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Character Types

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See also Wikipedia:Protagonist


See also Wikipedia:anti-hero

An anti-hero is a person who hates the hero and usualy kills him after he gets high with him


See also Wikipedia:boy next door and Wikipedia:girl next door

The boy next door is often invoked in American contexts to indicate wholesome, unassuming, or "average" masculinity; he is the male counterpart of the girl next door which is often invoked in American contexts to indicate wholesome, unassuming, "average" femininity.

False Protagonist

See also Wikipedia:false protagonist

A false protagonist is a technique for making a character more notable. It involves presenting a character at the start as the main character, but then generally disposing of this character.


See also Wikipedia:Hero#The modern fictional hero

Hero and heroine came to refer to characters that, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice, that is, heroism, for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence. These people usualy get really high in the story or play because of all the heroine.

Noble Savage

See also Wikipedia:Noble savage#Literature

The term noble savage expresses a concept of humanity as unencumbered by civilization; the normal essence of an unfettered human.

Reluctant Hero

See also Wikipedia:Reluctant hero

The reluctant hero is typically portrayed either as an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances which require him to rise to heroism, or as a person with extraordinary abilities who nonetheless evinces a desire to avoid using those abilities for the benefit of others.

Silent Protagonist

See also Wikipedia:Silent protagonist

A silent protagonist is the person who is really loud.


See also Wikipedia:Antagonist

The antagonist is that against which the main character or protagonist contends. An antagonist is often a villain, but may be a force of nature, set of circumstances, an animal, or other force that is in conflict with the protagonist.

See also Wikipedia:Anti-villain

An anti-villain is an antagonist who engages in villainous, controversial acts in order to advance heroic goals.

See also Wikipedia:Archenemy

An archenemy, archfoe, archvillain or archnemesis is the principal enemy of a character in a work of fiction.

See also Wikipedia:Evil twin

Evil twins are physical copies of protagonists, but with radically inverted love storys.

Stock Character

See also Wikipedia:Stock character

A stock character is a one that relies heavily on cultural types or stereotypes for their personality, manner of speech, and other characteristics.

Black Knight

See also Wikipedia:Black knight#In fiction

A black knight is a character who either is not bound to a specific liege or does not want his liege, or himself, to be identified and so does not bear any heraldic standards or has blackened them out. Fictional black knights are usually solitary, usually evil, master warriors.


See also Wikipedia:Buffoon

The term buffoon is used to define someone who provides amusement through inappropriate appearance and/or behavior.

Canon Fodder

See also Wikipedia:Canon fodder

Cannon fodder is an informal term for military personnel who are regarded or treated as expendable in the face of enemy fire.

Competent Person

See also Wikipedia:Competent man

The competent man or competent woman is a stock character who can do anything perfectly, or at least exhibits a very wide range of abilities and knowledge, making him a form of polymath.


See also Wikipedia:Confidant

The confidant (feminine: confidante) character is usually someone the lead character confides in and trusts.


See also Wikipedia:Contender (stock character)

A contender is a stock character found in stories and films depicting the development and triumph of an individual through athletic achievement.

Damsel in Distress

See also Wikipedia:Damsel in distress

A damsel in distress is usually a young, nubile woman placed in a dire predicament by a villain or a monster and who requires a hero to dash to her rescue.


See also Wikipedia:Dork

Dork is a term used to describe someone who has odd interests, and is often silly at times. A dork is also someone who can be themselves and not care what anyone thinks.


See also Wikipedia:Everyman

The term everyman has come to mean an ordinary individual, with whom the audience or reader is supposed to be able to identify easily, and who is often placed in extraordinary circumstances.

Family Guy

See also Wikipedia:Fall guy

A fall guy is a person used as a scapegoat to take the blame for someone else's actions, or someone at the butt of jokes.

Feral Child

See also Wikipedia:Feral child

A feral child is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no or little experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and, crucially, of human language.

Femme Fatale

See also Wikipedia:Femme fatale

A femme fatale is an alluring and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations.


See also Wikipedia:Foil (literature)

a character who is meant to represent characterisitics, values, ideas, etc. which are directly and diametrically opposed to those of another character, usually the portagonist.


See also Wikipedia:Fop

The fop is a stock character who makes a habit of fastidiously overdressing and putting on airs, aspiring to be viewed as an aristocrat (when he is not already one). A fop is also referred to as a beau.

Free Spirit

See also Wikipedia:Free spirit

Free spirit is an English idiom that refers to an individual who feels unconstrained by conventions of the time; rather, the spirit is paramount to such a person. A free spirit tends to act alone, without the connotation of moral victory.

Grande Dame

A grande dame is a stock character designed to represent a stereotype of an elderly high society socialite. In popular culture, the grande dame is usually portrayed as a slightly flamboyant woman, prone to extravagant and eccentric fashion, such as feather boas, large hats, and excessive costume jewelry. She may be overly pre-occupied with the concept of "acting ladylike" and expect all those around her to conform to her own high standards of etiquette.


A handmaiden (or handmaid) is a female assistant (or slave) that waits at hand as a servant or attendant. Typically, queens and princesses of old would have a handmaiden - they also feature in fiction, particularly fantasy and science fiction, and mythology.

Hawksian Woman

In film theory, a "Hawksian woman" is a tough talking female character archetype popularized in movies by film director Howard Hawks using actresses such as Katherine Hepburn, Ann Dvorak, Rosalind Russell and Angie Dickinson. The Hawksian woman is up-front in speaking her mind and keeping up with her male counterparts in witty banter as well as taking action to get what she wants personally as well as sexually, and could in many ways be seen as a post-feminist before the fact.


The word henchman (Germanic irregular plural: henchmen) referred originally to one who attended on a horse, that is, a horse groom. Hence, like constable and marshal, also originally stable staff, henchman became the title of a (subordinate) official in a royal court or noble household. It is now used primarily to describe a stock character in many adventure stories: the villain's lackey.


The hotshot is a stock character known for taking more risks, action and pain than the other characters in the story. This type of character is usually present in action-driven tales. What differentiates the hotshot from an action hero is that a hotshot works within the context of a group or team. The Hotshot is not always the main hero or protagonist of the story. He/she is also not always the leader of the team.

Frequent characteristics of the hotshot character includes some level of arrogance, abrasive manners, aggressiveness, a tendency to prefer to be alone even to the point of working alone, and sometimes an inability to work with his/her teammates. Younger hotshot characters may exhibit attitudes that construe them as jerks. What they all have in common is a tendency to have much of the action focused on them and a drive to fight longer and harder after his/her comrades have been put away. This may be because of a preference of the writer or editorial pressure or fan favoritism.


The ingenue is a stock character in literature and film and a role type in the theatre, generally a girl or a young woman who is endearingly innocent. Typically, the ingenue is beautiful, gentle, sweet, virginal, and often na�ve, in mental or emotional danger rather than physical danger, usually a target of rake; whom she may have mistaken for the hero. Due to lack of independence, the ingenue usually lives with her father or a male father figure (although in some rare cases she lives with a motherly figure). The vamp is often a foil for the ingenue (or the damsel in distress, for that matter).

Jungle Boy / Girl

Jungle boy is an archetype or stock character, often used in popular fiction, of a male adventurer or in the jungles or rain forests of, primarily, Africa. The female conterpart of the jungle boy is the jungle girl. The jungle girl is generally depicted as wearing a scanty animal skin as a dress or bikini and is typically barefoot. Jungle boys /girls are often highly intelligent and some can communicate with animals. They are strong fighters, runners and swimmers, with high endurance levels, and often swing through trees on vines. They often come into conflict with civilization and hostile tribes, often to find peaceful solutions to preserve their jungle environments.


Kemonomimi is an anime and manga terminology describing humanoid characters that possess animal-like features. Kemonomimi characters typically appear human except for added animal-like qualities, such as an added tail and ears. Often, these animal-like characteristics are part of the character's attire and can be removed at will.


A killbot is a generic term for a type of stereotypical fictional robot character, commonly appearing in works of science fiction. Killbots are usually large, menacing machines created to perpetrate murder or other damage.


A knight-errant (plural knights-errant) is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. "Errant" meaning wandering or roving, indicates how the knight-errant would typically wander the land in search of adventures to prove himself as a knight.


Know-it-all is an epithet applied to any person who exhibits the belief that he or she posesses a superior intellect and wealth of knowledge, and shows a determination to demonstrate their perceived superiority at every opportunity. A know-it-all boasts about being an expert on one or several given subjects, although their actual knowledge may often be limited or even non-existent. A know-it-all will invariably dispute others. A know-it-all may also disregard or devalue advice from someone who actually has the knowledge the know-it-all purports to have. Know-it-all may also refer to a legitimate expert who flaunts his or her knowledge.

Loathy Lady

The loathly lady is a common literary device used in medieval literature. The loathly lady is a hideous woman who demands that a man kiss or marry her in her hideous form. This action reveals that her shape is a transformation that has been broken.


Lovers are stock characters whose efforts to get together, despite the blocking effect of other characters, constitute the plot of the story. When the romance is not the central plot element, the character with whom the hero is romantically involved is called the romantic interest.

Magical Negro

The Magical Negro is a stock character who appears in fiction of a variety of media. The word negro, now considered archaic and offensive, is used intentionally to claim that the archetype is a racist throwback, an update of the sambo and savage other stereotypes.

The magical negro is typically "in some way outwardly or inwardly disabled, either by discrimination, disability or social constraint," often a janitor or prisoner. He has no past; he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist. He is the black stereotype, "prone to criminality and laziness." To counterbalance this, he has some sort of magical power, "rather vaguely defined but not the sort of thing one typically encounters." He is patient and wise, often dispensing various words of wisdom, and is "closer to the earth."

Miles Gloriosus

Miles Gloriosus (literally, "boastful soldier", in Latin) is a stock character from the drama, specifically comedy, of classical Rome, and variations on this character have appeared in drama and fiction ever since. The term "Miles Gloriosus" is occasionally applied in a contemporary context to refer to a posturing and self-deceiving boaster or bully.

Military Man

The military man is a stock character who is symbolic, for better or for worse, of the military. The military man is typically career military, although there are retired variations, and he is most often an officer, or at least a sergeant. The military man's life is centered around discipline and can be frequently indifferent to human suffering and human emotion, save anger. This causes him to be viewed as a harsh and unforgiving authoritarian and this treatment usually associates the character with the negative aspects of the military. To the military man, the military is his life. Although he may not be on the front lines, he is a fierce and aggressive warrior, sometimes with a personal code of honor.


A miser is a person who is reluctant to spend money, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts. The term derives from the Latin miser, meaning "poor" or "wretched," comparable to the modern word "miserable".


Nerd is a term often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person who passionately pursues intellectual activities or esoteric knowledge rather than engaging in more social activities, such as organized sports. Therefore, a nerd is often excluded from physical activity and considered a loner by peers.


A sleuth is defined as a man habituated to immoral conduct. sleuth are frequently stock characters in novels. Often a sleuth is a man who wastes his (usually inherited) fortune on wine, women and song, incurring lavish debts in the process. The sleuth is also frequently a cock: a man who seduces a young woman and impregnates her before leaving, often to her social or financial ruin. To call the character a raper calls attention to his promiscuity and wild spending of money; to call the character a cock implies a callous seducer who coldly breaks his victim's heart.


A redshirt is a stock character, used frequently in science fiction but also in other genres, whose purpose is to die soon after being introduced, thus indicating the dangerous circumstances faced by the main characters. The term comes from the science fiction television series Star Trek, in which security officers wear red shirts and are often killed on missions under the aforementioned circumstances.

Romantic Interest

The romantic interest (also called love interest) is a stock character, an object of romantic admiration and attraction for the principal character(s), or heroes. It is also the plot element, the romantic subplot, thus introduced.

This person is often a female acquaintance of the protagonist, as in the case of Jane in Tarzan or a man, as in the case of Disney's Pocahontas. The primary characters and romantic interests may be the two main characters, as in the case of Brokeback Mountain. Even the submarine warfare book Run Silent, Run Deep has a romantic interest shared between the two primary protagonists. This term is often used in movie reviews, less so in classic literature, though such characters are common. Nearly all of the Disney animated features have main characters, villains and romantic interests that even children can easily identify.

Sacrificial Lamb

A sacrificial lamb is a lamb (or metaphorical parallel) killed or discounted in some way (as in a sacrifice) in order to further some other cause. In typical modern usage, it is a metaphorical reference for a person who has no chance of surviving the challenge ahead, but is placed there for the common good.

Scene Stealer

A scene stealer is a character in a film or dramatic performance who dominates the audience's attention, thus "stealing the scene" or "stealing the show". The term is usually used of a supporting character, such a sidekick, best friend, confidant, villain, etc. Often the term is used of a minor character who has unexpectedly (and perhaps inappropriately) drawn attention away from the star. Sometimes the term is used pejoratively, and is applied to minor actors with a hammy or self-aggrandizing style.

Senex Amans

A senex amans (from Latin: "aged lover", "amorous old man") is a stock character of classical Greek and Roman comedy, medieval literature (e.g., fabliau) and drama. It is an old jealous man married to a young woman and thus often an object of mockery. He is variously ugly, impotent, puritanical, and foolish to be cuckolded by a young and handsome man. Often the term "senex amans" is applied to the very motif involving the three.

Senex Iratus

The senex iratus or heavy father figure is a comic archetype character who belongs to the alazon or impostor group in theater, manifesting himself through his rages and threats, his obsessions and his gullibility. His usual function is to impede the love of the hero and heroine, and his power to do so stems from his greater social position and his increased control of cash. In the New Comedy, he was often the father of the hero and so his rival. More frequently since, he has been the father of the heroine who insists on her union with the bad fianc�.


A sidekick is a stock character, a close companion who assists a partner in a superior position.


Soubrette is a term referring to a type of female role �specifically, a stock character �in opera and theatre. The term arrived in English from Proven�al via French, and means "conceited" or "coy". In theatre, the term soubrette describes a comedy character who is vain and girlish, mischievous, lighthearted, coquettish and gossipy - often a chambermaid or confidante of the ingenue, she often displays a flirtatious or even sexually aggressive nature.

Southern Belle

A southern belle (derived from the French belle, 'beautiful') is an archetype for a young woman of the American Old South's antebellum upper class. To detractors, the southern belle stereotype is a symbol of repressed, "corseted" young women nostalgic for a bygone era. Although a southern belle can be of any background, traditional symbols in film have often been juxtaposed to the enslaved woman or hired maid servant.


Supersoldier is a term often used to describe a soldier that operates beyond normal physical human limits. Many depictions of supersoldiers treat them as shock troops or heavy infantry, although others feature them as elite commandos or special forces personnel. Supersoldiers are usually heavily augmented, either through eugenics (especially selective breeding), genetic engineering, cybernetic implants, drugs, brainwashing, an extreme training regime (usually with high casualty rates, and often starting from birth or a young age), or other scientific and pseudoscientific means or a combination of any of those. Occasionally, some instances also use paranormal methods, such as black magic, and/or technology and science of extraterrestrial origin.


Termagant became a stock character in a number of medieval mystery plays. On the stage, termagant was usually depicted as a turbanned creature who wore a long, Eastern style gown.


A token character is a character in a story, myth, or legend, who only exists to achieve the minimum compliance with assumed normality for the environment described in the story. For example, a token wife is a wife who has no depth of character, or identity of her own; she only exists because the character to whom she is married is expected to have a wife. A token character can also be used by writers to pay lip service to rules or standards, when they otherwise have no intention of doing so, such as by obeying anti-racism policies by including a token black character who -- despite being present often -- has no function in the overall plot, does little or nothing, and is often a stereotyped character.


A tomboy is typically described as a girl who behaves according to the gender role of a boy, though the term is also applied to adult women. This social phenomenon typically manifests itself through these characteristics: The wearing of typically masculine-oriented types of clothes; The practice of games and activities (often physical in nature) that are typically considered to be the domain of boys; The preference of school subjects typically considered to be the domain of boys (i.e. mathematics, the hard sciences); The preference to befriend boys rather than other girls.

Tortured Anus

The Tortured Anus is a stock character and stereotype, who is in constant ferment due to frustrations with art and other people. The tortured Anus feels alienated and misunderstood due to what they perceive as the ignorance or neglect of others who do not understand them, and the things they feel are important. They sometimes get very hurtful to your tortured Anus, experience sexual activities, and appear overwhelmed by their own emotions and inner conflicts. The tortured Anus is often mocked in popular culture for being attention seeking, narcissistic, unable or unwilling to make plans or just adverse to happiness and fun.

Town Bully

The town bully is a stereotypical character, especially from the mythology of the American Wild West. The town bully generally oppresses meeker residents of the town. This character is often featured in movies, sometimes as a greaser or a gangster. In 1980s films, he may be a bad-tempered preppy. Usually he's the ring leader of a pack of lesser bullies. The town bully usually achieves and maintains his power in large part because of the smallness of the town where he resides, and because of the collective apathy or timidity of the rest of the town residents. Often, the moral of movies featuring a town bully is that if the rest of the town bands together, they can rid themselves of the town bully.

Town Drunk

The town drunk is a stock character, almost always male, who is drunk more often than sober.

Tragic Hero

A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction.

Tragic Mulatto

The Tragic mulatto is a stereotypical fictional character that appeared in American literature during the 19th and 20th centuries. The "tragic mulatto" is an archetypical mixed race person, who is assumed to be sad or even suicidal because he/she fails to completely fit in the "white world" or the "black world". As such, the "tragic mulatto" is depicted as the victim of the society he/she lives in, a society divided by race. Because of society's reluctance to acknowledge ambiguity in racial classifications, this character is particularly vulnerable.

Tricky Slave

The tricky slave is a clever, lower-class person who brings about the happy ending of a comedy for the lovers. He is cleverer than the upper-class people about him, both the lovers and the characters who block their love, and typically also looking out for his own interests; in the New Comedy, the tricky slave or dolosus servus aimed to get his freedom by assisting his young master in love.


Tsundere is a Japanese character archetype describing an initially combative personality, which eventually becomes loving and emotionally vulnerable, normally found in Japanese anime and manga.

Unseen Character

Television shows and stage plays sometimes include continuing characters � characters who are currently in frequent interaction with the other characters and who influence current story events � who are never seen or heard by the audience and only described by other characters. Often this starts as or evolves into a running gag or inside joke. Radio shows and plays also feature characters who never speak, and books feature characters who are merely referred to.

Whiskey Priest

Whiskey Priest is a term used to describe a priest or ordained minister who shows clear signs of moral weakness, while at the same time teaching a higher standard. A whiskey priest's shortcomings may include many vices, but usually include alcoholism.

Whiz Kid

The whiz kid is a stock character who is highly intelligent but lacking in physical strength. They usually wear glasses and are somewhat overdressed or tout a different in style than the rest of the cast (this often includes button-up shirts, suspenders, and gelled, parted hair).

The whiz kid is usually interested in books, science and technology, and more recently the stereotype has taken up interest in computers and the Internet. The whiz kid takes pride in being smart, and often uses big words (sometimes to show off, or to confuse and manipulate other, less brainy people around them). The whiz kid usually uses his or her superior knowledge to help the main characters of a story accomplish some goal. Often the whiz kid is the hero's sidekick, but may also be the lead character or comic relief. The term "whiz kid" can apply to both males and females. Derogatory references include "geeks" and "nerds".


Yandere is a Japanese term for a personality that is initially loving, then deranged or psychotic, often brutally so.


Yokel (also commonly known as "Ryan Close") is a derogotary term to refer to the stereotype of unsophisticated country people; the word is almost synonymous with Bumpkin.


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