I have an overabundance of nostalgia for the TV shows I watched as a kid. As someone now obsessed with horror movies and Halloween, thinking back to the things I watched as a kid in the late 90s and early 2000s … well, let’s just say he there could be a correlation as to the origin of this interest.
In what will show my age, here is a list of my favorite “scary” episodes from kids’ TV shows.
1. “Have you seen this snail?“, Sponge Bob SquarePants Season 4, Episode 3
The heyday of children’s comedy can be summed up by the antics of a talking sponge and his silly starfish best friend. But it’s a little surprising how many borders Spongebob would grow. From somewhat gruesome and hyperrealistic close-ups to the now-prevalent depression of Squidward, the show’s creators certainly didn’t try to pamper their young audiences. Especially with this Stephen King episode.
SpongeBob involuntarily forgets to feed his pet snail Gary, who runs away thinking he’s no longer loved. An old woman named “Grandmother” takes it as hers. The creepy old bat – which is animated with disturbing details, varicose veins and all – seems sweet, at first. That is until Gary comes across a cupboard containing the empty shells of old house snails that were overfed to the point of bursting, and finds out that Grandma was trying to lead him to the same fate.
Honestly, what is it.
2. “Arthur’s Almost Live Not Real Music Festival” Arthur Season 3, Episode 11
In the Arthur Best known episode for the absolute banger “Library Card”, there is also a segment with a song performed by the character Brain called “Jekyll-Hyde”.
I would have been pretty young when this came out, so give me a little slack if you decide to watch it now. The cartoon bear (I think that’s what it’s supposed to be) transforms into a ghoulish green monster that eats eyeballs and wreaks havoc, for god’s sake. I got tough and got over it pretty quickly, but I vividly remember having a nightmare after watching it for the first time.
3. Each episode, Courage the cowardly dog
The definition of “nightmare fuel” can be found in every episode of Courage the cowardly dog. The combination of disturbing animation styles and haunting intrigue did a great job of ensuring that my sleep pattern was regularly disrupted. I don’t know how this show was lighted up for children’s consumption, but it certainly didn’t deviate from tackling the horror thoroughly and introducing the scariest, scariest characters I have ever had. never seen.
Have I ever missed an episode? Absolutely not. Did it scare me every time I looked at it? You bet.
4. “Floa’s Tale of the Dead Mant,” Are you scared of the dark? Season 5, Episode 1
To think about all the shows that have existed to terrify children during this golden age of television is really something else. Are you scared of the dark? was a Canadian-American teen horror show that I vividly remember watching on YTV every Saturday night. The openness alone was enough to put any kid on their nerves, and this episode specifically messed me up for weeks.
What better entertainment material for a toddler who takes swimming lessons every week than a 25-minute story about a disfigured pool monster trying to drag unsuspecting teens to death? I was convinced for weeks that if I was ever alone in a swimming pool, this bizarre creation would grab me by the foot and pull me under.
5. “Pingu’s dream, ” Pingu Season 1, Episode 26
Penguin, with all of its vague plots and chatty, absurd language, was a show I loved – until I watched this episode. My confidence in this clay penguin was completely destroyed the moment I saw on screen the absolute atrocity that was the walrus conjured by Pingu’s dream.
This bizarre, human-looking unnatural crime spends a few minutes annoying a traumatized Pingu, ending up eating his bed and laughing at him as he runs away. I don’t blame him for crying in his mother’s lap when he wakes up, the poor guy probably needed therapy to cope with this ordeal.
6. “Stay out of the basement” Goose bumps, Season 1, Episode 11-12
For whatever reason, owning this specific double episode of Goose bumps on a VHS tape increased the fear factor for me as a kid.
The concept of the script was quite complicated by the standards of children’s television – a father of two is a botanist who was fired from his job as a teacher and has some weird, possibly very illegal, experiments that no one is allowed to do. see. He warns his children when their mother has to be away for a few days to “stay out of the basement”.
It’s certainly dated by today’s standards, but damn it, it never petrified me.
Honorable mention: Bizarre stories
Nothing says healthy entertainment like a maggot and a cockroach telling grim “true” “friend of a friend” stories, which usually involved something slightly gross or unsettling.