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Nightmare Fuel / Sofia the First

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It's just a normal, Lighter and Softer Disney cartoon for preschoolers, nothing's scary here...right...?

  • Sofia considers Cedric a friend and has no idea he's evil. While he's generally a pretty harmless villain, it's still unnerving to see everyone acting like he's a trusted friend.
    • Becomes Nightmare Retardant in the second season, in which he does genuinely becomes more of a friend in return and helps out despite his evil ambitions. Eventually, this genuine friendship is what prevents Cedric from achieving his evil goal when he has the chance and causes him to undergo a Heel–Face Turn instead.
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  • Miss Nettle's evil schemes involve pretending to be nice to gain others' trust, and she escapes without consequence in her second appearance. She also traps Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather in inescapable bubbles that can only be broken with her own wand.
  • Princess Ivy uses magic dragonflies to make her enemies forget whatever she wants them to forget. When she first encounters Sofia and Amber, she threatens that if they try to stop her, she'll zap them so many times they won't even remember their names.
    • Princess Ivy in general is pretty eerily psychotic. The insinuation that she attempted to assassinate her own older sister doesn't help.
  • In "Winter's Gift", Winter the faun wanted Glacia the mountain witch to give her an ice touch. This resulted in her being unable to touch her friends and family for fear of freezing them.
  • As a general rule, people seem content to turn a blind eye to the darker elements of the world, presenting the rather distinct possibility that it is actually a Crapsaccharine World.
    • The wishing well seems like a Hal 9000 reference sitting eerily in the middle of this otherwise idyllic fairy tale world. We later learn that Roland making a wish on it is literally what killed his first wife.
    • One of the rules for the Conjuration Contest in Mystic Meadows was "no summoning of spirits from the netherworld", confirming that either necromancy or demon summoning (or both) exist in this world.
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    • When the local village didn't have enough harvest, Roland ordered that Cedric just head down and magic up more food, fixing the problem literally overnight. How convenient and idealistic! ... But what about villages that aren't essentially the castle's front porch? And what would happen if a kingdom's local sorcerer happened to be preoccupied with other urgent matters, or couldn't get components to create the growth powder? Basically the people are so dependent on magic to fix their biggest problems that anything disrupting that routine would have rapid and dire consequences.
    • What about the fact that Sofia gets into so many life and death situations? You would think that some of the older wizards, fairies, and witches would make a group similar to the Protectors, considering all the evil magical villains in the show (most of them have reformed, but only thanks to Sofia, who shouldn't have to be the one fixing all the magical problems in the first place! And she doesn't even have extensive magical training to rely on, so if she loses the Amulet, she won't be able to defend herself. And I seriously doubt her Protector items would help her against a skilled sorcerer).
  • There is something unsettling about Wendell the young wizard in "Minimus is Missing". His demeanor and facial expressions cross the line from Spoiled Brat to The Sociopath, and the creepy music he plays hypnotizes every pegasus to fly willingly into captivity, chanting "Wendell is wonderful, Wendell is wonderful..." in a Creepy Monotone.
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    • His reappearance in a later episode further suggests that he has a genuine personality disorder, but somewhat mitigates the Nightmare Fuel by making it clear that he doesn't have to be bad all the time and he can still socialize with others without any gain to himself, plus making him more sympathetic by showing how said personality disorder negatively affects his life.
  • Grotta the Fliegel in "The Fliegel Has Landed" gets others to do what she wants, or else she'll turn them into salamanders. Or in one case, turn an actual salamander into a mole.
  • Elena of Avalor reveals that Princess Elena was trapped inside the Amulet of Avalor after saving her grandparents and younger sister from the sorceress Shuriki. It puts a very dark light on Ivy wanting to destroy the amulet.
    • Made worse in the Grand Finale, when Sofia is briefly sucked inside the amulet and we get to see what it was like for Elena...basically, trapped inside a small chamber with nothing but her own reflection to keep her company. And it bears repeating: she was in this condition for over four decades.
  • In the crossover special, Roland and Miranda accidentally put their own children in jeopardy by going to meet Shuriki. If one views the scene when they discover Shuriki is a murderous dark witch from their perspective, there's definite Adult Fear.
    • An entire scene is very effectively chilling, done without any dialogue. Sofia and her family are riding with Shuriki in her carriage toward the castle. Sofia is sitting right next to Shuriki, who smiles at her, trying to seem kind. Sofia looks very uncomfortable, and suddenly experiences brief flashes of her earlier vision showing Shuriki killing Elena's parents and then attempting to do the same to Elena as well. No words need to be said to drive the point home: Sofia is frightened because she is well aware that she is sitting right next to a murderer.
  • In "Day of the Sorcerers", Cedric comes really, really close to taking over the kingdom, freezing almost the entire royal family in an And I Must Scream situation. Even Sofia isn't actually able to stop him; his plan only fails because, due to Sofia's previous kindness, he can't bring himself to actually freeze her when he has the chance.
    • The villain of this episode is Grimtrix "the Good", who was previously introduced and revealed to be Evil All Along in an earlier episode. Unlike Cedric, the show plays Grimtrix and his diabolical aspirations dead-seriously, and Billy West, known for playing comedic characters, is perfectly sinister voicing him.
  • With Princess Ivy's Heel–Face Turn Prisma picks up where she left off as a threatening, remorseless villain. What makes her possibly scarier is that, after The Reveal that she's the evil Crystal Master rather than her sister like she'd claimed, she still doesn't lose her polite, whimsical, usually blissful demeanor, switching between Affably Evil and Faux Affably Evil at the drop of a hat all while she's doing terrible things and taking sadistic pleasure in seeing others suffer from her actions.
  • In "Through the Looking Back Glass", Sofia asked Cedric to help her with a shrinking spell that uses Dwindle Dust as it's too powerful for her to use alone. In the middle of the episode, Cedric and Cordelia's arguing caused them to use so much Dwindle Dust that the spell started to shrink the castle. Dwindle Dust has no effect on people, so while the castle was shrinking in on everyone, it would've squeezed them to death!
  • Dear lord. In "Best in Air Show", when a hoop fell onto Windfall (the horse Grand Mum was riding on), he bucked her right off, and she fell from the sky. Luckily, Minimus came to catch her, thus saving her life. Grand Mum wouldn't have made it had she fallen to the ground.
  • In "The Royal Dragon", when Crackle bumped into Sofia, her amulet fell off, causing her into turn human again in thin air. Thank goodness the Duchess saved her from falling to the ground.
  • The three pranksters from Hexley Hall in "Substitute Cedric" plan to fill the entire Royal Prep school building with magical bubbles to the extent that it'll float into the air. As bad as that is on it's own, they do it whilst there's still kids inside it. Had the bubbles popped suddenly or been unable to hold up the school, the entire building crashing to the ground would definitely have caused serious injuries or possibly even killed them. And they show no concern for this, merely laughing that they'll be remembered as the greatest pranksters in Hexley Hall history.
    • The pranksters themselves are a bit frightening because they're not much older than the royal students yet take great pleasure in casting malicious or potentially harmful spells on them. Examples include making the hall floor slippery so that they fall, making them float and spin endlessly in mid-air and lifting Sir Gillium up to the clock tower and sticking him to the floor of the spinning mechanism so he can't get down.
  • The Grand Finale Forever Royal is definitely the darkest and most nightmare-inducing installment of the series.
    • Vor is quite an intimidating villain. The most evil menace Sofia has ever faced of all. She plays Prisma like a fiddle and then the moment she emerges from the locket, her evil spirit dives into Prisma's body, taking control of her. Vor also explains her evil plan on just how she wants Sofia to suffer.
    Vor: I've decided that the sweetest revenge is taken not on Sofia herself, but on what she holds dearest to her heart. Her family, her home. I will trap Sofia in the Mystic Isles and take possession of her castle, her kingdom, and the Ever Realm itself!
    • Sofia rushes to warn her family of Vor's plan, when Vor appears right in front of her! Sofia uses her Enchantlet to lasso Vor's wrist, but Vor snaps the rope, causing Sofia to lose her balance and fall off the bridge. Thank god Minimus came to the rescue and caught her on his back just in time.
    • Sofia wishes for Vor to be trapped inside the Amulet— only for Vor to snatch her by the ankle, intent on dragging her inside with her! Amber grabs Sofia's hand to save her, but the force is too strong and the two sisters' hands break apart, and she can only watch in horror as Sofia is sucked into the Amulet with Vor.
      • Here's something even more disturbing. Craig Gerber mentioned that when Sofia and Vor (and by extension Elena ) were sucked into the amulet, it was their spirits that were absorbed, not their physical bodies. That's pretty disturbing. They essentially died, with their consciousness intact, and could only be freed by outside forces. Of course, Vor is permanently dead, but still, this just became so much more disturbing.
    • It's revealed that Roland's first wish was for he and his wife to have children. It's possible that the queen's body just wasn't set up for childbirth, and she didn't survive the complications. King Roland accidentally killed his wife.
    • A minor moment in the Finale, but as Sofia is climbing to the highest point on the ship, singing about her destiny to her family, she jumps off the edge. It was clear exactly what everyone else was thinking, especially with Queen Miranda screaming a Big "Wait!" as Sofia fell. Thankfully, Sofia wished herself into a flying horse, but her parents will likely have a few more sleepless nights.
    • While it is undeniably an awesome moment, Vor's death is also kind of unsettling. Sofia literally kills her with The Power of Love, singing "my love will be the end of you", and the energy of Sofia's love surrounds Vor and appears to be depriving her of oxygen - evil was literally what sustained her, and love overwhelming it would be the equivalent of water filling her lungs. It even looks eerily reminiscent of the Earth Queen's death from The Legend of Korra.

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