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->''"Reader beware -- you're in for a scare..."''

In the 1990s, R.L. Stine had an idea, "Why not write scary books for children?"

It was through this simple idea that one of the most successful and controversial pre-''Literature/HarryPotter''-era book series began.

The original '''''Goosebumps''''' series lasted for all of 62 books, including such famous titles as ''The Haunted Mask'' (which was also the first episode of the TV adaptation, shown as an hour-long special episode), ''Welcome to Camp Nightmare'', the ''Night of the Living Dummy'' series (there were three in the original series, but the other spin-offs and successor series have had at least one story with Slappy as the antagonist), and the ''Monster Blood'' series [[note]]the fourth and last of which was the final book in the original series[[/note]]. It was ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' for preadolescents, with a twist at the end of every book (sometimes cruel, sometimes not. Sometimes, there was no twist, which is a twist in and of itself given the series). Stine cites the horror comics published by ECComics as a source of inspiration.

If there wasn't such a thing as ''Harry Potter'', then ''this'' would be the high water mark of scary, post-Creator/RoaldDahl children's writing. Growing up as a child in the '90s, these books were a ''must-have'' (along with ''Animorphs'', ''The Babysitters Club'', and the ''Sweet Valley High'' series and all its spin-offs and prequels).

In the later editions of the series, it became somewhat infamous for the "[[CoversAlwaysLie You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover]]", idiom. ''Deep Trouble'', for instance, had a picture of a giant shark going after a boy swimming in the ocean, when really the story was about a boy finding a mermaid who was being targeted by scientists who wanted to experiment on rare sea life. ''Egg Monsters from Mars'' featured the monsters as horrible threats on the cover, but the egg monsters are actually a benevolent force captured by (you guessed it) a MadScientist.

Later incarnations of the series included the rather more obscure ''Goosebumps 2000'' (a DarkerAndEdgier ''Goosebumps'' series that ran for 25 books), and ChooseYourOwnAdventure series ''Literature/GiveYourselfGoosebumps''. It's currently being revived in a twelve-book crossover, ''Goosebumps [=HorrorLand=]''... which has itself been given a sixteen-book extension, as well as the PC game ''VideoGame/EscapeFromHorrorland''. There was also a PC game called ''VideoGame/AttackOfTheMutant'', but with a different plot than the television episode or book with the same name.

The television series is currently in repeats on TheHub. The show first aired on FOX during the 1990s and then reran for two years on Creator/CartoonNetwork (usually around Halloween time, but it lasted a bit longer in 2007 due to the Writers' Guild going on strike and producers scrambling for filler programming until the strike ended), and an unsuccessful stage show that closed after only a few months.

A film has been announced for release in the summer of 2015, starring Jack Black. Time will tell if this is wise or foolish.

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!!This series provides (usually multiple) examples of:

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* AbusiveParents:
** Emory Banyon from ''Scream School'' qualifies as one of the worst parents in the series. He insists that he's pals with his son Jake and is constantly needling him to admit that his movies have scared him, saying "it's healthy to admit you're scared" in a patronizing way. It's blatantly clear Emory is an egotistical ass who just wants the satisfaction of his own son flat out admitting he is scared by the movies Emory makes, cementing him as "the King of Horror." [[spoiler: He gets his comeuppance in the end when Jake successfully scares him ''twice'' in a row.]]
** Aaron Freidus' father in ''The Werewolf In The Living Room'' drags his son to a small European country to hunt a werewolf. He drags a ''preteen'' to go after a bloodthirsty monster.
** In ''Legend of the Lost Legend'', Justin and Marissa's father is an explorer forever dragging his children on dangerous expeditions.
* TheAce / AlwaysSomeoneBetter / TheRival: Wilson in ''How I Learned To Fly''. In fact, a lot of the Goosebumps stories usually have the antagonist as someone who is better than the protagonist at almost everything (cf. Judith in "Be Careful What You Wish For" and Courtney in "You Can't Scare Me!")
* AdamWesting: The TropeNamer himself as the Galloping Gazelle in the TV episode and video game of ''Attack of the Mutant''.
* AdaptationExpansion:
** The TV series, in certain cases (mostly due to the source story being too thin). One notable example is "The Perfect School," a ten-page short story expanded into a ''two-part'' TV episode.
** ''The Haunted Mask II''. The book was simply about Steve, one of the kids Carly Beth scared in the first book, finding an old man mask that gradually began turning him into an old man (pretty much the first ''Haunted Mask'' book, only with a supporting character, also from the first book). The TV episode is the same thing, only there's an added subplot about the mask Carly Beth wore in the first book returning from the dead to take revenge on her.
** ''Welcome to Dead House'' features the earlier reveal about the gas leak in Dark Falls via an old newspaper, but Amanda's family don't learn what it really did to the town until later. Also, we learn that the reason Amanda heard voices in her room and the source of the draft she felt came from a hole in her closet. There's also an added subplot about a tacky dried flower wreath Mrs. Benson thinks is a good luck charm but might actually be the cause of the strange occurrences in the house. [[spoiler: It's not, but it actually ''was'' protecting Amanda's family until they were tricked into destroying it.]]
* AdaptationalHeroism:
** The stage magician Amaz-O in the TV version of "Bad Hare Day", while he was a jerkass in the book.
** Greg Banks and Shari Walker in the TV version of "Say Cheese and Die!" come off a bit more likeable and heroic than their book counterparts, Greg particularly. For example, [[spoiler: in the book he takes the camera back to the abandoned house he found it, all but dragging his friend Shari with him, whereas in the television version he initially goes by himself, believing wrongly that Spidey is holding Shari prisoner there in exchange for the camera, and gets joined by Shari who voluntarily accompanies him. Also, Greg gets to fight back more enthusiastically in the tv version than his counterpart, while Shari snaps Spidey's picture on purpose instead of by accident.]]
** The Shopkeeper from ''The Haunted Mask'' is another example. In the book, he sells Carly Beth a mask that he knows is cursed for only $30. In the TV adaptation, he straight up refuses to sell the mask, and Carly Beth winds up stealing it instead.
*** In the TV adaptation of ''The Haunted Mask II'', he is seen burning all the masks, and he actively attempts to stop Carly Beth's old mask from coming back from the dead to get revenge on her (although he ultimately fails and ends up possessed). None of this happened in the book.
* AdaptedOut:
** Michael in ''Say Cheese and Die!'' doesn't appear in the TV adaptation.
** Ditto Edna from ''The Headless Ghost'', April from ''Let's Get Invisible'', and Clay from ''One Day at Horrorland''.
* AdoringThePests:
** In "Monster Blood IV", Andy thinks the blue Monster Blood creature is cute and pets it. The creature ends up multiplying when it drinks water and soon the town is overrun with blue Monster Blood creatures.
** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] In ''The Werewolf of Fever Swamp'', Grady adopts a stray dog and names it Wolf. After some strange howls and disasters in the swamp, he wonders if Wolf is a werewolf. He isn't.
* AdultFear:
** ''The Horror at Camp Jellyjam''. Imagine being a parent who has sent their kid to a seemingly legit, if not oddly named, sports camp (though Wendy and Elliott -- the main characters -- actually crash-landed at the camp because the trailer attached to their car fell off and their parents didn't realize they were missing until later). Then you've lost contact with the camp. Then you learn that your children have been [[spoiler: exploited for slave labor at the behest of a gigantic purple monstrosity that ''ate'' any kid that stopped working!]]
** ''I Live in your Basement'' definitely plays on people's fears of madness and obsession.
** ''How I Learned To Fly'' teaches readers that sometimes fear isn't found with ghosts, monsters, vampires, aliens from other planets, or freaky creatures. It can be found in people who want to exploit others' talents, obsessed fans who hound celebrities, and government agents who want people for scientific study.
** "An Old Story" from ''Still More Stories to Give You Goosebumps'' presents readers with the premise of an elderly witch disguised as a loving, yet eccentric spinster aunt who physically ages her two young nephews with prunes to pimp them out to her equally elderly female friends for marriage.
** The ''Night of the Living Dummy'' series. As several people, along with the blogger himself, pointed out on the [[http://www.bloggerbeware.com snarky Goosebumps blog]], the ''Night of the Living Dummy'' series may be creepy as a child, but as an adult, a completely different layer of creepy reveals itself. The living dummy in question is obsessed with making preteen girls (and it's always girls, never boys in these books) into his slaves. When they refuse, he punches and slaps them - a rare act of physical violence for this series - and knocks one girl unconscious. In ''Bride of the Living Dummy'', he goes further, demanding a 12 year old girl as his bride (instead of the female dummy), and calling his violence against her a "love tap". From adult eyes, it takes on a whole new meaning that flew over our heads when we were kids, with some really disturbing subtext... In the TV adaptation of ''Night of the Living Dummy III'', it is shown that Slappy has demonically possessed or at least is using his powers on a young pre-teen boy. The effect is no less creepy than it was with the girls.
** ''Piano Lessons Can Be Murder'': This one is likely to be scarier for adults than for kids, not for the final third act, which generally those over the age of 8 would find cheesy. But for any person age 15 or older, especially if you or a friend/sibling is a parent, the fear of leaving your child or in the hands of a seemingly nice man who looks like Santa Claus but wants to hurt him (in which the third can be interpreted as an allegory for "never the same again") makes this in some ways scarier than horror books written for adults. Especially in light of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
* AdultsAreUseless: Either that, or in on the conspiracy (as seen in such stories as "My Hairiest Adventure," "Welcome to Camp Nightmare," and "The Horror at Camp Jellyjam").
* AffablyEvil:
** In ''Welcome to Dead House'', the antagonists are friendly with the main characters except that they have to invite them over, especially Karen Somerset, who says she wants to be a nice person but everyone needs fresh blood to survive. Same with the TV version of Karen, who would actually be an AffablyEvil AntiVillain since she actually seemed reluctant to engage in the "feeding" that [[ImAHumanitarian everyone in the town had to do to survive]], repeatedly saying she wanted to be friends with Amanda and Josh.
** In the Slappy series, outside of the fact that he wants to make preteen girls into slaves, he seems like a fun guy. He just likes to play pranks and tell mean (but true) jokes, allowing the audience [[TooFunnyToBeEvil to forget how dangerous he really is]].
** The creatures from ''The Beast Of The East'' just see it as an elaborate game and outside of that are quite friendly.
** Many of the antagonists from the ''Literature/GiveYourselfGoosebumps'' series are this.
** Della from ''The Curse Of Camp Cold Lake'' half the time was a normal kid outside of being a bloodthirsty ghost.
** The plant clone father from ''Stay Out Of The Basement'' (more in the book than in the TV adaption) tried to be a good father even though he was ultimately out to turn everyone into plant clones, even comforting the kids when they worried about things.
** The woman from ''Chicken Chicken'' who [[DisproportionateRetribution turns the protaganists into chickens]] [[SpaceWhaleAesop for running off after bumping into her without apologizing]].
%%** The kids from ''Ghost Beach''.
* AffectionateParody: The ''Gooflumps'' books by [[PunnyName R.U. Slime]], two unauthorized and unofficial parody books that lampoon the vastness of the series (the covers read "Buy two, that's it!"), the cover art by Tim Jacobus, and the story structure of the ''Goosebumps'' books.
** ''Stay Out Of The Bathroom'', which is labeled as Book 2 1/2, is a parody of ''Stay Out Of The Basement'' concerning aliens switching people through highly advanced toilet bowls.
** ''Eat Cheese And Barf!'', which is labeled as Book 4 1/2, is a parody of both ''Say Cheese And Die!'' and ''Monster Blood'', concerning a cottage cheese monster and vast amounts of ToiletHumour.
* AlasPoorVillain:
** The Dark Falls residents as Amanda destroys them. Especially Karen, who just wanted to be friends, and actually ''thanks'' the girl for ending her suffering.
** Plant-Clone!Dr.Brewer isn't portrayed in a very sympathetic light, but watching him be [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman mercilessly destroyed]] by his creator just because he wanted a human life is still pretty harsh.
** Spidey/Fritz Fredericks from ''Say Cheese and Die''. The real kicker, though, is that [[Wallbanger despite his efforts, Greg continues to show off the camera for his own selfish needs.]]
** Andrew Craw, the titular headless ghost, is described as a despicable brat in his backstory. [[AndIMustScream His punishment]], however, is complete disproportionate, and when the children uncover his head, he actually thanks them before departing to the afterlife.
* AliensAndMonsters
* AllJustADream:
** Zigzagged in the TV ending to ''Awesome Ants''. [[spoiler:The protagonist's experience turns suspiciously nightmarish as the town is suddenly abandoned, there is a storm outside, and the ants are growing to ever-bigger proportions. Just before he gets killed by one, he wakes up at home and all seems fine. Then he gradually remembers the reality of the situation: in the real world ants are actually mountain-sized, and keep humans secluded in the human equivalent of ant farms and force them to survive on small pellets of blue food. In the book the ants just grew that big rather than always having been so.]]
** There's also ''I Live In Your Basement!''. [[spoiler:The ending reveals that the character who had been dreaming ever since he was hit in the head with a bat was actually Keith the monster boy, not Marco. Keith dreamed that ''he'' was Marco.]]
* AllWitcheshaveCats: Vanessa, a witch from ''Chicken Chicken'' lives with a cat.
* AlphaBitch: Courtney in ''You Can't Scare Me!'', Tasha in ''Calling All Creeps!'', and Judith in ''Be Careful What You Wish For''.
* AlienBlood: Dr. Brewer's plant clone from ''Stay Out Of The Basement'', which leads to his downfall.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The [=HorrorLand=] monsters, who run a [[AmusementParkOfDoom deadly amusement park]] to kill families for fun. They may act welcoming and friendly at times, but don't let this fool you -- [[FauxAffablyEvil it's an act]]. They'd serve you up for lunch as soon as amuse you. And their idea of "amusing people" is to scare them to death or put them in lethal traps.
* AmusementParkOfDoom: [=HorrorLand=].
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie:
** In ''The Werewolf of Fever Swamp'', [[spoiler:the werewolf bites the hero, passing the curse onto him.]]
** ''Calling All Creeps''. Some reptilian monsters that can turn into human form come to think that the protagonist, a boy bullied by most of his school, is one of them. They have plotted how to transform everyone in school, and then on town, country and world, in Creeps like them and the hero is trying to stop them from feeding everyone the transforming goo. [[spoiler:In the last moment, when he is mocked one more time while trying to stop everyone from eating goo-filled muffins, he is told that he will be the ruler of all Creeps and no longer a target for bullies. The protagonist does a quick FaceHeelTurn, treats everyone to eat the muffins, and eats one himself, becoming the real Creep leader.]]
* {{Animorphism}}: ''The Barking Ghost,'' ''Chicken Chicken,'' and the Goosebumps 2000 books ''Cry of the Cat'' and ''Full Moon Fever'' base entire plots around this. Other books deal with it in passing (''Don't Go to Sleep'', for example).
* AndIMustScream:
** In ''Let's get Invisible'' [[spoiler:those who use the invisibility mirror too much are phased into another dimension forever while their counterparts take over their life.]]
** "How I Won my Bat" (short story): The narrator [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin wins the eponymous baseball bat]], but [[spoiler:is transformed, fully conscious, into a store display mannequin of a batter]].
** "The Haunted School": [[spoiler: An entire class has been teleported to a strange black and white world where they never age. When the protagonists arrive here years later, most of the students have devolved into insane,bloodthirsty savages, and want to keep them there forever.]]
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Tara in ''The Cuckoo Clock of Doom,'' Brandy in ''Egg Monsters from Mars.''
* AntiVillain: Quite a few of the villains, such as the Dark Falls Residents, Dr. Brewer, Spidey, Uncle Al, and Della have relatively sympathetic motivations.
* ArtifactOfDoom: ''Horrors Of The Black Ring''.
* AscendedExtra: The evil magician mentioned in the book version of "Bad Hare Day" appears in the TV episode named [[NamedByTheAdaptation El Sydney]].
* AssholeVictim: Many, not just limited to the protagonists. Examples include the three kids in ''The House of No Return'', Steve Boswell in ''The Haunted Mask 2'', Alexander in ''Deep Trouble'', Todd in ''Go Eat Worms'', and Brandon from ''Headless Halloween.'' And in the TV adaptations, there's Mr. [=McCall=] from ''Revenge Of The Lawn Gnomes'', Ritter from ''Deep Trouble,'' Judith in ''Be Careful What You Wish For'', and Mr. Wright from ''A Shocker On Shock Street.''
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever:
** What usually results from someone or something consuming Monster Blood.
** Happens ''twice'' at the end of ''Go Eat Worms!''
* AttackOfTheKillerWhatever: ''Attack of the Mutant'' (about a comic book geek whose favorite villain comes to life)
* BadassAdorable: Any protagonist who learns to fight back will be this to some degree. Special mention goes to the two Billies from ''Welcome To Camp Nightmare'' and ''Deep Trouble'', Margaret from ''Stay Out Of The Basement'', Hannah from ''Ghost Next Door'' and Mark from ''How I Got My Shrunken Head.''
* BadBoss: The Masked Mutant, who disintegrates one of his top henchmen ForTheEvulz.
* TheBadGuyWins: ''Calling All Creeps!'' ends with the protagonist performing a FaceHeelTurn to become the villains' overlord and leading the lizard monsters to victory. Considering the [[KidsAreCruel nature]] of their [[AssholeVictim human victims]], though, this might not be a bad thing.
* BalefulPolymorph: More than a few Goosebumps books had this as a problem the kid-protagonist had to face, caused either through magic or technology.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor:
** The actual, verbatim title of the 12th book of the series, which dealt with wishes gone bad.
** The trope also applies to #52, "How I Learned to Fly", where Jack and Wilson become reluctant celebrities after reading a book and consuming a homemade dough that promises humans the power of flight.
* BecomingTheCostume: In ''The Haunted Mask'' and ''The Haunted Mask II''.
* BigCreepyCrawlies:
** The preying mantis from ''A Shocker on Shock Street''.
** The ants become this in ''Awesome Ants''. They're the size of mountains by the end.
* BigBadEnsemble: The movie will feature many villains from the series threatening the real world, including Count Nightwing, The Haunted Mask, Priestess Nila, Sarabeth, and of course, Slappy.
* BiggerBad:
** The TV series implies that it's actually ''R.L. Stine himself'' who's behind everything in all the stories (in a meta sense he is, of course) and the ultimate evil of the series, even though he doesn't appear in any of them. In the intro, a man in black walks up to a town, and his briefcase (clearly marked with his name) flies open. The papers fly out and morph into the ''Goosebumps'' logo, which proceeds to spread misery around the town until it reaches a creepy mansion, which then shows clips of some of the stories.
** In ''The Werewolf of Fever Swamp'' the titular werewolf is the main villain. The swamp itself however, comes off as this.
** ''The Haunted School'' has Mr. Chameleon, the sinister photographer who sent the children to Grayworld in the first place. Even worse,[[spoiler:he's still alive in the present day.]]
** The original inventor of the camera and Spidey's partner in ''Say Cheese and Die''.
** Jimmy Steranko, The Masked Mutant's comic creator...possibly.
** Alexander's unseen criminal employer from ''Deep Trouble''.
** ''The Headless Ghost'' has the ghostly sea captain who decapitated Andrew, although he's slightly more sympathetic than other examples.
* BizarreAlienReproduction: ''Egg Monsters From Mars''.
* TheBlank: ''Broken Dolls'' features a creepy old woman who crafts dolls, but doesn't include facial features on her creations. It is later revealed that she uses a type of magical gel (referred to as "dolly jelly" by the protagonist's younger brother) which not only robs the unfortunate victims of their faces, which then end up on the specific doll, but their souls apparently become trapped in the dolls, too.
* BlobMonster: Several books featured different blobs:
** ''Monster Blood'', and its sequels.
** ''Egg Monsters from Mars''.
** ''The Blob that Ate Everyone'' ([[CaptainObvious duh]]).
** ''The Horror of Camp Jellyjam'' (King Jellyjam).
* BloodierAndGorier: The 2000 series were a bit more brutal in terms of violence and horror.
* BodyHorror: ''Why I'm Afraid of Bees'', ''Attack of the Mutant'', ''Egg Monsters from Mars'', ''Chicken, Chicken'', and ''My Hairiest Adventure'' all feature this in varying degrees of horror, with ''Chicken Chicken'' as probably the most graphic and ''My Hairiest Adventure'' and ''Why I'm Afraid of Bees'' tied for the least.
** ''Stay Out Of The Basement'' has Doctor Brewer growing a series of horrific human/plant hybrids from his own blood, which are described as being in ''constant'' agony. They range from tomatoes with human faces to near perfect duplicates of the doctor. The main hybrid looks exactly like his creator, only with leaves growing from his scalp and chlorophyll for blood.
* BreakoutCharacter: Slappy was a minor character in the first ''Night of the Living Dummy'' book (a different dummy was the villain), but in the sequels was brought back as the primary villain. Slappy was even the main character of a book of his own.
* BreakTheCutie: ''A Shocker on Shock Street.'' Poor Erin.
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu / TooSpicyForYogSothoth: ''How To Kill A Monster'' ends with the heroes captured by the monster, even after their attempts at killing it by making it fall through the stairs and poisoning it. [[spoiler:Said monster is allergic to humans, and keels over dead after merely licking one. Unfortunately, the monster's friends are pissed off after this and may or may not be allergic to humans]].
* ButtMonkey: Many ''Goosebumps'' protagonists have lives miserable enough to qualify them as this. Special mentions go to Gary from ''Why I'm Afraid of Bees'', Ricky from ''Calling All Creeps!'', Crystal and Cole ''Chicken Chicken,'' and Evan from the ''Monster Blood'' series.
* TheBusCameBack: Priestess Nila, Count Nightwing, Sarabeth, and probably a dozen other forgotten villains will return in the film.
* CallingTheOldManOut: ''Scream School'' is one of the few books, if not the only one, where a protagonist finally gets to call their parent out on being a useless jackass. [[spoiler: Jake Banyon stages an elaborate prank to scare his father, horror movie director Emory Banyon, witless, after Banyon has spent every day scaring Jake and recently ruined Jake's birthday with a needlessly elaborate prank. And for added measure, Jake set up another prank while setting up the first one.]]
* {{Calvinball}}: "Beast From the East" features a very warped version of "Hide and Seek" in which the rules are either made up as they go along, or so incredibly stupid that it just seems that way.
* CanonDiscontinuity:
** The ''Horrorland'' series continues the stories of Carly Beth, the Haunted Mask, and the Deep Siblings, but the events of the sequels are never mentioned, and the characters are the same age as they were in the originals.
** The evil camera from ''Say Cheese and Die!'' only returns, and not Greg or Shari. In fact, the camera's backstory is rewritten so that it was originally created specifically for a movie called "Say Cheese and Die Screaming" that was scrapped because of unexplained accidents that kept occurring on set.
** ''Monster Blood'' is the only exception to this since it focuses on the substance and not Evan.
* CatapultNightmare: In both the book and TV episode of "Attack of the Jack-O-Lanterns", Drew wakes up from a nightmare where her friends and herself are taken prisoner by a crazy old man and woman who "collect" trick-or-treaters with what they consider good costumes and lock them up in their attic.
* CelebrityIsOverrated: ''How I Learned to Fly'''s moral to the story.
* ChekhovsGun: "Christopher Robin" in ''Go Eat Worms!'' and the Summoner in ''The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb''.
* ChildEater: [[spoiler:King Jellyjam]], the monster in ''How To Kill A Monster'', Mr. Mortman, Cuddles the hamster, and the beasts in ''The Beast From The East''.
* ChildHater: Several books have these, including ''The Ghost Next Door'' and ''The Blob That Ate Everyone''.
* ChristmasEpisode: ''More & More & More Tales To Give You Goosebumps'', the last short story collection, centered around Christmas and winter horrors.
* ClingyMacGuffin: ''The Haunted Mask,'' ''It Came From Beneath the Sink''
* CloseEnoughTimeline: In ''The Cuckoo Clock of Doom'', the main character is cursed by his family's cuckoo clock to be repeatedly sent mentally back in time into his own body at younger and younger stages of his life until he might be erased from existence. He alters the timeline so that it never happens, but his annoying and malicious sibling [[RetGone is erased from existence]] due to the clock's "defect" [[ChekhovsGun mentioned earlier in the book]] (the clock's year dial skips the sister's birth year, something that ''he'' caused when fixing the backwards time flow). He promises he should probably go back and try to fix it. Maybe. Eventually. "One of ''these'' days."
* ContentWarnings: The Fox Kids run coincided with the rise of the American TV rating system, so many episodes started with a warning that "Goosebumps is rated TV-Y7, because it may be too spooky for kids under seven." Originally, it had their own rating called "GB-7," but when the FCC imposed the content ratings on all TV shows (except for news shows and sports), they had to conform to that.
* CoolTeacher: The only time this trope has ever been played straight, wherein the teacher is not an idiot, a loser, or evil, is in ''Headless Halloween''. Mr. Benson, the science teacher, is regarded as cool by most of his students, save for Brandon, the {{Jerkass}} protagonist who is always being lectured and punished by Benson for how cruel he acts towards his cousin and other students.
* CourtMage: Morgred in ''A Night in Terror Tower''. He served the previous king, [[spoiler:and cast a spell on Prince and Princess Eddie/Edward and Sue/Susannah of York to protect them from their wicked uncle, the usurper. It fails because the High Executioner interrupted his ritual and stole one of Morgred's magic orbs to chase the children into the future, causing the new memories Morgred gave them to be incomplete.]]
* CoversAlwaysLie:
** As mentioned above, this could be a big problem, particularly for the revived ''[=HorrorLand=]'' series.
** "How I Learned to Fly" (book number 52 in the original series) also applies. The back cover blurb summary heavily implies that the magic mixture the protagonist, Jack, uses to make himself fly was cursed or had some sort of supernatural consequence, but the problems he really faces are more based in reality.
** ''Deep Trouble'' shows a threatening shark on the cover which would suggest a ''Film/{{Jaws}}''-inspired story, but has a story about friendly mermaids instead.
** Sometimes, people anticipating that the cover is fake works in the books favor. In the TV version of Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns, [[spoiler: the main bad guys aren't the beings with the Pumpkin heads on the cover... which is expected. However, the aliens who save the kids from the monsters ''were'' the Pumpkin-headed beings]].
** The ''Horrorland'' books do this fairly consistently. The cover to ''Monster Blood for Breakfast'' for example features (presumably) the protagonist engulfed in the titular BlobMonster, while the main section of the book actually deals with BodyHorror. ''Who's Your Mummy'' features a mummy ringing a doorbell; the only stereotypical mummies in the book are immobile.
* CrapsackWorld: The series as a whole qualifies if you believe it's set in one universe. Apathetic adults, over the top bullies, murderous madmen, dangerous monsters...one wonders how these kids are going to grow up, ''if they survive their childhood.''
* CreepyBasement: ''Stay Out Of The Basement'', ''Vampire Breath'', ''I Live In Your Basement.''
* CreepyCockroach: In ''Headless Halloween'', Brandon is forced to bob for apples in a tub ''filled'' with cockroaches, and isn't allowed to stop playing unless he catches one with his teeth.
* CrisisCrossover: The new ''[=HorrorLand=]'' books, which are bringing together classic Goosebumps villains (and the odd protagonist) into a single storyline for the first time (the stage show doesn't count).
* CruelTwistEnding: Used every so often:
** ''Awesome Ants'': [[spoiler:Ants rule the earth, not humans, and the size difference between the two is inverted.]]
** ''How To Kill A Monster'': [[spoiler:The kids have killed the monster by sheer luck, and flee the house. After a few hours' travel they're all alone in the middle of the swamp at nightfall, and it turns out that there are hundreds more monsters resting there, and these ones ''aren't'' allergic to human flesh.]]
** ''Werewolf Skin'': [[spoiler:The hero's (platonic) girlfriend is also a werewolf.]]
** ''Ghost Beach'': [[spoiler:The kids' uncle and aunt are ghosts too.]]
** ''A Night In Terror Tower'': [[spoiler:The high executioner has obtained one of the magic stones, and followed the protagonists back into the future again.]] (Though this is only in the TV episode, the book has a happy ending)
** ''Attack Of The Jack-O'-Lanters'': [[spoiler:The protagonists' two friends are man-eating aliens, responsible for the recent dissapearances, and leave Earth in their spaceship until they'll come back next year to feast again. They even warn the kids that they might well devour ''them'' next time if they don't keep off the candy enough.]]
** ''My Best Friend is Invisible'': [[spoiler:The invisible boy was a scared human child that his parents tried to save by making him invisible, and all the "humans" seen so far are actually a species of world-conquering aliens who have take over the Earth and exterminated all the humans.]]
** ''Stay Out Of The Basement'': [[spoiler:Many more plants have become sentient, and/or the girl's father really isn't her actual father either, and/or Margaret has suffered [[HearingVoices a psychological break after her traumatic experience]].]]
** ''The Perfect School'': [[spoiler:The protagonist´┐Żs friend was a mole, and he'll be replaced with a clone/robot, and locked up forever. In the book, he manages to escape, but is forced to pretend to be a robot for the rest of his life or at least until he's old enough to leave his parents.]]
** ''Legend of the Lost Legend'': [[spoiler: Everyone's lost in a mystical forest until the end of time.]]
** ''Double Dip Horror'': [[spoiler:The protagonist has just left her identical twin sister alone on a ski slope with a ghost that murders identical twins.]]
** In ''Don't Make Me Laugh!'' the two bullies learn why the aliens have forgotten to laugh: [[spoiler: it hurts. The two are promptly ordered to be disintegrated.]]
** In the book of ''Be Careful What You Wish For'', [[spoiler:the protagonist who got rid of the clumsy genie is screwed by her anyway as the new master, the AlphaBitch, ordering her to "fly away" ends turning her into a crow.]] The episode is a [[LaserGuidedKarma laser-guided]] KarmicTwistEnding instead, [[spoiler:as the new master asks to be admired by everyone and becomes a statue.]]
** This tradition continues in the Horrorland books. For example, ''My Friends Call Me Monster'' ends with the protagonist and his family eating a cake baked with eggs made to turn them into monsters... but since the story has to continue into Horrorland, it is later, almost casually explained how they undid it. Given the two-story format of the series, this happens a lot.
* CryptidEpisode: ''The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena'', which is about a yeti, and ''Deep Trouble'', which is about mermaids.
* CloningBlues: In ''Stay out Of the Basement'', this motivates Doctor Brewer's clone to turn against his creator.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The Goosebumps 2000 series. Also, ''Welcome to Dead House'' and ''Stay Out of the Basement'' are exceptionally [[LudicrousGibs bloodier and gorier]] than the rest of the original series.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Often, the supposed "monster" of the story turns out to be rather benevolent, while the true villains are [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters just sick, amoral people.]]
* DeadAllAlong: ''The Ghost Next Door'', ''Ghost Beach'', the book adaptation of ''The Haunted House Game'' and ''Bad Dog''.
* DeathByAdaptation:
** [[spoiler:The Swamp Hermit]] in ''The Werewolf of Fever Swamp'' lives in the book, but in the episode he makes a HeroicSacrifice to save Grady.
** In the TV version of ''One Day at Horrorland'', [[spoiler: the Morris family wins a car after surviving Horrorland - and then are shown to drive over a cliff and probably die. We then see the Horrors watching the end of the show.]] The ending of the book had a slightly less cruel twist where [[spoiler: after escaping from Horrorland in a stolen bus, they discover one of the Horrors has followed them and offers them tickets back to the park. There's also a sequel.]]
** The TV adaptation of ''Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes'' ends with [[spoiler:Major [=McCall=], who is just Mr. [=McCall=] in the books, being [[TakenForGranite turned into a lawn ornament]] by the gnomes.]]
* DefangedHorrors: The series can be scary, but is overall fine for children.
* DemonicDummy: Quite a few throughout the ''Night of the Living Dummy'' books.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: ''The Haunted School''
* DepravedDentist: One of the "rides" in [=HorrorLand=] is called "The Happy Tooth Game" where kids are basically mutilated by robot dentists.
* DeusExScuseMe: Several. In "The Haunted Mask," it happens twice-- once with the mask shop owner, and once with Carly-Beth's mom.
* DiedHappilyEverAfter: [[spoiler: The Ghost Next Door]]
* DirtyCoward: The Galloping Gazelle in ''Attack of the Mutant''.
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** A WickedWitch in "Chicken Chicken" transformed kids into [[BalefulPolymorph literal chickens]] because they knocked over her groceries in the street and then ran away without apologizing. (One kid who stammered out an apology for running off was apparently forgiven.)
** "Full Moon Fever" provides an equally extreme example. The protagonists are turned into wolf-like monsters by Mrs. Eakins, their [[CrankyNeighbor grouchy neighbor]]. Their crime? Kicking a soccer ball through her living room window.
** Mr. Grimsley in ''The Chalk Closet'' [[spoiler: sends failing/misbehaving students into a room where they'll spend the rest of eternity listening to the screech of chalk on a board, even after they've died.]]
** In "The Curse of Camp Cold Lake", Sarahreveals to everyone that Jane has asthma, and it was honest accident. Later Jane ''tips the canoe'' as revenge, and tells the Counselor that Sarah did.
* DistinguishingMark: ''My Hairiest Adventure''.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: [[spoiler: Libby in ''Attack of The Mutant'', who is actually the titular villain in disguise.]]
* DrillSergeantNasty:
** In the TV adaptation of ''Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes'', Mr. [=McCall=] is renamed to Major [=McCall=] and is a mean ex-army officer.
** Uncle Al of ''Welcome to Camp Nightmare'' as well, [[spoiler:although most of it's an act.]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first 20 or so novels feel very subdued compared with later entries. There are scares and supernatural elements, but Stine typically spends a good amount of time establishing character and atmosphere before moving on to the horror. Because of this, some of the early books (notably ''The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb'' and ''Welcome to Camp Nightmare'') are uncharacteristically long (130+ pages, as opposed to the average of 110-120).
* EasilyThwartedAlienInvasion: It's somewhat hard to take the antagonists from ''My Friends Call Me Monster'' seriously when they are defeated by being dropped into a giant egg. Which one of them was hatching.
* EccentricExterminator: Mr. Lance in ''Awesome Ants'' is ''way'' too into his work, hunting bugs with steely determination and gleeful enjoyment, admiring the ants for their craftiness. He calls the protagonist a liar for claiming the ants from his ant farm grew to 3 inches, larger than any real life ants. [[spoiler:Subverted at the end when everything turns out to be a dream, and giant ants rule the Earth. Mr. Lance reflects how things might have been different for humans, and warns the protagonist not to let the ants know that he dreamed that it was Mr. Lance's job to kill them.]]
* TheEndingChangesEverything: ''A Shocker on Shock Street'' plays like a typical children's horror novel, with the protagonists surviving one hazard after another. However, the last chapter [[spoiler:implies the possibility that the entire plot may very well have been the result of the Erin robot's programming going haywire.]]
* EndlessCorridor: In the live-action version of "Haunted House Game", the protagonists have to escape the haunted house itself to win the game with their lives. The corridor to the front door stretches out into infity before them, requiring them to pull it towards them with a fishing rod.
* EnemyWithout:
** In ''The Ghost Next Door'', [[spoiler:the shadow that is stalking Hannah claims to be the future ghost of her neighbor.]]
** Norband in ''Headless Halloween'' [[spoiler: is some sort of alternate version of Brandon, though he claims he "dressed up" as Brandon that year.]]
* EnfantTerrible: Tara Webster from ''The Cuckoo Clock of Doom''. Also, Hannah from ''Strained Peas''.
* EtiquetteNazi: In the book ''Chicken Chicken'', the witch Vanessa turns the heroes into chickens for not apologizing after knocking her over. She only changes them back after they write her an apology note.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: The random ice hockey penguins in the ''Attack of the Mutant'' PC game
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler:King Jellyjam.]]
* EvilDetectingDog:
** Subverted in the short story ''Bad Dog''. [[spoiler:The dog in question is bothering two ghost children who go to school in order to act like they're still alive and are afraid of being exposed by the dog's antics.]]
** Played straight in ''It Came from Beneath the Sink''.
** At the end of ''Ghost Beach'', [[spoiler: the protagonists' dog gives it away that their aunt and uncle are ghosts too.]]
** In ''Welcome To The Dead House'' the protagonists dog Petey barks at everyone in the town because [[spoiler: they are zombies. He gets killed by them eventually.]]
* EvilFeelsGood: Carly-Beth in ''The Haunted Mask''.
* EvilWearsBlack: Vanessa from ''Chicken Chicken''.
* EvilIsHammy: The Masked Mutant and Slappy come to mind, especially in the TV show.
* EvilUncle: The brother of the King in ''A Night in Terror Tower'' usurped the throne by killing the rightful King and Queen. He then arranges to execute their children, [[spoiler:Edward and Susannah of York, Eddie and Sue's real identities.]]
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: ''The Halloween Game'' is [[spoiler: ''literally'' a Halloween game. It's a pitch for a Halloween-themed video game.]]
* ExactWords: In ''Santa's Helpers'', a pair of older siblings enjoy telling their little sister she isn't related to them because she doesn't resemble them or their parents. [[spoiler: When the siblings are mistaken for a pair of Santa's elves (they're short, have red hair, and were wearing red-and-green clothes that could easily let someone mistake them for elves) and taken to the North Pole, they try to get their sister to vouch for them. And she says "but you always told me I wasn't really your sister. You always said I wasn't related to you at all." The siblings are dragged away as their sister asks for them to make sure Santa doesn't forget her.]]
* ExtrudedBookProduct: After a while, the series turned into this; according to rumor, to keep up with the demand for more and more new Goosebumps books, R.L. Stine started working with ghostwriters to keep the new releases coming. Considering that a new title was published ''monthly'' and that Stine pumped out several other book series as well, this was almost inevitable. In a few of the sequels this was especially obvious (particularly ''Return of the Mummy''), since it was apparent that all the writer knew about the first one was the blurb on the back.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Often the implication (overt or covert) of the TwistEnding. Examples include [[spoiler: ''Let's Get Invisible'' (phased into a mirror dimension forever), ''The Barking Ghost'' (trapped in the body of a squirrel), ''Bad Hare Day'' (transformed into a magician's rabbit), ''Ghost Camp''(Possessed by one of the ghostly campers), ''The Haunted School'' (trapped in an alternate dimension with no color, where you never age), ''The Cuckoo Clock of Doom'' (Wiped out of existence itself).]]
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Billy in the comic adaptation of ''Deep Trouble'' when he's thrown overboard to drown. Rather than scream and cry, he simply bows his head and sighs, acknowledging the situation's futility.
* FaceHeelTurn: In ''Calling All Creeps'', [[spoiler:the whole story ends on this note. After seeing how futile opposing the Creeps is, and wanting revenge against his bullying classmates, the boy who was trying to stop the Creeps decides in the end to become a Creep himself, because he would be their leader.]]
* FlashbackWithTheOtherDarrin: "Say Cheese and Die - Again!" has another young actress as Shari when she's had her picture taken.
* FluffyTheTerrible: One book revolves around aliens that hug people, literally called Body Squeezers. Harmless, right? Except that this is how they reproduce... oh, and they grow sharp claws to stab into the backs of their victims, it's really more like an angry bearhug tackle if they can't trick you into a hug, and they're hell-bent on murder and world domination.
* FranchiseZombie
* ForScience: In ''Deep Trouble'', this is Dr. Deep's only justification for kidnapping a mermaid.
* ForTheEvulz: Karl from the TV-only story ''Chillogy'', the ruler of a miniature toy town aptly called Karlsville. He's never given a back story but when asked why he's bothering to turn one of the main characters into a plastic slave, Karl simply states "Everyone needs a hobby." His hobby is to turn kids into his slaves.
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: ''Attack of The Mutant'' and ''The Blob that Ate Everyone.'' The Horrorland book ''Doctor Maniac vs Robby Shwartz'' can be called a mashup of these two.
** This will also be the plot of the 2015 movie, in which an army of villains from the books escape into the real world.
* GenderBlenderName: Far too many to count, perhaps to assist with the PurelyAestheticGender. Notable examples are:
** [[TomboyishName Andy]] from the Monster Blood series (her real name is Andrea)
** The female Drew from ''Attack of the Jack-O-Lanterns''
** ''Revenge R Us'''s female protagonist, ''Wade''.
** Dana, the ''male'' protagonist of "Egg Monsters from Mars" (though that was probably done as a censorship measure, given the ending of that book. It...was still gross no matter how you slice it).
* GenreAnthology: The "Tales to Give You Goosebumps" short-story books, the "Triple Header" novellas, and the Goosebumps TV show.
* GenreSavvy: Tamara in ''Broken Dolls''. [[spoiler: Upon receiving the old woman doll, she gets her brother to try and break it before anything else can happen.]]
* GoneHorriblyWrong: Spidey's camera in "Say Cheese and Die!".
* GhostlyGoals: Every ghost in the series.
* GreyandGrayMorality: Surprisingly. Quite a few of the protagonists(Evan,Sarah,etc.) can be insufferably selfish assholes, while some of the monsters and antagonists have sympathetic motivations for their evil.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:H-M]]
* HallOfMirrors: In the book [[AmusementParkOfDoom "One Day At Horrorland"]], there is Hall of Mirrors with the slogan "Reflect Before You Enter. No-one May Ever See You Again". The Hall of Mirrors traps the three kids in separate rooms and the walls move in to crush them. At the last second, the floor opens and the kids slide out safely. [[CanonDiscontinuity Oddly enough]], mirrors are banned at Horrorland in the spin-off series because [[spoiler: they are portals to Panic Park.]]
* HalloweenEpisode: All ''The Haunted Mask'' books, ''Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns'', ''Headless Halloween'', ''Full Moon Fever'', ''Weirdo Halloween'', ''The Five Masks of Dr. Screem'', ''The Halloween Game'', ''The Headless Ghost'', and ''Werewolf Skin''.
* HandWaved: ''Frequent'', usually because having pre-adolescent heroes means often ignoring basic common sense provisions so that they can get into the required dangerous situations. Great example being ''Why I'm Afraid of Bees''; you'd think an 11 year old kid would need parental consent to be the subject of a strange medical experiment like that. Also why there's apparently no money involved.
* HauntedHouseHistorian: One found on '''The Headless Ghost'''.
* HereWeGoAgain: A great many of the twist endings, notably "Say Cheese and Die", "The Haunted Mask", and "Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes". "Invasion of the Body Squeezers" sees the invasion averted... only for the protagonist to see red aliens arrive on meteorites similar to the Body Squeezers.
** This is actually defied for once at the end of ''Broken Dolls''. [[spoiler: Someone sends Tamara a doll that resembles the creepy doll maker, but instead of ending the story there, Tamara decides to goad her brother into breaking the doll before anything can happen.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** [[spoiler:Skipper tricks the Masked Mutant into turning into acid, his supposed weakness.]]
** [[spoiler:King Jellyjam suffocates from his own stench after the campers stop washing him.]]
* HorrorHunger: ''Full Moon Fever''.
* HumanAliens: This is rarely used, but it's a TwistEnding in ''Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns'', ''My Best Friend is Invisible'', and ''Welcome to Camp Nightmare''.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: A surprisingly recurring theme. Examples include ''Deep Trouble'', ''Egg Monsters From Mars'', and ''How I Learned To Fly''.
* HumanityEnsues: ''Why I'm Afraid of Bees'', ''Stay Out of the Basment'', and ''My Hairiest Adventure.''
* HumiliationConga: ''Chicken Chicken.'' One of the most [[DudeNotFunny grotesque and agonizing]] examples in [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids children's literature.]]
* IAmNotWeasel: The blue variant of Monster Blood in ''Monster Blood IV'' actually turns out to be a genetics experiment GoneHorriblyWrong which the creator dumped inside an empty Monster Blood can when he couldn't find a proper container.
* InsufferableGenius: Courtney in ''You Can't Scare Me!'' and Nicole in ''The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena''.
* JerkJock: Conan "the Barbarian" Barber in the ''Monster Blood'' series.
* KarmaHoudini:
** Brandon in ''Headless Halloween''. [[spoiler: At first he's horrified when he realizes he fell to his death and begs for a second chance at life. When told the only way to save himself is by helping three scared people, he does exactly that, only to learn it was just a joke. He's then perfectly happy to go back to scaring people with the other dead kids. Kind of debatable, though, since it's unlikely Norband will let him out of the otherworld.]]
** Judith, the AlphaBitch in ''Be Careful What You Wish For'' escapes all consequences and dooms Samantha with a spiteful wish to become a bird. The TV episode [[LaserGuidedKarma is better about this]], with Judith turned into a statue for her arrogance.
** Vanessa from ''Chicken Chicken'' however, is the most infuriating example in the entire series.
** The human-eating aliens in ''Attack of the Jack 'O Lanterns'' leave unimpeded in their spaceship at the end, assuring that they'll return for the buffet next year.
** Karl, the villain of the three-part episode "Chillogy". At the end the heroes believe that one of the miniature figures they're burning in the fireplace must be Karl, but he escapes the destruction of his private domain Karlsville unharmed and sets out to continue his rampage. The episode ends with him letting out a [[EvilLaugh malicious laugh]] at this fortune.
* KarmicTwistEnding:
** ''A Shocker On Shock Street'': [[spoiler:The TV ending at least; the book ends on a CruelTwistEnding, as the two protagonists [[RoboticReveal find out they're robots]] and are deactivated by the girl's "father" to be reprogrammed. In the TV episode, the two wake up again and [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters decide to kill their creator]] after he put them through so much torment and tried to replace them with new versions.]]
** ''Click'': [[spoiler:The protagonist has abused the universal remote to suit his own ends. When he's confronted about this he tries to use the device against the accuser but it doesn't work properly, so he presses the "off" button in frustration, and the entire world vanishes as he finds himself in a black void. Then the battery runs out.]]
* KilledOffForReal: A rare example in ''The Horror At Camp Jellyjam'', where [[spoiler:the protagonist is told that three unnamed campers were eaten by the camp's disgusting mascot.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch:
** ''The Girl who Cried Monster'': [[spoiler:Lucy's parents, who are revealed as monsters, gruesomely devour the villain, much to their children's delight.]]
** ''Egg Monsters From Mars'': [[spoiler:The eponymous aliens tackle and smother their evil captor, partially to help their human friend, and also to protect the offspring he's carrying.]]
** ''Deep Trouble'': [[spoiler:A gang of thugs kidnap a mermaid to sell for profit. Similar to the above example, the supposedly cute and harmless mermaids show a darker side when they assault the crooks' boat. These guys are never seen or mentioned again.]]
** ''Shocker On Shock Street'': [[spoiler:The TV adaptation ends with the protagonists, revealed as robots, preparing to exact brutal revenge on their "father" for trying to discard them.]]
* KidHero: Unfortunately, the protagonists don't always aspire to this. The closest examples are probably Hannah from ''The Ghost Next Door'', Skipper from ''Attack of the Mutant'', and both Billies from ''Welcome To Camp Nightmare'' and ''Deep Trouble.''
* KidsAreCruel: Pretty much the entire point of ''Calling All Creeps''.
** Weirdly played with in ''The Haunted Mask II'', where {{Jerkass}} Steve is punished by being made manager of a first grade soccer team. All the kids on the team treat Steve like crap, so much so that, even after the old man mask bonds to his face, he still plans on scaring them as badly as he can. But the kids think Steve actually is an old man and instead of being grossed out or acting mean, they try to be as legitimately helpful and kind as they can be.
* LackOfEmpathy: Many of the parents and adults, but special nods go towards Tara Webster, Brandon Plush, Mr. Saur, Conan, the counselors at Camp Nightmoon, and the Horrorland Horrors.
* LatexPerfection: ''The Haunted Mask'' series. Though as it turns out, the masks aren't made of latex...
* LethalChef: Alexander in ''Deep Trouble''.
* LiteralGenie: In ''Be Careful What You Wish For'' (which has also been adapted for TV), Samantha Bird is an especially genre-blind victim of a wish-granting witch, never realizing that her words are being taken literally. Her wish to be the strongest player on her basketball team (she's a big klutz) causes everyone else to be weaker, her wish for the AlphaBitch to become her friend turns said girl into an insane stalker, then she wishes for the AlphaBitch to have found the wish-granting crone instead. She ends up as a bird thanks to the other girl's wish.
* TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday:
** Again, ''The Haunted Mask''
** Several endings in "The Little Comic Shop of Horrors"
* LivingShadow: The villain of ''The Ghost Next Door'', who is stalking Hannah. [[spoiler:Turns out he's the future spirit of Danny, and wants to keep Hannah from preventing his death.]]
* LukeIAmYourFather: ''Beware, The Snowman''.
* MadArtist: ''Piano Lessons can be Murder'': Mr Toggle kills students and enslaves their hands...so he can get them to play perfect music.
* MadScientist: Almost too many to count; "Stay Out of the Basement," "Monster Blood III," "My Hairiest Adventure," "My Best Friend is Invisible," and "A Shocker on Shock Street" etc. Often the mad scientist (or some sort of researcher who, if not specifically "Mad", is at least a JerkAss) will prove to the ''real'' villain of the story instead of the comparably harmless "monster". See: ''Curse of the Mummy's Tomb'', ''How I Got My Shrunken Head'', ''Deep Trouble'', ''Egg Monsters from Mars''.
* MagicalCamera:
** ''Say Cheese and Die'' and its sequels are about a camera which causes tragedy to befall any person photographed with it.
** ''The Haunted School'' has a camera that acts as a portal to another dimension.
* MagicFeather: ''The Blob That Ate Everyone'
* MagicMirror: ''Let's Get Invisible'', ''The Ghost In The Mirror'', and ''Mirror Mirror On The Wall''. ''Goosebumps Horrorland'' made it a plot point that mirrors could be used as a gateway from Horrorland to Panic Park.
* MalevolentMaskedMen: Kind of inverted with The Lord High Executioner and The Masked Mutant. [[spoiler: When the former shows up in Terror Tower, he instead appears as a quiet man in a black cape and hat. The latter spends most of his book in the form of a twelve year old girl. Neither show their masks until their true nature is revealed.]]
* MamaBear[=/=]PapaWolf:
** After Lucy's parents actually ''know'' that Mr. Mortman is a monster who's trying to eat their daughter, their solution to the problem is to eat him alive. They also did this because too many monsters at one place endangers TheMasquerade to humans.
** The [[spoiler:giant worm]] at the end of ''Go Eat Worms''.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler: Mr. Toggle, the "robotician"]] from ''Piano Lessons Can Be Murder''.
* MandatoryTwistEnding: Author R. L. Stine did this to the point where the twist endings became played out after a while. Stine once said in an interview that he'd always write the ending first and then go back and think of twists later.
** The most infamous one is ''My Hairiest Adventure'', which ends with the revelation that [[spoiler:most of the kids were actually dogs, who were transformed into humans by some company so that their employees could have children.]]
** ''Welcome To Camp Nightmare'', which [[spoiler:takes place on an alien planet, mentioned in the last sentence.]]
** ''Vampire Breath'', in which Cara and Freddy [[spoiler:find a bottle of "Werewolf Sweat".]]
** ''My Best Friend is Invisible'', in which every character except Brent is [[spoiler:a multi-headed creature with more than two eyes and suction cups on their head.]]
* MentalTimeTravel: ''The Cuckoo Clock of Doom''
* MediumAwareness: The Masked Mutant. He also uses this to lure Skipper into a trap, since the boy reads all his stories.
* MindControl: ''The Horror at Camp Jellyjam''
* MindScrew: "I Live in Your Basement" is this...and then some.
* MirrorMonster: ''Lets Get Invisible'' features a mirror that turns you invisible, but [[spoiler: if you stay invisible too long, your reflection forces you to switch places with it.]]
* MistakenForQuake:
** "Go Eat Worms!": Todd thinks there are earthquakes near the school, when it is actually a giant worm under the ground.
** "The Horror at Camp Jellyjam: The friequent earthquakes are actually King Jellyjam burping underground.
* MostWritersAreAdults
* MouthCam: Used in the TV episode for ''The Blob That Ate Everyone'' before the blob eats [[spoiler:Adam]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: In ''The Blob That Ate Everyone'' Zach uses the typewriter to write that the Blob eats two police officers. When the Blob shows up and really ''does'' eat two police officers, Zach is appalled.
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: The Lord High Executioner may or may not have been loyal to the former king and queen. But when the siblings' usurperous uncle ordered their death, the executioner intends to do so without question.
* MythologyGag: The TV episode of "Be Careful What You Wish For" ends with [[spoiler:a crow perching on top of the statue of the Alpha Bitch. The book ends with the protagonist being turned into a crow by the Alpha Bitch's wish. In both versions, the Alpha Bitch smiles.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:N-S]]
* NegativeContinuity:
** The ''Monster Blood'' books. [[spoiler: The first book ends with the reveal that the Monster Blood was actually enchanted, but the later books imply that ''all'' cans of Monster Blood are in fact magical. There is also the ending of ''Monster Blood III'' where Evan ends up shrunken, only for the fourth book to open with him as normal size and no mention made towards what happened in the third book.]]
** In the ending of ''Deep Trouble'', Billy is attacked by a sea monster. In ''Deep Trouble 2'' he's alive and well with no mention of what happened in the previous book.
* NeverSleepAgain: In ''Don't Go To Sleep!'', the main character is shunted to a different alternate universe whenever he falls asleep.
* NeverTrustATitle: Often, the eponymous ghost/monster/whatever isn't the real enemy. Examples include ''Curse of the Mummy's Tomb'' and ''The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena''.
* NewHouseNewProblems: ''Welcome to Dead House'' and ''It Came From Beneath the Sink''
* [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed No Historical Figures Were Harmed]]: In ''A Night in Terror Tower'', Prince Edward and Princess Susannah of York are blatantly based on Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, first Duke of York-- right down to being imprisoned in a tower by their EvilUncle.
* NonMaliciousMonster: Most of the various ghosts in the stories turn out to be this. Also the egg monsters.
* NothingIsScarier:
** ''Ghost Camp''. [[spoiler: We're told the entirety of Camp Spirit Moon except for the Altmans are ghosts, killed untold years ago by a black fog. But it's never explained ''how'' the fog actually killed them nor ''why'' it happened in the first place. At least with ''Welcome To Dead House'' we know where the gas leak came from, but with ''Ghost Camp'' there were so many unanswered questions about what really happened to Camp Spirit Moon. Even worse, it's implied the fog contains trapped spirits that tried to leave the camp on their own, and we're never told how the other campers discovered this.]]
** Sue and Eddie's EvilUncle and Mr. Chameleon, judging by the impact of their actions, are two of the most horrific characters in the series. We never actually meet them. Special mention for Mr. Chameleon, since we don't even know who he is or why he's sending children to GrayWorld.
* NotSoImaginaryFriend:
** ''My Best Friend is Invisible''.
** Subverted with ''Good Friends''. [[spoiler: It turns out that the main character's best friend and bratty sister, who has an imaginary friend herself, ''are'' in fact imaginary themselves.]]
* OddlyNamedSequel: Some of the new ''[=HorrorLand=]'' books serve as sequels to the classic books - but with extremely strange names. ''Monster Blood for Breakfast!'' is perhaps a notable example.
* OldDarkHouse: in ''Welcome To The Dead House''.
* OurGnomesAreWeirder: ''Revenge Of The Lawn Gnomes'' tells us that lawn gnomes(and presumably other ornaments) are actually living creatures taken from a mystical forest and forced to pose as garden decorations.
* OurHomunculiAreDifferent: The haunted mask and its kind are disembodied homunculi. Basically, they're artificially grown living faces that desire human hosts, and are said to be created from human faults and sins, similar to [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist the more renowned Homunculi.]]
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: ''Deep Trouble'', in which said mermaids are [[BadassAdorable strong enough to take on sharks]], communicate via sonar, and [[MamaBear are extremely protective of their kind.]]
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: In ''Vampire Breath'', vampires don't survive on blood alone, they also drink the namesake. And it seems to be the source of most of their abilities.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: ''Werewolf Skin'', which is actually based on the Native American skinwalker myth.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent:
** In "Welcome To Dead House" the Dark Falls residents are neither true zombie or vampire, but rather bloodsucking mutants that are harmed by sunlight.
** The TV adaptation of "How I Got My Shrunken Head" has the villain experimenting on his henchmen to activate the powers of Jungle Magic. Instead, they're possessed by an unknown energy that reduces them to mindless slaves.
* ParentalBonus: In ''Bad Hare Day'', the protagonist complains that his mom takes his sister's karate lessons more seriously than his magic hobby because "girls need to know how to defend themselves".
* ParentalSubstitute: In ''A Night in Terror Tower'', [[spoiler:Morgred the sorceror is set to fill this role for Edward and Susannah when they finally escape into the future to live new lifes away from their evil uncle and the High Executioner. As the late, rightful King's court mage, he promised to protect them from harm.]]
* ParentsAsPeople: In ''Scream School'' film director and self-proclaimed "King of Horror" Emory Banyon insists on being more than just a parent with his son Jake and insists that they are also buddies. Which is what entitles Emory to act like an asshole and scare Jake every day, including ruining his birthday (although he does feel a little bad with how that one prank turned out). [[spoiler: Jake gets his revenge in the end.]]
* ParodyMagicSpell: In ''Chicken Chicken'' Cole says Abracadbra while joking about Vanessa.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: At one point in ''Be Careful What You Wish For'', Clarissa causes ''everyone on earth'' to vanish inexplicably while trying to grant Samantha's wish. You do not want this woman on your side, and it really [[TooDumbToLive says a lot about Samantha when she keeps asking for wishes.]]
* PlatonicLifePartners: The series features a ''many'' storylines where the main characters are a boy and girl who are best friends who are inseparable but have absolutely no romantic interest in each other. A few of them even use ShesNotMyGirlfriend and ''mean'' it. As most of the characters are children who aren't thinking about romance in the first place, this is justified. Completely averted in ''How I Learned To Fly''.
* PlantPerson: Dr. Brewer's sinister hybrid clone in ''Stay out of the Basement.''
* ThePowerOfHate: In Panic Park there is a ride called "The Tunnel of Hate" which causes the people who travel inside it to turn into raving lunatics.
* ThePowerOfLove: The Haunted Mask can only be vanquished by a symbol of love. While it does come back time and again, a symbol of love is enough to keep it at bay for a while.
* ProductPlacement: American Girl dolls are mentioned by name in ''Egg Monsters from Mars.'' Pepsi/Frito Lay did a merchandising tie-in with Goosebumps in the late '90s, leading to Pepsi products turning up in several books like ''Calling All Creeps''.
* PseudoCrisis: At the end of nearly every chapter.
* RedHeadedHero: Crystal, the protagonist in ''Chicken Chickeb'' has red hair.
* RedHerring: A frequent occurrence as often the books' twist endings rendered what the characters had believed most of the time to be the cause of the strange events to be completely irrelevant. The best example is probably "My Hairiest Adventure" when for most of the book, Larry believes that the fur growing on his hands and body is from expired tanning lotion and could be behind the disappearances of his friends and why there are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood. Turns out the expired tanning lotion had nothing to do with it, and the fur, disappearing friends, and influx of dogs was from a local doctor's dog-to-human serum wearing off.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: This comes up quite a lot, given that a lot of the stories about science gone wrong.
** The Shopkeeper in ''The Haunted Mask'' could've revolutionized surgery and ended permanent disfigurement, if he improved on his "mask making" skills.
** Dr. Brewer in ''Stay out of the Basement'' originally tries to splice different plant species together into bigger crops, thus solving world hunger. Then he accidentally gets his DNA mixed into the equation, and decides to continue from there.
** In ''Deep Trouble'', Dr. Deep tries to sell the captive mermaid to a zoo for 1 million dollars. His assistant betrays him and tries to sell the creature to an underground organization for 3 million. When confronted with this, he points out [[VillainHasAPoint that a discovery as great as this would be worth far more than what the Zoo had to offer.]]
* RetGone: In ''The Cuckoo Clock of Doom'', when Mike [[spoiler: accidentally erases his bratty little sister from the universe.]] He keeps reminding himself he'll go back to get her. Someday. Maybe.
* RewritingReality: The magic typewriter in ''The Blob That Ate Everyone'' allows Zach to do this, [[spoiler: until it's revealed that Zach is a RealityWarper after being shocked by the typewriter. And then it's revealed that the whole thing is actually a story, and none of it was real.]]
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots:
** The ending of ''A Shocker On Shock Street'', [[spoiler:though it ''did'' explain why Erin's dad freaked out when Erin mentioned her mom]].
** ''Piano Lessons Can Be Murder'' and the scam run by the school in ''The Perfect School'' to "fix" problem children.
* RodentsOfUnusualSize:
** ''Monster Blood II'' features a giant killer hamster named [[FluffyTheTerrible Cuddles]].
** The Horrorland book ''Little Shop of Hamsters"
* {{Ruritania}}: Brovinia, the country the protagonist visits during ''Legend of the Lost Legend''.
* SadistTeacher: A few examples, including Mr. Murphy from ''Monster Blood II'' (whose hamster devours the titular blood and grows to massive proportions) and Mr. Saur from ''Say Cheese and Die-Again!''. To [[UpToEleven take it to the extreme,]] Mrs. Maaargh from ''Creature Teacher''.
* SanitySlippage: Most of the kids from the original class of Bell Valley Middle School went completely insane ever since they were trapped in Greyworld in ''The Haunted School''. Also, this is the case regarding [[spoiler: Erin and Marty in ''A Shocker on Shock Street'' as their programming gradually became unstable.]]
* ScaryScarecrows: ''The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight'' and ''The Scarecrow''.
* ScoobyDooHoax: ''The Phantom Of The Auditorium''
* ScrewPolitenessImASenior: Granny Deaver in ''Ghost Granny''. She's not even the main character's actual grandmother. She was a friend of her great aunt's who came to visit one day and then just moved in for ''three years''. She's totally disgusting and lazy, complains about everything, and intrudes in everyone's space. The only reason the parents don't kick her out is because she apparently has nowhere else to go and they pity her. When she actually dies, the family has a hard time concealing their joy now that they're finally free of her. And then she comes back as a ghost.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: ''Welcome to Camp Nightmare'''s twist.
* ShoutOut:
** Some of the titles, such as [[Film/NightOfTheLivingDead Night of the living dummy]] and [[ThePhantomOfTheOpera Phantom of the Auditorium]] An upcoming book in the new "Most Wanted" series is Called [[Series/HowIMetYourMother How I Met my Monster]]. A book in the second Horrorland arc is called [[Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors Little Shop of Hamsters]]
** Some of the plots of the books are taken from real life horror stories and films. Night of the Living Dummy, for example, is a pretty obvious reference to the ''Film/ChildsPlay'' franchise.
** ''Stay out of the Basement'' can be described as ''Film/InvasionOfTheBodySnatchers'' meets ''Film/TheFly''.
** In ''The Curse of Camp Cold Lake'', Della's supposed backstory strongly resembles that of [[Franchise/FridayThe13th Jason Voorhees.]]
** ''A Shocker on Shock Street'' is a blatant shout-out to ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet''. In fact, one of the movies mentioned is ''A Nightmare on Shock Street''.
** R.B. Farraday from ''Fright Camp'' is believed to be an AffectionateParody of William Castle.
** In "The Barking Ghost," the protagonist is nervous about moving to his wooded Maine home because [[Creator/StephenKing he's only read two horror novels, both of which take place in the woods of Maine.]]
* ShootTheShaggyDog: Disturbingly common in many of the later entries. Ironically, one of the biggest examples isn't regarding the protagonists. Fritz "Spidey" Fredericks from ''Say Cheese And Die'' spends much of the book trying to reclaim the cursed camera and prevent any more carnage. He's accidentally killed by Greg, and the camera lives on to cause more trouble.
* ShowWithinAShow:
** ''A Shocker on Shock Street'' and ''Fright Camp'' focusing on kids who are fans of an extensive film series and a veteran horror director respectively, and elements from both types of films feature deeply into the book's plot.
** ''Tune in Tomorrow'' and ''The Halloween Game'' end with the reveals that [[spoiler: the former is about a girl watching a TV show called "Life with Elizabeth" and the latter is the prototype for a Halloween-themed video game.]]
* ShrunkenHead: In ''How I Got My Shrunken Head'', the protagonist receives a shrunken head from his aunt, who's a scientist researching the island of Baladora. He later finds out that it glows because he possesses "Jungle Magic".
* {{Snowlems}}: ''Beware, The Snowman''.
* SlaveRace: Lawn Gnomes.
* SmugSnake: Wilson in ''How I Learned To Fly'', Courtney in ''You Can't Scare Me!'' and the beasts in ''The Beast From The East''.
* TheSociopath: Tara Webster, who has yet to show any signs of compassion or kindness. Considering her age and how long she's been vindictively tormenting her older brother, it's likely she's never going to develop a conscience. [[spoiler:Then again, she is erased from existence at the end of the book.]]
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent:
** ''How I Learned to Fly'': Despite implications that the flying formula had supernatural powers from the back cover blurb, the story is scary in a real-world sense, showing that talent is often exploited by the greedy and how celebrities are "trapped" because of constant media attention and obsessed fans, and the government wanting to know the secrets of AppliedPhlebotinum. It plays out more like a supernatural satire on how American kids are always pushed by society to be talented and successful.
** ''Deep Trouble'' is another example. Most books before it dealt with clumsy, generic kids stumbling into adventures with gross monsters. The protagonist here is a dangerously overconfident kid who seeks out adventure and discovers a mermaid on a trip to the Caribbean. The real conflict comes from him debating whether to go along with his uncle's plans to sell her to a zoo, or do the right thing and return her home. Also, the villains, rather than being monsters or mad scientists, are greedy thieves looking to exploit the mermaid for their own intentions. And the shark on the cover doesn't appear until the end of the book, ruining any expectations of this book being like a kids' version of ''Jaws''. There ''is'' a genuine monster, but its role is relatively small.
** The Series 2000 books "Are You Terrified Yet?" and "Scream School" have ''no'' supernatural events at all (and the monsters are revealed to be people in elaborate costumes playing a prank on someone), and takes place in the "real" world.
** ''Fright Camp'' is also another example of this, as it turns out all the supernatural elements are staged since it's set at a fantasy summer camp run by a famous horror movie director.
** "The Mummy Walks" from the ''Goosebumps 2000'' series is nothing like ''The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb'' or ''The Mummy Returns'' from the original Goosebumps series. Instead, it has more adventure and international intrigue (in the book, the main character, who thinks he's going to Florida on vacation, is actually the orphaned prince of a Middle Eastern country who needs to be sent back so he can retrieve a mummy and stop the country's current civil war).
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: In the TV adaptation of ''Stay Out of the Basement'', Margaret knows [[SpotTheImposter which Mr. Brewer is her real father]] when the real one calls her by her nickname, "Princess".
* SparedByTheAdaptation:
** [[spoiler:Spidey gets killed by the camera]] in the book of ''Say Cheese And Die!''. While in the TV episode, [[spoiler:he becomes trapped in the camera and eventually released, but strangely doesn't appear in the TV episode of "Say Chese and Die - Again!" (except in flashback).]]
** In ''Be Careful What You Wish For'', [[spoiler:heroine Samatha Byrd is [[BalefulPolymorph turned into a bird]] at the end after the AlphaBitch wishes her to "fly away!".]] In the TV ending, [[spoiler:their fates are reversed, and the Alpha Bitch is turned into a statue after wishing she would be admired wherever she goes.]]
* SpiritualSuccessor: The series has had direct sequels, sequels that share only the same villain, and sequels that have merely the same ''kind'' of villain. The latter are arguably {{spiritual sequel}}s, and include ''Return to Ghost Camp'' (has nothing in common with ''Ghost Camp''), and ''Who's Your Mummy?''
* SpoiledBrat: Tara in ''The Cuckoo Clock of Doom'' and Brandy in ''Egg Monsters From Mars''.
* SpookyPhotographs: The ''Say Cheese and Die'' books.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: Slappy in the ''Night of the Living Dummy'' books. He wasn't the antagonist of the first book in the series - that was another dummy named Mr. Wood - but he was the one pictured on the cover, the antagonist of the rest of the ''Dummy'' books, and even to an extent the series' mascot.
* [[ShowWithinAShow Story Within a Story]]:
** ''The Blob That Ate Everyone'' is revealed at the end to be a fictional story written by a monster. The writer's friend criticizes the {{Anticlimax}} ending, which to us would seem like a happy ending, since we're not monsters. ItMakesSenseInContext.
** Done again in ''Be Afraid--Be Very Afraid!''. ''Twice.''
** The majority of ''Dr. Maniac Vs. Robby Schwartz'' is this.
* SternTeacher: Ms. Vanderhoff in ''It Came From Beneath The Sink!''
* StopHelpingMe: In-universe this is the case with Evan and his nasty little cousin Kermit, who frequently gets Evan into fights with {{Jerkass}} Conan Barber, though it's clear Kermit does this just so Evan will get beaten up. This also occurs in ''Are You Terrified Yet?'' with Craig and Amy. Amy constantly gets Craig stuck in wagers to prove how brave he really is, even though Craig just wants her to shut up. Even when Craig admits the truth about his bravery, Amy thinks he's just being modest. [[spoiler: Craig gets to scare her at the end along with the other kids.]]
* StrangeGirl: Terri Sadler and Louisa from ''Ghost Beach''. Fittingly enough, the comic adaptation is done by Ted Naifeh of the CourtneyCrumrin series.
* SwampsAreEvil:
** ''The Werewolf of Fever Swamp''. Both in the usual method, and apparently [[GeniusLoci literally.]]
** ''How to Kill a Monster''.
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[[folder:T-Z]]
* TakenForGranite:
** A book in the series was called ''BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor'' and showcased the trope of this name. In the ending of the TV adaptation, which differed considerably from the book, a girl wishes that "wherever I go, people will come to admire me" - and instantly turns into a statue.
** In the TV adaptation of "Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes," Major [=McCall=] (Mr [=McCall=] in the book) is turned into a lawn ornament at the end.
** Also the short story ''How I Won My Bat''.
* ThatsNoMoon: ''Ghost Camp'' has "WHY ARE YOU STANDING ON MY HEART?"
* TheThingThatWouldNotLeave: ''Ghost Granny'' from ''Goosebumps Triple Header'' is about a selfish old woman who sponges off a family she's not even related to. Then she dies, but her ghost returns and causes even more trouble for the family.
* ThisLoserIsYou: Goosebumps protagonists tended to be nonathletic, dorky, social outcast bully magnets. Very rarely, if ever, was the protagonist of a book tough or popular.
* ThreeWishes: ''Be Careful What You Wish For''. First Samantha Byrd wishes that she would be the strongest member of the basketball team, but everyone else becomes weak. Then she wishes for Judith to stop bugging her, but everyone disappears. After Samantha resets the wishes, Judith accidentally wishes "Byrd, why don't you fly away?", turning her into a bird.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: ''I Live In Your Basement'' and, when put into proper context ''A Shocker on Shock Street''.
* TomatoInTheMirror:
** ''A Shocker On Shock Street'': [[spoiler:The protagonists [[RoboticReveal are robots]], and are deactivated by their creator.]]
** ''The Ghost Next Door'': [[spoiler:The protagonist [[DeadAllAlong is a ghost]]. She saves a boy from dying a similar death, and is reunited with her family in the afterlife.]]
** ''The Girl Who Cried Monster'': [[spoiler:Not only is the librarian a monster, so are the protagonist's parents, and so is she. This one manages to be awesome rather than horrific for the protagonist since her parents are fiercely protective of her and she learns that she is part of a powerful Masquerade.]]
** ''Vampire Breath'': [[spoiler:The vampire is the protagonist's grandfather, meaning that he is a vampire himself.]]
** ''My Hairiest Adventure'': [[spoiler:The protagonist is a dog who was turned into a human), and he reverts back to his real form.]]
** ''A Night in Terror Tower'': [[spoiler:Eddie and Sue are Prince Edward and Princess Susannah of York, and they've been sent to the future from their original time by a wizard to protect them from their usurperous uncle.]]
** Several other books also incorporate this as their TwistEnding or a portion thereof.
* TomatoSurprise:
** ''My Best Friend Is Invisible'': [[spoiler:The protagonist and his family are invading aliens and the invisible friend is one of the last humans.]]
** ''Welcome To Camp Nightmare'': [[spoiler:The protagonist is a HumanAlien, the camp is not on Earth, and the events are his last test before he is send to infiltrate human society.]]
* TomeOfEldritchLore
* TooDumbToLive:
** When cornered by the eponymous monster in ''How To Kill A Monster'', [[spoiler:the younger brother tries to fend it off by sticking his hand in its mouth. Luckily for him the monster's allergic to humans and promptly dies, otherwise the boy would have been lunch.]]
** Luke in ''Return to Horrorland'', who seems to have forgotten that Horrors tried to murder his family and friend the last time they were there, and is quite eager to try out new rides knowing full well there's a good chance they're actually lethal.
* TookaLevelinBadass: Carly-Beth in the Horrorland series.
* ToServeMan: The ending of ''Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns'', where [[spoiler:Drew's friends Shane and Shana are revealed to be the aliens who ate the four fat adults who were missing according to a local news story]].
* TownWithADarkSecret: "Welcome to Dead House"
* TreacherousAdvisor
* TrickingTheShapeshifter: ''Attack of the Mutant''
* {{Troperiffic}}: Inevitable, considering how long it's run.
* TwistEnding: Usually on the last page, maybe even last paragraph, of almost every book. Many variations, including TomatoInTheMirror, HereWeGoAgain, DeadAllAlong, TheBadGuyWins, WarpedAesop, FromBadToWorse, and the occasional KarmicTwistEnding. Many of them were also {{Cruel Twist Ending}}s.
* UncannyValleyMakeup: In ''The Haunted School'', Talia wears such heavy makeup that she looks completely unnatural and even creepy (she is only twelve years old), leading to bullying from her classmates. It turns out this is because [[spoiler:she escaped from the colorless world and her skin is completely gray.]]
* UndeadChild: Just about ''every single ghost story'' has these.
* TheUnfavorite: Amy in ''Night of the Living Dummy II''.
* UnexpectedInheritance: In ''Welcome To Dead House'' Dad inherits the house from his uncle whom he never even seen. [[spoiler: Turns out that it was a setup by Dawes to make them come to the town.]]
* UnreliableNarrator: [[spoiler: ''A Shocker On Shock Street''.]]
* VomitIndiscretionShot: The 2000 series LOVED this trope.
* VillainBall: [[spoiler: Sarabeth]] in ''Monster Blood''. [[spoiler:She was afraid Evan would find out that his aunt Kathryn is really Sarabeth's slave, so she had Kathryn enchant the Monster Blood. If Sarabeth had just left Evan alone, she could've avoided getting killed by the Monster Blood.]]
* VillainBasedFranchise: With Slappy, for instance.
* VillainProtagonist:
** ''Slappy's Nightmare'' is written in the evil dummy Slappy's POV but it is about Slappy having to do three ''good'' deeds in order to stay animated.
** Brandon Plush from ''Headless Halloween'', big time. To wit, the first five or so chapters of ''Headless Halloween'' focus on how Brandon is an incorrigible sociopath who loves tormenting others, especially little kids, for sick pleasure. Even his ''dad'' is somewhat approving of this attitude.
* TheWallsAreClosingIn: ''One Day At Horrorland'' features a house of mirrors that ends in a room where this happens. [[spoiler:The floor drops out at the very last second.]]
* AWeightyAesop: ''Attack of the Jack-O'Lanterns'' presents this in SpaceWhaleAesop format. Near the end the [[ToServeMan man-eating aliens]] warn the kids not to eat too much candy, or they'll end up as desert some day.
* WeightWoe: ''Say Cheese And Die - Again!'' has the cursed camera inflict both ends of this trope on Greg and Shari. Shari is gradually losing weight until she is almost reduced to a flesh-covered skeleton, while Greg becomes morbidly obese. Some extra BodyHorror is added when Greg has his picture taken again and develops a horrible skin rash.
* WhatCliffhanger: Practically every other chapter.
* WhoWritesThisCrap: In ''Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid!'' when the protagonists comment twice on [[spoiler: the cop out reveal that it's a story within a story ending with the words "You finish the story." This is done ''twice''.]]
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Given that a lot of the protagonists are {{Straw Loser}}s, often enough their friends turn out to be total dicks.
* WorthyOpponent: The Masked Mutant considers Skipper this, because he knows everything about him and no other superheroes were able to defeat him.
* WouldHurtAChild: By virtue of the protagonists always being kids or preteens, nearly all the villains are perfectly willing to harm children -- some even make them their primary targets.
* XMeetsY: Series/TheTwilightZone meets Creator/StephenKing for kids.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: Crystal and Cody hate chickens in ''Chicken Chicken''. They get turned into... you guessed it.
* ZergRush: This is how Slappy gets defeated in ''Night of the Living Dummy III'', when the spell used to bring him to life brings to life all the dummies owned by Trina's dad, who promptly rush after Slappy and kill him.
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