Noughties kids’ TV shows we still have nightmares about

Honestly, who even approved these?


by Asher Brandon |

Kids' TV just isn't the same these days. It may be that we've just outgrown it but the shows from the noughties really did seem to be of a higher caliber.

From the child friendly social realism of The Story of Tracy Beaker, to the animated adventure series Avatar: The Last Airbender, which still holds up today, the noughties really was a great time to be a kid.

But with all these amazing, boundary pushing kids' TV shows, sometimes the boundary may have been pushed a little too far... especially when it comes to horror elements. 90's kids' TV shows often get called out for how terrifying they are, but honestly we think 00's kids TV was equally, if not even more terrifying. Here's a selection of the 00's kids' TV shows that haunt us to this day...

Check out: terrifying noughties kids' TV shows we still have nightmares about


Noughties kids' TV shows we still have nightmares about

Doctor Who, 2005 - present
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CREDIT: YouTube/Doctor Who

Doctor Who has always had a reputation for terrifying viewers. Right back from the 60's viewers would tune in anticipating scares. We often have to remind ourselves that it is, in fact, largely a show for children. And we would argue it reached peak terror in the 00's, specifically on 21st May 2005, when the infamous episode 'The Empty Child' was broadcast. This episode really took the horror elements of the show to a new level, introducing terrifying 00's CGI into the mix. The result was some truly traumatic body horror, and the introduction of the phrase "are you my mummy?" - honestly this episode was pure nightmare fuel and haunts us to this day.

The Story of Tracey Beaker, 2002 - 2006
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Tracey Beaker wasn't as much terrifying as it was completely traumatic. Whilst the show deserves credit for treading new ground in terms of what kids' TV show can talk about (and for creating a generation of "BOG OFF" screaming rebel children), the subject matter was nonetheless very dark. The scariest part was how realistic the show ultimately was. It tapped into real fears and anxieties of children, whilst remaining an engaging and educational show. So whilst it was, at times, a little terrifying, it was still a great show we're all glad we grew up on.

Sorry, I've Got No Head, 2008 - 2011
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Sorry, I've got No Head was a hidden gem of a kids' TV show. It was a sketch show in the vein of Monty Python, that really leant into the bizarre (and occasionally into the terrifying). The bizarre concepts really made for some horrific viewing. The reoccurring sketch the show gets its name from features a headless man stumbling around, apologising. One of the scariest sketches features a terrifying dinner lady who threatened students with torturous punishments if they order 'the wrong meal' ( and every meal is 'the wrong meal'). The terror of this show really comes from its weirdness. It's basically a Mighty Boosh for kids.

Trapped!, 2006 - 2010
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Trapped! was such an iconic kids' TV show, in part because it featured real 00's kids. On the reality show a group of kids would make their way up a tower, one room at a time. In each room one child would be left behind (Trapped!), either an innocent child, or a saboteur who has convinced the other kids they are innocent. By today's standards the show doesn't sound super terrifying, however to a kid watching the show, it genuinely seemed like the kids were actually trapped in the rooms forever - the stakes really couldn't get any higher. The creepy man who presented the show also provided a fair bit of nightmare fuel.

Boohbah, 2003 -2006
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CREDIT: YouTube/ Boohbah - Wildbrain

From the creator of Teletubbies comes an arguably even weirder show (we know, we really didn't think that was possible either). Boohbah really dials up the weirdness of Teletubbies up to 11, leaving behind any sense of story and moving into a weird psychedelic realm full of science inspired shapes colours. The Boohbahs themselves are these weird fluffy ball people without mouths who hold hands and fly through the sky. Honestly this show was so weird it became purely terrifying. The intro sequence says it all, with a child creepily chanting "Boohbah, Boohbah" - we know it's a show for kids, but still the sound of a small child chanting something is just objectively creepy.

What's New, Scooby-Doo? 2002 -  2006
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Scooby-Doo has terrified generations of young children. And even though the ghost or monster is always unmasked and revealed to be a person, there is still that sense every episode that the monster could be real. What's New, Scooby-Doo? was the 00's kid's version of the show and it really took the original concept and ran with it, producing some of our most traumatic memories from 00's TV.

Mona the Vampire, 1999 - 2006
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Another animated 00's gem was definitely Mona the Vampire. This series saw the titular character, Mona, playing make-believe as a vampire. Whilst the scenarios were 'make-believe', the show portrayed them as being as real to us as they were to Mona. This led to some truly terrifying situations that really traumatised us as kids. Outside of this, however, this show is a great (somewhat) forgotten gem, with arguably one of the catchiest theme songs around ("show us your fangs, yay Mona!").

Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids,  2000 - 2006
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CREDIT: Prime Video

When it comes to some truly terrifying Kids' TV, Grizzly Tales for Gruesome kids surely takes the crown. In what other show on this list (or perhaps ever) has there been a terrifying barber who cuts off the tongues of small children? Or a story about a child who torments spiders who is then punished by having spiders crawl inside his mouth to turn him into a giant spider? Honestly, this series was ridiculously terrifying for a kId's show - we really can't imagine it being made today. They really went ham on the cautionary tales, showing children being violently punished for making mistakes. The use of stop motion also gives this show extra points for creepiness.

The Sarah Jane Adventures, 2007 -2011
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Ok, we guess you could argue that Doctor Who isn't just for children... but this spinoff definitely was, it even aired on the CBBC channel. Whilst it was aimed at a younger audience that the original show, it didn't lose any of the creepiness. In fact with the introduction of the eyeless alien the Trickster who was able to erase you from existence, it was at times even more terrifying.

Raven, 2002 - 2010
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As with Trapped!, Raven terrified us as the stakes seemed so high. Except the stakes were maybe even higher: if one of the real child contestants messed up they could have been wiped from existence - ouch. No wonder this show left us traumatised. It felt so real at the time, so of course we were terrified but few had the bravery to sign up to the show.

Lazy Town, 2004 - 2014
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CREDIT: YouTube/ Lazy Town

We didn't really question Lazy Town when we were kids. We kind of just took it for what it was. But looking back... this was a WEIRD show. Outside of the bizarre almost real aesthetics, the character design was super disturbing, from Robbie Rotten's rubber hair and strange prosthetics to the weird rubber puppets. Honestly it was hard to tell where the puppets ended and the live action cast began. For its weirdness alone, Lazy Town definitely belongs on this list.

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Whilst all these shows were TERRIFYING in their own way, they all hold a special place in our hearts. Many of these shows really pushed the boundaries of what kids' TV could be and came up with some groundbreaking stories and characters we will never forget.

Whilst they may have often (and we MEAN often) veered into creepiness, these shows seem to trust that their audience would be alright with the scares... Obsessed.

Also let's be honest, we should be thanking these shows because by the time we were old to watch actual horror films they really didn't seem as bad as some of these childhood gems.

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