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The Main Cast
- Played by: Sierra Capri
- But Not Too Black: Monse is biracial and suspects that her mother left because she couldn't handle having a half-black child.
- Missing Mom: Her mother abandoned her when she was little. She later finds out that Julia, a wealthy woman who lives in Brentwood, is her biological mother.
- She's All Grown Up: When she returns home after writing camp, several people remark that her breasts are larger.
- Slut-Shaming: She worries what will happen to her reputation if word gets out that she slept with Cesar.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Olivia and Jasmine's Girly Girl. Monse has such little feminine influence in her life that she once went to a school dance in a hoodie and jeans.
Ruby Martinez, Jr.
Ruben "Ruby" Martinez, Jr.
- Played by: Jason Genao
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Subverted. His older brother Mario admits he used to feel this way, but now sees that Ruby was actually a pretty great kid and wishes he had been nicer to him.
- Big Brother Worship: When he was little he idealized Mario. Though Ruby's more aware of Mario's shortcomings now, they're still close.
- Embarrassing Nickname: He tries (in vain) to get people to call him by his full name because "Ruby" sounds like a girl's name.
- Odd Friendship: With Oscar, briefly, in season 2.
- The Perfectionist: When planning Olivia's quinceañera and Mario's baby shower.
- Survivor's Guilt: Over the fact that he survived being shot by Latrelle, but Olivia didn't. He blames himself for her death because he's the one who insisted on having a big, fancy party for her quinceañera, but Cesar tells him that none of it was his fault.
- Trauma Button: Sudden loud noises, like the fireworks going off on New Year's Eve, cause him to relive the night he and Olivia were shot.
Cesar "Lil Spooky" Diaz
- Played by: Diego Tinoco
- Important Haircut: Oscar shaves off Cesar's hair after he supposedly kills Latrelle, marking him as an official Santo.
- In the Blood: His whole family has been in the Santos, so he believes he'll inevitably join the gang, even though he doesn't want to.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother is neglectful and his father isn't in his life. He was raised by his older brother, Oscar.
- Thou Shall Not Kill: Cesar is reluctant to kill Latrelle, a member of a rival gang, and that causes him a lot of problems.
- Played by: Brett Grey
- Cloudcuckoolander: Jamal's fixation with finding the RollerWorld money, eccentric behavior, and tendency toward melodrama qualify him as this. Even his father admits he's pretty weird.
- Crazy-Prepared: When setting a "Country" and "City" Go-Bag for Caesar, he includes water purification pills, jerky, snacks, and a small Confederate flag to the chagrin of Ruby, Jamal (a black teenage boy) states that if he ever been to the country, he would know why flag was necessary.
- Determinator: That's no extreme he won't go to in order to find the RollerWorld money.
- Loose Lips: Jamal is terrible at keeping secrets, but not from lack of effort.
- Playing Sick: He quits the football team without telling his parents and pretends to have various injuries to explain why he isn't on the field.
- Played by: Ronni Hawk
- Adult Fear: Throughout season 1 she struggles with the fact that her parents were deported. In the season 1 finale, she gets shot in front of her friends and guardians, eventually dying not long afterwards.
- Berserk Button: Racist taunting of her community from rich white kids.
- Death of a Child: She was shot and killed on her fifteenth birthday.
- The Lost Lenore: Olivia and Ruby had a Relationship Upgrade right before she was killed, and he's traumatized from losing her.
- Nice Girl: She is very sweet and open, even allowing Jasmine to hang out with her and Monse because "everyone deserves a second chance".
- Pink Is Feminine: Her quinceañera dress has pink embroidered blossoms.
- Sixth Ranger: Monse, Ruby, Jamal, and Cesar had already been friends for years before Olivia joined their group.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Monse's Tomboy. Compared to Monse, Olivia is always very femininely styled.
- Played by: Jessica Marie Garcia
- Abhorrent Admirer: At the start of season 1, she's completely infatuated with Ruby even though he wants nothing to do with her. They eventually become friends in season 2 after Jasmine gets over her romantic feelings and Ruby starts to appreciate her more as a person.
- Daddy's Girl: Jasmine is revealed to be very close to her severely disabled father, entertaining him and even taking care of his needs. It's implied that he was either in an accident or had a condition that impaired most of his faculties and it had affected her.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Due to the fact that she's loud, extroverted, and at times crude, the main characters only hand out with her when they can't get rid of her. However, in season 2 this develops into a genuine friendship.
- Hidden Depths: She's revealed to have a severely disabled father that she takes very good care of. She said that she chooses to be happy because no matter how messed up things can be, the only thing she can control is herself.
- Sixth Ranger: Though she already knew everyone except Olivia when the first season began, she only occasionally played this role until season 2.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Monse's Tomboy. She critiques Monse for not playing up her femininity; though interestingly, Jasmine is loud and extroverted to the point of vulgarity while Monse is more quiet and thoughtful.
The Finnie Family
- Played by: Reggie Austin
- Defector from Decadence: He was raised in the world of the Prophets, but left that world as soon as "crack came in and the 'S' changed to a dollar sign".
- Good Parents: He's patient while Monse, but sets reasonable boundaries to ensure that she's safe. Although he doesn't like Julia, he lets Monse stay with her so she can get to know her mother and be in a safe environment.
Julia Whitman née Selena
- Played by: Lisa Marcos
- Internalized Categorism: Implied. She's from Free Ridge and is implied to be Latina, but she made every effort to scrub away her past. That includes leaving behind her daughter and changing her name. She moved to Brentwood, married a white man, and appears to only have white friends. When she briefly has Monse come live with her, the first thing Julia does is straighten Monse's hair.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: She and Monse started getting to know each other after Monse began babysitting for her. Then Julia confessed to being Monse's mother.
- Missing Mom: She abandoned Monse as toddler, though she eventually came to regret it.
- Nice Guy: Julia's husband immediately accepts Monse as his stepdaughter and tells her he's glad to have her around.
The Martinez Family
- Adult Fear: She had to see her son and friend's daughter bleed from mortal wounds, only to wait for her son to come out of a coma and lose the girl.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Applied between her and Jasmine, a teenager, when they gang up on Cesar over Amber.
- My Beloved Smother: Very much so, often riding Ruby's back, when she referred to Mario's incoming supposed baby as "half mine" Ruby calls her out for how questionable it sounds and she has a hard time when Ruby tells her that he doesn't feel like God exists at this point.
- Mum Looks Like a Sister: She looks a bit young to be the mother of a college freshman and high school freshman, both of whom are the eldest of her four children.
- Parents as People: Her coldness toward Cesar in season 2 is due to fear that his gang affiliations will bring danger to her family. Understandable considering his rivalry with Latrelle already left Olivia dead and Ruby wounded (physically and mentally).
Ruben Martinez, Sr.
Ruben Martinez, Sr.
- Played by: Eric Neil Gutierrez
- Played by: Peggy Blow
- Cool Old Lady: She smokes marijuana, eagerly helps Jamal search for RollerWorld, and helps the kids in their various misadventures. After Olivia dies she helps Ruby get high so he can let off a little steam.
- I Was Quite a Looker: When asked how she knows about "Pimp Lane", an alley where people go to make out or have sex, she cheekily reminds the kids that she wasn't always old.
- Played by: Danny Ramirez
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Subverted. He used to feel this way about Ruby, but now admits he thinks Ruby is awesome and wants Ruby to do better in life than he did.
- Big Brother Mentor: Before leaving for college, he gives Ruby, Monse, Jamal, and Cesar advice on how to survive high school.
- Tragic Dropout: After finding out his girlfriend is pregnant, he has to drop out of school to help raise the baby and they move in with his parents. When the baby is actually born, it's clear to everyone that Mario isn't the father.
Louis and Louisa
The Turner Family
- Played by: Eme Ikwuakor
- Played by: Raushanah Simmons
Free Ridge High School
- Played by: Rob Murat
Free Ridge Residents And Other Characters
Oscar "Spooky" Diaz
- Played by: Julio Marcias
- Big Brother Instinct: Subverted. He loves Cesar more than anything, but he believes that if he always steps in protect him, it'll leave Cesar weak. He even kicks Cesar out to pacify the Prophets after Cesar accidentally started a gang war; though Oscar did team up with Cesar to take down the Prophets and welcomed Cesar back home at the first chance he got.
- The Chessmaster: He comes up with plan to get a great number of Prophets, included Latrelle, arrested, thereby effectively naturalizing the gang and ending the war, and its goes off without a hitch.
- The Dreaded: He's a high-ranking member of Los Santos and everyone in the neighborhood is terrified of him.
- Hidden Depths: Oscar used to be a straight-A student and spelling bee champion who was adored by all his teachers. Instead of continuing his education, he stayed behind take care of Cesar. Additionally, he's a fantastic chef.
- Odd Friendship: Briefly forms a friendship with Ruby in season 2.
- Promotion to Parent: He had to raise his younger brother because their mother was neglectful and their father wasn't around.
- Played by: Jahkink Guillory
- Arch-Enemy: He's a member of the Santos' biggest enemy, the Prophets, and he's out for Cesar's blood specifically. He's so determined to kill Cesar that he attacks Olivia's quinceañera, killing her and wounding Ruby in the process.
- Dirty Coward: He first threatens Cesar, then when Cesar tries to corner him he starts to beg for his life, and after Cesar lets him off free Latrelle shoots at Olivia and Rudy and is still after Cesar.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Cesar lets him off free and alive and as a thanks he still threatens Cesar and even shoots at Cesar's two friends, killing one of them.
- Would Hit a Girl: He murders Olivia at her own quinceañera.
- Played by: Angela Elayne Gibbs
- Played by: Chivo Ramirez
- Cloudcuckoolander: He has a huge collection of miniature garden gnomes that he believes are alive and can talk to him. When Jamal smashes one, he has a stroke. He also sets up a wild goose chase for anyone trying to find Roller World- not to throw them off the trail, but because he thought they'd have fun solving the puzzle.
- Played by: Kendra Michelle Marquez
- Betty and Veronica: Played with, outwardly she appears to be a Veronica what with her savvy demeanor and how familiar she is with the Santos and her on-again off-again relationship with Mario when they were in high school; when Mario comes back with the pregnant Amber and Angelica makes out with her, she goes from the hometown Betty to a Veronica, she is not pleased to hear that he has a girlfriend.
- Relationship Revolving Door: It appears that she and Mario went out in high school and that they would break up a lot, she makes out with him at a party with the Santos after he comes back, and smacks him when she hears that he has a pregnant girlfriend.
- Played by: Shoshana Bush
- Betty and Veronica: Played with, she is not from the neighborhood (traits of a Veronica) for sure but she is naive, sweet, simple-minded (traits of a Betty) girl from an outside racial group in contrast to the savvier, Free Ridge resident Angelica (the Betty).
- Brainless Beauty: She doesn't come across as particularly bright.
- Dumb Blonde: Vapid, blonde, and her lack of intellect grates on the Martinez family.
- Has a Type: She fell for the Latino Mario and mentioned having a Black boyfriend in high school, it is likely she has a thing for men of color.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: Amber is white and dating Mario, who's Latino. She goes so far in trying to convince his family and friends she's not racist that it actually makes them all uncomfortable.
- Amber: And as a beneficiary of white privilege, these kinds of tragedies are, like, foreign to me. So, on behalf of my people, I'm sorry for keeping your people down.Monse: (whispering) Is she for real?