Freddy Krueger is the serial killer and antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
He first appears in "Imaginationland, Episode II" and "Imaginationland, Episode III" within the imagination realm, in which he killed Morpheus and participated in the torture and murder of Strawberry Shortcake.
In "Insheeption", he made another appearance in the real world, with a different design. Apparently having retired and living in the mountains with his family, he refuses to help the government, not wishing to kill again. After they explain that innocent lives are at stake, he agrees to help, killing Woodsy Owl and rescuing Stan Marsh and Mr. Mackey.
His first appearance was a relatively faithful reproduction of his portrayal in the film series, with a grotesquely scarred face, crumpled brown fedora, striped red shirt and trademark bladed glove.
He was significantly redesigned for his second appearance in "Insheeption", having grown a full beard and drawn with a completely different facial structure. At first having discarded his fedora, he later dons it again when he goes back to work.
The two versions of Freddy are arguably entirely different characters. While the Freddy in Imaginationland is similar to his characterization in the film series as a psychotic killer, the real world Freddy is portrayed as being a victim of circumstance and appears to feel genuine remorse for the killings.
The Imaginationland Freddy is shown to be naturally violent, brutalizing Strawberry Shortcake and declaring himself the most evil villain. However, it is implied that his real world counterpart was tricked into violence by government agents, in some hackneyed Cold War-related scheme.
- Freddy Krueger: "Tomorrow, we shall build our own castle right on this spot!" from "Imaginationland, Episode II"
- Freddy Krueger: "Told you a long time ago: I gave that up." from "Insheeption".
- Dr Christnap: "We need you, Fred."
Freddy Krueger: "Like you needed me to kill those teenagers to stop the Russians?"
- Freddy Krueger: "There's a real hoot for ya, Woodsy!"
- Freddy appeared in both the real world and Imaginationland, presumably making him simultaneously fictional and "real", he shares this distinction with several other characters, including Jesus and Santa Claus. Numerous theories have been put forward by fans to explain this discrepancy, the most popular theory holds that the Freddy in Imaginationland represents a fictional version of the real character. Another theory suggests that he has access to both realms because Freddy exists in the dreamworld.