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Fanfic / Can't Go Home Again

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Can't Go Home Again is a Web Serial Novel fan-fiction based off the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise, written by Mable and originally uploaded on starting May 22nd, 2016.

A few years following the original five nights, former Freddy's security guard Mike Schmidt inherits from his former boss, Frederick Fazzman, an house, most of his personal belongings, and the rights to the Freddy's franchise itself. What he believed was merely a gift from a much beloved boss quickly turns his life upside down as he, and other former Freddy's workers, begin to investigate into what really happened over the previous decade at the restaurant, including the "Missing Children" incident and why the animatronics truly moved by themselves at night. And then, there's the animatronic that came with the house...


What was, per the author's words, meant to be a twelve chapter affair quickly grew into a full-fledged series, often referred to as the Home series. Can't Go Home Again was completed on May 8th, 2018, reaching its' one-hundreth chapter upon completion. The following month, the first chapter of the second book in the series, Almost Feels Like Home, was uploaded to, with the book reaching its' completion on May 8th, 2020, two years after Can't Go Home Again was first completed, once again on its' one-hundredth chapter.

The third, and current book, Going Home in a Box, saw its' first chapter uploaded on December 1st, 2021, coinciding with the release of Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach. It is currently scheduled to reach its conclusion on November 1st, 2023, with a fourth book possibly in the works.


During the hiatus between the second and third book, the author also uploaded the first two books on Archive of Our Own as a series.

The Home series contains the following tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Whilst Mike and Marionette are immediately established as the protagonists, the focus shifts to their friends and family every once in a while, with chapters focusing on Jeremy, Foxy, and later Scott, Ennard, Baby and Charlie not being uncommon.
  • Adaptational Badass: The security guards didn't survive their night shifts at Freddy's by just standing idly at a desk, oh, no. Mike in particular proves himself to be the most adept of the group, taking on Ennard almost by himself on two different occasions, being profusely wounded and bleeding on the first one.
    • Also applies to the animatronics. The most shining examples are Marionette, whose levitation is shown to be full-blown telekinesis with which he's proficient enough to put what remains of the Funtime animatronics out of commission, and Foxy, who manages to keep up with a speeding car for a brief moment.
  • Adapted Out: Several elements.
    • Remnant does not exist. It is completely possible for anyone to obtain the same results as William Afton by placing an empty, compatible animatronic near a dying person who does not want to move on. Fire still has the same effect on animatronics, as the only thing capable of separating body and soul.
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    • The Nightmare animatronics are barely alluded to during Gabriel's final moments as a human, but do not appear. Later Averted come Almost Feels Like Home, as Nightmare Fredbear and Nightmare Springbonnie attack the group under William Afton's commands.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Lumber Bot Maximum, part of the Chipper's exposition, isn't haunted. It is, however, programmed to be hostile to any movement within the theatre during closing hours, and is capable of commandeering the other Chipper's animatronics to do so, who are likewise empty. The one who programmed it to behave that way was William Afton years ago.
    • The Lumber Bot Maximum also sets a distinction between living animatronics, who have souls, and robots, who lack them alongside any form of consciousness or awareness, and follow strict programming directives, which are more often than not violent in nature. The Nightmare animatronics, El Chip's animatronics, and the Pizzaplex's Staff Bots all belong to the second category.
  • Big Bad: Downplayed. Each book so far has featured several Arc Villains, some of whom are the result of the actions of the Big Bad, or are directly tied to them. Henry Emily and William Afton fill the more traditional role in Can't Go Home Again and Almost Feels Like Home, respectively, with Afton in particular being the driving force.
  • Canon Foreigner: Some newcomers appear, with the stand-out examples being Natalie, ex-security personnel that later joins the Foxy's crew after finding out their big secret and becomes Fritz's girlfriend, Glenn Voroff, owner of animatronic showroom and theatre Chipper and Son's Lumber Co., and Chauncery "Chance" Johnson, Henry's father and Charlie's grandfather, as well as a retired animatronic technician.
  • Canon Immigrant: The characters from the book series are included in events that otherwise happened in the main game series, and become far more active in the sequel.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mike and Fritz are the go-to snarkers, but it's fair to say everyone gets atleast one good quip in sooner or later. As of Going Home In A Box, Gregory seems to be joining them in that department.
  • Decomposite Character: Dave Miller, a former alias of William Afton, is a former Freddy's employee. What makes this an interesting case is that it's completely plausible that Afton used Miller's name because he previously knew him to boot.
  • Foreshadowing: When explaining to Mike his past and how he "figured out" to put four dying kids in the original Freddy's animatronics, Marionette almost name-drops Golden Freddy, before backpedaling and referring to him as an "old friend". Sure enough, Golden Freddy was more of a father figure than a friend and was the catalyst to almost every event following the Bite of '87.
  • The Ghost: Downplayed. The original Freddy's animatronics appear, alongside the suit parts of the Toys, with Fritz inheriting them and taking up the task of moving them, but they all appear to have moved on. Except Foxy, who springs to life as he's being moved. And the Toys, as we later find out.
  • History Repeats: A four-animatronic band lead by a bear that is clearly dysfunctional and sees its' members work with each other to further their goals solely because of a commonality, one of them feeling like an outcast and trying to distance themselves from the rest of the group as much as they can. Now, are we talking about the original Freddy's gang, or the Glamrocks?
  • Karma Houdini: Downplayed for Frederick Fazzman, whose crimes range from identity theft and tax fraud to No OSHA Compliance, but never answered for them, dying suddenly of an heart attack instead. Later played terrifying straight, as Fazzman was an alias for William Afton, who will never be put on trial for his murders, and who planned around his own death to continue his plans undisturbed. That said...
  • Motif: Homes. The story begins with Mike inhereting his former boss's home, and there's always a great emphasis placed on what truly makes an home.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Souls continue aging within their animatronic bodies. They do, however, retain parts of their personality from the age they first died, and the bodies' own programming can come to influence their thoughts and behaviour.
  • Perverse Puppet: Completely and utterly Averted with Marionette. He first seems to be that, attacking Mike on sight and being incredibly clingy of him, but as he's coaxed out of his shell, he proves himself to be anything but.
    • Also Averted with Charlie, once she becomes the Security Puppet come Almost Feels Like Home.
  • Police Are Useless: Discussed. Foxy squarely puts the blame on every single death that took place at Freddy's on Detective Clay Burke, who was in charge of the investigations, and how ridiculous it is that the case is reopened right as his own restaurant is gaining footing. As one of those victims, he does have more of a right to complain than anyone else.
    • Played Straight in Going Home In A Box, as when Foxy first breaks into the Pizzaplex and attempts to vandalize it, Burke is immediately hot on his trail... and completely ignores the Pizzaplex's own, flagrant violations. Amongst which, No OSHA Compliance, several environmental and financial crimes, and being a crime scene. Might Double as Selective Enforcement, but it isn't clear if the Pizzaplex falls under Hurricane's juridiction or Washington County's.
    • Downplayed case, also in Going Home In A Box, when Burke is called in to handle a missing person case and stumbles upon a giant Funtime Freddy, which he's clearly unable to handle. He calls in Ennard and Scott to deal with it, instead.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Mike's first videogame console is strongly hinted to be a NES. He, Marionette, and the other guards later play a version of Ghosts 'n Goblins, if the anger the two experience at first and everyone expresses after playing it is any indication. Mike later name-drops it directly.
    • His second console, which he receives as a gift for Christmas, is the original PlayStation, as Marionette points out the use of discs instead of cartridges. He and Fritz seem to play Resident Evil on it later. He also appears to be playing Clock Tower in Almost Feels Like Home, judging by his reference to a "Scissor Lad".
  • Sole Survivor: Foxy is the only one of the four original Freddy's animatronics to not have moved on. It later comes back to haunt him come Going Home In A Box.
    • Scott Caldwell, "The Phone Guy", is the only original staff member of Freddy's still alive. Or atleast as a human.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Inverted; The series takes place in Hurricane, Utah. References to surrounding cities and areas in Washington County, such as St. George and later Zion National Park, are made, and some locations are even visited by the crew.