Film / Child's Play
Hi, I'm Chucky. Wanna play?

You'll wish it was only make-believe.note 

A horror film franchise that began in 1988.

The plot of the first film: For his birthday, 6-year-old Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) gets the "Good Guy" doll he saw advertised on TV. Little did Andy know that the doll, later to be known as Chucky, is actually a Soul Jar for the Serial Killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif). His babysitter Maggie Peterson (Dinah Manoff) is only the first of several people to die. His mother Karen (Catherine Hicks) has to find what is going on in time to save her son from becoming Charles' next host.

TikGames announced a video game series based on the property in which you play as Chucky in a literal murder simulator.

Not to be confused with the charity or the Bill Cullen game show.

This film series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

  • Adult Fear: When Mrs. Barclay thinks her son might be a killer and later when she finds out there's a serial killer after him who aims to steal his body. And then when she tells the story of what happened, she is put into psychiatric care and her son is thrown into the Foster system.
  • Adults Are Useless: Most of them can't accept the reality that a killer doll is on the loose. Probably because it's the last thing they'd suspect.
  • Ash Face: When Chucky gets burnt.
  • And I Must Scream: It's implied in the Hack/Slash crossover that Chucky is stuck in this type of state whenever he is killed.
  • Ax-Crazy: Charles Lee Ray, the actual murderer and by extension, Chucky in all films.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Chucky's plots to transfer his soul into another body and get rid of his enemies always ended in colossal failure until he finally wised up in Curse of Chucky, where he manages to off everyone and successfully pin everything on Nica Pierce. Then he comes back in the sequel and not only offs everyone at the mental institution she's in, but he manages to transfer his soul into her and (using a voodoo spell he got off the internet) can now split his and Tiffany's souls into as many vessels as they want. Oh, and his arch-nemesis Andy Barclay is now locked up in the facility as well.
  • Baleful Polymorph: While Chucky put himself in the doll to begin with and is especially dangerous in that form (as he can hide pretty much anywhere and almost no one is suspicious of a toy) he laments being stuck in "this goddamned body" and spends most of the series trying to Body Surf into a human. And in Bride of Chucky, Tiffany tickles him and locks him in a playpen. Ultimately subverted altogether when Chucky realizes that he's more infamous as a doll than he ever was as a human.
  • Big Bad: Chucky.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Chucky, of course, since who would ever suspect a Good Guy doll of being an infamous voodoo-practicing serial killer? Even Andy and Tyler, his first two intended Soul Jars, think he's a nice guy at first when he reveals to them that he's actually alive.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Each successive installment just gets messier.
  • Body Horror: What happens to Chucky over the course of the first few films to a degree. He becomes 'more human' the longer he's in the doll, which ultimately makes him this twisted fusion of flesh, blood, plastic, and wires. Kind of light, except it also makes him still feel pain, but unable to die (or so it seems) from more normal biological things like blood loss and shock.
  • Body Surf: Chucky's goal for much of the series is to transfer his soul into a human body.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Hero finds him or herself in this position when one or more of their confidents believed they committed the crimes that were in fact caused by Chucky. This however, causes the one who becomes disillusioned to Took a Level in Jerkass or reveals him or herself to be negatively Not So Above It All and becomes just another Asshole Victim who is Too Dumb to Live for Chucky to kill.
    • Andy is this to Joanne in the second film.
    • Jade and Jesse are this to David in the fourth film (though unlike most mean-spirited examples in the series, its revelation is more Played for Laughs in a Black Comedy manner due to the fourth film steering more towards the humorous route as well as David's actor's over-the-top approach on how his character becomes disillusioned).
    • Nica is this to Ian in the sixth film.
  • Cassandra Truth: No one ever believes Andy or any other protagonist about Chucky. When they do, they usually die.
    • After the first film, Karen Barclay was locked away in an asylum because she insisted the killer doll story was true even when the police didn't back it up.
  • Crapsack World: The apparent setting of the films, as it's a Wretched Hive of a universe filled with multiple kinds of deplorable and despicable characters such as jerks (who most deserved Chucky's wrath) and supporting characters who are mostly either Too Dumb to Live, Not So Above It All, Hate Sinks, or have taken a level in jerkass, while protagonists who are Heroes With Bad Publicity who all happen to the Only Sane People in comparison to the supporting cast. The world these films depicts almost every character except The Hero of each installment unilaterally selfish and motivated by their worst impulses is definitely this. It also has a bleak depiction of Chicago, Illinois or at least mid-America, ranging from Chicago being littered with vagrants who are rapists at night and has a rundown mental hospital for criminally insane children run by a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Dr. Jerk in the first film to a toy company run by a heartless Corrupt Corporate Executive in the second and third films to a military school run by The Neidermeyers in the third film to the life on the road filled with thieving couples and Dirty Cops in the fourth film as well as a Dysfunctional Family filled with a married couple who are Jerkasses in different degrees and a Too Dumb to Live lesbian babysitter with the paraplegic woman to be the Only Sane Woman in the family and more Dirty Cops in the sixth film and a mental hospital filled with Too Dumb to Live patients and orderlies run by another Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Dr. Jerk (who is also really a perverted Smug Snake Psycho Psychologist who rapes a female paraplegic patient during their sessions) in the seventh film. However, it's Played for Laughs in the fifth film when depicting the glamorous Horrible Hollywood filled with Large Ham paparazzi (or as Chucky points it out, "Paparazzi scumbag!").
  • Determinator: Chucky to the T. Even missing a hand, having his face sliced off, or worse, nothing stops the Chuck from killing or stalking his prey. It's even more impressive, considering he lacks the 'feel no pain' a lot of his slasher peers have.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Nobody noticing Chucky is semi-justified by the fact that nobody seems to think too much of a doll sitting there. Only semi because people rarely question why a doll would be where they find him.
  • Evil Redhead: Chucky - at least as a doll.
  • Exorcist Head: Chucky does this to mess with Damien Baylock in Bride.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Chucky has pretty moments. As does Tiffany.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Despite the preceding events in past films, Chucky and the existence of Killer Dolls are still ruled out to be not real, making this universe an outright Too Dumb to Live Crapsack World that is stubbornly unprepared for and vulnerable to any tiny terror.
  • Hate Sink: Most of the Jerkasses in the series tend to fall into this, which is why these films has more Asshole Victims than any other Slasher Movie franchise, even more than the Friday the 13th films.
  • Haunted Technology: Chucky and Tiffany.
  • Inappropriate Speak And Spell: Chucky the doll (a battery-powered, talking "Good Guy" doll) is possessed by the spirit of a serial killer. One can only imagine the inappropriate things he was saying to Andy, but onscreen we see and hear him going berserk when Andy's mom threatens to throw him into the fireplace if he didn't talk (thereby proving her suspicion that the doll was sentient).
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Both Chucky's and Tiffany's doll forms are basically creepy miniature caricatures of their actors Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly. Even Chucky's hairdo, both before and after his stitched-up appearance, resembles Dourif's actual real-life haircuts unlike Charles Lee Ray's long hair when he was human. Also, initially, when Tiffany has her soul transferred into the bridal doll for the first time, she was a brunette, much like Tilly's real-life hair color, before she dyed it blond along with changing the rest of her appearance to resemble a doll version of her human form.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In the franchise's Crapsack World, it seems anyone can easily accept that any human being, whether its either impossibly a 6 to 8 year-old child or a wheelchair-bound woman, is capable to commit a murder, except a Killer Doll.
  • "Jaws" First-Person Perspective: Used sometimes when Chucky moves around.
  • Jerkass: At least one per film. Notable examples include Lt. Col. Shelton in the third movie, Phil and Miss Kettlewell in the second, John Ritter's character in Bride, John Waters' character (who is more Played for Laughs unlike the other examples) in Seed, Barb in Curse, Dr. Foley and Claire in Cult and Chucky himself.
  • Karmic Death: Chucky in all films.
  • Kick the Dog: Chucky is evil all right, but this gets quite flanderized throughout the series.
  • Killer Rabbit: Many people find it hard to take Chucky seriously because he's a two-foot-tall doll. Big mistake.
  • Left for Dead: Chucky is left for dead in all the movies.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Most of the supporting characters beside The Hero have nothing to due with the main plots of the films except to act as either Too Dumb to Live and/or Asshole Victim cannon fodder for Chucky's body count or as oblivious bystanders frustratingly flabbergasted at what's going on due to them disbelieving the existence of Chucky. See Flat-Earth Atheist above for more information.
  • Loser Protagonist: A common staple for The Hero of the films due to them being a Hero with Bad Publicity that no one believes Chucky is on the loose and out to get them and find themselves framed by Chucky as well, which also shows much a Crapsack World the films' universe is by being so unforgiving, dreadful, grim and unpleasant towards them:
    • The first three films had Andy Barclay.
    • The fourth had Jesse and Jade.
    • The latest had the wheelchair-bound Nica.
  • Mama Bear: Andy's mother at first, then Kyle in the second film.
  • Monster Misogyny: Charles Ree Ray certainly has a... way with women, as evidenced by his obsession with Sarah Pierce in Curse of Chucky (and by extension her daughter Nica) and his casual abuse of mad lover Tiffany. And those are the women he likes. Notably, his very first onscreen victim is a woman he kills for being a "bitch", and when Karen Barclay forces him to reveal himself he immediately launches into a violent misogynistic tirade.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Chucky.
  • Off with His Head!: However, he does get killed when he's decapitated by Glen.
  • Perverse Puppet: Chucky is almost the poster child to this trope.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Chucky is about the size of a toddler, and capable of taking down fully-grown adults.
  • Pretty in Mink: A couple scenes with Jennifer Tilly (playing herself)
  • Parental Abandonment: Post-Child's Play, Andy's mother is absent from his life due to being taken in for "psychological evaluation."
  • Rasputinian Death: In the first three films, Chucky takes an absurd amount of punishment. Getting set on fire, dismembered, melted, and having half of his face cut off only slowed him down temporarily.
  • Recovery Sequence: In the opening sequences to 2, 3, and Bride of Chucky, Chucky is shown being reconstructed.
  • Revenge: The entire reason Curse of Chucky takes place.
    • Also, a big part of Chucky's motivation in the original Child's Play:
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The series turned to self-parody from Bride of Chucky onward.
    • Curse of Chucky attempts to take the series back to its roots: whether it succeeds or not is a matter of opinion.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Chucky has quite the filthy mouth.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The series start out as fairly straight horror, but by the time of Bride it's become a splatter comedy.
  • Staying Alive: To the point that Chucky provides the page quote.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Andy at the end of every movie he's featured in.
    • Glen in Seed... although a really weird one. Nica at the end of Curse of Chucky.
    • In Curse of Chucky Andy points a gun at Chucky before he even manages to get out of the box he was shipped in.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Chucky and Tiffany.
  • Villain Ball: Despite being logically running out of time before he turns completely human, Chucky sure wastes a lot of time killing random people For the Evulz in Child's Play 2 and 3 instead of going straight to Andy (and Tyler in 3) to transfer his soul. You would expect him to hurry and keep a low profile until he gets his new body, especially considering where revealing himself led him in the first movie, but apparently he doesn't learn from his mistakes.
  • Villain Decay: Chucky. More and more after each film. He was pretty scary and played seriously when he first appeared. Then, he became more Played for Laughs and less scary as the series went on. Curse is largely successful in reversing this trend.
    • Cult however (while indeed much darker than the series has been lately) still seems to put the films back en route to the comedy genre, even going so far as to have Chucky make a pop culture reference to the cancellation of the TV series Hannibal, while its balance between Black Comedy and dark horror brings the second film's tone in mind.
  • Villain Exclusivity Clause: Chucky in every installment, to the point that the latter movies start using his name in the title.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Andy doesn't return after the third Child's Play movie. The movie ends with him being brought in by the police for questioning. Same thing applies to Tyler as well. Curse of Chucky however, shows that Andy seems to be doing just fine.
    • Nor has the Good Guy Dolls company ever been mentioned, even though they're back in business. However, some dialogue from Bride implies they've been shut down again, this time for good.
    • Ian's nanny cam, and the footage it shot in Curse.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Chucky most definitely would, if swapping souls doesn't work.

    The original film 
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: While it's not very likely that there was a time that Chucky wasn't evil, his voodoo mentor clearly at one point believed he wasn't evil, or at least not as evil as he actually is. Said mentor becomes furious when he sees what Chucky has done, calling him "an abomination that has to be stopped". Pity the mentor turns out to be Too Dumb to Live...
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": The Good Guy Doll being alive was supposed to be a twist... wouldn't you know? The original poster of the first film just showed a woman crashing through a window out of a building (the first murder victim of Chucky in the film) and giant evil eyes in the stormy sky.note 
  • Asshole Victim: Eddie Caputo and Dr. Ardmore.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Chucky's mentor reveals that he can only be killed by attacking his heart, as that part of him is "almost human". While it does put him down at the end of this film, later sequels prove the voodoo priest was perhaps a bit too optimistic in saying that would be enough to kill Chucky permanently.
  • Attempted Rape: The homeless guy who sold Chucky to Karen attempts it on her when she encounters him again, but Mike saves her.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At the end Chucky is dead and Andy is saved, but nobody besides Mike, Jack, and the Barclays are going to believe a doll committed the murders.
  • Car Cushion: In Maggie's case.
  • Dirty Coward: Eddie Caputo leaves Charles Lee Ray behind for dead to save his own skin when he himself was being chased by the cops. This bites him back when Chucky was created and took his revenge for this act of traitorous cowardice on his backstabbing partner-in-crime.
  • Disappeared Dad: Andy's father is absent with very little clues to his fate, though it is mentioned at one point that his wife Karen is a widow. As Karen works a crappy retail job, the giant apartment she and Andy live in was almost certainly his, though we never learn the whys or hows (the apartment's contents offer a few clues, though).
  • Doll Bites Woman: Chucky has no problems with sinking his tiny doll pearly whites into Karen Barclay's arm. She shows the wound to Detective Norris as proof that Chucky is real, but it still takes an attempt on his life by Chucky himself to convince him.
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Ardmore, despite appearing to be caring, is a Hypocrite and in reality possibly viewed Andy as a murder suspect then just a mentally ill child patient given that the ramshackle mental hospital he runs looks like more of the kind that houses the criminally insane then mentally ill kids.
  • Electrified Bathtub: This was originally going to be the babysitter's death, but the special effects to make it happen would have been too expensive. The idea stuck around, though, and was eventually used in Bride Of Chucky.
  • Enigmatic Minion: For all the fleshing out the sequels have done, we still know very little about Eddie Caputo. He is established as Chucky's accomplice, but serial killers rarely have accomplices, and Eddie seemed much more interested in wanton robbery than the murder that was Charles Lee Ray's forte. He could have just been a petty criminal that partnered with Charles out of convenience, but Chucky seemed to have a high level of trust in him, judging by how shocked and horrified he was when Eddie abandoned him.
  • Exorcist Head: Chucky does this as he's being held Andy's mother after she realizes he's been working without batteries.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Karen is a single mom with a crappy job at a department store, and explicitly strapped for cash. Her apartment is in the Brewster Apartments, a historic Chicago residence that would have cost six figures for a unit even in 1988.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: A constant of all the films as this is the foundation for the story's mythology of how Chucky gets his soul in a doll in the first place, but this first film emphasizes it harder than any of the sequels. We are shown the apartments of both Chucky's mentor and Chucky himself as Charles Lee Ray (both are stocked to the gills with Hollywood Voodoo iconography), Chucky's chant is notably longer and more pronounced than in the later films, and there was even going to be an artifact originally that enabled Chucky to conduct his soul transfer. This "Heart of Damballa" was cut from all known releases, but a few stills exist.
  • Hope Spot: Maggie believes that there's nothing in the kitchen. Then she's startled by Chucky.
  • Incompletely Trained: Chucky was trained enough in the voodoo arts to conduct a soul transfer, but not so well trained that he understood the fine print. In novelizations of the sequel films this is further highlighted, with Chucky lamenting at points that maybe he was a bit hasty in killing his old mentor before getting all the information he could out of him.
  • Kill It with Fire: Attempted on Chucky. It doesn't kill him, but it does leave him a horrifically burned mess.
  • Living MacGuffin: Andy becomes one to Chucky after the latter learns he can only transfer his soul into the former's body.
  • Madness Mantra: By the end, Chucky has been decapitated, burned and shot repeatedly, yet his one-armed body still attempts to choke a man to death, with Chucky screaming at it the whole time to "Kill them! KILL THEM ALL!"
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Played with in the character of Chucky's mentor, who has the nickname "Dr. Death" but as it turns out is as moral a practitioner of Hollywood Voodoo as you could ever hope to find.
  • Noodle Incident: We never learn what led to Charles Lee Ray running from the cops and taking refuge in that toy store in the first movie. Until Curse of Chucky, that is. Also doubles as a very long example of How We Got Here.
  • Off with His Head!: Chucky gets decapitated during the finale, but it doesn't kill him.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Karen is starting to believe Andy about Chucky.
    Karen: "Say something, you little... bastard!"
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    Chucky: Andy, no! We're friends to the end, remember?
    Andy: This is the end, friend!
  • Rasputinian Death: In what would become a series trend, Chucky takes a truly insane level of damage before he finally goes down.
  • Too Dumb to Live: John Bishop aka Dr. Death, the voodoo priest who taught Chucky everything he knows about the dark arts. To make it even worse, he keeps a Voodoo Doll of himself around. And he told Chucky where to find it.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The theatrical trailer for the film spoils the fact that the doll is alive, most notably by cutting from Karen opening Chucky's battery compartment to her saying: "He came alive in my hand!"
  • Villainous Breakdown: "Give me the boy and I'll let you live, do you hear me?! GIVE ME THE BOY!"
    • As Charles Lee Ray, Chucky has a breakdown in the first few minutes of the film after being shot by Detective Norris and abandoned by Eddie Caputo. The shock and fear reduces the feared Lakeshore Strangler to Inelegant Blubbering and hysterical threats. It's such a pathetic display that one is almost surprised when Ray goes on to carve out a fearsome presence for himself as Chucky.
  • Wham Line: This shocked many audience members the first time, but it still counts as one in-universe:
    Mrs. Barclay: I said talk to me, dammit, or else I'm gonna throw you in the fire!
    • In a similar vein, after Mrs. Barclay discovers Chuck has no batteries:
      Chucky: (head spins around) Hi, I'm Chucky, wanna play?
  • Wham Shot: Andy's mom turning over Chucky to stop him from talking, only to find out that the batteries enabling that are not in Chucky's Good Guy doll socket.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: Chucky keeps going as a one-armed, one-legged torso after he is burned.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Chucky more or less says this to his former voodoo teacher after torturing him into revealing how to escape the doll's body.