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The Romance

    Veronica Sawyer
Played by: Winona Ryder (Film), Annaleigh Ashford (Joe's Pub), Barrett Wilbert Weed (Hudson Theatre and Original Off-Broadway), Charissa Hogeland (Closing Off-Broadway)

The protagonist of the story; a cynical high school junior (made a senior in the musical adaptation) who's starting to regret getting In with the In Crowd.

  • Adaptational Villainy: Her TV series counterpart is darker in contrast to her musical and movie counterparts. Rather than try to deactivate J.D.'s bomb like in the musical and the movie, she actually sets it off, killing everyone in the school including herself and J.D.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Maybe not all of them, but Veronica sure does. Eventually deconstructed, as J.D. is a murderous psychopath.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: On more than one occasion in the movie. Did she know she grabbed the wrong cup that killed Heather Chandler? When did she figure out about the "Ich Luge" bullets? Did she always know, did she find out before she shot Kurt or after? Was it a moment of panic or was she fully aware of what she was doing? J.D. thinks she wanted to kill them. It's possible Veronica isn't sure herself.
  • Anti-Hero: She is a pretty horrible person herself. She left behind her loyal friend to go in with the in crowd. She is shaken up, but only slightly bothered by the death of Heather Chandler - which she herself had caused. She clearly couldn't care less what happens to Heather McNamara with the two rapists when she ditches her for J.D. She makes plans to maim said two assholes, but over spreading a rumor about her, and not for raping her friend - plans that end up with their untimely deaths. And even after she realizes they're dead, she is mad about being tricked by J.D. a lot more than about killing two people. Downplayed in the stage show, where she becomes a lot more sympathetic and a lot less actively complicit in what J.D.'s doing.
  • The Atoner: Feeling the guilt once Martha tried to kill herself and the taunting of the ghosts of Heather Chandler, Ram and Kurt, she realizes once J.D. plans to blow up the high school and those in it for the pep rally, that she has to stop him once and for all. See The Determinator.
  • Beta Bitch: She alternates this position with Heather Duke to Heather Chandler's Alpha, albeit reluctantly on Veronica's part.
  • Brainy Brunette: The only brunette of the Heathers. She specifically was considered bright enough to consider going ahead into high school out of the sixth grade, rather than attend junior high.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: She tries this with Martha in the musical when Martha suspects J.D killed Kurt and Ram, Veronica admits she forged Ram's note and that it was just a prank, hoping to throw Martha off the scent. It backfires ''horribly.''
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Played straight; she's the Smart Girl of the Girl Posse, and The Lancer to the red leader.
  • Color Motif: Blue, suitable for her melancholic temper, and her position as Heather Chandler's foil. Her outfits incorporate more and more black as the movie progresses, as she turns her back on her days in the color coded Girl Posse, and grows closer to J.D., seeing how Evil Wears Black.
  • Date Rape Averted: Three times! First at the college party, then at the cow tipping double date, and then with J.D.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh boy is she, especially in the musical.
  • The Determinator: She WON'T let her fellow students and the faculty of the high school die by J.D.'s bomb, and is determined to stop him. First by trying to appeal to that part of him who loves her, then trying to get his gun but wounding J.D., and finally ready to get the bomb far enough away to keep the others from dying even if SHE does (as sung in the Reprise of "Dead Girl Walking").
    "His solution is a lie, no one here deserves to die
    Except for me and the monster I created!"
  • Driven to Suicide: Veronica offs herself following J.D.'s taunts. Subverted; she's actually Faking the Dead, and was able to find out J.D.'s plan because of it.
  • The Fashionista: Monocles and kimonos are a staple of her leisure-wear...
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Among the four members of the Girl Posse, she is the Melancholic.
  • Heel–Face Turn: First, it seems she is pulling one while drifting away from the bitchy Girl Posse while getting involved with J.D. When he is revealed to be all kinds of Axe-Crazy, she eventually turns on him too, and starts following her own moral code. And attempts to kill him in the movie, then watches as he blows himself up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the musical, she attempts one to save everyone in the school from being blown to bits, but J.D. chooses to take her place.
  • Honey Trap: As part of her and J.D.'s plan to humiliate Ram and Kurt, she lures them to the graveyard with promises of a threesome.
  • Intelligence = Isolation: Subverted. She is highly intelligent, and was supposed to skip a year or two in school. She then converts her book smarts to people smarts, and becomes a member of the popular Girl Posse. Played straight at the beginning of the musical, though.
  • In with the In Crowd: Veronica's arc is a dark, dark take on this trope. She turned her back on her good friend Betty (Martha in the musical) and joined the popular Heathers, and is suitably self-deprecating about it.
  • The Lancer: To Alpha Bitch Heather Chandler.
  • Master Forger: This becomes a major plot point. Veronica is first accepted into the Heathers' clique when she forges a hall pass to get them out of detention, and later when JD kills Heather Chandler, Ram, and Kurt, he persuades her to forge notes in their respective handwriting styles to make their deaths looks like suicides.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name is a combination of classic comic character, Veronica Lodge, and classic literary character, Tom Sawyer, symbolizing her role as the more mischievous and selfish best friend of Betty Finn (whose own name is a combination of Betty Cooper and Huckleberry Finn, the more noble best friends of Veronica and Tom).
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • The song "Yo Girl" has Veronica find out from Heather Duke that Martha tried to kill herself in an attempt to copy the popular kids "and failing miserably." Needless to say, she's horrified Martha almost joined Heather Chandler, Ram and Kurt among the ghosts around her.
    • In the movie and the musical, she is horrified when she realizes that she helped J.D. kill Kurt and Rom. The film has a bigger impact on her since she's the one who kills Kurt, albeit unintentionally.
  • Odd Name Out: She's the only Heather not named Heather.
  • Outlaw Couple: Played with in her relationship with J.D. She even lampshades this with talking about the Ur-Example, Bonnie and Clyde, but she eventually turns on him.
  • Karma Houdini: She kills three people, involved in the death of the fourth, and is merely singed by the end of the film.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In a way, Musical!Veronica is the red to Movie!Veronica's blue. In the musical, Veronica is much more impulsive, emotional, awkward, and passionate, while in the movie she comes off as more collected, calm, reserved, and stoic.
  • Self-Harm: She burns herself with the car lighter the morning after Ram and Kurt die in The Movie. The Musical leaves out this detail.
  • Snark Knight: Only Betty Finn is safe from her sharp tongue.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: At the end, she sticks one on Heather Duke, kissing her on the cheek and taking the trademark red scrunchie before announcing that she's the "new sheriff in town".
  • True Blue Femininity: See Color Motif.
  • True Companions: In the musical, "Seventeen (Reprise)" has Martha and Heather McNamara become this for Veronica.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Moreso in the musical, where she unintentionally ends up pushing J.D. in his dark path of destruction and murder.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: The spirits of Heather Chandler, Ram and Kurt taunt Veronica that she's "truly a Heather" and "earned that red scrunchie." After J.D. makes his Heroic Sacrifice she DOES take the scrunchie and says "There's a new sheriff in town."


    Jason "J.D." Dean
Played by: Christian Slater (Film), Jeremy Jordan (Joe's Pub), Ryan McCartan (Hudson Theatre and Original Off-Broadway), Dave Thomas Brown (Closing Off-Broadway)

An outsider that Veronica takes an interest in after he pulls a gun on some bullies, and later gets romantically (and criminally) involved with.

  • Abusive Dad: His father is clearly unhinged and violent.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The musical adaptation makes him less of a bloodthirsty sociopath and more of a troubled Anti-Villain, who sees the error of his actions at the very end.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In the musical especially, he eventually takes his own life, lamenting what an animal he has become.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's your basic Troubled, but Cute high school rebel serial killer. This is him while rambling about blowing up the school:
    "We'll watch the smoke pour out the doors!
    Bring marshmallows, we'll make s'mores!
    We can smile and cuddle WHILE THE FIRE ROARS!"
  • Axes at School: Carries a big gun with him his first day, and later rigs a "serious-as-fuck bomb in the boiler room, to set off a pack of thermals upstairs."
  • Badass Longcoat: He sports a long, black duster - always.
  • Big Bad: His murders drive the plot.
  • Birds of a Feather: He thinks he and Veronica fit this trope, but it turns out Everyone Has Standards.
  • Cute and Psycho: He's charming, brooding, charismatic, attractive, and absolutely bugfuck crazy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Very snarky, though more psycho than deadpan.
  • Entitled to Have You: Towards Veronica in "Meant to Be Yours".
    "You were meant to be mine
    I am all that you need
    You cut open my heart
    Can't just leave me to bleed!"
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: His mother committed suicide when he was young, and he obviously misses her terribly.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The only people J.D. appears to have genuine affection for are Veronica and his late mother.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In "Meant to Be Yours," he thinks Veronica broke up with him because of the influence of the classmates, not because he was a maniac who was killing people. Thus he resolves to blow up the school.
  • Fatal Flaw: He admits he destroys things just like his father to the point where he never could BUILD things like Veronica. So he makes the decision to get the bomb to safety and let Veronica do what he could not.
  • Freudian Excuse: J.D. had a really bad childhood, being the son of a sociopath who drove J.D.'s mother to suicide by walking into an exploding building in front of him. This goes a long way towards explaining his own budding sociopathy.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the musical, he trades his life for Veronica's in the end, because he believes she's worth it.
  • Iconic Outfit: No matter the adaptation, J.D. just isn't J.D. without his long black trenchcoat.
  • If I Can't Have You...: In "Meant to Be Yours", he mentions that he thought about killing Veronica for breaking up with him. That is, before he decided that everyone at school should die, believing that they are keeping him and Veronica from being together.
  • It Runs in the Family: See Fatal Flaw. His father is similarly unhinged and destructive.
  • Love Makes You Evil: His relationship with Veronica and his inability to control his emotions is ultimately the driving force behind his actions. But at the same time...
  • Love Redeems: In the musical, he trades his life for Veronica's in an attempt to make up for his actions and to give Veronica a chance to live her life.
  • Manipulative Bastard: That's an understatement. He tricks the school into signing a Suicide Pact.
  • Missing Mom: His mother died in an explosion. Circumstances are debatable.
  • Mood-Swinger: Emphasized in "Meant to Be Yours", when he snaps back and forth between tenderly professing his love for Veronica and excitedly rambling about his plan to blow up the entire school in a staged mass suicide. The last verse of the song is him pleading with Veronica to open the door and take him back, then yelling that he's about to break in.
    "Veronica! Open the—open the door, please
    Veronica, open the door!
    Veronica, can we not fight anymore, please?
    Can we not fight anymore?
    Veronica, sure, you're scared, I've been there
    I can set you free!
    Veronica, don't make me come in there!
  • Not Good with Rejection: To say that he was upset over his and Veronica's breakup is the understatement of the millennium. He attempts to blow up the school because of this.
  • Only Known by Initials: J.D. is short for "Jason Dean," but is also a Shout-Out to James Dean and is 1950s slang for "juvenile delinquent."
  • Redemption Equals Death: In the musical, after Veronica brings his bomb to the football field in order to die for their sins, J.D. follows her and makes the sacrifice himself.
  • Sanity Slippage: While not exactly stable before his relationship with Veronica, he ultimately spirals into his path of destruction and murder as a result of his relationship with Veronica.
  • The Sociopath: A tragic example. He's initially seen as charming, but he's also reckless and has poor impulse control, manipulates and lies to people around him, doesn't consider other people's feelings beyond what they mean to him personally, and has a constant need for stimulation and gets off on the murders he commits. It's emphasized that his horrible life partly made him what he is, though, and ultimately in his own twisted sense of morality he believes that he's doing people a favor.
  • Trademark Favorite Drink: Slushies from 7-Eleven, which he uses as a substitute for drugs since they give him brain freeze.
    "Freeze your brain...suck on that straw, get lost in the pain...
    Happiness comes when everything numbs...who needs cocaine?"
  • Tragic Villain: Despite all that he does, the audience can't help but feel bad for him in the end. The musical especially, where it's strongly implied that he just wanted someone to care about him.
  • The Unfettered: J.D. lets no moral standards get in his way, and commits murders without remorse. However, in the musical, his love for Veronica pushes him to spare her life over his and he willingly denotes the bomb so she can clean up the mess he left.
  • Villainous Crush: His love for Veronica is not in any way healthy, but he does love her.

The Heathers

The Heathers are Westerburg High Schools most popular clique. The group consists of the three Heathers, aptly named Heather Chandler, Heather Duke, and Heather McNamara, and one non-Heather member, Veronica Sawyer. These four girls are among the wealthiest and most powerful students in their school.
  • Antagonist Title: Outside of J.D., they're among Veronica's main antagonists (especially Heather Chandler).
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Heather McNamara is blonde, Heather Chandler is dirty blonde (partial brunette), and Heather Duke is auburn (partial redhead).
  • Color Motifs:
    • Heather Chandler always plays red. And also wears red, carries a red backpack and decorated her locker with only red items. She sets the tone for equating the color red with power throughout the movie, given the Law of Chromatic Superiority.
    • Before taking over for Heather Chandler, Heather Duke was always dressed in green. She switched to red as soon as she can. But stays in green in the musical.
    • Heather McNamara is Yellow. She is the only one not to switch colors. She only dons black for the movie's several funerals and when in her cheerleading uniform.
  • Girl Posse: Heathers McNamara and Duke act as Heather Chandler's girl posse at the start of the film, with Veronica as an increasingly reluctant member. It sort of falls apart after Heather Chandler dies.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
    • Heather McNamara is Nice, in that she is kinder than the other Heathers and becomes genuine friends with Veronica at the end of the musical. Heather Chandler is Mean, being the most actively cruel of the Heathers. Heather Duke is In-between, not as bad as Chandler but meaner than McNamara, and gleefully takes over after Chandler dies, using her newfound power to show her more sadistic side.
    • Heather Chandler and Heather Duke switch places in the musical: Duke is Mean due to Adaptational Villainy making her nastier from the start (while in the original movie, Duke and Veronica had a slight camaraderie, Duke is dismissive of Veronica from the start, calling her fat in the first song) while Chandler is In-between since she is slightly more civil towards Veronica than Duke.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted; their first names are all Heather.
  • Villain Song: The musical gives them "Candy Store", and in true Villain Song fashion, it's one of the best songs in the musical. It doubles as a Villain Recruitment Song, as it's about the Heathers trying to convince Veronica to join them in bullying Martha.

    Heather Chandler 
Played by: Kim Walker (Film), Jenna Leigh Green (Joe's Pub), Sarah Halford (Hudson Theatre), Jessica Keenan Wynn (Original and Closing Off-Broadway)

  • Alpha Bitch: An epic one at that, at least until she dies. Even then she's still a huge jerk.
  • Asshole Victim: While clearly a terrible human being and a raging bitch, she might not have deserved to die. Especially not in such a vile, blue way.
  • Deadly Prank: J.D. and Veronica trick her into drinking drain cleaner. It kills her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: So snarky, it hurts.
    Veronica: Doesn't it bother you that everyone thinks you're a piranha?
    Heather Chandler: Like I give a fuck. Everyone here wants me as a friend or a fuck. I'm worshipped at Westerburg, and I'm only a junior.
  • Evil Is Hammy: In the musical, she hams it up in "Candy Store".
  • Evil Redhead: In the Off-Broadway production, Chandler's actresses Jessica Keenan Wynn (main) and Charissa Hogeland (understudy) were redheads.
  • Famous/Lame Last Words: "Corn...nuts!" Cue keeling over due to bleach poisoning and crashing into a coffee table.
  • Favors for the Sexy: In the musical, she mentions this while coercing Veronica to stay with the Heathers.
    Heather Chandler: Guys fall at your feet, pay the check, help you cheat!
  • Gratuitous French: "Veronica. Jesse James. Quelle surprise."
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Manipulative, ruthless bitch that she is, Heather herself is dealing with some issues of her own, mostly being pressured into having sex with a guy she dislikes in order to assure her status. It seems the main reason she gets so mad at Veronica at the party is because Veronica herself won't be pressured into sex. (Coerced sex seems to be an expected part of 80s high school "popular people" society.)
    • Invoked with her suicide note. Veronica and J.D. write the note and make her look like The Woobie, which in turn makes her more popular than ever and gets her a tribute in the yearbook.
      "People think that because you're beautiful and popular, life is easy and fun. No one knows that I had feelings, too. I die knowing no one knew the real me."
  • Iconic Item: Her red hair scrunchie, which Heather Duke swipes from her after her death, symbolizing her new position as leader of the remaining Heathers. At the end, Veronica swipes this from Heather Duke, saying "There's a new sheriff in town."
  • Kick the Dog: Constantly, not only does she pick on Martha and encourage Veronica to do the same, even though Martha never did anything to her (something Veronica even points out, to which Heather just gives a glorified shrug), She's mocks Heather Duke for having bulimia rather than do anything to help her.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: She wears primarily red and is the most dominant of the Heathers. Her red scrunchie in particular becomes a symbol of power.
  • Rich Bitch: In her own words, she likes "looking hot, buying stuff they cannot, drinking hard, maxing Dad's credit card".
  • Villain Respect: In the musical, when Martha figures out that Kurt and Ram's deaths were not a suicide and she (accurately) suspects J.D had a hand in it, Heather Chandler is sincerely impressed.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: A variant, as she fully becomes this trope after her death. Since Veronica managed to very convincingly forge her suicide note, everyone begins to sympathize with Heather C., sincerely believing that her cruelty was a cover for her pain. Heather herself, as a ghost (maybe), is quite pleased with this, as it means that in death she's more popular than ever before.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: At the beginning she asks some people what they would do if they won 5 million dollars. When one girl says she'd give it all to the homeless, Heather just gives her a "You're such a loser" look.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Heavy on the "vitriolic" and light on the "best buds" with Veronica, who is part of her Girl Posse but is very aware of what a heinous bitch she is.
    Heather Chandler: You were nothing before you met me. You were a bluebird. You were a brownie. You were a Girl Scout Cookie. I got you into a Remington party, and what's the thanks I get? It's on the hall carpet. I got paid in puke!
    Veronica: Lick it up, baby! Lick! It! Up!

    Heather Duke 
Played by: Shannen Doherty (Film), Christine Lakin (Joe's Pub), Kristolyn Lloyd (Hudson Theatre and Closing Off-Broadway), Alice Lee (Original Off-Broadway)

  • Alpha Bitch: After the original one dies, Heather Duke takes over. She is in no way better than her predecessor.
  • Alto Villainess: In the musical, she has an alto voice and is an Alpha Bitch.
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: How she becomes one herself.
  • Big Eater: She's bulimic at the start of the film, then after Heather Chandler's death she starts "digesting food." Eating a chicken wing in the locker room, for example.
  • Beta Bitch: Originally shares this role with Veronica. Although she doesn't come off as this early in the movie, and it instead looks like Heather McNamara is Chandler's second-in-command.
  • Bookworm: She's shown reading in several scenes and her bookishness is even adapted as the “theme” of her (J.D.-induced) “suicide” in Veronica's dream.
  • Butt-Monkey: For Heather Chandler, amplified in the Musical.
    Heather Duke: Honey, what'chu waitin' for—
    Heather Chandler: (pushes her) SHUT UP, HEATHER!
  • The Chain of Harm: She was heavily emotionally bullied by Chandler, then when she dies, Duke takes up the position as Alpha Bitch and starts treating Heather McNamara the same way Chandler treated her, and she shows absolutely no sign she's aware of the irony.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Subverts the usual by being the one to take over for red.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The more confident she becomes, the snarkier she gets.
    Veronica: Why can't you just be a friend? Why do you have to be such a mega-bitch?
    Heather Duke: Because I can be. Do you think if Betty Finn's fairy godmother made her cool, she'd still hang out with her dweeb-ette friends?
  • The Dog Bites Back: The other Heathers mock Duke for her bulimia, and Heather Chandler especially bullies her. After Chandler dies, she turns on McNamara.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the movie, she initially comes off as the most sympathetic Heather of the three, even having a slight camaraderie with Veronica, only to take Chandler's place and become increasingly malicious. After the other Heathers mocked her for her bulimia, Heather Duke goes after Heather McNamara when Heather Chandler dies, by cruelly exposing and mocking the surviving Heather's suicidal contemplation.
  • Flat Character: In the musical and it's even lampshaded, with Veronica stating that she has "no discernible personality". This is further reflected by the fact that all of her songs are reprises.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Complete with the appropriate color motif. Funnily enough, in the movie she starts wearing red after Chandler's death, but her green socks and footwear remain.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She seems to undergo one in the final number of the musical. It's implied she might be in the middle of one by the end of the film, too.
  • Lack of Empathy: Once Heather Duke takes over, she really proves to be quite cold-hearted. She bawls out Heather McNamara for revealing her depression, and mocks Martha's own suicide attempt as an attempt at popularity. It is telling that when Heather McNamara attempts suicide in the musical, she imagines Duke goading her into it.
  • The Lancer: First to Heather Chandler and and then to Veronica, being second-in-command to the acting lead Heather.
  • Lawof Chromatic Superiority: In the movie and some musical productions, she takes up the red color as well as Heather Chandler's red scrunchie when Heather Chandler dies.
  • The Starscream: To Heather Chandler.
  • Villain Song: Multiple, in fact. Originally Shine A Light (Reprise) served as hers, even if technically it featured an imagined version of herself singing. The replacement for Blue (Reprise), Never Shut Up Again, is definitely her though.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Seems to be following in her predecessor's footsteps with Veronica by the end of the movie.
      Veronica: Heather my love, there's a new sheriff in town. (kisses her cheek)
    • The Musical has Veronica take the red scrunchie from Heather Duke, then give her a "Take That!" Kiss before singing "Listen up folks, war is over, brand new sheriff's come to town..."
  • With Friends Like These...: Heather McNamara took part in Heather Chandler mocking Heather Duke's bulimia; after taking over as Alpha Bitch, Heather Duke solidifies her status by cruelly exposing and mocking Heather McNamara's suicidal contemplation.

    Heather McNamara 
Played by: Lisanne Falk (Film), Corri English (Joe's Pub), Elle McLemore (Hudson Theatre, Original and Closing Off-Broadway)

  • Because You Were Nice to Me: When Veronica saves her from her suicide attempt, Heather McNamara bonds more to Veronica. The Musical takes it one more step in "Seventeen (Reprise)", when she takes Veronica's hand after the "new sheriff in town" reaches out to her.
  • Beta Bitch: Early on in the movie she seems to be Heather Chandler's second-in-command, and McNamara is the the closest Heather to Heather Chandler, while Heather Duke is a ditzy, bulimic bookworm that Chandler bullies.
  • BSoD Song: The musical gives her "Lifeboat", where she expresses anxiety over the rash of suicides among her peers. In it, she describes the school as a tiny lifeboat where people are pushing and fighting among each other, and anyone could be the next to get pushed into the ocean...
  • The Cheerleader: Subverted. Though she's initially introduced as part of the corrupt force of the Heathers and specifically singled out as the cheerleader of the four, she's one of the nicer characters in the film.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: She always wears yellow, which suits her position as the most inferior lackey in the Girl Posse.
  • Date Rape: It is unclear in the movie if Kurt or Ram got their way with her after Veronica takes off with J.D. She's pretty clearly trying to fight Ram off in the cow pasture.
  • Dumb Blonde: She is one ditzy blonde.
  • Easily Forgiven: In The Musical, Veronica doesn't hold Heather McNamara's luring her towards Ram and Kurt, nor her joining the Slut-Shaming in "Blue (Reprise)" against her when Heather Duke drives McNamara to a nervous breakdown that nearly has her Driven to Suicide. Veronica stops McNamara from getting all the way there.
  • Fallen Princess: Starts the movie as Heather Chandler's right-hand man and second-in-command. Unlike Heather Duke, Chandler doesn't bully McNamara, and McNamara's the closest Heather to Chandler. But that all changes when Heather Chandler dies. Heather Duke senses the opportunity and becomes the head of the Heathers (what's left of them) and bullies McNamara just as Heather Chandler previously did to her. McNamara is so desperate as to attempt suicide.
  • Heel–Face Turn: It's pretty downplayed, seeing how she was always a pretty nice person who was subject to some Toxic Friend Influence.
  • Hidden Depths: Is revealed to actually have severe anxiety over the three recent "suicides" of her peers, as well having to put up somewhat of a Hidden Heart of Gold-hiding facade as one of the esteemed Heathers, so much so that she attempts suicide from it. Her song "Lifeboat" from the musical further exemplifies just how lost she's been all this time.
  • Interrupted Suicide: By Veronica, who realizes that she's is going to commit suicide in the bathroom following Heather Duke leaking her secrets, and stops her just in time.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • After she is led to mock Heather Duke for her bulimia by Heather Chandler's Toxic Friend Influence, she in turn gets cruelly ridiculed for her suicidal anxieties (once Heather Chandler, Ram and Kurt die) by Heather Duke.
    • She also joins in with the other students in "Blue (Reprise)" when they start Slut-Shaming Veronica, which drives her to tears.
  • Pet the Dog: Veronica runs after her and stops her from succumbing to those anxieties. Heather then realizes Veronica genuinely cares for her. In The Musical, she hugs Veronica warmly after Veronica stops her suicide attempt. She also takes Veronica's outstretched hand in "Seventeen (Reprise)" and joins her and Martha in singing.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: In "Lifeboat", her solo begins slow and somber before she starts to shout in desperation.
    "Everyone's pushing
    Everyone's fighting
    Storms are approaching
    There's nowhere to hide
    If I say the wrong thing
    Or I wear the wrong outfit
  • Token Good Teammate: The relatively nice and kind member of The Heathers.
  • True Companions: "Seventeen (Reprise)" has Veronica invite her to join Martha and Veronica. She accepts and joins them in singing.
  • Weak-Willed: Note this exchange...
    Veronica: If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?
    Heather M.: (beat) Probably.
  • Verbal Tic: A less severe one than most examples, but she often ends her sentences with "...and stuff."

Other Students

    Kurt Kelly and Ram Sweeney 
Kurt Kelly played by: Lance Fenton (Film), James Snyder (Joe's Pub), Evan Todd (Hudson Theatre and Original Off-Broadway), Dan Domenechnote  (Closing Off-Broadway)
Ram Sweeney played by: Patrick Labyorteaux (Film), PJ Griffith (Joe's Pub), Jon Edison (Hudson Theatre, Closing and Original Off-Broadway)

  • Alliterative Name: Kurt Kelly.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Not only do they objectify women and discuss "righteous" Anatomically Impossible Sex, Ram (possibly) rapes Heather McNamara on the cowfield and Kurt claims they double-stuffed Veronica after she dumps him. Charming.
  • All Men Are Rapists: See All Men Are Perverts above.
  • Asshole Victim: Played with, as despite being "sexist, bullying jock assholes," there's a huge turnout at their funeral.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: After J.D. pulls a gun, it's assumed.
    "All J.D. really did was ruin two pairs of pants."
  • The Bully: During the cafeteria scene, they try to intimidate J.D., simply because Veronica looked at him.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Little did they expect J.D.'s reaction.
  • Double Date: Kurt and Ram go on a date with Veronica and Heather McNamara, at Heather's insistence.
  • Dumb Jock: Ram more so than Kurt.
    "Should we just whip it out?"
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In the musical, Kurt is genuinely horrified when J.D. shoots Ram, yelling, "You killed my best friend!" as he flees in terror.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Tellingly, in the musical, Ram seems uncomfortable when people bully Martha and though he laughs along, he never instigates it himself and his ghost even comments when Veronica brutally tells Martha she forged Ram's note that it was harsh and Kurt even agrees with him.
  • Freudian Excuse: In the musical, from the brief scene with Kurt, Ram and their fathers, it's pretty obvious they treat everyone at school the same way their fathers treat them. Their Slut-Shaming Veronica gives J.D. one to kill them.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Kurt and Ram strip down, expecting a threesome with Veronica. Then J.D. steps in.
  • Jerk Jock: Kurt and Ram are both football players, whose main source of fun seems to be bullying the weaker students. When they die in The Musical their ghosts haunt Veronica as this as J.D. killed them, not giving them a chance to grow out of it.
    J.D.: Football season is over, Veronica. Kurt and Ram had nothing to offer the school but date rapes and AIDS jokes.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: It was a dick thing to say, but Ram admittedly has a point when he tells Martha, "People wouldn't hate you so much if you acted normal" - Martha is notably quite childish and idealistic (though not stupid) for a high-schooler, particularly in how she dresses in an outfit more suitable for a six-year-old.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Or arranged to look gay, by Veronica and J.D.
    Mr. Sweeney: I love my dead gay son!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Subverted twice in some parts; whenever Ram begins to lose his cool, Kurt calms him down by saying "We're seniors", implying that they're trying to be good examples. And then something happens and they both fly off the handle.
  • Shirtless Scene: Both Kurt and Ram die in their shorts. To add further humiliation for them, the musical has them reappear as ghosts and invokes Jacob Marley Apparel, meaning that this is all they wear for the duration of their time onstage.
  • Those Two Guys: They're always together.
  • Undignified Death: Getting lured to a graveyard by a Honey Trap and then shot while in your underwear can't be a fun way to go.
  • Villain Song: Originally Blue and Blue (Reprise) served as theirs, sort of. Later versions of the musical replaced Blue with You're Welcome, a more overtly villainous song, and Blue (Reprise) with Big Fun (Reprise). Big Fun (Reprise) was then eventually combined with Heather Duke's Never Shut Up Again.

    Martha Dunnstock 
Played by: Carrie Lynn (Film), Julie Garnye (Joe's Pub), Katie Ladner (Hudson Theatre, Closing and Original Off-Broadway)

  • All of the Other Reindeer: In both the film and musical versions, she is bullied by the other students for being overweight, and is one of the Heathers' favorite targets.
  • Ascended Extra: In the musical, where she replaces Betty Finn as Veronica's best friend, and she even gets her own song ("Kindergarten Boyfriend").
  • Attempted Suicide: She tries to kill herself after Veronica reveals Ram never wrote her the note, it was just a prank and everyone at school knew about it. Fortunately she only ends up with broken bones.
  • Break the Cutie: Arguably, both versions, the musical more so. Note her last speaking line:
    Martha: ...Are there any happy endings?
  • BSoD Song: "Kindergarten Boyfriend".
  • Childhood Friends: In the musical, she and Veronica have known each other since... diapers.
  • Composite Character: In the musical, her character is combined with Betty Finn's. She kept her name, and her crush on Kurt/Ram, but gained Betty's perky personality. She also replaces Betty as Veronica's best friend before joining the Heathers.
  • Nice Girl: The only totally pure character in the musical.
  • The Quiet One: Film version. She says only one line at the very end.
  • Shrinking Violet: Film version, mostly. When Ms. Fleming starts her little get together in the cafeteria, Martha hides under a table. The musical version has a tendency to cower behind Veronica at certain points.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Not as pronounced as J.D., but holding a crush on a boy you kissed once in kindergarten and who has treated you horribly ever since isn't exactly healthy. Although it is played more for pity than horror in this case.
  • When She Smiles: Film version, after Veronica asks if they can see a movie together. Less so in the musical where she is The Pollyanna.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: At the start of the musical, but she's disabused of that mindset by the ending.

     Peter Dawson 
Played by: Jeremy Applegate

An active member of the student faculty.

  • Ambition Is Evil: Downplayed; he can be considered pretentious at times and wants to go to Harvard, but he is never actively malicious.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When asked about a hypothetical question about getting $5 million dollars while aliens are coming to blow up the planet, he takes the time to bring taxes to account.
  • Insufferable Genius: He's a smart kid and works in a lot school clubs, but he's also a little smarmy.
  • Pet the Dog: He's the one that tells Veronica about Ram and Kurt's rumor about her. He also doesn't buy it for a second.
  • Teacher's Pet: To Miss Fleming. He helps her organize her anti-suicide stunt for the explicit purpose of getting a reccomendation.

    Betty Finn 
Played by: Renée Estevez

Veronica's old friend before joining the Heathers.


"Big Bud" Dean played by: Kirk Scott (Film), Eric Leviton (Joe's Pub), Rex Smith (Hudson Theatre), Anthony Crivello (Closing and Original Off-Broadway)
Mr. Sawyer played by: Bill Cort (Film), Kevin Pariseau (Joe's Pub), Daniel Cooney (Hudson Theatre)
Mrs. Sawyer played by: Jennifer Rhodes (Film), Jill Abramovitz (Joe's Pub), Rena Strober (Hudson Theatre), Michelle Duffy (Original Off-Broadway), Molly Hagernote  (Closing Off-Broadway)

"Big Bud" Dean (J.D.'s father) and Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer.

  • Abusive Parents: Bud to J.D.
  • Adults Are Useless: All the parents have a "hands-off" approach to their kids. They also don't seem to notice that their children are out all night murdering people.
  • Adult Fear: When Veronica fakes her suicide her mother is the one that finds her, and it's devastating.
  • Hate Sink: "Big Bud" Dean, especially in the musical. Him being an abusive father alone puts him in this category in the film, but the musical further implies he drove his wife to suicide, and that he has singlehandedly molded J.D. into the Tragic Villain he is.
  • Ironic Echo: The first two conversations Veronica has with her parents.
  • Promoted to Parent: Played with. J.D. and his dad have a Running Gag where they talk to each other as father and son, roles reversed.
    Bud: Gee pop, I need some help with my homework.
    J.D.: Not right now, tiger, I'm a little busy.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Veronica's mom delivers an epic one to Veronica.
    Treated like human beings? Is that what you said, Little Miss Voice of a Generation? Just how do you think adults act with other adults? You think it's all just a game of doubles tennis? When teenagers complain that they want to be treated like human beings, it's usually because they are being treated like human beings.
  • The Sociopath: Bud's managed to channel it into his job as a Demolitions Expert.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mrs. Sawyer always has pate at the ready.

    Pauline Fleming 
Played by: Penelope Milford (Film), Jill Abramovitz (Joe's Pub), Rena Strober (Hudson Theatre), Michelle Duffy (Original Off-Broadway), Molly Hager (Closing Off-Broadway)

  • Adults Are Useless: And she's probably the most useless of the lot.
    "Call me when the shuttle lands."
  • Condescending Compassion: Veronica accuses her of this in the musical, pointing out that the facts that she's letting people film her rap sessions with the kids and their "therapeutic" talks about suicide and how to prevent it comes off as both patronizing and a little bit selfish. It falls on deaf ears.
  • Hippie Teacher: It's not clear what subject she teaches, but her classroom has an informal seating arrangement, including a spray of cushions to sit on.
    "Will we be tested on this?"
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: A darkly hilarious example:
    Veronica: None of us want this spectacle to be experimented on like guinea pigs or patronized like bunny rabbits!
    Miss Fleming: (completely offended) I DON'T PATRONIZE BUNNY RABBITS!

    Father Ripper 
Played by: Glenn Shadix

The priest who leads the bizarre funeral services.

  • Comic Relief: Bizarrely, the priest's scenes are some of the funniest in the film.
  • Large Ham: His sermon style -
    "On the outside, Heather Duke was the vivacious young woman we all knew her to be......BUT HER SOUL WAS IN ANTARCTICA!!!"
  • New Media Are Evil: Intially blames youth suicides on "MTV Video Games".
  • Rule of Three: We see him deliver three eulogies: Heather's, Kurt and Ram's, and Heather Duke's dream funeral.
  • Totally Radical: Invokes this when talking about that "Righteous dude, Jesus."


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