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Characters: Bones
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     Main Characters 

Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel)

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, Brennan is significantly older.
  • Action Girl: She beats up more people than Booth.
  • Adorkable: She has her moments of this, particularly in lighthearted moments with Booth.
  • Agent Scully: No matter how insightful or useful Sweets is, she tends to dismiss his insight. Even treating previous accuracy as "coincidence" because of her dismissal of psychology as a science. She has a similar attitude towards anything even vaguely supernatural.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Has something going on with the lack of social skills and poor metaphor grasping.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Brainy Brunette
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer
  • Cannot Tell a Joke
  • Catch Phrase: "I don't know what that means."
    • For a while there was also "Don't call me Bones," but she soon learned to accept (but not embrace) the nickname.
  • Character Title
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Had a very, very had time in the foster system.
  • Ditzy Genius
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Word of God gives it as Beulah.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: A mixture of Phlegmatic and Melancholic.
  • Friend to All Children: Even though she stated that she would never have children, until she later gave birth to her and Booth's daughter, Christine, Brennan has shown a surprising amount of tenderness towards children, especially ones that are abused. She even came up with a way to entertain babies: "Dancing phalanges!"
  • Friend to All Living Things: Brennan rarely loses her temper, but she does it every time an animal is hurt or killed out of sheer cruelty. Happens both with an attack dog that was used to kill someone and with a Siberian Tiger shot to cover evidence. Also, occasionally, with pigs.
  • Hard On Soft Science: A particularly weird example. She's hard on psychology, even though this is generally considered at least as hard a science as anthropology (her own field).
  • Hollywood Nerd
  • Hot Scientist: Very few leaders in the field of forensic anthropology can fill out a Wonder Woman outfit that well.
  • In-Series Nickname: Take a wild guess.
  • Insufferable Genius
  • Last Name Basis: With Booth. And Cam. And Hodgins (although, be fair, everyone calls him Hodgins). And the Squinterns. Honestly, with everyone but Angela.
  • Literal-Minded: More than anyone who's not a robot should be.
  • Meaningful Name: "Temperance" means "moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, etc.; self-control."
    • Even more meaningful is the fact that her name used to be Joy before her criminal parents changed the whole family's names to protect themselves from their former partner in crime; they eventually had to abandon Brennan and her brother to keep said partner from finding and harming their children. Many characters point out that Temperance's need for temperance is a direct result of her parents' abandonment and her subsequent experiences in the foster care system, before which she was much more carefree.
  • My Beloved Smother: Christine is barely out of the womb and she's already started, getting suspended from the Jeffersonian's daycare for interfering too much.
  • Mystery Writer Detective: A borderline case as her skills as a forensic anthropologist are far more important to solving crimes than any supposedly ability as a writer.
    • Especially as she only writes the technical aspects and twisted plotting of her novels. The characterization and steamy sex scenes are due to Angela's input. It takes them a long time to even realize this, as Temperance's writing process was to essentially write Michael Crichtonesque murder mysteries, then loan it to Angela to pre-read, who adds the sex and quips. Once they figure his out, Temperance split the royalties with Angela. Back-dated.
      • Arguably, the characterization comes from Dr. Brennan. Her story about her and Booth shows that she writes it quite well.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: It helps that she's played by Emily Deschanel. She has no trouble finding mates. In fact, in the sixth season Valentine's Day episode, she turns down half a dozen hopeful suitors.
  • No Social Skills: Not quite as bad as Zack but enough to count.
  • Not Good with People: Especially in the early seasons.
  • Not So Stoic: It's frequently shown that her rationality is a facade to protect her from a big, scary world.
  • Oblivious to Love: To Booth in season five.
  • Pregnant Badass
  • Raised by Grandparents: Her grandfather raised her after she was bounced from foster home to foster home.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Her pregnancy during season seven.
  • The Spock
  • Straw Vulcan
  • Sugar and Ice Personality
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • They Do: With Booth.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: With Booth in season six.
  • UST: With Booth
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She once commented, "I find it interesting that I'm only afraid of snakes when Booth is around to be jumped upon".

Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz)

  • Abusive Parents: According to Booth, his dad wasn't exactly a contender for a Father of the Year award.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: It didn't work at first. Then it did.
  • Atonement Detective: Booth seems to have a scale in his head, weighing roughly how many kills he made as a sniper versus how many murderers he's caught.
  • Badass
  • Berserk Button: If any one threatens, insults or mildly annoys Brennan, Booth seems ready to do violence.
    • Also clowns. Even on ice cream trucks.
    • Also don't even think about hurting his son. While we haven't really seen this in action, he is on record that his protective instinct for Parker outweighs his faith in God himself, which is kinda a big deal.
    • It can safely be assumed that this now extends to Booth and Bones' daughter Christine.
    • It's a bad idea to mention that one of Booth's ancestors shot Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards his younger brother Jared, to the point where its somewhat unhealthy for them both.
    • Also towards Sweets and Wendell.
  • Book Dumb
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Rather ironic. Booth is the empathetic, emotionally connected member of the duo, able to read feelings and intentions with ease, but he is almost completely incapable of approaching his own emotions/baggage with any sort of directness or honesty. This causes a lot of trouble in his relationship with Bones. It also annoys their friend, colleague, and therapist/shrink, Sweets, who eventually gets fed up with Booth's circuitous and denial-filled approach to getting Sweets's help that he threatens to jump out of a moving car rather than put up with it any longer.
  • Chosen Conception Partner: When Brennan decides she wants a child, she picks him.
  • Cold Sniper: His job in the Army.
  • Deuteragonist
  • Dressed To Kill: Most of the time.
  • The Face: He's an FBI agent surrounded by Lab Rats. While they do their geeky science thing he's talking to witnesses and cracking supects.
  • Fair Cop
  • FBI Agent
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric with a dash of Sanguine
  • The Gambling Addict
  • Hidden Depths: In addition to being a jock cop, Booth can lecture and work as a hair dresser and dance instructor. His dad was a barber and his mom a dancer.
  • Jerk Jock: Booth is a mostly-mellowed version of this trope. While he has outgrown most of the trope's more noxious aspects, he still retains disdain for intellectuals and scientists (although it tends to be more good-natured ribbing with those he gets to know).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Last Name Basis
  • The Mccoy
  • The Nicknamer: Calling Brennan "Bones", obviously. He also started calling Dr. Wyatt "Gordon Gordon", due to his habit of introducing himself as "Gordon, Gordon Wyatt". Subverted in that Gordon Wyatt revealed that his first and middle names are both "Gordon".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Most of the cast has realized he's doing it by now, but Gordon is the only one that has straight-out called him on it.
  • Overprotective Dad: Baby's not even out of the womb and he's being this.
  • Raised Catholic
  • The Social Expert
  • They Do: With Bones.
  • UST: With Bones
  • Why Did It Have to be Clowns? Played over the seasons, and after he had his brain surgery, he forgot that he supposed to be scared with clowns. To the point Brennan reminded him about it.

     "Squints" 

Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne)

Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin)

  • Ambiguously Brown
  • Bi the Way
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • Good Bad Girl
  • Happily Married: To Hodgins.
  • The Heart: Often serves as a counterpoint to the team's rational and scientific assessment of a case or victim. Makes sense as she's the only one without any scientific training.
  • Hot Scientist
  • Official Couple: With Hodgins.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Which is ironic, because she's the only squint who's not actually a scientist, and appropriate, as she's married to Hodgins, who is both a scientist and omnidisciplinary. That said, she can do almost anything techy or artistic that you ask her to, thanks to the magic of the Angelatron.
  • Oops I Forgot I Was Married: Her big, beefy, forgotten-in-a-drunken-haze island husband. She didn't even remember his name at first.
  • Not So Different: More in common with her best friend, Brennan, than might first appear: they both have a rigid code of beliefs and morals, both are incredibly stubborn, and both had a lot of difficulty committing to a long term relationship.
  • Really Gets Around: To the point that Sweets convinces her that it keeps her from forming stable relationships.
  • Shipper on Deck: She ships Brennan/Booth, by the way.
  • Team Mom
  • They Do: With Hodgins
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Played with. While she married the 'bugs and slime guy', she expresses admiration on ocassion for Booth. For instance, when he goes into 'alpha-male-get-shit-done' mode, she once exclaimed, "Sometimes he is like....whoa."

Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor)

Dr. Daniel Goodman (Jonathan Adams)

     Squinterns 

Zack Addy (Eric Millegan)

Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright)

  • Adorkable: His enthusiastic reciting of facts earned him the spot of "favorite intern"... both with Brennan and the fans.
  • The Alcoholic: Recovering.
  • The Atoner: As a recovering alcoholic, he has to make amends to the people close to him for all the ways he's wronged them. After his death, the team realizes that if the minor things he feels so guilty for were the worst things he had done, then he was quite a decent guy.
  • Attention Whore
  • Berserk Button: Try telling him that Jimi Hendrix is a better guitarist than Jimmy Page. I dare you.
    • That was literally the only time he ever got angry about anything. Ever.
  • Can Not Tell A Lie: In 'The Babe In The Bar', when he, Sweets, Cam and Brennan lie about knowing that Angela's pregnant, he starts whimpering, covers his face and says "Please, I beg of you, don't look at me directly. Just say what you came to say."
  • Cloud Cuckoolander
  • Cursed with Awesome: He ended up winning Jeopardy! with his compulsive declaration of facts.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Hodgins and Angela's baby, born the episode after Vincent's death was given the second middle name of "Vincent."
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Hot Scientist
  • Insufferable Genius
  • Kill the Cutie: The creators came right out and said they "killed him for heartbreak."
  • Little Known Facts: His are actually true, but no more useful for all that.
  • Motor Mouth
  • Nerds Are Sexy: "If I killed everyone who looked at me lustily, I wouldn't have made it out of school."
  • Nice Guy
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
  • Three First Names
  • Verbal Tic: His random facts seem to be a compulsion and increase when he's stressed.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: With Brennan.

Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo)

Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd)

Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry)

  • The Everyman: Came from a humble background and has had a lot of less sophisticated jobs.
  • Hot Scientist
  • Nice Guy
  • Romantic Runner-Up: He's Angela's replacement for Hodgins when they break up.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Subverted, as his dad died of lung cancer, and he only holds a cigarette (without lighting it) when he's trying to think like him.

Arastoo Viziri (Pej Vahdat)

  • Fauxreigner: To cut down on persecution for his devout beliefs, he pretended to be 'just off the boat'.
    • Subverted Arastoo really is from Iran but He's from a wealthy moderate family and spent a number of years in the Western Education System.
  • Game of Nerds
  • Hot Scientist
  • Nice Guy: He made Angela a mix tape to cheer her up after her breakup with Roxy back when he barely even knew Angela.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping

Colin Fisher (Joel Moore)

Finn Abernathy (Luke Kleintank)

     FBI characters 

Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley)

Gordon Gordon Wyatt (Stephen Fry)

Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher)

  • Courtroom Antics:
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Heel-Face Turn: Her flashback self was rather more politically motivated in her behavior, and accused Booth of same.
  • Sassy Black Woman
  • Shipper on Deck: She's actually the one who gets Booth and Brennan to kiss for the first time, due to her "puckish" side and a strategically-placed sprig of mistletoe. But episode 100 reveals that was actually the second time.
  • Team Mom: Usually gives at least one member of the team a good talking to in each of her appearances. Bonus points for being the apparently oldest recurring cast member.
  • The Big Easy: She's from N'Awlins, cherie.
  • Two First Names
  • Verbal Tic: "Cherie".

     Other protagonists 

Max Keenan (Ryan O'Neal)

Angela's Dad (Billy Gibbons)

  • As Himself: Played with since (see below) no one ever actually calls him by name. However, he shares several biographical details with Billy Gibbons, like being in a Blues Rock band.
  • Badass Grandpa
  • Deal with the Devil: Sweets legitimately believes that he has some sort of Crossroads deal with the devil.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Even though it's Billy Gibbons, no one ever actually call him by name. He's just "Angela's dad".
  • Oh Crap: When Hodgins asks him for (very strong-willed) Angela's hand in marriage, Angela's dad claims that Hodgins has thus put them both in mortal danger.
  • Papa Wolf
  • Secret Test of Character: Puts Hodgins through several of these before he accepts him.

Jared Booth (Brendan Fehr)

  • Aerith and Bob: Brothers Seeley and Jared.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: After Bones finds out the true nature of Jared and Booth's relationship (that Seeley had been boosting Jared up to his own detriment), she slaps him. Hard.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: When Seeley is captured by the Gravedigger, Jared pulls out all the stops to find and save him, costing him his job and clearance
  • The Alcoholic: Gets pulled over for a DUI in his first episode. However, he does eventually get better.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Bones says that his facial structure is even more symmetrical than Seeley's. In Bones-speak, that's her saying he's more handsome.
  • Never My Fault: Seeley had been bailing Jared out all his life, to the detriment of his own career. No only did Jared not think he needed Seeley, he called him a loser for not being more successful.
  • Romantic False Lead: Went on a date with Bones on his debut episode. Bones only rejected him when she found out he had been taking advantage of Seeley's overprotectiveness.

Hannah Burley (Katheryn Winnick)

  • Career Versus Man: Tends to choose career. However, she did choose the "White House beat" in order to be in DC with Booth.
  • Child Hater: Relatively mild version, but she doesn't normally like kids and is afraid of meeting Booth's son
  • Hot Scoop: She met Booth when she was working as a wartime reporter in Afghanistan.
  • Romantic False Lead: For Booth.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Booth is worried that she feels like this for Bones. However, she's confident enough to not be worried.

     Villains 

The Gravedigger aka: Heather Taffet (Deirdre Lovejoy)

Howard Epps (Heath Freeman)

  • Ax-Crazy
  • Disney Villain Death
  • Evil Genius: Claims to have a I.Q. of 180. According to Zack, however, he's overestimating himself.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Though he also mentioned that he wished she was his first victim.
  • Freudian Excuse: His mother, a religious fanatic, washed his hands with ammonia (and made him take baths in it) and taught him that sex was evil. Needless to say, it didn't do his psyche good.
  • Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: He could be a Manipulative Bastard all along, or maybe he learned it while on death row. When we first meet Epps, he's claiming to be innocent and trying to get exonerated, but it ends up he just reveals he's killed even more people than previously thought, so they have to keep him alive while they process the new bodies. When he returns in season 2, Epps is even more manipulative and playing serial killer games, leading the team on a merry chase with body parts as clues.
  • Monster Misogyny: Literally. Booth even theorizes that Epps hates Brennan because she's a smart, strong, confident woman.
  • Serial Killer: Of teenage girls. Fun guy.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the last episode he appears, after being smug and confident for the majority of time he becomes visibly shaken and angry when he learns that Booth has arrested his mother.
  • Weapon of Choice: Murdered his victims with a pipe.

The Gormogon:

  • I'm a Humanitarian: Both the Gormogon and the apprentice.
  • Karma Houdini: The original Gormogon. Never caught, wound up living his days out at a nursing home.
  • Knife Nut: Weapon of Choice, both for murdering and eating.
  • Legacy Character: The Gormogon is training his apprentice to be the next Gormogon. The team eventually meet the original Gormogon, but he's a senile old man in a nursing home by then.
  • Looks Like Orlok: The current Gormogon
  • The Mole: Zach Addy, the Gormogon's latest apprentice.
  • Red Herring: Sweets was introduced to be the Gormogon. However, he got downgraded to this due to the Writer's Strike
  • Rule of Two: Always one Gormogon and one apprentice.

Jacod Broadsky (Arnold Vosloo)

  • Asshole Victim: His specialty. He targets those who he thinks deserve it. No one shed a tear when he killed The Gravedigger.
  • Broken Pedestal: Booth initially refused to put him on the suspect list because he respected him as a mentor.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: His second to last victim broke his hand. Learning this gives Booth the advantage during their final Sniper Duel.
  • Hero Killer: Despite so many close calls for six seasons, the first one to successfully kill a main character (albeit the wrong one).
  • Not So Different: To Booth. This is pointed out by him and Booth's colleagues, which is a Berserk Button for Booth.
  • Oh Crap: When Booth reveals he doesn't need a warrant because Broadsky purchased the land they're on under Booth's name (he tended to steal identities).
  • Serial-Killer Killer: His targets are all criminals or serial killers. However, he's willing to kill innocents to get at the guilty party.
  • Sniper Duel: Season 6 is essentially a season long Sniper Duel, peppered with smaller ones in the meantime.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Believes he's doing good by killing bad people... the problem is, he will kill innocents if they're in his way.

Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds)

  • Asshole Victim: As of Season 9, Booth finally kills him for good with a bullet square to the throat. The fans rejoiced.
  • Cardboard Prison: Formerly had a tracking device intended to keep him under house arrest. It proved utterly useless.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Managed to spend a good two seasons pulling backup plans and escape routes out of his ass.
  • Death Seeker: As discovered by Hodgins first-hand, he actually enjoys the thought of being killed, primarily because of the effect on those responsible.
    • Irony: When Pelant does die, he's overplayed his hand so much that Booth barely seems to care. His death had no effect at all on his killer.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He thinks of everything in purely selfish terms - the concept of people acting against their best interest never occurs to him. This ultimately gets him killed - he takes Brennan hostage and threatens to kill her if Booth doesn't drop his weapon. When Brennan tells Booth to take the shot, even though it could mean her death, Pelant is dumbfounded, leaving him open.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Booth manages to shoot Pelant in the head early in season 8. Plot Armor saves his life, but the entire right side of his face is a ruin of scars due to the bullet's exit wound.
    • Eye Scream: His right eye is intact, but the trauma of the bullet passing too close damaged it severely, leaving the organ discolored, bloodshot, and blind.
    • Two-Faced: The left side of his face is normal, but the right looks like a stitched-together hamburger.
  • Fatal Flaw: His obsession with Bones is what ultimately leads to his death.
  • Flat "What.": Famous Last Words.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Minor example, but upon seeing Bones propose to Booth, he simmers for a good 30 seconds while repeating the recording at least twice, and later orders Booth to cancel the engagement.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Absurdly proficient at hacking every device imaginable. As of the season 8 finale, he seemingly has the entire electronic infrastructure of DC under his thumb.
    • In his first appearance, he inscribed a computer virus into bones, infecting the Jeffersonian computers when Angela scanned them.
  • It's All About Me: A big part of his insanity is a pathological need to be the center of attention.
  • Invincible Villain: For a long time, until pushing his luck too far and getting a bullet in the throat.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted as of Season 9.
  • Killed Off for Real: Booth finally kills him early in the ninth season.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Managed to trick Booth into getting himself removed from the original case by faking a distress call from Bones, provoking Booth into raiding his house without cause. He was hoping the Squints would also similarly screw themselves over to protect Bones, but that part of the plan failed.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Always has an escape plan when the team manages to get close to cornering him. This is because when he did get cornered, he died.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As part of a Sadistic Choice, forces Hodgins and Angela to choose between saving Hodgins's fortune as the sole heir to the Cantilever Group and stopping a hijacked predator drone from bombing a girl's school in Afghanistan.

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