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Characters: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Citizens of Halloween Town

Jack Skellington, The Pumpkin King

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Jack could possibly be the Personification of Halloween.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain
  • The Atoner: Downplayed. He does go about trying to fix his mistakes, but doesn't angst about it; rather, he is satisfied that he tried his best with Christmas and had fun doing so.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: "What's this?!"
  • Authority Equals Asskicking
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Jack is the Pumpkin King because he's the scariest and the toughest.
  • Badass Bookworm: He attempts to master the magic of Christmas through study and scientific research, and while his methods fail entirely, the logic he employs suggests a strange sort of genius at work.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit
  • Bad Santa: Though, in his case, it's less due to maliciousness than just not being very good at Santa's job.
  • Beneath the Mask: All of the Citizens of Halloween Town (except Sally) believe Jack to be bold, loud, and happy. Too bad they have no idea that underneath that bony exterior was a guy that was practically going through depression before he discovered Christmas Town.
  • Berserk Button: Do not harm his friends. He will not take kindly to this.
  • The Big Guy
  • Blessed with Suck
  • Bowties Are Cool: Jack wears a bowtie when he's wearing his tux, although some people mistake it for a collar. It's still pretty cool, though.
  • Broken Ace
  • Camp Straight
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: He has this realization at the start of the film.
  • Creepy Good
  • Creepy Long Fingers / Creepily Long Arms
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He may be the Pumpkin King and love scaring, but he's a pretty nice guy. But don't forget... he is still the Pumpkin King.
  • Dem Bones
  • Evil Laugh: It's his regular laugh.
  • Expressive Skull
  • Forgets to Eat: Implied by the scene where Sally sends a basket of food up to him.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Sanguine.
  • He's Back: "That's right! I AM the Pumpkin King!"
  • Hot Bone Marrowed
  • Hollywood Mid Life Crisis: Another theory behind Jack's lost love for Halloween and being so enamored by Christmas. After his attempts at running Christmas go bad, he rediscovers his love for Halloween.
  • Horrifying Hero
  • Iconic Outfit: Jack's pin-striped tuxedo and bat bow-tie.
  • I Have Many Names: Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, the King of Halloween, Bone Daddy, Skeleton Jack, Mr. Unlucky...
  • Idiot Hero: As detailed on the main page, he's not an Idiot Hero because of an inherent lack of intelligence; he's an Idiot Hero because he's never encountered non-Halloween stuff before and he's too excited to listen to common sense.
  • Japanese Honorifics: "Boku" in the Japanese Dub.
  • The Kindnapper: Jack Skellington has part of his being a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant. His way of indulging himself in his new passion for Christmas not only involves planning to run the show himself, but kidnapping the one who already does to enable his doing so. And he sees it as a favor for Santa, too! Despite Jack's unquestionable status as The Hero, though, his kidnapping is clearly shown as not being a good thing, especially because of what it leads to...
    Santa: (bursts out of the bag) Let me out! (the Halloween Town citizens gasp in awe)
    Jack Skellington: Sandy Claws - in person. What a pleasure to meet you. (prepares to shake but then looks down when their HANDS touch)
    Jack Skellington: Wh - ! Why, you have hands! You don't have claws at all!
    Santa: (dazed) Where am I?
    Jack Skellington: Surprised, are you? I knew you would be. You don't have to worry about another Christmas this year.
    Santa: Wh-what?
    Jack Skellington: Consider this a vacation, Sandy. A reward. It's your turn to take it easy.
    Santa: B-But there must be some mistake!
    Jack Skellington: See that he's comfortable... (the minions start to close up the bag, but then stop) Just a second, fellas! Of course! That's what I'm missing! (takes Santa's hat)
    Santa: B-But...
    Jack Skellington: (as he's putting on the hat) Thanks.
    Santa: Hang on - you just can't - (has the bag thrown over him again) - Hold on! Where are we going now?
  • Large Ham: More subtle than Oogie, but still. "I AM THE PUMPKIN HAM KING!!!"
  • The Leader: Type IV. Due to his skill and charisma, all of Halloweentown loves him and would follow any Zany Scheme he's concocted.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: A rare heroic example. He, and most of Halloween Town, enjoy the sound of screaming not out of sadism but because it's their job which they enjoy. Plus the screaming comes from harmless pranks rather than torture.
  • Made of Iron: In his first appearance he sets himself on fire (briefly), and then later in the movie he falls at least a mile, lands on a stone statue, and doesn't suffer any permanent damage.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: He is the scariest ghoul in Halloweentown, but also one of the friendliest.
  • Modest Royalty: In terms of appearance, as the Pumpkin King wears no crown. He's certainly not modest in personality.
  • Mood-Swinger: Jack frequently and quickly swings between elation, depression, and anger. Many fans speculate that he has a mood disorder (bipolar disorder is the popular choice, but that's not actually how it works, most of the time).
  • Narcissist: He and the whole film revolve around his bull-headed attitude, and attempt to steal a holiday that doesn't belong to him.
  • Nightmare Fetishist
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
  • Noodle People
  • Obliviously Evil: Jack means no harm at all and doesn't have a malicious bone in his body, but it's his actions that are creating nearly every problem in the film. Thankfully, he does eventually come to his senses.
  • Oblivious to Love: Throughout most of the movie, he only views Sally as a friend, and has no idea that she's in love with him. He catches on eventually though.
  • Official Couple: With Sally.
  • Perky Goth
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Hello, Oogie."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "How dare you treat my friends so SHAMEFULLY!"
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He wears a tux 85% of the time, and when he's not wearing it, he still dresses pretty good.
  • Slasher Smile/Cheshire Cat Grin
  • Species Surname/Punny Name: Sort of, as "skeleton" is sometimes pronounced as "Skellington" with an accent. See Hot Fuzz and Stardust.
  • Vague Age: In personality and voice, he comes across as being in his late twenties or early thirties, but he's an undead skeleton man, so this has no connection whatsoever to how long he's been around. And aside from being adult-sized it's impossible to gauge his age from his looks. He's probably older than thirtyish, though it wouldn't be impossible for him to be younger.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • Wide Eye Socketed Idealist: Not just the fact that he does have very wide eye-sockets, but he fits the idealist trope very closely.


Dr. Finkelstein

Lock, Shock & Barrel

Oogie Boogie

  • Arch-Enemy: To Jack.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Bad Moon Rising: Oogie's introduction in This is Halloween.
  • Big Bad: Though all the citizens of Halloween Town dedicate their lives to scaring people, they do it purely for laughs and are mostly harmless. Oogie is the only really EVIL person there, and is implied to have actually killed people.
  • Blatant Lies: In an interview in his biography, Tim Burton described Oogie as "A nasty neighbor", said that there weren't any true villains; ohh yeeaaah... Anyone who's been banished, has tried to eat Santa Claus, and tried to forcibly take over all 7 holidays musn't be that evil!
  • Boisterous Bruiser: A rare evil example. He loves singing and dancing...while he horribly tortures his victims and later cook'em and eat'em.
  • Card-Carrying Villain
  • Dirty Coward: Despite being a hundred times bigger than Jack (at least in terms of sheer bulk), he whimpers and runs away if he even thinks Jack has the upper hand. Considering he's just a big burlap sack full of bugs, this behavior is reasonably justified.
  • The Dreaded: Even the other residents of Halloween Town are implied to be terrified of him.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's this to Jack- he's just as terrifying (if not moreso), but unlike Jack, he's more of a sociopathic monster than a prankster.
  • Evil Laugh: Once more!
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Voiced by Ken Page.
  • Expy: According to Word of God, he's an expy of Audrey II.
  • Fat Bastard: Not only is he a big, nasty bag of bugs with a love of torture and casual cannibalism, he cheats at dice. In fact, Oogie Boogie was the biggest, heaviest puppet in the entire cast, needing the tightest joints in his armature skeleton for proper movement.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He may look like an overstuffed potato sack living in a cross between a cheesy blacklight funhouse and a casino, but he's actually a sadistic monster who slowly torments people with rigged games of chance before cooking them up and eating them.
  • For the Evulz: The only Halloween Town resident who is truly evil.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric.
  • The Gambler: Although he doesn't play fair.
  • Japanese Honorifics: "Ore" in the Japanese dub.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The movie is already pretty dark itself. However, not one of the Halloweentown residents is a deranged mass murderer with a taste for torture and gore.
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Large Ham: "Large" in every sense of the word.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
  • Obviously Evil: No eyes, big toothless mouth, stitched-up head, a snake for a tongue...
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": His modus operandi.
  • Scary Black Man: In spirit and voice, if not in body (being a lime-green, vaguely humanoid burlap sack guy and all).
  • Torture Technician
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show
  • Villain Song: One of the best.
  • Villainous Glutton
  • The Worm That Walks/The Swarm

The Mayor

Mr. Hyde

  • Matryoshka Object: He has several smaller versions of himself all hidden under his hat, and each one has a smaller one hidden under their hat.
  • Took a Shortcut: In the video game, he gets everywhere before Jack, no matter how hard it was for him to get there.



  • All There in the Manual: The name of the woodcutter zombie with an axe in his head is revealed through merchandise.
  • Dumb Muscle: He shows very little intelligence and is often seen doing physical work. His dumbness might be because of the axe embedded in his head.

Clown With The Tearaway Face

  • Body Horror: He can tear away his face and apparently the front part of his entire skull.
  • Monster Clown: It's what he is. Subverted though as he's just as nice as the other residents.

Melting Man

Tall Witch and Short Witch

Most of the residents


Santa Claus

The Elves

The Easter Bunny

The Children

  • No Name Given
    • For some of them, anyway, at least onscreen. If you pay attention, the kid with the shrunken head is named Timmy (it says so on his stocking behind him), and in the book, The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Film, The Art, The Vision, on some of the concept art, it shows the kid who gets the big snake is referred to as "The Infant."

Shrunken Head Kid

  • Nightmare Fetishist: Possibly.
  • No Name Given
    • Actually, if you look at the stockings on the fireplace behind him, his name is Timmy. It probably falls under Freeze-Frame Bonus.
  • The Stoic: Not a straight example, but the kid does deserve credit for not screaming when he finds his gift, and not being bothered that his home's been invaded by an undead Santa Claus. He actually was scared, but was to shocked to properly express himself

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