Spoilers for all works set prior to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are unmarked.
Dr. Jemma Anne Simmons
Affiliation(s): S.H.I.E.L.D. (formerly), Izel's Crew (formerly)
Portrayed By: Elizabeth Henstridge
Voiced By: Karen Vallejo [Disney dub], Jessica Ángeles (Seasons 1 to 3) and Cynthia Chong (Season 4 onwards) [Sony Dub] (Latin-American Spanish dub), Jullie (Brazilian Portuguese dub)
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. | Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot
A Level Five S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who specializes in biology and chemistry. She works alongside Leo Fitz, with the two of them sharing a close friendship. She is a member of Agent Coulson's team that is assembled to investigate strange events around the world.
- Action Girl: By the end of Season 3, she's finally become one. As mentioned below, she's the least skilled out of the entire team and tries to avoid fighting when she can, but she's also able to fight alongside them ably when the situation calls for it, up to and including against Primitives, who are a great deal stronger than humans. She's especially good with firearms, having been trained by May.
- Action Survivor:
- She's becoming one in Season 2. Though far from a fully-fledged Action Girl, she seems to be making a deliberate effort to become stronger and faster, even if it's just to ensure that she can evade her potential captors within HYDRA until her extraction team arrives. It comes in handy in "A Hen in the Wolf House".
- She later skirts the line between Action Girl and Action Survivor. While she's still the least combat capable female on the team, she proves her skill in "The Dirty Half Dozen," where she's not afraid to jump into active combat situations and even shoots a few HYDRA soldiers on her own. And then she's able to overpower and kill Bakshi.
- She gets another such experience in Season 3, where it is revealed that the monolith teleported her to some kind of alien world after absorbing her, where she has been surviving alone ever since. She is seen on the run from something unknown, but having become well versed in the terrain after months of being stuck - including knowing to cover a cut with mud to mask the scent of blood.
- Admiring the Abomination: She's inappropriately excited to learn that Centipede has managed to keep its super-soldiers from exploding.
- Agent Scully: In "The Well", she doubts any magical elements in their investigation and prefers to look for scientific reasoning instead. This is pretty heavily shown when the explanation she choses is that the Berserker staff causes the release of anger-causing chemicals in the brain... which just means that the staff causes anger, the exact problem she wanted to solve in the first place.
- All-Loving Hero: She's the only one on the Bus with any sympathy for the Centipede soldiers. Then she plays Rochambeau with Fitz over which one of them gets to torture the prisoner, so this trope is downplayed.
- Amazon Chaser: Becomes infatuated with Mockingbird, especially when she sees her kicking ass.
- Amnesiac Hero: As part of their plan to defeat the Chronicoms in season seven, Jemma can't know Fitz' location in case she's captured and interrogated. As such, she has a memory blocking device in her head, and when the Chronicoms try to remove it Jemma loses her memories. She spends most of the penultimate episode going on random tangents from what little she remembers.
- Badass Bookworm: Explicitly averted, the first thing we learn about her and Fitz is that they're not combat-capable. Her first level in badass was in T.R.A.C.K.S., when she does what most of Steve Rogers' training platoon didn't have the cojones to do and jumps on a grenade to save Skye and Fitz's lives. Granted, it wasn't a lethal grenade, but she didn't know that, and neither did Steve. The Season One finale sees her taking another level in badass, when she refuses to let Fitz pull a Heroic Sacrifice to save her life, and instead manages to save them both.
- Back from the Dead: Jemma was killed by HYDRA years ago in the Framework, so when her real self plugs in, she revives in the mass grave she'd been dumped in.
- Bad "Bad Acting": As a result of being a Bad Liar.
- On a couple of occasions she attempts to overcome her inability to lie convincingly by deciding what she's going to say beforehand. Needless to say, it backfires, and she ends up either speaking completely tonelessly or over-doing the emotional delivery.
- Averted in Season Two: While she still believes she can't handle telling direct lies, she's become very good at evasively delivering half-truths and Exact Words as part of her role as Coulson's The Mole within HYDRA.
- Bad Liar: A Running Gag. Nearly every episode starting with "The Hub" has at least one incident.
- When Agent Sitwell catches her helping Skye get into the Hub's database in "The Hub", her hilariously inept attempt at deceiving him starts with trying to convince him she's looking for a bathroom, heads on through an amazingly bad attempt at flirting/seduction, and ends with shooting him with the Night-Night gun because she talked to Skye over the earpiece right in front of him. All the while, Skye pleads with her to stop talking.
- In "T.R.A.C.K.S.", she tries to compensate with an overly-elaborate backstory which fools Stan Lee.
- In "Turn, Turn, Turn," Triplett lampshades it, saying that if they're ever interrogated she should just let him talk.
- In Season Two, Skye calls her lying skills "a horror show". In truth, she's gotten much better during the hiatus, because Coulson assigned her to be S.H.I.E.L.D.'s The Mole inside HYDRA.
- By "One Door Closes" any thought that she is still this is destroyed. When Bobbi and Mack are revealed to be moles, Bobbi visits Jemma, unaware that she was aware. Simmons is able to trick Bobbi into holding two objects that knock her out. To reiterate, she sold a professional spy and one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best agents on a deception, and both the audience and said agent never saw it coming!
- Battle Couple: She and Leopold Fitz fell in love while protecting the world from terrorists, aliens, robots, and interdimensional beings.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
- When infected with a rapid-acting fatal virus in "FZZT", she becomes increasingly pale and ill-looking, but far from unattractive for it, especially compared to the other sufferers shown early in the episode, who are shown to be haggard by the equivalent stage of infection.
- Happens again in "Beginning of the End": despite having apparently hit her head hard enough to knock her out for several hours when the medical pod fell into the ocean, she has nothing more to show for it than a slight cut on her forehead.
- It gets averted in "Laws of Nature", where her appearance makes it clear that the Death World she's been transported to via the Monolith hasn't been kind to her. Her clothing is ragged, her hair is a mess, she's covered in dirt and grime, and there's a sizable cut on her forehead that she's forced to clean with nothing but a smear of mud.
- Averted, when she enters in the Framework. Simmons looks quite dirty, having spent some Framework time buried in a mass grave still in the sweater and jeans she was wearing at the time of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy massacre. At one point a character even refers to her as a bag lady. Helped by the fact that the actress was ill in real life as she filmed the episode, but used this to her advantage.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When Ward is transferred to his brother's custody, she promises to kill him if they meet again. In "The Dirty Half Dozen", despite being in an Enemy Mine, she tries to make good on that promise with the most horrific method available... and almost succeeds.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: She's half of this with Fitz. Both of them tend to be soft-spoken and usually come across as just geeky lab rats. But if you threaten Fitz's safety, you have now angered a genius biologist / chemist who can come up with all kinds of neat ways to hurt or kill you.
- Birds of a Feather: Her and Fitz, as everyone never fails to notice, thus "Fitz-Simmons".
- Bond One-Liner: A non-fatal example, when Raina gets arrested at the end of "The Magical Place".Simmons: I bet there's no flower dresses where she's going.
- Break the Cutie:
- Downplayed, but since she's the most naïve and idealistic member of the team to begin with, it's pretty inevitable that bad events clearly hit her hard. Becomes a plot point after the "Uprising" Retool arc. Simmons is so disillusioned by HYDRA's takeover of S.H.I.E.L.D. that she openly admits she doesn't even know why she's staying with The Team any more. Season 2 begins with the revelation that she's left S.H.I.E.L.D. entirely after deciding that she's unable to help Fitz's recovery. When she came back, she told Mack that she already knew her presence made Fitz worse.
- It gets even worse in "Aftershocks", when Trip's death hits her so hard that she develops a reactionary hatred towards anyone with superpowers, and goes so far as to say that she's partly to blame due to spending her career trying to research and harness said powers rather than just wipe them out. Basically everything she's ever stood for up until this point, and every relationship she's developed within S.H.I.E.L.D., has been turned on its head.
- In Season 3 she's left with severe PTSD after spending months being hunted on an alien world, completely alone.
- In Season 4 she goes into the Framework and finds that her best friend and lover has become barely recognizable, he's not only a heartless psycho completely at odds with the man she knows but he's in love with someone else.
- Canon Foreigner: She had no comic book counterpart before the show started.
- Canon Immigrant: She was introduced in the Prime 616 Marvel Universe with the 2014's S.H.I.E.L.D comic series.
- Character Development: At the start of the show, Jemma was an easily excitable scientist and Nightmare Fetishist who didn't much care for field work and was bad at lying. By the end, she's become a stoic and professional badass with a ruthlessness sometimes rivaling that of even her husband, yet nevertheless a kind and caring individual. Compare her fangirl-esque glee upon meeting "The Cavalry" to their friendship in the present, and Simmons has matured quite a bit.
- Child Prodigy: She was seventeen when she joined S.H.I.E.L.D. academy, which she did after getting two PhDs.
- The Cutie: Lovely and adorkable woman who doesn't hold a grudge. Unless you're Ward, in which case she's completely willing to kill. Following Trip's death, she's completely lost this trait and has become very bitter and business-like.
- Deadpan Snarker: She can be quite snarky when she needs to be.
- Deep Cover Agent: As Coulson's The Mole inside HYDRA in Season 2 but she's only halfway to establishing a true deep cover identity: Coulson notes that while she's no longer in contact with anyone from S.H.I.E.L.D. other than him, she has yet to make any friends within HYDRA.
- Discovering Your Own Dead Body: Not her body, but her grave. Once Simmons arrives in the Framework she has to claw her way out of an old mass grave from a massacre at the S.H.I.E.L.D. She then notes the bullet holes in her shirt and realizes she had been murdered in this reality.
- Ditzy Genius: She's undeniably brilliant with biotechnology, but is hopeless at trying to conceal her motivations from others, and can never remember to perform a simple spot-check before she starts talking in front of someone who shouldn't be listening.
- The Dividual: Fitz and Simmons spend so much time together that they're usually just referred to as "Fitz-Simmons".
- The latter half of Season One sees Fitz-Simmons dealing with the fallout from the HYDRA uprising, Fitz's Love Epiphany towards Simmons, and Simmons's growing closeness to Triplett and uncertainty about her dedication to the new S.H.I.E.L.D.
- In season 2, Fitz' brain damage and Simmons's sudden departure from the team leads him to hallucinate her presence as an extension of his subconscious in order to maintain this relationship. She tries to guide him on his way to recovery. When the real Simmons returns, this trope is defied; Simmons and Mack each note that Fitz's condition worsens in her presence, leading to more scenes of them apart while they actively avoid each other.
- By the end of season 2 they have reconnected to the point where she can start a plan that requires Fitz's assistance, without telling him that she even has a plan, because she knows he will pick up her train of thought without words.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After years of suffering and heartache, losing each other from everything to brain damage to dimension traveling, to the point where it seems the universe itself wants to keep them apart, Fitz and Simmons finally get their happy ending in the Grand Finale, settling down in retirement to raise their child.
- Eating the Eye Candy: In "The Bridge", Mike's physique has Simmons fumbling her way through several cringe-worthy sentences. She also insists on taking Mike's measurements by hand despite Fitz pointing out that they have a machine that could do that.
- Everyone's Baby Sister: Her near-fatal viral contamination in "FZZT" reveals this attitude among the other team members, most surprisingly May and Ward. This is probably due to her non-combatant status and relative youth as far as field agents go: even May is noticeably distressed at her condition, saying "She's only a kid."
- Fake Defector: In "Afterlife", she pretends to betray Team Coulson for the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. and be clueless about how to open the MacGuffin while sending Fitz away with the real deal and his favorite sandwich.
- Fantastic Racism: Trip's death causes her to turn hard on people with superpowers, right when Skye has developed her own. She eventually loses this during the conflict with "real" S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Fatal Flaw: An inability to cope with change. When world shattering events specifically effect her life and those of her loved ones, such as the discovery of Inhumans and Daisy's powers activating or the Framework incident and Fitz's lifetime as The Doctor, Jemma is more likely to waste her brainpower on trying to make life return back to normal than accept the present and learning how to utilize it.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: She and Fitz. They also frequently tend to talk over each other mid-sentence, saying the same thing synonymously before ending on the same word. During Fitz's field mission in "The Hub" she starts trying to do this with Skye instead, less successfully.
- For Science!: Her cover story inside HYDRA is that her loyalty is to science and that as long as HYDRA allows her to perform the experiments she wants, then they can count on her.
- Gaining the Will to Kill: In season 2, she threatens to kill Ward. Later in the same season, she advocates killing Raina - and possibly the other Inhumans as well - rather than bringing them in for study. Then, towards the end of the season, she attempts to murder Ward, despite his nominally working with them, and is utterly unfazed by accidentally having killed Bakshi instead.
- Geeky Turn-On: In "The Singularity", she is initially confused when Fitz compares the crux of their reilationship to "the singularity in trans-humanism" but quickly grasps his concept and finds his comparison to be both apt and oddly romantic.Simmons: Just to be clear, are you comparing us sleeping together to crossing the event horizon?
Simmons: It's quite lovely when you think of it like that.
- Genki Girl: She is the most energetic and upbeat member of the team, second only to Skye.
- Graceful in Their Element: Simmons may be a terrible liar, lousy fighter, and a horrible flirt, but place her in a lab or talk to her about biology and she definitely shows how she earned her place on the Bus.
- Hallucinations: The subject of them, rather than the one suffering from them: her only presence in several episodes of Season 2 is Fitz's prolonged hallucination of her. The real Simmons left months ago after deciding that her presence was harming his recovery.
- Happily Married: To Leo, as of the end of "The Real Deal".
- Heel Realization: "Real S.H.I.E.L.D." seems to have made her realize how much of a jerk she's been acting to Fitz and what damage her Fantastic Racism really could do.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Jemma seems very prone to these. In "FZZT", she throws herself off the Bus to prevent an alien viral infection from blowing her up and taking the team down with her. In "T.R.A.C.K.S.", she throws herself on a man with a dendrotoxin grenade (in the heat of the moment she assumed it was lethal) to save Fitz and Skye.
- Heroic Suicide: She attempts this by jumping out of the cargo bay in "FZZT" when she believes a viral infection might cause her to die and take out the Bus. Fortunately, an antiserum had been successfully synthesized, and Ward is able to parachute after her and cure her mid-air.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Jemma's hatred for Grant Ward is so intense that she tries to disintegrate him while his back is turned.
- Hope Bringer: She takes it upon herself to be the sole source of hope on the Monolith Planet. Will had long since given up on ever going home before she showed up.
- Humble Hero:
- Played Straight on the only two occasions in Season One where she does something legitimately badass: She either never mentions it again (as when she jumps on a grenade to save Fitz and Skye in "T.R.A.C.K.S.") or refuses to accept that what she did was heroic (when Fury commends her for saving Fitz's life in "The Beginning of the End", she will only answer that "It was the other way around", even though both are technically true). Contrast with Fitz and Skye, who are both shown to be at least mildly impressed whenever they Took a Level in Badass.
- Usually Averted in that she's very much aware of how brilliant she is at biochemistry, and while not usually arrogant about it, isn't afraid to state the facts of the matter. However, she does berate herself when her shortcomings as The Medic are revealed by her inability to outright save Skye's life in "T.A.H.I.T.I.", despite the fact that she's not a medical doctor and acquitted herself very well under the circumstances.
- Hypocrite: She begins to develop Fantastic Racism towards people with superpowers in Season 2, but claims that she could never feel that way towards Skye, because they're friends, even though she abandoned Fitz when he started to change for the worse. Fitz quickly calls her out on the Double Standard.
- I Am Very British: Compared to the more Glaswegian-sounding Fitz, Simmons usually has a RP accent that's similar to Keira Knightley, except when her Yorkshire accent shows through (Henstridge was born in Sheffield). Becomes less pronounced as the series goes on, and Henstridge's natural accent now seems to be more or less the character's as well.
- Imaginary Friend: After she leaves the team, Fitz creates an imaginary version of her to both cope with the loss and to help him finish his own sentences. After Mack starts interacting with him, he seems to be aware that she's not actually there, and starts to phase the imaginary Simmons out.
- Innocently Insensitive: Has a tendency to come across as hurtful when she's trying to be nice.
- Specifically, her remark to Coulson about his fitness level "for a man of your age" makes him feel old.
- Her attempt to reassure Fitz that "I'm not saying you're weak, I'm saying all men are weak" after he's mind-controlled by Lorelei - which carries a much worse implication that she completely misses because It Makes Sense in Context (to her, anyway).
- Her treatment of Fitz in Season 2, she can't help treating him like his old self, and it just hurts the brain-damaged Fitz even more.
- Though she doesn't know it, her treatment of Skye in "Aftershocks": she heatedly defends her new Fantastic Racism to Skye, arguing that superpowers are an epidemic and should be wiped out, right as Skye realises that she herself has just developed superpowers. Coming from one of her best friends within S.H.I.E.L.D., it was just about the last thing Skye needed to hear right then.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After Trip dies she gets more ruthless, upping the stopping power of the ICERs despite potential side effects and taking a more hard-line approach to stopping them. When Coulson teams up with Ward for a mission to raid a HYDRA base, she brings along a splinter bomb to kill him, though she ends up getting Bashki when he takes the bullet for Ward.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!":
- In Season 2, she's practically giddy with excitement at the fact that she's holding an order signed by Peggy Carter herself, and can't stop gushing to May about how awesome it is that S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded by a British woman.
- In the episode where she first meets Bobbi, she can't stop telling everyone (including Bobbi herself) how awesome she thinks she is.
- Living Legend:
- In "Seeds", she and Fitz are both revealed to be this to the science and tech students at S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy.
- There's also the fact that everyone within S.H.I.E.L.D. - including Dr Stretian and Nick Fury - seems to know them by reputation even before they join Coulson's team. Stretian is shown to be concerned to learn about them joining since he knows they're not combat capable, and Fury knows them at least well enough to realise they'll help Coulson modify the plane's interior in their spare time if he doesn't put a stop to it.
- Mad Scientist: Just a bit. When Skye wonders how long an Asgardian has been living on Earth, Simmons suggests cutting him open to find out. Skye then suggests the much simpler option of asking him.
- Master of the Mixed Message: It's pretty obvious from the beginning that Simmons is in love with Fitz - they're Birds of a Feather and Everyone Can See It. Heck, she smothers him in kisses when he finally gets the nerve to tell her how he feels about her. Except that she never thought of him that way, and it was such a shock that she had to go away for a while to clear her head, but she still really does care about him, but just as a friend. Probably. How would she know, since she's never thought about it? Though she doesn't like seeing him happy with someone else, even though it's probably platonic. She tells Bobbi that she's definitely not interested in him that way, and then Bobbi tells her that she's putting out as many as ten signals that say she's lying. Not that it matters, because he kept secrets from her and she hates him now. Then she gets scared and she still desperately wants him to hold her hand, and when it looks like they're going to be separated for another indefinite period she signs her note to him "Love, Jemma x". As if poor Fitz didn't have a hard enough time keeping his sense of reality in check...
- Master Poisoner: Given her specialty in biology and chemistry, she's the go-to for creating poisons, knock out chemicals, or other drugs.
- Meaningful Name: "Jemma" echoes "Gemini", the star sign symbolised by twins, as she's one-half of The Dividual, along with Fitz (whose own first name, Leo, is also that of an astrological sign).
- The Medic: Out of the whole team she has the most medical experience, which she likely picked up during her biology studies. Though it should be noted that she is not a medical doctor, just that she knows slightly advanced first aid. When Skye is shot and almost dies, Simmons identifies a hyperbaric chamber that would keep her alive temporarily, but still stresses that she will die if not taken to a hospital.
- The Mole: In "Making Friends & Influencing People", it's briefly made to look as though she may have been a HYDRA mole all along. Then, it's revealed that she's actually Coulson's The Mole inside HYDRA.
- Moment Killer: Can be a Type 3 at times, which fits in with her occasional social awkwardness. Is particularly guilty of this where Fitz is involved, managing to inadvertently derail any attempt he makes to discuss his feelings with her. She's also done this at least once to Ward: when he imitates her bad impression of him as an attempted ice-breaker, she ends up correcting it, which leaves him looking confused.
- Morality Chain: Downplayed, and even mildly Played for Laughs on occasion: Fitz (and sometimes Skye) have to remind her now and again that it's inappropriate to get over-excited about the opposition's success because it advances her own interests, or to discuss dissecting someone who is in fact still alive.
- My Way or the Highway: While she mostly values her friends, she is prone to taking on this attitude whenever she feels like she is right. In Season 6, when she, Daisy, Davis and Piper are searching for Fitz in space, she absolutely refuses to entertain the idea of returning to Earth, even though the fuel and food stocks are running dangerously dry. She even insults Piper and Davis as cowards.
- Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: Fitz admits that she's probably cleverer than he is, technically, "but only because she loves homework more than life itself."
- Nice Girl: By far the sweetest character on the show, though that's been slipping in the second season.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Season 2 opens after Simmons has left, believing that her presence was somehow harming Fitz's chances of recovery. In reality, her absence breaks the last connection with reality he has, to the point where he doesn't even know that she's gone and hallucinates her presence, or his recovery is actually declining alarmingly.
- Nightmare Fetishist:
- Every time she encounters something weird, gooey, and dripping, she coos and squees over it like a little kid that just got a new stuffed toy.Simmons: Oh wow, it's actually dripping! Fun!
- In the second episode, this extends to being excited about being in a place with lots of dangerously venomous snakes around, which alarms Fitz.
- Her well-meaning attempts to explain to others (especially Skye or Fitz) that something potentially deadly is in fact adorable and fascinating often just makes them more nervous.
- Toyed with in "FZZT" where she's excitedly detailing to Coulson how a deadly virus spreads as the latter realizes that she's infected. As she rambles on, Coulson quietly quarantines her.
- Every time she encounters something weird, gooey, and dripping, she coos and squees over it like a little kid that just got a new stuffed toy.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Rather than leave Fitz to drown as he had intended, Simmons drags him from the medical pod that Ward tried to drown them in.
- No Social Skills: Downplayed when compared to the more pure example provided by Ward, but it's increasingly clear that although she genuinely likes most people, she has very little idea of how weird she occasionally comes across as in conversation. Fitz seems to provide a buffer to some of her more awkward attempts to express herself, and she gets noticeably worse during his absence in "The Hub".
- Oblivious to Love: As Fitz's feelings for her grow more and more obvious to him and to others, Simmons seems to be more and more clueless that he feels more than friendship for her.
- Odd Friendship: How she views her friendship with Skye/Daisy. In "T.A.H.I.T.I.", Simmons says that she and Skye are "nothing alike", but admits that she couldn't imagine life without Skye.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist:
- Played with: like Fitz she is a specialist (though different iterations of the character are in slightly different fields: biochemistry in the show, xenobiology in the comics), and has a good working knowledge of other areas, but very clearly defined limitations outside of what she's specifically trained in.
- She acts as The Medic purely on the basis that she has a Ph.D. in biology, despite most of what she says about her previous work indicating that she's never actually studied human anatomy or medical science, and in fact May seems to have more experience of treating injuries sustained in the field. It's Justified in that she's just good enough at what she does to get by in advanced first aid; she certainly doesn't have the calm response in a medical crisis that an M.D. would, and is shown on occasion to be near to tears if she's forced to work on critically injured patients.
- Later seasons seem to actively forget that she's not a medical doctor, however. Pretty much at any point after the team find The Lighthouse, she'll be the first port of call for medical issues, even if by rights there should be a medical specialist on hand to take care of it.
- Only Friend: In "Seeds", Fitz says that he didn't really have any company other than his mother growing up, implying that Simmons was the first real friend he ever had.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- Jemma is undoubtedly one of the nicest people on Coulson's team, and she probably wouldn't hurt a fly. That's why her firm declaration that she would kill Ward should he ever return is so disturbing.
- In the second half of Season Two, she rants that the various horrible things that have happened recently are all her fault for wanting to study aliens and superhumans when she should have been trying to eradicate them, and advocates a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later policy.
- Proud to Be a Geek: In addition to her open fascination with all things biology and chemistry, she makes multiple references to Harry Potter and Doctor Who, and apparently plays Minecraft.
- Put on a Bus: The real Simmons is long gone by the Season 2 premiere, having left S.H.I.E.L.D. in the belief that her presence was harming Fitz's chances of recovery; the version the audience sees is just Fitz's hallucination of her, demonstrating that her plan did not work at all.
- Rank Up: In Season 4, when Jeffrey Mace becomes the new Director, Simmons accepts the position of "Special Advisor to the Director in Science and Technology" (or S.A.D.I.S.T. as Fitz points out), which makes her the highest ranking agent in the Playground after Mace, placing her in a position to give orders to the rest of the team. She eventually uses that to circumvent General Talbot when he tries to take command after Mace goes missing after an assassination attempt.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Fitz's red, sometimes they're even Colour-Coded for Your Convenience. Though interestingly, while she has the Stiff Upper Lip and even-temperedness of the Blue Oni, she tends to be the one of the duo who's adventurous and most excited about new things.
- Relationship Upgrade: After more than two and a half seasons, her relationship with Fitz goes from platonic to romantic. Two seasons later, they say I Do.
- Running Gag:
- Simmons is a very Bad Liar, which makes undercover work nearly impossible. This becomes significant in Season 2, where she's perfect as Coulson's The Mole because HYDRA are well aware she can't even beat a lie detector.
- In social interactions generally she often comes across as slightly... odd. A combination of her Innocently Insensitive and Nightmare Fetishist comments often manage to insult, offend, or just freak out the person she's talking to. Chances are about fifty-fifty whether she spots it herself and tries to undo the damage, or if Fitz or Skye have to jump in and stop her talking.
- Her noticeable appreciation of physically fit black men, usually conducted so that Fitz can't help but notice it. In Season 2, even Fitz's hallucination of her gets in on the act.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: A Downplayed example with her and Fitz. She's the one who wanted to be a field agent and is happy to deal with hazardous materials as part of her work; Fitz Didn't Want an Adventure and is more cautious about what aspects of the work he voluntarily gets involved in.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: She may have flubbed it up, but in "The Hub" Skye has no problem talking Simmons into helping her to hack S.H.I.E.L.D. for information on Fitz and Ward's mission when she plays off Simmons's concern for "their boys", which far outweighs her concern for following the rules.
- She Cleans Up Nicely:
- When disguised as Coulson's estranged "daughter" in "T.R.A.C.K.S.". Who'd have thought she'd look so good wearing lady clothes? Jane Foster would probably feel upstaged at that point.
- Downplayed in "The Singularity". Her disguise there is not quite as feminine as the one from "T.R.A.C.K.S.", but she still looks pretty snazzy, especially with that chic red leather jacket, a fact which Fitz is not blind to.
- Ship Tease:
- She becomes the focus of a Love Triangle with Fitz and Triplett towards the end of Season One, though it's not quite clear to what extent she returns either of their feelings. However, she does respond quite positively to Fitz's Dying Declaration of Love in the Season One finale.
- She's also quite prone to Eating the Eye Candy whenever Mike Peterson's around, and attracted the romantic advances of Prof. Randolph.
- Skilled, but Naive: The status of both her and Fitz when they join the team. Of everyone on the Bus, they are the least acclimated to the hardships of life and battle.
- The Smart Guy: Shares this role with Fitz because they're The Dividual. She focuses on biological issues The Team encounters. In the words of Coulson, she has two Ph.Ds in fields he can't pronounce.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Bobbi appeals to Simmons very much, particularly once she starts beating down people.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Jokes involving her time on Maveth aside, Simmons and Fitz have been put through hell and back over the course of the series. Fitz even refers to them as "cursed" in "Many Heads, One Tale". It gets even worse in season seven, where Jemma is forced to erase her memories of Fitz' location and their time raising a child together, in case the Chronicoms capture her and torture her for information. By the Grand Finale, thankfully, the two reunite for good.
- Teen Genius: She and Fitz were both mentioned to have been this back when they were at the Academy.
- Through His Stomach:
- You know the sandwich Fitz was looking forward to eating in "The Hub"? She made it for him and was very eager to hear if he liked it.
- In "Nothing Personal", her solution to cheer up Coulson, Fitz and Triplett after their discovery that the rest of the team have gone missing is to make pancakes.
- Took a Level in Badass: Though still probably the least combat-capable of the team by the end of Season One, she does get a couple of moments:
- In "T.R.A.C.K.S." she doesn't hesitate to jump on a live grenade to save Fitz and Skye (her only comment before doing so being "Oh bloody hell!"). Luckily it's only a dendrotoxin grenade that knocks her out for a few hours, but none of them knew that at the time.
- In "The Beginning of the End" she refuses to allow Fitz to pull a Heroic Sacrifice to save her life, and instead of swimming to safety by herself like he wanted, drags him along with her.
- She takes another major one during her absence between "The Beginning of the End" and "Making Friends and Influencing People". The latter reveals that she's The Mole for Coulson within HYDRA. It's unclear whether she volunteered for the role or was offered it, but she carries it off much better than she would have done in Season One.
- In "A Fractured House," Simmons explicitly and boldly tells Ward that if she ever sees him again, she'll kill him herself. Again, Simmons tells Ward that she will kill him without a hint of hesitation.
- "Laws of Nature" shows she can give Survivorman a run for his money. She survived months on an alien planet, with little but the clothes on her back, while something was chasing her.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: More subtly than Fitz perhaps, but in Season Two she's less pleasant than in Season One, partly due to losing her status as the resident Wide-Eyed Idealist of the team.
- Particularly, her framing of her HYDRA lab partner to save herself (even though he wasn't an innocent bystander), her near-constant verbal sparring with Mack, and her inability to deal maturely with the increasing messiness of her relationship with Fitz, generally make her less unambiguously sympathetic than in the first season.
- There's also the fact that she threatened to kill Ward, but it's easy to see how her actions on that occasion could be entirely justified.
- Then she develops Fantastic Racism just as Skye becomes a superhuman herself.
- Episodes in the second half of Season 2 continues, as she develops new ICErs, that are more powerful but also risk permanent damage.
- In the Framework, she's increasingly snarky and hostile upon reuniting with Ward, albeit a nicer version of Ward at that, and her refusal to fall for the alternate reality (especially in regards to Fitz) gets her called out on frequently. Her attitude does take a few hits when she sees Mack interact with Hope, and when Ward apologizes for his counterpart's villainous actions, though.
- Torture Technician: A heroic example. She picked up some useful techniques during her stint as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s woman in HYDRA, as she coolly demonstrates in "The Patriot" during a Perp Sweating. It helps that she could disguise AIDA's severed robotic head as her own handiwork. Fitz admits that it was "weirdly attractive."
- Town Girls: The (lovely, idealistic and adorkable) Femme to May's Butch and Skye's Neither.
- The Unfavorite: The S.H.I.E.L.D. comics give her a brother and sister to whom her father compares her unfavourably.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- In "FZZT", Coulson rakes her and Ward over the coals for jumping off the Bus during the climax.Coulson: Don't get me wrong — I'm happy you're both alive, truly, and I realize you were trying to save the team — but what you did today? That was not your call. Just getting you out of the water — do you have any idea what a pain it is dealing with the Moroccan office? Don't you ever pull a stunt like that again! We'd hate to lose you, Jemma.
- She comes in for one of these courtesy of Skye and Trip in "Heavy is the Head": they're not happy with her for leaving Fitz and the rest of the team. They have to rethink that line of thinking in "Making Friends and Influencing People" when they realize that she didn't in fact just leave them, and Fitz, because she wanted to but to infiltrate HYDRA. At that point they get it - they just don't know if she's going to survive it, considering she's such a bad liar.
- Calls out Fitz for lying about Skye's newly-developed superpowers, only for him to throw back how badly Simmons reacted to Fitz changing from brain damage.
- In "FZZT", Coulson rakes her and Ward over the coals for jumping off the Bus during the climax.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
- Despite her total fearlessness when in close proximity to insects, reptiles, rodents, dead bodies, and carriers of infectious disease, in "Providence" she's anxious at the prospect of there being bears anywhere within scanning range.
- After nearly falling to her death in "FZZT", she mentions an increased fear of heights once or twice, which becomes a minor difficulty in "The Well". It doesn't really come up much later because she was making a conscious effort to avoid letting it develop into a full-blown phobia.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist:
- Simmons likes following the rules. It makes her feel nice!
- Later Averted: Simmons becomes massively disillusioned with S.H.I.E.L.D. following the "Uprising" arc, and after learning of Ward's betrayal, she's ready to accept that some people are inherently evil, while Fitz is the one arguing that no-one is simply a bad person for no reason. It gets worse after the incident in the Kree city, after which she becomes the one to push hardest for just putting superhumans down.
- Women Are Wiser: Subverted. Simmons often hints that she thinks this (especially of herself in relation to Fitz), but while it's sometimes true (even he's forced to admit she's probably the more intelligent of the pair), he's more capable of adapting quickly to tasks outside of his comfort zone, and is generally better at dealing with people who aren't helpful allies.
Jemma Simmons LMD
Species: Life-Model Decoy
Portrayed By: Elizabeth Henstridge
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
An android duplicate of Jemma Simmons, used by her and Coulson to bait Aida.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Her sole apparent purpose is to be sent to her death as bait for Aida.
Framework Jemma Simmons
Species: Artificial Intelligence
Portrayed By: Elizabeth Henstridge
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
A virtual recreation of the real-world person of the same name inside the Framework. She was a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. that was executed during the HYDRA uprising.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: AIDA killed her off in the Framework's backstory to keep Framework!Fitz from ever meeting her and falling for her.
- Posthumous Character: She's dead in the Framework's backstory. When the real Jemma gets uploaded into the Framework, she takes over her virtual counterpart's body, buried in a shallow grave.