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  • Acceptable Hard Luck Targets: Debatable, but some would say the particularly over-the-top Wangst-y adolescents in the series would qualify.
  • Accidental Innuendo: For just one example, Chuck and Steve "love making Carly Beth scream" because she's "the best screamer" in the school in The Haunted Mask. The books are so rife with these that Blogger Beware made pointing them out a Running Gag (with its own title for the trope: "Out Of Context Alert").
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: There's a surprisingly graphic scene in the first Monster Blood where Evan gets the crap beaten out of him by twin bullies. Even if you don't like him (and most fans don't), it's pretty hard not to feel bad for him at this moment.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • There's a theory that, based on her first name, Wade of Revenge R Us is really transgender and the reason why a lot of Micah's abuse revolves around trying to make people see her in her underwear in an effort to humiliate her is because he's deliberately misgendering her.
    • At the end of Return of the Mummy, after Sari jokingly warns Gabe that Nila, who has been transformed into a scarab beetle prior to the end, could be after him, Gabe goes to sleep in the tent, only to utter "Ow!" as the last line. Many readers could speculate that Nila, as a scarab beetle, was probably coming for Gabe after all, and finally finished the job... or it could just simply be Sari pinching him again since she has done this same trick on him before.
    • Whether or not Slappy has a bit of an inferiority complex to Mr Wood, the latter shockingly considered even more violent and sadistic than his more famous counterpart and Slappy's escalating aggression is him trying to constanly up the ante", so to speak.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Billy Deep from the Deep Trouble series always seems to get his cocky attitude and thirst for adventure back, even after surviving dangerous incidents with sea monsters, sharks, and criminals.
    • Most of the protagonists in the Horrorland books go through truly disturbing and traumatic ordeals, but quickly think nothing of it once they get invited to Horrorland. Justified for some, who specifically go to have fun after everything they've been through.
    • The One Day at Horrorland interactive book is this provided you picked the right pages and made it out alive.
  • Ass Pull: Some of the Twist Endings come across this way, the worst is probably My Best Friend Is Invisible where it turns out the characters are all aliens and Brent is a human who's parents made him invisible to hide him the problems being that A. Theres no forshadowing that even remotely hints at this other than the the characters not being given any physical descriptions (which happens in some of the other books where the characters are just normal humans) B. From what little description of the aliens we get they arent at all humanoid (apparently they have two heads and really long tentacle-like arms) yet their everyday life seems to work pretty much the same as if they were humans, plus one mentions putting on a shirt at one point, how would they fit their arm-things into the sleeves? C. Their are a couple things from modern day Earth mentioned such as Corn Pops which you wouldn't think aliens would have]] All in all, it seems likely he just made up the Twist Ending right when he got to the end of the book and didn't think it out ahead of time.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Scholastic only commissioned Stine to write a few at the start, thinking the series wouldn't catch on. Needless to say, they were wrong.
  • Awesome Art: Tim Jacobus's iconic, creepy book covers. The Goosebumps wordmark was textured so that it seemed to have Goosebumps itself.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Depending on who you ask, Slappy is either an amusing and surprisingly menacing villain who perfectly encapsulates the fear and humor factor of the franchise, or an obnoxious prick whose creepiness is just cringe-worthy and has long overstayed his welcome with how formulaic his stories can be.
    • Andy from Monster Blood can qualify, as there are those who love her colorful Pint-Sized Powerhouse personality and Deadpan Snarker traits and think she makes a much better contrast to the endlessly Wangst-y Evan, to those who criticize her for making equally stupid, if not more so, decisions as Evan (mainly that she keeps bringing the Monster Blood back and often using it behind Evan's back despite knowing how badly everything always turns out whenever it's used) that are often glossed over by her fans and has largely ascended to massive popularity due to Reviews Are the Gospel.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Early in Chicken Chicken Crystal has a nightmare about a giant black cat pouncing on her. Unlike most of the nightmare sequences in the books this isn't some kind of fake out as we are told from the beginning it's a nightmare. It also has nothing to do with the plot and other then her mentioning to her parents that she had a nightmare it's never brought up again.
    • There's also the dream sequences in the beginning of both the second and third Monster Blood books. While the story does deal with the titular slime, the nightmares Evan gets of them are by no means germane to the actual plot point.
    • In Deep Trouble there is a Sea Monster (something like a giant octopus with too many tentacles) that only appears twice: once near the beginning (when Billy is swimming and seemingly just happens to run into it) and later at the very end when Billy Goes swimming and runs into it on the last page. Said monster has nothing to do with the main plot (which is about an evil scientist capturing mermaids and holding them prisoner) and seems only put in the book since he thought it had to have some scary paranormal thing (as the mermaids are entirely harmless and not scary at all.)
  • Bizarro Episode: Even as strange as some of the books got, I Live in Your Basement stands out in particular for the sheer breadth of it's HSQ.
  • Broken Base: As is the case with a long running series like this with multiple spin-offs, there's fierce debate wherever it stopped or started being good in the first place or whether or not Seasonal Rot kicked in at some point.
    • The tone of the books noticeably changed as the series went on, and there can be a bit of a debate over which style fit the books better: the more grounded, moodier, methodically paced and character-driven early entries or the more flamboyant, high-concept, Denser and Wackier meta-horror with a heavier emphasis on black-comic irony that started cropping up around One Day At Horrorland (with some notable exceptions).
    • There's also debate over the worthiness of the spinoffs.
      • Goosebumps 2000: a welcome attempt at Darker and Edgier storylines that were a bit more grown-up in nature or just second-rate leftovers from a past-it's-prime original anthology?
      • The Goosebumps Horrorland revival: a fun way to play with the Goosebumps mythology, or just a blatant nostalgic cash-in that still doesn't really capture the spirit or appeal of the original series?
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Attempted with Dr. Maniac. Attempted.
    • The Beasts from the East. Super-strong bear monsters who play life or death games for fun, all while maintaining such cheerful, easy going personalities. There's only a few of them since they're as much of a newbie as the main characters they encounter.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Masked Mutant.
  • Creepy Cute: Some of the monsters could be downright Moe-ish rather than scary, though not all were intended as the actual villains of the story. Egg Monsters From Mars seems to intentionally invoke this trope.
  • Cult Classic: A few of the books in the series aren't as popular as many of the other well-known books (such as The Haunted Mask or Night of the Living Dummy), but there are still plenty of these that has a devoted following in spite of their meager success and/or popularity. Special mention, of course, goes to How I Learned To Fly (which isn't about typical supernatural fear, but rather through fear of exploiting other's talents and trapped in the burden of fame) and I Live in Your Basement (which revolves more around psychological fear through one acute Mind Screw).
    • Series 2000 in general is this with some enjoying the Darker and Edgier nature of it, with entries such as Jekyll And Heidi receiving praise for feeling more mature than most entries in the series. Creature Teacher' even got a follow-up in the Most Wanted series.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: In a series often full of Straw Loser / The Unfavorite protagonists who frequently receive Disproportionate Retribution for minor misdeeds and/or are often the victims of Cruel Twist Endings, the Goosebumps universe can often seem like a rather crapsack world to be a part of.
    • The Monster Blood series, aside from the incredibly poor plots, has a lot of unlikable characters. Evan Ross, the protagonist of all four series, is an incredibly whiny preteen to the point of irritation and constantly makes the stupidest decision to tell others about the stuff when it's predictable no one will believe him. Conan Barber, who appeared in the second book of the series, is a ruthless bully who beats up Evan for minuscule incidents and doesn't even seem thankful for Evan saving his wailing skin from getting eaten by the class hamster who had grown into a beast due to the green stuff judging by his actions in the third book. Evan's cousin Kermit is an Insufferable Genius who often uses Evan as a guinea pig for his experiments and even gets him in trouble with Conan (and was even laughing at Evan getting his ass handed to him by said bully, according to Evan himself), as well as blaming Evan for his own troubles to Aunt Dee, who proves to be equally as despicable for not even taking the time to at least hear Evan's side of the story and automatically believes Kermit's lies, even when they are incredibly ridiculous. Pretty much the only genuinely likable character in the series is Evan's friend Andy, and even she can come off as the Designated Hero, as shown in the second book of the series, in which she feeds Cuddles Monster Blood right behind Evan's back, thus getting in trouble with science teacher Mr. Murphy, who, too, fails to take the time to actually listen to what Evan has to tell him and punishes him for things he didn't even do, making him just as despicable as the other characters. Needless to say, there's a perfectly good reason why even the diehard fans of the series consider the Monster Blood series the most detestable of them all, and there's an equally good reason why Monster Blood for Breakfast! in the Horrorland series introduced a new protagonist.
    • You Can't Scare Me isn't well-liked by many fans either since there isn't a single character worth rooting for in the book considering that Courtney is a Parody Sue and the characters attempting to scare Courtney with no real motivation come off as rather unlikable. Of course, Courtney isn't really as nasty as other kids in the series (she actually does a few good deeds throughout the story), and it's likely the protagonists are intentionally in the wrong for wasting so much time on petty rivalries.
    • Chicken Chicken is by far the most infuriating example of this. None of the characters are portrayed positively in the novel, as not only does no one, not even their own parents, notice Crystal and Cole's blatant transformations, they even laugh at the two's humiliation along with everyone else at a barbecue. To top it all off, Vanessa had transformed Crystal and Cole just for accidentally bumping into her without apologizing and did it once again at the end all because Cole burped without saying "excuse me"., making her a manner nazi since anything even slightly impolite is considered deserving of a cruel fate in her eyes. On top of that, there's absolutely nothing charismatic or charming to her character that even makes her one of the more memorable villains in the series. There's a reason folks consider this book arguably the worst of the original series.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Evan from Monster Blood and Sarah from Curse of Camp Cold Lake. The former repeatably uses monster blood to get revenge on his enemies, despite knowing full well how dangerous the stuff is (although this is incorrect - using Monster Blood is always Andy's idea and once she used it despite Evan telling her not to), while the latter acts like an idiot throughout the first half of her book, and then blames her campers instead of trying to make amends.(although she gets better after almost drowning. Let's not forget to mention how incredibly ungrateful she is towards her brother when he's just trying to help her out.
    • Todd from Go Eat Worms. He abuses animals, trespasses, torments his sister for no reason, and generally acts like a little sociopath. While his sister does prank him as well it is always (as far as we can see) in revenge for something he did first.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Courtney from You Can't Scare Me! doesn't do anything except irritate the protagonists by being The Ace at everything.
    • According to the Goosebumps podcast, Goosebuds, Mr. Mortman may qualify. Yes, he's a monster that eats his turtles and live fish but he does this AWAY from people. He doesn't actually seem to be hurting anyone. The only time he does anything threatening is when he can't allow Lucy to leave, however, this is kind of justified because he doesn't want to be exposed as a monster who, again, didn't hurt anyone. When Lucy's parents eat him, this could qualify as an Alas, Poor Villain moment.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Slappy, who wasn't even the main villain in his first story, ended up becoming the series' mascot.
    • And Andy, the female friend of Evan Ross, the protagonist of the Monster Blood series. Many fans of the series, especially readers of Blogger Beware, wish that Andy would have been the protagonist instead of Evan.
    • Della Raver may also be considered one, if only because she was much more likable and interesting compared to the actual protagonist of the book she was a villain in. If anything, the fact that she was able to gain a section in the Characters page before Sarah Maas just shows how much the readers actually prefer Della.
    • Attack of the Mutant has seen it's popularity grow into the 21st century perhaps in part to Comic Books increased dominance in mainstream pop culture, and mainly for being viewed as the original series most successful attempt at a black-comic genre deconstruction.
    • The Beast from The East seems to be a favorite among the later books in the original series, due to the creatively surreal nature of the plot and memorable monsters who were only scary at first, but were actually beginners.
    • I Live In Your Basement is also pretty well-remembered among the last few books for throwing the usual cheesy kids horror out the window and instead going for balls-to-the-wall Mind Screw.
    • Lucy Dark if the Memetic Mutation of her snark from the TV show is anything to by.
    • King Jellyjam to some, for how magnificently bizarre and horrifying a concept he is. Only the Best!
    • Billy Deep, perhaps because he's adventurous and averts most of the Straw Loser characteristics of other protagonists.
    • And for that matter, Billy from Welcome To Camp Nightmare. Many readers consider him a breath of fresh air from the typical cowardly protagonist, since he's a genuinely brave and kind kid who isn't afraid to ''turn a gun'' on an abusive authority figure.
    • Amanda Benson of the very first book, as she lacks most of the negative qualities associated with the protagonists who proceeded her and took a more action oriented stance when the truth of Dark Falls was revealed. It helps that the situation she's put in (bickering parents and a bratty brother) feels just realistic enough to make her relatable to readers before these traits went through Flanderization in the later books.
    • The Altman brothers from Ghost Camp have their share of fans and are one of the reasons why their book is one of the most popular, since they probably have the healthiest sibling dynamic out of all the families in the franchise.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Can frequently come up when there is almost always a major twist ending for each outing, a recurring example though is the books that end with the main protagonist's Up to Eleven Annoying Younger Sibling (and sometimes outright tormenter) either being Ret Gone-d from existence or replaced with a more congenial counterpart. A big debate whether that is a Surprisingly Happy Ending or Nightmare Fuel or, since in some situations the protagonist could go and rectify the situation but either shows apathy or an outright aversion towards doing so, a borderline Moral Event Horizon for them overall.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Tends to happen now and again, with Calling All Creeps being one of the worst examples with "Revenge On Your Tormentors via Harrasment From Other Bullies FEELS SO GOOOOOOOOODD".
  • First Installment Wins: Many people consider the original 62-book series to be the best compared to its numerous spinoffs.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Nila's brother wanting nothing to do with her makes more sense when considering that, by the time she was able to revive him, he'd been dead for centuries. Nila was able to enjoy having a living, youthful body, while Khor-Ru is stuck inside an ancient, rotted corpse. She didn't even stop to consider he may not have wanted to come back regardless.
  • Growing the Beard: For the original series, generally considered with Let's Get Invisible for successfully introducing a more mysterious Greater-Scope Villain, as well as having it's main adolescent character's actions be noticeably influenced by a more grounded social dynamic that made the consequences of the story despite all it's supernatural elements feel much more human and believable than ever before. Also seen as the start of the series most consistent streak of well-received entries until the heavily base-breaking You Can't Scare Me.
  • Guilt by Association: Chicken Chicken suffers a big case of this, as while it's still Disproportionate Retribution in the extreme, Cole at least did try to harass and prank Vanessa at times. Crystal, however, was nothing but kind to her and was only cursed because she accidentally bumped into her while trying to stop a fight between Cole and his friend.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • A lot of the stories centered on kids being made fun of and wanting revenge, fearing for their lives at school (or children dying or said to be dead) are more depressing to read in this post-Columbine/Virginia Tech/Newtown/Parkland world. Especially bad is Calling All Creeps, which actually ends with the main character allowing his classmates to be turned into monsters, which he will be the leader of, because they're just that awful to him. Be Careful What You Wish For also has Samantha joking in an early scene about wanting to kill Judith, who's always bullying her, which is laughed off. That would be taken much more seriously these days.
    • In the TV adaptation of Say Cheese and Die!, Doug said "News flash! This is a camera, not a weapon!"
    • In Say Cheese and Die- Again!, the camera causes Greg to become severely obese. His classmates tease him about it for a few days, but stop once Mr. Saurs takes part in cruelly mocking him. While his actions are shown as awful in the book, what with the recent epidemic of children developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, it becomes downright disgusting.
    • The plot for Calling all Creeps has a disgruntled protagonist publish the phone number of a girl he hates in the hopes that she'll get harassed. Good luck making that look heroic in this day and age.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Haunted Mask features a kid named Steve who dresses up as a pirate. So... that would make him Steve the Pirate, wouldn't it?
    • Attack Of The Mutant is about an egomaniac supervillain who thinks an obsessive little boy is his nemesis. The audiobook is narrated by none other than Richard Steven Horwitz.
    • Deep Trouble occasionally gets flak because "mermaids aren't scary." Tell that to Hadley.
    • Also, Deep Trouble follows a hot-headed young Asian man (who's often at odds with his sister) on a ship with his renowned uncle searching for a mythical being, untilhe realizes his actions were wrong and fights back against the villains he was helping. Sound familiar? And even better, an Avatar comic story focusing on Zuko, illustrated by Amy Kim Kibuishi, was published a few months after she did the graphic novel adaptation of this book.
    • In The Ghost Next Door, Hannah thinks her next door neighbor, Danny, is a ghost.
    • It Came from Beneath the Sink! features a monster literally called the Grool.
    • The TV adaptation of Let's get Invisible! features the characters, when they're invisible, constantly saying that they don't feel so good. Despite risking themselves getting trapped in a parallel mirror dimension and being replaced with their reflected doppelgängers in the real world (and it already happened to Noah, or Lefty as he's referred in the book), least they're not physically disintegrating, not unlike the ending to a certain movie released in 2018.
    • The first Tales to Give You Goosebumps has a story that is about a universal remote that can literally control the universe? The title? Click
    • The second Tales book has a story where the protagonist says his cousin named Greg is pretty wimpy. This became even funnier once that series referenced Goosebumps
  • Idiot Plot: If the kids in Say Cheese And Die and it's sequel would just stop using the damn camera once it they found out it was dangerous, the problem would be solved. And even given that said camera is indestructible, there's no reason they can't just bury it or throw it in some dumpster in a remote location.
    • Chicken Chicken in spades. For some reason none of the adults notice that the kids' lips are getting hard and beak-like, or that their eyes seem to be moving to the sides of their heads, or even that they are growing freaking feathers. Granted, the kids don't come across as terribly bright either as you would think they would point out their feathers to the adults and tell them about Vanessa, considering unlike in most of the books, they have some acutal proof of the supernatural thing happening.
    • In all of the Living Dummy books someone leaves a piece of paper inside the dummy with the magic words needed to bring it to life written on it. While the main characters aren't at fault as they have no way of knowing that's what the words do, you have to wonder what kind of moron would leave a piece of paper saying how to animate a magic dummy inside the freaking dummy if they know it's evil.
    • And then there's the Monster Blood books. Good Lord! Where do we even begin?! All three books that followed the first one deals with the main protagonists attempting to use the titular slime to get revenge on whatever nemesis that harassed Evan... despite know just how fucking dangerous the stuff is!. To put it curtly, the Monster Blood book really didn't need a sequel following it at all. There's a reason why the television adaptation changed the sequel to More Monster Blood and changed the plot of it instead.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Della, the titular ghost of The Curse of Camp Cold Lake. She's not really evil, it's just that she really wants to escape from her existence on the lonely camp grounds.
    • The Haunted Mask. A sentient, albeit disembodied creature who spent years locked away in its creator's basement, and desperately wants a human body. It also acts much like an immature, angry child when possessing a host, and it can only be defeated by an act of true love.
    • Andrew, the titular character of The Headless Ghost. Yes, he was a noxious little brat. No, he didn't deserve to have his head ripped clean off and then be trapped his old house for eternity.
    • Princess Nila from Return Of the Mummy has shades of this when you realize she probably spent centuries planning to bring back her beloved brother. And when she finally succeeds, he returns the favor by ''trying to kill her'', and she gets trapped as a scarab forever thanks to Gabe. Nice going, hero. Although to be fair, she did try to kill Gabe and his family, nor is it ever stated if her brother actually wanted to come back.
    • Spidey from Say Cheese and Die! He stole the cursed camera from his partner out of Greed to gain fame and money and attempted to prevent Greg and Shari from leaving, claiming they knew too much, but also had his life ruined by the camera, losing his job and family.
    • Lindy, from the original Night of the Living Dummy. Gaslighting her twin sister Kris into thinking her dummy was alive out of spite was beyond mean and borderline sociopathic, but when Mr Wood actually does comes to life and threatens the twins she does show equal concern for each other's safety and helps in getting rid of the dummy for good.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Slappy. Yes, most are firmly in the No Yay category.
    • Amanda from Welcome to Dead House has proven rather popular in shipping fanfics, both with multiple characters from her novel as well as several cross-over pairings.
  • Memetic Mutation: From The Girl Who Cried Monster, the scene where Lucy exclaims "Life is just a phase I'm going through" is constantly posted on tumblr.
    • "AND THE CAR WASH WAS FIVE DOLLARS."
  • Les Yay: a TON of the Foe Yay variety in the Samantha/Judith rivalry in Be Careful What You Wish For... though it may be one-sided.
    • Sabrina kissing Carly Beth on the cheek as her symbol of love in Escape from Horrorland.
    • Evan shows some mild Ho Yay towards Conan in the Monster Blood sequels, especially since he more than once comments on Conan's attractive-ness even while simultaneously fuming at his Karma Houdini bullying.
  • Love to Hate: Several villains, such as Slappy, the Horrors, the Masked Mutant, Mr. Toggle, the Beasts, the Haunted Masks and the Creeps. While monstrous both literally and figuratively, they're often popular among readers just for how insanely campy and weird, yet genuinely frightening they can be for kid's books.
  • Misblamed: Many fans of the series constantly blame Evan for continuously using the Monster Blood on his tormentors despite knowing how dangerous it is when in reality, Andy is the one who always suggests it. What's more is that she's the one who keeps bringing it back and even used it to feed the class hamster some right behind Evan's back in the second MB book all for the sake of a good laugh. Yet Andy remains one of the most popular characters of the series while Evan is the one who takes all the criticism for the plight.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Mr. Wood crosses it in the first Night of the Living Dummy when he threatens to kill the family dog.
    • Alexander betraying the Deep family and allowing them to be murdered, all out of Greed and fear for his own life.
    • Conan, the Jerk Jock of the Monster Blood series, crosses it in the third book when he is shown threatening little kids with a baseball bat.
    • Mr. Gray from Egg Monsters From Mars crosses the line when he decides to kill Dana over a perceived slight.
    • Again, Chicken Chicken: The entire book is Vanessa's.
    • Ari in Return to Ghost Camp crossed it when he took the time to actually gloat that Dustin was going to die instead of him, and then threatened his brother to keep his mouth shut.
  • Narm Charm: What the books are often fondly remembered for.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Many of the Horrorland books retain the series' trademark twist endings. Except that there's another piece of story to continue on with, meaning the endings are either ignored, or resolved off-screen. After hearing Michael shrug off his entire family mutating into alien monsters, it's not hard to imagine every twist ending being undone without consequence.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Max's bickering grandparents in Let's Get Invisible, especially for the many Epileptic Trees theories about the origins of the magic mirror that came from it.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Dr. Maniac to The Masked Mutant. While the Mutant was apparently popular enough to get his own video game, he never reappeared. Dr. Maniac, whose story is an obvious Spiritual Successor, not only got a sequel, but a recurring role throughout the Horror Land books. The only villain to show up as much as him is Slappy.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Sarah from The Curse of Camp Cold Lake gets this treatment in most fanfiction involving her, notably Goosebumps United and Goosebumps (Reboot), which portray her as a bully or even have her turn evil. Fans in general exaggerate how bad she is and act like she was a cruel bully hell bent on making her bunkmates miserable and ruining their camp experience, when she felt guilty for her mistakes, thanked Briana for trading bunks with her, and apologized for accidentally revealing Jan's asthma (one could say that this accidental reveal may as well be Sarah doing Jan a favor, as the latter was adamant about hiding her asthma and doing so could have easily put her in danger had her condition flared up at any moment), as well as immediately forgiving her bunkmates and being completely happy with making a fresh start both times they apologized.
    • Evan from the Monster Blood series also gets this treatment, but more with the fandom's general attitude towards him instead of his portrayal in fanfiction. Fans often unfairly blame him for constantly attempting to acquire and use the Monster Blood to get revenge when it’s actually Andy who does so, and the only time he agrees is in the third book when his horrible cousin does something very similar to him by tricking him into consuming something that had an unwanted effect on him. Fans also complain about him being whiny while seemingly forgetting how horrible his life is, and tend to gloss over his heroism in the second book.
  • Rooting for the Empire: If the book's protagonist is too whiny, annoying, or just keeps doing stupid things, chances are the reader will start hoping the book's villain will do something really horrible to them. Case in point, The Curse of Camp Cold Lake , the Monster Blood books and Say Cheese and Die Again due to how unlikable Sarah Maas, Evan Ross and Greg Banks are.
  • The Scrappy:
    • A lot of the Annoying Younger Siblings in the series were this, since they were often irritatingly selfish and immature. They also had a tendency to cause the series' iconic Cruel Twist Endings - sometimes intentionally.
    • Nearly all the characters from the Monster Blood books are this, with the exception of Andy and possibly Aunt Kathryn from the first book.
      • Evan Ross, the main character, is a Butt-Monkey like many of the other protagonists, but he's also incredibly whiny and often comes across as just plain dumb to the point of making him unsympathetic.
      • Evan's parents consistently unload him on relatives that are either unfit to take care of him or just plain treat him like crap, while also telling him to suck it up. In fact, the fourth Monster Blood book opens with Mrs. Ross explaining that if Evan wants to go to summer camp, he has to pay for it.
      • Said aforementioned relatives include Evan's Aunt Dee and her son Kermit. Kermit is a Spoiled Brat Insufferable Genius that spends most of his page time either using Evan as a guinea pig for his insane experiments (that almost always backfire) or getting Evan in trouble just to see him either punished or beaten up (and many fans speculate that Kermit may actually make his experiments backfire on purpose just to get Evan in even more trouble). Aunt Dee lets Kermit do whatever he wants and always believes his lies about Evan picking fights, leading her to scold him and treat him like crap.
      • Finally, there's Conan Barber, a horrendous example of one of the many bully characters in the series. Conan only seems to exist for the sake of making Evan's life even more miserable, has no redeeming qualities, and almost never receives any punishment for it. You'd think after Evan saves his life at the end of Monster Blood II Conan would leave him alone, but he still beats Evan up whenever he can. With some many unlikable reoccurring characters, it seems to make more sense why an entirely brand new protagonist was created for Monster Blood for Breakfast! in the Horrorland series.
      • Somewhat inversely, Sarabeth, the villain of the first book, isn't well liked for being a generic witch with no personality beyond wanting to enslave Aunt Kathryn, lacking any of the amusing or genuinely menacing qualities that made Slappy or the Horrorland Horrors memorable, and overall being tacked on as a last minute Ass Pull to explain what the Monster Blood is. It doesn't help that she dies and is completely forgotten after the first book, negating any possibility of making her a more interesting antagonist.
    • Courtney in You Can't Scare Me! is one to some for being the very definition of a "little miss perfect" Smug Snake. She's even worse in the TV episode.
    • Subverted with Tara from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom. While the series does have its tradition of having annoying/bratty siblings, Tara is just horrible, tormenting her brother, Michael, on his own birthday, constantly tricking her parents (who are also considered themselves Scrappies) into thinking she's a sweetheart, and practically make Michael's life a living hell. What's so disturbing and so sickening of her is just how fucked up she is, giving us the idea she's more of a sociopath at that, considering she never shows any remorse for her actions. The subversion comes from the fact that she was deliberately written to be as horrible as possible without a single redeeming quality to her so that none of the fans of the series would like her a single bit, and it worked perfectly! It's no surprise that she's erased from ever being born and giving us the idea that Michael will never back to save her, which is treated as a happy ending. Considering how fucked up she is, this is understandable.
    • Larry from Welcome To Camp Nightmare, especially his TV counterpart.
    • Sarah Maas, the incredibly whiny and unsympathetic protagonist of The Curse of Camp Cold Lake (though she did get what was coming to her in the end, when the girl who saved her from Della revealed that she only did it so ''she'' could kill Sarah and make her her friend in the afterlife).
      • Also, Jan, Meg and Briana, Sarah's bunkmates in the same book. They react to Sarah's annoying, but minor mistakes that she was genuinely apologetic for by cruelly bullying her. At one point, Meg and Briana apologize for pretending there were firecrackers in the fire and causing Sarah to run away screaming and get laughed at, only for it to be a trick to put a snake down her back. When Jan is Sarah's canoeing partner, she capsizes the canoe they're in while knowing Sarah's a bad swimmer just because she accidentally revealed she had asthma, and later lies to Liz that Sarah did it.
    • A villainous example would be Vanessa, an infuriatingly smug Witch whose actions are horrific even by the standards of the series. One could call her the Shou Tucker of the Goosebumps universe.
    • Some of the more abusive or apathetic parents definitely fall under this. Special mention goes to Michael's in The Cuckoo Clock Of Doom or Crystal and Cole's in Chicken Chicken.
    • Greg Banks from Say Cheese and Die is not one of the more well-liked protagonists. Stealing the camera in the first place and causing the horrific injuries of his friends and family (as well as Spidey's death) was a bad move, but by the sequel, he practically cannonballs into this, deliberately risking the lives of everyone around him so he can look good to his teacher. Some could argue he's become an even bigger menace than Spidey or the Camera.
    • Todd, the protagonist of Go Eat Worms, for being a borderline sadist with few redeeming qualities that make him one of the most questionable Designated Hero in the entire series. This, however, could be more of an aversion for him, as it's entirely possible he's supposed to be detestable, as he does get his comeuppance at the end of the story for his cruel actions.
  • Sequelitis: The 2000 and Horrorland series aren't as well-remembered as the originals.
    • Also applies to specific books' sequels within the series, which are generally considered inferior to the first book (Return to Ghost Camp, which is only connected to the first one by the title), non-sensical and full of Ret Cons (Say Cheese and Die — Again!), or both (Monster Blood II-IV). Even the "Living Dummy" series (the only sub-series that's careful to maintain continuity) is criticized for every book having the same basic plot with little variation.
  • Seasonal Rot: With some notable exceptions, the later books in the original series and much of the spinoffs are criticized for relying heavily on Recycled Plots and overly self-referential storylines, as well as going for intentionally cheesy Black Comedy at the expense of actual horror. It certainly isn't helped by the fact that the original series, after having three books that are beloved by many fans beforehand, ends with what is arguably considered the worst book of the original series.
  • Ship Tease: There are definitely some signs Andy and Evan from the Monster Blood books have some feelings for each other, but it never goes anywhere.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel:
    • A very rare example, but Scream Of The Haunted Mask is considered by quite a few to be one of the better Horrorland spin-offs. Compared to the original sequel, the focus is back on Carly-Beth and the Mask itself, the continuity is surprisingly consistent, the formula of the first two books is abandoned, and we get a look into the Mask's dark past.
    • Monster Blood for Breakfast! completely scrapped the cast of the original four books, which made it a lot more easier to read especially since Bradley gets his comeuppance at the end when his ivy plant starts to wrap around his legs and Matt deliberately chooses not to help him.
    • Say Cheese And Die Screaming also replaced the cast of the first two books and introduced Julie Martin, who immediately proved to be smarter and more endearing than Greg Banks when she tried her hardest to get rid of the Evil Camera.
  • So Bad, It's Good: At times.
  • Strawman Has a Point: There's a part in Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes where the gnomes wreck the neighbor's melons and Mindy accuses Joe of doing so, getting him in trouble. We are supposed to think she's a bitch for getting him in trouble for something he didn't do even though (as she herself even points out) all the evidence points to him, there's no evidence of his claim that the gnomes are alive and evil, and he has a habit of telling tall tales and pulling pranks, meaning she's quite justified in thinking he did it.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • The Haunted Mask: Getting revenge will only make just as bad as the bullies.
    • How I Learned to Fly: Fame isn't all it's cracked up to be, and petty competetion is pointless.
    • Are You Terrified Yet?: While it's great if you can get over your fears, there are some things you will always be afraid of, and that's okay.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: As noted above, the Annoying Younger Siblings often fall into Scrappy territory. Which is why it's immensely satisfying when the Twist Ending for The Cuckoo Clock Of Doom gets Tara Webster — who is a strong contender for the worst of the lot — erased from existence, with her brother being the only one to remember her and choosing not to get her back.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: A Holly Jolly Holiday, about a disgustingly sweet Christmas movie available on a cursed video cassette that brainwashes a family into acting as cheery as its main character, Susie Snowflake (until the main character turns on a wrestling match while rewinding the tape and the family snaps out of it).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character
    • The Masked Mutant actually manages to be a competent, threatening and mysterious antagonist. He's killed off in his only appearance-and in one of the most ridiculous ways possible. To add insult to injury, since the series was revived with the Horrorland books, there've been three separate books featuring comic book villains coming to life, and none of them features the Masked Mutant. They didn't even reprint Attack of the Mutant to go alongside Dr. Maniac Vs. Robby Schwartz even though it was a thematic fit.
    • Andy from the Monster Blood books, as mentioned in the Ensemble Dark Horse section, was far more likable than Evan Ross was and many readers wished that she'd been the main character. There were four Monster Blood books in total during the main series, but Andy was just a supporting character in all four of them. This is especially true in the last two, where Evan's cousin Kermit becomes a primary character and Andy's practically Demoted to Extra. And then, for Monster Blood for Breakfast! in the Horrorland series, an entirely new protagonist was created with none of the original Monster Blood cast returning.
    • Sarah Maas' more mature, social, level-headed younger brother Aaron in The Curse of Camp Cold Lake disappears halfway through the story. He would've made a great Foil to the socially awkward, foolish Sarah, especially since he's pretty much the only character of the whole book that actually treated Sarah with any kindness at all. It helps that he's one of the few characters of the series who averts the Annoying Younger Sibling stereotypes of other younger siblings in many of the other books of the franchise.
    • Many of the original characters and monsters from the pre-Horrorland books can fall under this category. While some, such as Slappy, the Deep family, Carly-Beth and the Haunted Mask, the Horrors, and the Morris siblings returned, the majority of the heroes and villains were brand new, with some of them featured in rehashes of older books. This is problematic in that the concept of Goosebumps Horrorland and Goosebumps Most Wanted was that the worst villains Goosebumps had to offer would return, but so far only a small chunk of the villains were transplanted from the older books, and almost none of the protagonists have come back.
    • Combined with her appearance in the tv series, Courtney from You Can't Scare Me! despite fandom reaction to her Parody Sue character there are few who feel that she should had come back as a series regular, since she's one the few to actually stand up against a monster and talk it to death unlike the usual protagonists who run and scream.
    • Mr. Wood finally returns in I Am Slappy's Evil Twin ...only to appear in a couple pages and not take any part of the story.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • When Horrorland was launched it included reprints of classic Goosebumps stories as companions, although some of the accompanying reprints don't really match up with the Horrorland books. The original Horrorland story was reprinted alongside Dr. Maniac Vs. Robby Schwartz, even though Attack of the Mutant seemed like a more natural choice. Weirdo Halloween received The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight instead of Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns which was also a book about kids dealing with aliens on Halloween.
    • The Horrorland series in general has this problem. While intended to follow up on many of the original books, many of them only vaguely resemble older books, and many of them only feature the same supernatural elements rather than returning protagonists. As a result, the group in Horrorland is made up mostly of new arrivals. Some fan favorites, such as Attack of the Mutant, did not receive any follow up at all.
      • In fact, up until the last two books, the ongoing plot is mostly made up of the kids wandering around the park being spooked by various attractions, mostly teasing encounters with recurring villains that ultimately never happen.
  • Too Cool to Live: See above. Also, Harrison Sadler and Rocky the Dummy.
  • Toy Ship: Even in stories primarily about Middle-School aged adolescents in a series that cared little for romance there was still a good amount of Shipping happening in the fanbase, with the somewhat Foe Yay Steve/Carly Beth & Amanda/Ray (or Amanda/Karen) and the more borderline-canon ship-teased pairings of Erin/Max and Evan/Andy proving to be among the most enduring Fan-Preferred Couple s.
  • Uncanny Valley: Tim Jacobus' surreal covers definitely border on this, especially the ones depicting human faces. The kids have such frozen, glassy eyed expressions of horror that the monsters are less unsettling to look at.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic
    • Nicole from The Abominable Snowman Of Pasadena. While she is kind of the Insufferable Genius type, it seems she's like this mainly just due to having No Social Skills rather than deliberately being arrogant/obnoxious, as such, Jordan's dislike of her seems rather harsh. At one point he even admits (not to her face) he wishes she was never born. He also lets her fall into their compost heap and get covered in slime just because he was annoyed with her at the time.
    • The titular Haunted Mask itself is supposed to be a monstrous, violent parasite that corrupts innocent hosts and needs to be sealed away. However, the thing is also a sentient being created without a body, who was viewed as a disgusting failure by it's creator and sealed away in his basement. Considering this, the mask's "evil" tendencies come off more as lashing out at a world that rejected it, and the Shopkeeper as an abusive creator. What's more, the sequel suggests that these masks would be happier if one could create a makeshift body for them, and Scream Of The Haunted Mask has the original mask helping Carly-Beth against a sadistic ghost and going back into storage quite gracefully.
    • Cole in Chicken Chicken is portrayed as the annoying prankster whose transformation is written as well-deserved for all the pranks he pulled earlier in the story. However, it falls short when not only has he not even done anything intentionally nasty to Vanessa to deserve his punishment and has even cooled down by that point, Crystal is the one who also shares the punishment along with him. On top of that, Vanessa's curse on him was more due to lacking manners than his obnoxious pranks towards her in the past.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Evan Ross becomes this in Monster Blood II. He is portrayed as a social outcast who is promptly spurned by the other kids and receives punishment by his science teacher. Problem is he loses every ounce of sympathy from the readers since the reason he was even ostracized in the first place was because he was dumb enough to tell everyone else about the Monster Blood he bought at the toy store, believing anyone would believe him and he would get popularity for it, despite the fact that it gives him nightmares. To top it off, the reason he was punished in the first place is because he was daydreaming in class about the stuff. It makes him come across as a complete moron, and along with his querulous attitude, it really isn't a wonder why he is a loser to begin with.
    • Sarah Maas in The Curse of Camp Cold Lake is considered this as well. While she is portrayed as socially awkward and rather shy, it's a bit difficult to sympathize with her when not only does she come off as annoyingly whiny, she comes off as rather egocentric when she compels one of the bunkmates to relinquish her bunk just to sleep on a bunk not close to the window (and not on the top bunk since she rolls around when she sleeps and is afraid to fall off), comes up with the dumbest plan to pretend to drown at such a poorly desperate attempt to get the others to sympathize with her, and becomes a complete bitch towards her brother, the only character in the whole story who has actually treated her with genuine kindness compared to anyone else in the book, right after he gives her helpful advice (and then acts surprised when he gets angry with her after she shoves him hard on the ground, because she "hates that he's sensible"). Her hallucinations of Della being everywhere she goes also kind of make it hard for many readers to feel bad for her when you consider that it was all brought on herself since the reason all this happened in the first place was because she tried to drown herself just to get others to sympathize with her, believing it would make her friends. If anything, the twist at the end is more of a cathartic feeling than anything else.
    • Joe Burton from Revenge Of The Lawn Gnomes. He's meant to be a cute prankster kid but mainly just comes across as annoying, and his sister Mindy, who we aren't supposed to side with, comes across as a lot more reasonable and sympathetic.
    • Greg Banks from Say Cheese and Die!, particularly the sequel. It's harder to sympathize with him when his teacher and classmates make fun of him for his weight gain considering the fact that the reason he gained weight in the first place was because he was foolish enough to retrieve the evil camera that caused harm to his family and even death last year. Even in the first book, he continued taking pictures of his friends and family with the camera, not being able to put two and two together and figure out that it was dangerous after it caused harm to happen each time he snapped a picture.
    • Eddie Campbell from You Can't Scare Me! His obsession with scaring Courtney due to jealousy comes off as pathetic and even borders on bullying.
    • Some fans perceive Samantha Byrd from Be Careful What You Wish For... as this, since she keeps making dumb wishes despite knowing how dangerous and unpredictable Clarissa's magic can be, and thus most of the stuff that happens to her after meeting Clarissa is self-inflicted (Judith stalking her, her turning into a bird).
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Slappy himself. Despite being one of (if not the) most iconic monsters in the franchise, he is widely despised by everyone he encounters, albeit with good reason. The guy lives to make others miserable, relishes being as rude, callous and vulgar as you can get in a kid's book, and probably has to pull himself together a lot from being smashed by fed up owners. It gets to the point where even his fellow dummies will inevitably turn on and pummel him, and one of his owners actually puts a curse on him just to make him behave. None of this seems to phase Slappy in the slightest, and if anything, just emboldens him with how many people he pisses off.
  • Wangst: There's quite a bit, considering it's an adult writing through the viewpoint of twelve-year-olds, but Sarah from Curse of Camp Cold Lake really stands out.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Some of the kids go to Horrorland specifically to relax and distance themselves from their horrific adventures... they go to Horrorland to do this.
    • Abby from Who's Your Mummy in particular is shocked and horrified when she encounters a mummy themed attraction, wondering if someone specifically put it there to frighten her. In a horror-themed amusement park, a single mummy based attraction can't be that surprising, can it?
    • Let not even get started on Evan Ross from the Monster Blood series, as well as his friend Andy.
    • Then there's Greg in Say Cheese and Die - Again.
      • It never seemed to cross Greg's mind that no one will believe a story of him and his misadventures of the evil camera he and his friends used in the past summer. So why write a report on such a story that everyone else will obviously not believe?
      • Greg also seems to not learn that when holding on to the camera, keep your damn fingers away from the shutter! That way, he would avoid inadvertently taking another person's picture.
    • Sarah in The Curse of Camp Cold Lake may be socially inept, but that isn't really an excuse to act like an idiot by doing something extremely dumb at such a pathetic attempt to win sympathy from the other campers. Her plan to win everyone's sympathy for her? Pretend to fucking drown in the lake. This is even followed by the fact that she can't even swim.
    • Pretty much any time a protagonist tries to tell their parents or any other authority figure something supernatural, scary, etc. they witnessed. It's pretty obvious that none of the adults are going to believe them.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Some of the books could have a rather dark, menacing, almost Adult Fear tone to them despite their still somewhat cheesy YA-friendly style, the earliest books especially could be at times outright violent & gory with Welcome to Dead House, Stay Out of the Basement, Welcome to Camp Nightmare and Piano Lessons Can Be Murder among the chief offenders.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The frequent response to I Live In Your Basement.
  • The Woobie:
    • Carly Beth Caldwell in The Haunted Mask series, especially in the TV show.
    • Chicken Chicken's Crystal and Cole, especially.
    • Matt Amsterdam in Don't Go To Sleep. His older brother and sister pick on him for no reason other than for fun, his mother is a Horrible Judge of Character and believes his brother and sister take good care of him, and even the family dog hates him for no reason at all. That's not even mentioning the fact that he gets held hostage by the Reality Police due to screwing with reality by sleeping in the guest room of his own home.
    • Gary Lutz in Why I'm Afraid of Bees, arguably the ultimate Butt-Monkey in the series. He literally has zero friends, he's picked on by bullies, his sister hates him, her cat hates him, his beekeeper neighbor is a sadist who loves tormenting him with the thing he fears most, his attempt to impress a girl ended with him crashing his back, and when he has a chance to get a better life, he turns into his aforementioned worst fear. Let's just say the point where he wants to sting someone, and thus die after isn't entirely out of nowhere.
    • Ricky Beamer in Calling All Creeps who is constantly bullied at school, embarrassed in front of his best friend/crush, and kicked off the school newspaper for something that wasn't his fault. And then the bullies who target him the most often turn out to be alien reptiles who want to Take Over the World and will likely eat him if they discover that he's not one of them. The Face–Heel Turn he makes at the end of the book is entirely justified. Although the fact that he's sacrificing the entire human race to monsters just because he got picked on in school makes him more a Jerkass Woobie than anything.
    • Michael Webster in The Cuckoo Clock of Doom. He's The Unfavorite to his complete brat of a younger sister, his parents make fun of him and call him a liar when he tries to tell them how she makes his life miserable, and it's all but outright said that his dad thinks he's stupid. It says something about your life when having your sister erased from existence is a good thing for you.
    • Samantha Byrd in Be Careful What You Wish For. She has almost no friends, is terrible at basketball (which she didn't even want to play, but was pressured by her coach and her parents), and she's mercilessly bullied both on and off the court. She doesn't have it any better at home- her older brother makes fun of her and her parents are very emotionally distant and can't relate to her at all. And that's all before she meets Clarissa. It says a lot that she feels being turned into a bird is the happiest thing that ever happened to her, because her life as a human really was that miserable.
    • Aunt Kathryn from the first Monster Blood book, when it's revealed she's been a slave to Sarabeth for twenty years, and the reason she never learned sign language was because Sarabeth wouldn't let her. In fact, Kathryn became deaf because of Sarabeth. Kathryn spent so much time acting insane and disturbing Evan because then he'd want to avoid her as much as possible which, by extension, would mean he'd be avoiding Sarabeth. When Evan accuses her of being a witch, Kathryn bursts into tears and begs for Evan's forgiveness for all that happened. She was even willing to let the Monster Blood kill her if it meant ending Sarabeth's magic.
      • Also, the protagonist, Evan. He constantly gets abandoned to relatives who treat him like crap by his parents who don't seem too fond of him even when they're spending time with him, gets regularly bullied and beaten up by Conan despite saving his life, and is constantly reminded of the Monster Blood through nightmares and even ordinary green items like Jell-O and sweaters.
    • Julie Martin, the new owner of the Evil Camera in the Horrorland series. Unlike Greg Banks, who kept using the camera despite all the horrible things it was doing, Julie tried to get rid of it after it blinded her best friend Reena and seriously injured another girl. Unfortunately, the camera keeps appearing in Julie's home (because her rival David Blank was trying to screw with her head), Reena ends their friendship because of what happened, and when David takes ownership of the camera Julie still gets the blame for the horrible things that occur because everyone thinks it's her camera.
    • Wade Brill of Revenge R Us is a strong contender for having the worst older sibling in the entire franchise. Her old brother Micah lives to make her suffer, doing such things as reading her diary over an intercom, trying to rip her pants off in front her friends to show off her underwear, taking embarrassing photos of her in her sleep, and even pushing her into an empty bathtub and almost cracking her head open. And of course her parents and her friends do nothing to help her.
    • Anyone Slappy picks on you feel sorry for, because Slappy enjoys tormenting his victims and getting them in trouble with people in their lives and in some case animals as well, but Shep Mooney of the Ghost of Slappy of the Goosebumps: Slappy World series is someone you especially cannot help, but feel sorry for, he is not that unlikable of a character, but his younger sister picks on him acclaiming herself as the more sensible one, and his parents do not even call her on it and think she is hilarious for example when she mocks her brother but they do love him nonetheless, a former friend whose ankle he accidentally broke during a soccer game started bullying him though he apologized to him profusely, his classmates shun him, and in the latest incident at school, Slappy in ghost form throws spaghetti on Shep, and then custard pie in his face in the cafeteria, and instead of helping him and finding who did it, EVERYONE even the teachers laugh, we find out in the book that his classmates laugh at him at times, but when this happens, it expands to the teachers and other students as well, why they may be laughing at him might not be as bad and might think it is merely a harmless prank, kids will be kids, but it is still harsh; however, Shep points out to us that no one is laughing as hard as the girl he has a crush on is to the point that tears are coming out of her eyes, later on Shep attends the birthday party his best friend and practically only friend has, but obviously Slappy ruins that, trying to kill Shep in the process as he does throughout the story, and after Shep explains to his friend that it was Slappy who ruined his party, even knowing how evil Slappy is and being one of the few who believes him his friend still turns him away and blames him for what happened, and though it was not his fault, his father still scolds him on the ride home pondering how he would pay for the damages, and as if that is not enough, the ghost of Annalee (another doll) does a final good deed, bringing Slappy back (who is now alive), but not for the sake of Shep, and Shep is now his slave.
    • Margaret from Stay Out of Basement, not only having to deal with being uprooted from her original home but her dad's increasingly sinister workaholic behavior and her mom almost always being away/out-of-town, essentially taking on the task of raising herself and her younger brother despite barely being a teenager.
    • Sarah Maas from The Curse of Camp Cold Lake. She's forced to go to water sports camp when she hates sports, swimming and socializing, all of which are required there. Once she arrives at camp, she is bullied, shunned and ostracized by the campers in ways like being tricked into thinking the boys put firecrackers in the fire and running away screaming while the entire camp laughs at her, having the campers out a snake down her back after pretending to apologise to her, and one of the campers trying to drown her and then blaming her. It gets to the point where she has to eat breakfast alone and no one wants to be her canoeing partner.
    • Kris from the first Night Of The Living Dummy. Not only is she The victim of a very mean prank from her sister to make her think her dummy is alive, which seemed to genuinely terrify her, she later has to deal with the Mr.Wood coming to life for real.
    • Mindy from Revenge Of The Lawn Gnomes. Not only does she seem to have some mental issues, one gets the impression she just wants to be left alone but is constantly being pestered by Joe and later the evil lawn gnomes themselves.
    • Hannah from The Ghost Next Door. While she occassionally exhibits some mild Jerkass traits, given her ultimate realization of the situation she's in and the intense guilt that follows easily makes her among the series most tragic heroines.

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    The Series 
  • Ear Worm: The theme song.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In Welcome To Camp Nightmare, Roger jokes that they are at "Camp Nowhere" when they are dropped off in the middle of nowhere. This would later become the title of The Nightmare Room's camp book, which was also the 9th book in that series.
  • Memetic Mutation: From My Hairiest Adventure, Larry checking for more hair.
  • Narm: A strong occurrence in the TV adaptation, mostly due to the mediocre child actors.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Despite being known as the series' most famous villain, Slappy is still a tiny wooden man, meaning the kid protagonists can usually shove him over without much effort, even if it only stops him for a moment.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • A young Ryan Gosling, well before he became a movie star, appeared as Greg Banks in Say Cheese and Die.
    • Hayden Christensen played cousin Zane in Night of the Living Dummy III.
    • Scott Speedman, also young and up and coming at that time, did a cameo in Say Cheese and Die as a policeman.
    • Laura Vandervoort is one of the protagonists in The Haunted House Game.
    • A young Katharine Isabelle played main character Kat in It Came From Beneath The Sink.
    • Amanda Tapping appears as the main character's mom in It Came From Beneath The Sink a few years before her break-out role on Stargate SG-1.
    • Erica Luttrell, most known for voicing Sapphire in Steven Universe and Acxa in Voltron: Legendary Defender, appears as Drew Brockman in Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns
  • Special Effects Failure: Happens quite a bit, to the point where some episodes can (unintentionally) resemble a cheesy B-movie.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The TV episode of Don't Go To Sleep features a song VERY similar to Garbage's "No. 1 Crush".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: You Can't Scare Me, particularly the TV adaptation: At various points it looks like the episode will pull a plot twist and reveal that Courtney is actually some kind of monster. Throughout the episode, she shows a fascination with them, and argues in favor of the possibility that monsters might exist. The episode reaches its climax end... Nope, Courtney is just a normal preteen who's just really perfect.

    The Movie 
  • Adaptation Displacement: Averted. It's made pretty clear throughout the movie that these are the monsters from the books, not the television series. Most notably, the Werewolf of Fever Swamp is harmed by silver, which was established in the television episode of his story as a myth started by werewolves themselves to discourage the poor from hunting them.
    • There are some monsters taken from lesser known books such as some of the Give Yourself Goosebumps books, which some viewers may now know more from the film than the books they come from.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: With an emphasis on monsters (which weren't necessarily in every single book), and some inconsistent characterization, some fans have noticed the film could easily be about the book covers coming to life.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: The movie was surprisingly warmly reviewed by film critics.
  • Broken Base: The premise is either a great way to examine Goosebumps in a meta sense, or it's robbing us of the anthology film that was originally announced.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Stine says he started writing his Goosebumps stories to live out his revenge fantasies against a whole neighborhood of kids who bullied him. This means that the books' protagonists that are constantly tormented by monsters, whether they deserve it or not, were inspired by those bullies in the film's universe.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Zach interacting with a girl named Hannah — and her being dead, no less — becomes funnier when you know what Zach's actor would go on to do.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Slappy. That doesn't excuse the destruction he's caused, but you do pity the fact that Stine locked him away along with the other monsters in the manuscripts. Though considering that Stine probably locked them in there because they were evil, it's more or less justified.
  • Narm: The official music video tie-in, "Bumps Gonna Goose Ya!", looks and sounds like it was plucked straight from The '90s, and is subsequently full of this. In particular, Slappy's rap sounds like he was put on the spot and didn't know what to say.
    • Narm Charm: Featuring a remix of the theme song and incorporating dozens of book titles into the lyrics, some fans might think it actually represents the books better than the movie.
  • Narm Charm: The movie treats the book series as rivals to the work of Stephen King. Laughable though it is, they sure as hell felt that way as a kid.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The overzealous policewoman-in-training and her more level-headed partner.
  • Playing Against Type: Jack Black, normally known for playing irreverent, idiotic goofballs, instead plays the ever-serious, grumpy, intelligent RL Stine. He's still hilarious, of course.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Some fans took issue with the movie's first trailer using the very non-creepy "Break the Rules" by Charli XCX, instead of the TV show's memorable theme song.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Most of the monsters have absolutely nothing to do besides serve as Mooks for crowd shots. Slappy ends up being the only one with a distinctive personality or screen time.
    • Popular and memorable antagonists, such as Monster Blood or the Haunted Mask, are either delegated to easily missed cameos, or are not featured at all.
    • The idea of fictional villains becoming real was the premise of the book and episode Attack of the Mutant. However, despite the easy connection, the Masked Mutant never appears nor is he even mentioned, nor does Stine make a connection to the book.
    • There's a case to be made that Hannah would have been better served as the protagonist, rather than in the supporting role she ended up with. In particular, her Tomato in the Mirror moment could have had a lot more punch if the story had been told from her perspective.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some reviewers have said they got the idea during the film that it would turn out Slappy is actually the real character, and created R.L. Stine as a way to bring the other monsters into our world. After that potential, the film's real twist became pretty underwhelming.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Of all people to portray RL Stine, it's...Jack Black.

    The Games 
Escape from Horrorland can be found here.
  • Awesome Music: The surprisingly melancholy rendition of the TV series' theme used for the main menu of Goosebumps: The Game.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Meeting Mrs. Forster and Fifi near the beginning of the game. Unlike other monsters in the game, they don't require any specific items to get past and they're never seen again after the player's brief talk to Mrs. Forster.
  • Nightmare Fuel: At several points you can access an otherworldly room that resembles an Escher painting. You are given the option of trying to enter one of the many doors, but are met with this message.
    Don't.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Officer Murphy in the final level of Goosebumps: The Game might be scarier if he didn't avert Jump Scares note  and if he didn't have a narmy one-liner ready for you.

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