!The Saeki Family
!!Kayako Saeki
The BigBad of the series, Kayako was an ordinary {{Housewife}} who has an obsessive [[StalkerWithACrush crush]] on a teacher Peter Kirk. Unfortunately, her husband Takeo found out and [[LoveHurts brutally killed her]], along with her son Toshio and the family cat Mar. Brought back by her family's rage as a {{Curse}}, Kayako appears as a StringyHairedGhostGirl, [[UncannyValley crawling about to hunt down]] and kill anyone who enters her house to consume them in the curse. She is most iconic for crawling her way down the stairs, and lets out a [[HellIsThatNoise chilling death rattle]] whenever she appears.

* [[spoiler: ApocalypseMaiden: If the curse can spread THAT easily the whole world is screwed.]]
* AxCrazy: Appears this way to her victims.
* BloodFromTheMouth: After she is killed.
* BodyHorror: Kayako broke her ankle whilst fleeing from Takeo and has to crawl around as a ghost although she walks in the third film albeit poorly. Takeo then snapped her neck, creating her signature death rattle.
* CameBackWrong
* CryForTheDevil
* CuteMonsterGirl: Seen as this to some viewers and fans.
* DeathTropes
** BedmateReveal: Played with when [[spoiler: Kayako kills Susan.]]
** ChestBurster: In the extended version of ''The Grudge 2'', Kayako [[spoiler: kills Mrs. Davis by ejecting herself from her mouth as a one-eyed hairball.]]
** CruelAndUnusualDeath: Kayako often pulls this on most of her victims. Most notable are [[spoiler: Yoko, Jake, Gretchen, Mrs. Davies and Karen.]]
** EyeScream: Kayako [[spoiler: gouges out Gretchen's eyes.]]
** NeckSnap: Used on [[spoiler: Doctor Sullivan in the third film.]]
** SpookyPainting: Kayako emerges from a painting to [[spoiler: kill Gretchen]].
** SpookyPhotographs: Kayako [[spoiler: kills Eason]] by emerging from one.
* GhostlyGoals: Type B.
* {{Housewife}}: Before being killed by her husband.
* [[ImplacableMan Implacable Woman]]
* JumpScare: She pulls this a lot on her victims before actually killing them.
* LesYay / FoeYay: Seems to have this going on with Karen, although the way she kills some of her other victims has shades of this as well.
* MadwomanInTheAttic: Make that dead woman in the attic.
* NeckSnap
* NightmareFace
* TheOtherDarrin: Throughout all the films until ''The Grudge 3'', Kayako was played by TakakoFuji, but she retired from the role and was replaced by Aiko Horichi.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette
* PeekabooCorpse: Her corpse flies out of the attic in front of Peter.
* PrehensileHair: Kayako uses her hair to hang Takeo, and kill Vanessa in the second film.
* [[spoiler: SealedInsideAPersonShapedCan: Kayako is trapped inside Rose's body in ''The Grudge 3'']].
* StalkerWithACrush: Karen found several photos of Kayako stalking Peter and his wife in the background of each photo. She wrote a very personal diary of her feelings for Peter, which Takeo found, leading to the family's deaths.
* StringyHairedGhostGirl
* TwistedAnkle
* WomanInWhite
* WomanScorned: Takeo is apparently her first victim, although it looks like he hung himself.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds
* {{Yandere}}: Shows signs of this in her diary.

!!Toshio Saeki
Kayako's young son who was drowned by his father Takeo after witnessing him murder his mother. Appearing as a ghostly pale little boy, Toshio is the only ghost shown to talk but most of the time [[CatScare meows]] at his victims.

* BlackEyesOfEvil: Sometimes portrayed as having these, noticeably in box-art.
* CatScare: He often scares characters (and viewers) by meowing at them, sometimes on the phone.
* CreepyChild: Holy hell!
* CreepyMonotone
* ElevatorSnare: Susan flees Kayako into an [[ElevatorEscape elevator]] and appears to be safe. That is until Toshio is seen on the passing floor, and the next, and the next, and so on and so forth... getting closer with each passing floor.
* KillerRabbit
* KindHeartedCatLover
* TheOtherDarrin: He has been portrayed by three different actors. In the first film and in flashbacks/photographs for the second and third films, he was portrayed by Yuya Ozeki (who also portrayed the version of the character in the two theatrical ''{{Juon}}'' films). In the second film, he was portrayed by Ohga Tanaka. In the third film, he is portrayed by Shimba Tsuchiya. (Unfortunately, the difference is rather jarring in the third movie, as Toshio looks a lot older than in the previous films.)
* PeekabooCorpse: Averted. His corpse was hidden in a closet, Karen finding the ghost of Toshio in there during her first visit to the house.

!!Takeo Saeki
Kayako's husband and Toshio's father. Takeo found out about his wife's obsessive crush on Peter Kirk and didn't take it very well. He broke his wife's neck, drowned his son in the bath (to cover up his tracks), and then killed the family cat for some reason. He was then [[spoiler: killed by Kayako's ghost]] although it looks like he hung himself. Part of the curse, Takeo rarely appears and when he does, it is to re-enact the murder of his wife.

* AssholeVictim: And the first of many victims, assholes or not.
* AxCrazy: Seems this way when he attacks Kayako, throwing himself against the walls and doing an eerie head spasm before he breaks his wife's neck.
* DemonicPossession: He pulls this in the third film with Max, killing [[spoiler: Naoko, his sister-in-law]] in the process.
* DrivenToSuicide: Seemingly hangs himself but is [[spoiler: really killed by Kayako using her own hair as a noose.]]
* FreakOut: Takeo has one hell of a one, flipping out and ''cutting Kayako's face out of all the family photos!''
* HarmfulToMinors: He kills Toshio to cover up his tracks, but is still considered the primary suspect by the police.
* NeckSnap: Takeo kills Kayako this way, and then with [[spoiler: Aubrey]].
* OhCrap: Kayako's expression when she realises Takeo read her diary.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: The room Takeo uses to hide Kayako's body.
* SympatheticMurderer: Takeo was a loving father and husband despite Kayako's crush.
* ViciousCycle: Subverted. Takeo repeatedly kills victims by re-enacting Kayako's death, although in [[spoiler: Naoko's case he stabbed through the back of the neck with a knife.]]

!!Mar
The [[TeamPet family cat]], Mar was Toshio's best friend until both were murdered by Takeo. Rarely appears but is used to lure victims into the house or appear as a "pilot fish" before Kayako comes for her victims. It is confusing why Takeo killed the cat, but its likely out of pure rage.

* CatScare
* CatsAreMean
* RightHandCat: To Toshio mostly.
* TeamPet
* ThatPoorCat

!!Naoko Kawamata
Kayako's sister. Naoko goes to the Chicago apartment to exoricse her sister and end the curse. Unfortunately, it doesn't go very well. [[spoiler: She is attacked by a Takeo-possessed Max and killed by him, only to rise as a ghost like her sister and kill Max.]]

* BloodMagic: Naoko conviniently has some of Kayako's blood which must be drank by a willing witness to seal Kayako away.
* BodyHorror: [[spoiler: Naoko is stabbed through the back of the neck and broke her ankle, causing her to walk in an unsteady limp with blood squirting from her throat.]]
* [[spoiler: CameBackWrong]]
* [[spoiler: CruelAndUnusualDeath]]
* [[spoiler: CuteMonsterGirl]]
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette
* [[spoiler:StringyHairedGhostGirl]]
* [[spoiler:TwistedAnkle: Subverted. Instead of breaking her ankle like her sister before her, Takeo-possessed Max breaks her knee instead.]]
* [[YouKilledMyFather You Killed My Sister]]: Naoko recognises Takeo when he possesses Max.

!Characters in ''The Grudge''
!!Karen Davies
An American careworker living in Tokyo, Karen goes to look after the elderly Emma at the Saeki House and is stalked by Kayako. She investigates the family's murder whilst people around her are consumed by the curse including [[spoiler: her boyfriend Doug]]. She eventually attempts to burn the house down, but [[spoiler: is killed by Kayako in the second film]].

* BreakTheCutie
* TheDeterminator
* [[spoiler: DrivenToSuicide]]: [[spoiler: Averted. Kayako actually drags her off the roof of a hospital, making it look like Karen jumped.]]
* FinalGirl: In the first film.
* KillItWithFire: Karen attempts to burn the house down to end the curse, but only ends up making it worse by [[NiceJobBreakingItHero breaking the seal that keeps the curse contained in the house.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero
* Creator/SarahMichelleGellar
* ShowerOfAngst: Karen has one, only for [[MoodWhiplash Kayako's hand to come out of the back of her head!]]
* SiblingYinYang: With her sister Aubrey.
* [[spoiler: SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome]]
* TearsOfFear: When she first meets Kayako.

!!Doug
Karen's boyfriend, who attends the University of Tokyo. He does not play much of a part in the film until the very end where Karen finds him wandering the Saeki House, both at the mercy of Kayako.
* InnocentBystander
* NiceGuy
* UnderstandingBoyfriend

!!Peter Kirk
A teacher who Kayako had an obsessive crush on, stalking him and writing quite insanely about him a diary, leading to Takeo murdering his family and creating the curse. Peter visits the Saeki House to talk to Toshio's parents, finding Kayako's corpse and how crazy she was about him. He then is (apparently) DrivenToSuicide.

* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Not that he knew about it until too late.
* DeadStarWalking: He's played by [[Film/IndependenceDay Bill Pullman]], and he dies in the first five minutes. (Of course, he appears later due to the AnachronicOrder of the film, but this trope still applies.)
* DrivenToSuicide: Although it is strongly implied that he may have been under the influence of the curse.
** Interestingly, despite being the first person to enter the Saeki house after the murders, he is not shown to have been visited by any of the ghosts before his death.
*** Toshio's ghost lures him into the house, although it's set up to make Peter (and the audience) think Toshio is still alive [[FridgeHorror until he starts meowing.]]
* GrossUpCloseUp: In the Director's Cut, the camera focuses on his dead face for a couple of seconds.
* HeyItsThatGuy: He's played by Bill Pullman.
* HotTeacher: In Kayako's eyes anyway.
* MayDecemberRomance: The news article states he was 51 years old. His wife? 31.

!!Detective Nakagawa
A Japanese police detective, Nakagawa is the latest in a long line of officers investigating the Saeki house deaths, three officers (who were also his friends) before him disappearing. A bit of a HardboiledDetective, Nakagawa eventually attempts to destroy the house by burning it down. He fails.

* BeardOfSorrow: A taped interview with him in the second film, which took place some time shortly after the deaths of his colleagues, shows him looking extremely unkempt.
* CompositeCharacter: He shares the name and profession of Detective Nakagawa from the original ''{{Juon}}'' film series, but his personality and actions are closer to that of retired detective Toyama, also from ''{{Juon}}''. Like Toyama, he lost his colleagues to the curse, and also tries to burn the house down.
* FairCop
* HardboiledDetective
* HeyItsThatGuy: Mr. Ryo Ishibashi plays the role, already a master of J-Horror films like ''SuicideClub'' and his role in ''{{Audition}}''.
* TheInspector
* ItsPersonal: It's implied that one of the driving forces behind his attempt to destroy the house is due to three of his friends being claimed by the curse.
* KillItWithFire: Nakagawa attempts to burn down the house, but is [[spoiler: lured to his doom by Toshio and Takeo.]]

!!The Williams Family (Matthew, Jennifer, Emma, Susan)
The American family who moved into the Saeki house after the murders were cleared up. However, they all quickly become part of the curse on the house.

* BedmateReveal: Susan gets a nasty surprise when Kayako pops up in her bed.
* CrazyCatLady: Emma seemingly acts like this at times.
* DeathFromAbove: Emma is killed when Kayako descends from the ceiling to end her life.
* DemonicPossession: In deleted scenes, Matthew is possessed by Takeo.
* ElevatorEscape: Susan flees from Kayako's ghost into an elevator, not noticing Toshio watching her on every passing floor.
* FishOutOfWater: Jennifer feels particularly out of touch in Japan.
* [[GrumpyOldMan Grumpy Old Woman]]: Emma seems like this at first, but it quickly becomes obvious that the reason she acts so sullen is because she knows something isn't right with the house.

!!Yoko and Alex Jones
Employees at a careworkers office. Alex runs the business, whilst Yoko is meant to be caring for Emma. Unfortunately, she becomes a victim of the curse and suffers a painful death. Alex later meets his end at the hands of Yoko's ghost.

* BodyHorror / CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: Yoko is dragged into the attic by Kayako by her jaw, which is then found by Detective Nakagawa. Yoko's ghost later appears, ''missing her jaw with her tongue dangling out''.]]
* TheDanza: Yoko Maki as Yoko.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Fans of the ''Spider-Man'' films and ''XenaWarriorPrincess'' may recognise TedRaimi playing Alex.
* JawBreaker: [[spoiler:Yoko.]]
* KillTheCutie: Poor Yoko...

!Characters in ''The Grudge 2''
!!Aubrey Davies
Karen's younger sister and mistreated by her controlling mother. She goes to Japan to bring Karen home, but soon gets involved in the curse of the Saeki household.

* Creator/AmberTamblyn: Fresh off her dealing with [[TheRing Samara]].
* BloodSplatteredInnocents: [[spoiler:When Karen is killed.]]
* BreakTheCutie
* [[CallingTheOldManOut Calling The Old Woman Out]]: She finally tells her mother ''exactly'' how she feels. [[spoiler:Sadly, it's the last time they ever speak.]]
* FragileFlower
* [[spoiler:KillTheCutie]]
* [[spoiler:NeckSnap]]
* [[spoiler:StringyHairedGhostGirl]]
* [[WellDoneSonGuy Well Done, Daughter Girl]]: Has a bit of this going on with her mother.

!!Eason
An IntrepidReporter who rescued Karen from the house fire but is also cursed as a result.

* IntrepidReporter
* NiceGuy
* ShipTease: With Aubrey.
* SpookyPhotographs

!!Mrs. Davies
Karen and Aubrey's abusive, terminally ill mother.

* AbusiveParents / ParentalFavoritism: She makes it clear that she prefers Karen over Aubrey, and subjects the latter to constant emotional abuse.
* [[spoiler:AssholeVictim: Arguably. (Only in a deleted scene, however, so the canonicity is dubious.)]]
* [[spoiler:CruelAndUnusualDeath]]
* [[GrumpyOldMan Grumpy Old Woman]]
* IllGirl: A rare unsympathetic example. It's never stated exactly what kind of illness she has, but it leaves her with a [[IncurableCoughOfDeath nasty cough]] and breathing difficulties.
* IncurableCoughOfDeath
* [[spoiler:JawBreaker]]
* {{Jerkass}}
** JerkassWoobie: Her reaction when she learns of [[spoiler:Karen's death]] pushes her towards this territory. Likewise, the aforementioned deleted scene shows her utterly grief-stricken as she struggles to deal with the fact that [[spoiler:both of her daughters are dead.]]

!!Allison Fleming, Vanessa and Miyuki
A trio of students in Japan who visit the Saeki house. Vanessa and Miyuki trap Allison in the closet until [[spoiler:Kayako/Aubrey]] appears and they soon become victims of the curse.

* AlphaBitch: Vanessa.
* AssholeVictim: Vanessa and arguably Miyuki.
* BreakTheCutie: Poor, poor Allison.
* BreakTheHaughty: Vanessa.
* TheBully: Vanessa and Miyuki, although Vanessa is the worst.
* DisconnectedByDeath: [[spoiler:Vanessa.]]
* FemmeFatalons: Miyuki certainly has a long set of nails. [[spoiler:She retains them after becoming a ghost.]]
* JerkassWoobie: Miyuki and arguably Vanessa.
* KickTheDog: Vanessa does the kicking, and the dog is usually Allison.
* LoveHotels: Miyuki goes to one with her boyfriend.
* [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bitch]]: Vanessa.
* MurderedInAPhoneBooth: [[spoiler:Vanessa.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler:Allison eventually flees back to the US, hoping that she'll leave the curse behind. It doesn't work. It results in the curse following her and killing her family, Jake's family, and everyone else who enters the apartment building.]]
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Allison's bedroom, after the curse completely and utterly breaks her.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Allison is cruelly mocked and manipulated by both Vanessa and Miyuki. Vanessa is also extremely mean and scornful towards Miyuki, in spite of their supposed friendship, and Miyuki seems to be pretty afraid of Vanessa, likely only going along with her schemes to appease her.
!!Jake Kimble
A young boy who's family becomes victims of the curse. He survives his first encounter with Kayako in "The Grudge 2" and is hospitalized in "The Grudge 3" where [[spoiler: he gets killed when Kayako breaks every bone in his body.]]

* BreakTheCutie
* [[spoiler: CruelAndUnusualDeath: Having every bone twisted and snapped in your body has ''got'' to suck.]]
* {{Determinator}}: Is one of the rare victims who tries to fight Kayako [[spoiler: before she kills him.]]
* [[FinalGirl Final Guy]]: Well he ''did'' survive the ending of the second film.
* [[spoiler: KillTheCutie]]
* OhCrap: "She's here!"
* [[spoiler: SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome]]
* TearsOfFear: After Allison's death at the end of the second film.