Badgley was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Lynne Murphy and Duff Badgley, who worked as a newspaper reporter and also a carpenter; Duff was the Green Party candidate for governor of Washington in 2008. His parents divorced when he was 12. Badgley split his childhood years between Woodlake, Virginia and Seattle, Washington. He attended Woolridge Elementary, where his mother became PTA president before he transferred to St. Christopher's School. He enjoyed playing youth soccer, where his father coached.  He attended Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington, and was involved with the Seattle Children's Theatre. He soon began doing voice-overs for children's radio stations.