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Although it focuses on a teen girl's suicide, this show has a lot of people involved in the lead up to her untimely death.

This is a SPOILER HEAVY character page. Proceed with caution!


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Main Characters

    Hannah Baker 

Hannah Baker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hannahbaker13rw.jpg
"Settle in. I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended."

Portrayed By: Katherine Langford

"Why didn't you tell me this when I was alive?"

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Hannah considers herself to be one, along with Justin, regarding Bryce's rape of Jessica.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe, Hannah is subject to this a lot, as people are unsure what to make of her and her suicide. Although by mid season, two sides seemed to have formed, interpreting Hannah in different ways.
    • One side is the "stop the tapes" movement, who believes that Hannah was a mentally ill, jealous and paranoid liar that made the tapes to justify her actions. Out of the people on the tapes, Marcus, Courtney and Justin take this side.
    • The other side is the so-called "justice" movement, who believes in the exact opposite. As they repeatedly state that Hannah was deeply traumatised, alone and terrified, and also states that everything Hannah says on the tapes is true. Alex, Clay, Tony and later, Jessica are on this side once they find out.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Prone to histrionics, though it's largely justified due to the trauma she endures. She also seemed to develop a severe case of depression, self hatred and intense suicidal thoughts by the time she meets with Mr. Porter, although the only thing confirmed in the show was the suicidal thoughts.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Granted she was tipsy at the time, but she was receptive to Courtney's flirting. She's also fairly attached to her female friends, describing Kat as irreplaceable and saying that Jessica "broke her heart", and feels betrayed when she starts dating Alex.
  • Attention Whore: She's often accused to be this even after her death, a Drama Queen who only wanted attention. At some point, even Clay tells her she always tries to make everything about herself. However, she got a lot of negative attention and clearly wasn't happy about it.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • The reason why she entrusted her tapes to Tony is because he was one of the few students (especially a male student) who treated her with respect.
    • This is why Clay is Reason #11. As Hannah pointed out, he was the only person who treated Hannah like a person nor used her in any way (especially since his only actions were accidentally being insensitive and doing what she said, which was to leave her alone). He also basically put on the list as being "part of the story".
  • Break the Cutie: Becomes more and more broken as the series goes on, which of course leads to Kill the Cutie. As for her status before she died, well that lead to...
  • Broken Bird: Arguably what lead to her creating the tapes. Considering the immense Trauma Conga Line she endured and went past Break the Cutie after being raped by Bryce, it's no surprise she'd become a bit off, especially with her Enemies List. One can't blame her.
  • Butt-Monkey: A non-comedic example. Every friend she makes or person she dates ends up betraying or exploiting her in some way, with the exception of Clay and Tony.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Did not intervene when Bryce raped Jessica, and feels intense guilt about it.
  • Cool Loser: She's supposed to be this. A witty, friendly, attractive Dude Magnet, whose life is ruined by rumors and bad reputation, and is constantly mistreated/betrayed/bullied by other characters.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Prior to the series, she was bullied so ruthlessly by a group of girls that her family moved and transferred her to Liberty High. Then things go From Bad to Worse for Hannah.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She and Clay engage in Snark to Snark Combat in their flirtations.
  • Deuteragonist: While Clay is the protagonist, much of the story focuses on Hannah.
  • Dude Magnet: Attracts most of the male cast.
  • Drama Queen: Prior to her suicide, she was accused of being this by both Clay and Tony. They come to regret this terribly once they understand the depth of her pain. Post-suicide, some of the students at Liberty High accuse her of being this.
  • Driven to Suicide: The premise of the show.
  • Enemies List: Zig-zagged. Her tapes largely function as this, where each tape implicates someone she knew in her suicide. However, she includes Clay because his part of the story is necessary to help contextualize other parts and not because he caused her death; she explicitly spells this out on Clay's tape.
  • Fag Hag:
    • Her friendship with Tony, one of the few boys who did not sexually harass her. She trusted him as a friend until the end.
    • Subverted with Ryan. They start bonding in one episode, but then it's revealed he couldn't care less about Hannah's feelings.
  • A Friend in Need: Offers to stand by Courtney even though she's been majorly screwed over by her. She also makes sure the intoxicated Jessica gets home safe from a school dance, despite their falling out.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: She increasingly develops this as the Trauma Conga Line continues, and increasingly thinking thoughts that she is a problem to people and it will be better for her to just disappear and not deal with her.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The rumors about her being a slut.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Even though her in-universe characterization as a "slut" was far from the truth, she did find herself often getting close to people (especially jocks) such as Marcus and Bryce seemingly without spotting the massive warning signs that they are not good people. One thing the show did not seem to explore was also the inherent flaws in her idea that all of the people on her tapes would follow her instructions to listen to all of them then pass it along to the next person. Most blatant was her apparent assumption that Jerk Jock rapist Bryce, #12 on her list, would comply with handing the tapes to Mr. Porter, #13, and the school's guidance counselor, effective an admission by Bryce of his rapes of her and Jessica to the one adult she actually confided in about what Bryce did to her.
  • How We Got Here: Her tapes explain the events that led her to commit suicide.
  • Internalized Categorism: By the end of her life, she already categorised herself as a lonely, depressed and broken girl who will never get better, and thinks that no one will miss her when she kills herself. She was wrong, as her parents, Clay's and Tony's reaction show.
  • It's All About Me: Although as she was full blown Break the Cutie and Broken Bird, so her mental state did not help, some of her actions have shades of this:
    • Her reaction to Jessica's rape. Rather than trying to get Jessica help, Hannah focuses on how it impacted her, and shares the story with multiple people; disregarding how Jessica might feel about that.
    • Putting Clay on the tapes just to shoehorn in an apology while leading him to believe it was his fault she killed herself, with no regard for how that might impact his psyche, was horribly self-centered and myopic.
  • The Lost Lenore: To Clay.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: She is accused of being this by Courtney, although there is little evidence of a full on mental disorder, besides repeated trauma developing into severe depression, intense self hatred and suicidal tendencies.
  • New Transfer Student: Along with Alex and Jessica.
  • Not So Different: In season 2, it's revealed that Hannah was temporarily part of a trio of girls who bullied another classmate.
  • Posthumous Character: As part of the premise.
  • Secret Relationship: Had one with Zach the summer before she died.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: With each of the boys she dates, she initially thinks they are kindhearted and noble. Too bad she's a Horrible Judge of Character.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Being on the school's "hot list" brought her nothing but misery.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Gets this after being raped by Bryce.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Ever since Justin spread a revealing photo of her, Hannah hasn't been able to catch a break.
  • Unreliable Narrator:
    • Zig-zagged. Several of the people on the tapes, most prominently Marcus and Courtney accuses her of being this, and Zach, though sympathetic towards Hannah, points out an inconsistency in her story about him and is able to back this claim up with tangible evidence. It is also made quite evident that Hannah genuinely did misunderstand and misinterpret at least a couple of the situations she describes. Though other characters (particularly Clay and Alex) believe that everything she said on the tapes was true.
    • At the end of the thirteenth tape she claims to give life "one last try" , that being asking for Mr. Porter's help, and that her decision came after recording the first 12. However in the beginning of the first tape, she already claimed that the number of the tapes would be 13, making it look like she's set up Mr. Porter to fail.
  • Urban Legend Love Life: Because of the upskirt photo of her, Alex's hot list, the Alternate Character Interpretation students apply to her poem, and Courtney fabricating a story about Hannah being a "psycho lesbian", Hannah has a reputation as the class slut who will put out for anyone. This reputation is inaccurate. Throughout the series, Hannah kisses Justin and Clay, and kisses Courtney on a dare. Her only two sexual encounters (with Marcus and Bryce) were not consensual.
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    Clay Jensen 

Clay Jensen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_1_5.png
"Do you see all of these 'don't kill yourself' posters up on the walls? They weren't up before. They put them up because she killed herself."

Portrayed By: Dylan Minnette

"And you could have stopped it. And I could have. Justin Foley could have. And a dozen more people at least. But we didn't."

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Unlike his book counterpart, Clay becomes more and more bereaved over Hannah's death and guilt over whatever he did that was responsible for her committing suicide.
  • Adaptational Badass: Clay goes to greater lengths to get justice for Hannah than he did in the books. The biggest being getting Bryce to confess about him raping Hannah on tape.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Sends out a nude photo of Tyler, which earns him a literal What the Hell, Hero?, and later vandalizes Zach's car. He has quite a few What the Hell, Hero? moments in the second season, most notably when he leaks the tapes online the night after Alex's botched birthday party and days before Justin was meant to testify, despite what effect the public release of the tapes would have on the psyche of both of the aforementioned individuals, and several others.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While Clay does have Adaptational Jerkass, he also does more in getting justice for Hannah than he did in the book.
  • Adorkable: Hannah thinks so.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Clay learns all throughout season one that he shouldn't have slut-shamed and judged Hannah, and he learned that a picture (both the one of Hannah on the slide and the one of her and Courtney kissing) don't tell the whole story. In Season 2, he is incredibly judgmental of girls that ended up in the clubhouse, such as Nina and Hannah, saying that because they're smiling, it couldn't have possibly been that bad.
    • He also learns in Season 1 that retribution and revenge aren't the answer to tragedy, and that he should try to help people, not hurt them, but listening better and being compassionate. He also learns that he should open up to his parents more. In Season 2, he leaks the tapes online because he's angry despite knowing they would humiliate Jessica, he lashes out at Zach because he found out he dated Hannah, he spends the entire season badgering Jessica to testify about her assault despite her not being ready for it, and he acts like Justin's addiction is his own fault despite growing up surrounded by drugs.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Hannah calls him "Helmet" throughout the series after she sees him wearing his helmet riding his bike to work at the Crestmont. Later, Clay lampshades it: after their night of looking at the moon after work, the next morning Hannah calls him "Astronomy Boy" and Clay smiles and says "Better than Helmet, I guess?"
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Prone to intense bouts of emotion, hallucinates in multiple episodes and throughout season 2, and his mother mentions him taking medication and seeing a therapist in the past. Early on in the series, he mentions that he is taking so long to listen to the tapes because he cannot listen to them for more than a few minutes at a time or he'll get panic attacks. Come season 2, he also appears to be having hallucinations of Hannah, that he has full conversations with at multiple points.
  • Audience Surrogate: The series revolves around Clay listening to one tape per episode.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Justin's Veronica.
  • Broken Pedestal: In Season 2 Clay learns during the trial against the school for failing to act before Hannah committed suicide, that many of the students on the tapes who testified reveal things Hannah did that doesn't make her look like the innocent Naive Every Girl he believed. He questions whether the tapes she made were truthful, but continues to help her get justice.
  • Bullying a Dragon: A heroic example and possibly invoked. He knew he had absolutely no chance against Bryce, a football star considerably bigger than him, yet still hit him in a desperate bid to get him to confess his rape of Hannah. He succeeds, at the cost of a serious beating.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The Marvel Cinematic Universe exists on this series. Dylan Minnette played Donnie Gill / Blizzard on Agents of SHIELD.
  • Chick Magnet: Catches the attention of Hannah, Sheri, and (possibly) Skye and almost has sex with the former two though it is later revealed that Sheri only tried to make out with him since she was on the tapes and she didn't want him to think the worst of her.
  • Childhood Friends: With Tony, Skye, and Kat.
  • Crusading Widower: It gets more intense over time, but Clay grows from wanting answers for Hannah's suicide to going out of his way and into harm's way to secure some idea of justice for her. And over the course of the series, it's very clear that Clay did very much love Hannah. Albeit, not without the typical high school drama.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a snarky ongoing flirtation with Hannah and a self-deprecating sense of humor.
  • Dented Iron: The number of times he takes a hit to the face leaves him with quite a few scars by the end of the season. Overlaps with Pragmatic Adaptation, since this makes it a lot easier to tell when we're seeing a flashback instead of present-day.
  • Determinator: Seeks justice for Hannah, largely to atone for not being able to help her while she was alive.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Too bad Hannah has a thing for jocks that tend to use her in some way.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Begins to show up on his face in the latter half of the story as a clear sign of the emotional toil the experience of listening to the tapes puts on him.
  • The Fettered: Takes up this role at the end of the season, especially once he finds out he is innocent. He goes out of his way to make sure Hannah's death will not be forgotten and attempts to confront every kid that is on the tapes, including getting beaten up by Bryce in order to record a confession about him raping Hannah.
  • Geek Physiques: His skinny frame is often pointed out by others.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Complains about his lack of love life, but he's had many girls interested in him.
  • Hurting Hero: Starts the series traumatized by Hannah's suicide. It goes From Bad to Worse.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: He is greatly tormented by the thought of what his involvement in Hannah's suicide could be. Even when he finds out, by Hannah's own admission, that he didn't actually do anything wrong at all, and it had everything to do with Hannah's self-loathing and nothing he did, he still very much blames himself, agonizing over whether he could saved her if he had done or said something different that night.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Dylan Minnete's own, utilized for maximum Woobie points.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Accidentally runs into a car while he's on his bike, has a rock hit him exactly where the old cut was, and then gets beaten up by Bryce. This continues into season 2, where he has a bag thrown over his head before being assaulted by a group of jocks and gets into a huge fight in the hallway a few days later.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Rumors have circulated about his sexuality, though he has only shown interest in women.
  • Nice Guy: Kind to everyone he interacts with, though the contents of the tapes pushes him over the edge.
  • No Social Skills: He tutors Jeff in academics, and Jeff "tutors" him in how to talk to girls.
  • Not So Above It All: Takes a humiliating photo of Tyler and circulates it around the school. A case of Pay Evil unto Evil and A Taste of Their Own Medicine for what Tyler did to Hannah.
  • Pastimes Prove Personality: Clay is a noble guy, and his school activities include peer tutoring and working on the Honor Council. He's helpful and concerned about the people around him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: At the end of episode 7, Clay (after what he's listened from the tapes at that point) completely goes off at the student body of Liberty High in how they treat others. Especially in what happened with Hannah. (But the worse was yet to come.)
    "Everyone is just so nice, until they drive you to kill yourself! And sooner or later, the truth will come out! It's gonna come out."
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Downplayed. Initially, this is his reaction to hearing the tapes. His revenge schemes include circulating a nude photo of Tyler, keying Zach's car, and generally causing problems for the other kids on the tapes. Though Tony talks him down before he goes any further.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: In his Odd Friendship with Justin, he's the nice, nerdy Sensitive Guy to Justin's Troubled, but Cute Manly Man.
  • Shrinking Violet: Especially around Hannah.
  • Spanner in the Works: Considered one In-Universe, as the other kids on the tapes fear him revealing all of their secrets, and especially fear the possibility of him handing the tapes over to the authorities, the school, the student body or anyone outside their student group in general. They are proven right as Clay breaks the rules and sends the tapes to Mr. Porter and Hannah's parents.
  • Token Good Teammate: Out of the people on the tapes, he's the only one who never did anything to hurt Hannah, something that Hannah herself admits on Clay's tape.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Became much more volatile and irritated towards everyone around him in season 2 (especially his parents). Very likely justified though due to his deteriorating mental state (i.e. seeing Hannah everywhere he goes).
  • Trauma Conga Line: Within a two month period, the girl he loves commits suicide, he sees his close friend Jeff die in a car accident, believes he is responsible for Hannah's suicide due to the tapes, is harassed by the jocks, and beat up by Bryce.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: In a fantasy sequence, he sees himself as this; saying all the right, compassionate things to Hannah and telling her he loves her. Although not as overstated, he was this in the actual events too, doing what she asked him to.

Students on Hannah's Tapes

    Justin Foley 

Justin Foley

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_6816.JPG
"You're not that innocent, Jensen."

Portrayed By: Brandon Flynn

"She lied about it on those tapes because she's a crazy fucking drama queen who just killed herself for attention!"

  • Accomplice by Inaction:
    • Hannah considers Justin to be at fault for Jessica's rape, at lists him as Reason #9. When Jessica learns the truth about what happened, she considers Justin to be this as well.
    • Legally, he is this too. Towards the end of Season 2, he is convicted as an accessory to felony sexual assault.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Justin's motivations and interactions with Bryce after Jessica's rape fall into this category.
  • Annoying Patient: To Sheri, Tony, and Clay when they have to detox him.
  • The Atoner: Towards Jessica in Season 2.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Deconstructed. A large part of why he has trouble with what Bryce does is that Bryce offers him not just monetary support, but a place to live when no one else will; his home life is extremely difficult and Bryce consistently provides him with an escape from that. It doesn't in any way excuse in part in Jessica's rape and Jessica rightly does not want to hear Justin defending the person who assaulted her, but it does make Justin's internal conflict over the situation more understandable. Eventually, he does cut ties with Bryce, having finally decided that continuing to associate with Bryce is the same thing as accepting his actions, but by this point Jessica has dumped him.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Clay's Betty. And also to Alex's with Jessica as Archie.
  • Break the Haughty: The cocky Justin we're introduced to in the first episode is practically unrecognizable by the end of the season.
  • The Bro Code: His strict adherence to this trope gets him into trouble way after the event, as Jessica dumps him after finding out she was raped by Bryce and he didn't do anything about it.
  • Chick Magnet: Kat, Hannah, and Jessica have all been interested in him.
  • Dumb Jock: Justin has a hard time keeping up with Hannah's wit and needs a lot spelled out for him. He's also easily manipulated by his friends.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite his many faults and shortcomings, he genuinely loves Jessica and is absolutely heartbroken when she dumps him. He also genuinely loves his mom despite her failings as a parent, and puts her in a situation where she is forced to leave her abusive drug dealer boyfriend, Meth Seth, for her own good.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even though he took pictures of Hannah, he wasn't happy about Bryce sending them to the entire school. He also doesn't force himself on Jessica when she's drunk, and even unsuccessfully tries to stop Bryce from raping her.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Clay of all people in season 2
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Justin's blind loyalty to Bryce is largely because Bryce provides him with a stable home in comparison to the abuse he faces at his mother's house.
    • His abusive home life in itself probably largely contributes to his feeling powerless to stand up to Bryce and effectively defend Jessica from being raped.
  • Gaslighting: Claims to have benevolent motives, but nonetheless he chooses to lie to Jessica repeatedly about Bryce raping her, and convince her that it didn't happen.
  • Going Cold Turkey: After discovering his stash and flushing it, Clay forcibly detoxes Justin while hiding him in his room. Ultimately subverted, however, because by the end of the season, he's still using, and just hides it better.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In Season 2, he's racked with guilt about his role in what happened to Hannah and especially Jessica, and works with Clay to try and take Bryce down.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Zach and Bryce. Though he falls out of favor with both by the end of the series.
  • The Junkie: In Season 2, he has been homeless for months and picked up a heroin addiction.
  • Jerk Jock: As per the norm at Liberty High.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's seriously messed-up and can be cruel, but is shown to care about the ones he loves, especially Jessica.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He loses Jessica permanently, gets kicked out of his only home, and is shunned by his friend group as a result of his actions.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Makes ambiguous threats to "shut Clay down", and solve problems with his fists; much to the detriment of both Jessica and Marcus. Borders on Ax-Crazy when he suggests killing Clay and making it look like an accident, though he promptly drops this idea when everyone tells him it's fucking nuts.
  • Manly Tears: Does a lot of crying over the course of the series. Between the abuse he faces at home, his guilt over letting Bryce rape Jessica, and Jessica's revelation and subsequent dumping of him, Justin goes through the ringer emotionally. This continues in season 2.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has a meltdown at the end of the series after Jessica learns the truth about him enabling her rape.
  • Odd Friendship: With the artsy hipster Alex, who wins him over with his sense of humor. There's also the fact that they're in love with the same girl.
  • The Runaway: By the end of the first season, he's been kicked out of his house, cut ties with Bryce, and has been dumped by Jessica and his friends. He takes off with a duffel bag, some vodka, a handgun, cash and some clothes, leaving his old life behind.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • The cocky Manly Man to Alex's artsy, emotional Sensitive Guy.
    • Starting in season 2, he also serves as the Manly Man to Clay's nice, nerdy Sensitive Guy.
  • The Stoner: As Bryce tells Monty, "You telling me to watch my temper is like Justin Foley telling me to lay off the weed."
  • Troubled, but Cute: His home life is tumultuous, though he has no problems attracting girls.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Bryce, as Bryce frequently offers him a place to stay and buys his school supplies and basketball shoes without asking anything in return. Justin feels so indebted to Bryce that he allows and helps cover up Bryce's rape of Jessica.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: He arrogantly gloats to Clay about escaping a speeding ticket via Alex after scaring him to bits, as the latter's dad was the cop that caught them. He boasts that they (his friend group) are untouchable and bulletproof to Clay.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Like Tony, Justin is from the poorer part of town and has had a difficult upbringing.

    Jessica Davis 

Jessica Davis

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_6813.JPG
"Hot chocolate is the cure for all things shitty in life."

Portrayed By: Alisha Boe

"Don't believe everything you hear."

  • Blatant Lies: Denies knowing about the existence of the tapes in her deposition. Though she's implied to have done this because she wanted to process her sexual assault on her own terms, rather than hide her mistreatment of Hannah.
  • Break the Cutie: Perky cheerleader Jessica is put through hell by the events of Season 1.
  • Broken Bird: Becomes more and more broken as the series goes on, but unlike Hannah, it looks like there's hope for her.
  • The Cheerleader: Fits with her role as the pretty basketball player's girlfriend Liberty High.
  • Daddy's Girl: Implied to be very close to her father. His presence at the deposition encourages her to be honest, and she opens up to him at the end of the series about her sexual assault.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Her father liked Alex but not Justin.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Something she and Hannah bond over initially.
  • Dramatic Irony: The scene where she invites Bryce to hang out comes off as this, as the two spend the afternoon together playing with guns and flirting. It's this In-Universe as well, and is Justin's breaking point.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Initially a comedic example, with her love of hot chocolate. Later Played for Drama with her drinking at school to process her sexual assault.
  • Dude Magnet: Alex and Justin are both in love with her. She also attracts one of Nina's friends in season 2.
  • Girl Next Door: Hannah describes her as a nice girls that boys "like to like", compared to Hannah's reputation for promiscuity.
  • Hot-Blooded: Displays a lot of passion in her confrontations of people, including slapping Hannah and screaming at Justin's friends when he skips school. Marcus comments that she's drawing a lot of attention to the group with her disposition.
  • Hypocrite: She tells Clay, "Don't believe everything you hear," even though believing everything she heard is exactly why she's on the tapes.
  • Love Martyr: Jessica is devoted to Justin, despite his past with Hannah, and him being a fairly douchey boyfriend. She is prone to believe his version of events, and is compassionate and supportive. Though once she finds out he enabled her rape and gaslit her about it, she's furious and completely done with him.
  • Military Brat: Her dad is in the Air Force, which is why she moves so often.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Thinks Alex is cheating on her with Hannah, which results in her ending her relationships with both of them.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Her dad is black and her mom is white.
  • New Transfer Student: Along with Alex and Hannah.
  • Popularity Food Chain: She's not an Alpha Bitch, but she's clearly of high social status. She seems to spend most of her time with guys actually, rather than having a Girl Posse.
  • Shower of Angst: As she tries to cope with the revelation that she was raped by Bryce.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Jessica's nastier moments are largely fueled by having friends who constantly lie to her. Once she understands the truth, she's significantly kinder and intent on doing the right thing.
  • Woman Scorned: Invoked by Alex, when he's frustrated that Jessica won't sleep with him. He's caught off guard when Jessica directs her anger at Hannah instead of him.
  • Your Cheating Heart: In the season 2 finale she goes to the dance with Alex and they even kiss. A few minutes later she makes out with Justin.

    Alex Standall 

Alex Standall

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_6818.PNG
"Why don't they put up a poster that says 'Don't be a fucking dick to people'?"

Portrayed By: Miles Heizer

"Hannah was my friend. We should tell the truth about her."

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Season 2 reveals that he and Monty were in the pool house at Bryce's party when Hannah was raped, and they did nothing, not realizing what happened until after Hannah was already dead. Alex's feelings of guilt for this were a major factor in his suicide attempt.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Shows some Mood-Swinger tendencies, as well as symptoms of PTSD. Also has a general disregard for his own safety.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Implied throughout the second season. While still redeveloping his relationship with Jessica, his friendship with Zach has become increasingly close (evidently shown in the locker room scene.).
  • The Atoner: Feels genuinely bad about his role in Hannah's suicide, and wants to be honest in the deposition. Arguably, it's his intense need to atone and his perceived failure at getting justice for Hannah that is the largest contributor to his deteriorating mental health, and him attempting suicide. A more downplayed example is his attempts at reconciling with Jessica after the hot/not list incident.
  • Broken Bird: Alex is deeply traumatized by the events of the series. So much so that he attempts suicide.
  • Bungled Suicide: He attempts suicide at the end of Episode 12 and is left in critical condition at the hospital, but survives, albeit with minor brain damage.
  • Camp Straight: Has bleached hair, prefers music to sports, and is in love with Jessica. He also mentions generally getting along better with girls. This is implied to be a source of tension between him and his father.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even in the darkest of times, Alex keeps dishing out the snark.
  • Disabled Snarker: In season 2, following his Bungled Suicide.
  • Entitled to Have You: Alex put Hannah's name on the "hot list" to hurt Jessica, because he was angry that Jessica wouldn't sleep with him. He felt that she owed him sex because "he was in love with her".
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Alex's blond hair has turned back to his natural brown color and grown out in Season 2 following his suicide attempt.
  • Grew a Spine: For better or for worse, Alex gets more assertive over the course of the series.
  • Hipster: Listens to Joy Division, plays jazz guitar, and has a nose ring.
  • Honor Before Reason: Frequently creates more problems than he solves due to this approach. Particularly at his Honor Council hearing, where he repeatedly proclaims his guilt despite Marcus trying to get Alex off with a warning.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: He vies for male friendship and approval. So much so that he blows off Hannah as a friend, and participates in making the hot list. It is implied that because of his Camp Straight nature, he's been excluded or bullied by guys in the past. Alex also mentions his father being excited about him finally having male friends.
  • In with the In Crowd: Initially he was part of a trio with Hannah and Jessica. Their friendship falls apart when he starts hanging out with the popular crowd at school.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Alex's dad is a hyper-masculine, gun-toting cop who applauds him for getting into a fight with Monty. Alex is a skinny, music loving hipster who gets curb-stomped in said fight and largely only did it due to his poor mental state at the time.
  • Karma Houdini: Alex feels he is this, and subconsciously and directly seeks out "punishment" throughout the series. He drives recklessly, starts fights he can't win, and deprives himself of the things that make him happy. He also begs the Honor Council to reprimand him, and is frustrated that they won't. His suicide attempt is a strongly implied self-invoked Laser-Guided Karma - as it comes directly after his father informs Alex that he probably won't be called to the deposition.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Jessica assumes he is gay due to his fashion sense and love of elaborate coffee drinks. Ironically, she herself ends up dating him.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: He introduces himself in this manner to Hannah and Jessica. Hannah jokingly calls him "Alex Alex Standall" in response.
  • New Transfer Student: Along with Hannah and Jessica.
  • Nice Guy: Angst, snark, and hot list aside, Alex is friendly to just about everyone he interacts with, and is one of the only people to show respect for Tyler.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With Justin. The two bond over a shared sense of humor, but have vastly different presentations and interests.
    • Also develops one with Zach in season 2.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers a series of brief hard-hitting "reason why you suck" speeches to the group at Monet's. He even gives one to himself.
  • Sad Clown: It is pretty clear that snark is his main way of coping with the problems in his life, of which he, admittedly, has quite a few.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • The scrawny, music loving hipster (Sensitive Guy) to Justin's cocky, athletic Manly Man.
    • Starting in season 2, he also serves as the Sensitive Guy in his Odd Friendship with Zach.
  • The Snark Knight: Alex has little patience for anyone, himself included. Even before the drama set in! The only people safe from his snark are Hannah and Jessica.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Lampshaded by Hannah.
  • Victorian Novel Disease: Alex suffers from an undiagnosable autoimmune disorder, which only the people closest to him (like Jessica) know about. He mentions seeing over a dozen doctors, none who have been able to help.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Hannah. After she kills herself, Alex openly expresses his guilt at destroying his friendship with her just because he wanted to be "one of the guys" and have jocks like Bryce like him, and states that if he didn't destroy his friendship with her, she would be still alive.
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    Tyler Down 

Tyler Down

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tyler13rw.jpg
"I just took a picture!"

Portrayed By: Devin Druid

"Girls like that, they don't hang out with the yearbook guy."

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Within the group of students on the tapes, he is considered more culpable and often excluded from their meetings. They also throw rocks at his window and circulate a nude photo of him. He references being bullied by the student body in general in his deposition.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Between his uncomfortable mannerisms and interest in violence, it's clear that something is up with him that goes beyond being an awkward teenager.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Seemingly removes Alex from his hit list, due to Alex standing up for him from one of Monty's frequent bullying.
    • In season 2, it turns out that Hannah actually was nice to him and even posed for one of his photo shoots before she started being bullied.
    • He wants to communicate with Clay because Clay used to be nice to him before he listened to the tapes.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not much goes right for him.
  • Camera Fiend: Constantly lurking in the background, taking photos.
  • Commonality Connection: Averted. While the popular kids on the tapes consider Ryan to be "one of them" despite their different social circles, Tyler is excluded from their meetings and hated.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Tyler probably wouldn't have told the prosecution about the tapes, or created his hit-list if he hadn't been repeatedly antagonized by both the heroes and villains of the story.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's subtle, but he has a fairly consistent deadpan sense of humor.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Season 2 ends with him almost committing a school shooting after two seasons of near constant abuse from most of the cast, punctuated by his violent rape by Monty in the final episode.
  • Doing It for the Art: What he claims his stalking of Hannah is.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: 1000% averted. Tyler's rape at the hands of Monty is easily one of the most horrifying and upsetting scenes in the entire show.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Startles Clay in the restroom by taking photos perched up near a windowsill, and is promptly thrown out by Bryce.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In the Season 2 finale he has a buzzcut since he has spent time in juvenile detention facilities.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: He's clearly an outcast who wants to be accepted but it never happens, that's why he befriends Cyrus and his punk group in season 2.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Tyler gets to speak, he generally tends to make good points.
    • While Tyler's not innocent, he's makes a good point that he's being retaliated against while no one else on the tapes is. Tyler's actions were violating and inexcusable, but people like Marcus take a Holier Than Thou approach to him. YMMV on which person on the tapes is the most culpable, but none of the popular kids get called out or catch any flack for their actions until the very end of the first season.
    • His plan to out Bryce's crimes to the police. While Hannah's suicide was triggered by a number of traumatic events, Bryce's rape of her pushed her over the edge, and is explicitly a crime.
    • He calls out Mr. Porter on his ineffectiveness in protecting the students from bullying and tendency for Victim Blaming.
    • Tyler is also one of the first people to point out how toxic the environment in Liberty High is.
    "I would say that the climate at Liberty High School, as I have experienced it myself, is bad. I take shit everyday. People trip me, slam me into walls, lock me in the bathroom stalls, and pull my pants down."
    • Tyler is one of the few students to tell the whole truth on the stand in season 2. He is extremely frustrated at what he sees as everyone else lying and covering up their own misdeeds, while he admitted to everything.
  • Jizzed in My Pants: Does this after kissing Mackenzie on their date. He runs out of the movie theater in embarrassment. When she sees him again at the punk show, she tries to reassure him that this is totally normal and she doesn't think any less of him for it, he lashes out and breaks up with her.
  • Lame Excuse: Says his stalking of Hannah was justified, because he's the student life photographer for the yearbook, and it's his job to document "student's lives". Clay promptly chews him out for this.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Clay takes a naked photo of him as distributes it among the student body as revenge for his stalking of Hannah and taking pictures of her without her consent.
  • Loving a Shadow: Obsesses over Hannah because she "doesn't pose" and is therefore interesting to photograph. He didn't know her very well, certainly not on a personal level.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Has a reputation of being a sketchy loner.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: There are multiple parallels between Tyler and the Columbine shooters.
  • No Social Skills: Even when he tries to be friendly, he ends up creeping out or irritating whomever he is talking to. He also has no grasp of why Hannah is upset with him, or would reject his invitation to hang out.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Tyler references this trope in the meeting at Monet's, when he says that the group should turn Bryce in. He argues that with Bryce as a scapegoat, none of the infractions of the other kids are legally or morally significant in comparison.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Attempts to apologize to no avail.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Heavily implied during the last two episodes of Season 1. He is shown buying an illegal gun off the street, and by the end of the final episode, is shown having a whole collection of different guns, complete with several boxes of ammunition, and he's using photos he'd taken of different students that disrespected or bullied him to make a hit list, which includes Clay.
    • Attempted in the final episode of season 2, where his rape sends him over the edge to shoot up the spring fling before Clay talks him down.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The nerdy, awkward Sensitive Guy to Cyrus' punk Manly Man.
  • The Scapegoat: To an extent.
    • He's treated by the others like he's scum of the Earth and Marcus even claims Tyler is the only one who deserves punishment. Tyler is excluded from their circle under the threat of violence and is the only one to be "punished" before the end of the series. While what he did was extremely creepy, some of the others are guilty of creepy deeds as well, and Tyler is actually one of the few who isn't guilty of betraying Hannah's trust. Not to mention, that while he's being harassed, nobody tries to hold an actual rapist, Bryce, responsible for his actions. It's implied Tyler is getting this treatment mostly because he's the easiest target.
    • He can be seen as that even in the context of his own case. While his guilt is undeniable, he's far from being the only guilty one of the harm Hannah received then, as the Liberty High jocks were the ones who actually carried on the bullying and sexual harassment. When Clay punishes Tyler, people like Bryce and Monty not only get away scott free with their actions, but also get a fresh victim to bully.
    • Becomes this for Monty in the final episode of season 2, after the baseball season is cancelled. It's really Bryce's fault for being a rapist, but Monty would rather blame Tyler, who just vandalized the field, because he's an easy target for abuse. This unfortunately leads to Tyler's rape.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • Argues that he and Clay are Not So Different, due to them both being unpopular guys who can't act on their feelings for Hannah. He (correctly) accuses Clay of masturbating to the photos Tyler took of Courtney and Hannah making out. However, Tyler's invasive behavior goes beyond anything Clay would do.
    • Arguably to Marcus as well; Marcus singles Tyler out as the worst on the tapes and loathes him for being a creeper though Marcus's sexual harassment/groping of Hannah firmly puts him into the creeper category as well.
  • Spanner in the Works None of the kids expected him to blurt out the existence of the tapes. Especially to the school's lawyer. And Hannah's parents.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Follows Hannah around and photographs her, claiming he's in love with her.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Reveals the existence of the tapes to the authorities in his interview.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: At the end of season 2, after being brutally beaten and sodomized with a mop pole by Monty and his friends, he decides to go through with his plan to commit a school shooting.

    Courtney Crimsen 

Courtney Crimsen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/courtney13rw.jpg
"People were starting to talk. I had to do something."

Portrayed By: Michele Selene Ang

"Hannah's truth is not my truth. No way."

  • Academic Alpha Bitch: She's focused on academics, popular, and organizes many events in school. On the exterior, she seems to be a sweet Go-Getter Girl but is actually a selfish Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who willingly harms others to protect her reputation. She even pulls some typical Alpha Bitch moves like starting rumors and excluding people. And even suggesting siding with a serial rapist because she considers it a strategic move to protect her reputation.
  • Adorkable: With her Hello Kitty lunchbox, hair bows, and naïveté, she comes off as this, albeit not a likable version of this trope.
  • Alliterative Name: Courtney Crimsen.
  • Armored Closet Gay: Courtney fears coming out to the point where she starts a rumor about Hannah to deflect suspicions.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Very focused on academics and naive about drinking and sexuality.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: It is implied that after she claims Hannah was a lesbian and spreads it around school, she starts believing her own claims that eventually develop into her callously believing Hannah was a mentally ill, jealous, needy and paranoid liar.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She appears to be a sweet girl who wants to help everyone, but her tape and her actions to protect her secret reveal just how cruel she can be.
  • Character Development: After calling Marcus out for his cruelty.
  • Class Representative: Very involved in activities, and maintains Hannah's memorial at school.
  • Evil Is Petty: Says Jessica doesn't deserve a say in the group's decisions about Bryce, because Jessica didn't take her phone call.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Courtney's bobbed hair grows to shoulder length as she opts to come out and redeem herself.
  • The Fake Cutie: She comes of very amiable and a little dorky, which she uses to manipulate people. She is shown reaching out to both Clay and Mrs. Baker regarding Hannah's death, but these gestures are empty and Courtney says scathing things about Hannah in private.
  • Gayngst: Having been raised by two gay men, Courtney has been exposed to homophobia her entire life. She fears the repercussions, rumors, and hate she might incur by coming out.
  • Girl Friday: Is often backing up Marcus's plans and helping him carry them out. She's also the secretary of the Honor Council, which he leads.
  • Girl Posse: Seems to lead one, nicknamed "Courtney's Court".
  • Happily Adopted: Zig-zagged. Her dads clearly love her and she thinks highly of them, but she resents having to deal with societal homophobia because of them, and is frustrated that she doesn't have a typical nuclear family.
  • Has Two Daddies: Who are seemingly some of the only Good Parents in the series, though they can be a bit overbearing.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Courtney calls out her friends for referencing the hot list in front of Hannah, saying she's against sexual harassment, objectification, and bullying. Yet she takes advantage of Hannah's status as the class slut when it suits her, and starts another rumor about Hannah's Urban Legend Love Life.
    • Justifies her actions to Hannah based on a fear of bullying, yet has no sympathy for Hannah being bullied.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Her philosophical rambling about the subjectivity of truth and experience comes off as a Lame Excuse; rather than an intellectual idea worth engaging with.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: See her page quote. She believes she's a good person, and that throwing Hannah under the bus was her only option. YMMV on whether this is the case.
  • It's Personal: For all of her flaws and pettiness, she has a very legitimate reason to hate Tyler; namely, that he photographed her during an intimate moment and circulated the photo around the school. Made all the worse in that she was a closeted lesbian at the time.
  • Lack of Empathy:
    • Despite maintaining Hannah's memorial, her attempt at comforting Mrs. Baker, and hanging mental health awareness posters, privately, Courtney takes the stance that Hannah was a mentally ill, paranoid, vicious liar who killed herself for attention and blamed everyone else for her problems. Yikes.
    • She's incredibly callous about Jessica and Hannah's rapes as well, to the point where even the other culprits on the tapes are horrified at her utter shamelessness at admitting she was ready to team up with Bryce to protect herself.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Dresses in a very feminine style.
  • Never My Fault: Not as far as Marcus, but she also is adamant that she did nothing wrong to Hannah and that the latter lied about everything. Zach and Ryan call her out for this, the former questioning the "story" that she is presenting of Hannah and the latter for callously writing Hannah off.
  • Ship Tease: Inverted. One of Courtney's fathers, who doesn't know his daughter is a closeted lesbian, teasingly suggests she brings Marcus with her to an event as if she has a crush on him, but she insists Marcus and her are just friends.
  • The Smurfette Principle: After Jessica and Sheri both Heel–Face Turn, she's the lone female in the "stop the tapes" movement. This is lampshaded by Ryan, when he is horrified by her callousness towards Jessica and Hannah's rapes, despite being the only woman at the meeting.
  • Stepford Smiler: Sweet and poised on the outside, miserable and resentful on the inside.
  • Tragic Dream: Is often caught gazing longingly at an attractive, openly-lesbian classmate.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While her mistreatment of Hannah was wrong, she does apologize to Hannah and was somewhat sympathetic in that she was terrified of being outed. By the end of the season, she goes above and beyond, resorting to Victim Blaming and is ready to team up with a rapist to protect her reputation.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: By the time she has to testify in season 2, Courtney has developed much more regret for her previous actions, and when the school's lawyer starts slandering Hannah as a Psycho Lesbian Stalker with a Crush, she finally comes out and defends Hannah as having been a good friend. With nothing left to hide and thus no reason to continue to pretend Hannah was a liar, by the end of the season she is among the group who goes to support Jessica when she and Justin report Bryce to the police, and participates in the group hug at the dance.
  • Twisting the Words: Twice. First time is when she exaggerates the situation in the photo and twists the context, implying Hannah is a "psycho lesbian", and the second time is when she tries to define people's truths and states her truth is different from Hannah's.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has one when Clay takes her to Hannah's grave and confronts her about the rumor she spread about Hannah.

    Marcus Cole 

Marcus Cole

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/13_reasons_why_credit_netflix.jpg
"We're not. We are protecting ourselves."

Portrayed By: Steven Silver

"Hannah just wanted attention. Nothing was any different than what happens to any girl at any high school."

  • Academic Alpha Bitch: Male example. He vies for school valedictorian and is very success-oriented. He mentions his grades, Ivy League aspirations, or student body presidency in practically every scene he's in.
  • Ambition Is Evil: His ambition for getting into Ivy League universities blinds him to the bigger picture and from recognizing the damage he has done.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: From his statements, he clearly believes the sexist spew he puts out that Hannah was just "another high school girl" caught up in the jock's games of slut shaming and lies, and states that what happened to Hannah happens at any high school to any girl, and that makes it fine in his eyes.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Like Courtney, he's outwardly clean and friendly. He's willing to resort to very underhanded and cruel actions if things don't go his way, though.
  • Black and Nerdy: "Academic" more so than nerdy, as he clearly fits in with the jocks and is charming to girls. It's partially deconstructed when he tells Bryce that "the rules are different for him", and implies that he focuses on school and abstains from drugs in part to avert stereotypes.
  • Blatant Lies: At the deposition, Marcus states that he liked Hannah and wanted to date her, but somehow inadvertently hurt her feelings and she moved on. Continues in his testimony in season 2, where he says that Hannah freaked out when he just tried to hold her hand, and that she actually asked him if he could set her up with Bryce.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Decides to get Clay falsely suspended and threaten him, arrogantly overlooking that Clay Took a Level in Badass, and doesn't have much to lose if the tapes went public regardless.
    • In season 2, Tyler, sick of Marcus' hypocrisy and Jerkass attitude, pranks him with a paint bomb and blackmails him into calling out Bryce.
  • Demoted to Extra: Of all the main characters, Marcus arguably gets the least amount of focus in season 2.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Harshly tells Hannah that he never liked her, he just thought she was easy.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: He's not the Big Bad of the series, but he's the leader of the "stop the tapes" movement, and is more directly Clay's antagonist for the beginning of the series than Bryce. His plans are ultimately thwarted when everyone gets summoned to a deposition, and the tapes are revealed to Mr. Porter and the prosecution.
  • Entitled to Have You: Because of Hannah's (false) reputation for promiscuity, Marcus expects her to put out for him. He flips out and starts yelling at her when she rejects his sexual advances.
  • Freudian Excuse: Is constantly pushed by his father to be the perfect representation of a young black man and not to be another racial stereotype.
  • Gone Horribly Right: His plan of getting Clay suspended from school, either to intimidate him into stopping the tapes or throwing him into a loop for a couple of days, accidentally ends up giving Clay the time needed to finish the tapes, make Bryce confess he raped Hannah and give the tapes over to Mr. Porter during that time period, inadvertently exposing his actions in the process. Nice going there, buddy.
  • Hate Sink: He's a Slimeball and one of the few characters who is never put in a sympathetic light, and never has nice moments or redeeming qualities. Some of the other characters have done bad things but you can also feel sorry for them, but not Marcus. Only Bryce and Monty are worse than him.
  • Holier Than Thou: He thinks he holds a high moral ground over some of the others, especially Tyler. He really doesn't.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He's quick to harass Tyler for being a predatory creep towards girls, ignoring the fact that he himself attempted to finger Hannah in a diner as she repeatedly told him to stop, also making himself a predatory creep towards girls.
    • He also acts disgusted at Tyler's suggestion to turn Bryce in to protect the others, despite the fact, that the latter is guilty of a worse deed than anyone in the scene (and on the tapes for that matter), and Marcus himself hasn't been above harming a relative innocent (Clay) to protect his own ass.
    • So much so that in fact, in season 2, Tyler and Cyrus paint this word on his car as part of a prank.
  • It's All About Me: Marcus looks out for Marcus. His main concern about the tapes getting released is that it could lessen his chances at being valedictorian and being accepted into Columbia, and gets called out by Courtney of all people for being callously self-centered and selfish. This works out well for Tyler and Cyrus in season 2 when they blackmail him with a video of him receiving a lap dance, saying "it's you or Bryce". Marcus, unsurprisingly, chooses Marcus.
  • Jerkass:
    • Can easily be seen as the most unsympathetic of the people on tapes, sans Bryce, not because his deed is the worst, but because he doesn't have a single redeeming quality. While all of the others have some kind of Freudian Excuse, Pet the Dog moments, and/or show some remorse over what they've done, Marcus is a dick all the way and refuses to even acknowledge it.
    • He isn't even, unlike Zach, spurned into humiliating Hannah by her rejection (which wouldn't be an excuse as well). He makes her wait an hour and then brings a group of his jock buddies into their date (including Zach), showing that he didn't behave like a jerk in the spur of a moment, but did it with complete premeditation and planning.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Marcus is one of the nastiest people in the series. However, he isn't wrong that it was messed up for Hannah to record tapes telling people it's their fault she killed herself, and that she might not be entirely balanced in her depictions of people.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Marcus is initially suggested to have a nicer side; he helps hang up suicide prevention posters, is friendly to Clay, and Hannah is excited when he asks her on a date. However, he lacks empathy to actual suicide victims, his friendliness to Clay is part of a larger scheme, and he attempted to sexually assault Hannah on their "date".
  • Lack of Empathy: He voices an opinion that none of the people on the tapes (except for Tyler) deserve any blame for their way of treating Hannah and that "what was done to Hannah wasn't any different than what's done to any high-school girl". It's cringe-worthy enough at the moment he's saying it, but becomes truly horrific when we learn about the rape. Which Marcus already knows about.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In season 1, he got Clay suspended. In season 2, he gets suspended.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He manipulates Hannah into thinking he genuinely likes her, orchestrates Monty's and Clay's suspensions, and plots to "control the narrative" of Hannah's suicide. He also runs the Honor Council like a Kangaroo Court.
  • Moral Myopia: Tyler taking photos of an unknowing subject? Horrible perverted creep! The jocks circulating an upskirt photo of Hannah around school, Marcus groping and sexually harassing Hannah in public, and Bryce raping multiple girls without remorse? That isn't "any different than what's done to any high school girl".
  • Narcissist: Gravitates towards positions of power (at least for a high schooler), cares about his friends' and girls' attention but blows off their emotional needs, needs everyone to think he's The Ace, and has no sympathy for viewpoints other than his own.
  • Never My Fault: The most adamant of the group in denying responsibility for Hannah's suicide. The most he'll say is that he might have hurt Hannah's feelings.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Getting Clay suspended gave him extra time to finish all the tapes, and was the kick in the ass Clay needed to get Bryce's confession, and turn the tapes in to Mr. Porter, both things Marcus hoped that would be avoided by getting Clay suspended in the first place.
  • Non-Action Guy: Despite hanging around the jocks, he doesn't play sports and seems to resolve conflicts through diplomacy or manipulation.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Many of his Kick the Dog moments indicate that he's a sexist prick. There's his sexual harassment and aggressive behavior towards Hannah, his condoning of sexual violence and slut-shaming in general (see Lack of Empathy), and allegiance towards Bryce throughout the series.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Marcus is one of the more intelligent people on the tapes, and has proved to be a very effective manipulator.
    • He prefers to befriend the people on the tapes rather than antagonize them, so he can keep tabs on them and get them on board with his agenda.
    • He tells Justin to be more considerate of Jessica, not because he cares, but because Jessica's emotional outbursts are making a scene.
    • He discourages violence, because it draws attention and gets the school administration and/or law enforcement involved.
    • He arranges Clay's suspension in a way that keeps him off of school grounds for a couple of days, and would be difficult for Clay to prove his innocence.
    • He also leads the meeting at Monet's; carefully analyzing who on the tapes should be thrown under the bus or protected for the "greater good" of the group.
  • Sleazy Politician: A high school version. He rigs hearings, frames people for crimes, lies in court, is Faux Affably Evil, and even has a sexual harassment scandal.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Thinks the world will end if he doesn't get to Harvard, and that he deserves things from girls despite treating them terribly.
  • Smug Snake: Comes off this way in his early attempts at "controlling the narrative" by befriending the subjects of the tapes. Clay sees through it, though.
  • Student Council President: Despite being a smarmy jerk, Marcus has a public image of professionalism and cites his sterling reputation as a reason why he can't be exposed by the tapes.
  • Teacher's Pet: To Mr. Porter. He acts elated to see him at a basketball game and asks Tyler to take a photo of them, and prances into his office to frame Clay for drug possession, playing up the concerned student/you're someone I can trust angle.
  • Too Clever by Half: In spades. Marcus acts as the strategist of the group and tries to do what from his point of view is damage control. While he comes off as way more sensible than, say, Justin, his plans tend to have some very obvious flaws and often flat out backfire:
    • He attempts to "control the narrative" and gain influence over Clay - while completely ignoring the potential threat that Tyler might pose. Ironically Tyler goes out of "control" solely because of the group's own actions.
    • Marcus' ploy to get Clay suspended and disgraced only results in giving the latter more time and space to act, as well as antagonising him further.
    • His attempt to convince Clay that he didn't really listen to the tapes except just enough to find out who was the subject and that Clay should do the same has very little chance to succeed to begin with. And with Marcus' following claim that there's nothing that interesting on the tapes anyway, he quickly proves himself to be a liar to Clay, which buries any chances of cooperation.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: More like a Jerkass with good publicity. He's a model student, Student Council President, and even Hannah initially liked him. He's actually a completely selfish jerk who is sexist towards girls, only cares about his reputation, and willingly harms others to protect himself.
  • With Friends Like These...:
    • He's the ultimate subversion of Villainous Friendship. Between getting Monty suspended, and disregarding Justin's home life, he doesn't appear to be particularly loyal to any of his pals. He doesn't care which one he throws under the bus as long as he stays clean.
    • Notably, while Justin and Zach very much struggle with the revelation that their friend (and in Justin's case, best friend) Bryce is a rapist, and has raped their mutual friend/girlfriend Jessica, Marcus is only interested in how that information can be used to his advantage, and will protect or turn in Bryce accordingly.

    Zach Dempsey 

Zachary "Zach" Dempsey

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zachdempsey13rw.jpg
"Yes. Yeah, I heard, and, um... and I said some things myself."

Portrayed By: Ross Butler

"If one thing had gone differently somewhere along the line, maybe none of this would have happened."

  • The Atoner: Sincerely regrets the way he treated Hannah, and is one of the few students who wants to be honest in the deposition. He's also not angry at Clay when the latter vandalizes his car, and contrary to his mother, did not wish to press charges, believing that he in some way deserved it for what he did to Hannah.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards his little sister May. It's enough to slam Tyler against a locker when he thinks that Tyler's blackmailing him with pictures of her.
  • Book Dumb: Kat introduces him as a dimwitted jock, and his college scholarship is for athletics, not academics. As a extension, he doesn't really seem to grasp some of the games that the jocks play on girls, despite bring a jock himself, but it is probably a good thing he didn't find out.note 
  • Broken Pedestal: Bryce is this to him by the end of season 1, as is Coach Rick by the end of season 2.
  • Closer to Earth: Than the rest of his Jerk Jock friends.
  • Closet Geek: His mother says that his dream is to become a marine biologist. You'd never guess this based on his frat boy antics.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: From his interactions with Clay and the rest of the kids on the tapes, he doesn't really buy into the "Hannah lied about everything" argument promoted by Courtney and Marcus, but seems conflicted on whether to admit to what he did or go along with covering up what happened with the others. He ends up choosing the former option.
  • Dirty Coward: Zach considers himself one for caring so much about what his friends think of him and being unable to go against them or voice any disagreements. He gets over it as the series goes on.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A girl doesn't want to date you and makes a scene when rejecting you? Convince her that no one likes her by stealing kind notes from her classmates, and carry on that stunt for weeks!
  • Disappeared Dad: Season 2 reveals that his father died the summer before the show starts.
  • The Drag-Along: Implied to be this as far as his friends' schemes go. He's confused about what's going on when Marcus brings him on his date with Hannah, is the least involved when Alex drives dangerously to intimidate Clay, and doesn't say much at the group meetings. He eventually refuses to join in on Marcus's "control the narrative" scheme, and is honest at the deposition, confirming the stories about Hannah being bullied at Liberty High.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Is introduced goofing around and play-fighting with Justin at Kat's party, where she describes him as a dumb jock with a good heart.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Downplayed. Wasn't much of a bad guy to begin with, but season 2 does officially show him cutting off his ties with Bryce after the latter's accused of raping Hannah.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Is a much nicer person when his friends aren't around. It is implied that his Jerk Jock behavior is due to peer pressure, and that he will outgrow it, unlike his friends.
    • He's pretty Adorkable in certain scenes, like when he tries to make Hannah laugh by balancing a spoon on his nose.
  • Informed Flaw: Hannah's statement on his Straw Misogynist attitude isn't confirmed by anything we see on-screen. He seemed more embarrassed by her yelling at him than angry about the rejection itself. It's likely that she was projecting her emotions onto him, as he immediately respected her boundaries once he understood them, and doesn't act predatory to girls, either for his personal or popularity reasons.
  • Innocently Insensitive: He's fairly obtuse in how he goes about telling Hannah he likes her, and accidentally insults her by using the "hot list" as a reason why he wanted to ask her out.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Zach's the only character with definitive proof that Hannah's perceptions weren't entirely accurate, by producing the letter that Hannah claimed he disposed of and not doing any of the actions Hannah claimed he was doing.
  • Jerk Jock: Played With. He's the star of the basketball team at Liberty High and goes along with his bully friends' antics many times over the course of the show; but he doesn't initiate anything himself, and has a lot of Pet the Dog moments. He also doesn't attempt to justify his hurtful actions when meeting Clay either and is only one of the two people at the coffee shop meeting to argue about telling the truth of what happened.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lampshaded by Alex.
    Alex: Zach... You are an entitled idiot who does stupid, cruel things, even though you probably have a decent heart.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Stealing Hannah's notes was outrageously petty, even by his standards. And while he tends not to instigate, he often participates in or quietly condones bullying. He also threatens to break Tyler's arm, though...
    • He also takes a long time to come to his senses on what kind of person Bryce is. After he finds out about Bryce's horrible actions and behavior however, he seems to be rapidly cutting himself off from Bryce by the end of the season, and you can't blame him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He thinks Clay vandalizing his car is this for his theft of Hannah's notes. It explains why he seems less angry than his mother when they went to Clay's house to confront him.
  • Lovable Jock: Is certainly the nicest of the jocks in season 1, and fully progresses to this in season 2, particularly after quitting the baseball team, helping expose the Clubhouse, and cutting ties with Bryce.
  • Momma's Boy: The other jocks frequently tease him about this, though he does start standing up to her more in season 2.
  • Not So Different: Hannah writes a letter to Zach suggesting that he is lonely like her, and frustrated by the culture at Liberty High.
  • Obliviously Evil: Zig-zagged. His stealing of Hannah's notes was obviously intentional and dickish, but he didn't realize how important the notes were to her at the time and what effect it would have on her mental health. See Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Odd Friendship: Develops one with Alex in season 2.
  • Only Sane Man: He's the only person on the tapes who is summoned to the deposition who stays composed, answers the questions in a straightforward manner and doesn't lie.note 
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Comforts Hannah after her "date" with Marcus, stands up for an overweight girl being bullied, and has sweet interactions with his younger sister.
    • In season 2 he bonds with Alex by helping him with his physical therapy.
  • Reverse Mole: It's revealed that he was the one leaving the Polaroids for Clay in season 2, hoping he would find his way to the Clubhouse, because he was too afraid to reveal it himself.
  • Secret Relationship: Had one with Hannah the summer before she died.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The tall, athletic Manly Man to Alex's scrawny, emotional, Disabled Snarker (Sensitive Guy).
  • Spoiled Sweet: Is a teenager with a $60,000 car, lives in a big and expensive house, his parents give him everything he asks for and has nice clothes, but Zach lacks the snotty, sexist, arrogant and egotistical attitude of Bryce. In fact, in the series, Zach doesn't really show off his wealth much, other than play sports and be a popular jock.
  • Take a Third Option: He's very sympathetic to Hannah, but also recognizes (and has proof) that not everything she said on the tapes was true. He opts to be straightforward and honest in his deposition, ignoring Marcus's plan to "control the narrative", but also not falling into despair like Alex, slandering Hannah to cover his own behind like Courtney, or working outside the law like Clay.
  • Token Good Teammate: He's much nicer than all the Jerk Jocks around him, though he still hangs out with them and joins them in their fratboy antics.
  • Tempting Fate: Stealing Hannah's compliment notes while she was already traumatised from several events before (the most recent being Marcus trying to sexually assault her in the diner) was just asking for trouble to come his and Hannah's way.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Stealing Hannah's notes seems less offensive compared to the actions of Tyler or Bryce, but Hannah describes the experience as hope-shattering. Zach later recognises his role in Hannah's death as this, and regrets it sincerely.
  • Virgin-Shaming: He is revealed to be a virgin and single, which leads to intense teasing by his friends. This may be why he was so obtuse with asking Hannah out, as it is implied he never asked a girl out before.

    Ryan Shaver 

Ryan Shaver

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ryan13rw.jpg
"Just because you say you're going to do something doesn't mean you're actually going to do it."

Portrayed By: Tommy Dorfman

"You have to tell the truth in poetry. Your truth."

  • Ambition Is Evil: Not on Marcus levels, but a lot of Ryan's motivations are fueled by his desire to improve his lit mag and get into a good university.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Considers his offense to Hannah to fall into the jaywalking category, because unlike the other people on the tapes he's not complicit in sexual assault or the death of another person. He takes the stance that legally speaking, he didn't do anything wrong. But...
  • Camp Gay: He lampshades this when talking to Hannah.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Tony describes him as being a possessive boyfriend, though this might be an Informed Flaw.
  • Closer to Earth: He's no saint, but he's much more level headed than the other culprits on the tapes, particularly in the meeting at Monet's.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Come out, come out, little girl!"
  • Doing It for the Art: Publishes people's private Dollar Valentine surveys and Hannah's poem without consent for this reason. Is also complimentary of Tyler's stalker pics of Hannah, saying Tyler "really captured her spirit".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He is horrified about Courtney being willing to align herself with Bryce, a serial rapist, to save her own skin.
  • Foil: To the rest of the males on the tapes. Ryan has no sexual or romantic interest in Hannah, but still feels entitled to reveal her most intimate feelings to the entire school. His publishing of her journal parallels Justin/Bryce's spread of the upskirt photo, though it's a violation in a less traditional sense.
  • Gay Best Friend: Initially comes off as this trope, but subverted when it's revealed he couldn't care less about Hannah's feelings.
  • Hipster: Into literature, has a "for the art" type philosophy, and dresses in an alternative style.
  • I Can Live With That: He casually shrugs in agreement when Alex says he's an arrogant asshole.
  • Jerkass: Snippy and condescending in almost every scene he's in. Also establishes that you don't have to be a Jerk Jock to be a Jerkass, everyone has the capacity to be cruel regardless of social standing.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Is introduced jerkishly publishing the hot-list and people's private notes, causing damage and drama at Liberty High. Then he befriends Hannah and convinces her to express herself through writing, and is encouraging of her talent. Then it becomes clear that the first impression he gave off was accurate, when exploits Hannah's trust and he steals Hannah's most personal poem and publishes it, leaving her devastated and humiliated. Eventually becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold by the end of the first season and start of the second. He is willing to accept the fact that he hurt Hannah and despite not losing his snarky demeanor, Ryan is at least trying to be a better person.
  • Knight Templar: Ryan genuinely loves Hannah's poem, and thinks that she'll come around to his point of view on him publishing it without her consent. He didn't publish it to hurt her feelings, though he also doesn't care that he did.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • The school shuts down his poetry 'zine because of its association with Hannah's suicide.
    • He publishes people's private information without their consent, and is now in a situation where he could be exposed by the tapes should they go public.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: The Feminine Camp Gay to Tony's Masculine.
  • N-Word Privileges: When he tells Hannah that he is familiar with being picked on by others, Ryan describes himself as a "a skinny faggot who writes poems". Hannah tells him that she doesn't think he is "supposed to use that word." He replies with a coy "You're not. I'm allowed."
  • Out of Focus: Ryan doesn't hang out with the jocks, so he's introduced much later on, and is less entangled in the group politics.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Ryan is the most vocal member of the group in speaking out against Bryce, and advocates for women who have been sexually assaulted. He also seems to remember Hannah fondly, and doesn't say disparaging things about her.
    • In season 2 he also testifies on behalf of the Bakers at the trial, is part of the group that goes to support Jessica when she and Justin report her rape, and is part of the group hug in the last episode.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Maintains his snarky, self-involved personality after Hannah's death, though his causes are more sympathetic, and his targets more deserving.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Thinks very highly of his high school poetry 'zine.
  • Soap Box Sadie: Ryan's not shy about sharing his opinions, and resorting to strong measures for the sake of his causes.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: His general reaction to Courtney and her Manipulative Bitch rhetoric.
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    Sheri Holland 

Sheri Holland

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_5669.JPG
"You think I'm a good person?"

Portrayed By: Ajiona Alexus

"Yeah, I've always liked Clay."

  • Adaptation Name Change: Is named Jenny Kurtz in the book.
  • The Atoner: Develops a supportive relationship with the elderly couple involved in the car crash she may have caused, and turns herself in to the police at the end of the first season.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Played with, in that she's not Faux Affably Evil, her kind side is genuine. However, the fact that she's trying to hide her potential involvement in Jeff's death remains.
  • The Cheerleader: The perky, enthusiastic type, with no Alpha Bitch tendencies.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Sheri is seen wearing her curly hair straight when she returns to school.
  • Foil: To Courtney, subtly. Sheri is a popular, outgoing cheerleader who hangs out around the jocks and enjoys parties, while Courtney is the serious, more socially "innocent", academic type. Yet Sheri is a true Nice Girl, while Courtney pretends to be so when it suits her. A good example happens when Mrs. Bradley reads out loud Hannah's note during class and asks for opinions - Courtney immediately accuses the author of just wanting attention, while Sheri shows concern that whoever wrote it probably needs help.
  • Genki Girl: Her being a cheerleader is a natural fit, as she's very exuberant and driven.
  • Hidden Depths: She initially appears to be a cutesy prom queen type, but she's actually quite insecure and torn up about everything that's happened in the series.
  • The Infiltration: Manages to trick Scott and another jock into letting her into the Clubhouse, allowing her to see the combination so Clay and Justin can sneak in later to steal the box of Polaroids, which she also tells them about.
  • It's All About Me: A tragic case, because she's not like this in general. But on the night of Jessica's party, when she drunkenly mows down a stop sign, she's freaking out about her parents finding out and refuses to report the accident to the police, even anonymously. This may have caused Jeff's fatal car accident.
  • Nice Girl: Friendly to both Hannah and Clay, and seems to be liked by just about everyone. Also while she's not a fan of Tyler, she's much more civil with him than the other students, which makes seeing her photo among other members of Tyler's apparent hit list feel surprising.
  • Out of Focus:
    • While she's on the tapes, she's more or less been able to keep her head down. As she was not involved in Hannah's dating life nor did she participate in bullying her, she's less involved in the group politics of the kids on the tapes. She's also not summoned to the deposition.
    • She is strangely absent from the group that went with Jessica to report her rape and Spring Fling at the end of season 2.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After helping Clay and Justin find the Clubhouse and looking through the Polaroids with them, Sheri ends her involvement in their investigation, because just being in the Clubhouse was just too much for her.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seems to ship Hannah/Marcus. She's also really enthused to be pairing people up for the Valentine's Day fundraiser.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: With Clay. She's devastated by the thought of him in particular looking down on her, because she thinks so highly of him.
  • Southern Belle: Might just be the actress's own accent slipping through, but the character fits the trope as well with her beauty, sweetness, and diction.
  • Team Mom: Towards Justin.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Between seasons 1 and 2. Admitting what she did and spending five months in juvie for it took a bit of a toll on her previously unfettered optimism.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: She accidentally hits a stop sign with her car, but chooses not to report it, fearing repercussions. This may or may not have caused the car accident that killed Jeff and injured an elderly man.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Clay when he asks why the girls in the Polaroids got themselves into bad situations.
    Sheri: Clay, you don't know what was happening in this photo, and you don't know what happened after.
    Clay: But clearly no one's forcing her to be there.
    Sheri: Look, girls don't just "get themselves" into bad situations. Guys make the situations bad. You don't know what it feels like, to be a girl in that room.

    Bryce Walker 

Bryce Walker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bryce13rw.jpg
"We'll go nice and easy...."

Portrayed By: Justin Prentice

"What's mine is yours."

  • Adaptational Villainy: As if Bryce wasn't already despicable enough in the book, in the series he is also responsible for sending out Hannah's upskirt photo,book  came up with the idea for the hot/not listbook , guilt trips Justin into letting him sleep with an unconscious Jessicabook , and violently rapes Hannahbook .
  • Big Bad:
    • While the other characters on the tapes may have hurt Hannah unintentionally or indirectly, Bryce is a scumbag who repeatedly inflicts trauma on people for his own personal enjoyment. He rapes Jessica and Hannah (and is implied to have raped others), beats Clay up, and uses his money and influence at school to avoid repercussions for his actions. The culprits themselves come to consider Bryce the Big Bad, when they discuss his crime being the worst and contemplate turning him in.
    • Definitely falls into this in season 2, in which one of the most prominent subplots of the season, and perhaps the only one with a central antagonist who most definitely qualifies as a "villain", is Clay and everyone else attempting to seek justice for Bryce's actions against Hannah and Jessica, to the point where the trial subplot gets derailed to the point of focusing more on Bryce in particular than the Liberty High staff, and the climax of the season being more about his (admittedly mild) downfall than about the school getting cleared of any wrongdoing.
  • Big Man on Campus: Bryce thinks that he is this. He wins a leadership award in an early episode, and in season 2 he is highly praised by students and staff alike.
  • The Bully: He and a bunch of other guys are seen mooning Tyler after his nude photo circulates.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Horrifically enforced to show his sociopathy. He flat out doesn't even remember raping Hannah until Clay's confrontation and sequential beating lead to him remember, which only lead to his atrocious logic of Entitled to Have You and misogyny towards women.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: So much so that his mom slaps him and calls him a shame to the family.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He absolutely destroys Clay, to the point that Clay only got a hit in because he started it, and even that barely fazed Bryce.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Bryce is visibly uncomfortable when Jessica shows him her father's guns, stating he's "not from a gun family".
  • Entitled to Have You: Seems to feel this way towards his victims, as indicated by his speech on how "every girl in the school wants to get raped" by him due to his popularity. His "what's mine is yours" line to Justin alludes to this as well.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Is introduced sleazily hitting on Hannah, only for Kat to pull Hannah away, describing him as "jock kryponite" and Clay agreeing.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Played with and ultimately subverted. It at first looks like this trope due to how brotherly he is to his friend Justin, even buying him new shoes. Then he manipulates Justin into letting him rape his girlfriend and shows no remorse when Justin is strung out on the street for five months.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Justin, he was his best friend before Bryce raped Justin's girlfriend. Also to Zach, to a lesser extent, who was one of his friends on the baseball team.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He is rich, a sports star, popular with students and faculty, and he raped both Jessica and Hannah without a single ounce of shame. In episode 12, Clay confronts him about the rapes, and Bryce beats him within an inch of his life to the point where he passes out. When Clay comes to, Bryce is pouring him a drink and smiling, carrying on conversation.
  • Freudian Excuse: He does seem to be somewhat resentful by how his parents are barely a presence in his life due to their constant traveling. The show hints that this plays a role in his sociopathy, as he never got the moral compass a true parental figure would've provided him, exacerbating the entitled mindset that developed because what little his parents did do for him amounted to nothing more than giving him everything he ever wanted and more.
  • Hate Sink: Even before he was revealed as being a rapist, he's still a smarmy, rude asshole who embodies the Jerk Jock and displays different ways of abuse towards his friends and others, showing little care for anything. Clay and Hannah are downright appalled when she matches up with him in the Valentine game.
  • Informed Attribute: His great reputation. The only person In-Universe who has nice things to say about him is Justin, and Bryce seems to be generally loathed by the student body even before him being a rapist is revealed. In early season 1 he even appears as something of a Casanova Wannabe. Season 2, however, puts much more emphasis on his popularity and him being a Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Jerkass: One of the biggest ones in a series filled with Jerkasses, though he isn't outwardly nasty like, say, Monty or Marcus lack. Still, while he might not be a biggest Jerkass per say, he is one of the biggest villains along with Monty.
  • Jerk Jock: His ego is fueled by being a popular athlete, and he is definitely a jerk.
  • Karma Houdini: Unfortunately, though he is found guilty of raping Jessica, he is only sentenced to three months' probation. Even more unfortunate is that this is Truth in Television.
  • Kick the Dog: He abuses Justin's Undying Loyalty to him by raping Jessica and convincing him what was his is also his as well.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: The rest try to ensure the tapes don't reach Bryce. Thanks to Clay, they never do reach him in the end and he only hears of their existence from Justin in the last episode of season 1, and doesn't hear them himself until Clay reveals them to the world in season 2.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: His parents are seemingly never around, allowing him to sell drugs and throw parties at their home. It's implied this is part of why he is the way he is, as without his parents around he hasn't had anyone to instill morals in him or punish him when he does anything wrong, while their wealth has ensured he has always gotten whatever he wants, leading to his sense of entitlement.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: His creepy justification for forcing himself on Jessica and Hannah. And no, they didn't enjoy it.
  • Obliviously Evil:
    • He genuinely doen't seem to realize he is a rapist, actually seems to like his victims to some degree and when Justin finally outs him as a rapist, Bryce seems more upset about falling out with his friend than with the public accusation. One of the most chilling qualities of Bryce is that he doesn't seem to have, strictly speaking, any ill will towards anyone - his horrible actions apparently are what he considers normal behaviour.
    • Even though most people recognize and identify him as kind of a smarmy jerk, much of Bryce's behaviour is overwhelmingly "normal." He isn't outwardly creepy with compliments or flirtations — his reaction to Hannah's haircut is simply "I like that hair, by the way, it looks good." He is uncomfortable around guns. There are few indications up until his rape of Jessica that he will turn out to be the series' Big Bad; he just seems like a mild jerkass and maybe a little Spoiled Sweet like Zach. The overarching message of Bryce is that most rapists don't think they're rapists and aren't an obvious Big Bad. They're people you know, often liberal-minded people who seem outwardly nice and accommodating.
    • Inverted toward the latter half of season two where he becomes more of a Card-Carrying Villain, where he all but brags to his mother's face about how he "fucked" Hannah hard until she cried. While drinking a glass of liquor he clearly envisions his encounter with Hannah as rape, and gets a hard on from it.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction to hearing his confession to Clay being played out loud in school following Clay's leaking the tapes in season 2. It's the first of only a few times we ever see Bryce even remotely scared. Made even better as this is immediately preceded by him smugly saying, "I'm not worried about it."
  • Overarching Villain: Most of the offenses Hannah lists on the tapes could be tracked back to Bryce:
    • Bryce is the one who circulated the photo in Justin's phone.
    • He pushed Alex into contributing to the "Best/Worst" list that Bryce started, which was responsible for Alex and Jessica's breakup and Hannah and Jessica's falling out.
    • It was his rape of Jessica that made Hannah leave the party with Sheri. If Hannah had not been there Sheri may not have hit the stop sign.
    • He kept up the rumors of Hannah being easy, which lead Marcus to believe she would be.
    • He kept goading Courtney to reveal that the photo was of her, resulting in her lying about Hannah being a "psycho lesbian", rather than ignoring the gossip.
    • He teases Zach about Hannah yelling at him, potentially motivating the former to steal her notes in retaliation to cover up his personal embarrassment of being shut out by a girl.
    • Mister Porter's tactless session with Hannah right before she killed herself was brought on because of him raping Hannah the night before.
    • Tyler, Ryan, and Clay are the only ones on the tapes that basically have no connection to Bryce's actions.
    • Even Clay is partially affected since his making out with Hannah was abruptly stopped by her because all of her previous traumas came flooding back to her mind. If Hannah hadn't stopped him, Clay wouldn't have left and Jessica probably wouldn't have been raped by Bryce.
    • Season 2 also reveals that he is the de-facto person in charge of the Clubhouse, a shed behind the baseball field where the team hangs out, gets wasted, and rapes girls, while taking pictures of it all as trophies/insurance.
    • Season 2 also revealed that Bryce was one of the first boys that Hannah talked to when she started going to Liberty High. And even though she agreed to go to The Clubhouse and have her picture taken, she didn't have sex with him. Bryce, who is used to getting everything he wants, resented this and his jealousy of her wanting Justin foreshadows how the bulling against her began.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Is outwardly sexist and doesn't care to make the distinction between Mexican and Guatemalan.
  • Pride: Very much so.
  • Serial Rapist:
    • Is shown to have raped Jessica and Hannah. Some of his literal "locker room talk" suggests that they weren't the only ones.
    • Confirmed in season two. He is the leader of a clubhouse him and the other jocks go to where they party with girls and then rape while they are intoxicated.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Is convinced that being an athlete at a suburban high school basically makes him God's gift to women.
  • Smug Snake: He gloats about his encounters with no concern at all about the harm he inflicts.
  • Spoiled Brat: His entitlement extends beyond material things. It's evident that his actions (and lack of concern over whether they were wrong) are a product of his rich and busy parents not being around enough to tell him no or instill any kind of boundaries.
  • The Sociopath: Very clearly. Bryce fakes emotions to fit in, is creepily calm and is rarely if ever temperamental, brags about his crimes and is a surprisingly good manipulator and surprisingly intelligent for that matter.
  • The Stoner: Regularly references using weed and sells to his friends.
  • Token Evil Teammate: While the people who led Hannah to commit suicide aren't saints and have done and/or said some pretty messed up things, and have tried to escape blame from their partial responsibility, Bryce takes this position as he raped Hannah (and before her, Jessica) and shows no remorse over his heinous actions.
  • Toxic Friend Influence:
    • He brings out the worst in Justin, who sticks by him and overlooks his more heinous actions on account of them being best friends. Eventually, Justin recognizes this and ditches him.
    • A more downplayed example is Alex, whom Bryce convinces to make the hot/not list, resulting in Alex losing Jessica.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Played with. At the beginning of one of the final episodes, a flash back is shown of a grade school Bryce being nice and befriending Justin, who wore the same clothes everyday, was foul smelling, and was teased and bullied by kids at the school because of it. However, it also showed that Bryce used fear and intimidation even back then.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Gloats to Clay about how much girls want him, right after beating Clay up.
  • Villain Respect: Clay, after having been on the receiving end of a serious beating by Bryce, manages, with great difficulty, to pull himself up into a chair and then fixes Bryce with a defiant Death Glare. Bemused by the sight, Bryce admits to being rather impressed, then pours Clay a drink and offers him a towel.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Until the end of season 2, he keeps his reputation as a popular athlete and Big Man on Campus but he's actually a depraved sexual predator.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Justin. Bryce seems genuinely concerned about Justin's welfare and Justin regularly spends the night in the Walkers' guesthouse. It's revealed that Bryce does so much for Justin (such as bailing his mom out of jail, giving him a place to stay, etc.) so he can "own" him. However, though it is possible that his friendship with Justin might have been genuine; at the school dance in the second season Bryce seems nostalgic for his former friendship with Justin. Regardless, his relationship with Justin is manipulative and controlling either way.
  • With Friends Like These...: Rapes Jessica, who is both his friend, and his best friend's girlfriend.

    Tony Padilla 

Tony Padilla

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_5670.JPG
"Sometimes a guy’s gotta get through things on his own. This is one of those things."

Portrayed By: Christian Navarro

"Hannah had secrets, Mrs. Baker."

  • Ambiguous Innocence: While he is the Big Good of the series, he's also involved in some suspect activities. He and his brothers beat people up, he has a wandering eye, and he withholds crucial information at points.
  • Big Good: A grayer form than most. Tony is the one in charge of circulating the tapes, as well as helping Clay deal with his problems. He takes extreme distaste in how it starts to affect Clay and Hannah's parents, officially dropping this role at the end of the season.
  • Blackmail: Threatens to reveal the tapes to the world, ensuring that the students receive their tapes and pass it on.
  • Berserk Button: Calling him "faggot" is a good way to get yourself clocked. Also, don't touch his car.
  • Book Dumb: Implied. While he's a talented mechanic and is very emotionally intelligent, nothing is explicitly shown/mentioned of any interest in his success at school.
  • Childhood Friends: With Clay.
  • Cool Car: Owns a very hip vintage vehicle for a high schooler, which he customizes.
  • Disco Dan: From his taste in cars, preference for mix tapes, and 50s greaser aesthetic, Tony's tastes are a little retro.
  • Double Speak: Tony frequently uses this to withhold information without explicitly lying.
  • Gay Best Friend: To Hannah, she considered him to be the only person at Liberty who she could trust.
  • The Heart: Trusted by Hannah with the tapes, helps the Baker parents, and watches over the people on the tapes.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: According to him, the guy he and his brothers were beating up had sold drugs to his sister. However, it's not stated if she's younger than him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Downplayed, but he's more than a little misleading with Clay in what he says to convince him to listen to the tapes.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: The Masculine to Ryan's Feminine, when they were dating. He's a greaser with leather jacket, violent past and anger issues (although he's a Nice Guy), and Ryan is a vain Camp Gay guy who likes poetry.
  • Mr. Fixit: Tony is often tinkering with cars, bikes, etc. He also sets up Hannah with the recording device and tapes, which is probably the source of some Fridge Horror for him.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: He has anger issues and a violent side when he's provoked, but he's still one of the most decent and kindhearted people in the series and one of the few people who has never been a bully to other characters.
  • My Greatest Failure: Ignoring Hannah when she drops off the tapes at his house, not wanting to get involved in the drama. His main motivation for spreading the tapes is because he feels that he could have saved her.
  • Nice Guy: He's consistently doing people favors, checking in with them, and being friendly.
  • No Accounting for Taste: It's hard to believe that Nice Guy Tony would date Ryan. In-Universe Clay has this reaction to finding out.
  • Only Friend: Hannah considered him to be the only person at Liberty who she could trust and was truly her friend. Given her Broken Bird status, she had a bit of an "everybody hates me" complex and overlooked that people like Clay and Sheri did care about her, but nonetheless Tony was the only person she hadn't lost faith in.
  • Raised Catholic: Not brought up often, but implied to be a reason why he hides his sexuality, and has a strong need to atone for what happened to Hannah. He also distrusts Skye's tarot reading, calling her la bruja.
  • Siblings in Crime: He and his brothers "take care of people".
  • Spicy Latino: An obviously Latino guy who has a hot temper and is more than willing to beat up guys. Deconstructed in the second season with the legal trouble he gets into, hence his reluctance to help heroin addict Justin.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Follows Clay around to make sure he's listening to the tapes and doing okay mentally. Though it is implied he might have feelings for Clay, said feelings have nothing to do with him following Clay around.
  • Straight Gay: Clay had no idea that Tony was gay. Granted, Clay is not the most socially aware, and with all the bullying that goes on at Liberty High, it's understandable that Tony would try to keep his sexuality hidden. Tony considers himself to be in a Transparent Closet; he doesn't advertise his sexuality, but feels that a lot of people know at this point or can pick up on it.
  • Trickster Mentor: Has some very roundabout ways of teaching Clay life lessons, such as dangerous climbs.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Mentions he is from the poor part of town and leads a rougher life than Clay.
  • You Owe Me: Invoked by Hannah. Season 2 reveals that after assaulting a man, Tony ran to the movie theater where Hannah was working, where she hid him and lied to the cops about his location. She lampshades this in her letter to him when she leaves the tapes at his door, leaving Tony to repay the debt.

Jocks at Liberty High

    Montgomery "Monty" De la Cruz 

Montgomery De la Cruz

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_5537.JPG
"Fucking leave her alone."

Portrayed By: Timothy Granaderos

"You leave her alone, freak."

  • Abusive Parents: He mentions his dad having come after him with a hammer, and is seen wearing a cast an episode later, which Bryce points to when he says:
    Bryce: Clearly your dad didn't beat you hard enough, because you're still an idiot!
  • Ascended Extra: Mostly a minor character in Season 1, but gets more screen time and becomes plot relevant in Season 2.
  • Ax-Crazy: He is MUCH less self-controlled than Bryce and his murderous, sadistic, extremely violent tendencies pretty much shows just how much sanity he has, or rather lacks.
  • Break-In Threat: Breaks into and vandalizes the Bakers' store on his quest to keep everyone quiet about Bryce's rapes.
  • The Bully: More outwardly so than his Faux Affably Evil friends. He's particularly nasty to Tyler (See also Irrational Hatred).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Beats Alex to a pulp. Alex started the fight, but barely gets a hit in.
  • Dead Animal Warning: Leaves a dead rat in Zach's gym bag.
  • Dirty Coward: Upon being cornered by the main characters after Scott sells him out for his vile deeds against them, rather than stand his ground he denies all allergations of committing said deeds, and even lies about the whereabouts of the polaroids to Alex, just so he can make a run for it.
  • Evil Is Petty: Most of his asshole behavior is pretty random. He's not acting off of personal grudges, nor does he benefit from his bullying in any way.
  • Freudian Excuse: Is beaten by his father and is thus convinced that baseball is the only way out of his painful home life. That said, this doesn't make him redeemable and especially the season 2 finale puts him firmly in the Hate Sink territory.
  • Hate Sink: He's constantly shown as a thoroughly vile and unlikable character. Quite a few people argue that he's just as bad as Bryce, the Serial Rapist Big Bad.
  • Hot-Blooded: Monty has a notable temper, which is lampshaded by Bryce.
  • Irrational Hatred:
    • Of Tyler. Monty hasn't even heard the tapes, so he's not even on a Holier Than Thou crusade to even justify his particular behavior towards him. He despises and attacks Tyler seemingly for no reason, especially if Tyler is talking to one of his friends. This earns him a place among Tyler's apparent shooting targets, as seen in the end of the first season.
    • Takes this to the extreme in season 2, where he blames Tyler for the baseball season being cancelled, even though all Tyler did was vandalize the field, and the season was really cancelled because of Bryce being a rapist. This leads Monty to viciously beat and rape Tyler in the school bathroom.
  • Jerk Jock: He's a bully who thinks its funny to almost run down his classmates and assault people in the school hallway. He's also a part of Bryce, Justin, Marcus, and Zach's friend group. Though he's not on the tapes.
  • Karma Houdini: As of the season two finale, he hasn't faced any comeuppance for his brutal rape of Tyler.
  • Kick the Dog: He watched Bryce rape Hannah and happily did nothing.
  • Knight Templar: To Sheri. He's very bothered by Tyler talking to her and intervenes physically. While distrusting Tyler around girls is understandable, Sheri was managing the situation appropriately and calmly and Monty's response was disproportionate.
  • Not Me This Time: While Monty was behind all of the threats to all of the characters over the course of the season, he didn't steal the box of Polaroids from Clay's car.
  • Poisonous Friend: To Bryce. He threatened most of the main cast to try and keep them from speaking out about Bryce's rapes, even though Bryce never asked him to, and it only caused more trouble in the end.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Even compared to the other jocks in the series, he has a very low opinion of females, and is blatantly homophobic.
  • Recurring Extra: Doesn't really have plots to himself, but there to be a generic bully to Alex or Tyler, and hang around the jocks. He becomes more relevant to the plot in Season 2.
  • The Sociopath: He has a complete Lack of Empathy, guilty, remorse, morals and conscience.
  • Threw My Bike on the Roof: Why is Monty driving aggressively around pedestrians? To establish how much of a dick he is!
  • Token Evil Teammate: None of the Jocks are saints, but Montgomery is the worst by far.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In season 1 he's just a generic Jerk Jock and bully but nothing too bad. In season 2 he's a totally sadistic psychopath that rivals Bryce himself in evil.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Bryce. This is what drives him to threaten everyone who knows anything about the rapes in season 2.
  • Yandere: Becomes this in season 2 when he threatens everyone who knows about the rapes so that he could protect Bryce.

    Jeff Atkins 

Jeff Atkins

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"Go get her."

Portrayed By: Brandon Larracuente

"That's why you have me, man."

  • Ambiguous Situation: Was his car accident a result of the missing stop sign, or was Jeff drunk driving?
  • Artistic License: In-Universe, there's a lot of debate over whether he was intoxicated/at fault for his fatal car accident. However, in the United States it is legal/medical protocol to test the blood alcohol content of anyone involved in an automobile accident, especially a fatal one. However, the ambiguity serves the narrative better, especially Hannah's and Sheri's processing of the situation.
  • Book Dumb: He's struggling to maintain a C- average in order to play sports. Clay is his tutor, and he has some ditzy one-liners.
  • Bromantic Foil: He's the smooth guy who consistently dates, in contrast to Clay's unlucky in love status.
  • The Cameo: Comes back for some flashbacks in one episode of season 2.
  • Cool-Kid-and-Loser Friendship: His friendship with Clay comes off as this, though aside from some gentle teasing about Clay's shyness, Jeff doesn't think of Clay as a "loser" relative to him whatsoever.
  • Dead All Along: Revealed to have died in a car accident prior to Hannah's suicide.
  • Foil: To Clay, as they are both Nice Guy types though Jeff is more popular and conventionally masculine.
  • Good Parents: His parents clearly love /loved him a lot, and are compassionate and friendly. It's no wonder Jeff ended up having the personality he does.
  • Lovable Jock: The only jock at Liberty High School who is not a bully or sexual predator. Considering what happens to him, he's also Too Good for This Sinful Earth. On top of being a good-natured and well-liked guy, he also shows signs of being fairly responsible compared to his fellow jocks. He verbally declines to drink at the winter formal, he has mostly kind things to say about standoffish Skye (although he does jokingly refer to her as "Twilight" for her gothic style) and he (presumably) stays sober at Jessica's party. All the good that did him.
  • Nice Guy: One of the nicest in the series. Everyone (from Clay to even Bryce) misses him.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Clay/Hannah.
  • The Stoner: Implied to be this, based on the essay he wrote about the founding fathers.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Zig-zagged. On a Meta level. He bears a physical resemblance to Monty, and they are both jocks. This is arguably a Red Herring for Jeff's lack of appearance in the present day scenes, and the reveal that Jeff is dead. However their personalities could not be more different.
  • Trickster Mentor: Tries to get Clay to come out of his shell, sometimes through indirect means. For example, Clay ends up going to the school dance because he lost a bet against Jeff.

    Scott Reed 

Scott Reed

Portrayed By: Brandon Butler

  • Heel–Face Turn: Commits one at the end of season 2, disgusted with the jocks antics and not wanting to be labeled as a rapist.
  • Lovable Jock: Implied; he's one of the few that isn't a bully. When compared to people like Bryce and Monty, it's really not that hard. Pretty much played straight by the end of the season.
  • Red Herring: When Clay receives the first Polaroid, he looks over his shoulder to see Scott staring at him before he closes his locker and leaves. It's later revealed that Zach is leaving the photos, however.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Is an extremely minor character in season 2, but does end up betraying Monty and the other jocks by allowing Clay and the gang to corner him for the box of Polaroids.
  • Wham Line: "I play baseball. That doesn't make me a fucking rapist."

Other Students at Liberty High

    Skye Miller 

Skye Miller

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_5671.JPG
"Shit's overrated. Lose it."

Portrayed By: Sosie Bacon

"I like this new rebellious, Audi-keying Clay Jensen."

  • All of the Other Reindeer: On Alex's "Best/Worst" list, she's his choice for "worst face". The students in her communications class are also quick to throw snide comments her way.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear if Skye has a crush on Clay, or is lonely and appreciates Clay taking interest in her.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Is diagnosed with this in season 2.
  • Butter Face: Labeled as this on the list, though you probably wouldn't notice it on your own. It could be just some guy being spiteful, like the instance of Hannah and Jessica.
  • Cool Loser: Skye is witty, artistic, and cool, but is Hollywood Homely and unpopular.
  • Deadpan Snarker: World weary and sarcastic.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She's essentially a good-hearted person with a bristly and standoffish demeanor. She instantly picks up on the pain behind Hannah's anonymous letter when their Communications teacher reads it to the class.
  • Goth: Seems to be a 2017 version of this trope.
  • Informed Flaw: Her being a Butter Face, though could just be a reflection of bullying/the toxic culture at Liberty High.
  • Jerkass Façade: It's implied that her snippiness is a defense mechanism, because she's terrified of rejection.
  • Never My Fault: Blames Clay entirely for them drifting apart, though she didn't do much to reach out to him either.
  • Not So Different: For all of her talk about how she's "stronger" than Hannah, the two actually have a lot in common. Both are sensitive, thoughtful young women with an interest in Clay, who struggle with bullying and depression.
  • Put on a Bus: In season 2, after being sent to the hospital for cutting too deep at the end of episode 2 and breaking up with Clay in episode 3, she is sent to a mental health facility and doesn't appear again until episode 8, where she tells Clay she'll be moving away for a fresh start.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Has a cynical attitude towards most of the other kids and towards life in general.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Clay between seasons 1 and 2, though it doesn't last long.
  • The Resenter: Seems to be jealous of Clay's interest in Hannah, and his branching out to other friends in general.
  • Self-Harm: Revealed to be cutting her wrists in episode 11.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Jeff thinks that if Skye was less standoffish and wore less black then she'd be really cute.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Initially comes off as very harsh, but it's largely a coping mechanism for her depression.
  • Storyboard Body: She and Clay discuss her alligator tattoo, and it gives some insight into her personality and past.
  • We Used to Be Friends: To Clay; they were both Childhood Friends. The two of them drifted apart once they moved to high school.

    Kat 

Kat

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"Oh please, I've known you this entire century."

Portrayed By: Giorgia Whigham

"Of course there are decent jocks, you just have to learn how to find them. Hannah never learned."

  • The Bus Came Back: When she's summoned at the deposition in the season finale.
  • Childhood Friends: With Clay. Kat notes the last party he went to was her birthday party...in the 4th grade.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Says all jocks are entitled jerks, but dates them. When the prosecutor asks her why, she says she's savvy enough to pick the right ones, unlike Hannah.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Implied to have been this at Liberty High. She throws great parties, dates the jocks, and is witty and likable.
  • My Greatest Failure: Considers giving Hannah her blessing to date Justin to be this.
  • Nice Girl: Is nothing but friendly and supportive, doesn't even mind her best friend dating her ex.
  • Only Friend: Hannah described Kat as being "the type of friend who couldn't be replaced". Hannah was right.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of the first episode.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Played With. In her respective testimony at the Deposition, Kat calls out the toxic culture within the population of Liberty High School for contributing to the events that led to Hannah's demise. She specifically calls out Principal Bolan, the teachers, and the social subculture surrounding the school's jocks.
    "Look, the jocks walk the hall like they own the place. The teachers feed into it. Bolan feeds into it. It's just... it's how it is. You try going to school with a bunch of neanderthals who are told that they are the only thing of value at school, and that the rest of us are merely there to cheer them on and provide them with whatever support they need."
  • Shipper on Deck: Wanted to pair up Hannah with Zach; too bad All Girls Want Bad Boys.
  • The Social Expert: Downplayed, but most of her assessments about the boys at Liberty are accurate, and she mentions in her deposition being able to pick the right guys and navigate Liberty's toxic and sexist culture. She's quick to discourage Hannah from interacting with Bryce and tries to point her towards the Nice Guy types, like Clay and Zach. She herself was involved with Justin, who is a Base-Breaking Character, but didn't seem too emotionally attached to him.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Invoked during the Deposition. Finds it really easy to pinpoint the exact moment where Hannah's life started going to shit is the exact same time where Kat gave her her blessing to date Justin.
  • What Could Have Been: In-Universe. She openly wonders out loud at the deposition what would have happened if she hasn't moved away, and combined with My Greatest Failure above, she comes to the same conclusion that Hannah would still be alive.

    Pratters 

Pratters

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"So what? They're in pain, I'm in pain. High school's painful, get over it!"

Portrayed By: Uriah Shelton

"It's been over a week, isn't it healthy to move on?"

  • Brutal Honesty: Seems to have no filter in anything he says. Intersects with his Soap Box Sadie attitude.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In one scene during a discussion about fat shaming, Zach snarks at him that telling a fat person to just stop being fat is like telling him to just not be a dick.
    Pratters: Exactly, thank you!
    Zach: Totally not on your side, dude...
  • Hipster: Based on his fashion choices and general sense of superiority, he comes off as a Jerkass version of this trope.
  • It's All About Me: His requests to stop talking about suicide and complaining about it when no one agrees with him falls under this trope.
  • Jerkass: Nearly every scene featuring Pratters has him blurt out something either idiotic, outright rude, or both, and is always called out on it. In the first episode, for example, Pratters suggests that the class should stop talking about Hannah's death, claiming that it's "depressing" (for him) to hear about it every day. While his opinion is in the realm of Locked Out of the Loop (i.e. Only a select few people at Libery High know what really happened with Hannah), the reaction from the class and his teacher is fairly understandable.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Played With and invoked. YMMV, but his attitudes towards Hannah's suicide gives a subtle insight into how the rest of the school's student body views it in the long run, which is a resounding "So what?". Even if his own delivery of projecting those feelings makes him look both disrespectful and more selfish, the overall feeling of Hannah from the rest of the school still stands throughout the first season.
  • Last-Name Basis: He's never referred by his first (or full) name throughout the series.
  • Put on a Bus: Completely disappeared after the first season with no explanation as to why.
  • Recurring Extra: Doesn't really have any significance in the main plot, but is there to be the foil/annoying jerkass for the main characters.
  • Soap Box Sadie: Pratters has an opinion on everything, and you're going to hear it.

    Chloe Rice 

Chloe Rice

Portrayed By: Anne Winters

  • Broken Bird: After finding out she was raped by Bryce Walker in the clubhouse.
  • Broken Pedestal: Starts getting this for Bryce after evidence against him starts mounting.
  • Child by Rape: Not clear whether it's this or not, but at the end of Season 2, she admits to Jessica that she's pregnant with (what seems to be) Bryce's child.
  • Good All Along: At first she seemed like the typical Alpha Bitch who plans to make Jessica's life a living hell out of jealousy, because of Bryce. She even starts off believing his version of what happened. However, as Season 2 goes along, Chloe's actions prove to be genuine with no malicious intent, and she realizes Bryce isn't the man she thought he was. And when it seems like she betrayed Jessica and Hannah by not incriminating Bryce for drugging and raping her during the trial, we later find out its because she is pregnant with his baby and is conflicted on what to do.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Believes the rumors that Jessica lied about her relationship with Bryce and that she cried rape out of jealousy and strays into this. As Season 2 goes on, she starts seeing Bryce's true nature, leading her to scratch out graffiti in the bathroom calling Jessica a slut. Though, she claims this had nothing to do with believing that Jessica was actually raped.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's a blondie, and despite her relationship with Bryce, she never acts openly hostile to Jessica. YMMV on this in regards to her testimony at Hannah's trial.

    Nina Jones 

Nina Jones

Portrayed By: Samantha Logan

  • Broken Bird: As much as she tries to be a role model of recovery for Jessica, she's still got a lot of issues lingering from her rape that she hasn't entirely dealt with.
  • Destroy the Evidence: What she chooses to do with the Polaroids she stole from Clay's car, presumably thinking she is protecting the girls in the photos from trauma or having the photos used against them.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Is on the track team.
  • Rape as Backstory: Was raped, but refuses to let it define her. She tries to help guide Jessica through her recovery.

    Cyrus 

Cyrus

Portrayed By: Bryce Cass

  • Battlecry: "LET'S GO, MOTHERFUCKERS!"
  • Big Brother Instinct: Don't fuck with Mackenzie.
  • Blackmail: He and Tyler engage in some of this when they obtain a compromising video of Marcus.
  • The Cavalry: He and his punks serve as this for Clay, Tony, and Justin when they get into a fight with Bryce and the other jocks.
  • Defacement Insult: His preferred method of vandalism. He and Tyler employ this by painting HYPOCRITE on Marcus' car, spray painting things like LIARS over all the signs on the baseball field, and burn RAPISTS into the grass around the pitcher's mound.
  • Misfit Lab Rat: He and Tyler can be seen working on some sort of device in Cyrus' basement/bedroom. It turns out to be a paint bomb that they use to prank Marcus.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Develops one with the nerdy Tyler as they bond over their shared anger at the jocks. This unfortunately falls apart when Tyler lashes out at Mackenzie and gets them in trouble for vandalizing the baseball field.
    • Seems to have developed one with Clay by the end of season 2, as Cyrus is the one who convinces Clay to dance and they were taking pictures with some of the other punks before The Night We Met starts playing.
  • The Quincy Punk: To an extent. While he certainly looks the part, he's ultimately shown to be a pretty nice guy with a loving, accepting family whose only crimes extend to vandalism and getting involved with a fight to even the odds.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The punk Manly Man to Tyler's nerdy, awkward Sensitive Guy.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Averted. He's seen a therapist every week since his parents' divorce, and doesn't seem to feel any shame about it.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Subverted. While it looks like Cyrus might end up having a negative influence on Tyler, they both agree to commit their acts of vandalism and blackmail, but when Tyler implies he wants to commit a mass shooting, Cyrus immediately asks him what the hell is wrong with him.

    Mackenzie 

Mackenzie

Portrayed By: Chelsea Alden

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Cyrus, at least sometimes.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: When Tyler heads to shoot up the spring fling, he texts Mackenzie about his plan so she can get out, presumably because she was always nice to him, even when he wasn't exactly returning the favor.
  • Perky Goth: More of a Perky Punk, but the point stands.
  • Punk: Less so than her brother, but she still hangs out with his crew and dresses in a punk style.

Adults

    Lainie & Matt Jensen 

Lainie & Matthew "Matt" Jensen

Portrayed By: Amy Hargreaves (Lainie), Josh Hamilton (Matt)

  • Anger Born of Worry: Both Lainie and Matt get angry with Clay when he mysteriously disappears suddenly from school or home for no apparent reason, but it is implied that the anger is born out a worry of Clay getting more reckless and depressed after Hannah's suicide, who was already suffering from grief and sadness. Matt is especially concerned when Clay comes home with blood coming out of his nose and mouth and suffering bruises everywhere, and quickly gets suspicious of Clay saying he visited his friend (which in reality he visited Bryce to make him confess to the rape and Bryce beat Clay up in return).
  • Armour Piercing Question: Olivia Baker asks Lainie, "How much is Clay's life worth to you?", calling out Lainie's hypocrisy in suggesting the Bakers take a cash settlement for Hannah's death.
  • Bumbling Dad: Clay seems to view his father as being this, but Matt is actually more of a Reasonable Authority Figure, and a lot more in touch with what Clay is going through than Lainie.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: Lainie, as the lawyer representing the school, is stuck in this when she realises that she would have to tear down Hannah, especially when she finds out that her son and Hannah were more than just work colleagues and classmates.
  • Generation Xerox: Both Clay and Matt are soft spoken, intelligent, humorous guys trying their best to deal with the craziness that surrounds them.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Although not a jerkass by any means, Lainie has a point when she chews out Clay for not opening up about his issues to her or his dad, arguably making his mental state worse by stewing.
  • My Beloved Smother: Played With. Lainie establishes a "no closed door" policy in the house; not when Clay has girls over, but all the time. She's very concerned about Clay's wellbeing, and her attempts with him vary from reasonable (such as suggesting he should start seeing his former therapist again after two of his friends die) to overbearing (refusing to let him do his own laundry and getting ready to call the cops because he cut class). She's well intentioned but very intense.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Clay rarely talks about his problems with them. For most of season 1, they didn't even know that Clay was friends with Hannah.
  • Parents as People: They don't struggle financially like the Bakers, but they are by no means perfect. Lainie and Matt butt heads on how to deal with Clay, sometimes getting heated, but always in his best interest. Neither of them have the right idea most of the time, can lose their tempers or show a lack of understanding, but they're generally not as bumbling as you might expect.

    Olivia & Andrew Baker 

Olivia & Andrew "Andy" Baker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_5540.JPG
"Those kids hurt our daughter."

Portrayed By: Kate Walsh (Olivia), Brian d'Arcy James (Andy)

"We never got a note."

  • Adults Are Useless: Averted, like with Clay's parents.
  • Determinator: By the time the tapes reach Clay and both of them find out what happened at school, both become this in their mission to get justice for their daughter. Olivia in particular as she strives to put the school responsible for Hannah's death.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Mrs. Baker has one of these. Before Hannah's death, she usually wears her hair long with no ties. After the latter's suicide, she always tied her hair up in a pony tail. By Season 2 after finding out about the tapes, she has cut it short. After the Time Skip in the Season 2 finale, it's grown a little longer.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Definitely this trope, considering their daughter just killed herself and they never new a thing. By the time Clay gets the tapes, one week after Hannah killed herself, Olivia and Andy were both in the fifth stage, acceptance.
  • Good Parents: Every flashback that includes one or both of them with Hannah shows that they had a very close, loving relationship with their daughter. This makes her suicide hit them especially hard; not only because they were so close to her, but also because they agonise and grieve over how they didn't notice all the warning signs that Hannah displayed.
  • High-School Sweethearts: According to Hannah, her parents fell in love in high school.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Both were oblivious about Hannah's depression before her suicide. And before the end of season 1, they didn't know about Hannah's tapes.
  • Parents as People: They're preoccupied at work and don't always notice what's going on with Hannah, but it's also clear that they love their daughter and want her to be happy. Needless to say, they are devastated by Hannah's suicide.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Andrew cheats on Olivia with Valerie for a month before he confesses to his affair.

    Kevin Porter 

Kevin Porter

Portrayed By: Derek Luke

  • The Atoner: In the second season, he is much more focused on cracking down HARD on the students and teachers he feels wronged Hannah... although not without consequences.
  • Fan Nickname: "Punished Porter" in the second season, for his status as The Atoner.
    • He was referred to in the writers' room as "No Fucks Porter", which definitely checks out.
  • Fish out of Water: Formerly worked at an inner-city school where "kids shot kids". It's implied that because of this, he considers social issues among the students less important in comparison.
  • Ignored Expert: Upon his firing, warns Principal Bolan that things won't change unless they make an effort and gives him a stack of files belonging to kids he sees as "at risk" in some way. Bolan casually drops the pile back on his desk after Porter leaves and ignores it, as the camera pans to show the top file on the stack belongs to Tyler.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • While he was less than understanding in how he handled his talk with Hannah, he has a point in that Hannah's refusal to name her attacker or consider police intervention limits his capacity to help.
    • His point to Clay that "you can't love someone back to life", highlighting the complexity of mental health issues.
  • My Greatest Failure: He clearly regrets the way he treated Hannah, it only gets worse when he finds out his negligence was the final straw for Hannah. In season 2, this motivates him to do better.
  • Non-Answer: Unfortunately, at the beginning, he gives out a lot of these answers, but averts it at the end as he realises he couldn't justify what he said to Hannah anymore.
  • The Shrink: Type 1 due to not actually being a real therapist. Just a regular old guidance counsellor.
  • The Stoic: Doesn't react much to the drama around him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In season 2, he knows the school board won't be keeping him at Liberty for much longer, so he resolves to do as much good as he can with the time he has. The very first thing he does in the season is follow Bryce into the bathroom, grab him by the neck, and slam him against the wall while warning him that he's got his eye on him. Later he also gets into a fist fight with Justin's mom's drug dealer boyfriend, "Meth Seth", after visiting her to see if she knew her son's whereabouts.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Is probably the best example out of all the other characters; besides Clay, he's the only person on the tapes who doesn't try to hurt Hannah or throw her under the bus, however, his pitiful, distracted attempt to counsel her is what ultimately drives her to kill herself.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: A non-fatal version. In season 2, now that the school knows how he failed to help Hannah, he won't be staying at Liberty High for much longer, and he knows it.

    Gary Bolan 

Gary Bolan

Portrayed By: Steven Weber

  • Adults Are Useless: Takes more interest in the school's reputation and sports history rather than its students; and by doing so, he indirectly feeds the toxic student culture at Liberty High, even if he probably didn't mean to. He's called out directly by Kat in her testimony.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Not only he has to deal with the lawsuit brought on by the Baker family, he also has to deal with a whole host of other problems at Liberty High, which include bullying, fights and the general school culture. Also Alex attempting suicide by shooting himself in the head by the end of the season.

    Dennis Vasquez 

Dennis Vasquez

Portrayed By: Wilson Cruz

  • Ascended Extra: Plays a much larger role in the second season.
  • Brutal Honesty: Very blunt, even for a lawyer, and has the guts to call the schools arguments about the case utter lies in front of the lawyers defending the school.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Helps reveal the truth about what happened by subpoenaing the kids involved in Hannah's suicide, and making several reveal the truth on what happened.
  • Crusading Lawyer: From what we seen of him, he is very driven about this case in particular, especially seen during the preliminary hearing.
  • The Ghost: Played straight at first, as for most of the first season he is mentioned by the Baker's but never seen in person. Subverted when he appears at the preliminary hearing then the depositions.
  • Good Lawyers, Good Clients: Seems to be this, as he also believes, alongside his clients, the school was also responsible for Hannah's death and the school wants to cover it up by a settlement.

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