Slappy’s Return & 7 Other Reveals


  • Goosebumps Disney 2023 TV Poster

    Goosebumps (2023)

    Release Date:

    Justin Long, Ana Yi Puig, Miles McKenna, Will Price, Zack Morris, Isa Briones, Rachael Harris, Rob Huebel

    Comedy, Horror



    Story By:
    R.L. Stine

    Nicholas Stoller, Rob Letterman, Kevin Murphy

    Streaming Service:
    Disney Plus, Hulu


    Kevin Murphy

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Goosebumps season 1, episode 9 “Night of the Living Dummy: Part 2”!




  • Episode 9 of Goosebumps sets up a shocking season finale, with Slappy’s return and the introduction of new villains.
  • Nathan’s backstory tied to Slappy adds complexity to his character and showcases Justin Long’s acting skills.
  • The episode includes a cameo from R.L. Stine and teases the possibility of adapting the popular Goosebumps book, Horrorland, in future seasons.

Episode 9 of Goosebumps “Night of the Living Dummy: Part 2” is the penultimate episode of Disney’s frightfully fun series, with Slappy’s return and some huge story reveals ahead of the season 1 finale. After weeks of horrible events plaguing them, the teenagers get out of Port Lawrence and head to Seattle to stay with Margot’s mom, while the rest of the adults try to regroup after what happened to Slappy in episode 8 and ignoring Nora’s incessant warnings. Nathan Bratt (Justin Long) gets ready to monetize all of his horrific experiences, but trying to find the perfect ending leads to the return of one of the franchise’s best villains.

The ninth entry in the 10-episode freshman season is good at lulling fans into a false sense of security when it seems like both the teens and their parents have solved all their problems by putting the ghost of Harold Biddle at peace. After the series has adapted multiple Goosebumps books, this episode is the calm before the storm, and an even scarier evil waits to bring fresh horror into their lives. With several big twists, as well as one possible shocking death, it’s an episode that sets up a shocking season finale when Goosebumps comes to an end on November 17th, 2023.

Nathan Gets A Backstory Tied To Slappy

His Ancestor Bought The Slappy Dummy

Justin Long has been in a lot of horror movies and established himself as a Scream King at this point, so it’s not shocking at this point to see bad things happen to him. Being taken over by the spirit of Harold Biddle, who already had a tragic backstory, was a nightmare for Nathan, but it allowed Long to have some fun playing an awkward teenager trapped in a grown man’s body, with the added meta-humor of the fact that until very recently, Long was cast in teenage roles long after aging out of them. Nathan being the grandson of the magician who bought Slappy in episode 9 of Goosebumps gave Long more of a challenge and made his character more complex.

Isaiah’s Dad Is Turned Into A Dummy

He Could Be Gone For Good

Isaiah stares in shock in the locker room in Goosebumps 2023 episode 1

Amidst the horrors of Kanduu and Slappy’s return, Isaiah’s father is turned into a dummy thanks to Nathan wanting a better ending for is book, and is presumed dead. However, the episode makes it seem like if his son can defeat Kanduu in time, the spell will be broken, but it’s difficult to tell whether his dad is gone for good, particularly since there isn’t a lot of room for resolution in the final episode next week. A lot of traumatic and cataclysmic events are being pushed into the final few episodes at a break neck speed, giving characters almost no time to react to what’s happening around them before they’re dealing with something else.

Nathan Pitches His Stephen King Book

Nathan Gets Compared To The King Of Horror Himself


After being free of the spirit of Harold Biddle, Nathan writes a book about the traumatic experiences he was an unwilling part of. When he pitches it to a publisher, he’s told that not only could the book be successful, but that it could be a series, and he could be the next Stephen King. This is appropriate meta humor considering that Goosebumps is based on R.L. Stine’s series, and he’s considered a contemporary of King’s but with a tone that’s more appropriate for younger readers who might eventually work their way up to delving into King’s body of work.

Slappy Returns

Slappy Returns With New Goosebumps Lore


Not only does Goosebumps’ most notorious monster return, but his lore is made even more creepy by him rebuilding himself and being connected to the powerful spellcaster Kanduu. While the puppeteering was a little off, particularly with the syncing of his lips to his voice, the concept of his creation was terrifying. From a franchise standpoint, it was an odd choice to turn a universally beloved and infamous horror villain into a person. It’s possible that the creators thought Slappy would look too ridiculous in his standard dummy form, or thought that he wouldn’t be able to move around believably during the action sequences.

R.L. Stine Has A Cameo

It Inspires Nathan To Betray His Friends


Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine had a cameo in the 2015 Goosebumps film starring Jack Black, and the horror author returns for a cameo in the Disney series. According to ScreenRant, the original plan was for Stine to be the editor for the fake publishing company that reads Nathan’s book and declares that it needs a great twist, but scheduling difficulties necessitated the narrative change to Stine having the “Let The Write One In” podcast that Nathan hears and gets inspiration from. It’s interesting to hear the real author repeating the same “beginning, middle, and a twist!” line from the film, but incorporating it logically into the plot of the penultimate episode.

Margot & Lucas’s Relationship Takes A Turn

The Kids Are Not Alright

The Goosebumps TV show cast hypnotized by fear

After taking on Slappy in the previous episode, the kids just try to get back into a regular routine once they think he’s buried, with a few budding relationships taking focus after some serious brushes with death. Margot and Lucas’s relationship enters a new phase when she leans towards moving with her mother to Seattle and leaving Lucas behind, not even taking his feelings into account and laughing at him when he proposes running the store. She has to do what’s best for her in the long run, but Lucas deserves to be with someone who will take his feelings and his future seriously.

Nathan Writes A New Book Ending

The New Ending Has Devastating Consequences

A possessed Mr. Bratt stares angrily in the snow in Goosebumps 2023 trailer

Inspired by R.L. Stine’s podcast comment that “true creation comes from darkness” Nathan changes the ending of his book and transforms it into something that subverts expectations, and while it’s easy for longtime Goosebumps fans to think that it will mirror a storyline like The Blob That Ate Everyone, particularly since that story is about a horror author named Zackie Beauchamp who wants the perfect ending for his giant blob monster story, it doesn’t. However, it does involve him resurrecting Slappy and Fifi for selfish reasons, which still managed to be both creepy and campy, two hallmarks of the Goosebumps franchise.

Goosebumps Teases Horrorland

The Next Big Goosebumps Adaptation

A terrified Mr. Bratt stares at something the Goosebumps 2023 trailer

While the series has done a good job of incorporating the plots of individual Goosebumps books into each episode, one popular title hasn’t been adapted yet but has possibly been teased; One Day At Horrorland. However, Nathan’s vision of what appears to possibly be a burning slide or tower similar to what’s seen in the haunted theme park could indicate a setup for episode 10, which will possibly tease what the next season will be about. It doesn’t make sense for Goosebumps to try to stuff Horrorland’s plot into the final episode, particularly since it’s going to be less than an hour long, and should be something for fans to look forward to.


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