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WMG / Five Nights at Freddy's

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     Phone Guy 
The guy on the phone left the room.
Phone guy, after working on the job for a few days got curious and checked the back room, and found the bodies. From there he runs back to the Monitor Room and locks it, recording his last message as the animatronics follow him back and start beating on the door...

  • Jossed. The bodies are inside the robots or the company just threw them out of the location.
    • Not jossed - I think what they were talking about was that he decided to check inside one of the animatronics and the others started chasing him
The guy on the phone doesn't actually exist or is already dead.
The guy on the phone seems to be in the same restaurant as you and even experiences a threat from the same robots as you. On the 4th night he's implied to be in the backroom with the costumes yet you can never see him on any of the camera leads. Could be separation of story and game play... or maybe it's just that the restaurant is a Genius Loci and is messing with you.

He might already be dead and have recorded the messages during his shift hoping to deliver them to the next guy. The restaurant might be delivering them to you now to either mess with you, make you let your guard down (because it seems that there's somebody else in the building who can assist you), or maybe he never existed at all.

  • It's pretty much confirmed that he died while recording the Night 4 message. The fact that he denied any danger was because the company was breathing down his neck about it, and then they wouldn't let the messages play. They were pre-recorded, and he is implied to be stuck in a costume. Some people believe that, in particular, it's the Golden Freddy costume.
    • Jossed. He's in a simple Freddy costume.

Phone Guy is the sole reason the animatronics come after you.
The animatronics only come after you when the phone call is done. And on the second night, they know you are there.

  • Jossed. They want to avenge their deaths.
The Phone Guy is a Jerkass and is playing a prank on his successor.
According to this theory, the Phone Guy decided to screw with the guy who would take over his job.note  Whether or not the animatronics are sentient/sapient, they aren't dangerous. The Phone Guy recorded four days of audio full with false information and placed it in a place where the new guy would be sure to find on the first day. He fakes his death during the fourth recording when Freddy comes to visit him and he recorded backwards audio for the next three days. The storied of the five kids and the '87 Bite may or may not be true, but the Phone Guy uses them to enforce the notion that the mascots are lethal. His goal is make the guard so paranoid that he wouldn't dare risk facing the mascots. When Mike is caught, he faints and dreams that he was killed.

Assuming the mascots are sentient and are not on an auto-cycle, there's a few ways this could go: 1. The mascots are in on it and find it hilarious. Freddy himself is either unwilling to participate at first or he's SUPER dedicated to freaking out Mike. 2. Only Freddy is in on it and the other mascots are simply trying to greet the new guy. When they start getting frustrated and, perhaps, offended by Mike's avoidance of them, Freddy comes up with a plan to "greet" Mike and convinces the others to be more forceful and unpredictable. 3. None of the mascots are in on it. Freddy still comes with a plan to trick Mike so the others can greet him when the others start complaining too much. Perhaps he is just sick of hearing the others whine about it.

Whatever their motivations, Mike was never in any real danger. He's just freaking out over nothing and is jumping at ghosts. Mike's motivation for staying can be any of the other myriad theories put forth. Even the theory above this one can be a corollary to this. In that scenario, Mike is a thrill seeker who believes there is real danger, but he would be severely disappointed if he ever found out the truth. The Phone Guy's motivation can be anything from being an ass or because it amuses him to making a profit from Mike's experience. Maybe he sells the video of the "game" as a comedy or horror film or Mike paid him for the job while he was looking for his thrills. Hell, maybe Mike's in-universe story is the inspiration for the game we are playing.

  • Heavily jossed. The robots are possessed.
    • It's worth noting that this may be the most jossed theory ever written on a WMG page
Phone Guy wants you dead.
The song Freddy plays (about loving your dangerous job) doesn't refer to the player character or Freddy himself. It actually refers to Phone Guy. He's not very happy at losing his job, and so is trying to get the new guy killed out of a hope that management would realize he's the best for the job and can't be replaced. Every night you survive makes the odds they'll come to this conclusion less and less likely.

On every night, he's calm and downplays the danger in an attempt to lull you into a false sense of security, or at least prevent you from fully grasping the severity of the situation.

On Night 1, he takes a relatively long time to mention that the animatronics will kill you, opting instead to chat about how he used to have your job and why the robots are moving and read off a company required greeting (which does mention death, but he's sure to remind the guard he has nothing to worry about immediately after reading). By the time he gets to the killing, he's already assured you that everything's fine twice (he does it once more before the call ends). He's hoping you'll be lulled into a false sense of security and/or distracted long enough for one of the animatronics to get you. He also neglects to mention the fact that Foxy even exists, and how you should use your door lights, which he claims are very important the next call. Finally, he doesn't mention conserving energy until the last second, hoping you'll be using one of your devices through the call (who wouldn't want their doors shut or the lights on in a creepy pizzeria at night?) and draining power.

On Night 2, he tries a different strategy by confusing you on the way to deal with a specific character. More specifically, he mentions Foxy gets more active the less you look at him (implying you should look at him), then "I guess he doesn't like being watched" (implying you shouldn't look at him). He also fails to mention Foxy sprinting for you.

On Night 3, he tries to get a bit psychological by implying others have died in your position (then denying it), then implying that the horror you've already gone through gets worse, both in an attempt you get you jumpy enough that you screw up. He then brings up a strategy that actually does work (to an extent; Freddy will wait longer to kill you, but it won't make him leave you alone) and then dismisses it, giving you another pretty scary possibility to think about (having a metal skeleton stuffed in you) while simultaneously making it unlikely you'll use the effective tactic.

On Night 4, he tries to once again draw your attention to the danger, this time by making you listen to a friend be killed in the same way you may be, once again trying to worry you enough to make you slip up. He's also hoping you'll be distracted by the scary yet hard to stop listening to (morbid curiosity) message (see Markiplier's let's play, where he gets killed by Foxy because he was too busy listening to the phone to think about checking on him). As a semi-final desperate grasp, he asks you to check the back room, hoping you'll be stupid enough to do it during your work hours.

On Night 5, he's pretty much out of options and uses his last desperate idea; a garbled, messed up, seemingly incomprehensible message solely meant to be confusing and scare you. He's hoping that the call, which seems distinctly unrelated to the animatronics and adds a new level to what's going on, will up the ante with the scariness, though he doesn't hold out much hope, since you've already gotten this far.

After that, he loses hope, and begrudgingly accepts you get his position now. Two days later, he gets a call from the pizzeria, explaining that his replacement messed with the electronics and they'd like him back if he's willing to come...

Phone guy is a psychopath trying to kill you for the fun of it
  • The animatronics are the actual security guards of the building - they attack you because they think you've broken into the building, but they take a while to do so, because they're made to entertain children and thus give you a chance leave of your own free will. Phone guy is solely responsible for hiring you, but he doesn't actually work there anymore. Phone guy is trying to sound terrified, but he's so excited by the suspense that he can't make himself sound more than a little timid. Eventually he gives up trying to sound scared and just fakes his death.

  • Jossed. The robots are possessed by vengeful children.
Phone Guy is always one night ahead of you.
After all, he's giving you information on the night ahead. So he's on Night 2 when you're on Night 1, and so on. Which certainly explains the phone call on Night 4, though not the one on Night 5.

The Phone Guy is the victim of the Bite of '87
Among the symptoms of damage to the frontal lobe are excessive risk-taking (which just about defines this job), an inability to display appropriate emotions (including fear), and a reduced ability to retrieve information from their memory (including confabulation — the tendency to recall false information as true). So it's actually possible that you are the Phone Guy and just can't remember it.
  • Can you explain the 5th phone message then?
    • He forgot to record one, and the tape is a recycled audiobook of Autobiography of a Yogi. So you hear it backward. Of course, given that frontal lobe damage also affects long-term planning and management of resources, it would also explain him dying on the fourth night...
      • Jossed in FNAF 4. It was a kid that got bitten by Golden Freddy in a mean spirited prank by his brother
      • Not necessarily. Many have theorized that was a separate bite, and a lot of fans are starting to believe it.
      • Jossing jossed. FNAF 4 was The Bite of '83.
  • I absolutely hate that this technically isn't jossed yet despite 6 more games in this dang series and so, so, so much evidence to the contrary. But it still could be Phone Guy, I don't think that's technically been disproven yet.

The Phone Guy is trying to get Mike's attention through the Golden Freddy suit.
When the Phone Guy died, he was stuffed into the same suit he used to kill the children with. His ghost is now stuck inside Golden Freddy until someone figures out the truth behind the pizzeria. The reason why Golden Freddy doesn't shove Mike into a suit is because Phone Guy accidentally kills Mike by giving him a heart attack. Here's what happened: the Phone Guy tries to tell Mike the truth when he sees him (as he's the only one who knows), but every time he does see Mike, he goes berserk and screams Mike's name to get him to listen up (frontal lobe damage can lead to sudden aggressiveness). Unfortunately, the only thing that comes out of Phone Guy's mouth is an ear-piercing screech. The poor guy knows the truth but is unable to communicate with the living.Assuming the game takes place in 1998 (which is a likely year according to the wiki), and assuming that Phone Guy was killed in 1987, this means that our dear friend was living this fate for eleven years. Ouch.
  • Possibly jossed by Golden Freddy's presence in Five Nights at Freddy's 2 since Phone Guy was still alive then. There are, however, some differences in Golden Freddy between games, which can be argued as it being a different Golden Freddy in each game or by Phone Guy's spirit altering its behavior somehow (possibly he partially possesses it along with whatever originally drove its behavior). It does seem more spectral in the original, which definitely could be Phone Guy.
  • Heavily jossed. He's not Golden Freddy or the killer.

Phone Guy is the Fifth Murdered Child.
His spirit possesses the phone. That is how he is alive in the sequel, and how he appears to know so much about the animatronics.
  • His 'death' on night 4 was him watching another security guard get killed.
    • Jossed. Going by MatPat's logic, Five Nights 2 is a prequel, which means Phone Guy was actually killed on Night 4 in the first game.

Phone Guy is/was both the serial killer and the owner of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.
He was just so good at covering his tracks that CSI techniques at the time weren't enough to convict him, and they ended up convicting another suspect. The only ones who knew were the murdered children, and this whole setup was just to keep the possessed robots from targeting him. On Night 4 he dies after the animatronics finally catch him, which he may have anticipated would happen one day. But by this point, the children's souls have essentially degenerated completely to animals, which is why Freddy becomes so aggressive on this night...and why the new animatronics are set to hunt down the old ones in the sequel.

As for who Phone Guy is in the trailer, it could be a twin brother or something, who isn't nearly as screwed up as his now deceased sibling, hence the warnings about "making a poor career choice" and commissioning the creation of the new animatronics.

  • Jossed, as the sequel takes place in '87, rather than the '90s.
  • Jossed more, he's not the owner or the killer.

The Phone Guy is actually very timid.
This explains why he stutters a lot and sounds very nervous in general. He has always been very shy, or damage to his frontal lobe caused his personality to change (from a very outgoing and affectionate guy). He's not actually scared of the robots because he's seen so many horror movies that he's used to scary things. He's actually more scared of talking to you.
  • Jossed, as Phone Guy acts relatively normal until Night 6 when the children murders apparently occurred, followed by the Bite of '87 the next day. It seems he developed his timidness in 1987 out of horror at what keeps happening at his beloved Freddy's.

Phone Guy's not dead.
Not that the animatronics couldn't kill him, but perhaps Mike DID check the costumes and found the Phone Guy clinging barely to life (tying in with the WMG lower down the page that being stuffed doesn't instantly kill you), at which point he was taken out before the place opened up (but after 6 AM) and given medical attention.

  • No proof, and even then, Fazbear Entertainment wouldn't let anyone know the job is dangerous.
Phone Guy is from some part the Southern Hemisphere.
The wiki notes that Phone Guy remarking on your "new summer job" on the First Night of Five Nights at Freddy's 2 despite your weekly paycheck in the same game revealing that it's early November. It goes on to note that early November would be considered late fall in the Northern Hemisphere, but would indeed be considered the start of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. It's possible that the game takes place in the Southern Hemisphere, but since the pay-rate in that game actually fits the U.S. federal minimum wage rate for that time period to a tee, it also seems likely that the game is set in the U.S. At any rate, Phone Guy is probably from the Southern Hemisphere, born and raised, and his calling it Jeremy's "summer job" is him forgetting that Americans consider November part of fall.
  • Actually, no matter where you go, November is not a summer month, in the north it's fall, in the south it's spring.
  • He's clearly reading off something, since he says as much right before. The thing he's reading just says "summer job" and he of course didn't bother to correct it to just "new job".

Phone Guy is of mixed French-Vietnamese descent.
Guy is a French last name, and there are a number of Vietnamese names that are like Phone (Phan, Phong). It would give him a Steven Ulysses Perhero-type name.

Phone Guy is Ness's dad.
Because we never actually see Phone Guy in the flesh and the only way he communicates to the player is through the phone, just like Ness's dad.

Phone Guy was stuffed into Foxy
For the sake of irony, since the second game had him reveal that Foxy was his favorite.
  • It's implied they stuff you only into Freddy, so jossed?

Phone Guy is the one saying IT'S ME.
On his death, he was stuffed into a Freddy suit and is trying to warn you but can only manage to say IT'S ME in Freddy's voice, as he's in a Freddy suit, before he's prevented by the other spirits from warning Mike. The occasional "laughter" you hear in the security booth is also not laughter, it's the Phone Guy in a muffled kind of suffering, still using Freddy's voice. What sounds like laughter is actually crying and other sounds of pain as he tries to break free to warn Mike.

  • Jossed.
Phone Guy knew he was going to die and need a replacement.
I mean he's been working the Night Shift for a while now, at least three weeks because he says he's "finishing up his last week right now, as a matter of fact" implying he's been there for more than two weeks and at the most a decade, so why is his position opening up when he's so experienced? Even Fazbear's isn't stupid enough to fire a man who is good at a job that would cost them a lot of money for every person they had to replace thereafter (which is implied to be a lot). He doesn't seem to be being switched back to the Day Shift, because otherwise he wouldn't need to record anything- he could just tell Mike. He knew, or had a very strong feeling, he was going to die, because the animatronics were getting more and more clever about knowing his methods of defending himself from them. Consider how hardcore they are against Mike on just his sixth night, and think about how Phone Guy was there for at least three times as many nights. He is remarkably calm for someone who is seconds away from being brutally killed.

Phone Guy and Purple Guy were the same person, but he wasn't actually the killer.
Despite the common assumptions of the fandom, as it seems people really want someone to blame the murders on and assume that the killer is someone who made an appearance in the games, there is not much evidence to suggest that Phone/Purple Guy was the killer at all. Rather, the death scene we witness at the end of the 3rd game was Phone Guy's death on the 4th night of the first game; his final recording wasn't at all dissimilar to the events that played out in the minigame where the Purple Guy dies. He asks that Mike check the suits in the back because Phone Guy knows that the animatronics are blaming the murders on whomever the Night Guard happens to be, and he figures he's certain to die if the animatronics catch him; however, since he's somewhat of an expert on the spring suits, he might figure he knows enough about them not to trigger the springs by accident. Of course, he is wrong, and we see him die in that minigame... but we're not witnessing the death of the murderer, we're witnessing the death of an innocent man who had no other options but to take a chance with the spring suit, and ends up dying by mistake.Phone/Purple Guy then eventually becomes Springtrap, but it's more because he's gone nuts after spending 30 years alone in the back room than anything else. In this case, Springtrap isn't the original killer like we'd assumed, and he only tries to kill the player character in the third game due to his insanity.
  • Jossed. The Purple Guy is now confirmed to be the killer and not Phone Guy.

Phone Guy is actually a friend of the animatronics
The reason he kept coming back despite knowing every possible reason to not was because he knew the missing children and at some point found out they possessed the animatronics. He decided to keep on working on the place either in memory of them or to eventually figure out a way to save them.

Phone Guy is the brother of the fourth game's protagonist
Phone guy tells us that his favourite animatronic is Foxy. The kid's brother is almost constantly shown wearing a Foxy mask. Furthermore it would explain how Phone Guy would know some weirdly specific information about the Bite of '87. While the kid's brother would certainly be told about the kid's frontal lobe having been destroyed, it seems unlikely, that a random employee would know about the precise damage done.
  • Isn't it possible he learned the frontal lobe information from a newspaper article about the incident?
    • Not if the news or the papers didn't report that much.
  • Jossed. He made tapes back in 1983, the same year the fourth game happened.

Phone Guy IS the Murderer, but he doesn't even know it.
He suffers from DID- Dissociative Identity Disorder, and has only two personalities, rather than many. The part of him that's the Murderer shares Phone Guy's memories. Phone Guy is totally unaware of the Murderer's existence, though, and doesn't share any of his memories.
  • Jossed.

We'll see Phone Guy again, as something similar to Springtrap.
Last we hear of him is at the animatronic's mercy, most likely stuffed as they plan to do to you. If he's an innocent in all this, it's possible that his soul may still stick around due to unfinished business. The result would be a possessed animatronic with a human corpse in it like Springtrap, but unlike Purple Guy/Springtrap he's going to be a help rather than hindrance. With knowledge that Springtrap is Michael Afton, they may even team up against William Afton.

  • Jossed. Phone Guy doesn't show up as any zombie, he's dead and not coming back. Also, Michael isn't Springtrap.

There were two Phone Guys all along, not including Phone Dude.
Brothers, possibly. One died, but the other lives on after being let go by the company post-Fnaf2.

Phone Guy is Michael Afton
Many fans theorize that the main/playable character of each game (minus 4) were Michael Afton. The idea is that Michael realized that his father is a serial killer and intends to avenge the kids, and works at all of these locations to find information that might lead him to his father, or that he is trying to help the kids move on somehow. What if he’s not the main character, but is actually Phone Guy? It would explain why he wasn’t scared by his “death” is the first game. He knew that being stuffed in a suit wouldn’t kill him, because he’s already dead! He only asked Mike Schmidt to check the suits in the back because he couldn’t help the kids if he was trapped in a suit.

  • Jossed. Phoney isn't British.
Phone Guy is Cassette Man/Henry’s son
Not entirely impossible, but many theories contradict it and Cassette Man/Henry(?) are not necessarily the same person. (Henry's only known child is Charlotte/Charlie/Marionette.)
  • 100% not Cassette Man.
  • While not Cassette Man, who is Henry, he could be Henry's son. It would explain why he recorded the company-wide issued training tapes when everything else company-issued is handled by the voice of Hand Unit, Andy Field. In fact, he stands out a lot, does Phone Guy. Him being Henry Emily's son also explains Phone Guy's dedication to the pizza chain despite clearly knowing what was going on, the fact he stays in the same area as Afton, and his odd job-hopping in the company: from recording the instruction tapes, to becoming (presumably) a manager at a location in 2, to the night security. He seems to willingly be stepping further and further down the corporate ladder, as if pursuing someone.

Phone Guy is making a facade, but it's not from his will
Basically, Phone Guy is silenced by the company. He wants to tell the truth to Mike and/or Jeremy, but he can't because the company is breathing down his neck. If he tells the truth about anything but what the company told him to say, he's out of the company (read: fired). Why does he slip a lot? He wants to tell the truth, but knows all too well that he's fired the moment the company knew about it.

     The Player Characters 
Mike doesn't realize he's (and really isn't) really in danger
Think about it. You're a lone guy working an overnight shift in relative darkness with robots free-roaming around the place. However, thinking of the time compression, they don't spend a large chuck of time actively going after you. It would be make more sense to ask "Why does he keep coming back" if they ganged up on the door, constantly banging on it, never leaving the space around the office and constantly staring at you. As players WE know the danger, but to him maybe it doesn't seem life threatening. Even so, that doesn't mean he can't start getting paranoid as the nights go on. For example, think of a haunted house. You KNOW it's just an attraction and you're not in danger, but it doesn't stop you from jumping and getting afraid. This is a place that is being shut down for it's bad conditions. The phone guy's messages, the animatronics getting more and more persistent and spending more time getting close to the office? Maybe that's just the owners trying to get him freaked out enough that he won't come back and then they won't have to pay him.

In other words, from his perspective his life is never in danger. It's all just a ploy to get some free labor by freaking out the employee so they'll be too afraid to come back.

  • The animatronics really are homicidal, so jossed?
Mike, Jeremy and Fritz's personality depends on how you play the game.
They have paranoia if you play warily, e.g. closing the doors/putting on the mask when the 'bots get vaguely close.They are either insane or tend to show off if you choose the highest settings on Custom Night.
Mike's returning isn't quite so utterly stupid as it seems.
Any normal, sane human being, even a hobo who doesn't have any money at all, would know better than to repeatedly come back to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza for $4 an hour after the shit that happens on the first night alone. But Mike may not be as completely stupid as everyone makes this out to be. Some of these can also be used towards the Phone Guy doing the exact same thing. The following interpretations can come from his repeated returns:
  • Mike realizes just how fucked up the situation is and that if Freddy and his friends were allowed to do as they please, either some other security guard would be mulched or their free-roam might take them outside the pizzeria due to no one within to target. Effectively, he's doing a Heroic Sacrifice to stall the animatronics as long as possible.
  • He might be under a contract, and the owners of Freddy Fazbear's are already shown to be neglectful, persistent about their image, and utterly non-caring towards the fates of their employees. Something might be forcing him to come back by their hand.
  • Whatever is happening in the pizzeria, especially with the freaky hallucinations and however one can interpret Golden Freddy, has essentially hypnotized Mike into returning time and time again, taking it out of his hands as a matter of sanity and more of a forced impulse to keep bringing himself to the point of likely death.
  • Mike is effectively meant to be you, and thus the reason he keeps returning for five nights, or even potentially seven, isn't because of a suicidal desire or any of the reasons above; it's because ''you'' keep playing on to continue and try to beat the game. You are the reason you're being subjected to this hell on earth within a children's pizza joint.
    • Another possibility is a common trope to horror movies: Mike doesn't go back to this hellhole place. Yet, every night, for as long as his contract holds (or for as long as he lives maybe?), once he steps anywhere, he simply appears inside the security room, uniform in body, for yet another night...
  • My headcanon is free pizza. Of course, it must be fucking awesome pizza to keep him coming back to a job where Cruel and Unusual Death is so common that "we have to shovel your remains into a bucket and clean up the restaurant before we do the legal paperwork" is the stated company policy.
    • Confirmed by the logbook!
  • This troper's headcanon is that Mike was very much aware that terrifying crap was going down in the pizzeria, but took the job because he's determined to figure out the answers to the mysteries of the restaurant for himself because he grew up in the same town where the pizzeria is/was, went to it regularly, grew up listening to all the rumors, and became paranormal investigator. Also he's a huge adrenaline junkee.

Mike is actually hallucinating all of the game, and he's the sole survivor and witness of what happened to the five children whose bodies were never found.
There are four animatronics trying to kill the player character, but there were five missing kids. It may be that their bodies were simply disposed of in a mundane manner and then the killer was caught before he could kill the last survivor and decided to torment the kid's parents by acting like he killed that one, too.
  • Schmidt is the fifth kid, who has gone insane from the trauma of the incident at Freddy's. It is not clear what year the game takes place in, and it may have happened recently. Each of the frames of the animatronics in the game represent the kids, with Golden Freddy not having a frame because it's the costume meant for Schmidt (who always is shoved in a Freddy Fazbear suit). To say that the hallucinations are from sleep deprivation does not take into account Golden Freddy appearing with the changing poster on the first day, but if it's all one giant hallucination/delusion, then the "hallucinations" could occur at any point. After the fifth day, the check Schmidt gets has the year written as "xx," which could be because it's not a real check and only in his mind. If the player character really is still a kid, then that could also explain the amount of money he gets, as he wouldn't know what a normal week's worth paycheck would look like.
  • The reason the player character never gets out of his (supposed) chair is because, in reality, he's tied down in an asylum. We never see him sit down to start work or get up to leave, nor do we ever see him reach for the phone (on the first day before he knew about the animatronics' desire to kill him).
  • The player character is coping with his survivor's guilt, and the animatronics' shoving him into the suit means he retroactively experiences their fate and absolves himself of his survivor's guilt.
  • The Phone Guy is actually Schmidt's therapist trying to make the hallucinations seem to be not as malignant as Schmidt thinks, probably because he's trying to convince Schmidt that they (the murdered kids) would not have wanted Schmidt to have died in the pizzeria. Night 4 through 7 could be Mike actively denying what his therapist is saying.
  • In the hallucination, the pizzeria files missing persons reports, because that's what they actually, legitimately did when the kids went missing in the pizzeria. Schmidt thinks they had something to do with the incident, since it happened in their restaurant and the culprit wore a Freddy Fazbear suit.
  • Night 7 and being fired if you win it could represent Mike gaining some degree of control. Setting the animatronics to 0 could represent Mike getting appropriate medication (in fact, the lack of phone messages on Night 5, 6, and 7 could be his therapist was busy demanding the kid get meds), while the infamous 4/20 mode could be Mike facing his ultimate fear...and winning.
  • Another possibility is that Mike is really working at the pizzeria in the first game, being there as a means of facing his inner demons and the trauma he suffered as the sole survivor of the Purple Guy. And if the possibility that players are playing as an older Mike Schmidt in FNaF3, then that means he's back again to protect another person from the same psychological trauma he suffered from working at the pizzeria, and that his mental facilities has gotten worse over the years (which would account for the phantom jump scares). This would also explain why Springtrap was after you in FNaF3: because you're Mike and the resurrected Purple Guy trapped inside the suit has some unfinished business with him. And if it is Mike you are playing in the third game, you are helping him finally face the source of his psychological torment.
  • Heavily jossed.

Mike is a cop investigating the pizzeria
Mike is investigating Freddy Fazbear's because of the recent string of disappearances of security guards as well as the Bite of '87 and the missing children, with specific instructions that if he dies the police will swarm the place and arrest anyone they can. Setting the robot AI to the simplest setting will get you fired... but get the business owners fired for SETTING THE ROBOT AI TO KILL FOR OVER 30 YEARS! Alternatively...
  • Jossed.

Mike keeps coming back to work because his contract is high-risk high-reward.
At the end of Night 5, you get a check for $120. However, at the end of Night 6, you get a second check for $120.50 for overtime pay. The obvious joke is that your overtime pay is only 50 cents, but considering you've already been paid for the week, the better assumption is that the check is for the single night, setting overtime pay at $20 an hour. The terms of the contract might make it so your first five nights have abysmal pay, but your paycheck after that becomes significantly larger as a result. It'd be a good system to weed out people too incompetent to survive the job while rewarding those competent enough to keep the death toll down.

Mike is just really mentally disturbed.
The robots are real and terribly programmed, but the hallucinations, Golden Freddy, the robots talking next to the door, the messed up final phone call, are all in Mike's head. That's also why he does not know to leave the building.
  • Jossed. Golden Freddy is very much real.

When Mike is killed/goes insane, he is stuffed into the Golden Freddy suit.
In addition, whenever Golden Freddy appears, and "kills" you, it is actually Mike going fully insane and willingly stuffing himself inside the Golden Freddy suit. You have to consider how paranoid/on edge he is during these nights, and that one false move means he is done for.

Mike is the serial killer.
After either escaping or being released from jail, he takes the security guard job because he can't find work anywhere else. Alternatively, Mike is in Hell or has gone insane and is being tortured by the spirits of the children he killed.
  • See this video about this theory. This game theory.
  • Jossed.

The victim of the "Bite of '87" was a relative of Mike Schmidt's.
Perhaps the reason Mike got a job at Freddy Fazbear's was to find out the circumstances under which his relative nearly died. This theory is inspired by this picture.
  • Jossed in FNAF 4.
    • Actually, jossed for a different reason: FNAF 4 was a different bite, and the victim of The Bite of '87 is Jeremy Fitzgerald, not connected to Mike.
  • Unjossed? Maybe? There's quite a possibility that Mike being the brother of the bite victim is canon, unless I'm missing something. Which implies that perhaps he got the job to get revenge on his father for the death of the Crying Child. Maybe he's also Eggs Benedict from SL... I'm not really sure, but consider the jossing of this one partial. Wait, no, 87 vs 83 battle, right, right. So. actually Jossed, but to add to that, the FNAF 4 Bite Victim may be related to Mike anyway.
Alternatively, Mike is related to one of the five murdered kids
The many changes throughout the building relating to the kids' deaths is a result of Mike's repressed grief trying to surface by remaining in the location of his relative's death combined with the sheer danger of the job. Perhaps this lost loved one took a chance and tried to finally expose the depth of their and their friends' tragic fate, looking for ways to communicate with their older relative, by altering just what he sees. The hallucinations? The kid. The phone is never shown being answered, but the lost relative answers it for you.

Which makes one wonder, just what happens if you get fired?

  • Jossed. However, his younger brother was friends with them.

Mike was arrested for the killings of the five children.
Why on earth would a man, no matter his financial situation, no matter if he's a thrill seeker or not, keep coming back to this place? Only one reason: It's Personal. This isn't Mike's first time working at this pizzeria. He was an employee at Fazzie's at the time of the murders, and was the man the police ended up arresting. However, because the bodies were never found, they were unable to convict him of the crime and he was released. Now, he's returned to the restaurant for one of two possible reasons: the first is that he was wrongly convicted, and is determined to find out what really happened to those children and discover whatever sinister secret there is to the animatronics' murderous tendencies. The second possibility? Mike really DID kill those children, and some otherworldly force is pulling him back to the scene of his crimes. The animatronics? They're possessed by the ghosts of his victims, and they're determined to get their revenge on him.

  • Jossed.
Mike's middle name is Jack.

Mike is a occultist of some kind trying to stop Freddy and the gang
The reason Mike keeps coming back is because he knows of the hauntings, and so goes undercover to figure out what's going on at the restaurant. The first five days are spent in research, as the haunted animatronics get more and more angry at his presence and refusal to die.

The sixth day, he has made a breakthrough on the hauntings, or whatever is going on, and intends to counter it with a ceremony that takes all night and requires him to be in the building. At this point, Freddy and friends pull no punches.

If you succeed, Mike completes the ceremony, and you get the seventh day. While Mike can't banish whatever causes the hauntings, he can control its power in the world. Setting them to 0 suppresses their power. Or, set it to 4/20. This calls forth the power for a final battle. If he survives the night, he weakens whatever causes the haunting (either due to another ceremony, or simply draining its power) to the point that the hauntings cease.

The 'odor' listed in the termination notice is incense for the ceremony.

  • Jossed. He came here for free pizza and possibly set the souls free.

The player is not a security guard. He's the killer's latest victim.
Mike Schmidt the security guard does exist — you see his paycheck at the end of Day Five. You're just not him. Instead, you're one of the kids he himself abducted using the Golden Freddy costume, which he smuggled in from home — that's why it's a different color from the official Freddy Fazbear. Now he's locked you inside Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and reprogrammed the animatronics to go after you, even going so far as to reactivate Foxy for the occasion. This is why the Game Over scream is always a child; it's yours, and you are a child. It's also why Golden Freddy is a Non Standard Game Over; it means the killer has come in to deal with you personally. Finally, it even explains why the guard always gets fired after Day Seven; the management have finally noticed his "modifications" to their equipment, as well as the smell that lingers after he disposes of your body. Because for this theory to be true, it means you never make it out alive. At the end of the night, before anyone comes in, he kills you and stuffs you into the suit for temporary storage, since he can't let you get away to tell anyone what's happening. Then you resume play the next night as a different child. Heck, if this theory is true, then he and Phone Guy are likely one and the same, and he's just scaring you for an extra "thrill".

  • Jossed.
There is no mistake. Mike really is an endoskeleton.
It goes like this, Fazbear's reprograms an endoskeleton to think it's an employee, leaves the recordings to give context, and give fictional paychecks to keep the illusion alive. The hallucinations are programming conflicts & Phone Guy is just Mike before a memory wipe, the garbled recording literally an attempt to speak as its memories played backwards. The pink slip keeps it docile while they reset its memory because the "reprogramming other robots" phase is pretty damn ominous.

  • Jossed.

Building off of the previous WMG, Mike the endoskeleton is the only truly dangerous AI in Freddy's.
Mike's AI is set to twenty, so he is devoted to the extreme about doing his job. This makes him too dangerous to use during the day (as he would kill anyone who entered for "trespassing"), but he's too big of an investment to just throw away. So they stick him on the graveyard shift, where the only other beings in the building are also the only beings that can keep him contained: the other animatronics. Most of the time, they're able to keep him docile by "killing" him; stuffing him into the suit makes him think he died since his AI makes him think he's human, and logically a human can't survive being stuffed into one of those suits. Whenever he "dies", he shuts down and his AI automatically resets to "Day 1".
  • Additionally, Mike is the one who killed the murderer. Said dickwaffle managed to escape whatever security they had him in and returned to Freddy's to pick up something he had been forced to leave there when he was caught. Mike saw him and immediately went into murder mode because of the murderer's trespassing, bumrushed the killer like Mike was Foxy in disguise, and stuffed him into a Freddy Fazbear suit (which is what the Game Over screen actually depicts).
  • Jossed.

Mike is an exorcist.
He's not staying with the job for that ridiculously (and probably illegally) low pay. He's trying to save the souls of the kids possessing the animatronics by helping them let go of what happened to them, allowing them to move on to the afterlife. And sure enough, his sister(?), Elizabeth possessed Circus Baby, giving him a reason, but only if Mike Schmidt is Michael (Mike) Afton.

  • Implied, but in a non-exorcist way.
Mike is an accomplice to the child murders and/or the bite of '87
]]Mike was a guy who was trying to study the animatronics to understand how they worked/what metal they were made of/whatever, and the one that he studied was Bonnie's. However something went wrong with the Bonnie suit and the A.I. was dangerously altered, which Mike didn't realize that at the time, and when Bonnie went out to the crowd, bad things happened and "witnesses" had to be done away with when the plan changed.
  • Jossed. Bonnie didn't do the Bite of '87. It was Golden Freddy
    • It wasn't Golden, either. It was Mangle. One way or another, it's jossed.

Mike is disabled
  • That's why the management can underpay him so drastically. Minimum Wage doesn't apply to disabled persons.
  • Maybe he's brain-damaged. You know, missing his frontal lobe or something.
    • These both make so much sense. Being mentally retarded is why his bosses don't pay him very much (They are assholes who don't think he's worth it) but he is also prone to hallucinations and refuses to take his medication. So while the robots never actually move, he thinks they're stalking him. In the end, while he thought he "fixed" the robots, in reality he disassembled the robots completely. Which was why he was fired.
  • Jossed, they are just scummy.

Mike is the person responsible for the murder of the five children and the entire game is just his nightmare of the crime he committed
This video describes it in detail.
  • Jossed.

Jeremy Fitzgerald has a criminal record.
Which is why the new animatronics, with their facial recognition software connecting to criminal databases, try to kill him. Depending on what moral code (if any) the old animatronics adhere to, they could be trying to kill him for the same reason as the new ones — especially if he is the Murderer himself. Presumably, the reason Jeremy keeps coming back is that he is just that desperate for a job, since Freddy's is the only place willing to hire someone with that kind of stain on his reputation. It's possible that he ended up being the unnamed person charged with kidnapping and killing the children, mostly due to his prior record, which is either a tragedy if he's innocent or justice dealt if he is the Murderer. If Fazbear is hiring other people with criminal records, it's possible that one of them — clues seem to point to Day Shift Guy — were arrested for it instead.
  • Maybe he just has a ding on his record but it's really minor, but the animatronics can't sort out "bad" v "stupid" marks on criminal records. Don't shoplift, kids!
  • Jossed, they are possessed.
  • The toys aren't comfirmed to be possessed, so not Jossed actually.
    • Five dead kids show up in SAVE THEM, William was here, Mangle somehow crawls on the walls, they act exactly like the Withered animatronics, right down to black eyes (Toy Freddy), and it's somehow not confirmed?

Jeremy was the victim of the Bite of '87.
Noting a popular theory. The victim of the Bite is never described beyond that s/he survived at the cost of losing the frontal lobe of her/his brains. Given that the person the animatronics had spent the past six nights trying to kill was suddenly around them in the daytime — back when they were still programmed for free-roam mode and thus technically capable of actions beyond their usual character routines — and not only that but was instructed to stay close to them, it seems likely that they would break pattern to attack during the day and go after their target. Creepy behavior aside, they were never said to have attacked anyone in the daytime before this. However, they do have a history of attacking Jeremy, so when they finally got to him, up-close and personal and possibly without any defenses, in the daylight — CHOMP. What happened to Jeremy could've served to further break Phone Guy, who'd feel responsible for giving him the job and the instructions in the first place, even if he was only passing along orders from higher-ups.
  • Jossed in FNAF 4. It was a kid that got bitten by Golden Freddy in a mean spirited prank by his brother
    • Not so Jossed after all, since that game was set in 1983.

Mike's hallucinations aren't technically caused by whatever evil lurks in the restaurant.
There is no way Mike is getting to sleep after spending the night desperately preventing evil animatronics from gruesomely killing him, especially if he ran out of power and was on the verge of falling victim to Freddy when the clock ticked over to 6 AM, and if he does nod off he's probably woken right back up by nightmares. Prolonged sleep deprivation causes hallucinations, and the hallucinations usually start later in the week, after he's been awake for several days. Gold Freddy might just be a case of Your Mind Makes It Real. Maybe it gives him a heart attack and he's shoved in a suit later.
  • The same could be true for Jeremy, though with Shadow Freddy and Shadow Toy Bonnie taking Gold Freddy's place.
  • Jossed, Golden is real.

Mike is 17 or younger, with an unusual home life, to boot
If he's underage, Fazbear's doesn't have to pay him minimum wage. It might also be them trying out a new strategy: if the animatronics distrust adults but are normal around children, then Management might be hoping that having a teenager as the security guard will still qualify as a "child" to them, play on their liking for children, and keep them from attacking him, allowing them to actually keep a living security guard and not keep cleaning up after them and filing Missing Person reportnote . Obviously, however, it didn't work, as the animatronics try to attack Mikey anyway — either he doesn't qualify as a child anymore or they'll just attack anything at night. Considering the hours, Mike probably doesn't go to school. His home situation could be very bad indeed if his parental guardians (assuming he has any) are allowing him to take a job at these hours. In fact, his/his family's financial situation is almost definitely very bad, if Mike is willing to risk his life each night for a measly four bucks an hour! (Well, plus decent overtime for weekend work.) Being a teenager in a difficult situation might also explain the stupid decision to keep working at Freddy's — desperation mixed with typical adolescent overconfidence and not really knowing better.
  • Jossed on the basis that you can't be a security guard, let alone a night guard, if you're underaged. People who are underaged can't work past a certain hour and can't be security guards because of the risk to a person in being a guard. Fazbear's might be desperate for help, but they can't legally accept his help, and if they filed a Missing Persons report on Mike, it would be found out that they illegally hired a minor to be security at night.
    • However, he could be 18/19 years old, recently graduated from high school and is working a summer job.

It's all in Mike's head
Phone Guy's message really was just a sick joke on the New Meat; and the animatronics can give you the willies even in broad daylight (I haven't even played, just looked at the pictures, read the article, watched some stuff specifically designed to be Nightmare Retardant and I still find myself peering suspiciously into dark corners). Now imagine that your predecessor just told you they're out to get you; and heeeere's JOHNNY! Chica looming out of the darkness with her humongous, staring eyes and fixed grin. When the robots blunder into the security office by mistake on their "roam" setting, Mike freaks out and slams the door. He also quits after the first night. However, it's not so simple. He ends up with a Recurring Nightmare that gets worse every night. Night seven is Mike after he's read a book on lucid dreaming. Reprogramming them for zero is him acknowledging that they're not real and can't hurt him. 4/20 mode is him saying "I'm Not Afraid of You Anymore" and doing a Self-Imposed Challenge. 1/9/8/7 mode is outright confronting the nightmare in a Battle in the Center of the Mind. Getting fired is his subconscious' way of saying "OK, we're not having this dream ever again."
  • Jossed.

You only play as Jeremy on Night 5 and Night 6
On Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, and Night 4, you play as other night guards, who are all canonically (according to this WMG) killed by the animatronics even if you play them to survive the night. Jeremy gets hired for Night 5 and when he survives, the Management is so relieved that they didn't have another guard turn into a bucket of slops on their hands, and so guilt-ridden for their role in the other guards' horrible deaths, that they give him the full week's pay they couldn't give to his predecessors. They could also be covering their own asses, giving him the money if he agrees to say that he was the night watchman the whole week. When the other guards' loved ones come to the pizzeria to investigate, Management can say, "We didn't hire him, we hired Jeremy, Jeremy was working the whole week, right, Jeremy?" (Jeremy says yes because he wants to keep the money and/or is being blackmailed.) "Sorry, we didn't see John after the first interview, maybe he lied about getting the job because he didn't want to disappoint you." The reason why this troper thinks that? In the first game, Phone Guy alludes to a number of security guards having been killed by Night 3. Since he's the one who took over as the night watchman after it opened, he can only be referring to guards killed before his time as security guard, i.e. the second game.
  • The biggest fault with this is that it's totally out of character for the Fazbear company to do that. They are cheap, after all, and pay you only minimum wage. It's plausible that Phone Guy wasn't a permanent fixture in the night shifts after 2. He seems to be the most flexible person they have, working management, training, and security.

Mike has a connection to Phone Guy
Maybe relatives (brothers? father and son?), friends, lovers, who knows. Anyway, when Phone Guy "went missing," the trail went cold at his job and favorite long-time establishment, Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. Maybe Mike was already suspicious of the place, like he had already heard about the missing children and the Bite of '87 — or maybe Phone Guy let something slip that Mike couldn't get out of his head. At any rate, Mike ended up taking Phone Guy's vacated job to go undercover in the hopes of finding out if anything had happened to Phone Guy in his last week there. He initially intended to snoop around when Phone Guy's messages started playing, keeping him in the office to listen to his loved one's voice and thereby saving his life, since he would've been killed by the animatronics quickly if he ventured out of the room. Through this perspective, Night 4 suddenly just got even more tragic; not only does Mike get confirmation that Phone Guy is dead and he will probably never find the remains (since they will have long since been disposed of by the company), he hears the last seconds of his loved one's life and how shaken and scared he was, and he has to stay in the room it happened for the next six hours, fighting off the things that killed Phone Guy, who want to kill Mike next. The three nights after that are spent trying to figure out how to get justice for Phone Guy — he probably plans to get Freddy Fazbear's Pizza charged for their crimes (although he might hesitate because he knows how much Phone Guy loved the place and would want it to go on) and possibly retrieve all the video evidence of the animatronics coming to life and killing people, but he definitely wants to do something with the animatronics, and spends that time figuring out what. On Custom Night, he somehow turns their A.I. permanently to 0 in the hope of making them harmless. Either Freddy's tries to sue him and he counters by getting them in legal trouble for their crimes, or they foresee this and back down, settling at firing him if he agrees not to get them charged. Cue Bittersweet Ending: Phone Guy is dead and Mike has suffered a lot and is possibly embroiled in legal issues, but at least Mike has closure and the knowledge that no one will ever come to harm because of the animatronics again. ... Or does he?
  • They're not familyt. Mike is British, Phoney is American.

Mike's proportions best match the Freddy endo's
Since that's the closest he matches to, the animatronics figure that that's which one he is, and that's why they always stuff him in a Freddy suit.

The PC's just really love their work
The Player Characters are some sort of suicidal thrill seekers who just love taking the worst possible jobs.

Mike is the rookie.
He keeps coming back because he's used to this kind of stuff on the job.

The Fazbear Fright Guard is one of the previous player characters, most likely Jeremy.
The very first thing Phone Dude says to you is "glad you made it back for another night" even though he's giving you instructions like it's your first night (the advert at the beginning of the game actually being for the attraction, not for a guard), and he calls you "part of the attraction", which also sounds slightly odd for someone new to the job. Jeremy was present at Fazbear's Pizza at the time of the mystery incidents that Fazbear's is famous for (the child murders and most especially the Bite of '87, making him the most likely candidate because someone who was a security guard for those incidents would make sense as "part of the attraction"). This would make the guard in the game about fifty or sixty, though, if it is indeed Jeremy. The fact that the Fazbear Fright guard is also actually easily frightened could actually be a form of PTSD from working the night shift at Fazbear's Pizza kicking in, and would explain how he's able to have hallucinations of animatronics that have been out of commission for so many years and aren't in the box in the office. Mike might be ruled out on the basis that the Puppet, Balloon Boy, and there are Toy counterparts there and Mike wasn't working at Fazbear's when they were present, and Fritz might be ruled out on the basis that he was only there one night. Jeremy, though, seems to make sense as he was there for several nights, was there during the incidents (though was on the day shift on the Bite of '87 incident), and was likely a suspect in the murder. He was actually called up to take the post by the Fazbear's Fright team.
  • However, it could also be Mike, since he was the last of the security guards who worked at the actual pizzeria prior to its closing down, and the fact that he could be the youngest of the guards. And the reason for the hallucinations of the animatronics such as Balloon Boy and the Puppet when Mike couldn't have known them could be one of two things: 1. he remembers them from the pizzeria from when he was there or 2. Springtrap is somehow inducing the hallucinations through some supernatural means as a way to torment Mike (as the hallucinations only begin after Springtrap arrives at the attraction).
    • Bit flimsy of a rebuttal, but if it IS Mike, and the theory that Mike Schmidt is also Michael Afton from Sister Location is true, then Springtrap pursing the guard makes sense- Springtrap or rather, Purple Guy is viciously hunting down the last living person who knows what a monster he really is.
  • Rebutting my own musings against Mike, with Scott saying that anything past Night 5 isn't canon, it's fairly possible that Mike IS the Fazbear's Fright guard. Mike would have worked there a lot longer than Jeremy, since Jeremy would have lost his job a week in with the new location closing. Mike was likely there for longer, unless the location from 2 didn't actually close after a couple of weeks, since Mike wasn't fired for tampering with the animatronics if Night 7 isn't actually canon. Mike would also have been the most recent guard.
    • From where did you get this confirmation from?

Mike is someone the child stuffed into Golden Freddy knew
Mike was either her brother, her childhood friend, her father, her uncle, something, who takes on the job to make sure that nothing like what happened to her happens to another child. Unlike the other ghosts, the Golden Freddy ghost isn't trying to kill Mike, just talk to him. The "IT'S ME" is the ghost trying to identify herself to him and make him recognize her. She causes the other hallucinations to try to warn him as well as to send him a message and a plea for help. She cuts into the end of the Night 4 call because she has been observing Mike listening to Phone Guy's message and doesn't want him to hear the rest of Phone Guy's "bad night." Night 5 is her attempt to communicate with Mike over the phone the way Phone Guy has been. Golden Freddy vanishes once the player raises the monitor because the ghost is devastated that Mike is ignoring her, and she has to leave and regather her courage to return and try again. As stated, Golden Freddy doesn't kill Mike; the game crashes because Mike quite simply loses his mind from the stress and terror of his situation, the grief at being back where his loved one went missing/was murdered, and the ghost trying to get into his head and bombarding him with hallucinations. The scream is Mike hearing himself scream, but Through the Eyes of Madness, which is why it has that robotic distortion (killer robots whom he possibly suspects to have had his loved one stuffed inside before being the source of his stress).
  • After the fourth game, it's possible.

Mike becomes a guardian angel.
A la a mix of It's A Wonderful Life and Ghost. Mike was one of the five murdered children. When he was stuffed into Foxy, he died, of course. However, instead of staying around and haunting the establishment, he moved on, one one condition: he got to go back and help his friends, first. Taking up a post as Jeremy Fitzgerald, he tries to bring attention to the fact that the animatronics have suddenly turned murderous. That's how after every game over, you can start again. Divine Intervention is at work. After the week is out, and Jeremy is moved to day shift, the Bite of 87 happens.Going along with the theory that Jeremy was the victim, after his frontal lobe is ruined, the child's body inside Foxy, the original Mike, melds with the remains of Jeremy's frontal lobe to make the Foxy from the first game. That's why Foxy behaves differently than the other animatronics. Mike's childlike personality wants to run for help, but his adult mannerisms from when he was Jeremy carry the rage and bitterness of his untimely death and mauling.
  • Adding on to that, Mike is probably short for Michael, which may refer to Archangel Michael.

Mike's firing is another cover up

Considering this is Fazbear Entertainment who are cheap as all hell and don't care about the fates of their employees, it would be a huge twist that Mike eitherA - Canonically died via one of the AnimatronicsB - Was killed BY the Management because he knew too much after tinkering with Animatronics

Because let's face it, If any sensible person was on this job they would of instantly ratted out the company to the police and ended this nightmare fast. Why didn't Mr Schmidt do so? Simple, because he never lived to see the chance.

The pink slip is just a cover up by the management so they could brush it off quickly (Take this with a grain of salt)

Every in-game death is canon on the first five nights
So given Phone Guy's speal, we know Fazbear's has been pulling terrible stuff for a very long time. People die on the job. A lot. So my take on this? Mike Schmidt is only the last security guard you play as. Any and every time you die on nights 1-5 you weren't Mike, you were another poor sucker who will never see his family again. But to keep the game moving right along it skips you to another security guard who survived just as long. I just like the idea because it means there are no take backs or retries between guards.
  • But...most players die multiple times on the same night.
    • Night 3: "Hey! You're doing great! Most people don't last this long." Would you expect only one guard to die every night of one week out of however long this place has stayed open? I'm pretty sure that the place has been open for at least a few years or so, given the time for it to earn its reputation and Phone Guy to have gone through multiple weeks of his job.
      • There wouldn't be multiple guard deaths a night because there'd be no one to call in the next guard after one dies, meaning none of the other hired guards would take over the shift for the dead guy. And besides, every time you die the clock goes back to 12am, which would not happen if a new guard came in just after the last one dies.

The Fazbear's Fright Guard is the Purple Guy
As revealed in the Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location Golden Freddy mode custom night cutscenes, Purple isn't really the one inside Springtrap, but rather his son, Michael. At the end of the clip, Michael tells his father "I'm going to come find you... I'm going to come find you. Maybe the Purple Guy/William Afton took up the job at the horror attraction to taunt his son and burned down Fazbear's Fright to make sure he didn't escape. Unfortunately for him, Springtrap just won't stay dead!
  • Josed. The Purple Guy is Springtrap after all.

Mike Schmidt has German lineage.
"Schmidt" is a German surname after all.
  • He's British, so jossed?
  • You can be both, so no.

You're not playing as the crying child in FNAF 4, you're playing as his brother. Who also happens to be Michael Afton.
As revealed in the secret room of Sister Location that the house you play FNAF 4 in is actually connected to the factory, at least through cameras and a Freddy plush with a walkie talkie. This is probably Afton's playground, where he takes children after they're abducted by the animatronics, and dumps them so he can terrorize them with the nightmare animatronics. Michael was probably The Unfavorite compared to his younger sister and brother, which is why he was so damn cruel to the crying child throughout FNAF 4's cutscenes. Although he never intended for things to go as far as they did with the Bite of '87, William saw it differently - he decided to punish his oldest child for the accident by dumping him in his killing ground and forcing him to play his sadistic game, to feel the fear his little brother felt, to force him to relive the days leading up to the Bite. Michael survived, but was mentally broken, not only by the torture his father put him through, but also his brother dying. Afton convinced Michael it was his fault, and Michael became basically a slave to his father's will, terrified of displeasing him again and being made to "play" with Freddy and friends again. After Afton's daughter was killed by Baby, Afton knew the heat would be on him for his dangerous animatronics, so he sent the now-adult Michael to the restaurant to be torn apart, and become Springtrap. Michael's spirit, now angry and unable to be cowed into submission by Afton, is now free from the rubble of Fazbear's Fright and ready to exact his revenge.
  • You are both right and wrong. Mike/The Brother has the nightmares, yes, but Springtrap isn't Michael, FNAF 4 isn't The Bite of '87, and the nights are still dreams.

Mike Schmidt was trying to expose Fazbear's flagrant safety violations.
Which is why he stuck around despite becoming increasingly dangerous, even increasing the threat level of the animatronics. Mike heard of some of the nastier stories of the franchise, and wanted to expose them. As for why it could be personal, he wants to come off as heroic for stopping the madness, or he just wants to do the right thing in his eyes. He'll well aware it could end up killing him, but hopes that if that might actually expose the pizzeria and he becomes a martyr.


     The Mascots 
Foxy is Luis Suarez in a suit.
This is because they both run fast and Suarez's biting habits caused the Bite of '87.

Freddy and pals weren't always evil.
They were once friendly, normal mascots until the tragic backstory of the place occurred. The spirits/pain/hatred/etc of the murdered children possessed the dummies and turned them into the monsters they are now. (Note, five dead kids, five mascots, counting Golden Freddy.)
  • Confirmed in FNAF 2's minigames!

The mascots aren't entirely evil.
To some extent, they do honestly think that you need to be repaired with a new suit. The malicious supernatural stuff is unrelated to their own desires, or just the guard hallucinating.
  • Kinda-jossed. They have good intensions, but still see you as a human.

Alternately, they WERE always evil and they ARE entirely evil
Just to round out all the possibilities. They really are sentient AI, they are perfectly aware of what's going on and what they're doing (especially to the night guards), and they continue doing it anyway because they're evil. That they look and act so creepy isn't a coincidence, they honestly just hate humans and want to terrorize and kill them in horrible ways; if Freddy's demonic laugh is any indication, he certainly gets a big kick out of it. However, the pizzeria is still haunted by the ghosts of the people they've murdered, mostly children and night watchmen, who are bound to the animatronics that killed them because they're trying to warn others. Unfortunately, their only normal means of communication with the living is through terrifying hallucinations. The screams and groaning you can hear when the animatronics kill you are from their dead victims, who you can hear only now because you are seconds away from joining them.
  • Considering the second game's minigames, it seems not.
  • Completely jossed.

The mascots are haunted and are looking for revenge.
The game's creator, Scott Cawthon, has stated that the mascots are haunted but the explanation is hidden within the game. He's most likely referring to the newspaper articles hidden throughout the game which reveal that, at some point in the past, a man dressed in a Fazbear costume lured five children to the backstage area and murdered them. Although the killer was found and arrested, the children's bodies were never recovered. After that, the animatronics began to act more and more erratic (it's unknown if the Bite of '87 took place before or after the murders, however). It's heavily implied that the children's bodies were stuffed into the mascots' costumes; not only were they never found, the mascots are reported to ooze blood and mucus and sometimes emit a foul, decaying stench. Chica (the duck/chick) is also shown to have a second, smaller, and more organic set of teeth in the back of her throat and sometimes makes humanlike groaning. All of this adds up to the conclusion that the murdered children were stuffed into the mascots and left to rot while their spirits linger, hungry for revenge.

That's not all, however. It's possible that the children's murderer was a former security guard. He had access to the backstage area, the animatronics, and the costumes. This could explain why the mascots seem to be hellbent on killing security guards; they killed Phone Guy, tried to kill you, and it's implied that they've killed or maimed other security guards in the past. Finally, the murderer had worn a Fazbear suit and stuffed the children into the animatronics; if you get a game over screen, the player is shown to have been stuffed into a Fazbear suit (and only ever a Fazbear suit), which is rather ironic. It could be that the children's spirits don't know that their killer has already been apprehended and so lash out at every security guard they find.

  • How about this: you play as the killer, which is why Mike Schmidt keeps coming back. It's because he wants to return to the scene of the crime to relive the power he had over those kids by killing them. And the fact that you're beating the game is just giving Mike Schmidt more sick satisfaction this theory also explains the it's me that can appear it's the spirits taunting him.
  • Also, it's been found that when the robots' scream isn't cut off through a glitch, it sounds like a child screaming. Perhaps because it's the voice of the children's ghosts?
  • Heavily confirmed! Howver, you aren't the killer.

Someone else is controlling the animatronics
The general unsettling design of the robots, and the fact that they seem to be actively and very deliberately hunting you, makes it rather unlikely that there are just glitches in the programming. Some other person is possibly controlling them, matching wits with you and gradually upping the stakes with each passing night. The way that the animatronics seemingly learn your strategy, work to exploit flaws in your technique... well, blaming that behaviour on faulty programming seems a little too easy.
  • Jossed. They're acting on their own.

The animatronics are all haunted by a single ghost — the ghost of the murderer
While the mechanisms all operate independently, the IT'S ME message certainly argues for a single controlling force. A controlling force that likes killing people and hiding the body...
  • It could be Phone Guy telling you about his fate as well, since he's the only "real" voice you hear on the job.
  • And the children are trying to protect you from him by slowing him down somehow, which is why the mascots don't smash into your room in 2 minutes and kill you. This explains why you hear children cheering when you win, and children screaming when you die, as they are frightened when you lose and get a gory death, and are overjoyed when you win and get to leave.
  • Jossed.

The animatronics are not really animatronics... they've always been possessed
This would explain how they can move around without power cables (or any visible power supply), but means the only reason they stopped moving around during the day is because they're lying in wait... for you...
  • They weren't always possessed.

The animatronics are actually the murdered children
Bear with usnote  (pun not intended). Sorry about all the spoilers.

  • CoryxKenshin encountered a glitch whereby Foxy's scream played but was not cut off, and it sounds like a child's scream.
  • Part of the backmasked message from Night 5 reveals that someone was talking about "the joy of crea—", assuming that this is a valid interpretation of the cut-off part.
  • The bodies were never found.
  • The animatronics have been known to seemingly drip blood and mucus, and emit a foul odor.
    • Confirmed in FNAF 2's minigames.

The children are the animatronics. They've been living in the machines for years. They're, like, cyborgs or something. Furthermore, their putting you in an animatronic suit instead of straight-up killing you may be them thinking that, since it worked for them, it could work for anyone (it obviously doesn't, but they don't know that). It might also explain why the pizzeria is fighting so hard to stay open, although whether it's out of good intentions or not is another story.

The reason kids like the animatronics and adults don't is that the animatronics feel exactly the same.
They enjoy the company of children such as they once were and only turn on the creepy, such as the blood and stench, when around adults.

The animatronics only ever attempt to kill those who resemble the murderer of the five children
Note how the animatronics are benevolent (if incredibly creepy) unless a specific situation sets them off. In fact, they'd be doing their job very well if not for their behavior around the security guards and The Bite of '87... and it all has to do with the people involved. Mike Schmidt, along with all past security guards, are prime targets simply for being adult men who hover around children's venues by themselves for (in the animatronics' eyes) no good reason. The victim of The Bite of '87 was most likely another adult male who seemed to be putting children at risk (maybe a father who was grappling with a tantrum-prone child at the worst possible moment, an overly-stern babysitter, or even an actual child abductor).
  • You may have a point with the recent games: in the custom nights, it's revealed Springtrap is actually the murderer's son, who was mistaken for the killer.

Going off the above two WMG, the reason Freddy and the gang want you dead... that they're very upset that children never come to Freddy's anymore, and blame adults (maybe security guards in particular) that they can't spend their days having fun with the kiddies anymore. They always perceived adults as killjoys at best, always being the ones to drag their kids away when they're tired of hearing the stupid animatronic songs, but then an adult (again, maybe a security guard) murdered a bunch of innocent children and stuffed their bodies into suits. When your shift is over, Freddy and friends spend the day singing cute songs to a completely empty room, maybe watching with their jealous animatronic eyes when kids look excitedly into Freddy's only to be hurried away by their parents. So either killing you is a way of them taking out their extreme frustration that they can't entertain kids anymore, or they believe that all adults are a threat to their precious children, and the children will come back if they make it "safe".
  • A line from Phone Guy in Five Nights At Freddy's 2: "They interact with kids just fine, but when they encounter an adult they just...stare"

Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy really do kill you.
Okay, okay hear me out... Phone guy does say they think you're a endoskeleton without skin... So in their metal heads, they think they're just helping a friend... But they kill you via manhandling you... So to them, you're out of power and they bring you to Freddy who... you know, proceeds to stuff your remains into an "empty" animatronic... So, really, Bonnie and Chica are innocent... Oh, what about Foxy? ...Yeeeeeeeeeah, he just kills you because you're not paying attention to him... So he just kills you out of anger and leaves your carcass for Bonnie and Chica to find.
  • Confirmed, but they aren't malfunctioning robots.

The animatronics are haunted by the serial killer, not the kids he killed
True, the kids' spirits are still hanging around the place, but if anything, they're trying to stop the killer from making you his next victim, not the other way around. This is because, at first, the main animatronics (Freddy, Chica, and Bonnie) take their time to advance on Mike, when the Greenlight trailer showed they could just as easily bum-rush him like Foxy. As for why Foxy is more aggressive, this is because the serial killer most likely takes full control as Foxy on the second night (seeing the opportunity after the management pulled the plug on Foxy's Pirate Cove after "The Bite of '87"), based on his more serial killer-esque actions; he takes his time to obscure himself, and only moves if Mike isn't watching Foxy enough (giving the killer a window to make his move), or watches Foxy too much (forcing the killer to play his hand, and go all-out). Either way, once Foxy has the chance, he makes a beeline for his victim, and leaves no window for them to escape — and if by some reason Mike is able to shut the door on him, he takes the time to drain the power further by banging on the door before retreating, making Mike more susceptible for the kill by other animatronics. And, when 6 AM finally comes around, the Most Wonderful Sound is of children shouting in joy, implying the kids are celebrating stopping the serial killer from claiming another victim that night.
  • As an aside, the Darkness Equals Death is that the power failure gives the killer the opportunity to fully control the Freddy suit he used to lure the children to their deaths, and rubs it in by staring down Mike while playing his Leitmotif, before tearing him a new one. The full possession also explains why Freddy has Black Eyes of Evil instead of his usual eyes.
  • This troper loves this theory, as it also explains why you hear children screaming and children speaking sometimes — it's because they know, as ghosts, that the serial killer's angry spirit is here every night, and they're scared because they're traumatized. They scream when you die because they are frightened by the sight of you getting a gory death. Finally, the reason why all the animatronics don't just immediately break down the doors and eat you to death — the kids are using their ghostly powers to slow down the killer, which is why 3 of the 4 animatronics move slowly.
  • Jossed.

"Gold Freddy" is the spirit of the serial killer, possessing the Freddy costume he used to kill the kids
The trigger for the event isn't Mike suffering a hallucination, but him putting two-and-two together on how the "Gold Freddy" (more a rotting yellow, by the way) was used by the serial killer, and this realization is enough for the serial killer to hop into his old suit and murder Mike. This is exemplified by how the suit has no eyes, and starts off it a "dead" pose, indicating it's actually an empty suit possessed by the serial killer's spirit.
  • How does this theory explain Golden Freddy's weakness of Just Ignore It?
    • Jossed! He used a Spring Bonnie suit as seen in FNAF 3.

The animatronics are and always have been sentient AI
They didn't start out the killer way they are now. The prequel is their Start of Darkness, showing that (through the mini games) the animatronics actually liked children. Their transformation into killers is via a combination of grief and rage over the murders driving them insane. The Foxy mini game infers that Foxy saw the bodies and the jump scare at the end is symbolic of his descent into Ax-Crazy madness.
  • Confirmed, but they are also possessed.

The mascot endoskeletons are of military origin
The dudes that own the pizzeria are obviously nuts, so when they're starting up their business and are searching for an animatronics dealer, they discover DARPA or someone are selling a bunch of robotic prototypes that didn't make it to mass production for the fields. Pizzeria Owner Men promptly lose their shit at the idea of being the first theme restaurant where the animatronics actually walk around, and then blow most of their money on buying them, hence why Freddy and his band are so ridiculously advanced for 'bots intended just to sing on a stage, and why when they fully remove their masks, including the eyes and mouth, they look like fully-fledged Terminators instead of just a skeleton designed to support and move a costume.

Two ways of thinking about why they come for you: One, the more mundane explanation (only 'more' mundane, something spooky is obviously going on): Pizzeria Owner Men cheaped out on hiring a programmer, and so their original crush-kill-destroy settings were just 'painted over' with commands to entertain children. At night, where they are set to 'free roam', they spy you through the cupcake-cam, and their unrestricted programming has a big processor battle over whether to entertain you or kill you, thus explaining their erratic and nightmarish behavior, the slow way they approach you, and the way they begin to twitch and freak out the closer they get to you. Incidentally, in the trailer, Bonnie pulls off her mask to expose her endoskeleton, and a poster can appear of Freddy tearing his mask off his head — which could be a killbot's way of saying "GET ME OUT OF THESE STUPID COSTUMES".

The other explanation, the supernatural one, is "military killbots + salty dead children ghosts = disassembled security guards."

  • Jossed.
    • Unjossed.

Foxy isn't out to kill you — Foxy wants you to help him escape.
It's obvious that Foxy is... different. He's usually all alone, he can move while on camera, he doesn't jump right for your face, and between his comical expression and silly pirate ditty, he's arguably the least menacing of the animatrons. All this hints that Foxy isn't as mindless as the other animatronics. But, because so much of his machinery is exposed, the others would likely mistake him for a bare endoskeleton and stuff him in a suit. His habit of hiding in Pirate's Cove is a mark of his intellect — he is having no part of that costume murder business, but he can't escape because the others are active during the times he could move, so he lays low in the closed-off area instead. And then you show up...

He's dormant on the first day because he assumes the others will get you, but when you outsmart them and come back the second day, he believes that you can help him. Once the coast is clear, he runs full tilt in order to spend as little time as possible outside of his safe place. When you lock him out, he bangs on the door not in malice, but in desperation. He tries again and again to reach you, only to be thwarted each time. Eventually, you complete your job (or get fired), and Foxy is once again condemned to remain in hiding until the business is shut down, and for who knows how much longer after that... or, he finally makes it into your office. Between that moment and the Game Over screen, he convinces you to escape with him, which (predictably) ends with the both of you murdered in costumes.

He's been trying to get help from Phone Guy as well, and every prior security guard over however many years, not knowing it would be futile even if he succeeded. And the whole time, he's been deteriorating in his abandoned corner of the pizzeria, unable to do the one thing he was built for — make children happy.

Foxy just can't catch a break, can he?

  • Alternatively, if Foxy does get into the office, he does so in a panic, begging for help. Which just so happens to sound like the scream all the other robots give. This scares you out of the office, into the arms of one of the other robots.
  • Which leads to an awesome fight between Foxy and Freddy/Bonnie/Chica. And Foxy loses and you get stuffed into a suit.
  • Or, despite his hook and his teeth and any other pirate prop weapons he has, Foxy realises that he is old and rusty compared to the fairly fresh endoskeletons of Freddy/Bonnie/Chica. He then proceeds to break your neck before stuffing you into a suit, therefore sparing you from bleeding to death in agony. Meanwhile, the other animatronics simply become satisfied that Foxy is not "rebelling" and leave.
  • Jossed.
    • Sister Location presents a very similar situation, though.

The robots have adaptive A.I., and that's how things went wrong.
The animatronics of Fazbear Entertainment® are self-contained, self-maintaining, and adaptable... but they don't draw logical inferences. So when, one night in 1987 (or perhaps 1986) a human went into the restrooms and a "new animatronic" came out, the closest thing to a thought in their collective processors was, "New animatronic unit present". And since an animatronic unit could never deviate from its programming, then whatever it did must be correct. So when the "new animatronic" took a child into the back room, "disassembled" them, then stuffed them into the next animatronic in the maintenance cycle, the A.I. filed this under "new maintenance procedure". It was reinforced when the "new animatronic" did it again, to the next A.I. that entered the back room. The fact that the "new animatronic" disappeared at closing time and the human reappeared didn't seem strange at all to them, and the murderer walked out — the parents and kids had thought he was just a costumed performer (or even an animatronic), so he wasn't caught until they reviewed the security tapes.

And the robots' adaptive A.I. remembered — and taught the rest of them how to "disassemble" a human and perform the new "maintenance procedure". This continued for three children before Foxy broke the cycle.

  • Jossed.

Foxy runs only when he can be seen.
The reason Foxy runs? Phone Guy was right; the animatronics are programmed not to be seen in the performance area outside of their "shrouds", in order to avoid breaking the illusion that they're real. So Foxy sprints from one blind spot to the other in order to get his "naked" innards out of the performance area... and if the camera isn't on (with its red tally light) in the hall, he doesn't run.

The fifth child didn't possess a fifth animatronic, it possess the cupcake in the guard room
And it has been relaying information to the animatronics about any security guard's strategy to deal with them, that's how Freddy learns to adapt to what Mike does. It may or may not also be the one that causes the doors and lights to malfunction as well.
  • Jossed in FNAF 2's minigames! He possessed Golden Freddy.

Foxy is the only animatronic who is not haunted... and he's terrified
Foxy, given his pirate gear, was possibly the 'villain' in the meta story of Freddy's Pizzeria. Because of this, he wasn't involved in the killings of the five children because he 'acted' in a different room than the other three. However, the rest were and became haunted due to the rotting bodies of the children inside them. What this meant for Foxy, was that suddenly the other animatronics just started acting irrationally and strangely. Because as an AI, he could not understand the concept of haunting, he started avoiding the rest.

Eventually, this led to him utterly isolating himself in the pirate cove. This meant he couldn't be repaired, because he never wanted to be near the the other three. The most repairing he got was getting a new waist and legs, but eventually those fell to disrepair as well. And after the Bite of '87, he stopped being seen at all.

That is why Foxy is the most straightforward of the animals. While the others spend a lot of time creeping the security guards up with twitching, mugging at the camera, or making faces (looking at you, Chica), Foxy simply lunges inside. And he runs, because he wants nothing to do with the rest of the animatronics out of fear for their 'malfunction'. Maybe he fears they would harm him if they saw him, or stuff him into a suit due his rundown looks.

So, if he isn't haunted, why does he still attack the player and screech? After years of watching the haunted animals, he has noticed that they go after specific humans. So he hopes if he takes the humans out, his friends will return to normal. This is why the Bite of '87 happened as well; Foxy attacked a parent, thinking that if he presented him/her to the rest, they would be content. As for the screaming, he may be able to form his own speech, and so he mimics what the other animatronics do.

Of course, he is not helping the situation at all, since the haunting has no specific target. Not only that, but it seems the haunted animatronics do not even care for him, as only Foxy is seen in Pirate Cove.

  • Jossed.
Freddy is an entity from beyond, summoned to this world.
"These characters will live on. In the hearts of kids, these characters will live on," isn't a poetic marketing statement, it's a warning. The CEO of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, and perhaps the higher management, summoned Freddy and his minions into this world. And no known force will send him back. You can shut down the restaurant and smash the dolls, but Freddy will return. Possibly reforming as long as kids remember him, or perhaps even through possession/transformation of children.

Like other WMGs on this page have suggested, Freddy and the gang start out slow, sated and toying with you. But as the week progresses, they get more frustrated and more angry, stepping up their efforts.

Two ways this could have played out:

  • Management willingly summoned Freddy and the others into this world, and now worship and appease him through ritual sacrifice of hapless security guards. The five slain children were part of the initial summoning ritual. The accused murderer was either an unknowing employee framed for the crime, or a cultist who let himself be 'caught' to further the glory of their god. The CEO's words are a declaration of doom, a proclamation of Freddy's power.
  • Alternatively, summoning Freddy was an accident, messing with powers beyond their control. Initially they tried to suppress the entity's desires, but doing so resulted in the Bite of '87 and the five missing children. Now, they feed the entity security guards to keep him placated and in the building, because as bad as it is, NOT feeding him would make things much worse. Sadly, business is down, and nobody wants to buy the restaurant, meaning that soon nothing will keep Freddy and friends in the building. Here, the CEO's words are a veiled warning that doom will visit them all. A doom named Freddy Fazbear.

  • Whatever this entity is has a connection with children. Beyond being able to return to this world through children's thoughts, as the CEO's warning implies, children are also able to 'see' past the guises of the animatronics a little bit. Proof? Look at all the children's pictures in the office and hall. At first glance, they seem like typical crayon drawings of kids having fun with Freddy and the gang. But there's something off about them. Freddy and crew are shown with pinprick eyes in the drawings, much like they have on occasion when glancing at them through the cameras.

  • Jossed.

Foxy is, or was, the antagonist of the Freddy's characters
Out of all the animatronics, Foxy is the only one that has his own area, and is the only one that seems intentionally designed to be "scary" or evil, with sharp teeth and a hook hand. Being a pirate, it's possible he was a character that attempted to steal the other characters' pizza, a la The Hamburgler from McDonald's.
  • It could be the reason he's so darn fast is that there'd be a show where he'd dash across the stage and steal Freddy's pizza as he went.
  • Jossed. FNAF VR implies he was friends with the Fazbear Trio.
    • NOT Jossed! Just look at King Dedede and his role in the series as a supposed villain!
  • Seemingly confirmed in the Freddy Cartoon teasers for Security Breach, in each episode, Foxy is chasing the others and they have to defeat him.
  • It could also explain why the Big Brother and his friends, teenagers, would be interested in Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, the conflict between Freddy and Foxy gave a teen appeal
Golden Freddy is the ghost of the Bite of '87 victim's frontal lobe
Ghosts are usually assumed to be the projection of someone's personality after death, and usually, a personality dies with its body and the rest of its mind. It can interact with the world, possess things to move them around, has enough memories and senses to know how to navigate and potentially cause some damage. What would happen if just the personality died, the rest of its body and brain carted off elsewhere? It wouldn't be able to interact with the physical world much, but it'd have a couple of its old memories — say, the last couple of things it saw before it died (the close, rushing face of a Freddy Fazbear lit up with yellow stage lights, and then sitting deactivated and slumped over as it died of brain hemorrhages). It wouldn't have elaborate plans for murder and revenge like a more mentally-coherent ghost would. It would, however, notice that there's a body sorta like its old one sitting around, and that its thought processes are usually too active for it to worm itself in fully, but it could send a few little thoughts and signals - strange writing here, an odd poster there - ones that would get accepted more and more readily as its target gets more terrified and shifts more of its mental effort to instinctual fear. If it could ever get good enough "reception" to beam its messages and images in fully, and that person didn't then distract themselves to keep their cool, it might be able to fully possess that other body it wants so much... or at least drive its mind completely insane in the process, as two personalities attempt to inhabit one brain.
  • Jossed.

Consequences of Chica eating in the kitchen
On nights where Chica eats in the kitchen, since she has no digestive system, her insides get clogged with food and she has to be cleaned out the next morning.
  • Maybe confirmed by FNAF VR?

The animatronics do not have a "free roam" setting.
In relation to the haunting/possession theories above, the animatronic endoskeletons are of the same variety you would see at a real-life counterpart of the pizzeria. Only after the children started possessing them did they began to walk around the restaurant. Everyone has the same lack of knowledge about the mechanics of the animatronics as the Phone Guy, and just assumed the machines are equipped with the advanced robotics needed to wander around on their own. After the Bite of '87, they realized they acted too early, and would need to save their rampage for night time or risk getting scrapped and being unable to kill anyone at all. One guard is better than nothing.

Golden Freddy is, in-universe, meant to be a separate character
This is going off the assumption that he's really a physical suit (albeit one that can inexplicably teleport into your room without warning) owned by the management and not a hallucination or a ghost, but he might have been used once in the past along with Freddy, Chica, and Bonnie during the daytime hours, and was then officially "shut down" when the murders happened, like Foxy was because parents thought he was too scary. Since he's simply a golden recolor of Freddy, he could've been a relative of Freddy's, possibly with a similar name like Finny or Franky, or he could've been an Evil Counterpart of Freddy who antagonized him and the other animatronics in some way.
  • Confirmed! He's Fredbear from the first incarnation of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.

Bonnie is special/Something is really wrong with Bonnie, and this will be explained in the sequel.
Bonnie in the game is given special attention for some reason or another that we don't know. He is the most aggressive out of any animatronic from the start of Night 1, appears frequently along with Freddy in hallucination images, has the same ability to turn his eyes black just as Freddy (which neither Foxy or Chica seem to do), and after the Game Over screen there's a small chance that you can get a fullscreen image of Bonnie staring you for 10 seconds until his eyes flash white and sends the player to the main menu.Apparently the Creator wants us to pay close attention to Bonnie, and in the sequel we might see why.
  • This is supported by Bonnie being singled out for special attention in the second promotional image for the sequel. YMMV as to whether Bonnie looks nicer or creepier in the new version.
  • Further supported by the trailer of the third game, with Bonnie giving an Aside Glance to the audience, and Spring Bonnie featured in it.
  • Half-confirmed. Bonnie himself is normal. However, his earlier version, Spring Bonnie, was the suit used for the murders... and later became Springtrap.

The animatronics are playing chess with you.
Chica takes a straight line because she's the pawn (one square at a time except on the first move). Bonnie teleports due to being the knight (two forward, one to the side, or one forward, two to the side). Foxy is the rook (straight forward really fast) and Freddy is the King (straight-line movement). When your power runs out, you've resigned the game.
  • Would that make Golden Freddy the queen, then?
    • Not out of the question, given the queen combines the moves of the bishop and rook to devastating effect. Of course, this assumes you're not playing fairy chess; in that case, Golden Freddy could be either the Princess (knight and bishop) or the Empress (knight and rook).
  • If true, this may indicate a single entity controlling all the animatronics, as it would see them as particular "game-pieces" and follow its own unspoken rules about what each can and cannot do, which is why each animatronic has unique qualities. The entity sticking to its own rules of the game explains why, regardless of how close an animatronic is to killing you at the time, you will always survive as long as the clock hits 6 — the entity concedes that you've won this round and accepts the loss, all the more determined to "win" next time.

Freddy is a magician.
The reason why Freddy teleports and is able to sneak into your room unnoticed is because of his magic powers. Freddy is the leader of the group and wears a top hat and bowtie, giving him the appearance of a magician (minus the wand because it was replaced by a microphone). Chica is the lovely assistant in his magic acts and Bonnie is the bunny that Freddy would pull out of his hat, just like any magician. Now, this probably wasn't the case in the realistic animatronic show, but maybe in advertising commercials and tie-in products (movies, games, etc.), Freddy used magic powers like a magician. Freddy is able to tap into these magic powers at night to spook the guard and catch him by surprise because when the children were murdered and Freddy became haunted, he was able to tap into these hidden powers from the supernatural forces of the children inside them.

The robots accidentally kill you and can do nothing about it except to throw away the evidence by stuffing you in a suit.
Sadly, there is more to the robots than meets the eye. The children inside the robots are stuck reliving that tragic night over and over because they all try to get into the security room to tell them about the man who is trying to murder them. Unfortunately, the murderer replaced all the robots' voice clips with the same ear-piercing scream that came from the children on the night of the murder. The murderer amplified the sound clip to ear-bursting levels in order to give the guards a potential heart attack from the sudden loudness of the scream.

Ever noticed that the animatronics never say anything else in the entire game? Not even in the trailer when they are singing in the daytime? It's because they've lost their voices. The only thing they can say is that scream, and nothing else. They are begging and crying for your help but all that comes out of their mouths is...SKREEEEEEEE! They get up in your face because that's what children usually do when they are frightened. They find someone they can trust and scream and cling to them. In this case, the night guard is a reasonable authority figure the kids can trust, so they burst into the security room for you to protect them. Chica and Bonnie beg for your help, Foxy runs as fast as he can to ask if he can come in, and Freddy is scared of the dark and when he finds you, he hugs you and clings onto you for protection.

The only problem is that these children, in reality, are scary-looking and huge robots now. So when they do find you and ask you for help, only the deadly scream comes out and they are heart-broken when they realize they just gave you a heart attack from their (unintentional) screaming. They can't just leave the dead body sitting on the chair, dump the body outside in the dumpster, or even call for paramedics because none of them can speak anymore! So, their next course of action is to stuff the body in an empty suit to hide the evidence since many will find it hard to believe how the security guard got a heart attack while sitting in his chair.

To make it even worse, the robots have been running for many years now, and so their programming doesn't work like how it used to, so a vicious cycle occurs where their memories of the last night are reset, which is why they use the same strategies every night (except Freddy, who has better programming than the others because he is the leader). Foxy has inferior programming due to being shut down and more broken than the others which is why instead of being as wide-eyed and enthusiastic as the others when he leans into the door, is because he can't operate well like the others anymore. Of course, they are all still equally threatening, though.

One more thing to note, about the robots not looking scared at all: The animatronics don't look scared to the viewer. However, these are the children that are scared and the robots can't make many expressions, let alone a scared face. The robots look psychotic because they can't change their expressions!

  • Jossed.
The other robots bully Foxy.
That's why he's usually out of order and looks less decayed and more slashed up. It could also explain why he's going after you, as he believes if he kills you the others will like him. The fact he runs towards you rather than doing the weeping angels thing is because he runs out of patience and wants to get it out of the way as early as he can so he can be loved. Also, he could have performance anxiety due to the abuse the others heap on him, which is why looking at him delays his attack.

  • Jossed.
New Bonnie and Old Bonnie are getting married.
Look at what it says on the teaser poster. Something Borrowed, Something New. If you have watched Doctor Who, then you will probably know this. It's a wedding rhyme, possibly meaning that New Bonnie and Old Bonnie will get married. Or Freddy and Bonnie. And it will probably be like the bride witch scene in Left 4 Dead 2. Bonnie (or Freddy) and Bonnie will attack if you disturb their wedding. It would make sense.

  • Jossed. Was this even a serious theory?
New Bonnie is female while Old Bonnie is male.
New Bonnie has a very feminine appearance while Old Bonnie appears to be male. This will probably be the creator's way of messing with the fans by having two characters of the same name but different genders in order to confuse the fanbase on whether or not Bonnie was truly intended to be male or female. However, the case could also be that...
  • Jossed. New Bonnie doesn't appear during Ladies' Night, ruling him out as female.
    • Another take: The Freddy Fazbear "backstory" in-universe had multiple writers, and one said Bonnie was male, while the other said Bonnie was female. It's not uncommon for writers to continuously Retcon parts of each others' work that they disagree with, or for a fan to ask the writers about a popular fan-theory, and get two different answers back. Alternately, Scott himself can't decide, and just gave a Shrug of God.

Bonnie is significant story-wise for no other reason than because s/he is Scott's favorite.
He's said before that Bonnie gives him nightmares, and it may be the Nightmare Fetishist in him repeatedly inventing new ways to scare himself.

New Bonnie is Old Bonnie's sister or girlfriend.
New Bonnie could actually be a brand new and original character that could be a sister or girlfriend of the old Bonnie.
  • Jossed for the same reason as above, though he could still be Old Bonnie's brother. Probably not his boyfriend, considering the hesitance to even imply homosexual relationships to children and the backlash the company would fear from doing so.

The animatronics were subject to He Who Fights Monsters
The murderer was either the owner of Fazbear's or an employee there. And the murders was not his first attempt to hurt children, just the most deadly. The animatronics, then, started becoming terrorizing monsters in a well meaning attempt to scare children away from the restaurant. However, after management shut off free-range mode during the day, they're forced to become murderers themselves in their attempts to get the place shut down. New management might have given them new hope, but then the new models turn out to be genuine stone-cold killers. What I'm saying is, the sequel might have you and the old models enter an Enemy Mine situation.

  • Confirmed!
The animatronics are TRYING to get the restaurant shut down.
Considering it's pretty possible that they're haunted by dead children, they can't rest in peace with a) watching other children from their forced animatronic coffins laugh and play and have fun during the day, b) knowing the murderer could still very well be alive, and they want to eliminate this place completely for any more to occur, and c) the management is corrupt and cares more about public appearances and saving face than giving them their proper due.

They want closure and to rest in peace, and tying to an above theory with the security guard being a reasonable adult figure they're seeking out, they're just trying to scare him and previous security guards away. If no one can hold that one simple job, and word gets out that there is STILL suspicious activity going on at Fazbear's Pizza, it only further dooms the restaurant to closure, and possibly sooner than stated.

For whatever reason, Mike keeps coming back when other people have not lasted longer than three nights. Freddy and the others up their game because they REALLY need him gone. And considering the Phone Guy dies on Night 4, it could be the reason he's murdered (as was the presumed guard before him—-he likely witnessed the suit thing to know it happens) is that he, like Mike, lasted more than three days, whereas other people are content to be gone in less than three and never come back. That's when Freddy decides to take matters into his own paws.

They can't do anything during the day because of the programming, and because they don't want to hurt/traumatize other children. Adults, however, are capable of fighting back, and have the advantage of being more likely to be believed if more than one is announcing that Weird Shit Is Happening. Unfortunately, the security guard gets targeted because s/he is the only one left in the building by the time they are allowed to free roam. Management probably took their own advice and left before dark, because they know the truth and don't want to be in the building when free roam mode engages.

  • Same Troper as before, adding to this after the sequel trailer was released, because this still makes sense. The old animatronics STILL want the place shut down. They failed, so now they will ramp up their game to ensure the grand reopening is far from it. The new ones will either try to protect you, or will be converted to the old ones' side (possible poltergeist activity altering the code). It's been confirmed that the new ones have facial recognition software: they may be your ally UNLESS they realize you have a criminal record, hence the mask. Either that, or maybe the aforementioned potential poltergeist shenanigans alter the software so they see you as a threat if you had no record prior. Whatever it takes, those kids want peace.

The animatronics think they’re preventing the death of the murdered children.
Since they first came online they were normal animatronics, albeit a bit advanced. They were happy to entertain and play with children, forever stuck with limited and looping movement. Unfortunately this meant when the murders occurred they couldn’t do anything to help the children and were Forced to Watch as the kids were killed off.

Incidentally the murderer was a security guard, meaning they had access to the costumes and to the pizzeria after hours.

Guilt-ridden and angry the animatronics come to life and start attacking any adults they perceive as harming children culminating in the Bite of ’87. From that point on the owners implement the whole “only active at night” programming for the animatronics to avoid further incidents.

Because of their guilt, anger, 'looping programing' and only being free to roam at night, they eventually start believing that they’re stuck back in time, on the night of the murders and that they have another chance to save the kids… by killing the security guard.

  • This theory actually becomes more plausible with the 2nd game based on some of the mini games, which seem to imply that the murders drove the robots insane. The murders seem to have happened before the 1st night of the 2nd game.
  • Jossed, they are the possessed children.

The new animatronics will actually try and protect you from the old animatronics.
Or at the very least, they ignore you. Now hear me out here; trailers for the sequel advertise no doors to the player's room, and the only way to hide is through using a mask. So what's stopping the player from just having the mask on all the time? Here's what this troper thinks is going to happen:
  • The old animatronics are trying to kill you.
  • The new animatronics are trying to kill the old animatronics.
  • Putting on the mask disguises you from the old animatronics.
  • Unfortunately, this also tricks the new animatronics into thinking you're one of the old ones, and they try to kill you.
    • Jossed, there is no sign of dissension between the two groups of animatronics and the new ones only kill you if you're not wearing the mask. You have to take it off because there are some animatronics who aren't fooled by it and you need to routinely take it off to check where they are and ward them off.

The animatronics always had programming flaws, the possible possession / murders only made things WORSE and drove them to start openly attacking EVERYONE
Given that the animatronics are STILL going for your blood in the sequel, which is actually a prequel taking place around the time of the children's murders and possibly slightly before, it's possible that their "protective" programming was a case of GIGO, or their settings were accidentally set FAR too high, with the haunting causing things to rapidly degenerate even worse. Additional potential Fridge Horror is the five children who were killed MAY have ONLY been the first five to be VERIFIED to be dead. Who says the killer in question was not already on a serial spree? Which makes the hyper-vigilant behavior of the animatronics (if not yet possessed) make much more sense, or they were even ALREADY possessed.

A yogi asked the Marionette to give the animatronics new life.
But, why? Well, that yogi once had a huge argument in order to convince someone that metal was indeed alive. After he or she heard people getting murdered at the pizzeria, he/she went to the Marionette in order to ask (politely) to give the murdered another chance in life. However, they would become his slaves. This theory was based of the weird phone message at Night 5: (Omitted: Sir,) it is lamentable that mass agricultural development is (omitted: 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 (omitted: of Bose instruments) will be made by future gener- (omitted: ations. The scientist) seldom knows contemporaneous (omitted: reward; it is enough to possess) the joy of creative (omitted: service.).

  • Jossed.

Golden Freddy killed Phone Guy and left the final message in the first game.
It's Golden Freddy's scream that's heard at the end of the fourth call, and the inane grumbling (ignoring what it literally, out of universe is) is more like his voice than any of the others.

The crying kid in one of the death mini-games is The Marionette
One of the mini-games shows a crying kid being excluded from a party. Shortly after, a car runs him over. When he dies, The Marionette pulls a jump scare. The soul of this kid is the one haunting the puppet, which even has a face that looks like he's still crying. Hell, even as an animatronic puppet nobody seems to like him, and he doesn't get the attention that the other animatronics do. In the end, he somehow kills the children which haunt the first game's animatronics as revenge for being excluded.

I also like to think the guy who ran the kid over was in fact Jeremy on his way to a job interview. Reason he won't quit this horrible and horribly paid job is out of guilt. Obviously, the kid sics all the robots at him during the game for revenge. When that doesn't work, he frames Jeremy for the Bite of '89 after Jeremy gets switched to day shift.

  • Or the kid makes Jeremy the Bitee of '89, courtesy of an animatronic (or two) egged on by the Marionette.
  • Confirmed! However, the Puppet isn't the killer and Jeremy didn't kill the kid, and there was no Bite of '89.

The Marionette opposes the murderer.
Witnessing the purple man kill the children outside of the view of any of the animatronics, it tried to lead Freddy to the murder scene. Freddy is stopped by the murderer who has taken off the Gold Freddy suit (leaving it wherever) to reveal that he is a security guard (probably holding a phone). Foxy arrives to the same party too late, the murderer watching from a distance. Giving the gift of life and vengeance, the Marionette is the one who stuffed the bodies into the suits (Freddy sees this tampering in the cutscene) and gets them to kill anyone who might be the murderer (adults, especially security guards).

  • Confirmed!

Golden Freddy is hated by the other animatronics and possibly hides from them.
Going off of the popular theory that they are possessed by the ghosts of the dead children, and the slightly less popular theory that Golden Freddy is the ghost of their killer. Naturally, they wouldn't be very happy with him.
  • Jossed.

The "Toy" animatronics may have been scrapped, but they're not dead.
Mangle is basically a heap of scrap already, and still just as lively as the others. It's impossible to kill these things.

  • Jossed. They possibly survived being scrapped, but 36 years later, they get burned alive.

The ghosts possessing the Classics are possessing the Toy counterparts to each Classic
The promotional image for the sequel showing Bonnie and Toy Bonnie says, "Something borrowed, something new," with Bonnie's face missing, as if to imply that Bonnie's face was removed and reworked to use for Toy Bonnie. All the Toys could well have been made using parts from the original robots, and when the Toys were decommissioned and scrapped, their parts could well have been recycled into the original robots. Each character might require parts specific to that character, e.g. only a Bonnie can supply another Bonnie a specific body part because their design is so specific (they are insanely advanced robots, after all, it'd be no surprise that each character is designed very specifically). If the missing children were stuffed into the Classics' suits, and parts from those Classics were later used to build the Toys, and the Toys were later broken down and used as parts for the Classics, then the children's spirits might be tied to each part of the original robot and thus be able to possess multiple robots using parts from the original robot simultaneously.

  • Jossed.
Based on the above WMG
The five missing children are possessing: the Marionette; the Freddys; Foxy / the Mangle; the Chicas; and the Bonnies. Balloon Boy was probably built using parts from Foxy or Mangle, since Balloon Boy's actions help Foxy kill you (the spirit would be strategizing to help itself). Shadow Freddy and Shadow Toy Bonnie are the spirit possessing the Freddys and the spirit possessing the Bonnies, manifesting outside of the suit but permanently warped into the shape of the animatronic their corpses were trapped in and that they've been forced to act as. Golden Freddy is possessed by the Murderer.
  • Jossed. The five missing children are the five robots from the original game, the Toys are their own set of murders (including BB), the Shadows are something else.

Classic Chica and Classic Bonnie are possessed by the same ghost
They make the same noise and they operate in very much the same way.

  • Jossed.

Marionette was decommissioned because someone finally noticed that its design was hella scary to children
Ergo why it's not in the first game, even though it might not have been part of the Toy line-up since the minigames seem to show it being alongside the first four at the original diner.

  • Jossed. It survived.
The characters are meant to be in a circus
Since Freddy's tune sounds like something out of a circus, why not? At least Freddy is meant to be from the circus, the others might have different backgrounds.

Chica's character in the show
Because her name is Spanish for "girl," Chica's character was devised as a Spicy Latina and The McCoy to Freddy's The Kirk and Bonnie's The Spock. (Foxy is the bumbling villain they constantly outsmart.) If the company wants to teach kids a la Sesame Street, they might use her and maybe another character to teach the kids grammar or something, with Chica — with an accent — speaking perfect English in contrast to the other character (maybe Foxy?), whom she teaches alongside the children. She might also be in a Love Triangle with Freddy and Bonnie. Given that it's a child audience, though, they probably didn't want to create too much drama and conflict, so Chica is only the Implied Love Interest for Freddy or Bonnie — probably Freddy since he's the star, she might just have a sibling-like relationship with Bonnie. Her character bickers a lot with Freddy's since they're meant to be love interests.

Foxy's damage is self-inflicted.
Looking at the slash on Foxy's chest, it appears to have been made by his hook, much like the handprint on Freddy's face appears to have been made by Freddy's hand.

Shadow "Toy" Bonnie isn't a shadow of Toy Bonnie at all.
But rather The shadow of a Bonnie from Fredbears if you look at the height and teeth of Shadow Toy Bonnie and compare them to Toy Bonnies they don't really match up.

The animatronics would not attack a female security guard if one was hired
Because the children's spirits possessing them would associate her with their mothers, not their killer. They might still go to the guard, but to seek comfort from a perceived mother-figure, not kill a perceived threat.

There are four sets of animatronics, not two.
If you look at Chica (in the first game), Toy Chica, and the Old Chica in the second game, all three have different designs. Old Chica more yellow than Chica, her beak is oranger and notably a different shape, and though the same colour, her eyes are very different. Old Chica's eye sockets are totally different. Bonnie and Old Bonnie are two different colours; Old Bonnie is blue like Toy Bonnie, where Bonnie is purple. Foxy's snout is different in his Old model from the second game, though the difference in his colour could be age. However, Old Foxy doesn't have eyebrows and the tufts of fur on his face are different shapes. Freddy is the same colour in both versions, but his entire face is totally different. Like Chica/Old Chica, his eye sockets are also totally different, as are Freddy's eyebrows. The Old animatronics and the ones in the first game are actually two totally different sets of animatronics. There's the original set (the Old team), the Toy set, and the set from the very first game. Further, there must be Old versions of the Puppet and the Balloon Boy because of Phone Guy's comment about the former (he "never liked that puppet thing"), as they are both designed to go with the Toy set. We don't know what happened to the entire Old set. The fourth set would of course, be the "Spring" series from which Golden Freddy and Golden Bonnie are from, and presumably ones of Chica and Foxy.
  • The Withereds are the Classics, The Puppet was at the first pizzeria and BB wasn't, and there was no Golden Chica or Foxy, so jossed.
    • The Classics were created from the Withereds AND the Toys and the Springs (who did not have Chica or Foxy) were made to go along with the Withereds, so there are three sets - The Puppet's old, non-rosy-cheeked form was seen in the minigames as well as in FNAF 4's Halloween Edition as Nightmarionne.
      • As of FNAF VR, there are the Fredbear's animatronics, the Toys, the Phantoms, the Nightmares, the Jack-Os, the Nightmare Toys (possibly not a separate set), the Frankens, the Funtimes, the LOLtimes, the Mediocre Melodies, the Rockstars, the Woodlands, and a couple more, which is way more than 4, so both of your numbers are Jossed.

The Puppet is the one who calls you on Night 5 in the first game
FN@F2 confirms that The Puppet was around during the first game, and one of it's minigames involves "giving life." When the phone call on Night 5 is played in reverse, one bit of dialogue that is cut off is "the joy of creations." Essentially, The Puppet is calling to taunt you, and the garbled speech is what an animatronic sounds like when it tries to talk.

Golden Freddy is some sort of Eldritch Abomination.
The human brain can't comprehend him, they just see a yellow/gold Freddy suit.

Evidence for this is the sound he makes in the 1st game, the fact that he crashes your game and the stuff he does in the 2nd one that really shouldn't be possible (appearing as a giant ghost head in the hall, flying towards you as a disembodied head, having a louder death scream than the others).

  • Jossed.
The Children think they're playing a game.
Specifically, hide and seek. They're trying to tag you, and children scream when they're excited. You don't know this, of course, and all you can see is a massive animatronic screeching at you. After the heart attack from the stress and the sudden shock, the children think they've done something wrong. And what is the most likely response from a child with no adult figures in sight? To hide the evidence. So, into the suit you go. The likely age range for Freddy's is smaller children, and children don't have the mental capabilities to process complex cause and effect with great skill.
  • Or they put you in the suit because they've caught you, now it's your turn to seek. C'mon, Mike, get in the suit, you lost, those are the rules.
  • Jossed.

The pinprick white eyes aren't endoskeleton eyes.
They're the dead children's eyes. In the third game's trailer, you can see the odd eyes that Springtrap has. With the reveal that the murderer was trapped inside of Springtrap all along, and the fact that the children were stuffed into the suits, this theory's backed up a bit. They're even smaller than Springtrap's eyes.

Foxy is possessed by a young and athletic (and likely male) child.
Explains why he just runs at full speed to the office instead of using more skillful tactics like the others.
  • You're right about the male part. The kid's name is Fritz.

Foxy is just using his current state to his advantage.
He is in a possibly self-inflicted (see an earlier WMG on this page) state of disrepair that reveals most of his interior endoskeleton, which actually explains a bit about his methods to get to the office. He runs because a large portion of his endoskeleton is exposed, allowing him to move more freely than the other mascots.

Fredbear and Freddy are actually separate characters.
First off, it explains Golden Freddy. He was an animatronic Fredbear. It also explains Nightmare. He was the original Fredbear. That's all I have, so feel free to expand on this theory.
  • Confirmed!

The reason why Foxy is neglected in the first game.
Originally, the fandom assumed the reason Foxy is out of order is because he caused the Bite of '87, but after the release of the second game, this can no longer be the case (seeing as all the original animatronics are shut down in the back). However, let's look at the candidates for the Bite. The Puppet and BB are out of the question, as they never move their mouths. Toy Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica all perform on stage. Mangle is near children at all times, has not only one, but TWO sets of teeth, and just looks dangerous in general, so it's obvious it's her fault. After the Bite, the Foxy character would become infamous for its role in the tragedy that took place at the restaurant. The management probably resents Foxy because he reminds them of the Bite, leading them to ignore fixing him when he broke down.
  • Most likely jossed. The fourth game seems to imply that Fredbear was the one who caused the Bite of '87. Unless, there were multiple bites...
    • There were multiple bites.

Golden Freddy was a late addition to the game
Near the end of development, Scott decided he wanted some kind of "mystery" animatronic, one nobody could really explain and was just there for fun. This could explain his ghostly behavior, despite being confirmed to be real and not a hallucination( he's the other springlock suit), it's possible Scott just didn't care enough to work him into the (then implied) lore.

Golden Freddy is 'relatively' benevolent
Golden Freddy only shows up on the most difficult nights in each game. In FNAF 1 he crashes your game. As in he gets you the hell out of that place where you're sure to die. When he shows up in 3 its just to say hi. (Especially if you really are Mike) While he may have caused a few brown pants, he doesn't actively screw with you like the others. I say relatively because he is still rather malevolent in FNAF 2. It can be chalked up to the other animatronics having identified you as a crook, and since he might just be Fredbear, one of the minigames indicates he might just have a problem with that. So I guess a little blue and orange morality for the Golden Bear.
  • His reason for killing you in the second game could be chalked up to the fact that they think you're their murderer, and after about six years, he sorta wises up a bit.

The animatronics have a life of their own.
A lot of the fandom tends to assume that the original four plus Golden Freddy are the missing children, and that Springtrap is Purple Guy. But this neglects the "joy of creation" theory that metal is alive. Scott has confirmed that the animatronics are "haunted", not "possessed". Those words imply different things. Plus, IMHO, it's simply more interesting if the animatronics are their own characters, rather than inanimate heaps of junk being puppeteered around by generic vengeful spirits.
  • Seriously? Have you even played the games? The third one outright josses this theory.
  • Like the guy above said, play or at least watch the fucking games.

Springtrap has Purple Guy exactly where he wants him.
Because he remembers when he was Spring Bonnie, when he and his friend sang and danced on stage to make children happy, whether his interior support was a metal endoskeleton or a living human. And he's been locked away for years, his fading programming still remembering night shift, day shift, night shift... And then he came back, he always does, the one who did the bad things, and Springtrap is a place for him. He's got one last chance to make children happy, by trapping a killer to ensure he'll never hurt a child again.
  • Spring Bonnie was in suit mode, so he wasn't awake. The locks snapped because William broke every single fucking rule.

Springtrap wants Purple Guy out.
Springtrap hates the child-killer, Purple Guy hates his prison. Those screens of Springtrap forcing his own mouth open- could he be trying to evict the corpse? Of course, he still needs an endoskeleton, but oh look, there's a shiny new one in the Office...
  • Purple Guy accepted his identity as Springtrap.

It's the animatronics' AI that causes the murders
The kids don't actually want to kill anyone (save their murderer obviously), rather, their hate and regret has corrupted the AI so that it forces the bodies to attack anything it sees.
  • Jossed.

The body of the child possessing the Puppet/Marionette is in the box Puppet lives in
Since there's no way a corpse, even a skeletal one, could fit in the Marionette's tall, skinny body, then its possible the child whose soul lives inside Puppet had their dead body crammed into the bottom of the box, maybe under a false bottom to hide it, though the false bottom is really just there so the Puppet doesn't have to take as long coming out of the box. The child's soul is bound to the attraction that is the Puppet (Puppet's box, Puppet, and Puppet's strings). This is why the Puppet's thought process isn't so straight- it's... scatterbrained. The other animatronics suffer the same problem because their parts were getting moved around.

Foxy's disrepair was intentionally made.
He's an in-universe Ensemble Dark Horse, and the kids seem to like the "creepy" element of him. The designers decided to give him a decayed factor to give an Evil Is Cool or Creepy Awesome vibe, and let the children's imagination run wild when it comes to how he ended up that way. Maybe with the merchandise it could be that Foxy became some family-friendly zombie or got some cool scars from a major encounter with Freddy's gang. They came up with the idea some time after Toy Foxy/Mangle; their revolt at the more family-friendly Toy Foxy led them to make Foxy classic look more edgy and thus more popular. Of course it's probably not safe, but that's par for the course at this point.

The animatronics are both possessed and have advanced A.I.
It's a Symbiotic Possession thing. The children get a body to enact their vengeance, and the animatronics are capable of more than their programming would allow thanks to having a human consciousness in them as well.

The animatronics are not actually dangerous.
If you make it through the week, then you were never killed or harmed at all. Sure the animatronics startled you a bunch, often very badly. But they never attacked you.
  • Jossed. They are very deadly.

     The Bite of ' 87 
Foxy was responsible for the Bite of '87
Not only does Foxy have the only sharp teeth among the animatronics, his state of disrepair would certainly be explained. Of course, this also makes the idea that the mechanisms are actually switched into free-roaming mode look like a paper-thin excuse on the part of the restaurant...
  • That would explain why the jaw was broken too, since you probably have to break it to get it off the head.
    • Except, have you seen a close up of Foxy's teeth? They're filed flat, meaning they're similar to the teeth of the Bond villain, Jaws. And as anybody has watched the Mythbusters episode knows, those teeth can only crush. I doubt the victim could have survived a crushed skull, and we definitely know the victim survived... without his or her frontal lobe.
  • Jossed, but you were close. It was Mangle.
    • Mangle is still Foxy.

The Bite of '87 was the result of a parent trying to drag their kid out of Fazbear.
The sight of adult carrying a child off to parts unknown triggered the haunted animatronic to flip out.
  • Jossed.

"Gold Freddy" was responsible for the bite of '87
Some have noted that he looks discolored from deterioration, maybe from being left in storage. It's possible that he was a character in his own right before the incident. The company may have Retconned his character out of existence to save face.
  • Confirmed. Fredbear in the fourth game is Golden Freddy. And he indeed caused the bite, albeit not on purpose.
    • Actually, no. Scott confirmed that FNaF 4 takes place in 1983.

The Bite of '87 was Foxy.
Building on an earlier WMG, Foxy isn't stationed in front of the back room, located behind the Show Stage; his primary maintenance area is in Pirate Cove. So once he'd learned the new maintenance procedure, he wasn't able to have another animatronic do it for him — he had to try and do it himself, despite having only one hand. So he attempted to disassemble the human with his hand and his teeth, there behind the curtain in Pirate Cove.

He was stopped, of course — that's why his jaw is broken and his chest ripped. And they'll stay that way, because if the humans stopped him from performing maintenance, it can only mean that Foxy is no longer permitted to receive maintenance. He'll perform maintenance on other robots, but he has been removed from the maintenance cycle; that's why there are no spare parts for him inside the back room. And his A.I. will never know otherwise, as the robots were taken out of "Free Roam" mode during the day after that.

  • Jossed. It was Mangle.
    • Mangle is still Foxy. The jaw and head from Mangle was used for Classic.

One of the Toys was responsible for the Bite
Which explains why they — the newer, more advanced, more expensive robots — were the ones scrapped instead of the outdated versions. One of them (maybe more than one of them) was the Biter, so to appease the public, the entire line-up was destroyed and the older, "safer" versions kept. Otherwise, it makes no sense to junk something that can detect criminals when your business is waist-deep in trouble because criminals like to hang out there and kill kids. Furthermore, members of the classic line-up were decommissioned at the time that the Bite happened. They were kept in the parts and service room away from the main part of the pizzeria, and even if Management didn't have them turned off in the day, they certainly wouldn't allow them to come out where the customers were, considering the torn-up, broken-down state the classics were all in. Most likely, the classics were locked in, and so it had to be one of the Toys who went out of control and bit someone.
  • Confirmed! It was their Foxy!

The Bite of '87 was caused by Bonnie.
Because he seems to be the one accused of it the least, so it'd be more shocking.
  • That WOULD explain why only Bonnie and Freddy appear during the hallucinations. Alternatively...
  • Jossed. It was Foxy.

The Bite of '87 was caused by Foxy's rampage.
He is the only animatronic that can move with or without being seen. See Markiplier's Let's Play.
  • Confirmed! It was Mangle, aka Toy Foxy.

Chica is responsible for the Bite of '87.
The two sets of teeth, her bib, and her poster are hints meant to point to her as the culprit.
  • Her bib does say "LET'S EAT!!!" Hey, she was working hard at that party and got hungry, all right?
  • Jossed.

Foxy was falsely accused.
Related to the above theory. Chica was responsible and Foxy had his attraction shut down because the corporation thought he was the least popular. Therefore he could get the blame, and Chica was with the Main 3. It makes sense somehow. And this is why Foxy is angry, his attraction got shut down and he did not do anything wrong. And his fur decayed.
  • Jossed.

The Bite of '87 actually did kill the child, or at least left them comatose.
To think about it, Phone Guy is the one who told you that "It's amazing that the human body can live without the frontal lobe", and from the rest of that very phone call and his other phone calls, he seems to be in some sort of denial about the true nature of the place. Who's to say that he's either lying and that it was fatal, or that the child wasn't dead but left comatose? As mentioned on the Nightmare Fuel page, a bite like that would likely have crushed the skull... while it's possible that the child survived, it's equally likely that they didn't.

Mangle was the perpetrator of the Bite
Noting a popular theory. Fans have noted that hers and Foxy's Jump Scares are different from the others in that they lunge at the player with their mouths open, apparently to bite him. Mangle looks to be the best candidate for the Biter because (as noted in the "Toys" WMG above) Foxy would not have been present at the party in the first place and the Toys getting scrapped suggests that one or more of them — not any of the classics — were involved in the incident. Eliminating the other prime suspect (Foxy) and all his friends (Freddy, Chica, Bonnie, and Golden Freddy) leaves the Toys (Toy Freddy, Toy Chica, Toy Bonnie, and Mangle) and their friends (Balloon Boy and Marionette) as the only ones who could've done it. Mangle is likeliest of remaining six because of her Jump Scare. It is also noteworthy that none of the animatronics had attacked in daylight before, and are not known to have ever attacked children, but that it makes sense that Mangle would do both (if the victim was indeed a child). Getting broken apart and then clumsily reconstructed by children who had no idea of what they were doing must have done a number on her AI, screwing up any safety precautions installed to keep her from harming children as well as any programming that kept the animatronics from attacking during the day. Assuming that being disassembled and reassembled everyday hurt her, she also had a motive for the attack — she had finally snapped and lashed out at the people who tormented her, on the last day that she'd be able to before the pizzeria shut down. Doing so resulted in her and her friends getting scrapped and probably recycled into spare parts for the retained animatronics. So because Mangle got routinely dis- and reassembled, she attacked someone, destroyed part of that person's brain, and was punished for it by getting permanently broken apart and stuck into any animatronic that needed another part.
  • I support this theory. Mangle seems to have some strange importance. It shuts down your game if you touch it in the 'Save Them' minigame, and makes a full appearance in FNAF 3, unlike the other Toys. And Mangle might not have even been a Phantom. And makes noise to attract Springtrap. Mangle really has it out for security guards and people in general.
  • Basically confirmed by now.

The Bite of '87 is exaggerated.

This area highlighted in blue is the frontal lobe of the brain. While the human body is remarkably resilient, and cases HAVE shown that human beings (especially children) CAN live without parts of their brain, to suggest that someone could survive the removal of such a large portion of their brain via a bite (that had to go through the skull, at that) is kind of like suggesting that someone could survive decapitation. It seems more likely that while an animatronic may have bitten someone, and it might have even caused skull and/or brain damage, the rest is the classic game of telephone, details getting slightly altered until they reach urban legend status. After all, how do you learn of this incident? Over a TELEPHONE.

  • Jossed.

The Bite was caused by... this... thing

2 seems to rule out Foxy, though Mangle is still a likely contender. But if any animatronic had teeth sharp enough to bite someone's frontal lobe off... has also had a bunch of 7s and 8s added into page titles and source codes following the upload of the new teaser.

  • Jossed.

The Bite of 87 caused the Bite of 87.

The Bite of '87 was innocent.

The Bite of 87 is a time lord
I think I went too far with this one.

The child who was bitten did survive, but was committed to a mental hospital not long after.
It's hard to imagine someone going through what that kid did and living a normal life, if he lived at all. Even if he was able to fully recover physically from the bite, which is very unlikely, the trauma of the incident coupled with years of abuse from his brother would cause any child to suffer severe mental breakdown.
  • It wasn't a child. But yeah, the victim survived.

The Crying Child in FNAF 4 WAS NOT the victim of the Bite of '87.
If you look at an easter egg on the TV during the minigames, the show Fredbear and Friends dates back to 1983, not '87. I don't think Scott did that to throw us off, I believe he did it intentionally, telling us what year we are actually in. Also, the child's head was smashed, not the frontal lobe. AND the child dies at the end of the game, whereas the victim of '87 survived.
  • Confirmed. Scott has said that the fourth game took place in 1983.

There were multiple Bites of '87.
With this pizzeria, would you honestly be surprised? They just covered up most of them, and employees like Phone Guy are only told one accident in 1987 happened so they have an idea of the dangers of the job while not coming off as completely negligent.
  • No evidence, so jossed.

The Bite of '87... didn't even happen in Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria.
To be honest, Phone Guy never said that the Bite of '87 took place in the very pizzeria. He only said that the animatronics can't free roam at day because of the event. It's entirely possible that the event actually happened in a different pizzeria, and the event affected other pizzerias, including Freddy's, by forcing them to disable daytime free roam.
  • Jossed.

     The Missing Children Incident 
The animatronics killed the children, not a man in a costume.
Given the general negligence of their company, it's likely that the deaths of the five children are more closely related to the animatronics than to any human input.
  • There don't seem to be any actual "costumes" in the work area; otherwise, being stuffed in one wouldn't be nearly as uncomfortable (and deadly). This puts a hole in the idea that someone could even wear such a thing.
  • The man that was arrested was nothing more than a scapegoat, someone the company considered disposable and easy to pin blame on. Try explaining to the mass public that your endearing characters were responsible for the deaths of five kids!
  • Your previous guard refers to "The Bite of '87" as having put the animatronics out of permanent free-range mode, which means that — at one point — they were allowed to roam the restaurant at will. Considering the maliciousness of their character toward you, it's not a far stretch to assume that their attitudes toward children aren't far off, either.
  • In the same recording, the employee reads through the company's liability policy, which includes their procedure on what they do should someone get caught by a robot. That procedure includes filing a missing persons report. Let's think about this; they already know exactly where you are if they know to clean their equipment and replace the bloody carpet, so why would they opt for filing a missing persons report? To hide their involvement. You aren't a victim; you're a face on a milk carton that they don't have to care about. This same logic would have applied to those five "missing" kids.
    • The terms also mention they have 90 days before they're obligated to file the missing persons report, and are free to do so only after replacing carpets and bleaching any mess. They're out to wash their hands of any liability completely.
  • This would also explain the appearance of blood and mucus in the animatronics post-disappearance, since this is definitely part of the animatronics' modus operandi.
  • Jossed.

Following the above WMG, they did it to get rid of Golden Freddy
The four originals worked together to kidnap and murder the children because Golden Freddy had been designed to replace Original Freddy; he and his friends didn't take kindly to that, so they had the Freddys change suits so that, unbeknownst to the actual Golden Freddy, Original Freddy could lure children away to abduct and, later, kill them while wearing Golden Freddy's suit to get him decommissioned. They framed a staff member they didn't like (possibly a night watchman who witnessed it happen) as the perpetrator; more importantly to them, they framed the Golden Freddy model as the costume that'd been used to do it. To make sure Original Freddy couldn't be replaced, they kept Golden Freddy's suit and endoskeleton separated, hiding the latter so that it couldn't be used (which is what the Endoskeleton in the sequel is — the original Golden Freddy, who doesn't attack you because he's too busy trying to find his suit). They succeeded in tarnishing Golden Freddy's reputation so thoroughly that he'd never be used, but then they were replaced anyway by the Toys. They got their second chance when the Bite of '87 happened at the jaws of one o2f the Toys, getting the whole new line-up scrapped and letting the original four return as the active mascots.
  • Jossed.

The murderer, aka the Purple Guy, is the suits' technician.
This theory assumes the following to be true, evidence of which can be found in Game Theory's videos on FNAF.
  • There have been a total of 3 locations tied to the Missing Children's incidents. The original location, Fredbear's Family Diner; the first Freddy Fazbear's Pizza location; and a second Freddy Fazbear's, which is seen in FNAF 2.
  • The first FF location was closed following the first incident, reopened in a 2nd location, only to be closed again and reopened back at the first FF location later on.
  • FNAF 1 occurs at the 1st FF locations after it was reopened, FNAF 2 occurs at the 2nd
  • The Cake minigame from FNAF 2 takes place at Fredbear's Diner and is the first such incident.

Back before the series began, there was a singular business called Fredbear's Family Diner, which boasted the use of an animatronic costume to entertain guests. Animatronics being complex, specialty hardware, the business likely had one regular technician who was familiar with the specific suits who could service them. One day, while off the clock and thus not expected to be at the location(as opposed to a normal employee who would be a Person of Interest automatically) the technician either abducted or murdered a small child. As it happened outside the location, the incident was never tied to the owners and thus the Fredbear name was never stigmatized.

Evidently, the Diner was successful enough to be bought out and re-branded, with the new company, Fazbear Entertainment keeping the same technician on. Having been there since the first location and being the person servicing the suits, the technician was aware of a few things. First, the location and nature of the safe room (being off limits and invisible to cameras and suits); second, how to operate the springtrap suits. After the springtrap suits failed, they were meant to be retired, but the phone message specifically mentions that they were being given to the technician to be stored somewhere, likely offsite. Instead, the technician used both of the suits to lure 5 children into the safe room and killed them, stuffing their bodies into the other suits for one important reason: since no one else knows how to repair the suits, and because they are already aware that the suits are potentially dangerous (to wit, springtrap) they wouldn't pull the suits apart to examine them, they would just call him instead. He was able to accomplish this by having access to a suit that he could wear outside of work, meaning he could walk through the doorway in costume and thus never be on the cameras while he worked.

While the children's bodies weren't discovered, the incident was enough bad press to close down the location. Being that he was only a contracted worker, the technician was likely never under suspicion by either the company or the police. The second location opens, rinse and repeat, another 5 children go missing. This time though, the killer is sloppy. The yellow suit he was using is discovered in the backroom of the first location. The company knows that they had disposed of the suit years ago, but wanting to avoid more bad press, they don't give it over to the police, sparing the technician from investigation in the process and sealing off the backroom.

After closing the second location and reopening back at the first one, the killer goes quiet. Now he's under scrutiny and he can't afford to go hunting like he used to. Then, one day he's informed that the bad press has become too bad and the business is no longer viable. The whole chain is shutting down and the building will be either sold or demolished. Realizing that one of the suits he used, the yellow springtrap Bonnie suit is still in the sealed room of the first location, he returns after hours to dispose of it before it can see the light of day and thus incriminate him or possibly retrieving it so he could go hunting somewhere else. The animatronics come for him, but being familiar with their design they pose no threat to him and he disables them whereas the Phone Guy and the Night Guards couldn't. He only dies when he overestimate his knowledge of the suits, dying in the springtrap one because of its disrepair and his alarmed state.

  • You had many things right, actually.

The murders took place in the kitchen
It's the only place with no camera active, after all. And on that thought, this may be a good thing.
  • It could also be the place where Golden Freddy hides.
  • Jossed.

The person who killed the children was in the Golden Freddy suit.
Of all the animatronics, the only one that doesn't visibly move or have an endoskeleton is Golden Freddy. It's possible that this one was modified by the murderer. Add to the fact that the Freddy's management doesn't even acknowledge the existence of Golden Freddy, and it makes a bit more sense than you'd think.
  • The way Golden Freddy slumps does seem to suggest it's missing the animatronic guts a generic endoskeleton would connect to. Additionally, look at its color. Gold could easily be faded brown. If the murderer did kill/hide the children by stuffing them into animatronics, his suit would have gotten covered in blood too, most of it on the outside. Phone guy mentions the management at Freddy's is fond of bleaching bloodstains before they report anything.
  • Jossed.

Mike is either the sole survivor of the kids that got murdered or a friend who didn't go in the back with them.
And he came back after all these years to investigate and maybe try to save the souls of his friends trapped in the restaurant, which is why he keeps coming back night after night.
  • If we go with "sole survivor": his friends got shoved into the four normal suits. The killer was planning to shove Mike into Golden Freddy, but Mike hurt or fatally wounded him by shoving him at the suit instead and running away. The police assumed that the blood on the suit was Mike's and that he had died with the others, and Mike were so traumatized that he never told them he was still alive. (As for family: either he was an orphan anyway, or he hid with relatives and they and his parents agreed to pretend he was dead out of fear the killer would go after him again.)
    • Alternatively Mike did go to the police and tell them everything, and to protect him, his family was placed under witness protection.
  • Jossed, but his brother was friends with the kids.

Both the killer and the kids are haunting the restaurant.
The killer is either forcibly controlling the kids or has brainwashed them into seeing humans as endoskeletons, making them kill for his own sick amusement.
  • Jossed.

The kids were killed by a woman. The man was falsely accused. She also haunts the Golden Freddy suit.
The giggle you hear when you activate/'summon' Golden Freddy? A GIRL'S giggle...
  • Sounds like a young girl, too. Maybe the potentially unaccounted-fornote  fifth "missing child" was the murderer, not a victim...
  • Jossed.

One of the dead kids is/was Mike's little sister/brother.
And he saw the whole thing. He now blames himself. This also explains why he took the job. He knew, he tried seeking death. He's just too damn lucky to have survived.
  • For a bonus, they were stuffed into Chica.
  • Jossed, but Mike still has a dead brother.

The "IT'S ME!" messages are from the ghosts of the murdered children.
Due to being killed from being forcefully shoved inside an iron maiden-style suit, the ghosts of the children still linger in the "bodies" of the characters. The "IT'S ME!" messages that are seen throughout the game are the ghosts of the children trying to tell their parents of their fate through the only way they can.
  • Confirmed.

Neither the murderer nor the robots killed all five children.
The child-killer was caught the morning after his two kills in the mascot costume, making it highly unlikely (if not downright impossible) for him to have killed three more children. Instead, the robots continued the killings for him.
  • Jossed. The killer killed all of them.

The five kids were murdered by the pizzeria's owner
We know VERY VERY little about the actual person caught; hell, we don't even know if he was sentenced or if he was even the real killer! Now look at the store owner. Throughout this page we have tons of theories as to why the illogical parts of the game become logical like why the security guard keeps coming back. What we don't have is a reasonable reason to the owner's actions except this...He was the true murderer of the kids! He had access to all the rooms and suits, he would fire the player for tampering with the robots because he was afraid he might have messed with them internally and could have seen the bodies inside, and he refuses to throw them out or destroy them because others might come across the remains and find traces of human inside. This was all to cover up his crime!

  • Jossed, but you were close: It was the co-owner.

The murderer hacked the animatronics to do his dirty work for him
The kids were supposedly lured to their deaths using a Freddy costume, when the costumes used by the animatronics are supposedly unwearable by the average human, and someone could reasonably have caught on to a fake costume, since I'd imagine there to be at least some difficulty in replicating any of the animatronics' costumes exactly. If Freddy himself had lured them, on the other hand, they'd probably be fooled. But there's no indication that the animatronics were malicious before the murders happened (barring the Bite of '87 happening before then, and that in itself could reasonably have been an accident, eg. someone looking down Foxy's throat as he was speaking), so there's not much reason to assume that Freddy or any of the others were consciously trying to kill anyone. If they'd been hacked into doing such, it'd explain why they would do any such thing whilst having no motives of their own. It'd also explain why the management fires Mike and Fritz for tampering with the animatronics no matter what AI level they set the robots to; Management can't be certain Mike and Fritz didn't do something that could ruin the animatronics even further when they're already only a month from going under.
  • Jossed.

The murderer wanted to exploit life-giving properties in metal For Science! and went about as far as one would expect
The call on the fifth night, when played backwards, supposedly sounds like an excerpt from Autobiography of a Yogi, specifically a passage where the titular yogi argues that metal has a life force. We never did get an explanation as to the call itself why the murders happened, but given The Law of Conservation of Detail, it wouldn't be out of the question for those two things to be related. Perhaps the murderer had been searching for ways to bring out and take advantage of the suspected properties of life in metal and metallic constructs, thinking he needed a way to temper it, strengthen these properties, and concluded that hardship and perhaps tragedy might be what he needed to ignite the living elixir.

The Murderer planned out the murder and knew about robotics.
Now, this is no ordinary person if he can pull off a murder like that. What the Murderer did was use what he knew about engineering and robotics to figure out how the robots work. When he murdered the children, he used a recording device to record their screams of terror as he was about to finish the deed. After stuffing the children in the robots, he fiddled with the robots' programming and functioning, and replaced the robots' voice boxes with the recording of the children's screams.

There were many more than five children killed
During the second game's death mini-games we're shown several incidents of children being approached/killed by the Purple Man. There's no possible way all those scenarios could be the same incident, they simply don't sync up, so instead they must be multiple incidents that the owners either covered up or didn't notice. This is why the animatronics become increasingly hostile to adults. The final straw is when the Golden Freddy suit is stolen and used to murder the five children in the backroom, as this happens both in the store and likely in front of them the animatronics go insane afterward. After that the animatronics/restaurant becomes haunted and the security guards suddenly need an enclosed space with heavy metal power sealed doors to protect themselves. I believe it was mentioned that the suit was stolen by a former employee, and with the killings happening without the guards stopping it the animatronics may very well consider all guards responsible.
  • Confirmed.

Classic Chica was the "yellow suit" used in the murders
Phone Guy tells you on Night 6 of the second game that the company "had a spare in the back, a yellow one, someone used it," which, given other clues, implies that the yellow suit in question had been worn by the Murderer when killing his victims. (Or, if you're into the theory that the animatronics themselves committed the murders, the yellow "suit" was really an animatronic participating in the murders who got linked to the crime, with people assuming that it had been hollowed out and worn by a human murderer because the characters couldn't just come to life and start killing people!) While it seems likeliest that Golden Freddy was the suit in question, Classic Chica and Toy Chica are also yellow suits. We don't know where Golden Freddy was kept. We do know that Toy Chica was kept upfront, on-stage, and that Classic Chica was kept in the Parts and Services room, i.e. a "spare in the back", which would make Classic Chica the only animatronic who fits the information given.
  • Jossed.

The Reason the Company's so used to covering Murders with missing person's reports is they found the children's bodies since.
This is why they're so used to the practice of covering up the murders of guards. and standard procedure is that a missing person's report is filed. also why the kids bodies were never officially found. if the animatronics go back stage for repairs (hence the game over screen in the first game) the bodies assuredly would have been discovered during an ensuing tune-up. the reason they didn't report it to the authorities/families is it would have caused even more financial/PR trouble for the already floundering company. so instead the children were disposed of elsewhere in secret. the blood and mucus and smell are manifestations of the ghosts as they try to get help.

The Killer committed suicide and haunts the area
There's no mention of the killer being caught, something which would have saved the restaurant some PR damage so I suggest that after his big moment of killing the five kids in the Golden Freddy suit he killed himself as well. His soul lingers toying with the spirits of the children he killed whom are now trapped in the bodies of the animatronics thanks to the Marionette. Furthermore the killer keeps possessing the Night Guard, attracting the other animatronics to come and attack them, making them see and hear things that aren't actually there, and the Golden Freddy appearances are the Killer trying to take control of the Guard's body. If they stare at Golden Freddy too long the Killer wins and takes over their body. You'll also notice that Golden Freddy does not appear in the prequel until after the murders have taken place.

This explains the wording in the teaser trailer for the third game. He always haunt whomever is hired to be the night guard and with the new attraction he'll be back again. They have a place for him....they've been trying to shove him into suits for years to finally end everything but instead just kill the guards he's possessing.

  • Actually, someone was caught, a long time ago (the first article outright says it). But then, going by the death minigames that certainly wasn't the only incident that went down at that location.
  • Jossed.

The Mascots' technology has gone screwy.

The mascots in the sequel - which include the mascots from Freddy's 1 - have criminal recognition systems. Now, what if those systems developed a fault or error or went screwy as technology sometimes does? This would explain why they attack you. A criminal has brown hair, brown eyes, a moustache and a bear/goatee. On a functioning system, the mascots would be able to tell the different between two people who look similar, but are definitely different. If their technology goes screwy or develops a fault or error then they'd only recognise "Brown hair, brown eyes, moustache, beard/goatee = criminal." Thus, anyone with that look would, to the mascots, be a criminal. Now - add in dead children and another person added to their database. What happens if you look like the murderer? The mascots come for you thinking they're carrying out their programming when, in all actuality, they've just glitched. It would explain all the twitching, after all!

  • Jossed, they are possessed.

The killer was simply a Child Hater, or a serial child murderer/molester.
Purple Guy worked at Freddy Fazbear's simply for the money back in 1987, but the children irritated him. Fed up with the crying, sticky fingers, and screaming, he murdered (and possibly molested) the children out of spite, using the beloved Freddy Fazbear characters as bait, before covering his tracks and leaving town. The "Bite of '87" and "advanced A.I." were cover-ups by the Fazbear Company, concocted to explain the odd behavior of the 'bots afterwards. In reality, the 'bots were haunted by the childrens' ghosts, angry, confused, and trying to find their killer. Eventually, Purple Guy returned, either out of guilt, or to revel in his kill all over again, only for the ghosts of the children to get their revenge. As Scott, the developer, is a devout Christian, as well as a dad, so the fire at the end symbolizes Purple Guy going to Hell for what he did to the innocent kids.

Freddy's and Golden Freddy's ghosts are related in some way.
Freddy's laugh is a slowed and pitched-down version of Golden Freddy's laugh. It could just be to show that Golden Freddy is just a, well Golden Freddy, but I think i relates more to the children. They could be siblings or cousins, but I don't know. I won't mention Bonnie's and Chica's groans, because the laughs are a different situation. It's not like a groan is that unique, or at least in my opinion, in a game.
  • Jossed.

Purple Guy's posture will play a major part on uncovering the murderer's identity.
If you pay close attention to both Purple Guy's sprites and Springtrap, you'll notice that, most of the time, Purple Guy is being portrayed as having characteristic issues with his posture. Most of his sprite appearances, for instance, depict his head as titled forwards in relation to his body, which suggests he might have a kyphotic spine. When looked at on certain positions (mostly his profile), Springtrap also hunches slightly. Not only that, but Springtrap seems to place his weight mostly on his right foot, which might point towards Purple Guy suffering from scoliosis. So far, Purple Guy has been portrayed as having a distinctive posture, if not as being peculiarly deformed, and will most likely be one of the more subtle hints thrown that will ultimately lead to Purple Guy's true identity.

Purple Guy wanted the animatronics to be haunted.
It was part of his Mad Scientist scheme; to find how to grant people virtual immortality through Haunted Technology. He'd be just as willing to target anyone for this, but as part of a pizzeria he found children as the easiest target. Child murder is justified in his mind since he's trying to overcome death, and looking Metaphorically True, the kids don't die. Becoming Springtrap is even more karmic, since he gets a first hand experience to just how wrong he is about his "immortality" being a good thing.

The kids possess their favorite animatronic.
A Forced Transformation situation; their souls decided to possess bodies they'd felt the most comfortable in. The Marionette may have done this as an act of kindness.

     The Fazbear Company 
The company isn't actually hiring you.
In a digital age the restaurant, possibly a Genius Loci (see above) could contact people over the internet, offer jobs to them and speak to them over the phone or email (on the 5th night it is demonstrated that the restaurant can replicate a voice of some kind) and may perform payment through other intermediaries. The restaurant may be getting money from privately selling objects associated with it that no one will immediately miss (explaining why the guard gets paid so little, it doesn't have much money to work with), or is somehow transferring funds out of the company bank accounts (maybe members of the company had secret accounts to hide stolen cash). Gives the phrase "see you next week" a new meaning doesn't it?
  • It is also possible that the game does not take place in the present day; you're told a date (Friday, September 13) at the end of the game, but not a year. All you know is that it takes place after 1987.
    • This is basically a fact, dude.

The company DID try to fix the animatronics.
Many have declared Fazbear Entertainment to either be monumentally stupid, incompetant, or outright malicious for not fixing the animatronics' homicidal behavior. Problem is, the animatronics are Haunted Technology, so there was nothing that they could fix, since the problem extended way beyond mere "glitches in programing".

The restaurant's closure will not be the end.
So the restaurant goes out of business? Chances are that the sequel will have them re-open under new management...

The secret ingredient in the pizza is the remains of people killed by the animatronics!
Think about it! Why else would they let it continue? FREDDY FAZBEAR'S PIZZA IS PEOPLE!

The pizza joint might be dealing with cannibalism.
The eyes and mouths of the animatronics have welled up with mucus in the past, suggesting they've got organic bits still remaining amongst the endoskeleton. And when you get stuffed inside a Fazzbear suit and gored seemingly, all that's left are the eyes and teeth with maybe traces of the brain thanks to the optic nerves still being there. The rest of you is gone, even between the bits of the suit; all that's left is a clean endoskeleton. So where's the excess going? Possibly to the kitchen. The same kitchen that you can't view on the cameras, only hear audio from. The same kitchen that not only cooks the pizzas and meals for the place, obviously, but also tends to have Chica eating in it during the night.

The owners are slaves to Freddy and appease him by sacrificing people
There has to be a reason why the owners haven't closed the place down yet. If they were homicidal maniacs, then they would've killed the player character to keep him from exposing their secret to the world instead of just firing him. The owners must've realized that if the place closes down, then Freddy and friends will break out and rampage through the city. They're appeasing Freddy by offering him weekly sacrificial security guards and are forced to fire the player character because he's ruining their sacrifice schedule and Freddy is getting pissed.

So in a way, the restaurant closing by the end of the year is probably the worst possible thing that can happen because they won't be able to find human sacrifices to appease Freddy.

  • Jossed. They are just corrupt fucks.

The owners of Freddy Fazbear's aren't evil nor are they incompetent.
In fact, they are the good guys. Consider: Freddy Fazbear's is a moderately successful pizzeria for kids. The child murders happened, there was a big scandal concerning the place, rumors fly around giving it a bad name, haunted reputation, and decreased revenue. The bite happens and further adds fuel to the flames and cuts revenue even more. Now the owners of Freddy's are in dire financial straits, so they can't afford even the basic amenities as much. They must cut costs and they put their livelihoods into keeping Fazbear's alive, not because they believe in it, because they must keep Freddy from escaping. They KNOW that Freddy and his friends are possessed. They KNOW that he will kill people. The 'guard as bait' play isn't a perfect solution, hell, it's not even a decent one, but its the only way that they can stop Freddy and his band of freaks from harming dozens more. For years, they put up with mysterious disappearances, bloody carpets, horrific accidents, missing persons, horrible rumors, and negative press to be the last line of defense keeping the possessed robots from going on a murderous rampage. But finally, the pressure is too much. Freddy Fazbear's is closing down for good under the severe financial strain. They have failed in their mission. One day soon, Freddy will be free and the reign of terror will begin.
  • This doesn't explain why they don't just scrap the robots. It seems like it'd be pretty easy to do.
    • Maybe they tried before and failed. Or were too afraid that letting them outside the restaurant would only allow them to get free. Besides, would YOU go anywhere near those things if you knew they were liable to come to life at any moment and try to kill you? Besides, the animatronics are really expensive. They couldn't possibly have the funds to replace them AND keep Freddy and pals from hurting people.
    • As for the option of not having animatronics at all, given the fact that they went through all the effort to allow them to walk around the building under their own power, it seems like the place has staked a large amount of its identity on them, and that would go to waste if they were scrapped, even if they were to save as much money as possible by removing all the uncomfortable metal parts from the suits and just having employees wear them to portray the characters.
      • Given the Serial Killer that killed those five kids wore a Freddy outfit, they most likely hit on the idea of the animatronics to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. Though one would think they would implement screening of potential employees instead, but given the management's general track record...yeah.
  • Jossed, they are corrupt.

The only reason the restaurant needs a security guard is to conform to industry standards.
As one blogger says, the industry standards require some level of security to monitor the animatronics, but this was made unnecessary with the murderous nature of Freddy and friends. However, without at least one security guard being hired, the company runs the risk of not standing up to those standards, so they keep the position around as cheaply as possible.

Freddy's a government experiment gone wrong
Freddy's was a front for robot technology and experimentation; the government would create new animatronics, then plant them into nice, kid-friendly costumes and let them entertain kids to make a profit and do more robot experiments. Things were great until the robots started bugging out, starting in 1987. Although the Bite of '87 was a setback, it didn't hamper the government's work too much. But when one of the robots murdered five children in cold blood, the program was shut down and Freddy's is in a state of decay. Now the robots wander Freddy's at night, waiting to kill any human they can. And one day, there will be no people at night for the robots to kill themselves...
  • Jossed.

The management programmed the animatronics to kill you.
Freddy's management is absurdly cheap, and with good reason to be, since they're going out of business. However, they are forced to hire a security guard to comply with regulations. Their way around this involves killing off their security guard before he finishes his first week so that they don't have to pay him, then filing a missing persons report and hiring a new guard to repeat the process. If you survive the week, you get paid a pathetic amount, which is intended to discourage you from coming back next week. Completing Night 7 gets you fired for tampering with the animatronics, which is just them reaching for any excuse they can find to get rid of you, since it's obvious that you aren't going away at that point (especially if you did it on 4/20 mode). Phone Guy is aware of this, and the reason he downplays the danger, gives you tips on how to survive, and encourages you not to quit is because he wants to stick it to the management. It's also why he himself stuck around for so long.

  • Jossed.

The owners are deliberately trying to get the security guards killed.
Considering they're on the verge of going out of business and are cutting costs where they can, the fact that the guards have so few resources at their disposal to fend off the robots is so that the owners can guarantee they won't have to pay them at the end of the week.

Fazbear Entertainment, Fazbear R&D, or some other relevant Fazgroup know about the animatronics' behavior, and use a failing low-key location to test current models and see what can be improved.
They would have taken notice of Foxy's errant behavior and the various advantages his lack of heavy, fluffy pads provide him, and implemented such elements into the next set of animatronics, leading to a more compact, unobstructed design. A more compressed Freddy (as shown by the endoskeleton) with the grooved elements of the previous Foxy has already been teased.

The new management doesn't care about Freddy Fazbear's lore
As in, they don't care about what Freddy and Co.'s personalities, appearances, and even genders are. They didn't bother studying it, and are throwing canon out the window in favor for whatever they want. Which is why new Bonnie looks like a woman: she is, while old Bonnie is a man.
  • With info like that, the inevitable new Chica clone is probably gonna be a duck.
  • Either the management is more stupid than the last one we had, or they are a big corporation with so much money that they can't even bother about those minute details. With each teaser being thrown at us, this is turning more and more likely; the newest one hints to another gender change at one of our old pals.
  • Or, they are trying to rebrand the place as much as possible. Considering the reason the public stopped coming was the animatronics bleeding, the Bite of '87 and the murders, the best way to gain the public again would be to replace the old animatronics.
  • They did pretty good when they switched from "Freddy Fazbear's Family Diner" to "Freddy Fazbear's Family Pizza". Like retconning out the puppet. I don't think anyone was sad to see him go. Although I wish they could have replaced First Mate Vixie. She never was the same after that 3-D puzzle nonsense...
    • You think what they did to Vixi was bad? Look at Whiterabbit Teaches Typing, for god's sake! Jeez, that game was bad, and it didn't teach me shit! At least Redbear's Great Quest was okay and it referenced the nickname Vixi got as "The Tangle".
  • Jossed.

The new management caused the earlier incidents as the first step of something bigger.
Some occultist maniac could have sabotaged the business intending to use it for even darker purposes, buying the building and everything in it for dirt cheap upon or just before bankruptcy.

Fazbear Entertainment is actually a false front for a secret Chinese military project.
The animatronics are all military androids. China uses Freddy Fazbear's Pizza as a testing ground, and the security guards are test dummies. Eventually, if all goes right, China will unleash the animatronics upon the United States in a surprise invasion from within. The animatronics wear skins to look unassuming, and operate as pizzerias during the day so they don't arouse suspicion. The Chinese got this technology from a crashed alien spacecraft.
  • Leading to the creation of the American State of China, which was made into Illea by Gregory Illea, thus leading to The Selection (Please forgive me, I couldn't resist doing this!)

The pizzeria is being investigated by police in the first game and that working there is risky is known to the public
Phone Guy's third message implies that most people hired for the night shift as security guard dying on or before Night 2, meaning that multiple people have been hired for the job and then killed within two days of working that job at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. There's a company policy on how to handle deaths: disposing of the remains, cleaning up, and only then filing a Missing Person's. There can only be a policy in place if such an incident has occurred before, regularly enough that they have to make up a rule about it. All that must mean that Freddy's Pizza is under scrutiny by the police; after all, they've gotta notice that these missing people went missing a night or two after reporting to their new job (the same job every time, in fact) at Freddy's. Knowing this, Freddy's has to put a disclaimer in its Help Wanted ad for legal reasons, since, while it makes them look more suspicious than ever, it can help them when they get brought to court by showing that the people who got the job knew the risks and therefore the company isn't to blame. Coupled with Freddy's already shady past... yeah, not looking good for Freddy's. The police and/or word of mouth makes it known to the public that the job as night watchman there almost certainly spells death, which drives away most customers, which is why the place looks so seedy and the budget and your pay are so low — they are getting next to no business. Mike heard the rumors when he took on the job, and was possibly motivated to take on the job because of said rumors, making him either a risk-taker or someone trying to get to the bottom of things. Regardless, the pizzeria is shutting down soon.

Fazbear Entertainment has been intentionally killing people by the hundreds for years
That's why they hire new security guards all the time. Freddy Fazbear's Pizza has been speculated before to be in a scummy part of town. They could just be hiring homeless people and crack junkies off the streets. Seriously, hundreds of security guards disappearing? There's no way they could get away with that. The Purple Guy isn't killing children just because he's a psychopath. He's killing children because that's part of his job. As for why they're killing people? Well, we know the animatronics stuff people inside suits. This could actually be the process Fazbear Entertainment uses to make the animatronics. Killing people = More parts for the animatronics = More animatronic entertainment during the day = Money, money, money.
  • Jossed.

No security guards have actually died since just before the Fazbear Company moved to the "Toy" location.
Consider that Phone Guy references cleaning/changing carpets as part of their clean-up after a guard dies, yet there are no carpets at either location. Second, at the Toy location they moved to in '87, they go through only three to four guards, all of which we hear about or play as. The very first guard is only there for a week or so before being moved to the Day Shift, then Jeremy takes over and Phone Guy says that he's "only the second guard to work at that location". After Jeremy is likewise brought to the Day Shift it's Fritz, who is fired after one day and either the place is shut down or Phone Guy takes over, because he says he will. Fritz and Phone Guy can't be the same person because Fritz is fired, but Fritz can be the original Night Guard, brought on for one last night as an emergency while Jeremy and Phone Guy are questioned by the police about the Bite of '87. Fritz tampers with the AI because he knows the animatronics will go after him like they did before. Phone Guy takes over the post after Fritz, assuming the place isn't shut down immediately. When they go back to the old location where the first game takes place, Phone Guy is still on Night Shift from when he was put there in '87.

Fazbear Entertainment's Core.
Contrary to popular belief, the chain doesn't feature Freddy Fazbear as its central character. Rather, it features the Fazbear FAMILY as its central character. Every individual restaurant has a separate set of supporting cast that revolves around a member of the fictional Fazbear 'family'. Freddy is one of them. Thus the company is Fazbear Entertainment. Each restaurant is named after the Fazbear character heralding it.

Alternatively, Fazbear is the owner's surname.
Much like how Fredbear was theorized to be the original owner's name.

The company didn't go bankrupt from not getting enough patrons.
The Pizzeria is heavily implied to be an extremely popular joint, so it's unlikely that's not what cause the bankruptcy. No; what caused it was spending too much money on new replacements for the animatronics that never, ever got to be used to take care of the complaints people were giving about the animatronics smelling and leaking fluids. Unfortunately, they were commissioned and took too long to make, forcing the company into bankruptcy. This is also why you get paid so little for the job; Mike agreed to take a pay cut to get paid better once the new animatronics arrived, despite the illegality of it. His willingness to take a pay cut is also why they never told Mike about the deadly animatronics (assuming they know the animatronics are behind it all). They probably don't spend a lot of money on cleaning, since there's no carpets to replace, so it can't be that unless they use very expensive cleaning supplies to dispose of the bodies (assuming there even have been bodies). So, something else had to cause their going out of business, this being replacement animatronics (assuming these animatronics wouldn't go on the wonk like the toy ones did).

The owner has an arrangement with the local organized crime outfit.

Several of the many problems the owner has:

  1. The owner would need help to clean up after a guard's murder and dispose of the body, as it isn't something one person can do alone. It wouldn't be smart to have the staff help, since there'd be likely to quit and/or call the police if told "if the night guard is ever found dead and mutilated you'll have to help cover it up". So how does he get help?
  2. Most guards would quit after the first night.
  3. Regardless of the guard quitting or dying, how would they, over and over, keep getting replacement security guards on less that 24 hours notice when the pay is so abysmal?

The solution to all this is organized crime (let's say the mafia). When someone in debt to the mafia can't pay them back, they're told to work at Freddy's, *or else*. Even after finding out about the danger, the guards consider it to be safer than trying to run from the mafia. They keep working there until killed, then the mafia cleans up the murder scene and dumps the mutilated corpse somewhere noticeable. The police treat it as another mafia murder, and anyone dealing with the mafia takes it as a warning not to mess with them. The management's claim that they'll file a missing person report is a lie to keep the guards from figuring out what's going on.

  • Jossed.

The company is obscenely wealthy and/or has major political influence.
It'd certainly at least try to explain how a company so lacking in common sense was able to last as long as it did; they either have the bills to get away with this shit or the leverage to cover up flagrant OSHA violations like this.
  • Possibly confirmed, given the outstanding amounts of money the Pizzaplex in Security Breach must've cost them to build.

     Crossover Ideas 
the game takes place before Danny Phantom

The Puppet is Isaac
From The Binding of Isaac, following the next-to-last ending showing he ran away from home. In this scenario: Issac ran away, and being hungry, wandered by FredBear's Family Diner, crying outside seeing everyone inside getting fed. Then, murdered by the Purple Guy, his soul began to inhabit the Puppet. This explains his perpetually crying design and also why he was alone outside, easy prey for the serial killer's first strike. Isaac's anger at religion would also explain why he didn't pass on to the afterlife and his underdeveloped social interaction would explain why he thought that putting the other murdered children into the animatronics would be beneficial.
  • Or a crossover could happen if the child protagonist in 4 was Issac. Both have pretty bad nightmares chasing after them, horrifying traumas. Heck, you only see Isaac's mother in his game and the child's father in the other. Perhaps a terrible divorce? And maybe what got Isaac's mother so religious is because of knowing of the horrible secret behind the animatronics, and is trying to sanctify and kill him before his birthday party, dismissing it as "a voice told me to do so". She couldn't simply cancel the party because if it was during the time Isaac would be spending with dad. Her death could be fredbear-aided.

The whole thing is an SCP Foundation Spinoff.
As explained here.

Five Nights at Freddy's is a reimagining of Pac-Man.
Think about it, there are four enemies (ghosts vs animatronics), they all leave from the same spot (ghost house vs stage), the map is roughly symmetrical, and each enemy has its own personality. In the original Pac-Man, each ghost had different programming, much like the animatronics in FNaF. You can even draw parallels between Foxy and Clyde, as they both stay inside the "ghost house" and don't bother you as much as the other enemies.

Five Nights exists in the Onion Universe
The blatant negligence is very reminiscent of the producers of Sex House. Also, half of the jokes are very onion-esque (being paid below minimum wage for a deadly job, with 50 cents as overtime).

Freddy's Takes place in the Team Fortress 2 Universe and is owned by Mann Co.

Sonic.exe was behind this
To control the world, Sonic.exe.had to start somewhere somehow, so he used a legitmate pizzeria by corrupting the animatronics as murderers, all as a starting point.

Related to the above theory, Five Night's takes place in the Titanfall or RoboCop universe
Look at Foxy, he has the exact same legs as the Stryder from Titanfall. Also. Freddy is the Ogre, and Bonnie is the Atlas. Chica is an as yet unannounced model. All of the characters are unmanned smaller versions of the original Titanfall Mechs. Alternatively, the game takes place in the RoboCop universe. And that Omni Consumer Products owns the animatronics. Look at the bite of 87. It is exactly similar to the incident where Mr. Kinney is killed by ED-209 in the first RoboCop. Therefore the game may take place in the Titanfall or RoboCop universe.

Freddy's is located in Night Vale.
Think about it. Why the hell would anyone want to work there? Usually places like this shut down within days of ONE accident, let alone five murders. Sure, its reputation isn't good, but it's not like weirder things haven't happened in that town.

The Fazbear company is run by yet another alternate-universe Cave Johnson.
Really, it's one of the only ways to explain some of the decisions the company makes.

Freddy's is owned by Delos.
It's all there - killer animatronics, really terribly designed security doors (although they clearly learned their lesson about those, but went too far in the opposite direction)...

The killer is possessing the animatronics, and his true identity is Yoshikage Kira.
He killed the children because, in a paranoid fit, he thought they'd discovered his identity. Then, years later, he was dragged physically into the alleyway by the souls of the departed, but his soul survived and escaped into the restaurant. He only tries to kill during the night because that's the only time he's alone with someone — someone smart enough and paying enough attention to perhaps discover his identity.

Fazbear Entertainment is run by Dr. Eggman.
A mad scientist out to conquer the world has to make money somehow, so why not use income from a perfectly legitimate pizzeria? He had some old unfinished Badnik shells lying around, may as well repurpose them as animatronics... except he "accidentally" left in the systems that activate the Badnik's programming upon having a lifeform stuffed into them. Like, say, human children. But it doesn't stop there — he knows how to catch ghosts as proven in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, so he designed these Badniks to use ghosts as their battery — and when you make the robots harmless, you're releasing the ghosts from their torment. Maybe Eggman was planning to use the pizzeria as a hedgehog trap, and fires you in the end for foiling that plan.
  • Eggman already created something that was meant to be cute but unintentionally invoked Uncanny Valley (TailsDoll) and was never seen again. Eggman could have initially used the Creepypasta version of Tails Doll as a basis for the design of Freddy, Bonnie, Foxy, Chica, and especially Golden Freddy. When you think about it, this would not be so far-fetched, as the creepy part is that Golden Freddy resembles Tails Doll in that depiction (look up the first picture created of him from the old TailsDoll creepypasta myths and tell me that both of their postures and their dead eyes do not look similar. The fact that Golden Freddy is actively driving Mike insane before he kills him can be comparable as well). If Tails Doll exists in this universe, it would not be too surprising that Eggman would be sick enough to create killer robots under the guise of children's entertainer bots to kill and even use these bots to build out of these people's corpses. This would explain why the management (Eggman) would keep hiring guards; he is just feeding more people to the machines to create an army out of child killer robots as a follow-up of Tails Doll. The initial 5 child murders can be explained to be TailsDoll himself or Eggman starting the process as a test, the Bite of '87 can be one of the Frankenstein robots initiating its corpse harvest programming at a inappropriate time, or why the Phone Guy is so insistent in making sure you survive (So you can warn G.U.N and Sonic to destroy the army at a moment's notice).

The owners are trying to accumulate enough human souls in the spare Freddy costume to create a Philosopher's Stone.
This explains why they like to cycle through security guards so quickly, they need a lot of souls. The animatronics might be animated via blood seal, too.

Freddy Fazbear's Pizza is a Witch's barrier.
Alternative theory: the specific witch is Madoka's on an extremely smaller scale. The familiars are meant to represent Madoka's friends.
Bonnie & Chica: Mami and Kyoko. Bonnie can take her head off. Chica hoards pizza, which symbolizes the massive amount of Grief Seeds that Kyoko amassed. The reason these two work together is because they already knew each other (Oriko Magica).
Foxy: Hitomi. Hitomi is the only one that doesn't contract, thus foxy being "out of order". If you've seen episode 12, you see Hitomi peeking from behind a curtain. The reason she moves so fast is because she was always chasing after Kyosuke, along with Sayaka, and beat her to him. Foxy bangs on the doors because "Hitomi" thinks Kyosuke is in there.
Freddy: Sayaka. Musical motif, sneaky, and plays music before she attacks. Sound familiar?Gold!Freddy: Homura. Unnoticeable, can teleport in with both doors closed, representing her time stop ability, and you have a split second to react before she kills you.
Mike: Madoka, Homura, or possibly Kyousuke.
The animatronics were made by Dr. Weird.
Idea shamelessly copied from this comic by crisis-omega.

Five Nights At Freddy's takes place in the GHS universe.
If not, it'd be a really cool fanart idea.

Giygas is the one controlling the animatronics.
They move on their own and attack people for no apparent reason because they’re controlled by his PSI powers.
Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE

Five Nights at Freddy's, Wreck-It Ralph, and Toy Story all take place in the same universe.
All three works involve things that children enjoy coming to life and interacting with each other. They also seem to follow the same rules, but those rules seem more like an honor system rather than hard and fast rules. Mainly don't move unexpectedly under the human's watch. Though Woody has broken the rule before, along with the broken toys. The only animatronic that breaks that rule is Foxy. And there seems to be no punishments either way.

The problem here is the animatronics have gone insane. Lotso and Turbo caused heavy amounts of damage to those they could affect. The problem for them is due to their circumstances, their damage was limited. The animatronics don't have that limit due to being human-sized. It wouldn't be out of reason to assume had he not been a strawberry colored stuffed bear not even a foot tall, Lotso would have gone on a killing spree. Turbo was sociopathic and narcissistic. He certainly would kill humans if he was able to.

Which all brings to question, if they thought they could, would the arcade games and the prizes have tried to help out? Did they try to help the humans in the past? Imagine looking at the top ten score table and seeing "GET OUT PLZ NOW _OR YOU WLL DIE !!! !!!" All to no avail.

The animatronics are Dalek androids.
One of the simplest answers to why the animatronics are homicidal.

Freddy Fazbear's is owned by the Umbrella Corporation
.Because who else would create clearly evil animatronics? It makes more sense that they would intentionally program the animatronics to try to kill people, they made these as weapons before creating the T-Virus. The reason why they're said to smell terribly is because they were constantly around the other B.O.W's in Umbrella's stocks. When somebody realized that weaponized animatronics was a silly idea, they quickly made a fake company to found the pizza chain as a way to house the robots. Makes more sense than half the shit they've done in the past.

Also, it explains how Phone Guy was able to return. They turned him into a zombie.

Mike Schmidt is a Supernatural-verse hunter who knows full-well what he's doing
He was just milking the night watchman gig for a little extra money (credit card scams and hustling pool only gets you so much, and hunters can't normally get real work) while he researched the place and came up with a strategy, since the only person in any danger was himself. Now that he's been fired, he's ready to fix the problem for good.

The games take place in the same universe as "Maximum Overdrive"
In the film, trucks and cars (among other things) come to life due to aliens and become extremely hostile towards living things. In FNAF, the animatronics try to come into your office and kill you by stuffing you into a Freddy Fazbear suit. Also, Maximum Overdrive takes place in the year 1987, the same year as the Bite of '87. It's not impossible to think that the same aliens that turned the vehicles hostile also affected one of the animatronics (possibly Foxy) and made him/her bite a child, removing their frontal lobe.

There is, or was a freddy fazbear's pizza in Gravity Falls
The murderer is an alternate universe version of Takatora
.One of his most common lines is "It's me" according to this page.

Freddy Fazbear's Pizza is owned by Aperture Science

The restaurant runs on the same standards of Cave Johnson. Putting more emphasis on the animatronics functions and low regard on the health and safety of its employees and patrons. The only saving grace they have are the doors which offer limited protection to the night watch from the robots, but almost non to the supernatural.

There is, in fact, a version of this game in the Ace Attorney Universe, set in Gatewater Land
Many people seem to find the Blue Badger creepy In-Universe, and there are five canon Badgers, like how in the first game there are five animatronics. The Blue Badger is given Freddy's moveset, the Pink Badger is Chica's (as the only females in both lineups), the Proto Badger is Bonnie (Bonnie typically moves first and the Proto Badger was the first Badger), the Bad Badger is Foxy (both being largely inactive except to cause the worst problems), and the PC Badger is Golden Freddy (as he is the British Blue Badger). Someone in Ace Attorney saw this game and made a Gatewater Land version of it. The police have tried to get it taken down because of the poor image it puts on the Badgers, but have failed (though the official download is gone) due to its popularity resulting in people pirating it constantly.

Fazbear Entertainment owes its... Interesting... robots to Bloody Stupid Johnson
Say he made them in an attempt to entertain children or something, and then they got sent to the roundworld theough a magical accident.

Freddy Fazbear (or another mascot) will become a Guest Fighter in a Mortal Kombat game
Mortal Kombat 9 had Kratos (albeit as a PS3 exclusive) and Freddy Krueger, and Mortal Kombat X has Jason Voorhees and the Predator. Though granted, it would depend on both whether or not NetherRealm Studios decides to keep the trend going and whether or not Scott Cawthon would allow it.

Grandfather Nurgle is behind it all.
He noticed the children murders occurring at the Pizzeria, and, being Nurgle, decided to cheer the children up. He arranged for the souls of the children to be stuffed into the suits and was responsible for the decay of the bodies which got the business shut down. However, Tzeentch took notice and began to intervene in the form of the Toy animatronics (just ask Mangle about change; it was basically turned into a robotic Chaos Spawn) and the various new locations. Then one day, the Purple Guy returned to clean up his mess. Unaware of the Gods fighting for control of the pizzeria, he began to destroy the animatronics. Both of the Chaos Gods noticed this and became enraged. They had the children's spirits leave the suit and attack the murderer. In his desperation, he tried hiding inside the Springtrap suit, only for Tzeentch caused it to go off while Nurgle caused the body to rapidly decay. As the children departed so did the deities. Until the opening of Fazbear's Fright caused them to regain interest, with Daemons taking the form of Phantoms.

The animatronics were created by Bowser.
They were intended to be mechanical copies of him to destroy Mario, but decided to make them children's entertainers in hopes that Mario would become a night guard and have them kill him.

Golden Freddy is allies with Slender Man.
Think about it for a moment. Considering the fact that their behaviors are very similar to each other, who wouldn't think of this?

the purple guy used the same process Andrea Talon the puppet master used
Talon however knowing the pain of losing a loved one after he sees several family members talk about the missing children and helps the kids get revenge on purple guy. He takes the marionette with him since it refuses to pass on like the other children.

The murderer is Zebediah Killgrave

The restaurant is run by the happy tree friends
with the gore and eye scream to boot! The suit stuffing quirk of the animatronics could cause a Fliqpy incident(He hid inside the bodies of his own friends during the war) causing him to put on his best Ash impression to dispatch the animatronics, Russel and Foxy are both pirates, and Lumpy always find himself making very poor career choices. Add in the harmful to children animatronics, and include Pop and Cub, Sniffles aspirations to mad science going amok, and you have yourself the elements of a Happy tree friends episode within the Fnaf-verse.

The reason there is no bodies found could be because Petunia, noted clean freak, would most likely clean it up. Star it in 1987, disco bear's get up is only a few years behind. Cuddles would raise the A.I.s of the animatronics to 11 for a challenge. The puppet and Mime are both mimes. Golden freddy and the cursed idol seem to be in the epicenter of wacked-out stuff. Mole would be the equivalent of blind mode for fnaf4. Toothy is a bit generic, maybe enough to be a stand in for the night guard protagonists, both of which are generic in and of themselves, not to mention he is often a source of running gag eye scream, much like the game over scenarios. Flaky and the child from 4 are scaredy cats that have their fears become all-too-true. The security system sucks, becoming a prime target for Lifty and Shifty. Chica could be munching on a hidden bag of sweets at night, making Nutty try to get it from her. Handy cannot wind the music box, or even pick up the tablet easily.Splendid may make it to the scene, probably make things worse by destroying the doors, or may even die due to BB smuggling in a Kryptonut just to screw with him.

FNAF started in late 2014, the HTF has stopped production on the series and the movie has been on a standstill since early 2014.

The whole set of incidents wasn't the only one to involve the 'remnant' substance.
Many years ago, a man made a deal with the Devil in exchange for a massive supply of 'remnant', which he used as the secret ingredient in his plan. In his recipe. In... his machine.


The whole murder aspect of the animatronics is intentional.
Anyone remember that freaky poster of Freddy pulling his own head apart in the same place where people found that imprint of a set of hands on the animatronic's face? That combined with the arc phrase "It's me" has lead this troper to believe that the murderous tendencies of the animatronics were intentionally programmed in by management. When the incident happened someone hid the bodies of the dead kids, apparently the puppet but it's still uncertain. Management panicked and held up the charade until after they closed and could pull the horrifically mangled corpses free in a desperate bid to stay open, if what had really happened got out the whole place would have gone down. Only problem is that now the animatronics were genuinely possessed desperately struggling to free themselves from there own bodies unaware that the children inside were no longer there or alive. During the day they function as normal because the onboard PC has strict enough rules in place to keep them behaving like normal so all the spirits inside can do is pull paranormal shit like leaking blood and puss from the suits, during the night though they were supposed to turn off but otherwise had no rules restricting behavior so they kept trying to get someone's attention and help. Management already having committed several crimes covered this up by setting them up so if they did manage to get to someone they would be forced to murder the person they found keeping the truth hidden as well as providing the management with a way out since they had already gotten good at hiding bodies.
  • Jossed.

The setup is a ritual to appease a dark power of some kind.
Pick your favorite! My guess is either Daoloth (under the aspect of mechanical complexity) or Shub-Niggurath (life to the unliving, ritual murder). The security system is terrible because there has to be a chance for the sacrificial victim to live, but it doesn't have to be a very likely chance. And why the paycheck is so low? Well, they do gotta clean your remains up, and they are going out of business...

The fan is actually why the power just goes away so fast
Maybe the fan just burns a ton of power and you're not actually at fault for the power going out.

The game takes place anywhere between 1988 and 1990
The minimum of this time frame corresponds with the Bite of '87, which tarnished the reputation of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, and should allow some time for the murders to happen afterwards. The reason why 1990 could be the latest in which the game happens is that at the time, minimum wage was at $3.35 (or in 1990's case $3.85)/hr and Mike got paid on September 13note  (albeit the fact none of those days falls on a Friday). The job then would be above minimum wage, but still not paying well, especially for a security guard, and still cheaper than fixing the machines.
  • Curiously, the closest Friday the 13th in September to this range is 1991. Which could make sense, seeing as how the player is a part-time security guard, and will therefore receive less than minimum.
  • Jossed, it's in 1993.

The fifth animatronic will be DLC
If we follow the theory that the animatronics are the souls of the five murdered children, then, if we count Golden Freddy as a hallucination, there is still one child unaccounted for. This animatronic will likely by explored in DLC.
  • Um... what? Golden Freddy is number five. The five animatronics are:
    • 1. Bonnie
    • 2. Chica
    • 3. Foxy
    • 4. Freddy
    • 5. Golden Freddy
      • Golden Freddy isn't an animatronic, though. It's just a suit, the shell of an animatronic. So technically it's not really an animatronic.

The Pizzeria has become a miniature Silent Hill
The deaths of those children causes the restaurant to plunge into the Otherworld at night, endangering anyone who stays inside. Of course, it wouldn't be nearly as bad... if there weren't plenty of sacrifices.

Freddy Fazbear's Pizza is a Genius Loci.
It says so in the description, really: "... a magical place... where fantasy and fun come to life." And it's learned the hard way not to trust strange men who hang out in the back rooms...

The screams you hear on losing are your own, not the robots'.
You only hear them once you see the robots, once you put the camera down if they're already in the room.

The kids died in 1987
Cause why not?
  • Seemingly confirmed by the prequel. It appears to have happened shortly before the Bite of '87, which took place in November, putting the Missing Children Incident in 1987 as well.
  • Jossed. It was in 1983 or 1985.

Possible additions in the sequel?
  • It could take place at an amusement park with robots that go with the rides.
  • The exact same thing, except you're now roaming the rooms instead of sitting in the security room.
  • You're a burglar breaking into Freddy's and armed only with a torch. You explore the restaurant and find Freddy in the process of stuffing the guard into a suit. Since Freddy can't move when observed, you help the guard escape. You have to get out the way you got in, while avoiding the animatronics, who can only move when you're not looking at them.
  • All jossed.

The fifth dead child is a Sequel Hook.
If we go with the story that the animatronics are possessed by the ghosts of the dead children, there are four animatronics but five children. So where's the fifth? Simple — it's still out there.
  • He's Golden Freddy.

When stuffed in the suit, you don't die right away
The Phone Guy asks you to check the suits when he's sure he's about to die. Though he could be asking you to check for his remains, it might actually be because you don't die right away when stuffed in the suit. It may render you unable to scream for help but you're still alive, just slowly dying.

How does the Phone Guy know that the animatronics will stuff you into a suit when they catch you? Most likely because he heard something in the suits, went to check it, and found the previous security guard mangled inside but too far gone to save. Instead of getting the heck out of there like a normal person, the mangled guard tells the Phone Guy that there must be a security guard left behind to stop Freddy and friends from escaping. Hence, this is why the Phone Guy decided to leave a phone log behind for you. If he's unlucky and doesn't get discovered, he wants to pass on whatever wisdom he could through the phone.

  • He did say something to the effect of, "I'll try to hold on as long as I can in case someone comes to find me." If getting stuffed kills you instantly, he wouldn't say he'd try to hold on to be found, would he? Though this theory does make what was a Cruel and Unusual Death even crueler by reason that it prolongs your suffering for an unknown amount of time. Now one really hopes that the murdered children were dead before the Murderer stuffed them into the suits...

The reason no bodies have been found is because the endoskeletons are cleaned with a strong acid when out of their suits.
  • Strong bases are better if you want to get rid of organic material. But that is a nice theory.

Nothing supernatural is happening.
The whole reason Mike keeps seeing the phrase "It's Me" everywhere, interspersed with demonic images of Freddy and other strange sights, is because he's heard the stories about the place — that it's haunted by the spirits of the dead children. It isn't, by this interpretation, but he thinks it is, and that's enough to eventually scare him half to death, with the other half being performed by the animatronics when they find him cowering in the office and use him for "maintenance". That's why he sees "It's Me" — it is him creating the illusion of a supernatural force!
  • Jossed by Word of God, which says that Freddy's is haunted.

The player character and the Phone Guy kept their jobs at the pizzeria because it's the safest job available.
They live in a Crapsack World taken up to eleven. Every job is absolutely horrifying to such a degree that literally dying of fright is common. Phone Guy isn't acting nonchalant because he's trying to remain calm, that's the level of urgency their society designates their situation calls for. You get $120 for six nights of the job because it's a lowly job for cowards. "They don't tell you these things when you sign up" is referring to the specific way the animatronics kill you; the fact that they're alive and deadly is just general knowledge and they didn't feel the need to include it in the help wanted ad.

Phone Guy used to control Foxy to help you until he was killed, and now his spirit resides in Foxy.
NOTE: Several previous WMGs are combined here.

First off, Foxy's behaviour is different from the other animatronics, and he runs to your office. Eventually, instead of attacking you, he leans in curiously, and bangs on the door when you close it.

Now, this troper believes that 3 of the animatronics are not haunted by the children at all — they're all partly controlled by the ghost of the serial killer. You hear children screaming, cheering, or talking because they are protecting Mike from the killer, who they know wants a new victim. As ghosts, they slow him down somehow, which is why Freddy doesn't burst into the room and kill you in 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, Phone Guy is controlling Foxy from the kitchen. But why did the company hire two security guards if they're such cheapskates? They have the common sense to understand that there is a potential serial killer murdering all their guards, and just to make sure, they hire Mike so if Phone Guy, who is their previous guard, dies, Mike can simply take over. And why does Phone Guy operate from the kitchen? There's no lights there — so he can call the other guard in peace, and the animatronics can't open the door to find him.

But how about Chica? Well, since nobody can see the kitchen, it's safe to assume Phone Guy is sitting in a broom cupboard or something, comfortably furnished for his needs and hidden well enough so Chica can't spot it while he/she's eating pizza.

Why would Phone Guy control Foxy? Because, as it's often thought that he caused the Bite of '87, the company had the area shut down and neglected him deliberately as well, along with removing his exoskeleton so he couldn't work anymore. But after the serial killings of children and possibly countless guards, the company realized that someone needed to escort the next guard to safety. Getting Phone Guy to come in would be too risky, as the animatronics would spot him and kill him. So, Phone Guy, who was an expert hacker, managed to permanently change Foxy's programming so that Foxy behaved differently from the others.

Foxy hides to give the illusion that he's still in disrepair, as the serial killer's ghost still thinks that Foxy is deactivated. He runs down the hallways so the killer's animatronics cannot see him. And instead of eating you, he leans into the booth to simply see if you're still safe. This is because Foxy has a special camera in his eyes that is connected to a screen in the company's HQ, so the company can see how you are doing. He screams, which is a signal that is sent back to Phone Guy so he knows that Mike is still alive.

Of course, this is all secret, and Mike doesn't know about it. When he closes the door, Foxy bangs on it because he wants to help.

Then on the 4th Night, the serial killer found out about Phone Guy somehow, and summoned Freddy to kill him. But Phone Guy didn't give up hope. He took control of Foxy now that he was a ghost, and continued trying to help Mike.

Finally, on the 5th Night, Mike survived until 6am and was rescued by Foxy, who picked him up, ran with him to the exit (where Mike was sent to the company's office and got his paycheck), and went back into Pirate Cove.

  • Jossed.

The animatronics have motion sensors instead of cameras in their eyes.
In the Fridge Logic section, it was speculated that the animatronics kept watch for the cameras in each room to move when they were activated. Considering the pizzeria is likely pitch-black except for the security office at night, it would explain how they can move about towards your office (especially if they're programmed with the restaurant's layout in their memory), as well as why standing completely still can buy you precious time to survive to the end of your shift if you run out of power and Freddy comes for you.
  • In addition: when Playing Possum after the power cuts out, it could be assumed that you're holding your breath; but the average human can't hold their breath forever: you will need to take another breath before too long, and if you're especially unlucky, it could be your last breath...

The animatronics are Powered by a Forsaken Child.
It would certainly explain how animatronics manufactured in the 1980s are this fast and strong.

Expanding on the above, there's no ghost kids or ghost murderers afoot. The reality is so much worse.
Gold Freddy and the visual wonkiness is just the stress getting to Mike. As much as he enjoys the thrill of risking a gruesome death, it's starting to get to him.

The animatronics, for some unfathomable reason, are designed to both be malevolent and incorporate humans. This is why adjusting their electronics works at all; they're not haunted, they really are just (unconventional and horrific) machines. Chica and Bonnie can be heard breathing heavily because they have working lungs. The animatronics keep leaking blood and mucus and smell like corpses because their biological components decay after a while and need to be replaced, and they aren't just trying to kill you, they're trying to "disassemble" you to repair themselves.

The management knows all this; notice how... wedded to them the CEO seemed in the article about the pizzeria's bankruptcy. They made the animatronics that way on purpose. The guy who killed five children at Freddy Fazbear's? He wasn't a murderer who just happened to work there. His job was to acquire "spare parts" for the animatronics. However, he was careless enough to get caught working on camera, so management left him twisting in the wind as punishment for his incompetence.

The player never needed the door, light, or cameras in order to survive. In fact, he never needed any power at all!
So we all figured out the place is haunted by the five kids... But if that's true, it means ghost rules apply! While there are reasons why a lot of ghost lore would be invalid, one can't be denied. Ghosts can't pass salt. It's one of the oldest ghost lore out there. Want to stay alive at Freddy's? just place a trail of salt at the doors leading into the office, maybe a circle around you to be safe. While they can stare and twitch, that's all they can do. Be freaky as hell but hey, easy way to survive all the nights. Another way could be to simply get the bodies out of the suits before salting and burning them, or just salting and burning the animatronics. That forces the ghost to move on, end of haunting. Why, if the security guard knew from the start he was dealing with ghosts, he wouldn't have had a problem at all!

The five kids are haunting the building, not the animatronics
Evidence? We know from the updated patch that the bite of 87 was the work of the Golden Freddy. Notice that he makes up the fifth child ghost, yet the only time he appears is with the poster summoning. Why is this? Simple, they threw out the animatronic, but the ghosts aren't haunting the robots, they're haunting the building, hence why he's still out to get you even though the robot's probably in a dump somewhere. The good news is despite what some people think, when the pizza place closes down, the animatronics will not go on a killing spree murdering every security guard in the country. Bad news is until the buildings destroyed, they will ALWAYS haunt it, ALWAYS out to get any security guard that might be positioned there. I mean, God forbid if the building's bought and fixed up as a bank or museum. Then again, makes a good idea for a sequel.
  • Golden Freddy didn't do The Bite. They're haunting the robots.

There was never any haunting to begin with
The sole reason the animatronics are out to stuff Mike into a costume is a case of bad maintenance and being poor.

The Bite of 87' was just a bad hit to reputation, because who would want to eat at the place that got 5 children killed? Because of this, less and less people visited Freddy's because they were afraid their children could be next, but fewer customers or not, repairmen had to be hired to maintain the animatronics. However, those were cheap repairmen, but not because the management is greedy, but because they are already poor as it is.

This led to a chain reaction. Because the repairmen were cheap, they did a lousy job... maybe even screwed up. This caused the animatronics to break and malfunction, like seeing security as endoskeletons.

Now Mike is hired, and works for the lousy pay of $4 an hour, why is the payment so low? Because the management itself is broke, but they still need to hire security. Even then, they don't have much hope for them to survive. Being about to be closed by the end of the year (and who says we aren't playing in November?) forces them to be such cheapskates.

Electricity is expensive, so they can't afford to turn their restaurant into a lighthouse, and thus give Mike only a small amount of energy to use per night, but why do they fire him if he seems to survive every dang night? Because he tampered with the animatronics. They have no idea how good Mike is as a repairman, because of previous bad experience with repairmen, so regardless if they are now harmless or not, they stay safe and fire him, look for a new security guard, and wait how it ends.

Not that it helped because their reputation, as "the restaurant where 5 children died" never attracted enough people to push them back into business.

  • Jossed.

The animatronics were made by Skynet or something.
Seriously, how else are they moving on their own? Also maybe they can communicate telepathically seeing how random subliminal messages show up in the game

Gold Freddy is Freddy's super mode
I can imagine him making this speech.
Freddy: This ability to come back to the job, allowing the dumb guard to keep on coming back even though he knows he's going to be killed... I'm positive, this guy has acquired the ability of the dumb horror story protagonist, WITH THE HELP OF THE PHONE GUY! This hand of mine glows with an awesome power! Its burning grip tells me to defeat you! Take this, my love, my anger, and all of my sorrow! SHINING JUMPSCARE!!

The reason Foxy screams at you and ends the game rather than popping up in your face is because Mike has a heart attack.

When the player dies and is shown a frame of a Freddy with eyeballs sticking out, it isn't the night guard, but rather the previous guy who was shoved into the Freddy animatronic.

Foxy was not killed, but tortured by the management of the pizzeria.

In response to another FNAF WMG.....
"Night Seven of the game reveals that Mike Schmidt got fired for tampering with the robots' A.I. Also, it's revealed towards the end of the game that the restaurant is scheduled to be shut down due to health code violations. This seems to be a good thing at first. Until you consider that Mike (and the other security guards before him) were there to keep the animatronics in and not keep out intruders. And, it seems unlikely that there'll be any new security guards being hired afterwards. So, what's to keep Freddy and his pals from escaping and wreaking havoc on innocent civilians? Not to mention there are already plans for a sequel."

Maybe the sequel will take place in a military base, where the animatronics will be kept under supervision in Area 51.

  • Jossed. It takes place at the same pizzeria.

Foxy is actually Luis Saurez.
Explains the Bite of '87.

The monitors work both ways.
Take a close look at this picture of Foxy leaning into the Office. See that monitor on the left, the one showing the back of Foxy's damaged arm? That image is only possible if the camera receiving it is in the monitor's position. Combine that with the presence of other monitors (just visible in the West Hall on CAM 2A (lower left) and CAM 2B (on the right)) and it's entirely possible that, in-universe, there is No Fourth Wall — whenever you're looking at the animatronics, they're able to look back at you. May also count as Nightmare Fuel, given what is not visible in those images. Mike Schmidt. Where Mike should be is a flat reflective surface — your screen, perhaps?

Freddy Fazbear's Pizza has been closed for a long time, now.
Given the cobwebs in your office and in the East Hall (Cam 4A), it doesn't look like anyone's been here for a long time. What's more, listen to the sounds the animatronics make in the kitchen; there's a lot of clattering and banging of pans, but no mixers, no sounds of pouring... nothing that indicates there's anything usable in the kitchen at all. Of course, this raises the question of what the Player is doing there...
  • Jossed. It's close to closure, though.

This isn't Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. It's Hell.
Because this speculation always shows up. Seriously, though, look around; there are no visible exits or entrances, there's another set of security monitors in the West Hall (seen side-on in CAM 2A) along with exact duplicates of the posters in the Office (including the picture of Bonnie that gets cut off by the ceiling in the Office), the rest of the security equipment (except the cupcake) is duplicated in CAM 2B... this place is not real in the commonly-accepted sense of the word. Why is Mike in Hell? Remember the first newspaper story: The murderer was finally caught when someone noticed what he was doing on the security monitors. Which means the reason five kids died was because someone wasn't looking at the cameras! So now it's his life that depends on watching the screens...
  • Then again, he does leave after the seventh night, so maybe it’s Purgatory.
  • Jossed.

In the sequel, there will be two groups of animatronics.
Because of the "Grand Reopening" tagline in the teaser image, people have guessed that the sequel will take place in a reopened Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. But if that's the case, why is Freddy all torn up, when one would expect them to clean things up and make them look new for a reopening? That would be because they did replace the animatronics with new ones... but the old ones are still around. The question becomes, will the new ones start coming after you as well?
  • Confirmed, and yes, they do.
  • There will also be two new animatronics: A cat and a mouse.
    • Jossed. There are a few totally new animatronics, though.

In response to an earlier WMG: the remains of the fifth murdered child was hidden in all of the security cameras.
  • Or that child could be haunting the cupcakes, being their scout.

Golden Freddy and "It's me!" are manifestations of Mike's own survivor's guilt and a mental block, both to the murders and The Bite, which took place in the same year if not the same day.
This, admittedly, requires a whole mess of circumstance, but... Mike Schmidt was, as a child, an avid fan of the pizzeria and its characters. Freddy was his most beloved character because he was the leader, the public face a child saw most often. After hiding and surviving the killer's madness, Mike started to block certain memories because of the sheer horror. The Bite of 1987 just made things worse. After the incident with the Freddy-clad killer, he started to project his admiration to Foxy... and then the Bite happened, but he, miraculously, survived.

Mike sees the Golden Freddy as he keeps coming back because he unconsciously put that in his head as a child. His first beloved character in the pizzeria became his mental safe-guard from going insane... it's just been so long since he's had to rely on it, and the different shade of fur is because the actual Freddy is trying to kill him. The game crashes because he's blacking out before the full memories can resurface, and likely being killed while blacked out. The 'It's Me' messages are the memories trying to resurface, and his unconscious idea that his murdered friends are, in some way, trying to let him know they are still here, waiting for him.

  • Jossed.

The fifth kid doesn't haunt the building itself, or the animatronics, or any of the equipment...
They haunt the guards themselves. They ensure that each guard keeps coming, preventing an early escape by the guards. To keep you on your toes or perhaps merely in an attempt to communicate, they inflict sights on you that were never there, the hallucinations. They had no particular thing to inhabit, so instead they settled for you. Mike. Perhaps forcing him to seek the truth behind what struck the pizzeria so long ago.
  • Jossed.

The entire reason for the existence of this game......
Is an elaborate test to see how their players play. Why? For the sequel of course.

The game is, in-universe, a game.
Say Phone Guy is a friend of Mike's, who absolutely loves a good scare. One day, Phone Guy gets a job at Freddy's as a night guard, and runs into an animatronic. He initially freaks out before realizing that they're haunted, before freaking out even more. Once he calms down, he realizes the robots/ghosts are friendly, and only scare people simply because they're ghosts, and that is what ghosts do. Phone guy hangs out with them during his shift, they become buddies, and so on. Eventually Phone Guy moves up in the company's ranks and becomes a night janitor instead of just a night guard, and gets an idea.

On his last day of being a night guard, he works out a plan for a sort of game they could play with Mike, where the animatronics just sort of do what they always do, but with a few minor changes (not moving when under a camera's view, look and act as creepy as possible, and try and get in the guard's booth, announcing their presence by shouting the robot equivalent version of BOO, which roughly translates as Horrible Robotic Screeching), phone guy makes creepy pre-recorded messages for Mike to listen to each night, and they both run around to do things like switch around posters and stuff. Phone Guy also draws a sort of game over screen to show Mike when he "loses" and cuts the power off once Mike uses too much.

He recommends to Mike that he should take the night guard job because of the horror aspect. Mike is a bit skeptical at first, but eventually signs on. He makes it through the first night, thoroughly enjoys himself, and gleefully continues the job.

And then the Serial Killer comes in, also as a ghost.

He haunts the place too, simply because that's where he committed his largest felony. He overheard the planning efforts and decided this would be an excellent time to be a psychopath. He causes the hallucinations Mike experiences, and haunts the same suit he used to kill the children. At an arbitrary point of time, he messes up the Freddy poster to make it look golden, as a sort of calling card, and then manifests in the office. Mike thinks this is all part of the show, and doesn't do anything about it, which allows the killer to legitimately kill him, which is why the game crashes after death by Golden Freddy.

  • Jossed.

The heads (and endoskeleton) in the back room are on some level haunted by the previous guards
This shot seems to show that something or another moves the heads and endoskeleton, and since Bonnie never touches at least one of them she's not likely to be responsible. The guards seem to get stuffed in the back room specifically or at least end up there afterward, as shown by the game over screen, and you'll remember that Phone Guy in his last message asks you to check the heads in the back sometime. It's not too unreasonable to suspect that the guards' souls linger in the back and have limited control over its contents.

The sequel will feature completely different animatronics, and may take place in a different location altogether.
The teaser picture of Freddy for FNAF2 looks nothing like the original animatronic, lacking even the original's handprint. Taking this and the "Grand Reopening" tagline into account, it can be assumed someone bought the rights to the name and started from scratch. If one disregards the tagline, one can speculate the restaurant may also be a chain, with some locations being better maintained and ahead of the curve than others. To add to this, the "wear and tear" on Freddy 2 may be intentional; with the holes being unusually symmetrical, they may be a sign of an updated internal mechanism, allowing for generally greater and quicker movement.

Notably, Foxy lacks padding in the same areas to get in the way of his running and flowing motion. This may be a sign of something else...

  • Jossed. There are few newcomers, but the old gang returns, and we are still in a Freddy's.
Foxy 2 will be a properly active character during the daytime in the sequel.
This would especially be so if the location is different, where Foxy may not have been decommissioned. However, Fazbear Entertainment may enjoy a more quick-witted, fast-talking version of the pirate fox, more in line with the modern style of pirates in film, and redesign the new one to match...
  • Confirmed. She was active.

The sequel will call into question what little established back story there is.
And it will do so while opening a ton of new questions about other things and answering absolutely nothing, making the speculation on part of the fandom run even more rampant.
  • Cue the fandom getting even more theorized ideas and possibly pissed off!
  • Confirmed, but things are answered.

The sequel will explain the story around why Freddy's damaged

The sequel will give you the option to restore power
In addition to keeping an eye on the animatronics, you also have to keep the power from going too low in some way.
  • Jossed.

The animatronics don't think you're an endoskeleton. They think you're a complete animatronic.
Instead of shoving you into a suit whole, they first break you down by removing the skin from your body, trying to change out your "outer shell" with a standard one. Which becomes Fridge Horror when you consider the possibility of a human-looking animatronic walking around after the switch...
  • Jossed.

Pirate Cove is the arcade area of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.
It would make sense, especially with tickets you could turn in for "pirate treasure".

The animatronics aren't exactly possessed.
Remember, Freddy Fazbear's Pizza is a "magical place" where "fantasy and fun come to life", and the characters will live on "in the hearts of children". Combine this with some decidedly odd breaks with reality (including a poster being cut off by the ceiling, children drawing the animatronics with the dark eyes you get to see, and the animatronics being somewhere around 7' tall by comparison with the door frames) and it's possible that Freddy Fazbear's Pizza is entirely normal during the day — only to be taken over by the nightmares of children starting at midnight.

The old animatronics will be active in the second game
They will hunt you either later in the week and/or they will be a part of special challenge modes like the sixth night in the original game.
  • Confirmed; they start acting up as early as the second night.

Satan is behind the "IT’S ME" messages.
Scott is a steadfast Christian who made a video game adaptation of The Pilgrim's Progress. The game might be a Christian allegory that will be made more explicit in the sequel.
  • Jossed.

The sequel will heavily reference the concept unification of The Rock-afire Explosion into Munch's Make-Believe Band.
In the second promotional image (linked above), we see Bonnie's mask has been removed; this is exactly what happened to the animatronics during the concept unification. Plus, the video of the concept unification is pretty creepy.

The Phone Guy's recordings are very, very old, and got reused for every night watch before you.
  • Jossed.

There's more than one level of meaning to the Toreador song.
In effect, you are the bull, trapped in the ring. Bonnie and Chica are the two picadores; their job is to fatigue you, wearing you down before the main event. Foxy is a banderillero; his job is to focus you on one side, to pull you off-target for the matador. The matador, of course, is Freddy, the main attraction and star of the show.

A Polybius Machine is in the arcade. And Sinnesloschen owns Fazbear Entertainment.
Well come on. Polybius was a killer arcade machine, and Sinnesloschen was an arcade conglomerate that also made Animatronics. The Animatronics were killer because they had similar software to Polybius. It Makes Sense in Context.

Each of the four original animatronics are getting Distaff Counterparts (or Spear in Chica's case)
In the sequel's second preview picture, we were shown Old Bonnie (with his face torn off, mind you) and his updated version, which looks a lot more feminine than he was. With the third preview picture, while Old Foxy appears to be relatively the same, his updated model appears to be more pink than the original and wearing lipstick. Just what is going on with them under the new management? Is this what Scott meant when he said that they (or at least Foxy) would be back in more ways than one?
  • Turned out that only Foxy got a female version of himself.

Why Bonnie and Foxy, and Chica along with Freddy get a new look.
  • My theory is that Freddy's is under a complete new management. They were told about the animatronics being haunted (by the old managers? Mike?), thus this is why Bonnie and Foxy are getting redesigned along with Chica and Freddy. The new management thinks that with a new redesign, they may not be haunted anymore, and new designs would attract customers back.
    • Jossed. FNAF2 is a prequel. The old animatronics are still around, although they created new animatronics with said re-designs to appear more cute than... weird-funny like the old ones and have a facial recognition program implanted.

Mike didn’t just tamper with the difficulty settings on the animatronics.
  • He broke them, pretty badly too. That’s why Bonnie’s face is broken in the teaser for the sequel. The management obviously didn’t want to open the can of worms that dealing with why he did that in a highly publicized trial, so they just fired him and downplayed the damage instead of suing him.
  • Jossed, the game's a prequel.

The animatronics are a combination of Weeping Angels and Cybermen.
I mentioned this on the horror page too, but the Weeping Angels comparison has been known since the game came out (the fact that all of them except Foxy only move when you can't see them), but also think about this: if you die, you are put into a Freddy Fazbear suit, with only a few of your original parts (eyes and teeth) left. Management is just going to bleach the carpets and file a missing person's report. Who you were before has been "deleted" and you are now part of Freddy's gang. Isn't that pretty much what the Cybermen do, is delete you and make you one of their own?

Freddy's musical jingle was part of the pizzeria's birthday celebration program
When the power goes out, Freddy stands outside the door playing a musical jingle It can also be heard when Freddy is in the kitchen. It's possible that before the bite of '87 Freddy would carry a cake. To a child as part of a birthday celebration, playing the song during the trip, possibly as a substitute for Happy Birthday to You!.
  • Dunno if it lends credence to this theory or not since he wasn't singing, but Freddy was seen holding a cake with a lit candle stuck in it and serving it to a group of children during one of the mini-games in Five Nights at Freddy's 2.

The reason for the Gender Bender Bonnie and Foxy in the sequel is due to all the Viewer Gender Confusion of the original game
As detailed before, a lot of folks thought that Bonnie and Foxy were girls due to their Gender Blender Names, so the creator is probably going Ascended Fanon when making them female and/or giving female doubles for the sequel.
  • Bonnie's a boy and Mangle's gender isn't confirmed.

The sequel will feature a TON of Fandom Nods and/or Ascended Fanon
In addition to the "players confusing Bonnie and Foxy for girls made them become girls/get girl doubles for the next game", there will be some other stuff from the Fandom that will carry over to the sequel - things like player theories on the story, to the mascots being Suddenly Speaking (bonus points if they sometimes quip the Memetic Mutations given to the Gag Dub videos), or some achievements based on memorable lines from Lets Players (hey, if they did it for Surgeon Simulator...)
  • Seems to be partially confirmed in the the picture of FNAF 2 where we see the office through a Freddy Fazbear Head and it doesn't seem to stop Foxy

Five Nights at Freddy's takes place in a parallel universe where, instead of Chuck E. Cheese's, there are Freddy Fazbear's Pizzas.
If Five Nights at Freddy's takes place c. November 1991, then concept unification of Showbiz Pizza Place and Chuck E. Cheese's has passed already, and tablet computers (the EO 440 Personal Communicators) were already invented. During concept unification of Showbiz Pizza Place, the Rolfe and Earl showtape was being played. The first clip in the highlight reel in the show tape had the Rock-afire Explosion singing Les Toreadors; the music box tune Freddy plays is Les Toreadors, so it could be leftover programming from the first clip shown in the Rolfe and Earl showtape.

The Phone Guy was forced to kill the children by the manager.
Note: Phone Guy has a name here for convienence.The manager of the pizzeria is actually a villainous mastermind who wants everybody to come to his restaurant so he can rule over them. Since he was a pro at keeping quiet, he never got caught at all.Now there was a security guard who worked at the pizzeria since it opened up. One day, he found out that the manager was up to no good and tried to report this, but nobody believed him (as the manager was feigning kindness to the extreme).

The manager finds out what Jake did and tried to kill him. He set the animatronics to "kill" so everybody would blame the robots.One day, Jake was minding his own business until Foxy bit out his frontal lobe in an attempt to kill him. However, Jake survived.

The manager decides to kill off everyone who saw the Bite of '87. He tells Jake to kill six (yes, six) kids that saw the event from the sidelines, otherwise he would set the killer robots loose into the city. Not wanting this, Jake dons a suit, lures the kids away, and reluctantly kills them. He notices a scared boy who fled from him, and comforts him instead of killing him (he also takes the kid to therapy to help treat his trauma). The next morning, Jake is arrested. Then he escapes/is bailed out/is released due to not being of sound mind (due to a lack of a frontal lobe), and is told he has to retire early due to medical reasons.Jake now has to work the nightshift instead of a twenty-four shift, due to the animatronics roaming freely at night now. He records some messages for the next night guard while in hiding. The manager finds out and sends the robots out to kill Jake, which they do.A few years later, that kid who Jake took care of takes a job at the pizzeria. His name: Mike Schmidt.

  • Jossed.

The Freddy Fazbear's Pizza that Five Nights at Freddy's takes place in is located near an amusement park.
During gameplay, you can faintly hear circus music.

All of this is a videogame in-universe
As noted by someone else above, the area where your character should be on the monitors in your room is just blank. It's just a blank wall. That's because the character is a computer program. There is no actual person in the building, in fact the building probably doesn't exist. The reason for the stupidity of the protagonist, your shitty pay, the reason Freddy will just go away when the clock strikes six, is all because this is a computer simulation. This place can stay in business cause it's not real, they can give you shitty pay cause it's not real, there no man sitting in a chair in the room cause it's not real. You get a game over cause it's a game. You can keep trying because it's not real.

The Animatronics are actually benevolent.
The death of those five children created a curse not unlike the one found in Ju-on or The Grudge turning the restaurant into an Eldritch Location after hours. Sure stuffing you in a suit might be terrible but it beats having your soul devoured or at least it might seem that way from their perspective. Alternatively the animatronics are animated by the spirits of the children and think that they are now clinically immortal. Why not share it with other people? Thing is, whatever happened only happened for them. The security guards were not so lucky.

The whole thing is actually a Reality show/Game Show in-universe.
The measly paycheck, is just a gimmick. The animatronics are not programmed to actually kill him, but simply shut down once they enter the room (The "death" is a CGI effect the developers put in, also a gimmick) the truth is, the reality show plays like normal, but within the show it's only a hour each night. In which if he succeeds the first day, he gets 1000 dollars. Which doubles each subsequent day. For five days. Eventually equaling to 32,000 dollars. Though if he fails, he leaves the show for another contestant to enter. The show was decided, by the fact that the Pizzaria was going out of business, so they sold the (Much nicer looking) robots to Fox or NBC or whatever, who demonized them for the show. Though the show became so popular, that there are actually official gambling circuits where people can actually bet money, on whether which animatronic will "kill" him first, or if he wins.
  • And of course, there's plenty of merchandise and Phone Guy is in fact the voice of the host. It wold be nice if the end of the show included all the animatronics taking a bow with the night guard, and turn out to be fairly nice robots.
  • Jossed.

Nothing supernatural is happening. Someone just wants you gone. And his name is Mike Schmidt,
the Phone GuyTo begin with, we know Word of God says that Phone Guy is not a reliable source of information. This is important, since he's our only source of information regarding why the animatronics behave the way they do, management's casual attitude toward on-the-job death, and even the Bite of '87.

Next, consider the messages that show up in the game regarding the vanished children. Where are they coming from? They're not torn-out or cut-out newsprint (they don't even share a font with the classified ad at the start of the game), so they're being printed out from somewhere — presumably, somewhere on the premises. This is further supported by the consistent misspelling of "pizzeria" as "pizzaria", "surveillance" being spelled "surveliance", and "alikened" instead of "likened".

Assume for the moment that the hallucinations (including, for the sake of argument, Golden Freddy) are just that — hallucinations. You're certainly primed for them, what with that steady diet of Paranoia Fuel. Assume for the moment that the animatronics are just animatronics — and that they're doing exactly what they're programmed to do. Who could program them?

Well, we know from the game itself that being there seven nights gives you access to the AI controls. And Phone Guy indicates he's been there more than one week. And he's the one that used to work in "that booth"note  before you, and is just finishing up his "last week".

In other words, you're the replacement for someone who truly loves Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. And, appropriately to Freddy's music box tune, Carmen is all about committing murder for love...

If we assume the Phone Guy has full control, this not only explains his impossible death (hearing Freddy's tune despite the power not failing) but also how a "recording" is calling you on the telephone, and even why the animatronics' mouths flap during the scream — they're playing it back on their internal systems, presumably just like the strained breathing and other sounds that Phone Guy has recorded. Moreover, it explains why he knows they'll stuff you into a Freddy suit — because he's the one who programmed them to do so and prepped the suit for use (taking it off the endoskeleton seen in the backstage view).

He begins with a phone call, to try and scare you away without being blatant about it. When that doesn't work — he may even be watching the restaurant through those two cupcakes, one on Chica and one in your office — then he decides to kill you, so that he and his love — Freddy Fazbear's Pizza — won't be separated. First he sends Bonnie and Chica. Then Foxy, though Foxy's audio is out of order (that's why he doesn't scream, and the real reason Pirate Cove is cordoned off). Then finally Freddy. And all the while he makes creepier and creepier phone calls...

This would even explain why winning Night 7 ends with Mike Schmidt being fired... Mike Schmidt is Phone Guy, and your discovery of the AI controls let you prove to management what he was doing! If his voice in the trailer is any indication, however — he still wants his job back. And by keeping him from his "love", "you've made a poor career choice".

  • Jossed.

The reason the screen goes to static is because the player's viewpoint is the character's video log.
After all, we know the animatronics will break the cameras if you let them, so breaking one more just makes sense.

The third game will be set in Fredbear's Family Diner
  • But just like last time it will be a complete Red Herring and turn out to be a Stealth Sequel... You know... Somehow...
  • Jossed. It's a clear sequel.

People actually like the pizza.
Because why the fuck else would they keep coming back?!

The first game is set in 2015
The promotional image for the second game mentions a Grand Reopening and shows Classic Freddy. Yes, the year 2015 was when the sequel was slated to be released, but it'd be an ironic twist if the promotional image for the second game was actually referring to the first game, to make the prequel twist even twistier. The Grand Reopening could refer to the pizzeria reopening in the first game after shutting down for over thirty years at the end of the second, with Classic Freddy being shown because he and the other Classics were the ones who were kept instead of the Toys and thus the ones who would BE at the Grand Reopening.
  • Jossed.

The events of the game are an in-universe creepypasta
Freddy's, in its universe, is a successful and widespread franchise, with or without the usual problems associated with Chuck E Cheese expies. Seeing an opportunity, someone on the internet by the name of Mike, wrote up a clever little creepypasta about one unspecified instance he'd previously worked at with a history of bizarre and horrific incidents, complete with a few photoshopped images derived from an actual nearby location. The story caught on, effectively becoming something like the Squidward's Suicide of the Fazbear enterprise. Later another alleged "worker" named Jeremy decided to add on to the story by contributing stories of his own delving into the local place's history, also contributing photoshops of a local Freddy's. The internet eventually deduced which two locations the images came from were, finding that they were too far away from each other to have been reopenings of the same Freddy's and that both locations were still open. The company has taken it in stride and occasionally included nods to the pasta in certain locations (usually the two used in the images) as something like a Parental Bonus. Meanwhile Jeremy refuses to let Mike live down the fact that he indirectly debunked his stories.

Let me dream, okay?

  • No dreaming, it's jossed.
    • actually confirmed? Right now it's rather vague, but with new lore coming from the release of Help Wanted it's revealed that the first few games were made by an unnamed game developer, but it's nebulous wether they're retellings of actual events, or just interactive creepypasta.
      • All the FNaF games still happened in-universe, even if there were some in-universe games.

The animatronic in the teasers for "3" is Classic Freddy Fazbear itself... and it is pissed.
Assuming it was programmed to be sapient, Freddy is the last 'survivor' of his scrapped crew, both old and new. What ever forces haunt this animatronic can no longer associate themselves with previous human lives. They are Freddy Fazbear. Its crew lacks all the parts to move and live again.

Oh, what's this? A skeleton in the security office... Hahahahaha...

In other words, this one's goal isn't to stuff the guard into a Freddy Suit. It's to repair its crew.

  • Now Jossed. It's not Classic or even Golden Freddy. It's Golden Bonnie.

There are more than 5 murders.
Supposedly the 5 animatronics are haunted by the five children which is the reason why they stare at you. But the rest of the spare parts in the backstage also stare at the player. Does that mean that each of those spare parts are also haunted? Or that the all the dead ghosts combined to form some sort of collective control over the entire restaurant?
  • Confirmed, there's way more dead kids.

In the third game, management will have decided to get rid of the security cameras.
The only way to track the animatronics now is through various social media posts. This is because, in universe, the Pizzeria gave them accounts on social media sites. There will be expies of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. The Animatronics themselves will also text you selfies of where they are, due to getting the phones of previous dead guards.
  • Jossed.

There will be a new Phone Guy in the 3rd game.
And it could be Mike Schmidt or Jeremy Fitzgerald.
  • Confirmed... kinda. The original Phone Guy returns as training tapes from 40 years ago. A new phone guy appears for one night only, he's Phone Dude.

In the 3rd game, you aren't a security guard.
You might play as a kid trapped in the building after hours. You might have to avoid the animatronics, and you can roam the pizzeria. After all, the whole "Leave before dark" rule might not have been known about.
  • Seemingly confirmed. According to the Steam Greenlight page, the place has been converted into a sort of haunted house attraction due to the lore surrounding the location.
  • Nah, jossed. You are a security guard.

The Golden Freddy killer will be an enemy in the third game
Going by the two teaser images, the first one shows what appears to be Golden Freddy's head (what little colour we can see seems to be yellow) with the message "I am still here". In the second teaser image, if you increase the brightness (as shown here at around 1:50) you see what appears to be Golden Freddy standing upright and holding a weapon.
  • Partially-confirmed. The killer is an enemy, but not Golden Freddy.

There will be a game where you play as an animatronic.

Fazbear's Pizza is an Eldritch Location
This is the reason so many different theories are possible and plausible. Everyone's trying to figure out who the ultimate antagonist driving the plot is, between Freddy, Golden Freddy, the Purple Man, the Marionette, whatever Shadow Freddy and Bonnie are, and so on, but really the whole damn place is alive. The initial creepiness of the animatronics caused people to fear them, and that fear brought them to life. Rumors about the murders and how they happened fueled the fire, causing more and more horrific nightmares to manifest. Children weren't afraid, they loved the animatronics, so they were never in danger. The games don't get harder because the animatronics naturally get more aggressive over the week, they get harder because the guards' hallucinations are being made real the longer they work there. The more they fear being killed, the more the animatronics try to do it. The hallucinations in 3 become more common as the player's awareness and paranoia grows. That's why there are so many loose plot threads and unexplained mysteries, this isn't a real chain of events, the story of FNAF is the effect of numerous unconnected people layering their fears on top of each other, fears which persist after killing the people who created them, connected by the disjointed rumors they've heard about the place and their contradicting theories. Springtrap wasn't alive until it was found and put into Fazbear's Fright. The building brought him back to life, fueled by the anticipated horror of the site's opening.

Why you win a 6am.
It's kind of weird that you win at 6am no matter what right? Well maybe it's because Freddy's automatically switches back to the grid for business at that time, allowing Mike to close the doors and keep them closed. The animatronics then go back to their places for when the next shift arrives as to not get caught.

This location was in operation in conjunction with Fredbear's Family Diner.
Note that Springtrap was found boarded up in this game's Freddy's. It could have simply been stated that he moved with the company (i.e. like them taking the classic animatronics to the location in 2), but that would make little sense, as the suit was very dangerous, to the point of where even Fazbear Entertainment knew enough about it to try to lock it up, but also note that when Phone Guy talks about the suits, he says that you are the face of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, not Fredbear's or something to the like of that. Unless there were either two Fredbear locations or Fazbear Entertainment bought the franchise when the first Fredbear's was still in operation, these little details (errors or not) lead me to believe that this location was in operation at the same time as Fredbear's, therefore making four Freddy's locations, not three.

Golden Freddy comes from the safe room.
Think about it - the safe room is invisible to cameras and animatronics. Golden Freddy isn't an official Fazbear animatronic anymore, probably wasn't even activated note , and he was probably already placed in the safe room. With the safe room omitted from Mike Schmidt's camera, and with Golden Freddy having no visible starting area, he can very easily be from the safe room. And he isn't alone in there.

The reason the doors jam when an animatronic is in the room…
…is a safety protocol, of some description. If an animatronic walks in, for whatever reason, the doors are forced open. Once they leave, they start working properly again.

     The Movie 
Theories on the upcoming movie (post ideas here).
Just posting mine here right off the bat: a fan-made song or the original Toreador March from the first game, or any of the songs from the games in the movie at all, for that matter.

The animatronics featured, and how they will look and behave:
  • All animatronics can cause increasingly frightening and haunting hallucinations. For example, Mike simply sees the Eyeless Bonnie hallucination on his first night, but then it gets worse, until we're treated to the drawings showing the murder, and very brief flashes of it, as well as a recurring image of a hatchet and the purple shadow of Springtrap. They also suffer from serious twitchy and undercranky movements at night.
  • Freddy resembles a fixed-up version of his Withered counterpart, with regular eyes. and wears a Fred-Astaire inspired outfit. In the daytime, he sings and does stand-up comedy (which is actually rather appealing to the adults, and one of the reasons why they bother to come). However, when it's night, he will look exactly like Old Freddy in the second game, and can use his microphone as a surprisingly deadly weapon. He behaves like he was in FNAF 1, with the hand-reaching from FNAF 2.
  • Bonnie looks like himself from the first game, except he's in a pinstriped suit. He does air guitar movements and likes to hop in the air while strumming his guitar. He has normal eyes when strumming his guitar, but he will deliberately initiate his Black Eyes of Evil when the ghost in him takes over. Occasionally, he will try to break the window with his guitar. He can pose like his terrifying position in FNAF 2, but he mainly acts like he was in FNAF 1.
  • Chica looks like Toy Chica in a classic waitress outfit, but with fur like she was in the first game. She juggles with her cupcake and plays a tambourine, and dances. She will take off her eyes and beak at night, though, and acts like she was in FNAF 1.
  • Foxy looks like his FNAF 1 counterpart, but in full pirate costume, with a hat and a fancy coat, and even a enlarged toy flintlock. He's often in Pirate's Cove, telling educational, historical stories about pirates and adventure tales to large groups of children each day, accompanied by a projector playing animated sequences. However, he gets glowing yellow eyes at night, and can run like he did in FNAF 1 in his full costume, but retains the flashlight weakness from the second game, and will leap at the Night Guard if he gets in. He can also use his hook to try and smash the door open.
  • Golden Freddy is slumped in a corner of the supply closet, out of the camera's view, and looks exactly like he did in FNAF 2. When he does his jumpscare, the eyeholes will ooze out blood, then reveal the eyes of the child and he can cause Mike to hallucinate heavily. The head will also stun the guard heavily, but not kill him.
  • The Marionette sits in his prize box, backstage, and moves around on strings to give out gifts (or give PA announcements, interestingly enough) in the day. At night, loud circus music is played to keep him asleep by Phone Guy...until Phone Guy gets killed, in which case the Marionette can be heard trying to open the ceiling door in the office. He can be responsible for all hallucinations, or flashbacks.
  • Purple Guy is still mummified in Springtrap and sealed up in a permanently boarded-up side room, inside the kitchen. The noises Mike hears are mostly Chica eating, but any banging that is heard are attempts to get out. And on the final night, Springtrap goes on a violent rampage, wrecking all animatronics and using an axe destroy the pizzeria, including the office. When the office is nearly wrecked, Mike runs with his flashlight while Springtrap attempts to kill him. Eventually, something catches fire, and the inevitable happens.
    • This is a great theory. Maybe not the best direction the movie can go in, but since it's a movie, I would actually expect this.
  • Not everything is true, as the movie will be based on the first game only.

How the opening will start off:
  • A pan through a happy diner, with cheerful patrons and a singing Fredbear, while ominous music plays as a child is murdered horribly in a back alley. After a Gory Discretion Shot, the Marionette arrives unexpectedly-and its eyes are glowing.
    • Or the same opening, except it focuses on Freddy serving cake and being thanked or taking photos for patrons, while chatting cheerfully, then cocking his head and standing silently as he sees a child being murdered in a back alley.
  • A slow montage of newspaper reports showing the slow downfall of Fazbear's.
  • A bunch of workers digging while a long-haired surfer dude with a cigarette barks orders. Springtrap's arm is seen.
  • A pan through the current Pizzeria, cobwebbed and dusty after constant neglect.
  • The building of the first 2 animatronics and the Puppet.
  • Mike looking through a newspaper and seeing the advert.
  • The opening title cards will appear as if they are being viewed on a security camera, while the popular Five Nights at Freddy's Song is playing.
  • The power slowly draining from said tablet with the scream playing as it finally runs out and cuts off.
  • The opening starts with a Freddy Fazbear Pizza commercial, happy and cheerful until the screen starts to glitch and grow more concerning... until Mike starts smacking his TV to get the static to go away. A bit of harmless foreshadowing of the actual nature of the place without getting too violent out of the gate.
  • A flashback to the Bite as shown in game 4, then back to the present and Mike.

  • Jossed, it will be based on the first game only.

There will be many Continuity nods and fan songs
For example, the Fan Song by the Living tombstone will be included somewhere.
  • Mandopony's FNAF songs will also make it in.

The Movie will Focus on the dayshift and will cover many unanswered questions
Such as the Bite of 87 and the murders.
  • This is really one of the few ways they can go about it, commercially speaking: why would you watch a movie that provides no new information, when you can play the games instead? Bear in mind also that without any additional material, it's essentially a dolled-up Let's Play, and there's an oversaturation of those videos on sites like YouTube already (not to mention, they're FREE!). Even if the movie doesn't shift focus to the dayshift, there's still probably going to be other stuff added in.

The movie will focus on Mike's time as a night guard and will likely end with him shutting down the animatronics for good and being fired by the management for it.
After watching this video, which states that the movie will be in a timeline fashion and answer all the questions that the games feature, I must disagree with that. My theory is that the movie will focus on Mike, and will basically star him, along with the animatronics, but to a slightly smaller extent. And just to drive the nail in, the movie's title will be 'Five Nights at Freddy's',a bit cliched, but a very original name if you ask me.

The movie's main tone will be either mystery, suspense, or comedy, and will have only slight bits of horror in it as to not make it overused.

The movie will make heavy use of the lore, and will be focused on mystery and horror, with comedy thrown in to lighten the mood slightly.

The Film will focus more on Golden Freddy, the Puppet, Shadow Bonnie and Shadow Freddy.
As there are still mysteries surrounding these Animatronics which could very easily be answered in a way the games couldn't.
  • Jossed: It's based on the first game.

Phone Guy's fate will be expanded on.

Scott Cawthon will either play or voice Phone Guy, depending on the type of the movie and if an actor will be selected.
  • He plays as the Phone Guy's voice in the game, so why not in the movie as both a voice and an actual physical appearance?

Mike, Jeremy Fritz, and the Unnamed Night Guard will all meet and discuss their time at Freddy's
Presuming the story has a Narrative tone it could focus around the four Sharing their experiences.
  • Jossed. It's based only on the first game.

Some of the sinister Catchphrases will come from the Bite victim
Especially if it is confirmed that Jeremy Fritz was the Bite of 87 victim, Mike visits him in the hospital, and Jeremy spells out "Save Them" and "It's Me".

The movie will expand upon the personalities of the individual animatronics.
A large part of the fandom thinks they're Tragic Monsters already, and it's not hurt by the in-game events, the ones in FN@F3, especially. Odds are pretty good that this aspect is going to be played up in the movie, and giving signs of individuality would certainly help with that. Even if the animatronics themselves aren't fleshed out, the kids that were killed and stuffed into the suits probably will be.
  • An idea would be if the AI itself is genuinely murderous, but believes that it's doing right. However, the children's ghosts switch between being lucid and pure insanity frequently and unpredictably.

Markiplier will get a supporting or cameo role.
To be honest, Mark is one of the reasons FNAF got as viral and powerful as it is now. He and other Lets Players, but he's easily the most prolific. Indie star power for an indie hit.He is the king after all. Also, Scott is apparently a fan of Mark so it's possible.

At the End of the Credits...
Either "Toreador March" or "Pop! Goes the Weasel" will be playing and once it's over Freddy or the Puppet will jumpscare the Audience. Just like the film Sinister.

The Models used for the CGI will be the actual models made by Scott
Or at least some variation.

The ghosts will be CGI, but the Models will be a combo of actual animatronics for close ups, and people in suits with CGI touches.
And the Marionette could be a practical effect, as it is on strings and mostly hovers.
  • Semi Confirmed, Gil Kenan the director of the film has confirmed that the Animatronics will be real life Animatronics, no word on CGI though.
Freddy and friends will be played by real audio-animtronics.
There have been tweets hinting at this, plus pictures from the Jim Henson company.

The movie will be kid-friendly.

The movie will be PG, but with a heavy dose of What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?

The movie will be dark and scary, but not on the heavy, violent, pants-wetting, gore-filled level that most horror movies contain.
One thing I don't get is that people claim that the movie must be R-rated or it risks becoming too childish or something. What would you guys expect from that? Bloody and visceral suit-stuffing moments? A detailed depiction of each of the childrens' murders? Over-the-top horrific scenes and overused jumpscares? Anyone with experience from playing the games knows that the real horror comes from the suspenseful moments and the jumpscares which only occur when you lose, not to forget the cheery scenery, which is unfitting to such a game. I highly doubt, and actually hope, that the movie will be like that. I mean sure, expect some scary moments and doses of sadness, but a horror movie doesn't have to be R-rated to fulfill most of the suspense featured in the game. Shoot, the games themselves are rated 12+.
  • Honestly, that style of horror would probably lend itself to a movie a lot better, anyway. A large part of the game's suspense also comes from how helpless the player is. What's more helpless than control over nothing but two doors and a set of cameras? Control over nothing.
  • The movie will be PG-13.

The movie will just be an adaptation of the first game.
With a bit of the backstory revealed in the other games for good measure.
  • Jossed the Movie has been confirmed to have a completely new plot while staying in canon.
    • It will still be based on mainly the first game.

There style will have traces of documentary
Similar to say District 9 where the film will occasionally cut to interviews from characters about the franchise.

The movie will show the ACTUAL bite of 87.
As fans guessed, the bite shown in 4 was another, unrelated, incident and this film will go into detail as to what actually happened after Jeremy got promoted.
  • Jossed. It's based on first game only.

The movie will be a mere What If? story, and in the end become Canon Discontinuity
Yes, they said it would be in-canon but remember who's supervising the thing.

Markiplier's "I'm the king of Five Nights at Freddy's!" quote will make it in the movie somehow!

The film will have a Fazbear song moment.
It would only make sense to have Freddy and the gang sing now that we have an opportunity to see them in the daylight (If the film permits). The song, or one of them, will be set to the melody of Les Toreadors to explain why Freddy plays that song before his attack.

the film will tie into Sister Location..
  • Jossed.

There will be a nostalgia-fandom focus.
  • Characters in the movie could have gone to Freddy's and been fans of the characters as kids, and end up investigating the creepy goings-on going on at a place they remember fondly.

The story will focus on the Aftons, Henry, and how Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria became to be
And the person who will play William Afton will be Michael Madsen...because why not?
  • Jossed. It's based on the first game only.

The film is going to go the way of Silver Eyes and Twisted Ones and take place in an Alternate Continuity.
Put simply, the series' story as a whole would be a bit...complicated for audiences who haven't played any of the games or even heard of the franchise, even if only a small part of the story were told, and if the whole thing were to be condensed into a film it would just be cluttered and messy. By putting it in an alternate universe with a whole new story, it would be able to tell a story on its own that's easier for audiences to have a firm grasp of what FNaF is about, while also laying down some more lore clues, fanservice and more for the fanbase.
  • Jossed.

The film will never come out
Honestly, people. It won't happen.