Some of you may know that Chuck E. Cheese's full name is "Charles Entertainment Cheese."
But there's a darker past to the character than you may be aware.
Charles is the mascot of Chuck E. Cheese's, a beloved arcade and pizza restaurant chain for kids in the United States. And when INSIDER reached out to the company's corporate office to explain the mascot's full name, a representative said his birth certificate was lost to the sands of time.
"Unfortunately, we don't believe that 'Charles' has ever been on any official literature or documentation that we can provide to you," public relations manager Christelle Dupont wrote in an email.
Dupont did, however, point to an online book that details Charles's backstory. It's depressing.
There's a very good reason no one is sure why his parents gave him the name Charles Entertainment Cheese: He's an orphan.
"The Story of Chuck E. Cheese" tells the story of a little mouse growing up in "St. Marinara's orphanage." He loved playing games and music, with a particular passion for "Happy Birthday," a song with only six words.
The book has no author.
"Because Chuck E. was an orphan, no one knew when his birthday was, so he never had a birthday party of his own," the book reads. "This made Chuck E. sad."
Charles took to celebrating the other kids' birthdays instead, like a professional bachelor wedding crasher. It was at those parties that he cultivated a passion for pizza and video games.
Soon enough, he won a "Pong" video game tournament, which awarded him a cool $50. He used that money to purchase a bus ticket to New York and never looked back.
Despite his freedom from the orphanage, Charles missed it. And he had nowhere to stay.
"Chuck E. would sleep above the kitchen in a pizzeria run by a friendly Italian chef named Pasqually. Chuck E. loved the smell of pizza," the book reads. "Plus he had plenty of music: Pasqually would listen to, and sing along to, the radio. It was a great place to live."
The inevitable day came. Pasqually found Charles in his restaurant and freaked out.
Not knowing what else to do, Charles sang.
It was beautiful.
"Pasqually was so shocked that he dropped his rolling pin. 'A mouse that can sing? My restaurant is saved!" the book reads. Then he continued in a cartoonish, faux-Italian accent: "I'm a-gonna make you a star!"
Pasqually set up Charles to be an attraction for his restaurant: a singing mouse. His first performance was a failure, and people started walking out. But when he belted out "Happy birthday," reception was better.
As the years went by, Charles created a franchise for birthday, singing, pizza, and games, apparently creating the Chuck E. Cheese's chain we all know and love.