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     Rev. Eric Camden
Portrayed by: Stephen Collins

  • Berserk Button: Drugs, if his reaction to finding out that his son Matt's weed (which he was keeping for a friend) is an indicator.
  • Bowling for Ratings: Instead of telling the family about needing open-heart surgery, Eric takes them out bowling.
  • Character Shilling: It's frequently implied or even said outright that Eric is a great enough pastor that everyone in town knows him. In season 7, this point is driven further by the fact that the people in his church wanted him back as quick as possible after heart surgery (even though he was considering retirement at that point) because they apparently didn't like the new pastor Chandler.
  • Church of Saint Genericus: Eric is a reverend at Glenoak Community Church, which is a non denominational (Mainline Protestant) congregation.
  • Discriminate and Switch: Eric overhears an argument between Matt's Jewish father-in-law and Ruthie's Muslim friend that sounds like they were attacking each other's religions. When he comes into the hall to break it up, he discovers that they're arguing about their favorite baseball teams.
  • Egocentrically Religious: Played with. In a later season, Eric has a heart attack and ends up being ready to give up not just his job, but his entire faith in God as a result of having to confront his mortality like this. In the end, Rabbi Glass has to come and remind him that God doesn't really play favorites, even good and devout people will still encounter personal suffering.
  • Family Man: Given, since he's a reverend with a large family.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He's the responsible to Julie's foolish.
  • Good Parents: Could be seen as this, along with Annie.
  • Grammar Nazi: Along with the rest of the Camdens.
  • Happily Married: To Annie.
  • Hollywood Healing:
    • Played with when Eric had a heart attack. Eric recovers relatively quickly afterwards, but it continues to be a plot point throughout the remainder of the series. In season 7, he has heart surgery, which eventually causes him to (briefly) retire as minister. In season 11, Eric is diagnosed with a terminal heart ailment, which is miraculously in remission by the conclusion of the series.
    • Played straight when Eric got shot. He is shot and wounded in the shoulder by a bully of Simon's but it's treated as a minor inconvenience and isn't mentioned again after that episode.
  • Hypocrite: For a man who preaches sermons about tolerance and all, he doesn't always follow his own advice:
    • He once blackmails Lucy into doing confirmation after she tries out other religions. This after putting on a façade of being tolerant of this decision and even providing books for her to study.
    • Eric initially doesn't want Matt to convert to Judaism because he feels that Matt is strictly Christian (see more below).
    • Eric also isn't okay when Mary marries Carlos because the latter is a Catholic, which he feels is a different religion than hers. It's a different denomination, which implies that he doesn't think that Catholicism is part of Christianity.
    • With Annie: When Mary decides not to go to college and instead take jobs as a waitress and other low-paying jobs, Eric and Annie are repulsed by that. Ironically, some of the jobs she has are in joints her parents themselves hang out - so while the Camdens put on this facade of accepting all people, they really deem waiters and other not-requiring-a-college-degree jobs to be less worthy people. The real hypocrisy kicker comes when Mary gets a job as an airline attendant - a better-paying, and requiring more professional training, job than those she had before - and they even react in horror to that too; Annie says "How could our kid that had so much promise in high school, end up as an airline attendant?"
    • For someone who constantly says his kids can't get away with everything and life is not fair, he often pulls the preacher card every time either one of his kids is in trouble or someone else is in order to get them out of a jam. And it usually works.
  • Jerkass Ball: In season 7, Eric acts terrible towards new pastor Chandler Hampton for replacing him as pastor of the church (despite the fact that Eric had recently had heart surgery and was in no condition to do church duties).
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Lucy becomes a minister, and follows in Eric's footsteps.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: His pastor job seems more like that of a social worker. More over, he works with the police on a regular basis that they seem to have him on speed dial.
  • Military Brat: His father was in the Army.
  • New Media Are Evil: He keeps a pager long after cell phones start to become popular. He's also reluctant about bringing a new computer and phone into the house despite the increasing need for them (since he does run a house that has no less than seven people living in it at any given time).
  • Odd Name Out: Out of the Camdens, only Eric doesn't fit into the biblical Family Theme Naming (discounting extended members and later grandchildren); Matt, Mary, Lucy, Simon, Ruthie, and twins David and Sam are known biblical figures or shortened versions of their names, while Annie's name may be a diminutive for "Anne" as in Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary.This is hilarious considering that Eric is the reverend of the show.
  • Overprotective Dad: He fits perfectly in this trope. He is also becomes a Papa Wolf when it comes to his daughters.
  • Parental Favoritism: Inverted. It's clear in later seasons that Eric (and his wife Annie) loves Mary the least. The man doesn't believe she knows what a globe is!
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Accidentally implied. One of the reasons why he doesn't want Matt to convert to Judaism for his girlfriend (actually wife) Sarah is because he feels that (paraphrasing) Matt "isn't a Jew". He admits quickly that he was wrong about that, though. Otherwise averted.
  • The Patriarch: He's this to the Camdens.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Eric is this with Annie.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Occasionally. For example, in season 1, he thinks that he's the one who should help his alcoholic sister Julie detox. In his home. Far from a hospital. Specifically, Eric believes that he - a minister - has more medical experience than the doctors at the hospital. This is in spite of the fact that in real life, detoxing someone at home without any medical training would be very ill-advised.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: In season 7, he quits being the pastor at the church and is briefly replaced by Chandler Hampton. However, he returns by the end of the season.

     Annie Camden
Portrayed by: Catherine Hicks

  • Abusive Parent: Some see her as this in the later seasons. Most notably when she made four of her children (two of them were underage), to live in the garage without food, cable, or plumbing for disagreeing with her about Mary.
  • Babies Ever After: In season 3 Annie becomes pregnant with twins. She starts out with five children in the first two seasons.
  • Character Shilling: The show frequently paints Annie as a saint who is tolerant, kind, and observant enough to understand everyone's problems. Sometimes it's true, though many of her actions (see below) puts that assertion in a very questionable light.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Annie has shown to be this whenever Eric becomes a little too personal with his female clients, to the point where she's almost a full blown Jerkass at times.
  • Good Parents: Debatable, but could be this with Eric.
  • It's All About Me: She falls into this trope quite often.
    • After learning her widowed father is dating again, Annie treats his new girlfriend (who later is his second wife) Ginger with disdain, because she felt Ginger was going to replace her mother. During this, Annie doesn't take into account that her father needs to move on with his life, and that he is happy with Ginger. Eventually (after yet another episode of making it clear to the audience she still doesn't like Ginger), she gets along with her, if begrudgingly.
    • When learning that her son Matt and daughter-in-law Sarah are not coming home for Thanksgiving, and will instead visit the week beforehand, Annie makes this into a bigger deal that it should've been. This in spite of the fact that both Matt and Sarah are medical school interns and don't have much time to visit anyway; yet Annie treats it like it's a burden to her. Moreover, she calls Matt's and Sarah's boss in order to get them to stay for Thanksgiving by claiming a family emergency. By doing this, she inconveniences the boss, her son, her daughter-in-law, and presumably numerous interns who were scheduled to go home for the holiday, because Matt & Sarah's schedules don't fit into her schedule.
    • Her reaction to learning that she has an older half-sister from a relationship her father had in high school was "No, I'm his only daughter!" (as mentioned below)
    • When she is refused a refund for attempting to return her daughter's ruined sweater to the store, Annie practically incites a(n almost) riot in order to get the refund even though the cashier was simply doing her job. (She's called out by the cashier on this but still gets the refund anyway when Annie realizes how overworked the woman has been.)
  • Jerkass Ball: She displays this when dealing with her stepmother Ginger despite the woman being nothing but kind towards her. While she might get along with her later, that's only because her father Charles was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. More over, after Charles does pass away, she admits that she's glad that her parents are now together again in Heaven - shortly after Ginger becomes a widow for a second time.
    • Her behavior towards her other children after Mary returns in season 6 is not much better. When they disagree about Mary getting the new apartment above the garage, Annie outright banishes them (including the underaged Simon and Ruthie) to the garage for not agreeing with her.
    • She's rude towards her half-sister Lily even before meeting the woman (as mentioned above).
    • Annie also picks it up anytime Eric becomes (or she perceives him to be) closer to the women he's counseling. Case in point, how she treats Serena in season 5 (even if it did turn out that her assertion that Serena liked Eric was correct, she had no way of knowing this was true until Serena admitted it was). At one point during this storyline, she shredded Eric's notes in the garbage disposal when he tries to counsel Serena over the phone.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Subverted. She later learned that she has a half-sister, Lily, through her father (from before he met her mother). She is not happy about it, at first.
    Annie: "No, I'm his only daughter!"
  • Parent with New Paramour: She doesn't react well to her new stepmother Ginger, at first. She even pounds her head several times into a wall when she learns of Ginger's engagement to her father. But even after the initial awkwardness of the situation, they only get along when Annie's dad gets diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
  • Renaissance Man: Well, in this case, woman. Annie studied things like business and economics, and returns to get her masters, but drops out.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: From lashing out at Eric for no reason to banishing her kids to the garage, Annie became an unfavorite to many fans.

     Matthew Paul "Matt" Camden
Portrayed by: Barry Watson

  • Babies Ever After: Matt and Sarah have twin boys after season 10.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's VERY protective of all his younger siblings, especially his sisters.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The infamous scene in the first episode where Mary asks Matt to practice French kissing. They almost kiss, but Eric walks in before they can. Originally the script called for them to actually kiss each other, but Barry Watson and Jessica Biel refused.
  • Broken Pedestal: Simon's image of him is briefly shattered when Matt admits to bringing a joint in the house.
  • Converting for Love: When he marries Sarah (though continues the façade that they're simply engaged), Matt decides to convert to Judaism. His father doesn't take the news lightly.
  • Cool Big Bro: He really cares for and is protective of his younger siblings, and especially his younger brother Simon looks up to him.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Had an episode in season 8 which focused on Matt and his wife's first day as medical interns, despite neither being main cast members at the time.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: More like first date marriage, as Matt and Sarah marry within 24 hours of their first meeting. Not that their families were aware of this, at least initially.
  • Happily Married: To Sarah.
  • Incest Subtext: In the episode in which Lucy gives birth, brother Matt takes her shopping and the store employees assume they are married. Rather than say "He's my brother," Lucy replies that they are not married, leaving the store employees to assume they have a sexual relationship. While in labor in a stuck elevator, Lucy insists on Matt (in training to be an OBGYN) be the one to deliver her baby even though there are trained, non-related paramedics in the elevator. There's also that one time Matt called Lucy's hair "sexy" when she dyed it blonde. It seems the 7th Heaven writers don't know how families act around each other.
  • Informed Attribute: His intelligence and responsibility. For one, despite being the valedictorian of his high school class and having had an internship at the White House, Matt has several problems where his intelligence or sense of responsibility could've been utilized but aren't:
    • In a season 2 episode "Who Knew?" has a friend of Matt's giving him a joint. Despite Matt being told many times by his parents about the evils of drugs, he choses to keep it with him instead of throwing it away or refusing the joint altogether. Later when his parents find the joint and assume that he had the joint to smoke, Matt doesn't do anything to tell his parents the truth of the situation and instead walks out of the family home.
    • "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" has Matt run away from home to see Heather in Philadelphia when she broke up with him, without telling his parents.
    • Additionally, when he marries Sarah on the first date, Matt and Sarah decide instead of telling their families of the marriage to pretend that they are simply engaged. This leads to months of preparation for an expensive wedding that could've been avoided altogether had either of them been responsible enough to tell anyone (barring Ruthie) the truth.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Matt goes off to Columbia University's medical school.
  • Love at First Sight: He marries his girlfriend after just one date.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: A religious variant. Eric doesn't approve of Matt's relationship with Sarah because he doesn't want Matt to convert to Judaism (Sarah's religion). He eventually gets over it.
  • Matzo Fever: As stated above, he marries his girlfriend Sarah Glass, who is the only daughter of a doting Rabbi.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Matt initially has this reaction to anyone who wants to date his younger sisters.
  • Never My Fault: Matt blames everyone but himself for failing a chemistry test. He gets called out on this, and eventually asks his professor for help.
  • Out of Focus: Happens to him in the later seasons when Barry Watson left the show.
  • Post-Robbery Trauma: Invoked after he and Annie were robbed at gun point way back in season 1.
  • Put on a Bus: He and Sarah moved to New York for medical school in season 6, but had a few appearances until season 10.

     Mary Camden Rivera
Portrayed by: Jessica Biel

  • Academic Athlete: Until seasons 4/5, she is both successful as a basketball player on her school team, and academically successful.
  • Babies Ever After: She gives birth to twin daughters after season 10.
  • Back for the Finale: She returns for the season 10 finale, the original series finale for the show, after a two-year absence.
  • Black Sheep: Mary is considered the family disappointment, and her mother even specifically referred to her as The Unfavorite.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: She and Matt almost kiss each other when she was asking him about kissing advice.
  • Butt-Monkey: In general, Mary seemed never to be allowed to be happy or successful at anything. It was not enough that she gets hit by a car in the first season's two-part finale, injuring her knee, but every time her basketball ambitions seem to be taking off, something happens to throw a wrench in the works. She's also portrayed as though basketball is the only thing holding her together, to the point that when the girls' team vandalizes the gym, Mary is apparently so unable to cope with the aftermath that she ends up hanging out with a wild crowd, bouncing from one dead-end job to the next, and eventually being sent to Buffalo. Her relationships have a habit of going down the tubes, too, right up to her husband Carlos, from whom she almost immediately separates. She gets back with him and they have twin girls, but her family is next to ignored for the rest of the Post-Script Season.
  • Chickification: Arguable, though Mary's talent at basketball becomes less apparent as the show progressed. Granted, this could be because of her being Out of Focus.
  • Cool Big Sis: Lucy and Ruthie see her as this until her downfall.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: What does Mary get for losing a couple jobs, drinking about two beers, and running a stop sign? She gets shipped off to Buffalo to live with her grandparents, who seem to be the only people who can help her.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: There is one episode where she breaks down crying because of how much she hates math.
  • Flanderization: Goes from responsible teenager who messed up once by participating in a fairly innocent school prank to being the go-to person not to emulate (by in-universe standards).
  • Happily Married: To Carlos, though they did briefly separate at one time.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: A religious variant. Her marriage to Carlos is initially looked down upon by Eric because Carlos is a Catholic while Mary is a Protestant (it appears that Eric thinks there's different religions rather than different denominations). Possibly played straight as well as it's also (accidentally) implied that Eric might also have a problem with Carlos' Puerto Rican heritage (one of the reasons he doesn't think that Mary and Carlos would work is because of "different backgrounds").
  • Out of Focus: In later seasons. She doesn't even appear in the episode where she gives birth to her son, nor does she appear at all in season 9, while her storylines - her separation from Carlos, giving up parental rights of her son, her subsequent reconciliation with her husband - continued off-screen. She returns for the season 10 finale, where she is revealed to be pregnant again. In season 11, Mary (alongside Matt and Simon) doesn't show up with her family, though is mentioned in the passing.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Basketball, specifically her school's basketball team she's in, is her passion (until halfway season 4).
  • Put on a Bus: Her parents put her on a plane to Buffalo because they disapprove (amongst other things) of her neither going to college nor having a job. She is reduced from a main character to a Recurring Extra from then on.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Every other member of her family gives her a speech about how bad they think of her because of her not being able to keep a job, and doing underage drinking, before her parents ship her off to Buffalo.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: She (during Seasons 1-4, at least) is a passionate sports girl who's very independent, while her sister Lucy has much more girly interests like boys and make-up.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: She sported one whenever she was playing basketball.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Mary was much more intelligent in the show's earliest seasons. Once season 4 came around, her intelligence seemed to have gradually faded, to the point where her own father believed that she wouldn't remember what a globe was (in the season 10 finale).
  • The Unfavorite: Blatantly stated by Annie. She is also the go-to character whenever another character wants to make a point on how low a person could go.
  • Where Did We Go Wrong?: After she trashes the gym and can't keep any job during season 5, Annie and Eric keep asking each other what they were doing wrong with her for her to get so low.

     Lucy Camden Kinkirk
Portrayed by: Beverley Mitchell

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Lucy is this sometimes to Matt and Mary.
  • Babies Ever After: Played with. At the end of season 10, Lucy learns she's pregnant with twins. Come season 11, it's revealed that she had a miscarriage over the summer. By the end of the same season, Lucy learns she's pregnant again.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: She was this in the earlier seasons. Whiny and self-involved? Check. Drama Queen? Check. Boy-crazy? Double check. Glued to the phone? Pretty much (this was taking place before mobile phones were ubiquitous, but yeah, to the family's land line)...
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She acts like this towards ALL of her boyfriends. Prime example: her season-long vendetta against Roxanne, her boyfriend Kevin's police partner, whom she thought was going to steal Kevin from her. This despite the fact that Kevin moved across the country to specifically be with Lucy.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: In the episode where she tries out for the cheerleading squad, despite being "the biggest klutz at school", and she trips over her shoelaces on hardwood floor. Matt helps her overcoming her clumsiness.
  • Drama Queen: The girl frequently cried over boyfriends and other issues that were comparatively minor when applied to someone else. Even as an adult, Lucy hasn't quite lost this trait.
  • Dude Magnet: She is in the middle of quite a few Love Triangles, even when she was very young.
  • First Period Panic: The first episode of the series starts off with Lucy as a 12-year-old who gets her period for the first time.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Downplayed. Within about six episodes of meeting, Lucy and Kevin are pre-engaged to be married with Kevin moving to California to be with her. They don't actually get engaged until about half a year later and married several months later. All this occurs within a year of meeting.
  • Happily Married: To Kevin.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours?: When Lucy is 16 and out with her younger brothers Sam and David, a lady at the mall mistakes them as being her sons (and thus her for a teenage mother).
  • It's All My Fault: She believes she is the reason why her friend Sarah was killed in a car crash.
  • Jerkass Ball: She acts extremely paranoid about Kevin's relationship with his new police partner Roxanne to the point where she believes that the latter is trying to steal him from her (which isn't true). She acts like a total jerk towards Roxanne throughout most of the season, all out of insecure paranoia.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Lucy becomes a minister like her father.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: During the first three seasons (until her twin brothers are born, making her other brother Simon the middle child) she is the middle of five children, and feels insecure about this.
  • Motor Mouth: She often speaks very fast.
  • Naïve Everygirl: Lucy is this in the beginning of the series. In the pilot she is sensitive about starting her period and thus becoming a woman. She says that her type is Prince Charles because she bets that he is sensitive and shy.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In one episode, Lucy could fix a car.
  • Retcon: Lucy's age was played around with a few times. She starts at 12, then celebrates her 13th birthday later in the season, only to be 14 at the start of season 2.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: She's known for having many boyfriends in early seasons.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: She was the girly girl to Mary's tomboy.

     Simon Jacob Camden
Portrayed by: David Gallagher

  • Accidental Murder: At the conclusion of season 7, Simon struck and killed a kid on his bike whilst driving. He spent the earlier episodes of the following season in major mourning and guilt because of it, which later led to his Put on a Bus moment midway through the season.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Simon somehow always manages to have money. He loans money to siblings often enough that it gets to the point that he's nicknamed the "Bank of Simon".
  • The Artifact: In later seasons, the aforementioned "Bank of Simon".
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's very protective of Ruthie. This is inverted with Lucy, when one of his friends insults her, and she forces him to do something about it.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Was this to Ruthie in the earlier seasons.
  • Big Brother Worship: He had this for Matt.
  • Character Title: He has his own episode entitled, "Simon Camden".
  • Commuting on a Bus: In seasons 8 and 9. He gets off the bus in season 10.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Simon was in anguish because he... had sex with someone. He was very worried that he had caught an STD, despite wearing a condom.
  • Flipping the Bird: Annie sees Simon sticking his middle finger at his group of friends.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: He almost says this verbatim to Peter, when he thinks that he and Ruthie are having a fight.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Simon is this to Ruthie. He threatens to beat up Peter if he ever hurts her.
  • Put on a Bus: Simon was Put on a Bus for season 8, after being accepted into early admission at a college after he accidentally killed a boy in a hit-and-run crash that left him fearing retaliation from the boy's older brother. He got off the bus for season 10, before jumping right back on, remaining off-screen for season 11.
  • Really Gets Around: He dates quite a few people.

     Ruth Naomi "Ruthie" Camden
Portrayed by: Mackenzie Rosman


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