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Nightmare Fuel / SpongeBob SquarePants

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Kenneth Parcell: Is SpongeBob SquarePants supposed to be terrifying?

A yellow sponge can't be scary, right?

Examples from the movie go HERE.

Moments pages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned!

Season 1

  • "Tea at the Treedome", which revolves around SpongeBob slowly dehydrating in Sandy's tree dome. His Madness Mantra of "I don't need it" while staring at a vase of water before he finally snaps, complete with a Heartbeat Soundtrack and Gross-Up Close-Up of his face, is pretty creepy.
  • Near the beginning of "Naughty Nautical Neighbors," Squidward laughs as he's eating a meal, and due to getting distracted for a moment, he chokes on his fork. We're treated to a shot lasting several seconds of Squidward choking on the fork, which is lodged in his throat, all while he makes painful choking sounds. Eventually, his face tuns blue and he passes out. Thankfully, Patrick saves him.
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  • The jellyfish stinging SpongeBob after he stops their music in "Jellyfish Jam" is unsettling, and the disturbing music certainly doesn't help either. We see graphic, violent shots of SpongeBob being stung by the jellyfish in full detail and in one frame, after he gets stung, you can see that he's blue and ripped in half for a split second! (no pun intended).
  • "Squeaky Boots", which is a parody of The Telltale Heart. Mr. Krabs becomes annoyed by the squeaky sound of these new boots he gave SpongeBob, so he steals them and hides them under the floorboard of the Krusty Krab. Back at the Krusty Krab, he has a disturbing hallucination sequence as a result of his guilt, in which he hears the squeaking everywhere and goes mad from it.
    "STOP IT!!! STOOOP IIIIT!!! Oh, oh, don't ya hear it?! Yes, I did it! I did it! I did it! I took the boots! They're heeere! Under the floor board! Oh, please! Make it stop! IT IS THE SQUEAKIN' OF THE HIDEOUS BOOTS!!! I'm sorry, but I can't take the infernal squeaking no more!
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  • An unused close up of SpongeBob with his brain exposed for "Scaredy Pants" was found online. It was most likely removed for a good reason.

Season 2

  • "Your Shoe's Untied" has a scene where SpongeBob, who doesn't know how to tie his shoes, tries to give Squidward a Krabby Patty. He hallucinates his shoelaces as hideous-looking snakes who choke him! This is worsened by the background slowly melting as it happens.
  • "Squid's Day Off" where SpongeBob is left in charge of the Krusty Krab while Squidward goes out to do some "errands". After running back and forth Squidward finally barricades himself in his house. "I'm not going to think about you know who, at the who know what, doing I don't care." Cut to creepy laugh and a psycho-looking Squidward with wide bloodshot eyes.
    • The music that plays in the scene mentioned above. It's very demented, creepy music box music and a kettle drum, ending with a loud "Psycho" Strings sting.
  • "Wormy" has live-action bug close-ups with loud buzzing. They come out of nowhere, especially the third time.
  • In "Pressure", Sandy gets into an argument with the other main characters about which is better: land animals or sea animals. They taunt her until she tries to prove her superiority by ripping her suit off and taking off her helmet and smashing it, leaving her wearing nothing but a bikini. The scene is frightening because her smashed helmet releases an air bubble which quickly floats away, and you can't help but think, "That was her only air!" The worst part is that her friends laugh at her as she begins drowning, until her lungs shrivel up and break off of her airways in an x-ray. Once she realizes she's about to die, she quickly finds a pickle jar which inexplicably has air in it and sticks her head into it.
  • "Shanghaied" features Squidward being thrown by the Flying Dutchman into the "Fly of Despair," an abyss filled with terrifying imagery and sounds.
    • There are also the alternate endings you could take a look at. They're even darker than the original ending; basically, what happens is that Patrick and Squidward both screw up the last wish and lead the trio to getting eaten for sure, not to mention that they're still alive, trapped in the Dutchman's stomach for all eternity.
  • In "Welcome to the Chum Bucket," SpongeBob tries to cook in the Chum Bucket kitchen and opens the oven to reveal a mutated burger. The meat part of it forms into a hand and starts crawling towards SpongeBob, muttering something incoherently.
  • "Frankendoodle." The doodle's babbling, raving voice, its violent intentions, and the way it's drawn are deeply disturbing.
  • The episode "Graveyard Shift" ends with all the scary things being explained rationally. But it turns out the lights had been going on and off because the vampire from Nosferatu had been flipping the light-switch. He's not even animated! And he makes a creepy smile at the end.
  • In "Procrastination", SpongeBob dreams that his house catches on fire as a result of SpongeBob putting off doing a report, and it suddenly becomes sentient, using its door for a mouth and port-hole window for an eye, and screams in agony as it burns. There's also the snail clock coming to life and saying in a sinister deep voice "Time's up, SpongeBob!" SpongeBob then sees the news anchor coming out of his TV after a report on him, and karate chops it in surprise. When the power goes out in SpongeBob's house, he lights a candle and hears someone cooing out his name. He turns around and sees his chair has gained a horrific-looking mouth and eyes and is coaxing him to "put his feet up" in a obscenely creepy voice. When he arrives at the table after running through a surreal landscape of melted clocks, a candle flame comes to life, saying "Only 799 words to go!" giving an Evil Laugh, and burning the report.

Season 3

  • The fourth Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode takes Body Horror to a new level; when trying to reverse the ray, SpongeBob puts Squidward through an increasingly painful series of agonizing morphs — catching fire, being cut in half by scissors, having no skin... the worst transformations happened offscreen, with hideous gurgling sound effects that left the true horror to the viewer's imagination, which only made it worse.
    • And then there's the part where the shrunken citizens attack SpongeBob from the inside. The especially jarring highlights include Squidward sawing a blood vessel and Nancy Suzy Fish chopping off a lung.
  • In "Clams," after Mr. Krabs loses his millionth dollar we see him slowly go completely insane. They cut back to Mr. Krabs, who begins giggling maniacally and tears his two eyes out, using them as a jumprope.
  • "The Great Snail Race" has two moments that qualify for this trope. First, the part where SpongeBob overworks Gary, causing the latter's shell and eye stalks to burst in the middle of the race. Then there's the part where Gary crashes in a giant fireball against a wall of tires.
  • The live-action gorilla, emerging from his animated Patrick suit in "I Had An Accident" and proceeding to beat the snot out of Patrick and Sandy. He even tears SpongeBob in half!
  • Believe it or not, the "cheap walk cycles" Fake-Out Opening in "The Sponge Who Could Fly" actually creeped out some younger audiences. This is mostly because SpongeBob acts strange where he goes from being happy, to being goofy, to acting paranoid about being followed, to explosive shock, over and over again without any explanation whatsoever. Sure, the scene is just for laughs, but even for this series, the comedy in this scene is so bizarre that young audiences can't help but feel creeped out by it. Patchy's Heroic BSoD afterwards doesn't help matters. It makes him "sorry [he] ever became a fan in the first place" and he runs away.

Season 4

  • "Fear of a Krabby Patty." SpongeBob hallucinating? Check. Uncanny, giant talking Krabby Patty that speaks only in horrifying gurgles? Check. SpongeBob terrified? Check. Disturbing allusions to real life psychiatric practices involving convincing patients they are sick just to squeeze more money out of them? Check. CHECK. CHECK!
  • Carl from "Selling Out" is rather creepy, especially considering how happy he is during his every line.
    Mr. Krabs: (after witnessing Squidward as a Stepford Smiler) What have you done to the real Squidward?
    Carl: The less you know, Eugene, the better.
    • Just prior to the lines above, Squidward absolutely insists that Mr. Krabs take a look at a certain page of the employee handbook. The page he indicates has a piece of paper taped to it with the words "HELP ME" written on it. Just to add a little nightmare fuel to the fire, that creepy, plastered-on smile never leaves Squidward's face.
  • "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture". When SpongeBob was shooting the movie, after a scene (specifically, Pearl falling off the cliff) destroys the whole set, SpongeBob is disappointed but still relieved that they got the footage. Patrick agrees, but then SpongeBob notices something blocking the lens. Patrick then reveals that it's a lens cap, and that he put it on right before they started filming, therefore rendering the whole movie useless. SpongeBob then goes insane by breaking off a big chunk of the pavement and slurping the worms under it!! Even the characters were shocked. Granted, he gets better, but still...
  • The episode "SquidBob TentaclePants" features Squidward and SpongeBob becoming biologically fused due to one of Sandy's inventions. It's not so bad at first, but once everything seems to be resolved, Squidward wanted to be fused again, just so he could be a star... It ends with all the characters becoming trapped in an AKIRA-esque hideous flesh-colored blob with random moaning heads sticking out of it. It's probably one of the most crowning Nightmare Fuel moments in the show: in fact, it was so bad that some countries removed the scene entirely, thus leaving the episode with No Ending.
  • "Ghost Host", in which the Flying Dutchman's ship breaks down, forcing him to take up residence in SpongeBob's pineapple. The Dutchman tried several mildly scary things in order to disturb SpongeBob, and, towards the climax of the episode, appeared as a huge snake with a huge, grotesque baby's head, which melted, turning into an effigy of SpongeBob, whose eyes elongated into hideous wiggling white worms and squiggled onto the floor while spiders crawled out of his eye sockets and mouth. Also among his forms are a clown's head on the same worm-like creature, and a giant, disturbingly realistic (for this show) insect. It was intended to be a parody of an over-the-top horror movie, but managed to be incredibly horrifying.
    • In all fairness, the point is that the Dutchman has been in SpongeBob's house so long by that point, and pulling so many scary stunts each day, that SpongeBob has become immune to and bias about them.
    • One of the Dutchman's forms is inexplicably J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, who comes from the satirical religion of the Church of the SubGenius. While "Bob" is usually funny, if strange, the reference is so out-of-place that his presence is a bit disconcerting.
    • The Flying Dutchman also did the same thing to scare Squidward in the end because Squidward didn't believe in ghosts. He also manifested himself as a vision of Squid's mother moaning "Why haven't you called meeeee?" and then melting, prompting Squidward to run out of his house screaming.
      • Actually, what caused Squidward to run away screaming was when the Dutchman did a parlor trick that made it look like he was pulling his thumb off one hand.
    • At one part, SpongeBob opens a fridge and a huge monster head suddenly pops out and screams.
  • In the episode "Once Bitten", Gary gets "Mad Snail Disease" and goes on a biting spree, turning everyone into zombies. Some "survivors" are barricaded in the Krusty Krab, and when SpongeBob arrives (followed by a horde of zombies), the survivors refuse to let him in (although he manages to anyway). But Gary appears out of nowhere and SpongeBob protects him when the survivors decide to kill him "for his own good." However, there was no disease in the first place, and Gary was acting strangely because of a "splinter" stuck in him. Even so, the episode still ends with Gary biting Mr. Krabs for no reason whatsoever.
  • In one scene in the episode "Bummer Vacation", SpongeBob's sitting in Patrick's house after being forced by Mr. Krabs to take a vacation and hiring Patrick as his temporary replacement. When Patrick finds him, SpongeBob looks (and acts) completely insane! Look!
  • The entirety of "Squidtastic Voyage", where SpongeBob and Patrick go inside Squidward to get his clarinet reed out of his throat. During which they are screwing around with his bodily functions and at the end they end up GROWING inside of him...submarine and all.
    • The scene where they went into Squidward's brain! They messed around with his brain and made him spaz out against his will. One YouTube commenter actually said this episode made her paranoid that her brain hurt due to someone being in it. However, the brain cannot feel pain, so she'd be fine, but still, this episode can cause Paranoia Fuel!
  • In "The Gift of Gum", Patrick has given SpongeBob his prized possession: a house sized collection of gum that he's had for years, which apparently has all sorts of stuff like pizza, clothing and OTHER PEOPLE (they were living in it though). A good moment is when a pair of underpants comes out of the wad and it crawls to SpongeBob until it reaches his face, then it TALKS TO HIM!!!
    Underpants: YOU'RE... NOT... PATRICK...!!
    • Gummy is an Eldritch Abomination made out of gum and junk.
      SpongeBob: (to Sandy in a weak voice) The more you touch it, the angrier it gets.
      Sandy: Oh, that's just crazy talk. HI-YAH! (She attempts to chop a strand of gum, causing her hand to be caught in it. As Sandy pulls away, Gummy rumbles...)
  • "Rule of Dumb" has "King Patrick's" Villainous Breakdown. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this episode is that Patrick's IQ seems to go up with his evilness.
    Patrick: My loyal subjects have deserted me! And it's all because of that horrible Squidward! This is all his fault! His, his! Not mine! HIS! (a spring seems to pop out of Patrick's head)
    SpongeBob: Patrick, what's happened to you?
    Patrick: I don't know what you mean.
    SpongeBob: Um...(chuckles nervously) You know, actually, Mr. Krabs is probably wondering where I am, and—-
    Patrick: (threateningly) "And" what?
    SpongeBob: (meekly) And...well, it's...just're kinda bein' a...jerk.
    Patrick: Heheh...I thought you were going to say I was abusing my power...
    SpongeBob: (Nervous laughter) Well, I—-
    SpongeBob shrinks and high-tails it while Patrick is screaming
    Mirror Patrick: I am you, and you are me.

Season 5

  • "Money Talks". Mr. Krabs wishes he could talk to money, so the Flying Dutchman grants him that ability. However, the money wants to be spent, and Mr. Krabs, having a Money Fetish, refuses to do so. During the night, the money moan, "Speeeeeennnnnnd uuuuuuuuusssss..." in the creepiest tone possible.
    • Forgot to mention the fact that Mr. Krabs sold his soul for that to happen. Then it turns out he had already sold his soul to at least 20 other demonic entities, and SpongeBob to weasel out of a paycheck. What the hell is wrong with you, Mr. Krabs?!
  • "The Ick". It's a virus that causes green ooze to grow all over the victim's body. It's contagious on both touch and ingestion. Somehow, Squidward doesn't realize he's scratching a Ick-y spot, and a restaurant full of diners don't notice they're eating it. The only other known symptom is itchiness, but you have to wonder why Krabs called the SWAT team. And why they called the HAZMAT squad.
    • Ich is a real fish disease. The best way to explain it is that it's the equivalent of a flea to dogs and cats. It reproduces like crazy and feeds on blood and dead skin cells. However, it doesn't manifest itself as green fuzz, rather, it looks like somebody sprinkled salt on the fish.
      • It becomes more disturbing if you've ever dealt with Ich in aquarium fish. Ich is extremely contagious among fish because it has a fast breeding cycle and the fact that once the parasite encysts, it can stick to just about anything in the tank. If someone doesn't treat Ich, it's 100% fatal among fish.
  • "A Flea in Her Dome": In this episode Sandy brings a flea back from Texas. There's only one flea at first, but then it multiplies... and multiplies... until there's a huge WAVE of fleas inside the tree dome.
    • The worst part was seeing the details of the flea. And the screech...sweet mother of God, the screech.
  • The episode where Plankton brainwashes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy into hating the Krusty Krab. At one point, Plankton does what he did in his debut appearance and goes INSIDE OF MERMAID MAN'S HEAD THROUGH HIS EAR, STOPPING BEHIND HIS EYE.
  • The demented shot of SpongeBob's face from "WhoBob WhatPants", quite possibly the most terrifying thing to have ever come out of the show, arguably more scary than the "Moar Krabs" and "Sure Squidward" faces. If you're truly feeling brave enough, here's the image.
    SpongeBob: Is there something wrong with me?
  • "Spongehenge". Most of that episode is pretty funny, but the ending — where a bearded, crazed SpongeBob heads back to the Krusty Krab only to find it a derelict ruin, evoking the finales of both Planet of the Apes and the original ending of Army of Darkness — is unsettling: And the final shot of the far-future alien tourists examining the now-abandoned, eerily-piping huge stone SpongeBobs even more so. It was all somehow reminiscent of the ending of the original The Wicker Man...

Season 6

  • In "Gone," SpongeBob slowly goes insane after he realizes that he's the only person left in Bikini Bottom. He is convinced that his new boatmobile is out to get him and talks to a puppet of Patrick made out of Krabby Patty meat, which says some creepy things.
  • In "A Life In A Day", Patrick ends up pissing off some angry bikers and SpongeBob tries to talk them out of beating him up, saying that "he has been left a hollow shell of his former self." A cutaway is then shown of an Uncanny Valley-ish Patrick with big empty black holes where his eyes and mouth should be.
  • There's a rather gruesome scene in "Plankton's Regular", where SpongeBob is lying in front of the Chum Bucket's door, and the regular customer opens the door over him, scraping off his face in the process. It doesn't get really disturbing until he sits up, and you can see all the (rather detailed) muscles of his face exposed.
  • "Squid's Visit" has a somewhat creepy premise, with SpongeBob making his entire house look EXACTLY like Squidward's down to every minor detail. But the real creepy parts are when SpongeBob is heavily breathing with a crazed look while staring at Squidward, and at the end when Squid's house burns down-he then gets a VERY weird looking expression, and then has a fantasy of him having tea with his vacuum and he then says "Yes, I'd love another spot of tea, Mr. Vacuum Cleaner!" and "care for some casserole?" in an eerie tone underscored by unsettling background music, and then he starts laughing insanely with his eye-twitching while the screen zooms in on his face.
  • This face made by SpongeBob in "Porous Pockets."

Season 7

  • "Someone's In The Kitchen With Sandy" features Plankton stealing Sandy's fur and puppeteering it like some sort of grotesque flesh-robot. The act of obtaining the fur isn't so bad, as Sandy apparently wears it like a suit so she can just take it on and off, but the flesh-puppet that it becomes, with its Zombie Gait and nothing in its mouth and eye sockets...
  • In "A Pal For Gary", Gary is paired with a creature of similar size (a green blobby-thing that SpongeBob names "Puffy Fluffy") that opens its mouth and reveals tons of horrible-looking teeth. After eating a fridge worth of food, it grows into a massive, disgusting, all too detailed Eldritch Abomination with multiple Sarlacc-like tongues and tries to eat Gary and SpongeBob.
    • SpongeBob's behavior towards Gary in that episode was nightmarish; beyond sheer stupidity and ignorance. Throughout the entire episode, Fluffy is flat out trying to murder Gary and everytime Gary goes to SpongeBob to help him, the yellow idiot thinks Gary is being mean to Fluffy and not attempting to give the new pet a chance. At one point, Fluffy chews apart one of Gary's chew toys savagely with SpongeBob in the same damn vicinity, who just casually eats food and goes on to blame Gary.
  • "One Coarse Meal". Mr. Krabs takes advantage of Plankton's cetaphobia and drives him to suicide. And when SpongeBob tells Krabs about this, Krabs just laughs.
    • Plankton's nightmare is also unsettling to watch. He dreams he's being chased by Pearl in a cellar. Pearl catches up to Plankton and eats him, and we can see Plankton in the inside of Pearl's disgusting mouth, banging on her teeth, wanting to be let out. Pearl uses her tongue to knock Plankton down her throat into her stomach, in which Plankton sees his relatives from "Plankton's Army", all charred up in the acid. Then we cut to Pearl, who laughs evilly with Dramatic Thunder in the background. It's horrific for people with a phobia of WombLevels to sit through.
    • The fact that Mr. Krabs is dressing up as his daughter to scare Plankton. Pearl even explicitly states that whales eat krillin, not plankton. She doesn't want to scare Plankton. So Mr. Krabs actually dresses up as her! Combined with the above nightmare, this is insane, as Pearl is one of the nicest characters on the show.
  • Squidward's nightmare sequence in "Squidward in Clarinetland". Some, uh, highlights:
    • The disembodied Eagle head threatening him and laughing oh-so-creepily.
    • The file cabinets in the safe getting bigger and more maze-like was scary, it was not helped by SpongeBob laughing and running around in there.
      • When SpongeBob goes to open the locker, maggots eat the flesh off his hand!
  • To some extent, parts of "Earworm". One scene when SpongeBob ran back home like crazy while singing to the tune of "Musical Doodle, "The song that you ran from is back again. You wonder will the madness will ever end".
    • That whole scene. The Room Full of Crazy and SpongeBob's weird humming/babbling and whatever he was doing with his hands, "running" home on all fours looking utterly deranged, crawling up and down around the outside of his house and in through a window while creepy music plays...that whole sequence was just unsettling. The very premise of the episode: if a song gets stuck in your head, a parasite will take up residence in there and drive you completely insane.
    • "Round n' round, the record spins all day, listen again, it takes you FAR away..." feels like the song is telling you that you'll go mentally insane (which SpongeBob does) and wind up in a mental asylum if you listen to it repeatedly.
    • One scene that really crossed the line was when the earworm crawled into Squidward's head through his eye in his sleep. Then at the very end, Squidward screams.
    • The lyrics to the song get increasingly more disturbing as the episode goes on.
  • "Whelk Attack", in which Bikini Bottom is invaded by giant sea whelks who eat everything in sight. As if the premise wasn't scary enough, there's a scene near the end where SpongeBob and Patrick lend their corneas to Sandy.
  • "That Sinking Feeling", where SpongeBob and Patrick get everyone's houses buried underground. The premise isn't scary, but we get a scene where we see from first person view Squidward ANGRILY walking down a dark, claustrophobic tunnel up to SpongeBob and Patrick, like something out of Amnesia: The Dark Descent or Slender. Said scene also switches between the first person view of Squidward & the fearful reactions of SpongeBob & Patrick.

Season 8

  • The snow-monster thing from "Frozen Face-Off". It looks like a cross between Squidward and a Yeti, which is a lot worse than it sounds, especially because it's not animated in 2D animation, but in something that looks like Claymation.
  • In "Walking the Plankton", Plankton gets chopped in half by the boat's propeller blade.
  • "Plankton's Good Eye". Plankton decides to grow another eye resulting in many body horror scenes. Including one where eyes grow all over his body including inside his mouth.
  • The second half of "InSPONGEiac", dear gosh. SpongeBob loses sleep and halfway through the episode, Patrick gives him coffee to help him which makes him run uncontrollably. The scary part is when he starts hallucinating.
  • Squidward being fried alive and almost eaten in "Restraining SpongeBob".
    • Hell, Squidward's reaction to SpongeBob right afterwards. He's so traumatized and terrified that he shakes, screams, cries and hides under a table, then starts crawling up the wall just to get away from SpongeBob. It's clear that SpongeBob finally broke him and made him have a nervous breakdown.
  • Karen preparing to cut open Plankton with a saw to remove a Krabby Patty from his stomach in "For Here Or To Go". What makes this even worse is that she did it without giving Plankton any anesthetic first.
    • The context for this was that she was going to cut the Krabby Patty out of Plankton's stomach to analyze its composition so that they could recreate the Krabby Patty themselves. It works at first, with the Krusty Krab's customers flocking over to the Chum Bucket, only for them all to leave in disgust. When Plankton asks the reason for this, she states she did what he said, to analyze his stomach contents. ALL of his stomach contents...including his entrails.
  • "Planet of the Jellyfish" where, in a parody of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, alien jellyfish invade Bikini Bottom. They replicate everyone, except for SpongeBob and Sandy, speaking in a robot-like tone and having soulless black eyes. The alien leader is keeping the real Bikini Bottom citizens in pods hanging from the ceiling in the freezer. It becomes slightly Nightmare Retardant when you find out the aliens Weaksauce Weakness is... mayonnaise.
  • "Demolition Doofus". Mrs. Puff gets deflated (creepy in itself) and tries to kill SpongeBob. Not beat or injure him. Murder him.
    • Her Imagine Spot shows SpongeBob getting clobbered by thugs from all sides and when they clear up, all that's left of SpongeBob is his grave.
    • If that wasn't bad enough, her dialogue only makes it more disturbing when he doesn't get hurt:
  • Santa, of all people, in the Christmas special "It's A SpongeBob Christmas!", who looks like a pig-goblin hybrid straight out of the Uncanny Valley. Considering it's a Rankin-Bass parody, this was probably intentional.

Season 9

  • In "License to Milkshake", Captain Frostymug is graphically sucked into a milkshake maker.
  • In "Squid Baby," Squidward gets a brain injury so bad, he has the mentality of an infant for the majority of the episode. The doctor says that he will stay a baby forever if his head kept getting hit long enough. Guess what happens to Squidward for most of the episode regardless of the fact he gets better at the end.
  • SpongeBob's Madness Mantra in "Bumper to Bumper" is rather surreal.
    "Focus on the road. There is nothing but the road."
  • The whole "Don't Look Now" episode where SpongeBob and Patrick are convinced that a villain from a movie is after them. Their fear of said villain bothers Squidward so much that he decides to scare them.
    • Scarier than that is that this is a legitimate threat. "Hooky" proves that fisherman are a real concern.
    • When Patrick has Squidward's (as the Fisherman) hook lodged in his nostril, the hook line gets caught in SpongeBob's door, causing Patrick's face to rip off. We later see Patrick's exposed skull when he goes up to SpongeBob's room in the dark, and SpongeBob turns on the lights.
  • In "Pineapple Invasion", Plankton crawls into Gary's shell thinking the formula is there. The shell's Bigger on the Inside, consisting of not only your usual Womb Level environment, but caves and psychedelic landscapes. All while Gary's eye stalk is chasing Plankton. At one point, we see Plankton on an Alice in Wonderland-esque world full of Escher staircases. And then the episode ends with Gary at the vet's office and the vet revealing that it wasn't even real; Plankton had been in Gary's shell so long, the stink in the shell caused him to hallucinate. And the so-called formula he found? It was just an old grocery list.

Season 10

  • The whole concept of "Whirly Brains", and the fact that almost all of those who had a Whirly Brain got it kidnapped by a grumpy old fish. Imagine getting your brain kidnapped and not being to able find it. Hell, imagine turning your brain into a toy and using it to terrorize everyone!
  • "Mimic Madness" sees SpongeBob get the 'mocking mimicry madness,' which leads him to imitate everyone he comes across thinking this is the 'sincerest form of flattery.' While it's mostly funny at first, and leads us to gems like this one, near the end of the episode; he can't remember who he is and launches into a heart-rending musical number. His friends come there to the rescue, though, and start imitating him, thus he remembers who he is again. However there is a twist - his friends get the 'mocking mimicry madness', and the episode ends with Squidward having his subconscious (represented by two copies of himself knocking on his eyes) begging to be let out of his real self!
  • "Feral Friends", in which a strange moon devolves the sea creatures of Bikini Bottom... Plus, Sandy the squirrel appears to be the only one left. It's pretty unsettling seeing the majority of the fish transformed into realistic, primitive wild animals... Some fish, like SpongeBob and Patrick, are left mostly harmless, while others like Squidward and Pearl, become gigantic and monstrous beasts willing to devour anything!
  • "Code Yellow" has the scene where SpongeBob performs surgery on Squidward: his heart flies up into the air, he chops him up into sushi to serve to the other fish, and accidentally chops his head off offscreen.

Season 11

  • The scene set inside SpongeBob's mind in "The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom" triples as this, a Funny Moment and a Moment of Awesome, since it was animated by Sally Cruikshank, but you gotta admit the Flying Dutchman was right to be freaked out by that baby SpongeBob.
  • The ending of "Teacher's Pests", where after SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs, and Plankton are caught in an explosion, they're sewn together; Plankton is now replacing one of Mr. Krabs' eyes, and Mr. Krabs' head is sewn to SpongeBob, who's missing the top of his head where his eyes were. And the episode abruptly ends right there.
    SpongeBob: Forget class, now we can be together forever!
  • The entirety of "Krabby Patty Creature Feature", as the ghoulish premise has Sandy Cheeks create a new Krabby Patty that causes everyone who eats it to become a Krabby Patty zombie. The Krabby Patty zombies are scary alone, but they also are shown to be able to infect people and make them become Krabby Patty zombies by feeding themselves to their victims. And then at the end, Patrick, who is still a patty zombie, attempts to offer a bite to the viewer. This means one of two things: (1. that the zombies may still be out there and this time around there may not be any more chum to cure them, and (2 that Patrick was trying to offer a bite to the viewer... Now how did the patty monsters infect the uninfected again?)
  • "Cuddle E. Hugs". SpongeBob meets an imaginary friend, the titular Cuddle E. Hugs, a giant hamster who can only be seen by eating an old, moldy Krabby Patty. Things start off innocently enough and is even heartwarming at points. However, things start to go wrong when SpongeBob becomes sad that his other friends don't believe Cuddle E. Hugs is real, and is then suggested by the hamster himself that he shares the old sandwich to everyone in town. And when everyone does eat the moldy Krabby Patty at The Krusty Krab, Cuddle E. Hugs goes on to eat all of SpongeBob's friends in a rather creepy manner. Granted, the fact that everyone wasn't really eaten since Cuddle E. Hugs is just imaginary dilutes the horror, but the subject matter is still pretty dark for a SpongeBob episode. And the "E" in Cuddle's middle name? It stands for "Eat".
    SpongeBob: No, Cuddle E. Hugs, no!
  • In "Ink Lemonade," Patrick and SpongeBob decide to bake cookies and serve them to Squidward. The secret ingredient? Spider eggs. The episode ends with Squidward screaming while spewing out ink and spiderlings at the same time!
  • While "Stuck on the Roof" is a comedic episode about SpongeBob's inability to get down and going so far as to eventually build an entire replica Krusty Krab, the end certainly qualifies. The replica becomes the Krusty Krab itself because the weight of it pushes the original deep underground, and SpongeBob is now at ground-level and no longer stuck. However, Squidward was sleeping in the original and gets a massive flood of dirt in his face after opening the door and screams with nobody there to hear him.

Season 12

  • "Spongebob in Randomland" seems fairly normal for the most part (as normal as a Spongebob episode can get)...until this part. Squidward finds himself confronted by a series of doors and while the first two are a bit off settling, the third door simply features his bedroom...only to be hit with a Jump Scare of himself with red eyes and black dripping tears with some ominous creepy screaming in the background. That's right: Spongebob referenced Squidward's Suicide.


  • SuperSponge has several terrifying bosses like the shark sub, sea snake, bronze dogfish, and The Flying Dutchman. The former three can be quite scary looking, not to forget the accompanying boss music. In the GBA version, some enemies and bosses have a more aggressive appearance than in the PlayStation version. Some later levels can look grim.

Revenge of the Flying Dutchman

  • The whole idea of The Dutchman stealing SpongeBob's friends one by one.
  • Some of the levels seem dark and depressing, such as Downtown Bikini Bottom, which is set entirely at night and has no background characters except for the construction workers, with eel thugs patrolling the streets.
  • Enemies can be unsettling, particularly the first eel you meet just standing at an empty counter in the Krusty Krab, and the clown anglerfish.
  • The Lighthouse and Shipwreck areas have no music at all, save for the sounds of rain and thunder, making for an unsettlingly somber and atmospheric level. There's also something unnerving about a horde of giant jellyfish just floating calmly during this storm at the top, silhouetted by the lighthouse's light.
  • The fact that there are wildcat snails close to playing children in Jellyfish Fields.
  • Chum Land due to its hazardous nature and the fact that most of the friendly clowns seem to off themselves by going into the sickeningly polluted goo after their mini-games are beat.
  • The mini-games are nothing but the inside of SpongeBob's head with his eyes turned back and looking around while everything involved in the current level swerves about with great madness.

Battle for Bikini Bottom

  • SpongeBob when he's in Sandy's treedome.
  • Rock Bottom, the Industrial Park, and the Flying Dutchman's Graveyard.
  • Patrick's Dream; it's nothing but a big black void with just Patrick, a lightbulb, the spatula, you, and a gate suspended in the middle of nowhere. Its obviously intended to be a joke, but it can be rather unsettling, especially compared to how Patrick's Dreams are portrayed in the show. Should you try to explore the void, the layout just ends up looping and you might find yourself back with Patrick.
  • Squidward's Dream is full of portraits of his "does this look unsure to you?" face, with a huge one right behind where you start the level.
  • The Robot Patrick boss fight. Think about it. You're fighting a giant, robotic version of one of the strongest characters in SpongeBob history, who's bathing in a pool of acid so you can't get to him, and he can freeze you solid, which can screw you over on several occasions. Not to mention that his ice cream is poisonous, which he spills everywhere when he licks it. And all just to save Squidward.
  • Some of the robots can be this, especially the Sleepy-Time and Slick robots.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Creature from the Krusty Krab

Creature from the Krusty Krab is cited as the darkest SpongeBob game ever. And no wonder why, the game has added much more Nightmare Fuel than any other SpongeBob game.


  • In the video games Battle for Bikini Bottom, and SpongeBob's Truth or Square in Rock Bottom. The music there is HORRIFYING. It's also not helped by the fact, that those Sleepy Robots are both REALLY ANNOYING AND IN THE WAY but also VERY HARD TO KILL!! And it will hurt you very easily. Especially with Sandy. Rock Bottom in BFBB is also one of the most complicated places in the game.
    • The Kelp Caves. The music is a sluggish, lower version of the regular Kelp Forest music, with added background noises like the noises of cave-dwelling animals. Its combination of eerie setting, disturbing music, and cramped space is disturbing. Not helping is the fact that some get stuck in the cave for literally years before figuring out the solution...the Sleepytime robots are also scary, mainly because of the fact that it makes a loud noise when striking. For some reason, some also find the Monsoon robots scary. Not helping is the fact that one of each can be found in the Kelp Caves...
  • This music. It combines an atonal creepy music box with quiet "Psycho" Strings, an off feeling, and ends in a Scare Chord. It's used to signify insanity. The name of the track would be "Unease".
  • Speaking of creepy unnerving music, there's also this music called Shock, which usually plays when characters go insane especially in Squid's Day Off or Earworm. Both are creepy enough episodes, but this music adds to the creepiness factor.
  • This educational short from 2005 called "The Endless Summer", which played as part of Earth to America. Mr. Krabs encourages global warming, and SpongeBob thinks that an "endless summer" sounds fun. He wants to speed up the process, so he burns tires. The entirety of Bikini Bottom, even Patrick, realize that Bikini Bottom is too hot to live in and move to colder climates. The short has No Ending and simply concludes with the water in Mr. Krabs's pool drying up and SpongeBob smacking into the bottom when he attempts a dive.
  • In the original 4D ride, Painty the Pirate leans out of the painting and grabs the viewers, throwing them into Bikini Bottom while shouting "In you go!"


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