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The original film series continuity
Fred "Freddy" Krueger
"When I was alive, I might have been a little naughty, but after they killed me, I became something much, much worse. The stuff nightmares are made of."
Played by: Robert Englund
- Appropriated Appellation: He was called the "Springwood Slasher" during his child-killing days.
- Big Bad: Naturally. However, he was possibly The Dragon to the Dream Demons since they are the ones that gave him powers. Though he cuts his ties to them in the comic series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash and becomes the Big Bad once more.
- Brought Down to Normal: At the end of Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: Nightmare Warriors. And how so? In the orginal timeline Freddy was let go after someone forget to sign the warrant, and after a Timey-Wimey Ball, an FBI agent signs the warrant, leading to Krueger's arrest and the fact he never became the Nightmare God that he was once was.
- Child by Rape: He was called "the bastard son of 100 maniacs".
- Combat Pragmatist: Yes, he will kick you in your balls. Yes, he would appear as a dead loved one or parent to kill you.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dream Weaver
- Evil Makes You Ugly: Justified, because he was burned to death.
- Faux Affably Evil: Of all the movie monsters to come out of the late 1970's/1980's period, Freddy is perhaps the most entertaining to watch.
- Freudian Excuse: In Freddy's Dead, the filmmakers try to explain away his evilness by giving him a horrifically awful childhood. His mother(who was a nun) gave birth to him only after being raped repeatedly by one hundred patients at a mental asylum she worked at. His adopted father was a sleazy pimp who beat him up daily (and who Freddy later murdered with a razor blade). He was bullied by kids at school, and gave signs of being a textbook sociopath by killing the classroom hamster, for which he never was punished for or got help with. Then he shuffled through life as an adult from one low paying job to another, until he decided to express his rage at life by killing kids.
- Notably, he even tries and uses the Freudian Excuse to his daughter Maggie in Freddy's Dead as a means of explaining he was not evil and he was made into this way. It doesn't work.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: In this case, quite literally.
- A God Am I: Freddy is literally a god when he's inside people's dreams, and his powers while in dreams seems virtually limitless. It's best summed up by this exchange from the first movie:
Tina: Oh God!
Freddy: (brandishes claws) This is God!
- Hate Sink: Although enormously entertaining, Freddy is a flat-out depraved monster who in no way is ever depectied as capable of redemption.
- Hellfire: Freddy was able to summon this in the second movie when he was outside of the Dream World.
- It Got Worse: Being a child molester and serial killer is pretty awful. Being a demonically powered one who can kill you in your dreams is even worse.
- Jerkass: What really separates Freddy from all the other famous Slasher Movie villains is how much of a plain asshole he is. Most other killers/monsters at least have a token flimsy reason for doing what they do( Michael Myers from Halloween kills because it's in his nature to do so, Jason from Friday the 13th does it because his mother told him to do so, etc.), but Freddy openly admits that he just does it because it's fun.
- Large Ham: Averted in the first two films and New Nightmare(though he did make the occasional sick joke here or there), but played straight in the rest of the film series with Freddy's Dead being the one where he is at his most hammy.
- Lean and Mean
- Loves the Sound of Screaming
- Manipulative Bastard: He sets off the event's of Freddy vs. Jason by posing as the mother of Friday the 13th villain Jason Voorhees in order to trick Jason into resurrecting from the dead once again and heading for Freddy's hometown of Springwood, Ohio. Freddy banks on Jason's inevitable killing spree being blamed on Freddy by the town residents(if no one remembers Freddy, he can't harm anyone), and he is proven correct.
- Memetic Outfit: His brown fedora, red and green striped sweater, and knife glove.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: Is it ever.
- Names to Run Away From: K Names.
- Never Sleep Again
- Nigh Invulnerability: Justified, because he's dead (no body to feel pain with). Even when he's pulled into the real world, he laughes off getting impaled through the stomach and getting the crap beaten out of him by Jason Voorhees.
- Obligatory Joke: In the later movies, he always makes some kind of (usually groan inducing) ironic joke about someone's situation either just before or after he murders them.
- Paedo Hunt: In the original film and Freddy vs. Jason, it's strongly implied but not stated outright that Freddy is a pedophile in addition to being a child killer. Wes Craven originally wanted to make him one, but in the end decided not to in order not to be accused of exploiting then recent news headlines about pedophiles at day cares, et al.
- Politically-Incorrect Villain: Not only does he kill, he's also a huge misogynist and is strongly implied to be a pedophile as stated above.
- Pop Cultured Monster
- Psycho for Hire: Freddy is implied to be this to the Dream Demons who gave him his power.
- Reality Warper: He was able to partly manipulate the outside world, like re-animating his bones. However, by Freddy's Dead, his power had gotten so powerful, he was able to erase Springwood parents memories and make other adults into mindless people who go about their daily lives if there were kids there. In Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, he came across the Necronomicon ex Mortis and used its spells to become even more powerful in the real world.
- Self-Made Orphan: He killed his foster father when he was young. Fate of his foster mother is unknown.
- His murders also caused his own mom to kill herself, if this was Freddy's plan however, is unknown.
- Super Mode: "Super Freddy" from The Dream Child, which he conjures up to mock the comic book fan Mark.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- Typecasting: The first Nightmare On Elm Street forever branded Robert Englund as a go to guy for horror movie roles. Previously, he was best known for portraying a lovable alien called Willie on the 1983 TV miniseries V.
- Villainous Valour: During Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy puts up a good fight against the superstrong Jason Voorhees even when he's technically just a weak, disfigured, physical ghost thing when not in the Dream World.
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: Via his dream powers. One of the things he enjoys doing most to torment his victims is pretending to be someone close to them so he can scar them emotionally before going in for the kill.
- Wrestler in All of Us: During his fight against Jason, he manages to hits a leaping elbow drop.
- Would Hurt a Child
Played by: Heather Lagenkamp
- Action Girl: By the end of the first film, she's ready to kick Freddy's ass in the real world. And she hadn't lost that step in Dream Warriors.
- Badass Normal:
- In the first movie, Nancy manages to hold onto Freddy and drag him into the real world, from then which she leads him through her booby trapped laden house and has him set on fire (Freddy hates fire since he was burned to death). She manages to somehow survive the first movie's Cruel Twist Gainax Ending when she appeared in third movie(Dream Warriors), where she led some of Freddy's other victims into facing him head on (but she sadly died in that one).
- In the New Nightmare continuity (where she's actually Heather Lagenkamp, an actress who is famous for playing Nancy Thompson), she actually manages to flat out beat the entity that is taking on the form of Freddy Krueger after the movies stopped being produced.
- Final Girl
- First Gray Hair: She gets one in the first movie, after pulling Freddy's hat out of the dream and it stays with her. Then in New Nightmare, Heather gets one due to the overwhelming stress of Freddy crossing over into the real world, forcing her to become Nancy once more.
- Mama Bear: In the New Nightmare continuity.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome
- Team Mom: To the Dream Warriors.
- Trap Master
- The Alcoholic: Starts off slow when Krueger's murders starts to happen in the first film, but gets progressively drunk as the film goes on.
Former Lt. Donald Thompson
- Not Now, Kiddo: Pretty much doesn't believe Nancy before it was too late.
- The Alcoholic: Only after Marge's death, he does get sober enough to fight against Freddy's Dem Bones form.
Played by: Johnny Depp
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He gets sucked into his bed, leading to...
- Overdrawn At the Blood Bank: When Glen is sucked into his bed by Freddy and killed, gallons of blood (far more than what the human body contains) suddenly spew out from it like a blood fountain.
- Nice Guy
Played by: Patricia Arquette (Dream Warriors), Tuesday Knight (Dream Master)
- Action Girl
- Cursed with Awesome: A subversion. Kristen has the power to pull people into her dreams, but she subconsciously blocked the power for years after her parents got divorced. Years later, she isn't sure if she still has it until she accidentally pulls Nancy into her dreams in Dream Warriors. Unfortunately, Freddy turns her ability into Blessed with Suck when he uses her to pull Alice into her dream. After he kills Kristen, the power gets sent to Alice, so Freddy uses her as his new conduit so he can go after the other teenagers of Springwood.
- Decoy Protagonist: Dream Master opens where Dream Warriors left off, making it look like Kristen, Joey, and Kincaid will have to go up against Freddy again. He kills Joey and Kincaid in the same night, and once he has Kristen cornered, forces her to drag Alice into her dream. In doing so, Kristen transfers her dream power to Alice, but not before passing through Freddy, ensuring that she's his new power source.
- Man On Fire: A subversion. Krueger threw Kristen into a boiler and she became engulfed in flames. In the real world it looked as if Kristen fell asleep with a lit cigarette and accidentally set her bed on fire.
- The Other Darrin: Patricia Arquette was replaced by Tuesday Knight in the fourth movie.
- Passing the Torch: To Alice.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome
Played by: Lisa Wilcox
- Action Girl: Gradually became this by the end of Dream Master.
- Blessed with Suck: With Kristen's dream power, Krueger used Alice to pull people into her dreams so he could murder them.
- Fiery Redhead: Was this by the end of Dream Master. In Dream Child Alice became blonde, but her personality stayed the same.
- Final Girl: And the only way to survive two movies in a row.
- Mama Bear: The whole point of Dream Child was that she wouldn't let Krueger get away with warping her unborn child.
- Personality Powers: An inversion. As Krueger killed off her friends, Alice began inheriting their dream powers and pieces of their personalities.
- Take Up My Sword: From Kristen.
- Took a Level In Badass
Played by: Wes Craven
The remake continuity
"Why are you screaming? I haven't even cut you yet."
This version of Freddy was a gardener at Badham Pre-School, who was loved by all the kids there. He was also a child molester who used his position to have his way with the children. After the parents found out, they chased him into an industrial park where they trapped him inside a building and burned him alive. Years later he returns to kill all those who attended the pre-school except Nancy, as he has different plans for her.
Played by: Jackie Earle Haley
Nancy: Fuck you!
Freddy: Ooh, sounds like fun. It's a little fast for me. How about we hang, first?
- Dream Weaver
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma: What he was planning on doing to Nancy.
- Evil Makes You Monstrous
- Evil Redhead
- Ghostly Goals
- Off with His Head: It doesn't work though.
- Paedo Hunt: The remake explicitly makes him out to be one, even after a lot of misdirection saying otherwise.
- Red Right Hand: The burned skin, what else?
- Stalker with a Crush: He comes across like this, wanting Nancy all by himself and killing anyone that gets in his way.
Played by: Katie Cassidy
- Decoy Protagonist: Although anyone familiar with the original expected Nancy to take the spotlight sooner or later.