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Literature / Give Yourself Goosebumps

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"Reader beware — you choose the scare..."

Give Yourself Goosebumps is the Gamebook spin-off of R. L. Stine's popular Goosebumps series.

For '90s kids, this series was the first (or, if one avoided the Animorphs Alternamorphs books, perhaps only) exposure they've had to the CYOA genre. Like other books in the genre, you, the reader, are required to make potentially dangerous choices to escape whatever dire circumstances you find yourself trapped in. Depending on the book, this may involve fleeing a haunted house, a deceptive genie or escaping a carnival of horrors (i.e., the book pictured to the right). And of course, the possibility of lots and lots of grisly deaths.

Most GYG books follow a format which splits the adventure into two separate paths. The primary one covers the book's advertised premise more closely. The secondary one usually centers on the aforementioned premise as well, but may focus on a different aspect of the quest. For example, the first book, Escape from the Carnival of Horrors, has you either going through the carnival games and earning enough points so you can leave safely, or going through the carnival rides and hoping one of the rides will lead you to the exit. Other books have two different storylines only tangibly connected to each other. Zapped In Space (#23), for example, has you choosing between the advertised virtual reality space adventure or another virtual reality game, which involves a trek through a snowy tundra to hunt down an Abominable Snow Woman. Few books, like Checkout Time At The Dead End Hotel (#27), go so far as to focus the entire book on one central quest.


In terms of overall design, Give Yourself Goosebumps doesn't deviate much from its spiritual CYOA predecessors, other than including references to other Goosebumps books. Usually, this involves a quiz question of some sort, though Return To Terror Tower and Revenge of the Body Squeezers continue where the original books left off (i.e., A Night in Terror Tower and series 2000's Invasion of the Body Squeezers).

Because publishing company Scholastic forced R.L. Stine to write many volumes of Goosebumps in a short period of time — like the main series itself — it's likely that several ghost writers wrote some GYG installments. As a result, the novels really vary in quality. Demian's Gamebook Web Page, despite his obvious negative bias toward the series, does a decent job showcasing the erratic quality between each book. In contrast, a livejournal blog by MJN SEIFER gives more detail and compassion for the series. However, it's not quite complete yet (it's only on book #37), and has not been updated since October 31st, 2012. Nevertheless, most GYG books are worth reading at least once, though some books feel more tightly constructed and exhibit better gameplay than others.


Give Yourself Goosebumps lasted long enough to even have several Special Edition books. These eight CYOA novels emphasize inventory management and more complex gameplay gimmicks not present in the other books. Into The Jaws Of Doom is the most notable example. With its split sections and chance encounters requiring dice rolls, it's the closest thing the series has to an actual gamebook. The other Special Edition books aren't as boldly ambitious, but they have other ways to surprise readers.

If you're interested in trying the series, many of the early books are now available on Amazon Kindle on the cheap.

The other wiki also listed the entire catalogue of Give Yourself Goosebumps novels.

The main series consists of:

  1. Escape from the Carnival of Horrors
  2. Tick Tock, You're Dead!
  3. Trapped In Bat Wing Hall
  4. The Deadly Experiments of Dr. Eeek
  5. Night In Werewolf Woods
  6. Beware Of The Purple Peanut Butter
  7. Under the Magician's Spell
  8. The Curse of the Creeping Coffin
  9. The Knight In Screaming Armor
  10. Diary Of A Mad Mummy
  11. Deep In The Jungle Of Doom
  12. Welcome to the Wicked Wax Museum
  13. Scream of the Evil Genie
  14. The Creepy Creations Of Professor Shock
  15. Please Don't Feed the Vampire!
  16. Secret Agent Grandma
  17. Little Comic Shop Of Horrors
  18. Attack Of The Beastly Babysitter
  19. Escape from Camp Run-For-Your-Life
  20. Toy Terror: Batteries Included
  21. The Twisted Tale Of Tiki Island
  22. Return To The Carnival Of Horrors
  23. Zapped In Space
  24. Lost In Stinkeye Swamp
  25. Shop Till You Drop... Dead!
  26. Alone In Snakebite Canyon
  27. Checkout Time At The Dead End Hotel
  28. Night Of A Thousand Claws
  29. Invaders From The Big Screen
  30. You're Plant Food!
  31. The Werewolf Of Twisted Tree Lodge
  32. Its Only A Nightmare
  33. It Came From The Internet
  34. Elevator To Nowhere
  35. Hocus-Pocus Horror
  36. Ship of Ghouls
  37. Escape From Horror House
  38. Into The Twister Of Terror
  39. Scary Birthday To You
  40. Zombie School
  41. Danger Time
  42. All-Day Nightmare

The Special Edition series consists of:

  1. Into The Jaws Of Doom
  2. Return To Terror Tower
  3. Trapped in the Circus of Fear
  4. One Night In Payne House
  5. The Curse Of The Cave Creatures
  6. Revenge of the Body Squeezers
  7. Trick Or Trapped
  8. Weekend At Poison Lake

Give Yourself Goosebumps provides examples of the following tropes:

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    In general 

  • Aborted Arc: According to illustrator Craig White, a forty-third book (which, based on the cover, would have had an arctic theme) was in production for the main Give Yourself Goosebumps series, but never actually released.
  • Adults Are Useless: The few times grownups are present, they don't do much besides punish you for acting panicked, lying about your unbelievable adventure, or sneaking off.
  • Affably Evil: Many of the antagonists from the series are this.
  • All Just a Dream: Several of the books have this for an ending, however, it varies on whether this is a good or a bad ending, as the former simply says you're safe, and the latter reveals you're going to have to go through the adventure again, for real this time. Some of the endings even go down the route of Or Was It a Dream?, which can also lead to a bad ending.
  • And I Must Scream: Most books have at least one ending describing you getting permanently frozen into an immobilized state or morphing into an inanimate object. This includes (but not limited to): being turned into a statue, being turned into an art museum painting, being turned into a computer chip for a virtual reality game, etc. For obvious reasons, these tend to be the creepiest endings for each book.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Many of the books give you one of these. Denny in Tick Tock, You're Dead!, Joanie in Under the Magician's Spell, Jen in Escape From Horror House and "Stinko" in Attack of the Beastly Babysitter are just a few examples.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Fairly common in the books. Examples include the book sending someone or something to help you (for instance, if you get trapped on an island in Scream of the Evil Genie, a parrot arrives to help you find your way back), sending you back to choose again if you make an obviously wrong/foolish choice, or giving you useful information in certain bad endings so that you'll know what to do next time.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Not all of the non-good endings turn out to be awful. Some have the player transformed, but in a better situation than before.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Invoked pretty often in the series, though usually when readers choose obviously foolish decisions (e.g., like eating blue eggs in Escape From Camp Run-For-Your-Life). See also You Bastard!.
  • But Thou Must!: Done a few times as the first choice of the book. The formula is one choice is to go adventuring and the other is to safely leave. The author tells you off for choosing the latter telling you you're reading the wrong book and turn back to the page to think again.
  • Captain Ersatz: Several of these. Illinois Smith (Indiana Jones), Nasty Kathy (Talky Tina from The Twilight Zone episode "Living Doll"), and many more.
  • Cave Mouth: Used in a few bad endings, which of course lead to the reader's character being eaten.
  • Covers Always Lie: A fair assessment for around 60% of these books.
  • Crapsack World: Oh, you'll be exploring plenty of these throughout the course of this series...
  • Crapsaccharine World: ... and these as well.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Nearly every bad ending that involves the reader dying in the entire series is this.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Several examples. Escape from Twisted Tree Lodge (now you know that monsters are terrified of dust, you can't ever clean your home again, so you won't have to do any more chores). Revenge of the Body Squeezers (you get sent to the 1960s and have no way of returning to your own time; but you know you'll be able to use your knowledge of the future to your advantage) and Weekend at Poison Lake (forced to eat chocolate cake every day to keep a terrible smell from coming back) are just a few.
  • Darker and Edgier: A few of these. Into the Jaws of Doom and One Night in Payne House have only one good ending, and are very difficult to complete without running into most of the bad ones. Escape From Horror House took a more downbeat tone with less comedy and more graphic description of your many demises; while Zombie School is noted by fans for having gorier bad endings than most of the other books, such as you being torn limb from limb by zombies.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Some of the bad endings (understandably) invoke this trope.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Some of the bad endings involve your friends or sibling/s turning on you after you have treated them poorly in some way. You may also get to bite them back in the good endings.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: There are at least two or three of these present in every book. Only Into the Jaws of Doom and One Night in Payne House (special edition books #1 and 4) explicitly states that there's only one good ending.
  • Elevator Failure: A stock bad ending. Into the Jaws of Doom, Checkout Time at the Dead-End Hotel, Night of a Thousand Claws, and many others have them.
  • Enemy Mine: Sometimes an option, as seen in Escape From Camp Run For Your Life and Escape From Horror House.
  • Exact Words: Used in some bad endings; say, you're promised you won't be killed by a blue tornado if you lose. They never said anything about a purple tornado.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Make too many unwise choices, and you might run into a pair of choices that ends badly, no matter which one you choose. For readers who didn't acquire certain items earlier in the adventure, when it comes time to use something to save yourself, you won't be able to do so. Sometimes, the books conceal the page number to make sure you actually ran into the item or piece of essential info instead of cheating and/or punish you for trying to cheat. Some books use this trope by the fact that none of the endings, good or bad, allow you to reach the goal you set out to achieve.
  • Gold Fever: Treasure hunting is a common sideplot for several books, though Alone in Snakebite Canyon and Lost in Stinkeye Swamp each have it for a main storyline.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Several of the books feature guest appearances from creatures from the main Goosebumps series: Slappy and Mr Wood, Monster Blood, the Grool, and more.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: For the books that use inventory, not having enough items, grabbing too many items, or using/acquiring the wrong items can lead to bad things.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Although the books are rife with No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, this can also happen.
  • Kill It with Fire: Happens in a few books, usually if you encounter a dragon.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Sometimes subverted by combining it with But Thou Must!. When the reader makes a wrong choice, they are told it is the wrong choice and are told to go back and make the other choice. Often used as the first choice — to have an adventure, or not.
    • When not used as the first choice, it is often done as "You can choose again ONLY if this is your first Give Yourself Goosebumps book". Other times, it is used not on the next page, but a few pages later on. The book will tell you "Now go back to Page (X), and make the other choice this time!"
  • Lemony Narrator: The narration is not above Breaking the Fourth Wall and mocking you, particularly if you make stupid or cautious choices.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Some books don't follow any real internal logic, which makes winning the book more trial-and-error than good planning/decision making. Most of the books also have at least one choice determined by something random the book asks you such as what day of the week it is, what month you were born, whether you have fair or dark hair, or are right or left-handed, etc.
  • Mad Scientist: Several books in the series have mad scientists, just like the original Goosebumps books. If there's a scientist in the book; chances are he or she is a mad one. In one of the books revolving around a cruise ship, you get tipped off to the plot by encountering a rather eccentric scientist with crazy hair and an even crazier expression announce his intent to "BLOW UP THIS SHIP!!" when you and your friend investigate what he's doing. Strangely enough, he's the good guy. The real bad guy is Affably Evil.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Every novel contains 20+ endings, so it's no surprise that several of them won't go so well.
  • Monster Clown: Done with Scary Birthday to You! and Trapped in the Circus of Fear.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Done frequently in the series.
  • Morton's Fork: Not a common occurrence, but some books force you into a pair of unpleasant choices that both end in a similar disaster for you, the reader.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Often employed, but things don't always go according to plan for the reader.
  • No Ending: Sometimes, your adventure won't end with a "The End" message. Sometimes, you'll just get thrown into an infinite loop that sends you flipping through the same couple of pages forever.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: While mainstream media often tell you that you must treat others the way you want to be treated, Give Yourself Goosebumps series will teach you that there are vile beings that not even kindness would reach. If you do not thread carefully, prepare for some Bad Endings.
    • While ignoring your friend's advice may seems like a bad idea, sometimes trusting your friend's words without skeptic thought leads you to Bad End, either because they don't know any better or they are trying to backstab you. In Give Yourself Goosebumps series, you must make your own judgement since you are the main character and the plot revolves around your decisions.
  • Not My Driver: Welcome to the Wicked Wax Museum, Night of a Thousand Claws, and a few others have bad endings where you get into a car that the villain is driving.
  • Paranormal Mundane Item: There are lots of such items, just like in original Goosebumps, such as the titular purple peanut butter in Beware Of The Purple Peanut Butter.
  • Parental Neglect: Many examples of parents leaving you alone and/or with people they shouldn't trust to look after you (see Adults Are Useless).
  • Pop Quiz: Some decisions will rely on a you answering a question about a Goosebumps book. Get it right, and your quest continues. Get it wrong, and a bad ending happens within two or three pages.
  • Puzzle Game: You'll see plenty of them within the series. Some puzzles even go so far as to uncover what page you need to go to next (and if you can't figure it out, you'll be directed to a Failure Is the Only Option page as a failure to figure this out).
  • Random Events Plot: A frequent criticism of the series. Most of the events don't exactly make sense or converge with any kind of internal consistency, which makes many of these books feel quite arbitrary with any quest. There are exceptions, but the bulk of the novels tend to go this route.
  • Rule of Three: Many of the books have two main storylines of roughly equal length and importance (though one is sometimes slightly more relevant than the other), and one third storyline which is normally shorter.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Many of the books have a few choices where the two pages lead to completely incompatible scenarios — such as two different endings in which a person turns into two different kinds of monster. The branching points which decide between the two plots could in some cases be considered this too.
  • Shout-Out: Readers familiar with the original Goosebumps series (i.e., 95% of them) will see plenty of references to them sprinkled throughout this series, mostly in the form of quiz questions.
  • Spiritual Successor: R.L. Stine previously wrote a Gamebook series called Hark. The trademark randomness of the Give Yourself Goosebumps novels was also present on Hark; perhaps even more so. The closest GYG came to reflecting Hark's game design was Into the Jaws of Doom.
  • This Loser Is You: Several books will allow you to make a "safe" choice, but the book will mock you for being too chicken to take any risks, and usually punish you in-story. You may also be scolded by the book if you don't complete a puzzle successfully or if you deliberately cheat in a scavenger hunt/inventory.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Pretty much all of the books have at least one ending like this.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: An equivalent. Sometimes the book will let you do something immoral, but you are almost always punished with a bad ending. These range from humiliating or self-defeating to fatal.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Often, the risky options (such as fighting the monster, where you suddenly gain incredible athletic abilities beyond that of a normal kid) are the correct ones, while the safe options lead to a Diabolus ex Machina (e.g. walking directly through a puddle leads you to the other side, while walking around it inexplicably leads to the puddle being much deeper and containing a bog monster that pulls you in by the tongue). There are even times where the immoral option (such as lying, being greedy, or abandoning your partner) gets you the good ending.
  • With Friends Like These...: Sometimes, your friends don't make you feel appreciated in a bad situation.
    • The majority of books have at least one bad ending which is caused by your "friend" even if it means ignoring continuity for it to work.
    • Sometimes, you are the dreadful friend, which may lead to a bad ending if other characters get sick of you.
  • You Bastard!: The author does a good job making you feel moronic for making some questionable choices. Sometimes, the book will give you another chance for making a sloppy decision, but others will automatically end the book there. Also done for readers who blatantly cheat, like bring more items than they should have (One Night in Payne House and Zapped in Space) or don't attempt to solve the otherwise simple mazes the way they were meant to, and instead only pick and choose the possible page number. Get it wrong, and something bad happens.

     #14: The Creepy Creations of Professor Shock 

  • Acme Products: "Acme Cleanup" is mentioned.
  • Big Red Button: If you take the remote, you'll press the big red button on it (you don't get a choice). Depending on your choices after that, the button does different things. It can be as harmless as a homing beacon, or ending your life by activating an unknown weapon.
  • Hall of Mirrors: Features in the story if you choose the "mirror world" storyline.

     #22: Return to the Carnival of Horrors 

  • Amusement Park of Doom: The Carnival of Horrors, as in the first book.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: This book assumes one of the good endings from its prequel, despite there having been several — and it's actually a plot point, since one of the first things you do on one story path is try to find the same ride you escaped in the first time.
  • Exact Words: The frog-like owner of the road race game promises that if you lose you won't be killed by a blue tornado like the previous loser was. Once you lose the game, you are instead killed by a purple tornado.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Playing Q Quest will end badly regardless of what number you pick. This is because A: You're told to pick a number between 8 and 14, but no matter what number you pick, you'll land on the skull image, and B: There's only one page you can go to and it leads to an ending where you're turned into a skeleton.
  • Hollywood Acid: One ending features acidic slugs that burn "you" to death instantly.
  • Rapid Aging: Used as a bad ending — you don't die, but you become really old within seconds.
  • Series Continuity Error: This book assumes that you followed one particular storyline of Escape from the Carnival of Horrors and achieved a certain ending (see Cutting Off the Branches.) However, Return also refers to several elements of the first book's other storyline, which "you" are supposed to have encountered when you visited the carnival before — even though this would be impossible, if you reached the ending that Returns takes as canon.

     #24: Lost in Stinkeye Swamp 

  • Dead All Along: Zeke. Although the cause of this character's death, and reasons for remaining in this world as a ghost change depending on what path the reader has taken.
  • The Dog Bites Back: One ending sees you eaten by your own goldfish, which is pissed off that you haven't bothered to care for it as you were too busy trying to escape the book.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The titular Stinkeye Swamp.

     #26: Alone in Snakebite Canyon 

  • Animorphism: The A-plot is built on this trope. Most of the bad endings involve you being turned into some kind of animal, including a mosquito, a bear, a tarantula, a mouse, a raven, a fish, a snake, and a kangaroo rat.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: The book is practically based on this trope, with at least one named character ending up stuck in a random animal-form by most endings.
  • Morton's Fork: At one point. the story presents a pair of animal morphs that even the book admits sound less-than-ideal: a slow-as-molasses tarantula morph to cross a busy street, or a mosquito morph through a bat infested cave, right after you ate a mosquito when you were in bat morph minutes earlier. The choices end as well as you expect. The logical third option — i.e., turn into a tarantula and wait in the cave until the snake eyes reset into two other and presumably better animal choices — was completely absent.

     #27: Checkout Time at the Dead-End Hotel 

  • Empty Swimming Pool Dive: One of the endings has you forced to do this by the ghosts, resulting in your death.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Drew Mortegarth. It's a plot point that you don't know Drew's gender and thus, which of two potential Drews is the right one.
  • Hell Hotel: Hotel Morte, where the action takes place, is a hotel full of ghosts who are out to make "you" into a ghost too.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Jenna from Scream of the Evil Genie has a cameo in one ending here. If you accept her help, she actually transports you into her book.
  • Meaningful Name: Hotel "Morte" — it means Hotel "Death" in Italian and Portuguese.
  • No Ending: Choosing to drink clam juice will lead to the book telling you that clam juice can cause strange affects on people, such as causing the books they're reading to have missing letters. The remainder of the page begins leaving out random letters itself, and then ends saying the book is now unreadable (even though this shouldn't affect the characters themselves).
  • Spot the Imposter: A plot point is the reader having to decide which of two people is Drew Mortegarth, who has promised to help you escape. But because the reader has never met Drew (and Drew's name leaves their gender ambiguous), picking out the real one may prove difficult.

     #28: Night of a Thousand Claws 

  • Cain and Abel: Jacob and Katrina Madd play with this trope, as the roles of Cain and Abel switch depending on the storyline.
  • Cats Are Mean: The book is built on this trope, and the reader's character is all too aware of it.
  • Cats Hate Water: You try to use this trope against Katrina in one ending, by use of a hose... shame you didn't check if said hose was connected to anything.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Katrina Madd. Some of the endings have you pull an Enemy Mine, while one of the truly good endings reveals the real, good Katrina had been held hostage by her brother Jacob since before the book started. After freeing her, she decides to confront the impostor you met at the beginning.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: "Story A" has no completely good ending. In the two endings where the reader wins, his or her parents will either become the new "Keeper of the Cats" or the reader himself/herself will turn into a dog.
  • Little Bit Beastly: One of the endings ends with you defeating the evil catpeople and leaving the island forever, only to realize on the drive home that you have grown a dog tail.
  • Morton's Fork: You have been cornered and are about to be devoured by ghost cats. The book then presents you with a wordsearch puzzle to determine whether you'll survive. If you don't solve the puzzle, the cats eat you, and you are told it's your own fault for being too lazy to solve a simple puzzle. If you do solve it … the cats eat you anyway, because you were too absorbed in the puzzle to notice them advancing on you.
  • Skewed Priorities: If you succeed in the "SPIRAL STIRCASE" puzzle, you become so absorbed in finding more words that you don't notice you're in danger, and die anyway.
  • This Loser Is You: In one path of the book, you have to make a list of words from the phrase "Spiral staircase", and if you don't get enough, the book insults you for your laziness in getting such a simple task wrong.

     #31: The Werewolf of Twisted Tree Lodge 

  • Cursed With Awesome: In one ending, you now know that monsters are terrified of dust, and you can't ever clean your home again, so you won't have to do any more chores.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The story is kicked off when you found a manuscript disposed in a trashcan titled "Revenge of the Werewolves" and decide to claim it as your own, winning you a trip to the titular lodge. Your punishment for plagiarism is to be hunted down by werewolves, zombies, and all kind of monsters. Good grief!
  • Get into Jail Free: In one ending, you accidentally set off a burglar alarm whilst trying to escape from the lodge. Police arrive and arrest you, thinking you were trying to break in … and you happily play along with this so you can go to jail where the werewolves can't get you.
  • Morton's Fork: This book presents an interesting scenario when you're trapped in the middle of the woods, facing a bunch of creatures that could easily eviscerate you for their own amusement. One option is to trick them into playing a game of tag and running like hell to escape, but they easily catch up and kill you. The alternative? Convince them that they'd all turn on each other if they try to eat you, because they're all different creatures, and require different needs when it comes to eating humans. By doing that, they'd either let you live to prevent turning on each other, or go all divide and conquer to see who gets to eat you. Instead, they claim that they're diplomatic monsters, and that their different needs doesn't interfere at all with feeding on you, so you still wind up dead.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: The plot is kicked off by "you" having found a story, "Revenge of the Werewolves", in the trash and it somehow being submitted to a story competition in your name.
  • Ret-Gone: One of the weirdest examples; you can come across a typewriter composing a story, and choose to press "DELETE". You'll end up deleting the entire adventure, including yourself.
  • Shout-Out: In one section, you see a man in black with a suitcase, and the papers start falling out of it.
  • Silver Bullet: Explicitly subverted. There are silver items at the titular lodge, but the werewolves aren't affected by this.

     #32: It's Only a Nightmare! 

  • Bittersweet Ending: There's an ending where not only is your adventure in the book revealed to be just a dream, but so is your entire human life, and you're really just an animal. It sounds like a bad ending at first, until you realize that you are happy with your "new" life (mostly because it's your REAL life).
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: In one bad ending, you confront Lord Morphos on a stage in front of a packed auditorium, only to suddenly find yourself in just your underwear. While the audience starts laughing at you, the Sleep Master appears to tell you that you're now trapped in this nightmare forever.
  • Random Events Plot: This book tends to randomly shift from event to event, so much so it's difficult to determine what choice will do what (even more so than normally). Kind of justified as the book takes place in a dream world most of the time.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: In The "B" Storyline, you are able to control your dreams by (in a sense) "wishing" in your mind what happens next, but your dreams have an effect on you in the real world, and can even kill you (It Makes Sense in Context). To make it worse, each dream is controlled by your thoughts first, so it is possible to just randomly think of something, and have that come true even though you didn't really want it to.
  • Rip Van Winkle: One ending has you drinking a sleep rememdy that puts you to sleep for 70 years. Another even jokes you have joined the "Rip Van Winkle" club.
  • Self-Deprecation: One part sees you noticing a Give Yourself Goosebumps book that is marked as number 456, poking fun at how many books the series, and the franchise in general, had.
  • Shaped Like Itself: At one point, you have the choice of reading either an ancient book of sleep remedies, or a Give Yourself Goosebumps book titled "Nightmares Are No Fun". If you pick the Give Yourself Goosebumps, of course it's about the same subject as the book you're reading in the real world; so you have to go to page 1 and start the story again.

     #33: It Came from the Internet 

  • Digital Abomination: Spyder fromIt Came from the Internet, a living computer virus that manifests itself as a spider/octopus hybrid in the real world that leaves toxic slime all around. It bites the main character, causing him to have amnesia.
  • 419 Scam: One ending has you getting a messaging saying the sender can help you win the lottery, if they what they say. Despite this being framed very much like one of these, this ending is presented as good.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: When you get infected by a computer virus, you can turn for help either to doctor Bronstein or to a hacker girl called Rachel. In one subplot, they genuinely want to help you, while in another they just want to use you for their evil purposes. In one more subplot, it turns out that the monster that infected you is not actually evil, and the virus can be cured with just a hot bath.

     #34: Elevator to Nowhere 

  • Alternate Universe: The whole premise of the story. The A storyline has you entering other worlds besides the head hunting one, such as one where everthing is upside down.
  • Cats Are Mean: Uncle Darius' cat Sapphire in one dimension.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Evil Darius comes from a universe where this is a normal casual sport.
  • Off with His Head!: Early on, Evil Darius presents the decpicated head of another version of you.
  • Never Trust a Title: The titular elevator does take you somewhere; you use it to travel to other dimensions.
  • Shout-Out: On the cover, Darius looks like Doc Brown.

     #37: Escape from Horror House 

  • Adults Are Useless: Averted in one ending, where your teacher helps you to defeat the poltergeists using magnets.
  • Enemy Mine: One storyline involves you deciding whether to work with a medium or a ghostbuster in order to defeat poltergeists. The two hate each other and each accuses the other of being a fraud, but you have the option of making them work together just this once.
  • Haunted House: The plot of the book is you trying to get rid of poltergeists that are making your house haunted.
  • Mind over Matter: A possible outcome is that there is no poltergeist — the mysterious events in your house are caused by you, or your sister, being telekinetic and not knowing about it.
  • Never Trust a Title: Nowhere in the story are you required to escape from a house — the story is based around you getting rid of poltergeists that have invaded a house.
  • Poltergeist: They serve as the main enemies of this particular book.
  • Your Head Asplode: One of the bad endings.

     #41: Danger Time 

  • Luck-Based Mission: In this book, you come up against the Zodiacs: representations of each star sign. Subsequently, certain choices are affected by your real life horoscope and, if you have the "wrong" sign, it's impossible to get around some of them without cheating.
  • No Ending: Should you choose to press a button marked "Time Loop", you're disappointed to find that the button doesn't do anything — so you press it again, and again, and again and the book ends there.
  • Time Police: The book features a set whose motives vary depending on the storyline.
  • Time Stands Still: One bad ending involves you being frozen forever in time when you accidentally break a watch that controls the flow of time.
  • Time Travel: Part of the plot involves you traveling through time to defeat a set of villains, who vary depending on the storyline.

    Special Edition #2: Return to Terror Tower 

  • The Cameo: The woman who gave Sue away to the Lord Executioner makes an appearance. Remembering how that went down helps you make the right decision.
  • Cave Mouth: In one ending, giving the wrong code to enter Morgred's tower turns it into a giant mouth that bites you in half.
  • Gender Flip: In one path you discover that Robin Hood is a woman.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Lord High Executioner is a major villain (and the main villain of the original Goosebumps book on which it's based) but in the best ending of the book, you defeat the evil king and the Executioner becomes good, having been under mind control the whole time.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: This book has you picking three items out of a possible four, and using them at a possibly appropriate time. Pick the wrong item to use during the events, and a humiliating death usually results. One item is useless, as the one time you could use the object, it doesn't help you at all.
  • Kill It with Fire: In this book, you can be burned at the stake for sorcery.
  • Long-Lost Relative: In one of the good endings, you help your two friends (a medieval prince and princess) overthrow their evil uncle and reclaim the throne. It is then discovered that you are their cousin and didn't know about it, so you get to rule the country with them.
  • Stripped to the Bone: This book has an ending where living skeletons (who were burned alive by a dragon) skin you alive so they can have your skin.

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