The Goosebumps book which we can't glibly summarise in one sentence without completely spoiling it.
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 all 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.
The book provides examples of:
- 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, 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.
- Body Horror: Larry and two of his friends start sprouting hair all over.
- 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.
- 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 starts spontaneously growing hair in unexpected places... really?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Larry is a dog who was turned into a human, and he reverts back to his real form.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.