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The one doll to be friends to the end with.

"Don't fuck with the Chuck!"
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The Child's Play franchise is a series of villain-based slasher films that consistently feature Chucky (Brad Dourif), a Creepy Doll who actually contains the soul of a Serial Killer.

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.

The original trilogy, which began in 1988, includes:

  • Child's Play (1988) — 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 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.
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  • 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.

Due to unfavorable reaction of the third film, a fourth installment was put in Development Hell until 1998, which saw the release of a new film with a wildly different tone and a clear emphasis on the Chucky character:

  • 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.
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  • 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.

When Seed of Chucky forced the franchise into yet another rut, Mancini decided to bring Chucky back to his horror roots with a new era of Direct-to-Video films:

  • 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.

In 2018, it was announced that MGM was producing a reboot of the original film —without Don Mancini or Brad Dourif's involvement— as the studio still owns the original Child's Play title and concept.

  • Child's Play (2019) — Starring Aubrey Plaza as Karen Barclay, Gabriel Bateman as Andy, and Brian Tyree Henry as the detective investigating their case. In this iteration, the evil Good Guy Doll (who may or may not be called Chucky) will have A.I. elements.

Also in 2018, an eight-episode TV series was announced as being in development with franchise creator Don Mancini and producer David Kirschner, following the continuity of the films and with Dourif reprising his role as Chucky.

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


The Child's Play franchise contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear: When Mrs. Barclay thinks her son might be a killer and later when she finds out there's a serial killer after him who aims to steal his body. And then when she tells the story of what happened, she is put into psychiatric care and her son is thrown into the Foster system.
  • 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.
  • 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 belief he may even be loosely inspired by Moses.
    • The 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. Its 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.
  • Baleful Polymorph: While Chucky put himself in the doll to begin with and is especially dangerous in that form (as he can hide pretty much anywhere and almost no one is suspicious of a toy) he laments being stuck in "this goddamned body" and spends most of the series trying to Body Surf into a human. And in Bride of Chucky, Tiffany tickles him and locks him in a playpen. Ultimately subverted altogether when Chucky realizes that he's more infamous as a doll than he ever was as a human.
  • 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 successive installment just gets messier.
  • 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.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Hero finds him or herself in this position when one or more of their confidents 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.
  • 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, while protagonists who are Heroes With Bad Publicity 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 Dysfunctional 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!").
  • 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 Damballah 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 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, 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.
  • 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 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 and Chucky himself.
  • 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.
    • The fourth had Jesse and Jade.
    • The latest had the wheelchair-bound Nica.
  • 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 purpose 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Staying Alive: To the point that Chucky provides the page quote.
  • 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.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Chucky and Tiffany.
  • Villain Ball: Despite being logically running out of time before he turns completely human, Chucky sure 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. More and more after each film. He was pretty scary and played seriously when he first appeared. Then, he became more Played for Laughs and less scary as the series went on. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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