Weed it and Reap
#19 Return to Ghost Camp
“using a magic marker, “the kind of marker that doesn’t wash off” – Magic Markers are a brand of non-permanent highlighter pens.
“Dustin stares longingly at Hulk Hogan poster. Hmm, maybe he would like going to prison” – Hulk Hogan is a former wrestler for the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling.
“Dustin is very excited to see a poster of Mark McGwire hanging on the wall of the cabin. Boy, it’s not even subtext at this point, is it?” – Mark McGwire is an American baseball player, mostly for the Oakland Athletics and the St Louis Cardinals. He was dogged by rumours of steroid use throughout his career.
“Comanches… Of course, he’s not half as upset about it as his Uncle Ethan will be.” – A reference to The Searchers, a 1956 Western starring John Wayne. In The Searchers, Ethan’s ranch is attacked by a group of Comanches, who take his niece hostage and eventually convert her to their wild ways.
“This is already more a sequel to that book than Ghost Camp.” – Why I’m Afraid of Bees, a previous Goosebumps book about, you know it, computers that become sapient and enslave their masters.
“In this case, the fox aggressor brings the blood” – a reference to the 2006 Neko Case album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.
“there’s probably a Stay Pukt joke to be made” – The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was an advertising mascot in the Ghostbusters comedy series. At the end of the first Ghostbusters movie, the destroyer of worlds, Gozer, manifests as a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
“Maybe Prop 8 passed…” – Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition in California in 2008 regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
“Return to Ghost Camp defence becomes the new Twinkie Defence.” – The “Twinkie Defence”, as it became known, was a legal defence attempted in the trial of Dan White in 1979 for the murders of George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, claiming that sugar-laden artificial food like Twinkies exacerbated mood swings and impulses. Twinkies themselves were never actually given as an example in the trial.
“I guess Ari doesn’t want to be a victim of a ghost camp anymore than he wants to lose his fifteen percent.” – Likely a reference to the character of Ari on sitcom Entourage, the moody, irascible talent agent of the main character.
“Apparently God based the afterlife on Wild and Crazy Kids” – Wild and Crazy Kids was a Nickelodean children’s game show in the early 1990s. Most of the challenges were physical and goofy, slime was sometimes involved.
“Conclusions: God Hates Returns to Ghost Camps“
– Toby C has pointed out that this is a reference to “God Hates Fags/———” , the infamous slogan of the picket-prone Westboro Baptist Church.
#18 Horrors of the Black Ring
“Miss Honey” – a picture of the character of Miss Honey, from the 1988 Matilda book, by Roald Dahl.
“that’s funny, I thought this was Jewel’s natural flaw” – Jewel is a pop singer. And that isn’t her only flaw.
“Barbie” – Barbie dolls are a popular doll.
” And Klaus Barbie of course refuses to be judged by anyone but God on his throne.” – Groggy Dundee has noticed that this is a reference to Klaus Barbie, “The Butcher of Lyon”, a Nazi war criminal mostly known for the torture of resistance members in France. He escaped prosecution in the Nuremburg trials by fleeing to Argentina and then Bolivia, where he was eventually caught in 1984. At his trial, he declared ” When I stand before the throne of God I shall be judged innocent” – he was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987, and then died a mere four years later, ruining it for everyone.
“wasps descend upon the WASPs” – WASP stands for White Angl0-Saxon Protestant, a social group mostly seen stereotypically in the New England states of the United States.
“Newman’s Groan” – Newman’s Own is a line of food products philanthropised by the actor Paul Newman, most known for movies like The Sting and Cool Hand Luke.
“Selsun Ew?” – A pun on Selsun Blue, a popular shampoo.
“PETA’s gonna make “RL Swine” masks now” – The People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals is an activist environmentalist group, most known for controversial protests and annoying slogans.
“But to go on with her daily affairs, she can’t really think about that, which is probably why everyone takes the world for granted and why we act so thoughtlessly. It’s very confusing –” – Spurred on by Troy mentioning a reference to it in this entry, Nick has posited that this is a reference to a situation in a Calvin & Hobbes strip involving a dead raccoon, and it’s noted by an Anonymous (number seven?) in the comments section for this entry. Doing some searching, it’s from the compilation book There’s Treasure Everywhere (page 16) in regards to a dead bird and the frailty of life. Calvin says this almost verbatim. IT IS GOOD TO HAVE CLOSURE.
The comic in question:
“Dwight Schrute could tell you, bird funerals can result in smoke too” – Dwight Schrute is an awkward, dorky character on the American remake of The Office. Updated: In the episode ‘Grief Counselling’, the entire staff conducts a funeral pyre and memorial for a dead bird they find. Dwight tries to put it out with a fire extinguisher and the force of the spray sends feathers, smoke, and foam everywhere.
“former Simpson jurors” – The OJ Simpson trial was a seminal event of the 1990s for some reason. American Football League player OJ Simpson was accused of the murder of his wife, Nicole, and her lover, Ron Goldman. He was acquitted, but then in a separate suit by the family of Ron Goldman, he paid compensation. The question of his guilt is still a polarising issue.
#17 The Werewolf in the Living Room
“Madlib fashion” – Madlibs are a game where the player is given several a story with key words missing. The player is then asked to supply nouns, verbs, adjectives and other grammatical functions, usually without looking directly at the puzzle, and then read the complete story.
“Ghost buster and Caddy Shacker” – Ghost Busters and Caddyshack are two films of the 1980s, starring mostly Saturday Night Live alumni like Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, and Billy Murray.
“Executive in charge of keeping peanut butter out of chocolate and Executive in charge of keeping chocolate out of peanut butter” – Probably a reference to an ad campaign for Reese’s Pieces, a peanut butter and chocolate cup candy.
“Kielbasa” – a thick type of Polish/Ukrainian sausage.
“LilSmoki” – A regional nickname for a type of sausage.
“Hotdogonabun” – Snags de jour.
“Bratvia” – The name of the country sounds like a conflation of Bratislava and “bratwurst”, a German blood sausage. The previous four were all types of sausages, or brats, God will you.
“Golden-age Werewolf” – Probably a referenece to a comic book character called Werewolf during the Golden Age of comic books.
“Wendell Willkie” – American politician, Republican Presidential candidate of the 1940 election.
“Eyes measuring the distance between her and the oven” – In one of the versions of folk tale Hansel and Gretel, the two spoiled brats of the title push the starving witch into her own oven.
“having the refrain from Chain of Fools play over his actions in the movie trailer, complete with the sound of a needle being pulled from the record when the werewolf poorly attempts to dance in a fashionable manner” – Chain of Fools is a song popularised by Arethra Franklin. There are a few candidates for this reference, bu-but it seems to be a reference to the movie Michael, starring John Travolta, where he dances to this song in a roadhouse. I am not completely confident in this explication.
“Werewolf Skim” – A reference to previous Goosebumps book, Werewolf Skin, and Skim Milk.
” Ben, Werewolf-Style” – This evokes the old vignette-themed TV show: Love, American-Style.
“overly intricate PETA protest” – See previous passively negative comment about PETA.
“at Applebee’s” – American restaurant franchise.
“Nine. Oh no, he’s not a werewolf, he’s a Seven!” – a reference to the old joke, “Why was six afraid of seven?” “Because seven ate nine!”.
“He’s more into Transformers now” – Cartoon series and toy line adapted from Japan, most popular during the late 1980s, about two groups of robots, the Autobots and Decepticons. Both the characters and the toys could transform into a secondary form, usually a vehicle like a car, truck, boat, or aircraft.
#16 The Mummy Walks
“without even Bronson Pinchot tearing paper to keep him company” – The Langoliers was a made-for-TV adaption of the Stephen King novel featuring Bronson Pinchot. A group of people on a red-eye flight who remain awake find themselves in a completely depopulated world. Bronson Pinchot’s typically bizarre performance has his psychotic character tearing strips of paper to relieve his stress.
“before Olivia de Havilland can chime in with a comment” – The Snake Pit starred Olivia de Havilland as a woman submitted to a mental institution after a nervous breakdown. A strict punishment was exile to the group ward with the least stable patients: “the snake pit”.
#15 Scream School
“Freddy Krueger” – main character from the horror series Nightmare on Elm Street. To this date, there have been 9 movies, one of which was a crossover with Friday the 13th icon Jason Voorhees.
“Original Recipe, but Original Reci-See?” – Pun on the Kentucky Fried Chicken advertising slogan, Original Recipe.
“ensuring her a long career at Fox News” – Fox News is widely regarded in poplar culture as being a sensationalist, right-wing news programme for the American broadcasting corporation Fox. A quondam slogan was “We report. You decide.”
“Where be your gibes / You ain’t got no alibi / Yorick! Yeah, yeah, Yorick! Wooo!” – In an infamous scene from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet holds the skull of his former tutor Yorick and comments “Alas, Yorick. I knew him, Horatio.” This is frequently misquoted as “Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well.” Revised: another reference to the lyrics of U.G.L.Y.
“I think even Gig Young would have had trouble syncophanting it up on this set” – Gig Young was an actor, associated especially with Marlon Brando, who hosted the umbrella series Warner Bros. Presents. During the host segments, Gig would present a behind-the-scenes look at a film production.
“walking around the UCLA campus for fun and going to eat at In-And-Out Burger. What, too busy to see the sign or a palm tree?” – All icons of Los Angeles, and in particular, Hollywood. The University of California, Los Angeles, is a relatively young University that has been steadily growing for the last few decades. It was founded in 1919.
“I guess they never let Stine on the set of the TV series?” – Goosebumps was briefly turned into a TV series in the late 1990s. Catchy theme music.
Still More Tales to Give You Goosebumps
“if only Jack Chick had thought ahead” – Jack Chick is an evangelical clergyman, most well known for his “Jack Chick tracts” – a series of comics about the various reasons everybody who isn’t Jack Chick is doomed to the stygian abyss below.
“something stronger than Sweetheart Fever” – Sweethearts are an American candy, but as Troy informs, Sweetheart Fever is an album by Scout Niblett, a British singer who named her stage alias after the narrator in To Kill A Mockingbird.
” His older brother pummels the boy and demands Max hand over all his candy. Careful with that ask, Eugene!” – Troy says this is a Pink Floyd joke. Specifically, the song, Careful with that Axe, Eugene, from the 1968 album Relics. An urban legend associated with the song is that it’s referring to Jerry Garcia, who lost part of one of his digits in a freak childhood accident.
“Mimi from the Drew Carey Show is somehow a character” – The Drew Carey Show starred the comedian of the same name. Drew’s semi-nemesis on the show was Mimi, a heavily made-up, heavyset woman with a sassy, belligerent attitude, played by Kathy Kinney.
“Please Don’t Feed the Bears
When you get to be my age, you’ll learn a few things. Like, when a story is called ‘Please Don’t Feed the Bears,’ man, you’d better not read ‘Please Don’t Feed the Bears.’” – paraphrased quote and still from a scene of Homer’s in Round Springfield, an episode of The Simpsons.
“Once the fabled night arrives, Mike attributes his great trick-or-treating success to his use of real fur in the costume. Now we know why the Olsens always walk away with the most candy every year” – Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are twin sisters who gained fame as children on the sitcom Full House and as fashion entrepreneurs in adulthood, promoting the virtues of fur. One of the sisters suffers from a well-publicised eating disorder. The other sister probably does, too, but her publicist works a different angle.
“She thanks the man for the lifesize MTV Video Award and goes her merry way.” – the MTV Video Music Awards are an award given by the music video station and channel MTV. The statues resemble an astronaut on the moon.
“Just to be clear, the first four stories in the book are the worst thing I’ve ever read, and I’ve read Dean Koontz. ” – Dean Koontz is a prolific science fiction author of mostly generic fare.
#14 Jekyll and Heidi
“Greyhound wasn’t horrible enough” – Greyhound is a model of bus and a company as well. They’re usually cramped and have other faults associated with cheap public transport.
“Um, wrong Jeckle” – Heckle and Jeckle are a pair of animated crows from Terrytoons. They are twins, but speak with different accents.
“go tour the Ben and Jerry’s factory!” – Ben and Jerry’s is an ice-cream company, icon of Vermont, and franchise that occasionally gives patrons the chance to invent their own ice cream flavour.
“this angry at Heidi since the Raiders/Jets game of ‘68” – In 1968, the Superbowl game between the Raiders and the Jets was slightly pre-empted by a made-for-TV production of the novel Heidi.
#13 Return to Horrorland
“No, not Silver Dollar City” – theme park in Missouri, affiliated with the city of Branson. Vaguely frontier-themed.
“X-Files” – 1990s science fiction/horror/drama show, part of the zeitgeist of the era. Starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI Agents involved in a vast government conspiracy. Two movies have been released: one during the run of the series, and one in 2008.
“Tom Selleck” – moustached actor, best known for Magnum PI.
“There’s probably a TMZ = Thirty Monster Zone joke in there” – A “thirty mile zone” is a Hollywood expression used to calculate the zone in Hollywood where most filming is based. Entertainment Unions use it to determine rates and rules they set to their members.
“Ricky Jay he ain’t” – Ricky Jay is one of the world’s most well known magicians and illusionists.
“Who will disappear, the Lady or the Tiger?” – a reference to the famous short story, The Lady or the Tiger.
“the tiger vanishes before it can Skin Lizzy” – I’m pretty confident that this is a reference to the band Thin Lizzy, best known for The Boys Are Back In Town.
“I’ve seen Adult Swim programmes with more narrative focus” – Adult Swim is an American cable station featuring shows like Venture Brothers, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, and Metalocalypse. As as my main man Troy comments, a lot of the shows (three of the four named) have wildly inane plotlines, often without any kind of closure or continuity at all.
“that borrows from Wacky Races can’t possibly fail!”– Wacky Races was a Hanna-Barbara cartoon from the 1960s about a group of ridiculous characters racing cars. One competitor, Dick Dasterdly and Muttley, would constantly cheat to win the race, usually involving setting ridiculously elaborate traps for the other races. The traps would almost always backfire, and as a result they were the only racing team to never win a race on the entire run of the series.
“The Dentist” – 1992 horror movie about a sadistic dentist who earns his comeuppance at the end.
“Memorable Cliffhanger Chapter Ending:
My name is Luke, uh,
I writhe on the cement floor. I give up: snakes? Not true.
Yes, I think you’ve seen this cliffhanger before.” – paraphrase of the Suzanne Vega song, Luka. “My name is Luka, I live on the second floor. I live upstairs from you; yes, I think you’ve seen me before.”
#12 Brain Juice
“elusive Newbery award” – American award for outstanding children’s literature.
“next mission to capture a Latifah” – Queen Latifah is an American hip-hop rapper and actor. Out of the limelight, her name is Dana Elain Owens.
“New York Times crossword puzzle” – a popular feature of the New York Times is the crossword puzzle, which has gained international renown since it was first printed.
“the aliens’ll just drive out to Vegas” – Las Vegas is a city in Nevada, known as one of the world’s biggest gambling and entertainment districts. The city has several famous casinos and landmarks, and is nicknamed “Sin City” for perceived sleaziness and permissiveness.
“Flowers For Algernon” – Flowers For Algernon is an award-winning story in several forms: a short story, a novel, and a feature film, called CHARLY. It’s a stream of consciousness story from the point of view of Charlie, a slightly mentally retarded man who is given experimental surgery to improve his cognitive abilities. He gradually becomes more intelligent, surpassing even the scientists. His intelligence and newfound egotism alienates him, and he gradually reverts to his previous state. The Algernon of the title is a mouse who received the same treatment as Charlie prior to him.
“I always knew Ozzy’s glazed appearance and slurred speech” – Ozzy Osbourne was the lead singer of the hard rock band Black Sabbath. In recent years, he became a cultural icon again; this time as an inept, shambling wreck of a father on his own reality show, The Osbournes.
“Knight Rider instead of Pushing Daisies on Wednesday nights”– the 1980’s show Knight Rider starred David Hasselhoff and William Daniels as the voice of KITT the car, a crime-solving duo. In 2008 a remake of the series began and presumably airs in this slot slot.
“I’ve seen Good Will Hunting too” – in the 1998 film Good Will Hunting, the title character’s prodigious mental abilities are discovered when he solves a problem on a chalkboard left by a professor while he works as a janitor at a university.
“Dr King” – Martin Luther King Jr. American civil rights activist.
“OJ Simpson verdict” – see previous comment about OJ Simpson.
“Jeopardy” – Jeopardy is a gameshow hosted by Canadian Alek Trebek. Contestants are given answers and have to guess the correct question that prompts the answer.
“Lusitania”– The liner Lusitania was a passenger ship that was sunk in 1914 by a German U-boat, with a huge loss of life. It was a British ship, but a large percentage of the victims were American, and it precipitated the entry of the United States into World War I.
#11 Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls
“about to perform turn-down service” – A turn-down service is a service provided in hotel chains: a maid usually makes the bed. To decline this, guests can hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on their door.
“this kid could write a book on circling first” – “Circling first” is a baseball term, referring to the first base. As a euphemism for teenage seduction, it means that the person has trouble even getting to first base – the very first stage.
“They’re coming to get you, Barbara” – Quote from an early scene in the original 1968 Night of The Living Dead. Johnny mockingly tells this to his sister, Barbra, when she confesses to hating graveyards.
“in a classic “Oh Cool, I’ve seen Carnival of Souls too” moment” – In several scenes of the 1960-something horror movie Carnival of Souls, the heroine is menaced by a group of eerie, dancing, silent ghouls in an abandoned carnival (countless times).
“even Templeton to lose his appetite” – Templeton the rat is a character in E.B White’s children’s book Charlotte’s Web. Rats are not known for being discreet with cuisine.
“or starring in an episode of the X-Files, as her irises have turned black” – The specific X-Files episode refers to is Black Oil. Alien organisms infected human beings and let their presence be known by clouding the host’s eyes.
“to watch one of those DVDs that show a roaring fireplace instead” – who could forget these babies?!
“the worst novelization of a Gene Kelly movie” – Gene Kelly was a popular actor/dancer in the Golden era of cinema, best known for Singing In The Rain, Take Me Out to The Ball Game, Brigadoon, and An American In Paris.
“She did class rubbings, she learned you never had to press hard” – a play on the lyrics to “Suki in the Graveyard”, by Scottish group Belle and Sebastian.
“only one Chuck I’m Up on” – reference to the character Chuck, from Pushing Daisies.
#10 Headless Halloween
“is there a patch for that?” – Nicotine patches are a popular aid for smokers wanting to quit the habit. They deliver smaller amounts of nicotine than a cigarette, with the theory that eventually the user will be able to gradually wean themselves off nicotine completely.
“scuffing his new Air Jordans” – shoe brand produced by Nike, named and endorsed by basketball star Michael Jordan. First sold in 1984.
“like a Mamet film with Rebecca Pidgeon” – David Mamet is a playwright and director, best known for writing Glengarry Glen Ross and Wag The Dog. Rebecca Pidgeon is a Scottish singer and actor.
“Poor Ambrose Bierce gets dragged into this” – Ambrose Bierce was an author of the last century, best known for his short stories and The Devil’s Dictionary. He disappeared in mysterious circumstances at Pigeon Creek. The events of the this Goosebumps title take their cue from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, which was adapted for episodes of The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
“Twister” – party game. Players have to co-operate to put their hands and feet on specific colours on a mat at the same time as other players without any other part of their body touching the mat. The colours are selected with a spinning wheel.
“not to be confused with being on the Far Side… cows” – Comic strip series by Gary Larson, of which cartoon cows were the mascots.
“Brandon braces himself for balled up Kleenexes” – masturbation gag.
“Christina Hendrick’s Emmy Dress” – Actor. She’s been in quite a few things, but most will recognise her from either Firefly or Mad Men.
#09 Are You Terrified Yet?
“from Agent Cody Banks” – franchise of teen spy comedy films starring Frankie Muniz, best known for the title character in sitcom Malcolm In The Middle.
“MILRNLHBUIC” – An expanded take on MILF.
“The RAND Corporation, In Conjunction With the Saucer People…” – The Rand Corporation is an American government think tank agency, but this specifically references the Simpsons episode Grandpa Vs Sexual Inadequacy, where the children of Springfield believe a convuluted conspiracy is underfoot involving their parents.
“finally, a Lord of the Flies for our generation” – 1954 short novel about a group of children stranded on an island without parents during World War II. They form a society that gradually succumbs to superstition and violence, until the survivors are inexplicably rescued at the end in one of the most stunning dues ex machinas of all time. The whole story is an allegory about the nature of the individual vs society and the inherent savagery of human nature.
#08 Fright Camp
“Front Tagline: Where the wild things are… out of control!” – a reference to the popular picture book Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak.
“FW Murnau” – German silent film director of the 1920s, best known for Nosferatu.
“FX Toole” – pseudonym of the boxer Jerry Boyd, who wrote the short story that the 2004 Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby is based on.
“DB Sweeney” – American actor. Most commercially familiar film would probably be Spawn.
“River Beware” – pun on Goosebumps tagline, “Reader Beware”.
“the first rule of Fright Camp is that they don’t talk about Fright Camp” – reference to movie, Fight Club. “The first rule of Fight Club is: you don’t talk about Fight Club.”
“Mr. Sketch scented markers” – Brand of marker pens, with, as the name implies, different scents for each colour.
“LiveJournal usernames” – Livejournal is or was a popular blogging website.
“A Hunny pot, only to be mauled by an angry bear” – the A.A Milne/Disney character Winnie the Pooh had a love for pots of honey, mislabelled in the same way.
“Cookie jar, spoiling the song” – popular kid’s rhyme: “Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Was it you?” “Couldn’t be!” “Then who?!”
“game of Seven Up” – school game known under many different names, the most logical being Heads Down, Thumbs Up. An entire class puts their heads down and closes their eyes with their thumb in the air while 3 or 4 classmates wander around and each push a thumb back down. When the students put their heads back up, the ones with their thumbs down have to guess who put their thumb down. If guessed correctly, they replace the person. Time-sink employed by teachers everywhere.
“Allow Mickey Rourke’s style consultant to dress them” – Actor/boxer best known for 9 ½ Weeks, The Pope of Greenwich Village, and most recently, Sin City or The Wrestler. I don’t know if there’s a specific event that Troy’s referring to.
“Trapper Keepers” – paper-holder binder thingy used mostly by students in primary school.
“world’s last hypercolour shirt” – Hypercolour was a line of shirts that could change colours when exposed to different temperatures. Brief fad in the late 80s and early 90s.
“Paris Hilton wants to have sex” – refers to a tape of Hilton Hotels heiress Paris Hilton having sex, which was then distributed on the internet.
“Dead person in the water is a common Halloween costume:” – this is a still from an episode of Two Guys, A Girl, And A Pizza Place. The character played by Suzanne Cryer is dressed as a victim of the Titanic sinking.
“Ed ‘Cookie’ Jarvis” – competitive eater.
“Cool Doctor Money” – In the Dee Dee’s Haircut episode of My Brother and Me, Dee Dee wanted a “Cool Doctor Money” haircut.
“Goo Punch” – Song/scene from My Brother and Me, sung by the character Goo. ”Goo Punch, come on now everyone, Goo Punch!”
“Kendall Gill” – retired NBA player, who played for the Charlotte Hornets. Guest starred in an episode of… My Brother and Me.
“Farraday is going to marry Shelly the Cook, live in a mansion, have three children, and drive a VW bug” – a reference to a possible outcome in the childhood fortune telling game called MASH (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House).
“a Bang Bus, assassinated by the MILF Hunter” – BangBus is a “reality porn video” website. I have no idea if the MILF Hunter is an actual component of the show.
“Fred Flintstone said to stop bothering Wilma”– on The Flintstones, Fred and Wilma lived in a house that vaguely resembled a cave. Because they were CAVEmen.
“Adidas snap-pants” – sweatpants, or trackpants, are a type of pants designed for comfort. The waistbands are made of elastic.
#07 Revenge R Us
“for those of you who saw Dirty Work” – Dirty Work was a 1998 movie about two friends who open up a revenge-for-hire business with the aim of earning money for a heart surgery operation. Starred Norm McDonald.
“I kept expecting the Joads to emerge” – The Joads were the family from John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath, about a family moving from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression. Large sections of it are set in one of the typical shanty Hooverville towns of the time.
“How’s that for a Kodak moment?” – “Kodak moment” was an advertising campaign for the Kodak company. It became a sarcastic catch-phrase and put-down in response to any overly sentimental moment during the 90s.
#06 I Am Your Evil Twin
“Some redheaded Adamses do alright for themselves” – Amy Adams is an American actor, best known today for Enchanted. The screenshot here is from Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, which starred Frances McDormand as the title character. The character played by Adams hires her to help schedule her romantic antics.
“A jug of cider? Is the twist that they’re living at Silver Dollar City?” – Silver Dollar City is a theme park specialising in frontier life amusements.
“A Pirates jersey” – The Pittsburgh Pirates are a baseball team from Pennsylvania, sometimes also known as the Buccaneers.
“THEY ARE LIVING IN DUTCH COUNTRY” – Areas of Pennsylvania are known as Dutch Country because of the high percentage of German Dutch-descended populace.
“they do that at Discovery Zone” – Discovery Zone was a children’s entertainment chain that went bankrupt in 1999.
“poor Prince Albert stuck in a can” – Asking for “Prince Albert in a can” is a phone prank call gag. Prince Albert is a brand of tobacco sold in tins, and when the prankee replies in the affirmative, the prank caller then tells them that they’d better “let him out”, because Prince Albert was also a person.
“a Full Monty joke somewhere in all of this” – The Full Monty was a film about a group of working class Sheffielders who perform a strip show to raise money.
“I’ve heard of Monty Burns” – character on The Simpsons.
“Of course the clones are not only evil, possess excellent timing, and can’t feel pain, but they also are light sleepers. In the house that Jack built.” – the list, said in a sing-song voice, follows the cadence of the nursery rhyme The House That Jack Built.
“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” – a shift to Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan. At one point in the book, the main character is unable to continue writing and the story is continued from her twin sister’s point of view, like the last few chapters of I Am Your Evil Twin.
“Solaris, Multiplicity, and Solaris too” – Solaris was a science-fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem, and then a film by Andrei Tarkovsky about the general state of the human mind, insanity, fantasy, etc. Multiplicity was a film about a scientist played by Michael Keaton who clones himself multiple times.
#05 and #04 Invasion of the Body Squeezers
“Cinemascope of children’s novels” – CinemaScope was a type of anamorphic widescreen developed in the 1950s and 1960s that gradually fell out of favour and was replaced by Panavision. The final commercial film produced in CinemaScope was In Like Flint.
“the same sense that Epic Movie is an epic” – Epic Movie is the umpteenth movie in the “Genre” Movie series, a series that spoofs whatever the current fads and cultural memes are seared into popular consciousness at the time of release. They’re considered the lowest common denominator of modern film-making.
“added beyond reason, RL Stine has poured so much water into this liquor bottle that no one’s parents are going to be fooled” – a common method of hiding of teenage drinking from parents if the spirit is clear, like gin or vodka.
“the series’ own Wiki” – Wikipedia is an online encyclopaedia that is entirely created by user-generated content. It offers itself as a temple for any other kind of online encyclopaedia, which are known as “Wikis”. The word “wiki” is Hawaiian for “quick” or “fast”.
“his nickname is Saucerman, and not because he takes his tea like a gentleman” – Gentlemen traditionally have cups of tea served on a saucer.
“Grace Kelly discovers” – In Rear Window, an Alfred Hitchcock film, the character played by Grace Kelly is sent to pillage the suspected murderer’s house for evidence of his wife’s murder by the character played by Jimmy Stewart.
“his DeMille moment” – Cecil B DeMille was a director, best known for his flamboyant epic movies, like Cleopatra, Samson and Delilah, The Ten Commandments, and The Greatest Show On Earth. I think Troy is referring to the close of Sunset Boulevard, where the delusional Norma Desmond sweeps down a stairway and declares “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille.”
“his table at Outback is finally available” – Outback Steakhouse is an American steakhouse franchise with an Australian Outback theme.
“If Petsmart could get their hands on this” – Petsmart is an American chain specialising in pet grooming and training.
“Well, in Florida maybe.”– Possibly a reference to Debra Lafave, an American teacher who was convicted for statutory rape with a student?
“that worked out so well for HUAC” – The House of Un-American Activities Committee was an organisation in the 1950s that was dedicated to routing out perceived Communism in the House of Representatives, the American entertainment industry and other areas of society. It was functionally abolished in 1975.
“The principal drags Jack offstage and completely disregards her own PDA rules by trying to hug him yet again” – PDA: Public Displays of Affection
“Jack wonders if he’s going insane. But before he can start chopping down hotel doors with an axe” – a reference to the character Jack Torrance from The Shining and the most infamous scene from the Stanley Kubrick adaption.
“Other than being interrupted by Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine” – a reference to a scene from the 1972 movie Sleuth, with Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier. At one point, they open a costume chest and debate the costume Caine should wear to commit a fake robbery from Olivier, eventually settling on the clown costume.
“Uh, NWA weren’t saying Hug Tha Police” – Niggas With Attitude is a hip-hop/rap group. One of their songs was called “Fuck Tha Police”.
“M. Night, did you rip off this book too?” – M. Night Shyamalan is a director known for movies utilising twist endings and self-cameos. In Signs, the “twist” is that the invading aliens are deathly allergic to water.
“5000-Second Rule” – A common clause invoked when food is dropped on the floor is the 5-second rule. The logic behind this is that it takes 5 seconds for germs to contaminate the food. Alternatives are the 3-second rule and the 7-second rule.
“and not just with cooties” – fictional disease transmitted from the opposite sex in childhood. It’s become a synonym for any imaginary disease in childhood.
“Is this their Crash moment?” – Crash was a critically acclaimed 2004 movie about the illegal drug industry and various people involved, on both sides.
“After all, Mr. Fleshman is the alien leader of the pack, vroom vroom vroom!” – probably a reference to Leader of the Pack, the song by the Shangri-La’s.
“Dr Spock’s fifth rule” – Doctor Spock was a child psychologist who wrote a best-selling book on childcare in the 1970s. He also won a gold medal for rowing in the 1924 Olympic Games.
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” – A movie and several remakes about an insidious alien invasion, who operate by taking over people’s minds one-by-one, usually when they fall asleep. At the time, it was mostly a badly-disguised metaphor for communism, a kind of adaption of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros.
“The Faculty” – The Faculty was a horror movie about a high school invaded by aliens impersonating teachers who conspire to infect the entire school, and then the world.
“The X-Files” – Again, 1990s TV science-fiction/drama series about a vast alien conspiracy.
“Buses don’t run that regularly in LA” – They do.
What. Is. Inside the house?!! There…is… NOTHING. WE TRULY DO HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF. GR8 WORDS 2 LIVE BY~” – well known quotation of Franklin Roosevelt, from his first inauguration speech.
#03 Creature Teacher
“before Ashton Kutcher” – Ashton Kutcher is an actor and host of Punk’D, a reality TV series about pulling pranks on celebrities.
“bullies modelled themselves on Oscar de la Hoya, not Wilde” – Oscar de la Hoya is a successful former boxer. Oscar Wilde was one of the most well known playwrights and raconteurs of all time.
“strativarious” – a portmanteau of ‘Stradivarius’ and ‘various’. Stradivarius is a make of violen/cello/stringed instrument, considered to be the finest of its kind in the world.
“Insert jaundice/The Simpsons/fake tan/questionable Asian joke here” – Jaundice is a disease, symptoms include yellow skin and eyes. Characters on The Simpsons have yellow skin. Fake tans often result in an overly orange complexion. For an embarrassingly long length of time in Western popular culture, Asians were labeled the “yellow peril” and usually portayed as having yellow skin.
“Darwinism” – A sociological theory based on the teachings of Charles Darwin, scientist best known for his work popularising evolution (among many other things). Darwinism is usually expressed as “survival of the fittest”, an expression taken to mean that those in the position of power will naturally wean out the weaker amongst them.
“’YOU UGLY’… Paul, who ain’t got no alibi” – Lyrics from U.G.L.Y, a song by Daphne and Celeste.
“Perez… or enjoys drawing squirting MS Paint penises…” – Perez Hilton is a gossip blogger who does exactly that.
“Less is Lorrie Moore Alert” – Lorrie Moore is a short story writer. She won the O. Henry Award in 1998.
#02 Bride of the Living Dummy
“resembles Raggedy-Ann, not the Bride of Frankenstein” – Raggedy-Ann is a series of books about a ragdoll called Raggedy-Ann. Bride of Frankenstein is the 1935 sequel to Frankenstein. The bride doll on the cover on Bride of The Living Dummy has a hairstyle clearly based on the titular Bride of Frankenstein.
“and a summer’s day” – “May I compare thee to a summer’s day?” is the alternate title to William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. A summer’s day is compared unfavourably to the subject of the poem.
“keep away from a Rickles show” – Don Rickles is a well known “insult comic”, who was often a guest on the Tonight Show during Johnny Carson’s reign.
“his best Eric Campbell impression” – Eric Campbell was a silent film actor who usually played the villain role in Charlie Chaplin films.
“Dairy Queen” – Dairy Queen is a fast food and ice cream franchise.
“Jillian and Harrison cross over a set of train tracks. “Hello, Pulitzer?” – The Pulitzer Prize, established by newspaper mogul Joseph Pulitzer, is usually awarded to strongly allegorical novels involving social criticism.
“HOLLYWOOD.” – Films from Hollywood are often considered to glamourise and inaccurately depict the reality.
“Mary-Ellen is thus shocked that he’s so resistant to her. She probably figured all she needed to do to keep her marriage successful was keep Sienna Miller away.” – Sienna Miller, previously mentioned, met and “dated” actor Balthazar Getty, father of four, while he was still married.
“his best Jerry Lee Lewis impression” – Jerry Lee Lewis is a popular rock/country singer, who has been dogged by criticism for his marriage to, and subsequent divorce from, his younger cousin.
“pass a Supercuts” – chain of budget salon franchises.
#01 Cry of the Cat
“VCRs, man” – Video Cassette Recordings were the predecessor to DVDs.
“the Nanny agaaaaaaaain?!?!” – The Nanny was a 1990s sitcom starring Fran Drescher as a Nanny for a wealthy family in New York. Her secret goal was to seduce the head of the household, Mr Sheffield.
“Wait, wrong cat house” – A cat house is another name for a burlesque house.
“The More You Know” – The More You Know is a public service announcement series on the American television station NBC. The logo shown here was used until 2002.
“only to have the cat come back to life and exit, stage-left even!” – “Exit, stage left/right even!” was one of the catchphrases of the cartoon cat Snagglepuss.
“some people enjoy having lunch with The Cat” – John “The Cat” Robie was the name of Cary Grant’s gentleman thief character in To Catch A Thief.
“begins posting on ONTD” – Oh No They Didn’t is a community forum on LiveJournal.com centred on celebrity gossip.
“page twelve of Judith Martin’s book… that’s loooow rent, ma’am” – Miss Manners is the pseudonym of etiquette author Judith Martin.
“unspeakably traumatic run-in with a Lunchable in the past” – Lunchables are a popular school snack given to kids with a combination of different snacks in a pack, usually cheese and meat. There are many imitators.
Even More Tales to Give You Goosebumps: Special Edition #3
“drew many a Joe Boxer enthusiast” – Joe Boxers are an underwear brand.
“Marc Harmon comedy classic/cautionary horror tale Summer School” – Summer School was a 1987 family comedy about a teacher forced to teach a group of slacker doofuses.
“Mr. Grimley, I must say!” – A reference to Ed Grimley, a dorky, annoying character played by Martin Short on the Canadian sketch comedy series SCTV and later, Saturday Night Live.
“esoteric jokes in Disney’s Pocahontas” – Pocahontas was a Disney cartoon film about Pocahontas and the pioneer John Smith. It’s dramatically different from the actual tale of Pocahontas.
“a Lethal Weapon movie” – The Lethal Weapon series had four incarnations, all starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.
“ReadyMade modular dwelling kits… No basements = no problems” – ReadyMade is a kind of pre-built house, used to save time, energy, and money in the construction of houses.
“Sardo-type magic shoppe” – Sardo and his mom-and-pop sorcery shop were recurring elements in the 1990s TV series Are You Afraid of The Dark?
“there aren’t any ghosts in Parcheesi” – Parcheesi is a popular board game.
“Oh cool, I’ve seen Jumanji too” – Jumanji was a comedy/adventure movie starring Robin Williams about a magical board game. In the centre of the board was a magic-eight ball type glass that displayed an outcome in the form of a poem.
“the original Odd Couple” – The Odd Couple was a play, film, and several TV series. The film starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as Felix and Oscar, who are forced to share an apartment when Felix‘s wife kicks him out. One messy, other clean.
“The Animaniacs” – Cartoon TV series produced by Stephen Spielberg in the 1990s.
“some Sub Pop band that would have opened for Paw in 1995” – Paw is a band from Lawrence, Kansas.
“any worse than that scene in Garden State” – See Garden State, starring Zach Braff and Natalie Portman and directed by Zach Braff. Probably a reference to the costume design: clothes that matches the house wallpaper.
“Stepford Wives” – In the original Stepford Wives film, a “perfect” community hides the secret that the women are secretly killed and replaced by robotic duplicates.
“The People Under the Stairs” – In The People Under The Stairs, a character named Roach escapes from underneath the stairs and hides in the walls.
“I just found a friend for Adam!” – a reference to the main character two stories previously.
“a huge Judex buff” – In the remake of the 1920’s French serial Judex, the title vigilante wore bird masks.
“The Shining” – In the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel and starring Jack Nicholson, the haunted hotel has an inexplicable giant hedge maze on the grounds.
“Holy Mixed Signals, Batman!” – In the 1970s live action Batman series and in some incarnations of the comic, his sidekick, Robin, would say things like this.
“Is the twist going to be that he’s either one of these two?” – a still image from the 2005 film The Baxter, about the dull, second male character in a romantic comedy, who is always doomed to lose the girl to the main character.
“that movie that comes on at 4.00AM on TBN about the guy who dreams about the Rapture inexplicably taking place in an airport” – TBN is the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
“Alexander Graham Bell” – inventor and engineering pioneer. As stated, he’s generally credited with the invention of the telephone.
“we’d better invent those plastic things on the end of shoelaces in case it ever comes up” – They’re called aglets. They probably weren’t invented by Romans, but they would have had their work cut out for them with the Appian Way.
“POG craze” – POGS were an inexplicable fad of the 1980s and 1990s about the trading of stylised bottle caps. POG stands for Pineapple, Orange, and Guava, which was the name of the brand the caps originally came from.
“Purple Rein” – Purple Rain were the titles of a song, album, and film by Prince Rogers Nelson, better known and mocked as just Prince or The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.
“Snots Landing”– Knots Landing was an American soap opera TV series about a group of married couples. Alec Baldwin is the most well known former cast member.
“Scholastick-ridden mutt” – Scholastic is the publisher of Goosebumps, as well as a lot of other well-known children’s book series.
“Gnomes love you long time, Joe” – stereotypical dialogue of Vietnamese prostitutes in Vietname War-era movies. The 1987 Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket was probably the first. Further clarification: “Joe” was a slang term for the American soldier.
“action comedy A Gnome Named Norm” – A Gnome Named Norm is an actual movie starring Anthony Michael Hall.
“elaborate Snorks homage” – 1980s cartoon series based on a Belgian comic strip about an adorable society of seahorse-esque creatures living under the sea. Elaborate Smurfs ripoff.
“’Tippi’ Hedren could have really been something” – “Tippi” Hedren was the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie.
“and suggests preparing an extra bowl to hold
A. Keys” – Key parties are just a taste of all the fun people have when they’re swingers.
“Cool Ranch tortilla chips” – Cool Ranch is a popular flavour of Doritos nachos.
“Cracked magazine’s demise” – Cracked magazine was/is a humour magazine, and competitor with MAD Magazine. The actual magazine went out of print several years ago, but it now has a new life as a humour website.
“Superstitious for most of a McFlurry” – Superstitious was R.L Stine’s first and probably only foray into the adult horror market. The plot vaguely resembles Rosemary’s Baby. McFlurrys are a dessert offered by McDonalds
“Elaborate ploy for Eric Stoltz’s affections” – actor, originally slated to play Marty McFly in the Back to The Future film. A reference to the character he played in 1985s Mask, Rocky Dennis, loosely based on the true story of the real Rocky’s life.
“entire book is elaborate precursor to Angels and Demons” – book by Dan Brown about an apparent Illuminati plot to destroy Vatican City using anti-matter. Precursor to the popular The DaVinci Code, which recycles almost the entire plot.
“sleeps with… Sienna Miller” – model, actor, glamour puss. Best known for playing Andy Warhol muse/ingénue Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl.
“Members of Ice-T’s wife bronzing posse” – Ice-T is a former rapper and actor, best known these days for his roles on the Law and Order franchise. In a career lowpoint, he appeared in Tank Girl. Specifically, this is referring to CoCo.
“rapid weight gain is fine if you’re DeNiro” – Robert DeNiro, in preparation for 1980s Raging Bull, famously put on almost 30kg to play Jake LaMotta in his slump. One of the few actors to also pull this feat off was Vincent D’Onfrio, who actually gained slightly more for his role in Full Metal Jacket.
“Geico Cavemen have taught us nothing else” – In an advertising campaign for the GEICO insurance company, a group of cavemen are offended by the slogan “so easy that a caveman could do it”. Apparently it has spawned a TV series that is currently in production.
“Underdog had left empty” – 1960s cartoon series about a superhero dog.
“Slightly less terrifying than Pleasantville” – 1998 film starring Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H Macy, and Don Knotts. Two twins are transported into the black-and-white world of the fictional TV series Pleasantville, a satirically guileless 1950s small-town.
“it’s hard not to notice that Stine’s ghost-centered books are among his finest achievements. I guess he should have let the spirit move him more often huh” – a reference to the literal spiritual, Let The Spirit Move You
#34 Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes
“Phantasm XXXIV” – In the long-running horror film series Phantasm, the henchmen of the “Tall Man” are gravity-compressed dwarves.
“a McCall this angry since Gordon wore Casey’s shirt” – In the episode Sally, of short-lived American comedy/drama series Sports Night, Casey McCall leaves his shirt in a woman’s apartment and declines to go back to pick it up. Later in the episode, he recognises Gordon wearing the same shirt.
“I just don’t understand how anyone can hate the Burtons’ dog” – a reference to the short-lived series, Ed, about a man who returns to his home town to manage a bowling alley.
“New Jersey snowglobes” – The state motto of New Jersey is “The Garden State”.
“Truly Madly Deeply cassingles” – Truly Madly Deeply was a song by pop band Savage Garden.
“Joe’s father didn’t marry John Waters” – John Waters’ first cult hit was Pink Flamingos.
“Gnome Owners Association” – A Home Owners Association.
“Hap…. or half-Japanese” – “Hapa” is a slang term for somebody who is half-Japanese.
“Gnome Chomsky” – Noam Chomsky is an author, philosopher, and political activist.
“Gnome N. Clature” – Nomenclature.
“Gnomie the Clown” – Homey the Clown was a character on the sketch comedy show In Living Colour, featuring the innumerable Wayans family.
“Lil’ Gnomeo” – Lil’ Romeo is the stage name of American hip-hop singer and basketball player Percy Romeo Miller.
“Gnome McDonald” – Norm McDonald, a Canadian comedian who hosted Saturday Night Live for several years and briefly had his own, self-titled sitcom.
“Kodagnome” – Kodachrome is a colour film format trademark of the Eastman Kodak company. It’s also the name of a Paul Simon song.
“Sean ‘Puffy’ Gnomes” – Sean “Puffy” Combs is an American rapper/hip-hop artist.
“Gnomer Simpson” – Homer Simpson is a character on long-running animated series The Simpsons.
“Why so serious” – a quote/catchphrase of Heath Ledger’s Joker from the 2008 Batman film The Dark Knight Returns.
“the twist is the gnome is actually Al Jolson?” – Al Jolson was a jazz singer, actor, and all-round performer best known for his starring role in The Jazz Singer. He donned blackface in the role; stereotypical blackface acts involved a love for watermelon.
“Moose cancels his big date with Midge” – a reference to the Archie comics power couple, previously mentioned.
“everyone’s favourite Emilio Estevez comedy, Men At Work” – Troy tells me that this is a joke about another of Emilio’s films, Stakeout, which involves staking out things, but coincidentally, Men At Work, which starred Emilio Estevez and his brother, Charlie Sheen, as a pair of garbage men who find a dead body, ALSO features a spying scene.
“just like any show on TLC” – The Learning Channel is an American educational cable TV station.
“Luckily, Joe remembers how gnomes are scared of dogs (but not all animals I guess)” – a frame from the 1985 cartoon series The World David the Gnome, who called on the animals of the forest to help him.
“I was reminded of Planet Terror”– Planet Terror was one half of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez collaborative double-film Grindhouse, created as a homage to exploitative grindhouse movies.
#26 My Hairiest Adventure
“Milkbone dog treats or something” – Milk-bone dog treats are a brand of, well, dog treats, made of meat and milk.
“that time Vampire Weekend rejected any other band name at all in favour of ‘Vampire Weekend’” – Vampire Weekend is a recently formed, alternative rock band. It transpires that the name derives from a short film made by the lead singer.
“Isaac Brock is sobbing into a couch cushion” – Isaac Brock is a musician in the band Modest Mouse. He has a uniquely squeaky style of guitar playing.
“they all turn out to be Marilyn Manson or something” – Marilyn Manson, born Brian Hugh Warner, is an American shock musician and singer. His stage persona has two differently coloured irises, through contact lenses rather than heterochromia.
“there goes any relevant Degrassi jokes” – Manny was a character on the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi. In one controversial plotline, she becomes pregnant.
“maybe he’s the mysterious fourth Smoosh sibling” – Smoosh is an American pop rock band of three sisters. They have never given out their actual surname in public.
“so close to what teenagers are doing in the bathroom, and yet so far” – Teenagers cluster in bathrooms, away from their parents, to masturbate.
“Dr. Murkin” – Merkin is a slang term for a pubic wig.
“outside of barking ‘Jingle Bells’ in popular Christmas novelty songs, dogs don’t possess musical abilities” – A reference to the barking, incredibly gifted, “Jingle Dogs”.
“Eric Clapton songbook… with a squeaky-guitar rendition of ‘Cocaine’” – Eric Clapton is a renowned English guitarist, formerly of the band Cream. Cocaine is the name of an anti-drug cover song he played, originally written by J.J Cale.
“luckily he beat Jack Lemmon” – a reference to The Apartment, starring Jack Lemmon as a middle management executive who loans his apartment to his superiors for meeting their mistresses. His fifth superior has an affair with the character played by Shirley MacLaine, and her character, realising the true nature of their relationship, tries to kill herself in Jack Lemmon’s apartment. He removes all the razor blades from his bathroom, just in case.
“at least they all end before ‘Needle In The Hay’ can start playing” – Needle in the Hay is a 1995 song by Elliot Smith. In the 2001 movie The Royal Tenenbaums, Luke Wilson’s character Richie Tenenbaum calmly shaves his beard and then tries to kill himself with the razor while this song plays.
“a book report on a Matt Christopher novel” – Children’s writer, probably best known for his sports-centric stories.
“Bruce Coville” – American author, mostly known for science fiction/fantasy children’s novels like the Aliens Ate My Homework series.
“lots of cool people wear gloves: chauffeurs, elevator operators, Mickey Mouse” – They sure do. Mickey Mouse is a character and logo of the Walt Disney Company.
“they can no longer re-enact Zaireeka on stage” – The name of a 1997 experimental album by The Flaming Lips.
“they’ll just turn into Casiotone For The Painfully Alone” – Casiotone For The Painfully Alone is the name of a one-man electronica music project.
“they’re not the only ones doing it for Lily” – In the series Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell played the title character. A long-running series arc was the discovery of the murderer of her best friend, Lily.
“I Want To Hold Your Hand” – A 1963 song by possibly the most popular band of all-time, the Beatles.
“huge fans of the Teen Wolf movies” – Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf II were two 1980’s movies about teenagers who discover their lycanthrope lineage. It also inspired a cartoon series.
#27 Night In Terror Tower
Woody Allen’s Match Point – one of Woody Allen’s most recent films, about a tennis player, set in London.
Louis Theroux – British documentary maker, best known for his travelogue videos, books, and radio broadcasts. He’s also done documentaries on unusual subculture groups, particularly in Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends.
Alexa Chung – British model, broadcast host, and columnist. Chung and Theroux do not mix.
Skins – British teen drama set in Bristol. Like most teen dramas, it is chock-full of angst, drugs, sex, and limited amounts of rock and roll.
“Hey Eddie, if you don’t want to get scared, I’ve got just the movie for you” – The picture below is a still from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, a “horror” film about plants that release spores that compel people to kill themselves. Spores.
Dean Koontz’s The Watchers – Dean Koontz is an American author, mentioned either prior or a few entries down, I’m writing these stupid comments out of sequence. Watchers is a 1987 novel he wrote about a self-aware dog with human intelligence being hunted down by an ape-creature with similar attributes.
“and Princess Susannah of York (You gotta be kidding me– for more than one reason)” – Actress and 60s icon Susannah York, shown here in what looks like a shot from They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Besides the obvious connotations the York surname has with English history, Troy is likely referring to Robert Altman’s Images. Susannah York’s character Cathryn suffers from a similar identity crisis to what Eddie and Sue experience.
“During the tour, Sue spies a man in black following their every move through the castle. Yet she never stops to tell him “Wrong tower book,” so he maintains his watch over her and her brother.” – Stephen King, author, wrote a best-selling, seven part mythology series called The Dark Tower, about various characters, some as stupidly named as “Randall Flagg”.
“a wave of rats move in on the humans, because when you’re already cribbing from a few Stephen King books, what’s one more?” – a reference to The Graveyard Shift, a short story and filmed adaption about an infestation of mutated rats underneath a mill in Maine.
the man in black. But instead of regaling the youngsters with gravel-voiced country rock – Johnny Cash, American country/rock singer/songwriter, best known for his political and social themed songs like Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk The Line, and Ring of Fire. A nickname bestowed on him was “The Man In Black” for his distinctive stage style: all black, even a long coat. A biopic of his life was produced in 2006, called Walk The Line.
Pier 1 – Pier 1 is an American retail outlet that specialises in furniture.
Joanie Loves Chachi – American TV series, a short-lived 1980s spin-off of the popular 1970s look at the 1950s, Happy Days. It starred Scott Baio and Erin Moran as the title characters, who had moved to Chicago to start a rock career. Happy Days was itself a spin-off from Love: American Style, a vignette-style comedy.
(Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!) – a reference to the opening credits of Laverne and Shirley, another Happy Days spin-off. The two title characters skip down the street and sing this at the end of a hopscotch chant.
“But the twist is: ‘Still from Pickpocket’” – this is a still image from the 1959 film Pickpocket, about a pickpocket who pickpockets. At the end of the film, he is caught, and he is visited by his lover. The character, Eddy, in this Goosebumps book, is a pickpocket.
#56 The Curse of Camp Cold Lake
“cock-block twelve-year olds?” – “cock-block” is a term meaning to deliberately interrupt another person’s attempts at seduction.
“Camp Cold Lake is revealed to be:” – “Wetter is better” was the advertising slogan for the SuperSoaker water gun in the 1990s. The ads featured a camp counsellor repeatedly shouting, “WETTER. IS. BETTER!!!!”
“scornfully reminds Sarah that the presidential election of 1840 had already been decided” – James Polk was the running mate of Martin Van Buren in the 1840’s Presidential Election. His wife’s name was Sarah. Troy also tells me that a campaign song and slogan for their unsuccesful campaign was “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”, hence the reference.
“unfamiliar with Virginia Woolf’s personal biography” – Author, feminist, and Bloomsbury set member Virginia Woolf drowned in a Sussex river. It is widely believed to be a successful suicide.
“she and her boyfriend George Glass are sure Sarah just drowned for the attention” – On the 1960s/1970s American sitcom The Brady Bunch, Jan Brady invented a fake boyfriend named George Glass.
#57 My Best Friend Is Invisible
“who apparently caught Porky’s on USA Up All Night” – length (not height) measurement was a running gag in the Canadian teen comedy film Porky’s. USA Up All Night was a long-running series on the USA Network featuring low-budget movies.
“he wittily quotes Shakespeare” – William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III, opens with the title character facetiously saying “Now is the winter of our discontent”. A commenter observes that this is a winsome Troy Steele switcheroo. His dog, Brutus, would best be shamed with this selection from Julius Caesar: “Et tu, Brutus?”
“and put on the red light” – Roxanne, a song by Sting and the Police, exhorts a prostitute named Roxanne that she doesn’t have to “put on the red light”.
“who needs visibilities amirite” – A play on the popular phrase, “with friends like this, who needs enemies”.
“no one tell Jessica Valenti about this book!” – Jessica Valenti is a feminist blogger.
“makes perfect sense only if you’re a cast member of Dallas” – Dallas was a American soap-opera that ran during the 1980s and 1990s. Murder and mayhem were common features of the series, like any other soap opera. It’s particularly known for the plotline “Who Shot J.R Ewing?” and the finale of the 1986 season in which the entire previous season was revealed to have been a dream.
“And whadaya know, a ghost does show up.” – a link to Whadaya Know by the Hexes and Ohs.
“the ghost is Albert Finney!” – Albert Finney is a British actor. In the 2007 film Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, it finalises with his character, Charles, suffocating his son with a pillow.
“five paragraphs on Of Mice and Men” – Of Mice and Men is an acclaimed 1937 novel by John Steinbeck about George and Lennie, two men on the run after Lennie accidently kills a woman.
Goosebumps Live On Stage: Screams In the Night
“written and directed by Rupert Holmes… Tony-Award winning playwright… Jimmy Buffet’s ‘the Pina Colada Song’” – Like Troy explained, Rupert Holmes wrote Escape, better known as the Pina Colada Song. He also wrote one of the most renowned cannibalism themed songs, Timothy.
“is the twist that they’re really Kelly, Zack, Mr. Belding’s daughter, and Screech?” – characters from the 80s/90s sitcom Saved By The Bell.
“…an animatronic gorilla turns into an old man. Oh cripes, don’t tell Ben Stein!” – Ben Stein is an actor/attorney/writer/financial commentator best known for his distinctive “droning, boring” voice. You may not know his name, but you certainly know his voice. He has publicly denounced the theory of evolution.
“like in North… get it, it’s 1998” – North was a flop film in 1998, directed by Rob Reiner. It starred Elijah Wood as a boy who runs away from home.
“who aren’t characters in Fanny and Alexander” – Fanny and Alexander is one of the final films of Ingmar Bergman. Magic lanterns are a recurring thematic element of the story, best exemplified by their role in the death of Fanny and Alexander’s stepfather.
“Dr Barton… openly wishes the kids could be more like their older sister Mischa. The O.C what I did there?” – Mischa Barton is an actor most well known for her role as a vomiting ghost in The Sixth Sense and Marissa Cooper on The O.C.
“he gets to turn into a lizard alien when the rest of the aliens come down and take everyone’s bodies. David Icke just came.” – David Icke is the conspiracy theorist who has espoused that major world figures are actually lizard people, right down to Boxcar Willie.
“Dr. Barton throws a knockout gas switch– did this guy get a good deal at Lowes on switches?” – Lowe’s is a major American do-it-yourself home improvement store.
“still image of the changing room from jean-Luc Godard’s ‘A Woman Is A Woman'” – This is a screenshot from 1961’s A Woman Is A Woman. One of Godard’s earlier contributions to French New Wave, it is about a dancer (Anna Karina) who wants to have a child with her unresponsive lover. Godard staple Jean-Paul Belmondo rounds out the ménage à trois.
“there goes the theory that David Mamet… Stine’s work on Edmond” – David Mamet, as mentioned, is a playwright and writer. Edmond was about a typical white-collar guy in New York who goes on a journey of self-discovery and violence when he buys a switch-blade.
“The Judy Winslow Story” – Judy Winslow was a character on Family Matters who inexplicably disappeared from the series.
“performance of Rumplestiltskin” – folk story (of many different versions), generally about a woman imprisoned by a dwarf until she can guess his name.
“pre-configures both Cube and the Saw movies” – In Cube and Saw, as Troy mentions, characters are tormented by life-or-death puzzles and harrowing mind-games.
“’A big truck full of explosives crashed into the base of the bridge,’ Mr Barton explained. ‘Boom! It blew up!’ Thank you Brian Collins” – Brian Collins is a reporter who used the expression, “Boom goes the dynamite!” when sportscasting for a college game. It briefly became an internet meme and sensation.
“And that author’s name was Gore Vidal, and every character starts fucking each other.” – essayist and author of historical fiction, Gore Vidal, mentioned. His most infamous books typically have a healthy interest in sex.
#58 Deep Trouble II
“like Hedwig, has a maximum length of one inch” – Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a 1998 musical and film about a transgendered man-woman named Hedwig, who forms a band called The Angry Inch. The “angry inch” of the title refers to her mutilated genitals.
“the local Petsmart” – As mentioned above, Petsmart is pet grooming and training franchise.
“I hope it’s a peanut butter shark!” – Jellyfish/Peanut Butter Shark go together like jelly and peanut butter.
“way to escargot!” – Escargot is the French term for a cooked dish of garlic and snails.
“Dr Ritter lays out his Eight Simple Rules For Discovering My Secret Experiment” – John Ritter was an actor, best known for his roles in sitcoms Three’s Company and Eight Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter. He died suddenly of a congenital heart defect on the 11th September, 2003, on the set of Eight Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter.
“Move it on the double. ‘Cause if you don’t you’re in deep, deep trouble” – Michael Jackson and the producers of The Simpsons teamed up in the early 1990s to creature two music videos. One of them, Deep Deep Trouble, contained these lyrics.
“Gull attacks can be thrilling” – A reference to the Hitchcock thriller film The Birds, about bird attacks on a small island.
“Rodan-sized birds” – Giant pterodactyl/bird Rodan is one of the many opponents of the famous Japanese monster-substituting-for-nuclear-paranoia, Godzilla.
“a certain ABC Drama” – A clear reference to Lost, a infinitely running drama series set on a deserted island.
“relax and get Eli Stoned” – which is why a reference to Eli Stone, a drama series about an attorney who begins to hallucinate the future, is such an unexpected twist!
“Billy attempts to distract him by turning around and fussing with some pillows in order to give the impression of having turned into a fish” – Abe Vigoda’s popular character, Detective Fish, on the television series Barney Miller and spin-off Fish, suffered from haemorrhoids, and pillows had an important role to play.
Do, A ‘Main, A Web Domain
The title probably refers to the rhyme, “Doe, a deer, a female deer” from the song ‘Do-Re-Mi’ in the musical , ‘The Sound of Music’.
“Tippi Hedren could have really been something” – Nathalie Kay “Tippi” Hedren is an actor who shot briefly to fame in her starring roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Mamie. Hitchcock declined to work with her after these films. She’s also known for her conservationist works and for being the mother of Melanie Griffith.
“The Pope” – The Pope (The Father) is the formal title for the head of the Roman Catholic Church. His business address is Vatican City. The current Pope is Pope Benedict XVI.
#19 Deep Trouble
“Scholastic would be cutting Universal a cheque” – The tagline for the Steven Spielberg horror/thriller Jaws II was “just when you thought it was safe to enter the water”.
“that other well-respected Dr. D?” – Doctor Demento is the stage name of Barry Eugene Hansen, a popular American radio comic DJ.
“Cassandra’s Dream” – link to a framegrab from Cassandra’s Dream, a 2007 Woody Allen murder movie.
“Steve Irwin tragedy… the Crocodile Hunter: Collision course” – Australian TV personality and animal hustler Steve Irwin died in a freak accident involving a sting-ray in 2006. Prior to this, he starred in his own motion picture, Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.
“just say no to reef” – Reef is a slang term for marijuana. Anti-drug slogans frequently admonish teenagers to “just say no”.
“As it deserves a quiet night, Billy’s nightswimming is rudely interrupted by the sound of fear” – a reference to the lyrics of the REM song, Nightswimming.
“Futurama” – The screenshot here is from Deep South, an episode of Futurama, in which Fry encounters and falls in love with a mermaid named Umbriel.
“the D stands for dinero”– a slang term for “dollar”.
“she’s a member of Wolf Eyes” – Wolf Eyes is a “noise rock” band from Michigan. Presumably the lead singer has a high-pitched, squeaky voice.
“Sea People… Splash… the Little Mermaid… the Thirteenth Year… Aquamarine… She Creature…” – All are movies with recurring themes of whimsical mermaid adventures… except for She Creature, which is possibly the least whimsical thing that has ever happened.
“Dr. D scolds Billy and tells him that had the coral’s poison gotten into his bloodstream, he could have been paralyzed– in other words, just say no to reef’.” – in the TV musical remake of Reefer Madness, Kristen Bell was there.
“Troy McClure alert” – The character of washed-up actor Troy McClure on The Simpsons was strongly implied to be sexually attracted to marine animals.
“the children’s menu at Red Lobster” – American seafood chain restaurant. Slogan: “For the seafood lover in you.”
More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps
“that pottery wheel scene in Ghost” – Ghost is a supernatural romance movie starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. In a familiar scene, the ghostly Swayze helps Demi Moore at a pottery wheel my manipulating her arms while they kneed the clay together, as the Righteous Brothers hit ‘Unchained Melody’ plays.
“don’t tell AdBusters” – Adbusters is a Canadian-founded organisation that targets advertising in the media.
“like Degrassi, goes there” – As previously mentioned, Degrassi was a Canadian teenage drama that dealt with controversial topics, like racism, drugs, alcohol, teenage promiscuity, etc.
“a Hype Williams joke here” – Harold “Hype” Williams is an American music video director. Troy commented that he uses fish-eye lens in a lot of his films.
“Mr Roeper that it’s okay for them to share a boat with two girls because they’re both homosexuals” – In American sitcom Three’s Company, the main character, played by John Ritter, pretends to be gay in order to share an apartment with two women. Mr Roeper was the name of the landlord, the target of the charade.
“the Money Pit… the ‘Burbs… Volunteers… Cast Away… Splash… Big… Catch Me If You Can… Bonfire of the Vanities… Bachelor Party… Punchline… Turner and Hooch… Charlie Wilson’s War-ning… the Terminal” – All films starring popular American actor Tom Hanks.
“Lisa McFly… Biff Tannen” – McFly is the surname of the main character Marty, played by Michael J Fox in the Back To The Future series of films. Biff Tannen(Thomas F. Wilson) is the name of the primary antagonist in the series, a scheming bully.
“reverse Nicky Nicky Nine Doors” – Nicky Nicky Nine Doors is apparently the Southern Ontario expression for the prank of knocking on a door and running away.
“cribbed a name from Back to the Future” – See two references above.
“is magically transformed in Lisa Loeb” – Lisa Loeb is an American folk musician who wears cats-eye frame glasses. You know: “You can’t hear it/ but I dooooo”.
“microwave burritos and the state of Hawaii, don’t exist” – In 1957, neither of these things existed as we know of them today!
“A kid named Marvin tells her he overheard her question. He reveals that he does have a time machine and invites her to come over and use it.” – a framegrab from the Time Machine episode of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade sketch show series.
“where we’re going, we don’t need jokes” – paraphrase of a quote from the aforementioned Back To The Future series! The full phrase is “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”, referring to the new hovering ability of the time-traveling DeLorean.
“I bet the twist is that she’s a Blythe” – a reference to Blythe Dolls; bizarre-looking dolls with oversized heads that were manufactured only in 1972. By pulling a string on the back, their eyes changed colours. They were the subject of a freakish picture book called This Is Blythe.
“it’s like Fantasia but interesting” – Fantasia is a Disney film with a lot of different, wildly divergent scenes, but one of the most well known is one in which Mickey Mouse, as a sorcerer’s apprentice, bewitches a mop into doing his chores for him. When it refuses to stop, he chops it with an axe, inducing it to reproduce by mitosis . He keeps trying to destroy them, resulting in more and more mops.
“a new meaning to the Mirror Has Two Faces” – The Mirror Has Two Faces is a Barbara Streisand directed, produced by, and starring film.
“Diane runs into the kitchen and as soon as she says her name three times, all the faucets turn on. This makes Garden State even more terrifying in retrospect.” – In the previously mentioned Garden State, the faucets are motion detecting.
“one word for you: Lunchables” – previously mentioned, a brand of quick snack packs sold by Oscar Meyer.
“they said the evil spirit’s name backwards and it disappeared” – various urban legends state this as a fact, like the Bloody Mary urban legend.
“Diane and Robert click their heels” – an act depicted at the end of MGM’s The Wizard of Oz.
#54 Don’t Go To Sleep!
“life size cardboard cutout of a Klingon” – Klingons are a race of warrior-losers in the science fiction series Star Trek.
“poor Worf” – the name of the most well known Klingon in the series, played by actor Michael Dorn.
“Biggie Biggie Biggie can’t you see, sometimes your woofs just terrorise Matt” – Lyrics to Can’t You See, a song by deceased rapper Notorious B.I.G.
“at the expense of Anna Karenina” – Anna Karenina is a gargantuan novel by Leo Tolstoy about the lives of wildly different characters in Tsarist Russia. It’s often considered one of the greatest works of fiction of all time.
“or knocking up Manny” – In an episode arc of Degrassi, the character Manny becomes pregnant.
“the subscription to AARP’s magazine isn’t worth it” – The American Association of Retired Persons is an organisation dedicated to the rights of the elderly.
“RU Slime has nothing on the real deal” – R U Slime was the satirical author name of Gooflumps, a parody of Goosebumps written in 1995.
“In the liminal justice system, reality-based offenses are considered especially heinous.” – Paraphrase of the opening credits of the Dick Wolf produced Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
“Hand to God, Bruce and Wayne” – Bruce Wayne is the alias of the comic book character Batman.
“members of an elite squad known as the Reality Police. This is their story” – Paraphrase of the opening credits of the Dick Wolf produced Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Part Two!
“Abraham Lincoln” – Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. A staple of the “wacky situation” is an inexplicable appearance of Abraham Lincoln, probably originating from the Star Trek episode The Savage Curtain.
“VHS rental of Home Alone” – Home Alone is the first in the Home Alone film series, about a young boy inexplicably left alone to fend off home invasions by groups of criminals. The first two starred Macaulay Culkin, child actor.
#06 Let’s Get Invisible!
“the Tommy Wiseau of children’s literature” – Tommy Wiseau is an actor, director and writer who has pursued a wide variety of projects. His 2003 vanity project, The Room, is considered to be an unintentional comedic masterpiece.
“X-Force comics” – X-Force comics were a 1990s spinoff of the X-Men superhero comic series. They were briefly popular during the reign of Goosebumps.
“Ellen Page in Mouth to Mouth”– Ellen Page is an actor best known for the title character in the movie, Juno. In the coming-to-age movie Mouth to Mouth, she has a haircut like that described here.
“the Terminator movie” – in a nutshell, the Terminator series is a science fiction series about androids sent back in time to prevent a nuclear apocalypse.
“Whitey… oh no, don’t tell the brownshirts!” –Most likely a reference to the nickname for the SA, a stormtrooper/terror organisation of Nazi Germany. “Whitey” is slang for Caucasian, sometimes considered offensive. The “room in the attic” remark may also be a reference to the methods of victims hiding from Nazi raids, like the Jewish Frank family.
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall” – paraphrase from the Disney cartoon adaption of Snow White.
“Let’s Get Invisible… let me see my body gone” – Let’s Get Physical is a 1981 song and music video by Olivia Newton John. It was also briefly an ad jingle for Physical milk.
“Uri Geller must be close by”– Yuri Geller is a famous “mystic” who claims to have psychic and telekinetic abilities. His trademark is a spoon-bending ability.
“and watch Saturday Night Live” – Saturday Night Live is a long-running American comedy sketch show created by Canadian Lorne Michaels. A huge number of popular comedians established their careers on the show, and occasionally a movie based on a sketch from the show comes out. The most well known movie spin-off is Wayne’s World.
“why Brad Pitt was on the cover of People” – Brad Pitt is a popular actor. People is a celebrity gossip magazine.
“sounds like Max’s brother isn’t the only lefty!” – “Left wing” is a term for socialistic views and politics.
“it’s better he’s doing this than molesting Kim Dickens” – In The Hollowman, the character played by Kim Dickens is attacked and killed by the invisible, psychotic Kevin Bacon.
“Jacques Lacan Alert” – French philosopher and psychologist. One of his contributions to psychoanalysis was “the mirror stage”, regarding self-identification.
“He yells to April to go get help but she tells him the only thing she can bring are May flowers.” – referring to the proverb, “April showers bring May flowers”.
“re-monogram all his stuff” – Monogramming is the practice of inscribing personal property with the owner’s initials.
“Ghandi Alert” – Mohandas Ghandi was an Indian civil rights activist who accomplished many, many things, but is best known for his advocacy of peaceful, non-violent resistance.
#16 One Day At Horrorland
“Like Lincoln or William Tell” – Abraham Lincoln and William Tell are figures from history. Lincoln was the 16th American President, and his reputation is so highly regarded that he is considered by many to be the greatest American President of all time. William Tell is a figure of Scandinavian folk history who rebelled against a cruel king in a series of folk stories.
“John Barrymore in Twentieth Century” – In the 1934 film Twentieth Century, John Barrymore plays Oscar, an overly flamboyant actor.
“Schroedinger’s Cat situation” – the Schroedinger’s Cat theory is a thought experiment regarding the quantum mechanics uncertainty principle. It involves the paradox of a cat in the box with a flask of poison, which can be broken depending on the reaction of a Geiger counter to decaying atoms in a sample of radioactive material deposited in the box. The popular, simplified interpretation of the paradox is that an observer has no way of knowing whether the cat is alive or dead without opening the box, and that theoretically, it is the act of opening the box that determines which of the two states the cat is in. Without opening the box, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead, because quantum is a tricky sweetheart.
“they pass three Six Flags parks” – Six Flags is a prolific American theme park franchise, originally established in 1961. Apparently there are over 21 locations in the United States alone.
“they apparently gave Apollonia a ride too” – In the Godfather Part II, Michael Corleone marries a woman named Apollonia. She is killed in an assassination attempt on Michael’s life by a car-bomb.
“plenty of pagers” – pagers are an electronic messaging device similar to BlackBerries.
” The plot is essentially: Lizzy admits she’s scared of things, Miranda has been skipping lunches and faints” – Ryan W. Mead has pointed out that this is a reference to an episode of the Disney show Lizzie McGuire, where the title character’s best friend Miranda fights a round with anorexia.
“Still more fun than Superman: the Ride” – “Superman: The Ride of Steel” are a pair of rides featured at two Six Flags theme parks.
“Between reruns of Wings” – Wings was an American series that ran during the 1990s about two brothers who ran a small airline company.
“what’s passed is Evelyn Waugh” – English Novelist Evelyn Waugh, best known for light fiction like Scoop or Brideshead Revisited, a novel about a young man and his family in the British peerage during the years leading up to the Second World War.
“at least they didn’t park under an Applebee’s ad” – Applebees’s is an American casual dining restaurant.
#40 Night of the Living Dummy III
“just like that other street punk” – Where’s Wally/Waldo? is a children’s book series where the reader had to discover the titular character amongst a large crowd of people. It also inspired a TV cartoon adventure series that incorporated a similar premise.
“nicknames him Smiley… his affinity for A Thousand Acres” – A Thousand Acres is a novel re-telling the story of Shakespeare’s King Lear on a farm property in Iowa. The author’s name is Jane Smiley.
“They spend quite a long time up there, but eventually they do meet more success than some other pairs of siblings” – The V.C Andrew’s book, Flowers in the Attic, had four siblings (two of them twins) locked in the attic by their neglectful, widowed mother. Deeply unpleasants sexual awakenings with incestual overtones ensue.
“Glass houses, etc” – Aphorism: “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”, referring to hypocrisy.
“Well, shortly after he takes a picture of the banister, he goes upstairs to unpack and screams like a little girl when a doll falls on him. That’s how you know.” – a link to the song That’s How You Know? from Enchanted, previously mentioned.
“Flickr” – online photo-sharing website.
“Humanitas Award for RL Stine” – The Humanitas Award is a film and television award given to writing with strong beneficent themes.
“Job well done. All’s Well that ends Well. Well-come Back Mr. Kotter” – All’s Well That Ends Well is a Shakespeare play and general aphorism. Welcome Back Mr. Kotter was an American sitcom starring Gabe Kaplan as a returning teacher.
“Hey, I like dreaming about dancing as much as the next person” – another link to That’s How You Know, from Enchanted.
“archive of Xanga before he made it friends only” – social networking and blog website, like myspace.com or facebook.com
“Nutter Butter break” – Nutter Butters are a peanut-shaped-and-flavoured sandwich cookie sold in the United States.
“C+Ped” – shorthand for “copy and pasted”, a term referring to copying writing from one document and then “pasting” it directly into another.
“Ken Russell isn’t the only one trying to forget the white worm” – Director Ken Russell. Camp horror film The Lair of the White Worm (1988), based on the Bram Stoker novel, was about an ancient serpent cult operating in England – it received unimpressive reviews at the time.
#31 Night of the Living Dummy II
“Jean Seberg, take a huff” – Jean Seberg was an American actor best known for her drug use. She appeared in the musical Paint Your Wagon, and then died from an overdose of alcohol and barbituates in 1979. I had assumed at the time that this was a reference to her drug use, but Troy’s corrected me: it’s a reference to her role in Jean Luc-Godard’s Breathless.
“NPR Parents” – National Public Radio is an American non-profit organisation that helps to syndicate radio programmes.
“if hipsters love Zooey Deschanel” – Zooey Deschanel is an American actor and musician, best known for a supporting role in the Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous, but her stock has gone up since her role in the critical and commercial landslide success The Happenening.
“that episode of the Simpsons too” – In The Simpsons episode Krusty Gets Cancelled, character Krusty the Clown attempts to emulate his rival Gabbo by introducing his own dummy on his show. It goes awry when the dummy’s jaw falls off, Krusty accidently crushes the dummy’s head, tells the audience that the dummy isn’t alive (“HE’S DEAD”), and then throws the dummy directly into the hysterical, screaming audience of children.
“a form of protest against Wal-Mart” – Wal-Mart is a chain of consumer shopping centres in the United States, founded in Arkansas. It is a constant target of protest groups, for various reasons ranging from third world exploitation, commercialism, market oversaturation, etc.
“Maggie’s Farm on his guitar… Dylan and VU… Nico of the Living Dummy” – Maggie’s Farm is a song by Robert Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan, a popular American singer/songwriter known for his folk songs and near-constant popularity over the last 30 years. The Velvet Underground was a short-lived but influential experimental band featuring Lou Reed. Andy Warhol’s collaborator Nico was a member of the band at his insistence.
“the u-bomb” – a slang term for “fuck” is “the f-bomb”.
“Samuel Richardson’s Pamela” – Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, is a 1740 novel about a maid who marries her master and then ascends to high society. At its debut, it became one of the first of what is today called a “must-read” book.
“Banana Republic” – Banana Republic is an American clothing chain that originally specialised in travel-themed clothing.
“Party House… Kid n Play arrive and Margot informs them that they’ve transposed the address” – Kid ‘n Play were a hip-hop performance team in the 1980s and 1990s with distinctive haircuts that were frequently parodied at the time. The pair starred in a series of movies called Party House.
“I can only imagine the situation plays out like this in his head” – In the 2007 vignette comedy film The Ten, one segment features Winona Ryder falling in love with a ventriloquist’s dummy called Gary.
“But the cat came back the very next day, as Slappy shows up” – a reference to the folk song, The Cat Came Back, from which the Night of the Living Dummy books extensively copy.
“down to the Frosted Flakes” – breakfast cereal produced by Kellogs; corn flakes covered in a layer of icing sugar. The mascot is Tony the Tiger.
“Nick and Nora they ain’t” – Nick and Nora Charles (and their dog, Asta) were the pair of married sleuth-lushes in Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man, six-part movie compilation, and spin-off TV series. In the later films, they do indeed become parents.
“Slappy loves the films of Miklos Jancso” – Miklos Jancso is an avant garde Hungarian director who frequently uses symbolism in his films.
#07 Night of the Living Dummy
“Betsey Johnson skirt… John Cale’s ex-wife” – Betsey Johnson is an American fashion designer who began her career in the 1960s, best known for her skirts and dresses. After indoctrination into Andy Warhol’s circle, she was married to genre-eclipsing John Cale, former principal member of the Velvet Underground.
“SoHo BoHo” – The New York SoHo is short for “South of Houston St”, an area famed for artistic development. Andy Warhol’s Factory was based in SoHo. BoHo is short for the “Bohemian” fashion trend that dominated the frames of the style-conscious in the latter half of the 2000 decade.
“the doll is alive with the sound of nuisance” – A reference to the lyrics “the hills are alive with the sound of music”, from the song Sound of Music, of the film of the same title.
“reading a Stephen King book” – Stephen King is a prolific American author, most well known for his horror stories like Carrie, The Shining, Cujo, and Christine. His stories are often adapted into film and television. He has also written for different genres and under the pseudonym Richard Bachmann.
“grounded for life. Make your own reference to the sitcom” – the 2001-2005 sitcom Grounded for Life, probably receiving more attention now than in the entire run at the time.
“That night, Mr. and Mrs. Miller stop by for a visit.” – a link to a still from the Altman movie McCabe and Mrs Miller.
“Allin doll to the concert” – G.G Allin was a shock rock musician and singer who was well known for his personal life and shocking stage antics, including throwing up on stage and other wholesome, lively activities. He died of a heroin overdose.
“Kristy wakes up early and makes her way downstairs… this book will suck all the way to the end” – this is written to mimic the verse of A Visit From St Nicholas (AKA The Night Before Christmas), a poem written in 1823. It established most of the well-known conventions of Santa Claus in popular culture.
“strict conservatives, they refuse to acknowledge the change in the air” – a commonly-held belief by strict conservatives is a dismissal of some or most elements of the theory of global warming.
“he loves vaudeville” – dummies and ventriloquism are staples of vaudeville entertainment.
“Wrist-cut-it-outers: A Love Story” – Wristcutters: A Love Story is a 2007 film about an ambiguous afterlife for practicers of suicides.
“less Frasier and more Flo” – two American sitcoms that were originally spin-offs from earlier shows. Frasier was a long-running, acclaimed spin-off from likewise long-running and acclaimed sitcom Cheers. Flo was less successful, only running for one year from 1980 to 1981. It was a spin-off from Alice.
“Seacrest out.” – American celebrity and host of various shows, Ryan Seacrest, ends most of his broadcasts and performances with this catchphrase.
#45 Ghost Camp
“Front Tagline: Be all that you can’t see!” – a play on the the US Army recruiting motto, “be all that you can be”.
“A Beatles song… ‘Can’t Bus Me Love’?” – Can’t Buy Me Love is a popular 1964 song by the Beatles.
“the verbal skill of Busdriver” – Busdriver is the stage name of Regan Farquhar, an American rapper.
“and of course Gak was never cool” – Gak was a blubbery moulding toy made by Mattel in the 1990s.
“more verses than a Joanna Newsom song” – Joanna Newsom is a Californian folk singer and harp virtuoso (I assume).
“his best Ray Parker Jr. impression” – Ray Parker Jr wrote and sung the theme song for the popular Ghostbusters film series. Sample lyrics: “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!”
“the chanteuse critic Elvis Mitchell” – American journalist and film critic.
“they consult Marion Cotillard” – actor best known for playing Edith Piaf in the La Vie En Rose biopic. She’s also an advocate of a conspiracy theory regarding the September 11 World Trade Center attacks, hence the “faulty wiring” reference.
“remember when Marv only wanted to capture one boy?” – a reference to the previously mentioned Home Alone film series. Daniel Stern played Marv, one of the pair of home invaders in the first two movies.
“the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley” – Three MILDLY popular music acts.
“Ernest Scared Stupid though still not as frightening as Ernest Goes to Camp” – Ernest Blank Blank were a series of films starring Jim Varney as perpetual man-idiot Ernest. The character was originally an advertising icon for various groups.
#17 Why I’m Afraid of Bees
“’hilarious bee montage on the Academy Awards telecast” – The Academy Awards are an annual award given out in the American entertainment industry, sometimes called “The Oscars”. I didn’t personally catch the 80th Academy awards show, but there were probably a few jokes at the expense of Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie.
“Evan Ross look like Zack Morris” – Zack Morris was an opportunistic, vaguely rebellious conformist on teen sitcom Saved By The Bell.
“cuter than Amy Adams at the Oscars last night” – Amy Adams is an actor best known as the title character in the film Enchanted.
“that Gordon Jump episode of Diff’rent Strokes” – On a controversial episode of American sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, Gordon Jump, best known as the affable, ineffectual lump Mr. Carlson on WKRP in Cincinnati, portrayed a paedophile courting Gary Coleman and his friend.
“he’ll bee right down, he just has to dry his hair” – cliche excuse by women to avoid contact with unsavoury callers.
“when… ‘So, did you have any trouble finding the place?” – this a picture of Chris Hansen, host of the derided series To Catch A Predator. Troy says: “’Did you have any trouble finding the place’ is a typically glib response by Chris Hansen.”
“the time I was taking piano lessons that were simply murder on my hands” – A previous Goosebumps book, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder.
“a slightly better business model than Amway” – AmWay is a direct-selling company that is often accused of being nothing more than an elaborate pyramid scheme.
“taco chips, MTV Buzz Bin, Buzz Beamer, Buzz Lightyear, Buzz McCalister” – Buzz Bin was a term for a series of music videos broadcast on MTV. Buzz Beamer is a comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Hinds. Buzz Lightyear is a character from the Toy Story film series. Buzz McCallister was the name of the elder brother in the Home Alone series.
Beads.” – a reference to an exchange between GOB and Lindsay from the Arrested Development episode Let ‘Em Eat Cake.
“Stine still embraces WASPs” – ‘White Anglo-Saxon Protestant’ is a term traditionally referring to a social group in America. The stereotype is a rich, emotionally-repressed conservative.
Triple Header: Book 2
“going to confuse this for Noel Coward” – witty, popular English playwright (1899 – 1973), probably best known for theatre productions like Blithe Spirit or This Happy Breed.
“as an episode of Yes Dear” – American sitcom that ran from 2000 to 2006. Bland and inoffensive in every possible way.
“prove he’s a monster by eating dirt…Peanuts so much more terrifying” – Peanuts was a comic strip series written and illustrated by Charles Schultz. Well known characters are Charlie Brown, Linus, Schroeder, Snoopy, Lucy, et al.
“Monster… that it was an award-winning transformation” – In the film Monster, actor Charlize Theron portrayed the serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She drastically altered her appearance for the role.
“a big Van Morrison fan and wanted to go for a couple of weeks!” – Irish singer/musician Van Morrison’s 1968 album and title single Astral Weeks.
“’death to all white sneakers!’… George Wallace’s nephew” – George Wallace was a controversial American politicial known for (amongst other polarising statements) his opposition to de-segregation.
“made like a Lynnfield Pioneer and ascended to the astral-plane” – Lynnfield Pioneers is an American band. The first track of their album Free Popcorn titled Astral Plane.
“sends the text message “LOVE” to 74456 to see who his soul mate is” – a popular commercial since the invention of text messaging.
“the Hardy Boys” – children’s mystery series, first written in 1927, about two brothers who solve crimes. They have been written by a huge number of ghostwriters over the years.
#49 Vampire Breath
“Air hockey… devolves into an actual hockey match” – Air hockey is an indoor game played on a table that lightly sprays pressurised air. The hockey puck floats gently over the jets.
“they’ve found Prince’s clubhouse… they busted Prince’s bong!” – Previously mentioned singer Prince often uses the colour purple in his performances.
“Stephen Hawking, don’t read this book” – When this was first written, the name was mistaken for “Stephen King”. Whoopsie dazies. Stephen Hawking is a world-renowned physicist, best known for his book, A Short History of Time.
“they can use it to zap themselves Back To The Future – hey, that reminds me of a certain 80’s movie classic!” – see previous mention of the film series, but the image linked to is from Zapped!
“The goddamn man bat transforms back into Count Nightwing” – In the Frank Miller comic reboot of the Batman series, the hero at one point emphatically asks to Robin, “What are you, dense? What are you, retarded or something?! …. I’m the goddamn Batman!”
“looking for his bottle” – alcoholics drink from bottles.
“she’s like Kirsten Dunst in that movie, Marie Antoinette” – actor Kirsten Dunst, probably best known for her role as Mary Jane in the live action adaptions of the Spider Man comic book series, also played a version of the unfortunate French Queen Marie Antoinette. In the filmed adaption of the Anne Rice novel, Interview With A Vampire, she played the young vampire Claudia, so this is was a switcheroo.
“2 fast 2 furious and find it first” – 2 Fast 2 Furious was the sequel to The Fast and the Furious, a drag-racing action movie.
“play Monkey In the Middle with the vampire” – Monkey In The Middle is a common schoolyard game, where a two or more people have to keep an object away from the “monkey” in the middle. Sometimes also known as “Keep-Away”.
“alert Pitchfork that they’ve indeed had quite the Vampire Weekend” – Pitchfork Media is a music reviewing website/magazine. Vampire Weekend is a band, previously mentioned.
#62 Monster Blood IV
“are Evan’s parents Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Savages?” – In The Savages, these brother and sister characters travel to Arizona to see their dying father.
“Guys I’ve heard of Spider-Man” – well known American superhero comic-book series, created by comic mogul Stan Lee.
“anticipates Paris Hilton by seven or eight years by realising that the spaghetti he’s being fed is hot” – a catchphrase of previously mentioned Hilton hotel heiress is to refer to things as “hot”.
“How hot is it, Troy?” – A typical question asked to the audience by a vaudeville performer.
“Borscht Belt dialogue” – the Borscht Belt is a slang term for the mountainous areas in upstate New York. It is nicknamed for its popularity as a holiday spot with Ashkenazim Jews during the early 20th century, particularly comedians.
“Super-soaker fight”– SuperSoaker is a brand of water pistol known for their increasing size and elaborate design over the years.
“Rotten Tomatoes message board” – Rotten Tomatoes.com is a website documenting film reviews. Troy adds that this is also a shout-out, as they were apparently some of the first fans of the blog.
“cribbing from the Peanut Butter Solution” – The Peanut Butter Solution is a family movie about a boy who invents a solution to regrow his hair after an encounter with a ghost causes him to lose his hair. It works too well.
“Robin Williams hands” – Robin Williams is a comedian known for his extreme hirsuteness and unofficial indoctrinate as a poilu.
“Watch out, Judy Blume” – Prolific children’s author. Most of her well known stories (‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret’, Forever, or Then Again, Maybe I Wont) involve adolescence and puberty. There was also Fudge. Remember Fudge?
“Brad Pitt, Super Soakers” – Both have been previously mentioned.
“Blue Fruit Roll in a Barrel” – Roll ups are a sticky confectionary marketed under various fruit flavours.
“Rejoice, our long national nightmare is finally at an end.” – Paraphrase of Gerald Ford, the demotic former Vice President and later President of the United States. Upon the resignation of Richard Nixon, he succeeded to the Presidency and uttered these words in regard to the end of the controversy over the Watergate scandal.
#30 Monster Blood III
“Evan reacts by A. Turning into a giant, gets drafted by the Sonics” – The Seattle Sonics are an NBA Basketball team.
“Kermit performs complex science experiments, even though he’s only in grade school. This is plausible because… B. Kermit’s mom was Rosalind Franklin’s lovechild” – Rosalind Franklin was a member of the King’s College scientific team who investigated the composition and arrangement of the DNA helix. She received little attention for her contributions initially, unlike her colleagues, and died young in 1958.
“scooped up by Pfizer” – Pfizer is a drug company with a strong research and development division.
“like that girl in Cloverfield” – in the monster film Cloverfield, the character Marlena is infected by one of the monster’s parasites, and in one of the movie’s more iconic scenes, it erupts violently from her body after she is ushered behind a medical screen.
“like Michelle Williams in Land of Plenty” – In Land of Plenty, Michelle Williams’ character travels around the United States with her veteran uncle, observing the poverty of post-9/11 America.
“an elaborate Ponzi scheme” – A Ponzi scheme is a general term for an investment scam that operates in a way like a pyramid scheme. They’re named after Charles Ponzi, the con artist and fraud from the early 20th century.
“Andy’s twin sister whom she only just met at summer camp” – A reference to the either version of The Parent Trap, the original starring Hayley Mills as two twins, or the remake starring Lindsay Lohan. Two twins, separated at birth and each living with a different parent, meet coincidentally at summer camp and swap places to live with the other parent.
“Pop and Lock in time to the beat” – Popping and locking is a hip-hop dance.
“her widescreen copy of Mean Girls” – Mean Girls is a 2004 comedy movie starring Lindsay Lohan as a homeschooled girl starting high school.
“series finale of Designing Women” – Designing Women was an American series about four women and a man working at an interior design firm. One of the stars was Delta Burke, who left the show after the fifth season.
“the plot of Aces: Iron Eagle III” – Aces: Iron Eagle III was the third movie in the Iron Eagle series, an action series about an Air Force Pilot played by Louis Gossett Jr.
“a traditional Mummenschanz routine” – Mummenschanz is a popular Swiss mime troupe.
“banana nut bread” –type of bread/fruitcake made primarily of bananas.
“the highest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” – The Hierarchy of Needs is a psychological theory by Abraham Maslow. The Hierarchy of Needs is shaped like a food pyramid, with each corresponding need placed on a different level depending on their necessity to a comfortable life. There are five levels, the first being simple physical needs (food, water, oxygen, rest, etc) and the fifth being self-actualisation (creativity, morality , social acceptance, etc). In the 1960s, Maslow proposed a theoretical sixth level, called “self-transcendence”.
“the Treaty of Taipei on Taiwan’s independence” – The Treaty of Taipei was a treaty signed between Japan and the Republic of China in 1952, years after the conclusion of World War II. Difficulties arose because of problems with identifying the legitimate government of China during the Chinese Civil War.
“Best New Music holds any weight” – A ranking of music by previously mentioned record label, Pitchfork.
“the new Mars Volta album” – Mars Volta is an American rock band.
“’the air up there, Kevin Bacon?’” – Kevin Bacon is an American actor, who starred in the basketball movie The Air Up There, about a high school basketball couch who travels to Africa to recruit a player.
“too large to be David, too small to be Goliath” – David and Goliath are two Biblical players. Goliath was a tyrannical giant, and David was the future king of Israel, who killed Goliath in battle by knocking him over with a stone from his sling and then cutting the head off the stunned giant.
“where’s his Green card” – “Green card” is a nickname for a Permanent Residency Card, an ID card offered by the American government that gives the similar rights to non-citizens. It eventually offers a chance for citizenship.
“In Chelsea, opens a hip mattress store” – Troy tells me that the Chelsea this specifically refers to is in New York City.
” On a train with an all-woman band, “forced” to dress in drag” – Troy mentions that this was a reference to the famous comedy Some Like It Hot, with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. To make an excuse for missing this first time around, I assumed this was a general reference to the well-worn premise. Fuzzy end of the lollipop, nobody’s perfect, etc.
“start reading the Brothers Karamazov” – The Brothers Karamazov is the final epic novel written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, about three contrasted brothers who share guilt after their father is murdered by the fourth son, a bastard child they were unaware of. It is considered his finest and one of the greatest works of literature of all time.
“Prince Albert in a can” – See above note.
“Pepsi-Cola is the better tasting beverage” – Pepsi is a brand of cola, the strongest competitor to the Coke company. A series of ad campaigns for the brand used this scenario.
“shortsheets Evan’s bed and stifles its laughter from the top bunk” – a common adolescent prank is to “shortsheet” somebody else’s bed by double tucking in their sheets, so they can’t properly get in to the bed.
“beaten up by Rodan” – See above. The giant Godzilla occasionally battled with Rodan.
“zip of Miracle Whip” – Miracle Whip is a tangy mayonnaise spread by Kraft Foods.
“extended Sword In The Stone homage” – The Sword In the Stone was a Disney movie about a boy King Arthur being tutored by Merlin, a proponent of the Steiner-Waldorf method centuries ahead of its time. The movie has many scenes of quick transformations, chief among them the magical duel between Madame Mim and Merlin, each of them altering their animal form to counter the other’s transformations.
“Two Guys, A Girl, and A Pizza Place” – Two Guys, A Girl, and A Pizza Place was an American sitcom featuring Ryan Reynolds. The title was all you needed to know about the premise, and it changed slightly when the premise did.
“Honey I Blew Up The Kid-aping cover promises” – Honey, I Blew Up The Kid was the 1992 sequel to Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. It starred Rick Moranis as a scientist who accidentally blows his toddler son to giant proportions.
#18 Monster Blood II
“Martin Luther King Jr Day… the most dream sequences” – American civil rights activist. In 1963 he led a march on Washington, D.C, where he delivered a famous civil rights speech that began with, “I have a dream.”
“the age of Evan’s dog Trigger has actually decreased. Ponce de Leon Evan” – Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer of the New World, best known for his attempts to find the legendary Fountain of Youth.
“another brave tribute to the slain Dr. King” – Martin Luther King Jr was murdered, in 1968 by James Earl Ray.
“that barb for the Friars Club” – The New York Friars Club is a club associated with the giants of Broadway and New York comedy, known for its witty celebrity roasts. Jerry Lewis is the current Abbot of the club.
“Genghis Sean” – A reference to 12th century Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan, one of the most simultaneously renowned and reviled figures of history.
“Oscar Wilde, Evelyn Waugh, Stella Gibbons, Dorothy Parker” – Oscar Wilde was a famed Irish playwright, previously mentioned. Evelyn Waugh was an author, best known for Brideshead Revisited. Stella Gibbons was an English writer best known for her satirical work Cold Comfort Farm. Dorothy Parker was a writer and raconteur, best known member of the Alquonin Round Table, the famous New York literary claque.
“channelling Nostradamus” – Michel de Nostradame was a 14th century French “prophet” who usually foresaw disasters and wars. Like Mother Shipton, it’s commonly and mistakenly believed that his works accurately predict current and future events.
“a David factory in the Catskills?” – The Catskills are a mountain range area in up-state New York. David is a name brand of sunflower seed.
“not a stack of Sassys” – Sassy was an American teen fashion magazine published in the late 1980s and most of the 1990s.
“crayon Thundercats drawings” – Thundercats was 1980s animated series about cat-like aliens land on a apocalyptic future Earth. They fought a demonic wizard called Mumm-Ra.
“making the NBA as Stine does” – NBA can stand for both the National Basketball Assocation, the highest level of basketball playing in the United States, and the National Book Award, an American literary prize given to distinguished writing.
“on a TV in Foot Locker” – Foot Locker is an American sportswear franchise.
“him chanting ‘it’s your birthday’ and believed him” – It’s Your Birthday is a rap song performed by rapper R. Kelly and also the refrain of a song by rapper 50 Cent.
“Day-Glo clothing, Michael Jordan, rap music, cake and ice cream” – Day-Glo is a registered trademark of chemical paint. During the 1980s and 1990s it became a fad for teenagers to wear clothes covered in the stuff. Michael Jordan is an NBA player who achieved huge popularity in the 1990s, even starring in the Looney Tunes crossover live-action film Space Jam.
#03 Monster Blood
“Juno, In Theaters Now” – Juno was a hipster film released in 2007, starring Ellen Page and Michael Cera of Arrested Development fame. Troy is also referring to the previous entry, #28 The Cuckoo Clock of Doom.
“the OJ Trial in the mid-nineties” – OJ Simpson was an American gridiron football player previously mentioned.
“like the Bee Girl from the Blind Melon video” – Blind Melon was an American band that disbanded in 1995 after the death of the lead singer. The music video for their song No Rain featured a young Heather DeLoach as a girl wearing a bee costume and glasses.
“what movie Andy would RENT” – This links to a poster for the 1996 Tom Arnold film The Stupids, based on the book series which converted Andy’s favourite adjective into a noun.
“Gak-like” – See previous mention of Gak.
“JNCO jeans and Juggaloed their faces” – these are two attributes commonly associated with fans of the shock hip-hop team Insane Clown Posse.
“what kind of worthless human being hits a girl” – This links to an article about Marty Crandall, musician for the band Shins, who physically assaulted his girlfriend.
“the ‘ASPCA’” – The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a non-profit animal welfare organisation.
“Dennis the Menace look fresh” – Dennis the Menace is an inveterate newspaper comic strip about a palpably non-menacing, non-delinquent suburban boy.
“looks like Spellbound compared to what happens next” – Spellbound was an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. An important plot element were the extensive dream/hallucination special effect sequences, which were actually clues to the identity of the murderer. The closing scene features a prop gun of Itchy & Scratchy proportions.
“all Primer on you” – Primer is a 2004 science fiction time machine film with a convoluted plotline.
“taking place in Mayberry” – Mayberry was the setting of the Andy Griffith Show and the spinoff, Mayberry RFD. It was considered a typical rural 1950s small town.
“the BUCKET OF BLOOD, the Blood scoops back” – Bucket of Blood was a 1959 Roger Corman movie about a man who kills people and then covers their bodies with clay to create realistic sculptures. There were no buckets.
“to go lean on some cars” – In 1950s popular culture, films often depicted teenage delinquents engaging in this activity.
“Indiana Jones, VHS tapes” – Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first in the Indiana Jones action-adventure film series, developed by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford as the title character. VHS is a type of tape recording used by VCRs.
#28 The Cuckoo Clock of Doom
YOU KNOW WHAT. JUST CATCH THE MOVIE AND NOD WHISTFULLY WHEN SOMETHING SEEMS FAMILIAR.
“See you next time for There Will Be Monster Blood.” – a reference to the Coen brothers 2007 adaption of There Will Be Blood.
More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps
“a Walkman portable tape player” – Walkmans were a portable music tape-playing device and brand name.
“a blue Kooshball” – Kooshballs are a plastic, rubbery toy ball thing that resemble sea urchins. They’ve been the objects of fads during the 1980s and 1990s and can still be bought today.
“Sam’s father reminds her that some people have real problems” – A link to a picture of the album cover for Some People Have Real Problems, by Australian singer Sia.
“don’t feed them after midnight” – one of the three rules for taking care of a Mogwai, the cuddly animal in the fantasy/horror/comedy Gremlins films. If you did, they would mutate into the menacing title creature. The other two rules were to not let it near sunlight, which would kill it, or get it wet, which causes it to multiply.
“Yakov Smirnoff ghostwrote for the series” – Yakov Smirnoff is a comedian and professor, best known for his characteristic “In America, you watch TV. In Russia, TV watches you!” schtick.
“by Bram Stokeman” – Stine is referencing to Irish horror writer Bram Stoker, best known for Dracula. Cherie-Dan Le Fanu had lesser brand recognition in the under-12s.
“Playbill, which brings in ‘Da Noise and ‘Da Funk” – Playbill is an American periodical magazine about theatre events, and Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk was a mid-90s broadway musical about the history of slavery.
“Seriously, take my wife – please!” – Old comedy routine. A comedian would usually say, “Take my wife”, implying to be meant as an example. They would then follow it by saying “No, really, please!”, meaning to literally take her away. British comedian and one-liner impresario Henny Youngman is the original source, who claimed to have unintentionally invented it.
“an aggressive hockey player?” – Professional Ice Hockey players are hounded by a reputation for violence.
“Santa forgets Occam’s Razor” – Occam’s Razor is a nickname for a logic principle, named after logician William Ockham, usually expressed as “the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation”.
“Michael Bay movie with a similar plot…. Bad Boys II” – Michael Bay is an American director best known for his bombastic, dizzying cinematographic style. He recently directed Transformers, a remake of the 1980s animated series about giant robots with the ability to transform into ordinary vehicles. Bad Boys II was an action movie about renegade cops.
#33 The Horror At Camp Jellyjam
“Space Mountain” – Space Mountain is a roller coaster ride at Disney World and various other theme parks.
“favourite place on Earth is Disney World” – Disney World is the largest of the Walt Disney company theme parks. It first opened in 1971 in Florida and is the most visited resort in the world.
“Scooter… slash fiction” – Slash fiction is a type of fan fiction that applies imagined gay templates to characters.
“a can of Diet Coke” – Diet Coke is a soft drink made by the Coke company. It contains less calories than ordinary Coke.
“take that, Diana Fuss!” – English feminist theorist and writer.
“$100 to the NAACP” – NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. It’s an affirmative action, non-profit group that was originally established in 1909.
“Denim short-shorts, Slurm” – Denim is a fabric used mostly in jeans. Short-shorts are an even-shorter. Slurm is an addictive beverage made from an unidentified fluid ejected from a giant, King Jellyjam-like Slurm Queen in Futurama, the Matt Groening cartoon series.
#51 Beware the Snowman
“than the Burl Ives song” – Burl Ives was an American folk singer/song-writer. A lot of his most popular songs included Christmas themes. He died in 1995.
“at a Bulls game” – The Chicago Bulls are an NBA Team. Aforementioned Michael Jordan played with them at the apex of his career.
“watching a White Sox game, eating a hot dog, performing in a titular musical, riding the El, releasing an album on Drag City, and watching a Cubs game” – All popular elements of the city of Chicago. The White Sox are an American Major League baseball team. Chicago-style hot dogs are way of serving hot dogs (with mustard, onion, pickles, andpeppers, without tomato sauce) that originated in Chicago. The “El” or “L” is the nickname for the monorail system that runs around Chicago. Drag City Records is a record label specialising in independent rock. The Cubs are the second Major League baseball team in Chicago, infamous for their losing streak.
“the Edward Burtynskys responsible” – Edward Burtynsky is an Order-of-Canada awarded photographer best known for his environmental landscape portraits.
“They sit in a lonely pew and Rolonda tells Jaclyn the history of the village.” – a reference to the musical remake of Reefer Madness, which starred Kristen Bell, previously mentioned.
“Thumpety thump thump, thumpety thump thump, look at Jacylyn skid into a jagged culvert!” – Troy says that there’s a good chance this is another reference to Frosty the Snowman.
“it’s a miserable life for nieces” – a recurring line from PS 213 Mini School, by singer/songwriter Matthew Friedberger.
“a Lisa Frank folder” – Lisa Frank is a children’s artist whose work often appears on school supplies and kid’s clothing. Her artwork leans heavily on cutesy motifs.
“Questionable Grammer Parent” – the character of Martin Crane, the father of the title character played by Kelsey Grammer in sitcom Frasier.
“your own Parson Brown joke here” – Parson Brown is the name of a snowman in the pop ditty Winter Wonderland.
“a third Frosty reference” – Frosty the Snowman is a staple of Americana Christmas. First mentioned in a 1950s Christmas song sung by Gene Autry, the singing cowboy.
“He asks if they can go back down to the village, it’s too cold on top of the mountain. Wokka-Wokka.” – the Muppet, Fozzie Bear, told bad jokes and added “wokka wokka!” as an afterthought.
“Calvin and Hobbes” – an illustration from the comic strip series Calvin and Hobbes. Around Christmas time, as a running gag, Calvin would often build excessive numbers of snowmen.
#20 The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight
“The Bible” – You guys know this one.
“like a Goth Huck Finn” – Huckleberry Finn is the mischievous, deep southern, title character in the Huckleberry Finn novel by Mark Twain. He also appeared in Tom Sawyer.
“Hey Veronica Mars, it’s called aging” – Veronica Mars is the title character in the American series Veronica Mars, about a teenage amateur sleuth. Previously mentioned.
“H-e-double-hockey-his-name” – To avoid blasphemy, people occasionally spell the word “hell” out loud as “H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks”.
“Simon Says game ever” – Simon Says is a party/schoolyard game in which a group of people must follow the instructions of a designated “Simon”.
“he can chase Frankenstein and go to a lynching” – the climax of the previously mentioned Frankenstein movie, based on the Mary Shelley gothic horror novel, features townspeople chasing Frankenstein’s monster with torches and pitchforks back to the castle he was created in. This scene was not featured in the original novel.
“Walkmen, cassette tapes, Gameboys, Nirvana t-shirts” – Walkmans and cassette tapes were previously mentioned. Gameboys were a handhold gaming device created by the Nintendo electronics company in the 1990s. They have been superseded today by the Nintendo DS. Nirvana was/is an acclaimed band from Seattle that spearheaded and typified the Grunge movement in the early 1990s.
“straw poles this election season” – a straw poll is a political term, meaning a voting session before a “real” voting session, generally used to gauge the opinions of voting electorate, similar to an opinion poll.
#23 Return of the Mummy
“Pyramid Hilton” – Hilton hotels are an international hotel chain established by Conrad Hilton. They are held in high repute and to a high standards by travelers.
“the Holiday Inn Express” – An international mid-range hotel chain, usually catering to families.
“it’s jive, it’s a crutch she uses when she’s judged” – “sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t apologise so much: that it’s jive, it’s a crutch I just use when I’m judged ” is a line from Sari, a song by Nellie McKay. This Goosebumps character is named Sari.
“handing out canaries” – In mining and spelunking lore, diggers would often bring canaries or other birds into shafts with them. The theory was that if a gas leak occurred, the canaries would die from the dosage before the miners, warning them.
“not the wafer” – Nilla wafers are a brand of vanilla-flavoured shortbread biscuit.
“a meeting room… a yellow-eared copy of Who Moved My Cheese” – Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work and in Your Life is an allegorical book about business and motivation, featuring mice. It’s a common guide to the world of business and middle management for newcomers, which is why it would be seen in a meeting room.
“Riki Tiki Tavi and is afraid she’ll turn into a mongoose” – Rikki Tikki Tavi is a children’s story told in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling about a mongoose who defends a colonial family from three snakes, in succession.
“Bart Simpson” – Bart Simpson is a character on The Simpsons, previously mentioned, and probably the most popular animated series of all time. During the early 1990s, during the early years of the show, Bart was a controversial for his “underachiever and proud of it” attitude and a huge target for bootleggers and underground artists, like the graffiti on the pyramid in this Goosebumps volume, Return of The Mummy.
“frosted Flakes” – Breakfast cereal, previously mentioned. Corn flakes covered with icing sugar.
“the law of diminishing returns” – economic concept: the output of production in a market used to generate its own succeeding production gradually results in a smaller return with every generation.
#05 The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb
“Call me Ishmael” – the opening line of Herman Melville’s whale tale, Moby Dick.
“This is the saddest story I’ve ever heard” – opening line of Ford Madox’s depressing The Good Soldier, written in 1915.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” – opening line of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, satirical Victorian romance.
“Uncle Ben! Aunt Jemima: unable to attend” – American food brands. Uncle Ben is a brand of instant rice and Aunt Jemima is a brand/trademark for breakfast foods.
“Bob Harris tries to relax in the hotel room” – a reference to Bill Murray’s character in Lost In Translation. He spends several scenes alone by himself in his hotel room in Japan.
“the Northwest Passage…. Some nice Universal Healthcare” – The Northwest passage is a water-bound route in North America, still infrequently explored today. In Canada, the healthcare system is generally free to all citizens. It isn’t quite “free”, but the distinction isn’t going to be made here.
“sulks like an Egyptian” – Play on the lyrics of Walk Like An Egyptian, by pop group The Bangles.
“Frosted Flakes” – Previously mentioned.
“a Yakov Smirnoff routine” – previously mentioned comedian and professor.
“Walter Freeman-esque process” – Dr Walter Freeman was an American doctor best known for pioneering lobotomy techniques.
“Steve Martin’s ‘King Tut’” – King Tut is a song released by comedian Steve Martin in 1978 that parodied the Treasures of Tutankhamun travelling exhibit.
“score a quarter-bag” – a quarter bag either a bag used in gaming arcades to hold spare change, or a bag that holds a quarter pound of material, depending on the context. Drug slang.
“no sets of footprints in the scorpion pile” – from Troy himself: “a reference to the cliched Christian concept of “Footsteps”– when times get rough, Jesus doesn’t walk beside us, he carries us, leaving only one set of footprints in the sand”
“a non-Virgin Killer-occupied area” – Virgin Killer is an album by the German band Scorpions. Although not relevant, the front cover has been controversial.
“Indiana Jones, Super Nintendo, Game Boy” – Indiana Jones and Nintendo Gameboy have been previously mentioned. Super Nintendo was a fourth-generation entertainment console released by the Nintendo company in the early 1990s.
#48 Attack of the Jack-O-Lanterns
“Sprite and Pixie Stix” – Sprite is a lemonade brand. Pixie Stix are a coloured sugar snack sold, prepackaged, in straws.
“Chuck Norris jokes” – Chuck Norris is an martial artist, “actor”, and author best known for b-grade action movies and the American series Walker: Texas Ranger. He was briefly an internet meme.
“Ninja, LOL Cat, and Franklin Pierce jokes” – All inexplicable internet memes, except for American President Franklin Pierce, which is the joke.
“Klingon outfit” – alien race, from the American science fiction series mentioned, Star Trek.
“the Dark Knight – so racist” – pseudonym for the comic book vigilante, Batman.
“as they were all Baptists” – Baptists are a fundamentalist sect of Christianity, deriving from the Anabaptists. They’re especially prominent in the American Deep South.
“of the ‘Kashmir’ riff” – Kashmir is a 1974 song by the band Led Zeppelin. Troy says that this was a specific reference to the Puff Daddy song Come With Me, which samples the riff.
“Candy references” – Too many confectionary references to go into detail here.
“the back-cover of Yanqui UXO” – The back cover of Yanqui UXO, by the Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor, has an arrow chart diagram linking different record label brands to each other.
“Adbusters for Kids” – previously mentioned.
“Hershey Starburst and the Sponsors From Mars” – a play on Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, a concept album by David Bowie alter-ego Ziggy Stardust.
“Silver Surfer, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Star Trek, Klingons, Pepsi” – Silver Surfer, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are all comic book superheroes. Silver Surfer is a silver-toned character with cosmic powers that heralds the coming of a planet-devouring being called Galactus. Wonder Woman was created by William Marston, a feminist psychologist who also invented a type of lie detector.
#37 The Headless Ghost
“underwritten by the Paper Warehouse” – The Paper Warehouse is a defunct arts and crafts supply franchise. There’s a similarly named but unrelated website.
“they had to appear on the Tonight Show” – The Tonight Show is a long-running American late-night talk show. The most well known host was comedian and magician Johnny Carson, but it has also been hosted by Steve Allen and Jack Paar. The current host is Jay Leno. On most talk-shows, guests are kept during the taping in an off-stage room called “The Green Room”.
“one of Brunswick’s GhostHead balls” – The Brunswick Corporation is a manufacturing company best known for their bowling products.
“into Laughter: The Best Medicine” – Featured section in Reader’s Digest, an international magazine. Readers send in “true” and “amusing” stories or situations in their own life that are featured in the magazine.
“Mickey mouse watches, Walkmen tape-players” – Mickey Mouse is a character and logo for the Walt Disney Company, previously mentioned. Walkman was also previously mentioned. Troy also says that Mickey Mouse watches were a fad in the late 1980s-early 1990s, given to upper-middle class kids as a “classy” gift.
“Famke Janssen… House on Haunted Hill remake” – Actor, best known for playing Xenia Onatopp in the James Bond movie Goldeneye or blandly named psychic/telekinetic superhero Jean Grey in the X-Men movie series. The supernatural, phantasmic remake of Vincent Price film House on Haunted Hill featured Famke Janssen.
Tales To Give You Goosebumps
“Juliusssss Caesssssssarr” – Historical figure: statesman, general and later dictator of Ancient Rome. In his early life he became well known for his campaigns against the chieftains of Gaul and Roman Britain, before returning to Rome over the Rubicon and becoming dictator. He was assassinated by fellow Roman senators on the Ides (middle day of the month) of March in 44 BC.
“Bridge Night” – Auction and Contract Bridge are versions of the popular four-person, two-team, dummy-dealer card game.
“alcoholic father Iron Man” – the comic book superhero, Iron Man, has constantly and consistently struggled with alcoholism during the run of the comic.
“she pulls a Michael Vick” – Michael Vick is an American gridiron football player who has had several controversies in his career, but this is a reference to allegations of his participation in the bloodsport of dog fighting.
“Axel and Foley” – Axel Foley is the main character, played by Eddie Murphy, in the Beverly Hills Cop action-comedy film series.
“Click” – movie starring Adam Sandler, based on the cliche of a television remote control that can also control time. The plot in this Goosebumps book is the same basic template. The premise probably dates back to a Twilight Zone episode.
“the price of a Bedazzler” – a Bedazzler is an infomercial appliance from the 1970s, used to apply decorations and rhinestones to clothes.
“Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me” – 1987 song by band The Cure, a popular song stereotypically listened to by those of a Gothic bent.
#14 The Werewolf of Fever Swamp
“Topical Eve joke” – referring to the then-topical “Eve” – the rapper-actor Eve Jihan Jeffers, who in 2007 was required by law to wear an alcohol-monitoring anklet after a DUI.
“not being Colin Meloy” – Colin Meloy is the lead singer for American band The Decembrists. One of their songs was called The Crane Wife.
“follow that bird” – 1985 motion picture Follow That Bird, about the long-running educational children’s puppet show, Sesame Street, character Big Bird trying to get home.
“cervical spondylosis” – form of degenerative arthritis.
“Emily’s story of how a black and white-checked bird flew in the open window and broke the lamp” – reference to a Berenstein Bears picture book.
“a lot like the Crucible” – anti-McCarthyist Arthur Miller play and later, film, about the accusations, proceedings, and executions of the Salem Witch Trials. The personal agendas and grudges of the inhabitants of the town, and later loss of control of events were intended as an allegory for the HUAC .
“MacGuyver talents” – Angus MacGyver was a character played by Richard Dean Anderson on the TV series of the same name in the late 1980s-early 1990s. A character trait of his was his creative, improvised inventions that he often used to save the day and foil the villains.
“WOLF’D” – reference to previously mentioned TV reality series PUNK’d.
“to head FEMA” – American government agency (Federal Emergency Management Agency) designated to respond to natural disasters in the United States. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s affect on New Orleans in 2005, it was widely criticised for a perceived ineffectual response.
“Miss South Carolina Alert:
RL Stine informs the reader that Vermont is a long way from Florida.” – In 2007, Miss Teen USA South Carolina contestent Laura Caitlin Upton gave a rambling, disjointed response to the question, “Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?” in the competition. A video of her quickly spread over the internet.
#30 It Came From Beneath the Sink!
“to Samuel Fuller’s White Dog” – socially critical film, based on the novel, about a black dog trainer who attempts to deprogramme a “white dog” that has been trained to attack and kill black people on sight. After vigorous re-conditioning, the dog no longer attacks blacks on sight and appears to be cured – until it attacks the white trainer and is shot.
“a handyman character in Gasoline Alley do the same” – turn-of the century American “Sunday newspaper” comic strip series.
“the release of Home Alone” – film series, previously mentioned.
” Kat walks back to class from the nurses office, where she helped what became of the broken-handed, who she had helped but now departed, Kat knows she’s got to find some kind of peace of mind, and she might have been searching everywhere were it not for Daniel running up to her in the hall.” – a reference to the lyrics of What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, a soul song first released by Jimmy Ruffin in 1966. It’s also been covered by Diana Ross and featured in Fried Green Tomatoes, that time by Paul Young.
“and more attractive cousin” – General popular belief, and possibly a reference to an episode of The Simpsons, Lisa the Iconoclast, where a character founds a town based on the principle of marrying cousins. ‘Unno.
“confusing mushrooms and sponges… she can’t smoke it” – dried “mushrooms” are a psychotropic drug. “Smoking” is referencing a habit of hippies to attempt to smoke anything in the quest for a high.
“like mercury” – the element mercury (Hg) has had a colourful and interesting history in various professions, like hat-blocking! Constant exposure to it can lead to, among other interesting things, brain damage and death.
“four turtles with superhuman powers into aiding them” – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a comic strip, animated series, live-action film series, and second animated series created in the 1980s. It’s been consistently popular for the last 20 years, but the peak was probably in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
“Super Soakers” – water pistol trademark, previously mentioned.
“No Sponge Left Behind Act” – The No Child Left Behind Act was a 2001 federal law enacted to reform public schools in the United States. The name refers to making sure that a child learned enough in a school year to be properly prepared for the next.
#39 How I Got My Shrunken Head
“a YouTube sensation” – streaming video website founded in 2005. In the last few years, most internet memes have had some origin or link to http://www.youtube.com
“solitaire” – card game played by, as the name implies, one person. The object is to pair up every single card. Solitaire has been a staple game of personal computers since before.
“at B. Dalton’s and moved over to the Boxcar Kids section” – Book retailing franchise, also known as Barnes & Noble. The Boxcar Children is an American children’s adventure book series about a group of orphaned children who live in a dilapidated boxcar.
“VG instead of NM…. A++++ Would Buy Again from him” – reference to the general writing style of traders and buyers on online trading sites like eBay.com
“Red Baron pizza box plane” – Red Baron is a brand of frozen pizza meals.
“a pregnant woman and needed to kill a rabbit” – the rabbit test is an early pregnancy “test”. The urine of a pregnant woman is injected into a live female rabbit, and several days later, the ovaries would be secreting a human hormone because of the presence of pregnancy in the human woman. The test itself did not actually kill the rabbit – at the time, the only way to examine the rabbit’s ovaries were to kill it. Presumably this was established through trial-and-error.
“a ‘jungle fever’ joke” – Slang expression referring to a white person’s attraction to a black person. Common usage usually assumes that the white person is a man and the black person is a woman.
“polynominials via the Tschirnhaus transformation, a time of the Battle of Ringgold Gap… David Livingstone” – inexplicable references to: the Tschirnhaus transformation, a field theory used to map polynomials, in the algebraic sense. The Battle of Ringgold Gap was a short battle in the American Civil War, won by the Confederates when they successfully retreated. David Livingstone was the Victorian-era explorer of Africa.
“he just got PUNK’D” – Reality TV series starring Ashton Kutcher, previously mentioned.
“two blinks: slow pitch curve” – reference to habit of baseball/softball coaches way of advising batters without verbally giving away their game plan.
“Koosh balls, the name Kareen” – previously mentioned.
#46 How To Kill A Monster
“Cyprus Knees” – Cypress knees:
“the concept of lateral moves” – a lateral move is a superficial change in fortunes that is roughly approximate or equal to the prior position, a sideways shift.
“container upon container of Gak” – previously mentioned.
“the primary thesis of Rousseau’s Emile” – Jean Jacques Rousseau’s ‘Emile, or on Education’ is an 18th century publication that elaborates to the reader his views on the proper upbringing and tutoring of a young man to adulthood. The most prevalent theme on actual education is one of the conflict of nature and civilisation, but Book Three makes much of introducing skills and occupations to Emile. Two passages in particular forewarn, “It is, however, difficult to avoid another error. When the master is very fond of certain occupations, he is apt to assume that the child shares his tastes; beware lest you are carried away by the interest of your work, while the child is bored by it, but is afraid to show it. The child must come first, and you must devote yourself entirely to him.” and “Give a man a trade befitting his sex, to a young man a trade befitting his age. Sedentary indoor employments, which make the body tender and effeminate, are neither pleasing nor suitable. No lad ever wanted to be a tailor. It takes some art to attract a man to this woman’s work.”
#08 The Girl Who Cried Monster
“analysts only exist in Woody Allen films and to quit calling him” – Woody Allen is an actor, comedian, writer, and director best known for his New York-centred comedy films and unusual personal life. They generally vary from screwball (Sleeper) to romantic comedy (Aphrodite) to dark comedy (Match Point).
“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein… homoeroticism” – one of the best known of the Gothic horror novels, previously mentioned. As Troy says, there are strong themes of homo-eroticism in the story between Frankenstein and his rejected creation, particularly in the murder of Frankenstein’s bride during their honeymoon.
“White Fang” – novel about the tale of a ¾ wolf/dog hybrid becoming civilised during the Yukon Gold Rush in Alaska.
“Anne of the Green Gables” – 1906 popular novel about a red-headed orphan accidentally adopted by a couple who then decide to keep her. Widely read at primary school level around the world.
“Groundhog Day of Goosebumps books…. Fewer toasters in the bathtub” – comedy film starring Bill Murray as a man forced to perpetually re-live the same day over and over again. After tiring of being able to do whatever he wants without any long term consequences, he tries to commit suicide several times, one of which is by dropping a toaster into the bath.
“post the photo on MySpace” – popular social-networking website favoured by self-absorbed teenagers.
“an entire Hungry-Man XXL Meal, including the dessert cake” – Swanson Hungry Man Meals are a brand of ready-to-eat TV dinner. The dessert cake is usually a brownie muffin.
“those one-person Frisbee things with rubber band attached” – they were real.
“Dorothy Parker alert” – previously mentioned writer and raconteur, known for her acerbic one-liners and witty jeremiads.
#49 Legend of the Lost Legend
“from Eight Below” – Disney film starring Jason Biggs, of American Pie fame, about a group of sled-dogs struggling to find their way back to their Antarctic Ice Station home.
“or actually, better yet:” – Jason Biggs.
“Ark of the Covenant. Wait, wrong globetrotter” – reference to the first Indiana Jones film – Indiana Jones competed with the Nazis to find the Ark of the Covenant, the chest containing the laws of ancient Israel.
“to spin a basketball on his finger…. Still wrong Globetrotter” – The Harlem Globetrotters are an “exhibition basketball” team in the United States best known for their on-court antics and near-constant domination over the Washington Generals. One of the best known is their habit of spinning basketballs on their fingers.
“Ghost Dog joke” – film starring Forest Whitaker as a modern-day ninja. See below.
“The Wild Child” – As mentioned, 1970s French film directed by Francois Truffaut, about a boy discovered living in the wild, who is then re-habilitated into society by Truffaut himself.
#02 Stay Out of the Basement
“Arnold Schwarzenegger… so it is obviously Junior” – Austrian bodybuilder, actor, and current Governor of California. The plot of Junior was Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming pregnant.
“a marijuana joke” – THC is a popular psychotropic drug that goes under many nicknames.
“beat Jurassic Park… Spielberg influenced Stine or vice versa” – Jurassic Park was a novel by Michael Crichton adapted to a best-selling film by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg in the early 1990s about a theme park populated by dinosaurs grown from DNA harvested from ancient mosquitoes trapped in amber. In the Spielberg adaption, Sam Neill’s character, during a crisis, pretends to be grilled by an electric fence to scare the children in his care, like what the kid in this Goosebumps book.
“a Dodgers cap” – The Los Angeles (formerly Brooklyn) Dodgers are an American baseball team.
“Artful Dodger-type hat” – the Artful Dodger is a character in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. He is a street-wise pickpocket urchin who ends up being transported to the penal colony of Australia for his crimes. He wore a battered top hat.
“Stay Out of the Organic Hairclub For Men” – The Hair Club, sometimes called Hairclub for Men, is a company specialising in hair replacement therapy. It was founded in 1976.
“Robocop… Sassy” – 1987 science fiction/action film about a police officer who is killed by a gang during active duty and then turned into a cyborg for the purpose of subduing criminals. Sassy was a teen magazine, previously mentioned.
#36 The Haunted Mask II
“that scene in Big, only less frightening” – Tom Hanks film about a boy who wishes to “be big” on a robotic booth fortuneteller and wakes up one morning to discover that he’s been turned into a popular box office draw actor!
#11 The Haunted Mask
“Mrs Caldwell shouldn’t expect a call from Mr. Blackwell” – Richard Blackwell was a fashion critic who usually just went by the moniker “Mr Blackwell”. He was the originator of the sniping “10 Worst Dressed” list, now a staple of gossip/fashion magazines worldwide. He died in 2008.
“if John Waters wore a cape” – John Waters is an American film director, best known for Pink Flamingos. His characteristic appearance includes a closely cropped haircut and a thin moustache.
“Cat Woman” – character; foe and occasional ally to Batman in the previously mentioned Batman comic series.
“Star Trek, Freddy Krueger, ‘Mutant Ninja Turtles’, Cat Woman, Indiana Jones, gorilla masks” – Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cat Woman, and Indiana Jones have all been previously mentioned. Freddy Krueger is the sociopathic dream-invading serial killer in the horror film series A Nightmare On Elm Street, played by Robert Englund.
#24 Phantom of the Auditorium
“Guys and Dolls” – intricate musical play and filmed adaption of two Damon Runyon stories. It intertwines the gangsters, gamblers, and preachers of New York in a romantic comedy patina.
“the Cuban Swimmer” – The Cuban Swimmer is a short play about a long-distance swimmer who wants to impress her 1st generation Cuban immigrant father.
“This sounds familiar… what does it sound like… hmm” – The play has a distinct touch of Victor Hugo’s Phantom of the Opera.
“upset a greeting card writer!” – “Home Sweet Home” is an aphorism, which are commonly utilised in greeting cards.
“RL Stine’s the Jungle” – The Jungle was a socialist novel written in 1906 by Upton Sinclair about the poverty and injustice in the labour system of the American working classes who were tricked by a search for the “American Dream”, particularly first-generation immigrants. The Lithuanian main character worked in a meat-packing plant, and the initial publication of the book led to a widespread reform in the meat-packing industry after the public outcry from readers.
“that Phil Collins video about the homeless people… Anti-Collins” – Phil Collins was the drummer for the band Genesis. He left the group in 1996 and went on to have a moderately successful solo career. One of the things he’s known for is his social activism, like his involvement with PETA.
“Friday the 13th” – the first in the Friday the 13th slasher film series.
“his cultural stereotyping right” – The Hispanic stereotype has many qualities, not usually boring.
“my high school’s production of Auntie Mame” – Auntie Mame is a comedic novel about a boy sent to live with his eccentric and flamboyant aunt.It was adapted into a stage musical starring Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur, and there was also a film production starring Lucille Ball.
#55 The Blob That Ate Everyone
“IAROCCI is like HAGS or LYLAS” – HAGS is an acronym, short for Have A Good Summer, commonly written in American yearbooks. LYLAS is another acronym, short for Love You Like A Sister.
“the Cosby Show of minor Goosebumps characters” – The Cosby Show (1984 to 1992) was one of many shows featuring comedian Bill Cosby. In the show, limousine driver Bill Cosby reigned over a functional, loving family in New York. It featured an all-black main cast.
“Quantum Leap’s blue auras” – Quantum Leap was a 1990s science fiction series starring Scott Bakula as a scientist trapped in a constant loop of inhabiting the body of a person in another time and place. At the end of every episode, he would “leap” out of the body he was currently inhabiting and into the next body with a special effects blue flash that the show was earnestly proud of.
#50 Calling All Creeps!
“whoa whoa whoa there Charles Dickens, starting a book with a flashback?” – Beloved Victorian era novelist, best known for Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield. His stories were usually satirical, carried strong social themes, and introduced writing techniques that were rare at the time but now common.
“that faggot Christopher Pike” – American thriller/science fiction/horror author, probably best known for his Spooksville series. His other work, vague, incoherent science fiction/horror novels with romantic themes typified teen literature during the 1990s.
“The Weather Channel” – American cable television channel launched in 1982. Most countries have a localised variant.
“Mission: Impossible-style” – 1960s/1970s American TV series starring Peter Graves as the head of a secret agency. It’s been remade several times, and in the 1996 film version, starring Tom Cruise, his character dangled on a wire from an air duct over a computer while the theme music played. This scene is a popular source for parody.
“Pepsi” – cola soft drink, close rival to the Coke-Cola company.
“one and a half George magazines” – short-lived magazine partially founded by John F Kennedy Jr in the late 1990s. It attempted to stylise and sensationalise politics in a format similar to popular gossip magazines.
“the Star Spangled Banner” – current national anthem of the United States, sung to the tune of a drinking song. It was written during the War of 1812.
“Saran-wrapped” – Saran is a brand of plastic wrap, used for various things. Plastic wrap was accidentally discovered in 1933.
“Chips Ahoy” – chocolate chip cookie brand in the United States sold in gigantic bags.
“time to eat some KFC!” – Kentucky Fried Chicken (franchise established 1952) is one of the best known American fast-food franchises, specialising in Southern, deep-fried chicken. The founder and logo of the franchise is Colonel Harland Sanders.
“Lars von Trier” – Dutch avant-garde film-maker and director affiliated with the Dogme 95, best known for Idioterne, Dogville, Manderlay, and Antichrist.
#32 The Barking Ghost
“underwritten by Coldwell Banker” – Coldwell Banker is a real estate franchise, part of the Century 21 mogul empire.
“Ashton Kutcher… PUNK’d Brainstorm legal pad” – previously mentioned.
“the Changing Room” – most clothing stores and franchises have “Changing Rooms”, where customers are entitled to try on clothes they’ve selected before they buy them. Most usually enforce a rule on how many items the customer is allowed to take in.
“the POGs of this generation” – previously mentioned.
“Ghost… Dog?” – Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a 1999 film starring Forest Whitaker as an enigmatic samurai hitman. The frame grab here is from a scene with incredulous mafioso being told of the existence and name of Ghost Dog.
#61 I Live In Your Basement!
“like OJ Simpsons… fleeing in the white Bronco to go turn himself in” – OJ Simpson, previously mentioned. When first charged of murder, he failed to turn himself in to the police and escaped in a White Bronco four-wheel-drive with a friend. He turned himself in.
“Ballpark frankly” – pun on the food, Ballpark Franks. A type of hot-dog/sausage-in-bread sold at baseball parks.
“Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops, Milky Ways” – Frosted Flakes, previously mentioned. Corn Pops are another breakfast cereal, similar to giant Rice Krispies. Milky Way is the name of two non-related chocolate bars.
#13 Piano Lessons Can Be Murder
“Play it again, hands” – a reference to an-oft misquoted line in Casablanca, one of the most well-known movies of all time. Rick, drunk and despairingly tells his piano player, Sam, to play As Time Goes By: “play it for me”.
“it took me a long time to realize that there wasn’t a the Other Sister-type story occurring in this book” – A 1999 film starring Juliette Lewis as a mentally disabled woman falling in love with a mentally disabled man and trying to live independently.
“turns into Reefer Madness” – The drug “scare” film, Reefer Madness, contains a scene where a group of marijuana smokers gather around a piano. The man at the piano keeps playing faster, hysterically shrieking “Faster! Faster!”
“Akira Kurosawa’s Ran” – Akira Kurosawa was a Japanese director, known for a huge variety of work, including Rashomon, The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, The Hidden Fortress, The Idiot and Ran. He died in 1998. Ran was one of his final films, a re-telling of the Shakespeare play King Lear, about a king who banishes his one loving daughter in favour of deceitful, preening older sisters.
“an episode of SVU” – Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, previously mentioned, usually focused on the victims of sexual crimes, often towards children.
“doesn’t have a Green Card” – previously mentioned.
“Bonkers, those cat clocks with the moving eyes” – Bonkers was an animated series based loosely on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The main character was an anthropomorphic police officer cat who teamed up with a human (also animated) to solve crimes committed by cartoon characters.
#44 Say Cheese and Die – Again!”
“and not, y’know, Cheetoes” – Cheese curl chip brand.
“”Flesh Gordon-cribbing” – Flesh Gordon is an erotic, science fiction parody film released in 1974.
“RL Stine’s Columbine/Elephant moment” – Elephant is a 2003 film set on the day of a school shooting. Most of the film is set before the actual shooting occurs. Bowling For Columbine is a 2002 documentary film by Michael Moore on the topic of a similar school shooting in Colorado in 1999. Troy is probably just referring to the shooting incident itself.
“Honda Civic” – Honda is a Japanese corporation known for mostly for cars. It’s the sixth largest car manufacturer and producer in the world. The Civic is a popular line of compact cars sold by the company, particularly in the West.
“Orson Welles alert… F for Fake” – Orson Welles was an American actor and director, best known for his pioneering cinematography techniques on Citizen Kane, which he both directed and starred in, as well as The Magnificent Ambersons. His final completed motion picture, F For Fake, was based on the life of Elmyr de Hory, an art forger. The film itself contained deliberate hoaxes and misleading information.
#04 Say Cheese and Die!
“lol at SUVs not existing yet” – SUV is an acronym for Sports Utility Vehicle. They are a controversial make of car, or technically, light truck.
“the last ten minutes of Fat Girl” – 2001 French film about a young girl who is seduced and then rejected while on vacation with her family. The last ten minutes is a car ride on the way back home with her mother and sister, but they are interrupted and killed by an axe murderer. The titular fat girl is raped, but survives.
“Cup Holders” – In the mid 1980s, built-in cupholders became a common feature in cars. For several years they were the fodder of comedians.
“without use of Occam’s Razor” – previously mentioned.
“a Scooby Doo episode” – Scooby Doo is a Hanna-Barbera American animated series that has aired almost continuously in various versions since 1969. It stars a Great Dane, Scooby Doo, and a gang of mystery solving teens. In most episodes, there would usually be a screwball chase from whatever the monster or spook of the day was, before the true identity was unmasked.
“Spidey” – Spiderman, previously mentioned.
“from Square Pegs” – Square Pegs was a comedy American TV series in the 1980’s that starred Sarah Jessica Parker. It was about a group of high school teenagers trying to both fit in and not fit in. 1980s.
“Dairy Freeze… the X-Force… Polaroid” – X-Force has been previously mentioned. Polaroid is a brand name for a kind of plastic sheet that develops automatically when exposed to light, used in disposable instant cameras, which also go by the same name. It is a patented term.
#41 Bad Hare Day
#52 How I Learned to Fly
“Terminator” – science fiction film series, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Previously mentioned.
“Jack Johnson – How I Learned To Fly” – boxer.
“rescues mainland China from the wrath of Rodan” – Rodan is a nemesis and occasional friend to Godzilla. Previously mentioned.
“Twister” – party game, previously mentioned, badly explained.
“National Book Association of America” – The NBA, previously mentioned.
“Fear of Flying” – Fear of Flying is a semi-autobiographical feminist novel by Erica Jong, about the travels, sexual experiences, marriages, and philosophies of Isadora Wing.
“serious social issue of Beach Rats”
“Beethoven symphony” – Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer, whose music, usually for pianos, is still hugely popular today. He lived from 1770-1827 and led an interesting life: he adopted his brother’s son when he died, in favour of the boy’s mother, and in most of his later life he was completely deaf.
#01 Welcome to Dead House
Another reference free entry.
#53 Chicken Chicken
“Sharpie” – brand of permanent marker, mostly seen in the United States.
“God” – Popular pooh-bah in Church circles.
“Album by the Group” –
“Quantum Physics moment” – quantum mechanics are a beyond-microscopic branch of physics, yhe division of particles into infinity being a well-known puzzle of the science.
“Bagger Vance sideplot” – The Legend of Bagger Vance is an excruciating golfing movie by Robert Redford. Based on a novel by Steven Pressfield.
“Discman” – portable, battery-powered music device that succeeded the Walkman before MP3 Players became available. It played music CDs and are still generally available.
#21 Go Eat Worms!
“Raiders cap” – The Oakland Raiders are an American gridiron football team currently based in California. Their insignia is a pirate wearing a football helmet.
“Christopher Robin” – main human character in the Winnie The Pooh children’s book series written by A. A. Milne and the Disney adaptions. A young boy who advises Pooh and his Hundred-Acre wood friends.
“a grunge” – “Grunge” is a term usually used to describe a type of rock and roll music that became popular in the early 1990s, best expressed by the band Nirvana and Seattle-based contemporaries.
#15 You Can’t Scare Me!
“an Abbott and Costello movie” – Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were an American comedy team who had their biggest popularity in the 1940s and 1950’s, being featured in radio, television, film, and print. Their movies were full of slapstick and wordplay, and they are today best known for their comedy routine usually called, “Who’s On First?”
“Loch Ness Monster… Bigfoot” – Two urban legend monsters in popular culture. The Loch Ness Monster is an aquatic monster said to live in Loch Ness in Scotland; several purported photographs have been exposed as fakes. Bigfoot, AKA The Sasquatch, is an ape-man said to live in the north-west regions of North America, similar to a yeti. Bigfoot is also generally believed to be a hoax.
“My Brother and Me” – American 1994 comedy tv series, previously mentioned in passing. The main characters were the young Dee Dee and his older brother, Alfie.
“an impromptu production of the Great Gatsby” – The Great Gatsby is the best known work by author F. Scott Fitzgerald, set in the roaring twenties on Long Island. Nick Carraway befriends the nouveau riche Jay Gatsby of the title, and they spend their time frolicking and frivolously playing games (like croquet) and throwing parties.
#38 The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena
“Pasadena, California” – suburb of Los Angeles, California. Home of the Rose Bowl.
“a popsicle” – brand of flavoured, frozen ice on a stick in the United States and Canada.
“in a Scooby Doo episode” – previously mentioned.
“California Energy Crisis” – In 2000 and 2001, California suffered a serious loss of electricity due to rising electricity prices caused by the de-regulation of energy companies like the now-infamous Enron. The crisis continued until mid-2003.
“Super Soakers, snow” – Super Soakers have been previously mentioned.
“Hardy Boys” – The Hardy Boys are a crime-solving duo of the book series of the same name, previously mentioned.
#59 The Haunted School
“It Came From Ohio” – R.L Stine’s personal biography, written in a similar format to Goosebumps. His terrifying secret: he worked on a puppet show!
“Me And You and Everyone Else We Know” – a reference to the film Me and You and Everyone Else We Know. A young boy in the movie invents “))< >((” as an instant message shorthand for “an act best left unrepeated”, according to Troy.
“a boombox.” – a nickname given to portable stereo radios. They ran on batteries but could be plugged into electric sockets. They were the subject of a “cool” fad in the 1980s and 1990s, and maintain a reasonable popularity today.
“Ray Bradbury stories… twist endings” – Prolific American author, best known for Fahrenheit 451 , the dystopian book-burning society book, and his short story collections, like Something Wicked This Way Comes.
#09 Welcome to Camp Nightmare
“the physical characteristics of Art Garfunkel” – folk singer/songwriter of the folk team Simon & Garfunkel. Art Garfunkel has a distinctive shock of receding, curly orange hair.
“Running” – Running is fun, isn’t it!
“an SVU episode” – Law and Order: Special Victims Unit has been previously mentioned.
#43 The Beast From The East
“April Fools” – tradition usually celebrated on the 1st Day of April every year in Western society. The object of the tradition is to pull well-meaning hoaxes and pranks, and there have been several well-known international hoaxes on the day, like the infamous Spaghetti Tree hoax pulled by the BBC in 1957.
“basically normal Tag rules” – schoolyard game. Players must run and hide from another player, who has to catch and “tag” a replacement. There are many different names and variants of the game.
“Gameboys, baggy jeans, skater shirts” – Previously mentioned.
“a game of Calvinball” – In the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes, about a boy and his imaginary friend tiger, they occasionally play a game called “Calvinball”. The only established rule of the game is that Calvin can change the rules and method of the game any time he wants.
#35 A Shocker on Shock Street
“Jurassic Park” – Previously mentioned.
“the log flume at Magic Mountain” – A log flume ride is a ride often seen at amusement parks: patrons ride in a log that ventures through a water slide and off a waterfall. Magic Mountain has been previously mentioned.
“another homage to Jurassic Park” – In Jurassic Park, Wayne Knight is attacked and eaten by a group of Dilophosaurs, who were given an aigrette frill and poisonous spit as creative licence.
“The Street They Call Shock” – a reference to the lyrics of the song Straight Street, by the Fiery Furnaces. Previously referenced singer Matthew Friedberg is a member of the band.
“Focus On The Family” – Focus on The Family is a non-profit organisation in the United States (founded 1977) that stresses the importance of family values in society. It has several international equivalents, and it indeed stresses a value on two-parent families.
#60 Werewolf Skin
“It’s a Full Moon… Do You Know Where Your Werewolf Is?” – a reference to a long-running American public service announcement about child supervision.
#25 Attack of the Mutant
“a Leopard and tries to eat the Gazelle” – in the wild, leopards commonly prey on gazelles.
“Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, shoes with pumps, shoes with lights” – Spawn is a comic book series about an undead revenant vigilante. During the 1990’s, pumps and lights were a popular gimmick on shoes.
#10 The Ghost Next Door
“DayGlo neon colours” – previously mentioned.
“Reinforcement of negative stereotypes alert:” – post office workers are sometimes stereotyped as being gun-toting, vigilante nuts. This is mostly due to a series of shootings, and is the origin of the phrase “going postal”.
“these are some James Dean-level shenanigans” – James Dean was an American actor best known for his roles in Giant, East of Eden, and Rebel Without A Cause. His characters were usually disenfranchised youths. Shortly after he finished Rebel Without a Cause, he died in a car crash in his Li’l Bastard, a nickname for his car, cementing his reputation as a misunderstood rebel for the rest of time.
#22 Ghost Beach
“merely the northern lights” – Another name for the Aurora borealis, a meteorological phenomenon.
#12 Be Careful What You Wish For…
“Bewitched-induced haze” – Bewitched was a long-running American sitcom about a witch and her human husband trying to live in a typical suburban neighbourhood.
“that scene in Spielberg’s War of the Worlds” – Director Steven Spielberg remade low-budget science fiction movie War of the Worlds in 2005, starring Tom Cruise. In an early scene in the film, his character does indeed kind of potter around the house during the initial stages of the invasion.
“Doc Martins, the Orlando Magic, Troll dolls” – Doc Martins are a brand of shoe with a colourful history. Orlando Magic is an NBA team that gained popularity when Shaquille O’Neal joined the team in the 1990s. Troll dolls are hideous dolls with colourful hair originating from Denmark. Every decade or so they seem to fade in and out of popularity.
“tiddlywinks or Parcheesi” – Tiddlywinks is a children’s game, with the goal being to flip “winks” onto an opponents “winks” or into a cup. Parcheesi has been previously mentioned.