Goosebumps Wiki


Deep Trouble is the nineteenth book in the Goosebumps book series, and the first book in the Deep Trouble saga. It was first published in 1994. It was later followed-up by the fifty-eighth book, Deep Trouble II, and the second book in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series, Creep from the Deep.

The original 1994 cover illustration depicts a hammerhead shark about to attack Billy Deep underwater above a coral reef.

The 2008 Classic Goosebumps cover illustration depicts a hammerhead shark lurking underwater near a giant skull-shaped rock.



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. However, 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 their 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, and he wonders if people will believe him now.

Reprints and rereleases


  • The 2003 reprint changed the tagline from "Just when you thought it was safe..."  to "Swimming lessons won't help you now."
    • The Classic Goosebumps reprint un-capitalizes Earth in a couple spots.

International releases


  • 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 Adam Rich Walt Disney Records

Goosebumps Graphix

Deep Trouble was adapted into a Goosebumps Graphix story in March 2007 by Amy Kim Ganter. It is the third story in Terror Trips.



  • Billy and Sheena's father was inadvertently named in the book. Billy's full name 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 the tagline of the 1978 film Jaws 2.
  • 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.
  • 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. He also used pictures from an encyclopedia to draw the hammerhead.
  • According to the back cover of the Classic Goosebumps reprint, Deep Trouble has sold over 2 million copies.
  • This is the final book of the original series to use the basic font Goosebumps title on the spine. It would be changed to the Goosebumps logo on the next book and all books that followed, starting with The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight.
  • According to the Goosebumps Holiday Collector's Caps Book, the idea for the book came from R.L. Stine's nephew Dan.
  • The UK and the Italian releases of the book are the only ones to not have a shark on the cover. Instead, they have the sea monster.
    • The Korean release of the book has a shark on the cover, but it's not a Hammerhead Shark like the other releases. Instead, it has a Great White Shark on the cover. It also has silhouettes of additional sharks on it.
  • This book references She-Ra and Aquaman.
  • The audio book features voice actors Corey Burton and Hynden Walch.

References in other Goosebumps media

Sea Monster concept art.jpeg