"Click" is the eighth short story found in the book Tales to Give You Goosebumps.
Seth Gold gets a remote that can literally control everything and everybody. At the end, he presses the power button, only to shut off the power of the world. The remote is now out of batteries, meaning he is now alone forever.
- This short story may have been the inspiration for the similarly-plotted 2006 movie with the same title which stars Adam Sandler as a man who gains control of a magic remote that allows him to rewind and fast-forward different aspects of his life.
A teenage boy named Seth Gold mail orders a new remote control, the Verona XG-20 Universal Remote, which works on both his stereo and television. Then, when his younger sister starts to annoy him by practicing her dancing class in the room Seth is in, he jokingly points the remote at her and hits the PAUSE button. To his amazement, she really does pause! He is then warned by Tony Hutchins, the spokesman of Armchair Electronics, that the remote "is not a toy!".
Undeterred, Seth begins to test out the remote in other ways, such as changing the color contrast of his fish, rewinding and fast forwarding people, and retaliating against the school bully by changing the channel on him, all the while ignoring Tony's repeated warnings. Seth shows his best friend Kevin the remote, who thinks it is cool, until Seth uses it to cheat on a test. Kevin objects to Seth abusing his power, but Seth does not listen.
Later on, Seth pauses his whole family, so that they can stop nagging at him. But the remote begins to malfunction (due to Seth dropping the remote, during a fight with his sister) and he cannot un-pause his family. Seth and Kevin initially try to going to Armchair Electronics for help, but they can't contact or locate the company. As a last resort, Seth fixes the remote himself and manages to un-pause his family. Kevin suggests that they throw the remote away, as it is too dangerous. That night, Seth and Kevin throw the remote in a trashcan. As soon as Kevin leaves, Seth goes back to retrieve the remote.
The next day, after noticing that Seth still has the remote, Kevin tries to forcibly take it away from him, but Seth literally stops him. The remote starts to malfunction again, and Seth presses random buttons, hoping one would work against his friend. Finally, he pushes a button (POWER) and the world around Seth disappears, leaving him in an empty black void. He sees Tony there with him and Seth pleads for help from him. But the spokesman merely repeats that he warned him that the remote wasn't a toy and leaves the boy to his fate.
Television Episode Trivia
- Goof: When Seth unfroze his parents and sister, wouldn't they have noticed how or when Kevin got there?
- Tabitha Lupien (Jamie Gold) played Ginny Swanson in Season 2's Bad Hare Day.
- Dan Warry Smith (Seth Gold) played Skipper in Season 2's Attack of the Mutant.
- Matthew Lemche (Richard Holman) played David in Season 2's Calling All Creeps!.
- This television episode is on the Shocker on Shock Street DVD.
- Clips of the Canadian game show, Uh Oh!, are shown on the television.
- In the book, the remote's battery was dead and the spokesman was not there. In the television episode, the remote is extremely low on battery (too low to be able to do anything).
- The television program that Seth was trying to watch when his sister was practicing dancing was an episode of YTV's Uh Oh! game show.
- Seth's bratty sister, Jamie, is similar to Tara Webster from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom.