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Characters / A Nightmare on Elm Street

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This page is a listing of characters from the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare, which takes place in the "real world", has its own page here.
Freddy vs. Jason, a crossover with the Friday the 13th franchise, has its own page here.

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Original continuity

    Freddy Krueger 

Frederick Charles "Freddy" Krueger
Click here to see him when he was human 
Played by:
Main actor: Robert Englund
Minor actors: Leslie Hoffman, Stacey Alden, John Saxon, Michael Bailey Smith, Danny Hassel, Chason Schirmer, Tobe Sexton, Paula Shaw

"When I was alive, I might have been a little naughty, but after they killed me, I became something much, much worse. The stuff nightmares are made of."

The primary villain of the series, and the most often recurring character. Born of a nun who was raped by a group of mental asylum patients, he became a child murderer as an adult, claiming many lives until the parents of Springwood got their revenge on him by burning him alive. He makes a deal with three demons to become a powerful ghost with the ability to manipulate dreams. In death, Freddy turns out to be an even worse nightmare than he ever was in life as he continues to hunt the now-teenage children of the lynch mob that killed him.

  • 0% Approval Rating: Immediately after Freddy's misdeeds were discovered, hundreds of angry parents of Springwood proceeded to brutally murder him. His zero rating carried on in death after becoming a demon due to his reputation as a child killer to the point where even Jason Voorhees works against him.
  • Achilles' Heel:
    • His powers only work to their full extent in the dream world, and he's noticeably less capable against lucid dreamers that are capable of controlling their own dreamscapes.
    • Being forgotten. He needs to be feared to have power, and if everyone forgets he exists, he's stuck in Hell and can't resurrect.
      • Related to the above, since he needs to be feared to have power, Freddy can be weakened if his target grows a backbone and stands up to him.
    • Holy objects can harm him, but no one ever thinks to use them against him.
  • Appropriated Appellation: He was called the "Springwood Slasher" during his child-killing days.
  • Archnemesis Dad: To his daughter eventually.
  • Asshole Victim: The people of Springwood burned him alive for the murder of their children. One could argue that his fate was less than what he really deserved.
  • Ax-Crazy: Killing is like breathing to him.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: In a flashback to his childhood in Freddy's Dead, it's revealed he killed a class pet with a hammer.
  • Bad Humor Truck: Freddy’s Nightmares reveals that Freddy operated out of an ice cream truck at times. After he’s let out of court, the first thing he does is go and retrieve it.
  • Bastard Bastard: Freddy isn't called "the bastard son of a 100 maniacs" for nothing. He was conceived when dozens of insane inmates in a mental asylum raped his mother Amanda, a nun who was working there. Freddy was a child murderer in real life, and became a spectral nightmare killer after his death.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Whenever Freddy's defeated, it's mainly by exceptionally lucid dreamers who can shift the reality and fabric of their dreams just as much as he can. His underestimation of this doesn't help either.
  • Berserk Button: Only he can kill the children of Elm Street, as Jason would find out.
  • Big Bad: Naturally. However, he was possibly subservient to the Dream Demons since they are the ones that gave him powers. Though he cuts his ties to them in the comic series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash and becomes the Big Bad once more.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: His blade-fingered glove started out this way, when he was still alive and his glove was merely a homemade murder weapon. In dreams, it evolves into more of a built-in weapon, which alternately appears on his hand whole when he sheds a disguise, or sends its blades springing out from his (or a puppet's, or a possessed boy's, etc) fingertips.
  • British Teeth: His teeth are in horrible shape, ranging from just being nasty and brown to having multiple gaps in them.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Whenever he's pulled into the real world, he loses his Reality Warper status and Nigh-Invulnerability, but as shown when it happens in Freddy vs. Jason, he's still Made of Iron and able to put up one hell of a fight.
  • Brought Down to Normal: At the end of Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: Nightmare Warriors. And how so? In the original timeline Freddy was let go after someone forget to sign the warrant, and after a Timey-Wimey Ball, an FBI agent signs the warrant, leading to Krueger's arrest and the fact he never became the Nightmare God that he once was.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: As a hardcore sadist and demonic enforcer, he's quite frank about literally having become "the stuff nightmares are made of" and takes pride in his reign of terror throughout Springwood.
  • Child by Rape: He was called "the bastard son of 100 maniacs".
  • Combat Pragmatist: Yes, he will kick you in your balls. Yes, he would appear as a dead loved one or parent to kill you.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Freddy often seems to take delight in his own pain. He regularly injures himself just to freak his victims out, laughs his ass off while Alice repeatedly punches him in the face in The Dream Master, and in Freddy's Dead, is shown in a flashback cutting himself and laughing while his foster father whips him with a belt, even asking for more before overpowering said foster father and killing him with a razor blade.
    Freddy: You wanna know the secret of pain? If you just stop feeling it, you can start using it.
  • Costume Evolution: In the first film, his sweater's sleeves were solid red. Freddy's Revenge onward gave him striped sleeves to match the torso.
  • Covered in Scars: Or in this case, severe third-degree burns.
  • Creepy Child: Young Freddy is shown to have been pretty creepy himself in various flashbacks, and he loves to populate his nightmares with pale, creepy children who represent his former victims.
  • Crusty Caretaker: Pre-death Freddy worked as a janitor while being a serial killer on the side.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the first slasher villains to crack jokes.
  • Deal with the Devil: How he got his powers; as revealed in Freddy's Dead, as he was being burned alive, he was approached by three Dream Demons, who search the world for the most evil soul and give them the power to turn dreams into reality. Before his demise, Freddy accepted their offer to "be forever," and the rest is history.
  • Demonic Possession: A power demonstrated in Freddy's Revenge and Freddy vs. Jason.
  • Demon of Human Origin: Although it's never stated exactly what Freddy has become since his death, his Deal with the Devil was brokered with a trio of actual demons and involved turning himself into an undead monster who could invade people's dreams. But then, Our Demons Are Different.
  • Dirty Old Man: Likes to come on to young women, especially the female protagonists. Assuming Freddy vs Jason is set in the same year it was released, that being 2003, and Lori being most likely to have been around 18, Freddy is old enough to be her grandfather as he comes onto her.
  • The Dreaded: While not being afraid of him isn't enough to stop him entirely, he relies on the masses' fear and belief in him to keep his powers strong. Without this, he's significantly weaker.
  • Dream Weaver: This trope is what Freddy Krueger's powers ultimately boil down to, as he can enter dreams at will and alter them to his choosing.
  • Emotion Eater: Freddy lives off the fear of others. In comics, he's encountered people who idolize or worship him, but he ends up getting them killed. He wants people to fear him. Those who actually like him are useless.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Freddy has a sick sense of humor, as his idea of fun is to give someone a particularly painful and creative death. He constantly makes bad jokes about his victims, usually with cheesy one-liners before their deaths or afterwards if he's feeling especially cheery.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: A significant plot point in Freddy vs. Jason. Trying to control Jason Voorhees was never going to end well.
  • Evil Is Petty: Especially in The Dream Child, where he frequently goes out of his way to torment Alice by flaunting his kills in front of her and generally just harassing her when he can. Of course, this is largely because he genuinely hates Alice, but since he could end up hurting the unborn Jacob, who he aims to turn into a Fetus Terrible, he can't actually do anything to her.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Freddy Krueger somehow managed to become an undead dream-dwelling human monster just by being really nasty to kids. Freddy's Dead reveals that he was given his powers upon dying by several nightmare demons.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Justified, because he was burned to death.
  • Evil Laugh: Because of Freddy's sadistic pleasure out of all of this. His laugh is generally the last thing your hear. In the first he barely even has any lines, he mainly just laughs, but a very disturbing laugh, the type of laugh that haunts your dreams (ironically).
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In the first several films, less so in later sequels.
  • Evil Feels Good: Freddy's loving every moment of this.
  • Extra Parent Conception: Freddy is called the bastard son of a hundred maniacs, assuming that isn't hyperbole. In Nightmare 5 one of the maniacs is shown to look exactly like pre-death Freddy, hinting that this is in fact his biological father.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Freddy usually addresses his victims in an almost friendly way, and is good at making a sardonic joke every now and then.
  • Fetus Terrible: In The Dream Child, a nightmarish flashback to his birth depicts him as one.
    Nun: Sister, this is one of God's creatures. Take solace in that.
    Amanda: That is no creature of God!
  • For the Evulz: Freddy kills people simply because he can kill people. The revenge thing is just a bonus. Heck, after he killed off all the children of the parents who killed him originally, he starts looking for any way he can to reach new victims because he just loves killing people that much.
  • Fragile Speedster: When pulled into the real world in Freddy vs. Jason, he's this to Jason's Mighty Glacier. He can easily dodge most of Jason's attacks and gets in lots of good hits, but one punch from Jason sends him flying.
  • Freudian Excuse: In Freddy's Dead, the filmmakers try to explain away his evilness by giving him a horrifically awful childhood. His mother (who was a nun) gave birth to him only after being raped repeatedly by one hundred patients at a mental asylum she worked at. His adopted father was a sleazy pimp who beat him up daily (and who Freddy later murdered with a razor blade). He was bullied by kids at school, and gave signs of being a textbook sociopath by killing the classroom hamster, for which he never was punished for or got help with. Then he shuffled through life as an adult from one low paying job to another, until he decided to express his rage at life by killing the kids of his former bullies. Notably, he even tries and uses the Freudian Excuse to his daughter Maggie in Freddy's Dead as a means of explaining he was not evil and he was made into this way. It doesn't work.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Freddy may have had a crappy childhood, but it doesn't justify the fact that he's a sadistic psychopath who gleefully kills people For the Evulz. When he attempts to use his Freudian Excuse as an attempt to explain that he wasn't evil and circumstances made him a monster, Maggie doesn't go for it.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In his case, quite literally.
  • Ghostly Goals: Freddy started out avenging his own death, but after he succeeded, he decided to stick around and continue killing (he was, after all, a sadistic serial killer even before he died; even with his revenge complete, he probably saw no real reason to stop killing).
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: As revealed in Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy's power is entirely dependent on how many people know of and fear him; when the people of Springwood eradicated every trace of his existence, he was left powerless.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In Freddy vs. Jason, he brought Jason Voorhees Back from the Dead and set him upon Springwood, knowing that he himself would be blamed for Jason's killings, which would give him enough power to escape Hell and go about haunting Springwood again. The plan works, but Freddy never anticipated that Jason would continue to intrude on his territory and steal his potential victims.
    Freddy: Everyone forgot! That's why they weren't afraid anymore! That's why I needed Jason to kill for me, to get them to remember! But now he just won't stop!
  • A God Am I: Freddy believes himself to be a god and, to the people whose dreams he warps, it is not an unreasonable belief. It's best summed up by this exchange from the first movie:
    Tina: Please, God!
    Freddy: (brandishes claws) This is God!
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Look at him!
  • Hate Sink: Prior to the Villain Decay he underwent in the sequels, Wes Craven intended Fred Krueger to be a dreadful, irredeemable monster of the lowest order. Implied to have been a child rapist in addition to a murderer, he claimed over 20 young victims in life. To further make him stand out from other iconic slasher villains, he revels in bullying his victims in whatever way he can, tormenting them with the images of their dead friends.
  • Healing Factor: One of Freddy's many powers in dreams.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Freddy is viciously misogynistic. It's rare there's a woman in the films he won't call a bitch at some point.
  • Hellfire: Freddy was able to summon this in the second movie when he was outside of the Dream World.
  • Hero Killer: He kills Nancy Thompson at the end of Dream Warriors, and Kristen Parker early in The Dream Master. Both were significant threats to Freddy and responsible for defeating him previously.
  • Holy Burns Evil: As suggested by the tune sung about him and shown in 3, holy items are one of the few things that can actually harm him. Unfortunately, few people actually think to use them against him.
  • Home Field Advantage: He's virtually unstoppable in the dream world.
  • Humanity Ensues: When Freddy is dragged into the real world in Freddy's Dead, he briefly becomes human again. He turns back into his standard form pretty quickly though.
  • Iconic Outfit: His brown fedora, red and green striped sweater, and knife glove.
  • Informed Attribute: He's said to be a child rapist, which (thankfully) is never shown. The only character he ever attempted to rape was Lori, who was likely 18, legally an adult.
  • Ironic Nursery Rhyme: The song associated with him, sungto the tune to "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe."
    One, two; Freddy's coming for you
    Three, four; better lock your door
    Five, six; grab your crucifix
    Seven, eight; gonna stay up late
    Nine, ten; never sleep again
  • It Amused Me: Why he does what he does, it amuses him.
  • Identical Grandfather: In Alice's dream of how Amanda Krueger was raped, one of the 100 maniacs looks exactly like pre-death Freddy, and is played by Robert Englund as well. Before Alice is assaulted by the maniacs, a shot briefly lingers on his face, hinting that this is in fact Freddy's biological father. It's also hinted that this is actually Freddy himself in disguise, although why he would take on the guise of his father is unclear.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Many female characters who come across him, such as Tina, Nancy and Lori, become a target of his lust.
  • Immortality: Technically a spirit rather than a physical being, he can't die. Even if killed, it is shown his spirit simply returns to captivity in Hell, or just waits until another victim dreams. As promised by Hell's Dream Demons, his spirit cannot ever truly die.
  • Invisibility: Freddy can turn himself invisible at will. He uses it in The Dream Master to attack Rick.
  • Ironic Fear: Fire. Although he enjoys his living in Hell and enjoys setting fire to various victims, it's often shown that fire is something he's truly afraid of following his physical death, and is one of few things that can truly harm him, even in dreams.
  • Jerkass: What really separates Freddy from all the other famous Slasher Movie villains is how much of a plain asshole he is. Most other killers/monsters at least have a token flimsy reason for doing what they do (Michael Myers from Halloween kills because it's in his nature to do so, Jason from Friday the 13th does it because his mother tells him to, etc.), but Freddy openly admits that he just does it because it's fun.
  • Jerkass Gods: Despite possessing unlimited power within dreams and more-or-less being a Dream God, he uses his power and pride to mess with his victims and carry out petty murder tasks rather than anything too substantial.
  • Joker Immunity: He's died at the end of every film, but something always manages to bring him back in time for the next installment.
  • Kick the Dog: Cruel and Unusual Deaths aside, Freddy LOVES doing this to all of his victims. For instance, he would give them a false reassuring hug (as in the case of Nancy, Roland or Greta) as he killed them.
  • Large Ham: Averted in the first two films and New Nightmare (though he did make the occasional sick joke here or there), but played straight in the rest of the film series with Freddy's Dead being the one where he is at his most hammy.
  • Laughably Evil: The sequels turn him into this, making him a Large Ham who constantly makes wisecracks and spouts one-liners as he kills people.
  • Lean and Mean: Just because he's skinny as a rail, that doesn't mean he's not dangerous.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Freddy Krueger's appearance is somewhat vampiric, with his bald head, sharp teeth, gaunt frame, and prominent nose. In fact, Robert Englund even once stated that he based some of Freddy's movements on Orlok's.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He sets off the event's of Freddy vs. Jason by posing as the mother of Friday the 13th villain Jason Voorhees in order to trick Jason into resurrecting from the dead once again and heading for Freddy's hometown of Springwood, Ohio. Freddy banks on Jason's inevitable killing spree being blamed on Freddy by the town residents (if no one remembers Freddy, he can't harm anyone), and he is proven correct.
  • Man on Fire: This is how Freddy Krueger died at the hands of the parents of Springwood. In the original film, Nancy sets Freddy on fire when she pulls him out of her dream and lures him to the basement.
  • Mind over Matter: Freddy can easily move objects with his mind in the dream world. He even plays an ad-hoc game of pinball with Jason's body in Freddy Vs. Jason.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Is it ever. He was simply a human serial killer when he was alive. After his death he became an undead abomination with near-godlike powers and a bodycount eventually numbering in the hundreds.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: K Names.
  • Never Sleep Again: It's in the rhyme about him. As in never sleep to never dream of him and die.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: A running joke in the series is that Freddy's powers are pretty much limitless, as far as changing from film to film. It does make sense however. Since Freddy has effectively become the king of nightmares, his powers in the dreamscape would be virtually unlimited. On the rare occasions he manifests in the "real" world, he generally gets his ass kicked (most notably, at the end of the first film).
  • Nice Hat: Freddy's fedora, of course.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Justified, because he's dead (no body to feel pain with). Even when he's pulled into the real world, he laughs off getting impaled through the stomach and getting the crap beaten out of him by Jason Voorhees.
  • Nightmare Dreams: Freddy's modus operandi.
  • Obligatory Joke: In the later movies, he always makes some kind of (usually groan inducing) ironic joke about someone's situation either just before or after he murders them.
  • Obviously Evil: His whole appearance just screams "evil". This is actively embraced by Freddy, since he can look any way he wants to in dreams. He loves being a monster.
  • Off on a Technicality: How he walked away from the child murders he committed before he died; depending on whether you go by the films or Freddy's Nightmares, it was either because the judge failed to properly sign the search warrant or because the arresting officer neglected to read him his Miranda rights.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Freddy became increasingly worse over time. He was always a sadist, but at first he pretended that he wanted revenge for his death at the hands of a lynch mob until he just dropped all pretense and continued killing when this goal was already completed. With nothing to stop him, he eventually murders every child in Springwood and drives their distraught parents to utter madness. With the entire town destroyed, he just creates another "Elm Street" in a neighbouring city and reveals that he'll never stop killing until everyone's dead.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Freddy is technically a sort of "astral lich". He would definitely qualify as a powerful sorcerer, and his appearance just screams "undead". Also, killing him tends to involve some rather unusual methods, most often dragging him onto our plane, and, even then, nobody has ever managed to kill him permanently. An easier parallel is that Freddy is some sort of ghost or a demon (he is in service to nightmare demons after all).
  • Pædo Hunt: In the original film and Freddy vs. Jason, it's strongly implied but not stated outright that Freddy is a pedophile in addition to being a child killer. Wes Craven originally wanted to make him one, but in the end decided not to in order not to be accused of exploiting then recent news headlines about pedophiles at day cares, et al.
  • Playing with Fire: Despite being killed by fire and being deeply afraid of fire, Freddy has been shown to conjure up fire at will.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Not only does he kill, he's also immensely sexist toward women, and Freddy vs. Jason has him call one of the leads, who is an African-American woman, "dark meat."
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: For a demonic serial killer, he's improbably well-versed in pop culture.
  • Pungeon Master: This is basically Freddy's trademark.
  • Psycho for Hire: Freddy is implied to be this to the Dream Demons who gave him his power.
  • Reality Warper: He was able to partly manipulate the outside world, like re-animating his bones. However, by Freddy's Dead, he had gotten so powerful that he was able to erase Springwood parents' memories and make other adults into mindless people who go about their daily lives if there were kids there. He reaches his peak in Freddy's Revenge, where, upon possessing Jesse, he's able to alter things in the real world; he goes completely nuts at the pool party, boiling the water in the pool, creating a wall of fire around the yard, making himself temporarily intangible before jumping out from under the floorboards, and blowing up the barbecue and most of the electrical appliances that are there.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes are red in Freddy's Revenge.
  • Red/Green Contrast: Wes Craven had read that red and green are the two most difficult colors for the human eye to see when placed right next to each other, so he gave Freddy the iconic red-and-green stripped sweater to make his appearance that much more fundamentally disturbing.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Freddy Krueger is killed several times by the heroes, but he returns each time. As Freddy himself put it in the fourth film — "I. AM. ETERNAL!" In the sixth film he says "In dreams. I. Am. FOREVER!" The dream demons who are the source of his powers promised him that he would indefinitely resurrect no matter what anyone does to him.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His initial motive throughout the first three films, and the early part of the fourth. See Sins of Our Fathers below for more details.
  • Rubber Man: Stretching limbs are one of many of Freddy's powers.
  • Sadist: A key part of his character: he's a murderous psychopath and loves every minute of it.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: His powers are greatly heightened by the fear of his victims. Their fear that he is an unstoppable nightmare monster causes him to be an unstoppable nightmare monster.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He killed his foster father when he was young. Fate of his foster mother is unknown. His murders also caused his own mom to kill herself, if this was Freddy's plan however, is unknown.
  • Self-Mutilation Demonstration: One of Freddy's freakier habits is to show off his invulnerability by wounding himself: cutting off fingers, slashing open his side, peeling off his own scalp, etc. In this case, it's as much to squick out his victims as to demonstrate the futility of trying to hurt him.
  • Serial Killer: He was one both in life (as the Springwood Slasher) and the afterlife.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: He's an accomplished shapeshifter in the dream world, regularly appearing as other people, mechanical devices, and a host of other forms. While he can look however he wants, as a nightmare ghost he prefers to appear as his post-death burnt self, probably to scare his victims. His true form in the real world are his skeletal remains, but it remains to be seen if he even has a true spectral form (though the novel Protege implied that the demonic visage that he briefly assumes during the "YOU!" scene in Freddy vs. Jason is it).
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Eerily Freddy uses this tactic on Joey in Dream Warriors by disguising himself as a hot nurse, showing that he's an equal opportunity deviant.
  • Sinister Schnoz: He's a murderous monster with a rather pointy nose.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: Freddy with his claw on most anything.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: His killing sprees throughout the first three films, and the early part of the fourth, is to kill the children of the lynch mob who originally burned him alive. After killing Kristen Parker in The Dream Master, he's only in it For the Evulz from that point onwards.
  • The Sociopath: For sure. To Freddy, humans are just his playthings.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: As explored in the tie-in comic New Line Cinema's Tales of Horror #1, Freddy is disgusted by the idea that he has 'fans'. He has no desire to work with others or be worshipped in any way as these people are useless to someone who requires fear or needs to make the kill himself.
  • Super Mode: "Super Freddy" from The Dream Child, which he conjures up to mock the comic book fan Mark.+
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Done quite a bit throughout the films:
  • Transformation of the Possessed: In Freddy's Revenge, he possesses Jesse by messily transforming his body into his own shape.
  • Troll: He constantly makes bad jokes about his victims, usually with cheesy one-liners.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Several times it's shown that Freddy can't handle a fair fight very well, likely because he's rarely if ever in one and mainly preyed on little children in life. When up against someone who can actually fight him on even footing he normally has to rely on dirty tricks and exploiting their fears in order to win, or relying on his Nigh-Invulnerable status to keep him safe. Rick and Alice both use him as a punching bag with martial arts powers and Taryn was able to get the upperhand on him in a knife fight, with Freddy having to cheat to win all three fights. While he was able to face Jason fairly evenly, it's clear Jason is likewise unused to an even fight either.
  • Un-person: Freddy vs. Jason states that after it became known that Freddy grows more powerful based on how much he is feared and by how many people know of him, the town of Springwood tried to erase all knowledge of his existence and his murder spree to spare their children. Those who had any knowledge of Freddy were institutionalized and put on Hypnocil. It worked so well that Freddy brought Jason back to stir things up.
  • Villain Ball: Rather than kill his victims outright, he prefers to draw out their torment for his own amusement, overconfident in their inability to effectively fight back. This has given many of his victims a chance to escape or find the means to defeat him, and Jason stole one of his kills because of this. A notable aversion: because he recognized Nancy as a threat since his defeat in the original movie, in Dream Warriors, he simply stabs her in lieu of his usual elaborate kill sequences.
  • Villain Decay: He was truly menacing, serious, and evil in the first film. The sequels, however, increasingly made him a campy, Laughably Evil Large Ham. This was reflected in his marketing — he cut an album of cheesy pop songs, guest-rapped on a hip-hop track by The Fat Boys about his antics, was rapped about in a different Will Smith track, and was subject to all kinds of tie-in merchandise including yo-yos. It took years and the return of Wes Craven to address and attempt to reverse this.
  • Villainous Valour: During Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy puts up a good fight against the superstrong Jason Voorhees even when he's technically just a weak, disfigured, physical ghost thing when not in the Dream World.
  • Voice Changeling: One of Freddy's many powers, as he demonstrates at one point in Freddy's Dead.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Via his dream powers. One of the things he enjoys doing most to torment his victims is pretending to be someone close to them so he can scar them emotionally before going in for the kill.
  • Was Once a Man: Once a human serial killer, he turned into something resembling a nightmare ghost/demon after his death.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: During his fight against Jason, he manages to hit a leaping elbow drop. Notably he does this by jumping on his back while Jason is standing, rather than while Jason is lying on the ground, making it more like a Muay Thai strike than a wrestling move.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Explicitly prefers it; in fact, he was originally killed by the furious parents of Springwood because he was a Serial Killer murdering their children. While he is perfectly capable of killing adults (as seen in the first three films and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare), he chooses to take his revenge by killing their teenaged children instead, apparently to rub in how killing him didn't protect their kids from him after all.
  • Wolverine Claws: Freddy's primary weapon is a glove with blades attached to each finger.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Any damage he inflicts on his victims in the dream world crosses over to the waking world.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: His victims have their souls absorbed into his body, to remain there permanently. Freddy then siphons off their souls' power to become even more powerful himself. A few films end with them being freed. One notable example had this happen followed by them tearing him apart from the inside out.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: Boy howdy.

Introduced in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

    Nancy Thompson 

Nancy Thompson

Appears in: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) | Dream Warriors

"I'm into survival."

The heroine of the original film, who returns for the third film as well. Daughter of Marge and Donald Thompson (divorced), she's best friends with Tina, Glen (her boyfriend), and Rod.

  • Action Girl: By the end of the first film, she's ready to kick Freddy's ass in the real world. And she hadn't lost that step in Dream Warriors.
  • Arch-Enemy: The first heroine who’s faced Freddy multiple times and one Freddy absolutely despises.
    Freddy in a low hate filled growl: You...
  • Badass Normal: In the first movie, Nancy manages to hold onto Freddy and drag him into the real world, from then which she leads him through her booby trapped laden house and has him set on fire (Freddy hates fire since he was burned to death). She manages to somehow survive the first movie's Cruel Twist Gainax Ending. When she appeared in third movie (Dream Warriors), she led some of Freddy's other victims into facing him head on but she sadly died in that one.
  • Big Good: In the comics.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Shows some of this to the kids at Westin Hills.
  • Brutal Honesty: She has no qualms about talking back to her parents or her boyfriend about someone trying to kill her, even throwing in a few curse words for good measure. However, she's more amicable when she's not constantly hounded by Freddy.
  • Covert Pervert: In her diary, she reveals that she enjoys spying on Glen undressing from her window, even though she shouldn't be watching.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In Dream Warriors, she's fatally stabbed by Freddy, but she manages to get back up and stab Freddy in the gut with his own claws, holding on to him long enough for Neil to finish burying and consecrating Freddy's remains.
  • Famed in Story: Downplayed, but what she went through is whispered about throughout the neighborhood in the second movie and in the third one her new dream therapy research has attracted a decent amount of attention and she's considered a rising star in the field.
  • Final Girl: The first in the series.
  • Hysterical Woman: She's treated as such in the first movie by all the adults, and she herself almost believes it when Freddy doesn't immediately show up to play in what she thought was the real world. Of course, since it's horror movie, she's Properly Paranoid.
  • Skunk Stripe: She gets one in the first movie, after pulling Freddy's hat out of the dream and it stays with her.
  • Team Mom: To the Dream Warriors.
  • Trap Master: In the first movie, before dragging Freddy into the real world, she rigs her entire house with booby traps to slow him down.

    Marge Thompson 

Marge Thompson

Played by: Ronee Blakley
Appears in: A Nightmare on Elm Street

"[to Nancy] There's something wrong with you — you're imagining things."

Nancy's well-meaning, but struggling and occasionally neglectful mother.

  • The Alcoholic: Starts off slow when Krueger's murders starts to happen in the first film, but gets progressively drunk as the film goes on.

     Lt. Donald Thompson 

Lt. Donald Thompson

Played by: John Saxon
Appears in: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) | Dream Warriors

"[To Glen] There's an unsolved murder and I hate unsolved murders, especially ones that my daughter is mixed up in, what are *you* doing here?"

Nancy's father, who divorced her mother some time before. He's a cop in the Springwood sheriff's department.


    Glen Lantz 

Glen Lantz

Played by: Johnny Depp
Appears in: A Nightmare on Elm Street

"Oh, man. Midnight. Baseball bats and boogeymen. Beautiful."

Nancy's boyfriend in the first film, who lives across the street.

  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He gets sucked into his bed and is ripped apart.
  • Girl Next Door: Or boy rather. He's a plain, sweet and easily flustered mama's boy who feels emasculated in the presence of Tina's obnoxious macho lover.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: When Glen is sucked into his bed by Freddy and killed, gallons of blood (far more than what the human body contains) suddenly spew out from it like a blood fountain.
  • The Watson: Plays a bit of this to Nancy as they go over what they know at times, with Glen taking a less active role.

    Tina Gray 

Christina "Tina" Gray

Played by: Amanda Wyss

Nancy's friend in the first film.

  • Disappeared Dad: He's long gone, and her stepfather is indifferent to her nightmares.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first movie begins from her point of view, and it isn't until she is killed that it becomes clear that her friend Nancy is the actual protagonist.

    Dream Demons 

The Dream Demons

Supernatural entities of unknown origin who gave Freddy Krueger his powers.

  • Eldritch Abomination: The closes thing that one could recognize as a form is a worm-like body with a grotesque human-like face.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: They gave Freddy Krueger his horrific powers to satisfy their love of causing evil and death.
  • Karma Houdini: They get no punishment for enabling Freddy to continue killing after death.
  • Terrible Trio: There are three of them.

Introduced in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

    Jesse Walsh 

Jesse Walsh

Played by: Mark Patton

"Something is trying to get inside my body!"

The lead character in the second film, whose body is gradually taken over by Freddy.

  • Ambiguously Bi: While he appears to genuinely love Lisa, the screenplay is by the writer's own admission a pretty thinly-veiled allegory for someone coming to terms with this, and Mark Patton (who is gay in real-life) also said that he played Jesse as someone unsure of his sexuality. There's also how he's very close to his best friend Grady.
  • Butt-Monkey: Other than Lisa wanting to get into his pants, pretty much nothing goes right for him during the course of the film. His father treats him like crap, his mother and sister don't treat him as badly but are pretty dismissive of his problems, his biology teacher blames him for the fact that a snake escaped from its tank and attacked him, and the less said about his treatment at the hands of Coach Schneider, the better.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Gets a moment of this for his dad moving them into a house where someone died without telling them.
  • Distressed Dude: He has to be saved by Lisa.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners / Vitriolic Best Buds: He's both of these with Ron Grady. At least until Freddy takes control of Jesse and kills Ron.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Jesse spends probably more time walking around shirtless than every other male character in the series combined. Not to mention at least two shots of his bare butt.
  • Painful Transformation: Whenever Freddy possesses him, his body is messily transformed into Freddy's own shape. This includes blades growing out of Jesse's fingers, his skin peeling off, and Freddy ripping open and bursting out of his chest. All the while, Jesse is screaming in agony.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Not only does he scream far more than any of the female leads in the series, he even manages to do it in an even higher pitch.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While the second film follows him for the most part, he really doesn't accomplish anything of any real note and by the end he completely transforms into Freddy, leaving Lisa to take over as protagonist.

    Lisa Webber 

Lisa Webber

Played by: Kim Myers

"I love you, Jesse!"

Jesse's girlfriend from the second film.

  • Action Girl: She does more to fight Freddy than Jesse does by the end of the movie.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: How she ultimately gets through to Jesse.
  • Final Girl: Becomes this in the final parts of the second film, after Freddy completely takes over Jesse.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's already shown to have a fairly strong personality early in the film, but she really takes it up a notch in the final scenes when she confronts Freddy and takes him down.
  • The Hero: Jesse may be the second film's protagonist, but Lisa is the one who actually fights Freddy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Unlike most of the other Final Girls in the series, Lisa has no hang-ups about sex and wears some very revealing clothing, even going within an inch of being topless.
  • The Power of Love: How she beats Freddy and frees Jesse.
  • Spoiled Sweet: She's dubbed as the local rich girl (and the size of the house she throws her pool party supports the notion), but she's shown to be one of the series' nicest characters.

    Ron Grady 

Ron Grady

Played by: Robert Rusler

A student that becomes Jesse's best friend.

    Kerry Hellman 

Kerry Hellman

Played by: Sidney Walsh

Lisa's best friend.

  • Eating the Eye Candy: After Jesse's rear is accidentally exposed during class.
  • Mauve Shirt: Doesn't get too much characterization but makes it until the very end before being killed (assuming that was her and not a figment of Jesse or Lisa's dream).
  • Shipper on Deck: A lot of her dialogue is encouraging Lisa's crush on Jesse.
    Coach Schneider 

Coach Schneider

Played by: Marshall Bell

Jesse and Ron's abusive coach.

  • Asshole Victim: Subverted, as it is heavily implied that he planned to do bad things to Jesse before dying.
  • Big "NO!": Last words.
  • Depraved Homosexual: He is a sexually predatory gay man working as a gym coach at a high school. He abducts Jesse when he sees him in a gay bar, and it is implied that he was about to rape him before Freddy intervened and killed Schneider.

Introduced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

    Kristen Parker 

Kristen Parker

Played by: Patricia Arquette (Dream Warriors), Tuesday Knight (Dream Master)

"The man in my dreams... he's real, isn't he?"

Succeeding Nancy as the main heroine, Kristen is one of the teenagers institutionalized at Westin Hills Asylum for an apparent suicide attempt, but is actually one of Freddy's targets.

  • Action Girl: She does a lot to fight Freddy in her first appearance and doesn't go quietly in her second.
  • Cursed With Awesome: A subversion. Kristen has the power to pull people into her dreams, but she subconsciously blocked the power for years after her parents got divorced. Years later, she isn't sure if she still has it until she accidentally pulls Nancy into her dreams in Dream Warriors. Unfortunately, Freddy turns her ability into Blessed with Suck when he uses her to pull Alice into her dream. After he kills Kristen, the power gets sent to Alice, so Freddy uses her as his new conduit so he can go after the other teenagers of Springwood.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Dream Master opens where Dream Warriors left off, making it look like Kristen, Joey, and Kincaid will have to go up against Freddy again. He kills Joey and Kincaid in the same night, and once he has Kristen cornered, forces her to drag Alice into her dream. In doing so, Kristen transfers her dream power to Alice, but not before passing through Freddy, ensuring that she's his new power source.
  • Man on Fire: A subversion. Krueger threw Kristen into a boiler and she became engulfed in flames. In the real world it looked as if Kristen fell asleep with a lit cigarette and accidentally set her bed on fire.
  • Passing the Torch: To Alice.


Roland Kincaid

Played by: Ken Sagoes

"Let's go kick the motherfucker's ass all over Dreamland."

One of the teenagers institutionalized at Westin Hills, and one of Freddy's targets.

  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted in Dream Warriors, where he survives the whole film. Played straight in Dream Master, where he's Freddy's first kill.
  • Defiant to the End: See See You in Hell below.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: In Dream Master, he's revealed to own a dog named Jason.
  • See You in Hell: His last words to Freddy once Freddy stabs him. Freddy responds, "Tell 'em Freddy sent ya."
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Probably the angriest of the Westin Hills inmate, but it comes form being a very scared kid desperate to stay awake and avoid Freddy.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: When Freddy returns in Dream Master, Kincaid is his first victim.
  • Super Strength: His dream power. He's strong enough to bend metal chairs with his bare hands, punch holes through walls, and pushes cars.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He and Joey both give this to Kristen for pulling them into her dream out of fear that Freddy is coming after them again, pointing out that her dreaming about Freddy may stir him up again.

    Joey Crusel 

Joseph "Joey" Crusel

Played by: Rodney Eastman

A mute patient at Westin Hills due to his refusal to speak or sleep after experiencing horrific dreams.

  • Big "NO!": Joey gets his voice back by shouting a Big "NO!" at the sight of the other protagonists being snatched away by the Mirror-Freddies.
  • Bring Help Back: When he sees Phillip apparently sleepwalk gin to his death, he doesn't have the voice to yell out, but does race around banging on the walls to alert people.
  • Chained to a Bed: Freddy poses as Hospital Hottie to lure Joey into an empty room where he ties him to the bed with giant human tongues.
  • Erotic Dream: Joey has one in Part 3 and Part 4 each, but both times they turn into nightmares by Freddy.
    Freddy: [bursting through Joey's waterbed in Part 4] How's this for a wet dream?
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Joey's dream power, which contrasts with his muteness in the real world.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: When Freddy returns in Dream Master, Joey is his second victim.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Joey manages to overcome his muteness to scream the Big "NO!" that shatters the mirrors and saves his friends.

    Taryn White 

Taryn White

Played by: Jennifer Rubin

A patient at Westin Hills hospital due to her difficulty sleeping following a series of horrific nightmares, with a history of drug abuse.

  • Body Horror: When Freddy threatens her with syringes full of heroin, her old injection scars turn into greedy, sucking orifices, clamoring for their fix.
  • Knife Nut: Taryn's dream power is being "beautiful and bad", which means that she dual-wields two switchblades.
  • Playing with Syringes: Freddy kills Taryn by turning his fingers into heroin syringes, which he then thrusts into her arms.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: To the orderly who offers her drugs for sex.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: She is the more butch, action-oriented Dream Warrior, and gets killed.

    Dr. Neil Gordon 

Dr. Neil Gordon

Played by: Craig Wasson

A doctor in charge of trying to treat the children at Westin Hills for their refusal to sleep and experiences of bad dreams. After meeting Nancy Thompson, he begins to believe that their dreams may be more than group delusion, eventually teaming up to stop Freddy.

  • All Therapists Are Muggles: Subverted. While skeptical at first, he is willing to admit the possibility that the Freddy-plagued kids he is counseling and Nancy are faced with a supernatural threat.
  • Determinator: Despite getting beaten up and then knocked out with a shovel by Freddy's skeleton, manages to wake up, get the bones into the grave, and give him the Last Rites to put an end to him.
  • The Shrink: He is mostly an Awesome Shrink, but subverts it when he's willing to use drugs (Hypnocil) to aid his patients.

    Sister Mary Helena (SPOILERS

Sister Mary Helena / Amanda Krueger

Played by: Nan Martin (Dream Warriors), Beatrice Boepple (Dream Child)

The mother of Freddy Krueger. After deciding to become a nun and choosing "Mary Helena" as her name in Christ, Amanda Krueger was given as her first assignment to care for the inmates of the Westin Hills Hospital, but was accidentally locked inside with some of the worst psychopaths and killers housed at the hospital and left for several days over the Christmas period. During this time she brutally raped, and when she is finally found, she is barely alive and pregnant. Amanda gives birth to Freddy Krueger and immediately gives him up for adoption. She died at some point after Freddy got Off on a Technicality, before returning as a spirit by the time of the events of Dream Warriors to aid Neil Gordon in defeating her son. Her backstory is revisited more in depth in Dream Child, where her final fate is crucial to defeating her son again.

  • Big Good: Generally plays this role in the movies, as a recurring benevolent figure providing valuable aid to our protagonists in fighting Freddy. Particularly in the fifth movie, given how he's explicitly warded off and given pause by her appearance.
  • Nuns Are Spooky: Sister Mary Helena comes off as eerie, what with her cryptic conversations and Stealth Hi/Byes. Justified because she really is a ghost.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Sister Mary Helena does it to Neil when he sees her for the first time by disappearing behind a crowd.
  • Vehicle Vanish: The first time Dr. Gordon sees Sister Mary Helena she vanishes when a group of people walk in front of her and block his view.

     Will Stanton 

Will Stanton

  • Wheelchair Woobie: As the result of a failed suicide attempt his nightmares drove him too.

     Phillip Anderson 

Phillip Anderson

Played By:' Bradley Gregg
  • Genre Savvy: Quick to refute and argue a lot of the arugements about Freddy being a mass hallucination.
  • Nice Guy: From what we see of him.
     Jennifer Caulfield 

Jennifer Caulfield

Played By: Penelope Sudrow

    Dr. Elizabeth Simms 

Elizabeth Simms

Another doctor at Westin Hills, one who refuses to consider Freddy Krueger exists and unintentionally acts as a detriment to the teenagers as well as Neil and Nancy.

  • Dr. Jerk: A unintentional example on her part. Simms wants to help the kids, but refuses to budge on her perception that the kids are being plagued by guilt complexes and repressed sexual desires when even other doctors could see there's something else going on with them.
  • Karma Houdini: She last appears having Kristen sedated and dragged into the Quiet Room, with no indication Simms ever paid for her actions allowing Freddy to claim other victims.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: How she ultimately comes across in her diagnosis of what's harming the teenagers. Elizabeth assumes their nightmares are all due to extreme guilt and repressed sexual anxiety, and she stands by this for the entirety of the movie. Even when it's logically pointed out how unlikely it is that every kid would've dreamed up the same man and how it's obvious there is something deeper going on than just a guilty conscience, Elizabeth still thinks the kids need uninterrupted R.E.M. sleep.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She's honestly trying to help Kristen and the other kids, but fails to realize her methods are counterproductive and are only making them easy targets for Freddy.

Introduced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

    Alice Johnson 

Alice Johnson

Played by: Lisa Wilcox

"Come on, you fucking coward!"

The lead protagonist of the fourth and fifth films, and a high school friend of Kristen.

  • Abusive Parents: Alice and her brother Rick had to deal with emotional abuse from their alcoholic father for years. Following Rick's death their dad started going to Alcoholics Anonymous and by Dream Child has become a more loving and attentive father.
  • Action Girl: Gradually became this by the end of Dream Master.
  • Action Survivor: Alice is the only protagonist to survive two films straight.
  • Arch-Enemy: She becomes the most powerful of the Elm Street heroines and one whom Freddy legitimately loathes. She's the only one whom made it difficult for him to come back. Once she killed him in Dream Master he had to find another way to invade dreams as she was too powerful for him to overcome. He spends the majority of Dream Child taunting Alice, but can't actually do anything to her because he could end up harming Jacob in the process.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Has the distinction of being a rare heroine to save one of her friends (Yvonne) from Freddy.
  • Blessed with Suck: With Kristen's dream power, Krueger used Alice to pull people into her dreams so he could murder them.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Alice is compared to MacGyver with how handy she can be, same as Nancy.
  • Dream Weaver: She's the titular Dream Master.
  • Fiery Redhead: Was this by the end of Dream Master. In Dream Child Alice became blonde, but her personality stayed the same.
  • Final Girl: And the only one to survive two movies in a row.
  • Genre Savvy: In her seance appearance, after having survived Freddy once.
  • It's All My Fault: Her reaction when she realizes that Freddy is using her to kill new victims.
  • Mama Bear: The whole point of Dream Child was that she wouldn't let Krueger get away with warping her unborn child.
  • Personality Powers: An inversion. As Krueger killed off her friends, Alice began inheriting their dream powers and pieces of their personalities.
  • The Power of Friendship: The power she gains from her friends gives her the strength to face Krueger on her own, but it's also that their power gave her the strength to find her own strength, which is what ultimately stops him and frees his enslaved souls in Dream Master.
  • Shrinking Violet: Originally.
  • Superior Successor: She's the strongest of all the Elm Street heroines and outclasses both Nancy and Kristen in terms of power and the ability to survive.
  • Take Up My Sword: From Kristen.
  • Teen Pregnancy: She's pregnant in Dream Child.
  • This Cannot Be!: Her reaction in Dream Child when she witnesses Freddy's return.
    Alice: You can't come back! I locked the door on you!
    Freddy: But I found the key.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When Dream Master began, Alice was rather meek and spent most of her time in daydreams. By the end of the film, she became someone who took Krueger on by herself.
    Alice: [as Freddy is harassing Dan] Get away from him you son of a bitch!

    Dan Jordan 

Daniel "Dan" Jordan

Played by: Danny Hassel

A star high school football player who is friends with Rick Johnson, the latter who introduces him to Alice Johnson, who has a crush on him.

  • Body Horror: Dan is killed in The Dream Child by getting fused with a motorcycle.
  • Distressed Dude: Alice's confrontation at the end of The Dream Master is prompted by her having to save Dan from Krueger. He attempts to not be this and tries to help Alice fight Krueger at the end, but he's woken up during his surgery after the doctors finish and they won't put him back under despite his protests. Unfortunately, she's unable to save him in The Dream Child.
  • Lovable Jock: Dan is a popular sports jock whom Alice crushes on, is an all-around nice guy who avoids the mean behavior.
  • Nice Guy: He's a genuine sweetheart and exactly as Alice imagined him to be as a boyfriend, sticking by her side and offering to fight Freddy alongside her.
  • Shirtless Scene: Gets a couple in The Dream Child.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After having barely survived in The Dream Master, Dan dies early on in The Dream Child.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: Dan's fatal nightmare is him being fused to the motorcycle he is riding, and dying in a car crash in real life.

    Rick Johnson 

Rick Johnson

Played by: Andras Jones

Alice' brother and Dan's friend, who is Kristen's boyfriend by the time of The Dream Master and a martial arts enthusiast.

  • Cool Big Bro: To Alice.
  • Death by Irony: Rick is a martial arts enthusiast. Freddy kills him by summoning a dream dojo where he beats him up before propeling his knived glove at him, killing him.

    Sheila Kopecky 

Sheila Kopecky

Played by: Toy Newkirk

A teenage genius who is asthmatic.

    Debbie Stevens 

Debbie Stevens

Played by: Brooke Theiss

A tough teenager who's afraid of bugs.

  • Baleful Polymorph: Freddy turns Debbie into a giant, helpless cockroach, puts her inside a roach hotel and then crushes her.
  • Book Dumb: She's bad at math because she spends more time watching soap operas and often gets Shelia to help her.
  • Creepy Cockroach: Debbie hates roaches. She is turned into one in her nightmare and is trapped in a roach motel.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Even by the standards of the franchise, hers was incredibly drawn out and horrifying.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Wears a black punk outfit in several scenes, and a black dress to Rick's funeral but is a loyal and caring friend.
  • Death by Irony: In Debbie's first scene she's shown to hate cockroaches, and she squashes one under her boot. Later on she gets turned into a cockroach by Freddy, who then crushes the roach motel she's trapped inside.
  • Mama Bear: Is openly protective of Shelia and frequently steps in when she gets accosted by assholes.
  • Painful Transformation: How does Freddy transform Debbie into a cockroach? By breaking off her arms and then forcing her to rip her face off to reveal the insect parts underneath. The worst part is before she dies, we see her legs are still human which means she wasn't even fully turned.
  • Skeptic No Longer: After Rick's death.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Shelia's Girly Girl. She's a weight lifting tough girl.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: The above being said, she also loves Dynasty and is terrified of bugs.
  • Transformation Horror: Debbie's transformation into a cockroach.

Introduced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)


Jacob Daniel Johnson

Played by: Whit Hertford

The son of Alice Johnson and Dan Jordan. After being defeated by his mother, Freddy Krueger returns using Jacob's dreams while he is still a fetus, and feeds the souls of his victims to him to make him like Krueger. The spirit of Jacob as a young boy appears to his mother to help her defeat Freddy, though she is unaware of his true identity at first.

  • Creepy Child: Jacob gradually turns into one due to Freddy's influence.
  • Fetus Terrible: Freddy's aim is to turn Jacob into this, feeding the fetus souls to strengthen it, presumably intending to either make the baby into his agent, or possess it.

    Greta Gibson 

Greta Gibson

Played by: Erika Anderson

A friend of Alice Johnson who is subject to an overbearing mother. She dreams of becoming a supermodel.

  • And Show It to You: A non-heart example. During her nightmare Freddy cuts out a chunk of her stomach to show that he's been making her eat her own organs.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: A heroic example. While her mom still has a lot of control over her, Greta does have her ways of fighting back against Racine. Despite everything, Greta became a loving, compassionate person who will put up with her mom's bullshit when it only effects her but will openly express her anger when Racine insults her friends.
  • Autocannibalism: Freddy force-feeds her her own innards.
  • Body Horror: Even without counting the whole "force-feeding her her own organs" thing, Greta is force-fed until her cheeks swell up to a grotesque size from both the "food" she's eating plus her own vomit.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: She gets pissed off at her mother shamelessly chiding her for not being appreciative when one of the sleazy guests at Racine's dinner party claims he has an in with a fashion bigwig, to which Greta responds she'd appreciate time to mourn her dead friend.
  • The Chew Toy: After she's killed, Freddy continues to torment her by using her soul to mock Alice and Mark.
  • Cry Cute: The tears Greta sheds over Dan's death are both tender, genuine, and almost stoic without being overblown or hysterical.
  • Due to the Dead: Cries over Dan's yearbook photo and the graduation photo taken earlier in the day.
  • Force Feeding: Freddy force-feeds Greta until she chokes to death.
  • Go Through Me: Promises Alice that Freddy will have to do this if he does exist. This only worries Alice, and with good reason.
  • The Heart: Greta's death is what clearly shakes up Alice's group to the core, more so than Dan's. While Alice and Greta are both shown visibly upset at Dan's passing, Greta's murder shakes up both Yvonne and Mark indicating they were closer to her than they were Dan.
  • Hidden Depths: At first glance Greta looks like she's another spoiled, vain rich girl. It's quickly established she's not particularly hung up about her looks or being rich, is insecure about her feelings for Mark, and cares deeply about her friends to the point she openly mourns Dan's death and cries over his photo.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: While she's indeed interested in having a modeling career, how much of it is what she wants and what her mom wants is up for debate. Greta makes it clear she knows exactly how obnoxious her mother and people in their social circle are and wants no part of any it, if only Racine wasn't so controlling.
  • Indifferent Beauty: Yes, Greta wants to be a model, but isn't particularly boastful of her good looks. Her mother Racine, on the other hand, does the boasting for Greta.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: She's the direct antithesis of her mother Racine. Racine's all about looks and connections, is domineering, and generally lacking in sympathy or consideration. Greta doesn't particularly care that much about her looks or knowing important people, is supportive, and is capable of great empathy and compassion. The dinner party best highlights this, comparing Racine's severe cut, dyed red hair, make-up and black dress, to Greta's loose, natural brown hair, lack of make-up, and white dress. To put it simply, Racine's all artificial while Greta's the real deal.
  • Mama Bear: A subdued example and rather atypical considering Greta's also the designated "hot girl" in the cast. She cares deeply about her friends, is willing to stand between them and whatever might try to hurt them, and will openly blast her mother in public if Greta thinks her loved ones are being insulted.
    Racine: Greta, you're being offered the opportunity of a lifetime. I think you should show a little gratitude?
    Greta (in a very "what the fuck is wrong with you" voice): One of my friends died yesterday, mother. Do you mind if I take a few hours off to remember him?
  • My Beloved Smother: Greta's mom, Racine Gibson, mixed in with Stage Mom. She thinks that the best way to help Greta's dreams of becoming a supermodel is to constantly starve her.
  • Nice Girl: Is easygoing, sweet, cares a lot about her friends, and while she doesn't believe Freddy is real she still supports Alice.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: Her death is used to motive Mark into believing Alice's claims about Freddy targeting them. Freddy even tortures Greta's soul in front of Mark to get a reaction out of him.
  • True Companions: She considers herself this with Alice and the others in Dream Child. Greta's deeply upset about Dan's death, and is the first to assure Alice whatever might be after her will have to go through Greta and the rest. She's particularly disgusted at her mother's apathy regarding Dan's death when Racine tries to assure one of her guests that they weren't close.
  • Weight Woe: Greta's mother is constantly "slapping her wrist" about her weight and what she eats. This was toned down from the script, where Greta herself was the one afraid of what junk food and eating too much would do to her skin and body, while in the finished film she's just worried about Racine giving her crap.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Her kindness is shown to be genuine when she's found mourning Dan's death alone in her room with none of the other characters nearby or even aware it's happening.

    Mark Gray 

Mark Gray

Played by: Joe Seely

A friend of Alice Johnson who is obsessed with comic books and is a talented comic book artist.

  • Afraid of Blood: He's notoriously squeamish around blood in real life, which Greta teases him about since his comics are so gory. This actually saves Mark's life after Freddy's first attempt to kill him leaves Mark with several cuts on his hands. Upon seeing how bloody his hands are, Mark faints in the dream sending him back to the waking world.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Freddy turns him into a two-dimensional drawing before slicing him to bits.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Can't voice his crush in Greta, something he deeply regrets. He is, however, able to phrase his affection as a joke so Greta won't take him seriously. During graduation she sees him with a giant lollipop and we get this exchange.
    Greta: What is that?
    Mark: My undying love, have some.
  • The Lancer: For the fifth movie, believing Alice fairly quickly and doing the most to help keep her safe and combat Freddy.
  • Rotoscoping: How Mark being sucked into the comic-book dreamscape is represented.
  • Serendipitous Survival: The first time Freddy attacks him he gets randomly woken up just in time.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He tries to attempt this by transformation into his comic character, the Phantom Prowler, so he can fight against Freddy. Freddy unfortunately proves too powerful.

    Yvonne Miller 

Yvonne Miller

Played by: Kelly Jo Minter

A friend of Alice Johnson.

  • Big Damn Heroes: Helps find Amanda's remains and gets her spirit involved in the climax.
  • Cassandra Truth: Yvonne is the only one of Alice's friends who outright doesn't believe her about Freddy... until Freddy comes after Yvonne and Alice bails her out.
  • Closer to Earth: She's the most grounded and realistic of Alice's new friends (not that any of them are foolish or anything). Whereas Greta's a rich model-in-training and Mark's a squirmish pseudo-Goth comic nerd, Yvonne's a diver who works at the hospital. She's of the same social class as Mark, but her interests are more practical. When dealing with Alice supposedly being "deluded" about Freddy, Yvonne doesn't simply tell Alice she's crazy. Yvonne phrases it as Alice needing to deal with reality for her sake and the sake of her unborn child.
  • The Determinator: Whatever Yvonne puts her mind towards, she will accomplish. She keeps working and practicing despite losing two friends in two days, and upon realizing Freddy Krueger's real Yvonne does all she can to help Alice defeat him.
  • Empty Swimming Pool Dive: When Yvonne does her swimming pool dives at night, Freddy attacks her by turning the swimming platform into a giant hand to crush her. She jumps off the platform to escape, but the pool morphs into an empty one in mid-jump. Yvonne only avoids plummeting to her death when she manages to dive into a puddle in the pool floor, which unfortunately sends her straight into Freddy's clutches.
  • Hidden Depths: Yvonne seemingly comes across as stubborn and bullheaded during her confrontations with Alice about Freddy's existence, but it's later shown she's clearly dealing with a lot and the last few days have left a visible mark on her. Between juggling her job and swim practice while dealing with two friends dying and her other two insisting they were killed by some monster, Yvonne visibly appears worn out and somewhat depressed over how shitty things turned out after graduation.
  • The Lancer: She takes this role from Mark after he dies, doing stuff in the real world while Alice fights Freddy in the dream realm.
  • Only Sane Man: Subverted. Yvonne thinks she's this when Alice and Mark both start focusing on ways to beat Freddy, and assumes that stress is making them act crazy. The moment she realizes Freddy is real, her help proves so crucial if it hadn't been for her finding Amanda Krueger, Alice and Jacob would've lost.
  • Sassy Black Woman: She has some shades of this, but it's thankfully not her entire character.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After learning Mark's hopped on the Freddy bandwagon, Yvonne storms out of Alice's house in disgust at the thought both her friends are now deluding themselves.

    Racine Gibson 

Greta! That's NOT what a cover girl puts in her body!

Greta Gibson's mother, a domineering twit obsessed with turning Greta into a world famous supermodel no matter how much it makes Greta hate her.

  • Abusive Parents: Emotionally and mentally, she controls nearly everything Greta does and shows no consideration to Greta's feelings about anything. It's a wonder how Greta managed to stay friends with Alice and the others with Racine breathing down her neck about everything. Everything that happens in Greta's nightmare are all indicators of what Racine's done to Greta over the years.
  • Dramatic Irony: She micromanages and dominates Greta's life so her daughter will have a career as a model. Freddy Krueger utilizes everything Racine's done to Greta in order to kill her, ending Racine's plans and taking away her only child in the process.
  • Evil Redhead: It's an obvious dye job, but she still fits the bill.
  • Hate Sink: Is quite frankly one of the worst people in the franchise due to how controlling and smug she is even if she doesn't cross the line into outright sexually abusing or murdering others.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Racine tells people with a straight face that she and Greta are frequently confused for sisters.
  • Lack of Empathy: She doesn't care at all about Dan's death or how it affects Greta, and instead tries to downplay Greta's connection to Dan so people won't think poorly of her daughter being associated with a supposed drunk driver.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: She watches Greta choke to death right in front of her.
  • Stage Mom: It's painfully obvious she's trying to live through Greta, and her goals for Greta's career are mainly so Racine can vicariously live through her accomplishments. Racine's perfectly happy with grown men leering at Greta if it means furthering Greta's career.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Racine's almost a parody of this trope due to how out of place she seems in a town like Springwood. She talks like she's old money and she surrounds herself with an entourage of sleazy assholes who supposedly have ins with the fashion industry.

Introduced in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

    "John Doe" 

"John Doe"

Played by: Shon Greenblatt

"Freddy won't hurt me. I'm family."

The last surviving child of Springwood, who manages to escape from the town, only to be brought back to investigate exactly what has happened there. As time passes, he starts to suspect that he's related to Freddy.

  • Decoy Protagonist: Freddy's Dead treats him as the main character until the survivors try to escape Springwood, after which Freddy kills him, and Maggie takes over as the protagonist.
  • His Name Is...: Manages to tell Maggie a little about Freddy's real child which, although incomplete, is still enough to put her on the right track.
  • Mysterious Past: We never actually find out his real name or anything of any real significance about his backstory.
  • No Body Left Behind: After Freddy kills him, his body vanishes, and aside from a brief mention by Maggie, he's never seen or mentioned again. Not only that, all evidence indicates that he was erased from history.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Freddy fully planned for him to bring some fresh victims and, most importantly, his daughter to Springwood.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: After doing some research in what remains of Springwood, he concludes that not only did Freddy have a child who no-one knew about, but that he himself is that child. He's right about the first part, but wrong about the second part; Maggie is Freddy's child.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After bringing Freddy's daughter, Maggie/Katherine to Springwood, Freddy no longer has any real need for him, and kills him with a bed of spikes.

    Maggie Burroughs (SPOILERS

Margaret "Maggie" Burroughs (aka Katherine Krueger)

Played by: Lisa Zane

"Freddy's dead!"

A psychologist who appears in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, investigating the appearance of the mysterious "John Doe" and the deaths of every child in Springwood. In reality, she's Freddy's long-lost daughter, and the only person who can finally destroy Freddy.

  • Alliterative Name: Her real name, Katherine Krueger.
  • Dark Secret: One that even she doesn't know about; she's Freddy's daughter, and witnessed him murdering her mother.
  • Final Girl: As with Lisa Webber, she's initially not the film's focus character, but takes over the role in the final act when Freddy kills "John Doe".
  • Parental Abandonment: Her mother was killed by Freddy. Something that's all the worse when you consider that her father is Freddy!
  • Straight Man: The sole voice of reason among the generally dysfunctional characters in the sixth film.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Her natural hair color is the same sandy brown as her mother and father.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: In the non-canon comic series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors, she betrays the group of heroes confronting Freddy and Jason, revealing her true allegiances as her father's ally, before being killed shortly thereafter.
  • Unwitting Pawn: She unknowingly helps carry Freddy out of Springwood, leaving him free to attack the entire world.



Played by: Ricky Dean Logan

A youth under the counsel of Maggie Burroughs who was physically abused by his parents, leaving with him a hearing disability.

  • Bury Your Disabled: The deaf kid Carlos becomes Freddy's first dream victim.
  • Desperate Object Catch: Afflicted with hyper-sensitive hearing in his nightmare, Carlos sees Freddy preparing to drop a pin from a high balcony, and catches it with a frantic Diving Save. Too bad Freddy had a whole handfull of additional pins...
  • Ear Ache: Freddy kills him by replacing his hearing aid with one that makes all sounds ultra-loud, then gets out a chalkboard and repeatedly scratches it with his knives until his head explodes. Much earlier, he drives a giant q-tip through his ear, replicating the way his mother deafened him in the first place.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Carlos is both Hispanic and deaf.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Freddy eventually makes Carlos's head explode.



Played by: Breckin Meyer

A youth under the counsel of Maggie Burroughs. He is sent to the shelter because his father's demanding expectations have driven him to drugs. He has a strong fascination with video games.

  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Spencer: We're in Twin Peaks here.
  • Denser and Wackier: The circumstances of his death makes it easily the silliest in the entire franchise; being turned into a video game character and dying by falling into a giant pit.
  • Drugs Are Bad: He falls asleep while high and left his fate to be sealed, as he was so stoned that he couldn't be awakened.
  • Ironic Echo: "Be like me!", his father's statement to him during one of his lectures and also what the video game antagonists in his visage chant at him.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: His father is a tall and strong former tennis player while he is short and spends his time divulging into video games and marijuana.
  • The Stoner: He takes up marijuana because his father's demanding expectations.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Subverted; he hates his father and knows that he is unable to please him so he does his best to both ignore him and piss him off.



Played by: Lezlie Deane

A youth under the counsel of Maggie Burroughs who was sexually abused by her father.



Played by: Yaphet Kotto

A counselor at Maggie Burroughs shelter.

Remake continuity

    Freddy Krueger 

Freddy Krueger

Played by: Jackie Earle Haley, Robert Englund (Mortal Kombat 9)

"Why are you screaming? I haven't even cut you yet."

This version of Freddy was a gardener at Badham Pre-School, who was loved by all the kids there. He was also a child molester who used his position to have his way with the children. After the parents learned of his crimes, they chased him into an industrial park where they trapped him inside a building and burned him alive. Years later, he returns to kill all those who attended the pre-school, except for Nancy, as he has different plans for her.

  • Adaptational Jerkass: Yeah, like Freddy Krueger couldn't be a bigger asshole. He's always been evil, but where the original series portrayed Freddy as a Serial Killer preying on children before he died, the remake portrays Freddy as a child molester who sexually abused his victims. It's heinous no matter how you slice it, but remake Freddy may be considered even worse (or at least Squickier) because Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil. He might actually be MORE evil than the original Freddy.
  • Bald of Evil: The fire that claimed his life burned off his hair.
  • Big Bad: He is the main villain of the film.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: He knows the brain can still function for seven minutes after the heart stops, and gladly takes advantage on it to play with his victims.
  • Darker and Edgier: While he is still inclined to occasional one-liners, his attitude is a lot angrier and more bitter compared to his mainstream counterpart. And what he plans to do to Nancy is way more disturbing.
  • Deadpan Snarker
    Nancy: Fuck you!
    Freddy: Ooh, sounds like fun. It's a little fast for me. How about we hang, first?
  • Dream Weaver: As usual, he can enter his victims' dreams and alter then to his preference.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: What he was planning on doing to Nancy.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: He's hideous, both inside and out.
  • Evil Redhead: In life, he had red hair.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Yep, he still has this kind of voice; not shocking given that his actor was Rorschach.
  • Ghostly Goals: The movie flirts with the possibility that Freddy is the ghost of a once-innocent man seeking vengeance on those who wrongly accused and killed him, but it turns out that he really was that evil from the start, and his revenge here is completely without justification.
  • Off with His Head!: It doesn't work, though.
  • Pædo Hunt: The remake explicitly makes him out to be a child molester, even after a lot of misdirection saying otherwise.
  • Red Right Hand: The burned skin, what else?
  • Stalker with a Crush: He comes across like this, wanting Nancy all by himself and killing anyone that gets in his way.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Subverted. The film raises the possibility that maybe in this timeline, Freddy was actually innocent of his crimes and is the soul of a wrongly murdered man seeking vengeance but it turns out that he was ultimately a monster in life as well.

    Kris Fowles 

Christina "Kris" Fowles

Played by: Katie Cassidy

  • Adaptation Name Change: Her surname in the original is Gray rather than Fowles. Furthermore, while in both cases they have the first name Christina, here she is nicknamed "Kris", while in the original she was nicknamed "Tina."
  • Decoy Protagonist: Although anyone familiar with the original expected Nancy to take the spotlight sooner or later.

    Nancy Holbrook 

Nancy Holbrook

Played by: Rooney Mara

    Dr. Gwen Holbrook 

Dr. Gwen Holbrook

Played by: Connie Britton

  • Adaptation Name Change: Besides Nancy's family name in the original being Thompson rather than Holbrook, Nancy's mother there was named Marge.
  • Sexy Spectacles: A beautiful buxom woman wearing specs.

    Alan Smith 

Alan Smith

Played by: Clancy Brown

  • Adaptation Name Change: The character he took the place of was named Don Thompson.
  • And This Is for...: "This is for my son!" as he tosses a molotov into the room where Freddy is trapped.
  • Decomposite Character: Some of the role played by Nancy's father in the original is given to him instead.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Lead a mob to murder Freddy before he could face due process after learning about his sexual abuse of their children.


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