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Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel)
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, Brennan is significantly older.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Has something going on with the lack of social skills and poor metaphor grasping.
- Badass Bookworm: Catching crooks by examining bone fragments and other evidence.
- Berserk Button: Wait a second, did you just put Booth down for the count? Uh-oh, never mind the Chickification, here she comes. Nice knowing you.
- Brutal Honesty: Her mouth basically has no filter.
- 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. Well, she deals with bones, so it had to happen.
- Character Title: She's the Bones.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Had a very, very had time in the foster system.
- 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, 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).
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Not So Stoic: It's frequently shown that her rationality is a facade to protect her from a big, scary world.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. He has some guilt over that.
- Control Freak: Spelled out explicitly by Gordon Gordon.
- 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.
- FBI Agent: His job is to do the interrogating and arresting.
- 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).
- 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.
Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne)
- 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.
- 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 smile guy" with Angela, his eventual wife.
- 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.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He is the go to guy for anything that isn't related to forensic anthropology.
- 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".
- The Smart Guy: Will usually end up doing the most hard science in a case.
Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin)
- 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.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: It's 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. 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.
- 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)
- The Alleged Boss: Cam may struggle—and occasionally succeed—at maintaining her authority, but it doesn't always work.
- Benevolent Boss: Much less imposing than her immediate predecessor, although she can still crack the whip if she needs to.
- The Coroner: Having worked for the New York Police, she's the most comfortable with the fleshy part of the team's job.
- Moral Myopia: Fires Wendell when she finds out that he's using medical marijuna to treat his cancer because the Jeffersonian is a federal institution and it's 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.
- The Nicknamer:
- Hodge-Podge 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.
- Old Shame: In-Universe example. Her stint as an actress in a horror film.
- Only Sane Woman
- 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.
Dr. Daniel Goodman (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
- Deadpan SnarkerGoodman: He smells with his gut, what does he use his nose for?
Zack Addy (Eric Millegan)
- 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."
- 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.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
- 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.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: As the apprentice to Gormogon.
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 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.
- 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."
- 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."
- 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.
- Nerds Are Sexy: "If I killed everyone who looked at me lustily, I wouldn't have made it out of school."
- Verbal Tic: His random facts seem to be a compulsion and increase when he's stressed.
Daisy Wick (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.
- Goofy Print Underwear: Wears "day of the week" panties.
Clark Edison (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.
- Not So Above It All: He loosens up considerably by the middle of season 6.
- 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?
Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry)
- The Everyman: Came from a humble background and has had a lot of less sophisticated jobs.
- Romantic Runner-Up: He's Angela's replacement for Hodgins when they break up.
- 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.
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.
- Nice Guy: He made Angela a mix tape to cheer her up after her breakup with Roxy back when he barely even knew Angela.
- "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 (deservingly) 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.
- 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.
Colin Fisher (Joel Moore)
Finn Abernathy (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.
- And a retaliation for Hodgins rather derisively calling him "Opie."
- 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.
Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley)
- Abusive Parents: His birth parents left him with deep physical and emotional scars.
- 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 order 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 she her reaction. But thankfully he got better.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Leukine.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name: He is a ridiculously 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.
- 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.
Gordon Gordon Wyatt (Stephen Fry)
- 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 pyschology to become a professional chef. He made one apperance in Season 5 when Booth sought him for some personal help, and hasn't been seen since.
Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher)
- Heel-Face Turn: Her flashback self was rather more politically motivated in her behavior, and accused Booth of same.
- 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.
- Verbal Tic: "Cherie".
James Aubrey (John Boyd)
Max Keenan (Ryan O'Neal)
- Retired Badass: He 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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 Runner-Up: Booth is worried that she feels like this for Bones. However, she's confident enough to not be worried.
The Gravedigger aka: Heather Taffet (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.
- Serial Killer: Though the general MO is to kidnap for ransom, if they don't pay the victims are killed.
Howard Epps (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.
- 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.
Jacob 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.
- Character Death: Booth finally kills him early in the ninth season.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.