The First Sergeant of the G.I. Joe team, and the poster boy of the franchise. Second in command of the Joe team and main battlefield leader. Real name: Conrad S. Hauser
- All-American Face: He's a hero who fights for American freedom.
- Badass Bookworm: While it's not otherwise emphasized, a flashback in A Real American Hero shows him up late studying.
- Black Best Friend: Roadblock in the comics (they entered G.I. Joe at the same time, and most pre-Joe Duke stories show Roadblock with him). Ripcord in the first movie, and Roadblock again in the second movie (though because of who's playing him, is more of an Ambiguously Brown Best Friend in this instance).
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: He's not especially boisterous or mean, but he's more no-nonsense than the cooler-headed Hawk.
- Distressed Dude: Each of the three five-part miniseries that began the first cartoon saw him getting captured in the beginning.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Scarlett in the cartoon and possibly Cover Girl as well.
- The Hero: He's typically portrayed as the leader and most important member of the Joes.
- Killed Off for Real: In the live action movies. Supposed to bite it in the animated one too, but see below.
- Not Quite Dead: Was originally slated to die in The Movie, but public backlash of Optimus Prime's death caused the writers to spare him at the last minute. This is particularly strange because he literally got a snake thrown ''in to'' his chest cavity, entering where his heart should be. It is especially jarring because the scene quite easily plays as an actual death scene if one were to mute or ignore the lines about him being in a coma and recovering that were added at the last minute.
- Rugged Scar: He has a scar on his right cheek in Resolute and also ends up getting one over his eye in the Grand Finale of Renegades.
- Sergeant Rock: A tough leader who doesn't mess around. He's the Joes' First Sergeant, which means it's his job to lead the team in battle.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Originally Duke was supposed to substitute Hawk after Hawk was Put on a Bus for a while in the comics, which is why they're so similar. The animated version of Duke was practically Hawk from the comics before they decided to bring Hawk to the animated series as well.
- Divergent Character Evolution: To differentiate Duke and Hawk, Duke became more of a "tough guy" while Hawk is more of the "veteran" leader. It's still very minor and only noticeable when they are placed together in the same scene.
The leader of the Joes. Real name: Clayton M. Abernathy
- Adaptation Dye-Job: He was blond in the comics, but when he appeared in the cartoon his hair became brown to make him different to Duke. Eventually the comic went that way as well.
- Third-Option Adaptation: His hair has already turned gray in modern iterations of the franchise, thus sidestepping the hair color issue.
- A Father to His Men: Refuses to stay behind a desk while his men are out their risking their lives.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the highest authority among the Joes and will kick serious ass when he needs to.
- Bald of Awesome: He's bald in Renegades.
- Big Good: He's usually the only Joe higher in authority than Duke.
- The Brigadier: Bonus points for being his actual rank.
- Colonel Badass, often promoted to Four-Star Badass
- Eyepatch of Power: He wears an eyepatch in Renegades.
- Frontline General: Spends most of his time leading the Joes in the field. He pays the price for this in the comics, getting injured numerous times and earning a Cowboy Cop reputation with his superiors in the Pentagon.
- Officer and a Gentleman: He was born into a wealthy, presigious family, and was a Valedictorian at West Point.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He will give his soldiers a chance to redeem themselves or prove their intentions when they are suspected of going rogue.
- Remember the New Guy?: In the cartoon, Hawk just appears as the team's commanding officer at the start of the second season. The reason for this was Hasbro had just released a new action figure of Hawk to showcase his promotion to General and the cartoon was required to include him. This wasn't an issue with the Marvel comics since Hawk was a regular character from the first issue.
- Sunglasses at Night: In the second season of the DiC series, he's always wearing sunglasses.
The G.I. Joe team's intelligence expert. Possibly done full-on wet work. Real name: Shana M. O'Hara
- Action Girl: One of the best examples since Modesty Blaise as she has no superpowers, is still vulnerable to injury and it's her tenacity, skills and extensive training keep her going.
- Was in danger of becoming a Faux Action Girl during the DDP-era. After she successfully freed herself from Destro's clutches in America's Elite #7, she either remained at base, was easily knocked unconscious or kept secure thanks to the Standard Female Grab Area for 19 issues! Luckily she made a triumphant comeback in America's Elite #26 in which she kicked some serious ninja-ass for good and restored her status.
- Distressed Damsel: Memorably averted in #21—Snake Eyes rescues her after she's escaped from Storm Shadow's oubliette using a disguised hairpin.
- Friendly Sniper: Handwaved away in the original cartoon series and comic book; it wasn't until the movie and series like Resolute that it was emphasized that one of Scarlett's main jobs is to kill people (that crossbow isn't for target practice).
- Ms. Fanservice: Played straight, and averted, and subverted. Even being the only female character for a while and almost always the main female Joe, she was never large breasted nor was her uniform Stripperific, except for a brief period during the end of the Marvel run, when the publishing company tried all sorts of tricks to improve sales and changed her classic uniform into a far more decolté-generous one. Still, only Snake-Eyes was a more prominent character during the early Marvel-years and she did receive her fair share of Clothing Damage every now and then. Her beauty was rather rarely commented upon, especially contrasted to Cover Girl.
- Official Couple: With either Snakes Eyes (comics) or Duke (cartoon). Throughout the years, Snake Eyes won out as her official partner in most adaptations.
- Love Triangle: She's got feelings for both in Resolute, though she chooses Duke.
- Shout-Out: "Scarlett" O'Hara. She's even from Atlanta.
- The Squadette: She's notably the first female Joe ever introduced in the franchise.
- Trick Quarrels
A soldier who, after the Vietnam War and the deaths of both parents and his sister, was invited by his platoon fellow Tommy "Storm Shadow" Arashikage to study martial arts under the Arashikage ninja clan, and they soon became Sword Brothers. Now Snake-Eyes is a member of G.i. Joe while his former friend joined Cobra. A tragic helicopter mission took away his voice and scarred his face, so he's mute and never removes his mask around others.
- Animal Companion: Timber, the wolf.
- Barehanded Blade Block: He does it in issue 21, and impressively, he does it while reaching around Scarlett and the CLAW glider they're using to escape Destro's castle.
- Berserk Button:
- In continuities where they're together, he can get even scarier if you hint at harming Scarlett. Put it this way: you're lucky if she kills you (and she often will).
- Once in the Devil's Due comics he absolutely lost it during a fight when his opponent managed to strike a gash across his (surgically reconstructed) face.
- Black Best Friend: Stalker is one of his oldest and closest friends, and their friendship lacks the complications Snake-Eyes has with Scarlett and Storm Shadow.
- Cain and Abel: He's Abel to Storm Shadow's Cain.
- Canine Companion: Timber (a wolf), who in the cartoon helps Snake-Eyes in the battlefield, while in the comics guards Snake-Eyes' cabin in the High Sierras.
- Combat Pragmatist: As shown in issue 21, in a scene that Larry Hama has admitted pays tribute to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Snake-Eyes throws a grenade on a Red Ninja. Snake Eyes freely combining ninja techniques with modern military training is one of his defining characteristics.
- Determinator: After getting his face half blown off as the result of a helicopter crash, he continued with the mission instead of being evacuated for treatment. And when he's been placed in an Arashikage Mind Set, you don't want to be in his way.
- Expansion Pack Past: Snake Eyes has always been connected to Storm Shadow, but later additions include Stalker (his buddy in 'Nam), Firefly (who they think killed the Hard Master) and Zartan (who actually killed the Hard Master) in his life all before the Joes got started. Then there's the whole "death of Baroness' brother" that took place before she joined Cobra.
- Eye-Obscuring Hat: Before he's a ninja. This was even done on the action figure depicting him this way — the figure has no eyes and instead there is a shadow painted over his face.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Inverted, as Snake-Eyes was badly scarred (in the original comics, by a helicopter collision), which is why he wore a full face mask. He's generally one of the most noble characters despite his disfigurement.
- Scars Are Forever: Depending on the continuity. In the original comics, his face was restored by plastic surgery, only for his newly-restored face to get burned by hot coals before the end of the storyline.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Oh, Scarlett; you love this trope, don't you?
- The Faceless: He's never unmasked.
- Mad Bomber: Not quite, but he is noted in at least one series as having a bad habit of overestimating how much plastic explosives to use. (At one point he lays a trap for two enemies. He uses fifty pounds of C-4. Admittedly it also had to blow through a castle wall, but two guys.)
- Knife Nut: Stalker's always happy to tell you about Snake-Eyes' collection of spike-knuckled trench knives; Snake-Eyes' third costume/action figure has a very large pair of knives right on his chest, and very nearly every single one of his figures gives you a different little plastic knife for his arsenal. One imagines the walls of his quarters are rather intimidating.
- McNinja: It's established that he is an American ninja.
- Mighty Whitey: He's an American soldier trained by the Japanese Arashikage ninjas, and is demonstrably better than Storm Shadow, who has been a ninja his whole life.
- According to Word of God, he and Storm Shadow are roughly equal in prowess, but each exceeds the other in one particular area; Snake Eyes is slightly better than Storm Shadow with swords, and Storm Shadow is a much better archer than Snake Eyes (the stated reason being that he's more ruthless). In addition, Hama, who is Japanese-American (not unlike Storm Shadow), was making a comment on how being not born in Japan caused natives of the country to treat him in a certain way, and he wanted to make clear that one's ethnic background doesn't prevent anyone from excelling.
- No Name Given: Most of the Joes' real names appear in their Action Figure File Cards, but Snake-Eyes' name (and birthplace, and serial number) just says "Classified". The most revealed is that one comic gave him a first initial of N, and another a last initial of J.
- A comic book three-pack of figures from 2006 that represented Stalker, Storm Shadow, and Snake-Eyes during their LRRP days (which included a reprint of "Snake Eyes: The Origin, Part 1") had the figures identified as Lonzo R. Wilkinson, Tommy Arashikage, and "CLASSIFIED" - any reference to Snake-Eyes' real name on the file cards was redacted.
- Devil's Due published a miniseries titled Snake Eyes Declassified which told the story of Snake Eyes before he became a Joe. Word of God states Hasbro was absolutely adamant that there shall be no real name given to him in the series.
- ÍDW with Transformers vs. G.I. Joe gave him the declassified name Francis Witwicky, though he passes on the title of "Snake Eyes" to Billy at the end of issue 13.
- Official Couple: With Scarlett in the comics.
- Out of Focus: He got a plenty good amount of screen time in the three five-parters that begun the cartoon, but after that really drifted in and out of the show for a good amount of time.
- Justified, when you realize he's voiceless and always wears a mask. It kinda makes it hard to give him characterization.
- The Rival: Storm Shadow has been his rival for years.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Storm Shadow refuses to let anyone else take on Snake-Eyes.
- The Speechless: In many continuities, he is silent because he suffered an injury that made him mute.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In the comics it seemed that everything was revolved around him in some way.
- At one point, the comic was even retitled G.I. Joe: Starring Snake-Eyes.
- Sword and Gun
- Tranquil Fury: Sometimes he does this, and it's hinted that most of the time he's holding back. When he's angry he gets mean. Of course, because he can't make so much as a whisper, it's entirely possibly that it would normally be of the more frothing-at-the-mouth type.
- G.I. Joe Vs. The Transformers has Snake Eyes get back at Starscream for killing his family by leaping at the Decepticon's face on Cobra Island, slashing open his left eye, and shoving a grenade in it. This causes the robot to stagger and fall off where he was into a pool of water.
- The Un-Reveal: A pre-accident Snake Eyes was seen in one issue of the comic set in Vietnam. His face was covered by a tilted-down hat. When Hasbro made a figure of this version years later, they preserved the secret... by specially shading the eyes to create a permanent shadow over them.
- The Voiceless: Some continuities do not give an explanation for his silence, which opens the possibility that he may be able to speak, he just chooses to remain quiet.
- In the Marvel comics his muteness is a result of the same helicopter crash that damaged his face, where breathing in burning aviation fuel damaged his vocal chords. He has said precisely one word afterwards, apparently with great effort and presumably painfully.
- Wolverine Publicity: He's easily the most marketable Joe, is all over the ads for the various media, and has had sixty-two separate action figures (with many more on the way). Duke, the character with the next-most figures, clocks in at forty-six. The comic was even retitled "GI Joe Starring Snake Eyes" near the end of its run, with "Snake Eyes" being the most prominent part of the logo.
- This goes as far as the cover to Classic GI Joe Vol. 1. The homage to issue 1 by J. Scott Campbell swaps Snake-Eyes in for Stalker running in front of the tank. Stalker is still on there... but he's been swapped in for Flash, while Rock'n'Roll takes the place of Zap.
Air Force captain, and lead Skystriker pilot. Real name: Brad J. Armbruster.
- Ace Pilot: As his name may suggest, he is a skilled pilot.
- Card Sharp: His codename doesn't come from being an Ace Pilot; rather, it comes from his love of cutthroat poker, which he never loses.
- Cool Plane: Though fully rated on all of the Joes' fixed-wing craft, he's most closely associated with his original plane, the Skystriker XP-14F (based on the F-14 Tomcat).
- Intercontinuity Crossover: It was implied he later became Sabre Jet of the Earth Corps, who fought against the Inhumanoids.
- The Gambling Addict: This would normally not be accepted in the Joes, but in his file card it states that it's not really gambling since he always wins.
- Worthy Opponent: To Wild Weasel in a memorable Rattler-against-Skystriker dogfight (G.I. Joe #34). Both fought until they were mutually out of ammo, saluted, and flew back to their bases.
Mountaineer who grew up in Idaho. Best buddies with Bazooka. Real name: Albert M. Pine.
- Black and Nerdy: His secondary specialty is accounting. In the DDP run after the G.I. Joe team was disbanded, he retired from the military and became a full-time accountant.
- Salt and Pepper: He's the streetwise mountaineer who's quick with the quips, while Bazooka's the Dumb Muscle.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: His codename can be interpreted as a colloquial form of his real name (i.e. Alpine = Al Pine).
Real Name: Dwight E. Stall
- Knight Templar Big Brother: His and Bombstrike's filecards, and the filecard for Cobra operative Blackout contain a story where Barrel Roll acts as Knight Templar to rescue his sister Bombstrike after blacksheep brother Blackout kidnaps her. He was also protective towards Tom before the latter's defection to Cobra.
- Cain and Abel: With Blackout
- Creator Cameo: His name, hometown, and his toy's face are based on those of the toy's designer.
- Friendly Sniper
- Punny Name: His duties include being a pilot, and he happens to share his surname with a certain piece of aviation terminology.
Armor Defeating Weapons Systems specialist. Former tank driver, until he realized how vulnerable tanks were to rocket launchers, and transferred to anti-armor. Best pals with Alpine. Real name: David R. Katzenbogen.
- Grumpy Bear
- The Klutz: How he's portrayed in the cartoon. A potentially Lethal Klutz in one case - the scene from "The Funhouse" where he trips and accidentally fires his LAW was immortalized in the season 1 Credits Montage. (Fortunately, it hit the HISS tank he was going to fire on anyway!)
- Rockets, Missiles and Grenade Launchers: The LAW is his most common weapon, but he's trained on just about every contemporary portable rocket and RPG system.
- Posthumous Character: The Joes discover him to be murdered by Storm Shadow in Resolute.
- Salt and Pepper: With Alpine (see above)
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Basically replaced original Joe member Zap as the team's bazooka soldier, especially in the cartoon. They did appear together in "The Funhouse". Their personalities are polar opposites, though: while Zap is a cool-headed professional who inspires the up-and-coming recruits, Bazooka is a a clumsy, grumpy slob.
Ranger. Growing up both dirt poor and a bully target drove him to overachieve. When the Joes called him up, he went in without hesitation. Has a crucial role in the team as the Joes' drill sergeant, being the final arbiter on whether rookies are ready to join the team. Real name: Wayne R. Sneeden
- Ascended Meme: After an incidental gag in "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!", fans took it as gospel that Beach Head does not bathe or use deodorant. This "fact" was eventually added to one of his official file cards; it explained that it's much easier to track someone smelling of soap.
- Depending on the Writer: His characterization switches between extremes. Comics present him as a relaxed, thoughtful man who avoids strife, while cartoons portray him as very irritable. The one constant is that he abhors laziness. And then there's his appearance in the Spy Troops CGI movie from The Aughties, where he got a surfer personality complete with voice by Matt Hill.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: He has to push the most elite fighting force in the world to the breaking point. And does.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: In G.I. Joe Reloaded, he threatens a captured Alley-Viper with eating his ear.
- Jerkass Has a Point: In the 80s cartoon, he is vocally disgusted about the presence of Actual Pacifist Lifeline in the Joes in their mutual introductory episode, clearly implying that if Beach Head had his way, he would expel Lifeline. The thing is, as obnoxious as he comes off in that moment, he does have a point that an active combat military unit like the Joes is really not the best place for someone like Lifeline, and Lifeline's own...quirks... would probably get him expelled as unfit on philosophical grounds in any real-life military force.
An expert in communications and computer technology. Real name: Alvin R. Kibbey
- Communications Officer: He deals with communications.
- Killed Off for Real: Among the casualties in Trucial Abysmia, he was one of the Joes killed fleeing in a stolen Cobra Rage tank when it was destroyed.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At the end of the first five-part TV cartoon series, Breaker tries to use the MASS Device to return the Eiffel Tower to Paris, but it ends up in London. Then, at the second series's end his fiddling with the Weather Dominator ends up making it snow at Joe Headquarters.
- Race Lift: He became Moroccan Abel Shaz in the film, one of the biggest changes from the source. He does chew bubblegum, though.
- Trademark Favorite Food: He's almost always chewing bubblegum. It comes in handy in an early issue when the M.O.B.A.T.'s been stripped of its ammo for a parade; a Cobra unit has been sent to steal the high-tech tank, but Breaker tricks them into surrendering by using its sound system to amplify the sound of his bubble popping, leading them to think the M.O.B.A.T. just fired a live round.
A West Point graduate and quarterback who joined G.I. Joe as an hand-to-hand combat specialist. He was the field commander of G.I.Joe in the first season of the DiC cartoon. Real name: Terrence Lydon
- I Know Madden Kombat: Not only does he have a football helmet and use football-shaped grenades, the DiC cartoon had him often use football metaphors to describe his plans and make frequent refferences to his background as a West Point graduate.
- New Meat: His original file-card describes him as a newbie a bit too eager to fit in.
A mechanic and driver of the VAMP jeep. He gets a far bigger role in the comic than he ever did in the cartoon, and gets one of the biggest roles out of the original squad of "green fatigues" guys. Real name: Lance J. Steinberg.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Scarlett, Cover-Girl, and... any of his female teammates, really.
- Badass Driver
- Casanova Wannabe
- Grease Monkey
- Lovable Sex Maniac: In the comics, he hit on Scarlett any chance he got, and was a notorious pervert.
- Put on a Bus: In the cartoon, he's one of the three Joes who stays behind in the Alternate Universe of "Worlds Without End" to help rebuild La Résistance.
- Perma-Stubble: His original figure had a beard, and some later figures have been clean-shaven, but the character in the comics always has stubble.
- Those Two Guys: Became this with Rock'N'Roll after more colorful Joes displaced the other "green fatigues" Joes.
A former professional model who decided she'd rather drive tanks for a living. Real name: Courtney A. Krieger
- Action Girl: Just because she's hot enough to be hot for a living doesn't mean she can't like driving around 65 tons of metal and blowing shit up.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: She was made a blonde in the first cartoon miniseries. She was changed back to a redhead in the proper series to accurately reflect her action figure design. The 2013 IDW series has her back to being a blonde.
- Darker and Edgier: The IDW version is a ruthless killer who cold-bloodedly wipes out a group of pirates in G.I. Joe #6 and later admits that she's found something she's good at - killing people. She doesn't even miss a beat while chewing her gum.
- Meaningful Name: "Krieger" is German for "warrior".
- Wrench Wench: Her filecard explicitly states she decided to specialize in working with big military machinery because that was the most unfeminine role she could think of.
The first G.I.Joe medic. Real name: Carl W. Greer
- Gender Flip: Changed to a female in the Reloaded continuity.
- Killed Off for Real: One of the victims of the S.A.W.-Viper in Trucial Abysmia.
- The Medic: While the comics stayed true to his characterization in the figure's Action Figure File Card, the cartoon made him more of a scientist.
A green beret member of G.I.Joe. He is Duke's brother in the Sunbow/DiC cartoons and Renegades. Real Name: Vincent R. Falcone.
- Adaptation Name Change: from Vincent Falcone to Vincent Hauser in Renegades, as he's Duke's full brother instead of half-brother.
- Break the Haughty: His training with Slaughter's Renegades in the cartoon.
- Nice Hat: His green beret.
- Related in the Adaptation: Both the Sunbow/DiC cartoon and Renegades made him Duke's full brother.
- Unlikely Hero: His animated version is shown as an irresponsible Joe until his brother's near-death injury, and by then he becomes the hero who defeats Golobulus.
The Joes' Warrant Officer is best known for his relationship with fellow Joe Lady Jaye. In the cartoon series, he serves as Duke's second in command until the debut of General Hawk, when he is bumped down to 3rd. Real name: Dashiell R. Faireborn.
- Hero Antagonist: Serves this role in Renegades, where he's dead set on turning in Duke, Scarlett, Roadblock, and Tunnel Rat and refuses to believe that Cobra framed them without proof.
- Nice Hat: His beret.
- Official Couple: With Lady Jaye. In one possible future, the two happen to have a daughter named Marissa.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: His main squeeze Lady Jaye is the impulsive one (red), while Flint is the logical one (blue). This of course gets blown apart whenever someone dares to hurt Lady Jaye.
- The Smart Guy: Flint works as the Joes' main tactician. As a civilian he was a Rhodes Scholar, but rigorous study wasn't challenging enough for him.
- The Strategist: The Joes' main intelligence officer and tactician.
The Joes' stealth pilot, not to be confused with the superhero of the same name. Real name: Jonas S. Jeffries
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Inverted, the Joes can't ever remember what his codename is, and refer to him as "pal" or "stealth pilot"; sometimes they remember his file name and just call him "Captain Jeffries". This was to avoid confusion during Marvel's run of the comics, especially since they would soon be relaunching their Ghost Rider series.
Leader of the Adventure Team, the G.I. Joe Team's predecessors. He sometimes appears to help the team named after him. Real name: Joseph Colton.
- Expecting Someone Taller: It doubles as a Mythology Gag since he comes from a 12-inch toyline, higher than the 3 3/4 inch toyline representing the G.I. Joe team.
- Famed In-Story: He is the G.I. Joe, the legendary soldier the unit's named after.
- Humble Hero: He tends to refer to himself as "just another man called Joe".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers: Black Horizon gives him the face of Chuck Norris.
- Retired Badass: He's no longer an active soldier, but that doesn't mean he can't hold his own anymore.
- Scars Are Forever: His right cheek scar, Same as Action Man (who began as an UK version of the original G.I. Joe).
The first Marine on the Joe Team, this crazy Cajun is known for his rough and tumble attitude. Before enlisting in the military, he was a notorious brawler and knife fighter throughout New Orleans. He's a "Recondo", a member of Marine Force Recon, the Marines' special forces scouting and reconnaissance experts. Real Name: Ettienne R. LaFitte
- Badass Family: His family can handle themselves in dealing with Cobra without the Joes' help.
- Bald of Awesome: However, this was a later adaptation. He had black hair in the comics, though it was always covered by his hat. His original toy had a hairline sculpted on, but it was never painted.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Explicitly called the "crazy uncle" of the team in the Animated Series' bio. His Filecard in the toys calls him the "Craziest jarhead ever to crawl out of Parris Island".
- Gratuitous French: During his first few appearances. Justified since Gung-Ho was originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and is from a Cajun family.
- Mama's Boy: In the cartoon, he apologizes to his grandma for being late for the reunion since duty calls.
- Ragin' Cajun: He's typically portrayed as Cajun.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Normally only wears an open vest, revealing a large tattoo of the USMC crest on his chest. It gets lampshaded in one comics story where he doesn't change his clothing at all for arctic conditions.
Real Name: Lamont A. Morris/Herschel Dalton
- Adaptation Name Change: His real name was changed for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Renegades.
- Bald of Awesome: When he's in Roadblock Clone mode, he is typically bald, although he covers it with a bandanna.
- BFG: A huge-ass missile system when he started out, and as a Roadblock Clone he's usually packing machine guns.
- Gatling Good
- More Dakka
- Scary Black Man: Like Roadblock, he can be very intimidating.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For a while in the 2000's, he become one to Roadblock due to Hasbro losing the trademark to the latter's name.
An Arashikage kunoichi and Storm Shadow's cousin. Occasionally does intelligence work for the Joes, her stealth and infiltration skills are said to be second only to Snake-Eyes. Real name: Kimi Arashikage.
- Almighty Janitor: A finance clerk at the Presidio.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Gal: A heroic female example.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Her secondary specialty is finance clerk and accounting. This rarely comes up, but at least one comics story showed her digging into the bookkeeping of Destro's company.
- Berserk Button: Accusing her of being unlucky.
- Cool Teacher: To Billy.
- Chekhov's Skill: Fighting blindfolded.
- Ninja: She is a ninja.
- Vague Age: The comic book artists didn't seem to decide if she was the same age or older than Billy.
- Your Eyes Can Deceive You: Was taught this by the Blind Master.
The son of a Crimson Guard, and Snake-Eyes' apprentice. Real name: Sean M. Collins (né Broca).
- The Apprentice
- In-Series Nickname: Hawk refers to him as "the Green Ranger" due to his Highly Visible Ninja costume.
- Legacy Character: In the IDW ARAH series, he becomes the new Snake Eyes instead of Kamakura.
- Significant Anagram: His birth last name is an anagram of "Cobra", the result of being the son of the original Crimson Guard, Fred. After he's adopted by "Fred II", real name Wade Collins, he also takes on the Collins name.
A gifted linguist and covert operations expert, she has led many undercover missions to the G.I. Joe team. Real name: Allison R. Hart-Burnett
- Action Girl: She's a very formidable female member of the group.
- Boobs of Steel: She's tough and she has big breasts.
- Killed Off for Real: In the main Devil's Due comics continuity.
- G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers, which was a Devil's Due comic continuity as well, averted this.
- Long-Lost Relative: She and Destro have a common ancestor, in the cartoon.
- Master of Disguise: She sometimes disguises herself to pull one over Cobra.
- Ms. Fanservice: The cartoon took nearly every effort possible to have her either flirt with her sexy voice or take off some clothing. One episode featured her actively competing with The Baroness for a man's affections (for a mission) while wearing a dress with plunging cleavage, she dressed down to a slip once, and she wore a bare-legged SCUBA outfit in another episode (while all the men wore full-leg suits). She was also one in the comics, where her shirt curiously seemed unable to be buttoned up (when she wore one under her jacket, which she sometimes didn't seem to be) and she was better-endowed than the earlier Joe females, Scarlett and Cover Girl. This was toned down when she became more of a desk-driving intelligence officer.
- Official Couple: With Flint. Word of God even states that Marissa Faireborn from the third season of The Transformers is her and Flint's daughter.
- Race Lift: She is Hispanic in Renegades.
An M.P. and the third dog handler on the team. Real name: Christopher M. Lavigne
- Animal Companion: A grey German Shepard named Order.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted. He always has a white one on.
A staunch pacifist who serves as the Joes' medic. Real name: Edwin C. Steen
- Abusive Parents: In the comic-book continuity, Lifeline developed his pacifistic philosophy as a result of his physically and verbally abusive father. This doesn't stop him from being a disappointment to his pastoral father.
- Actual Pacifist: To the point that in the cartoon he won't even grab a rifle if it's just being used as a reach to pull him out of a Piranha filled trap. This make his original toys a bit jarring as most of them had him with gun accessories.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: In "The Most Dangerous Thing in the World," Hawk describes Lifeline as having the ability to be a leader, but not the desire. Lifeline agrees, saying he'd rather be a doctor.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Downplayed, but Lifeline does not get a lot of respect in the cartoon due to how preachy his pacifist beliefs can be sometimes. Beach Head in particular makes a disgusted comment about Lifeline's being a member of the Joe team at all in their first mutual appearance, with the obvious implication he would gladly boot Lifeline out as unfit for service were it in his authority.
- Informed Attribute: The aforementioned "ability to be a leader". Look at Too Dumb to Live below for some of the more notable things he did during his brief stint as a Colonel in that episode. This man is supposed to be potential leader material?
- The Medic: His official role, of course.
- Soap Box Sadie: A downplayed Rare Male Example in the cartoon, where his pacifism can result in him getting a little preachy, in addition to the displays where his pacifism really makes you wonder how he ended up being accepted as a Joe in the first place. We're talking a man who refuses to pass a mechanic a tool he needs because the mechanic is working on the weapons systems for one of the Joe's attack helicopters, which Lifeline considers too close to being complicit with violence himself. May be In the Blood; his father is such a pacifist that he considers Lifeline a disgrace to the family for being associated with a military organization, despite the fact that Lifeline's association is purely in a medic's role and he only joined so that he could respond as quickly as possible to Cobra's terrorist attacks.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In one comics story, Lifeline is forced to take on Horrorshow of the Oktober Guard in a "loser's team dies" fight after both Joes and the Guard are captured by river pirates. Using aikido to defeat Horrorshow without landing a blow, Lifeline then trades the lives of the Guard for the Cobra black box both teams had been tracking down, telling the pirate leader that she could get paid handsomely selling it back to Cobra. She decides to let both teams go, and tosses the box into the river, because she was impressed that Lifeline had the courage of his convictions.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Doc. Both are pacifist doctors. Less so in the animated series, where Doc was more of a scientist than a medic.
- Too Dumb to Live: In the cartoon, his passion for upholding his beliefs can get a little... intense. Like the aforementioned "would rather drown in quicksand than allow a rifle to be used to pull him to safety" situation. Or in "Cobrathon", where he refused a rifle-as-reach to avoid being pulled out of a pool of ravenous piranha and then just stood by and watched as Cobra Vipers started trying to shoot him and Lowlife dead. Or in "The Most Dangerous Thing In The World", where he first demands the heavy artillery practice not commence until the weapons have been disengaged, and then orders the Joe air support to deliberately aim to miss when Cobra is on the verge of wiping out their base.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: In the cartoon, he dearly wants to make amends with his father — in this continuity a pastor who is even stricter a pacifist than he is — due to the rift that developed when he joined the Joes.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: His original toyline and movie appearances depicted him with a blonde crewcut but the comics depicted him a brown crewcut.
- Defector from Decadence: He joined Cobra for the adventure and promise of material gain, but soon grew disillusioned with Cobra's philosophy.
- MookFace Turn: From rank and file Viper to G.I. Joe
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Because of his past with Cobra many of the other Joes don't really like him much and he has had to prove to the team where his loyalties really lie.
G.I. Joe's rough terrain specialist. Real name: William V. Iannotti
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Recondo. Both are jungle troopers. His second toy's bio changed his function to "All-weather specialist to differentiate him a bit more.
- Those Two Guys: He was paired up with Ambush in the DiC cartoon.
- Unusual Weapon Mounting: His toy came packed with a rather unusual hip-mounted laser cannon.
A martial arts stunt double who joined the G.I. Joe team. A movie buff, he frequently quotes films in bad impressions, annoying his teammates. Real name: Macarthur S. Ito. He was used a lot in the cartoon — much more so than Snake-Eyes, who couldn't talk and was thus not focused on much. He had almost as many solo shots as Shipwreck. By contrast, the comics saw him as an also-ran who was easily defeated by Storm Shadow (using improvised weapons versus Quick Kick's Nunchaku, embarrassingly enough).
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Even the good guys have one (two after Storm Shadow's HeelFace Turn)
- Bruce Lee Clone: Definitely intended as such, this was pretty much cemented with his Pursuit of Cobra action figure that gave him chest scars ala Enter the Dragon and Onitsuka sneakers ala Game of Death.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Although the comics showed him wearing kung fu slippers at times, and may have had a penchant for loafers as these were set up next to his battlefield grave after his death (even though he was barefoot during the mission that led to said death)
- Exposed to the Elements: In his debut episode, he is in a snowy mountain and he has no shirt nor shoes.
- Instant Expert: Despite joining G.I. Joe only hours earlier, he already knows how to operate their vehicles and Cobra's.
- Killed Off for Real: In the comic, while trying to escape Trucial Abysmia.
- Mixed Ancestry: His father is Japanese and his mother is Korean.
- No Sense of Direction: Played with. The 6 Joes being caught by the "trees" in the animated movie was due to him leading the attempted escape from Cobra-La.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: He's fond of movie quotes.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He's always topless.
Navy Senior Petty Officer, SEAL, and the Joes' maritime warfare expert. He was a major character in the cartoon, featuring as a major player in more episodes than anyone short of the main cast of Duke, Flint, Lady Jaye, Destro and Cobra Commander. Real name: Hector X. Delgado
- Animal Companion: Polly, the parrot.
- Cassanova Wannabe: Flirts with quite a few girls over the series, but only succeeds with Mara.
- Cast as a Mask: "Once Upon a Joe" had Zartan impersonate Shipwreck, so Neil Ross voices Zartan-as-Shipwreck.
- Composite Character / Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Sort of, in the cartoon. He seemed to have absorbed many of Clutch's personality traits (the ones he didn't already exhibit) and seemed to be to the cartoon what Clutch was to the comic.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In the cartoon, he's generally the comic relief Butt-Monkey and rather lazy. Doesn't mean he can't handle Cobra goons.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not above making sarcastic remarks.
- Happily Adopted: In "Captives of Cobra", he is informed that his nephew is upset about learning that he was adopted. He cheers his nephew up by informing him that he was also adopted and that adoptive parents can be just as caring and loving as one's natural parents.
- Hunk: He's manly, handsome and muscular with a few shirtless scenes and a great beard.
- Interspecies Romance: Played with, and combined with Starcrossed Lovers. The G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode "Memories of Mara" has him romantically involved with a very attractive mermaid. However, said mermaid was originally human and actually a victim of Cobra's highly unethical human genetic experimentation for the purposes of breeding a truly amphibious soldier. At the end of the episode, he has to tearfully wave goodbye as her new form only allows her to breathe air for about five minutes before she starts to very painfully suffocate and thus has to return to and stay in the ocean.
- Lawyer Friendly Substitute: Was based, in part, off of Jack Nicholson's character from The Last Detail.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Not so much as Clutch, but in the original series Shipwreck does get to occasionally have some fun with this as he got slapped by Scarlett or Cover Girl when he tried to hit on them (he eventually got a formal relationship with Cover Girl in the comics)
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His voice in the original cartoon was basically a Jack Nicholson impersonation. More specifically, Nicholson's character from The Last Detail, where the character also resembled Shipwreck on the movie poster.
- Pirate Parrot: He has a pet parrot named Polly
- Plucky Comic Relief: He's good-natured and often a source of comic relief.
- Really Sixteen Years Old: Though Shipwreck's file card says he joined the Navy at the minimum age (17) with his parents' permission, the Sunbow cartoon version of the character confessed that he was actually 16, and had lied about his age to get in early.
- Spanner in the Works: A few times in the cartoon.
- "Twenty Questions" him as this TWICE in the episode:
- While Shipwreck was with Hector Ramirez and his crew, he foils what seems to be a smear campaign against the Joes, painting them as a needless expense to the taxpayers. He shows the existence of COBRA, the enemy the Joes fight, is too real to deny. "Arnold," one of the crew, is also revealed to be the Baroness, who complains Shipwreck ruined everything.
- When the Joe rescue party is pinned down in a cache of explosive gas cannisters, Shipwreck runs a Cobra drilling machine over other gas cannisters (laughing gas, itching gas and tear gas) to cause enough of a distraction to get them out (and rescue Hector and Tom the cameraman).
- "Once Upon A Joe" had him capture Zartan, who'd earlier impersonated Shipwreck. Seizing the McGuffin device, Shipwreck activates it and the characters from the story he'd told the orphans come alive to attack the Cobra Forces; Dr. Mindbender gets a Pie in the Face TWICE: once each from a Super-Deformed Leatherhead and a Super-Deformed Shipwreck.
- "There's No Place Like Springfield" has Polly help him remember Dr. Mullaney's "Hot Water" formula and mix up enough of Mullaney's formula to turn water into explosive chemicals. When the Dreadnoks open fire on him, they hit the sink he'd just poured the mixture down, setting off a chain reaction that the Joes also witness.
- "Twenty Questions" him as this TWICE in the episode:
The G.I. Joe team's heavy machine gunner, as well as their cook. His dream is to become a gourmet chef, and joined the army after learning they could train him as such. Real name: Marvin F. Hinton
- Bald of Awesome: He's bald and a very badass Joe.
- Berserk Button: He's a Gentle Giant most of the time, but if you want to vandalize any symbol of the United States...
- BFG: His weapon of choice is an 84-pound .50 caliber M2 Browning machine gun - the kind usually mounted on vehicles and aircraft, or requiring a tripod and a team to set up - and he carries it by hand. Add 50 pounds of ammo to that. From the (unattributed) quote on his file card: "Anybody who can handle that doesn't need a machine gun to keep me away!"
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's often as good-natured as he is strong.
- Chef of Iron: He's a skilled fighter and he's a skilled cook.
- Gentle Giant: He's big and amiable, unless, of course, you desecrate a United States symbol.
- More Dakka: He loves his firearms.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: When in Prohibition Chicago thanks to Teletraan 3 in G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers volume 2, issue 2, he shows he can play trumpet while taking the alias Miles Davis.
- Put Their Heads Together: How he tends to dispose of any pair of Cobra mooks, as seen in the image on that page.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The man is very serious about his gourmet cooking. That does not in any way mean he is a less capable fighter.
- Rhymes on a Dime: He constantly speaks in rhyme in the Real American Hero cartoon.
- Scary Black Man: He's black and can be very scary when he's cross.
Rock 'n Roll
Real Name: Craig S. McConnel
A rocker from California who likes big guns, surfing, and not wearing shirts.
- Badass Beard: He has a beard. When he is called back to join the G.I. Joe team at the start of the DDP run, one of the first things out of his mouth is rejoicing at being able to grow his beard back due to them having laxer grooming regulations than regular military.
- More Dakka: He originally wielded an M-60 machine gun, but in 1989 traded it out for a pair of custom-made, backpack-fed dual Gatling guns!
- Punny Name / Meaningful Name: "Rock 'n Roll" is both a musical genre and another way to say "full auto".
- Those Two Guys: Became this with Clutch after more colorful Joes displaced the other "green fatigues" Joes.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Applies mostly to his civilian life as a surfer.
A rough and tumble Joe with a distrust of high-tech weapons. Real name: David K. Hasle
- Boring, but Practical: His original file-card says Salvo distruts complex weapons due to their potential unreliability, instead carrying a large amount of conventional weapon "to overwhelm enemy forces with massive expenditures of sheer firepower".
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The first regular episode of the DiC cartoon had him inhale a mind control gas and become a mindless minion of Cobra Commander.
- Gender Lift and Race Lift: In G.I. Joe (2016), Salvo is a Samoan woman.
- Might Makes Right: His motto is "THE RIGHT OF MIGHT", scrawled on his t-shirt.
G.I. Joe's private reporter. Real name: Leonard Michaels
- The Hero: He's the centerpiece of Operation Dragonfire.
- HeelFace Turn: In Operation Dragonfire, Scoop starts out as an undercover Crimson Guardsman spying on GI Joe, who he blames for destroying his home. Of course, he eventually learns Cobra is the true culprit.
- Tuckerization: He is modeled and named after the NBC reporter Mike Leonard.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: As pointed out by multiple commenters, Scoop's specialisation as a reporter is rather dubious for a military unit.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: However, his media savviness does sometimes help in convincing government higher-ups that the Joes' mission achieved an overall positive result, even if it did not exactly fulfill the goal that was laid out beforehand.
Real name: Charlie Iron-Knife
- Animal Companion: Freedom, AKA Billy the falcon.
- Freedom is a bald eagle in the 1980's version.
- Badass Native: He's a Native American member of the team.
- Braids, Beads and Buckskins: He dresses like a stereotypical Native American.
- Magical Native American: He's a Native American and is also a bit of a shaman.
- Subverted/Deconstructed in his issue of IDW's "Hearts and Minds". This version of him suffers from sensory integration dysfunction (he can't unconsciously tune out all the "background" sensory input like most people can). Learning how to deal with the Sensory Overload turned him into a natural tracker.
- The Rez: Political type; his original bio mentioned how poor his family was when he was growing up.
- Scarily Competent Tracker
A former street gang leader prior to his enlistment. During the Vietnam War, he served at the same Long Range Recon Patrol as Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow. He also helped Hawk to assemble the G.I. Joe team and recommended Snake-Eyes to him. Larry Hama based him off of a real person, and he was the most commonly-seen field leader in the comics. Because of this, he also had the longest list of failed missions, though it never got held against him. Similarly, he always got stuck with many "unpopular decisions", such as leaving dead Joes' bodies behind or abandoning the missions. Real name: Lonzo R. Wilkinson.
- A Father to His Men: He hid it well, especially from newbies.
- Asskicking Equals Authority
- Badass Bookworm: In issue 13, he fights a crocodile with a knife and wins, all while explaining to Gung-Ho that it isn't an alligator.Gung-Ho: Gator!Stalker: This ain't no 'gator! This here's an Orinoco crocodile, known as Crocodile intermedius, of the phylum chordata, sub-phylum vertebrata, class reptilia, order crocodilia, family crocodilidae- Present status: Dead!
- Black Best Friend: To Snake-Eyes
- Dark and Troubled Past: Losing his two brothers in gang warfare led him to quit the gang and enlist, because he figured if he was going to die young, he'd rather it actually mean something.
- Demoted to Extra: He's one of the most important characters in the comic book, but becomes a background character in the TV series.
- Happily Married: In the Devil's Due continuity.
- Mr. Exposition: Since Snake-Eyes cannot talk, it was Stalker who had to tell about their common past in Vietnam when needed. He also served to give running descriptions on how to lay out a military mission.
- Positive Discrimination: Before Duke's arrival, Stalker was Hawk's second-in-command and led most missions.
- Reformed Criminal: Stalker was the leader of a street gang during his youth. But after losing both of his brothers to gang violence, he quit the gang and enlisted to "be all he could be".
The explosive disposal expert of the G.I. Joe team. Real name: Tormod S. Skoog
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He is very clumsy most of the time, but when he's close to a bomb becomes an all-business professional.
- The Klutz: When he isn't around explosives.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Find a panel in his first thirty appearances where he isn't tripping over his own two feet. Only in IDW Publishing is he allowed to be a soldier outside of explosives.
Another explosive disposal expert. He's also good at tunneling, hence the codename. Real name: Nicky Lee
- Author Avatar: A downplayed example: his face and military specialty (bomb squad) are based on Larry Hama.
- Idiot Ball: In his first appearance, his casual use of "the 'New Army' plastic" helps Raptor (a Cobra accountant and falconer) track the Joe convoy headed for Fort Collins.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Typically portrayed as a very short man, but usually carries around an M60 machine gun.
- Same Character, but Different: He does not translate into G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 well. He becomes a hermit with No Social Skills, a serious lack of understanding concerning basic hygiene, eats live insects, and will happily ignore his mission, not to mention his own safety, to chase said insects, even if doing so leads him right into the path of a passing Cobra patrol. His only saving grace is that he's a Genius Ditz who is both a master mechanic who can keep what few vehicles survived Cobra Commander's rampage in episode 1 running smoothly despite lacking even the most basic parts and equipment, and is a Demolitions Expert who can jury-rig very effective improvised explosive devices or disarm them.
- Stuff Blowing Up: He often detonates stuff.
- Tunnel King: He can make his way through any passage.