1. The Opening Credits to Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Alright, whadda we got here? A boat, some swingsets? Great. Ooooh, shutters. I'm SO scared. I hope you don't close on my finger, spooky shutters, because that would be mildly annoying.

 

2. Being Without Your Parents on Sleepovers

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Why were you automatically terrified of spending the night somewhere where your mom and dad weren't? They were just two regular people. Whatever nutso stuff you were afraid of in the strange uncharted territory of your friend's house (monsters under the bed, alien invasions, etc.), if the shit ever DID actually hit the fan, odds are your parents would be pretty much useless.

 

3. Mrs. Trunchbull From Matilda

Mrs. Trunchbull is less a scary monster than she is an angry lady who probably has a very lonely personal life. Obviously no one's denying that she's a TERRIBLE school principal, but you'd probably be kind of testy if you had to deal with kids calling you "sir" and putting newts in your drinks too.

 

4. Your Loud Aunt or Uncle Who Was Just Being Nice to You

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Everyone has that one loud jokey relative you were afraid of as a kid, which is a real bummer when you grow up and realize that they were just trying to bond with you without doing the same old "what's-your-favorite-subject-look-how-big-you've-gotten" schtick as everyone else. It's hard to think of stuff to talk to kids about! They were doing their best! Luckily, as the cycle continues, you now get to unintentionally scare the pants off some poor niece or nephew.

 

5. The Flying Monkeys From The Wizard of Oz

Looking at them as a grownup, the flying monkeys are so clearly adult men hunched over and clumsily hop-shuffling around. Like many things on this list, the clear eye of adulthood reveals them to be more pathetic than frightening.

 

6. Adult Strangers Scolding You

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One of the most horrifying fates to a child is getting told off by an adult stranger, despite the fact that this telling-off never leads to anything all that bad happening. So the grumpy bookstore owner caught you touching a book even though you had also once touched a candy cane in your life. What's she gonna do, waterboard you? No. She can yell at you, but no human is actually allowed to do anything THAT BAD to another human. If kids knew this, they would behave way worse than they already do.

 

7. Any Power Rangers Villain

Across the board, the villains on this show were basically garbage in terms of nightmare fuel. Who were you going to be afraid of? The PUTTIES, the creatures made of PUTTY, possibly the least intimidating substance there is, whose main form of attack is doing a couple flips and waiting to get punched? Finster, who even the Power Rangers wiki admits "resembled an anthropomorphic white Scottish Terrier"? Squatt and Baboo? Please. MAYBE Rita Repulsa could be considered KIND OF legit scary, but come on. She's mostly just wearing a dumb hat.

 

8. Getting Very Lightly Hurt

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Hey, remember how you used to cry every time you fell and scraped your knee because you were scared? That was dumb, huh? Especially because as a child, you were also too small and uncoordinated to NOT be constantly getting hurt. Yet you still got freaked out every time it happened. LEARN TO EXPERIENCE PAIN, YOU SHORT IDIOT.

 

9. Rasputin From Anastasia

IRL Rasputin was a very scary historical figure, but in the movie, he is a brittle-boned buffoon who REALLY needs to trim his fingernails. And maybe make some friends other than a sycophantic albino bat. But mostly the fingernails thing.

 

10. Being Sucked Down the Drain of the Bathtub/Sink/Toilet

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The realization of this fear is simply not possible according to basic physics. Even as a small child, you were most likely much, much bigger than the drain in your bathtub. It just was never going to happen. Really. Never.

 

11. The Dark

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As rational grownups, we fully understand that there's nothing to be afraid of about the dark and we are 100% comfortable in pitch blackness. We promise. We're not scared.

...No, you are! Shut up! We're telling Mom.

 

Other dumb stuff you were scared of as a kid? Leave them in the comments!