"We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are."
A group of soldiers who have set out to scalp Germans as a sort of revenge. Started as eight Jewish-Americans, but were later joined by the German Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz after he murders 13 Gestapo officers and the Basterds break him out of jail.
Badass Crew: It's not even funny how much fear they put into the Nazi party, "butchering them like flies." Hitler even ponders them as "apparitions", able to appear and disappear at will. They're just that good.
The Dreaded: Always leave a Sole Survivor with a swastika carved into their foreheads to spread the word that they are going around killing Nazis.
He Who Fights Monsters: Let's see, they hate the Nazis, yet they do several eerily similar actions onto the Nazis that the Nazis do onto Jews and other undesirables, even down to locking them in a room under false pretenses (in a manner of speaking). That fits the trope to a "t". But given that it's nine Jews versus the entirety of the Nazi Party, it just as much comes across as a darkly satisfying turning the tables.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Four Basterds disappear (Gerold Hirschberg, Andy Kagan, Michael Zimmerman, Simon Sakowitz) never to be shown on screen again. According to leaked versions of the script, whoever didn't show up by the tavern scene had died.
Lt. Aldo "The Apache" Raine
"You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'!"
A hilljack from the backwoods of Tennessee. Has a mysterious scar about his neck that is ultimately left to the viewers' imagination. Tasked with instilling God-induced fear into the Germans before the Armada, he puts together the American-Jewish "Basterds" - all too happy to kill him some Nazis.
Anti-Hero: Aldo seems truly dedicated to taking down Hitler and stopping the persecution of European Jews. The killing and torturing is just a bonus.
Ax-Crazy: He does get off on carving swastikas into the heads of German prisoners-of-war.
Famous Ancestor: Raine mentions he's a direct descendant of well-known mountain man Jim Bridger
Laughably Evil: He is QUITE entertaining, probably the main reason why his blatant sociopathy is largely ignored by the fanbase. Another reason probably being Pay Evil unto Evil.
Military Maverick: That fact he mentions having been 'chewed out' before and is still holding the rank of lieutenant probably goes some way to explaining why he is leading an irregular unit on what most people would consider a suicide mission.
More commonly known as "The Bear Jew", his infamy and brutality is so widespread among German soldiers stationed in France that many actually believe that he is a golem summoned by a vengeful rabbi. In truth, he is a Jewish-American soldier who really likes baseball. Unfortunately, there are no baseballs in Nazi-Occupied France, so he and his bat make do with Nazi melons.
Anti-Hero: Donny is truly dedicated to taking down Hitler and stopping the persecution of European Jews. The killing and torturing is just a bonus.
A psychotic serial killer who was, for a time, a German enlisted soldier. He gained infamy after brutally butchering thirteen Gestapo officers, and was promptly on his way to the gallows. But as it turns out, Aldo was a huge fan of his work and wanted him to play for his team. Hugo didn't even have to ponder on the possibility of killing more Nazis.
Cruel and Unusual Death: Out of the 13 Gestapo officers he killed we saw three. One was suffocated by stuffing a fist into his throat and another repeatedly stabbed in the face through a pillow. The third was just strangled with a piano wire.
Heel-Face Turn: Subverted. It's never fully explained why he decided to kill Gestapo officers, but the Basterds heard about it and offered him his freedom in return for helping them. Naturally, he joined up. The film hints that the Gestapo tortured him for some reason, setting him off on his personal Roaring Rampage of Revenge before capture (and rescue by the Basterds).
An Austrian-born Jew, he quickly fled and became an American citizen right around the time when the Nazi party was coming into real prominence. Afterwards, he joined the Basterds to kick a little ass. Acts as the team's translator, cause the Germans are too shit-scared of Stiglitz.
A Basterd who got roped into Aldo's insane plan of bombing the cinema following the Mexican Standoff turned Blast Out in the pub. He doesn't speak Italian, not that Aldo cares.
Hidden Depths: He's the only one of the trio who satisfies Landa's ear for Italian despite being the only one who can't speak any.
Pfc. Smithson "The Little Man" Utvich,
Played By: BJ Novak
"The Germans' nickname for me is "the Little Man"?"
Known to the Germans as the "Little Man" - even though he's not the smallest of the Basterds - , Utvich is a Basterd who, for some reason, was captured by Landa along with Aldo in the hopes of his scheme succeeding. Despite coming off as timid, he is all too happy to follow Aldo.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Doesn't show up again after the scene in which the Basterds and Hicox prepare for the meeting with Von Hammermark
In the Back: Shoots Private Ludwig when he tries to escape.
What Happened to the Mouse?: In interviews, Samm Levine confirms that Hirschberg survives to the story's end, and written-but-not-filmed closing scenes had himself and other unspecified Basterds meeting up with Lt. Raine and PFC Utivich after they settled things with Col. Hans Landa.
The German High Command (Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goring, and Martin Bormann)
Adolf Hitler: Naturally. And this time, he gets his, messily shot to death.
A Nazi colonel who is a damn good detective (in his words). Very good at rooting out Jewish families in hiding. This is how he makes the acquaintance of Shoshanna Dreyfus, whose family's death he is responsible for. As fate would have it, he is responsible for the security detail for the film premiere...at Shoshanna's cinema.
Appropriated Appellation: As seen in the beginning, when he mentions having been given the title of "Jew Hunter," which he finds to be rather catch. Subverted in the final act, several years later, when he has come to loathe the accolade.
Awesome by Analysis: He is essentially a Nazi Sherlock Holmes, and may actually see himself as such (he insists that he's a "detective", and a damn good one; and he even has a gavel).
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: With a predilection for dairy products, idioms involving shoes, languages, rumours and elaborate conversation Landa is a very odd fish but he counterbalances this with his brilliance as a detective.
Fate Worse than Death: Lets just say that despite promise of becoming a complete American citizen and hailed as a hero, he couldn't eliminate his ties to the Nazis afterwards thanks to the surviving members of the Basterds deciding to do one of their usual methods with surviving Nazis. Though he can probably get plastic surgery with all those goodies he extorted.
Karma Houdini: He attempts to invoke this trope in combination with Written by the Winners. He betrays Hitler with the intention of being viewed by the public as being an unwilling ally of the Nazis, and he being the reason the allies win. It doesn't quite go the way he plans though with the Mark of Shame being carved into his forehead.
Mark of Shame: Becomes the unfortunate recipient of Aldo's masterpiece.
Pet the Dog: It's implied that he does honor his agreement to leave the farmer alone and he is clearly horrified when Aldo kills his driver after they've surrendered claiming that he made a deal for the man's life.
Psycho for Hire: The Nazis are just convenient for him to act out his horrible impulses. Without them, it's likely he'd be off doing something just as monstrous.
Too Clever by Half: His scheme doesn't go the way he envisions it; also, while he is responsible for the death of the German and Nazi High leadership, it's less because he sold them out to the Basterds, and more due to sparing a young Jewish girl (For the Evulz, mind; he'd just killed her entire family, and he spared her just because it amused him to do so) and not recognising her as a vengeful adult.
Verbal Tic: Calls anyone he does not know the name of Herrman.
A charming German sniper who gained a hero status in Germany after mowing down nearly 300 American soldiers in a single day from a tower. He is now the centerpiece of Goebbels' latest propaganda film, Nation's Pride. Has a serious case of puppy-love for Shoshanna.
Humble Hero: Of a sort; he never reveals his celebrity status until fans appear to fawn over him and afterward doesn't flaunt it. It may be because he's not particularly proud of his claim to fame; see Punch Clock Villain below.
One-Man Army: Why he's so famous, and why a movie is being made about him.
Punch Clock Villain: He confesses to Shosanna that he does not want to watch his film, because he does not feel proud of killing so many men.
Taking You with Me: Shoshanna shoots him to keep him from discovering her plan, but then gets curious when she hears him still alive. As she approaches him in sympathy, Zoller shoots her back.
A French Jew whose entire family was murdered by Hans Landa's men. She eventually inherits a cinema, which ironically becomes the state for the premiere of Nation's Pride. Which ironically, Landa is providing security for.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Since the final shot of Marcel is the moment when he tosses down his cigarette to ignite the film reels, his fate is unclear: he ought to have had ample time to escape the theater, but it appears that Shoshanna never had any intention of walking away from this one alive; if Marcel knew that, he might have preferred to stay and join in her Heroic Sacrifice rather than live on without her.
La Padite Family
Perrier La Padite
Played By: Denis Ménochet
A French milk farmer with three daughters. Landa intimidates and pressures him into exposing the Dreyfus family hiding under his floorboard.