Videogame: Five Nights at Freddy's
"Family pizzeria looking for security guard to work the nightshift. 12 am to 6 am. Monitor cameras, ensure safety of equipment and animatronic characters. Not responsible for injury/dismemberment."
— Newspaper ad for Freddy Fazbear's Pizza
Congratulations, you have a new job as the night watchman at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza
! It couldn't be simpler: you spend the night watching the security cameras for any sign of trouble...not that you would have to expect any trouble at such a quiet and innocent place
Okay, if we're being completely
honest, there are rumours that the animatronic characters tend to...wander a bit at night. And if they spot you, they'll stuff your fleshy body into an empty costume filled with needlessly sharp metal components
. But even if
those were true, you don't need to worry, because you can just close the doors to your office.
Well...if you want full
disclosure, closing the doors will use up part of the small amount of generator power you're allotted each night. Yeah, the company doesn't like to waste money on things like needless amounts of electricity, especially for a night shift. Checking the cameras and turning on the lights to check your blind spots will also use up power. But really, what's the worst that could happen if the power goes out? You sit in the dark for a while with two very open doors, big deal.
There really is nothing
to be afraid of. You acknowledged as much when you signed your legally-binding employment contract. It's just five nights.What could go wrong?Five Nights at Freddy's
, released in 2014, is a horror-themed strategy game based around resource management: you have a non-replenishing source of electricity that drains every time you use the cameras, shut the doors, or turn on the lights. If an animatronic enters the office, it will instantly kill you. If you make it to 6 AM, you live to work another night shift. Each animatronic (Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and the titular Freddy) has a different pattern and triggers, so learning how to combat them is in your best interests. The real horror from the game comes not from the jump scares that happen when you lose (and sometimes even when you win), but from the frantic horror of trying to keep an eye on your potential killers while handling your electricity in the most efficient way possible.
You can purchase the game on Desura
, Google Play
, and the iTunes App Store
The game's surprise success ensured the release of two sequels: Five Nights at Freddy's 2
, which came out in November 2014, and Five Nights at Freddy's 3
, which came out on March 2, 2015.This game has its own Character Page.
Five Night's At Freddy's provides examples of:
- Adult Fear: Those slightly off-putting animatronics have been disturbing parents for years, but kids still come to the pizzeria and have parties. The fact that at least five were murdered - and seemingly stuffed into the animatronic suits - on restaurant grounds, and the animatronics subsequently developed a foul smell and became stained with "blood and mucus," doesn't help matters.
- For that matter, the murders themselves. A psycho dressing up as a kid-friendly character, luring a child into a back room, and brutally murdering him/her is practically lifted from parents' nightmare.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: According to the Phone Guy, the mascots aren't acting maliciously, they're simply taking a poor friend who forgot his suit and helping him to put it on. On the other hand, Foxy's behavior, the Bite of '87, the Night 5 phone message, and the fact that our pal Freddy can seemingly sneak in through locked doors on Night 6 seem to indicate something more sinister is going on with the lovable mascots of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.
- Alone with the Psycho: Just you alone in a closed pizza joint with four murderous robots from midnight to dawn. Great job, eh?
- And I Must Scream: A popular idea is that the animatronics are haunted by the spirits of the children murdered and stuffed into them several years ago, but they are helpless to control the dangerous faulty AI of the robots themselves. By this theory, each would be an Apologetic Attacker if they could speak, since they can't help it. Even worse, they've been condemned to be trapped inside the suits of the characters they loved, witnessing attacks by the robots through the suits. It's even possible the animatronics were helplessly haunted when the Bite of '87 happened. Horrifying for the witnesses? What about the child who was trapped inside the bloodthirsty animatronic?
- However, in a weird sort of subversion to one half of this trope, screaming seems to be the only thing the spirits trapped in the suits CAN do. The full scream effect when a robot catches you sounds disturbingly like a child's scream, implying that the ghosts are trying to be heard.
- Another less popular idea is that the animatronics themselves are friendly, but the ghosts are vengeful or angry, and are using the robots to seek revenge on the living.
- Antagonist Title: Freddy's the default Big Bad of the game. He's also in the title for the game, as well as the game's cover art.note
- Apocalyptic Log: Though it's hardly an apocalyptic scenario, the Phone Guy's recorded messages are pretty nightmarish. It becomes more true to the trope on Night 4, when he runs out of power and Freddy kills him in the middle of his recording.
- Arc Number: 1987, the date the Bite of '87 occurred, the year the "sequel" takes place in and the year the child murders that caused this mess in the first place were committed.
- Arc Words: The phrase "IT'S ME" shows up in a lot of late-game interface screws.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After completing the "Custom Night", the management fires you for "tampering with the animatronics", "general unprofessionalism", and "odor."
- Artificial Stupidity: As capable as the AI is at messing with you, when the mascots ultimately come for you, they will always come from the same directions. Bonnie and Foxy will only ever come at you from the left, Chica and Freddy always from the right, unless the power goes out, then Freddy comes from the left.
- Ascended Meme: The tagline for the Android port of the game is "Are you ready for Freddy?", a phrase popularized on 4chan.
- Bait and Switch:
- A non-humorous variant. Starting with the second night, you're taught to keep an eye on Foxy in the Pirate's Cove or else he'll rush you. By the end of the game, suddenly even so much as checking on the Pirate's Cove can set him off, assuring your death if you're not fast enough.
- Both the trailer and the Steam summary of the game conveniently leave out Foxy. So, until you get the call from the previous guard about the Cove, you're left believing that there are only three animatronics to look after. And even then, you've got absolutely no indicator that there is a Golden Freddy lurking about.
- Bears Are Bad News: Oh yes they are. Golden bears are even worse.
- Behind the Black: One tactic they use is to slip into the room when your tablet is up.
- Black Comedy: The sheer awfulness of working at Freddy's is lampshaded in the phone messages and sometimes played for dark laughs. In the newspaper's "Help Wanted"◊ section, there's even this message: "Not responsible for injury/dismemberment."
- Black Speech: The final telephone call contains this. It's actually a backwards masked message with the pitch dropped down. It's difficult to make out the entire message, but someone was able to figure it out. It is an excerpt from Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda. Appropriately enough, this is an excerpt from the section in which the yogi demonstrates that metal is alive.
(Omitted: Sir,) it is lamentable that mass agricultural development is not speeded by fuller use of your marvelous mechanisms. Would it not be easily possible to employ some of them in quick laboratory experiments to indicate the influence of various types of fertilizers on plant growth?" "You are right. Countless uses of (omitted: Bose instruments) will be made by future generations. The scientist seldom knows contemporaneous reward; it is enough to possess the joy of creati- (omitted: -ve service.)
- Bonnie's and Chica's electronic gibbering is another backmasked except from the same chapter.
- Bloodless Carnage: Surprisingly, this game contains no blood or gore, aside from your eyeballs (with the veins in plain sight, so presumably still attached to the skull) appearing out of the eyes from the Freddy costume's head and a human set of teeth behind the costume's set on the game over screen, despite the horrific manner in which your death is implied.
- Brain Food: The Bite of '87.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
Family pizzeria looking for security guard to work the nightshift. 12 am to 6 am. Monitor cameras, ensure safety of equipment and animatronic characters. Not responsible for injury/dismemberment.
- And from the East Hall, we have the Rules for Safety:
1. Don't run. 2. Don't yell. 3. Don't scream. 4. Don't poop on floor. 5. Stay close to mom. 6. Don't touch Freddy. 7. Don't hit. 8. Leave before dark. Thank You, Management
- Bring My Brown Pants: If you finish a custom level, you get fired for "general unprofessionalism" and "odor".
- Brutal Bonus Level: Night 6, unlocked after finishing the main game.
- Camera Screw: Sometimes the words "IT'S ME" will briefly flash on a camera screen if you look at them. Freddy's face will also flash from time to time, and they just get worse as the week goes on. Also, as the days go on, the animatronics may appear to flicker and twitch on your screen when in fact they're standing still.
- Catch Phrase: Phone Guy has "Hello, hello", which he says at the start of his voicemails.
- Controllable Helplessness: If the player allows either Bonnie or Chica to linger for too long outside of the doors while said doors are open, they will sneak into the room and disable the door and light buttons on that side. From here, the player can still look right and left, but can't check the camera.note This leaves them with virtually nothing to do but to click the broken buttons and, in the case of the left door being jammed, wait for Foxy to charge in. Or in the case of the right door, let Freddy sneak in and then pounce on you.
- If you run out of power, the cameras, lights, and doors stop working, but you can still turn and look around for a short while until Freddy kills you. However, if you move at all during this period, Freddy will kill you more quickly. If you're close to the end of the night, playing dead might buy you the extra few seconds you need to win the night.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: One interpretation of the pizzeria's decisions. Despite The Bite of '87, the killer robots, and all the possible death they've caused along with the kid's/guard's innards still implied to be inside them and never removed, they still tried to get parents and businesses on their side and keep everything going 'for the kids' without ever fixing anything. Although it may or may not be entirely their fault, it didn't work out for them.
- Cosmetic Award: Stars adorning the the main menu screen are rewarded upon completing the fifth and sixth nights, and after people started to beat the custom mode with the hardest AI difficulties, the maker of the game added an unlockable third star for the menu to showcase it.
- Cower Power: Phone Guy tells you to play dead (i.e., don't move at all) if you're ever caught. Doing this when power runs out can buy you some valuable time before your shift ends, possibly even enough to make it to 6 AM.
- Crapsack World: The backstory of the Pizzeria, and the fact that it's SOMEHOW still open, can give this vibe. On the other hand, the fact that it's bankrupt and due to close by year's end indicates there's SOME amount of justice.
- Creator Cameo: Scott Cawthon himself voices Phone Guy.
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Between their eyes directly attached to their endoskeletons, and the eye holes of their costumes, the animatronics all have this.
- Cruel and Unusual Death:
- If Freddy and friends catch you, you get shoved into a suit filled with sharp bits of metal, live wires, crossbeams, and animatronic devices. All that remains when it's over are your eyes and teeth. You can see the aftermath on the game over screen.note
- The worker who talks with you over the phone suffers the above fate on the fourth night. Then the calls get...weird.
- Cutting the Knot:
- If the player so chooses, on Night 7 he tampers with the electronics (aka uses the level editor) and can just reprogram the robots so that they don't try to murder everyone in sight rather than bothering with the resource management. Of course, this results in the management firing you. There are limits to this. While the player can even set the AI to zero, he's still not safe. Lower settings make the characters less aggressive, but they still try to kill you.
- On the robots' side, Foxy will simply charge you if you don't keep the camera on him regularly.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: Unlike most games, pressing Esc doesn't pause the game; it closes it.
- Dangerous Workplace: In the day the place should be safe. By night the four killer mascots will haunt the restaurant and stuff the night watch in a Freddy suit full of animatronic parts.
- Darkness Equals Death: If you let the power drain too early in the night, Freddy walks into your office unopposed. Unless you're very close to the end of the night, death is unavoidable at this point.
- Daylight Horror: Implied by the Phone Guy's account of The Bite of '87, stating it as the reason why the characters are no longer allowed to roam during the day. It also heavily implies that The Bite took place during the business hours of the restaurant, in front of many children and parents. This is confirmed in the prequel, where Phone Guy mentions that, before the pizzeria closes, a birthday party will be held in the daytime...
- Death Glare: In the trailer, the animatronics briefly turn and stare at the camera with the angriest expression they can manage; in the actual game, Foxy sports a deranged-looking glare with Glowing Eyes of Doom eyes when he starts emerging from his curtain, not helped by the fact he's holding his hook to his chin as if pondering whether to attack you or not.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
- The game takes note of your strategies and play style, so on the fifth night, when Freddy himself starts attacking, he adapts to your techniques and tricks. Not only that, but the other mascots have their movements flipped completely so you can't just muscle memory your way through.
- They even included a hidden bonus for those who figure out the Black Speech. Buried in the reversed audio is a piece of normal audio. "Turn around the sound, and then the sucker shifts direction from what the original was doing. That should mess 'em up."
- On the custom night, you can set the four AI's difficulties anywhere from 0-20. If you enter the difficulties as 1-9-8-7 (1987; the Bite of '87), Golden Freddy's death screen appears. This was done to kill rumors about Night 7...and just happens to be foreshadowing for the second game, which reveals that the murders took place in the same year, and more importantly, Golden Freddy's suit was the one worn by the murderer.
- Difficulty Spike:
- Night 2 officially introduces you to Foxy, who will rush your position if he is left unattended by the camera. He'll even attack if you spend too long just listening to the phone. Despite this, Foxy is still a threat during the first night, as he still won't hesitate to attack if you fail to check Pirate Cove at all. Later on in the week, he'll attack if you check Pirate Cove too often as well. You also have to contend with Freddy himself, who seems designed to exploit flaws in how the player has been going about things.
- Night Six is this to the entire game. Can also be invoked by the bonus Level Editor.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: Just like Game Dev Tycoon, a pirated version is "bugged", causing a Jump Scare every time the game is closed. The game is still fully playable, however.
- Dramatic Disappearing Display: When you lose all of your power, the power and usage HUD will disappear. The clock and night number also become absent.
- Drop-In Nemesis: The entire game revolves around this trope.
- Dummied Out: According to this analysis of the source code, Scott had originally planned a system of lives, where the player would be brought back to Night 1 after five deaths. This was dropped for pretty obvious reasons.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: If you complete Night 7, you get fired.
- Easy Level Trick: Subverted for Night 1. Both Bonnie and Chica will only attack you if you put down the camera, so one may think it's safe to just idle without using the camera at all. Doing so will activate Foxy, who will probably kill you.
- Double subverted, you can close the left door.
- The Eighties: The year 1987 is commonly referred to throughout both games. The first game mentions the Bite of '87, in which an animatronic bit off someone's frontal lobe. While it's unclear when it takes place, its prequel is set in the end of 1987, and reveals that something went down in the time surrounding.
- Electronic Speech Impediment: Both the Night 5 Call and some hard-to-hear speech from Chica when it's right outside your room are this.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Yes indeed. A specific poster of Golden Freddy will trigger his appearance in the office, and he will kill you unless you quickly pull up the monitor again.
- Evil Duo: Bonnie and Chica are almost always active together (on Night 1, it's possible to have just one walking around while the other stays onstage). Unless you made one of them super easy on Night 7.
- Evil Laugh: If you hear one during gameplay, it means that Freddy's out and about. Or that something else got in while you weren't looking...
- Expy: The four mascots are dark parallels of the original Chuck E. Cheese's characters, pre-redesign. Freddy is the face of the restaurant, with an iconic hat a la Chuck. Chica is a female avian like Helen, albeit a chick rather than a hen. Bonnie is similar to Munch in being a goofy-looking purple character with prominent teeth. And Foxy is a canid with a theme, akin to Jasper, but a pirate fox instead of a cowboy/country singer dog.
- In a way, they're also the Rock-A-Fire Explosion, signature animatronic band of Showbiz Pizza Place. Not only are they full-figure animatronics — something Chuck and his gang didn't get until after the merger — but Foxy's positioning on a separate stage, and his possession of a unique accessory that takes up his right hand, actually brings him closer to the Rock-A-Fire's Rolfe De Wolfe.
- Eurogamer compared the mascots to the Weeping Angels.
- Golden Freddy is essentially Slender Man with no tentacles and a different appearance, down to his face covering the screen when he kills you. There's no static, of course, because he's not there when, y'know, you see the poster and you're not looking at him through the camera when you do see him. Looking directly at him does cause increased hallucinations, though.
- Eye Scream: Inverted. Your character's eyeballs and teeth are the only things that remain of their body after a game over.
- Eyeless Face: Sometimes, the Animatronics will have their faces right in the camera, specifically Bonnie and Freddy. When they do this, they appear effectively eyeless.
- Golden Freddy appears to have no eyes in his costume's eye holes. Somewhat justified in the sequel, as we learn that Golden Freddy isn't just an animatronic shell, but a wearable costume...
- Excuse Plot: The owners' ignorance of the killer animatronics and the player character's insistence on continuing to work the job don't make much sense, that's for sure. Ridiculous as the plot may be, however, it's ultimately just a setup for some gameplay that was given much more TLC.
- Foreshadowing: For Five Nights at Freddy's 3. Phone Guy's line "I'm gonna try to hold out until someone checks" foreshadows that the animatronic suits actually CAN be worn without instantaneous death and that Phone Guy knew that. Evidently, he was hoping that he could use that knowledge to avoid dying when he got stuffed, so that he could eventually get rescued. It's even possible he did. Possible, but not likely.
- Four Is Death: There are four animatronics trying to kill you and The Phone Guy gets killed on the fourth night.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Golden Freddy can crash your whole game if you don't immediately get back on the camera after he appears in the office.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Foxy is framed as this among the animatronics, since he's not advertised in-game or in-universe, he's secluded, and you have no warning about him.
- From Bad to Worse: The prequel will have more animatronics haunting you and...there're no doors to prevent them from getting to you...and all you can use to protect yourself is an old Freddy Fazbear head. Good luck. You're gonna need it.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Invoked, see above. The game is programmed to crash immediately after Golden Freddy's attack screen, skipping the game over animation.
- Game Face: The animatronics normally have tame facial expressions. But then they begin to turn fiendish...
- Game Mod: As of late mods have been popping up for this and the prequel game. Probably the most well known ones are 'Five Nights at Fuckboy's', 'Five Nights at Wario's' and 'Five Nights at Treasure Island'.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: The animatronics are supposed to be roaming freely at night to keep them operational, but they actually stay put whenever you observe them.
- Genre Savvy: Can be invoked by the player on night seven, if they choose to tamper with the bots and set them on the lowest difficulty setting. However, most people prefer to set them to the highest level in order to win the notorious 4/20 mode.
- Giggling Villain: Freddy uses an unnerving girl's giggle, slowed down. The unaltered sound clip plays whenever the player looks at Golden Freddy's poster.
- Guide Dang It: Though each bot has its own attack patterns, the triggers for some attacks can be very difficult to spot. Golden Freddy teleports inside your room if you look at a certain poster on your camera feed and will kill you instantly unless you go back to looking at the camera, and Bonnie and Chica can sabotage your door buttons if you let them stand outside the office with the doors open for too long. And even if you deter Foxy when he decides to make a break for your office, and it looks like he's gone back to his booth, the second you stop observing him, he can immediately spring back out of his booth and attack you again without warning. These patterns are never brought up by the previous guard, and were frequently mistaken for glitches on the Steam forums during the game's release week.
- Hanlon's Razor: A lot of the horribleness from working at night comes from the management being too incompetent to deal with the robots, if not outright getting rid of them.
- Harder Than Hard: The sixth night is hard enough as a Difficulty Spike, but using the Level Editor for the seventh night can make the AI even harder. The definition of this? All AIs set to 20, or 4-20 mode. It's practically impossible, what with the huge amount of micromanaging, countering Freddy, and nearly unbeatable likelihood of the game being rendered Unwinnable by sheer RNG. Despite the difficulty derived from luck-based gameplay, several Let's Players have successfully completed this mode. See Awesome.Five Nights At Freddys.
- Haunted Technology: According to Word of God the Animatronics are haunted in some way or another, also hinted with the game's strong connections between their behavior and the five missing children incident.
- Hell Is That Noise:
- The tune that plays when Freddy catches you when the power runs out. If the night doesn't end before the tune finishes playing, then see directly above.
- When you stare at one of the animals through the camera, sometimes you hear a disturbing ambient noise along with the above mentioned camera screw. This noise can last after you look away from the animals.
- The pained 'breathing' the animatronics make if they've managed to sneak into your room while you're still looking through the cameras. You're doomed the moment you pull the monitor down. Or they do it for you.
- A sound effect sometimes plays to indicate an animal is on the move. If you hear running footsteps, you'd better think fast.
- If you try to close a door after Bonnie or Chica have slipped into the office, you'll get an error sound instead. At that point, your death is almost certain.
- The sound of everything turning off. Made worse by the fact that it's possible to win after that, making it potentially a terrifyingly suspenseful Hope Spot too.
- Freddy's laugh, serving as a warning he's changed position, and growing progressively louder as he nears the Office. Especially if the game is set to 4/20 mode, where Freddy refuses to quit moving, flooding the whole pizza place with the incessant sound of his evil laugh.
- Occasionally, clowny music will faintly play in the background of the game. This is somewhat uncommon, but it seems to happen more when Bonnie or Chica are approaching their respective hallways.
- It's implied in the sequel that the Marionette, one of the most dangerous animatronics in the 2nd game, escaped the scrapping of the toy animatronics and was present in the first game, albeit offscreen. And in the prequel, it was kept at bay by winding up a music box...
- Dum dee dum dum dum....
- Here We Go Again: After you complete the fifth night, you receive a check and a message that says "Good job, sport! (see you next week)".
- Three words: "Grand Reopening 2015"...nope.
- Four words: "I am still here"...NOPE.
- Hold the Line: The entire goal of the game is to survive from midnight to 6 AM, taking an entirely passive role against the robots.
- Homicide Machines: The animatronics kill anyone they come across after dark.
- Hope Spot: That silence when the light finally fizzles out to complete darkness after Freddy finishes his song, which seems to last forever. You'll either be greeted with the clock rolling over to 6 AM if you made it long enough...or Freddy's shrieking face rushing you.
- If you've seen the newspaper clippings announcing the pizzeria's closure, along with the sequel's tagline on the website, then you have yourself another example...nah.
- I Know You're Watching Me: If you find one of the mascots, chances are it will be leering into the camera.
- Impossible Task: For a while, the 7th night (Custom Night) was thought to be impossible with every AI set to 20, due to the amount of luck and skill involved. Finally, on August 18th, Twitch streamer Bigbugz managed to clear the seventh night on a 4/20 run, proving the task is indeed possible, if extremely difficult.
- It took Markiplier seven hours to do so, but he managed it as well, proving that Bigbugz's run wasn't just a fluke.
- This guy did it too, with a fantastic reaction to being fired.
- Infant Immortality: Averted in the backstory, where five children were kidnapped and murdered.
- Infinite Supplies: You wish. Each night, you're allotted a given amount of electricity that starts at 99% and drains constantly thanks to the light inside the guard station; checking your cameras, turning on the lights in the nearby hallways, or closing the guard doors further saps from your total. Manage it carefully.
- Instant-Win Condition: As long as you reach 6 AM, you win — even if Freddy is staring right at you, just finishing up his song after you reach zero power. Waiting until 5 AM and then stalling can actually let you survive sometimes... if he feels like playing the full song before killing you, anyway.
- You could play dead, however. Really. Don't move. Or Freddy doesn't feel like playing the full song.
- One possible explanation for why they leave you alone exactly at 6 AM is that their programming makes them switch to day-time mode at 6:00 AM
- Interface Screw:
- Bonnie and Chica can tamper with the cameras if you leave them alone for too long. Let them stand outside the office for long enough, and they'll even break the door and light buttons. You're pretty much screwed if this happens.
- As the week goes on, the security guard will start having hallucinations.
- According to the paycheck you get on Night 6 (which is the hardest night to complete unless you up the ante on Night 7 with the Level Editor), the date is November 13. Although the date is an unfortunate number, November 13 is World Kindness Day.
- For a pizzeria managed by people who go out and beyond to clean all physical traces of gore in the building, you'd think they'd give the costumes said treatment since they smell like corpses and leak bodily fluids.
- Jump Scare: Very effectively used. Rather than as a replacement for actual atmosphere, they're used to complement the atmosphere. The jump scares, as they're unpleasant, cause the player to play the game in constant terror and paranoia of them. The atmosphere and danger of the animatronics is greatly enhanced knowing that at any minute this game could actually "hurt" you should you fail. Rather than mistaking "startling" for "scaring", this game makes you scared of being startled. Examples of where they're used:
- If you turn on the lights in the hallway when there's a mascot there, you're treated with a Scare Chord.
- Every time you lose. The animal that got you pops up and screams directly in your face, with an ear-piercing "SCCCRRREEEEEEEE". This is especially jarring if they sneak into the room while you're looking into the camera. You think you're safe, but even if you close the doors it's too late...
- Even worse with Foxy as he is the fastest and pretty much bum-rushes right for you if you don't keep an eye out. This can even happen if you listen to the opening message each night after the second without viewing the camera.
- As a matter of fact, Bonnie and Chica only attack the player when they put the camera down. Foxy and Freddy don't have this limitation.
- Not even that can save you from Bonnie and Chica. Wait long enough, and they'll pull the camera down, THEN attack you!
- And then there's Golden Freddy, who will appear if both of your doors are closed and you view a strange poster through the tablet camera.
- Perhaps worst of all is Freddy himself sneaking into the Office. Unlike the other animatronics, Freddy does not just roar in your face. He outright pounces on the player out of the blue, and sports those soulless Black Eyes of Evil in the process. With no warning of his imminent attack beyond his evil laugh and the right Office door being open at just the wrong time.
- Just Eat Gilligan:
- Subverted. According to the former employee leaving you voice mail messages, the killer animatrons in the game will attack you because they don't know what humans are — they think you're an animatronic endoskeleton without your costume, and will try to force a costume onto you, killing you in the process. At one point, he suggests the obvious answer of playing dead, so they think you're an empty costume instead. He quickly thinks better of it, saying that if they think you're an empty costume they'll try to shove a metal endoskeleton inside you, which would be even worse.
- For that matter, though, if the animatrons are trying to get you because they think you're an endoskeleton without your costume, why not just make a fake costume and wear it to trick them? The second game does allow you to do this, though you do have to be quick about it. And you lose the doors while you're at it.
- Also invoked, with Night 7, the Custom Night. Specifically, if the animatrons are run by an AI, why not just hack them and make them less aggressive? Turns out you can do that and it works, more or less. Still subverted, though, as even setting their AI levels to 0 still doesn't make them completely harmless, not to mention hacking the bots gets you fired.
- Oddly enough for a game like this, the little cupcake with huge eyes is adorable.
- The game takes the creepy animatronics and makes little adorable plushies out of them, taking this trope Up to Eleven.
- Let's Play: As of this writing, a fair amount of YouTubers have posted night-by-night playthroughs of the game.
- Level Editor: Unlocked upon completing the normal five nights. Instead of allowing you to create your own Suck E. Cheese's map, it allows you to edit the AI of the animals to your liking.
- Lights Off, Somebody Dies: Fail to keep the power up and the lights go out. The lightbulb goes out and the last light you will see is Freddy's eyes.
- Luck-Based Mission: 4-20 mode, or setting all four AI's to level 20 (maximum difficulty). Even if one plays the night perfectly down to the second, there's no telling if the animatronics (mostly Freddy) won't just go "fuck you" and change the rules to kill you anyways. One example (and probably the worst) is getting to 5am, waiting for the power to drain to 0%, and waiting for Freddy to appear. If you're dreadfully unlucky, he won't bother with the footsteps; instead he'll instantly appear outside with the jingle, cut the jingle off much too quickly, and wipe you out.
- Mascot Villain: The titular character, like the other animatronics in the game, is trying to kill you because it's malfunctioning. This is a subversion since a hidden Mini-Game in the sequel reveals that he's Good All Along. It just mistakes the night shift guards as the one who murdered the kids. He's also an In-Universe example because he is also the mascot of the abandoned Suck E. Cheese's that serves as the setting.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The game at first makes it seem like you're just trying to survive malfunctioning killer robots. However, The Reveal, the backmasked message on Night 5, and several seemingly random events (IE: Gold Freddy, the "IT'S ME!" message, blood and mucus oozing out of the animatronics) strongly imply that something much more sinister is going on.
- Very definitely on the magic side of things as of 2, as the Marionette floats around on its own...and evidently has a bit of involvement with the hauntings being shown to be the one responsible for the other animatronics coming to life.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The animatronics have 2 sets of teeth, the outer ones that are part of their costume, and another which is part of their robotic skeleton.
- Mundane Made Awesome: This game is basically extreme "Red light, Green Light".
- Nested Mouths: The animatronics add to their overall creepiness by having these inside the external mouths of the animal suits, complete with their own sets of teeth. It's most apparent in Chica, whose suit jaw hangs perpetually open, showing the second pair of gnashers at all times◊.
- Never Found the Body: It's indicated that because Freddy and his friends don't leave behind a body when they kill someone (apparently no one ever bothers to check inside the suits), the Freddy Fazbear management can just clean up the blood and report whoever just got killed as a "missing person", thus shielding themselves from legal liability.
- The reason they Never Found the Body is actually given to you by Phone Guy in the Night 1 message: "Upon discovering that damage or death have occurred, a missing persons report will be filed within ninety days or as soon as property and premises have been thoroughly cleaned and bleached and the carpet has been replaced..." In order to try and stay open, the wonderful people at Fazbear Entertainment® will happily clean and sanitize away every trace of your messy demise. Which admittedly raises the question of how the blood and mucus showed up around the animatronics' eyes...
- The bodies of the five children lured into one of the pizzeria's backrooms were never found and are implied to have been shoved into the animatronics' suits.
- Nightmare Face: Aside from a robot screaming in your face, more unlucky players are likely to catch particularly creepy sights. Like a special Bonnie face, the hallucinations Golden Freddy gets you, or the sight of Freddy himself staring at the camera with glowing eyes right outside your station.
- The Nineties: Although the year when the five nights take place is listed as the year XX in-game, the game is set in 1993 if the minimum wage rate ($4.00 per hour) is of any indication.
- Nintendo Hard: The game's main source of excitement and horror is just how hard it is. It's very easy to run out of power, and it forces the player to learn the various mechanics of the game extremely quickly.
- No Ending: After withstanding Freddy's unfiltered Nightmare Fuel for five nights, you get a comparatively minuscule check and a note from your boss that implies you'll come in again next week. Granted, there IS a sixth night you can unlock, but it merely results in a slightly higher check and some overtime pay. That unlocks the Custom AI night seven, after which you're fired...which is easily the best thing that could happen.
- Nonindicative Name: "Haunted Suck E. Cheese's" probably wasn't the first thing to come to mind when one heard the title.
- Non-Standard Game Over: Freddy is the only animatronic with two kill screens. The first comes when he enters the office during normal play. The second is when the power runs out.
- Golden Freddy appears in your office if you look at the poster at the end of the West Hall while it's displaying his mugshot. If you don't pull up the monitor and switch to a different camera within several seconds, you will be treated to robotic murmurs and hallucinations just before he kills you and crashes the game.
- Noodle Incident: The Bite of '87. "It's amazing that the human body can live without the frontal lobe, y'know?"
- No OSHA Compliance:
- The managers of the pizza joint decide that it's cheaper to supply a night watchman with limited power than it is to safely contain the mannequins, leading to the plot of the game.
- Night 7 makes this even more blatant, as the player tampers with the robots' programming and can make them either easier or even more difficult. In other words, making the robots safe can be effortlessly done by a random night watchman and yet the owners are still too cheap to bother fixing anything. In fact, they actually fire the protagonist for this. The second game makes this, at least, a subverted trope in that you learn that both the old and new models were fitted with facial recognition software and a link to the criminal database. Tampering with the machines could lead management to think you have something to hide and might not be safe to be around children.
- When the power goes out, the powered doors don't simply stop working, they actually open themselves. Then again, in any other situation, when the power goes out, you'd want a way out of the room.
- Nothing Is Scarier:
- There will be many moments where the robots are nowhere near your room and there's merely dead silence.
- The kitchen. All you get is an audio-only feed, with no way of determining what's going on in there. There's supposedly not even actual assets for what it looks like. But Chica and Freddy like to visit it as a blind spot to your cameras, and sometimes you can hear Chica eating... something, presumably pizza.
- No information is given about Golden Freddy at all in game. The only things we know are that he's an empty costume, he can teleport, he appears when you set 1-9-8-7 on the custom night, and makes his presence known by appearing on a certain poster.
- The game uses all three versions of this trope, all to the scariest possible effect:
- It uses the "Wait for it" version, in that using the cameras littered around the facility, you can always tell where the enemies are, either through simple deduction or being able to see them. There are blind spots around your room, and since you can usually tell when an enemy is there.. then you press the light, you're treated to an Uncanny Valley, still picture of the animatronic abomination, and then you slam that "shut door" button like there's no tomorrow. Then there's Foxy, who rushes◊ down your position, but it can be hard to tell when.
- It uses the "Nothing at all" version, in which you are peacefully sitting in your room, flicking through all the cameras, and you see all the animatronics are scattered around, and nowhere near you. You put the camera tablet away, and... nothing but the fan. No sound, no monstrosities to defend yourself against. Nothing.
- It uses the "He was there all along" version in that the animatronics can sneak into your room and not be noticed until it's too late, which is equal parts terrifying and frustrating.
- This version is also used with Foxy. It is (rarely) possible for him to get you on the first night, but he most likely won't and you won't be told about him until the second night. So by the time that rolls around and he's specifically pointed out to you, you realize there was a fourth potentially deadly animatronic the whole time and you had no idea.
- After Freddy finishes his song after you run out of power, everything goes pitch black and dead silent for a painstakingly long time before Freddy kills you. However, if you're incredibly close to 6 AM, you have to sit there and wait for Freddy to decide your fate.
- Obvious Rule Patch: Foxy serves this role to Bonnie and Chica. Bonnie and Chica only attack when you lower your camera, leading to the obvious solution of simply never bringing up the camera at all. To counter this, Foxy forces you to bring up the camera to watch and prevent him from rushing you, which also gives Bonnie and Chica the opportunity to attack.
- Same thing with Freddy, who exists to force you to keep you from constantly looking at Foxy on the camera.
- Freddy used to have the ability to come into the office if you kept both doors closed, but if Bonnie and Chica have both made it to the office, you're forced to keep both doors closed- thus summoning Freddy. This was quickly patched out.
- Offscreen Teleportation: The robotic animals all use this, only moving when you're not looking at the camera feeds. Except for Foxy, who you can see run down the West Hall towards your office if you let him escape the Pirate's Cove room.
- Oh, Crap: Don't deny it; every player thought this at some point. Whether it be Foxy leaving Pirate Cove, seeing one of the animatronics near one of the doors, or seeing Freddy up close in the camera.
- Playing Possum: The previous night shift guard suggests doing this as a last resort to fool the animatronics into thinking you are simply an empty costume, but admits it would probably be a bad idea. It can buy you a few seconds of extra time if your power goes out. Just don't break possum. Freddy will react... badly.
- Press Start To Game Over: If you set the numbers to 1987 on the custom night, all you get is a Golden Freddy caused game crash.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: You might recognize that nice little jingle that plays during the 30 seconds between losing power and Freddy killing you. It's actually Les Toreadors, by Georges Bizet.
- Punch Clock Hero: Mike Schmidt (the player character) and Phone Guy can both be counted as this, seeing as the entire reason they're in the pizzeria that has homicidal, haunted animatronics running around at night and have to develop genuinely Badass-level reflexes to survive is because it's literally a job they got out of the newspaper.
- And, by extension, every other night guard, including Jeremy Fitzgerald and Fritz Smith.
- Punch Clock Villain: The animatronics can be practically strangling you to death by shift's end, but if you survive to 6AM, they apparently let you go and let you leave the building unmolested. The player character seems to just count his blessings and leave only to come back the next night.
- Phone Guy says the animatronics aren't able to free roam during the day, not since the bite of 1987 happened anyway. Presumably, 6AM is when this daytime programming mode activates, causing them to change their behavior and leave the player alone.
- Random Event:
- Whether it's truly random or requires well-hidden triggers, all sorts of strange or unexpected things may happen that aren't a part of the robots' patterns.
- The sign in Pirate Cove will sometimes change from "Out of Order!" to "IT'S ME".
- On a very rare occasion, the static upon death and the game over screen will be replaced with a dead-still and soundless image of an eyeless, shadowed Bonnie, before light slowly fades into its eyes and the game returns to the main menu.
- A certain poster showing the rules of the restaurant may change as well. This poster is changed into one of four documents, all of which highlight the reveals of the game.
- All cemented by the fact that the RNG can have unpredictable things happen where it was thought impossible. Like Golden Freddy and Foxy coming after you on the first night.
- Reality Ensues: The backstory of Freddy's reveals that the horrific, uncontrollable behavior of the robots and the seedy history of the joint has basically bankrupted it. The restaurant is going to close down by the end of the year.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: Many have complained that it makes no sense why the doors fly open when the power goes out. Mechanisms are always designed such that- when they fail- they fail in the safest way possible. Assuming the doors' designer doesn't know the doors are keeping out killer robots, they would design the doors to open in a power outage so nobody gets trapped inside the office indefinitely.
- Resources Management Gameplay: You have a finite amount of power each night that can be used for operating cameras/doors/lights. If you run out and you're not extremely close to the end of the night, you die.
- Retirony: Phone guy tells you on night 1 that he's finishing up his last week as he records his messages for you. He doesn't make it past night 4.
- The Reveal: The restaurant is planned to close down by the end of the year. Years ago, a man dressed in a mascot costume lured five children into a back room where he presumably killed them. The man got caught, but the bodies of the children were never found. Sometime after these disappearances, the robot mascots were reported to ooze blood and mucus from their bodies and smell like corpses, which implies that the children suffered the same cruel death you receive when Freddy and the other robots find you. Ever since these events, the restaurant has fought tooth-and-nail to become popular, but has seemingly failed to do so.
- In the second game it's actually a prequel, and the company was on the rise before that point. Although not much is revealed about the incidents, this much was: the suits had been acting up for a while, either due to previous incidents or just a plain old glitch. The reason there are those oddly armored doors there is because management was already aware of what happened back then. The Phone Guy was working there back then, and seems very, very distressed about the incident with the children, where he seems almost unable to speak in the phone call in Night 6. The suits were made to recognize faces, and had a full criminal file in each of them (which proves nothing directly, but opens up a few possible ideas). And finally, Golden Freddy was seemingly used to lure children to their deaths, which also opens up chilling new thoughts. If the Phone Guy had anything to do with the incident, it's quite possible he was on the job when the incident happened.
- Robo Speak: The Night 5 message and some inaudible dialogue from Chica when she's outside your room are this.
- Sanity Meter: While lacking an actual meter, the protagonist can still suffer from Eternal Darkness-style hallucinations, anything from cosmetic changes to a brief Interface Screw to Golden Freddy attacks, and it happens more and more often as the week drags on.
- Scare Chord: It plays if you hit a light switch, with an open door, while one of the robots is right outside.
- Scary Teeth/More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The robots all have creepy teeth, but Foxy gets special mention for having sharp teeth and a broken jaw and Chica for having her endoskeleton's teeth visible in certain shots.
- Schmuck Bait: Following the steps to the popular 1987 AI setting myth simply leads to the Golden Freddy death as of the Steam release.
- Second Law My Ass: The animatronics get around this by assuming you're a fellow bot out of your costume. Or at least that's the reason Phone Guy gives you, no one knows for sure.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Congratulations! You survived your first week at Freddy's. "See you next week!"
- "Fazbear" might be a reference to Faz Fazakas, who created animatronics for The Muppets and related series and films. (The 'bear' part would therefore come from Fozzie Bear, who was apparently named after Faz.)
- Chica also happens to be a Robot Chicken.
- Skele Bot 9000: The endoskeletons.
- Skewed Priorities:
- The management has known that Freddy and his friends are dangerous since at least 1987, but continue to run the family restaurant all the same. You get stuck with looking after the robots because it saves money.
- If you "tamper with the electronics" (read: make your own custom level) on night 7, you get fired. Yes, you can get fired for making the robots safe to be around. Then again, you could also make them more dangerous...
- Your character as well has skewed priorities; either out of desperation for money, stupidity, or a combination of the two, or plenty of other reasons, you'll return to the screwed up restaurant up to six times after the initial day, despite the obvious dangers.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: If you run out of power, Freddy plays happy, tinkly music right before murdering you.
- Spiritual Successor: To titles such as Project Guard (if it was a horror game), Night Trap and Double Switch, minus the whole "trapping" part.
- Stealth Pun: As noted in Genius Bonus and Freeze-Frame Bonus in the trivia section, the distorted messages on night 5 translate to lines from Autobiography of a Yogi. Said distorted quotes are coming from a cartoon bear.
- Story Breadcrumbs: The game's backstory can only be found on the hidden newspaper clippings that may randomly appear in the game (or by reading the wiki).
- Suck E. Cheese's: Where the game takes place.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The Robots, especially Freddy himself, who actually adapts to your strategies, at least on day 5.
- Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids:
- This is a robot designed entirely for singing on a stage, and yet is capable of lifting a grown man and restraining them long enough to force a suit onto them. Hell, just moving around and running in general. Usually these things have cables, and there is no reason for them to be on the security rooms, or restrooms, let alone getting there in two seconds in Foxy's case. Owner must've bankrupted himself twice over just buying the damn things. When you consider, however, the second game's mention of each animatronic being programmed with a criminal database to protect the children from pedophiles, it makes perfect sense that they would be designed to detain a reasonably fit adult human.
- Tactical Door Use: Your sole concrete defense. You can only survive via barring access to your station. Of course, the ideal solution is "all doors closed at all times," so this is combined with Resources Management Gameplay to ensure your lack of safety.
- The Tetris Effect: In-universe, the protagonist starts hallucinating later in the week, seeing suit faces and "it's me!" when he blinks or changing camera views. Even "Golden Freddy" is implied to be hallucinatory. As for out-of-universe, I hope you enjoy sleeping with your doors and windows locked and all the lights on, or you'll be seeing the face of Freddy (Or Bonnie, or Chicka, or Foxy) everywhere.
- This Is Gonna Suck: When the power runs out, if it ever should, it will not be pleasant.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- The protagonist for staying on a job like this past the first night. You can potentially wise up on the seventh night and use the level editor to make the robots not murder you. Changing the robots' AI results in you being fired for tampering with the animatronics, but honestly, that's the best thing that could happen to you.
- The Freddy's management in general seems to be unbelievably incompetent and completely unaware of how to properly run a business. In fact, they're going out of business. You find out near the end of the game that by year's end, Freddy's Pizza is going to shut down.
- Played With with the Phone Guy, who has apparently stuck around with his job even longer than the player. However he's probably not outright stupid to survive for so long, presumably without the same tips he gives you, though he does eventually Retirony get killed right before retiring.
- Undercrank: Starting on Night 4, if you look at the animatronics for more than 5 seconds, their heads start twitching uncontrollably, and they constantly twitch on Night 5.
- Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: Exactly why anyone would think these terrifying, murderous animatronics who have a history of killing and mauling people would be great for children's entertainment is never really addressed. That said, apparently they're just fine with children.
- Unreliable Expositor: Word of God says that Phone Guy is this. Credence is lent to it in that Bonnie can appear in the same room as the unclothed endoskeleton at the same time, and does so only to leer into the camera, and not do a thing about the endoskeleton, which supposedly has to wear a costume.
- Unwinnable by Design: The door and light on one side of the room can lock up and be rendered unusable. Since there's no way to fix this, unless your shift is almost over and lady luck is feeling really merciful, you're pretty much screwed. This typically happens when you've screwed up and let one of the animatronics sneak into your room when you weren't looking.
- Once the power has been depleted too far too early in the night, not even the most skilled player can reach 6am before the power goes out and Freddy kills them.
- Vicious Cycle: As described by Smosh Games' Honest Game Trailers show, "the more scared you get, the more you look for monsters, and the more you look for monsters, the less power you have, which makes you more scared, which makes you look for more monsters, and so on until it finally ends in a Jump Scare that makes you scream. Even though you totally know it's coming."
- Westminster Chimes: These sound to signal that you've made it to 6 AM. Yaaaaaaay!
- Wham Line: "Good job, sport! (see you next week)"
- Who Watches the Watchmen?: The official job description claims that you're protecting these things.
- A Winner Is You: When you beat the game, all you get for your efforts is a screenshot of a check for the laughably small amount of $120, with the words "Good job, sport! (See you next week)" above it, while Freddy's tune plays in the background. Complete the Night 6 Bonus Level, and you get a check for $120.50. Complete Night 7, and you get a notice of termination for tampering with the animatronics.
- X Meets Y: Grandma's Footsteps meets nightmarish Suck E. Cheese's robots meets those old "watch the camera to catch the crooks" games for the Sega CD meets the Creepy Pasta The Strangest Security Tape I've Ever Seen meets The Grudge; or maybe Dark Water.
- The attractions being able to come to life at night may or may not come from Night at the Museum.
- Year X: The game takes place on November of the year XX, according to the paychecks you receive at the end of Nights 5 and 6.
- Going by dates offered up by the second and third games, this game takes place at some point in the 1990s.
- You Are Already Dead: If either door jams on you, it's because Chica or Bonnie is right outside, had enough time to disable the switches, and will kill you the moment you look at the camera and you don't have long to live... unless you are seconds away from completing the shift. Worse, if you see Freddy sporting his game face in the East Hall Corner, and have the right-hand door open, then hear him laugh after you put the camera down, it means he's likely invaded the Office.
Good job, sport! (see you next week) note