Five Nights At Freddy's is a series full of mystery and intrigue. Much of this intrigue has been the timeline in which the games take place. It's pretty much proven that the chronological order of the games is FNAF2 first taking place in 1987, then FNAF1 taking place in the early 90's, and then FNAF3 taking place approximately 2017.
In this video, I am going to give you my personal theory of the timeline of the Five Nights at Freddy's series.
We know FNAF2 takes place in 1987 due to the check you receive as Jeremy Fitzgerald for completing your first 5 nights. Seeing as how the amount you're paid is exactly equal to minimum wage at the time, the paycheck in FNAF1 corresponds with minimum wage of 1993.
Also, at the end of the 6th night in FNAF2, the newspaper reads, "The new animatronics will be scrapped due to possible malfunctions (bite of 87), however the original characters are being kept in hopes of a possible reorganization of the company."
This explains why we see none of the Toy animatronics in FNAF1, but we do see the original characters.
Then comes FNAF3 which is stated by Scott Cawthon that the game takes place "30 years later". It is undetermined whether this is 30 years after FNAF1 or FNAF2, but nonetheless, it's the last chronologically.
Scraps from both locations are gathered and use to build this new Fazbears Fright: The Horror Attraction which introduces a new discovery which has been hidden throughout the entire series, a hidden animatronic called Springtrap.
The phone dude from the Night 1 phone call in FNAF3 says, "Uh, some guy who helped design one of the buildings says there was, like, an extra room that got boarded up or- uh, something like that. So, we're gonna take a peek and see what we can find."
Then in the night 2 phone call, phone dude says they found vintage audio training cassettes as well as an old animatronic, "We found one. A REAL one."
This is where it gets interesting. The rest of the phone calls in FNAF3 are vintage audio cassettes from prior locations
The first recording explains how the springtrap animatronics work and says, "Right now, we have two specially designed suits that double as both animatronics and suits. So please pay close attention while learning how to operate these suits as accidents/injuries/death/irreparable and grotesque maiming can occur".
This explains why the purple guy at the end of night 5 is killed after entering the springtrap suit. But when did this event take place?
If you take a look at the floor plan of this minigame and compare it to FNAF1's camera layout, it is very apparent that these events took place in the FNAF1 Freddy Fazbear's Pizza location. The parts and services, pirate's cove is in the exact locations, and even the office and bathrooms line up perfectly. But this event takes place in a room not included in the FNAF1 camera map.
The night 3 phone call explains this when phone guy says, "Every location is built with one extra room that is not included in the digital map layout programmed in the animatronics or the security cameras. This room is hidden to customers, invisible to animatronics, and is always off camera."
In the night night 5 & 6 phone calls, phone guys states, "Management has also been made aware that the spring Bonnie animatronic has been noiceable moved. We would like to remind employees that this costume is not safe to wear under any circumstances." and "This is just to inform all employees that due to budget restrictions, the previously mentioned safe rooms are being sealed at most locations, including this one."
I believe that this safe room was the location where purple guy entered the springtrap suit, was killed, then Fazbear Entertainment sealed off the room trapping him inside until the phone dude in FNAF3 pulled down the false wall and brought him to the horror attraction.
So that explains how Springtrap came to be and how he was there in FNAF1 but we never saw him, but the question is when did these events occur? Where do these horrific events take place in the FNAF timeline?
I believe that the events of the FNAF3 minigame took place in the 1970's, and here's why.
In my trailer analysic for FNAF3, I mentioned that I believed FNAF3 would lead back to Fredbear's Family Diner and explain the horrific events that took place, ripping bonnie's face off and tearing off Chica and Foxy's arms because the wear and tear on the FNAF2 animatronics were very similar to the wear and tear on Springtrap.
I was slightly disappointed when Fredbear's Family Diner was never mentioned in the phone calls or audio tapes. Or was it?
The night 4 recording states:
"Uh, hello? Hello, hello! Uh, there's been a slight change of company policy concerning use of the suits. Um, don't. After learning of an unfortunate incident at a sister location, involving multiple and simulaneous spring lock failures, the company has deemed the suits temprarily unfit for employees."
The very next night, night 5, is when phone guys says the Springtrap animatronic was moved to the safe room in the FNAF1 location.
I believe this sister location was Fredbear's Family Diner and the events that took place there will be FNAF4.
So let's take a look at the timeline of events.
You start with Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and Fredbear's Family Diner. Fredbear's Family Diner has a violent, horrific event. "After learning of an unfortunate incident at a sister location, involving multiple and simultaneous spring lock failures, the company has deemed the suits temporarily unfit for employess."
Since Springtrap is no longer to be used, new animatronics are brought in to replace them, "Until replacements arrive, you'll be expected to wear the temporary costumes provided to you. Keep in mind that they were found on very short notice, so questions about appropriateness/relevance should be deflected."
These animatronics are Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy. In the night 1-4 minigames, you play as these animatronics and wandering the location until you reach the safe room which is "invisible" to animatronics resulting in an ERR. The purple guy then comes out and destroys each of the animatronics. This event explains why Bonnie is missing it's face, why Chica and Foxy's arms are ripped off in FNAF2.
On night 5, the Spring Bonnie is moved to the safe room and purple guy appearing to shoo away the ghosts of the dead children enters the Spring Bonnie suit, resulting in his death and the birth of SpringTrap. Fazbear Entertainment cover's up this death by, "constructing a false wall over the old door base. Nothing is being taken out beforehand, so if you've left anything inside, then it's your own fault. Management also requests that this room not be mentioned to family, friends or insurance representatives." The events of this location were likely never heard of by the public so the location remained open.
The next step in the timeline is the Five Nights at Freddy's 2 location. "Welcome to your new summer job at the new and improved Freddy Fazbear's Pizza". "Forget anything you may have heard about the old location, you know. Uh, some people still have a somewhat negative impression of the company."
These old events and location refer to the spring lock malfunctions at Fredbear's Family Diner. "Uh, we're going to try and 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."
In night 3 of FNAF2, the phone guy says, "Oh, hey, before I go, uh, I wanted to ease your mind about any rumors you might have heard lately. You know how these local stories come and go and seldom mean anything. I can personally assure you that, whatever is going on out there, and however tragic it may be, has nothing to do with our establishment. It's just all rumor and speculation...People trying to make a buck."
These events taking place along side the FNAF2 location are the newspaper articles in FNAF1. While you play FNAF2, Two children go missing, then 5. The newpaper quotes, "After a long struggle to stay in business after the tragedy that struck many years ago, Freddy Fazbear's Pizza has announced that it will close by year's end".
The events of FNAF1 then take place and after you finish, FNAF1 location closes down and then thirty years later, Fazbear's Fright: The Horror Attraction is created!