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Nightmare Fuel / Mystery Science Theater 3000

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You people bring matches for Mikey?

Considering MST3K is the Trope Namer:

  • KTMA Gypsy.
  • Crow can look unintentionally scary at times. Trace Beaulieu once told a story at a con about bringing the Crow puppet home for a public event, and being creeped out by Crow's eyes, as they seemed to follow him wherever he went in his house. Trace was so unnerved, he had to put a bag over Crow's head... only to realize later there was a hole in the bag, and Crow's eyes were still peeking through!
  • Tom too, thanks to the lack of eyes.
  • The Observers' Slasher Smiles in the Stinger of Terror from the Year 5000 and the following two episodes. Yes, they see you.
  • Timmy. Considering the host segments involving him are a homage to Aliens, it's expected.
    • He's even scarier in the theater. He just sits there and you know he's going to do something. Yeah, it's distracting from the film, but still! He keeps bothering Servo until he's annoyed, then chokes him, and drags him out of the theater whilst we can hear Servo's muffled sobs and cries for help. This doesn't last long, though.
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    • We never find out just what Timmy is or what he's supposed to be doing. The only thing close to explaining is Joel briefly calling him a "dark specter".
  • In the movie, Dr. Forrester turns off the oxygen to the satellite and Mike starts suffocating to death.
    • Watching the bots' reaction is worse. Granted there's the fridge heartwarming fact that they're doing it for Mike's sake, but it's still unnerving to see our snarky bots bowing, with Servo speaking in tongues and Crow crying a little.
  • Seeing Crow partially melted in the first segment from "The She-Creature" from using the Thaw Master, mistaking it for the Thighmaster.
    • The Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doll sketch, from the same episode. Firstly, it has a miniature Carlo Lombardi laughing in a devilishly low voice. Secondly, it sticks to Mike's hands and he can't get the blasted thing off. Thirdly, Crow's slow, trance-like voice, even when he sings that little ditty, gives an unnerving sense of possession.
    Crow T. Robot: Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi is your friend...forever!
  • In the "local color" sketch from The Amazing Transparent Man, Mike (as the crazy "Mikey") doesn't blink for about an entire minute on camera. See the page image above. Over the run of the series, Mike's characterization has consistently been that of an amiable, animated midwestern doofus, so this portrayal is far more unsettling than it even sounds.
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  • Mike Nelson has destroyed three planets twice. By accident.
  • The Holo-Clowns in Attack of the Giant Leeches. One asks Gypsy if she wants a salted nut roll, and it's very unnerving.
  • The Violent Years started off with Tom Servo replacing his head with a Danny O'Day puppet head. Crow's reaction sums it up really nicely.
  • Why Doesn't Johnny Care? Tom's narration is of Johnny's nightmarish point-of-view is just off-putting.
  • While watching Merlin's Shop Of Mystical Wonders Mike and the Bots decide to read some other children's books by Ernest Borgnine. The more whimsical the book title, the more mortifying the content.
  • KTMA Dr. Forrester. Seeing him as an arrogant, level-headed, deep-voiced Jerkass as opposed to the cartoony Harmless Villain we know so well is very unsettling.
  • Bobo dressed up as the monkey from "Merlin's Shop Of Mystical Wonders".
  • The DVD menu for The Crawling Eye. Crow is just reading the paper while, occasionally, the main entrance to the theater opens to reveal the eponymous monster's freakish face. What really makes this horrifying is that Gypsy and Servo pass on by and are dragged by the creature's tentacles, screaming in terror. Despite the relief of what Crow does to it, we never find out what happens to those two.
    • The DVD menu for The Giant Spider Invasion is also discomforting, as there are a bunch of spiders crawling across it. Not too bad per say...if you don't click on some of the buttons. Cover your ears if you do so. The same thing occurs for Horrors of Spider Island.
    • The Blood Waters of Dr. Z menu is a bit more benign, but right at the end, Crow and Servo fire a harpoon at Dr. Z. This doesn't appear to faze him, as he drags them underwater.
    • The Beast of Yucca Flats has the eponymous beast emerge out of the entrance and stomping towards Crow, brandishing his club. Not too bad (considering the dialogue), but then Crow fires a shotgun into his shoulder and manages to draw blood. It's likely Crow got killed by the enraged beast's counterattack.
    • Bride of the Monster has Lobo get grabbed by the robotic octopus and reduced to bloody PULP. Even the bots were perturbed.
    • Robot Holocaust features the bots and the main antagonist of the film in the same room. When Servo makes a 2001: A Space Oddessey joke, the computer's eye, with a pretty startling sound effect, turns blood red and awfully familiar to the joke's context...
    • Revenge of the Creature is shot from a POV shot of a diver. There is NO comedic music and the whole thing comes off as eerie barring Servo's appearance as a fish. Suddenly, the Gillman is right in front of you...and is quickly revealed to be a cardboard cutout.
    • The Magic Sword is mostly nightmare free...should you NOT pause at the exact moment a spell backfires on the sorceress mother figure. The results aren't pretty.
    • The menu for The Incredible Melting Man features the bots riding in space with Steve, the titular monster, before his accident. Should you leave it on the menu screen too long, you get treated to the lovely visual of Steve's face graphically melting. And if you watch the episode after it cuts back to the menu, we get a brand-new menu animation where his face is now in an even worse state than it was in the first animation, with it continuing to melt until it's nothing but a skull.
  • The Beast of Hollow Mountain has one host segment where Crow and Tom are dancing around and creepy-looking costumes obviously inspired by the celebration being set up in the movie. They also don't speak. Despite Jonah, Kinga and Max trying to talk to them, they just keep dancing and don't talk, genuinely freaking everyone out (Jonah is screaming at the bots to talk to him, Max is reduced to tears, and Kinga screams "MAKE IT STOP!!!!!").
  • Even more unsettling is the ending of The Loves of Hercules, where in the movie's final moments Jonah and the Bots all start loudly vocalizing random sounds for no reason at all. They're still doing it on the bridge, and then we cut to Kinga and Max doing it too, and then come the credits as the audience is left wondering what in the absolute hell they just saw.
    • Well, they're doing it because of the weird screaming soundtrack that accompanies the end of the movie, so they start vocalizing for a reason. Why they continue doing so for several more minutes, particularly with Jonah's almost panicked expression toward the end, is another terrifying matter entirely.
  • The examination of all the creepy toys in The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, taking these weird background details you might not have even noticed and shoving them in your face.
  • Jonah almost certainly being Eaten Alive in the season 11 finale. Easily the darkest cliffhanger the show has had.
  • In Carnival Magic, Kinga's viewscreen briefly malfunctions and shows a different guy with the Bots on the SOL bridge, which she tells us to just ignore, and it's never referenced again in the season's remaining two episodes. We're left to ponder just how many experiment subjects she has, and if this means Jonah actually was killed and the show will just move on to this guy if it gets another season.
  • Kinga can't record the show's introduction and replay it for some reason, so instead she forces Jonah to re-enact his own abduction just so every episode can have an intro sequence. Being forced to participate in re-enacting your own kidnapping must be pretty traumatising. And each re-enactment starts with Jonah being sucked back down to Moon 13 via a huge vacuum tube. Jonah flat out admits he dreams about his abduction.
  • In-Universe: Mike botching Crow's routine maintenance and making him act like Arnold Horshack definitely freaked out Mike and Tom.
  • In Season 12 Kinga tries to pummel Jonah and the Bots into submission by subjecting them to six movies in a row, with zero rest in between. That's eight straight hours of brain-numbing horribleness, and the trailer consists almost entirely of them freaking out and begging for it to stop. And the viewer is actually challenged to binge the whole thing along with them.
  • "If the Grimace sees anyone not having fun, they go into the ball pit!"
  • Jonah is forced to relive traumatic childhood memories thanks to the alien from Lords of the Deep, with an unnervingly convincing performance.
  • Kinga's devastating "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the audience at the end of The Gauntlet, with Felicia Day proving just how intimidating she can be with the right material.
    "First, I have something to say to them. The lowlifes who just spent eight hours of this precious one way trip we call life watching schlock. I'm in your heads, folks. And you're never gonna get rid of me. Every time you see a movie with a cheap set, I'll be there. Every gaping plot hole or a monster costume with a zipper, I'll be there too. The fact is, we've always been here. We're the ones who sucked all the art and replaced it with trash. We're the ones who fill your life with so much noise and visual clash, you can't tell the good from the crap anymore. Maybe the truth is out there, but we mix it up with so much other stuff, you're never gonna find it. You are alone in this whirlpool of meaningless point is, your minds have been skillfully mismanaged since the beginning. You are not a person, you're just a data point. And with all the multitudes working to amuse and distract you, there's no one taking the time to look out for you."
  • While thankfully subverted by the intentionally goofy model work, Servo being hit by a passing meteor shower during The Atomic Brain is for the most part off screen, with his terrified screaming over the radio and Mike's sudden realisation that the lift Servo is on is malfunctioning when he tries to bring him back inside.


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