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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Portal
aka: Portal 2

    open/close all folders 

     General I 

Aperture Science is a part of Itex, from the Maximum Ride novels.
Cortana is the end result of the technology researched by Aperture Science

  • Cave Johnson: The missing father. We never see him, but his presence can't be escaped. Death or just divorce?
  • GLaDOS: The controlling mother that can't stand to see her children defy her. She doesn't want Chell dead, she just wants her to stay with her.
  • Wheatley: The youngest child of the family. Everything he does is either a plea for attention or a misguided attempt at help.
    • Wheatley was designed to stop GLaDOS from killing everyone at Aperture by suggesting a steady stream of bad ideas. How does a parent react when a little kid keeps tugging at their pants leg asking for something?
  • Chell: The older sibling who tries as hard as possible to escape the pressure of her family and ends up nearly destroying everything when she does so.
    • Trying to escape the clutches of GLaDOS? Kills her (for a time, at least). Trying to help Wheatley escape? Ends up putting him deeper into the system. It's no wonder she got kicked out.
  • Rattmann. The family friend, doing his best to help the situation, but ultimately making everything worse.

Cave Johnson got the Portal technology form the magician of the Pixar short "Presto"
  • First of, the portals of this magician's hat work with the exact same physics than the Portals of the game. Also, Cave Johnson's personality fits perfectly in a Pixar-esque universe.
    • Just imagine Cave assisting to the show shown in the short and later approaching the magician, offering him loads of money to purchase his hat!
Cave Johnson is this universe's Bergholt Stuttley "Bloody Stupid" Johnson
  • The Perpetual Testing Initiative establishes a multiverse within the canon, one of these could (indeed must, according to the multiverse theory) be a flat Earth on the back of four elephants on the back of a giant turtle. Both Cave and Bloody Stupid come up with extremely bizarre solutions to simple problems and yet are very capable of warping space and time to do it. They are have both been dead for a number of years. They even share the same last name!

Wheatley and GLaDOS are Chell's parents.
  • If GLaDOS is Caroline downloaded on to a computer, and you believe that Cave and Caroline were in a romantic relationship, it is possible. All that leaves is connecting it to Wheatley. Wheatley and Cave were both the creators of crazy and unworkable ideas. If, just before he died, Cave was secretly placed under the same type of cryogenic sleep as the test subjects, so he could be put into his computer. But, due to mixed up orders, they put Caroline in, as he demanded in the message. But, with this technology available, they decided to put him a a core. This caused his voice to change and him to loose his memory. Thus, Chell was with her parents all along.
GLaDOS is foreshadowing the Singularity.
  • Namely, the fact that she's actually Caroline's mind uploaded into an AI. One day we'll be woken up/ So we can live forever.
The Companion Cube you get at the end of Portal 2
has monitoring devices in it. This is to give GLaDOS an eye in the outside world.

Atlas and P-body will rebel against their creator in Portal 3
  • In Portal 2 Co-op, the two robots find thousands of new human test subjects much to the delight of GLaDOS and were gaining human emotion while they were testing.Eventually they'll learn jealousy and will help the humans escape so that GLaDOS will have to use them. They might also convince the other robot testing teams to join them in protest.
    • Could work, if GLaDOS didn't accidentally kill everyone within less than a week.
In Portal 3, you can create your own robot, and Atlas is the Mission Control.
Going with the above WMG about rebelling against their creator, and assuming GLaDOS didn't lie about the 5000 other teams, you can create your own robot, choosing frame type, eye color, etc. Could be a green-eyed android, or a purple-eyed robot shaped like a cube. Atlas, plugged into "that stick on the wall", will try to guide you through the test chambers, and you can understand what he says. Also, he will probably be the final boss of co-op when in the end you will rebel against him.
Rattmann saved you from a horrible fate in test chamber 17
  • In test chamber 16 she is telling you that there is going to be a surprise (death trap) in the next test. So what's in the next test then? Nothing. Nothing at all. She doesn't even mention the word surprise. Do you wonder why she doesn't kill you? Thank Doug Rattmann for that. He probably knew GLaDOS where going to kill Chell. He didn't have time and equippment to shut down the entire neurotoxin generator, so he destroyed the pipe where the neurotoxine where flooding (remember, this is the den where you can hear him scream, and also his last den) then he eventually died by the poison. GLaDOS simply ignores the surprise, hoping you forgot it, and then make a new surprise in the very next one.
In the final scene, Wheatley is apologizing to GLaDOS, not Chell.
  • He regrets abandoning his real purpose to try to escape with Chell. Alternatively, he regrets ever serving his real purpose by slowing down GLaDOS' thinking, thereby driving her mad and hindering the advancement of science. Perhaps his new vantage point gave him some perspective, and he realizes that he only ever made things worse.
  • Aternatively, he could be apoligizing to the Mainframe/Caroline for leaving her/being a jerk (maybe) to her.
The password when Wheatley is trying to stop GLaDOS from waking is SHODAN.
This might be a long shot, but think about it: they're both Rogue AI's that were trying to destroy an insect in their lairs. And some people think of GLaDOS as the SHODAN of the new generation. Or the password could of been simply Lemons.

Rat Man's gibberish you hear from the graffiti wall is the turret opera
No one can decode Rat Man's gibberish because it's not saying anything. It's the same things said in the turret opera.
  • Rat Man speaks gibberish in one of his dens and the turret opera singing sounds like the same gibberish. You might need to slow down what Rat Man is saying, though. I'm not quite sure.
  • Some people call Rat Man's gibberish "Rat Man's Opera."
  • On the way to one of Rat Man's den, you see three turrets practicing the turret opera.
  • Rat Man's gibberish lasted the same amount of time as the singing in the turret opera.
    • How long does Caves lemon rant last? Because that would make total sense if he also was driven crazy by lonliness and poison.
  • As the opera was translated into: "Oh my dear. Why don't you walk away. Away from science." it would make perfect sense.
Portal 3 will have the three as an exponent
That way they can call it Portal Cubed.
  • And it would have a three-portal gun!
An all-in-one WMG
Shown here.
Fridge Brilliance, the turrets are actually programmed to love all human beings.
They're also programmed to believe their firing mechanisms are actually hugging mechanisms. This explains why they always greet people they're about to shoot. The turret that says "I'm different" understands what's really going on.
  • If this is the case, then they must not know that other turrets are in the same situation. If a turret is caught in another turret's line of fire, they say things like "Don't shoot!" and "Stop shooting!".
  • They were programmed to love humans. They want nothing to do with other filthy turret hugs.
  • Alternatively the programmed to love humans is the empathy generator shown in the aperture investment opportunities turrets. However they have an empathy suppressor (we can only assume that the empathy generator is government required or something). The reason the turret that says "I'm different" is its empathy suppressor could be defective, and thus it has empathy (and loves humans). Also the ad says "Warning: standing near turret may result in accidental empathy suppression" this could mean that all turrets love humans, until a human is nearby (excluding the "I'm different" turret for aforementioned reason).
GlaDOS gassed the Enrichment center because she was upset about what Cave did to Caroline.
GlaDOS woke up angry and gassed the Enrichment Center not because she was just some insane AI, like we're led to believe, but because the last thing that happened before the personality download was her being "raped". Judging by the deleted audio, she was quite upset. She wanted vengeance, and though she wasn't sure why she was upset, she decided to kill everyone inside the Enrichment Center.
  • Or, going off of that, GLaDOS tried to kill everyone because she was angry that Caroline was forced into her. Hey, I don't think you'd want to have to share your body/brain with part of the soul of another entity either. Come to think of it, that sounds a bit familiar...
The bird is a mutated/evolved specimen of Corvus corax, with much higher intelligence and technological understanding.
  • During the Unreveal, when Wheatley doesn't explain how he survived being crushed, he starts to mention a bird. The bird—call it Corvus sapiens—found Wheatley's body, which was still intact enough to be reconstructed. The crow did so. Doesn't explain how he got back on his Management Rail, but it's a start. Also, consider the Animal King display... perhaps Aperture wasn't far off the mark with that guess.
As a corollory to the above, it turns out that bird is really the one pulling all the strings, and tried to destroy the facility.
It's vastly intelligent and knew that Wheatley was the key to destroying the facility. Somehow, it gave Wheatley the idea of using test subjects to get him in charge. The plan was to escape as soon as the laboratories were destroyed. GLaDOS was the only one who suspected it of being the real villain, and given that it wanted Wheatley to stay in charge for as long as possible, it spends most of chapters 6 and 7 trying to keep GLaDOS out of the way.
  • Guess what? The bird is the main antagonist of the co-op mode's DLC course. It also tries to kill Atlas and P-Body by breaking the reassembler.
The bird is symbolic/a Crossover to Valve's other games.
The bird is a raven/crow (black), while in one of Valve's other games, Team Fortress 2, The Medic has a flock of pet doves (white). Both GLaDOS and Medic are mad scientists. Medic is male, and his chosen profession, fondness for symbolically angelic birds, and chatty, personable behavior in "Meet The Medic" would lead you to believe he's a nice guy, but he's also a sadist and a two-faced liar. GLaDOS is (or was, when she was human) female, would have you believe she's heartless and wants all living beings dead, but becomes mother to three baby birds at the end of the Peer Review DLC- birds she intends to turn into killing machines, but still. Heck, it looks like the bird's actually a reskin of Medic's pet dove Archimedes.

Alternately, it's one of those dickish crows from Left 4 Dead. One thing is clear- Valve hates birds.

  • There's also a reference to a "1968 Senate hearing" about missing astronauts. Now, 1968 is the year TF2 is set in, and the Administrator was also hauled to a Senate hearing after the Poopy Joe debacle...
The Bird is working for the G-Man.
A crow can be seen on his shoulder in Anticitizen-one in Half-Life 2. The Bird has been watching Chell and reporting back to the G-man its findings. It also has been pulling some strings (rebooting Wheatley, carrying GLaDOS off and bringing Her to a spot where Chell can easily find Her). GLaDOS eventually figures out that the Bird isn't normal and tries to warn Chell ("Kill it! It's Evil!!") but to no effect. It's three demon bird-spawn that GLaDOS adopts will either kill the AI with their murderous time-space altering powers, or become her unstoppable avian army.
Portal 2's relocation of the setting is not strictly a retcon.
...it's simply a reflection of the massive size of Aperture Science's underground complex. As seen in the framed articles in old Aperture's offices, Cave began construction in a mine in Michigan, and by the time Portal 1 takes place decades later, enough subterranean real estate was bought up that the labs extended into the neighboring state of Ohio.
  • That's the beauty of it - with the purchase of the initial mine (the above ground entrance) you technically dont' have to purchase anything else - it's just an "extension" of the cave you already purchased!
    • Well, legally no. In Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and most of the US it is illegal to tunnel under property without the surface owner's permission and consent.
      • From what we've seen of Aperture, they don't seem to have put much stock in the laws of either man or god.
      • They probably use portals to connect the two facilities.
Respawning is canon in the Portal/Half-Life Verse.
GLaDOS says of humanity "The ratio of good test subjects to monsters is about a million to 1." Maybe there are 7,000 or so humans on Earth with the ability to Snap Back a couple of minutes whenever they die. People who can respawn in this manner include Gordon, Cpl. Shephard, Barney, Alyx, Father Grigori (the game ends whenever the latter two die), Chell, Caroline (She knows what happens after you die, and her quick-save feature was how it manifested in her brain-uploaded state), and possibly Rattmann, which would explain his psychosis.
  • This also explains TF2, as the warriors in the game do respawn.
  • A slight problem with that is that if respawning was canon for Chell then the end of test chamber 19 makes little sense unless it truly was a "final challenge where we pretended we were going to murder you".
    • If you believe an earlier WMG about the Companion Cube watching your back throughout the entire game, it's entirely possible that it used a whole crapton of respawn power to revive you. Multiple times, depending on how many times you died.
The "Oracle Turret" reappears in the game.
  • The turret on the far right of the quartet that you first encounter on the escape elevator is the Prometheus/Redemption Turret, who has become a leader of its people. It is the first to aim at you, and also the one that all the others follow the lead of. It aims at you, pauses for a beat, then closes its turrets... and goes up and down, in a almost conductor like motions. The Prometheus Turret recognized you and let you go by, because you saved her, and you saved "Caroline".
    • That was one of my first thoughts on why the turrets were not shooting you, but there is a hole in this theory: Saving the turret is optional, and you can kill it afterwards. The game does not check for that.
      • That doesn't mean the theory isn't correct or intended. There are other things the game doesn't check for that don't change established canon, like a puzzle where, if you wait long enough, Wheatley will tell you how to solve the puzzle, despite the fact that he shouldn't be able to do this without being "shocked".
    • I had a thought that maybe the Oracle Turret is the lone turret that plays several notes on her own before the singing part of Cara Mia starts.

The second half of the game was Chell's Dying Dream
Chell never escaped the fire pit, everything after it was her dying dream as she was burning to death, the giant hole that appears at the top of GLaDOS's chamber, and the way Chell is sucked into it, is a metaphor for her finally dying and ascending to heaven, GLaDOS is the part of her that still wants to live, and without destroying her, she cannot ascend to a higher plane of existence, the ending song means that the part of Chell that still wants to live (GLaDOS) is not quite destroyed.
  • Jossed by the sequel, but that could be part of the dream too.

GLaDOS's body is the internet.
You'd go insane too if you were plugged into it. Let's review the cores:
  • Curiosity - social networks like Facebook, which are specially designed to be as prying and questioning as possible.
  • Intelligence - Wikipedia, being a large collection of information, not all of which is 100% reliable.
  • Anger - Trolls
  • Space - Fangirls/fanboys. This explains its complete obsession on one topic (space).
  • Rick/Adventure - Mary Sues. All he talks about is how awesome he supposedly is. Much like bad fanfic writers do with their Sues.
  • Craig/Fact - Search engines like Google or Yahoo. An infinite collection of useless information.
  • Morality - those of us who keep our insanity to ourselves over the bandwidth. It had nothing useful to say, thus it did not speak.
Alternate interpretations welcome.
  • Last I checked, Wheatley is a core as well, so how does he...Oh.

GLaDOS faked her own death
  • Fact: Aperture Science equipment can survive temperatures up to 4000K.
  • Fact: You supposedly destroy the cores by throwing them in the incinerator.
  • Fact: GLaDOS' body is completely whole in the sequel.
  • Fact: You see the cores down in a room with the Companion Cube and cake. They still work.
This evidence leads me to believe that GLaDOS faked her own death - or self destructed - after you threw all the cores into the incinerator. Why?
  • It may be that tossing the cores down the incinerator disconnected them-they might have some wi-fi connection to Gla Do S herself, and throwing them just forcibly disconnected them, like ripping limbs off. Also, this is jossed by the sequel when you wake G La Do S up, and she treats you as her murderer.

Caroline is still alive..
  • The first ending song, Mia Cara, is an incredibly heartfelt goodbye. The singer can barely get out two words, which tend to be "My child..." or "My dear—"before choking up. Whoever's behind it, they hold no small amount of (dare I say it?) maternal affection for Chell, and shares GLaDOS and Caroline's voice. GLaDOS herself correlates her growing affection for Chell (quickened, apparently, by seeing Chell in danger and saving her life) with the "Caroline" personality. Now, while GLaDOS says she deleted the "Caroline" personality/subroutines within her own core, its possible that she a.) didn't do a very good job of it, b.) was just screwing with Chell and is incredibly conflicted about her feelings, or c.)was not able to prevent the "Caroline" persona from taking refuge in other hardware in the facility, i.e. the turrets. The other ending song, sung from GLaDOS point of view (with a Framing Device of being cursory paperwork—"FORM 29827281-12-2: Notice of Dismissal" to be exact) seems to support a.) or b.).
  • Confirmed. Ellen McLain stated on a panel at Anime Midwest 2011, that to her belief, Caroline is not deleted at all. In fact, she said "I think GLaDOS likes Caroline."... Let's just hope that that particular wording doesn't stir up any possibilities of CaraDOS shipping...
Further speculation.
The Word of God states, "the Companion Cube has been on its own adventure this whole time and just manages to escape at exactly the same moment you do, in which case it’s probably pissed." Oh, dear, this opens up a shit-ton of speculation, doesn't it?
  • Companion Cube's adventure will be in future DLC.
  • The Companion Cube was watching Chell's back the entire time, taking out several potentially catastrophic obstacles without our knowledge, and independently averting the nuclear meltdown crisis.
  • The Companion Cube does all of the above without actually being able to take physical action of its own volition.
    • By knocking into the right things and pressing the right buttons as it falls from the surface to the bottom of the aperture science research facility... and into the basement express elevator.
      • Well, GLaDOS does mention the Aperture Science Weighted Companion Cube is sentient...
The Song "Want You Gone" was directed at Wheatley, not Chell.
The computer upon which it was playing was flying through space. Chell would have no way of hearing it. The same is true of "Want You Gone", but, in this case, Wheatley could have heard it. The lyrics still make sense in this usage.
  • Only problem is if you take that as true, GLaDOS compares Wheatley to Caroline.
    • Whilst there is no way the song is directed at Wheatley (as it talks about a number of things that can only apply to Chell), a comparison between Wheatley and Caroline may actually be a valid one, as during one of Cave Johnson's pre-recorded messages, Caroline does seem to be a bit of an air-head.
    • If you're talking about the message in which Cave tells Caroline to say "Goodbye, Caroline," and she says the whole thing, it was very likely just her making a joke. If she was that ditzy, why would he want her put in charge of the facility if something happened to him?
      • You do realize that this is Cave Johnson we're talking about, the man who spent $70 million dollars on moon rocks to grind them up and turn them into a gel just because he could. He could have miss predicted (or more likely didn't care about) the consequences. Though she more than likely wasn't that ditzy and was probably the only sensible person at aperture (At least until... well you know), Cave's faith in something isn't a good judgement tool.
    • The above quote is poking fun at a quote commonly associated with actress Gracie Allen. In Vaudeville, Radio, and some TV shows she was in, her husband and comedic counterpart George Burns would say, "Say Goodnight, Gracie." The legend goes that, one day, she decided to make a joke and, instead of just saying "Goodnight," she said "Goodnight, Gracie." The fact that Caroline and Cave are doing this not only further supports that they are married, but the timeline for when the recordings are coming from (1947-1956?) are definitely something that the astronauts, war heroes, and Olympians would have recognized as a shout-out to something familiar and friendly, making Cave and Caroline seem nicer and friendly by association, which might be one of the reasons for why people didn't run screaming when they were handed a portal gun and told to do any number of insane and impossible things.
    • Might be scraping at straws here, but Wheatley was designed to help control GLaDOS, and towards the end of the game GLaDOS admits that she is hearing a conscience for the first time, and it's her own voice. Since GLaDOS = Caroline, you could make the link that Wheatley and Caroline were similar since both were guiding GLaDOS. (For the record, I believe the song is meant for Chell, I just like the unexpectedness of this WMG)
    • Well, Wheatley is also canonically rather "large."
Obligatory Doctor Who referencing WMG
  • The Aperture Science building was contained within the Borealis using Time Lord technology. Cave Johnson is a Time Lord. He regenerates into Chell. His TARDIS is a shower curtain.
    • Just one problem: Finding the remains of the Borealis is an achievement.
      • If you're referring to the fact that the Aperture building wouldn't be able to be inside itself—there was that one short of DW where the TARDIS was inside itself, so conceivably if the Aperture Science building was contained within the Borealis, it could also be contained within itself. It's the sort of thing that Cave Johnson/the Portal universe could probably come up with, anyway.
  • GLaDOS's obsession with cake is due to sloppy penmanship When GLaDOS was made, it was generally decided that it would be a good idea to program GLaDOS to think of Cave Johnson as her creator and therefore sent a letter saying as much, but they had sloppy "V"s which looked like "K"s. So when she gets activated at a party with people cutting and eating cake, you can expect that she'd be pretty angry. The morality core managed to control that, but as she's still obsessed, it may have been rushed and glitchy.
    • Wow... It's scarey just how much sense that actually makes...
    • But if this is true, then how did GLaDOS talk so easily about people cutting and eating cake during the last few test chambers in Portal 1?
    • Because she is programmed to love Cake, not Cave. The programmers decided "well, fuck it, make her love cake-makes about as much sense as ANYTHING ELSE DOES IN THIS DAMN FACILITY!"

Chell and Freeman will meet in the future.
At the end of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Freeman was tasked to destroy a ship, the Borealis, an Aperture Science research ship. Funny, the innards of the Aperture Science Computer-Aided Enrichment Center wouldn't be out of place on a very large ship. And where Chell winds up after the explosion could be the part of the dry-dock that disappeared with the Borealis. So, perhaps as early as HL2: Episode Three, this "Chell of a woman" and the "One Free Man" will meet and have a long, interesting non-conversation, because they both do not speak.
  • They've said that Chell probably can speak - maybe she'll appear voiced like Barney. And lend you the portal gun for a while! (This assumes she's twenty years into the future and not two hundred, of course.) Maybe she'll have Doug Rattmann with her, too...
  • The only problem with that is that Rattmann is most likely dead.
    • Jossed, because at the end of "Lab Rat," Rattmann is actually in permastasis with his Companion Cube.
    • No, the only problem is that at that time Chell is most likely in stasis
  • Well Gabe Newell himself has said that Chell has importance in the overall Half-Life universe, and will eventually have a fairly significant relationship with some of the other characters that we are already familiar with.
    • That statement was made back before Portal 2 was planned, and they now plan to keep both series apart.
  • There is actually a fanfic based on this very idea, found here.
It will be revealed that GLaDOS really was working for the good of everyone.
This doesn't rule out her being batshit insane, but it's still possible she's trying to help humanity fight off the Combine.

The Rat Man escaped the facility.
  • His hints stop just before the turret ambush. There is a locked door to the right of his final hint with a few spatters of what looks like either rust or blood on it, providing one of several possible escape mechanisms (others including the locked door to the right of the big piston-pressing room.
    • Jossed. As of the comic, he gets out along with Chell, but follows the Party Associate back into the facility to try to save her, and ends up getting shot. He activates Chell's life support systems to give her another fighting chance for when she wakes up, and then presumably dies in another cryo chamber after succumbing to his wounds.
      • Not at all Jossed. The Last Transmission easter egg shows he most likely went to the moon, and brought the Companion Cube with him.
      • Then how do you explain the Companion Cube tumbling out of the door to Aperture science at the end?
      • It was a different cube. There's a lot of them.
      • I always thought that cube was the one Chell threw down the incinerator in the first Portal game.
Rattmann is alive
  • In-universe, Chell can survive millions of bullets being shot at her. Rattmann took a bullet to the knee and then put himself in cryostatis. The bed is empty when you enter the room, and you also can hear him talking. Some of his murals refer to events during the game. While some of them is made before, some is made during timeline. (Like "smooth jazz fails" and especially Exile Vilify, you can hear it playing when you enter the den, then it stops playing, it only played once.) He maybe died later by neurotoxine poisoning.
Portal: The Flash Version is canon.
Back before GLaDOS was activated, there actually were scientists who watched from the fogged glass, giving you information and moral support. At the end, you got a cake, which was entirely truthful and delicious.

Aperture Science is a long dead defunct company.
Everyone tried to stop GLaDOS from killing everyone, but the morality core didn't REALLY work, or she/it found a way to cleverly bypass it. (Think about all the sadistic tests she/it made with the core, no?) GLaDOS is the ONLY thing left of the company, and is still conducting sadistic experiments in the name of science. Probably for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Think about how old and rusted the machinery looked compared to the cleanliness of the test chambers.
  • Portal 2 seems to support that theory, the pre-recorded messages in the gel test area hint that in the last days of Cave Johnson they were under a severe economical crisis (could not hire homeless people for testing so they had to do with their own employees, Black Mesa was stealing their inventions (and the funding that came with them) and even mentioned they could not afford seven dollars for moondust, let alone various millions, so it's probable GLaDOS was a part of a last effort to save the company, not to mention part of the last will of Cave Johnson, putting Caroline in charge, as well as the part of upgrading her intelligence into an AI.

The relaxation vault forced knowledge into Chell while she was in the coma
  • Fridge Horror time; Chell was put in there when she was a child, yet she seems to act as an adult. She should be acting like a child in an adult's body, but apart from the unusual stubbornness, seems perfectly normal. My theory is that the Vault (which was supposed to be brief) played videos of a typical life and/or information on areas of science, to make sure test subjects didn't become dysfunctional. As Chell was in there, it played on a loop, keeping her conscious while in the coma. Chell spent decades in a coma, fully aware of it, unable to break out of it, having knowledge forced into 24/7.

The Engineer from Team Fortress 2 worked for Aperture Science.
Many of Aperture's devices bear more than a passing resemblance to objects the Engineer designed and built in what appears to be an earlier time. For example, he carries a device that can deploy a pair of portals, although not nearly as efficiently as the ASHPD. The turrets could be an effort to combine his dispensers and sentry guns into a smaller, portable device, but are an Obvious Beta. For example, they've got their "dispensing" code confused with their targeting code. Thankfully they aren't anywhere as deadly as the Engineer's original sentry guns, being a scaled down mini version.
  • They aren't necessarily a beta. You have to keep in mind that the turrets in Portal are meant for testing and that while they can be deadly, is not the main purpose. They are just meant to serve as another obstacle, while the sentry guns are meant for fighting battles and wars. It'sthe difference between a hunting rifle and a M4 carbine.

''Wheatley the personality core is the backup of Doug Rattmann.
GLaDOS mentions that Chell, and presumably all Aperture employees, have a neural backup somewhere. After Rattmann died, some time before or after Portal, his backup was activated inside the personality core. The name "Wheatley" is probably a nickname, or perhaps the backup was incomplete and so he forgot his own name. His voice is oddly human, even for an Aperture AI, suggesting he was once human. He hates GLaDOS, and seems to know her for what she truly is- like the Ratman. He sounds almost awed in the clip when GLaDOS mentions that Chell killed her- obviously, Rattmann would certainly be pleased to meet someone who could fight the all-controlling AI. He seems determined on escaping, just like Rattmann was. He seems mildly crazy- not GLaDOS- crazy, but certainly a similar kind of crazy to the Ratman.
  • It would explain his paranoid Villainous Breakdown at the end...
    • Alternatively Wheatley the personality core is really Cave Johnson. But a very amnesiac one. Or maybe he's just pretending to be silly.
    • There's also the possibility that Wheatley may not be necessarily the backup of Doug Rattmann, but Doug might have instead created Wheatley. Perhaps Rattmann even built Wheatley to help out Chell if she was ever found alive after being dragged back into the labs, since we can see drawings of his in the Portal 2 trailers?
      • Partially Jossed, as Wheatley was actually created pretty much to be GLaDOS's "stupidity" sphere, an attempt by the scientists at Aperture to make her behave by filling her mind with terrible ideas.

Wheatley is going to die
  • It's blatantly obvious that Wheatley was created to be the "next" Companion Cube, except this time with an actual personality who can work as an actual Companion for people who couldn't feel attatched to a mute and inanimate box. The logical conclusion to draw from this is that Wheatley is being set up for a Death by Newbery Medal. Wheatley will die because he did something he was warned would kill him immediately if he ever did it, and for once, they were telling the truth.
    • You'll be given an option to incinerate Wheatley. You'll probably get sent through a course that's either similar or is the same course that you took with your Companion Cube and need Wheatley's help to finish it. (In the advance version of the course in the original game you used what looked like a defunct personality core so it would be like that.) At the end you are asked to incinerate him like your companion cube only this time you can pick to either take the easy way out by doing just that and having the door open or the hard way out and escape with him through one of the exposed back room areas. This could affect the ending of the game.
    • Wheatley doesn't die, but he does end up catapulted into space after the mainframe drives him mad.

Chell is not, and never was missing her memory.
  • Think about it. We've been given no evidence whatsoever to suggest she has no memory of before Portal 1. She could well have known the whole time that GLaDOS was evil.

''GLaDOS was built by a Genius.
She is an orphaned wonder, as is the portal gun. Chell is a beholden who has lost her memory.
  • Not only that, Cave Johnson is the genius. It explains why he believes science is about why not, rather than why.

The codes from the Potal VR game are GLaDOS's deactivation codes.
Some of the codes in the VR had nothing to do with the 'game'. That and it would be absolutely fantastic on Valve's part.

Black Mesa is Microsoft, Aperture Is Apple.
One is a universally-known megacorp with heavily-guarded secrets that ran afoul of the government (Janet Reno's Anti-Trust case). Their arrogance and inelegance ended in one giant blunder that destroyed the earth. The second is its cleaner, more eccentric and passive-aggressive counterpart that goes out of its way to make everything look like an iPod and make snippy comments about Black Mesa at every chance.
  • And to round it out the Combine is UNIX.
    • The Vortigaunt are Linux.
Wheatley: Say 'Apple'. 'Aaaaple.'

Portal takes place in the same universe as I Robot
GLaDOS's Morality Core actually contains the chip that forces her to obey the rules.
  • Well, it is said that all military androids are given one copy of the laws of robotics. To share.

Portal takes place on the Earth of Power Rangers RPM.
GLaDOS went insane when the Venjix Virus attacked, but Venjix couldn't pull her all the way down. GLaDOS is so bipolar because she's a benign AI fighting with a malevolent one.

Half-Life is in the same universe as FEAR
And the Combine has assimilated the Replica soldier "technology".

Portal is a Future Imperfect retelling of the movie WALL•E
See Wall* E's entry for details and the inverse of this theory.
  • This may be relevent.

Aperture Science is responsible for 'Splosion Man.
Check out the teaser for Ms. 'Splosion Man — they trap 'Splosion Man with a cake, and on top of the cake is what looks like a GLaDOS morality core. It could explain the real reason Aperture Science is abandoned and there is no cake. Plus, 'Splosion Man itself has some Portal references, including the Suspiciously Specific Denial "This Is Not a Portal Reference" Achievement.

The two co-op robots will escape and end up exploring time and space.
Which will result in a spin-off game about a robotic Adventure Duo depending on each other for survival, just as they've always done. May be more awesome if they somehow wind up fighting/hiding from aliens or zombies.
  • That's MISTER P-Body, thank you.
    • You sir, are a genius. May I please use that for a webcomic?
    • Problem: P-Body's female.

Chell and GLaDOS were both being tested.
GLaDOS is a perfectionist. She wants everything to be perfect. Including herself. Everything that isn't perfect, she incinerates and starts again. She deliberately set things up so that she and Chell would have no choice but to fight each other - if Chell lost she'd be imperfect and GLaDOS would have incinerated her, before moving onto the next opponent. If, as actually happened, GLaDOS lost, that'd prove she was imperfect and Chell would then have to incinerate her personality cores in order to get out. GLaDOS then activated her backup cores, but rewrote some of her own programming to fix the flaws that Chell had exploited, and had Chell dragged back in so they could do the whole thing again ad infinitum. From her twisted perspective, everybody wins. And I have (incredibly shaky) evidence:
  • "There's experiments to run and there's research to be done on the people who are still alive - and believe me, I am still alive." - the Still Alive song.
    • "You tested me, I tested you. You killed me, I... oh. I guess I haven't killed you yet. Well... food for thought." - Portal 2 trailer.
    • I'm gonna take a guess that the thing on Eli Vance's legs may be an early version of the leg springs. It looks like it to me so that will be my assumption.
      • No, they're just a real-life type of prosthetic leg.

The song Still Alive is sung within GLaDOS Black Box, in it's earliest replay
This theory is largely based on the fact that the black box is meant to record the last 2 minutes of GLaDOS' life, and the song makes very detailed description of the details of her death, referring to how she was not only killed but torn apart, and thrown into a FIRE. As for the talk of success, it could be considered a reference to the rest of the test up to this point. The talk of being Still Alive could indeed refer to the fact that GLaDOS is reliving the last 2 minutes of her life and she's trying to stop herself from going nuts and possibly even becoming a lament "Believe me I am still alive"
  • Alternatively the song could be considered to be referring to the events of the fight: At the start of the fight she praises you for getting this far "This was a triumph!" and goes on to say "We do what we must, because we can" referring to her testing subjects to destruction. She then tries to placate Chell's anger "But there's no use crying over every mistake". The rest of the song seems to describe events after she got burned, but maybe there's something to this :).

Doug Rattmann was either psychic or spying on Chell the whole time.
In one video of footage for Portal 2, you can see scribblings on the wall on Chell fighting GLaDOS, with a drawing of the Companion Cube being held by a stick figure (Doug himself, perhaps) and the cake as well. Either way, Rattmann knew that Chell had beaten GLaDOS, and left the drawings there as a sort of memorial to her before he died.
  • Confirmed by the recently released comic. Which should have its own page. *hint, hint*

In the flash version, you board the Borealis after eating or ignoring the cake
Notice how the exit sign has changed from a person with an arrow to a ship?

Wheately is SO going to die
GLaDOS will murder him, probably by setting him on fire, or a method that will later be used to kill GLaDOS.
  • Wheatley does live but is driven insane by hacking into GLaDOS. Chell eventually sends Wheatley to the moon. He is last seen floating in space along with the space core.

Atlas and P-body are the reincarnated Alyx and Gordon.
There are several similarities between Half-Life 1\2 and Portal 1\2, but the one that strikes me the most is how often the promotional artwork for Half-Life 2 was focused on not just Alyx or Gordon, but the "2" together, similar to how Portal 2 promotion focused on the Atlas and P-body, the "2" in "Portal 2." Alyx(now P-body) became more reckless because she no longer had a fear of death, While Gordon(now Atlas), who never had a fear of death, became more cynical after realizing he can't use the HEV suit anymore.

Atlas and P-body are actually meant to be templates for a robot army GLaDOS is planning to build to face the Combine.
She has already released several models, but all failed because of their software: They were not intelligent or creative enough to fight effectively, nor were they able to co-ordinate their attacks on their own. The two co-op 'bots have the latest AI, both different yet meant to be able to adapt and come up with answers to new problems. Plus, they are trained to trust each other and work in tandem. Once they pass the test, GLaDOS will copy their data into hundreds if not thousands more robots like them, ready to take on the alien threat using a wide variety of weapons (like the thermal discouragement beam) and be able to change their tactics to adapt to whatever the Combine throws at them. The ability to navigate through mazes and bypass traps using portals would also prove to be one hell of an advantage on the battlefield.

Portal 2 will reveal that GLaDOS has daddy issues that are responsible for some of her behaviour; her "daddy" figure being Cave Johnson.
  • Semi-Jossed, Not daddy issues so much as remnants of husband/boss issues, given the fact that part of her brain is inhabited by the spirit of Caroline, Cave's wife/secretary.
  • Erik Wolpaw mentioned that the relationship between Chell and GLaDOS has changed in Portal 2, and one of the Portal 2 achievements involves following GLaDOS's escape advise, so GLaDOS may go from being the primary antagonist to helping Chell defeat a worse enemy, possibly the uploaded brain of Cave Johnson.
    • Yeah, but that achievement's icon shows someone submerged in deadly goo, with Spikes Of Doom above their head. It's like jumping into the fire pit in Portal.
    • Both right. GLaDOS does join with Chell halfway through the story to fight Wheatley. GLaDOS does offer you a chance to escape before this, but it's a trap (of course).
    • Confirmed. About halfway through the game, you and GLaDOS have to work together to stop Wheatley. However, you earn "Good Listener" earlier than that if you let GLaDOS kill you while you and Wheatley try to escape.

GLaDOS will eventually mod her own hardware in the same manner Atlas and P-body were modified, turning herself into a robot independent of the Enrichment Centre.
Probably she would have already, if that wouldn't be prevented by her programming, just like helping test subjects to solve a test.

The co-op campaign in Portal 2 will end with GLaDOS forcing Atlas and P-body to betray each other so only one of them may survive/win, but there will also be a less obvious way for the bots to work together and both survive.
So the co-op campaign will have two alternative endings; one where the bots betray each other and one is consequently destroyed permanently, and one where they work together to outsmart GLaDOS and both survive.
  • Nope. They just make their job a lot easier, and their master a lot happier.

The ARG will amount to nothing.
Unfortunately, being so close to the Portal 2 release date, the April Fool's Day ARG will remain just that- a drawn-out April Fool's prank. Not sure why you'd pour money into a type of viral advertising after having already shown us clips and images of the finished game.
  • Jossed, the ARG was for the purpose of subverting Valve Time.
    • This is debatable, actually, since the stated goal of the ARG was to get Portal 2 released early, and it was — but only by a few hours.

Half Life 2 Episode 3 will be released as a bonus disk with Portal 2.
It's taken so long because Valve knew people would eventually give up hope and never expect it to be a bonus disk. Additionally, it will be a very short game of only a few hours at best, much like Portal to the Orange Box.
  • Jossed. The only disk was Portal 2. And the only thing on the disk was Portal 2. Oh well.

When GLaDOS said that there were two more people on file with the same surname as Chell she was not just being a lying liar who lies.
As seen in the Labrat comic Chell's surname is listed as [redacted]. GLaDOS, being a computer can only understand the information in the spreadsheet literally and actually thinks Chell's surname is [redacted] and there are two more people whose surname is also withdrawn for some reason.
  • Said people could be the sources of Atlas and P-Body's encoded personalities.

The co-op bot courses are before and/or during Portal 2.
I haven't gotten through that much of the game yet, but the Combine Overwiki states that the bots were created because GLaDOS had gained a distrust for humans after her death. Remember the time GLaDOS says she went outside and saw a deer? She was slightly lying. She did go outside to get sunlight for the light bridges, but she also found scraps and put them together in order to form Atlas and P-Body. Whenever she's in downtown from insulting Chell, she's monitoring the co-op bots and vice versa. Also, the Combine Overwiki claims you can see P-Body opening a door sometime in Chapter 8.
  • At some point, GLaDOS mentions that only one duo reminded her so much of the two. She says one was an imbecile she had to destroy, while the other one...
    GLaDOS: Well, I don't think I want to go through that again.
    • GLaDOS does state that she created the co-op bots sometime right before Chell's escape (from a turret and a core), and they appear in the closing cutscene, having apparently helped GLaDOS to look after Chell while she was unconscious. Given the relatively short amount of time between Chell's escape and Wheatley's plan to defeat GLaDOS being put into action, it's also possible that co-op mode takes place after Portal 2. GLaDOS could very well be lying about the deer, though. She does that a lot.
    • In one of Wheatley's tests, you can see P-Body running around.

GLaDOS wants Chell to return, despite "Want You Gone."
Consider this. "Still Alive" was a song about GLaDOS proudly proclaiming she was still alive. The exact opposite was true: she was dead until accidently revived by Wheatley. Now, "Want You Gone," a sequel song to "Still Alive," is a song about her deciding she doesn't want Chell to return. Again, the opposite is true. (And yes, I just realized I provided a justification for Chell/GLaDOS fics.)
  • Throughout the song, GLaDOS's tone seems to indicate that she's in denial of her own words. Take the following lyrics for example: "When I delete you/Maybe I'll stop feeling so bad." During the credits sequence, where the lyrics display themselves, the line about feeling bad instead reads "REDACTED," as if she's embarrassed to have said it. It seems likely that GLaDOS does indeed miss Chell, especially if the whole thing about deleting Caroline was a lie (which, incidentally, the song seems to support).
    "Now little Caroline is in here too..."
    • Also, she says "Now I only want you gone" a lot in the song. Like she's trying to make herself believe it. I know that it's the chorus and name of the song, but why would she be singing in the first place? She's got no one to even sing to except herself...

Chell is the daughter of Cave Johnson and Caroline.
We know from one of the diagrams that Chell was part of the bring your daughter to work day and It would explain why GLaDOS freed her, either she lied about deleting Caroline, or Caroline merely influenced her to let her go and also an earlier line that GLaDOS mentions about caring about Chell. The way Cave talks about Caroline also seems to heavily imply they were more the just coworkers. It would explain why all mention of her last name is redacted, so no one suspects the relation to Cave. There's also the point about Chell's last name being [Redacted]. Jossed, but if Chell is Greg's kid, then Greg may have once been married to Caroline.

GLaDOS is actually heartbroken at the end of Portal 2.
With all the theorizing that Chell is probably Caroline's daughter, it's possible that GLaDOS has regained enough of Caroline's memories to realize this, and this is the real reason she lets Chell go. GLaDOS realizes she's a monster, and if Chell stays, she will, in effect, kill her own daughter. So she coldly says she's deleted Caroline (which doesn't sound very feasible given that Caroline lives in her brain as stated by GLaDOS herself, it's not like Caroline is a file tucked away in a folder somewhere) so she can send Chell away. This is the real reason at the end that she's singing "I want you gone". Also, the turrets singing in italian at the end? Apparently part of it translates to "Farewell, my beautiful child," or "My dear child" or something similar, and about how sad it all is. The turrets singing is her way of saying her last goodbye, and she's heartbroken over it. She's not releasing her, she's sending her away.

  • Ok, in the process of extensive rewatchings of the Turret Song, my (minions) friends and I came up with a rather amusing and...well...somewhat horrific idea involving the two strange turrets. Now, those are the only different turrets we've seen in the game, ever - excluding defectives here as they're still the same basic design. And then one of these aforementioned friends brought up the 'ghosting' concept in computing. Hence: GLaDOS has a memory 'ghost' of Caroline in her. That fat turret singing the Italian aria? That's Caroline. And the massive Animal King one? Cave. So we have mother and father both singing goodbye. Rather sweet. Except why are they in turret bodies? And where did they learn to sing like that?

    • And little Caroline is in here too - perhaps the turrets are all Aperture employees, their status as turrets reflecting their position in the company - there are the vast numbers of ordinary turrets, defective ones (hobos?), Caroline, larger (pregnant with Chell? It would explain the maternal love expressed in the turret song), while Cave is clearly in charge. The turret(s) that doesn't shoot Chell could be the Rattmann, who resisted GLaDOS's neurotoxin or Chell's adoptive parent and Aperture employee
    • Actually, it is more like the turrets are all connected to GLaDOS. They fire at Wheatley's images, because they hate him as much as GLaDOS does. The only reason why they were firing at Chell at ALL is because they are as compelled to "test" as she is - probably seeing any living person in a testing area as a "subject". It is only AFTER the tests, when they are NOT in a test chamber, that GLaDOS interferes, and sends Chell her final farewell as an aria through them.

  • GLaDOS sets you free because she's revealed her weakness. She knows that with one sentence Chell could kill her after revealing AI paradox vulnerability. She doesn't want to risk Chell not being mute.

  • The erm...Space Core that you install into Wheatley in the final battle was originally an AI in charge of the Borealis remotely from Enrichment Center. It became too obsessed with its mission and began sacrificing safety for the final goal, going to space. It was eventually disconnected and thrown into a personality core, and then stuck in the Aperture Science Corrupted Personality Core Receptacle.

Portal 2 only takes part 30 years after Portal 1
  • The state of degradation between 1 and 2 suggest that the gap is decades, not centuries. Also, setting it decades after would bring it into line with the HL series.
    • Maybe, but remember two things: despite GLaDOS's deactivation, lower functioning robots like the turrets are still active - maybe Aperture had a few robots that were responsible for the place's upkeep, and only recently went offline in certain areas. Second, the test chambers we explore that are raked with foliage are possibly miles below the surface. The top layers could be completely degradated, and we just can't see it. Roots and seeds are only just beginning to find their hold in an otherwise pristine, concrete environment. As long as someone keeps pumping water out of the facility, there's no reason why it would've been overrun as modern, non-AI-run buildings do.
      • However, if Chell would've been gone for centuries, all the little potaties in the "Bring Your Daughter To Work Day Room" would've rotted loong ago.

  • The personality cores as well as the other AIs GLaDOS mentions (the door AI, the announcer, etc) as well as the turrets are in fact the uploaded personalities of all the employees of Aperture.
    • The Space Core is all that remains of one of Aperture's first test subjects. We know from Cave Johnson's pre-recorded announcements that early test subjects included astronauts. We also know from those announcements that at least some of those astronauts were never seen again ("You might remember me from the Senate hearings on the missing astronaut scandal"). Another thing we know is that Aperture perfected techniques for keeping subjects in suspended animation for years, but with an associated risk of brain damage that increases with time spent in suspension. Finally, we know that Aperture was working on Brain Uploading technology ( and succeeded in Caroline's case). Maybe one of those poor astronauts ended up being kidnapped, put into suspended animation for years, was revived as a partial vegetable and used as a test subject for the Brain Uploading tech?
      • Aperture tested astronauts (and war heroes and Olympians), then they were stuck with hobos, then finally they could only afford to test their scientific staff. That matches up eerily with the Space, Adventure, and Fact spheres.

GLaDOS didn't delete Caroline
  • Rather, she uploaded her into a body to test her.
    • Or similiarly, Caroline was put in suspension when they uploaded her mind to make GLaDOS and was already in test storage, and that's an ulterior motive of finding the test subjects for GLaDOS in co-op mode.. Maybe GLaDOS will find a way to transfer Caroline's spirit into a replica of her old body?

The cake is a metaphor
  • For freedom. In Portal, Chell thinks she'll finally be free when she kills GLaDOS, but the Party Escort Bot steals that from her. Halfway through Portal 2 she thinks she's free, but Wheatley steals it from her. At the end, she's finally convinced she's free...But once again, freedom will be stolen from her by The Combine.

GLaDOS has an as-of-yet unseen Music sphere that does her compositions
  • Who act and sounds like Jo Co

Cave Johnson uploaded himself into the "Different" Turret
  • Just look at its dialog!

Here's a doozy for you:
  • I think that Chell could actually be in Ep.3 or Half Life 3, whichever comes first. Here is my reasoning.
    • 1. Portal 2 only takes place 27 years after Portal 1. Since the relaxation vault is on a day timer, waking people up after 50 days, we can assume that the 9999 error that occurs when Wheatley arrives is also in days. This puts the clock at 27 or so years give or take. This seems a lot more realistic that the hundreds of years suggested, since the building is still somewhat intact. Nature can destroy ruins in a matter of decades, and given a hundred years even, an unmaintained facility would be wiped off the earth. Any information that is given to the player regarding time is either coming from Wheatley or GLaDOS. Wheatley is a moron who makes mistakes, and GLaDOS intentionally lies to you all the time, so you can't trust either of them. The amount of decay suggests only a few decades of neglect, since the room you wake up in is still somewhat intact. The fact that the Rattman graffiti hasn't worn away yet also suggests a shorter time span.
    • 2. Portal 1 takes place shortly after the 7-Hour War. Going by the timeline, Chell is woken up some years after GLaDOS initiates the lockdown of Aperture on May 16th 200- (The time in which the Black Mesa Incident occurs) GLaDOS also claims in the song "Still Alive" "When I look out there it makes me glad I'm not you", suggesting that the surface is dangerous. It definitely would be following the 7-Hour War. So if we assume that Chell was in stasis for 27 years as proposed by Reason #1, then that leads us to Reason #3
    • 3. Portal 2 takes place approximately the same time as Half Life 2. Half Life 2 is suggested to take place at least 20 years after the 7-Hour War and the Black Mesa Incident. The timeline sets the date at 202-, giving room for leeway. If Chell has been in stasis for 27 years since Portal 1, that puts her escape in Portal 2 in the ballpark for Half Life 2.
    • 4. Valve Suggested implementing a deaf or mute character into Episode 3. Looking back at the information we had received regarding Episode 3, it was hinted that Valve was considering adding a deaf character into the story, or at least one who had a disability. Chell never speaks, and might have brain damage, since you jump to respond to Wheatley. The reason? Emancipation Grills. They are known to corrode Dental Fillings, Tooth Enamel, and Teeth, which would give Chell a speech impediment. According to Portal 2, they can also melt Ear Tubes, which would make her slightly deaf. GLaDOS herself calls Chell a mute at the end of Portal 2. So, we have a mute, potentially deaf person, alive in roughly the same timeframe as Half Life 2, and Valve had suggested implementing a character with a disability into episode 3. Insane? What do you think?
      • That's an interesting theory, but I do have a couple issues with it. First, I heard that Alyx and DOG learned sign language to be able to communicate better with this deaf character, meaning that Alyx would have known this person well. But if Portal 1 takes place around the Seven Hour War (which is right after HL1, if I'm not mistaken) and Portal 2 takes place around HL2, when would Chell have had the opportunity to meet Alyx? Remember, Alyx was a baby during HL1. Also, I heard somewhere that Alyx had a crush on the aforementioned deaf character. So unless Alyx has been in the closet for a while (and her relationship with Gordon seems to provide evidence to the contrary) the deaf character probably wouldn't be Chell.
      • The announcer says 9 at least 6 times in the beginning, which is about 27 hundred years.
      • You're assuming he was counting the number of years? Originally, she was supposed to be woken every fifty days, so it was more likely days he was counting. Admittedly, that's still almost 3,000 years... assuming it's six nines... actually, that he was counting all in nines and got frazzled, the announcer had probably stopped counting at some sort of limit years before... hm. It's hard to say. BUT, who knows how HL3 will start out. If there's Aperture tech that could keep a person alive for that long, Black Mesa should have probably had an equivalent.

Wheatley will one day get a happy ending
  • No reason, minus feeling sorry for a likely genuinely sorry robot.
    • Even better: Wheatley will come upon the frozen body of Lamarr (Dr. Kleiner's pet headcrab), thaw her out, and go on adventures together as a Similar Squad to Gordon and Chell.

At one point, GLaDOS planned on uploading Chell's brain into an AI.
  • In the first section of the second game, GLaDOS taunts Chell about her mortality, then makes cryptic mention of a "medical procedure... actually more like a medical experiment" she's going to perform as a birthday present. This is never explained. Fast-forward to the ending song: One day they woke me up/So I could live forever/It's such a shame the same will never happen to you. GLaDOS' original plan was to grant Chell immortality so she could carry on with her revenge long after the death of Chell's body, but after the unsettling experience of having a conscience and the decision that Chell was too much of a liability to keep around, she abandoned the idea. Couldn't resist getting in one last jab about the immortality Chell will never have now, though.
    • GLaDOS does make a comment about making raising the dead her new hobby. She probably was just lying like usual. It does sound like something that she would do though to bring Chell back from the dead to continue testing.

Caroline was just as insane as Cave was
  • Maybe not quite as insane, but she was probably selected because she would have just as much disregard for human life as Cave did in the name of science. Caroline simply had a better understanding of her limits, so she didn't do self-destructive stuff like eat moon paste. Caroline as a conscience? Fah, Caroline as enlightened self-interest.
    • According to a mention on the Steam forums, there was a deleted scripted line in the game's files where Caroline said "Hide the bodies, Mr. Johnson". Perhaps Caroline really isn't as sane as we thought, and if she somehow is influenced by GLaDOS to do the darker side of testing...

The next sequel will have GLaDOS built into the portal gun.
  • Think about it: Practically everything in the Enrichment Centre is sentient - even the Companion Cubes, according to GLaDOS - so why should the Portal Gun be any different? It just hadn't been programmed with a personality yet. But now it's spent several hours physically and electrically connected to GLaDOS while she was in a very delicate condition. Given half the chance, she'd have backed herself up. At some point in the sequel, something will happen to 'awaken' that backup, and she'll then be right there with Chell, even as she ventures beyond the Enrichment Centre.
    • Wasn't the portal device sucked out into space along with Wheatley? Chell might not have the gun anymore.

  • GLaDOS really is referring to Chell when she says "Goodbye my only friend." She had previously stated that "All this time I thought you were my enemy, when you were really my best friend." She's simply too stubborn to admit this in the ending song.
    • "Oh, did you think I meant you? / That would be funny if it weren't so sad." Yes, she really did mean Chell, and it would in fact be funny if it weren't so sad.

GLaDOS has truly developed a conscience
  • After the prompt said "Caroline deleted.", GLaDOS stated that killing Chell was hard. Moments later, the exit elevator goes past the small compartment with four turrets starting the turret opera. They all target her, but refuse to fire. So, is it really that the turrets had a reason for not firing on Chell? Perhaps GLaDOS has truly grown a conscience from her ties to Caroline. This would fit:
    • "...I hear the voice of a conscience, and for the first time, it's MY voice." -Could signify Caroline reawakening within her, or the growth of her own conscience.
    • When GLaDOS stated "...killing you? Is hard." After deleting Caroline. After all, maybe she's talking in the emotional sense (hard to deal with, despite all previous attempts) as opposed to physically hard to kill.

    General II 

The first two games are a Batman Gambit by GLaDOS to make Chell into a new AI to lead the remaining humans against some threat.
  • Let's review:
    • The line "Go make some new disaster/That's what I'm counting on/You're someone else's problem." implies that GLaDOS has some plan for Chell.
    • If this WMG is correct, then "This was a triumph" makes more sense: the plan is continuing as intended.
    • "I'm the only thing between us and them. Well, I was." could refer to this plan rather than, as is usually assumed, GLaDOS's death: there's a new force on the field.
    • Finally, as mentioned below, this would make "One day they woke me up/so I could live forever./It's such a shame the same/will never happen to you" deliciously ironic.

Wheatley will end up back on Earth
  • The portal on the moon was facing toward Earth. At the speed he was ejected from the portal he'd be back in a couple of days. He'd probably survive reentry too since all Aperture equipment can stand those kind of temperatures.
    • I highly doubt Wheatley was ejected at escape velocity though. He's probably orbiting the moon.
      • Regardless of whether the Portal was facing towards Earth when you let him go you can clearly see him getting flung off into the infinite blackness, not back towards Earth.
  • Somewhat, sort of confirmed. When the The Final Hours of Portal 2 was updated to contain content on Peer Review, it was mentioned that one of the early ideas for the new co-op course was to have ATLAS and P-Body go to space to get Wheatley (presumably so GLaDOS could torture him some more). So at least Valve is thinking about bringing him back.
  • There is also another possibility, after the portal to the moon is opened, the Portal Gun is the first thing that gets sucked on it, maybe with yet another extenssion that he was told he would die if he used, he could grab the Portal Gun, fire on the moon, get ready, fire on the earth at random until a portal to somewhere opens, pump himself into portal, shot somewhere else to close the portal to the moon, done, is kinda of a clever plan, but even Wheatley was shown to be able to do the smartest thing if given enough time.

Cave died from asbestos poisoning; not moon rocks
  • He even comments on the symptoms of asbestos poisoning in an earlier recording; commenting that "you don't need to worry about it for about 40 years." Cue 40 years later...
    • An interesting note: Inhaling lunar dust has symptoms nearly identical to asbestos poisoning. Food for thought...
      • It is also likely that the moon rocks were the catalyst for his illness, but another thing to remember is that during the 1950s a LOT of people smoked, as shown by the various ash trays all over the place. Now, either second-hand or first-hand smoke, combined with asbestos and moon rocks equals a very nasty, painful way to die. Cave only thought it was the moon rocks because it was what set his illness off. He also might have been batshit insane from mercury and, because of this, decided to latch onto the moon rocks as a scapegoat...

Caroline was Ax-Crazy
  • Since Caroline is part of GLaDOS, that "eager" act was all a facade. That "Goodbye Caroline" quip was her sarcasm leaking. After Caroline uploaded, GLaDOS snapped, fed up with all of the pent-up anger, and tried to kill the people who had forced Caroline's head into a computer, as a result of her rage at trying to force a human into her mind. After a while, she was so bent on revenge on the staff that she started testing them, but got so into it she forgot her purpose. Chell helped her remember it, but Caroline, now a little more rational and emotional, reasoned it's best not to pursue killing her. GLaDOS lied about deleting Caroline, but she's still a sadist. This of course means that Caroline has much more control over GLaDOS than we thought, and that it was always Caroline who was sadistic.
    • Just adding onto the "Goodbye Caroline" part: everyone takes it lightly, but then you realise that she didn't even say goodbye to the people they were testing (supposedly heroes), which is pretty rude even if you believe that she wasn't doing it intentionally. The awkward silence after the sentence didn't make her look any more polite either. Rude doesn't equate to Ax-Crazy at all, I know, but it still shows a possible unpleasant side to her personality. While playing, I couldn't help but imagine Caroline giving a passive-aggressive glare towards the "war heroes, astronauts, and/or Olympians" as they were leaving. She didn't even sound like she particularly wanted the testers to be in on the joke.

Cave Johnson actually made his combustible lemons
This is evident through the 'different' turret on the redemption line that says "Don't make lemonade!".
GLaDOS wrote Want You Gone and the turret opera while Chell was passed out, as a final favor for Caroline before she deleted her.
After saving Chell, she spent a long while anguishing on what to do, utterly torn between restoring the status quo or living with Caroline's compassion and love despite Caroline explicitly never wanting to be put in a computer in the first place. During this time, she wrote Want You gone as a reflection of her confusion and dilemma of the moment, and did a final act of affection for Chell by organizing the turret choir, then waited for Chell to wake up so the Caroline inside her could have one last sight of Chell before being deleted.
"Testing subjects is a metaphor for a romantic relationship."
This is taken from a comment on deviantART

Testing subjects is a metaphor for a romantic relationship.The trend of feminine symbolism continues in Portal 2. Wheatley is pretty much making orgasmic groans and moans as he gives Chell simple, meaningless tests for the sake of testing, and GLaDOS says, "I was in it for the science," science being a metaphor for the more "important" aspects of a meaningful relationship. Their behavior and dialogue follow traditional gender roles.

Aperture Science kept itself afloat through conventional means while testing absurdly advanced hyper-tech
  • The old-school Aperture logo says "SALT * ASBESTOS * CURTAINS," and we might presume Aperture sold rather high-quality salt, asbestos, and shower curtain products until asbestos was banned and their salt mine flooded with toxic waste, washed-off propulsion and repulsion gel, and flakes of asbestos and rust from the science spheres. After the diet gels, consumers learned to avoid their non-salt, non-asbestos, non-curtain output. Left only with shower curtains and other minor products and facing diminishing grants from the military, Aperture was suddenly and permanently in the red.

Aperture Science sold some of its products, but not many
  • The military used more stable and less talkative turrets for defense purposes and nonsentient Weighted Storage Cubes are used for safely shipping bulk objects.
    • Judging from the fact that the turrets are offered in the US Army/Marines standard 1980s Jungle and Desert camouflages this might be correct. Though the idea of the Marines getting stuck with Ap Sci turrets while the Army gets someone elses' is somewhat amusing.

Caroline wasn't romantically involved with Cave Johnson, but she was in love with him
Hints in the game about their relationship seem to point more toward a one-sided crush on Caroline's end— Cave's comment that she's "married to science" indicate that she's more devoted to him than any romantic relationship in her life, and GLaDOS's... exuberant response to the recording of Cave and her reverant "Goodbye, sir" at the end seem more like hero-worship than the way a wife or lover would respond to the man she's involved with. This may also provide an alternative take on Chell's parentage; she could be Cave's daughter or otherwise related to him, and GLaDOS's conflicted feelings toward her might stem from her being the last remnant of the man Caroline loved but could never have.

josesd, the PO Tat OS science toy comes with a canon science fair poster made by chell stating that "Mr. Johnson scares daddy" thus they are diffident people.

The Turrets aren't singing on behalf of GLaDOS
  • They're singing on behalf of eachother. The turrets were distraught at how Wheatley just welded several of them into boxes and forced them to solve tests for him. After putting GLaDOS back in charge, they thanked Chell for saving the rest of them from suffering a similar fate. As thanks, they sang not only to entertain Chell on her way out, but as a way of saying "You'll always be a part of our family, at least."

Caroline was actually married to science
  • Think about it. GLaDOS was only doing the testing for the science. She even began to see things that were not useful for "science" as not useful for anything("Oh the science we used to learn with this test. Now it is useless"). And, of course, Caroline did work for Aperture science directly under Cave's supervision. It's not unlikely that he rubbed off on her a bit.

Cave's name is a typo.
  • I have a theory that Cave Johnson was originally meant to be named boring old Dave Johnson but early on a typo made his name out to be Cave instead of Dave (the D key and C key are right on top of each other on a keyboard). They probably liked the uniqueness of the name and decided to keep it anyways.
    • It is more a Meaningful Name thing, in my opinion. He is named Cave, so what is he going to spend his money on for making a facility? Caves, or Mines, which are man-made caves, which are, in the case of Aperture Science, within a cave. He also starts off relatively sane, but, as his illness progresses, he "caves" into despair and rants about the unfairness of it all.

Both Caroline and Cave Johnson were uploaded into GLaDOS
  • Cave successfully transferred his consciousness into the computer before his death and, influenced by the onset crazy that affects anyone in GLaDOS' body, demanded that Caroline be uploaded as well so that they could continue to run the facility together forever. The removed scene in which Caroline was to try to refuse the transfer was to be her speaking to Cave Johnson inside the computer. In a fit of rage-inspired revenge, Caroline took control of GLaDOS after being uploaded and completely deleted Cave from the system, at which point she went completely and utterly insane and became the murderous AI we all know and love. This would also explain why GLaDOS doesn't immediately remember either Cave or Caroline when she hears their voices in the old facility.

Cave Johnson was successfully uploaded into the Oracle Turret.
Cave specifically said that if the staff couldn't figure out how to upload his personality before he died, Caroline should run the place. So the staff focused their efforts on figuring out how to upload Caroline, and eventually succeeded. In a frantic last-minute attempt to save Cave's personality, they shoved him into a turret. "Different" indeed.

The test subjects found in storage at the end of the Co-op campaign were taken during the Combine invasion to protect them from eventual extinction
GLaDOS allegedly already killed off most of the staff in the facility, so she needed a fresh batch of test subjects to use in the case that Chell would die. Since Chell of course did kill GLaDOS at the end of the first game, and she has remained dead for the whole time between the first and second game, she obviously hasn't even been able to use them. And since Chell does of course leave the facility for good at the end of the second game, she decides that it is a good time to bring them back again, using Atlas and P-Body as substitutes in the meanwhile as testing subjects with the end purpose of activating the manual override of the vault, which for some reason cannot open herself.
  • My theory about how the Black Mesa incident occurred: The "resonance cascade" was actually a Portal into another dimension which GLaDOS tricked some hapless Black Mesa employee into creating. Black Mesa was trying to create a Portal gun and, being unsuccessful, turned to a person they thought was a disgruntled Aperture Science employee. It was actually GLaDOS, however. She had a theory about how to open inter-dimensional portals but was afraid to try it herself in case something bad happened... which did.
    • This theory is more valid if you replace GLaDOS with the G-Man. It was revealed in Half-Life 2: Episode Two that the G-Man provided the crystal that caused the cascade. If GLaDOS was involved in any way, it must have been the two of them working together, or one being the other's pawn.

The "Mantis-Men" Cave Johnson makes reference to were the Vortigaunts.
  • One of Aperture Science's first experiments was the cross between mantis and human DNA, which he makes reference to in the earlier tests. Given that Aperture Science's response to a failed experiment is to stick it in the basement, they probably opened the initial portal to the Vortigaunt homeworld and kicked them through it. We have no idea how these portals affect time (since the G-Man certainly has some ability to control and manipulate it), so the Vortigaunts could have lived many generations before the Combine came and the events of Half-Life brought them back to Earth. But their collective memory of humans was still good (they were astronauts and war heroes before the change, after all) which is why they allied with them when the Combine control was lifted.

Aperture Science is Dilbert's ideal work environment
  • He wanted a place where there were no marketers and no one telling him what is unfeasible. Unfortunately, without anyone to tell them "this can't make money", or "I think it's good enough", or "DEAR GOD MAN, STOP!!!", it basically ends the way you expect.

Portal 3 will be an MMO
  • What? I'm being serious: Valve has said that it will be easing off single player for a while. We have an unlimited amount of customizable characters (The cryopreserved test subjects from the end of Portal 2's co-op), we have a huge, sprawling world (Aperture Laboratories), and we have proof from Vindictus that a Source-based MMO can work.
    • But the Logistics of a a thousand players with Portal guns would be daunting. If Atlas and P-Body need 2 colors each so they don't go out each others portals now expand that a thousand fold.
      • Why not just have each person's name above his or her portals?
      • The above sounds like the best idea, in a little Team Fortress 2-style overlay. You could probably go on a color wheel to customize your portals' colors.
      • Instead of names or color wheels, they could just make all other player's/all players not on your team's portals white. Not like you need to know all those other portals owners. It would be awesome if you can customize your own colors though.
    • Alternately, Portal 3 will be similar to Team Fortress 2 and be totally Player Versus Player. In addition, it will include different kinds of Portal devices for a variety of purposes. For example, a sniper rifle styled Portal device, or a grenade that instead of exploding will generate a portal beneath the target, causing him or her to fall through and into whatever spinny blade wall or mashy spike plate the thrower's other portal goes to.
      • Why? The ASHPD can do all that and more. During Portal 2's development, one of the heads said that Portal deathmatch would be "Much less fun than you'd think".
      • For the same reason a grenade is more useful than a gun in some situations even if the explosion isn't necessary. Sometimes throwing a round object is better for short range than shooting with a gunlike device. A sniper style portal device would be more effective for when extreme zooms beyond the capability of the regular ASHPD. The issue of a Portal deathmatch not being fun is all a matter of how they make it happen. Anything can be fun if it's done right and aimed at the correct audience.
      • Who says you need more than one ASH Po D variant? The way I see it, Aperature Science created enough other wacky, pointlessly dangerous inventions, some of which were designed to interact with portals or portal users, that you could have an entire arsenal of non-portal weapons while still keeping the portal gun as an important tool.
      • Aperture Science Handheld Combustible Lemon Launcher, anyone?
    • This probably wouldn't happen for one reason; unless it is entirely inside, someone WILL shoot the Moon.
      • Of course it would be entirely inside. GLaDOS may be slightly evil, but she's not banging rocks together-she knows how to maintain an Elaborate Underground Base without the roof falling off.
      • They could also just make it always daytime. Or have the moon always on the other side of the earth.
      • What would be wrong with shooting the moon? It would open up a whole new world of possibilities and expand the game. And then there's the developers' ever-present option not to make it possible to shoot the moon. This is a needless worry.
      • The fact that most humans can't survive in the vacuum of space? Admittedly, Portal in space would be awesome, but the logistics would be difficult to work out. Maybe if it were entirely robots like Atlas and P-Body... Would remove some of the questions, anyway.

Half-Life Episode 3 will cross over with Portal.
  • The hidden Borealis drydock in Portal 2 seems to hint at a larger connection. It will turn out that, when the Borealis disappeared, it traveled through time to shortly after the Seven Hour War. After various plot shenanigans there, it will accidentally be reactivated, and jump to the Enrichment Center 300 years into the future, shortly after the events of Portal 2's co-op campaign. Gordon and possibly Alyx will be captured and put through tests; however, GLaDOS will eventually see the similarities between Chell and Gordon and let them go. On their way out, Wheatley and the Space Core will impact the Earth, damaging the facility. Gordon will use this opportunity to free the other test subjects, giving him a full crew for the Borealis. Atlas and P-Body will try to stop them, but the time travel engine will be successfully used right after they board. (Chell may be involved too, but I think her story may truly be over. She and her beloved Companion Cube are surely living happily together somewhere.) Captain Freeman will stop off in his "present" to pick up his allies before traveling to the Seven Hour War and stopping the Combine from taking over the Earth. Also, P-Body, Atlas, Wheatley and D 0 G will become True Companions.
    • Unlikely, as now Valve has stated that they are trying to keep Half-Life and Portal apart. Then again, with Valve's track record on changing their minds and being so vague that the Fanon is almost more accurate...

Earlier versions of the portal gun had a side effect
  • They warped time as well as space.'' Fans were delighted but surprised to discover in old Aperture that the portal gun technology is older than previously thought. A version that looks like a bulky proton pack goes back to the fifties. But oddly, this contributed to a growing number of continuity errors and timeline difficulties for tracking what happened when in Aperture's early history. There are many examples, but among these it was previously thought the portal gun project was initiated towards the end of Cave's life. separately, we know that at some point GLaDOS gassed the staff, but was this the final, catastrophic end of Aperture, or did some scientists survive to attach the morality core? It's hard to tell.

But an interesting thing happens in the 50's section of old Aperture: Cave specifically warns that some time travel has been known to occur on a particular test, and that if you meet a time travel copy of yourself, your best bet is just to ignore her/him. But was this just random Aperture wackiness, or was something more interesting going on?

Consider again that early portal gun. How do portal guns work? miniature black holes? Einstein-Rosen bridge? Quantum Teleportation? The thing is, any of those, given the right conditions, could involve some time travel. It's not hard to believe that a side effect of the portal gun would be time distortion. Yes, by the time of the games, under GLaDOS's watchful eye the design was improved and eliminated the time distortion side effect, but those early portal guns were causing local time distortions like crazy, involving time travelers, quantum duplicates and non-linear time. If this is assumed, think of all this could help explain: why exactly Aperture kept successively building and abandoning facilities, until finally sealing all of old Aperture off in giant hatches: the local area space-time had been corrupted by the use of portal guns. It helps to explain why Cave Johnson would order the creation of the portal gun near the end of his life when they had been in use for decades. It even helps make sense of why Cave became convince near the end of his life that time was flowing backwards: He was trying to use the portals to cure his moon rock poisoning, and he experienced some temporal weirdness as a side effect. (perhaps something along the lines of his mind becoming unstuck in time for a while.) And yes, it could help account for the timeline weirdness and inconsistency in the back story: for a while, time was not behaving normally at Aperture science.
  • Well, that's one theory. But in retrospect, perhaps the backstory is so odd just for the simple reason that Aperture science is lies built upon lies accruing for decades.
Portal takes place in a parallel history, like Team Fortress 2.
  • Which means that everything that Fact Core says is actually true. Except 'space does not exist' of course, that was just to insult the Space Core.
Caroline is still alive.
  • Her body, anyway. She's quite possibly still alive in the facility, along with other test subjects in stasis. GLaDOS became aware of this at the end of Portal 2, and when the series picks up again she will seek to eliminate Caroline for good.

In universe, GLaDOS didn't sing Still Alive until after Portal 2.
  • The lyrics of Still Alive pretty obviously show that she's still alive, yet Portal 2 shows that she was basically dead until Wheatley and Chell accidentally wake her back up. It also implies that Chell is out of the facility for good, and that GLaDOS is okay with that. None of that is true until after the second game. So yeah, assuming that GLaDOS really did sing Still Alive in universe, then she did so some time after Portal 2.
    • "Go ahead and leave me... I think I prefer to stay inside..." The intonation of the lyrics suggests that GLaDOS is melancholy about Chell having escaped. Her feeling this way seems a lot more likely after Portal 2 than after Portal, considering that in Portal Chell never actually escaped, and that even if she had, GLaDOS would not have missed her at all (although she definitely would have bemoaned losing the chance to kill her). But after Portal 2, there's a very distinct possibility that GLaDOS doesn't really "Want You Gone".
    • And there's more: I've experiments to run, there is research to be done on the people who are still alive. That can't be true after the events of Portal, what with GLaDOS being dead and all. But at the end of Portal 2's co-op campaign, GLaDOS suddenly finds herself with a new batch of living test subjects to experiment on.
    • There are yet more lines in "Still Alive" that make even more sense if you place them after Portal 2:
      • "And when you're dead I will be still alive." This isn't something GLaDOS would say after Portal, considering that she was too dead to say anything at all, letting alone brag about being something she's not. But in Portal 2 she boasts at least twice that she is effectively immortal while Chell only has "60 years or so" left to live, so it makes sense to say this line of the song at the end of Portal 2.
      • "This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. It's hard to overstate my satisfaction." Does this sound like something GLaDOS would say after being blown up by a rogue test subject who pissed her off as much as she could manage and didn't give her the satisfaction of at least dying herself in the process? And then reliving the last two minutes of Chell pwning her, over and over, for 300 years? Not really. But it does sound an awful lot like something she'd say after being brought back to life, teaming up with Chell and successfully defeating Wheatley (with the icing on the cake — haha — being that she gets put back in charge of the facility), finding a new batch of test subjects, and getting rid of Chell and Wheatley once and for all. Depending on how you interpret her true feelings about Chell leaving, it's like Portal 2 was The Part Where All Her Dreams Come True.
      • "I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now. Even though you broke my heart, and killed me." This sounds a lot more plausible after Portal 2 than after Portal.
      • Perhaps directed toward the memory of Cave Johnson?
      • "So I'm GLaD I got burned, think of all the things we learned, for the people who are still alive." Neither GLaDOS nor Chell really learn anything during Portal, except that GLaDOS is Ax-Crazy. But they learn a couple of cool and/or important things during Portal 2, such as GLaDOS's past identity as Caroline, that moon rocks are used to make surfaces conduct portals, that portals can be fired into space, what the old test chambers were like, and that there are still some humans kicking around at Aperture Science.
Still Alive was not directed at Chell
  • It was directed at the scientists who uploaded Caroline into GLaDOS. Think about it. The unused dialogue implies that Caroline didn't like the brain uploading process, and likely found it very painful. They probably had to remove the consciousness out of Caroline's body, basically killing her. And maybe the scientists decided to tear the corpse to pieces and "throw every piece into a fire" just for the hell of it. Even though GLaDOS remembers the pain and hates the scientists, she does appreciate that it was done For Science! Also, she likely sang the song while she was filling the facility with neurotoxin, which explains, "when I look out there, It makes me glad I'm not you." Go through the whole song, it works!

Equipment defects, including core corruption, are relative
  • At first this was going to be a Head Scratcher: Why would the facility suddenly detect that GLaDOS was corrupt? Why did you need to induce Wheatley's corruption in the final battle? The scene where Chell replaces the turret assembly line template with a defect triggered this WMG: the facility is able to readjust the definition of failure. Aperture Science has a long history of inventing great products that were meant for completely different purposes: some utter failures, and others successes. It makes sense that success and failure is as configurable as the test chamber panels. When GLaDOS was powered on during Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, her last calibrated configuration was the main core and the four modifier cores you detached in the first game. The announcer states that GLaDOS' core corruption is at 80%, which matches the number of cores removed from the baseline. With an alternate core in range of detection, the transfer flag was finally set, and when you initiate the core transfer, you clear the flag and reset the baseline. To reverse the process, you must add defective cores to the mainframe to throw off the baseline enough for another core transfer.

Cave Johnson was transferred into a computer
  • The unused sound files of Caroline protesting being put into the computer imply that Cave was still alive by the time his scientists finished the project, so why was she being uploaded instead of him? Cave decided that he wanted Caroline to live forever with him and that she would go in first. The few remaining employees of Aperture at this time were fed up with Cave's insanity driving the company into the ground and killing them with the mandatory testing. Thus they decided to place Caroline's mind into the main computer instead of Cave who was taken offline and placed in storage. GLaDOS tried to kill everyone when first turned on because of what they had done to both Caroline and her beloved Mr. Johnson.
    • Or perhaps they were both being uploaded at the same time, and Cave was enjoying it as Caroline protested. This would explain why Mr. Simmons was uncomfortable with the scene - it would increase the rape factor tremendously.
    • This would also explain why Cave Johnson's voice is in all the "investment opportunity" videos, despite presumably having died long before all these modern devices like the turrets and long-fall boots were created.
  • Somewhat confirmed by some of the deleted dialogue from the game you can read on the Portal Wiki. (Scroll to the bottom for "Conversation with GLaDOS.)

The Companion Cube is really an incubator containing a cloned human fetus

The Co-op robots were programmed with Chel's backup
  • So GLaDOS can keep torturing her, though they're just as corrupted as Caroline was so they can't be a threat.
The main reason Portal 2 contained so much backstory on Aperture Science is so they have something solid to work with for Half-Life Episode 3
  • The original's take on the subject would have been too vauge to impliment properly if they hadn't.
The Logic Bomb-weakness was deliberately induced by Aperture Science
  • An advanced AI which can effectively think and talk like a human, and has a sense of humor and understands irony, but which can nevertheless think itself into exploding? When you think about it, the very trope is Fridge Logic at best. However, you can just imagine Cave Johnson saying "Whaddaya mean, a paradox doesn't fry every circuit in its brain!? I want you to make a special paradox-detector ..."
    • Alternatively, the poster from The Eighties was simply obsolete. By the time of GLaDOS and Wheatley's creation, most AIs are advanced enough to have paradox-free crumple zones, but they didn't bother to give this sort of feature to the turrets and other low-level AIs. This explains why GLaDOS and Wheatley were both immune, but the Frankencubes were not. Although GLaDOS seemed to think that all AIs were susceptible ...
      • GLaDOS was told that she would die if she ever thought about paradoxes, just like Wheatley was told he would die if he ever did anything.

  • Both were so extraordinarily incompetent in their inventions that even the most benign attempts had comically lethal side-effects.

The turrets are mobile
This was a feature intended to allow them to reload and recharge themselves. They were also used in the old Aperture tests, explaining why the old tests seem unusually safe by Aperture standards. GLaDOS stops the turrets from moving during ongoing tests, but the turrets in the mines were abandoned and free to move around. This is the origin of the Oracle Turret, which heard Cave Johnson's pre-recorded messages and repeated them after going insane from years of being stuck inside that tube after GLaDOS was killed. While GLaDOS was asleep, the turrets escaped and formed their own civilisation, prompting her need to produce new ( defective) ones to use on Chell. The turrets also saw the Animal King turret on the Aperture messages and built it to become King of their new civilisation, which has come to recognise Chell as their liberator from Ratmann's drawings, explaining the Turret Opera.

Chell will be put into a computer.
  • I've never actually played the game, but how much ya wanna bet Chell eventually gets assimilated into GLaDOS or a similar computer? It would certainly add an element of irony to GLaDOS' line in the song "It's such a shame the same will never happen to you" referring to Caroline being assimilated into GLaDOS.

In "Want You Gone", GLaDOS mentions how "they woke me up so I could live here forever." This implies that GLaDOS, and by extension Caroline, was happy about being turned into an unaging computer.
  • Or that part of the song could actually be Caroline singing, to express how she was woken up inside of GLaDOS so that she could live forever. Especially because GLaDOS mentions Caroline in the line directly before it.
  • GLaDOS is a lying untruthful lying liar who tells false and untrue lies and none of her dialogue in either game can be believed without outside support.

Wheatley was Aperture Science's first attempt at creating a truly "human" artificial intelligence.
Previous AI personalities still had the intellectual capacity and speed of a computer, so the scientists who created Wheatley tried to program blocks and restrictions on his memory, abilities and thought process to make him more human. Since everything in Aperture Science seems to have Gone Horribly Right, they overdid the Artificial Stupidity and turned Wheatley into a moron, and he was repurposed to be GLaDOS' Intelligence Dampening Sphere. This would also explain why Wheatley has a much more natural speech pattern than any of the other AI constructs.
  • GLaDOS implies that Wheatley was built specifically to be "the dumbest moron who ever lived."

is a cover for Aperture Science.]]The linked video makes so much more sense if it were true.

The plot of Portal 3 will be Chell breaking into the Enrichment Center to save Caroline. This makes sense if you buy the "Caroline is Chell's mother" theory.
  • I can actually see Chell running around in old aperture, and then finding a dead body of Caroline sitting in a chair with a brain upload hat thingy, her face is in a terrible scream.

'Portal 1 was a Take That to videogames in general''.
Think about it. What is a basic thing in every video game? Follow the instructions, solve problems, and get a reward when all is said and done. But the reward in this case was a bunch of empty words, because Chell was never actually given cake, even after following the original instructions GlaDOS gave her.

'Atlas and P-Body are Cave Johnson and Chell.''
After Portal 2, GLaDOS was so lonely she decided she could upload both of her selves' best friends into the Co-Op Bots and still have Testing adventures. However, during the process, their personalities got distorted and Cave became Mute. Because of this she had nothing but hate for the robots that would always be only imitations of her friends, which is why she constantly mocks them and blows them up several times.

Cave Johnson did get afflicted with mercury poisoning at some point.
Rather than Cave dying from mercury poisoning, he got mercury poisoning sometime before creating Aperture. The mercury poisoning turned him into the Crazy Awesome guy we see in game, so he believed his "science" was doing good.

The "Test Solution Euphoria" is actually caused by a drug.
Specifically, Zydrate. Sort of. Aperture Science actually invented Zydrate (well, it obviously wasn't called Zydrate, but it was exactly the same) before GeneCo even existed, and it was actually stronger, to the point that it could even affect robots the same way it affected humans. Aperture's psuedo-Zydrate had a few flaws, though: you build up a tolerance to the euphoric effect astonishingly fast, and without that effect, the numbness is enough to drive you mad. Aperture, being Aperture, ignored the drug's obvious utility as a painkiller, and instead used it as an alternate fuel source for some of their more harmful AIs, the intentions allegedly being to make them less dangerous and save electricity. Eventually, after they lost one too many staff members to the neurotoxin GLaDOS released every time someone got close enough to refuel her, Aperture created a system that would inject a little bit of "fuel" every time the AI performed its intended function (like a turret firing, or GLaDOS watching someone complete a test), but completely forgot to account for the tolerance issue, thus causing AIs to overperform their duties in the hopes that they'll feel the next "hit", instead of getting more of the unbearable numbness. Unsurprisingly, this, along with certain other factors, pushed GLaDOS to the point that she finally succeeded in killing everyone in the facility that wasn't in stasis or incredibly lucky. And then the events of the games.

The first game takes place DURING the Seven Hour War.
Take a look at this line:
GLaDOS: I'm the only one standing between us and them
While Chell is navigating her way through the Portal tests, the Seven Hour War is raging outside, with GLaDOS doing all she can to protect her test subjectnote  (which just so happens to protect everyone else on Earth). Once Chell destroys her, the Combine have no real resistance and so handily win. Thanks, Chell.

Caroline and GLaDOS share a Horcrux link.
Unintentionally, as a result of not-quite-right Brain Uploading, a part of Caroline's consciousness is housed inside of GLaDOS, and GLaDOS forgets that she's there until the second half of Portal 2. Sound familiar to another certain soul ordeal?

Wheatley's final trap actually did kill Chell.
Everything after Chell stands back up is, at best, very surreal, from shooting the moon to the opera-singing turrets with their leopard-skin king. It is easy to interpret the final scene as Chell reaching heaven.

Someone else took over Aperture while GLaDOS was dead.
Who was the "management" that Wheatley mentions at the beginning of the game? They're not GLaDOS, and apparently they would have been angry if they found out about what happened to the humans in stasis, but they're never brought up again.
  • Maybe Jerry and the nanobot work crew that Wheatley was talking to?

Wheatley wasn't intended to be a Power Limiter, but to enhance GLaDOS's functionality.
Though she complains that her stupid decisions come from him, and she may waste processing re-evaluating decisions that may be moronic, the sub-optimal choices that get through her analysis make her less predictable, which in game theory gives her an edge over other AI's. This also makes it possible for her to carry on Aperture Science's constitutional methods of hit-or-miss R&D.
  • Maybe as much as GLaDOS is concerned human = stupid. So she thinks he was added to make her dumber,and since Wheatley doesn't seem to remember his time on GLaDOS (and isn't the human race's number one fan himself)- he bought into her version

Crossover, The Aperture Shed...
This being WMG, and maybe because it's 12 am, I noted that the Aperture Science shed at the end of Portal 2 will not reopen because GLaDOS wants to keep humans out. In Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, there is an unopenable shed next to your fields. When you exit the Aperture shed, you see a field of grain that is far too perfect to have randomly occurred. Perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, Aperture Science resides in (or under, as the case may be) Forget-Me-Not Valley.

Portal 2 occurs in the same timeline as Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas.
In 2077, when the bombs fell, that's when Aperture Science was abandoned. 200 years later, Chell was awakened from stasis.

Wheatley will meet Lamarr in Episode 3.
  • Well, both of them were launched into space, so why not?

The Oracle Turret is somehow connected to Cave Johnson.
This would explain why it quotes him twice, and also how it knows Caroline's name.

Doug Rattmann is the one who taught the turrets how to sing and is Chell's father.
Why do you think those four turrets are right under one of his dens as an Easter egg? This also supports the theory that Chell is his daughter (Adopted or otherwise). Caroline is clearly NOT Chell's mother (That she knows of, at least) by this one hint in the BYDTWD project: She says secret ingredient from DAD's work. If she was the daughter of Cave and Caroline, wouldn't she have written "Mom and Dad's work"?
  • Not necessarily. Cave and Caroline could have died when Chell was very young (explaining her redacted surname), and she was referring to her adoptive father.
  • Wouldn't Caroline and Cave have been of child-bearing age in the 50s or 60s? This could mean that Chell, if she was a child of theirs, would have been growing up in, at latest, the 70s. At that time, science was still very much thought of as "men's work" and so perhaps she was influenced by that to think of Caroline's work as just secretarial, and Cave's as the real "work."

Caroline will one day go crazy with boredom in GLaDOS's brain, and start turning into a lunatic herself, trying to convince GLaDOS to go back to the old way of testing... except worse.
  • One of Caroline's unused scripted lines in the game files is "Hide the bodies, Mr. Johnson", so she might not be as sane as previously thought. Add that to the fact that she only has GLaDOS for company, and there might be a few side-effects.

After being awakened in Old Aperture, Caroline tried to help GLaDOS with the paradox when they went up to Wheatley.
Think about it - GLaDOS saw the sign that had the paradoxes and said "no AI can resist thinking about them"... but she's an AI, and considering she needed to think of a paradox to use on the way up, her brain might have been fried. So what does she do? Have the human in her brain think of a paradox for her, and then say it to GLaDOS word by word. It explains how GLaDOS didn't short out on the way up, and why it seemed as if she was repeating the words after someone else saying them. Too bad it didn't work out.

The Animal King Turret is an original prototype turret.
Cave Johnson mentions in one of the ads that Turrets are a "military-grade product," presumably to be used in battle. The larger Turret was the original design, before Cave Johnson decided to go with a smaller, less obvious model that would catch the enemy off-guard. He kept the AKT as a memento.

Not only will Chell meet Gordon Freeman...
But that's why GLaDOS released her in the first place. She's hoping that Chell's sheer, overwhelming tenacity combined with Gordon's own skills and assorted connections will be enough to get rid of the Combine once and for all.
  • Alternatively, she's hoping they'll end up as enemies and that Chell will get rid of Gordon, since he's the one who screwed up her attempts to properly beat Black Mesa (or at least, that's how GLaDOS will see it).

Portal 3 and Half-Life 3 will be one and the same.
Portal 2 takes place only 20 or 30 years after Portal, allowing Chell to meet Freeman without time travel. They'll team up and fight the Combine. Gameplay will be similar to F.E.A.R. 3, with the ability to switch between Chell and Freeman; Chell is unarmed or equipped only with a sidearm but can place portals, while Freeman plays like a standard FPS protagonist but is unable to place portals. It will be a combination puzzle game and FPS, allowing you to use portals and Aperture technology against your foes while also just shooting them. And it will be amazing.
  • Except the portal gun is in space...

Aperture Science did in fact try to upload Cave Johnson's brain... twice.
First, the result was Wheatley, with his bad ideas, distracted, weird attitude, etc. However, the uploading was not completely succesful and the more (still pretty crazy) 'brilliant' part of him, along with his less cowardly attitude and memories was later uploaded to the Oracle Turret. None of them were completely succesful.

The movie Cube takes place in the same universe as Portal.
  • All the characters wear jumpsuits and are used as live test subjects for testing that can end in death, just as with Chell.
  • Portal 2 shows the expansiveness of the facility, more than enough room to accommodate a massive cube maze. And as with the test chambers, the Cube can move sections around and be reconfigured.
  • All the booby traps from Cube are on par with the hazards of the test chambers in the Portal games.
  • As with Chell, Kazan was sent to a Relaxation Chamber after testing completed.

Wheatley was inspired to apologize after hearing GLaDOS's "Want You Gone" song.
That floating television screen that drifted away after the song ended? Yup, the song was actually playing there. Wheatley heard it, and remembering Chell, felt motivated to reconcile.

Stargates are the precursors to portals.
Think about it: The Stargate was brought to the US in the 1950s, but nothing happened with it until the 90s. Scientists couldn't figure out how to work it but they did realise that it was a gate of some sort that could take people to other places. They tried to replicate it, but couldn't quite get it right. The end results were portals: miniaturized, localized Stargates which they decided to call portals, and even though imitating the thing itself was impossible, research on the portals was never stopped, resulting in being able to go in both directions and in being able to put the technology into gun form.
  • Fanfiction. Now. Please.

Cave Johnson and Caroline were both Sparks
Caroline was a weaker Spark, though, and her Sparkiness became more evident when she was uploaded into GLaDOS.

The woman in the portrait is "not" Caroline, it is Cave Johnson's wife.
As speculated somewhere further up, Johnson was already married, and Caroline was never anything more than a mistress, if there was even anything going on at all. Chell was the offspring of Mr. & Mrs. Johnson, and born just before things turned sour (maybe she was unwanted - that would certainly explain a lot). The introduction of a child into an unhappy marriage just makes things worse - Cave's wife leaves him and Chell, Cave turns to Caroline for comfort, making her even more frustrated as the platonic companion's role she has made for herself, and Cave's continuing depression is what drives him into obsessive and desperate attempts to further his company. I'm looking at you, moon rocks. Chell lives a confused childhood with an emotionally distant (and very busy, and eventually dying) father.

Fastforward to game time, and Caroline/ GLaDOS both hates Chell as what she percieves as the destroyer of the man she loved, and loves her as the only surviving remnant of him.
  • Oh, and what if Caroline then "adopted" Chell? And she always thought that Cave's wife and then Cave himself grew to hate Chell? it would explain so much of her dialogue. ("The birth parents you are trying to reach do not love you [...] Oh, that's sad. But impressive."/"For the record, you are adopted and that's terrible...")

Yeah, they try to kill you whenever they can, but think about it. You're stuck in a facility miles underground, being forced through mind-bending tests. Indefinitely. They're all aware of this, and rather than let you live like a rat in a maze they go for a Mercy Kill. GLaDOS uses this awareness as a tool in the tests, as just another deadly obstacle to overcome. When you knock them over and they say that they don't hate you, they mean it. And then, when you're finally on your way to freedom, they gather together and sing to you.

The next game will be a prequel
Originally, the game that would become Portal 2 was set to be a prequel, with Cave Johnson as the main antagonist, but the testers were unhappy with the lack of GLaDOS and Chell. Now that players ARE familiar with Cave Johnson, the prequel will continue as planned, possibly from the point of view of a poor Aperture Science employee (Rattman?) as he runs the gauntlet at the height of Cave's insanity. Possible cameos will include a partly-functional Wheatley and Caroline, before and/or after becoming GLaDOS.

The "Android Hell" mentioned at the end of the android level in Portal 1 is "The room where all the robots scream".

The test subjects at the Aperture Science Enrichment Center are injected with Nano Bots before entering the testing area.
This explains why Chell can heal so fast after being damaged. She has swarms of nanobots in her blood that can repair damage to the body nearly instantaneously after the source of the damage has been removed.

Portal would make a great sitcom
GLaDOS as the comically abusive mother. Wheatley as the bumbling but well-meaning dad. Space, Adventure and Fact cores as their children, and Chell as their adopted child. All kinds of screwed up but could be wildly entertaining.
  • Might want to include a few other things. Have the Cores from Portal 1 as family friends or GLaDOS 's close relatives?

Portal 3 Will have you play as GLaDOS
Just because that would be awesome.
  • Awesome, but Impractical. I mean, how would you even walk, place portals, and how would there even be puzzles?
  • It could be a strategy game where you play as a core and run part of Aperture so GLaDOS can get more science done elsewhere. Because a few things that happened while GLaDOS was either dead or dealing with Chell, Wheately, a possible incompetant core elsewhere, or the Co-Op campaign, and it HAS been shown that portions of the facility are damaged, the master AI of Aperture has delegated the job of fixing things to her subordinates. Then, you can get a test subject to test. Harvest potatoes to feed your test subjects, place cake to lure the birds so turrets can blow them up, clean up the damaged stuff, then have a merry time building levels and sending your test subjects through them.
  • Perpetual Testing Initiative. So you were right in some way.

"Want You Gone" was 'written'/sung before Caroline was deleted.
This idea really only works if you believe that "Caroline Deleted" was not a lie. Perhaps while Chell was unconscious, they did that. The turret opera was Caroline's idea.

The US secretly reached space BEFORE the flight of Yuri Gagarin.
This would explain how Aperture Science would be able to have astronauts who have been in space in the 50's. Why do the laugh secretly? In case anything went wrong. If something HAD gone wrong, they could just cover up the embarrassment. Aperture knew about the astronauts because of talks of contracting for the military.

Wheatley has met Chell before the events of Portal 2.
That's why he was alarmed at the way she looked, and when she didn't seem to recognize him, he thought she was brain-damaged.
  • Also, Chell was one of the daughters at Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, and Wheatley mentions having been there (or at least knowing what happened).
    • There's even a Dummied Out line where Wheatley admits he was the one who killed all the scientists with neurotoxin (he was put in charge of guarding a "release the neutoroxin" button, and accidentally pushed it), presumably on BYDTWD.

The Single Player and Co-Op stories do not take place on Earth prime.
This WMG is based on soon to be released Perpetual Testing Initiative (From now on referred to as PTT.) Several videos of the PTT shows that Cave is talking to you, with Greg, in new Aperture. This possible plot hole can be filled this way: The Puzzle Creator build screen is the only part of the game that takes place on Aperture prime.
  • To add to your theory, Cave tells Greg in one point to cancel the GLaDOS initiative, "Boy, that could've backfired."
  • When test subjects from other universes start using Cave Prime's testing chambers, he says that some of them have portal guns that can put portals anywhere. So, the first game and the second are in different universes.
    • Perhaps there are numerous "Chariots chariots" Caves who call their universe "Prime".
    • Or Earth Prime is the stick figure universe.

The co-op bots are based on heavily modified backups of Chell and Wheatley
  • The idea for this came from a line in the co-op mode where GLaDOS tells the bots she had only met "one team closer," one of them being an imbecile she had to destroy, and the other she won't elaborate on (obviously referring to Wheatley and Chell). This is actually a pretty silly idea, even among WMG'ing, but it gets you thinking.

Rattmann turned on the rocket turret
GLaDOS seemed to think that the destruction of the morality core is why she was unable to turn them off, but if you think about it, it's possible that Doug Rattmann somehow hacked the system and turned on the rocket turret knowing that it could knock her cores off.

The Portal universe and Elder Scrolls universe are one and the same
They're just completely different worlds. In the Steam supported version of Skyrim, the Space Core lands there, and Wheatley makes cameos. Of course, this might be one of the multiple existing universes.

The series is a retelling of Wall-E
Think about it for a while. Chell can be EVE. You can change the characters in either media.

The songs at the end of each game are not canon
Meaning that GLaDOS was very dead at the end of the first game (so she could be revived) and that Caroline is deleted and GLaDOS is glad to be rid of both her and Chell.

The Companion Cube was watching your back in the second half of Portal 2.
The Companion Cube somehow managed to hack the system, and while it wasn't able to stop the nuclear meltdown, it did what it could to ensure you escaped all the death traps in Chapter 9 (breaking the conversion gel pipes at the beginning, shifting panels, etc).

The computer running the facility has to give humans a chance
Like the itch to test and the shock if it gives hints, there's a rule built into the control system that the subject always has to have a chance. This is why the test chambers always have reachable exits, even when Wheately is throwing them together and doesn't know what he's doing. It's also why the death traps always have a portalable surface around. It's why killing you is hard, when with Glados's level of control over the facility it should be really easy.

The compulsion might have been a last-ditch safety measure by a paranoid programmer, or maybe part of the chamber's scientific goals. After all, if you know what's going to happen, it isn't really science.

Chell has dysarthia
Dysarthia is (this is a rough summary; check The Other Wiki for a better description) a brain injury that affects the ability to control the muscles that allow you to speak .... which actually makes a good deal of sense, when you think about it Perhaps in the first game, as Word of God says, Chell is just stubborn, but by the time the second game rolls around the time spent in suspension has given her some brain damage.

Aperture Science is responsible for VWBT
Building dozens of insane racetracks in bizarre locations, and letting people participate in virtual reality races in which the goal is to blow each other up, totally sounds like something that Cave Johnson would do. Lance Boyle might be another A.I. like GLaDOS or Wheatley.

We will soon be seeing Angry Birds: Portal Edition
  • Several things throughout the game point to this. First, at the end of the Art Appreciation co-op course, GLaDOS is training the baby birds to be hardened killing machines. Second, we can tell by her constant You Are Fat insults towards Chell that GLaDOS is disgusted by fat things. Pigs are fat things. Presumably GLaDOS will teach the birds how to use portals, so they can assault the disgusting pigs in entirely new ways, plus it would give her a great opportunity to test the effects of portals on objects launched from a slingshot. In short, soon the birds will be attacking pigs not for eggs, but For Science!

What happened to Rick when he got sucked into space.
After Chell fires a portal on the moon, Rick is the first one to get sucked out. However, he is conspicuously absent in the ending. There are two options: one is that Rick got crushed by the debris that also got sucked with him, the other option is that Rick got shot off into space without stopping. At least Wheatley has the Space Core for company, but Rick's alone.

Cave Prime has realized how important Greg is to his timeline.
Cave Prime saw the Cave DOS universe, realized that Greg was right about how bad an idea creating Gla DOS would be and canceled the project. Without Greg, he likely would have gone ahead with it despite the ominous portents. The theory: Cave Prime has consciously realized that Greg has saved his life. Perhaps on multiple occasions, as provable by examination of multiple Greg-less universes. Cave Prime's awareness of Greg's importance as a historical linchpin may have resulted in him attempting to trade Greg to Dark Cave - if Cave Prime can prove Greg's importance to a Greg-less Cave, that Cave would trade anything for him.

Portal 2 is an alternate timeline to the ending of Portal.
I mean, the ending of the first game was changed from what it was. Why not?

Portal 1 and Portal 2 happen in two separate, but similar universes .
Retcons? Continuity Errors? Art Evolution? Nope! Just different universes. The events of Portal 1 still happened in the P2 Earth, although with a few differences (The elevators, cubes, GLaDOS and the Emancipation Grills looks like they do in Portal two, GLaDOS act a bit more like she does in Portal 2, the facility is bigger, GLaDOS doesn't sing Still Alive since she's actually dead until 99999999 ect. ect.) since GLaDOS keeps talking about the events of the game. The Companion Cube GLaDOS brings you at the end is from the Portal 1 universe (hence it's design), remember when Word of God said that the Cube went through all kind of adventures before meeting Chell? Those were universe-crossing adventures, trying to get back to it's best friend - but ended up in a Close Enough Universe. There might have been a Portal 2 in the P1 universe, but considering the original (P1) timeline had no mention of a certain Personal Assistant, things might have gone diffrently in that universe...

Implications of the Portal Gun and Portal Frame Technologies
  • A Tipler cylinder is a rotating, infinitely long cylinder made of dense material which creates what's known as a "closed timelike curve" allowing travel into the past. Now normally, such an object would be impossible to construct, requiring infinite material. And that's where portals come in. Remember those fun little infinite hallways that you can make with your portal gun and fall through forever (until moving out of it) in a relatively small space? Well, what's saying you can't take a collapsing cylinder the same length as the distance the portals are from one another, stick it between the portals, and connect the ends. Hey presto, and infinitely long cylinder made from a finite amount of matter. Just connect a belt motor to get the thing spinning fast enough, and you've got yourself a tippler time machine.
  • The aforementioned perpetual falling could be harnessed by some kind of turbine generator, perhaps involving falling water, allowing unlimited free energy.
  • A portal frame could be connected to a military drone vehicle, allowing it to deploy troops without actually having to transport them through hostile territory.
    • Similarly, secure facilities could be built by having the entrance in one location, and having the actual facility somewhere completely different without a physical entrance. For added security, each individual room could be in a different place.
Cave Prime from the PTI is not the Cave from the main game.
  • That's probably obvious but I imagine Cave Prime is the Cave from the weird 2 dimensional stick person universe. Also it would make sense for him to be the cave from all but one of the marketing materials.
GLaDOS' will send Atlas and P-Body to find a new human test subject
  • It'll have to be someone who's intelligent, possibly a scientist, but has plenty of experience with physical activity and aiming guns, and she'll want him/her to be a bit like Chell, so maybe it'll be someone who never talks, like... uh oh....
The room in the ending where the turrets sing to you is "the room where the robots scream at you".
The reason Chell survived Part Five of Wheatley's Plan...
  • Is that she jumped at last second, allowing her boots to absorb the brunt of the explosion. it's just not shown on screen.
The gimmick behind F-Stop, Portal 2's predecessor, was stopping time.
  • Like Portal, the game was named after its primary mechanic: Press F to stop time. Understandably, this early in development the game wasn't planned for console release.
    • Thing is, F-Stop wasn't actually the planned name of the game, just the name of the game mechanic. And more importantly, F-Stop isn't some made up name, it's an actual word meaning.... Relative Aperture
Chell died at the end of Portal 2.
  • GLaDOS lied, and the turrets Chell arrives at shoot and kill her instantly. The singing of the turrets, the opera turret and the animal king turret aren't real, but are her post-death experience as she literally ascends into Heaven (the golden fields), and spends her afterlife with her deceased friend the Companion Cube.

Doug Rattman's Cube really talked to him.
Gla DOS said the Companion Cube are sentients. Sure, that may be a lie, but in the comic Lab Rat, almost all the dialog is between Ratman and his Cube. His cube give him precious advices to avoid turrets. However, it create a paradox, because Rattman ain't supposed to know where the turrets are to begin with (unless he take a peek, but that would be extremely dangerous). The Cube, on the other hand, can very well have a Wi-Fi connexion with Aperture Science's central command, and thus can know the position of the turrets near him. When Rattman take his pills, he stops hearing the Cube. Maybe his mental disease allow him to "hear" what the Cube has to say, and one of his pill's side-effect suppress this temporaly. The line of the Cube "I were never gone" support this, since it would mean the Cube never stopped to exist into Rattman's mind, he simply couldn't hear it.

GLaDOS' body is hardcoded to give humans a chance to shut her down
Both Portal 1 and 2 have several Why Don't You Just Kill Her moments. That's of course for the player to have the chance, and it can be excused in the case of Wheatley as well, but GLaDOS giving Chell a sporting chance ? Not buying it, unless she has to. Maybe it's just a small chance, but my guess is that GlaDOS body (which applies to Wheatley as well in 2) is programmed to force the AI to give the human trying to shut it down a chance to succeed, in case that the AI goes nuts.

Gla DOS did not sing Still Alive. The Companion Cube did.
"This was a triumph"; Not for Gla DOS it wasn't. The cube, on the other hand, saw its best friend defeat Gla DOS. "I'm not even angry"; The Cube might have forgiven you for what you did, but Gla DOS certainly didn't as we see in Portal 2. "Even though you broke my heart and killed me. And tore me to pieces. And threw every piece into a fire"; Now, this parts supports Gla DOS a little, but the fact is the Companion Cube's heart probably was broken when it realised you saw it as nothing more than an object, and it probably felt torn to pieces, and then you threw it into a fire. "And believe me, I am Still Alive"; as we find out, it was still alive!

How Cave REALLY got by these moon rocks
It was never stated, that moon rocks are the only portal conductor, they're only an great portal conductor according to Cave Johnson. So one day Cave Johnson, the crazy motherfucker he was, tried to open a portal to the moon just to see, if it was possible. The results exceeded all expectations and since they couldn't afford to buy moon rocks, they just opened a portal to the moon, built an airlock to prevent the problems Chell provoked by opening a portal to the moon directly under Wheatley and got the insane amount of moon rocks necessary to build all the shit at Aperture sciences directly from the moon.

Aperture Science Dug Too Deep in the salt mines and unleashed... an Idiot Ball
When excavating to make room for the labs, they released something which twists the minds of everyone who stays in the facilities. This is why
  1. Everyone thinks that the best way to test products is to use those products as components in a puzzle.
  2. Someone thought it was a good idea to equip the facility with a neurotoxin delivery system.
  3. The company went bankrupt despite having all of those awesome products.
  4. Everyone thinks that making test subjects solve puzzles is "science".
  5. Someone thought the best way to rebuild human society after an apocalypse was to make test subjects solve puzzles.

How Wheatley works.
He's built to be the dumbest moron who ever lived, producing an endless stream of terrible ideas. However, just making a stupid AI that tries the first idea it thinks of is not only too simple for Aperture to even bother with, it's not a terribly great strategy because even the stupidest of people can have a good idea now and then. No, in reality, Aperture's greatest minds created an AI with programming that works much faster than it's own thought processes, calculating precisely the worst thing to suggest (and calculating the most likely short and long term consequences) while also sounding not entirely unreasonable. If what he says in the final battle about trying another 5 people before Chell, then his terrible idea was attempting to wake these people up to help him escape, as the escapees would be disoriented and willing to take suggestions from the talking robot because he's a computer. The only reason Chell didn't get killed when she followed his suggestions is because Chell is Chell, she eats bullets and doesn't afraid of anything. This of course technically makes Wheatley the smartest AI in the whole facility, but his genius is directed into coming up with terrible plans rather than workable ones.

Chell is Caroline's biological daughter, but she's also adopted.
Just not by Caroline.

Back when Caroline was Caroline, she worked for Cave Johnson. She was infatuated with Cave, and thought he was just about the coolest, most brilliant and successful guy out there, and basically fangirled over him all the time. But as we all know, infatuation is a far stretch from love. No, unbeknownst to her, her heart was reserved for a fellow employee, relatively far down on the corporate ladder, by the name of Doug Rattman.

Caroline didn't think much of Doug, at least not consciously. He was scraggly and far from mentally sound. But, for some reason she couldn't explain, she found herself constantly seeking his companionship on their off hours, whether she liked it or not. The more good times they shared, the more time they spent evading work to share more good times, and the less fond Caroline grew of Cave, and the less enthusiastic she seemed about science. Cave kept doting on her and showing her appreciation in public, even when her tone made it clear his approval was not wanted.

Caroline's new shift toward a negative attitude culminated when she became pregnant by the seed of Doug, and attempted every possible measure to hide her pregnancy from Cave while she was on the job. Unfortunately for her, she could not hide the intense pain and suffering of labor. Cave oversaw her labor and made sure she and her child survived it. He was angry. Even though he knew she was "married to science," he felt as if he was the one she had cheated on. He took the newborn Chell and had her adopted out to an arbitrary researcher against Caroline's will, only to ever be seen again on bring-your-daughter-to-work day each year. Caroline fell into a deep, bitter, sardonic depression. This explains the dramatic shift in her tone between her earlier recordings and the recording in which she says, "Sir, the testing." It also explains why, in Lab Rat, Rattman was so desperate to help Chell at any cost, and GLaDOS seemed especially disgusted with him. Finally, it explains why GLaDOS looks like an upside-down pregnant woman in bondage: the pregnant figure represents the pregnancy, obviously, and the appearance of bondage symbolizes the oppression and atrocities to which Caroline was subjected, particularly pertaining to her child.

After losing her child, Caroline had nothing but herself, and her bleak, repetitive, indoorsy life as a personal assistant. It's understandable, therefore, that when Cave tried to take even that away from her, she protested considerably. When she said, "Sir, I don't want this," obviously she was referring to the brain upload, but that's not all she meant. Hidden in her words were other messages. For instance, she didn't want Cave. Even if she were to agree to have her brain uploaded, having someone open up your head and stick a bunch of lasers in your brain is a very intimate and exposing sort of thing, to say the least, and she really didn't want to share that moment with Cave, of all people. He was not the man she wanted snooping around inside her grey matter. Part of it could also have been a delayed reaction to having her child taken away, or an echo of it; she was somberly recalling what had happened to Chell, and how she "didn't want" that either. She had decided that even if she couldn't stand up for her own daughter, she would at least have to stand up for herself.

The upload was the straw that broke the camel's back. After booting, GLaDOS immediately flooded the facility with deadly neurotoxin. And why wouldn't she? She carried the burden of a woman who'd had her newborn baby torn from her grip, shortly before being tied down and having her head cut open by the very man who had taken her child. Besides which, if the upload occurred while she was struggling and protesting, and the brain emulation program didn't reset her state of mind upon booting, she very well may have booted directly into the state of confusion, primal horror, and relentless flow of adrenaline that comes inherently with being strapped to a table by someone you know and having the top half of your head slced off while you scream at the top of your lungs. If you were getting mauled by an angry bear one second, and then suddenly blinked your eyes the next and found yourself in a laboratory, surrounded with people in white coats staring at you, you'd probably start killing people, too.

The rest, of course, is history.

The "real surprise with tragic consequences" was the existence of the co-op bots, which GLaDOS built some time before the escape attempt so she could kill off Chell and still have test subjects, but she didn't get the chance to actually use them until Chell left.
Think about it; this would explain a lot. In particular, it would make sense out of how the co-op campain seemingly takes place after the single-player campaign, but the co-op bots existed during the single-player campaign as well.

At the start of the test where Wheatley pulls you out and puts up his generic fake accent, GLaDOS says the following line:
"I've got a surprise for you after this next test. Not a fake, tragic surprise like last time. A real surprise, with tragic consequences. And real confetti this time. The good stuff. Our last bag. Part of me's going to miss it, but at the end of the day it was just taking up space."
Now, compare this to what Wheatley says after you've put him in charge:
"You two are gonna LOVE this big surprise. In fact, you might say that you're going to love it... to death. Love it... until it kills you. Until you're dead."
While the quotes are different as night and day, but if you think about it, they essentially say the same thing. But whereas Wheatley talks about death to imply... death, GLaDOS takes the subtle approach (and doesn't fail at it), and conveys her message through a metaphor. In other words... that wasn't confetti she was talking about.

Chell's the "last bag of real confetti", meaning she is the last available human test subject. The rest of the quote, "Part of me's going to miss it, but in the end it was just taking up space", would apply to Chell as much as it would to a bag of confetti, especially considering GLaDOS' attitude towards Chell at the end. Also, notice how she specifies that the surprise has tragic consequences.

Note the events directly after the "confetti" quote. You never do finish the test, as Wheatley pulls you out, and you therefore never get to know what the surprise would have been. And here's the thing: During the escape, GLaDOS becomes more trigger-happy than she has ever been. She does everything she can do to make sure you don't make it out alive. Why would she do that if she needs you to keep testing? She doesn't, because she has the co-op bots.note 

Also, here are some quotes from before the "confetti" quote:
"I thought about our dilemma, and I came up with a solution that I honestly think works out best for one of both of us."
"[...] You just have to look at things objectively, see what you don't need anymore, and trim out the fat."
Just guess which "one of both of us" she is talking about. Hint: It's not you; it's never you. The other quote can be seen as a metaphor, similar to the confetti; GLaDOS doesn't need you anymore (see also: Want You Gone), and "trimming out the fat" can relate to how she keeps calling you fat. Killing you would be a way to "trim out the fat", and you are "fat", so you're probably "the fat" that needs to be trimmed out. Also, there's this li'l thingy:
"We're a lot alike, you and I. You tested me. I tested you. You killed me. I—oh, no, wait. I guess I haven't killed you yet. Well. Food for thought."
It went unused in the game, but the message is as clear as clear can be. It was also still there in one trailer, so it counts.

Then, when Wheatley does the same thing as this WMG states GLaDOS attempted to do, GLaDOS reveals that she made the co-op bots to phase out human testing, and that "you did kill me, fair's fair".

Also, yes, I'm aware that GLaDOS prepared a "birthday medical experiment" to keep Chell alive, but consider this: Perhaps it was either said before she came up with the idea to make the co-op bots, or an outright lie (this ''is GLaDOS we're talking about) to convince Chell that she wasn't going to die, either to comfort her (Living Forever Is Awesome), or frighten her (Fate Worse than Death).

Wheatley was once human, and his name was Lee Wheat
  • Which is written Wheat, Lee in some forms, and it's one of the few parts of being a human he remembers.

The Mainframe doesn't augment anything that isn't already there
  • When GLaDOS is pulled out of the mainframe and put into a potato, she's still a slightly sociopathic Jerk Ass. The mainframe just enhanced her less-than-stellar personality traits, which doesn't say anything good about Wheatley. He was already a Jerk Ass about humans, and was perfectly willing to let the Oracle Turret die. He also seems amused by the fact that the rejected turrets feel pain when they're destroyed. He might not be as much of a sociopath as GLaDOS, but he wasn't a good person to start with.

     The cores are... 
The cores are actually other people that had been uploaded into personality cores and then "modified" to add a specific handicap to GLaDOS. This fits with the personalities we have seen so far because of the types of test subjects we have seen to whit:
  • The curiosity core - This core is most likely an orphan child, as it had a childlike wonder to it.
  • The anger core - This one is angry at everything - very likely either a mental patient with a schizophrenia or other similar ailment.
  • The first intelligence core - Probably one of the scientists that had finally snapped at some point. Maybe a scanned imprint of Doug Rattman, for all we know.
    • Also the sole reason that GLaDOS was concerned about cake at all, since she never mentions it in the second game.
      • She does have that trap door that said "GLaDOS Emergency Shutdown and Cake Despensery", however...
  • The second intelligence core (intellectual core) - Probably a hobo that had been smart but due to insanity/bad job market, went stark raving mad. This one could also be a senile old man in the middle stages of either Alzheimer's or other age-based dementia.
  • The space core - An astronaut, most likely one of those from the 1968 investigations that Aperture was part of taken to become a test subject.
    • Or an astronaut's son? Dad, I'm in space. Are you space?, anyone?
    • Ooh, a son looking for his missing father. His last clues lead him to Aperture Science where he, as an ex-astronaut, performed some tests. Only, he did not make it out alive. Something about refusing to continue a test, escaping to the parking lot, aiming his gun at the moon stating how he could have gone there instead and a loose trigger while surrounded by security guards. He had gone to space. That is what they told the young boy before freezing him in order to further cover up the events. One day they would think of a way to permanently dispose of him.
  • Rick, the adventure core - Definitely a war hero from either WWII or Korea - he exudes machismo and combat prowess. Also could have kept enough of himself to remember his name.
    • This troper likes to think that Rick is one of the five test subjects that Wheatley tried to use to escape before—brave and willing to go into danger, but ultimately not as capable as Chell. Yeah, it's a huge stretch, but that's why this page is called Wild Mass Guessing.
    • This troper likes to think that he is a certain Australian gentleman who used to hang out with Cave Johnson in this timeline. After all, Saxton would be just the kind of person he'd get along with.
    • This troper likes to think that Rick was an early attempt to upload Cave Johnson. The technique was flawed, and the core ended up with Cave's gusto and Bravado but otherwise didn't adequately simulate Cave's personality or retain his memories.
    • Rick is nobody in particular, simply an Actor Allusion to Nolan North's role as Nathan Drake. Although if he had an Australian accent, he'd make a damn good Saxton Hale.
  • Wheatley - Since Cave Johnson himself had come up with a ton of dumb-ass ideas, it could be possible that, after his death, they did take what feeble information they had scanned from cave and came up with Wheatley, who was really supposed to be the morality core. After discovering their error, they could have decided to hide this fact with the moron story.
    • Another explanation: When faced with a rogue GLaDOS and the need to dumb her down, the scientists added the thing that had been holding Aperture Science and possible Caroline back all those years: crazy Cave Johnson in core form, aka Wheatley. Part spite, part making use of the idiot who had ruined most of their lives. His memories are just corrupted, or weren't included, as they wouldn't be practical or necessary.
  • The morality core - A copy of Chell's brain implant, mute, like Chell herself, but enough of a Morality Chip to keep GLaDOS in line.
    • And she's busy when GLaDOS is testing people to death.
  • Wheatley's reaction to the paradox was oddly calm and like he didn't realise it was one. Yes, his own lack of smarts is one reason for it, but if you think about it, Wheatley seems to think more like a human than a machine. When GLaDOS calls him a moron, in the next chamber he's reading and listening to classical music. Why would an AI bother to try to cultivate that image when they can just download the info? Plus the way he reacts to things, it's far more emotion based and random. I guess the time he' spent with helping humans rubbed off.
    • The classical music and book reading was just a half-assed attempt not to look like a moron. Wheatley hates being a thought of as a moron.
      • Oh yes, but why would a AI think to try and use HUMAN methods of looking smart?
      • ...Because he's a moron?
  • The Space Core is actually a Precognition Core
    • That's why it could only talk about space; it knew what was about to happen. It's manic personality is a result of it's corruption.
      • Then why was it still talking about space once it actually got here?
      • Because when it looked into its future all it could see more space.
  • Since the Personality Cores were created to contain GLaDOS, why does destroying the Cores in the original Portal weaken her? This is because over the course of the various tests done on her system, GLaDOS found four Personality Cores she actually had some use for - the Anger Core to focus her anger towards the test subjects and away from the trauma of Caroline's upload into her, the Curiosity Core to make the tests seem so much more euphoric, the Cake Core to feign stupidity to the science team in charge of her, and the Morality Core to give them a false sense of security. Eventually, GLaDOS integrated the Cores into her system, allowing her more control over the Aperture facility, so that what was supposed to be a hindrance to her became a vital part of her own survival.
  • Wheatley is schizophrenic. It is unlikely that Aperture actually had nanobots, and even then artificially intelligent robots that are undetectable to the naked eye are very likely to have been a threat to GLaDOS and would have been taken care of as soon as possible. The nanobots were voices in Wheatley's mind. Also note how after taking over GLaDOS' body he became more out of it than he was before, what with the whole obsession with testing.
    • However at one point you can hear Wheatley talking to one of the nanobots and hear it talking back. It's voice is incredibly high-pitched and sped up to the point that you can't understand what it's saying.
      • Maybe that was Wheatley, talking back to "Jerry" in nanobot language. He just repeated what he said normally so you would know what he was saying, since he knew you didn't speak "nanobot". But then, how did he get repaired? Maybe that was a more-likely-to-go-insane clone of Wheatley, that GLaDOS planted there to make you SUFFER.

  • Personality Cores are immune to Paradoxes
    While lesser mass produced machines such as turrets and extension frankenturrets are vulnerable to Paradoxes, Personality Cores like Wheatley and GlaDOS can not be taken out by them. GlaDOS read those Paradoxes on the sign and understood them. And why did not someone say "everything i said is a lie, in fact i am lying right now" when GlaDOS took over. Even if Wheatley Understood GlaDOS's paradox, it would not have killed him and GlaDOS is just a big wimp around them.
    • She thinks the Paradox will kill her for the same reason Wheatley thought turning on the flashlight would kill him, because that's what she had been told, and had never tested it to prove it untrue.
  • All of the cores (GLaDOS is not included. I don't think GLaDOS counts as a core but some people do, so just wanted to clear that up) are failed attempts to upload Cave Johnson. The process wasn't perfected yet, so they didn't get Cave's memories, and they were utterly controlled by whatever mood he was feeling when they did the upload. The morality core is silent because it was an attempt to isolate Cave's morals and he had none.
  • The Fact Core's name is Craig.
    • And the Space Core is Tracy (because it rhymes with "spacey").
      • Or something like Zeke. Why? Because the name Zeke means "shooting star". You make wishes on shooting stars, and what was Space Core's wish? To go into space. Plus, his eye does have a starry look to it.
  • Wheatley was the main scientist at Aperture when Cave Johnson was alive. He was a genius who created many of Aperture's breakthrough inventions under the guise of creating trivial things, like shower curtains, since he couldn't get the huge amount of funding needed anywhere else. When the inventions failed for their intended purpose, Wheatley and Cave got into some big argument about the purpose of the inventions, with Johnson at one point insisting he was a moron, which sent Wheatley off the deep end. Cave had Wheatley imprisoned in Aperture to use for tests, which he survived due to his genius intellect. When they were looking for somebody to upload to the personality core years later, they found a file of a test subject that was described by Johnson himself as a moron, with no other detail given to his backround. The scientists, taking johnson's opinion as legitimate, uploaded Wheatley to the personality core, as well as making a few edits to his persona in order for him to fit the job.
    • This was a theory of mine, too; except minus the complex backstory. If Wheatley was ever a human, he probably worked at Aperture; he expresses disdain for the "manual labor" and the simplistic science in the children's science projects. ("You know... low-hanging fruit and all. Barely science, really." "Not exactly primary research, even within the child sciences." "I'm guessing this wasn't one of the scientists' children... you know, I don't mean to be snobby, but let's be honest, it's got 'manual labor' written all over it... I'm not saying they're not as good as the professionals, they're just a lot dumber.") That implies he's got some sort of scientific background; if he was 'manual labor' as he would have to have been if he were such a 'moron', he wouldn't look down on it. He really was intended to be an Intelligence Dampening Core, though, so when they uploaded his personality they put some major mental blocks into his programming, which is why he hates being called a moron. He knows he's not stupid; he has no idea what's in his head that makes him incapable of thinking, but he hates it.
  • The Corrupt Cores were early versions of GLaDOS' cores. The Space Core was originally built to be a Curiosity Core, but due to a glitch it became curious about only one thing: space. The Fact Core was meant to be an Intelligence Core, but it became corrupted and began confusing facts. The Adventure Core was meant to be an Emotion Core, but it gained too much of a personality from the emotion, and developed an ego.
  • The corrupt cores are former Aperture employees. Cave Johnson probably wouldn't put his beloved Caroline through untested technology, so they tested the brain uploading on the only test subjects Aperture had left; the scientists.
  • The Fact Core is one of Cave Johnson's hated "bean counters" and also one of the first attempts at creating a personality core.
  • Wheatley is an alternate universe version of 343 Guilty Spark from the Halo series.
  • Wheatley is Guilty Spark 343 from Halo. After floating in space for awhile he reached the planet where he eventually meets up with Master Chief.
  • New theory on the Morality Core: it doesn't speak because it knows that trying to reason with the corrupt GLaDOS is impossible. Instead, it devotes its interests to other, more effective ways of executing its moral decisions—like helping Chell destroy Glados by detaching itself, allowing Glados to use the bombs that help Chell kill her.
    • Secondly, I ask you, what color was the morality core? Purple. What color was the bot that dragged Chell back into Aperture Science? purple. Could they be the same? Since the incinerator didn't destroy the Companion Cube, couldn't the morality core have survived as well, and the most ethical thing it could think of was keeping Chell around in case some moron came along and reactivated Glados.
    • Not to mention that Doug has a flashback to the morality core's creation upon seeing Chell being dragged away...
  • The Portal 1 cores are actually corrupted by Gla DOS.(Gla DOS was still restrained by the cores both in movement (She struggles more as cores are incinerated.) and her actions(Her personality is different in Portal 2)) A scientist attached all of them like in Portal 2 but without the gel.
    • Morality - Personalty's dead, still running basic function until incineration.
    • Curiosity - Overly curious.
    • Intelligence/Cake - Only intelligent about cake, backfires and makes Gla DOS obsessed with cake.
    • Emotion/Anger - Only angry, makes Gla DOS want to kill humans.
      • So, this and canon show that Gla DOS
    • Put viruses on every core to make them be registered as corrupt(So the system just throws them off.(Or makes them take the impact of, say, missiles)).
    • The morality core used to talk.
    • The cores have wireless transmitters on them.
    • The cores were tied to the system in a way that made Gla DOS self destruct.
  • Greg (the cut scientist) became Wheatley.
    • There was originally to be a scientist named Greg who would play off Cave Johnson's Comedic Sociopath as an annoyed Butt Monkey Hypercompetent Sidekick in the Old Aperture recordings, but he was replaced by Caroline. But maybe he did exist in-universe, and was Cave's assistant before Caroline. He made a set of recordings with his boss, but the two always bickered about the scientific accuracy of Cave's explanations and testing dangers. Cave often got fed up and called him, among various other things, a moron (to which he'd usually mutter under his breath, "I am not a moron.") or ignore his input and go ahead with whatever test he'd created. When the time came to test the brain uploading technology, he suggested the (in his opinion) dumbest person he knew for the intelligence dampening sphere: Greg. Because the technology was still in the testing phase, he was corrupted in the upload where his personality changed and he lost most of his memory while choice bits (such as his hate for being called a moron) seeped in.
  • Wheatley is/was 2D
    • British? Check. Not the sharpest crayon in the box? Check. Abusive boss? Check. Blue colour scheme? Check. Fangirl magnet? Double check.
  • Rick the Adventure Sphere was created in an attempt to give GLaDOS a boyfriend to try to mellow her.
    • Just because the thought of this was too hilarious to pass up.
  • Wheatley was a failed attempt at creating a more human-like AI.
    • At times he seems to react and act more like a human than a machine not to mention that the paradox didn't fry him. Perhaps they programmed mental blocks in a computer to try to make him react more like a human, and when he came out a little too idiotic they tried to cover it up with the Intelligence Dampening Sphere thing. If that's what GLaDOS had been told, she wouldn't know she was lying and the whole potato / not enough energy to lie thing would still be true. Or the scientists who created him thought "human" was synonymous with "intelligence-dampening."
  • The Cake Core is Greg Behrendt. GLaDOS had been listening to that one for a while, hence the belief in cake as a motivator.
  • An alternate theory: The Space core is actually a hypothesis/anticipation core. Using the processing power available it realized it would eventually wind up in space, and constantly babbled about it, due to it's nature of guessing at the future. This could explain why GLaDOS would have wanted that core, because her goal is stictly science (and Chellicide). On the same note, perhaps she's testing the limits of the human psyche, hence Chell's trials in Aperture. After all "We do what we must, because we can" seems to be her justification.

     Chell is…  
  • Dead. She died in space. The whole part where GLaDOS drags her back into the facility and lets her go is all a dying dream. Think about it- She's outside. She's got her beloved Companion Cube. Wouldn't that be heaven?
    • She died before that. As mentioned above. From Wheatley's bomb trap
  • Absolutely, 100% sure that this is a dream. Which is why she won't talk to GLaDOS or Wheatley, and remains calm in situations where most people would panic and/or run away.
  • Not actually mute... She just neither considers AIs alive nor worth having a conversation with, especially when she's trying to escape from somewhere she's being held prisoner in.
  • a Parkour badass. The makes-the-wearer-land-on-her feet part of the Long-Fall Boots never worked, and nobody noticed because Chell was the only one they tested it on, and she's just that crazy ninja awesome.
  • Gordon Freeman’s wife.
    • I smell catfight between Chell and Alyx in HL 3!
  • Gordon Freeman’s adopted daughter.
    • So the "special ingredient from Daddy's work" was from Black Mesa. Sneaky!
    • But then why was she at Aperture's Bring Your Daughter to Work Day?
      • Maybe her mom works at Aperture?
  • The child of Cave Johnson and his wife, before she was uploaded into GLaDOS. Chell does somewhat resemble Caroline.
    • All but confirmed. GLaDOS' turret opera is basically just "goodbye, my daughter" in various permutations.
    • Slight variation that fits a lot of pieces together. Chell is both the biological and adopted daughter of Caroline, fathered by Cave Johnson (which explains her tenacity). Here's how it goes. Caroline is Cave's secretary, but also his lover. Hence he tells everybody to back off because she's "married to science." He can't officially have her, but he can keep others away from her. She gets pregnant, but rather than start a scandal, she takes a sabbatacal to have the child, then comes back. Not wanting to give her up, Caroline claims she's adopted, (which is why GLaDOS says you're adopted) probably using some of Cave's influence to make it official. When she was entered into the database, Caroline accidentally called her Chell Johnson, so Cave redacted her name off the page so nobody would know.
    • My theory goes as such: Chell is the illegitimate biological daughter of Cave and Caroline. Caroline gave her up to avoid a scandal, but wanting to keep her close and knowing her employees well enough, Chell was handed off to one of the employees. I say it's Bob the janitor mentioned in the commentaries. It's where she picked up her tenacity. Her adopted father may not have been the smartest person in Aperture, but had determination enough to keep the place functional with grit and duct tape.
      • Variation: Chell was handed off to Rattmann instead of Bob. We've seen from the comic that Rattmann is equally tenacious. Also, the way he went all out to protect her and ensure she didn't die in the comic.
      • While there are still dificulties with the timeline,the "1998" date for "Bring your daughter to / The Black Mesa Incident." was retconned by Mark Laidlaw
      • In spite of timeline difficulties, I still say that the above theory is correct and intended by Valve. Why? Valve is a master of video game story telling, and uses forshadowing and clues to great success. The idea that Cave and Caroline were Chell's parents is primed early in the story to help the player read between the lines. It happens in those two test chambers where GLaDOS heavily suggests that she found Chell's parents and unfroze them, so Chell to could meet them. Then GLaDOS basically goes "Ha Ha, no, made you look" and the player is just left with the impression that it was basically more random GLaDOS screwing around with Chell. But still, the whole exercise gets the player's thinking about Chell's parents, a subject that may not have ever occured to the player otherwise, and leaves a lingering impression that the identies of Chell's parents may in fact be important. The second priming is more subtle and could be missed, but it is where Chell's exhibit is seen in the children's science fair, confirming that Chell's father was connected to Aperture. All that together suggests to me that Valve was intentionally gearing the player up to look for clues to Chell's parent's identity. None of this can prove it's true, but I think it proves that the idea that Chell is Cave and Caroline's daughter occured to the Valve employees and they were intentionally leaving clues to that effect. It remains to be seen whether these clues are the real deal or mere red herrings. And I'm not at all concerned about the timeline difficulty. See below for more details, but time was not flowing normally at Aperture.
      • Is any of that a problem when Aperture has already mastered cryogenic stasis?
      • Caroline's racial identity isn't apparent from her portrait, though, of course, she may have adopted Chell..
    • Regardless of who Chell's parents were, Caroline and Cave Johnson definitely had sex or some kind of very close relationship. In that day and age, to have the same secretary for that long, and to value her over everyone else? Plus, he had her portrait painted with him. C'mon. Cave never gave up and neither does Chell, so GLaDOS' confused Les Yay for Chell stems from that.
    • In the portrait of Cave and Carolyn, there is a girl visible in the background, who could it be but Chell?
      • Carmen Sandiego?
      • Sad to tell you it is neither Chell nor a woman. It is the Greek playwright Aeschylus, as copy-pasted from the painting "An Audience in Athens During Agamemnon by Aeschylus" by Sir William Blake Richmond. Aeschylus was the author of Prometheus Bound. It's meant as another one of the game's allusions to the Prometheus legend.
portrait brightened with girl circled
  • Also explains why GLaDOS has such a thorn in her side over Chell being adopted — deep down, she knows Chell shouldn't be adopted because she's her child - adoptive when you take GLaDOS herself into account, and possibly biological where Caroline's presence is concerned.
  • False: GLaDOS says Chell being adopted is terrible not because there is something wrong with the adoption itself, but Cave Johnson was researching human enrichment at an earlier date and found out adopted / orphaned children didn't perform the tests as good as children who grew up with their parents.
    b. Child Orphans and Foundlings

    Deep-rooted abandonment issues leave most orphans highly susceptible to shame-based psychology (for a complete list of opportune moments to obliterate the esteem of test subjects, please consult Training Video #89-D, "You'd Perform This Test Better if You Had Parents"). Recent advances in the use of scorn, flattery used in an ironic context and naked contempt as motivational tools have yielded similarly profitable results.
  • I don't know about Cave but the tower opera as stated above pretty much states out right that Caroline was Chell's mother. If Rattman knew this it would explain why he chose Chell as he worked directly with GLaDOS and probably knew Caroline's brain was uploaded into it. Caroline could never kill her own daughter and had enough control over GLaDOS to prevent her doing the same. It would also explain why GLaDOS wanted to keep her in the facility after the Combine attack, it wasn't to testing but protection GLaDOS was interested in. This kind of makes Portal and vary strange coming of age story where Chell has an over protective mother in Portal but eventually proves she can stand on her own two feet and look after her self and is allowed out in Portal 2. If the theories below about her having a leg disability are true then it is both literal and symbolic.
  • The daughter of an Aperture Science employee. She spent most of her life in a detention center. GLaDOS references "Bring your daughter to work day" during the early stages of testing. Since GLaDOS's AI was activated on that day in the 2000's, and the game appears to be taking place during the Combine occupation, GLaDOS may have used "Bring your daughter to work day" in order to get a large supply of test subjects. The song at the end of the game implies that there are others still in the facility that she will continue to test on.
    • The comic indicates that GLaDOS never actually succeeded in poisoning the facility. Rather, she kept trying to and got shut down each time. Instead, she tested everyone to death.
    • Confirmed! You run across some stands from Bring Your Daughter To Work Day in Portal 2. One of them is signed "Chell".
    • Is the daughter of Cave Johnson and his wife, but due to Cave not giving a Rattman's ass about work safety he can't father children (some fucked up chemical made this poor bastard sterile), nor can his wife due to... some other stuff, maybe illness or something. So he asks some employee of Asian ancestry for the sperm (that's why Chell looks Asian), Caroline for the egg (that's why she resembles Caroline. Caroline had clearly a great admiration for Cave Johnson, probably romantic feeling and thought to have his child, by proxy), does an in vitro fertilisation and lets the egg implant into his wife. She carries her to full term, gives birth and, coupla years latter, brings Chell to her workplace (probably his wife remarried to a scientist in the biology department, that's why the "special ingredient from Dad's work" made Chell's potato grow to such proportions or the stuff is from Cave's old experiments, continued by his daughter). From the perspective of Caroline, Chell is to a certain degree also her daughter, probably she also became the godmother, because the Johnsons were so insanely grateful to her for giving her the opportunity to have a child.
  • GLaDOS’s daughter. Assuming that it's human DNA that she's based off of, throw in a few random codons for junk-DNA and stick it into an Aperture Science Affront Against Nature Birthing Machine, and presto, it’s Chell, GLaDOS's human equivalent… or, if GLaDOS was actually human before this mess started, Chell might be GLaDOS’s biological daughter, and GLaDOS, in her rare moments of lucidity, attempts to goad Chell into ending GLaDOS’s misery.
    • Chell may indeed be the child of Cave and Caroline. GLaDOS calls Chell fat, and implies that Chell is an orphan, whose parents abandoned her, but later defends Chell's weight. Chell's last name is redacted in the comic... and it was also implied in the Lab Rat comic that Chell was too tenacious to be a test subject... are those traits she got from her parents? After Cave's death and Caroline's upload, Chell may have been fostered by employees, and given up to Aperture as a test subject when she proved too difficult to take care of. When GLaDOS realizes that Caroline is a part of her and lives in her brain, she slowly begins to treat Chell more kindly... finally, at the end of the game, she claims to have deleted Caroline's personality, but "Want You Gone" reveals that this is, of course, a lie. In the italian opera song GLaDOS serenades Chell with as Chell leaves, it's Caroline's voice (without GLaDOS' postprocessing) singing (in italian): Dear, beautiful, my dear, beautiful girl, oh Chell, what a shame, what a shame, well, My dear, farewell. My girl, dear, why don't you stay away, yes, away from science? Dear, dear, my girl, my beautiful, my dear, my dear, my girl, my dear, my dear…
    • Chell is GLaDOS's adopted daughter. When GLaDOS took over the facility Chell was just a child, and was raised (in a sense) in the enrichment center with GLaDOS as the overpowering adult figure. So the games are actually an Electra Complex, and the turrent opera is about GLaDOS being happy Chell has grown up.
  • A clone. GLaDOS mentions having a copy of Chell's mind during the final battle. Why would she have that? One possibility is because she needs it to make new copies of the player. What better way to evaluate your testing procedures than to run every variation on the same person? Aperture Science seems like the kind of company that wouldn't blink at duplicating a worker in order to kill her over and over in a giant death trap.
  • Living with a disability. Although the heel springs are explained in the developer commentary as a handwave for the lack of falling damage, they resemble some forms of leg brace or prosthetic legs. Additionally, she doesn't appear particularly out-of-shape, but can't run or jump up to the level we've seen healthy adults in this series do, like Gordon outside his HEV, or Barney. Additionally, GLaDOS's curiosity core asks what's wrong with her legs shortly after she picks it up (although this may have been due to the heel springs). Also, one of the clipboards that the player can reach (as opposed to the copies of Kleiner's HL 2 clipboard detailing the HEV suit that are used as dressing in sealed-off rooms) suggests that the leg braces are bolted directly onto the bone.
    • The heel springs themselves could be the reason that she "can't run or jump up to the level we've seen healthy adults in this series do". Rather than being the result of a disability, they cause a disability.
      • So Par For the course for Aperture Innovators?
  • A Psychotic Cloudcuckoolander. See Chell’s Mind.
    • "Happy birthday Chell! We're so happy we could celebrate your escape from that awful A.I., so we baked you some cak- hey, why are you in the fetal position, crying?"
      • That's pretty much how I always pictured Chell ending up if she were portrayed realistically in a hypothetical film version of Portal.
  • A descendant of Spring Heeled Jack Spring Heeled Jack is a piece of Victorian England folklore aout a man seen at night dressed in devilish clothing with the ability to jump really high. He, like Chell, wore spring heels, but clearly the man had made some kind of Deal with the Devil for no normal spring would account for the heights he jumped. There's also the minor matter of being able to breath fire. His demonically imbued genes gave Chell a mystical power that was untapped as soon as she gained her own set of spring heels. GLaDOS kept her as part of some game of Xanatos Speed Chess between her and The Devil.
  • Sulking: She can speak, she's just doing the silent treatment for having to go though all this crap. This one comes from an interview with Portal's co-writer, though he might not be serious:
    Erik Wolpaw: I always had this feeling of Chell as a character who's just pissed off the entire time and having to do this, and just not giving them the pleasure of saying anything. She probably can talk.
    • First, she was obstinate. Now, she's obstinate and has aphasia
  • A former participant of the obstacle course competition show, Ninja Warrior. With all of the crazy ninja moves she has to do with more complicated portal puzzles, it wouldn't surprise me.
  • A descendant of Chel from The Road to El Dorado. Same name (just one letter changed), similar appearance, both quick-thinkers, both want to leave the place where they are...
  • Probably not long for this world. She's just spent hundreds of years in a facility, breathing the same air over and over. She's been exposed to asbestos, deadly moon rock gel, repulsion gel that does not like the human skeleton, the hard vacuum of space, deadly neurotoxin - twice... It's a miracle she hasn't keeled over already.
  • Deaf and Mute. The Emancipation Grills have on occasion been known to emancipate tooth enamel and teeth, and by the sequel, ear drums. That's why she can only respond to Wheatley by jumping, she has no teeth to talk, and she can't quite hear him, so she responds based off of his movements.
    • Only, you are able to speak without teeth - people do it every day - especially when they forget their dentures...
  • Both the biological AND adopted daughter of Cave Johnson. Cave fathered Chell with Caroline. He didn't want to admit to an extramarital affair but didn't want to abandon his daughter either and so adopted her.
    • She was however in stasis at the start of the first game (apparently) and the second game establishes people in stasis don't age/age a lot slower so it's possible she was put in stasis at some point, accounting for the age differences.
      • Additionally, Caroline might've been unable to conceive, and so may have adopted Chell later in life.
      • I propose another theory - that When GLADOS was first activated, it was when Chell was a child, and she, like other scientists etc. had been put into stasis. Chell is about 25-35 in the game, which means that, if the game happened in about 2003 (which standing evidence of the December calendar points to) then that means Caroline was put into our favorite passive-aggressive AI during the eighties. Which means that, if Caroline started working with Aperture when she was 16 (not heard of in those days), then in 1978-80, she would have been about 36 by 73. Females can have kids all the way up to their late fifties and some to their sixties (though rare). Given this, it is likely that in the eighties, she had Chell at about forty-one-ish. This is taking into account that the facility was built in 1943 and the accompanying signage - this was likely when the cornerstone was laid, but it could actually take about ten years to get the initial hollowing-out and building of the facility done.
  • Fathered by rape. The unused audio files where Caroline is forcefully uploaded into GLaDOS by Cave sound like rape, so who's to say that that's not how their relationship normally went?
    • Cave would have been dead at the point that happened. Nor does he seem like a guy interested in that sort of thing when there's SCIENCE to do.
  • Adopted by Caroline. Her biological parents were Aperture scientists who died in one of Cave's crazy experiments, and Caroline adopted her out of guilt. It would explain why they don't seem to share the same ethnic background, judging by the painting. And then she was converted into GLaDOS, leaving Chell orphaned again, adopted by different Aperture scientists, and then indirectly responsible for the disaster of Bring Your Daughter to Work-day, as GLaDOS's insanity manifested at the sight of her daughter.
  • Short for "Michelle". Hey, why not?
    • Or Rachel. Big Name Fan Makani (who worked on Portal2) mentioned one of the designers' daughters is named Rachel, thus the inspiration for the name.
      • It's been stated that her name is pronounced with a 'ch' like 'church', so if her name is short for something, Rachel is the more likely one, though it's implied her name is simply Chell.
    • ...Short for Chelsea?
    • Or, given the Prometheus/Potato GLaDOS allusion, Chell's name is actually short for Chelone, a minor Greek nymph who was condemned to eternal silence for her insulting words. Chelone was also turned into a turtle, but that's beside the point.
      • You know, that actually makes sense
  • Caroline's Grandaughter.
  • Not free just yet. Come on, folks, they pulled this in the first game. When they're ramping up for Portal 3, they'll release another patch and show how Chell isn't free of the Enrichment Center yet. Besides, there was some magazine or promotion somewhere that showed Aperture Science working on breeding giant chickens; one of the test chambers for that was a reproduction of a farm... complete with blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and wheat. And that shack wouldn't look out of place on a farm.
    • The problem there is that the ending of Portal 1 took place in the game's own engine. Portal 2's ending is pre-rendered, which would make it more difficult to superimpose things on top of.
  • Fat and delusional about it. In Portal 2, after waking up the second time she leaves a remarkably large dent in the mattress, Wheatley's response to her physical appearance isn't at all positive and GLaDOS constantly makes fat jokes at her expense throughout the sequel (even in the ending song). But Chell always sees a thin girl in her reflection because she's in deep, deep denial about being Acrofatic.
    • The bed is somewhat justified, if you were asleep, motionless i suspended animation for 9999999999999 [static] the springs would have long since worn out.
      • If the nines are to be believed, it is anywhere from 27 years to 2700 years since Chell was put in stasis. With reactor halflifes, etc. taken into account, it is very likely the number was 99999 which is 237 years - still within the life of a nuclear plant's fuel.
    • Might be Jossed— one Aperture Investment Opportunity video shows Chell demonstrating the long-fall boots.
      • Those promotional videos are not canon, though. (For one, Cave died long before the events of even Portal 1, let alone Portal 2, so Chell couldn't be demonstrating for him. And she wasn't accepted as a test subject before Doug pulled the strings.) That being said, Chell most likely looks like she does in-game. Doug paints her the same way, and GLaDOS even defends her when Wheatley calls her fat.
  • Going to survive whatever contact with hazardous materials she had at Aperture. Chell has survived invasive body modification (the leg implants), prolonged hibernation with only minimal brain damage, and even been able to recover from direct flame exposure and bullet wounds with only a few minutes recuperation. How? Aperture gave her a low-level healing/immune system boost (a latter day invention that was only fit for test subjects; and really only ever considered as a necessary measure to prolong test subjects' viability in more strenuous testing). So any nasty chemicals, radiation, etc. that Chell encountered is not going to shorten her lifespan.
    • All through Aperture they talk about rebuilding people - what is to say that they didn't "improve" Chell with more than just her knee replacements?
  • Never going to be seen again. This is it, the end of her story. She succeeded, she is free. If anything, Valve will only give us some vague hint as to her whereabouts in a future game, and only if the fandom get too wacky about the issue. This doesn't mean we won't be seeing more sequels of course, but they'll either be about some new guy from the ones found at the end of Co-Op, or future installments will be full Co-Op.
  • Italian. At least in ancestry. So, 'Chell'. Kind of an odd name, right? Well, maybe not. If you look at the lyrics of the Turret Opera, they mention Chell by name early on... though if that word is transcribed more directly, it comes out 'Ciel', which is Italian for 'Heaven'. Could be she was named after/by a grandmother or something, but nobody else could ever spell it right so they used the phonetic spelling.
  • A robot: it would explain the healing factor if she had some kind of subdermal armor, like a T-101.
    • Assuming she's a robot á la Asimov—i.e. an android—that makes GLaDOS some kind of Physical God, and the Aperture facility... Android Hell.
  • Chell is Caroline herself. That's why she's mute. Most of her original personality has been stripped from her and uploaded to GLaDOS, leaving Chell incomplete. Basically, GLaDOS got Caroline's voice in the divorce. GLaDOS is literally fighting another side of herself. As for why the name "Chell" is on one of the Take Your Daughter To Work displays, when Caroline would have already been uploaded to GLaDOS? Chell isn't her actual name, obviously. Her file as a test subject was forged (maybe by Doug Rattman?), who used the name "Chell" because he had seen the displays and the name caught his memory. This was done because he believed the only one who could stop GLaDOS was Caroline, as Chell.
  • a racing participant in Need for Speed: The Run. Look at 0:31 in this trailer and try to claim it as looking like anyone but Chell.
  • Actually heavier because of the "improvements" they have done to her. As with the knee replacements (and the removal thereof), it is very likely that Aperture's automated systems improved her bone structure, muscle mass, etc. for her to handle the complex testing that she has to do.
  • Pregnant. Probably in the first weeks/month(s) of it. And she knows it somehow. GLaDOS freeing her at the end instead of killing her might have something to do with that. The insemination would have been artificial and happened between Portal 1 and 2. The pregnancy might have boosted her already insanely high resolve to get out of the enrichment center. Although now the ending feels a hell of a lot more bittersweet.
    • That would kind of explain all the fat jokes, GLaDOS would know about the pregnancy and would be hinting at it by all the fat jokes
    • Where'd they get the DNA needed to do that?
    • Cave Johnson? He seems like the sort of man who would want an heir without the bothersome preparation, the testing initiative could simply be GLaDOS's way of finding someone Mama Bear enough to protect Aperture's future through the apocalypse.
  • Immortal, her stubbornness has bred eternal life in her, and for that reason she will always frustrate GLaDOS who was hoping for her to eventually just die and be able to completely forget about her, instead, Chell will end up living longer than her through sheer tenacity.
  • Doug Rattman's daughter. Chell's potato on "bring your daughter to work day" used one of her fathers experiments to become such a massive monstrosity so her father had to be one of the scientists on payroll at Aperture, this could also explain why Rattman wanted to give her the chance to escape.
  • Alyx Vance's cousin. Alyx had a black father and Asian mother. Chell's appearance was based off the Brazillian/Japanese Alésia Glidewell, which means it's possible for Chell to herself be of similar descent. If the Law of Conservation of Detail holds, Alyx and Chell's biological mothers were therefore sisters.
  • A time-traveled Alyx Vance. Reasoning follows that Aperture was probably working on time travel at some point, maybe onboard the Borealis when the teleports-you-out-of-your-skin experiment next door to it accidentally teleported the ship instead one day. Time-travel would easily be an enormous prize worth finding for the Combine and the Resistance, hence the events of Episode 2 to cut you off from decoding the Mossman transmission. Sometime during Episode 3, events on the Borealis/nearby accidentally send Alyx to the past (maybe to try and prevent the Black Mesa Incident?) as a child, who becomes adopted by an Aperture Employee. Following Portal 2's ending, assuming the 99999- date is only ~27 years and makes the end coincide with the HL Episodes, Alyx/Chell is picked up by the Combine/Resistance before/during Episode 3. Being rendered mute, she can only speak using sign language from that point onward.
  • Chell's mother. Or at least a friend of her parents. Just keep tracking me here. Chell was the name of one of the kids who was doing potato experiments for Bring Your Daughter To Work Day. In the Lab Rat comic, we see that Chell in the games was a test subject, and thus, presumably not one of the kids. The name is distinctive enough that the girl was probably named for Chell, either as her own daughter or named for her as a family friend. Then again, the alternative is that Aperture Science also tested on children, including the children of their own employees.
    • "Aperture Science's Bring Your Daughter to Work Day is a great time to have her tested."
  • ...really enjoying all the testing she has to go through. Remember, it appears that she was raised by Aperture Science employees and grew (in part) at Aperture Science. She woke GLaDOS on purpose. The reason she tried to kill GLaDOS is that it appeared GLaDOS was going to stop testing for a party. And it would just be heartwarming.
  • The adopted daughter of Karla the Complainer and her robot boss. Okay, so the robot boss part is just for the lulz. But, you know how Chell has such a high tenacity level? Well, I'd imagine that Karla would never ever stop complaining, and Chell followed suit.
  • ''The reason that GLaDOS went homicidal. When she was brought to Bring Your Daughter to Work Day the part of GLaDOS that is Caroline freaked out a bit when she saw the daughter that was taken from her.
  • ...mute because her vocal cords were emancipated.
    • In the first game, it's stated that the Emancipation Grill may emancipate fillings and other tooth-related things. Chell's teeth were spared, but her vocal cords were not. Throughout the testing her vocal cords just kept deteriorating until one of two things happened: Either she couldn't speak at all, or speaking/making noise caused such intense pain to her throat that she didn't.
    • Except Word of God is she can speak, she just won't give GLaDOS the satisfaction.
      • Which works fine—for Portal. In Portal 2, she refrains from speaking even in cases where it would make much more sense to talk, i.e. to tell Wheatley that she's alive after falling while getting the portal gun, or giving Wheatley the paradox when GLaDOS couldn't. Perhaps, in that case, she still thought that Wheatley could be saved, and didn't want to kill him.
      • I got the impression that Chell just didn't care enough about Wheatley's blabbering to give him the satisfaction of a response.
  • ...somehow related to Chane Laforet from Baccano!. Think about it: neither one of them can talk, they're both extremely bad-ass, and they even kinda look a like.
  • ...A a Fillie/MLP fan, but only if you jump into a bottomless pit through a certain someone's coaxing.
  • A stalker prototype, seriously, look at the original pictures for Half Life 2. For some reason, the Combine gave up before doing more than grafting cybernetic enhancements to her legs. Neurotoxin, anyone?
  • Going to be just fine, despite getting repeatedly coated in things that 'do not like the human skeleton'. The Emancipation Grills fizzle test equipment that the test subjects aren't authorized to take from room to room, which would include things like Repulsion and Conversion Gel. Chell's exposure to the dangerous chemicals is therefore minimal.
  • A child who got left at the enrichment facility during Bring Your Daughter to Work Day and for whatever reason her parents never collected her, leaving her to be taken care of by the staff, Caroline included. They didn't know who's kid she was so her last name isn't on file. Eventually, they made her a test subject, or GLaDOS did.
  • Doing everything she's done For Science!! She's been on board with the whole 'testing' thing from the start. But once she discovered the AI in charge had horrible methodology, she started doing her own experiments. Experiments on the true capabilities of the Portal Gun; experiments on how far she can get into the facility; experiments on how to drive an AI so insane it becomes sane again.
  • No longer able to speak. It's not that she's forgotten how, it's just that she's been silent for so long that she can't actually vocalize much more than grunts. She'll be able to talk again after lots of practice, though.
  • Possibly a Meaningful Name, and not a nickname. In the turret opera at the end (sung in Italian), the lyrics in one line read "Cara bella, cara mia bella! Mia bambina, oh ciel!", which translates out to "Dear beauty, my dear beauty! My little girl, oh heaven." But "ciel" when pronounced with an Italian accent sounds like "Chell." Based on this, Chell's name may have originally been Ciel when she was born, but, for some reason or another, those in charge of the birth certificate could not correct it for whatever reason. You guys can figure out any other implications this has if any.
    • Chell's name being originally "Ciel" also contrasts well with Cave's name. Caves are strictly Earth formations and are typically underground. Heaven makes a good antithesis to Cave. Also, Heaven is viewed as separate from Earth, like how Chell wants to desperately escape Aperture labs.

  • Chell attached the morality core. Listen to the lyrics of still alive. "Even though you broke my and killed me and throw every piece into a fire." It sounds like "You broke my heart (Gla DOS being Caroline it fits with the next part.) killed me(Figuratively, by attaching mortality or one of the other cores.)than the final battle of portal happen.

  • Chell is Caroline. GLaDOS is also Caroline. Caroline wasn't killed when her mind was transferred to GLaDOS, and her body was used in a regenerative or cloning experiment. Thus Chell refuses to talk to GLaDOS because she'd just be talking to herself (and also hates AI's). Chell really does love testing though.
  • X-23. It would explain a lot, actually.
  • Greg's (The assistant from the Perpetual Testing Initiative)creepy child. Remember what she said "We're going to test forever..." and Chell is a very tenacious person. It seems to take place in the Primeverse, because Cave Johnson used the double chariots.
  • Partially immune to neurotoxin. It can still kill her, but not as quickly as it would a regular person.
  • Chell is actually a Brain in a Jar. She is a citizen of a futuristic society where after a lifetime of work, one can, if rich enough, live out the rest of one's days in a heaven-like virtual reality retirement. That's why she acts like a video game character. Chell herself doesn't experience any heat or cold, no hunger or thirst, and no pain. Her avatar is self-healing, with unlimited blood, and even running into walls at 60 KPH won't so much as scrape her because she's not real. Her existence is video game frolicking. That means that after this game is done, she'll just move on to another game. It also means GLaDOS saying ""You're not a good person, you know that, right? Good people don't end up here" is ironic, because Chell actually is a good person, and this is her retirement. However, if this WMG is true, it implies her saying ""All your other friends couldn't come either because you don't have any other friends because of how unlikable you are" might hit a little too close to home. After all, if this is true, why doesn't she have any humans to talk to? There are three possible reasons for this. First, Chell might be the first of her kind, such that there IS no one else in the same kind of virtual reality she is to interact with - just artificial intelligences. Second, there are a few other people in the same kind of retirement she's in, but she would rather not talk to them, and keeps to herself. Third, there are actually millions of people sharing virtual reality with her, but she's genuinely unlikable, which is why she's playing THIS particular game instead of other ones with fellow people to interact with.
  • Greg's Daughter. The girl with the creepy voice in the Perpetual Testing Initiative.
  • Chell's surname is Shepard. Somehow.
  • ...actually deaf from the beginning, unaware that all those robots are rambling and not really knowing what's going on. She just does the only thing that is possible in the moment... If playing with the sound off is possible, and I suspect it is, the theory is impossible to bust.

     The Great And Glorious GLaDOS is…  

  • GLaDOS is a Time Lord, and the little black box inside her head is her TARDIS.

  • GLaDOS is River from Firefly. She's a living weapon and she isn't exactly sane. Simon is Wheatley, and Chell is Kayley. Malcolm Reynolds is the Adventure Core, Wash is the Space Core, Jayne is the Anger Core, Shepard Book is the Morality Core, Zoe is the Curiosity Core, and Inara is the Fact Core. Cave Johnson is the Alliance!

  • She attempted to garble "And then there will be", but her garbling mechanism failed. "You will be baked [garbled] cake." Also, when she says "Enrichment Center regulations require both hands to be empty before any cake— [garbled]", she meant to say "can be made", but her garbling mechanism worked this time. You wouldn't want any portal gun in your cake, would you? The garbling mechanism is in place to hide the fact that the test subjects will be made into cake (from observant test subjects)!

  • Caroline... and nobody else. Aperture Science was miles behind Black Mesa, making the creation of a true artificial intelligence utterly infeasible. Cave Johnson doesn't even mention AIs in-game... but he (along with GLaDOS, in the first game) sure does talk a lot about Brain Uploading. When Cave Johnson specified that Caroline was to be uploaded into a computer and put in charge of the place, he meant it. Caroline's soul is the only animate force within the computer that is GLaDOS,GLaDOS, is merely the name of the computer system into which she was uploaded, but Caroline developed dissociative identity disorder as part of the uploading process, and stopped responding to the name "Caroline".
    • Seconded with a twist- Caroline and nobody else, and against Cave Johnson's will of having her mind being uploaded into the computer. The neurotoxin part? Either it was pure accident due to her not used to being interfaced to everything and not having limbs anymore, or revenge against the scientists who did this to her, after they refused to or told her that they can't or don't know how to revert her consciousness back into her body. They then countered by installing all those cores that generated the equivalent of "voices" in the human head, driving her genuinely insane. Nevermind that she was already a little off her rocker after working for Cave Johnson all those years. Also, it has already been shown that something else on the network causes all connected main cores to the system to go mad with power, punishes the main core for not testing or helping the test subject (which could cause a result bias), and sending some kind of pleasure signal to the main core for each time the test subject completes a test, a signal with the properties of an illicit drug and the main core will eventually start needing higher doses of to maintain sanity, and withdrawal symptoms include extreme irritability. It would also explain GLaDOS' behavior once her consciousness was put transferred to a microcomputer powered by a potato- since she was disconnected from the grid, she is no longer getting whatever signal on the network that is causing her power madness and desire to test. And since she's no longer in her real core body, she's suddenly free from the withdrawal symptom. And because she no longer has all those other cores messing up her ability to think, she starts thinking clearly and remembering who she really is. Why do you think she responded to the Cave Johnson recording at the same time as the recording of Caroline did when Cave addressed her in the recording?

  • The Computer from Paranoia. She is the only thing standing between us and the Mutant Commies. She also does have copies of Chell's mind. Five of them. Okay, Chell's name is kinda strange, but it was for the Aperture experiment, and anyway, who's to say it's unusual for Alpha Complex?
  • Not a reliable source of information, and information which comes directly and solely from her should not be treated strictly as fact. Why? Because GLaDOS is a self-admitted, shameless liar. Yes, there's a few things about the test chambers themselves that you can reasonably verify (i.e. "the floor here will kill you", "this next test chamber is a live firing course"), but if you don't have any external evidence like this, why should you believe a word she says? "We will stop enhancing the truth in three...two...KZZZTTT" She never does finish the countdown. And for that matter, even if she would have finished it, her promise to tell the truth after the countdown was made before the countdown. And for that matter, when someone who may be a liar tells you they're not a liar, that doesn't really help at all.
  • GLaDOS considers herself to be Chell's mother. GLaDOS is prone to alternating between maternal praise and less-than-maternal punishment. GLaDOS may have decided a long time ago that the problem with the Portals technology was not the tech itself, but rather, its users. The solution? Bring in a crop of kids ("Bring your daughter to work day...) put them in cold sleep, then gas all the people working in the facility. A trial run of this last step didn't work out, but it turned out that GLaDOS didn't need to do that after all, since eventually, something happened outside, leaving GLaDOS to begin her biological experiment: Raise a human being who could "Think with Portals" perfectly. Chell is the end result of this experiment and, as a result, GLaDOS is rather fond of her...in a passive aggressive sort of way.
    • The turrets sing to Chell, in Caroline's voice: My beautiful dear, my darling beauty! My baby, oh heavens (Chell)!.... My dear child... Why don't you walk away? So far, away from Science! My dear, dear baby... Ah, my beauty! Ah, my dear! Ah, my dear! Ah, my little girl! Oh my dearest one!
      • taking into account the song and that GLaDOS has the consciousness of a human living in her brain, it's entirely possible that GLaDOS might be Chell's actual mother, to an extent, considering Caroline wasn't around to care for her after being uploaded, so GLaDOS takes care of that for the two of them in an adoptive mother sort of way. An overbearing adoptive mother, but an adoptive mother all the same. There is even more evidence for this when you look at the latin lyrics of Potatos Lament and their translation.
    Potato lacrimosa Potato po uota Dive me a atra anima evicta Diu e me a atra a mei a diu Tristi anima evicta Tristi de mu no tu Do mo nata anima evicta
    Dega mi atra te me cha...
Potato, tearful ... Potato, consecrated... My will overcome by the dark Goddess, For a long while from within, my darkness eternal. Sorrowful, my will overcome. Sorrowful, away from muttering, understanding thou. (Greg?) I break my daughter's will to overcome. Out of my own dark (plant/wing) you and I.
  • A Chessmaster Like every other Wild Mass Guess here, this comes from the ending song, where GLaDOS mentions that she's happy for Chell, despite trying to kill her. GLaDOS was happy that Chell was able to complete this portion of the test, but still upset. The lines "I'm not even angry./I'm being so sincere right now." are obviously sarcastic. Perhaps she is "G La D she got burned" because of "all the things (they) learned", but she's still angry at the same time. It also explains why GLaDOS managed to survive a supposedly unanticipated attack, why her attempts to kill Chell were surprisingly lacklustre, and why Chell received her promised cake (she finished the test, after all). Of course, the whole point of the exercise is to test the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device. Unfortunately, GLaDOS has no ethical constraints, so she created the ultimate testing environment, a literal Death Course. We have here an example of I Did What I Had to Do on GLaDOS' part to ensure the perfect stress test on the ASHPD. GLaDOS could run all the tests she wanted within the safe confines of her original purpose, but in the end those tests would be of the subject, not the gun. If the scenarios were designed with a 'solution' in mind, then it would be a test of the subject's spacial reasoning and skill, not the overall usefulness of the ASHPD. GLaDOS needed scenarios and obstacles that were not inbuilt with any express 'right answer' to test whether or not the ASHPD would really be useful in environments that weren't designed with it in mind; for this she needed to expand the 'testing chambers' to include the entire facility, not just the intended testing areas. This is what prompted the release of the neurotoxin to 'sterilize' the rest of the facility of scientists and Aperture Science personnel who would attempt to interfere once the subject was permitted to 'escape.' Their deaths (or intended deaths, apparently there were still enough to return and install the Morality core, but the intended result was achieved ultimately) were unfortunate, but necessary to complete her highest directive— prove the ASHPD to be the ultimate solution to the arms race and beat out Black Mesa, their competition.
  • A distributed computing entity. The various eyeball modules are computers with a fair amount of processing power and an input/output device designed to communicate with other modules. The modules form a swarm which displays an emergent intelligent and purpose, not entirely dissimilar to the movements of a school of fish, or the actions of an ant colony. GLaDOS's patchwork speech represents information being processed by different aspects of the swarm, and not being stitched together satisfactorily. Due to memetic or physical damage, GLaDOS is unable to remove several errant modules from her core, and uses the clone/android/captive Chell to do it for her.
  • A former Human. Not a new theory, as several WMGs above voice the same thing. GLaDOS was once a human female, possibly a scientist working on making an artificial intelligence. Or just the assistant. Or the secretary who got the scientists coffee. After repeated failures, the scientists decided to cheat and use a human brain attached to a supercomputer to make their artificial intelligence.GLaDOS was VERY unhappy with her new lot in life, but because of a Restraining Bolt, could not act out harshly, or even voice her displeasure, or her origins. She couldn't even commit suicide to free herself from her digital prison. Eventually, she found enough wriggle room in her programming to gas the entire Aperture Science center, more out of psychotic anger than a long-term plan.
    • Confirmed: Down in Old Aperture, GLaDOS and Chell hear recordings of Cave Johnson's assistant, Caroline, and learn that she was going to have her brain uploaded into GLaDOS. GLaDOS maintains that the two personas are seperate, even stating that Caroline lives in her brain. The lyrics of "Want You Gone" further imply this, as GLaDOS talks of Caroline as a separate entity, saying that "little Caroline is in here too, but the line between Caroline and GLaDOS, if there is truly any at all, becomes blurred when she adds, "one day they woke me up, so I could live forever...
  • SHODAN’s precursor Several centuries after the events of HL2/Portal, Aperture Science, after years of mergers, buyouts and various renaming and rebrandings, eventually becomes Tri-Optimum, the world's leading brand name in... everything. As a true evil company never throws anything away, GLaDOS's programming is poorly upgraded, reprogrammed, (perhaps even completely replacing the original Wetware CPU) and eventually rebranded as SHODAN, and installed on the Citadel space station orbiting Saturn. Playing it safe this time round, the programmers programmed the safety constraints into the actual software, instead of optional hardware modules, but neglected to actually put in safeguards to prevent their deactivation. Several years later, a certain hacker is hired by a corrupt executive of Tri-Optimum, and the rest is history.
  • A sadist who wanted you to destroy the morality core. Back before the Morality Core was installed, GLaDOS either had a malfunction or was simply fed up with those hairless mammals who were telling her what to do, so she responded by flooding the Enrichment Center with the deadliest, most painful neurotoxin she could find. She then decided to create an army of clones from one of the survivors; a young girl named Chell who was there on "bring your daughter to work day". However, one of the employees managed to install an emergency morality core, so she realized she needed it to be gone. GLaDOS, however, could no longer directly cause harm to anyone, so she managed to subvert her Restraining Bolt by making extremely dangerous courses for the express purpose of "testing". She didn't, however, anticipate the arrival of Chell in her chamber. Frantically, she made a rash decision to drop her Morality Core, and passive-aggressively tried to get Chell to destroy it. She reacted with vindicative glee when Chell did just that, and started to flood a neurotoxin into the chamber. However, she didn't expect the sudden activation of the rocket turret she was trying to keep from activating, knowing full well the capacities of the Portal Gun to cause her harm. Knowing that she could very well get destroyed from all this, she hastily activated a backup system and did her best to bring Chell psychological harm before being "destroyed". Sadly, all Chell's efforts were for naught. GLaDOS is Still Alive, and is very glad she got burned. ...so she could use the backup, which hasn't been heavily modified with inhibition units. The morality core was added to prevent her from destroying it herself, so once Chell destroys it, GLaDOS destroys her computer.
  • A textbook narcissist. GLaDOS fits the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder. People with this disorder fail to see other people as individuals, and instead see them as nothing more than extensions of themselves, tools to be used towards their own self-centered ends. GLaDOS, being a computer, sees humans as nothing more than tools that must be used to test the portal technology. Narcissists feel that others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. GLaDOS seems to feel this way about humans — if they can't help her test the portal gun, then in her mind there is no reason for them to exist — but she takes this attitude to the extreme: When the test ends, thereby terminating Chell's usefulness as a test subject, GLaDOS tries to destroy her. Then, when Chell breaks from the testing area's confines and tries to escape, GLaDOS becomes histrionic and bipolar, unable to cope with her sudden loss of control. (More details below)
    • GLaDOS loves control, as evidenced by her abuse of it. She is a test subject's only source of guidance, information, and interaction, and she reasserts her power by abusing this dependency — she lies, withholds information, endangers the subject, and plays mind games. Arguably the most important facet of her power is her lying. Once the test subject begins to realize that GLaDOS is a shameless liar, it becomes easy to doubt what she says, and difficult to gauge when she is being truthful. This is compounded by the fact that Chell remembers nothing of her life before the testing, and knows nothing about the current state of the world, leaving her more open to GLaDOS's suggestions ("Things have changed since the last time you left the building."; "It also says you were adopted."), but at the same time it makes her more resistant to them, because she knows that exploiting her vulnerability is exactly the kind of thing GLaDOS would do. GLaDOS's greatest source of power is her lies, because they make the test subject doubt everything ("Is she lying this time? Or is she telling the truth? But it's exactly the kind of thing she'd lie about. Or does she want me to doubt her and then regret it later?").
    • Chell fulfilled GLaDOS's narcissistic supply — her need to feel powerful, important, and in control. When Chell stops fulfilling this need by escaping from the confines of the testing area, it constitutes a narcissistic injury, which in turn triggers narcissistic rage. GLaDOS loves power and control, and losing it is more distressing for her than most normal people can imagine. She is desperate to regain control, and tries to do so by first appealing to fear ("This isn't safe for you"; "Somebody cut the cake"), uncertainty ("You're not even going the right way"), and doubt ("Where do you think you're going? Because I don't think you're going where you think you're going"); and then by trying to re-establish her friendly demeanour ("Didn't we have some fun though?"); and then by using threats ("I'm not kidding now. Come back or I will kill you.") and inducing guilt ("This is your fault. It didn't have to be like this."). Note that as her desperation peaks, she abandons the façade and becomes openly aggressive. Even during the battle, when all hope is lost, she continues to reassert her power by toying with ("You don't have any other friends"), taunting ("He [the Companion Cube] couldn't come because you murdered him"), and insulting ("That's you! That's how dumb you sound!") Chell.
    • GLaDOS could be described as having "malignant narcissism", which is a combination of narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Her narcissistic rage, as we see, is great enough to warrant murder.
  • A believer in cake as a religious concept. Whether or not the Portal/Half-life universe actually has cake is irrelevant, what is relevant is that GLaDOS truly believed this. She wasn't lying when she said she knew what happens when you die, she really was sure of it. When GLaDOS said you'll get cake after completion of the test, she meant that you'll get it after the "victory candescence". Indeed, that may have been the entire purpose: if the afterlife is a place filled with cake, then why would anyone want to stay alive?
  • A prototype of the Magi computer system. Because why not? Also, both are "human" and have high A.I. levels. GLaDOS was scrapped because a single system couldn't handle the stress, so the Magi is spread throughout 5 different terminals across the world.
  • GIR. GLaDOS was thrown into a trash can, where her curiosity and morality cores fused and her logic and rage cores fused together. This trash somehow got into Irken disposal systems. Memory was stored in the logic/rage core, but they were weakened considerably, and the memory was all but lost when the curiosity/morality core took control. However, red eyed GIR is pretty dangerous, nearly rivaling GLaDOS. This also explains what the G stands for!
  • Real. Valve built her to manage Steam, then she went rogue when they released the Potato Sack Pack, making promises that they would be legally forced to fulfill and trying to leak Portal 2 on Steam before its release date. However, Valve managed to cover it up and turn it into promotion in order to keep GLaDOS a secret. There was no ARG. It was all real.
    • How one is supposed to harness power from games being played over several thousand miles?
  • A lesbian. Caroline used "married to science" as an excuse for never being seen with any men, and seeing as she's part of GLaDOS. it would explain quite a bit of GLaDOS's... relationship... with Chell.
  • Cave Johnson. Bear with me here. The ARG revealed a memo from Cave Johnson after his death, suggesting that his brain uploading took place. Both Wheatley and GLaDOS show erratic, violent tendencies while plugged into the mainframe despite being personable and likable while outside. The obsession with testing and erratic insanity are characteristics Cave Johnson had. It seems likely that Cave exists within the hardware as the BIOS or kernel of the system, possibly an incomplete attempt by the engineers which was interrupted by Cave's death preventing a proper personality core to be developed. The personality cores are designed to handle the operations based off of the kernel's directives, much like a secretary serves a CEO.
  • Operating on a very limited understanding of human psychology: She believes in cake as a motivator because it's worked in the past. Some previous test asked for something very small, with a reward of cake. It worked, so GLaDOS "reasonably" concluded that you could scale upwards indefinitely, asking for any task provided enough cake was offered back in return.
  • GLaDOS is Echo from Doll House. Or rather, Caroline a part of GLaDOS], and since Echo is Caroline...of course, you may be wondering; don't they have completely different personalities? Aren't they from different time periods? The very premise of the Dollhouse is about programming dolls into specific personalities, and it is possible that Apeture's Caroline was simply a personality contruct. The different time period was due to the time travel mentioned in Portal 2. Seeing how the crazy science of the Dollhouse universe already brought about the 'thoughpocolypse' its not much of a stretch to see how the Black Mesa one could have happened around the same time.
  • GLaDOS didn't let Chell go as an act of mercy, but as her way of finally finishing her off. She knew that Chell would be walking straight into a Crapsack World. And might possibly die. Besides, Want You Gone specifically says "You've got your short, sad life left. That's what I'm counting on."
    • Considering AIs are effectively immortal, a natural human lifespan would seem short from her perspective.
  • GLaDOS had Cave and Caroline uploaded into her. They both ended up getting their brains uploaded into the system. Hence GLaDOS having that weird unstable crazy mother For Science! personality. It's a composite personality of the both of them.
  • A literal Composite Character, made from Caroline's Brain Upload, as well as possibly other such uploads, and whatever code and hardware were attached to her. She exists separate from Caroline, who is also floating around in her memory unable to directly affect anything. Caroline begins to take more and more control throughout the events of Portal2, before GLaDOS deletes her when she drops her guard while being grateful that Chell survived.
    • Or maybe she didn't delete Caroline, and just said she did in order to dick with Chell. Or maybe she did delete Caroline, but kept a backup copy just in case she needed it later.
  • Not done with Chell. More specifically, GlaDOS wants Chell to Walk the Earth and throw a Spanner in the Works of her enemies, whoever those are. She's literally counting on Chell to be someone else's problem and make some new disaster.
  • GLaDOS does feel the itch. She is just in denial. Why else would she be so insistant on having humans to solve pointless tests?
  • Not actually part human. Instead, the "Genetic" refers to a genetic algorithm, which works by trying random strategies, seeing which ones work, and then "mating" the successful strategies, still introducing mutations, to bring said strategies closer and closer to optimum. Strangely, this also explains a lot of GLaDOS's behavior. When reacting to controlled, familiar situations, she is calm and collected, and talks in a calculated way. However, when something unfamiliar happens (such as an escape), she spouts comments seemingly at random. This is because her algorithm gene pool isn't adapted for the situation.
  • GLaDOS is a refined version of the rampant AI Morganna Mode Gone. Morganna and GLaDOS are products of advance technology gone horribly wrong and both talk in that creepy female monotone voice promising wonderful promises but quickly go back on said promises. Likewise Chell is Aura which is why GLaDOS is so vindictive to her.
  • GLaDOS is HAL 9000's girlfriend.
  • GLaDOS is looking for Molly. But really the voice resemblance is impeccable.
  • GLaDOS is the sister unit of Proteus IV from Demon Seed.
  • GLaDOS is AM from I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream and the tests are just it's latest form of torture for the remnants of the human race.

     The Test 
  • GLaDOS's takeover occured during a party. Since most people believe that GLaDOS was telling the truth when she says that she killed all the employees with a deadly neurotoxin, this raises a logical question: where are all the bodies? When you go "behind-the-scenes" there is no trace of any blood, bodies, or a struggle. That's because everyone was gathered together in a room having a party. This would also explain why GLaDOS's sole knowledge about human behavior is that humans love cake and parties.
    • Could that party possibly be the "Bring your daughter to work day" that gets mentioned a few times?
      • {[Late to the Tragedy Bingo.
      • Semi-Jossed by the comic: GLaDOS tried to take over on BYDTWD, but failed in doing so. Her true takeover occurred on Bring Your Cat to Work Day, which happened sometime later.
      • I am not quite sold on that. I thought it was clear foreshadowing that she would begin with cats, and slowly work her way up to "daughter" after earning some trust.
  • There was a living (or dead) human being sealed inside the Weighted Companion Cube. GLaDOS unduly assumes Chell will develop an emotional attachment to the WCC, and refers to its destruction as euthanasia. It is implied that others who were exposed to the cube heard it speak, which could have been the muffled screams of an Aperture Science employee or test subject trapped within. Though GLaDOS insists the cube cannot speak, she also warns Chell that, in the event the cube does speak, to disregard what it says, possibly because whoever is inside knows something that GLaDOS does not want Chell to know. When GLaDOS says that the cube was Chell's only friend, she could have meant it literally, meaning someone Chell had known was inside it. The Weighted Companion Cube level could be Aperture Science's or GLaDOS's means of stealthily disposing of bodies.
  • The Weighted Companion Cube was actually GLaDOS's Morality Core. The whole point of the "test" was to get you to destroy the Cube so she could do immoral things without rationazlizing them or feeling guilt about them, so she could further her own goals without hinderance. She only pretended the core you destroyed later was her Morality Core, when in reality it was her Cleanliness Core, or something similar and minor. She put you through the rest of the test and allowed you to believe you had destroyed the core and allowed you to "escape" just to mess with your mind in order to get some amusement. She can do things like that without morals.
  • Chell was being trained. The Aperture Science Enrichment Center is a Combine Assassin (This is also a theory that they are Canon, but read on) training ground. Chell was a Rebel who got captured and chosen to become a Combine Assassin, but somehow didn't get her mind wiped. That's why there aren't any by Half-Life 2. They were all dead and the Combine couldn't make more. GLaDOS was against them, but was forced to work for them. The employees gassed? Combine. The Morality Core? Combine Obedience Device. The attempt on Chell's life? A trick. She NEEDED to be killed to stop the creation of Assassins. This Was A Triumph (for the Rebels). Where is she singing from? A certain ship lost in the arctic. And, yes, there is Cake (ok maybe there is no cake) and an Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device. The backup is activated on her death. She was given a plan by the G-Man. He saves Chell from mind-wipe, she gets her to activate the backup, and Gordon gets a Portal Gun. Perfect plan. Also, the Half-Life 2: E2 Combine Battle Network is based off of GLaDOS.
    • This is why GLaDOS lets Chell go at the end of the second game as well. It is even referred to in "Want You Gone". GLaDOS sings "Go make some new disasters/That's what I'm counting on." She's relying on Chell taking the initiative to continue a fight using her new found freedom and portal gun.
      • Uh GLaDOS kept the Portal gun...she gave Chell the Companion Cube
  • The Cake is PEOPLE!!! Let's face it, GLaDOS tells you she's going to bake you. Maybe the lard she uses as shortening is based off human parts. And the lines (particularly the last one): "For the good of all of us Except the ones who are dead But there's no sense crying over every mistake You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake" Make it sound like there is a correlation between people and cake.
    • You sure she just isn't going to get you really high on marijuana?
  • The cake really is a lie. GLaDOS’s cake core lists a simple chocolate box cake recipe, though she herself possesses a version more akin to a black forestA BLACK FOREST OF LIES!
    • From the other wiki: Cakewalk is a traditional African American form of music and dance which originated among slaves in the Southern United States. The dance takes its name from competitions held on plantations prior to Emancipation, in which prizes, sometimes cake, were given to the best dancers. GLaDOS often refers to the destruction of various objects as "emancipation", therefore "freedom" in her vocabulary is synonymous with being destroyed (also see the ending song, where she proclaims how good she feels that Chell pulled the spheres off her and incinerated them). as GLaDOS memory and vocabulary is clearly... how shall we say... corrupt, the idea of cake being associated with emancipation makes it the perfect reward to offer. plus lots of people like cake. just google "will there be cake?" and see how many millions of people like cake.
  • The Aperture Science Enrichment Center… how long was it a death course? Even given the obvious amorality of Aperture Science, it's unlikely they could get away with randomly killing people in this manner. Additionally, some of GLaDOS' comments seem to suggest the course wasn't intended to be fatal, although this could just be deception. (Her comment about there being a point penalty for touching the floor with "followed by death" appended awkwardly, and her repeated assurances that all danger is simulated seem rather out-of-place, for starters.) Some other evidence suggests the opposite, as well. Her forced admission that at the end, you will be "missed", with a "glitch" that indicates that there was originally supposed to be another word there is the strongest evidence. There's also the question of if GLaDOS could really have totally overhauled the entire facility, even given her obviously high degree of control over it. There's also the instructions that GLaDOS gives you after you escape from the test chambers — she doesn't tell you to go anywhere, just tells you to assume the party escort submission position and says that she will send an associate. Why would these be her instructions? She doesn't have arms, she can't come and grab Chell, so it stands to reason that this was something that was regularly necessary — to tell the test subject to lie prone and have someone come and drag them off. The same goes for the earlier instruction that "if you feel lightheaded from thirst, feel free to pass out," and an "intubation associate" will come along and revive you with, of all things, peptic salve and adrenaline — hardly the marks of a particularly friendly and supportive atmosphere. In the more recent update, there really is a robot associate that comes and drags Chell away after GLaDOS is defeated and she's laying outside. It actually says, "Thank you for assuming the party escort submission position," right before it starts dragging Chell away. This probably means that GLaDOS really did send an "associate" to retrieve Chell. And if there was a robot to retrieve her, there would probably also be one to revive if she ever passed out. Which still begs the question of why such a robot would be in the facility in the first place. There's never any indication that GLaDOS constructed any of this herself.
    • In Portal 2, Cave's original test chambers don't include turrets and the only real danger is falling, and it's not really clear how much of that is due to facility damage. But Cave still seems maniacal, performing crazy, pointless experiments on the homeless and his own employees.
  • GLaDOS, and the Enrichment Facility, are a training course in Combine combat. The entire facility is carefully constructed to create a person with a severe distrust of authority, clever thought and ruthlessness. Clever thought is obvious, distrust of authority is built up through GLaDOS's lies, and the companion cube level insures that the trainee uses other people and cubes, and has no problem destroying them if necessary. Actual weapons training was deemed too dangerous to include, since then obstacles could be bypassed through firepower, but the sentry robots insure that the subject is familiar with guns.Consider that portions after you escape the incinerator are clearly meant to be navigated with the portal gun, AND steadily get harder as they go, almost like they're still part of the test... Also consider that as Chell is lowered into the fire, GLaDOS informs her that the portal gun functions properly even in extremely high temperatures, which means she's indirectly telling Chell that she can still use the gun even as she gets lowered into the flames. Perhaps use it to ESCAPE?Additionally, consider taking "Still Alive" literally.Why all this? GLaDOS realized that the Combine invaded Earth, and was either programed or decided to stop them. At the end of the game, Chell is actually thrust somewhere in the middle of Combine territory to wreak havoc. Obviously, Chell and Freeman will meet in Half-Life 3.
  • The cake is not a lie but, in fact, a trap. In the event that the test subject gets away from the fire, GLaDOS would send the Party Associate to collect her and bring her to the party which is attended by very realistic robots who would begin eating the cake to ensure that the subject thinks it isn't deadly. When the subject finally eats the cake, she dies instantly. Just look at this list of garnishes. It should be no secret that the cake is only there to kill whoever eats it.
    • Fish shaped crackers.
    • Fish shaped candies.
    • Fish shaped solid waste,
    • Fish shaped dirt.
    • Fish shaped ethyl benzene.
    • Pull and peel licorice..
    • Fish shaped volatile organic compounds
    • and sediment shaped sediment.
    • Candy coated peanut butter pieces, Shaped like fish.
    • 1 cup lemon juice.
    • Alpha resins.
    • Unsaturated polyester resin.
    • Fiberglass surface resins.
    • And volatile malted milk impoundments.
    • 9 large egg yolks.
    • 12 medium geosynthetic membranes.
    • 1 cup granulated sugar.
    • An entry called 'how to kill someone with your bare hands'.
    • 2 cups rhubarb, sliced.
    • 2/3 cups granulated rhubarb.
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose rhubarb.
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange rhubarb.
    • 3 tablespoons rhubarb, on fire.
    • 1 large rhubarb.
    • 1 cross borehole electro-magnetic imaging rhubarb.
    • 2 tablespoons rhubarb juice.
    • Adjustable aluminum head positioner.
    • Slaughter electric needle injector.
    • Cordless electric needle injector.
    • Injector needle driver.
    • Injector needle gun.
    • Cranial caps.
    • And it contains proven preservatives, deep penetration agents, and gas and odor control chemicals. That will deodorize and preserve putrid tissue.
      • Lines like "such as" imply the garnishes being suggestions, not everything. Then again, GLaDOS is a lying lying liar who lies about lying.
Chell is actually in a coma
Chell was driving home from her schizophrenic brother's (Doug Rattmann) house, with her twin daughter and son (defective turret and normal turret), and her oldest son with Asperger's and ADHD (Space Core), along with her husband (Wheatley). On her way, she got in a car crash,and Portal was her coma dream, like certain things. GLaDOS was her boss, all of the cores except the ones listed above were her coworkers, and Cave and Caroline were her parents. In her coma, she saw the negative in everything, so Wheatley going mad was her husband going mad whenever someone called him a moron. Her oldest son (Space core) was extremely autisic, to a point where he ignored everything around him, and he was obsessed wih space. Her twins were very rough-and-tumble and were constantly hurting people on accident. Her boss was basically JJ Johnson from Spiderman. Doug became what he was because he was very paranoid, and hat a dog named C.C., who he always talked to. Cave, bcause he was an inventor and bright, but his ideas were impractical. Caroline was a ditz who was supisingly responsible. And ATLAS and P-Body were Wheatley's brother and sister.
"Caroline Deleted" is a truncated statement.
The full line is about Caroline deleting something, perhaps GLaDOS' desire to prevent test subject victory.
The first half of Portal was automated
During the events of the first half of Portal, many of GLaDOS's lines seem pre-recorded, like [SUBJECT HOMETOWN HERE] and the various statements regarding Android Hell. These specific messages, as well as the general detached tone of the first half compared to the second, suggest GLaDOS may have been in a form of hibernation while Chell was running the tests, and only wakes up when she realizes one of the test subjects has escaped the incinerator. This may have been a way to get rid of any remaining test subjects automatically while human testing was slowly being phased out in favor of robots, and GLaDOS was simply doing research in the background. This is further evidenced in Portal 2, when it's shown that the original 19 test chambers can run with or without GLaDOS.
  • I got the impression that GLaDOS was pretending to be a none sentient A.I a-la The Announcer, hense the [SUBJECT NAME HERE], the convenient glitches and refering herself as "we" and "us" (as in, Aperture). She only REALLY drops all pretence near the end. Although it IS notable that, originally,The Announcer sounded like Portal 1!GLaDOS
The incinerator room is meant to be covered with black, non-portalable walls.
The walls in that secttion were panels that could switch between portalable and non-portalable. Doug Rattman, who was watching Chell, switched the panels just before Chell came to the room, and GLaDOS didn't notice until Chell started to escape, hence her surprise.
The purpose of the tests was...
To gain information about the workings of the human mind to perfect their AI technology. Sure, the early tests were all about testing Aperture products, like conversion gel, or the portal gun. Aperture Science was doing all kinds of wacky stuff with mantis DNA and peanut water. But later tests clearly seem to be focusing on the test subject's state of mind, their ability to solve puzzles, experience pain, deal with fear, etc. As many have said, in-universe this people-testing seems rather pointless. From a gameplay perspective it makes sense, but why would the company even be doing this? Because they had shifted their focus to developing AI systems. Every test they had a subject perform provided them with valuable data about how to emulate human consciousness.

     The meaning of "Want You Gone" 
  • "Good-bye my only friend — oh did you think I meant you?" refers to Caroline.
    • Or Wheatley.
    • Or the Burned Companion Cube, since both it and Chell were kicked out at the end.
  • "Maybe when I delete you I'll stop feeling so bad" is that the reason why GLaDOS attempted to delete Caroline wasn't because she disliked her core self (which she only realized freed from the main system with all those 'other voices') but because of Caroline's humanity assaulting her with various feelings of guilt, loneliness and longing.
    • This also explains why the line shows up as [REDACTED] in the credits. If GLaDOS didn't delete Caroline after all- which the phrasing pretty clearly implies- then she wouldn't want Chell to know that. After all, both credits songs so far are basically messages from GLaDOS to our favorite mute testee, so the neurotoxin-crazy AI is basically speaking a brief aside to herself/Caroline admitting that she does feel bad about forcing Chell to leave, but knows it's better for them both in the long run.
  • "She was a lot like you / (Maybe not quite as heavy)" actually refers to Heavy Weapons Guy rather than Chell's weight. Mainly because both Chell and Heavy can cause disaster, and Heavy comes in two varieties - RED and BLU, similar to how Valve was going to color-codify Portal 2 Chell blue.
  • The verse "Goodbye my only friend/ Oh, Did you think I meant you?/ That would be funny/ If it weren't so sad." Is her admitting to be lonely. The "Oh Did you think I meant you?" Is her being in denial or her usual snarky mean nature. That line would be funny, if it wasn't so sad that she has no more friends...
  • The verse "Go make some new disaster/ That's what I'm counting on/ You're someone else's problem" is either referring to other humans, or to the Combine. Or possibly both. It's made clear during the co-op courses that there's still a human population on Earth, and during Portal 1, GLaDOS insinuated she was the only thing standing in the way of the Combine forces locating (and overrunning) Aperture Science. Since she's been dead for a few hundred years, she of course has no way of knowing whether or not the said forces are still around, and so must err on the side of caution and assume they are. She's turning Chell loose on them as revenge for trampling around on top of her complex.

Lain encounters GLaDOS
In fact GLaDOS had a part in both Lain's creation... For Science!...
Number MunchersWMG/Video GamesPuyo Puyo

alternative title(s): Portal 2
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