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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

FridgeGuy2016 No-lifer from United States
Oct 4th 2019 at 3:59:48 PM

There's this from NightmareFuel.Other:

I'm thinking about either commenting it out because it is a ZCE, or deleting it because since it's a Reddit article, it gives me the feeling it's a real life example.

Limpin' with the bizkit.
Oct 4th 2019 at 4:00:58 PM

[up] It's from /r/nosleep, where users post short horror stories, so it's not from real life. But it's still a ZCE, so comment away.

FridgeGuy2016 No-lifer from United States
Oct 4th 2019 at 4:05:25 PM

And thankfully someone stepped in and removed all the re-instated RL examples on that page. So it's looking good now.

Limpin' with the bizkit.
Oct 5th 2019 at 4:43:44 PM

    Remnant Inferis: DOOM Nightmare Fuel page 
Decided to delete my first entry on the page
  • Once the Slayer wakes up, shit hits the fan for the White Fang, as he slams one's head into his pod hard enough to jam his nose into his brain, outright punches the jaw clean off of another, and blowing the head off the last one. The kicker with the one who got her jaw punched off? She was still alive! The only thing she could do was desperately crawl away as the Slayer splattered her brains all over the floor.
Rewrote the last bit so it feels less like description and puts more emphasis on the gruesome content present
  • The nightmares that team RWBY goes through get incredibly morbid.
    • Ruby's is probably the worst of them. She wakes up naked, surrounded by blood, flesh and guts. She then hears a voice behind her, which turns out to be her mother. Before she can run up to hug her, it's revealed that this Summer had her eyes bored out of her sockets and has a giant, bloody hole in her stomach, indicating that her womb was torn out of her body.
      Summer: Please, Ruby. Come rot in Hell with me.
      • If that wasn't bad enough, she then tries to drown her daughter in blood and rot, all while her daughter begs for help.
    • In Blake's nightmare, the Slayer, in his DOOM Eternal suit, kill everyone in the White Fang, including her father and Ilia in front of her. After that, undead White Fang members catch her and just before being killed, she sees Adam's reflection in the Slayer's visor instead of her own.
    • Weiss dream is that she was defeated by the Arma Gigas and had to submit to her father's will. After that her father, flanked by Classic Doom's Imps, reveals that he sold the world to the demons. Just before being killed she had to watch Atlas being destroyed by Hell.
      • She later suffers from mind rape via a Pain Elemental, forcing her to remember every bad thing about her family.
    • Yang's nightmare is tamer, but having her stepmother killed in front of her by an Imp's arm that comes out of nowhere is very disturbing.
  • The cults are horrific enough on there own with sacrificing anyone to bring demons to Remnant, but the fact that almost anyone can be a member of these cults is Paranoia Fuel at it's most disturbing. The person right next to you could be a cultist just waiting to sacrifice you for a ritual, and you don't even know it.
    • Not only that, but the cults are really charismatic, convincing an entire city to just allow everyone to be sacrificed to Hell.
Deleted the descriptive part at the end.
  • The fact that a wrong word in the satanic rituals can kill the cultists is also terrifying. The cultists in the cathedral misread a syllable, and it alone was enough to kill everyone in the room with the exception of Fiola.
    • That being said, it was a good thing, because if he hadn’t misread the texts, a real gore nest and a portal would be created. In other words, Remnant just survived this one through sheer dumb luck.
  • The Marauder. A terrifying, demonic version of the Slayer, bearing the appearance of a demon/human hybrid. Imagine the ferocity and power of the Slayer in the hands of a demon. That's the Marauder.
    • It took the Slayer everything he had just to snap his neck! What happens next? The Marauder just gets back up and twists his neck back into place!
    • Seconds after having his neck twisted back into place, he was ran over by an combat APC, but hours latter he was together with a group of possessed Atlas soldiers in Bullheads. Yang even says that he is stronger than the Slayer. We'd like to repeat that. There is a demon stronger than the Doom Slayer!
    • Even more horrifying? He's out of Hell and on Remnant! God have mercy on whoever runs into him...
  • The demons and the cultists turned every other evil faction into a minor evil, because they're an unexpected opponent and far more evil, intelligent, and cruel.
    • The Grimm are dangerous in great numbers and the older they are, the more intelligent they become, but they're nothing near the demons, because with the exception of the normal possessed all demons are more intelligent than normal Grimm, and while all huntsman in Remnant train for their entire lives to fight the Grimm, almost no one knew about the demons until some weeks in-universe.
    • Scarier still is how demons can easily deal with Grimm. They have no souls and can be possessed easier than any human. Their bodies can be manipulated like clay; in chapter 15 an Alpha Beowolf was turned into a goat-like being that was inert until a possessed body was kicked into it. The "idol" was possessed and had to be blown apart with a super shotgun shot to be killed, even creating a maw with rows of teeth from his chest and tentacles to grab the Slayer! Body Horror doesn't begin to describe it.
    • We later see a Beowolf try to run away from Deag Grav, but fail. That deserves special mention. The Grimm, soulless monsters that feed on fear, are absolutely terrified of the demons!
Reworded the above two entries to remove chapter description and emphasize what's genuinely scary about these moments.

Just plain deleted everything on Marcus Black since it was nothing but description and I don't find him that scary, so someone who does should probably re-add it and a better way.

  • Deag Grav itself, the hell priest that tainted the Wraiths, turning them into living batteries for Hell, merged Argent D'Nur with Hell, and planned the trap that captured the Slayer, is the main threat to all Remnant. He has no problem with dirty tactics, including using dead bodies to hide himself before attacking (once in the cathedral and the second in the old ruins, killing Fox). He also doesn't give any chances to his enemies. In fact, he was the only one that objected to the idea of keeping the Slayer alive in the sarcophagus and despises the Dark Lord of the Fourth Age for punishing him for the Slayer's rampage and denying his ascension to a Baalgar, to the point of calling him ungrateful when the Lord called him in the D'Nurian ruin.
    • Had the rest of it’s kind actually listened to Deag Grav, they would have won! Had they killed the Slayer while he was sealed away like it suggested, there would be no one to stop Hell.
  • The Marysville Cathedral. Picture a ritualistic mass suicide where men, women, and children slit their throats, leaving an entire church of corpses rotting in death and decay.
Cut out most of the chapter description details.
So, do you guys think this is an improvement or should more changes be made?

Edited by ssjSega on Oct 5th 2019 at 4:44:08 AM

Oct 6th 2019 at 7:01:28 PM

Due to the fact that RWBY now has a Franchise.RWBY page, I've moved the Manga example from the NightmareFuel.RWBY page to its relevant Manga page (YMMV.RWBY 2015). As a result, I'm requesting on the Locked Pages thread that the Manga folder be removed from the NightmareFuel.RWBY page.

It feels so good to have no signature at last.
Oct 6th 2019 at 7:02:08 PM

From YMMV.The Grand Tour:

  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Clarkson's ecologically-sustainable car, made entirely from dead animal parts. Framed in bones and filled in with skins, it is beyond disturbing the first time you see it, and only gets worse as it starts rotting. It causes a sound guy to lose his lunch off screen and Clarkson to eventually do the same.
    • Hammond's now infamous crash of the Rimac Concept One. Although the cameras cut out after he went through the rail, Richard's cry of "I've crashed!" and the subsequent bone-crunching noises as his car flips down the hill afterward are gut-churning all on their own.
      • Even more horrific, it's admitted that the car, even after that, due to thermal runoff, was still burning, and could potentially be still burning now.
    • During the race in "Oh Canada", as Clarkson tries to back out of a dead end, we see the boat he's towing with his F150 beginning to go over the edge of a cliff. note 
    • Throughout "International Buffoons' Vacation", Jeremy repeatedly sees a mysterious figure in a racing suit— implied to be the American based on his body type and suit design— stalking the trio throughout the episode, until the person is revealed to be driving one of the RVs in the final demolition derby. Jeremy tips the figure's RV, winning the derby and supposedly 'killing him', only for him to come back and light a ring of fire around the trio's RVs while they sleep later that night. And then the episode just ends.

Not sure any of it qualifies.

Also, what about the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood examples I mentioned a while ago?

Oct 6th 2019 at 10:54:29 PM

The first example about the dead animal body car does sound legitimately disturbing, but the rest can go.

WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Oct 6th 2019 at 10:55:10 PM

[up] Agree.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Oct 7th 2019 at 5:01:17 AM

Agree with the removal of everything but the bone car. To be honest, the bone car just looked stupid rather than disturbing, but I can see how some people would be wigged out by it.

It feels so good to have no signature at last.
Oct 7th 2019 at 1:59:59 PM

Okay. I've cut everything but the bone car.

Oct 8th 2019 at 9:30:55 PM

It's a big wide world [of misuse], and it's waiting for me and you!

YMMV.Peep And The Big Wide World:

  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • This Discovery Kids ad. How is this scary?
    • The Scare Chord that plays when Peep sees a scarecrow in "Peep in Rabbitland." I vaguely remember this, and I think it did scare me as a kid. Keep with elaboration?
    • In "Stormy Weather," at one point, we see a gloomy-looking Peep staring right into the camera, accompanied with 10-note gloomy minor key music! Eh, this image isn't bad.
    • In "Quack's Tracks," Peep and Chirp are trapped near paw prints that have four toes. We all know that cats have four toes, and what they do to birds. Tom's SlasherSmile does not help. Does anything bad actually happen to them?
    • Here are some faces of insanity. I cannot fathom how a character with their eyes closed is scary.
Also, here's the baffling page of NightmareFuel.Angry Birds Toons:
  • While this is Angry Birds, some of the expressions the birds make when they're angry can be really unsettling at times. Simply put, those expressions show the birds mean business and aren't to be messed around with. General example, ZCE.
  • "Egg Sounds" has Red, Chuck, and Matilda visualizing the unhatched chicks as little versions of themselves. This eventually turns into a squabble, resulting in an appropriately hideous, hypothetical hybrid of the three that freaks them out. It's played for laughs and isn't particularly scary.
  • Red's rather dark Imagine Spot in the episode "Slingshot 101", where he imagines the pigs beating up the Blues, taking the eggs and King Pig eating them, complete with terrifying music and Nightmare Faces. See it here. I saw this as a kid and wasn't scared.
  • At the end of "Party Ahoy", King Pig watches as the volcano on the party island erupts and then sinks, with the pigs there still on it (thankfully, it only happens from the distance). You can even hear the pigs screaming as the island sinks. It's safe to say that King Pig dodged a bullet, as he spent the entire episode trying (and failing) to get to that island. FH.
  • King Pig's supposed Demonic Possession in "Pig Possessed". Even his minions know something’s not right with the king when he starts coughing after devouring the claw that causes his possession. Granted, it eventually revealed to be him just being choked by the claw, but it doesn't hide the fact how unsettling the atmosphere was. ZCE? Sounds kinda scary, though.
  • The eponymous story that Chronicler Pig reads to King Pig in "Golditrotters". At first, it plays out like the story it was based on, only with an Angry Birds twist, but then there's the ending: After the titular pig wakes up, she is confronted by three beast-like birds who resemble Red, Matilda, and one of the Bluesnote , and they look pissed. It gets worse. After a terrified Golditrotters runs to her home, she sees Terence in place of her grandmothernote . Golditrotters screams in terror, and the story just ends there. It's enough to give King Pig nightmares, because earlier in the episode, he wanted to read a book about a vampire. Sounds more funny than scary.
  • Red's Unstoppable Rage in the beginning of "Happy Hippy", wherein he gets so mad that he's destructive and is foaming at the mouth/beak like a rabid dog. It's perhaps the angriest Red has ever gotten in the entire franchise. And at the end Matilda goes berserk too as Red futilely tries to get her to calm down, with the fact that she was the one trying to calm Red down earlier making her rage even more terrifying. Again, seems normal.
  • Chuck's reaction to finding out that the eggs he was trying to rescue were fake at the end of "Eggshaution" is rather disturbing. To be exact, he goes insane and starts repeatedly shouting the word the characters use to refer to the eggs as he pours white paint that the Blues were using for the fake eggs over his head. Doesn't sound exceptionally nightmare-inducing.
  • "Stalker", which features King Pig being stalked by one of his own minions. Namely, the pig that works at the hot dog stand begins to follow King Pig everywhere he goes while making what can only be described as a face of disturbing obsession that stares at you no matter what (and with Scare Chords while at it). Of course it makes King Pig so paranoid that he needs his minions to scout for him so he wouldn't run into the stalker... The title card isn't any less creepy, either. Sounds like it could count.

Edited by Grotadmorv on Oct 8th 2019 at 9:38:09 AM

WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Oct 8th 2019 at 9:32:52 PM

[up] I say cut all of them, maybe keep the crying one I guess...

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Oct 9th 2019 at 12:28:07 PM

We've looked at Spongebob's page, right? Because either way, it needs scrubbing. People are still adding poor examples.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Oct 9th 2019 at 3:34:19 PM

Yeah, I remember cleaning it up. But it's back? I guess "SpongeBob in RandomLand" created new interest in the page...

Oct 9th 2019 at 10:19:52 PM

Let's try this a third time.

YMMV.Once Upon A Time In Hollywood:

  • Nightmare Fuel: The few glimpses we get of Charles Manson and his "Family" are creepy as shit.
    • The second trailer shows a shot of three Manson cultists walking down Cielo Drive at night, knives in hand. It's incredibly unsettling, especially in contrast to the bright and cheerful "peppy Hollywood" mood from the rest of the trailer. Even worse is that Paul Revere and the Raiders' upbeat song "Good Thing" never stops playing over the scene. Trailers Always Lie. That is not how the scene plays out in the film, nor is it the music that plays during it (in fact, part of this scene is Played for Laughs, where they get yelled at by Rick and one "forgets" her knife, goes back to get it and drives off in their car).
    • Everything involving Spahn Ranch is just off in a very ominous way, even though we never actually see Charlie there. Probably the most unsettling is the way everybody clears out of George's shack as Cliff approaches it, then just stands there in the middle of the "street" sullenly watching him go up the steps. Creepy and ominous, sure, but tension is not Nightmare Fuel. And The Reveal that George Spahn is alive and well (if blind), like Squeaky said, would make it Nightmare Retardant.
    • The cinematography surrounding Squeaky is even more ominous. Until the scene at the shack she never has her face shown onscreen; when it is the camera lingers on her Death Glare, which she never takes off Cliff, while her identity is advertised by a live rat in a glue trap, squeaking futilely. The notoriously scary Screen Gems "S From Hell" logo can also be heard on her TV. Again, tension is not nightmare fuel. The scene also ends with Cliff driving away from the ranch unharmed. And this is the Screen Gems logo; at worst a Jump Scare.
    • So you're an innocent tourist who loves horses and old Hollywood Westerns. What could be more fun and relaxing than a trail ride through an oft-used location — guided by the Manson Family. Truth in Television, incidentally.... Fridge Horror.
    • The gruesome deaths of Tex, Susan and Patricia. Getting mauled by a dog is already horrific enough, but so is having your face smashed in on every nearby surface all across the room—apart from having a can of dog food embedded into your face, getting cut up by shards of glass as you crash through a glass back door, nearly drowning in a pool, and finally getting set ablaze. Couple of problems with this one. First is in-universe horror. Second, bloody and gruesome, sure, but they're also Manson Family cultists out to brutally murder people, so it's hard to feel sorry for them. Third, it's an R-rated Quentin Tarantino film, so this isn't out of the ordinary. Also, for what it's worth, this scene is listed on both Funny.Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Awesome.Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

I cut everything a while ago, but it was re-added with a reason that amounts to "someone might be scared".

Oct 10th 2019 at 7:03:29 PM

I haven't gotten many responses for the proposed edits and re-working of entries to the Remnant Inferis: DOOM Nightmare Fuel Page. Should I take that as a sign to go through with the edits?

WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Oct 10th 2019 at 7:04:55 PM

[up] Yeah, go ahead.

[up][up] You may not want to be the one to make the change again as it may be considered edit warring. But...yeesh. Who reverted you?

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
TalesofUnder Art by Taco Badger from The Tropers’s Apartment Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Art by Taco Badger
Oct 10th 2019 at 7:35:23 PM

According to my research, their name is “friscokid182”.

My father always told me: “Always have a bazooka, son.” I was more commited to that in season 1.
XFllo Witch from Where foxes bid people good night... Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Oct 11th 2019 at 3:38:14 AM

NightmareFuel.Miserable — is this subpage even needed? It's ZCE, it claims it might be scary for some. Other subpages imply it's played for laughs.

Brainulator9 Regular garden-variety troper. from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Regular garden-variety troper.
Oct 11th 2019 at 10:31:22 AM

[up] The page in its entirety:

  • The ending of the music video can be this for some.

Yeah, please Cut List it.

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
Oct 11th 2019 at 11:29:15 AM


Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
TalesofUnder Art by Taco Badger from The Tropers’s Apartment Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Art by Taco Badger
Oct 11th 2019 at 1:01:27 PM

Looks like it’s another Drakos25 edit.

Cut it and DM them Zero-Context Example.

Edited by TalesofUnder on Oct 11th 2019 at 3:01:57 PM

My father always told me: “Always have a bazooka, son.” I was more commited to that in season 1.
Oct 11th 2019 at 3:04:23 PM

friscokid182 reverted the edit and left this as the reason:

Nightmare Fuel is subjective. Just because you don't find something as scary as somebody else, that's no reason to outright remove it. In any case: I think the climax stuck with most people afterwards.

WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Oct 11th 2019 at 3:05:41 PM

We should probably invite them to discuss.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread

Page Action: Nightmare Fuel Other
24th Aug '19 5:20:24 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
What should be done with this page? Options are mutually exclusive.

Total posts: 1,778

How well does it match the trope?

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