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Characters / Peter Pan

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Character index for all things based on (or inspired by) James M Barrie's Peter Pan.


Peter Pan

  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original stories and plays by J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan is one of The Fair Folk and comes off as a Sociopathic Hero - he doesn't show much concern for his "friends" and takes nightmarish pleasure in fighting pirates, due to not understanding the concept of death. Both the Disney version and the stage musical, understandably, left out this aspect of Peter. He's actually a lot less cruel in most adaptations.
  • Children Are Cruel: He often comes across as a Sociopathic Hero; he's utterly self-centered and often unthinkingly cruel, he often lacks empathy and he think's it's great fun when others are in mortal peril — but he's not malicious, he's just unaware of how cruel he's being.
  • Children Are Innocent: The story rather thoroughly explores both the positive and negative sides to never losing your childish innocence.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Pretty much every girl in the story adores him, though he can't quite work out what they want with him.
  • Crosscast Role: Often in theater, Peter is portrayed by a woman. However, in the Disney film, he is played by a boy.
  • Fair Folk: In the original stories and plays by J. M. Barrie, he is not human like the Lost Boys, which influences his amoral behavior. For instance, he doesn't understand why they want food so much because he can subsist on pretend food and so he thinks they're just complaining.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's not a nice person. He's bossy, selfish, self-centered, conceited, arrogant, unthinkingly cruel and often a lousy friend. But he's also brave, heroic, self-sacrificing and capable of great kindness. He is, in short, a little boy.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: The boy who never grows up also never grows old and so he continues having fun in Neverland.
  • Lonely at the Top: Explored briefly. While Peter is The Ace of Neverland, he doesn't have any true friends or family because he's a tyrant to the Lost Boys and outlives all his companions.
  • Never Grew Up: The Trope Namer. He is The Boy Who Never Grew Up. It is his sobriquet.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Has made all the Lost Boys promise to leave Hook to him.
  • Public Domain Character: Aside from the United Kingdom, where Great Ormond Street Hospital had the character donated to them by Barrie, the rights to Peter Pan are in the public domain.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Even as a baby, Peter would rather live his own life than the one his parents picked out for him. Ironically, in the movie Hook, he does end up fulfilling his mother’s wishes.
  • Static Character: An interesting variant, because he's essentially become one by his own design. He steadfastly refuses any kind of Character Development, learning from his mistakes or growing as a person, because that would be the same as growing up, which he absolutely will not do.

Tinker Bell

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The original Tink isn't exactly a paragon of virtues, though most adaptations, like the stage musical, tend to tone down her negative qualities, occasionally even removing her attempt on Wendy's life altogether.
  • Catchphrase: In the book, where she is described as uncouth and a bit of a "commoner," it's "You silly ass." She says this so many times that it's one of the first sentences in fairy language that Wendy learns to understand.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She plots to have Wendy killed, simply because of Wendy’s obvious attraction to Peter.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Prone to extreme jealousy, especially towards Wendy.
  • Fairy Companion: Trope Codifier if not Trope Maker.
  • The Fair Folk: As loyal as she is to Peter, Tink is still a fairy, and fairies have ugly reactions if they feel they've been slighted. Her rampant jealousy of Peter's significant other is a major conflict of the story.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: For most of the story she's an unrepentant Jerkass; she's selfish, haughty, jealous and a bit of an Ungrateful Bitch... and then she pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice to save Peter's life.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Shows signs of this when she tries to manipulates the Lost Boys into killing Wendy. She specifically targets Tootles because she knows he's the easiest to fool.
  • Mood-Swinger: The narrative explains it by claiming that because Tink is so very small, there's only room for one emotion in her at a time. So when she gets jealous she's consumed by jealousy, when she's happy she's ecstatic, and when she goes for the Heroic Sacrifice to save Peter, all she can feel is love for him.

The Lost Boys

  • Born Unlucky: Tootles. He misses out on more adventures than anyone else because they have a tendency to happen when he's just left the scene, and if something bad happens it generally happens to him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Again, Tootles, though Slightly also has traces of this.
  • Class Clown: Curly is treated as this in some adaptations, thanks to his (stated, but not really shown) tendency to get into mischief in the book.
  • The Dividual:
    • To some extent, the Lost Boys as a group can be said to have a Syndividual thing going on; they have their individual personalities, but it's as a group they're important, and most often they only appear as a group.
    • Subverted with the Twins. They are introduced as the Twindividual variety, don't have individual names, and some adaptations do have them as genuine Single-Minded Twins, but in both play and novel it's made clear pretty early on that they just pretend to be completely identical because Peter (who doesn't have a realistic view of what twins are) thinks that they should be. The play in particular directly states that "First Twin" is prouder than his brother, "intellectually the superior of the two", and the best dancer of the group.
      Second Twin: Slightly, I dreamt last night that the prince found Cinderella.
      First Twin: Twin, I think you ought not to have dreamt that, for I didn't, and Peter may say we oughtn't to dream differently, being twins, you know.
  • Fearless Fool: Nibs has traces of this; he's the only one who doesn't hide underground when the pirates show up and is happy to throw himself into danger.
  • The Fool: Tootles, something Tinker Bell tries to take advantage of. There's a bit of Dumb Is Good there as well, as Tootles is very clearly the kindest and most selfless of the Lost Boys.
  • Gender Bender: Tootles in Peter Pan in Scarlet, as a part of the books recurring and exaggerated "clothes make the man" theme — when the now adult Lost Boys become children again by dressing in their children's clothes, Tootles (who only has daughters) is forced to dress as a girl, and so he physically becomes a girl, and starts acting like a wannabe Princess Classic — and like Wendy, Tinker Bell and Tiger Lily before him/her, develops a crush on Peter and begins displaying traces of Hopeless Suitor.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Unlike Peter, they do eventually grow up (if we exclude the Disney version), and quickly discover it's not as much fun as they'd thought. Not played completely straight, though, as several of them actually turn out to have rather nice (if less adventurous) lives as adults.
  • Hidden Depths: Tootles, not surprisingly. He even grows up to be a judge.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Slightly; he's snooty and pompous but not a bad person.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Slightly thinks he remembers what it's like to be a normal boy and have parents. He's wrong.
  • Nice Guy: Tootles is the kindest and humblest of the Lost Boys. In Peter Pan in Scarlet, Slightly is the resident Nice Guy (Tootles having temporarily become a girl and a wannabe Princess Classic).
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Tootles and Slightly share this role, which is probably why they tend to get the most individual attention.

Wendy Darling

  • Ascended Fangirl: She was the biggest fan and The Storyteller of Peter Pan's adventures before actually meeting Peter and joining him in his adventures in Neverland. It's the reason Peter takes her to Neverland in the first place.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wendy is a huge fan of Peter Pan and was ecstatic about finally going to see Neverland. When she's there, she is a Butt-Monkey and not treated with respect by Peter.
  • Coming of Age: If one looks at Peter Pan closely, it's really about Wendy learning that an idealized life of eternal childhood may not be the one that she truly wants to live.
  • Cool Big Sis: To John and Michael, as she loves to tell them stories and is very kind to them. She is later this to the Lost Boys.
  • Damsel in Distress: Played up a little when she's captured by Hook along with the Lost Boys and she is momentarily "entranced" by him, to the point where she doesn't try to fight or cry for help.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: She spends the entire journey in her nightgown.
  • Team Mom: Takes on the role partly by choice and partly because she is begged to. She does said role so well that she's actually the one providing the page's picture... though it's subverted later in the story since she eventually has to admit that she is only a little girl and she isn't ready to be a mother yet.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: After flip-flopping between this and Growing Up Sucks, she eventually comes down on the side of wanting to grow up.

John Darling

  • Stuffy Brit: He tries so hard to pull this off, trying to be a proper stoic English gentleman. He... doesn't really manage, though at the end of the story, when we briefly see him as a grownup, it's more than hinted that he eventually succeeded to the point of becoming an immensely boring person.
  • Nice Hat: He travels to Neverland in only his sleepwear... and in an elegant top hat. The hat is eventually used as a chimney for the Wendy House, leaving him bareheaded for the rest of the story.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Along with Wendy and Michael, he spends his entire time in Neverland in his sleepwear. John usually wears a nightshirt.

Michael Darling

George Darling

  • The Atoner: In the latter part of the story, when his children have vanished, he is crushed and essentially banishes himself to the doghouse, moving into Nana's doghouse and refusing to move out until the kids are safely back. Ironically, this gives him a reputation in the London society as a charming eccentric, and Mary occasionally wonders if he really minds the doghouse as much as all that.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: A pretty mild example.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: George can often come across as overly unsympathetic, almost antagonistic, thanks to his pride and temper, but he does have a heart, and he does love his children very much.
  • Parents as People: Mostly noticeable with George, who is not a perfect father by any means, but does try.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blustery, temperamental Red Oni to Mary's calm, mild-mannered and soft-spoken Blue Oni.
  • Slave to PR: Somewhat justified in that he works at an office where advancement depends on good social standing.

Mary Darling


  • Adapted Out: From many adaptations, except for the telecasts of the musical, and a woman who may be a descendant of her appears in Hook.
  • Servile Snarker: She’s a maid and has quite a tongue.


  • Adaptation Species Change: Nana in the books was intended to be a Landseer, which is a relative of the Newfoundland. She's usually played by a St. Bernard in adaptations.
  • Big Friendly Dog: She's huge, but also hugely loving.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: She's smarter than the average dog, capable of doing almost all the things a human nursemaid would do.
  • Pantomime Animal: In stage productions, traditionally played by a human actor in costume.
  • Generation Xerox: In Peter Pan in Scarlet we meet her great-great-great-grandpuppy, simply called "the puppy," who even as a small puppy looks enough like Nana that Peter think it is Nana and that she's shrunk in the wash. (Unlike Nana, though, the puppy is noted as being a very poor nursemaid; it happily licks the children goodnight and lets them use it as a pillow, but doesn't bother at all to make sure they brush their teeth.)

Jane Darling

  • Constantly Curious: Her main character trait in the original novel; she's described as having an almost permanent "odd inquiring look, as if from the moment she arrived on the mainland she wanted to ask questions."
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In the book, she becomes this for Wendy as Peter's new "mother." She gets her own Suspiciously Similar Substitute in her daughter Margaret. Averted in the Disney version, though, where she's nothing like Wendy.

Captain Hook

  • Adaptational Comic Relief: Adaptations frequently make him a Large Ham. This applies to such adaptations as the Disney film, 1954 musical, and Dustin Hoffman's portrayal take (albeit with a more sinister edge).
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In the novel, the poison he carries is actually to allow him to commit suicide if captured. Using it on Peter is purely opportunistic.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the original play, he throws himself to the crocodile in despair when he finally realizes he can't defeat Peter. The book softens this to having him provoke Peter into showing "bad form" by kicking him overboard, without realizing that the crocodile is waiting below. Subsequent Lighter and Softer adaptations have moved even further away from this trope: for example, Disney's Hook accidentally falls overboard while trying to claw Peter in the back and is last seen swimming frantically away from the crocodile.
  • Child Hater: Though in his "dying speech", he seems to regret that "no little children love [him]."
  • Establishing Character Moment: His first scene in the book has a pirate accidentally ruffle his clothes. Hook promptly kills him for it, and lets the corpse just get tossed aside.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's often jovial or extravagantly courteous, but he keeps up the same attitude while making people walk the plank.
  • Hook Hand: The master of this trope. He directly tells Smee that he considers the hook superior to his normal hand, and that if he ever had children of his own, he'd pray for them to be born with hook hands as well.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Described in the book as "blue as forget-me-nots".
  • Not Quite Dead: In Peter Pan in Scarlet, it's revealed that Captain Hook survived being eaten by the crocodile and eventually managed to escape — but his stay in a crocodile's stomach had changed him beyond recognition, and he became Ravello the circus man.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Hook in the original play/novel seems like an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain until he orchestrates a mass murder of the Indians.
  • Shadow Archetype: It's tradition for theatrical performances and adaptations to cast the same actor to play both George Darling and Captain Hook, the implication being that Hook represents what the Darling children see George as: a well-dressed man that poses a threat to their childhood. Whereas George is at least looking out for the best interests of his children, Hook maliciously scours symbols of childhood for his own selfish desire.
  • Wicked Cultured: An evil, bloodthirsty pirate he may be, but he's also a refined, well-schooled gentleman who places a huge value on "good form".

Tiger Lily

  • Runaway Bride: Implied in the book. She's described as very beautiful and coquettish (someone who flirts insincerely), and that there is not a brave in her tribe who would not gladly marry her, but she tends to chop the wedding alter to splinters with a hatchet.



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