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Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell)
- "You know what they say: 'Veronica Mars: she's a marshmallow.'"1x01 Pilot
Veronica Mars had it all - her dad was sheriff, her parents were in love, she had a loving boyfriend, a fabulous best friend, and lived the fairytale life. Then it all fell apart with her boyfriend dumping her, her best friend being murdered, her father accusing a town hero of the crime and losing his job, Veronica being ostracized, her mother leaving, and Veronica being drugged and raped at an 09er party. Who knows what really happened? Well, she will. Soon.
- Action Girl: While she's not as handy in a fight as most of the other characters, she can definitely hold her own. Helps that she has a taser.
- Comes full circle when she takes Cobb out with a golf club.
- All Girls Like Ponies: As part of a Running Gag, she insists that Keith buy her a pony. Alas, she has to settle for naming her and Logan's puppy Pony.
- All of the Other Reindeer: She starts the series as her high school's pariah. After solving Lilly's murder, does her damndest to avoid more confrontation with her former friends (Weevil even calls her out on it).
- Alone with the Psycho: With Aaron Echolls in the season one finale, Beaver/Cassidy in the Season 2 Finale and with Mercer and Moe in the conclusion of the first season 3 storyline. She once again ends up in this situation in the movie, this time with Stu Cobbler.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV. See Unscrupulous Hero.
- Badass Boast: Tends to give these a lot.
- Born Detective: Partly justified, as she was raised by the town's sheriff.
- Broken Bird: Considering her best friend was murdered, her mother left and she herself was raped, all in a matter of months, that's hardly surprising.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Zig Zagged Trope. She learns that she and ex-boyfriend Duncan might have the same biological father. Cue Vomit Discretion Shot. She later learns that this is not the case.
- Butt-Monkey: Not as big as Logan is, but despite solving cases, nothing ever goes right with her life.
- Character Tics: She tilts her head to the side when asking for a favor. Weevil humorously lampshades it, noting that as soon as she walked into the room, obviously to ask him for information, she "did that head tilt thing" and added a demure "hey".
- The Chessmaster: Hard to believe she's a teen in the show due to this.
- The Chew Toy: Being the school pariah will do that to you.
- Consummate Liar: She even managed to lie circles around FBI agents.
- Cool Loser: Smart, pretty, formerly a cheerleader - and starts the series as a pariah at her high school. However, her backstory (best friend killed, father shunned by entire town) makes it justified.
- Cosmic Plaything: Seriously, her backstory made her this trope personified.
- Daddy's Girl: Clearly very close to her father.
- Damsel in Distress: Not often, but occassionally she gets in over her head and needs saving, particularly during finales/resolutions. However, she doesn't much care for it, and each time she's a little less helpless, culminating in the Hearst Rape resolution, where despite being drugged, she manages to fight off the rapists.
- Deadpan Snarker: Her wit is the stuff of legends.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: In the pilot she's balks at the idea of letting anyone (Wallace, in this case) get close to her. Her friendship chops get better over the following seasons.
- Determinator: No matter the pain she goes through, she will always look forward and never give up.
- The Dreaded: To Sheriff Lamb, and most of Neptune's cops. Lamb actually warns FBI agents to be careful when interrogating her.Lamb: You left Veronica Mars in there alone?
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Hacks off her long hair after her ostracization and rape. Over the course of the series it grows out again, possibly signifying her overcoming the trauma.
- Expy: Described as "Nancy Drew meets Phillip Marlowe".
- Fallen Princess: Was once a cheerleader and part of the popular crowd. Then it all went to hell.
- Fanservice Pack: Gets more attractive with every season.
- Fatal Flaw: I Work Alone. From past experience Veronica knows Love Hurts, and prefers to keep people at arms' length—often justified by claiming she's protecting them. She takes after Keith in this regard, and sometimes this comes back around to bite them in the rear—such as when Keith is hired to investigate infidelity in the Dean's wife. Veronica knows for a fact that Mrs. The Dean is unfaithful—she's seen it with her own eyes—but because Keith names no names, he doesn't learn that the answer's under his (daughter's) nose until she independently connects the dots.
- First-Person Smartass: As per Film Noir tradition of Private Eye Monologues.
- Freudian Excuse: She is an asshole a lot of the times, but she underwent trauma that would make anyone beyond despair.
- Full-Name Basis: More than any other character she's always adressed by full name.
- Good Is Not Nice: So much so she can border on being a Designated Hero at times.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Everyone sees it, every time.
- Guile Hero: Rather solve crimes with her greatest weapon: her brain.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: In high school, she has quite a bad reputation despite generally helping people out. Over time though, people start realizing that the rumors about her or false and that she is better than what her reputation implies. She still has plenty of people who don't like her though.
- Hello, Attorney!: She's become a lawyer in the movie.
- The "I Love You" Stigma: Never directly states her feelings to romantic interests. Duncan's last declaration of love is met with a "you better", and when Logan follows his own declaration by asking her if she loves him back, she can only reply with a reluctant "yeah".
- Intrepid Reporter: She's on the school newspaper, and one episode features a plot where she runs a sensational story against the school administration's wishes. Leaves it behind when her first experience in Hearst teaches her all about the press' disregard for discretion.
- It's All About Me: At times. One of the main sources of conflict with her friends.
- Jerkass: Veronica is manipulative, unpleasant, condescending, judgmental, constantly mistakes revenge for justice, and at times, very prideful.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: However, she genuinely wants to help people, uses her skills for good most of the time, and is extremely loyal to those close to her. Although she reverts to being a full-blown Jerkass in season 3, she goes back to this in the film.
- Knight in Sour Armor: She's incredibly catty to most people who aren't her dad or her close friends (and sometimes even to them), but she ultimately strives to do the right thing for people (even if she demands payment).
- Manipulative Bastard: She will manipulate anyone to solve a case or do what she things is right, even if it's her father.
- Meaningful Name: 'Veronica' means "true image", thus tying into her seeking the full picture
- Missing Mom: her mom abandoned her pre-series.
- Not So Different: To Logan. Both lost someone they both truly cared for and became drastically different people because of it.
- To Cassidy. Both were raped and the school pariahs. The difference is: she never became a rapist or a murderer.
- Petite Pride: although apparently she was quite insecure about her small breasts as a freshman.
- Plucky Girl: Stubborn, headstrong, always willing to see things through.
- Pride: Her Fatal Flaw. She can be very arrogant, and insists that she works alone, which get her almost killed in the first season finale. A more devastating example is when in the series finale, she smugly thinks she won until it's revealed to her that her actions (which were around preventing a release of a sex tape with her in it) cost her father's potential return to the sheriff position.
- Protagonist Title: The shows is called Veronica Mars.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: as flashbacks show, she was the calm, reasonable one in her friendship with Lilly. Now she's the fierce, vengeful one to Wallace's blue.
- The Snark Knight / Stepford Snarker: Veronica much prefers to snark than show her feelings, though it isn't the only reason she snarks.
- 10-Minute Retirement: in the summer between seasons 1 and 2 Veronica gives up on sleuthing. She can't keep it up for long. As the movie reveals, she takes a much longer one - lasting 9 years - after the events of season 3.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: She loses her good qualities during the 3rd season, which is a major reason why the season was criticized. Thankfully, she reverts back to the Heart of Gold side in the film.
- Tragic Hero: If her backstory isn't enough, nothing goes right with her life, especially in the series finale. Even in the film, she has a better life than she had before and throws it away due to her compulsion to seek justice for her town. The tragedy is that she will never change her ways for a better life.
- Trauma Conga Line: A few months before the show started, Veronica's boyfriend broke up with her for no reason. Then her best friend was brutally murdered. Then her dad got fired from his job as sheriff, and the related events made her a social pariah in school. Then her mom abandoned her without warning. Then she was drugged and raped at a party, and the new sheriff refused to even investigate. The end result is that she turns her from a popular, fun-loving high schooler to a jaded teen with no respect for authority.
- Underestimating Badassery: The kids at Neptune High really have no excuse. The FBI does, but they still shouldn't. Sheriff Lamb, despite being a general moron, never underestimates her.
- Unscrupulous Hero: Her intent is always to catch the bad guy, but her methods can range from manipulating an officer in order to steal evidence or eavesdropping on therapy sessions. Her motivation is almost always revenge rather than justice and really enjoys her Kick the Dog moments.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A non-villainous example. She used to be a fun-loving, sweet teen before shit hit the fan and turned her into an angry, cynical misanthrope.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: after all, the premise of the show is Ordinary High-School Student solving crime.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Has so many moments where she is called out for her actions, there might as well be a page of this trope dedicated to her.
Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni)
- "Who's your daddy?"1x01 Pilot/1x22 Leave It To Beaver
The former sheriff and Veronica's father, who lost his job and the town's respect after accusing Jake Kane, the most loved man in Neptune, of murdering his daughter Lilly. While the Lilly Kane murder case is officially closed, Keith, like Veronica, is dedicated to finding out the truth... and protecting his own daughter.
- Back in the Saddle: Gets hired as a consultant for one episode to help Sheriff Lamb investigate a series of murders.
- Beware the Nice Ones: he's a soft-spoken, genuinely nice guy - unless matters of justice or Veronica's well-being are concerned.
- Big Damn Heroes: From time to time, Veronica will get in over her head, and he has ended up saving her life more than once.
- Cassandra Truth: No-one will believe Abel Koontz didn't kill Lilly.
- Disney Death: in season 2, Beaver blows up the plane Keith was supposed to be on, making Veronica think her father is gone.
- Fallen Hero: As far as the population of Neptune are concerned.
- Morality Chain: he and Wallace keep Veronica from going too far into the abyss.
- Papa Wolf: Threaten Veronica's well being at your own peril.
- Perpetual Poverty: for a while, at least.
- Private Detective: what he becomes after getting fired from his Sheriff position.
Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III)
- Veronica: Can you do me a weird favor without asking any questions?Wallace: Is that not the bedrock upon which our friendship was founded?1x01 Pilot
Veronica's living best friend, the new kid who she cut down from the flagpole after he was duct taped there by the PCHers. He's steadfastly loyal, and always doing Veronica favours.
- Clear My Name: when accused of a hit-and-run that he failed to report.
- Cool Loser: although, to be fair, he gets quite popular once he's in on the basketball team.
- Deadpan Snarker: On occasion.Wallace: My first college party: drinking piña coladas with a dude and talking about math.
- Disappeared Dad: who makes a comeback in season 2.
- Lovable Jock: a Nice Guy who's also one of the star players on the basketball team.
- Morality Chain: to Veronica; he starts her on the path to softening up and making friends, and doesn't hesitate to give her a What the Hell, Hero? speech when it's deserved.
- New Transfer Student: in the pilot, which is why he's initially unaware of Veronica's unsavory reputation.
- Only Sane Man: He usually gets dragged into situations by Veronica, only to point out how ridiculous or dangerous they are.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Veronica.
- Shirtless Scene: In the pilot and the series finale. Despite being in good shape, both are examples of Fan Disservice because of the context.
- The one during the prom episode, however, is straight-up Fanservice.
- Undying Loyalty: Veronica's schemes often either risk his job in school, complicate his relationship with his mom, or, in season 3, endanger his life. He doesn't seem to care.
- In the movie, he is one of the guys who jumps in to defend Veronica's honor at the school reunion after Madison plays the sex tape.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives a big one to Veronica in season 2 right before she publicly humiliates Jackie where he calls her out for constantly using him in her ploys while caring very little about the toll it takes on his life, or caring much about his life in general.Wallace: How about you do me a favor for once? Why does it have to be about you all the time? Have you been paying attention lately? I just learned that my whole life is a lie. My dad isn't my dad. I've always been the shoulder you can lean on. You've given me no time, no sympathy, nothing.
Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn)
- Veronica: One day, he just dumped me, with no warning...1x01 Pilot
Veronica's aloof ex-boyfriend, Logan's best friend, and Lilly's (slightly younger) brother. Stays distant from Veronica, yet is more civil to her than most 09ers. It is clearly shown he's hiding things from everyone... but what?
- Beardness Protection Program: grows a beard when on the run the end of the season 1. It doesn't fool anybody
- Betty and Veronica: the Betty to Logan's Veronica for Veronica's Archie.
- Also the Archie for Meg's Betty and Veronica's Veronica.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He orders the execution of Aaron Echolls.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Zig-zagged. He's led to believe that Veronica is his half-sister, which is why he broke up with her. They're not siblings, though.
- Bystander Syndrome: as Veronica angrily told him once, what he does best is "stand idly by". Character Development makes sure that this isn't really the case anymore by the time season 2 rolls around.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: he becomes a "zombie" after Lilly's death.
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Donut".
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Lilly was the wild child in the family, while Duncan was the responsible one.
- Insane Equals Violent: he has type 4 epilepsy, which often manifests itself in rage fits, which makes him a suspect in Lilly's murder. Ultimately partially subverted - he didn't kill Lilly, but he's still more prone to violence than he lets on.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: he's Noble (polite, well-spoken, a gentleman, a by-the-book boyfriend and a good student) to Logan's Roguish (hot-headed, snarky, prone to fighting and sleeping around).
- Papa Wolf: To save his daughter from her abusive, religious grandparents, he kidnaps her and flees to Australia - abandoning his friends, relatives, and status in the process.
- Parental Favoritism: Jake and Celeste Kane preferred him over Lilly.
- Princely Young Man: Heir to the wealthiest family in Neptune, and very popular at school.
- Put on a Bus: The last we see of him, he's in Australia with his kid.
- The Quiet One: he's rather taciturn even on good days.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: he's mature and rational (blue) compared to manic Logan (red oni).
Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring)
- Veronica: Every school has an obligatory psychotic jackass. He's ours.1x01 Pilot
Lilly's boyfriend when she died, Duncan's best friend, and ringleader of the "Treat Veronica Like Crap" brigade, whom he blames for Lilly's death. Suffers under the thumb of his famous, abusive father, gains respect and love for Veronica over the course of the series.
- Abusive Parents: Daddy beats him.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: gets his share of lady-attention.
- Alpha Brat: a well-connected bully who flashes his wealth every which way. Moreover, while he's fond of a good fight, he generally prefers snide putdowns and messing with people's heads to acts of physical aggression.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: exasperation is older sister Trina's most commonly felt emotion towards him. It's partly his fault, because his usual forms of interaction with her (like with most other people) are sarcasm and biting humor.
- Betty and Veronica: he's considered reckless and dangerous - thus the, ahem, Veronica to Duncan (and Leo, and Piz)'s Betty for Veronica's Archie.
- Big Damn Heroes: he will go to the mat for anything he perceives as a betrayal, or for malintent toward his friends.And don't even try to mess with his V.
- Break the Haughty: over and over again, which leads to his gradual Heel–Face Turn over the course of season 1.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: he really is quite clever (he did win Woody Goodman's essay competition) - but high levels of Dismotivation make him a rather poor student.
- The Bully: He comes across that way in early episodes. From repeatedly insulting Veronica to her face, to smashing her car's headlights in retaliation to her own retaliation, to presumably being involved in the air being mysteriously let put of Veronica's tires, to just being needlessly obstructionist toward her, he certainly isn't friendly. Mostly grows out of it over the course of half a season.
- Butt-Monkey: The show makes it its life-long goal to make sure Logan's life is miserable, right up there next to Veronica.
- His neglectful mother commits suicide, his abusive father turns out to be Lilly's murderer who also tried to murder Veronica and Keith, and then is assassinated (then there's the revelation that Lilly was cheating on him with said father...).
- His luck lands him in situations where he is, over the course of the story, wrongfully arrested for murder four separate times, which lead to an entire town being out to get him twice.
- Oh, and he ends the series on at least one organized crime family's hit list.
- The Charmer: When he meets Hannah he tells her that she's like the hot daughter of a king he marries off to get, like, Denmark or something. She clarifies that he means a princess so he decides that's what he's going to call her now which makes her giggle. It takes a couple of hours of this after meeting her, and he has her wrapped around his little finger. Does a muted version of this to Parker around a season later.
- Clear My Name: winds up as a key suspect for at least three homicides, and a laundry list of smaller crimes (see Butt-Monkey above).
- Deadpan Snarker: Probably more than Veronica. You never know if he's going to be nice or mean, but you do know that he's going to say something funny.
- Death Seeker: in the first season, he admits in a "confidential" counseling session that he'd have rather been there to help Lilly when she was murdered, even if it led to his own death. The first half of the second season sees him in an escalating war with the PCH biker gang, who presume him to be guilty of Felix's murder. Veronica even calls him out on it.
- Designated Villain: He is presented by Veronica's inner monologue as the worst person around at the onset of the series, but his on-air actions don't back up her assertions. Grows out of this pretty quickly through both his and her character development.
- Desperately Craves Affection: His sucky home life drives him to find comfort in friendships instead - which is why Lilly's murder, Duncan's aloofness, and Veronica's "betrayal" came as a triple blow to him.
- Drowning His Sorrows: his relationship with alcohol definitely goes beyond "getting drunk at a party for fun". He even carries a flask to school for a Quick Nip.
- Et Tu, Brute?:
- Hearing that Veronica had told Lilly about his kissing another girl after the latter had blown him off, and that Veronica fully supported her father's investigation of Lilly's family in her murder case lead to him shunning Veronica from his elite teen social circle.
- A worse example occurs in the season 1 finale: Logan, held up at the police station as a suspect for Lilly's murder, calls Veronica (his girlfriend at the time) for help. She replies that she will help in whatever way she can. Cue Sheriff Lamb telling him that Veronica was the one who set him up to be arrested in the first place.
- Femme Fatale: A very rare male example (uses sex as a weapon, can have shady motives, serves as a Love Interest / antagonist / client / suspect to the PI protagonist).
- Freudian Excuse: He's not a villain for the most part, but the trope fits.
- Good-Looking Privates: becomes a fighter pilot in the Navy.
- Hot-Blooded: hoo boy. He's seen a lot of injustice firsthand and doesn't hesitate to punch it in the face.
- Interrupted Suicide: In the season 1 finale, although it could be argued he was just being his usual manic self and wasn't actually planning to jump off the bridge.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: he seems like a bully at first, but Character Development kicks in and reveals his softer side.
- Knight in Shining Armor: at his best, he's deeply protective of those he cares about. This is actually part of why he and Veronica can be incompatible: she (claims she) doesn't need someone looking over her shoulder.
- Ladykiller in Love: first with Lilly, then with Veronica.
- Lovable Rogue: he's a pretty shady character, yet you can't help but root for him.
- Love Hungry: one of his key traits. With an abusive father who clearly favors his adopted daughter, and a neglectful Stepford Smiler for a mother...
- Manly Tears: more so than any other character on the show.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: the Roguish to Duncan's Noble.
- Only Friend: By season three, he and Dick are this for each other. Because no one else wants to hang out at Casa de Killer.
- Parental Abandonment: mom killed herself, dad was (correctly) put on trial for murder and later killed).
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: for all his tough guy act, he sure can look like a kicked puppy.
- "Risky Business" Dance: does one in "Russkie Business" at a school event. With no pants on. Subverted in that he's acting out of drunkenness and distress rather than happiness.
- Undying Loyalty: one of his central qualities. If he believes you care about him, he will walk through fire for you.
- The Unfavourite: his father Aaron dotes on adopted daughter Trina, while his attitude towards Logan fluctuates between indifference and beatings / threats.
- He doesn't know his birthday.
- Will They or Won't They?: with Veronica, throughout basically the entire show and much of the movie. They do.
Eli "Weevil" Navarro (Francis Capra)
- Weevil: So, who owes who now?Veronica: I'm not quite sure.1x01 Pilot
The leader of the PCH bike club, starts off as an antagonist (duct-taping Wallace to a flagpole), but quickly becomes close with Veronica. More affected by the Lilly Kane murder case than he lets on.
- Bald of Awesome: his shaved head fits in well with his tough-guy image.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: just look at that picture.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes:Veronica: Give Duncan back his computer. Let me handle this.
Weevil: Could you, please Veronica, protect me from the big bad, sweater-vest wearing rich boys?
- Double Entendre: He's really good at making them.
- Enemy Mine: He teams up with Logan, whom he strongly dislikes, in season 2 to find the real killer of Felix Toombs within his own gang.
- Friend to All Children: he's very sweet towards his younger relatives, and a proud father to a 3-year-old in the movie.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Underneath all the criminal behavior and the bad attitude, he's actually a pretty good guy. He has a soft spot for his grandmother, he's torn up over the fact that one of his fellow biker gang members was killed, and he even offers Veronica ride back home when she gets stranded on a school field trip, even though the two were fighting at the time.
- Lovable Rogue: even after becoming Veronica's ally and friend, he's not above a theft or a fight.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: in the film, Weevil sees an SUV being harassed by a bunch of PC Hers on his way to pick up diapers for his kid. He knocks on the door to ask if the driver needs help and promptly gets shot by said driver...Celeste Kane. In the end she enlists the police to help make it look like he was the gang leader, including planting a stolen gun on Weevil.
- Only Known by Their Nickname - At first. Towards the end of the 2nd season and predominately during the third season, he starts going more and more by Eli or Navarro, representing him walking away from his old life of crime.
- Reformed Criminal: By the time the film rolls around, he's no longer involved in crime and he has a wife and kid.
- Back in the Saddle:too bad subsequent events force him back in.
- The Rival: To Logan, for Lilly's affections (among other things). The two are often seen engaging in fights or Snark-to-Snark Combat.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: wifebeaters are his clothes of choice.
- Straight Edge Evil: he's nowhere near evil, but he is a gang leader - who doesn't condone any of his gang members doing (or, heavens forbid, selling) drugs.
- Tattooed Crook: fitting in with his tough-guy persona.
Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie (Tina Majorino)
- "Crime pays. Technologically assisted mystery-solving? Costs."2x08 Ahoy, Mateys!
Veronica's quirky, highly-skilled hacker friend, who she met trying to find out who posted false results on an internet "Purity Test" - a test Mac herself had designed. She has tendencies toward being slightly amoral, but cutely so.
- Alone with the Psycho: with Beaver in season 2.
- Badass Bookworm: She's by no means someone who participates in a fight (usually that role falls to Logan, Veronica, or Weevil), but she's certainly badass enough to hack an extremely protected hard drive owned by Jake Kane, who's the man who's Neptune's answer to Bill Gates, he's shocked that Veronica has the information on it.
- Brainy Brunette: smart and dark-haired.
- Break the Cutie: dating a mass murderer will do that to you.
- Disney Death: for a second it seems like Beaver may have killed her.
- High School Hustler: She earns quite a bit of cash doing odd tech-related favors for the student body.
- In the Blood: She is very similar in appearance and interests to her biological mother and younger sister.
- Lovable Rogue: her Establishing Character Moment is helping Veronica quell the chaos started by the purity test - a test which Mac herself created in order to earn some cash.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: she disliked her given name and it rarely pops up.
- Playful Hacker: talented in all thing computer-related, but never malicious.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: in season 3.
- Ship Tease: With Dick in the final episode.
- The Smart Guy: a source of tech help for Veronica. In the film she starts working at Mars Investigations.
- Switched at Birth: with Madison Sinclair, of all people.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: she had blue highlights in season 1, red highlights in season 2 and yellow/blond ones is season 3.
Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen)
- Logan: You're not real complicated, are you Dick?Dick: Try not to be.2x11 Donut Run
One of Logan's rich "friends", Dick's life revolves around sex, alcohol, food and surfing, likely in that order. And he is stupid. Very. Stupid.
- Ascended Extra: He started out with a one-line part in episode 2 of season 1 and got main character billing in the subsequent seasons.
- Big Brother Bully: physically and emotionally abusive towards Beaver.
- The Bully: also just generally a dickhead.
- Break the Haughty: his younger brother's crimes and suicide leave him a slightly humbler and nicer person.
- Boisterous Bruiser: very loud, very energetic, and very extroverted.
- Fratbro: dumb? Check. Loves to party? Check.
- Full-Name Basis: Mostly by Veronica.
- Funny T Shirt: his fashion sense leans toward those.
- Heel–Face Turn: he becomes more bearable to be around after season 2.
- It's All My Fault: Regarding the whole...situation with his younger brother.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Character Development makes him a better person.
- Karma Houdini: His involvement in Veronica's rape. And Susan Knight's overdose, for that matter - he passed out before the whole ordeal happened and was never the wise.
- Kavorka Man: by the time graduation rolls around, no girl an Neptune High wants anything to do with him. Doesn't stop him from trying to score.
- Meaningful Name: self-explanatory.
- Only Friend: By season three, he and Logan are this for each other. Because no one else wants to hang out at Casa de Killer.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red (extroverted, loud, brawny) to Cassidy's blue (introverted, brainy, cultured).
- Ship Tease: With Mac in the final episode.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Dick is boisterous, dumb and a bully, while his younger brother Beaver is quiet, very clever and often victimized.
- Sour Supporter: Of Veronica; he'll help her with an investigation, but not without trading insults the whole time.
- Stealth Insult: Of a sort - it's still Dick. Come season 2, he loves to insist on how delighted he is that Veronica - who loathes him - is back in his group of friends.Dick: Would you and your girlfriend, whose quick wit I find enchanting, like to take a trip back in style?
- Stepford Smiler: in the film, he mentions being prescribed marijuana for depression; it's never made clear if he's joking or not.
- Surfer Dude: not only does he surf - he has the looks to go along with the hobby.
- Upper-Class Twit: very rich, very dumb.
- Viva Las Vegas!: He gets married in Vegas in season 3.
Cassidy "Beaver" Casablancas (Kyle Gallner)
- "My name is Cassidy!"2x22 Not Pictured
Dick's quiet, nervous, secretive younger brother, domineered by his brother and neglected by his father - but what else is he hiding?
- Abusive Parents: the two Dicks - Sr and Jr - used to compete as to who could make Beaver cry first. His mom does love him, but is usually away in Europe because of Dick Sr.'s pull.
- Adorkable: shy and somewhat dorky. Despite being very, very evil.
- Alliterative Name: Cassidy Casablancas.
- Ambiguously Gay: while he probably cared for Mac, he never seems particularly interested in her.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Just before killing himself.Logan: "Don't do it."Cassidy: "Why not?"
- Ascended Extra: first appears at the end of season 1 as Dick's groupie, gets main character billing in the next season.
- Ax-Crazy / The Sociopath: kills a busload of classmates.
- Big Bad / Evil All Along: tuens out to be responsible for the bus crash in Season 2.
- The Chessmaster: he orchestrated a bus crash, for starters.
- Cute and Psycho: a sweet, shy boy who murdered a busload of classmates.
- Disproportionate Retribution: the first time we see this trait of his is in the middle of season 2, when he sets his older brother up for un Unsettling Gender Reveal situation because Dick embarrased him in front of his girlfriend Mac.
- Driven to Suicide: jumps to his death to avoid arrest and prosecution.
- Embarrassing Nickname: which is probably a jab at his perceived unmanliness.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He's a mass murderer, but it's clear that he cares about his real mom (who apparently lives somewhere in Europe) when she briefly visits her two sons following their dad's flight from the authorities.
- Evil Counterpart: To Veronica. They were both raped and went through a lot of shit, but unlike him, she didn't take it out on other people. Also in intelligence. Cassidy is one of the few other characters to really outsmart Veronica. It's shown several times in "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang" when he hires her to tail Kendall, Cassidy takes one look at the photos she brings him and notices that the bags have switched and declares that it's not enough to prove she's cheating - then later, beats her in the fake stocks competition - minor things but good clues to later events.
- Face Death with Dignity: After Logan and Veronica get the upper hand over him, he calmly jumps to his death.
- Freudian Excuse: jerked around by his father and older brother. For years.
- Insistent Terminology: He hates being called "Beaver', understandably.
- Lonely Rich Kid: if you don't count his brother and his brother's friends, Beaver has exactly one friend.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: big, sad, masking homicidal urges.
- The Quiet One: starts the series as an almost wordless fixture orbiting Dick.
- Rape as Backstory: was molested by hisLittle League college.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: the blue (smart, introverted, rational) to Dick's red (reckless, dumb, extraverted_.
- Teen Genius: his business acumen is quite remarkable. As is his capacity for masterminding mass murder.
- Troubled Abuser: both a victim of molestation and a perpetrator of rape.
- The Unfavorite: his father preferred boisterous Dick to bookish Beaver. In fact, Dicks Sr and Jr would compete as to who could make Beaver cry faster.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: averted; Word of God says that, during his childhood, he once killed Dick's pet in revenge - which shows just how far back his issues go.
- Walking Spoiler: which is understandable, considering he's the Big Bad at season 2.
Jackie Cook (Tessa Thompson)
- "That was pretty fatherly. Almost like you've been saying my name in exasperation for years."2x02 Driver Ed
Wallace's Rich Bitch Love Interest, daughter of famous baseball star Terrence Cook. When her father is accused of the bus crash, she grows ostracized, yet she and her father grow closer... for a time.
- Betty and Veronica: the Veronica to Jane's Betty and Wallace's Archie.
- Break the Haughty: A good part of her Character Development. After her father is accused of murder and she's ostracized by the school. It's actually very similar to Veronica's situation pre-season 1, except, while Veronica learned to toughen up, Jackie learned a little humility.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She's jealous of Wallace's friendship with Veronica and thinks that the latter is trying to stake a claim on the former.
- Fallen Princess: Once her dad is accused on murder, she becomes ostracized by the Neptune High student body.
- Family Relationship Switcheroo: her "little brother" is actually her son.
- Honey Trap: She pulls this stunt to clear Wallace's name.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's very standoffish and petty, rubbing Veronica the wrong way immediately, and doesn't make any effort to connect with her father initially. In addition to her Pet the Dog moment below, she also genuinely cares for Wallace, helps Veronica on a few cases, forms a reasonably strong relationship with her father, and ultimately returns home to parent her child.
- Pet the Dog: She asks the school's mentally disabled boy to a dance with her, and has a very nice time with him there.
- Put on a Bus: decides to return to her mom and child and leaves Neptune.
- Rags to Riches: she's Terrence's daughter from a one-night stand with a waitress, who gets the opportunity to live the perfect life for a while.
- Rich Bitch: Actually subverted. It turns out that while her dad may be rich, she actually grew up with her single mom in Brooklyn and worked as a waitress. Veronica, naturally, sees through her "rich gal" cover and encourages her to tell Wallace the truth.
- Spotting the Thread: In the season 2 finale, Jackie tells Wallace she's going to attend the Sorbornne in Paris. However, Veronica calls Jackie up at her real home in a small apartment in Brooklyn. It turns out Jackie's dad may be rich but she and her mom grew up poor as her dad didn't want to acknowledge her and her mom was too proud to ask for money. Veronica relates to Jackie that she figured it out when Jackie worked at the Java Hut as she took to waitressing far too easily for someone from the East Side who never had a job before. Veronica also knew that a 3.1 GPA was nowhere near high enough to get into the Sorbornne and encourages Jackie to tell Wallace the truth before the latter heads to Paris to find her.
Meg Manning (Alona Tal)
- "You have friends, Veronica."1x08 Like A Virgin
An 09er girl who actually remained friendly to Veronica after the Lilly Kane case, and needs her help occasionally. Meg's kindness earns Veronica's hard-to-win trust, to the extent Veronica would believe cartoon birds braided Meg's hair.
- Abusive Parents: of the "religious freaks" variety.
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty (sweet, wholesome) to Veronica's, uh, Veronica (Troubled, but Cute) and Duncan's Archie.
- Clear My Name: In a mild example, she has to clear a reputation of "The School Slut" in her first episode.
- Convenient Coma: she survives the bus crash for a while, but can't tell anyone what happened.
- The Gwen Stacy: to both Duncan and Veronica - her death leaves them heartbroken and searching for justice.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: blonde, sweet, wholesome.
- Put on a Bus: enters a Convenient Coma after—appropriately enough—being put on a school bus that crashes. She returns after waking up.
- Someone To Remember Her By: gives birth before dying.
- Spoiled Sweet: The sweetest 09er there is by a landslide. Also the only one who remained on good terms with Veronica in spite of what happened.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: a sweet character like her couldn't really last long in Neptune.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: in the first episode of season 2. At first it seems like she's jealous of Duncan getting back with Veronica, but later episodes reveal that she's pregnant with Duncan's baby and the ensuing stress really gets to her.
Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried)
- "My soul is doomed to walk the Earth until justice has been served... and as kind of a side project, I dispense fashion advice."1x06 Return Of The Kane
Veronica's dead best friend and Duncan's older sister, whose murder starts the circumstances that start the show. Despite being dead, she often appears from Veronica's subconscious to offer advice on her murder.
- Bi the Way: Or would have been in Vassar with her boyfriend's ex if she weren't murdered. Not to mention, she seemed very found of Veronica
- Expy: Of Laura Palmer. She's a teenage girl whose mysterious murder sparks off the plot of the series.
- Fille Fatale: very sexually experienced, very seductive and had a fling with Aaron Echolls, among other things.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: where Duncan is a model son, Lilly's the wild child of the Kane family.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: she may not be a sweet all-American girl, but she's fun and good-hearted.
- Missing White Woman Syndrome: Weevil mentions that shortly after her murder, a little girl from his neighborhood named Marisol Reyes disappeared, but she didn't warrant the same amount of media coverage or therapy sessions for the students. (The issue, of course, runs somewhat deeper - Lilly was the daughter of a local celebrity, and brutally murdered whereas Reyes simply disappeared).
- Posthumous Character: She's dead before the series starts, and is only seen in flashbacks or present-day visions of the living characters.
- Really Gets Around
- Spirit Advisor: appears to Veronica in ghost form and helps her with the investigation.
- The Unfavorite: Her parents loved Duncan and tolerated her.
Van Clemmons (Duane Daniels)
- "Veronica, why does trouble follow you around?"
- Batman Gambit: Pulls a rather awesome one of these in "My Mother, the Fiend", using Veronica's fatal flaw (her addiction to investigating) to unearth the truth about a decades-old incident and oust the then-principal of the school.Veronica: You read Machiavelli this summer, didn't you?
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though he does have to deal with Veronica more than he would like, most of the time he is portrayed as this.Clemmons: I can't tell if my job will be easier or harder with you gone. Any advice in case I get another student like you?
Veronica: Don't keep all your passwords taped to the bottom of your stapler. [Beat] And stay cool, Mr. C.
Madison Sinclair (Amanda Noret)
- "Regular soda? Why don't you just fill the cup with lard?"1x21 A Trip to the Dentist
- Alpha Bitch: snooty, unpleasant, rich.
- Switched at Birth: With Mac. And unlike Mac, her birth parents don't seem to have any interest in her.
- Tempting Fate: In the movie, she dares Veronica to tase her. Note that this would kill her, as she's soaking wet. Veronica compromises by punching her in the face.
Gia Goodman (Krysten Ritter)
- " I didn't know if you guys were doing, like, relaxed beachy, or the West Coast wannabe East Coast urban, so, F.Y.I., it’s not a statement. I'm just doing the new-school blend-in thing."2x01 Normal is the New Watchword
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: falls for Dick of all people.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: she thinks chlamydia is a flower.
- The Ditz:Logan: Well, she'd have to be stupid to keep it there.Veronica: I sat behind her in algebra. Nothing would surprise me.
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm: Veronica's quips fly over her head.
- Genki Girl: very upbeat and fun-loving until her life spirals out of control, that is.
- Killed Off for Real: in the film.
- Motor Mouth / Open Mouth, Insert Foot: very, very talkative.
- New Transfer Student: at the start of season 2, per her father's wish for her to attend a public high school.
- Spoiled Sweet: her father is a very influential person, yet Gia is never anything but nice.
Troy Vandergraff (Aaron Ashmore)Duncan's childhood friend - the New Transfer Student in the series' second episode. Also, Veronica's first boyfriend in the series proper - an easygoing 09'er unfazed by her bad reputation.
- Birds of a Feather: with his girlfriend Shawna, who is his accomplice in drug trafficking.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: he's a thief, a drug dealer and a two-timer.
- The Bus Came Back: reappears for an episode in season 2 as a suspect in a rape case.
- Clear My Name: asks for Veronica's help after being accused of rape in season 2. He didn't do it.
- Heel–Face Turn: much more chivalrous and honest in his season 2 appearance.
- Homme Fatal: though a milder example when compared to Logan.
- Out-Gambitted: by Veronica in "You Think You Know Somebody"
- Your Cheating Heart: he dated Veronica despite already having a girlfriend - possibly with the latter's knowledge.
Felix Toombs (Brad Bufanda)Weevil's right-hand man in the PCH gang. Investigation into his murder is one of the main storylines of season 2.
Neptune Sheriff's Department
Sheriff Don Lamb (Michael Muhney)
- "Why don't you go see the Wizard? Ask him for a little backbone."1x01 Pilot
Keith Mars' incompetent, cruel successor, famous for "catching" Lilly Kane's murderer. Quickly won Veronica's anger and distrust, given how he laughed her off when she tried to report her rape. He spends most of the series acting like a slimy bastard, and getting in the way of Keith and Veronica's investigations.
- Abusive Parents: the most important bit of backstory we get about him.
- Freudian Excuse: he was abused as a child - probably in the same way taht Meg Manning's little sister.
- Ignored Epiphany: There are moments when it looks like he'll become a better sheriff... but he doesn't.
- Inspector Javert: He's quite gleeful about his occasional (wrongful) arrests of Veronica.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be a real dick. But at his core, he really does try to be a good cop.
- Police Are Useless: In the Back Story, he laughs at Veronica when she reports that she's been raped. Even when he's not an antagnoist, he is generally incompetent and more than a few of his men are corrupt.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In season 3.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Lamb is killed while chasing a suspect that turns out has no connection to the investigation at all.
Leonardo "Leo" D'Amato (Max Greenfield)
- Veronica: I used you, then fell for you, not the other way around.1x14 Mars vs. Mars
A very competent (and very young) Deputy at the Sheriff's department, and Veronica's main tie to organized crime fighting - often involved in the plot when she needs a favor from the police.
- Betty and Veronica: - the Betty (nice, sincere, a policeman) to Logan's Veronica (a bit of a jerk, always in trouble) and Veronica's Archie.
- Fair Cop: not only is he handsome - he's very young, too.
- Friend on the Force: to Veronica, even after she ends their relationship.
- Finding Judas: he's the one who stole the Aaron Echolls sex tapes and sold them to Logan.
- Meaningful Name: his Zodiac sign is Leo, as he tells Veronica when she jokes about his name.
- Nice Guy: never anything but kind towards Veronica - even when she uses him.
- Sleuth Dates Cop: to Veronica, for a while in season 1.
Other Neptune Residents
Cliff Mccormack (Daran Norris)
- "Okay, my name is Cliff, I'll be your if-you-cannot-afford-an-attorney attorney. So. What are you trying to prove?"2x06 Rat Saw God
- The Alcoholic: He's fond of his liquor.
- Brutal Honesty: He's very upfront in what he says.
- Chained to a Bed: handcuffed, more precisely - in "The Rapes of Graff".
- Dismotivation: let's just say he's not very interested in - or good at - his job. (Reportedly, he failed criminal law, among other things).
Kendall Casablancas (Charisma Carpenter)
- Logan: You ever think about just getting a job?Kendall: This is my job.2x07 Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner
- Brainy Brunette: It becomes apparent early on that she's Obfuscating Stupidity and is not the ditzy trophy wife she appears to be.
- Dead Person Impersonation: her real name is Priscilla Banks; she assumed the identity of a younger girl from her school who died in a car crash.
- Ms. Fanservice: Something she activly embraces. She works hard to keep her body in shape and wears clothing to show it off.
- Outlaw Couple: She's involved in a romantic and professional relationship with notorious criminal Cormac Fitzpatrick.
- Wicked Stepmother: Subverted. This was theorized as a motive for the bus crash that nearly killed her stepsons Dick and Cassidy as well, but it was disproven.
Aaron Echolls (Harry Hamlin)
- Aaron: We told your mom that we were all gonna get dressed up in costume as our favourite animal. You remember her animal?Logan: Yeah, it was a mermaid.Aaron: When she realized we played a trick on her, no one else had gotten dressed up… [fondly] she wore that costume around for the rest of the day anyway.Logan: Yeah, I remember that day. On the way home I spilled a milkshake in the Beamer and you gave me a nosebleed.1x13 Lord of The Bling
Logan's father, a famous actor, with an image as a wonderful family man - hiding the man who beats his son and cheats on his wife. Shows love for his family, but his extreme violence and cruelty overpowers it.
- Abusive Parents: He routinely abuses his son - a trait that seems to run in the Echolls family, seeing that Aaron's father, too, used to beat him.
- Asshole Victim: He beats his son for minor offenses and regularly cheats on his wife. Plus, he smugly gloats to Veronica about how he got away with Lily's murder. By the time Clarence Weidman kills him, it is pretty clear he deserves it.
- Big Bad: Of the first season, as he's the man who murdered Lily.
- The Casanova: He constantly chases women. At a single Halloween party, he slept with 3-4 different women.
- Karma Houdini: subverted - he gets acquitted at the trial, only to be assassinated by Clarence Weidman on Duncan's orders.
- Large Ham: Considering he is an actor, it is no surprise that he indulges in this from time to time.
- Narcissist: He watched his own movies, all the while commenting how attractive he is in them.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: He's known for playing action heroes and family men, in real life he's an abusive, cheating bastard.
- Papa Wolf: He beats up his daughter's abusive boyfriend. This does not extend towards his son.
- Turns Red: He's quite a capable fighter even when hurt.
- Tranquil Fury: While he's kicking the shit out of Trina's abusive boyfriend, he only raises his voice once, and that's it.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Well, he's a famous - and famously attractive - actor, what do you expect?
- Your Cheating Heart: He had numerous affairs while married. Eventually, one of his mistresses becomes a Woman Scorned when he tries to ignore her and stabs him in public.
Lynn Echolls (Lisa Rinna)Logan's mother and wife to Aaron.
- Alcoholic Parent: She is shown drinking heavily to ignore her husband beating his son in the next room.
- Driven to Suicide: She ultimately decides to jump off a bridge when Aaron's Domestic Abuse gets too much.
- Never Found the Body: Logan thinks she might still be alive because her body was never recovered. However, when he hires Veronica to track her down, it turns out it was just Trina using her old credit cards.
- Parental Neglect: She tries to pretend like Aaron isn't physically abusive to Logan.
- Stacy's Mom: She's kept her looks thanks to plastic surgery. Logan's leery eyed friends aren't afraid to tease him about the things they'd like to do to her.
Trina Echolls (Alyson Hannigan)
- "The play is my master and I am its whore!"2x09 My Mother The Fiend
- Cool Big Sis: When she's not being a Jerkass, she does try and help her brother out.
- Daddy's Girl: she has no love for her stepmother, but adores Aaron who is nothing but gentle and supportive towards her - which is why she disbelieves Logan's stories of their father's abusive ways until she sees first-hand what he's capable of.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's still no match for her younger brother, though.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold - evidenced in "My Mother The Fiend."
- Parental Favoritism: Aaron adores her and tolerates Logan.
- Prom Baby: actually referred to as such, word for word.
- Stepford Smiler: The "empty inside" version.
Vinnie Van Lowe (Ken Marino)
- Veronica: Know what's most disturbing about you? Apart from... everything? You're actually a half-decent Private Investigator.2x15 The Quick and the Wed
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's actually a competent detective, as Veronica begrudgingly admits.
- Friendly Enemy: To Keith and Veronica. Especially if he is winning.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Buried deep, but it's there. The time he saved Veronica and her client of the week from the Fitzpatricks being a good example. He was, at the time, working for them, but he still went out of the way to save them.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: He has his moments. Such as when he saved Veronica from the Fitzpatricks.
- Private Detective: His job. One that leads him to skirmish with Keith and Veronica whenever they find themselves on opposite sides of a case.
Clarence Wiedman (Christopher B. Duncan)The Head of Security at Kane Software, whose job duties include a number of things not classified as legal.
- Enemy Mine: He teams up with Veronica to investigate a murder in a season 2 episode.
- Scary Black Man: Unusually for this trope, he's not powerfully built, but that desn't make him any less scary.
- Undying Loyalty: He will do anything for the Kane family. Including murder.
- Vigilante Execution: He murders Lily Kane's killer Aaron Echolls (on Duncan's orders). He's also implied to have murdered the killer of Abel Koontz's daughter after tracking him down to Las Vegas.
Woodrow "Woody" Goodman (Steve Guttenberg)A powerful citizen of Neptune - owner of a burger joint and a professional baseball team, The Neptune Sharks. Becomes Mayor of Neptune in season 2.
- Asshole Victim: He is a child molester.
- Your Cheating Heart: He hooks up with his campaign manager. And molests young boys for a hobby.
Stosh "Piz" Piznarski (Chris Lowell)
- "I think that's half of life, just knowing the difference."3x10 Show Me The Monkey
Wallace's new roommate at Hearst, deeply into music, and has a blatant crush on Veronica - which she takes forever to notice.
- The Generic Guy: He was a lot less interesting than Duncan or Logan.
- Informed Ability: In the first episode of season 3, he walks into his dorm with a lacrosse stick, gloves, and helmet. This is never mentioned again.
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: He's the puppy to Veronica's pitbull.
Parker Lee (Julie Gonzalo)
- "Oh my god! Are you one of Mac's friends? Well come on in, sister! Mac's friends are my friends!"3x01 Welcome Wagon
- Ambiguously Bi: Shows no inhibitions about changing in front of complete (female) strangers and has some Les Yay moments with Veronica and Mac.
- Break the Cutie: She suffers this when she is raped and her hair shaved. She gets better, however.
- Really Gets Around: Or, as Mac put it, "One Woman Red Light District".
Dean Cyrus [O'Dell] (Ed Begley Jr.)The dean of Hearst College until his death in the middle of season 3.
- Cool Old Guy: Despite being the dean, he eats in the food court, watches boxing, is pretty accessible to the students, and gets along with people like Veronica and Weevil who are, to an extent, pariahs.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Reasonable Authority Figure