A softspoken and awkward nerd from Queens, Peter has been lovingly raised by his aunt May and uncle Ben ever since his parents disappeared when he was a little kid. The resurfacing of some of Richard Parker's mysterious research prompts Peter to look for his father's former colleague Dr. Connors at Oscorp, where an encounter with a genetically altered spider changes his life forever.
Anti-Hero: Peter starts off only stopping criminals because he's looking for Uncle Ben's killer. He grows more selfless after hearing Gwen's father dismiss him as "some vigilante who only has a personal vendetta" and then saving a small child during the Lizard's first attack before he finally settles into the Classical Anti-Hero he's known as after the death of George Stacy.
Apologetic Attacker: After first discovering his powers after taking a nap on the subway, he gets into a fight unintentionally on the train (see Spider-Sense), apologizing to all of the people he's beating up.
The Atoner: Probably after Uncle Ben is murdered, but he mainly becomes Spider-Man to seek Revenge against the murderer. More explicitly one (taking responsibility) after helping create the Lizard, as well as the bridge incident where he first helps people for its own sake.
Badass Bookworm: He's like his comics counterpart; a geeky nice guy who can solve your hardest algebra problems before breakfast is over, while handing criminals their asses using his superhuman combat skills.
Bullet Proof Fashion Plate: Averted. Peter ends up with several bruises on his face from his crime-fighting, one even before he gets his powers. They last most of the movie, taking a realistic (if slightly accelerated) time to heal, and causing characters to wonder what he's getting up to. The cuts on his chest likewise don't magically heal from one scene to the next.
But He Sounds Handsome: Peter vehemently defends Spider-Man when Captain Stacy criticizes him, stating that while he doesn't believe Spider-Man is exactly a hero, he seems to be just trying to help.
Cannot Spit It Out: Peter has a huge problem with saying what he needs to. When he does, he relapses into a stuttering mess.
Cassandra Truth: Played with. Peter tries to warn Captain Stacy that Dr. Connors is the giant lizard that has been terrorizing the city, and that he transforms himself into a lizard thanks to his transgenics research. Stacy mocks him and seems to brush it off, but he actually requests research on Dr. Connors as soon as Peter leaves the police station - he thinks Peter sounds nuts, but he's willing to look into it anyway.
Cool Board: A new addition to Peter's talents is skateboarding. His first test of his powers comes when he tries skateboard tricks with them for one sequence. However, nobody at school treats him like he's cool for having a skateboard, and the one time he shows off his moves he's in a deserted area.
Death Wail: He lets one out after George Stacy dies.
Determinator: He takes a pretty bad bullet wound before the final fight. It doesn't stop him from getting to the Oscorp tower and taking on the Lizard.
Does Not Know His Own Strength: He causes a lot of damage when still getting used to his powers. Played for Laughs for the most part. Not so much after he has a fight with Uncle Ben and shatters the door glass upon storming out. Cue awkward silence and Uncle Ben opening the door to follow him.
Drama-Preserving Handicap: Two. First, getting shot in the leg, affecting his ability to get to Oscorp unassisted, and in the last fight with the Lizard, his webshooters are crushed.
Enter Stage Window: Both times he visits Gwen, he enters through her bedroom window. In the first time, he claims he got there through the fire escape (twenty stories) because he's frightened of the doorman. In the second time, she already knows he's Spider-Man so he doesn't have to come up with any excuse.
Healing Factor: He does have one but it's dialed way back compared to some versions. It takes him a day or two to recover from some of the more serious beatings. He is able to heal from a gunshot to the leg and large cuts to his chest with only first aid, though.
By the time the sequel comes around, he seems to have gathered quite a fanbase, including a kid with his own version of the costume.
Heroic Spirit: Even before he gains his powers, he already displayed shades of this. He seems to be losing himself and becoming selfish once he becomes powerful, but he eventually grows out of it, regains his Heroic Spirit and develops it.
Hollywood Nerd: Averted. Peter is probably one of the most realistic portrayals of a high school nerd to date.
Parental Abandonment: His parents left him with his aunt and uncle to keep him safe from harm when they realized someone dangerous was after them. They both died before they could reunite with their son.
Personal Gain Hurts: Peter uses his new powers to get back at Flash and sets off a chain of events that ultimately lead to Uncle Ben's death (hinging on Peter thinking of himself first before others).
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His first ventures as Spider-Man focus solely on avenging Uncle Ben's death. He goes around chasing any criminal who might be the killer and loses interest if they're not the right one, even botching police operations in the process. He eventually grows out of it.
Science Hero: This side of Spider-Man definitely gets much more emphasis in this movie. Midtown High is even renamed Midtown Science High to emphasize this (and it makes sense since a lot of public high schools in America are now getting renames like this, especially if they're a charter school or a public magnet school).
Spandex, Latex, or Leather: Spandex. He picks it from athletic suits. Which is Fridge Brilliance considering the amount of acrobatics he does and his ability to dodge bullets(most of the time at least) he doesn't need armor.
[searching for athletic apparel] "Spandex. Spandex. Everything is spandex."
Specs of Awesome: Unlike other versions of the character, his Spider-powers don't do anything to cure his eyesight disorders. Even after he becomes Spider-Man, Peter still keeps using glasses and contacts.
Spider-Sense: Its a bit hard to tell but it is there. It even made him react automatically when he couldn't control it yet.
Super Strength: His physical strength greatly improves when he gains his powers. Its a bit too early to tell how strong he is, but he is at least able to hold onto the weight of a large van.
Super Toughness: He definitely has it or he would have died halfway through the movie. He has been slammed into brick walls, blasted through dry wall, hit by an improvised explosive (albeit made from a school chemistry set), fallen from hundreds of feet, and gotten hit by a taser and shrugged it off a few minutes later. However he is not immune to bullets nor can he handle being cut by sharp objects (though he survives crashing through windows unscathed).
Teen Genius: Creates his own automatic lock, a police scanner and his own web-shooters. He is also considered the (second) smartest person in his school.( Although, since it was Gwen saying it, it can be assumed that she was just joking around by calling herself smarter than Pete, and that Peter really is the smartest person in his school.)
This Is Gonna Suck: His expression right before and when he calls Flash by his real name in order to make him stop bullying a kid and turn him against Peter instead. It works. Ouch.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His friendly conversation with Maxwell Dillon causes the latter to become obsessed with Spider-Man and superheroics, eventually contributing to the accident that turns him into Electro. Peter indirectly made his own enemy.
Wall Crawl: Naturally, his primary ability as Spider-Man.
Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: He wove his suit himself taking inspiration on athletic suits; the web fluid is actually developed by Oscorp as a "biocable" which he stole, but the webshooters are entirely his own creation.
Wrestler in All of Us: Despite not starting as one, he does do a frankensteiner on a car thief. The game has him do more wrestling moves, like a German Suplex, headscissor, and torture rack.
Smart, charismatic and confident, Gwen is the chief intern at Oscorp, working in the same department as her mentor Dr. Connors, and takes her job very seriously. She becomes Peter's first and only real friend at school and they awkwardly and clumsily grow closer to each other. Her life takes a complicated turn as she watches both Peter and Dr. Connors undergo radical transformations and finds herself becoming Peter's Secret Keeper.
Adorkable: Gwen has her moments, as it's unclear whether she's gently mocking Peter or if she's falling prey to this herself.
Badass Damsel: She directly ignores Peter's order to leave Oscorp, instead deciding to help make sure everyone escapes the building before the Lizard gets there, and staying to make sure the cure is finished. When she's hiding from the Lizard in Oscorp, she has a lighter and an igniting agent handy, just in case she gets caught. Of course, the Lizard wasn't really concerned about her.
The Big Damn Kiss: Peter pulls her close with his webshooters and kisses her. When she's walking away. Without warning. By the way, that's how he tells her he's Spider-Man too.
Sweet Tooth: Apparently she love chocolates so much that she once wished she could live in a chocolate house.
What the Hell, Hero?: Lays one on Peter after the death of her father for not going to his funeral, but forgives him after she pieces together that her dad must have told him to stay away from her and therefore, keep her safe as his dying wish.
Zettai Ryouiki: Gwen seems to have quite a fondness for knee-high boots with thigh-high socks and skirts.
Captain George Stacy
"Thirty-eight of New York's finest, versus one guy... in a unitard?"
Jerkass Has a Point: He also has good reason to hate Spider-Man since his vigilante-style form of punishment is interfering with the cops' methods and techniques to uncovering bigger operations. Not to mention when he discovers that Peter is really Spider-Man and what his motives are, he not only lets him go after initially capturing him, but proceeds to take on the The Lizard all by himself with a shotgun to both assist Peter in saving the city and risk his life for him.
Papa Wolf: He's very protective of Gwen, initially hesitant about researching Dr. Connors's background because he is his daughter's mentor and the one who wrote her college recommendation letter, and one of the primary reasons he stops his pursuit of Spider-Man is because Gwen is in Oscorp Tower, where the Lizard is heading to, and Spidey can help her. And then there's his Last Request.
Reasonable Authority Figure: He might be a total Jerkass when it comes to Spider-Man, but he does have some definitive points, and is willing to listen to criticism and follow up on leads, such as researching Dr. Connors after Peter tips him off about his transgenesis experiments, in spite of snarking that Peter was playing up a Godzilla joke. He also seeks an arrest warrant on the only confirmed anomaly in the bridge fiasco, Spider-Man, whether to place him in jail or to uncover what actually happened.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: After learning Spidey's true identity and his motives, he immediatly calls off the manhunt, without giving any real explanation to his officers. In his final moments, he voices his support for Peter.
"I was wrong about you, Peter. This city needs you."
To Be Lawful or Good: Captain Stacy highlights the difference and places himself firmly on Law after Peter says Spider-Man stands for the same thing as him, protecting innocent people. Ends up making an exception for Good towards the end of the movie.
"I stand for law and order, son, that's what I stand for. I wear a badge, that guy wears a mask like an outlaw."
One of Oscorp's leading scientific minds and Gwen's mentor. He used to work alongside Peter's father, Richard Parker, and they were engineering a revolutionary serum to re-grow limbs and human tissue, which would change the lives of millions — including that of Connors himself, who lost his right arm. Richard, however, disappeared and was found dead taking a good part of the research with him, rendering Connors unable to finish the project by himself — until Peter entered the scene.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: As the Lizard, though considering the anatomy of most reptile species, this isn't all that surprising. Reptilian reproductive organs tend to be mostly internalized, thus Connors's, ah, lack of visible anatomy in that area.
Blond Guys Are Evil: At least his superpowered alter-ego certainly is. As himself, this is averted since the whole reason he even mutated into the Lizard was from because he used an untested serum on himself to spare clueless human test subjects the danger.
Death of Personality: As Dr. Connors he's a benevolent figure, but the serum erases this good personality and replaces it with that of The Lizard. The Lizard is defeated in the same manner—the antidote destroys the evil Lizard persona, restoring Dr. Connors.
Enemy Mine: Sort of - throughout the game he helps Spiderman develop a cure for the cross species and even helps fight Smythe in the climax as the Lizard. However, he does all this in his good persona, eventually the Lizard brain takes over again.
Even Evil Has Standards: He is horrified that his colleague would test the formula with unwitting Military amputees as guinea pigs.
Evilutionary Biologist: While he has traces of the Lizard virus in his system, he proclaims that humans are weak and must be enhanced in order to achieve their true potential.
Foil: The Lizard is one of a sort to Peter. Both are cross-species originating from humans who are very intelligent, but are on opposite sides of the moral spectrum and operate to completely opposite ends.
Sanity Slippage: The more he uses the Lizard serum, the blurrier the line gets between both personalities, whether he's transformed or not. It's only after he's exposed to the antidote that his original personality truly resurfaces.
Superior Species: Connors believes his Lizard form is a superior creature devoid of human weaknesses.
Talking to Themself / Inner Monologue: Before the attack on the school, we hear a voice talking about the plan to spread the formula and not letting Spidey get in the way of it. Whether this is the Lizard who has taken on a mind of its own or Connors' own thoughts is up to interpretation.
Thinking Out Loud: There is a break in the feverous inner tirade when Connors sits down and speaks out loud: "That, changing like the snake, I might be free, to cast off flesh wherein I dwell confined."
This is an Enforced Trope due to heavy re-cutting of the scene after a plot about Peter's father was taken out of the film. In the original version Peter was present as well, and most of the inner monologue was actually part of a dialogue between the two.
"Soon, everyone in this city will know how it feels to live in my world...A world without power...without mercy...a world without Spider-Man"
An Oscorp electrical engineer who felt ignored by the world and developed an unhealthy obsession with Spider-Man. After suffering an accident involving an electric wire and a tank of mutated electric eels, Dillon's skin turned blue and he gained the power to control electricity.
Adorkable: Subverted. At first, he seems to be a pretty polite person, but then he becomes obsessed with Spider-Man to extremely creepy levels. If he wasn't already.
It should be noted that Spidey remembered full well who he was ("you're my eyes and ears") he only had trouble with his name.
The problem seems to be that Max felt like he was a nobody and Spiderman told him he was a somebody- which inspired him to try and fix dangerous equipment by himself which led to the accident that turned him into Electro. That Spidey can't remember his name translates, to Max, as Spidey only pretending that he cared about Max and, thus, that Spidey is the guy who indirectly did this to him. Not to mention this all made him feel like a nobody again- no-one actually cares about him, they only pay him attention because now he's dangerous.
Forgotten Birthday: Apparently, Max's own mother forgets his birthday, which kicks off a string of really unfortunate accidents that culminate in him becoming Electro.
Loony Fan: He develops an obsessive fixation on the wall-crawler.
From his Room Full of Crazy that we see he has before he turns into Electro, he probably already had an obsessive fixation on Spiderman. Spidey saving his life and, later, Max turning into Electro, only made it much, much worse.
Psycho Electro: What's unique about this case is that it's shown that he was always kind of off. Having super-powers only made it worse.
Race Lift: Electro is white in the comics. Here, he's played by African-American Jamie Foxx.
Room Full of Crazy: Has a room filled with pictures and reports of Spider-Man, as well as cut-out messages he probably wrote himself. There is also a photo of Spidey place next to a mirror, so that Max can pretend he is Spider-Man.
Scary Black Man: Though his skin isn't actually black by the time he gets scary.
Shadow Archetype: He's a lot like Peter and possibly represents what he could have become without Uncle Ben and Aunt May.
Shock and Awe: Aside from being able to zap things at will, he can make quick transit between objects that use electricity.
Sidekick: Except not really. He deludes himself into thinking that he's Spider-Man's partner.
Affably Evil: He robs a store, but is nice enough to give Peter the milk he couldn't afford. Plus, it doesn't look like he shot Ben intentionally, and he is noticeably shocked afterwards.
Bait the Dog: Subverted. After robbing a cashier, he throws Peter the milk the cashier wouldn't let him buy. A few minutes later, he shoots Uncle Ben and it doesn't look like he intended to shoot Ben, as he is noticeably shocked when it happens.
Norman Osborn's representative. Because Osborn is dying, Ratha pressures Connors into beginning human trials for his limb-regenerating formula. When Connors refuses, Ratha fires him and takes the formula to test at the veterans' hospital.
Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dude was planning on testing the Lizard formula on patients at a veterans hospital, disguised as a flu shot and with no concern over the potential side effects. That's so wrong on many levels...
Secret Keeper: He clearly knows a lot more than he lets on about Peter's father.
What Happened to the Mouse?: He gets killed by the Lizard in a deleted scene. Since it isn't present in the final cut, Dr. Ratha isn't seen again after the incident with the bridge where the Lizard first emerged.
However, during the viral marketing for the second movie, its been confirmed he is dead during a Daily Bugle Tumblr post about sewer workers finding his body.
Jobber: His role in the sequel is to get his ass kicked by Spider-Man at the beginning of the movie and stay in prison for the rest of it; he's mainly there to add a little depth to the cinematic world than to pose as a serious threat to Peter.
Peter's uncle and aunt, who look after him when his mother and father disappear.
Adaptation Dye-Job: Aunt May has dark brown hair worn loose instead of her classic grey hair in a bun look.
Adult Fear: Shortly after the death of your husband, the teenage nephew who you've raised as your own and is the last of your family repeatedly stays out all night and returns home covered in cuts and bruises.
Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: "She looks familiar. She's the girl on your computer! (To Gwen) He's got you on his computer. I'm his probation officer."
Overshadowed by Awesome: Ben in this version is a draftsman (specifically he designed bridges) and thus is pretty damn smart himself. He just doesn't quite have the mechanical and technical genius Peter and his father possessed.
Secret Secret Keeper: Possibly. It is hinted that Aunt May has deduced Peter is Spider-Man, but he isn't aware of it.
Too Dumb to Live: Ben dies by grabbing the robber's gun. Seriously, what was he thinking?
Younger and Hipper: While still older than most parents of a teenage boy they are decidedly younger here than most versions (and in keeping with the Ultimate Universe vibe Aunt May still has it going on.)
Nice Girl: From her minor screentime, she seems like a pretty sweet person.
Race Lift: Her character is white in the comics and played by here an Asian-American.
Richard and Mary Parker
"Be good, Peter."
Played by: Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz
Peter's father and mother. After their home is broken into by unknown people, they leave their young son with his aunt and uncle in order to keep him safe from danger (Richard also leaving his research in a satchel) and disappear. They both died in a plane crash. Or so it seems. According to the Man in Shadows, the truth is more sinister.
A friend of Peter Parker's who works as a waitress and owns a motorcycle. Was intended to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but all scenes featuring her were cut. She's now going to be introduced in the currently unnamed third installment.
Cool Bike: A photo shows her pulling up to Peter while riding her motorcycle.
Video Game Characters
The following characters come from the tie-in sequel video game, but do not show up in the film itself. With the introduction of different versions of Alistair Smythe and Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the video game and its characters are confirmed to be non-canon to the movie universe.
He Who Fights Monsters: Condems Connors for what he's done as the Lizard, and blames him for the entire cross species virus, but Smythe's robots prove to be a bigger threat to the city as his robots cause more damage to the city then the Lizard did in the movie.
Knight Templar: Condemns Connors' action in the movie and believes he is the Big Good for all of New York City and arguably the entire world. He's not.
Empowered Badass Normal: Implied by her cliffhanger ending during an optional mission that she's now a cross species and still human enough to leave Spider-man a note saying thanks (presumably for giving her the information on Oscorp).
Fragile Speedster: Very fast, but has a hard time fighting once Spider-Man can keep up with her webbed up, and spends much of her boss fight hiding.
She-Fu: Though she doesn't attack much up close, she seems to be an expert acrobat if her flips are anything to go by.