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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.

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Characters from adaptations

Book characters

    Peter Pan 
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original stories and plays by J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan was raised by 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 having no concept of his or others' mortality. Most versions leave out this aspect of Peter.
  • Age Lift: A lot of adaptations tend to age him up a couple of years. While Peter in the play and book is of a Vague Age, the book at least makes it clear that he is young enough to still have all his baby teeth. Adaptations tend to have him around 12-13, often with his voice already broken.
  • 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: In theater, Peter is traditionally portrayed by a woman. However, in movie adaptations, especially the more modern ones, it's far more common to have him played by a young boy.
  • Fatal Flaw: Since he is unable to grow up, he also constantly forgets many things that would help him to become a better person. Tragically enough, he also tends to forget about his friends once they are gone including Tinkerbell, who died one year after the events of the book.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: Peter Pan is capable of conjuring up anything he wants on Neverland, simply through the power of belief. This is especially true in several of the adaptations, such as the drama series Once Upon a Time and the movie Hook.
  • Garden Garment: Peter's clothes are described in the book to be made of skeleton leaves and tree sap, emphasizing his wild nature.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's bossy, selfish, self-centered, conceited, arrogant, unthinkingly cruel and often a lousy friend. But he's also brave, heroic, self-sacrificing, capable of great kindness, and often a true friend. He is, in short, a little boy.
  • Kids 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 immature and has an immature sense of right and wrong.
  • 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.
  • Raised by Orcs: He was raised by fairies after falling out of his pram and wandering off, first in Kensington Gardens then in Neverland. Which explains a lot, really.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's been a child at least long enough for Wendy's mother to remember hearing stories about him in her own childhood, is still a child at the end when Wendy is a grandmother, and will be a child forever.
  • 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.

    Tinker Bell 
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The original Tink isn't exactly a paragon of virtue (except when she is), 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.
  • Fairy Sexy: Practically the trope codifier. Tink, in just about every version, is a tiny, very attractive woman in an even tinier dress. The novel has her wearing a low-cut leaf, "through which her figure could be seen to the best advantage."
  • The Fair Folk: As loyal as she is to Peter, Tink is still a fairy, and Neverland's fairies are prone to wild mood swings. 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 manipulate the Lost Boys into killing Wendy. She specifically targets Tootles because she knows he's the easiest to fool.
  • Mood-Swinger: The narrator explains that because fairies are so very small, there's only room for one emotion in them at a time. So when Tink gets jealous she goes Yandere, 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. Tootles and Slightly get a little more attention and characterization than the others, with Tootles as The Fool and Slightly as the Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
    • 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. He also gets the most dialogue of the two and seems to be the dominant brother.
      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. He Took a Level in Kindness for Peter Pan in Scarlet, where it's hinted that misfortune has softened him up, much like it originally did with Tootles.
  • 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.
  • Shrinking Violet: Oddly enough, and in complete contrast with Barrie's description of him as a mischief-maker, some of the versions of the play, and some of the adaptations, present Curly as timid and shy.

    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.
  • Garden Garment: The epilogue of the book mentions that Wendy had sown a frock made from the leaves and berries of Neverland and wears it whenever Peter comes by to take her to Neverland for spring cleaning. She only worries that Peter would notice the frock becoming too small for her, a sign of her growing up.
  • 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 
  • The Comically Serious: Several adaptations turn him into this, as a way of Character Exaggeration.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Along with Wendy and Michael, he spends his entire time in Neverland in his sleepwear. John usually wears a nightshirt.
  • Patriotic Fervor: He's an Englishman and proud of it! The reason he turns down Hook's offer to become a pirate because he would no longer be subject to the British crown and would have to swear "Down with the King." This trait is taken even further in Peter Pan in Scarlet, where his patriotism comes up several times. At one point, when the League of Pan are caught between two warring factions of fairies who want them to pick a side, Curly tries to claim that they're neutral, like the Swiss — where upon John cries out with great indignation that they're not Swiss, they're British!
  • Signature Headgear: 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.
  • 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.

    Michael Darling 
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Directly named as such. He's the youngest and smallest child, and so he's saddled with the role of "baby" since Wendy wants to have a baby. He sleeps in a "cradle" (really basket hung from the ceiling) rather than in the big bed with his older siblings, and is generally babied by Wendy. He's not very happy about it — but he's not willing to give up his role as baby either, when Tootles offers to swap.
  • Bus Crash: Michael's fate in the authorized sequel is that he died in World War I.
  • Cheerful Child: Usually characterized as this, as a contrast to The Comically Serious John.
  • Killed Off for Real: Peter Pan in Scarlet reveals that Michael died in World War I.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: He wears his sleepwear (usually either a nightgown or footsie pyjamas) the entire work.
  • Tagalong Kid: His main role in the story. Being the youngest, he essentially just follows along with what the others are doing.

    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.
  • Vague Age: She claims to be older than ten, but due to her short stature the narrator implies that this is doubtful. Since preteen and early teenage girls did sometimes work as housemaids in 19th and early 20th century England, she might indeed not be much older than Wendy, and in the 1950s and '60 telecasts of the musical, she's young enough note  that she even gets to fly to Neverland with the Darling children.

  • Adaptation Species Change: Nana in the books was intended to be a Landseer Newfoundland. She's usually played by a St. Bernard in adaptations.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Poor Nana. She dutifully looks after the children, even with everyone undoing her hard work.
  • 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).
  • Alien Blood: His blood is noted to be "thick and of an unusual color". The reason for this is never discussed. Notably, even he himself is repulsed by the sight of it.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Suggested but not specified - his Eton education implies he was part of the British political elite, and the narrator states that "to reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze".
  • 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.
  • Child Hater: Though in his "dying speech", he seems to regret that "no little children love [him]."
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Peter chopped off his hand and served it to a crocodile for his snack. As far as we know, that shit does not fly in Never Never Land.
  • 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 adaptations have generally 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.
  • 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.
  • Foil: Fitting, perhaps, that the perpetual child who is cruel because he doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong has as an archenemy a refined, Eton-educated man who is cruel because he knows full well that what he's doing is wrong.
  • 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".
  • Named After the Injury: Is called Hook because his left hand was replaced with a hook after Peter cut it off. Apparently, finding out his real name would be dangerous.
  • 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 burned him beyond recognition, and he adopted the identity of 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: Hook is traditionally played by the same actor as Mr. Darling, 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 out of spite.
  • Villainous Valor: Hook is utterly fearless in battle, unless he's up against the crocodile or sees his own Alien Blood.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: A brave man as a rule. Hook has two great fears, both of which greatly inconvinence him and bring about his downfall:
    • The first, and most well-known, is the crocodile. He is terrified of the crocodile, and whenever it shows up he generally flees as fast as he can.
    • The second is the sight of his own blood. He doesn't mind seeing other people's blood, in fact he rather likes it. But the sight of his own blood, which is said to be "thick and of an unusual color," will paralyze him with fear.
  • 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".

  • Affably Evil: Unlike Hook, Smee is genuinely affable. He's easygoing and good-natured, and to Hook's annoyance he "has good form without knowing it, which is the best form of all." Some adaptations soften him up even further and have him as a Minion with an F in Evil or straight up Token Good Teammate. Small wonder then that while in the original book and in a number of adaptations, nearly all of Hook's crew meet their end in the Final Battle, but Smee always survives.
  • The Fool: Smee isn't very bright. In fact, in a strange way he seems to have an Ambiguous Innocence about him much like Peter's; sure, he'll happily join in on the evildoings of the pirates, but he doesn't seem smart enough to be aware just how evil those evildoings are, and treats it all as being in good fun.
  • Friend to All Children: A curious version of the trope, because he doesn't particularly want to be. In the book he actually manages to delude himself into thinking that all children are afraid of him, when it's blatantly obvious to everyone else that children love him, and treat him mostly like a silly old uncle.
  • Hidden Depths: While seldom portrayed as anything but a dimwit in the original book and play, several adaptations as well as Peter Pan in Scarlet hint that he isn't quite as stupid as he seems. in Régis Loisel's comic book prequel he's a regular Genius Ditz with surprisingly many good ideas.
  • I Call It "Vera":
    Smee had pleasant names for everything, and his cutlass was Johnny Corkscrew, because he wiggled it in the wound.

    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.
  • Vague Age: Every brave in her tribe wants to marry her, which would imply that she's a young adult, yet like most other females in Neverland, she has a crush on the eternal child Peter. It varies among adaptations whether she's portrayed as a young woman or a child around the same physical age as Peter.
  • You No Take Candle: In the play and book, she speaks like this. More modern adaptations often have her speak more fluent English and/or more of her native language, though.

    The Crocodile 
  • Animal Nemesis: to Hook, though somewhat subverted in the Disney film, as while the ending shows the Croc will happily take a bite out of Hook if the opportunity presents itself, the Disney Croc is content to simply mess with Hook, and doesn't share the single-minded viciousness of the book Croc.
  • The Croc Is Ticking: The Trope Namer, at some point in the past after eating Hook's hand, the Croc also swallowed an alarm clock, which lets Hook know when it's near. One of Hook's greatest fears is that the clock will eventually unwind and the Crocodile with catch him unaware.
  • The Dreaded: Even Hook is terrified of it.
  • The Ghost: In most productions of the stage play, the crocodile for practical reasons never actually appears on-stage, though he's often both referred to and heard.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Found Hook's hand so delicious that it constantly stalks him in order to eat the rest of him.