%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
!The Saeki Family
!!Kayako Saeki (née Kawamata)
-->'''Played by:''' {{Creator/Takako Fuji}} (''The Grudge'', ''The Grudge 2''), Aiko Horiuchi (''The Grudge 3''), Anna Moon (''Tales from the Grudge'' shorts)

The BigBad of the series, Kayako was an ordinary {{Housewife}} who has an obsessive [[StalkerWithACrush crush]] on a teacher Peter Kirk. Unfortunately, her husband Takeo found out and [[LoveHurts brutally killed her]], along with her son Toshio and the family cat Mar. Brought back by her family's rage as a {{Curse}}, Kayako appears as a StringyHairedGhostGirl, [[UncannyValley crawling about to hunt down]] and kill anyone who enters her house to consume them in the curse. She is most iconic for crawling her way down the stairs, and lets out a [[HellIsThatNoise chilling death rattle]] whenever she appears.

* AndIMustScream: The curse effectively traps her in a cycle of overpowering, murderous rage.
* ApocalypseMaiden: [[spoiler: If the curse can spread THAT easily the whole world is screwed.]]
* AxCrazy: A side-effect of the unstoppable, murderous rage from the curse.
* BedmateReveal: Played with when [[spoiler: Kayako kills Susan.]]
* BloodFromTheMouth: After she is killed.
%%* CameBackWrong
* ChestBurster: In the extended version of ''The Grudge 2'', Kayako [[spoiler: kills Mrs. Davis by ejecting herself from her mouth as a one-eyed hairball.]]
* CuteMonsterGirl: Seen as this to some viewers and fans.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Kayako often pulls this on most of her victims. Most notable are [[spoiler: Yoko, Jake, Gretchen, Mrs. Davies and Karen.]]
* EyeScream: Kayako [[spoiler: gouges out Gretchen's eyes.]]
%%* GhostlyGoals: Type B.
* {{Housewife}}: Before being killed by her husband.
%%* ImplacableMan
* JumpScare: She pulls this a lot on her victims before actually killing them.
* MadwomanInTheAttic: Make that dead woman in the attic.
* MayDecemberRomance: She is madly in love with Peter Kirk, a man who is 21 years older than her.
* NeckSnap: Used on [[spoiler: Doctor Sullivan in the third film.]]
%%* NightmareFace
%%* OurGhostsAreDifferent
%%* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette
* PeekabooCorpse: Her corpse flies out of the attic in front of Peter.
* PrehensileHair: Kayako uses her hair to hang Takeo, and kill Vanessa in the second film.
* SealedInsideAPersonShapedCan: [[spoiler:Kayako is trapped inside Rose's body in ''The Grudge 3'']].
* SpookyPainting: Kayako emerges from a painting to [[spoiler: kill Gretchen]].
* SpookyPhotographs: Kayako [[spoiler: kills Eason]] by emerging from one.
* StalkerWithACrush: Karen found several photos of Kayako stalking Peter and his wife in the background of each photo. She wrote a very personal diary of her feelings for Peter, which Takeo found, leading to the family's deaths.
* StringyHairedGhostGirl: One of the most iconic examples in cinema.
* TragicVillain: [[spoiler: She was murdered by her husband then in her dying moments witnessed him murder their son, and the curse seems to permanently keep her in the hate-filled state of mind she was in, if not making it even worse. After witnessing her husband kill Audrey Davis in the same way her husband did she finishes the job, pitying the young girl for meeting her end in the same way as she had]]
%%* TwistedAnkle
%%* WomanInWhite
* WomanScorned: Takeo is apparently her first victim, although it looks like he hung himself.
%%* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds
* {{Yandere}}: Shows signs of this in her diary.

!!Toshio Saeki
-->'''Played by:''' Yuya Ozeki (''The Grudge''), Ohga Tanaka (''The Grudge 2''), Shimba Tsuchiya (''The Grudge 3'')

Kayako's young son who was drowned by his father Takeo after witnessing him murder his mother. Appearing as a ghostly pale little boy, Toshio is the only ghost shown to talk but most of the time [[CatScare meows]] at his victims.

* BlackEyesOfEvil: Sometimes portrayed as having these, noticeably in box-art.
* CatScare: He often scares characters (and viewers) by meowing at them, sometimes on the phone.
* CreepyChild: He sits somewhere in the spooky realm (pun intended) between creepy and adorable. For some people, the sight of a small ghost child with the baby fat still visible on his limbs and torso and a habit of meowing like a cat is actually quite hilarious, but for other people, he falls straight in the uncanny valley, especially when he smiles.
* CreepyMonotone
* ElevatorSnare: Susan flees Kayako into an [[ElevatorEscape elevator]] and appears to be safe. That is until Toshio is seen on the passing floor, and the next, and the next, and so on and so forth... getting closer with each passing floor.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: He wasn't really evil while alive but appears to have been somewhat aloof and distant.
* KillerRabbit: Despite his harmless appearance, he is actually quite dangerous, and appears to be act with genuine intent to harm. At one point he grins before devouring the soul of a woman, suggesting that he gets a sick, child-like pleasure from his activities.
* KindHeartedCatLover: He appears to have been very fond of his cat, Mar, the bond was so close that his spirit partially merged with the spirit of the black cat. Yet even in life, he was seldom portrayed acting with affection towards other people.
* PeekabooCorpse: Averted. His corpse was hidden in a closet, Karen finding the ghost of Toshio in there during her first visit to the house.

!!Takeo Saeki
-->'''Played by:''' Takashi Matsuyama

Kayako's husband and Toshio's father. Takeo found out about his wife's obsessive crush on Peter Kirk and didn't take it very well. He broke his wife's neck, drowned his son in the bath (to cover up his tracks), and then killed the family cat for some reason. He was then [[spoiler: killed by Kayako's ghost]] although it looks like he hung himself. Part of the curse, Takeo rarely appears and when he does, it is to re-enact the murder of his wife.

* AssholeVictim: And the first of many victims, assholes or not.
* AxCrazy: Seems this way when he attacks Kayako, throwing himself against the walls and doing an eerie head spasm before he breaks his wife's neck.
* DemonicPossession: He pulls this in the third film with Max, killing [[spoiler: Naoko, his sister-in-law]] in the process.
* DrivenToSuicide: Seemingly hangs himself but is [[spoiler: really killed by Kayako using her own hair as a noose.]]
* FallenHero: Takeo was a loving father and husband before he found out about Kayako's crush.
* FreakOut: Takeo has one hell of a one, flipping out and ''cutting Kayako's face out of all the family photos!''
* HarmfulToMinors: He kills Toshio to cover up his tracks, but is still considered the primary suspect by the police.
* NeckSnap: Takeo kills Kayako this way, and then with [[spoiler: Aubrey]].
* OhCrap: Kayako's expression when she realises Takeo read her diary.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: The room Takeo uses to hide Kayako's body.
* ViciousCycle: Subverted. Takeo repeatedly kills victims by re-enacting Kayako's death, although in [[spoiler: Naoko's case he stabbed through the back of the neck with a knife.]]
* WouldHitAGirl: Would kill one, in fact, for having an obsessive crush on another man.
* WouldHurtAChild: After snapping his wife's neck, he proceeds to drown their son in the bathtub to cover his tracks.


The [[TeamPet family cat]], Mar was Toshio's best friend until both were murdered by Takeo. Rarely appears but is used to lure victims into the house or appear as a "pilot fish" before Kayako comes for her victims. It is confusing why Takeo killed the cat, but its likely out of pure rage.

%%* CatScare
%%* CatsAreMean
* RightHandCat: To Toshio mostly.
%%* TeamPet
* ThatPoorCat: Not PlayedForLaughs however; Takeo kills him after killing his whole family for no apparent reason.

!!Naoko Kawamata
-->'''Played by:''' Emi Ikehata

Kayako's sister. Naoko goes to the Chicago apartment to exoricse her sister and end the curse. Unfortunately, it doesn't go very well. [[spoiler: She is attacked by a Takeo-possessed Max and killed by him, only to rise as a ghost like her sister and kill Max.]]

* BloodMagic: Naoko conviniently has some of Kayako's blood which must be drank by a willing witness to seal Kayako away.
%%* CameBackWrong
%%* CruelAndUnusualDeath
%%* CuteMonsterGirl
%%* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette
%%* StringyHairedGhostGirl
* TwistedAnkle: [[spoiler:Subverted. Instead of breaking her ankle like her sister before her, Takeo-possessed Max breaks her knee instead.]]
%%* YouKilledMyFather: Naoko recognises Takeo when he possesses Max as the one who killed her sister.

!Characters in ''The Grudge''
!!Karen Davis
-->'''Played by:''' {{Creator/Sarah Michelle Gellar}}

An American careworker living in Tokyo, Karen goes to look after the elderly Emma at the Saeki House and is stalked by Kayako. She investigates the family's murder whilst people around her are consumed by the curse including [[spoiler: her boyfriend Doug]]. She eventually attempts to burn the house down, but [[spoiler: is killed by Kayako in the second film]].

* AntiHero: She turns into this when she uses pragmatic methods to end the curse, such as burning the house down.
* BreakTheCutie: Poor girl had it rough trying to find the solution to avert the curse. [[spoiler:Then Kayako killed her in the second film...]]
%%* TheDeterminator
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Averted. Kayako actually drags her off the roof of a hospital, making it look like Karen jumped.]]
%%* FinalGirl: In the first film.
* KillItWithFire: Karen attempts to burn the house down to end the curse, but only ends up making it worse by [[NiceJobBreakingItHero breaking the seal that keeps the curse contained in the house.]]
%%* NiceJobBreakingItHero
* ShowerOfAngst: Karen has one, only for [[MoodWhiplash Kayako's hand to come out of the back of her head!]]
* SiblingYinYang: With her sister Aubrey.
%%* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome
* TearsOfFear: When she first meets Kayako.

-->'''Played by:''' Jason Behr

Karen's boyfriend, who attends the University of Tokyo. He does not play much of a part in the film until the very end where Karen finds him wandering the Saeki House, both at the mercy of Kayako.
%%* InnocentBystander
%%* NiceGuy
%%* UnderstandingBoyfriend

!!Peter Kirk
-->'''Played by:''' Bill Pullman

A teacher who Kayako had an obsessive crush on, stalking him and writing quite insanely about him a diary, leading to Takeo murdering his family and creating the curse. Peter visits the Saeki House to talk to Toshio's parents, finding Kayako's corpse and how crazy she was about him. He then is (apparently) DrivenToSuicide.

* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Not that he knew about it until too late.
* DeadStarWalking: He's played by [[Film/IndependenceDay Bill Pullman]], and he dies in the first five minutes. (Of course, he appears later due to the AnachronicOrder of the film, but this trope still applies.)
* DrivenToSuicide: Although it is strongly implied that he may have been under the influence of the curse.
* GrossUpCloseUp: In the Director's Cut, the camera focuses on his dead face for a couple of seconds.
* HotTeacher: In Kayako's eyes anyway.

!!Detective Nakagawa
-->'''Played by:''' Ryo Ishibashi

A Japanese police detective, Nakagawa is the latest in a long line of officers investigating the Saeki house deaths, three officers (who were also his friends) before him disappearing. A bit of a HardboiledDetective, Nakagawa eventually attempts to destroy the house by burning it down. He fails.

* BeardOfSorrow: A taped interview with him in the second film discussing the disappearance of his colleagues and the death of the Williams family shows him looking extremely unkempt.
* CompositeCharacter: He shares the name and profession of Detective Nakagawa from the original ''Film/{{Juon}}'' film series, but his personality and actions are closer to that of retired detective Toyama, also from ''Film/{{Juon}}''. Like Toyama, he lost his colleagues to the curse, and also tries to burn the house down.
%%* FairCop
%%* HardboiledDetective
%%* TheInspector
* ItsPersonal: It's implied that one of the driving forces behind his attempt to destroy the house is due to three of his friends being claimed by the curse.
* KillItWithFire: Nakagawa attempts to burn down the house, but is [[spoiler: lured to his doom by Toshio and Takeo.]]

!!The Williams Family (Matthew, Jennifer, Emma, Susan)
-->'''Matthew played by:''' William Mapother
-->'''Jennifer played by:''' {{Creator/Clea DuVall}}
-->'''Emma played by:''' Grace Zabriskie
-->'''Susan played by:''' KaDee Strickland

The American family who moved into the Saeki house after the murders were cleared up. However, they all quickly become part of the curse on the house.

* BedmateReveal: Susan gets a nasty surprise when Kayako pops up in her bed.
* CrazyCatLady: Emma seemingly acts like this at times.
* DeathFromAbove: Emma is killed when Kayako descends from the ceiling to end her life.
* DemonicPossession: In deleted scenes, Matthew is possessed by Takeo.
* ElevatorEscape: Susan flees from Kayako's ghost into an elevator, not noticing Toshio watching her on every passing floor.
* FishOutOfWater: Jennifer feels particularly out of touch in Japan.
* GrumpyOldMan: Emma seems like this at first, but it quickly becomes obvious that the reason she acts so sullen is because she knows something isn't right with the house.

!!Yoko and Alex Jones
-->'''Yoko played by:''' Yoko Maki
-->'''Alex played by:''' {{Creator/Ted Raimi}}

Employees at a careworkers office. Alex runs the business, whilst Yoko is meant to be caring for Emma. Unfortunately, she becomes a victim of the curse and suffers a painful death. Alex later meets his end at the hands of Yoko's ghost.

* JawBreaker: [[spoiler:Yoko]] ends up with her jaw torn off at Kayako's hands.

!Characters in ''The Grudge 2''
!!Aubrey Davis
-->'''Played by:''' Amber Tamblyn

Karen's younger sister and mistreated by her controlling mother. She goes to Japan to bring Karen home, but soon gets involved in the curse of the Saeki household.

* BloodSplatteredInnocents: [[spoiler:When Karen is killed.]]
%%* BreakTheCutie
* CallingTheOldManOut: She finally tells her mother ''exactly'' how she feels. [[spoiler:Sadly, it's the last time they ever speak.]]
%%* KillTheCutie
* NeckSnap [[spoiler:She meets her end in the same way as Kayako: having her neck snapped by Takeo.]]
* StringyHairedGhostGirl: [[spoiler:The ending shows that she too has become an onryo.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: Has a bit of this going on with her mother.

-->'''Played by:''' Edison Chen

An IntrepidReporter from Hong Kong who rescued Karen from the house fire but is also cursed as a result.

%%* IntrepidReporter
%%* NiceGuy
* SpookyPhotographs: One of his many photographs of the Saeki house reveal that the curse has spread by showing Kayako's silhouette emerging from the house. [[spoiler:Which then leads into Kayako herself emerging from the photo.]]

!!Mrs. Davis
-->'''Played by:''' Joanna Cassidy

Karen and Aubrey's abusive, terminally ill mother.

* AbusiveParents: She makes it clear that she prefers Karen over Aubrey, and subjects the latter to constant emotional abuse.
%%* CruelAndUnusualDeath]]
%%* GrumpyOldMan
* IllGirl: A rare unsympathetic example. It's never stated exactly what kind of illness she has, but it leaves her with a [[IncurableCoughOfDeath nasty cough]] and breathing difficulties.
%%* IncurableCoughOfDeath
%%* JawBreaker
%%* {{Jerkass}}

!!Allison Fleming, Vanessa and Miyuki
-->'''Allison played by:''' Arielle Kebbel
-->'''Vanessa played by:''' Teresa Palmer
-->'''Miyuki played by:''' Misako Uno

A trio of students in Japan who visit the Saeki house. Vanessa and Miyuki trap Allison in the closet until [[spoiler:Kayako/Aubrey]] appears and they soon become victims of the curse.

%%* AlphaBitch: Vanessa.
%%* AssholeVictim: Vanessa.
%%* BreakTheCutie: Poor, poor Allison.
%%* BreakTheHaughty: Vanessa.
* TheBully: Vanessa and Miyuki, although Vanessa is the worst.
%%* DisconnectedByDeath: [[spoiler:Vanessa.]]
* FemmeFatalons: Miyuki certainly has a long set of nails. [[spoiler:She retains them after becoming a ghost.]]
* KickTheDog: Vanessa does the kicking, and the dog is usually Allison.
* LoveHotels: Miyuki goes to one with her boyfriend.
%%* ManipulativeBastard: Vanessa.
%%* MurderedInAPhoneBooth: [[spoiler:Vanessa.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler:Allison eventually flees back to the US, hoping that she'll leave the curse behind. It doesn't work. It results in the curse following her and killing her family, Jake's family, and everyone else who enters the apartment building.]]
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Allison's bedroom, after the curse completely and utterly breaks her.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Allison is cruelly mocked and manipulated by both Vanessa and Miyuki. Vanessa is also extremely mean and scornful towards Miyuki, in spite of their supposed friendship, and Miyuki seems to be pretty afraid of Vanessa, likely only going along with her schemes to appease her.

!!The Kimble Family (Bill, Trish, Lacey, Jake)
-->'''Bill played by:''' Christopher Cousins
-->'''Trish played by:''' Jennifer Beals
-->'''Lacey played by:''' Sarah Roemer
-->'''Jake played by:''' Matthew Knight

A family living in Chicago who become victims of the curse. Jakes survives his first encounter with Kayako in ''The Grudge 2'' and is hospitalized in ''The Grudge 3'' where [[spoiler: he gets killed when Kayako breaks nearly every bone in his body.]]

%%* BreakTheCutie
* CoolBigSis: Lacey clearly cares deeply for her little brother.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: Having every bone twisted and snapped in your body has ''got'' to suck.]]
* DemonicPossession: Bill and Trish come to unknowingly act like Kayako and Takeo, with Bill becoming insanely jealous of anything Trish does without his knowledge. In a reversal, Trish is the one to kill Bill first.
* {{Determinator}}: Is one of the rare victims who tries to fight Kayako [[spoiler: before she kills him.]]
* [[FinalGirl Final Guy]]: Well, Jake ''did'' survive the ending of the second film.
* FryingPanOfDoom: How Trish kills Bill, right in the very first scene of the movie. After burning him with bacon grease.
* HollywoodDrowning: Subverted. [[spoiler:Lacey is drowned in the bathtub, but it's a completely silent affair, and Jake is further distracted from hearing anything from the terror of finding his own father's corpse.]]
* InfantImmortality: Played straight in the second film, where Jake survives the events of the second film. [[spoiler:Then he gets slapped with SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome ''hard'', therefore averting this trope in the third film.]]
%%* KillTheCutie
* OhCrap: "She's here!"
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: [[spoiler:Jake dies very quickly in the follow-up film, shown being institutionalized then dying not too long after.]]
* TearsOfFear: After Allison's death at the end of the second film.
* WickedStepmother: A tragic subversion due to the effects of the curse. Trish is a very nice woman who knows that Jake will need time to adjust to her presence, and she's willing to work things out with him at his own pace. Then arguments start happening between her and Bill...