Blogger Beware is a Goosebumps Blog run by Troy Steele. He writes synopses and reviews of Goosebumps books full of humor and snark. He intends to eventually review all of the books and all of R.L. Stine's work.His work is so full of allusions that a fan of the books and the blog has compiled a reference guide called Breeder Beware that can be found here. The blog is so famous among the Goosebumps fandom that most of the book recaps on Goosebumps Wiki - even some on Wikipedia itself - are just Steele's recaps with all of the snarky parts cut out.Troy has admitted to having an inconsistent schedule, which has led to gaps spanning months or even years between posts. His most recent proper review is from June 2012, though he periodically posts one-off entries.For the record, in 2013 R.L. Stine was asked about the blog during a Reddit Q&A. Here's his response.
This blog is the Trope Namer for:
This blog provides examples of:
- Accidental Innuendo: In-Universe, regularly discussed. Troy's name for this trope is "Out of Context Alert," which he uses to announce examples he spots in the books. Commenters are quick to point out any he misses ("Monster Blood" is the current record holder).
- Actually Pretty Funny:
- In the Night of the Living Dummy review Troy admitted the joke about Russian and Yugoslavian songs was pretty funny.
- It also tends to come off sort of this way whenever he admits that a book was relatively good.
- Adults Are Useless: Hence the "Questionable Parenting" section. Which also stretches to Questionable Aunting, Uncleing, Grandparenting, Teaching Etc.
- Affectionate Parody:
- Started off that way, with Troy poking fun at the books but grudgingly admitting affection for them. This didn't last long.
- It's worth noting, though, that Troy genuinely considers this to be the case for the reviews of the original series, as evidenced by his review of Earth Geeks Must Go!, the penultimate book in the Goosebumps 2000 collection. In that particular review, Troy outright states that he felt "nostalgic glee" in reviewing the classic books, and that, while he does hate a few of those titles, he loved them as a child and used that love to prevent his reviews from being too cruel. In fact, he even explains that part of the reason the 2000 reviews got progressively meaner is because he didn't have the same childish appreciation for them.
- Author Appeal: The blog's references imply Troy loves indie music and old movies, as well as some occasional 80's and 90's nostalgia.
- Berserk Button: "Chicken Chicken" is the only Goosebumps book Troy legitimately despises. He even admits that it almost ended the blog...
- Broke the Rating Scale: In Troy's list of the 10 worst Goosebumps books, "Chicken Chicken" is rated #0 because the book "doesn't deserve a number".
- Call Back: The review of You Can't Scare Me! has "BEE THROWING BEE THROWING BEE THROWING". Return to Ghost Camp follows this up with "BEE EATING BEE EATING BEE EATING".
- Caustic Critic: Usually.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He often points out the side characters that seemingly drop off the face of the earth halfway through.
- Deadpan Snarker: Troy, in many reviews.
- Dissimile: Troy says that a section of "The Werewolf of Fever Swamp" is "a lot like The Crucible, but only in that it was written".
- Dude, Not Funny!: The In-Universe opinion of "Chicken, Chicken" and "Revenge R Us".
- Early Installment Weirdness: Both on the blog and in the books themselves. The first entry, Egg Monsters From Mars (and to a lesser extent other early entries) has a very short synopsis with very little in the way of snark or obscure references that would come to define the blog's sense of humor. In the books themselves, Troy notes that the first few books are much more gruesome and violent than later entries in the series.
- Flat "What.": A running gag.
- Hurricane of Puns: His Why I'm Afraid of Bees review is full of obligatory bee puns.
- Hypocritical Humor: "I don't know, an online site devoted to Goosebumps— how popular could that be?"
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "[person], who [verbs] halfway through the book/[some event which they regularly verb halfway through]"
- Most Writers Are Adults: Pointed out in the once-a-review "R. L. Stine Shows He Is Down With Kids" section.
- Nostalgia Filter: Pointedly averted; Troy admits he loved (most of) the books as a kid, which doesn't stop him from tearing them apart as an adult.
- The One with...:
Part 1: I think this is the one about hugging.
- "The one where it turns out they're all dogs or something."
- Troy's description of the Invasion of the Body Squeezers series.
Part 2: Or is it this one?
- Platonic Life Partners: He points out there's the "obligatory platonic boy-girl relationship" in each story.
- A Rare Sentence: Often lampshaded.
The Corn Flakes aren't soggy yet, so the Phantom must be near. I still can't believe that sentence needed to be written by me. Amazing.
- In Phantom of the Auditorium:
The evil heads fly after her in single-file as she races through the neighborhoods, searching for her head on a stick. Jesus, read that sentence again.
- In The Haunted Mask:
Apparently Maggie the magic crow has a sister named Minnie being held captive by Iris' evil sister in a house on Wade's street. If Wade can go into the house and rescue Minnie, Iris will use the collective power of the two magical birds to bring her brother back to life. Let's all pause and marvel at what I had to write just now.
- In Revenge R Us:
- Reference Overdosed: So much so that a separate fan-made blog dedicated just to compiling all of his references and allusions was made.
- Running Gags:
- The Flat "What.".
- The phrase "halfway through", most commonly found under "Platonic Boy/girl relationship" in the format "person, who disappears halfway through the book," but if no one Chucks, he will find someone or something that does something some fraction of the way through something else.
- Mentioning Evan Ross from "Monster Blood" as frame of reference for a boring protagonist.
- Mentioning Andrea (Andy) from "Monster Blood" longingly as the best character in the series and wondering why she can't be the protagonist.
- The one where it turns out they're all dogs or something.
- Mentioning the common themes in the series such as moving and all the scientists.
- Reviling at the excess of vomit in the "Series 2000" books.
- Using the structure of the title in his plot recaps, e.g. "The kids decide that they should stay in of the basement," or "Max doesn't believe that he let's got invisible."
- "And then the car wash cost five dollars."
- A sentence that is clearly set up to use the title of one Goosebumps book as a phrase, but instead uses another Bad Hare Day.
- "Oh, cool, I've seen [insert movie Stine is clearly homaging/ripping off here], too."
- "Juno. In theaters now."
- Suggesting that the book/story was ghostwritten by someone other than R.L. Stine - especially when the book in question is above-average by Goosebumps standards.
- Sanity Slippage: Troy's Series 2000 reviews amount to this. Besides taking six months to review Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid!, he basically refuses to review Full Moon Fever, devoting most of the article to a Guys and Dolls parody. His retrospective amounts to Troy admitting that he doesn't remember most of the books and culminates in his throwing a book against the wall. Troy even lampshades this in his Earth Geeks Must Go! review, writing from the point-of-view of a psychiatrist examining him.
- Self-Deprecation: Troy links to his Twitter with the caption "What updates with less frequency than Blogger Beware?"
- This Is Gonna Suck: Troy's synopsis for Beast from the East begins with him saying "Oh man."
- Title Drop: The entries usually subvert title drops in the actual book by substituting the title of a different book instead.
"The Beasts explain in perfect English that they are playing a game called 'Beast From the East' and Ginger is now 'the Beast From the East.' HEY GUYS, THAT'S THE NAME OF THE BOOK."
- Lampshaded in The Beast from the East.
- Token Minority: Frequently Lampshaded.
- Totally Radical: The "R.L. Stine Is Down With The Kids" section of the recaps makes fun of the books' many dubious depictions of children's slang and activities.
- Unfortunate Implications: In-Universe, for lack of a better term:
- Troy notes this in Attack of the Jack'O'Lanterns with the black kid who's mentioned as being as "Cool as an MTV rapper", unintelligible, one of the antagonists and having an afro.
- He mentions Slappy punching Jillian and calling it a "love tap".
- Unintentional Period Piece: When applicable, a review will include a list of all the references that show it was written in the 90s. Otherwise, it will just humorously list random or especially absurd elements from the book.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: No, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place isn't readily accessible to that many people.
- Wham Episode:
- About half of the One Day in Horrorland review is a straightforward analysis of how Goosebumps jumped the shark with that book. Lampshaded as Troy concludes, "But you guys came for the jokes."
- On a meta level, Cry of the Cat. Troy claims he didn't read the Series 2000 books as a kid, and his reviews of that series grow increasingly bitter and aggravated, even by his standards. It culminates in book throwing.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Another Running Gag whereby Steele often points out when minor characters disappear halfway through the book.