I'm a glorified janitor. I clean up after sick people.
— David talks about his profession[src]

David is a fictional character from the Saw franchise. He serves as the primary protagonist of the original short film.

He was portrayed by Leigh Whannell.


Early Life

David was an orderly who worked at a hospital. However, he wasn't happy with his work as he only saw himself as a "glorified janitor." Because of this arrogant attitude, he was eventually targeted by a psychopathic killer. (Saw)


One day, David was about to leave the hospital after ending his shift. However, while he was waiting for the elevator, he was suddenly approached from behind by an unknown person who knocked him out with a bludgeon and took him to an abandoned location. There, he strapped David to a chair and put a mechanical contraption on his head. This device, which was equipped with a timer, was hooked into David's upper and lower jaw. He also abducted another man and injected him with an opiate overdose, rendering him unable to move or feel anything. When the kidnapper prepared David's game, he made the second victim swallow a key and painted a black question mark on his stomach. After finishing all of his preparations, the killer left the building. (Saw)


Shortly afterward, David woke up. Although he was initially confused, he quickly panicked upon realizing that he was trapped. David desperately tried to free himself from his restraints, but stopped when a TV turned on next to him. A mechanical ventriloquist puppet appeared on-screen and introduced him to his game. The doll described the device on his head as a "reverse bear trap," which would rip his mouth open if he didn't free himself within 60 seconds. Therefore, he had to cut the key to the device from the stomach of his supposedly dead cellmate.

David wakes up in the trap

When the TV turned off, David panicked again. After initially struggling, he ultimately freed his arms from his restraints. However, as he got up from the chair, a metal pin was pulled out of the deadly device, setting off the timer. David saw the seemingly lifeless body of his cellmate and the black question mark painted on his stomach. After a moment of hesitation, David realized his cellmate wasn't dead, but only paralyzed. Nonetheless, he took a knife lying next to him and repeatedly stabbed the helpless man. After killing him, David searched through his stomach for the key. When he eventually found it, he unlocked the trap and freed himself only moments before it was activated. Horrified by these events, David started crying when the mechanical puppet slowly approached on a red tricycle. It congratulated him for his survival and told him he now knew how to appreciate his life. In a panic, David fled and ultimately found a way out of the building. (Saw)


David is interrogated

Following his near-death experience, David went to the police station, where he was interrogated by a homicide detective. The latter asked him what had happened to him and wanted to know if David had any enemies at the hospital who could have done this to him, which David denied. However, instead of trying to calm him down, the detective put David under pressure and even rebuked him when he learned from David's initial report that the man he had to cut open had still been alive at that point. Ultimately, this caused David to burst into tears, suffering a mental breakdown. (Saw)


Being bored with his job as a hospital orderly, David was a man who considered himself nothing more than a "glorified janitor" who cleaned up after sick people with no one ever appreciating his work. When interacting with others, he displayed a somewhat arrogant and occasionally sarcastic attitude.

Following the survival of his near-death experience, the fact he had killed a man to save himself took a toll on David’s mental state, leaving him emotionally unstable. When he was interrogated and put under pressure by the detective, David suffered a mental breakdown as he felt guilty for killing his cellmate and terrified by the traumatic events.


  • The scene of David's test is almost identical to the scene of Amanda Young's game in the first Saw film.
  • Leigh Whannell, the actor playing David, wrote the script for the short film as well as Saw, Saw II, and Saw III.
  • Leigh Whannell also played the role of Adam Stanheight, one of the main protagonists of the first film.

Appearances and References

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