As recently as Wednesday, the once-great club was a soft touch but once Middlesbrough took sweets from them, things changed. Chris Hughton was sacked and as is so often the case, the team bucked up its idea.
"Reidy, give us a wave," the visiting fans were singing in the second half. With Derby County in administration and their team winning in the Championship for the first time since last season, they were having a whale of a time.
The Terriers were not, lacking ideas when after four wins in five league games - the most recent 3-0 away for home - they ought to have been the one riding the crest of a wave. They played a different formation in each half, and on each occasion lost 1-0.
They took a long time to get their heads around what they were doing against a Forest team who could have claimed that excuse with caretaker manager Steven Reid only on his third day in the job.
Forest, though, started as brightly as their dayglo yellow kit.
Both sides were nominally in a 3-4-2-1, but played it differently. The Terriers played with width, using wing-backs and wingers, whereas Forest had full-backs and Joe Lolley and Brennan Johnson much narrower as inside-forwards.
Huddersfield defended well - they had to. Danel Sinani did well to block a Lolley effort and Tom Lees threw himself in front of one from Johnson, whose former Forest player father David had gone public with his criticism of the way the club is being misrun.
Djed Spence, on loan from Middlesbrough, was released by a hopeful ball over the top in the 17th minute, only for Harry Toffolo to get back and cut out the cross.
So it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead, hitting the hosts on the counter-attack. Johnson, having earlier switched from the left, went sprinting down the right and it was all Levi Colwill could do to keep up with him. Cutting out the cross was beyond him and Lewis Grabban ran across and launched himself at it to head his team in front.
Forest seemed reluctant to go for the jugular and Huddersfield belatedly grew into the game, mainly down the left through Toffolo and Josh Koroma, who late in the first half moved further inside to leave it to the wing-back to take on Spence.
Koroma produced an excellent ball to Toffolo in the 27th minute but his shot was not the cleanest, and not enough to beat Bryce Samba.
When the combination was reversed 10 minutes before half-time, Koroma's shot from the pull-back pinballed around.
Danel Sinani's shot was blocked after good feet by Koroma allowed him to create the chance. Shortly before the break Lewis O'Brien squeezed brilliantly between two players but his pass to Koroma was overhit.
Coach Carlos Corberan changed to a 4-3-3 at half-time, introducing Ollie Turton at right-back to release the quiet Sorba Thomas, but within three minutes the back four had conceded too.
Lee Nicholls made a good low stretching save from Ryan Yates but former Huddersfield player Lolley was first to it and forced the ball in from a tight angle despite a couple of Town touches en route.
It basically killed the game, Forest happy to drop and see what Huddersfield could do but it did not amount to much even if Duane Holmes's introduction improved them. The Terriers used all three subs before the hour, Forest at that stage had not made any.
The bigger concern was that Huddersfield might inflict more wounds on themselves, Turton booked for a reckless challenge, substitute Mipo Odubeko getting involved in some unnecessary pushing and shoving at a corner.
Holmes, who as a former Derby player attracted plenty of attention from the away end, hitting the stanchion with a dipping shot from optimistically far out and Lees and Turton with the last touch of the match put headers wide that in recent weeks you would have just assumed would have rippled the net.
It was just not happening for Huddersfield
Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Lees, Colwill; Thomas, Hogg, O'Brien, Toffolo; Sinani, Koroma; Ward.
Unused substitutes: Vallejo, Odubeko, Holmes, Turton, Campbell, Sarr, Bilokapic.
Nottingham Forest: Samba; Spence (Richardson 79), Worrall, Figueiredo, McKenna, Lowe; Yates, Garner; Johnson (Colback 79), Lolley (Mighten 61); Grabban.
Unused substitutes: Horvath, Mbe Soh, Ribeiro, Taylor.
Referee: C Kavanagh (Manchester).