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"You know what they say; you just can't keep a Good Guy down!"


Child's Play (also known as Chucky) is a series of villain-based horror-comedy slasher films that consistently feature Chucky (Brad Dourif), a Creepy Doll who actually contains the soul of a notorious Serial Killer named Charles Lee Ray. The films follow Chucky's exploits as he causes all sorts of murderous mayhem in his search for a new human host, in addition to a rotating set of protagonists (who are also the only ones who know of Chucky's true nature) and their efforts to stop him.

Don Mancini, creator of the Chucky character, has written every installment to date, and he made his directorial debut in the franchise with 2004's Seed of Chucky.

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

Media in the Child's Play franchise:

Film and television

  • Child's Play (1988) (original continuity) — Single mother Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks) manages to procure a "Good Guy" doll (named Chucky) for her young son Andy (Alex Vincent) from a sketchy peddler, but she doesn't realize there's something very wrong with him. Turns out the doll is possessed by a supposedly dead serial killer named Charles Lee Ray, and he's looking to transfer into Andy's body.
    • Child's Play 2 (1990) — Shortly after the events of the original film, Andy Barclay is put into the foster care system when his mother —majorly rattled from their ordeal with Chucky— is deemed unfit to raise him. When a revived Chucky manages to track him down, Andy is forced to put an end to his bloody dealings once again.
    • Child's Play 3 (1991) — Now a teenager, Andy (Justin Whalin) has been sent to Military School after it's decided he's unable to re-adapt to the world after Chucky. Guess who shows up to finish what he started.
    • Bride of Chucky (1998) — After having been destroyed once and for all, Chucky's obsessed ex-girlfriend Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) restores him back to life. Feeling insulted by her teasing of his doll form, Chucky does what he knows best — he kills Tiffany and transfers her soul into the body of a female doll. This entry is notable for shifting the franchise into more comedic territory than previously seen.
    • Seed of Chucky (2004) — Chucky and Tiffany (who were both destroyed in the previous film) meet their biological child Glen (Billy Boyd), who struggles to share the bloodthirsty ways of his parents. Jennifer Tilly also appears As Herself (an exaggerated version, anyway), and is explained to have portrayed Tiffany in the films based on Chucky's exploits in this universe. The movie mostly follows the dolls planning to take over Jennifer Tilly's life and impregnate her so that Glen can become a real boy.
    • Curse of Chucky (2013) — Paraplegic Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif, the real-life daughter of Chucky himself) receives an unexpected package in the mail, and it's up to her to figure out why it arrived — before it's too late. Alex Vincent, who originated the role of Andy Barclay in the first two films, returns as the character in a post-credits scene.
    • Cult of Chucky (2017) — Institutionalized after the events of the previous film, Nica thinks she's free of Chucky's terror... until he sneaks into the facility to resume his bloody business. Christine Elise, who originated the role of Kyle in the second film, returns as the character in a post-credits scene.
    • Chucky (2021–present) — Everytown, America is rocked by a series of gruesome murders when Chucky is found at a yard sale, while figures from Chucky's past reemerge and threaten to expose the truth of his origins. Dourif reprises his role as Chucky along with Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent and Fiona Dourif, while Zackary Arthur stars as the protagonist. It premiered on USA Network and Syfy simultaneously in October 2021.
  • Child's Play (2019) (reboot film) — Starring Aubrey Plaza as Karen Barclay, Gabriel Bateman as Andy, Brian Tyree Henry as the detective investigating their case, and Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky. In this iteration, Chucky has Artificial Intelligence elements and has no connection to Charles Lee Ray, with the voodoo aspects and Ray himself being written out entirely.

Comic books

Video Games

General tropes across the franchise:

  • Aborted Arc: Glen/Glenda from Seed has not returned for any sequels so far, even though Tiffany did.note 
    • They get a mention in Chucky season 1 when Chucky mentions him having a gender-fluid kid and Glen/Glenda finally make a proper return in season 2, now both occupying separate bodies.
  • Adults Are Useless: Most of them can't accept the reality that a killer doll is on the loose. Probably because it's the last thing they'd suspect.
  • Ash Face: When Chucky gets burnt. Also in Seed, Joan has this when Glenda burns her with a flamethrower.
  • And I Must Scream: It's implied in the Hack/Slash crossover that Chucky is stuck in this type of state whenever he is killed.
  • Artistic License – Religion:
    • The films make references (including in the words to the possession spell) to "Damballa". While he is a real Loa (basically a god) in the Voodoo religion, he isn't some God of Evil like the movies imply, but rather the main creator god. Indeed some historians believe he may even be loosely inspired by Moses.
    • There are several lines of dialogue implying Hell exists in the film's universe (or at least that Chucky and Tiffany believe that it does). The voodoo religion doesn't have a Hell, instead, evil people are thought to be doomed to walk the Earth as bodyless spirits rather than go to the afterlife.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Chucky's whole possession spell chant. It probably meant to sound like French or possibly Creole, however, it also has bits from other languages as well as some nonsense words on this page (second post from the top) someone attempts a rough translation, although they admit a lot of it is just guesswork based on the context and tone he says it in.
  • Ax-Crazy: Charles Lee Ray, the actual murderer and by extension, Chucky in all films.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Chucky's plots to transfer his soul into another body and get rid of his enemies always ended in colossal failure until he finally wised up in Curse of Chucky, where he manages to off everyone and successfully pin everything on Nica Pierce. Then he comes back in the sequel and not only offs everyone at the mental institution she's in, but he manages to transfer his soul into her and (using a voodoo spell he got off the internet) can now split his and Tiffany's souls into as many vessels as they want. Oh, and his arch-nemesis Andy Barclay is now locked up in the facility as well.
  • Big Bad: Chucky.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Chucky, of course, since who would ever suspect a Good Guy doll of being an infamous voodoo-practicing serial killer? Even Andy and Tyler, his first two intended Soul Jars, think he's a nice guy at first when he reveals to them that he's actually alive.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Each and every successive installment just gets messier than the last.
  • Body Horror: What happens to Chucky over the course of the first few films to a degree. He becomes 'more human' the longer he's in the doll, which ultimately makes him this twisted fusion of flesh, blood, plastic, and wires. Kind of light, except it also makes him still feel pain, but unable to die (or so it seems) from more normal biological things like blood loss and shock.
  • Body Surf: Chucky's goal for much of the series is to transfer his soul into a human body.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Chucky and Tiffany are vile and sadistic serial killers who, at different points of the series, have been hinted to have an affinity for BDSM.
    • In Bride of Chucky, Tiffany handcuffs Damien to her bed under the guise of foreplay (but truly just to awaken Chucky).
    • In Seed of Chucky, during preparation for a soul transfer, Chucky attacks Jennifer Tilly and binds and gags her with sadistic glee. When he asks her if the ropes he's used to bind her are too tight, she responds in the affirmative, to which he counters, "Ain't no such thing."
  • Broken Pedestal: The Hero finds him or herself in this position when one or more of their confidantes believed they committed the crimes that were in fact caused by Chucky. This however, causes the one who becomes disillusioned to Took a Level in Jerkass or reveals him or herself to be negatively Not So Above It All and becomes just another Asshole Victim who is Too Dumb to Live for Chucky to kill.
    • Andy is this to Joanne in the second film.
    • Jade and Jesse are this to David in the fourth film (though unlike most mean-spirited examples in the series, its revelation is more Played for Laughs in a Black Comedy manner due to the fourth film steering more towards the humorous route as well as David's actor's over-the-top approach on how his character becomes disillusioned).
    • Nica is this to Ian in the sixth film.
  • Cassandra Truth: No one ever believes Andy or any other protagonist about Chucky. When they do, they usually die.
    • After the first film, Karen Barclay was locked away in an asylum because she insisted the killer doll story was true even when the police didn't back it up.
    • Even Mike doesn't believe that Chucky is possessed by Charles Lee Ray at first, despite the fact that he witnessed Ray summon a freak lightning storm out of nowhere in his final moments.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: Sadly, given how much a Crapsack World and a World of Jerkass the films' setting turns out to be the protagonists would be automatically preordained as the prime suspect for the killings or any other misdeeds rather than Chucky.
  • Crapsack World: The apparent setting of the films, as it's a Wretched Hive of a universe filled with multiple kinds of deplorable and despicable characters such as jerks (who most deserved Chucky's wrath) and supporting characters who are mostly either Too Dumb to Live, Not So Above It All, Hate Sinks, or have taken a level in jerkass, compared to the Hero with Bad Publicity protagonists who all happen to the Only Sane People in comparison to the supporting cast. The world these films depicts — almost every character except The Hero of each installment unilaterally selfish and motivated by their worst impulses — is definitely this. It also has a bleak depiction of Chicago, Illinois or at least mid-America, ranging from Chicago being littered with vagrants who are rapists at night and has a rundown mental hospital for criminally insane children run by a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Dr. Jerk in the first film to a toy company run by a heartless Corrupt Corporate Executive in the second and third films to a military school run by The Neidermeyers in the third film to the life on the road filled with thieving couples and Dirty Cops in the fourth film as well as a Big, Screwed-Up Family filled with a married couple who are Jerkasses in different degrees and a Too Dumb to Live lesbian babysitter with the paraplegic woman to be the Only Sane Woman in the family and more Dirty Cops in the sixth film and a mental hospital filled with Too Dumb to Live patients and orderlies run by another Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Dr. Jerk (who is also really a perverted Smug Snake Psycho Psychologist who rapes a female paraplegic patient during their sessions) in the seventh film. However, it's Played for Laughs in the fifth film when depicting the glamorous Horrible Hollywood filled with Large Ham paparazzi (or as Chucky points it out, "Paparazzi scumbag!").
  • Cosmic Horror Story: If the Matthew Costello novels are taken as canon, then Chucky is the earthly representative of a being straight out of the Cthulhu Mythos. Even discounting his description codifying Damballa as an Eldritch Abomination, the movies themselves establish it as a supernaturally powerful voodoo entity that acts as mystical equivalent of The Man Behind the Man to Chucky. There is no God of Good that stands in opposition to it, and no matter how many times the good guys kill Chucky it never matters because Damballa will just raise him from the dead to try again anyway.
  • Determinator: Chucky to the T. Even missing a hand, having his face sliced off, or worse, nothing stops the Chuck from killing or stalking his prey. It's even more impressive, considering he lacks the 'feel no pain' a lot of his slasher peers have.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Nobody noticing Chucky is semi-justified by the fact that nobody seems to think too much of a doll sitting there. Only semi because people rarely question why a doll would be where they find him.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Heart Of Damballa was actually intended to appear in the FIRST film of the franchise. A deleted scene with human Charles and John, The Voodoo Man was shot but didn't make the final cut. A major difference here however was the heart was not an amulet, but a staff or gem in the possession of the voodoo man.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Chucky. Charles Lee Ray was actually a Tall, Dark, and Handsome man before his death and the voodoo ritual that turned him into a doll, with long hair and a square jaw, albeit criminally insane. The more time he spends in the Good Guy doll, the more evil the doll looks (as well as slowly mutating from plastic to actual flesh and blood).
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: The more Chucky stays in the doll's body, the less it looks like a child and more like Charles Lee Ray.
  • Evil Redhead: Chucky - at least as a doll.
  • Exorcist Head: Chucky does this to mess with Damien Baylock in Bride.
  • Expy: The Good Guys toyline is a Bland-Name Product of the real-life My Buddy toyline.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Chucky has pretty moments. As does Tiffany.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Despite the preceding events in past films, Chucky and the existence of Killer Dolls are still ruled out to be not real, even up to ridiculously Straw Vulcan and Weirdness Censor levels, making this universe an outright Too Dumb to Live Crapsack World that is stubbornly unprepared for and vulnerable to any tiny terror.
  • Hate Sink: Most of the Jerkasses in the series tend to fall into this, which is why these films have more Asshole Victims than any other Slasher Movie franchise, even more than the Friday the 13th films.
  • Haunted Technology: Chucky and Tiffany.
  • Heart of the Matter: The Heart of Dimballa was the voodoo artifact that allowed Charles Lee Ray to transfer his soul into the killer doll he's best known for (and later his girlfriend Tiffany). It's also his only way to transfer out of the doll and into another human's body.
  • Inappropriate Speak-and-Spell: Chucky the doll (a battery-powered, talking "Good Guy" doll) is possessed by the spirit of a serial killer. One can only imagine the inappropriate things he was saying to Andy, but onscreen we see and hear him going berserk when Andy's mom threatens to throw him into the fireplace if he didn't talk (thereby proving her suspicion that the doll was sentient).
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Both Chucky's and Tiffany's doll forms are basically creepy miniature caricatures of their actors Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly. Even Chucky's hairdo, both before and after his stitched-up appearance, resembles Dourif's actual real-life haircuts unlike Charles Lee Ray's long hair when he was human. Also, initially, when Tiffany has her soul transferred into the bridal doll for the first time, she was a brunette, much like Tilly's real-life hair color, before she dyed it blond along with changing the rest of her appearance to resemble a doll version of her human form.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In the franchise's Crapsack World, it seems anyone can easily accept that any human being, whether it's either impossibly a 6 to 8 year-old child or a wheelchair-bound woman, is capable to commit a murder, except a Killer Doll.
  • "Jaws" First-Person Perspective: Used sometimes when Chucky moves around.
  • Jerkass: At least one per film to ensure each installment has a Hate Sink. Notable examples include Lt. Col. Shelton in the third movie, Phil (even though he can be considered the least horrible compared to the rest in the films and is depicted as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold instead in the television cut) and Miss Kettlewell in the second, John Ritter's character in Bride, John Waters' character (who is more Played for Laughs unlike the other examples) in Seed, Barb in Curse, Dr. Foley and Claire in Cult, Shane and Gabe in the remake, Lucas Wheeler, Logan Wheeler, Junior Wheeler and Lexy Cross (at first for the latter until her Character Development) in the television series and Chucky himself. With these despicable characters altogether, this reveals that the franchise's universe is a World of Jerkass.
  • Karmic Death: Chucky in all films.
  • Kick the Dog: Chucky is evil all right, but this gets quite flanderized throughout the series.
  • Killer Rabbit: Many people find it hard to take Chucky seriously because he's a two-foot-tall doll. Big mistake.
  • Left for Dead: Chucky is left for dead in all the movies.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Most of the supporting characters beside The Hero have nothing to do with the main plots of the films except to act as either Too Dumb to Live and/or Asshole Victim cannon fodder for Chucky's body count or as oblivious bystanders frustratingly flabbergasted at what's going on due to them disbelieving the existence of Chucky. See Flat-Earth Atheist above for more information.
  • Loser Protagonist: A common staple for The Hero of the films due to them being a Hero with Bad Publicity that no one believes Chucky is on the loose and out to get them and find themselves framed by Chucky as well, which also shows much a Crapsack World the films' universe is by being so unforgiving, dreadful, grim and unpleasant towards them:
    • The first three films had Andy Barclay, a child in the first two and a cynical teen forced into military school in the third.
    • Bride had Jesse and Jade, a poor couple trying to make ends meet.
    • In a way, Glen/Glenda could be seen as this in Seed since they're at the centre of trying to stop their parents from killing and still figuring out their gender.
    • Curse and Cult has the wheelchair-bound Nica.
    • The series has Jake Wheeler, an outcast gay middle schooler who's bullied by his peers and his own father.
  • Mama Bear: Andy's mother at first, then Kyle in the second film.
  • Monster Misogyny: Charles Lee Ray certainly has a... way with women, as evidenced by his obsession with Sarah Pierce in Curse of Chucky (and by extension her daughter Nica) and his casual abuse of mad lover Tiffany. And those are the women he likes. Notably, his very first onscreen victim is a woman he kills for being a "bitch", and when Karen Barclay forces him to reveal himself he immediately launches into a violent misogynistic tirade.
  • Motive Decay: Double subverted throughout the franchise. After transferring his soul into the Good Guy doll, Chucky spends the first half of the first film intent on killing all whom he blamed for his human death. Upon learning, even as a doll, he can still physically sustain injury, he spends the remainder of the film and all of the first four sequels trying to transfer his soul into a human body. Only at the end of the fifth film does he decide to remain a possessed doll, and the following movies have him going back to his original spree to avenge his human death.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Lending further credence to the inherently Crapsack World nature of this film series, OSHA in the Chuckyverse for all intents and purposes does not exist. The second film features a climax in a hilariously unsafe factory, while the third film's climax takes place in a carnival that is so hilariously unsafe that it qualifies for Amusement Park of Doom status.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Chucky is this, to put it altogether too mildly.
  • Off with His Head!: However, he does get killed when he's decapitated by Glen.
  • Perverse Puppet: Chucky is almost the poster child to this trope.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Chucky is about the size of a toddler, and capable of taking down fully-grown adults.
  • Pretty in Mink: A couple scenes with Jennifer Tilly (playing herself).
  • Parental Abandonment: Post-Child's Play, Andy's mother is absent from his life due to being taken in for "psychological evaluation." Curse shows they have reunited and it's implied she has been released.
  • Police Are Useless: While Detective Mike Norris serves as the Big Good in the first movie, just about every policeman appearing in sequels are incompetent and/or corrupt making them sitting ducks for Chucky (and Tiffany). One cop in Curse is even bribed by Tiffany to steal Chucky (pretending to be inanimate evidence) from Nica's court trial when the latter was framed for Chucky's murders.
  • Put on a Bus: Glen/Glenda hasn't appeared since their debut in Seed, even though Don Mancini vocally expressed his desire to bring them back. They return in the second season of the Chucky series.
  • Rasputinian Death: In the first three films, Chucky takes an absurd amount of punishment. Getting set on fire, dismembered, melted, and having half of his face cut off only slowed him down temporarily.
  • Recovery Sequence: In the opening sequences to 2, 3, and Bride of Chucky, Chucky is shown being reconstructed.
  • Resurrected Murderer: Charles Lee Ray, the "Lakeshore Strangler", uses Voodoo to transfer his body into a Good Guy Doll at a toy store after being shot. The doll starts calling himself "Chucky".
  • Reveling in the New Form:
    • At the start of the film series, serial killer Charles Lee Ray transfers his soul into the body of a Good Guy doll, and much of the overarching plot of the franchise involves him trying to transfer his soul back into a suitable human host, all while cutting a bloody path through the cast. However, in Seed of Chucky, he comes to the realization that he actually likes being a possessed doll as it renders him impossible to permanently kill and he's become a legend for his deeds as Chucky. Plus, despite ample evidence, people never suspect him of being behind the rising body count until it's well underway.
    • In Cult of Chucky, when Chucky possesses Nica Pierce, the first thing he does is admire his new body.
  • Revenge: The entire reason Curse of Chucky takes place.
    • Also, a big part of Chucky's motivation in the original Child's Play: he's out to kill those he blames for his death as a human.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The series turned to self-parody from Bride of Chucky onward.
    • Curse of Chucky attempts to take the series back to its roots, but whether it succeeds or not is a matter of opinion.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Chucky has quite the filthy mouth.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The series start out as fairly straight horror, but by the time of Bride it's become a splatter comedy before reverting back to horror in 'Curse''.
  • Staying Alive: To the point that Chucky provides the page quote.
  • Straw Vulcan: The public in the films absolutely and annoyingly refuses to accept that Chucky the Killer Doll is real and think instead the protagonists has to be the murder culprits, even if they're impractically young children and wheelchair-bound women.
  • This Cannot Be!: The reaction of almost all of Chucky's victims just before their deaths.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Andy at the end of every movie he's featured in.
    • Glen in Seed... although a really weird one. Nica at the end of Curse of Chucky.
    • In Curse of Chucky Andy points a gun at Chucky before he even manages to get out of the box he was shipped in.
  • Uncanny Valley: The dolls consistently evoke this thanks to their exaggerated faces and mixes of realistic anatomy and plastic parts.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Chucky and Tiffany.
  • Villain Ball: Despite being logically running out of time before he turns completely human, Chucky surely wastes a lot of time killing random people For the Evulz in Child's Play 2 and 3 instead of going straight to Andy (and Tyler in 3) to transfer his soul. You would expect him to hurry and keep a low profile until he gets his new body, especially considering where revealing himself led him in the first movie, but apparently he doesn't learn from his mistakes.
  • Villain Decay: Chucky fell into this more and more after each film. When he first appeared, the threat he posed was played dead serious, and even when the second and third films introduced slightly more humor, they still didn't overshadow his monstrous nature. In Bride and Seed, he was Played for Laughs to the point of bordering on Laughably Evil. Curse is largely successful in reversing this trend.
    • Cult however (while indeed much darker than the series has been lately) still seems to put the films back en route to the comedy genre, even going so far as to have Chucky make a pop culture reference to the cancellation of the TV series Hannibal, while its balance between Black Comedy and dark horror brings the second film's tone in mind.
  • Villain Exclusivity Clause: Chucky in every installment, to the point that the latter movies start using his name in the title.
  • Weirdness Censor: Even after seven movies, the populace still does not believe in Killer Dolls and insisted that the protagonists are the killers instead.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Andy doesn't return after the third Child's Play movie. The movie ends with him being brought in by the police for questioning. Same thing applies to Tyler as well. Curse of Chucky however, shows that Andy seems to be doing just fine.
    • Nor has the Good Guy Dolls company ever been mentioned, even though they're back in business. However, some dialogue from Bride implies they've been shut down again, this time for good.
    • Ian's nanny cam, and the footage it shot in Curse.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Chucky most definitely would, if swapping souls doesn't work.
    • Per episode 1x08 - Chucky is willing to kill anyone over the age of 5.
  • World of Jerkass: With The Hero as an exception and besides Chucky, the entire universe is apparently inhabited with all kinds of unpleasant folk on different degrees, making Chucky's body count being filled with almost nothing but Asshole Victims.

"Don't fuck with the Chuck!"


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Chucky, Childs Play


Childs Play 2 Alt Ending

In the alternate ending of Childs Play 2 which was used for most tv airings of the movie, it’s revealed a piece of Chucky when he was blown up landed in one of the machines causing him to be reborn, this ending would later be the basis for Childs Play 3s opening

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheEndOrIsIt

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