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The Yelnats Family

Everyone in his family had always liked the fact that "Stanley Yelnats" was spelled the same frontward and backward. So they kept naming their sons Stanley. Stanley was an only child, as was every other Stanley Yelnats before him.

    Stanley IV 

Stanley Yelnats IV/Caveman

Portrayed By: Shia LaBeouf
Voiced By: Héctor Emmanuel Gómez (Latin American Spanish dub), Yū Hayashi (Japanese dub)

The protagonist of Holes. Stanley is a teenage boy who was arrested for a crime he didn't commit and sentenced to a youth detention center.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the book, Stanley starts out being overweight and eventually slimming down from the strenuous digging. In the movie, he is portrayed by Shia LaBeouf, a thin and fit young man. This was mostly a case of Pragmatic Adaptation, as it would have been difficult to portray a protagonist rapidly losing weight over the course of a film and it wouldn't have been good on the actor's physical health.
  • Butt-Monkey: At first.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Stanley starts out awkward, with low confidence (movie), and overweight (book). A few months at Green Lake changes that.
  • Character Development: Goes from something of an awkward doormat to a much more self-confident young man.
  • Clear My Name: Stanley didn't steal Clyde Livingston's shoes, but was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Hence his arrest and sentencing.
  • First Friend: He's this for Zero and vice versa.
  • Formerly Fat: In the book, he comes to Camp Green Lake chubby. But all that time digging holes slimmed him down and built up his muscles.
  • Kid Hero: He is fourteen years old.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Is arrested for a crime he didn't commit.
  • Nice Guy: While he does grow a bit more hardened as time goes on, he's still by far the nicest camper.
  • Shrinking Violet: Starts out as a rather shy boy with no friends.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A month and a half at Camp Green Lake has him become stronger, both physically and mentally.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Can be a bit of one, which sometimes gets him in trouble. He mistakenly assumed Camp Green Lake would be a nice place (it wasn't), that Livingston's shoes would solve his family's poverty (they got him arrested), and that him and Zero meeting was destiny (perhaps it might be).

    Stanley III 

Stanley Yelnats III

Portrayed By: Henry Winkler
Voiced By: Herman López (Latin American Spanish dub), Yutaka Nakano (Japanese dub)

The protagonist's father. He's an unsuccessful inventor who is looking for a way to recycle old sneakers.

  • Bungling Inventor: He's trying to invent a way to recycle old sneakers. He has plenty of talent and persistence, but the family curse denies him luck.
  • Butt-Monkey: Like father, like son (as well as his own father and grandfather).
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: The poverty of his family means he and the landlord often fight over the rent payment.
  • Happily Married: With Stanley's mother.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After Stanley breaks the family curse, he finally creates something amazing - a foot odor eliminator.


Tiffany Yelnats

Portrayed By: Siobhan Fallon Hogan
Voiced By: Lourdes Morán (Latin American Spanish dub), Hiroko Nishi (Japanese dub)

The mother of the protagonist, who doesn't believe in the family curse.

  • Closer to Earth: The only female in this generation of the family who doesn't believe in curses and bad luck. Played with in that her disbelief in the family curse would usually be the most sensible position, but in this case, she is actually completely wrong.
  • Happily Married: With Stanley's father.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: She insists there's no curse on the family (at least on the men). There is.
    • While her son is on trial, she insists all he needs to do is tell the truth. That did not work out.

    Stanley II 

Stanley Yelnats II

Portrayed By: Nathan Davis
Voiced By: Esteban Siller (Latin American Spanish dub), Takao Ishii (Japanese dub)

The protagonist's grandfather. He's exclusive to the movie.

  • Canon Foreigner: Is the only member of Elya's family line not to be mentioned in the book, and might not even be alive in that continuity, considering that his grandfather met his grandmother 110 years before the present.
  • Catchphrase: "It's all because of your no-good, dirty, rotten, pig-stealing great-great-grandfather!"
  • Cool Old Guy: Doesn't think twice about accepting Stanley's request to split half the fortune with Zero.
  • Mr. Exposition: In the film, he explains the backstory about Elya Yelnats and the family curse.

    Stanley I 

Stanley Yelnats I

Portrayed By: Allan Coleman

The protagonist's great-grandfather, who was robbed by outlaw Kissing Kate Barlow and left stranded in the desert.

  • Butt-Monkey: He was a successful financier, but had his fortune robbed from him by Kissin' Kate.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Was assumed to be one due to saying he "found refuge on God's thumb", though he was just a bit senile from being dehydrated and hungry after being stranded in the desert for seventeen days.
    • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Turns out "God's thumb" is a mountain oasis several miles from Camp Green Lake shaped like a fist giving a thumbs-up.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Fell in love with the nurse that tended to him after he was rescued.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: For some unknown reason, Kate Barlow decided to spare his life.
  • You Will Be Spared: Was quite likely the only person Kate spared.


Elya Yelnats

Portrayed By: Damien Luvara
Voiced By: Ricardo Tejedo (Latin American Spanish dub)

The protagonist's "no good, dirty, rotten, pig stealing great-great-grandfather", who is responsible for getting his family cursed with bad luck.

  • Butt-Monkey: Became one after forgetting to bring Madame Zeroni up the mountain. He's also blamed to the present day for causing the family curse, being thought of as nothing but a dirty rotten thief by his descendants.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: He was too infatuated with Myra to see that she was a terrible choice for a wife until her inability to choose between him and Igor causes him to realize she isn't worth it.
  • Nice Guy: The whole "no good, dirty, rotten, pig stealing" part about him is untrue.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He went to America without carrying Madame Zeroni up the mountain, leading to the curse that brought great misfortune to his family.


Sarah Yelnats (née Miller)

He fell in love with a woman named Sarah Miller. She could push a plow, milk a goat, and, most important, think for herself. She and Elya often stayed up half the night talking and laughing together.

Elya's wife after he moves to America.

  • Betty and Veronica: The logical, sensible Betty to Myra's ditzy Veronica.
  • Foil: To Myra, as they both serve as love interests for Elya, but Sarah was able to do everything that Madame Zeroni said Myra couldn't.
  • Nice Girl: She's a respectable young lady who stuck with her husband through thick and thin.
  • The Reliable One: She refuses to leave Elya even after he tells her he's cursed for breaking a promise.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: She's the only stroke of good luck in Elya's life after he was cursed.
    • Screw Destiny: One could interpret her decision to stay with Elya this way.
  • Woolseyism: In-Universe, she changes some of the words of "the pig lullaby" so that the lyrics rhyme in English.

Inmates of Camp Green Lake



Portrayed By: Khleo Thomas
Voiced By: Claudio Velázquez (Latin American Spanish dub), Sōta Murakami (Japanese dub)

The youngest of the D Tent boys, who keeps to himself and rarely speaks to anybody. He becomes close to Stanley, setting off a chain of events that change their lives forever.

  • Barefoot Poverty: While he lived on the streets, hence why he stole Clyde Livingston's shoes.
  • Book Dumb: He doesn't have much formal education, which leads to most of the characters deeming him stupid; at the start, he's functionally illiterate. His friendship with Stanley begins when the former begins tutoring him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Combined with The Dog Bites Back, he finally stands up for himself after Mr. Pendanski insults him constantly. In the movie, he's seen clutching a pool ball in anticipation of defending Stanley from a bully.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father is never spoken of, likely having either died or abandoned him.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After Mr. Pendanski taunts him one time too many, Zero swings his shovel into his face.
  • Deuteragonist: Zero has the most important plot and development after Stanley with many backstory links. Not only is it revealed that he was the one who stole Clyde Livingston's shoes, he's also the descendant of Madame Zeroni.
  • First Friend: Is this to Stanley and vice versa.
  • Good with Numbers: In the book, the first clue Stanley gets to how smart Zero really is (despite his lack of formal education) is that he can quickly and correctly do math in his head.
  • Honor Before Reason: After running away from Camp Green Lake, he refuses to return despite dying of thirst out in the desert.
  • Missing Mom: Downplayed. His mother was the only parent in his life, but due to their dire circumstances, she often had to leave him alone for long periods of time by ordering him to stay in one spot and not leave until she returned for him. One day, she never returned at all. At the end of the book, he hires a team of investigators to find her, and is reunited with his mother again.
  • Never Learned to Read: Being poor and homeless meant he never got a formal education. Stanley takes it upon himself to teach Zero, which pays off later in a Karmic Jackpot.
  • Nice Guy: He's certainly one of the more well-meaning characters, especially to Stanley.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's revealed later in the story that it's his fault that Stanley got sent to Camp Green Lake in the first place. He stole the shoes Clyde Livingston was auctioning off for charity and while trying to evade the police, he threw the shoes off the edge of a bridge, which then fell on Stanley's head. Stanley doesn't get angry with him or rat him out, though.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Everyone thinks Zero's an idiot, since he never reacts to anything they say to him, but he really does it because he knows it's smarter to keep his head down and mouth shut.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's the smallest person, but the fastest digger and capable of physically strangling the much taller Zigzag. He also batters Pendanski with a shovel hard enough to leave him concussed with one swing.
  • The Quiet One: Stanley's the only one he starts to talk to.
  • The Reveal: He's descended from Madame Zeroni, and the real thief of Clyde Livingston's shoes.
  • Shrinking Violet: His usual demeanor.
  • The Unfavorite: He's the least popular boy at the camp by a good margin, and the only person Mr. Pendanski openly insults.


Theodore Johnson/Armpit

Portrayed By: Byron Cotton
Voiced By: Arturo Mercado, Jr. (Latin American Spanish dub), Wataru Takagi (Japanese dub)

  • Berserk Button: A subtle one. Do not call his by his real name, Theodore, less you want him to put you in a headlock and throw you to the ground. He grows out of it after returning home and is actively trying to lose the nickname in the sequel, with mixed success.
  • Breakout Character: The sequel, Small Steps, focuses on him.
  • The Big Guy: Big enough that his school's coach keeps begging for him to be on the football team.
  • The Bully: Initially is this to Stanley.
  • The Ditz: Has some really spacey moments and ends up accidentally insulting the warden due to his foolishness.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he has some anger problems, it's shown (especially in the sequel) that he can be very kind to others.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Armpit is explained to have gotten his name not from being smelly, but because early in his time at Camp Green Lake a scorpion stung him in the arm and the pain from the venom settled around his armpit, which he subsequently wouldn't stop complaining about. (In the movie, it is because he's smelly.)
  • Odd Friendship: Armpit is a black teenage ex-delinquent, and one of his closest friends is a disabled white ten-year-old girl.
  • The Pig-Pen: In the movie, he's this, as, from what's said, he doesn't bathe or, at least, wash under his arms. In "Dig It," he sings, "I don't take showers and I don't brush my teeth; all I do is dig holes, eat and sleep."


Rex Washburn/X-Ray

Portrayed By: Brendan Jefferson
Voiced By: Irwin Daayán (Latin American Spanish dub), Kentaro Ito (Japanese dub)

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: He's much nicer to everyone else in the film. In particular, even though he is the only one doesn't greet Stanley and Zero when they return in the book, he's just as overjoyed as everyone else when they come back in the film and even parts with Stanley with some final emotional words before he leaves.
  • Foil: Funnily enough, to Trout Walker. Both considered themselves to be above the people around them because of an irrelevant factor - Trout's money and X-Ray's status as the longest-serving camper - and treated them extremely badly. Both also used their race to their advantage: Trout by preying on people's bigotry and X-Ray by calling on the old racist stereotype of white people taking advantage of black people. And, at the end of their stories, they get nothing (Trout doesn't find the treasure and X-Ray doesn't get out of Camp Green Lake) while the people they mistreated get what they want, one way or another (Kate sees Sam again and Stanley and Zero escape Camp Green Lake).
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Downplayed. He's not evil necessarily, but he's one of the most openly antagonistic of the D Tent boys towards Stanley.
  • Ironic Name: He admits to Stanley at one point that he has rather poor eyesight (already implied by his large glasses), and that his nickname is actually just a play on his real name.
  • Jerkass: He's nice if you agree with him. Don't, and have fun watching the rest of the camp abandon you with him. He's also a bit of a bully to Stanley, doing things like taking his food early on, and making Stanley give up the gold lipstick tube belonging to Kate Barlow he found just so he can get a day off. When Stanley and Hector return to camp, he's the only D Tent member who doesn't greet them and wish them luck when they leave. And in Small Steps, after he gets out of Camp Green Lake, he clearly has learned nothing and goes back to the same get-rich-quick schemes. (Although, after one of those blows up in his face and almost gets him sent back to jail, he appears to finally wise up and accepts a legitimate job offer from Armpit's boss.)
  • The Leader: Of the D Tent boys, and comes close to being the leader among all the boys at the camp.
  • Magic Feather: His favorite shovel is supposedly shorter than the others, so it allows him to dig smaller holes. However, if there's any difference between his shovels and the others, it's so slight that no one except X-Ray can tell the difference.
  • Meaningful Name: "Rex" is Latin for "King", which his nickname (which is "Rex" in Pig Latin) hints at. Fittingly, he's the self-appointed leader of the boys of D Tent, and easily convinces the more physically imposing kids to follow his orders.
  • Not What It Looks Like: X-Ray was arrested for selling what everyone thought was cocaine and marijuana, but it turned out to be chopped up aspirin and parsley. However, selling aspirin without a pharmaceutical license was still illegal.
  • Pig Latin: His nickname is his real name in Pig Latin.
  • The Old Convict: A form of it. He's been around the longest and adjusted the best to Camp Green Lake, too well in Stanley's opinion, and thus is the best at coercing the others to agree with him.



Portrayed By: Max Kasch
Voiced By: Luis Daniel Ramírez (Latin American Spanish dub), Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese dub)

  • Ambiguous Disorder: His odd habits, strange ability to know the time and date, and pyromania all suggest that he's an Idiot Savant. In the film, Squid claims he's read Zigzag's file and it says he also suffers from acute paranoia.
  • Berserk Button: Do not touch his TV, or he will crush your hand into the dial button so hard it will be cut open.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Zigzag may seem harmlessly weird, but smart campers realize that the crazy ones are worse than the mean ones.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He has frizzy hair and a long neck, reads an old TV guide like he's reading it for the first time every time, watches the broken TV in the Wreck Room, and always knows what the time and date is.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Has a lot of strange ideas about surveillance.
    • Properly Paranoid: The movie implies that his theory that the Warden has cameras in the showers is right on the money.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Stanley considers it this when Zigzag calls Zero weird.
  • Pet the Dog: While he's a bit "off", he's not that bad of a guy. He admits that when he started the fire that got him sent to Camp Green Lake, he didn't want to hurt anybody and before Stanley leaves camp he apologizes about the fight they had before.
  • Pyromaniac: He was arrested for burning styrofoam on his school's lawn, only for the flames to get out of control and burn down a portable classroom.
    Zigzag: I didn't want to hurt anyone. I just like watching things burn.
  • Wild Hair: Named for his stand-up, frizzy hair.



Portrayed By: Jake M. Smith
Voiced By: Noé Velázquez (Latin American Spanish dub), Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese dub)

  • Alcoholic Parent: His mother is one. Though, he clearly has some regrets involving her, and asks Stanley to apologize to her for him.
  • Disappeared Dad: He left many years ago.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Implied to have this, based on his family background and surly disposition.
  • Don't Ask: He snarls at Stanley to leave him alone when the latter overhears him crying.
  • The Dragon: Is the second highest ranking member of D-Tent, and often follows X-Rays' orders.
  • The Generic Guy: He's got no standout quirks or personality traits like the other inmates. He's just a basic tough-guy type.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out what he got arrested for, but he eventually tells Stanley to apologize to his mother for him.
  • Sand In My Eyes: "I got allergies, okay?"



Portrayed By: Miguel Castro
Voiced By: Alan Fernando Velázquez (Latin American Spanish dub), Takayuki Yamaguchi (Japanese dub)

  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Magnet never said what happened after he leapt on the supply truck to escape. The others never asked him either.
  • Pet the Dog: He likes animals. Heck, the reason he ended up in Camp Green Lake in the first place was because he tried to steal a puppy.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At one point he tried to escape Camp Green Lake by hitching a ride on the supply truck. An hour later, he showed up at dinner and asked for the ketchup, the others going along with it and not asking what happened.
  • Sticky Fingers: Where his nickname comes from. He was arrested for stealing a puppy he felt was overpriced (it was apparently $1000) and at his house, the police found $12,000 worth of stolen merchandise. Magnet even claims his fingers are like little magnets. Even at Camp Green Lake, he still can't resist stealing things.

    Barf Bag 

Lewis/Barf Bag

Portrayed By: Zane Holtz

The inmate who previously occupied Stanley's place, until he was taken to the hospital.



Portrayed By: Noah Poletiek
Voiced By: Marco Portillo (Latin American Spanish dub)

An inmate who arrives after Stanley. He is constantly twitching, and loves fast cars.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: Besides being implied to have ADHD, he seems to have impulse problems.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: His attention span is very short, and he's implied to have ADHD.
  • Fragile Speedster: He's the fastest digger Camp Green Lake has ever had aside from Zero... for about 15 minutes. Then he loses his strength and grows too tired to dig.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: He was arrested for hotwiring a sports car and stealing it for a joyride.
  • Keet: He's really hyper, though the Camp nearly breaks his spirit.
  • Twitchy Eye: More like Twitchy Everything. According to him, he starts twitching even more when he gets near a nice car.

Staff of Camp Green Lake

    Mr. Sir 

Mr. Sir

Portrayed By: Jon Voight
Voiced By: Francisco Colmenero (Latin American Spanish dub), Katsunosuke Hori (Japanese dub)

One of the head administrators of Camp Green Lake. He's the primary enforcer of the Warden.

  • Addiction Displacement: He's constantly eating sunflower seeds in an effort to avoid smoking. He lapses back at the end of the book.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ask him about the scars on his face after the Warden slashed him.
  • The Brute: In addition to being the Warden's dragon.
  • The Dragon: The primary enforcer at the camp, and for a while Stanley thought he was the Warden.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He uses his gun only to defend himself from yellow-spotted lizards. He does threaten Stanley with it at one point, but never fires at him.
  • Gender-Blender Name: His first name (film only) is Marion. This might be a reference to John Wayne, who also had that first name and changed it to a more manly-sounding one.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Midway through the book he gets three scars on the side of his face from the Warden slashing him with her rattlesnake venom-painted nails.
  • Hate Sink: Among the three main members of the Camp Green Lake staff, he's the first one to be a clear target of the readers' hate, being an irritable, cold-hearted and all around unpleasant man.
  • Large Ham: In the film, Jon Voight plays Mr. Sir much more humorously.
  • Named by the Adaptation: In the film, his true name is revealed to be Marion Sevillo.
  • Retired Outlaw: Implied to be one when the police arrest him at the end of the film for carrying a firearm, a violation of his parole.
  • Riddle for the Ages: In the book, it's never revealed why he goes by "Mr. Sir," nor why he is so insistent that the campers refer to him as such whenever they speak to him.

    Mr. Pendanski 

Mr. Pendanski

Portrayed By: Tim Blake Nelson
Voiced By: Rubén Trujillo (Latin American Spanish dub), Hiroshi Iwasaki (Japanese dub)

The counselor of D Tent. He's much nicer than Mr. Sir, and claims he wants to reform the boys.

  • Adaptational Villainy: Downplayed. The only difference in his actions between the book and film is that in the film, he doesn't even pretend to be a good person or not as good with the facade otherwise.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's just as rotten as the other staffers, but does a better job of hiding it.
  • Condescending Compassion: In the film, his Establishing Character Moment is doing this to Zero.
    Mr. Pendanski (in a disgustingly perky voice): You know why we call him Zero? Because there's nothin' going on on in his stupid little head!
  • The Evil Genius: Is good with computers and hacking, hence why the Warden gets him to erase everything they can on Zero.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He seems like a nice guy and the Token Good Teammate, but it's really just a mask for a sadistic and petty man.
  • Kick the Dog: While he's nice to almost all the campers, he's not above giving a jab or two to Zero. It's the first hint that he's not really as nice as he seems at first. Eventually The Dog Bites Back when Zero snaps and hits him in the face with a shovel.
  • Nice to the Waiter: What makes him Faux Affably Evil is the fact that he has absolutely no problems with bullying or insulting Zero, because he thinks Zero can't fight back.
  • One Bad Mother: He takes on the nickname "Mom" and pretends to be the nice counselor, but he's just as sadistic as the other staffers. The "Camp Green Lake Survival Guide" even points out that his nice guy act makes him worse than Mr. Sir who doesn't try to hide who he is behind a facade.
  • Pet the Dog: He gives a few genuine favors to Stanley, such as offering him a ride back in his truck or giving him extra water after Mr. Sir stops giving him any.
  • Playful Hacker: In The Guide to Surviving Camp Green Lake, it's revealed he was expelled for hacking his college's database and changing the grades. This gets him hired by the Warden.
  • Prefers Proper Names: Pendanski insists on referring to the campers by their proper names in an attempt to maintain an illusion of respectability (such as Stanley, Theodore or Lewis as opposed to "Caveman", "Armpit" or "Barf Bag"), save for Zero, whose actual name, Hector, he doesn't bother to remember.
  • Token Good Teammate: His kindness contrasts the sternness of Mr. Sir and the Warden. It's all an act, though.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: He often assures the boys that they've still got a life past Camp Green Lake, even though it feels like they've been digging forever. At one point he even holds a meeting to ask them what job they hope to get. This is all an act and a means of manipulation however.

    The Warden 

The Warden (Louise Walker)

Portrayed By: Sigourney Weaver
Voiced By: Marcela Paéz (Latin American Spanish dub), Kaori Yamagata (Japanese dub)

The Warden runs Camp Green Lake, and owns the desert it's on. For the most part she's rarely seen by the campers, and they and the staff know better than to mess with her.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After the camp staff has been arrested and Stanley and Zero starts to leave, she begs Stanley to let her see what's in the treasure chest. Chances are she wanted to know what else she lost and what she was digging up in the first place.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite all the bad things she has done throughout the book, it's hard not to feel any sympathy for her when Stanley takes his great-grandfather's treasure chest for good.
  • Bad Boss: She slashes Mr. Sir's face with her nails while they're coated in her special rattlesnake venom polish just because he annoyed her.
  • Big Bad: As the main antagonist of the book, she's the head of the camp, and everyone else answers to her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When she is shown the lipstick tube she is sweet on the boys, making sure they get plenty of water and giving them words of encouragement as she has them expand on the area where X-Ray said he found it. After several days of digging and nothing to show for it, she gradually becomes nastier and shows her true colors which she keeps for the rest of the book except when dealing with the authorities.
  • Child Hater: Her ultimate downfall.
  • Catchphrase: "Excuse me?" When she says this, you know that you are digging two holes: the one you're supposed to do, and your grave.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone's afraid of her. Even people that have never met her.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": She's mostly just called "The Warden".
  • Evil Redhead: As played by Sigourney Weaver. She inherited it from her grandmother Linda.
  • Femme Fatalons: An interesting case, as her nails aren't much sharper/longer than average but her nail polish does help inflict a nasty wound on one of the counselors. Said nail polish is made with rattlesnake venom.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Her politeness and casual manner doesn't fool anyone. As soon as she faces you, it's clear who definitely is the one in charge.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her grandfather (Trout Walker) was not a pleasant person, and forced her to dig for Kate Barlow's money in the desert everyday, even on Christmas.
  • Humiliation Conga: Goes through this, especially at the end of the movie. First her authority breaks down, then Stanley finds the chest, and it has his name on it. She's not allowed to have it because it has his name on it, Stanley refuses to let her look inside, and she and the other camp staff are arrested.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Somehow, she knows Stanley's nickname even though he never met her before. When he asks the others about this, they tell him she has tiny security cameras.
  • Nice Shoes: One of the first thing Stanley notices about her is her black cowboy boots with turquoise stones. Kissin' Kate's final scene in the book reveals that they were her boots first — or at least, she had a very similar pair. Given the the Warden's cabin was Kate's cabin originally, it's not too unlikely that the boots were hers, too.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In her first appearance she rewards X-Ray with a day off and a double shower for finding Kate Barlow's lipstick tube, then tells Mr. Pendanski to refill everyone's canteen, even though they just had their hourly refill five minutes ago. Although she acts as though it's a Pet the Dog moment from her, it's really just to motivate them into digging harder in hopes of finding more treasure.
  • Samus Is a Girl: She's not revealed to be a woman until a third of the way into the book.
  • Villain Ball: Assuming that she owns the land of Camp Green Lake, which seems to be the case, she could have avoided all of this by hiring a bunch of contractors to dig up the treasure for her, and then she would no doubt have gotten away with it. She just preferred the idea of free/inexpensive labor that she got from prisoners, and it turns out to be her downfall.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The way she runs Camp Green Lake and treats the campers (and lets her counselors treat them, for that matter) is inexcusable, but when you learn that her grandfather was an abusive asshole that forced her to dig every day of her childhood, not even taking a day off on Christmas or her birthday, and consider the fact that in the end, she never even gets to see the treasure she's dedicated her life to finding, it's hard not to feel a little sorry for her.

Residents of Green Lake

    Kissin' Kate Barlow 

Katherine "Kissing Kate" Barlow

Portrayed By: Patricia Arquette
Voiced By: Claudia Garzón (Latin American Spanish dub), Rica Matsumoto (Japanese dub)

She was a wonderful teacher, full of knowledge and full of life. The children loved her. She taught classes in the evening for adults, and many of the adults loved her as well. She was very pretty. Her classes were often full of young men, who were a lot more interested in the teacher than they were in getting an education. But all they ever got was an education.

An infamous outlaw of the Wild West who robbed settlers and kissed the men she killed. This feared bandit, however, used to be a sweet schoolteacher who brewed delicious spiced peaches in the idyllic town of Green Lake.

  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In the movie, she opts to let a yellow-spotted lizard bite her rather than die of dehydration or give Charles and Linda Walker her accumulated loot.
  • Break the Cutie: At first, she was a perfectly nice lady who loved teaching and just wanted to be with Sam. And then she has one really bad day...
  • Broken Bird: She was a sweet and beloved teacher until her schoolhouse was burnt down and her black lover killed, after which she went off the deep end and became a murderous outlaw.
  • Calling Card: After becoming "Kissin' Kate," she would always leave lipstick kisses on the corpses of the men she killed.
  • Death Seeker: In the film at least, when Trout angrily tells her that he'll make her wish she was dead, her response is a calm "I've been wishin' I was dead for a long time..."
  • Died Laughing: In the novel. After being bitten by a yellow-spotted lizard, she just simply laughs at Trout and Linda Walker when they demand to know where she hid her treasures.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the film, she allows a yellow-spotted lizard to bite her and dies from its poison. In the book, it bit her on its own and she just took it.
  • Dying Curse: She didn't expect to die right after, but before she gets bitten by a yellow-spotted lizard, she tells Trout Walker that he and his descendants could dig in the dried up lake-bed for the next 100 years and they wouldn't find the treasure she buried. Exactly 100 years later, the treasure is found by Stanley, and he deliberately snubs Trout Walker's granddaughter (the Warden) from seeing it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In the book, she's bitten by a yellow-spotted lizard and calmly succumbs to its poison. In the film, she commits suicide by making it bite her.
  • Famous Last Words: "Start digging."
  • Freudian Excuse: She snaps after Sam is killed and her schoolhouse is torched.
  • Friend to All Children: As a young teacher, she was beloved by all her students.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She started off as just a schoolteacher in a small town. Then she had one really bad day and became one of the most feared outlaws in all the Wild West.
  • Hot Teacher: Lampshaded. She taught two courses - one for children and one for adults. The men were more interested in her than in an education. But all they ever got was an education.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: She says this verbatim at one point. She wasn't physically dying, but she was dead inside.
    Kate: It's so hot, Sam, but I feel so cold...
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Her first act as Kissin' Kate was assassinating the sheriff that refused to act on the night of Sam's murder and demanded a kiss from her as a trade-off to just run Sam out of town rather than lynch him. After shooting him, she then gave him that kiss he asked for.
  • Kiss of Death: Her trademark, which she adopted after a drunken sheriff pressured her for one. The next day she gave him the kiss after she killed him, and subsequently kept up the practice for every person she killed.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Relationship rather, but her romance with Sam, a black man, turned the entire town against her.
  • The Mourning After: Sam was the only man she ever loved. She grieves for him up to the day she dies.
  • Odd Friendship: With Sam, before it turned into more than that. She was a beautiful, privileged and very white schoolteacher, while Sam was a poor black farmer.
  • Pet the Dog: While it's debatable just how much this counts, she spared Stanley Yelnats I's life for some unknown reason. Good thing too, as this leads to better things later on.
  • Sanity Slippage: Seeing your lover be murdered out of racist hatred and your schoolhouse be burnt to the ground right before your eyes would do that to you...
  • Schoolmarm: Back in her days as a teacher. She taught children of all ages, as well as adults.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Sam. She's a white woman, he's a black man... in the 1880s.
  • Supreme Chef: Her spiced peaches were loved by all the residents of Green Lake. And they still taste good after being stored in a jar for a hundred years.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: If she hadn't lost everything she cared about, she'd have never gone mad and become a serial killer and bank robber.

    Trout Walker 

Charles "Trout" Walker

Portrayed By: Scott Plank
Voiced By: Raúl Anaya (Latin American Spanish dub)

His real name was Charles Walker, but everyone called him Trout because his two feet smelled like a couple of dead fish. This wasn't entirely Trout's fault. He had an incurable foot fungus. […] He was the son of the richest man in the county. His family owned most of the peach trees and all the land on the east side of the lake. Trout often showed up at night school but never paid attention. He talked in class and was disrespectful of the students around him. He was loud and stupid. […] But Trout didn't want to learn. He seemed to be proud of his stupidity.

The richest man of the Green Lake town, Trout had a little crush on Kate Barlow. When she rejects him, he doesn't take it very well.
  • Abusive Parent: Was this towards his children and grandchildren, forcing them to dig everyday for Kate's stash, even on their birthdays and on Christmas. It's because of this why the Warden (Trout's granddaughter) is such a bitter and cynical woman.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Aside from killing Sam, he also shot Sam's donkey Mary Lou, just because.
  • Break the Haughty: First he gets rejected by the woman he was infatuated with. When he takes revenge by killing her lover, a major drought hits Green Lake. His fortune dried up with the lake and he went on to spend the rest of his life trying to look for Kate's stash to no avail.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Trout, from the smell of his feet. Downplayed in that he doesn't seem to be too bothered by it.
  • Entitled Bastard: He's basically a spoiled rich kid that never grew up. He's so used to owning everything in town that the one time he was denied something he wanted he went on a rampage.
  • Entitled to Have You: Towards Kate.
    Trout: (after Kate rejects an offer to go out with him) No one ever says 'no' to Charles Walker!
    Kate: I believe I just did.
  • Expy: His characterization (in the film) is similar to Gaston—a handsome but morally repulsive man who is beloved by his hometown and gets everything he wants except the girl he's in love with, and when he's rejected for another man, he tries to Murder the Hypotenuse.
  • Hate Sink: As a greedy, racist and abusive sociopath, it's easy to tell that Trout is not meant to be liked. This serves to make Kissin' Kate and the Warden much more sympathetic by comparison, as well as give you a reason to root for Kate despite the fact that she's a robber and a Serial Killer (it helps that Trout's the reason she became those things in the first place).
  • Impoverished Patrician: When the drought killed the town, he lost his fortune.
  • Jerkass: A smug, entitled and very unpleasant person all around.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Takes the story to its darkest points whenever he appears.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: It stopped raining after he killed Sam, costing him his fortune. When he tried to rob the woman whom he drove to being an outlaw, she cursed him and his family to spend the rest of his days digging for the money she stole and hid away. The narration even implies that The Almighty Himself punished the entire town of Green Lake for murdering Sam.
  • May–December Romance: One of Kate's former students ends up marrying him (as an adult, fortunately), though as Kate correctly assesses, she only did it for his money.
  • Not Good with Rejection: After Kate rejects him, he responds by burning her school building down and killing her lover Sam in cold blood.
  • Not Worth Killing: Maybe. When he confronts Kate for the first time, she threatens him for a moment, only to change her mind and decide not to. It's not clear if it's this trope or if she simply doesn't care anymore.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: And how! He acts like he's entitled to Kate's affections, and lynches Sam out of racist hatred and because he can't conceive why a white woman would ever choose a black man over him.
  • Predecessor Villain: Even though he's long dead by time the main plot rolls around, his actions caused everything at Camp Green Lake.
  • Sanity Slippage: Drove himself insane trying to look for the money Kate Barlow stole during her days as an outlaw.
  • Smug Snake: “The duck may swim on the lake, but my daddy owns the lake.”
  • Threat Backfire: Declares to Kate in their final confrontation that he's going to "make her wish she was dead" in order to get her to tell him where her loot is buried. Her response is a cool and calm "I've been wishin' I was dead for a long time..."
  • Tyrannical Town Tycoon: Played with—he's the son of the man who owned the town next to the lake where the story is set. His father owned the town, and he invokes this trope to try to get Kate to go out with him.
  • Upper-Class Twit: A much darker example but he's rich and not a clever man.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: He's disturbingly despicable for a children's story, and unlike the other antagonists he's never portrayed in a positive, affable light.


Sam the Onion Man

Portrayed By: Dule Hill
Voiced By: Carlos Hernández (Latin American Spanish dub), Daiki Nakamura (Japanese dub)

Sam's onion field was somewhere on the other side of the lake. Once or twice a week he would tow across the lake and pick a new batch to fill the cart. Sam had big strong arms, but it would still take all day for him to row across the lake and another day for him to return. […] Sam claimed that Mary Lou was almost fifty years old, which was, and still is, extraordinarily old for a donkey. […] Sam was not much older than twenty, so nobody was quite sure that Mary Lou was really as old as he said she was. How would he know?

A black onion farmer who lived at Green Lake, who was well liked by the citizens for his delicious onions and the remedies he came up with them. However after kissing Kate Barlow, the whole town turns against him.

  • Catchphrase: "I can fix that."
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Plenty of his customers aren't really sure if his onion remedies really work, but buy them anyway because they don't like to take chances (plus the actual medical practices of the time, such as putting leeches on a sick person's body to "suck out the bad blood", left a lot to be desired). A century later, though, they're proven to actually work when the onions from his now-deserted garden save Zero from death and discourage yellow spotted lizards from biting Zero and Stanley.
  • Hidden Depths: Was also a well-read man despite his station.
  • The Lost Lenore: Male example. His death turns Kate into a fearsome outlaw, and 20 years later she was still mourning him. It also marks the day the drought on Green Lake began. Lampshaded when he recites a verse from Annabel Lee, a poem about another dead love from the poet who wrote about the original Lenore, Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Relationship rather than marriage. His romance with Kate, a white woman, turned the entire town against him.
  • Meaningful Echo: "I can fix that." First the roof, then the windows, the desk, the door, and eventually Kate's broken heart.
  • Mr. Fixit: Kate starts asking him to fix things in the schoolhouse so she can have an excuse to see him, until it's so pristine there's nothing left to be fixed except her breaking heart.
  • Nice Guy: He's friendly and considerate, and has no problem fixing everything in Kate's schoolhouse — though that may just be so he can be around her. Either way, it's not hard to see why she fell for him.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: If the townspeople hadn't killed him, not only would there be no drought, but Kate never would've become an outlaw, stolen Stanley's great-grandfather's money, and buried it somewhere in the desert. That means that without Sam's death, Camp Green Lake wouldn't even exist.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Sam is a rare sympathetic example. He definitely exaggerates what his onions can do, such as claiming his donkey is over a hundred years old, but he's at least telling the truth about their effectiveness against yellow-spotted lizards. The townsfolk buy both his onion cures and regular medicine from the doctor so nobody gets hurt if his medicine doesn't work.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Kate. In the 1880s, a relationship between a black man and a white woman, no matter how loving, spelled "disaster" by default for both parties. And hoo boy does it spell disaster for Kate and Sam.
  • Where Da White Women At?: He and Kate both loved each other dearly.

    Yellow Spotted Lizards 

Yellow Spotted Lizards

Small but deadly lizards indigenous to Green Lake. Their venom causes a swift but painful demise.

  • Bright Is Not Good: Like many real life venomous animals, they have bright eye-catching colors (in this case, the yellow spots) to advertise the fact that they're dangerous.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone is scared of them, especially Mr. Sir. Kate was the only person to show complete calm in their presence... and that's only because she had nothing left to live for.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: There's really no telling what could make one mad enough to get it to bite you.
  • Killer Rabbit: A tiny lizard characterized by the fact that it's covered in yellow spots... and its venom causes instant death.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The book versions are based on various real life venomous lizards, most notably Gila monsters (which is where they get their black and yellow coloration). The film mixes them with bearded dragons (overall shape and appearance) and frilled lizards (neck frills, ability to run on their hindlimbs).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Aside from their spots, they also have red eyes that pop out sharply against their bodies.
  • Rule of Cool: The film makes them played by bearded dragons, with special effects frills around their necks. An illustration in the "Camp Greenlake Survival Guide" shows them looking more like generic varanids.

In Latvia

    Madame Zeroni 

Madame Zeroni

Portrayed By: Eartha Kitt
Voiced By: Mayra Rojas (Latin American Spanish dub)

Desperate, Elya went to see Madame Zeroni, an old Egyptian woman who lived on the edge of town. He had become friends with her, though she was quite a bit older than him. She was even older than Igor Barkov.

An Egyptian fortuneteller and mentor to Elya Yelnats, responsible for the curse on the Yelnats family. She disapproves of his romantic longing for Myra Menke, but helped him anyway in making him a more attractive suitor.

  • An Arm and a Leg: She's missing her left foot, though it's never explained why.
    She was sitting in a homemade wheelchair. She had no left foot. Her leg stopped at her ankle.
  • Anti-Villain: She was rather fond of Elya and initially wished him no malice, but put a curse on his line because he failed to repay his end of the bargain and likely cut short her life.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She mentions she has a son in America, who Elya constantly searches for in faint hope that he can break the curse. But Zeroni's descendants don't show up again until Zero.
  • Cool Old Lady: She was very helpful to Elya, giving him advice and telling stories. Until he forgot about his promise.
    The other boys of his village liked to mud wrestle. Elya preferred visiting Madame Zeroni and listening to her many stories.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Okay, madame, we know you wanted to drink from the mountain stream, but did you really have to curse Elya's descendants who never did anything to you?
  • Ethnic Magician: She was Egyptian, and seemingly put a curse upon Elya and his descendants.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: She's not a villain per se, and she had a good reason to be mad, but she is the one who set the curse of bad luck on the Yelnats lineage.
  • Large Ham: In the film version, to an extent, even topping her announcement of Elya's curse with an out of nowhere Evil Laugh. Comes with the territory of being played by Eartha Kitt.
  • Race Lift: In the novel, she's Egyptian. In the film, she's made a Gypsy.
  • Noodle Incident: How and why an Egyptian woman made her way to Latvia is never explained.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-Universe. Her eyes are very large and her smile is too big for her face, which unnerves anybody that looks at her.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Elya and Zeroni initially were friends, until he forgot to help her and she put a curse on him.

    Myra Menke 

Myra Menke

Portrayed By: Sanya Mateyas

Madame Zeroni: Myra's head is as empty as a flowerpot.
Elya: But she's beautiful.
Madame Zeroni: So is a flowerpot. Can she push a plow? Can she milk a goat? No, she is too delicate. Can she have an intelligent conversation? No, she is silly and foolish. Will she take care of you when you are sick? No, she is spoiled and will only want you to take care of her. So, she is beautiful. So what? Ptuui!

The beautiful daughter of Morris Menke, and Elya's object of affection.

  • Brainless Beauty: Madame Zeroni describes her as having a head as empty as a flower pot.
  • The Ditherer: What convinced Elya she wasn't worth it is that she's unable to decide between a young, muscular, good-looking, and genuinely loving man, and an ugly, dimwitted pig farmer who's forty-two years her senior.
  • Dumb Blonde: At least in the movie, she appears to be one of the only blonde people in the cast for the flashbacks set in Latvia, and she's dense as anything.

    Morris Menke 

Morris Menke

Portrayed By: Ravil Isyanov
Voiced By: Ernesto Casillas (Latin American Spanish dub)

  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: His name would fit far better on an American of Eastern European descent than an actual Eastern European.
  • Greed: Elya offers him love. Igor offers him a pig. In his words, "I'd rather have a fat pig."
  • Jerkass: He laughs at Elya's request to marry Myra, and has no qualms about marrying her to someone forty years older than her.
    Madame Zeroni: Morris Menke is a schmuck.

    Igor Barkov 

Igor Barkov

Portrayed By: Ken Davitian
Voiced By: Jesse Conde (Latin American Spanish dub)

Elya went to her father to ask for her hand, but so did Igor Barkov, the pig farmer. Igor was fifty-seven years old. He had a red nose and fat puffy cheeks.

The other suitor for Myra's hand.

  • The Bad Guy Wins: He marries Myra, though only because Elya realized she's a terrible choice for bride.
  • Dumb Muscle: The town loves its mud wrestlers, and Igor is one of the biggest of them. But he can't even count to ten.
  • The Igor: Literally.
  • May–December Romance: Myra is 15. Igor is 57. Though, calling it a "romance" is a bit of a stretch.

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