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Characters / Stand by Me

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The Characters from Stand by Me.

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    Gordie Lachance
Played by: Wil Wheaton (child), Richard Dreyfuss (adult)

The main protagonist and an aspiring writer.

  • Adaptational Badass: In the novella, Chris is the one who pulls the gun on Ace and threatens to kill him. In the film, it's done by Gordie.
  • Author Avatar: To Stephen King.
  • Big Brother Worship: Gordie greatly idolized Denny and his death really shook him. Averted in the book, however, as Gordie points out that the age difference renders Denny "just a guy."
  • Brainy Brunette: Gordie is the smartest one of the gang (aside from Chris, who is the wisest), who can create his own stories, and eventually goes to college and becomes a professional writer.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not as much as Vern, but still gets more bad luck than the others. After he loses a coin toss, he must buy food for all his friends and then run from Angry Guard Dog Chopper through the junkyard. He was behind Vern in the Railroad Tracks of Doom and is nearly run over by a passing train. In the swamp scene, he's the only one who ends up with a leech in his pants...and faints.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His younger self when he interacts with his friends, but also his older self as the narrator.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic - friendly and supportive, but still suffering from the loss of his beloved older brother.
  • Girly Run: Used by Wil Wheaton as an acting technique.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: This is a Stephen King adaptation, after all.
  • Nice Guy: The most mature and kind-hearted.
  • Nostalgic Narrator: The Writer (aka the adult Gordie) recalls and narrates the events of the film after learning that his friend Chris was stabbed to death while trying to break up a fight at a restaurant.
  • The One Who Made It Out: He grows up to become a successful author.
  • Only Sane Man: He's the most mature in his group of friends.
  • Parental Issues: He has emotionally abusive parents who treat him like The Unfavorite over his now-deceased older brother.
  • Parental Neglect: Being The Un-Favourite his parents never show much affection to him. In flashbacks, before his brother's death, it shows they didn't pay much attention to him, anyway.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Chris' Manly Man.
  • The Smart Guy: Gordie is noted for being the only one among his friends to actually excel in academics.
  • The Storyteller: He has a penchant for writing and telling stories.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: Although Richard Dreyfuss is only credited as "The Narrator," the older and younger Gordie are played by two different actors.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gordie, like every kid in his town, was deathly afraid of Ace. Come the climax, Gordie threatens Ace with a gun to get the older teen to back off. It works.
    Gordie: Suck my fat one you cheap dime-store hood.
    Ace: Are you going to shoot us all?
    Gordie: No Ace, just you.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Denny gave Gordie his favorite hat. Too bad Ace stole it from him.
  • The Un-Favourite: His parents never show much affection to him, preferring Gordie's older brother. In flashbacks, it shows they didn't pay much attention to him, anyway. As it is, Denny (the brother) was the one who paid the most attention to him.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Gordie desperately wants his father's love and not to feel like his father hates him.

    Chris Chambers
Played by: River Phoenix

Gordie's best friend who is lowly thought of by everyone in town because of his family.

  • Abusive Parents: His father is violently abusive.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Again, his father.
  • Alliterative Name: Chris Chambers.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Along with his family, he's shunned and put down by most of the town.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Gordie.
    Kids lose everything unless there's someone there to look out for them. And if your parents are too fucked up to do it, then maybe I should.
  • The Conscience: He tends to be the mediator and the voice of reason in his group.
  • Cool Loser: He's smart, charismatic, capable, and a good leader to his friends, but shunned by almost everyone else in town because of his family background.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic - dealing with his own insecurities, but perceptive and supportive when it comes to Gordie's.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He gives Gordie a lot of tough love.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: He's a good guy who has a bad reputation because of his family.
  • The Leader: Of his group of friends.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Many years later, he tries to stop a fight in a restaurant and is stabbed in the throat. He dies almost instantly.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Throughout the story (both novel and movie), Chris is described as the member of the group who makes the best peace. In the novel, he points a gun at Ace and nearly shoots him to get him to back down.
  • The One Who Made It Out: Subverted. He grows up to be a lawyer, but dies a meaningless death.
  • Parental Issues: He has an alcoholic father who always beats him up.
  • Parental Neglect: In the book, Chris' father was on a bender, and his mother went out of town, leaving Eyeball to care for Chris and three younger siblings (the youngest just a toddler). Both Eyeball and Chris also promptly took off.
  • Posthumous Character: As revealed in the opening scene, Chris was recently stabbed and killed when he attempted to intervene in a fight in a fast food restaurant.
  • Self-Made Man: As an adult. He worked hard all his life to study and finally become a lawyer, and that makes the Downer Ending even more depressing.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Gordie's Sensitive Guy.
  • Supporting Leader: Chris is the leader of the group, but Gordie is the main character.
  • Team Dad: To all his friends, especially Gordie.
  • Token Good Teammate: In his family of criminals and alcoholics. This also makes him the White Sheep of the Chambers family.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Just when he makes something of his life, he is stabbed to death after attempting to break up a fight in a restaurant.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Angsty, rebellious, tough but kindhearted, with a horrible homelife, bad reputation etc. No surprise he's the most popular character among viewers.
  • White Sheep: His dad is an abusive drunk, his oldest brother is in jail for a violent rape, his second oldest brother is a gang bully, and he...busts his ass to get through the college courses and become a lawyer.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: He's smart enough to enroll in the college courses with Gordie, but he's already resigned himself to living up to his family's bad reputation. Gordie ultimately manages to talk him into getting out.

    Teddy Duchamp
Played by: Corey Feldman

The resident goofball of the group, who deeply admire his father.

  • Abusive Parents: Teddy's ear is disfigured due to his father's pressing it down on a hot stove in a drunken rage. Despite this, he doesn't hold a grudge against his father for it and genuinely admires him.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Teddy is still abrasive in the movie, but was a lot worse in the novel.
  • Berserk Button: He goes ballistic after Milo Pressman calls his father a "looney".
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's very weird and eccentric. He often says completely random things, and he has absolutely no regard for his personal safety.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All the four boys have their moments, but Teddy is arguably the snarkiest.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric - confident and witty while also extremely temperamental at times.
  • Freudian Excuse: Despite his Jerkass personality, his homelife sounds so horrible you can't help but feel for him.
  • Jerkass: He tends to be abrasive and obnoxious, especially towards Vern. Although he was more violent in the book than in the film.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: After his confrontation with Milo, he breaks down crying and then apologizes to his friends for the way he behaved. He also genuinely loves his father.
  • Parental Issues: He has a mentally ill father (likely due to undiagnosed PTSD as a WWII vet) who almost killed him
  • Relative Button: Teddy goes ballistic after Milo Pressman calls his father a "looney".
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Vern's Sensitive Guy.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the book, Teddy kills himself and others by driving drunk. He doesn't die in the movie but his life has gone absolutely nowhere.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He's far meaner than his friends.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He stands in front of the tracks because he wants to dodge a train a few seconds before it speeds over him, until Chris forcefully drags him off the tracks. And apparently it wasn't the first time Chris saved his life.
  • Tragic Dream: His ambition is to join the military, but his eyesight and his bad ear put an end to that.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He's ready to fight Chris for his above rescue. In the book, he also once almost attacked Chris for saving him from from a possibly fatal fall from a tree he and Chris were climbing, because he did it by grabbing his hair.

    Vern Tessio
Played by: Jerry O'Connell

The butt monkey of the group, who kicks off the plot.

  • Butt-Monkey: He's overweight, emotionally sensitive, and rather easily scared. He gets picked on a lot, even from his friends.
  • Catchphrase: "Sincerely!"
  • Fat Comic Relief: In the book, however, Vern is described as very skinny. This characterization of his is strictly in the film.
  • Fat Idiot: In the movie he's chubby, and painfully naive and oblivious. In the novel he's not necessarily fat but it's mentioned that it takes him over an hour and a half to read the Sunday comics (which granted were a lot bigger back then, but still).
  • Flanderization: In the novella he was still naive, and something of a wimp, but nowhere near to the level he is in the movie.
  • Flat Character: Unlike his friends Vern doesn't have much going on other than being a fat wimp. Aside from setting the story in motion by overhearing his brother his only purpose in the story is Comic Relief.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine - generally the most awkward of the boys, well-meaning but often picked on.
  • Lovable Coward: He's scared very easily.
  • The Millstone: His cowardice holds the boys back several times. It almost gets Gordie and Vern crushed by an oncoming train when he won't get up and run out of fear of falling off the bridge.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Teddy's Manly Man.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Like Teddy he dies in the book (where he's killed in a house fire), but not in the movie. Adult Gordie says he just became another face in the crowd after a while.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • When on the Railroad Tracks of Doom, Gordie and Vern (who is crawling on all fours at the time) end up having to outrun a train. Vern's reaction? Crawl faster.
    • Interestingly, this is both discussed and averted in the novella; older Gordie states in the narration that none of the boys crawled over the trestle because they'd learned from the movies that "Only Losers Crawl."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: That's easy. Pez. Cherry flavor Pez. His reveal of this became one of the movie's taglines.



    Ace Merrill

A jerkass older teen.

  • Adaptational Badass: The scene where he plays chicken with a truck was not in the novella, nor were his Nerves of Steel when the boys start insulting him.
  • Adaptational Villainy: He doesn't threaten to burn out Chris' eye or play chicken with a truck in the novella.
  • Ascended Extra: He only has one scene at the end of the novella, but gets his own subplot in the film.
  • Badass Driver: He plays chicken with a lumber truck, and wins - while drinking a beer, mind you.
  • Big Bad: Actively antagonistic towards Gordie and his friends, even threatening to kill them during the movie's climax.
  • The Bully: Towards Gordie and his friends, though it's certainly not exclusive to just them.
  • Delinquents: Along with his gang.
  • The Dreaded: All the kids are deathly afraid of him. Even other gang members seem to fear him.
  • Formerly Fit: As revealed in the epilogue he will become a fat mill worker years later. However he shows up looking like his old self in "Needful Things".
  • Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: He and his friends are described in the book as having pimply, mustachioed girlfriends. It's implied that it's because they're the only girls in town who put out.
  • Jerkass: A cruel and violent bully who is even willing to murder a younger boy.
  • Karma Houdini: He and his gang get no immediate comeuppance for all of the things they pull, including threatening Gordie and his friends with a knife in the climax. Ace's threat of "we're going to get you for this" even pays off in the book. In this movie, the climax is the last time Ace and his gang are seen onscreen.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty:
    • At least in the book. The adult Gordie spots Ace in town years later and observes that he's become a fat, crew-cutted millworker whose sole enjoyment in life is apparently hanging out at a local dive bar every night.
    "I thought: So that's what Ace is now."
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: He realizes that approaching the dead kid with a gun pointed at him by Chris (in the book) or Gordie (in the movie) is going to get him shot, and it's simply not worth it. Ace vows that the four boys are going to pay for it, though.
  • The Leader: Of his Gang of Bullies.
  • Nerves of Steel: He wins a game of chicken with a lumber truck, while the rest of the gang is freaking out and begging him to stop. And when held at gunpoint, he barely bats an eye and continues to taunt Gordie (Chris in the book), even threatening to make him eat the gun.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: They never say his real name in the movie.
  • The Sociopath: Holds a cigarette to Chris' eye and would have casually stabbed him, and barely blinks. Also maintains a cool demeanor during the Chicken game.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: While Ace has no problem threatening kids Gordie's age with knives, he thinks Gordie holding him and his friends at gunpoint is taking things too far.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Or even kill a child, when he pulls a knife on the four boys.

    Eyeball Chambers
Played by: Bradley Gregg

Chris's older brother and Ace's best friend apparently.

  • Big Brother Bully: He's verbally abusive to his little brother, Chris. It's even worse in the novella, where Eyeball doesn't hesitate to beat Chris to a bloody pulp and breaking his arm.
  • The Dragon: Ace's right hand man.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Eyeball's one tiny moment of humanity comes when he puts up the feeblest protest possible upon seeing Ace intent on murdering his little brother.
    Eyeball: Ace...come on, man...
  • Evil Counterpart: To Denny. Both are the older brothers to two of the main characters (Denny to Gordie, Eyeball to Chris). Denny (who is dead) was a nice guy who cared about his little brother and everyone liked him; Eyeball (who is alive) is a straight up Jerkass who seems to be indifferent to his younger brother, except for one moment (see Even Evil Has Standards), but wasn't well-liked by anyone in town because of his own actions and his family history.
  • Jerkass: Like the rest of Ace's gang, he's a complete jerk and a delinquent.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Like Ace, they never say his real name in the movie. In the book, his real name is Richard. In the book, he has a jittery eye that is the cause for his unusual nickname, but this isn't addressed in the film unless you look close. He has a scar over one eye, but how he got the scar is not addressed, either.

    Billy Tessio and Charlie Hogan 
Played by: Casey Siemaszko and Gary Riley

Vern's older brother and his friend who are members of Ace's gang.

  • Big Brother Bully: Billy is implied to be this to Vern. In their only interaction, he threatens to beat him up and Vern seems afraid of him (but to be fair, he's scared of everything).
  • Everyone Has Standards: While they are petty criminals, they are not as amoral as Ace and seem somewhat reluctant to follow him to find the body of Ray Brower. At the beginning Charlie even wanted to call the cops.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Despite their minor role in the movie, Vern overhearing them talking about Ray Brower's body is the reason why the whole plot happens.
  • Those Two Guys: Two minor characters who are usually seen together.

    Milo Pressman 
Played by: William Bronder

The owner of the junkyard.

  • The Dreaded: His dog, Chopper. Turns out Chopper is nowhere near as terrifying as the legends say he is.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He gets angry at the boys for teasing his dog.
  • Jerkass: He's a cantankerous, foul asshole who doesn't see anything wrong with hurting children just for trespassing.
  • Kick the Dog: Calling Teddy's father a "loony" repeatedly.
  • Troll: Towards Teddy.
    Milo: I know who you are. You're Teddy Duchamp. Your dad's a loony. A loony up in the nuthouse at Togus. He took your ear. And he put it to a stove. And he burnt it off.
    Teddy: My father stormed the beach at Normandy.
    Milo: He's crazier than a shithouse rat. No wonder you're actin' in the way you are. With a loony for a father.
    Teddy: You call my dad a loony again and I'll kill you.
    Milo: Loony, loony, loony!
  • Would Hurt a Child: He doesn't see anything wrong with hurting children just for trespassing.

Other Characters

    Dennis "Denny" Lachance
Played by: John Cusack

Gordie's older brother who is dead by the time the movie has started.

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While Denny was a nice guy in the novella, he was also as distant to Gordie like their parents were. In the movie, he makes an effort to get Gordie's talents noticed.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Denny was this to Gordie. In the book, because of their age difference, Denny is nearly as distant as Gordie's parents, with a few exceptions. "He was just a guy, you know?"
  • Cool Big Bro: Flashbacks show Denny encouraging Gordie's writing skills and attempting to get his parents to pay attention to his little brother and his budding talent.
  • In-Series Nickname: Referred to as "Denny".
  • Lovable Jock: He was a star football player and flashbacks show him as an extremely nice and caring older brother and the only one, aside from Chris, who encouraged Gordie in his writing.
  • Nice Guy: A caring and loving older brother to Gordie, as seen in the flashbacks.
  • Posthumous Character: When the story starts, Denny is already dead.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The only relative of the main characters who was a decent person is obviously dead.

    Mr. Lachance 

Played by: Marshall Bell

Gordie's father.

  • Abusive Parents: Emotionally to Gordie. Gordie said he was never violent like Chris's father or Teddy's father. He simply ignores him and treats him like The Unfavorite.
  • Faux Affably Evil: "Evil" is overstating it. But he's always soft-spoken and polite, even though he's a shallow, superficial prick who dehumanizes Gordie for not being as "good" as Denny.
  • Hate Sink: He's a callous asshole who doesn't give a rat's ass about Gordie and treats him like he is less than worthy and always deliberately rubs that in Gordie's face. On top of that, he has zero sympathetic moments, and it's clear the audience is meant to feel nothing but disdain for him.
  • Jerkass: An awful father and an awful human.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Jock Dad to Gordie's Nerd Son. In a flashback, he couldn't care less about Gordie's writing talent, he just wanted to talk about Denny and his football game.
  • Kick the Dog: It's bad enough he makes Gordie feel like he's The Unfavorite and have a dream about his father telling him he should have died instead of Denny.
  • Lack of Empathy: His overall treatment of Gordie makes it quite clear he falls under this. And his "love" for Denny is heavily implied to be more superficial than genuine love.
  • Parental Favoritism: Clearly prefers Denny over Gordie. Gordie thinks his father hates him.
  • Unnamed Parent: His first name is never revealed.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: He's definitely not a villain by any stretch. However, his treatment Gordie still makes him fall under this trope.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Gordie has a dream about his father telling him, "It should have been you, Gordon" at Denny's funeral.

    Davie "Lard-Ass" Hogan 
Played by: Andy Lindberg

The main character of Gordie's Story Within a Story.

  • All of the Other Reindeer: He's constantly teased and humiliated about his weight.
  • Disaster Dominoes: He gets revenge for being bullied by puking his guts out during a pie-eating contest, causing everyone around him to do the same.
  • The Dog Bites Back: He enters a pie-eating to get revenge on everyone who made fun of him.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, he has the same name of Charlie Hogan but obviously there's no relation.
  • Vomit Chain Reaction: He deliberately threw up in the grossest possible way to set off a chain reaction of vomiting in all the other contestants, officials, and spectators.

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