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Jesus Christ! What is wrong with you people?! None of you would know horror if it stabbed you the face!

Max

"Campfire Tales" is the 13th episode of the fourth season of Camp Camp, and is the 53rd episode overall. It premiered August 24th, 2019 on the RT FIRST site, and August 31st, 2019 on the Rooster Teeth website.

Official Synopsis

The camp gathers 'round a campfire and shares some stories of varying spookiness.

—Episode description

Plot

The night sky is calm, the moon is full, and David lets out a fond sigh. When the atmosphere is as soothing as this, there is only one thing to do; tell spooky stories around the campfire, and the camera retracts to reveal that everyone has already encircled him for that exact purpose. Max finds the idea of David trying to scare everyone to be precious, as he is "a marshmallow in human form", and Nikki asks if this means that eating smores is an act of cannibalism. David, from his spot on a log, puts on a lame attempt at a ghostly voice, saying she'll just have to find out, and begins his story - after he is interrupted by the theme song. He tells the tale of a group of troubled teenagers (played by Max, Nikki, and Neil) joyriding through the woods, on a night just like this, and them accidentally hitting a drifter (played by Quartermaster) with their car. Max is very matter-of-fact in saying they can just dispose of the body, and that this will not affect their futures as his father is a billionaire and will still be able to get them into Harvard. Nikki is worried about his organs falling out if they don't help, and Neil counters that covering up a murder would totally ruin his 5-year plan, so Max relents and the group carelessly tosses him into the car. At a nearby cabin, Quartermaster thanks them for not leaving him for the raccoons to scavenge out in the woods, and hands Neil a book of arcane wisdom, saying he's late for a coffee date and has to leave. Max tells him to get rid of the book as Quartermaster wasn't wearing anything under his trench coat, and Nikki adds in a creeped-out tone that reading expands the mind. Neil thinks they can learn from him and he begins reading aloud a Latin passage off one of the pages. This summons two ghosts, in the form of David and Gwen, but rather than behaving like poltergeists it turns out they are actually here to offer helpful life advice, with Gwen mentioning that chewing gum while chopping onions prevents crying. David, still putting on his "spooky voice", says their spirits cannot rest until they complete an important task, Nikki asks the "respected elders" what they can do, and he simply tells them to clean their rooms. Nikki and Neil are enthralled by the prospect of self-improvement and vow to make good on their goal while skipping away merrily. Max is a little more stubborn as he doesn't feel like cleaning his room, but David appeals to him by adding "please", which then completely convinces him. David concludes that this is why they should be kind to strangers, listen to their elders, and always say please. Of course, the real Max finds David's story to be completely idiotic, and David questions what could be spookier than not saying "please". Nikki asks Gwen to tell a story, to which she hesitates. Always trying to be helpful, David suggests she can just read one of the stories in her journal, and Gwen darkly replies she shouldn't be reading those to children.

Quartermaster pops out from behind the bushes, scaring all but Max, and informs them he has "a tale of woe and fright, sure to put a chill through your bones and grow hair on those virgin chests." This one takes place during a war, as German planes drone overhead, raining gunfire upon the battlegrounds. Quartermaster, with a hook replacing both of his hands, is standing in the trenches with a British man who says that despite being outnumbered, nothing is impossible as long as his literal right hand (named Righty) is serving him, and that he can't wait to return home and stroke the raven hair of his beloved woman Mildred. Quartermaster stares longingly at said hand waving about before crafting a story about overhearing the Germans badmouthing her, calling her bow-legged with bad hair. The soldier is shocked that they know of her and are saying such crass things, and Quartermaster casually mentions if they talked about one of his 8 wives this way, he would tar & feather them and bury them six feet under. Enraged, the man storms out of the trenches to fight for the honor of his beloved, and is immediately blown apart by an incoming bomb. The man's right hand is blasted off in the explosion, and Quartermaster sneakily takes it and attaches it to his own arm, replacing his hook-hand attachment, saying that "this new body is coming along nicely." Quartermaster concludes his tale by saying he's still searching for Lefty, prompting all of the campers to hide their own hands behind their backs or under their armpits in fear. Neil says that this story raises more questions than it answers, to which Quartermaster shrugs and says, "for you maybe."

There's another rustling in the bush and out pops Jermy, who asks if he heard correctly about them telling tales of intrigue. The entire group groans and Max bellows at him to go away as they don't want him here, but Jermy starts telling it anyway. "Once upon a time, there was a good boy who always tried his best," he begins, and it's obvious the story is about himself. Pikeman finishes instructing his men, pointing at a blackboard that reads "a very bad plan" and asks if there are any questions. Jermy timidly says his narcolepsy acted up and thus he didn't hear anything, so asks Pikeman to repeat it. The Wood Scouts are enraged at him for not paying attention to the 4-hour presentation, and Pikeman tells him to get lost and find another camp that actually wants him. Jermy wanders off to the shores and stares sadly into the water, and the Flower Scouts arrive on the scene, questioning why he's here. Jermy says he's here to sulk and Erin says she can't blame him because of the way he looks, which then prompts Tabii to remind her frieds that they are well-versed in the art of makeovers. A short montage later they are all dolled up, and Jermy asks if it's his turn for a glow-up now. Sasha says she knows exactly what to do from having seen a ton of teenage romance movies, and simply removes Jermy's glasses. He asks excitedly if it worked, but the absence of glasses have only served to make his face look far more hideous, and after being actually physically ill over his appearance the Flower Scouts chase him off in a rage. Some time later, Jermy remembers a letter from his parents that he had in his pocket, and it is a genuinely uplifting note about how much they care for him. Touched, Jermy says he'd forgotten he already belonged to a camp that loved him, but then he immediately becomes hot - gaining the body of a model that draws the admiration of the Flower Scouts and regret from Pikeman, as he wouldn't have been so mean to Jermy if he'd known he'd become such a beefcake. Jermy (in both the story and at the campfire) starts twerking, and he is promptly thrown out of the scene by Nurf.

Dolph stands up to announce he as a "spooky und kooky yarn", one that takes place in 1980's East Berlin. A young man (played by Dolph) runs past a police officer (played by Nurf) and into an alley, and begins spray-painting a small pink man next to a caricature of another man with a hammer poking out of the sides of his head, below some text reading "Ich Bin Ein Berlenin". From the window above, Max comments that he can't stand this "pretentious art with a message" crap. Dolph steps back to admire his artwork and is momentarily distracted by a shooting star, and when he turns back again, his art has completely changed to the man holding the side of his head in pain, after the hammer was jammed through it. He hears a paint can rolling deeper down the alley, and finds the little pink man from earlier along these walls, begging Dolph not to erase him. Dolph is understandably shocked that one of his "genius creations" came to life, and the pink guy (named Heinrich according to the credits) assures him that Dolph's art is like that of Hans Holbein the Younger mixed with that of Hans Holbein the Elder. This prompts Max to holler that no one understands the reference, and German police officer Nurf arrives on the scene to investigate. Dolph spray paints a trashcan for his creation to hide behind, and he carefully sneaks around the corner while Nurf is distracted by a fake can of spray paint on the ground. Thinking quickly, he sprays out a black blob that morphs into a horned monster which roars at Nurf and scares the living daylights out of him. Heinrich compliments Dolph on the art of his Krampus as they run away from the fast-approaching policeman. Dolph is instructed to paint a door and join Heinrich in the art world, and he hesitates because this would mean leaving his entire life (and upcoming dental appointment) behind. Heinrich urges him that his talent is being wasted in the real world, and upon being discovered by the police he has no choice but to leap through the magical door. It closes before Nurf can run through it, thus slamming him into the wall, and so Dolph and his creation high-five before high-tailing it out of there. Max is not at all impressed by Dolph's "wet dream" where he has friends and people care about his "stupid art", and Nurf chimes in to say he really related to the policeman character. Dolph pays absolutely no mind to Max's cruel words, instead staring up to the sky, his eyes shimmering with optimism as bright as the lights of the stars.

David, of course, says he liked Dolph's story, and Max has had it. He stands up and yells that none of them would know horror if it stabbed them in the face, and Nikki challenges him to show them how it's done, which Max accepts with sadistic pleasure. He hops up on the log between David and Gwen, but realizes that Space Kid is absent; he was sitting between Gwen and Harrison the entire time. David gets up and calls for him, wandering off into the bushes. Neil tries to come up with a rational explanation as the fire suddenly goes out, prompting the campers to scream in fear and huddle up together, while Gwen takes out a flashlight and tries assuring them that everything's fine. They hear a loud crack where David is, a few feet nearby, and as he turns around to greet them good morning, his eyes and mouth have been replaced by moving black lines, and his voice has a bit of a demonic edge. The camera itself fumbles around as the group screams and runs for their lives, though only Max, Nikki, and Neil are shown. In a traditional horror movie cliché, Nikki trips and falls, and when she looks up to take Max's outstretched hand, her features have been replaced by the squiggly black lines as well. Max screams and escapes, making it back to the campers' tents completely alone. He calls out for Neil, and is only met with his distant screaming in return, and so he dives into the corner of the tent to take shelter. A pair of shadows can be seen at the base of the tent flap, and Max squeezes his eyes shut and covers his mouth to keep himself from screaming. The thing on the other side lets out an unholy roar, but then mercifully wanders away. Max then notices Space Kid sitting off to the side, and stammers while saying his name. Space Kid flops onto his back and his helmet falls off, revealing absolutely no body inside the suit, and the camera zooms in on Max's expression of utter horror. A noise to his right startles him, and he is met with the entire group of Camp Campbell (with the exception of Space Kid) against a deepening red background, staring at him with the dead-eyed squiggly lines of doom plastered all over their faces as the music spikes dramatically.

In an unexpected twist, the entire group is suddenly gathered around the campfire, screaming in sheer terror with most of them hugging themselves in fright. Upon the log where David and Gwen were previously sat, Space Kid now sits, and happily announces "the end!" to his story as the group gawks at him in fear.

Transcript

{{Transcript}} would go here.

Features

Characters

Main Characters

Supporting Characters

Minor Characters

Music

Gallery

Main article: Campfire Tales/Gallery

Trivia

  • In David's story, the vanity plate on the front of Max's car says "NOP3", which is a similar concept to the white "NOPE" mug he's seen drinking out of in "Anti-Social Network" and "Operation: Charlie Tango Foxtrot".
  • Also in David's story, the book given to Neil by Quartermaster is the exact same book as the one that the real Quartermaster gave to Harrison to use for his mystical ritual in "The Quarter-Moon Convergence".
    • Neil mentions Cthulu in reading from the book, whom the monster on the cover bears a heavy resemblance to.
  • According to Quartermaster (during his war story), he had 8 wives at that time. It is currently unknown how many he has now, if any.
  • In addition to his plethora of bizarre and disgusting health issues, Jermy is also afflicted by narcolepsy, a type of neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable urges to sleep.
  • The name of the pink man that came to life in Dolph's story is revealed in the credits to be "Heinrich", but it was never explicitly said by any of the characters.
  • This episode has, by far, the highest number of writers for any episode of Camp Camp, clocking in at a whopping total of 6. Before that, the highest number of writers for any episode was 3, which can only be seen for "Nikki's Last Day on Earth", "Camp Corp.", and "Keep the Change". Every episode outside of these four only has 1 or 2 writers.

Cultural References

  • Max's outfit, from David's story about the teenagers being haunted by helpful spirits, is entirely the same as that of a character named John Bender from the movie "The Breakfast Club".
    • The character shares a fair number of traits with Max as well, such as their rebellious natures and troubled home lives.
  • Neil, in David's story, mentions making an organizational system better than that of Melvil Dewey, who is the inventor of the timeless Dewey Decimal System.
  • Quartermaster's story is one that clearly happened to him. However, because Britain fought against Germany in both World War 1 and World War 2, it is unclear when exactly the story takes place. (The Continuity section expands this point a bit further, for those curious.)
  • Jermy's personal story is exactly that of The Ugly Duckling, with the exception of twerking (of course).
  • Dolph's story is set in 1980's East Berlin, which at the time was controlled by the Soviet Union until the Berlin Wall (which was also shown in this episode) was torn down.
    • The piece his character paints has text reading "Ich Bin Ein Berlenin", which is similar to a well-known protest motto against Russia's occupation of Berlin.
    • Unfortunately, the text is a bit incorrect; the wording should have been "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" (and this is the correct translation of the protest motto), which properly translates to "I Am A Berliner".
  • Hans Holbein the Younger and Hans Holbein the Elder are both real people, who were not only prolific artists but also son and father (respectively).
  • The horrible black squiggly lines plastered onto the characters' faces in the final story heavily resembles The Anti-Spiral (a villain from the anime Gurren Lagann), as well as a Pokemon named Mimikyu.
  • The ending song's name of "Scary Stories To Mumble In The Dark" is a pun on the title of a 2019 film "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark".

Continuity

  • David mentions Gwen's journal, which she writes smutty fanfiction in (shown in "Something Fishy").
  • Also in "Something Fishy", Quartermaster tells Gwen that he has one hand that's been through 3 world wars, and in this episode we learn how he obtained his right hand - by stealing it from a soldier whom he indirectly murdered on purpose.
    • However, because Britain fought against Germany in both World War 1 and World War 2, it is unclear when exactly the story takes place.
      • According to Jordan Cwierz from the "Camp Camp Waffle Watch-Along" live stream for the season 4 finale, this is indeed a true story and it took place during World War 1.
    • In "Mascot", Quartermaster mumbles "Jeeeeeeews" in response to Max's question about how he lost his hand. This means he could've potentially had two before losing the left one again, or that he was prevented from obtaining another one because of them.
    • His immortality has been hinted at in several episodes before ultimately being confirmed in "Squirrel Camp".
    • From the episodes "Escape from Camp Campbell" and "Quartermaster Appreciation Day" (and everything in between), his hook was on his right hand instead of his left. After the mess hall was destroyed and Quartersister was relocated to somewhere unknown, the hook has been on his left hand ever since. This is confirmed to not be an animation error, and the hook being swapped from his right to his left at the end of that particular episode has never been explained.
  • Nikki laughs instead of groaning when Jermy pops up, this references her finding Jermy's issues hilarious instead of nasty shown in "Jermy Fartz (episode)".

References

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