"The Cuckoo Clock of Doom" is the second episode of season one of the Goosebumps TV series. It premiered on November 3, 1995 on Fox during the Fox Kids block.



Michael Webster's life is pretty good, except for one tiny detail: Tara. Tara is Michael's bratty, obnoxious, impossible little sister. She gets Michael into trouble with their parents, embarrasses him in front of his friends, and is always playing mean tricks on him. Michael has had it! So when Dad comes home with an eerie old cuckoo clock and tells Tara not to touch it, Michael sees his chance to get even. What Michael doesn't realize is that the cuckoo clock has mysterious powers of its own, and his little prank is about to set back the hands of time . . . forever!

Differences from the book

  • While in the episode Michael Webster experiences being 12, 6 and a baby in the past, the book has him experience a much longer time reversal, first going into 12, 3rd grade, 2nd grade, kindergarten, nursery school and then being a baby.
  • Michael's birthday is depicted differently in the TV show than in the book. In the TV show, Michael opens his own gifts. In the book, Tara opens all of Michael's gifts before he enters the room. There is no bicycle for Tara to knock over and scratch in the TV show, which was a big deal in the book.
  • Michael does not experience getting beaten up by Kevin Flowers or being seen in his underwear.
  • In the book, the clock is described as being painted black with gold highlights, with a white face, gold hands and gold Roman numerals, and the year dial is a small physical clock-like dial on the side of the clock. In the TV version, the clock is a typical finished wood brown color, with a gold face and black hands and Roman numerals (along with minute marker numbers above each numeral), and the year dial is two chains with small number plates on each chain, lined up to show the current year.
  • Michael's dream is different. It's not of a scary version of his birthday. Instead, it's the clock with Tara's head for a cuckoo chasing him.
  • The first time when Michael's father tells Tara not to touch the clock, he is visibly more upset than in the book.
  • Michael's father is a lot angrier at finding him at Anthony's Antiques than in the book. Later on, when he was brought back to the present it is the actual present, and he gets the same scolding from his father that Tara got earlier. Michael being happy to see his parents again catches his father off guard.
  • In the book, Michael notices that 1988 is gone from the clock when his father shows him the cuckoo clock and mentions that there's a strange design flaw on it. In the television adaptation, Michael's father is the one who notices the missing 1988 year and laughs it off while Michael realizes that his mistake led to his bratty little sister never existing.
  • Tara's bedroom becomes Mr. Webster's office in the television episode. In the book version, it's a guest bedroom with two twin beds.
  • In the book, Michael has to move a chair towards the clock in order to reach the cuckoo as a baby so he can turn its head around. In the episode, he climbs up steps leading to a table conveniently placed there.
  • In the book after waking up as a baby Michael gets his diaper changed and fed a bottle by his mother. He also shows his parents he can tie his shoes by himself, however in the episode they immediately skip to the visit to the antique shop.
  • In the book, the clock brings Michael back to his twelfth birthday. In the episode, the clock brings Michael directly to the present, presumably the day after the clock arrived at the Webster house.

Other media

Goosebumps Presents

No. Cover Release date Pages
May 1996 56

Home media

Title Release date Media type

(Spanish Release)

1998 VHS


  • This, "The Haunted Mask", and "Werewolf Skin" are the only TV episodes to not be released on a Non-Complete Series DVD. Though the episode is accessible through iTunes and Netflix.
    • The episode was released on Mexican VHS in a double episode tape along with "The Girl Who Cried Monster".  
  • The second time Michael goes through his birthday, his mother asks him to help her with his cake. When he goes to her, you see they are outside. But the first time of Michael's birthday, they were inside.
  • In the scene where Michael is dreaming, he opens the door to the room the cuckoo clock is in and begins to scream. But we hear the scream a split second, before his mouth opens.
  • The first time when Michael's father tells Tara not to touch the clock, you see she has bangs on her forehead. But when she turns around to stick her tongue out at Michael, her bangs are gone.
  • This episode, along with "The Girl Who Cried Monster", on their original premieres had a special opening theme in which there was a ten-second remix when R.L. Stine is walking through the grass with the briefcase. When the G passes the dog, that part of the music is played with a different instrument. There were also different scenes from the television show when the door opened.
  • When Michael looks in the mirror at age 6, his scream and facial expression is exactly the same as Macaulay Culkin's scream in the Home Alone movies (and he also bears a resemblance to him).
  • John White (Michael Webster at 12) played Steve Boswell in season two's "Haunted Mask II".
  • When Michael is 6, his father reads him Norman Bridwell's "Clifford the Big Red Dog." Like Goosebumps, Clifford is also a Scholastic property.
  • This is the only episode where the opening text is white instead of the normal green color.




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