YMMV: Goosebumps

  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Billy Deep from the Deep Trouble series always seems to get his cocky attitude and thirst for adventure back, even after surviving dangerous incidents with sea monsters, sharks, and criminals.
    • Most of the protagonists in the Horrorland books go through truly disturbing and traumatic ordeals, but quickly think nothing of it once they get invited to Horrorland. Justified for some, who specifically go to have fun after everything they've been through.
    • The One Day at Horrorland interactive book is this provided you picked the right pages and made it out alive.
  • Broken Base: The movie trailer either has long time fans excited to see their favorite books on the big screen, or deriding the whole thing as a lazy attempt to cash in on nostalgia.
  • Canon Sue: In the TV version of You Can't Scare Me, Courtney comes off as this.
  • Complete Monster:
    • The villainous dummy Slappy. Whenever a person finds him and reads a piece of paper that has the spell to bring him to life, Slappy always tries to turn the person's family against them by framing them. But that's not all. He would try to make the family his slaves, which normally involves preteen girls. In Bride of the Living Dummy, the protagonist in the book throws a birthday party in the basement, and Slappy springs to life and grabs the birthday boy by the neck. He then threatened to kill everyone in the basement if he didn't receive a bride. The doll, Mary-Ellen, offers herself as his wife, but he turns her down, as the "bride" he was referring to was the protagonist, who is a preteen girl. When she refuses, he punches her, and states that it was only a love tap. In Slappy's Nightmare, when Slappy felt that Georgia was picking up on him, he pondered on whether or not to kill her and her family in order to avoid being caught. Slappy then ups this in the Goosebumps Horrorland book, Slappy New Year in which he tried to cut a boy's head off with garden shears.
    • There's also the Big Bad of Goosebumps Horrorland, the Menace. When he was completely alive, kids died on his rides but he didn't care, due to his experiments in fear. The park was so scary, it somehow ended up in an alternate universe. Later, he found out Horrorland was made on his park, so he got contact with a horror to invite guests there so he get them to panic park, and make them bring the fear meter up so he can PP back to the normal world. it's implied he's done this before...but the previous kids got so scared they died and he simply doesn't care. He even got several other Goosebumps villains to follow him, including Slappy and King Tutten-Ra from another GBH book.
    • Mr. Toggle from Piano Lessons Can Be Murder is a self-described brilliant robotician who runs a piano school that Jerry is sent to by his parents. Initially appearing to be a harmless, if eccentric figure, Toggle soon reveals himself as a particularly depraved Mad Scientist. Despite his status as a famed robotician, he couldn't make robotic hands properly, so he lures men, women, and children alike to his piano school and cuts their hands off and uses them for his experiments in hopes of creating beautiful music, all to satisfy his ego. (The TV Adaptation even implies his first victim was his mother, who ends up tormenting him to play the piano in her place forever.)
    • Karl Knave from season 3's three-parter "Chillogy" gets sick pleasure out of physically and mentally torturing kids simply because it's his hobby. He transports them into his miniature town and personal playground, Karlsville, where he toys with them before he plans to kill them. He manipulates Jessica into pursuing her own greed to sell more of his lemonade, then turns her into a pig and sends a mob of angry townspeople after her to serve her up to him for lunch. He plays a lethal game of baseball with Matthew, where Matthew has to do such things as fight a team of monsters, dodge killer baseballs, and crawl over a lava pit to make it to the next base. His last victim is Matthew's brother Todd, whom he prepares to "make a citizen of Karlsville" by turning him into a small plastic figure who will be forever conscious. He delays Todd's fate as long as he possibly can to enjoy Todd's fear.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Attempted with Dr. Maniac. Attempted.
    • The Beasts from the East. Super-strong bear monsters who play life or death games for fun, all while maintaining such cheerful, easy going personalities. There's only a few of them since they're as much of a newbie as the main characters they encounter.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Masked Mutant.
  • Designated Hero: Evan from Monster Blood and Sarah from Curse of Camp Cold Lake. The former repeatably uses monster blood to get revenge on his enemies, despite knowing full well how dangerous the stuff is, while the latter acts like an idiot throughout the first half of her book, and then blames her campers instead of trying to make amends.
  • Designated Villain: Courtney from You Can't Scare Me! doesn't do anything except irritate the protagonists by being The Ace at everything. To be fair, this might be intentional.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The main reason Chicken Chicken is so despised. The Humiliation Conga the kids go through was seen as a bit too cruel, even for a horror series like this one.
  • Ear Worm: The TV show's theme song.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Slappy, who wasn't even the main villain in his first story, ended up becoming the series' mascot.
    • And Andy, the female friend of Evan Ross, the protagonist of the Monster Blood series. Many fans of the series, especially readers of Blogger Beware, wish that Andy would have been the protagonist instead of Evan.
    • Della Raver may also be considered one, if only because she was much more likable and interesting compared to the actual protagonist of the book she was a villain in. If anything, the fact that she was able to gain a section in the Characters page before Sarah Maas just shows how much the readers actually prefer Della.
    • The Beast from The East seems to be a favorite among the later books in the original series, due to the creatively surreal nature of the plot and memorable monsters who were only scary at first, but were actually beginners.
    • I Live In Your Basement is also pretty well-remembered among the last few books for throwing the usual cheesy kids horror out the window and instead going for balls-to-the-wall Mind Screw.
  • First Installment Wins: Many people consider the original 62-book series to be the best compared to its numerous spinoffs.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Nila's brother wanting nothing to do with her makes more sense when considering that, by the time she was able to revive him, he'd been dead for centuries. Nila was able to enjoy having a living, youthful body, while Khor-Ru is stuck inside an ancient, rotted corpse. She didn't even stop to consider he may not have wanted to come back regardless.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • A lot of the stories centered on kids being made fun of and wanting revenge, fearing for their lives at school (or children dying or said to be dead) are more depressing to read in this post-Columbine/Virginia Tech/Newtown world. Especially bad is Calling All Creeps, which actually ends with the main character allowing his classmates to be turned into monsters, which he will be the leader of, because they're just that awful to him.
    • In the TV adaptation of Say Cheese and Die!, Doug said "News flash! This is a camera, not a weapon!"
    • In Say Cheese and Die- Again!, the camera causes Greg to become severely obese. His classmates tease him about it for a few days, but stop once Mr. Saurs takes part in cruelly mocking him. While his actions are shown as awful in the book, what with the recent epidemic of children developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, it becomes downright disgusting.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Della, the titular ghost of The Curse of Camp Cold Lake. She's not really evil, it's just that she really wants to escape from her existence on the lonely camp grounds.
    • The Haunted Mask. A sentient, albeit disembodied creature who spent years locked away in its creator's basement, and desperately wants a human body. It also acts much like an immature, angry child when possessing a host, and it can only be defeated by an act of true love.
    • Andrew, the titular character of The Headless Ghost. Yes, he was a noxious little brat. No, he didn't deserve to have his head ripped clean off and then be trapped his old house for eternity.
    • Princess Nila from Return Of the Mummy has shades of this when you realize she probably spent centuries planning to bring back her beloved brother. And when she finally succeeds, he returns the favor by ''trying to kill her'', and she gets trapped as a scarab forever thanks to Gabe. Nice going, hero. Although to be fair, she did try to kill Gabe and his family, nor is it ever stated if her brother actually wanted to come back.
  • Magnificent Bastard: In Attack Of The Mutant the titular villain spends the entire book in the form of a twelve year old girl, takes advantage of his own comic story to lure Skipper to his base, has everyone fooled (including his henchman, who he kills in his little girl form), and never makes his presence known until the last few chapters. He'd probably be a more effective example if he wasn't so gullible and petty.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Mr. Wood crosses it in the first Night of the Living Dummy when he threatens to kill the family dog.
    • Alexander betraying the Deep family and allowing them to be murdered, all out of Greed and fear for his own life.
    • Conan, the Jerk Jock of the Monster Blood series, crosses it in the third book when he is shown threatening little kids with a baseball bat.
    • Mr. Gray from "Egg Monsters From Mars" crosses the line when he decides to kill Dana over a perceived slight.
    • Again, Chicken Chicken: The entire book is Vanessa's.
  • Narm:
    • A strong occurrence in the TV adaptation, mostly due to the mediocre child actors.
    • Also frequent in the books themselves. Sometimes it's hard to believe Stine has ever heard children speak before.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Dr. Maniac to The Masked Mutant. While the Mutant was apparently popular enough to get his own video game, he never reappeared. Dr. Maniac, who's story is an obvious Spiritual Successor, not only got a sequel, but a recurring role throughout the Horror Land books. The only villain to show up as much as him is Slappy.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • A young Ryan Gosling, well before he became a movie star, appeared as Greg Banks inSay Cheese and Die.
    • Scott Speedman, also young and up and coming at that time, did a cameo in Say Cheese and Die as a policeman.
    • Also Hayden Christensen as the nerdy cousin in Night of the Living Dummy Part III.
    • Laura Vandervoort is one of the protagonists in The Haunted House Game.
  • Rooting for the Empire: If the book's protagonist is too whiny, annoying, or just keeps doing stupid things, chances are the reader will start hoping the book's villain will do something really horrible to them. Case in point, The Curse of Camp Cold Lake and some of the Monster Blood books due to how unlikably whiny Sarah Maas and Evan Ross are.
  • The Scrappy:
    • A lot of the Annoying Younger Siblings in the series were this, since they were often irritatingly selfish and immature. They also had a tendency to cause the series' iconic Cruel Twist Endings - sometimes intentionally.
    • Evan Ross from Monster Blood. And then there's his annoying cousin Kermit and Conan Barber.
    • Courtney in You Can't Scare Me!, the very definition of a "little miss perfect" Smug Snake. She's even worse in the episode.
    • Tara from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom gets immense hatred by fans. While the series does have its tradition of having annoying/bratty siblings, Tara is just horrible, tormenting her brother, Michael, on his own birthday, constantly tricking her parents (who are also considered themselves Scrappies) into thinking she's a sweetheart, and practically make Michael's life a living hell. What's so disturbing and so sickening of her is just how fucked up she is, giving us the idea she's more of a sociopath at that, considering she never shows any remorse for her actions. It's no surprise that she's erased from ever being born and giving us the idea that Michael will never back to save her. Considering how fucked up she is, this is understandable.
    • Larry from Welcome To Camp Nightmare, especially his TV counterpart.
    • Sarah Maas, the incredibly whiny and unsympathetic protagonist of The Curse of Camp Cold Lake (though she did get what was coming to her in the end, when the girl who saved her from Della revealed that she only did it so ''she'' could kill Sarah and make her her friend in the afterlife).
    • A villainous example would be Vanessa, an infuriatingly smug Witch whose actions are horrific even by the standards of the series. One could call her the Shou Tucker of the Goosebumps universe.
    • Some of the more abusive or apathetic parents definitely fall under this. Special mention goes to Michael's in The Cuckoo Clock Of Doom or Crystal and Cole's in Chicken Chicken.
  • Sequelitis: The 2000 and Horrorland series aren't as well-remembered as the originals.
  • So Bad, It's Good: At times, maybe somewhat intentionally.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The TV episode of "Don't Go To Sleep" features a song VERY similar to Garbage's "No. 1 Crush".
  • Tainted by the Preview: Some fans took issue with the movie's first trailer using a very non-creepy pop song instead of the TV show's memorable theme song.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: A Holly Jolly Holiday, about a disgustingly sweet Christmas movie available on a cursed video cassette that brainwashes a family into acting as cheery as its main character, Susie Snowflake (until the main character turns on a wrestling match while rewinding the tape and the family snaps out of it).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • When Horrorland was launched it included reprints of classic Goosebumps stories as companions, although some of the accompanying reprints don't really match up with the Horrorland books. The original Horrorland story was reprinted alongside Dr. Maniac Vs. Robby Schwartz, even though Attack of the Mutant seemed like a more natural choice. Weirdo Halloween received The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight instead of Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns which was also a book about kids dealing with aliens on Halloween.
    • The Horrorland series in general has this problem. While intended to follow up on many of the original books, many of them only vaguely resemble older books, and many of them only feature the same supernatural elements rather than returning protagonists. As a result, the group in Horrorland is made up mostly of new arrivals. Some fan favorites, such as Attack of the Mutant, did not receive any follow up at all.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The Masked Mutant actually manages to be a competent, threatening and mysterious antagonist. He's killed off in his only appearance-and in one of the most ridiculous ways possible.
  • Too Cool to Live: See above. Also, Harrison Sadler and Rocky the Dummy.
  • Wangst: There's quite a bit, considering it's an adult writing through the viewpoint of twelve-year-olds, but Sarah from Curse of Camp Cold Lake really stands out.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Some of the kids go to Horrorland specifically to relax and distance themselves from their horrific adventures... they go to Horrorland to do this.
    • Abby from Who's Your Mummy in particular is shocked and horrified when she encounters a mummy themed attraction, wondering if someone specifically put it there to frighten her. In a horror-themed amusement park, a single mummy based attraction can't be that surprising, can it?
  • The Woobie:
    • Carly Beth Caldwell in The Haunted Mask series, especially in the TV show.
    • Chicken Chicken's Crystal and Cole, especially.
    • Gary Lutz in Why I'm Afraid of Bees, arguably the ultimate Butt Monkey in the series. He literally has zero friends, he's picked on by bullies, his sister hates him, her cat hates him, his beekeeper neighbor is a sadist who loves tormenting him with the thing he fears most, his attempt to impress a girl ended with him crashing his back, and when he has a chance to get a better life, he turns into his aforementioned worst fear. Let's just say the point where he wants to sting someone, and thus die after isn't entirely out of nowhere.
    • Ricky Beamer in Calling All Creeps who is constantly bullied at school, embarrassed in front of his best friend/crush, and kicked off the school newspaper for something that wasn't his fault. And then the bullies who target him the most often turn out to be alien reptiles who want to Take Over the World and will likely eat him if they discover that he's not one of them. The Face-Heel Turn he makes at the end of the book is entirely justified.
    • Michael Webster in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom. He's The Unfavorite to his complete brat of a younger sister, his parents make fun of him and call him a liar when he tries to tell them how she makes his life miserable, and it's all but outright said that his dad thinks he's stupid. It says something about your life when having your sister erased from existence is a good thing for you.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Of all people to portray RL Stine in the upcoming Goosebumps movie, it's...Jack Black.