Say Cheese and Die!

Say Cheese and Die!

infobox Book | | name = Say Cheese and Die! & And Say Cheese and Die....Again
orig title =
translator =

author = R. L. Stine
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series = Goosebumps
classification = fiction
genre = Horror fiction, Children's literature
publisher = Scholastic
release_date = November 1992
media_type = Print (Paperback)
pages = 132 p.
isbn = ISBN 0-590-45368-8
preceded_by = Monster Blood
followed_by = The Curse Of The Mummy's Tomb

"Say Cheese and Die!" is the 4th book in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series.


While wondering what to do on this boring summer day, four friends, Greg, Michael, Doug and Shari decide to ,investigate the Coffman House, an old, abandoned house that several stories revolve around and is the rumored home of a strange, old man nicknamed "Spidey." While searching the home they discover a strange camera within a hidden compartment in a basement wall. Amused at the idea of having a camera Greg takes a picture of his friend Michael who is leaning on the stair railing. Suddenly, the railing gives way and Michael falls. Michael is found to have hurt his ankle upon landing. Greg discovers that the picture doesn't show Michael standing by the railing but instead falling. While the friends cannot come up with an explanation for the strange photo, all discussion ceases when footsteps are heard and the four friends flee the house taking the camera with them.

As time goes on Greg takes a picture of his father's new car, but the picture depicts the car smashed as if it had been totaled. Later, Greg takes a picture of his brother, Terry, who is in his room on his computer. But the picture shows him elsewhere, in a worried state, and in front of a house.

The next day, Greg goes to his friend Bird's baseball game; a picture of Bird is taken and the picture depicts him lying on the ground with his neck bent in an unnatural angle. Bird dismisses this idea and even fakes the picture's scene coming true. However, while playing the game he is hit by an oncoming baseball and does in fact land in such a way that his neck is bent into an unnatural angle. Now, Greg is convinced that the camera is somehow responsible, but his friends are still unwilling to believe these ideas. It is at this point that Terry's picture comes true, as he comes up and claims that their father was in an accident. At the hospital Greg's father reveals he has a few broken bones and the car was totaled.

Greg then has a nightmare of taking a picture of his family during a backyard barbecue but is horrified to see them as skeletons. This part mirrors the book's cover picture.

Shari, still skeptical of the camera's powers, has Greg bring the camera to her birthday party and insists that he takes her picture. Greg reluctantly agrees but finds that when the picture develops, only the background has come out, Shari is nowhere to be seen. A few minutes later Shari disappears.

In the days that follow, Greg's picture is taken and he sees that he and Shari are panicked by a shadow that comes over them. Greg is worried, yet hopeful, when he sees this picture because at this point, Shari is still missing but the picture clearly shows Shari.

Shari remains missing for days, until Greg tears up the picture. Shari then returns as suddenly and mysteriously as she disappeared. She apparently has no memory of where she went.

While talking to Greg about her disappearance the picture of the two being panicked by a shadow over them comes true when Spidey appears before them. He chases them for a while until a neighbor threatens to call the police on him. They finally are safe.

Finally, deciding that the camera is too dangerous to be kept, Greg and Shari decide to return it to its hiding place in Spidey's home. However, Spidey catches the young couple and reveals the camera’s origin: according to Spidey he is really Dr. Fritz Fredricks and he and another camera maker had created the camera together. However, Spidey, being greedy, decided to steal the camera and market it as his own invention. But his partner had, according to Spidey, "dabbled in" the dark arts, and deciding that if he could not make money off the camera, no one would, so he put a curse on the camera making it show bleak future events that it would cause to occur and it was impossible to break, meaning that the camera would survive till the end of the world.

Spidey had spent most of his life trying to keep the camera from being discovered and had sacrificed all he held dear to do so, but now that Shari and Greg know of it, he decides to keep them prisoner so that they may be silenced. However, during a fight over the camera with Shari, his picture is (accidentally) taken with the camera and he dies of fright. The picture depicts this very event occurring. With the camera returned to its hiding place Shari and Greg escape the building and believe it to be over.

At the end of the story two bullies, Joey and Mickey, who had previously shown interest in the camera, are shown to have found the camera and taken a picture with it. Then, something goes terribly wrong...

Television Episode

"Say Cheese and Die!" was made into a television episode for Fox Kids. A young Ryan Gosling plays the part of Greg in this episode, but does not reprise his role as Greg in the show's sequel, "Say Cheese and Die--Again!"

This episode closely follows the book except for these changes:

* In the TV version, the camera is found in an abandoned building in the city, not an old suburban house.
* Michael is written out of the story with Bird taking all of his role.
* Greg's older brother, Terri, is rude to Greg and refers to him as "Troll".
* The photos of Terri and Greg are never taken.
* Bird's baseball game (and what happens when Bird's photo is taken during the game) is not mentioned in the TV version.
* On the TV version, Sheri's picture was taken to prove that the camera predicting doom is just a coincidence (in the book, Sheri's picture was taken during her birthday party). Furthermore, Sheri is only missing for a day in the TV version (but the police detectives do come over to Greg's house after Sheri is reported missing).
* In the TV version Mickey's last name is Knox not Ward.
* In the television episode, Spidey is referred to as "Spider" and is said to have been the sole creator of the camera and no explanation of how the camera came to be cursed is given, although Spidey mentions it having a worsened effect of ancient tribes' belief of how anything mechanical and capable of recording pictures or video has the ability to steal souls.
* The development time of the pictures is drastically reduced for television. While in the book the camera is said to develop slowly like that on a Polaroid instant camera, in the episode the pictures are already fully developed.
* At the end in the book, Greg and Sheri are aware that the camera was found by Mickey and Joey. In the TV version, Greg and Sheri leave before discovering that Mickey and Joey have the camera.
*In the television episode, Spidey does not die of fright, he simply gets trapped within the camera. He's accidentally released by Mickey and Joey, looming up behind them as they laugh at a picture they'd taken.


One picture is worth a thousand screams.

ay Cheese and Die - Again

infobox Book | | name = Say Cheese and Die - Again!
orig title =
translator =

author = R. L. Stine
cover_artist = Tim Jacobus
country = United States
language = English
series = Goosebumps
classification = fiction
genre = Horror fiction, Children's literature
publisher = Scholastic
release_date = June 1996
media_type = Print (Paperback)
pages = 128 p.
isbn = ISBN 0590568817
preceded_by = The Beast From The East
followed_by = Ghost Camp

"Say Cheese and Die - Again" is the sequel of "Say Cheese and Die!" and it is the 44th book in the Goosebumps series written by R. L. Stine. It was published by Scholastic Press in 1996. Unlike the first book, which was written in the third person, this book is narrated by the main character Greg.


In spite of his promise not to tell anyone about the evil camera he and his friends discovered over the summer, Greg tells about the camera in an oral report in his English class, only to receive a failing grade. Promised a better grade if he retrieves the camera and proves his story true, Greg retrieves the camera from the Coffman House (though no explanation as to how it was returned there is ever given) and finds that it still causes bad things to happen. After Greg accidentally takes a picture of Shari, she takes a picture of him. Shari's picture is a negative and shows her unnaturally skinny while Greg is unnaturally fat. Both events slowly start to occur to both characters over the course of the story.


An undetermined amount of time after the first incident with the evil camera, Greg finds himself in Mr. Saur's English class. Mr. Saur is a very strict and unkind teacher who is nicknamed "Sourball" by his class (Stine 2). On this day, Greg is called up to give an oral report of a true event. This report will count for half his overall class grade (1). Greg gives his report only to be mocked by the class and eventually stopped by Mr. Saur who gives him an "F" for not doing the assignment (7). Greg insists that his report is true and encourages Mr. Saur to speak to his friends who will surely back him up. But Mr. Saur is unwilling to believe him still and says the only way to change his grade is to bring the camera and prove that it is evil. Greg then leaves trying to decide if he should or should not get the camera.

At lunch, he discusses the idea with his friends Sheri, Bird and Michael, all who are against the idea. But Greg had been promised a visit with his cousins over the summer and believes this to be infinitely better than staying in his hometown, especially when his friends will not be around this time. Furthermore, the two class bullies, Donnie and Brian (nicknamed Sumos 1 and 2), start mocking him by making mock photos with their hands and quote "Say cheese and die!" (13).

Faced with being harassed by his fellow students and not getting to go to visit his cousins over the summer Greg decides to go ahead and retrieve the camera. However, when he visits the Coffman house, he discovers that it has been torn down, much to his dismay (27). While searching the area Greg meets a boy that's about his age by the name of Jon. Jon, at first mistakes Greg for a thief but soon realizes he's not who he thought he was. According to Jon, the camera was already retrieved and thrown out by workers. Fortunately (or unfortunately as the case may be) the camera is still located in the dumpsters. Greg retrieves the camera but now Jon is curious as to why he's interested in it. Greg is reluctant to explain the truth and only gives away that the camera works. Jon then wants to keep the camera and attempts to take it. By accident, Greg takes a picture of Jon (38). The picture shows Jon on the ground with a long carpenter nail through his foot. Jon is amused by the picture but agrees to let Greg borrow the camera for one day if his father will approve. When he runs off to find his father, however, he steps on a carpenter nail and is taken to the hospital (42).

The next day Greg attempts to take the camera to school but is confronted by Shari who is not happy with Greg retrieving the camera. During a quick fight between the two Greg accidentally takes Sheri's picture which comes out as a negative (48, 50). This leads to the decision that the camera must be broken. Even so, Shari takes Greg's picture as revenge (51). This picture is not a negative and shows him to be extremely fat (around 400 lb by Greg's guess) (53).

Later that day, Greg finds that Mr. Saur is not at work foiling his attempt to change his grade. However, when he tries to return the camera to his locker he is stopped by Donnie and Brian. They take the camera from him and are about to take his picture when they are stopped by the school principal.

Although Greg manages to escape the bullies taking his picture Greg is already feeling his clothes tightening and his backpack will no longer fit. Later, he becomes so heavy he pops his bike's tires. He also feels tired and finds it easier and easier to tire out. The next day, his pajamas rip. However, in spite of all this, no one believes that he's getting fatter.

Mr. Saur's true nature starts to show when he mocks Greg for getting heavier upon entering his class, and it is also revealed that he likes cats. Greg attempts to get his grade changed but Mr. Saur doesn't believe the picture of Jon is real and attributes it to a fake nail made only to LOOK like it is going through something, much like a fake arrow he once had (78). The grade remains unchanged. Upset over the way that Mr. Saur refuses to change his grade and starts making fun of his weight, Greg goes out of the room and bumps into Shari who is now so thin her skirt is falling off. She reveals that she's been rapidly losing weight since her picture was taken. Later that day, Greg is invited into a softball game but is mocked for his weight.

The next day, Greg is so large that he cannot even ride the car to school because he can't fit in the car. His parents believe this to have been caused by a food allergy and resolve to take him to the doctor later (85).

At school Mr. Saur makes several crude remarks about Greg's weight and though no one in class laughs, Greg still feels humiliated (87-88). Finally, Mr. Saur sends Greg to the Nurse's office where he finds Shari is even thinner. She claims that she had a hard time getting to school because the wind kept pushing her back (89).

After a visit to the doctor's office Greg decides to take matters into his own hands and goes to find Shari who is now so thin she's compared to a stick figure. In attempt to get back to normal Greg has a second picture of himself taken but instead of the picture showing him back to normal size, he is still fat and now has scaly skin (100). Greg now develops a skin disorder in which he develops red scaly patches of skin that are extremely itchy. These pieces of skin break off rather easily.

Desperate to find a cure Sheri and Greg first think maybe they should tear up the pictures but scared by what may happen if they do so they decide against it (102-103). Next, they think if they can reverse the pictures (turn the negative into a positive and the positive into a negative) they can reverse the process. This idea is accepted and the two make their way to Kramer's Camera Shop where Terri works. Though reluctant to reverse the pictures Terri finally agrees and gives the reversed pictures to Greg and Sheri (106).

Morning comes and Greg wakes up to find himself normal again. Though he is overjoyed at returning to normal he is also angry with Mr. Saur for the bad grade and crude remarks and decides to take his revenge by taking a picture of "him" with the cursed camera (110-111). However, before Greg can take the picture Mr. Saur insists that he takes a picture of the entire class. Greg takes the picture of not only Mr. Saur but the rest of the class as well. The story ends here and the reader never finds out what happens to the class (115).


Think Negative. Real Negative.

TV Version of "Say Cheese and Die -- Again"

The sequel to Say Cheese and Die was also made into a Goosebumps TV episodes, with these changes made::*Jon is absent from the show. :*In the end, Mr. Saur tries to prove to Greg that the camera doesn't predict doom by taking a picture of everyone in class with the ending unclear on what happened after the picture was taken. On the TV version, Greg takes a photo of Mr. Saur and a picture of him balding is shown. Mr. Saur brushes this off as a joke, until he runs his fingers through his hair and finds clumps of hair in his hands.


*Stine, R. L. "Say Cheese and Die". New York: Scholastic, 1992.
*Stine, R. L. "Say Cheese and Die - Again!". New York: Scholastic, 1996.

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