Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza is Open for Business with Some Secrets on the Side
For almost ten years, the Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) franchise has frightened and captured the hearts of those who have stepped into the shoes of the security guard. And now fantasy and fun have come to life as gamers, kids, and grown-ups alike can witness the long-awaited Five Nights at Freddy’s movie in theaters. Released last Friday, October 27, the film already has movie reviews pouring in, and fans are raving to see Freddy and Co. debut on the big screen.
But for those less versed in the Five Nights at Freddy’s universe (and even for some fans), there are plenty of easter eggs, references, and subtle hints to the game franchise that are easy to miss. While the film primarily takes place during the first game, there are plenty of nods to the other games in the series and even the books. So, without further ado, here are all the film’s subtle easter eggs and references from the game franchise. Warning: Major film and game spoilers ahead.
10. Dream Theory
At the beginning of the film, we see Mike Schmidt working a security job at a mall and grabbing lunch with his coworker, Jeremiah. Jeremiah is seen holding a book titled “Dream Theory.” The conversation begins with Jeremiah saying, “Although the dreamer remains asleep, he walks through memory as if experiencing it for the first time anew, no longer a passenger but an active participant.” Simply put, this suggests that the dreamer is not just having a dream related to memory but rather reliving it as if they were experiencing it for the first time.
This theory is a direct nod to Five Nights at Freddy’s 4, where the premise is that nightmare versions of the animatronics from the previous games haunt the player. Throughout the game, the player plays as the crying child. And through numerous flashbacks, he gets bullied by his older brother, Mike Afton, who occasionally scares him with a Foxy mask. However, during the crying child’s birthday, Mike and his friends stuff the child into Fredbear’s mouth. The child’s tears ultimately cause a springlock failure in the animatronic, which causes the bear’s mouth to close shut and crush the child’s head. As a result, the child is hospitalized, and it is theorized that he slips into a coma, hence the nightmare animatronics. With that said, this theory relates as it suggests the crying child’s traumatic experience begins manifesting into the nightmares the player sees when they’re in his bedroom.
9. Chica’s Magic Rainbow
Later, during the mall scene, Mike decides to grab some ice cream at a shop called “Ice Cream Parties.” The theme of this ice cream shop is rainbows, with their mascot being a rainbow with a smiley face and clouds. Believe it or not, this rainbow references the Chica’s Magic Rainbow Land from the game FNAF World. The game is a spinoff from the main series and functions as a roleplaying game. In the game, players can choose from two parties consisting of four characters each. As the player progresses, they can choose from various animatronics to unlock, which come from the first four games in the series.
There are a variety of minigames the player can choose from, including Chica’s Magic Rainbow Land. And, as you might have guessed, the same smiley-faced rainbow appears in the game. The minigame functions like a basic side-scroller, as players control Chica in an obstacle course. Their goal is to make it through the course while avoiding sunflowers that shoot petals, wooden spikes, logs, and the rainbow that shoots lasers from its eyes in an attempt to kill Chica. While not a mainline game, it’s nice to see that other content from developer Scott Cawthon gets some love in the film.
8. The Break-in Deaths
In the middle of the film, Aunt Jane hires Hank, Carl, Jeff, and Max to help expose Mike as a bad guardian for her niece, Abby. The crew eventually settles on raiding Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. They hope to frame Mike as an irresponsible employee and, therefore, unfit to raise Abby. However, it does not go quite as planned, as Freddy and Co. activate during their visit and murder every one of them. For those who are unfamiliar with the games, they might have missed a small detail regarding each murder.
Each murder is done in a way related to each animatronic. Carl is the first victim who Chica attacks in the kitchen, which is one of the many places she goes to throughout FNAF 1. Hank runs into a janitor’s closet, which happens to be one of Bonnie’s favorite places to go in FNAF 1 as he wanders around the pizzeria. Jeff runs into the hallway after being attacked by the cupcake. However, his luck runs out as Foxy runs down the hallway and attacks him, like in FNAF 1. Lastly, the child who possesses Freddy pulls Max into Freddy’s mouth and chomps down, chopping her body in half. This was easily the most brutal way to die, but surprisingly not uncommon in the FNAF universe, as there is the Bite of ‘83 and ‘87 in the lore.
7. Mr. Raglan’s Phone Call
After some hesitancy at the beginning of the film, Mike decides to give the security gig at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza a go and calls Raglan to inquire about the job. Raglan gives Mike the basic rundown of the job, and during his spiel, his voice is played over shots of the restaurant. He begins telling Mike about the history and sentimental value of the diner, the dated but fully functional security equipment, and his basic tasks for the job. At the end of his phone call, he signs off by saying, “I’ll catch you on the flipside.”
This entire scene is a reference to the first game of the series. Here, Raglan takes on the role of the iconic phone guy, who initially tells the player historical facts and gives tips on the job at the beginning of each night. The dated equipment with the security cameras and monitors is also just like in the game, as the player must strategize usage of the cameras and lights due to limited power resources. Lastly, his statement, “I’ll catch you on the flip side,” is a nod to the phone call the player gets on night three of the game. At the end of the call, the phone guy also utters a similar phrase, saying, “Okay, I’ll leave you to it. See you on the flip side!”
6. The Classroom Chalkboard
After a brutal conversation involving Mike, Aunt Jane, her lawyer (Doug), and Abby’s homeroom teacher, there is a moment where Mike speaks to Abby’s teacher privately in her classroom. This is another location in the film where it is so easy to miss easter eggs, as it would seem like the last place to have one. But references have these nasty habits of appearing in unlikely places, and for those with a keen eye, you may have noticed this fun little egg.
During Mike and the teacher’s conversation, there is a shot of the chalkboard in the front of the classroom. But looking closer, there are actually a few words on the board that hold some significance. Within the list of words are: “Musician,” “Puppet,” “Bear,” “Bunny,” “Manager,” “Fox,” and “Chick.” The word “musician” refers to the Music Man, a spider-like animatronic with cymbals and a top hat that first appeared in Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator. “Puppet” is obviously referring to the puppet (marionette) that first appeared in FNAF 2, a gangly and slender animatronic with black and white stripes, buttons, and a crying face mask. “Manager” likely refers to Purple Guy (William Afton), who debuts in FNAF 2. Finally, “Bear,” “Bunny,” “Fox,” and Chick” are all obvious references to the gang at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria.
5. Sparky’s Coffee Shop
During the scene where Aunt Jane, her lawyer, Jeff, and Max sit down at a diner to discuss how to frame Mike, there is one small reference. However, only the most veteran of fans would have caught this easter egg, as it refers to something that occurred before the release of the first Five Nights at Freddy’s game. At the scene’s opening, there is a shot of a sign to inform the audience where the scene takes place. The shot displays a sign with the name of the diner called “Sparky’s Coffee Shop.”
Sparky refers to a supposed animatronic called Sparky the Dog that many people thought was meant to be a hidden character in the first game. Sparky appears as a brown humanoid bloodhound dog with a similar likeness to Freddy Fazbear. Many players believed he would be a peaceful animatronic, wandering around the pizzeria but never attacking the player. Although, with the game’s release, this was debunked as a hoax and something that was never implemented into the game.
4. The Springlock Suit
Something lesser known to the gaming community and may be more recognizable to diehard fans occurs during Mike’s fourth night on the job. During his shift, Mike goes into one of the backrooms with Vanessa. When they enter, there is a small animatronic suit that sits in the corner of the room. The suit is small, fit for a child, has a large hat, a skeletal figure, and a creepy white mask with plush red cheeks. Some fans have assumed that it was a possible reference to Circus Baby, given the similar features of the mask with red cheeks. Although, there is another animatronic that comes to mind.
Out of the many books in the franchise, one stands out, titled Five Nights at Freddy’s Fazbear Frights: 1:35 AM. This book is the third volume of the Fazbear Frights anthology series. And on the cover of that book is a mechanical doll with a very similar–if not the exact same–mask. The story follows the protagonist, Delilah, a young woman orphaned at a young age who falls deeper into sleep each night. Delilah passes by a garage sale and finds a mechanical doll named Ella with pink cheeks, brown curly hair, and dark eyes. The doll holds a remarkable resemblance to the animatronic found in the film and could very well be the same one or an animatronic version of the doll.
3. YouTuber Cameos
If you’ve been a fan of the games for some time, then you probably know that one of the reasons the franchise gained so much popularity was because of the major YouTubers who shared their gameplay online. Big names like Jacksepticeye, Pewdiepie, and Markiplier were among the first people to share their frightened reactions as they helplessly waited for animatronic animals to find and kill them. Unfortunately, these three did not make it into the film, but there are still some other noteworthy YouTubers that may be recognizable.
Fans may be delighted to know that MatPat (The Game Theorists) made a quick cameo in the film. Mat appears as a waiter at Sparky’s Coffee Shop, taking orders for Aunt Jane, Doug, Max, and Jeff. After briefly speculating whether breakfast was the most important meal of the day, Mat counters by saying, “Some people say that, but you know, it’s just a theory,” cleverly referencing his famous line at the end of his videos. Another cameo to make an appearance is CoryxKenshin, widely known for making humorous horror gaming videos. Cory appears towards the end of the film as a taxi driver, taking Abby and Golden Freddy to the pizzeria. Finally, some of the more hidden cameos appear in Mike’s office. Hanging in the background of the office is an employee of the month board. The board reveals more YouTubers, such as 8-Bit Ryan, Baz, Razzbowski, FusionZGamer, and Dawko, also known to have played FNAF.
2. Midnight Motorist
During the break-in scene with Hank, Carl, Jeff, and Max, one of the group members is seen wearing a shirt with a familiar image. When Carl walks into the kitchen, there is a close-up shot of him, and on his shirt is a picture of an 8-bit car video game. For hardcore fans, this image is recognized as a reference to Midnight Motorist, one of the minigames players can play in Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator. Unlike the mainline games and, as the title suggests, this game functions in a much different way.
Besides sitting in an office keeping track of murderous animatronics, players are tasked with starting their own pizzeria. They can select from various decorations like arcade machines, lemonade dispensers, ball pits, and animatronics. The Midnight Motorist minigame can be unlocked when purchasing the arcade machine. In the game, players drive through a highway, avoiding other cars in oncoming traffic. One of the reasons this game is popular with fans is because it is one of the many that holds a secret easter egg regarding William Afton’s family.
1. Mike’s Alarm Clock
Perhaps one of the most easily missed easter eggs in the film has to do with Mike’s alarm clock. At the beginning of the movie, Mike is awoken by a Sony Dream Machine Cube digital alarm clock. While not an item found in any of the games, clocks do hold some major significance to the franchise. In a majority of the Five Nights at Freddy’s games, players are tasked with preventing bloodthirsty animatronics from reaching their door by using whatever limited resources available to them. Their primary objective is to survive until 6:00 AM, and if they do so, they beat the night, transition to a brief alarm clock scene, and move on to the next night.
Each game has different alarm clock sounds, typically a short jingle followed by children cheering. Although, for those with a sharp ear, something about Mike’s clock may seem oddly familiar. When his alarm goes off, fans may recognize that it produces the same alarm found in FNAF 4. In the game, the alarm clock goes off with a more vintage beeping sound. This is a much more fitting noise for a game that takes place in 1983 and with a protagonist who utterly fears the animatronics. It also makes the sound so distinguishable from the other alarms from other games, and it is nice to see that sound return.
Five Nights at Freddy’s (2023) Official Universal Trailer