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Ernest Scared Stupid (a.k.a. "Ernest Saves Halloween") is a 1991 American comedy film directed by John R. Cherry III and starring Jim Varney. It's the fourth (technically fifth) film to feature the character Ernest P. Worrell.

In 19th century Briarville, Missouri, Trantor the troll has been on a rampage, turning children into wooden dolls so that he can feast upon their energy. The townspeople, using a little girl as bait, lure the troll into a trap, tie him up in burlap and throw him into a pit. The village elder, Phineas Worrell, seals the troll beneath an oak tree so that it will never terrorize the children of Briarville again.

Fast-forward to the 1990s, where Phineas Worrell's descendant, Ernest, is a garbageman and friend to the neighborhood children, Kenny, Elizabeth and Joey. The kids are busy working on a haunted house, until it gets destroyed by a couple of bullies. Ernest steps in to help them build a treehouse instead. And of course, which tree does he decide would be the best choice?


  • Adults Are Useless: Except for Old Lady Hackmore; Ernest at least tries to be useful, and he is in the end.
    • Though telling him the exact steps required to free Trantor qualifies her for the Idiot Ball.
  • Adult Child: Ernest. This trait is eventually what defeats Trantor.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Trantor is an evil troll who goes after children, turning them into little wooden dolls which give him his power, which he uses to try to create more trolls. He also has the ability to mimic the voice of anyone he's turned into a doll. Younger trolls can be killed by milk (mother's care) and older ones be driven off, but for the most powerful trolls, the only thing that can defeat them is unconditional love (the heart of a child).
  • Bedmate Reveal: After checking under the bed and being relieved that nothing's hiding under there, Elizabeth finds Trantor laying in bed next to her.
  • Broken Aesop: Using unconditional love as a weapon...yeah...
  • The Bully: The Murdocks.
  • Care Bear Stare: Ernest is able to defeat Trantor using unconditional love.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobody believes Ernest or the kids about the troll except for Old Lady Hackmore.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During the first attack in the treehouse, Ernest accidentally spills some milk during the struggle - causing Trantor to flee. Trantor's aversion to milk is hinted a couple more times before the reveal.
  • The Chick: Elizabeth.
  • Child Eater: Trantor
  • Corpsing: The little girl at the beginning of the movie who is being chased by Trantor.
  • Determinator: According to Ernest's fourth grade teacher.

 "He never knew when to quit." (smack)


  Ernest: How 'bout a bumper sandwich, booger lips?

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