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Nightmare Fuel / Tintin

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Haddock trying to dissect Tintin. Sweet dreams.

  • The fact that in all of these adventures, and the sheer number of people who try to kill him, Tintin is only 16-19 years old. He's just a kid!
  • The dream and nightmare sequences in "Tintin" are notoriously surreal and downright creepy:
    • In "Cigars of the Pharaoh", Tintin is locked inside an Egyptian tomb and put to sleep with sleeping gas. He then dreams several strange images combining recent people he met and Egyptian artwork.
    • In "Tintin: The Crab with the Golden Claws", Tintin dreams he is turned into a bottle, which Haddock (making a Nightmare Face) is planning to uncork.
    • In "Tintin: The Seven Crystal Balls", Tintin and his companions all have the same nightmare: that they are visited by the Inca mummy Rascar Capac who enters their bedroom by night and then throws a poisonous crystal ball on the floor. It's probably the scariest moment out of all the books. The Slasher Smile on the mummy's face makes it even worse, and the animated series turns it up to eleven.
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    • Also from The Seven Crystal Balls, the seven Egyptologists that have been rendered comatose simultaneously regain consciousness at the same time every day and scream in terror before returning to their comatose state. It's never said what is making them scream like that except for a reference in Prisoners of the Sun about them being tormented via Voodoo Dolls. Of course, it is much worse in the animated series; in the comics it was just one panel of all seven of them writhing about, in the series, we're treated to the sight of their weirdly blueish-grey skin and close ups of them screaming which is itself horrific to listen to.
      • It's much more terrifying because we don't get to see their hallucinations... A good theory is Rascar Capac and other Incan Mummies coming to life, appearing and trying to kill them in various horrible ways, with those massive slasher smiles on their faces. And they have to endure that every single day. Brrrr.
      • Here too, the effect is amplified by the animated version.
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    • In Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun, Tintin dreams that Calculus is admiring an "Inca Tree" whose flowers are skulls while a real Inca menaces him with a spear, next Tintin asks the Inca, who now has Haddock's face if he has a license for the rifle over his shoulder, upon which the Inca turns into a mysterious Indian who has been following the heroes and blasts Tintin with fire for blasphemy. Tintin then wakes up with hot sunlight on his face.
    • In "Tintin - Tintin in Tibet", Haddock dreams he meets Professor Calculus, who claims he has lost his umbrella. Haddock then tells him he's got a lot of umbrellas with him, but has no idea where they came from. Calculus is angried by his answer and tells him: "You lie! It's red pepper." Then Haddock suddenly wears Calculus' clothes, while Calculus wears those of Haddock. Now grown to enormous size Calculus hits Haddock on the head with an umbrella, claiming it's "Checkmate!
    • In "Tintin: The Castafiore Emerald", Captain Haddock dreams he is listening to an opera singing parrot while he is seated completely nude in an audience consisting of nothing but parrots.
    • In "Tintin and Alph-Art", the opening page has Haddock dreaming about Bianca Castafiore showing up in his bedroom and demanding that he drink his medicine (a bottle of Loch Lomond). Haddock points out that he still can't drink it, which causes Castafiore to turn into a huge half-human-half-bird monster and then start attacking Haddock.

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     Tintin in America 
  • Tintin and Snowy falling onto the conveyor belt in the factory and about to be made into corned beef and eaten. Thank god for the striking workers, who stopped the conveyor belt out of anger at their wage cut. And in the same issue, the cow being turned into corned beef alive, and the "missing pet" notices outside the factory, when you realize that the pets were also made into beef... you will never look at corned beef the same again after that.

     Cigars of the Pharaoh 
  • The mummified corpses of the doomed Egyptologists and archaeologists. Remember, these were archaeologists in a coma who were mummified alive. The blank stares make it worse too. It's like they're watching you, and they know you're next...
    • What's worse? They're on the cover of the book itself.
    • Try to think of their last moments of hallucinating and mummification. And remember, these are supposed to be corpses, murdered by the drug smugglers.
    • Then there's the scene where Tintin finds three new sarcophagi, being prepared for himself, Snowy and the newest archaeologist.

     The Blue Lotus 
  • The Poison of Madness concept. A single blowdart with it will drive any person insane, and no one is safe.
  • Mr. Wang's son's insanity, and him about to DECAPITATE HIS OWN PARENTS AND TINTIN near the climax. Which would then have been followed by Rastapopoulos and Mitsuhirato's lackey finishing him off with his pistol after the deed had been done.

     The Broken Ear 
  • The angry corporal getting blown up by his own bomb.
    • From the same issue, the two bad guys wrestling each other to drown at the bottom of the sea. Then they get carried off to hell by pitchfork-wielding devils.
    • Devils with shit-eating grins.
    • Notably, this scene is entirely cut from the animated version, with Tintin saving the two idiots from getting themselves killed over the damn gem.

     The Black Island 
  • Tintin is captured sneaking into Dr. Müller's garden. Dr. Müller intends to send him to a private mental institution where he will be subjected to a treatment that will cause him to go insane (it's implied that Müller has already disposed of other people this way). While Tintin manages to get free before he is taken to the institution, the tropes implied are pretty disturbing.
  • After arriving at the small Scottish town where Mueller's plane crashed, Tintin is told that the authorities had searched everywhere in the area for survivors... with the exception of a nearby deserted island. The bartender is reluctant to go into detail, but an old man named Macgregor reveals the real reason.
    Tintin: But, if no one's searched the island..?
    Macgregor: It's called The Black Island...
    Bartender: Macgregor!!
    Macgregor: He has a right to know! You best keep clear of The Black Island. 'Tis a horrible, haunted place. In the ruins of the castle Craig O' Door, there dwells a beast of the blackest heart. A demon so horrible that never has anyone returned to tell. But when the dead calm lays over the water, we can hear the beast throwing thunder into the night...
    • And just then, as Macgregor finishes his story, everything goes quiet, and sure enough, from somewhere out of the fog over the ocean, something roars into the darkening evening...
    • Tintin refuses to give up, and the next morning, he buys a boat to reach the island. Macgregor can only watch him disappear into the mist, and it's implied this isn't the first time someone's tried to investigate, only to never return.
    Macgregor: Another away to his doom...

     The Shooting Star 
  • The fact that the beginning of the book opens with a meteor about to strike the Earth; fortunately, Prof. Phostle's calculations are off (and it switches fairly quickly to a wacky sci-fi adventure story), but the tension and helplessness in those few pages are deeply disturbing.
  • The giant spider. First, Tintin visits the planetarium and views through the telescope when he sees a gigantic spider. It turns out it is just a small one on top of the lens. That night, Tintin has a nightmare where Philippus the prophet shows him a full size poster depicting a huge black spider, with the caption: "real life measurements". But later, as Tintin travels to the comet which crashed into the sea, it turns out there is a giant spider after all! Grown to the size of a large dog due to the comet's radiation!
    • The Belvision animated series of the 1960s makes the spider on the comet even bigger.
    • The original magazine run of this story, which is creepy for another reason entirely; a bunch of anti-American and anti-semite content approved because it was published during the days of the Nazi occupation of Belgium. Herge wasn't really a racist or a Nazi but a lot of his early work is very disturbing because it's like he didnt know any better.

     Red Rackham’s Treasure 

     Prisoners of the Sun 
  • The Indians getting turned into snowballs and rolling down into a canyon.
    • The fact that Tintin and his friends would have been burned to death were it not for a Convenient Eclipse.

     Destination Moon 
  • The overall air of mystery and thriller.
  • Most of the exposition occurring in eerie, wide labs.
  • Tintin getting shot; The attack comes with absolutely no warning from a character we didn't even see, the first we know of it is when Tintin falls down.
  • Haddock beaten up by a stranger in the dark hallway at the same time; again, another brutal moment with no warning.

     Explorers on the Moon 
  • The characters often saying how they won't survive this adventure.
  • The dangerous events that happen (Haddock leaving the ship, Snowy falling down a precipice). And then there's Wolff and Jorgen...
    • Jorgen's plan is to abandon Haddock, the Thompsons and Calculus on the moon, condemning them to a hideous death (and he openly laughs at the idea of their faces when they discover the rocket has gone without ever knowing what happened). The plan is only foiled when they have to return to the rocket early, and Tintin severs the leads to the rocket, but they still arrive in time to see the rocket begin to take off without them before it falls back to the ground.
    • Tintin managed to sabotage the rocket at the last second to stop the takeoff. Good right? Except when Calculus examines the damage he expects it will take at least 100 hours to get it working before they can even take off. Their oxygen supply will last, at the most... 100 hours. Calculus outright states they will likely not survive the return journey. From here on out the air of dread hanging over the adventure ramps up to eleven, and the result is arguably the most tense climax in the entire series. It's only reinforced by the fact that Calculus turned out to have been optimistic; even with two fewer people they nearly all died
  • Frank Wolff leaving the rocket and committing suicide. Even though it happens off screen and is explained in a suicide note, it's still very disturbing.
    • Made worse with the fact that the reader gets to imagine his horrible death and the fact that his body could be floating around in space forever...!
    • The fact that in the end this wasn't a lucky near miss or a clever escape. They only made it back alive because Wolff and Jorgen didn't.
  • A Deleted Scene has the Thom(p)sons get lost on the way back from their lunar expedition, so Tintin and Haddock go help them... and find Thompson try to help Thomson breathe by removing his helmet.
    • Another shows why there aren't mountains of hair floating around the rocket: they're Thrown Out Of The Airlock as they're cut. Haddock nearly throws Snowy (who was sleeping in the hair) out, although Tintin catches him in time.

    The Calculus Affair 
  • The crystals breaking into pieces during the storm. It's incredibly eerie, and without us knowing what is exactly happening, it puts us a little on edge. The rest of the story also has this tense atmosphere too, portraying well the anxious sensation of the Cold War Era.

     Tintin in Tibet 
  • The yeti is portrayed with a great deal of sympathy (and as the occasional butt of a joke), but when he catches Tintin in his cave, trying to make off with Chang... brrrrrr.
  • Earlier on, the yeti is played up with a great deal of suspense and mystery. At one point, Tintin and Snowy are stuck in a Himalayan blizzard with visibility down to almost zero. Tintin sees a human figure not far away in the driving snow, and thinks it's Haddock, but whoever it is ignores him when he calls for help. Tintin ends up falling into a crevasse, and after the blizzard dies down, he manages to escape. He asks Haddock (and then Tharky) why they didn't help... and both men explain that they never left their shelter when the blizzard hit...
  • Haddock’s near death.
  • Everyone's near death. At one point Tintin becomes trapped, leading to Haddock to attempt a heroic sacrifice. At another, just when everyone seems to be back on solid ground, they get caught in an avalanche. With no true antagonist, this story nevertheless comes alarmingly close to killing our heroes on occasion

    Flight 714 
  • There's the very disturbing end, in which one character is revealed to be a human in contact with aliens, possibly a spy, and he uses Mind Control to save the heroes and forces the criminals into his ship. We don't find out what happened to them... but that just makes it worse. note