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Literature / Weenies

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Weenies is a series of short children's horror anthologies written by David Lubar. And he sure doesn't mind flaunting the scary either. A lot of these shorts contain stories that wouldn't be out of place in an Junji Ito manga! However, it should also be noted that not every story is played for horror. Hell, some tales aren't even supernatural for that matter (One short is simply about a scary experience with a barber).

Quite a few are more lighthearted and embrace the weirdness of their premises (ex. One tale is simply about a kid talking with the personification of bad luck), trying to make you laugh, some even pull a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax....and of course there are those stories that are both scary and hilarious.

The series debuted in 2003 with In the Land of the Lawn Weenies, and is currently has a total of nine installments. In 2019, a spinoff was launched called "Teeny Weenies" which is the same format, but with illustrations and aimed at a younger audience.


  1. In the Land of the Lawn Weenies (2003)
  2. Invasion of the Road Weenies (2005)
  3. The Curse of the Campfire Weenies (2007)
  4. The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies (2009)
  5. Attack of the Vampire Weenies (2011)
  6. Beware the Ninja Weenies (2012)
  7. Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies (2014)
  8. Strikeout of the Bleacher Weenies (2016)
  9. Check Out the Library Weenies (2018)

This work provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: In the Land of the Lawn Weenies and Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies.
  • Adult Fear: A few stories have kids menaced not by supernatural creatures, but perfectly ordinary serial killers instead. Other stories also feature kids being endangered because they didn't tell their parents where they were going.
  • And I Must Scream: A few stories end with the child protagonist not dying, but instead being trapped in a horrible situation with no hope of escape.
    • In "Talk to the Animals," a misanthropic girl saves a witch from danger and is offered the reward of any wish she wants. Since she loves animals more than people, she asks to be able to understand what they are saying. It seems like a dream come true—until she discover that animals have an extremely low opinion of human beings. Even beloved pets do nothing but insult and belittle her. She breaks down in tears and hides in her bedroom after only a few hours, only to discover that her wish works for all animals, including the spiders in the ceiling and microscopic dust mites in the carpet. The implication is that she will never escape the cruelty of the animal kingdom, no matter where she goes.
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    • One story has a boy on a long road trip with his parents. After some attempts to entertain himself fail, he dozes off and, upon waking, begins to do the same things as before, implying that the family is trapped in an endless loop.
    • A Cure for the Uncommon Vampire has an Insufferable Genius boy discover a cure for vampirism - albeit an extremely painful one. After successfully curing a vampire with it, said ex-vampire delivers him to a group of vampires. He's doomed to spend the rest of his days as a renewable source of blood for the vampires, endlessly undergoing the painful transformation into a vampire and the even more painful transformation back as they suck his blood and transform him back into a human for more blood.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Some of the stories have the protagonists seemingly escaping the obvious danger, only to realize that the real threat was something unexpected. A few examples:
    • "The Vampire Rat" has a kid living in an apartment building with a vampire, who in turn feeds on rats in the basement and infects one with bloodlust. The Too Dumb to Live kid decides to keep the rat as a pet, and manages to escape when it tries to bite. But the vampiric fleas living on the rat are another story...
    • Another vampiric story talks about a cool kid who always wears a leather jacket and his friend exploring a haunted house. There's a vampire in the basement, but his fangs aren't able to pierce the jacket's collar... which means that the jacket itself becomes a sentient bloodsucking monster.
    • A story about a bored child on a road trip with his parents stopping at an attraction called "Reptile World." They're advertising a new attraction called "Terror of the Amazon," which the protagonist naturally thinks is an anaconda. The insane owner of the attraction tries to capture the boy and feed him to a python, so he leaps into a swimming pool to escape—and that's when he discovers that the "Terror of the Amazon" is actually piranhas.
  • Batman Gambit: Sometimes used by a main character. Sometimes by someone else.
  • Body Horror: Accentuated through graphic descriptions.
  • Christmas Every Day: Parodied with Christmas Carol where Carol is perfectly fine with it being Christmas every day, and the person who granted her wish is disappointed she didn't learn anything.
  • Covers Always Lie: For a series with such comical covers based on anthropomorphic weenies, some of the tales in the series are extremely scary.
  • Clickbait Gag: Differnet Explorer has someone discovering a different version of the internet not only has parodies of click bait, but the promises the articles make come true. He finds one saying this video will slay you. You can imagine how that goes.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Well for one example, there's "Attack of the Vampire Weenies". A little kid tries to sabotage his sister's vampire party by inviting an actual vampire (or at least one that fits his depictions) though he does make preparations to make sure the vampire is destroyed. Sure enough, a person claiming to be a count asks to be invited in and then destroys every weapon against a vampire in the house. Looks like the kid protagonist was wrong eh? PSYCH! Turns out the man was acting as the Renfield to the count, destroying all of the weapons so the count and his horde can munch in peace. And that's how it ends.
  • Darker and Edgier: It's often been considered much darker than other kids anthologies like Goosebumps. The main reason? Characters actually get the friggin ax in this series! Not to mention having downright mean endings for characters that aren't even that villainous.
  • Dead All Along: The twist to a few stories, one such example being The Soda Fountain.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Have you been bullying a classmate? You deserve to be fried to death by an insane mental patient along with your other classmates!
    • Do you think a little roadside attraction about snakes is lame? You deserve to be fed to said snakes!
    • Broke an expensive item you weren't supposed to touch and skedaddled out of there? You'll be cursed so your touch makes everything and everyone you love disappear the moment they leave your sight.
    • Did you trespass and swim in a hotel pool after hours? Well, clearly you deserve to suddenly be transported to the middle of the ocean.
    • Do you plan to return something just to get paid? You deserve to be murdered when it turns out it was a trap set by an implied serial killer.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The first book alone has an insane substitute teacher, seed pods from oak trees, a vampiric leather jacket (as in a leather jacket that comes to life and starts sucking blood), the kids on a playground...the list goes on.
  • Exact Words:
    • In the titular "In the Land of the Lawn Weenies", the protagonist says that his family isn't a "typical" one... it's his mom that's brainwashed, not his dad like most families.
    • One title is called "Banning Books"... Yeah, they're exactly what you think they are. Books that literally ban people.
    • One group of kids is cursed so everything they says comes true. The protagonist successfully uncurses himself, testing it by saying "I am holding a baseball" and seeing that nothing happens. Then one of the others tries saying, "I have a baseball in my hand." A baseball appears inside his hand, to his extraordinary pain.
    • One story has fliers boasting typical store sale phrasing that effect the actual world. If it says 20% off, everything, such as food, feels 20% off. The story ends with one saying "Fire Sale: Everything must go!" The sun gets hotter, everything goes.
    • Dizzy Spells has wishes come true when you're dizzy. Someone gets so dizzy that they wish the world would stop spinning. It does, but everything on it keeps moving.
  • Fairy in a Bottle: In the short story by the same name, a boy catches a vicious fairy. He's unwilling to release it out of self-preservation, so it tries to bargain with him. Said bargain ends up being a trick that allows it to escape.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: As you can tell by now, the series is full of these. To name one particularly nasty example, Lost and Found has the kids being murdered with a knife.
  • Happy Ending: Rarely, you can find the odd story where all ends well, such as "The Last Halloween" and "The Dead Won't Hurt You".
  • Jackass Genie: A particularly nasty one in one short.
  • Karmic Twist Ending: The story about the substitute teacher may qualify to some, seeing as it ends with the revelation that he's an escaped lunatic who electrocutes the entire class...except for the one bullied girl, who'd been chased out in tears earlier.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Teeny Weenies series, which are written in a similar format but for younger readers, which means less of the dark elements the main series is known for.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Inverted in Lucidity where a kid tries to have a lucid dream and it seems like he's done it, but it turns out to be a prank and he was not dreaming. But then the story ends with his friend flying away, implying it was a dream after all.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: One story features wereturtles.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Played different ways depending on the story. Hell, the series even lampshades the trope in the titular story of the fifth book.
  • Ret-Gone: A kid discovers his VCR can delete the actual event that a tape has recorded by recording over it but eventually he records over a tape of his birth, so he is deleted from existence.
  • Social Media Before Reason: The premise of Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies. People are too busy trying to take pictures of a monster to stop it from eating them.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Used to great effect in one story about a zombie apocalypse.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: "The Door" from Lawn Weenies is all about this. A horrible boy named Patrick comes across a door carved into a tree and a mysterious figure standing before it. The man explains that the door is one of many throughout the world designed to hold evil at bay. Patrick, who demonstrates sociopathic traits such as manipulation and Lack of Empathy, demands to see what's behind it. The man agrees, opens the door, and reveals a small empty chamber. A furious Patrick complains that he was tricked—at which point the man shoves him inside, locks the door, and reveals that now the chamber contains something evil.
  • Something Completely Different: Some of the stories take on different formats, such as one told entirely through dialogue, or one done like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.
    • While the weenies in the titular tales are usually people to be mocked, the ones in Check Out the Library Weenies are the protagonists.
  • Shout-Out: The barber in A Little off the top is named Vince Sweeny.
  • Stepford Suburbia: The titular short story in In the Land of the Lawn Weenies is set in a suburban community where the dads have a zombie-like obsession with lawn care. The protagonist fears that his own dad will succumb to the mindset.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Any story that ends well winds up being this.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The end of the "The Door" reveals that the "evil" lurking behind the titular door was actually the horrifically nasty child in the story; the whole thing was a gambit to get him to look inside and seal him away.
  • Tomato Surprise: A few have one, such as Class Trip where the a class of full of kids are actually werewolves.
  • Trapped in TV Land: One kid finds that his remote can take him inside TV shows. Eventually his brother tries to take advantage of this. He accidentally goes inside Star Trek during a scene showing only space. The results aren't pretty.
  • Twist Ending: This trope is the series' bread and butter; however, it doesn't always have to be a scary twist.
  • Voodoo Doll: Sympathy Pains has a mean girl creating one to get revenge on a strict teacher that she feels is targeting her. Its powers are weak so eventually she plans to just a stick a needle right in the doll's heart. She accidentally uses her own hair for the doll, so she winds up getting killed instead.


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