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Trivia for the whole franchise

Trivia for the original book series

  • Approval of God: While he confessed to have not actually read the Gooflumps parody books, Stine once said that he thought the covers were "pretty funny".
  • Cash-Cow Franchise: It has over two-hundred books, spawned a popular TV series, and is the only children's book series that has sold more units than Harry Potter.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: In 2018, Stine held an auction in which the highest bidder would get to name a character in an upcoming book. The winner ended up being Gates Warwas in It's Alive! It's Alive!.
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    • In the late 90's, a few contests were held where the winner got their name to appear in a Series 2000 book and the winners ended up being Jack Archer in Invasion of the Body Squeezers and Audra Rusinas in Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: More "creator's favorite installment"; Stine states "Attack of the Mutant" to be his favorite installment in the series, and "The Haunted Mask" to be his best.
  • Defictionalization: They make real Slappy dummies, and there used to be actual Haunted Masks.
  • Franchise Zombie: The success of the original series led publisher Scholastic to bet everything they had on it and tell author R.L. Stine to keep going. He did, and the quality suffered. The books ended up Strictly Formula and became shorter. Their popularity dropped as a result. It's been rumored that Stine became so fed up with this that many of the later books were ghostwritten.note 
  • Name's the Same: Slappy shouldn't be confused for that other Slappy who starred in metafictional Looney Tunes shorts in her youth.
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    • The Series 2000 books Jekyll and Heidi and The Werewolf in the Living Room both have a character named Aaron Fredius.
    • The second Horrorland Arc and the Most Wanted book A Nightmare on Clown Street have a clown named Murder.
    • Sarah Maas, the protagonist of The Curse of Camp Cold Lake should not be confused with Sarah J. Maas
  • No Export for You:
    • The two Triple Header books and the last four Tales to Give You Goosebumps were the only books never to be published in the UK.
    • The French Goosebumps adaptions, Chair De Poule, released six illustrated novella adaptions of the short stories from Tales to Give You Goosebumps. There was also a game book titled "House of the Vampire" which was never translated into English and was written by Jean-Luc Bizen instead of R.L. Stine.
    • There were three Spanish language magazines entitled Pesadillas including six short stories written by Stine and various comic strips by other creators. Only one of the stories, "Joe Is Not A Monster," was printed in English in the short story collection Beware!.
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    • There exists a Norwegian Goosebumps book consisting of short stories submitted by fans and illustrations by cartoonist Lise Myhre. Again this was virtually unknown to the English speaking fandom until recently.
    • Some of the books from the original series were translated into Swedish, but no other Goosebumps book has ever been released in Sweden.
    • Only ten of the books were translated into Japanese, and were completely Out of Order from the series' original run.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content:
    • In 1994, an official "Name a Goosebumps Book" contest sponsored by Scholastic was held, allowing for grade-schoolers to suggest the title for an upcoming book to be released around summer 1995. Over 1,600 titles were submitted, and there ended up being a winner announced on Halloween of that year — Slime Doesn't Pay, suggested by 11-year old Jimmy S. of Glencoe, Illinois. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the book never actually came to be.
    • In 1998, a similar "name an upcoming Goosebumps story" contest was sponsored by Parachute Press and General Mills. To ensure the story would actually happen this time, R.L. Stine would be visiting the school of the contest's winner and writing the story in person, though the catch would be that it'd end up being a short story rather than a full-fledged novel. Still, this once again provoked thousands of submissions, and the winner came from 10-year old Braden G. of Lacona, Iowa: Dead Dogs Still Fetch, which was not officially printed, but managed to be successfully archived in video form.
  • Old Shame: Stine has admitted that he doesn't care for The The Barking Ghost, as well as not being happy with the writing in Go Eat Worms. He also does not have fond memories of writing Cry of the Cat, the first Series 2000 book, because Scholastic kept rejecting Stine's drafts and forcing him to rewrite it to make the story "scarier."
  • Recycled Script:
    • Full Moon Fever borrows most of its plot from Chicken Chicken — the protagonists, one boy and one girl, tick off an old lady and subsequently find themselves transformed into animals. It also resembles a short story, "Pumpkin Juice" (from Still More Tales to Give You Goosebumps), where the protagonists turn into hungry werewolves after ingesting a strange food. It also resembles the short story "Marshmellow Surprise" (from More & More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps), where some kids are cursed by a treat given to a mean neighbor pretending to be nice.
    • Cry of the Cat is an expanded version of the short story "The Cat's Tale" from More Tales to Give You Goosebumps. The same premise was again reused with the Hall of Horrors book Claws!. The concept was also used in a Fear Street book called Cat.
    • Taken to ridiculous lengths with the number of summer camp stories:
      • Welcome to Camp Nightmare (Original Series #9): A boy goes to a summer camp said to be haunted by a monster in the woods and his bunkmates keep getting injured and disappearing (Turns out the place is a Secret Test of Character for the protagonist and that he and his family are human-looking aliens ready to go on a vacation to Earth).
      • The Horror at Camp Jellyjam (Original Series #33): A brother and sister on a road trip crash their trailer into a sports camp where everyone is obsessed with competing and winning in sports so they can be slaves to a giant purple blob whose cronies are the Brainwashed and Crazy Stepford Smiler counselors.
      • Ghost Camp (Original Series #45): Two brothers go to a summer camp where everyone is a ghost and the only way they can escape is to possess the body of a living being.
      • The Curse of Camp Cold Lake (Original Series #56): A girl at a water sports camp finds herself haunted by a murderous Yandere ghost girl who can't go to the afterlife unless she has a buddy.
      • Fright Camp (Series 2000 #8): A group of horror movie fans win a trip to a camp that is said to be home to a horror movie director's creations.
      • Return to Ghost Camp (Series 2000 #19): A boy switches places with another camper on his way to the ghost camp from the original series and enjoys living his life — until it's revealed that the boy the protagonist switched places with is prepped to be sacrificed to a monster in the woods.
      • Escape From Camp Run-For-Your-Life (Give Yourself Goosebumps #19): You (the reader) find yourself in a camp filled with zombie children.
      • Welcome to Camp Slither (HorrorLand #9): A brother and sister find themselves in a camp infested with snakes.
      • Creature Teacher: The Final Exam (Most Wanted #6): A sequel to Creature Teacher from Series 2000, where Mrs. Maargh now runs a summer camp that borrows its plot elements from The Horror at Camp Jellyjam as well as Creature Teacher.
    • Let's Get Invisible!, Mirror Mirror On The Wall, and The Ghost In The Mirror all involve beings that try to switch places with people by using mirrors. Mirror Mirror On The Wall is basically just Let's Get Invisible! without the invisibility angle added in.
    • Horrors Of The Black Ring is more or less The Haunted Mask without the symbol of love angle, since both are about cursed objects that cause the wearer to gradually turn twisted and evil. The same can be said for the short story Monster on the Ice.
    • Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask reuses The Haunted Mask's plot though with a few different details here and there.
    • As mentioned below, Stine reused the outline for the planned The Incredible Shrinking 5th Grader for his standalone kids book The Adventures of Shrinkman.
    • Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes is essentially a Night of the Living Dummy story, just with gnomes in places of dummies.
  • Referenced by...: The tagline for Check It Out-And Die!, one of the books in the Spinetinglers series, says that "you'll get more than goosebumps when you read this book!"
    • On a similar token, the back tagline for the first Bonechillers book declares it's so scary it'll give you goosebumps.
  • Sequel Gap: There have been some notable gaps between the release of the sequels in the series:
    • Return to Horrorland: 5 years. Then there was the nine year gap between that and the Horrorland series.
    • Creature Teacher: The Final Exam: 16 years.
    • Monster Blood has two big ones. First was the 11 year gap between Monster Blood IV and Monster Blood for Breakfast, than there is the 13 year gap between that and Monster Blood is Back.
  • Troubled Production: The Goosebumps Wiki details some of the legal disputes Stine and his wife Jane's company, Parachute Press, had with Scholastic over the course of the original series.
    • To summarize, Scholastic set very specific guidelines in their contracts with Stine about which aspects of marketing and promotion were handled by Scholastic, and which by Parachute. When Parachute began holding promotional and marketing events without consulting Scholastic, the parent company sued the Stines, who in turn counter-sued Scholastic, claiming they violating their end of the contract by withholding revenue from the Stines. The first suits were filed in 1996, at the height of Goosebumps' popularity, and dragged through the courts until 2003.
    • The longstanding accusations that Stine used ghostwriters for Goosebumps originate from one of these lawsuits. Scholastic accused Stine of hiring freelance writers to send him manuscripts, which he then submitted to Scholastic as his own work with only minor revisions, in breach of contract. Scholastic would also blame this for the series' declining sales through the late '90s. Stine denied it at the time, and still does today (the matter was never resolved in court or elsewhere), though he's admitted that books for Ghosts of Fear Street were ghostwritten. A few of the Tales to Give You Goosebumps stories have also revealed to have been ghostwritten, although it's unknown if all of them were or only a few.
    • These difficulties came to a head with Series 2000. Scholastic's demands to make the books Darker and Edgier than Stine felt comfortable with increased the acrimony between them, and resulted in increased Executive Meddling.note . Meanwhile, lower sales of Goosebumps and Scholastic's declining stock generally convinced them that the legal issues with Stine and Parachute were now more trouble than they were worth. In 2000 Scholastic ended their contract with Stine; Series 2000, originally planned to be 40 books long, abruptly ended at 25, while the planned Goosebumps Gold series and other spinoffs (including a third Triple Header story collection) were canceled. note Eventually a deal was reached giving Scholastic sole publishing rights to the series, allowing them to reprint the original books starting in 2003. Stine, however, refused their offers to renew Goosebumps until the Horrorland books began in 2008.
  • Uncredited Role: The name of the artist (or artists; it isn't clear if the same person did all of them) who provided the cover art for the UK editions of the first 32 books (after that they just used the American cover art, cropped to fit the established template) is unknown, since they weren't given credit anywhere in the book.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Goosebumps Gold was a twelve-book series planned after 2000, with three titles, The Haunted Mask Lives!, Happy Holidays From Dead House, and Slappy New Year, announced. Cover artwork for the first two can be found on Tim Jacobus's website, and certain websites stock some of the books for sale. The plot for The Haunted Mask Lives! would've been about Carly Beth being targeted by the novelty shop owner who initially made the masks. Stine later used the title Slappy New Year! for the second arc of the Goosebumps Horrorland series, but it had a brand new plot.
    • Goosebumps 2000 was supposed to have a book called "The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader", but the series ended before it could be published. R.L. Stine later revealed the plot had been repurposed for his horror novel The Adventures of Shrinkman, and Tim Jacobus shared the unused but completed cover art for the Goosebumps wiki. A similar plot was also used in the third arc of the Goosebumps Horrorland series under the title Night of the Giant Everything.
    • The Art of Goosebumps collection later revealed that Stine had at least thought up a name for a 27th book, When The Snake Bites, but no other info or any concept sketches were ever made.
    • There was going to be one more Give Yourself Goosebumps book, but it got scrapped when the line ended. Artist Craig White shared the cover artwork with the Goosebumps wiki and, while the plot's still unknown, the cover featured some malevolent looking penguins in an arctic setting.
    • While Shop Till You Drop...Dead! from the Give Yourself Goosebumps series was the first to be illustrated by Craig White, there exists sketches by original series cover artist Mark Nagata, which were never used. These can be seen here. His notes also seem to imply that the book's original title was The Bizarre Bazar.
    • The Triple Header monster was originally designed to look like a teen monster with three separate heads instead of the extra two growing out of the monster's shoulders. Extra artwork from Tim Jacobus implies a third novella collection was planned as well. Stine also once stated he was working on a third entry.
    • A couple of early plot summaries from the "Goosebumps Horrorland" books are different from what was ultimately released, such as Robby Schwartz's brother Sam being older and the creator of the Dr. Maniac webcomic instead of Robby himself, and a few of the Very Special Guests having younger siblings along on their trip to Horrorland.
    • An early summary for The Lizard of Oz stated that the book would be about the protagonist ordering a lizard egg off the internet, while in the final book, she gets it from Australia, and it's her parents' idea.
    • An early summary for It's Alive! It's Alive! described Livvy and her brother Jayden building a robot using dangerous AI equipment that their mother, a scientist, warned them not to use. In the final book, Jayden is replaced with Livvy's friend Gates and they build the robot themselves, unable to understand why it's malfunctioning (although Livvy's mother is still a scientist and this is significant to the plot.)
    • An early summary for The Dummy Meets the Mummy! implied would be the focus ala Slappy's Nightmare and that he would be brought back to life by a girl on a class trip. In the final book, he is already alive when he is sent there and the girl is the focus instead of the a minor aspect like the summary implied.
    • The Art Of Goosebumps reveals many early Concept Art sketches for the covers of both the original series an Series 2000. Some have drastically different ideas than the final design.
      • One Day at Horrorland originally showed three kids(presumably Lizzy, Luke and Clay) riding a beast-shaped rollercoaster car. It was scrapped likely because the kids don't get on a rollercoaster in the final book.
      • One sketch for My Hairiest Adventure has Larry's right hand morphing into a paw, with his ears large furry and pointed. Either this was changed to avoid giving away the twist ending, or the book was originally going for a more straightforward Animorphism premise.
      • Ghost Beach was originally going to feature Harrison Sadler on the cover, a few sketches showing his face forming from a tidal wave crashing on the shore. He's a Red Herring in the actual story, so they went with an anonymous cloaked spirit to presumably stop it from being misleading.
      • Instead of human eyes, The Haunted School was going to have the eyes of a huge shadowy monster staring from the locker or behind a cracked chalkboard, possibly indicating there was originally going to be something much more monstrous and inhuman than the Class of 1947 inhabiting GreyWorld. Another sketch depicts the front of the forboding school itself ala Dead House, but called "Shady Rise" instead of Bell Valley.
      • The original cover concept for Fright Camp was a terrified camper strapped into an electric chair hooked up to Farraday's "Fear Meter." This was changed because the editors feared it would be too intense for the cover of a pre-teen book.
  • Word of Dante: Before 2015, "You and I are one now" as the English translation of "Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano" — given how widely this was accepted as fact, it's hard to believe this was purely a popular fan interpretation of a line from the TV series that didn't reach canonical status until 19 years later.
  • Working Title:
    • The Horror At Camp Jellyjam: Smelly Summer
    • The Curse of Camp Cold Lake: The Ghost of Camp Cold Lake
    • Werewolf Skin: I Want To Be A Werewolf for Halloween
    • Earth Geeks Must Go!: Earth Geeks Must Die!
    • Shop Til You Drop...Dead!: The Bizarre Bizzar
    • Ship of Ghouls: Deadly Cruise
    • Escape From Horror House: They're After You
    • Attack of the Jack: Jack Attack
  • Write What You Know: Stine says in his autobiography that he grew up poor but lived in a rich neighborhood and felt out of place with everyone else. The protagonists of Diary of a Dummy are in a very similar situation.

Trivia for the TV show

  • Banned Episode: When the series was aired in the UK by the BBC in the late nineties and early noughties, nine episodes were not shown, almost certainly due to concerns over content, specifically the "Haunted Mask" series, the "Night of the Living Dummy" series, and "Strained Peas". (Despite this, the novelizations of these episodes were published.)
  • California Doubling: The TV series presumably took place in the States (explicitly stated in a few episodes), but was mostly filmed in Ontario, Canada with Camp Nightmoon being non-other than Oshawa's own Camp Samac.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode:
    • Just like the books, R.L. Stine's favorite episode was The Haunted Mask
    • Director Ron Oliver's favorite episodes were The Perfect School and Cry of the Cat.
  • Dueling Shows: With Are You Afraid of the Dark?. Incidentally, both were filmed in Canada, although in different areas. While both are remembered for being good scary shows for children of the 1990s, Are You Afraid of the Dark? had better writing and acting than the TV adaptation of Goosebumps.
    • Funnily enough, there were quite a few actors who popped up on both shows.
  • Fake American: Most of the cast members were local talent from Canada.
  • International Coproduction: The series was co-produced by Scholastic in the U.S. and Protocol Entertainment in Canada.
  • In Memoriam: Teacher's Pet was dedicated to Michelle Rissi, the actress who played Becca in the episode. She passed away from Meningitis before the episode aired, at the age of only sixteen.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • The main cast of Say Cheese and Die was replaced for the sequel episode.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Kristen Bone, who is known for playing somewhat naive but generally supportive characters, such as Maggie, Snail, and Zoey, portrays Tara Webster in the adaptation of Cuckoo Clock of Doom, who happens to be one of the most sadistic and manipulative characters in the entire series (who isn't a monster anyway).
    • Knowing the actor's most famous voice role makes it quite jarring to learn that Cal Dodd was the voice of Slappy.
  • Production Posse: Many child voice actors from The Magic School Bus TV series were featured in this show. Most notable are Amos Crawley (Arnold in the first season), Erica Luttrell (Keesha), Daniel DeSanto (Carlos), Stuart Stone (Ralphie) and Renessa Blitz (Janet.) Both The Magic School Bus and Goosebumps are properties of Scholastic Inc.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Several television episodes received novelizations.
  • Shoot the Money: Attack of the Mutant features an elaborate set and miniatures to depict the Masked Mutant's headquarters. We end up getting an great look at all of them.
  • Troubled Production: Werewolf Skin had one. First off, it started production before the book was even finished so there wasn't a lot to go off off. Billy Brown and Dan Angel's script for it was seen as "unfilmable" due to having a lot of locations and stunts, as well as scenes considered too dark such as a werewolf biting a deer. After many arguments with the network, Billy and Dan left the show and Ron Oliver was brought in to rewrite the script. Even after that, the network had Oliver trim down the scarier parts of his first cut.
  • Tuckerization: There's a fair few examples of locations and such named after crew members, a notable example being Billy Brown from The Perfect School, who is named after one of the writers/showrunners.
  • What Could Have Been: The short story The Thumbprint of Doom almost got an episode, but the writer choose to do Awesome Ants instead.
    • The series was almost animated but prouder Steve Levitan wanted it to be live action, which R.L. Stine was more up for.
    • Billy Brown & Dan Angel's script for Werewolf Skin was rejected by the network, which caused them to leave the show. Ron Oliver had to step in and re-write that episode. Even after that, the network had the scarier parts of Oliver's cut trimmed down.
    • The Perfect School was shot as a standard length episode, but the network liked what they had so much that they asked for extra footage to be filmed, making it a two parter.
  • You Look Familiar: Several actors were reused in different episodes.

Trivia for the comic book series

  • Tuckerization: The protagonists of Horrors of the Witch House attend Robert Lawrence Middle School.


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