Characters / Dawson's Creek

The characters from Dawson's Creek.

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     Dawson Leery
Played by: James Van Der Beek

  • The All-American Boy: Dawson is the classic clean-cut all-American nice guy.
  • Amicable Exes: With both Jen and Joey. Although he had romantic relationships with both, he still managed to remain friends with both of them after their relationships ended.
  • Anchored Ship: Dawson had this type of relationship with Joey throughout the show.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Many, many, many times with Joey throughout the show. Especially in Season 2, Episode 6 when Dawson tells Joey that he loves her for the first time. Unfortunately, he tells her he loves her (and Joey tells Dawson she loves him as well) when they have their first break up.
  • Author Avatar: The character of Dawson Leery is basically the life story of the creator of Dawson's Creek, Kevin Williamson. The story basically tells the life of Kevin during his youth through the character of Dawson. Like Dawson, Kevin had big dreams of becoming a successful director and filmmaker.
  • Bash Brothers: With Pacey. Later on, they went from being best friends to being enemies and rivals.
  • Berserk Button: DO NOT call Dawson "Oompa Loompa". It won't be pretty.
  • Better as Friends: First with Jen and then way later on, with Joey.
  • Betty and Veronica: Originally, Dawson is the Archie to Joey's Betty and Jen's Veronica. Later on, particularly in Seasons 3 and 4, he becomes the Betty to Pacey's Veronica for Joey's Archie.
  • Blue Oni: Dawson and Pacey with Dawson as the Blue Oni to Pacey's Red Oni.
  • Character Title
  • Cock Fight: With Pacey, over the affections of Joey.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Where Joey is concerned.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dawson may not be the class clown like Pacey, but he does have his witty, sarcastic and humorous moments.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: In the series finale, Joey ends up picking Pacey of Dawson as her romantic partner.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: To Joey.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He spends much of the pilot obsessively trying to prove his mother and/or father are cheating on one another in order to "spice up" his movie about them. Joey calls him on out on how he has a family she would kill for but wants them flawed just for "drama."
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Dawson is generally kind, caring and protective of his family and friends.
  • The Hero
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Pacey. Before Joey came between them and broke up their friendship in season three.
  • The Idealist
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Primarily with Joey. He sometimes feared that getting romantically involved with Joey would ruin their strong friendship.
  • Informed Ability: Dawson's ability to direct. Although almost every character tells him that he has the potential to be an excellent director, it is hardly shown throughout the show.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: To match is Hair of Gold.
  • It's All About Me: At times, Dawson can be very self absorbed. Although most of this has to do with Dawson's immaturity and the fact that he is a deep thinker and a dreamer. He often gets caught up in his own thoughts, ideas and problems that he loses track of the thoughts and problems of those around him, especially Joey and Pacey. Even though Dawson is Pacey's best friend, Dawson is sometimes rather oblivious to the emotional abuse that Pacey endures at home.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Primarily in his relationships with Jen and Joey. Dawson would often say that him breaking up with either Jen or Joey had nothing to do with them or anything that they did but it's because of him and what he feels.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Even though Dawson loved Joey, he always wanted what was best for her, even if it wasn't him.
  • The Kirk
  • The Leader: Dawson is Type II.
  • Love Interest: To many different female characters but mainly to Joey. Dawson is also the main love interest to Joey for the majority of the series.
  • Love Triangle: First, with himself, Jen and Joey and later on with himself, Joey and Pacey.
  • Main Character
  • The Movie Buff: Dawson is extremely knowledgeable about films, directors, producers and can name a film or director at the top of his head without even thinking.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Towards Jen in Season 1. After Jen confesses to Dawson that she isn't a virgin, Dawson continues to believe that just because she has had sex, she isn't promiscuous.
  • Narrator: Dawson is the narrator of the story. The show is seen through Dawson's eyes and is told from his point of view.
  • Nice Guy: He's generally a goodhearted person.
  • Oblivious to Love: To Joey for the majority of Season 1, and also, long before the series began (since their childhood).
  • Official Couple: With Joey throughout the series.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Joey before their Relationship Upgrade
  • The Protagonist
  • Reincarnation Romance: With Joey. Dawson and Joey are soul mates, therefore, they have shared many past lives together.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Joey, from season two onwards.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: To Pacey. In the series finale, Joey ends up with Pacey.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Dawson is the Sensitive Guy to Pacey's Manly Man.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Dawson always calls out Joey for being way to pessimistic, jaded and cynical about everything.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: With Joey.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Joey.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Dawson and Joey always had a sexual tension between them going back to season one, however, most of the sexual tension was on behalf of Joey for Dawson, since Dawson was oblivious to Joey's feelings for him.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Dawson is the epitome of someone who is too idealistic. Dawson is a self-proclaimed optimist and dreamer. Even if something goes wrong, he always believes that things will get better, even if the situation looks extremely dire. Both Joey and Pacey frequently call Dawson out on his overly idealistic, dreamer personality.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Joey, especially in the first season.
  • With Friends Like These...: To everyone. He constantly belittles Pacey, manipulates Joey, treats Jen like crap, ignores Jack and can't acknowledge any problems other than his own. While he's idolized by the other characters, the audience is left wondering why any sane human would talk to him.

     Josephine "Joey" Potter
Played by: Katie Holmes

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Joey and Dawson. Since childhood, Joey has always had romantic feelings for Dawson, but Dawson only saw Joey as his best friend.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Joey is tall and brunette. She is also calm, cool, composed and aloof in nature.
  • Always Second Best/Always Someone Better: Felt this way about Jen for season's one and two.
  • Amicable Exes: With Dawson. Even though they both admitted that they were each other's soulmate, they still remained close friends.
  • Anchored Ship: With Dawson throughout the series.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: To Dawson many times.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Pacey in the earlier seasons.
  • Betty and Veronica: Joey is initially the Betty to Jen's Veronica for Dawson's Archie. Later on, Joey is the Archie to Dawson's Betty and Pacey's Veronica.
  • Break the Cutie: Bordering on Break the Haughty considering her personality.
  • Brainy Brunette
  • Broken Bird: Joey is generally cynical, pessimistic and sarcastic in nature. She is essentially troubled and comes from a rather dysfunctional family. Her mother died of cancer when she was younger and her father is a convicted felon who is a drug trafficker.
  • Brutal Honesty: Joey is very blunt and sarcastic. She is opinionated and will never hesitate to say exactly what is on her mind, even if it isn't something pleasant.
  • Character Tics: Often tucks her hair behind her ear.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: First, with Dawson and later on with Pacey. Although, her primary childhood romance is with Dawson. Although she has known both Dawson and Pacey since childhood, she was only in love with Dawson during childhood.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Joey was always intensely jealous of every single female love interest of Dawson's. She was even jealous of any girl who even made eyes at Dawson, most notably Jen in the first season.
  • Cool Loser: Early on, especially in season 1. She's depicted as being stereotypically unpopular, despite being beautiful and intelligent. Joey becomes more approachable and popular later on in the series; she even begins to become a Dude Magnet, especially after she grows out of her tomboy phase and embraces her femininity.
  • The Cynic: Joey is the epitome of cynical and pessimistic. She even teases Dawson about being too much of an idealist, an eternal optimist and a dreamer.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Deus Angst Machina: Joey has been through a lot of tragedy in her life.
  • Deuteragonist: Joey is the deuteragonist to Dawson's protagonist. Even in Season 1, when she is billed fourth in the credits.
  • Disappeared Dad: Her father was in prison for quite some time after Joey's mother died.
  • Dude Magnet Joey doesn't really attract the opposite sex during her high school years. However, later on in the series, she starts to have an abundance of different boyfriends and love interests other than her main object of affection Dawson (these include Pacey, Anderson, Eddie, Jack, A.J., Charlie, Professor David Wilder).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Originally, Joey starts out as a tomboy who lacks any femininity. However, later on in the series, she becomes much more in touch with her girly side. She wears more feminine clothing and ups her cosmetic usage.
  • Girl Next Door
  • Go-Getter Girl: Joey is highly ambitious, scholarly, hard-working, gets straight A's and often volunteers in school extra curricular activities.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Joey is kind of a nerd since she is a major bookworm and a bit of a loner. However, she is not at all unattractive in physical appearance.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Joey is very tall (5'9”); she is this height at only 15 years of age (which is the age she is at the start of the show). She feels insecure about her height especially in the beginning.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Joey has always yearned to be seen as beautiful and special, especially to Dawson.
  • Informed Attribute: Joey's "it" during the college years. She went from merely being seen as very pretty to an absolute knockout whom no heterosexual male in her vicinity could resist falling in love with. See Dude Magnet.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Light Feminine to Jen's and Audrey's Dark Feminine. Somewhat played with as she is a Brainy Brunette and they are both blondes.
  • Love Hurts: In all of her romantic relationships, but primarily with Dawson.
  • Love Interest: Joey is the main love interest to the protagonist Dawson. She later on becomes a love interest for Pacey.
  • Missing Mom: Joey's mother, Lillian, died of cancer when Joey was thirteen.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Joey is a brainiac, but it doesn't prevent her from attracting members of the opposite sex left and right.
  • Odd Friendship: With Audrey in college. Joey and Audrey couldn't be more different in personalities and temperaments but nevertheless, they develop a rather strong friendship. Also has an odd friendship with Jen to a much lesser extent, since two originally started out as rivals.
  • Official Couple: With Dawson throughout the series. Also with Pacey in season three onwards.
  • Parental Abandonment: Joey's mother died when she was thirteen and Joey's father has been in and out of prison for drug trafficking. Because of this, Joey was mostly raised by her elder sister, Bessie.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Dawson, before their Relationship Upgrade.
  • Reincarnation Romance: With Dawson. Dawson and Joey are soul mates, meaning that they have shared many past lives together.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Dawson in season two onwards.
  • She's All Grown Up: Joey was never found to be attractive or appealing to her childhood friends Dawson and Pacey. At least not until Joey's teen and adult years.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Joey often lectures Dawson about being too idealistic and too much of a dreamer.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Mostly with Dawson but also with Pacey.
  • The Smart Girl
  • The Snark Queen: Joey is the embodiment of this trope. She is almost always sarcastic.
  • The Spock
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Although the series is named Dawsons Creek and the main character and protagonist is Dawson, Joey is the only character who had been in all of the episodes.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: With Dawson.
  • Stepford Snarker
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality
  • Tomboy
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Joey and Jen with Joey being the Tomboy to Jen's Girly Girl. This was primarily in the first few season's; eventually, Joey goes through a Girliness Upgrade in the later seasons.
  • Tomboyish Name: Joey is a nickname for her full first name, Josephine.
  • Tsundere: Joey is a Type A, often in her interactions towards Dawson and Pacey.
  • Unrequited Love: Joey was in love with Dawson but he didn't feel the same way about her in the first season. Subverted as this changes when Dawson eventually reciprocates Joey's feelings.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Her relationship with Dawson and later on with Pacey.

     Jennifer "Jen" Lindley
Played By: Michelle Williams

  • Anyone Can Die: Jen dies after succumbing to a fatal heart condition after she collapses in the series finale.
  • Always Someone Better/Always Second Best: Joey feels this way about Jen in season 1.
  • Betty and Veronica: In Season 1, Jen is the Veronica to Joey's Betty for Dawson's Archie.
  • Broken Bird: Jen is a troubled girl and comes from a background of dysfunction. Jen gives off a rather cynical and pessimistic vibe; because of this, she seems to have low self-worth and low self-esteem.
  • The Chick: Although Joey is the main female character, Jen is seen as the one who has social influence on the core group. She is often the one who tries to bring everyone together, regardless of differing personalities, temperaments and outlooks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jen is capable of making incredibly witty, sarcastic and snarky comments whenever the mood strikes her.
  • Dude Magnet
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Jen attracts many members of the opposite sex primarily because she is a blonde bombshell. She also gains popularity and eventually becomes head cheerleader of the school's cheerleading squad. Jen is also nominated for Homecoming Queen and she wins the title.
  • Fag Hag: Jen is this to Jack.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
  • Girly Girl
  • Girl Next Door: Averted. She is the “girl next door” only because she is literally next door neighbor to Dawson.
  • Good Bad Girl: Although Jen is a good-hearted person who has good intentions, she is willing to cross the moral line from time to time. She often engages in hard partying, drinking, drug use and promiscuous sex.
  • Hands-Off Parenting
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Especially during her younger teen years and in Season 2. Jen lived a wild, out of control and an unpredictable lifestyle while still living with her parents in New York.
  • Hello, Nurse!
  • Ill Girl: It was discovered at the end of the series that Jen had a serious heart condition. Sadly, this heart condition was fatal and she passed away due to complications of the heart condition in the series finale.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Jen has always yearned to have a normal life with a normal family. Unfortunately, her dysfunctional background and her wild past often makes Jen feel that she is incapable of having a happy, normal life.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Naïve Newcomer: Jen was new to Capeside in Season 1. She was the new addition to the trio of Dawson, Joey and Pacey.
  • New Transfer Student: In Season 1.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: In Season 2, Dawson rejects Jen after she attempts to seduce him.
  • Odd Friendship: With basically the entire cast, mainly with the main trio (Dawson, Joey and Pacey).
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Jack. Jen forms a very strong bond and friendship with Jack, especially from Season 3 onwards.
  • Really Gets Around: Before coming to Capeside, Jen had the reputation of having a lot of promiscuous sex. She still retains this reputation in Capeside.
  • Satellite Love Interest: When Jen was introduced as character, her primary purpose was to serve as the protagonist Dawson's main love interest.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Mostly with Dawson in Season 1. Jen has been with her fair share of bad boys, but she sees Dawson as one of the few good guys that she's ever encountered.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Joey's Tomboy. However, this later changes when Joey embraces her more feminine, girly side.

     Pacey Witter
Played by: Joshua Jackson

     Other Characters 

Jack McPhee

Andrea "Andie" McPhee

Audrey Liddell

Gail Leery

Mitch Leery

Evelyn "Grams" Ryan

Abigail "Abby" Morgan

Doug Witter

  • Aloof Big Brother: To Pacey.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Played with until the end of the series.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Actually does care about Pacey in a stern kind of way. Forced to do a ride-along with Doug during his police shift, Pacey comes to realize just how much Doug helps the people in town.
  • Neat Freak: One of the stereotypically gay traits used to hint at his sexuality.