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WARNING: Due to the many twists and turns present in the book, NO SPOILERS WILL BE MARKED. Read the book or see the movie before reading if you wish to go in unspoiled.

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Main Characters

     Nick Dunne 

Lance Nicholas "Nick" Dunne

An ex-writer, now a college professor, who becomes the prime suspect when his wife, Amy, disappears. Played by Ben Affleck in the movie.

  • Abusive Parents: His father was extremely emotionally abusive to every member of his family, and has left Nick with very poor examples. Completely averted by his mother, who he loves very, very much.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Mildly. He comes off as a much nicer, more normal guy in the movie.
  • Anti-Hero: It'd be a stretch to call Nick a good guy, but in the end, he's the one keeping Amy in check and making sure she can't ever do to anyone else what she did to him.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Invoked and heavily deconstructed. Nick always wants people to think of him as a good guy, which results in him refusing to take Andie or Go's (wise) advice on owning up to things that paint him in a bad light. As a result, he's put in an even worse light.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: And it almost results in him getting the death penalty.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nick has an incredibly wry and sarcastic sense of humor.
  • Embarrassing First Name: "Someone with my face does not need to be called Lance."
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Nick isn't the nicest or most moral fellow around, but he did genuinely love his mother.
  • Frame-Up: He didn't actually kill Amy, but she went to great lengths to make it look like he did.
  • Happily Married: At first, his marriage to Amy was as close to perfect as it could be. Not so much by the time the book begins.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: He very much doesn't want to be one, but shades of his father's own rabid misogyny comes through every now and again.
  • Henpecked Husband: By the end, he's essentially this for Amy, not daring to rebel against her for fear of what she may do.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Of a sort. He's willing to stay with a woman he absolutely detests in order to protect their child from her.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Maybe not quite "heroic", but Nick is certainly very aware of his flaws and doesn't hesitate to lampshade them.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: What Nick believes he is, especially at the end. Heavily deconstructed, as Go and Amy frequently point out he did a lot of bad things and is almost happy to be in his supposed unhappy ending.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Nick at his worst can be as manipulative, as dastardly, as deceiving as Amy can be. What puts Nick ever so slightly out on top? He seems to genuinely care for at least some people like Margo and his child-to-be.
  • I Am Not My Father: Nick despises his father and doesn't want to turn out anything like him. It's not hard to understand why.
  • Ice King: He has trouble showing his emotions, especially to strangers, which does not endear him to the public.
  • Incriminating Indifference: His lack of any strong emotional reaction in public to Amy's disappearance makes him a suspect to both the media and the police. Amy was actually relying on this trait of his as part of the Frame-Up.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Nick seems to have lost all enthusiasm for life, even before Amy's scheme.
  • Loving a Shadow: Both Amy and Andie seemed to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl at first, only to prove that they were a lot more flawed and complex than Nick cared to know or believe.
  • Mama's Boy: He positively adores his mother, and was devastated by her death.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Shows off his skills when he manages to get the media (and Amy) back on his side.
  • The Movie Buff: Which makes sense, since his former job was to write movie reviews.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: He used to write for a magazine before getting laid off. Lampshaded when Nick notes the dot-com bubble put "real writers" like him out of job.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A minor case in the film as Ben Affleck had just started working out to play Batman and was in very good shape. It does help explain why Amy stayed as long as she did and why Andie was into him.
  • Not So Different: To Amy. He has a few sociopathic traits to his personal himself, and he proves just as able to lie convincingly as her when the situation calls for it (which includes what he tells the audience). And finally, once he caught on to her true nature, he proves so capable of keeping up with and countering her schemes that Amy is actually slightly disturbed by it.
  • Oh, Crap!: He gets a few throughout the story, but he utterly freaks out when he finds what's in the shed.
  • One Head Taller: In the film as Ben Affleck is 6'4 and Rosamund Pike is 5'9.
  • Papa Wolf: He stays with Amy when he finds out she's pregnant, so he can protect their unborn child from her.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With his twin sister, Margo.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: The "poor" to Desi's "rich".
  • Sadistic Choice: Amy gives him one in the finale — either he leaves her and she raises his child to despise him for abandoning them and the public turn on him, or he stays married to a psychopath in order to protect his kid from her.
  • Slave to PR: By necessity, once the investigation begins and the media hones in on him as a suspect, but even before the whole thing happened, Nick's very concerned with coming off as a Nice Guy. As Go puts it, "You would lie, cheat, steal — hell, even commit murder, just to convince people that you are a good guy." Unfortunately, with the media, he is terrible at it.
  • The Sociopath: He ticks off many qualities, but he's nowhere near as bad as Amy. Ultimately averted, as he does genuinely love Go, and elects to stay with Amy because he wants to protect their child from her. And it's implied that, deep, deep down, he loves Amy in spite of it all.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: In the film where he's played by Ben Affleck.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Nick's sleeping with his student, Andie.
  • Unreliable Narrator: He omits important plot points in his narration.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He's cheating on Amy with Andie and boy does it cost him.

     Amy Elliott Dunne 

Amy Elliott Dunne

Nick's wife, the daughter of a famous pair of authors who made a book series named after her. Goes missing on the morning of her and Nick's fifth wedding anniversary, and all the evidence begins to point to Nick... exactly as Amy hoped it would. Played by Rosamund Pike in the movie.

  • Abusive Parents: Amy's are of the emotionally abusive variety — even Nick admits that using Amazing Amy as the perfect avatar to your actual child's and making her successful everywhere Amy fails is not how you raise a mentally healthy, stable person.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Which is not to say that Amy of the book isn't a villain. She is, but while Amy of the book framed her ex boyfriend for rape, Amy of the film let him get convicted; he now can't get a job and is falsely on the sex offender's register.
  • Alpha Bitch: In her high school days, though she did a good job of concealing it — just ask Hilary.
  • Always Someone Better: Her own fictional counterpart was this to her growing up. Anything Amy failed at, Amazing Amy excelled at. Needless to say, it left Amy with a few issues.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Amy fits the criteria for being a sociopath extremely well but generally shows indications of other issues. She is an absolute perfectionist and insists on being seen as flawless at all times, freaking out if anyone sees her as any less, she plans things far in advance, she is obsessed with proving how smart she is at every opportunity, reacts to minor slights and inconveniences with extreme anger and wrath, she has no empathy whatsoever, she is completely incapable of admitting to being wrong about anything, she is obsessed with trying to change the men in her life and freaks out if they rebuff her, she tends to see people in black and white terms and she lies, cheats and even commits murder with no remorse at all. Add in her childhood and it's clear something is seriously wrong with her.
  • Ax-Crazy: Amy's craziness is subtle at first, but the more we get to know her, the more obvious it is that she's completely nuts.
  • Baby Trap: How Amy ultimately triumphs over Nick, knowing he won't walk away from his own child, even if it means staying with her.
  • Badass Boast: She has a couple:
    Amy: Did you think I'd let him destroy me and end up happier than ever? No fuckin' way.
    Amy: I'm the cunt you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this cunt might like. I'm not a quitter, I'm that cunt. I killed for you; who else can say that? You think you'd be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby! I'm it.
  • Batman Gambit: A lot of her schemes ride on Nick reacting exactly the way she expects him to. It works... until he figures out how to play at her level.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Despite her victory at the end, Amy is doomed to remain just as miserable for the rest of her life. Nick even says he feels sorry for her because of it.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Despite (or maybe because of) her skills as a manipulator, Amy is susceptible to this. It can be difficult at times to know if she's manipulating the reader or genuinely believes what she's saying.
  • Beneath the Mask: She acts like a smart, free-spirited, and kind woman. In truth, she's a twisted, manipulative sociopath with zero empathy for anyone.
  • Betty and Veronica: Inverted. Appears to be the Betty (blonde, kind, victimised) to Andie's Veronica (brunette, alluring, dangerous), but couldn't be more clearly the Dark Mistress Veronica.
  • Big Bad: She faked her kidnapping and set up everything to get at Nick.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Amy seems like a nice, worldly, funny, charming girl, but is in fact a ruthless sociopath.
  • Brooklyn Rage: She's a born and bred New Yorker with a truly staggering capacity for anger and resentment.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Amy treats every disagreement and threat to her pride as a personal affront and will lash out at anyone who questions her or refutes her.
  • The Chessmaster: She was behind almost everything that happened in the book.
  • Complexity Addiction: She complicates things way more than she needs to by leaving clues for Nick, when the plan would've worked just as well to just plant the evidence and get the hell out. Hell, had she not left the clues, Nick never would've realized she was still alive, much less been able to convince her to come home, and almost certainly would've gotten the death penalty. Nick lampshades this, and comments that Amy really wants him to know she screwed him over, so he can admire how clever she is. (He does, in spite of himself.)
  • Consummate Liar: Amy rarely, if ever, tells the complete truth, even when it's in her best interest.
  • Contralto of Danger: Once she reveals her true nature.
  • Control Freak: Of the most extreme kind. Amy is absolutely convinced that she knows what's best for people and sees no issue in forcing them to change their behavior to suit her. And god help you if you happen to disagree with her.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Amy prepares for over a year to fake her own death and frame Nick for it, doing a lot of research to get every last detail perfect.
  • Cute But Psycho: She's gorgeous, and completely insane.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Subtler than Nick, but she's still very sarcastic.
  • Determinator: When she makes up her mind to punish somebody, she will get the job done. No matter how long it takes. Or how much effort and research she has to put in. Or how much physical injury she has to do to herself. As Hilary puts it, "This girl, this little fifteen-year-old cracked her own ribs. Who was going to believe me?"
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The absolute queen of this trope. Amy will make you look like a violent psycho for forgetting she's allergic to strawberries, frame you for rape for dating casually and seeing other girls, and frame you for murder for cheating on her.
  • Dude Magnet: Which, depending on the situation, can be either a strength or a downfall for Amy.
  • Dumb Blonde: Inverted. She's brilliant, and hoo boy, does she want you to know it.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Amy's blonde hair (embodied by Rosamund Pike) sets her out as very beautiful, especially in comparison to the brunette Go.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: She seems genuinely unable to understand the concept of unconditional love, being offended that such a thing was expected of her in a marriage. She's also unable to grasp empathy as she has none of it herself, though she's capable of making people feel sorry for her whenever she wants.
  • Evil Genius: Amy is very smart and will make damn sure everyone knows it.
  • Evil Is Petty: Pretty much all her actions are completely over the top reactions to minor slights. She also takes time to spit in Greta's drink after Greta unknowingly insulted her.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: She's beautiful and completely unhinged and ruthless.
  • Faking the Dead: Turns out she wasn't murdered or kidnapped — she just wanted everyone to think she was.
  • False Friend: To Noelle especially but, in general, Amy is this trope to most people.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her ego. Amy can't comprehend anyone being even as smart as her, and usually assumes everyone is much stupider. This backfires on her hugely with Greta and Nick.
  • Female Misogynist: Subtle, but it's there. Amy has a lot of negative beliefs about men and women and how they socialize. When Greta and her friend rob her, Amy writes off Greta and thinks that her (male) friend put her up to it; choosing to address him instead. When she sees Andie on TV she goes into a short angry Slut-Shaming rant about her.
  • Femme Fatale: Amy knows perfectly well how to use her sex appeal to her advantage, and is definitely dangerous (if not fatal) to every man that knows her. And fatal to Desi, attempted to be fatal to Nick.
  • Foil: To Go — Amy's traditionally feminine, elegant, sophisticated, and seems like the ideal woman, but is evil at her core, unlike Go.
  • Freudian Excuse: Downplayed in that Amy was already exhibiting some sociopathic traits in her early childhood (she noticed herself that she was unable to experience joy in the same way her peers did it). But as noted above, her parents really didn't do her mental well-being any favors growing up and their behavior undeniably played a huge part in why Amy is so messed up now.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It's subtle, but the way she reacts to minor slights indicate that Amy has a serious anger problem.
  • Hypocrite: She is enraged at the idea of women adjusting their attitudes to please men when she expects men in her life to adjust themselves to suit her expectations and becomes enraged if they don't.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: As massive as it is, it's clear that Amy's ego is extremely fragile and she is almost totally unable to handle criticism or dissent from anyone.
  • Insufferable Genius: A bit. Amy's very, very intelligent, and she wants everyone, including the reader, to know it.
  • It's All About Me: As far as Amy's concerned, she's always right. Always. And anyone that disagrees deserves to have her wrath rained down upon them.
  • Jerkass: In addition to being a complete sociopath, Amy is also snobby and unpleasant to any she sees herself as superior to, which is almost everyone, and she is clearly pleased when she doesn't have to pretend to be nice anymore. Even before they found about her scheme, Go makes no secret to Nick about not liking Amy.
  • Kick the Dog: Befitting a sociopath, she does this a few times.
    • She spits in Greta's drink after the latter unknowingly slights her.
    • She plants the items she bought to make Nick look guilty in Go's woodshed, effectively framing her as an accomplice. This is especially noteworthy as Go, unlike Nick, the Elliotts, or even Andie, didn't even do anything to Amy. Except, of course, be one of the few people that disliked her. Although it did have the bonus of hurting Nick by implicating his twin sister in the crime.
    • She refers to Noelle as "good dog" when Noelle angrily denounces Nick during an interview and insists he must have killed Amy.
  • Lack of Empathy: She's genuinely puzzled by other people's empathy for others.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Getting robbed by Greta. Turns out it's not so nice when people you thought were your friends turn on you out of nowhere. Which is exactly what Amy has done to multiple people.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Subverted. At first she seems to be a "Cool Girl", a smart, funny, laid-back woman who's impossibly gorgeous and loads of fun to be around, but this was all an act. She lambastes both the trope and the people that believe it, but she also admits that for Nick, she was willing to give it a try.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She plays the media, her husband, the cops, Desi, and even the readers like a fiddle.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: She wrote quizzes for magazines before getting laid off.
  • Narcissist: Hoo boy. She fits this trope like it was made for her. She has zero empathy for anyone, she is obsessed with being seen as perfect and proving how smart she is, she is unable to handle criticism of any kind, she has an extremely high opinion of herself and a low opinion of everyone else, and she is completely self-absorbed.
  • The Perfectionist: Everything has to be just "so" with Amy, and God help you if it's not. It's why her plan for disappearing takes so long — she spent the better part of a year working out all the details. Hilary theorizes that this is the real reason she decided to punish her, and later, Nick; because they saw she wasn't perfect.
    Hilary: I feel like Amy wanted people to believe she really was perfect. And as we got to be friends, I got to know her. And she wasn’t perfect. You know? She was brilliant and charming and all that, but she was also controlling and OCD and a drama queen and a bit of a liar. Which was fine by me. It just wasn’t fine by her. She got rid of me because I knew she wasn’t perfect. It made me wonder about you.
    Nick: About me? Why?
    Hilary: Friends see most of each other's flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit. If she punished a friend of a few months by throwing herself down a flight of stairs, what would she do to a man who was dumb enough to marry her?
  • Pet the Dog: Before she stages her disappearance, she takes the time to say goodbye to Bleeker, their cat, and make sure he has enough food to last him for the next couple of weeks while everyone is distracted by her going missing.
  • Pride: A huge part of her personality. Amy is absolutely convinced of her superiority to everyone around her, whom she regards with disdain, and she is convinced that she is right about everything and will go to extreme lengths to protect her ego.
  • Proud Beauty: Constantly talks about how beautiful she is and how this leads to people being putty in her hands.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: How else do you describe someone who's ruined people's lives, up to and including framing them for murder, for slights, both real and imagined, that most people would've just talked to people about?
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: She doesn't need glasses, but wears some as part of her disguise when she's in hiding. Greta isn't fooled.
  • Pyrrhic Victory/Pyrrhic Villainy: Amy ultimately gets away with everything but Nick tells her that he feels sorry for her because she has to wake up every day and be the same miserable person.
  • Rape as Backstory: Subverted. She was apparently raped by her ex-boyfriend Tommy O'Hara, but this was all a set-up to get back at him for seeing other girls. She also told Desi she was raped by her father, and wrote in her (fake) diary that Nick forced her into sex; she admits in her narration that the claim about her father is a lie, and the one about Nick is likely false as well.
  • Rich Bitch: She was raised in wealth, and is a highly immoral sociopath.
  • Smug Snake: She's very confident in herself, and for the most part has the skills to back it up, but she does overestimate herself at times — and underestimate others.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Amy wishes people to think this of her (and she is considered beautiful), which is part of how she frames Tommy, Hilary, and Nick. Comes true in that Desi is never able to see her as more than a beautiful possession, and Greta recognises her quickly, or at least realises that she's trying to disguise her real appearance heavily. (It's never explicitly confirmed if she guesses that Amy is Amy).
  • The Sociopath: Amy has absolutely no empathy for anyone, is highly self-centered, and is willing to lie, cheat, steal and murder to get what she wants.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: In the film, she never raises her voice above a normal speaking tone.
  • Spoiled Brat: Her sense of entitlement and her vanity, combined with her massively wealthy background and disdain for lower-class people, give the impression of an extremely spoiled child that never grew up.
  • Stepford Smiler: Amy comes off as an elegant, cheerful, well-adjusted lady, but beneath the mask, she's a vicious, insane, manipulative, schemer... and beneath that, she's almost empty inside.
  • Tautological Templar: Amy is absolutely convinced that she is right in every situation and her actions are justified as a result.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Subverted. If you take her word for it, her life has been full of suffering — she's allegedly been stalked, raped, cheated on, lied to, abused, kidnapped, and nearly murdered. While there is truth to a couple of these claims, for the most part, the most horrific thing in Amy's life is Amy herself.
  • Trickster Girlfriend: A very dark subversion. She has many aspects resembling this trope, but instead of being a kindhearted person who messes with her loved one "just for fun", she's a dangerous sociopath who's very serious about her schemes, and actually intends to ruin people's lives.
  • The Unfavorite: She managed to be this to "Amazing Amy", who doesn't even exist, as well as several stillborn babies that her parents had before her.
  • Unreliable Narrator: In her diary entries in the first part of the book, she outright lied about many of the events described. Even in her own internal monologue, some of the things she describes are clearly influenced by her own rather warped point of view.
  • Villain Has a Point: Though she's a Hypocrite about it, Amy's rant about how women are expected to conform to things men like to be deemed attractive partners does hold some merit.
  • Villain Protagonist: The book is just as much about Amy as it is about Nick.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Invoked — she spends much of her preparation for her "death" making sure people would miss her, acting friendly and social to neighbors and creating a diary filled with fabricated accounts of her husband abusing her. By the end, only Nick, Margo, Boney, Tanner, Desi's mother, Tommy and Hilary know the truth about her. The general public doesn't have a clue, hailing Amy as a hero and blameless victim.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about her without revealing that she's a psychopath.
  • Woman Scorned: Her response to finding out Nick is cheating on her? Frame him for murder.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Nothing excuses what she did, but she's pretty clearly severely messed up, and she's at least somewhat aware of this.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: She'll do anything to come off as the victim in any given situation.

     Margo Dunne 

Margo "Go" Dunne

Nick's twin sister, and his main ally after Amy disappears. Played by Carrie Coon in the movie.

  • Aesop Collateral Damage: In-Universe, she's this to Amy's Evil Plan, since the items Amy bought to frame Nick as a reckless spender are hidden in her shed, making it look like Go may have been in on it.
  • Alone Among the Couples: Nick is married and cheats on his wife; Go is still single, and Nick says she's very unusual among her friends.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Due to her status as The Lad-ette; the fact that her relationships with men are always short-lived and disastrous; and the internalised self-loathing and loathing for other women she displays (due to growing up with her father's misogyny) - it's not too big of a leap to wonder if she might be hiding her sexuality, either out of shame or just because she has very poor self-awareness.
  • Audience Surrogate: Go often says what the audience is thinking — including, "Nick, you fucking idiot."
  • Break the Cutie: The climax of the movie is this for Margo, seeing her twin brother locked in the Masochism Tango with a sociopath.
  • Brutal Honesty: Go does not mince her words.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Which is basically her only means of survival throughout the story.
  • Female Misogynist: Downplayed. She doesn't hate other women, but she intentionally distances herself from feminine things, partially to avoid being mocked by men like her father.
  • Foil: To Amy — Go's masculine, rude, crude, and is far less superficially charming than Amy, but is ultimately a better person.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Invoked. Go doesn't do anything wrong and behaves completely morally throughout, but is still suspected (especially in the film) as to being in an incestuous relationship with her brother and possibly assisting him in the murder of his wife.
  • Hollywood Homely: A rare In-Universe example. Nick points out that she isn't really ugly, but rather, she's cute in an unusual sort of way, comparing her to screwball comedy heroines of the 1930s. He theorizes that she would've been considered attractive if she was born in another era, rather than one that favors slender, ultra-feminine women.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's rather abrasive and rude, but ultimately, Go's one of the most moral people in the book.
  • The Lad-ette: She enjoys "masculine" things such as hard liquor and dirty jokes, and dislikes traditionally feminine things.
  • Lady Swears-A-Lot: Befitting her masculine personality, Go's pretty heavy on the profanity.
  • Maiden Aunt: Appears to become this at the end to Nick and Amy's son.
  • Meganekko: In the movie, she wears a cute pair of glasses.
  • Morality Pet: To Nick. Even when the audience isn't sure if they can trust Nick, it's clear that he truly loves Go, no matter what.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Nick, her twin brother and best friend.
  • Tomboy: Something of a Deconstruction of one, actually. Growing up with a drunk, misogynistic father has made Go reluctant to be seen as stereotypically feminine for fear of being insulted and belittled by her father like her mother was.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Played up and deconstructed between she and Amy, as Amy deliberately plays to people's more feminine expectations of her, while Go deliberately tries to be a tomboy in order to escape mockery by men.
  • Only Sane Man: Constantly. She frequently calls out Nick, dislikes Amy, and is about the only person who can see both of them for what they are.
  • The Unfavorite: She believes her parents favored Nick — her father, because Nick's male. Nick sees where she's coming from there.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She rips into Nick for cheating on Amy, not telling her about it, and then lying to the cops.

     Desi Collings 

Desi Collings

Amy's ex-boyfriend, who turns out to be about as crazy as she is. Played by Neil Patrick Harris in the movie.

  • Adaptational Heroism: Desi is still controlling but some of his more overtly creepy traits, such as his relationship with his mother, are removed from the film, making him more sympathetic.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Downplayed a great deal, but even Nick is taken aback by his handsomeness in the book, but Neil Patrick Harris is obviously going for the snakier, less clear good looks.
  • Affably Evil: Even while keeping a woman prisoner, he's impossibly polite.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted Amy back, and he certainly got that...
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He repeatedly woos Amy with promises of taking care of her and letting her have whatever she wants, but when they're back together, she realises that he's extremely controlling, manipulative, and simply wants her to bend to his will.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: A very dark example taken to its logical extreme. Desi loves playing the hero to damaged women. Many of his girlfriends after Amy had eating disorders or were suicidal. As Amy puts it, Desi's never happier than when he's sitting at someone's sickbed. So, Amy plays the abused wife so he'll come to her rescue.
  • Control Freak: At least in regards to Amy — he wants her to go back to being the Amy he knew in high school, whether she wants to or not. This is one of the main reasons Amy realizes she needs to bail on Desi as soon as she can. Nick, at least, basically let her do what she wanted.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted. According to Amy and her parents, Desi tried to kill himself in Amy's bed after Amy dumped him. When Nick mentions this to Desi, Desi claims he doesn't know what he's talking about. Turns out Desi was telling the truth — while he was very clingy after Amy dumped him, that particular part of the story was made up by Amy in a ploy for sympathy.
  • Faux Affably Evil: It's never clear if he falls into this or Affably Evil, but it's clear that he is not to be trifled with after being turned down by Amy.
  • First Girl Wins: An extremely dark, villainous example. Amy was his first serious girlfriend and he remains totally fixated on her to this day. As his mother puts it:
    We've never been allowed to forget about the brilliant Amy Elliott.
  • Frame-Up: Amy ultimately pins the blame of her disappearance on Desi, which the public eats up thanks to his Stalker with a Crush tendencies.
  • Gilded Cage: His house is very beautiful, but it's still basically a prison.
  • Has a Type: According to Amy, it's victimized women who need a white knight. And look like his mother.
  • Lovinga Shadow: With Amy. Amy repeatedly points out that he wants her to go back to exactly how she was before and has no interest in the fact that her personality and interests have changed a lot since high school.
  • Mama's Boy: Like Nick, he's very close to his mother. Unlike Nick, the relationship is downright creepy.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: In a by-proxy, roundabout kind of way. He urges Amy to continue hiding out, and wait for Nick's trial to end — even though Desi knows perfectly well that, if she does that, Nick will most likely get the death penalty for a murder he didn't commit. In absolute fairness, he does believe Nick is an abusive monster, but still.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Very downplayed, but the book has Desi say that he will never lose Amy again, no matter what he has to do to keep her there. Amy, however, has completely bought into her belief that she can manipulate Desi and she can do whatever she wants.
  • Oedipus Complex: It doesn't escape anyone's notice that he is way too close to Mommy Dearest... who happens to look exactly like Amy. Even Amy was creeped out.
  • Out with a Bang: In the book, Amy kills him right after sex. In the movie, she kills him during sex.
  • Psycho Ex-Boyfriend: Even years after Amy dumped him, he's still very much in love with her, and when she's staying in his house, he makes every effort to keep her there indefinitely.
  • Red Herring: For most of the first half of the book, we're led to believe he killed or kidnapped Amy. He didn't, but he does help to hold her prisoner (essentially), only after she comes to him for help.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: The "rich" to Nick's "poor".
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He's always impeccably dressed.
  • Slashed Throat: Amy slashes his throat with a boxcutter and in the movie, we're treated to watching him desperately grabbing his throat as he gushes blood all over her and the bed.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: He tells Amy that he's not going to force himself on her...while standing over her, staring down at her intently and delivering the line in a creepy Dull Monotone.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He never got over it when Amy dumped him.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Amy plays him like a violin.
  • Villainous Incest: Possibly. We never discover if he and his mother, Jacqueline, had an incestuous relationship, but it's creepy as hell.
  • Yandere: He "protects" Amy by refusing to let her leave his house — which itself has been ready for her arrival for years.

     Tanner Bolt 

Tanner Bolt

A lawyer known for defending men accused of killing their wives, who Nick eventually hires when things start going south for him. Played by Tyler Perry in the movie.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: In the movie, he cracks up when he hears about Amy's scheme, saying, "It's just the craziest thing I've ever heard! I love it! I mean, for you, it sucks, but you've gotta have at least a grudging respect for your wife at this point." Needless to say, Nick doesn't see the humor in the situation.
  • Amoral Attorney: Played with. Tanner has a reputation of being this, certainly willing to defend amoral people, but he's actually a decent guy.
  • Composite Character: In the film, he takes over his wife's role of being The Social Expert. And her race.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "You two are the most fucked-up people I've ever met. And I specialize in fucked-up people."
  • Famed In Universe: For defending wife killers.
  • Happily Married: He and his wife, Betsy, are incredibly happy together.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a cocky attorney known for defending murderers, and he doesn't come cheap. Despite that, he believes Nick when he professes his innocence, and genuinely wants to see Amy go down, and is upset when he realizes that that isn't going to happen.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He's not usually very polite when he's making a point, or calling Nick out for doing something dumb, but he's usually completely right.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Exploited and played with. Tanner's name is synonymous with wife killers, which means that Nick both feels he has to hire him and really doesn't want to. Any time his name is mentioned, people instantly assume Nick is guilty, but he is a brilliant lawyer.
  • Only Sane Man: He's relatively unaffected by the Elliott-Dunne family's insanity, and he likes it that way.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He defends people who are almost certainly guilty of murder. But that's just his job — after all, it's their constitutional right to a lawyer representing them, too. (And, for all we know, some of his clients may have only looked guilty and were Convicted by Public Opinion the same way Nick was.)
  • Race Lift: In the book, he's white, but in the movie, he's played by the black Tyler Perry.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He's always in a suit. Justified, as he's an attorney.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: He and his wife at home. It's meant in a lighthearted, loving way, though.


Secondary Characters

     Andie Hardy 

Andie Hardy

A student in Nick's college class. Also his mistress. Played by Emily Ratajkowski in the movie.

  • Adaptation Name Change: In the film, her surname becomes Fitzgerald.
  • Adorkable: Exploited during her press conference, where she comes off as cute, awkward, sweet, and nervous. This makes the public sympathize with her and allows her to escape the media shitstorm relatively unscathed.
  • Betty and Veronica: Inverted. Appears to be the Veronica (dark haired, sexy, morally grey) to Amy's Betty (uptight, blonde, married), but the opposite proves true, as Andie is gentle, sweet, and shallow, while Amy is extremely intelligent and deadly.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's got nothing on Amy in this department, but given that she's sleeping with a man she knows perfectly well is married, and how quickly she turns on Nick when things start looking bad, it's safe to say she's not quite the sweet, nice girl next door she plays. Of course, this isn't the first time Nick's fallen for a woman with a hidden dark side.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Really the only way to describe someone who won't stay away from her boyfriend even when whether or not he's a suspect for murdering his wife depends on it.
  • Cuddle Bug: Nick mentions that Andie's very much into touching — hugging, cuddling, touching someone's shoulder, and, of course, sex.
  • The Ditz: Treated as this by both Amy and Nick, but it's never clear how ditzy she is.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: She's not dumb, exactly, but she's clearly not as intelligent as Nick or Amy. Nonetheless, she suggests early on that she and Nick just tell the police about their affair, since she's his alibi. Nick shoots this down, but in hindsight, he really should've taken her advice.
  • Good Bad Girl: She knows Nick is married and she's very seductive, and Amy scorns how she manipulates public perception of her, but Andie also genuinely tries to help Nick (although she makes everything worse), and Nick is happy for her when she moves on in the end.
  • Hidden Depths: She knows how to work the media to her advantage.
  • It's All About Me: Her boyfriend is under investigation for murder, and she complains that she hasn't called her.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Played with — Nick certainly sees her as one, which is one of the main reasons Amy hates her, but she just makes matters worse for Nick in the end.
  • The Mistress: Sleeping with the married Nick.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In the movie — but really, what do you expect from a character played by Emily Ratajkowski?
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Nick in the book when he tries to dump her: "Fuck you. You think I'm some dumb kid, some pathetic student you can manage? I stick by you through all this — this talk about how you might be a murderer — and as soon as it's a little tough for you? No, no. You don't get to talk about conscience and decency and guilt and feel like you are doing the right thing. Do you understand me? Because you are a cheating, cowardly, selfish shit."
  • Smarter Than You Look: Even Amy admits she's not exactly the dumb party girl she assumed she was.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: She's Nick's student as well as his lover.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Played with. While she's not nearly as careful as she should be, given her situation, Amy admits that Andie's smarter than she took her for — she's careful with what she posts on social media, and knows when it's time to bail on Nick and get public sympathy on her side.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Nick thinks she looks better in jeans and a T-shirt than she does in a formal dress.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Genuinely seems to like Nick and believes him when he plans to leave Amy, but has no idea that they're being watched by Nick's insane wife, Amy, and this results in Nick being framed for murder.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the movie, she just sort of vanishes after her press conference. Averted in the book, where Nick mentions that she began dating a guy her own age, and never replied to Nick when he texted her and apologized.

     Detective Boney 

Detective Rhonda Boney

One of the cops assigned to the case. Played by Kim Dickens in the movie.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the book, she's described as ugly, which Kim Dickens most certainly is not.
  • Always on Duty: She's working the case day and night.
  • Fair Cop: In the movie. She's not exactly a sexpot, but Kim Dickens is still a lovely woman, and by extension, so is Boney. Averted in the novel.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Is an intelligent and well-meaning police officer. Amy thinks she can trick her, but Boney figures out something is wrong with the case very quickly. It's only when Nick pulls out of Boney's attempt to catch Amy that her plan fails.
  • Hero Antagonist: Rhonda is intelligent, reasonable, and perceptive, but Nick instantly dreads and fears her because she always picks up on Amy's clues. Even Amy comes to be suspicious of her as she guesses something is wrong when Amy is "rescued" from Desi.
  • Hollywood Homely: Only in the film, as she is played by Kim Dickens. In the book, she is described as genuinely ugly.
  • Iron Lady: She's tough, intelligent, and determined.
  • Only Sane Man: Along with Tanner, she's one of the few to not be dragged into the shitstorm of insanity that is the conflict between Amy and Nick, and also refuses to side against Nick until she has absolute proof. (Her proof isn't real, as it was planted by Amy, but she couldn't have possibly known that.)
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: More so in the film, when she is more clearly supportive of Nick and tries to hear out his side of the story.
  • Those Two Guys: With Gilpin for a large part of the book.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Clearly not the case in the film (though Kim Dickens is roughed up to play Boney), but in the book, described as very ugly while Amy is very beautiful, while also being one of the few people to see through her lies.

     Officer Gilpin 

Officer James "Jim" Gilpin

Boney's partner in the Amy Dunne case. Played by Patrick Fugit in the movie.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Unlike Boney, he isn't outright described as "ugly" in the book, but Nick notes that he has heavy bags under his eyes and white hairs in his mustache. In the movie he looks better-rested, possibly younger, and is clean-shaven.
  • The Load: Downplayed. He seems competent enough, but of the two investigating detectives he's the one who takes the evidence at face value, facilitating Amy's Frame-Up of Nick.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He remarks to Boney that "the simplest answer is often the correct one." In a Police Procedural, sure, but not in a twisty domestic thriller like this one. For the record, Boney disagrees.

     Ellen Abbott 

Ellen Abbott

The host of Ellen Abbott Live, a talk show that tends to cover stories of abused, kidnapped and murdered women. She jumps on Amy's story when she goes missing, and quickly hones in on Nick as her prime suspect. Played by Missi Pyle in the movie.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: Her show quickly leads to this for Nick — the public turns on him before there's any actual proof, even fabricated "proof" planted by Amy.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: Presumably the reason her show tends to focus on horrifically abused women so often. The show is clearly more exploitation than it is actual news.
  • Mama Bear: Amy describes her as being very "protective and maternal" towards the women she talks about on the show, but it's never clear if this is merely invoked.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: Ellen's show's tendency towards this trope is Exploited by Amy, who sweetens the pot not only by being pretty and white, but also by being kind of famous (being Amazing Amy and all), and also being pregnant. That last detail, especially, is what pushes her story to the front.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: It's probably not an accident that Ellen has a lot in common with Nancy Grace.
  • Smarmy Host: Especially in the eyes of Team Nick. In the movie, the smarm factor is turned up with Ellen not-so-lightly implying Twincest between Nick and Go as part of a smear campaign.
  • Talk Show: Ellen Abbott Live is one.



A young woman Amy meets while in hiding during the investigation. Played by Lola Kirke in the movie.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She has a bad case of this, by her own admission. Though Greta's not exactly a nice girl herself.
  • Audience Surrogate: Invoked in universe; Greta follows the Amy case with great interest and Amy is delighted when she follows along as the audience is "supposed" to.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Greta at first comes off as abrasive, but harmless and even pretty nice. Then she robs her friend blind. In her defense, the "friend" was a monster.
  • Book Dumb: She's not especially educated (though she does appear to like reading), but she is smart, and she knows how to get by with very little cash.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She gets in a couple snide remarks at Amy.
  • Domestic Abuse: She's hiding out in the Ozarks after leaving her abusive boyfriend. She admits she goes through a lot of guys that beat her up.
  • Foil: To Amy. In a lot of ways, they're polar opposites. Amy went to fancy schools and grew up wealthy while Greta has spent her life poor and struggling to get by, presumably with little education as well. Amy is used to wealth while Greta can get by with little. But they both give off the vibe of being harmless to cover their ruthlessness and both betray people who saw them as friends and never expected such behavior. Her relationship with Jeff also serves as a foil to Nick and Amy. While Nick is kept in the dark about Amy's true nature and is absolutely horrified when he finds out, Jeff knows exactly what Greta is like but loves her anyway, participating in their robbery of Amy, and they seem to be genuinely close.
  • Hidden Depths: She likes to read Ray Bradbury novels in her downtime. She was also observational enough to realize Amy was lying about her identity.
  • Irony: She thinks Nick killed Amy and is keen to see him die for it, yet her actions are responsible for him surviving.
  • Karma Houdini: She never receives punishment for robbing Amy. Hard to feel sorry about this, though, considering it's Amy.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Again, robbing Amy. (Although she did deserve it.)
  • Lower-Class Lout: A textbook example.
  • Only One Name: We never find out her last name, and Amy even doubts that "Greta" is her real first name.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The story would have been radically different had it not been for her actions.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Amy assumes Greta's just a ditz whom she can control. Big mistake.
  • Spanner in the Works: She's the reason Amy ends up having to go to Desi — she was forced to call him after Greta robbed her.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: For Desi, at least. Had Greta not robbed Amy, she wouldn't have gone to him and he wouldn't have been murdered. She's an inverse of this for Nick as her actions resulted in him avoiding the Death Penalty. Ironic considering Greta believes his guilt and seems to be pushing to see him die.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Greta and Jeff disappear after robbing Amy, but it's invoked at the ending as they're the only loose end in Amy's plan. She's not overly worried about her, but they do give her a pause.

     Betsy Bolt 

Betsy Bolt

Tanner's wife, an expert on correcting public relations nightmares. Like Nick.
  • Adapted Out: She's not in the movie, her role given to Tanner.
  • Alliterative Name: Betsy Bolt. Though "Betsy" is usually short for "Elizabeth."
  • Brainy Brunette: She has dark hair and seems to match her husband's intelligence.
  • Brutal Honesty: Her first comments on Nick with the press? "You're awful." Even Nick admits she's right.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Her method of throwing jelly beans at Nick whenever he screws up? It actually works.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Betsy: (while imitating Sharon Schieber) I aim for absolute authenticity. Aside from my Georgia accent. And being black.
  • Happily Married: She and Tanner clearly love each other a lot.
  • Sassy Black Woman: She can hold her own against her husband, easily.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: With her husband.
  • The Social Expert: Betsy knows how to work a crowd and what Nick needs to do to get the public back on his side, and is determined to prepare him. Even if that means chucking jellybeans at his face whenever he messes up.
  • Southern Belle: She has a thick Georgia accent.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's noted for being both incredibly hot and incredibly tall.

     Noelle Hawthorn 

Noelle Hawthorn

Amy's best friend, a pregnant woman who already has three children and is suspicious of Nick, who claims he's never heard of her. Turns out Amy befriended her in order to manipulate her into turning the public against Nick and to make her look good. Played by Casey Wilson in the movie.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Like with Boney, she's ugly in the books yet played by Casey Wilson in the movie. Then again, it's Amy that describes her as ugly — it's unlikely that Amy wouldn't be biased, though a woman with newborn triplets would probably have let herself go.
  • Attention Whore: According to Amy, "ugly girls are such thunder-stealers." Of course, this is Amy saying this, so who knows if it's true.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Invoked. Amy used her for precisely this silliness, knowing she could manipulate Noelle's ditziness for her own advantage. Nick sees her as a mild annoyance and totally ignores her — which turns out to be a mistake when she reveals Amy's apparent pregnancy to a whole audience of press just as Nick is about to regain the narrative.
  • Dumb Is Good: Why Amy bothered with her — she wanted a "local idiot" she could use to make her seem like a good person once she was gone, and handily, Noelle being pregnant meant Amy could steal her urine to fake a pregnancy.
  • Hero Antagonist: Though her actions serve to make things worse for Nick, she genuinely believes he's hurt her close friend.
  • Naive Every Girl: Noelle is kind, sweet, kinda dumb, and falls for every line Amy gives her. This proves very useful to Amy.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Doesn't have the largest role, but is very important to showing first how little Nick knows Amy (as he didn't realise they were friends), then how manipulative Amy is, and her whole pregnancy gives Amy the way to fake her own.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Amy, and it's unlikely she'll ever learn the truth.
  • Wham Line: She delivers one of the movie's earliest:
    Noelle: Where's your wife, Nick? What'd you do with your pregnant wife?

     The Elliotts 

Rand and Marybeth Elliott

Amy's parents, who got seriously rich off their children's book series, "Amazing Amy," based on the real Amy. Though they at first believe Nick's story, they slowly begin to suspect him along with everyone else. Played by David Clennon and Lisa Banes in the movie.
  • Abusive Parents: Not intentionally, but basing a fictional character off of your real daughter and making that character absolutely perfect in all the ways your daughter is not exactly what you'd call good parenting. It gets worse when Amy disappears — they act more like their fictional child has disappeared than their real one.
  • Adult Fear: No matter how you feel about their parenting skills, it's hard not to empathize with the fear of their only daughter vanishing and apparently having been murdered by her own husband.
  • Aesop Collateral Damage: In-Universe, they're extreme collateral damage to Amy's plan to punish Nick, since they have to believe their only child has been murdered by her own husband, and are scared out of their minds. Amy acknowledges this in the book, but says she doesn't really care. In fact, she even decides that they deserve it, since they put so much pressure on her to be "Amazing Amy." As Amy puts it, the best part about her plan is that "everyone gets punished."
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Both of them are child psychologists, but are borderline-emotionally abusive towards their daughter, passive aggressively expressing disappointment in her by using Amazing Amy to compensate for her flaws, not realizing that doing this could cause psychological damage on the real Amy (which it kind of does). They also both fail to notice (or maybe even choose to ignore) Amy's sociopathic traits.
  • Creator Couple: In-Universe, their entire schtick is that they're a married pair of authors who wrote a children's book series based on their own child together.
  • Happily Married: They are ridiculously affectionate and cutesy together, almost to the point of being creepy. Amy notes that the pressure to live up to such a happy relationship was rather suffocating - she never even saw them argue as a child.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Marybeth had five miscarriages and two stillbirths before Amy — all girls, all named "Hope."
  • Parental Incest: Subverted. Amy admits to having told Desi her father raped her, but this was just to appear as the "damaged" woman Desi wanted.
  • Parents as People: Were they great parents? Probably not. Did they have a hand in making Amy the psycho she is today? Almost certainly. But do they genuinely love her? Yes.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: According to Amy, they used the Amazing Amy books to do this in expressing all their disappointments with real Amy. It's not hard to see where she would've gotten the idea, though they insist it wasn't meant to be insulting in any way.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: They hang all over each other in public, flirt with each other constantly, exchange flowers every week for fifty years, apparently get along so well that even normal bickering in a relationship is completely foreign to them, are never seen apart... eegh. Regardless of how you feel about Amy, you can understand why she finds their marriage to be somewhat nauseating.
  • Stage Mom: Not in the traditional sense of course, but they are both a variation called the "Script Mother" (and Father in this case) which refers to writers who see their children as muses for their work, but not in a good way as they tend to either use humiliating events and exaggerated personal problems as inspiration or as seen by Elliots here passive-aggressively use the fictional versions as idealized versions of their offspring.
  • Rich Bitch: Both of them are very wealthy, and generally uppity and unlikable — this is more pronounced in the movie, though Marybeth comes off far worse in this regard, sneering at the locals and complaining Missouri smells like feces.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Amy calls them this (although "villain" is very loosely applied here). She dislikes that they're given so much sympathy, as she hoped they'd be treated more negatively for what she sees as their terrible parenting.

     The Dunnes 

Bill and Maureen Dunne

Nick and Go's parents, who divorced when they were children. Bill was an abusive misogynist, while Maureen, though loving, is a bit overprotective and doting, especially towards Nick. At the start of the novel, Maureen has died and Bill has long since gone senile. Played by Leonard Kelly Young and Cyd Strittmatter in the movie.
  • Abusive Parents: Bill was of the emotional variety, especially towards poor Go.
  • Character Death: Maureen dies before the novel begins, and Bill finally dies towards the end. By then, though, with all the shit Nick's gone through, it's practically a footnote.
  • Demoted to Extra: Not that they were ever huge players, but they get much less to do in the movie than they did in the book. Maureen, in particular, is regulated to a silent role.
  • Domestic Abuse: Bill was emotionally abusive to Maureen. Nick comments that Bill probably never thought of himself as abusive, since he never hit her.
  • Good Parents: Once she got away from Bill, Maureen was definitely this. It's safe to say that whatever good is in Nick and Go came from her.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Bill hates women. Really hates them.
  • Morality Pet: Weirdly, Maureen seems to be one of the few people Amy doesn't hate, and even sort of likes. Not that it matters in the end.
  • My Beloved Smother: By her own admission, Maureen spoiled Nick.
  • Posthumous Character: Maureen dies before the novel begins, but appears in Amy's diary entries.
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • Maureen's battle with cancer is what causes Nick to move himself and Amy to North Carthage.
    • If Bill hadn't indirectly shaped Nick into the person he is, the story would be extremely different.

     Hilary Handy 

An old classmate of Amy's, who apparently stalked her before shoving her down the stairs. Keyword here being "apparently."

  • Adapted Out: She's not in the movie.
  • Alliterative Name: Hilary Handy.
  • Break the Cutie: Amy's betrayal had this effect on her, though she seems to have recovered and is now living a pretty normal, well-adjusted life.
  • Driven to Suicide: According to Boney, she's had suicide attempts in the past, though they obviously didn't succeed.
  • Frame-Up: The target of one of Amy's first. Amy set her up to seem like a creepy stalker, before throwing herself down the stairs and claiming Hilary pushed her.
    Hilary: The girl cracked her own ribs. Who was going to believe me?
  • Kill and Replace: Subverted. Amy made it look like this was her plan for Amy, but it was all a set-up.
  • Loony Fan: Again, subverted. She appears to be this for "Amazing Amy," but she's not.
  • Red Herring: She's suggested early on as being a potential suspect, Amy's father explaining what happened between her and Amy, and claiming that she's scarier than Desi. She also gets rather hostile when Nick calls her. However, it soon becomes clear that Hilary is honestly innocent, and that she has damn good reason for being bitter.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: She was so traumatized by what Amy did to her that when she was expelled, she didn't bother trying to fight it.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Amy set her up to look like one.

     Tommy O'Hara 

An ex-boyfriend of Amy's, who she claimed raped her. He didn't. Played by Scoot McNairy in the movie.

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the book, Amy let him panic for a few days before dropping the rape charges. In the movie, however, she didn't drop them, leading to Tommy having to plead guilty to a lesser charge to avoid jailtime, resulting in him having to register as a sex offender.
  • Butt-Monkey: His life has been absolute shit since he met Amy.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He politely asked Amy to back off when he felt she was getting a bit too controlling. Amy framed him for rape and got him registered as a sex offender, ruining his life.
  • False Rape Accusation: On the receiving end of one. The evidence was pretty damning, but it was all planted by Amy.
  • Frame-Up: Yet another victim of Amy's.

     Jacqueline Collings 

Desi's mother.

  • Adapted Out: She's not in the movie. Notably, with her gone, Desi's creepy incest vibes are absent.
  • Break the Haughty: In the book, Desi's death is this for her. While a very unlikeable, creepy, and unnerving character, she's clearly broken-hearted about Desi's death and champions his innocence. It's probable that she'll never recover.
  • Cassandra Truth: The last we see of her in the book, she's insisting that Amy framed and murdered Desi, but she's viewed as being too hysterical with grief to be reasonable. Of course, she's completely correct.
  • Frame-Up: A minor example compared to the others, but Amy once scratched her own face and told Desi that Jacqueline attacked her. Amy's justification for this is that Jacqueline "may as well have" because of her cold attitude towards Amy.
  • Identical Stranger: The last straw for Amy regarding her and Desi's relationship was when she met Jacqueline and realized she looked just like her. Amy is understandably creeped out.
  • Incest Subtext: She is way too close to Desi for comfort.
  • My Beloved Smother: Her relationship with Desi is just a bit too close for comfort.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: She outlives Desi.
  • Parental Favouritism: It's not clear, but she has three older sons who've all moved out. Desi, however, she keeps very close to her.
  • Pervert Dad: An extremely rare female version. If she and Desi's relationship wasn't straight-up sexual (which is never clarified), she is completely possessive of him, hates all his girlfriends, and expects him to treat her like his girlfriend.
  • Rich Bitch: She's not so bad when compared to the Elliotts, but she's still quite snooty. And very rich.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: She never liked Amy, but it's implied that it's because Amy was getting in between her and Desi, not because Amy's a ruthless sociopath. Then again, Jacqueline quickly puts two and two together and realizes Amy is framing Desi at the end, so maybe she did have an inkling of her true nature. Not that it does her much good.


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