Jillian Zinman has her hands full with her pet lizard Petey, her little twin sisters Katie and Amanda, their life-size doll Mary-Ellen, and her best friend Harrison. Jillian has dreamed of becoming a clown almost all of her life. So she thought she would practice by bringing her sisters to the Little Theater, a children's puppet show. She believes that she will learn how to entertain children from this experience. Her friend, Harrison agrees to come with them since he thinks it might be cool. They also brought Mary-Ellen, a cute Raggedy Ann-like doll with them.
The entertainer, Jimmy O'James comes on stage with his "good" pal, Slappy. Jillian is shocked that the ventriloquist is only a teenage boy as Jimmy tries to do an act, but Slappy proves difficult, as he vomits and does other obnoxious gestures. Katie and Amanda get called on stage, to which Slappy insults them and their doll.
After the show, the twins are so angry at their treatment that they decide to tell Slappy how mean he was. Jimmy tries to get the two six-year-old's to stop from going to the backstage where Slappy is and the two older children run in after them and they split up to search for them easier. Jillian then runs into Jimmy and Slappy just as he punches Jimmy in the nose! But Jimmy claims that Slappy is not alive and it was just his new routine he was practicing for. Jillian decides to believe him and soon locates the twins. But she has lost Harrison, who does not seem to be around anymore. The twins then make her take them to Dairy Queen and she is forced to even buy an ice cream for the doll.
When they get home, Slappy is waiting on the couch! Harrison explains that he met some friends he knew working backstage. So they let him go out into the alley behind the stage and dig in the trash for anything cool. Inside the trash was Slappy. He brought the doll along and almost immediately, Slappy bites Jillian's hand. Harrison then leaves the broken dummy with Jillian so her father, an aspiring carpenter, can fix it.
At dinner, the twins will not pass the salt. Tired of being ordered around by her younger twin sisters, Jillian storms away from the dinner table to plot revenge. She then decides she will tie their shoelaces together. But before she can do this, Slappy suddenly comes to life and tells her to go to bed! Jillian is further enraged however, upon learning it's just the twins.
She decides she then is going to think of a better revenge, and has Harrison help her the following day at school. She then contemplates smearing their doll with cheese and letting the rats feast upon it as a good way to get her revenge and after school, she and Harrison visit the local magic shop to pick up some fun tricks for their clown act.
As they walk into the store, Jillian spies Jimmy the ventriloquist exiting. Then he warns her to get rid of Slappy as soon as she can and he vanishes. All and all, Jillian is in a pretty good mood since she found some cool squirting playing cards. However, her good mood lasts but a few minutes. When she returns home she finds that someone cracked open her lizard cage and Petey was released. Slappy is nearby, perched on the busted case which leads Jillian to accuse her sisters of the prank. Even her parents seem to believe her and they soon find Petey inside Slappy's mouth.
Jillian and Harrison perform their clown act for a four-year-old's birthday party, but it unfortunately goes wrong. Instead of laughing, they only end up making the children cry. They also accidentally squirt soap into one of the children's eyes. For some reason, Jillian and Harrison believe her twin sisters being responsible, yet again. So, once more she resumes trying to plan revenge. But before they can, Harrison proposes they do a ventriloquist act for the children using Slappy. Thinking it may be better then performing as clowns.
When Jillian gets home, her mother asks how her clown party went and she simply tells her mother, "Don't even go there." Harrison wants to get a doll of his own, so he gets the address of Jimmy and the two children race to Jimmy's place and soon they reach the ventriloquist's abandoned house. They naturally invite themselves in and start rifling through the belongings he left behind when Jillian comes across a diary and out of surprise, learns the secret origins of Slappy.
An evil sorcerer created evil toys to steal the possessions of children while they slept. He made Slappy out of a coffin and the sorcerer then possessed the dummy body. Jimmy goes on about reciting the magic words to bring Slappy alive. Upon getting home, Jillian sees that someone has used lipstick and wrote "Where is my bride?" on her mirror!
The twins shriek in terror at finding Slappy sitting in a pile of spaghetti in the dining room, and they insist Slappy is responsible for the horror. Jillian assumes the twins read the magic words and brought the dummy to life. Due to the diary and dinner incident, Jillian refuses to use Slappy in the ventriloquist act. Instead, they practice using Mary-Ellen and a spare dummy Harrison found up in his uncle's attic.
Soon, another child's birthday party arrives. Jillian and Harrison plan to do the ventriloquist act. The party will be taking place in Jillian's basement and without adult supervision. Jillian goes to grab Harrison's toy for him but finds out that Slappy has take his place! So with no choice, they use Slappy with Mary-Ellen and the party starts off well. The toys bicker back and fourth, and then Slappy vomits all over a child! Out of disgust, another few children begin to vomit.
Slappy grabs the birthday boy by the neck and drags him across the room, threatening to kill everyone unless he is given his bride. Jillian fetches Mary-Ellen and Slappy reacts in disgust before informing her that he does not want anything to do with Mary-Ellen. He then informs Jillian that he wants her.
Jillian refuses and then Slappy punches her in the head. She then tries to run, only to slip and fall into a pile of the disgusting vomit...
Mary-Ellen comes to life again and tells Slappy that she did not bring him to life to marry Jillian. She brought him to life to marry her and thus shocked that he is so resistant to her. She had thought that this would have been easier, had she kept other girls away but Slappy wants nothing to do with her and calls her ugly, as well as punching her. He then tells everyone that the birthday party is now a wedding party, and he wants Jillian to be his lovely bride.
Mary-Ellen comes to life again and she and Slappy wrestle, eventually winding up in Jillian's father's workshop. They manage to land near the table saw and Slappy uses it to slice Mary-Ellen right in half! But Mary-Ellen refuses to let go of Slappy's hand, and has gotten him caught by the table saw as well. Slicing Slappy in half as well...
Jillian continues reading the ventriloquist's diary and learns that even though the evil doll may die, the soul of the sorcerer can still pass on to other people. After the party, she tells Harrison she knows how to get revenge on Katie and Amanda. She then proceeds to vomit green goo all over the twins. Thus implying that she is now Slappy...
- Mary-Ellen looks nothing like she is shown to look on the cover of the book, both in the actual story, and in the television episode. Her hairstyle seems inspired by that of the Bride of Frankenstein from the movie of the same name.
- Slappy is similar to the horror idol, Chucky, who is a doll possessed by the spirit of a murderer. This book is similar to the movie, Bride of Chucky.
- Some people thought Slappy was the master mind, and he wanted Marry-Ellen to be his bride, but at the end, it turns out Mary-Ellen brought Slappy to life so he can be her husband, only to discover that he wanted Jillian instead of her.
- In the movie, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride on the scene when all the corpses head off to the land of the living with a wedding cake, the design of the cake looks similar to the cake on the cover of the book, a white cake decorated with skulls.
- When Jimmy does his ventriloquism act with Slappy at the begining, Slappy wears a red-and-white-checkered sports jacket instead a gray double-breasted suit like the first three books with Slappy.
Cover Art Gallery
- At the end of the television episode, it was Harrison that got the evil spirit, not Jillian.
- Amanda is absent in this television episode.
- Jimmy O'James is a grown man rather than a teenager.
- In the television adaption, Slappy wanted Katie to be his Bride, not Jillian.
Television Episode Trivia
- To fit the theme of the episode, the television episode was first aired on Valentine's Day of 1998.
- This is the second time that Ron Stefaniuk provides both the puppetry and voice for Slappy the dummy. He had previously done the puppetry for Slappy in Night of the Living Dummy III two-part story. But Cathal J. Dodd provided Slappy's voice in Night of the Living Dummy III, when Stefaniuk was too busy to voice the character.
- At a certain point of the episode, Katie and Harrison can be seen watching a scary movie in the Zinmans' living room; the footage is actually from three previous television episodes of the show. They are The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, and Welcome to Camp Nightmare.
- This is Slappy's last regular appearance on the television show. However, Cathal J. Dodd provided the voice of Slappy for the "Viewer beware, you're in for a scare" quote in the opening credits of Goosebumps' final season.
- When Slappy is seen in the basement, his head is completely different. This is because this is the mask used by the actress that was Slappy in Night of the Living Dummy III. It was used on a dummy double, when Jillian bangs Slappy's head on the work table after he bites her, to keep the dummy's head from cracking.
- Three of the dummy heads used from Night of the Living Dummy III appear in this story. The broken, severed heads of Slappy's "rivals" in Jimmy O'James' home are the heads of the Rocky and Zane dummies. Slappy's damaged, severed head in the finale is actually the head from Night of the Living Dummy III, when Mr. O'Dell tries to glue Slappy's broken right eye back on his cracked face.
- When Jillian goes to return Slappy to Jimmy, she is first seen to be standing behind a gate. As the gate lifts up to let her in, the viewer can see that someone had written in black paint 'Don't worry, be happy.' However, someone had taken some red paint and had written 'SL' over the 'H' so the message can be read as 'Don't worry, be Slappy'.
- In the previous dummy episode, Night of the Living Dummy III, Slappy is very tall and long in that episode; presumably as tall as a 12-year-old. But in this episode, Slappy is very short; about as tall as a baby.
- In Night of the Living Dummy III, Slappy gets hit by lightning and explodes into tiny pieces. But in the beginning of this television episode, he is repaired. It never explains how he was fixed.
- This television episode was released on DVD along with Night of the Living Dummy II. It was also released on VHS along with An Old Story.
- Andreanne Benidir (Jillian Zinman) also played as Stephanie in The Headless Ghost in Season 2.
|Goosebumps Series 2000 series|
|#01 Cry of the Cat||#10 Headless Halloween||#18 Horrors of the Black Ring|
|#02 Bride of the Living Dummy||#11 Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls||#19 Return to Ghost Camp|
|#03 Creature Teacher||#12 Brain Juice||#20 Be Afraid – Be Very Afraid!|
|#04 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part One||#13 Return to HorrorLand||#21 The Haunted Car|
|#05 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part Two||#14 Jekyll and Heidi||#22 Full Moon Fever|
|#06 I Am Your Evil Twin||#15 Scream School||#23 Slappy's Nightmare|
|#07 Revenge R Us||#16 The Mummy Walks||#24 Earth Geeks Must Go!|
|#08 Fright Camp||#17 The Werewolf in the Living Room||#25 Ghost in the Mirror|
|#09 Are You Terrified Yet?|