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The Men in Black
Tropes that apply to the MiB in general
- Badass in a Nice Suit: That simple black suit is feared. For good reason.
- Cool Shades/Sunglasses at Night: Those shades make them immune to the Neuralyzer...and they look pretty badass too.
- The Men in Black:...Well, yeah.
- Theme Naming: All use alphabetical codenames.
Agent K/Kevin Brown
"Don't 'Sir' me, young man, you have no idea who you're dealing with."
- Badass: Screw with K at your own peril.
- Badass Grandpa: Just seems to kick more ass with age.
- Berserk Button: Don't mention to him that his wife left him because he pushed her away.
- The Comically Serious: The movie's straight man, save for a quick scene in the first movie where he's telling J a joke and laughing a little too hysterically about it and while singing along to Elvis Presley in the tunnel.
- Deadpan Snarker: Rarely communicates in anything but snark.
- Drives Like Crazy: You best buckle up when he pushes that red button...
- Face Death with Dignity: When Boris goes back to erase him from existence, he fades away with utter calmness.
- Jerkass Fašade / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A crotchety, snarky old man. But it's shown several times that he's got a heart.
- Laura, I Might Be Your Father: It's heavily implied he is Laura/The Light of Zartha's birth-father.
- Living Lie Detector: His past self has a variation-he can tell when someone is telling the truth, no matter how unbelievable. Of course, given how he's a Man in Black.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Averted. He survives the Bug's innards to retrieve his gun and blast his way out.
- My Greatest Failure: In his own words, not killing Boris the Animal was the worst mistake he ever made. Easy to see why...
- The Mentor: Even years after J joins, he's still teaching him.
- My Card: How he introduces J to the world of the MiB.
- Oh Crap!: Only once does he briefly lose his composure, thanks to witnessing the Bug revealing itself.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: He loves listening to Elvis Presley while he drives.
- Retired Badass: By the end of the first film and in the first half of the second film.
- Salt and Pepper: With J. Lampshaded several times.
- Seen It All: You'd be hard pressed to see any earth threatening menace faze him.
- Stalking Is Love: K uses the MIB's super-advanced Spy Satellites to spy on his old girlfriend while she's out gardening.
- The Stoic: He virtually never shows any true emotion.
- Stoic Woobie: Despite this, it's hard to argue his life hasn't been tough.
Agent J/James Darrell Edwards III
Played By: Will Smith
"You know what the difference is between you and me? I make this look good."
- Badass: In K's absence, he becomes Earth's number one protector.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Which leads to his destiny in the agency.
- Cowboy Cop: To such a degree that Zed originally opposed his induction.
- Deadpan Snarker: More of a witty snarker than K.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: His dad was apparently quite a guy. Which is proven true when we meet him in the past.
- Genius Bruiser: He can beat aliens in a foot race and punch some of them out. But he's also a lateral thinker able to see the forest when everybody else is focused on the trees, and is usually able to make logical leaps that K can't.
- Hero of Another Story: Said to have saved the Earth several times during the time between I and II.
- Implacable Man: One of the reasons he got the attention of K. He ran down an alien called a "cephalapoid" on foot, which is implied through dialog to be quite a feat for a human.
- Na´ve Newcomer: And he never totally grows out of it.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: To a degree. The entire first act of the movie is designed to show that his streetwise smart-ass routine is largely a put-on and he's actually a very good, and even insightful, detective.
- Older Than They Look: Is treated as a fresh-out-of-college pup by K and the others despite his experience in NYPD. In the third movie he's revealed to be pushing 50!
- Plucky Comic Relief:In the first film.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: To Serleena: "Your flight's been canceled!" Of course, she got better...temporarily.
- Race Lift: He was white in the comics.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Due to having been talking to K when he was Ret Goned, he apparently caused a temporal fracture that prevented his life story or memories from changing any as time reordered itself. Apparently, it induces a craving for chocolate milk.
- Salt and Pepper: With K. Lampshaded several times.
- Soul Brotha: Turned into this type of character in the second and third film.
- Uncle Tomfoolery: To a small degree in the first film, he was very comical and seemed to annoy agent K a little and he did not take too many situation seriously.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: He had in this in 2 out of the 3 films. In the first film with Laurel Weaver and the second film with Laura Vasquez.
Played By: Rip Torn
"We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here!"
- Badass: He's mostly chained to a desk, but he's got some fire in him.
- Badass Beard: A sharp goatee.
- Badass Grandpa: Older than K, but still a semi-capable ass-kicker.
- Big Good: The Leader of the Mi B, Earth's "first, last and only line of defense".
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: An odd, slightly kooky guy. But he runs the agency that keeps Earth safe from alien menaces.
- Da Chief: To the organisation.
- Deadpan Snarker: Always ready for any situation with a retort.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: "Zed" is how the letter Z is pronounced in European countries (deriving from Greek "Zeta"), while Americans typically pronounce it as "Zee".
- Dirty Old Man: He's got some stories of his past sexual exploits that make J shudder.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Rip Torn's DUI conviction caused the creators to write him out of III.
Played By: Emma Thompson & Alice Eve
- Remember the New Guy: She never appeared in the first two films but apparently had been working at MIB for at least as long as K had.
Edgar the Bug
Played By: Vincent D'Onofrio
"You ever pull the wings off a fly? You care to see the fly get even?"
- Aliens Speaking English: Subverted. He briefly speaks in English when he's about to kill the farmer, as well as when he's in his disguised state, but it's mostly the result of a low-quality translator. Apparently, his native tongue consists of aggressive, loud growls and roars. Oddly enough, his fellow bugs are totally fluent in English in the cartoon, even in their true forms.
- Ax-Crazy: He tends to attack and/or kill everyone he runs into.
- Badass: He's a monstrous insect with Super Strength and can escape crashed spaceships unscathed.
- Berserk Button: Hurting insects, particularly roaches.
- Big Bad: Of the first film.
- Body Horror: He's a giant bug shambling around in the decaying skin of a farmer. So...yeah.
- Deadpan Snarker: For a giant, dumb bug, he has the occasional barb.Edgar: You don't matter. In fact in a few seconds, you won't even be matter.
- The Dreaded: The very threat of him showing up makes what was apparently a failed minion commit suicide, and causes lot of aliens to try to jump ship and leave Earth.
- Evil Sounds Deep: More so out of disguise.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards humans.
- Faux Affably Evil: Tries to play nice when he's after things, but is a murderous beast who only cares about himself.
- Genius Bruiser: Gigantic, super strong and merciless. He's also pretty good with technology and quite cunning.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to piss him off.
- Hot-Blooded: Very much so, even when you don't trigger his temper, he's certainly got a level of hostility.
- Hugh Mann: His attempts to pass for human are unrealistic at best.
- Insectoid Aliens: A big one.
- Karmic Death: He's ultimately destroyed by the very same chick he kidnapped and held hostage.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The farmer whose body he uses to 'blend in' is not exactly the nicest of people.
- Kill and Replace: Kills Edgar and then puts on his skin.
- Large Ham: Subtlety doesn't appear to be a species trait.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: As a bug.
- No Name Given: He's called Edgar by everyone because he takes over the body of someone named Edgar. His real name is never mentioned.
- One-Winged Angel: When he sheds his Edgar suit for a final confrontation with J and K.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: His first words to the farmer, due to a poor-quality translator.
Played By: Lara Flynn Boyle
"Oh, yummy. Somebody I need to eat."
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Serleena murders Ben after he refuses to divulge the location of the Light of Zartha. She also steals some of the pizza from his restaurant.
- Balloon Belly: Serleena gets one after swallowing the mugger in the park whole, which she manages to get rid of by spitting him back out.
- Big Bad: Second movie.
- Big Eater: Her entire species are implied to be this.
- Black Bra and Panties: When she lands on earth and takes human form this is all she is wearing along with a pair of high heel shoes, which gets the attention of a mugger.
- Cute Monster Girl: "Smoking hot" is more appropriate.
- Combat Tentacles: A whole lot of them too.
- Dark Is Evil: Trots around in a stolen biker outfit for most of the movie.
- Deadly Upgrade: After she infected Jeff.
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly when dealing with Charlie and Scrad.
- Dark Action Girl: She's no weakling, and easily overpowered trained agents in a fight. Is also a sadistic, greedy murderous alien.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Takes the form of one upon arriving on earth.
- Eldritch Abomination: Her true form.
- The Worm That Walks: A walking mass of writhing tentacles.
- Evil Is Petty: She spends the opening credits destroying planet after planet solely because the light wasn't there.
- Evil Is Sexy: She actively envokes this when she takes the form of a lingerie model. In fact some dialogue implies that she always assumes the form of a sexy woman when she comes to Earth.
- Humanoid Abomination: Spends most of the film in the form of an attractive model, manifesting Combat Tentacles from her fingers if she has to fight or coerce someone.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Seems to really enjoy eating human males, as one poor guy at the start learned the hard way.
- Lecherous Licking: She sticks her tongue in Agent K's ear. Earlier on, she receives one herself from a mugger before she ate him.
- Ms. Fanservice: This is an early 2000's Lara Flynn Boyle we're discussing...
- Mugging the Monster: When she assumes human form in Central Park she is only wearing a Black Bra and Panties and high heeled shoes. Naturally this attracts the attention of a mugger who drags her behind a bush at knife point. Serleena then imediately turns the tables on him and swallows him whole while all he can do is scream in terror.
- Oh Crap!: When she meets head on with Jeff.Serleena: Uh-oh. Teeth.
- The mugger also has a moment of this right before Serleena eats him.
- One-Winged Angel: When she eats Jeff.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Gives one to the mugger after he tried to rape her.Mugger: Hey pretty lady, *licks her face* you taste good.Mugger: Hey, what the—?!*Mugger screams accompanied by the sounds of Serleena swallowing him head-first* Serleena: Yeah, you too.
- Swallowed Whole: She went both ways with this.
Charlie & Scrad
Played By: Johnny Knoxville
- The Dragon: Before Jarra shows up.
- Minion with an F in Evil: A couple of chuckle-heads who suck at their job.
- Punch Clock Villain: Just dicking around on Earth before their boss showed up.
- Reluctant Monster: Begins the story trying to live a normal life, until Serleena turns up.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: They vanish after the rumble in Jeeve's basement.
Played By: John Alexander
"Over our dead titanium bodies!"
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: What he hides his mini-body and clones under.
- The Dragon: To Serleena, after Charlie and Scrad disappear.
- Evil Is Bigger: Subverted. He appears to be like this. But when the coat came off it's revealed that he is very tiny and his lower half is a small flying saucer with multiple controls for flying.
- Me's a Crowd: He's actually four tiny identical humanoids on tiny flying saucers
- Planet Looters: He tried to steal the Earth's ozone to sell on the black market.
Boris the Animal
Played By: Jermaine Clement
"Let's agree to disagree!"
- Agree to Disagree: His catchphrase.
- Aliens Speaking English
- An Arm and a Leg: Had his arm blown off by K. It's a...touchy subject.
- Arch-Enemy: To K.
- Ax-Crazy: Exists solely to kill and wreak havoc.
- Badass: This guy is a one-man army out to destroy all life on Earth. And he's good at it.
- Badass Biker: His preferred image in 1969.
- Badass Beard: How his species grows hair is a mystery...
- Beard of Evil: A big, bushy one.
- Big Bad: of the third film.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With his young self in '69.
- The Berserker: Oh, big time.
- Berserk Button: Do not, under any circumstances, call him "The Animal". He doesn't like when people stare at his lost arm, either.STOP! STARING AT IT!!
- Blood Knight: Boris loves to fight and kill.
- Catchphrase: He has two. "Let's just agree to disagree" and "IT IS JUST. BORIS." (in response to someone calling him "Boris The Animal")
- Evil Sounds Deep: Both in the past and present, but his voice is slightly deeper in the past.
- Expy: Jermaine Clement does one hell of a Tim Curry impersonation.
- Eyeless Face: In his true form.
- Faux Affably Evil: He barely bothers with the facade most of the time.
- For the Evulz: He surely enjoys mass killings.
- Genius Bruiser: For all his bloodlust and viciousness, he's a sharp cookie.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Well, except for disguise purposes since he has no eyes at all
- Guttural Growler: On par with Nathan Explosion.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: That trigger is very itchy.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: With himself, when he meets his past self.
- Handicapped Badass: In the present, where he only has one arm.
- Hero Killer: Killed J's father, killed K in an alternate reality.
- I Hate Past Me: He doesn't even like himself in the past, seeing his past self as responsible for his failures. The feeling, obviously, is mutual for the '69 Boris who considers his older version the cause of his future fail.
- Karma Houdini: In the alternative present.
- Kill It with Fire: How Future Boris dies.
- Knight of Cerebus: Edgar and Serleena were pretty nasty. However Boris is FAR WORSE since he's Agent J's father's murderer and Agent K's in the modified '69.
- Serleena and Boris are more or less equal in evilness, since both engage in on-and off-screen multiple planetary genocide.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: His whole body is made of teeth.
- Large Ham: There's barely any scenery left when he engages in a conversation with his past self.
- Last of His Kind: The Boglodite species died out thanks to the Ark-Net protecting Earth. Except for Boris.
- Laughably Evil: Boris is incredibly sadistic and evil, but his deadpan humor and hammy chat with his past self will most certainly inspire a few chuckles from the audience.
- Lightning Bruiser: Surprisingly agile during combat.
- Mirthless Laughter: An absolutely epic one.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Even if he doesn't like the nickname he's still known as Boris The Animal.
- Near Villain Victory: In the modified present he actually succeeds in killing K and spreading the Boglodite invasion of Earth and probably consuming the entire planet. This is only prevented by J's interference in '69.
- Nightmare Face: Go ahead...arrest me.◊
- No Indoor Voice: His quietest tone seems to be a dull roar.
- Obviously Evil: From the beard, to the voice and especially the personality, the guy is obviously bad news.
- One-Man Army: Just ask these poor MIB agents in the moon.
- Planet Looters: His entire species.
- Psycho for Hire: To the Boglodites.
- Red Baron: He might dislike the name, but he still is Boris The Animal.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Towards K.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: They built a prison specially for him in the moon (though it seems there are other prisoners there), his escape kicks off the plot (literally: it is the opening scene of the movie).
- Serial Killer: Sort of, while he's happy to just kill at random. He undoubtedly premeditates several of hits. He also regularly goes on killing spree's.
- Sinister Shades: Just adds to the menace.
- The Sociopath: The guy makes Edgar look like a member of UNICEF...
- Spike Shooter: His weapon of choice.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: His Fatal Flaw (at least in the past), his future self calls him out on it.
- You Killed My Father: He killed Agent J's father in '69.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He lets his girlfriend die, even after she sprung him out of prison...
- Villainous Breakdown: Future!Boris becomes increasingly (more) wrathful when he starts to lose the edge of the battle, culminating in the scene where he falls off the platform screaming "THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE!".
- Violence Is the Only Option: Firm believer of this.
Played By: Nicole Scherzinger
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Boris's defense, he made an effort to keep her alive. In her defense, he didn't try very hard.
Dr Laurel Weaver/ Agent L
Played By: Linda Fiorentino
"Interesting job you guys have."
- Adaptational Dye Job: She's blonde in the cartoon, yet the same hairstyle.
- Badass Normal
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves J and K from almost getting eaten by the bug by shooting him from behind.
- Creepy Mortician: Has some shades of this.
- Damsel in Distress: Edgar promptly takes her hostage once he discovers she has the galaxy,and attempts to take her with him so he can eat her.
- Damsel out of Distress: She shoots the bug and kills him for good
- Dangerously Short Skirt: As part of her work atire
- Deadpan Snarker: Has her moments.
- Disposable Love Interest
- Hot Scientist
- Hospital Hottie
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's cynic, snarky and gets annoyed easily, but truly cares for those she likes. At one point near the end, while Kay and Jay have an emotional moment regarding the former's departure, she chimes in, saying her apartment isn't very near, not even on the same island, but does it in a pleasant manner and doesn't seem annoyed at all.
- Ms. Fanservice
- Off Screen Break Up
- Put on a Bus: Her absence is explained by J claiming she wanted to go back to the morgue to continue working there and was thus neuralyzed by him.
- Sequel Non-Entity: See Put on a Bus above. The truth is, Linda Fiorentino turned out to be an insanely difficult actress to work with, thus the character of Laurel was written off.
- She's Got Legs
- The Coroner
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Agent J.
Frank the Pug
Played By: Tim Blaney
"Listen, partner. I may look like a dog, but I only play one here on Earth."
- Ascended Extra: In both in the sequel and the animated series.
- Sequel Non-Entity: He doesn't appear in Men in Black III, except in a picture on a wall.
- The Dog Is an Alien: However, in an episode, his true form resembles his Earth disguise, save for the skin color, ears, and tail.
Played By: Tony Shalhoub
"You insensitive pricks! Do you have any idea how much that stings?"
- Losing Your Head: It even becomes a running gag in the animated series.
Played By: Rosario Dawson
- Why Am I Ticking?: Her bracelet turns out to be a nuclear grade weapon that goes off if the light doesn't get off Earth.
Played By: Michael Stuhlbarg
"The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie."
- Adorkable: The goofy hat and chipper personality just make him adorable.
- Blessed with Suck: He has no ability to tell possible futures that won't happen from the ones that will, which is harrowing in situations where he has no idea whether he's about to die or not, and usually sees them months before they happen or are even relevant in the first place. He considers the constant visions "a pain in the ass."
- Catch Phrase: "That was a close one!" Said every time one of the horrible outcomes to the current situation he is in does not come to pass.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: A symptom of being The Omniscient. He literally sees things that aren't there and for the most part never will- so he comes off as outright kooky a lot of the time. Though... given his maniacally childish glee at the prospect of using a jetpack, that might not entirely be due to future shock.
- Humanoid Abomination: A cute and cuddly one, but still a fifth-dimensional being with a perspective utterly alien to humans that takes human form.
- Manic Pixie Dream Guy: Kinda.
- Motor Mouth: Due to constantly seeing potential futures, he has a habit of blathering on, trying to get even a fraction of the knowledge he has out, this amounts to endless unbroken sentences.
- The Omniscient: Able to see every outcome, in every reality. Simultaneously.
The Colonel/James Darrel Edwards II
Played by: Mike Colter
- Colonel Badass: His badassitude helps save the world from Boris.
- Mental Fusion: Griffin does this to him to get his help on defeating Boris, which works. It's never stated what he saw, but whatever he saw must have had a connection to J, who is a grownup version of his son.
- No Name Given: Only referred to as "Colonel" or "Sir". Mostly so his relation to J wasn't obvious to the audience.
The Men in Black
Voiced by: Ed O'Ross (season 1), Gregg Berger (seasons 2-4)
- Deadpan Snarker: With emphasis upon deadpan.
- The Stoic: The animated Kay is even more stoic than the live-action Kay, which is really saying something.
Voiced by: Keith Diamond
- Ripple Proof Memory: Due to exposure to a piece of Imported Alien Phlebotinum, he's the only one who realizes that someone is methodically wiping the founders of MIB, and thus the entire organization, out of existence. Unfortunately, the side effects are slowly killing him.
Voiced by: Jennifer Lien (seasons 1-3), Jennifer Martin (season 4)
Voiced by: Charles Napier
Voiced by: Adam Baldwin
- Adaptation Species Change: There's an agent in the original comics named Ecks, who's human and a rogue agent.
- Cowboy Cop: Impulsive, reckless and insanely gung-ho. L describes him as being less like a "loose cannon" and more like a "megaton bomb."
- Puny Humans: He thinks of himself as superior to humans.
Frank the Pug
Voiced by: Eddie Barth
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's mostly out for himself, but shows a kinder, altruistic side every so often.
- Signed Up for the Dental: Why he helps MIB: he gets perks like invites to agent-only rewards in exchange for regular information.
- The Stool Pigeon: When the agents need a lead, they go to Frank the Pug first.
Voiced by: Tony Shalhoub (first few episodes), Billy West (rest of series)
- Butt Monkey/The Chew Toy: Jeebs will get hurt Once per Episode, most often with his head being blown up.Jeebs: That really stings!
- Good Thing You Can Heal: The Blow-His-Head-Up gag only works for this reason.
- Only in It for the Money: This is why Jeebs regularly does business with enemies of MIB.
The Worm Guys
Voiced by: Pat Pinney and Pat Fraley as two Worms each
- Must Have Caffeine: On the show, it's explained that coffee is a sacred drink that only royalty is allowed to drink.
The Twins (Idiukupkup and Bob)
Voiced by: Pat Pinney and Pat Fraley
- Aerith and Bob: Idiukupkup and Bob
- Mission Control: Their job is monitoring MiB operations around the globe.
- Multi-Armed Multitasking: Their alien biology allows them to do more monitoring than a similarly skilled human.
- The Unintelligible: The audience has no idea what they say, but Zed does.
- Those Two Guys: Hence "The twins" instead of their individual names.
Voiced by: David Warner
- Broken Pedestal: To Kay.
- Evil Brit: As usual with David Warner.
- Fallen Hero: The first leader of the MIB, who turned evil.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: How he tried to justify using the cosmic integrator.
- That Man Is Dead: According to Kay, "The Alpha [he] knew died 20 years ago."
- Treacherous Advisor: Used to be Kay's mentor.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Kay.
Voiced by: Sherman Howard
- Badass: Fights to a draw in a duel with K.
- Bounty Hunter: An alien bounty hunter.
- Code Name: "Buzzard"; his real name seems to be Treblor.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Makes his introduction in a noir-like black trenchcoat and hat, complete with a breather mask. The disguise does relatively little to hide his alien features.
- Lightning Bruiser: Very fast and tough, and can perform high jumps with his long reverse-jointed legs.
- Real Name as an Alias: Goes under his former identity as a Zombarian agent with his real name.
- Sinister Shades: Wears green goggles over his eyes.
- One-Man Army: The guy is dangerous enough to require a literal army to chase him away.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The last time we see Buzzard in the series, he is zapped away by K. It is unknown if he survives, dies or is captured.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Jeebs' Abel.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Unlike Jeebs, Dak enjoys the pain of being blasted.