|Known Relatives:|| Andy Barclay (Son) |
Mike Norris (Husband)
|Portrayed By:||Catherine Hicks|
|First Appearance:||Child's Play|
"The heart! Shoot him in the heart!"
--Karen to Mike Norris.
Karen Barclay is the secondary protagonist of Child's Play and a widowed mother. Her husband died at some point before the beginning of the film. She works for a jewelry department store in Chicago.
She is a very nurturing, loving, caring, and devoted working mother to Andy. When Andy's 6th birthday comes up, she prepares by decorating the house with birthday streamers and presents. Even though it is his birthday, Andy does surprise his mother with a breakfast of cereal and badly burned toast. Karen is very touched by this and hugs her son, telling him, "Happy birthday, honey".
She excitedly gives her son some nice clothes for his birthday. But she knows he wants some toys for his birthday and not "boring" clothes. He does like his gifts but tells his mother he wants a Good Guy doll to play with. Karen apologizes as she did not have enough to time to pay for the expensive doll. After dropping off Andy at daycare, Karen resumes her work at the jewelry department.
A little down at first, she gets a big surprise. Her best friend Maggie, approaches and tells her that she found a peddler outside who has a Good Guy doll. Even better that he is willing to sell it at a cheap price; however when they go to him, he changes his mind. This annoys Maggie, but Karen agrees, knowing how much Andy really wanted the toy. Their moment is a little ruined when their boss Mr. Criswell scolds them for leaving work. He then adds that Mrs. Howell has called in sick and tells Karen she has to take her spot. If she doesn't, he'll fire her.
Maggie kindly accepts to babysit Andy for her. Karen soon comes home and surprises Andy with his new Good Guy doll, named Chucky. She goes back to work, believing she's given her son a good birthday. However, this would go horribly wrong, she'd return home from work seeing the police there. Maggie had apparently fallen out of the window and landed on a car, leading to death. Her first thought is to find Andy, as she rushes to her apartment. She finds Andy in his room, being interviewed by Detective Norris. Karen is stunned by the news about Maggie but she becomes infuriated when Detective Norris implies Andy may have been involved, and throws the police out of the house.
Andy comes to his mother and Detective Norris, insisting that Chucky is alive and was in the kitchen with Maggie. Karen believes Andy's just making up a story and sends him into his room, but not before kicking out the police. When she goes to check in on her son, she see's him talking to his Good Guy doll Chucky. Whether to keep Andy quiet or gain his trust, Chucky sits Andy down and tells him a story of sorts. He starts by telling him that his real name is Charles Lee Ray and that he was sent from heaven by Andy's father to play with him. Karen is at first amused, but it quickly changes. Andy soon adds that Chucky had said to him that, "Aunt Maggie was a real bitch and got what she deserved".
This disturbs Karen, but Andy tells her he never said it. Chucky did. Karen asks him to stop, saying she knows he's making all this up. Andy still denies this and says that Chucky's really alive. She still tries to convince him that Chucky's not alive and is just a doll. Andy refuses to believe and an angered Karen shouts at him sternly to stop it. Andy then asks if it's because of Aunt Maggie that she's yelling at him. Karen calms down and admits it. He apologizes to her and promises not to make up stories.
Karen drops off Andy at school the next day, but before leaving she asks if Andy's alright. Considering what happened with Maggie, Karen wants to make sure Andy's alright. She asks if he had bad dreams and if he remembers what she told him; that Chucky's only a doll. Andy shakes his head that he didn't have bad dreams and nods understanding what his mother told him. Or so she thought. Karen never did realize that Charles had more significance. Charles was the Lakeshore Strangler who had recently died, nor did Karen know that he had possessed the doll she bought and was manipulating her son.
As soon as Karen is gone, Chucky convinces Andy to take him somewhere. To an old house, which was later revealed to be the home of his old partner Eddie Caputo. Most likely Chucky instructs Andy to stay outside, not knowing what Chucky wanted. He went away to use the bathroom. While he was gone, Chucky snuck into the house and turned on the gas of Eddie's oven. As Andy looked for him, Eddie was also looking for what he thought was an intruder. Eddie foolishly fired his gun and it caused the house to blow up.
Once again, the police found Andy near the crime scene. Detective Norris, saw this as more than a coincidence and called Karen from work. When she came over, he asked if she had picked up Andy yet. When she says no, he shows her that Andy's being interviewed by his partner Jack. Jack talked to the boy and asked him why Maggie fell out of the window. Andy tells him its cause she saw Chucky and it scared her so much she fell down; a lie that Chucky probably told Andy.
Karen soon rushes to Andy's side, and calmly tells him that no one believes him. If Andy didn't tell the truth, the police would take him away from her. Andy begins to understand it and confronts Chucky, begging him to say something. Andy shakes Chucky, confronting him about how he lied to Andy. Chucky however just repeats the doll's lines. Andy, now scared, rushes to his mother telling her he's doing it on purpose and said Chucky told him, he'd kill him if he ever told anyone about him.
Dr. Ardmore, watching from behind the glass, announces his presence and says he's from the County General, mental hospital. After seeing more than enough, he suggests Andy stay a few days at the hospital. Having no real choice, Karen reluctantly gives her son to them.
The Truth Comes OutEdit
Karen, broken and defeated that her son will probably be locked away. She sits at home at first, looking at Chucky. Feeling angered she shouts at the doll, "Say something you little bastard. SAY SOMETHING DAMN IT !". Stressed, she goes to the kitchen to have a glass of water, to calm her nerves. She soon goes to throw away the Good Guy box he came in. As she does, she notices two batteries fall out of the box and reads the box again which said "Batteries Included".
She then turns in shock, meaning that the doll's been running without batteries. Karen calmly but cautiously checks the doll's back again. She soon finds that there are no batteries in the doll, Chucky's head immediately turns backwards saying, "Hi, I'm Chucky! Wanna Play!". This horrifies her and she drops the doll. Despite being scared, Karen pulls the doll out from under the couch.
She tries making him talk again. She angrily tells him she'll make him talk, taking the doll to the fire place and lights up a fire. She angrily exclaims to him, "I said talk to me, damn it! Or else I'll throw you in the fire!" Much to her own shock and horror, Chucky comes alive and tries to attack her. While she fights him off as best she can, Chucky is able to get her shoulder and leaves a big bite mark on her arm. Karen screamed in horror and tossed him over the other side of her living room. When it appears he'll come at her again, Karen crawls near the fireplace. Chucky apparently leaves her apartment, wanting to finish out his revenge.
Karen rushes to the door, seeing that he's taken the elevator and left. Realizing he's alive, Karen now see's she must try to prove Andy's telling the truth.
Searching for ChuckyEdit
Desperate for help, Karen reaches out to Detective Norris. She tries to convince him that Andy's telling the truth and shows him the batteries that came with the box. Stating that there's no way Chucky could been moving and talking without them, meaning the doll's alive. Norris, believes she's lost it and tries to leave. She even presents her bite mark to him as proof that she wasn't lying. When he still refuses to believe her, she decides to find him herself.
With no real leads, she goes back to the peddler she bought Chucky from. Detective Norris warns her that the area isn't a safe place to go to at night. But Karen vows to free her son and sets off. Karen wanders through the city, asking anyone if they've seen or know the peddler. She eventually finds the peddler and asks him where he got the doll. He agrees depending on what she has to give him.
Karen offers what money she has in her purse, when that doesn't suffice he attempts to rape her. Karen's saved in time by Detective Norris before the peddler could hurt her. He then makes the peddler answer where he got the doll from. The peddler then says he got it from a burned out toy store, the same store where Mike had shot and killed Charles Lee Ray.
Mike is disturbed by this. He, at first, refuses to tell Karen why he's upset over that. He then explains to her the significance of the store. When Karen decides to go to the store, he explains to her that she won't find anything there. The store was struck by lightning and he then admits that he was the cop who killed Charles Lee Ray. As he drives her home, she asks him if Charles Lee Ray said anything before he died.
Detective Norris says he remembers him threatening to kill him and Eddie Caputo. As they reach her apartment, Karen tries to warn Mike that he isn't safe. Chucky's killed Eddie, now he's next. Refusing to believe, he makes her get out of the car. Later on, Karen would be proven right. As he drove home, Chucky tried to kill Detective Norris. But Norris was able to fight him off by shooting him in the chest.
The next day, Karen would go to Charles Lee Ray's old home to find some clues about how he got into the doll. There she saw paintings in his home. Mostly depicted of voodoo, she gets a surprise when she sees Detective Norris arriving. He admits he believes her now, saying that Chucky tried to kill him. He reveals he did some digging and found out his nickname back then was Chucky and spent a lot of time with a voodoo practitioner named John Simonsen.
Searching for AndyEdit
Both Karen and Detective Norris head to his apartment. But they're too late, Chucky got there before them. And has tortured John with a voodoo doll and left him for dead. Before he dies, he tells Karen that Chucky's gone after Andy now to transfer his soul into the boy's body. He tells her they must kill him through the heart. Realizing he'll head for Andy at the County General Mental Hospital, they rush to save Andy. But they arrive too late to get to Andy.
The police are already there, Chucky tried coming for Andy. And he killed Dr. Ardmore when he got in the way, however Andy was able to escape Chucky. But Karen knows where Andy will go. He'll head for home as she instructed him to do when he's in trouble. As they head home, Andy reaches home before they do. Unfortunately so does Chucky. He eventually knocks out Andy and prepares to perform the transfer ritual. But Karen and Mike are able to stop him before he can finish it. After a prolonged struggle with them, Chucky is thrown into the fireplace by Karen and despite some coaxing by Chucky, Andy manages to light a match and ignite the fireplace, ultimately setting Chucky ablaze.
Andy and Karen, thinking Chucky is dead, go to help the injured Mike Norris. After Andy gets the first aid kit from under the sink, he discovers Chucky is gone. Very burnt but alive, Chucky chases after Andy and Karen, who barricade themselves in the bedroom; Karen shoots him several times, missing his heart, but scattering his head, an arm and a leg in the hallway. After Norris' partner, Jack Santos, arrives, the scattered doll parts attempt to attack at the instructions of Chucky's screaming, severed head. Karen, remembering John's last words, tells Mike to shoot Chucky in the heart.Though neither adults know how they'll explain this, Karen takes Andy to go and get medical help for Mike.
Karen's Ultimate FateEdit
Karen Barclay doesn't appear in any more of the Child's Play installments. She's seen only in photographs that Andy owns in Child's Play 2, Child's Play 3 and Curse of Chucky. While the police denied the story of the killer doll, Karen stood by her son. However both mother and son would regret that. Because of it, Karen was forced to go get psychiatric evaluations to prove she's mentally stable. With no apparent living relative, Andy was put in the foster care system many times.
Because no one ever believed her and she never recanted her son's story, Karen was deemed mentally unstable. As Andy grew up in foster home, after foster home.
In the post-credits scene of Curse of Chucky, it's revealed that Karen is still alive and released from the mental facility and hinted at that she married Detective Mike Norris.