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Character sheet for the main protagonists in Animorphs.

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    Tropes common to all Animorphs: 

  • Animorphism: The Trope Namer. They possess the ability to transform into any animal whose DNA they have acquired (via touch). However, staying morphed longer than two hours causes Shapeshifter Mode Lock.
  • Badass Crew: You have to be a badass to fight a Yeerk invasion for three years while you're in school.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Through the Sario Rip in Megamorphs #2, they are responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • Bears Are Bad News: All of the kids can morph to polar bear, which is occasionally used as an all-purpose power morph. It's Marco's cover morph in Book #25.
  • Break the Cutie: They constantly go through this throughout the war; by the end, only Cassie and Marco are stable enough to live a normal life.
  • Child Soldier: The kids are thirteen when the story begins. They are sixteen years old when the series ends three years later. They've been fighting a war the entire time.
  • The Chosen Many: It's revealed in the later books that all six were selected as "players" by the Ellimist in his and Crayak's eternal game across the universe. Furthermore, the Ellimist deliberately chose four of them based on special connections to the situation at hand: Marco is the son of Visser One's host body, Cassie is a "temporal anomaly" who can sense disruptions in the timestream with borderline Psychic Powers, Ax is Elfangor's younger brother, and Tobias is Elfangor's son. Jake and Rachel were picked because of their natural strength and links to the other four. The Drode whines that creating a team like this is the equivalent of "stacking the deck", which the Ellimist cheerfully refuses to speak about.
  • Creepy Cockroach: They all have cockroach morphs, but Marco's the one who gets to have one as his cover morph in The Reunion.
  • Dysfunction Junction: All the Animorphs have many problems and flaws.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: All of the kids can morph to hammerhead shark, following the mission in Book #15.
  • First-Name Basis: The kids do not reveal their last names (and, as Marco notes, he won't even swear to you that "Marco" is his first name). In the last book, Jake (and possibly Rachel)'s last names are revealed.
  • Giant Squid: The whole team morphs one, but Rachel gets it as her cover morph in The Exposed.
  • Healing Factor: When they morph from one form to another, any wounds the previous form sustained are quickly repaired.
  • Heroic Dolphin: The whole team can morph dolphins (Jake, Rachel, Cassie and Marco acquire them in #4, Tobias in #15 and Ax in Megamorphs #2), and tend to use it as their preferred water morph. It's also Cassie's first cover morph, seen in The Message.
  • The Juggernaut: Rachel's first battle morph is an elephant and, later on, Jake acquires a rhinoceros in order to mount a one-man assault on a fortified compound. Then, during the David arc, all of them acquire one of these morphs.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: All of them with the exception of Rachel and even she gets tired of the whole thing sometimes.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: They used to be normal kids.
  • Panthera Awesome: They all acquired jaguars in Book #11, only to lose them upon the end of the Sario Rip effect. It is Jake's cover morph in that book.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: With the exception of Ax, who isn't from around these parts, all the kids make references to television shows, films, books and comics of the 1990s. Marco and Jake are probably the two worst is this regard. Marco in particular comes across as One of Us.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The team morph beavers in The Resistance. It's Jake's cover morph for that book.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Should they remain in a morph for more than two hours at a time, they will be trapped in it forever.
  • Strong Ants: The Animorphs turned into ants for the first time in The Predator to steal Yeerk tech for Ax. It was unpleasant then, and on every later occasion, they tried to avoid using that morph. (It's also Marco's cover morph on The Revelation.)
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill Muggles: They avoid killing human-Controllers, whereas Hork-Bajir and Taxxons are fair game. Unfortunately, this tips off Visser One to the possibility that they're humans rather than Andalites, as Andalites wouldn't care if they killed a human.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: They can become any animal they have touched.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Deconstructed. It stops being an issue after #25, when Erek gets the idea to have the Chee use their holograms to impersonate them at home and school whenever a mission looks like it'll take longer than their usual after school and weekend hours.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Also deconstructed. They are far more resourceful and intelligent then kids their age have any right to be, but it comes at a cost because of how quickly they've had to grow up in the process of fighting a war. Particularly notable with Jake, who runs the whole war effort, and Cassie, who has performed brain surgery, but true for all of them.

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    Jake 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anjake_3721.gif

Jake is one of those people who are natural leaders. If you were ever trapped in a burning building, you would turn to Jake and ask "What do we do?" And he would have an answer, too.

"Big Jake, Fearless Leader" of the Animorphs; not because he wanted to be, but because his friends look to him for guidance. While saving the world is nice, what he really wants most is to save his brother Tom, a Controller. Known as an open and friendly guy at the beginning of the series, the constant pressures of having to act as leader and manipulate his friends for strategic ends gradually cause him to become more ruthless.

  • Achilles in His Tent: For a short time in The Ultimate after failing to keep his parents from getting infested.
  • The All-American Boy: At least at first.
  • Alternate Self: In the third Megamorphs book, an alternate Jake is seen having grown up in a totalitarian society. He's a junior Nazi and wannabe dictator.
  • Badass in Charge: Not at first, but over the course of the series, he grows into one. At one point, it's stated he's the only one Visser Three actually fears.
  • Big Brother Worship: Made explicit in the first book towards his older brother Tom. Naturally, the news that Tom's a Controller is what convinces Jake he has to fight.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Jake's first morph is his pet golden retriever Homer. Homer later appears as Jake's cover morph in The Threat.
  • Cain and Abel: Played with. Jake and his older brother Tom are enemies, but it's not Tom's fault.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Jake didn't get really determined to fight the Yeerks until he found out about his brother being a Controller.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Jake can snark with the best of them, but when it comes to telling outright jokes, he inevitably summons the crickets. Even Ax, at one point, gets a big laugh just by repeating a joke that Jake had told earlier. Nobody laughed the first time.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Jake constantly feels the pressure of being in charge, and allows it to slowly consume his life.
  • The Chessmaster: As the series reaches its climax, Jake resorts to increasingly more amoral actions to win the war.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: "Power enough to win? No. Power enough to fight? Ah, yes. Just enough, little Jake, here is just enough power to imprison you in a cage of duty, to make you fight."
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Magnificently played out in The Attack. He manipulates the collective memory of the Howlers to force Crayak into eliminating them.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": A Running Gag between him and Ax involves Ax calling him "Prince," and him objecting to the title. Amusingly inverted in the Bad Present in Megamorphs #3, where he objects to Ax calling him "Prince" to instead demand he be called "Supreme Leader."
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Jake does not want your sympathy; just your loyalty.
  • The Dreaded: Eventually becomes this. Eva, the former host of the previous Visser One, says flat-out that Jake is the only person Visser One fears.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In The Capture.
  • The Everyman: During his first three books. The Warning was the first book to really flesh Jake out.
  • Fallen Hero: After the war, he is clearly suffering from some flavor of PTSD.
  • Fighting from the Inside: In The Capture, Jake becomes a Controller. He never stops fighting the Yeerk in his head.
  • Fly Crazy: This is his cover morph in The Capture. In The Warning, he almost dies after being swatted as one.
  • Future Badass: In the Bad Future of The Familiar, Jake is a huge good guy who looks like he's worked out since adolescence.
  • Genius Bruiser: A Guile Hero and chessmaster who can become a Siberian tiger? That'll qualify you.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Not after three years of leading a guerrilla army, anyway.
  • Got Volunteered: This is how he became The Leader of the Animorphs.
  • Guile Hero: Jake runs an entire war against a vast alien empire using nothing more then his brains and six kids (himself included) who can turn into animals.
  • The Hero: The closet thing to a Central Protagonist. Jake is the only character with pre-existing ties to each of the other Animorphs and, since he is one of those people who are natural leaders, it only made sense. While his friends certainly look up to him as a hero of sorts, he doesn't see himself as much of a big deal and would rather not lead at all if he had a choice.
  • Heroic BSoD: In The Ultimate. Then post-war in The Beginning; he goes through years of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He also goes through it briefly in The Warning after being almost killed in fly morph.
  • Honor Before Reason: In The Threat.
  • Humble Hero: Jake's opinion of himself does not match those of his companions.
  • I Have Many Names: A complete list of Jake's nicknames: "Big Jake," "Fearless Leader," "Jake the Mighty," "Prince Jake," "Jake the Yeerk-Killer" (sometimes "Big Jake the Yeerk-Killer," used mockingly), "Jake the Ellimist's Tool" and (in the alternate timeline from Megamorphs #03) "Supreme Leader."
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Perhaps even more than the other Animorphs other than Cassie; frankly, he just wants to go back to having a normal family life.
  • Informed Judaism: Jake's father is identified at one point as Jewish, but it never figures into the overall story.
  • It's All My Fault: As the team's leader, Jake blames himself often.
  • The Juggernaut: Not as frequently as Rachel, but Jake's rhinoceros morph is horrifyingly impossible to stop once it gets going. In Book #16, Jake uses it to ruin an entire armed compound, brushing off shotgun pellets, handgun rounds, electric fences, steel-reinforced doors and entire walls as nothing.
  • The Leader: Jake was put in charge because he is the best choice, but can and will use his charisma to force others into seeing things his way.
  • Large and in Charge: A minor example. According to most characters and artwork, Jake is tall and has a football player's stocky build. In The Familiar, adult Jake is stated to have a Schwarzenegger-esque build and a body a Yeerk would "give three ranks for".
  • Losing the Team Spirit: In The Ultimate, due to a Heroic BSoD after his parents were taken by the Yeerks. This leads to the team effectively breaking down for a second, with no one to guide them.
  • Lovable Jock: Like Tom he seems quite enthusiastic about basketball, though he apparently wasn't good enough to make the team.
  • Lightning Bruiser: His tiger and orca whale morphs.
  • Like Brotherand Sister: Although Jake and Rachel start out as cousins that only know each other nominally, they start treating each other like actual siblings as they spend more time together, which is best exemplified in The Solution.
  • Living with the Villain: His brother is infested by a high-ranking Yeerk.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Immediately after winning the war, the true weight of his actions hits him like a brick.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Not at first, but as the series goes on Jake slowly evolves into one.
  • Military Brat: Neither of Jake's parents are military, but his great-grandfather fought in World War II and he has a relative who fought in the Civil War.
  • My Greatest Failure: He feels this way about the David incident and sending Rachel to die.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Jake makes some pretty epic screw-ups in The Threat.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Jake gets his head dunked in a Yeerk tank in one book, and the rest of the Animorphs worry that he might have become infested (he is). The Yeerk is able to emulate his speech patterns and mannerisms perfectly, which terrifies Jake. But when the others suggest isolating and watching him for 3 days to be sure, he tries to talk them out of it. They realize that if Jake were himself, he'd have no problem with taking this measure.
  • Panthera Awesome: Siberian tiger, his favorite morph.
  • Recurring Dreams: At the end of The Capture Jake sees a distubing vision of a big red eye that gives him nightmares for the next twenty books. It's finally revealed in The Attack that the Big Red Eye is in fact Crayak, the Ellimist's opposite number.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Leads the team because everyone else supports him in that position. Rachel's narration in book 12 comments that "No one exactly elected him, but if we ever did vote on it he'd get all the votes - except his own."
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: One of Jake's first morphs was a green anole lizard. The experience he had with it seems to have scared him off reptile morphs in general. The only other reptiles he ever morphs are the Tyrannosaurus Rex in Megamorphs #02 and an anaconda in The Answer
  • Reunion Kiss: After twenty-six books, Jake's first kiss with Cassie ends up being this.
  • Rhino Rampage: His secondary battle morph is a rhinoceros, which he acquired in The Warning (where it's the cover morph) and uses for breaking down walls.
  • Scaled Up: His final book, The Answer, sees him morphing an anaconda on the cover. He uses it to convince the Taxxons to turn on their Yeerk overlord and go nothlit.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: In the final book especially, but even before that.
  • Signature Move: Siberian Tiger. His standard bird morph is the Peregrine Falcon.
  • Snub by Omission: Done to Cassie accidentally in The Answer. Perhaps justified, given her recent actions.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Jake is the team's natural leader as he is brave, responsible, cool under pressure, and able to take charge during a crisis. His best friend Marco is the wise guy.
  • Survivor Guilt: He's got it after so many people die during the final battles, including all the Auxiliary Animorphs, Rachel and Tom.
  • Team Dad: While the others rely on Cassie for emotional support, they look to Jake to call the shots and reprimand them for being stupid.
    Cassie: Now what?
    Marco: Yeah, now what, Dad?
  • That's an Order!: Jake doesn't assert his authority often over the others, but when he does they know it's time to listen.
  • Veteran Instructor: After the war ends, Jake works training a squadron of morphers for the US military.
  • Vetinari Job Security: In The Weakness Jake goes out of town for a week and Rachel becomes leader in his absence. The consequences aren't pretty.
  • Warrior Prince: Sort of. Though not a prince in the royal sense, Ax considers Jake to be his prince and by the end even other Andalites acknowledge Jake by that rank.
  • The Worf Effect: David subjects him to this in The Threat.
  • Worthy Opponent: Visser Three eventually came to regard him this way, complimenting his tiger morph on more than one occasion.
  • Young and in Charge: The incredibly young leader of Earth's major resistance to the Yeerks.
  • Young Conqueror: He grows into this over three years of leading a guerrilla strike force.

    Rachel 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anrachel_1627.gif

I should have never suggested to Rachel that she's weak or helpless. Rachel may look like Little Miss Teen Model or whatever, but she thinks she's Storm from the X-Men.

The warrior of the group. Unlike the others, Rachel loves the thrill and adrenaline surge of combat, and she becomes more and more unstable as the series progresses. Not helping is the fact that her friends, particularly her cousin Jake, implicitly encourage this by using her for her "unique talents". Rachel is very fashion-conscious and looks like a teen model, while her favorite morphs tend to be as large and gruesome as possible.

  • Action Fashionista: She can't actually wear her outfits into battle, but she's easily the most fashion-conscious member of the team and their most enthusiastic ass-kicker.
  • Action Girl: Xena is both her role model and the nickname Marco gives her. There's a reason for that.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Unsurprisingly, this is her battle strategy when she temporarily becomes leader of the Animorphs in The Weakness
  • Ax-Crazy: Deteriorates into this as the series goes on.
  • Battle Couple: With Tobias. They fight side by side for the entire series against the Yeerks, and they begin to fall in love with each other as early as the first book. Just before Rachel dies, Tobias helps her to complete her final mission and kill Tom. Rachel's last words before her death are "I love you", which she says to Tobias.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Outside of battle, according to the others. Averted in battle — she is just as likely to get hurt as the guys.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Grizzly bear is her signature morph. She's so attached to it that the suggestion polar bears are tougher personally offends her.
  • The Berserker: Rachel becomes absolutely ballistic in combat. This becomes more and more of a problem as the series progresses.
  • The Big Guy: Jake: "I think in a bad fight, I'd rather have you with me than anyone else." Both Rachel's morphs of choice, and her brutality make her well-suited to this role. As the series goes on, she starts trending more and more towards becoming The Brute.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Especially early on, she feels driven and motivated to protect her friends. In the very first book she and Jake distract searching Controllers while the other three, who are slower, run; in the second book she's affected by Melissa's feeling that her parents don't love her anymore and vows to fight for her and kids like her. As the books progress she starts to revel in the violence and it becomes more of her motivation, but on some level she's still trying to protect the team.
  • Blood Knight: Rachel becomes more violent as the series goes. She tries not to fall into this, but fails more and more as the series goes on, ending in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Bullet-Proof Fashion Plate: She appears to have superpowers along these lines. Other characters frequently comment on it in their narration.
  • Broken Ace: Smart, talented, brave, and beautiful, she's also violent, reckless, and becomes increasingly scared of and horrified by herself and her actions.
  • Catchphrase: "Let's do it!" Lampshaded by Marco rather frequently.
  • Challenging the Chief: Her and Jake butt heads a few times. Crayak uses this to try to persuade her to kill Jake, without success.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Lampshaded: In one of the early books Marco challenges her to an arm-wrestling match. She promptly kicks him under the table and laughs.
  • Cool Cat: Her first cover morph is Fluffer Mckitty, her best friend Melissa's pet cat.
  • Cute Bruiser: Blonde beauty in her regular form. Elephant or grizzly bear when fighting.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: While all the Animorphs undergo this to some degree, Rachel is the most affected, as she can't even remember what she was like before the war.
  • Dirt Forcefield: This is a bit of a Running Gag between her and Cassie.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: In human form, surrounded by enemies, Rachel refuses to surrender. Her last act is a Dying Declaration of Love to Tobias, who's watching from Earth.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Rachel's last stand on her own against all members of Tom's morph capable team. It ends with her as a regular human girl standing in front of a polar bear, and being Rachel, she doesn't even flinch.
    The polar bear said, <You fight well, human.>
    And then he killed me with a single blow.
  • Enemy Within: The crocodile morph in The Reaction which takes over her thinking at the most inconvenient times.
  • Enemy Without: The crocodile in The Reaction becomes this after being expelled from her body. In The Separation Rachel is split between good and evil leading to...
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Nice Rachel of Mean Rachel, and it sticks with Rachel in general long after that book.
  • The Fashionista:
    • Even with spending most of her time defending the world from parasitic slugs, she still finds a way to look exceptionally stylish.
    • When Ax starts demorphing involuntarily in "The Sickness", she covers his eye-stalk with a bandana made from Marco's flannel shirt. Cassie notes that, even in the middle of a crisis, she somehow makes it look good.
  • Fragile Speedster: In The Weakness she and the rest of the team morph cheetahs, which are fast but not that durable. It's her cover morph for that book.
  • Futureshadowing: In The Familiar Rachel is crippled, horribly scarred, and unable to morph. It's implied Jake is responsible.
  • Girly Bruiser: She's by far the most dangerous of the human Animorphs, yet she loves to wear nice outfits and be well-dressed.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Tries to smile before she dies so that Tobias, her beloved, will remember her that way.
  • Good Girl Gone Bad: From straight-A student to Sociopathic Soldier.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: She's been known to use her own severed limbs as weapons in battle if need be.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: She's implied to have one even before the series began but truly develops a rather violent one over the course of the war.
  • In Harm's Way: She quickly becomes like this. At one point, she rejects a Deal with the Devil that would instantly end the alien invasion, because she realizes that she'd have nothing to do afterwards. Marco once comments that she's a great person to have on your side in a fight - the only problem is, she's always looking for a fight.
  • Helpless Good Side: Nice Rachel from The Separation is kind, but a little air-headed and completely useless in battle. Subverted when it turns out that Mean Rachel can't actually get anything done, because Nice Rachel has all of her concentration, strategic planning skills, and sense of duty.
  • Hero with an F in Good: Rachel is a good person, but she has a bloodthirsty love of battle that borders on disturbing. It gets to the point that it starts to worry her at points just as much as it worries her friends.
  • Informed Judaism: Rachel, like Jake, is Jewish (or at least her father is), but it doesn't play into her story much either.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Tobias, in a way: Tobias is human, but trapped in the body of a red-tailed hawk; and later it is revealed that his father was an Andalite, namely Elfangor, though he was trapped in human morph at the time.
  • I Just Want to Be You: The primary driving force behind her and Cassie's relationship. Rachel wishes she could be compassionate and empathetic like Cassie. This relationship fractures when she realizes that Cassie's reluctance to fight means Rachel has to overcompensate as shown in The Resistance.
  • The Juggernaut: Rachel's elephant morph is generally described in these terms, plowing over anybody and anything that tries to get in her way. While all of the others also do either elephant or rhinoceros, Rachel is the only one who regularly uses it, to the point where it's her secondary battlemorph. In The Reaction her crocodile morph is described in similar terms, and the real crocodile, once turned loose, lives up to it, taking down Rachel's grizzly bear and most of a TV station before being stopped by Ax.
  • Jumped at the Call: It's often said that she is the only one in the group that actually enjoys fighting the Yeerks. However, in rare moments even Rachel has expressed her desire to be a just a regular girl rather than the warrior her friends see her as. The difference is that while the others want to be normal because war sucks, Rachel wants to be normal because she enjoys fighting in the war too much and recognizes that that isn't good.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: She spends three years trying not to fall into this as her Blood Knight tendencies, the need to throw herself into battle again and again, and the idea that she can protect the others from becoming killers by doing it herself slowly but surely turn her into the team's Token Evil Teammate. She has high points and low points, but generally she manages to keep it together until the events of The Return and the subsequent unmasking of the Animorphs by the Yeerks. Once she's abandoned the facade of ordinary life entirely what little restraint she had left quickly follows, and one of the last books in the series, The Sacrifice, consists of her mostly just kicking one dog after another. Realizing she's fallen into this, she agrees to a Suicide Mission at the end, knowing that someone needs to die for an important reason, being unwilling to sacrifice anyone else, and also knowing she could never fit into normal society again.
  • Kick the Dog: In The Sacrifice, Rachel tries running down the mild-mannered Captain Olston with a convoy. Fortunately, she's stopped by Ax, but it's a close thing, and a chilling reminder of what she's become.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: She suffers from this in the first Megamorphs book.
  • Leotard of Power: Her most common morphing outfit. Justified, since she is a gymnast.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Forced to make one in The Solution. She chews through her own tail to escape being locked in the cage with David.
  • Lightning Bruiser: As many Yeerks have discovered, an African elephant can move. So can her bald eagle. Ditto for the sperm whale and orca.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Although Jake and Rachel start out as cousins that only know each other nominally, they start treating each other like actual siblings as they spend more time together, which is best exemplified in The Solution.
  • Literal Split Personality: In The Separation Rachel is cut in half while morphed as a starfish. Because of starfish anatomy both halves survive but have a faction of the original Rachel's personality; Nice Rachel is the meek Helpless Goodside while Mean Rachel has her Ax-Crazy tendencies and Hair-Trigger Temper turned Up to Eleven.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Although there are times when the lovable part could be questioned. Ask David.
  • The Magnificent: "Xena: Warrior Princess."
  • Mighty Glacier: The crocodile is described as such both physically and mentally. "The crocodile mind didn't rush at you. It was slow. So slow. But slow in the way that a supertanker may be moving slowly, but still be impossible to stop."
  • Morality Chain: Rachel and Tobias are this to each other. Rachel loves Tobias for the humanity inside of him, namely his sweet and kind nature, and often reminds him of the ways he is still human. Tobias in turn loves Rachel for all of who she is, accepting even her more violent tendencies as a part of her. Their love for each other keeps both of them connected to their humanity: without Tobias, Rachel might become a full-bore psychopathic killer.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Rachel is the single most physically dangerous human member of the team by a long stretch, and ties with Marco for ruthlessness.
  • My Future Self and Me: In The Stranger Rachel meets her counterpart from a Bad Future. She's a Controller.
  • Near-Rape Experience: In her very first narrated book, no less. Naturally, the creep ends up running for his life.
  • Never Say "Die": Pointedly averted in The Solution.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Rachel morphs one in The Reaction, and develops a severe allergic reaction to it, which causes her to lose control of her morphing. Half the team ends up having to fight the thing at the end after she expels the fully grown, twenty foot killing machine from her body.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: Her avian morph is a bald eagle. It's the largest bird any of the six have and suits her aggressive nature and style of picking the most powerful creatures she can.
  • Not So Above It All: It's revealed in #12 that she and Cassie have a massive crush on Jeremy Jason, at least until he reveals his true colours.
  • One of the Boys: Her father tells her mother in The Stranger that Rachel is as good as a son because she's a tough as a boy. They go hiking, watch ball games and go to gymnastic events together. Double subverted, though, since Rachel is also characterized as The Fashionista who insists on hiding outfits (not clothes, outfits) in Cassie's barn just because she wants to look immaculate at all times.
  • One-Man Army: All the kids can do this, but Rachel is a special case, especially in the later books.
  • Psycho Sidekick: Arguably becomes this to Jake.
  • Recurring Dreams: Like Jake, she's afflicted with recurring dreams, though in her case they're nightmares of rats brought on from what she had to do during the David Trilogy.
  • She-Fu: Pulled off in The Solution and Megamorphs #04. Justified, since she's a gymnast.
  • Signature Move: Rachel has two of them, African Elephant and Grizzly Bear, depending on the situation. Her standard bird morph is the Bald Eagle.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Rachel looks like a Dumb Blonde, but is a straight A student.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: She tries very hard to not be this but falls deeper and deeper into the role as the series goes on.
  • Starfish Character: In The Separation she morphs a starfish that gets sliced in half. Introducing, Nice Rachel and Mean Rachel.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She is described as being very tall as well as very pretty.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: In her last book, Rachel notes that she feels like a stranger in her own school.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: It's her cover morph in The Return.
  • Superpower Meltdown: In The Reaction. Her crocodile allergy starts causing her to morph any time she's under emotional pressure.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: In her final book, The Return.
  • Token Evil Teammate: 'Evil' is usually a little bit of a stretch, but late in the series she admits to herself that she's morally darker than her teammates: "They needed me to be the bad guy. And I needed them to be the good guys."
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Or rather, Girly Girl with a tomboy streak. She's an unapologetic mallrat who loves shopping and fashion, does gymnastics, and wears leotards, but she's also the strongest of the group by far, picks the scariest and most badass animals to morph, and is the only one who actually enjoys combat.
  • The Unchosen One: The Ellimist hand-picked at least four of the group, but tells Rachel she herself was "a happy accident".
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In her earlier appearances she had much less of the darkness she shows later. She loved the adrenaline rush as early as book 2, but she used to care a lot too.
    “Don’t look,” Rachel said to her. She put her arm around Cassie’s shoulder and held her close. Then she reached for Tobias and took his hand. I guess you never really know someone till you see them scared. And even scared to death, with tears running down her face, Rachel had strength to spare.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Cassie survives the series, but the hardcore berserker Rachel does not.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: As Taylor finds out the hard way.
  • War Elephants: Her first morph is an elephant and it sees regular use in battle until she swaps it in favor of the grizzly bear. Even then, she still uses it when the situation requires, in her words "truck style power."
  • Xenafication: In-universe, she goes from a gymnastics-loving mall rat to one of the team's best and most brutal fighters.
  • You Dirty Rat!: A heroic example. She and Cassie morph rats in The Secret and it's her cover morph in The Solution.

    Tobias 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/antobias_7266.gif

He was a sweet, poetic kind of guy. The kind bullies love to pick on. He used to have messy, out-of-control hair and dreamy eyes that always seemed to be looking at something no one else could see. Used to... Now he has fierce, angry eyes that look through you like laser beams.

The quiet and thoughtful loner. Neglected at home and bullied at school, the morphing ability provided him with an escape. Finding freedom as a red-tailed hawk, he soon broke the two hour limit and trapped himself in the bird body for keeps (he later regains his morphing ability, but with the hawk as his normal form). As you'd expect, flying aside, living as a hawk is not always fun, and the harsh realities of living as a part of nature (such as starving when hunting is bad and having to fight for territory) are piled on top of Tobias' increasing inability to function as a human and the fact that he's a major component of Earth's defense.

  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Interestingly, he serves as a living version of this on more than one occasion, carrying the rest of the team to and from missions when they're in bug morph.
  • Badass Bookworm: It's mentioned that he spends some of his time reading books over people's shoulders.
  • Battle Couple: With Rachel. They fight side by side for the entire series against the Yeerks, and they begin to fall in love with each other as early as the first book. Just before Rachel dies, Tobias helps her to complete her final mission and kill Tom. Minutes later, Tobias morphs to human to cry for Rachel.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Tobias' home life sucked so much that he preferred spending most of his time as a hawk. His affection for the morph was such that it concerned Jake and the others, and even lead them to suspect that he purposefully passed the two hour limit. Even so, the struggles Tobias endures living 24-7 as a bird are enough for him to miss being human… but even after he's offered an escape after regaining his morphing ability, he chooses to stay as a hawk.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Taxxons. Invoked because Tobias has dubious honor of morphing one in The Test.
  • Body Double: In The Illusion Tobias acquires and morphs Ax to convince the Yeerks he's an Andalite.
  • Bully Hunter: Seen most notably in The Android, where he's more than happy to give a few bullies chasing Erek a talon haircut.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Tobias killed the dinosaurs. No, really.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Life at home and school sucked so much that running into Elfangor was the greatest thing to happen to him in awhile. He later learns Elfangor was his father.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Elfangor didn't really have much of a choice in leaving his son and wife behind.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: While nobody really talks about it in-universe, there's some question about whether on some unconscious level he allowed himself to be trapped in morph on purpose because his life was so miserable. Reliving that moment while plugged into a Yeerk torture device, Tobias admits that even he isn't sure. In a leaked early draft for one of the final books in the series, Cassie realizes that Tobias did in fact choose to trap himself, but K.A. must have decided it was better not to spell it out so openly and it was left out of the final product.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While he dose this less often than Marco, he still has his snarky momements.
  • Death from Above: To small mammals and Yeerks.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Tobias fights his predatory instincts as long as possible, and when he finally succumbs to them he freaks out before succumbing to a period of depression. He gets over it. After Rachel's death, he withdraws from human society altogether.
  • Drives Like Crazy: He's an even worse driver than Marco. This is to be expected.
  • Dog Walks You: Unintentionally evoked by Tobias in his last book, The Diversion. He has to morph Champ, his mother's seeing-eye dog, to rescue her.
  • Double Consciousness: As a nothlit, he is permanently stuck with the minds of a boy and a hawk in his head.
  • Fantastic Racism: Tobias does not like Golden Eagles. While it's not as commonly mentioned, he also hates Crows and Jays. He also refers to seagulls and pigeons as "rats with wings".
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: Subverted in that he kept his new ability, but still chose to remain a hawk most of the time.
  • Friendless Background: The only person that Tobias really knew prior to becoming an Animorph was Jake, and that's only because Jake saved him from getting his head stuffed in a toilet.
  • Future Badass: In The Familiar, Tobias has trapped himself in Ax's morph permanently and is ten years older, giving him the appearance of the second coming of Elfangor. He is also the hidden mastermind behind the EF.
  • Genocide Dilemma: In the climax of Megamorphs #02.
  • Go for the Eye: Seeing as how he fights most battles in his hawk form, this is one of his favored tactics.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Tobias morphs a rabbit in The Pretender to experience what it feels like to be prey.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: In more ways than one.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Tobias has always been one of the tougher members of the team: answering the call first, spying on the Yeerks even on the team's "time off", remaining true to his personality in spite of being trapped in a hawk's body with a hawk's instincts, undergoing torture and still managing to keep the team's secrets... After Rachel dies, he sinks into a depression and remains in seclusion years later.
  • Herald: In two senses. He's the one who pushes Jake into accepting what they saw was real, and he's also the Ellimist's favored Animorph.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: He resorts to this in The Illusion to keep from going insane from being tortured.
  • Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: His mother is human, his father an Andalite (at least originally).
  • The Heart: Invoked, because he doesn't want to lose his humanity to his hawk morph. He shares this role with Cassie.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: He hauls this one out in the second Megamorphs book after arranging the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Complicated by the fact that there is much evidence that Tobias prefers being a hawk but this doesn't stop the angst. In The Change, after spending an extended time trapped as a hawk, he finds himself wishing to be human again. Yet when he gets his morphing ability back, he chooses to remain a hawk rather than to become human and lose the ability to morph.
  • It's Personal: With Taylor after she captures and tortures him.
  • Jumped at the Call: Even more so than Rachel. He was the first of the Animorphs to try morphing, and dragooned Jake into admitting it was real.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Tobias gets trapped in morph, only to have the Ellimist (somewhat) reverse it later. He fights the Yeerks for years, and during the war he falls in love with a blonde Action Girl. His father Elfangor had a very similar history.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He is Elfangor's son.
  • Morality Chain: He and Rachel are this to each other. She loves him for the humanity inside of him, and he loves her completely, accepting her violent side in addition to the rest of her. They keep each other connected to humanity: without Rachel, Tobias might succumb to his hawk instincts and forget his humanity even more.
  • My Future Self and Me: Exploited by the Ellimist to allow Tobias to acquire his human self as a morph.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Sort of. He ended up playing this role in the games straight.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: In The Discovery Tobias accidentally knocks himself silly against David's window and starts rambling about Clue.
  • Number Two: Jake appoints him leader of the Marco/Tobias/Ax sub-team, affectionately dubbed 'Team Finesse', which ended up carrying the end of the war.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: In Megamorphs #02, as seen below. Probably the weirdest example of that trope in history.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Infamously done in Megamorphs #02, to the point of most fans treating that book as Fanon Discontinuity.
  • Parental Abandonment: His real parents ditched him when he was young and he ended up having to live with in-laws, shuttled between an aunt and an uncle, neither of whom really wanted him.
  • Predators Are Mean: Subverted - Tobias regularly kills and eats small animals to survive, but he's actually one of the kinder, gentler members of the team.
  • The Quiet One: Only talks when he thinks it is important.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: In The Change, the Ellimist gives Tobias the chance to turn back into a human, but only if he gives up his morphing power and abandons the fight against the Yeerks.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: The red-tailed hawk became his natural form after he regained the morphing ability.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Tobias is trapped as a hawk from books 1-13. Eventually, The Ellimist makes it somewhat better. With his help Tobias regains the power to morph and return to human form, but his default form is still a hawk and staying human for more than two hours will trap him again.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Tobias feels this way when it comes to Taylor. In The Test he's obsessed with proving that he is stronger than her, and refuses to allow anyone else to kill or restrain her.
  • The Smart Guy: Jake's "go-to" guy, as his "personal Air Force," who acts as the team scout before they go out on a mission will know what they can expect.
  • The Sneaky Guy: He's the guy that scouts areas from above, tracks people down etc. For awhile, it was because that was all he could do but even after The Change this still remains his primary role.
  • The Stoic: Not really, but in his human form he comes across as such. He's been a hawk so long he forgets to make facial expressions, you see.
  • Signature Move: Red-Tailed Hawk, his default form. Which makes you wonder if the kid has a bit of a death wish sometimes, seeing as how he takes on hordes of deadly enemies armed with ray guns as nothing but a bird.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Courtesy of Taylor. See below for more on her.
  • Super Senses: As a hawk he has amazing sight and hearing.
  • The Chosen One: The Ellimist flat-out tells him as such in The Change. Strangely, it never really seems to go anywhere.
  • Unable to Cry: And it ends up saving his life. Definitely a case of Blessed with Suck.
  • War Elephants: Acquires the same elephant morph as Rachel in Book #22.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His reason for ensuring the extinction of the Mercora was to ensure that humanity would evolve.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He hates water missions. It's a bird thing.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In The Pretender, the woman who was going to be Tobias's new family turns out to be Visser Three in a morph.

    Cassie 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ancassie_6592.gif

If you want to picture Cassie, think of a short, cute girl with very short black hair, wearing overalls and big muddy boots and looking totally capable of giving a tetanus shot to an angry bear.

The kind and compassionate member of the group, a young animal lover who helps her parents at their Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. She often serves as the group's "moral compass". Initially a moral absolutist, the things she's forced to do cause her to re-evaluate her ethics.

  • The Ace: She's the best morpher in the series by a massive margin, and is capable of controlling the process when she needs to.
  • Action Girl: Not to the degree Rachel is, but she's still a more than competent fighter.
  • All Up to You: In The Sickness.
  • Bad Liar: It isn't that Cassie gives herself away when she tries to lie or fast talk, it's more that she just can't think of anything to say. (For example, when asked to give her phone number, she said it was 12345678.) This is usually played for laughs by stacking her up against Marco.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: In The Solution Cassie is the one who comes up with the plan to use manipulation and trickery to defeat David.
  • Beautiful All Along: Invoked in one of her books. Rachel gets her to dress up in designer clothes and suddenly guys everywhere are noticing her.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Cassie is the nicest person on the team, hands down. She's also a master manipulator, and can come up with plans every bit as brutal as those of Marco or Rachel if the situation calls for it.
  • Body Horror: Notably averted - Cassie is an estreen, meaning that she can control the way she morphs. The only other character seen with this ability is the Andalite prodigy Estrid.
  • Born Winner: Unlike the rest of the team, Cassie's contributions to the team are qualities she was born with rather than skills she had to learn. See Superpower Lottery below.
  • Can't Stay Normal: She is a temporal anomaly - see the main page for a better description.
  • The Chick: She reminds the team how important people and animals are.
  • Color Me Black: Inverted in Elfangor's Secret - confronted with a racist in 1934's Princeton University, Cassie opts to turn herself white. Namely, into a polar bear.
  • Deus ex Machina: She was able to morph out of butterfly despite becoming a nothlit in it. Apparently turning from caterpillar to butterfly counted as a reset of the morphing clock.
  • The Face: Neither fighting nor scouting etc is her speciality. Her domain is being The Empath.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: Infamously done with her alternate counterpart in The Familiar.
  • Fragile Speedster: Cassie's wolf battlemorph is this when contrasted with Jake's tiger and Rachel's grizzly bear.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Including, in at least one case, a Yeerk.
  • Future Badass: Subverted - In The Familiar she's a capable and dangerous EF agent, but it's not really her - she's been infested by a Yeerk.
  • Guile Heroine: She's the most compassionate, but she also gets people very well, which means that she can manipulate people if she feels like she has to—and given the circumstances she's put in, this naturally comes up. Just ask David.
  • Happily Ever After: She's the only Animorph spared by the Bolivian Army Ending.
  • Heroic BSoD: One battle in The Departure results in her having a near nervous breakdown, and deciding to leave the group.
  • Horn Attack: In The Hidden Cassie morphs an African cape buffalo aptly dubbed the Widow-Maker. It's her cover morph for that book.
  • Hyper-Awareness: This is presented as the ostensible explanation for her near-superhuman ability to predict what people will do.
  • Identity Impersonator: In The Reaction Cassie acquires and morphs Rachel to throw a suspicious Yeerk off her trail.
  • I Just Knew: This is how she answers Jake when her ultimate Gambit Roulette comes together.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Cassie loves having the ability to morph. The whole guerrilla war against aliens thing though…not so much.
  • I Just Want to Be You: The primary driving force behind her and Rachel's relationship. Cassie wishes she could be strong and confident like Rachel. However, as Rachel starts acting more psychotic over the course of the series, Cassie's tolerance for Rachel's actions wears thin as shown in The Sacrifice.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Subverted in The Secret but played depressingly straight in The Message.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: Presumably the reason why The Unexpected exists.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Her Cape Buffalo morph. Like Rachel, Tobias, and Ax, she can also do African elephant, and she possesses the orca morph that the entire team can do.
  • Living Weapon: Cassie's plan to get rid of the Helmacrons in The Suspicion is to acquire and morph anteaters, the one animal in the world specially designed to see, attack, and destroy creatures like them. It works.
  • A Load of Bull: Her African Cape Buffalo morph.
  • Morality Pet: She becomes this to Aftran.
  • Nature Lover: Cassie has an extreme love and appreciation for animals and nature, likely influenced by her parents being veterinarians.
  • Noble Wolf: Her main battle morph. It's her cover morph in The Secret.
  • Omniscient Morality License: No matter what reckless action Cassie takes, no matter how badly she puts her friends in danger, the narrative always ends up proving her right. See The Departure, The Experiment, The Test and The Answer for the best examples.
  • Outdoorsy Gal: Loves nature, spends much of her time treating animals in a barn, and is seldom seen in anything aside from overalls.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: Her last cover morph, seen in The Ultimate, is a great horned owl. Ironically, she acquires this morph pretty early in the series.
  • Pretty Butterflies: Subverted in The Departure. It's her cover morph for that book.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: In The Sickness Cassie becomes the only Animorph to ever morph a Yeerk.
  • Rage Breaking Point: When Fenestre reveals he's been killing the Controllers he abducts to get at their Yeerks, Cassie - in wolf morph - snaps and would have killed him had the others not restrained her. Jake ominously implies she was the one who torched Fenestre's mansion in order to invalidate the amnesty offer Jake gave him.
  • Reluctant Warrior: More so than any of the other Animorphs, Cassie detests having to fight.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: In Back to Before, Cassie is explicitly stated to be a temporal anomaly who has this ability by default. She is vaguely aware of the true timeline via dreams and bad feelings in the It's a Wonderful Plot alternate universe.
  • The Smart Guy: Her parents are both vets, so she knows a lot about animals.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: She morphs one, a humpback whale, in The Andalite's Gift. It sees fairly regular use in later books.
  • Sapient Steed: Her first morph is a horse. In The Unknown, she becomes a literal sapient steed for a jockey thinking he's riding a famous racehorse.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In The Departure.
  • Sharing a Body: With Aldrea in The Prophecy.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Possibly the most professionally talented member of the group (see Teen Genius below) but her uncompromising sense of morality hinders her usefulness to the team.
  • Signature Move: Wolf, a morph she acquires early in the series with the rest of the team and keeps using long after she's acquired far more deadly animals. Her standard bird morph, like Marco's, is an Osprey.
  • Smelly Skunk: Obtains this morph in The Secret. Visser Three finds out not to mess with one the hard way.
  • Soap Box Sadie: If she has a moral conflict with whatever the team is doing, she makes her opinion known.
  • Superpower Lottery: As if being an estreen wasn't enough, Back to Before comes along and suddenly Cassie's a temporal anomaly, a virtual superhero whose very presence undoes the meddling of The Drode. Amusingly, the Drode himself lampshades this when he angrily accuses the Ellimist of 'stacking the deck' by including her on the team.
  • Team Mom: She gives emotional comfort and moral advice to the others… whether they want it or not.
  • Teen Genius: Perhaps the only teen in all of history to successfully perform brain surgery.
  • Termite Trouble: Cassie's Heroic BSoD in The Secret happens because she's forced to kill a termite queen.
  • The Extremist Was Right: In the last few books, when she allows Tom to escape with the morphing cube. Her rationale was a 'gut feeling' that experiencing the morphing power for themselves would cause the Yeerks to break ranks. Though she was ultimately proven right, her choice caused a few major hiccups in the war as well as severing her trust with Jake. It was also a major gamble, and if it hadn't worked Cassie would have single-handedly been responsible for losing the war.
  • Token Good Teammate: As the series progresses, Cassie becomes this to the whole team.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Jake at the start of the series.
  • War Elephants: She, Ax, and Tobias acquire the same elephant morph as Rachel in Book #22.

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    Marco 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anmarco_4572.gif

Marco thinks the whole world is just a setup for a joke. Marco will tell a joke while he's bleeding and terrified and in pain. But there are times when his eyes lose their skeptical expression and grow glittery and dangerous.

Jake's best bud since infancy, the comedian of the group, as well as most cynical, ruthless and practical. He was against fighting the Yeerks at the beginning, but soon changed his resolve when it became personal. Described as a "paranoid nutcase" with a "Hamlet complex", Marco's knack for strategic and critical thinking was instrumental when it came to missions and the security for the group, but his tendency to hold efficiency and pragmatism above all else would cause him to have personal conflicts.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Often calls Rachel "Xena: Warrior Princess," Tobias is "Bird Boy," and Jake is "Big Jake" and "Fearless Leader". Marco is also the first person to call Aximili "Ax."
  • Bears Are Bad News: In the alternate timeline of Megamorphs #03, Marco uses Rachel's grizzly bear as his favored battle morph. Like all the kids, he can do polar bear.
  • Bi the Way: Marco flirts with everybody, male Animorphs included. Also, his internal narration has a tendency to be very complimentary of Ax's appearance, both in and out of human morph, moreso than any other Animorph, and never misses an opportunity to point out how attractive Jake is. Co writer Michael Grant later confirmed it to be the case.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: With best friend Jake. Jake is described as being big for his age and the tallest Animorph. In contrast, Marco is described as being small for his age and the shortest Animorph, even when compared to under-five-feet-tall Cassie.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Marco is frequently stated to make poor grades in school and barely scrape by, which is ironic given how he is arguably the most clever Animorph.
    Marco: I've told you guys before, every now and then I stay awake in class. Just for a change.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Marco was ready to call it quits. Then he found out about his mother.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Marco hits on and even dates a very large number of pretty girls throughout the series, but it never really works out for him.
  • Catchphrase: "Are you insane!?" and variants thereof. So much so that the others will say they're quoting Marco when using the same words.
  • Class Clown: Wisecracking funnyman who loves to be the center of attention.
  • Commander Contrarian: For good reason. Marco deliberately points out flaws in plans so that they can be eliminated or at least acknowledged before they go into action, making the plan as good as is reasonably possible.
  • The Consigliere: Marco is too cautious to be a good leader, but seems to naturally step into the role of number two to whoever happens to be in charge at the moment, giving them a foil to bounce off of and work things out with. Jake and Tobias seem to take this pretty well. Rachel... not so much.
  • Consummate Liar: The best liar on the team, capable of fooling Visser One herself.
  • Cool Loser: Smart (in his own way), funny, nice guy and yet finds himself the target of bullies more often than not.
  • The Cynic: Marco's view of life is jaded at best.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Had an idyllic childhood until the sudden disappearance of his mother caused his family to break down, making him much more cynical and scornful of idealistic beliefs, regarding expedience and pragmatism as of prime importance.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marco lives by sarcasm.
  • Devil's Advocate: Tends to present this view when the group debates something, acting as a foil for Cassie's more idealistic leanings.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: At first, he keeps the fact that his mother is Visser One a secret from everyone but Jake (who was the only other Animorph who knew what Marco's mother looked like) because he doesn't want the others feeling sorry for him. He also doesn't like people coming to his aid about his home situation.
  • The Drag-Along: At first, until he has a reason to fight.
  • Drives Like Crazy: A Running Gag.
    Jake: Do you hate trash cans? Is that it? Do you just HATE TRASH CANS?
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Among the Animorphs, excluding Ax, Marco ends up the best off. He saves his mother, reunites his family, and ends the war living the life of fame and fortune he always wanted. And, unlike most of them, he doesn't really feel too guilty about the things he's done, though he did fewer of them than most.
    • And then he abandons everything to go on a possibly suicide mission to save Ax, out of loyalty, but also because he was bored out of his mind.
  • Everything's Better with Llamas: Invoked by him in The Reaction.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Or, as Marco would probably specify, gorillas. He uses one as his preferred battlemorph.
  • Freudian Excuse: The main reason for his initial reluctance to help out in the war effort is because of the death of his mother; his father lost himself to the grief, and initially doesn't want to fight out of fear that if something happened to him, his father would just give up completely. He's given a reason to fight at the end of the fifth book,when they discover that his mother is still alive, as the human host of Visser One.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Marco is sarcastic, condescending, and a borderline Smug Snake at times. He's also firmly one of the good guys.
  • Glory Seeker: To some degree. He's always talking about how he'll be rich and famous after the war, and once the wars ends he's quickly proven right.
  • Guile Hero: He is by far the most cerebral and calculating of the Animorphs. Read The Reunion for the most triumphant example. He is of the aggravating variety, as opposed to Cassie's more empathic one. She predicts emotional reactions; Marco screws with you to get the one he wants. Lampshaded in a few books, he's proud to be one.
  • Heroic BSoD: He suffers a brief one in The Predator upon discovering, much to his horror, that his supposedly deceased mother is not only still alive, but is the human host of Visser One.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jake, later Tobias and Ax fall into this category as well.
  • The Hyena: Ironically, he never actually morphs a hyena.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How he defends some of his more morally dubious actions.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: To Jake in The Answer.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Moreso than any of the others, Marco hates being an Animorph. He was this close to calling it quits before he discovered his mother was still alive.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: He never said he knew how to drive, just that he had the high score on a driving game called Wipeout.
  • I'm Not Doing That Again: Spoken word-for-word in The Reunion.
  • Insistent Terminology: He morphs a gorilla, not a monkey.
  • Killer Gorilla: His main battle morph. While he is a good guy, he's morally ambiguous enough to qualify for this trope, and the gorilla's brutal strength is what gets emphasized, as opposed to its peaceful nature.
  • The Lancer: Jake's other go-to guy and best friend, for his strategic abilities. He's probably the closest to being a traditional Lancer: The Hero's best friend, has a contrasting personality, second-guesses all orders (albeit for good reason),etc, etc. Also plays this role consistently, automatically assuming the role of Commander Contrarian and second-in-command to whoever's giving orders, whether it's Jake, Rachel, or even Tobias.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: His mother is alive, the host of Visser One.
  • Meta Guy: There are times when you think Marco is well aware that he's a protagonist in a dark, teen sci-fi series.
  • Missing Mom: Marco's mother disappeared on a boating trip several years prior to the start of the series. Cue The Predator….
  • Mister Muffykins: His dad's new beau, Nora, has a poodle named Euclid. He morphs it to harass the Yeerk self-help guru William Roger Tennant and it's his cover morph in The Proposal.
  • The Nicknamer: Came up with the name Animorphs.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: This is Marco's preferred way of handling adults, as seen in The Reunion.
    Marco: I've found that if you act like a moron, adults tend to leave you alone. It's when they think you might be as smart as they are that they give you a hard time.
  • Only Sane Man: He often feels like he's this to the group.
  • Polar Bears and Penguins: He, along with the rest of the team, gets a polar bear morph in The Extreme. It's his cover morph for that book.
  • Promoted to Parent: In the early books, he was the responsible one compared to his father, who fell apart after Eva's disappearance. Fortunately, he eventually gets over this.
  • Properly Paranoid: He doesn't trust being easily, but given his situation you can understand why. Often he turns out to be right… such as in the case of David.
  • Refusal of the Call: He was the one most against fighting the Yeerks in the beginning.
  • Rhino Rampage: Acquires the same rhinoceros as Jake for a heavy-duty mission in Book #22.
  • Running Gag: His inability to drive, "Are you INSANE?!"
  • Sad Clown: He had psychological/emotional issues even before the series started, due to the disappearance of his mother. He often jokes to hide his fears and insecurities.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: A prime example.
  • Scaled Up: A rare heroic example. In The Discovery he morphs David's pet cobra Spawn. It's even lampshaded by Rachel.
    Rachel: Kinda the perfect morph for Marco, when you thought about it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In The Predator. He changes his mind after learning his mother is still alive as Visser One's host.
  • Shapeshifter Identity Crisis: In The Proposal, where stress over his dad's remarriage causes him to start blending morphs.
  • Shapeshifter Mash Up: The Proposal again. The polar bear/toy poodle cross ("I was a poo-bear?") is especially memorable.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: He's The Smart Guy in the strategic sense and is implied to be smaller and skinnier than the rest of the team (In "Back to Before", he mentions being several inches shorter than Rachel and later in the chapter, an unmorphed Rachel boosts him over her head to reach a fire escape without any apparent difficulty.)
  • Signature Move: Silverback Gorilla. His standard bird morph, like Cassie's, is an Osprey.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Often tells Cassie this.
  • Spiders Are Scary: In The Android, Marco has to morph a wolf spider. He really, really doesn't want to.
  • The Smart Guy: Strategy. "Sees the line" from point A to point B. Amusing in that his grades are alluded to be the worst before the series begins, but he's far, far smarter than he lets on.
  • Smug Snake: Can approach being an antiheroic version of this, and it's certainly how Rachel and later David see him. He's very good at manipulating people, but his paranoia and arrogance can, and sometimes do, get in the way. And then there's the sarcastic personality, and the tendency towards smirking, and advocating the Shooting of Dogs. Still a good guy, and high-functioning enough to be very useful.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Along with Tobias. Marco values stealth over straight combat, so Jake often relies on him with he needs someone to spy or collect information...as opposed to someone like Rachel.
  • Sour Supporter: Again, at first.
  • Stepford Snarker: Marco's sarcasm covers up serious mommy issues, and intense hatred for the Yeerks.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: He plays against his best friend Jake's straight man as Marco throughout the war always maintains a sense of humor, able to crack jokes and make sarcastic remarks in the midst of battle.
  • The Strategist: Most of the Animorphs' plans (especially the nasty ones) are strongly influenced by Marco.
  • Swallowed Whole: Marco (in spider morph) gets eaten by a bird in The Android. Inverted in The Discovery, when his new cobra morph swallows Ax (who, as it happens, is in spider morph).
  • Threatening Shark: Marco ends up on the wrong end of one in The Message and is almost bitten in half for his trouble. Ironically, he ends up with a hammerhead shark as his cover morph in The Escape.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Marco makes it his duty to let his teammates know just how incredibly insane and dangerous their plans are.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Notably, in the opening to Megamorphs #3, when every other Animorph has become a fascinatingly horrible person, Marco is more-or-less the same as he's always been. Only happier, because his mother's alive and he just got Pong.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In Book 19 Cassie makes it very clear that Marco is willing to go through Karen, whose age is in the single digits, to get to Aftran, her Yeerk.

    Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (Ax) 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anax_1303.gif

Ax is a soldier down deep inside. Smug and superior sometimes, loopy and silly other times, Ax is still an Andalite aristh, a warrior-in-training. And he's Elfangor's brother, which tells you a lot.

Elfangor's younger brother, Aximili joined the group when he was rescued by the kids from the wreckage of Elfangor's Dome ship, which fell into the Pacific Ocean. Initially considering himself an outsider, Aximili, or "Ax" as he came to be known, retained many of the traits and values of his people (which ranged from loyalty and discipline to outright ruthlessness and xenophobia), and the distinctions led to both comedic and insightful critiques on Earth customs. As the series progressed, it became apparent that he and the kids were more alike than different, and as he adapted to life on Earth Ax was forced, like his Earth counterparts, to question the principles that he had hitherto taken for granted.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Aside from "Ax", the others sometimes call him Ax-man.
  • Alien Among Us: Ax is the resident alien of the group, an Andalite that occasionally masquerades as a human.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Has a great appreciation for many human inventions. He even wonders why humans use computers when they have books. He considers the cinnamon bun to be our greatest achievement.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: He loves television.
  • Almighty Janitor: He is an aristh, the equivalent of a cadet, and yet he manages to fight and hinder the Yeerks alongside five human teenagers. He gives Rachel a run for her money for the most dangerous member of the team when it comes to hand-to-hand combat; in fact, it's usually this guy that comes to the rescue of the other kids when they're down and out. On top of that he's got the widest skillset when it comes to alien biology, weaponry, strategy and computers. Yet despite this he spends the entirety of the series as the lowest-ranked member of the team because it squares better with his Andalite values of loyalty and service.
  • Ambiguously Brown: His human morph is described this way, due to being a Mix-and-Match Man.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: He was an "aristh" (cadet) at the time he was marooned on Earth, and promoted directly past "Warrior" to "Prince" within hours of the Andalite fleet arriving three years later. Even Elfangor hadn't accomplished that.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Like all andalites, he has a lightning-fast tail blade.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Ax is frequently used as a comedic character due to his infatuation with taste and tendency to play with sounds, but when push comes to shove, he is the most dangerous member of the team. Rachel might be the team's Blood Knight but Ax has pulled off some truly insane feats, among them killing a rogue crocodile in The Reaction (after it beat half the team), defeating Visser Three in single combat as early as The Decision and even killing a Tyrannosaurus Rex in In the Time of Dinosaurs. This is highlighted pretty effectively in The Separation, when even Mean Rachel doesn't want to tangle with him. The main difference between Ax and Rachel, in terms of "Who can kill you faster?" is that Rachel needs to morph in order to do any kind of real damage, while Ax is just as dangerous in his default form.
  • Big Eater: Because Andalites don't have mouths, they eat through their hooves. When he becomes human, he experiences taste for the first time. Hilarity Ensues, especially since he can't tell the difference between things that are edible and things like cigarette butts.
  • Book Dumb: By Andalite standards. It's implied more than once that Ax was a sub-par student who was more interested in sports and girls than his lessons. The main reason he comes across as smarter than the other kids is because he simply had more to learn. He has a wide general knowledge, because he did pay some attention, but he can't always remember how to apply his knowledge. It's also justified by the fact that, while he's considered a minor in his culture, he has finished his formal education and has been in military service, meaning he hasn't had to apply the finer aspects of his education in practical situations before. By human standards, however, he's a freakin' genius.
  • Bug Buzz: He, along with the rest of the team, morphs a mosquito in The Decision. It's his cover morph for that book.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Literal to a fault.
  • Catchphrase: "We have x of your minutes left."
    "Now we have x-1 of your minutes."
  • Child Soldier: Notable for being the only one of the Animorphs to begin the war as a soldier.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Comes across as one when he's in human morph, between his imperfect grasp of human customs, his bizarre eating habits, and his Verbal Tic of playing with the sounds of spoken English at every possible opportunity. On at least one occasion the other Animorphs passed him off as a Funny Foreigner.
  • The Comically Serious: Ax is arguably the funniest character in the group, despite having a relatively serious personality and not understanding human comedy at all.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Ax's entire character arc is built on this. As an Andalite aristh, Ax is the only one of the kids with an existing affiliation, and it doesn't help that loyalty is very strongly ingrained in Andalite culture. Yet, as time goes on Ax begins to bond with his human friends, leading to plenty of situations where he is caught between his loyalty to the Andalites and to the Animorphs. This is the single reason why Ax is only acknowledged as an Animorph in-series towards the very end despite fandom preferring him as the Sixth Ranger - it's not until The Answer, second-to-last book in the series, where Ax finally commits himself fully to the Animorphs.
  • Cryptically Unhelpful Answer: When Tobias asks him how he eats in The Alien. He explains for real later in the book.
  • Day Time Drama Queen: Spends his free time watching human soap operas.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While Ax starts off with no understanding of sarcasm, he eventually picks it up from the kids and by the final few books, his deadpan game is so strong that no one can actually tell if he's joking or not.
  • Delicious Distraction: Ax in human form + food = inevitable disaster.
  • Does Not Understand Sarcasm: He gets better about it as the series progresses.
  • The Dreaded: He's so deadly at Andalite tail-fighting that Visser 3, who has an older, more mature and more experienced Andalite warrior body for a host, is afraid to face him one-on-one. It must have run in the family because Elfangor was equally feared.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Decidedly not the case in The Experiment. Not only is it Ax's worst-written book, but in the context of the narrative he and Tobias morph cows to infiltrate a slaughterhouse.
  • Exact Time to Failure: Has an amazing ability to keep time in his head. He acts as a timer during missions to make sure the group doesn't spend more than two hours in morph.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Ax has been known to eat everything from nachos to paper cups to cigarette butts.
  • First Kiss: Played with. He experiences his first human kiss with Estrid while experimenting with their human forms.
  • Fish out of Water: He's the only one of his kind on Earth, and the only people that know he exists are four human teenagers and a former teenager turned bird. On the bright side, that teenager turned out to be his brother's son.
  • Funny Foreigner: When in human form, the other Animorphs cover for him by stating he's from Canada. Doesn't work all that well.
  • Going Native: By the end of the series he's arguably more human than Andalite in terms of personality and habits.
  • Humanshifting: Ax is unique for morphing more humans than any other Animorph.
  • Humanity Ensues: Ax often assumes a human morph in public.
  • Humans Kill Wantonly: He becomes disgusted with humans during the third Megamorphs book, when he sees the nature of human wars. He claims that though the Andalites had their own wars, they were never as pointless or sadistic as human wars were. He also claims that Andalites never deliberately killed children or committed genocide to other Andalites. He gets over it afterwards.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: His narrations often have him pondering the strange, wonderful and terrible realities of human culture.
  • Humorless Aliens: At first, though he gets better as the series progresses.
  • Hugh Mann: Human Ax walks strangely, speaks like he's just learned how to talk, and is completely ignorant of how to engage in human social interaction. He also likes food…A LOT.
  • I Just Like Saying the Word: Andalites don't have mouths, so human Ax finds it hugely entertaining to play with sounds like a toddler.
  • Innocent Fanservice Guy: Since his species never wears clothes, he frequently wonders aloud why humans even bother with them. He also feels no embarrassment when the other team members morph nude in front of him.
  • Is This What Anger Feels Like?: Upon learning that Cassie let the Yeerks get away with the morphing cube, Ax's narration comments that he's not sure what he's feeling towards her... but it's a lot like hatred.
  • Klingons Love Shakespeare: In Ax's case, he loves soap operas and cinnabons.
  • The Magnificent: After the war he becomes known as 'Aximili of Earth'.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: His human morph is made from Jake, Marco, Rachel and Cassie's DNA.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Among his favorite human inventions: books, cinnabons and cigarette butts.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: All of the blurbs on the back cover described the adventures of "X (the main character of that particular installment), the Animorphs, and Ax," with the subtle implication that, being an alien, Ax doesn't count as a true Animorph.
  • No Mouth: He eats through his hooves instead.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the last stretch of the series, Ax has a completely serious day where he morphs several humans and behaves perfectly normally, using a gun to shoot Visser Two and counteract acts of global terrorism. It culminates with him knocking Jake unconscious to absolve him of responsibility for his final plan: threatening to use a nuke to bomb a Yeerk pool to prevent World War III.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Blue, four eyes, a tail, no mouth, and eats through his hooves.
  • Pretty Boy: In human morph, which is attributed in part to having two girls' DNA.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Andalites are one of the proudest species in the series, and are undeniably skilled warriors (even without the morphing ability).
  • Running Gag: Aside from his food obsession and bluntness, there's the way he always calls Jake "Prince Jake", only for Jake to say "Don't call me Prince", and repeats himself when in human morph. Morph. Mor-phhh... As the series progresses, it evolves from a Verbal Tic into playful team banter. He even says it in the Bad Present of Elfangor's Secret, though in that case he is demanding to be called "Supreme Leader."
  • Rascally Raccoon: His last book, The Sacrifice, sees him morph a raccoon to sneak off and report to the Andalite military.
  • Rank Up: See Awesome Moment of Crowning above.
  • Scaled Up: In The Alien he morphs a rattlesnake in an attempt to assassinate Visser Three.
  • Science Hero: As the team's resident alien, Ax fills this role.
  • Sense Freak: See Big Eater above.
  • Signature Move: Signature Morph: As the only Animorph who goes into battle as himself, the morph that Ax uses most often is his combo-created human morph. His standard bird morph is the Northern Harrier.
  • Sixth Ranger: Joins the group a few books late.
  • The Smart Guy: Knows about alien things. You know, being an alien and all.
  • Some Call Me "Tim": Some Call Me Ax: Or occasionally, Phillip. Marco's father knows him as "No."
  • Spock Speak: Like most Andalites.
  • Swallowed Whole: In The Discovery, in his wolf spider morph, by Marco (who had just become a cobra and hadn't yet gained control of it). Even worse, he's poisoned in the process. Luckily, he's able to escape and demorph, healing in the process.
  • Token Nonhuman: The only nonhuman in the group, unless you consider Tobias (for several reasons).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cinnabons. He loves them.
  • Two of Your Earth Minutes: Very much a deliberate Running Gag on his part, practically serving as his Catchphrase:
    Ax: We have seventeen minutes left.
    Marco: (after a pause) Seventeen *minutes*?
    Ax: (correcting himself) Seventeen of your Earth minutes.
  • Undying Loyalty: Raised by Andalite military customs to follow the orders of his superiors without question.
  • Verbal Tic: As an Andalite, he has no mouth and communicates with thought-speak. Whenever he holds a conversation while morphed into a human, he can never go very long without repeating individual parts of words, often but not always drawing out their component sounds. SOU-nds. Sauw-nnnn-dss.
  • War Elephants: Ax, Tobias, and Cassie acquire the same elephant as Rachel for a heavy-duty mission in Book #22.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ax, along with half the team, calls Cassie out in #52 when it's finally revealed that she allowed Tom to escape with the morphing cube.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Although he tries a couple of times early in the series.

    David 

Smirking, pouting, easily offended David. David, who half the time seemed to be reckless, but other times had been cowardly and quickly panicked. David, the new Animorph.

After finding the Morphing Cube and subsequently revealing its location, David became target number one for Yeerk forces who were searching to gain the morphing power. After a battle that destroyed his house, David's parents were taken by Yeerk forces. Frightened, alone and unable to trust anyone, David was given the morphing power by the others as part of an attempt to recruit him, but his growing resentment for them strained relationships within the group. Feeling that his life was threatened not only by the enemies that took his parents but also by the new strangers that now surrounded him, he turned Sixth Ranger Traitor and promptly attempted to eliminate the Animorphs one by one.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Begs both Visser Three and the Animorphs for mercy.
  • Ambition Is Evil: David's self-serving nature is played in stark contrast to his heroic and selfless teammates. He progresses from wanting to use his powers to become a millionaire to plotting to create a new group of Animorphs.
  • Animal Motifs: Rat.
  • Apologetic Attacker: To Rachel in The Solution.
    David: You're very good, Rachel. You know, I wish I didn't have to do this.
  • Archenemy: Fixates on Rachel as his worst enemy, a sentiment she returns by the end of The Solution.
  • Badass Boast: In The Threat.
    Jake: If the Yeerks don't get you, we will.
    David: Yeah, I know. But already there used to be six of you and now there are just five. Pretty soon, Jake, it'll be four.
  • Better Living Through Evil: He proposes using the morphing power to get rich. Later he plots to put this plan into action.
  • Child Soldier: Like all of the others.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure: In Alternamorphs #02, the reader is cast as a thinly veiled Expy of David, to the point of paragraphs in the first three chapters being lifted verbatim from The Discovery. It's the closest thing David gets to a narrated book.
  • Cool Pet: He has two - a tabby cat named Megadeth and a defanged Indian cobra named Spawn.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: Both figuratively and literally in The Solution.
  • Cowardly Lion: Both figuratively in #20 and literally in #21.
  • Create Your Own Villain: David tries to blame the Animorphs for forcing him into becoming a villain, and they are the ones who gave him the power to morph.
  • Dangerous Deserter: After going AWOL he becomes one of the team's worst enemies.
  • Deal with the Devil: He makes one with Crayak to get off the hellish island the Animorphs left him on.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Disposes of Jake and Rachel's mortally wounded cousin and takes his place.
  • Death Seeker: By the end, he's given up on revenge and begs Rachel to kill him, preferring death to going on trapped as a rat.
  • Dirty Coward: David is all swagger as long as he's in control. When things slip out of his hands though, he promptly starts crying and begging.
  • Divide and Conquer: His midnight plan to kill the Animorphs one by one. It almost works.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all his faults, David seems to have genuinely loved his parents, going so far as planning to ransom the blue box in exchange for their safe return. He only abandons this plan when Cassie makes it clear it won't work.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: David claims to have standards, insisting he doesn't kill humans, only animals. Since the animals in question are humans in morph it's a meaningless standard, and he later subverts even that when he kills Saddler.
  • Evil Counterpart: To... all of the Animorphs, really. He thinks of himself as a leader and plans on starting his own band of Animorphs (Jake), he can single-handedly execute complex plans that hinge on people acting the way he thinks they will (Marco), he prefers power morphs and enjoys battle more than the heroes (Rachel), he can easily read and exploit others' personalities (Cassie), he has no home of his own due to the war (Tobias), and he takes on the role of an outsider (Ax). His only distinguishing features from the other Animorphs are his selfishness and need for power and control.
  • Fatal Flaw: David has to be in control at all times, has to dominate those around him (especially Rachel), and cannot conceive of somebody being smarter then he is.
  • Fate Worse than Death: He's forcibly trapped in rat morph for the rest of his life.
  • Flaw Exploitation: He rivals Marco in how good he is at this. When he turns on the Animorphs, he exploits Ax's ignorance of alarm clocks (making him think David was in a jewelry store— Ax couldn't tell the difference between the alarm clock going off and a burglary alarm) and Rachel's preconceptions about him to split them up and attack Rachel. He get a taste of his own medicine when the Animorphs subsequently exploit his ego and need to psychologically dominate Rachel to bring him down.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Just a dissaffected teenager who found the morphing cube. Nearly kills the entire team.
  • Grail in the Garbage: He was about to sell the morphing cube online before the Animorphs caught wind of it. Worse, he was about to unwittingly sell it to Visser Three.
  • Hallucinations: Blink and you'll miss it: Jake hallucinates a terrified rat-David in the Bad Future of The Familiar.
  • He Knows Too Much: David knows far too much about the team for the kids to let him walk.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Makes a number of comments about Rachel being a girl and therefore weaker than him. Also creeps on Rachel while she's in the shower and makes it clear after her humiliation of him in the cafeteria that he has to dominate her in order to prove his masculinity.
  • Identity Impersonator: In The Threat he acquires and morphs a Controller briefly. One book later, he's also acquired Marco and Saddler.
  • Karmic Death: They trapped the Sixth Ranger Traitor in rat morph. There's no way that wasn't deliberate.
  • Kidnapped by the Call: His only other option being capture and infestation by the Yeerks.
  • Kick the Dog: Killing a random bird the instant he gets his golden eagle morph. He tries to pass it off as being taken over by the morph. Some of the Animorphs buy it, but Marco does not.
  • King of Beasts: His lion morph. He defeats Jake's tiger in a one-on-one battle at the climax of The Threat.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The series takes a decided turn for the darker after his introduction.
  • Left Hanging: His final fate.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Definitely favors these. His battle morphs for land, sea, and air - lion, orca and golden eagle respectively - all count.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Tries his best to screw with the team's dynamic. He fails in the end.
  • Military Brat: His father was an NSA agent and he had to move around frequently throughout his life.
  • Narcissist: David was deeply self-absorbed and self-involved even before the war upended his life and made him show his true colours. By the end he's entirely dominated by his egotism, and his need to prove that he's smarter and braver than everyone else.
  • Never My Fault: David never accepts responsibility for his actions, blaming everyone other than himself for the trainwreck his life has become.
  • The New Rock & Roll: Invoked to some extent. It's supposed to be a warning sign that David likes heavy-metal bands like Megadeth and reads Spawn as opposed to more wholesome comic books like Jake and Marco do.
  • New Transfer Student: Transfers into the school only days before his life collapses.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: Like Rachel, he prefers powerful morphs and picks a golden eagle. With it, he's quite savage, fitting the more aggressive and dangerous aspects of the trope.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: One of his main character flaws. He does stupid things to show off and look good, and totally loses his cool when Rachel calls him a coward.
  • No Sense of Humor: Pegged as such by Marco for not laughing at his jokes.
  • Panthera Awesome: His main battle morph is a lion.
  • Plug 'n' Play Friends: A deconstruction. The Animorphs (except Marco and Ax) expect a relative stranger to join their team, cooperate with them, and go along with their tactics. Unfortunately, David is deeply disturbed and promptly tries to destroy the group dynamic.
  • Premature Empowerment: Was given his abilities long before he was mature enough to handle them.
  • Rebellious Rebel: Does not want to follow Jake's orders in the slightest.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: To a certain degree in The Discovery. When the Animorphs invade his house in bird morph he responds by whipping out a BB gun and chasing them off the premises.
  • Recurring Character: He was built up to the Villain of the Week for his trilogy and later returned for one last hurrah near the end of the series.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Keeps a cobra as a pet and later morphs a rattlesnake.
  • Rule of Pool: His house has a pool and Marco is envious of his good fortune. The pool comes into play again a book later, when Ax tricks a trio of Hork-Bajir into throwing themselves into it.
  • Sanity Slippage: His mental health clearly deteriorates throughout the trilogy. Not surprising, given he loses his whole life to the Yeerks, becomes a fugitive who can't even go out in public as himself, is recruited into the Animorphs and has to face the dangers they face every day. Despite all this, he mostly holds it together throughout The Threat and even after his betrayal he sort of still wants his parents back. It's only once that option's off the table that he really tailspins out of control. And by The Return he's been driven completely insane due to the hellish experience of being trapped as a rat and the long isolation he was forced to endure.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When he sees Jake morph a dragonfly in The Threat he says this, though he doesn't go anywhere.
  • Scylla and Charybdis: This is how David sees the situation he's been thrown into: he's caught between the alien parasites that have enslaved his parents and a group of Child Soldiers who insist on controlling his every move. Ultimately, he decides to Take a Third Option.
  • Scaled Up: He morphs a rattlesnake in The Solution.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: David's unique among the Animorphs in that he sees nothing wrong with using his powers for selfish ends.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Trapped as a rat by the Animorphs.
  • Signature Move: African Lion. His standard bird morph is the Golden Eagle.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Betrays the team within days of recruitment.
  • Smug Snake: Arrogant and condescending? Check. Utterly convinced of his own brilliance and invincibility? Check. Cowardly and prone to panicking when his plans fail? Check. Ultimately shown to be far more pathetic than he'd ever want to admit? Check.
  • Spot the Impostor:
    • David morphs Jake's cousin, who is badly injured after being hit by a car and expected to die in surgery, and takes his place. Jake figures it out almost instantly, when "Saddler's" injuries are miraculously healed. Everyone else not in on The Masquerade fails miserably.
    • He also acquires Marco against his will, and uses his Marco morph to attack an unsuspecting Ax and infiltrate the Animorphs' school unnoticed, much to the real Marco's disgust. It's only until "Marco" sits on a chair backwards that the others realize the real Marco doesn't sit like that.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: In The Return. He manages to recruit two henchmen, but they're both bumbling idiots who ultimately end up turning on him.
  • Taking You with Me: Attempted on Rachel in The Solution, but she bites off her own tail and escapes his hold.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Or in David's case, complete psychos. It starts with his shooting a couple of birds (actually Marco and Rachel) with a BB gun and ends up with his attempting (and in one case, succeeding) murder.
  • Take a Third Option: Caught between the Animorphs and the Yeerks, neither of whom he trusts. He eventually turns on them both.
  • Tricking the Shapeshifter: The team defeats him by using an elaborate version of this ruse. First, they trick him into turning into a mouse to enter a miniature labyrinth with Rachel (by pretending that the MacGuffin he tried to blackmail out of them is there). Rachel escapes the labyrinth, David stays locked inside until he enters Shapeshifter Mode Lock.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He's not too thankful to the Animorphs for saving his life. Whether this is just straight-out ingratitude or bitterness that they left his parents behind is never made clear.
  • The Unchosen One: Both literally and figuratively. He eventually decides to fight on his own terms, declaring both the Animorphs and the Yeerks his enemies. In The Return he is literally the unchosen one, as Crayak sets him up to be his weapon only to reveal he's just a tool being used to persuade Rachel to join him.
  • The Un-Favourite: An out-of-universe example: In an interview, Applegate referred to David as a selfish, weak human being. Yes, that's right. Even the author considered him a waste of space.
  • Unnamed Parent: Neither of his parents' names are ever given.
  • Verbal Tic: David has a tendency to say the name of the person he's talking to several times in a single conversation, usually when he's trying to be threatening. In one occasion in The Solution, he says Rachel's name six times in one page.
  • Villains Want Mercy: After spending two books trying to murder the Animorphs and gloating about his superiority to them, he begs them to show him mercy in the end. He does not receive it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Unlike the other Animorphs, David thinks it's A-okay to kill animals, as seen in The Discovery where he kills a random crow just minutes after morphing for the first time, mostly just because he can. When he betrays the kids, he's able to justify trying to kill them by saying that when they're morphed they're not human, and thus, fair game.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: He goes from a relatively normal kid to an unflinching killer after gaining the morphing power.
  • You Dirty Rat!: The morph he's trapped in at the end.

    The Auxiliary Animorphs 

We trusted them and they did us proud.

When the Animorphs are finally uncovered and forced to go on the run, they decide to recruit some fresh blood in case they are killed. Realizing that the Yeerks would have no use for handicapped hosts, they do their recruiting at a children's hospital. Enter the Auxiliary Animorphs.

  • Action Girl: Collete, Kelly and Erica.
  • The Big Guy: James is explicitly stated to both taller and heavier than Jake, who is by no means a small kid.
  • Child Soldiers: They're all teens or younger.
  • Call-Back: James's choice in battle morph causes some unease among the Animorphs because it's the same battle morph that David used. Fortunately for the other Animorphs, choice of morph is the only similarity between David and James.
  • Cool Cat: Timmy's battle morph is a bobcat.
  • Continuity Drift: One of them, Timmy, is referred to as Tuan in a later book, which was what the character was originally going to be called.
  • Cute Bruiser: Collete
  • Disability Superpower: They master their morphs' instincts a lot faster than the original kids did. Cassie theorizes this is because, while their bodies are weaker, their minds are stronger.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Some of the morphs used by the auxiliaries fall under this. At one point one of them fights off Hork-Bajir as a walrus.
  • First-Name Basis: Nearly all of them.
  • Fragile Speedster: James, like Jake, has a peregrine falcon flight morph.
  • Handicapped Badass: Most were injured before being recruited. The morphing power heals a few, but only some.
  • The Leader: James, like Jake, is a Type II personality with a Type IV style of leadership.
  • Mauve Shirt: Most of the named Auxiliary Animorphs.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Collete's battle morph is a crocodile.
  • Opt Out: Right before the final battle, a lot of the Auxiliary Animorphs decide that they want to sit it out, due to the fact that their friend Ray was recently killed. Jake doesn't really care and makes them go anyway. ("We didn't give them morphing power so they could have fun flying around. This is when we need them. All of them. You're their leader, James, so lead.") They then all get killed.
  • Panthera Awesome: James's battle morph is a lion.
  • Recurring Character: They appear in The Ultimate, The Absolute, The Sacrifice and The Answer.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: The Animorphs specifically recruited kids around their own age, figuring they would be both quicker to adapt to new realities and more likely to listen to them.
  • Sacrificial Lion: They get slaughtered.
  • Signature Morph: Various - crocodile (Collette), black panther (Craig), lioness (Erica), lion (James), wolf (Jessie), African elephant (Judy), grizzly bear (Julio), bull (Kelly), polar bear (Liam), leopard (Ray), bobcat (Timmy), rhinoceros (Tricia).
  • Suicide Mission: Jake sends them to buy the Animorphs time to take over the Pool ship.
  • Throwing Off the Disability:
    • James was injured in an accident, so he is healed by the morphing power, as are Erica and Craig. Most of the other auxiliaries aren't so lucky.
    • Collette's case is particularly tragic in this regard, as she's been lying to everyone around who'd listen that she's only temporarily paralyzed due to a sporting accident. Needless to say, morphing doesn't heal her, somewhat ironically forcing her to finally accept the fact that she'll never be able to live the physically active life she imagines.


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