Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

Vault Boy is the corporate mascot of the Vault-Tec Corporation, appearing in their adverts, manuals, products, holotape games and training films. His female counterpart is Vault Girl.

They appear in virtually every released game, and evolved over the years into a symbol of the Fallout franchise in general.

Vault Boy is a registered trademark of the Vault-Tec Corporation under the name of Vault-Man,[Non-game 1] and is used widely throughout game guides and manuals.


FOTV Cooper thumbs up

Cooper Howard giving a thumbs-up

In the Fallout TV series, it is revealed actor and spokesman Cooper Howard was the original inspiration for the character and his iconic "thumbs-up" gesture, and that Vault Boy was created to replace Howard in Vault-Tec advertising after he, or Vault-Tec itself, severed ties.[1][2]

FO4 NW Bottle video

Bottle, the significant other of Vault Boy

It is hinted that Vault Boy is bisexual or pansexual, making him one of the few known LGBT fictional characters in the Fallout series. Vault Boy is sometimes seen being portrayed in a romantic manner with Vault Girl. "Meet Me in Coswald!" goes further to reveal that Vault Boy entered a gay relationship with Bottle; the two of them engaged in a physical relationship. It is shown Vault Boy has a photograph of him and Bottle at his work desk.

Vault Boy often appears in cross-promotions with other corporate products, most recognizably within the GUI of the Pip-Boy series of wearable computers, which has often caused confusion with Vault Boy and the other similar mascot character Pip-Boy who can also represent RobCo Industries. Other products include various holotape games, and Vault Boy was also to appear in some issues of the Hell's Chain Gang comic of Hubris Comics, but because of the Great War, the series was never produced.[3]

In 2077, he was supposedly voted the world's sexiest man.[Non-game 2]


The Vault Boy appears in numerous Vault-Tec advertisements, commercials, propaganda, training video's, and cross-promotional items. He is used to represent both Vault-Tec as a whole, but also the common Vault Dweller. Numerous other figures appear alongside the Vault Boy representing other Vault Dwellers, most commonly the Vault Girl.

The Vault Boy is portrayed as having an upbeat optimistic personality, being charismatic and hard-working. However frequent bodily harm often happens to, by, or around the Vault-Boy in cartoonish displays of gore, with the Vault-Boy depicted as indifferent to the suffering of others, hinting at Vault-Tec's sadistic qualities.

Game use[]

In the Fallout games, Vault Boy is used to provide an iconic representation of almost all stats (perks, traits, skills, etc.) and items in later games available to the player character, being a generic representation of one's actions and survival, and also appearing in achievements and trophies for Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, as well as the mascot of the Fallout series itself. In appearance, he is a young male cartoon character with wavy blond hair, wearing a Vault jumpsuit. He most commonly expresses a wide grin but has been shown to make other facial expressions as well.

The design of the dwellers and the general art style of Fallout Shelter and Fallout Shelter Online is derived from both Vault Boy and Vault Girl.

Relationship with the Pip-Boy[]

Vault Boy should not be confused with Pip-Boy, which is the name of the personal information processor used as a game interface in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, Fallout 76 and Fallout Tactics.

Atx camp floordecor plushie vaultboy 2000 l

A Vault Boy 2000 plushie seen in Fallout 76

Made by RobCo, the Pip-Boy device has its own mascot shown on the plate of the Pip-Boy 2000 series in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout 76 (with pointy ears, red and yellow jumpsuit, red hair). In Fallout 76, the character was given the name Vault Boy 2000. The Pip-Boy 3000 model, created under a Vault-Tec/RobCo joint-venture, does not feature RobCo's own mascot.

While the name of the Vault-Tec mascot (round ears, blond hair, blue, and yellow Vault jumpsuit) is not present in the original games themselves, he was called Vault Man in the Fallout instruction manual. However, for some reason this name was forgotten - it was never used in any of the following Fallout content including games nor by any developers, only Vault Boy was used and became his real name.

According to Fallout developers Leonard Boyarsky[Non-game 3] (creator of the character) and Tim Cain,[Non-game 4] he was always referred to as Vault Boy or Fallout Boy, not Pip-Boy. The misconception stems from the fact that the developers of Fallout Tactics (Micro Forté) confused the two and called the Vault Boy - "Pip-Boy" (which even ended up being used also by Chris Avellone when he wrote the Fallout Bible).

The makers of Fallout 3 returned to the real name "Vault Boy" in the game itself, although confusingly enough he is still called "Pip-Boy" in the trademark legal documents.


The Vault Boy appears as a representation of almost all stats in all games and equipment in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It also represented in Vault-Tec bobbleheads appearing in Fallout 3, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, and snow globes containing a Vault Boy appearing in Fallout: New Vegas.

He also appears in a Vault-Tec commercial on TV in the Fallout intro, in the "Leaving The Vault" Vault-Tec's video in Fallout 2, the What makes you S.P.E.C.I.A.L. public information video series in Fallout 4, and the You Will Emerge! educational film series in Fallout 76. He also appears as an actual person in a special encounter in Fallout Tactics, and in Shop-Tec interface in brown hair version in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

Vault Boy is, on some images or videos, accompanied by another Vault Boy who looks exactly the same but with black or brown hair, or with alternative Vault boyish things like creatures or items. On others, he is accompanied by Vault Girl. A black version of Vault Boy appears briefly in the "Leaving The Vault" video in Fallout 2, with his hair fashioned in a crew cut.

Behind the scenes[]

Vault Boy concept

First Vault Boy concept art

  • The character was originally designed by Leonard Boyarsky, based partly on Rich Uncle Pennybags from the Monopoly board game,[Non-game 5] and then drawn for Fallout by George Almond for the first few cards and then by Tramell Ray Isaac, who finalized the look of the character as he is known today.
    • Brian Menze was responsible for all new Vault Boy images in Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas and largely followed Tramell Ray Isaac's finalized style.
    • Natalia Smirnova drew all Vault Boy images in Fallout 3, as well as new ones in Fallout 4. Smirnova's Vault Boys are easily recognizable with a short and stout stature and beadier eyes. While Smirnova was credited for "Vault Boys" specifically in Fallout 4 credits, the Fallout 76 credits do not specify whether she was responsible for new Vault Boy art in the game beyond the images reused from Fallout 4.
    • Fallout Tactics Vault Boys were drawn by Ed Orman.[Non-game 6]
Vault Boy and Rich Uncle Penny Bags card comparison

Comparison between perk cards and monopoly cards

  • While also being based off Rich Uncle Pennybags, Vault Boy perk cards as he is depicted on in Fallout and Fallout 2, takes inspiration from the community chest and chance card decks of Monopoly, as well.
  • In addition to being directly inspired by the Mr. Monopoly character, he also shares several visuals similarities to the iconic Big Boy mascot (immortalized through the countless statues of the character) for the Bob's Big Boy fast food restaurant chain, another piece of mid-century Americana.
  • Leonard Boyarsky said about the first Vault Boy concept art that "this is the first ever drawing of the "skill guy" as I originally called him. I did it to show everyone what I was going on about. It was then given to George Almond, who did the first few initial cards (and began the progression from what you see in this pic to the final version). Tramell Isaac (T.Ray) then took over the cards and did the rest of them, finalizing his "look.""
  • He also appeared in the 2002 action-adventure third-person shooter video game Run Like Hell: Hunt or Be Hunted (a game that was also made by Interplay), on candy bars called "PIP Boy Protein Bars™," with the Vault Boy Buffout addiction image on them.
  • A Vault Boy bobblehead appears in id Software's RAGE, whose story is set in a post-apocalyptic world similar to Fallout.
  • In Doom (2016), Vault Boy appears in the game as a part of the UAC's line of Marineguy toys, known, fittingly, as "Vault Guy."

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Official Vault Boy & More Trailer




Real world merchandise and objects[]

External links[]



  1. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p. 58: "Above the character card (with the trademarked Vault-Man) are your character skills. If you have any spare skill points (any number above 000), then you can spend them on this screen to improve your skills (see Experience, page 5—21 for more information)."
  2. Fallout - A Special LIVE Report from Galaxy News news ticker: "Vault Boy named world's sexiest man""
  3. Interview with Leonard Boyarsky: I also came up with the idea/design for the “Vault Boy” and the “cards” (as I called them) showing him doing all the different things in humorous ways. By the way, he’s not the Pip Boy, the Pip Boy is the little guy on your Pip Boy interface. The Vault Boy was supposed to evoke the feel of Monopoly cards, and the Pip Boy was based on the Bob’s Big Boy mascot.
  4. Tim Cain in the Duck and Cover forum: p.s. Many people seem to think this is the PipBoy, but this is the FalloutBoy character. The PipBoy is the yellow and red caped character who appears on the pipboy device.
  5. Tim Cain interview on the Duck and Cover
  6. Fallout Tactics interview
  7. Brian Fargo on Twitter
  8. Tramell Ray Isaac on Twitter