Follow TV Tropes


Characters / NUMB3RS

Go To

    open/close all folders 

The Eppes Family

    Special Agent Don Eppes 

Donald "Don" Don Eppes

Played by: Rob Morrow
One of the main characters of the show, Donald Eppes often had difficulty growing up with a prodigy of a young brother. After graduation, he would go to play for the minor leagues before going into the police and making his way to the FBI. A chance encounter with his brother would start the two working together on various cases while assembling a team.

Don's growth has him dealing with his choices and consequences, alongside his future plans and his occasional problems of commitment. One such incident was the end of season 2, where he went to some pretty big depths to solve the case and rescue Megan, but it lands him in trouble with his superiors and the rammifications are felt, even up to the Season 5. Additionally, he ends up having to go see a therapist to deal with his approach to violence.

The later seasons have him explore his family's Jewish roots and even going to temple (on some indirect advice from said therapist.) Additionally, he undergoes a midlife crisis as a result of a near-death experience He eventually takes on a higher position and finally proposes to his girlfriend, Robin, a prosecutor.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Is often referred to as "Donnie" by Alan.
  • Always Gets His Man
  • Amicable Exes: With Liz Warner, after their relationship ends in season four.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Don has always been protective of Charlie, even back when they weren't on the best terms as kids. As such, when antagonists in particular target his brother, he goes on the offensive.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To his brother, Charlie, and to David, to a lesser extent.
  • Brains and Brawn: He's the badass FBI agent to his math professor brother, what'd you expect?
  • By-the-Book Cop/Cowboy Cop: He straddles the line between these two roles, which have consequences down the line though he himself admits that it's hard to tell because of different the cases are. On the one hand, he gets into some serious trouble by his superiors when he has a suspect physically beaten to get information out of it when his girlfriend kidnapped Megan in the Season 2 finale and Season 3 premiere. On the other hand, in Season 5 he also reports the veteran agent when he learns he lied and exaggerated about the figures and crime connections of their target in order to "get the job done" while also that it was personal, given said criminal targeted his sister. Despite the implications that said veteran may've used his influence and prestige to assist in Charlie being reinstated to get him to help. The one investigating him eventually asks him "what side of the line he's on," (referring to on the matters of following protocol vs doing what it takes to get the job done).
    Don: I wish I could tell you, if the line stopped moving around so much.
  • Chick Magnet: Seriously, the guy has had at least five girlfriends.
  • Fair Cop: FBI and quite a looker.
  • FBI Agent: Lead agent of the unit.
  • Gracefully Demoted: In Don's backstory, he was the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Field Office in Albuquerque but took a demotion when his mother got sick from cancer and returned to LA.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Is this to some extent to Charlie.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: When one guy went after Charlie, Don walked right into his office and told him right to his face that he would take him down hard for going after his brother.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Is portrayed as this when he falls for Robin.
  • The Leader: Head of the unit.
  • Oral Fixation: He has a tendency to chew gun when he is getting keyed up in the climax, like waiting for a suspect to show up.
  • Papa Wolf: Threatening his family, team or associates is a good way to make Don pissed at you. Exploited in an episode. The Russian mob intentionally went after his brother and team as an elaborate distraction from their scam.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Textbook example, as he will give a talking to his teammates if he thinks they need and he let Colby back when he turned out to be a Fake Defector. If he starts shutting down his team, it means he is in a bad place mentally.
  • Sibling Team: The premise of the show is he's this with Charlie.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: He and his brother Charlie, referring to their approach in instinct and logic though it's a bit downplayed.
  • The Stoic: Don has a tendency to be a stone wall with his emotions. His girlfriend actually lampshades him doing this.
  • Team Dad: To be expected as the head of his unit. He looks out for them. And endangering them is a pretty good way to really piss him off. Also mildly deconstructed since this with his temper lands him in hot water regarding the use of questionable tactics to get information.
  • The Un-Favourite: Not intentionally, but due to being a math child prodigy, Charlie required a lot more of their parents' attention when they grew up. Alan has some guilt about it and Don initially has some resentment, but they get over it.
  • Working with the Ex:
    • In the first season, he worked with Terry Lake, who he dated in their academy days
    • After their relationship ends, with Liz Warner.

    Prof. Charlie Eppes 

Charlie Eppes

Played by: David Krumholtz

The younger Eppes brother, he is considered something of a celebrity in the academic field for his impressive mathematical skills at a very young age, being a kid when he entered and graduated university. Now a celebrated professor, he ends up in a unique career spin when he becomes involved in the FBI with assisting his brother.

Charlie was arguably closer to his mother, as she was the one who went with him to university and he and the family work to handle their loss. Additionally, Charlie grows as he ends up in scuffles and having to define his life beyond the classroom. This includes moving on from his then magnum opus The Eppes Convergence, when his frenemy ends up pointing out the holes and becoming more used to the FBI life. He also deals with entering into a relationship with Anita along with the changes of his mentor, Larry. He goes to his next big study, in the emergance of cognition from brain development while also becoming a successful author in a book applying Game Theory to dating. However, he does up in serious trouble when an acquaintance of his gets involved in national security and the debacle has Charlie losing his FBI clearance though Don predicts it may have also been correlated to Don's own behavioral problems.

He ends up marrying Amita and the two of them eventually would take a teaching job in Cambridge.

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Not to the extent of Larry, but he has his moments. Downplayed otherwise since he connects well with his students.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Don refers to him as "Buddy" from time to time.
    • Colby often calls him "Whiz Kid".
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: He is younger than Don by 5 years. Apparently, Charlie's gifted mind meant he required more attention and he and Don weren't that close as kids. Granted the only fight we know tht happened was when Don asked out Charlie's lab partner, whom the latter crushed on, to prom which resulted in a wrestling match in the front lawn.
  • Badass Bookworm: Post-Character Development. He has become better able to deal with hostile situations and learns how to shoot quite well in fact.
  • Brains and Brawn: He's a college professor who works his brother, the FBI agent.
  • Brainy Brunette: Dark brown curly hair? Check. Mathematical genius, check.
  • Defective Detective: Charlie, a mathematical genius who uses his talents to help his FBI agent brother solve crimes, has emotional difficulties to the point that he locks himself in the garage to work on unsolvable problems when he can't deal with life. However, he overcomes this early on.
  • Expert Consultant: A math genius who consults for the FBI when they come across a difficult crime to solve.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: He's quite approachable and a gentleman, no doubt to being raised well by his parents.
  • Good with Numbers: Up to Eleven. He went to university at 13 and mathematics remains to be his strongest passion.
  • Hollywood Nerd
  • Insufferable Genius: He can be this at times, especially when confronted by a rival.
  • Interdisciplinary Sleuth
  • Jewish and Nerdy: Downplayed. While quite nerdy, he doesn't think much on his Jewish background. Becomes more noticeable when Don takes a greater interest in Judaism in later seasons.
  • More than Just a Teacher: Teaches math at the California Institute of Science, and is secretly a former CIA employee.
  • Non-Action Guy: While he does later learn to shoot firearms, he is still primarily best when at the brains.
  • The Professor: Professor Charles Eppes thank you very much.
  • Quirky Curls: Amita certainly likes them.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:Is this to his students.
  • Shorter Means Smarter
  • The Scully: Reacts this way to psychics in contrast to the more open minded Larry.
  • The Smart Guy: To pretty much the whole team in general.
  • Smart People Play Chess: To the point that the only chance that most people have at beating him is for two people to play him at once while also distracting him.
  • The Storyteller: Charlie teaches math with stories.
  • The Strategist: Charlie would probably qualify with his ability to mathematically predict the moves of evildoers.

    Alan Eppes 

Alan Eppes

Played by: Judd Hirsch

  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Tends to be this at times, although not as bad as some examples.
  • Good Parents: He does an admirable job in raising his sons to be honest and good men and he still looks out for them with advice and assistance. No wonder Charlie and Don turned up as well as they did.
  • I Want Grandkids: Alan takes the proactive approach, giving solid relationship advice to Don and Charlie.
  • Team Dad: Not just to his sons, but to their co-workers as well, serving as an impromptu father figure. He also serves something of an older brother figure to Charlie's mentor Larry.
    Alan: I'm going to give you the same advice I give to all the geniuses I know.
    Larry: And that is?
    Alan: Don't be an idiot.
    Larry: Ah. (nodding).

    Margaret (Nee Mann) Eppes 

Margaret Eppes

Played by: JoBeth Williams ("''Hot Shot")
The deceased wife of Alan Eppes and mother of Don and Charlie.


Violent Crimes Squad

    Special Agent David Sinclair 

David Sinclair

Played by: Alimi Ballard

  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Although not technically a leader, he is Don's second-in-command.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Don describes him as this in one episode, and his own actions throughout the series generally support this assertion.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He grew in a rough neighborhood with troubled family members. He once described having to dodge gangs to graduate high school.
  • FBI Agent: Don's second-in-command.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Colby. The two are often seen side by side one another when investigating and David took it the hardest with Colby supposedly being a double agent, later revealed to be a triple agent.
  • The Lancer: He's Don's right-hand man and the one people listen to when Don's not around. Fittingly, he takes Don's position when Don ends up moving on into a different role.

    Special Agent Colby Granger 

Colby Granger

Played by: Dylan Bruno

  • The Big Guy
  • Cold Sniper: Of course, all the FBI agents have to be this to a degree, but somehow Colby ends up having to shoot criminals more often than the others.
  • Deadpan Snarker" Colby does has his moments.
  • Fake Defector: Colby turns out to have been a triple agent for several years. This causes a fair bit of drama and angst, since the rest of the cast find out about the "defector" part well before they find out about the "fake".
  • FBI Agent: Part of Don's unit.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With David.
  • Hidden Depths: Is fluent in Spanish, which comes in handy when the team investigates the case of missing Spanish girls.
  • The Mole: See "Fake Defector".

    Special Agent Megan Reeves 

Megan Reeves

Played by: Diane Farr

  • Action Girl: The most frequent female team member we see in the action and she isn't afraid to kick ass when need to.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Likes to snark a lot, especially with Colby.
  • FBI Agent: Part of Don's unit.
  • Former Teen Rebel: As revealed when she was kidnapped, she used to be a fair bit wild when she was younger. It's implied this played a role in her choice to leave the FBI to counsel women in prison.
  • Lady of War
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Dates Larry, to everyone's surprise.
  • Opposites Attract: Philosophical and dorky Larry is mutually attracted and has a relationship with practical and analytical profiler, Megan. Very much lampshaded how odd the couple are.
  • Parental Issues: Has a serious problem with her dad that resurfaces every now and again.
  • Put on a Bus: She ends up leaving the FBI to become a counselor to women in prison at the end of Season 4. Also has shades of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome since she and Larry talked about having a long distance relationship but she's never mentioned again while Larry occasionally dates other women.
  • The Profiler: She is the one who psychoanalyzes their suspects and trying to figure out their motives.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: According to her, she was her father's "last attempt to get a son."

    Special Agent Liz Warner 

Liz Warner
Played by: Aya Sumika


    Special Agent Nikki Betancourt 

Nikki Betancourt
Played by: Sophina Brown

The "new girl" that joins the team in Season 5 fresh from Quantico after 4 years on the beat for LAPD.

  • Action Girl: Takes Megan's role of this starting in Season 5.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often manages to outsnark Colby with David being her usual target.
  • FBI Agent: Part of Don's unit in season five-six.

    Terry Lake 

Terry Lake
Played by: Sabrina Lloyd

The team's profiler for season 1 before moving back to Washington in the interlude between season 1 and 2 to try again with her ex-husband.

  • FBI Agent: Member of Don's unit in season one.
  • The Profiler: She would often create a psychological profile of the criminals, most notably in the Pilot episode.
  • Put on a Bus: Only appears in the first season. Her role as the team profiler was taken over by Megan during Seasons 2 through 4.
  • Working with the Ex: She and Don dated during their academy days and work together during the first season.

California Institute of Science

    Prof. Larry Fleinhardt 

Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol)

Charlie's best friend and colleague, Larry is an eccentric physics professor who often helps Charlie with his projects.

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Oh yes. He's a very quirky person and has a tendency to be philosophical, which makes him amusing to the eyes of his students.
  • Berserk Button: Somewhat downplayed; The episode "Atomic No.33" has the team deal with a cult; their regards to faith-healing and disregard to medicine and science makes him angry, albeit in a subdued manner. Still, this is probably one of the angriest we've seen him.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A very bright and valuable man; he even went into space once. However, he also sold his home out of not wanting to constrain himself and once had a diet of only white foods, among other quirks, such as staying in bathtubs for a long time (which is related to the home thing).
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He comes off as this at times, due to his selling his home, that time he ate only white foods, long periods in bathtubs and his eccentric philsophical nature in general. Charlie and the others help keep him down to earth.
  • The Gambling Addict: A former one, and his experience comes in handy when a prior colleague of his does the same scheme they did when they were younger — card-counting.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: While he be may an eccentric, he is still quite the gentleman and a very knowledgable physicist.
  • The Lancer: To Charlie when it comes to the folks of CalSci.
  • Like a Son to Me: It becomes increasingly evident that Larry views Charlie as this and when Larry went off on a sabbatical, he entrusted his work to Charlie in a way a father would to his son. Charlie in return very much looks up to Larry.
  • Opposites Attract: Philosophical and dorky Larry is mutually attracted and has a relationship with practical and analytical profiler, Megan Reeves. Very much lampshaded how odd the couple are.
  • Parental Issues: Not to the extent of Megan, but he had problems with his father wanting him to become an artist.
  • Picky Eater: For awhile, he ate nothing but white food as part of an experiment.
  • Put On A Space Shuttle/The Space Shuttle Came Back: Left in "Brutus" for doing research on the ISS. Landed safely in the "The Art of Reckoning".
  • The Professor: A physics professor at CalSci and he was Charlie's professor back when he was a student.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Part of what makes him come off as an eccentric professor, remiscent of the stereotypical kind.
  • Smart People Play Chess: He often plays chess with Alan. He becomes much better at it when he returns from his sabbatical.
  • The Spock: Downplayed. While Larry can show joy and sadness, he is often in a state of logical calmness and relies on logic and rationale. He's also not that good with dealing with passion and emotional uncertainty, which was examined in his budding relationship with Megan.

    Prof. Amita Ramanujan 

Amita Ramanujan (Navi Rawat)

A computer whiz at CalSci, Amita often helps Charlie in building computer programs to run his mathematical models.

  • Arranged Marriage: Amita was in one and knew the guy as a good friend since she was young. Her parents invited him back to try and win Amita over and she does greet him warmly. When Charlie voices his concerns though, she explains that he is gay. However, when Charlie asks her if her parents knew he was gay, to which she replies in the negative, she realizes what her parents attempted to do.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Of Indian descent and a computer genius.
  • Brainy Brunette: Has long dark hair, and is very smart.
  • The Chick: Probably the most kind and feminine character in the show.
  • Gamer Chick: As revealed in the episode "Primacy". Even when she was supposed to lose, her gaming reflexes kicked in and she won anyway.
  • Hot Scientist: A very attractive mathematician.
  • Lady and a Scholar
  • Lady of War: Mostly "Primacy", but she shows elements of this in other episodes as well, most notably during her abduction in "Angels and Devils".
  • Parental Abandonment: Not quite, but Amita's parents are always too busy to visit her.

    Dr. Mildred "Millie" Finch 

Dr. Millie Finch (Kathy Najimy)

    Oswald Kittner 

Oswald Kittner (Jay Baruchel)

    Ray Galuski 

Ray Galuski (Chris Bauer)

  • Genius Bruiser: A husky Cal-Scie professor and baseball fan whose a great mechanical engineer.

    Otto Banhoff 

Otto Bahnhof (John Cariani)

Cal Sci's Plasma Physics and technology expert.

    Russell Lazlo 

Russell Lazlo (Tony Hale)

Calsci's geneticist.

Federal Bureau of Investigations - Other Agents and employees

    Assistant Director Walt Merrick 

Walt Merrick (Anthony Heald)

Don's boss who appeared in the first episode.

    Special Agent Ian Edgerton 

Ian Edgerton (Lou Diamond Phillips)

An FBI sniper who often assists the team in dealing with particularly dangerous criminals.
  • Anti-Hero: Out of the FBI, Ian's the one most willing to use extreme means to complete his task, most apparent during "Ultimatum", and shows no hesitation in killing. He's still an overall a good guy, though.
  • Cold Sniper: You bet it! It sort of comes with being the fifth?.. Fourth?.. Third best sniper in the country. He lives up to the reputation, too. If he's in an episode, he'll usually outshine the agents by being the one to take out the criminal of the week.

    Agent Billy Cooper 

Agent Billy Cooper (Max Martini)

An agent Don worked with when he was in fugitive recovery.

  • Fair Cop: He's a somewhat handsome field agent.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's introduced as being used to his own methods and surprised by Charlie but there's no real conflict between them and he appreciates Charlie's information.

    Agent Tim King 

Agent Tim King (Chris Bruno)

    Agent Roger Bloom 

Agent Roger Bloom (Henry Winkler)

  • Caper Rationalization: He steals money to frame a man he wants the recourses to pursue more ruthlessly, but only hid the money to give back afterwards
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: He goes out of his way to frame a man who cheated his sister of a small sum.
  • Living Legend: He's a decades long agent whose worked some very big and important cases.
  • Redemption Quest: His second and third episodes have him being an asset to the team after using them for a personal vendetta in his first.

    Matt Li 

Matt Li (Matthew Yang King)

One of the technicians.
  • Almighty Janitor: Mainly in the episode "Disturbed" where despite his technician status he's the first one to believe Charlie's theories about a serial killer not sticking to average methodologies (being aware of a past killer who did that) and giving Charlie information to help him
  • Mauve Shirt: Matt appears across the series (from the second episode to the finale) but takes a while to be named and tends to only get two three minutes of screen time to an episode.

    Dr. William Bradford 

Dr. William Bradford (Wendell Pierce)

An FBI therapist who treats Don, beginning in season three after the Crystal Hoyle incident.
  • The Shrink: Bradford is a patient, insightful man who helps Don realize a lot about his own psyche.

    Claudia Gomez 

Claudia Gomez (Lauren Velez)

Los Angeles Police Department & District Attorney's Office

    Robin Brooks 

Robin Brooks (Michelle Nolden)

An attorney who develops a relationship with Don.

    Lt. Gary Walker 

Lt. Gary Walker (Will Patton)


    Dr. Karen Fisher 

Dr. Karen Fisher (Jennifer Westfeldt)

    Simon Kraft 

Simon Kraft (John Glover)

A supposed psychic Charlie butts heads with.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Simon does have a talent for showing up at the right place or ferreting out information but there is a simple explanation for most of his stuff.
  • Skewed Priorities: In his second episode he's filming a show about himself and cares more about getting footage than intervening with a crime, which leads to his Surprisingly Sudden Death.

    Daniel Shay 

Daniel Shay (Josh Eriksson)

A little boy who Don takes in after his mother is killed.

    Marshall Penfield 

Marshall Penfield (Colin Hanks)

  • The Rival: He's a fellow talents prodigy with Charlie and they sometimes try to best each other.


    Roland Haldane 

Roland Haldane

Played by William O'Leary
A Serial Rapist responsible for several attacks that Don and his team are investigating, and the show's first villain.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Likes to brand his victims.
  • Killed Off for Real: He is shot by Don when the attempted arrest turns violent.
  • Serial Rapist: Rapes more than a dozen women before he's stopped.
  • Serial Killer: He isn't technically one, since he only manages to kill two of his victims, but he was well on his way.
  • Small Name Big Impact: He's only in one episode, and has two or three lines of dialogue, but his crimes are what inspire Don and Charlie to begin teaming up on cases.

    Dr. Clarence Weaver 

Dr. Clarence Weaver

Played by: J. K. Simmons

    Scott Reynolds 

Scott Reynolds

    Timothy McDowd 


Played by: Kevin Fry

    Crystal Hoyle 

Crystal Hoyle

Played by: Kim Dickens

    Buck Winters 

Buck Winters

Played by: David Gallagher

    Dwayne Carter 

Dwayne Carter

Played by: Shawn Hatosy

    Abner Stone 

Abner Stone

Played by: W. Earl Brown

    Mason Lancer 

Mason Lancer

Played by Val Kilmer
  • Big Bad: appears in one episode but he becomes this when he tortures Colby.
  • Character Death: Dies in Trust Metric by Carter in an effort to save Colby.

    Slobodan Radovic 

Slobodan Radovic

Played by Michael Khmurov
An Eastern European war criminal who nearly kills Don after stabbing him in the chest.

    Robert Posdner 

Robert Posdner

Played by Brian Howe

Other Love interests

    Susan Berry 

Susan Berry (Sonya Walger)

    Nadine Hodges 

Nadine Hodges (Sarah Carter)

  • An attorney who appeared in season two.

  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Appears in several episodes and was seen as a possible love interest for Don but she disappears and is never mentioned again.