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Nightmare Fuel cleanup and maintenance

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It appears that many Nightmare Fuel pages have problems, including:

1. Listing non-scary things that made the viewer feel slightly uncomfortable at worst.

2. Having spoiler tags on them (which is against the page's guidelines).

3. Listing Fridge Horror and fan theories.

And much more!

On a few occasions, people from outside the site's community have pointed out our overly lax usage of Nightmare Fuel to make fun of us, meaning that it can legitimately harm our reputation to let this go unchecked.

The TRS thread meant for redefining Nightmare Fuel started to become a place for cleaning up Nightmare Fuel pages in general, so we may as well move these discussions to Long Term Projects where they belong.

Here are the guidelines to determine whether something is Nightmare Fuel or not.

    Nightmare Fuel rules 
  • This is a page whose name is intended to be taken more literally than most. It's not enough for material to be scary; to truly qualify, it has to be frightening enough to legitimately unnerve/disturb the viewer, with actually being nightmare-inducing as the ultimate endpoint.
    • Good signs that something IS Nightmare Fuel include if:
      • It left you feeling shaken even after the credits had rolled, you turned the last page, or are otherwise done with the work.
      • You have a hard time falling asleep if you think about it at night, or have a literal nightmare about it.
      • You dread that episode, scene, level, chapter, or song during re-watches, and consider skipping it.
    • With that said, don't add something just because it happens to be your personal phobia. For example, spiders can be scary and many people have arachnophobia, but just because a spider happens to be in the work, it does not make a Nightmare Fuel entry. It needs to reasonably be scary to someone without the phobia.
    • Don't confuse tension with fear. If the hero is in trouble, but you know he'll make it out okay at the end, it's probably not Nightmare Fuel unless the threat is especially disturbing.
  • Explain WHY the entry scared you. Try to convey your sense of fear to your readers. Avoid putting up Zero-Context Examples.
    • Remember that Weblinks Are Not Examples, and neither are quotes on their own. You should explain the horror in your own words, rather than rely on others to do so.
  • Don't add things that might have scared someone. If it didn't scare you, and you don't personally know anyone else who was scared, you shouldn't be adding it to Nightmare Fuel.
  • Nightmare Fuel should stick to you even after you're done with the work.
    • If something is initially presented as scary but turns out to be harmless, it's most likely not Nightmare Fuel since The Reveal makes the scariness vanish.
    • Jump Scares are a good source of Nightmare Fuel, but not all of them automatically qualify: being startled is not the same as being scared.
  • Hypotheticals are not Nightmare Fuel:
    • Remember that Trailers Always Lie: a scene that is presented as scary in the trailer could very well turn out to be inoffensive in the finished work. Only add examples from unreleased works if they were especially terrifying in the previews.
    • Fan theories do not belong on the Nightmare Fuel page under any circumstance. No matter how much evidence they have to support them, don't add them until they've been officially confirmed. In the meanwhile, take them to Wild Mass Guessing.
    • Fridge Horror goes on the Fridge page, not Nightmare Fuel. Don't add it unless it's Ascended Fridge Horror.
  • Keep in mind the work's intended audience when considering whether or not something is Nightmare Fuel.
    • If something is normal or expected in the genre, it does not automatically qualify. Violence in a Fighting Series or gore in a horror movie must be especially disturbing or gruesome by the work's standards to be Nightmare Fuel.
    • Remember that Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films. If a work is rated PG-13 or higher but would only be scary to young children, it's not Nightmare Fuel.
    • The standards on what qualifies as Nightmare Fuel are especially stringent on works aimed at children and pre-teens: kids have hyperactive imaginations, so even something benign can give them nightmares.
  • Spoiler tags do not belong on Nightmare Fuel pages. Much of what scares us comes from inherently spoilery stuff such as death and the unknown, so finding spoilers on these pages should be expected.
  • Nightmare Fuel is an Audience Reaction, so it needs to be scary for the audience. Describing how the characters react to something scary isn't needed. Just because something scares them, that doesn't mean it scares us as well.

Guidelines when proposing cleanup of a page:

  • Some rules are pretty objective. If you see a Zero-Context Example, Fridge Horror, speculation, In-Universe reaction, examples that describe themselves as not being very scary, or examples that are just scene summaries without going into detail about why it's so scary, you should remove them immediately without coming here to ask.
  • You should also strip all spoiler tags from the page. Itty Bitty Wiki Tools has a tool for that, but it can cause problems, so if you use it be sure to preview the page and thoroughly look it over.
  • Once you've fixed the objective issues with the page, bring it here so we can look at the more subjective problems, such as examples that may not be scary enough to qualify. If a consensus is reached that a certain entry does not qualify, it can be removed.

Edited by Zuxtron on Nov 16th 2018 at 3:14:41 PM

rjd1922 Paladin from Illinois Relationship Status: Love is for the living, Sal
Paladin
Sep 17th 2019 at 1:02:27 PM

NightmareFuel.Toy Story 2 has this:

* There's an Easter Egg on the two-disc special edition DVD that shows a rough animation of the scene "Jessie's Song" where Jessie is dropped off for charity. Fair enough. But after the car goes over the hill, it's just silent for a few seconds before the car suddenly careens over the hill and goes all over the place with the tires squealing before it crashes into the boxes. All while in Jessie's point-of-view. Worse is that it's described as a "hilarious outtake". Here's the easter egg.

Besides the fact that Nightmare Fuel pages aren't supposed to have spoiler tags and the link only briefly mentions the Easter egg in question, it's also on Funny.Toy Story 2:

* For a meta moment of funny: The DVD and Blu-Ray releases contain a bonus video simply titled "Jessie's Gag" (accessible via an Easter Egg on the DVD release and the main menu of the Blu-Ray in the "Toy Box" section of the "Classic DVD Bonus Features"). You ever wanted to know how the "When She Loved Me" segment would have ended if Emily suddenly forgot how to drive?

Steel be with you.
Brainulator9 Regular garden-variety troper. from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Regular garden-variety troper.
Sep 17th 2019 at 4:12:39 PM

I thought funny and scary could overlap...

You don't mean no-nothing at all to me...
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 17th 2019 at 5:55:33 PM

Yes, if the humor doesn't nullify the horror.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Sep 18th 2019 at 1:36:33 PM

I was referring to Last Action Hero.

Sep 18th 2019 at 1:38:13 PM

So what about Once Upon a Time In Hollywood?

AlleyOop Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Sep 18th 2019 at 2:18:30 PM

Looking at Kill la Kill:

I think the points about Ryuko's transformation, her episode 12 transformation, and Nui's Nightmare Faces can stay but everything else should go.

Sep 18th 2019 at 9:45:04 PM

Very well, then.

Can we please cut NightmareFuel.Last Action Hero already?

Sep 19th 2019 at 8:58:22 AM

So, how does someone cut a page? Is only a mod allowed to do it? Should I holler them?

Edited by MasterN on Sep 19th 2019 at 8:58:42 AM

chasemaddigan Playing the world's smallest violin.
Playing the world's smallest violin.
Sep 19th 2019 at 9:01:47 AM

[up] You submit the page on the Cut List page and leave a reason why it should be cut.

For future reference, you can find the Cut List page under the "Tools" heading on the sidebar (right below "Resources").

FridgeGuy2016 No-lifer from United States
No-lifer
Sep 20th 2019 at 9:51:40 PM

Can a moderator please pin the very first post in this thread? It contains the very important information needed to clean up NF misuse.

Courtesy link: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=15046601260A53602600&page=1#comment-1

Limpin' with the bizkit.
Sep 21st 2019 at 5:42:35 AM

That does sound like a good idea.

It feels so good to have no signature at last.
rjd1922 Paladin from Illinois Relationship Status: Love is for the living, Sal
Paladin
Sep 21st 2019 at 7:28:46 AM

I agree that that post should be pinned.

Steel be with you.
SeptimusHeap MOD from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Brainulator9 Regular garden-variety troper. from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Sep 24th 2019 at 4:19:55 PM

~King Of Stickers has been making some pretty dubious edits to NightmareFuel.Deltarune recently:

  • The Five Nights at Freddy's reference could come across as this for some. Let's just hope that Deltarune's Purple Guy is just a silly parody, and nothing more.
    I had already removed this example for being pure speculation and Fridge Horror with Word Cruft and generally not being very scary. Only someone familiar with FNAF would understand this, and even then they'd be more likely to smile at the reference than be horrified to the degree that Nightmare Fuel requires.
  • The installation process before February 14th, 2019 already started to tip you off that something's not quite right with the game. Rather than a long Wall of Text of legal jargon that one would expect in the License Agreement, instead it's just a single line of text, and nothing else.
    YOU WILL ACCEPT EVERYTHING THAT WILL HAPPEN FROM NOW ON.
    They specifically added that last bullet point. Honestly, I'd like to get rid of the whole thing. I don't get what's so scary about the "survey program", and the comment that claims to turn this into Paranoia Fuel just explains that it's how GMS analytics work.
  • The "Man Behind the Tree" Easter Egg is creepy by virtue of being Mind Screw incarnate. For one thing, it appears more or less randomly when moving between two specific rooms; the room itself is also extremely glitchy, allowing you to walk on the black space around the apparent ground. As for the Man himself, you never actually get to see him or hear his direct dialogue; you just hear the narrator refer to him (pointedly calling him "He", rather than "The man") as he gives you an egg, at which point the Man immediately disappears. The egg itself does not do anything until the end of the game, when you get the opportunity to put it in Asgore's fridge; examining the fridge will then reveal that there are now two eggs inside the fridge, meaning that either another one appeared from nowhere or that the pickle jar somehow turned into a second egg. Absolutely none of this is explained within the game itself.
    • You found two Easter eggs. Although... Fridge Heartwarming kicks in when you realise that at least Asgore has something to eat, now. Considering the fact that the egg has no other function in the game, the man behind the tree must be a friend of Asgore. THIS SEEMS VERY, VERY INTERESTING.
    Here, they added everything after the first sentence of the second bullet point, which is natter and needs to be removed anyway. Nightmare Fuel is about scary things, explaining why it's not scary is not the purpose of the page.

The rest of the page probably needs to be looked at too, but I wanted to get this specific user's attention first since they seem to not understand what Nightmare Fuel is.

Brainulator9 Regular garden-variety troper. from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Regular garden-variety troper.
KingOfStickers Mystic Weeb from Clockwork UK Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Mystic Weeb
Sep 25th 2019 at 1:34:46 PM

I guess my views of Nightmare Fuel are different from everybody else's. But I understand and agree with what you're saying.

Edited by KingOfStickers on Sep 25th 2019 at 8:39:39 AM

Try getting past your reflection. Protip: You can't.
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 25th 2019 at 1:37:52 PM

[up] Yeah, one thing to keep in mind is that we're looking for things that would genuinely scare the target audience, and those things should be present in the work itself. But don't feel bad, a lot of people seem to share the same idea you did about Nightmare Fuel. If you have any questions or anything, we can definitely help.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
KingOfStickers Mystic Weeb from Clockwork UK Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Mystic Weeb
Sep 25th 2019 at 1:41:28 PM

[up]Well, alright then. I have one question: My original intention for one of my articles was to attempt to reduce the amount of Nightmare Fuel. So, I guess that isn't allowed?

Edited by KingOfStickers on Sep 25th 2019 at 8:43:52 AM

Try getting past your reflection. Protip: You can't.
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 25th 2019 at 1:42:18 PM

As in, you wanted people to read the page and not be scared of the work?

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
KingOfStickers Mystic Weeb from Clockwork UK Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Mystic Weeb
Sep 25th 2019 at 1:44:44 PM

Yeah. I thought I was just following examples in other sections such as WM Gs and Fridge Brilliance sections etc.. I can give you examples if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Edited by KingOfStickers on Sep 25th 2019 at 8:45:30 AM

Try getting past your reflection. Protip: You can't.
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 25th 2019 at 1:49:01 PM

The way I personally see it is, if people are reading the NF page for a work, that person is willing to be scared. They're interested in seeing if other people felt scared for the same reasons they were, or to see why someone else would be scared, or even just because they like horror. It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to make the examples seem less scary, as the entire point of them is that they are scary. While it's bad to exaggerate to make a work seem scary (as has happened quite a bit before), it's also not a great idea to downplay in order to make a work seem less scary.

In other words, I guess the idea is to just let the examples be as objective as possible about the work. If an example doesn't represent the work, and is written in a way that gives a false impression, it's a bad example.

However, I would like to see examples, because I'm not entirely sure what your motivation was.

Edited by WarJay77 on Sep 25th 2019 at 4:49:29 AM

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
KingOfStickers Mystic Weeb from Clockwork UK Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Mystic Weeb
Sep 25th 2019 at 1:51:48 PM

I see... Following that logic, shouldn't the whole "survey program" article still count as Nightmare Fuel then, as others like me find it to be as such? I agree with removing my last addition, though.

Edited by KingOfStickers on Sep 25th 2019 at 8:53:23 AM

Try getting past your reflection. Protip: You can't.

Page Action: Nightmare Fuel Other
24th Aug '19 5:20:24 PM
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