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  • The Spearow flock that went after Ash and Pikachu not once, but twice.
  • Lt. Surge. Before Ash and co. even meet him, they're greeted by a carnage of brutally defeated Pokémon that tried to fight his Raichu, so much so that the city's Pokémon center was overflowing by the time they visited it. Compared to many other leaders, Surge was positively ruthless.
    • Not to mention what his Raichu can do when it's at full power. Its Thunderbolt was capable of tearing the gym to shreds.
  • Sabrina. Just everything about her can be a bit disturbing for younger viewers of the Pokémon anime. As an Emotionless Girl with Psychic Powers, Sabrina and her Pokémon all have red Glowing Eyes of Doom for whatever reason (likely to emphasize on her own powers), she even has a doll of herself (and her mother), "plays" with Ash and his friends in a manner which almost feels like something from a Child's Play movie, and when she finally gets her emotions back, her little doll mysteriously fades away. Elaborating on that, the anime shows that she was born with psychic abilities and as Sabrina grew up, she grew more obsessed about developing her psychic powers for malicious purposes, which slowly caused her emotions to be bottled up. Eventually, they settled into a separate personality and manifested itself as a doll of her younger self. Despite Sabrina being a cold, callous woman who was driven mad by her own power, that doll held her former personality, it being a young girl who just wanted to have fun. As shown in the episode of her debut, she did have fragments of her younger self which were overshadowed by her thirst for power, as she had some very destructive fun in shrinking Ash and his friends down to the size of dolls and putting them on a toy box, and she even had some uncontrollable laughter while doing so. It was only when that the Haunter had some fun with her that both personalities fully merged together back into one being, and the doll has finally found its true owner; Sabrina... It no longer needed to be around without her younger personality, so it vanished!
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    • This also isn't getting onto both episodes that she made her major appearances in. Episode 22, "Abra and the Psychic Showdown" as it was called in the dub, has Ash trying to battle Sabrina, but he ends up forfeiting and, accepting Sabrina's request of being her "friend", has Ash, Brock and Misty get transported into a miniature toy box version of a town and has her seemingly attempting to torture them (although it's really her idea of fun, it being a combination of her mad power and her younger self), and they would have likely ended out stuck in this fate if Ash and company weren't saved as a psychic man they met earlier as he teleports them out. He warns them that Sabrina was a dangerous opponent and they needed a ghost type Pokemon to battle her... not before he humiliates Ash by making him dance with his pants down.
    • The latter, episode 24, called "Haunter versus Kadabra" in the English dub, is ripe full of this; Ash technically "loses" his re-match against Sabrina because his Pokemon refused to battle her Kadabra and his Haunter wasn't anywhere to be found, so he had to forfeit and flee yet again while both Brock and Misty stayed behind, who both get shrank down yet again and actually become dolls. They also meet her mother, who actually has been turned into a doll, and she says was stuck as one for years, while Ash encounters the same psychic man from before, who turns out to be Sabrina's father, and Ash only manages to win the second re-match by his Haunter giving her the ability to emote, which also gets rid of Sabrina's doll. If Ash hadn't ever got that Haunter or if it didn't decide to visit Sabrina during it... well, not only would Ash have to walk a lonely road for the rest of Kanto (assuming he still got the Marsh Badge, which is unlikely since he didn't beat her), Sabrina would have stayed forever emotionless with her mother, alongside Brock and Misty being stuck as dolls for who knows how long.
  • Gyarados and its ultimate attack, Dragon Ragenote , which results in Ash and friends being sucked up into a giant waterspout and nearly drowned.
  • The final gym leader of Kanto: Giovanni. The fact the Big Bad occupies a respected position as gym leader is bad enough, especially with him being the strongest one in Kanto. Then in the anime this is the period he has Mewtwo at his orders... Let's just say that Ash was lucky that Gary stole his chance to meet him in person.
    • Every single Giovanni appearance (outside Team Rocket's Imagine Spot's) shows him as being a Manipulative Bastard who will go to any length to amass power for himself. Anime!Giovanni has met Ash exactly twice, and neither time was anything other than lethal hostility (once during Mewtwo Returns which Giovanni no longer remembers, and once during the Black & White anime series).
    • During that second encounter, one of the scariest moments in the anime happens. The power of the Reveal Glass that Giovanni had been using to control the Kami Trio's Therian Formes is accidentally absorbed by him rather than being channeled through Meloetta. Giovanni goes absolutely insane, with red eyes and a mark on his forehead, and declares that he now wants to destroy everything, commanding the Kami Trio to do so. Team Rocket saves the day by tackling him and releasing the power from him, snapping him out of his possession, but if they had not, there would be no way of freeing the Kami Trio from their mind-control, and they would carry on using their weather-altering powers to destroy the world.
  • The episode Electric Soldier Porygon was banned from ever airing again, due to a bright flashing background at one point in the episode that reportedly gave over 600 children siezures, talk about super-effective. To this day, Porygon has only ever shown up once more as a short appearance in one of the movies, and niether Porygon-2 or Porygon-Z have ever appeared in the anime or movies even once. This is most likely due to fear of outraged parents.
    • The fact that Nurse Joy (unintentionally) wanted to kill Ash and co. by putting in a Vaccine antivirus. She thought they were a computer virus! And the vaccine can't distinguish humans from viruses... making you wonder what viruses look like in the Pokemon world...
  • Despite being a Tearjerker episode, Pikachu's Goodbye has a brief moment where the herd of Pikachu scream out in the background when they get captured by Team Rocket. It sounds creepy as hell.
  • In the episode "Pikachu Re-Volts", Pikachu has a brief Face–Heel Turn, complete with glowing red eyes and overall creepy faces.
    • In another example, in "Team Plasma's Pokémon Power Plot," Pikachu has brainwashed red eyes again, but these are much creepier. It's almost like they're not even there. Just two soulless red cavities in the face. See for yourself.
    • Then, in "Battling The Enemy Within" in the Battle Frontier saga. Ash gets possessed by an ancient evil king. Complete with mascara effects to better show the Demonic Possession.
  • When Pokémon Hunter J tried to capture the Lake Trio, remains of J's vessel are almost assuredly stuck at the bottom of the lake, and while the crew would have died quickly, her Pokémon's Pokéballs may have survived intact. Surrounded by rubble. At the bottom of the lake. For a long time.
    • It was a well deserved fate, given the fact that Hunter J was a heartless mercenary who doesn't care how much misery and destruction she causes in order to turn a profit on the black market. As a matter of fact, working for J is a bad occupation since she doesn't care what happens to them. Getting in her way can be much worse; she's not above causing grievous harm to both humans and Pokémon that try to fight her and will even murder anyone that really manages to get on her nerves. This is evidenced by the facts that J had detached a container pod (that Ash and his friends had managed to sneak into) from her ship while it was airborne, had her Drapion try to crush Ash to death, and tried to burn down a whole forest around Ash and his friends.
      • Just the fact that a BLACK MARKET, let alone a "Pokémon trafficking" business, exists in the Pokémon world is solid evidence to the fact that there's a lot more serious problems in the world than just criminal organizations like Team Rocket.
  • One episode revolves around an evil ghost girl who hypnotizes unsuspecting people and tries to lure them into the Spirit World. First, she tries to lure Conway into going off of a cliff. Then she scares the daylights out of Meowth. Finally, she appears at the entrance to the Spirit World itself and tries to pull in Ash, Angie, Pikachu, and Shinx, and the only thing that saves them is Professor Rowan's arrival. And when Dusknoir defeats her with a Psychic attack, she screams horrifically as she gets blasted into shadow and dissolves. Imagine if she had succeeded in her plans — would you want to be one of their parents on the other end of the phone, being told your child is never going to come home?
  • Every time Ash's Chimchar's Blaze ability triggers. The other times similar abilities (or even Blaze itself, in the case of May's Blaziken) in the vein of Blaze from the games (the "boosts power of moves in a pinch" abilities) get shown, the Pokémon usually just receives a power boost. Not so much with this one. Every time, its eyes turn red, its pupils shrink, and its fire goes out of control as it goes absolutely berserk and starts screeching and attacking like mad. The first time it happens is after Paul's Ursaring beats Chimchar down in a battle against Ash - Chimchar proceeds to effortlessly knock out Ursaring, and it takes Ash desperately hugging it to calm it down, and not without both barely missing him with a Flame Wheel and biting down on him while he holds it before it simmers down.
    • Thankfully, after evolving into Infernape, it finally learns to control its power, resulting in the fights against both Volkner's Luxray and Paul's Electivire. However, it still manages to be incredibly frightening - In the former example, the first time the ability shows as an Infernape, its eyes turn ''completely'' red, pupils included, fire erupts from its head. and it wildly launches a Flamethrower after the effects kick in, and it promptly turns around to give Ash a downright ''terrifying'' look. It then slowly trudges towards him like a zombie - It's only when it gives a grin and nod in response to Ash's instructions that it becomes clear Infernape's still in control, but the way it grins and the entirety of how it acts up until then is still incredibly frightening. The fact Pikachu's cheeks spark before Ash tells him it's okay, making it clear it was more than prepared to fight a berserk Infernape, isn't hard to blame him for.
  • Just when the anime starts calming down on scary stuff, Ash and his friends (as well as Team Rocket eventually) find themselves in the Litwick Mansion. While the Pokedex entries state that Litwick, the little candle Pokémon, leeches off a human's life force, the Litwick in the episode actually try doing that to Team Rocket. Not only, Team Rocket's energy is drained slowly, over the course of the episode. Thus we see them become more and more lethargic as time goes on only to end up looking like zombies eventually.
    • It gets even worse at the climax, when the Litwick open a portal to a ghost dimension and try to suck everyone in. Eventually, Jessie loses her grip and goes flying into the portal. Ash saves her, but the look of absolute horror on her face when she's getting pulled in is just bone-chilling. And her line just before slipping.... ugh.
    Jessie: (whimpers) "I-It's over..."
    • And if that wasn't bad enough, immediately after, Cilan gets hit by a Litwick's shadow-ball and is sent flying towards the very same portal. Luckily, he was rescued by James, but still...
  • The Malamar from XY's 19th episode. Its capable of hypnotizing people and Pokémon into doing its bidding. The thought of being mind controlled is horrifying enough, but being mind controlled into committing horrible actions like attacking innocent people and turning Pokémon against their trainers in the name of world domination is just terrifying. This Malamar was even working on a secret weapon to help in dominating the world. But this weapon is just as horrifying as Malamar itself!
    • The weapon itself doesn't even resemble anything man-made either, as it looks more like Meat Moss or something organic. No explanation is given to its function as it's quickly destroyed as soon as it's been discovered.
    • It's back in Episode 54, with two new Malamar as lackeys. It turns out that its world domination scheme would change the environment of the entire planet into something only suitable for Malamar and Inkay, and they very nearly succeed. The Malamar are even so "kind" as to show what their new world would look like - It's nothing but a swirling mess of orange and green. To top it all off, the Malamar escape with their device, claiming they'll be back again.
  • Mega Lucario is terrifying when it goes nuts. Especially how more brutally he beats down Pikachu than normal and his red eyes.
  • Although not quite as horrifying as Mimikyu, the screaming Bewear from Sun & Moon's second episode is certainly unsettling. It makes a generic friendly noise and waves at Ash. Ash goes closer. It waves more and its call rises in pitch. Ash goes closer. It screams shrilly and smashes a tree. Then it charges after a now-fleeing Ash, smashing trees and shrieking as it goes.
  • Mimikyu in the games was almost instantly adored by the fandom for their desire to just be popular like Pikachu, in addition to being adorable. The anime, apparently deciding to contrast itself, adds a Mimikyu that is outright psychotic. Team Rocket's first encounter with the Alolan Pokémon nearly kills Meowth (admittedly, Meowth didn't know any better when he lifted the costume). When Ash and Pikachu happen by, it viciously attacks Pikachu, and Meowth reveals that Mimikyu absolutely hates Pikachu, and in fact draws its strength from said hate. And instead of imitating Pikachu's cry, it just makes a disturbing choking/grinding sound. It only joins Team Rocket because it wants a shot at Pikachu and they have the same goal.
    • When Mimikyu "kills" Meowth, he goes through the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel" and ends up in what appears to be a beautiful flowery field with Glaceon, Gardevoir, and Lopunny skipping around... only for the vision to fade into a nightmarish darkness with the heavenly vision projected by Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar, overall implying Meowth will go to Hell when he dies.note  And just in case you thought the anime might not take the Pokédex entry on its true form seriously, Rotom relates it verbatim, so Meowth really could have died.
      • In the English dub, Meowth refers to the pit as "a really bad place", with Jessie then asking "Do you mean..." before Meowth cuts her off, with a comment about how he doesn't want to go back there, "whatever you want to call it". They might not have mentioned Hell, but it's definitely what they were implying.
    • Still unconvinced? Meowth outright refuses to translate what it's saying because it scares him. Consider that for a moment. Mimikyu is so creepy that Meowth, not exactly a paragon of virtue himself, is terrified by the little ghost. Jessie's Wobbuffet also seems unusually expressive whenever the ghost hisses.
  • The Salandit in the eight episode of the Sun & Moon anime that leaps at Lillie and very nearly devours her Pokémon egg.
    • Speaking of episode 8, said episode reveals that Lillie used to be just fine touching Pokémon, even holding a Lillipup in a family photo. But after returning from her mom's manor, something happened that made her afraid to touch them ever again. Lillie doesn't even remember the incident herself. Considering how insane her mother is in the games' canon, one has to wonder: what happened during that time?
      • This is Truth in Television, as trauma victims often have trouble recalling what happened to them.
      • Slightly mitigated when we find out that the Lusamine in the anime is a far different character than the one in the games. Doesn't make what happens later any better, however.
    • In episode 47, we finally learn why Lillie is scared of Pokemon. In a flashback, she was attacked by a Nihilego when she was younger. For even more Nightmare Fuel, remember what it's capable of and remember that Lillie could have ended up on the receiving end of all that.
    • This is further compounded in episode 49, where the accident is not only confirmed, but it also adds the detail that Faba was responsible for unleashing Nihilego from Ultra Space; and is deliberately trying to keep Lillie from recovering her memory.
  • Episode 12 of Sun and Moon has Mimikyu removing its rag to take a dip, leaving the rag floating in the water. Later, it turns towards the camera, revealing that the water caused the ink on its costume's "face" to run, with hideous results. Complete with Scare Chord, no less.
    • While Mareanie affectionately attacking James is mostly Played for Laughs, there is one unsettling moment where it latches onto James's diving helmet and breaks the visor with its spikes. Underwater.
  • While the show has plenty of fall scares, episode 14 of Sun and Moon has Lillie slow motion fall off a ledge head first. Just before Ash and Rowlet save her and Snowy with Leafage, it is made morbidly apparent she was mere inches away from having her skull smash on the pavement below.
  • Sun and Moon has been playing with grotesque reaction shots since the Mimikyu bathing scene, but it all comes to three terrifying heads in episode 16 where we get treated to this shot of Team Rocket reacting to Litten's betrayal.
  • Episode 22 is a good showing of Palossand in a kid friendly show. The episode revolves around a Palossand going on a rampage and growing giant, swallowing Ash and Litten in the process. It then proceeds to drain Litten and Rotomdex (who got stuck in Palossand's head as a replacement shovel) of their life energy which is evidently painful. By the end of the episode Palossand has grown large enough to overshadow Professor Kukui's house and eat it whole for no particular reason.
  • Totem Raticate. The thing sounds like a nightmare, relentlessly chases anyone who gets near it, and in the Pokeproblem ending follows Team Rocket back to their base to get them. It's a good thing Team Rocket has a guard Bewear to get it to leave them alone.
    • On the subject of Totems, the Totem Wishiwashi is the stuff of nightmares for anyone with a phobia of deep water. When it first jumps out of the water, Ash can only look at it in complete horror while the onlooking fisherman screams (the latter is Played for Laughs, but still). Its voice is a demonic snarling version of the smaller Wishiwashi's adorable cry. There's a brief scene where Ash and Pikachu are knocked into the water, and the first thing they see is the shadowy silhouette of the giant Totem closing in on them.
  • Type: Null's first appearance: The thing sounds like it is in constant pain and agony just from breathing with a hint of Vader Breath.
  • A lot of times in the anime, Pokemon suffer from Power Incontinence and become out of control due to the overwhelming nature of one of their abilities. Ash's Infernape as a Chimchar and Monferno (from its Blaze ability), Korrina's Lucario (from its Mega Evolution) and Ash's Lycanroc become outright feral, threatening to attack anything in sight. The animation shots in most of these cases are particularly chilling as well.
  • Nihilego capturing Lillie. It appears only for a few seconds in a flashback, but is framed in such a way (and shown through a dark brown filter) that it really etches into the memory.
    • The incident in question is not only confirmed two episodes later, but when Lillie starts to recover them Faba intends to use his Hypno to erase the incident from her memory entirely just to save his reputation, and the sight of it trying to use its powers on her and Ash is quite unsettling.
  • The episode afterwards doesn't let up after Mood Whiplash kicks in — it ends with Lillie screaming for her mom after Nihilego abducts Lusamine.
    • While Lillie's fear of Pokemon is gone, coming face to face with Nihilego again sends her into a brief Freak Out.
    • Just Nihilego. Not only is it super-powerful and bizarre in its movements, but it makes these absolutely unsettling sounds that almost sound like a giggling child. Anyone who thought the Sun & Moon series' Lighter and Softer tone meant it would avoid portraying how frightening the Ultra Beasts can be were sorely mistaken.
    • Motherbeast Lusamine is even worse than in the games, and that's saying a lot. At least in Sun & Moon for the 3DS it was clear that Lusamine was the one in control while she was fused with Nihilego up until you defeat her in battle, but in the anime it's difficult to tell where Lusamine ends and Nihilego begins. And unlike in the games, the Motherbeast fights back with the symbiosis jacking up Nihilego's moves to ridiculous levels, being capable of morphing the whole landscape and creating an entire sea of poison. Also unlike in the games, we get to see what happens if someone tries to separate Nihilego from its host before incapacitating it: it overtakes Lusamine completely and gains total control. It took Ash and Pikachu hitting it with a Z-Move just to get it to let her go, and it just flies away afterward as if nothing happened.
    • Lusamine mentally regressing into an outright Psychopathic Womanchild when possessed by Nihilego, throwing a tantrum when the heroes try to rescue her and thus take her away from her precious Ultra Beast, yelling things like "Stay away! I hate you!" It's both tragic and terrifying to witness.
  • Buzzwole's debut shows it attacking a Snorlax, doing so by literally sticking its proboscis into Snorlax and draining it of its fluids. The Snorlax deflates as a result. It is basically Body Horror incarnate and very similar to Imperfect Cell killing a man. Thankfully, the Snorlax quickly recovers thanks to a potion from Lillie and plenty of berries from Lana, but still.
  • Sun and Moon episodes 100 and 101 feature Guzzlord, and its made out to be a horrifying being: In an alternate version of Hau'oli City, it just showed up without warning and started devouring all of Alola, leaving almost nothing but a vast desert wasteland (it somehow drank the ocean!). No other Pokémon has been seen causing this sort of destruction. Worst of all is its cry, which sounds like anguished screaming.
  • From early Best Wishes, there was Tepig’s introduction episode. Like a couple other fire starters, Ash ends up taking in an abandoned and abused Tepig. Unlike with them however, we actually see the effects of the previous trainer’s abuse, with the poor piggy having gotten rather thin from malnourishment, and having his mouth tied shut by the abuser. It’s particularly horrific since tying the mouth shut is a common practice by real life animal abusers, usually to make them starve.

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