23 
  • Everyone in Ponyville is being mind-controlled by the villain of the story, and now they are tearing apart a dam to flood their own town. Worst of all, the Mane Six are among them. It’s pretty disturbing to see the heroines who usually save the day as mindless thralls, especially since one of them is an Alicorn princess.
    • Especially since we never get to know exactly why it was necessary to hypnotize the ponies. Since the issue with the pirate captain, it is established that the Kelpies are friends of the ponies, so it has no meaning to hypnotize the ponies of Ponyville, even if it means to carry some water sprites back to sea and a dam lies in the way.

    Issue # 24 
  • The Bad Future that Discord & co. end up visiting by mistake.

    Issue # 25 
  • Our look into Angel's head in the short "To Tame the Beast." The gorgeous artwork really lets it look horrifying.

    Issue # 33 
  • The Adult Fear introduced when the CMC are left alone with Flutterbat. They are three CHILDREN, watching a monster.

    Issue #34-37: Siege of the Crystal Empire 

    Issues #38-39: Don't You Forget About Us 

  • The CMC, Diamond, Silver, Snips, and Snails being chased by a wild BEAR. Especially when its sniffing around right above their hiding space. The fact the foals are scared to death with Apple Bloom and Diamond Tiara clinging to each other just makes it more terrifying.
  • To close out Issue #38, Diamond Tiara slips off a cliff and clings onto a root to keep herself from falling. Her scream and the perspective of the ground below amplifies the fear. To make matters worse, Apple Bloom falls as well and has to hold onto Diamond Tiara's tail.
  • In Issue #39, after Diamond Tiara and Apple Bloom are saved, the foals become trapped by a thunderstorm which starts washing away the ledge where they are standing.
  • The foals find a cave near the top of a mountain and spend the night there together. Before they turn in, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon become fed up with the rest of the group and consider looking for another place to sleep. They change their minds when they hear a wolf howling outside.
  • It must have been a terrible night for all missing foals' parents and guardians, Cheerilee included. However, Rarity deserves special mention. She's seen rushing to Sweetie Belle before anypony else, her mascara smeared and her hair messy — a jarring contrast to her usual cleanness and elegance. Poor girl must have been crying all night over unintentionally providing the distraction that helped her little sister (and six other kids) get lost.


    Issues #43-45: Ponies of Dark Water 

    Issues #48-50: Chaos Theory 

  • "Imagine. Imagine. Imagine. Imagine."
  • Accord projecting his face onto his brainwashed victims and speaking through them makes for a deeply disturbing effect.
  • The fact that, not only did the Elements of Harmony not work on Accord, they worked in his favor and made him spread his mind control even further! He even got the rest of the mane six, Spike and Princess Celestia! If it wasn't for Starlight, he would've succeeded in his plan.
  • After Accord turns back into Discord, a couple of lines of dialogue from the ponies he mind-controlled implied that they were completely conscious the entire time.

    Issue #71: Nightmare Night 
  • Tremendous Adult Fear on the part of the Mane Six, as a mistake on Twilight's part resulted in everyone adding conflicting items to the haunted house she had set up, including traps from Rainbow Dash, apple-scented candles from Applejack, silk draperies from Rarity (highly flammable), and Fluttershy's animal friends, animals being known for panicking when things get set on fire. This misunderstanding turns the haunted house into a deathtrap, and if it weren't for Yona's motivational speech and quick thinking when things inevitably went wrong, what should have been a happy night for the Young Six would have ended tragically.

    Issue #75-78: Cosmos 
  • Not all of Discord's rampage was done by Discord. There's another draconequus, Cosmos, and unlike Discord she's the spirit of MALICE. She's far more violent than Discord, finding the idea of setting an orphanage on fire to be a good time. Her cruelty is so bad that Discord is actively terrified of her, wanting to do nothing more than run away from her when she started to re-emerge. She was beaten and her power sealed away in six crystal stars, Discord wanting her to be completely forgotten, erasing her from the minds of the world leaders there and taking the blame for her actions. However, centuries later, the stars returned, eventually find their way into the hooves of Celestia, Luna, Twilight, Zecora, Big Macintosh, and Cadance (in that order). Merely touching the stars made Cosmos's mind overwhelm them, all of the normally benevolent characters getting overwhelmed by Cosmos's personality, showing Cosmos's short temper and cruelty. Zecora and Big Macintosh were even forced to become hosts by Celestia, Luna, and Twilight. And when Cadance was taken, the six of them merged into a terrifying fusion of her six hosts and Cosmos herself. She ran roughshod over everyone, at one point morphing into a horrific amalgam of all major villains from the series, before Discord managed to overcome his fear of her and fight back, giving the ponies a chance to defeat her. Spike devoured her power crystals and left her helpless, forcing her hosts out of her body. Discord then trapped Cosmos on the moon. Beaten she may be, Cosmos left her mark as one of the most terrifying villains in My Little Pony history.

    Issue # 85 
  • The wolf fly-der, while not quite as fierce as it was made out to be, still looks very frightening. A gigantic fly/spider hybrid with a wolf's head is enough to unnerve anybody.
  • Big Mac almost drowing when heavy rain causes the lake waters to swell up and engulf him.


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