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The game hints heavily to the fact that Cave and Caroline were in some way involved with each other. The game also makes it very clear that Chell was the daughter of an Aperture scientist. Proof:
Chell project Portal 2

zoom to see

Perhaps, Cave and Caroline were actually Chell's parents and brought her into work on bring your daughter to work day. Her potato experiment is the chief cause of all the growth in the Enrichment Center. For some reason she became a test subject. Some of the arguments against this are GLaDoS stating that she is adopted. Oppositely, she also says something about Chell's mother also being a test subject and that she must be her pride and joy. Either way, the fact that her project appears in the center is extremely intriguing. (All credit ->[1]) --SodaSmurf 02:06, April 20, 2011 (UTC)
Chell being adopted and Chell being a "daughter" of an employee are not contradictory. But Chell being the daughter of Cave and Caroline doesn't add up because she is not white.-- 04:36, April 20, 2011 (UTC)
True, I just find it interesting that Chell was previously involved with Aperture. Perhaps she was brought in by a parent in response to "Bring your daughter to work day is a perfect opportunity to get your daughter tested!" Either way she has a history with the place. --SodaSmurf 04:47, April 20, 2011 (UTC)
The ending where GLaDOS is overwhelmed with a flood of emotion from Caroline when she sees chell waking up, and her response of "oh good you're awake" seemed way more than just caring for a fellow human being, seemed almost parental in magnitude. Also in the ending song there is the line "She was alot like you" which also hints at chell being Caroline's descendant. I dont think we should rely on the photos and model of Chell from portal 1 as "evidence" she is not Caucasian. I dont think the valve writers would have been thinking about chells parents back then. She definatly looks more Caucasian in Portal 2 15:03, April 20, 2011 (UTC)
Given that GLaDOS (POTaTOS at the time) mentions her being "actually" adopted her nationality wouldn't really matter if she were Caroline's adopted daughter. --Frankcast11 22:40, April 20, 2011 (UTC)
GLaDOS only knows what was in her file, which had all her details redacted. Can people please stop getting hung up on GLaDOS saying she was adopted?? its nothing more than a demotivational tool used by GLaDOS during testing. Should we also assume she had no friends, and is fat? If people really want a plausible explanation for her being "adopted" then try this: Soon after the birth of Chell Cave johnson died of kidney failure, as per his wishes caroline was then forced into having her brain downloaded into the supercomputer and was murdered / killed as part of the process. Leaving the child (chell) without parents, she was then adopted by the Apature Science corp, since glados was in charge and at that point caroline probably had more influence. 10:30, April 21, 2011 (UTC)
Well if you think about it demotivational tools only work if they hit you at your core. What if Chell knew she was adopted and never liked the fact? GLaDOS would then keep poking at it, heck she even mentions she was adopted during the battle with her at the end of Portal. Plus, Chell is a woman, and as a woman she probably cares about her appearance, including her weight. This could be supported by the fact that GLaDOS later says that the jumpsuit she's wearing looks stupid, thus demeaning her appearance even further. Maybe being a friendless loser also would hit her emotionally. If they meant nothing to Chell then she would not even care about it and GLaDOS would see this and stop, trying other tactics. --Bulletpainpills 05:07, June 02, 2011 (UTC)

Chell IS chell Johnson. Take a look at the picture of cave and caroline. In the background is a young girl in an orange jumpsuit with cheekbones that match chell's perfectly. 04:05, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

Cave caroline 70s

zoom to see

File:CaveAndCarolineEdited2.png|thumb|180px|This is just an edited edition of the above picture, it should now be easier to see the girl that we talked about.
File:Chell-crouch.jpg|thumb|look at the structure of the right cheekbone here

It might just be me, but the person on the side of the picture looks more like some kind of a statue to me. It doesn't really look like a little girl as far as I can tell.

The sentry gun opera put on by glados at the end is also singing "oh my daughter" in Italian. Discordance 14:33, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

  • Well, even if she was adopted, you can see where Chell got her stubbornness from, Cave was a stubborn SOB. Shadowsaber623 15:45, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

I think given the 3 separate hints found so far that this is a clear and deliberate hint from valve. Whether they are misleading us to Chell is the daughter of someone else important in the company (so important she was in a portrait of cave?) or she is their daughter/adopted daughter who knows but Valve are clearly telling us something. I think its enough to justify adding a section to the article detailing the clues. Discordance 22:31, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

I looked up the lyrics of the song the turrets sing at the end of Portal 2 and here they are, in English:

Dear, beautiful, my dear, beautiful girl, oh Chell, that's too bad, that's too bad, well, My dear, farewell.

My girl, dear, why don't you stay away yes, away from science?

Dear, dear, my girl, my beautiful, my dear, my dear, my girl, my dear, my dear…

(from ) GrandTheftFreak

I think the endearment phrases GLaDOS uses in the song are just that - endearment phrases. Have you ever had an older, unrelated person who cared about you call you 'son' or 'daughter'? No? Well uh, what about slapping your brother on the back (whom you really can't stand) and saying "Heya, *brother dearest*." The GLaDos calling Chell 'dear'/'daughter' could be just that, either showing she does care in a most affectionate way, or just teasing. E gal 18:35, April 28, 2011 (UTC)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmno. No. I don't think GLaDOS would be teasing, it's a giant goodbye so I don't see how GLaDOS would do that. GrandTheftFreak

Why doesn't anyone think that maybe Rattman is her adopted father. It would make sense considering that he was a survivor and he was always concerned for Chell. He died for her (figuratively speaking). Its just a observation though.

What about Half Life 2??? there was chells file in B. Mesa office claiming that caroline was her mother...

It's impossible for her to be Rat man's daughter. He only knew her as a test subject, not personally. For more info on Rat man's relationship to Chell, read the Rat man comics on Portal's website. What we do know is this:

  • 1. GLaDOS says multiple times that Chell was adopted.
  • 2. Chell is(was) the child of one of the employees at Aperture science and came in for bring your daughter to work day were she made a potato for the science competition that mutated out of control.
  • 3. It seems like Cave Johnson and Caroline were romantically involved.
  • 4. GLaDOS is based on Caroline.
  • 5. Chell applied to be a test subject, but was rejected for being too stubborn.
  • 6. In the portrait of Cave Johnson and Caroline has a girl wearing an aperture science jumpsuit in the background.
  • 7. It is possible Chell grew up their since there was a daycare center there.
  • 8. At the end, while Chell is leaving, the turrets sing a song in Italian that

translates to: Dear, beautiful, my dear, beautiful girl, oh Chell, that's too bad, that's too bad, well, My dear, farewell.

My girl, dear, why don't you stay away yes, away from science?

Dear, dear, my girl, my beautiful, my dear, my dear, my girl, my dear, my dear…

  • 9. When Wheatly calls Chell fat and an orphan, GLaDOS defends Chell, at this point, GLaDOS knows that she is based on Caroline.

It seems like Valve is trying to say Chell was adopted by Cave Johnson or Caroline and is technically GLaDOS' daughter. Peter 10 00:08, May 15, 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Peter. This is, what, 1972? Chell would be older than she is in the game if she was their honest to God biological daughter. I think she was adopted by them in an attempt to create an heiress to Aperture. Plus, Cave and Caroline were both 40-50 years old in the 70's picture, which seems a little old to have children naturally.

I don't think the girl in the picture was Chell, though. It was a statue. The "jumpsuit" looks like a dress because its flowy. Plus, it looks like she's on a pedistal. --ZombiesInLove 01:18, May 15, 2011 (UTC)

I personally think Doug is Chell's adoptive father, but her biological parents are Cave and Caroline.

How is this possible you may ask? I shall tell you:

Chell was a "mistake" that Cave and Caroline made, thus resulting in them putting her up for adoption. Instead of going to a normal orphanage, they gave her up to an Aperture Brand orphanage. Seeing as this is owned by Aperture, some pretty weird stuff goes down there: Instead of letting the kids age normally, they let them grow until about 4 or 5 years old then puts them into stasis to keep them young. When someone comes along to adopt a kid, they take them out of stasis- which is what they did when Doug came to adopt Chell.

Starthedog 01:28, May 15, 2011 (UTC)starthedog

It is highly unlikely that the "girl" (read: statue) in the picture is even a human being since its head is like, two books thick. So that is, in my opinion, out of the question. - SkuLLkld 00:36, May 17, 2011 (UTC)


To SkuLLkld- Remember that it is just a painting. So everything isn't right on. The painting isn't a picture so it is a little girl in ink. Even if it was a real picture a human head is about two books thick.

My theory is that Chell was cave and Caroline's daughter and that Caroline was really Latina, but was painted to be fairer skinned than she really was. She was probbly raised by Caroline and possibly cave and would be frequently seen there however was forced to pretend she was an ophan to protect Cave's reputation which is why it would say in her file that she was an orphan when she got a part-time job at Aperature.

--It is noted (by the trophy case in the old Aperture Science area) that Cave also was adept at "Potato Science." In the room where the science projects are, Chell's seems to be genetically altered. It could be that Cave helped her create her project.

--Also, GLaDOS could have been lying when she said she deleted Caroline, which makes the Turret Opera's lyrics make sense, because she wanted to keep Chell safe. And, it also makes the [REDACTED] line in "Want You Gone" ('Maybe I'll stop feeling so bad') make sense because GLaDOS (Caroline) misses her daughter. Don't forget how easy it is for GLaDOS to lie, and so she could be lying about not caring.

It doesn't make sense for Doug to be Chell's father, you have to pass mental evaluatons before adopting a child, and all Rattaman seemed to know abotu Chell hhe learned from the line: never gives up.
Actually, I've been doing a ton of research on schizophrenia due to my Rattmann fangirlism. In a book I read there was actually a STUDY on if adopted children with schizophrenic 'parents' were more likely to develop the disease (They aren't BTW), which means that it IS possible for Doug to have adopted Chell. Besides, he seemed quite level-headed in the flashbacks in the comics. Starthedog 22:04, May 26, 2011 (UTC)Starthedog

The person in the background is not Chell but Aeschylus, the author of 'Prometheus Unbound'. Please refer to the bottom picture:

Probobly irrelivant, but GLaDOS states the chell is "Adopted" not "Orpahned". Whilst the game does attempt to indicate in GLaDOS's speeches she has no parents, the difference of course in the language is that Adopted usually applies to having parents that genetically do not match. Does this make sense?
Also, im glad to see there is more of an argument to this, i've been thinking it a while but couldnt find much evidence, Awesome theory! -- 12:26, May 26, 2011 (UTC)

IF (and only IF) Caroline was Chell's Mother than it would make sense for GLaDOS to have deleted her at the end because Caroline would have wanted to keep her safe, and aperature even with the turrets (which GLaDOS/Caroline could turn off at any time) is still safer than the oustide if the events of Half-Life 2 are indeed taking place so either 1) Caroline was deleted, 2) Caroline was not Chells mother, 3) the timeline is incorrect, or a combination of the three

All we know about Chell's parents is that her DAD worked at Aperture sometime in the early 1990's when BYDTWD occured, Cave was dead before 1990 meaning he cant be the dad Chell talks about in her project, and Caroline would have been 50+ by the time Chell was born in the early 1980's making it highly unlikely Caroline is her mother since she would have most likely hit menopause by that time. One of Valve's lead writers Erik Wolpaw said he had no knowledge that the sound team had made the turret opera have a meaning, so its safe to assume if Portal 2's lead writers didn't know the turret operas message becuase they didn't intend for one, it isn't canon. SajuukKhar 08:34, May 31, 2011 (UTC)

Okay, why is everyone assuming that the figure in the portrait is chell? there's virtually nothing to suggest it's her. it just looks like a statue. Plus, GLaDOS would tell chell that she was adopted regardless of whether or not she was, so I wouldn't consider that evidence of anything.

Here's my theory: Cave and Caroline had a daughter by accident, Cave (not wanting to have his image ruined) forced Caroline to giver her up, she then gave her to a high-ish ranking Aperture employee that they trusted so she could still keep an eye on her while she grew up. Chell went through like until Bring Your Daughter to Work Day when she was young. GLaDOS attacked the people, blah blah blah, and Chell was put in Stasis. It could be possible that she still aged in the stasis she was in, and was 19 or so by the time she tested the first time. And I don't think GLaDOS COULD delete Caroline. GLaDOS IS Caroline, but her mind evolved into nothing but hatred to the people who forced her to be an AI per Cave's request. I think she just sent Chell away (acting like she didn't care) because she didn't want to kill her or even keep her so she wouldn't be compelled to kill her later (or else she would have just killed Chell with the turret opera). Thus making the timelines sort-of match-up and still sort-of explain Chell's lineage. Cyrus Arc 01:17, June 23, 2011 (UTC)

FYI, Eric Wolpaw said the turret opera was a joke by the sound team. Around 1:08:30 Eric talks about how they were going to put a song at the end and he left the sound team just do whatever. They didn't consult him about the lyrics or their meaning and as such we cant really take the Lyrics as proof of anything. SajuukKhar 21:10, June 23, 2011 (UTC)

Just because the opera isn't canon now doesn't mean it won't be in the future. I mean it's not like Valve have never retconned before, just ask Barney. ModestEgg December 5, 2011 (UTC)

A few people have said that Doug Rattman might have adopted Chell. I think that is highly unlikely because of the "Lab Rat" comic. Doug had a few flashbacks where he was looking for test subjects, if he adopted Chell then he would know that she is abnormally stubborn and never gives up. But he had to look in her file to learn all that. AND...... Cyrus Arc said that GLaDOS is Caroline/Carolyn, but it did say on the wiki that when Caroline was UPLOADED onto GLaDOS she lost all memory of when she was Caroline.

"Okay, I doubt that Chell is the daughter of Cave and Caroline, and definitely not Ratman's Daughter either. Here's my reason for it. Let's take a good look at Chell's Project Board in the "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day" Room.

Personal Cherushi Metsumari Chell's Aperture Science Board

Chell's Aperture Science Board from "Bring You Daughter to Work Day".

On the left side of Chell's Project board called 'Energy of the Future', she has a list called "Problem".

Here's what the message says:

"My dad said somebody at the cafeteria ordered too many potatoes so everybody has to do a science project on potatoes now for Take You Daughter to Work Day and lunch will be french fries. Mr. Johnson said we could use as many Potatoes as we liked for our projects, But I'm only going to use one. I asked my dad if I could do a different project because I already did a Potato Battery project in class last year and he said no, Mr. Johnson would get mad."

In the middle of the board:

"HYPOTHESIS Probably the potato will do the same that it did last year for my class project, except mabe no because I had a new potato last time and this one is pretty old. My dad says his hypothesis is whoever ordered all the potatoes will probably get fired.

[picture of a clock hooked into a potato.]

CONCLUSIONS Last time my potato battery produced 1.5 volts. This time it got 1.6, so I guess it doesn't matter how old the potato is. The current from the potato battery did not produce enough volts to power anything important if use more potatoes maybe. I could have gotten more volts, but the one dad brought home smelled and I didn't want more.

By Chell"

On The right side:

"MATERIALS One Potato A bowl A volt meter A piece of copper wire A piece of steel nail

[picture of a smiling potato and materials with an aperture logo on it.] 'Special ingredient from Dad's work.'

PROCEDURES I did the same thing I did last time.

[picture of a smiling potato hooked into a clock]"

So, she mentions Cave's name a few times As Mr. Johnson, and also refers to her father, who seems to be a separate man from Cave.

Now, on the the Ratman. I do not believe that she is the daughter of Doug.

The Ratman in the comic only chose Chell because of her tenacious behavior. He only used her to get out of the facility. So in other words, he bumped her up to the top of the test subjects strictly for selfish reasons so he can escape. Once he escaped, he saw Chell being dragged back into the facility, and he had remorse for his actions and what they caused her. So, he risked his life to keep her alive and dead at the same time.

I believe that she was really adopted by one of the scientist as Aperture Science, but she was not Cave and Caroline's Daughter, nor was she the Ratman's. Now, was she adopted by an Aperture Scientist because he was ordered too by Cave? Well, I wouldn't doubt it, but honestly, I don't think we'll ever know." Cherushi Metsumari 03:31, February 16, 2012 (UTC) I am led to believe that someone who worked at Aperture science labratories had to be her parent(s). If you go back to the point in the game where you find the "Bring your daughter to work day" experiments, you'll find that the potato with the overgrowth is part of a project created by Chell. I don't know what to think of the possibility of Caroline being her mother, since the song "Cara Mia Addio" was sung by Turrets, not GlaDOS, but then again could have been coordinated by her. It could very well be that Chell was around the facility as she grew older;considering how long Aperture Science has been around, and assuming that Chell was conceived in the 1980's or so, (I am led to believe that she is 20-30 years old in Portal 2, since GlaDOS stated that they would be testing for another 60 years), that she was preserved in the Relaxation Vault when GlaDOS flooded the Enrichment Center with Neurotoxin, only to wake up a few days/weeks later to begin testing. This is just my own interpretation. -- 00:22, December 25, 2012 (UTC)

Ive got all the proof that GLaDOS is Chell`s mother.1.Potatos DID say Chell was adopted,but remember,GLaDOS doesnt recall anything about being Caroline until the ending.Also,think of the Turret Opera.Those weren`t the turrets talking to Chell,it was GLaDOS getting a late message to Chell.Its in Italian,but I translated it to English.This is what it says:

Italian: Cara bel, cara mia bella! Mia bambina, oh ciel (Chell)! Che ella stima![note 2] Che ella stima! O cara mia, addio! La mia bambina cara... perché non passi lontana? Sì, lontana da Scienza! Cara, cara mia bambina... Ah, mia bella! Ah, mia cara! Ah, mia cara! Ah, mia bambina! Oh cara, cara mia...

English: Beautiful dear, my darling beauty! My baby, oh heavens(chell)![note 3] That she esteems![note 4] That she esteems! Oh my dear, farewell! My dear child... Why don't you walk far away? Yes, far away from Science! My dear, dear baby... Ah, my beauty! Ah, my dear! Ah, my dear! Ah, my little girl! Oh my dearest one...

And,maybe GLaDOS was right.Maybe Chell WAS adopted.By the Rattman.Maybe Cave didnt want Chell to get sick of moon dust like he did so he had to give her away.I know,Cave was alive during 1958 and Portal took place in the 2000s but think about the bed in Portal 1.Its an incubator. —Unsigned comment by (talk)

I'm sorry, but I do believe it's possible that Chell was around in the olden Aperture days. We know Cave was still in charge at this point and a few times questioned morality, right? Well, when you are walking through the old test chambers, there are a number of signs displaying a representation of test subjects, these are often straight edge outlines of male test subjects. Now, when you go into the offices overlooking the chambers, you will find a sign saying "REMEMBER: if you see and orange jumpsuit, HIT THE RED BUTTON". The new image of the test subjects is highly similar to that of Chell (In Portal 1), same hair, female, carrying a small amount of luggage, so the sign is probably there to say that said person should not be leaving. And that Cave expected his child to grow up within the facility.

Now, while I do believe that the girl in the back of the portrait is probably not Chell, whos to say the future developments Cave was working on were not based on this seen as how it was clearly something Cave had an interest in. And he would definitely care about Chell, for example, if she was just a small child at this point, he would want her to be safe, thus the reason for putting measurements in place to make sure she can be stopped. Don't forget, Cave also talked about time travel, so his daughter could end up there like that as well. While I'm at it, can I also say, Caroline in the portrait does look of a spanish/latino origin, so her and Chell definitely could be joined by blood if skin color is such an issue, not forgetting Chell would have been raised underground in artificial sunlight?

Right, now so both the parents would be gone once Cave dies and Caroline becomes GLaDOS, leaving Chell in the facility, with a protected identity, probably still very young. We cannot ignore the similarity between Chell and Rattman. Firstly, "The Cake Is A Lie" This is written in binary on Chells forms, probably got her smarts from Cave. we know Rattman was a bit of a paranoid lunatic so he could have put this is Chell's head. Next: Rattman as we know is incredibly stubborn, refusing to give in the GLaDOS, who is also incredibly stubborn, As was the past leader of Aperture, Cave. This would definitely be instilled into Chell, who is INCREDIBLY STUBBORN. Thirdly: I'm not saying Rattman adopted her, but he could have been the one who would look after Chell when she was a child, shaping and molding her into who she is, both of them knowing there's a problem and not giving in and doing the right thing etc. She would have seen him as a father figure if she was to young to remember Cave and Caroline.

Chell could have been growing up in and out of the incubator she wakes up in at the start of portal 1. Rattman would just take her out so she could grow and develop, like BYDTWD, "Dad" could be how she sees Rattman (The only character we know was around at this point who is highly similar to Chell, also, he knows exactly where to find her file.) Rattman also thinks that the robots are out for him from the start, it could be possible that in the young version of himself in Labrat the reason he goes to get Chell is that he had raised her to be the perfect test subject to bring GlaDOS down, with her high performance rate and scientific understanding that she got from those behind Aperture. When GlaDOS kills everyone he cannot wait and needs to move her up the list. Yeah, he probably knowingly became her guardian as he knew her origins, but he didn't use her to escape, only for the ultimate system crash, only after that did he say he should leave as well. The only reason Rattman survived is because he saw the evil coming, his main objective was to defeat, but the guilt of how Chell saw him as a father was what caused him to go back and try save her, he never wanted to just escape.

I know there's a bunch of other evidence to say Caroline is Chells mother, but its very unclear, the song for example could be any amount of things, the way GlaDOS constantly mocks Chell's adoption, ultimately I think Valve is just messing with everyone and creating enigma that makes the game so interesting, I know I have fun trying to work it all out. And yeah, mine is just another theory, but what the hell, until Valve bother to release the truth (If they even know it themselves) then we are all just going to have to deal with the pluralism of it all. —Unsigned comment by (talk)

I think that Caroline is Chell's birth mother but Cave is not necessarily her father. I doubt personally doubt that Cave and Caroline were in a intimate relationship, I think the reason Cave wanted Caroline to be GLaDOS was because she was his favorite employee, GLaDOS kept calling Chell adopted but that means nothing considering Chell clearly isn't fat and GLaDOS keeps saying it anyway. In the end when GLaDOS "deletes" Caroline she really means takes her out of GLaDOS so she is now in the facility so she has very very mild control of it which is probably how she conducted the turret song evidence of this is in the song want you gone GLaDOS says "now little Caroline is in here too...". the reason Doug Rattmann put Caroline as #1 test subject because she had a "hunch" he put her in danger for his own escape that doesn't sound very father like to me but going back to having a hunch this might be because one day her mother left for work and Chell never saw her again. This of course probably wasn't too long before bring your daughter to work day maybe, 1 month, as most of us know Chell was there that day so either her unknown father was smart enough to put her in stasis or the small bit of Caroline that was left decided to save her daughter.

anyway that's just my theory tell me if I'm missing any details I'll be checking the page daily. -Joel

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