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The Goosebumps book where some kid starts growing hair in places where hair should not be. Not in the way you may expect.

When Larry finds a discarded bottle of fake tan, he and his friends are sure it will help them win their school's upcoming Battle of the Bands. But things soon start to go bad. Larry's growing thick, dark hair all over his body. Even in places people don't normally grow hair. The same thing is happening to some of his friends. They don't appear to be werewolves... but just what is going on?

This book was adapted into episode 13 of the first season of the TV series, with a novelization based on the episode being released as book 6 of the Goosebumps Presents series.


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The book provides examples of:

  • All Part of the Show: As Larry's band performs their second song onstage, his face rapidly grows black hair all over, which the audience quickly notices and excitedly applauds over. A few onlookers even yell out that those are very impressive special effects. In fact, this is the only reason why his band won first place and the trophy, despite the fact that they were quite inferior to the previous band that had a much more stunning musical performance.
  • Animorphism: Inverted; 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.
  • Battle of the Bands: The main protagonists are part of a band, whom 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.
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  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: After Howie's band performs to almighty applause, he passes Larry as he and his friends perform next, to which Howie tauntingly asks him where the rest of his band is. An angry Larry is about to retort, to reveal that his friends moved away mysteriously, but Jared gave him a shove from behind to shut him up.
  • Body Horror: A tamer example. Larry and two of his friends start sprouting hair all over.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Larry has one in which he was preparing to eat a large plate of spaghetti, but then the spaghetti turned into hair, and he woke up just as he was about to eat a forkful of hair in his dream.
  • Constantly Changing Name: The band that Larry and his friends have changed their name a lot. Last week, they designated their name to be called The Spirits. Currently, it's called The Geeks.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: 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.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: After Howie and the Shouters perform with massive approval from the audience, the Geeks get on stage and their performance with their first song is quite mediocre. The audience responds with loud yet polite applause, so unlike the cheering enthusiasm they previously had for Howie's band. Subverted when the band's second performance comes on, as the audience slowly swells from being calm to going wild as Larry's transformation takes place.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Lily's eyes, one blue and one gold. The dog she turned back into has them too.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A bunch of kids start spontaneously growing hair in unexpected places... really?
  • Dogs Hate Squirrels: After the pack of dogs try to spring on Larry at the beginning of the book, only for Lily to come by and shoo them away with her snow shovel, the dogs go after a squirrel instead whilst barking wildly.
  • Dumpster Dive: Larry notes that he loves going through old junk, so he tends to do this trope for this reason. He indeed does this in an abandoned dumpster near Lily's house after band practice, and this is how he comes across the INSTA-TAN bottle that gives him so much trouble later on.
  • Exact Words: Larry finds a dog who looks similar to Lily, and he finds her parents moving away without her, and they claim that their never was a Lily. He tells his friends later that Lily is gone, leaving out the dog he saw earlier, so they don't that he's crazy.
  • Foreshadowing: At one point, Larry is described as "pawing" through the trash. Because he's a dog.
    • Also, after again fending off some dogs, Larry notices that one of them looks like Manny.
  • Humanity Ensues: Larry and two of his friends are dogs who were turned into humans. At the end, his "parents" bring home a baby who's all but stated to be their cat turned human.
  • Least Rhymable Word: The rival band whom are challenging The Geeks in the band contest are Howie and the Shouters. However, Howie is merely the drummer of his band, while his sister Marissa is the singer. This causes Larry to once ask Howie why the band isn't called "Marissa and the Shouters" then, to which he replies that "Marissa" doesn't rhyme with anything. This then causes Larry to ask him what Howie rhymes with, to which he replies, "Zowie!"
  • Mad Scientist: Larry's "doctor" turns out to be a scientist who tried to make a serum that turns dogs into kids, only to find that it's a failure.
  • Mandatory Twist Ending: This book marks the most infamous one in the series, ending 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.
  • Mirror Monologue: Larry does this at school in the bathroom, instructing himself to stop thinking about hair, assuring himself that he'll be okay.
  • Never Heard That One Before: At school, Larry's class is doing book reports, and Howie's turn comes up involving a baseball book. Larry internally groans, knowing in advance that Howie would start his presentation with, "I recommend this book to anyone who likes baseball", just as he always started his book reports. And when Howie begins this time, he uses the exact phrase just as predicted. Larry yawned loudly. But when his presentation came, he started it with, "I would recommend it to anyone who likes funny science fiction stories..."
  • No Antagonist: One of the very few entries where the strange happenings aren't caused by sinister forces. The kids' transformations are just unintentional flaws in the dog-to-child serum, and none of the people involved are villainous aside from crossing certain ethical boundaries.
  • No, You: After finishing a song during band practice, Larry wants to start the song again. This causes his bandmates to groan.
    Lily: Larry, we sounded great! We don't need to play it again.
    Larry: The rhythm was way off.
    Manny: You're way off! (makes a face at him)
  • Puppy Love: Larry 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.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Plenty of lone dogs do this in reaction to Larry talking to them. That's probably their way of realizing that he's actually a dog like them.
  • Red Herring: 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 were from a local doctor's dog-to-human serum wearing off.
  • Snowball Fight: After trying on the INSTA-TAN, Larry and his friends have one which quickly devolves into just fooling around in the snow. They all found it quite fun, but this is cut short when Larry suddenly feels sick and has to be taken to Dr. Murkin.
  • Spraying Drink from Nose: After one band practice, Larry asks his friends if they remember the INSTA-TAN, and if any of them started growing hair after they put the lotion on. This causes Jared to start laughing while drinking Coke, so some of it spurted out of his nose. He then started choking, prompting Kristina to hurry over and slap him on the back to make him stop.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Larry is a dog who was turned into a human, and he reverts back to his real form.
  • Wham Line: The final sentence of the second-to-last chapter, which puts things well into perspective:
    You're a dog, Larry.
  • You Are What You Hate: Larry 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.


The episode provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: One of the members of Larry's band, Kristina, doesn't appear at all, leaving Lily the only girl in a group of boys.
    • And the Hurwin siblings, the main rivals for Larry's band, are never shown. In fact, the Battle of the Bands event isn't seen onscreen.
    • Larry also never manages to recover the INSTA-TAN despite having the intention to do so.
  • All There in the Script: The script for this episode reveals that the reason that Larry's parents took part in Murkin's experiments to turn dogs into humans is because they can't have kids of their own.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After it is revealed that Larry is a dog, the exact footage of the dog from the intro is used and Larry comments that this "looks familiar".
  • Here We Go Again!: Larry says this word for word at the end when he sees that his cat Jasper has been turned into a human baby.
  • Not So Innocent Whistling: When Larry is in the bathroom shaving his hand for the first time, his parents come by asking him questions. Larry demands some privacy and starts humming while shaving his hand with a razor.
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