There’s something rotten in the state of Chuck E. Cheese’s. On the surface, Chuck E. Cheese's is a kid-friendly chain of restaurants packed with arcade games, winnable prizes and pizza.
Yet behind its bright lights and colorful games are secrets that won’t make parents happy. They may even regret ever taking their kids there.
Beyond just the unsettling vibes of a mouse mascot walking around who interacts with kids or the stage featuring an animatronic band, employees have fessed up to the state of its carpet, what's really in the pizza and horrors surrounding the ball pit—that’s right, the ball pit.
We’re going to look at things that happened at Chuck E. Cheese’s along with revealing insights employees gave from their time working there.
19 Drinking The Water Blast Water Makes People Sick
Many Chuck E. Cheese’s have Water Blast, a game where kids can aim a real blaster that shoots water at targets. Thrillist reports that a dad decided to play around and take a sip from the water stream, which in turn made him sick later on for five hours. Guess the water at Chuck E. Cheese’s isn’t the drinking kind, at least in the Water Blast.
18 How They Clean The Ball Pit (If Ever)
A former employee at Chuck E. Cheese warns parents about letting their kids play in the ball pit. Despite how fun it may look, Reddit user jakemg reports that these play areas seldom get washed, and when they do, it’s not the way people would expect. “We put them in my boss’ pickup truck in netted bags,” said user jakemg. “Then we just went through a carwash.”
17 They Sold Booze To Minors
Sometimes it’s not the parents, creepy animatronics or unhealthy food kids and parents have to worry about at Chuck E. Cheese's—it's the employees themselves. According to Mental Floss, a Chuck E. Cheese’s franchise in Illinois served alcohol to minors in 2009. Parents can’t be too happy to learn what this particular location’s idea of family entertainment was.
16 Chuck E. Cheese’s: Gambling Den For Kids?
When parents take a moment and really think about what Chuck E. Cheese’s is, the signs may alarm them. As a result of Florida passing laws that bar internet cafés from gambling, many turned to Chuck E. Cheese’s next, wondering if their games fall under the same law (Time Magazine).
15 Pizzas Lose Toppings When They Sit Out Waiting For Delivery
There’s nothing like pizza straight out of the oven. One could there’s nothing like Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza too, which loses toppings with each passing moment it sits waiting to get picked up and served. One former employee attested to this, which makes one imagine that most of the pizzas are just cheese by the time customers get them (Oola.com).
14 Adults Threw A Party For Their Dolls
This next bit of news is just downright disconcerting. Employees at Chuck E. Cheese’s see everything—and we mean, everything. According to a former employee, who shared this horror story with Oola.com, a group of adults had a birthday party. While that’s not completely outlandish, what raised alarm was the fact that it wasn’t for them, but for their dolls.
13 The Animatronics Have Minds Of Their Own
This next tale is chilling. Reddit user UberChargedFILMZ claims to have worked the night watch at a mall where there was a Chuck E. Cheese's. They wrote, “I had an experience where these sounds were coming from the arcade area, and I was sure someone was breaking in, the life sized robotic Chucky Cheese was moving around on the floor staring at the security camera.”
12 They Let Minors Operate Dangerous Machinery
Several Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants in San Francisco got in trouble for breaking the law. According to CBS San Francisco, nine locations hired teenagers who operated equipment that went against federal child labor laws. The same source notes that one of those tasks included manning trash compactors. In turn, Chuck E. Cheese’s got slapped with a fine.
11 What’s Really In The Garlic Butter
You thought lathering garlic butter on pizzas sounded bad?—wait till you get a load of what’s actually in it. The same worker noted that there was a whole vat full of it in the back. “I think it was canola oil mixed with salt and MSG,” they shared with Oola.com. At least there’s enough to go around.
10 Many Believe They Reuse Old Pizza
There’s something peculiar going on with pizza served at Chuck E. Cheese’s and it’s got the internet abuzz. A YouTuber named Shane Dawson wondered why pizzas at the establishment always come with mismatching slices. He asserts the reason behind this is that the chain actually reuses pizza slices that other customers don’t eat. While Chuck E. Cheese's official Twitter profile denied it, it hasn’t quelled those with raised eyebrows (The Washington Post).
9 The Mascot Costume Gets Dirty
Whenever an employee puts on the “Chuck E.” mouse costume, kids congregate around the mascot with joy. However, when parents hear this former employee’s statement regarding it, they might think twice about letting their kids go anywhere near it. Reddit user tragicsymphony said, “That hideous mouse costume never gets cleaned.”
8 Nothing Good Is In The Carpets
Former workers have sage wisdom for any parents who take their kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s. “Don’t let your kids run around barefoot,” one shared with Oola.com. According to them, every kind of “bodily fluid” imaginable is in Chuck E. Cheese’s carpet, so it’s probably best if kids keep their shoes on.
7 A Part Of Their Menu Sits In Freezers Before Workers Heat It Up
Less frightening than it is disgusting, the food at Chuck E. Cheese’s isn’t what it seems. According to a former worker who divulged all the dirty details to Oola.com, the mozzarella sticks, wings and fries all start out frozen. It just takes is a warm-up in the oven before they’re served to unaware customers.
6 The Skee-Ball Machine Brawl
Skee-Ball is a popular part of Chuck E. Cheese’s. Yet an incident at one of the locations involving this staple game may give it a bad reputation going forward. NJ.com reports that a fight broke out between two moms at the Skee-Ball machines in New Jersey, which could make parents think twice about playing this game with their kids.
5 Coworkers Get It On There
Some employees actually get their groove on with each other at Chuck E. Cheese’s, that is if one former employee’s story is true. “One of the manager’s kids was conceived there, in fact,” they shared with Oola.com. At least the workers lived up to the lyrics in that song by Rihanna, “We found love in a hopeless place.”
4 Parent Nearly Left With Someone Else’s Kid
Parents who take their kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s even have other parents to worry about. According to The Press of Atlantic City, a man picked up a child in 2016 from the popular chain of restaurants thinking it was his. After walking a few steps though, it suddenly dawned on him that it wasn’t actually his kid.
3 Fights Break Out Among Parents
Not all Chuck E. Cheese’s establishments are equal. Some of them appear more dangerous than others. One in Brookfield, Wisconsin, had something of a notorious streak from 2007 to 2008. Mental Floss reports that over the course of that time, a whopping twelve fights broke out. Considering they serve alcohol, perhaps the adults had more than they could handle.
2 Workers Lather Fake Garlic Butter On Pizzas
When people think of food at Chuck E. Cheese’s, they think of the pizza. Take it from former employees though, it’s not what it looks like. One worker shared with Oola.com, “We used to ‘paint’ finished pizzas with fake garlic butter.” Not exactly the most appetizing thing to put on pizza.
1 A Tire Flew Into A Window
Sometimes it’s not always what’s going on inside of a Chuck E. Cheese’s that’s alarming, but rather what’s happening outside of it. According to The Times of Northwest Indiana, as a result of an accident occurring just outside, a vehicle’s tire flew off and went through a window, injuring three kids.
Sources: CNN, The Times of Northwest Indiana, The Press of Atlantic City, NJ.com, CBS San Francisco, Reddit, The Washington Post, Mental Floss, Time Magazine, Reddit, Thrillist, Oola.com