10+ Pop Culture Icons Re-imagined As Real Life Characters To Give You Nightmares

When you were a child, your days were filled with cartoons that would come onto your screen and make you laugh. They were the highlight of your day and the only type of entertainment you were allowed to watch. They were goofy looking and some of the most unrealistic cartoons we ever watched. We loved them, though, and we woke up every morning, raced down the stairs, and sat ourselves in front of the screen to get our fill of laughter and joy.

Did you ever think they would come to life, though? Did you ever think that one day they would become so realistic that they could terrify you? No, not at all! It did come across one persons mind, though. Australian digital artist Wil Hughes decided to use what he learned at Griffith University in Brisbane and turned the family-friendly pop culture icons we love into some of the most nightmarish realistic figures you will ever see. Some icon figures he transformed are Homer Simpson, Where’s Waldo, and Spongebob- and I promise you will not love them after you see what Hughes has done to them. But, I have to admit, the most scariest of them all is Ronald McDonald. If you have a fear of clowns, I would take a few deep breathes before seeing the 3D visual of him.

Hughes work is some of the most unsettling visual pieces of art you will ever come across, however, you will fall in love with how crazy talented he is. These icons are so unbelievably realistic you will undoubtably fall in love with them again- once you get over the shock of how disturbing they are. Continue reading below if you dare to see these icons, it’ll be worth the read!

1. Courage The Cowardly Dog 

Okay, let’s start off with a not so creepy one. Courage the Cowardly Dog was already a terrifying show with all of the creepy monsters Courage had to fight off. It was one of the most terrifying shows us kids ever watched, but we loved it because it was about a dog protecting his elderly owners from monsters and they never believed him. It was entertaining. Courage isn’t so entertaining now thanks to Wil Hughes- he just became part of the monsters. 

Image via: Postize

2. Vampire

Before Twilight ever existed, vampires were some of the most scariest people on television. Movies and television shows made them look like things we would only see in our nightmares, but they also made them some of the most coolest people you’ll ever meet. Your mind will change after seeing this hyper-realistic image of a vampire. 

Image via: Art Station

3. You Mad Bro? 

This is the universal image for, “you mad bro?” People use this every single day when they troll someone on the Internet. Hughes turned this hysterical troll meme into one of the most terrifying images you will ever seen. Or, maybe, this will be the new meme you send to your friends when you troll them? 

Image via: Art Station

4. Wally

By the looks of this image, Waldo isn’t as cute anymore. Thanks to Hughes, he isn’t a cute cartoon anymore that you need to seek in the crowd; he is a real person that is trying to fit into the crowd now. He isn’t as scary as the rest of them, but he is somewhat just a little creepy and can make you have mild nightmares about him. 

Image via: Wil Hughes

5. Hades

We loved this sassy villain in the 1997 film Hercules. We laughed at some of Hades’ remarks and we can now relate to him on a more personal level than before. He wasn’t scary to us as kids, he was just some weird looking dude that was always mad about something. Now, he is scary and is something that we don’t wish to see in our dreams. 

Image via: Art Station

6. Netflix Troll

Netflix is one of the most popular websites today that allows you to stream movies wherever you are. You never would of thought that there was a troll associate with the website, though. Hughes thought of one and made him look like something you don’t wish to encounter on the street- or while you’re watching a scary movie on Netflix. 

Image via: Bored Panda

7. Murdoc 

Murdoc Niccals is the cartoon that people loved because he was the English bassist from the virtual band Gorillaz. He was somewhat weird looking on the television screen, but this new recreation of Murdoc just made him look a bit creepier and scarier than before. Hopefully he could still be a great bassist. 

Image via: Art Station

8. Alien

Aliens have always been scary and terrifying. They are depicted in so many ways because people really don’t know what they look like. Hughes decided to give his two cents and contributed his interpretation of what an alien may actually look like. This one is just as scary as the rest, if not more. 

Image via: CGS Harenet

9. Spongebob

Who lives in the firey depths of the pits of Hell? Sponebob Squarepants! Who’s going to give you nightmares for the rest of your life? Spongebob Squarepants! The most lovable cartoon of all time is now something you see in your worst nightmare and is something that will haunt you for the rest of your life. I bet you won’t be watching Spongebob the same anymore. 

Image via: Art Station

10. Krusty The Clown

Krusty was the clown on The Simpsons that we weren’t afraid of and that we actually laughed at. He’s the clown that was a horrible influence and always had something bad happen to him. He wasn’t scary looking, but now he has joined the category of clowns you DON’T want to interact with.

Image via: Wil Hughes

11. Jellybean 

Jellybean’s are some of the most delicious candies in the whole world. People love them and devour them every day, making them one of the most popular candies to ever exist. Have you ever thought that maybe there was an ultimate jellybean? One that might have ruled over the rest of them? Hughes thought of one, and has turned it into something you don’t want to eat. And, it may have you rethinking eating one of his family members. 

Image via: CGS Society

12. Mr. Krabs 

Mr. Krabs is the money obsessed boss that Spongebob works for at the Krusty Krab. He’s a harmless boss, just slightly in love with money and only thinks about that. Nonetheless, he wasn’t scary at all. Now, he is one boss you don’t want to upset or go against because he may just snap on you. 

Image via: Artwork

13. Plumbus 

The all purpose device from Rick and Morty is already creepy enough on the show, but Hughes though that making it hyper-realistic would be even more terrifying. It’s an all purpose device that you may reconsider getting because of how it looks. 

Image via: CGS Society

14. Rick Sanchez 

Rick is another character from Rick and Morty that is loved by every single fan and has them wanting more from them. He just looks like a little crazy that’s all, but now he is turned into a complete nightmare.

Image via: Reddit

15. Grim

The Grim Reaper has always been death that is always cloaked and never exposing his face. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Maddy decided to give death a head and a face that wasn’t scary- it was actually quite comical. But, now that Hughes worked his magic with the Grim Reaper, he is something that people still fear and wish to never encounter him. 

Image via: CGS Society

16. Peter Griffin 

One of the most beloved dad’s on television resembles an almost realistic looking character, just like everyone else in the show. However, real life Peter Griffin isn’t so funny anymore- he’s actually quite terrifying. This lovable, relatable television dad is now pure nightmare fuel. 

Image via: Facebook

17. “No” Meme

Another classic meme has been used ever since it was born on the Internet. Whenever someone says “no” to another person, and they’re trying to be funny, they use this meme to express how they feel. It’s a meme that will never die and has always been goofy looking, but now it’s one where you want to use it more to scare your friends just a little bit. 

Image via: Facebook

18. Hunchback Uni Project

The Hunchback of Notre Dame made us realize that some people in the world do have a hunchback and they aren’t scary at all. He wasn’t meant to be scary and certainly didn’t look it, but now Hughes has us rethinking about this beloved movie character. 

Image via: Facebook

19. Mr. Meeseeks 

Mr. Meeseeks is supposed to serve one purpose and once it is fulfilled, they vanish into thin air. I think this Meeseeks purpose was to terrify everyone who looked at it and it should vanish into thin air any day now. 

Image via: Facebook

20. Salad Fingers

Salad Fingers was one of the most creepiest and scariest YouTube videos to ever be created. No one exactly what Salad Fingers was all about except that he loved rust and spoons and would do anything to get him. The already creepy icon has been made even creepier and will make you question his purpose even more. 

Image via: Facebook

21. Homer Simpson 

Another beloved television dad was never meant to be scary at all. He was the fun drunken dad that everyone wanted to hang out with because he just didn’t care about anything. Now, he is a dad you don’t want to upset or even hang out with because of how terrifying he looks. Or, maybe he is the same fun dad we love to watch on television. Would you risk hanging out with him?

Image via: Facebook

22. Ren and Stimpy 

This show was loved by all of the ’90’s kids out there. They watched it every single day and never paid any attention to how weird Ren and Stimpy actually looked. Now, Stimpy, the beloved cat of the show, is a cat that has been transformed into one of the most creepiest characters you will ever watch on television. 

Image via: Facebook

23. Palm Wine Dealer 

This art isn’t an staple pop culture icon, but it is something creepy that Hughes created. It makes the viewers think what exactly is going on in the art and why it looks the way it does. 

Image via: Bored Panda

24. Ronald McDonald

Okay, take a few deep breaths for this one. Ronald over the years has changed his look from a creepy terrifying clown to a happy-go-lucky clown that wants kids to eat at his restaurant. People who have a serious phobia of clowns may want to look away from this one because this is the ultimate definition of nightmare fuel. 

Image via: Facebook

25. Squidward

We can all personally relate to Squidward when it came to dealing with Spongebob. This octopus was seriously over what that sponge did and he never wanted to take part in his activities. He wasn’t scary at all, maybe when he got a little angry at Spongebob or he became the volcano superhero, but now he is just down right terrifying. I wouldn’t want to upset him in anyway. 

Image via: Facebook

26. Googly Bear

Mike Wazowski was the beloved one eye monster from Monsters Inc. that obtained the nickname “Googly Bear”. He was a funny guy that always had jokes up his sleeves and was never good enough to be a scarer. Now, I think he surpassed Sully and will be deemed the ultimate scarer. 

Image via: Facebook

27. Pepe

Aw, Pepe. This frog meme has been used for when people are sad, angry, or joyous so they can accurately express how they feel. He was a cute frog that everyone felt bad for and went “aww” every time they saw his meme, but now they’ll feel some type of way looking at this image. And trust me, you will only become sadder by looking at him. 

Image via: Facebook

28. Neomorph 

This alien species was already creepy when television viewers first laid eyes on it. Now, it has become even scarier thanks to Hughes and will have people hiding behind their blankets every time they see this hyper-realistic image of it. This is one species you don’t want to encounter. 

Image via: Facebook

29. Gary The Snail

Gary is one of the coolest snails you will ever meet. Seriously. He is over Spongebob just as much as Squidward is, he purrs, and he meows. What more can you want from a cute, lovable creature like Gary? Unfortunately, Gary isn’t cute and lovable anymore. Now, kind of looks sad and tired of life. 

Image via: Facebook

30. Pickle Rick 

When Rick turns himself into a pickle, it is one of the most funniest things that ever happened on the show. Even though he looked somewhat cute and adorable as a pickle, Hughes made sure he looks extra terrifying in his depiction of him. 

Image via: Facebook

31. Patrick Star

Spongebob’s best friend is so loved and relatable it’s insane. Everyone has a Patrick Star in their life and yes, they are just as cute as Patrick is. Patrick couldn’t escape Hughes, though, and has been turned into an odd looking man-starfish. 

Image via: Facebook

32. Plankton 

Mr. Krabs’ evil enemy has always been perceived as cute because he was so small and only had one eye. He wasn’t feared much because of his size, but now he is one person you don’t want to mess with. He now looks like he can fully conquer anything he wants and people will listen to him.

Image via: Facebook

33. Morty

Morty is an iconic character that is just an average looking boy trying to get through life. He’s funny and entertaining to watch, but this entertaining character has been made to look even creepier and scarier than before. Fans will be regretting ever seeing this version of him. 

Image via: Facebook

34. Smashing

Nigel Thornberry is back and scarier than ever. His character on The Wild Thornberry’s was already odd looking and somewhat scary to younger kids, but now he is just a full blown nightmare that no one wants to experience. 

Image via: Facebook

35. Hey Arnold

Arnold, a.k.a Football Head, was a show that EVERY ’90’s kid stopped whatever they were doing just to watch it. It was one of the best shows ever to be created, and Arnold was the coolest character ever. Now, he is just down right creepy and scary looking. Maybe this Arnold would look good in a horror movie spin off of the show. 

Image via: Facebook

36. Scary Terry 

This misunderstood character from Rick and Morty won the hearts of fans and is probably one of the best additions to the show. He was the shows second antagonist and was worried that he wasn’t scary enough. Have no fear, Scary Terry, you definitely succeeded with being scary with this look. 

Image via: Facebook

37. Ants In My Eyes Johnson

Don’t you hate when there’s something in your eye and you just can’t seem to figure out what it is? You think it’s a hair or a piece of fuzz or something, but you can’t get it out and it’s annoying? Hughes made sure we all understood that feeling by creating this man that has ants in his. Let’s just say this is a haunting one for sure. 

Image via: Facebook

38. Mr. Poopybutthole 

Yes, that’s his real name. And he is actually a long time family friend of the Smith’s in Rick and Morty. He is a dependable person, according to Rick, and is made to be quite a funny character. However, Hughes didn’t want him to be this way. So, now he is just quite a scary visual. 

Image via: Facebook

39. Antichrist

Ah, yes. The Antichrist. The person that goes against God in every way and is supposed to be some horrible being. Well, if you ask Hughes, not only is this person a horrible person, but they are also horrible looking. This is something that you see in images of Hell, making the Antichrist a staple image of the Devil. 

Image via: Facebook

40. Monster

When you think of a monster, what do you imagine? A three legged beast running after you with four eyes and two mouths with tentacles as arms? Or a four legged animal that is so horrible looking you can’t even describe it? Or, maybe you really don’t have a mental image of what a monster actually looks like. Don’t worry, Hughes has you covered. 

Image via: Facebook

41. Testicle Monster and Chris 

Another character from Rick and Morty is supposed to be creepy looking on the show. Now, Hughes has made this “monster” into an actual monster and has left fans speechless. It looks like the one on the show, just a tad bit creepier. 

Image via: Facebook

42. The Forbidden Fruit

Adam and Eve were not supposed to eat the fruit in the garden, hence the name the Forbidden Fruit. Eve, however, decided to listen to a snake and the eat the apple from the tree. So, since the fruit was perceived to be evil, Hughes made sure it remained looking that way. 

Image via: Facebook

All of these images are amazing to see- and creepy. The talent Hughes has is amazing and recreating these popular icon characters has made people swoon over his work. He is a master of creating nightmares for everyone and brings the words “nightmare fuel” a new meaning. Check out Wil’s Facebook for more images and learn how he does it! Be on the look out when you sleep tonight, one of these characters may just pop up out of nowhere.

About Carolyn Grace

Aspiring writer, student, loves animals, loves reading and writing, is obsessed with music.

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