Characters: Gilligan's Island

This page is for the seven stranded castaways on Gilligan's Island.

Castaway Tropes

Willy 'Little Buddy' Gilligan (Bob Denver)

"With Gilligan..."

The first mate on the Minnow. His defining personality trait is his stupidity, which often ruins the castaways' plans to get off the island. However, he also tends to inadvertently solve many of the problems the castaways face.
Tropes associated with Gilligan:
  • Achievements in Ignorance
  • Chaste Hero
  • The Ditz
  • Dumb Is Good: Often portrayed as the most kindhearted and noble of the castaways.
  • The Ingenue: A male version.
  • The Ego
  • The Fool: The God of this trope.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With the Skipper. Granted, it's mixed with Vitriolic Best Buds (at least on the Skipper's end), but they bunk together, work together, stick up for each other, served together in the war, and panic when they believe the other is in danger.
  • Improbable Age: Possibly combined with Dawson Casting. Gilligan is supposed to have served with the Skipper in World War II, which would put his age around 40 at the time of the series. But Bob Denver was born in 1935, which meant he was only ten years old when the war ended.
  • Limited Wardrobe
  • Man Child: The most childlike and innocent of the castaways.
  • The Millstone: One of the most prominent examples in TV. history. However, it should be noted that he personally ruined only 17 of the 37 escape attempts in the 98 episodes of the show.
  • Nice Hat: His bucket-style sailor's hat, which was apparently so nice that after the show was cancelled, Bob Denver wore some variation of it sporadically in public for the rest of his life.
  • Number Two
  • Only One Name: Creator Sherwood Schwartz said his first name was Willy, but all people called him was Gilligan, even when a radio announcer, who even called the skipper and professor by their rarely used real names, just called him Gilligan in the pilot. His first name is never uttered in any episode or movie and unlike Mrs. Howell (whose real first name is likewise never uttered), All There in the Script doesn't even apply.
  • Skinny
  • Sloth
  • Those Two Guys: With the Skipper.

Captain Jonas "The Skipper" Grumby (Alan Hale, Jr.)

"...the Skipper, too..."

The captain of the Minnow who spent some time in the Navy. A Running Gag in the series is him losing his temper at Gilligan and hitting him with his hat. Despite this, he deeply cares for his "little buddy."
Tropes associated with The Skipper:

Mr. Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus)

"...the millionaire..."

A wealthy businessman. His wealth at times makes him snooty and unempathetic. However, he does come to care for his fellow castaways and at one point he writes them into his will. A Running Gag is his hatred for "Yale men."
Tropes associated with Mr. Howell:

Mrs. Eunice Wentworth "Lovey" Howell (Natalie Schafer)

"...and his wife..."

Thurston's socialite wife. Like her husband, her wealth makes her a bit naive and out-of-touch with those poorer than her. However, she sometimes acts as the castaways' mother-figure.
Tropes associated with Mrs. Howell:

Ginger Grant (Tina Louise)

"...the movie star..."

Often uses her sex appeal to charm men into giving her what she wants.
Tropes associated with Ginger:

Roy "The Professor" Hinkley (Russell Johnson)

"...the professor, and..."

His numerous degrees allow him to do anything from building Bamboo Technology to predicting the weather to translating the languages of native tribes. However, he can also be arrogant, especially when contrasted with other more superstitious castaways.
Tropes associated with The Professor:

Mary Ann Summers (Dawn Wells)

"...Mary Ann..."

A sweet young girl from Kansas. She takes care of the cooking and cleaning.
Tropes associated with Mary Ann:

...heeeere on Gilligan's Isle!