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Video Game / Five Nights at Freddy's

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"Family pizzeria looking for security guard to work the nightshift. 12 am to 6 am. Monitor cameras, ensure safety of equipment and animatronic characters. Not responsible for injury/dismemberment."
— Newspaper ad for Freddy Fazbear's Pizza

Congratulations, you have a new job as the night watchman at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza! It couldn't be simpler: you spend the night watching the security cameras for any sign of trouble... not that you would have to expect any trouble at such a quiet, innocent place.

... well, if we're being completely honest, we know you've probably heard rumours that the animatronic characters tend to... wander a bit at night. And if they spot you, they'll stuff your fleshy body into an empty costume filled with needlessly sharp metal components. But even if those were true, you don't need to worry, because you can just close the doors to your office.

... okay, if you want full disclosure, closing the doors will use up part of the small amount of generator power you're allotted each night. Yeah, the company doesn't like to waste money on things like needless amounts of electricity, especially for a night shift. Checking the cameras and turning on the lights to check your blind spots will also use up power. But really, what's the worst that could happen if the power goes out? You just sit in the dark for a while with two wide open doors — no big deal. And no, the pizzeria has nothing to do with the five children that disappeared on June 26th.

You really don't have anything to worry about. You acknowledged as much when you signed your legally-binding employment contract. It's just five nights.

What could possibly go wrong?

Five Nights at Freddy's (released on August 8th, 2014) is a horror-themed strategy game by Scott Cawthon and the first in the eponymous franchise. It's based around resource management: you have a nonrenewable source of electricity that drains every time you use the cameras, shut the doors, or turn on the lights. If an animatronic enters the office, it will kill you instantly. If you make it to 6 AM, you live to work another night shift.

Each animatronic (Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and the titular Freddy) has a different pattern and triggers, which makes learning those patterns and triggers a must if you want to win. The real horror from the game comes not from the Jump Scares that happen when you lose (and sometimes even when you win), but from the frantic horror of trying to keep an eye on your potential killers while handling your electricity in the most efficient way possible.

You can purchase the game on Desura, Steam, Google Play, and the iTunes App Store. A version of the game on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One was released in November 2019 along with its first 3 sequels.

A follow-up, titled Five Nights at Freddy's 2, was released on November 10th, 2014.

In August of 2020, as part of the "Fazbear Fanverse Initiative", a semi-official (but non-canon) remake/reimagining of the game was officially confirmed by Scott Cawthon, to be made by fangame creator Phisnom (who previously made Five Nights at Freddy's 2 Open Source and Porkchop's Adventure). Later that month, the remake's title was officially confirmed as Five Nights at Freddy's Plus. However, due to Phisnom's removal from the project following controversy and the game's Steam page being taken down after, it's unclear if FNaF Plus will be continued without him or if it is canned entirely.

Five Nights at Freddy's provides examples of:

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  • The '80s: Phone Guy's first call mentions the Bite of '87, which involved an animatronic biting off someone's frontal lobe and ultimately led to the characters only being permitted to wander the building at night.
  • The '90s: Although the year when the five nights take place is listed as the year XX in-game, the minimum wage rate ($4.00 per hour) indicates the game is set in either 1993 or 1998.
  • Agent Scully: The Phone Guy's explanation for the animatronics attacking you is that if they see you, they mistake you for a bare endoskeleton and shove you into an animatronic suit. It is unknown if the Phone Guy genuinely believes in what he says or if he is trying to hide the fact that the animatronics are haunted from Mike.
  • Alone with the Psycho: You're working the night shift alone in a closed pizza joint with five murderous animatronics from midnight to dawn.
  • And I Must Scream: The bodies of the murdered children were placed inside the animatronics, and their souls possessed the robots, now killing night guards without any hope of getting set free.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The night 4 phone call has the Phone Guy recording his message while the various animatronics are rapidly approaching his location. He acknowledges that he likely won't last the night, but comments that he's going to try to survive being stuffed in an animatronic suit for as long as he can before the call gets cut off by a screech from one of the animatronics.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After completing the Custom Night, the management fires you for "tampering with the animatronics", "general unprofessionalism", and "odor".
  • Artificial Stupidity: When the mascots ultimately come for you, they will always approach the office from the same side. Bonnie and Foxy will only ever come at you from the left, Chica and Freddy always from the right. The only exception is if the power goes out, in which case Freddy comes from the left.
  • Ascended Meme: The tagline for the Android port of the game is "Are you ready for Freddy?", a phrase popularized on 4chan.
  • Behind the Black: Since the game is made up of static images and therefore has no real movement, the animatronics are often just out of view when they're implied to be walking around- most notably when they're supposedly entering the office.
  • Black Comedy:
    • The sheer awfulness of working at Freddy's is lampshaded in the phone messages and sometimes played for dark laughs. Even their advertisement in the newspaper's "Help Wanted" section states: "Not responsible for injury/dismemberment."
    • The Bite of '87 has absolutely no lore significance beyond explaining why the animatronics no longer wander the restaurant during the day. Phone Guy's deadpan explanation of the aftermath really sells it.
      Phone Guy: It's amazing that the human body can live without the frontal lobe, y'know?
  • Black Speech: The final telephone call, Bonnie and Chica's electronic gibbering from Night 4 onward, and the "IT'S ME" visual hallucination consist of distorted and garbled speech. It's actually a backwards masked recording of an excerpt from Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda with the pitch dropped down. Appropriately enough, the audio is an excerpt from the section in which the yogi demonstrates that metal is alive.
    (Omitted: Sir,) it is lamentable that mass agricultural development is not speeded by fuller use of your marvelous mechanisms. Would it not be easily possible to employ some of them in quick laboratory experiments to indicate the influence of various types of fertilizers on plant growth?" "You are right. Countless uses of (omitted: Bose instruments) will be made by future generations. The scientist seldom knows contemporaneous reward; it is enough to possess the joy of creati- (omitted: -ve service.)
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite the horrific manner in which your death is implied, this game contains no blood or gore, aside from your character's eyeballs (with the veins in plain sight, so presumably still attached to the skull) appearing out of the eyes from the Freddy costume's head and a human set of teeth behind the costume's set on the game over screen.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: When you run out of power, Freddy appears in the left doorway and plays a music box jingle for dramatic effect when he could just kill you. Sometimes this gives you just enough time to make it to six AM.
  • Brain Food: The Bite of '87, an incident where one of the animatronics bit off someone's frontal lobe.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • The newspaper advertisement from the beginning of the game has a fairly mundane description of what working the night shift at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza involves before stating that the pizzeria isn't "responsible for injury/dismemberment."
    • The Rules for Safety at the E. Hall corner are as follows:
      1. Don't run. 2. Don't yell. 3. Don't scream. 4. Don't poop on floor. 5. Stay close to mom. 6. Don't touch Freddy. 7. Don't hit. 8. Leave before dark. Thank You, Management
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • A sixth night is unlocked after finishing the main game. It features an increase in difficulty via the AI on everyone except Freddy becoming more aggressive by 5-10 points out of 20 total.
    • Custom Night/Night 7 is a Level Editor you can manipulate so the animatronics become much more aggressive. Setting the AI for all robots to 20 ensures a very hectic night.
  • Can't Move While Being Watched: For the majority of the game, the animatronics remain perfectly still as long they're being viewed on the monitor, but move when they are unobserved. They will only move onscreen when twitching or directly attacking the player. Staring at them won't completely stop them, however, as there are random intervals where the camera will glitch out and they will move.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Phone Guy seems pretty unconcerned that he's about to die in the Night 4 phone call, calmly acknowledging that his likelihood of survival is low.
  • Challenge Run: The last night is Custom Night, where one can adjust how difficult each animatronic is. It can be used to make them super easy and give you a relatively relaxed night… or you can crank the AI up to make it harder for yourself. The most difficult is '4/20 Mode', where you set the AI of all four animatronics to the maximum level of 20. It's insanely difficult and only beatable by skilled power management, quick reflexes, and a lot of luck and perseverance.
  • Character Catchphrase: Phone Guy says "Hello, hello!" at the start of all his voicemails.
  • Controllable Helplessness:
    • If the player allows either Bonnie or Chica to linger for too long outside of the doors while said doors are open, they will sneak into the room and disable the door and light buttons on that side. From here, the player can still look right and left, but can't check the camera.note  This leaves the player with nothing to do but to click the broken buttons and wait for either Foxy or Freddy to take advantage of the doors being stuck open.
    • If you run out of power, the cameras, lights, and doors stop working, but you can still turn and look around for a short while until Freddy kills you.
  • Corrupted Character Copy: The main four animatronics are hostile, neglected versions of various mascots Chuck E. Cheese- and their former rival company, that they later consumed, Showbiz Pizza- has had over the years:
    • Freddy is modeled after Billy Bob, as both are brown bear band leaders who double as the main singer and face of their franchise.
    • Chica is based off of fellow chicken and back up singer Helen Henny, who also suffered from similar major, radical redesigns over the years.
    • Bonnie is Mister Munch, another purple replacement for the original franchise costar.
    • Foxy rounds out the group as Foxy Colleen Flanagan's male counterpart, both being side attractions that were left to rot immediately after surviving a rebranding deal.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Despite the Bite of '87, the killer animatronics, and all the possible death they've caused along with the kid's/guard's innards implied to have never been removed from the robots, the pizzeria has still tried to get parents and businesses on their side and keep everything going 'for the kids' without ever fixing anything. It hasn't worked out for them; a newspaper states that Freddy Fazbear's is going to close down by the end of the year.
  • Cosmetic Award: Stars adorning the main menu screen are rewarded upon completing the fifth and sixth nights, and after people started to beat the custom mode with the hardest AI difficulties, the game was updated to add an unlockable third star for the menu to showcase it.
  • Cower Power: Phone Guy tells you to play dead (i.e., don't move at all) if you're ever caught. This is actually a subversion, as freezing in place does nothing.
  • Crapsack World: Freddy Fazbear's continues operating despite all the accidents and deaths that have happened at the pizzeria, with most involving children or their own employees, and nobody apparently cares that the animatronics are trying to kill the nighttime security guards. Meanwhile, the greatest tragedy in the company's history is never formally resolved, with the missing children being presumed dead but never actually found and the primary suspect being implied (and later confirmed) to be part of the restaurant's staff.
  • Creator Cameo: Scott Cawthon himself voices Phone Guy.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: The eyes of the animatronics are set deep into their costume heads. Since most of the suits are empty space, this results in a shadowed gap between the animatronic suit heads and the eyes proper, giving the illusion of permanent undereye bags.
  • Cutting the Knot: Foxy will simply charge you if you don't keep the camera on him regularly. Downplayed in that you don't have to actually watch Foxy, simply turning on any camera will keep him at bay because of the way the game is programmed.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Unlike most games, pressing Esc doesn't pause the game; it closes it.
  • Dangerous Workplace: In the day, the place should be safe. By night, the four killer mascots will haunt the restaurant and stuff the night watch in a Freddy suit full of animatronic parts.
  • Darkness Equals Death: If you let the power deplete entirely, Freddy walks into your office unopposed. Unless you're very close to the end of the night, death is unavoidable at this point.
  • Death Glare:
    • In the trailer, the animatronics briefly turn and stare at the camera with the angriest expression they can manage.
    • Foxy leers with Glowing Eyes of Doom when he starts emerging from behind the Pirate Cove curtain.
  • Death of a Child: At least five children were kidnapped and murdered sometime in the company's past.
  • Deconstruction: Of Suck E. Cheese's. The restaurant is run down, 5 children were murdered there and were never found, the animatronics receive complaints of a terrible odor and leaking blood and mucus, the animatronics are murderous, and they’re so flagrant about their lack of workplace safety that it is stated policy that your death will be covered up. As a result Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza has a terrible public reputation, their sales are poor, and they’re they’ve drawn the ire of local health and safety inspectors; all of which culminate in the restaurant being set to go out of business by the year’s end.
  • Developer's Foresight: On the custom night, you can set the four animatronics' AI difficulties anywhere from 0-20. If you enter the difficulties as 1-9-8-7 (1987; the Bite of '87) from version 1.13 onward, Golden Freddy's death screen appears. This was done to kill rumors about a secret ending.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display: When you lose all of your power, the power and usage HUD will disappear. The clock and night number also vanish.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Scott Cawthon didn't believe it was possible to beat Custom Night with all the animatronics' AI at maximum difficulty, so he didn't bother to program a reward for completing it. In other words, completing the game's hardest challenge in the first few release versions of the game nets you... absolutely nothing. This was changed in version 1.13, where completing Custom Night with all the AI set to 20 adds a third star to the game's title screen.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This game has numerous oddities compared to future installments:
    • The game is very light on plot, lacking much of a narrative beyond what happens to the Phone Guy. While there is a hidden backstory, it's presented via elements on the cameras that have a rare chance of appearing; the retraux-style minigames that serve this purpose in later titles are completely absent.
    • There are hallucinations that occasionally flash across the screen and make strange sounds, which don't show up ever again. While the third game does include hallucinations, they're incorporated into the gameplay mechanics instead of just being there to scare the player.
    • This is the only game where losing power is a constant gameplay element, with losing all of it almost always causing a game over. Later games with power drain mechanics restrict it to a flashlight, which either rarely runs out or isn't required to win.
    • Freddy is given increased importance compared to the other animatronics, as he doesn't enter the fray until the third night, has more complex mechanics than the other three, and is the only one who appears during a power outage. Later games treat Freddy as being on the level of most of the other animatronics and don't give him much that allows him to stand out.
    • Despite (and perhaps to a certain extent because of) the murders merely being implied rather than explicitly confirmed, the game can make across as much darker than future installments. The pizzeria almost looks like it's been abandoned for years, with large amounts of trash on the floor and walls covered in something that looks like mold, but could very easily be something worse, contrasting with the more colorful settings of future games. The previous mentioned power mechanic gives a feel of desperation not present in other FNAF games.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: If you complete the non-canon Custom Night, you get fired. Probably the only time one will be happy about being fired.
  • Easy Level Trick:
    • Subverted for Night 1. Both Bonnie and Chica will only attack you if you put down the camera, so one may think it's safe to just idle without using the camera at all. Doing so will activate Foxy, who will probably kill you. Granted, you can just wait till 2 AM, then lock the left door. Doing so will effectively make you safe for the rest of the night, so long as you don't bring the camera up.
    • Before a patch in September 2014 nerfed Freddy and Foxy's more frustrating behavior, a strategy often used by LetsPlayers is something like this: switch the camera feed to Pirate Cove and don't switch again until you see Foxy leave, in which you can switch it to the West Hall after you seal the left door (don't forget to open the door once you hear the banging). Seal the right door before bringing the camera up, then open it after it is down. Check the hall lights for Bonnie and Chica; if they appear, seal the necessary door and wait until they leave and you can open it again. Rinse and repeat. If you do it correctly, this strategy works nearly 100% of the time and is particularly effective in the later nights (although it can't be denied that the 4/20 challenge does require a bit of luck, especially regarding how long events in the blackout stage take to happen).
    • Nowadays the best strategy for dealing with 4/20 mode is to basically keep your camera on Freddy as much as possible, since he can't enter your office as long as the camera is on him. Foxy's behavior is entirely based on how much camera usage occurs in general, so as long as you keep looking at the camera regularly it's unlikely he'll make a move, and Bonnie and Chica can be kept in check as long as you regularly keep your eyes on the doors. If you must check on Foxy, just make sure the right door is down first so Freddy can't enter. The trick is to pace your camera usage so as to minimize the power drain, keep Freddy in place and Foxy from moving as much as possible, and keep an eye out for Bonnie and Chica attempting to move in on the office. Of course, there's still an element of luck to it, since all the animatronics' behavior relies of on a random number generator, but managing the four is actually much simpler than it appears.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: A specific poster of Golden Freddy will trigger his appearance in the office, and he will kill you unless you quickly pull up the monitor again.
  • Evil Duo: Bonnie and Chica are almost always active together (on Night 1, it's possible to have just one walking around while the other stays onstage), unless you deactivate one of the during Custom Night.
  • Evil Laugh: Freddy moving between rooms is accompanied by a deep laugh. On later nights, he's laughing constantly.
  • Excuse Plot: The owners' ignorance of the killer animatronics and the player character's insistence on continuing to work the job despite the danger don't make much sense, but they're ultimately just setup for some resource management-based Survival Horror gameplay.
  • Eyeless Face:
    • Sometimes, the Animatronics will have their faces right in the camera, specifically Bonnie and Freddy. When they do this, their eyes are black voids save for tiny pinpricks of light.
    • Golden Freddy has no eyes in his costume.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Your character's eyeballs and teeth are the only things that remain of their body after they're shoved in a Freddy suit during a game over. This is in spite of the facial area of the suits being jam-packed with "crossbeams, wires, and animatronic devices" that would be just as likely to mangle these parts as leave them intact.

  • Failsafe Failure: The doors to the office automatically open when the power runs out. While this would be a very good idea in real life because it'd prevent the guard getting trapped in the event of an emergency that causes a power outage, here it spells doom by way of homicidal animatronic. Unless the player is very close to the end of the night, death is unavoidable at this point.
  • First-Episode Twist: At an unknown point in the past, a man dressed in a mascot costume lured five children into a back room, where they were never seen again. Sometime after these disappearances, the robot mascots were reported to ooze blood and mucus from their bodies and smell like corpses, which implies that the children were killed and stuffed into the animatronic suits. The man got caught, but the bodies of the children were never found. The restaurant has fought tooth-and-nail to stay popular ever since these events, but has seemingly failed to do so and is planned to close down by the end of the year.
  • Four Is Death: Phone Guy ends up dead on the fourth night.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Golden Freddy will crash your game if you don't immediately get back on the camera after he appears in the office.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Invoked. The game is programmed to crash immediately after Golden Freddy's attack screen, skipping the game over animation.
  • Game Face: The animatronics normally have tame facial expressions. But then they begin to turn fiendish…
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The animatronics are supposed to be roaming freely at night to keep them operational, but with the exception of Foxy sprinting down the West Hall, everyone stays put whenever you observe them.
  • Giggling Villain: Freddy's laugh is an unnerving girl's giggle, slowed down. The unaltered sound clip plays whenever the player looks at Golden Freddy's poster.
  • Guide Dang It!: Though each bot has its own attack patterns, certain aspects of their behavior are not explained by the previous guard.
    • Golden Freddy teleports inside your room if you look at a certain poster on your camera feed and will kill you in a few seconds unless you go back to looking at the camera. Nothing in the game foreshadows his appearance or what to do to counter him.
    • Bonnie and Chica sabotage your door buttons if you let them stand outside the office with the doors open for too long. The cause of the buttons not working isn't immediately apparent, and depending on player choice can stay broken for upwards of thirty seconds before the rabbit or chicken finally attack.
  • Hanlon's Razor: A lot of the horribleness from working at night comes from the management being too incompetent to deal with the robots, if not outright getting rid of them.
  • Harder Than Hard: Night 6 is hard enough as the difficulty hits its peak, but using the Level Editor for Custom Night can make the AI even harder. This can culminate in setting all four A.I.s to 20, or 4-20 mode. It's extremely difficult, what with the huge amount of micromanaging, countering Freddy, and the high likelihood of the game being rendered Unwinnable by sheer RNG.
  • Haunted Technology: There's a chance the safety poster in the East Hall will be replaced with one of four newspaper clippings. They detail the murder of five children whose bodies were never found, and how people have complained about the animatronics resembling dead corpses and leaking blood and mucus... yeah, doesn't exactly take a grade A detective to figure out the real reason the animatronics can move.
  • Here We Go Again!: After you complete the fifth night, you receive a check and a message that says "Good job, sport! (see you next week)". Thankfully, you get fired on the very last day of your week.
  • Hold the Line: The goal of the game is to survive from midnight to 6 AM, taking an entirely passive role against the robots.
  • Homicide Machines: The animatronics kill anyone they come across after dark.
  • Hope Spot: Freddy's jingle can sometimes leave enough time for the clock to roll over to 6 AM, even if he should have killed you instead.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: Bonnie, Chica, and Freddy can be caught leering into several of the cameras as they make their way to the office.
  • Increasingly Lethal Enemy: Throughout the night, the AI levels of Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy will periodically increase, making them more active over time. This is most easily seen in the first night, as all the animatronics are initially inactive, but Bonnie and Chica will eventually wander off the stage after a few hours.
  • Instant-Win Condition: As long as you reach 6 AM, you win — even if Freddy is staring right at you, just finishing up his song after you reach zero power.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Phone Guy provides helpful advice for the first four nights and is the closest thing you have to a companion despite only communicating though pre-recorded tapes. However, Night 4 is the last of his tapes, as he is caught by the animatronics and killed mid-recording. The Night 5 tape is just a garbled mess of robotic sounds, leaving you truly alone against Freddy and his friends for the following three nights.
  • Interface Screw:
  • Irony:
    • According to the paycheck you get on Night 6 (which is the hardest night to complete unless you up the ante on Night 7 with the Level Editor), the date is November 13. Although the date is an unfortunate number, November 13 is World Kindness Day.
    • For a pizzeria managed by people who go out and beyond to clean all physical traces of gore in the building, you'd think they'd give the costumes said treatment since they smell like corpses and leak bodily fluids.
  • Jump Scare:
    • If you turn on the lights in the hallway when there's a mascot there, you're treated with a Scare Chord.
    • Every time you lose, you are met by the animatronic that caught you out shaking and screaming in your face. Unless it's Foxy, in which case he just leans into the office while screaming.
  • Just Eat Gilligan:
    • Subverted. According to the former employee leaving you voice mail messages, the killer animatrons in the game will attack you because they don't know what humans are — they think you're an animatronic endoskeleton without your costume, and will try to force a costume onto you, killing you in the process. At one point, he suggests the obvious answer of playing dead, so they think you're an empty costume instead. He quickly thinks better of it, saying that if they think you're an empty costume, they might try shoving a metal endoskeleton inside you, which would be even worse. For the record, there's no 'play dead' option, and playing dead by not moving at all doesn't do anything.
    • If the animatrons are trying to get you because they think you're an endoskeleton without your costume, why not just make a fake costume and wear it to trick them? Interestingly, this actually is your primary defense mechanism in the second game. It doesn't work on all of the animatronics, though.
  • Just Ignore It: This is how you deal with Golden Freddy — simply pull up the monitor, and it will disappear.
  • Last Stand: This game is this for the original Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. With the second and fourth game being prequels, the fifth game being (supposedly) run by a different company entirely, the third game taking place 30 years after the pizzeria closed permanently, the Freddy Fazbear's location in the sixth game being an elaborate facade to lure the remaining animatronics together for their ultimate destruction, the seventh game being a VR game in-universe, the eighth game being a delivery service in-universe, and the ninth game being a mall, this is the final official incarnation of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, as far as we know.
  • Level Editor: Unlocked upon completing the normal five nights and the sixth night. Instead of allowing you to create your own Suck E. Cheese's map, it allows you to edit the AI of the animals to your liking.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: The somebody in question being you, after you've run out of power. Most of the lights go out, Freddy appears at the left door with only his eyes illuminated, and plays an Ominous Music Box Tune before the screen goes completely black. If you're lucky, he'll take his sweet time and the clock will tick over to 6 AM. If not, he'll Jump Scare you.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The game features a number of obtuse random mechanics to keep players on their toes.
    • Freddy first moves on Night 3 at the minimum difficulty level. On Night 4, there is a 50% chance that his A.I. will increase to 2, and it's the only instance in which this can happen.
    • The game rolls the dice on whether the animatronics can move or not every so often. If the result is lower than their A.I. level, they move. At max difficulty, they'll move every time except for Foxy, who gets stuck while the camera's on plus a random amount of time afterward, and Freddy, who likewise slows down while being observed. Once Freddy does get into the office, there's actually only a 25% chance of him jumping the player on every second.
    • Once the player runs out of power, three phases of number rolls every couple seconds will determine how long it takes for Freddy to show up on the left, play his music box and then jumpscare the player.
  • Mascot Villain: The titular animatronic in the game - and mascot of the franchise in-universe - is trying to kill you because it's malfunctioning… or at least that's what the company insists.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The game at first makes it seem like you're just trying to survive malfunctioning killer robots. However, The Reveal, the backmasked message on Night 5, and several seemingly random events (IE: Golden Freddy, the "IT'S ME!" message, blood and mucus oozing out of the animatronics) strongly imply that something much more sinister is going on. It turns out that they are haunted by dead kids.
  • Mook Chivalry: It doesn't matter if Foxy is already on his way while Chica and Bonnie are breathing down your neck: if the power goes out, everyone will stand back and let Freddy play a music box jingle before attacking. Even if Freddy is already in your office, he'll forgo jumping you immediately in favor of his usual theatrics.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The animatronics have two sets of teeth, the outer ones that are part of their costume, and an inner set that's part of their robotic skeleton.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: This game is basically extreme "Red Light, Green Light".
  • Murder Into Malevolence: It's implied and later confirmed that the animatronics are haunted by the ghosts of murdered children, and one of the possible reasons they're targeting the player is that they can't tell the difference between their killer and Mike Schmidt. A future game implies that this may be because Mike is actually the son of their killer.

  • Nested Mouths: The animatronics add to their overall creepiness by having a second mouth inside the external mouths of the animal suits, complete with their own sets of teeth. It's most apparent in Chica, whose suit jaw hangs perpetually open, showing the second pair of gnashers at all times.
  • Never Found the Body:
    • Whenever there's a death on Fazbear Entertainment property, the company's standard response is to clean up the mess before reporting whoever just got killed as a "missing person", thus shielding themselves from legal liability.
    • The newspaper clippings that occasionally appear in the East Hall camera state that the bodies of the children that were lured into the back rooms of the restaurant were never found.
  • Nightmare Face: Aside from a robot screaming in your face, more unlucky players are likely to catch particularly creepy sights. Like a special Bonnie face, the Freddy-with-realistic-eyes hallucinations, or the sight of Freddy himself staring at the camera with glowing eyes right outside your station.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game's main source of excitement and horror is just how hard it is. It's very easy to run out of power, and it forces the player to learn the various mechanics of the game extremely quickly.
  • No Ending: After withstanding the horrors of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza for five nights, you get a comparatively minuscule check and a note from your boss that implies you'll come in again next week. Granted, there is a sixth night you can unlock, but it merely results in a slightly higher check and some overtime pay. That unlocks the Level Editor seventh night, after which you're fired… which is easily the best thing that could happen.
  • Nonindicative Name: "Haunted Suck E. Cheese's" probably wasn't the first thing to come to mind when one heard the title, though it does make sense in context.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • Freddy is the only animatronic with two kill screens. The first comes when he enters the office during normal play. The second is when the power runs out.
    • Golden Freddy appears in your office if you look at the poster at the end of the West Hall while it's displaying his mugshot. If you don't pull up the monitor and switch to a different camera within several seconds, you will be treated to robotic murmurs and hallucinations just before he kills you and crashes the game.
  • Noodle Incident: Turned horrific with the Bite of '87, an event that resulted in the animatronics not being allowed to wander during the day anymore.
    Phone Guy: It's amazing that the human body can live without the frontal lobe, y'know?
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • The managers of the pizza joint decide that it's cheaper to supply a night watchman with limited power than it is to safely contain their robots, leading to the plot of the game.
    • When the power goes out, the powered doors don't simply stop working, they actually open themselves. Then again, in any other situation, when the power goes out, you'd want a way out of the room.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Bonnie and Chica only attack when you lower your camera, leading to the obvious solution of simply never bringing up the camera at all. To counter this, Foxy forces you to bring up the camera to prevent him from rushing you, which also gives Bonnie and Chica the opportunity to attack.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The robotic animals only move when you're not looking at the camera feeds. Except for Foxy, who you can see run down the West Hall towards your office if you let him escape the Pirate Cove room.
  • Playing Possum: The previous night shift guard suggests doing going limp as a last resort to fool the animatronics into thinking you are simply an empty costume, but admits it would probably be a bad idea. It doeesn't actually affect anything.
  • Press Start to Game Over:
    • If you set the numbers to 1987 on the custom night, all you get is a Golden Freddy-caused game crash.
    • This can also happen in 4/20 mode if Freddy's feeling particularly unmerciful- he'll show up in your office and jumpscare you immediately after you start.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The nice little jingle that plays between losing power and Freddy killing you is "Les Toreadors" by Georges Bizet.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Mike Schmidt (the player character) and Phone Guy can both be counted as this, seeing as the entire reason they're in the pizzeria that has homicidal, haunted animatronics running around at night and have to develop genuinely badass-level reflexes to survive is because it's literally a job they got out of the newspaper.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The animatronics can be practically strangling you to death by shift's end, but if you survive to 6AM, they apparently let you go and let you leave the building unmolested. The player character seems to just count his blessings and leave only to come back the next night. Phone Guy says the animatronics aren't able to free roam during the day, not since the Bite of '87 happened anyway. Presumably, 6AM is when this daytime programming mode activates, causing them to change their behavior and leave the player alone.
  • Random Event: All sorts of strange or unexpected things can happen that aren't part of the robots' patterns.
    • The sign in Pirate Cove will sometimes change from "Out of Order!" to "IT'S ME".
    • The Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica posters in the East Hall can sometimes change into posters of crying children or disappear entirely, with "IT'S ME" painted on the wall.
    • The Freddy poster in the West Hall Corner can change to either depict Freddy ripping his own head off or a close-up of a golden, eyeless version of Freddy. Lowering the camera after seeing the latter poster causes Golden Freddy to appear in the office, who will crash the game if the camera isn't quickly pulled up again.
    • The visual hallucinations, consisting of Freddy with realistic eyes and the text "IT'S ME", accompanied by robotic murmurs in the background. While it mostly happens randomly, it is always triggered whenever you summon Golden Freddy into the office.
    • Very rarely, the static upon death and the game over screen will be replaced with a dead-still and soundless image of an eyeless, shadowed Bonnie, before light slowly fades into its eyes and the game returns to the main menu.
    • The poster showing the rules of the restaurant in the East Hall Corner can change into one of four news articles, all of which highlight the game's backstory.
    • Freddy might turn to face you in the Show Stage after Bonnie and Chica have left. On an extremely rare occasion, all three of them will face you, like they did in the trailer.
    • The animatronic parts in the Backstage might turn their faces to you once in a blue moon.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted entirely by Phone Guy during his recordings for the player, reinforcing the feeling of immersion. He stutters, hesitates, stumbles over some words, repeats himself, goes silent as if to think, trails off during sentences, offers random interjections of "Okay?", says "um" and "uh" quite a bit, and in general really does sound like some guy who's just recording a message off the top of his head without a script. This is reinforced even further; when he dictates the company message to Mike, there are no mistakes, hinting that he's reading off a piece of paper.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: It may seem strange that the doors fly open when the power goes out, but mechanisms are always designed such that — when they fail — they fail in the safest way possible. Assuming the doors' designer doesn't know the doors are keeping out killer robots, they would design the doors to open in a power outage so nobody gets trapped inside the office indefinitely. Specifically, the doors in the game appear to be armored security doors which seal electromagnetically. Electromagnetic doors are a common occurrence in many higher security locations, and for the safety reasons stated above, they will not remain locked if the power flowing to the locks is cut.
  • Red Herring: Phone Guy advises you to "play dead" if the animatronics are about to catch you. Despite rumors, it has no effect on the gameplay.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: You have a finite amount of power each night that can be used for operating the cameras, doors, and lights. If you run out and you're not extremely close to the end of the night, you die.
  • Retirony: Phone Guy tells you on the first night that he's finishing up his last week as he records his messages for you. He dies three nights later.
  • Roar Before Beating: All of the animatronics will shriek in your face if you let them into your office.

  • Sanity Meter: While lacking an actual meter, the protagonist can still suffer from Eternal Darkness-style hallucinations, anything from cosmetic changes to a brief Interface Screw to Golden Freddy attacks, and it happens more and more often as the week drags on.
  • Saved by the Church Bell: The nights end when the clock strikes 6:00 and a series of Westminster Chimes play out. Given the general unease of being hunted down by killer animatronics and the limited battery power, that sound is synonymous with safety for most players.
  • Scare Chord: A sped-up violin chord plays if you turn on a door light while the door is open and an animatronic is right outside.
  • Scary Teeth: The robots all have creepy teeth, but Foxy gets special mention for having sharp teeth and a broken jaw and Chica for having her endoskeleton's teeth visible in certain shots.
  • Schmuck Bait: Following the steps to the popular 1987 AI setting myth simply leads to the Golden Freddy death as of the Steam release.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer:
    • Foxy appears in very little of the game's promotional material. This means that unless you do a poor job of checking the cameras on the first night and get unlucky, you're left believing there are only three animatronics to look after until the second night's phone call.
    • Golden Freddy's existance is never alluded to, either within the game or without.
  • SkeleBot 9000: The internal framing and armatures of these mascots - called an 'endoskeleton' in this franchise - are modeled after a slightly-exaggerated human skeleton, complete with a full skull that houses its own set of teeth.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: If you run out of power, Freddy plays a happy music box rendition of an opera tune right before murdering you.
  • Stealth Pun: As noted in the trivia section, the distorted messages on the Night 5 phone call translate to lines from Autobiography of a Yogi. Said distorted quotes are coming from a cartoon bear.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The game's backstory can only be found on the hidden newspaper clippings that may randomly appear in a certain camera.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: The game takes place at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, where the management is incompetent, corners are cut, employees are paid minimum wage, the animatronics are out to kill you, and children were killed. The place is set to close within two months after many incidents in previous locations; chiefly, the mentioned dead children.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Night in and night out, the animatronics spend their nights trying to sneak into the security office to kill you. Freddy takes the persistence up a notch by being the only animatronic to never return anywhere near his starting position after his attack is foiled; once he reaches the East Hall, he travels up and down it for the entire night.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: These are robots designed primarily for singing on a stage, yet they're capable of lifting grown aduls and restraining them long enough to force a suit onto them. Hell, just moving around and running in general. Usually these things have cables, and there is no reason for them to be in the restrooms, or the supply closet, or the security room, let alone bolting to the latter in two seconds in Foxy's case.
  • Tactical Door Use: Your sole concrete defense is to close the doors of your office. Since the ideal solution to the problem of "killer animatronics trying to get to you" is keeping both doors closed at all games, the building has a limited amount of power to ensure that anyone who tries doing so will inevitably be killed by Freddy when the power gets fully drained before the night is anywhere near over.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: If the power runs out, there's nothing left to do except wait in the dark for Freddy to kill you or hope 6 AM arrives quickly. Unless you're already at 5 AM when the power runs out, the latter option isn't happening.
  • Undercrank: Starting on Night 4, if you look at the animatronics for more than 5 seconds, their heads start twitching uncontrollably, and they constantly twitch on Night 5.
  • Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: Since it's a horror game where they're the antagonists, the animatronics' design only emphasizes their artificial nature, beyond that of their real-world equivalents. Their joints and seams are all too obvious, their costume-over-endoskeleton design makes their eyes poorly fitted and their internal mouths visible, and in Foxy's case, his damage highlights his nature further. Why Fazbear Entertainment thinks this is a suitable child-friendly design is hard to understand (besides a low budget), though the animatronics are only hostile to adults and seem to be popular enough with the kids.
  • Unreliable Expositor: While Phone Guy is your best source of information about what's going on because he used to have the player character's job, his information isn't entirely reliable because he doesn't have all the facts and is actively trying to downplay how much danger you're in.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • The door and light on one side of the room will lock up if the animatronic who attacks from that side enters the office. Since there's no way to fix this, you're pretty much screwed unless your shift is almost over and lady luck is feeling really merciful.
    • If too much power is used any time before 5 AM, not even the most skilled player will be able to reach 6 AM before the power goes out and Freddy kills them.
  • Vicious Cycle: The paranoia that the office tries to induce can cause players to panic, thereby losing track of an animatronic and leaving them more open to dying, which in turn produces more panic.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Dealing with Golden Freddy requires you to immediately look at the monitor, which will get you killed if you're threatened by any other animatronic.
  • Walking Spoiler: The Killer mentioned in the backstory, revealed in later games to be named William Afton.
  • Westminster Chimes: These chimes sound to signal that you've made it to 6 AM. Yaaaaaaay!
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: The official job description claims that you're protecting the animatronics.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Even in a horror setting, the job setup scenario doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
  • A Winner Is You: When you beat the game, all you get for your efforts is a picture of a check for the laughably small amount of $120, with the words "Good job, sport! (See you next week)" above it, while Freddy's tune plays in the background. Complete the Night 6 Bonus Level, and you get a check for $120.50. Complete Night 7, and you get a notice of termination for tampering with the animatronics, general unprofessionalism and odor, which is admittedly the best possible outcome.
  • Working-Class Hero: The player character is braving the security job from hell just to make a living, perhaps desperately so. Despite being in life threatening situations on a nightly basis and apparently being paid less than minimum wage,note  they refuse to reenter the job market again for some unexplained reason.
  • Year X: The game takes place on November of the year XX, according to the paychecks you receive at the end of Nights 5 and 6.

Good job, sport! (see you next week)


Video Example(s):


Five Nights at Freddy's

Should the player survive the night at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza up until 6 AM, the Westminster Chimes would immediately play to signal the end of their terrifying shift.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (25 votes)

Example of:

Main / WestminsterChimes

Media sources: