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- Played by: Emily Deschanel
- Action Girl: She beats up more people than Booth. She takes on an armored knight (or at least one in a pretty period accurate costume complete with chain mail) with a sword while barehanded and fresh out of a car crash. AND WINS TO THE POINT OF HIM TURNING UP WITH HIS ARM IN A SLING. And appears not to break a sweat. The woman is a stone cold BADASS.
- Adorkable: She has her moments of this, particularly in lighthearted moments with Booth.
- Age Lift: Inverted. In the books, Brennan is significantly older.
- 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: Catching crooks by examining bone fragments and other evidence.
- Berserk Button: Cruelty to animals or children (especially foster children) tends to press it.
- Brainy Brunette
- Brutal Honesty: Her mouth basically has no filter.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Cannot Tell a Joke
- "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. Well, she deals with bones, so it had to happen.
- Character Title: She's the Bones.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Had a very, very bad time in the foster system.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: At the start of the series, she is an extremely aloof and asocial scientist who only thinks by logic and never wanted to marry and create a family. Thanks to Booth, she learns to open up to emotions and eventually; they have a daughter and a son together and become Happily Married.
- Ditzy Genius: So intelligent for solving crimes and yet so clumsy with social stuff... Because her understanding of human behavior is more intellectual than intuitive, she forms conclusions that make perfect sense in theory, but are flawed in practice because humans themselves are flawed. It was heartbreaking when she told Booth she was going to adopt a dog that had been trained as a killer, only for Booth to tell her that the dog had been put down, because her protestations that the dog shouldn't have been blamed were right.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Word of God gives it as Beulah.
- 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 and their son Hank, Brennan has shown a surprising amount of tenderness towards them, 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.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Comes with words in different languages at times. Claims to know the word for 'skull' in every language.
- 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.
- Innocently Insensitive: Often has no understanding of situations that require tact and is genuinely baffled when suspects respond with offense.
- In-Series Nickname: Take a wild guess.
- Insufferable Genius: Woe to any other scientist who does not meet up to her high standards. Or worse any scientist who practices what she doesn't consider a real science.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Tries this when saying 'Skalle'(Norwegian for skull), although anyone really knowing Norwegian will tell you that it sounds more Swedish the way she says it, and the ones she tried correcting when trying was the ones saying it right. If this was meant as a joke or not is unknown.
- 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.
- Married to the Job: She can't give up her life with bones. When her boyfriend invited her to join him for a year on a boat, and everyone else gave her the thumbs up to do it, she turned him down. Even she thought it would be a good idea, but couldn't separate herself from the bones even for a little while.
- 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 Crichton-esque 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.
- 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.
- In a season 11 episode, when Booth temporarily has to wear glasses, she admits to finding them attractive on him.
- No Social Skills: Not quite as bad as Zack but enough to count.
- Not Good with People
- 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.
- Opposites Attract: She's coldly intelligent, scientific, atheist and hyper-rational, while her partner and eventual husband Booth is religious, more emotional and more of a people person.
- Pregnant Badass: Twice now.
- Raised by Grandparents: Her grandfather raised her after she was bounced from foster home to foster home.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Her pregnancies during seasons seven and ten.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She has plainly stated in one episode that she's attracted to good men, and eventually falls for Booth who is charming, kindhearted, and loyal.
- The Spock: Brennan will always listen to reason and logic without fail.
- The Stoic: She is always like this, as she effortlessly keeps her emotion in check.
- Straw Vulcan
- Sugar and Ice Personality: She is overly serious, professional and analytical, not wanting to let emotions get in the way of logic. She is also a kind and heroic person at heart, as well as loyal and caring to her friends and those she trusts.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky
- They Do: With Booth and it leads to being Happily Married.
- Ultimate Job Security: Brennan gets away with being blunt and downright rude to basically everybody because there is not another forensic anthropologist out there who can replace her. When she leaves the Jeffersonian between Seasons 10 and 11 and the number of unsolved cases has gone up, she takes this as a sign of slipping standards and takes her old job back like nothing happened.
- In one episode she punched a sexist man, and in the next episode she tough she would just get a slap on the wrist. The head of the FBI disciplinary panel tells her if Booth's meeting with them goes the way hers did, she would no longer be allowed to help out the FBI on cases.
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: With Booth in season six.
- UST: Also with Booth, since season one.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Wait a second, did you just put Booth down for the count? Uh-oh, never mind the Chickification, here she comes. Nice knowing you.
- Vocal Evolution: At some point in the later seasons, Brennan (Emily Deschanel) changed her speech patterns slightly, taking more pauses and speaking more slowly.
- 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
- Played by: 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.
- Berserk Button:
- Clowns. Even on ice cream trucks.
- 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 it's somewhat unhealthy for them both.
- Also towards Sweets and Wendell.
- Book Dumb
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: Downplayed, during the first seasons, he was shown to have a negative bias towards hispanics, he eventually grews out of it.
- 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. Later inverted when she decides that two kids is enough and she wants him to have a vasectomy (she backs off and they decide to stick to "regular" birth control methods instead).
- Cold Sniper: His job in the Army. He has some guilt over that.
- Control Freak: Spelled out explicitly by Gordon Gordon.
- Eagleland: Type 1, deconstructed. In "The Proof in the Pudding", the group lampshades how naive are Booth's views of the US, as he believes the country has none of the secrets and lies Hodgins believes it does. The idea that the country is hiding information about the JFK murder almost drives him into Heroic B.S.O.D.. Sweets though mentions the possibility that he holds on to this view as a way to comfort himself for the deaths he has caused as a military.
- 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 suspects.
- Fair Cop
- FBI Agent: His job is to do the interrogating and arresting.
- The Gambling Addict: He was addicted to gambling in his backstory, which apparently got him in trouble. He was in recovery at the beginning of the series. In the last quarter of Season 10 he goes to a poker game undercover as part of a case (which everyone told him was a bad idea) and naturally he relapses. His old bookie refuses to place bets for him so he chooses a more violent one that could threaten his family so Bones makes him move out of the house while he sobers up again.
- 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: Can be a bit short and snappy towards the squints, but definitely does care about them.
- 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.
- Angela in Season 4, outright tells Bones he's doing it.
- Opposites Attract: Booth is religious, more emotional and more of a people person, while his partner and eventual wife is coldly intelligent, scientific, atheist and hyper-rational.
- Overprotective Dad: Baby's not even out of the womb and he's being this.
- Papa Wolf:
- 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 and their son Hank.
- Raised Catholic
- Real Men Wear Pink: Booth turns out to be an expert dancer.
- Recovered Addict: A recovered gambling addict. He relapses in Season 10. But he gets better.
- The Social Expert
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky
- They Do: With Bones and it leads to Happily Married.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He has a problems with clowns and it's played over the seasons. After he had his brain surgery, he forgot that he's supposed to be scared with clowns. To the point Brennan reminded him about it.
- Played by: T.J. Thyne
- Agent Mulder
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Conspiracy Theorist: He refers to any of the associated paranoia as simply having all the facts. It gets dialed down considerably after Zack is exposed as an accomplice of the Gormogon, whose pathology was partially based on theories about secret societies, though it begins to re-emerge in season 7.
- Early Installment Weirdness: He is seem able to touch and analyze the bones together with Bones, Dr. Goodman and Zack in the first two seasons, even after stating that he is not good with bones, later seasons limit his work area to the main platform and his room.
- Friendly Rivalry: Although there is initially more than their fair share of animosity between the two, this eventually develops between him and Dr. Goodman. This culminates in "The Woman at the Airport", where Goodman confesses that he admires Hodgins' willingness to stand up to him despite his position of authority.
- Friend to Bugs: He's the Bug and Slime Guy. One of his doctorates is in entomology. How much does he love bugs? Enough that at one point he willing hosted a parasitic botfly larva in his neck because he wanted to follow its life-cycle.
- Give Geeks a Chance: The object of the trope, being the "bugs and slime guy" with Angela, his eventual wife.
- Happily Married: To Angela.
- Recently, not so happily since he became paralyzed and started directing his bitterness about it towards her. They get better.
- Hollywood Nerd
- Hot-Blooded: when it comes to bugs and slime....
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: As he states when he expresses his refusal to believe in the supernatural, he's a conspiracy theorist, not a crazy occultist.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: More so towards the beginning of the series, although he still has his moments later on (namely, when he acts like a jerk to new members of the team).
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He has become extremely bitter and caustic and acts even more like a jerk than usual since being paralyzed and it's starting to erode both his camaraderie with the team and his marriage to Angela. "Murder of the Mennist" ends with him yelling at her for trying to encourage him, with him telling her in no uncertain terms that she's just going to have to sit there and take his crap when she calls him out for it. Thankfully, he gets better after several episodes.
- Last-Name Basis: Even his wife rarely calls him Jack.
- Non-Idle Rich: He's fabulously wealthy but still pulling long hours at the lab because he loves his job.
- Odd Friendship: Although he really doesn't like Daisy at first, the two wind up spending a lot of time working together after a while.
- Official Couple : With Angela
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He is the go to guy for anything that isn't related to forensic anthropology.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: A serious problem of his, considering that he works in an FBI sponsored forensics lab. Booth gave him an earful about this.
- Secretly Wealthy: And hates it or at least will go to almost any length to keep it a secret, so he can keep his life as just being the "Bug and Slime guy" of the group. Pelant took care of that in Season 8's "The Corpse on the Canopy"; later on he starts making money by inventing a new form of rubber
- The Smart Guy: Will usually end up doing the most hard science in a case.
- They Do: With Angela
- Played by: Michaela Conlin
- All Women Are Lustful: Keep her from hooking up with some guys for a long time and she goes into this mode
- Ambiguously Brown
- Bi the Way: Has a relationship with Roxi before taking back up with Hodgins
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: for both Brennan and Hodgins, occassionally
- Good Bad Girl
- Happily Married: To Hodgins.
- Not so happily since he became paralyzed and started taking out his frustrations on her. "Murder of the Mennist" ends with her being chewed out just for encouraging her husband. They get better.
- 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. Hodgins even calls her this in "The Man in the Cell," which comes back to bite them when Howard Eppes sends her a human heart.
- Hot Scientist
- 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 and both call their husbands by their last names.
- Official Couple: With Hodgins.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: It's ironic, because she's the only squint who's not actually a scientist, and appropriate, as she gets married to Hodgins, who is both a scientist and omnidisciplinary. 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.
- 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.
- Super Identikit: From skeletal remains, not witness descriptions, but the improbable level of artistic accuracy is the same. Works with both traditional media and computer graphics.
- Team Mom
- They Do: With Hodgins
- Unfortunate Names: Her real name is so embarrassing to her, that she chose to go as Angela Montenegro. Finally revealed on season 10, it is Pookie Noodlin Pearly-Gates Gibbons
- What the Hell, Hero?: Caroline calls her out for being angry at Cam for playing by the rules when Pelant tries to frame Brennan for Ethan's murder. She points out that by doing that, Cam was the only one whose actions didn't play on Pelant's plans and became the biggest threat to him, who was trying to get all of Brennan's friends off the case.
- Women Prefer Strong Men: Played with. While she married the 'bugs and slime guy', she expresses admiration on occasion for Booth. For instance, when he goes into 'alpha-male-get-shit-done' mode, she once exclaimed, "Sometimes he is like... whoa."
- Played by: Tamara Taylor
- The Alleged Boss: Cam may struggle—and occasionally succeed—at maintaining her authority, but it doesn't always work.
- Big Good: The closest thing the show have of one: She is the one who makes the laboratory run efficiently, which is lampshaded by Hodgins, and guaranteeing that everything is done in such a way that things can still work on court, such as letting Wendell go when he started using medicinal marijuana, though they find a way to bring him back and working outside of Pelant's plans by playing by the rules, which is lampshaded by Caroline.
- Benevolent Boss: Much less imposing than her immediate predecessor, although she can still crack the whip if she needs to.Cam: What I'd really like to do here is a meeting of the minds, but, if you insist in a organizational pyramid, I'll be at the top.
- Black Boss Lady: Is a firm hand with the team but also knows that they know what they're doing and their quirks often help them do their work.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: part of her unwritten job description
- The Coroner: Having worked for the New York Police, she's the most comfortable with the fleshy part of the team's job.
- Deadpan Snarker: Her reaction to the antics of her employees or irritating suspects/people brought in for questioning is usually a dry quip spoken with a perfectly straight face.
- Happily Adopted: In season 4 adopts Michelle, the daughter of her ex-fiancé of two years, ten years prior, after her father is murdered. Is generally seen to have a good relationship with her. If her relationship with Aristoo FINALLY pans out they're planning on adopting, possibly a refugee child.
- Hot Scientist: Being played by Tamara Taylor helps. Cam has no trouble getting dates and even dated Booth prior to her first appearance on the show.
- Moral Myopia: Fires Wendell when she finds out that he's using medical marijuana to treat his cancer because the Jeffersonian is a federal institution and its use is illegal; this is especially egregious when you consider the previous antics of the others including Angela being held in contempt of court for being uncooperative during Max's murder trial, Hodgins stealing evidence from the Gravedigger case which resulted in a judge ordering the whole team to stay away from the case, and then the team (including Cam) blatantly ignoring the judge's orders.
- She did it not because it is something she opposes personally, but rather it may compromise any proof found by Wendell in court, as the defense could easily challenge the validity of evidence analysed by a person known to use a mind-altering drug on regular basis.
- The Nicknamer:
- Hodgepodge for Hodgins, and Zackaroni for Zack. Oddly, she's one of the only people to call Booth by his first name, Seeley.
- Vino Delectable for Vincent.
- Not So Above It All: occassionally enjoys Hodgins' experiments, not that she'll ever tell him, mind you.
- Old Shame: In-Universe example. Her stint as an actress in a horror film.
- Only Sane Woman: Given that Cam is the least eccentric scientist on the team, she spends much of her time corralling everyone and minimizing their conflict.
- Only Sane Employee: By and large, the squints are brilliant, but their eccentricities sometimes gets in the way of them being as effective as they can be. Part of Cam's job is to get corral their conflicting personalities and get them working together as best she can. Hodgins lampshade that she makes them efficient.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She almost always hears her employees out; she doesn't always let them do what they're asking but she'll hear what they have to say.
- When She Smiles: Cam's always gorgeous, but that smile just takes it Up to Eleven.
Dr. Daniel Goodman
- Played by: Jonathan Adams
- Big Scary Black Man: Less due to any threat of violence, and more due to his authority and imposing presence paired with his low tolerance for shenanigans.
- In 'The Man on Fairway' he even uses this trope willingly to intimidate Hodgins for his own amusement.
- Deadpan Snarker:Goodman: He smells with his gut, what does he use his nose for?
- Long Bus Trip: His sabbatical has lasted how many years now?
- The McCoy: His line of work involves a lot of conjecture and he tends towards a more emotional outlook. Oddly, he's this to Hodgins's Spock, not Brennan's.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Listens to his employees, even when they sound like loons. He doesn't always let them do whatever but he will listen and he does respect them greatly.
Dr. Zack Addy
- Played by: Eric Millegan
- Adorkable: Is utterly precious when he goes on about forensics or gets confused about human interactions or pop culture references.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Even more than Bones, which is saying something.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Apparently, all Angela needed was to hear her job description in a deep African-American tone."
- Dead Guy Puppet: Averted
- Eskimos Aren't Real: He doesn't believe that pirates actually existed.
- Face–Heel Turn: Whether or not it qualifies as a full turn is debatable, as Zack never becomes evil. He was merely manipulated by a serial killer.
- Much later on, in season 11, the team was tracking a serial killer who would murder people, taxidermy them, and turn the victim into puppets that he would live with for six months before discarding them and moving on. The team then discovers that the killer has a hatred against them, their families, and anyone ever connected to the team, as well as a psychotic obsession with Dr. Brennan. By the time the team puts together a profile of the killer and realizes that it's very likely Zack, he's already kidnapped Brennan.
- Actually He wanted Brennan to help him prove he wasn't the killer by injecting him with truth serum but she refused. After much detective work (and two red herrings) it's determined that Zack's doctor at the asylum was the killer and he was on the verge of killing Zack when Zack turned the tables — but couldn't even kill in self-defense, proving to Booth and Brennan he's really innocent.
- Hollywood Nerd: Much like Brennan, Zack has massive knowledge of his area of study but is hopeless with relationships.
- Hope Spot: Was posing as a neurosurgeon to give Hodgins hope he could walk again, essentially hoping the Placebo Effect would cure him. When confronted by Hodgins he admitted the therapy had only a 1% chance of success and he feared all he was doing was putting his friend through unnecessary pain (after accepting his condition Hodgins' pain disappears).
- The Mole: Was working for Gormogon. Though he was manipulated into it.
- Good with Numbers: Is able to perform large calculation in his head.
- Manipulative Bastard: If he really is the Puppeteer Killer. NOTE: He isn't.
- Misplaced Retribution: Averted.
- Moral Pragmatist: After Season 3 Finale, where he revealed to be the Gormogon's Apprentice. He justifies his actions, arguing that the strategy of the killer is the logical means to achieving a better society. Dr. Brennan points out a single flaw in his logic and he immediately abandons team evil and gives the good guys everything they need to defeat his former mentor.
- No Social Skills: He's been shown to be extremely blunt to the point of rudeness with people he doesn't know well.
- Older Than They Look: Millegan is actually two years older than Emily Deschanel.
- Photographic Memory: Is said to have one by Hodgins.
- Put on a Bus: After The Reveal that he was Gormogon's apprentice, Zack had to go to a sanitarium for rehabilitation.
- The Bus Came Back: Returned and featured prominently in "The Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond", even befriending Sweets.
- Returns again at the end of the season 11 finale in the worst possible way as he may be "the Puppeteer" serial killer the team was hunting, and kidnaps Brennan.
- Revenge by Proxy: Averted was framed by the Puppeteer.
- Scars Are Forever: Thanks to the explosion that led to him being outed as Gormogon's apprentice, he has permanently scared/disabled hands and took to wearing gloves to cover them up after he wasPlaced in the institution. Also his forehead scar when he self harmed after the death of Sweets.
- Sanity Slippage: Averted as of season 12 episode 1
- Totalitarian Utilitarian: The logic he follows from the Gormogon.
- Walking Spoiler: As of the season 11 finale.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: As the apprentice to Gormogon.
- Played by: Ryan Cartwright
- Adorkable: His enthusiastic reciting of facts earned him the spot of "favorite intern"... both with Brennan and the fans.
- The Alcoholic: Drank heavily for a while but eventually enters recovery.
- 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: Can't seem to appear in a scene without taking center stage, however briefly.
- 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: Spouts off various Little Known Facts no matter what he's in the middle of and seems oblivious to how that irritates anyone who isn't Brennan.
- 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: Much like Zack, Vincent doesn't snark often but when he does, it's quite spectacular.
- Hot Scientist: Is quite attractive, helped by the actor who plays him.
- Insufferable Genius: Though he's unaware of this, his tendency to spout off facts at random drives everyone who isn't Brennan up the wall.
- 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: Once he gets started on one of his tangents, it is very difficult to stop him.
- Nerds Are Sexy: "If I killed everyone who looked at me lustily, I wouldn't have made it out of school."
- Nice Guy: Even during his Atoner stage, his "sins" were quite minor and he's almost always got a sweet disposition.
- Verbal Tic: His random facts seem to be a compulsion and increase when he's stressed.
- Played by: Carla Gallo
- Ascended Fangirl: Doctor Brennan is her hero and working at the Jeffersonian is her life long dream. She will never let you forget that.
- Attention Whore: A milder example, but still. She always makes her role in a discovery extremely, extremely clear.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Her quirk being that she never shuts up.
- Cloud Cuckoolander
- Genki Girl
- Goofy Print Underwear: Wears "day of the week" panties.
- Hot Scientist
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": She is efficient, but eccentric and overexcited is an understatement.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl
- Motor Mouth
- Official Couple : With Sweets. At least until his untimely death in Season 10.
- Played by: Eugene Byrd
- The Comically Serious: His shtick at first was his refusal to share anything from his personal life with his work life. Then he went and took it in the other direction.
- Naughty by Night
- Not So Above It All: He loosens up considerably by the middle of season 6.
- Only Sane Man
- Shipper on Deck: Whenever he did start opening up about it, he was the most enthusiastic shipper of Booth and Brennan among the Squinterns.
- Stylistic Suck: With a healthy dose of Shaped Like Itself, the book he wrote in the ninth season.Death had never looked so dead as the death now in front of them, all life drained, only death covering the dead.
Cam: Ya think the victim was dead?
- Played by: 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 and later Roxie when they break up but ultimately, the First Guy Wins.
- Smoking Is Cool: Downplayed, as his dad died of lung cancer, and he only holds a cigarette (without lighting it) when he's trying to think like him.
- Played by: Pej Vahdat
- Fauxreigner: To cut down on persecution for his devout beliefs, he pretended to be 'just off the boat'. He's truly from Iran but from a wealthy moderate family and spent a number of years in the Western Education System.
- Game of Nerds
- Hot Scientist
- Humiliation Conga: According to himself, the canceling of the publishing of his first article was this: he wasn't meant to tell anyone, but he told everyone who he worked with and his parents, and his parents told even more people that his first article was going to be published, but he needs to tell everybody that it was canceled.
- Nice Guy: He made Angela a mix tape to cheer her up after her breakup with Roxy back when he barely even knew Angela. Heck, he's currently waiting for Cam to agree to marry him and even decided to adopt since Cam's not certain she wants to get pregnant (for her part Cam knows how much he wants kids and that he'll be a great dad).
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After dealing with ignorant probes from the Jeffersonian team about his religion, and a misunderstanding from Cam about something he said, Arastoo finally (deservedly) tears into fellow intern Finn Abernathy while they are investigating the death of a 9/11 victim when Finn asks him if he'd be able to investigate this case due to his religion.
- Surpassed the Teacher: Averted. Although Cam picks him to be Brennan's replacement, Brennan hurts his confidence by hijacking control of the lab on his first major case and pointing out his mistakes on other cases in her absence.
- Tsundere: Type B; usually sweet and calm, but quick to anger, as seen in both several scenes where his religion is brought up and the episode in which he introduces Cam to his parents.
- Played by: Joel David Moore
- Played by: Luke Kleintank
- Big Eater: His breakfast order looked to be enough for 2 or 3 people.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Which gets revealed in a heartfelt conversation with Bones of all people.
- The Nicknamer : Already dubbed Hodgins "Thurston", likely a Gilligan's Island reference to his money.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Upon pulling a large python from the abdomen of the Victim of the Week:Finn: Oh, I gotta say ma'am, this is the best damn job ever!
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given to a deserving Hodgins, who Took a Level in Jerkass towards him. Cam approves.
- Reformed Criminal
- Southern-Fried Genius
- Teen Genius
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Hodgins, once they start to get along.
- Played by: Lauren Spencer
- Attention Whore: Just like Daisy; ironically she states that Booth probably doesn't know her name (he doesn't, he calls all of them "Squinterns".
- Beta Couple: With Aubrey.
- Foil: Uses her gut feelings in place of Brennan's logic.
- Red Is Heroic: A decidedly noble young woman with vividly red hair.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Daisy (she even sleeps with Sweets), possibly due to Daisy's actor being pregnant.
Dr. Oliver Wells
- Played by: Brian Klugman
- Department of Redundancy Department: The bucket list Angela gives him in "The Lady on the List" to improve his behavior:1. Don't be a douche.
2. Really, don't be a douche.
3. Work and play well with others, so I'm not perceived as a douche.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: You know it's bad when even fellow geniuses who have been considered rude or annoying in the past—like Brennan, Daisy, and Jessica—don't like him. Fisher is literally the only character who does. A big part of the problem is that, while all of the Squinterns have some kind of personality quirk and some of are downright annoying, all of the other Squinterns have some sympathetic qualities as well that ultimately make them likable, or at least tolerable. Wells does not seem to have anything of the sort.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's on the side of good and helps catch the killers, but is easily the least likable of all the Squinterns.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Implied by himself and invoked by Hodgins:
Oliver: What if I don't want to be one of you?
Hodgins: I think you do.
- Insufferable Genius: Taken way Up to Eleven; by far the worst ever seen on the show, making people like Zack, Daisy, and Brennan herself look tame by comparison. It's made worse by the fact that, unlike all the other examples of this trope on this show, Wells really doesn't have any sympathetic qualities aside from not being evil.
- Jerkass: As a result of being a Narcissist and an Insufferable Genius, with very few likable traits.
- Love to Hate: Discussed and defied In-Universe. Daisy complains to Hodgins that she hates Wells after he was especially rude to her, and Hodgins replies, "We all hate him, but eventually you reach the point where you start to enjoy hating him." Daisy then responds that she hasn't gotten to that point yet.
- Narcissist: Is very arrogant and rude, and genuinely seems to believe that he is superior to everyone else.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Has high knowledge in physics, anatomy, forensic anthropology, and many other types of science, and also knows quite a bit about non-science fields like law and history.
- Played by: Ignacio Serrichio
- The Casanova: Flirts with Brennan, Cam, and Angela on his first day.
- Chainsaw Good: Has an obsession with chainsaws as shown in "The Flaw in the Saw".
- Honor Before Reason: Risks everything to smuggle needed drugs into Cuba; when he's caught he's ready to accept responsibility and leave the Jeffersonian (and possibly the country). Brennan fixes things by using a CIA contact to handle the drugs.
- Hot Scientist
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Unlike the previous Squinterns none of the regulars find anything terribly annoying (aside from the flirting), strange, or suspicious about him on his first day (IE on Wendell's first day everyone thought he owed money to gangsters and on Finn's first day everyone thought he was a murderer).
- Played by: John Francis Daley
- Abusive Parents: His former foster father left him with deep physical and emotional scars.
- Adorkable: Whether it's the film Excalibur or the latest theory of his profession, Sweets is adorable when he gushes. Plus he sees Bones and Booth as substitute parents.
- Butt-Monkey: A mild case, but yes, both Booth and Bones often treat him like this. Booth sees him as little more than a child, whereas Bones vehemently denies the usefulness of psychology and insults him about it.
- Character Death: In the premiere of the tenth season, with no warning at all.
- Deadpan SnarkerSweets: You choked a man until he was unconscious?Hodgins: A bad man. And you're hinting that if I'd killed him, that would make me bad, too?Sweets: Hinting?
- Dr. Jerk: Originally he was this being less interested in Bones and Booths as his patients and more of case study, to the point that when Booth was ordered to fake being dead by the FBI as part of an undercover operation, he intentionally ignored his request to tell Bones just so he could see her reaction. But thankfully he got better.
- Happily Adopted
- Happily Married: To Daisy Wick
- Hollywood Nerd
- Hollywood Psych: Lots of All Psychology Is Freudian, with this guy. Among other things, it's no wonder Bones doesn't take his profession seriously.
- Medium Awareness:
Flynn: I don't think you're being completely honest with me.Sweets: Then you have trust issues, stemming from... I don't know, a bunch of psychological crap.
- "The Future in the Past":
Sweets: (to Caroline) Have you noticed that dead bodies always save Booth from confronting his demons?
- "The Secrets in the Proposal":
- Meaningful Name: He is a ridiculously Nice Guy.
- Nice Guy
- No Respect Guy: To both Temperance and Booth, and occasionally the others as well.
- Official Couple: With Daisy.
- Older Than They Look: He's in his 20s, but looks like a 14-year-old.
- Parental Substitute: A big part of his relationship with Bones and Booth. His elderly, adoptive parents died shortly before he came to work with them.
- Physical Scars, Psychological Scars
- The Profiler
- The Shrink: Especially to Booth and Bones, but almost everybody's had a turn with him at one point. It's a Running Gag that people wanting advice pop into his office with no warning. Usually, it's not a problem. Usually. Another Running Gag has a member of the cast questioning his ability to give useful advice... who then follows his advice.
- Smart People Play Chess: Was a master in his college years, and a decade later still has the skill to outplay an entire club of chess pros.
- Took a Level in Badass: One of the few times he steps out of the office with Booth results in him getting killed off but not without wounding his attacker in turn.
Gordon Gordon Wyatt
- Played by: Stephen Fry
- Ambiguously Bi: Implied, in his youth, he used an alter ego to play rock called Noddy Comet, in his own words, "A Bisexual Spaceman with a taste for glitter, lycra and an exhibitionist disdain for underwear".
- Berserk Button: "Fry cook? FRY COOK?!"
- Cool Old Guy
- Hidden Depths: He's a fantastic cook. He's also an excellent guitarist according to Booth.
- His Name Really Is "Barkeep": When he first met Booth, he introduced himself as "Gordon, Gordon Wyatt", to which Booth retorted that it's weird how he reiterated his first name. Gordon then clarified that Booth made that assumption without considering that his middle name could be the same as his first name, so he wasn't reiterating at all. This is what later made Booth started considering Gordon's advice, as he had assumed Gordon to be just another shrink.
- Large Ham
- Nice Guy: He's firm but gentle when dealing with his patients. He also gets Bones and Booth to be nicer to Sweets.
- Old Master: To Sweets. He's older, been a psychologist for much longer, and was able to tear apart Sweet's thesis about Bones and Booth's relationship in less than a minute.
- Put on a Bus: Went to work at INTERPOL, before retiring from psychology to become a professional chef. He made one appearance in Season 5 when Booth sought him for some personal help, and hasn't been seen since.
- The Bus Came Back: He's confirmed to return in Season 12.
- Odd Friendship: With Agent Booth.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness
- The Shrink: Been at it even longer than Sweets.
- Played by: Patricia Belcher
- The Big Easy: She's from N'Awlins, Cherie.
- Catchphrase: Cherie. Eventually, she starts shortening it to "cher".
- Courtroom Antics
- Deadpan Snarker
- Heel–Face Turn: Her flashback self was rather more politically motivated in her behavior, and accused Booth of the same.
- Only Sane Employee: She is the one most grounded to reality among the group.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to all squints and Booth in season 2, accusing them of ruining the wonderful team they make for petty reasons.
- 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.
- Two First Names
- Verbal Tic: "Cherie".
- Played by: John Boyd
I helped bring down my own father, Mr. Dunlop, so bringing you down would be a piece of cake. And as my friends here can attest, I love cake.
- Big Eater: He often surrounds himself with food, and is always willing to dig in if food is available.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of the best in a cast full of them. He's especially great at the "deadpan" part:Booth and Aubrey knock on a suspect's door
Booth: Now remember, Bones said the victim was in a fight before he died, so keep an eye out for any injuries on this guy.
Guy opens the door, covered in bruises and cuts all over his face
Aubrey: Hey, Booth, I think I might have found some.
Booth: You think so?
- Parental Abandonment: His father left when he was young. We find out in the Season 10 finale that his dad was a con man whom Aubrey personally helped bring down.
- Played by: Ryan O'Neal
- Affably Evil: Until his Heel–Face Turn, he was this trope, caring deeply about his kids and his late wife and giving off an extremely friendly vibe but was able to order a hit on a man who was a threat to his kids without batting an eye.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He is friendly to pretty much everyone he knows and loves his family, but isn't above using violence to protect them.
- Papa Wolf: Has been known to go to considerable lengths to protect his children, including committing murder. His last act of this was killing two assassins who were after his grandkids, after having a pacemaker installed.
- Failed a Spot Check: Said pacemaker had a GPS that allowed the killers to track him to an FBI safe house.
- Retired Badass: He is a former criminal who used to kill people on occasion. Now he bowls.
- Shipper on Deck: Doesn't see why Booth hasn't gone after his daughter yet, and also bought his daughter a toothbrush-holder for two.
- Tear Jerker: His last words were recounting a dream he had of a pleasant family road trip with Brennan.
- Played by: 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. In one episode, he even played a piece of ZZ Top's iconic "La Grange"
- Badass Grandpa: His advanced age doesn't deter him from protecting his daughter and putting the fear of God into Hodgins.
- 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: Absolutely adores Angela; will do whatever it takes to see her happy.
- Secret Test of Character: Puts Hodgins through several of these before he accepts him.
- Played by: 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 eventually gets 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.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He broke several laws to save Booth from the Gravedigger, which sadly got him kicked out of his Pentagon job.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: After being absent for several seasons, he's unceremoniously killed off in the Season 11 premiere and he's burnt to a crisp that only his skeleton remains. And the Jeffersonian Team originally thinks he's Booth until Bones does a more detailed examination.
- Played by: 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, ultimately turning him down when he tries to PROPOSE.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Booth is worried that she feels like this for Bones. However, she's confident enough to not be worried.
Christine Angela Booth
- Played by: Ali and Susanne Hartman (seasons 7-9); Sunnie Pelant (seasons 9-present)
- Big Sister Instinct: To Hank. Throughout the episode after her uncle Jared dies, Booth is fuming about the package containing his remains apparently going missing. At the end of the episode, Bones and Booth find that Christine had taken it in order to get a boost to get into the crib alongside Hank, something she often did to comfort him.
- Little Professor Dialogue: Well, with Bones as her mother, she was bound to learn a lot of things that most children her age wouldn't.
- Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Was born in Season 7 and turned 4 in Season 9.
- Played by: Deirdre Lovejoy
- Asshole Victim: Broadsky's first victim. No one's shedding a tear.
- Break Them by Talking: Manages to make Sweets doubt himself for an entire episode in a two minute conversation.
- Criminal Mind Games
- Evil Redhead
- Killer Cop: State Attorney, really.
- Samus Is a Girl: They worked off the assumption that it was a man doing it and she didn't actually appear until the second episode featuring her.
- Serial Killer: Though the general MO is to kidnap for ransom, if they don't pay the victims are killed. The victims are buried alive in a container with limited air, and if the ransom is paid the location is given so they can be rescued.
- Would Hurt a Child: She has no issue if her victims are children.
- Your Head Asplode: The bullet to her head caused her cranium to literally explode, splattering Sweets with serial killer head goop.
- Played by: Heath Freeman
- 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.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Both the Gormogon and the apprentice eat other humans.
- Karma Houdini: The original Gormogon was never caught and 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.
- Played by: 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.
- Played by: Andrew Leeds
- Asshole Victim: As of Season 9, Booth finally kills him for good with a bullet square to the throat. The fans rejoiced.
- Bait-and-Switch: In the Season 8 finale, everything in the case points to Booth being his next target, but as Angela finds out later, Sweets is the one that's actually in Pelant's crosshairs.
- Cardboard Prison: Formerly had a tracking device intended to keep him under house arrest. It proved utterly useless.
- Character Death: Booth finally kills him early in the ninth season.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Evil Counterpart: Can be seen as this to Angela. They are both people whose talents are focused on tech, but also have a great understanding and interest in art. Angela is the most caring and emotional individual on the main cast, while Pelant's interest on Brennan makes of him a Yandere.
- 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.
- Fatal Flaw: His obsession with Bones is what ultimately leads to his death.
- Flat "What.": Famous Last Words.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It's Personal: He initially was a Well-Intentioned Extremist of sorts, as, unlike the Gravedigger, he did not mess with the team directly. Only upon Brennan consulting with Ethan Sawyer, did he retaliate back. Later, after Hodgins nearly choked him, he went after his family and fortune. And then, after Booth shot him in the face, he set his sights on him and his relationship with Brennan.
- 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.
- Sadistic Choice: Likes to present people with these. They never work, because Pelant is completely blind to the idea of people not caring about themselves over others, and every single one is built on the theme.
- Two-Faced: The left side of his face is normal, but the right looks like a stitched-together hamburger.
- 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.
- Villainous Crush: He becomes obsessed with Bones and some of his actions are an attempt to ruin her relationship with Booth.
- Would Hurt a Child: As part of a Sadistic Choice, forces Hodgins and Angela to choose between saving Hodgins' fortune as the sole heir to the Cantilever Group and stopping a hijacked predator drone from bombing a girl's school in Afghanistan. They end up choosing the latter and it was an easier choice than one might think, given how Hodgins feels about being Secretly Wealthy.
The Ghost Killer
aka: Stephanie McNamara. A mysterious serial killer with no particular MO, that only Pelant knows about, and uses that knowledge to try to convince Brennan to work with him.
- Abusive Parents: Her father used to lock her in a barn and leave her there.
- Attention Whore: To her Father. Her first victim is her father's rape victim, who she believed to be stealing her father's attention.
- Asshole Victim: She is killed by the man she falsely convicted for her first murder.
- Body Horror: She tore off her victim's nails to put in her own hands, after all her nails were gone.
- Child Prodigy: Invoked by Cam when they find out that her first victim was killed when she was 15, making her the youngest Serial Killler in the series, since Pelant started killing at 16/17.
- Cain and Abel: Her older brother was her last victim before she herself was killed
- Dark and Troubled Past: Her father used to lock her in a closet, to which she tried to get out, though in the process, all her nails were torn off.
- Freudian Excuse: All of her psychotic episodes started because of her father being a Control Freak.
- It's All About Me: If she even has a motive, this would be it. She murdered a RAPE VICTIM, instead of turning her father (the rapist) into the police, because she was angry that he would pay attention to the girl, but not her and believed he would pay more attention to her now that she killed his victim. When he simply paid off the police to cover it up, she continued killing people in an attempt to make his pay attention to her, only to met with the same results. When her older, play-boy brother truly fell in love and wanted to marry a seventeen year old who was sailing around the world, she killed her for taking her brother away. Years later, she kills her own brother because his girlfriend's case was reopened and she was mad that he wouldn't just forget her.
- Karma Houdini: She started killing during high school, and went won to murder various victims for 18 years, never being caught.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The man she framed for her first murder comes back to kill her in the same way she killed her first victim.
- Rich Bitch: As Stephanie McNamara.
- Samus Is a Girl: Pelant points out that he believes that the Ghost killer is a woman, the reason why is never established.
- Serial Killer: With no particular MO or reason to kill.
- The Unfought: By the time they caught her, she was the victim of the week.
- Yandere: After her father raped a classmate of hers, she killed her, believing she was stealing her father's love. She murdered her older brother's girl friend two years later when he intended to propose to the girl, therefor leaving her and their family. She claims her brother as her last victem as he had become obsessed with his dead girlfriend again after her case was reopened.
- Walking Spoiler
A mysterious, unidentified serial killer. They get their name from the fact that they turn their victims into puppets that they dress up and play with before discarding them six months after the murder. They appear to have a strong hatred of the Jeffersonian team and anyone connected to them, including their families, and have been shown to have an obsession with Brennan as well as a connection to former team member Zack Addy
- Abusive Parents: Played with; the team believes that the reason he taxidermyies and grooms his victims bodies is because he wants to have them as parental substitutes to replace the memories of his real parents.
- Dead Guy Puppet: How he got his nickname
- The Dreaded: He manipulates multiple associates and they all are downright terrified of him. The Creepy Old Guy who cared for the house were he lived with his victims body's was so terrified of him that he decided to commit suicide to spare himself the agony of what The Puppeteer would do to him for being caught by the cops. The former criminal; who's puppet theater and workshop the killer rented for his base, only saw the guy once (and didn't even get a look at his face) but was so horrified by whatever he saw that he was permanently traumatized and erased it from his mind. It doesn't hurt that the team is even more scared of him than any of the previous serial killers, either.
- Manipulative Bastard: He has manipulated multiple associates so that he wouldn't get caught, but Hodgins claims him as this for another reason. Once the killer focused on the Team, he began changing his pattern and manipulating the evidence to manipulate them to such an extent, in fact, that Cam and Hodgins believe that they cannot trust the evidence or take it at face value at all.
- Serial Killer