Great TV is a great distraction from the chaos of life. It gives you a moment to breathe, get lost in a fantasy and have a moment to yourself that's simply a pure, beautiful, relief... That is, unless it's a moment on a show you love that's so disturbing, it crawls into your mind and lays horrible eggs of revulsion that live with you for the rest of your life.
You know, pretty standard fare for modern television.
No one seems to do this better today than Netflix. They're specifically designing binge-watchable shows that make those crazy episodes even crazier. These are the moments that make you gasp, jump on social media, and scream about what you've just seen - and we love them!
We thought it was high time we put together the best of these worst moments. We hope you enjoy this twisted list filled with violence, awkwardness, and death. We're hoping you recognize some, know which ones to avoid, and are inspired to watch others.
It also goes without saying that there are some pretty intense spoilers to come, so you have been warned.
And so, here are 16 Most Disturbing Episodes Of Popular Netflix Shows.
16 "In The Blood" - Daredevil
Yes, the Daredevil episode with the car door.
Really, that's all that needs to be said to conjure up horrific flashbacks of watching this episode for the first time and a now-present fear in your life of ever interrupting your boss' evening.
This is the episode where we really meet big bad Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) for the first time and understand why his henchman never say his name out loud.
This is a man with his dark past, an unspoken tragic connection to Hell's Kitchen and an animalistic intensity and power, even while out on a seemingly casual date. The whole scene builds tension and you can just tell it's going to culminate to something - although we can't say we ever saw that something being spontaneous decapitation by door. That's why he's the Kingpin.
And speaking of kingpins...
15 "The Kingpin Strategy" - Narcos
It was hard to pick just one moment from Narcos that was the most disturbing. We almost went with episode nine in season one, where Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) beats a man to death with a pool cue. Disturbing indeed, but not as disturbing as someone being drawn and quartered by motorcycle.
The premiere of season three wasted no time in showing us that, even without Escobar, Narcos is worth being addicted too. There are new villains, new DEA agents and new ways for people to die. We learn just how much of a twisted SOB is gang leader Pacho (Alberto Ammann), as he dances with, and then full-on makes-out with his rival's boyfriend, bashes the man over the head with a bottle and then tear him apart in front of the entire bar.
It's truly an episode or a character we won't soon forget.
14 "Button" - 3%
3%, Netflix's dystopian series from Brazil, was one of the most surprising and under-the-radar hits of the last year. If you haven't given this series a go akreadym you'll be enthralled by the cunning, scheming and overall ruthlessness of these children as they try to win a coveted spot in the 3%.
However, it's the final episode that packs a punch so hard, it makes you question what you'd do in that situation. For it's not just the better life that awaits them, the often spoken about "Purification Ritual" turns out to be surprised voluntary sterilization for the winning 20-year-olds.
We're still not sure what choice we would make in their situation, having gotten so far and then being forced to give up so much, but the question and the episode still disturbs us to this day.
13 "A Night of Surprises"" - Friends From College
This addition to the list isn't disturbing due to gruesome deaths or graphic sex as some of the others might, but instead, from the extreme awkwardness that comes from real life and the relatability to it all.
You ever have a night that's just so bad, it's like one train wreck after another? That's how Friends From College's season finale felt: a culmination of lies and adultery from multiple people at a friend's birthday party for people who, really, don't seem to be friends at all. The tension builds throughout the night until it culminates with secrets revealed and a car in a pool.
It's a truly sad ending for a show that, while it never found its footing, makes a pretty solid statement about the selfishness of the people you (hope) are your friends.
12 "So Then a Bat or a Monkey" - The Santa Clarita Diet
So just when you thought a room full of vomit couldn't get any worse...
Say what you will about The Santa Clarita Diet, Netflix's hat-in-the-ring on the current zombies trend, but stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant clearly had fun filming this show. That's nowhere more apparent than the first episode, where we meet the fun-loving husband-and-wife real-estate-agents-duo, and then watch their lives fall apart as Barrymore's Sheila slowly becomes a flesh-eating monster-mother.
There are a few scenes truly twisted in this episode, from Barrymore covering the house she's showing in gallons of pea-soup colored vomit to, of course, the eating of Nathan Fillion by the end. It may only get weirder from here, but the first step into this sunny world is a doozy.
11 "Measure of Disorder" - Hemlock Grove
Hemlock Grove has a few moments of pure boiled insanity. We're still not sure we'll ever get over that werewolf transformation, with Peter's eyes popping out and that snout tearing out of his face.
However, it's "Measure of Disorder" that takes the cake in a bakery filled with evil moments. Upir Roman Godfrey, played by Bill Skarsgård, is still one of the most twisted characters to ever walk across your television, and nowhere more than in this episode. You watch as he breaks down, does coke, cuts his own face, and goes on a destructive rampage after being ditched by his friends and cousin. When it doesn't look like it can get worse, he forces himself on poor Ashley and then uses his powers to make her forget all about it. It's as brutal as it is unforgivable.
In a show filled with WTF episodes, this one still has to be the worst and most disturbing of them all.
10 "The Old Sugarman Place" - Bojack Horseman
BoJack Horseman's another show with some moments so depressing, you wonder how you'll ever function after watching them. We're obviously not crying over a cartoon - you are!
While moments like BoJack and Penny's kiss or the death of Sarah Lynn were gut-punching, the worst of the bunch has to be this family flashback. Up until this last season, we only got brief glimpses into BoJack Horseman's family, but here we dove headfirst into their past.
We see his mother, his grandparents happy with their son Crackerjack heading off to World War II, the news of his death, and the complete mental breakdown of BoJack's grandmother, Honey. By the end, when you learn she had a lobotomy to cope with the stress, you can't wait to get back to the depressing present.
9 "AKA 1,000 Cuts” - Jessica Jones
Poor Jessica Jones. Not only is she held hostage and violated by a twisted sociopath, but when she eventually escapes this living-hell, no one listens to her warnings about the man.
There are a few examples of people disregarding Jessica's advice when it comes to Kilgrave in this one, each worse than the last. You have Wendy trying to kill Jeri with 1,000 cuts (and her murder by Jeri's secretary and lover, Pam.) There's the poor victims of Kilgrave's insanity with nooses around their necks and his order for them to kill themselves. And the suicide of Hope as a last-ditch effort to escape him.
This episode is one moment after another, victim after victim, proving again that Jessica Jones is still the darkest thing Marvel has ever done.
8 "Away" - The OA
The OA's tale of the mystical moments beyond the vale of death was as beautiful as it was confusing, but that doesn't mean there weren't a few moments that truly messed us up.
It takes a while to find out what experiments are being done to these poor kids, locked in the basement of an evil, mad scientist, as they're drugged and dragged away to his laboratory. We finally find out in "Away", and it's just as awful as you imagine. Jason Isaacs's Hap is systematically drowning them to try and capture what happens on the other side and then erasing their memory so they start from scratch.
You never know how many times he's killed and resuscitated his experimental victims, but by the time Prairie arrived, he's clearly a practiced pro at it - and that alone makes this whole episode even more maniacal.
7 "Episode 2" - Mindhunter
Getting into Mindhunter, the serialized story of the birth of criminal profiling, you knew there were going to be some seriously deranged characters. However, no one was really ready for Ed Kemper.
Played by the fantastic and gigantic Cameron Britton, this real-life killer provided a wicked performance that will haunt you. His soft, slow, easy-going speaking pattern only adds to the creepiness factor of the disturbing acts that he recounts matter of factly. You can't look away, but at the same time that you want to run from the room screaming.
As the interview continues and you realize that Agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) is all alone with the maniac, no guard in sight, the tension becomes unbearable.
With David Fincher behind the wheel of the series and directing this episode, we're not entirely sure Holden is going to make it out alive. When he does, every viewer simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief, but the memories remain forever.
6 "Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers" - Stranger Things
Poor Will Byers, all he wanted to do was play D&D with his friends and ride his bike. Is that too much to ask out of life?
Clearly, it is. So begins the eerie tale of eerie happenings in Hawkins, Indiana, complete with gruesome monster murders in a secret laboratory and the first glimpse of the Stranger Things' demon. Will (Noah Schnapp) is hunted and then kidnapped in a scene that scared so many people, they never made it through the rest of the series.
The intense and depressing moments only grow from here, from Joyce (Winona Ryder)'s madness to the death of Barb (Shannon Purser), but this first episode will always remain the most disturbing of all... that is, until season two!
5 "Shut Up And Dance" - Black Mirror
Really, when it comes to disturbing television, Black Mirror could be a list all on its own.
It was truly hard to pick one episode that disturbed us the most, but out of all of them, "Shut Up and Dance" continues to haunt. It's not a mirror-reflecting as Bryce Dallas Howard's fantastic performance in "Nosedive" or as hard-hitting as the virtual-reality slaughter in "Men Against Fire", but this one is a slower burn.
We watch this poor kid go through hell to the point of fighting with and killing a random stranger, only to find out that this victim is actually a victimizer.
The end, when his perversion is revealed and the police are coming, you both feel for him and hate him all at once - the mark of true disturbing television.
4 "Sugarwood" - Ozark
Sure, we all sometimes hate our colleagues, but we never want to see them die, right?
The premiere for bleak family drama Ozark has a few key moments that have you gripping the armrest. You meet financial advisor and secret money launder Marty Byrde, played with pitch-perfect sad-sack grace by Jason Bateman. Turns out, his partner is stealing from a cartel and his wife is cheating on him.
From here, things get worse.
His colleagues are executed in front of him, his wife's lover is murdered by being thrown off a balcony, and he's made an impossible deal to try and save his life. The show is a slow build, but by the end, you're wondering Marty's going to get out and how he's survived this long so far, and disturbed by it all.
3 "Chapter 39" - House of Cards
Unlike the first couple seasons of House of Cards, where the shocking moments seemed to come every time Frank (Kevin Spacey) strode on screen, the later seasons were more of a slow burn - making the heart-stopping scenes even worse.
We think "Chapter 39" is the most heart-breaking for all characters. You have Claire (Robin Wright), whose hate for Frank radiates off the screen, ignoring and insulting him throughout the episode. Frank responds by choking her. And you have the conclusion of Doug (Michael Kelly)'s hunt for Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan), whose obsession has turned psychotic, where Doug assaults a man to find her location, tracks her down, kidnaps her, and brings her to the desert to die.
The last scenes of these characters, with a deceased Rachel half-buried and Doug shoveling her grave and Claire straight up telling Frank, "I'm leaving you," made for one of the bleakest episodes in a series known for being nothing but depressing.
2 "Tape 7, Side A" - 13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why is one of those shows that starts sad and becomes almost unbearable. You know high school student Hannah (Katherine Langford) has committed suicide, but like the rest of the town, lack the answer of why. As you begin to hear the tapes, you begin to understand the all-too-real horror.
It all finalized here, on the first side of the 7th tape. Hannah has been bullied, shamed, and then raped by the same guy who raped her best friend. When she can't find the help she needs, we watch her take her own life in the bathtub of her family home.
Even if you thought this scene might eventually come, nothing could prepare for you it actually happening. Netflix had to put a trigger warning at the start of this episode, and, with the content within, it's an absolutely necessary thing for them to have done: If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can always contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.
1 "The Animals," Orange Is The New Black
Oh, Poussey, you left us too soon.
We could feel something was coming throughout season 4 of Orange is the New Black, with the inclusion of the untrained, incompetent, and malicious guards being added to the prison staff, but we never thought it could be a moment like this.
Really, there's no better word than "awful" for what happens here: Piscatella's abuse of Red, the silent protest on the cafeteria tables, the take-down of the inmates by the guards, and the crushing of Poussey. When the chaos cleared and all that was left was the corpse of a truly fantastic character, how could you be anything but heartbroken?
Netflix has multiple shows with multiple disturbing episodes, but nothing has ever affected us like that final shot of Poussey, dead on the cafeteria ground, and we're not sure anything ever truly will.
Which Netflix episodes disturbed you the most? Let us know in the comments!