|"I was the first! I have seen everything!"|
This article or section contains a lot of speculation, which usually occurs from pre-release media, or just things that are still unknown, so please keep that in mind while reading. The page will continue to be updated with the most accurate information as more solid evidence is supplied.
- For the character who is named Mike for short, see Michael Afton.
Mike Schmidt is the main protagonist of the first Five Nights at Freddy's game. He was a security guard employed by Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, working on a 7-night shift from midnight to 6 AM, until he was eventually fired. The game is played in the first-person perspective, through Mike's eyes.
There is no possible way to see Mike's physical appearance in the game, as the player is forced to stay in the first-person view for its entirety.
The only body parts of Mike that can be seen in the game are his blue eyes and teeth, which can only be seen in the Game Over screen after he has been stuffed into a Freddy Fazbear suit. Mike is one of two characters to show part of his corpse (the other being William Afton in the rare Springtrap boot screens and his vent jumpscare).
Little is known about Mike's character. The reason he would continue to work at a failing pizzeria with a high risk of death for pay at minimum wage (this game is known to take place in the 1990s) is unknown and could possibly be attributed to either altruism (so nobody else would have his job and risk being killed), desperation, or thrill-seeking on his part. Considering Freddy's "Toreador March" is one of the main themes of the game and that it deals with thrill-seeking, the latter is somewhat more likely.
Despite the low pay and clear danger, Mike continues his job every night for the rest of the week for unknown reasons. At the end of Night 5, Mike Schmidt receives a check for $120.
At the end of Night 6, he receives a comparatively minuscule check of $120.50, an increase of fifty cents. He also receives a note from his boss, stating that he has "earned some overtime!"
Upon completing the Custom Night, he receives a notice of termination, likely due to the in-game interaction right before said night, customizing the animatronics A.I. (which the notice describes as tampering with the animatronics).
Theories and Speculation
It is believed by many that Mike Schmidt was an alias used by Michael Afton, the son of William Afton and the main protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location. Although there is not a specific piece of evidence that makes this claim irrefutable, there are numerous subtle hints that may suggest this is the case.
- It is made very clear that Michael Afton is the owner of the survival logbook. This implies that Michael is the protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's 4, strengthening the evidence for Mike Schmidt and Michael Afton being the same person, since there is also a lot of evidence that Schmidt is the protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's 4:
- Phone Guy's calls can occasionally be heard during the nights, and Mike is the only known character to have heard them.
- The gameplay itself seems to mirror that of the first game's. The layout of the Bedroom strongly resembles the office. The behavior of the animatronics is also eerily similar, with Bonnie attacking from the left, Chica attacking from the right (occasionally going into the kitchen to interfere with the pots and pans), Foxy hiding in the closet with different stages indicating when he will attack (in addition to running in the halls), and Freddy manifesting in the dark.
Despite the evidence, and large consensus among fans, there is still yet to be direct confirmation on these hypotheses. The upcoming movie seems to be focused on the character of Mike Schmidt (as Scott said that the film will be based on the first game, where Schmidt is the protagonist).
- One possible explanation for Mike coming back every night is that he's never been killed by the animatronics in the canonical events of the game, thus he underestimates the true danger.
- By the end of the Custom Night, the reasons listed for his release are "tampering with the animatronics", "general unprofessionalism", and "odor". This is believed to be in reference to the player's changing of the A.I. difficulty from 0 to 20, panicking and possible screaming, and copious sweating or release of bodily fluids, possibly due to panicking, respectively.
- The date on Mike's check after Night 6 is November 13.
- The date on Mike's first check (after Night 5) is November 12. This date is most likely a Friday since paydays are commonly on Fridays and Mike just worked for five days, a typical workweek. The year on the check is replaced with "xx", but the game takes place during a year where November 12 falls on a Friday. The only possible years between 1990 and 2009 are 1993, 1999, and 2004.
- Mike only works for $4 per hour during his employment at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, which is lower than any American state's definition of the minimum wage.
- This can potentially be refuted since, in the United States, federal income tax from 1988 to 2001 was 15% for whatever tax bracket Mike would be in with his $120 paycheck. Assuming 15% and that they took out income tax already before paying him, as most businesses do, Mike actually gets ~$141.18 (rounded to the nearest cent), which results in a ~$4.71 hourly wage (again, rounded to the nearest cent). That's just on federal income tax alone, not to mention state tax, which varies from state to state. The minimum wage was $4.25 from 1991-1995, $4.75 in 1996, and $5.15 from 1997-2006. If other taxes were taken out of his paycheck, it's easy enough to push the year this takes place in as far forward as 1996 and potentially to 2006. Assuming his payday was a Friday, this makes 1993 a viable year based simply on federal income tax and minimum wage at the time. If further taxes were taken out, 1999 and 2004 might become viable as well, as further taxation only means he receives a higher base pay. Any Friday the 12th in November after 2004 is unlikely, as the next is in 2010, where his income tax bracket would have dropped to 10%, making the minimum wage $7.25, too high for what he would be making.
- It's possible that Freddy Fazbear's Pizza could legally be paying Mike at a rate that is clearly lower than the federal and state minimum wages today. The U.S. Department of Labor allows some categories of workers to be paid less than the minimum wage, to try and avoid hindering their employ-ability. Examples include young workers under 20, full-time students working in certain sectors, and those with physical or mental disabilities. In either case, certificates are required in order to carry it out- an unlikely scenario, given that Mike would only have had the job for a week, compared to the time or money it would have taken for the restaurant to obtain such a certificate. However, it shows that the sub-minimum pay rate can be legally given in certain circumstances. If the rumor about Mike being the victim of The Bite of '87 is true, then he would be classified as mentally disabled, allowing the company to give Mike the $4.00 hourly wage. The rationale behind the possibility that Mike could have belonged to one of these exceptional cases is that it opens up the year of the game's setting, so the tablet camera feed can make sense, without restricting the game's year to one where $4.00 hourly was actually the federal minimum wage- arguably 1993. However, this theory is unlikely since, if Mike was mentally disabled, he would probably not be able to avoid the animatronics, a task which requires strategy, reflexes, and multitasking ability.
- It is possible that Mike is in the State of Georgia as the minimum wage in Georgia is notably lower than in most US states and, most notably the minimum wage in Georgia was starting at $3.80/hr in 1990.
- The Freddy vision screen also has blue, bloodshot eyes resembling eerily to Mike Schmidt's. This could be Freddy's eyes, but it could also act as a paranoid symbol for Mike, with the eyes belonging to him.
- Around the Help Wanted ad Mike responds to, the same paragraph of filler words, taunts, and advice from the creator can be seen nine times. This is also the case for the newspaper in Five Nights at Freddy's 2. It reads as follows:
"Blah. Blah. Blah, Blah. Blah. This ad has nothing to do with anything relevant to the game. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Chances are you won't make it past Night 3. Blah. Blah. Yackity Smackity. Blah. Blah. This probably isn't the best choice of a summer job, since you most likely won't survive the week. I'd recommend being a cashier, sack boy, or work in a warehouse. They are all very respectable jobs, and you probably won't be killed by them. Well, you might. But it would be unlikely. Blah. Blah."
- Mike works the most nights of any playable night guard in the series, with all seven before being fired, compared to Jeremy and the unnamed guard in Five Nights at Freddy's 3 with six, and Fritz Smith (who only works the Custom Night and is also fired).
- While the Game Over screen shows that Mike got stuffed in a suit, there is part of an endoskeleton arm exposed. It could be the one usually seen in the Backstage, but it would not fit inside the costume along with him.
- Mike is the first protagonist in the series who is ever shown in a location outside of The Office, as his deceased body can be seen in the Backstage upon death, the second being Michael Afton from Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location.
- Oddly, Mike's paychecks on Night 5 and Night 6 are $120 and $120.50, respectively. Jeremy Fitzgerald's, however, read $100.50 and $20.10. Why their paychecks for Night 6 are inconsistent is unknown.
- In the object files from Clickteam Fusion 2.5 MFA for Five Nights at Freddy's 2, the unused pixilated skull file is called "
Mike". Whether it has something to do with Mike Schmidt himself or not is unknown.
- Mike is one of the only human characters in the series seen outside of minigame cutscenes with the other being Michael Afton and the unnamed in-universe counterpart of Scott Cawthon from Help Wanted.
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