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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

Alright, I've been thinking... When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I DON'T WANT YOUR DAMN LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE!? Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I'm the man who's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! With the lemons! I'm going to have my engineers invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN! [coughs violently]
~ Cave Johnson's infamous rant about lemons.

Cave Johnson is the posthumous overarching antagonist of the Portal series, serving as the posthumous overarching antagonist of the 2007 popular video game Portal and its 2011 sequel Portal 2, and the main antagonist of the 2022 spin-off Aperture Desk Job. Although he only appeared in video diaries, his eccentric and narcissistic personality makes him one of the important characters of the series as his actions lead to GLaDOS being created.

He was voiced by J.K. Simmons, who also played Vernon Schillinger in Oz, J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, General Wade Eiling in Justice League Unlimited, Skip in Aliens in the Attic, Terence Fletcher in Whiplash, Kai in Kung Fu Panda 3, Captain Matt McKenna in 21 Bridges, Omni-Man in Invincible, Ivo Shandor in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Captain Putty in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.



Cave does not physically appear in the first Portal game. However, pictures of him can be seen on the walls of Ratman's Dens with his face covered by images of Companion Cubes. His username CJohnson and password can also be seen scrawled over the walls.

Portal 2

More about Cave Johnson and his past is revealed after Wheatley's betrayal. It appears Cave was a natural leader who could easily put people at ease despite the fact more often then not his experiments were highly dangerous. After being exposed to moon dust his body started to shut down. Realizing he was going to die in the near future he put all of his efforts in gaining immortality by uploading his mind into a super computer. As a precaution should he die before the system was ready, he asked that Caroline's mind be uploaded in his place. As he died before the the system was complete, Caroline was uploaded into the computer which created the AI known as GLaDOS.

Other Games

LEGO Dimensions

A special stage in LEGO Dimensions reveals that Cave Johnson succeeded in transferring his mind to a computer, by placing his conscience in the body of a core that has been locked in old Aperture Science, he claims that "Being the genius I am, I managed to get myself in to a shiny core body and I've been locked in here ever since". It is unknown how he managed to transfer his mind into the core.

Aperture Desk Job

Cave Johnson appears as the "final boss" of the 2022 tech demo Aperture Desk Job, where Grady, along with the player, break into his office in order to pitch to him their new design for a toilet turret, despite the fact that Cave Johnson reportedly has not been seen for years.

As it turns out, Cave's mind was uploaded to a super computer inserted into a giant head whose size was necessary in order to contain his entire consciousness. A drawback of this huge head size, however, is that his robotic body was entirely crushed, rendering him completely immobile. In a panicked frenzy, Cave murdered multiple scientists and warned them to never enter his office again. However, after four years being stuck and unable to do anything, he regrets his actions and encourages the player to kill him.

The player and Grady manage to disintegrate his head's outer layer of clay and temporarily disable him by shooting the plug through whose electricity Cave is being kept on, but the backup generator is kicked in, frustrating Cave in his effort to die. Eventually, the floor under Cave's colossal, metallic head gives way, and he plunges into the depths.

He is last seen during the credits where his still conscious metal head whiles away, humming a solemn tune with a host of toilet turrets.


"Cave Johnson here."
~ Cave Johnson
"Greetings, friend. I'm Cave Johnson, CEO of Aperture Science - you might know us as a vital participant in the 1968 Senate Hearings on missing astronauts. And you've most likely used one of the many products we invented. But that other people have somehow managed to steal from us. Black Mesa can eat my bankrupt--"
~ Cave Johnson
"I'm Cave Johnson. I own the place."
~ Cave Johnson
"Right. Now, you might be asking yourself, 'Cave, just how difficult are these tests? What was in that phone book of a contract I signed? Am I in danger?' Let me answer those questions with a question: Who wants to make $60? Cash."
~ Cave Johnson
"They say great science is built on the shoulders of giants. Not here. At Aperture, we do all our science from scratch. No hand holding."
~ Cave Johnson
"The lab boys just informed me that I should not have mentioned the control group. They're telling me I oughtta stop making these pre-recorded messages. That gave me an idea: make more pre-recorded messages. I pay the bills here, I can talk about the control group all damn day."
~ Cave Johnson about the control group.
"I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face."
~ Cave Johnson after crunching some numbers.
"Ha! I like your style. You make up your own rules, just like me."
~ Cave Johnson about the test subject.
"Bean counters said I couldn't fire a man just for being in a wheelchair. Did it anyway. Ramps are expensive."
~ Cave Johnson
"If you're hearing this, it means you're taking a long time on the catwalks between tests. The lab boys say that might be a fear reaction. I'm no psychiatrist, but coming from a bunch of eggheads who wouldn't recognize the thrill of danger if it walked up and snapped their little pink bras, that sounds like 'projection'."
~ Cave Johnson
"Science isn't about WHY. It's about WHY NOT. Why is so much of our science dangerous? Why not marry safe science if you love it so much. In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you on the butt on the way out, because you are fired!... Yes, you. Box. Your stuff. Out the front door. Parking lot. Car. Goodbye."
~ Cave Johnson's views on 'safe science'.
"Congratulations! The simple fact that you're standing here listening to me means you've made a glorious contribution to science."
~ Cave Johnson congratulating the test subject.
"If we can store music on a compact disc, why can't we store a man's intelligence and personality on one? So I have the engineers figuring that out now. Brain Mapping. Artificial Intelligence. We should have been working on it thirty years ago. I will say this - and I'm gonna say it on tape so everybody hears it a hundred times a day: If I die before you people can pour me into a computer, I want Caroline to run this place."
~ Cave Johnson's final wishes.



  • While Cave Johnson was shown to have somehow transferred himself into a core in LEGO Dimensions, the events that happened in the game are considered non-canon to the Portal series of games.
  • Since his actions led to GLaDOS being created, that could make him the Bigger Bad of the franchise (though it is possible that he never intended for GLaDOS to turn evil).

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