Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Goosebumps episode 7
- Episode 7 of the 2023 Goosebumps series references R.L. Stine’s unusual spinoff novels, bringing them to life in a darker TV series aimed at teens.
- The episode centers around the “Give Yourself Goosebumps” series, where the characters are trapped inside a cursed scrapbook using dark magic.
- The new Goosebumps series is the most immersive and impressive attempt to capture the appeal of the books onscreen, incorporating elements from the original novels and the “choose your own adventure” aspect.
In episode 7, the 2023 Goosebumps series finally references author R.L. Stine’s most inventive and unusual spinoff novels. The Goosebumps books have spawned numerous screen adaptations over the years. In the ‘90s, Goosebumps became a horror anthology show for children while the book series was at the height of its popularity. In the 2010s, the books were used as the inspiration for two live-action horror-comedy movies that starred Jack Black as a fictionalized version of their author R.L. Stine. Finally, in 2023, Disney’s Goosebumps reboot brought the books to life as a darker TV series aimed at teens.
The Goosebumps books also went through a lot of different iterations over the years. Goosebumps began life as a series of only 62 books. While this might seem like a high number, Stine’s prolific output means that many readers remember the series including a far higher amount of novels. This is largely because Stine also wrote various spinoff series including Goosebumps Series 2000, Tales to Give You Goosebumps, Goosebumps Horrorland, Goosebumps SlappyWorld, and Goosebumps Most Wanted. However, the most notable spinoff was the one referenced in episode 7 of the 2023 Goosebumps show.
Goosebumps’ Scrapbook Story Connects To RL Stine’s “Give Yourself Goosebumps” Series
Goosebumps season 1, episode 7, “Give Yourself Goosebumps,” is named after one of R.L. Stine’s most unusual spinoffs from the original series of novels. While earlier episodes of Goosebumps focused on Harold Biddle and the mystery surrounding his death, “Give Yourself Goosebumps” follows Isaiah, Margot, Isabella, Lucas, and James as they attempt to escape the scrapbook of Harold’s memories. While their bodies are in a trance inside Harold’s home, their consciences are transported into the cursed scrapbook using Harold’s dark magic. This allowed “Give Yourself Goosebumps” to revisit the appeal of Stine’s most atypical Goosebumps spinoff series of the same name.
While the original Goosebumps novels and their spinoffs were mostly straightforward horror stories, the Give Yourself Goosebumps spinoff was a “choose your own adventure” style series that allowed the reader to decide the fate of the main character. Written in the second person, the Give Yourself Goosebumps books usually featured at least one happy ending, but they also always had a lot of dark fates in store for readers. While the Goosebumps books inspired episodes of the 2023 Goosebumps show, this particular outing was influenced by the structure of the Give Yourself Goosebumps novels as the heroes were literally trapped inside a book and unable to escape.
Why The New Goosebumps Show’s Formula Is Better Than An Anthology
While the original ’90s Goosebumps show was a fun anthology series, its episodic nature meant that its standalone outings were never able to combine the villains of various novels. Meanwhile, although the light-hearted live-action movies made use of R.L. Stine’s many memorable monsters, they featured none of the menace found in the original books. In contrast, incorporating various elements of the books and now adding in the “choose your own adventure” aspect makes the 2023 Goosebumps series the most immersive and impressive attempt to capture the appeal of the books onscreen yet. Unlike earlier adaptations, Goosebumps 2023 actually feels like its source material.