Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.

Now I’ve talked about this franchise before, with how it scares us and why it’s so popular. But I’ve yet to talk about the lore of it because, well, MatPat’s Game Theory show (seriously, go watch it, it’s a great show) seemed to answer all the questions… or did it? Because while I agree with some of his conclusions, I think he’s still not painting the whole picture. So join me as I come up with a definitive, all-encompassing theory that will be invalidated when the fourth game comes out.

Note: You really need to go watch all of MatPat’s videos about this first, because I’m not gonna waste time explaining stuff he already covered. So while I’m going to elaborate on personal theories, I will make leaps in logic that require a knowledge of what the game series is actually about in order to follow. Go read up on the background first, or watch his videos, then come here. Because this blog is going to be long enough as it is without me explaining the ‘common knowledge’ on this lore.

The Videos

FNAF 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th_LYe97ZVc

FNAF 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1kw1RmzrPc

FNAF 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPugMe4ePEw & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgACktyVXbk & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQv_k43MYdw

Now since I’m splitting these blogs into multiple parts (since the overall blog is over ten thousand words long, making it a mammoth even by my standards), I’m going to examine it piece by piece in order to build up a comprehensive picture of all the lore in the series. So the first thing we have to ask ourselves is: When and where do these games actually take place? It’s a minor thing, but learning this will be vital in unravelling everything else.

So then, let us start with the story as presented to us by MatPat’s theory: We first have the Fredbear’s Family Diner, a simple little place, sometime before 1987. During FNAF 2, we get references to a ‘sister location’, a location other than the one we’re playing in FNAF 2. So we’re going to call this location Location 1. It’s believed that it’s this location where the child murders took place. Meanwhile in FNAF 2, we have Location 2, where we’re playing, and where the bite of ’87 takes place. Then in FNAF 1 we have the location for this game, which we shall call Location 3. And finally we have where we’re playing in FNAF 3, which we shall call Location 4. So we have a Diner and four other Locations over the course of these three games. Seems simple enough, right? Well, maybe not.

So lets create a timeline for when all this has to take place. We know that FNAF 2 takes place in 1987, and that FNAF 3 takes place 30 years after FNAF 1. But that’s not a lot to go on now, is it. We can say that, at most, 1987 is a key piece of knowledge. But, lets instead start at the beginning. When, exactly, would the Fredbear’s Family Diner be operational? Well to work that out, we need to look at the one mascot that appears for certain in this place.

In a mini-game in Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 we see a loan Freddy running around, trying to give kids cake. The question we have to ask is: Is this an animatronic? Certainly the timing would be curious to say the least. Now it was established that this is the first location due to it being smaller and only having one costumed character, as pointed out in MatPat’s Game Theory. This place is the Fredbear’s Family Diner, as Phone Guy points out. What wasn’t established, however, was whether this character was a robot. Now lets note something of interest here: Asimov is one of the first robots that can successfully walk. Now why do I bring up that tangent? Because we’ve only just managed to do that in the 21st Century. These games are set in the late 20th, long before such a thing was possible. How can there be walking robots in the 1980s, let alone when this first place was open? Furthermore audio-animatronics, at least the ones Disney made, didn’t first come about till the early 1960s. So then. If this Freddy in this Diner is a robot, we know that it can’t be set before the 1960s. But why should it be a robot at all? Because something else also happened in the early 1960s, something that changed fast food forever. In 1963 Ronald McDonald became one of the first, if not the first, big major mascots for a Fast Food place. Why do I bring this up? Well, why isn’t it possible that Freddy, in this Diner, is nothing more than a man in a suit? It’d make more sense, after all. The man who owned the diner is unlikely to have made a walking, talking audio-animatronic the same time Walt Disney, head of the biggest entertainment company in the world, did. Likewise it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that this owner came up with the idea of a beloved mascot before McDonalds did. But, lets listen to what Phone Guy says in FNAF 2 when he talks about the original diner:

“Uh, we’re going to try to contact the original restaurant owner. Uh, I think the name of the place was…”Fredbear’s Family Diner” or something like that. It’s been closed for years though, I doubt we’ll be able to track anybody down.”

So what can we gather from this? Well, besides there being an original diner, that this place had been closed down for years and they might not be able to find the owner. Odd, isn’t it? Especially since the Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza company is doing so well, making money off of this. Surely they must have kept in some contact. But the fact that they can’t find him is… telling. Because maybe it hasn’t been just a few years. Maybe it’s been closer to more than a decade?

So lets look at the facts: The Freddy in the Diner is more likely than not a man in a suit, not a robot. It was likely established sometime after Ronald McDonald was created, so lets say around the early 1970s. Why then? Mostly for convenience sake more than anything else, since it fits in better with my theories. So in the late 1970s a man is running a Diner with a popular character. What happens? Well, what always happens: Big Business brought the rights to the Freddy name and character and made it their own. This Diner owner takes the money and goes off to do his own thing, never to be seen again. Maybe he gets royalty checks, but more likely he didn’t think that far through if they can’t contact him. The managers of the franchise started their franchise by buying the rights of Freddy off of Mister Fred Bear. Why call him Mister Fred Bear? Well, again, lets look at the McDonalds franchise, founded by the McDonalds brothers. They named the restaurant, and by extension the franchise, after themselves. Same is likely true here. Mister Fred Bear set up a diner and, in a way of drawing in customers, came up with “Freddy the Bear” to fit in with his name. One home made costume later and he’s the hit of the town, to the point where Big Business buys the rights to it in order to exploit it. Again, very similar to the history of McDonalds, where it took an outside party to make McDonalds a hugely influential chain beyond the little diners the two brothers had set up. Intentionally or not, this early story plays out much like it does in McDonalds’ early history. So Big Business franchises the idea, spreading it far and wide as a sort of “proto-McDonalds”. “McDonalds-lite”. A rival to McDonalds, much the same way KFC or Burger King is. They have the Freddy mascot, who proves great with kids. The 70s are great, and the 80s roll around… and it’s here where things change somewhat.

The first Chuck E. Cheese opened in 1977, with its rival, ShowBiz Pizza Place, opening in 1980 after the partners in Chuck E. Cheese split. They eventually merged back together, but this gives us a better idea of the timeline. It’s safe to assume that the new Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza opened sometime around this time. So from a restaurant chain using a mascot (a man in a bear suit) in the late 60s early 70s to a fancy new restaurant in the late 70s early 80s. Now, what’s the key selling point of these new places? Animatronics, of course. Robots that can sing and play music. Very typical stuff. But, something Phone Guy says in the first game doesn’t gel too well:

“If I were forced to sing those same stupid songs for twenty years and I never got a bath? I’d probably be a bit irritable at night too.”

Apparently, by the time FNAF 1 rolls around, this restaurant has been running for 20 years. Now MatPat over in Game Theory proved that the first game is set in the early 1990s (due to how much the player character is paid at the end of the game), meaning that these costumed animatronics must have been running since the early 1970s. Now, that doesn’t seem to make much sense, does it? If the audio-animatronic was invented by the Disney company in the early 60s, but Chuck-E-Cheese didn’t open to the late 70s, how can these characters be twenty years old? Clearly I must be wrong… or am I? Lets look at the facts: Fact is, we don’t know if Phone Guy is lying to us or not. Or he could be mistaken and think it’s twenty years when it’s a lot less. For all we know, he may have strong childhood ties with the place, and has stayed with it all his life. When he says “for twenty years” he could be referring all the way back to 1972, back to the Diner… and back to where the very first child was killed.

But I’ve jumped a step by saying that it has to take place in 1972, so lets back up here. MatPat proved that the game took place in the early 90s, and makes connections between this and a murder that took place at a Chuck-E-Cheese in December 1993. His argument is good, but I think that’s not quite when we’re playing the game. No, I think we’re playing the first game, FNAF 1, between the week of Sunday the 8th of November to Thursday the 12th of November 1992, with the final (and hardest) sixth night taking place on Friday the 13th. It’d make sense, since Friday the 13th is so often associated with bad luck. Likewise, this date of 1992 would have it take place 5 years after FNAF 2, which is set in 1987. 5 yeas in a game called 5 Nights at Freddy’s… Hardly a coincidence, methinks. So then, it becomes clear that FNAF 1 must take place in 1992. Since the Phone Guy says that this has been going on for 20 years, then the company must have started way back in 1972.

So let us break down our timeline so far:

Fredbear’s Family Diner exists sometime between 1963 and 1972, due the popularization of restaurant mascots really taking off with Ronald McDonald, but before animatronics became a common enough to be used by a business that small.

Location 1 gets opened sometime between 1972 to 1987, hence why it can exist by the time 1987 rolls around.

Location 2, the setting for FNAF 2, takes place during 1987.

Location 3, the setting for FNAF 1, takes place during 1992.

Location 4, the setting for FNAF 3, takes place during 2022, 30 years after FNAF 1.

So we have a timeline of almost 60 years where these games all take place. But, can we narrow things down even further?

Now as I touched on earlier, the first Chuck-E-Cheese opened in 1977. It’s safe to presume that this is also the time Location 1 is most likely to open for two reasons. One, it’s 5 years after Big Business brought the rights to Freddy in 1972, and two, it’s 10 years before the events of FNAF 2. Once again, it would make sense that multiples of 5 are the order of business when it comes to this game. So that’s when Location 1 opens. When would Location 2 open? Well, if we stick with the ‘rule of 5’ found in most of these games, it’s safe to presume that Location 2 opened in 1982. So then, lets break down the timeline into years.

1963-1971: Fredbear’s Family Diner is opened and gets popular.

1972: Big Business buys the Diner the same year a child is murdered.

1972-1977: Big Business must do something with this franchise, probably making smaller restaurants more in line with McDonalds than Chuck-E-Cheese.

1977: Location 1 opens, with animatronics and whatnot running around.

1982: Location 2 opens, the setting of FNAF 2, with animatronics and whatnot.

1987: Location 2 re-opens after being closed, only for the Bite to happen.

1992: Location 3 is still open, giving use the game for FNAF 1.

1992-2022: Location 3 is closed down after some time, hard to say when.

2022: Location 4, Fazbear’s Fright Night, opens up to be tested.

So then, we have two things left to figure out: When were the children murdered, and when did these places get shut down. Now we know for certain that Location 2 gets shut down in 1987, sometime in November/December, only a few short weeks after it’s re-opened. However, we also know that another Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza gets shut down as well at year’s end, many years after a tragedy, and after spending a year looking for help. So that means that the Freddy’s Fazbear’s Pizza mentioned in the first game via newspaper articles can’t be the one we play in in the second game. So how do we factor this into the timeline? Well the only logical conclusion is that the Freddy’s Fazbear’s Pizza mentioned in the article is the very one you’re working at now. It says it’ll close by year’s end, and you’re there in November. So it won’t have closed yet. It also makes sense why they’ve said “many years after the tragedy”, with the Bite of ’87 being a good place to look. Five years after one restaurant closed down would appear to be many years, and it makes sense that the company spent a year trying to get out of trouble. I mean come 1992 the place we play in is in such poor repair we have to avoid running out of power. There’s no way a business could afford to do that, they need power on at all times for general safety reasons if someone is staying there overnight (what good are security cameras if you can’t use them, after all?). So then, clearly the place we’re in is the one being shut down. All we have to do now is figure out when the murders took place.

Now we actually have a little bit of help here from Phone Guy, who welcomes us to our new ‘summer’ job at Location 2. Taking place in November means it clearly can’t be summer, so that means these tapes were recorded sometime between June to August. Now it’s more likely to be June, because that’s when the summer starts and when you’d most likely refer to it as a ‘summer job’. It’d make little sense to say it’s a ‘summer job’ in August now, would it? But there’s another clue to why it’s June. On June 26th of some unspecified year, two children were lured into the back and murdered, with the suspect caught on video surveillance. After that, the company would come under such scrutiny that they’d probably close. If the man was arrested on June 27th, it means the company would be in a lot of hot water over it. So much so that the entire chain was affected, forcing it to be shut down and reopened later on. So sometime between the tapes being made the grand reopening the murders take place. But, what about the toy animatronics. The ones designed to catch crooks. How can they exist if the bad guy had already been caught? What would be the point of them? So lets construct a quick timeline to see if a conclusion can be reached.

1)Presuming that the killings are the first thing that sets this off, the killings happen at Location 1 sometime after it’s opening in 1977, but before the Bite of ’87. Lets presume 1982 for the repetition of the number 5.

2)This causes Location 1 to shut down, with Location 2 to get new, fancier animatronics designed to catch criminals, as well as the animatronics from Location 1.

3)These animatronics from Location 1 start to ooze and stink, causing the restaurant to shut down. Considering it wouldn’t take too long for it to happen, these complaints must have been made in the year 1982, otherwise it’d take way too long for something to be up. So then, Location 2 is closed down.

4)Location 2, this ‘vintage pizzeria’, is reopened in 1987. Why a five year gap? Well firstly, the ‘vintage’ part leaps out. That implies a passage of time that’s long enough to imply that it’s been closed for a while. Likewise 1987 is 5 years after the incident in 1982, again, keeping with the theme of 5s. So it’s likely that’s how that part of the timeline works out. So, to redo it all over again:

1963-1971: Fredbear’s Family Diner is opened and gets popular.

1972: Big Business buys the Diner the same year a child is murdered.

1972-1977: Big Business must do something with this franchise, probably making smaller restaurants more in line with McDonalds than Chuck-E-Cheese.

1977: Location 1 opens, with animatronics and whatnot running around.

Jan-Jun 1982: Location 2 opens, the setting of FNAF 2, with animatronics and whatnot.

Jun-Aug 1982: The murders happen, the animatronics get sent over to Location 2, with the new ones set up to look for criminals. Sadly, it doesn’t work out, and they’re forced to close and move elsewhere.

Nov 1987: Location 2 re-opens after being closed, only for the Bite to happen.

1988-1992: Location 3 is opened, giving use the game for FNAF 1.

1992: Location 3 is closed down ‘many years’ after the two pronged tragedy: The murders and the Bite.

2022: Location 4, Fazbear’s Fright Night, opens up to be tested.

So that seems to be a pretty convincing timeline, at least as far as I can tell. No doubt when we start to explore where all this took place, I’ll no doubt have to restructure it all. But for now, it works. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.

About Author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.