Strained Peas (Goosebumps TV Series)
Strained Peas is the seventeenth episode of season three of the Goosebumps TV series, and the sixty-first episode overall. It premiered on February 21, 1998 on Fox during the Fox Kids block.
Nicholas suspects that the newest addition to the family, who looks as happy and as healthy as any baby, is actually a monster.
Why It Got Strained Peas All Over the Kitchen
- First and Foremost: This episode has, without a doubt, one of, if not the, most corny and laughable plot for Goosebumps episode. As it follows a boy being unhappy upon learning that he'll be becoming a big brother, only for his little sister to turn out to be evil and trying to kill him. Keep in mind the plot of the episode if about an evil baby'''. How is a story about that meant to be scary in the slightest?!
- Speaking of the evil baby, Grace, the main antagonist of the episode, is easily one of the absolute worst monsters in any piece of Goosebumps-related media (not just the TV series). As she completely fails at being scary of having a threatening presence in any way, unlike many other monsters in the series (i.e., Slappy the Dummy, The Blob, Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Haunted Mask, Count Nightwing, Dr. Brewer's Clone, Monster Blood, etc.). Because unlike them, her entire concept completely fails at being capable of serving as a legitimate threat.
- The episode can be quite mean-spirited towards Nicholas during many instances. For example, there's a scene where Grace ends up making a mess and then, Nicholas is the one who gets the blame (even though it was very clear to just about anyone that he was being honest about Grace actually being the one behind what happened) and believing that it was "time to get him some help" when he swore that Grace wasn't actually his sister and even showed them that she took a bite out of his math book. And at one point, after swearing that Grace is conspiring against him (again), his parents even ended up deciding to send him to his grandparents "until he's had time to sort things out" (their words, not ours).
- Not to mention how the whole plot is not just unoriginal (already being done before in terrible episodes like A Pal for Gary from SpongeBob SquarePants), but it's also been recycled from another Goosebumps story, the Night of the Living Dummy series.
- Many Inconsistencies With the Book:
- In the story, the monster baby's name is Hannah. In this episode on the other hand, her name is Grace. And yet the story has the name of the family's real baby be Grace. But here, her name is Chloe.
- In the story, Mick reads a comic book featuring a villain with a "mark of evil". He sees that the baby has the same mark and starts getting worried. This is not in the episode, so he doesn't freak out until the baby acts weird.
- In the story, Nicholas doesn't like the idea of having a baby sister. In the episode, he is excited about it.
- Sam, a friend of Nicholas, was never present in the story.
- In the story, Hannah (or Grace, as she's called here) real family was just one parent, a human looking mother with the same birthmark as her. In this episode however, she has a mom and dad, who appear to look like (or actually be) monsters.
- The story doesn't give Nicholas' last name but the episode reveals it to be Morgan. This was the last name of his sitter in the story, who is not in the episode (which ultimately creates two liberties taken from the book).
- The story shows Nicholas' parents getting a call that informs them they have the wrong baby, and reacting badly to it while Nicholas is visibly happy. This episode on the other hand just cuts to them telling this to Nicholas, on the same day that the real parents come to get the baby and they apologize for doubting him.
- At the end of the story, Nicholas tickles his baby sister, only for her to threaten him. He runs away screaming, as she continues her threats. But here episode, he is talking to her in a baby voice, and she tells him to cut it out and to feed her, in which he rolls his head and sighs, aghast that it's still not over.
- Awful Ending: It turns out that Grace is actually the descent of monsters. And upon being returned to her biological parents, the family gets their original baby back. The family names her "Chloe" and Nicholas asks to hold her, only for it to turn out that she can talk too, and asks him to get her some food. And to quote her, "None of that mushy junk."
- At least Grace did get exposed for her actions and true nature in the end.
- The ending, while terrible, at least it isn't as bad as it was in the book it was based. That has Nick tickling her actual baby sister, only for her to say "If you tickle me again kid, I'll rip your arm off!" And as he leaves, he overhears her say, "I'll get rid of you creep. Just wait until I can walk!'"
- Passable acting.
Strained Peas was widely panned by Goosebumps fans, widely being considered by many to be one of, if not the, absolute worst episode of the entire series.
- Tyrone Savage (Nicholas) played Daniel in season one's, "It Came from Beneath the Sink".
- Booth Savage and Janet-Laine Green, who played Nicholas' parents, not only were a real-life couple at that time, but they were the real-life parents of Tyrone Savage, who played their son.