Hello, Spongey here
Welcome back to Goosebump-athon!
And now for the Goosebump a thon finale!
Now, instead of what I did for the pixar-a thon one, I will do this all solo.
…yeah, I tried getting Troy. Didn’t work.
So this will be a big Goosebumps Retrospective! I’ll cover all the basic stuff, then near the end, talk about the best/worst characters/twists and so on.
But first, check out the…
Goosebumps Drinking Game!:
Take a shot if the main character is 12
Take a shot if the main character is female.
Take a shot if they are actually interesting.
Take a shot if they have a sibling
Two if that sibling is of the opposite gender
Take a shot for every platonic Boy/Girl friendship.
Take a shot for every bully
Two if there is more than one bully
Take a shot if the main character lives in a small town
Take a shot if the main character is visiting a relative
Take a shot if their parents are scientest
Take another if another relative is one.
Take a shot for every namedrop of a real show/movie/toy/whatever
Take another if it dates the book somehow
Take a shot if the villain is a complete monster
Take a shot if the main character is a butt monkey
Take a shot for every cat scare
Take another if the scare has nothing to do with the plot
Take a shot if the book has a dumb twist
Take a shot for every dream scene
(just take a huge gulp for I live in your basement)
Take a shot for every reused name
Take a shot if the parents do not believe the kids.
Take a shot if Troy Steele dislikes that book
There, now you can get a hangover worthy of a hangover movie.Now, it’s time for a look some of the themes in the series..
This series has it’s share of parents. Most of the time, the parents are just skeptics and don’t do too much. But sometimes they do a lot. So let us talk about some of the worst parents in this series.
Okay, not parents, but how about the grandparents in How to kill a monster? Good book, but these grandparents are idiots. You have a living monster in your house? Invite your grand kids! You need help? Leave them!
Speaking of Grandparents, how about the ones from Scarecrow walks at midnight? Got evil scarecrows? Invite your grandkids! Man, these guy must really love their grandkids..
Oh, and don’t get me started on the parents from Camp jellyjam! Does it really take you that long to connect a missing trailer to where it ended up?!
Don’t forget the “dad” from shock street! Program your robots to be your kids and then torture them! It’s a great idea!
I could go on, but this was just a tiny taste of the bad parenting.
Best parent? Let’s Get invisible. Letting Max hang wirh his friends instead of cleaning? I’m all for that.
It just wouldn’t be goosebumps with hilariously bad cat scares. Sometimes one is fine, but Stine overdoes it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Example, in Stay out of the basement, there is a bit in the basement, where they see a glass both and casey touches it, and gets shocked…only it was a prank. The booth is never explained.
Say cheese and die has 2 in a row! Giant monster shows up…and it’s a dog. Doug has been hurt..he’s just goofing! He does this later, but it ties in the plot a bit better.
Sometimes it will tie into the character itself. In Be Careful what you wish for, Sam angrily wishes (after meeting Clarrisa) that ron (her bro) ws 2 feet tall. Then he comes, 2 feet fall….wait, it’s a dog! But Sam was scared about the wish, so I get it.
In “Why I’m afraid of bees” , Gary!Bee runs into a dragonfly. Then…it bits him in half. Only it didn’t. lame,.
Return of the mummy had a doozy
“we made a terrible mistake”
“…underestimating this discovery!”
There are a lot more, but you get gist of what I mean.
Minor thing I noticed:
Most books say “__ and me” rather than “and I”. At first, I thought it was a minor mistake…only for it to show up all the time!
Does stine know grammar, at all?
I have no words.
As you know, Tv Tropes had a fetish fuel section, where tropers talked about…well fetish fuel. They made a whole wiki of it, since pervy stuff on TVT…yeah.
Goosebumps has it’s own section. WHAT.
Let’s riff on it!
In Monster Blood III, Evan grows to gigantic proportions (macrophilia) and shrinks, thanks to his nerdy cousin’s chemistry set experiment (microphilia).
How Evan can turn someone on is anyone’s guess.
- ·Cuckoo Clock of Doom contains strong infantilism and F/m undertones. The protagonist is caught in his underwear by his female friends, gets a spanking off-screen by his mom and —after he de-ages into a baby— winds up getting his diaper changed by his mom. Talk about getting crap past the radar…
No. he did get not spanked,. I read the book, and that did not happen. The rest does, so there. But seriously…ew! WHY?!!
- Say Cheese and Die—Again has the protagonist (Craig) growing so fat that his clothes rip while his friend, Sherri, becomes so skinny that her skirt drops in public.
…GREG .also, ew to the max. you reminded me of the skirt scene, which pissed me off. Someone got turned on?!
- One of the short stories in the sixth short story collection (“The Nutcracker Nightmare,” about a girl who’s dragged to see “The Nutcracker Suite” onstage and discovers that her old babysitter — whom she hates for being boring — casts a spell that makes time slow down to ridiculous porportions) has the protagonist aging up to the point that her dress rips from her outgrowing it. You know, for kids.
Okay, semi legit, but..aging. ew! Sorry, but old lady dress ripping is gross to me
- The ending of Werewolf Skin, when the protagonists friend begins turning to a werewolf and digs her teeth to his flesh. Made even better by the fact that the protagonist becomes a werewolf too.
…how many times can I say ew?
- Chicken, Chicken features a drawn-out depiction of the protagonist (and her brother) transforming into the titular bird, complete with mental changes. The “shivery” feelings the descriptions gave this troper were one of the first big hints that she had a transformation fetish.
…WHAT THE FUDGE?! That turned you on?! Troy would be pissed! And why so…gross at the last bit? I mean, this book, which I think was meh, turning someone on pisses me OFF!
- In Ghost Camp, the ghost campers seem to really, really enjoying screwing with the protagonists by turning invisible. Also, Lucy.
The most legit one,. I can see why some of the crap past the radar in this book could maybe turn someone on.
The pic for this article? The cover to egg monsters from mars…
Amount of Books in 3rd person: 7 (10 counting Monster Blood sequels)
Amount of Books with a Female Main Character: 22
Amount of books no real Twist ending: 7 (Don’t go sleep is debatable, but I put it anyway)
Amount of Books I overall like: 41 (Some weird hard to say if I “liked” them, but these are ones I at least enjoy)
Books I overall disliked: 13
So Bad it’s good books: 6
Scariest Book: Ghost camp/The Haunted School
Funniest book: tie with the girl who cried monster and attack of the mutant
Now for the fun parts.
Best Villains in no order:
The masked Mutant (Attack of the mutant)
Dr Brewer (Stay out of the basement)
Sarabeth (Monster blood)
Spidey (Say cheese and die)
Dr Hawlings and Dr Grey (How I got my shrunken head, and egg monsters from mars)
They’re both normal people, so I put them both here
The Horrors (One day at Horrorland)
The haunted mask
Mr Toggle (Piano lessons can be murder(
Della (Curse of camp cold lake)
Keith (I live in your basement)
Best Twist Endings in no order:
Welcome to Camp Nightmare
The Ghost Next Door (It counts)
A Night in terror tower (counts)
The Cuckoo clock of doom
The Girl who cried monster
I live in your basement
The haunted school
The curse of camp cold lake
Calling all Creeps
Worst Twist in no Order:
Egg monsters from mars
The Abominable snowman of Pasadena
Go eat worms
Legend of the lost legend
A shocker on shock street
My best friend is invisible
Top 5 Blogger Beware Entries:
5. The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena
4. The Cuckoo Clock of doom
3. Live on stage: Screams in the night
2. More and More and More tales to give you goosebumps
1. Earth Geeks must go!
Best Cover: The curse of camp cold lake
Worst Cover: The horror at camp jellyjam
Best Tagline: How to kill a monster
Worst Tagline: Don’t go to sleep
Top 11 Worst Books (remake of earlier list):
11. Deep Trouble 2
10. Monster Blood 2
9. Bad Hare Day
8. The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena
7. The Haunted Mask 2
6. Say cheese and Die Again
5. Legend of the lost Legend
4. Revenge of the lawn Gnomes
3. Go Eat Worms
2. Monster Blood 4
1. My Best Friend is Invisible
Most Hated Character in order:
Greg (say cheese and die again)
Steve (The Haunted Mask 2)
Todd (Go Eat Worms)
Tara (Cuckoo clock of doom) (This one is a good kind of hate, since your meant to hate her)
Tim (Bad hare day)
Roxane (My best friend is invisible)
Evan (Monster Blood)
Jan (The curse of camp cold jake)
Top 11 Best characters
11. Brent (My Best Friend is Invisible)
This applies ONLY to the Tv episode! Not that…other thing.
I didn’t know if I should put him in the villain list or not, but the TV ep makes him a good guy in the end, so he’s here.
For most of the episode, Brent was a ghost that followed Sammy home from a haunted house. He at first sought friendship and tried to help him. But he got a little troublesome in the way friends do.
Things go off the edge when he gets revenge on a bully for Sammy…but the bully just beats Sammy up. After this, Sammy tells him to screw off. Brent gets pissed, that this friend hates him now, and shows him real asshole-ness.
Sammy and his friend return to the house, only for Brent to become really evil, as revenge. In the end, Sammy gets brent to visible (long story) to become visible
Then we find out the truth. This takes place in the future…and humanoid aliens have taken over. Brent is a human. The humans were sent to the moon colonies. Brent tells them he did not like that. His parents made him invisible. It’s at this point we realize it:
He wanted to get revenge on Sammy to start, but actually found friendship with him, despite their differences. But when his tries failed, Sammy went bonkers. Brent realizes aliens are really all scum. So thus, he had a lot going on inside.
He hopes they will treat him well after all this. No such luck. They turn their heads, and their annoying orange-ish eyes pops out of the back of their heads.
They gang on him as the episode ends. Brent is a complex semi villain figure that is tragic.
Hard to believe this was based on an awful book, eh?
10. Thalia (The Haunted School)
This is one I think was best explained in my review. Go check that out
9. The Swamp Hermit (The Werewolf of Fever swamp)
Another one based more on the show, but the book gets a mention for making him greatly mysterious and well done. But the episode…just see
Grady had moved into a swamp. He had started hearing legends of a werewolf from, his friend, Will. Grady bumped into a hermit who lived in the swamp. After a while, he started to think the hermit was a werewolf. He found a dog and kept him as a pet. Animals started being killed and the dog was blamed.
Long story short, grady gets attacked by the werewolf, who turns out to be will. The swamp hermit shows up, and faces the wolf. So what does he do?”
“You killed my wife, my children and everything I ever lived. Now I’m going to take your heart, the way you killed mine!”
So the hermit had his life ruined by the werewolf, big time. When he saw that another kid was going to be ruined by the wolf, he steped up. And…he attacks the wolf…and dies. He bravely sacrificed himself.
Grady’s dog saves him and helps with killing the werewolf, as a way of saying thanks to grady for keeping with him. The dog is the best goosebumps dog, just saying.
The swamp hermit was a tragic figure who died to save a kid from suffering his fate. Why does the same series with lawn gnomes have this?
8. Stanley (The Scarecrow walks at midnight)
Looking back, this book was stupidly awesome. Yeah, at the time I did the review, I didn’t own the book…turns out I did. Found it in my room, so I read it.
This is so dumb it’s good, and Stanley is why. Also, I will mention the TV episode simply for how hammy he is, and I love that.
Stanley is the farm hand of the farm of Jody’s grandparents. At the start he I said to not be all right in the head, so when he recites the title, people think he is crazy. Jody and mark learn that…he is, but he’s also right. They do come alive.
Near the end, Stanley’s son sticks (yes, that is his real name) sets the story straight. Stanley didn’t like that the grandparents never listened to what he liked and stuff. So he uses this book he had to bring the scarecrow’s to life. He put them to sleep, but he made the grandparents do what he liked, such as make cherry pie.
He was not a bad guy. He just wanted things done his way for a bit. When he sees that the scarecrows are coming alive, Stanley tries to control them to make sure they don’t do evil shit..
Long story short, they stop them. Stanley says he is sorry for doing all this. If he felt that he wanted things his way, he should talked to them. He says he won’t go to the magic bullshit again.
So Stanley is awesome and badass. If you don’t do what he says, he calls the scarecrows! Scarecrows look creepy, and as you know, they cause the end of the world.
Oh, and he’s an interesting dude too. But I just like how badass they make him. This book did well because of the scarecrows, but we can’t forget the man behind them…
But nothing is scarier than a kid who wants
CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES!
7. Andy (Monster Blood)
I’m not gonna explain this one. Troy Steele has made the point that she is funny and is better than whiny evan.
6. Jack Johnson (How I Learned To Fly)
This is a perfectly normal Goosebumps character made great by some good writing,. I don’t say that often.
Jack hates completion, a lot. But a dick named Wilson is always trying to make everything a contest. Why? they both like Mia. Jack likes her, but Wilson wants to one up him in front of him. This only a mild problem,. Until jack’s ass is totally shown at her birthday party. He gets sick of Wilson making him compete, and stealing mia.
So runs off and long story short, he gets the power to fly. He thinks he can finally beat Wilson, at least! But nope, Wilson can fly too, don’t ask, long story. Another long story later, the whole world knows they can fly.
So jack’s life is better, right? WRONG! Jack is hounded by fans, scienests and the like. He can’t hang out with mia, due to this. At least Wilson is having the same luck, right?
Again, wrong. Wilson gets more fame, and enjoys it more. Jack does Car ads, while Wilson has his own show! Wilson always wins.
Yeah, Stine loves torturing his kids. I can only imagine how his son Matt must be like…
Later, there is a big end all race between the two…and Jack somehow loses his powers. Wilson wins again.
OR DOES HE?!
In a twist ending, we find out jack only pretending to lose his powers. Why? to get his life back. Wilson is hounded, and has to move, thus leaving mia. Jack hooks up with her, and Wilson loses.
Jack is a likable, retable guy and he turns to be smart.
WHY IS THIS A GOOSEBUMPS BOOK?!
5. The Shopkeeper (The Haunted Mask)
This is a character that gets awesomer the more you think about him.
CarlyBeth is a complex interesting gal, but it’s this guy that I like. She bought a mask from the shop, which got stuck to her face. Later on, she asked the shopkeeper all about this. Now we get his backstory.
.The shopkeeper had no love for himself for he was born with an ugly face. As a grown man the shopkeeper became a scientist in the field of Biological Engineering and in turn used this to create a beautiful human prosthetic face.
He made this face of human flesh and made it so that when he put it on it would attach itself to his flesh and would remain so forever. But something went wrong.
When he put on the beautiful mask it changed, it became hideous. No matter what he did to stop the decay, no matter what he did the face turned into an ugly monstrosity. The face turned a dead green, its teeth grew into animal fangs and its flesh became contorted and deformed.
The shopkeeper did the only thing he could do, knowing that the face he made was never supposed to be removed, he took a knife and carved deep into the skin where the mask was supposed to end.
This first failed attempt became the Haunted Mask. After painfully removing the mask he tried countless other times to create the perfect flesh mask for him to wear to hide his face. They all failed just the same.
It was after his failures that he realized that the reason the masks had failed to remain as they were created was because they changed his outside appearance but not the way he still felt inside. These feelings in turn were what transformed the faces. They changed to reflect the man he still was on the inside, hideous.
The shopkeeper took his failed attempts and put them on a shelf in the back room of a mask shop that he was still working on setting up. He put them there as a reminder of what he was still trying to accomplish. Meanwhile, in the back room of the shop, the first mask, the first failed attempt on the shelf waited and watched, for the day he would gain a body.
Need I say more?
4. Danny and Hannah (The Ghost Next Door)
I put them both as they both insanely tragic.
We all know the twist, so we’ll skip to it. Let’s focus on Danny.
His mom is deaf. He is hinted to have a thing for this girl, but she acts odd. Two mean kids pressure him into bad things. He ends up a burning house, saved by the girl, who he finds out is a ghost. But no one believes him, he is scared for lfie, and he’ll never see his friend again
Hannah just found out she died a few years ago…due a fire she started, and she had to save her friend from not only burning, but being replaced by an evil shadow man.
…damn Stine, give them a break! Like with the others, I don’t think I need to explain. This is a rare GB book where both main characters are interesting and woobie-ish. That’s all I’m saying
3. Ricky Beamer (Calling All Creeps)
This is one of the more…realistic characters.
He’s not the traditional nerd. People mock him for that, but he’s a normal guy. He doesn’t spout nerd talk, he’s simply a shy, mocked person. That’s different from guys like Gary lutz, who are nerds.
Of course the TV episode makes him adorkable, but he acts normal. Now for the boy himself.
People mock him all the time. And when he tries to stand up for himself, he fucks up, and is kicked off the school paper. . And when he tries to stand up for himself, he fucks up, and is kicked off the school paper. He gets another chance by taking pics at the 5 dollar car wash, and once again, a badass even makes him, get his ass kicked off.
The only good thing in all this is iris,. The new girl he met. The only girl to like him like ever. He decides to prank Tasha, the bitch on the paper. He puts a message in the paper saying “Calling all creeps, if you’re a real creep, call tasha at *number*”
It works, and he’s finally happy. But…Tasha changes it to ricky, so now he gets phone calls. Even worse, he bumps into real creeps, who are the bullies who bug him.
Worse, they find rick is their leader, and wants his help to turn everyone into a creep so they can take over. Another GB character never getting a break!]
Long story short, iris helps him out with the creeps, and the creeps plan to put some seeds in bake sale cookies, which will turn the kids into creeps.
At the bake sale, which does not cost 5 dollars, Ricky needs to stop the creeps. The cookie are being handed out. Ricky pleads to them, not eat the cookies…and they still mock him. They refuse to listen. Ricky is extra pissed.
Then the creeps tell him. Once they are creeps, ricky will rule over them. Ricky…hands them the cookies. Iris gets mad, and asks what is going on. Ricky says, “if you can’t em as he eats the cookie. He was being tortured and now, he can finally rule over his peers.
But iris liked him. She was the only woman to like him, and he threw that away, to rule.
So this is a tragic tale with romance and stuff..
This is goosebumps, right?
2. Samantha Byrd (Be careful what you wish for )
Another butt monkey. Only this one is different.
Samantha is insanely nice, and likable. Any other character in this situation would be a dick, but not sam.
The bitch Judith bullies her all the time. Sam is also really tall and klutzy. But desite all that, she’s a nice person. How nice? She sees an old woman asking for directions, and leads her to the destination.
This is so nice the woman gives her 3 wishes. As you would expect, they go wrong. First, she wishes to be the best player on the basketball team, and it works…but everyone else gets sick…even Judith
And…she gets worried. Judith is getting so sick sam is worried she might…well die. She doesn’t gloat or anything. The bully is sick, but she is still acting like a normal person.
She even visits Judith…who is like “YOU PUT A SPELL ON ,ME” but it’s the thought that counts, after all
Sam angrily wishes Judith would vanish…but everyone in the world does instead. And this leads to one depressing scene, with her along. Yikes.
Long story short, she gets her 3rd wish and it goes wrong. She wishes for Judith to like her…and she goes fangirl on sam. Sam still won’t get a break
Sam is just nice, and a lot more likable and interesting than most GB characters. All the crap thrown at her just maker her more woobie-ish.
And of course at the end her 4th wish is for Judith to find the woman, make a wish…which turns Sam into a bird. Told ya, stine loves fucking with kids.
Bottom line, Sam is the best Female main character.
And my fave Goosebumps character is…
1. Billy (Welcome to camp Nightmare)
You all saw this coming, admit it. I explained this before, but I must talk about him again. Like any character, he gets shit thrown at him. But he does something different..
His friends vanish. They get injured, and much like Sam, he cares about them, and when they do vanish, he gets worried. But all he does is cower in fear-
Oh wait, what’s what a stupid person would do. No.
When Billy’s friend vanish, the camp director acts like they don’t exist, and he feels danger…he stands up. He demands answers. He doesn’t take any crap.
But he is still a nice person, like Sam. When Larry falls in water (long story), Billy saves him, because even though larry is an asshole, he doesn’t deserve to..well drown.
He’s already badass, with all the stuff he has done. But it gets better. Eventually this all goes to his head. His mind if being broken with all the strange things going on…
It all comes to a head. Uncle Al takes all the campers outside, and hands them guns. It seems that two girls have escaped from the girls camp…who billy knew from earlier. Al says to shoot them on sight. Billy learns these are tranquilizers, he still won’t have it.
He is going insane from all this. He takes his gun…and aims it at Uncle al! he says he’s had enough. He fires and..
It turns out that the whole thing was a test to see if billy could join his parents on a dangerous trip. I’d complain about that, but
STINE: They’re aliens.
…that shut me up
But think about it. Billy had fully intended to KILL al. His mind was breaking. Everything was messed up. He was driven by instinct. Billy is complex and badass. And there is why I love this guy.
Interesting. Semi realistic, complex, and overall badass. That is why Billy is the best Goosebumps character.
Also he’s an alien.
Now for closing words:
People wonder if I truly hate or love Goosebumps. The answer is: I love it. Is it great? No. Is It always well written? No. does it have bad books? Yes. Can it be dumb? YES
But I like it. Troy steele of Blogger beware has been trashed for bashing books directed at kids. And what they don’t get is that this is all for the sake humor.
I myself honestly don’t care if a book for 12 year olds sucks on toast. But I tell you so for the sake of comedy. Some people say that it’s okay for a kid’s book to suck.
Well, this series has…well just look above! Complex characters, engaging stories, and well written horror are found all over the place! Stine has shown to be a good kid’s book writer.
Thus, an awful GB book means more to me. But I still love it’s dumbness at times.
ThereiIs an energy and passion that goes into these. Even the dumber ones feel genuine at times. Goosebumps meant a lot to kids because they connected with the books. RL Stine knew how to get kid’s reading, even if meant sacrificing logic.
Stine was inspired by the EC horror comics and their insanity. And well…I see it. Goosebumps, like those, ain’t scary, but insane and creative. Stine’s love for horror shines through.
Goosebumps has 62 books, and were all different, and expermintal. With so many ideas thrown it,. It’s easy to see why some weren’t too good. One book would come out a month, and Stine had many other projects as well.
So I see why some books were better than other, and I get it. I’ll still shit on any book I want, but still.
Okay, I’m rambling now. Bottom line: RL Stine is still an admirable writer, and Goosebumps is a series close to my heart.
So happy 20th anniversary, and here’s to more years of insanity!
Whew, 62 books review, 3 extras, and this entire post! What’s next? Oh…yes
COMING SOON: Top 13 Goosebumps Books!