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.
Turn In Your Badge: After solving the Laura Palmer case, he is put on trial for crossing national boarders 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.
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.
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.
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. Spoilered because it's quite a twist when it finally appears.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Sharp-Dressed Man: In contrast to the retro-'50s style that most of the town dresses in, Ben favours '80s patterned ties and double-breasted suits.
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 Marshall
Biker teen who lives with Ed and Nadine instead of his parents, who, he tells people, died in a car accident.
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.
Woman ChildA 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.
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.
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.
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.
Probably the most unusual of the Twin Peaks townsfolk, (which issaying 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.
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).
The 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.
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.
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.
Harold 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 ‚me 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.
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.
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.
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 heís identified as a major criminal in the Northwest. No matter if itís the precisely Northwest Territories or the whole Northwest of Canada, itís loosely a strategic area for mobsters and itís pretty far from Washington State.
Fake Nationality: Just like his brother, he's a French-Canadian played by an American.
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.
Blooper: A rare character who is born of a blooper. Lynch had been toying with the idea of giving Silva a role on the show already, but accidentally showing up reflected in Sarah Palmer's mirror is what clinched it.
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.
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.
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. See Blooper, above. 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.
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.