[[folder:The Novel]]
Characters found in the novel, ''Literature/TheSecretHistory'':
! Richard Papen
* AbusiveParents: Richard's father is mentioned as being verbally and physically abusive. After he leaves for Hampton his parents virtually cut him out of their lives.
* AmbiguouslyBi / ExperimentedInCollege: While he self-identifies as heterosexual, his recollection of his time with the classics group shows that he wasn't one to turn down advances from other males.
* ContemplateOurNavels: As an observant outsider, Richard constantly analyzes his behavior and motives regarding what he did before he knew exactly what the other characters were up to.
* EmbarrassingOldPhoto: Richard destroys the only photo of his mother that he owns, for fear that Bunny will see it and realize that Richard grew up relatively poor.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator
* FishOutOfWater
* HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday: Richard as the narrator does this a few times.
* NotThatTheresAnythingWrongWithThat: Whenever he's [[{{HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday}} reminding us that he's only attracted to women]].
* PassFail: Of the class variety.
* PinballProtagonist: Oh, very much so.
* ScholarshipStudent: He goes to great lengths to hide his lower-middle class upbringing from his rich friends.
* SixthRanger
* StrangerInAStrangeSchool
* UnreliableNarrator: By his own admission.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Richard gets shot; nobody notices.

! Henry Winter
* AffablyEvil
* AntiVillain
* {{Badass}}
* ByronicHero: His large-scale character flaws are [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys exactly what make him so interesting.]]
* TheChessmaster
* DitzyGenius: He can be incredibly impractical ([[ComplexityAddiction not that he'll see it that way]]), which is one of the reasons the GambitPileup ultimately topples.
* GeniusBruiser: Henry tends to hit harder than he means to. A major plot point.
* GeniusCripple: Has a limp because he was hit by a car as a child.
** HandicappedBadass
* HeroicSacrifice
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation
* LonelyRichKid: In his childhood.
* ManOfWealthAndTaste
* PetTheDog: Henry does save Richard from freezing to death in the Vermont winter, taking him to the hospital and bringing him to his apartment to recuperate.
* RaisedCatholic
* RenaissanceMan: Henry, though he's more of an old Roman than a Renaissance man. He "can grow flowers, repair clocks like a jeweller, add tremendous sums in his head." He also speaks eight languages and can read hieroglyphics.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Julian's, and therefore Henry's, general attitude.
* TheStoic
* SociopathicHero: Heavily deconstructed and subverted.
* StoicSpectacles
* TallDarkAndSnarky
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: To Charles, and apparently Richard.
* WickedCultured

! Edmund "Bunny" Corcoran
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Corcorans. Oh God, the Corcorans.
** Charles goes on a bit of a tirade about it, [[AlasPoorScrappy noting that Bunny was the best of them]].
--->"I just never met such a bunch of greedy, shallow people. You look at them and think, oh, what a tasteful, attractive family but they're just a bunch of zeros, like something from an ad."
* BoisterousBruiser
* BookDumb: He's a terrible scholar but a gifted artist and an astute observer.
* ConspicuousConsumption: Bunny's BigScrewedUpFamily.
* HeKnowsTooMuch
* HeManWomanHater: And [[StayInTheKitchen not afraid to show it.]]
** Worth noting that [[LadyDrunk his mother]] is [[EvilMatriarch quite a piece of work]] - and he's intentionally being a {{Jerkass}} to irritate his friends.
* HyperAwareness: He's very clever when it comes to noticing things and putting them together.
* IdiotBall: Bunny picks it up [[spoiler: when he realises the truth about the farmer's death]] and refuses to put it down.
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: With Marion.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Anyone who has ever heard BretEastonEllis speak (and knows that Donna Tartt and Bret Easton Ellis know each other) can probably guess the inspiration for Bunny's way of (likely intentionally) being a conversational bull in a porcelain shop.
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: While he may or may not be genuinely bigoted at heart, he does go out of his way to irritate his friends through loud, rude, politically incorrect comments (and, being every inch the New Englander, his offensive remarks are aimed at white Catholics and Jews rather than what Americans from other regions would consider more obvious targets, such as black Americans or hispanics).
* TooDumbToLive: Bunny Corcoran, boy detective.

! Francis Abernathy
* AwesomeAnachronisticApparel: Francis frequently wears pince-nez [[PurelyAestheticGlasses (despite his perfect eyesight)]], "a black greatcoat that billowed behind him as he walked and made him look like a cross between a student prince and Jack the Ripper", and other stylish get-ups.
* BathSuicide: Attempts one in the epilogue.
* TheBeard: [[spoiler: Marries Priscilla to placate his homophobic grandfather at the end of the book.]]
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Judging from his [[ThePatriarch iron-fisted grandfather]], AbsurdlyYouthfulMother and [[AdoptivePeerParent even more absurdly youthful stepfather]], DisappearedDad, and assorted CrazyCatLady aunts.
* BrilliantButLazy: How Bunny describes Francis, who is a gifted scholar but lacks the motivation to get himself out of trouble (or stand up to Henry). [[spoiler: After his grandfather discovers that he's gay, he prefers to get married to a ditzy woman rather than be disinherited and actually have to work for a living.]]
* CigaretteOfAnxiety: Francis, who suffers from panic attacks, is also a very frequent smoker.
* FieryRedhead
* HandsOffParenting: Despite their BlueBlood his mother is more like a CoolBigSis (which made for a fairly traumatic childhood).
* MommasBoy: Francis's relationship with [[{{AbsurdlyYouthfulMother}} his mother]] is [[{{RichInDollarsPoorInSense}} slightly]] [[HardDrinkingPartyGirl more complicated]].
* IdleRich: See BrilliantButLazy.
* PrincelyYoungMan
* RaisedCatholic

! Charles Macaulay
* BewareTheNiceOnes: With the possible exception of Richard, Charles seems to [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone feel the worst]] about [[spoiler: Bunny's murder]], which is one of the reasons he has the most pronounced FreakOut.
* BiTheWay: With some DepravedBisexual leanings.
* DescentIntoAddiction: Charles, arguably hit hardest by the murder, [[DrowningMySorrows drowns his sorrows]] in liquor to the point of alcohol poisoning.
* DomesticAbuse: To [[spoiler: his sister Camilla]].
* DrowningMySorrows
* GrayEyes
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Charles and Camilla are blond and wholesome and angelic, at least in the first half of the book.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Charles and Camilla initially appear to conform to this trope. [[spoiler: As the plot unravels and their [[{{PolarOppositeTwins}} personality differences]] emerge they lose their united front. In contrast to their earlier descriptions, a minor character remarks that for twins they don't look much alike at all.]]
* IllTellYouWhenIveHadEnough: Really doesn't appreciate his friends pointing out his alcoholic tendencies.
* InVinoVeritas: Charles's recklessness and anger issues are much closer to the surface when he's drinking.
* LightIsNotGood: Charles and Camilla [[WomanInWhite wear a lot of white]], in addition to looking like a pair of angels.
* MySisterIsOffLimits: Charles gets [[CrazyJealousGuy very jealous]] over Camilla, [[spoiler: mainly because he wants her all to himself]].
* PolarOppositeTwins: Charles and Camilla, who at first seem very similar. Their personality differences intensify over the course of the book, [[spoiler: and at the end, years after the resolution of the main plot, they barely speak to each other anymore.]]
* RaisedByGrandparents
* RaisedCatholic
* SexForSolace: [[spoiler: Implied to be a factor in Charles' repeated seduction of Francis.]]
* [[spoiler: {{Twincest}}]]
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Charles is made the group's unofficial CCO in the furor after Bunny's death. After he snaps under the pressure ([[CrazyJealousGuy among other things]]), Henry begins looking for a way to dispose of him.

! Camilla Macaulay
* TheChick: Richard describes Camilla as [[CardGames "the Queen who finished out the suite of dark Jacks, dark King, and Joker."]] She deals with being the only woman in the classics clique with intelligence and verve, for the most part, but being the object of three men's lust and love takes its toll after a while.
* GaussianGirl: Despite that fact that ''The Secret History'' is a book rather than a film. Her true character is hard to make out through the veil of Richard's adoration.
* GrayEyes
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Charles and Camilla are blond and wholesome and angelic, at least in the first half of the book.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Charles and Camilla initially appear to conform to this trope. [[spoiler: As the plot unravels and their [[{{PolarOppositeTwins}} personality differences]] emerge they lose their united front. In contrast to their earlier descriptions, a minor character remarks that for twins they don't look much alike at all.]]
* LightIsNotGood: Charles and Camilla [[WomanInWhite wear a lot of white]], in addition to looking like a pair of angels.
* LoveMartyr: For [[spoiler: her bother Charles]].
* PolarOppositeTwins: Charles and Camilla, who at first seem very similar. Their personality differences intensify over the course of the book, [[spoiler: and at the end, years after the resolution of the main plot, they barely speak to each other anymore.]]
* PrettyInMink: Camilla seems to own a few fur coats.
* RaisedByGrandparents
* RaisedCatholic
* [[spoiler: {{Twincest}}]]
* UnkemptBeauty: At least some of the time. Bunny calls her a "bramble rose", and Richard notes how beautiful she is even when she's wearing her brother's clothes or her hair is a mess.

! Julian Morrow
* BrokenPedestal
* CoolTeacher
* {{Expy}}: Julian looks very much like an expy from almost every single movie made about an [[CoolTeacher inspirational teacher]]. From the start, however, we can see that this is going to be quite heavily deconstructed.
* FairWeatherMentor: When he's forced to acknowledge what his students have done, he leaves the country without a word.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: If people apart from his students admire Julian, this is probably why.
* RenownedSelectiveMentor
* SelectiveObliviousness: Julian wants to believe the best of everyone, until confronted with evidence to the contrary. Unless [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation his obliviousness is only a pretense]].
* ThinksLikeARomanceNovel


! Marion
* AcceptableFeminineGoalsAndTraits: Studying Early Childhood Education.
* DeadGuyJunior: An odd case; her daughter in the epilogue is named after [[spoiler: her late boyfriend]].
* InelegantBlubbering: [[spoiler: Pretty much constantly after Bunny's death.]]
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: With Bunny.
* NoodleIncident:
-->Between her and Francis there had been some catastrophic incident which was so frightful that no one would even talk about it.
* SettleForSibling: In the epilogue she's married to Bunny's brother Brady.
* {{Tsundere}}

! Cloke Rayburn
* NotHelpingYourCase
* TheStoner

! Judy Poovey
* HardDrinkingPartyGirl
* ValleyGirl

[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Comic Book]]
Characters found in the Comic Book, ''ComicBook/TheSecretHistory'':

[[/folder]]