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YMMV / Five Nights at Freddy's

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Works with their own YMMV pages:




YMMV tropes that apply to the franchise as a whole:

General examples

  • 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. Possibly bypassed with the implications that the digital entity thought to be William since VR could be the Mimic, though he's a Base-Breaking Character in his own right.
  • Badass Decay: William Afton's Joker Immunity has caused him to go from being praised for his character as an impressive serial killer that avoids being caught to being reduced to a gag due to the longevity of his character arc. Of course, said arc actually finished in Pizzeria Simulator because he was Killed Off for Real by then, but that part is largely ignored.
  • 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 (or at the very least don't like jump scares) 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. Desiring to study fear in children, Afton, as revealed in "Dittophobia", would begin an experiment where he would use fear gas on kidnapped kids and torment them with machines night after night for years. Afton would then create the Funtime animatronics to capture and kill more children, keeping the sapient machines locked in his facility and regularly tortured. After his death, Afton would haunt the withered Springtrap animatronic, eager to keep killing. He travels to Henry's pizzeria intending to slaughter more children, while also trying to murder his own son Michael.
    • See here for details about the character as he appears in the Novel Trilogy and here for his incarnation in the 2023 movie adaptation.
    • Fazbear Frights: Eleanor is a demonic mechanical being who serves as the true mastermind of the events of the series. A monstrous Serial Killer who feeds off the agony of her victims, Eleanor is responsible for murdering dozens of victims in grotesque manners. In her first appearance in the series, Eleanor mutilates and murders a young girl named Sarah who had helped her to steal her organic body parts. The mastermind to many of the grisly murders to occur in the series, Eleanor has decapitated a teenage girl through an animatronic; driven a woman insane and to death; and traps the soul of a deceased boy so he can experience his organs being removed. Each of her victims' souls is trapped in her ball pit where they're forced to experience their horrific fates over and over again. Reviving and empowering child serial murderer William Afton, Eleanor is responsible for him causing mass death and chaos through the series and helps empower him to become an amalgamation monster of animatronics that threatens the entire city. Ultimately, Eleanor intends to gain the power of "Remnant", planning to use it to superempower herself and spread suffering across the planet.
  • Creator Worship: Scott Cawthon has the reputation of being a very Nice Guy among fans. It's helped by him being very accesbile with his fanbase through Steam and Reddit even though he otherwise stay out of the spotlights. He also encouraged fan games and even gave their creators a career boost with the Fazbear Fanverse Initiative. Him offering refunds for FNaF World after regretting rushing the game, making some of his games free, and general genorisity during charity livestreams also contribute to this sentiment. Scott is considered an Unacceptable Target for many of his fans.
  • Critical Dissonance: Five Nights at Freddy's may be the poster child for this trope, at least for Video Games. All the games aside from the first one and Help Wanted have had mixed reactions from critics, with 4 being the lowest-rated out of all of them with 51% critic score (the same game that has a 96% user score on its Steam page). Yet despite this, the series has a very large and dedicated fanbase, with said fans usually loving the whole series with mixes of Broken Base from time to time. In fact, it could be argued that criticisms leveled at the FNaF games (e.g. simple gameplay and being relatively light on horror) are major reasons why the series became such a phenomenon.
  • 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. They're also frequently reduced to memes by the community, which also downplays how they're relentless killers whose designs are themed around the Uncanny Valley.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Evil Is Cool:
  • 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.
    • William Afton is may be an evil man who killed children, but fans don't take kindly for him to be interpreted as a pedophile since this comes off as very squicky and alienating.
  • 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: Many fans accept this fan-made audio of William Afton's death as canon.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: There are many, many different forms of this which is inevitable considering how many games have been released. Depending on the fan, you can:
    • Ignore all the sequels.
    • Accept the first and second game only.
    • Accept all the games up to 3 and ignore the rest. The first three games tell a perfect and surprisingly emotional self-contained story that remains free of the bloat of later games, while still leaving enough to the imagination. As per Scott, 4 was only created because 3 wasn't considered scary enough.
    • Accept games up to 4 and ignore the rest. While complicating the series' lore, it doesn't override 3's ending and the storyline has some rather iconic scenes. 4 was originally going to be the last and final game, anyway.
    • Ignore the divisive FNaF World. (It helps that Scott Cawthon himself regret making the game).
    • Ignore everything after Pizzeria Simulator. Many fans feel that a Happy Ending Override is cheap and mean-spirited and gives a big middle finger to the very emotional and dramatic ending of Pizzeria Simulator. This is likely the most widespread variant of this trope among the fanbase simply because of Pizzeria Simulator's iconic ending, which even detractors of the series' post-3 direction have praised.
    • Accept ALL the games. FNAF is FNAF, no matter what it is.
    • Accept all the games and the novels.
    • Any variation of the above.
  • 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...
  • Hard-to-Adapt Work: Given the large amount of games produced by the series, with each continuing to expand on the somewhat hidden yet extremely pivotal (and rather convoluted) lore, it's understandable that some adaptations of the series aren't looked upon too highly by certain fans. In fact, one of the main criticisms of the Five Nights at Freddy's movie is that people not very familiar with the series aren't likely to understand the several references and Easter eggs that are present.
  • 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.
  • The Inverse Law of Fandom Levity:
    • A franchise about Hostile Animatronics who kill the player for various reasons, but most of them being dead children killed ruthlessly by William Afton who seek vengeance, and the fandom mostly consists of trolls who only want to provide constant jokes about the characters regardless of the misfortune most of them have suffered, never mind the explicit horror aspects the franchise actually tries to convey. This is also applied to some fan games, though most of their fans simply don't take the situations in those fan games seriously as opposed to constantly joking about with no regard for what's going on in the source material.
    • This also applies in reverse, with the franchise mostly consisting of an Excuse Plot where the survival gameplay comes first and the story after, but as a result of Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game, there are non-stop theories about the franchise that take it all much too seriously in the story aspect.
  • Iron Woobie: Henry — 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 , Henry 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, Henry creates an elaborate trap to capture the remaining animatronics before burning the confinement to the ground and freeing the souls. If the plan fails, Henry 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, Henry 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 its use in the popular FNaF fan video How to Make Five Nights at Freddy's Not Scary.
  • 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: William Afton is a horrific Complete Monster and Hate Sink no doubt about it, yet he's more often than not beloved by the game's fanbase for kickstarting the events of the series and being a terrifying and all-too-real depiction of a child Serial Killer. Although he arguably suffers from Villain Decay later on, his presence in the series remains unforgettable.

  • Memetic Badass:
    • Thanks to rebornica's arts, Mike Schmidt became one in the early days of the fanbase.
    • Freddy Fazbear has been turned into one thanks to several jokes about him being deployed via helicopter to participate in various armed conflicts, with opposing forces having Oh, Crap! reactions in response to his arrival.
  • Memetic Loser: Chica the Chicken and her counterparts have it rough in the fandom. In the days when there was only one game, Chica was frequently mistaken for a duck and a popular meme was her having an obsession with pizza. In the second game, Withered Chica appears to be stuck T-posing and lacks hands, while her counterpart Toy Chica is frequently the subject of Self-Fanservice and sexually explicit artwork. In the third game, Phantom Chica's dingy green coloration combined with her striped burns results in the fanbase comparing her to a watermelon. After two games of being spared, she doesn't get a Funtime or Twisted variant... until a Funtime Chica appeared in Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator and was a full game too late to have any sort of lore relevance. While six versions of Chica appear in Ultimate Custom Night, four of them have very silly gameplay mechanicsTheir Mechanics and several of the cutscenes star a yandere version of Toy Chica. Despite this dying down with Help Wanted and onward, the fandom will probably never stop making jokes about Chica.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • It's popular for fan-art to depict the animatronics as stalkers with crushes and/or Yanderes. Freddy seems to get this the most.
    • William Afton has become one as well. However, this one is more justified since he is a Serial Killer.
  • 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. Thankfully, the subreddit eventually realised 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: William Afton crosses it by killing five children and possibly letting someone else get arrested for the deed.
  • Never Live It Down: The insanely dangerous nature of the job 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 despite including Jump Scares and Nightmare Fuel every 5 minutes. It makes more sense than you'd think — the gameplay is simple, the scares are relatively mild, and the characters are distinctive and children-friendly enough to kids. Overall, they're really must be some truth when Phone Guy claims "These characters hold a special place in the hearts of children, and we need to show them a little respect."
  • 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.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Freddy/Bonnie = Fronnie
    • Freddy/Chica = Freddica
    • Freddy/Foxy = Frexy
    • Bonnie/Chica = Bonnica
    • Toy Freddy/Toy Bonnie = Toy Fronnie
    • Toy Freddy/Toy Chica = Toy Freddica
    • Toy Bonnie/Toy Chica = Toy Bonnica
  • 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 Fazbear Frights anthology novel series, before fully becoming canonized in the movie.
  • Sailor Earth: The animatronics have mostly animal themes, distinct aesthetics and each set 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:
    • Several games have the possibility of being completed as a "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.
    • Tons of fan art of Gregory and the Crying Child can be found despite CC having canonicially died sometime in 1983 and Security Breach taking place somewhere in the 2020s or 2030s.
    • There are a surprising amount of people who ship Henry/William. This is largely because the novella trilogy establishes that William had an unhealthy obsession with Henry, as well as the fact that they were once friends. Most fanfiction that does, however, takes place in an alternate universe where William isn't a Serial Killer due to his killing of Charlie being seen as a deal breaker.
    • Similarly, it's popular to ship Ballora with any one of Afton's forms. This is because of a fan theory (bordering on Fanon) that Ballora either was based on or is possessed by William's wife, making it a Dry Docked Ship.
  • Signature Scene: Every game in the series has at least one iconic scene.
  • Spiritual Successor: Although the movie adaptation will come out in October 27th, 2023, 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 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 wolf at first.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: One of the most frequent victims of such. It is established by the gameplay and Scott Cawthon's previous works that the franchise is a Mascot Horror series, but aside from that, its main focus is to be a Survival Horror series where the plot comes second to the gameplay (the "Five Nights" part of the title is meant to be a satirical reference to the survival aspect). As it turns out, it has become one of the most theorized franchises in modern culture, and there are no limits for those fan theories and what fans use to conjure them up.
  • 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.

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