Do you think that just because a television show is geared toward children that it’s all lollipops and sunshine? Most of the time that's the case, but there are some characters from our favorite childhood programs of yesteryear—and even today—that make kids worldwide frantically change the channel or dive behind the couch until the scary part’s over. So which ones gave us an unconditional fear to go near the TV? Read on and see the five creepiest children’s show characters... if you dare!
5) Sweetums (The Muppets)
To a small child, costumed mascots are, by virtue, horrifying. They’re huge, for one thing, and that lifeless mask frozen in a permanent smile or scowl doesn’t do much to ease tensions. That said, the towering monster Muppet called Sweetums accomplished all that and more by actually having a mouth and eyes that twisted and spasmed in mockery of human muscle movement. What's even more unsettling is that Sweetums sometimes will still walk around in parades and appear in Muppet-themed attractions at the Disney theme parks. Why did the Disney have to acquire the rights to the Muppets? Why?!
4) Toyman (Superman: The Animated Series)
Originally in the comics, Toyman was a diminutive and obnoxious little fat man that terrorized the citizens of Metropolis with weapons and other destructive devices modeled after toys (surprise, surprise). Since it was obvious that a little chubby guy jumping on Superman with a pogo stick wouldn’t make for engaging cartoon fare, the animators behind Superman: The Animated Series felt that a creepy, sadistic Toyman wearing a ventriloquist dummy mask is far better than a lighthearted rascal. Was it a success? If, by success, you mean "filled our nights with rampant night terrors," then yes.
3) Sabrina Doll (Pokémon)
Remember that part in the original Pokemon Red and Blue games when you had to face the psychic Gym Leader Sabrina and her suppressed emotions that manifested as an evil, child-like doll? And then when you lost the battle your character was shrunk down and forced to live in a toy world forever by the aforementioned emotion-monster-ghost-doll-thing? Yeah, we didn’t either, but the people behind the first season of the Pokémon anime were obviously playing a different version of the game than we were. Here's a montage of some of the creepier moments of this weird and creepy character.
2) HIM (The Powerpuff Girls)
It was easy for some people to disregard The Powerpuff Girls as a saccharine sweet cartoon meant to push a line of toys and other merchandise. Oh, how wrong they were. The Powerpuff Girls faced a multitude of memorable villains, but none were more frightening than the outright disturbing demon known as HIM; which is actually a perfect name since that’s the only one syllable word children can fearfully utter after their parents asked what scared the dickens out of them. With his echoing face, sudden fits of rage, and uncanny resemblance to Satan, HIM made us all cross our fingers that he wouldn’t be appearing in a new episode.
1) Eustace’s Trumpet (Courage the Cowardly Dog)
If it were possible, every entry on this list would, hands down, go to a monster or other creepy character from Courage the Cowardly Dog—a show notorious for scares that probably had more than one kid in therapy years down the road. In the series’ very last episode, “Perfect,” Courage is constantly berated for not being perfect by his owner Eustace, who also scares him with the shrill sound of his busted trumpet. That night, Courage—thinking about his imperfections in combination with the day's mistreatment—is visited in his dreams by a malformed and somewhat embryonic version of Eustace’s trumpet. Words alone don't do this scene justice, so watch the clip for yourself and get ready for the creepiest 10 seconds of your life...
Which character do you think is the creepiest?