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Literature / Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids

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Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids is the Artifact Title/Franchise-Driven Retitling of a popular book series from British author Jamie Rix (who also wrote the Alistair Fury books). It gained traction in The '90s, its debut winning the Smarties Prize Children's Choice award in 1990, and was popular enough to spawn two television adaptations.

In contrast to said adaptations, at first, the books had no specified narrator and wasn't set in a cinema; each book was an omnibus: full of several short stories about horrible children getting their comeuppance, or eerie outcomes to mundane situations, guaranteed Nightmare Fuel for some readers or absurd Black Comedy for everyone else.

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The first four followed this format, playing as books full of modern fables for children that were considering misbehaviour, showing them what terrifying fate they'll face (being Eaten Alive or a Karmic Transformation, for example) if they made the same mistakes as the characters, but later publications (simply renamed Grizzly Tales) imitated the style of the cartoon with a creepy, wisecracking storyteller Breaking the Fourth Wall to dish out advice and proverbs to try and work out as he told the stories. This character later materialised on the revived TV adaptation as The Night Night Porter at the HotHell (even though most of the stories in the books starring him ironically appeared in the preceding TV series that he didn't star in).

The books in the series are:

  1. Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids Stories 
  2. Ghostly Tales for Ghastly Kids Stories 
  3. Fearsome Tales for Fiendish Kids Stories 
  4. More Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids Stories 
  5. Nasty Little Beasts Stories 
  6. Gruesome Grown-Ups Stories 
  7. The "Me!" Monsters Stories 
  8. Freaks of Nature Stories 
  9. Terror Time Toys Stories 
  10. Blubbers and Sicksters Stories 
  11. The Naughty Gnomes of NO! Stories 
  12. Super Zeroes Stories 
  13. A Grizzly Dozen (a compilation book of other published stories)
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Tropes

  • The Ace: Much of these characters are usually arrogant and are either the rival to the main character or the Villain Protagonist, who are never spared.
  • Alliterative Title: The names of the first few titles.
  • Adults Are Useless: In many instances, the children starring misbehave because their parents are either too lazy, too busy, too submissive, or too gullible.
  • An Aesop: Too many to fit on this page.
  • Asshole Victim: Much of the kids when they meet their fate.
  • Attention Whore: Many kids, such as "Well'ard Willard", Dolores from "Silence is Golden" and Tanya and Peregrin from "The Barber of Civil".
  • Big Brother Bully: A few characters (like Dorothy May from "The Piranha Sisters", Monty from "Monty's Python", for example) often play pranks on their younger siblings For the Evulz.
  • Crapsack World: The nicer characters usually lived in a world like this with parents that hated them or went to a school where no one wanted to be their friend.
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  • Dead All Along: The twist ending to both "Grandmother's Footsteps" and "Athlete's Foot".
  • Death by Gluttony: Rover in "The Upset Stomach" explodes after eating everything in sight, including its owner Ethel. Whether eating Ethel was the side effect that caused its death is debatable.
  • Death by Irony: A lot of characters' fates end up like this.
    • "Well'ard Willard", for example, bragged empty promises to save his skin and was roasted alive by the Sun, saving his skin behind as a thing for his parents to remember him by. This is different than the cartoon, in which he melts like an ice cube.
    • The end of "The Stick Men" is Laser-Guided Karma. After Chico's parents wash him and his stick figure drawings off the wall, they die in a helicopter accident. When the emergency teams recover the bodies, they pull out giant stick figure corpses.
    • "It's Only a Game, Sport!" is about Bruce, a sore loser that throws tantrums when he doesn't get his own way. When his sister is beating him at Snakes and Ladders, he decides to change the rules: instead of climbing up ladders and sliding down snakes, they would now fall down ladders and crawl up snakes. When he eventually decides to cheat and storms off in a huff, he falls down the ladder of their house and is gobbled up by a snake.
  • Determinator: The horrible kids will fight tooth and nail to make things their way even after no one is no longer interested.
    • William in "William the Conkerer" tries everything to get the last conker, even destroying a tree that the majority of the town respected with anything he can find.
    • Serena in "The Chocolate Fly" ploughs through a lot of chocolate bars, enough to make her vomit constantly. Then when she's stopped being sick, she carries on.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • "The Upset Stomach" = the stomach eventually becomes upset over how its owner treats it.
    • "An Elephant Never Forgets" = a Be Careful What You Wish For story in which two rich kids forget how they got the magic umbrella stand.
    • "The Giant Who Grew Too Big For His Boots" = a giant becomes uppity and literally grows bigger every few hours.
    • "Kiss and Make Up" = a girl is given makeup from a two-faced fairy godmother in order to look attractive enough to be kissed by other boys.
    • "The Man With a Chip On His Shoulder" is about a man who can grow chips on his shoulder. It's annoying.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "School Dinners", one of the few books that were never adapted for the cartoons is about our narrator, a pensioner, recounting meal times when he was at school and how it impacted his life with food. Particularly, when he was 22 and dating, he took his girlfriend to a French restaurant and has a panic attack when the head chef announces the special meal of the night (which turns out to be similar to a school dinner menu). The narrator starts shrieking, throwing food at the chef, hiding under the table, and his mind even warps the head chef into the cruel dinner lady that used to terrorise him.
  • Downer Ending: Many of the endings, particularly if the characters end up sympathetic, like The Chipper Chums.
  • Eaten Alive: One of the many character deaths.
  • Fat Bastard: Notable ones are Johnny Bullneck from "Fat Boy with a Trumpet", Ginger from "Knock Down Ginger", and Serena in "Death By Chocolate".
  • Jerkass: Most of the kids.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • While Chico's parents are certainly nowhere near ideal parents, do you honestly think even a decent parent would be okay with his or her child scribbling on their walls?
    • invoked Bill and Timothy in "Bunny Boy" and "The Spaghetti Man", respectively, both try to get rid of their food in ludicrous ways, but their no-nonsense mothers will find the food and return it to the kitchen table. After they both throw their food in the bin but their mothers fish it out to put back on their plates, you can't blame them for not wanting anything to do with it.
  • Karmic Transformation: Whether it's being turned into a fly for being greedy, being turned into a mannequin for being rude, or turning into a bug for being lazy, these kids deserve it.
  • Kids Are Cruel: If there is a gang mentality, then it's usually this.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Used frequently. Leprechauns have metal claws under the skin of their hands, Icelandic trolls can shapeshift into wolves and humans and can create the illusion of fire, poltergeists vary in powers, and then there are the witch doctors and all-around strange people.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: Much of the short stories are this, such as "Fatal Attraction", "The Barber of Civil", "Frank Einstein's Monster", "The Big Sleep" "eBoy", "The Gas Man Cometh", and "Monty's Python".
  • Lazy Bum: Savannah in "The Grub A Blub Blub", Tom in "Tom Time", Truffle in "The Clothes Pigs", "Glued to the Telly", and "The Decomposition of Delia Deathabridge".
  • The Prankster: There are a few, mostly prank callers.
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • "The Clothes Pigs" = the clothes pegs.
    • The name of the ninth book, Blubbers and Sicksters = brothers and sisters.
    • "William the Conkerer" = William the Conqueror.
  • Space Whale Aesop: All of the stories are this. Apparently, if you're mouthy in school, a hairdresser will cut your tongue; if you don't eat fruit, you'll turn into a bat; and if you pressure your child into the adult world prematurely, they'll turn into a pensioner.
  • Villain Protagonist: The majority of the kids.
  • Workaholic: A lot of the parents
  • White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: Many of the rich characters are British versions. However, some (like The Chipper Chums) show this trait, even if there is no implication of being from families of extreme wealth.

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