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Nightmare Fuel / Nickelodeon

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Nickelodeon may be a "kids network", but that sure as heck doesn't stop them from adding plenty of frightening moments all over place, whether it be in their shows or even their own bumpers/station ID's.

Shows with their own pages



Many of the network's earlier bumpers have been remembered as quite terrifying to young viewers, who are now old enough to use TV Tropes.

  • The one most commonly cited seems to be the "Pinchface" bumper, which features a creepy face composed of disembodied eyes and dentures that yells out the network's name (sounding a lot like Tom Kenny, but contrary to popular belief not actually voiced by him) over a loud Balkan brass rendition of the Nickelodeon theme, all while seemingly having a seizure and inducing one to the audience.
  • The "Box" bumper is the unholy lovechild of said "Pinchface" bumper and Klasky-Csupo's 1998 logo (despite predating the latter by a few years) with Shrek ears. The entire thing feels like it was made on LSD.
  • To some, Face, the Nick Jr. mascot from 1994 to 2004, was a prime source of Accidental Nightmare Fuel. He's essentially a talking, Kirby-esque face that takes up the entire TV screen and makes weird faces and sounds. Many of these children are still scared of him as adults.
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  • The "Egg and Spoon" bumper shows an egg turning into a monster that scares a spoon, which turns into a chicken scared out of its own wits. Then, the egg monster eats up the entire screen, leaving us with a CGI Nickelodeon uvula and a creepy, Darth Vader-esque breath.
  • The "Opera" bumper, with a huge female opera singer wearing a humongous Nickelodeon-logo wig, along with a few close-ups of her face, and the creepy-looking conductor and his face at the end as his glasses break from the high note.
  • In October 2007, when the channel received a "Shocktober" theme, before and after commercial breaks they would show some rather unsettling images of Nicktoon characters done in a twisted monster movie style. Some of them looked mostly innocent, while others...fell a bit more into the creepy side of things. Examples included one image of Katara as an evil water spirit and a surprisingly graphic one of the skeletal corpse of Aang in chains.
  • Similar to the one above, the bumpers for October 2016. Some were innocent note , while some were pretty horrifying. An example is the bumper created for The Loud House, where Lincoln tells the viewer that there's nothing to be afraid of... then we see his sisters' eyes in the background, and Lincoln is still smiling.
  • "Sleeping Boy". The boy isn't scared by the fact that the Nickelodeon logo keeps stalking him throughout the bumper.
  • This bumper starts with a loud drum beat. Then a shadow mannequin shakes his head as he dances toward the screen until it's right up in front of it and then it moves away then it shows the boy running away from the bomb which was orange and had the Nick logo on it. It has flashes, minimal creepy jazz music, and dancing silhouette mannequins which might creep out some kids but the ending is funny to some when the green man shouts "Nick is everyday!" while falling.
  • This bumper has a coffee dispenser drink the tea with its nose, before its hair shrinks in and its skin dissolves, revealing 3 fish. This can be elevated for those who hate early CGI animation, because this and the aforementioned egg bumper are just abysmally ugly.
  • Perhaps even worse than any of the above is "Nick is Kids". Nothing but a Heartbeat Soundtrack, unnerving sound effects, voiceovers with very long pauses, and dark images of Nick series and stars. It has been described as what would happen if David Lynch made a Nickelodeon bumper.
  • One ident from Nickelodeon Brazil, called Halloween. The dogs are cute... but we can't say the same for the sounds.
  • The Nicktoons Network bumpers from 2006-2007 used a bizarre Cyriak-esque cutout animation style, with animals doing many bizarre and unnerving things.

Shorts and other Non-Ident Material

  • Inside-Out Boy, a series of shorts about a boy turning inside-out due to swinging over the bar on a swingset, can be unsettling due to the claymation and overall creepy concept.
  • Nickelodeon's Short Films by Short People showcased shorts created by kids, including one of which the kids who saw it on TV wouldn't forget: "Attack of the Giant Vulture", which revolves around a giant vulture chasing three kids around Chinatown with the intent of eating them. Those who didn't find the short silly were terrified by the eponymous vulture, despite his somewhat cartoony appearance and moments of humor (as the comments in the linked video will attest to), and even the short's ending (where the kids turn the tables on the vulture and eat him instead) comes off as somewhat disturbing, too.
    • There was another short in this series called "Nothing Weird", from 1997, that has very poor computer animation. Weird, indeed.
  • A Show of Hands. Namely the intro, where a group of disembodied black and white hands come together to form a Nightmare Face with a deadpan voice—and yes, the hands move with the words. The rest of the shorts are actually not too bad, as they show a group of hands doing comedic sketches such as painting a picture or tying a present. But to say this short introduces itself poorly is putting it lightly.
  • The "Me and My Friends" Backyardigans pilot. The costume character designs can look way too disturbing and goes too much to the Unintentional Uncanny Valley for most people.
  • The animation in the "Spongebob's Nicktoon Summer Splash" block. The Flash-like animation is so cheap that it's a bit unnerving to very few people.
    • The same style is also used in the "Astrology with Squidward" shorts.
  • "Worldwide Day of Play" was a yearly event in which all Nickelodeon programming was shut off for a few hours. Each channel (Nickelodeon, Noggin, Nicktoons, and The N) had a different display to tell you to go outside, which felt more like an emergency broadcast:
    • The main Nickelodeon channel had a man repeating a message telling you to turn off your electronics and go outside. The pauses in his speech are rather unnerving.
    • Noggin's is arguably the scariest. After the mascot tells you that he's going outside to play, he walks offscreen and you're treated to hours of a school background. The ambient noises are creepy, consisting of water drops, squeaking, and kids cheering. Yes, Noggin, the preschooler's channel, had this one.
    • Nicktoons has a completely black screen with the Worldwide Day of Play logo. Below that is a scrolling message saying that you should go out to play because the message will keep repeating.
    • The N's screen isn't completely black like Nicktoons, but it does have some strange ambiance, consisting of muffled childrens' voices, birds chirping, and occasional screams of excitement.
  • "The Little Freaks" short. Most of the designs look uncanny.
  • The "Spider and Fly" shorts. The clay style can look off-model for some people.
  • The "Very Aggressive Vegetables" shorts. The destruction and excessive yelling can be unsettling to some people.