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YMMV / Five Nights at Freddy's

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YMMV tropes that apply to the franchise as a whole:

General examples

    #-L 
  • Arc Fatigue: A good portion of the fanbase has gotten tired of William Afton's Joker Immunity. While they were fine with his return in Pizzeria Simulator, many were left disappointed when VR and Fazbear's Frights seemingly established a Happy Ending Override that implied he survived. Security Breach would then establish an entirely new set of characters (including a new antagonist) that fans felt were quite interesting, only for William to appear yet again in the ending despite having very little presence in the game otherwise. Combined with his status as a Base-Breaking Character, his detractors are starting to feel he has really overstayed his welcome.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • A common meme was associating Five Nights at Freddy's with LazyTown by having Foxy sing "You Are a Pirate". Foxy's canon voice actor Christopher McCullough actually sang the song when his Youtube channel reached 4,000 subscribers. Listen here.
    • In another video, he says, in character as Foxy, the infamous "Swiggity swooty! I'm coming for that booty!"
  • Better as a Let's Play: The series is known for being terrifying, creating a great sense of paranoia and the punishment for failures is a good ol' Jump Scare. For people who don't like being scared, this is rather off-putting, but the terrified responses of let's players make them watch videos of the series anyway.
  • Breather Level: Any custom night if you set the animatronics's AI low.
  • Character Perception Evolution: Upon his introduction in Five Nights at Freddy's 2, William Afton (then known only as Purple Guy) was widely praised as an effective, intimidating, and enigmatic antagonist for his role as the games' Greater-Scope Villain, being a ruthless Serial Killer whose murders of several children set the series' events in motion, and the mystery surrounding him only made him that much scarier. However, his reputation would grow increasingly divisive as the franchise trucked on, with later installments both expanding upon his previously enigmatic character and granting him Joker Immunity by having his ghost repeatedly return to torment the protagonists. Nowadays, Afton maintains a position as the franchise's biggest Base-Breaking Character, with fans being split on whether or not his numerous reappearances undermined his initial appeal as a villain.
  • Complete Monster: William Afton, the man responsible for all the horror in the series, murdered several children, including his best friend's daughter, by dressing up as an Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal to gain their trust. Creating the Funtime animatronics to claim more victims, once Afton's own daughter dies in an accident, he tortures the animatronic that her soul possessed via controlled shocks. He would then send his son Michael on a suicide mission to the facility where he keeps the Funtimes, resulting in Michael's death and resurrection as a near-immortal zombie. Thirty years after his death, Afton would haunt the withered and decayed Springtrap animatronic, eager to keep killing. Eventually, he would brainwash a woman called Vanessa into murdering children under his name, claiming nine more victims.
    • See here for details about the character as he appears in the Novel Trilogy.
  • Critical Dissonance: Five Nights at Freddy's may be the poster child for this trope. All the games but the first have mixed reactions from critics, with 4 being the lowest-rated out of all of them (the same game that has a 96% user score on its Steam page), while fans usually love the whole series with mixes of Broken Base from time to time.
  • Cry for the Devil: The animatronics are vicious and relentless, that has to be said. But once you discover that they're possessed by the souls of children murdered in the establishment, they also become a bit tragic.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • A lot of fans have a tendency to draw Freddy and Friends as REALLY adorable and innocent creatures. Which is ironically fitting, considering that mascots are supposed to be lovable Friends to All Children.
    • Out of all the robots, Foxy is the most likely to be seen as not actively hostile to the security guard. Some people think he might just be trying to run away from the other robots, or even help the guard. It's probably because he's the only one who doesn't trigger a Jump Scare when he enters the room (aside from the usual screech), though your heart might skip a beat if you see he's out of the Pirate Cove.
    • All of the animatronics. They're killer animatronics out for your head, and people write fanfictions where they're amiable to the security guards. This is justified a little since the animatronics are haunted, malfunctioning, or both.
    • Somehow, even William Afton gets this treatment. He is commonly portrayed as The Atoner in fan works, and artists like to draw him as being extremely attractive. While some fans decide to portray him in a more sympathetic and tragic light, usually having a Freudian Excuse (like losing one of his kids or his wife or having a Dark and Troubled Past) as a way to explain why he's the child killer he is today. A few have even glossed over the fact that he murdered from 6 to 11 children.
    • However, some fans who acknowledge William as a Complete Monster instead give the sympathetic treatment to Spring Bonnie himself — the very mascot character whom William disguised as to lure in his victims, and whose suit would eventually skewer Afton to death in a springlock accident. In fan works where Spring Bonnie is portrayed as his own individual character separate from Afton, it has become something of a trend to portray him as an non-malicious fellow who never meant to harm children in the first place, but was forced by a serial killer to murder them against his will, all the while being subjected to what is essentially Demonic Possession from his point of view. Whereas a lot of fans portray Spring Bonnie as something closer to a Depraved Kids' Show Host, here he is presented as a more tragic character whose Dark and Troubled Past with Afton left him badly traumatized and disillusioned.
    • Vanny sometimes gets this treatment. To be fair, it's all but outright stated that she's a victim of brainwashing and corruption, and it's implied in the emails that her true, unbrainwashed personality is a sweet-natured Glurge Addict. That said, it's fairly common to downplay the fact that she's a child murderer and follower of Afton.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: The series has attracted a number of fans who are interested in the premise and story, but are turned off by the actual gameplay and content themselves with reading wikis and watching YouTube videos about it instead.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Chica is a chicken, not a duck!
    • If you haven't guessed from the name: Foxy is a fox. But a handful of people will call him a wolf, coyote, or some other canine.
    • Some fans won't take kindly to calling Bonnie a girl.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: Chances are, if an animatronic is missing from one of the series (Example: No Funtime Chica in the game the Funtimes were introduced), expect to see fanart of said character as if they were in said series.
  • Fanfic Fuel: More like WMG Fuel, but this also applies. The series's backstory and the information given across the whole series ranges from making sense but lacking completeness (like the fact that the murderer even exists) to being completely vague (such as his motivations or personality), and there's tons of room for personal interpretations and or opinions about the events that transpired.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Many fans don't like to consider the post-Pizzeria Simulator games canon, as they feel that a Happy Ending Override is cheap and mean-spirited and gives a middle finger to the very emotional and dramatic ending of Pizzeria Simulator, which was billed as the Grand Finale of the series. This especially increased after Security Breach, which (in contrast to the reveal in Help Wanted that William "merely" persists as a digital ghost) reveals that Springtrap again exists physically, and so does Molten Freddy, who's also now implied to have absorbed Baby's and the Puppet's essence, meaning that essentially nothing from Pizzeria Simulator's dramatic ending actually stuck. Others try to mitigate this by believing that the games from VR Help Wanted onward are set in an Alternate Continuity where Springtrap survived and Fazbear Entertainment came back from bankruptcy.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
  • Follow the Leader: The success of the games have inspired fan-made copycats known as "FNAF clones" to emerge most notably Five Nights at Treasure Island and Five Nights at Fuckboy's.
  • Genius Bonus: Bit unclear on how intentional this was, but anyone familiar with opera will recognize the tune Freddy plays is from Carmen. The subject of said song? A man singing about how much he loves his job, which as a toreador is evading and battling large creatures that are trying to kill him. Likely to be very intentional, given the chorus (the only part of the song Freddy plays) is about how the toreador should think of the dark eye watching from above. And that love is waiting for him...
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The message "These characters will live on. In the hearts of kids, these characters will live on." is meant to inspire Fridge Horror in players. However, it becomes oddly sweet when one considers the significant Periphery Demographic of kids that enjoy the game. Freddy Fazbear and his friends will live on in their hearts.
  • Hype Backlash: The massive YouTube exposure has predictably resulted in people becoming sick of the game and probing its weaknesses and plot issues. Then there are those who look at the fanbase gushing over the game and start from there. And on Reddit, there is a vast majority who despise the area of the fandom occupied by kids.
  • Iron Woobie: The Cassette Man — formerly a colleague of William Afton — assisted Afton in running Fredbear's Family Diner as well as in creating the animatronics. When his daughter was murdered by Afton note , the Cassette Man discovers Afton's evil purposes upon seeing the souls of the slain children inhabiting the animatronics. Desiring revenge, as well as atonement for his involvement, Cassette Man creates an elaborate trap to capture the remaining animatronics before burning the confinement to the ground and freeing the souls. If the plan fails, the Cassette Man would lament over his failure in the Insanity ending of the sixth game. While the series has several tragic characters including most of the animatronics and security guards that were murdered, the Cassette Man stands as the most tragic figure, having been manipulated and betrayed by his former friend.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: FNaF is so popular, several channels are doing more FNaF-based content due to its popularity, which makes several of their fans mad.
    • Not just that, this song is criticized just for becoming viral due to a popular FNaF fan video.
  • It Was His Sled: Enough to get his own page.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Soon after the teaser for FNAF 6 was released, Scott Cawthon said the main series has been cancelled because he wants to focus on other projects, or even do another FNAF spin-off. Due to Scott's Trolling Creator tendencies, many fans don't buy this bit of news.
  • Love to Hate: The bots are surprisingly well-liked for a bunch of haunted killdroids. Fanon often gives them a lot of personality, and most fans seem to accept they act like squabbling but ultimately loving siblings. When the sequel was first announced and it seemed like the old Fazbear gang would be left to rot, it was a Tear Jerker for most fans. As it turned out, they were left to rot in the past, then fixed up for this game.

    M-Z 
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Thanks to rebornica's arts, Mike Schmidt seems to be becoming one.
    • Freddy Fazbear has been turned into one thanks to several jokes about him being deployed to take part in conflict against the Taliban or the Russians. With most of the opposing armies letting out Oh, Crap! reactions as he's being deployed via helicopter.
  • Memetic Loser: Chica the Chicken and her counterparts have it rough in the fandom. Even when there was only one game, a popular meme was Chica being obsessed about pizza. Come the second game, she's in a terrible condition and her counterpart, Toy Chica, became a favorite character to subject to Self-Fanservice and Rule 34, something the fandom won't forget to this day. In the third game, Phantom Chica is compared to a watermelon. After two games of being spared, she doesn't get a Funtime or Twisted variant. However, when Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator was released, a Funtime Chica finally appeared... a full game too late to have any sort of lore relevance. And in Ultimate Custom Night, her normal, withered, Rockstar and Funtime counterparts have mechanics that are absolutely hilariousTheir Mechanics  (in fact, only Jack-o-Chica and Nightmare Chica have actually serious mechanics), and let's not mention the Toy Chica cutscenes. Despite this dying down with Help Wanted and onward, the fandom will probably never stop making jokes about Chica.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Fanart has been produced depicting the robots as stalkers with crushes and/or Yandere. Freddy seems to get this the most out of all the animatronics.
    • Purple Guy has become one as well.
  • Mis-blamed: On the official FNAF subreddit, Rebornica is blamed for many of the problems they caused by their AU. However, many people forget that Rebornica's violent reactions were due to the massive flow of bullying that they received each day, that they were unable to stop their character, Vincent, from being turned into an abomination by the Vocal Minority, that their fandom got out of control and became annoyingly pushy, and Rebornica has repeatedly insisted that their comics are an AU, NOT CANON. Still, though, you shouldn't mention this to any Redditors, unless you want to get downvoted to hell and back.
    • Thankfully, the subreddit has actually begun to realise their misblaming towards Rebs.
  • Moment of Awesome: You will never be happier to see a fake check for $120, guaranteed. See also the entry for Most Wonderful Sound.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Purple Guy crosses it by killing five children and letting someone else get arrested for the deed.
  • Never Live It Down: The insanely dangerous nature of the job that most of the player characters take has elevated into a running joke that was eventually even referenced in Sister Location with a character questioning whether you have a death wish. The thing is, in a sort of reverse Survivorship Bias, the player character actually would have no reason to believe they're actually in that much danger in any situation in which they survive the night (read: the only times they'll come back to the job the next day). The Arbitrary Skepticism that they're stereotyped with is only such to the player because they see timelines in which the character dies (and the minigames revealing more of the history of the locations). The character themselves has no reason to believe they're in a horror game or that there's anything supernatural going on any time they survive a night, so it would just be a really unsettling job to have, not a life-threatening one. It still wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but it wouldn't require a death wish to stay in. The closest exception would be the final night of the first game, which takes place the day after a phone call that heavily implies your co-worker was killed. However, even then, from a real life perspective, you'd likely expect that your co-worker is playing a prank on you (even, if not especially, with the scary but random message on the next night), since possessed killer animatronics don't exist in real life, and you haven't seen them do anything more than wander around in a way you're told is part of their programming.
  • Obvious Crossover Method: Take one of the many, many works that feature a parody of Chuck E. Cheese's. Now you can do a "Five Nights at X" of that (e.g. Five Nights at Chubby Cheese's, Five Nights at Pete A. Pizza's, Five Nights at Bloaty's, Five Nights at Goofy Goober's, Five Nights at Spunk E. Pigeon's, etc.).
  • Periphery Demographic: The games are surprisingly popular among children ages 12 and under. It makes more sense than you'd think — the gameplay is simple, the scares are relatively mild, and the characters are distinctive and appeal to kids.
  • Popular with Furries: The series proved appealing to many furries, despite not exactly being a horror furry game. Especially Foxy. Someone must have taken notice, as at least the most prominent furry site, FurAffinity, now runs ads for the game.
  • Recurring Fanon Character: Originally a hoax regarding a "secret character", Sparky the Dog became a popular "secret" character among fans. He even received something akin to Ascended Fanon when series creator Scott Cawthon included a dog animatronic named Fetch in the tie-in book series Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights Fazbear Frights.
  • Sailor Earth: The animatronics have an animal theme and distinct aesthetic and each set of them has a consistent design scheme, leaving plenty of fuel for authentic-styled OC animatronics in fanart and fangames.
  • The Scrappy: In a series filled with animatronic characters that are either Love to Hate or too tragic to be truly hated, Balloon Boy stands out as the most genuinely hated character in the franchise. Thanks to providing one of the biggest Scrappy Mechanics in the series, but even outside of gameplay, many deride him for being a Flat Character who has very little to do with the intriguing lore.
  • Self-Fanservice:
    • In a non-sexual example, many fanartists are fond of depicting the Fazbear gang as adorable, non-robotic Funny Animal versions of the characters. (See Draco in Leather Pants above). Heck, even the robotic fanart can still look cute.
    • There's also some of the usual interpretation of this trope, what with the Memetic Molester fanart dropping the "nonconsensual" part of the whole deal after some time.
    • The player characters get a bit of this too, though it's more understandable here since we never see them onscreen.
    • Even the Purple Man gets this, not helped by the fact that the player only ever sees him as an Atari-esque sprite or as a rotted corpse inside the Springtrap suit. Later games make it clear he's at least middle-aged with multiple children, and the novels depict him as a Formerly Fat haggard-looking man Covered in Scars. Despite this, it's common to depict him as looking younger and/or more conventionally attractive.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • A noteworthy one that applies to many of the games is the "Green Run", which aims to complete nights while using as little power as possible.
    • A challenge that can be done through the use of cheats is beating the hardest Custom Night setting at a faster speed, ranging from 150% to 200%. This requires insane reflexes and strategy.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Despite there being no official couples in the game, much less actual interactions between characters, the fandom has a fair number of these.
    • Foxy/Chica is hugely popular in the fandom, likely due to some of the more popular fans within the fandom shipping them, and contributing fanwork to them.
    • Besides the above pairing, it is also fairly common to ship Bonnie and Chica (as well as their Toy counterparts) together for the same reasons behind the fan interpretation as an inseparable duo of sorts; see their Fanon entry above.
    • Foxy and Mangle is another common pairing, which is helped by the fact that they are the only pair of counterparts who can regularly be seen in the same room together. They often both appear in the hallway outside of The Office. They pretty much, in a way, invoke the Battle Couple trope.
    • Charlie and Elizabeth from the novels also seem quite popular with the fanbase, with a fair amount of fanwork that portray the two dating in an AU.
    • Another pairing that became popular is Afton/Vanny, with the two often being portrayed in a romantic relationship very reminiscent of that between The Joker and Harley Quinn.
    • Speaking of Security Breach, Roxanne/Glamrock Chica appears to be picking up steam.
    • For a time during Security Breach's pre-release it was popular to ship Vanny with the blonde female nightguard seen in promotional material, typically as Foe Yay Shipping. However, this ship has largely been abandoned due to merch and leaks implying the two were the same person.
  • Signature Scene: Every game in the series has at least one iconic scene.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Although the movie adaptation will come out ...eventually, there are at least two other films that have taken a lot of cues from the games: The Banana Splits Movie and especially Willy's Wonderland.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • All of the animatronics can fall under this. Especially Foxy.
    • Possibly the reason for Foxy's popularity. After you get over the initial Jump Scare, his half-closed eyes and slack-jawed expression are almost goofy. The fact that he merely steps into the office rather than lunging at the player also detracts from the creepy factor.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Bonnie and Foxy in particular fall under this. On the one hand, they are referred to as male in games (IE: Phone Guy states that Foxy hides behind a curtain because "He doesn't like being watched"). Likewise, both have a masculine appearance to them (Bonnie being muscular and wearing a red bowtie and Foxy being dressed like a typical pirate (eyepatch and hook hand)). On the other hand, both Bonnie and Foxy are names often associated with females. It also doesn't help that these are robots we're talking about, which wouldn't really have any clear sex/gender to begin with. Because of this, there is a lot of debate among fans of the game as to whether or not Foxy and/or Bonnie are male or female or if it even matters.
    • Word of God has confirmed that Foxy and Bonnie are indeed males. Though that hasn't stopped fanart of them being portrayed as females.
    • Likewise, Chica tends to be mistaken for male by first time players, due to her not having many Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. The second game gives her Toy counterpart a more obviously feminine appearance.
  • Viewer Species Confusion: At first, many mistook Chica for a duck (and many still do), but the general consensus is that she's a chicken. Also, some mistook Foxy for a coyote or a wolf at first.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Children's animatronics in a family pizzeria as you do night watch! What could possibly go wrong? Well, if anyone paid about fifteen seconds of attention to the Greenlight/Steam trailer, everything.
    • Conversely, What Do You Mean, It's for Kids? in that a lot of children really love the games, they're actively play tested by Scott's own children, and a lot of merchandise is aimed at kids as well. Most later game tends to deemphasize the more graphic side of the series, Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach in particular limiting most of the darker aspects of the series to euphemisms. Most of them.

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