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Characters / MCU: Frank Castle
aka: MCU The Punisher

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Lt. Frank Castle, US Marine Corps / The Punisher
"One batch. Two batch. Penny and dime."

Birth Name: Francis David Castle Sr.

Known Aliases: "Pete Castiglione"

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): US Marine Corps (formerly), Cerberus Squad (formerly)

Portrayed By: Jon Bernthal

Voiced By: Andrés Skoknic (Latin-America Chilean Spanish dub), Mark Ullod (European Spanish dub), Takayuki Sakazume (Japanese dub), Reginaldo Primo (Brazilian Portuguese dub)

Appearances: Daredevil | The Punisher | Daredevil Born Again

"Well, loss doesn't work the same way for everybody, Red. We don't get to pick the things that fix us, Red. Make us whole. Make us feel purpose. My moment of clarity? It came from the strangest of places."

A former Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and member of the Cerberus Squad, Frank Castle is now a vigilante waging a one-man war on crime to avenge the death of his family.

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  • The Ace: Frank's status as a One-Man Army comes from pure skill and talent. He was the best man in his platoon and he on his own routed the enemy in a Last Stand situation. Fisk is thoroughly impressed and praises him for his talent for killing.
  • Action Dad: A father of two, at least before their deaths, and a Marine soldier.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: He is significantly nobler than most of his usual depictions. While Comics Frank has even tried to kill retired thieves and drug addicts, this version sticks to only the truly deserving such as killers of the innocent, rapists, and child pornographers.
    • In his main series, he doesn't even focus on killing criminals. He instead targets the conspiracy that killed his family. The only times he's killed people not connected to the Central Park shootout were 1) the pawnshop owner, 2) Lance and his buddies, and 3) the chop shop thieves.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Downplayed yet noticeable; in the comics, Frank is typically characterized as stoic and business-like in his approach to killing criminals, his narration done in a Film Noir sort of style and his speech patterns being rather direct, to the point of Brutal Honesty. Plus, he's not very social, is cool-mannered, and doesn't really try being nice to anybody, save children; even people who've managed to get on his good side, he tends to keep at arm's length. But Jon Bernthal plays up his Hair-Trigger Temper aspects, as a result of Frank being portrayed in the series as having Extreme Emotional Disturbance — making him much less The Stoic and more a Deadpan Snarker Screaming Warrior. Plus, Frank's a lot nicer to civilians and other people here than he would ever be in the comics — eschewing the Cruel to Be Kind aspects of his personality for the most part and Petting the Dog much more frequently. Considering the most popular version of the comic book character is Garth Ennis's interpretation of him as a man in his mid-to-late fifties who has been the Punisher for over thirty years (with no contact from other superheroes to rein him in), this change in personality is justified by the Age Lift the MCU gives him. MCU!Frank might currently be much kinder than the comic book version, but it's not hard to imagine him developing that colder personality after decades of fighting.
    • Frank is also more remorseful about the war crimes he committed during his military service as compared to the Ennis version, likely because he unknowingly helped traffic heroin and personally executed innocent civilians as a pawn of a corrupt CIA agent.
  • Agony of the Feet: Finn takes a power drill to his left foot while torturing him.
  • All for Nothing: His whole scheme with the Irish Mob doesn't get him any information on his family's deaths, as they simply don't care enough to remember.
  • AM/FM Characterization: He's a fan of Earth, Wind & Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Wu-Tang Clan, and Shooter Jennings.
  • Anti-Hero: Of the Unscrupulous Hero kind, with the entire run on Daredevil Season 2 juggling if he's this or a Nominal Hero. He targets criminals, but unlike Matt seeks to kill them. He also has one hell of a temper, and is not afraid to unleash it (non-lethally) on people who get in his way. He also isn't shy about using dark methods to make a point.
  • Appropriated Appellation:
    • Frank's moniker, "The Punisher", first came up in an NYPD psych profile, and then was picked up by the media and run with, much like Matt's own "Daredevil" alias.
    • The skull motif comes from a newspaper article that featured the x-ray scan of Frank's head.
  • Arc Villain: The first four episodes of Daredevil Season 2 are dedicated to getting him off the streets.
  • The Atoner: Among many other shady things he did for Rawlins, he was the one who executed Ahmad Zubair, Dinah's partner in Afghanistan. This is one of the main reasons he goes after the man.
  • Ax-Crazy: All is not well in Frank's head. A good chunk of Daredevil rationalizes this as PTSD, grief, and a brain injury, but flashbacks in The Punisher showcase Frank always had a deep talent for carnage and violence and always fought like a raging berserker.
  • Badass Longcoat: Downplayed as he normally wears jackets, but eventually dons his signature black trenchcoat in the Daredevil Season 2 finale.
  • Badass Normal: Frank doesn't have heightened senses like Matt, let alone Avengers level superpowers. He is, however, a retired Marine, highly trained in hand-to-hand combat and numerous weapons. Frank was considered gifted in warfare even among fellow marines.
  • Band of Brothers: Frank considers the Marines who served alongside him as his second family, even going so far to admit that there were indeed times he thought he'd rather be fighting with them out there on the battlefield rather than being with his own children. Which is why his relationship with Billy Russo deteriorates as badly as it does, when Frank discovers Russo's role in the death of his actual family.
  • Batman Gambit: Frank breaks into Carson Wolf's house, beats him up, ties him to a chair to interrogate him, shoots him in the leg and then Wolf breaks free and grabs Frank's gun. Wolf grants Frank the courtesy of telling him everything he knows before Wolf kills him. And then Wolf discovers that Frank only loaded a single bullet into the gun.
  • Batter Up!: He went to Clint's store and bought some supplies from him. As Castle attempted to leave Clint offered Castle some child pornography. This irritated Castle and he picked up a baseball bat which he then used to beat Clint to death with.
  • Battle Cry: He has a primal guttural scream that he lets out when he needs to pump himself up or when he's reached his full berserker rage and everything and everyone in front of him is about to be torn to shreds.
  • Berserk Button:
    • He manhandles his own son when the boy makes a comment about him "killing hajis", much to Frank's own horror after he realizes what he's doing.
    • He also has a very low opinion of bombers.
    • Do not call him a psychopath and don't call him insane or crazy.
    • People who Would Hurt a Child make it to the top of his kill-list.
    • Don't deal in child pornography. Just don't. He will kill you where you stand. Considering that he lost a daughter he loved with all his heart, it's no surprise.
  • The Berserker: When out of plans, he relies on his instinct and just charges in screaming, best shown during his tour in Kandahar where he starts screaming to amp himself up before clearing out the ambush by using whatever is at hand. Also, like the Berserkers of old, he becomes almost impervious to pain when he gets fully pumped up and it takes a lot of opponents throwing everything they have at him to even slow him down.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In Season 2 of The Punisher, Frank has mellowed out somewhat, and is perfectly capable of interacting with others at a bar in a friendly manner. It's a far-cry from how we first saw him, and he's laughing and joking around just like anyone else. However, once a group of thugs show up, he rips through them like paper.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones:
    • Frank has a special hatred for purveyors of child pornography as he kills a pawn shop dealer because the guy tried to offer him child porn. For one who had a daughter, this makes even more sense.
    • Also, do not call him insane. The first time he visibly loses his cool in Daredevil is when Matt calls him "a nutjob" which leads to Frank punching him in the face, knocking him out. This makes defending Frank in his trial much more difficult for Foggy and Matt. He refused insanity and PTSD as a defense. In the latter case, Frank obviously has a much better understanding of what Post-Traumatic Stress really is than the average Hollywood character (or writer), and he makes it clear that it'd be an insult to people who genuinely suffer from it.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the Daredevil Season 2 finale, when Matt finds himself both outmatched by Nobu and outnumbered by his goons, Frank arrives on the scene with a sniper rifle and starts picking them off.
  • Black-and-White Morality: He's come to see the world in pure black and white terms and believes that the only way to keep the streets safe is to kill criminals so they do not harm innocents again. His sense of morality has turned to the extreme, differing greatly from what most would consider acceptable ideals of good and bad. He firmly believes that the wicked deserve to be punished and stopped permanently and that their deaths - no matter how brutal and even illegal are needed as they better the world. As a consequence, Castle is a controversial figure among the general public, with many people either praising or condemning his actions.
  • Blood Knight: It's clear he derives satisfaction from violence, but only when it's applied to people he believes genuinely deserve it. When he hurts innocents, he's immediately remorseful. Even when he invades Colonel Bennett's base, to get information on the men who got his family killed, he admits to David beforehand that he feels genuinely nervous at the idea of hurting another soldier. And in fact, when one soldier does confront him in the tunnels, Frank tries as long as possible to talk the soldier into letting him go and only nonfatally shoots the soldier when this fails.
  • Breakout Character: The praise for Bernthal's portrayal in Season 2 of Daredevil led to Frank getting his own show.
  • Broken Ace: He's a damn good soldier, an incredibly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, a superb military tactician, an expert in guns and accuracy, and is good with several melee weapons. He's also an incredibly broken, unstable man who's still grieving over his dead family.
  • Brooklyn Rage: He speaks in a very thick accent and is without doubt the most violent hero in the MCU.
  • Bulletproof Vest: He wears one on his chest and torso, which helps him absorb the impact from firearm projectiles and shrapnel from explosions. He painted a huge skull over the vest's front in order to put fear into the hearts of his enemies as he slaughtered them.
  • Burner Phones: Exclusively uses a flip phone to make himself harder to track.
  • The Bus Came Back: He's set to make his return in Daredevil: Born Again, five years after his show was cancelled.
  • Came Back Wrong: Taking a bullet to the head and being taken off life support for a minute before miraculously reviving has left Frank with permanent brain damage. Daredevil Season 2 shows he's now in an ongoing state of extreme emotional disturbance as a result, constantly feeling as if his wife and children have just been killed in front of his eyes, even years after the event.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Six months after killing all the gangs involved in his family's death, he retired from vigilantism and got a job as a construction worker. Castle used a sledgehammer for his job and would often work late into the night hammering down concrete walls by himself, quickly earning him the ire of some of his coworkers. Castle would later use his sledgehammer to rescue Donny Chavez from Lance and his lackeys.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • Character Tics: Frank has a perpetually twitchy trigger finger. He tends to tap his fingers together or squeeze his index finger like he's pulling a trigger.
    • He is normally fairly relaxed, but when he gets agitated or angry, he starts to shiver and twitch.
  • Character Catchphrase: "Fair enough." One of Frank's go-to lines, whether ironic or sincere, and occasionally used as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner. It tends to make him sound more reasonable than he is, since he won't be talked out of his crusade, but has no real expectation of others' praise or understanding. Which ties into the show's other catch phrase, "Do what you gotta do." Billy and Frank exchange both lines a few times over the first season.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He has no superpowers but he's also much faster and stronger than a normal human being. This surprises Matt as Frank was quick enough to keep up with him and powerful enough to overpower him during their fights. Must be the Marine Corps training.
  • Chekhov's Gun: He's a fan of Earth, Wind & Fire. It's how he alerts Karen to his presence after she's been taken hostage by Schoonover.
  • Chest Insignia: He eventually sprays his iconic white skull onto some bulletproof chest armor in the last episode of Daredevil Season 2. He drops the vest in the first episode of The Punisher after killing the last members of the Dogs of Hell, the Kitchen Irish, and the Mexican Cartel, but wears it once again after he embraces the Punisher persona at the end of Season 2.
  • Chick Magnet: He was in a happy marriage with Maria. Sarah Lieberman gave him a kiss. And during Season 2 of The Punisher, he had a brief fling with a waitress named Beth. Then, there's his heavy Ship Tease with Karen Page.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Has been on both sides.
  • Cold Sniper: A ruthless vigilante who was a scout sniper during his time in the Marines.
    Frank: One shot, one kill.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Frank is willing to pick up whatever is nearby to bash into enemies' heads. This includes hitting Matt with a wrench or using a door as a shield from gunfire.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: A far cry from the visionary Wilson Fisk or the amoral Kilgrave, Frank is a well-intentioned Knight Templar doing what he believes is truly necessary, putting down the scum of Hell's Kitchen that pollutes the streets. He serves as a Shadow Archetype to Matt, rather than an Evil Counterpart. His predecessors also both had huge power and influence, with many followers in their stead, while Frank operates completely alone as a One-Man Army.
  • Crazy-Prepared: You never know when you might need a razor blade. So Frank hides one in his forearm, which he then covers by a bandage.
  • Crusading Widower: Just like in the comics, Frank Castle starts his war on crime because his family was murdered by criminals.
    Frank: I need to take care of the scum that killed my family.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Frank wears black and has a skull motif on his armor, but he is a vigilante who hunts down and kills dangerous criminals. He is also a close ally of the Defenders.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Frank gets in quite a few quips over the season, such as calling Daredevil a psychiatrist and asking if he charges by the hour when Matt asks him about his past/motivations, and calling Foggy's opening statement in court a "pretty thick slice of bullshit".
  • Defector from Paradise: Under torture from Rawlins, Frank has a vision of the dead Maria asking him to come home with her into the afterlife. Frank instead chooses to remain so he can have his revenge on Rawlins, at which point all he can see is darkness.
    Maria: Come home, Frank. Let's go home.
    Frank: I am home.
  • Defiant to the End: When bound by his hands and feet and facing Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of the Irish mob, he taunts and insults them, and tells them to bring it on. At one point he pretends he's going to tell Finn what he wants to know, and talks softly so Finn will get close enough for a headbutt. This prompts Finn to get out the drill, and Frank still doesn't stop talking smack.
  • Dented Iron: He's already been severely dented when he's introduced, having taken a bullet to the head that's left him with severe mental issues. Over the course of subsequent appearances, Frank's injuries pile up. He starts a season (His own, or Daredevil season 2) relatively healthy, and over the course of that season gets turned into prison meatloaf, usually shown in awful detail.
  • Determinator: Nothing can keep Frank down. You can beat him, torture him, shoot him, Frank will keep coming after you until he kills you.
  • Deuteragonist: For Daredevil Season 2.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: He was hyped as the main antagonist of Daredevil Season 2, but he only fills that role for the first four episodes. Afterwards, the Blacksmith and the Hand take over and Frank becomes a more neutral character for Daredevil, then the lead protagonist of his own show.
  • Disney Death: A drug smuggling ship explodes with him still aboard. Naturally, he's still alive.
  • The Dreaded: The Punisher quickly establishes himself among criminals as something even more terrifying than Daredevil. The latter might break a few bones and smash up your operations but the former will send you to your grave without a second thought. This also makes him this to the police and District Attorney, since he can start gang wars by himself. In Luke Cage, one of Blake Tower's arguments against arming ESU cops with the Judas bullets is that a guy like Frank Castle might get his hands on them.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At the end of the first season of The Punisher, Frank's managed to kill everyone who had anything to do with his family's death and appears to be making his first real steps at growing into a relatively healthier individual by attending PTSD therapy sessions. Plus, he's officially legally dead as far as the law is concerned, so he's now completely free to start a new life as Pete Castiglione. And he does...until Season 2.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: A former Force Recon Marine and member of an illegal CIA-sanctioned joint taskforce composed of personnel from different Special Forces units. Of course, the unit’s trigger-pullers were told that everything they did was cleared by the President and authorized by Congress, though some of them started having doubts about that before it was over.
  • Enemy Mine: He has no love for Wilson Fisk, but he takes the man's offer simply to find out information about who was behind his family's death. Once that's done, Fisk tries to have him killed, which naturally doesn't pan out well.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In "Dogs to a Gunfight", Frank walks into a pawn shop and buys illegal police-tracking equipment, paying full-price without engaging in any small talk and gets the pawn-shop broker to turn off the surveillance camera and sell him the videotape with its footage, as well as calling out the double-barrel shotgun the broker is hiding under the counter, which he then buys. He tries ignoring the broker when he tries selling him more illegal stuff, only to stop and flip the shop's sign to "Closed" when the broker mentions having child porn, where he then finishes his coffee, takes a baseball bat and beats him to death with it. This shows that Frank is more than willing to engage in illegal activities, is an analytical and observant man, and that while he does not have any reservations about killing, he saves his wrath for real scumbags, especially people who Would Hurt a Child.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Frank has no interest in killing Matt, even when he has the Devil of Hell's Kitchen at his mercy, as even after all the people he has killed, he only cares about targeting gang members. He also doesn't unmask him despite having him at his mercy since he doesn't care who he is under the mask. He later tells Karen that he never wanted to shoot her when he was chasing down Grotto, whom she was protecting at the time, because he only goes after criminals who deserve it.
    • Even before the loss of his family, he had a serious hatred for William Rawlins and power-hungry leaders like him. When his platoon comes back from a particularly devestating mission that got most of their friends killed and the remaining permenently injured or traumatized, the only thing Rawlins had to say to them was a bored and unimpressed "did you complete the assignment?". Frank was so disgusted and enraged that he attacked Rawlins on the spot, costing him his eye. The only reason he didn't kill him was because Billy pulled him off him.
    • In addition, he has a bit of extra hatred for anyone who'd deal in (or presumably make or read, etc.) child pornography. After buying supplies from a pawn shop dealer, the dealer offers him child porn. He responds by killing the guy with a baseball bat. In Season 2 he threatens to kill a man who traffics in child porn images and only stops when Amy begs him not to, but he makes sure the scumbag learns his lesson the hard way.
    • When Finn, whose son Frank killed, has him captured and is preparing to torture him for... his money that Castle stole. Even though Frank made it his mission to slaughter people like this, he's still rather incredulous about Finn's attitude and his priorities.
    Frank: Your kid's in a box. But you want your money, huh?
    • Much like in the comics, Frank has a very firm Never Hurt an Innocent rule. When Billy Russo and Krista Dumont manipulate him into believing he's killed a room full of innocent people, he has a severe mental breakdown and seriously considers turning himself in and spending the rest of his life in prison.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: When Micro brings up the possibility of Billy Russo being involved in some way with the death of Frank's family, Frank calmly refutes his theories while insistently declaring that Russo is family to him. Sure enough, when Frank discovers that yes, Russo indeed had a major hand in the death of his family, it hits him hard.
  • Faking the Dead: He's presumed dead in a boat explosion while in a gunfight against Schoonovers' assassins. Unbeknownst to the public, he intentionally doused the boat with gasoline so that he can kill everyone on the boat but him and Daredevil, whom he pushed off the boat a few minutes before the explosion.
  • Fallen Hero: Frank was a former war hero and family man before they were all killed. Now he's an extremely dangerous vigilante that is far more feared than respected.
  • Faster Than They Look: Matt was caught off-guard by how fast he is in their first fight. This, in top of him being physically strong, makes him a dangerous Lightning Bruiser.
  • Friend to All Children: Despite being quite blunt to adults, he’s quite genial and fatherly to children. As such, he lectures kids if they do wrong and tries to be a good example to them.
    Frank: It's okay, it's your house, Rex, I'm just a stranger. For all you know, I could be a Rangers fan, right?
    Rex: [wearing his Red Wings jersey] [sigh] Are you?
    Frank: Yes I am.
    Rex: Your team sucks.
    Frank: [laughing] Yes they do, Rex.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Frank's journey took him from being a marine sniper and war hero to a Vigilante Man who plays Judge, Jury, and Executioner. And he was an unwitting war criminal when in Operation Cerberus.
  • Genius Bruiser: Frank isn't just a crack shot and terrifying close quarters combatant; he's also a gifted tactician who can plan and execute complex missions all by himself. As a veteran of the Marine Corps and a CIA black ops unit, military strategy and covert operations are second nature to him. While not nearly as technically proficient as David, he also deduces pretty quickly that he was using gait recognition to track him, so he forms a limp trying to throw David off the trail. Finally, he seems to have a pretty solid grasp of psychology, able to predict how his targets will react with startling accuracy.
  • Gone Horribly Right: By taking down Wilson Fisk and his criminal empire, Matt wanted to prove to others that they could stand up to crime. He succeeded, though it’s zig-zagged, as Frank would do what he does with or without Matt.
    Karen Page: Maybe we created him, all of us. We never stopped to think that Daredevil's actions could open the door for men like this. Men with guns.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Frank is a trained military man, but his fights with Matt show the differences in their styles. While Matt is flipping around and pulling off acrobatic martial arts, Frank prefers to throw hard punches and slams, using the bare minimum of movements to conserve energy but also inflict an effective amount of damage on his opponent.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: With Matt being A Lighter Shade of Grey. While both are obviously incredibly flawed individuals, his approach is clearly presented as the more morally dubious one, though he's certainly not without his supporters.
  • Guns Akimbo: The final scene of his series involves him gunning down two criminal gangs with a machine gun on each hand.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Frank is portrayed in the series as having Extreme Emotional Disturbance as a result of a bullet that had been lodged in his brain. As such, he's not The Stoic he was in the comics, being generally much more prone to just going on a literal Roaring Rampage of Revenge, complete with actual roaring. The neurologist that Nelson & Murdock brought in for his trial described it as the brain injury putting him a constant state of extreme fight-or-flight, and his brain has great difficulty filtering his emotions - and given that Frank is very much a "fight" kind of guy, it causes him to violently lash out. He was, however, extremely sympathetic and described this particular kind of brain injury as a living hell.
  • Happily Married: Unlike some depictions of the character, this version of Frank is shown to have deeply loved his family, rather than have felt disconnected from them. It's to the point that he was finally planning to retire from active service out of fear from becoming too disconnected from them. It's also clear when he talks to Karen in the diner that he didn't just love but respected his wife as a strong, passionate woman, and his daughter in particular was the apple of his eye.
  • The Heavy: A major antagonist at the beginning of the second season of Daredevil, with Matt's main objective being to stop his rampage. Even after he's quickly defeated, the secondary plotline while Matt deals with the Hand concerns uncovering the perpetrators behind his family's massacre, with the sheer violence Frank commits essentially making him the Villain Deuteragonist of the season.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Frank skirts the line between this and I Am What I Am. When Matt asks him what happens the day someone feels Frank deserves to die, he freely advises that "they better not miss." and later admits he's beyond saving, but he certainly wasn't shy about sharing his much higher opinion of his own methods compared to Matt's. Likewise, one could argue his courtroom rant has hints of both bitterness and pride. In the end, while he chooses to fully embrace his "Punisher" persona, he admits it's not a choice one should make (or at least not if it's not what one believes in) as he actually talks Matt out of considering killing the Blacksmith.
  • Hero Antagonist: Serves as one of Matt's main adversaries in Season 2 of Daredevil, despite being an Anti-Hero who only targets violent criminals, though the Hand serve as the Big Bad for Season 2.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: He adopts a dog the Irish Mob had been using for fights, after murdering its previous owners. Finn manages to (apparently) get Frank to confess where he hid some stolen money by threatening to kill it.
  • Hidden Depths: Fan of Bruce Springsteen (one of the few times he's seen positively giddy is in a flashback when his wife gave him tickets for a Springsteen concert as a birthday present) as well as Earth, Wind & Fire, knows how to play the guitar (although he admits he's a slow player) and a decent cook (at one point he gives Lieberman some Vietnamese food he made himself as a hangover cure, which turns out to be anything but hideous).
  • Hollywood Healing: Sometimes. Frank is often left with horrific bruises and cuts to his face after a fight, yet will usually be perfectly fine by the next episode.
  • Hope Is Scary: He comes to this realization at the end of Season 1 of The Punisher after completing his revenge on Rawlins and Russo. As he shared with Curtis's veteran support group, he's scared that he has to find a reason to live other than having a war to fight or obtaining vengeance for his family.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: For all it's worth, when it comes to friends or his family, Frank can sometimes be very gullible. He has such utmost trust in Billy Russo that he never realizes until it's too late that Russo is in league with Rawlins, and he is easily tricked into being used by Fisk to get rid of Dutton.
  • Horrifying Hero: Being saved by the Punisher isn't the most relieving experience unless he personally knows you. He just kills every bad guy around in a very violent and frequently-gruesome way and then says you can leave.
  • Hypocrite: Frank criticizes Matt for wearing a mask, saying, “You go home at night, right? Take that mask off. Maybe you think, was it you who did those things? Maybe it was somebody else. Well see, soldiers, we don’t wear masks. We don’t get that privilege." It’s not like, oh, a huge chunk of his military history is off the record, right? It’s not like he, y’know, did wear a mask while torturing and executing civilians, right? No of course not. That was somebody else. And he intended to go right home and forget all about it.

  • I Am a Monster: How Frank describes himself to the jury in order to tank his defense in "Guilty as Sin"; given his comments about guilt in previous episodes, he may even mean it.
  • I Am What I Am: What he ultimately decides, burning down his old home and embracing his identity as The Punisher. Earlier, his furious rant in the courtroom seems to be half this, and half telling the court where to shove it.
  • I Work Alone: Never says it outright, but clearly expresses his desire to wage his war on crime by himself, although his interactions with Karen indicate that he doesn’t want to see anyone he cares about getting hurt. He avoids this by avoiding getting close to anyone.
    Frank (to Karen): Just get away from this thing. Get away from me...just stay away from me.
    • And later, more aggressively:
    Frank (to Matt): When are you gonna learn!? Mind your own god! damn! business!
    • Continued in his standalone series, when Donny shares a sandwich with him after Lance trashes Frank's lunchbox.
    Frank (to Donny): Look, Donny, thanks for the sandwich. You know, I...appreciate that. But I'm not looking for a pal, yeah?...And whatever it is you're looking for...I'm not it.
  • Implacable Man: Once Frank gets moving, there isn't much that could keep him down. Gunshot wounds, severe beatings, being out-manned and outgunned. He'll stop at nothing until whatever he wants to kill is dead.
  • Important Haircut: Sports a medium-length one after six months of living as Pete Castiglione on a construction site, before shaving it off as he slowly returns to his Punisher ways. The fact that it makes him resemble a more muscular John Wick was probably not unintentional.
  • Improbable Age: While not impossible if he's prior enlisted, Frank is much older than a Lieutenant would normally be. If he commissioned right out of college, he would be in his early twenties. Jon Bernthal was 40 when he first appeared in Daredevil (2015), which is normally around retirement age for a career soldier.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Not to Matt's super-powered level, but put a rifle in the man's hand and if he wants to hit something, he will, as any Scout Sniper should. He also pulled off what was possibly the first ever warning headshot in fiction. Goes even further in his standalone series, where he lands a perfect headshot on a target two miles away.
  • In Prison with the Rogues: Daredevil Season 2 has Frank being apprehended and put into the same prison as Wilson Fisk, who had managed to take over the compound and was running it as his own personal kingdom. There, Frank is tricked into a trap where Fisk locks him in a hallway with a whole cell block of angry inmates. However, Frank manages to kill every single one of them with nothing but his bare hands and a few weapons he managed to snatch off the criminals.
  • Ineffectual Loner: He has no interest in making friends as seen when he was working as a construction worker where he worked tirelessly without breaks for six months with almost no human contact towards his co-workers with the exception of occasionally meeting with Curtis Hoyle. Despite this, he has shown the capability to grow emotionally attached to people in his life, regardless of his hardened exterior as seen with David Lieberman and Amy Bendix. Although he first acted cold and distant towards her, he eventually warmed up to and became protective of Bendix. He expressed a very genuine concern for her well being and threatened to kill a hitman if he was to harm Amy in any way. Later, when Bendix was about to leave to return to a normal life, he said he would miss her and even hugged her, a sign of affection that he rarely showed to others.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Frank recites the lines from one of his young daughter's books called "One Batch, Two Batch" as he murders several criminals with a sniper rifle. It's implied he took the phrase to Afghanistan too.
    Frank: One batch, two batch. Penny and dime.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: What ultimately becomes of Frank and Karen's shared feelings for each other. Karen wants Frank to find an end to his war and Frank could never allow Karen to get hurt.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: He enrolled in his SERE course, and is thus well-versed in interrogation tactics, such as employing intimidation techniques to extract information from suspects. He was able to successfully perform a reverse interrogation on Carson Wolf which allowed him to learn the truth about his family's murder. He was also able to extract information from Jake Nelson, a fellow war veteran who took the SERE course through torture.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • While he's brutal and rude at times, Frank isn't wrong about how his trauma and experiences differ from Matt's. Matt has a Secret Identity and can hide behind a mask in order to deflect criticism and blame on his other self in theory, while for soldiers like Frank, it is him, not a false identity, that's hurting people, forcing him to live with his actions every day. It becomes Harsher in Hindsight when it is revealed that Frank's face was covered when he shot Ahmed Zubair dead after watching him be tortured for hours, an experience that clearly broke him.
      Frank: You run around this city in a pair of little boy's pajamas and a mask. You go home at night, right? Take that mask off, maybe you think it wasn't you who did those things, maybe it was somebody else. Well, see, soldiers we don't wear masks, yeah? We don't get that privilege.
    • He also has a point about his methods. It's a simple fact that criminals who aren't breathing won't be making any more victims, and he focuses his efforts on murderers, pedophiles, drug dealers, and the like. Karen herself even acknowledges that right or wrong, his methods often do work, although the fact that she's projecting her guilt over killing James Wesley means she has some level of bias.
    • His speech to Lewis about how his father will suffer horribly because of his actions is incredibly heartbreaking and painful to hear, but also not incorrect.
      Frank: One day, not long from now, he's gonna wake up, he's... he's gonna walk outside and the word "terrorist" is gonna be painted on his car. His mailbox is gonna be so full of hate, and death threats, he's just gonna give up. His friends, his family, they're not gonna come around! His phone's not gonna ring. He will know loneliness, Lewis! He will suffer! Your old man, his life, it's ruined!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When dealing with people who don't know who he is and are not criminals, he can be downright amiable. For example, in the midst of interrogating Matt on the roof in "New York's Finest", a Vietnam-veteran Marine shows up and asks him what he's doing. Frank has a very friendly conversation, recognizing Jerry as a fellow Marine, then sends him on his way. There's also all of his interactions with Karen.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While Daredevil was already violent, the arrival of the Punisher makes the show Bloodier and Gorier and Castle's ramifications causes some of Matt Murdock's worse turmoil, leading to Nelson & Murdock to shut down, and Matt progressively driving his friends away from him.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Matt found him surprisingly fast and knocked Matt on his ass after one good punch.
  • Made of Iron: True to the comics, Frank has an extremely high tolerance to pain. Frank comes out of fights riddled with bullet wounds, bruises, and cuts, but it never stops him. He's even able to keep fighting after he was drilled through the foot as torture. On the same note, he's an interesting case of Dented Iron, as he shows all his wounds and bruises days later.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Given he has plenty of late nights, Frank loves to down cup after cup of black coffee and carries a thermos when out on patrol.
    • When Karen jokes to Schoonover she's running on at least 5 cups of coffee, Schoonover retorts Frank would call that "a good start". While talking with Karen in a diner, Frank keeps asking the nearby waitress for refills on his coffee.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In order to truly break Frank in Season 2 of The Punisher, Russo deceives Frank into believing he accidentally shot and killed innocent women behind a wall when he thought he was getting Russo. Frank breaks down almost immediately and doesn't even bother fighting back when the cops arrive to arrest him.
  • My Greatest Failure: His is not saving his family from the gang war crossfire when he saw it coming, resulting in their deaths.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: With a name like "The Punisher", it's easy to understand that he's very dangerous.
  • Neck Snap: This is how he kills Carson Wolf in "Two Dead Men".
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: With very few, select exemptions, and the damage is never permanent. Frank punches and quickly disarms a cop after having a gun pulled on him, and is more than happy to beat the hell out of Matt. Normally he'll avoid so much as scratching an innocent person, but if they try and stop him they'll be eating floor. He once threatens to kill an old man if Matt alerts him to what's going on, but admits quickly afterwards that he was bluffing.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Played with; in an early episode of Season 2 of Daredevil, he has to buy equipment from a crooked pawn shop owner, and even though he had no intention of killing him (before the idiot offered him child porn), he was extremely taciturn and abrupt. Of course, that guy was pretty rude from the getgo and clearly a slimy individual. In contrast, when in a diner in a later episode, he is courteous and amiable to the waitress. When dealing with honest people, Frank will either be polite or leave them alone altogether, unless they get in his way while pursuing a target. He will tolerate shady characters to a point, but that point is one of no return.
    • This continues in his standalone series, with Frank maintaining a reserved-but-polite attitude towards waitresses and food-service staff.
  • The Nicknamer: He refers to Matt as "Red".
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Frank's most brutal moments are the times where he beats his opponents to death. Especially with his pragmatic nature, where he uses his environment to ruthlessly kill in a murderous rage.
  • Not Me This Time: The murders that happen in between when he escapes prison and when he fakes his death on the boat, are in fact the work of Schoonover and Rawlins's assassins.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Frank tells Matt that for all his Thou Shalt Not Kill morals, he really is "one bad day" from becoming a true Vigilante Man like Frank who murders criminals rather than just beating them to a pulp.
    • It takes a while, but Matt acknowledges that he and Frank have definitions of justice that are closer to each others than that of the police. Which is why he ultimately gives Brett the credit for catching him.

  • One-Man Army:
    • Over the course of Daredevil and his own series, Frank is attributed with single-handedly killing at least two hundred people. note  The police already have enough evidence to charge him with murdering 37 criminals halfway through the season. We see Frank single-handedly taking out 32 Taliban fighters all by himself to save the rest of his unit after Rawlins leads them into an ambush on bad intel. Brett Mahoney even confuses Frank's actions for the work of an entire gang, with "knowledge and hardware to take out half the city."
      Daredevil: Tell me. Tell me who they are.
      Cartel Member: No "they". Him. It's one man.
    • During his stay in prison, Fisk tries to kill him by unleashing an entire cell block of inmates on him. Not only does Frank manage to defeat and kill ALL of them with only a small shiv and what weapons he can take from his opponents, but he even puts up a fight against the prison guards in riot gear who move in afterward, even though he is visibly exhausted from the aforementioned slaughter.
    • Frank takes on over thirty of Billy Russo's heavily-armed professional mercenaries singlehandedly in a single protracted engagement, and kills all of them. It's telling that the main issue with taking down Agent Orange isn't actually killing him, but just finding him.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The most tragic moment in his life that jump started his career as the Punisher was losing his family (a wife, a son, a daughter) in the crossfire of a gang shootout. He loved his family and seemed to be especially close to his daughter.
  • Parental Favoritism: Frank was more attached to his daughter. Not to say that he didn't love his son, but it's easy to tell which child he was closer to. His daughter was sweet as anything, and a balm for his psyche, increasingly tormented by his actions in Kandahar. His son, however, idolized him for reasons that were beginning to disturb him; the first time he came home, he was a little weirded out by how his son had painted a giant artist-grade mural of a Marine on the wall of the house because he remembered how Frank once said, "Marines scare bad guys." The second time he got mad at a racist remark that Frank went overseas to "kill lots of Hajjis." Especially since he was doing exactly that in Kandahar, and was starting to realize the whole thing was illegal as hell.
  • Parting-Words Regret: One of Frank's last moments with his late daughter before her death was when he refused to read her a storybook. He had no idea this would be the last chance he ever had to do this.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: For many crimes, Frank is not an advocate of the rehabilitative effects of prison. He prefers the morgue. If there's anything left to send there.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Aside from him being genuinely nice when interacting with Karen, Frank seems to have retained strong sympathy and respect for other war veterans. When meeting with a Vietnam veteran on the roof, he displays genuine camaraderie toward the old man, and he refuses to use a PTSD defense during his trial because he feels it would be insulting to people actually suffering from it. And then there is of course his literal dog-petting as he genuinely cares for the dog he saved from the Irish mob.
    • In .380, he actually refuses to accept Matt's help, even after Matt suggests that just once, he's going to do things Castle's way, saying that there would be no going back if Matt did so. Despite his dim view of a no-kill rule, he seems to have come to respect Matt's choice to hold himself to it.
    • He quickly becomes something of a Parental Substitute to the Lieberman children, caring deeply for them. And later to Amy Bendix in his second season.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: He makes a number of sexist remarks. He does, however, get angry when his son uses a racial slur when asking him about the targets he killed while on tour.
  • Precious Photo: He keeps a photo of his family that Karen took while breaking into his house and gave to him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Matt asks why he kills all his targets: "'Cause I think you're a half-measure. I think you're a man who can't finish the job. I think that you're a coward."
  • Redemption Rejection: Kills Billy by the finale of Season 2, just as Billy attempts to apologize for "whatever he did" to Frank's family. The fact that Frank shoots Billy in the chest literally just as Billy tries to say the word "sorry," implies that Frank deliberately killed him before the guy could properly make out the rest of his apology.
  • Relative Button: Anybody threatening Karen Page will send him into an instant fury to kill that threat in order to protect Karen.
  • Revenge: Basically the whole point of the show is Frank getting vengeance on the people who gunned down his family.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Frank will do anything and everything to avenge his family.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Frank is intent on killing the members of every last organized crime group in Hell's Kitchen as retaliation for the murder of his family.
  • Sadist: He has no qualms about violence, and is implied to enjoy it. To clarify, he not only kills criminals, but also tortures them and often leaves them in horrible agony. Just ask the Mexican Cartel.
  • Sadistic Choice: As a Mythology Gag to the comic the scene was based off of, The Punisher is out to snipe Grotto. Daredevil attempts to stop him, insisting that Grotto deserves a second chance at rebuilding his life. Castle manages to incapacitate Matt and bind him up with a gun with one bullet in his hands pointed at Castle's own head. Frank then has Grotto at gun point after Grotto admits to Murdock all the people he killed (including an elderly lady) and Castle is set to kill Grotto. Supposedly, the only way Daredevil could stop The Punisher's vigilante justice would be to violate his own ideals by fatally shooting Frank himself or let Grotto die. Matt chooses to pull the trigger, at his own chain, freeing him. But it's too late as Castle had already shot Grotto in the stomach.
  • Screaming Warrior: In particularly harrowing scenarios, Frank's prone to just screaming his lungs out in the heat of battle, at least partially as a way of keeping his head in the game.
  • Secret-Keeper: Heavily implied to know Matt is Daredevil when he meets Matt Murdock out of costume. He also probably got a good look at him in the Season 2 finale.
  • Seen It All: Frank doesn't seem even surprised at seeing Matt fighting against ninjas. Of course, this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, compared with aliens like the Chitauri, super-beings like the Hulk, and literal gods like Thor, a bunch of ninjas is the least weird thing anyone can meet.
  • Semper Fi: Like in the comics, he's a retired Marine. This explains all his military gear and tactical training. We later learn that Castle was considered a badass even among his fellow marines, wiping out an enemy ambush at a landing zone single-handedly.
  • Setting Update: Details of his military career are adapted from the Born miniseries but now take place in The War on Terror.
  • Shadow Archetype: As in the comics, the Punisher is portrayed as a darker version of Daredevil: a low-powered vigilante who lost his family, but who readily kills in contrast to Daredevil's vow not to.
    Frank: You know you're one bad day away from being me.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Defied by the man himself, and in detail. While Frank is clearly suffering severe mental trauma, Frank says that he "never had a problem" with killing, in combat or otherwise. When Karen tries to suggest using PTSD as a defense, he promptly clarifies for her that whatever happened to him psychologically, his tours in the Middle East had nothing to do with it; he knows men that did crack, has nothing but sympathy for them, and refuses to cheapen their sacrifices by claiming PTSD when it is explicitly not true. Instead, it's entirely the death of his family after he returned from war that drives him now, to the point that despite knowing members of his unit committed war crimes, he never thinks of targeting them until after it comes to light that they were involved in killing his family and trying to kill him.
    Frank Castle: It wasn't on a battlefield. That's not where my life went to shit.
    • Subverted to a degree later as his series shows his tours did affect him, Frank is mostly in denial that his participation in the CIA's torture project broke him emotionally, although that wasn't technically on the battlefield, and the loss of his wife and children made the existing damage much, much worse. Frank's recurring nightmares indicate just how much he blames himself for their deaths.
  • Ship Tease: The chemistry he has with Karen is insane, but really it doesn't go anywhere, neither in Daredevil or his own series. This is mainly because while it's obvious that both of them care for each other, he also knows that her heart belongs to Matt, while he considers himself still married to Maria even long after her death.
  • Shipper on Deck: He, of all people, ships Matt and Karen. When Karen bitterly says that she's hurt by Matt's behavior, Frank points out that the only reason why she feels so strongly is because she trusted Matt enough to open herself up to such emotions and that her anger is a sign that she truly loves Matt. Frank goes on to explain that he and his wife were like that and that she would drive him crazy and he'd give anything to be able to feel that frustration again.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Probably the biggest difference between him and Matt Murdock (including Frank's willingness to kill) is that Matt can be downright childish in his idealistic worldview, while Frank is stubbornly cynical about it all. There's basically no middle ground between either of them.
    Matt: Let me ask you this.
    Frank: What's that?
    Matt: What about hope?
    Frank: Oh, fuck.
    Matt: Come on, Frank.
    Frank: What, like Santa Claus? You wanna talk about Santa Claus?
    Matt: I live in the real world too, and I've seen it.
    Frank: Yeah, what have you seen?
    Matt: Redemption, Frank.
    Frank: Ah, Jesus Christ.
    Matt: Redemption, Frank. And it's possible. The people you murder deserve another chance.
    Frank: What, to kill again? Rape again? Is that what you want?
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Despite his attachments with Karen Page and Sarah Lieberman, Frank has made is clear that Maria is the only person he ever wanted to be with, in life and in death. However, in Season 2 of The Punisher, he has a brief fling with a woman named Beth.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: To the point that the trial judge has to tell him to watch his language when he testifies in his own case. He also drops the only F-bomb in the second season of Daredevil, which was also the first example in the MCU where it is clearly audiblenote .
    • In keeping with Frank being a lapsed Catholic, most of his swearing is some variation on "Goddamn", "Jesus Christ", "for Christ's sake", or something to that effect.
  • Skeleton Motif: Like all other adaptation, Frank uses a white skull over a black shirt for his Punisher identity.
  • Sociopathic Hero: He's a vigilante like Matt, but some of Frank's methods are a lot less friendly than just a bullet in the head.
    Matt: You left men hanging from meat hooks.
    Frank: They got off easy in my opinion.
  • Spanner in the Works: Foggy and Matt's first plan to reduce his sentence through a plea deal is dependent on him pleading guilty. He pretends to agree, then pleads not guilty, sending his case to court. Then, their plan to win his case in court is dependent on proving that he is suffering from Extreme Emotional Disturbance and that the deaths of his family were covered up. Elektra then shows up and sabotages the trial by threatening the medical examiner and rendering his testimony useless. Then Frank throws his own defense and gets himself indicted by a mad outburst about how he likes killing criminals. Of course, Fisk had been propositioning him from behind bars.
  • Strong and Skilled: In terms of human qualities, he is this as he is a trained Marine and is very strong. He can usually overpower and slam grown men like ragdolls and is very pragmatic and brutal with his skill and is very well-trained in Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Krav Maga, Aikido, Judo, Wrestling and Taekwondo. This makes Frank an incredibly great fighter as he is shown to be able to take out multiple opponents, sometimes at the same time, and is quite literally a One-Man Army.
  • The Strategist: He's a highly skilled, effective and experienced military tactician, since notably, during the seemingly hopeless extraction of his unit, he assumed command, and single-handedly cleared a helicopter landing zone of enemy combatants (that prevented his unit's escape), while the rest of his men, even Ray Schoonover, hunkered down. He even anticipated this conflict as a trap, despite Schoonover requesting his tactical input and Russo supporting his strategic instincts only to have Rawlins negate it. He later received the Navy Cross for his efforts. He later used these tactics to single-handedly track and kill entire gangs of criminals with high efficiency, to the point that he was initially mistaken by Daredevil and the police for an entire squad of gunmen, rather than a single man.
  • Super Hero Origin: Frank's motivation to becoming the Punisher was his family being killed in the crossfire of a gang war. The emotional trauma he experienced combined with the brain damage he experienced has led his mind to be constantly in a state of stress, where he keeps reliving his wife being murdered every time he goes to sleep.
  • Survival Mantra: "One Batch, Two Batch, Penny and Dime", a phrase taken from a book he used to read to his daughter that he says to calm his nerves before gunning down thugs.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Like their relationship in the comics, the times he works with Daredevil tends to be this due to their conflicting ideologies and fighting styles, with Matt occasionally trying to disarm Frank. The two do eventually come to respect one another to an extent. His working relationship with Micro has shades of this.
  • That Man Is Dead: Tells Karen that he's 'already dead' before he kills The Blacksmith. And at the end of Season 2 of Daredevil, he burns down his family home, destroying every last piece of his old life and embracing his Punisher persona completely. That is, until he takes out the last of the Irish, at which point he retires and tries to rebuild his life while staying solely in touch with Curtis Hoyle. It doesn’t work in any sense, as he still loves and misses his family and is tormented by nearly-nightly nightmares about their deaths.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When Frank wants to take someone down, he makes extra sure that they won't get back up. Such as when he practically mauls William Rawlins once he finally gets him hands on him.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Got shot in the head at point blank range and survived. Downplayed, because the injury put him in a coma and when he was taken off life support, he died. While he was able to come back from it after a minute, Dr. Lee confirms that the bullet caused brain damage that keeps him in a permanent state of emotional volatility.
    • Also survives Billy Russo winging him in the head, but since it doesn't hit his brain, only his skull, this may not count.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The photo of his family that Karen took from his house is this to him.
  • Tranquil Fury: This seems to be Frank's default state of mind, after the damage done to his brain from a point-blank gunshot. Upon learning that the clerk he's buying weapons from is selling child pornography, his response is to calmly turn the "Open" sign to "Closed", finish his coffee, grab a baseball bat, and beat the man to death.
    • Interestingly, averted relatively often battle, with Castle frequently screaming at his opponents.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Besides his love of black coffee, in his standalone series he is occasionally shown eating eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Frank has seen some shit. Conscripted into what was effectively a death squad, led into a trap due to faulty intelligence (that he had every reason to believe was bad, but was shouted down by Rawlins when he raised his concerns) that very nearly got his entire squad killed, forced to take part in numerous illegal detentions and extrajudicial interrogations and executions (at least one of which he personally carried out), saw his entire family murdered right in front of him in a botched sting, had one of the parties responsible for the botched sting conspire to have him executed to save her own ass, learned that a CO he deeply respected personally planned the shootout to kill Frank, and then learned that not only was his best friend one of the main conspirators in the heroin smuggling operation that funded Cerberus, but personally knew about the upcoming assassination and said nothing even though he had been with Frank and his family on their day out just hours before - it's not any one thing that broke the man, but a long string of them.
  • Troll: In his standalone series, he frequently taunts Micro about getting to know his wife.
  • The Unfettered: Frank dismisses Matt's self-imposed rule against killing as cowardice and a half-measure at best. He refuses to let such "cheap morality" get in the way of his crusade against crime.
  • Unstoppable Rage: There are times when Frank is a cold vigilante and then there are times when he unleashes all his berserker rage and goes on a warpath. This rage boost that Frank gets when his adrenaline is up allows him to become very brutal and very dangerous as shown when he starts to let loose his prominent animalistic, guttural roar as he rampages through his enemies and quite literally rips them apart. He also becomes impervious to pain in this state allowing him to go beyond human limits.
  • Verbal Tic: Frank tends to end even statements with "you know," "yeah" or "hmm." Sometimes piled on top of each other. Y'know?
    Frank: I walk in, these kids, they're not even studying, they're-they're doing some kind of yoga, yeah. You know? She's there. She's doing her poses, you know, she's bending and, you know, she's moving. She looks like a flower, yeah.
    • Interestingly, based on some interviews, the "you know" aspect may also appear in Jon Bernthal's regular speech. Whether this was the actor influencing the character or vice-versa is unknown.
    • This characteristic gets de-emphasized between Frank's guest stint on Daredevil and Season 1 of his own show, and then down another notch in Season 2, suggesting that it may be related to his trauma.
  • Vigilante Man: He hunts and murders criminals, with little regard for the law.
  • Villain Killer: He's killed mobsters, gang members, terrorists, rapists, and just about every other kind of scumbag inbetween.
  • Walking Armory: When he has a lot of time to prepare for a gunfight, he will always equip himself with various weapons like explosives, a knife, long guns like assault rifles or shotguns, and a sidearm.
  • Walking the Earth: What he's doing at the start of Season 2. He finds himself in Ohio, briefly romancing a beautiful single mother, when a young woman is targeted for murder by highly trained killers.
  • War Hero: Foggy used Frank Castle's military record as part of his defense. Technically, Foggy was arguing that Frank had PTSD, but he took every opportunity to let the jury know what a hero he was.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Billy Russo, by way of Adaptation Origin Connection, were best friends when they both served as marines in Afghanistan, to the point where Frank regarded Russo as part of his family. And then Russo became an active player in Operation Cerberus and allied with the people who had Frank's family killed.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Compared to the many superhumans of the MCU, Frank is completely within human limits, but is exceptionally well trained and an immensely competent One-Man Army.
  • Weapon Specialization:
    • When he's armed, you can bet it'll be with an M1911 variant. Seems to have been his preferred choice since his time in the Marines, too - fitting for the Marines' strict adherence to tradition. This seems to be a nod to Frank in the comics, who was deeply fond of the pistol's design.
      • Particularly, he seems to favor the Kimber Warrior, which was his sidearm in the Marines and a frequent carry weapon as a vigilante.
    • He often prefers to incorporate knife slashes into his combat style, making him all the more lethal. He has also showcased skills in knife-throwing, such as when Anvil operators ambushed Micro's hideout.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His goal is to stop crime by killing the people who perpetuate it.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He almost winds up becoming this. Throughout his life, he has suffered from PTSD and almost all his loved ones have wound up dead. The death of his family was the last straw, sending him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against all criminals, and generally opting for torture and mass murder. What sets him apart from most of the others is he does still have some rationality and does overall still refuse to harm any innocent life. Dutton (a drug kingpin) observes that Frank Castle's mission of revenge will never end. Frank, true to his nihilistic nature, knows this, but doesn't care.
  • Would Hit a Girl: True to his character, he doesn't show mercy on account of a criminal's gender.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: He never goes after non-criminals. Even when fighting Matt and shooting him in the head, he makes sure to hit his armor so as to make it a warning shot instead of a kill shot (although it still leaves Matt with a nasty concussion). He does admittedly, have a rather liberal definition of criminal, gunning after Grotto who seems to be attempting reformation (though Grotto had murdered a man and his innocent wife for the Kitchen Irish, and was mostly concerned with saving his own ass). Ultimately seems to be more a case of Never Hurt an Innocent.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He really doesn't like kids getting hurt. The pawnshop owner should've watched his words when he admitted having child pornography in Frank's earshot. Makes a lot of sense since he was a father himself at one point before he lost his son and daughter.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: In his first two fights with Daredevil and in the prison fight later in the same series, we see him employ several take-downs such as chokeslams and suplexes. In his own series, he uses a bodyslam on Billy Russo and spears Carson Wolf, then hip-throws him onto a table.
  • You Remind Me of X: It's nonverbally implied this is the reason why Frank is so connected to Karen of all people. As she shares similar features to Maria.

Alternative Title(s): MCU The Punisher