This is something that's been bothering me since the first time I played Portal. Who is the big bad jellyfish, and what are they wanted for? THE BIG BAD JELLYFISH "Who is <s>John Galt</s><s>Atlas</s>the Big Bad Jellyfish? Also, why does this jellyfish have a mouth? And eyes, for that matter?" This drawing appears on a wall in an office right before the first time you meet a missile launcher. This one:  "I'M LAUNCHIN MAH MISSILE"

And the lead up to the office, if you want to find it for yourself:

"To the right, to the right" "What is that? What is THAT?" "I have no witty comment for this image. It's an office."

So, is there an explanation for this? Given Valve's penchant for background storytelling through graffiti/environment, I doubt it's just an Easter Egg that some developer sneaked into the game.

  • 2
    The "jellyfish" does look similar to glados... Feb 15, 2015 at 15:55
  • As the answer states, the Big Bad Jellyfish could come from Half-life, but there was another fish traditionally appearing in games (which could even inspire even the Jellyfish) – Dopefish.
    – miroxlav
    Feb 8, 2017 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Note, seeing that this does say a lot about the lore of Portal, spoliers are ahead.

Acording to the Half-Life Wikia, the Big Bad Jellyfish is:

The Big Bad Jellyfish is an Easter egg found in this level. It is in a side room on the corridor just before you find the first Rocket Sentry seen in the game. It is a pencil drawing on the wall of an angry looking jellyfish with the text "THE BIG BAD Jellyfish WANTED" under it. Both Jellyfish may have been drawn by Doug Rattmann but there has been no confirmation of this.

The second jellyfish it mentions is probably the Nice Little Jellyfish, found in another room.

Doug Rattmann, or the Ratman, is a former employee of Aperture. In the story, he is the reason that Chell tested first, as he thought she could make a difference.

My own theory is that it was drawn by a child during "Bring your Daughter to Work" day, which was the day GLaDOS was activated, and killed a lot of people. A scared child (even possible young Chell) could have drawn that after seeing GLaDOS activating (hinting to Studoku's comment).

For what the jellyfish(es) truly mean, or who truly created them, no one knows. We only have our rumors and theories, as Valve has not spilled the beans (yet).

  • I found this explanation but it seems way too flimsy. If it was supposed to be Ratman's drawing, then why is it so different from all of his other graffiti? Feb 15, 2015 at 16:24
  • He might have been in a hurry to draw it. Another question would be, who else would have drawn it? I doubt people would have drawn on the walls while the facility was in operation, and when it was gassed, Ratman survived, and Chell was the next test subject to be released, and it was already there. Unless, it relates back to bring your child to work day... (but all we have is our theories).
    – The Man
    Feb 15, 2015 at 16:27
  • "Bring your child to work day" (the perfect time to have them tested) is the best lead that I could think of but it still seems tenuous. I was hoping for something better. Feb 15, 2015 at 16:29
  • I wish I could get something more definite, but Valve has yet to explain it, and I doubt Gaben would tell even if I asked him in person.
    – The Man
    Feb 15, 2015 at 16:32
  • His answer would probably be "the explanation is in Half Life 3." :) Feb 15, 2015 at 16:34

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