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YMMV / Spells R Us

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  • Disproportionate Retribution: Male customers of Bikini Beach are sometimes punished rather harshly by Grandmother for minor infractions, particularly in the early stories.
    • In the story "Peeping Tom", the titular peeping tom — a shy, nerdy guy who was not only spying on Bikini Beach's customers, but photographing them — is punished by being permanently transformed into a porn star who behaves like a sex-crazed bimbo every time she's around men.
    • In another story, a pair of one-time gate crashers are permanently changed into sex-crazed bimbos.
  • Double Standard: While evil, treacherous, and abusive men are always punished at Bikini Beach, the same rarely seems to apply to women. While this does change in the later stories, the number of men to women being punished by Grandmother and Anya is still far greater.
    • In the very first story, two innocent male customers are invited out for a night on the town by two women who are aware of their transformed status). Said women use a magic potion (purchased from Spells R Us) to arrange for the transformed men to be brutally gang raped. The punishment for their actions is...having their memberships revoked. (Grandmother does state that this is "the beginning" of their punishment; if there's more to said punishment, however, the reader never gets to see it.)
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    • In "Understanding a Girlfriend" (the second Bikini Beach story written), a man catches his girlfriend cheating on him with another woman; despite her tearful insistence that she truly loves him and is sorry, he decides to go to the park to have an affair himself out of revenge. The Old Woman reads his intentions, and punishes him by extending his three-day pass an extra twelve hours; she then berates him for contemplating cheating on his girlfriend, for being insensitive to his girlfriend's "needs", and most of all for being afraid that she might leave him for a woman. Needless to say, many readers did not take kindly to this.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Some darker stories read unintentionally like something from the SCP Foundation.
    • One Spells R Us story involves a male babysitter who is still grieving the loss of his wife. He feeds his charge, a very young girl (whom he loves like a daughter), some candy he bought from the shop. Said candy instantly and very painfully ages her up to a young adult in a matter of minutes, causing her bones to stretch and inducing all of the menstrual periods she would have had during those years -- at the same time. The real horror sets in when the man and the newly-adult girl flee to the shop: instead of trying to fix the situation, the Wizard encourages the man to take the new young woman — whose mind hasn't caught up with her body yet — as his new love interest. A book could be written on all the horror and Squick contained in that story.
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  • Moral Event Horizon: Some of the darker interpretations of the Old Man are nothing short of pure evil. For example in XoXo's story "In the Belly of the Beast", a cursed artifact turns a passenger plane into a dragon. Everyone aboard dies horribly. The Old Man scoffs at their fate, without the slightest hint of remorse.
  • Moral Dissonance: Due to the original characterization of the Old Woman, this crops up in some of the early Bikini Beach stories. A number of transformed customers (guilty and innocent alike) wind up on the receiving end of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of men, with the Old Woman often expressing little sympathy what they have suffered (despite having been mistreated by men herself). Thankfully, ElrodW quickly recognized the problematic nature of the character and allowed fellow writer Ellie Dauber step in and add Anya, whose influence gradually transforms the Old Woman into a more kind, sympathetic figure. (This is first addressed in the story "Customer Service", in which Anya starts a support group for permanently changed customers who are having difficulty coping — and directly calls out her grandmother on her past behavior. While the Old Woman is angry at first, she eventually admits that Anya is right, and agrees to help try to make amends with some of the customers she's harmed.)
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  • My Real Daddy: While Bill Hart is the series' creator, an author going by the pen name Morpheus explored and helped shape the original formula by posting dozens of stories in the series early years and ElrodW was responsible for threading together the canon most fans are familiar with.
  • What an Idiot!: Many of the customers are incredibly clueless, and very few actually use the magical items the wizard sells carefully or sensibly. And those that do often get those items stolen by someone else who WILL do stupid things with them.
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