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Characters / The Wire - Omar and Associates

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State's Attorney Ilene Nathan: Mr. Little, how does a man rob drug dealers for eight or nine years and live to tell about it?
Omar Little: Day at a time, I s'pose.
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A notorious "stick-up boy" — an armed robber who robs drug dealers of money or product — Omar Little naturally attracts people looking for excitement, adventure, or a quick buck. His small but efficient criminal organization changes composition over the show, sometimes consisting of a small band of merry outlaws and sometimes consisting of just Omar and his rather large gun collection... which is all you need when you are West Baltimore's most outstanding badass.


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    Omar Devon Little 
Played by: Michael K. Williams
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/omarlittle_3761.jpg

Don't get it twisted, I do some dirt, too, but I ain't never put my gun on nobody who wasn't in the game.

Robber who targets drug dealers. Omar is successful in this dangerous trade because he not only has the fearlessness that the job requires, but is also a meticulous planner, an effective leader, and is willing to spend long hours on surveillance work, the sort of endless hours that even many dedicated cops would balk at. Also, he cultivates a reputation that discourages most of his victims from even thinking about putting up a fight.

He starts a war with the Barksdale Organization when his boyfriend, Brandon, is tortured and killed. Occasionally he is manipulated into taking up jobs that serve the interests of Proposition Joe, but Omar eventually earns a payday at Joe's expense. Even still, Joe is willing to let sleeping dogs lie (and even buys some of his stolen product back from Omar at a discount price) out of respect for Omar's lethality. While Omar adheres to a strict code (he refuses to ever pull his gun on a "civilian" — someone not involved in the drug trade), unlike most criminals, he is willing to act as an informant for the police if it serves his interests (such as getting revenge on the drug crew that savagely murdered his boyfriend). His luck finally runs out in Season 5; after his contact, Butchie, is killed, he wars with the Stanfield Organization and is murdered by Kenard.
Omar's exploits never fail to entertain.
  • Affably Evil: He's as friendly and polite as a thief and murderer can be.
  • Anti-Hero: Straddles the line between this and Anti-Villain. Ultimately, it's left up to the viewer to decide if he's a case of Good Is Not Nice and is a modern day Robin Hood, or just a thug with a few more standards than most.
  • Badass Beard: Sports one from Season 3 onwards.
  • Badass Boast:
    • "'Ey, yo, lesson here, Bey: You come at the king, you best not miss!"
    • "Omar don't scare."
    • "You workin' a Stanfield corner, which means you workin' for a straight up punk! Ya' feel me? I'm out here in these streets every day, me and my lonesome, and where he at? Huh? A'yo, ya'll put it in his ear, Marlo Stanfield is not a man for this town, ya' digg?"
    • "Now you make sure you tell ol' Marlo I burned the money. Cause this ain't about that paper, it's about me hurtin' his people, messin' with his world. Tell that boy he ain't man enough to come down to the street with Omar!"
  • Badass Gay: Shown stalking and later holding up a group of heavily armed drug dealers in his first scene, kissing his boyfriend in one of his other first scenes.
  • Badass Longcoat: He wears one, while sporting his characteristic Sawed-Off Shotgun.
  • Battle Couple: With each of his boyfriends.
  • Breakout Character: Initially slated to appear in only seven episodes before being killed off, Omar proved so popular with fans and critics alike that the writers changed his arc to make him a major character throughout the show's run. Although David Simon denies that there was ever any plan to kill him off in season 1
  • Broken Pedestal: Kenard's, who is first seen wanting to play Omar in a game with some other kids; when he eventually meets him face-to-face, Omar is smashed up and limping on a crutch after his Super Window Jump, and Kenard seems decidedly unimpressed and disappointed. He then trails him to a shop and shoots him in the back, looks shocked at what he's done, and runs away.
  • Byronic Hero: Reflective, smart, ruled by his tailor-made code yet often suffers at the hands of the game, causes problems for the (good and bad) police and is a morally grey character. Whether he's an anti-heroic or anti-villainous example is up in the air, which is kinda the point.
  • The Casanova: He apparently has boys everywhere.
  • Catchphrase: Downplayed with "Indeed" and "No doubt."
  • Characterization Marches On: In an issue of Early Installment Weirdness, he casually curses in his very first scene in the series. After a scene in episode three where he chides his lover Brandon for using "ugly language," it becomes a character trait that he never swears.
  • Chastity Couple: Omar and Renaldo are not shown so much as holding hands, in comparison to Omar's being shown as affectionate with his first two boyfriends. The fact that they were tortured to get to him probably has something to do this detachment.
  • Clear My Name: After the Stanfield organization frames him for murder. The exoneration process is more difficult for Bunk since Omar is guilty of other murders.
  • Don't Tell Mama: His grandmother thinks he works at an airport cafeteria.
  • The Dreaded: Hearing his whistling makes dealers run in fear.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Done deliberately. He's such an epic badass that other hardened criminals are terrified of him, so of course he'll go down in a blaze of glory, right? Wrong. Shot from behind by an eleven year old while trying to buy a pack of cigarettes.
  • Dying Clue: At the scene of his death, Bunk finds Omar's hitlist, which gives the police a list of names as to who composes Marlo's crew.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He got his strict moral code from his grandmother and goes to church with her once a month.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He may be stick-up man, but he has a strict moral code that involves not hurting anyone who is "not in the game" and not using profanity.
    "A man got to have a code."
  • Framing the Guilty Party:
    • Comes forward as a key witness against Bird, in retaliation for what happened to Brandon. Word on the street is that Omar was "in the Eastside sticking up some Ashland Avenue niggers" when Bird was killing a former witness.
      McNulty: You really see him shoot the man?
      Omar: You really asking?
    • Marlo has Chris kill a delivery woman in Old Face Andre's store and has Andre "identify" Omar to the police. Bunk is given a hard time by his peers when he tries to exonerate Omar, because as Bunk himself pointed out in the past, Omar is guilty of other unsolved murders (which were part of the game but made children glorify his violent ass and continue the game's vicious downward spiral.)
  • Famed In-Story: Omar is the most fearsome stickup man in the projects and is still glorified even in death.
  • Friend to All Children: Displays a soft spot for children several times. He's notably shaken when Bunk points out he is a terrible example for the comunity and he's loved by a bunch of local children when he is enjoying his retirement.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: "Anthony, man, your brother ain't cut out for this shit."
  • Fun T-Shirt: "I am the American Dream."
  • Gayngster: One of the most famous in all media.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a pretty distinctive antihero scar running down the left side of his face, which goes a long way towards solidifying him as a badass. Interestingly, that scar isn't a prosthetic—Michael K. Williams actually has a scar like that, which he got from a bar fight.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The only character who doesn't like to use profanity.
  • Gossip Evolution: The story of his death makes the rounds through the streets getting bigger and more epic each time it's told. When Michael tries to correct someone and tell what really happened, no one believes him. The result is that Omar becomes even more of a legendary figure and more Shrouded in Myth than he was when he was alive.
  • Guile Hero: While he can handle himself in a fight, Omar mostly survives on his intelligence, his tough nature, and often dumb luck.
  • Guns Akimbo: He wields two guns when he robs Marlo's poker game.
  • Handicapped Badass: For the latter half of season five.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Omar twice suffers this condition in the series.
  • Hidden Depths: He's clearly a lot smarter than he lets on. Shows a good knowledge of Greek mythology, which he recalls from middle school, and he has fond memories of his student years. He was likely an intelligent boy who had no chance to pursue further education.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Drug dealers scare the bejesus out of normal people, for good reason. Omar scares the drug dealers.
  • I Shall Taunt You: He purposely tries to push Marlo's Berserk Button to provoke Marlo into reckless action. Unfortunately Chris could see the ploy at work and made sure Marlo didn't learn about it.
  • Important Haircut: He shaves off his cornrows between seasons three and four: right after he kills Stringer Bell and puts an end to his quest to avenge Brandon.
  • It's Personal: Against the Barksdales organization (Stringer and Avon in particular) and later against Marlo Stanfield.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After a hit on a Barksdale stash house resulted in Tosha's death, Omar was gonna stop going after the Barksdales and let sleeping dogs lie. But then Stringer made the grave mistake of sending "discount hitmen" after him, while he was escorting his grandmother to church. Omar's decision to let go of his vendetta with the Barksdale gang goes out the window after that.
    Omar: [To Dante and Kimmy] Y'all know I was gonna to walk away, right? Y'all know that, right?! I mean, after Tosha, I was gonna let those people be!
    Dante: Avon home now.
    Omar: Oh, Barksdale got to go! Stringer too! This thing got to end, man!
  • It Will Never Catch On: In one of the prequel shorts, we see a young Omar robbing a civilian at a bus stop with his older brother Anthony and a friend. When Omar is disgusted with the robbery and forces the older boys to return the man's money, the friend rolls his eyes and says "You're not cut out for this shit." Yeah...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He intimidates and steals from street dealers, but has a code of honor takes his grandmother to church, refuses to swear, treats his boyfriends well and refuses to hurt those not involved in "the game".
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Partially, he robs for himself but shows generosity to those around him, including random junkies and their kids. His friendly-neighbourhood policy also works against any bounty put on his head, as he has silent and willing lookouts everywhere.
  • Karmic Thief: He steals exclusively from drug dealers and other criminals, refusing to harm or threaten anyone who isn't involved in the criminal underworld. The prequel focusing on him shows that this goes all the way back to when he was a Street Urchin, as he was so disgusted by a robbery that he and his older brother Anthony took part in, (stealing a few dollars from an ordinary working man at a bus stop) that he made Anthony give the money back at gun point.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: "And give me one of 'em..."
  • Leitmotif: Yo, Omar's comin'!. Omar whistles "The Farmer In The Dell" in a way that resembles a marching music. The tune sounds like the very relevant 'A-Hunting We Will Go'.
  • Let Off by the Detective: When Omar kills Stinkum, McNulty and Bunk quickly realize what happened. Since the murder charge would taint Omar's testimony against Bird, they lie to Cole, the investigator assigned to Stinkum's murder, about Omar's involvement so the case stays unsolved. At one point, they are turning a blind eye so blatantly that McNulty wonders out loud if they are still cops.
  • Lovable Rogue: He makes his living ripping off drug dealers and is constantly killing people. But he has a moral code of "all in the game" and he is just too lovable for the audience not to, well, love.
  • Magnetic Hero: Inspires fierce loyalty from a wide range of people, several of whom refuse to inform on him despite the threat of torture and death.
  • Manly Gay: Can't get much more manly then robbing drug dealers for a living. The series would actually accentuate this. Whenever Omar was about to have a big action moment, the makeup artists would cover Michael K. Williams in sweat.
  • Manly Tears: Omar cries a lot, and yet he is still never less than manly.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Drug dealers and street punks are fair game but taxpayers, aka civilians are strictly off limits in his code. According to a DVD extra, this is something he's been doing since he was a child, when his reaction to his older brother Anthony and Anthony's friend robbing a regular working man of the few dollars the guy had on him was to force them to give the money back at gun point.
  • Noble Demon: A man has to have a code, after all. Still, he is a criminal.
  • Not So Different:
    • His Shut Up, Hannibal! to Levy. They are both players of the game, they just use different tools.
    • He also shares an alma mater with Bunk (Edmonson High School) and approves of the detective's "a man must have a code" line.
  • Obfuscating Disability: He's able to get into a Barksdale stash house by pretending to be an old man in a wheelchair (with one of his crew pretending to be a nurse).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After 4 seasons of making a point of eschewing profanity, we know he's playing for keeps when he tells Fat-Face Rick to spread the word that Marlo Stanfield is "a bitch."
  • Pet the Dog: He shows affection to the adorable baby of a dope fiend hitting him up for a free fix is the first sign that he's more than just a criminal. In season three, it's revealed that he also takes his grandmother to church once a month.
  • Put on a Bus: McNulty puts Omar on a bus to New York at the end of season 1 to get him away from Barksdale retribution, and stays out of the story for several episodes. This adds some complications to find him again when Bunk needs to get in touch with Omar so he can testify against Bird.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He can walk to the supermarket in blue silk pyjamas, completely unarmed, and people will still run away and give him their drugs.
  • Retirony Comes out of retirement to avenge Butchie, which gets him killed in a random incident unrelated to Marlo.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Omar always goes in these when one of his peoples gets killed.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: His signature weapon.
  • Scary Black Man: He's so scary that some drug dealers throw their stash to him as he takes a smoke outside, while unarmed and wearing pajamas.
  • The Scream: Omar's reaction after viewing the mutilated body of his lover Brandon at a Baltimore morgue. The camera cuts to McNulty's sons (who are waiting in the main lobby for their father) freezing in shock when he screams.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: His code matters more to him than money, and when he's going after Marlo, he steals Marlo's money and product, then light it on fire or throws it away. As he says the first time he does this:
    Now you make sure you tell ol' Marlo I burned the money. Cause this ain't about that paper, it's about me hurtin' his people, messin' with his world. Tell that boy he ain't man enough to come down to the street with Omar!
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: His weapon of choice, though he occasionally uses a pistol.
  • Shrouded in Myth: After his death, the story makes the rounds through the streets getting bigger each time it's told. When another character who knows the truth tries to correct someone, no one believes him. 'The bigger the lie, the more they believe.'
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Inverted. On a show where almost everyone drops f-bombs at the slightest provocation, he's the only one who refuses to swear and complains when others do. If anything, this only enhances his "force of nature in a duster" status.
  • Smoking Is Cool
  • Spanner in the Works: Omar's revenge sprees has messed up MCU's investigations more than once.
  • Straight Gay
  • Suspect Is Hatless: "Black. Big. With a large weapon" Courtesy of Andy Krawczyk, who gets in the middle of his feud with Stringer. As Bunk puts it, "BNBG": Big Negro, Big Gun.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Whistling "The Farmer in the Dell".
  • Third-Person Person: From time to time... "Omar's listening."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Honey Nut Cheerios. His attempts and failures to get them is a minor Running Gag.
  • Tragic Hero: Omar could have lived happily ever after if he hadn't tried to avenge Butchie.
  • Übermensch: Analyzed as such, due to being and independent but principled personal-code warrior.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: He's hated by the dealers and cops alike, but loved by the fanbase -including Barack Obama- (and some people on the street). invoked
  • Villainous Breakdown: He shows signs toward the end of season 5 as his physical condition deteriorates and his Roaring Rampage of Revenge becomes more and more disastrous.
  • Villainous BSoD: Bunk's "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how his violence does harm the community despite he's only targeting bad guys makes Omar recapacitate, leading to Butchie's "conscience do cost" speech.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: A downplayed version; he wears shirts (and body armor) when he's out and about, but at home he tends to go shirtless (displaying his impressive if scarred physique).
  • Weapon of Choice: The moment shotgun shells are found in a game-related crime scene, the police know Omar was there. He also favors a .44 Magnum (Desert Eagle or Colt Anaconda), .45 ACP semi-automatics, and .50 Action Express handguns.
  • Zipping Up the Bodybag: His final fate. We see Omar's body bag being zipped up in the morgue at the end of an episode. Furthermore, in this scene, it's shown that there was a mistake with the ID tags, which the ME has to correct, which further emphasize the point: he's no longer a character, just a statistic.
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Associates

    Brandon Wright 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ola.jpg
Played by: Michael Kevin Darnall
I'm the king of this shit.

Omar's boyfriend and fellow thief. Drives the white van that their crew use for recon in season one. After the crew robs a Barksdale stash house, he is spotted by Wallace and captured, tortured and killed by Stringer Bell's crew, but he does not give Omar up.


    John Bailey 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_wire__john_bailey_omars_crew.png
Played by Lance Williams

A member of Omar's original crew at the beginning of the series. First guy to be killed in the Barksdales' retribution for hitting their stash.


    Blind Butchie 
Played by: S. Robert Morgan
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/butchie_4507.jpg
"Ain't no other way that I can see..."

Conscience do cost.

A bar owner and quiet drug dealer who serves as a bank and go-between for Omar Little. Legally blind. He is tortured and killed by Chris Partlow and Snoop in Season 5, to draw Omar out of hiding. It works.


  • Bad-Guy Bar: Runs one.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Finally realizing that Butchie won't give away Omar, Chris puts the man out of his misery with a bullet to the head.
  • Bury Your Disabled
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Subjected to it by Chris and Snoop.
  • Cool Old Guy: An old school wise, fatherly and affable player.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: One of the more extreme ones in this show.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor
  • Due to the Dead: Proposition Joe honors his memory and speaks highly of Butchie after his demise.
    Joe: Have it say: "Butchie. Woe to them that call evil good and good evil." Sign it, "your true and loyal friend, Proposition Joe."
  • Hyper-Awareness: Having lost his sight, he greatly developed other senses. For instance he's easily aware when Omar is coming and somehow knows what kind of beer is in a crate when it's put over the counter of his bar.
  • It's All My Fault: Blames himself for the chain of events started by Prop. Joe that leads to Omar having parley with Stringer to finally attack Mouzone. He realizes something is fishy the moment Joe comes with the proposal, Butchie laments he should have shielded Omar altogether from the business.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He's tortured and killed by Chris and Snoop to bring Omar out of hiding.
  • Parental Substitute: He's more than a mentor to Omar. He worries about Omar's well-being, and Omar reciprocates.
  • Retired Badass: Proposition Joe reveals that he was once a feared enforcer who got (mostly) out of the drug game after losing his sight due to a gunshot wound.
  • Undying Loyalty: Refuses to give any information about Omar under torture. (Torture that includes being shot multiple times.) Chris eventually gives up getting the information and kills Butchie, since Butchie's death will be sure to lure Omar back to Baltimore.

    Dante 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hot_shots_04_1024.jpg
Played by: Ernest Waddell

Just you and me, then. Like we was.

Omar's first boyfriend after Brandon, he and Omar hook up sometime in the year after Brandon's murder. He joins his stick-up operation, but is shown to have a problem with jealousy, and there is a noticeable rift between him and Omar's other associates, which worsens when he accidentally shoots Tosha during a failed raid.

Kidnapped and beaten in season three, he sells Omar out to Brother Mouzone (unlike Brandon, who endured much more without caving). It is heavily implied that this is why he and Omar part ways, as he is not seen again after this.
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    Tosha Mitchell and Kimmy 
Played by: Edwina Findley and Kelli R. Brown

I'm in it for the money. There's easier out there than that.

The other two members of Omar's crew, whom he picks up in season two. There is a substantial rift between these two and Dante, as Dante is openly jealous of their relationship with Omar; made worse when Dante accidentally shoots Tosha during a failed raid. Kimmy blames Omar for putting them in the situation in the first place, eventually leaving the crew because his obsession with the Barksdale gang has become too risky. Kimmy apparently later forgives Omar — or at least, tolerates him well enough to participate in the theft of Prop Joe's heroin resupply at the end of season 4.


    Renaldo 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6bd87417ea8667feda04d4da4059138d.jpg
Played by: Ramon Rodriguez

They no have the Honey Nut?

Omar's boyfriend after Dante. The first major Hispanic character on the show, he seems fairly new to the stick-up game, as he is unused to the amount of time Omar spends in reconnaissance. Because he isn't know to the drug dealers the way Omar is, he can go places Omar can't in order to pick up information. He owns a taxi, which the two use for surveillance.

Following the big score where Omar steals Prop Joe's shipment, he and Omar retire to Puerto Rico and live there happily. However, while Omar returns to Baltimore after the news of Blind Butchie's death, Renaldo declines and stays in retirement.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: He has a tendency to mix Spanish words and phrases into sentences that are otherwise entirely in English.
  • Latin Lover
  • Only One Name
  • Revenge Before Reason: Averted, he doesn't return to Baltimore to help Omar try to get revenge on the Stanfield crew.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Renaldo fills a very similar story role to his predecessor Dante (and though it is implied, the reason for this replacement is never explicitly stated), despite having a rather different personality.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: His whereabouts at the end of the series are unknown and he's never seen again after he tells Omar about Butchie's death.

    Donnie 
Played by: Donnie Andrews

A friend of Butchie's who acts as muscle for him. When Omar is arrested, Butchie sends Big Guy and Donnie to protect him, and their help contributes to Omar surviving a hit attempt in prison. Donnie is back out of prison after a short time and later joins Omar in an attempt to avenge Butchie's death. He's killed in an ambush that the Stanfield gang lays for him and Omar.


Omar's relatives

    "No heart" Anthony Little 

Older brother of Omar. Locked up in the 90s for robbing a jewelry store


  • Bungled Suicide: Facing capture by the police, he put a gun to his chest and pulled the trigger, but survived, only receiving a contact wound... and a new alias.
  • Famed In-Story: To the point that Bubbles is ashamed that Kima hasn't heard of "No heart" Anthony.
  • The Ghost: He gets talked about several times but is not seen in the series itself, only in the DVD extras.
  • Ironic Nickname: "No heart" sounds like it should mean heartless, in the sense of being merciless and having no feelings. Anthony got his nickname from a failed suicide attempt, where he failed to shoot himself in the heart. Of course if one uses street slang, it could also count as a Meaningful Name, because on the street "heart" means having courage, fortitude, the toughness to take whatever life throws at you, and Anthony didn't have the heart to deal with being captured by the police and tried to take an out through his attempted suicide.
  • Never Going Back to Prison: To the point that he tried to kill himself when he saw that his capture was imminent.
  • Sibling Team: A 1985 segment shows him robbing a civilian with his younger brother and another friend... before Omar reverses the deed.

    Josephine 

Omar's Grandmother and main parental figure of his life. She's taken to the church regularly by him.


  • Don't Tell Mama: She thinks that Omar works on a cafeteria by the airport.
  • Nice Hat: Her church crown falls victim to Sapper and Gerard. Avon makes them send a new one.
  • Parental Substitute: Raised Omar.
  • Proper Lady: Slim Charles says it best:
    Slim: A bona fide colored lady. Do you know what a colored lady is? Not your moms, for sure. 'Cause if they was that, y'all would've known better than that bullshit.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Omar was ready to bury the hatchet and let the dogs of war sleep before she's caught in a firefight aimed at Omar. Stringer ultimately pays with his life harming the old lady during the Sunday truce, as Brother Mouzone allied with Omar is an unstoppable force.

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