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Support Group

     Hazel Grace Lancaster 
Played By: Shailene Woodley
"I'm a grenade, I just want to stay away from people and read books and think."

A sixteen-year-old Disabled Snarker and the protagonist of the story. She suffers from lung cancer.


     Augustus Waters 
Played By: Ansel Elgort

“I fear oblivion. I fear it like the proverbial blind man who’s afraid of the dark.”

Hazel's first serious boyfriend and a subversion of the Manic Pixie Dream Boy trope. He's got cancer, but it's infinitely less dangerous than the variant Hazel has.


  • The Ace: He was a charming, popular jock before his cancer started affecting him more seriously. Turns into a Broken Ace later on.
  • Artificial Limbs: Has a prosthetic leg that ends just below his knee.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Has one with Hazel at the Anne Frank house. This later turns into Their First Time.
  • The Casanova: It's not actually mentioned how many girls he's managed to pull in, but Hazel assumes that number to be pretty damn high. The fact that he's a virgin shocks her.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Though he is genuinely smart, his speeches are often a little too wordy and he ends up misunderstanding his own point.
  • Disabled Love Interest: For Hazel and Caroline. Averted in that both of his girlfriends were disabled as well.
  • Geeky Turn-On: He's clearly attracted to Hazel's intelligence.
  • Heroism Addict: Augustus is obsessed with dying for a reason, to the point that he frequently sacrifices his life in video games.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: His ongoing crisis over not being able to achieve something noteworthy before he dies from cancer.
  • Kendo Team Captain: He was the captain of varsity basketball as a freshman, and in a pretty athletics-focused state at that.
  • Stereotype Flip: Of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl - or boy, in this case. Though he tries to come across as a spontaneous, poetic The Charmer in order to impress Hazel, she's not impressed. In fact, she likes him perfectly fine the way he is.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Hazel is surprised at Gus's virginity due to his good looks, but as he says, being a one-legged cancer survivor doesn't exactly help him get laid.

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     Isaac 

"But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway. Don't you believe in true love?"

Augustus's adorably geeky friend with a rare form of eye cancer. He's depressed because he recently got dumped by his girlfriend, though he manages to overcome it eventually.


  • Blind Mistake: His aim when egging Monica's car.
  • Disabled Snarker: It's how he copes with going blind.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: While he did genuinely care about Monica, certain PG-13 passages from the book imply their relationship was a little bit based on this.
  • Make-Out Kids: Was this with Monica before they broke up.
  • Nice Guy: Occasional bouts of anger aside, he seems to be a pretty sweet guy.
  • Odd Friendship: With Hazel - the two of them stick together after Augustus dies.

     Michael 

A twelve-year-old boy with leukaemia. Attends Hazel's Support Group.


  • The Baby of the Bunch: He's twelve, and the youngest out of the named Support Group members.
  • Cheerful Child: Averted. While most of the other Support Group kids are significantly older than him, they seem to be more humorous about their conditions as well.
  • Death of a Child: He dies quite early on in the book, but it's not made out to be that big of a deal. Probably because kids dying in a cancer support group is likely the norm.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: He's tiny, soft-spoken and seems to be sick even for a cancer patient (he takes the elevator to meetings, which Hazel notes as a sign for poor health).

     Lida 

“Hazel is such an inspiration to me; she really is. She just keeps fighting the battle.”

A strikingly pretty girl in Support Group. She's sixteen years old and in remission from cancer.


     Susan 

A shy, dorky yet cute girl with a large scar on her face that she likes to cover with make-up. Is stated to be younger than Hazel and Gus.


  • The Cutie: Hazel, who's descriptions are usually pretty blunt, describes her as such.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Probably the reason she tries to hide her scars with concealer.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: She's young, adorable and implied to have cancer like the majority of the teenage cast.

     Alisa 

A shy young girl who Augustus knows from his time at the hospital.


  • Ill Girl: Implied as she goes to the same hospital as Augustus.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: She's awkward when Augustus talks to her, but whether it's a crush or she's just a Shrinking Violet is left ambiguous.
    • As we're not sure what her age is, it's unknown whether the "teenage" part fits as well.
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Family

     Mr. Lancaster 

"I don't think defeatism is honest. I refuse to accept that."

Hazel's supportive and sensitive father. More idealistic than either Hazel or her mother.


  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Has some shades of this, though it's not as exaggerated as most examples of the Trope.
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. His daughter is dying from cancer, for God's sake, and he's going to have to let his masculinity down to mourn that.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Downplayed with Hazel's mother. He's the emotional caretaker of the family, while Mrs. Lancaster is more blunt and has a darker sense of humour.

     Mrs. Lancaster 

"Just so you know, I’m right here. Sitting next to you. Your mother. Who held your hand as you took your first infantile steps."

Hazel's mother. A smart, practical woman who cares deeply about her family.


  • Her Heart Will Go On: A rare familiar example. She reveals to Hazel that  she's getting a degree to help other cancer patients, partially in order to pre-occupy herself when Hazel dies.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Her dynamic with Mr. Lancaster is a downplayed version of this trope.
  • My Beloved Smother: She has shades of this, but unlike most examples, it's Played for Drama - she's unusually protective of Hazel because she's constantly anticipating her death.

     Mr. and Mrs. Waters 

Augustus's vaguely embarrassing Hipster parents.


  • Aerith and Bob: They have two daughters called Julie and Martha, and then their son comes along and he's stuck as Augustus.
  • Ambiguously Christian: Their house is plastered with pseudo-religious motivational quotes, and they send their son to a Christian support group. Whether they're religious is unknown.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: They keep religious affirmations in their house, for God's sake.
  • Appeal to Familial Wisdom: Hazel quotes their Encouragements at Gus's funeral.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Played with. They do let their son go unsupervised to Amsterdam, but there's definitely some quarrel involved.
  • My Beloved Smother: Downplayed.

     Julie and Martha Waters 

"Oh, Gussy Gussy, our little Gussy Gussy."

Augustus's doting older sisters.


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Other Characters

     Kaitlyn 

“I do wish you were at school these days. Some of the boys have become downright edible.”
Hazel's bubbly friend from her old school.

  • Adapted Out: Not even mentioned in the movie.
  • The Ditz: She doesn't appear to be the brightest, at least intellectually.
  • Dude Magnet: She doesn't have a shortage of guys to date. Considering her bubbly personality and that Hazel describes her as looking like a twenty-five year-old British socialite, it's not hard to see why.
  • The Fashionista: Said to be fond of shopping and clothes.
  • Good Bad Girl: Though she's been with a lot of boys and is rather sexual at times, she does also seem to be a pretty good friend.
  • Likes Older Men: She dumps her same-age boyfriend because he was "too much of a boy", implying that she is looking for more of a "man".
  • Teens Love Shopping: Seems to be quite fond of this.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The glamorous Girly Girl to Hazel's Tomboy.

     Caroline Mathers 

A bitter-but-beautiful cancer patient who acts as a Lost Lenore to Augustus.


  • Ambiguously Brown: Her skin is a darker shade, but her race is never specified. Hazel thinks she might be Italian.
  • Adapted Out: A lot of fans were frustrated that she wasn't even given a mention in the movie.
  • Betty and Veronica: She's a foreign, hot-tempered Veronica to Hazel's intelligent Betty. Subverted in that Caroline is dead and choosing between the two girls never had to be a struggle for Augustus.
  • Bullying the Disabled: Her running joke about Augustus having great legs - oh, wait, leg! Averted with the fact that she's a cancer patient, too, which suggests that her cruel sense of humour is merely her way of coping with a terminal disease.
  • Disabled Snarker: A lot more malicious than most examples of this trope.
  • Foil: To Hazel. Their personalities differed pre-diagnosis (Hazel was quiet and introspective while Caroline was outgoing and vivacious), but after cancer they seemed to be stuck doing pretty much the same thing, namely lying in bed and waiting to die. The same can be said for their appearance - their inflated heads and sickly bodies match, but they hardly looked alike before their illness. Furthermore, on a slightly saddening note, Augustus was in love with Hazel but not Caroline, finding the latter to aggressive due to her tumour induced Mood Whiplash.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's implied that she was a lot sweeter post-diagnosis.
  • Spicy Latina: Her race is never explicitly stated, but if she's Latina she falls into this trope.

     Jackie 

A child who's briefly mentioned to ask Hazel to borrow her cannula.


     Monica 

Isaac's healthy ex-girlfriend who breaks up with him upon finding out that he's going blind.


  • False Soulmate: Isaac thought they would be classic High-School Sweethearts and in love forever, but Monica opted out of their relationship when he lost his sight. Whether this was justified is debated on by the fandom.
  • Make-Out Kids: Was this with Isaac before their break-up.

Amsterdam

     Peter van Houten 

The author of Hazel's favourite book, An Imperial Affliction. Lives in the Netherlands with his assistant.


  • The Alcoholic: Clearly has a drinking problem. Lampshaded by Lidewij.
  • Author Avatar: A shockingly cruel example. Though he hopes he's less of a jerk about it, John Green says that Peter van Houten's opinions on Death of the Author reflect his own.
  • Genius Slob: He's a brilliant writer and very intelligent, but his personal life is frankly a mess.
  • Hidden Depths: The reason he's so crass and impolite to Hazel is that she reminds him a little too much of his daughter, who died when she was eight. It's probably the reason he's such a Jerkass in general, too.
  • Insufferable Genius: Dear God. And it seems as though he does it on purpose, too - he talks in philosophical dilemmas and mathematical paradoxes in order to make conversing with him difficult.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Does this deliberately to irritate others.

     Lidewij Vliegenthart 

Peter van Houten's young and bubbly assistant.


  • Aerith and Bob: Easily the most difficult name in the book. If you can remember this one, kudos to you for your memory.
  • The Caretaker: Towards Peter.
  • Hidden Depths: She's actually shown to be pretty intelligent with the minimal characterisation she gets. She speaks an impressive amount of languages at the Anne Frank house, is studying for a degree in American Literature, and clearly has a mind of her own (as shown when she resigns from her job in indignation).
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Peter van Houten, her former boss. Doubles as an Odd Friendship considering their different demeanours.
  • Morality Pet: For Peter van Houten, but only to a certain degree.

     Anna van Houten 

Essentially a Spoiler Character, so if you're not done reading the book, you should probably click away right about now. She is Van Houten's late daughter who died from cancer when she was eight years old.


  • Death of a Child: Is barely eight years old when she dies.
  • Expy: It's pretty much a given that the main character of An Imperial Affliction was based on her. They even share a name.
  • Foil: To Hazel. Anna died at eight while Hazel's still kicking at sixteen, a distinction that seems to be important to Peter van Houten (which is why Anna's literary self survives into her adolescence).
    • This is implied to be the reason why Peter is so needlessly cruel to Hazel - his daughter's memory is too much to bear.

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