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.
- 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.
- Family Man: Given, since he's a reverend with a large family.
- Good Parents: Could be seen as this, along with Annie.
- Grammar Nazi: Along with the rest of the Camdens.
- Happily Married: To Annie.
- Incest Subtext: In one scene Ruthie is "dancing", and he comes up, and watches her. Ruthie sees him, and gives him an un-daughter like smile. This becomes Harsher in Hindsight (on top of already being creepy/weird in general) when it was revealed that Stephen Collins admitted to molesting three underage girls in 2014.
- Like Parent, Like Child: Lucy becomes a minister, and follows in Eric's footsteps.
- Overprotective Dad: He fits perfectly in this trope. He is also becomes a Papa Wolf when it comes to his daughters.
- The Patriarch: He's this to the Camdens.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Eric is this with Annie.
- 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.
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.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Annie has shown to be this whenever Eric becomes a little too personal with his female clients.
- 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.
- Parent with New Paramour: She doesn't react well to her new stepmother Ginger, at first. But even then, 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
- Big Brother Instinct: He's VERY protective of all his younger siblings, especially his sisters.
- BrotherSister 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- BrotherSister 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.
- Grounded Forever
- Happily Married: To Carlos, though they did briefly separate at one time.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Happily Married: To Kevin.
- Is That Cute Kid Yours?: One time when Lucy was 16 she was out with Sam and David, and they were mistaken as her own kids.
- It's All My Fault: She believes she is the reason why her friend Sarah was killed in a car crash.
- Like Parent, Like Child: Lucy becomes a minister like her father.
- Middle Child Syndrome: She falls into this trope for about 4 seasons.
- Motor Mouth: She often spoke very fast.
- Naïve Everygirl: Lucy is this in the beginning of the series.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: In one episode, Lucy could fix a car.
- No Periods, Period: Averted. The first episode of the series starts off with Lucy as a 12-year-old who gets her period for the first time.
- Really Gets Around: She's known for having many boyfriends in early seasons.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- Really Gets Around: He dates quite a few people.
Ruth Naomi "Ruthie" Camden
Portrayed by: Mackenzie Rosman
- Annoying Younger Sibling: She is this to Matt, Mary, and Lucy. Sometimes this is inverted with Simon.
- All Girls Like Ponies: Ruthie loves horses and rides them very well, just as her actress Mackenzie Rosman does.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Ruthie is this in the later seasons.
- Catchphrase: Hers was "What are we doing?" in the earlier seasons when she wanted to participate with what the rest of the family was doing.
- Hollywood Genetics: Ruthie has a much darker complexion than the rest of her family.
- Little Miss Snarker: She was this in the first couple seasons.
- Put on a Bus: She goes to Scotland in the final season, due to Mackenzie Rosman briefly leaving the main cast. She returns after about six episodes, though.
- Snooping Little Kid: If there was a secret in the Camden family, she was likely the first to know (e.g. Matt's marriage to Sarah). This is taken to Flanderization levels in later seasons.