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Almost everyone has heard to broad strokes of Chucky’s origin story since the first “Child’s Play” movie came out in 1988. A serial killer with a penchant for dark magic puts his consciousness in a doll and proceeds to terrorize the world with a supernatural murder spree.
However, after almost 35 years, seven movies (forget the 2019 remake), and a full season of his very own television show on USA Network and SYFY, Chucky’s story so far is much more complicated and bloody. And there's good news horror fans: It’s only going to get worse (better?) when Season 2 kicks off this October.
Before that happens, though, dedicated fans and newcomers alike may want to brush up on Chucky’s backstory and everything that went into him becoming the world’s premiere killer doll.
Chucky’s First Kill
In Season 1 of “Chucky,” fans got to see the first time a young Charles Lee Ray took a life.
During his eighth birthday party in 1965, Charles overhears there’s a killer loose in his hometown of Hackensack, New Jersey. Soon after, he is woken in the night by a strange noise downstairs. He investigates and sees his father being brutally stabbed to death by the killer. His mother comes and whisks Charles into a bedroom closet, but not before Charles grabbed a pocket knife.
When the killer made his way upstairs, it became pretty clear that he was going to find Charles and his mom in the only hiding place there was. For any other little boy, this would be a tragedy and the biggest scare of his life. For Charles Lee Ray, it was an opportunity.
The killer opened the closet to find the boy had slaughtered his mother with the pocket knife in order to “help.” Taken aback by Charles’ actions, the killer complimented him and gives him a piece of friendly advice: “You gotta cover your tracks.”
It’s naive to say this was when Chucky became a killer. The fact of the matter is, Charles Lee Ray was born a killer.
Now that he was an orphan, Charles found himself at the Burlington County Home For Wayward Boys until he was 14 years old. That’s when the urge to kill struck again.
After being scolded and disrespected by a janitor for running his dirty shoes on a freshly mopped floor, Charles decided to end that janitor's life. He stabbed him and dumped the body in the woods. This is when Chucky developed a proclivity for sharing his murderous adventures with others.
He got a group of younger boys together for a "Peter Pan" adventure to go find and battle Captain Hook. In reality, he was leading them to the woods to show off the corpse he hid there. All the boys ran away in fear except for one named Eddie Caputo. Charles then runs away from the home, but not before gifting Eddie the janitor’s severed hand.
With that Chucky was on the run, killing as he pleased and having a great time doing it. By 1986, he was partying it up at a nightclub when he met two young women who were interested in going back home with him. Naturally, Chucky got violent and killed one of the women. To his surprise, the other woman was delighted by the kill rather than completely freaked out.
That’s the day Chucky met his greatest love, Tiffany Valentine.
Together they went on a years-long murder spree, killing whoever they wanted and loving every minute of it. Eventually, they found their way to Chicago. During that time, Chucky picked up an interest in Voodoo and met a practitioner named John Bishop who taught him more about it. However, Chucky perverted everything he was taught and his bloodlust couldn’t be contained. He’s also not exactly a one-woman kind of guy. It was a recipe for disaster.
When Tiffany got jealous that he was killing solo, Chucky went off and found a woman named Sarah and became obsessed with her and her daughter. After removing her husband from the picture, Charles kidnaped a pregnant Sarah and indicated he planned to do the same with her daughter, Barb, so they can all be a “family.”
Just when things seemed hopeless for Sarah, the police arrived at the safe house where Charles was keeping her. It turns out a fed-up Tiffany tipped off the cops — specifically detective Mike Norris — in a fit of jealous rage.
The pursuit ended in the death of Charles Lee Ray ... So to speak.
While running from Norris that night, Chucky almost made his way to the getaway car being driven by none other than his protege, Eddie Caputo, who sped off without him once bullets started flying. Desperate, and pretty pissed at Eddie, Charles fled into a toy store for a cat-and-mouse game with Norris. Unfortunately, Charles loses and is mortally wounded.
Before he dies, he grabs the holiday season’s hit toy, a Good Guy Doll. Charles performs a Voodoo spell using an amulet, the Heart of Damballa, that transfers his consciousness out of his human body and into the doll’s "body." With that, Charles Lee Ray dies and lives again as Chucky, the killer doll ... and he digs it!
The following day, the possessed Chucky doll was purchased by a mom as a last-minute gift for her 6-year-old son, Andy Barclay.
Excited by his new form, Chucky reveals his true identity to the boy because, frankly, who would believe him? He even befriended Andy despite secretly killing his babysitter. However, Chucky’s main goal was to get back into a human body before his doll form became mortal. So, he sought out Bishop and learns the only person he can transfer to is the first person to whom he revealed his identity. Delighted, Chucky says he’s about to be six years old again.
Unfortunately, by this time, Andy’s mom, Karen, got wise and placed the child in hospital care while she investigated his claims that Chucky is alive. This gave Andy’s mom enough time to get him to safety before Chucky attempted to steal his body, or so she thought.
Chucky tracked them down at their apartment and a fight ensued. They lit the killer doll on fire in the fireplace before he launched another attack and was shot in the heart by Detective Norris, who was now wise to the fact that a killer doll does indeed exist.
Just like that, Chuck is dead for real this time … Just kidding.
The corporation behind the Good Guy Dolls didn't want the bad publicity this largely unbelievable story had created. So, they rebuilt Chucky to prove he’s just a normal doll — he’s not. Another killing spree ensues and Chucky has the same goal: To transfer his soul into Andy's body.
Fortunately, Andy now had a cool new foster sister named Kyle who helped him escape Chucky. The chase leads them to, of all places, the Good Guy Doll factory where they melted him with molten plastic, ending his reign of terror once again.
Once again, though, it doesn’t stick.
Some of that plastic was recycled into a new doll and, boom! Chucky was reborn. This time, he finds an older Andy at Kent Military School. Finally realizing Andy is surprisingly hard to transfer a soul into, he sets his sights on a new boy named Tyler. Unsurprisingly, though, Chucky’s ego gets in the way and he reveals this plan to Andy, who stops him a third time by throwing him into an industrial fan, dismembering him.
Although she ratted him out to the police, Tiffany returned and took great pains to find Chucky's remains, sew them back together as best she could and performed a ritual to bring him back to life. This effort is successful, but it leaves Chucky looking scarred and disfigured.
Tiffany revealed she had a change of heart after finding a ring the night Chucky was shot in the toy store and spent all these years assuming he meant to propose to her. Callously, Chucky reveals it was just some treasure he stole off a corpse. This enrages Tiffany all over again and she locks him in a cage before taunting him with a Chucky-sized bride-to-be doll.
Unfortunately for her, Chucky escapes his captivity, murders Tiffany in the bathtub, and puts her soul inside the bride doll in an act of twisted revenge. Now that they’re in the same boat, they go on another murderous road trip to get the amulet of Damballa off Chucky’s human corpse. However, along the way they rediscover their affection for each other and, despite being dolls, make love.
They’re foiled in their efforts to get the amulet, but the sex led to Tiffany getting pregnant in her doll form. As she lay dying, a child emerged with sharp, demonic teeth.
That child grows up as Glen/Glenda, two personalities living in the same doll body. Later on, Glen seeks out his parents and finds replicas on the set of a film adaptation being made of the “urban legend” of the killer Good Guy Doll and his bride. Without really knowing what it was, Glen uses the amulet to bring his parents to life.
This time they go on a killing spree throughout Hollywood and, in a totally meta moment, Tiffany transfers herself into the body of real-life actress Jennifer Tilly. After a spectacular falling out, Glen dismembered his father with an axe before he and Glenda got bodies of their own and continued their lives as Jennifer Tilly’s kids.
Chucky vows revenge but has someone else to visit first.
Chucky’s Vengence Tour
Remember Sarah? Chucky sure did.
After stabbing Sarah for trying to keep him from their daughter, she survived, as did her baby, Nica, who lives life in a wheelchair with her mom as a result.
Because he hasn’t paid them a visit since entering the body of a doll, Sarah and Nica don’t think anything of the weird gift they received in the mail. Chucky quickly gets to work killing Sarah and making it look like a suicide.
To help her deal with the grief, Nica’s family comes to their home to support her, giving Chucky the perfect opportunity to exact his revenge on all of them one by one. Despite his best efforts, he narrowly misses the opportunity to finish off Nica, who takes the fall for all the other murders because, despite a slew of murder sprees in the past, police still refuse to blame a Good Guy Doll for crimes.
She goes to a medium security mental institution while Tiffany breaks Chucky out of police evidence. It seems, despite their falling out, she's still willing to do some dirty work for him.
He doesn’t go after Glen and Glenda, though. He has himself sent to a now-adult Andy Barclay in another attempt to finally get those who previously got away. However, Andy was ready for him and blew his face off with a shotgun almost immediately. He keeps the severed head locked up in a closet for him to talk to and torture. After all, Chucky can’t surprise him a fifth time if he’s locked up … Or can he?
While Chucky’s head is chained up with Andy, he somehow manages to attack Nica in the institution. It is revealed he found a way to split his soul among multiple identical vessels, in this case, Good Guy dolls, meaning every single one in existence could very well contain a part of the soul of Charles Lee Ray and get to stabbin'.
Andy goes to the mental institution to rescue Nica, but he’s too late, as a handful of Chucky dolls had successfully killed most of the staff and patients. Meanwhile, for the first time ever, Chucky transferred his soul into a human being: Nica.
In her body, which can now walk, Chucky exits the mental hospital and rides off with Tiffany (in both doll form and in the body of Jennifer Tilly).
Now that he was free and had at least one human form, Chucky and Tiffany hatch his greatest scheme yet. When an unsuspecting boy named Jake finds what he thinks is a retro Chucky doll at a yard sale, he brings him home and yet another murder spree begins. However, this time Chucky doesn’t seem to be in it for the love of the game.
He actively tries to convince Jake and his friends to commit murder. It turns out he and Tiffany discovered yet another Voodoo spell they can use to their advantage. When Chucky finally succeeds in getting Jake’s cousin, Junior, to kill someone, he reveals the act was the last step in a ritual that allows him to put his soul into 72 dolls in one fell swoop.
Just like that, Chucky had an army.
He launches a massive attack on the town at a charity screening of “Frankenstein" using two already existing dolls. Meanwhile, the rest were in a truck bound for hospitals all across the country. When the dust settled, though, Jake and his friends had thwarted the Chucky dolls at the theater. His evil plan to invade America was in shambles … but not dead.
The last anyone saw of the truck carrying 72 Chucky dolls, it was being driven by Andy, who found himself at gunpoint by Tiffany's doll form. Where are they going? What havoc do they still plan to wreak?
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