Once upon a time, innocent eyes were kept away from TV brutality and cable shows had to be careful not to curse or show any sensitive subjects on screen. Yet today, with everything and everyone streaming, mature and violent TV shows are on-demand for anyone with an account to get their hands on.
So, whether you love the brutality of modern TV or shake your head at it, we know that TV show creators are pushing boundaries. Certain shows are known and revered for their violence, so without further ado, here are the some of the most brutal and violent TV show scenes out there.
Please note that given this sensitive subject matter, please be advised before watching the scenes provided below as they are violent.
15. Red Wedding, Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is the only show with some of the most violent TV show scenes ever that I will always defend and watch. I’m not sure why most of the shows are too much for me, but this one is a favorite of mine? Maybe it’s a bit too fictional so I can separate the show.
Either way, we can’t talk about violent shows without talking about the Red Wedding in season 3. A wedding where the Starks are finding union and love turns into turmoil when not only Robb Stark and Catelyn die, but so do all of Starks bannerman and his Robb’s fiancée, Talisa Maegry, who is also stabbed multiple times in the belly as she is pregnant.
14. Meat Grinder, You
You is disturbing. I know it has a huge following base, but it’s purely disturbing. Joe Goldberg is a dangerously charming, yet obsessive man that will go to extremes to insert himself into the lives of those he is transfixed by.
And usually that involves killing. In the second season, Joe is seen trying to get rid of a body, so viewers get a great montage back and forth of Love cooking a meal, and Joe using her kitchen to chop up a body, and yes, he uses the meat grinder.
I would love to put in an episode or scene, but let’s be honest, Dahmer was a show for the strong-willed. In this show, you can follow the story of a cannibalistic serial killer named Jeffrey Dahmer, a name I feel like we’re all aware of and have heard.
In this show, you can see how Dahmer picked his victims, how he acted, and what he did when he had them where he wanted them. And one such scene was a 14-year-old victim, the youngest known victim.
After being groomed, drugged and lobotomized, Konerak Sinthasomphone, played by Kieran Tamondong, manages to escape and find help from the neighbors. But eventually Sinthasomphone is found later dismembered in Dahmer’s apartment.
12. When Famine Comes to Town, Supernatural
Anything about the supernatural or hunting down demons should scream violent, as the show following just that definitely is. Supernatural follows two brothers who follow their father’s footsteps as hunters, fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds, including monsters, demons and the gods that roam earth.
This episode in particular focuses on a couple who are making out, only to start eating each other. It’s gruesome and vivid, as you see the roommate comes home and finds the man is still eating.
11. Thanksgiving with the Trinity Killer, Dexter
Dexter is known for having some of the most violent TV show scenes, I mean, Dexter is all about killing. It follows Dexter who is a serial killer who spends his days solving crimes, then spends his nights committing them.
One episode that is terrifying and disturbing is in season four during Thanksgiving dinner with the Trinity Killer, or Arthur Mitchell, who shows us a glimpse of his life like breaking his son’s finger and choking him after he destroys an urn. It’s violent and horrific.
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10. The Peacocks, The X-Files
The X-Files is an incredibly well-known series with 11 seasons, following two FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully who investigate strange and unexplained.
One such episode that really puts a horrible image in the head is with the Peacocks, a family of inbred mutants. Not only do they have their mother living under their bed so they can frequently rape her, but they also buried a baby alive. It’s a terrible and disgusting episode.
9. A Gruesome Hunt, Yellowjackets
Most on this list are about an episode far within the season or show, but no, Yellowjackets opened up with one of the most horrifying and gruesome episodes in a TV show. The story follows a wildly talented high school girls’ soccer team who become unlucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the Canadian wilderness.
The series starts with a girl running for her life, seemingly being hunted by the rest of the team. The girl falls in a pit full of spikes, and is then eaten for the team to survive. I can’t deal with violent scenes, and I definitely can’t handle cannibalism, I’ve read The Road too many times to voluntarily see more of it.
8. Turning a Human into a Cello, Hannibal
I’m not one for gruesome scenes, in fact, just writing this type of stuff makes my stomach turn. There’s something about mutilation to a body that just makes me drop a show immediately, but for others, it’s disgustingly intriguing, especially for those that enjoy true crime.
And one show that has a lot of that sort of demented crimes that might interest you is Hannibal, which explore the relationship between renowned psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter and young FBI criminal profiler who is haunted by his ability to empathize with serial killers.
One such scene in this gruesome show is halfway through season 1 when the investigator, Will Graham, ran up against a musically inclined murder that even impressed Hannibal. The scene shows a body that was transformed into a human cello, an image that will forever be stuck in your head.
7. Poussey’s Death, Orange is the New Black
Movies and shows that take place in prison is actually really interesting, even to me. That being said, Orange is the New Black is still one that puts me on edge when thinking about the gruesome episodes. I love the drama and the dynamic of the characters, as well as all the development, but it still is a rough show.
The story follows a Piper Chapman who is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars after being convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend.
It’s definitely an interesting show, but there are some moments that make you queasy, for instance, the death of Poussey Washington. During a peaceful protest, Poussey accidentally gets suffocated by CO Baxter “Gerber”, which shocked fans and caused a riot in season 5.
6. Abraham and Glenn’s Death, The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is one of the many shows that everyone has heard of, even if they’re not a fan. It’s one of those shows that you can totally binge and watch even more content after you finish the main series. The franchise is huge, and there’s still more happening with it. That being said, it’s also brutal.
Well, any show about a zombie apocalypse has to be brutal. The story follows Rick Grimes, a sheriff deputy who has just woken from a coma to see that the world is in ruins from a breakout, turning victims into walking dead. He takes in a group of survivors to try and find shelter and a new way of life, but of course, with the dead, and even survivors, there’s always trouble around the corner.
One such trouble is Lucille, who appeared in the end of season 6. The last show of the finale showed a man wearing leather, holding a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. Season 7 opened with fans witness the disgusting, brutally murder of two fan favorites of the show, Abraham and Glenn, getting their skulls pounded with the favored weapon of Negan, Lucille.
5. Prince Oberyn’s Head-Popping, Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is definitely known for its brutal nature because it depicts a time period in which violence was much more raw and frequent. From the end of season one to the last episode of season 7, there are countless deaths and they seem to get worse as the show continues on.
Out of all of the deaths in this show, there is no other scene that comes close to the one when Prince Oberyn’s head is crushed by The Mountain. The gruesome visuals along with the element of surprise shocked audiences everywhere, especially since it seemed like Oberyn won the battle just seconds before this clip.
Once the Mountain rolls over, he thrusts his thumbs into Oberyn’s eyes and pops them into his head with pure strength. It’s absolutely gruesome and lots of blood is shed. Other tv shows might depict shootings or stabbings, but this kind of close up and bloody shot only uses pure human force. This kind of death has rarely been done making it one of the most violent TV show scenes.
4. Jarl Borg Blood Eagle, Vikings
Vikings is another TV show packed with brutality and bloody battles. It even shows people being cut in half with swords and skewered with spears. Still, the method of a Viking’s punishment is most brutal of all.
It’s called the Blood Eagle and it’s a kind of death in which the person is alive while the executioner cuts them open and removes their ribs. In the world of Vikings, this act is feared by all and rightfully so. The most brutal representation in Vikings was the execution of Jarl Borg.
It is a fairly long scene at four plus minutes, which makes the process particularly tedious and gruesome. The scene is regarded by many critics as the most brutal death scene on Vikings.
3. Crazy Farm House Shootout, Gangs of London
Gangs of London takes Game of Thrones and surpass its non-stop brutality. In the first ten seconds of the first episode, an innocent person is hung from an unfinished skyscraper before being set ablaze and dropped. This sets the tone of what is to come.
The most eye-widening violence comes during a crazy shootout at a farmhouse. While Games of Thrones and Vikings showcase swords and shield combat, Gangs of London uses raid-style fighting and gunplay.
In the farmhouse scene, there are a lot of guns, bombs, and blood. Over the course of this one episode, the house is destroyed, and bodies are cut to shreds with automatic gunfire. By the end, there are dead men and women everywhere, which ranks it third among the most violent TV show scenes.
2. Sedullus’ Face Sliding, Spartacus
In a series like Spartacus, violence, and brutality is a must in order to keep it authentic to the violence at that time in history. It also adds to the drama factor, making the show a must watch. The is one scene stands out in particular when we think about the most violent TV show scenes: the death of Sedullus.
This death scene shows his face cut into two with a sword. They do not cut away from the shot at all either. They show everything from blood to brain. It is one of the most horrific deaths in a TV show imaginable and genuinely nightmare-inducing.
1. Otto Biting His Tongue Off, Sons of Anarchy
When you think of Sons of Anarchy, you probably don’t check the boxes for brutal, gruesome, or horrific. Yet, at the moment Otto bites off his own tongue to ensure he doesn’t give testimony to the police, those boxes are checked.
It’s definitely violent in the sense that the plot features a lawless motorcycle club that gets into selling illegal guns, but this scene took it to a new level of intensity. For fans of the show, this scene left them shocked and afraid of what might happen next.
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For the most violent TV show scenes, it really depends on what you can handle and what you want to watch. From cannibalism to murder, the producers and editors have done a fantastic job at creating scenes that make you forget that it isn’t real.
While there are some shows that put truth on the screen, like Dahmer, it truly makes you forget that you’re watching acting on the screen. If you’re wanting to get down and dirty with some of the most gruesome scenes, these are just a few great shows to start with.
How are the Most Violent TV Show Scenes Not Real?
After watching all of these violent TV scenes, it can be easy to forget that they are not real. The reason that is possible is because of the crew behind each TV series. With special effects, costumes, video editing, and props, all of this admittedly entertaining TV can be made to look so real on film.
Fake blood has been one of the handiest tools in these situations, which is evident all the way from eye smashing, head cutting, and tongue biting. While it’s very believable, it can always feel good to know that this level of brutality has been eliminated by modern society.
We still have guns, war, and other violent realities that connect us to these shows in certain ways. But, for your enjoyment, all of the above were made for entertainment purposes only.
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