Not so long ago, I was happy to stumble upon a sector of the Internet wherein people discussed how unnerving they found the title cards and productions logos of yore, as it meant that I wasn’t alone in finding such vanity plates occasionally terrifying.  I remember being freaked out by the Screen Gems logo and its weird fanfare, the “ticky ticky tick” Viacom logo that only appeared late at night, and even some of the weirder Nickelodeon station IDs sent a chill down my spine.  But nothing that should not be scary was as scary as the whirling CBS Special Presentation tornado of death, accompanied by staccato drumbeats announcing my imminent demise and/or another showing of ‘Paper Moon’, leading to today’s entirely subjective query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) had a friend once who was utterly freaked out by the opening sequence of Liquid Television, melting as it did out of Faith No More music videos and such, asking: What thing that really should not be scary most upset you as a child (or as an adult, we don’t judge)?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Scott Gunstream on

    I had a Batman nightlight in my bedroom when I was a kid. Every night after my mom turned off the light, I would look at the bedroom door, then I would look at the closet door and then I would look at the end of my bed over and over again until I fell asleep. Today, according to the Progrssive commercials, it’s very silly because everyone knows that the monsters hide underneath the head of the bed!

  2. I remember seeing the Metallica video for ‘Enter Sandman’ when I was young. That video made me nervous, I think it was all the strobe light effects. As such, I’m still not the worlds biggest fan of strobe lights.

  3. J Michael T on

    The movie ‘Jaws’. I grew up on an island and conceptually should have clearly understood that a shark would not be able to attack me at home…. in my bed… in a locked house miles from the ocean…. but still… I guess reading comic books gave me a healthy imagination.

  4. Han getting frozen in Carbonite, and Luke getting his hand cut off.

    It’s probably the reason that, to this day, I can’t put Empire at the top of my Star Wars list, despite some of the best writing from the franchise.

    • I mean, I know those are both kinda scary things for a kid, but they scared me so much, that I would only watch New Hope and Jedi for YEARS afterward. I couldn’t give Empire another go until I was an adult.

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