Follow TV Tropes


Broken Base / Five Nights at Freddy's

Go To

"I'm so f**king confused normal mangle is a yes phantom mangle is supposedly a male people are speculating Funtime foxy is female nightmare mangle is still genderless my head hurts" [sic]
Golden mangled fox, Five Night at Freddy's Wiki

The Five Nights at Freddy's fandom is infamous for many reasons. One of which being that if the fanbase agrees on ANYTHING, then you found an almost nonexistent scenario.


    open/close all folders 

  • The hordes of roleplayers on Steam, Gamejolt, and the comments section of every FNAF video. Are they some of the most annoying members of the fanbase, or are they being creative?
  • The Fazbear Fanverse logo. Some don't mind it and say it looks nice, while others don't think such a colorful, cheerful logo would fit for a horror franchise, especially something like The Joy of Creation: Ignited Collection.
  • The lore:
    • Whether it's the main draw of the series. Those for it feel that the game itself is just a sideshow, with the story being the true reward for progressing and beating the games. Others consider the story an afterthought, preferring the gameplay, jumpscares, and reactions from various YouTubers.
    • The fact that much of the lore has to be actively sought and figured out. Those for it feel that the search and Epileptic Trees is the most engaging part of the lore and that finding it is more rewarding than just having it spoonfed. Others feel frustrated at the lengths it takes to find everything and feel it isn't worth the effort when it's so ambiguous most of the time, in addition to Scott rarely explicitly clarifying anything himself. One of the biggest factors in the split is how intricate and complex the lore became over time, with further debates breaking out over whether or not the lore is even solvable.
    • Since the series seemingly ended with Ultimate Custom Night, the debate around the lore largely disappeared, with the main story seemingly being solved despite being ridiculously complex, and fans embracing the convoluted lore as part of the series' charm. But the continuation of the story in Help Wanted and Security Breach has again started debate, with people arguing over whether the lore should have stayed as is or if it deserves to continue. Part of this is also focused around the Happy Ending Override for Pizzeria Simulator.
  • Mangle's Ambiguous Gender is infamous for the astronomical flame wars it has caused. Every game since 2 has given Mangle various characteristics, dialogue, counterparts or flavor text that always leaves it ambiguous and provides evidence for both sides, causing arguments to flare up whenever Mangle or its counterparts were confirmed for a game. Scott, Trolling Creator he is, only gave either inconclusive answers or straight up trolled both sides of the argument, presumably to keep it ambiguous. To this day, Mangle has no confirmed canon gender and fans have since debated their own answers ranging from girl, boy, none, one gender for each counterpart and yes.
  • When should the series have ended, if at all? This has become a common debate since the 3rd game, with the most common answers being 3, 4, or Pizzeria Simulator/UCN:
    • Those in favor of 3 point out that it had the most conclusive ending by seemingly having the missing children move on and giving the murderer his comeuppance. Those against 3 state that while it was a happy ending, it still left enough unanswered questions and set up enough hooks to prevent it from being a true ending. Helping this viewpoint is future games overriding both the prior points, making the ending less happy in hindsight unless fans chose to ignore everything from 4 onward.
    • Those in favor of 4 feel the story was best concluded there, ending the past era on a fittingly bleak note while answering a few burning questions fans had about the past. Those against it point out that the game's lore was at its most confusing in this game and that ending it here would've left many unanswered questions (that future games have since addressed) unless Scott himself decided to elaborate on them back then.
    • Pizzeria Simulator is widely regarded as the best conclusion for the series, even among those who didn't enjoy the turn the lore had taken, due to its incredibly dramatic nature and wrapping up some of the biggest plot points from the series in an incredibly satisfying way, complete with Ultimate Custom Night seemingly ending William's story on an incredibly karmic note. However, there were still many questions left unresolved by it, so others don't feel that it should have been the absolute end of the series.
    • A fourth group feels that the series shouldn't end at all, citing the fact that every game since 2 has left unanswered questions or set up hooks for future games, making it impossible for the series to end at any set point until Scott or Steel Wool decide to fully conclude the story. Those against this mindset feel that with FNAF often being treated like a Cash Cow Franchise (even if it's clear Scott doesn't milk it), ending the story seems less and less likely.


Five Nights at Freddy's:

  • Bonnie's gender was unknown for quite some time. While the gender wars weren't quite as astronomical as Mangle's, it was pretty heavy until Scott confirmed he was male indirectly.

Five Nights at Freddy's 2:

Five Nights at Freddy's 3:

  • The setting being a horror attraction instead of a pizzeria. Those for it feel the change in venue was necessary to help spice things up a bit, while those against it felt that not having it at a pizzeria took away the Suck E. Cheese's aspect that made the prior 2 games scary.

Five Nights at Freddy's 4:

  • Fans were split on whether the Nightmare Animatronics were either the most terrifying renditions of the main animatronics to date, or too over-the-top in their scary elements to the point of Narm.
  • The fact that the game takes place in a house instead of some variation of Freddy's Pizzeria caused a split. One contingent of fans considered it scarier that the threats were in your house instead of a job that you could simply leave, while others thought the change of location felt out of place for the series and that it should stick to an actual Fazbear Entertainment building.
  • The game's big reveal fell into controversy when a certain scene hinted that the minigames may have taken place four years prior to '87. Fans became split on whether this was a Red Herring or something else entirely, to the point where debates got very toxic. Suffice to say, there were a large amount of clues both supporting and refuting the date. Scott's confirmation that Nightmare BB was canon did nothing to ease the confusion. The debate was eventually settled when Scott commended Game Theory's "The Final Theory" video for getting the year correct, confirming that the game's minigames do indeed take place in 1983, instead of 1987.
  • Scott's decision to leave the box closed and have the fanbase put the pieces together themselves. Some were okay with it, believing that they just needed to keep on trying to figure it out and that solving it was part of the fun. Others were disappointed that the biggest secret in the then-final game of the series would remain unanswered. The fact that Scott also said that nobody had managed to figure out the story of 4 despite having easily solved the other 3 games' stories factored into the disappointment and those who had been struggling to figure out the lore were turned off from the series with this revelation.
  • When do the five nights take place and, in addition, who is the one having them? There is evidence that backs up the player being the older brother sometime after the bite or the Crying Child before or after The Bite.
  • A couple of users were disappointed and/or angry with Nightmare BB's presentation, some of them insulting Scott via email or Reddit, while others were fine with the result.
  • The Dream Theory, which says that the Crying Child dreamed all the previous games. Fans either hated the idea for making a year of theorizing useless, or loved it as it explained some of the things seen throughout the franchise. Although Word of God jossed the theory long ago, some still think it was the original answer considering the images on the site shortly following the game's release seemed to be pointing toward this.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location:

Five Nights at Freddy's World:

  • As expected, the fandom was divided between those who thought the game's direction was the wrong way to go and went against everything the series was about and those who were simply excited to have a new game or were actually looking forward to the Unexpected Gameplay Change.
  • The pristine Spring Bonnie having 'feminine' eyelashes caused quite a few fans to speak out against it, with some of them even going so far as to consider it an Unsettling Gender Reveal, while others felt this didn't necessarily mean Spring Bonnie was female, pointing out that Toy Bonnie, who also has eyelashes, was confirmed to be male.
  • After the game came out, users were divided on whether they enjoyed it or not. The lack of an actual storyline, or giving you hints on what to do next turned some people off, leading them to refund the game on Steam. Others didn't care about the game's flaws, liking it for what it was.
  • The visual style. While some liked the colorful and flashy style, others described it as "an assault on the eyes", in the literal sense of it hurting their eyes to play the game for extended periods due to all the flashy colors and the sheer amount of stuff going on at once.

Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator:

  • Springtrap's design in this game was the subject of heavy debating on its reveal, with it becoming better-known, and referred to from UCN onward, as Scraptrap. Those who liked the design felt that such a drastic change was natural given the already-deteriorating Springtrap had to survive a fire and an unknown amount of time has passed since then, likely necessitating having more damage and using new parts to justify his design change. Those against it felt it was way too drastic of a change to the point that it looked Uncanny Valley even by the standards of FNAF animatronics and made Springtrap look so unrecognizable that people weren't even sure it was him at first.
  • Was this a good way to end the series? People who say this should've been the ending claim that it tied up everything in a nice way, was a Golden Ending and had William get what he deserved. People who say this shouldn't have been the ending claim that Henry is a Deus ex Machina who shows up out of nowhere (even in-universe, as he spend several decades doing nothing) and pulls a Kill 'Em All in his first game, that William was Demoted to Extra and died in the most pathetic way possible, by knowingly entering a trap and the ending cutscene giving him, the Big Bad of the entire franchise, zero attention besides one quick line from Henry, with the rest of the ending being completely focused on Baby and the Puppet.

Ultimate Custom Night:

  • Scott's decision to leave the UCN as is and not add a cutscene after 50/20. Some were relieved since they wouldn't have to spend entire days beating the mode all over again just to get to a minute-long cutscene, while another camp were disappointed to see that there was no reward for doing the impossible. Both groups were alleviated, however, when Scott revealed that he would add an award on the menu (that is retroactive, thus it will appear automatically if 50/20 was completed beforehand).

Five Nights At Freddys VR Help Wanted:

  • The game's mere existence as the canon follow-up to Pizzeria Simulator. Some liked it for allowing the franchise and story to continue on, while others feel it cheapened the ending of 6.
  • William Afton's return as Glitchtrap. Some fans think that it's great the Big Bad returned and is creepier than ever before, while some argue that his continued survival cheapens the ending of Pizzeria Simulator on a whole another level. Many fans used to (and some still do) believe that Glitchtrap isn't William, but is actually an AI copy while the real William is long dead.
  • The opening and a later tape implying that Scott Cawthon exists in canon and that all the previous mainline games were made by him for Fazbear Entertainment. The fanbase was split between those who hated the very idea of making years of theorizing All for Nothing through the implication that VR was potentially semi-disregarding it all, while others pointed out that it could just be using the "indie developer" and his games as an allegory for Scott and the main games, making the previous games still 100% canon. Word of God eventually confirmed that it was the latter, though some in the former camp admit to still not liking it due to giving the franchise an out to do so in the event the developers feel the lore has become too complex.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach:

  • The game's tone. Some didn't mind it being Lighter and Softer, enjoying the humor it brought while feeling that it was still plenty scary. Others felt that a lot of what made FNAF scary had been taken out or toned down, making the horror more bland. It should be noted that a portion of the Dummied Out content revolves around more mature subjects (explicitly mentions of death, Gregory bleeding from being cut in the vents instead of being "broken", etc.), suggesting Executive Meddling or the tone changing mid-development may have been at play.
  • The game's state at release. Some were more forgiving of Scott and Steel Wool considering SB was admittedly the franchise's most ambitious game, and were essentially an indie studio trying to make a AAA game. Others felt the game should've been far more stable than it was considering it was delayed multiple times for the sake of polish, feeling that the final product shouldn't have been such an Obvious Beta.


Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet:

  • Charlie's Robotic Reveal in the third act of the book, as well as the related reveal that the real Charlie, not Sammy, was William's first victim. Those who defend the twist point to various bits of subtle foreshadowing throughout the first two books, including Charlie's feeling that some of her old memories belong to someone else, the mysterious detail of her three closets, and William's strange dialogue upon first getting a good look at her, that serve as a brilliant Re-Read Bonus; many also argue that the twist makes Charlie into a more interesting parallel with both Elizabeth and her own game counterpart, the Puppet. Detractors argue that, even if the twist was foreshadowed, it still makes very little sense (particularly the idea that Charlie could have been a robot for 14 years without anyone, including herself, ever realizing it), as well as opens up plot holes such as what happened to Sammy if he wasn't killed by William (aside from a single one-sentence reference implying he's still alive).

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights:

  • The book series introducing stranger and more explicitly fantastical elements than previous installments of the franchise such as (seemingly) time travel, (seemingly) magical necklaces, and body-swapping robots, among many other elements. Half the fandom is fine with it, arguing that a series which has featured haunted robots pretty much from the beginning has never exactly been a bastion of realism, and are excited by the wider story possibilities this opens up; the other half is frustrated with the departure from what they were expecting and firmly ignores any potential impact the books might have on the lore.
    • Following the release of Bunny Call, a sub-debate of this has popped up regarding the second story, "In the Flesh". Even among those who are fans of the more openly supernatural horror of the books, a story in which the main character becomes pregnant with a baby Springtrap was seen by quite a few as taking it too far, further fracturing the base.
  • Whether or not to treat the books as canon is very heated for similar reasons. Proponents of doing so argue that stories like "The Man in Room 1280" and the Epilogues from Step Closer onward are clearly setting the story up as a Stealth Sequel to Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, and that it wouldn't make sense for the authors to pull a Bait-and-Switch of it not being set in the games' timeline; the fact that there are distinct thematic and visual similarities between Afton's Amalgamation and the new form of Glitchtrap from the mobile port of Help Wanted is often used as evidence that these books are meant to be taken as canon with these books. Those who reject these books as canon point to the fact that certain details seem to contradict stated or implied lore from the games (such as the spirit possessing Golden Freddy being a boy named Andrew rather than a girl named Cassidy) and prefer to think of the books' events simply being metaphors for events in the games, rather than literally taking place in the games' timeline. The possibility that not all of the stories take place in the same timeline doesn't help matters, nor does the fact that one of the few stories to feature a human character from the games, "Coming Home", most likely doesn't take place in the game timeline due to contradicting details about how Susie was killed.
  • William once again being the main villain is something of a divisive point among fans. Some groups are just fine with it, seeing it as a way of averting the Villain Decay that William underwent after the fifth and sixth games (and the second and third novels) slowly turned him into more and more of a Mad Scientist, as well as opening up a massive opportunity for both further stories and fanfics. Other camps are frustrated to essentially have it confirmed that William escaped his fate yet again, seeing the sixth game as the perfect ending for his story arc, with both these books and Help Wanted performing a Happy Ending Override. The fact that the Fazbear Frights might be in a different universe does calm down the base a bit (though the reverse is very much not true, as the reveal only further muddies the waters about whether or not the books should be considered canon). This debate died down after The Reveal that the Fazbear Frights version of William is a Big Bad Wannabe who was left weak thanks to Andrew, and that there was a greater evil inside of his amalgamation, worse than Afton, ultimately meaning that William isn't the main villain but rather a small threat, as terrifying as that is.
  • "The Man in Room 1280" implying that the events of Ultimate Custom Night were not William's personal hell, but rather a Battle in the Center of the Mind between him and Andrew, has mixed reception. Some think it makes much more sense than it being literal hell while others think it's just a cheap explanation for William coming back after FNaF 6.
  • Although the Puppet returning in Epilogue 7 was certainly awesome and shocking, some felt like it cheapens the ending of Pizzeria Simulator as the Puppet was one of the game's core elements, with a big part of the ending scene being focused on her.

    Base-Breaking Characters 
  • William Afton, the Purple Guy, was formerly universally loved for his role in the story, but became more divisive as future games expanded on his character and revealed more about him. Those who like him feel he is a genuinely terrifying and realistic depiction of a Serial Killer and love him for his role as the Greater-Scope Villain of the older games. Others dislike him for being a Karma Houdini for the most part, the revealing of his character and motivations taking away from the original mystique behind the ambiguity of both, and his gradual characterization into more of a Mad Scientist figure than a realistic child murderer.
    • Perhaps the most divisive aspect of his character is his Joker Immunity. His survival after Five Nights at Freddy's 3 wasn't too much of a sore point with the fandom, since it had already been teased in that game; however, Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator seemed designed to perfectly end his story, seeing him and all his creations- intentional or otherwise- finally meet a fiery end, punctuated by an incredibly badass speech from Henry/Casette Man, in contrast to his very low-key "death" in 3. His survival in the franchise after that had some fans feeling he'd overstayed his welcome as the Big Bad and hoped he would get officially replaced. The debate only worsened after the True Ending of Security Breach revealed he survived the fire, had him regain his physical form and saw him getting dragged away by The Blob as the PizzaPlex collapsed in another fire, yet another Uncertain Doom for him that leaves his survival open.
  • Foxy. Either you like him as a character or hate him for overshadowing the other animatronics.
  • The Toy animatronics in the second game are designed to be more colorful, childish, and feminine than their older counterparts, as shown by Toy Bonnie and Mangle, while the classic animatronics (except for Foxy) appear to have been pushed to the side and left in states of disrepair. Fans were divided on whether the Toy animatronics are as good as the classic ones and whether or not they are scary.
    • Toy Chica. She has a more humanoid body and shorts that look like panties at first glance. Fans found her "sexualized" look either funny, disgusting, or fittingly disturbing and unnerving. Similarly, the fact that she takes off her beak and eyes is either horrifying to look at or makes her look like Pikachu or a yellow M&M.
  • Balloon Boy. Some think he's annoying for his mechanic and annoying laugh, while others think he's overhated.
  • The older brother in FNAF4. Is he an irredeemable jackass or just a dumb kid who made a Tragic Mistake? That he's implied to be Michael Afton, who is, in turn, implied to be Mike Schmidt, and possibly the rest of the night guards only divides people further on whether he redeemed himself or if its too little, too late.
  • Circus Baby. Is she an interesting and tragic character who was well written, or is she a Spotlight-Stealing Squad which is completely useless story-wise? However, the most controversial part of her character is definitely the ending of Pizzeria Simulator, where she's the one that was given attention while her father, the Big Bad himself, was sidelined; Sometimes, even the biggest Baby fans will admit that her father deserved this attention, and not her.