The Protagonist of the series. A transfer student to Ouran High School who winds up working with the Host Club to help pay off her debt after accidentally breaking a really expensive vase.
A-Cup Angst: The subject rarely comes up, but she doesn't seem too happy with her bust. She gets mad when a swimsuit is picked for her that hides a flat chest and after she realizes she likes Tamaki she laments her boyish face and figure.
Allergic to Love: After she realizes she is in love with Tamaki. She gets better later.
Ambiguously Bi: Inverted in that it's not about her preferring either gender, she simply doesn't care about genders at all, making it safe to assume she'd probably have fallen for her Love Interest even if he had been a girl.
Animal Motifs: Often compared to a raccoon for her cute face and homely nature.
In the anime, when helping the Zuka club with their play. There was no emoting involved whatsoever.
Averted when dealing with the club's customers, but it's made fairly clear that she doesn't think of it as playing any kind of role. When she's a host, she's mostly just being herself; the guys identify her immediately as the "natural type".
Defrosting Ice Queen: Haruhi may not have been a full-blown Ice Queen, but she initially cared little for the Host Club and solely cared about fulfilling her debt until she gradually befriended all the Host Club members and grew to love the Host Club.
Dude Magnet: She becomes this after joining the club. As such most of the other hosts start harbouring feelings for her.
In the past as well, as Kyouya explains from his "researches" in episode 3; she used to get love confessions from guys once a month. Not that she noticed any of them.
Friend to Bugs: Implied in episode 8 when she finds a centipede on a crab and, instead of killing it, she simply picks it up and throws it aside. When asked if she could have been easier on it, she said, "It takes a lot more than that to kill a bug."
Gender-Blender Name: Haruhi is a valid boy's name and since she's working class nobody knows about her family or history. Thus, she can use it to her advantage and pretend to be a guy, though it wasn't her original intention.
Generation Xerox: Looks and acts a lot like her deceased mother. Like said mother, she becomes a lawyer and falls in love with and marries an idiotic Nice Guy.
The Glasses Gotta Go: When Tamaki first removes Haruhi's glasses, revealing her large, bishonen-style eyes. The host club insists she wear contacts from then on, as her eyes are apparently a draw for female customers.
Green-Eyed Monster: Reveals to have felt this way towards Kanoya, a transfer student whom Tamaki saved from getting kicked by a horse, and whom subsequently crushed over him and sticked by his side.
Hime Cut: Before she cut her hair short. A inversion as she lacks every single trait normally associated with it.
I Can't Dance: In the ball before she goes to America Haruhi ends up stepping on Tamaki's feet when they dance since it's her first time dancing the girl's part.
I Choose to Stay: Remains with the Host Club after her debt is paid (in both anime and manga).
Imagine Spot: Subverted. That distant, unfocused look? It means she's mentally reviewing this week's store specials as she plans her grocery shopping list.
Informed Attractiveness: Most of the Host Club members and especially Tamaki will continuously fawn over how "cute!!!" she is, even though they're surrounded by equally, if not more, cute girls on a daily basis. The same goes for the Zuka club, and in the past, Haruhi'd appearantly recieved love confessions from guys once a month. Although, her boyish and "natural" look does make her stand out.
Innocently Insensitive: While she can be intentionally rude, most of the jerky statements she makes are said without any malice. Coupled with her emotional density and popularity you have a social disaster waiting to happen.
Inter-Class Romance: With Tamaki; he's ultra rich and she's a working class girl with middle class aspirations.
Invisible Subtle Difference: The only one who can note the subtle differences between the twins is Haruhi, implying that she judges people more by inner character than surface appearance.
The Kirk: More levelheaded than most of the club members, able to judge situations and respond accordingly. She rounds out Tamaki's passion and Kyouya's shrewdness.
Lady Looks Like a Dude: Very early on, Haruhi is assumed to be male because of her very unflattering appearance.
Like Parent, Like Spouse: It's constantly lampshaded how similar Tamaki is to her father (minus the fact that her father is a bisexual professional crossdresser). They get married at the end of the final bonus chapter.
Long Hair Is Feminine: Grows her hair long again after becoming Tamaki's girlfriend, as shown in the bonus chapters taking place after the main story has ended.
Love Epiphany: In chapter 57, Haruhi realizes that she's in love with Tamaki.
Mistaken for Gay: Before Haruhi goes to America, the Host Club arrange a ball in honor of her decision, and eventually have her show up with a wig and dress to show their customers that she's really a girl, a revelation they happily accept, admitting they knew already. However as it turns out, they thought she was just fond of cross-dressing, and that they were supporting a "forbidden love" between her and Tamaki.
Sexy Man, Instant Harem: She's got three of the four down. Does a pretty good job of faking the 'man' part as well.
She Cleans Up Nicely: It's just that cleaning up is such a drag for her because of all of the time she has to spend on housekeeping. If it were up to her, she would be going around school in her infamous Haruhi Potter wear every day.
Single-Target Sexuality: Does not show an ounce of interest in any guy or even romance in general before she falls for Tamaki (and never afterwards either).
Sloth: Apart from being something of a jerk occasionally, this is her main flaw. She never wants to do anything new or even slightly troublesome. It's an odd example in that her hard work was necessary to become a scholarship student. Justified in that she doesn't want anything to distract her from achieving her goals.
Tomboyish Name: She is mistaken by most people to be male partially because "Haruhi" is an unisex name.
Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She dresses like a boy at school and doesn't care if people mistake her for one, While she doesn't mind dressing up in feminine clothing when the occasion calls for it, her everyday clothes are obviously chosen primarily for practicality. On the girly side she has a severe Fear of Thunder and her hobbies include cooking, cleaning and sewing. The anime gave her a distinctive dress over jeans weekend outfit to underline the two sides of her character.
Unwanted Harem: Tamaki, Hikaru, Kaoru (shown more so in the manga), Renge, Kasanoda, and her middle school classmate Arai all like Haruhi. She was even confessed to by her old schoolmates an average of once per month prior to transferring to Ouran. Not that Haruhi noticed any of that.
Wholesome Crossdresser: Played straight with Haruhi herself, but zig-zagged with the club guests/fangirls. At first, they invoke this trope when they remark that they'd love to see how Haruhi would look dressed as a woman, and later, when they claim to have figured out Haruhi's "secret", they agree that "he" DOES look good as a woman. It's not until later that they realize that Haruhi is, in fact, female, and that the "closeted gay boy" they've been championing this whole time was not.
Women Are Wiser: She seems like this as she is much more sensible then her clubmates, but it's more like 'commoners are wiser' as the club's customers are just as silly as they are. Both live in awe of "commoner wisdom."
The founder and president of the Host Club and quite the charmer (even though he comes off as a well-meaning idiot half the time). Tamaki likes to think of himself as the "daddy" of the Host Club, and thinks of Haruhi as his "daughter".
All-Loving Hero: This guy will help anybody, anytime. It is explicitly this which brought the host club together in the first place, and it makes the other club members highly loyal to and protective of him.
Anger Born of Worry: He yells at Haruhi for trying to take on a group of bullies by herself and nearly getting killed in the process.
Beware the Silly Ones: Don't even think of hurting a hair on Haruhi's head in front of him, or mess with any of his Host Club members in general. You will be sorry.
Crazy Jealous Guy: Can sometimes fall into this in regards to Haruhi. He's mostly harmless and a lovable idiot though.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He can shift from "simpering fop" to "forceful leader" instantly if the situation is sufficiently serious. He's also more athletic than one would think, and he can pull off a damn good Dynamic Entry.
Determinator: Perhaps the flakiest and flightiest character to ever earn the distinction, but Tamaki resolutely refuses to be forced to choose between any of the people he cares about. Which comes to a big shock to his father when Tamaki makes it quite clear he wants good relationships with both his mom and his Evil Matriarch grandmother, and puts him in agony when his grandmother forbids him from having any contact with Haruhi.
Drama King: He zig-zags this trope as shallow or immediate issues at hand will greatly upset him, making sure everyone else sees his problems as well. When it comes to real, psychological issues regarding himself or his family however, he will keep it hidden and pretend like, or convince himself that everything's fine.
Dumb Blond: He acts like a ditz, but he effortlessly gets the second best grades in the second year classes behind only Kyoya.
The McCoy: The most passionately driven member of the club, quick to let his emotions guide him and throw him into all kinds of trouble.
Meaningful Name: In chapter 77, he points this out to his grandmother, that his father had chosen his name which means "a circle overcoming everything" or more spesifically "ring", no doubt complimenting his personality.
Missing Mom: Tamaki's Evil Matriarch grandmother sent her to the French countryside and forbade any kind of contact between them.
The vice-president of the Host Club, and one of Tamaki's closest friends. Kyouya tends to take a more responsible approach to the club's activities, and tries to make sure that Tamaki and the others don't go overboard.
Poisonous Friend: A relatively mild example given the idealistic tone of the series, but definitely in effect between Kyouya and Tamaki. Tamaki, All-Loving Hero, wants to help everyone and seems oblivious to any signs that anyone might have it out for him; Kyouya is entirely okay with going behind Tamaki's back to protect his interests and make it very clear that anyone who messes with him will be made to regret it. The newspaper club episode provides a particularly vivid example.
The Proud Elite: He is the brain behind the Host Club. He acts as though he cares only about the bottom line and what will benefit himself, as he feels befits the third son of the Ootori family, but he has been shown to have a well-hidden altruistic streak.
Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The visual and his demeanor make him a colder beauty for customers than Tamaki's golden charm.
Token Evil Teammate: Kyouya is considered by everyone in the club to be more or less evil, especially compared to everyone else. Even the twins are afraid of him, but he's still mostly a good guy.
Tsurime Eyes: Another visual contrast with Tamaki; there's nothing soft about him.
Unkempt Beauty: As shown in episode 17, Kyoya still looks good even when he's literally dragged out of bed in frumpy clothes and bed hair.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: As the third son to his family's line of work, he's pressured himself to surpass his older brothers' considerable achievements in order to have any chance of impressing his father and earning the right to inherit leadership of their company. It's when Tamaki enters his life that he starts to loosen up and care for other people for something other than business benefits.
In the anime this ultimately leads to a Crowning Moment of Awesome in which he buys his dad's company (or at least the majority stock) from a competitor who was blackmailing his dad with it. Then he gives the whole thing right back to his dad like it's nothing at all.
Fake Defector: After Kaoru's made both of their feelings for Haruhi clear, he yells at Hikaru for still being too naive and he'll never let him have Haruhi if he'd really be okay with sharing her. The following days he then proceeds to flirt with Haruhi in front of Hikaru, telling Haruhi not to bother with him, asking her on a date and so forth. It then turns out he was intentionally trying to make Hikaru hate him so that Hikaru would "break free" from him, feeling he was in the way for his happiness for the way they were so codependent on each other. Luckily however, Hikaru sees through this and eventually convinces Kaoru he's wrong, and they will still always be together even if they start embracing their differences more, and for the sake of being distinguished, simply dying their hair will be enough.
Fiery Redhead: Hikaru is, but Kaoru is better at keeping his feelings in control. Defied later on when Hikaru dyes his hair a darker shade.
Green-Eyed Epiphany: Hikaru had been developing feelings for Haruhi for quite some time but kept mum about them. However, when an old school mate who was in love with Haruhi, Arai shows up and spends some time with her, Hikaru immediately becomes very possessive of Haruhi, making his feelings much more conspicuous.
In the manga, Haruhi at some point talks very fondly of Tamaki to the point Hikaru gets pissed off and walks away, followed by Kaoru. Still being oblivious to why he feels like that however, Kaoru tells him how it's because he's in love with Haruhi.
I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Invoked. Haruhi is the only one who isn't phased by their antics and who they can't seem to fool by a Twin Switch. This is what piqued their interest in the first place and the more Haruhi can tell them apart and shrugs off their pranks, the more they want her to themselves. Being in the same class also doesn't help in the matter.
Jerks With Hearts Of Gold: They can be downright harsh at times, particulary in the flashbacks, stemmming from their past self-isolation and condescending outlook on other people who couldn't tell them apart (which is why Haruhi interests them so much). However, they've had plenty of Pet the Dog moments to counter this, especially Hikaru.
Shared Family Quirks: Their love of playing with people's minds (as well as a taste in fashion and make-up) comes from their mother and maternal grandmother. Their little sister in the bonus chapters is exactly the same as them when they were her age.
Sibling Triangle: Hikaru and Kaoru both develop feelings for Haruhi. Kaoru gives up on Haruhi because he cares about Hikaru more than his feelings for Haruhi and steps down, instead rooting for Hikaru to win Haruhi. However, after realizing Haruhi's and Tamaki's growing feelings for each other, Hikaru eventually decides to step down as well.
Significant Birth Date: They were born on June 9 (6/9), showing that they're alike, but different. It's even more significant when you realize people born on that day are Gemini.
Tsundere: Hikaru is a male example towards Haruhi. He's a rather brusque and proud but when he's alone with Haruhi, he's usually much more considerate, even tender sometimes.
Tsurime Eyes: Clues in on their devious, witty, and (mostly in Hikaru's case) prideful nature.
Twincest: The boys play up their "brotherly affection" for their clients. It's ambiguous as to how much of it is an act.
Twin Switch: Haruhi is the only person who can tell who is who, even when they are extra cunning. It was later revealed that their mother had long since developed the ability to differentiate them, but pretended to be clueless for the fun of it.
Be Yourself: What Tamaki taught him during Hani's time of self-denial before joining the Host Club.
Big Brother Mentor: In the manga though even there his relationship with his brother Chika is a little wacky. In later chapters he occasionally plays this role for Kaoru.
Big Eater: He eats three whole cakes every night for dessert.
Bunnies for Cuteness: Hani has a rabbit motiff to help establish him as the cute character of the Host Club. He carries around a pink stuffed bunny with him almost all the time. He can also make bunny shuriken, has a martial arts move called a "bunny kick", and in the manga a bunny-patterned background is sometimes used for panels featuring him.
Creepy Child: How his brother thought of him; it was like Nekozawa.
Cutesy Dwarf: Likely the cause of his shota appeal. It is revealed in an extra one-shot that Kyouya had been giving him vitamins in order to stunt his growth, as they already had a "Dumb blond character" (Tamaki) and didn't need another one. Once he stopped getting the vitamins he grew 32 centimeters in two months. It's a dream Haruhi had, but still.
Remember the bunny shaped mushroom cloud of explosion!
His father forbid him from ever fighting at full strength. If he did, other countries might think that Japan was making a WMD.
Real Men Wear Pink: Before he met Tamaki he was convinced to act like a manly man but then he joined the club and carried around Usa-chan. His father said he'd only allow him to go back to his cutesy ways if he beat him in a duel. Honey sent him to the hospital, covered in casts and bandages.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red, red, red. What's with these pairs and their conflicting personalities?
He also has shades of this with Haruhi, almost from the very first time they meet - in the first episode of the anime, she calls out to him for help and he runs to her aid without a second thought.
Although not much of this is shown, this could easily go with Mori's real little brother.
Big Brother Mentor: To Honey again. While normally very supportive, he's the one to tell Honey when he can't do something, and is the only one who can really stop him. In the manga, he occasionally acts as one to Hikaru as well.
Legacy of Service: Mori comes from a family with a long line of serving the Haninozuka clan. The master-servant bond was dispelled when the families were joined by marriage, but Mori still watches over and protects Honey like a big brother would.
Master Swordsman: Though never seen, he is a kendo champion, and on occasion swings a sword around.
The Quiet One: Mori does occasionally speak, but it's usually in short sentences. Apparently, when he is very tired he becomes flirtatious and chatty. Weird.
Rated M for Manly: He's really tall, really strong, great at martial arts and has a deep booming voice (in the rare events that he talks). To drive the point home, he was the only member of the Host Club who didn't crossdress during the whole Zuka Club fiasco.
An occasional visitor and self-proclaimed "advisor" to the Host Club. She used to live in France for a time before coming to Ouran at her father's behest. She has a one-sided infatuation with Kyouya, due to his resemblance to a character in one of her favorite dating sims.
Affectionate Parody: Of the fandom; a Nice Girl who likes dating games/harem anime and yaoi pairings. The difference is the cranked up energy and the High-Powered-Motor.
Genre Savvy: She starts out as Wrong Genre Savvy, but becomes this after joining up as the Host Club's "manager". Being a fangirl herself, she knows what fangirls want and, when Tamaki and Kyoya run out of ideas, she usually comes up with some for them. However, this largely applies to the anime as a lot of her roles in the manga were given to Tamaki.
Nekozawa (almost always referred to by his family name) is the president of the Black Magic Club, identifiable by his black cloak and Beelzenef hand puppet. Despite his creepy demeanor, he's actually a nice (and incredibly cute) guy under the hood.
Perky Goth: After patching up his relationship with his sister he becomes less sour and more happy.
Sibling Yin-Yang: He's the president of dark arts club, wears black, hates going out in the light, and has a cat-like puppet while Kirimi hates everything related to darkness, wears bright clothing, and bursts into tears if she's within close proximity of a cat.
Bi the Way: He explains that he swings both ways, but that he could never love another woman after Haruhi's mother.
But Not Too Bi: While he's never actually seen romancing another man, he did say that the only reason he let the Host Club follow him while he tailed Haruhi at the super market was because he "wants to be seen around a bunch of cute boys" and told Tamaki that he won't win him over just because he's handsome.
Children Raise You: Because of Kotoko's death and his long work hours, Haruhi does most of the work at home; cleaning and cooking for Ryoji and otherwise trying to take care of him, even telling him not to overwork himself for her.
Kasanoda is the successor to one of the most powerful yakuza groups in Japan. He is one of the first members outside of the Host Club to learn of Haruhi's secret. She calls him "Casanova", while the twins jokingly refer to him as "Bossa Nova".
Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted to be liked, not feared. By the end, he befriends his underlings, has become liked in school, and popular with girls. Everyone thinks he's gay now, but whatever.
An anime-only character. She's a young girl from France who is in love with Tamaki and ropes him into an Arranged Marriage with an offer he really can't refuse... the chance to see his Missing Mom again.
Arranged Marriage: With Tamaki. Unusally for the trope, she is all for it and even had a hand in it.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Eclair coerces Tamaki into marrying her, causes the dissolution of the host club, and conspires with Kyouya's evil father. It's all a plan to get Tamaki back with his Missing Mom, with whom she's friends.
A manga only character, Mei is the daughter of Ranka's co-worker and friend Misuzu, and is one of the first non Host Club members to realize Haruhi's feelings for Tamaki. She admires the twins' mother and enjoys designing fashions. She is Haruhi's only female friend.
Benio (or "Benibara", as she's known to her peers) is a student from the all-female St. Lobelia academy. She believes that all females are meant to be pure, and dislikes the flirtatious nature of the men of the Ouran host club.
Large Ham: Another similary she shares with Tamaki
Nice Girl: At the end of chapter 31, she reveals that she merely wanted to borrow Haruhi for the sole purpose of helping out with walking Zuka Club newbies through playing boys onstage, and makes up for the trouble she might've caused the Host Club in the process by inviting EVERYONE in the Host Club (Haruhi included) to the latest Zuka Club production.
The Rival: To Tamaki, too. It's usually over Haruhi's attention.
Chika is Honey's younger brother. Like Honey, he is an expert martial artist, and is also the captain of the judo and karate clubs. He takes his work very seriously, and is disappointed that Honey doesn't.