|“||Look, without that tablet, all of this...this whole coming-to-life-at-night thing, it all goes away. Now, I don't wanna let that happen, but I need your help. We can get this done, but we gotta do it together. So who's with me?||„|
|~ Larry to museum exhibits|
|“||Remember the other night you were saying something about the key to happiness? [...] I think I got it figured out. [...] It's doing what you love, isn't it? With people you love.||„|
|~ Larry to Teddy|
Larry Daley is the main protagonist of the Night at the Museum trilogy and video games. His character is based on Hector from same titled children's picture book by Milan Trenc.
Night at the Museum
Larry Daley's unstable work history causes his ex-wife to believe that he is a bad example to their ten-year-old son Nick, and Larry fears that Nick respects his future stepfather more. Cecil Fredricks, an elderly security guard about to retire from the American Museum of Natural History, hires Larry despite his unpromising résumé. The museum, which is rapidly losing money, plans to replace Cecil and his two colleagues Gus and Reginald with one guard. Cecil gives Larry an instruction booklet on how to handle museum security, advises Larry to leave some of the lights on, and warns him not to let anything "in...or out".
Once night falls, Larry discovers that the exhibits come to life. Teddy Roosevelt explains that since an Egyptian artifact — the Golden Tablet of Pharaoh Ahkmenrah — came to the museum in 1952, all of the exhibits come to life each night. If the exhibits are outside the museum during sunrise, they turn to dust. Roosevelt helps Larry by restoring order, but only for one night.
Larry quits the next morning, not wanting a life-threatening job. However, when Nick comes to see him at work and expresses interest in his job, Larry remains as a night guard. When Larry tells Cecil about how Dexter tore up his instructions, Cecil advises him to study history to prepare himself for his nightly duties. He also learns history from a museum docent Rebecca Hutman, who is writing a dissertation on Sacagawea, but does not feel she knows enough about her subject. Later he told Rebecca truth about Museum, but she not believed him and think he mocked her and museum.
Later, the tablet got stolen by Cecil and two other night guards so Larry and the other members of the museum set out to retrieve it. They ended up getting the tablet and restoring it to it's rightful spot in the museum.
Rebecca sees the exhibits return to the museum before sunrise and realizes that Larry was telling the truth; he introduces her to Sacagawea. Dr. McPhee fires Larry again after seeing news reports of the strange events around the museum – such as cave paintings in the museum's subway station, dinosaur footprints in Central Park, and cavemen sightings. However, upon seeing how much these events raised attendance, he thinks better of it and gives Larry his job back. Larry, Nick, and the exhibits celebrate the following night and throw a huge party for everyone.
Night at the museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Three years after the events of the first film, Larry eventually quit job and now runs his own company Daily Devices, which he invented the Glow-in-the-Dark Flashlight, Super Big Dog Bone and the Unlosable Key ring.
He visits to the museum, discovering most of the exhibits will be moved to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution, replaced with holographic information providers and The Tablet of Ahkmenrah is to remain in the museum, leaving most of the exhibits without the ability to come to life at night. After the exhibits are moved, Larry receives a phone call from Jedediah, who informs him that Dexter the monkey stole the tablet and took it to the Smithsonian, bringing every exhibit in it to life.
Larry travels to Washington, DC, navigating his way to the archives with help from his son Nick while posing as a night guard. Larry finds his friends trapped in their shipping container under attack from Ahkmenrah's evil older brother Kahmunrah, accidentally activating the tablet and bringing the exhibits in the Smithsonian to life again and defeated nim with help his friends and Amelia Earhart.
Amelia flies Larry and the New York exhibits back home. Even though Larry does love Amelia, they both know she has to leave, knowing she will become dust before reaching the Smithsonian. However, the two share a final kiss before she takes off.
Later Larry sells his company, donating the money to the museum to renovate it and keep it open later into the night, and the exhibits remain, capable of moving about at night under the pretense of being animatronics or hired re-enactors. Larry is rehired as a night guard and aids a woman named Tess who resembles Amelia during the debut of the museum's new extension of visiting hours.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Larry now also head of Nigth Program and has a Planetarium exhibit grand opening being spectated Dr. McPhee. But the grand opening goes haywire, creating trouble with his job and McPhee getting fired. Everyone later calms down, uncertain of what happened until they look at the Tablet and notice the corrosion. He comes home to find a wild party taking place in his apartment with Nick acting as DJ. As they talk after everyone leaves, his son tells Larry he does not want to go to college but instead wants to take a year off.
On his quest to find answers, Larry discovers a picture of the boy and his father during the Ahkmenrah's expedition. He learns that the boy is C.J. Fredericks, better known to Larry as Cecil Fredericks, the former museum security guard that tried to steal the Tablet for himself. Larry explains to Cecil what's happening, and he recalls hearing "The end will come". He suggests that they find Ahkmenrah's parents, who are all the way in the British Museum of Natural History in London. Larry later goes to McPhee and convinces him to call the British Museum and allow Larry to travel there with Ahkmenrah.
Larry with his son and exibits come to London. Later on in London Nicky tells Larry he wants to be a DJ on Ibiza, an island off the coast of Spain. Larry is incredulous and even asks Nicky is he even knows how to speak Spanish, which Nicky doesn't.
They meet the security guard of British museum, Tilly, a cheerful young lady who is eccentric and thinks being an American security guard would be cooler than where she's at. Since the Tablet now brings the British exhibits to life, the gang first encounters a triceratops skeleton that chases after them. They are saved by Sir Lancelot, who punches the triceratops in the nose. He helps the others defeat an attacking Hydra statue and is left with Nick while everyone else goes to find Ahkmenrah's parents.
The gang finds the tombs of Ahkmenrah's parents, Merenkahre and Shepseheret. Merenkahre is at first hesitant to reveal the truth behind the Tablet, but he eventually admits that it was a gift made for his son when he was a baby. It needs moonlight to retain its magic. After Ahkmenrah's parents tell them that the tablet needs moonlight to retain its magic, then Lancelot reveals his true intention to steal the Tablet as he holds Nick with a knife to his neck. Larry surrenders the Tablet, and Lancelot runs off with it to find Guinevere (King Arthur's lady) and win her over. The Tablet continues to corrode, causing Teddy's arms to freeze up and Ahkmenrah to age.
The gang races to find Lancelot, but are cornered by lion statues. Larry distracts them with a flashlight like in the cat video. Tilly then locks Larry and Laa in the security room. There, Larry starts to think about his relationship with Nick. Laa points to his head and Larry thinks he means he needs to open his mind to Nick's interests, but Laa just smashes the glass with his head and breaks Larry out.
Lancelot crashes a performance of the musical Camelot, starring Hugh Jackman and Alice Eve as King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, Larry and the others chase him to the theatre's roof, where the New York exhibits begin to die. Lancelot then sees that the quest was about them and gives the tablet back. The moonlight restores the tablet's power, saving the exhibits.
Teddy Roosevelt and others New York exhibits decided that Ahkmenrah (with Tablet) should stay with his parents if they not become alive again. Larry unwillingly accepts their decision and before returning home he tell Tilly that her boring job become coolest since tomorrow nigth. After that their return in New York he spend last sunset with his friends and bonds with Nick.
Three years later, a British History event is happening at the Museum of Natural History. Tilly shows up to McPhee's office with a box. McPhee says that Larry help him return his position as director by took blame on himself. And he went back to school, got his degree and became teacher. Tilly revealed truth to McPhee about Tablet and her magic abilities because Larry told her to do it and McPhee can be trusted. She brings McPhee to show all the exhibits come to life, including some new ones, and the exhibits play music and party together. Outside, Larry watches and smiles.
- In the third film Larry mentions he is half Irish and half Jewish just like his actor Ben Stiller.
- Larry lived in Brooklyn in first film, but revealed in third he moved out to Manhattan.
- According to video game, he also nave cousin who Larry describes "evil", also mean and hurtful.
- Larry didn't go to college until end in third film, but in video game he mentioned passing GED and Brooklyn Community College.
- Ben Stiller watched Mission: Impossible movies in order to run the way like Tom Cruise does.