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Characters / MCU: Jessica Jones

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Jessica Campbell Jones
"A big part of the job is looking for the worst in people. Turns out I excel at that."

Species: Enhanced human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Alias Investigations, Defenders


Portrayed By: Krysten Ritter, Lizzy Cappuccino (young)

Voiced By: Catalina Muñoz (Latin-America Chilean Spanish dub), Marta Barbará (European Spanish dub), Akeno Watanabe (Japanese), Mariana Torres (Brazilian Portuguese dub)

Appearances: Jessica Jones | The Defenders

"They say everyone's born a hero. But if you let it, life will push you over the line until you're the villain. Problem is, you don't always know that you've crossed that line."

After an accident in her teens, Jessica Jones gained the power of Super Strength, and dreamed of becoming a superheroine. But after a traumatic event, she abandoned that dream. Jessica now makes her living as a private investigator.

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  • 10-Minute Retirement: In The Defenders, she Refuses The Call when she gets overwhelmed by the massive amount of information being hurled at her in the restaurant. A few hours later she finds out the Hand is watching Raymond's family, so returns to the restaurant just in time for the fight.
    • In the final episode of her series, after being forced to apprehend Trish, she decided to quit and leave New York, until hearing the taunting voice of Kilgrave convinced her otherwise.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Jessica managed to render herself completely immune to Kilgrave after killing Reva Connors on Kilgrave's orders. It's implied the immunity is largely psychological, as Kilgrave's father couldn't duplicate the immunity biologically using Jessica's blood.
  • Action Heroine: As the protagonist of Jessica Jones and the number 1 badass in that show, with truly brutal fight scenes, she earns this status.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Her treatment at the hands of Kilgrave is far worse than in the comics. In this version, Kilgrave had actively raped Jessica, instead of making her stand and watch while he slept with other girls.
    • Much of her circumstances are also much darker in the show. Her superpowers were a result of an accident, rather than a secret experiment. She was more or less happily adopted. She had a far more positive relationship with Luke Cage, with who she ended up marrying and having a baby with.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: This version of Jessica is much harsher and angrier than her comic counterpart, and more inclined to violence by far. This was even before Kilgrave came along, never having had her upstart "Jewel" persona era.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Comics Jessica can indeed fly, though not too well. MCU Jessica can't fly (so far), but instead can jump high and far (she describes it as "guided falling").
    • In the comics, her ability to resist Kilgrave's power was due to a psychic block placed into her mind by Jean Grey. Here, she develops it on her own.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Jessica's hair is usually shown to be brown in the comics, but Krysten Ritter's usual pitch black locks here haven't been changed to reflect that.
  • Addiction Displacement: Starts chugging Red Bulls instead of alcohol in season 2 of her series.
  • Age Lift: Played with. She's more or less the same age here as she was in Alias, but the MCU version of her high school classmate (and crush) Peter Parker is still a teenager when this series happens.
  • The Alcoholic: Most of the money Jessica makes goes to buying copious amounts of booze, and a more or less empty bottle of cheap bourbon is a common piece of decoration on her desk. It is at first implied that her drinking problem is a form of self-medication for her psychological trauma and the insomnia that stems from it. However, even in the first season it's shown that her drinking started well before Kilgravenote . Late in the second season, we learn that like her mother, Jessica has rage issues and night terrors (though her mother takes both far, far beyond where Jessica is), and that the drinking helps with both. Either way, she's self-medicating and it's possible that only SHIELD medics could actually help her.
    "I'm just trying to make a living, you know, booze costs money. Usually."
  • All-Loving Hero: A possible explanation, by the end of the first season, for Jessica's acquired immunity to Kilgrave's powers. He ordered her to do something she couldn't tolerate, to murder Reva Connors. While she could accept the evil things he did to her as evil things he was doing, she couldn't accept him using her to hurt someone else.
  • Alliterative Name: Jessica Jones.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: A 5' 9" (1.75 m) good-looking woman with black hair who's often complaining, and hardly seen not scowling.
  • Always Save the Girl: She's determined to capture Kilgrave alive to save Hope Shlottman from lifetime in jail. Each of her refusals to off Kilgrave results in more casualties and Jessica only changes her mind when Hope dies - by killing herself, precisely so Jessica is finally free to end Kilgrave for good.
  • AM/FM Characterization: During her teens, she was a fan of rock bands such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction.
  • And I Must Scream: When talking about her time under his control, she tells Kilgrave that a part of her was waiting every second during the months under his control for a chance to be free and escape.
  • Anti-Hero: Jessica does not consider herself a hero and, as far as she's concerned, has given up on the hero career a long time ago, trying to distance herself from problems not involving hers. She is rough, rude, and abrasive. She antagonizes everyone and does not trust anyone at face value. She does, however, feel empathy for victims of injustice, and will begrudgingly help them - much more readily if they have been affected by Kilgrave. She goes to extreme lengths to help Hope - repeatedly raped, tortured, and Kilgraved into shooting her own parents in an elevator - be found innocent of her crime, and sees it as her job to stop Kilgrave from ruining any more lives. Her methods are pragmatic and risky when not outright destructive or harmful to others, and killing Kilgrave is never something she has a problem with, aside from collateral damage. Hell, the only reason she doesn't start with the "Let's kill Kilgrave" option is because she's determined to prove Hope is innocent, which she can only do by first capturing Kilgrave. She stands a stark contrast to Matt Murdock, who is overall a much more polished example of a hero.
  • Apologetic Attacker: A necessity since most of her fights in the first season are against people being mind-controlled by Kilgrave.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite living in a world where gods and aliens exist, she doubts a man claiming to have superpowers and has a hard time believing Danny Rand's superpowers.
    Jessica: What are you on, lithium?
  • Arch-Enemy: To Kilgrave. He controlled her and kept her captive for months in which she was raped and forced to be his Mook; once free, at first she just wants to stay as far away from Kilgrave as possible, but after he forces Hope to kill her own parents, Jessica reluctantly takes a stand, and after that, she dedicates her life to tracking him down and bringing him to justice.
  • The Atoner: One of the things that drives her actions in the first season is the drive to atone for the fact that she killed Luke's wife in the backstory. Things get even worse after the... second episode because she sleeps with Luke without having told him she killed his wife. That it was because Kilgrave made her do it... just makes things muddy.
  • Bash Siblings: With the other Defenders.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: A favorite tactic of Jessica's is to yell for help like a fragile little girl, and then slip through the crowd in the chaos.
  • Being Good Sucks: Practically the poster-child. Pretty much anytime Jessica does anything even remotely heroic, she pays for it and then some. And so do other people.
    • Her second act as a hero, saving Malcolm from getting assaulted, is what got her the attention of Kilgrave. Her first act was stopping a taxi from hitting a little girl, and that went fine.
    • Trying to help people by becoming a PI exposed her to other people's dark secrets - no doubt whittling away whatever faith in humanity she had left - and becoming a sound-board with which angry customers use to vent their rage.
    • Her commitment to Hope's case drew her into Kilgrave's sadistic game.
    • Saving Simpson's life indirectly lead to his evolution into Nuke.
    • Trying to capture Kilgrave and get him to confess gave him the opportunity to escape and go on a bloody warpath.
    • Even killing Kilgrave has had negative ramifications on her life as some people don't believe that he had mind-controlling powers and simply think she's a murderer.
  • Beneath Notice: Compared with the guys, the Hand either discount Jessica or forget about her, especially considering she's not as overt, noticeable, and outright threatening as Luke, Matt, or Danny. That's a bad idea, though, since she's the strongest of the four.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Jessica briefly quits the team, before changing her mind when seeing her client being endangered, she makes her return by crashing a van into the restaurant and taking out several Hand members before walking in with a "Who missed me?"
  • Big Sister Instinct: Adoptive sisters but Jessica takes the "protective sister" role towards both Trish's boyfriends and her abusive mother. She also goes to extreme lengths to help Hope, though in that case there's very much vibe of "saving her is saving me".
    • There's a downplayed example regarding her late brother: when Kilgrave is giving her a tour of her renovated childhood home, her brother's room is the one place Jessica refuses to let Kilgrave enter. On a darker note, when a rude neighbor starts speaking badly of her brother, Jessica remains silent as Kilgrave uses his power to humiliate her (though still draws the line at physical harm).
  • Black Bra and Panties: She wears black underwear underneath her clothes, as seen when she takes off her clothes after seeing a bloodstain on her pants.
  • Blessed with Suck: We learn in the second season that her abilities come bundled with uncontrollable rage and night terrors that make her leave her bed and damage shit, all of which pales in comparison to her mother's rage and night terrors. Alisa has to be chained to her bed to make it through the night. We also learn that these issues are why Jessica drinks. The PTSD and depression came after, and worsened, the drinking, but they weren't the original cause. She can't sleep sober.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Especially apparent pre-Kilgrave. Jessica has always been keenly observant, intelligent, and resourceful, but her apathy and Snark Knight tendencies kept her bouncing through a series of menial office jobs she was clearly overqualified for. At the start of The Defenders (2017), she'd prefer to get wasted alone rather than involve herself in any cases or city-saving shenanigans, but at that point, it's more of a product of trauma than laziness.
  • Broken Bird: She suffers from depression and PTSD as a result of her time being controlled by Kilgrave. And that's after the death of her entire family and being adopted by an abusive foster mother. Oh, and the bouts of rage and night terrors that came from being experimented on. Even with all the shit, she was cynical but still... bubbly before Kilgrave. Just shows to go ya how awful he really was.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jessica is an extremely competent private investigator, but nothing about her (including her office) really suggests an air of professionalism. Fortunately, none of her clients really seem to care about that.
    • Jeri explicitly keeps hiring her due to her proven track record.
    • She's reliable enough when sober that Joy Meachum hired her to dig up dirt on the Rand Enterprises board of directors.
    • She managed to figure out Matt's secret identity from his martial arts moves and that Alexandra is centuries old from her signature on Midland Circle documents.
  • Byronic Hero: Jessica is ultimately a heroic person and wants to do the right thing for selfless reasons, but has a number of flaws and issues she's still working out. She's an angry, bitter drunk with an extremely abrasive personality who treats most of the people in her life like shit and lives a generally self-destructive existence, and is still dealing with a terrible case of PTSD (that she refuses to treat professionally, instead using alcohol and sex to put balm on her wounds).
  • Cain and Abel: Eventually, she and Trish becomes this by the end of Season 3 with Trish being Cain as she tries to kill her adoptive sister and best friend.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: She initially wants nothing to do with fighting the Hand, until she finds out the Hand are watching John Raymond's wife and daughter.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I'm really sorry about this."
    • "Start from the beginning."
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Foggy Nelson and one of her clients compare her to Joan Jett.
  • Child Hater: A mild example, but when she's obstructed from following a suspect by a couple of families with strollers, she snarls an annoyed "breeders!" as she pushes past them. It's ironic given that her comicbook counterpart has a child with Luke Cage and is a loving mother. Subverted in Season 2, where she seems to get along with (or at least, bemusedly tolerate) Vido. Some of the latter is explained by the fact that every little boy will ultimately remind her of her dead little brother.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Her "Jewel" identity is an absurd suggestion by Trish that Jessica immediately rejects as a very slutty stripper's name. Kilgrave is quite disappointed that she's "just Jessica Jones" when he asks for her superheroine name.
  • Contralto of Danger: Jessica has a very deep voice for a woman, and is the toughest fighter of all the women in the cast, thanks to her Super Strength.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Has several stark contrasts to her predecessor Matt Murdock.
    • They both have day jobs related to law and crimefighting. However, everything Matt does as a lawyer is perfectly legal and he aims to make people's lives better often by working probono, while Jessica's work as a private investigator often forces her to make morally questionable decisions and she's out to make money to pay for her booze.
    • While Matt willingly began his superhero career at the beginning of his series, Jessica had a try at it prior to the start of her series but pushed it away after the Kilgrave incident and wanted no more part in it.
    • Their fighting approaches are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While Matt does have his Super Senses he otherwise Fights Like a Normal and relies on his mastery of hand-to-hand combat, Jessica has Super Strength and by the time of the Defenders is the only lead with no martial arts training. Essentially while Matt is Weak, but Skilled, Jessica is Unskilled, but Strong.
    • Matt delves furtherest into keeping his vigilante and civilian identities separate, donning a costume and a superhero codename. Jessica explicitly has no codename and is "just Jessica Jones", turned down a costume, and couldn't care less who finds out her secret.
    • Finally, Jessica is willing to kill, which devout Catholic Matt will not do.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Jessica might just have the worst lot in life not just out of the Defenders, but the large majority of MCU heroes in general so far. Which is saying a lot. In order:
    • Her whole family barring her mother Alisa was killed in a drivers accident, she was experimented without her knowledge and gained powers as a result, along with the side effects of occasional uncontrollable rage and earth-shattering night terrors, was left in a long coma, and woke up to be adopted by the Abusive Parent of a child star.
    • In later years, her boyfriend Stirling was in debt to gangsters and ambiguously offered to use her as hired muscle to get them off his back, only to be killed by Alisa and left for Jessica to find.
    • She was mentally enslaved by Kilgrave for a long period (which involved rape and one case of physical abuse) until he forced her to kill Reva, Luke Cage's wife. Luke learning about this causes some friction later on.
    • Kilgrave returns to her life, enslaves a girl named Hope Shlottman as he did to Jessica, and forces her to shoot her parents dead, essentially framing her for murder. This puts Jessica on a hunt to bring in Kilgrave alive and force him to confess his crimes, while following a trail of victims/bodies in his wake and resorting to unsavory methods to bring him in. Tragically, Hope ends up killing herself to give Jessica free reign in killing him. Even after she succeeds, she's still haunted by him and the events that occurred.
    • Jessica later finds out that her mother's not only alive, but has the same yet stronger abilities as her. Unfortunately, she also a volatile, lethal temper. On top of that, Alisa revealed that she and Jessica's father were having marital issues in a conversation.
    • After a series of events that drove the people closest to her away (due to their own destructive tendencies) while trying to help her mother and keep her from harming anyone else, she watches her die again for real at the hands of Jessica's drug induced adoptive sister.
  • Creepy Monotone: Slips into this at times, an outward sign of her shellshock from Kilgrave.
  • Cutting the Knot: Jessica has a pretty short fuse regarding complicated problems. While she is often willing to give a shot at doing something the right/polite/subtle way at first, she always pretty quickly defaults to just using brute force. The best example is her attempting to threaten Wendy into signing Jeri's divorce papers, since she was unable to find any dirt on her.
  • The Cynic: Even before Kilgrave, she had a fairly negative opinion about the world in general, getting herself out of a job by blackmailing her manager using his embezzlement, conning a Jerkass in a bar into paying their tab, that sort of thing. It's generally implied that she's more so grumpy and that it's due to her family dying during an argument between her and her little brother causing her father to lose his temper and take his eyes off the road, rather than that she thinks Hobbes Was Right.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: First her entire family died in a car accident that also gave her superstrength, then she's adopted by Trish's abusive mother, then Kilgrave... It's hard to identify just one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The woman thrives off this trope.
    Malcolm: You use sarcasm to distance people.
    Jessica: And yet, you're still here.
  • Declaration of Protection: As much as Jessica initially insists this is not the motivation for her actions, it's clear to both Trish and Kilgrave that she would do anything to protect Trish. Trish is alternately frustrated and touched by this.
  • Determinator: Even after months of debasement by Kilgrave, she still has the will to be defiant and hateful toward him when he gave her the opportunity to speak for herself.
  • The Ditz: Invokes this in-universe as a social engineering tactic in her investigations.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the present, Jessica's attempt to get herself locked up in jail is the closest she can come to this. In the past, she was on the verge of committing suicide by jumping off a rooftop when Kilgrave interrupted her and almost made her cut her ears off in his petulance.

  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Black hair, pale skin, and a near-constant expression of haunted sullenness.
  • Fate Worse than Death: She explicitly labels her time under Kilgrave's control as this. Hence why she was in the process of committing suicide at one point, only to be interrupted by Kilgrave.
  • Flight: She is able to fly, though she has never mastered this ability. She herself calls it "guided falling" and "more like jumping and then falling".
    • She was able to fly across the bank lobby when she was evading the policemen who were shooting at her under Kilgrave's orders.
    • A demonstration of her using her flight to the fullest extent was when she flew skyward with Kilgrave in tow, escaping Will Simpson.
  • Foil:
    • To Kilgrave. She's physically powerful, poor, crass but ultimately good. He mentally dominates others, only indulges in the finest tastes, is superficially charming but is a complete psychopath.
    • To Hope Shlottman. Both were slaves to Kilgrave, both killed innocent people under his influence, and both were left devastated and broken by their experience. Jessica, however, found the inner strength and determination to carry on and rebuild her life (albeit not all that healthily). Hope might have found hers, too if fate had given her a chance.
    • To Karen Page. Both have good working relationships with Matt. Both of them are alcoholics with dark and troubled pasts that include the death of family members in a car accident (Jessica's whole family; Karen's brother). Both of their dark pasts include a Kevin in their life (Kilgrave aka Kevin Thompson; Karen's brother). Both Jessica and Karen have each killed people (Jessica killed Reva, Kilgrave and Dale; Karen has killed James Wesley and is implied to have killed someone else). And they both are skilled investigators. Where they differ is that Karen is bright and perky, while Jessica is sour and crass.
    • To Misty Knight. Both are skilled but cynical detectives, have trouble cooperating to others in their pursuit for justice, experienced moments of feeling powerless, and had a sexual relationship with Luke Cage before settling down as friends. However Misty work for the police, while Jessica is a self-employed Private Detective.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: In the Defenders, she's Melancholic.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's not as played up as it could have been, but after her family died, Jessica spent a good chunk of her formative years under Dorothy Walker, a psychotic Slave to PR. As a result, it's telling that one of her very first reactions to learning she had a "gift" as special as superhuman strength was a determination not to tell her adoptive mother. Or anyone else not already in the room.
  • Friend to All Children: While it's a stretch to call her a "friend", the only people Jessica isn't rude or abrasive to are kids, and is actually shown to be somewhat nice to them.
  • Functional Addict: Despite having a pretty big alcohol problem, Jessica is still able to function both in her private life, as well as in her job as a P.I.
  • The Gadfly: Jessica calls Danny "Ironclad" when she, Luke and Matt rescue him from the pit.
    Danny Rand: It's Iron Fist.
    Jessica Jones: I know.
  • The Generic Guy: In The Defenders, she doesn't really bring anything unique to the table compared to the other Defenders. Luke has roughly equal Super Strength, as well as being Nigh-Invulnerable and having actual fighting skills to back them up. Matt and Danny are both far superior fighters, able to take out several more henchmen in the same space of time than Jessica is, despite being Weak, but Skilled. Even Jessica's streetsmart investigating technique is overshadowed by Matt's similar ability and superior people skills. Even her "guided falling" is only used once; most egregiously, when Matt and Jessica are racing to stop Elektra from killing Stick and kidnapping Danny, Matt is the one who jumps on some boxes to get up to the second floor balcony quickly, while Jessica runs up the stairs.
  • Glass Cannon: Downplayed. Jessica is strong and tough, but she lacks the Nigh-Invulnerability of Luke, the protective armor of Matt, or the defensive chi applications of Danny's powers, meaning she's still vulnerable to blades and gunfire and a car impact can badly weaken her until she recovers.
  • Good Feels Good: Once upon a time, she saved a little girl from getting run over. It inspired her to follow Trish's advice and become a hero. Unfortunately, it brought her to Kilgrave's attention.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Jessica does some pretty unpleasant things to get Kilgrave, and is not exactly the most charming of heroes anyway.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Due to having no real training in fighting, Jessica relies on brute strength and hard punches to fight off her enemies.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: Given her experience, she doesn't see the world in black and white terms.
  • Great Detective: She's a highly skilled investigator, using a multitude of questionable methods to achieve her goals. She often impersonates other people's voices on the phone to advance with her cases, and is able to easily connect evidence that other people may overlook. She is not afraid of using methods that could be considered illegal, such as stealing things, or breaking into private places, often using her superior strength to break doors and padlocks, in order to obtain clues and advance in her cases, often using her powers as a means to an end. She was able to successfully locate Hope Shlottman and Antoine Grier when she was hired to do so, and is often offered different jobs by Jeri Hogarth, despite her law firm hired their own private investigator, a position that was first offered to Jones, but that she refused.
  • Guile Hero: Jess is, first and foremost, a private detective, and her cunning is at least as dangerous as her Flying Brick powers.
  • Hardboiled Detective: She's a hard-drinking, crass, and cynical P.I.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: To put it mildly, she's not a people person.
  • Healing Factor: Her augmented metabolism heals faster than an ordinary human being. Although not as advanced as that of Luke Cage's, she is capable of completely healing minor scratches and injuries in mere hours without any permanent scars, and major injuries like broken ribs in just a single day. It may also allow her to not be affected by the harmful and long-term effects of alcohol, leaving her only to experience brief intoxication and hangover while not experiencing any signs of toxicity. Because of this, to actually become drunk, Jones has to drink a lot more alcohol than an average human does to feel its effects. When Sallinger slips a tranquilizer in her bourbon, she is incapacitated for far less time than a normal human would be, and spends most of her time faking being impaired so she can trick him into confessing. After punching a hole in the wall of her jail cell, she received minor scrapes to her fist and had it wrapped in gauze for hours until her hand was fully healed. She was even shot through the right side of her back by Cheng, becoming fully healed for about a day. When getting stabbed towards the spleen by Sallinger, her injury from the knife had regenerated but it left her to suffer minor blood loss and dehydration, which required her to take medication for the pain to heal within 2 days after.
  • Heartbroken Badass: In The Defenders, the trauma of Kilgrave is still hovering over her, and her alcoholism has gotten worse. Her apartment is still damaged from the fight with Will Simpson.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Jessica is almost always seen in her black leather jacket.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Even months after Kilgrave's death, the public is still skeptical about his powers and considers Jessica a murderer, something Mariah Dillard is all too happy to exploit as part of her and Diamondback's scheme to sell Judas bullets to the NYPD.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Trish, her foster sister. Clearly more important to her then any romance, and not reacting to Killgrave's threats against her in season 1's finale fooled Killgrave into thinking that he had Jessica under control again.
  • Horrible Housing: She lives in a dingy and sparsely furnished apartment-turned-office, with a perpetually broken front door.
  • The Immune: She became immune to Kilgrave's mind control after being forced to kill Reva.
  • Immune to Bullets: Downplayed as Audrey successfully shoots her in the shoulder, though she isn't impaired nor does it take long to recover from it.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Jessica openly denies being a hero.
  • In a Single Bound: She can propel herself off a surface and through the air at various speeds and altitudes, but she sometimes gets injured while landing. She regularly uses this ability to jump several stories to reach rooftops, fire escapes and balconies, as well as once to perch in-between two buildings while following Audrey Eastman.
    • Notably, she used the ability to climb onto a fire escape of a building across from Luke's, as well as to reach Trish's Apartment balcony.
    • She attempted to fly over Luke Cage, who was controlled by Kilgrave at the time, to chase after the latter, only to be grabbed by the leg and thrown away. When she managed to capture Kilgrave, she escaped Will Simpson and his unit by jumping into the sky. Later on, when Kilgrave had Robyn and members of the Kilgrave Victim Support Group attempt to hang themselves at Niku, she jumped and hung onto a pipe hanging from the ceiling that held up their noses so she could break it off and free them.
    • She was able to propel herself upwards to stop the elevator from crashing to the ground.
    • After fending off a few members of the Hand on an elevator, Jessica leaped up on top of it to catch the cable before it could fall, successfully holding it with Danny Rand and Luke Cage still inside.
    • Another full extent of this ability was demonstrated when Jessica grabbed Trish Walker and leap away to flee surrounding reporters.
  • In the Hood: She wears a hoodie below the jacket, and puts the hood over her head as "disguise".
  • I Work Alone: She initially pushes away everyone who is trying to help her. She eventually grows out of it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She may be acerbic, abrasive, and short-tempered, but at her core, Jessica is a good person. She pushes people away for multiple reasons: as a survival instinct, because her worldview has been horribly soured, and because she doesn't want people to get close to her because Kilgrave might target them to hurt her.
    Malcolm: Jessica's got it in her, y'know. She may well never find it, but it is in there.
    Claire: An alcoholic?
    Malcolm: A hero.
  • Kid with the Leash: For a short time in 'WWJD', Kilgrave promises to restrict his behavior to what Jessica approves of, all while mentioning his own psychopathic impulses.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: She's cynical to the core, often rude, sarcastic, pushes others away, and generally doesn't show much outward sympathy to others. She still does everything in her power to protect innocent lives, including (if there's no other way) giving Kilgrave what he asks for.
  • The Lad-ette: Jessica isn't an overly feminine woman, at least in terms of her personality, and was a tomboy when she was younger. She could drink any given man under the table, is abrasive and crass, cusses the most out of everyone in both her titular series and in The Defenders, and is very willing to use her Super Strength to get what she wants.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot: A trait she shares with her comic book counterpart. Though just about everyone on the show swears from time to time, Jessica cusses the most often. Fittingly, she's the second person in the MCU to get an "f" bomb (the first being Frank Castle), although it's cut short.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Superhuman speed and agility as well as superhuman strength and toughness.
  • Limited Wardrobe: To a far greater degree than any of the other Defenders. She almost always wears the same leather jacket, jeans, and boots. Lampshaded in The Defenders, when she complains she hasn't changed her clothes since she took the case that led her to the Hand.
  • Magnetic Hero: Although she doesn't realize it, she either already has or picks up a number of friends and allies over the course of the series who prove willing to go out of their way for her sake. (Even Jeri.)
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Getting shot in the arm clearly hurts, but not as much as it would a normal person, nor does it prevent her from using the arm perfectly well. A deep gash to her leg doesn't stop her from running, either.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's very attractive and has quite a few sex scenes with Luke Cage, although she was previously an unwilling Sex Slave for Kilgrave so that might turn you off a little.
  • Mundane Utility: She routinely uses her Super Strength in her PI business for breaking and entering, or leaping to vantage points for surveillance. It's also good for process service, as she doesn't have to worry about people getting violent or siccing goons on her when they figure out why she's there.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Foster sister, but Trish mentions that Jessica hates all of her boyfriends. All the guilt and sympathy she had for Simpson vanished the minute Jess found out he and Trish were sleeping together. She spends the rest of the series barely holding in her dislike of the man.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Jessica's Jewel persona and costume get a brief nod with Trish trying to get her to try them out, but Jessica rejects them saying the name sounded like that of a stripper.
    • When Kilgrave first meets Jessica he asks for her superheroine name, only to be disappointed to find out she doesn't have one and is "just Jessica Jones". In the comics it was the other way round, where he asked for her real name rather than her silly superheroine name.

  • Never Gets Drunk: Due to her superhuman metabolism, she is able to consume vast quantities of alcohol without damage to her liver and appears to have high tolerance, being able to quickly drink an entire bottle of wine during dinner with Kilgrave, then nonchalantly asking for another one. This also extends to drugs, as the tranquilizer that Sallinger slips in her bourbon leaves her system far more quickly than it would have for an ordinary human, and she has to fake being incapacitated for long enough to trick him into confessing to his murders.
  • New Super Power: Jessica gets the standard "discovery of super power" scene via flashback to her teen years. Trish calls her a freak upon discovering the revelation, but means well.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Her intention to keep Kilgrave alive for trial and clear Hope's name ends up leading to a lot of unnecessary deaths, especially when she has him contained several times but always escapes.
  • No, You: Kind of a thing for her. She doesn't always respond this way, but it's common.
    Alisa: It's a bad plan.
    Jessica: You're a bad plan.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. In the first episode Jessica is seen effortlessly navigating her way through getting information on a person Jeri wants her to serve a summons on using her phone and laptop... while taking a dump.
  • Not a Morning Person: In the second teaser (and our very first look at her), she irritably crushes her alarm clock when it goes off. At three in the afternoon.
  • Not Quite Flight: She can control the direction in which she falls to some degree.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Justified, since in the comics, Jessica doesn't wear a costume either (just two short stints of it) but unlike comic book Jessica, MCU Jessica never wore a costume and, when Trish tries to get her to wear a costume in a flashback, Jessica rejects it outright, mocking how impractical it is.
    Jessica: If I wear that thing, you're gonna have to call me "Cameltoe."
  • Not What I Signed on For: After Stick informs the group of what's going on in The Defenders, she quickly nopes out of the arrangement and makes it abundantly clear that any willingness she may have had to go along with it has been erased.
    Jessica: Alright, I am done with this tinfoil hat shit.
    Danny: Whoa, where are you going?
    Jessica: I tried to hang in, guys, I really did, but whatever this guy's selling, I ain't buying.
    Stick: Sit down and shut up!
  • One-Hit Kill: Jessica can punch holes in brick walls and clean through car hoods, which means her hitting ordinary humans without holding back would inevitably result in this. Killgrave makes her do this to Reva, and the coronors thought she was a victim of the nearby bus crash. In season 2 of her series, a serial killer cop whose secret Jessica has uncovered sprays mace in her face and starts whacking her in the face repeatedly with his baton. Jessica hits back in desperation and kills him
  • The Only One: Several characters state that Jessica is their only hope of stopping Kilgrave. Being (as far as we know) the only "Gifted" person Kilgrave has ever enslaved, she has two advantages: one, being Gifted herself allows her to more readily believe that a person with Mind Control powers exists and two, her Super Strength and Super Toughness means she is able physically handle most threats he can propose. Then it becomes unquestionably true when she learns she is The Immune and the only known person to ever break free of his control.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Jessica dons a stolen set of scrubs early on in order to get some medical information on Kilgrave, which works even though the name and backstory she claims are stolen from TV shows. This sort of thing seems to be pretty normal procedure for her. A similar disguise to escape a hospital-wide manhunt doesn't work as well.
  • Perpetual Frowner: She doesn't smile much and instead opts for apathetic staring.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: With exception of the first episode, there is little to no focus on any actual detective work. Most of Jessica's time is spent hunting Kilgrave. Even when she is hired for a job in another way in "AKA 99 Friends", she still spends most of her time investigating to see whether or not her client is under Kilgrave's influence.
  • Private Detective: Her day job is investigating adulterers. She also has a huge dose of Hardboiled Detective. She is the peak of cynicism, drinks all the time...
  • Properly Paranoid: She knows what Kilgrave can do and his obsession with her so she assumes that everyone she meets is Kilgrave's puppet. She's often right.
  • Rape as Backstory: A major difference between her and her comic book counterpart is that Comic Jessica has stated several times that Kilgrave never raped her, but she feels no less violated than if he did. Here, she was a full-on Sex Slave for all the time she was with him.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The most prominent female example in the MCU.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jessica is the hot-headed and brash Red to Trish's and Luke's calmer and more sensible Blues.
  • Refusal of the Call: She walks out when Stick starts telling the heroes the plot. She soon finds out the Hand are watching John Raymond's family and this causes her to have a change of heart.
  • Related in the Adaptation: She's technically Trish's adopted sister and Dorothy's adopted daughter, though Dorothy makes it clear that she doesn't really consider Jessica to be part of her family.
  • Reluctant Hero: As much as she doesn't want to be a hero, she ends up getting involved anyway when they forced her hand or her conscience gets the better of her.
  • Required Secondary Powers:
    • She's a fair bit stronger than Luke Cage when push comes to shove - the problem is that unlike him, she doesn't have unbreakable skin and her Healing Factor is much less pronounced, so she actually can't physically afford to cut loose.
    • After she breaks her ribs, she's told to set them and keep still so that they don't mend incorrectly. She doesn't do either, and indeed gets into a savage fight, but seems to heal cleanly anyway. Her healing factor apparently takes that sort of thing into account.
    • While she's not able to take wounds like Luke, she still still has the bone durability and muscle strength to match her physical exertions, as demonstrated by her ability to singlehandedly hold up an entire elevator car in The Defenders.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: A tattered scarf, which even has the justification of the cold autumn setting. Matt even borrows it to cover his head when he needs an emergency mask.
  • Scars are Forever: In spite of her quick-healing abilities, she still retains a scar behind her ear from a wound Kilgrave forced her to inflict upon herself.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Her first reaction when Kilgrave shows up again is to try and get out of town.
    • She furiously runs out of the restaurant after Stick tells her to sit down and shut up.
  • Sherlock Scan: Jessica doesn't brag about it as most with this ability do, but she can case most situations in an instant and draw remarkably accurate conclusions. This becomes more evident from Episode 10 of season 2 onward; first via a Private Eye Monologue, then via an ongoing Dead Person Conversation with Kilgrave after her Accidental Murder of Dale.
  • Shoo the Dog: What she tries to do with everyone who tries to befriend her. It doesn't work, though, because if Kilgrave does show up, he's still likely to use anyone she knows to spy on her or play other horrible tricks.
  • The Snark Knight: She runs on disdain and sarcasm. Even in the show's Twitter.
  • Sole Survivor: Of IGH's experiments. Through out season 2 of her solo series, Jessica was learning about those affected by them, finding out her mother was an experiment of theirs as well. However, by season's end, Jessica is the only one still alive that was personally experimented on. However, she is still looking for those affected.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Jessica is sarcastic, gruff, and abrasive and tries to push people out of her life because on the inside, she's broken and hurt from her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Was one for Luke whom she was spying on for a considerable time and taking photos of him and the women he took to bed, claiming it was her job but clearly attracted to him.
  • Stepford Snarker: She is quite the Deadpan Snarker, but it is really quite obvious that her frequent quips are simply her way to cope with her trauma and the danger she constantly finds herself in.
  • The Stoic: Subverted. Jessica's numbed presence following her abuse at Kilgrave's hands, but it's clear this is mostly an act and she is an emotional human being.
  • Super Hero Origin: Jessica lost her family when their car crashed into a military vehicle. Said vehicle was carrying numerous chemicals. After spending months in a coma, Jessica eventually awakened and soon discovered she possessed Super Strength. Only that wasn't true and she was experimented on, the process granting her powers.
  • Super Speed: Her overall strength allows her to run at speeds superior to the average human. She was able to catch up to a car fairly easily, move across a street in a second or less to stop a car from hitting a little girl and stated she can run a mile in under four minutes. She effortlessly caught up to David Kurata down several flights of stairs and was quick enough to react to Whizzer running up behind her. She also surprised her anger management group by quickly killing a fly with both hands, and ran across her apartment to catch Vido Arocho before he could fall out of her window. She even caught up to a bus leaving for Montréal with Vido on board after his mother kidnapped him.
  • Super Strength: She possesses physical strength far beyond that of a regular human, especially notable regarding her size and muscle mass.
    • She was able to completely crush an alarm clock with her bare hands or throw a shoe into the ceiling hard enough to crack it, both times when she had tried to sleep off a hangover.
    • She could effortlessly lift the back of a slow-moving car, throw a gun through a wall, break metal chains, locks and hinges, bend metal bars and panels, smash through glass and marble with her fist and gently push down several metal cabinets like dominoes.
    • Even as a child, she was strong enough to break a bathroom sink off a wall by accident and then lift it over her head with one hand.
    • When angered, she's capable of easily punching through the hood of a car.
    • In combat, she can use her strength to easily overpower or rag doll humans, throw a person across a room or even send someone flying across a street with her full strength, the latter of which she did to kill Reva Connors via one strike to the chest.
    • To defend herself from Luke Cage, she ripped a door off of a police cruiser to block his attacks, and was strong enough to injure him by attacking his joints.
    • She was even strong enough to hold an elevator on her own during the escape from Midland Circle Financial with both Luke Cage and Danny Rand inside after the lift was sabotaged by Elektra.
    • Besides combat, she uses her superior strength to break door knobs and chains in order to enter places others are unable to.
    • She was also capable of uprooting a large gazebo with relative ease, as well as heavily dent the metal walls of a train car by punching it.
    • She was also capable of throwing Trish onto a rooftop across the street from the one she was standing on.
  • Super Toughness: She has durability far beyond that of a regular human, being able to resist multiple beatings with little to no visible injuries. This resilience also allows her to perform greater feats of strength without injuring herself, such as smashing a mirror with her fists or breaking a window with her elbow. However, she is still vulnerable to gunshots and explosions, though the former only mildly affects her unless she is shot in a vital area, as being grazed in the shoulder with Audrey Eastman only caused her brief pain.
    • She was able to survive being hit by a truck, which broke her ribs and caused one of them to possibly pierce her liver, and she later seemed weakened enough to be overpowered by Will Simpson while he was using Combat Enhancers. She was also slowed down by being repeatedly tasered by Kilgrave's guards when she first tried abducting him when Trish Walker was immediately knocked out by them.
    • Her bones and skin are also notable denser than a normal humans, which allows her to resist tasers and bullets, as well as punch the incredibly hard skin of Luke Cage without breaking her hand like most others, as well as punching the metal walls of a train car with no visible pain.
    • She was shot point blank in her leg by Jeri Hogarth and sustained no severe damage for the bullet didn’t fully make it too deeply through her.
    • When confronting with Trish, she ran towards her with a knife to stab her left hand but Jessica had resilience to the feeling of pain from it.
  • Survival Mantra: Whenever her PTSD is triggered, she repeats the names of the streets near where she grew up to center herself.
  • Survivor's Guilt: She has a lot of it, regarding the damage Kilgrave has and continues to cause, and the deaths of her parents and younger brother.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: For all that she thinks Kilgrave is a cruel, sadistic monster, she seems genuinely horrified to learn that his parents infected him with a virus in hopes of curing his neurodegenerative disease.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: Jessica frequently wears tank-tops when she's not wearing her black jacket, and is pretty decidedly unfeminine.
  • Tap on the Head: Seems to be her preferred method of dealing with obstacles or annoyances. Notably, later in the series, someone without superstrength tries to do this and ends up killing the person they were trying to disable.
  • Teen Hater: In the episode "Ain't We Got Fun", Jessica outright admits her opinion of teenagers being "self-absorbed little assholes".
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Aside from her visit to a hypnotherapist, Jessica adamantly refuses to see a therapist and casts scorn on the profession whenever the idea is posed, instead preferring to drink and fuck her sorrows away. It is implied that she had bad experiences with them in the past, but this is never elaborated upon.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Jessica wears 24/7 the leather jacket she acquired when she and Stirling Adams started their relationship.
  • Trauma Conga Line: She was arguing with her brother, which caused her father to lose his temper and turn around to snap at her while driving the family to a fun vacation, resulting in a car crash that killed the rest of her family. She was then subjected to medical experiments that gave her superhuman strength, durability, and healing, but at the cost of bouts of rage and night terrors. As a result, she took to unhealthy drinking to get through the day. Then she was kidnapped, raped, and forced to commit murder by a sociopath, giving her severe depression and PTSD. A year after that, we get to the first episode of the series.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Trish's Girly Girl. Jess is brash, crude, and very unfeminine in her mannerisms, whereas Trish comes across as much more prim in contrast. Jessica also frequently wears black clothing, contrasting with Trish's bright colored outfits.
  • Trauma Conga Line: To put it lightly, even before her first encounter with Kilgrave, Jessica's life has been rather rough: car crash, family death, abusive foster mother etc...
  • Underestimating Badassery: With her looks and surliness, people often don't realize until it's too late that she has Super Strength and is far more intelligent than she looks.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: In addition to her super powers and detective savvy, Jessica also is the only person to be so traumatized by Kilgrave ordering her to kill someone that she broke free of his control. Why she is the only person to do this, out of the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people whom he ordered to do terrible things, is not known. It could be a combination of her powers and the fact that she was around him for a long time as his favorite slave, or it could be something else. Maybe she's just so good a person that she could tolerate any amount of abuse to herself, but hurting someone else was too much.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Jessica is very self-centered and apathetic towards other people, and she goes to extreme measures to win. The former is forgivable, however, in that her self-centrism and apathy are what help her cope and survive; further, it's shown that she does care, and that fact gets exploited several times to hurt her. The latter, while slightly less defensible, is considerably less horrible than the alternative—at one point, this is lampshaded by an argument with Robyn, who flat out says that Jessica's methods will result in a trail of corpses, to which Jessica replies that it'll still be a smaller pile than Kilgrave leaves behind.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • Jess' punches are strong... and that's about it, because the form is next to non-existent and she telegraphs them from a mile away. Everything about her fighting is messy and generally uncoordinated, especially if you compare her to someone like Matt, Danny, or even Luke (former force recon). However, with her strength, it's not much of a problem unless she comes up against either someone as strong (like mind-controlled Luke), people who are armed or someone who can dodge decently (a member of the Hand). A sufficiently skilled Badass Normal such as Simpson can put up a decent fight against her, for a while anyway.
    • Of the Defenders, Jessica is the only one who isn't formally trained in some kind of martial art. All of their enemies and allies also know martial arts, which she very much gripes about when she's forced to disarm a Hand henchman staking out John Raymond's place.
    Jessica: Jesus, am I the only one left who doesn't know karate?!
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: She makes no real attempt to hide her powers, as simply not making a big deal of them is enough to get most people to ignore the idea of a "gifted" living among them rather than being a public figure like the big green guy or the flag waver. It helps that her powers are not particularly flashy. She even lampshades it once by saying people tend to ignore things they can't explain.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Zigzagged. On one hand, flashbacks to her early twenties show that she was markedly more upbeat and personal - she wasn't a people person by any means, but she was nowhere near as abrasive or hostile towards other people. On the other hand, if her mother's recollection is any indication, she was a sullen, ill-tempered, borderline asocial person even as a child, and had no friends and refused to make any.
  • Wakeup Makeup: She mostly already wakes up with smokey eyes and berry lipstick. Then again, Jessica usually doesn't fall asleep, but pass out.
  • Willfully Weak: It's strongly indicated that she's frequently holding back from what she can really do, as she's strong enough to hurl cars through buildings, lift entire elevator cars, leap across an entire train station, and defeat even Luke in hand to hand combat. Some of her strength feats put her closer to someone like Spider-Man. However, Jessica holds back, both consciously and subconsciously, usually only hitting people hard enough to throw them away from her but still leaving them alive. There's a good reason for this, as on the occasions where she hasn't held back, she has killed people in a single hit.
    • At one point in a flashback, she demonstrates to Trish that she could have easily supported herself in college using her super strength to just rip apart ATMs rather than relying on money from Trish's family. Then shortly afterward, she does start breaking into ATMs for money, and anything else she wants after she and Trish have a falling-out.
    • Later on, it's implied that one of the reasons why she tries to avoid using her full strength on others is because she thinks that resorting to violence isn't always the right answer, and she blames herself for Stirling's murder, thinking that because she beat up a loan shark who he owed money to, they killed him in retaliation. She's technically right, but Stirling was killed because Alisa caught him making a deal with said loan shark and his muscle to get Jessica to be muscle after Jessica beat the shark up, and Stirling was just bluffing to get them off his back.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • Kilgrave forced Jessica to do many things before she was able to break free from his control (and she was the only person to be able to do so). She broke free from his control when he forced her to hurt someone else. She could put up with any humiliation, but not with being a murderer.
    • Another example of this comes on the night Kilgrave meets and enslaves her; he asks her whether she enjoyed beating up a pair of thugs that were trying to mug Malcolm, and she says she did, because it had helped the victim and had made a difference. Since Kilgrave has ordered her to be truthful, this confirms that (unlike someone like Matt, who is himself not sure whether he plays a hero to give an outlet to his own sadistic impulses) she actually has the heart of The Idealist.
  • Worf Had the Flu: She is hit by a bus shortly before an empowered Simpson attacks her. Simpson himself states that if Jessica had been healthy, she probably would have won.
  • Working-Class Hero: She's a private investigator who has clients of all backgrounds, both rich and poor.
  • You Killed My Mother: Jessica's friendship with her adoptive sister Trish starts to deteriorate after the latter killed her mother.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: In Season 3, Jessica used this tactic during her final confrontation with Trish. After accusing her of being no different than the evil men she killed and becoming abusive and ruthless like her mother, Jessica challenges Trish to kill her to prove her right, hoping for a Heel Realization. She is shocked, however, when Trish tries to do just that, charging at her with a knife aimed at her heart. She blocks the attack with her hand, but the look of hurt and sadness on Jessica's face says it all before she knocks her out.

"Don't try to be a hero. It's a shitty job."