Team Bartowski | Buy More | The CIA and Other Spies | FULCRUM | The Ring | Volkoff Industries | Everyone Else
Beware of unmarked spoilers.
Operation Bartowski / Carmichael Industries
When poor Chuck Bartowski ended up with the Intersect in his brain, the NSA and CIA sent their best agents to act as his handlers. From there, Operation Bartowski was born: Using Chuck's knowledge and Beckman's command, Casey and Sarah would stop various bad guys and unscrupulous individuals with nefarious plans. They quickly became the CIA's best team, made even better once Chuck became a field agent and Morgan joined the team.
After they quit the CIA (Season 4 finale), the team was rebranded as "Carmichael Industries", a private security contracting and consultation firm, doing pretty much what they've always been doing - though this time, their clients also tended to be bad guys on occasion.
Tropes associated with the team:
- Badass Crew: The CIA's best, natch. Even Casey admits as much in Season 2. From rogue splinter CIA agents, to nefarious crime syndicates, and even psychopathic arms dealers who are into world domination and ice cream, they've always come out on top.
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: A example without all female Characters. Femme Fatale Spy Sarah is the Beauty, Nerd Chuck the Brain and The Big Guy Casey the Brawn.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Each member of the team has their quirks and eccentrics, and it's arguably because of this they're the best.
- Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: After Decker freezes their funds, they quickly learn that heroic (and broke!) PMC's aren't in season, so they start branching out and accept more shady clients.
- Private Military Contractors: With the beginning of Season 5, the team has officially rebranded themselves as this. With varying levels of success.
- True Companions: They aren't just a team, they're a family.
Charles Irving "Chuck" Bartowski
Portrayed by Zachary Levi
Charles Irving "Chuck" Bartowski is the main character of the American fiction television show Chuck. A nerdy guy who works at the Buy More's Nerd Herd desk, he unwittingly downloaded the Intersect into his brain, and has been dragged into the CIA world of espionage.
Tropes associated with Chuck:
- Action Survivor: Chuck's been tranquilized, kidnapped, been held at gunpoint, tortured, etc... the list goes on. To Chuck's credit, though, this largely disappeared once he knew kung-fu. Just look below.
- Almighty Janitor: Chuck is really the one who runs Buy More. As of the end of Season 4, quite literally, although nobody knows it.
- Badass Family: He was a certified genius even before he became a spy. His father was another, who Minored In Ass Kicking. His mother was a CIA field agent. His sister is one of the world's top neurologists and living experts on the Intersect. And then there's his wife...
- Badass Normal: Before the Intersect 2.0, this is what Chuck was all about. Back to being this now that Morgan is the Intersect.
- Badass Pacifist: Hates dangerous situations, and uses tranq guns instead of real ones. Albeit, will fire a real gun when absolutely necessary.
- Bad "Bad Acting": A rather...bizarre point of pride for him was playing Perchik in his middle school's production of Fiddler on the Roof. He was supposedly really good (according to Morgan), but when he tries to disguise himself as an older Russian gentleman, Shaw immediately sees through the makeup and accent.
- Beard of Sorrow: In "Chuck Versus the Pink Slip" he grows out a bushy beard and becomes addicted to....cheese balls. In case it hasn't be noted, the man is pure adorable.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Do not threaten Sarah. Just don't. Threatening anyone else from Team Bartowski is almost as unwise an idea.
- Bodyguard Crush: Falls in love with Sarah despite knowing full well she is just his handler. But it turns out she feels the same way almost immediately, though it takes her a while to admit it to herself.
- Catch Phrase: "Don't freak out."
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: It only gets worse as the series progresses.
- Cool Loser: Is a very cool guy, but the series starts out with him as a complete social failure with no ambition and a dead-end job.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He can show a jealous streak when Sarah is romantically involved with other spies like Daniel or Cole. Genrerally combined with his Insecure Love Interest status.
- Deadpan Snarker: Half of his dialogue is aimed at the various nonsense around him, especially at the Buy More.
- Did Not Think This Through: Spends most of Season 3 training to become a real spy to prove he can actually make something out of his life. After his final exam, he realises that he may not have considered everything he'd have to leave behind.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: Having his first serious girlfriend - Jill - leave him for his former best friend Bryce left Chuck with some serious emotional baggage and difficulty forming relationships with women for five years until Sarah came along.
- Fish out of Water: Chuck is not a hardened spy like the rest. Even after the Intersect 2.0 upload in the season two finale, he remains very much an amateur among his peers for quite a while.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Chuck's an all-around nice guy, but he's definitely no idiot.
- Graceful in Their Element: Chuck is established as not being very successful at life in general (underemployed, no romantic life), and most of the action oriented parts of spy life are foreign and scary to him (at first). But put him anywhere near a computer no matter what persona he's in, be it home, work, or government, and he's an absolute powerhouse. His family and friends always knew it, the Buy More always knew it, and the CIA learns it really fast. Bad guys learn it the hard way. And as stated multiple times, Chuck is essentially just a really nice guy. Hes a good person, and he shines when around people. Its what makes him so great at the Buy More, and a major asset on missions. He empathizes with and tries to help just about everyone he comes across, be it angrey customers, stressed out friends, scared civilians, or (unfortunately) international terrorists.
- Hollywood Dateless: Everyone in Chuck Bartowski's life regularly acts like him getting a date of any kind, let alone one with a good-looking woman, is a minor miracle. This continues approximately through the end of the second season, despite the fact that in that space of time he dates two beautiful women and has a third one in love with him. For the most part the third season drops the facade, though. Although its pointed out in the very first episode that he hasn't had a date since getting dumped by Jill as every single time a girl asks him to tell me about yourself he ends up giving them a detailed account of his relationship with Jill, which as Ellie pointed out is a major turnoff. Everyone is usually just shocked that a guy that was dateless for five freaking years is suddenly swarmed by beautiful women. By the third season everyone's just used to it now.
- Hollywood Nerd: Zachary Levi scrubs up far too well to make a believable nerd. However, this is Truth in Television, as he's One of Us.
- The Klutz: He gets the team into as many scrapes as he gets them out of. Whether this trait will be overcome by the neo-Intersect remains to be seen.
- Like Father, Like Son: His dad was a brilliant computer scientist who Minored In Ass Kicking and had a beautiful female superspy to fall in love with and marry him.
- Lovable Nerd: For example, the pilot quickly establishes that he hasn't been in a relationship in a while, partly due to his conversational awkwardness driving women away. Soon after, a gorgeous woman flirtily approaches him at his job in the "Nerd Herd" (the electronics support team of a big-box retailer) right before a desperate father seeks his help because he "recorded" his daughter's dance recital footage with no tape in the camera. Chuck promptly puts the beautiful woman on hold to save the dad's bacon by setting up a spot for the little girl to re-perform and re-film her ballet routine right there in the store. Fortunately for him, the beautiful woman thinks it's lovable, too.
- Loved I Not Honor More: Essentially the reason why Chuck doesn't run away with Sarah at the beginning of Season 3.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Sarah's Masculine Girl. Chuck is the one who is in touch with his feelings, wants to talk things out, and can't stand to have fights unresolved. Meanwhile, Sarah is extremely guarded, tries to keep up a stoic front, hesitates to commit, and is always on the traditionally 'male' side of all their relationship-related arguments. Right down to Chuck being the one who wanted a big wedding.
- Nerds Are Sexy: He's as nerdy as they come, and played by the very attractive Zachary Levi.
- Nice Guy: Definitely one of the nicest guys to appear in the entire series. One of the best examples occurs during the Pilot. After a customer realizes that he's failed to tape his daughter's ballet recital because he didn't realize he hadn't bought digital tape for his camera, instead of snarking at him for his stupidity, Chuck simply arranges for the Nerd Herd to record the ballet recital in the store, free of charge.
- Omniscient Database: Has (had) access to: Intersect 1.0 / FULCRUM Intersect / Intersect 2.0 / Intersect 3.0
- Only Sane Employee: This is the main reason why Chuck is the one who runs the Buy More.
- Punny Name: His name is a play on Charles Bukowski.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: A rather specific Running Gag with him. If anything, girlish screams are alarm bells for Sarah and Casey to get into action-mode. This is also prevalent when he has bad dreams, much to the annoyance of Ellie and Awesome.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Chuck tends to run afoul of this trope with love interests not known as 'Sarah Walker'.
- From Lou's perspective, the ubiquitous Sarah looks like a clingy ex-girlfriend who can't let go. (Scenario 1A)
- Jill's already deep into the spy game - and on the wrong side. (Scenario 3A)
- Hannah has the misfortune of entering Chucks life just as his spy life puts more and more demands on his time - and conscience. (Scenario 1B)
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy (along with Morgan) to Casey's Manly Man.
- Shipper on Deck: He is one for Ellie and Awesome, fully supporting their relationship and trying to do everything he can from the shadows to help them live the happiest lives they can.
- Strong Girl, Smart Guy: With Sarah. Chuck is a computer nerd (though he Took a Level in Badass later on), Sarah is a trained badass agent.
- Technical Pacifist: For a guy who's so squeamish about killing, he sure doesn't shy away from using martial arts moves that likely lead to concussions and broken bones. Also, in one episode he storms an enemy compound, and while he uses only non-lethal KOs while inside, he also delivers a tracker that calls in a very lethal airstrike.
- Took a Level in Badass: Cue the Intersect 2.0. Plus shooting Shaw marks his first real kill. As of Season 5, he's been kicking ass WITHOUT the Intersect. Just ask Shaw, a properly trained agent, who tried to fight Chuck one-on-one.
- Unique Protagonist Asset: Chuck's asset goes beyond just having the Intersect. His true asset is that his mind is extremely receptive to understanding and holding the Intersect images in the first place. His brain is so compatible with the Intersect that even when he is subjected to a faulty version in "Chuck Versus the Suburbs", he is able to survive the download process unscathed when all previous subjects had died or been rendered catatonic.
- UST: With Sarah; one of the major subplots (or arguably the main plot).
- They Do: With Sarah in "Chuck Versus the Other Guy". FINALLY.
Sarah Bartowski, née Walker
Portrayed by Yvonne Strahovski
Original first name is (presumably) Sam, middle name is Lisa. Sarah Bartowski (f/k/a Walker) is a CIA special agent whose primary mission is to protect the Intersect, Chuck, but soon finds her interest in him a little more than just professional. Little is known about Sarah's past, but we do know that her father is an infamous and talented conman. She herself participated in many of her father's cons as a child.
Tropes associated with Sarah:
- Action Dress Rip: Often; most notably in "Chuck Versus the Cougars", and then some in season two's "Chuck Versus the Ring".
- Action Girl: The premiere example. More often than not, any action scene in the series involves her being a badass.
- Action Girlfriend: To Chuck, being a badass spy while he was a Non-Action Guy. When he Took a Level in Badass they became a Battle Couple.
- Anger Born of Worry: Toward Chuck for much of first half of the series, and just dripping with UST; diluted thereafter.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Was susceptible to this until Chuck.
- Badass Adorable: Hardened badass? Check. Beautiful? Double check. Endearing? Triple check.
- Badass Family: She and her father definitely have their moments. Then she marries into another one.
- Becoming the Mask: A diluted example. Her assignment is to pose as Chuck's girlfriend. She quickly falls in love with him for real. Since Chuck's not an enemy, and indeed quickly accepts his new role as part-time hero, the moral questions and consequences of Sarah actually falling for him are not as severe as the usual trope (and actually an inversion of its usual usage).
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's a good person overall, but get on her bad side, she becomes scary.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: At the end of Season 5, Nicholas Quinn uses the faulty Intersect 3.0 to erase all her memories and manipulate her into trying to kill her former friends.
- Broken Bird: Both her childhood and her career have calloused her heart, and she feels she's damaged when compared to other people. Fortunately Chuck's influence softens her considerably.
- Broken Pedestal: Her biggest fear is that Chuck will become this for her and there are plenty of times in Season 3 when he very nearly crosses the line. Ultimately, she wants Chuck to remain the nerdy guy she fell in love with and not become a Professional Killer spy.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She's usually shown to become jealous of the many Girl of the Week and Femme Fatalle villains that become involved with Chuck.
- Comically Serious: Especially as she defrosts in seasons 2 and 3, Chuck loves to playfully needle her about her Consummate Professional facade.
- Consummate Liar: Lying is as natural to her as breathing. Even sodium pentathol has next to no effect on her.
- Cool Big Sis: In the final season, it's revealed that one of her first missions was to "extract" a package from a recently-murdered wealthy family. The package turned out to be a baby - the heiress of the family's fortune, and to protect the child from her dirty handler, she had her mother adopt her with a cooked identity. When Riker is taken care of, Sarah finally has the chance to be a big sister to her. And sure enough, they immediately bond over stuffed animals and some Mario Kart.
- Criminal Amnesiac: She falls into this at the conclusion of "Chuck Versus the Bullet Train", as Quinn convinces her that Chuck is a target to be killed.
- Dark Action Girl: Due to the Mind Rape induced by Quinn and the faulty Intersect in the series' last three episodes, she becomes one. Indeed, even Sarah's normal heroic self has streaks of efficient ruthlessness and cold-blooded brutality that can be scary to behold.
- Death Glare: If Chuck so much as notices another attractive woman he's going to get one of these from her. It has the power to quickly silence the usually chatty Chuck.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: As Chuck says:Chuck: I knew you could be heartwarmed.
- Easy Amnesia: Averted in the series finale. The faulty Intersect 3.0 virtually destroys her memory, and there is no way to restore it after Chuck uploads the sole remaining copy of the Intersect himself to save a theater full of people. Although there are fragments of memories remaining that strongly imply she could eventually recover some of what she lost, the series still ends on a somewhat ambiguous note over her future. Word of God has it that Sarah's feelings for Chuck remain, providing some semblance of a happy ending regardless of whether the memories return.
- Emotionless Girl: Tries quite hard at first. Fails miserably.
- Fish out of Water: She's not accustomed to being the girlfriend of a normal 9-5 kind of guy, not even for pretend. Family game nights, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas get-togethers, a loving supportive family, loyal friends, and a place to call home are all sort of new and weird for her. She's a quick study, though.
- Genre Blind: Sarah is prone to not recognizing the genre conventions associated with the various situations the team finds themselves in even though Morgan, Chuck, and even Casey do. If one of the team is going to say "It can't get any worse" and get called for it, more than likely it will be Sarah. In one such instance she even exasperatedly asks if their attitude was because it was something they saw in a movie.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: Sarah manages to sell the idea that her feelings for Chuck are strictly professional ... until the arrival of Lou in Chuck's life in Season 1. The cracks in her facade are pretty obvious after that.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Before mid- Season 3 Sarah has to contend with Chuck meeting Lou, Hannah, and rekindling with his ex Jill, none of whom she's happy to meet. Afterwards, she still gets annoyed if Chuck -however innocently - notices another woman. (See Death Glare above.)
- Guile Heroine: Sarah is cunning and know how use her art of seduction to receive informations and to accomplish her task.
- Happily Married: Until she gets Mind Erased by the Intersect...
- Has a Type: Sarah has proven to has a thing for nerdy brunette guys.
- Honey Trap: A perpetually PG-13 rated version, but it's one of her go-to moves. She never actually sleeps with a mark (not canonically anyway) but she's very good at getting unwary men alone with her and vulnerable. Indeed, it's how she met Chuck.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Sarah never got a real childhood and never got to experience what it means to be normal. Part of the reason she falls in love with Chuck is because he is so different from anyone in the life she has been living in and she steadily falls in love with the idea of giving up espionage altogether.
- In "Chuck Versus the Suburbs", she takes to her cover of being a domestic goddess in a sleepy surburban cul-de-sac very enthusiastically.
- By the time of Season 3 premiere, she wants to settle down with Chuck, leaving her spy life behind and being a "real person" again.
- Averted in "Chuck Versus the Honeymooners", when she realises she enjoyed being a spy and would like to keep doing it, but decides she wants to be with Chuck more. She idealized the idea of being normal with him because she thinks that is what he wants too. When they actually talk about it they realise they both want the same thing: to be together and stay spies.
- Informed Attribute: Several characters (especially Morgan) comment on Sarah's endowments, however Yvonne Strahovski is actually rather modestly endowed.
- Insecure Love Interest: An interesting example. Despite being more attractive, confident, and successful than Chuck and being able to see that Chuck is blatantly in love with her, she believes a relationship between them could never work regardless of how much she'd like it to due to her life as a spy. Espeically given Chuck's desperation for something in his life to be "normal" and any relationship with Sarah would ruin that.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Whenever Chuck meets another woman such as Lou, Jill, or Hannah, Sarah is always supportive; she thinks Chuck would be happier with somebody "normal". Although, that doesn't stop her from being a little jealous.
- Knife Nut: Probably has a few of them on her at any given time, and will use them to dispatch enemies, cut cheeseburgers, and mute alarm clocks.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Casey. They seem to develop a big brother-little sister kind of relationship as the series progress.
- Little Miss Con Artist: Her father is a famous con-man and as a child, he trained her to help him with his cons, which commonly resulted in her being injured. She would grow to resent him for it, as it denied her a normal childhood.
- Mama Bear: Although she has no kids of her own, she did take personal responsibility of a baby girl to save her from her ex-handler after his FaceHeel Turn. She reacts to threats against the child about as tolerantly as you'd expect.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Chuck's Feminine Boy. Chuck is the one who is in touch with his feelings, wants to talk things out, and can't stand to have fights unresolved. Meanwhile, Sarah is extremely guarded, tries to keep up a stoic front, hesitates to commit, and is always on the traditionally 'male' side of all their relationship-related arguments. Right down to Chuck being the one who wanted a big wedding.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Sarah and Casey are both Chuck's bodyguards. Upon being captured, Fulcrum agent Mauser decided to mouth off about how he'd surely escape, and that it would be the end of Chuck when he did. Chuck would have ignored him. Casey might of slapped him around a bit. Sarah cold bloodedly shoots him. Later on, when she and Chuck are a steady Battle Couple, Chuck's preferred weapon is a tranquilizer pistol. Sarah's continues to be her S&W 5906.
- Ms. Fanservice: She's not afraid to show off her body every other episode and provides most of the overt fanservice in the show. She herself lampshades her role as this in a fifth-season episode. When Casey balks at wearing a speedo on a mission, she calls him out on how many skimpy and sexy outfits she's had to wear on missions over the course of the show, even slipping in one example that was actually worn off-duty for Chuck's (and the audience's) benefit.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "It's the Giant Blonde She-male!"
- Nice Girl: Always tries to be nice to everyone. Becomes more evident as the series goes on. Though she does draw the line at Jeff and Lester.
- No Name Given: Sarah is most definitely NOT her real name. Her presumed birth first name is 'Sam' and and her middle name is 'Lisa'.
- While it's not her birth name, "Sarah Walker" is revealed to be her legal name.
- Not So Above It All: She tries to play up her Little Miss Con Artist childhood as a traumatic part of her life; something she tries very hard to keep under wraps. And to be fair, it DID cause her to experience several different kinds of heartaches, and yet, her father rather quickly unravels this and points out that despite everything that happened, she loved every minute of conning fools left and right with her dad. He claims she had more fun than any other kid her age, and sure enough she can't deny anything he says.
- Not So Different: When she gets flustered, she tends to ramble on in the same way Chuck does.
Sarah: [glances at stripper's pants uncomfortably close to her face] Is that a gun- No.
- Case in point? Male strippers.
- When she starts to embrace the more normal and mundane aspects of her life, she really gets into it. Full on Bridezilla mode too, much to Ellie's dismay (and her wallet!).
- A photo she makes to sell her fake relationship with Chuck? The pair of them at Comic Con with her in a Slave Leia costume. Her Valentine's Day surprise to Chuck? An adorable little dress with angel-wings. Her method of manipulating him into eloping? Belly-dancing outfit. She's evidently an adorable cosplayer.
- She absolutely gushes and geeks out after she uploads a defective Intersect 3.0, and despite the danger admits that it's pretty much the coolest thing in the world.
- Her attempts at "hanging out" with Morgan involved her playing with his Han and Chewie action figures, much to his embarrassment. It has to be seen to be believed.
- Omniscient Database: Has (had) access to: Corrupted Intersect 3.0.
- Pants-Positive Safety: She always keeps her S&W 5906 handy ... in the rear waistband of her shorts, slacks or jeans. We never see a holster.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Due to being utterly devoted to the CIA, she knows next to nothing about movies, books or music. While Chuck eases her into it, she's still very much green in this area. It's often Played for Laughs with how she's the most Wrong Genre Savvy character.
- Sex Goddess: When Heather finds out Chuck and Sarah are an item, she asks him if she's as good in bed as most spies and he simply nods enthusiastically.
- She's Got Legs: And many of her more fanservicey outfits go out of their way to emphasize them.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She falls hard for Chuck early on even earlier then we think- She confesses to Chuck that it was during their date in the pilot. Chuck begins the show with nary a bad boy bone in his body.
Chuck Bartowski: In-in-in a heartwarming kind of way. Look, all I know is the guy carried you of Castle on his back while you were both dying. So if I have to see you with someone else, it might as well be a hero. Right?
- Most of Season 3 showcases her horror at the moral compromises Chuck must make as he becomes immersed int the spy world.
- She seemed slightly bewildered at whatever kind of woman would fall for Casey, the baddest boy (while still on the good guy side) on the show.
- It's also worth noting that her brief relationship with Shaw was based on him having a lot of noble and heroic qualities. He was more ruthless then Chuck, sure, but still very much in the heroic camp. Chuck and Sarah even lampshade it later.
Sarah Walker: What can I say? I have a type.
- Statuesque Stunner: Sarah is a Head-Turning Beauty that stands at 5'9".
- Strong Girl, Smart Guy: With Chuck. Chuck is a computer nerd (though he Took a Level in Badass later on), Sarah is a trained badass agent.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Even after she warms up considerably, she still has a ruthless side that's frightening to behold. She's not afraid of showing it to Chuck when she wants something.
- The Tease: She's known for being flirtatious she proves to be a tease when she and Chuck have a Relationship UpgradeChuck: [getting ready in the bathroom for his solo trip while Sarah is in a bathtub behind him] Speaking of looks, you're sure doing an awful lot of maintenance over there.
Sarah: [coyly doing a Bath Kick while washing her legs] Just reminding you of what you'll be missing out on in Vegas.
Chuck: [staring] Oh, trust me, I'll remember.
- UST: With Chuck. Resolved into a Happily Married Official Couple after several seasons.
- With My Hands Tied: Disarms a man holding her at gunpoint with a high kick, then holds him down to the floor with her hands bound.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Not a good idea to kidnap/threaten/harm Chuck.
John Casey / Alexander Coburn
Portrayed by Adam Baldwin
Colonel John Casey (birth-name Alexander Coburn) is an NSA agent and pretty much the ultimate badass that is sent to protect Chuck after he gets the Intersect implanted in his brain. Casey has a bit of a short temper and often gets frustrated with Chuck, but is absolutely a man he can count on.
Tropes associated with Casey:
- The Ace: Casey has a reputation for his ruthless efficiency and being one of the best NSA agents, something he proves many times during the show.
- Agony of the Feet: Casey survived three wars without losing a fingernail, then in "Chuck Versus Santa Claus" he gets a toe shot off by an amateur crook that breaks in and holds the Buy More hostage.
- Anti-Hero: Type III/IV. Ruthless and described as a "cold-school killer." That said he's still firmly a good guy and a good friend.
- Badass Creed: "Because the only thing I hate more than hippie and neo-liberal fascists and anarchists are the hypocrite fat cat suits they eventually grow up to become."
- Badass Normal: The only member of the team who never receives an Intersect, yet the show's premiere and eternal badass.
- Big Brother Instinct: Casey swings between acting as a gruff father figure and an aloof older brother type towards Chuck (and sometimes Sarah), but generally he has a protective instinct towards Chuck that goes above and beyond orders. In fact at some points, he even defies orders just to keep him safe. Hes also regularly there to offer guidance and advice to Chuck, even if it is through gritted teeth.
- Big Damn Heroes: Happens a lot. A particularly great one? Swinging in with Chekhov's Dakka and shooting basically everything except Chuck and Sarah, in what could have been a homage to the original Big Damn Heroes scene... also with Adam Baldwin hanging out of an airborne vehicle with a machine gun.
- The Big Guy: He's enormous, played by the towering 6'4" Adam Baldwin. And while this only puts him an inch taller than Levi, Baldwin is significantly more powerfully-built. Casey is, therefore, one of the physically largest characters in the entire series. He's also one of the strongest, having ripped a radiator out of a wall to use as a bludgeon in one episode.
- Bond One-Liner: Surprisingly fond of these.
- [After knocking out a bad guy with a microwave] "How's that for moving some merchandise?"
- [After driving his car right into a restaurant full of Fulcrum agents] "Somebody order drive-through?"
- [After using the Intersect to take out a team of Fulcrum scientists while disguised as a TV repairman] "Somebody call the cable guy?"
- Cartwright Curse: Apparently, most of his relationships end tragically. In "Chuck Versus the Anniversary", he has this to say on the subject:Sarah: Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship?
Casey: No. I either leave or they die.
- The Chew Toy: Casey is a Made of Iron badass, but also suffers a lot of Amusing Injuries and just plain humiliation over the course of the series.
- Cold Sniper: Casey is a cold, stoic guy who can easily make a shot that supposedly only five people in the world could make.
- Colonel Badass: His rank in the NSA.
- Comically Serious: The show gets quite a bit of comedy out of Casey's stoicness.
- Cultured Badass: Despite his hardcore badass persona not really being a persona, the man knows how to cook, enjoys classical music, and is fairly conversant with both popular culture and the more refined arts. This reaches an apex when he plans and executes a beach wedding for Ellie and Awesome.
- Father to His Men: Will always spread the credit for a success around to other members of his team when it is due.
- Gun Nut: To downright parody levels.
- Heartbroken Badass: From having had to walk away from his fiancée when he faked his death to become John Casey.
- Then again when he found love with AP photographer Ilsa Trinchina before she diednote in 2004 after an explosion in Chechnya outside the hotel they were staying in.
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Originally this. Now has become best friends with Morgan of all people!
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Casey has clearly become this by the end of the second season, even if he refuses to admit it.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Sarah. They seems to have a big brother-little Sister as the serie progress.
- Made of Iron: Par for course. In Chuck Vs. The Undercover Lover a Russian thug injures his hand by punching him in the face.
- Neck Lift: Pulls off several of these when he's especially pissed off, especially to Morgan.
- Noodle Incident: Pretty much everyone at Buy More is scared shitless of Casey, but Morgan specifically cites a "volleyball incident" from their company picnic to straighten out his rebellious employees.
- Odd Friendship: Eventually becomes one of Morgan's best friends, of all people. Chuck and Sarah are both weirded out by it, but come to accept it as yet another of Casey's quirks. They even become roommates later.
- One-Man Army: Casey is easily able to take a huge amount of Mooks by himself.Shaw: [overhearing gratuitous amounts of gunfire and screaming] I see you brought Casey.
- Overprotective Dad: Casey found out about his daughter mid-season 3. Since then, he's shown strong signs of this whenever anyone wants to cause harm to her... or if their name is "Morgan Grimes".Casey: You break her heart, I break your everything.
- Out of Character Is Serious Business: You know an episode has moved out of comedy and into the more dramatically serious territory if Casey has A) dropped his tough guy demeanor for his more emotional side, or B) started to defy orders.
- Papa Wolf:
- After he finds out about his daughter, Casey becomes even more dangerous towards anyone who threatens her.
- In a more abstract example- messing with Team Bartowski, especially once you get past the first couple of seasons, is a very bad idea.
- Rank Up: Is promoted from Major to Colonel by Beckman towards the end of Season 2.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He used to be a choir boy and helped design Devon and Ellie's wedding at the end of the second season. And yet, he is unquestionably the most badass character on the show.
- Not to mention, his favorite movie of all time is... Steel Magnolias.
- And of course, he takes his mini quiches very seriously.
- Semper Fi: A hardened marine, and VERY proud of it.
- Strawman Political: Played with. Casey has several portraits of Ronald Reagan in his home, and is a notable supporter of gun rights. However, this is rarely referenced except in the background.
- Casey himself also invokes political strawmen on occasion, usually liberal stereotypes. See the Badass Creed above.
- Team Dad: As much as Casey moans and gripes about having to take care of Team Bartowski, he plays the reluctant father figure very often. In between complaining about how annoying an unprofessional they are, he often begrudingly dispenses advice and even emotional support to both Chuck and Sarah. He is even willing to defy orders just to keep them safe.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Ultimately becomes this toward Chuck and Sarah - initially, he and Sarah just hated each other and he was contemptuous of Chuck. Eventually it transfers over to Morgan.
- Weapon of Choice: He prefers Sig Sauer handguns, beginning with the compact P229 before moving to the larger P226.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: A variant, as he approves of Chuck's somewhat more ruthless behavior in the third season, and Sarah is unsettled by this approval.
- You Will Be Spared: On the receiving end of this from Miles, one of the marines in his old unit, who is actually a sleeper agent for The Ring. Miles kills all of Casey's men in the Season 2 finale and the only reason Casey didn't die then and there is because Casey saved Miles' life once.
Morgan Guillermo Grimes
Portrayed by Joshua Gomez
Chuck's Best Friend since childhood, the two have been as close as brothers. (Of course, one of them is stuck with a super computer in his brain.) For the most part, Morgan is largely stuck at the Buy More dealing with (or starting) various nonsense and generally unaware of all the espionage his best friend has been up to, although coincidentally enough many of Morgan's misadventures run parallel to whatever Chuck is dealing with at the time.
As of Season 3, however, Morgan is finally an agent of Operation Bartowski. As of the end of Season 4, he's AN INTERSECT. It does come out eventually, though not without some side effects.
Tropes associated with Morgan:
- Abhorrent Admirer: He has had a crush on Chuck's sister, Ellie, since they were children. However, throughout the first season, it is shown that Ellie is repulsed by him. Finally getting over his childish obsession and dating women who are actually interested in him is the first step in Morgan's Character Development.
- Benevolent Boss: In comparison to Big Mike, Harry Tang and Emmett Milbarge, he is the nicest assistant manager and eventual manager the Buy More employees have ever worked under.
- Best Friend: He and Chuck are this to one another and have been since they were children. Even Beckman notices in "Chuck Versus the Honeymooners" that Morgan and Chuck are weirdly co-dependant.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite Casey's own assessment, he proves to be one of CIA's finest with his insanely unorthodox and geeky approaches to... well, everything. As Beckman puts it, he's a diamond in the rough - VERY rough - but she's certain Casey will make him sparkle.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: In season 5, having to do with the fact that the intersect he received was NOT sent by Beckman... He gets over it, due to The Power of Friendship.
- Brass Balls: When Casey was tasked with training Morgan for fieldwork, he passed in spite of his incompetence and complete lack of experience, because he showed that he was willing to risk life by using himself as bait to lure a live tiger away from his team, and continues the streak throughout his field work.
- Character Development: Starts out as a slacker and utter loser but starts to become a bit more responsible by mid second season. By the time the third and fourth seasons occur, he becomes significantly more competent and mature, if perhaps a bit of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer.
- Childhood Friend: He has been friends with Chuck and Ellie since childhood.
- Crazy Awesome: Acknowledged in-universe and among the cast, Morgan's speciality are plans Crazy Enough to Work. His own enthusiasm over them also make them crazier.
- Crazy-Prepared: in Chuck Versus the Balcony, when Chuck gets his jacket dirty before proposing to Sarah, Morgan informs him that he placed a Tide-to-Go pen in the pocket.
- FaceHeel Turn: Appears to be going through one alongside My Skull Runneth Over starting in Season 5. See Brainwashed and Crazy above.
- Genre Savvy:
- Weaponized: Morgan's encyclopedic knowledge of kung-fu movies enables him to recognize Shaw's FaceHeel Turn when he even had Beckman fooled, by spotting that Shaw was only stage-fighting a group of Ring agents and pulling his punches.
- Later in season three, he's the first to believe Chuck's insistence Shaw is still alive after Chuck tells him the CIA Never Found the Body, because he learned it from John Carpenter movies.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners:
- With Chuck, with Morgan often interfering in Chuck's other relationships. (Morgan actually uses the phrase "life partners" in "Chuck Versus the Marlin.")
- Becomes one with Casey too in later seasons, being the one to constantly push him to put his life ahead of his job.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: While disguised as a bad guy, Morgan tries to prove his evilness to the other bad guys in the room by pretending to be in a phone call with one of his henchmen, telling the henchman to kill a puppy because it's too much of a hassle to feed.
- The Lancer: Once he joins the team, he becomes their go-to support and back-up guy.
- Manchild: A notorious one who treats his slow Character Development into an actual responsible adult like a man being marched towards his execution.
- Mission Control: A variation. He knows more about Chuck than anyone else - meaning he can virtually track him down better than anyone else.
- Non-Action Guy: Morgan is officially a member of Chuck's team, but only proves useful in his smartness and yoga skills. That is, until Season 5, when he has the Intersect.
- Only Sane Man: From Season 4 onward, he becomes this for the Buy More.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Starts out this way, and... pretty much remains this after he joins up.
- Properly Paranoid: He freaks out after Chuck finds out Shaw is alive. Rightfully so.
- The Slacker: He boasts to Chuck he has slacking down to a fine art and constantly passes up the chance for management positions at the Buy More in the early seasons despite being - aside from Chuck - the most logical choice because he just wants to coast by doing as little as possible. After he learns about Chuck's spy life and undergoes some Character Development he begins to mature into a more responsible adult.
- Took a Level in Badass: Once he got the Intersect at the end of season 4.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 5, he turned into quite a self-entitled asshole, brushing off Chuck and the rest of his team, and even going as far as joining a rival spy firm. However, Morgan himself isn't at fault for it, as the Intersect that he gained at the end of last season was "tainted", causing him to lose himself, so to speak and he eventually had it removed.
- Undying Loyalty: He will always have Chuck's back and do whatever he asks, no questions asked.
Eleanor Faye "Ellie" Woodcomb, née Bartowski
Portrayed by Sarah Lancaster
Chuck's doting older sister. Ever since both of their parents up and abandoned them, the two have learned to take care of each other, a day they celebrate as "Mother's Day." Ellie was the last person to find out about Chuck's secret, and did not take it well... especially given that Shaw killed their father right in front of her eyes.
Tropes associated with Ellie:
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Chuck from Shaw, twice! First time was together with Morgan and Awesome, and then second time she knocks him out with a toaster just as he was about to shoot Chuck!
- BrotherSister Team: Due to their parents, Ellie and Chuck had to rely on each other a lot more than siblings usually would growing up. Their dependence on each other is obvious from the fact that despite being in their 20s, they're still living together. As Chuck becomes more embroiled in the spy world - whilst they always remain close - Chuck relies less on Ellie and Ellie comes to terms with Chuck being able to survive without her.
- Cool Big Sis: She pretty much raised Chuck on her own, and is always there for him.
- Happily Married: She and Awesome are the most stable, drama-free couple of the entire series.
- Locked Out of the Loop: She is perhaps the last person in Chuck's circle of friends and family to learn the truth. Tragically, being the only person not in the know makes it very easy for The Ring to manipulate her.
- Mistaken for Cheating: In "Chuck Versus the Broken Heart", Ellie sees the photos from Awesome's bachelor party and mistakenly assumes she is seeing evidence that Awesome - who was unconscious and heavily tranquilized by a CIA agent disguised as a stripper - cheated on her whilst intoxicated.
- My Beloved Smother: To Chuck, though it is justified as she and Chuck grew up with only each other to rely on.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Despite knowing Morgan since childhood and acknowledging him as Chuck's brother, she loathes him. It took all of the first season for her to warm up to him.
- The Not-Love Interest: Ellie pretty much plays the same role as "the wife" in most television shows.
- Odd Friendship: Develops one with Morgan once he begins to move past his obsession with her and they unite over their shared concern for Chuck.
- Only Sane Man: Is always the voice of reason when things get crazy.
- Promotion to Parent: As the result of a Missing Mom and a Disappeared Dad, Ellie has had to be a mother to Chuck since childhood.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Professionally, she's the Blue Oni (as a neurosurgeon) to Awesome's Red Oni (Cardiovascular surgeon).
- Secret Keeper: Unfortunately, this only happens after she was fed a mis-secret, with disastrous consequences.
- Shipper on Deck: For Chuck and Sarah.
- In a weird way she is also this for Morgan and literally any other woman that isn't her.
- Took a Level in Badass: After discovering Chuck's secret and witnessing the murder of their father, Ellie stops messing around!
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: In this case, a Violently Protective Big Sis / Wife. Although not as combat capable as Sarah, it's still a bad idea to threaten Chuck or Awesome when she's around. Casey, Shaw and the brainwashed Sarah each learn this the painful way.
- White Sheep: While all the Bartowskis are overall decent people, she is the only family member to not get caught up in the intricacies of the spy world, and in fact wants nothing to do with it.
Devon Christian "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb
Portrayed by Ryan Mc Partlin
Ellie's boyfriend/fiancé/husband, and Chuck's brother-in-law, Awesome is well... an awesome guy. For most of the show, he's mainly stuck to secondary story-arcs, lending his awesomeness to any given situation. However, upon discovering Chuck's identity, his very awesomeness was put to the test.
Tropes associated with Awesome:
- The Ace:Jeff: Have you ever had a dream that didn't come true?
Awesome: [Beat] No.Awesome: I get it dude. You know, there was a time in my life that I didn't have a lot going on either. Dead-end job, no girl.
Casey: [Beat] Really?
Awesome: Well, no, John. No.
- Bad Liar: He's a horrible liar. His cover story for helping Chuck out on a mission? He was jogging in a park. Where no cell phones were allowed. Then he sees a cat stuck in a tree, and checks if it needs medical attention. Turns out it was a bear! And he had to wrestle with it, then cut off its head! He decapitated the bear. It was pretty grisly.
- He just generally can't lie to people he cares about, and he even gives a What the Hell, Hero? to Chuck over it.
- Big Brother Mentor: Thinks he's this to Morgan, and to a bigger (but actually lesser) extent, to Chuck.
- Catch Phrase:
- Awesome! (That's how he got his nickname.)
- Subverted in "Chuck vs. The Truth" when Ellie said if everything is awesome, then everything is mediocre.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Talks about sex a lot, much to Ellie's consternation since he talks about either her brother having sex, or the two of them having sex in front of her brother. He, however, is a very honorable and decent guy who would never cheat on his wife.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In Season One, he was more standoffish and rude because the original plan was for him to be an enemy sleeper agent. The character however endeared himself too much to the crew and the fans to let him go. Post-Season Two he becomes the Nice Guy.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Morgan once asks him about his day, the lengthy descriptions of what he does to make Ellie happy, including getting fresh fruit and making smoothies, running baths, etc, makes Morgan swoon.
- The Everyman: Funnily enough, despite his awesomeness in nearly everything he's one of the most grounded characters.
- Happily Married: To Ellie after they get married in season 2, with them acting as a Foil to Chuck and Sarah, they provide the main stable relationship in the show.
- Hot-Blooded: He's a very energetic man.
- Innocently Insensitive: Despite how much he loves Ellie, he often forgets to ask about her feelings on a situation before taking impulsive action.
- In "Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover", Ellie and Awesome mull over what to purchase at the Buy More. Ellie leaves telling Awesome to "surprise" her, strongly hinting he should buy the television. He buys the washing machine instead because he thought that'd be the most "surprising" choice.
- In "Chuck Versus Santa Claus", he tells Ellie not to buy him a gift because he's bought himself a gift from her... a weekend skydiving trip with the "boys".
- Jerk Jock: Averted. He's one of the friendliest characters on the show.
- Mr. Fanservice: He's pretty much the male equivalent of Sarah in this regard. And extremely secure about his good looks, but not really vain, so he has no issues walking about in barely any clothing, including have many Shirtless Scenes.
- Nice Guy: An absolute teddy-bear of a man, this even gets him into trouble a few times. That said....he does draw the line with Jeff and Lester.
- Non-Action Guy: Ironically enough, despite being extremely fit (strong enough to take down Casey with a punch) and jumping at a chance for more action in his life, it becomes quickly apparent he's not at all cut out for the spy life. It's the one thing he's just not awesome at.
- Properly Paranoid: His desire for "excitement" of the spy life...had side effects.
- Red Baron: He's so awesome, that's what they call him!
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Professionally, he's the Red Oni (as a Cardiovascular surgeon) to Ellie's Blue Oni (neurosurgeon).
- Secret Keeper: Hilariously, out of all the people in Chuck's civilian life it is sweet, simple Devon who first learns that he is actually a spy. Whilst he is initially thinks it's "awesome" he swiftly begins to crack under the pressure of keeping that secret because he's a Bad Liar.
- Stereotype Flip: A beefcake bodybuilder who is also a skilled surgeon and knows how to tango—basically, a white version of Turk. Hell, it just continues the perception from Scrubs that the surgeons are the jocks.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: One of the reasons why he's a Non-Action Guy, as a doctor he took an oath to do no harm, and he takes it very seriously. He's also just a very nice person.
- Thrill Seeker: He enjoys several dangerous and occasionally life-threatening adventure sports such as whitewater rafting and skydiving. However, after getting a taste of the spy life, he soon becomes a lot more concerned about his and Ellie's safety.
- Took a Level in Badass: Since his involvement with Premier Goya and Daniel Shaw.
Portrayed by Bonita Friedericy
Operation Bartowski's commanding officer, Beckman is a decorated General and head of the NSA. Originally had a different approach to the Intersect compared to Langston Graham, ever since his death, she had to take on the more direct command over it. A role that took quite a long, long time for her to become comfortable with...
Tropes associated with Beckman:
- The Comically Serious: Much fun is had with Beckman's perpetually serious demeanor. One episode finds her scowling at Chuck and Sarah while wearing a cocktail dress.
- Deadpan Snarker: The more she de-frosts, the more snarky and less mean-spirited she becomes.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: At first, she was more than happy to have Casey ice Chuck, but the long road eventually made her care for the entire team.
- Expecting Someone Taller: Quite literally, as Chuck was very surprised with how tiny she is.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Her on-again, off-again relationship with Roan Montgomery.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The tiny girl to Graham's huge guy in the first season.
- Jerkass: Even Casey admits as much with her need to control everything. Later evolves into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Lady of War: She's a hardened soldier, and as such always thinks like one at first.
- Mission Control: The only responsible for giving most of the team's missions.
- The Other Darrin: Maybe. The NSA's (unnamed in the episode) representative in the pilot was played by Wendy Makkena, who was replaced by Bonita Friedericy from Episode 2 onwards. Word of God is undecided if they're the same person.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Once she defrosts, she does throw her support behind the team even when they run counter to more ruthless or pragmatic choices and admits that she cares for Chuck as well.
- Talking Heads: Ninety percent of the time only shows up through a video feed. Whenever she shows up in person you know things are going to go down.
- Tsundere: Is still painfully in love with Roan, but his gallivanting and womanizing pisses her off to no end. She responds by torturing him... by making him work at the Buy More.