Game Theory: FNAF, The Clue that SOLVES Five Nights at Freddy’s!

Today, we end the horror. Today, we solve FNAF. *Creepy Game Theory Intro Music* Hello Internet, welcome to GAME THEORY, where, after months of intensive therapy I’m back to finally put the original FNAF tetralogy to rest. It’s done. No more Halloween updates, no more FNAF 5 rumors and no more FAN. *psycho violin screech* Suck on that you multi-bladed propeller of air. So shortly after my last Freddy theory, I arranged a live-stream with some follow FNAFers to close the book on the series, and what happened was something that none of us expected. *weird distorted audio* (We have internet.) We have inter- We’re back.

No, not the stream issues. Scott started talking to us. Well, kinda. He kept updating his site,, with cryptic messages as to the true meaning of the game. “What is seen in shadows is easily misunderstood in the mind of a child.” “In the FNAF 4 minigame, why would the tiny toy Chica be missing her beak?” And finally, “Four games. One story.” It was incredible! After a year of taking shots in the dark, finally we were, in a way, hearing back from the man who knew all the answers.

Scott Cawthon, the creator was reaching out of the shadows to give us, for pretty much the first time ever, concrete leads as to where to look, but what did these cryptic clues mean? In the moment the best I could do was this: “Is it possible that FNAF 2 didn’t actually happen?” …but in the days that followed, those three clues led theorists on Reddit, Steam and Youtube to completely throw out everything that they knew about the franchise. What if we were looking at the franchise all wrong? Instead of counting animatronic toes, calculating minimum wage rates, and tracking Purple Guy’s work history, maybe we needed to take a step back.

What if, everything in FNAF was just a dream? *Golden Freddy jumpscare* That’s right, a FNAF dream theory, that everything we play through these games was created in the mind of the FNAF 4’s crying child. It sounds like a cop-out, right? like a lazy storytelling cliche. Maybe, but stay with me. Even if you think you’ve heard parts of this theory before, you’ll want to stick around. I’ve unearthed the clues that finally put our year and a half of FNAF speculating to rest. Of the three clues Scott gave us that day, the most damning one was the last one. “Why would tiny toy Chica be missing her beak?” Uhhhh… what? In the FNAF 4 minigame you can talk to a small girl on the playground, with toy versions of Bonnie, Freddy, and Chica, …but her beak is missing?

During the stream we were all like “Scott, puh-lease.” But when we looked, sure enough, there it was. A few orange pixels laying on the ground. What? Seriously? THIS was the crucial detail all of us had missed. And yet, for as absurd as it may sound, those five pixels changed everything. Upending a year’s worth of theorizing. Because that missing beak directly parallels FNAF 2’s new version of Chica, who loses her beak when she goes on the attack. It was something we all had written off as a graphical glitch or a design choice, not as a clue to the meaning of the entire series. And yet, here it was, from the creator’s mouth. And that is when it started to click. FNAF 2’s shiny new animatronics. What are they called? Toy animatronics.

And that’s not just a cute name the community came up with like “Freddles”. It’s right there in the custom night menu. It’s canon. That’s a strange name for a bunch of robots, right? Unless it’s meant to be taken literally and then they’re all just a bunch of toOOOH my God… What if they are toys, and this is all just a dream scenario inspired by these little guys? Well, let’s keep going with this toy clue. I mean obviously the toy animatronics are shiny, plastic looking, fake, just like a small plastic action figure would be. But it explains a bigger question about FNAF 2. The look and design of Mangle. I mean seriously! The story we’re told to believe in this game is pretty absurd, that kids just rip it apart and put it back together again? And so the employees just leave it as a mangled collection of parts for small children to play with. What parents would ever be comfortable letting little Timmy touch that thing?! “Aww, and here is a cute thing for you to play with.” “OH MY GOSH! Who could have seen that coming?”

But if we assume FNAF 2 is in the mind of a child who has seen all these toys, Mangle makes a whole lot more sense. it’s just a dismantled toy. Think about Sid from Toy Story who fuses various toys together to create hideous abominations. This explains Mangle’s two heads. I don’t care how much you redesign Foxy, NO ONE planned him to have two heads. In fact, note that Mangle appears in the girl’s room. An insignificant detail? I don’t think so. The Chica beak shows that this girl’s toys fall apart, just like Mangle, the tear apart, put back together, toy. And toys explain FNAF 1 too. The crying child of FNAF 4 has four plushies in his room, the crew from FNAF 1 – plushies, as in soft stuffed animals. What are the original four animatronics made out of? Soft materials. Fur and fabric, not plastic like the Toys. So much so that the one thing that we hear about them throughout the series is that these old animatronics collect odors, and never get washed. Just like an overused and overloved stuffed animal, but the parallels don’t stop there. Why is Foxy out of order in FNAF 1? Well, the plushie he’s based on is missing its head. How about Foxy’s jump-scare, popping in abruptly from behind the wall? It’s awfully similar to the way the Brother scares the Crying Child throughout FNAF 4, in his Foxy mask, no less And how does Golden Freddy fit into this? Well, in a hidden FNAF 4 easter egg, we see on the TV that the show “Fredbear and Friends” features the golden Fredbear alongside the core four of Foxy, Freddy, Bonnie and Chica. That’s your cast from the first game. The dream of FNAF 1 was inspired by this show and the plushies, hence it not containing any of the other animatronics, even the fact that the child doesn’t have a golden Freddy plush and that instead he has his imaginary friend, Psychic Friend Fredbear who appears and disappears at will directly references Golden Freddy’s ghostly behavior in FNAF 1 and 2 In fact, every game, design detail, and animatronic can be explained under this theory. The recurring elements of the phone and the, ugh, fan, right there from some of his favorite toys. The fact that no one in their right mind would work in a place like this? Dream. Firing an employee for something like odor? It’s a child’s imagination of what employment is like. How about the weird metaphysical hoops that you have to jump through to access FNAF 3’s mini games? Well, dreams have weird rules where dialing codes into cinder blocks makes perfect sense. FNAF 3’s Springtrap is directly inspired by the girl and her Golden Bonnie finger puppet that pinches and traps her finger. The idea that the animatronics stuff you into suits comes from this girl spreading the urban legend that if you die they hide your body and never tell. The naked endoskeletons come from his time trapped in the supply room. Balloon Boy is the dream version of this kid, excited to go to the birthday party. They even have a single balloon each! Even the oddballs of Shadow Freddy and Shadow Bonnie fit under this theory. They’re the product of the crying child being freaked out by the shadows that Golden Freddy and Bonnie cast onto the wall. And while we’re on the subject of shadows, dream theory even rolls up the Purple Guy. Let’s pull in Scott’s second clue. “What is seen in shadows is easily misunderstood in the mind of a child.” Yes, he could be referencing the Shadow animatronics, which are literal shadows, but what he’s more likely referencing is Purple Guy helping a fellow employee put on the yellow suit. They’re in a dark shadowy room, and what the kid sees, or what he thinks he sees, is someone getting violently stuffed into a suit when it’s just a mascot putting on its head. Think about how traumatic it be if you were a kid and you were at Disneyland, and then saw Mickey Mouse suddenly take off its head! It would blow your mind. But we all know that there’s no murder happening. It’s just employees going about the daily grind. In fact, that’s why Purple Guy is purple, in the Atari style games, shadows are represented not with black, but with purple, as indicated by the shadows cast by the animatronics on stage. That’s why Shadow Freddy, Shadow Bonnie, and even the innocent employee in the dark back room, the shadowy Purple Guy, are such an unusual color. Still skeptical? So was I. Sure, it answers a lot and smooths out the timeline, but there was still one piece of the puzzle that was missing. One thing that was nagging me. It still felt like a convenient explanation, but not an intentional one. Not something that Scott had planned for the series. All I needed was just that one detail that made everything fit together. But then, while writing this script, it finally dawned on me. The nail in the coffin, the one piece of evidence that no one can deny and that, to my knowledge, no one has talked about in the months of theorizing. The detail that convinced me, this theory has to be true. Are you ready to have your mind blown? Listen to the sound that you hear at the end of every night of the first three games. *Grandfather Clock Chiming* *Higher Pitched Grandfather Clock Chiming* *Same Grandfather Clock Chiming* A grandfather clock, chiming the same song, every time. why would the end of my shift, in an office, be signaled by a grandfather clock chime? It wouldn’t. Unless I was asleep, dreaming in my house, with a grandfather clock right outside my room. Just like the layout of the Crying Child’s house we see in the FNAF 4 mini games. Six o’clock A.M., time to get up. But now let’s look at FNAF 4. How does each night end there? *Beeping* A beeping alarm clock. Why? Because we’re no longer in the Crying Child’s house. We’re in a hospital, trying to recover from being bitten. Hence the pills, IV, and flower easter eggs. No hospital has a grandfather clock, but they’re all equipped with a generic digital alarm clock. This, to me was the missing link. The piece of evidence that took this theory from convenient explanation for a lot of the game’s weirdness, to definitive proof that this is what Scott intended. My heart is racing right now, I’m so excited about sharing this with you. It feels like finding the Rosetta Stone, the one detail that unlocks everything else in this huge mystery we’ve been trying to solve. But at the same time, it’s bittersweet, right? Remember what I said at the beginning of the episode? *Episode? Episode?* “It sounds like a cop-out right? Like a lazy storytelling cliche.” *Yelling* How many of you agreed with that? If you’re honest with yourself, I bet a lot of you. You’ll notice across my videos, I don’t cover dream and coma theories very often for exactly that reason. They’re too easy, too flexible. Because it’s all a dream, weird stuff can be written off. Logical errors overlooked simply because it’s not actually real. In the theory world, they’re OP. They’re hard to argue against and can be molded to fit any random collection of details, and for a game like FNAF, where us theorists have spent thousands of hours combing through all the details, making and remaking timelines, bending over backwards to make every last piece of information fit together across the four games. A “it was just a dream” reveal, invalidates all of that work. It says that none of it really mattered, since none of it really happened. And Scott knows this. Let’s look at a quote from Scott’s update on steam regarding the halloween DLC for FNAF 4. Quote: “The story remains completely hidden.” “I guess most people assumed that I filled the game with random easter eggs this time. I didn’t.” “What’s in the box? It’s the pieces put together.” “But the bigger question is, would the community accept it that way?” “The fact that the pieces have remained elusive this time strikes me as incredible, and special,” “a fitting conclusion in some ways, and because of that,” “I’ve decided that maybe some things are best left forgotten, forever.” End quote. To me, the key phrase here is “Would the community accept it that way?” He knows that a “it’s all the dream” explanation, would fail to live up to our astronomical expectations. It’s underwhelming. What about the Puppet? What about the oddly specific detail of the paychecks? How about Scott confirming on steam that my FNAF 2 theory was almost a hundred percent correct! It’s this “will the community accept it?” quote that makes me think Scott intended the dream theory to be official, but also understands that ever revealing it, would be a huge mistake. Hence him keeping it locked in the box. I mean you can already see it in the comment threads discussing earlier versions of the dream theory. People enraged by the sheer mention of this thing. Heck, you’ll probably see it in this comment section. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, the nights themselves may be a series of dreams. But the lore contained within those dreams doesn’t have to be meaningless. In fact, it’s not. Think about it, the urban legends the kids are sharing had to start somewhere. *Brother jumpscare* That crying child clearly saw something that made him scared of these restaurants. And then how do the Atari games fit in? Are they just dreams within dreams? They’re not. In researching this episode, I not only found the clues that solidify the dream theory, but also the missing links that we’ve all been overlooking in putting the FNAF timeline together. Scott’s final clue about “Four games. One story.” may be a reference to a crying child’s nightmares and eventual death in the hospital. But it can also be referencing the story of the games’ primary struggle. The Puppet, and the Purple Guy. And next week we’re covering that. On an all-new Game Theory, Saturday the 19th at 3 o’clock P.M. eastern time, 12 o’clock P.M. pacific time. That’s noon for all of you currently trying to figure out whether that’s midnight or noon. I know, I know, I get it confused all the time too. Why am I telling you the time it will be published and uploaded? Well we’re covering that story followed up immediately by a live stream discussion where I, and hopefully a few other theorists, theorists, will be able to answer your questions as we close out the year with the definitive answers to this incredibly mysterious series. And I want you guys to be there so you can ask your questions and talk about all this together with us live. So remember, that Saturday the 19th at 3 o’clock P.M. eastern time, noon pacific time, for that episode followed immediately by live discussion with you guys. I cannot wait to share all of this with you guys. And in the meantime, remember. That’s just a theory, a GAME THEORY. *Fan jumpscare* Sweet dreams…

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