I completed Portal 2 three times, and now I know all the history, except Chell's history.

Can somebody tell me if there's a story behind Chell?


1 Answer 1


Players wake up as Chell, in Portal 1. The game is quite short, however, and there is not much in the way of character progression. Prior to these events, there is not much, in the way of back story.

Chell wakes up inside of a Relaxation Vault, inside the Aperture Science laboratory. She is informed that she is a test subject. Using the Portal Gun and the Advanced Knee Replacement, Chell completes the tests, with the promise of being rewarded cake for completing the exercise.

Instead of cake, GLaDOS attempts to dump Chell into an incinerator. Chell manages to escape, and goes on to defeat GLaDOS. Moments after her escape from the Aperture Science laboratory, Chell is captured, and taken back into the laboratory.

At this point, the Lab Rat comic takes over. Long story short, an escaped engineer by the name of Doug Rattman witnesses Chells escape and quick recapture. After realising Chell is to be put inside an Extended Relaxation Vault, which has lost its life support capabilities due to the explosion, Rattman patches Chell's vault into the reserved power grid.

As a result, Chell survives suspended animation, and wakes up to the events of Portal 2.

While there is not much backstory to Chell, prior to Portal 1, there is speculation that she is the daughter of an Aperture Science employees. This is hinted at in Portal 1, where GLaDOS remarks ""Well done, remember, the Aperture Science Bring Your Daughter to Work Day is the perfect time to have her tested.", and again in Portal 2, where a "Bring Your Daughter To Work Day" science-fair entry features a potato-generator experiment, signed by Chell.

  • 3
    Alright, I have problems to add spoilers to your text because of the paragraphs, so I suggest you add them as those are really MAJOR story spoilers :P
    – Marv
    Jan 4, 2016 at 8:12
  • 4
    There's a really popular fan theory that Chell is the daughter of Cave Johnson and Caroline, hinted from the opera song and ending song. However, there's no official confirmation.
    – antimo
    Jan 4, 2016 at 8:20
  • 6
    Now you're thinking with portals :) Jan 4, 2016 at 9:29
  • @Marv, I agree entirely. However, OPs question asks for backstory in the context of having beaten the second game. At this point, the backstory includes spoilers from the two games.
    – user106385
    Jan 5, 2016 at 1:16
  • 2
    The policy for spoilers agreed on in meta states that spoilers should not be used to cover up essential parts of a question or answer. One should assume that an answer to "I've beaten the game 3 times, whats the characters backstory" would contain spoilers, and not actually click on it. I do not necissarily agree with it, but I am a firm follower of meta, to keep uniformity.
    – user106385
    Jan 5, 2016 at 1:19

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