• Food

25 Things You Didn't Know About Chuck E. Cheese's

Pizza, arcade games, and entertainment, all in one place - what a concept! Chuck E. Cheese's is the pizza-parlor arcade "where a kid can be a kid." The family-friendly franchise and its mascots have changed a lot over the years, but there are still over 500 of the restaurants in operation from coast to coast. 

Chuck E. Cheese's has a long, strange, and surprising history. Did you know that the rat Chuck E. Cheese was supposed to be a coyote? Or that the company's founder was a major player in the early video game industry? Or that the animatronics show was designed for parents, not kids? Then there are the well-reported bursts of violence that have become all too frequent: a quadruple murder, giant brawls, and even a grandma beat down. Blame the cheese?

You've probably visited a Chuck E. Cheese's at some point in your life, hopefully because you were a kid, are a kid, have a kid, or know a kid. But you probably didn't know all the cheesy facts about that wisecracking rat and his pizza parlors. That's why we compiled this list. Have a slice!
  • Blame Disneyland's Tiki Room for the Animatronics Idea

    Video: YouTube
    If you fing the Chuck E. Cheese animatronics to be a little horrifying, blame Disneyland's Tiki Room. Nolan Bushnell reportedly got the idea for an animatronics show after visiting the theme park.
  • Screenwriter Mike Hatcher Created the Skits

    Photo: user uploaded image
    Spoiler alert: the animatronic characters aren't an improv group. The skits were put together by a man named Mike Hatcher. He'd program the movements one at a time to coordinate with a tape, often pulling all-nighters to get the job done.
  • The Chain's Original Name Was "Rick Rat's Pizza"

    Photo: user uploaded image
    For a time, Chuck E. Cheese's was going to be called Rick Rat's Pizza. The marketing department wisely convinced all involved that, even if you have a rat mascot, you shouldn't have "rat" in the title of a restaurant. It's unappealing and might attract the interest of health inspectors.
  • It Took Three Hours to Program One Minute of Animatronic Action

    Video: YouTube
    San Jose Mercury News revealed that it took three hours for progammer Mike Hatcher to create one minute of animatronic action at Chuck E. Cheese. This is because there were often 200 movements going on at once during the show.