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Nightmare Fuel / Pokémon

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We all know Pokémon, don't we?

You know Pikachu and all his adorable friends, battling each other in a Crapsaccharine Death World with soul-stealing monsters, horrifying ghosts, and terrorists worshiping apocalyptic monsters, and NPCs that will stop at nothing to hunt you down and fight, where even the music itself is enough to give you nightmares... On second thought, maybe not.

The following works have their own page:

Specific types of Nightmare Fuel from the franchise are listed on their own subpages.

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    Other Horrors 
Anything else that doesn't fit in other categories.

  • In Generation II, leftover coding for Pokemon Gold and Silver showed there was meant to be a side-quest at Burned Tower dealing with people going there and vanishing.
  • Attempting to capture Kyogre in Pokémon Sapphire is surprisingly scary enough, but the analogous bonus stage in the Ruby/Sapphire pinball game is much worse. The stage is nearly as dark as the ocean floor would be in real life, and the player initially only sees Kyogre's eyes, leading to the feeling of being menaced by an invisible predator. The minimalist eerie music aggravates the uneasiness.
  • The look in Entei's eyes when he puts a spell on Ash's mom in Spell Of The Unown.
  • The eighth movie gives us a scene in which the Tree of Beginning's antibodies consume both members of Team Rocket. Jessie's slowly pulled into an antibody's maw, screaming like mad and begging James to help her.
  • Pokémon Snap:
    • You can take a photo of anything in-game, including jewels: when their photos are developed, you get Spooky Photographs as a reward. Also, Charmander can get pretty screwed up.
    • The Heartbeat Soundtrack when you encounter Mew; it gets faster the closer you get to breaking it out of its bubble.
  • In the Gen II games, the aptly-named Dark Cave can be accessed before getting Flash. It wouldn't be wise to do so, because it's easy to get stuck without knowing the way out. As a workaround, Generation 3 has a cave like this as well, where players actually can see, but only a small circle around them.
  • The character "Imakuni?" (question mark included) in the Pokémon Trading Card Game for GameBoy is a pretty unnerving character who has scared quite a few kids, mostly because of his theme song, coupled with the lack of context: he's actually a cameo of a Japanese singer, his realistic-looking card not meshing well with the GameBoy style and he is labeled as "Strange Lifeform Imakuni?" which indicates he is a some kind of space alien. He's even worse in the sequel, where there's two of them. One has a red outfit and his portraits look like he's screaming.
  • Some of the Pokémon card images from the early sets were rather disturbing. Particularly Gastly from the Base Set.
    • There was always something unnerving about the Porygon and Clefairy Doll cards as well. Also, there's Impostor Professor Oak and his revenge from one of the later sets.
    • A lot of Dark Pokemon are depicted as unusually violent and malevolent, such as an emaciated, feral Dark Persian, Dark Hypno using hypnosis on the viewer.
    • Dark Omastar will eat your face.
    • Some of the sketchier art, such as the Diglett in the Rocket set, looks unnerving in its simplicity. Fitting, as the same set includes Dark Dugtrio (Diglett's evolution) aggressively digging its way into an empty room while causing no shortage of damage.
  • The church in Hearthome City lacks any BGM, and is the only place in the city labeled as "Foreign Building". The people inside it and their Navel-Gazing come off as really creepy.
  • Giratina's grand entrance in Platinum, pictured above. It becomes even more nightmarish when Giratina turns its wings into giant claws and does a honest-to-goodness Jump Scare at the screen. Even worse? It's been officially animated.
  • The Nurse Joys in the Pokémon Centers, whose "Hope to see you again soon" message, coupled with the reason you're in a Pokémon Center in the first place, comes off as creepy. Probably, this is why the line has been changed to "come back anytime" in Heart Gold and Soul Silver, but it was changed back to "We hope to see you again" in both sets of Gen V games.
    • Its implications became much less creepy when Pokémon Centers were expanded to include the PokéMarts and, in Generation VII, making them more akin to a place to rest and relax than to a hospital.
    • The anime explicitly expands the role of Nurse Joys as friendly NPCs and, even before the game merger between Pokémarts and Pokémon Centers, a place where trainers get free calls, a form of free lodging and the ability to meet and greet other trainers.
      • Also, in the earliest generation the Link Trade had to be initiated in the Pokémon center: thus, there's no generation where the Pokémon Center are only Trauma Inn-like places, but a sort of franchise of services akin to real life game and comic shops.
  • Pokémon Crystal introduced moving Pokémon sprites. It was a neat idea, but can be creepy in the Silver and Gold remakes. For example, when Noctowl is sent into battle, it turns its head around. But not to look at its look at the player.
  • Encountering the Legendary Beasts in Crystal and HGSS can be creepy: walking along in the tall grass, maybe to level grind, maybe to try and catch a few wild Pokémon, who knows, nothing out of the ordinary for a while, and then... another Random Encounter, but the music is different. And then an enormous beast appears instead of a local Pokémon and disappears as quickly as it arrives.
  • The "bus driver" ad that played in Western countries is downright horrifying. Well, okay, just how malevolent that guy is can be hilarious, but considering how buses are a regular part of many schoolchildren's lives...
    Hey, little buddy. Wanna ride?
  • In the manga, being possessed by the Red or Blue Orbs for too long can turn your body to dust. While this is creepy in itself, here's the catch; in HeartGold and SoulSilver, they're key items. They're key items in Ruby and Sapphire as well, though the one you get calms the version mascot rather than awakening it.
  • Type effectiveness
    • Ever wonder why Fire is super effective on Steel-types? Because metal warms up pretty fast, and sometimes it can even melt. Even assuming it doesn't liquefy though any significant heating seriously weakens most metals.
    • Bug type's weaknesses are Flying, Fire and Rock, respectively symbolizing they're being eaten by a bird, burned alive, or being smashed by... well... a rock.
    • Dragon's weakness to Ice makes little sense... until realizing that most dragons are reptiles: cold blooded. You're shutting down its metabolism by freezing it half to death.
    • Psychic being strong to Fighting seems like simple "brain vs. brawn". That, or trying to resist telekinesis using sheer brute force at the expense of the body. Or perhaps even more horrifying—Psychic-types tend to be mind-readers and future seers. A Fighting-type likely spends days training and coming up with strategies against their opponents. Pit against a Psychic-type, however, and all of that practice and strategy is immediately turned against it; the Psychic-type can see everything the Fighting-type is going to do before it does it and can now counteract everything its opponent throws at it.
    • Ice types are weak against Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel. Fire melts ice, and the later three are about breaking ice, then realized that some Ice Pokémon, are made of ice, hence you are destroying their bodies, which are easy to break.
  • Trying to print something from Yellow/Gold/Silver/Crystal with no GameBoy Printer attached results in an error screen and start playing a strange, haunting and slightly depressing little melody.
  • HeartGold and SoulSilver. Arceus event. Real-life images in a sprite-based game. Cue the Mind Screw.
  • In Black & White, there is a post-game town known as "Lacunosa Town". The people there say that thousands of years ago, a meteorite crashed in the Giant Chasm. In it, it contained a monster (Kyurem). The monster (Kyurem) was said to have eaten both Pokémon and people.
  • The Thundarus/Tornadus event in Pokémon Black & White, where a route attendant says that there's a huge storm going on at Route 7. For those unsettled by storms in the first place, just how huge they are is unpleasant. Then, players have to actually chase the storms, and when the legendary Pokémon is met, they're rewarded with this battle music.
  • In the anime, the character J is a bounty hunter who turns Pokémon into stone to sell to her clients for a high price. One of the episodes she appeared in, Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! (Part 2) shows that a Riolu she'd captured was still able to reveal its location to Ash using their aura connection. This means that when J turns Pokémon into stone, they can still think and are fully aware of it. One of the targets she petrified wasn't even a Pokémon at all, but Pyramid King Brandon. J also tried to murder Ash. Most villains in the anime would try to push him to the side to continue their plans, but J, on the other hand, tries to kill him. It seems that in every episode she appears in she tries to murder Ash, if he messes in her plans. She's almost like the anime version of Sideshow Bob.
  • Almia Castle in the second Pokémon Ranger game. An abandoned castle up north that's literally frozen. And it's kinda easy to get lost. Additionally, its kitchen is messy.
    • The Chroma Ruins, which are filled with ghost type Pokémon. The fields around it are constantly covered in dark mist, which is made by a Murkrow that's been hypnotized and forced into it.
  • At one point in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, you have to save the Cargo Ship from sinking with you, Barlow, and all the Pokémon on board. If you fail the Timed Mission, all you get a single chilling line of text over a black screen. That's right; you can die in a Pokémon game.
    The ship slid beneath the waves...
  • Black 2 and White 2 take the very idea of Stockholm Syndrome and abusive Trainers and chillingly twist it just a little bit. In PokéStar Studios, the movie series Timegate Traveler introduces this concept. Particularly with an evil Ledian of the Future, who explains that in this future, Pokémon catch humans (no, this isn't Soviet Russia). They're forced into Human Balls and made to do whatever their Human Trainers tell them. Sound disturbingly similar? Yep, the plot to the game, just twisted into a movie N could probably appreciate. It's made worse by the fact that Ledian is a jerkass, threatening to kill it's Human if it doesn't obey orders, the fact that the Human can STILL TALK AND REASON, but has no choice but to obey, and, if the player character loses the battle, they're forced to run from Ledian and other Pokémon that may try to capture them, thus living exactly like the Wild Pokémon do, and in constant fear. Another installment features a possible ending where the player character is captured and, much like a captured Pokémon, becomes perfectly obedient...
  • Speaking of Timegate Traveler, how about the bad ending of the first movie? If the Temporal Transport knocks out your Solosis (which will most likely happen if you pick either of the bad dialogue options), the Temporal Transport explodes, leaving your experiment a failure, and then you find out that you've merged with your Solosis, thus marking the end of your research for good. Another bad ending turns out that once the character does manage to get back to his own timeline. He unknowingly takes a stone back with him, which Ledian had already purposely slipped into his pocket. Having already expositioned that the stone was what caused the Pokemon to evolve and overthrow the humans. In other words, Ledian and yourself just created a paradox dooming the future.
  • The animated trailer for Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 confirms that the villains aim for the trainers when attacking. Makes the battles against them more serious, sure, but there's one time where it unambiguously happens in-game. When you happen on Ghetsis and Kyurem in the Giant Chasm, you're not challenged to a battle. No. He uses Kyurem to attempt to freeze you solid where you stand, not even allowing you to let any of your own Pokemon out to defend yourself. Yes, Ghetsis forces Kyurem to murder you in cold blood with Kyurem's deadly signature move "Glaciate" while you just stand there, helpless to do anything. You're gonna die, and you can't do a thing about it... you just stand there, likely crying, paralyzed with fear, awaiting your inevitable death. Oh and that's not all. Ghetsis even states that he will freeze you first, likely to the point of near-death, but not quite since he's a butt, and while you're permanently frozen, you get to watch everyone and everything else freeze as well. He only freezes you first just so you can watch everybody suffer and die while you are frozen forever, unable to scream, unable to cry, and unable to do anything about it. Unable to save your friends, family, anybody from Kyurem's icy wrath. Not to mention that you've worked so hard to defeat Ghetsis and he's about to kill you. Not defeat, using a Legendary Pokémon to actually end your life. That is the most sick, twisted, evil, demented, and all-around CRUEL AS HELL action that any villain in Pokémon has ever done to somebody. It takes nothing short of a Big Damn Heroes moment from N to thwart the attack. The worst part is that according to N and Hugh, Kyurem sounded sad and was forced to do this against its own will.
  • The scene where Reshiram/Zekrom fuse with Kyurem is pretty horrific in itself. Then it becomes a complete monster And you have to fight, not capture because of Ghetsis' cane, fight Ghetsis' newly-created Eldritch Abomination, newly named White Kyurem (If fused with Reshiram,) or Black Kyurem (If fused with Zekrom) once it is fused.
  • The concept of reviving Pokemon from fossils. Doesn't help that the characters in Red and Blue don't say clone, but revive or resurrect, implying they're Back from the Dead.
  • And then, there's Espurr. With its eyes. And the implication of being a psychic bomb ready to explode, at any time....
  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel: the Slowpoke Song. There is something unnatural about it.
  • Takeshi Shudō's novelizations depict the world of the anime as a Crapsack World, with Gym Leaders being fired if they lose three matches, 10-year-olds being legal adults and having to pay taxes, go to jail, or marry, and many, many fathers and grandfathers leaving their families only to get nowhere on their Pokémon journey. Shudo apparently wanted Pokémon to end with a revolt or rebellion of the Pokémon, who made Pikachu their leader and Meowth some ambassador or translator, and Ash would realize his dream of becoming a Pokemon Master was a childish dream that he needed to wake up from.
  • The Drought effect in Omega Ruby is even more sinister when you think about it. During a Pokemon battle, instead of just shining the strong sun weather effect, the sky is a fiery orange, accompanied by random sparks of embers. It's as if the sky is actually burning and the world will burst into flames at any moment. Have fun trying to unthink that while listening to the ominous Drought tune. Also, playing at nighttime will not save you, the sky is still burning and it's still daytime.
  • Zinnia from ORAS. Her childlike speech patterns and behavior as well as the strange and animalistic movements she makes at the start of her battles unnerved many. Never mind the fact that she's the one of the last survivors of an ancient tribe of Dragon-type masters and commands an entire team of them. And can use Mega Evolution.
  • Also from the Delta Episode is Deoxys's entrance. Basically, Mega Rayquaza destroys the meteor... but in the debris, we see a floating triangle, which begins moving in the very same way the one on Birth Island did as it turns red... and then four black tentacles come out as Deoxys's battle music starts up, (Which has a rather unnerving beginning.) then it bursts open and Deoxys comes flying straight at us, leading into a battle against a Lv. 80 Deoxys. note  Anyone who did the original event will probably be shocked as the triangle begins moving and the music starts- Anyone without knowledge of it will probably be freaked out at the creepy tentacles and then be shocked as Deoxys appears.
  • In ORAS, soaring on one of the Eon duo is relaxing... unless you have either a Castform or both Thundurus and Tornadus in your party, in which case, you get to see a giant, eerie thunder cloud which makes loud noises to boot, containing either Thundurus or Tornadus if you have Castform, or Landorus if you have the other two. It's reminiscent of running into a Bigocto in The Wind Waker.
    • Additionally, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina appear in a massive rift in the sky, although whether or not that's creepier than the above is a matter of opinion.
  • In Omega Ruby, right before you fight Tabitha at Mount Chimney, he opens his eyes for the first time. They are bright red, while at the same time he gives a slasher smile.
  • Also in Omega Ruby: Courtney is freaking weird. In the original Ruby, she was simply a Giggling Villain and laughed at virtually every time she spoke. Now, she's like an unholy mesh between a robot and some disturbed child, most of the time showing no emotion except for occasional outbursts of anger. Even her cute design doesn't take away from this. (It might even make it worse.)
    ... ...There's still for me to do. ...I must...stop you. ...Until Leader Maxie...departs... ...But... ...Now...I just...want to... ...With you... ...I want to...engage... ...You... ...I want to...analyze. Ahahaha. ♪"
    "Don't. Get. In. My. Way."
  • Pikachu's voice in Pokemon Yellow. Ikue Ōtani's Pikachu voice is normally cute as heck, but the Game Boy's extremely strict hardware limitations distorted it into a horrific, staticy mess that WILL make you scramble to turn the volume all the way down.
  • The animation for Snorlax's Pulverizing Pancake, especially the beginning, where it's just lying there...then suddenly lifts its head up and looks straight at the camera, eyes glowing and briefly flashing red with a quick but echoing roar. Then, in an instant, it gets up and lunges at you. See it here. Better think twice before taking out that Poké Flute.
  • The Galactic Hideout Depths in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum are darkly lit, have cylinders with strange objects suspended in a fluid inside them, scientists that talk about the experiment to make the Red Chain which hurt the Lake Trio to the point that they feel sickened and very creepy music. Seeing the Lake Trio caged is also disturbing.
  • For the series' 20th anniversary, someone made a series of videos focusing on different Pokemon types. The art and music is superb, and the amount of detail and references to various Pokedex entries and plot points throughout the franchise makes the videos an awesome and heartwarming tribute. However, that doesn't mean that they shy away from the more disturbing aspects of Pokemon:
    • Here's what they did for Ghost-types. It starts out okay, if a smidge ominous due to the Lavender Town theme...then it gets terrifying. The song slowly gets more and more distorted as various Ghost-types are shown attacking and sometimes killing humans (or just sneaking up on them) and it eventually seems to end with Cubone and his mother...but then a Gengar shows up. After the Gengar, we see a Banette—a live-action Banette—get up and chase the viewer. And then, Giratina emerges, gains a shadowy Slasher Smile and looms over the screen as the music gets more distorted...then, Giratina's wings envelope the screen and the song glitches to a halt.
    • Somehow, the one for Psychic-types is even worse. Like with the above mentioned video, it mostly just focuses on the Pokemon that make up this particular type, but they're showcased in terrifying ways. Ironically, the memetically creepy Mr. Mime only gets a cameo and is relatively tame. From there, we get such lovely gems as a pair of Meowstic who look like the twins from The Shining, a Tim Burton-esque depiction of Gothorita luring a boy out of his bed to play with her, a Gothitelle crying as she has a vision about a man (presumably her trainer) growing old and dying, Solrock and Lunatone doing...something, a brief close-up on a bouncing Spoink's heart (with the strong implication that it's about to stop beating) and Jynx...oh sweet Arceus above,'s all peppered by a series of images that seem to be about Sabrina slowly going insane and eventually culminates in Mewtwo's creation and the birth of Deoxys. Images of the cloning process are seen with a Solosis being injected into an egg cell, and then Reuniclus is shown in an ultrasound. This Pokemon line has to do with cells and mitosis. Sabrina is seen as a child the moment she gets her psychic powers, and she's seen looking more haggard and unstable while she has to perform her psychic powers for scientists. At the end she's in a straitjacket, an Abra beside her and a Lapras in suspended animation in a tank behind her. All three have electrodes fastened to their heads, being monitored for something, while Sabrina looks miserably towards the camera.
    • Here's the one for Bug Pokemon. It's mostly cute and nice to look at, but it shows Paras. The video cuts to other bug types, then back to Paras. The mushrooms on its back are a little bigger and Paras's pupils are getting smaller. Another cut to more Bug types. Then another shot to Paras, who stops moving, the mushrooms huge now and Paras's pupils pinpricks and the eyes cloudy. There's a final shot to Paras, only it's a Parasect now, and some of the dots on the mushroom form a smile. We saw this poor Pokemon get taken over by fungi.
    • The one for Poison types is pretty freaky. It starts off cute, with a female trainer riding her bike. She spots what looks like a Pokeball on on the side of the path, but when she disembarks to get it she realizes the Pokeball is really a Fungoos. She gets poisoned and faints, and what follows can only be described as an fever dream where many Poison types appear with unsettling, electronic music that eventually picks up in tempo. A strange voice is heard chanting near the middle of the song after the tempo increase note . All of the Pokemon in this one are portrayed menacingly but Victribell takes the cake. There is a grove full of them and one is zoomed in on, then made transparent to reveal an arm sticking out of the acid in its stomach. At the end of the video, the female trainer regains consciousness, looking exhausted.
    • The Dark Type video has its moments, as you might expect, as most of the Pokemon and villain teams shown look menacing. However, one major highlight is a shot of a group of Cacturne slowly sneaking up on a researcher. The artist helpfully added a shaking animation and a terrified facial expression as he realizes what's about to happen. There are also shots of Absol being driven away by a group of hands, Yveltal absorbing thousands upon thousands of life energy, and Hoopa Unbound summoning Legendaries, all set to intense music.
  • There used to be an artist named PokemonFromHell whose page has since been deleted, but their works can still be found, spread around the Internet. All of their pieces have one central theme: ordinary Pokémon reimagined as Eldritch abominations from the deepest depths of Tartarus. Inspired by various sources, including scary Pokédex entries, Fridge Horror relating to the Pokémon themselves ("what could happen if a Pokémon used its powers in this way?"), behavior of real-life animals, monsters from other videogames, and more.
    • Skarmory's entry, inspired by a Pokédex entry stating that Skarmory raise their chicks in thorny nests to toughen their metal skins, shows a badly bleeding and crying baby Skarmory in its nest, next to the impaled corpse of its sibling, while the parents look on stoically with nightmarish glowing eyes.
    Caption: Not all chicks are able to endure the fearsome brambles of the nest...
    • What makes this one creepier is the fact that there are birds in real life that have a similar Social Darwinist viewpoint of their offspring.
    • Luvdisc's entry depicts a gruesome parody of a Spaghetti Kiss, with two Luvdisc feasting on the internal organs of a third, dead Luvdisc. Happy Valentine's Day!
    • Numel's entry shows the poor thing with lava bleeding from its eyes and running down its body.
    • Behold, Slowpoke...or rather, the desiccated corpse of a Slowpoke that's been dead for so long that spiders have spun webs in its tail, insides, and eye sockets.
    • Ditto as a humanoid multi-tentacled monster chasing after a terrified and blood-covered Red, dressed in Red's clothes and hat but still with its own eyes and face, creating a bizarre Uncanny Valley effect.
    • Litwick sports a gruesome Slasher Smile with a melting mouth and eyes. The background is filled with the faces of anguished spirits (presumably Litwick's victims after it ate their souls) that appear to be wailing in agony.
    Caption: "Oh, let me guide your way, by the way, your soul is DELICIOUS."
    • Tentacool squeezing a Shellos with its tentacles so hard that purple goop comes pouring out of its body.
    • The entry for Grimer and Muk will make sure you never want to go into a sewer ever again.
    • Chespin has vines growing out of its eye socket, leaving its eye dangling by a few strings of flesh.
    • This lovely piece shows what happens if a Butterfree is forced out of its Metapod form too early...
    • Remember Bagon's Pokédex entry that mentions it regularly jumping off of cliffs in an attempt to fly? Unfortunately for the poor thing, Reality Ensues in the worst possible way.
    • Not graphic enough for you? Have a Rattata being vivisected alive...and witness its revenge after it evolves into Raticate.
    • Chansey cracking open like an egg as... something emerges from its body.
    • How sharp are Scyther's scythes? Sharp enough to slice a Pachirisu clean in half!
    • The Alola starters. Rowlet looks like something out of The Lost Woods, Litten's head appears to have a line of crude stitching down the middle, and Popplio's head, eyes, nose, and torso are swelling like balloons...the poor thing looks like it's about to burst.
    • How do you make Igglybuff scary? Turn the spiral on its forehead into an Uzumaki homage, complete with Eye Scream!
  • In a similar vein, there's Junji Ito's Pokemon artwork, done for a Halloween promotion in 2014. There were two pictures: one showed a Banette stalking a little girl from a dark alley, and the other showed a Gengar about to eat a person.

I bet you could use a Cresselia right about now, eh?


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