Characters / Psycho

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    Norman Bates 

Norman Bates

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/NormanBates_Psycho_6557.png

Played By: Anthony Perkins (the whole film series), Henry Thomas (Young Norman in Psycho IV), Vince Vaughn (in Psycho 1998)

  • Abusive Parents: The films make it no secret that he's been tormented by his own mother. If you consider Psycho IV canon, his stepfather Chet also enjoyed beating him in "sports."
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the book, Norman was an overweight, balding slob. In the film, he's an adorkable, shy nice guy who looks cute and innocent.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the novels, Norman continued his descent into insanity and was completely dominated by the memory of his mother. In the film series, he slowly overcomes his split personality's control over him and finally breaks free in the fourth and final film.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the second film, Norman wants to become a normal man and live a peaceful life befriending others. In the second book, Norman completely accepts his inner darkness and goes on a killing spree throughout California For the Evulz. Understandably, this characteristic was omitted in order to retain the audience's sympathy for him.
  • Adorkable: An awkward, shy momma's boy... at first.
  • Affably Evil: When running a motel, one needs to be a people person.
  • Anti-Villain: As he notes during his conversation with Marion Crane on private traps, "I was born into mine. I don't mind it anymore".
  • Ax-Crazy: When the mother side of his personality is in control, brutally stabbing anyone she needs to kill over and over again.
  • Bad Liar: Although surprisingly enough, his stuttering and incessant chewing goes some way in convincing Arbogast that he had nothing to do with Marion's disappearance.
  • Being Evil Sucks: For the Norman personality, going through extreme amounts of stress and anxiety covering up the murders, as well as dealing with his guilty conscience.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He may be the Trope Codifier. He really a nice and caring young man, but his Split Personality is the psychotic one that takes over.
  • Cartwright Curse: Connie (from Psycho IV) is the only one of Norman's love interests who escapes a tragic fate.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: He attracts numerous women throughout the sequels due to his adorkable charm. Unfortunately, the relationships never work out.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: When his mother personality takes over.
  • Cute and Psycho: His boyish charm and poor social skills can easily throw off the viewer as to his true nature.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Subtly implied in the original, and flat out shown in the remake.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Father died when he was five years old, leaving him in the care of an overbearing and somewhat incestuously inclined mother, who would emotionally abuse and degrade him.
  • Death Seeker: It's subtly implied more than a few instances that he has grown tired of living his depressing life.
  • Destroy the Abusive Home: In Psycho IV, Norman finally overcomes his insanity by destroying the house he lived in with his mother and committed the series' gruesome murders.
  • The Dog Bites Back: You could say his brutal murder of his mother was more than justified.
  • Doom Magnet: All of his love interests die as a result of getting too close to him.
  • Driven to Madness: By his domineering mother, no less.
  • Driven to Villainy: When his mother takes a lover and continues in bullying him.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In Psycho IV, Norman conquers his insanity by facing his inner demons and destroying the "trap" his mother kept him in all his life. He's finally able to start a new family with his wife and prevent his child from carrying on his family's monstrous legacy.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: A rare male example. Norman is a very emotional man with a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In the second movie, he's completely disgusted with the new motel manager allowing drugs and prostitution in his motel. Outraged by this, Norman fires him on the spot.
  • Extreme Doormat: To his mother, who deliberately made him dependent upon her after his father's death.
  • Freudian Excuse: The abuse he was subject to by his mother when he was young.
  • Giggling Villain: He has a habit of suddenly giggling in the middle of his sentences, which is particularly unsettling when he's in the midst of a serious conversation. This changes after his time in the mental institution.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: His mother prevented him from interacting with many people, causing him to become strange.
  • Gollum Made Me Do It: The last scene of the film is his mother personality plotting and scheming to blame Norman for the murders.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He switches from good to evil all the time due to his mental instability. However, he wants to be good, but struggles in every film.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Finally becomes good in Psycho IV after confronting his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Hidden Depths: He's shown to be somewhat of a nihilistic philosopher during his brief interactions with Marion Crane.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: He really does want a woman in his life, but his unfortunate circumstances always prevent that from happening.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He desires to live like a non-abused human being would in a happy environment with a loving woman in his life. Considering his childhood, this is very justified.
  • Insane Equals Violent: His Split Personality makes him kill every time it takes over.
  • Insecure Love Interest: He lacks a lot of confidence in himself while trying to establish a relationship with Mary and Maureen due to his dark history and low self-esteem.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: In Psycho IV, aside from murdering his abusive mother he also kills his stepfather Chet as well.
  • Knife Nut: As his mother. All of the murders are committed with a large kitchen knife.
  • Kubrick Stare: Perhaps the most grim and soul destroying one in cinematic history.
  • Loners Are Freaks: As a result of being isolated from society, he's developed some serious problems.
  • Made of Iron: He takes multiple stab wounds in the second film from Mary, but he just shrugs them off.
  • Momma's Boy: "A boy's best friend is his mother."
  • Mommy Issues: His murderous split personality is due to being emotionally dependent upon his mother since his father died at five years old.
  • Nervous Wreck: He appears to have a lot of nervous tics, like chewing, laughing, and stuttering.
  • Nice Guy: When Mommy doesn't take over...
  • No Social Skills: Because he's been isolated all of his life, Norman has trouble interacting with others.
  • Not Me This Time: The antagonist from Psycho II is actually not Norman.
  • Odd Couple: The oddest relationship he ever had was his romance with Maureen, a nun with emotional issues.
  • Odd Friendship: He forms a close friendship with a rational person in every film.
  • Oedipus Complex: Norman's mother deliberately isolated her five-year-old son from the outside world and made him utterly dependent on her after Mr Bates' death. Naturally enough, the twelve-year-old, completely co-dependent Norman then reacted rather badly to her remarriage.
  • The Peeping Tom: In the parlor and hidden behind a painting, is a hole that looks into Cabin 1. He uses it to look at Marion Crane and Maureen Coyle.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: His bedroom looks exactly like a child's room, with toys and everything still in place. He also has a book made of pornographic images designed as a coloring book.
  • Red Herring: The audience is fooled into believing that he's the killer of the second movie. However, it's revealed that Norman is innocent this time.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: In the second film, Norman attempts to resume living a normal life, but a new killer disguised as his mother drives him back into insanity.
  • Reluctant Psycho: In Psycho II, Psycho III and Psycho IV.
  • Self-Made Orphan: A surprisingly justified example. He killed his mother in order to put an end to his abuse.
  • Serial Killer: In Psycho II, he is revealed to have killed seven people before being captured at the end of the first film.
  • Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny: When Norman finds himself attracted to women (such as Marion Crane), the "mother" side of his personality lashes out and seeks to rid him of his sinful urges by way of murder.
  • Ship Tease: Had some romantic interactions with Mary and Maureen.
  • Shrinking Violet: Due to his mother's atrocious abuse, Norman is very shy and has No Social Skills.
  • Split Personality: Norman and his internalized mother.
  • Split Personality Takeover: At the end of the first film. In the words of the psychiatrist: "Norman Bates no longer exists". He gets better in the sequel, however.
  • Straw Nihilist: During his conversation with Marion, he expresses a bleak view of life as a trap from which he doesn't even try to escape.
  • Sweet Tooth: He's frequently seen with a bag of candy.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: He's a good guy, but his dark side is too strong for him to control and have a normal life.
  • Talking to Themself: His mother has been dead for years, but he pretends he's still talking with her.
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: He keeps a roomful of stuffed birds adjacent to the motel office. And the film's great twist is that his "mother" is actually just a preserved and stuffed corpse.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else: He looks like an awkward young man, but he's really a deranged Serial Killer.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: By the end of Psycho IV, he overcomes his insanity and becomes optimistic for a brighter tomorrow with his newfound family.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: From the second film onward, Norman becomes a kinder person simply trying to live a normal life and escape his psychological issues.
  • Tragic Villain: Although one with an ultimately happy ending, provided you see Psycho IV as being canon.
  • Troubled, but Cute: His boy next door looks could fool anyone.
  • Villain Protagonist: After Marion's death, the film rotates between him and her sister as primary protagonists. Norman completely averts the the Villain part of this trope in the second film until the very end of the film and plays this role straight in the third film. Norman then completely averts this again in the fourth with exceptions of the Protagonist Journey to Villain flashbacks.
  • Wicked Cultured: Norman is devotee of Beethoven. While searching his room in the first film Lila notes a record of Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica") on his turntable, and in Psycho II he plays the Moonlight Sonata on the piano.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He just wants a normal life, but certain problems prevent that.

    Marion Crane 

Marion Crane

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Psycho_Marion_8053.jpg

Played By: Janet Leigh (in Psycho 1960), Anne Heche (in Psycho 1998)

  • Alone with the Psycho: The Trope Namer.
  • Anti-Hero: She steals from her company to live a good life with her husband.
  • Break the Cutie: Realizes the error of her ways when she talks with Norman.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The Trope Codifier. While Sam and Norman both get a decent amount of screen-time in the early stages, the film is almost entirely her story. Then the shower scene happens...
  • Dies Wide Open: The final shot of her body shows her cold, emotionless eyes releasing a Single Tear before she passes away.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Knifed in the shower a dozen times until dying.
  • Kill the Cutie: She decides to return to face punishment for her crimes, but is soon killed by Norman.
  • Redemption Equals Death: She would likely have ended up dead either way, but after having dinner with Norman (and just before her fatal shower) she decides to return the stolen money to her employers and face the music.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Most famously, the film spends the first half detailing her motivations and conflicts, to make it more horrifying when Norman slaughters her.
  • Single Tear: A final drip of water drops across her pale, dead face.
  • Stealing from the Till: Her primary conflict is stealing money from her place of business to help pay off her lover's debts.

    Lila Loomis, nee Crane 

Lila Loomis, née Crane

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lila-Psycho_1592.jpg

Played By: Vera Miles (in Psycho 1960 and Psycho II), Julianne Moore (in Psycho 1998)

  • Abusive Parent: She manhandles her daughter and screams at her numerous times, though it could be her way of showing Anger Born of Worry out of fearing that if Norman indeed goes crazy again while Mary is vulnerable to his state, Lila does not want to lose her to Norman like how she lost Marion to him in the first movie.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the second novel, Lila is just an innocent victim roped back into Norman's horrific story. In the second film, she's a part of the Big Bad Ensemble.
  • Adult Fear: In the first film, her sister Marion suddenly disappears without anyone aware of her current whereabouts. Worried to death over her missing sister, Lila desperately searches for her in an attempt to gain closure. Eventually, she comes across the Bates Motel in her search, where she discovers the horrifying truth. So in Psycho II, you sometimes can't blame her for hating Norman when he is released from the mental hospital. Also in the sequel, even though she mishandles and constantly hassles her daughter, it could be likely a case of Anger Born of Worry out of fearing to lose her to Norman while her daughter is off-guard like how she lost Marion.
  • Ambiguously Evil: She Took a Level in Jerkass and constantly threatens Norman, but she's entirely right in questioning his sanity and some of her motives behind her actions are good-intentioned, making her character ambiguous, possibly bordering on an extreme take of the Hero Antagonist role.
  • Archenemy: She's Norman's greatest enemy.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: She constantly delivers several of these towards the town sheriff and her daughter about Norman.
  • Asshole Victim: In Psycho II, her actions in the sequel before her death might have been good intentioned in a way, but otherwise still amoral and vindictive towards a man who paid his debt to society.
  • Best Served Cold: In Psycho II. She desires swift vengeance on Norman because she believed he slipped through the justice system.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: She and Mrs. Spool are both the main antagonists of the second film, however, while Spool fulfills her Big Bad half straight, Lila on the other hand fulfills the Knight Templar half of this ensemble.
  • Cain and Abel: Lila in the second film only proves herself to be the Cain to Marion's Abel.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Impaled through the mouth with a kitchen knife in Psycho II.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Subverted. She almost tries to impersonate Norman's mother, but she ends up killed by the new killer.
  • Death by Irony: She ends up killed in the exact same room where she encountered Norman and his mother.
  • Death Glare: Constantly delivers a hateful stare at Norman.
  • Didn't See That Coming: She's incredibly shocked at what she discovers in Norman's basement.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She's very amoral and unpredictable, but she cares about her deceased sister and husband Sam. However, it's very debatable as to whether or not she loved her daughter Mary, though she did promised her that no harm would come her way if Norman indeed goes insane again after the final stage of her scheme is complete as she would come in to rescue her at the moment before anything else happens and the way she treats Mary could be a result of Anger Born of Worry of not wanting to lose Mary to Norman like how she lost Marion.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite the fact that she Took a Level in Jerkass, she's absolutely hates Norman for being a psychopath. Ironically, she's almost worse than he ever was.
  • Evil Old Folks: Becomes the villain of the second film after she Took a Level in Jerkass.
  • Evil Plan: She intends to have Norman recommitted to the asylum as part of her revenge scheme.
  • Face–Heel Turn: She was originally the hero of the first film, but the sequel has her become the antagonist trying to ruin Norman's life out of spite.
  • Fatal Flaw: In addition to being impulsive, she has a nasty habit of taking matters into her own hands when she feels things are not progressing as they should. It is justified in the first film and novel, but it almost gets her killed. In the second film, it finally catches up to her.
  • Genre Blind: She's unable to accept that Norman has truly reformed and believes he'll return to his psychotic ways, despite the fact that he's trying to change for the better. However, she fails to realize that driving a former Serial Killer back to insanity may result in unfortunate consequences. Which it ultimately does.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Her plan to drive Norman insane again in the second film goes off very well. Unfortunately, she wasn't counting on Mary becoming sympathetic towards Norman, and definitely didn't foresee Emma Spool messing everything up.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: She lights a few cigarettes when feeling angry.
  • The Hero: In the first film only. Unfortunately, she becomes a villain (though can be viewed as the Hero Antagonist kind of villain, only this time of the He Who Fights Monsters variety, to one viewer's perspective) in the sequel.
  • Hero Antagonist: Towards Norman, in Psycho, along with Sam Loomis. It's subverted in Psycho II, as the Antagonist side of this trope outweigh the Hero and due to the fact that Norman was innocent to begin with and would have stayed that way had she not interfered.
  • Hot-Blooded: She's very eager to find her sister. Often getting into trouble due to her irrational actions. Sam and her daughter usually calm her down in most of their scenes together.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: She has a cold, Death Glare of a facial expression.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Is stabbed through the mouth.
  • Inspector Javert: A non-cop version. Still hounds Norman and views him as the irredeemable murderer after he's been released from the mental institution in Psycho II.
  • Irony: She tells her daughter that people never change who they are. This is despite that she Took a Level in Jerkass.
  • It's Personal: She absolutely hates Norman Bates for murdering her sister. To the point where she can't even accept that he's trying to reform himself.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In Psycho II, although she does not give Norman a chance for the murder of her sister, in the opening courtroom scene, she was correct that usually the justice system would not give criminals convicted of first degree murder a light sentence of being released back into society to reintegrate and is entirely right in questioning his sanity, which is why Lila in the second film counts as a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Not only does she argue to have an emotionally broken Norman thrown back into prison, but she chews him out right after his hearing and treats him like an animal.
    • She also hurts Mary in a fit of rage while shouting at her.
  • Knight Templar Big Sister: Especially in Psycho II, when she attempts to avenge her sister's death by making sure Norman is locked away for good. Also, in the first film, she attempts to search for her sister with determination.
  • Knight Templar Parent: She's very forceful towards her own daughter.
  • Morality Chain: It turns out that her husband Sam was this for her. He kept her calm and rational whenever he was present. Unfortunately, after he dies in between films, she becomes mentally unstable and monstrous.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Thanks to her desire for revenge on Norman she caused him to return to his psychotic ways.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: She wanted Norman to regrow his psychotic mental instability to have him arrested again, but instead she causes him to regrow into a Serial Killer while she's framed for all of his crimes in the second movie.
  • No Sympathy: She doesn't care that Norman has truly reformed and intends to have him recommitted anyway.
  • Not So Different:
    • Seeing as how Lila treats her daughter in Psycho II, she has more than a few similarities to the mother that drove Norman Bates insane, though for Lila's case, it could be Anger Born of Worry of losing her daughter to Norman after losing her sister to him before since Lila is fulfilling the Hero Antagonist role.
    • And, of course, there's the fact that she sets everything up to make Norman go insane again. Sure, she has a reason for not liking him because he killed her sister and several other people, but to attempt to send him back to the asylum and possibly kill again is just wrong.
  • Oh Crap!: Has this reaction upon discovering what's in Norman's basement.
  • Revenge Before Reason: In Psycho II. She feels that Norman didn't get punished for her crimes and goes on a crusade to ruin his life. However, she breaks numerous laws in her quest, bringing her own death on herself.
  • Relationship Upgrade: She married Sam Loomis between Psycho and Psycho II.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: She does have a point in questioning Norman's mental condition and if he's truly ready for the world. However, she completely hates him and has No Sympathy for Bates because of what he's done to her.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: In Psycho II. Her obsession to avenge the death of her sister against her murderer slowly begins to corrupt her, causing her to Took a Level in Jerkass by being amoral in her actions and even allowing murders not committed by Norman to be pinned on him anyway.
  • Sociopathic Hero: In Psycho II, this is one of the symptoms of Lila suffering from He Who Fights Monsters when she takes her Hero Antagonist role too far when a teenage boy dies horribly in Bates' home, she quickly dismisses the death even though she was not directly responsible for his death and sees it as an opportunity to pin it on Norman, not giving a care about the life lost at all. Her daughter calls her out on it.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: In her newfound role as a straightforward vigilante, she's monitoring Norman's entire life in order to get him recommitted to the insane asylum out of vengeance for all the wrongs he's done to her.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Despite surviving the horrors of the first film, she ends up killed in the second.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Without much explanation, Lila becomes more villainous in the second movie.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: In the original film only, in the sequel she conversely became a somewhat unsympathetic Inspector Javert vigilante.
  • Tautological Templar: In Psycho II, she uses amoral methods to bring down Norman. These methods involve driving a reformed criminal back into insanity and murdering a lot of innocent people.
  • Tempting Fate: She constantly says that Norman is a psychopath who hasn't changed. She's proven right in the end after her revenge had a part in driving Norman back into evil.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Psycho II. In the first movie, she was a polite but determined Amateur Sleuth who wanted to find out what happened to her sister and more of a straightforward Hero Antagonist to Norman's then-Villain Protagonist. In Psycho II, while still fulfilling her part as a Hero Antagonist, she became an unscrupulously staunch Knight Templar Vigilante Woman who tries to amorally drive Norman insane again out of revenge.
  • Unknown Rival: Norman has no idea that she's attempting to ruin his life. Simultaneously, she has her own unknown rival stalking her for trying to harm Norman.
  • Vigilante Woman: In Psycho II, when she decides to take the law to her own hands to apprehend Norman herself after feeling the courts "protect criminals, not their victims," when Norman was released and declared sane.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In Psycho II. Aside from the fact that her attempts to drive Norman insane again to get him recommitted are a result of avenging her sister's death, it also seems out of protecting any other potential victims (or as she quotes them to be "an innocent public") out of harm's way of a "homicidal maniac" (also quoted by her in the opening courtroom scene) in case if he ever relapsed back into insanity on his own without any interference from outside parties such as herself if not sooner. Plus, even though Lila did not seem to care if others who are already killed to have their deaths pinned on Norman anyway, it could be possible Lila saw them as necessary Sacrificial Lambs to bring, what she see it as, a Karma Houdini murderer to justice.
  • Widow Woman: In Psycho II, where it's revealed Sam Loomis, whom she married after the events of the first film, has died before the events of the second film.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In Psycho II, when she still views herself as the Hero Antagonist to Norman's Villain Protagonist (only this time, however, unlike the first film where both characters played their aforementioned roles straight, the Villain part has been removed from the Protagonist part until the end of the film of course, which in turn the Hero part is mostly nonexistent next to the Antagonist part).

    Norma Bates 

Norma Bates, née Spool

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/8441-15349_6926.gif
Click here to see  her corpse

Played By: Olivia Hussey (in Psycho IV)

  • A Day in the Limelight: Psycho IV is the film that focuses on her relationship with Norman the most.
  • Abusive Parents: Always yells at her son and keeps him away from women.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In Psycho IV, she fell in love with a new man named Chet, who also enjoys beating her son.
  • All Women Are Lustful: She constantly craves for a man's affection, be it her own son or another man in town.
  • Asshole Victim: She was an abusive monster who caused all the hell in Norman's life. Nobody feels bad when we learned that she was killed and preserved as a corpse by Norman.
  • Bigger Bad: She's established as the biggest problem in the series. At least in Norman's psyche.
  • Bitch Alert: Her very first scene is her screaming at Norman from her bedroom, solidifying her as an antagonistic woman.
  • The Cameo: In Psycho II, when Norman needs proof that his mother is truly out of his life, the police allow him to view her corpse as proof after digging it up from her grave.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She was overbearing on her son Norman.
  • Companion Cube: The film reveals that her corpse is this for her son.
  • The Corrupter: She's the one who made Norman a Broken Bird and even controls his mind long after death.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Norman preserved her corpse and talks to it as if she's still alive.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Played for Drama. In Psycho IV, she's shown to have constantly sexually harass Norman at every turn.
  • Domestic Abuser: She abuses Norman even after death.
  • Evil Gloating: After she abused Norman, she would start talking about how he deserved it in a smug manner.
  • Evil Matriarch: Though Psycho IV downplays this.
  • Evil Old Folks: She abused Norman all his life and still haunts him from beyond the grave.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Norman describes her as the most beautiful woman in his life. She's also the one who scarred him for life.
  • Hate Sink: Without revealing any spoilers, she is established as a sick person before anyone meets her.
  • Hypocrite: She tells Norman that all women are whores except for her. This is despite the fact that she's so perverted that she comes onto her own son.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: In Psycho IV, she was very beautiful before aging into a disfigured corpse.
  • Incest Subtext: It was confirmed that she did sexually abuse Norman.
  • It's All About Me: She abuses Norman because she always complains about how he's ruining her life.
  • Jerkass: All we know about her is that she's very angry.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: She would cruelly pretend that she was harsh on Norman because she said that she does care about him, only in an effort to drive him back to her so she had someone to abuse.
  • Jump Scare: Her first appearance physically is seeing her corpse spun towards the camera.
  • Karmic Death: She's killed by the very son she tormented and left a bloody husk Norman made with his taxidermy skills.
  • Kick the Dog: Her constant treatment towards Norman ranges from berating him to constantly abusing since childhood. It's really saying something when the smallest insult Norman remembers is when she told him that she should have had an abortion to prevent him from ruining her life.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The film (and its sequels) establishes her as the darkest character.
  • Lack of Empathy: She never once actually cared about her son's well-being.
  • Loners Are Freaks: She lives alone with Norman in an isolated area and horribly abuses him for a sick laugh.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Even beyond the grave she continues to torment Norman.
  • Mask of Sanity: Psycho IV really shows that she's more psychotic than her own son.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Norma is either depicted as a monstrous personality deep inside of her abused son's mind or an actual ghost still haunting Norman from beyond the grave.
  • Mind Rape: A downplayed, realistic example. Her constant abuse eventually broke her own son's mental health. Now her personality lives on within him because of her cruel presence in his life.
  • Mood-Swinger: She can go to be nice and endearing towards her son, to completely sadistic in an instant. When her son tries to bond with her, they're playfully having fun until she snaps at him, dresses him up like a girl, beats him, and locks him up in a closet for a week. The next day, she's all lovey-dovey towards him.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: In Psycho. Norman preserves her corpse as best he can and keeps her in the master bedroom, hiding her in the fruit cellar when anyone comes snooping around.
  • My Beloved Smother: Part of Norman's backstory is that she dominated him and forced him to become co-dependent after his father died. Not to mention her bullying behavior during the film. Or at least, her behavior as Norman remembers her, anyway.
  • Nightmare Face: Her permanent facial expression has become this after Norman used his taxidermy skills to preserve her corpse. Just look at the image from the original film.
  • No Indoor Voice: She's always yelling at her son.
  • No Sympathy: She doesn't care about the lives of anyone, even her own son.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Justified, since she's an old lady. Subverted and taken Up to Eleven in the climax, when it's revealed that she's been dead for years.
  • Obviously Evil: Her first scene involves her screaming at Norman from her house, with Norman saying how she always puts him down.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Played for Drama. Norman couldn't bear to live without her anymore so he took her corpse, remade it as best he could, and pretends to interact with it in order to continue living on the life he's always had with her.
  • Parental Incest: It's confirmed that she did sexually abuse Norman.
  • Peek-A-Boo Corpse: In Psycho. It serves as the twist when we see that she's been preserved by her own son.
  • Posthumous Character: We only learn more about her after it's revealed she's been dead for years. Otherwise, Norman's flashbacks only show her personality.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers very harsh ones to her own son throughout the first and fourth film.
  • The Reveal: She's revealed to be nothing but a corpse physically, but her personality is inside Norman due to all the abuse he's suffered under her.
  • Sadist: Psycho IV shows that she loved torturing her son all his life. You don't feel sad when she gets what's coming to her.
  • Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny: She tells Norman that sex is a horrible thing that he should never have, but she'll make up an excuse to trick him into sleeping with her.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "Oh, I refuse to speak of disgusting things because they disgust me!"
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else: In Psycho IV, she's such a pretty girl that you'd never suspect she's really a complete monster.
  • The Unseen: She's never seen until the end of Psycho. But she is often heard either by Norman or anyone not near the two in the first movie.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Thanks to her abuse, she caused Norman to become a mentally unstable Serial Killer.
  • Walking Spoiler: She plays a very important part to Norman's character.
  • Yandere: Nobody gets between her and Norman.

    Mary Samuels 

Mary Samuels (real name Loomis)

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/psycho04_3815.jpg

Played By: Meg Tilly (in Psycho II)

  • Accidental Murder: She accidentally kills Norman's therapist Dr. Raymond in self-defense after mistaking him for an insane Norman. Ironically, her own death is this as well.
  • All for Nothing: Her attempts to help Norman and Lila resolve their personal issues ultimately ends in failure due to her death.
  • Becoming the Mask: Despite being a spy sent by her mother to corrupt Norman, she actually grows fond of him after realizing that he genuinely is a good person deep down.
  • Cassandra Truth: She tries to tell Lila that Norman is cured of his insanity and her attempts to drive him crazy are only making things worse, but she refuses to acknowledge her arguments.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Impersonates Norman's mother with a robe, a wig and the kitchen knife in hope of stopping him from going insane again. It doesn't end well for her.
  • Death by Irony: She accidentally kills Dr. Raymond after mistaking him for Norman, thinking he was going to kill her. She gets shot dead by the police when they mistake her for the murderer when they see her assaulting Norman while dressed as his mother.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She was initially very cold towards Norman at first and distanced herself from him, but wound up developing a fondness for him.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When the police arrive on the scene, she never thought that they'd consider her the criminal despite that she's holding a weapon, threatening Norman, and dressed as his mother.
  • The Dragon: To her mother Lila.
  • Dull Surprise: She reacts pretty well to Norman informing her about his Serial Killer past. Justified, since her mother informed her all about him already.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: She's very beautiful, but she hides ulterior motives. Specifically her mother's plans for Norman.
  • Failure Hero: She wanted to help Norman and her mother Lila solve their problems. Unfortunately, all she did was escalate the conflict even more with her futile attempts to derail it.
  • Failure Knight: Her main goal was to help her mother Lila get Norman recommitted to the institution, but she genuinely develops feelings for Norman and tries to help him fully reform. However, thanks to Spool's interference, her attempts to help Norman sadly fail and she ends up mistaken as the true killer and gunned down by the police, failing her goals.
  • Faux Action Girl: Despite being armed with a gun and a Honey Trap for Norman, these skills never come up or do her any good in the end.
  • Girl Next Door: She's so unbelievably attractive that Norman never assumed she's be interested in spending time with him.
  • Good Is Dumb: She initially assumes that Norman is evil when the two first interact, but then starts to see the good in him after she caused him to slowly lose his mind and slip into evil again. Her foolishness eventually leads to her death.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She grows genuinely convinced of Norman's newfound sanity and at some point doesn't want to help her mother make him insane anymore, however, after discovering Lila's dead body, she fully accept Lila was right all along about Norman and gets killed just after believing into it.
    • Heel Face Doorslam: She begins to accept that Norman was crazy all along after finding Lila's corpse under his basement. Unfortunately, she gets shot dead by the police for being mistaken as the real killer.
  • Hero Antagonist: Was in on Lila's plan to bring Norman to justice and have him incarcerated for good. Subverted when she starts to sympathize with Norman and later turn against her mother's intentions to have him arrested again. However, after discovering Lila's body in the pile of coal in Norman's cellar, Mary firmly grasped completely on this trope only to seconds later be shot by the police for her attempt on Norman's life.
  • Heroic Wannabe: She really comes across as this near the end of Psycho II. She wants to help appease both Norman and her mother, but struggles between making a choice on whose side she's on. Sadly, she causes Norman to pull another Face–Heel Turn in the end because of her mistakes.
  • Honey Trap: She was sent to seduce Norman by her own vengeful mother Lila.
  • Kill the Cutie: She is shot dead by the police after an unlucky and tragic chain of reactions.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Thanks to her death, Norman is able to return to his psychotic life and resume killing people like he did before.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: The police arrive just when she's about to kill Norman while dressed as his mother, causing them to think she's the real psycho. This results in her death.
  • The Mole: She was sent to spy on Norman by her mother Lila.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She gets her own shower scene in the second film. This time, the audience gets to see a full view of her wet, nude body.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: She feels incredibly guilty for driving Norman back to insanity. However, she changes her tune at the last minute when she thinks that her mother was right about him all along.
  • Nice Girl: She acts kind and gentle towards both Norman and her Jerkass Inspector Javert mother when she doesn't have to.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Her part in her mother's plan is the biggest contribution to Norman pulling another Face–Heel Turn.
  • Not Helping Your Case: She tries to prove Norman's crazy. However, the cops find her attacking Norman with a knife while dressed as his mother. Unsurprisingly, she ends up accidentally incriminating herself.
  • Not So Different: She and Norman are both abused and used as tools by their mothers.
  • Oh Crap!: She finally gives in to her mother's beliefs after finding her corpse under Norman's basement.
  • Only Sane Woman: She seems like the most rational person in the movie other than Norman's therapist Dr. Raymond. However, she ends up losing her own mind.
  • Pet the Dog: She genuinely comforts Norman when he suffers a Freak Out, calming his nerves. She also defends him from Toomey and Lila's criticisms towards him.
  • The Scapegoat: Thanks to a string a unfortunate events, the police mistake her as the true killer attacking people in the Bates Motel since she happens to be standing over Norman while dressed as his mother, brandishing a knife before attempting to kill him. She ends up framed for all the killings of the film, while Norman takes out the real killer in the end. Allowing a mentally deteriorating Norman to continue his troubled life once more.
  • Ship Sinking: Her relationship with Norman quickly crumbles after she assumes he killed her mother before she gets killed herself by the police when they mistake her for the true villain.
  • Ship Tease: She develops a small interest in Norman, which he returns.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: In contrast her mother's Inspector Javert, Mary, despite being in on her mother's plans, is sympathetic towards Norman and later turn against her mother's mission to have Norman re-arrested and re-committed, until seeing her mother's corpse convinces her Lila was right all along it seems.
  • Too Dumb to Live: When she hears the cops rushing into Norman's house, she never once thinks of removing her "Mother" costume while brandishing a knife preparing to kill Norman. This causes the cops to assume that she's the real killer and shoot her dead.
  • Vigilante Woman: At first, she was involved with her mother's Well-Intentioned Extremist plans, but later turn against Lila after becoming convinced of Norman's newfound sanity, but later plays this role straight for a minute in the climax after discovering her mother's dead body.
  • Walking Spoiler: Once you find out her true role in the film, it's impossible to say what she does without giving away too much.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She questions why Lila is entirely against Norman, calling her out for being extremely judgmental towards him.

    Maureen Coyle 

Maureen Coyle

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tmb_3450_480_2235.jpg

Played by: Diana Scarwid (in Psycho III)

  • Accidental Murder:
    • Norman accidentally makes her fall down the stairs to her death when he sees the spirit of his mother.
    • Earlier in the film, she accidentally pushes the superior nun off of the church bell tower when she tries talking her out of jumping.
  • Adorkable: When she and Norman share their first dance together.
  • Attempted Rape: While hitching a ride with Duke, he attempts to rape her, but she quickly gets out of his car before he can have his way with her.
  • Bath Suicide: She attempts to kill herself in the motel bath tub, but Norman saves her.
  • Book Ends: For her story, she accidentally murders another nun trying to help her while suffering a Heroic B.S.O.D. and she ends up accidentally killed while trying to reach out to Norman while he's suffering a Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Break the Cutie: Suffers from serious depression at her convent, questioning whether or not if her life has purpose. Then, she accidentally kills the head nun when she tries talking her off of the bell tower, causing her to go through one hell of a Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Broken Bird: She suffers from extreme depression that causes her to be Driven to Suicide.
  • Butt Monkey: Played for Drama. She experiences a lot of hell throughout the third movie. Fortunately, Norman lets his good side comfort her.
  • Crisis of Faith: She seems to have lost all her faith in Catholicism, since her very first line has her shouting how there is no God or hope. Fortunately, Norman helps her rebuild her optimism throughout the film.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: As soon as she turns her life around and offers Norman a chance to do the same, she dies by accidentally falling down the stairs and ending up impaled by a statue of Cupid shooting his arrow.
  • Death by Irony: After admitting her love for Norman, she falls down the stairs, and ends up impaled In the Back by a statue of Cupid's arrow.
  • Death Seeker: For the first half of the movie she attempts to kill herself because she no longer has faith in God. Fortunately, she comes across the Bates Motel, where bigger things come into play for her.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Passed it in the opening of Psycho III, where she loses her faith in Catholicism and accidentally kills another nun.
    Maureen: THERE IS NO GOD!
  • Downer Beginning: Her introduction scene has her attempting suicide while her fellow sisters try talking her down. Only for her to accidentally cause the head nun to fall off the bell tower they're on to her death. Unable to remain at the covenant, she wanders off into the desert to die. This was just the beginning.
  • Driven to Suicide: She nearly kills herself, but Norman rescues her.
  • Give Me a Sign: She desperately pleas for a sign from God after undergoing a crisis of faith. She accidentally mistakes Norman as a sign of hope while bleeding out in the bath tub. But, she sees Norman as an equal who can bond with her. She's almost entirely correct.
  • Good Is Dumb: Subverted. Several characters call her foolish for thinking there's good in Norman Bates, but she's proven right in the end. She's the first girl who has come close to freeing Norman from his controlling mother. Sadly, she ends up killed completely by accident after Norman lets her hand go while walking upstairs.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She has beautiful, blond hair and is the kind to everyone.
  • Heel Face Doorslam: Just when she finally gets over her troubles and begins a relationship with Norman, she dies completely by accident.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Suffers a heavy one in the first half of Psycho III. However, Norman helps her recover.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: She thinks very little of herself when Norman praises her for remaining strong in her emotional endeavors.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: She realizes that Norman's love for her is what made her life worth living.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: She ends up impaled on a statue of Cupid's arrow through her back after falling from the stairs.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Ironically, she thinks that she's not good enough for Norman. He attempts to prove that she's stronger than she thinks she is.
  • Interrupted Suicide: When Norman comes into her room, his good personality returns just in time to save her, preventing history from repeating itself.
  • Kill the Cutie: By accident. Or was it Mother's spirit?
  • Love Epiphany: She ultimately realizes that she's in love with Norman Bates and wants to save his soul so they can live happily ever after together.
  • Love Redeems: She realizes that she is in love with Norman and vows to help him get better. Sadly, tragedy strikes soon after.
  • Morality Pet: Becomes a major one to Norman. Every time he sees her, he's able to prevent his mother personality from taking over or bringing harm to her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The audience gets a perfect view of her body (which was mostly done by her actress Diana Scarwid's body double Brinke Stevens) in the bath tub.
  • Naughty Nuns: She works as a nun, but slowly develops feelings for Norman. She's also the third film's Ms. Fanservice, getting entirely naked at one point (even though that was done by her actress' body double).
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After finally realizing her true feelings for Norman, she dies completely by accident.
  • Not So Different:
    • Another girl exactly like Norman. Both are emotionally hurt people who are nice to everyone they meet, but hide their inner pain from others.
    • Also one to Marion Crane. She's an emotionally troubled girl who hides out at the Bates Motel after committing a crime she regretted. Norman even notices that they have the same initials and a similar, uncanny appearance.
  • Nice Girl: She shows nothing but respect for everyone around her.
  • Nun Too Holy: She's a nun who wants to kill herself.
  • Oh Crap!: Has this reaction after accidentally killing the superior nun. And again when she reunites with Duke at the Bates Motel.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Just when she turns her own life around and is about to help Norman do the same, she dies accidentally falling down the stairs after Norman loses his grip on her hand.
  • Sex Equals Love: Inverted. She falls in love with Norman because of his kindness towards her rather than having sex with him. Very likely because of her horrible experience with Duke's method of winning her over.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When she and Norman go out on their first date, she doesn't look as broken as she did earlier in the film.
  • She's Got Legs: Norman observers her undressing and notices her nice, smooth legs first.
  • Ship Sinking: Her relationship with Norman takes quite a hit when she ends up leaving him after learning of his troubled history. However, she finds herself unable to leave Norman and desires to live a happy life with him forever Unfortunately, just about when Norman is going to accept her back, she accidentally dies falling down the stairs.
  • Ship Tease: She and Norman develop a relationship together, that Norman hopes to keep.
  • Shout-Out: Her introductory scene has her climbing a tall church tower on the edge of the building while watching an innocent friend fall over to her death, scarring her for the rest of the movie.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She falls for Norman because he is a so caring towards her. At least when he's not under control of his Split Personality. She even tries to save his soul because she knows he's a good man deep down. It almost works too.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: She's the most well-meaning character in the entire film series. Unfortunately, she dies while trying to save Norman from his split personality. The only thing that makes it less depressing is that Norman didn't kill her.
  • Too Happy to Live: Just when she and Norman are about to live happily ever after, she dies completely by accident.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: After she and Norman form a loving, stable relationship, she is much happier than she was earlier in the film.
  • Troubled, but Cute: She's very attractive, but needs a lot of help conquering her inner demons.
  • When She Smiles: She has a nice, innocent grin when she snaps out of her depression. This shows up a lot on her dates with Norman.

    Emma Spool 

Emma Spool

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/307941_1254632978595_full_5898.jpg

Played by: Claudia Bryar (in Psycho II)

  • Affably Evil: She's very approachable when she's not killing people to defend Norman.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The third film ends with Norman realizing her severed arm is in his pocket.
  • Asshole Victim: Norman kills her with a Shovel Strike at the end of Psycho II.
  • Ax-Crazy: She killed multiple people while trying to reach Norman.
  • Badass Grandma: She's the killer of the second movie. She's been able to kill numerous people without the police force ever suspecting her.
  • Bait and Switch: At first, she seems like a Cool Old Lady. You'd never suspect that she's really the main villain.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: She truly desires to be a mother figure to Norman. By the end of the second film, Norman killed her and used her corpse to replace the now buried Norma.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She may seem like a sweet old lady, but she's the real killer of the second film.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: She and Lila are both the villains of the second movie.
  • Bigger Bad: Of the original trilogy, through kidnapping Norman as a baby and killing Norman's biological dad, she's indirectly responsible for her sister to abuse Norman that turned him into a serial killer that lead to the events of the first film and its sequels.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She may act like a nice elderly woman at first approach, but she's really an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer who wants to take Norman as her own child.
  • Cain and Abel: More like Cain and Cain. She didn't like her sister Norma at least one little bit. She even tries to take her son under her wing.
  • Cool Old Lady: She gives Norman a job after he's been through some tough times. However, she hides sinister intentions underneath.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: She dressed up as her deceased sister and murdered numerous people under her identity.
  • Didn't See That Coming: She thought that Norman would accept her with open arms upon revealing herself as the true killer of the second film. Instead he kills her and uses her body to replace Norma.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Turns out that this seemingly kind, elderly lady was truly the Greater Scope Villain of the entire Psycho film series.
  • Evil Old Folks: She performed all the murders of the second movie in order to drive Norman back to her.
  • Evil Versus Evil: She's entirely against Lila Loomis in the second film. Both are revealed to be the antagonists.
  • Hero Killer: Kills Hero Antagonist Lila in the first sequel, though this is subverted as while Lila was straightforwardly The Hero in the original film, Lila has Took a Level in Jerkass and shares one half of the Big Bad Ensemble with Spool.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: She ended up creating Norman along with her own sister. Fittingly enough, she ends up killed by him as well.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In III, Norman stabs her corpse repeatedly in order to purge his mind of her for good.
  • Insane Equals Violent: She's really an escaped mental patient who wants Norman to be her son. So naturally this makes her violent because she kills multiple people.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Makes up a half-assed excuse about Norman really being her son when in actuality they're not mother and son.
  • Irony: She absolutely hates Norma Bates for abusing Norman. In the end, she finds herself in the same place as her dead sister. As a corpse that Norman talks to.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: She got away with attempting to steal Norman and murdering people for a very long time. That is until Norman killed her in a fit of rage.
  • Karmic Death: Killed by the very child she was trying to dominate.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: She killed Norman's deplorable hotel manager and Lila after the refused to stop harassing Norman.
  • Knife Nut: She is the knife-wielding murderer in Psycho II.
  • Mama Bear: Don't insult or threaten Norman in front of her. As Toomey and Lila found out the hard way.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: "Replaces" Norman's mother at the end of Psycho II and in Psycho III. Norman stuffs her body at the beginning of Psycho III.
  • My Beloved Smother: Subverted. She claims she is Norman's mother and tries to raise him exactly the same way his real mother did.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: She ends up causing Norman to fully revert back to his old ways and is the first victim of his new killing spree after ousting herself as the true villain.
  • Not So Different: From her sister Norma. Both are murderous monsters desiring control over Norman's life.
  • Parental Substitute: Sort of. In the most horrible way imaginable actually. She "replaces" Norman's mother as a mummy Norman talks to.
  • Pet the Dog: She gives Norman a job when he's down on his luck and kills people who try to ruin his life by driving him insane again.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Ends up replacing Norma's corpse as Norman's new mother.
  • The Reveal: She is Norma's sister.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She has such a minimal role in most of her screen time, that you'd hardly ever suspect that she's the murderer of the second film. She even drives Norman back to his murderous ways. In fact, she influences the whole film series altogether because of her actions.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: She's been following Norman, Mary, and Lila all throughout Psycho II. Her main purpose is to protect Norman from Lila because she claims that he's her son. Mary almost catches her, but Spool is surprisingly stealthy.
  • Walking Spoiler: Aside from Norma, she also proves to be the biggest influence in the entire Psycho series as well.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/Psycho