Accidental Misnaming: The school principal constantly calls her "Cassie Wright", and doesn't even seem to notice when she corrects him, spurring this exchange:
Mr. Morton: We're really sorry about this incident, Cassie...
Carrie: IT'S CARRIE!(With her mind, she knocks the ashtray off the table)
Adaptational Attractiveness: In the book, she is portrayed as being rather pudgy and covered in acne. Among the actresses who have played her are Sissy Spacek and Chloe Moretz. However, the book's description is given as she is looking in a mirror at her own face, so the written portrayal could be interpreted as how she sees herself at that moment, in which case her flaws are being exaggerated (as teenagers in Real Life are fairly prone to doing), whereas most might actually see her as rather pretty. Tommy actually thinks she's beautiful when he picks her up for the prom.
Beautiful All Along / She Cleans Up Nicely: At the prom. Justified in the novel; before the prom, she deliberately wore unflattering clothes, because her mother believed that trying to look attractive is sinful.
Beauty Inversion: In the 2002 remake, her drab clothes, messy hair and something about not washing her face or anything definitely hid any beauty that Angela Bettis had, making it that much more special when she went to the prom.
Despair Event Horizon: After a lifetime of being made feel worthless by everybody around her — especially her own mother — the three people to finally reach out to her also (at least in her mind) betray her. Tommy, Sue, and the gym teacher were all completely innocent (the real villains were Chris and Billy), but she didn't know that. Understandably, this would dash any last shred of hope for humanity she might have had. The utter shame of it all is that Tommy had genuinely fallen in love with her, and (in the movie) was visibly angry when the prank was pulled.
The 2013 version adds an interesting touch: showing her crying over Tommy after the bucket hits his head, and knocks him out/kills him (unclear which), implying that she knew he was innocent, and what happened to him just pissed her off more.
Death Glare: Gives one to pretty much everybody during the prom scene.
Deus Angst Machina: Not only does she have to contend with an abusive mother, but she's also a complete social outcast in school.
Disappeared Dad / Parental Abandonment: In the novel, Carrie's father was killed in a construction accident seven months before she was born. In the 1976 film, he ran off and left the family. In the 2013 film, the reason for his absence is never stated. In The Musical, it's heavily implied he ran out on Margaret after she became pregnant (which would certainly explain a lot about Margaret's distrust towards men).
A retroactive example, given that Carrie was published 25 years before Columbine.
The Dog Bites Back: Once she realizes her gift, she's quick to turn it on her abusive mother.
Faking the Dead: In the '02 version, she does this with Sue's help in order to start a new life for herself.
Famous Last Words: There are two cases of this. First in the book as heard telepathically by Sue, "[Momma Momma Momma oooooooooooo 0000000]", and in the 2013 movie just before she sacrifices herself to save Sue, "It's a girl", followed by "You didn't know?"
Freudian Excuse: Having Margaret White as a mother can excuse practically anything.
Innocently Insensitive: In the book and the 2013 film, Chris justifies her mistreatment of Carrie by saying that Carrie has previously expressed the sentiment that everyone but herself and her mother are going to Hell. Given that Margaret says similar things around Carrie all the time and that Carrie was kept sheltered for years until the state said that she couldn't be homeschooled anymore, it's extremely likely that Carrie thought that this was a perfectly normal thing to say, having never learned that other people would find it offensive.
Legend Fades to Myth: In the sequel, Rachel mentions that a mountain of conspiracy theories has developed around Carrie and her rampage.
Little Dead Riding Hood: In the book, her prom dress is red. It's pink in the movie, although Margaret mistakes it for red (and she promptly corrects her).
Loners Are Freaks: This trope is a large part of her problem with getting accepted by her classmates.
Meaningful Name: The color white is associated with innocence and purity, values her mother is trying to instill in her.
Pstandard Psychic Pstance: She does this subtly — usually, all she does is look at her target, as evidenced when she throws the asshole kid off his bike, or locks down the school gym. However, when she slams shut all the windows and doors in her house, she doesn't even do this. In the 2013 version, she uses various hand-motions.
Christianity is Catholic: In the '76 film, a lot of the religious iconography that shows up in her house is Catholic, even though it's strongly implied in the book that her beliefs are rooted in fundamentalist Protestantism of the old-time Puritan variety, which has... issues with the Catholic Church. Averted in the 2013 version, where she quotes some decidedly bizarre and skewed scripture that Carrie claims isn't in the bible. She'd probably know though.
Crucified Villain Shot: In the '76 film and the 2013 remake, Carrie kills her by crucifying her against the doorway with kitchen knives, in the style of the St. Sebastian figurine in her chapel.
Death By A Thousand Cuts: Carrie telekinetically stabbed her with multiple knives in the 1976 and 2013 versions. Her 2002 death is more closely matched to the book.
The Fundamentalist: Taken to its most insane extreme. In the book, she's considered crazy even by other Christian fundamentalists.
The Grinch: The Viral Marketing for the 2013 version includes a phone number that people can dial, with a recording of Carrie and Margaret on the other end. Around Christmas, the message on the other end had Margaret grabbing the phone from Carrie and telling the caller that Christmas was an evil holiday that had been corrupted by greed, and that it should only be spent praying.
"The birth of our Lord is a time to repent, not to feast on cake."
She doesn't view Valentine's Day much better; the message in February had Margaret insulting the caller as a "whore" for celebrating the holiday.
Hollywood Heart Attack: In the book and in the '02 version, Carrie kills her by psychically squeezing her heart until it stops beating.
Hypocrite: For a fundamentalist, Margaret has no problem flat-out making up Bible passages. Specifically, justabouteverything from her rant to Carrie about how women are cursed with sin is nowhere to be found in the Bible. Given the strong statements found in Scripture against changing or adding to it...
This is recognized in the '13 version. While Margaret is ranting at Carrie, Carrie calls her out for making up passages from The Bible to suit her agenda.
Large Ham: Piper Laurie's performance in the '76 version. Laurie felt that her character and performance were so over-the-top that the film had to be a Black Comedy, and she still maintains that to be the case to this day. In an interview on the DVD extras for the 1976 version, Betty Buckley (who played the gym teacher in the film and Margaret in the Broadway non-parody musical) notes the relationship between Margaret and Carrie to be "operatic."
My Beloved Smother: Julianne Moore went into depth on this at ComicCon, saying that, for Margaret, Carrie is the only family she has, and the thought of her leaving her grasp and leaving her all alone is something that she can't bear.
Religious Stereotype: She is every stereotype of Christian fundamentalists rolled into one and mixed liberally with raving insanity.
Self Harm: She is prone to hitting and scratching herself as a means of guilt-tripping Carrie, especially after Carrie starts using her powers and Margaret can no long control her. She also does it covertly at the sewing shop while talking to a customer about a dress, clearly self-aware enough to realize that insulting the customer would be a bad idea. Carrie telekinetically stops her later on, telling her that it isn't going to work any more.
Sex Is Evil: She believes all sex, even within marriage, to be sinful.
Soft-Spoken Sadist: In the 2013 movie. "You know the devil never dies...he keeps coming back. You gotta keep killing him."
True Final Boss: Just when you thought that chaos will be over once Carrie gets the Chris/Billy couple, Margaret tries to kill her once she gets home.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Everything she does in the story, from visiting people's doors to attempting murder, is because she believes she's helping people in desperate need of saving. Her intentions are good, but her actions are reprehensible.
Even more prominent in The Musical, where she doesn't want to kill Carrie, but thinks she has to because she's a "witch." In most stagings, she's crying as she stabs Carrie—and she sings "Carrie (Reprise)" as a way to give her one last moment of comfort just before she dies. While it's still a horrible, horrible thing to do, and we're glad when Carrie kills her, but it's hard not to sympathize with Margaret, just for a moment...
Widow Woman: In the book. The film has her claiming this, but Carrie counters that her husband merely ran off with another woman. As shown by the sequel, Carrie's right.
Woman in Black: In the novel, she usually wears black clothing. She's evil, of course.
In the '76 film she not only wears black, she wears a black cape.
Amy Irving (1976 version, and its sequel) Kandyse McClure (2002 version) Gabriella Wilde (2013 version)
Susan "Sue" Snell is a popular high school student who feels guilty about taking part in the humiliation of Carrie in the showers. To make up for it, she asks her athlete boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the prom instead of her, choosing to stay home on prom night. She is one of the survivors of Carrie's rampage, and in the sequel, she has become a guidance counselor at the new high school.
Convicted by Public Opinion: In the book, after the "Black Prom" she and Tommy are blamed for having driven Carrie over the edge. From the snippets we see of her memoirs, she spends the rest of her life trying to live it down.
Dawson Casting: 23-year-old Irving in the '76 version, 22-year-old McClure in the '02 version, and 23-year-old Wilde in the '13 version.
Final Girl: She is the only survivor out of the main cast in the '76 version.
Mind Rape: At the end of the book, a dying Carrie does this to her, angry about the prank that she thought Sue had pulled on her... only to find that she had meant her no harm, and that she hadn't planned to humiliate her at the prom. She even lets her into her mind intentionally to prove this to her.
Oh Crap: In the sequel, she has this when she sees Rachel telekinetically destroying the snowglobe in her office in a fit of anger. She remembers very clearly what had happened with Carrie, thank-you-very-much.
Only Sane Girl: In the 1976 version she finds out about Chris and Billy's plot against Carrie at the prom and very nearly blows the whole thing wide open.
Race Lift: She was played by black South African-Canadian actress Kandyse McClure in the '02 version.
Thomas "Tommy" Everett Ross is one of the stars of the school's baseball team and the boyfriend of Sue, and their relationship has recently become more intimate. After taking part in Carrie's humiliation in the shower, Sue, feeling sorry for what she did, asks Tommy to take Carrie to the prom in order to make up for it, to which Tommy reluctantly agrees.
Academic Athlete: In the novel, he's a straight-A student and a talented amateur writer who has had his poems published in several journals, and wants to get a university degree before pursuing a career in professional baseball.
Brainless Beauty: Both film adaptations retain his niceness, but turn him into this for no readily apparent reason. Rather, the 2013 version doesn't mention his grades, but he does seem sincere when he compliments Carrie's poem.
Killed Off for Real: Very likely. Either by fractured skull or burned to death in his unconsiousness.
Lovable Jock: In addition to being a star athlete, he's also a very good-hearted, likable person, and one of the few people who stands up for Carrie, though he is reluctant to take her to the prom. It's also mentioned in the Scrapbook Story that none of his surviving classmates had anything bad to say about him, which, considering that most of the survivors were social outcasts who hadn't been invited to the prom, suggests that he was pretty much the opposite of the "jerk jock" stereotype.
Jerk Jock: However, as shown by the book's Scrapbook Story, he's treated like this afterwards (along with Sue, who gets retconned into an Alpha Bitch) so that the people investigating the incident can have an easy scapegoat.
Only Sane Man: He seems to be this at the prom. Too bad he gets knocked out before the disaster occurs.
In the 1976 film version he has just enough time to look up and see the knocked down bucket, thereby piecing two and two together, and is clearly outraged at the prank towards Carrie as he angrily mouths "What the hell?" to the students while pointing upwards at the bucket. Had he not been knocked unconscious immediately afterwards, he very likely would have been able to calm Carrie down and defuse the situation.
Similar in the 2002 version, he angrily throws his crown to the floor.
In the 2013 version he yells "What the hell!" to the students after the prank occurs, looking very pissed off.
Rita L. Desjardin is the gym teacher at the high school, who feels a mix of pity and annoyance at Carrie for her social awkwardness. After Carrie is humiliated in the showers, Rita is quick to punish those responsible with a week's detention, with her, after school, with failure to show up leading to one being barred from the prom.In the 1976 film, her name was changed to Miss Collins, while in the Broadway adaptation, she became Miss Gardiner. Both remakes kept the name she had in the books, but the 2002 version changed the spelling to "Desjarden".
Does Not Like Men: In the book and the '02 version, she says that the reason why the administration made her tone down her punishment was because all of them were men, and that none of them would understand what Carrie had gone through.
Lesbian Jock: Betty Buckley has said that she played her as one in the '76 version. However, instead of being a Butch Lesbian like many versions of this trope, she has a very feminine appearance, and the bulk of her interaction with Carrie is complimenting her looks and giving her beauty tips. She also mentions having taken a date to her own prom, although this doesn't rule out her being bisexual and/or closeted — she most likely would have attended her prom in The Sixties, before the gay rights movement lifted most of the taboos surrounding homosexuality.
Race Lift: A comparatively mild example. The 1976 film changes her ethnicity from Frenchnote Or more specifically, French-Canadian. The story is set in Maine, where a quarter of the population has French ancestry, nearly all of whom can trace it to Quebec or the former Acadia. to Irish, while the Broadway adaptation makes her English.
Reasonable Authority Figure: She and the principal are the only adults that provide any help to Carrie (banning Chris from prom only made things worse in the end, but they couldn't have possibly known what would happen at the time), and she gives Carrie some true compassion and respect that she clearly needs.
She Cleans Up Nicely: In the book the narration notes that she looks young enough to be attending the prom rather than chaperoning.
Stern Teacher: She doesn't hesitate to give her class a week of boot-camp detention and threaten them with expulsion from the prom as punishment for humiliating Carrie. However, she drops this attitude when she's with Carrie, treating her with the respect that nobody (save for Sue and Tommy) gives her.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When Sue attempts to stop the prank against Carrie, Desjardin forcibly removes her from the prom, operating under the mistaken belief that she intends to ruin Carrie's coronation. (In the '76 version, it's also because of a previously mentioned rule that students are forbidden to be at prom without a date). This allows the event that triggers Carrie's Roaring Rampage of Revenge to occur. (In the book, she appears to be very aware of this, and lives with the guilt for the rest of her life.) Also, it was her speech that made Sue feel guilty about what happened to Carrie in the first place, which prompted Sue to ask Tommy to take Carrie to the prom. If she hadn't chewed them out, Carrie wouldn't have been in a position to be pranked by Chris.
Nancy Allen (1976 version) Emilie De Ravin (2002 version) Portia Doubleday (2013 version)
Christine "Chris" Hargensen is the Alpha Bitch of the school, and Billy's girlfriend. She leads the class as they humiliate Carrie in the shower. Feeling that Carrie is responsible for her misfortune, she sets out to get revenge on her after finding that she is going to the prom with Tommy, enlisting her Girl Posse, her boyfriend Billy, and his friends in the plan.
Adaptation Dye-Job: She was a brunette in the book, but blonde in the '76 and '02 versions.
Adaptational Villainy: Inverted. While she's already an Alpha Bitch in the films, in the book she was a juvenile delinquent on top of it, and had no problems threatening other students with serious harm. Her boyfriend Billy was likewise toned down.
If anything, her villainy is ratcheted up in the 2013 version, as she not only leads the class in humiliating Carrie in the shower but also films it all on her phone and posts it on YouTube, where it goes viral. The YouTube video is also displayed at the prom after the pig blood scene, which, together with Tommy getting knocked out/killed, sets Carrie off.
Alpha Bitch: To a sociopathic degree. Lampshaded in the parody Scarrie!:
Chris: "The Carrie Whites of the world aren't meant to go out with the Tommy Rosses of the world! For if God had wanted that, he would have given her a kick-ass bod, and long hair that layers easily and DANCES IN THE WIND!!"
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted in the '13 version, where she gets thrown through a windshield, leaving her face torn up with huge shards of glass sticking out of it... and that's before Carrie inflicts the piece de resistance by blowing up the car.
Big Bad Ensemble: She and Billy along with Margaret are the main antagonists in the story.
Blondes are Evil: In the '76 and '02 versions. Averted in the book and in the '13 version — Portia Doubleday, a natural blonde, dyed her hair brown for the role.
Dawson Casting: 26-year-old Allen in the '76 version, 20-year-old de Ravin in the '02 version, and 24-year-old Doubleday in the '13 version.
Delinquent: Her characterization in the book. It's stated that she's been sent to detention 73 times in four years, twenty of them for bullying, and that she skipped most of them. In addition, during Junior High, she had once put a firecracker into a girl's shoe and nearly blew off two of her toes. The film adaptations largely downplay this to focus on her Alpha Bitch tendencies.
Facial Horror: In the '13 version. Getting thrown through a windshield will do that to you.
Never My Fault: Though it was clearly her fault that she got detention and was banned from the prom, instead of taking responsibility, she decides to plot an elaborate revenge against Carrie. She even tries justifying herself by claiming that Carrie was "running around saying everyone except her and her gilt-edged momma were going to hell" as an excuse.
Spoiled Brat/Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Her father, a rich lawyer, got her into Oberlin despite her poor grades, and threatens to sue the school if they punish Chris for what she did to Carrie in the shower. He backs off when he sees her record of violations. Later, after getting kicked out of the prom, she plans to humiliate Carrie as payback for it, feeling that she is entitled to go to the prom. She's so annoying you just want to squash her. Thanks, Carrie!
Too Dumb to Live: Despite witnessing Carrie waste an entire school with just her mind, Chris still thinks its a good idea to mow Carrie down instead of, say, running like hell for her life. It's especially egregious in the '13 version, where she continues trying to kill Carrie even after watching her kill her boyfriend and tear up the road in front of them, though in that case one could at least make the argument that she'd been blinded by rage and/or fear.
John Travolta (1976 version) Jesse Cadotte (2002 version) Alex Russell (2013 version)
William "Billy" Nolan is Chris' boyfriend. He is one of the school's delinquents, and his characterization ranges from merely a jerkass (in the 1976 film) to outright thuggish (in the book). He frequently hits Chris, and in the book he forces himself on her. He breaks into a local farm in order to kill the pigs and drain their blood into the buckets.
Adaptational Villainy: Inverted. A lot of his more reprehensible aspects are toned down in the film adaptations. While he's still an asshole in the films, in the original book he was a straight-up thug who rapes Chris in one scene.
The Alleged Car: The original book has him driving a rusty, beat-up, jacked-in-the-back '61 Chevy Biscayne with a broken headlight. The film versions, fortunately, upgrade him to something much cooler.
And Starring: The 1976 film has "And introducing John Travolta, in his first motion picture role".
Cool Car: In the '76 film, he drives a '67 Chevelle. Which makes it a damn shame when Carrie blows it up.
He gets a Cool Truck in the '02 version. It suffers a similar fate — Carrie slams it against a tree, roof first.
Dawson Casting: 22-year-old Travolta in the '76 film, and 24-year-old Russell in the '13 version. However, it's stated in the '13 version that he doesn't go to the school, meaning that there's a good chance he's older than high school age.
Henpecked Boyfriend: In the original script for the '13 version, Sue states that, for all of Billy's bravado, Chris essentially has him under her thumb, with it being implied that this is why he agreed to go through with Chris' prank.
Lack of Empathy: He barely knows who Carrie White is, he just wants to destroy her life. In the book, it's stated that he does the prom prank only For the Evulz, and that he would find it just as funny if Chris was the target of the pig blood.
Two First Names: While not common, his last name can be used as a given name.
The Unfettered: Nothing holds him back. Not even his "beloved" girlfriend.
Tina Blake / Norma Watson
P. J. Soles (1976 version) Katharine Isabelle (2002 version; plays Tina) Meghan Black (2002 version; plays Norma) Zoe Belkin (2013 version)
Tina Blake is Chris' best friend and part of her Girl Posse, and just as catty as she is. She assists Chris in her plan to humiliate Carrie; she is the one who switches out the ballots to get her and Tommy in position.In the 1976 film, her character takes the name of Norma Watson, who was a fairly minor character in the book. Both characters exist in the 2002 film - Norma being portrayed as a peppy overachiever in charge of the prom.
Adaptation Dye-Job: Tina is described as redhead in the book but is brunette in the '02 and '13 films. Norma is blonde in the book and played by blonde PJ Soles - but she becomes a brunette in the '02 film.
Adorkable: P. J. Soles as Norma in the '76 version. She may be The Dragon to Chris' council of high school villainy, but she is so dorky and cute you kind of want to let it slide. Especially after seeing her get her hair done in the salon, and still wearing her trademark hat on top of the dryer.
Bare Your Midriff: In the '02 version, most of Tina's shirts are tied off at the bottom so that they do this.
Evil Redhead: In the book, Tina is described as a "small, pretty girl with a billow of red hair". However it's a subversion since she's not explicitly evil in the book - as the worst thing she does is participate in the shower incident. In the films where she is evil, she is brunette.
Girl Posse: Part of it, and the most important member barring Chris herself.
Iconic Outfit: Norma's red baseball cap in the '76 version, which she is never seen without — she wears it to prom, and even at the hairdresser, where it's sitting atop her hair dryer. Reportedly, this was P. J. Soles' idea.
Kill It with Fire: Her death in the '13 version. Carrie sets her dress on fire and immolates her alive.
A minor side character in the book who functions as one of Sue's best friends. In the first two films she is combined with Frieda Jason, a girl who is nice to Carrie at the prom. She is left out of the '13 film completely.
Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted for the '76 film. Her looks aren't commented on in the book but she is nominated for Prom Queen - which implies she is pretty. In the film she is a chubby girl who is the Butt Monkey of Chris's posse. She also appears to not have a date for the prom. But in the '02 film she is played by the very pretty Chelan Simmons.
Adaptational Heroism: While not an evil character in the book, the '02 film has her being nice to Carrie at the prom and spotting the bucket of blood moments before it spills - and trying to stop it.
Blondes are Evil: Initially in the '02 film but subverted about halfway through.
Butt Monkey: In the '76 film she seems to get picked on a lot by Chris's group.
Composite Character: With Frieda Jason in the first two films. Helen is the one who talks with Sue while decorating the prom, and Frieda is the girl who is nice to Carrie at the prom. Frieda takes both roles in the '76 film (and Helen has a completely different role) while Helen does both in the '02 film.
Hypocritical Humour: This is after she makes fun of Tommy and Roy for acting gay with each other.
Carrie White's father, and Margaret's husband. A former construction worker who found God, Ralph promised to Margaret that their marriage would be free of "sin" (i.e. sex), but came home drunk one night and raped her, producing Carrie. The book says that he was killed in an accident on the job not long after, but the film has him running off with another woman instead. The sequel reveals that he later fathered Rachel Lang, making her and Carrie half-sisters.
A high school outcast who has been bounced around the foster care system after her mother was institutionalized. Like her half-sister Carrie White, she possesses Psychic Powers and uses them to take revenge against bullies — in this case, the Jerk Jocks who drove her best friend Lisa to suicide.
Abusive Parents: While not as bad as Margaret White, Rachel's foster parents are very neglectful and are depicted as Lower Class Louts, and her father has no problem hitting her. In an early scene, it's stated that the only reason they raise her is to get $300 per month from the foster care system.
Sorry, I'm Gay: She claims she's a lesbian in order to stop a classmate from hitting on her.
Played by: Mena Suvari
Rachel's best friend. At the start of the film, she throws herself from the roof of the school after finding out that her boyfriend Eric, whom she gave her virginity, was only dating her for sex in order to score literal points with his buddies.
Death Is Dramatic: Invoked. She kills herself in the middle of the school day in order to get the most attention. Naturally, her death drives much of the plot.
Jesse Ryan is a member of the Bates High School Bulldogs football team. He is highly uncomfortable with his teammates' contest, known as the Game, in which they hook up with girls and score points depending on how hot the girl was, how far the two went, and other variables, and feels pressured into it by them. He strikes up a relationship with Rachel, only for it to be disastrously derailed when she finds out about the Game.
Expy: He seems to be a combination with Tommy and Sue.
Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Arguably subverted. It's implied that he sleeps with Rachel because he honestly loves her as opposed to trying score points for The Game. The verification for this comes just in time to keep Rachel from ending him.
Played by: Dylan Bruno
Mark Bing is the starter of the football team, and the one most committed to the Game. Feeling that the integrity of the team is on the line, he orchestrates a plan to humiliate Rachel after her best friend Lisa kills herself due to his teammate Eric's actions, so as to prevent her from going to the police and spilling the beans as to what they had done.
See "Characters from the book and the film adaptations".
Played by: Zachary Ty Bryan
Eric Stark is the football player who inadvertently drove Lisa to suicide by taking her virginity and then breaking up with her. Fearing for his future, he teams up with his teammate Mark to prevent Rachel from spilling all the details to the police.