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Special Agent Dale Bartholomew "Coop" Cooper
Played by: Kyle MacLachlan
- The Ace: Agent Cooper is the best anyone will ever be at anything he ever does. He always takes home a ten to fifteen percent return when gambling with bureau funds. When at the firing range, he puts four rounds through the eyes and two through the nostrils. He can identify people's relationships at a glance. He's wary of being present for a witness's sketch artist session because he's "a strong sender" and might influence the results, and then corrects the sketch anyways. And to top it all off, he whittles up a flute from scratch in just a few hours.
- Agent Cooper: Co-Trope Namer
- Badass Bookworm: Cooper is a man who will do his research - even if it's through unorthodox methods - before ever needing to do anything badass.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: ...and he'll do it in a reasonably stylish, reasonably priced suit.
- Big Eater: Sheriff Truman remarks that he must have the metabolism of a bumblebee.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: While he may be on the eccentric side, he really is a good detective.
- Cloudcuckoolander: To the point where, in the first scene of the regular episode of the series, he records his report hanging upside down from a coat rack.
- Cultured Badass: Knows a few things about a few things, hand in hand with his The Ace status.
- Dreaming the Truth: A trait he has possessed since childhood and inherited from his late mother (similar to Sarah and Laura), according to The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper.
- Expy: Partly a more morally upright version of Kyle MacLachlan's role as Jeffrey Beaumont in Blue Velvet.
- Also comes across as an exaggerated Sherlock Holmes, with his bordering-on-the-absurd eccentricities and powers of deduction.
- Grand Theft Me: What is strongly implied to have happened to him at the end of Season 2.
- Hyper Awareness: Very little escapes Cooper's attention. Sometimes his eccentricity can overshadow the fact that he is a remarkably good detective.
- Idiot Ball: Holds onto it pretty tightly during the last three or four episodes. May be a case of Love Makes You Stupid, as most of his sudden incompetence is centered around Annie.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Arguably, given how Season 2 ends. But who can forget his response to Audrey Horne's question "Don't you have any secrets?"Agent Cooper: No.
- Mundane Object Amazement: Especially in the beginning, is completely amazed and enthralled by the country, bursting into spouts of excited admiration for trees and rabbits and other wilderness-y things.
- Must Have Caffeine: Though he doesn't seem to be addicted to it, rather he really loves coffee.
- My Greatest Failure: Long before he came to Twin Peaks, there was a mission where he was unable to prevent a woman that he was supposed to protect from getting killed because they fell in love with each other, and because of these feelings, he was unprepared for said attack. This also drove his former partner Windom Earle insane, although we later found out that he's the one that did it. Because of this incident, Agent Cooper is hesitant to get romantically involved with anyone else to avoid the risk of putting them in danger.
- Nice Guy: The guy is incredibly friendly and polite, which makes BOB's possession of him at the end of the show all the more tragic.
- Occult Detective: Comes as close to this trope as an active FBI agent could. His methods are a little odd, but they work more often than they should.
- OOC Is Serious Business: He gets visibly angry for the first time in the show while hearing a description of the last night of Laura Palmer's life, and you just know things aren't going to end well for the guy provoking him.
- Sense Freak: Particularly, taste.
- Sherlock Scan: Can deduce people's relationships—and honesty level—within the spans of a few minutes. At most.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Though oddly not Dreaming of Things to Come.
- Turn in Your Badge: After solving the Laura Palmer case, he is put on trial for crossing national borders as part of his investigation. He's acquitted when it is shown that his accuser is impersonating a Mountie and is part of an international drug smuggling ring.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Windom Earle
- Would Hit a Girl: Which he does in the process of saving Audrey, so it's a bit more understandable.
Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole
Played by: David Lynch
- Cloudcuckoolander: Even when compared with Agent Cooper himself.COOP, TODAY YOU REMIND ME OF A SMALL MEXICAN CHI-WOW-WOW.
- Creator Cameo: Played by David Lynch himself. He shouts a lot and babbles almost incoherently.
- Da Chief: Completely averted.
- Department of Redundancy Department: He sometimes suggests that people do some suggested thing or other rather than whatever he misheard them as saying.
- The Faceless: Watching his early "appearances" over the phone, and knowing Lynch doesn't plan things out, it's clear that the casting was originally something of a joke.
- Large Ham: And not just because he always speaks loudly. A lot of the things he says come off as quirky, if not outright eccentric at times, and it's this combined with his lack of an indoor voice that tends to make him come off as very bombastic. In a good way of course.
- Nice Guy: Once you look past his bombastic nature, Gordon is a good man to his very core.
- No Indoor Voice: AGENT GORDON COLE IS ALMOST DEAF. THIS CAN LEAD TO FUNNY SITUATIONS WHEN HE NEEDS TO SPEAK PRIVATELY. PERHAPS THAT'S WHY HE'S SO ABSTRUSE.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As with Sheriff Truman, he is more than willing to allow some latitude in attitudes if it ends well.
Diane (Cooper's secretary?)
- Companion Cube: A popular theory is that Diane is not a person, but the name of Cooper's recording device.
- The Ghost: We never see her. As of the Missing Pieces, there is one scene in Fire Walk With Me where Cooper is talking to Diane in her office, although we don't see her or hear her responses.
Former Special Agent Windom Earle
Played by: Kenneth Welsh
- Chess with Death: He plays a Chess game with Cooper. Every piece Earle takes, he kills someone.
- The Chessmaster: Literally and figuratively.
- Crazy-Prepared: In addition to his never ending supply of disguises, Earle travels with elaborate bugging equipment, all the tools and supplies needed to construct a giant chess piece, and enough strobe lights and pyrotechnics to completely sabotage a beauty pageant which he somehow does without anyone noticing. Not to mention a cage full of poisonous spiders.
- Evil Counterpart: A fallen version of Coop himself. Coop even blames himself for it, poor guy.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: His research into the Black Lodge while working on Project Blue Book developed into a dangerous obsession.
- Instrument of Murder: While he doesn't kill anyone with it, in one of his first appearances he uses his flute to lay a serious beatdown on Leo Johnson.
- Kick the Dog: The way he treats the mentally impaired Leo Johnson is needlessly cruel.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Still satisfying to watch, though. Leo is an awful, awful man.
- Laughably Evil: He may be someone you don't want to screw with, but some of the weird things he does (like walking through the woods in a horse costume) are so ridiculous you can't help but laugh.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Cooper.
- Your Soul Is Mine: In the series finale. And it's Double Subverted. He tries to steal Cooper's soul — then BOB steals Earle's for breaking the rules of the Black Lodge. Then Cooper's soul is trapped in the Lodge anyway.
Agent Albert Rosenfield
Played by: Miguel Ferrer
- Actual Pacifist: He became an FBI Medical Examiner to fight against violence in a way that would never make him have to use violence. His deep commitment to pacifism results in a warming in his relationship with Sheriff Truman.
- Agent Scully: A really abrasive one.
- The Coroner: A medical examiner, actually. He clashes with actual Coroner "Doc" Hayward the instant he sets foot in Twin Peaks. He's a perfect example of the character type, though.
- The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: He objects emphatically when Cooper allows the body of Laura Palmer to be buried without a complete autopsy.
- City Mouse: To the extreme displeasure of the natives of Twin Peaks and Special Agent Cooper.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's got a bitingly dry sense of humor.Cooper: (after Albert tried to cheer him up) You're making a joke.
Albert: I like to think of myself as one of the happy generation.
- Enraged by Idiocy: Has absolutely no patience for anyone he considers an idiot (which is everyone until proven otherwise), so he's pretty much in a constant state of rage and likely to blow up at anyone at any second.
- No Social Skills: His first instinct upon walking into the local police station is to scathingly express exactly what he thinks of Truman's operation and insulting everyone and everything within eyesight.Cooper: Albert's lacking in some of the social niceties.
- Only Sane Man: Doesn't work too well in Twin Peaks though.
- Pet the Dog: In the second episode of season 2 Albert (genuinely) asks how Coop is doing after being shot. Coop's surprised by the concern, though Albert tells him not to get sentimental.
Agent Dennis "Denise" Bryson
Played by: David Duchovny
Sheriff Harry S. Truman
Played by: Michael Ontkean
- Agent Scully: Though at first he seems to be set up for this, Sheriff Truman deeply respects Agent Cooper. However, when evidence seems to point at Ben Horne Truman expresses exasperation with Cooper's eccentricity, in this case Cooper was right.
- Drowning My Sorrows: He does this after Josie "dies". Although he gets better in the next episode.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: As mentioned under Drowning My Sorrows, he has one after Josie supposedly "dies".
- Jurisdiction Friction: None, with Sheriff Truman going so far as to describe Agent Cooper as "The finest lawman I've ever known". There is a little formal stiffness initially, but that's settled by the second day and has more to do with meeting someone new.
- The Lancer: Gets put into this role in place of Jurisdiction Friction.
- Name's the Same: Invoked:Cooper: "I'm supposed to meet with a Sheriff Harry S. Truman. Shouldn't be too hard to remember that."
- Nice Hat: Par for the course, this sheriff has a cowboy hat. (It's a little out of place for the region - Eastern Washington State has the sort of climate and culture that would justify owning one, but on the west side of the Cascades the only reasons to wear one are style and as part of a uniform.)
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Makes it a point to help out Cooper wherever he can. Makes sure to give everyone a fair hearing.
- The Sheriff: As per his rank.
- The Watson: Lampshaded by Harry himself. He's as competent as any other lawman, but is out of his depth with the Palmer case (and subsequent happenings) and knows it.
Deputy Andy Brennan
Played by: Harry Goaz
- The Big Guy: Shared with Hawk.
- Butt Monkey: When he steps on a plank and it bonks him on the head, you begin to wonder if the universe really has it in for him....
- Clueless Deputy: Bless his heart, he really tries. But he's still The Ditz.
- The Ditz: Most of his time is spent doing pratfalls.
- Good Is Dumb: Andy's a good-hearted person, even if he isn't the brightest bulb on the tree.
- Inelegant Blubbering: In a variation on the Vomiting Cop trope, Andy starts weeping inconsolably whenever he is confronted by gruesome sights.
- Lovable Coward: Fortunately, he shakes off the cowardice when saving Harry from getting shot.
- Who's Your Daddy?: Is he the father of Lucy Moran's child? We don't find out, but Lucy decides that, since Brennan would make a better father than Dick Tremayne, she will marry him.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Lucy for most of the series.
Deputy Tommy "Hawk" Hill
Played by: Michael Horse
- Big Damn Heroes: In The Orchid's Curse Hawk follows Cooper and Truman when they raid One Eyed Jacks. The two almost escape until a thug holds them up at gunpoint, whereupon Hawk reveals himself and lands a knife in the man's back.
- The Big Guy: Shared with Andy.
- The Ghost: His veterinarian girlfriend.
- Magical Native American: Of course, in Twin Peaks, his beliefs are downright mundane.
- Number Two: Most of the series has him as back up to Sheriff Truman.
Played by: Kimmy Robertson
- The Chick: The girl on the force, and is generally quite a sweetheart.
- The Cutie: Nearly everything about her. Particularly her mousy voice, her pout, and general air of vulnerability.
- The Ditz: She's a bit flighty, but her squeaky voice really magnifies it.
- Sassy Secretary: Usually not very sassy, but all the other stereotypical secretary traits (nasal, watches soap operas).
- Will They or Won't They?: With Andy for most of the series.
- Woman Child: That voice. That pout.
Twin Peaks Townsfolk
Major Garland Briggs
Played by: Don S. Davis
- Bald of Awesome: This is Don S Davis, after all.
- Cool Old Guy: More like "Cool Middle-aged Guy", but close enough.
- Eagleland: Flavor 1. Down to his uniform being his attire of choice for seemingly everything.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: What more can you say about a man whose greatest fear is the "possibility that love is not enough"?
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Can't go wrong in a military uniform.
- Spock Speak: One of the causes of the distance between himself and his son is just how bizarrely-eloquent he is.
Robert "Bobby" Briggs
Played by: Dana Ashbrook
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Laura Palmer's last relationship is with him. Subverted in that she humiliated him by destroying his "bad boy" posturing, as next to her he was both weak and innocent.
- Get Rich Quick Scheme: Spends most of his time coming up with these, and he's terrible at it.
- I Am Not My Father: By a long shot.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He mellows out over the course of the show.
- Large Ham: Bobby can be quite hammy when he gets emotional. Some of the best examples can be seen in the pilot episode when he's both accused and later questioned about possibly murdering Laura Palmer as well as in the fourth episode with his big AAAAAAMEEEEN!!! at Laura's funeral, and earlier in the same episode when his father implies that he's afraid of said funeral (specifically the last part of his response to that).Bobby Briggs: AFRAID?!! I'M GOING TO TURN IT UP!!SIDE!!DOWN!!
- Mr. Fanservice: He's very, very pretty.
- Rebellious Spirit: Very different from his wholesome parents.
- Smoking Is Cool: And as expected, his far more clean-cut father doesn't approve of it.
Played by: Lara Flynn Boyle (TV show), Moira Kelly (Fire Walk With Me)
- Luke, I Am Your Father: In the series finale, we find out that her biological father is actually Benjamin Horne.
- Morality Pet: For Laura Palmer in the prequel movie.
- Not Herself: At the beginning of season 2. It is implied that she (either subconsciously or because of the Twin Peaks' general weirdness) is somehow absorbing some of Laura's personality traits from wearing her sunglasses.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Fire Walk With Me makes it clear that she and Laura were involved in one.
- Smoking Is Cool: Starting with season 2.
Played by: Mary Jo Deschanel
- Cut Short: We'll never know all the details of her relationship with Ben Horne. Even though they're pretty obvious.
Played by: Alicia Witt
William "Doc" Hayward
Played by: Warren Frost
- Closest Thing We Got: He has to step up as The Coroner, despite not being a forensic medical examiner — Twin Peaks isn't the kind of place that needs one — but he does alright.
- Not So Stoic: While he's generally a calm and reasonable man, he still has his limits, as demonstrated by his altercation with Albert early on, where he gets infuriated that Albert insists on keeping Laura's body for the upcoming funeral to perform an autopsy.
Played by: Sherilyn FennDaughter of Ben Horne, and seems to have made it her life's mission to act up and play the Femme Fatale. Has a crush on Cooper from the moment she sees him.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Mostly evident in the pilot and early episodes.
- Beauty Mark: Next to her left eye.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Annie's Betty. In a twist, she's actually sort of a better person than Donna.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Mostly in the early episodes.
- Break the Haughty: Proudly manipulates her way into One-Eyed Jack's—and then, her experiences there hits her hard with the realization that she's in over her head, leading to her privately shedding tears and praying for Cooper to save her.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Inverted - A majority of the time, her shenanigans are done to spite Ben, directly or indirectly. For a laugh in the earlier episodes, anyway.
- Fille Fatale: She's eighteen, actually. But her sexuality is of the "playful/childlike" quality.
- Femme Fatale: Loves to revel in the role, particularly for Cooper. As the first season progresses, we come to discover she's actually more of an Heroic Seductress, using her sexual antics to investigate and sabotage the corruption around her.
- Generation Xerox: Becomes every bit as conniving as her father as the series goes on.
- Good Bad Girl: Puts off a highly sexual airs, and generally acts pretty rebellious, but all in all she's quite moral, after all.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: It's implied her rebellious attitude stems out of disgust at her father's corruption.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Cooper appears to be the first person she's truly opened up to in a while.
- Ms. Fanservice: Constantly goes out of her way to act "sexy"...down to showing up in Cooper's bed in one episode.
- Seemingly Wholesome '50s Girl: Inverted—she initially comes across as a stereotypical "bad" girl...but turns out to have a Hidden Heart of Gold.
- Smoking Is Cool: Although she seems to quit around the middle of the second season.
Benjamin "Ben" Horne
Played by: Richard Beymer
- Becoming the Mask: Starts off using a conservation scheme to derail Catherine's real estate plans, but eventually takes it seriously and starts reflecting on the decisions of his past.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Besides his legitimate company, which alone makes him the biggest business owner in Twin Peaks, he also got his finger in several more shady businesses, such as One-Eyed Jacks, and he is always plotting new ways to expand his business empire, usually through means that are extremely underhanded at best and outright illegal at worst.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Revealed in the series finale to be Donna's father.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He kisses his mother's image while watching the old film.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: He usually smokes cigars, signifying his role as a Corrupt Corporate Executive. After his Heel–Face Turn in the second season, he seems to switch to celery stalks and carrots.
- Large Ham: Especially in the middle-to-later episodes when things start to fall apart for him, which causes him to get much more dramatic and uncomposed, but especially so in the episodes after he has a complete breakdown and starts acting and dressing like General Robert E. Lee. Even before that though, he fits the subtler variety of ham pretty well. His speech patterns can best be compared to that of Lionel Luthor from Smallville, in that both of them put emphasis on any words and parts of their lines that they feel are important.
- Not So Above It All: Especially prevalent in season 1 where Ben is a more serious and sinister character than most other Twin Peaks residents. He's not above his own bit of odd behaviors such as when his brother introduces him to baguettes or when Leland comes in singing and he and Jerry break out the celebratory dance moves.
- Pet the Dog: When his daughter is taken hostage, Ben sends Cooper to make the drop, fully intending for him to die per the hostage negotiator's orders. He does also send Hank to follow them and while he wants Hank to bring back his money as well, Ben places the greater importance on his daughter's safety.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: In contrast to the retro-'50s style that most of the town dresses in, Ben favors '80s patterned ties and double-breasted suits.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Until he inherited his family's company.
- Villainous Breakdown: Several episodes in the making, but he finally goes well and truly off the rails when he loses One-Eyed Jack's.
- What Have I Become?: He asks himself this a few times, only to shrug it off again.
Played by: David Patrick KellyBen Horne's sleazy brother. He actually doesn't have too big of a role in the show, but he occasionally helps Ben with his schemes.
- Big Eater: He fell in love Brie-on-baguette sandwiches when he went to Paris on a business trip for Ben. He brings home no less than four of them and insists that Ben try one. As a rule, he winds up developing a taste for at least one exotic or unusual dish from every foreign country he's been to, and likes to tell people about them in great detail.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Jerry isn't a very good lawyer, Coop notes he failed the Bar exam twice and graduated last in his class, but the advice he gives Ben when he's arrested for Laura's murder is pretty sound (and his big plan is to get his brother a better lawyer). Mainly he keeps trying to stop Ben from yammering on and insulting everyone because he's just making himself look guilty, and everything he's saying can and will be used against him in court. Even when he gives the ultimatum: charge Ben or let him go... which results in them charging him; Jerry isn't in the wrong because that's just what the police have to do anyway.
- Number Two: Of all Ben's associates, Jerry's the one who Ben confides in. Jerry acts as Ben's co-conspirator, and he's the one taking international trips to secure investors.
- Shadow Archetype: To his brother. He publicly displays all the traits Ben attempts to hide behind his everyday mask of sophistication, from flamboyance and quirkiness, up to womanizing and underhanded and aggressive business manners. This also shown in more obvious ways; where Ben is a Sharp-Dressed Man who favors muted colors in his wardrobe, Jerry seems to attempt to always be dressed as bombastically as possible.
Played by: Robert Davenport and Robert BauerAudrey's mentally handicapped brother.
- Ambiguous Disorder: It is unclear exactly what Johnny suffers from, but it causes him to be a silent, childish shut-in that sometimes makes weird outbursts. A Deleted Scene reveals that Johnny actually has a perfectly normal brain and intelligence, and his behavior stems from a serious trauma he experienced early in life, and Dr. Jacoby is optimistic about the prospects of unearthing this trauma.
- Inadequate Inheritor: It is clear that Ben expected his sole son to take over the family business, and it disappoints him to no end that Johnny really is in no condition to do so.
- Security Blanket: His Native American chief's headdress. Dr. Jacoby is able to convince him to take it off for Laura's funeral, but it takes much coaxing.
"Big" Ed Hurley
Played by: Everett McGill
- Childhood Sweetheart: To Norma.
- Closer to Earth: He's incomparably more sensible and down to earth than his wife Nadine.
- Henpecked Husband: He may not have it as bad as Pete, but he still gets his share of beleaguerment from Nadine and her antics.
- Will They or Won't They?: Throughout many episodes, it's very clear that he and Norma still have strong feelings for one another, but due to ending up with different people, they are constantly conflicted about whether acting on their feelings is the right thing to do. Later in the second season, they start getting much closer again when they drift further apart from Hank and Nadine respectively because of newer developments such as Hank going back to jail and Nadine falling in love with Mike Nelson.
Played by: James MarshallBiker teen who lives with Ed and Nadine instead of his parents, who, he tells people, died in a car accident.
- The Ditz: Almost astonishingly stupid. As Laura Palmer says in one of her tapes, "James is sweet, but he's so dumb."
- Likes Older Women: If his affair with the 30-something Evelyn March is any indication...
- Morality Pet: For Laura Palmer in the prequel movie.
Played by: Wendy Robie
- Badass Normal: She may not be connected to the supernatural ongoings in Twin Peaks, but her Super Strength and overall athleticism come in handy from time to time.
- Big Damn Heroes: She saves Ed when Hank tries to kill him.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Doesn't even begin to describe her!
- Driven to Suicide: At the end of season 1, she tries to overdose on pills out of depression when she can't sell any of of her cotton balls since not many people are interested in silent drape-runners, which she had just created with them, hoping they would make her and Ed rich. Thankfully though, it only sends her into a coma, which she awakens from a few episodes later.
- Eyepatch of Power: Her most prominent physical feature, which goes great with her extreme physical strength
- Genki Girl: Post-coma in season 2, when she thinks that she's a teenager.
- Super Strength: She can effortlessly hurl a full-grown man over a whole sports field.
- Woman Child A justified example. For some strange reason, she awakens from her coma near the beginning of season 2 thinking she's still a teenager in high school, and therefore, has the mindset of and acts like one.
- Waif-Fu: She's certainly not built like someone of her strength at all. As Dr. Jacoby points out, "that tissue's packed in there pretty hard".
Dr. Lawrence Jacoby
Played by: Russ Tamblyn
- Cloudcuckoolander: Dr. Jacoby was born in Hawaii and has had an obsession with the place all his life, dressing in tropical shirts and decorating his entire home with Polynesian kitsch.
- Cool Shades: He almost always wears a pair of 3D glasses.
- Making a Spectacle of Yourself: he always wears a pair of 3D glasses.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Dr. Jacoby isn't so much "ugly" as he is quirky and unattractive. However, he's married to a pretty Hawaiian woman who seems to be a couple years younger than him.
Played by: Chris Mulkey
- Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: His domino key-chain.
- The Dragon: To several villains throughout the series.
- Fallen Hero: Used to be a Bookhouse Boy. Truman grew up with him and thought he was one of their best, until he ended up in prison.
Played by: Peggy Lipton
- Childhood Sweetheart: To Ed.
- Cool Big Sis: She acts as one towards Shelly Johnson, and is a literal one to Annie Blackburn.
- Fanservice with a Smile: She is played by Peggy Lipton after all.
- Greasy Spoon: Runs her own diner.
- Will They or Won't They?: Throughout many episodes, it's very clear that she and Ed still have strong feelings for one another, but due to ending up with different people, they are constantly conflicted about whether acting on their feelings is the right thing to do. Later in the second season, they start getting much closer again when they drift further apart from Hank and Nadine respectively because of newer developments such as Hank going back to jail and Nadine falling in love with Mike Nelson.
Played by: Eric Da Re
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Well ... sort of. He is aggressive and does sell drugs to high school kids, but they seek him out to buy them.
- Although, at the point of the sales, he doesn't do things by halves, and will straight-up threaten to kill his customers unless they fulfill their end of the deal.
- The Atoner: Sort of; despite his horrible treatment of Shelly, Leo shows obvious concern when Windom Earle states that he might kill her, and later tries multiple times to stop Earle's plans. His poor mental state doesn't allow him to do much, but he does manage to free Major Briggs so that the latter could help Shelly.
- Ax-Crazy: He takes this trope to a literal degree when he awakens from his coma in the middle of season 2 and the first thing he tries to do is murder Shelly with an ax.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: When he finds out that Shelly has been having an affair with Bobby, he tries to murder both of them even though he generally treats Shelly horribly and doesn't really give her a reason to love him to begin with.
- Butt Monkey: In the second season.
- Convenient Coma: Well, he does clearly have some brain damage, but it's only convenient for some, who would have preferred him dead.
- Jerkass: You will want to punch his punchable face.
- Red Herring: Despite his sadism, violence, frequent cold-blooded killing and being present at the scene of her murder, Leo did not kill Laura Palmer.
- Redemption Equals Death: Releases Major Briggs from captivity so he can warn Shelly. Windom Earle leaves him in a situation he's highly unlikely to have survived.
- Villain Decay: Leo has the bad luck of being the absolute middle man. Terrifying to the teenagers who are dabbling, easily manipulated by the real powers in Twin Peaks.
Played by: Mädchen Amick
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Though she seems to be getting better with each try, from the downright abusive Leo, to the unstable and short-tempered Bobby, to... Gordon Cole.
- Author Appeal : She kisses Gordon Cole, played by David Lynch himself. Cue Crowning Momentof Funny when her boyfriend, Bobby, comes in.Gordon Cole : YOU ARE WITNESSING A FRONT THREE-QUARTER VIEW OF TWO ADULTS SHARING A TENDER MOMENT. [to Shelly] Acts like he's never seen a kiss before.Dale Cooper : Uh, Gordon…Gordon Cole : [to Bobby] TAKE ANOTHER LOOK, SONNY! IT'S GONNA HAPPEN AGAIN.
- Domestic Abuse : Her husband forces her to do all the chores, beats her with a soap in a sock at one point, and is deeply jealous.
- Fanservice with a Smile: Works as a waitress in Norma's diner.
- Ms. Fanservice: Not as much as Audrey, but she has her moments. And being played by Mädchen Amick doesn't hurt.
- Smoking Is Cool: Though in her case, with her stress load, it makes sense.
Margaret "The Log Lady" Lanterman
Played by: Catherine E. CoulsonProbably the most unusual of the Twin Peaks townsfolk, (which is saying a lot). Margaret Lanterman, a/k/a "The Log Lady", is an eccentric recluse who lives in a cabin in the forest. She is always seen carrying a log (hence her nickname), which is implied to either contain the spirit of her dead lumberjack husband or, as of Fire Walk With Me, to serve as a link to him in the Black Lodge — though she never voices either theory outright and is implied to be forbidden from doing so. Because of this, the other townsfolk think she's crazy.She was with Laura five days before her murder. Also, her husband is Jurgen Prochnow.
- Non Sequitur: "Wait for the tea. The fish aren't running."note
Played by: Piper Laurie
- Bad Boss: Fires a guy in the pilot because he happened to be standing there when she was really pissed off.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: She gives Ben Horne a serious run for his money.
- Faking the Dead: She seemingly is killed when Leo burns down the mill, but her body is never found. She later returns in disguise as a Japanese businessman named Mr. Tojamura as ploy to trick Ben.
Played by: Jack Nance
- Cool Old Guy: In a friendly, kinda-dorky way.
- Hen Pecked Husband: Catherine just won't cut the guy a break.She was plain hell to live with.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest.
- Smart People Play Chess: A remarkable chess player, he aids Agent Cooper in the game against Windom Earle. At one point he plays three simultaneous games of chess and wins all of them.
Mayor Dwayne Milford
Played by: John Boylan
Played by: Tony Jay
Lana Budding Milford
Played by: Robyn Lively
- Heroes Want Redheads: Considering how Coop, Truman, Andy, and Hawk react when around her...
- Gold Digger: Pretty clearly.
- Informed Attractiveness: Whether you find her attractive or not, it's very difficult to say in all honesty that she's as attractive as every male in Twin Peaks finds her.
- Settle for Sibling: After her husband Dougie dies, she remarries to Dwayne, his brother. That's kinda gross.
Played by: Gary Hershberger
- Likes Older Women: Eventually falls for Nadine in the second season.
- Name's the Same: Not that other Mike Nelson.
- Those Two Guys: Forms this with Bobby, with whom he is usually seen together.
Played by: Dan O'Herlihy
- Posthumous Character: Is originally believed to have died at some point before the start of the series.
Played by: Joan Chen
- Bi the Way: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer reveals that she was one of Laura's lovers while Laura was her English tutor.
- Dragon Lady: Possibly subverted in that she doesn't have nearly the self-assuredness one would expect from the trope. Her chief motivation is simply survival as she is manipulated and bullied by almost everyone in her life (except Pete and Sheriff Truman).
- Your Soul Is Mine: Later in the second season, BOB apparently steals and traps her soul in a dresser doorknob at the Great Northern or something like that.
Played by: Sheryl Lee
- Berserk Button: Fire Walk With Me shows that even in her darkest moments of apathy and hedonism, the prospect of Donna being corrupted or coming to any sort of harm would bring her back around screaming and fighting.
- Bi the Way: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer reveals that at least two of her numerous lovers were female: Blackie and Josie Packard.
- Dark and Troubled Past: For several years before murdering her, at least since her mid-adolescence, Laura's father Leland had been molesting her while possessed by BOB.
- Darker and Edgier: In the prequel movie, Fire Walk With Me, we see fairly little of her happy, well-adjusted public face.
- Dysfunction Junction: Wow does it make sense why she went as wrong as she did.
- Go-Getter Girl: Laura subverts this as we get a glimpse of the darkness behind her seemingly perfect facade.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: She suffers a major one in the prequel film when she finds out (or at least strongly suspects at the time) that BOB is possessing her dad, Leland.
- Missing White Woman Syndrome: Ending each episode with a still picture of her dressed as a prom queen was surely meant to evoke this.
- Parental Incest: BOB's main pleasure in possessing Leland seems to have been having him molest Laura.
- Posthumous Character: We see her alive in Fire Walk With Me, but in the series proper she only shows up in recordings and flashbacks.
- Really Gets Around: It's probably quicker to count up the characters in Twin Peaks at the time of Laura's murder who weren't in love with and/or sleeping with her.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Very much the case with Donna in Fire Walk With Me.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Sheryl Lee played both Laura and her cousin Madeline.
Played by: Ray WiseThe father of Laura Palmer, Leland is a well-respected lawyer in Twin Peaks. When he was a child, he met the evil spirit BOB and was possessed by him. After hearing the news of his daughter's murder, Leland suffers a nervous breakdown, which results in him killing murder suspect Jacques Renault at the end of season one.At the beginning of season two, Leland awakens to find his hair has turned white. He becomes very upbeat, joyfully dancing and singing show tunes. However, it isn't long until he is arrested by Cooper and Truman for Jacques Renault's murder, but is soon released due to being well-respected by the townsfolk.Not long after the trial, he brutally murders his niece Maddie Ferguson (who bears a strong resemblance to Laura) the day before she is supposed return to her hometown, Missoula. The police find out about the murder and, with help from the Giant, Cooper reveals that Leland is Laura's killer. When Leland is taken in for interrogation, BOB assumes full control over his body and forces him to commit suicide just before leaving. Leland tells of his tragic childhood and the murders he committed and, with Cooper's help, dies peacefully while seeing a vision of his daughter.
- Amoral Attorney: When he goes back to working for Ben Horne, it is quickly revealed that his speciality is advising Ben on how to Loophole Abuse his way out of paying taxes and how to whitewash his money.
- Abusive Parents: He definitely isn't one himself, but he becomes one whenever BOB is in control of him, including forcing him to commit Parental Incest. Fire Walk With Me does however imply that there was an abusive aspect to Leland's personality all along, that BOB was able to latch on to and intensify.
- Demonic Possession: By BOB.
- Enemy Within: BOB, though Fire Walk With Me implies that he is more of a devil on Leland's shoulder.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Frequently when he grieves over Laura.
- Locked into Strangeness: His hair turns white after he murders Jacques Renault.
- The Pollyanna: He becomes a weird, grown-up male version of this trope at the beginning of the second season after he's killed Jacques Renault and BOB has taken more complete control of him, which literally prevents him from staying upset about anything, including tragic events, for too long and to frequently break into singing and dancing.
- More Than Mind Control: There some hints, especially in Fire Walk With Me, that Leland's sexual abuse of Laura wasn't only down to BOB forcing Leland into doing it, but also that BOB was able to play on some repressed, dark urges already present in Leland.
- Wangst: Done intentionally in Season 1. While Leland's grief over his daughter's death is understandable, it frequently goes so over-top that it crosses into the realm of the ridiculous, and some of the scenes he causes with his occasional breakdowns means that several townspeople can't help but make fun of him behind his back.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Leland's hair turning white is a sign that BOB has completely taken over.
Played by: Grace Zabriskie
- Closer to Earth: While still very shattered by her grief over Laura's death, she is not nearly the complete wreck that Leland is.
- Hysterical Woman: As BOB taunts her.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: She is frequently haunted by visions of BOB and the Pale Horse.
Played by: Lenny Von DohlenHarold Smith is an orchid grower a close friend of Laura Palmer, who she met through working for the Meals-on-Wheels program. Harold never leaves his home as a result of having agoraphobia (a fear of open spaces). Near the start of the second season, Donna Hayward befriends him in an attempt to get answers and discovers that Laura gave him her diary before her murder. When Harold finds out that Donna is trying to steal the diary, he goes insane and soon hangs himself, leaving a suicide note which reads ""J'ai une âme solitaire." (French for "I am a lonely soul."). Cooper and the Twin Peaks police use the diary to help find the identity of Laura's killer.
- Adorkable: Donna quickly takes a liking to him after meeting him, as he might be quite awkward and shy, but he is also very polite, friendly, and has a poetic mind.
- The Confidant: To Laura.
- Driven to Suicide: Donna's betrayal leads him to hang himself.
- Freak Out: Gets hit HARD with this when he finds out Donna's been tricking him to get Laura's diary.
- Hikikomori: Due to having agoraphobia. The guy cannot physically leave his house with suffering a crippling panic attack.
- Nice Guy: Despite his inherent uneasiness around people, he is quite friendly and polite. At least until he completely snaps when he finds out about Donna's betrayal.
Played by: Ian BuchananDick Tremayne runs the clothing department at Horne's Department Store and was in an on-and-off relationship with Lucy Moran.
- British Stuffiness: A goofier example.
- Fake Brit: In-universe, it's heavily implied that he adopts the British accent purely to make himself appear cultured and interesting compared to the other townsfolk. Most damning of all is Dr Hayward's throwaway comment that he was the physician in attendance at Dick's birth - meaning that Dick is almost certainly, in fact, a native of Twin Peaks.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his shortcomings, he's not a bad guy.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Well, he does run a men's clothing department.
Played by: Heather Graham
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Audrey's Veronica.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has one on her wrist that's never explained, but presumably from a suicide attempt.
Played by: Victoria Catlin
- Depraved Bisexual: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer reveals that she availed herself of the services of the girls at One Eyed Jack's, in addition to having a long-standing affair with its male owner and certain regular clients.
- Functional Addict: Blackie has a heroine addiction, and while she is stable most of the time, she quickly becomes a wreck if she not given the drug regularly. The Horne brother uses this fact to control her and keep her docile.
- Character Death: She's fatally stabbed by Jean Renault early in Season 2, during the police raid on One Eyed Jack's, when it seems that she might be willing to sell him out to protect herself.
- Woman in Black: Is always shown wearing a black cocktail dress, in contrast to the revealing black, white, and red outfits worn by the waitresses and prostitutes under her charge.
Played by: David Warner
- Evil Brit: He's British. He's evil.
Madeline "Maddy" Ferguson
Played by: Sheryl Lee
- Author Appeal: Maddy's hometown is Missoula, Montana, which is also the birthplace of David Lynch.
- Backup Twin: Backup Cousin, actually.
- Break the Cutie: The drama in Twin Peaks starts taking its toll on the poor girl, to the point where she starts crying because people keep seeing Laura in her. She does try and pull herself together and then this trope slips into Kill the Cutie as BOB/Leland chases her down and kills her.
- Character Death: An especially infamous and shockingly brutal one (at least for the time of the original broadcast). She ends up getting beaten to death by Leland possessed by BOB.
- Meganekko: Although she ditches the glasses later on.
- Nice Girl: Unlike her much edgier cousin, whose personal life was steeped in sex, drugs and deception, Maddy is straight out sweet and innocent. Even when she goes along with James and Donna's risky plans to find out who killed Laura, she's usually hesitant to go through with it or is regretful afterwards, probably only going along with them in the first place out of a desire to make some sorts of friends in Twin Peaks.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: To her cousin Laura Palmer. It starts to really get to her in Season 2 that people see so much of Laura in her.Maddy: (in tears) I'm nothing like Laura!
Played by: Annette McCarthy
- Femme Fatale: Is a walking stereotype, down to the allegedly abusive husband and the seeming intent to seduce James into a criminal situation.
- She's Got Legs: And loves showing them off.
- Women Prefer Strong Men: Acts this way, anyway, goading James into reflecting on his "free" lifestyle of living on the road.
The Renault Brothers
Played by: Walter Olkewicz
- Fat Bastard: The camera frequently zooms in on the details on Jacques' fat face, to underline what a gross and unpleasant person he is.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Walter Olkewicz's French-Canadian accent noticeably slips on at least a couple of occasions such as when he briefly speaks at the end of episode 7 and the latter part of the Pink Room scene in the prequel film.
- Red Herring: At the end of season 1, he becomes a huge suspect for the murder of Laura Palmer, but he's quickly revealed to be innocent despite his sleazy personality and activities, as well as his involvement with her the night she was killed.
- Run for the Border: Type A. Upon finding out that his brother left a message that the police were onto him, Jacques calls Leo telling him they have to make a border run. He ends up working at One Eyed Jack's.
Played by: Michael Parks
- Blade Below the Shoulder: He uses it to kill a random strawberry and Blackie, the madam of One Eyed Jacks.
- Canada, Eh?: His brothers Jacques and Bernard could have moved from Quebec to British-Columbia, but it definitely turns to a case of Artistic License – Geography when he’s identified as a major criminal in the Northwest. No matter if it’s the precisely Northwest Territories or the whole Northwest of Canada, it’s loosely a strategic area for mobsters and it’s pretty far from Washington State.
- Faux Affably Evil: Unlike his less intelligent younger brothers Jacques and Bernard, Jean is very good at putting on a suave personality when dealing with others to disguise his ruthlessness, which is partly what makes him the most dangerous of the three.
- Revenge: He blames Cooper for the death of his brothers.
John Justice Wheeler
Played by: Billy Zane
- Put on a Bus: Or, rather, put on a plane.
The Black Lodge
Played by: Frank SilvaThe show's main villain.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Given his possession of Leland and his role in Leland's backstory, it's not hard to read BOB as the personification of child abuse.
- Ax-Crazy: Now, when most people say that one character is a trope, they don't mean it this literally...
- Big Bad: One way or another, Twin Peaks' problems are his doing.
- Body Snatcher: Of the Demonic Possession variety.
- Grand Theft Me: To Leland and later Cooper.
- The Heartless: Albert speculates that BOB is "the evil that men do" and can't really be destroyed As Long as There Is Evil.
- Hidden Villain: He's seen from time to time during the first season, but it's not until the second that we learn unambiguously that his name is BOB, and much later till we learn his role in the story.
- Humanoid Abomination: BOB is obviously a kind of a demon or something, but he looks a perfectly average human.
- Knight of Cerebus: Whenever he gets involved at any point in the show, things are guaranteed to get pretty bad. Not to mention frightening. In fact, BOB is arguably single-handedly responsible for most of the darkest elements in the show and most definitely in the the prequel film. Plus, if you look at the Nightmare Fuel page for the show, he's responsible for at least 80% of the entries, being the main reason most of those scenes are considered scary.
- Large Ham: Justified (sort of) in that he is not played by a professional actor but by a set dresser who happened to find himself accidentally foreshadowed in certain scenes.
- Mind Rape: To his direct victims, actual rape for the others.
- Mirror Monster: One of the most iconic in television history.
- Ominous Owl: A dream sequence pretty overtly aligns him with the owls not being what they seem.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Implied - the creatures in the Black Lodge feed off pain and suffering, which suggests that BOB's predilection for rape (not to mention incest) is partly motivated by the level of suffering it causes in the victim.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Kind of. Frank Silva was barely but clearly visible in a certain shot in the pilot note . They easily could have done another take, but David Lynch decided to Throw It In and build an entire terrifying character around a single bad take.
- Recursive Acronym: Beware Of BOB.
- Serial Killer: Or rather, turns people into one.
- Slasher Smile: Just look at his picture!
- Tom the Dark Lord: He is a demonic entity who feeds on fear and pleasure and comes from an alternate plane of reality of that consists of pure evil. He goes by the name BOB.
- The Unfettered: "You may think I've gone insane, but I swear I Will KILL AGAIN!"
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Implied to be the case with the owls, and certainly the case with his human hosts, who can appear as themselves or as BOB depending on what he feels like doing.
- Wild Hair: Long, grey, and messy.
Played by: Carel Struycken
- Arc Words: "The Owls are not what they seem."
- Body Snatcher: However, it's clear he has stayed in the same body for a long, long time.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: "The things I tell you will not be wrong."
- Cryptic Conversation: Less so than The Man From Another Place, giving one straightforward clue - "Without chemicals, he points."
- Gentle Giant: His speaking voice is pleasant, and he's dressed smartly. It's difficult to imagine him hurting a fly. That said, he is a creature of the Black Lodge, a world of pure evil, so his true colors are unknown.
Played by: Jimmy Scott
- Disability Superpower: Jimmy Scott was born with Kallmann syndrome, which stunted his growth and he never went through puberty. This left his beautiful voice unbroken.
The Man From Another Place
Played by: Michael J. Anderson
- Ambiguously Evil
- Arc Words: He's the source of many of them.
- "That gum you like is going to come back in style."
- "I am the arm."
- "Let's rock!"
- When he speaks the arc words of the entire series, "Fire walk with me", the series ends in a deluge of nonsense.
- The Cast Showoff: Since Michael J. Anderson can talk backwards, he did so and his voice was reversed. Technically, the idea came first and was expanded when David Lynch discovered this proficiency.
- The Chessmaster: May or may not be controlling everything, even BOB.
- Cryptic Conversation: Oh my yes... The fact that Cooper keeps seeing him in his dreams, where nothing has to really make sense, just makes things more sinister.
- Leitmotif: ''Dance of the Dream Man'', which plays whenever something mysterious is happening.
- Little People Are Surreal: One of the more memorable instances.
- Louis Cypher: With the red three piece suit, maybe...
- The Nameless: It's not known if he even has a name. Some contend that he is MIKE. Others suspect that the "I am the arm" statement imply that he's the evil part that MIKE left behind when he decided to atone.
MIKE/Phillip Michael Gerard
Played by: Al Strobel
- The Atoner: He claims to be this, although the final scenes of the movie throw a bit of doubt on this claim.
- Body Snatcher: MIKE is a being like BOB who can possess a human host to interact with the world beyond the Black Lodge. But unlike BOB, who frequently Body Surfs, MIKE seems to prefer staying in the same body, that of shoe salesman Phillip Gerard, so much so the audience never get to see MIKE's true form.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After the Laura Palmer mystery is resolved, he never appears in the show again. He had a fairly prominent part in Fire Walk With Me, however.
- Heel–Faith Turn: Long before the series, he saw the face of God.
- Red Right Hand: He's missing his left arm, which he cut off to rid himself of his "Fire Walk With Me" tattoo.
Played by: Austin Jack Lynch (TV show), Jonathan J. Lepell (Fire Walk With Me)
- The Blank: His mask's only feature is a long, needle-like nose.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: A fairly baffling scene in the movie has his face briefly turning into a monkey's face, in what is probably an homage to The Prisoner.
- Left Hanging: Us, on who exactly this kid is. The movie strongly implies he's one of the Lodge spirits, but his significance is never really explained, and was presumably going to be explored a bit further had the show continued.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: His cool tuxedo.
- White Mask of Doom