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The film series
Subpages by work:
- Child's Play (1988)
- Child's Play 2
- Child's Play 3
- Bride of Chucky
- Seed of Chucky
- Curse of Chucky
- Cult of Chucky
- Child's Play (2019)
The whole franchise:
- Billing Displacement: In spite of portraying the lead character, Brad Dourif has never received top billing in any of the films nor the TV series. Instead, he either gets an "And" credit or is billed second to Jennifer Tilly.
- Broken Base:
- Does the series work better as straight-faced horror or Black Comedy? Even among fans who like both approaches, there's no consensus on an ideal balance of the two.
- Does Chucky work better as a comedic, Faux Affably Evil slasher, or a straightforward killer who happens to be a doll? Which interpretation a fan prefers tends to influence their favorite films too.
- Complete Monster:
- Charles Lee Ray, later known as Chucky, was a notorious Serial Killer when alive, and in death has used Hollywood Voodoo to possess a doll to escape his fate. Chucky proceeds to murder his owner's babysitter because she annoys him, and hunts down, tortures and murders his old voodoo teacher to get information on how to become human again before trying to tear out his ten year old owner's soul and possess him. Throughout the films, Chucky commits many more murders for his own amusement and replaces blanks with real ammo at a military camp war games training solely to enjoy the chaos. Even when the films briefly turned comedic, Chucky remained heartless as ever, murdering his own wife when she tried to leave him, with no remorse. When Curse of Chucky brought the series back to horror, Chucky sends himself to unsuspecting families to destroy them and was revealed, as Charles Lee Ray, to have even stabbed a pregnant woman to cripple her unborn daughter after she rejected his advances. Despite his sense of humor, Chucky has always remained a sadistic, murderous monster and has only grown worse over time.
- Chucky: Charles Lee Ray, as a boy, killed his own mother to impress an active Serial Killer. Returning to Hackensack, Chucky falsely befriends Jake Wheeler and tries to corrupt him into murdering Lexi Cross, ultimately taking the matter into his own hands at the cost of inadvertently starting a house fire with several partygoers inside. Chucky murders Junior's mother and successfully perfects his Voodoo spell when he drove Junior to kill his father. He reveals his plan to massacre an audience at a charity event before distributing 72 possessed Good Guy Dolls nationwide with more bloodshed in mind, all to immortalize his depraved legacy as the worst serial killer in US history.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Some viewers see Chucky as an Anti-Hero or Anti-Villain. However, while several of his targets were Asshole Victims, he's still always been a sadistic Serial Killer who: has targeted innocent people (e.g. his own mother and he tried to do the same to his own child), ruined Andy and Nica's lives, etc.
- Evil Is Cool: Chucky gets a lot of creative kills, funny one-liners, an unsettling makeover in Bride, and an iconic performance by Brad Dourif. Tiffany and Glenda also qualify for similar reasons.
- Fanon Discontinuity: Bride and Seed tend to be ignored by fans who prefer the original trilogy.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is wildly popular in Mexico, to the point where Cult released in Mexico first. Even a Mexican wrestler and a soccer player (Hirving "Chucky" Lozano) are named after the doll.
- Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: Most refer to the series as "Chucky" instead of "Child's Play." Bride of Chucky may have contributed to this, since Chucky was famous enough for the movies to bank on name recognition.
- Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: In the franchise's World of Jerkass, all of Chucky's Asshole Victims are much more hated than Chucky (who's a Complete Monster) himself, making their deaths either cathartic and indifferent for the audience.
- Jerkass Woobie: To some people, Tiffany. Despite being as much of a Serial Killer as her husband, Tiff legitimately cares for him and their child, to the point where she tries to pull a Heel–Face Turn for the latter's sake. Both of her deaths were on Chucky's hands, one after Tiff realizes that she's in a toxic relationship and another when she tries to save Glen(da). Though, this reaction isn't universal as others instead view her as Unintentionally Unsympathetic.
- LGBT Fanbase: While the series isn't perfect in terms of representation, its numerous LGBTQ+ characters, several of them sympathetic, have attracted a sizeable LGBT+ fanbase. It helps that creator Don Mancini is gay himself and has steadily introduced more LGBT+ subtext into the films starting with Child's Play III.
- Love to Hate: Who else but Chucky himself? Brad Dourif's bombastic yet sinister performance, coupled with his Laughably Evil and badass traits and deceptively cute appearance definitely makes him stand out as a horror icon.
- Narm: Although the rules are unclear for what Chucky can survive throughout the series, sometimes the amount of punishment he can take gets downright ridiculous. It gets to the point where he lives as a fully sentient arm in Seed.
- Narm Charm: It's a horror franchise starring a toddler-sized ginger doll with a foul mouth who makes goofy expressions and spouts cheesy one-liners. Doesn't stop it from providing some genuinely terrifying moments and compelling stories.
- Nightmare Retardant: Although the audience is supposed to find Chucky and Glenda scary as dolls (at least when they're doing murderous-y and evil thingies), some people don't find them scary.
- Whenever he plays Chucky's original human form, Charles Lee Ray, Brad Dourif is styled in such a way that fans think bears a striking resemblance to Tommy Wiseau, which makes every scene he's in unintentionally funny for some people.
- Poor Man's Substitute: Despite borrowing almost no elements from each other (except the television show), compositions for 2, Seed, Curse, Cult, the remake and the television series emulate Danny Elfman's work in their own ways.
- Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: The films' morbid violence, which generally gets Bloodier and Gorier each movie, protagonists' suffering at the doll's hands, almost no one believing them, and awful world where an evil god helps Chucky's murder spree makes it a Cosmic Horror Story that's off-putting to many.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Despite her having more sympathetic qualities than Chucky, Tiffany is viewed as this by some. Like Chucky, she kills innocent people and eventually did not give up killing when she had the chance.
- Wheelchair Woobie: Nica has a Big Sister Bully who tries to swindle her of her home out of greed and is born paraplegic due to her mother getting her womb stabbed by Charles Lee Ray right before she was born. Then, she gets framed of murdering her whole family. Things only get worse in the sequel, where she learns her beloved young niece Alice died, having been killed offscreen in between the events of both films, she herself ends up being harassed and possibly molested by the doctor in the asylum, witnesses everyone else but her and Andy die and then ultimately possessed by Chucky's spirit. In the show, it's revealed she's Fighting from the Inside and realized Chucky had used her body to commit more murders, while her explanation to a hostage fall upon deaf ears and gets knocked out when trying to free him, causing Chucky to regain control of her. Also, she gets kidnapped by Tiffany who's developed an obsessive “love” for her. The first season ends with her drugged by Tiffany, and her limbs being removed so the fragment of Chucky’s soul within her can’t fight back against Tiffany. The poor girl is at the mercy of a Yandere, has had what minuscule chance she had of going back to a relatively normal life stripped from her, and she can’t do anything about it but scream.
- The Woobie: Andy, oh so much. Not only does he lose his mother and have a killer doll trying to steal his body for 3 movies, no one believes him and some even imply he's the killer - which makes everyone else wary or outright hostile to him. It's shown in Cult of Chucky that he became a badass, but he's still plagued by people finding out about his past and lives a lonely, isolated life, failing to help Nica despite his best efforts and with only Chucky's decapitated head as company. The film ends with him trapped in an insane asylum where there have been numerous murders he might take the fall for (since he has a now empty pistol with him), and now two Chuckies (plus Tiffany) to worry about, including one Chucky still at the same insane asylum he's trapped in and presumably free to continue tormenting him.
The game show
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: A German version managed a run of 17 years.
- Retroactive Recognition: Lori Beth Denberg, Mike Maronna, Breckin Meyer, Tara Reid, Jeff Cohen (as Jeff McMahon), and Devin Ratray gave definitions on the show.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The 1982 pilots contain a format that many feel is better than that used on the series.