In this article:
- The Bite of 87 is an old lore tidbit, that later on became a meme, originating from Five Nights At Freddy‘s, an indie horror game about watching CCTV cameras at a pizza place haunted by living animatronic mascots.
- For the first few years of the game franchise, the Bite of 87 was one of the game’s most popular mysteries, prompting fans to ask which of the animatronics was responsible for the incident.
- Since the introduction of the Bite of 87 into FNAF’s storyline, other “bites” have been included in the game to give fans more stuff to work themselves over.
Look, if you were online around the mid-2010s, there is no way you haven’t heard of Five Nights at Freddy‘s (FNAF). The indie horror game made by Scott Cawthorn and released in 2014 quickly took off after players got a taste of its tense yet simple gameplay that revolved around watching CCTV cameras so you don’t get slaughtered by pizza place mascots.
Sure, it sounds like a fever dream, but the absurdity of it was part of what made it so horrific together with the tidbits of lore hidden in parts of the game that led fans to put together theories about what it all meant.
Love it or hate it, FNAF reshaped indie horror and inspired later games such as Not For Broadcast. The fan conspiracy theories made it live in our minds rent-free and when it comes to FNAF conspiracies, there’s no bigger one than The Bite of 87.
What Was the Bite of 87? And How Did End up Being a Meme?
The Bite of 87 was an incident sometime in the game’s version of 1987 that led to the animatronics of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza to be locked up/shut down at day to prevent them from injuring children visiting the pizzeria during the day. It’s at the center of most of the events of the first Five Nights at Freddy‘s game and it becomes the reason why the pizzeria eventually loses popularity.
So what exactly was The Bite of 87? Most of what we really canonically know comes from Phone Guy, another employee who calls us during the first game to guide us through our shift. It’s Phone Guy who casually tells the player, “Yeah, it’s amazing that the human body can live without the frontal lobe, you know?”
Fans have speculated that one of the animatronics, typically from the first game, malfunctioned and accidentally bit the head of a child visiting the pizzeria, causing them to lose their frontal lobe. It also had something to do with the animatronics’ roaming features hence why they’re later kept in place during the day.
That said, the pizzeria lets the animatronics roam inside the location at night to keep their gears from locking up which is why you have to watch them on CCTV and try not to get killed.
Okay, so it’s a FNAF lore horror thing.
Why is it a meme?
The Bite of 87’s meme status is all thanks to Markiplier, a gaming YouTuber who has become known for his deep voice and exaggerated reactions to horror games. One of his most popular playthroughs is for the FNAF series.
In one of these videos, he loudly shouts “Is that the Bite of 87?!” after the game plays a cutscene where it looks like Fredbear is chewing a child’s head while a crowd of horrified children looks on.
Since then, the soundbite and the clip of his reaction have been used in videos that show things, people, or animals getting bit/chomped.
Who Really Caused the Bite of 87?
Okay, this is the hard bit since Scott Cawthorn would drop lore tidbits over the years that seemed connected (and may have been intended to be that way) but are later revealed to be about some other new piece of lore. Leave a show or game franchise running long enough and it’s bound to happen.
Generally speaking, there is no canon cause for the Bite of 87 or even a canon victim. All we truly know is that someone got bit in the head and they lost their frontal lobe.
According to some theories, the victim was Jeremy Fitzgerald, the security guard we meet in FNAF 2 who was bitten by one of the animatronics. Fan theorists suggest he was bitten by one of the animatronics after working at the pizzeria.
This is partly because we see his end-of-shift paycheck for Night 6 displayed on the screen with a newspaper that says the pizzeria is closing because of “possible malfunctions” with the animatronics. This is never confirmed in Scott Cawthorn’s original FNAF series.
On to the non-canon Bite of 87 lore. A developer called POPGOES has been working on spinoffs for the game as part of a fan initiative to develop the world of FNAF further.
In their version of the story, it’s confirmed that Jeremy is bitten and we even have a known perpetrator: Toy Bonnie. That said, he doesn’t die either as the loss of his frontal lobe only seems to give him a host of mental health problems, including PTSD.
This version of the FNAF story gets explicitly gory since Jeremy’s fear of Toy Bonnie later causes him to murder his own daughter after she comes up to him wearing Toy Bonnie’s mask.
In Cawthorn’s canon tale, though, Jeremy clearly survives working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza because we later see a log from him in the Survival Logbook of the game that says:
“I’d only been working the night shift for about a week, but I was very relieved to be switched over for the day shift. There’s a lot of stress working from 12.a.m to 6.a.m. My boss told me that the animatronics were acting strangely-almost aggressive toward the staff-but I wasn’t about to let that scare me off. After work I had an unsettling feeling that I was being followed home…”
But no amount of canon is ever going to stop the FNAF fan theory wagon from rolling. Trust me on this one thing because I’ve ridden that wagon around the game’s release. It’s just part of the fun for fans then and for those who have stuck around until now.
One of the more prevalent theories is that Foxy, an anthropomorphic pirate fox, committed the Bite of 87 because he had broken and missing teeth as well as a hanging jaw. You know, as if he broke it trying to crack a kid’s skull open.
Another popular theory is that Mangle, which is kind of like Foxy 2.0 hence the similar design, is the one who bit the kid who lost half his brain because his jumpscare animation shows him swooping down to bite the player’s head.
But a third theory, which isn’t as popular as the former two but is also often talked about, is that Freddy or one of his versions did it. The original Freddy noticeably has a hand print on his face that implies someone was pushing against him. Maybe to get their head out of his jaw? \And then there’s Withered Freddy who also has a broken mouth, making him a suspect for the Bite of 87.
Other Bites in Five Nights at Freddy’s
You’d think Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza would learn the first time an incident like that happened, but apparently not because not only has a biting incident happened thrice at one of their locations in total, but one of them is confirmed to have happened before the Bite of 87.
An earlier bite, The Bite of 83, is often confused with The Bite of 87 because of the cutscene where Fredbear bites a child after it gets too close to him.
It’s not clear whether the incident was an accident caused by the other children at the party bullying the victim or if Fredbear had sprung to bite his head the moment he came close. Whichever it is, it’s explained that the bite didn’t just take a tiny chunk of the victim’s head but crushed his entire skull.
There’s also a reversed version of The Bite of 87 that’s mentioned in Freddy Fazbear‘s Pizzeria Simulator where a child loses everything except his frontal lobe.