The characters from The L Word.
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Played By: Mia Kirshner
- Author Avatar: Loosely based on one of the show's creators-who Ilene Chaiken got kicked off later.
- Also creates herself an enervate, Jessie, in the Show Within a Show, Lez Girls.
- Betty and Veronica: She is the Archie to Marina's Veronica and Tim's Betty in season 1, and to Claude's Veronica and Max's Betty near the end of season 4.
- Broken Bird: Zig-zags between this and Jerkass Woobie.
- Brutally Honest: With her friends, not her sexual or romantic partners.
- Chewing the Scenery: From season 3 onward. Part of the reason fans really started hating her.
- Coming-Out Story: Her arc in season 1.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She was always a bit off, but it doesn't get explained in detail until season 2. She was sexually abused as a kid, and her parents chose to ignore it instead of helping her, allowing it to "fester into this psychosis" as she puts it. She makes the best of it, though-her autobiographical book about it puts her into the spotlight that allows her to write a serialized novel, Lez Girls, and make it into a movie.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Pale, dark-haired, and melancholic. It's particularly noticeable in season 2, when her hair is short and spare, and her eye makeup is darker and more dramatic, emphasizing her waifish looks.
- FaceHeel Turn: A less dramatic variation in seasons 4-6. She doesn't betray anyone, per se, but she does become more impulsive and self-centered, leaning towards The Friend Nobody Likes.
- Fish out of Water: In LA in seasons 1 and 2. She gets over it.
- The Gadfly: She loves bringing up inappropriate topics to shock the conservative and stuffy. Best displayed when Max tries to take her to a posh company dinner in season 3.Corporate Executive: My wife zones out when I talk shop too, Jenny.The Mrs.: I do; I think about golfing, I think about my manicure, I think about my kids....Jenny: I was just thinking about how when I was a kid, I used to masturbate like twenty times a day and I'm writing a story about it, but I don't know if it should be straight-up fiction or like, a New Yorker-style essay piece. I just don't know.
- Important Haircut: Gets one in season 2, because Long Hair Is Feminine and she wants to show up on the Gaydar.
- It's All About Me: Often lampshaded.
- Lipstick Lesbian
- Most Writers Are Writers
- Psycho Lesbian: Best displayed in season 4. She does not take criticism well.
- Suddenly Sexuality: It seems she was perfectly happy with Tim - romantically and sexually, until Marina showed up.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: With Shane.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Tim with Marina and on Max with Claude, sort of.
Played By: Jennifer Beals
- The Ace: Beautiful, smart, self-made wealthy, sophisticated, charismatic, athletic...
- Broken Ace: And then her relationship with Tina ends and she loses it completely.
- All Lesbians Want Kids : part of her Establishing Character Moment in the pilot.
- Amicable Exes: She eventually gets there with Tina, after things get really really ugly.
- She and Alice also count, as they had a fling before Bette met Tina.
- Berserk Button: How dare you bring up my stillborn baby, You Monster!.
- Brainy Brunette: Very intellectual, well-read and sophisticated brunette.
- But Not Too Black: Has been blamed for invoking this trope using her biracial background.
- Deadpan Snarker: So much so.
- The Determinator: It doesn't always work out, but she always puts up a fight. Her reaction to the controversy over Provocations in the first season establishes her pretty well.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: After Tina catches her cheating with Candace, she initiates intercourse with Tina, who protests several times at first. This is never brought up again and never called out for being rape.
- The Fashionista: An interesting take on the trope. She isn't exactly girly, but she has a thing for expensive snappy power suits and sharp heels.Jodi: You're always so clean. I can't imagine you ever getting dirty.
- Granola Girl: In her Buddhist phase.
- Hippie Parents: She and Tina are this to Angelica.
- Hot Teacher: While teaching at the university, to Indiana Jones levels.
- New Old Flame: With Tina.
- Soapbox Sadie: She flirts with this trope every now and then, especially when it comes to freedom of speech. Do NOT challenge her convictions about art.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Her father's opinions are very important to her. However, her being lesbian gets in the way a bit. Kit tries to help her understand that he's a bigot in his own right and striving for his perfect approval is a hopeless quest, but she never entirely stops.
- Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: In-Universe. Tina lampshades it herself - why would she ever get together with Bette? But she does.
- Your Cheating Heart: She cheated in almost every relationship she had. She cheated on Alice with Tina, on Tina with Candace and on Jodi with Tina.
Played By: Laurel Holloman
- All Lesbians Want Kids: Part of her Establishing Character Moment in the pilot. However, it's a bigger part of her character, especially in early seasons than Bette's.
- Amicably Divorced: She eventually gets there with Bette, after things get really really ugly.
- Bi the Way: Tina had only ever been with men before she hooked up with Bette. Several years later, she found herself craving male companionship again, but less than a year after that she drifted back to women. At one point, she clarifies her self-identification as a lesbian is mostly political.
- Bourgeois Bohemian: Downplayed, mostly.
- Ethical Slut: For a short while after ending things with Bette. Must have gotten it from Helena...
- Has a Type: Tall, dark, bossy, snarky and handsome.
- Hippie Parents: She and Bette are this to Angelica.
- Holier Than Thou: She gives everyone shit about cheating, then she hooks up with Bette in all sorts of inappropriate occasions, including when Bette is with Jodi.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Helps Bette get Jodi back, when she still has feelings for Bette herself.
- New Old Flame: With Bette.
- Soapbox Sadie: More so than Bette-but although she goes there often, she doesn't really play it straight either.
Played By: Leisha Hailey
- Amicable Exes: With Bette.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She gets personal fast in a fight.
- Bi the Way: But Not Too Bi. It's somewhat of an Informed Attribute.
- Blithe Spirit: While working on the TV show.
- Blue Oni, Red Oni: The red to Shane's blue.
- Brutal Honesty: It's her thing.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: Comes with being a Gossipy Hen.
- Chatterbox: Often lampshaded.
- Closet Key: To Phyllis. In a way, to Tasha as well.
- The Cutie: She is very sweet and quirky.
- Deadpan Snarker: bordering on Snark Knight at times.
- Intrepid Reporter: She's something of a politically minded gay Carrie Bradshaw.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: To Tasha. Part of her role as Closet Key for her.
- Odd Friendship: With Helena.
- Plucky Girl: She eventually takes all things in a stride.
- Relationship Upgrade: With Dana.
- Salt and Pepper: With Tasha.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: An inverted trope, since it involves two women in a relationship. Alice is the energetic girl to Tasha's savvy girl.
- Stepford Smiler: For a short while after Dana died.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: With Tasha the Shell-Shocked Veteran.
Played By: Katherine Moennig
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: Even more than everyone else on the show.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Of the Raven Hair, Ivory Skin variation.
- Bifauxnen: Very much so. When she was a prostitute, her clients were gay men.
- Byronic Hero: She is a rare female example.
- Children Raise You: While taking in Shay.
- The Comically Serious: Downplayed, mostly.
- Commitment Issues: Understatement of the century.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Abandoned by her father, neglected and abused in foster care, lived in the street and had to go into prostitution - all while still a teen.
- Ethical Slut
- Even the Girls Want Her: Shane has some sort of power to make all straight women Spaghetti Girls.◊
- A Friend in Need: Very loyal to her friends.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Alice. Despite her proclivity for fucking up relationships, she is an unswerving friend. Though obviously, the "heterosexual" part doesn't apply here.
- Indifferent Beauty: She knows how she affects women, but she is hardly vain. However, she does has nipple confidence!
- In the Blood: Her father is a serial womanizer, though he uses women and lies to them, and Shane mostly just Really Gets Around.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: With Sherry Jaffey.
- Messy Hair: Somewhat subverted, as it is a stylistic choice - a desirable one at that too. However, it does reflect her general IDGAF attitude.
- Must Have Caffeine: It's a running gag.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The chill blue to Alice's perky red.
- Runaway Bride: Ditches Carmen at the altar, which she comes to regret.
- The Stoic: Mostly. In her more Byronic moments you can see she is Not So Stoic.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:Tomboy to Jenny and Alice's Girly Girl.
Played By: Pam Grier
- The Alcoholic: She gets on and off the wagon throughout the series.
- The Atoner: She really want to make amends for her days before rehab, particularly to her family.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Of the Sassy Black Woman orientation. Papi approves.
- Cool Big Sis: To Bette.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Bette's responsible one.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: You don't mess with Kit Porter. Ever.
- Incompatible Orientation: With Papi. To her credit, she does try, but Kit just wasn't made in that mold.
- Mrs. Robinson: With Angus.
- The Nicknamer: Mangus comes to mind.
- Recovered Addict: Mostly.
- Salt and Pepper: With Angus and Ivan, briefly.
- Sassy Black Woman: Flanderized to this.
Played By: Rachel Shelley
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Eventually subverted after she undergoes Flanderization.
- Brainy Brunette: A smart, posh brunette.
- Cultural Rebel: First when she moves to LA, later Turned Up TO Eleven when she goes to jail, and from there to Haiti.
- Deadpan Snarker: Part of her general British-ness.
- Ethical Slut: Downplayed, seeing how Everyone Has Lots of Sex.
- The Fashionista: She loves designer footwear.
- HeelFace Turn: Somewhere between Season 2 and Season 3.
- Money Fetish: For a while after her mother cuts her off.
- Ms. Fanservice: While pretty much all female fit this trope, no one does Absolute Cleavage better then Helena.
- New Old Flame: With Dylan. Also a serious case of Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?, seeing how terribly Dylan treated her.
- Odd Friendship: With Alice.
- Old Money: Discussed, though it used more to characterize her relationship with her mother.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
- Rich Bitch: Originally introduced as one, though it is subverted pretty early on.
- Spoiled Sweet: Deep down, she's a sweetheart. But she has no idea how to function in the real world.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: A Statuesque Stunner with long, dark hair.
Played By: Daniela Sea
- Bi the Way: Originally presenting as a Butch Lesbian, he eventually identifies as a bisexual man.
- But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Gets pregnant with Tom the interpreter's baby. Didn't think this could be possible after taking so much male hormones.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Brooke, who had a fit when she found out he was trans.
- Fish out of Water: In glitzy West Hollywood. He never entirely gets over it.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Of the just-not-that-close variety. Except for Shane and Jenny (who is rarely nice to him), no one seems to really like him. Not even Alice, who works with him.
- Incompatible Orientation: with Jenny. An interesting example, as in the beginning of the relationship they were two compatible female lesbians. After Max comes out of the closet as male and undergoes changes, Jenny is no longer interested, and they become Just Friends.
- Max: I know I've been kind of a jerk since I've been on the testosterone, but I'm getting better. I don't see what the problem is.Jenny: The problem is, Max, you identify as a straight man, and you want me to be your straight girlfriend, and I identify as a lesbian who likes to fuck girls.
- Mr. Seahorse
- Nice Guy: Too nice for his own good, probably.
- The Quiet One: Especially when compared with his very talkative surroundings..
- Only Sane Man: He has his fair share of drama, but compared to the soapy, wild lives of the rest, he's pretty down-to-earth.
- Suddenly Sexuality: After he started taking testosterone, he found himself attracted to men.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Briefly in season 3, due to the hormones he'd been taking. He gets better after finding out that the dose he was on was way too much.
- Transgender: A trans man.
Played By: Rose Rollins
- Black Best Friend: To Papi.
- Butch Lesbian: One of the few examples in the series where this trope is played straight.
- Military Brat: Used to be one. Her father was in the military too.
- Odd Friendship: With Papi. Papi is a Spicy Latina who Really Gets Around, whereas Tasha is a quiet, stern Token Wholesome.
- Only Sane Woman: In a sea of melodramatic self-righteous straw liberals, Tasha just makes her point.
- Opposites Attract: With Alice.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Papi's red. See Odd Friendship.
- Salt and Pepper: Eith Alice.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: An unusual take on the trope, as it revolves around two women. Tasha is the savvy to Alice's energetic girl.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: A former military officer who was stationed in Iraq, and still sometimes gets bad flashbacks from battle.
- Token Wholesome: In a show that has at least two sex scenes per episode, Tasha is surprisingly tame.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: With Alice.
- When She Smiles: Her demeanor is usually very calm and even strict, but when she laughs...
Former Main Characters
Played By: Erin Daniels
- Adorkable: Lacks confidence, quirky and downright dorky at times, especially when it's time to hit on someone. People seem to find it attractive.
- Author Avatar: loosely based on one of the show's creators.
- Coming-Out Story: complete with The Beard, conservative parents and some Gayngst.
- Covert Pervert: Alice and Tonya seem to bring it out in her.
- Dogged Nice Girl: To Lara.
- Just Friends: With Jenny. They lacked all kinds of chemistry.
- The Klutz: See Adorkable.
- Lethal Diagnosis: Breast cancer.
- Passionate Sports Girl: she is a professional tennis player.
- Also, for obvious reasons - Lesbian Jock.
- Relationship Upgrade: With Alice.
- She's Got Legs: Invoked in her Subaru ad, and in her tennis outfits.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Tonya with Alice.
Played By: Eric Mabius
Played By: Karina Lombard
- Ambiguously Brown: Her ethnicity is never clarified.
- It is stated by Tonya in S2 E1 that she is a Contessa and hails from Milan.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Tim's Betty and Jenny's Archie.
- Closet Key: Guess who?
- Contralto of Danger: Her low voice is very seductive. Lampshaded by Jenny.
- Femme Fatale: A lesbian version of this trope.
- Love at First Sight: She and Jenny have an instant connection while talking about literature, complete with sensual Held Gaze.Alice: Well, I'm just gonna leave you two alone to get married.
- Put on a Bus: Between seasons 1 and 2. The Bus Came Back in seasons 4 and 5.
- Statuesque Stunner: She is way taller than Jenny.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome
Carmen de la Pica Morales
Played By: Sarah Shahi
- Club Kid: Works as a DJ.
- Latin Lover: To Jenny, later to Shane.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: What are you doing marrying Shane??
- Put on a Bus: After being left at the altar. Ouch.
- Spicy Latina: A tomboy version.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?
- You Can Leave Your Hat On: Performs a brief but memorable striptease for Shane in season 2.
- Your Cheating Heart: It's hinted during a Talking Head filmed by Mark in season 2 that she was the other woman at one point.Carmen: I was 16 back then, and I fell madly in love with Lucia Torres. She was Pablo Fuentes' girlfriend. You just-you didn't fuck with Pablo's girl. Cat Smile But I did.
Eva "Papi" Torres
Played By: Janina Gavankar
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: An amped-up Shane.
- Dashing Hispanic: Interestingly inverted. She is a charming womanizer with a Spanish accent but she's a woman.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Straight girls. More of an Informed Attribute. Unfortunately for her, this did not include Kit.
- A Friend in Need: Tasha lampshades this often. Papi is a very loyal friend.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Constantly, without any reason.
- Incompatible Orientation: With Kit. Papi is really into her, but Kit is just too straight.
- Latin Lover: She's a legend.
- Lesbian Jock: Meets girls at basketball games.
- The Nicknamer: She sometimes calls people the Spanish variant of their name. Alice turns to Alisia and so forth.
- Odd Friendship: With Tasha. Papi is a Spicy Latina who Really Gets Around, whereas Tasha is a quiet, stern Token Wholesome.
- Really Gets Around: A thousand hookups. That's just a lot of work...
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Tasha's blue. See Odd Friendship.
- Shrouded in Myth: Initially. Alice finds her on The Chart, a social networking site for lesbians that maps sexual relationships. Papi has over 1000 hits. It takes Alice a couple episodes to find her, given that she goes to Latin clubs asking for "papi"-not a name, just "daddy" in Spanish.
- Spicy Latina: Even more so than Carmen.