Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fridge / Goosebumps

Go To

As a Moments subpage, many spoilers are unmarked. Reader beware, indeed.

Fridge Horror - The Books

  • "Escape from Shudder Mountain" - it is heavily assumed at the end that the parents of the protagonists were all in on it, but as if that was enough, they made sure their own children were still trapped in the haunted house and reset the recording, so that fateful night would repeat. This arises several disturbing factors, but it is just too messed up for words.
  • As noted elsewhere, the Night of the Living Dummy books are about 10x creepier in retrospect. They're about dummies (typically Slappy) attempting to enslave preteen girls. When the girls resist him, he slaps and hits them, threatening to ruin their lives. To top it all off, in one book he demands a bride, a preteen girl, who he violently hits, calling these strikes "love taps".
      Advertisement:
    • Further fueling Adult Fear, Bride of the Living Dummy mentions that the toymaker who built Slappy infused his evil to bring Slappy to life. The way it was written can be interpreted two ways: pure evil powers the doll, OR Slappy has the soul of an older man giving him life and personality. We probably don't need to explain how bad that latter one sounds.
    • The fact that Slappy also has mind control does not help matters. It is actually quite disputable how that came about in "Ghost of Slappy", when Slappy possessed the food on the table in the lunchroom to humiliate Shep, falling all over him, in turn having 'everyone' in the lunchroom, including the teachers, to laugh at Shep, and of course, over the laughter, Slappy cackles. This makes you wonder if Slappy possessed everyone to laugh, or if it was merely a cruel coincidence, but though it was probably meaner than it actually was, does not remove how much you actually feel sorry for him, you would think the teachers would at least feel sorry for him, but they probably thought he did it to himself as a joke, or it was just a harmless funny prank, though as Shep pointed out, no one was laughing as hard as the girl he liked was who actually had tears coming out her eyes due to all her laughing, and she was just starting to like him.
    • Advertisement:
    • According to the films, Slappy is supposedly a personification of Stine's inner demons.
  • Gary from "Why I'm Afraid of Bees" is turned into a worker bee with a stinger... But only female bees can sting...
  • During Egg Monsters From Mars, the main character, Dana, is locked into a fridge cell and the titular egg monsters wrap all around him, supposedly to protect him from the cold. In the end, the protagonist (a 12-year-old boy) lays an egg while walking on the lawn. This means that the monsters did not really want to protect him from the cold, they wanted to rape and impregnate him.
    • From the same book, the fate of Doctor Gray deserves consideration. Egg monsters bury him in a sort of "egg blanket", presumably smothering him. When Dana returns to the lab, there's no trace of him. What happened is left to our imaginations. If these aliens "reward" their friends by impregnating them, what would they do to people they hate, like Gray?
    • The twist ending also reveals that Doctor Gray was technically justified in his actions to some extent. Gray kept Dana because he was worried that exposure to the egg monsters was hazardous, which is apparently true based on what happens to Dana at the end of the book. The egg monsters end up killing Gray for threatening Dana, proving that they can kill humans. (It is possible that the monsters only protected Dana in this situation because they knew Dana was carrying an egg.) When Gray dies, the reader may initially feel relieved for Dana, but Gray was actually holding off an alien invasion.
  • Advertisement:
  • Near the end of Deep Trouble, Merpeople show up and save the heroes, realizing their good intentions. Alexander and the thugs, however, don't have these ideals, and the Mermaids capsize their boat. They're never seen again. Dr. Deep should be really grateful he stopped hunting mermaids...
  • After the end of Be Careful What You Wish For, everyone's going to start wondering what exactly happened to Samantha, since obviously nobody would believe the real story. The police are probably going to get called in, and what will they learn? That Samantha disappeared after a school day where Judith was bullying her particularly badly (since time got reset). People might believe Judith drove her to suicide. Or they might suspect Judith did something to her. Judith's Karma Houdini status may actually be short-lived.
  • The cover to The Curse of Camp Cold Lake is a Red Herring. At first you think she is supposed to be Della, the ghost girl that torments poor Sarah Maas all story long. Until you read and find Della looks perfectly normal but is transparent (plus, she died when she ran into the woods and got bitten by snakes. No one has ever died in the lakes of Camp Cold Lake because the counselors impose a buttload of water safety rules. The ending implies that Sarah is killed by Briana in the Mandatory Twist Ending, though Sarah was also killed by a snake.
  • In The Horror At Camp Jellyjam, King Jellyjam uses slaves to wash him 24/7 to prevent him from suffocating on his own stench, and if one of them stops, he eats them. But no one can work around the clock without food or water or any rest, so working for him is a death sentence.
    • Take a look at the cover after reading the story. Buddy is hypnotized into helping murder children. Judging by how forced his smile seems, the poor bastard is probably screaming for help on the inside.
    • It's not uncommon for psychic entities in fiction to act and speak through those they control. That could be Jellyjam himself grinning at us, staring through the face of one of his victims.
  • The Creeps of Calling All Creeps are apparently created by identity seeds mutating human hosts. This most likely includes the main four (Jared, Brenda, Wart, David).
  • In Stay Out Of The Basement, apparently the plant clone genuinely thought he was the real deal, and was just trying to keep "his" family. Even after Margaret uncovers the truth, he simply begs for his life before he's cut in half.
  • At one point in Attack Of The Mutant Skipper visits Libby's house, where she shows him her own comic collection. But if "Libby" is just the Mutant in disguise, how can she have a house and possessions? What if the Mutant did something to the real Libby?
  • Chicken Chicken is horrible enough, but it gets worse when the story implies that Crystal and Cole weren't Vanessa's first victims.
  • How I Learned To Fly is more fantasy-adventure than "horror", but... The military will likely never call off their scientists. Wilson is still famous for his flying abilities and'll presumably be hounded by scientists and agents who are determined to exploit, possibly drafting him for the military as a Super Soldier or a guinea pig for experiments. And now that he's famous, how will he hide from them? Celebrity Is Overrated,indeed.
  • I Live In Your Basement is freakish and bizarre as it is, but when you ask yourself how long Keith and his mother have lived in the basement, how they got down there, and the need for "monsters" to hide away in such tiny, cramped spaces, it takes on a much, much different atmosphere.
  • In the end of The Cuckoo Clock of Doom - what about all the other people born in 1988?
    • It is possible that the clock represented the protagonist's own life, so events relating to the his social life would have been wiped out. Nasty, yes, but it doesn't get rid of hundreds, maybe thousands, of people.
  • The Barking Ghost has a twist ending in which Cooper and Margaret are turned into squirrels. This might not seem scary at first until you realize squirrels only live for about ten years, so R. L. Stine essentially sentenced the protagonists to an early death.
  • The beasts in The Beast From The East are cannibals. Since they presumably don't always have unsuspecting lost children to play with, and since someone has to be the loser of each game, we can assume they eat each other.
  • Seeing how Rip has been alive for a long time in Cry of the Cat, it makes you wonder if Rip has had any other targets than Allison, Crystal, and her mother.
  • The cover of Ghost Camp shows a line of ghostly campers, invisible save clothes, while a human girl at the back stares in horror. Seems to be a straight case of Covers Always Lie, since the protagonists are boys and nothing like this happens in the book. Then you realize that Alex and Marty probably aren't the only campers who have been coming here. And the ghosts' goal is to find new bodies, meaning at least one lucky camper might be out there living this poor girl's life.
  • It's bad enough in Old Story that the brothers are being magically aged into older men by consuming prunes. But what makes it even worse is realizing just why she's aging them up. Dahlia planned on turning two adolescent boys into old men so that she could sell them off to elderly women so they could marry the boys. And apparently does this fairly regularly.
    • Even worse than that is, at the end of the story, the parents come to the realization that neither of them are actually related to Dahlia, they both thought she was the other's relative. Meaning that it's highly likely this woman was infiltrating multiple families by pretending to be a distant relative, merely so she could gain access to young boys who she could groom into marriage partners for much older women.
  • In Revenge of the Living Dummy, it is revealed that Slappy hasn't been awake for most of the book. ...That means Ethan actually pushed his cousin down the stairs, just for an elaborate prank.

Fridge HorrorThe Film:

  • It is made pretty damn clear that the monsters cannot be killed, only trapped within their manuscripts. The And I Must Scream implications are horror in and of themselves, but it gets worse when you realize that Hannah is effectively immortal, and will outlive Zach, Stine, and Champ. Stine also burned her manuscript, so there is no way for her to die unless someone writes another story for her, which means her two fates are either immortality where she watches everyone she loves die, or to be forever trapped in a story book like the others.
    • It's possible Stine realized this and wrote the manuscript in such a way that Hannah is no longer a ghost and is as real as everyone else, including actually being able to age and die.
    • Not how it works. You can’t write something into being real but it may actually be a good thing as there is a good chance that she may wind up developing the Living Forever Is Awesome mindset and it means that at least somebody will be around to deal with anymore supernatural threats, which is good for the world as a whole.
    • He may not be able to write her "real", but he can certainly write a sequel in which ghost-Hannah is brought back to life, and sets out to lead a normal life in which she grows up, ages, and eventually dies like an ordinary living person. Perhaps the new book's ghost-Hannah can muse about how much she wishes she could do that, all through the book, and at the end she receives a wish from some magical (and not cursed for once!) knickknack.
  • The twist at the end is actually pretty terrifying if you think about it. Stine passes his typewriter, sees it moving on its own, and watches as it types out, "The Invisible Boy's Revenge." The Invisible Boy implies he's going to do something to Stine himself. Roll credits. Typical cheesy Goosebumps ending, right? Except Stine has shown how easy it is to simply write another book to bring back a character, as he did with Hannah. What's stopping the Invisible Boy from bringing back Slappy and all the others?
    • Presumably it depends on whether or not the Invisible Boy is actually any good at writing.
  • When Slappy escapes his book and ends up facing R. L. Stine, he asks about what kind of trouble he's been let out for this time, and one of the thing he mentions is destroying a town. Knowing that Slappy and the others were created as a form of therapeutic revenge that became literal breathing monsters, and seeing the events of the film, it's safe to conclude that whole towns probably have been destroyed before, and that Stine's continuous warnings of "bad things happen" when a book is unlocked make him Properly Paranoid. What's less obvious is Stine likely did it on purpose before. The fact that Slappy had a whole list of potential mayhem to cause speaks volumes of the kind of vengeful preteen/teenager that R. L. Stine used to be, even if he regrets it now.
  • What about all the Artifacts of Doom R.L Stine wrote, like the camera from Say Cheese or Die? Is it possible for them to be left behind like the Invisible Boy, since they aren't technically monsters?
    • Let's just hope Slappy'd stuffed them all into the trunk of the Haunted Car for ease of transport.
  • We should hope that Slappy only released the more dangerous monsters like Vanessa and The Lord High Executioner when he wanted to break into the school. If he released them while he was taking a drive around town in the beginning...
  • They had explosives in a school and, somehow, Zach knew how to use them to set up a bomb.
    • Chemistry class chemicals, and YouTube, obviously.
  • Hannah goes back into the book along with the other monsters due to being a creation in the book, even though R.L. treated her like a daughter. However, R.L. did not have to do this, since he was shown listing each monster by name, and at the end, it turns out that Stine forgot to include The Invisible Boy, so he could have just left her out of the list of names.
    • Questionable. Stine said it had to be a true Goosebumps story, so he couldn't cop-out on the narrative. Until the end the Invisible Boy did nothing important. Hannah was fundamental to the narrative.
    • More importantly, the young protagonist has to undergo character development or face some kind of pivotal choice for the book to be a proper R.L. Stine novel. Zach was the protagonist, and having to finish a book that would sacrifice Hannah to save the rest of the town was his pivotal choice. Also "The Twist", when Hannah shouldered the responsibility for actually opening the book to spare him that burden.

Fridge Horror — The TV Show:

  • The TV version of The Haunted Mask II implies that the supernatural forces surrounding Halloween are what bring the masks to life. If the masks were all destroyed (save for the main one, which seems indestructible), what's to stop these same sinister entities from possessing children through something else?

Fridge Brilliance—The TV Show:

  • In The Haunted Mask II, the original mask is shown to be fully sentient and has complete control over its host when it possesses the shopkeeper. Compare this to the original book/episode, where it's barely a character and gradually corrupts Carly-Beth into berserk rages. This could be chalked up as inconsistency, but given this thing is a living organism that bonds physically and mentally with its host, the mask may have used its acquired knowledge to grow in power and intelligence.

Fridge Brilliance — The Books:

  • In Phantom of the Auditorium, the protagonists are snooping around the titular Phantom's lair and come across a bowl of freshly poured corn flakes, which they then assume to be a sign that the villain is near. Sure, it's a corny plot device (pun intended), but it's also a clever bit of deductive thinking.
  • As pointed out by theorists in the Blogger Beware comment section, A Shocker On Shock Street makes more sense when factoring in the protagonists' malfunctioning, which possibly explains the mounting insanity of the book. (Erin's "dad" says he knew something was wrong ever since the Erin robot asked about her mom. She was never programmed to ask about her mom.)
  • From Attack of the Mutant: The Masked Mutant impersonates Libby for a long time. And if you look closely at the picture of him on the cover you'll notice that a part of his costume subtly resembles pigtails... Just like the kind a young girl would wear her hair in.
  • In Chicken Chicken, Vanessa turns the protagonists into chickens... Because they chickened out of giving her an apology for knocking over her groceries.
  • At some point, it was mentioned that when Mr. Wood died in the first Night of the Living Dummy book, Slappy became "twice as evil and a thousand times ruder." Take all the books with Slappy in order of publication, (even from different series), and he actually gradually becomes worse and worse.
    • As an example, in the second book, one of his more horrible pranks was painting "AMY AMY AMY AMY" all over her sister's wall. In Slappy New Year, he goes after kids with gardening shears. This may not have been intended on R.L. Stine's part, but it's interesting how such a throwaway fact actually holds some consistency.
  • In Welcome To Camp Nightmare, Uncle Al briefly warns the kids of unseen creatures called "Tree-bears". 34 books later, The Beast From The East features giant blue bear monsters, with one actually climbing a tree on the cover. And yes, they're every bit as dangerous as he mentioned them.
    • From the same book, Uncle Al states at the end that Earth is a very dangerous place. Since all the Goosebumps books take place in the same universe according to Word of God, he's absolutely right.
    • Billy is not only slightly more headstrong and tough than the average protagonist, but he's also better at handling wild animals, river rescues, and firearms. Since he's the child of two military scientists under a covert space program, this is probably not a coincidence.
  • The Horror At Camp Jellyjam: King Jellyjam is a thinly veiled Satanic Archetype. The dude even lives underground.
    • If King Jellyjam's hypnotism transfers to his hypnotized subjects, he could use this to continually divert attention away from the camp. This would explain why Wendy and Elliot's parents (and probably others) stop searching the camp just because the councillors tell them their kids aren't there.
  • Harrison Sadler from Ghost Beach plans to trap the ghost kids in a sacred cave. He also has a German Shepard hanging around. This is because he was planning to use it as bait, since the ghosts hate dogs and kill any they can catch. Most of the dog skeletons in the woods were probably from previous failed attempts. Then he meets Jerry and Terry and figures it'd be easier to lure the ghosts with someone they could trust.
  • Slappy's Nightmare is a Deconstruction of the previous books he's been in.
    • The Night of the Living Dummy books usually follow the following formula: Kid gets dummy. Mysterious things happen. Protagonist gets blamed. Dummy reveals he's alive and demands the kid to be his slave. Kid tries to prove the dummy did it. Parents don't believe, dismiss the story, or continue to blame the kid. Kid tries to defeat the doll/prove he's alive, sometimes to no avail. In Slappy's Nightmare, basically every point is mocked, averted, inverted, or subverted:
    • Slappy must maintain innocence, a Masquerade, and avoid revealing himself. He also has to do three good deeds, but another character keeps accusing him of the wrongdoing.
    • The mother in this book actually realizes that yes, part of the problems ARE because of the dummy.
    • Slappy never reveals himself or causes trouble unless his life is threatened.
      • Even in the event that he does attempt to do something bad, he doesn't get away with it.
    • Neither Slappy, nor the person blaming him, is the real culprit.
    • In the end, when the REAL threat shows up, Slappy comes to life, which leads to his permanent destruction... (Until we learn that this was All Just a Dream and Here We Go Again!.)
  • Curse of the Cave Creatures - the hunter path being "harder" makes a bit of sense - the protagonist is implied to be a kid, and of course a kid won't know how to use weapons!
  • Both the second and second-to-last book in the original series(Stay Out Of The Basement, I Live In Your Basement) have basement-related titles. Odd coincidence, but both stories are also about a grotesque mutant pretending to be a human, trying to force himself into the protagonists' lives. In that sense, the latter might be a Spiritual Sequel to the former.
  • In My Best Friend is Invisible, Sammy reveals his nickname for his genius brother Simon, the "serious mutant", early on in the book. It looks like a throwaway line at first, but the Tomato Surprise at the end, including the description of what they look like, reveals that the line was foreshadowing The Reveal at the end.
  • The game from The Beast From The East seems incredibly bizarre and nonsensical at first read, but then consider what kind of creatures the Beasts are. A lot of the rules seem to involve feats of great resilience(getting bitten by snakes, eating insects) or resourcefulness(always tagging from the east, finding ways to trick other players). In the end, they let the kids go after it seems like they've "duplicated" themselves. Therefore, it could be the Beasts are Social Darwinists, and judge who lives or dies by strength and intelligence.
  • In How To Kill A Monster, the reveal of the monster being allergic to humans sounds incredibly stupid, but stopping to think about it adds a layer of ironic horror to the situation. Right before he dies, the beast voices his surprise that they're human, implying he could be reasoned with. It's likely he was only attacking them because he thought they were his captors and had the kids explained the situation to him, he would've left the house and they'd be safe. Instead, they follow their idiot grandparents' advice to kill the monster, and it makes things worse.
  • At one point in I Live in Your Basement!, Marco is working on a creative writing assignment where he has to write a story from a different point of view. He talks about how much fun it is to "try to get inside the mind" of another being. The big twist of the book is that this was all Keith's dream, meaning a majority of the book was told from a different point of view. In other words, the paper was clever foreshadowing to this reveal.
  • The Werewolf in the Living Room has the protagonist's father capturing a man and believing he is a werewolf, while the kid is skeptical about it. In other words, this is a reversal of the usual formula. Instead of the kid swearing there's something supernatural afoot and the parent not believing them, it's the kid who is skeptical of a supernatural force that the parent is sure of.

Fridge BrillianceThe Film:

  • When the main characters try to destroy the Lawn Gnomes, they reform like The Terminator. It is implied that all of the monstrosities from the books are like this. Why can they not be destroyed? It's because You Cannot Kill An Idea!
    • And the reason you cannot kill these ideas in the movie is because they're made of ink, which reforms their bodies no matter what is attempted.
  • Slappy's eyes go from blue to brown in the movie. Jack Black, who plays R. L. Stine, also has brown eyes, which is perfectly reflected in the mirror scene.
  • Slappy's prey of choice in the books is teenage girls, yet he never once speaks to or even takes notice of Hannah. Why would he? He must know she's not real/human, so where'd the fun be in that?
  • Why wasn't the Invisible Boy sucked back into the book at the end? Because the one encounter with him was so relatively inconsequential that Stine forgot to include it in the book. He can't be sucked into the manuscript of a Goosebumps book that he's not in.
    • Also, The Invisible Boy is just an invisible human who's a bit of a prankster. Being invisible and a prankster doesn't quite make one a monster, does it?
      • Alternatively as he was thrown into the field a while away from the other monsters, he may have just not been close enough to the book to be sucked back in when it opened. He is still a normal human child, after all.
      • Also alternately, he trapped himself in the glass case where the typewriter is kept, and thus the book couldn't get him.
      • Another alternative is that the Goosebumps Book of the film has less power than the other Goosebumps manuscripts because Zach finished it, and not Stine. Stine implies that it isn't "just" him that can produce living monsters: Zach finishing the book might have weakened its Deus ex Machina abilities to merely a strong vacuum, rather than an Instant-Win Condition.
  • Slappy and the Invisible Boy are both voiced by Black. They're both extensions of Stine, so it makes sense they'd sound like him. Hannah however is apparently an extension of the love he had for his late wife.
  • Fitting that Slappy chooses The Blob That Ate Everyone to help him kill R.L Stine. What better way to do in a writer of monsters than with a literal monster writer?
  • Champ lives up to his name after he saves the girl he likes from the Werewolf of Fever Swamp. He became her Champion.
    • And he did so by champing down on the Werewolf's neck with his silver dental fillings.
  • Unlike most of the Goosebumps monsters, The Invisible Boy is capable of speech, which showed when he voiced his dissatisfaction at how Stine defeated him. Unlike Slappy, Hannah, and most of the Goosebumps monsters, The Invisible Boy is literally just an invisible boy. He's still human, just invisible.
  • Why do some of the monsters seem a lot more vicious or malicious than their original book versions? Because these aren't oblivious characters with nothing but the motivations, personalities, and memories Stine wrote for them, randomly sucked into another world with no idea where they are or how they got there — they're fully aware that they're characters in books, angry about being locked up, and want revenge and freedom.
    • Alternately, it could also be because they're based on Stine's original manuscripts, filled with whatever raw emotions he was feeling at the time. He likely toned the stories down in order to get them published; he does admit one of his motivators is money, after all.
  • For that matter, why do some of the monsters seem more powerful? Because they have a new commander. Stine either didn't consider the full potential of their powers, or perhaps simply wasn't comfortable with writing it. Slappy doesn't hold himself back at all and has clearly spent a lot of time thinking up ways to destroy things.
    • It could also refer to how villains, no matter how scary, in media for children, rarely use their abilities to their fullest, in order to keep the story suitable for the audience. Free from these restraints, the many, many Goosebumps monsters are a lot more dangerous.
  • If all the monsters were released from their books, why isn't The Masked Mutant visible in the large group-shot of them. Simple: Apart from his Voluntary Shapeshifting, he has no other abilities. He was likely disguised as one of the other monsters, as this would have made him more useful to Slappy.
  • Getting rid of all the monsters required writing a single Goosebumps book that would capture them all. R.L. Stine may be writing incredibly fast (writing an entire book in a few hours?), but he had all the inspiration he needed - he wrote the adventure he just went through. Of course, it helps that this adventure contained multiple moments of quick scares similar to the endings of chapters in regular Goosebumps books! "Something grabbed Hannah? No, wait, it's a statue" is only one such example.
  • The name Hannah is a palindrome - as in it reads the same backwards. It turns into a Meaningful Name for Stine's daughter since she's only a character in his books, who has an endless loop of sixteenth birthdays.
    • Furthermore Hannah is presented with curly hair and a pale complexion which lets people know she's a ghost. In the end, when she is released from the book, she has a tan and straight hair, revealing she was rewritten as a human.
  • The way Hannah is revealed, she is literally The Ghost Next Door.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report