Deep Trouble is the nineteenth book in the Goosebumps book series. It was first published in 1994. It was later followed-up by the fifty-eighth book, Deep Trouble II, and the third book in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series, Creep from the Deep.
The illustration of the cover shows a hammerhead shark about to attack Billy underwater.
Don't Go in the Water!
Billy and his sister, Sheena, are visiting their uncle Dr. Deep on a tiny Caribbean island. It's the perfect place to go exploring underwater...and Billy's ready for an adventure. There's only one rule to remember: Stay away from the coral reefs. Still, the reefs are so beautiful. So peaceful. Billy can't resist. But he's not alone in the water. Something's lurking deep below the surface. Something dark and scaly. Something half-human, half-fish...
Billy and Sheena Deep are spending their summer vacation on the Caribbean island of Ilandra with their uncle named Dr. Deep who goes simply by Dr. D. While snorkeling, Billy is nearly attacked by a Sea Monster and manages to get away. Dr. D's assistant, a muscular graduate student named Alexander DuBrow, serves up lunch to the children: chicken salad sandwiches.
Only his cooking's terrible, so Dr. D offers to grill some fish for dinner. Billy overhears a private conversation between Dr. D and representatives for the Marina Zoo. The zoo representatives want Dr. D to find and trap a mermaid that has been reported in the area. The zoo offers Dr. D the princely sum of one million dollars.
Billy is too excited to sleep, so he goes out early the next morning at 6:30 AM to search for the mermaid. Billy's night swimming is suddenly interrupted by a hammerhead shark that almost kills him. Fortunately, the mermaid comes and attacks the shark, saving Billy's life. Dr. D nets up both Billy and the mermaid and drags them onto the deck of the ship. Billy tries to argue that the mermaid saved his life. But the mermaid is put into a large glass tank on the deck until the zoo crew arrives. Billy is enjoying dreams of Sea People when his slumber is interrupted by the sound of crashes and a splash. Above deck, he discovers the mermaid is in the process of being kidnapped! The men brutally toss Billy into the tank. Billy starts yelling for Alexander as Dr. D is knocked out on the floor and Sheena is offering no help against the four burly men. Finally, Alexander does show up only to side with the thugs.
The thugs toss Sheena and Dr. D into the tank, lock it, and then throw it into the water. The top of the tank is meshed, so the three characters inside the tank fight to break the locks before the tank submerges completely underwater. As they struggle, the "kidnappers" and Alexander speed off with the mermaid in tow. Just when things look their worst, a myriad of mermaids appear and hoist the tank above the water level. Dr. D and the children break open the latches and follow them to the kidnappers' boat in thier dinghy. As the other mermaids rescue her, the thugs set fire to Dr. D's dinghy. Billy and Sheena try put out the fire when the mermaid is set free. Suddenly, one of the men grabs the kids while another tries to hit Dr. D in the stomach but misses. The men then throw Dr. D, Billy and Sheena in the still-aflamed dinghy, as ordered by Alexander, when two kids extinguish the fire, despite a thug having kicked their bucket into the ocean. One of the men tries to lower himself into the dinghy but the mermaids start violently rocking the boat, allowing Dr. D and the kids to escape. The next morning, Dr. D lies to the zoo representatives about not finding the mermaid. Soon after they leave, Dr. D, Sheena and Billy all swear to never talk about the mermaid again. Despite all of this, Billy sneaks out to the coral again in the hope of catching the mermaid to say goodbye.
When Billy is searching for the mermaid, he is attacked by the Sea Monster which he encountered in the beginning of the novel.
Reprints and rereleases
2003 - 2007 reprint series
- The 2003 reprint changed the tagline to "Swimming lessons won't help you now."
- The Classic Goosebumps reprint was released as a tie-in to the second Goosebumps HorrorLand book, Creep from the Deep.
- In Portugal, this is the twentieth book in the original Goosebumps series.
- In the Portuguese adaptation of the story there are some notable differences:
- Billy and Sheena Deep are called 'Guilherme and Margarida Oceano'
- Alexander DuBrow is called 'Alexandre Cardoso'
|Audiobook||Release date||Length||Narrated by||Published by|
|November 1996||60 minutes||Wendy Vinitsky||Walt Disney Records|
- Billy and Sheena's father was inadvertently named in the book. Billy is William Deep Jr., so that makes the father William Deep Sr.
- This book was one of three Goosebumps books to win a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award, which it won in 1995. The other two winners were Even More Tales to Give You Goosebumps, which won in 1996, and the third being Deep Trouble II, which won in 1998.
- The original tagline and cover of the book is a reference to Jaws.
- Deep Trouble is one of the few books in the original series to not be adapted for the Goosebumps TV series, though its sequel was. However, the adaptation of the sequel was simply retitled "Deep Trouble", which can lead to confusion to the viewer who would expect it to be adapted from the original book instead of its sequel.
- Though the story includes a mermaid (which is a mythical creature), Deep Trouble is one of the few Goosebumps books to not include any supernatural elements and plays out more like a sea adventure story. However, its sequels, Deep Trouble II and Creep from the Deep do feature supernatural elements.
- According to Tim Jacobus' biography, Jacobus used a photo of his friend Donny to help him draw the boy on the cover of Deep Trouble.
- According to the back cover of the Classic Goosebumps reprint, Deep Trouble has sold over 2 million copies.
References in other Goosebumps media
- The sea monster was originally going to make an appearance in the Goosebumps film. It was going to have its own scene where its tentacles blast out from lockers and attack Zach and Hannah, but it was replaced by E. Ville Creeper's Plants from You're Plant Food!. In its concept art, its tentacles are very big and long, with a dark green tone. It also has four red eyes.