Adding to the first possible explanation, some people have theorized Mike Schmidt might be disabled, since he is unable to move from his seat, and is paid less than minimum wage (even for his day). Since people with disabilities often have a harder time finding work and additionally tend to have higher medical expenses, if he is disabled that might explain why he's willing to stay.
The animatronics themselves. Are they simply machines with malfunctioning programming, or are they corrupted by being haunted? Likewise, there is debate over whether or not they're truly malevolent or if they do genuinely believe you need "help" back into your costume.
One interpretation of the Phone Guy is that he's lying about the sentient robots being murderous to screw with your head. In this case, the guard simply faints from fear if caught and dreams of being mangled. The Phone Guy simply faked his death and recorded backwards audio after the fourth day up until he retired. Humorous, but unlikely, unfortunately.
In the Private Room Ennard implies that Eggs wants to see "her" again, most likely referring to his dead sister who was eaten by Baby, and believes she's still alive as Baby and thus, wants to keep her as near him as possible. This could be a reason why in the Fake Ending, he may have brought Ennard home with him, since they might have his sister in there.
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.
Complete Monster: William Afton is the man responsible for all the horror in the series. A serial killer, he murdered several children, and was apathetic when their spirits possessed the animatronics and became revenge-seeking monstrosities. In Sister Location, he is revealed to be the CEO of Afton Robotics, a position he used to create animatronics to abduct and murder children, with his daughter accidentally being among the victims. Sending his own son, Michael, to a facility where he constantly tortures and dismantles his sapient robots, resulting in Michael's painful death and resurrection as a revenge seeking zombie. He also planned to corrupt his daughter into becoming a killer herself and, after his own death, returns as Springtrap, eager to keep killing. Even after being burned to death, he returns once again to haunt a VR game and terrorize its beta testers. See here and here for details about the character as he appears in the Novel Trilogy and the Fazbear Frights respectively.
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.
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. A few have even glossed over the fact that he murdered from 6 to 11 children.
However, some fans who acknowledge Afton as a Complete Monster instead give the sympathetic treatment to Spring Bonnie himself — the very mascot character whom Afton disguised as to lure in his victims, and whose suit would eventually house Afton's remains. In fan works where Spring Bonnie is portrayed as his own individual character separate from Afton, one recurring portrayal of the former casts him as a non-malicious character who never meant to harm children, but had the misfortune of being used by as a literal Living Bodysuit and forced to commit murderagainsthiswill by a serial killer, leaving him badly traumatized.
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.
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.
A popular opinion prior to the sequel was that Foxy was the one who caused the Bite of '87, due to his area being closed off and Foxy being less maintained and worn out than the rest of the mascots. Putting 1987 as the difficulty on the 7th Night after a patch, however, brings a Golden Freddy Jump Scare, leading people to suspect that maybe Foxy was a Red Herring. The prequel largely Jossed this, however, since Foxy would've most likely been lying in the Parts/Service room at the time of the Bite.
Fans often portray the robots with an Electronic Speech Impediment of some kind, despite there being little to no indication of that happening in the game itself. However, this is somewhat believable due to how worn and old the animatronics are said to be.
The fans also agree that the cupcake is a security camera, and the fan sucks up all your power.
While in canon it only appears on her bib, "let's eat!" is often used as Chica's Catchphrase in fanworks. Due to the phrase in question, Chica is also frequently characterized as either a Big Eater with a particular liking for pizza, or the band's Team Chef who lovingly prepares treats for children and her friends alike (often complete with a chef motif in fan redesigns). The former would eventually become Ascended Fanon in Five Nights At Freddys VR Help Wanted.
Going back to Foxy, there's generally two interpretations of Foxy's role in the daytime show. One: He's an adventurous story teller that provides entertainment when the band needs a break for maintenance or something. Two: He's a Hamburglar-esque villain who raids and plunders pizza from the Fazbear group.
The Cap'n Foxy level in The Curse of Dreadbear offers another possible role: Foxy has pirate journeys that teach that friendship is the true treasure.
There are a few consensuses as to how the unvoiced characters would sound like. For example, Freddy's typically depicted as sounding like a Southern Gentleman.
Fredbear and Spring Bonnie are often subject to this by the fandom, due to how little is known about them during their prime.
General fan consensus on Spring Bonnie's daytime role is that he is not just Fredbear's faithful stage partner, but also as a guitarist in the same vein as his successors. In this case, his instrument of choice is often an old-fashioned banjo instead of the electric guitar his successors use.
Prior to Vanny's official reveal for Security Breach, the rabbit mask that appears as an Easter Egg in Help Wanted is frequently used as the basis for fan depictions of Vanny in her rabbit costume, designing her with black patches of fur instead of the crude stitching and patchwork of her official design. Additionally, it was common to portray her as a Goth prior to implications that she's the blonde security guard.
In fan works that feature the original and Toy generations of the mascots together, the relationship between members of the latter group and their respective counterparts can vary between portrayals. Often the two groups will be depicted as hating each other's guts to some degree, with the older mascots resenting the newer ones for replacing them and leaving them to rot. If they are shown to be on good terms instead, however, the originals are also likely to be portrayed as acting like parental figures towards the younger Toy characters, with the exception of Foxy and Mangle (see Fan-Preferred Couple below).
Another common pairing is Bonnie/Chica, running a close second behind Foxy/Chica in terms of popularity and appearing in fan works such as Tony Crynight's Five Nights At Freddy's. Most of this is due to Bonnie and Chica consistently appearing as Those Two Bad Guys in the series, seemingly working together as a pair to flank the player from both sides of the room, and the fact that they form a Yellow/Purple Contrast with their color schemes note At least in Fanon, where Bonnie is thought to be purple or lavender-colored; in the actual series, he and his counterparts (except Sprintrap) are more associated with the color blue than anything else certainly helps. This may also extend to the original pair's Toy counterparts respectively, due to their dynamic in the second game being almost identical.
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.
Genius Bonus: Bit unclear on how intentional this was, but anyone familiar with opera will recognize the tune Freddy plays is fromCarmen. 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* bullsthat 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.
The image quote for Video Game Movies Suck was once about how that Five Nights at Freddy's movie probably wasn't such a good idea. It was soon changed after a movie really was announced.
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.
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.
Memetic Loser: Chica the Chicken and her counterparts 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 subject to Rule 34, something the fandom won't forget to this day. In the third game, Phantom Chica is compared to a watermelon. After twogames 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 Normal Chica will be staying in the Kitchen, enjoying the music the Music Box plays, and you have to change it when she gets bored. Withered Chica will go through the front vent, and if she gets in, she'll be stuck in the entrance, and she will stay here like this for God knows how long. Rockstar Chica will be coming through the doors, and will leave after you place a wet floor sign. Funtime Chica becomes a distraction that involves drawings of her appearing in front of the screen with camera flashes. Yes, those are actually their 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.
The fan. Explanation The fan that appears in your room appears in every game for some reason. This got to the point where people made jokes about how the fan is the one being referred to in the Five Nights at Freddy's 3 trailer and Mat Pat saying And more fan. (shudders)
;) Explanation Scott often uses this emoticon in most comments and replies he makes, usually in a teasing sort of way. This has mutated to a point where you can actually use this emoticon as a flair on the FNaF subreddit.
The man behind the slaughter. Explanation A lyric from "It's Been So Long", a song by The Living Tombstone, describes the Purple Man/William Afton as this. In 2020, the song saw a resurgence in popularity, with "The man behind the slaughter" becoming something of a Fan Nickname for the character. On top of that, memes involving turning a character purple (sometimes with black sclera and white pupils) and referring to them as "the X behind the slaughter" started appearing as well (in a similar vein to the Thanos Car meme), with an excerpt of "It's Been So Long" usually accompanying the image.
[x] with FNAF ambiance Explanation A trend of videos where unsettling images are accompanied by the eerie ambience sounds from the series, the hallway alarm from 2 being the most popular choice.
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.
Moral Event Horizon: The killer crossed 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.
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 one prominent furry site, FurAffinity, now runs ads for the game.
Some theorize the player character in the first game is actually the man in the costume who murdered the children in the backstory, taking a job at Freddy's to make sure the truth never gets out, and if the animatronics are in fact possessed by the kids he murdered, it makes a lot more sense why they want him either dead, or to become what they became because of him.
Scott Cawthon became this in the eyes of the internet. Even detractors of the franchise and the games itself will nevertheless praise him for starting off very much at the bottom of video game designing only to use criticisms towards him into a strength. The fact he's emphasized his love for the games simply because they are fun to make and cares about the fanbase to inciting a fan initiative for the fan games adds more to it. He's even become a big Unacceptable Target for some if either one accuses him of "milking the franchise" or the similar drama moments with MatPat constantly doing his theory videos on the games.
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.
The player character gets a bit of this too, though it's more understandable here since we never see him 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.
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.
Deliberately invoked with Freddy and co. The creepy CG on the suits makes Freddy and his friends seem off-putting and extremely scary. The genesis for the games came from Scott Cawthorn's previous efforts being criticized for having characters that moved like animatronic puppets. He almost gave up on game design before realizing "Wait, I can use that..."
The Greenlight trailer features Bonnie pulling off his mask/face to leer at you with his metal endoskeleton, apparently just to be creepy.
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.
Win the Crowd: Regarding the movie. The announcement that the animatronics will be brought to life with genuine animatronics and practical effects, and that Scott Cawthon will be heavily involved in the creative process (and director Gil Kenan implying he's perfectly happy to have Cawthon reprise his role as Phone Guy) have alleviated many fears about the coming adaptation.