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%% Explaining a trope is more than just saying "In season two" or "Alice is this for Bob." It means actually going into detail about how the trope is used in the series.
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!Jane Rizzoli
->'''Portrayed by:''' Creator/AngieHarmon


* ActionGirl: Rarely shies away from action. Even injured, she still wants to be the one to take people down.
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: In the books that the series is based on, Jane Rizzoli is consistently described as plain or average looking. This is a significant characteristic, as she tends to have an irrational jealousy and dislike of beautiful women. She's also described at petite in stature, but here, she's being played by the tall and gorgeous Angie Harmon (though Harmon has played Jane as a little more rough and tumble as time went on).
* AloofDarkHairedGirl: Rizzoli is a tall, mature, dark haired woman.
* AscendedExtra: Rizzoli is actually a secondary character in "The Surgeon", the first book in the series, and author Gerritsen had planned to kill her off before positive reader feedback changed her mind.
* BerserkButton: Harm or threaten her family or Maura and she will show you why she's the top homicide detective in Boston PD.
* [[BigBrotherInstinct Big Sister Instinct]]: Has taken this role to Barry Frost, warning him against reconciling with the ex who cheated on him and dumped him.
* BrainsAndBrawn: The Brawn to Maura's Brains. While Maura prefers either to work in her lab or just quietly think things over, Jane prefers being out in the field and does not shy away from physical action.
%% * CoolBigSis: To Frankie.
* DeadpanSnarker: Sometimes in spite of herself. Even when she's around people she'd be better off not pissing off, she still can't help but snark at or about them.
%% * {{Determinator}}
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: [[spoiler: Clementine.]]
%% * EveryoneKnowsMorse
%% I'm not sure if FairCop applies here - Angie Harmon is very good-looking, but how are Jane's good looks treated in-universe?
%% * FairCop
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Maura. They are almost inseparable, both at work and in their spare time, and Jane seems much closer to Maura than to her relatives or even to her lovers.
* HiddenDepths: Jane is actually rather good at ballet and chess.
* HollywoodHomely: Might be in the books. Partner Thomas Moore notes that she isn't necessarily bad-looking and that her appearance suffers more from the fact that she refuses to play up what attractiveness she might have--she doesn't wear makeup and she wears pantsuits that are unflattering to her petite frame--even the ''SerialKiller'' they're tracking notes that she might look prettier if she fixed herself up more.
* ImpaledPalm: Jane still bears the scars from when The Surgeon literally pinned her hands to the ground.
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: In the books. Her abrasive personality and drive to succeed stems from feelings of inadequacy over her plain looks, plus years of being TheUnfavorite both at home and on the job where's she's usually the only woman.
* InformedAttribute: Jane describes herself as strong and athletic even though Angie Harmon has the lithe, muscular frame of a toothpick. She might be telling the truth, but she sure doesn't look it.
* JerkassHasAPoint: She's a complete bitch about partner Thomas Moore getting involved with Catherine Cordell and about another partner, Barry Frost, mooning over a beautiful witness, but she's not entirely wrong--a cop becoming involved with a victim/witness ''seriously'' compromises his/her judgement and the integrity of the investigation. Cops have gotten into serious trouble for this in RealLife.
%% * LovelyAngels: With Maura.
* LimitedWardrobe:
** While she does occasionally wear other clothes, her work uniform is a pantsuit and short-sleeved, V-necked T-shirt. The only variation is the colour of the shirt and whether she wears a camisole (which often shows in her V-neck) or a bra underneath.
** Lampshaded by Jane when her apartment has burned down and she has to replace her wardrobe: according to her, the task mainly involves buying 20 identical T-shirts.
* MeaningfulName: In the books. Jane is literally a "plain Jane".
* MiddleChildSyndrome: She's usually overlooked by her mother in favour of older brother Tommy or little brother Frankie.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: It turns out she was accepted to BCU, but ended up not going because of her family situation. She also pretended not to know anything about chess when she was the one who taught Tommy how to play.
%% * OneOfTheBoys
* OnlySaneWoman: Jane qualifies, given how often the expression on her face resembles that of someone in the process of herding cats.
%% * RaisedCatholic
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Maura.
%% * ShesGotLegs
%% * SmartPeoplePlayChess
%% * StatuesqueStunner
%% * StreetSmart
%% * TallDarkAndSnarky
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: The Tomboy to Maura's Girly Girl.
* TheUnfavorite: Angela always seemed to favor her boys over Jane, and even more so in the books.
* WhatBeautifulEyes: Noted by partner Thomas Moore in the first novel.
* WhatTheHellHero: In the books. Gets called out on her irrational dislike of attractive women a handful of times. First partner Thomas Moore is utterly infuriated and disgusted to realize that she hates Catherine Cordell for the way she looks, and suggests that the real reason men aren't attracted to ''her'' isn't because she's plain, but because of her unattractive ''personality''. In another book, her next partner Barry Frost outright snaps at her, "You've got some real issues, you know that?", when he picks up on her distrust of a beautiful witness.
* WorkingClassHero: Her working-class background is often pointed out and contrasted to upper-class girl Maura.

!Maura Isles
->'''Portrayed by:''' Sasha Alexander


* AdaptationalAttractiveness: It's not as extreme a case as with Jane. Maura is described as "attractive" in the books, but as played by Sasha Alexander she is far more stunning than one would have imagined.
* AdaptationDyeJob: Maura is an EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette the books.
%% * {{Adorkable}}
* AllWomenLoveShoes: ''Especially'' telling is her reaction when Jane quips that she hid her shoes. Oh, and she provides the page image.
* AmbiguouslyBi: Even discounting the ton of LesYay she has with Jane, she's put an awful lot of thought into what kind of women she'd be into if she were a lesbian, and she makes some comments that indicate that she wouldn't mind having sex with a woman.
* AscendedExtra: Isles doesn't exist at all in "The Surgeon", and when she makes an appearance (in "The Apprentice"), she's a minor character. From the third book ("The Sinner") onward, her role enlarges to be almost equal with Rizzoli in most books, or the primary character in several.
* BerserkButton: Go ahead, go after her shoe collection. See how far you get.
** And for the love of her fair metropolis, if Jane gets hurt...
* BrainsAndBrawn: The {{Brain|y Brunette}}s to Jane's Brawn.
* CannotTellALie: Jane likes to point out what seems to be Maura's innate inability not to tell the truth. There are some exceptions where she actually doesn't tell the truth, or at least not the complete truth, but it is made clear that these are rare exceptions.
* TheCoroner: Maura works as a medical examiner and her main field is forensic medicine - though being close to a universal genius she is shown doing other kinds of forensic science as well.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: [[spoiler:Dorothea]]
%% * EveryoneKnowsMorse
* TheFashionista: Maura is very interested in fashion, always well dressed, and sometimes criticizes Jane's fashion choices and tries to improve the way she dresses.
* GoodBadGirl: Maura expresses a strong interest in sexual matters. Despite her somewhat shy, introverted personality and her nerdy image she seems to have a healthy sex life. See ReallyGetsAround.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Jane. They are almost inseparable and seem to value each other's company above that of family or even their lovers.
* HotForPreacher: In the books, becomes attracted to and eventually carries on an affair with a priest.
%% * HotScientist
* InsufferableGenius: She doesn't do it on purpose, but it drives Jane batty nonetheless.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Maura reveals that her childhood wasn't exactly parties and ponies in "I'm Your Boogie Man." In her own words, "there was a lot of benign neglect" - her parents had their own lives to lead that frequently didn't involve the mundane details of parenthood, and they didn't much care what Maura did as long as she kept good grades. As a result, Maura buried herself in schoolwork, to the point that she gave them the brochures to send her away to boarding school. ''At ten years old''.
%% * LonelyRichKid
%% * LovelyAngels: With Jane.
* MoralityPet: A minor and not always effective one to [[spoiler:her biological father Paddy Doyle Jr, a reputed mobster and killer. Paddy does seem to think she is the only good thing he's ever done and when his father, Paddy Sn. is getting ill, he asks Maura to help him get a compassionate release from prison and stay with Maura.]]
* NonIdleRich: Maura comes from a wealthy family and is financially independent. She works as a medical examiner because she loves her job, not to make a living.
* NoSocialSkills: While she does have some social skills, Maura is often somewhat awkward in social situations, and her rather blunt manner and inability to lie sometimes leads to embarrassing situations.
%% * TheNotLoveInterest: To Jane.
%% [[HandsomeLech Pretty Lech]]
* ReallyGetsAround: She has had more partners than anyone else on the show, flirts with a man while examining a dead body, and pursued Giovanni solely to sleep with him.
%% * RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Jane.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: Maura turning her back on the high society scene to work as a medical examiner. When Jane calls her out on her privileged background, she demonstrates quite convincingly that she "has [their] backs," using her connections to obtain several vital clues to the murder.
%% * SilkHidingSteel
%% * SmartPeoplePlayChess
%% * TheSpock
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: The Girly Girl to Jane's Tomboy.

!Frankie Rizzoli
->'''Portrayed by:''' Jordan Bridges

* EmbarrassingFirstName: [[spoiler: Francesco]]
%% * FairCop
%% * [[BigBrotherInstinct Little Brother Instinct]]: Towards Jane.
%% * RaisedCatholic
%% * TallDarkAndHandsome

!Vincent Korsak
->'''Portrayed by:''' Bruce [=McGill=]

%% * ActionDad
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Hardly a male model in his TV incarnation, but still much better looking than he's described in the books.
%% * CoolOldGuy
* DaChief: After being promoted to Sergeant, Korsak is put in charge of a small team of detectives: himself, Rizzoli and Frost.
%% * EveryoneKnowsMorse
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Korsak is constantly rescuing animals.
%% * LastNameBasis
* [[LikeASonToMe Like A Daughter To Me]]: His relationship with Jane.
* ThemeNaming: He has dogs named Starsky, Hutch, and Kojak.
* TheMentor: To Jane.
* PapaWolf: Towards Jane.

!Barry Frost
->'''Portrayed by:''' Lee Thompson Young

* ActorExistenceFailure: The unfortunate suicide of Lee Thompson Young.
* AfraidOfBlood: Especially in the first season, Frost's squeamishness and physical discomfort at the sight of blood and dead bodies makes him the butt of many jibes from his more hardened colleagues.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: In the book ''Keepsake'', after Jane makes a snide comment about his attraction to a beautiful witness, he turns on her and snaps, [[PrecisionFStrike "Fuck you, Rizzoli."]] and proceeds to chew her out about her persistent IrrationalHatred of beautiful women. Jane notes that Frost is usually such an easygoing NiceGuy that to see him react like this is downright scary.
* BlackAndNerdy: Frost is well versed in computer technology, action figures, and [=MMORPG=]s.
%% * DeadpanSnarker
* EmbarrassingFirstName: [[spoiler:Barold]].
%% * FairCop
* TheGhost: In the books, his wife is often referred to, but never seen.
* HasTwoMommies: [[spoiler:His mom and roommate come to town. The others figure out they are a couple, but are afraid to say anything.]] Turns out he knew all along, was just waiting for his mom to say something.
* HenpeckedHusband: In the books, until his wife leaves him for another man.
* KilledOffForReal: Dies in a car accident, due to the real life suicide of his actor...
%% * LastNameBasis
* RaceLift: Detective Frost is white in the books, African-American in the TV series.
%% * TechnoWizard
* TokenMinority: The only black member of the main cast.
* VomitingCop: Especially in the first season, he's easily nasueated by gore and dead bodies. This is often justified since some of the corpses have been decomposing for a while, but the other cops have become used to such things. He seems to be getting better about it, though.

!Angela Rizzoli
->'''Portrayed by:''' Creator/LorraineBracco

* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: Even though Jane is in her thirties, she still often finds her mother's behaviour embarrassing.
%% * ApronMatron
* BigSecret: She was going around taking up any odd job she could find and acting funny any time money is mentioned.[[spoiler: Her husband cheated on their taxes and left her holding a $27,000 debt.]] She doesn't want to let Jane and Frankie know so she can keep him looking good for them, but they find it out.
%% * IWantGrandkids
%% * MamaBear
* MyBelovedSmother: She is very protective of her grown-up children, who often are more than a little embarrassed or irritated at what they perceive as her attempts to control their lives.
* ParentalFavoritism: Jane is blatantly ignored in favor of her brothers, especially Frankie.
* ParentalSubstitute: To Maura.