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Characters: The Hardy Boys
Since being published in 1927, the Hardy Boys have developed a full cast of characters in Bayport and around the world, some of who lasted the entire run of the series, and others who have since been phased out. Below are the most frequently seen of the recurring characters.

Casefiles-only characters are noted in their descriptions.

The Hardy Family

Frank Hardy

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

The older of the Hardy brothers, 18 as of 1974. Dark-haired and methodical, Frank is the brains of the two, preferring to use logic and thought in solving cases over more physical means. He's no pushover in a fight, though; he keeps his slim frame in good physical shape and holds a black belt in karate.

  • Badass Bookworm: Equally at home with research, computers, and getting out of dangerous situations with karate.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Averted; Frank does worry about Joe, but he knows his younger brother is capable of taking care of himself.
  • Born Detective: Raised by former NYPD detective and now current PI father, Fenton.
  • Brains and Brawn: The brains half.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Case 3: Cult of Crime centers on rescuing Holly Strand, supposedly a childhood friend of the Hardy Boys. Frank mentions that, before he met Callie, he thought he and Holly would have probably fallen in love as they grew up. Frank has moved on, and Holly gets Put on a Bus at the end of the book, but her feelings for Frank is still strong.
  • Distressed Dude: Frequently kidnapped as part of the story, sometimes with Joe, sometimes solo.
  • Guile Hero: Even Joe can occasionally become a pawn when Frank plans to outsmart their enemies.
  • Noodle Incident: On a visit to a rich friend's estate, Frank recalls how it's been a month since their last visit, and wonders if the maid will still remember them. Joe quips that she probably doesn't want to remember Frank after scaring her with a skeleton.
  • The Smart Guy: The most intellectual out of the Hardy Boys' regular group of friends.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Often described as 6" 1' with dark brown hair, and handsome.
  • Teen Genius: Frank probably knows more than any teenager should about dealing tactically with terrorists.
  • Tranquil Fury: Chet has had enough of a racist politician's comments about his friends, and tells the burly bodyguard that he should just take his boss and leave the premises. When Frank manages to calm him down, the bodyguard decides to pull a sucker punch that knocked the wind out of poor Chet. Seeing what happened to his friend, Frank calmly challenges the bodyguard to try the same stunt again, this time for someone who's ready. He threw another punch...and Frank easily sends him flying out of the house with a judo throw.

Joe Hardy

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

The younger Hardy brother, 17 as of 1974. Blonde-haired and emotional, Joe is hot-headed and prefers taking action over waiting for things to happen; he works on a strong sense of instinct, which usually turns out to be right. The more athletic of the brothers, he is an excellent fighter.

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: As their characters diverged and got more distinct personalities, he became the much more impulsive, hot-headed and girl-crazy red one to Frank's much more level-headed and intellectual blue one.
  • Berserk Button: For the Casefiles version, it's Iola's death. Or being associated with the Assassins.
    • A captive Assassin, a subordinate to Iola's killer, tries to invoke Suicide by Cop (since "it's rare to capture an Assassin, alive" seems to be their official slogan) when he tells Joe that he helped to work on the bomb. Joe might have actually killed the guy with his bare hands if not for the agents present.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's a good guy at heart, but he tends to lose his temper.
  • Big Brother Worship: in the Undercover Brothers graphic novel series.
  • The Big Guy: Although shorter than Frank, he's often described as stocky and more muscular.
  • Born Detective: Raised by former NYPD detective and now current PI father, Fenton.
  • Brains and Brawn: The brawn half.
  • Depending on the Writer: Again in the Casefiles, due to being written by a great many ghostwriters. He would frequently slingshot back and forth between grieving widower and his typical flirty, girl-crazy self.
  • Distressed Dude: Frequently kidnapped as part of the story, sometimes with Frank, sometimes solo.
  • Gut Feeling: Relies on these more than logic.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Once more, Iola.
  • It's Personal: Whenever dealing with the Assassins, Joe will always remember Iola.
  • Made of Iron: Once took on a terrorist who issued a disabling cut to his hand, and crawled away from a serious car accident with nothing more than a bad case of amnesia.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Case 105: Bad Chemistry, where Joe's new-found interest in Chemistry is the young new teacher. Frank won't stop needling him for this.

Fenton Hardy

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

The father of the Hardy clan, Fenton is a retired NYPD detective who runs his own private investigation firm. Although he is proud of his sons' mystery solving skills, he sometimes worries if they've gotten in over their heads; still, he appreciates their assistance on most cases.

  • Master of Disguise: even his own sons are fooled until Fenton willingly gives himself away.
  • Papa Wolf: Frequently leads the charge when his boys are missing or in danger.
  • Retired Badass: When he's not being captured, he's been shown to be a competent fighter. Especially true of the Casefiles version. Even after he's been long retired, he still is frequently brought back in frequently to consult for various organizations, including Scotland Yard.
  • Standard '50s Father: Played straight in the 1950's and 1960's, naturally. He's since modernized a bit.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Fenton used to have dealings with the Network, which allowed him to pull a few favors when his family was in danger. This connection was rarely, if ever, mentioned again whenever the Hardy Boys have to tackle with the Network in later cases.
  • Working the Same Case: the mysteries that the boys are involved with sometimes overlap with his own work.

Laura Hardy

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

Frank and Joe's mother, and Fenton's wife. She has very little to do with her husband or sons' investigations and adventures, preferring a quiet home life.

  • Extreme Doormat: She occasionally worries over the dangerous activities of her husband and sons, but is usually dismissed or ignored.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: By choice; she wasn't the adventurous type and rarely seemed to venture out of the house.

Gertrude Hardy

First appearance: #3 The Secret of the Old Mill

Fenton Hardy's sister who lives with the family. Head-strong and stern, she often scolds the Hardy brothers for the dangers they put themselves in, but is secretly proud of them and supports them where she can. In her most recent incarnation, she's known as Trudy.

  • Maiden Aunt: One of the classic trope examples.
  • Mama Bear: Just as protective of her nephews as if they were her own sons, and rather more forceful than her sister-in-law.

Friends and Allies

Chet Morton

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

The brothers' oldest and most reliable friend, Chet has appeared in all but a handful of the regular Hardy Boys books. He is often described as fat or chubby and constantly eating. He usually reacts with great enthusiasm when he gets to help in a case, at least until danger becomes a real possibility. In many of the early books, he was always trying new hobbies, which coincidentally always seemed to correspond with the case at hand. He is also Iola's older brother.

He was actually popular enough to have the Stratemeyer Syndicate consider giving him his own series in 1965, but it never got past the planning stage.

  • The Alleged Car: an old yellow jalopy he calls Queen. A Running Gag in the earlier books would involve characters would complain about the pain they have to endure when riding it.
  • Big Eater: Portrayed as constantly eating, even in the more current books.
  • Fat Best Friend: Ranges across all three types due to the different writers, but mostly between Types B and C. Usually fearful of a situation, but will pull through to help his friends.
  • Fat Idiot: Played straight in the early volumes. He eventually got smarter (and braver).
  • Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Commonly in the older books, when the writer needed to introduce some central gimmick (Zodiac fortune-telling, or fencing), Chet would be pick it up as a hobby just in time for the relevant case. The books even commented on it.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: More often than not, though Chet would get heroic moments here and there.
  • Stout Strength: His build seems to be a boon to him considering he's also a good football player.
  • Weight Woe: In some books, he would go on a diet. By the end of the book, though, his love of food always won out.

Allen "Biff" Hooper

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

Appearing in almost as many of the early books as Chet, Biff is the Hardys' super-athletic friend, a lover of sports and physical activity. A keen boxer, his fighting skills almost match Frank and Joe's.

  • Big Friendly Dog: in Secret Warning, Biff won a Great Dane during a contest, which he christens Tivoli, and the Hardys offer to take care of him when the Hoopers are on vacation. An Angry Guard Dog he's not, but Aunt Gertrude eventually warmed up to the mutt after being convinced Tivoli's heart is in the right place.
  • Dumb Muscle: In the original volumes, he played more to this. He got smarter as the series went on.
  • Embarrassing First Name: He doesn't like his actual first name for some reason, and is rarely referred to as anything other than Biff.
  • Gentle Giant: He's the strongest of the Hardys' friends, but very friendly and generally good-natured.

Callie Shaw

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

Frank's steady girlfriend, who remained largely a background character in the main series. In newer volumes, especially the Casefiles series, she has a much more developed personality and becomes much more independent, sometimes stubbornly insisting that she help the brothers on cases. Her best friend is Iola Morton.

  • Action Girl: She becomes this in the Casefiles series after her best friend Iola dies.
  • Damsel out of Distress: In the Casefiles, especially volume 10, Hostages of Hate.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: In the Casefiles, Joe has this attitude towards her at first. Justified, as he had just lost his own girlfriend because of her involvement with the Hardys.

Iola Morton

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

Chet's younger sister and Joe's steady girlfriend, also not much more than a cheerful, giggling girlfriend for many of the original books. She acquires a bit more personality and personal interests later down the line.

  • Girl Next Door: Often used to describe her word for word. Oddly, averts all three romance types; she was always more or less Joe's girl.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the first volume of the Casefiles series.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Iola got angry at Joe for ignoring her while he was trying to make a move on another girl that he's just met. Iola goes off to the Hardys' car to let off some steam, and...
  • Revenge by Proxy: The bomb that killed Iola was actually meant for the Hardys.

Tony Prito

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

The son of Italian immigrants, Tony is a close friend of the Hardy Boys, helping out on many cases. Friendly and outgoing, he helped in many early volumes with his own motorboat, the Napoli. He later managed the pizza parlor at the local mall, a post that made him a good connection for watching the comings and goings of the town.

  • Chekhov's Gunman: He mentions working in his father's construction company in the original series, but in the Casefiles he has a new job: assistant manager of the fast-food joint Mr. Pizza. Wouldn't you know it, his new job plays an important role for the Hardys' investigation in the Dead on Target case.
  • Cool Boat: Owner of the Napoli, which helped out and rescued the Hardy Boys on a number of occasions.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Tony and his father used it in the first few books. Quickly phased out.
  • National Stereotypes: Averted, with a few early exceptions. For most of the series, Tony was portrayed as a normal, American teenager. Though he did eventually manage a pizza parlor...

Phil Cohen

First appearance: #1 The Tower Treasure

Phil appeared less frequently than Chet, Biff, and Tony, but was another frequent friend of the Hardys'. In the early volumes, he was more artistically talented, but became gifted with electronics and gadgets, eventually evolving into a computer hacker as the times changed. Often introduced in early volumes as the Hardys' "Jewish friend".

  • Jewish and Nerdy: Phil is the best of the Hardys' friends with technology, and was often noted to be the smartest of them.
  • Mr. Fixit: Helped the Hardys fix vehicles on a number of occasions, especially their decked-out black van from the Casefiles.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Played straight in the original editions, but dropped in later revisions and books.

Sam Radley

Fenton Hardy's top investigator. Helped the Hardy Boys on a number of cases, and got into his fair share of trouble as well.

Vanessa Bender

First appearance: Casefiles #69 Mayhem in Motion

Appearing only in the Casefiles series, she is a client who the Hardy Boys helped. At the end of the case, she and Joe began dating, and by the time the series was canceled, they were going steady.

The Authorities

Chief Ezra Collig

Chief of Police of Bayport, Collig originally served as more of a foil in the early books, often embarrassed by being upstaged by the Hardys' amateur antics. Over the years, he has come to accept their help and put his full trust in them, although he wishes they would pick a safer hobby.

  • Friend on the Force: Eventually becomes this for the Hardy Boys.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Usually listens to the Hardy Boys warnings and ideas, but is frequently unable to act on anything until they come up with proof. On occasion, he actually asks them for help.

Con Riley

A veteran officer of the Bayport Police, Riley, like many adults, underestimated the Hardy brother's severely, and in the early books was often aggravated by their and their friends' antics. He has evolved into a much more competent, patient character over the years and has come to regard the brothers as a reliable ally in solving crimes around Bayport.

  • Ascended Extra: Was little more than a comic relief character. Eventually became their most frequently used contact with the police next to Chief Collig.
  • Friend on the Force: Becomes this for the Hardys, particularly in the Casefiles series.

Oscar Smuff

Appeared in many of the early volumes. A stuffed-shirt who viewed himself as brilliant, a personality that often caused him to be the target of pranks by the Hardys and their friends, all of which ended up making him look like a complete fool. Eventually, his buffoonery got him busted down to patrolman, and he was eventually let go from the force altogether.

  • Butt Monkey: Existed purely to be the butt of the Hardy Boys and friends' jokes, or perpetually tried to arrest the wrong person.

The Gray Man/Arthur Gray

First appearance: Casefiles #1 Dead On Target

The Gray Man, another Casefiles-only character, works for the secret international organization "The Network", often working with cases involving terrorism. He is completely unassuming and blends in perfectly with the crowd, but is extremely observant and good with both fists and guns. He resented their interference in their first case together, which created issues between him and the Hardy brothers on several encounters. He still considers them little more than talented amateurs, but has gradually come to respect their skills and occasionally call on their help.

  • Aloof Ally: Knows the Hardys can get results, but reluctant to put them into danger given their relative inexperience.
  • Cloak & Dagger: The Gray Man (and the Network) seems to be very much in this vein.
  • Overt Operative: Averted; he's average, boring and nondescript in appearance.
  • Pet the Dog: Mr. Gray does come to respect the Hardy Boys. Eventually.
    • In Case 3: Cult of Crime, since the boys have been charged with murder, he mentions that he cannot get the Network involved when they try to contact him for help. He does, however, accept their request to pick up the Hardys' black van (which had to be left behind when on the run), and ends the transmission wishing Frank and Joe good luck.
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: In almost every appearance, he's described as the most ridiculously bland human being you could imagine.
  • The Spymaster: Becomes the Hardys' "handler" when he and the Network need their help.
  • Worf Had the Flu: hunting down the Assassin that tried to kill the Hardy Boys is his case. However, he couldn't see it to the end (which he immediately lampshades upon contacting Frank and Joe when the crisis is over) because he got caught in a explosive booby trap that puts him in a coma (had Frank not pushed him away, it could've been worse) for roughly half of the book.

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alternative title(s): Hardy Boys
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