This issue may have a normal explanation. So far, I haven’t found one, and — since I was never an avid fan of the Gremlins movies — I can’t speak from my own memories.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t create an article for this, but it’s so odd that I can’t find a definitive, reliable source to explain the clear Spike/Stripe issue.
And weirdly, though the Gremlin was never called “Spike,” it appears that the franchise has caved to popular memory and – as of November 2016 – licensed a t-shirt calling the Gremlin “Spike.”
Is that a victory for those who clearly recall “Spike”? I’m not sure. More likely, the franchise saw related discussions, and decided to use it to commercial advantage.
At this site, comments about the Spike/Stripe issue go back to 2014, and possibly earlier.
In November 2014, Mshelle said:
I Also noticed in the original movie Gremlins that the main bad gremlin is Stripe, I remembered it being Spike.
In August 2015, Dotchi said:
I had to go back and look at the Gremlins name. I was thinking “No. It was Spike.” No… it is now Stripe.
In September 2015, John O said:
I remembered the Gremlins name as Spike as well! I even have an action figure of him on my desk! No way would I call him Stripe! He has spikes on his back! Creepy! I just looked at my action figure to see if the name Spike was on there by chance, and it’s not.
I’ve moved these and related comments to this post.
I’m seeing Spike’s name at some websites, such as Gawker.com:
“There is special attention, too, paid to righting some wrongs of the first one: the main gremlin is named Spike, which is the name I remember many kids erroneously using to refer to the antagonist of the first one, Spike. Most importantly, though, Billy gets to keep Gizmo in the end, don’t-mess-with-nature message be damned.”
However, that’s not mentioned at IMdB or Wikipedia.
Even at the Gremlins wikia, it looks more like the names get confused, than a clear indication that Spike was a character:
“… Seeing that he was now the only one left, Stripe fled.
“Getting his mother to a doctor and reuniting with Gizmo, Billy tracked down Stripe to the YMCA. There Spike messed with the circuit breaker, setting off the alarm before jumping out, scratching Billy’s stomach and (despite Gizmo warning Billy), jumping into the pool. The pool water enabled Stripe to spawn an entire army of gremlins to invade the town of Kingston Falls.
“Stripe led his army as they paved their way through the town and wreaked havoc and mischief…”
And, the photo at that site, illustrating that scene, says that the character was Stripe.
In January 2008, the question was raised at Yahoo Answers. No one had a reliable answer, and the default reference seemed to be an old Tripod page. I looked at it and — since the point seems to be promotion of a Gremlins-related story — I don’t think it’s a wholly credible source.
If you recall Spike and can find a reference to resolve this, let me know. And, in general, if you recall Spike where others remember Stripe, leave a comment.