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Nightmare Fuel / Super Mario Bros.

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Even Mario has run into his share of frights, as these examples will attest to.

The following examples have their own pages:

Main series


Other media



  • Several people are terrified by Boos. It pretty much all boils down to the fact that they only chase you when you're not looking. It only leaves the door open to Fridge Horror.
  • This series introduced the concept of spikes = instant death in video games. Good thing everything causes Mario to go into Death Throws. Doesn't stop some kids from being scared by the thought of falling and getting impaled on spikes, and the resultant saturation of spikes in video games as a whole causes nightmare fuel filled scenes in video games where they DO impale you.
  • The Skewers. They debuted in Super Mario World, and have increasingly become even more terrifying due to graphical improvements. Especially when there are some that are incredibly large and/or incredibly fast.
  • The Thwomps. Their faces, especially in 3D games like Galaxy, look extremely terrifying. Doesn't help that some of them are sentient in that they know you're coming and know when to drop down to try and crush you.

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    Main Series 

Super Mario Bros.

  • The first Super Mario Bros. gave us the Minus World, a world no man is intended to go to and has no escape, unless you count drowning to death or the reset button as a method of escape.
  • If you let a Hammer Brother stay onscreen too long without killing him, he will chase Mario.
  • The castles in the first Super Mario Bros. game for the NES probably weren't intended to actually be scary. But the pitch-black nothingness in their backgrounds, the weirdly static lava and the oppressive music, which seems out-of-place against the rest of the game's soundtrack (and tends to desync slightly as it goes on), make for an atmosphere that can be downright unsettling. To make matters worse, some of the castle levels are also mazes that will repeat endlessly until you either find the correct path, or time runs out and you die on the spot.
    • The rotating spinning Fire Bars obstacles speak for themselves. But a special mention goes to an exceptionally long one found in castle World 5, and it being longer in fact means an increased risk of getting hit by it.
  • Speaking of running out of time, the "Hurry Up!" jingle is probably at its most startling on the NES, a potentially frightening experience if you are a young child that doesn't quite understand numbers or time limits yet— especially if Mario dies seemingly without cause when the timer hits zero.
  • The famous cave music probably creeped out more than a few kids.
  • The story behind this game. Bowser invades the kingdom and kidnaps Peach. That's all you get from the game itself. In the instructions book, however, it's revealed that Bowser laid waste to the Mushroom Kingdom and turned the Mushroom Retainers that weren't kidnapped alongside their ruler into the bricks that make up the blocks that Mario hits for powerups, and the reason why he kidnapped Peach was that she's the only one that can break the curse. These poor Toads are probably aware of their position, and would have likely stayed like that forever if they hadn't been separated by Mario.
    • The Game Theory video on this led to a widespread misconception in that they became Brick Blocks which were broken by Mario, killing them, but that same instruction manual clearly states the Toads are giving you the powerups, so you’re not killing Toads, you’re just getting a little magic from them. There’s still plenty of nightmare fuel to be had in the canon-after doing the one thing they can, Toads trapped as blocks are completely unable to move until Peach saves them.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2)

  • 8-4 and D-4 both have two Bowsers in one castle (one of them is fake).
  • The Hammer Bros from the original game chase you if you wait, but they don't wait this time around. They come after you immediately.

Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA)

  • The Mask Gate in Super Mario Bros. 2 (the eagle head that acts as an end of level gate) scared the crap out of some in the end of World 7-2 when it flew off the wall and tried to chase them.
  • And then you get past the door to confront Wart — and the music changes to this creepy, disturbing horror/techno mix that just messes with your concentration while you have to catch vegetables in midair and throw them into Wart's open mouth (as opposed to the other bosses where you just had to hit them with weapons).
  • Phanto. Creepy pumpkin masks that guard keys; when you pick up a key, they come to live and move really fast and chase you.
    • In remakes, World 1-3 in particular has a chamber with a key, a squad of phantos, and a giant Phanto face in the background. When you pick up the key, the background Phanto face's eyes light up red.
  • Corrupting SMB2 leads to some horrifying results.
  • In the later versions of the game, after Wart dies, there's some red under his eyes, almost like he's bleeding from them.
  • In the SNES and GBA remake, they made warping much, much eerier. When you enter the Warp Vase, a creepy tune plays in the background while the screen becomes distorted and fades to black. See the warps in the SNES remake here.

Super Mario Bros. 3

  • The mini-fortress music. It's quieter than the fortress music of SMB 1, which gives it another brand of eeriness.
  • World 8 of Super Mario Bros 3. Apparently, Bowser's home base is Hell itself. The gigantic, discolored hands that drag you down on certain tiles are especially creepy to a small kid. And if that doesn't scare you, the levels will because you are forced to play the levels without fail or you are sent back to the beginning of the tile section.
    • The color limitations on the NES ended up (unintentionally?) making Bowser's castle look like some flesh-tint structure with teeth at the front gate, like the castle is an organism. Compare this with the SNES version of SMB 3 where the details have been improved and the castle is less jarring, looking more like a regular castle-château with the top of the castle emulating the form of Bowser's upper-skull.
  • The Angry Sun made some too scared to play past World 2.
  • Some were also afraid of the Podoboos in the World 1 mini-fortress.
  • Chain Chomps debut in this game, and there's a quirk to their behavior that not many know about. If it pulls on its chain 50 times or if the timer hits 160 seconds, it escapes.
    • Notably, Chain Chomps are inspired by an incident in which Miyamoto was nearly attacked by a dog.
  • The Giant Fish that constantly chase you as you race against time to get to high-ground as the water level rises.... if you don't make it to high ground in time, or worse, fall in the water, they will swallow Mario in one gulp, no matter how big you are and, insta-kiling you. No chewing, no biting, just gulp and you're gone.
  • There were also some terrified by the Hot Foot in the first fortress of World 4.
  • The laser-shooting Bowser statues in his castle.
  • World 6's map theme is pretty ominous and chilling compared to the other world map themes (save for World 8) in which gives off a feeling that something's bad is going to happen
  • The first fortress in World 7, since the entire place is empty. No enemies whatsoever (barring the boss). Even worse is that one can see where the enemies would be, giving the feel that it was just suddenly abandoned.
  • In the Super Mario All-Stars remake of Super Mario Bros. 3, World 5's blue mini-fortress has both a lava floor and a ceiling. It's even more unsettling considering that in SMB 3, lava isn't merely a harmless curtain for the top of a Bottomless Pit; rather, touching it kills you instantly, even if you're Super Mario. Or powered-up with the invincibility star for that matter.
  • Boss Bass from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64. Super Mario 3's Boss Bass in particular has this habit of jumping right out of the water, snatching you right off the surface and swallowing you whole in one gulp.
    • And what makes it even more nerve-racking that by swallowing you whole in one gulp, means that no matter what power-up form you're in, being swallowed and gulped is an instant death regardless.
  • SMB3 can be corrupted too, as ProtonJon found out. The video is called "Super Mario Bros. 3: Nightmare Edition."
  • In Worlds 1 through 6, each time you transform a king back to normal, he gives you a letter featuring some advice from Peach. Come World 7, however, and the letter instead comes from Bowser, who has informed you that he has kidnapped Peach (again), with his portrait on the letter and a Scare Chord taunting you. Those who expect Peach's usual advice letters are in for a nasty surprise out of nowhere.

New Super Mario Bros.

  • In New Super Mario Bros., Bowser falls into lava in the first world. Not much different from what happened at the end of every single castle in the original Super Mario Bros... until the game proceeds to show him desperately flailing in the lava, and emerging with all of his flesh melted off. Totally unexpected and freaky as all get-out.
    • Mario's next line, immediately after the whole debacle is "That's-a so nice!" He probably wasn't referring to Bowser's death, but still...
    • This is actually a major plot point of the whole game, since it requires Bowser Jr. to take command of the entire Koopa Troop in place of Bowser's death.
    • Later on in the game, it turns out that he's still alive and continues to live on as a skeleton, which meant he actually got to feel his flesh burn off.
    • In the final level, Bowser Jr. uses a magic cauldron to restore his father to normal.
  • Unagi the Eel is a regular type of enemy in this game. And there's also a giant, unkillable version of it, which is easily the most terrifying enemy in the game.

New Super Mario Bros Wii
  • The final boss fight first starts off with a regular Bowser-on-the-bridge boss fight. Mario looks up to what appears to be Peach, a remix of SMB 1's ending music playing... before it starts Letting the Air Out of the Band, unveiling Kamek in a Peach disguise. He gets on his broomstick and gives Bowser some magic...the ground starts shaking. Kamek looks down, wondering what's happening... and then, Bowser springs up, looking tremendously huge, his eyes glowing a blood red, and he's very pissed. He starts chasing Mario down relentlessly in a mindless rage, with intense orchestral music playing and only becoming even more intense in the second phase...and it's his roar that really sells it.

Super Mario Galaxy 2
They're watching you...
  • Sorbetti, a giant rolling spiked snowball monster with a disturbing clown-like face and a really creepy high-pitched laugh. Because the fight planet is designed to look like the body to his head, it's even creepier.
  • Cosmic clones in Super Mario Galaxy 2. The ones in the previous game were simple Mario and Luigi clones that served as racing opponents. In this game, they follow your every action with a delay of a second or two. If one catches up to you or you bump into one, it hurts. You can't stop for even a quick breather or you'll get hit. And they keep coming. More and more of them get spawned every few seconds, leading to a seemingly endless chain of them. Even the nearby signs are afraid of what they can do. And worst of all, their corruption extends as far as Luigi's Purple Coins...
    • They mimic their movements perfectly, a few seconds after they do. You touch someone on the shoulder, they touch them seconds later. You pick something up, they mime picking it up themselves. And if you stand still, they collide with you, exploding into dark energy at point-blank range. And until you, or possibly somebody else the comet is focusing on, finishes an arbitrary task, they spawn forever. Following you everywhere. And when you think about it, aren't the other comets also Fridge Horror? Just think of what happens when, say, the Red Comet gives one arbitrary person a time limit to do one task before dying.
  • In several late levels, giant lava monsters suddenly rise up from out of nowhere and engulf your platform in their mouths. The last one is particularly memorable.
    • Those are Magmaarghs (a much larger version of Blarggs from Super Mario World). They're huge, hideous creatures made of lava who look incredibly deranged, with strange eyes and huge mouths, and when they try to collapse into Mario or Luigi, they make a very disturbing roar until they lose their form in the lava.
  • In the Shiverburn Galaxy, if you change the camera to first-person mode and look toward the cliffs above you, there seems to be three mysterious shadowy figures on the cliff, watching you, and following you.
    • They're supposed to be trees. It doesn't help though, because they don't look at all like trees. And they have glowing eyes.
    • The file names? BeyondHellValleySky is where they reside, and HellValleySkyTree is the names; the ominousness of the trees were enough, but those names make them worse.
    • The skybox implies that the cliff background is very far away, suggesting that these figures are somewhere between the size of a large hill to mountain-sized.
    • They have since appeared in 3D Land and 3D World. It seems they've taken an interest in the heroes... and the first trailer for Odyssey may imply that we may see these things again, this time up close and personal... the tentacle.
      • The "tentacle" thankfully turned out to be a dinosaur tail.
  • The swirling spirits in the background in the ghost levels.
  • The black hole that spawns at certain places, waiting to suck Mario in if he falls off within range. The sound too doesn't help matters at all.
  • Bowser himself, as he's immensely powerful and gigantic in this game. He nearly devours Rosalina and her starship, and creates a black hole that he's in complete control of.

Super Mario 3D Land

  • An Easter Egg: In the yard at the end of any ghost house, waiting long enough causes a ghostly figure to appear in the background just behind the fence and will vanish after a few seconds. This figure doesn't actually do anything and cannot be interacted with, but what makes it creepy is that the thing resembles the Shiverburn Galaxy figures. They're not trees. They're still watching. And they're getting closer.
    • Even worse, it could be Slenderman, in a Mario game. And as a bonus, it opens its mouth before disappearing, as if trying to scream at you.
      • The connection between the spirit and the [HellValleySkyTree]... there's also a UFO visible if you wait a minute at 1-3. What other freaky stuff has Nintendo put in these games? Are they... are they trying a secret subplot told through weird Easter eggs?
      • Come to think of it, that UFO...we've seen a UFO like that before. Specifically, one that helped Bowser to airlift Peach's Castle in the first Galaxy game... Yes, others appear in later levels, but that first one that helped kick everything off—Bowser did not just happen across it on his own...
  • The cosmic clones. They mimic Mario's quotes, but in a higher pitch with added distortion. When they say "Let's-a go!", it sounds like they're saying "Time to chow!".

New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • There is nothing okay about the Boohemoth seen to the right, the giant Boo in the ghost house in World 2 and World Flower. It has a terrifying face, being between it and a wall means instant death, and it doesn't even play by Boo rules- if you stare directly at it, it will occasionally peek out from behind its ghost-hands and inch forward a bit.
    • What really gets you is when you're just entering the hall it's in. It just appears out of nowhere with a high pitched laugh that almost gives you a heart attack.
  • The game introduces a Piranha Plant equivalent of Dry Bones. Its appearance is unsettling at best.
  • In World 6-Castle and World Star-Castle, Mario has to make his way across a lava-filled platforming level. The kicker? He has to avoid the Koopalings' special petrifying gaze. If he's not hiding behind a wall, one wrong step and he'll most likely freeze, and fall into lava.

New Super Mario Bros. U
  • The opening of the game is pretty jarring, with the giant Bowser claw crushing the heroes and throwing them out of the kingdom.
  • In a certain set of haunted levels in the Soda Jungle, you can see a giant, painted, Mega Bowser in the background. He has blank, milky-white eyes and just sits there looking like he wants to eat you, sometimes moving his eyes.
    • There's even a Bowser Jr. version...
  • Grrrols. They're one of those enemies that can't be killed by normal means, plus they have toothy grins and red eyes with black scleras. It doesn't help there is a giant version of it as well (seen at the right).

Super Mario 3D World

  • As cited from a Miiverse post, the Shiverburn figures are back. They can be seen through a reflection on a Clear Pipe Cannon on the last main level, The Great Tower of Bowser Land.
    • The post? "Anyone remember those mysterious faces on the top of the cliffs in SMG2? Or the mysterious face in the ghost house in SM3DL? Look closely at the reflection in this photo. Tell me what you see."
    • It seems Nintendo is slowly trying to implement their own darker version of Where's Waldo?.
  • There's also Motley Bossblob: a Koopa jester who summons Blob Monster creatures to transform into an enormous gelatinous Asteroids Monster Clown, complete with Glowing Eyes of Doom and a Slasher Smile. And it chases you around the stage, hopping around erratically in an attempt to crush you, and if the player's afraid of clowns, it can become worse.
  • Bowser re-kidnapping the Sprixie Princesses and using them to power Bowser Land.
  • The advancing wall of Fuzzies in Fuzzy Time Mine. Resembling a fuzzy black void with faces randomly and chaotically popping in and out, it consumes everything in its path.
  • The music that plays in the final Captain Toad level sounds very chilling, especially in contrast with the more happy-go-lucky tracks in these stages.

    Misc. Games 
  • Super Mario Land:
    • The way the enemies die is actually kind of creepy. Unlike the NES Mario games, where enemies generally flip upside-down and fall off the screen when you jump on them, here they lay on the ground, flattened and dead for a few seconds, before flopping off the screen.
    • The "Daisy"s at the ends of Worlds 1 through 3 of Super Mario Land that are actually monsters can make the player jump a bit.
    • There are bonus rooms with Spikes of Doom. Coupled with the quiet bonus room music, Mario accidentally jumping onto the spikes and dying is pretty frightening.
  • The U.S. commercial for Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. To some it may be Narm but before Wario was portrayed as the greedy character he is today, the U.S. portrayed him in a way that made most young gamers rather afraid of him. The commercials for Virtual Boy Wario Land and Wario Blast didn't help matters.
  • The Thwomps from Bowser's Castle in Mario Kart 64; it's that disturbing Evil Laugh. The green one in the cell is scarier for some reason. Luckily, they aren't scary in the Wii version's remake.
  • The final stage of Tetris Attack for the SNES, where a Godzilla-sized Bowser rises out of a chasm at the end of a mountainside cave. Cue the sinister organ music.
  • While playing the infamous Hotel Mario, you must never hide in doors during boss battles. While this does work for regular enemies in normal levels because they can't enter the door and hurt you, the Koopa Kids (except Wendy) or Bowser himself will enter the door you're in, come back out, and burp out Mario's hat, strongly implying that they ate him. The silence before the "lose a life" music does not help.
  • Mario Teaches Typing 2, like Mario 64, featured the floating disembodied head of Mario. Unlike the Mario 64 version, this one goes back and forth between cracking jokes and being amusing, to being just plain unsettling at times.
  • The GBA puzzle game Mario vs. Donkey Kong features a relatively realistic 3D rendering of Mario facing off against cartoony Thwomps and Shy Guys, and is brought up at this point in the page due to its Galaxy-like series of disturbing death animations. The default animation (for example, stepping on spikes or touching a Shy Guy from the side) has Mario tilt briefly before he falls face-first into the floor (or spikes) and stops moving. Then there's the specialty animations for dying to a fiery or electrical attack, which don't pull any punches about how terrifyingly painful it must be for poor Mario.
    • There are three different "death" tracks in the game's BGM. While the first two apply for "standard" deaths (the second is used for getting burnt by lava), the third is used for the most horrifyingly painful and gruesome (for Mario standards, that is) death animations, such as getting squished by a Thwomp, falling from a high place (with Mario falling on his head as a result) and, last but not least, getting electrocuted to death. In fact, you can tell the various deaths apart by listening to the different pitches of Mario's variants of his classic "Mamma mia!". The first is "standard", the second is "exhausted", and the third is "a mixture of pain and horror".
  • Mario Tennis was the game that debuted Waluigi. In his debut, Waluigi, not only was pretty creepy looking, but made extremely weird noses all of the time, almost like a psychopath groaning in pain or delight. Whenever he scored, his celebration would have him making his eyes glow and flash purple, all while bearing the demented grin frozen into his face. The glowing eyes, to this day, remain unexplained.
  • In Mario Power Tennis, when Yoshi wins a trophy, there's an animation in which Luigi brings it to him. Things go awry, and in the end Yoshi has swallowed Luigi. There's no scene where Luigi gets spit out, or even turned into an egg, he never escapes onscreen.
    • Another one involving Luigi, Luigi delivers a trophy to Shy Guy. While walking toward Luigi, Shy Guy suddenly trips and his mask falls off. Only Luigi sees what's under his mask, and he is terrified. What is under a Shy Guy's mask?
      • Actually, Luigi already knew before then. In Luigi's Mansion you can remove the masks from Shy Guy ghosts revealing their heads to be completely hollow.
  • The end of Mario Is Missing, when Bowser is defeated, may scare some young children. You don't fight him, he comes out of nowhere and is shot out of a cannon, but then he falls into the ice, freezes up, is covered in snow, then shatters.
    • Also one of the versions you have to rescue King Kong. The image you get of him is his fist wrapped around the entire Empire State Building. Something that big is too terrifying for words.
  • In Super Mario Strikers, we have Bowser, who is portrayed as a giant implacable koopa who wreaks major havoc on the field with shells and bombs whenever the "Bowser Attack" options is on instead of comic relief. When that occurs, his entrance would be accompanied with a short, gritty rock n' roll riff or a Scare Chord. Worse is that you don't know whether when or if he will ambush anybody in his way. Even when he becomes playable in Charged, it does little to dampen the terror, considering not only does he often turn on his own teammates if he's on a winning streak, his gloves have blades longer than his own claws attached to them. Perhaps even worse is the silhouette he gains when using his Mega Strike.
    • Also, one of Peach's screams when she is electrocuted sounds like a realistic interpretation (i.e. screaming bloody murder) of feeling that type of excruciating pain in contrast to some of the other screams. Think about how she and the others feel in a more realistic way after that.
    • The Mega Strikes can be this. Almost everyone gains an unsettling silhouette, and there's a look of utmost fury on (most of) their faces. Makes you wonder: what the hell is going on to cause this?!?
  • The Game Over theme from Super Mario Kart. What's scary is that if you lose all your lives, the screen darkens, your character vanishes, then "GAME OVER" drops in ghostly-like letters, with that nightmarish music playing in the background.
  • Super Mario RPG:
    • There's a room in the Sunken Ship with a Mario clone that seems pretty harmless, like any other NPC. Except that said Mario clone turns into a Greaper out of nowhere, and you enter battle.
    • When you initially arrive at Seaside Town in Super Mario RPG, there is definitely something off about the place. The townspeople all look identical, and display disturbing behavior, like stopping mid-sentence to quietly converse with each other, and watching you sleep. It eventually turns out that a Smithy Gang member named Yaridovich took over and impersonated the entire town.
    • Smithy, himself. Imagine a cyborg-bearded-giant-king-mechanical being, with More Teeth than the Osmond Family, and a couple of replaceable heads, each just as creepy as the original.
    • The factory's basement where the final battle takes place, the floor is made of nothing but several Smithy's heads, and some particularly interesting ones seems to be looking at the player. It would be harder to beat him if those eyes were glowing...
  • Mario Kart 8: The new Bowser's Castle course features a gigantic and terrifying flaming rock version of Bowser, which punches a forked road in the course repeatedly. And there's a chance that it may crush you under its immense fist, depending on which part of the road you choose. It's even the page image you see at the top.


Super Princess Peach

  • In Bowser's Villa, there are a couple of segments that contain several faceless Peach statues and a giant Thwomp that takes up the entire background. Before it opens its eyes to scan the area, you have to copy the poses the statues are in. If you fail to do so, you'll be sucked into his gaping mouth. Of course, you'll only be sent to the beginning of the segment, but still...
  • The wall of Langolier-like Boos that you can only escape from while crying because it makes you run faster.
  • Perry devours baddies to recover the Vibe Gauge. If there are no enemies nearby, one can stand still for a few seconds, cuing an idle animation where Perry latches onto Peach's head, to her vocal displeasure, regaining Vibe Gauge that way.
  • The Mad Boos and Mad Big Boos, which look positively Ax-Crazy.
  • In Bowser's Villa, there are several segments where you constantly need to avoid a pair of mechanical claw-like things flying in from the sides. Get caught, and you're treated to Peach being helplessly trapped in them while they begin a countdown to explode. There's nothing you can do if you get caught, unless you mash the buttons on the D-pad for dear life.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games

  • During the Hammer Throw event in London 2012, most of the characters will let out a yell when preparing to toss the hammer, but Daisy's yell in particular sounds more like a blood-curdling and realistic scream of pain.


Super Mario Bros. The Movie
  • Daniella and Daisy's kidnappings are played to scary effect, and as far as the residents of Brooklyn knew, they and the other girls were missing and probably dead.
  • Koopa coming on to Daisy. With his face and tongue getting... less human. (Early drafts suggest he was attempting to rape her.)
  • The Goombas and Koopa Troopas are huge behemoths with tiny heads and flamethrowers.
  • Lena's head motions and hisses invoke the Uncanny Valley, and she's intensely jealous of Daisy.
  • Koopa snapping and attacking Luigi after politely asking them for the rock. He looks like he's trying to crush Luigi's head or gouge his eyes out.
  • The brothers dissolving between dimensions. Mario was conscious of the fact that he disintegrated.
  • Koopa's Transformation Ray, especially in the deleted scene where a guy gets devolved into slime.
  • According to Mojo Nixon, who played Toad, Dennis Hopper's performance as Koopa legitimately scared him during the scene where Toad de-evolves. Toad freaking out as he's strapped into the chair wasn't acting.
  • The Snifits, due to those weird noises they were constantly making.
  • Lena stabbing Yoshi after trying to kill Daisy.
  • Goomba!Toad getting set on fire.
  • Lena shoving a guy out of the way by grabbing his face, then getting electrocuted when she dives for the meteorite piece seconds later.
  • Lena being fossilized by the meteor energy.
  • When the two dimensions start to merge, Koopa's twin towers — one of which looks half-destroyed (actually, it's not finished construction yet, but the visual effect is the same), and the other of which has a glowing stylized "K" on the side that looks like, depending on how you see it, either an explosion or a gaping hole — replace the World Trade Center towers. This scene can be nightmare fuel to especially survivors and family members of the victims of the September 11th 2001 Terrorist Attacks.
  • When the dimensions start to merge, what is the first thing Koopa does when he arrives in New York City (specifically, Brooklyn)? He unintentionally de-evolves Scapelli (due to Mario, his intended target, jumping sideways out of the way to avoid it) into a monkey. Granted, the son of a gun had it coming, but still, it is kind of scary to be de-evolved into a monkey.
  • The Jump Scare of the Tyrannosaurus lunging out.
  • Koopa devolving into slime.
  • After retrieving the meteorite at the night club, Lena swallows a worm that she's using like a cocktail olive. Except that the worm pleads for mercy as she drinks and then lets out a dying scream when she swallows it. It's not made any better when you realise it's a Shout-Out to The Fly (1958).
  • Bob Hoskins had a terrible experience during filming, suffering numerous injuries from being stabbed four times, being electrocuted, breaking a finger, and nearly drowning. He and John Leguizamo would get drunk on set to try and forget how miserable the experience was.
  • The city itself is pretty terrifying, especially for anyone expecting the bright, cheery Mushroom Kingdom of the games. It's dark, fungus-infected (and the fungus is sentient, albeit helpful), and full off strange devices and hostile people. It also has more than a few things in common with a police state, given how Toad is arrested for singing an anti-Koopa song and prisoners are hung from the ceiling in cages. Oh, and at least one form of punishment is for prisoners to be de-evolved into hulking monsters to work for the very people who did this all to them.

The Super Mario Bros Super Show

  • "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em": Queen Rotunda, an Expy of the Queen of Hearts, ordering the Marios to be executed, yelling "Off with their heads!". Then, Mario tries to intervene, causing the queen to ask why he still has his head.
  • "Count Koopula" has creepy looking and sounding Giant Spiders that wear Snifit masks.
    • Many of the horror-themed mooks in that episode definitely qualify, including the Koopa Troopas changing into wereturtles.
    • Koopa's vampire alter-ego, Count Koopula, is perhaps his most menacing and terrifying.
  • Dr. Koopenstein's brain scanner in "Koopenstein" along with Koopa turning into the Koopenstein Monster when he gets too close.


  • This "realistic" Mario image is Uncanny Valley personified.
  • Everything has eyes. You can't go anywhere without being watched.
  • A fear of heights as well as death by falling makes playing Mario Galaxy and Mario 64 terrifying sometimesnote .
  • The German Club Nintendo comic Super Mario in Die Nacht des Grauens (ENG)  features a zombie Princess Peach with creepy black eyes and a pale, cracked face.
  • This image of Nurse Toadstool from the German Club Nintendo magazine has horrifying Skintone Sclerae.
  • The underratedly demonic You Lose theme from Mario Hoops 3-on-3.
  • Meta Nightmare Fuel from the fans in the form of a joke turned psychological horror. At one point, an internet personality suggested in jest that the entire series was a hallucination of Luigi's brought on as a side effect of brain cancer. This idea has gained a shocking amount of traction with a variety of fan works depicting the series as the deluded fantasy of at least one of the Mario Bros., including a psychological horror game made in the Source engine.


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