The Origin Of Squid Game's Creepy Robot Doll Explained

The number one most-watched show on Netflix in 90 countries is the addictive Korean survival drama, "Squid Game." The show centers on hundreds of people in deep financial debt who accept an invitation to compete in popular children's games for the chance to win 45.6 billion won, or nearly $38.5 million dollars. This game comes at a high-risk, however, as losers of the "Squid Game" will be killed. The compelling series has not dwindled in popularity since its release, with "Squid Game" becoming everyone's new favorite binge watch. The love for the show comes from it's evocative writing highlighting the class disparity in South Korea, but also due to its already-iconic costume design of green track suits and shape painted masks. But people can't seem to get enough of the giant robotic doll featured in the series' first episode. (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)

One of the earliest challenges played in "Squid Game" is the globally popular game of "Red Light, Green Light." Just like when we were children, the rules are simple: the game leader calls out "green light" and everyone runs toward the finish line. If the game leader calls out "red light," everyone must stop. If you're caught moving, you're out. In the world of "Squid Game," the game leader is a gigantic creepy doll whose head spins around and if she catches you moving ... you're shot dead on the spot. 

The character became an immediate sensation, with many fans even throwing together Halloween costumes as the doll. But where does this creepy arbiter of life and death come from?

The Red Light, Green Light Robot Doll ... is Real

In case "Squid Game" didn't already trigger nightmares centered on playground games, it may horrify you to know that the Red Light, Green Light robot doll is real. The doll belongs to a horse carriage village Jincheon County in Chungcheongbok-do, South Korea, and stands proudly near the entrance of the village known as Macha Land. After completing the first episode of "Squid Game," the production team returned the doll to the village, although she's now mysteriously missing one of her hands. The doll isn't unique to the horse carriage village, however, as she's actually based on a character who appears in Korean school textbooks.

On an episode of "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon, cast members of "Squid Game" appeared and provided an explanation of the Red Light, Green Light Doll. Jung Ho-yeon, who plays pickpocket Kang Sae-byeok on "Squid Game" said: 

"When we were at the school, there were characters — one is a boy, and one is the girl. The boy's name was Chulsoo, and the girl's name was Younghee, and she's the one." 

The Red Light, Green Light Doll is currently proudly on display outside of the Macha Land horse carriages village and museum, so be sure to pay Younghee a visit the next time you're in South Korea, just be sure not to make any sudden movements ... just to be safe.