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Nightmare Fuel / Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated

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Should we mention this was the first episode?

Quite possibly the first Scooby-Doo series that has aimed to be genuinely scary (with Zombie Island being the only other Scooby work as dark), with the first episode being Darker and Edgier than most Scooby-Doo series in itself. The "monsters" go far beyond scaring people or kidnapping witnesses. The final episode itself takes the cake.

Nightmare Fuel subpages, being Moments subpages, are Spoilers Off pages. You Have Been Warned.

  • Right off the bat, the intro with the Warner Bros. Animation logo accompanied with the Looney Tunes theme done in creepy organ, surrounded by green fog, is quite nerve-wracking.
  • The episode title cards are on a black background accompanied by eerily serene natures sounds that have an unsettling sense about them.
    • The atmosphere of the series can be extremely eerie sometimes. Tame by other media standards but terrifying by Scooby-Doo standards. The first offender is the second episode with the reds and blacks and browns of the landscape making it look hellish and incredibly unnerving.
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  • In the first episode, the Slime Mutant (pictured above) traps a bunch of bystanders in pods, and the bodies are so grotesque that for a while the characters think they're dead. This is an immediate sign the this show is NOT fucking around.
  • Episode 2 has a few scary moments, like the monster Gator People/Creeping Creatures chasing the gang mostly in the dark and when one of the gators shot their arm through the floor boards and grabbed Velma's foot and started to pull her down! The way they chased Scooby into the house was disturbing and trippy, and it was earlier shown through a billboard the words "The Dog Dies". Especially since this specific line comes into play in a much later episode... All in all, the gators were some of the most violent monsters to appear on the show.
  • Episode 3 has the Ghost Truck, with its horrifying wail.
    • The fact that the culprit is willing to run innocent drivers off cliffs in pursuit of a villainous goal also makes it clear just how much higher the stakes are in this series than in others, where getting the crap scared out of them or Bound and Gagged was about the worst thing that ever happened to somebody.
  • Episode 4 had the Man Crab. Sounds silly? It has the ability to pull you under the sand, making it look like you're gonna suffocate, and it emits a horrifying screech.
    • Not to mention that it's inhumanly strong and agile, and can walk up walls and ceilings like an insect, just look at all the destruction it wreaks while chasing people.
  • The zombie children in episode 5 look like they need a time out. What's even creepier - they were just normal kids going along with the promises of Que Horrifico! Those are some pretty athletic and resilient children!
    • To say nothing of what might've happened if one of the adults they chased off had fought back hard.
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  • In the beginning of episode 6 when Alice May pulls off her face to unveil a freaky zombie face.
  • Professor Pericles. He somehow caused a man to taser himself from inside his massive, heavily-fortified jail cell. And by the end of the episode, he's loose.
  • The Fright Hound, the shriek it makes rivals the Man Crab in spookiness. The fact that armed guards at a maximum security animal asylum unload everything they have at him and he still keeps coming, just brings the terror beyond what some might think possible for a Scooby-Doo episode. Its "skin" gets shot off, revealing a T-800-esque visage underneath. Did we mention it also looks like a more intimidating version of Scooby himself?
    • The T-800 parallels continue when it gets repeatedly crushed by heavy machinery in a factory only to keep crawling towards the gang in true Implacable Man fashion ... until Scooby drives over it with a forklift.
    • In a different sense, the way the entire town presumes Scooby to be guilty, dismissing all evidence to the contrary and summarily consigning him to a maximum-security prison on mere suspicion - What? Do they think he's the only brown Great Dane in the world...? - has its own disturbing aspects.
  • Char Gar Gothakon in "The Shrieking Madness" is pretty terrifying. Its first appearance is probably its worst, when it attacks a student that dissed Hatecraft's books. Using its sonic shrieks, it sends cars flying and nearly crushes the poor kid, until it sends him flying through the air and onto the hood of a car. All the kid can do is beg as the shadow of the monster descends upon him. The kid turns out to be fine and merely gets locked in a closet, but you don't find that out until almost the end of the episode.
  • The Cicada Creature, made of hundreds of thousands of them, in the shape of a giant cicada. Those cicadas swarm, driving a guy in his car off a cliff, and attacking a guy while he was taking a shower. Think about that for a moment. You have bugs crawling all over you, biting and itching while you are completely exposed. *shudder*
    • The way the shower guy later freaked out and flatlined.
  • The shadows of the people in Crystal Cove as they try to capture Pericles and Scooby, as well as Aphrodite's appearance.
    • The Mayor and Sheriff Stone doing an Invasion of the Body Snatchers screech when they realize the kids are no longer under Aphrodite's brainwashing. Doubles as a moment of funny, but still freaky.
  • Episode 17, "Escape from Mystery Manor". The ruins of the Darrow Mansion are filled to the brim with Fred Jones-level booby traps, except for the fact that Danny Darrow himself used every known sharp object and weapon to try to murder his intruders, a.k.a. Scooby and the gang.
    • Also wondering about what Danny's fate after another earthquake splits the ruined mansion apart once again, leaving him sealed in the Earth.
    • And before that, Danny's description of his family passing away while he was lost in his own little world, playing with that cursed treasure piece.
    • Danny Darrow himself. He doesn't even look human.
    • Some of the more elaborate deadly traps resemble the ones from Saw.
    • Later, it is revealed that the Darrows used to be a previous Mystery Inc gang. And THIS is how they came to their end. Cursed treasure, indeed.
  • Pretty much every chase scene. Gone are the days of Scooby-Dooby Doors and pop music being played over their chase scenes, the monsters and villains in this series are seriously trying to hurt or even kill the gang.
    • There was that one time where Shaggy and Scooby tried to employ the SDD tactic on the Phantom in episode 7. Villain's response? Arson. The burning trailer they were in exploded after they got out.
  • Episode 10 shows that Pericles knows someone close to Fred is gonna betray them. And in episode 21, we find out from Mr. E that as long as Fred is there, the remaining 2 members won't be able to do anything. Something bad is going to happen to our fearless leader sooner or later...
    • Mr. E's statement is actually a misdirection; he was talking about Fred Jones Senior, as he was using Fred Jr. as blackmail to keep them out of Crystal Cove.
  • The Headless Horror of Episode 22's is freaky enough by itself, and that includes the freaky mouth in its stomach...
  • Dead Justice. A his face is mostly skeletal with pieces of his human skin still on there, he rides a horse that would be fit for one of the horsemen of the apocalypse, his bullets, despite looking like green Bullet Bills, are somehow still unsettling and he drags criminals off to god knows where. Granted, it's reveal that it was just the deputy and the criminals were most likely put in jail but he's still terrifying.
  • Episode 25 had a lot of nightmare fuel. Starting with the assassin Obliteratrix who is really Alice May in disguise nearly killing Mystery Inc. and Hatecraft. The fact that it was Mr. E who sent her to drive out Pericles makes it even more horrifying given that he is supposedly one of Mystery Inc's allies but that has all ways been dubious. Then we get the real whopper, the Freak of Crystal Cove. An inhuman, pale skinned, horned demonic looking monster who speaks in rhyme, not only lured the original Mystery Inc. to the abandoned church but also drove them out by threatening the lives of all the people that they loved. What makes this thing even more terrible then all the other monsters, villains, and Pericles combined is that he was the one who started it all and probably intends to end it with him on top. His chilling dialogue at the beginning of the episode and at the end leaves you with goosebumps and not the good kind.
    Freak of Crystal Cove: From six to one, the spell is spun, no time to run, the curse begun
    Freak of Crystal Cove: The curse begun, but soon they'll see, the buried truth will end with me. (laughs manically).
    • If the creepy rhymes, monstrous design, and scary voice don't unnerve you, all that combined with the genuine fear in Cassidy's voice as she cries out to the kids that he's still out there will.
  • Freddie finding out that Mayor Jones is not only not his real father, but finding out that Brad and Judy of the original Mystery Incorporated are his biological parents. Mayor Jones stated that he had to stop them from coming back at all cost, even after he blackmailed them all into leaving town before, but he must have gone to amazing and horrifying lengths to separate a presumably loving couple from their child, and feeding that child a lie all his life.
  • How about this? Shaggy's mom states that they're going to take Scooby to a nice farm. Well, that sounds nice and dandy...if it weren't for two factors: 1) Scooby will be taken away from Shaggy while Shaggy is in military school and 2) the look in the mother's eyes and her evil smile when she says that. Think about the implications...
    • Let's face it, does sending a pet to a "nice farm" ever mean anything besides Released to Elsewhere?
      • And that last implication is confirmed at the start of the next season. Scooby gets out of it (they sent him to the pound in reality), but how close was that?
      • The whole thing is messed up in the fact that Scooby didn't do anything wrong.
  • The scene where Professor Pericles kills Ed Machine.
    Pericles: I'd like to deliver a message to Ricky. Or should I call him Mr. E?
    Ed: Say what you want to say Pericles, then get out of my house.
    Pericles: Dear Ed, you misunderstand... I don't want to say anything!"
  • The Crybaby Clown is rather surprisingly scary. He has a voice like The Joker's (Because it was voiced by Mark Hamill himself), with added elements of Psychopathic Manchild. Emphasis on the psychopathic. Despite babyish behaviors, this clown has shown it was incredibly malicious toward the Gang, especially in the second episode featuring him. Not to mention he blew up almost everything in his wake and managed to drive pretty much everyone out of the town until the gang got back together.
  • In episode 31, "The Hodag of Horror", the Hodag wrecks havoc at a party the Blakes' are throwing, dragging a decent number of the guests, kicking and screaming, into the shadows. Sure we eventually find out it was only trying to steal their expensive jewelry but before that is revealed, all we hear are the guests screaming bloody murder while they are been dragged into the darkness. A scene straight out of a monster horror movie.
  • In "The Night On Haunted Mountain", the final shot of the episode has the Captain saying "Nibiru...", who then fades away, laughing, implying that he is a very, very real ghost.
  • Almost the entirety of the episode "Night Terrors". Holy crap. It's basically The Mystery Gang meets The Shining, complete with dangerous phantasms, haunted rooms, and insane ghosts.
  • The episode "The Midnight Zone" may also qualify as one of the darkest entries in the series. Apart from the "child robots," testifying to a truly deranged mind, we have not only Cassidy presumably dying, but we have Professor Pericles actively trying to kill the gang. He tries drowning them, tries getting them murdered by the robots, and attempts to blow up the base with the gang inside. And then last but not least, the dead body of Abigail Gluck: sitting in the control room, meaning she died alone surrounded by robots, a dead, decomposing body that sags a little on the chair when moved, and somehow whispers one solitary word to the gang.
  • Scarebear may be even worse. The villain isn't so bad when you see their motives and hear their voice (and in fact, they are one of the more sympathetic culprits in the show), but there is one part where apparently Mr. E and Pericles had set a bomb in the Destroido area, planning to kill the kids with it. Yes, Mr. E was even willing to get rid of his own company just to kill the kids and get the disk pieces. The factory with mutated animals is also quite nasty, and of course, there's the spidery-mutant avocado, which is horrible.
  • The baby dolls from the doll factory in "The Wrath of the Krampus" are extremely unsettling.
  • Anything that involves "Nibiru". Nibiru is a cataclysmic event involving a celestial object colliding with the Earth, documented in Sumerian and Babylonian mythology. In-universe, its linked with beings from the same mythology known as Annunaki. One of these is sealed within a crystal coffin which is the centerpiece of the "treasure of Crystal Cove". It has cursed the Planespheric Disk to corrupt people and animals with greed and drive them to seek out the other pieces of the Disk, which will lead them to the treasure, thus leading them to releasing him from the coffin. He will then proceed to make Earth collide with his home world.
  • In Episode 41, a real ghost tells the gang that Scooby Doo must die, because the animal companion is always is the first to act when it's corrupted by the Curse of the Planespheric Disk. And of course mentioning earlier in his warning that the Nibiru entity gets stronger the more he is remembered...
    • Even creepier is hearing Friar Serra recount this to the Gang in that sinister, growling voice of his, not to mention how, after delivering his warning, he vanishes and his body crumbles into dust.
    The Ghost of Friar Serra: Beware... Nibiru is coming. This has all happened before! It begins with the animal. Always with the animal! Heed the warning of the alligators! The dog dies! (crumbles to dust, a bony finger pointed at Scooby Doo accusingly)
  • Episode 42, "Aliens Among Us." At the end of the episode, after coming upon their first clue regarding the Cursed Treasure, the gang return to Crystal Cove to see that the City Hall (and their base of operations) is up in flames and destroyed. And it was Brad and Judy who had caused the attack in the first place.
  • Episode 43, "The Horrible Herd", full-stop. The Skull Cattle are monstrous, ravenous herds of bio-genetically mutated bovine drones (combined from cow, piranha, and bee DNA), eating anything and everything in sight, including reducing Crystal Cove to ruins. They only acted on instinct, and to provide for their singular queen, but it was Professor Pericles who used Mr. E's company and funds to create these horrific monstrosities. Proving once again that he is more desperate than ever to kill the gang, especially when the plan goes awry too, with Mr. E himself saying that Pericles has gone too far with this plan! He is now officially more evil than Fred Jones Sr.!
    Pericles: I will walk over anyone who would get in my way of this treasure! Ed Machine... Cassidy Williams... even YOU, Ricky.
    • Also, the consequences of defeating the Herd. The gang capture the Skull Cattle Queen, which forces the rest of the herd to cease their destruction of Crystal Cove. They lead them all towards the ocean, and due to interference from a missile launched by Brad Chiles, the net releases the Queen into the ocean, with the herd following in suit. Almost immediately after, they see the drones surface again, remembering they're part-piranha, and they can only watch in horror as they spread out through the ocean.
    Shaggy: You mean, like, other than release unnatural super-predators into the ecosystem?
    • Might be averted by the fact that piranha can only survive in fresh water, and therefore the hybrid creatures would likely have died off after swimming away into the salt water ocean. And in any case, the ending of the show renders them Ret-Gone.
  • Episode 44, "Dance of the Undead", besides seeing hypnotized citizens dancing themselves towards catatonia, having people buried alive in coffins, and seeing the kidnapped victims being dragged down into the earth feet-first, we do have another warning about the impending apocalypse, courtesy of the flatlined Nova in a raspy monotone. Nova, just a reminder, is a totally ordinary dog who cannot talk.
    Nova: Nibiru. Nibiru is coming. *lies back down*
  • Episode 45, "The Devouring": Professor Pericles reveals that he has injected Ricky with mutated cobra venom, which he can release in small doses whenever he feels like at the push of a button, in order to keep him in line. And remember, Pericles has already killed Ed Machine and Cassidy, so Ricky is well aware of what Pericles is capable of.
    • Cobra venom attacks the central nervous system. It's in his spine. It wouldn't take much to kill him in minutes. All that has to happen is for Pericles to lose his temper and hold the button for too long. And it wouldn't be very merciful; look at Ricky's face in the scene. He's in agony.
    • The end of the episode? Pericles' laughing insanely and saying about Mystery Inc. "We will destroooooy them!" in a creepy singsong voice.
    • From the opening stinger, Francilee Jackson being devoured whole by the Gluten Demon, onscreen. Though this is subverted since it turned out she was the Gluten Demon all along and staged the incident with special effects.
    • Scooby's nervous breakdown at the beginning of the episode is quite unsettling to look at. Thankfully, he snaps out of it soon.
  • From Episode 47, "The Man In The Mirror", Pericles appears to know exactly that there is an interdimensional monstrosity sealed with the cursed treasure and is actively trying to find the treasure so he can free it, because apparently, the sealed creature is Pericles' master. Mr. E, Brad, and Judy seem to have no idea they're helping Pericles unleash an Eldritch Abomination onto the world.
    • Brad and Judy are so obsessed about getting the treasure they willingly got extensive plastic surgery to make themselves look exactly like Fred and an older Daphne for an insanely convoluted plan to trick Fred into revealing where the Planispheric Disc is.
    • All of the post-apocalyptic Crystal Cove. The town is in ruins with skeletons lying everywhere. Definitely one of the darkest episodes.
      • Especially when Fred finds what appears to be the remains of Scooby, Shaggy, and Velma. There's nothing left of them but dust and clothes. And even worse, what looks like dried blood where their heads would've been.
  • In Nightmare In Red, we learn that those that succumb to the curse have the best part of themselves trapped in a realm between realms, and that is why Fred Jones Sr. and the original Mystery Incorporated members went so bad.
    • There is one exception: Professor Pericles is not present in the realm at all. He is so deeply influenced by the Nibiru Entity that his better side has been completely eliminated.
    • Either that, or the little shit was a freakin' psychopath from the start.
  • In Gates of Gloom, it's shown that the closer the old Mystery Incorporated get to the treasure, the more unraveled they become. Even Brad and Judy are starting to get irritated at each other.
    • Look at Professor Pericles' face while he's torturing Ricky. He's enjoying it.
    • And the reason Ricky's being tortured? He's refusing to order the deaths of every single person in Crystal Cove, incensed at finally learning that Pericles murdered Cassidy.
  • The opening narrator of "Through the Curtain" by The Nibiru Entity definitely qualifies:
    The Nibiru Entity: Soon... Soon, I will be free. The time of Nibiru is nearly at hand. The planets are coming into alignment, working towards my release. As are you (shot of the Mystery Inc gang about to descend into the cavern) ... Even though you know it not, I forged you. You are my proudest creation. So come now, Children of Nibiru. Be strong, and set your Master free... So that I may bathe this world, in FIRE!
    • Also the death of Marcie. It happens offscreen, sure, but the show makes it very clear that someone was actually shot to death. On a Scooby Doo show. With a Gatling gun.
  • "Come Undone", everything relating to the Nibiru Entity.
    • First of all, its appearance is downright horrifying; consisting of a dark green mass of tentacles with a Nightmare Face. Oh, and it has green eyes with an very eerie glow.
    • Not only was it responsible for everything that went wrong in the series, after it was finally released, it immediately goes on a feeding frenzy, starting with Professor Pericles, and then going on to Fred's birth parents, Mr. E, and the citizens of Crystal Cove, including Mayor Jones, Mayor Nettles, Sheriff Stone, Skipper Shelton, the Gang's families (offscreen), everyone. And on-screen, no less.
      • The appearance of Crystal Cove is utterly terrifying after the Entity gets released. From a "normal" coastal town, it literally turns into Hell on Earth. The ground opens, revealing huge pits of lava, an earthquake happens, the sky gets red with thunders, and all that with scared people running around, not knowing what is actually happening. It gets worse, in order for the Entity to feed upon people, it releases an army of corrupted Egyptian god-looking Annunaki that procced to savagely attack the town, in order to kidnap every citizen and take them to the Entity, so he can eat them. No other Animated series has that.
      • At one point, it stops mid swallow to look at the Gang, and there's people hanging limply from its jaws. It's a split second but it does wonders to drive home how this isn't a typical Villain of the Week inflicted Disney Death; the Entity was killing and eating people!
  • Remember how despite Mayor Jones being a Manipulative Bastard this whole time, he ultimately still stuck out for Fred by being a Papa Wolf in their final meeting? According to Word of God, without Fred in his life as his son, Jones would've been worse than Brad and Judy. Jones was already bad enough for blackmailing, kidnapping, and being willing to hurt children, but Brad and Judy take it up a notch by not even bothering being subtle or even hesitant about doing the same things Jones has done and even attempt to team up with an Eldritch Abomination. What could possibly be worse than what Jones, Brad, and Judy have already done in the show?
    • Well, there's Professor Pericles... and remember that Mayor Jones has outsmarted Pericles before, and even Pericles fears him when he's serious (i.e. disguised as the Freak).
  • Even years later, it is absolutely insane that the Kriegstaffel Bots got through unchanged - more or less having completely accurate Schutzstaffel outfits rendered as robotic pieces, and wielding various machine guns and other weapons. There's the two times they actively murdered people, the time Pericles sent a kill squad of them to Fred's house, and when they actually helped Pericles enslave the entire town to dig for Nibiru...and that's before Pericles really went all in on the Nazi thing and tortured Mr. E into giving the order to have the bots try and kill everyone in town.