A common theme for the Green Goblin is to emotionally torment Spider-Man. Here are a few examples:
- In Peter Parker: Spider-Man #45 the Green Goblin forces a recovering alcoholic, Flash Thompson, to get drunk- by tying him to a chair and pouring whiskey down his throat. The Goblin then puts Flash Thompson behind the wheel of a vehicle headed straight for Peter Parker's school. The resulting crash doesn't kill Parker but, instead, leaves Thompson with irreversible brain damage. Flash Thompson was Peter Parker's friend.
- In Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin, Norman literally tortures Peter Parker in an attempt to break his spirit. Norman begins brainwashing Peter into having Goblin related nightmares which cause him to sleepwalk and go on Goblin-esque rampages at night. Norman orchestrates the death of people dressed in Spider-Man costumes for Peter to read about in the news. In the final confrontation, Norman sits Peter down in a closet and gets ready to close the door. He tells Peter a story about his childhood to drive home a point- embrace the darkness- in an attempt to make Peter the "Goblin Heir".
- In Peter Parker: Spider-Man #75 The Green Goblin kidnaps the newborn child of Peter and Mary Jane Parker. They are lead to believe that their baby, May, is a stillborn by a nurse working for Green Goblin.