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Characters: Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks)

  • The Ace: Forrest is this most of the time without even realizing it.
  • Accidental Athlete: Forrest ends up as a running back on Paul "Bear" Bryant's University of Alabama team when a couple of bullies chase him and he ends up running through the school field when the team was practicing. It helps when you consider exactly who he was seen by. For those of you unaware, Bryant is universally considered to be one of the greatest American football coaches of all time.
  • Accidental Hero: Of a sort. Forrest ran back into the combat zone to try finding Bubba, only to be called upon by other soldiers to rescue them, which he did by carrying them to the river. What he did was technically heroic but he didn't intend to save four others and be awarded the Medal of Honor. On the other hand, he did intend to save Bubba, and he was aware of the danger of the situation.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Forrest is so dense that he routinely attempts things other people wouldn't even consider, and so single-minded that he puts his maximum effort into everything he does. As a result, he meets spectacular success while the skeptics are left scratching their heads.
  • Almighty Janitor: After his myriad accomplishments that leave him a war hero, shaper of history, and gazillionaire, Forrest accepts the prestigious job of groundskeeper at the University of Alabama, which he ends up doing for free because he likes it so much. Hey, at least he's keeping busy.
  • Badass: Heck yeah.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Grows one on his cross-country jogging spree.
  • Berserk Button: I dare you to lay a hand on Jenny whenever Forrest is around. Go ahead, try it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Well meaning in general, but if you tap his aforementioned Berserk Button...
  • Born Lucky: Forrest just falls ass-backwards into multiple jaw-dropping accomplishments; any one of which other people could spend their whole lives trying to achieve.
  • Buffy Speak: Forrest's Verbal Tic.
  • Catch Phrase: Forrest is rather good with these (many of which have become pop culture icons):
    • "Life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get."
    • "Stupid is as stupid does."
    • "My name's Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump."
    • "And that's all I have to say about that..."
    • "And just like that, my [x] days was over..."
    • "But most of all, I thought about Jenny..."
    • "A-GAIN..."
  • Disappeared Dad: "He's on vacation."
  • Dumb Is Good: Forrest is this trope.
  • The Dutiful Son
  • The Fool: One thing for certain about this movie is that Forrest has pure luck on his side (or fate, whichever one you prefer to call it).
  • Genius Ditz: In the books.
  • Good Ol' Boy: ...from Greenbow, Alabama.
  • The Hero
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Bubba seemed destined to be this until Bubba's death. Forrest and Lt. Dan become a variation of this afterward.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton
  • Literal-Minded
  • Mooning: President Johnson found out how Literal-Minded Forrest is the hard way when he joked that he would like to see his "million dollar wound."
  • Nice Guy
  • Potty Emergency: "I gotta pee!" Drinking 15 Dr. Peppers will do that to you.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Puppy Love: With Jenny, as children.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool
  • Super Speed: A mundane version, but a lot of Forrests' talents and accomplishments such as his football stardom, his super-fast gun-loading, his war heroism, and his uncanny talent for ping-pong, all come from being able to move and act extremely fast.
  • Too Quirky To Lose
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Forrest doesn't see it, but Lt. Dan has a lot of anger towards him and generally treats him with contempt. But underneath it is an appreciation that Forrest holds no grudges and will do anything to help a person in need. By the end, there is no doubt they are best friends.

Jenny Curran (Robin Wright)

  • Abusive Parents: In the words of Forrest, who didn't quite understand what was going on in the Curran household: "Her father was a very loving man. He was always kissing and touching her and her sisters..."
  • Animal Motifs: She's always associated with birds, from the moment she asks Forrest to pray with her.
  • Death by Adaptation: Jenny survives the original novel, although she is killed off at the beginning of the sequel novel, Gump and Co.
  • Driven to Suicide: The first time is after her nude guitar show when she is standing on a bridge and talking to Forrest about the time they prayed together. She is about to leap out of her shoes until slowly stepping back down. The second is when she's high on drugs and standing on an apartment balcony, ready to do a swan dive into the streets below... but comes to her senses at the last moment and climbs off the ledge.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the sequel novel, Gump and Co., when she dies quite early.
  • False Soulmate: To Forrest until the end.
  • The Hedonist: Becomes this in her adulthood.
  • No Last Name Given: Her last name, "Curran", is never spoken in the film; we only find out that it's "Curran" from a batch of letters Forrest gets in the Army.
  • Puppy Love: With Forrest, as children.
  • Rape as Backstory
  • Really Gets Around
  • The Stoner: As an adult.

Lieutenant Dan Taylor (Gary Sinise)

  • An Arm and a Leg: Lt. Dan loses his legs in combat and winds up with Magic Legs (prosthetic legs)!
  • Beard of Sorrow: Grows one when he and Forrest catch up after the War.
  • Berserk Button: "Don't you ever call him stupid!"
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Death Seeker: He's had a family member die in every single war America has fought in, and thus feels it's his duty to do the same in Vietnam. He actually has a nervous breakdown after Forrest rescues him, because not only has he lost his legs, he doesn't know what to do now. He eventually gets better.
    • Disabled Snarker: Having no legs breaks his morale, but doesn't take away his sense of sarcasm.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the sequel novel, Gump and Co., when he gets killed by friendly fire during Operation Desert Storm.
  • First Name Basis: Forrest always calls him "Lt. Dan", even after the War.
  • Handicapped Badass
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A classic example.
  • The Lancer: Becomes this to Forrest after Bubba's death.
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: Has a moment of this when the Jenny gets caught in Hurricane Carmen.
  • Try Not to Die: One of Lt. Dan's two standing orders for his platoon (the other one is to always, always change your socks for clean ones regularly).

Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue (Mykelti Williamson)

Mama Gump (Sally Field)

FollowingCharacterSheets/Live-Action FilmsGalaxy Quest

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