Follow TV Tropes

Following

Literature / Goosebumps

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/it_came_from_ohio.png

"Reader beware — you're in for a scare..."
Advertisement:

In The '90s, 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-Harry Potter-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 (the fourth and last of which being the final book in the original series).

It was The Twilight Zone for pre-adolescents, with a twist at the end of every book (sometimes cruel, sometimes not, sometimes non-existent, which is a twist in and of itself given the series). Stine cites the horror comics published by EC Comics as a source of inspiration.

Advertisement:

In the later editions of the series, it became somewhat infamous for the "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, which is only a minor point - the story was really 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 Mad Scientist.

Later incarnations of the series included the rather more obscure Goosebumps Series 2000 (a Darker and Edgier Goosebumps series that ran for 25 books), and Gamebook series Give Yourself Goosebumps. Both ended in early 2000, but the series was eventually revived in 2006 with the Goosebumps Graphix series (adapting classic books into comics), and further spinoffs were released in 2008-2012 (the twelve-book Goosebumps HorrorLand series, a crossover between new and existing characters - it also got a video game adaptation, and was continued with a second, seven-book story arc and then the six-book Hall of Horrors mini-series), 2012-2016 (Goosebumps Most Wanted, featuring a mix of classic and new villains in standalone stories) and 2017-ongoing (Goosebumps SlappyWorld, with each book introduced by Slappy the Dummy). There were also spinoff titles such as Tales to give you Goosebumps and Goosebumps Triple Header

Advertisement:

There were also a pair of PC games in the 1990s: Escape from Horrorland, a follow-up to the original One Day at Horrorland, and Attack of the Mutant, which had a different plot than the television episode or book with the same name. A phone game called Goosebumps: HorrorTown premiered in 2017. IDW started publishing a comic series based on the franchise in 2017.

For tropes relating to the Goosebumps television series look here.

Columbia Pictures released a film based on the series on October 16, 2015, starring Jack Black as R.L. Stine. View the trailer here.

If you're interested in a full review of the series, check out Blogger Beware.


This series provides (usually multiple) examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A 
  • Abusive Parents:
    • 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." 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.
    • Michael Webster's parents in 'The Cuckoo Clock of Doom'', but only towards him. They are extremely doting and loving towards their young daughter, Tara, who they see as an angel, and they never notice just how disturbingly rotten she is as a person and in the process treat their son Michael like crap on a daily basis by letting Tara bully him and calling him a liar when he tries to defend himself. Even before Tara was born, Michael's father was mocking him as a baby for not being able to say full sentences yet and not being able to tie his shoes when he was slightly older. Michael's parents are much nicer to him later though when Michael is his own age again and Tara ceases out of existence.
    • Richard Dreezer's parents from Dr. Maniac Will See You Now not only constantly argue, but are always belittling him right in front of him and are only nice to his annoying little brother.
    • Kate Lipton's dad from Lizard of Oz likes to play cruel pranks on her sometime, on top of blowing money on things like miniature horses. The twist that he and his family are half lizard people can only excuse so much.
    • Jonathan Chiller, the antagonist of the 2nd HorrorLand arc, had a mom that kept him inside all day to "nurture his mind" and his dad only protested because he wanted him to be a hunter like his father. When a hunt resulted in Jonathan getting hurt, his dad only laughed. Is it really no surprise he became as messed up as he is?
    • Downplayed, but Ian Barker's father in Slappy Birthday To You drives him out to an abandoned museum in the middle of nowhere as a birthday "surprise" and hires actors to scare him - then laughs at Ian's resulting distress - though it was not out of pure malice. His parents also tell him and his sister to be nice to their cousins, because his cousins are going through tough times, even when they know that their cousins are being downright to mean to them. It is worse for Ian though, because no one believes him when Slappy comes alive and starts doing all the mean things in front of everyone, his father, sister, and cousins eventually believe him though.
  • Actionized Sequel: While the first Deep Trouble was an adventure story, the action was mostly in the last act, while the sequels feature more action and peril throughout the whole book.
  • Adapted Out: The The Goosebumps Graphix version of The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena removes the bullies Kyle and Kara, and the Graphix version of ''A Shocker on Shock Street' removes Linda, the tour guide.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The French novella adaption of "Good Friends" extends the ending. Dylan's older brother Richard still mocks Dylan for having imaginary friends, just as their mom comes home and asks if Richard's been playing with his imaginary little brother. Not only that, but Richard's pet spiders aren't real either because he's terrified of actual arachnids.
    • The Goosebumps Graphix version of The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena changes the ending so that instead of Kyle and Kara finding the magic snowballs, the final panel has the Abominmble Snowman standing in the middle of Pasadena, about to go on a rampage.
  • Adoring the Pests:
    • 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. Making matters worse is the fact that while the first creature starts off as docile and friendly, the resulting creatures get aggressive as it multiplies. The more creatures pop up, the more aggressive they are.
    • 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.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Let's Get Invisible. Your kids discover something real cool, something that gives you an otherworldly high and "makes you invisible", but even if your kid wants to eventually stop his friends keep pressuring him to continue and they all keep doing it and doing it until till their sucked into a lifeless world and seemingly replaced with a cold zombie-like counterpart… it's easy to see the story as a metaphor for adolescent drug addiction.
    • 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 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.
      • If that's not enough, the first chapter actually starts off with a 12-year-old boy getting hit on the head with a baseball bat. The pain he experiences is told in full detail, and he is put in a coma after the painful blow on the head! Just imagine the pain after the full detail, especially in the perspective of a preteen boy!
    • 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 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.
    • "Please Don't Feed The Bears" has one when Sarah is nearly an hour late to meet her parents for lunch while they're in a theme park. They chide her for making them wait, but it's obviously Anger Born of Worry despite her parents saying they were having trouble entertaining her spoiled little sister Katie. Sarah wisely decides not to tell them that the Cuddle Bear employees nearly kidnapped her and wanted her to become a bear.
    • The Girl Who Cried Monster: Lucy's parents are clearly horrified when Aaron confirms that yes, Mr. Mortman is a monster and he nearly tried to kill Lucy for exposing him. It doesn't help that Mrs. Dark shooed Lucy to the library that morning and she realizes that she sent her daughter to a place where a predator works. Part of the reason they eat Mr. Mortman, in addition to keeping monsters from being found out, is to make sure Lucy is out of danger.
    • The Ghost Next Door: Hannah finds out that she and her family died in a freak fire that she forgot to put out properly in the backyard. The opening chapter wasn't a dream; it was real!
    • The Curse Of Camp Cold Lake: It's confirmed that you can die at Cold Lake, Camp, and the counselors will cover it up to ensure parents keep enrolling their kids. Sarah nearly becomes a casualty when she drowns in the lake.It's not that you'll drown most of the time; the woods are filled with poisonous snakes that you will trample on by accident. And of course, you'd only be in the woods if running away from camp, meaning no one knows where you are and you'll die alone succumbing to the poison. The worst part? Two kids died this way, and a third probably will be the end of the book.
  • Adults Are Useless: Either that (with the grandparents in How To Kill A Monster being arguably the best example of this), or in on the conspiracy (as seen in such stories as My Hairiest Adventure, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, and The Horror at Camp Jellyjam).
    • In Say Cheese and Die... Again, Greg is cursed to continually gain weight, putting on more than three hundred pounds in one day, and his parents chalk it up to an allergy attack and leave him to just go to school as normal the next day. Even though he can't fit in their car. Meanwhile, his friend Shari is cursed to continue to lose weight until she looks like "a stick with a lemon on the top", and again is just sent to school as normal.
    • Chicken Chicken is even worse. It's painfully obvious that Crystal and Cole are turning into chickens (what with their feathers appearing and their lips turning hard and beak-like) and the parents DO NOTHING. To make matters worse, they're preparing chicken for a barbecue in front of their affected kids and they laugh at Crystal and Cole when they start acting like chickens during the barbecue.
    • But even they are nothing compared to Michael Webster's parents in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, in which they constantly dote on their youngest daughter Tara and refuse to believe Michael whenever the latter tells them about Tara's torment on him. Also, aside from the fact that they condone every misdeed Tara does to make Michael's life miserable (such as making Michael trip on his birthday cake and opening his presents), Michael gets beat up by a bigger guy thanks to Tara framing him for stealing the guy's cap, and when Michael returns home, his parents don't even care that their only son had just gotten beat up by a bigger guy, as opposed to their concern on Tara when she got a small cut on her leg when falling off Michael's bike for hopping on it earlier.
    • The grandparents in How To Kill A Monster are arguably the stupidest adults in the entire franchise. They wait until after the kids arrived to go and try to find help to kill the monster they caught and stored in the basement, deciding to lock the kids inside the house and tell them nothing, opting instead to leave notes on the fridge, which the kids find too late, as they let the monster out due to an honest mistake. The grandparents hid the truth because they were "afraid that the parents wouldn't let the kids stay with them if they knew there was a monster in the house". And rather than taking the kids with them, the grandparents genuinely believe the kids are safer locked inside the house with the monster so long as they don't open a door. Main character Gretchen is furious at her grandparents' sheer stupidity, pointing out to stepbrother Clark that the grandparents won't be coming back with help because nobody will believe them about a monster in their house.
  • Affably Evil:
    • 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 Affably Evil Anti-Villain since she actually seemed reluctant to engage in the "feeding" that everyone in the town had to do to survive, repeatedly saying she wanted to be friends with Amanda and Josh.
    • In the Night of the Living Dummy series, outside of the fact that he wants to make preteen girls into slaves, Slappy seems like a fun guy. He just likes to play pranks and tell mean (but true) jokes, allowing the audience 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 Give Yourself Goosebumps 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 adaptation) 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 ghost kids from Ghost Beach, who act like they just want to be friends. Turns out they want their friends to be dead like them.
    • Mr. Mortman in The Girl Who Cried Monster who was perfectly nice and friendly aside from being a monster who ate flies, and only tried to kill Lucy when she kept trying to expose his secret.
  • Affectionate Parody: The Gooflumps books by 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 Toilet Humour.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The premise of Frankenstein's Dog, and It's Alive! It's Alive!.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • 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 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 despite his efforts, Greg continues to show off the camera for his own selfish needs.
    • Andrew Craw, the eponymous headless ghost, is described as a despicable brat in his backstory. His punishment, however, is completely disproportionate, and when the children uncover his head, he actually thanks them before departing to the afterlife.
    • The ghost kids in Ghost Beach, who only qualified as evil because they killed several dogs to protect their secret and tried to force their living cousins to join them. They end up sealed away forever in a cave.
    • Mr. Mortman in The Girl Who Cried Monster. His privacy was violated and he wasn't really doing anything except having particularly grotesque eating habits.
  • Alien Blood: Dr. Brewer's plant clone from Stay Out Of The Basement, which leads to his downfall.
  • Alien Invasion: Invasion of the Body Squeezers from Series 2000.
  • Aliens and Monsters
  • Alliterative Name: Fritz Fredericks (aka Spidey) in Say Cheese and Die. Also, Jack Johnson in How I Learned To Fly, as well as his love interest, Mia Montez.
  • All Just a Dream: I Live In Your Basement!. 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.
    • Why I Hate Jack Frost reveals that Jared's life in Arizona was just a dream, and his dreams about living with Jack Frost are what his life is really like.
    • The Goblin's Glare turns out to be the Goblin's dream.
  • All There in the Manual: Some of the HorrorLand books, the Classic Goosebumps reprints, and Horror Land Survival Guide have information about certain monsters that isn't mentioned in the actual books. The most notable example is how the Night of the Living Dummy reprints is what first officially established that Slappy and Mr. Wood are related.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Vanessa, a witch from Chicken Chicken lives with a cat.
  • Alpha Bitch: Courtney in You Can't Scare Me!, Tasha in Calling All Creeps!, Judith in Be Careful What You Wish For, Adele in The Lizard of Oz, and Rosa in It's Alive! It's Alive!
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The HorrorLand monsters, who run a deadly amusement park to kill families for fun. They may act welcoming and friendly at times, but don't let this fool you — 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.
  • Always Someone Better: A lot of the Goosebumps stories usually have the antagonist as someone who is better than the protagonist at almost everything. (ex: Judith in Be Careful What You Wish For, Sari in The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb/Return of the Mummy, Courtney in You Can't Scare Me!, Wilson in How I Learned To Fly)
  • Ambiguous Disorder: While not stated outright, some of the characters show signs of having some sort of disorder. Examples include Dana from Egg Monsters From Mars, Mindy from Revenge Of The Lawn Gnomes and Nicole from The Abominable Snowman Of Pasedena. A notable one is Peter in The Five Masks of Doctor Screem, as Monica states that "some kids take pills to slow down to normal speed" but their parents simply,think he has "energy".
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Marco and Gwynnie in I Live In Your Basement don't have a father around and it's never explained what happened to him. Same goes for Abby and Peter's parents in Who's Your Mummy?, and Justin and Marisa's mom in Legend of the Lost Legend.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Clarissa in Be Careful What You Wish For gives Samantha three wishes after a samaritan deed, but they all end up backfiring on her in increasingly worse ways, including one where everyone in the world disappears because of a poorly-worded wish. The witch claims that the girl should choose her words carefully, but her behavior makes it hard to tell if she's a Literal Genie who couldn't grand the wish any other way and just hopes Sam does it right, or a Jackass Genie who's just messing with Sam for kicks by hiding behind the Exact Words excuse.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: HorrorLand, where the customers go to die in the rides or become monster munch.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • In Let's get Invisible 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 wins the eponymous baseball bat, but is transformed, fully conscious, into a store display mannequin of a batter.
      • He is actually pleased by the outcome though, because people pass by the exhibit and admire his swing, and now he will actually be able to keep the bat forever.
    • The Haunted School: An entire class has been teleported to a strange black and white world where they never age. When Tommy and Ben arrive here years later, most of the students have devolved into insane, bloodthirsty savages, and want to keep them there forever.
    • Click: Seth accidentally turns off the world, and he's only surrounded by darkness; the only light being a faint glow on the remote control that reads BATTERY DEAD.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie:
    • In The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, 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 Ricky, who is bullied by most of his school, is one of them. They have plotted how to transform everyone in the school, and then the town, country and world, into Creeps like them and the hero is trying to stop them from feeding everyone the transforming seeds, which he manages to do for the first few tries without managing to arouse suspicion. In the last moment, when he is mocked one more time while trying to stop everyone from eating the seed-filled chocolate chip cookies (the seeds look just like chocolate chips) that the Creeps decided to hand out for free at the school bake sale, he is told that he will be the ruler of all Creeps and no longer a target for bullies. Ricky does a quick Face–Heel Turn, treats everyone to eat the cookies, and eats one himself, becoming the real Creep leader.
    • In Werewolf Skin, Alex's platonic girlfriend Hannah turns out to be a werewolf.
    • The Werewolf in the Living Room starts out with Aaron being bit by a werewolf while out looking for one which later turns him into a werewolf. Then comes the ending where he bites his Dad, meaning they are now a werewolf family.
  • An Ice Person: Conrad, who is a sorcerer who can bring snowmen to life, and he uses his ability to trap a red monster in a snowman.
  • Animated Tattoo: The short story Attack of the Tattoo has a kid dealing with an evil one, naturally.
  • 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). Inverted with My Hairiest Adventure, in which three characters started as dogs but were turned into humans, and are now reverting because the effects of the serum used on them are wearing off.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: It would be easier to list the siblings who don't fall under the this trope but notable examples include Letty in Let's Get Invisible Luke in One Day at HorrorLand, Ginny in Bad Hare Day, Ernie in Dr. Maniac Will See You Now, with the most infamous example being Tara in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom.
  • Anti-Villain: Quite a few of the villains, such as the Dark Falls Residents, Dr. Brewer, Spidey, and Della have relatively sympathetic motivations.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, as the name implies, is a malevolent cuckoo clock with the power to turn back time, and will inevitably Ret-Gone the person who used it unless it's reset.
    • The killer camera in Say Cheese and Die!, which destroys or causes harm to persons or objects that it takes pictures of.
    • The black ring from Horrors Of The Black Ring, which houses an evil spirit that acts as The Corruptor and eventually full-on Demonic Possession of its host.
  • Artistic License – History: Part of the plot in A Night in Terror Tower concerns the tale of two young royals, Edward and Susannah of York, who were executed by their uncle by virtue of being heirs to the throne. While the reveal of actual magic in the world may be the big clue, Edward and Susannah never existed in this fashion. The tour guides also confirm they were sentenced to death which isn't exactly what happened. The real-life children on which Edward and Susannah are based were actually King Edward V and his brother Richard of Shrewsbury, and while they were put in the Tower of London, their uncle Richard had to first declare them as illegitimate before crowning himself. What's more, the boys' deaths were never confirmed, though a wooden box of bones was found near the tower. It's implied that even medieval England wouldn't be so cavalier as to murder royal children and look the other way, as opposed to when everyone in the book either tries to turn in Eddie and Sue or sell them out due to fear of the High Executioner. To a lesser extent, a cab driver would have been able to see that the kids tried to pay him with gold coins and either give them to the government under the Finders Keepers law or melt them down and sell as gold.
  • Asshole Victim: 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, Brandon in Headless Halloween, and the Beymer twins in Monster Blood.
    • The Tales series did this fairly often, such as Seth Gold in Click and Tara Bennett in Shell Shocker.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • What usually results from someone or something consuming Monster Blood.
    • Happens twice at the end of Go Eat Worms!
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: Some of the monsters include Lawn Gnomes, a giant worm, and a sponge.

    B 
  • Badass Adorable: 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, Mark from How I Got My Shrunken Head and Wendy from The Horror At Camp Jellyjam.
  • Bad Boss: The Masked Mutant, who disintegrates one of his top henchmen For the Evulz.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Being a horror series, this happens every so often but the most notable example is Calling All Creeps! which ends with the protagonist performing a Face–Heel Turn to become the villains' overlord and leading the lizard monsters to victory. Considering the nature of their human victims, though, this might not be a bad thing.
  • Bad Luck Charm: The Grool in It Came From Beneath the Sink and The Vulture's Claw in The Birthday Party of No Return.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • Be Careful What You Wish For ends with Samantha being turned into a bird.
    • Why I'm Afraid of Bees deals with this trope throughout, as Gary engages in a faulty body-swap with a bee instead of another human.
    • Revenge R Us has Wade getting turned into a frog, along with her brother Micah.
    • Crystal and Cole in Chicken Chicken gradually and painstakingly transform into chickens.
  • Baseball Episode: How I Won My Bat
  • Batter Up!: I Live In Your Basement ends the first chapter with protagonist, Marco, knocked out cold after getting whacked over the head with a baseball bat swung by the athletic girl, Gwynnie note .
    • Also happens to a kid in Welcome to Camp Nightmare.
  • Battle of the Bands: My Hairiest Adventure has the main protagonists as part of a band, who are preparing for a Battle of the Bands at their school when the weirdness begins. They win, in part due to their "special effects": the hero starting to turn into a dog during the performance.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • 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.
    • In a similar manner to that one is Brain Juice, where two kids want to be smart but find that it makes them cocky and everyone is either afraid of them or wants to take advantage of them.
    • The short story The Wish has someone wishing they were an only child. They become the only child on Earth.
  • Becoming the Costume: The basis of The Haunted Mask and its sequel.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Evan and Andy in the Monster Blood series seem to have a kid version of this.
    • Definitely shades of this in Carly-Beth and Steve's relationship in The Haunted Mask, made more explicit in the TV adaptation.
  • Beta Bitch: Anna in Be Careful What You Wish For and Denise in You Can't Scare Me!
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies:
    • 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.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: 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.
  • Big Brother Bully: Kevin to Eddie in You Can't Scare Me, Mickey to Cooper in The Barking Ghost, Greg and Pam to Matt in Don't Go To Sleep, Claudia to Jason in Ghost in the Mirror, though none of them holds a candle to Wade's brother Micah in Revenge R Us. Tara Webster from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom is an Inverted example to her big brother Michael.
  • Big Little Sister: I Live In Your Basement has the athletic girl, Gwynnie, who smacked Marco over the head with a baseball bat, described as being big and strong, and at least half a head taller than Marco. It's later revealed that Marco had only dreamed that Gwynnie hit him over the head, and that Gwynnie is actually his younger sister.
  • Birthday Party Goes Wrong: In The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, the main character's birthday is ruined by his Annoying Younger Sibling, even falling face first into his own birthday pie. When he starts to travel back through time due to the titular Artifact of Doom, he's forced to relive the same day. While he doesn't make the same mistakes as the day before, his sister just messes it up some other way.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The Ghost Next Door. It's revealed that Danny isn't the ghost, but Hannah is, having been dead for years because a fire she didn't fully put out killed her entire family. Hannah manages to save Danny from a similar fate and the book ends with her joining her family in the afterlife.
    • The Revenge: Amelia's dog Fluffy gets stuck in the astral plane forever, but the dog is able to keep the bully Corey Calder in line.
    • Discussed in Dr. Maniac Vs Robby Schwartz. Robby is forced to delete his brother, who had turned out to be Dr. Maniac, in order to save the town. After it is revealed that the whole book was a comic strip he wrote, Robby comments on how the ending was "triumphant, but sad".
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Egg Monsters From Mars.
  • The Blank: 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.
  • Blatant Lies: Michael's statement at the end of The Cuckoo Clock of Doom that he'll go back in time and get Tara comes across very much as this.
  • Blessed with Suck: A lot of the books start off with the protagonist finding some kind of supremely powerful magical object that is awesome for about five minutes before terrible things start to happen.
  • Blob Monster: The eponymous villains of the Monster Blood series, Egg Monsters from Mars, The Blob that Ate Everyone and The Horror of Camp Jellyjam (King Jellyjam).
  • Bloodier and Gorier:
    • The first two books of the original series are exceptionally violent in comparison to the rest. Welcome to Dead House features graphic descriptions of faces being melted off and Stay Out of the Basement has Dr. Brewer's plant clone chopped in half down the middle by an axe.
    • The 2000 series were a bit more brutal in terms of violence and horror.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Most of the monsters and creatures legitimately don't see anything wrong with their bizarre, horrifying antics. This makes the protagonists' situation even worse, since it's nigh impossible to reason with them.
  • Body Horror: 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.
    • Taken to EXTREME in I Live in Your Basement, in which one of the characters actually turn inside out! Needless to say, it's rather disturbing even for a Goosebumps book, and it's taken this trope to a whole new level.
  • Bowdlerise: Some of the reprints of the original series have removed elements that have not aged well,:
    • The 2018 reprint of Bride of the Living Dummy removes a part where Slappy hits Jillian and claims it is only a "love tap".
    • The reprint of Attack of the Jack O'Lanterns tones down the original book's description of a black character who "acts real cool and sort of struts when he walks like the rappers on MTV videos." It also alters a plot point involving four missing people, describing them as being merely "big" rather than fat.
    • The reprint of The Ghost Next Door removes Mr. Chesney threatening the kids with a shotgun.
  • Breakout Villain: Slappy was a minor character in the first Night of the Living Dummy book (a different dummy was the villain, even though Slappy appeared in the cover), but in the sequels was brought back as the primary villain. Slappy was even the main character of a book of his own.
  • Break the Cutie: A Shocker on Shock Street. [[spoilers: Poor Erin.]]
    • Often the main plot device of "The Night of the Living Dummy" books, with Kris Powell and Amy Kramer being the most prominent victims.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Good Friends. It's a simple slice of life tale that doesn't involve any creepy or weird stuff. Aside from the twist that Jordan and his sister are all in Dylan's head.
    • "A Holly Jolly Holiday". The only horror in it is that a VCR recording of a Christmas special brainwashes a family into becoming cheery Christmas cheesiness. The main character finds it horrifying because of the pervasive positivity and that she can't curse. Fortunately the tape is burned and everyone goes back to normal.
  • British Stuffiness: Many of the locals of England portrayed in A Night in Terror Tower are stereotypically snobby and prim and proper.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: 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. Said monster is allergic to humans, and keels over dead (and then exploded in the TV version) after merely licking one. Unfortunately, the monster's friends are pissed off after this and may or may not be allergic to humans.
  • Broken Pedestal: Happens to Tim in Bad Hare Day when he discovers that his idol, Amaz-O, is a stuck up Jerkass.
  • The Bully: There's quite a few of them, with the most notable examples including Conan in the Monster Blood series, Judith in 'Be Careful What You Wish For...', and Corey Calder in The Revenge
  • The Bus Came Back: Priestess Nila, Count Nightwing, Sarabeth, and probably a dozen other forgotten villains will return in the film.
  • Butt-Monkey: 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!, Matt from Don't Go to Sleep!, Michael from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, Samantha from Be Careful What You Wish For, Sarah from The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, Crystal and Cole from Chicken Chicken, Richard from Dr. Maniac Will See you Now and Evan from the Monster Blood series.

    C 
  • Calling the Old Man Out: 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. 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.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • 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 Ross.
  • Cant Get Away With Nothing: In "The Double Dip Horror," Rachel and Wynona are identical twins who have been hired as skiing instructors. They decide to lie that Wynona was sick and couldn't make it, so they can alternate teaching the kids as the other twin gets to ski for free rather than the two of them getting a free skiing day just once. It backfires when someone starts playing pranks on them, and they suspect an obnoxious camper named Bobby Judd. It turns out Bobby is a ghost that lures identical twins into dangerous, usually fatal skiing races.
  • Captain Obvious: A lot of chapters tend to end with a dramatic statement that is obvious to the reader. For just one example, in The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, two consecutive chapters end with the lines, "He had us cornered," and "We were being kidnapped." Both of these things are made completely obvious in the lines immediately before that.
    • The Tag Line for Attack of the Mutant is "He's not a superhero, He's a supervillain!" Well duh! A horror story about a superhero wouldn't be very scary.
  • Cat Scare: A rat scare in the adaptation of The Phantom of the Auditorium.
    • This happens at least once per book, though it's sometimes subverted. One of the most frequent examples has a character (usually the parents) claiming to believe the protagonist about what's happening, or even to be in on it themselves, only for the next chapter to immediately reveal that they were just joking, much to the protagonist's chagrin.
  • Cats Are Mean: Many books and stories, like The Cat's Tale, Cry of the Cat, Claws and Night of a Thousand Claws have supernatural, evil cats as the villains. Normal cats are usually depicted as lazy and mean towards the protagonists (Bonkers from Piano Lessons Can Be Murder being especially nasty). Stine himself said in an interview: "I've always been a dog person. You can tell I don't like cats—because I've written so many books with evil cats. It's much harder to imagine an evil dog."
  • Catapult Nightmare: 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.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: How I Learned to Fly's moral to the story.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Christopher Robin" in Go Eat Worms! and the Summoner in The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb.
Who's Your Mummy? has a more literal examples, with the kids having squirt guns that end up being useful since ** the villains are hurt by water.. There's also the Molecule Detector Light in My Best Friend is Invisible and Tommy's lighter in The Haunted School.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Luke in One Day at Horror Land loves to pinch people, which at first annoys people until it is discovered that the Horrors are deflated by pinching them.
    • Eddie in A Night in Terror Tower is a skilled pickpocket, which and he uses this skill to swipe the stones so they can go back home at the end.
    • Becky in Teenage Sponge Boys from Outer Space watches the weather channel so much that she can predict when it will rain which comes in handy when she distracts the sponge boys long enough for the rain to come and make their heads swell up, immobilizing them..
  • Chekhov's Skill: Early on in Creep from the Deep, Dr. D is teaching Billy how to use a spear. Later on, he uses this to throw Captain Ben's leg into him, which destroys him.
  • The Chew Toy: Fairly common in the series, which had several protagonists that get beaten up by bullies a lot and whose misery is at least partly treated as a source of amusement for the reader - such as Gary in Why I'm Afraid of Bees and Michael in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom. A later example is Ian in Slappy Birthday to You, who's regularly subject to violence from his cousins and younger sister.
  • Child Eater: King Jellyjam, the monster in How To Kill A Monster, Mr. Mortman, Cuddles the hamster, and the beasts in The Beast From The East.
  • Child Hater: Several books have these, including The Ghost Next Door (a postman who threatens kids with a shotgun), The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena (Arthur), and The Blob That Ate Everyone. Also, Otto in the TV episode of The Headless Ghost.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Thanks to Goosebumps Horrorland, many of the human characters from the original series don't reappear alongside the enemies they fought.
    • The cast of the first four Monster Blood books are completely replaced with brand new characters in Monster Blood for Breakfast. Considering how widely disliked the majority of the old cast was (except for Andy), the use of this trope isn't too surprising.
  • Circus Episode: A Nightmare on Clown Street
  • Circus of Fear: Koko's Klown Acadaemy in A Nightmare on Clown Street is an interesting example, as it's actually more dangerous for the clowns as those who act out of line are taken to the eponymous clown street to fight dangerous monsters.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The eponymous mask from The Haunted Mask, the Grool from It Came From Beneath the Sink.
  • Cloning Blues: In Stay Out of the Basement, this motivates Doctor Brewer's clone to turn against his creator. This is also the premise of I Am Your Evil Twin.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: In The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, Michael 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 is erased from existence due to the clock's "defect" 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..."
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Stanley, the superstitious, mentally ill farmhand in The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight. Deconstructed in that it makes him the villain character of the story, as he creates the eponymous evil scarecrows. And then he learns nothing from it, as shown in the obligatory Cruel Twist Ending.
    • Doctor Maniac in both of his books.
  • Competition Freak: Zack in Let's Get Invisible! Wilson Schlame in How I Learned To Fly, Sari Hassad in The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, and Elliot in The Horror at Camp Jellyjam.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: Book #15, "You Can't Scare Me!", has the main characters call their classmate Courtney to get her into the woods, at the tree house. The girl calling claims to be Courtney's friend Denise. Courtney's response:
    "That's weird. How can you be Denise when Denise is standing here right next to me?"
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Return of the Mummy and Creep from the Deep both have supernatural antagonists, while their previous books had just immoral humans.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The Haunted Mask is about a shy girl who has to deal with bullies, while the sequel is about that bully.
    • While the first 4 Monster Blood books had Straw Loser Evan Ross, Monster Blood for Breakfast had Matt Daniels, who is athletic and popular.
  • Cool Teacher: One of the first times that trope is 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.
    • Also, Miss Gold in Horrors of the Black Ring who is beloved by pretty much everyone, which is why it's so horrifying when it turns out she was the one trying to wreck the carnival due to the influence of the Black Ring.
    • There's a handful in the later series, such as as in Son of Slappy and How I Met My Monster.
    • Samantha in Be Careful What You Wish For attends a very laid-back school where teachers dress casually and are addressed by their given names.
  • Cool Uncle: Uncle Billy in ''Attack of the Christmas Present" who travels around the world and always gets Jack and his brother cool presents for Christmas.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: In My Hairiest Adventure, Larry seems to have one when he uses expired fake tan that causes hair to grow all over his body. Subverted with the Twist Ending that it actually happened because he was a dog temporarily turned into a human, and the effects were just wearing off.
  • Court Mage: Morgred in A Night in Terror Tower. He served the previous king, 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.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • As mentioned above, this could be a big problem, particularly for the revived HorrorLand series.
    • How I Learned to Fly 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 Jaws-inspired story, but has a story about friendly mermaids instead, with the shark only appearing in a small portion of the book.
    • The UK cover of ''Be Careful What You Wish For'' shows a shattered crystal ball with Samantha's face reflected in it. There is a crystal ball in the story, but it never breaks. The picture could also be interpreted as Samantha being trapped in the crystal ball, which doesn't happen either. The other notable thing about the cover is a major spoiler.
    • Sometimes, people anticipating that the cover is fake works in the book's favor. In the TV version of Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns, 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 famous cover of The Curse of Camp Cold Lake features a red-eyed skull with no nose rising out of the water. This creature never shows up in the book, and instead the antagonist is a ghost girl who, despite being partly transparent, is normal enough that Sarah doesn't immediately realize she's even a ghost.
    • The Horrorland books do this fairly consistently. The cover to Monster Blood for Breakfast for example features (presumably) the protagonist engulfed in the eponymous Blob Monster, while the main section of the book actually deals with Body Horror. Who's Your Mummy features a mummy ringing a doorbell; the only stereotypical mummies in the book are immobile.
    • The ghost on the cover of The Haunter is nowhere to be seen in the story, as the ghost is just a kid.
    • The Most Wanted series falls victim to this a lot. It's hard to believe their claim of the series containing the "most wanted" monsters when they are often not the ones depicted on the cover. The worst offender is Frankenstein's Dog which is actually about evil robots, and the dog never becomes a monster.
    • The cover for Son of Slappy makes it seem like the title will be literal, with Slappy somehow having an offspring. Instead, the '"son" is the protagonist, who is being controlled by Slappy.
  • Crapsack World: 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.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In The Haunter, Sammy and his classmates are assigned a project about haunted houses. Shanequa says she has everything they need, they'll just borrow her dad's ghost-hunting equipment.
  • Creepy Basement: Stay Out Of The Basement, Vampire Breath and I Live In Your Basement.
  • Creepy Cockroach: 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.
  • Crisis Crossover: The 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).
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Used every so often:
    • How To Kill A Monster: 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.
    • The Haunted School: The kids escape Greyworld, only to find out that their class photo will be taken by Mr. Chameleon, whom they realize too late was the photographer who sent the Class of '47 to Greyworld in the first place.
    • Werewolf Skin: The hero's (platonic) girlfriend is also a werewolf.
    • Ghost Beach: The kids' uncle and aunt are ghosts too.
    • Legend of the Lost Legend: Everyone's lost in a mystical forest until the end of time.
    • Nutcracker Nightmare: The ballet goes on for a long time, so long that Samantha grows out of her dress and her mother has grey hair. But then it ends! Not so fast, however; Ms. Boren, who cast the spell to slow down time, cheerfully reminds her it's a two-act ballet.
    • Double Dip Horror: The protagonist has just left her identical twin sister alone on a ski slope with a ghost that murders identical twins. All she can do is hope that Rachel isn't baited into racing with Bobby Judd.
    • In Don't Make Me Laugh! the two bullies learn why the aliens have forgotten to laugh: it hurts. The two are promptly ordered to be disintegrated.
    • In the book of Be Careful What You Wish For, the protagonist who got rid of the clumsy genie is screwed by her anyway as the new master, the Alpha Bitch, ordering her to "fly away" ends turning her into a crow. The episode is a laser-guided Karmic Twist Ending instead, as the new master asks to be admired by everyone and becomes a statue.
    • In The Barking Ghost the two human protagonists return the two former-dogs that stole their bodies into the log that swapped their minds, only to get their bodies swapped with squirrels instead. The TV version has a happier ending where they do get their bodies back, and it's the Big Brother Bully character who becomes a squirrel instead.
    • The Haunted Mask: Carly Beth finally gets the eponymous mask off... only for her brother to try it on for himself.
    • This tradition continues in the Horrorland books. For example, My Friends Call Me Monster ends with Michael 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.
    • Dr. Maniac Will See You Now ends with Richard deciding to stay in the comic book world to escape his horrible life, only for it to turn out his annoying younger brother stayed behind. And neither of them will grow older in this world.
    • The Wish: Max wishes he was an only child, due to his abusive older brother. He becomes the only child on Earth.
  • Crushing Handshake: Evan Ross receives three from bully Conan Barber in Monster Blood II, and each one is more painful than the last.
  • Crying Wolf: Many books include protagonists who are pranksters and then encounter an actual threat that nobody believes them about, but most notably The Girl Who Cried Monster, about a girl who constantly tells monster tales to freak people out. Eventually, she finds out that the librarian is a monster, but nobody believes her. Of course, this aesop is a bit undermined by the inherent nature of it — people may believe you if you say there's a wolf in town, but a bug-eyed monster? Unlikely in any case. It turns out that Her parents - as well as her and her brother - are actually monsters, which she didn't know at the time and they had been acting like they didn't believe her when they were planning to eat the librarian.
  • Cryptid Episode: The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, which is about a yeti, and Deep Trouble, which is about mermaids.
  • Cursed with Awesome: In Be Careful What You Wish For, Samantha considers ending up as a bird to be this, since she's now free from ever being bullied again.

    D 
  • Dad's Off Fighting in the War: The father of protagnist's grandfather in Zombie Halloween left to fight during World War II. He eventually died in the war.f
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: I Am Your Evil Twin has the protagonist finding out his cousin is actually his sister and the reason she was separated from Monty was because Mom had no way to support two kids.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Goosebumps 2000 series. Also, Welcome to Dead House, Stay Out of the Basement, A Night in Terror Tower, The Headless Ghost, and I Live in Your Basement are exceptionally scarier and gorier than the rest of the original series.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Often, the supposed "monster" of the story turns out to be rather benevolent, while the true villains are just sick, amoral people.
  • Dead All Along: The Ghost Next Door, Ghost Beach, the short story The Haunted House Game and Bad Dog.
  • Death by Deaging: A variation occurs in Cuckoo Clock of Doom, where the protagonist is gradually sent further and further into his own past by the eponymous object and has to find a way to reverse the process before he disappears.
  • Defanged Horrors: The series can be scary, but is overall fine for children.
  • Demonic Dummy: Quite a few throughout the Night of the Living Dummy books.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The grayworld in The Haunted School.
  • Denser and Wackier: The later entries in the original series tended to take this tone more and more, with a few exceptions.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The Legend of the Lost Legend.
  • Depraved Dentist: One of the "rides" in HorrorLand is called "The Happy Tooth Game" where kids are basically mutilated by robot dentists.
  • Description in the Mirror: Gary is described in this manner in Why I'm Afraid of Bees.
  • Deus ex 'Scuse Me: Several. In The Haunted Mask, it happens twice— once with the mask shop owner, and once with Carly-Beth's mom.
  • Died Happily Ever After: The Ghost Next Door ends with Hannah moving on to the afterlife with her family after she rescues Danny from a fiery death, allowing Shadow Danny to die.
  • Dirty Coward: The Galloping Gazelle in Attack of the Mutant when he abandons Skipper to the Masked Mutant's mercy.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • A Wicked Witch in Chicken Chicken transformed kids into literal chickens because they knocked over her groceries in the street and then ran away without apologizing. (One kid who stammered out an apology before 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 grouchy neighbor. Their crime? Kicking a soccer ball through her living room window.
    • Mr. Grimsley in The Chalk Closet 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, Sarah's bunkmates Briana, Meg and Jan all indulge in this. First, Sarah nearly has a panic attack at the thought of sleeping next to a screen-less window and bugs getting in, so she convinces a counselor to switch Briana to the empty bed so Sarah can have the bed Briana was occupying, infuriating Briana and Meg because they wanted to share bunk beds. Annoying? Yes, but the girls still share the same cabin and Briana and Meg are still sleeping within mere feet of each other. Then Sarah accidentally offends Meg about her height but doesn’t really insult her, as Meg was the one who complained about her shortness in the first place and rudely snapped at Sarah when she tried to insert herself into the conversation, and then got mad when Sarah tried to agree with her. Sarah then reveals to everyone that Jan has asthma, and it was an honest accident as well, plus even if accidental, it was the right thing to do anyway, as Jan hiding her condition could've very easily put her health at risk. The three girls react to these rather annoying yet minor offenses that Sarah apologized for by shunning and bullying her, including pretending to be friendly so they can slip a snake down her back, and Jan even tips the canoe as revenge, knowing that Sarah's a bad swimmer, and then tells the counselor that Sarah did it.
    • In Night of the Giant Everything, Stephen accidentally breaks an egg in Ava's kitchen. Her and Courtney respond by mixing up chemicals in the lab and putting it in his water to ruin his magic trick. However, downplayed as it turned out they lied and just put vinegar in.
    • In Nutcracker Nightmare, Mrs. Boren magically ages everyone in the audience at a performance of The Nutcracker (with the implication that at least some of them will die of old age) all because Sam complained of being bored.
  • Distant Prologue: The Horror at Chiller House, Wanted: The Haunted Mask, Zombie Halloween, The 12 Screams of Christmas and I Am Slappy's Evil Twin all begin with prologues set some decades prior to set up the backstory.
  • Distinguishing Mark: My Hairiest Adventure.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "Santa's Little Helpers," Beth and Spenser have been teasing their little sister by saying she's not related to them and that there is no Santa Claus. They also make her pull a sled up a high hill with them sitting on it, before taking off without her. Quite fittingly, thanks to them wearing red and green snowsuits and staying out too late, they're kidnapped by Santa's elves who mistake them for runaway workers. They try to prove who they really are to avoid eighteen-hour shifts for two years and lead the elves to their house. Diane answers the door, sees that Santa is real and her siblings are at his elves' mercy. She then calmly answers that they've always said that she's not their sister and they also said Santa Claus doesn't exist. Cue the elves dragging the two "liar" twins back to the North Pole and Diane asking them to tell Santa she was good this year.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: My Hairiest Adventure, in which a bunch of kids start spontaneously growing hair in unexpected places... really?
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind:
    • Libby in Attack of The Mutant, who is actually the eponymous villain in disguise.
    • In "Monster Blood", the villain turns out to be Sarabeth the cat, who is actually a witch that cursed Evan's aunt to be her slave for years in addition to being the one that made the eponymous substance evil.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Werewolf Skin: The hero's friend turns out to be a werewolf and bites him, either cursing or outright killing him.
    • How to Kill a Monster: The protagonists somewhat unintentionally kill a monster and end up trapped in the swamps surrounded by the monster's relatives.
    • The Curse of Camp Cold Lake: The story ends with Sarah's imminent death by snakebite at Briana's hands, so they can be ghost buddies forever. Considering how miserable her life was, she might not mind...
    • The Haunted School: The protagonists escape Grayworld with help from Thalia, but can't save her and the other trapped students. They return to the school dance in time for a class picture, where they discover way too late that the photographer is the same one who sent the class of 1947 to Grayworld. He snaps the picture, presumably trapping them for good and stealing Bellwood's children all over again.
    • Son of Slappy: Jackson is unable to defeat Slappy and he gets banned from the Youth Center he works for. And then he finds out his sister was working for Slappy the whole time and the book ends with Slappy taking control over him again.
  • Dream Melody: In Beware, the Snowman, the protagonist suddenly remembers the opening lyrics to a nursery rhyme from her childhood. The protagonist doesn't know the meaning of the lyrics or the second half of the poem.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty:
    • Uncle Al of Welcome to Camp Nightmare although most of it's an act.
  • Dumbwaiter Ride: In The Headless Ghost, one of the ghosts was a rich Spoiled Brat in life who was addicted to ice cream that his butler would bring up to his bedroom through a dumbwaiter. One time, he greedily crawled inside after he got tired of waiting and immediately fell to his death.

    E 
  • Easy Amnesia: Parodied in the short story Tune in Tomorrow, where someone in a TV show Elizabeth is watching loses her memory, and Elizabeth comments that this only happens on TV.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: 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).
    • Several of the early books were written in limited third-person narration, including books 2, 3, 4, 7, 10 and 11. Most (though not all) books after this point were written in first-person narration, similar to the first book in the series.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Some of the books do end with legitimate happy endings:
    • In Why I'm Afraid of Bees, perennial loser Gary Lutz goes through quite an ordeal in the body of a bee, but manages to go back into his original body, and after all he went through, things change for him, becoming much more well liked and making friends for the first time ever. He still kept some traits from the bee he was stuck in, but it's shown to be pretty harmless.
    • A Night in Terror Tower ends with court sorcerer Morgred helps Sue and Eddie escape from certain death by once again using his magic to send them into the future (as in present day at the time), except that to prevent himself from being killed by the king, Morgred goes along with them and becomes their adoptive father, with all three now able to live happily and safe.
    • In The Horror at Camp Jellyjam protagonist Wendy discovers the truth behind the camp, and thanks to her bravery and quick thinking, evil monster King Jellyjam is killed, which releases all the counselors from his hypnotic hold and saves the kids enslaved into washing him nonstop, and shortly afterwards Wendy and Elliot are reunited with their parents and get to go back home.
    • Beware the Snowman ends with local hermit Conrad using his magical powers to direct an army of snowmen to attack and seal the evil monster that was about to kill the protagonist, Jaclyn, after it tricked her into releasing him, then Jaclyn's aunt Greta reveals that Konrad and Jaclyn are father and daughter, and they're thrilled to finally meet each other.
    • In How I Learned to Fly, during a huge televised flying race, Jack pretends to lose his ability to fly so he can finally retreat from the spotlight and spend time with the girl he secretly loves while Wilson is forced to spend the rest of his life with the heavy burden of fame.
    • Michael in The Cuckoo Clock Of Doom, who has been tormented by his horrible sister all his life, reverses time by mistake and has to relive every humiliating moment his sister puts him through and almost ceases to exist due to the time reversal reverting him to a baby. At the end he not only fixes the flow of time but as a side effect makes it so his sister never existed, allowing him to enjoy his birthday party and have a good time with his potential Love Interest, among other things.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: 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.
  • Eccentric Exterminator: 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. 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.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: 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 implies the possibility that the entire plot may very well have been the result of the Erin robot's programming going haywire.
  • Enemy Without:
    • In The Ghost Next Door, the shadow that is stalking Hannah claims to be the future ghost of her neighbor.
    • Norband in Headless Halloween is some sort of alternate version of Brandon, though he claims he "dressed up" as Brandon that year.
  • Enfant Terrible: Tara Webster from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom and Hannah from Strained Peas.
  • Etiquette Nazi: In Chicken Chicken, the witch Vanessa turns Crystal and Cole into chickens for not apologizing after knocking her over. She only changes them back after they write her a thank you note for trying to teach them good manners (the apology note they wrote was not enough for Vanessa).
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The random ice hockey penguins in the Attack of the Mutant PC game
  • Eldritch Abomination: King Jellyjam.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog:
    • Subverted in the short story Bad Dog. 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.
    • In Ghost Beach, dogs are killed by ghosts because they reveal their nature, and in the ending the protagonists' dog gives it away that their aunt and uncle are ghosts too.
    • In Phantom of the Auditorium a dog barks at Brian, who is later revealed to be a ghost, though not evil.
    • In Welcome To The Dead House the protagonists dog Petey barks at everyone in the town because they are zombies. He gets killed by them eventually.
  • Evil Feels Good: Carly-Beth in The Haunted Mask.
  • Evil Twin: I Am Your Evil Twin, enough said.
  • Evil Wears Black: Vanessa from Chicken Chicken.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The Masked Mutant and Slappy come to mind, especially in the TV show. Also, Dr. Maniac and Purple Rage.
  • Evil Uncle: 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, Edward and Susannah of York, Eddie and Sue's real identities.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Halloween Game is literally a Halloween game. It's a pitch for a Halloween-themed video game.
  • Exact Words: 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. 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.
  • The Executioner: The Lord High Executioner from "A Night In Terror Tower" and "Return to Terror Tower" is the chief enforcer of King Robert tasked by him to execute his nephew and niece (Robert having overthrown their father). A dedicated sociopath, once tasked to kill, nothing will stand in his way of carrying out the sentence. His dedication is so great that he flows Sue and Eddie through time itself (when a friendly wizard sends them hundreds of years into the future), outright mocking them for thinking that would enough to stop him.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Played with in Attack of the Mutant. In the climax, main protagonist Skipper Matthews is facing villain "The Masked Mutant", but then claims that he's not a normal human - he's actually a superhero, the "Colossal Elastic Boy", and quite happily explains the only thing that can destroy him - sulfuric acid. The Masked Mutant quickly thanks him for revealing this, and prepares to kill him. The catch? Skipper was lying, or so he thinks. His real motive was to take advantage of a weakness in the Masked Mutant's own powers - the Mutant can rearrange his molecules and become anything solid. Skipper changed him into becoming a liquid, which he can't turn back from.
  • Extruded Book Product: After a while, the series turned into this; it is possible that, 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.
    • However, in a Reddit Q&A, R.L. Stine asserts that he wrote every single Goosebumps book. Although some of the spinoffs such as a couple of the Tales to give you Goosebumps stories have been confirmed to be ghost-written.

    F 
  • Fate Worse than Death: Often the implication (overt or covert) of the Twist Ending. Examples include 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).
  • Face Death with Dignity: 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.
  • Faux Horrific: Technically, nothing horrifying happens in "A Holly Jolly Holiday". Regardless, the narrator gets concerned how a cursed videotape is turning her family's hair red and making them so cheesily pleasant to each other. She gets horrified when learning that she can't swear.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In Calling All Creeps, the whole story ends on this note. After seeing how futile opposing the Creeps is, and wanting revenge against his bullying classmates, Ricky decides in the end to become a Creep himself, because he would be their leader.
  • Fiction Isn't Fair: Why I'm Afraid Of Bees has a pretty Egregious example. Gary Lutz goes to some body switching service to get his mind put in a cool kid's body but it gets put in a bee's body by mistake. When Gary (in bee form) finally contacts the company, they say the other kid refuses to give up the his body and there's nothing they can do. While body switching isn't real, if it were, It's safe to say that if someone refused to give your body back the cops would track them down just as if someone borrowed your car and wouldn't give it back. Not to mention Gary's parents could sue the company's ass off for making such a horrendous mistake in the first place.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: Say Cheese and Die - Again! has another young actress as Shari when she's had her picture taken.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: 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.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Sarah and Aaron in The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, Billy and Sheena in Deep Trouble, Josh and Amanda in Welcome to Dead House, Luke and Lizzy in One Day at Horrorland, Joe and Mindy in Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes and Freddy and Kate in The Lizard of Oz, with the foolish and responsible respectively. A more non-protagonist example as well would be Jed and Sara in Night of the Living Dummy II, with middle child Amy in-between.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Subverted. It seems clear that if the book is told in first-person, then the protagonist must make it out okay, but that's not always the case. Among others, you have to wonder how Samantha Byrd or Sarah Maas are telling their stories, or to who, given the situations they end their books in.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Be Careful What You Wish For, Judith's taunt, "Why don't you fly away, Byrd?" ends up being this. Samantha does just that at the end, after she turns into an actual bird.
    • Early on in Calling All Creeps, Wart pins Ricky to the ground, and Iris shouts at him to let him up. Wart seems confused for a moment, like he's unsure what to do, and oddly enough, he obeys. Also, some of the dialogue from him, Jared, David and Brenda in the early chapters is a little "off" considering they're human teenagers. It turns out that they aren't human, but aliens who are posing as human bullies.
    • Early in ''The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, Sarah keeps emphasizing that she is a terrible swimmer. When she gets the idea to pretend to drown and scare her cabin mates, she ends up nearly drowning for real and attracts the attention of a ghost named Della. It's only because a counselor gives her CPR that she lives.
    • A Shocker on Shock Street has a few bits of it, such as Mr. Wright telling Mary not to blow a fuse. Because he's a robot.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Why I'm Afraid of Bees deals with the aftermath of a faulty one, and The Barking Ghost has one with some evil ghost dogs.
  • For Science!: In Deep Trouble, this is Dr. Deep's only justification for kidnapping a mermaid and he needs the money. In I Am Your Evil Twin, the villain actually begins his Motive Rant with the proclamation "I am a scientist!"
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Attack of the Mutant and The Blob that Ate Everyone. The Horrorland book Doctor Maniac vs Robby Schwartz can be called a mashup of these two.
    • This was also the plot of the 2015 movie, in which an army of villains from the books escape into the real world.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Ari Goodwyn in Revenge of the Invisible Boy.
  • Friendly Ghost: Most of the ghosts turn out to be the Non-Malicious Monster in the books, specifically Hannah.

    G 
  • The Game Come to Life: Escape From Shudder Mansion is an interesting example as the titular game is inspired by an actual in-universe haunted house, so it's more like life comes to the game.
  • The Game Plays You: In the story "The Haunted House Game", a group of children play a board game of the same name where each command they land on becomes true. It turns out that they're all ghosts who died playing the original game and are reliving the same events over and over again.. This is also the premise of Be Afraid-Be Very Afraid!.
  • Gang of Bullies: Wart, Jared, David, and Brenda in Calling All Creeps, who not only like to make fun of Ricky (as does everyone else), they even try to injure him For the Evulz and humiliate him in front of his only friend, Barry, Marv and Karl in Why I'm Afraid of Bees, who beat up Gary together, and to a lesser extent, Sarah's bunkmates Jan, Meg and Briana, who at least had an excuse, if a flimsy one, for disliking Sarah, but still bully, shun and play cruel pranks on her for very little reason, though they apologize and become friends with her later in the book.
  • Gainax Ending: The Blob That Ate Everyone: All of the book's events are fictional and part of a story being written by blob monsters.
  • Gender Bender: Couples with Fridge Horror in Why I'm Afraid of Bees, as it's not explicitly stated in the book, but when Gary is transformed into a worker bee, the realization comes that all worker bees are female.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Far too many to count, perhaps to assist with the Purely Aesthetic Gender. Notable examples are:
    • Andy from the Monster Blood series, whose 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).
    • Downplayed with Margaret's younger brother Casey from Stay Out of the Basement, which is a slightly more unisex name.
    • Wanted: The Haunted Mask has a little sister named Dale.
  • Genre Anthology: The Tales to Give You Goosebumps short-story books, the "Triple Header" novellas, and the Goosebumps TV show.
  • Genre Savvy: Tamara in Broken Dolls. Upon receiving the old woman doll, she gets her brother to try and break it before anything else can happen.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Spidey's camera in Say Cheese and Die!.
  • Ghostly Goals: Every ghost in the series.
  • Ghost Pirate: Captain Long Ben One Leg and his crew from Creep from the Deep
  • Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks: Not in the books themselves, really, but depictions of twisty turny flasks and beakers and tubing were used on the covers for Jekyll and Heidi and the first reissue of Stay Out of the Basement.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Escape From Shudder Mansion ends with Riley pushing the reset button in the eponymous house, which brings him back to the start of the night to go through all the horrors again. Since he lost his memory, it's likely he will push the reset button again.
  • Green Goo: Monster Blood, especially since it's constantly growing and will eat pretty much anything.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • In The Werewolf of Fever Swamp the eponymous 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, 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.
    • Let's Get Invisible, a mirror and its connected lightbulb that at first just seems to pull off a supernatural trick of turning people who turn on the light invisible that in fact turns out to be a portal to a parallel universe where one is usurped by their cold-hearted doppleganger if they stay invisible too long and get sucked into the mirror.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Surprisingly. Quite a few of the protagonists (Evan, Sarah, Greg, Todd, etc.) can be insufferably selfish assholes, while some of the monsters and antagonists have sympathetic motivations for their evil.

    H 
  • Hall of Mirrors: In the book 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. Oddly enough, mirrors are banned at Horrorland in the spin-off series because they are portals to Panic Park.
  • Hand Waved: 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.
  • Hate Sink: More often than not, the human side-characters prove to be far more despicable than any of the monsters or supernatural entities. You can't exactly hate lonely ghosts and inhuman creatures. Greedy and stupid adults or sadistic children, on the other hand...
  • Haunted House Historian: One found in The Headless Ghost.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: At the end of The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, Sarah vows to learn from Brianna's example that she will not be afraid of camp anymore and become a nicer person, so that no other camper will be murdered by Della. Brianna then reveals that Della did kill her, and picks up a poisonous snake to bite Sarah and have a "buddy" for life.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Morgred the Magician in ''A Night In Terror Tower." Out of memory for Edward and Susannah's parents, he sent them to the future with modified memories. The High Executioner confiscated the time travelling stones that Morgred used to do the job and recapture the children. It's implied that the new king will execute Morgred for his actions, so Morgred tries to curry favor by not letting them escape the second time. Then the kids bring him to the future, where he's happy to be their parent and that they're all alive.
  • Here We Go Again!: 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. 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Skipper tricks the Masked Mutant into turning into acid, his supposed weakness.
    • King Jellyjam suffocates from his own stench after the campers stop washing him.
  • Hope Spot:
    • I Am Your Evil Twin. Nan discovers the Monty she picked is really one of the evil clones, and he reveals how he carefully set it up so Nan and her father would believe he was the real Monty. The Monty clone fails to realize there's nothing stopping Nan or her father from now rescuing the real Monty since the clone stupidly revealed the truth.
    • The Haunted School. The ending implies that Tommy and the kids in his class will be sent to Greyworld by Mr. Chameleon and trapped like the 1947 class was. However, Thalia can just as easily open another doorway into the color world using her lipstick if it still has its color by the time Tommy and the others show up. And even if it doesn't, Tommy can most likely burn open a doorway using his lighter, or any of the many other kids in their class can easily have an object that can allow them to open a doorway.
  • Homemade Sweater from Hell: The mother of the protagonists of Santa's Helper creates ugly green and red snowsuits for them. This ends up getting them mistaken for elves.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Uncle Ben in the Mummy books, and Dr. Deep in Deep Trouble. Also, the Websters in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom when it comes to their daughter Tara.
  • Horror Comedy: The books are often a combination of a scary and goofy at the same time. Although in some cases this is more due to Narm than a deliberate stylistic choice.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: There have been several stories set around various holidays
    • Christmas Episode: The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, More & More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps, and The 12 Screams of Christmas.
    • Halloween Episode:
      • General: All of The Haunted Mask stories, as well as Still More Tales to Give You Goosebumps.
      • Goosebumps: Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns and Werewolf Skin
      • Give Yourself Goosebumps: One Night in Payne House and Trick or... Trapped!
      • Haunted Library: "The Halloween Game"
      • Goosebumps Series 2000: Headless Halloween and Full Moon Fever
      • HorrorLand: Weirdo Halloween
      • Hall of Horrors: The Five Masks of Dr. Screem
      • Most Wanted: Zombie Halloween, Trick or Trap, and The Haunter
    • New Year Has Come: Slappy New Year!
    • Easter: Egg Monsters From Mars
  • Horror Hunger: Full Moon Fever. The protagonists turn into wolf-like monsters who are constantly hungry, eating anything they come across.
  • Human Aliens: Used as Twist Ending in Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns, My Best Friend is Invisible, and Welcome to Camp Nightmare. Also, the Tales story Aliens in the Garden.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Utilized as part of the twist ending of My Best Friend Is Invisible. Brent is revealed to be a human, much to the disgust of Sammy and his family, who find what we consider to be normal features absolutely abhorrent.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: A surprisingly recurring theme. Examples include Deep Trouble, Egg Monsters From Mars, How I Got My Shrunken Head, and How I Learned To Fly.
  • Humanity Ensues: Why I'm Afraid of Bees, Stay Out of the Basement, and My Hairiest Adventure.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • Chicken Chicken. One of the most grotesque and agonizing examples in children's literature.
    • In the same vein, Why I'm Afraid Of Bees, another book with a long-suffering protagonist who experiences various lengths of Body Horror.
    • Revenge R Us. The protagonist Wade has a Jerkass brother who basically lives to make her life hell, from deliberately driving by and splashing her with water and mud to reading her diary on the public pool loudspeaker. She goes to the eponymous business to get her revenge on him, and the witch leading the business has all of her revenge spells on Wade's brother somehow transfer to Wade. Her third revenge spell erases him entirely, and after she begins executing a plan to get him back, she finds Micah who explains that he has Out-Gambitted her and the entire book was his revenge plot on her. At least in the end, he gets turned into a frog... alongside her.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Horror at Chiller House has Jonathan Chiller and his hunters hunting for kids under the guise of a scavenger hunt.

    I 

  • I Am Not Shazam: The Beast From The East is the name of the game that the beasts play, not the name of the beasts themselves.
  • I Am Not Weasel: The blue variant of Monster Blood in Monster Blood IV actually turns out to be a genetics experiment Gone Horribly Wrong which the creator dumped inside an empty Monster Blood can when he couldn't find a proper container.
  • Imaginary Enemy: The "best friend" from My Best Friend is Invisible often gets the main character in a lot of trouble out of boredom, and of course no one will believe his wild stories about an invisible friend. Then the ending reveals that the main character is actually an evil alien who only looks human and the invisible friend is a scared human boy who survived the invasion of Earth by becoming invisible.
  • In Medias Res: Calling All Creeps, Revenge of the Living Dummy, My Friends Call Me Monster, and The Haunter all start this way.
  • I See Dead People: Kate Wells in The 12 Screams of Christmas has the power to see ghosts.
    • Shep Mooney in The Ghost of Slappy is the only person capable of seeing the ghost that's haunting his house.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The premise of Night of the Giant Everything, which is actually a reworked version of a scrapped Series 2000 book, fittingly called The Incredible Shrinking 5th Grader.
  • Instructional Title: How to Kill a Monster
  • I Never Got Any Letters: In Welcome to Camp Nightmare, the campers are expected to write to their parents every day. Except main protagonist Billy discovers an entire sack full of these letters, which aren't being mailed out.
    • Hannah in The Ghost Next Door is confused and upset when she realizes that none of her friends have bothered to write to her over the summer. It turns out this is because she is the eponymous ghost and died years ago.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: The bullies in Trick or Trap film a prank they play on the protagonists and put it on Youtube.
  • Insufferable Genius: Courtney in You Can't Scare Me!, Kermit in the Monster Blood series, Sara in Night of the Living Dummy II, and Nicole in The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena.
  • Invisible Main Character: Revenge of the Invisible Boy
  • Invisible Streaker: Discussed but Averted in My Best Friend is Invisible—when asked, the eponymous character says that he is wearing clothes.

    J 

  • Jerk Jock: Conan Barber in the Monster Blood series.
  • Jerkass: A good number of these types of characters can be found in pretty much all these books. Special mention goes to Mr. Saur from Say Cheese and Die - Again, Larry from Welcome To Camp Nightmare, Judith from Be Careful What You Wish For..., Conan and Kermit from the Monster Blood series, Todd from Go Eat Worms, Mickey from The Barking Ghost, Chuck and Steve from The Haunted Mask series, and practically everyone who isn't Ricky or Iris in Calling All Creeps, most notoriously Wart, Jared, David, and Brenda. But the worst of them all is easily Michael's bratty little sister Tara from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, who has no purpose in the story outside of making Michael's life a living hell.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Oftentimes, when the protagonist first discovers whatever paranormal thing is going on in the book, he tells someone, (usually a teacher) who just blows him off, and we are meant to see them as a jerk for doing this, even though in the vast majority of cases their only evidence is their unverifiable say so, meaning most people who aren't Super Gullible would be skeptical.

    K 

  • Karma Houdini:
    • Brandon in Headless Halloween. 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 Alpha Bitch in Be Careful What You Wish For escapes all consequences and dooms Samantha with a spiteful wish to become a bird. On the other hand, she still has two wishes left, and Samantha feels sure that her number will soon be up. The TV episode 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.
    • Zane in Night of the Living Dummy 3. In the book, he is never exposed for the misdeeds he did to get Trina and Dan in trouble as revenge for al the times they scared him in previous visits, leaving the two grounded for a very long time for the trouble he (and later Slappy) caused and him with a warm goodbye from his uncle and aunt. However, this is averted in the TV adaptation, where he is caught redhanded, clearing Trina and Dan's name and he is given the same punishment Trina and Dan's parents gave them for when they were thought to be guilty: long and hard chores. Though once he's paid for his crimes, he's forgiven and on good terms with his relatives, resulting in a much more pleasant goodbye then in the book.
    • 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. They do reassure Drew that they won't be eating her since she's too skinny and they're friends.
    • Kermit, Evan's cousin from the third and fourth Monster Blood books, never receives any comeuppance or punishment for all the trouble he causes.
    • Tara from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom always gets away with being an incredibly nasty child without ever receiving any punishments, as only her brother Michael can see her true colors while their parents not only encourage it, but actively take part in it at times. The ending of the book totally averts this, though, as Tara gets erased out of existence by accident.
  • Karmic Twist Ending:
    • Click: 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.
    • The Cuckoo Clock of Doom: Michael's bratty little sister that specializes in making his life a living hell finally gets her comeuppance when he accidentally erases her from existence.
    • Shell Shocker: Tara Bennett helps out a talking shell find something in a cave, but only for the glory of finding a talking shell. It turns out the cave has the shell's mother, a giant crab that grabs her
    • The short story "Please Don't Feed the Bears" has this for the main character's bratty little sister. At Cuddle Bear Land, Sarah was nearly turned into a Cuddle Bear when a cast member gives her enchanted graham crackers. When she freaks out on finding some in her bag, she decides to keep it in case a lab can analyze it. After she and her family return home, Katie sneaks into her room and gobbles up the whole bag. Sarah, realizing there's nothing to be done, decides to enjoy her new Cuddle Bear.
    • "Santa's Helpers": Spenser and Beth have spent the whole story mocking their little sister Diane for looking different and believing in Santa. Surprise, surprise, it turns out that Santa is real and mistakes the twins for being runaway workers. They end up relying on Diane to identify them, and she points out they've always said she was never their sister. The twins are seen as liars and dragged back to the North Pole for eternal labor.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • The Girl who Cried Monster: Lucy's parents, who are revealed as monsters, gruesomely devour the villain, much to their children's delight.
    • Egg Monsters From Mars: 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: 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: The TV adaptation ends with the protagonists, revealed as robots, preparing to exact brutal revenge on their "father" for trying to discard them.
  • Kid Hero: 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.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Oh, so many.
    • Pretty much the entire point of Calling All Creeps, both with the school bullies and Tasha.
    • Several books contain bullies the same age as the main character (most of whom are 12 years of age) who display absolutely no redeeming qualities and are defined solely for their nasty, bullying ways. Examples include Conan Barber from the Monster Blood books, Judith from Be Careful What You Wish For, and Brandon (a unique instance of a bully being the main character) and his best friend Cal from Headless Halloween.
    • Tara from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom may as well be the poster child for this trope, and it's even implied when Michael goes back in time that she was this horrible all her life, even when she was just two years old.
    • Kermit from the Monster Blood books, who's right up there with Tara in terms of being an odious troublemaker.
    • Sarah's cabinmates Briana, Jan and Meg from The Curse of Camp Cold Lake. While there's no denying that Sarah's awkwardness and fears can be annoying, the three girls seriously overreact to Sarah's relatively minor and accidental transgressions and delight in bullying her without any signs of remorse or pity (though they feel guilty and apologize later in the book).
    • 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.
  • Kill It with Water: In Who's Your Mummy, the villains are destroyed by contact with water. Even a small handful that Abby spits out from her mouth is enough to cause them to disintegrate into ashes.

    L 

  • Lack of Empathy: Many of the parents and adults, but special nods go towards Tara Webster, Brandon Plush, Mr. Saur, Conan, Micah, Judith, the counselors at Camp Nightmoon, and the Horrorland Horrors.
  • Latex Perfection: The Haunted Mask series. Though as it turns out, the masks aren't made of latex...
  • Lethal Chef: Alexander in Deep Trouble.
  • Literal Genie: In Be Careful What You Wish For 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 (in the book, they all become sick. In the TV show, they become klutzy just like her), her wish for everyone to leave her alone has her (and the wish-granting witch) to be the last people on Earthnote , her wish for the Alpha Bitch to become her friend turns said girl into an insane stalker, then she wishes for the Alpha Bitch to have found the wish-granting crone instead. She ends up as a bird thanks to the other girl's wish (which, according to Sam, is actually the best wish that ever came true for her, because now she doesn't have to deal with being an awkward preteen girl).
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday:
    • Again, The Haunted Mask.
  • Living Shadow: The villain of The Ghost Next Door, who is stalking Hannah. Turns out he's the future spirit of Danny, and wants to keep Hannah from preventing his death.
  • Love Potion:Be Careful What You Wish For has a non-romantic variation where a dorky girl helps an old woman who turns out to be a witch and gives her three wishes for her kindness. She wishes that the Alpha Bitch in her class who always bullies her will think that she's the greatest person who ever lived. They quickly become BFFs to everyone else's confusion, but she becomes so obsessed with her new best friend that she can't stop thinking about her and shows up to her house in the middle of the night.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Beware, The Snowman. It turns out to be a lie though. Also, the end of Stay Out Of The Basement, by a flower, no less.

    M 

  • Mad Artist: Piano Lessons can be Murder: Mr Toggle kills students and enslaves their hands... so he can get them to play perfect music.
  • Mad Scientist: Almost too many to count; Margaret and Casey's dad (and the clones he made) in Stay Out of the Basement, Evan's cousin Kermit in Monster Blood III, Larry's "doctor"note  in My Hairiest Adventure, Sam's parents in My Best Friend is Invisible, and Erin's father in A Shocker on Shock Street. Often the mad scientist (or some sort of researcher who, if not specifically "Mad", is at least a jerk who does his job due to promises of money and prestige) 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 (parts one and two and the TV version that had part two's plot and part one's title), and Egg Monsters from Mars.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Apparently, the magical raven from Revenge 'R' Us has an arbitrary rule attached: if you use it to cast three curses in one day, the 4th one affects you as well as your target.
  • Magic Hair: In Who's Your Mummy?, Abby and Peter's hair contains a rare protein that keeps mummies alive.
  • Magical Camera:
    • 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.
  • Magic Feather: The pen and the typewriter in The Blob That Ate Everyone
  • Magic Mirror: Let's Get Invisible, 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.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Kind of inverted in with The Lord High Executioner and The Masked Mutant. When the former shows up in Terror Tower, he instead appears as a quiet man in a black cape and hat — though the TV version has him as a more sinister man who doesn't wear a mask. 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.
  • Mama Bear/Papa Wolf:
    • 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 The Masquerade to humans.
    • The giant worm in Go Eat Worms that attacks Todd for his experiments with her babies.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Mr. Toggle, the "robotician" from Piano Lessons Can Be Murder.
  • Mandatory Twist Ending: The series does 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 most of the kids were actually dogs, who were transformed into humans by a doctor who wanted couples to have children, but the serum he injected them with wasn't stable enough to keep the dogs as kids forever.
    • Welcome To Camp Nightmare, which takes place on an alien planet, mentioned in the final sentences.
    • Vampire Breath, in which Cara and Freddy find a bottle of "Werewolf Sweat".
    • My Best Friend is Invisible, in which every character except Brent is a multi-headed creature with more than two eyes and suction cups on their head who have taken over the Earth and have found the last human, who was seen as invisible so the aliens wouldn't spot him.
  • Mental Time Travel:
    • The Cuckoo Clock of Doom is based around a cuckoo clock which causes the protagonist to jump back to earlier points in his life starting with the previous day. The problem is that it keeps going further back in time with no sign of stopping, probably erasing him from existence eventually.
    • Stuck in 1957 is about a girl who finds a pair of glasses that send her to the eponymous year. Only for some reason the girl appears to have a completely separate life in this year, including another family, so it's more like she's been sent into another universe.
  • Medium Awareness: The Masked Mutant. He also uses this to lure Skipper into a trap, since the boy reads all his stories.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Protagonist Amy Kramer in Night of the Living Dummy II. Aside from being The Unfavorite of the family, she never seems to have anything interesting to share during Family Sharing Night (a tradition the Kramer family implemented that involves them sharing something special every Thursday night) since she isn't as talented as her older sister and not a total goof-off like her younger brother.
    • Robby's brother Sam in Dr. Maniac Vs Robby Shwartz.
  • Mind Control: The camp counselors in The Horror at Camp Jellyjam
  • Mind Screw: I Live in Your Basement is this... and then some.
  • Missing Mom: Aaron's Mom in The Werewolf in the Living Room died a couple years prior to the events of the book.
  • Mirror Monster:
    • Lets Get Invisible features a mirror that turns you invisible, but if you stay invisible too long, your reflection forces you to switch places with it.
    • The final Series 2000 book, Ghost in the Mirror, which has a mirror doubling as a portal to a dimension of bodysnatching crab people.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Evan in the Monster Blood series is a constant victim of this when it comes to Conan. Whenever any of Kermit's experiments backfire on Conan, the latter takes it out on Evan and gives him a good beating every time.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The Werewolf of Fever Swamp mentions "swamp deer" from South America. The swamp deer is native to India.
  • Mistaken for Quake:
    • 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 frequent earthquakes are actually King Jellyjam burping underground.
  • Most Writers Are Adults
  • Mundanger: It's very rare to encounter a Goosebumps book that doesn't feature fantasy or supernatural elements. The Series 2000 books Are You Terrified Yet? and Scream School are among the few that qualify.
  • My Beloved Smother: Marco's mother in I Live In Your Basement is incredibly overprotective of him, even going as far to prevent Marco from sharpening his pencils because she believes he'll poke his eye, much to Marco's annoyance.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: 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 innocent police officers who save him, Zach is appalled.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: The Lord High Executioner may or may not have been loyal to the former king and queen. But when the siblings' usurper uncle ordered their death, the executioner intends to do so without question.

    N 

  • Nails on a Blackboard: This is what anyone banished to the The Chalk Closet is forced to listen to for all eternity.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Tara the Terrible. She really lives up to it.
    • In Earth Geeks Must Go, the protagonist is offered the opportunity to return to earth in a spaceship invented by someone known as "Crazy Ol' Phil." This ends about as well as you would expect.
  • Negative Continuity: Most of the sequels ignore the twist endings of the previous books, and sometimes other plot elements.
    • The Monster Blood books. The first book ends with the reveal that the Monster Blood was actually from a botched magic spell Evan's aunt's former roommate tried to use against her, 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 II he's alive and well with no mention of what happened in the previous book.
  • Nephewism: It's very common for the books to feature a visit to aunts / uncles with little or no mention of parents; or an orphaned protagonist that lives with an aunt / uncle. Special mention goes to Alex in Werewolf Skin, whose parents leave him with his aunt and uncle apparently indefinitely and he starts going to school there.
  • Nervous Wreck: Gates in It's Alive! It's Alive!
    • Shep Mooney in The Ghost of Slappy is pretty much constantly in a state of panic even before Slappy comes along. This is largely because he's frightened of the ghost in his basement, but he's nervous and twitchy even when he is nowhere near her.
  • Nested Story Reveal:
    • 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. It Makes Sense in Context.
    • Done again in Be Afraid—Be Very Afraid!. Twice. Both times, the chapter cuts off with "You Finish The Story", and the next chapter starts with a person reacting with disgust to this reveal.
    • The majority of Dr. Maniac Vs. Robby Schwartz is revealed to be a comic strip Robbie was doing, which his mother is reading over his shoulder after he finishes it.
  • Never Sleep Again: In Don't Go To Sleep!, the main character is shunted to a different alternate universe whenever he falls asleep.
  • Never Trust a Title: Often, the eponymous ghost/monster/whatever isn't the real enemy. Examples include Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena and Frankenstein's Dog.
    • The Haunter does not feature any ghost that goes under that name, and he is no more of a haunter than any other ghost in the series.
    • The Birthday Party of No Return has only one scene taking place at a birthday party, which is just used for a dramatic setting for the climax of the story and doesn't intrinsically have anything to do with the problem at hand (the protagonist being affected by a cursed artefact.)
    • The Haunted Mask and The Haunted School don't involve ghosts of any kind.
  • New House, New Problems: A common setup for the books is the protagnist moving to a new house, only for it to contain some sort of evil. Notable examples includeWelcome to Dead House, in which the house is in a town full of living dead, and It Came From Beneath the Sink, where the house is home to a monster that causes bad luck.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • The end of Be Careful What You Wish For, from Samantha's perspective. Judith uses her first wish to turn Samantha into a bird. As far as Sam's concerned, this means she's now free from ever being bullied again, so she's very grateful to her for it.
    • Occurs within A Night In Terror Tower. Technically with the heirs to the throne sent to the future, with no memories of their past life and no means to survive, their uncle won. There is no way that Eddie and Sue can make it through the twentieth century when no one identifies their currency as being valuable, ancient gold coins. Yet the High Executioner pursues them through time to ensure that they are smothered in medieval England, which allows the wizard Morgred to explain the situation and restore their memories before the guards come. When Eddie pickpockets Morgred for the stones they need to return to the future, they take him along since they need a parent and someone who knows the future. While it doesn't change much in history, it means their uncle and the High Executioner lack the peace of mind that his niece and nephew are still out there and this time they can't follow through time.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The Kramer siblings in Night of the Living Dummy II. Amy, the middle child and protagonist of the novel, is the kind one with some problems, Jed, the youngest of the trio, is the obnoxious Jerkass who enjoys playing practical jokes, even going as far to ruin Sara's painting at one point, and Sara, the oldest of the bunch, is much saner and nice for the most part, but is a bit stuck-up about her talent and even admits that she's secretly jealous of Amy due to the latter not having to work as hard as her.
  • Nightmare Face:
    • The all-too-innocent wide-eyed Slasher Smiles on the covers of Welcome to Camp Jellyjam and Night of the Living Dummy.
    • The covers of The Haunted Mask and its sequel, which both depict horrific-looking masks looking directly at you.
    • The evil, snarling, red-eyed dog on the cover of The Barking Ghost.
    • The skeletal girl on the cover of Curse of Camp Cold Lake. The all-the-way-open and unblinking eyes don't help.
    • The Creature Teacher: bug-eyed, baring several rows of sharp teeth, and practically screaming at you.
    • Return to Ghost Camp. Is that skeleton ghost even human, or is it far too twisted and gnarled to even be human?
  • 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 Evil Uncle.
  • No Antagonist: One instance is The Headless Ghost, where the bulk of the story is just Duane and Stephanie looking for said ghost's head. The ghost himself,Andrew, doesn't appear until the end and wants nothing more than to be complete so he can leave for the afterlife. The other spirits are fairly harmless, two of them acting as tour guides of Hill House, while another just plays pranks on guests. The closest thing to a villainous ghost is the Sea Captain, and he's gone long before the events of the book.
  • No Longer with Us: This happens in Be Careful What You Wish For. When Samantha asks why Judith and her friend aren't at school, the nurse tells her, "They're gone." Samantha panics for a moment, but the nurse clarifies that they weren't well enough to come to class and had to see the doctor.
  • No Social Skills:
    • Sarah Maas, the main character of The Curse of Camp Cold Lake. She's quite awkward around people, letting her fears, panic, urges and moods take over and causing reactions that make people find her weird and/or off-putting, aided by Sarah's habit of speaking without thinking. To wit, in her first few minutes at camp, she nearly has a panic attack upon realizing that the only available bunk in her cabin is right by a window with no metal screen on it and she's scared to death of bugs coming in, basically begging a counselor to have a cabinmate switch her already taken bunk with Sarah's; she also insults another bunkmate's height without meaning to and accidentally reveals that her third cabinmate has asthma (she was hiding it because the counselors would limit her activities at camp if they knew). All of this is not helped at all by the fact that Sarah hates the outdoors and clearly does not want to be in a summer camp, especially one where the only activities are based on being in the water and she's a bad swimmer as it is.
    • The beasts from The Beast From the East are this to anyone outside of their species who is caught in their game. Outside of the game itself, they seem to have no clue how to act around Ginger and her brothers, and they never even seem to consider that Ginger and her brothers genuinely just stumbled across them and have no idea how to play their bizarre and deadly game of tag.
    • Subverted with Robby Schwartz from the Horrorland series who denies that this is the reason why he spends so much time on his computer - he just really likes designing webcomics.
  • Nonindicative Name:
    • In The Girl Who Cried Monster, Lucy's family lives in the town of Timberland Falls. But its name is this trope - as Lucy herself puts it, "There are a few forests outside of town, but nobody cuts the trees down for timber. And there aren't any falls. So, why Timberland Falls?"
    • You'd expect Series 2000 to start at the turn of the millennium, right? Well, it actually debuted at the start of 1998 and ironically ended at the start of 2000.
    • The book Revenge Of The Lawn Gnomes never explains exactly what the gnomes are getting revenge for. Same goes for Slappy in Revenge of the Living Dummy
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Most of the various ghosts in the stories turn out to be this, but friendly. There's also the eponymous Egg Monsters From Mars.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • Ghost Camp. 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.
    • Mr. Chameleon from The Haunted School is, judging by the impact of his actions, one of the most horrific characters in the series. We never actually meet him, or learn who or what he is or why he's sending children to the Grayworld.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Jekyll and Heidi, features a monster that most likely is a werewolf or at least something very similar to one, although this in not immediately obvious because the protagonist incorrectly thinks it is a different kind of monster for most of the book, but even after The Reveal of the monster's true nature makes it obvious that the monster is a werewolf, the word "werewolf" is never used in the book.
    • Full Moon Fever also pulls this, despite a full moon seemingly being the cause of the fever. Grandpa John even calls this out but the book still insists they aren't werewolves.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend:
    • My Best Friend is Invisible. The invisible friend is the last survivor of an alien invasion of the Earth. The main character and his parents are actually alien abominations.
    • Subverted with Good Friends. It turns out that the main character's best friend and bratty sister, who has an imaginary friend herself, are in fact imaginary themselves.
    • In The Ghost of Slappy, others assume Annalee is Shep's "imaginary friend", not believing him when he says she is a ghost and really exists.

    O 

  • Oddly Named Sequel: Some of the HorrorLand books serve as sequels to the classic books - but with extremely strange names. Monster Blood for Breakfast! is perhaps a notable example.
  • Old, Dark House: in Welcome To The Dead House.
  • Ominous Knocking: In The Blob that Ate Everyone the main character acquires a magic typewriter and starts Rewriting Reality. Setting the scene for a horror story, he writes that there's a storm, so it starts storming. When he writes that there's an ominous knock on the door, the same thing occurs... but nobody's there. He didn't write that anything in particular was behind the door, after all.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Of all the protagonists of the original series, sixteen of them are only children, with 20 books of them altogether (since four of those books feature the same protagonist while two more feature the same protagonist in both of them as well). I Live in Your Basement subverts this since Marco, the protagonist, had only dreamed he was an only child to his single mother (while in a coma after getting whacked over the head with a baseball bat) and that Gwynnie, the girl that whacked him with the bat in his dream, is actually his younger sister.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: I'm Telling! has a gargoyle that spits out green go which turns people into stone.
  • /Our Goblins Are Different: The Goblin's Glare features a paper machie goblin coming to life.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: In The Ghost Next Door we have a shadow-phantom who is the ghost of a living kid.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: 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.
    • The gnomes in Planet of the Lawn Gnomes populate the entire planet and the protagonist is one of the robots they created to take care of it during the day
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: 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 the more renowned Homunculi.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Deep Trouble, in which said mermaids are strong enough to take on sharks, communicate via sonar, and are extremely protective of their kind.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Mr. Mortman, King Jellyjam, the Grool, the Beasts and many others.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: 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.
    • The Ice Vampire has one that is actually a living ice statue that feeds off warmth rather than blood.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Werewolf Skin, which is actually based on the Native American skinwalker myth.
    • The werewolves in The Werewolf in the Living Room have to pass on a necklace that has magical powers.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • In Welcome To Dead House the Dark Falls residents are somewhere between a true zombie and a vampire to bloodsucking mutants that are harmed by sunlight.
    • The zombies in Why I Quit Zombie School are indeed undead but they are capable of dying for good, and they need a place called "The Reviver Room" to renew their energy or fix any major problems.

    P 

  • Paranormal Mundane Item: The books contain lots of those:
    • Full Moon Fever has chocolate bars called "Best" (actually "Beast"; turns people into werewolves) and "Cure" (actually "Curse"; makes people shrink in size) that look like your everyday shop merchandise.
    • The Monster Blood from the eponymous book is a jar of weird green substance that looks like children's slime toys, but has very creepy magical properties.
  • Parental Bonus: In Bad Hare Day, Tim 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". He may feel like The Unfavorite in the family, but his mom does have a point.
  • Parental Favoritism: Seen to sickening effect in Bad Hare Day, Egg Monsters from Mars, Don't Go to Sleep, Dr. Maniac Will See You Now and especially The Cuckoo Clock of Doom.
    • Son of Slappy is notable for having the protagonist be the favorite while his sister is generally dumped on by the parents.
  • Parental Neglect
    • Evan Ross's parents, who tend to treat him like he's more of an unwelcome neighbor than their son, and are constantly dumping him off with relatives that don't get along with him.
    • Jack's parents in How I learned To Fly, they do love him but they refuse to take notice of how miserable they're making their son's life after they find out he can fly and start using up all his time to film tv commercials and won't even let him leave the house unless he's wearing the cheesy superhero costume that he wears when filming commercials.
    • The Cuckoo Clock of Doom showcases Michael's parents constantly treating him like crap but always gushing over and spoiling his horrendous little sister Tara. It works out for him in the end though.
    • Crystal and Cole's parents in Chicken Chicken are this to the point that they don't even notice their children mutating into humanoid chickens.
    • In the short story The Werewolf's First Night, Brian's parents take him to a "summer camp" without counselors (all the campers' parents are staying at a nearby resort) - basically leaving him at the mercy of the other kids. When Brian tries to tell them about what is going on, Dad thinks it might be just a prank but still does nothing, saying Brian should toughen up.
    • The parents in An Old Story are so busy that they often leave their kids at home alone, which gives Dahlia the chance to come in pretending to be their aunt and enact her plan. Unlike some of the other examples, they do at least show regret once they figure out what happend.
  • Parental Substitute: In A Night in Terror Tower, Morgred the sorcerer is set to fill this role for Edward and Susannah when they finally escape into the future to live new lives away from their evil uncle and the High Executioner. As the late, rightful King's court mage, he promised to protect them from harm.
  • Parents as People:
    • 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 his kid every day, including ruining his birthday (although he does feel a little bad with how that one prank turned out).
    • In "Santa's Helpers," the kids' mom repeatedly tells them off for bullying Diane and does what she can to protect her youngest daughter. Even so, it's not enough to dissuade Beth and Spenser from mocking their little sister.
  • Parodies for Dummies: After Livvy experiences repeated problems with the robot she's building in It's Alive! It's Alive! a mean classmate gives her a copy of "Robotics For Dummies"
  • Persecution Flip: The short story "Awesome Ants" is about a boy who wins an ant vivaria in a contest but starts overfeeding them, which results in the ants growing to massive sizes. At the end, he wakes up to find that ants have taken over the earth and secluded humans in their own vivaria. The TV episode based on this story was even weirder; it's said that ants have *always* been the dominant species, so the boy was really dreaming about a Persecution Flip inversion.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: At one point in Be Careful What You Wish For, Clarissa causes everyone on earth to vanish inexplicably (or turn into flies if you've seen the TV adaptation) while trying to grant Samantha's wish. You do not want this woman on your side, and it really says a lot about Samantha when she keeps asking for wishes.
  • Platonic Boy/Girl Heroes: Even when the boy and girl heroes aren't best friends, a boy and girl are often grouped together to enforce this trope. Sometimes the boy and girl don't get along that well.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: The series features many story lines 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 She's Not My Girlfriend 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.
  • Plant Person: Dr. Brewer's sinister hybrid clone in Stay Out of the Basement.
  • Please Keep Your Hat On: In You Can't Scare Me!, Hat (real name: Herbie) keeps his baseball cap on at all times. When finally exposed, his hair is plastered to his head to the point where it looks like wood, much to everyone's disgust. His following comment implies that he never washes it either, which explains a lot about its condition.
  • The Power of Hate: 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.
  • The Power of Love: 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.
  • The Prankster: Many characters often venture towards this, more likely the Annoying Younger Siblings, the older siblings, and even some of the protagonists' friends. Special mention goes to Jed from Night of the Living Dummy II (who often shares his pranks for Family Sharing Night and never seems to take it seriously), Mickey from The Barking Ghost (who takes advantage of Cooper being easily scared), Chuck and Steve from The Haunted Mask (who also take advantage of Carly Beth being easily scared despite supposedly being her friends), and even Gary's adult neighbor, Mr. Andretti from Why I'm Afraid of Bees (who loves to scare him with bees, knowing he's afraid of them).
  • Present Tense Narrative: Earth Geeks Must Go! is written this way.
  • Product Placement: 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. How I Got My Shrunken Head and the short story Don't Sit on the Gronk both feature characters that collect Kooshballs.
  • Pseudo Crisis: At the end of nearly every chapter.
  • Puppet Permutation: This happens to the protagonist of Night of the Puppet People
  • Puppy Love: As noted above, the books almost always featured a strictly platonic Boy-Girl hero setup without any consideration of potential romance between the two, which makes sense given their age or that they were sometimes siblings. There are a few exceptions, though...
    • Evan and Andy in Monster Blood is the most obvious example, with some blatant (adolescent-style) Belligerent Sexual Tension and for the most part behaving like a romantic pairing throughout the series, though never actually becoming an Official Couple.
    • Max and Erin in Let's Get Invisible, though more the former is the one rather open (not publicly) about his crush on the latter and it's not quite known if the feelings are mutual, though their relationship is much more flirtatious than the series usual boy-girl pairings in the book and him wanting to impress her does figure prominently in moving the supernatural side of the story forward as well.
    • Steve and Carly-Beth in The Haunted Mask, though any romantic tension between the two is at best distantly implied in the book but made into a major plot point in the TV series.
    • What was in that note from Ben to Amy that made her so embarrassed when Jed shared it to the family in Night of the Living Dummy II...?
    • How I Learned to Fly, the rare instance a love triangle (between Jack, his rival Wilson and their crush Mia) features prominently into a Goosebumps book.
    • Gary in Why I'm Afraid of Bees has a big crush on Kaitlin and agrees to go through with the body-switch in order to impress her.
    • Audra is a love interest for Spencer in Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls.
    • Larry in My Hairiest Adventure often comments on how attractive he finds Lily, especially her eyes. This becomes a plot point when he meets a dog with her distinctive heterochromia and realizes it's her.
    • Harry and Lucy in Ghost Camp, particularly with the revelation that she intends to possess his body in order to be able to leave the camp.
    • Livvy in It's Alive! It's Alive! is noticeably more fond and protective toward Gates than is usual in most other books.
    • Sammy Baker from The Haunter has a crush on a girl named Summer and wants to impress her.
    • Michael in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom is interested in Mona, who finally returns his feelings after he unwittingly erases his sister Tara from existence, meaning she never embarrassed him in front of Mona at his birthday party.
    • Ricky in Calling All Creeps has a thing for Iris and gets really excited when she asks him to help her get things ready for a bake sale.

    Q 

    R 

  • Raised by Grandparents: Peter and Abby in Who's Your Mummy?
  • Rapid Aging: Happens to the audience during the ballet in the short story Nutcracker Nightmare.
    • The plot of An Old Story involves two boys being rapidly aged via magical prune juice so they can be sold as bridegrooms to elderly women.
    • This is also what the Old Man Mask in The Haunted Mask II does to Steve.
  • Real After All: In Phantom of the Auditorium, the threatening messages left behind by the "phantom" turn out to be the work of a homeless person who didn't want them to find his secret living quarters beneath the school. However, the real phantom eventually does show up and even leaves behind evidence of his real identity for the two protagonists to find.
  • Red Herring: 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.
    • The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb has a clever subversion. Early on, Gabe and Sari are chased through a museum by Ahmed, who seems to have some sinister reason for going after them. When he finds them, he tells them he was only trying to give them a message from Gabe's uncle, and isn't sure why they ran from him. However, this turns out to be a lie, and he tries to kidnap them immediately afterwards.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: This comes up quite a lot, given 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 that a discovery as great as this would be worth far more than what the Zoo had to offer.
    • Mr. Toogle in Piano Lessons Can Be Murder has created a robot that easily fooled a family into thinking it's human, and can program severed hands to move on their own. And he uses all this to play "perfect music".
    • Mr. Wright in A Shocker on Shock Street, much like Mr. Toggle, has created robots that not only easily fool people, but have the capacity to feel emotion. And he uses them to test theme park rides.
  • Ret-Gone: In The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, when Mike accidentally erases his bratty little sister from the universe. He keeps reminding himself he'll go back to get her. Someday. Maybe.
  • Rewriting Reality: The magic typewriter in The Blob That Ate Everyone allows Zach to do this, until it's revealed that Zach is a Reality Warper 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.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: Revenge of the Living Dummy, as well as Bride of the Living Dummy and Son of Slappy
  • Ridiculously Human Robots:
    • The ending of A Shocker On Shock Street, 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.
    • Similar to the aforementioned Shock Street example, the twist of Planet of the Lawn Gnomes reveals that the lead is one...as well as every other actual "human" on the planet
    • In It's Alive! It's Alive! the protagonist discovers that not only is the housekeeper a robot her parents built, but the robot itself built robot clones of her parents, who she's been interacting with for weeks or months without realizing they weren't the real ones.
  • Robotic Reveal: The ending of Shocker on Shock Street reveals that the two protagonists were actually malfunctioning robots who are then shut down by their creator.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size:
    • Monster Blood II features a giant killer hamster named Cuddles.
    • The Horrorland book, ''Little Shop of Hamsters"
  • Ruritania: Brovania, the country the protagonists visit during Legend of the Lost Legend. Also, Bratvia in The Werewolf in the Living Room.

    S 
  • Sadist Teacher: A few examples, including Mr. Murphy from Monster Blood II (whose hamster devours the eponymous blood and grows to massive proportions) and Mr. Saur from Say Cheese and Die-Again!. To take it to the extreme, Mrs. Maaargh from Creature Teacher.
  • Same Plot Sequel: Most of the Night of the Living Dummy sequels use the same structure from the first book, with a kid getting Slappy and being blamed for his actions.
  • Sanity Slippage: 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 Erin and Marty in A Shocker on Shock Street as their programming gradually became unstable.
  • Scary Scarecrows: The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight and The Scarecrow.*
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Phantom of the Auditorium has most of the sabotage being caused by a homeless man living below the school, who wanted people to stop snooping in his home. Although he wasn't directly pretending to be the Phantom.
    • In The Mummy With My Face, the mummies were all robots created by two men who were using the kids as test subjects for their mummy themed amusement park.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: 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.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Attack of the Mutant, when the Galloping Gazelle fails to defeat the Masked Mutant, he simply books it out of the Mutant's HQ, leaving Skipper at his mercy.
  • Secret Test of Character: Welcome to Camp Nightmare's twist. The protagonist is actually a human-looking alien who was being prepared for an infiltration mission on the savage planet Earth.
  • Shaped Like Itself: This gem from Calling All Creeps: "I call them my four enemies because... they're my four enemies."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: 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.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • 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 the former is about a girl watching a TV show called "Life with Elizabeth" and the latter is the protagonist for a Halloween-themed video game.
    • In One Day at Horrorland Lizzy and her family end up being captured by the Horrors and put on a TV game show for monsters, intended to end with them being killed for the audience's amusement.
  • Shrunken Head: 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".
  • Slave Race: The eponymous characters of Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes. Or at least, that's what they claim to be.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Varies a lot between books. Some are pretty far toward the comedy end (Attack Of The Mutant being a good example) while others are rather dark and have few funny moments (Curse Of The Mummy's Tomb probably being the darkest.)
  • Smug Snake: Wilson in How I Learned To Fly, Courtney in You Can't Scare Me! and the beasts in The Beast From The East.
  • Snake People: Mr. Blankenship in Teacher's Pet and Dr. Crawler in Welcome to Camp Slither.
  • Snowlems: Beware, The Snowman.
  • The Sociopath:
    • Tara Webster, who never shows 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. Then again, she is erased from existence at the end of the book.
    • Brandon from Headless Halloween is a very rare case in that he's the main character of the book and is without a doubt rotten to the core. He basically lives his life tormenting kids just for kicks, especially younger kids, and he gets off on seeing them be frightened and suffer. It gets to a point that when his mother (who clearly dislikes her son's behavior) forces him to accompany his little sister, cousin and two of his sister's friends to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, he ditches the three girls by leaving them all alone on a dark street and then locks his scared cousin in an abandoned house, all so he can then go scare other kids and steal their candy, then sneaks into his teacher's house to vandalize it and downright abandons his best friend (a bully himself) when they find that there are guard dogs who have caught on to them.
    • Judith from Be Careful What You Wish For, who comes across as downright sadistic in her hatred of Samantha, using basically every waking moment to torment her, never once showing any redeeming characteristics or even the slightest sign that she's not just downright nasty.
    • Micah, Wade's teenage brother in Revenge R Us is basically a teenage male version of the above mentioned Tara Webster, existing solely to make his little sister's life a living hell just because he feels like it.
  • Something Completely Different:
    • The Ghost Next Door, mainly for it's incredibly somber, dirge-like tone and where the main twist is slowly revealed rather than delivered suddenly for the series usual Gothcha! effect (and the rare time it doesn't even end up serving as the book's main climactic plot crux).
    • You Can't Scare Me: Even though this story does have and mention monsters (the mud monsters said to be the corpses of the town's original settlers who died in a mudslide), most of the focus of the story is on four friends playing scary pranks on a girl named Courtney, who claims that she's not scared of anything, to prove her wrong — with comic results.
    • 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 (Jack's father is an agent who puts his son in cheesy car commercials when he learns that his son can fly while Jack's rival, Wilson, has his own tv show), how celebrities are/can be "trapped" because of constant media attention and obsessed fans, and the government wanting to know the secrets of Applied Phlebotinum for the good of the country (allegedly). It plays out more like a supernatural satire on the burden of being a celebrity and American's society obsession with success and being famous.
    • 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 barely appears at all, 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 Return of the Mummy 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).
    • Slappy's Nightmare is focused on Slappy rather than the kid who gets him, and serves as a subversion of the typical Slappy book formula.
  • Space Whale Aesop:
    • The "moral" of Go Eat Worms is basically "don't be mean to worms or a giant worm will eat you", which doesn't work since giant worms aren't real, and also counts as a Broken Aesop since the worm is scared off before it can eat the protagonist. At the end there is another example, as Todd takes to pinning butterflies instead, only to get attacked by a giant butterfly with a pin, the implication he is going to be Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. It makes far more sense if you read the aesop as "Don't be mean to animals or there will be monstrous consequences".
    • Chicken Chicken: Mind your manners of you'll get turned into a chicken!
  • Spiritual Successor: 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 sequels, and include Return to Ghost Camp (has nothing in common with Ghost Camp, except for the fact that the campers and counselors are ghosts and forever trapped in the summer camp), and Who's Your Mummy?
  • Spoiled Brat: Tara in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, Brandy in Egg Monsters From Mars and Kermit in the Monster Blood series.
  • Spoiler Cover: The UK cover of Be Careful What You Wish For prominently depicts a bird taking flight. Samantha's bullies repeatedly taunting her to "fly away" makes it pretty easy to work out what this means.
    • I Am Slappy's Evil Twin plays with this, as the eponymous twin is nice for most of the book but the twist reveals he actually was evil the whole time.
  • Spooky Photographs: The Say Cheese and Die books.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: 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.
  • Stepford Smiler: The Camp Jellyjam counselors, if the original cover (the one with the creepy-looking Gilbert Gottfried-esque counselor) is any indication.
  • Stern Teacher: Ms. Vanderhoff in It Came From Beneath The Sink!
  • Sticky Fingers: Eddie in A Night in Terror Tower greatly enjoys thieving, which comes in handy for helping to recover the three white stones.
  • Stingy Jack: In Attack of the Jack O'Lanterns, the main characters are forced to trick or treat all night by a group of entities that can breath fire with jack o'lanterns for head. The are revealed to be aliens by the end.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Skipper Matthews' sister Mitzi in Attack of the Mutant, who likes to let his dad know when he's reading comics instead of doing his homework. According to Skipper, "Mitzi's hobby is being a snitch."
  • Stopped Reading Too Soon: How to Kill a Monster, the two main characters are trapped inside their grandparent's house with a monster inside. They find a letter from their grandparents telling them they left and warns them about the monster inside. After killing the monster and escaping from the house and into the swamp at night, they continue reading the letter explaining their grandparents lock them inside for their protection and to prevent them from leaving the house because there are more monsters in the swamp and they come out at night. After they finish reading, the kids have no idea what they are going to do next.
  • The Story That Never Was: In Be Careful What You Wish For Samatha Byrd gets a gift of three wishes from the witch Clarissa. But, as expected, all these wishes come with terrible side effects. At the end, Samatha's uses her final request to wish that she had never met Clarissa.
  • Stranger in a Strange School: Earth Geeks Must Go! A boy's first day of school becomes increasingly disturbing as his teachers write their lessons in a language he doesn't recognize, he has no idea how to use the school's computers, and during lunch he finds out his classmates are eating their food through holes in their armpits. The boy learns he's really on another planet, and so are his sister and their dad.
    • Also used as the premise for the Triple Header story Ghoul School, and Why I Quit Zombie School.
  • Stripping the Scarecrow: The Scarecrow, a short story about three kids who discover a mysterious scarecrow set up in front of an abandoned house has got articles of clothing they all want. Two of the kids take things off the scarecrow, but strange things start happening to them, leaving the third kid scared something will happen to her while trying to fight back the temptation of taking the scarecrow's gloves for herself. It turns out it was all a prank set up by the other two kids, but that doesn't explain why the scarecrow is suddenly smiling at the end.
  • Summer Campy: Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Horror at Camp Jellyjam, Ghost Camp, The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, Fright Camp and Return to Ghost Camp
    • Escape from Camp Run-For-Your-Life from the Give Yourself Goosebumps series.
    • Welcome to Camp Slither from the Horrorland series.
    • The short stories P.S. Don't Write Back, The Werewolf's First Night and Poison Ivy.
    • Most Wanted gives us Creature Teacher: The Final Exam
  • Super OCD: Joe's sister Mindy in Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes has this.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: This occasionally happens, with some twists actually rendering the entire story happier (or, in the case of The Ghost Next Door, bittersweet) in hindsight. The best example is in A Night in Terror Tower, in which the protagonists escape the executioner and travel to the future with Morgred, apparently with no strings attached.
    • A fairly common ending is the result of a Tomato Surprise, resulting in an Esoteric Happy Ending with intentional Protagonist-Centered Morality in play (for example, The Girl Who Cried Monster ends with the protagonist's parents revealing that their entire family consists of monsters, morbidly eating the librarian she thought was the monster, and telling her that they can't have too many monsters around, or else the humans will get suspicious.)
  • Swamps Are Evil:
    • The Werewolf of Fever Swamp. Both in the usual method, and apparently literally.
    • How to Kill a Monster, home of the eponymous reptilian swamp monster.
    • Here Comes The Shaggedy features one that has a monster that becomes your slave when summoned, and has another, more dangerous but similar looking monster .
  • Switching P.O.V.: The last couple of chapters of I Am Your Evil Twin are from the perspective of the protagonist's cousin/sister Nan, rather than the protagonist himself.

    T 
  • Taken for Granite: The short story "How I Won My Bat".
  • Take Over the World: The goal of the Masked Mutant, The Creeps, and Hyborg-Xrxuz/ Mrs. Hardesty in My Friends Call Me Monster.
  • Teens Are Monsters: With a few exceptions, teenagers are usually portrayed as completely condescending or just downright nasty Kick the Dog bullies to the main characters and their friends (who are almost always 11-12 in the novels), which could make sense since their most often the older siblings of the protagonist and being portrayed through the younger kid's most likely somewhat biased point-of-view. Special mention, of course, goes to the Beymer twins in Monster Blood, Mickey in The Barking Ghost, Greg and Pam in Don't Go To Sleep, Micah in Revenge R Us, and, in both a figurative and literal sense, the Creeps in Calling All Creeps.
  • Telepathy: The power Jillian gains in Help! We Have Strange Powers!
  • That's No Moon!: Ghost Camp has "WHY ARE YOU STANDING ON MY HEART?"
  • That Was Not a Dream: A significant event near the start of The Ghost Next Door is Hannah having a horrible nightmare about her bedroom being on fire. The climax reveals that this scene wasn't a dream, and she actually died from the fire.
  • Theatre Phantom: In The Phantom of the Auditorium, Brooke Rogers and Zeke Matthews are chosen to play Esmeralda and The Phantom in their school's version of The Phantom of the Opera, but a chain of accidents impede production and threaten to have Zeke kicked off the cast.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Kyle and Kara, the twin bullies who live next door to the protagonist in The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, Ginger's younger twin brothers Nat and Pat in The Beast from the East, Shane and Shana in Attack of the Jack O' Lanterns, Slappy and Snappy in I Am Slappy's Evil Twin, and the protagonists of Help! We Have Strange Powers!, Jackson and Jillian.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: "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.
  • This Loser Is You: Goosebumps protagonists tended to be nonathletic, dorky, social outcast bully magnets. Very rarely, if ever, was the protagonist of a book tough or popular. Steve Boswell from The Haunted Mask 2 is an exception as he was the main bully in the first book.
  • Three Wishes: 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. Wade also ends up getting three wishes in Revenge R Us
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: I Live In Your Basement and, when put into proper context A Shocker on Shock Street.
  • Title Drop: Some happen in the indivual books but Slappy does for the whole franchise in the very end of The Street of Panic Park. He also drops the name of Slappyworld in the first entry.
  • Time-Travel Episode: The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, A Night in Terror Tower, Heads, You Lose! and the short story Stuck in 1957.
  • Tomato in the Mirror:
    • A Shocker On Shock Street: Erin and Marty are robots, and are deactivated by their creator.
    • The Ghost Next Door: Hannah is a ghost. She saves a boy from dying a similar death, and is reunited with her family in the afterlife.
    • Vampire Breath: Count Nightwing is Freddy's grandfather, meaning that he is a vampire himself.
    • My Hairiest Adventure: Larry is a dog who was turned into a human, and he reverts back to his real form.
    • A Night in Terror Tower: 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.
    • Planet of the Lawn Gnomes: A double whammy where they are all robots on an alien planet.
    • How I Met My Monster: Noah is a monster, as is everyone in his apartment building.
    • The Lizard of Oz: Kate and her family are shape shifting lizards and her getting bitten by the lizard they bought from Australia did nothing to make her transform. She was turning already.
  • Tomato Surprise:
    • The Girl Who Cried Monster: Not only is the librarian a monster, so is Lucy and her whole family
    • My Best Friend Is Invisible: Sammy and his family are actually members of a hostile species of alien who invaded the Earth years ago and replaced humanity, and his invisible friend is really a young human boy who managed to hide by remaining invisible.
    • Welcome To Camp Nightmare: Billy is a Human Alien, the camp is not on Earth, and the events are his last test before he is sent to infiltrate human society.
    • Something Strange About Marci from More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps: The narrator spends the whole story wonder what's up with Marci, why she carries around a strange briefcase, and why she doesn't look like any of his friends. The twist is that Marci is a human scientist and the narrator and his friends are orangutans.
    • A Vampire in the Neighborhood: Helga isn't a vampire, but the main kids are.
    • Planet of the Lawn Gnomes: All the humans are actually all alien robots.
    • Spin The Wheel Of Horror: ' The family turns out to be all real monsters, and they eat the host of the game show.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Carly-Beth in the Haunted Mask series is the shining example of the whole franchise. Even perennial, unlucky loser Evan Ross manages this in 'Monster Blood 2'' when he doesn't hesitate to eat the eponymous substance to fight off a giant hamster who's about to bite the head off of Evan's bully.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: 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. Said monster is allergic to humans, and keels over dead after merely licking one. Unfortunately, the monster's friends are pissed off after this. Cue the chills, as the book ends with the heroes alone, far away from town, and in a marsh filled with these hungry, soon to awaken creatures. Hopefully the other monsters are allergic to humans too.
  • To Serve Man: The ending of Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns, where 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.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Welcome to Dead House.
  • Trapped with Monster Plot: How to Kill a Monster is about a a girl and her stepbrother who are sent off to stay with their backwoods relatives in the countryside for a while, their enormous house located in a swamp. Then their caretakers take an unannounced trip to town when they discover that a swamp monster was sleeping in the basement, which they accidentally woke up, leaving the kids alone and locked inside the house with it.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Ahmed in The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, ostensibly a representative from the university with a lot of knowledge of ancient curses. He's really there to ensure that nobody gets into the Sacred Chamber of Priestess Khala, which is also in the pyramid. There's also the Duke of Earle and the court wizard Henway in Heads, You Lose!.
  • Tricking the Shapeshifter: Attack of the Mutant, where Skipper tells The Masked Mustant that his weakness is sulphric acid. The mutant can't survive mutating into liquids, so he melts.
  • Troperiffic: Inevitable, considering how long it's run.
  • Twin Switch: The short story The Double Dip Horror has the twin protagnists pretending to be each other while they are ski instructors, so one can have fun on their own. This ends up going sour since they deal with a ghost who only goes after twins.
  • Twist Ending: Usually on the last page, maybe even last paragraph, of almost every book. Many variations, including Tomato in the Mirror, Here We Go Again!, Dead All Along, The Bad Guy Wins, Family-Unfriendly Aesop, From Bad to Worse, and the occasional Karmic Twist Ending. Many of them were also Cruel Twist Endings.

    U 
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: 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 she escaped from the colorless world and her skin is completely gray.
  • Undead Child: Just about every single ghost story has these.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: In Here Comes the Shaggedy, Saul, a supposed Swamp Hermit, turns out to be an FBI agent who has come to investigate the eponymous monster.
  • The Unfavorite: Amy in Night of the Living Dummy II, Michael in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, Wade in Revenge R Us, Matt in Don't Go to Sleep, Dana in Egg Monsters from Mars, Tim in Bad Hare Day, and Richard Dreezer in Dr. Maniac Will See You Now
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Conan Barber from the Monster Blood series, who seems to exist solely to bully main character Evan, this despite Evan saving Conan's life from a gigantic hamster ready to make a meal out of the bully. Conan never showcases the slightest bit of gratitude and basically everything he does afterwards is use Evan as a punching bag.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: In Welcome To Dead House, Dad inherits the house from his uncle whom he never even seen. Turns out that it was a setup by Dawes to make them come to the town.
  • Universal Remote Control: The short story "Click" is about a boy who comes across an advertisement for a "Universal Remote Control" sold by The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday that works on reality itself. He quickly starts to abuse it for various petty reasons, like cheating on a school exam, which eventually alienates him from his best friend. At the end, he accidentally makes the world vanish when he presses the "OFF" button in frustration, only to find that the batteries have run out.
  • Unreliable Narrator: A Shocker On Shock Street and Planet of the lawn Gnomes

    V 

  • Vampire Episode: "Vampire's Breath" and the Give Yourself Goosebumps book "Please Don't Feed the Vampire". Also, the short stories A Vampire in the Neighborhood and The Ice Vampire.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: A portion of How I Learned to Fly' is set on the birthday of a girl who was born on Valentine's Day. The book also happens to be one of the few that is focused on romance.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: Bonnie-Sue in the short story Mirror Mirror on the Wall. Another short story, Stuck in 1957, features a very vain girl who chooses to return to being trapped in the past, rather than face returning to school with an unflattering haircut.
  • Ventriloquism: The whole point of the Night of the Living Dummy books.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The Goosebumps 2000 series loved this trope.
  • Villain Ball: Sarabeth in Monster Blood. 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.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: With Slappy, especially with the Slappy World series.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • Slappy's Nightmare is written in the evil dummy Slappy's POV and is 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.

    W 

  • The Walls Are Closing In: One Day At Horrorland features a house of mirrors that ends in a room where this happens. The floor drops out at the very last second.
  • Weakened by the Light: The undead townsfolk in Welcome to Dead House. Possessing some qualities of vampires, they can't stand direct sunlight. At the end of the book, when they are trying to eat Josh and Amanda Benson's parents, Josh and Amanda push over a big tree blocking the sun from shining directly on the townspeople, causing them to die. It doesn't permanently kill them, though.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: While Mr. Mortman chases Lucy through the library in The Girl Who Cried Monster, she throws over a stack of catalogue cards. While he may be a monster, Mr. Mortman is also a librarian, and therefore stops to organize the cards, allowing Lucy escape.
  • A Weighty Aesop: Attack of the Jack-O'Lanterns presents this in Space Whale Aesop format. Near the end, the man-eating aliens warn the kids not to eat too much candy, or they'll end up as dessert some day.
  • Weight Loss Horror: The book "Say Cheese and Die Again!" has this trope both Played Straight and Inverted. Greg and his friend Shari both fall victim to the evil camera, with a picture showing him as morbidly obese, and Shari as a skeleton. He starts to gain weight involuntarily, she starts to lose it.
  • Weight Woe: 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 Body Horror is added when Greg has his picture taken again and develops a horrible skin rash.
  • Wham Line: A lot of the twist endings are presented in this manner; doubly so if it's the last sentence of the book.
  • What Cliffhanger: Practically every other chapter.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Kermit and the bully twins in the Monster Blood series and Della in The Curse of Camp Cold Lake are all described as having "white-blond hair".
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: In Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid! when the protagonists comment twice on the cop out reveal that it's a story within a story ending with the words "You finish the story." This is done twice.
  • With Friends Like These...: Given that a lot of the protagonists are Straw Losers, often enough their friends turn out to be total dicks who will sell them out, turn on them, or abandon them in their time of need. Especially terrible friends include Chuck and Steve from The Haunted Mask, Roxanne from My Best Friend Is Invisible and Adam from The Blob That Ate Everyone.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Ricky at the end of Calling All Creeps, when he decides to become the Creep Commander for real, and all of his bullies will end up being his slaves.
  • Working-Class Werewolves: In The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, protagonist Grady suspects that the swamp hermit, a weird old guy who lives alone in a shack in the middle of the swamp, is the werewolf. Subverted, as it turns out that Grady's friend Will is actually the werewolf, although given that the house he says he lives in is revealed to have been empty for months, it's suggested he himself may live in the swamp.
  • World of Jerkass: Every book has at least one jerk. But the one that fits this trope the best out of all of them is easily Calling All Creeps, in which everyone, except Ricky and Iris, are all assholes.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: In one of the strangest cases of this, considering that the U.K. has a Finders Keepers law about finding ancient coins and treasures in real life, a cab driver doesn't recognize the money that Eddie and Sue pay him as gold. While it may be plausible for him to think they're playing a joke on him, the U.K. values such treasures.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Masked Mutant considers Skipper this, because he knows everything about him and no other superheroes were able to defeat him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: 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.

    Y 

  • You Are What You Hate: Crystal and Cody hate chickens in Chicken Chicken. They get turned into... you guessed it.
    • Larry in My Hairiest Adventure is frightened of dogs and can't understand why they always chase him. It turns out he is a dog who was temporarily transformed into a human. He changes back at the end.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: A very common staple of the series is the protagonist discovering the book's main villainous threat, telling people, and having them dismiss them. One of the short stories is even called Ya Gotta Believe Me!

    Z 

  • Zerg Rush: 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.


 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

Goosebumps [Gwendolyn's Reveal]

Scene from the Goosebumps tv series, thirty sixth episode - Vampire's Breath. Freddy and Cara wind up chased into an underground lair where Nightwing's vampire minion rest. They run into a girl, Gwendolyn, who claims she's a human slave of the vampires and offer help. When Nightwing capture Cara and holds her hostage for his vial of Vampire's Breath. Gwendolyn calls for Freddy to throw him the vial which he does... only for her to reveal her true nature.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / FaceRevealingTurn

Media sources:

Main / FaceRevealingTurn

Report