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R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series

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R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series is a series airing on The Hub since 2010. Like the series Stine is most-well known for, it is a horror Genre Anthology series festuring a new story every week. A sneak preview of this show aired on Halloween of 2010, but the series didn't premiere until Christmas. Season 2 began on October 1, 2011 and shortly after its conclusion, Stine announced a third season had been ordered. The latest episodes can be view on the show website.

Continuity-wise, it's unrelated to the made-for-TV movie R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It.

Tropes used in R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series include:
  • Adaptation Decay/Adaptation Expansion: As many of the stories are based off short stories, this tends to happen a lot. Some stories are reasonably faithful, others only keep the title and basic concept. All The Dead Body has in common with the original short story is the idea of someone helping a young kid scare some bullies by pretending to be a dead body. In the original story, it's the kid's favorite uncle and the Twist Ending is that had died for real earlier that day. In the show, it's the ghost of a teenager who has been dead for years and is helping out the kid for his own nefarious purposes (with the twist being that the kid in the present dies while the kid who died years ago gets to live in his place).
  • Adults Are Useless/Not Now, Kiddo: In "Really You" the mother is more concerned with the fact that there was a camera in her room as opposed to the fact that someone sneaked into her room and took the video card at some point. Inverted in "Creature Feature: Part 1" A policeman investigates the movie theatre, gets sucked in the movie -- the Teen Tick Monster ate him.
  • Affectionate Parody: The film scenes in "Creature Feature" are these to 1950s sci-fi B-movies.
  • A God Am I: The titular protagonist of '"Swarmin' Norman becomes this when he realizes that he can control bugs.
  • Alien Among Us: Alien Candy.
    • And possibly the unseen octopus-like creature in Sick.
  • And I Must Scream: The fates of the protagonists in Pumpkinhead, The Dead Body, Mascot, and the alternate ending to Scarecrow (the one where Bobby is turned into a scarecrow and made to watch the world come to an end with the creepy salesman).
  • Bad Humor Truck: In Catching Cold.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: "Best Friends Forever" and "A Creature Was Stirring"
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In The Dead Body Jake turned out to be this when Will found out that he's really a ghost who only helped him with his bullying problems to gain his trust, so he could trick Will into taking his place the day he was killed in 1961.
    • Bonnie and Greg in Alien Candy, also turned out to be this when it's revealed that they're real aliens who only wanted Walt to join their fake club so they could eat him. However, both Walt and his friend Tim managed to defeat them before it was too late.
  • Body Horror: In the second part of the first episode, Lilly's slow, horrifying transformation into a doll.
    • Creature Feature had a pretty gruesome transformation into a tick-monster.
  • Book of Shadows: Used in Walls.
  • Car Fu: The ending to Really You Part 2.
  • Creepy Doll: Lilly D in "Really You."
  • Chekhov's Gun: The main character's silver necklace in "the Nightmare Inn" was given to her by her father specifically to ward off other werewolves.
  • Christmas Episode: "A Creature Was Stirring".
  • Cultural Cringe: Jessica doesn't like her bedroom in "Bad Feng Shui" then her traditional mother literally turns into a Snake People with long claws and tries to stalk her. Jessica must now use the Chinese Feng-Shui to help them out in her own room before her mother disappears...
  • Cruel Twist Ending: At least half of the episodes end in these.
    • "The Dead Body" ends with the main character getting sent back in time to prevent a boy's death. He succeeds...only to die in his place!
    • "The Red Dress" ends with the main character keeping the dress, but going blind when the shopkeeper steals her glasses.
    • "Ghostly Stare" ends with the girl's brother discovering that his sister was replaced by a ghost and that his actual sister fell in a grave and died.
    • "Game Over"ends with the main character beating the game, and becoming the new video game boss.
    • "Best Friend Forever" ends with the main character becoming the pet to the zombie he found.
    • "Afraid of Clowns" ends with the main character being told by his parents that he's a were-clown and the circus was his rite of passage from being a boy to being a man, I mean, a clown-type creature.
    • "Catching Cold" ends with the main character catching the mysterious ice cream truck and finding the missing boy -- now a fat, insane man -- who tells him that he's been waiting 30 years for someone to give his soul to the ice cream truck so he won't have to do it anymore.
    • "Mascot" has Willie and the kid in the wolf costume be eaten by Big Yellow, who turns out to be an actual monster that just looks like a costume, Drake later finds out that Willie was eaten by Big Yellow during the next game, via calling him on his cell phone, where we find out Willie is still alive inside Big Yellow, presumably to be digested soon.
    • The ending to "Scarecrow" beats all of the others by several orders of magnitude. Essentially, a girl buys a scarecrow from a stranger to rid her crops from a crow infestation. The end result: Every animal and person in the entire WORLD dissappears except for the girl's older brother, who must now live in a world completely void of life, but not before setting fire to the creepy salesman who turned into a scarecrow. And THAT'S the just the original ending! In an alternate ending, everything is the same except the older brother gets transformed into a scarecrow himself.
    • "Headshot" combines this with Downer Ending: Gracie's friend breaks into her dressing room to delete the headshot of her that is getting uglier as the real Gracie is getting prettier. Gracie's friend succeeds, but it turns out that only Gracie and Gracie alone had the power to reject being the new face for a teen magazine and delete the photo herself, but was too vain to see that and now she walks the Earth resembling her hideous headshot.
  • Darker and Edgier: It's considerably a bit more dark than Stine's earlier work Goosebumps.
  • Dark Fantasy: The two-part episode The Most Evil Sorcerer does a good job of capturing this feel. Magic users are capricious at best and outright evil at worst, the child protagonists are slaves in all but title, and Don't Go in The Woods is very good advice. But that doesn't mean you can't Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Defanged Horrors: The Klemit in the episode "Walls" and the zombie in "Best Friends Forever."
  • Deal with the Devil: Heavily implied in the episode "Headshot" ( with Cassandra the photographer implied to be The Devil).
  • Deus Ex Machina: At the end of the Nightmare Inn the main character's father turns out to be a werewolf also and shows up to rescue her.
    • Actually... It's only that because we only have what the main character's mother went by. Of course she would assume that the father died because he didn't want his family to find out he was a werewolf!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Brush with Madness, a comic book artist gets fed up with a fan's questions and leaves off in a huff, leaving his brushes behind. He actually tries to return them, but before he can, the artist yells at him and accuses him of being an obsessive fan. Only then does the fan take the brushes and use them. So what does the artist do? End up putting both the fan and his girlfriend in a comic book he's writing, which ends with both of them being killed with a saw. And then he shreds the comic for good measure.
  • The Doll Episode: "Really You".
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: If an episode has a happy ending, chances are the main characters are going to have to go through hell to get it (cf. "Bad Feng Shui," "Flight," and "Creature Feature.")
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Stranger in Scarecrow just may qualify for this. A girl even goes mad from the revelation when she begins to sense something was wrong.
  • Episode on a Plane: "Flight"
  • Eye Scream: In "The Most Evil Sorcerer, Part 2," the sorceress performs a spell to pull out Ned's eyes and then places them in a jar. He ultimately gets his eyes back, however.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: In "The Return of Lilly D", Natalie knocks Lilly D's head off with one.
  • The Game Come to Life: In Game Over.
  • Genre Anthology
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: from "Alien Candy":

Bully Character: Looks like somebody grew a pair."

    • In the episode Wrong Number the old lady next door is referred to as "Beelze-bitch by the two mean girl protagonists.
    • In "The Walls," Jeffery's dad tells Jeffery that the Klemit (a sugar-addicted demon that lives in his bedroom wall) didn't kill the old man who lived in their house; it was the fact that the old man was 114 and had a 29-year-old girlfriend. Very rarely do May-December romances get referenced on children's shows these days (of course, with the line, "You do the math," it's probably implied that the old man died while having sex with his 29-year-old girlfriend or that the girlfriend murdered the old man just so she can have his money).
    • Creature Feature gives us this gem right after John, who was turned into a tick creature, was on the receiving end of a Groin Attack. The actual impact occurs off-screen, but the dialog makes it obvious what happened:

Nathan: Ooh! Right in the...
Lisa: In the what? Does he even still have any?
(John doubles over in pain)
Nathan: I'll take that as a yes.

  • Ghostly Chill: Inverted in Ghostly Stare, where the ghosts always complain that they are chillingly cold, even while they are possessing someone.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: "Lights Out" ends with one of the kids constantly uttering just that after an unseen operation from the ghostly Doctor Sturgess.
  • Halloween Episode: Pumpkinhead.
  • Hell Hotel: Subverted. The Nightmare Inn isn't awful the werewolves, however, are.
  • Here We Go Again: The Hole and the angry dad
  • Humanoid Abomination:The stranger definitely look human when he is not in his scarecrow form.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In Creature Feature, the Mad Scientist is prone to these. The protagonist enjoys provoking them.
  • In Name Only: As of early season 2 none of the episodes are based on any story from the short collection "The Haunting Hour", but rather "The Nightmare Hour".
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The aliens in Alien Candy (with a rather Karmic Death and combined with I Ate What?)
    • The witch in "Stage Fright" who cursed the "Hansel and Gretel" musical because no one was able to tell her story right. She didn't eat the kids -- she made meals out of their parents.
  • Karmic Twist Ending: In Wrong Number (in which a mean girl gets trapped in her cell phone, sent as a video message to the Goth girl whom she bullied, and ends up getting deleted). Unlike the Cruel Twist Endings listed above, the main character of this episode totally deserved what happened to her.
    • "Swarmin' Norman," too. The main character is relentlessly picked on by a bully, so he later uses all his bugs to exact some deserved revenge. Fair enough, but when Norman now proclaims he could crush the bully "like a bug" whenever he wanted to, he actually crushes several bugs just to make that point. The bugs turn on him in response, and the ending is pretty firm that "the smaller guy" wins.
    • The Walls has an example as well. The main character's parents get their good luck monster, but have to put up with the perpetual annoyance that comes with it, while their son takes their room.
    • Dreamcatcher: One girl at summer camp gets jealous of her friend befriending another girl. As a result leaves their cabin to sleep by herself out of spite. When the friend gets trapped by a dream lurking monster, said girl leaves the new friend to deal with it, pretends to come help in dreamland to help only to ditch the new friend out of spite, shows up when the rescue fails to gloat a bit and leave them to die at the hands of the spider creature, then trips and falls into a trap herself. Karma strikes hard when one of the girls' alarm clocks goes off, waking them up and saving them, leaving the jealous girl to get eaten by the spider creature (she couldn't wake up because she slept outside and couldn't hear the alarm).
  • Living Toy: Really You.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Monster Clown: A whole group of them in Afraid of Clowns, including the main character and his family.
    • Arguably subverted as while some of them are definitely creepy, they're never shown actually doing anything bad, though the main character is cuolrophobic.
  • Multiple Endings: "Scarecrow," which had two premiere dates for them. Despite the second airing being advertised as a Directors Cut, both airings are the same up until the very end. The first ended with Bobby setting fire to the creepy salesman after he turned into a scarecrow and walking away, while the second ended with Bobby being turned into a scarecrow along with the salesman.
  • Mind Screw: The Twist Ending of Sick is Up to Eleven in sheer mind-screwiness.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Scary Mary" ends up with a scary ghost face. cut to credits...with a upbeat pop song.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: The most eerie things happens in ordinary suburbs... No people take notice of our character's mayhem.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The alien in the episode Sick is hardly seen in-view, that just makes it even more scary...
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: For starters, Big Yellow from Mascot. He only looks like a costume and his head can be removed just like one.
  • Painful Transformation: The main character's transformation into a tick monster in Creature Feature Part 2.
  • Playing with Syringes: Dr. Sturgess in Light's Out was fond of this back when the asylum was open. Death has not changed this.
  • Redheaded Hero: Walt in Alien Candy.
  • Recycled in Space: The episode of Pool Shark was basically Twilight as told from Jacob's POV (and if Jacob was a half-man, half-shark creature).
  • Scary Scarecrows: In Scarecrow.
  • Sequel Episode: "Return of Lily D" is a sequel to "Really You". Word of God has confirmed a sequel to "The Dead Body"
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The basic plot of Black Mask. Subverted when it turns out the mask was actually showing the future; and the apparent Obviously Evil villain was an innocent worker they had to save.
  • Shout-Out: During the bowling alley fight: FINISH HIM.
    • The Mascot has one for The Godfather when the protagonist wakes up and finds the head of the previous mascot's outfit.
  • Sick Episode: This one may come as a shocker, but "Sick". Then at the end it's revealed to be a Fever Dream Episode, albeit with a twist that reveals that the boy isn't having a dream and that the government really is about to blow up the house with him and his mom inside so they can get rid of the creature that made the boy sick.
  • Sinister Surveillance: In "Really You" ,the older brother and his friend think this is what's happening when they try to rationalize the doll coming to life.
  • Something Completely Different: The Most Evil Sorcerer, in which the entire plot except for the last scene takes place in Medieval Europe, as opposed to modern times.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The original ending to Black Mask had the kids finding out too late that they were seeing the future and getting killed by the falling roof; the TV version had them alive and able to save the handyman who was about to die.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Goosebumps.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Josh and Matt in "The Perfect Brother"
  • The Swarm: Swarmin' Norman.
  • The Un-Reveal: A few hints are laid about the identity of the Wicked Witch in Stage Fright. It turns out to be... none of the cast, it's a lady who has never appeared before. The cast are equally surprised.
  • Trapped In Movie Land: Creature Feature.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: The Tick Monster in Creature Feature.