Gremlins – Spike or Stripe?

Gremlins - spike or stripe - monkey photo
Gremlin monkey photo courtesy of Paul Pettersen and

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.

Related Comments

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.

My Research

I’m seeing Spike’s name at some websites, such as

“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.

42 thoughts on “Gremlins – Spike or Stripe?”

  1. I have been noticing the changes for some time. I check this site often for things that other people mention that I might have missed.

    I came here today because I had noticed the “Interview With The Vampire” and remembered it being “Interview With A Vampire” as well.

    I Also noticed in the original movie Gremlins that the main bad gremlin is Stripe, I remembered it being Spike.

    The Lindbergh Baby story is something that changed for me, I remember the baby was never found and they executed one man for the crime and had one other suspect.

    Several songs seem to have different words, look up traditional songs you know well, it is surprising.

    Thanks to all that post, it really helps me keep up with things in this world.

    1. I had to go back and look at the Gremlins name. I was thinking “No. It was Spike.” No… it is now Stripe.

      Also, the Lindberg Baby was never found and they never found a suspect. It was, and still is, a huge mystery. I had to look that up too. I was thinking “that is not what I learned”.

      1. I DEFINITELY remember it being Spike. I have a superb memory and am of no doubt whatsoever. I also have a theory that time is collapsing in on itself, or coming to some sort of end point. ;-P

    2. 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.

      1. i always thought he was stripe while he was fluffy and spike when he was an evil gremlin, i seem to remember both names, if a change was made i am unsure on when it could have been but i am sure the release of the gameboy advance game always called him stripe…stripe makes more sense as he was named while fluffy and he had a white stripe, he didnt have any spikes…im thinking the little rubber action figures wrongly named his gremlin form spike and confused us all, many of the original pvc toys are listed on ebay as SPIKE, even more confusing is that i just read mohawk from the 2nd movie is a reincarnated STRIPE, i was born when this movie was released so im not sure i even saw it until 1990 when the 2nd came out, tho when born family bought me benji dolls and a gizmo doll, so i loved gizmo before i knew what the hell he was, and never really cared to focus on the other gremlins characters when i did finally watch the movie and again like 30 more times from ages 4-6

      2. I remember it as Spike. My brother even named his dogs, years later, Gizmo and Spike after those characters in the movie.

    3. I recall it being spike the first time i watched it but thinking back to recent years i remember it as stripe

  2. Hi again, I’ve been reading back and I saw somewhere the mention of Gremlins, and the main evil gremlin being named Spike, which is now Stripe. Just for the record, I remember Spike.

    I couldn’t believe my eyes at this one having changed, so I did some googling. It seems to be consensus that it’s Stripe now. However Google predicts “Spike” as you type it, showing that at some point Spike was dominant**. And look at this confusing link It’s billed as “Stripe” but then in the description he’s called Spike. Then it gets even more muddled when it starts to alternate between Stripe and Spike in the very same write up!

    **Okay I like to double-triple check everything (especially now lol) so I typed “Gremlins S” into Google again before posting this, it’s now auto-predicting Stripe, not Spike. DuckDuckGo and Bing show both. The changes are happening in real time! If that amazon link changes between now and the near future I’ll swallow a spike!

    1. Jen, the search engine anomalies are something I have been noticing for the last few months. I mentioned it in another post, around the same timeframe as when Wikipedia took the ME page down, and replaced it with confabulation (I cringe every time I say that—makes me angry). I even resorted to trying really OLD search engines such as HotBot, and Lycos. I think people would be surprised, they change a lot slower than Google. Less traffic of course—but they are changing also. Its always the same pattern. First the term you “thought” was correct comes up on top, then “both” terms come up , and then the one we all “thought” was correct just more or less disappears. Mike H.

    2. Jen,
      It’s not you, the search engines have been doing this the last few months that I have been checking. Seems like it really picked up around August. I had talked somewhere else on here about checking obscure, old search engines against Google for example. I am talking HotBot, Lycos, ect.

      It’s always the same pattern,
      1. the top searches are the way “we” remember them
      2. both versions start showing up
      3.the “new” version overtakes our “memories”
      4. “our” version just disappears.
      By the way Fiona, I have noticed since the “confabulation” incident , this has really picked up. Things getting “erased” as fast as we notice them anymore.

      Mike H.

      1. Creepy. People define the world by what the Internet says. So, people can change perceived reality by changing what the Internet tells the typical person.

        We don’t fit that mold. No wonder the Mandela Effect page was deleted at Wikipedia. LOL

      2. Mike
        I didn’t realize how many people were seeing things disappear until just now. I saw a post a few days ago, and then another, and like the third time you begin to say ok what’s really going on. I know I started using alternate search engines at your suggestion but it looks like they too are becoming “contaminated ” for lack of a better word right now.

      3. I have had something “go back” to the way I remembered it, and saw it happen on Google/YouTube.

        I watched the movie The Warriors on Netflix. I’d never actually seen it before. I don’t think anyhow. I sort of had an idea of it being a slightly different movie, although I couldn’t explain how. But I was aware of the phrase “Warriors….come out to plaaaaaayyyy”. However, when I watched the movie, the line I heard was “come out *and* play”. I chalked it up to “well I only really remembered that one line in a movie I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen, and got that word wrong”.

        It wasn’t long after when I saw The Warriors mentioned on ME lists. There are a lot of people who like me “knew of” this cult classic 70s film The Warriors but hadn’t ever actually seen it, and all of the sudden it’s everywhere. Other people also have the feeling of “when I watched it, it wasn’t what I thought it was somehow”. In a discussion on Reddit, I commented on the line I recalled, and the line I’d heard in the movie. And just after I posted, I Googled the clip and watched it on YouTube. A few hours later, someone replied to my comment that the line *is* “come out to play”. I immediately went to Google, and clicked on the exact same YouTube link I’d watched early…and it had changed. The text in the title had changed from “and” to “to” and the audio had changed as well.

        I just went and checked again, and Google autosuggested the line as “Warriors come out and play” but the YouTube clip still reads/says “to”. I guess it will be interesting to see if it switches again.

  3. Just wondering if there have been more comments about Gremlins regarding Spike’s name being changed to Stripe? I still can’t get over that. I’m 100% sure his name was Spike.

    1. I’ve added this to the Major Memories list. If others recall it, we should see more responses. However, even if only a few (or one) recall something, that doesn’t mean your just confused. If some quantum theories are correct, there’s a universe/reality for every possibility.

      1. Thank you so much for your kind response and this post. Gremlins was one of my favourite movies as a kid and we watch it every Christmas so I am purposely holding off on watching it. I’m guessing I’ve seen it at least 50 times.

        I wanted to tell you what I remember before it becomes a dual memory like so many things are. When Gizmo gets the paintbrush water spilled on him, Corey Feldman asks Billy, after counting how many popped out if he could have one. He then comments, “hey look, that one has a stripe.” This is the only time that the word stripe is mentioned.

    2. There are two Gremlins in two different movies, Gremlins and Gremlins 2 … One was Spike and the other was Stripe.

        1. I never said it in my initial posts. But it has always been Spike for me. When I was young my best friend and I rented a house , that was all we did when not at work, watch horror movies on VHS from the rental stores. I know it was Spike. Stripe doesn’t even sound right. Mike H.

          1. Mike H, I asked one of my children about this, and she swears it was Spike, too. She’s a fanatic about spelling and using correct names, so I take seriously her alternate memory for this.

            I’m still looking for an official, “normal” explanation for this, as it’s so widespread. Very odd. And interesting.

            1. Fiona ,
              I agree completely. I even double checked the “Ghoulies” series of movies to make absolutely certain. Just like anything else, a franchise makes money, another label or studio wants their version of a “successful formula”. I saw lots of B movies get made into C movies back then. Especially in the horror genre. Although a bit more tame than today’s fare. Mike H.

                1. Fiona , thanks for that link—-and laugh! Yes indeed , beleive me I’m not a prude ,but some of the stuff I see today, reminds of that asteroid abbreviation. Mike H.

        2. I never watched the Gremlin movies but was going by what I found on ebay and YouTube .. It does appear that Spike’s name was changed to Stripe .. I was confused as to thinking they were two different Gremlins… If you look at ebay listings there are many for Spike, which obviously is the same Gremlin as Stripe … I looked for product labels that said Spike but, as with the Berenstein Bears, there doesn’t appear to be any… So it looks like all we have now are peoples memories of his name being Spike and listing their items for sale with that name.

          ebay listings for Spike.. One even lists it as Spike/ Stripe.

          I just found this YouTube video of the making of the movie where the narrator calls the Gremlin SPIKE at time stamp 4:08.

          I can see now why this is another possible ME mystery.

  4. This one has my head spinning. When I first saw this mentioned here, my memory was that this has been a common mistake for years! My memory says his name was “Stripe”, but the name ” Spike” was used at one time. My first instinct was that the production crew used both names to designate which puppet was which, and both names were accidentally used in interviews, but I can’t find any evidence of this. I do have clear memories of this being a common mistake though.

  5. I sorta remember the movie but I haven’t seen it since it first came out … the only reason why I know it was spike is because that’s what my best friend named her new cat the year gremlins came out… for the bad gremlin. The cats name was spike for 14 years.

  6. I definitely remember Spike being the main gremlin. This is my first time hearing about it being changed to Stripe. Timelines are a changing/merging?

  7. Wow! For once I’m on the other side of the fence as everyone else posting. Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of other issues that I am not sure on because I didn’t pay enough attention to them before the change, but all of the ones I’m really sure about, I’m with most of the other people posting(ie Berenstein, chartruese, Interview with a vampire, etc.). I was a huge fan of Gremlin’s when I was a kid. I even had the complete set of 5 read along records/books that Hardee’s sold back in the day, and for me it has always been Stripe. Kind of puts a new perspective on things. Kind of an outside looking in perspective. It’s really an eye opener. Part of the reason I post this is because I think I shifted within the last couple of weeks.

    A couple of weeks ago I posted about having some close calls that could have resulted in my death if they had happened just a little differently. Coinciding with those occurences, I had some weird memories that popped into my head that felt like they didn’t belong, but that could have been plausible if my life had unfolded a little differently.

    [Edited. Fiona’s note: Great memories and that description was so hilarious, you should be a writer if you aren’t one already. However, this kind of thing could fit in the Personal Memories conversations or, in a different (less personal) context, in the Possible Explanations thread. Here, it’s out of place, as I’m trying to steer this site towards something more focused. Sorry.]

    Thanks for posting this thread. Even though I don’t share this one it triggered that creepy feeling, and prevented me from getting sucked back into the matrix. I genuinely mean that. I was on the verge of completely sweeping it all under the rug, and getting back to my day to day humdrum existence….maybe to never be heard from on this website again. I realize that maybe this post doesn’t belong in this thread, but I wanted to get it all typed in before I lost the train of thought.

    I guess what I am trying to say is thank you Fiona for travelling down the rabbit hole with us, and keeping us from getting lost.

    On a side note, all of a sudden I find myself wanting to put a “u” in asphalt…….asphault.

    1. Thanks, Mathew! Your near-death experience could be exactly the kind of thing that causes some dual memories.

      Years ago, I talked about dual memories in terms of computing. For some reason, the Curious George (tail v. no tail) topic has opened that door, again.

      My personal theory is that, whether it was a close call with death or turning left instead of right at an intersection (Dr. Who reference), those with dual memories have done something or made a different decision that changed everything, and now — in many cases — they have dual memories.

  8. This was almost as tough as Stein/Stain for me. I am E-Verse. My kids grew up in the 80’s and 90’s I owned this movie on VHS and his name was always Spike. I would have known the answer without being prompted, it was one of the tapes that played again and again at my house for years. Spike was a really scary character. Stripe just looks silly.

  9. Something i noticed In the second film one of the main antagonists is called Mohawk.. I have never heard that name before, i thought he was spike (reborn).. (he became the spider gremlin) in the first film it was Spike for me. Whether i linked his head crest backwards back into the first film, i dont know.. Why would in the 2nd film he have a spiky crest after he changed to the scaly gremlin. if it was just stripe..

  10. Huh…I asked my roomie about this…first gremlins movie? Spike. She said it with emphasis. I too, recall Spike. It was Spike because he had spikes! Related almost – I’ve been lurking for awhile now, because for me, it was the mysteriously missing Thunderbird photo. I believe it was Brad Steiger who commented on it. I too recall seeing a pterodactyl looking photo from a book in the library, years ago. Sadly, my local library, the central one, has seemingly eradicated all paranormal and ‘weird’ books…anyways, Spike it was, and now it’s Stripe? Also sorta related- this is not an explanation, just something I noticed – the main movies that have changed (for me, anyways), all share esoteric content. The Force in Star Wars, The ghosts/dream fantasy in Field of Dreams, and the magic in Gremlins. There’s a connection there somewhere. Oh, and traditionally, gremlins are supposed to cause a change in things, usually mechanical, that cause trouble. I am entertaining a notion that maybe there are gremlins, only they’ve moved onto reality itself. Just a thought.

  11. I distinctly remember the name being spike. To the point where as a child I named a pet spike after the character in the movie.

  12. I myself and my siblings were HUGE Gremlins fans growing up, they were corny enough versus scary so we watched every make too. It is with 100% certainty SPIKE, I will always remember because of SPIKE the dog from RUGRATS, I always loved that name and remembered it firstly from gremlins.

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