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Love, Death & Robots: 13 Scariest Stories, Ranked

Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the Netflix show Love, Death & Robots.

Season two of Tim Miller’s Love, Death & Robots debuted on Netflix on May 14, 2021, instantly becoming one of the Top 10 most-viewed TV shows on the streaming service. Reduced from 18 episodes to eight, season two seems more focused on the highest quality of animation rather than a large number of stories. However, both seasons feature genuinely unnerving tales of technological terror.

In addition to the thematic human vs. robot motif, several of the animated shorts also feature humanity facing off with evil aliens, mutated monsters, deadly demons, ghoulish beasts, savage serial killers, and more. These have led to some of the absolute scariest episodes from Love, Death & Robots so far.

Updated on May 25th, 2022 by Hannah Saab: The recently released third season of the award-winning Netflix anthology series Love, Death & Robots has given viewers even more terrifying and wildly entertaining stories. It’s the perfect time to see how new fan favorites like ‘Jibaro’ and ‘In Vaulted Halls Entombed’ stack up against the scariest Love, Death & Robots episodes from the first two volumes.


13 Automated Customer Service (Volume 2, Episode 1)

In what plays like an animated version of Scream‘s infamous opening scene, ‘Automated Customer Service’ plays on the universal fears of a sentient robotic uprising. Set in an upscale assisted living community for seniors, a woman is relentlessly stalked by her robotic vacuum, with her dog unable to do anything about the assault.

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With tentacular hoses, bat-like lint traps, metal rods, and other impossible gadgets, the robot goes into unstoppable “Purge Mode” and begins destroying everything in sight. The meta-horror movie tropes, alarming musical stings, and inescapable claustrophobia are both fun and frightening, but the cutesy animation helps make the entire episode more comical than scary.

12 Helping Hand (Volume 1, Episode 11)

Alex in space in Love Death and Robots.

Equivalent to 127 Hours meets Gravity, ‘Helping Hand’ is a nauseating story about an incredibly smart astronaut named Alexandria who becomes marooned in outer space and is forced to make a grave decision to ensure her survival. In addition to the spooky atmosphere and crippling silence of outer space, the horror escalates when Alex attempts to repair an external satellite.

After a piece of debris punctures her air supply, her oxygen level rapidly decreases. Knowing she doesn’t have much time left, Alex opts to lop her own arm off in order to reach safe haven. Its bloody scenes are definitely almost too painful to watch, but the setting is so unique and specific that viewers likely won’t be staying up at night thinking the same thing could happen to them.

11 Sonnie’s Edge (Volume 1, Episode 1)

shark beast attacks in Love, Death & Robots

The inaugural episode of Love, Death & Robots was so determined to terrify its viewers that the episode ends with the query “Are you scared yet?” The gritty dystopian cyberpunk episode ‘Sonnie’s Edge’ is full of grotesque mega-monsters and hyper-gory violence. The story concerns Sonnie, a skilled fighter in deadly underground tournaments featuring otherworldly creatures. The first battle takes place between a vicious sharklike biped with lashing tentacles and a hulking rock mutant of some kind.

With brutal eruptions or gore, the story boasts a jarring twist ending. Viewers who are bothered by body horror may cover their eyes during the bloodiest scenes, but that’s where the horror ends for this episode.

10 Life Hutch (Volume 2, Episode 7)

Clarence cornered in terror in Love, Death & Robots

In one of the few instances to feature a live actor, ‘Life Hutch; adds a level of veracity that increases its overall terror. The episode follows Terrence, a downed astronaut on a barren planet who must make it to shelter until reinforcements arrive. Once he enters the shelter, Terrence is immediately accosted by a gigantic quadrupedal robot that resembles a ferocious guard dog with a glowing green eye.

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The simple story is an exercise in visceral terror as Terrence is trapped inside a small room where he must use his mind to outwit the relentless killing machine. There are hair-raising moments where it seems the protagonist may end up dying, but the satisfying ending means fans don’t have to stay up at night wondering what happens next.

9 Shape-Shifters (Volume 1, Episode 10)

Werewolf soldier in Love, Death & Robots

Due to the startling left-turn that it makes in the final 10 minutes or so and given the superbly realistic CGI, ‘Shape-Shifters’ is one of the most unsettling episodes of the show. The characters are also authentic and well written that true sympathy is felt for their plight.

Two U.S. Marines with extrasensory powers stationed in Afghanistan begin to sense something afoul with one of their own. After investigating, a rabid race of hyper-violent werewolves is revealed as a newfangled military weapon to fight enemies. The episode has no shortage of grisly gore and harrowing shocks, but its heartfelt story counteracts some of the terror fans may feel during its gruesome action sequences.

8 Bad Travelling (Volume 3, Episode 2)

Torrin looking down in Love Death and Robots.

‘Bad Travelling’ introduced audiences to one of the least likable characters in Love, Death & Robots, Torrin. It revolves around a crew’s experiences dealing with an intelligent crustacean called a thanapod, who has come aboard their ship demanding to be taken to Phaedin island.

Torrin sacrifices one crewmate after another, deeming them unworthy of life after they choose to kowtow to the thanapod’s requests. Each grisly death is more horrific than the last, but it’s the thanapod’s spine-chilling ability to control and speak through the crew’s bodies that result in truly disturbing scenes. The episode thankfully spends more time with the humans than the thanapod, which means it isn’t pure horror all the way through.

7 The Tall Grass (Volume 2, Episode 5)

Ma enters the tall grass in Love, Death & Robots

In a deft blend of tension, suspense, and dreadful atmospherics, ‘The Tall Grass’ is a genuinely mortifying episode. With absolutely stunning CGI, the story follows Laird, a train passenger whose curiosity gets the best of him when the locomotive breaks down in the middle of nowhere.

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Surrounded by rows of tall grass with flickering bulbs of light, Laird investigates and suddenly runs into a band of freakishly mutated alien monsters with huge mouths and countless razor fangs. The deliberate pacing and sudden eruption of violence make the story extremely creepy, which is why fans probably find themselves breathing a huge sigh of relief when Laird escapes without a scratch in the end.

6 All Through The House (Volume 2, Episode 6)

Monster vomits gifts in Love, Death & Robots

Although it’s one of the shortest episodes in the series, ‘All Through the House’ asks viewers to identify with their inner child during Christmastime. This adds to the vulnerability of the story, which features perhaps the scariest version of Santa Claus on Netflix.

Billy and Leah wake up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve to the sound of what they believe to be Santa delivering presents. Eager to catch Saint Nick in the act, the two kids are scared to near-death when a hideously repulsive, slimy pink ghoul with giant fangs slowly approaches them. When the ghoul vomits a neatly wrapped Christmas gift, the kids realize it was Santa Claus all along. It’s definitely something that will haunt some viewers during the holidays.

5 The Witness (Volume 1, Episode 3)

The Woman hides in taxi in Love, Death & Robots

‘The Witness’ is the most heart-pounding and viscerally thrilling episode in the entire series. With jolting and kinetic camerawork, sublime CG animation, and fiendish ferocity, the story serves as one protracted chase sequence.

After witnessing a murder through her apartment window, the killer spots The Woman across the alleyway. Determined to end her life, as well, the killer indefatigably hunts The Woman through the graffiti-strewn streets of Japan. The Witness is as wicked as they come with unmatched style and intensity to go with barbarous stints of carnage. The hair-raising twist that it’s an endless loop is bound to cause some viewers discomfort.

4 Swarm (Volume 3, Episode 6)

Love Death Robots Swarm

The Volume 3 episode ‘Swarm’ is quickly gaining notoriety for its unique premise and unforgettable twist. It’s centered on the titular being, which has been around for millennia. The two humans in the story – Simon and Galina – make the terrible mistake of underestimating the Swarm, which leads to Galina being brutally mutilated and controlled by the creature’s new intelligent caste.

RELATED: 10 Best Quotes From Love, Death & Robots

The Swarm explains that humanity is just a blip in the timeline compared to how long the hive has been around. It’s that unpleasant conversation through Galina’s corpse that makes the episode a particularly horrifying one. When it dawns on viewers that humans will eventually be absorbed by the Swarm, a new kind of terror is felt. Simon’s naive optimism likely does little to convince audiences that there’s any hope for the future.

3 Jibaro (Volume 3, Episode 9)

Golden Woman in Jibaro from Love Death + Robots season 3

The instantly-iconic and powerful Golden Woman is introduced in ‘Jibaro’, which is arguably the most popular episode from season 3 of Love, Death & Robots. Set in a beautiful rainforest, the episode’s visuals are only secondary to its sound design, which is inextricably linked to the story itself. It depicts the Golden Woman (also called the Siren) as she lures men to their violent deaths through her blood-curdling screams.

Even though the concepts explored in ‘Jibaro’ are never fully explained, the narrative showing the Golden Woman’s brutal interactions with the sole survivor leaves a lasting impression on viewers. The metallic sounds, desperate screams, and frantic camerawork all create an unnerving viewing experience unlike anything else on the show so far.

2 Beyond The Aquila Rift (Volume 1, Episode 7)

Greta Spider from Love, Death & Robots

With a haunting existential terror bound to linger with viewers and shake them to the core, ‘Beyond The Aquila Rift’ is often hailed as being among the best episodes of Love, Death & Robots. Rather than scaring viewers with visceral onslaughts of violence, the story goes places no other has dared.

The episode concerns a space crew grappling with the reality of traveling too far into the cosmos. However, the story builds up to one of the most hellish and nightmarish conclusions imaginable as the crew enters uncharted territory. The big reveal that Greta is actually a disgusting arachnid parasite feeding a simulated reality to Thom induces dread like no other episode does. There’s also the terrifying scene where the alien reveals itself for the first time, which is likely seared into fans’ memories for all the wrong reasons.

1 In Vaulted Halls Entombed (Volume 3, Episode 8)

Love Death and Robots Season 3 Ranked

Love, Death & Robots delves into cosmic horror in the Volume 3 episode ‘In Vaulted Halls Entombed.’ The episode starts by getting fans frustrated with a classic horror trope, as a group of soldiers pursues a clearly doomed mission by going deeper into an alien-infested cave. The climax and the most horrifying part of the story happen when the last two survivors confront the eldritch horror in the center of the cave.

It’s impossible not to feel scared after seeing the huge chained deity whose chants seem to hypnotize one of the soldiers. As if that isn’t terrifying enough, the lone survivor Harper is forced to remove her own eyes and ears to resist the creature’s commands. The haunting shot of her walking into the sunset as she mutters an alien language will stay with fans long after they’re done binge-watching the show.

NEXT: 10 Plot Holes In Love, Death & Robots

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