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Series / Creeped Out

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"The Curious. They say he collects strange tales. And if you ever hear his know something creepy is about to unfold."
Opening narration

Creeped Out is a CBBC British-Canadian horror anthology series. Each story is connected by a strange masked creature known as "The Curious" who always appears whenever there is a strange and spooky tale to be told.

The series began airing in October 2017. The second season commenced airing in April 2019. In October 2018, Netflix put it up as an original series, then added the second season a year later.


This series contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Patty's mother in "Slapstick" yells at and humiliates her daughter, even in front of guests.
    • Vincent's father is emotionally abusive in "A Boy Called Red."
  • An Aesop: Most episodes contain one. "Cat Food", "Trolled", "Marti", "One More Minute", "Help" all count.
  • Affectionate Nickname: In "Slapstick", Jessie's dad calls her "Dinky".
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: "Marti" seems to end this way. Despite her best friend's attempt to release the hold on Kim, Kim ends up keeping Marti somewhat safe with the intent of breaking him out of the concrete. What really makes it creepy is that all of Marti's mannerisms were the textbook example of domestic abuse.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: In "Slapstick", Jessie's parents are like this, leading her to unwisely make a deal with Mr. Blackteeth.
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  • Ambiguous Gender: It's stated in one episode that, although The Curious is referred to / known as "he", no one really knows whether that's true.
  • Ambiguous Situation: What is The Curious and why does it seek out scary stories? It's not really clear; The Curious itself may not even know.
  • Babysitter from Hell:
    • Esme in "Kindlesticks". She scares the kids she is babysitting with stories of a monster who will eat them if they don't go to bed and has her boyfriend dress up as the monster to help scare them.
    • Ava in "Help" is a tech version of this, since Molly's parents have no trouble leaving her alone with it for a weekend.
  • Babysitting Episode: "Kindlesticks" is about Esme, a babysitter who scares the children she is supposed to be looking after with scary stories.
  • Bad Santa: Splinta Claus, an animatronic Santa that, due to some crossed wires, tries to kill good kids while ignoring naughty ones.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: A variant in "Marti", where Millie being in a bathroom stall enables her to overhear Marti threatening Kim.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Jessie in "Slapstick" wishes her parents were normal. She learns to regret it.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In "Cat Food", the Koekoeken explains that she bathes in cat food because it contains taurine, which the creature needs to survive. She then casually mentions that before tinned cat food was invented, she had to use cow's urine.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: The message of "Cat Food". Stu cheats in the card game (by using a camera to see the cards that are face down on the table) and stops the Koekoeken from taking his body, only for the Koekoeken to use the same cheat to take his sister's body.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Subverted in "Cat Food". Stu's mother gives him a trick coin as a present, which later comes up again when he tries to use it to cheat the Koekoeken. However, she already knows it's a trick (because she's been watching him all day) and insists they play a fair game; so nothing further comes of the coin.
    • Played straight in "Help". Debby, the nosy neighbour, is seen talking into a watch which Ava later uses to download herself into and possess Debby.
  • Chess with Death: Stu is forced into a card game with the Koekoeken, who will possess his body if he loses. He cheats and wins, but his sister isn't so lucky...
  • Christmas Episode: "Splinta Claus".
  • Chromosome Casting: "Bravery Badge" has no male characters at all. Justified, since the premise is a Girl Scout camping trip.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship:
    • Greg and Dave in "Shed No Fear".
    • Ultimately, Dent and Janie in "Bravery Badge".
  • Cool Mask: The Curious wears a grey mask that looks like it's made out of stone.
  • Creepy Children Singing: All the girls in "Bravery Badge" become this after being possessed by alien parasites.
  • Creepy Souvenir: The Curious takes something creepy from the scene of each tale.
  • Dance Party Ending: "Shed No Fear" ends with The Curious picking up a disco ball and dancing to the music that the boys used to defeat the Shade.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: According to Word of God, The Curious isn't evil, just "an observer".
  • Daylight Horror: Most episodes take place in the daytime.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Koekoeken uses her knowledge of Stu's cheating at school to lure him, pointing out that if he gets caught, not only will he be kicked out of school but everyone will assume his hard-working sister is a cheat, their dad will be fired, and the school will suffer because of the bad press. Stu hadn't thought about any of this.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Most of the time most of the characters deserve what they get for their rather selfish actions, but it's very much played straight in the "The Many Place". Nita getting stuck in a hotel room that will lead you lost to infinite multiple realities, with there also being monsters there that may kill her, is sort of harsh when the worst thing she did was being neglectful for being a teenager.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: "Bravery Badge" is based around Girl Guides on a camping trip being turned into zombie-like creatures by an alien parasite.
  • Doorstop Baby: Pearl in "The Call", who was found abandoned by the sea because she's actually a siren.
  • Ear Ache: "Bravery Badge" involves alien parasites which infect humans by crawling into their ears.
  • The '80s: "A Boy Called Red" is partly set in the 1980s. Justified because the main protagonist is able to jump back to that time.
  • Embarrassing Cover-Up: In "One More Minute", after Jack gets so caught up in his video game that he forgets to attend a party, he covers to his friends by saying he was "stuck in the bathroom all night".
  • Enthralling Siren: Appear in "The Call".
  • Everybody Lives: Nearly always, and even played straight when it could be averted, such as in "Spaceman", "Slapstick" (though the parents possibly suffer a Fate Worse than Death), and "Bravery Badge". Noticeably subverted, however, in "Cat Food" and "Trolled".
  • Evil Mentor: Pui for Pearl in "The Call".
  • Evil Phone: The plot of "Marti", who turns out to be a living phone who uploads embarrassing videos and photos of Kim to get him to do what he wants.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: The moral of "Spaceman".
  • Framing Device: The Curious, who appears each time a creepy story is about to unfold. Each story opens with him skulking the location of the story and ends with him taking an object that played a part in the story.
  • Future Me Scares Me: "One More Minute" has Jack magically skip ahead five years and find that he's grown up to be a loser who has no friends, no life outside of video games, and is failing school.
  • Genre Savvy: Danny in "The Call", who realises his sister has developed superpowers and comments that her situation makes her a perfect candidate for a superhero origin story.
  • Happily Adopted: Pearl and Danny in "The Call".
  • Here We Go Again!: The endings of "Slapstick", "Marti", "Bravery Badge", "Shed No Fear", and "Itchy".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Cat Food", the Koekoeken is able to possess Stu's sister using the same trick he himself used to defeat it.
  • Human Aliens: Stan in "Spaceman", although it's subverted by the ending.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends:
    • Spud in "Spaceman", who is very hurt that Thomas doesn't want to be friends (and before him, the boy who previously lived in Thomas's house.)
    • Jessie in "Slapstick" desperately wants to be friends with Patty and her popular Girl Posse.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Marti's attitude towards Kim, though it threatens to ruin her life rather than kill her.
  • In the Hood: The Curious travels in an olive jacket with the hood covering its head.
  • Just One More Level: "One More Minute" is practically built around this trope.
  • Karmic Transformation: "Trolled" involves an Internet Troll being turned into a literal troll and later a stone troll as punishment for his actions.
  • Kid from the Future: The protagonist of "A Boy Called Red" becomes one after being sent back to 1985 and meeting his father as a child.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Often, but particularly noticeable in "Trolled" and "The Traveller". In the latter, it's actually the traveller's power.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: In "Help", protagonist Gabe is shy and gentle and his father a stay-at-home parent, whereas the female characters in the episode are portrayed in more conventionally masculine roles; Gabe's mother is a soldier, his class teacher a female army instructor, his best friend a tough cadet, and the school bully a girl.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: In "Bravery Badge", Dent gives a speech about this after Janie claims that nature provides a solution to every problem.
  • New Media Are Evil: The plots of "Trolled" (about the consequences of cyberbullying), "Marti" (about a girl's new smartphone taking over her life), "One More Minute" (about the consequences of spending too much time playing video games), and "Help" (about the consequences of becoming too reliant on technology).
  • Newspaper Dating: In "A Boy Called Red", Vincent learns from the front of a TV guide that he's been sent back to 1985.
  • The Nose Knows: Ace's talent within the circus in "Side Show". Justified in that he's originally a dog.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In "Slapstick", Mr. Blackteeth's "assistant" (really the child of his latest puppets) is identified only as The Bottler.
  • Parents as People: Andrew in "A Boy Called Red", who is driven to push his son away because of his personal and marital problems.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil:
    • Sam in "Trolled" becomes a cyberbully partly because he feels he can't live up to his friends.
    • "Shed No Fear" is a much gentler example, but it's pointed out that Dave treated Greg very badly in order to fit in with his popular friends on the football team.
  • People Puppets: What happens to any parents whose child makes a deal with Mr. Blackteeth in "Slapstick".
  • Playing Sick: Stu does this in "Cat Food", kicking off the episode's plot.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Koekoeken in "Cat Food".
  • Rapid Aging:
    • What the titular character of "The Traveller" does to anyone he's decided to "punish". The main character ends up with one of her hands withered up.
    • Ostensibly happens to Jack in "One More Minute", though it's not clear whether this really happened, or if time passed normally but Jack didn't notice.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • The Koekoeken does look elderly, since she's in the body of Mrs McMurtle; but is many centuries old, with a large collection of pictures of her past human hosts.
    • The Curious appears to have the body of a child or young teenager but is mentioned as having looked the same way for decades (at least), suggesting this trope applies to it too.
  • "Rear Window" Homage: Invoked in "Cat Food". The Koekoeken relies on this as part of her plan to possess Stu.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Kindlesticks can be identified by his glowing red eyes.
  • Repulsive Ringmaster: Zephaniah in "Side Show".
  • Scholarship Student: Sam in "Trolled" is already a poor student at an expensive school, but his goal for most of the episode is to win a scholarship so he can afford to stay there.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Vincent has to do this in "A Boy Called Red" by ensuring his father never has to experience the loss of his best friend (actually Vincent himself from the future).
  • Shared Universe: The whole show is intended to be one, including a text message conversation between characters from two different episodes ("Slapstick" and "Kindlesticks").
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "Marti", the protagonist attends a school called Denis McGrath High, named after a writer on the series who passed away during production.
    • "The Many Place" has many homages to The Shining.
  • Sinister Surveillance: The titular AI in "Marti".
  • Sinister Whistling: When the Curious whistles, a creepy story is about to told. Subverted in that while the whistling is sinister, the Curious isn't.
  • Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: The main theme of "A Boy Called Red", where Vincent has to choose between returning to the present and upsetting his father for the rest of his life, or staying in the past and getting trapped there.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Quite a few episodes veer into this territory. Pressed all the buttons in an elevator? You'll be transported to an alternate reality. Didn't read the terms and conditions for a mobile app? Some creepy guy is going to literally steal your face. The usage is somewhat justified, as it's a children's horror show: the stories want to be educational and scary at the same time.
  • Spiritual Successor: The creators have stated they intend it to be one to shows such as Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Eerie, Indiana and Round the Twist
  • Spooky Photographs: The Curious is rumoured to appear as a blurry face at the back of photographs.
  • Taken for Granite: The ultimate fate of Sam in "Trolled", who morphs into a statue at the end of the story.
  • Time-Freeze Trolling Spree: Jodie and Brandon go on one of these in "The Traveller".
  • Time Stands Still:
    • One of many powers The Curious holds. An example of this occurs in during the Framing Device of "Marti", where he walks among the characters who are all frozen before snapping his fingers.
    • Jodie and Brandon gain this ability in "The Traveller" after they take his magic box, and the Traveller himself has it.
  • Time-Travel Episode: "A Boy Called Red" involves the titular character travelling back and forth from the present to the 1980s.
  • Title Drop: Several episodes have one: "Cat Food", "Marti", and "A Boy Called Red".
  • Trademark Favourite Food: In "Spaceman", Spud has a fixation with potato crisps.
  • Vampiric Draining: Faye in "The Unfortunate Five" is a vampire who feeds off negative energy in others. She does kill people and drain them of their blood, but it's shown that even being in a room around angry or unhappy people provides her with a decent level of sustenance.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • Vincent in "A Boy Called Red" longs to earn his increasingly distant father's affection.
    • In "The Unfortunate Five", Faye senses that Jude's biggest fear is losing the approval of her mother.
  • Wet Cement Gag: "Marti" has one in the background.

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