No slipping up if you slip away.
So I got nothing to share.
No, I got nothing to say. ♫
A high school senior who struggles with intense social anxiety. As a result, he has never really had any friends, only able to find comfort in his hopeless crush on Zoe Murphy. He is assigned by his therapist to write uplifting letters to himself, but when a self-depricating letter is taken by Connor Murphy and mistaken for Connor's suicide note, Evan is pulled into a lie that eventually spirals out of control.
- Ambiguous Disorder: While it's never referred to by name, Evan shows a lot of the signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder.
- Amicable Exes: With Zoe after the truth comes out.
- Apologizes a Lot: His social anxiety prompts him to apologize even when he hasn't done anything that merits apologizing.
- Believing Their Own Lies: Evan buys into his own lies for a bit before it bites him back.
- BSoD Song: "Words Fail", where Evan reveals his lie to the Murphys and lambasts his brokenness and inability to genuinely communicate with people.
- Bungled Suicide: The truth about how Evan broke his arm, as he chose to jump off a tree, rather than accidentally fall.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Evan and Zoe split after it comes out that Evan was lying about basically everything.
- Friendless Background: He has severe social anxiety and incredibly low self-esteem, so it is extremely difficult for him to make friends.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: His ultimate goal in this musical, though his extreme lack of self-esteem gets in the way of this.
- Shrinking Violet: His social anxiety makes it difficult for him to make friends.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: By Act Two, Evan has become more obsessed with spending time with the Murphys, to the point where he neglects his mother, his only "family friend" Jared and his responsibilities of the Connor Project, something that irks Alana.
Evan: Its fine.
Heidi: Well, Im here. And if Im not here here, Im a phone call away. Or text. Email. Whatever.
Evan's mother, a nurse's aide who attends law school at night, often leaving Evan on his own as a result. She tries to connect with Evan, but struggles because she doesn't personally understand what he goes through on a daily basis.
- Alliterative Name: Heidi Hansen.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Heidi is always sweet and always determined to make her son proud, but becomes livid when she discovers Evan's repeated visits to the Murphys, even though he told her he had been going to Jared's house.
- Good Parents: Despite her insecurity about being a good mother, she's very loving and supportive towards Evan.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Heidi, played by Rachel Bay Jones, is blonde and has a big heart.
- Not So Different: Cynthia Murphy is seemingly her total opposite, but there is a reason "Anyone Have a Map?" is a duet between them. When it comes to parenting, they hit a lot of the same hurdles.
- Parents as People: She loves Evan dearly, but is stretched way too thin and often fails to connect with him. But she tries. Oh, how she tries.
- Struggling Single Mother: After her husband left, she acknowledged that there were aspects of parenting she couldn't fulfill that a father could. She's overworked with her two jobs and struggles to connect with her son.
Evan: Oh. I, um, I fell out of a tree actually.
Connor: You fell out of a tree? That is the saddest fucking thing I've ever heard. Oh my God.
A high school senior. Connor is a social outcast, much like Evan, though his volatile temper and grim nature have left him more feared than ignored. His suicide sets off the chain of events in the play.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Connor is implied to have some sort of mental illness, as he is emotionally volatile, paranoid about what others think of him, and apparently had a history of suicidal ideation. It has been suggested that he has borderline personality disorder.
- Big Brother Bully: He would lash out at his sister, even threatening to kill her, and snap at their parents.
- Big Brother Instinct: Even though he and Zoe clearly hate each other, he goes ballistic when he thinks that Evan was using her.
- Chekhov's Gun: Gets the plot going, first by signing Evan's cast, then, after assuming it's a sick joke on Connor himself, by taking Evan's negative "confidence building" letter. Both these plot points combined lead to Connor's parents believing that Evan was his friend after Connor is Driven to Suicide.
- Driven to Suicide: His death kickstarts the plot.
- Friendless Background: The sole (arguably) kind thing he does before his death is bond over his and Evan's shared lack of friends by signing Evan's cast, saying that that way, "....we can both pretend we have friends."
- Hidden Depths: In the last scene, we find out that while most students made a collage of their friends in the school yearbook, Connor instead made a list of his favorite books.
- Jerkass: Is angry, bitter, and deeply paranoid.
Imaginary Connor Murphy
And make me more than an abandoned memory...
Well, that means we matter too.
It means someone will see that you are there. ♫
This imaginary version of Connor takes center stage after the real one commits suicide, and is a mouthpiece for the feelings that Evan Hansen believes that he himself cannot admit or articulate on his own.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Zoe, as detailed in "If I Could Tell Her," as a cover for Evan's own romantic feelings towards her.
- Dead Person Conversation: Evan, Jared, and the Murphys use him as a sounding board.
- Imaginary Friend: To Evan.
- Motivational Lie: Is one to the entire cast, including Evan.
- Only Friend: To Evan.
- Spirit Advisor: To Evan.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: His personality, influenced by Evan's own Shrinking Violet tendencies and the few interactions Evan has with the real Connor.
- Surrogate Soliloquy: Is aware of his nature as an imaginary friend, but offers a sympathetic ear anyway.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Motivates Evan to continue with his lies.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Convinces Evan that both Evan and the real Connor deserve recognition, acknowledgement and love, so that a tragedy like the one that befell Connor and nearly, Evan will never have to happen again.
I don't need you to fix what I'd rather forget.
Clear the slate and start over,
Try to quiet the noises in your head-
We can't compete with all that. ♫
Connor's younger sister and Evan's longtime crush. She was never close to Connor, hated him even, but wishes she had known him better and turns to Evan after he lies and says he was friends with Connor.
- Amicable Exes: With Evan after the truth comes out.
- Deadpan Snarker: She is one throughout the musical, like when she describes her mother's fad-jumping in two simple sentences:"That's just what happens when you're rich and you don't have a job. You go crazy."
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Zoe is not happy when people from her school offer their condolences for her brother's passing.
- Uptown Girl: Coming from a wealthier family, Zoe counts as this for Evan.
Pour another cup of coffee,
And watch it all crash and burn.
It's a puzzle,
It's a maze.
I try to steer through it a million ways.
But each days another wrong turn. ♫
Connor and Zoe's stay-at-home mother. She is constantly trying to keep her fragile family from falling apart, but is often unsuccessful. She clings to the memory of Connor, mourning not only his death, but her fading relationship with him as he grew older and his illnesses and addictions intensified. Her relationship with Larry and Zoe suffers because of it.
- Idle Rich: Zoe sees her this way, jumping from fad to fad to stave off boredom.
- Parents as People: She loves her kids a lot, and is devastated when Connor dies, and regrets how she failed to help him when he was alive.
- Not So Different: As "Anyone Have a Map?" shows, her struggles and anxities with motherhood are very similar to Heidi's.
- Slave to PR: Much of the dialogue implies that Cynthia was fixated on her family's image to a fault.
Even when everyone around you lets things go-
Whether you're prepping for some test,
Or you're miles from some goal,
Or you're just trying to do what's best,
For a kid who's lost control,
You do the hard thing-
'Cause that's the right thing,
Yeah, that's the right thing. ♫
Connor and Zoe's busy father, a lawyer. He works hard to give his family a relatively easy life, but he is emotionally distant from all three of them. He becomes close with Evan, who never had a strong father figure, and begins to see Evan as the son Connor never was.
- Death Glare: After Evan finally confesses to the Murphys his lie, all Larry can do is angrily do this, before walking away.
- The Stoic: He didn't cry at Connor's funeral, and refuses to let out his grief for his deceased son to Cynthia, when she tried to get him to read the fake emails.
- Why Are You Not My Son?: Starts to have this mindset towards Evan.
Jared: Its easy. You make up an account, backdate the emails. Theres a reason I was the only CIT with key card access to the computer cluster this summer: I have skills, son.
One of Evan's classmates; he is the closest thing Evan has ever had to a friend. The son of a family friend of the Hansens, he initially claims he only talks to Evan so that his parents will pay for his car insurance. Evan enlists his help in crafting fake emails from Connor, and slowly becomes a true friend to him.
- Ambiguously Gay: While he claims that he is interested in girls and even claims he "got to second-base-below-the-bra with this girl from Israel who's going to be in the army," he he often acts weirdly around the subject of homosexuality. He acts as a Shipper on Deck in regards to Evan and Connor and makes numerous jokes about the subject. There is also the argument that some of his actions and reactions indicate a crush on Evan, but that is never confirmed one way or another.
- Hypocrite: He calls Evan out for only talking to him when he needs help with lying to the Murphys... apparently forgetting all about the times he reminded Evan he only talks to him so his parents will pay for his car insurance. (It's implied later that this isn't really the only reason why, but it's still a hell of a mean thing to say.)
- Jerkass: Comes across as one throughout the musical.
- Jewish and Nerdy: Evidently Jewish (mentions reaching second base with a girl about to enter the IDF; invites Evan over to drink some wine that "hasn't been touched since Rosh Hashanah 1997") and also an IT whiz.
- Not So Different: He makes a big deal about Evan being only a family friend, not a real friend... but seems to have no friends at school either. (He mentions his camp friends are his real friends.) Near the end Evan realizes that maybe Jared willingly hangs out with him because he has no one else to be with, either.
- Plucky Comic Relief: He is the much needed source of comic relief during the show.
- Shipper on Deck: He frequently implies that Evan made himself sound like lovers with Connor and makes many jokes about it when helping Evan write the fake emails between himself and Connor
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Cusses frequently throughout the play. He even has an Atomic F-Bomb at one point.
- Tsundere: While not necessarily in a romantic way and not in a physical sense, Jared tends to switch between being rather mean to Evan and earnestly supportive of him. He also frequently denies that he is actually friends with Evan, but later refers to himself when he tells Evan to remember who his friends are.
Alana: Mine was productive. I did the three internships and 90 hours of community service. I know: wow.
Evan's precocious and sometimes insufferable classmate. She is constantly looking for academic and extracurricular activities to boost her college résumé. She never knew Connor, but is greatly affected by his death and quickly joins Evan in founding the Connor Project in order to keep Connor's memory alive.
- Black and Nerdy: Alana, played by Kristolyn Lloyd in the original Broadway production, goes above and beyond in her academic ambitions.
- Foil: In Act Two, she is revealed to be one to Connor. The two know what it's like to be unnoticed by anyone. However, Connor uses his anger to drive people away from him, while Alana conceals her friendless background with her overall cheeriness.Evan: Why are you so obsessed with this? I mean, you didn't even know [Connor].
Alana: Because it's important.
Evan: Because you were lab partners? Or because, I don't know, maybe because you want another extracurricular for your college applications?
Alana: Because I know what it's like to feel invisible! Just like Connor! To feel invisible and alone and like nobody would even notice if you vanished into thin air! I bet you used to know what that felt like, too!
- Also one to Evan: she spends most of the play exaggerating how close she and Connor were, but unlike Evan she never deviates from facts; instead she just puts her own spin on them ("We were acquaintances. Close acquaintances! He was in my chemistry class one year!")
- Go-Getter Girl: To the point where Evan accuses her of trying to take advantage of Connor's suicide to bolster her college applications.
- Meganekko: Alana is the only female character to be seen wearing glasses.
- Motor Mouth: In her introductory scene, Alana is going on about her summer and Evan can't get a word in edgewise. It happens again in the first scene of Act Two, when Evan and Alana announce online the Kickstarter campaign for rebuilding the orchard.