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Nightmare Fuel / Smallville

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With a show like the origins of Superman, the show has a lot of scary moments packed in there.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

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    Season One 
  • "Metamorphosis": In the episode's first scenes, Greg gets bitten and infected by a large swarm of his own pet bugs which are glowing from Kryptonite. We don't see what's happening to him due to the pole his car crashed into blocking the view, only his echoing screams of pain are heard and his car is illuminating a green glow from the bugs. When his mother knocks on his door asking for his whereabouts, she looks in his bedroom and it is empty so she closes the door. Cut to a mutated Greg covered in bug bites, hanging from a corner of his ceiling and twisting his neck in an unnerving way. All set to creepy music throughout. We then see Greg peel his skin off during a hot shower, with pieces of skin falling down like they were meat (ham cold cuts, according to Word of God). And that's not the only thing wrong with him. He kills his mother in a horrible manner. And Greg's mother's screams are heard as Greg unhinges his mouth like a bug and spews large amounts of spiderweb as he kills her. Then there's the Jumpscare Johnathan suffers when he inspects the barn with his flashlight and his light shines upon Greg's face as Greg attacks him. Complete with a few scare chords. After Clark saves his dad from nearly being killed by Greg, they see gooey green footprints on the walls and ceiling of the barn and the two are left looking around for Greg as scary piano music plays out before the scene cuts to black.
  • Just the whole aspect of "Craving," where the power to suck the fat out of someone or an animal in order to substance the Horror Hunger. Jodi, the mutant in question, has her face terrifyingly distorted when she does that. And you get to see Dustin, the guy she attacks (sure, he was an Asshole Victim, but still...).
  • The freak of the week's power in "Reaper," and the freak of the week's PERSONALITY in "Crush".

    Season Two 
  • "Redux": If you thought "Craving" was horrific enough, this time the freak of the week is able to suck the life force out of someone and make them physically aged to old age. And that's not counting what happens when you see what the FOTW sees in the mirror.
  • "Dichotic": A painfully long and unnecessary sequence of Ian splitting himself into two.
  • "Visage": The shapeshifting Tina Greer returns with truckloads of soft nightmare fuel. Normally, you might be a little creeped out by Clark suddenly and violently kissing Lana, but it pales in comparison as you get to see Chloe apparently smelling Lana's underwear, then proceed to leer and grope at her (instant cure for Chloe infatuation), Lana beating Pete unconscious with a cold sneer, and Whitney beating an officer to death casually with a bat. Comes with generous doses of Shapeshifters Do It for a Change and Shapeshifting Squick. Even her last words give you the creeps, and it is preceded by Karmic Death by Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • "Accelerate": True to the name, this episode features a freak of the week who is a clone of a 10-year old girl, created by her father due to grief over her death, and is rapidly aged to 10, and as a side effect, she has Super-Speed. Not scary? Every time she appears, it is accompanied with extremely "girly-ghost-creepy" music. And then they found the lab with a few more cloned bodies. And then she gets Lana to play with her at the bridge over the river like how they used to. Lana tells her how the little girl died, and said she wishes everyday that it was her who died. Big mistake.
    Emily: This time, it will be. (Complete with murderous expression; proceeds to drown Lana with a push)
    • The episode was creepy from start to finish. When Lana was alone at the Talon some old movie suddenly started playing complete with creepy music. We didn't see the girl's Super-Speed at first, she just appeared and disappeared. Her Super-Speed was revealed when Clark and Pete were discovering her grave. When she's at the bridge with Lana we know what happened and there's a cut to the girl's father explaining that she doesn't have a concept of right and wrong. The original Emily's last entry in her diary said that she would go to the bridge and play with Lana tomorrow and she hoped it wouldn't rain. Cut to Lana explaining that they had already been to the bridge, it was raining and she slipped into the river. Emily saved her but drowned.

    Season Three 
  • "Exile" (and part of the next episode, "Phoenix"): A full episode of Clark doing horrible things (although it does have shades of Superdickery, the Beware the Superman tone seems stronger) including but not limited to robbing banks (beating up the would-be robbers on the way), roughing up Chloe after she spent two months trying to convince him to go home, making a deal with a crime boss to break into a high-security vault and coming to actual blows with Jonathan. Oh, he stole and destroyed Chloe's class ring too. He is actually affected by the red kryptonite in Chloe's ring, and breaking it finally frees him from his Superpowered Evil Side. This is all made worse by how he is burned by Jor-El's mark every once in a while, which forces him to take off the ring; but once he does so his grief and guilt makes him put it on again in a self-destructive cycle reminiscent of heavy drinking.
  • The entire Jonathan and Martha Kent subplot in "Extinction". Picture this just a few months ago you and your spouse lost the baby you never thought you had, and then out of nowhere some sniper shoots your adopted son because of some crazy vendetta. Further, if you can't get the bullet out in time, your son will die.
  • "Slumber": The Traveler, even if he only appears in Clark's dreams, is a horrifying Grim Reaper-like figure in red, the manifestation of Sarah's fear of her sociopathic uncle, Nicholas Conroy. Heck, he's one of the few villains that Clark can't defeat.
  • "Shattered": Lex is attacked by assassins, so he hides at the Kents. Then he starts hallucinating and singing lullabies to an imaginary baby. It is creepier than it sounds. When it's Lana's turn to watch over him, he goes berserk and throws her into the stable, where she is badly trampled by a horse.
  • "Delete": In a manner reminiscent of "Visage", an unknown assailant runs Chloe down with a truck, she narrowly avoids it when she falls to the ground; the driver steps out of the car seemingly to finish off the visibly terrified Chloe, then you see that he is Clark Kent (Chloe later admits she thought Clark actually wants to kill her for her brief Face–Heel Turn earlier and almost thinks she deserves it). Then Lana gives her a long, brutal beating while being literally Ax-Crazy. And some woman stabs some guy in the head. Through his ear. Jonathan tries to strangle Chloe with a chain and Martha goes after her with a sickle. They are all mind controlled, and horrified when they find out what they did.
    Chloe: Lana, hey, I've been looking for you.
    (Lana grabs her head and smashes it against the wall, then throws her down the stairs)
    Chloe: (Struggles to her feet) Lana, what are you doing!?
    Lana: Killing Chloe Sullivan.
  • "Obsession": Seriously, Clark (and Lana and Chloe by extension) should learn by now that all their love interests other than each other (no, not including that) turn out to be psychos. Alicia goes after Lana with a knife, using her teleportation powers in a manner eerily similar to Emily in season 2, "Accelerate".
    • Lionel cutting off Adam's serum, which keeps him alive. The non-chalant way he basically sentences the poor guy to death is chilling, and then he just leaves him alone to die in the dark. The last thing we hear before the episode ends is Adam screaming for help, while the lights go out one by one.
  • "Resurrection": A guy was brought back to life by a secret serum. Then his eyes bleed as he started dying. Again.
  • "Crisis": Lana makes a time-traveling phone call as Lightning Can Do Anything collides with the omnipotent Green Rocks. She is apparently fatally shot, but when Clark runs to the Talon she is with Chloe and is completely fine. After that it is a series of terrifying moments of You Can't Fight Fate. Except Clark could, due to pure awesomeness.
  • "Covenant": Near the end, while beautiful classic music plays, everything goes in slow motion, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?? Lex thrashes on the floor dying from poisoned wine, Jonathan lies unconscious in the Kawatche Caves, Clark is abducted by Jor-El, Chloe and her father meet a fiery end in a huge explosion the moment they arrive at a new house, and Lionel gets his head shaved. The worse part is when Chloe is apparently blown into a million pieces (the turning point of the slow motion sequence), nothing changed, not the music, not the tempo. It is as if no one cares. It is that cold feeling of indifference that gets to you.

    Season Four 
  • "Gone": The freak of the week could transform his body to living metal and morph it into weapons. First he stabbed Lionel out of nowhere to beautiful music, then he tracks down Chloe and strangles her with a metal claw while grinning widely.
  • "Transference": It's more Squick than Nightmare Fuel, but...Lionel-in-Clark accidentally fires his heat vision (which indicates he is aroused) when hugging Martha. He also has a long flirt with Chloe, then pull back at the last possible moment when they are about to kiss, with the cruelest of manners. May count as a Tear Jerker.
    Lionel-as-Clark: Don't you wish...Miss Sullivan.
  • "Spell": An extremely creepy episode involving Lois, Lana and Chloe being possessed by evil witches. Special mentions goes to a depowered Clark begging Chloe to help him, she pretends to recognize him for a moment before cruelly denying it with a blood-chilling Evil Laugh. Chloe even digs holes in Clark's chest with her fingers then apparently sucks his blood.
  • "Bound": Lex wakes up to find a bloodied corpse of the girl he bedded last night next to him.
  • "Scare": Exactly What It Says on the Tin, up to eleven. Lana comes to Clark in the loft, says that dating Jason is a mistake, they make out, Jason shows up and somehow manages to beat Clark up. Lana then stabs him with a pair of scissors. Chloe was sneaking around in a Luthor Corp plant when the lights went out. She finds a sitting figure, with its back to her and speaks in her mother's voice, saying that she could not escape. It then turns show some horrible zombie-thingy. Chloe starts a bloodcurdling scream, and is then trapped in a straitjacket before fainting in Clark's arms. It is a LOT scarier than it sounds. Lana apparently wakes up at the morgue. The covers on the bodies are pulled to show the corpses of her parents, Chloe and Jason. The last table contains another nightmarish zombie-like creature saying that everyone will leave her, and she also starts screaming. It is All Just a Dream, caused by some fear gas. The antidote Lex's men made does nothing but making it worse and kills the first man they tried it on. In Clark's nightmare, the hospital is hit by another meteor shower. Lana finds out the meteorite rocks hurt him, blames him for her parents' death and stabs him with kryptonite.
  • "Pariah": Lana being suffocated in the shower by the shower curtains, then Jason is strangled by a scarf, both by apparently no one.
  • "Recruit": Geoff uses his power to put a person under full paralysis. Twice. He kills one and tries to kill the other. While they are conscious.
  • In "Forever", the freak of the week has the power to freeze anyone he touches, almost like a wax figure. The scary part comes when whenever he freezes someone, they can still move their eyes and are so fragile, they break apart like the T-1000. He seizes a petrified girl's head and shatters it like glass. He eventually got a Karmic Death.

    Season Five 
  • "Mortal": The twin Belle Reeve escapees are made of creepiness.
  • "Thirst": Lana gets turned into a vampire once she joins an exclusive sorority. She sucks half the blood out of Chloe then attacks Clark while he is weakened by kryptonite.
  • "Splinter": Silver kryptonite makes Clark insanely paranoid. He hallucinates being stalked, and that Chloe told her secret to Lionel, which makes him shout that he should never had trusted her. He attacks just about everyone close to him with the exception of Chloe, who subdues him with green kryptonite just in time to save the Kents. This further convinces him that she betrayed him and he runs away saying they are all working against him.
  • "Tomb": Scenes starts with an ominous thunderstorm. Can't see this going wrong... Then you see dropped jeans, a shirt and girl's underwear... turns out it is only Chloe taking a shower. Then the lights went out. Some sort of walking corpse appears behind her. When Lois comes running after hearing her scream, she finds her on the floor whimpering and with her wrists cut.
    • Then Chloe sees it again in the hospital. Lana sees that as a hallucination and the medical staff drags Chloe back to her bed as she becomes increasingly hysterical. Extra scariness factor from the fact that her mother is locked up in an asylum for a hereditary mental illness and Chloe is terrified of going down the same path.
    • Then the corpse's face suddenly appears next to Clark, who is sitting on Chloe's bed. It then retreats into a wall and reveals that it is actually the ghost of whoever the remains behind the wall belongs to. The creepiness continues as it possesses Chloe revealed by a reflection. She ransacks Lana's room for a weapon and stuns Lex with a taser.
    • Some random creepy guy (actually the guy who is responsible for the skeleton in the wall) asked Lois if she had seen Chloe then stifles her into unconsciousness.
    • Chloe, possessed by the ghost, seeks out the guy and accuses him of murder, breaking down in tears and sobs in the progress. Then he ties up both Lois and Chloe and had another creepiness-filled conversation...
  • "Void": Lana takes a drug that literally brings someone to the Void and back. Said repeated death experiences is not exactly good for health. The other student who took it starts to choke when Chloe is questioning her, vomits blood and die painfully right in front of Chloe.
  • "Fragile": The glass-controlling freak of the week stabs a police officer with his own glasses.
  • "Mercy": Some hacker appears in a scary metallic mask and plays hangman with Lionel's life, then trap him in his office and gives off the sense of being everywhere. Then he starts a series of Death Traps...
  • Brainiac. Just about everything about him is Nightmare Fuel. The cold personality, the ruthless manipulation of everyone around him, the Squick-inducing ability to Mind Probe/possess victims by thrusting liquid metal fingers into their eyes (also his preferred method of killing), the matter of fact way he talks about eradicating life, how he morphs to and from a black puddle...he's this trope personified. Oh, he also enjoys using his heat vision to burn stuff up For the Evulz.
    • His possessed victims tend to be even more horrifying that he is.

    Season Six 
  • Everything to do with the Phantoms. They're basically alien demons sent to the Phantom Zone for inter-galactic crimes, and the entire plot of the season is that they're now free. They're easily the most dangerous enemies Clark faced up to this point, and are completely ruthless towards civilians.
  • "Zod": The Phantom Zone. It is called the Phantom Zone for a reason. Zod also stabs Lana with a pole. Through her hand.
  • "Wither": Chloe and Jimmy finds a dead girl with widely staring eyes in the dark woods impaled by large branches.
    • Then vines grow out of a guy's stomach.
  • "Static": The freak of the week rips all the bones from his victims. Bone marrow all over the place. Eating a guy alive. Better keep these entries short - season six seems to pack an unholy amount of unnecessary gore.
  • "Subterranean": The Freak Of The Week is pretty damned horrifying by himself, being a farmer keeping immigrants as slave labour and using his powers to drag any would escapees into the ground to suffocate. But Clark takes him down, problem solved. Cut to the guy on an operating table and Lex instructing a doctor to "put him with the others." Lex then strides out with total calm as truely spine chilling music plays, walking past cage after cage as hands desperately, pleadingly reach out at him. The door closes behind him with the fatal legend "33.1"note  emblazoned upon it. If there was any doubt which team Lex is now playing for they are now gone.
  • "Labyrinth": When Shelby starts barking, Clark goes to investigate. Suddenly, he is ambushed by something and wakes up in a mental institute. Everything changed, Lex has an amputation because of Clark, Martha is married to Lionel, etc. Chloe appears to be the only one who knows what is happening. Then there is a painful mental tug-of-war as Lana and Chloe tries to convince him that she is telling the truth. Chloe is then shot in the chest by officers, adamantly stating that she is as sane as he is, twitches a few times and dies in his arms. Throughout most of the episode there is no real music... just an extremely ominous hum. It is an illusion by a phantom. The cracks in the fake reality begins to show as every name he finds - on books, noticeboards, etc. are people he knows.
  • "Freak": Lex Luthor has his people abduct Chloe to his secret lab then experiment on and painfully humiliate her. Chloe figures out she is the next in line to be killed and orders Clark to burn a hole in her shoulder to remove the tracking device, and is about to stab herself before Clark is forced to comply. Her screams of pain would make anyone's blood run cold. At the end of the episode, Lex watches a video of Chloe stripped naked and strapped to the experiment table. As she struggles, he delivers this line with a hint of Psychotic Smirk:
    Lex: Regarding our most recent subject...keep a close eye on her.
  • "Nemesis": A phantom killing two people. More horrifying than it sounds.
  • "Prototype": Same as "Nemesis"... with freeze frames and nice close ups.
  • "Phantom": A phantom possesses an old man and rips innards from the Martian Manhunter. It then leaves the body in a rather bloody fashion.

    Season Seven 
  • Bizarro. Unlike in the comics or in the DC Animated Universe, where Bizarro is usually only confused and stupid rather than actually evil (he actually pulled a Heroic Sacrifice in Superman: The Animated Series), in Smallville, he could give Brainiac a run for his money, if not worse because this Bizarro radiates malicious joy of destruction and is dangerously intelligent. He first gorily assaulted Martian Manhunter last season as mentioned before, and repeats his signature style on humans. When in his child host, he is the Enfant Terrible of the highest degree. You really want to skip the part when the child wakes up. There is no Gory Discretion Shot to protect your sanity. Keep the Brain Bleach handy.
  • "Cure": "Dr. Curtis Knox" is compared to Jack the Ripper, to which he psychotically smirks and replies "I was Jack the Ripper." The Bee Girl from Season One showing up, happily reformed and now having an innocent, naive personality...and being horribly betrayed by Dr. Knox. And Chloe goes to a him to be cured of her meteor infection. He decides to cut out her heart instead. He is actually already cutting open her skin when Clark rushes in.
  • "Fracture": A full episode of Nightmare Fuel. To put it simply, like Batman, Lex Luthor's mind is NOT a nice place to be.
  • "Descent": Lex and Lionel's confrontation that ends with Lex finally killing his emotionally abusive father.
    Lex: I was raised in your shadow. Now you're going to die in mine.
    • The chilling but beautiful shot reflection of Lionel falling to his death in Lex's pupil.
  • "Arctic": Lex showing up at the Fortress of Solitude. Chloe is forced to use kryptonite on Kara. No-Sell, because it is actually Brainiac. He uses his Mind Probe fingers on her, rendering her catatonic.

    Season Eight 
  • "Identity": Chloe finds the somewhat-sympathetic bad guy of the week in a hospital bed. Wearing ominous black gloves. She takes those off and Mind Rapes him into a catatonic state. There is some kind of horrifying grandeur in seeing the resident Nice Girl does this with a tiny Psychotic Smirk.
  • "Bloodline": The Phantom Zone again. The fact that Kara has been stranded alone there against an army of ghastly phantoms for a year and is clearly traumatized by it. Faora strangles Chloe and stabs Davis.
  • "Legion": The shattered ruins of a happy wedding, destroyed by Doomsday's rampage. Brainiac possesses Chloe. She coldly and cruelly announces that she is going to make Davis into Doomsday. Completely with glowing silver eyes and Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress. Brainiac then taunts Clark of his inability to kill Chloe. Really, anything Brainiac does has their Nightmare Fuel rating tripled in Chloe's body.
  • "Turbulence": Being on a private jet that is going down, with the pilot nowhere in sight. Jimmy wakes up on his hospital bed and hears Chloe's shouting. When he gets up, she runs past his room only to be locked into another room with Doomsday. All Jimmy could do is watch as she is dragged in, screaming and kicking, and her blood splatters all over the window he is watching through. It is a hallucination.
  • Doomsday. What else did you expect from a creature of pure rage, strength and destruction? His very presences provides instant ignition of Mass "Oh, Crap!". Not to mention the whole transforming sequence.
  • "Eternal": A black egg cracking open, pouring out a sickly yellow liquid, forming a small boy.
  • "Injustice": The Parasite looks more human than his usual comic book image, but manages to be downright creepy and disturbing anyway. Tess setting off an explosive chip inside Chloe's head. It is actually Eva in disguise.

    Season Nine 
  • "Metallo": Corben getting hit by a truck and is made into Metallo. It is not pretty.
  • "Pandora": General Bad Future stuff. Most of humanity either dead or enslaved, the Earth turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the Kent Farm—aka the most homey, warm and loving place on the show—being used as a gulag by the Kryptonian invaders, Green Arrow likely getting shredded by a literal swarm of Kryptonians, and a very detailed shot of Alia impaling Chloe on a sword.

    Season Ten 
  • Darkseid. A God of Evil who can make you help him achieve his goals just by tapping into your weaknesses, and you won't even know that it's happening.
  • In Icarus, an anti-vigilante mob attacks Oliver. When Carter and Courtney break up the fight, the civilians start picking up rocks, clearly intending on making the attack continue even more brutally. What makes it nightmare-inducing is that Courtney is a teenager.