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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.
- 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) doesn'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?"
- Audience Surrogate: Season 1 revolves around Clay listening to one tape per episode.
- Ax-Crazy: His angry outbursts, mood swings, numerous death threats and multiple acts of violence (such as beating the snot out of a guy at a party, threatening to shoot up a police station, and nearly raping a girl) in season 4 - to the point where he ends up in a psychiatric ward - puts him in this category. And that's not to mention all the crap he does under his "Percy" personality. He can even be seen wearing a Slasher Smile while terrorizing the other students on the camping trip.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When it comes to Bryce and Hannah, he can be downright vicious, and actually gets so intense with his hatred he frightens Ani.
- Big Brother Instinct: Plays this up in regards to Tyler, leading the charge in ensuring he gets the help he needs, and assigning the group to schedules to keep an eye on him, and openly threatens to kill Monty after learning about Tyler's sexual assault at his hands.
- 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 S.H.I.E.L.D..
- Chick Magnet: Catches the attention of Hannah, Sheri, Skye, and Ani. Although 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.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Really much. He can be very jealous when other guys seem attract Hannah like Justin. In Season 2, he became out of him when he discovered Zack's summer romance with Hannah and expressed little jealousy when he learned Alex kissed her during a game. Also in season 3 when it's about Ani's relationship with Bryce.
- 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.
- Declaration of Protection: Towards his friends in Season 3, he makes it clear he would willingly go to jail, rather than throwing his friends under the bus, i.e. the real killer, i.e. Alex.
- 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. That said Hannah did have strong feelings for him, enough so that he appeared twice on her "11 Reasons Why Not", twice. Her Parents were the only other people to appear on the list.
- 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.
- Fatal Flaw: Anger and Jealousy. Clay is impulsive in his actions and can make choices who finally regrets and when he is driven by anger the consequences can do risk his life. Clay is also a Green-Eyed Monster that make him critical and easily believe rumors on Hannah and Justin.
- The Fettered: Takes up this role at the end of season 1, 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. This is something of an Informed Flaw come season 2 given his Shirtless Scenes, that showed he's probably even more jacked than the Jocks.
- 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 sympathetic points.
- Karma Houdini: His Sanity Slippage in season 4 leads to outright vandalism, including terrorizing the students and setting the principal's car on fire. He doesn't get any punishment and is even accepted into Brown University.
- Made of Iron: 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.
- Meaningful Name: Possibly unintentional, but his discovery of the tapes and the emotional fallout he goes through from the drama surrounding them end up molding him into a very different person over both the course of the book and the series, like a piece of clay being shaped into a new form.
- Mistaken for Gay: Rumors have circulated about his sexuality, though he has only shown interest in women.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Has this fear, when Skye leaves in tears after the two try to make love, and he fears she might pull a Hannah.
- Nice Guy: Hannah herself lampshades this. Despite all his flaws, Clay is kind to everyone he interacts with, is probably one of the most selfless characters on the show, and is a good friend and eventually brother.
- 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 His 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.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Clay starts out as a geek whose crush is Driven to Suicide. He spends the next few weeks wrestling with grief, guilt, and dealing out revenge on the people that wronged her. Then over the next few months, his pursuit in exposing and punishing the toxic behavior of the jocks turns him into The Fettered. This eventually causes him to cover up an attempted school shooting and then later he gets a serious Kick the Son of a Bitch moment by framing Monty for Bryce's murder to protect Alex. Finally, in Season 4, the Sanity Slippage he has been slowly undergoing since the beginning causes him to develop a Split Personality that begins terrorizing the students and vandalizing school property.
- "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.)Clay: 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).
- In early season 4, he becomes much meaner to Ani and Justin.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In season 3, he shows that he cares a lot about Tyler and is committed to helping him even though he sent an embarrassing picture of him around the school.
- 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. And that's just the first season.
- 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.
- Villain Protagonist: To an extent in season 4, as he is the one who attacked and terrorized the other students during a camping trip, vandalized school property, and destroyed Principal Bolan’s car. However, he does all of this under an alternate personality that was likely triggered by his growing depression and paranoia.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Zig Zagged. He always toes the line on becoming this, with plenty of Pay Evil unto Evil and Kick the Son of a Bitch moments as the series goes on.
Portrayed By: Katherine Langford
"Why didn't you say this to me when I was alive?"A teenage girl at Liberty High whose suicide kicks off the series. She leaves behind thirteen tapes detailing why she ended her life, and her story drives the plot of the first two seasons.
- 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 traumatized, 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.
- 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 although he did this when she was trying to tell him that she had actual involvement in Jeff's death. However, she got a lot of negative attention and clearly wasn't happy about it.
- Back for the Finale: Her ghost is seen watching over Clay in the gymnasium during graduation.
- 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, Rare Female 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.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: An example in which the adaptation is more graphic than the original. In the original book, Hannah kills herself via overdosing on pills. In the series, however, she bled to death after slitting her wrists in a bathtub.
- Dude Magnet: Attracts almost everyone in the male cast but unfortunately for her, it's an extent of her Doom Magnet situation.
- 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. Kat, Hannah's friend, even tells Clay that Hannah has "horrible taste in guys" when he inquires about 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 categorized 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.
- In Season 2 Clay, (struggling with his own deep anger and bitterness), furiously states to Hallucination Hannah that the creation of the tapes and her eventual suicide was selfish. With mental health playing a large factor, The tapes profoundly fucked up people's lives who weren't all deserving like Bryce, and her suicide deeply hurt her loved ones.
- The Lost Lenore: To Clay. He never told her he loved her before she killed herself and wonders if he could've saved her. Her death haunts him throughout the series and drives several of his actions.
- The Mentally Disturbed: Has a few of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.
- New Transfer Student: Along with Alex and Jessica.
- Posthumous Character: As part of the premise.
- Rejection Projection: This proves to be a big problem for her. Hannah craves love and acceptance from her classmates but due to getting bullied and her own insecurities, she tends to push away her friends, often mistaking their behavior for insults or rejections even if they were trying to be sincere or non-malicious. Her tendency to lash out at her friends drives them away and leaves her without support, worsening her downward spiral into depression. One of the most prominent examples is when she breaks down and rejects Clay after they kiss, due to the fact her classmates have spread nasty rumors about her sex life and she's scared of what everyone will think if they get together. Hannah demands that Clay leave but when he does, she mentally asks "Why did you leave?" because she what she really wanted was for him to stay and comfort her. Clay only realizes this after she has committed suicide.
- 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.
Students on Hannah's Tapes
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.
- Broken Bird: After the domestic abuse at home his entire life, witnessing Bryce rape Jessica, Hannah's suicide, living on the streets for 6 months, developing a heroin addiction, and becoming a prostitute to survive on the streets, he has been through the ringer.
- 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.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Justin was abused by his mother and her various boyfriends emotionally, physically, and sexually, as well as having to live on the streets for months before being taken in by the Jensens and given a stable home.
- 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.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: VERY tragically subverted. All the crap that he goes through (molestation, abuse, heroin addiction, etc.) results in his death.
- Everyone 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.
- Fatal Flaw: Justin has a tendency to not seek help from others when he needs it. In season 3, he doesn’t tell the Jensens or Jessica that he’s still addicted to heroin until the end of the season. In season 4, he gets HIV and it progresses to AIDS because he was too ashamed to get tested and he ends up dying as a result.
- Fire-Forged Friends: In season 1, he actually wanted to kill Clay at some point. However, after being adopted by Clay's family in season 2, they become best friends.
- 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.
- Happily Adopted: The process isn’t over with as of Season Three, but is already this to the Jensen’s.
- 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 season 1. His friendship with Zach resumes in season 2. With Clay in season 3.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: From season 2 onwards he shows that he has low self esteem as he constantly says that he thinks he’s not worth anyone’s time to Jessica and Clay and wonders why Clay’s parents would want to adopt him.
- Jerk Jock: He's one of the mean jocks in season 1 along with his best friend Bryce, but the Trauma Conga Line makes him much more sympathetic in later seasons.
- The Junkie: In Season 2, he has been homeless for months and picked up a heroin addiction.
- Junkie Parent: His mom is an addict.
- 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.
- 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 a suicide, 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.
- Nice Guy: By season 4, he took many levels in kindness and becomes one of the nicest members of the group while the rest tend to pass around the Jerkass Ball.
- 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.
- Only Sane Man: Starts to become this in Season 4 after getting some therapy at rehab.
- Pet the Dog: In season 1, after he says to Clay that Hannah was a drama queen who killed herself for attention, he immediately apologizes, saying that he knew that Hannah was Clay’s friend.
- Promiscuity After Rape: He has a reputation for sleeping around quite a bit before dating Jessica, but as it is revealed that he was sexually abused by his mother's boyfriend for years when he was a child, it may have been more hyper-sexuality than anything else.
- 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.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Even in a cast full of teenagers who curse on the regular, he stands out as particularly foul-mouthed.
- The Stoner: As Bryce tells Monty, "You telling me to watch my temper is like Justin Foley telling me to lay off the weed."
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The poor kid goes through a large amount of Character Development and overcomes a gauntlet of obstacles including, Abusive Parents, molestation, toxic friends, homelessness, drug addiction, prostitution, relapsing, and his mother dying of overdose, and almost comes up on top only to die of AIDS between prom and graduation.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: He becomes one of the most unambiguously nice members of the cast come season 4, the same season he dies from AIDS.
- Trauma Conga Line: From the time he was born he has had an addict mother who put her boyfriends and her addiction above him, admits to having almost starved and not being able to afford basic necessities with Bryce, been abused emotionally, physically, and sexually by his mother's aformentioned boyfriends, been caught in a toxic friendship with Bryce, had to deal with Hannah's suicide, lived on the streets, become an addict and a prostitute while on the streets, and had to deal with Bryce's murder and his complex feelings about it. He has been through the ringer in pretty much every way.
- Tragic AIDS Story: In season 4, it's revealed that he has contracted AIDS. And he dies of it.
- 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.
- To Jessica, saying to Clay he cares more about Jessica than anybody else even Bryce always to protect her throughout the seasons. In the Season 2 penultimate episode, he makes a testimony without hesitation against Bryce because he raped Jessica. Consequently, Justin is arrested as accomplice for sexual assault and suffers more consequences.
- Later to Clay. While he did do it for selfish reasons, Clay gave him a roof over his head, helped detox him, and eventually, alongside his parents, offer to adopt Justin in to the family, of which Justin forms a brotherly love for Clay. To the point he agrees to deal for Seth, in return to Seth agreeing to lie to the police about his whereabouts the night of Homecoming, he was buying drugs that night, to give Clay a stronger alibi, by saying he was with him that night.
- 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.
Portrayed By: Alisha Boe
"Don't believe everything you hear."
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Possibly the main reason she became friends with Clay is due to the fact he's the only person who tried to tell her what happened at her party.
- Badass Decay: She Took a Level in Badass after Hannah's trial and was a righteous badass in Season 3, winning the class presidency, starting an activist group and disrupting the homecoming game. In Season 4, she begins secretly helping Bolan and supporting his security initiatives, and spends the season falling for Diego and hardly managing to outsmart Winston.
- Badass Pacifist: Became this in Season 3, after Took A Level On Badass in the end on the season 2, Jessica is the leader of female activists group and often uses heart-rending speeches (sometimes with big words) to try of change the situation for the girls of Liberty as her speech in the 3x12. She shows her fearless and talk very directly.And she don't hesitate to interrupt a important match with a manifestation for be heard.
- Big Sister Instinct: After learning about Tyler's rape, she becomes incredibly supportive of him, and like Clay before her, openly threatens Monty for what he did.
- 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.
- But Not Too Black: Is mixed, with her father being black, and this causes some angst as she navigates making friends with more black teenagers while knowing she would be taken more seriously on the stand if she were a white girl.
- Daddy's Girl: Is very close with her father, slightly more than her mother. She opens up to him about her sexual assault, confides in him throughout her recovery, is tucked in by him for comfort and opts to live with him when her mother has to move out-of-state for work.
- 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.
- The Dreaded: In Season 3 she is quite feared by few Liberty tigers and by Ani.
- 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, Justin, and Diego fell in love with her. She also attracts one of Nina's friends in season 2.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite being a feminist herself and despising Bryce for raping her, even she disapproves of Casey and her posse crashing Bryce's funeral.
- Fatal Attractor: Poor Jessica tends to attract blokes with serious issues who end up hurting her one way or another.
- Her first boyfriend Alex tried to pressure her into sex and cruelly voted her as having the 'worst ass' in school out of spite after they broke up. He also suffers from depression and attempted suicide, starts using drugs, has a violent streak and ended up being the one who killed Bryce in the third season.
- Justin, her second boyfriend, is a bit of a Jerk Jock who bullies other students and was involved in her being raped (albeit unwillingly) and gaslit her about it for months; he's also a drug addict with a really crappy home life.
- And then there's Bryce, a Serial Rapist who takes advantage of her while she's drunk and leaves her traumatised.
- 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.
- She tells Clay, "Don't believe everything you hear," even though believing everything she heard is exactly why she's on the tapes ( a little justified due to the fact even his boyfriend lied to her on the truth of her birthday party).
- In Season 3 she gives a pretty straight forward example. She leaves Nice Guy Alex, mainly because she didn't enjoy having sex with him and goes back to Justin who better knows her body. At the same time, she goes on a crusade to ban male aggressive sports in Liberty High, because she claims it promotes sexism and rape culture, despite going back to a jock who let her get raped and didn't say anything for months afterwards. She is called out on this many times, and even she admits that she is being hypocritical in her actions but doesn't stop them.
- She is perfectly willing to leave Bryce to freeze to death after his brutal beating by Zach without calling an ambulance but she gets horrified and mad at Alex when he kills Bryce by pushing him into the river.
- Karma Houdini: Downplayed, but given that she kept the secret that Alex was Bryce's killer, even when her close friend Clay was about to go to jail, and didn't get called out on it, has slight layers of this.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: 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.
- 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. She puts herself in this position again in Season 3, when she not only goes back to Justin, but refuses to let him break up with her, because even he knows that she shouldn't forgive him and that he isn't worth it.
- 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.
- New Transfer Student: Along with Alex and Hannah.
- Pom-Pom Girl: Fits with her role as the pretty basketball player's girlfriend Liberty High.
- Secret-Keeper: Knows that Alex killed in Season 3, because she was there and witnessed it.
- Shower of Angst: As she tries to cope with the revelation that she was raped by Bryce.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Season 2 last episodes, she finally denounce Bryce for raping her. The executive producer said it's the most courageous act of the season. In Season 3, she became a brave Badass Pacifist.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In season 4 she gets together with Diego just to make Justin jealous after he broke up with her because he wanted to prioritize his sobriety.
- 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.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Most people's response when she goes back to Justin in Season 3.
- 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.
Portrayed By: Miles Heizer
- 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, Alex not realizing what happened until after Hannah was already dead and Monty seeing the rape happen but willingly doing nothing. Alex's feelings of guilt for this were a major factor in his suicide attempt.
- 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.). Confirmed to be bisexual in the final season.
- 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.
- Ax-Crazy: Among his mood swings, Hair-Trigger Temper, violent outbursts, and willingness to kill without contemplation, there's something definitely off with him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Has a violent temper, and is incredibly aggressive towards Justin and Jessica after Jess breaks up with him. Plus he's the one who murdered Bryce Walker.
- Big Bad Slippage: He spends the first two seasons being an extremely flawed person who recognizes his role in Hannah's death. He unfortunately loses it in season three when he kills Bryce in cold blood and spends the rest of the season trying to cover his tracks, and even set up others to take the fall.
- 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.
- Byronic Hero: Alex is... complicated, to say the least. As an individual, Alex is artistic, talented, polite, compassionate and kind. On the other hand, he's also moody, angsty, sarcastic, cynical, has little patience, self-critical, and Hanna's suicide has left him deeply depressed and emotionally conflicted. He also doesn't hesitate to threaten others when he's angry enough, such as when he threatened Monty with a gun. Him being Bryce's killer certainly emphasizes his Byronic status even more.
- 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.
- Dirty Coward: He never takes any responsibility for murdering Bryce during the investigation, and was willing to allow Clay, and later Zach, two of his closest friends, take the fall for it, and ultimately lets Ani frame a dead Monty — who obviously wouldn't be able to defend himself — to save his own skin.
- 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.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: When he's frustrated enough, Alex explodes in violent outbursts.
- 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:
- Became one in Season 3 after its revealed that he was the one who murdered Bryce. Instead of being caught and arrested, his friends help frame Monty, and even though his father already figured out he did it, he goes with the frame up and destroys evidence for his son.
- In Season 4 he not only ultimately gets off scot-free for murdering Bryce and framing Monty, he is forgiven by Monty's ex-boyfriend and he gets accepted into a good college.
- Lousy Lovers Are Losers: In season 3, Alex is awful at sex with Jessica, who's sexually frustrated and relies on A Date with Rosie Palms to get any satisfaction. Eventually, she just leaves him for Justin, whom she had much better sex with.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sympathetic Murderer: With Bryce having caused as much damage as he had and threatening to do more, you can understand why Alex who was also recovering from brain damage , pushed Bryce into the bay to drown.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Season 3, his break up with Jessica, and steroid and coke abuse make him a lot less pleasant than he barely was before. Not to mention he killed Bryce, and was initially willing to let his friends Clay and Zach, take the fall for it.
- 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.
- Likewise he is this with Justin, especially after Jessica breaks up with him to go back to Justin.
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.
- 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.
- Also after Clay becomes incredibly protective of him in Season 3 he offers to help in any way when the police begin trying to pin Clay for Bryce's murder.
- Tries to discourage the girls from protesting Bryce’s funeral and it’s later revealed this is because of Bryce blackmailing Monty for raping Tyler.
- Bully Magnet: He was already low on the totem pole at school due to his perceived creepiness towards girls, but his possible culpability in Hannah Baker's death and later having a nude photo of him circulate around the school makes his situation worse. In season two, he starts acting out and is sent to a camp for teens with behavioral issues and comes back a lot more mellow and kind. And then he is attacked by Monty in the school's bathroom and then brutally raped with a mop handle.
- 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.
- 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.
Tyler: "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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Monty in the season 2 finale for his actions of vandalizing the baseball field and ends up getting raped with a mop pole.
- 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 similar, 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.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: The main focus of Season 3 is Tyler overcoming the horrors that happened to him in the first two seasons and gaining friends and allies (even Bryce Walker of all people) who help him though it. In season 4, he even gets a girlfriend.
- Undying Loyalty: To Clay, he has no doubt that Clay is innocent, even when the Police think not so.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: At the end of season 2, after returning to school from his diversion program with a kinder a attitude and trying to do a better, he ends up being brutally beaten and sodomized with a mop pole by Monty and his friends and he decides to go through with his plan to commit a school shooting.
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.
- 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.
- Back for the Finale: She attends graduation with Ryan, and is seen cheering on her friends, and joins in burying Hannah's tapes.
- 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.
- Courtney calls out her friends for referencing the "hot list" in front of Hannah, saying she's against sexual harassment, objectification, and bullying. However, 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.
- Put on a Bus: Aside from some brief appearances in some early flashbacks, she has graduated by Season 3 and thus does not appear.
- 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, shows remorse when Clay took her to Hannah’s gravestone 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.
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: Similar to how Courtney seems sweet and unthreatening, Marcus is outwardly charming and polite. 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.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Marcus doesn't show up at all in Season 3 and isn't even mentioned at all. However, he was a senior in the first two seasons, so it is possible that he simply graduated.
- 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.
- 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.
- Evil Genius: He is easily the smartest antagonist in the series. He seems to resolve conflicts through pragmatism, psychology, manipulation and diplomacy.
- 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 and even those two eventually gain redeeming qualities in season 3 though Alex outright murdering Bryce definitely might push him over Marcus.
- In the series finale, all the people on Hannah's tapes get together to bury them. There are three notable absences: Justin and Bryce, who are dead, and Marcus, who either felt that showing up was beneath him, or wasn’t contacted about it at all. His absence isn’t addressed, but either explanation would be in character.
- The Heavy: In Season 1. 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.
- Holier Than Thou: He thinks he holds a high moral ground over some of the others, especially Tyler. He really doesn't.
- 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.
- 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. Even Bryce himself eventually feels remorse in season 3 and tries to atone himself but Marcus never feels a shred of regret for anything he’s done.
- 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".
- Karma Houdini: After Bryce and Monty suffered the terrible consequences of their acts in Season 3, Marcus has become the only antagonist of the series who has not been exposed for his actions, partly because he was blackmailed by Cyrus and Tyler. He did get suspended but got away with attempted sexual assault, conspiracy, manipulation, sabotage, incrimination, and yet, his acts have not been exposed and his parents still believe that he is a model student.
- 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.
- The Sociopath: Unlike Monty but just like Bryce, Marcus is a prime example of a high-functioning sociopath. He frequently shows signs of being unable to form real attachments to people, doesn't feel ashamed or regretful of trying to sexually assault Hannah, is superficially charming, pragmatic, and an extreme case of a bastard in sheep's clothing. It's telling something that while Bryce and Monty did far worse things than him, they still demonstrated some redeeming traits in season 3, leaving Marcus as the only one who is never put in a positive light and without a single Pet the Dog moment on his name.
- 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 antagonizing 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.
- In Season 2 When he testifies, he lies on the stand by claiming Hannah Baker had a sexual relationship with Bryce Walker, and Bryce breaking up with her might have led to her suicide, not bullying. Bryce is furious about this, as he didn't want his name mentioned at all with Hannah, and throws him out from his inner circle. Bryce does use the narrative when he testifies, however, and it does work for him. When Marcus gets in trouble later in the season and ask Bryce for help, reminding him how he was the one who created the narrative about Hannah killing herself because he rejected her, Bryce reminds him that he never asked for it and still wants nothing to do with him.
- 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. He even calls Bryce a rapist in a public event.
- 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.
Zachary "Zach" Dempsey
Portrayed By: Ross Butler
"If one thing had gone differently somewhere along the line, maybe none of this would have happened."
- The Alcoholic: All of the trauma they've been through finally gets to him in Season 4 where he starts drinking excessively and failing his classes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Closet Key: Becomes this for Alex. Zach is flattered, but says he's straight and doesn't share Alex's interest.
- 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!
- A guy breaks your knee ruining your football scholarship opportunities? Beat him within an inch of his life (to the point where his arm and leg is broken), throw his phone in the water and leave him to freeze to death!
- 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.
- Dumb Jock: 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
- 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.
- Handicapped Badass: He lays an absolutely brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Bryce despite having a broken knee.
- 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 endearing 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: 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 and sometimes acts like an entitled brat, 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. Lampshaded by Alex.Alex: Zach... You are an entitled idiot who does stupid, cruel things, even though you probably have a decent heart.
- Karma Houdini: He beats Bryce within an inch of his life for breaking his knee and then throws his phone in the water and leaves him to freeze to death. He only isn’t guilty of Bryce’s murder because Alex came and killed Bryce quicker. To his credit, when he believes he murdered Bryce, he actually confesses to the cops, but the police tells him that Bryce's cause of death was drowning, so Zach is never arrested, despite being guilty of assault, battery and attempted murder, and even being partially responsible for Bryce's death.
- 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.
- The 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.
- Momma's Boy: The other jocks frequently tease him about this, though he does start standing up to her more in season 2.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In Season 3, Zach gives one to Bryce while crippled after Bryce took out his knee during the homecoming football game and insulted his manhood about Chloe who he cares about. He ends up breaking Bryce's arm and both of his legs.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: He doesn't fool around in his fight with Bryce. Beating on him even as Bryce is trying to talk, giving him little time to react or fight back, and the one punch Bryce tries to swing, Zach easily catches and disables via breaking his arm.
- 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.
- In Season 3 he becomes close to Chloe and is deeply supportive when she reveals her pregnancy, offering to help raise the baby and accompanying her to the abortion clinic. By the present they have a very close, platonic relationship.
- 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).
- Stopped Caring: By season 4, Zach has completely checked out and drops any pretense of responsibility or sensibility. "Fuck it" basically becomes his catchphrase and many characters lampshade his new recklessness.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In season 4, he's moody, reckless, and drunk almost all the time, to the point he has become a completely different character, to the point where he actually tries to rape a girl in at the prom before Alex stops him.
- Tempting Fate: Stealing Hannah's compliment notes while she was already traumatized 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 recognizes 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. Subverted in season 2 where it turns out he lost his virginity to Hannah before she died died.
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...
- Back for the Finale: He and Courtney attend the graduation and are seen cheering on their friends. He is also present when the group buries Hannah's tapes.
- 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!"
- Everyone Has Standards: He is horrified about Courtney being willing to align herself with Bryce, a serial rapist, to save her own skin."Fuck off, Courtney!"
- 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.
- Soapbox Sadie: Ryan's not shy about sharing his opinions, and resorting to strong measures for the sake of his causes.
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.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After playing a sizable part in helping Clay detox Justin, she vanishes without notice or mention mid-season 2.
- 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.
- Pom-Pom Girl: The perky, enthusiastic type, with no Alpha Bitch tendencies.
- 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.
Portrayed By: Justin Prentice
"What's mine is yours."
- Adaptational Sympathy: Compared to his one-dimensional book counterpart, this version of Bryce is given more sympathy, including a Freudian Excuse of being spoiled and neglected by his parents as well as him genuinely trying to become a better person in season 3, showing sincere remorse for his crimes.
- Adaptational Villainy: As if Bryce wasn't already despicable enough in the book, in season one of this 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 .
- Inverted in season 3 where, while he fails to redeem himself and still does a few villainous things, he actually feels genuine remorse for his actions and attempts to atone himself while his book counterparts never showed any remorse whatsoever.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Majority of Season 3 shows how Bryce's life becomes a living hell after getting away with the serial rapes. None of his old friends want to be around him, his father uses Bryce's actions mostly as an excuse he needed to divorce his wife and abandon him. His mother is (at first) constantly angry with him. He is bullied at the new school by the football team. Chloe dumps him. He constantly tries to atone for his actions but is rejected. And he is finally (and brutally) murdered, which kicks off the plot of Season 3.
- Asshole Victim: A group of rape victims crash his funeral, reminding everyone what a horrible person he was. Though, everyone in the cast still attends his funeral.
- The Atoner: Subverted. While he eventually feels genuine remorse for his actions and even tries to reach out to his previous victims, he knows the damage is too far gone. It soon clicks he cannot be forgiven leading to his Villainous Breakdown and subsequent death. It's really telling that some of his last words are hatefully lashing out at Jessica, the person he genuinely made and effort to make amends with (justified he was in extreme pain at the moment and Jessica had just proved to been perfectly willing to leave Bryce to die).
- 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 Bad Duumvirate: With Monty in Season 2. The main focus is on Bryce and him trying to escape justice for his actions towards Hannah and Jessica but Monty is the one who spends the season threatening the main characters and being more directly antagonistic.
- 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.
- Break the Haughty: Season 3 reveals how Bryce's life comes crashing down shortly after getting a slap on the wrist for the serial rapes, and ends with him being murdered, which showed that he ultimately suffered a fate worse than prison would've given him.
- The Bully: Played with. He and a bunch of other guys are seen mooning Tyler after his nude photo circulates. However, when Monty shoves Tyler against a locker in the hallway and prepares to beat him up, it’s Bryce of all people who comes to pull Monty off of Tyler.
- 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.
- Characterization Marches On: We see a differing side of him from the perspective of other characters in the third season. The calm, collected, egocentric, apathetic, sociopathic Hate Sink Bryce Walker of the first two seasons is replaced by a deeply broken man who comes to experience genuine love, friendship, remorse and care for people and is more prone to emotional breakdowns. That said, he is not without his usual streak of entitlement, being condescending, manipulative and even violent, but even so change is so drastic that he feels like an entirely different character.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: After learning that Zach has been with his ex-girlfriend Chloe, he get extremely mad and injures Zach at the game.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: After he breaks Zach’s knee at Homecoming, Zach follows him to his rendezvous with Jessica at the dock and gets revenge by beating him to a pulp, including breaking an arm and leg. After he leaves, Jessica shows up along with Alex and they seriously debate whether to leave him to die of exposure. Alex finally decides to save him, but their refusal to forgive him drives him into a rant just like his old self, causing Alex to push him into the river where his injuries leave him unable to swim. Even after everything he’s done, Jessica and Alex are horrified at the sight of him desperately trying to stay on the surface before he finally drowns.
- 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.
- On the receiving end of one from Zach after breaking his knee at the game. After a brief struggle Zach handily breaks his arm and starts beating him to the point Bryce is begging him to stop.
- Declaration of Protection: Oddly towards Tyler, after learning that Monty had led the rape of him, Bryce threatens to report all the crimes Monty committed in the second season to the authorities if he ever comes near Tyler again.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Bryce is visibly uncomfortable when Jessica shows him her father's guns, stating he's "not from a gun family".
- Easily Forgiven: By Ani, who learns that he's a serial rapist but forgives him because...he can be nice sometimes. The other characters, however, didn't forgive him at all, except eventually his mother.
- 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 Bad Men Love Their Mamas: While the two have a rather fractured relationship, he jumps to his mother's defense after his wheelchair bound emotionally abusive grandfather calls her a “selfish bitch” for divorcing his son-in-law. He even has a playful paint fight with her and starts to bond with her during a yoga session.Bryce: You do not speak that way to my mother ever again, or I swear to God, I'll roll you out into the street, and you can crawl back to the house!
- Even Evil Can Be Loved: After his death, it is pretty clear that his family loved him despite everything. His mother, while not condoning or being able to reconcile what Bryce has become, would prefer to remember him as her little boy. Even his father and grandfather, whom he was previously distant with, are genuinely heartbroken for him. Even his former friends, enemies and victims understand his family's pain. Much of the perspective of Bryce in the third season comes from his family, as well as Ani, a girl Bryce befriended while she was living in her guest house.
- 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.
- Played straight in season 3, where he shows that he genuinely loved some people.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even he, a serial rapist himself, is disgusted upon finding out that Monty raped Tyler with a broom in the school bathroom, and threatens Monty to stay away from Tyler or else he will reveal all the crimes he committed in the second season to the police.
- 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.
- Evil Is Petty: Broke Zach's knees during the big brawl at the homecoming game out of spite for him supporting Chloe through her abortion. While it's understandable Bryce might be upset that Chloe didn't tell him about her pregnancy and abortion, Zach wasn't exactly at fault for that. His response to Zach following him to the pier is to taunt him and continue taunting him about how much of a "pussy" he is after the resulting No-Holds-Barred Beatdown Zach lays on him. This shows that despite working to make amends for his past actions, his spitefulness is a part of his character that could never really change.
- Fatal Flaw: His spitefulness. This ends up getting him killed.
- 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.
- Handsome Lech: He's described as being a "frat boy Darth Vader"; he's a handsome, superficially charming and popular Jerk Jock, who really likes the ladies. However, Bryce is also very self-absorbed, lacks empathy and has a strong sense of entitlement towards women, which is rather off-putting. It takes a very dark turn when it's eventually revealed that Bryce is in fact a Serial Rapist who genuinely doesn't think he's done anything wrong (or just doesn't care) and that it was his rape of Hannah Baker that ultimately drove her to suicide.
- Hate Sink: In the first two seasons. 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. Deconstructed in season three where we see him in a much more complex light as he attempts to make amends for his actions, as well as several humanizing moments with his mother and Ani.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: Bryce genuinely tries to understand the wrong he has done, since he is not capable of feeling remorse or empathy and tries to atone for it. However, he is rejected by most people he reaches out to, and his last attempt by reaching out to Jessica, results in his death.
- 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 se, he is one of the biggest villains along with Monty.
- Jerkass to One: To Zach, in season 3. He genuinely tries to be nice and helpful to people, including the ones he hurt in the past (his interactions with Clay usually are hostile due to the latter getting aggressive first), except for him. Most of his interactions with Zach involve a Kick the Dog moment.
- Jerk Jock: His ego is fueled by being a popular athlete, and he definitely can be a jerk.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Season 3 wants him to be this, which has been...controversial to say the least.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: After years of being a Karma Houdini, Karma hit him like a Maglev train in season 3. He loses his friends, nobody wants him close, is bullied in his new school, is brutally beaten by Zach and finally killed by Alex. Truth On Television at its finest: many rapists or sex offenders who escape justice generally suffer the consequences of the society, exposing themselves to being completely hated, losing their friends, or being killed by some vigilante.
- Karmic Death: Bryce always had a manipulative side to him, especially when he raped Jessica, Hannah and "seven or eight" other women. Because of this, he felt that he had control over them and their environment. Cue season 3, and he ends up dying by drowning in a lake. He could have swam to safety due to his athletic prowess, but he had just suffered a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Zach, resulting in both his legs being broken. And the people who were there at the time, Alex and Jessica, couldn't do anything to save him, as they were in shock over the former having shoved Bryce in the lake. In other words, the one time where he became helpless, both physically and mentally, was at the most fatal time.
- 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.
- His interactions with Zach in Season 3.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: While rather mild there was his threat to Monty after finding out that he raped Tyler.
- Ladykiller in Love: After sleeping with Ani in season 3, he apparently really falls for her, though this doesn't go anywhere.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Bryce was a bully who infamously bullied Hannah Baker into killing herself, not to mention raped her and countless other girls. In Season 3, this reputation follows him and he ends up getting bullied by the football team at his new school.
- 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 he listens with Tony in Season 3 (albeit he is vaguely aware of their contents), even though the tapes have been public since 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.
- Master Actor: Had many people, including therapists, fooled.
- Moral Sociopathy: In Season 3, right before he was murdered, Bryce accepts that he is a sociopath and that he hurt a lot of people, even if he can't empathize with them. He tries to better himself with the help of Mr Porter.
- "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 doesn'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. 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."
- Pet the Dog: In season one, despite having mooned Tyler earlier, he actively stands up for him in episode 12 when Monty pushes him against the lockers and prepares to beat him down.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Not very outward about but he is very sexist and misogynistic.
- Post-Rape Taunt: After Zach beats him for breaking his knee and ruining his future as an athlete Bryce taunts him about Chloe, who he has molested during clubhouse activity. This leads to Zach breaking his leg and leaving him to freeze.
- Reformed, but Rejected: Though he is far from a saint, he tries to become a better person in season 3, but most people refuse to see him as anything but the Serial Rapist.
- Same Character, But Different: In Season 1 and 2, Bryce is pure evil who raped dozens of women in an organized operation and bragged to his mom about committing rape. In Season 3, he at first only admits to "going too far" but later is shown him in a much more "emotional" light, making him look like a much more sympathetic character - nice to his mom, defensive of his friends - without giving him any reason to feel this way, just that he's bullied at his other school for being a rapist.
- 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.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Played with in Season 3. Ani, whom he honestly fell in love with, rejects him days earlier after she saw him lose his temper and believes what everyone says about him afterwards (that being said they do share a kiss before the homecoming game and seem to still be friends but don’t end up together again). He is annoyed that his attempts to atone for his actions are getting rejected left and right. He finds out that Chloe was pregnant and had an abortion without telling him. And he finds out she dumped him without telling him for Zach. The last straw is when he tries to reach out to Jessica and she rejects him, leaving him to this final conclusion that no one will accept him in his hometown again. His actions of threatening to harm Zach and accusing Jessica of setting him up, lead to his death by Alex. He never outright gave so up trying to atone for his actions but he definitely comes extremely close to.
- 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. He even gets to the point that while remembering the time he raped Hannah, he is shown getting turned on by the memory with an erection in his pants.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Kindness: After being largely a Hate Sink in the first two seasons, season 3 shows him as a more remorseful and sympathetic character who tries to make amends for his past mistakes. He defends his mother from his emotionally abusive grandfather and begins to genuinely bond with her, helps Justin settle his debt with Seth and with his drug addiction, starts a genuine relationship with Ani and protects Tyler from Monty after learning of how Monty raped him. He even makes an apology tape to Jessica confessing his crimes. Downplayed as he still does a few villainous things such as crippling Zach, threatening a little boy, vandalizing two houses and selling Alex drugs. Sadly, it ends up being too late for him to redeem as he ends up killed.
- 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 Breakdown: The lead up to his death. He seems to revert back to his previous characterization after breaking Zach's leg; mocking him over with his relationship to Chloe and whining that Zach stole his future. After Zach beats the shit out Bryce, he's left an angry cursing wreck. When Alex and Jessica help him up, Bryce viciously continues cursing and threatening Zach and accusing Jessica of setting him up, which is when Alex saw (or at least believed in the heat of the moment) Bryce would never change and throws him into the river. Justified as he was in extreme pain due to having a broken arm and leg so lashing out is somewhat understandable.Bryce: Fuckin' Zach! I'm gonna fuck up his other knee and wreck his fucking leg! I'm gonna fucking destroy him. [to Jessica] You... You set me up! She fucking set me up!
- 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.
- Season 3 shows it was indeed genuine as Bryce bails Justin out of jail, helps him settle his debt with Seth (and pays extra so Seth will leave Justin alone) and helps Justin with his drug addiction by giving him oxy to take instead of heroin so he won’t die.
- With Friends Like These...: Rapes Jessica, who is both his friend, and his best friend's girlfriend.
- Would Hurt a Child: Implied. When he and Alex ransack a house, a small boy spots them. Bryce threatens the boys life with a knife and laughs over the kid pissing himself. When Alex calls him out for scarring the kid for life, Bryce rolls his eye about it.
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.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Shorter than the majority of the cast but he hits pretty hard. Ask to Monty.
- Ripped from the Headlines: Tony's story arc in Season 3 is about how majority of his family gets arrested and sent to a detention center by ICE before possibly being deported back into Mexico. This is because Barry Walker turned them in out of spite for Tony helping Clay Jensen in outing his son Bryce as a rapist.
- Siblings in Crime: He and his brothers "take care of people".
- 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.
Introduced in Season 1
Montgomery "Monty" De la Cruz
Montgomery De la Cruz
Portrayed By: Timothy Granaderos
"You leave her alone, freak."
- Abusive Dad: 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 father didn't beat you hard enough, cause you're still a fucking idiot!
- Accomplice by Inaction: Him and Alex were at the party when Bryce raped Hannah. Alex only heard it while Monty saw the actual rape happening but lied to Alex it was just “Bryce fucking some chick in the hot tub” and did nothing to stop it.
- Alcoholic Dad: Not Monty himself, but his father seems to be an alcoholic.
- Armored Closet Gay: Constantly refers to Alex, Tony and Tyler as "faggots," jokingly questions the sexuality of Zach and others, bullies Hannah over the rumor that she's a lesbian and beats the hell out of Winston just for talking to him but is confirmed to be gay in season 3 and beat Winston out of fear people would figure out he’s gay and they just hooked up.
- Ascended Extra: Mostly a minor character in Season 1, but gets more screen time and becomes plot relevant in Season 2 and 3.
- Asshole Victim: After everything he did, no one will shed a tear upon him being killed in jail. Despite the “he was a human being argument” frequently being brought up, he showed no remorse for raping Tyler even after being arrested and he was killed by other prisoners solely because of him raping Tyler.
- Ax-Crazy: He is MUCH less self-controlled than Bryce and his sadistic, extremely violent behavior pretty much shows just how much sanity he has, or rather lacks.
- Big Bad: Bryce is trying to atone for his actions, which leaves Monty as the main villain of Season 3. Despite this, he doesn't do as much as in Season 2.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Bryce in Season 2. He's also The Heavy being more directly antagonistic to the protagonists while Bryce is simply trying to avoid getting exposed for his crimes..
- Book Dumb: One season 3 episode mentions his bad grades in school.
- Break-In Threat: Breaks into and vandalizes the Bakers' store on his quest to keep everyone quiet about Bryce's rapes.
- Break the Haughty: Things don't go well for Monty in Season 3. He is passed up for football captain despite getting the most votes from the team, Bryce turns against him for good after he found out he raped Tyler, he is eventually outed and arrested for the rape, his own abusive father rejects him for good by spitting in his face after he admits to him that he is gay, he is killed in jail while awaiting trial, and he is posthumously framed for the murder of Bryce.
- The Bully: More outwardly so than his Faux Affably Evil friends. He's particularly nasty to Tyler (See also Irrational Hatred).
- Characterization Marches On: In the first season, Monty was a bully -but a realistic one and had plenty of moments where he wasn’t the aggressor in the situation and there were several times he had almost Pet the Dog moments compared to later seasons. In one of only two fights he gets into in the entire season, Alex is the one to instigate it, despite Monty telling him to calm down. In their sole interaction in the season, he even greets Clay (albeit getting his name wrong). His final scene in the season is reminiscing and missing Nice Guy Jeff Atkins. In short, he’s a bully but one that you could easily getting their shit together by the time they graduate. By the second season, he’s terrorizing the main cast to a psychopathic degree and committing worse and worse acts that cumulate into his assault on Tyler.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To Marcus Cole in Season 2. Both are The Heavy, but while Marcus is calm, composed, intelligent, Faux Affably Evil, and seems to resolve conflicts through diplomacy and manipulation, Monty is violent, explosive, Ax-Crazy, Stupid Evil, and does not seem to measure the seriousness of his actions.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: His death is exceptionally brutal. Although offscreen, it is mentioned that he was beaten to death by other inmates. The worst part comes when his father mentions that this is the very least what inmates could do. One wonders how the scene would have been if it had been shown onscreen...
- Turns out he was simply stabbed with a shive. Still not a pleasant way to go.
- 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.
- Depraved Homosexual: At the end of Season 3, he's revealed to be this once he owns up to being gay, and he raped Tyler.
- 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 allegations of committing said deeds, and even lies about the whereabouts of the polaroids to Alex, just so he can make a run for it.
- Instead of simply apologizing to Tyler for raping him, he lies about Bryce ordering him to do it when Tyler threatens to turn him into the cops. Even Bryce calls him out on this.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He brutally beats and rapes Tyler with a mop pole due to his hand in exposing Bryce for the rapes that caused the school to cancel their baseball season.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: In season 2, we are constantly led to believe that either Bryce or Scott is the one harassing and threatening the main characters. Ultimately, it turns out to be Monty, who was basically a background character prior to the reveal and had a minor enough role that he wasn't even included on the tapes.
- The Dragon: For Bryce in the second season.
- Dragon-in-Chief: For Season 3, although Monty and Bryce stopped being friends.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Despite being set to receive Character Development in the third season with him being revealed to be a Armored Closet Gay and his Freudian Excuse of his terrible home life being expanded. He is unceremoniously killed while waiting trial after his rape of Tyler. It isn't even shown onscreen, unlike every other major character death.
- Dumb Jock: Like most jocks, he is stated to be Book Dumb, and he generally tends to act before thinking and use violence to solve anything.
- Easily Forgiven: Winston quickly accepts Monty's apology for beating him up, and invites him over for a second hookup.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Had a genuine relationship with Winston (going as far as to apologize to Winston for beating him up after the first time they hooked up) and is shown openly mourning for Bryce after his death.
- Evil Counterpart: To Justin. Both come from poor backgrounds, both regularly take steroids/drugs, both have abusive fathers, both are extremely loyal to Bryce, and even acted as an accomplice to a rape he committed. However, while Justin shows legitimate regret for his role in Jessica's rape and comes to see Bryce for the monster that he is, Monty couldn't care less and is more concerned about keeping the reputation of his own team clean and won't hesitate to hurt anyone who gets in the way of that.
- 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. Exaggerated when he violently rapes Tyler over a baseball season.
- Frame-Up: Monty is setup to take the fall for Bryce's death, to cover for Alex who was the real murderer in Season 3.
- 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.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Season 4, in a posthumous way, as the current main antagonists, Diego and Winston, are trying to reveal the truth that is Monty being framed.
- Hate Sink:
- He's constantly shown as a thoroughly vile and unlikable character in the first two seasons. He bullies Tyler for fun, gropes Courtney at the school dance, viciously beats Alex until he’s barely conscious, tries to murder Clay by running him over, is revealed to have let Bryce rape Hannah with no remorse, tries to tempt Alex into suicide by giving him a loaded gun, leaves a sex doll on Jessica’s (a rape victim) porch and finally rapes Tyler with a mop pole just for getting their baseball season cancelled. Many people argue that he's just as bad, if not worse, than Bryce, the Serial Rapist Big Bad.
- Downplayed in season 3. He has a few sympathetic and redeeming moments such as some expansion on the abusive relationship between him and his father, the reveal he’s insecure about being gay, a genuine relationship with Winston Williams and him showing he genuinely did care about Bryce, with even Monty mourning Bryce at his funeral. That being said he’s still a villain and continues to threaten people, beats the crap out of Winston just because he fears people will discover he’s gay from them talking and most especially he continues to taunt Tyler about raping him, refuses to apologize and shows absolutely no remorse even after being arrested for it.
- The Heavy: In Season 2. While he is still part of the Big Bad Duumvirate, he's also the one causing most of the problems. Bryce is simply trying to avoid getting exposed for his crimes in court and arrested while Monty is directly antagonistic to the main characters such as trying to kill Clay, attempting to tempt Alex into suicide and brutally raping Tyler over a baseball season.
- Hot-Blooded: Monty has a notable temper, which is lampshaded by Bryce.
- Hypocrite: Calls Alex, Tony and Tyler (who isn’t even gay) “faggots” a lot but has sex with another boy twice (the first time he borderline forces him to give him a blowjob).
- 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. Then he eventually rapes Tyler with a mop in the finale of season 2 over the baseball season being called cancelled.
- 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.
- Jerkass: Hands down the biggest example in the series. Unlike his friends, he never tries to be affable or polite to people, and he's a vicious, sadistic bully who likes to torment weaker people for fun.
- Jerk Jock: He's a bully who thinks it's 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 despite having seen Bryce rape Hannah and willingly choosing to do nothing.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: He finally gets his comeuppance in season 3, being framed for Bryce's murder and then killed in jail while awaiting trial for raping Tyler.
- Kick the Dog: He watched Bryce rape Hannah and happily did nothing. He also gives Jessica a naked sex doll reading “slut”, knowing she was raped by Bryce, tried to coerce Alex into killing himself after surviving his suicide attempt for failing to stop Hannah’s rape and breaks into the Bakers Drug Store and sprays paints messages like “She’s dead” to taunt Hannah’s parents about her death (making this action worse is the fact that Monty barely knew Hannah and had nothing to gain from this, only doing so to dance in the face of Hannah and her loved ones.).
- Killed Offscreen: He was killed by other inmates as a respondents find discovering about his rape of Tyler. However, the scene is never shown.
- 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.
- Lack of Empathy: He mocks Jessica for being a rape victim, Alex for his suicide attempt, the Bakers for the suicide of their daughter and let Bryce rape Hannah, all without shred of guilt.
- Misplaced Retribution: Along with three other jocks, he violently assaults Clay in the locker room, putting a bag over his head, throwing him to the ground and kicking him numerous times, under the belief he made Marcus call Bryce a rapist. Except it was actually Tyler and Cyrus who were responsible for it.
- Never My Fault: Getting Monty to take responsibility for his actions is utterly impossible. He uses "I had a bad childhood" as an excuse when Jessica asks him why he's so cruel and enjoys hurting people, he dismisses Tyler's rape as mere "hazing" and he lies Bryce ordered him to rape Tyler even though Bryce's exact instructions to Monty were to leave Tyler alone.
- 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.
- Pet the Dog: Apologized to Winston for beating him up, and was deeply hurt by Bryce's death, even getting offended when Clay accused him of being Bryce's killer.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Even compared to the other jocks in the series, he has a very low opinion of females, and is blatantly homophobic.
- Psycho Sidekick: 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. Even after Bryce tells him to leave Tyler alone as it could get Bryce in more trouble, Monty ignores Bryce’s orders and proceeds to brutally assault and rape Tyler with a mop in the bathroom.
- 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.
- Sadist: Probably the strongest example of one in this series. He attempts to goad Alex into killing himself for failing to stop Hannah’s rape and suicide, brutally beats, tortures and rapes Tyler for getting their baseball season cancelled just to hurt him in the most painful way possible and not only does he mock Tyler about the rape by making kissing noises but he actively threatens to do it again.
- The Sociopath: A prime example of a low-functioning sociopath. He has a complete Lack of Empathy, guilt, remorse, morals and conscience. And unlike Bryce, Monty has absolutely ZERO redeeming traits, remorse, or capability of love and is completely and irredeemably evil.
- Spanner in the Works: Bryce's own actions are damning enough but Monty goes out of his way to threaten everyone who knows about the rapes, and it doesn't help his case in the least.
- Stupid Evil: Even Bryce calls him out on how stupid his actions of threatening the people who knew about the rapes were. Even after Bryce orders him to leave Tyler alone as Monty could Bryce in more trouble, Monty chooses to rape Tyler as revenge for getting their season cancelled.
- 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: He’s already tied for this alongside Bryce in seasons 1 and 2 but he definitely fits this in season 3, after Bryce moves to another school. 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, homicidal sociopath and eventually rapist that rivals Bryce himself in evil. By the time of season 3, he is the only character in the main cast without a single redeeming trait.
- Undying Loyalty: To Bryce. This is what drives him to threaten everyone who knows anything about the rapes in season 2.
- Would Hit a Girl: When Casey and the other girls interrupt Bryce’s funeral, Monty can be seen being held back by Justin from attacking the girls.
- Yandere: Becomes this in season 2 when he threatens everyone who knows about the rapes so that he could protect Bryce.
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 and Monty) 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.
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.
- 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.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: It's implied that her snippiness is a defense mechanism, because she's terrified of rejection.
- Informed Flaw: Her being a Butter Face, though could just be a reflection of bullying/the toxic culture at Liberty High.
- Never My Fault: Blames Clay entirely for them drifting apart, though she didn't do much to reach out to him either.
- 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.
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 fourth grade.
- Class Princess: Implied to have been this at Liberty High. She throws great parties, dates jocks, and is witty and likable.
- 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.
- 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.Kat: "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 blessing to Hannah 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.
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 Soapbox 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 pretentious, 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 Liberty 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 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.
- Soapbox Sadie: Pratters has an opinion on everything, and you're going to hear it.
Introduced in Season 2
Portrayed By: Bryce Cass
- Battle Cry: "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.
- Only Friend: To Tyler, in season 2, back when Tyler was hated by everyone else. He also introduces him to his sister.
- Out of Focus: He rarely appears in season 3, is mostly in the background, and has no role in Tyler's story arc.
- 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.
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.
- Put on a Bus: Mackenzie vanishes after season 2 and is never mentioned again.
Portrayed By: Anne Winters
- Broken Bird: After finding out she was raped by Bryce Walker in the clubhouse.
- Best Served Cold: She tells Bryce about her pregnancy and termination knowing he will be hurt and pissed off. She also makes sure he knows that Zach is her new man.
- 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.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Subverted in Season 3. Chloe aborts Bryce's child and never tells him about the pregnancy in the first place. Even anti-abortion protesters outside of the clinic, including the street crossing guard cant stop her, like in so many other examples in media. And the scene of her getting the abortion is also shown in detail.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's a blondie, and despite her relationship with Bryce, she never acts openly hostile to Jessica.
- 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.
- Pom-Pom Girl: She is a cheerleader and a sympathetic character. Despite dating a Jerk Jock initially, she has no Brainless Beauty or Alpha Bitch traits.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: While her telling Bryce about the pregnancy and abortion was meant to hurt him in Season 3, even she didn't realized doing so would set in motion the circumstances leading to his murder.
Portrayed By: Brandon Butler
- Anti-Villain: Type IV. Despite being one of Bryce's Co-Dragons, he never acts maliciously against Clay. Eventually, he ends up betraying Bryce and Monty.
- 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."
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.
- Put on a Bus: Nina vanishes after season 2 and is never mentioned again.
- Rape as Backstory: Was raped, but refuses to let it define her. She tries to help guide Jessica through her recovery.
Introduced in Season 3
Amarowat Anysia "Ani" Achola
Portrayed By: Grace SaifA new, immigrant student at Liberty High beginning in Season 3. She lives with the Walkers while her mother takes care of Bryce's grandfather. She plays a prominent role as the narrator through her conversation with Deputy Standall.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She is told by many people what Bryce did and how he is nothing but trouble, but she falls for him anyway, believing that she sees a side of him no one else does. However, once Bryce shows his angry side while drunk one day, she tries her best to distance herself from him.
- Alliterative Name: Amarowat Anysia "Ani" Achola.
- Amicable Exes: Her and Clay's breakup was abrupt and not pretty, but they decide to remain good friends later.
- Better as Friends: After she and Clay break up in season 4, they both decide neither of them are ready for a relationship and settle on this.
- Betty and Veronica: In season 3, is the Archie to Clay's Betty and Bryce's Veronica.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Acts friendly to Clay, but initially sees him a suspect in Bryce's murder and even tries to convince his friends that Clay may be dangerous. And after her first kiss to Clay, she shamelessly sleeps with Bryce, the guy who raped her friend Jessica.
- Black and Nerdy: She initially bonds with Clay over their common nerdy interests, something she admits in the narration.
- Consummate Liar: She lies as quick as a person breathes air. She is called out on this many times and even admits it, with pride. This is probably a consequence of her having to constantly lie to her mother in order to be able to have a social life.
- Determinator: Extremely determined and stubborn when it comes to know the truth about Bryce's murder.
- Deuteragonist: In season 3, she is the second most prominent character after Clay.
- First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Played straight. Her main purpose is to tell the story about who, how, and why Bryce was murdered, and to makes sure the person who really did it doesn't get caught.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Tries to see the best in Bryce, but at the same time she doesn't trust Clay, though she eventually changes her mind about him.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Was not exactly sympathetic when she kept on insisting that "Bryce was a real person!" and "You just don't want to see him as anything but a monster!" But she wasn't wrong when she pointed out Clay stopped at nothing to help someone who nearly killed them all.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Deconstructed. Becomes this for Clay in season 3 but by the next season they're a couple and she's unsure how to do the girlfriend thing when she isn't this. Her compulsion to fix everything causes Clay to push her away and is one of the reasons their relationship falls apart (the other major reason being that Clay projects ideals onto Ani that she can't live up to). She later admits to Jessica that she should probably focus on herself instead of someone else all the time.
- Manipulative Bitch: Acts like she is innocent and naive, but really has a sharp mind and knows how to play people. She even admits this to Clay, claiming that she lets people believe what she wants them to believe.
- Nerds Are Sexy: A self-described nerd who knows everything about comic books, robots, and cosplay. Both the nerdy hero and the villain fall in love with her.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Only her mother calls her Amarowat; to everyone else, she is Ani.
- Out of Focus: She's the female protagonist and narrator in season 3, but her role in season 4 is not as nearly as prominent and Clay breaks up with her.
- Ship Tease: Has flirty interactions with Clay, despite a few antagonistic moments, and they become an Official Couple by the end of season 3.
- Sixth Ranger: Becomes a full-on member of the "tape gang" by the end of season 3.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: For a new girl who barely knows the rest of the group and their story, she becomes way too involved in their life, gets more screentime than everyone, and even serves as the narrator.
- Unreliable Narrator: One of the first things you discover about her while listening to her narration is that she is lying about a lot that really happened leading up to Bryce's death. The season finale reveals that this was done to convince Sheriff Standall that Alex didn't kill Bryce when he did, and to frame Monty. He knows she is lying, but he accepts the lie to protect his son.
Portrayed By: Bex Taylor-Klaus
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: She thinks Bryce deserved to die because he was a rapist, and is even willing to protest at his funeral to remind everyone which person he was.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After her pivotal role in season 3 (mostly when it comes to Jessica, Tyler, and Bryce's plot), Casey vanishes in season 4 without an explanation and is never mentioned again.
- Does Not Like Men: While she mostly hates jocks, she seems to have a negative attitude towards men in general, which is seen in her early treatment of Tyler.
- Hypocrite: At first. She clearly wants to destigmatize and encourage open discussion about sexual assult and abusers, but she has trouble accepting approaches to doing so that don't align with her own. When Tyler suggests that celebrating a death isn't the best way to promote a good cause, she lashes out at him. She does get better, though.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While she goes too far with her obsessive feminism and has no respect for Bryce's family at his funeral, she makes the point that rapists are sickening, since she herself was a rape victim like Jessica.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As judgmental as she is, she gets better by the end of the season, and apologizes to Tyler for the way she has treated him.
- Last Disrespects: Shows up at Bryce's funeral to make a protest against sexual assault.
- Straw Feminist: Embodies all the exaggerated stereotypes of the extreme feminist activist.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: With her masculine appearance, Boyish Short Hair, and extremely outspoken attitude, she is the Tomboy to Jessica's Girly Girl.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her protest at Bryce’s funeral is considered by many characters and fans as disrespectful and inappropriate, and her treatment of Tyler prior to him coming forward as a rape survivor was awful. However, she does seem to be coming from a place of wanting to raise awareness of the problem of sexual assault at the school, and her extreme views appear to be a product of her trauma as a survivor herself.
Charlie St. George
Charlie St. George
Portrayed By: Tyler Barnhardt
- Ascended Extra: He was a just supporting character in season 3, but joins the main cast in season 4.
- Comically Missing the Point: Crossing with Not Distracted by the Sexy. When HO storms the field at homecoming, all he can say is "It is way too cold for those girls to be naked." Promptly lampshaded by Justin.Justin: Dude, seriously? That's your fucking focus right now?
- Embarrassing Middle Name: He tells Alex that his full name is "Charles Hayden Brixton St. George".
- Hidden Depths: In "Senior Camping Trip", Charlie reveals that he can bake. The next episode has him telling Alex that he and his dad had to learn this stuff after his mom died.
- Lovable Jock: Young and naive, and ultimately a good guy, stuck with a shit-head like Monty for a friend.
- LGBT Awakening: In season 4, he develops a crush on Alex and discovers that he's bisexual. He even comes out to his father in the series' penultimate episode.
- Missing Mom: His mom died of cancer when he was 13, roughly three or four years before the show takes place.
- Nice Guy: While he is loyal to the other jocks, he ultimately wants to do the right thing, even if it means going against one of them.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Averted, despite everything that Monty tries to get him to do, in the end he sides with Tyler, and is among his support group, alongside Justin and Jessica, when he reports his rape at Monty's hands to the police.
Portrayed by: Deaken Bluman
- Alliterative Name: Winston Williams.
- Ascended Extra: He was a just supporting character in season 3, but joins the main cast in season 4 after he transfers to Liberty.
- Book Dumb: By his own admission, he is not academically strong.
- Closet Key:
- To Monty. They hooked up twice, first at a party Bryce took Monty to, and then a few months later following the Homecoming game.
- To Alex, with whom he's in a relationship with for about half of season 4 before Alex breaks up with him for not being honest. Alex ultimately ends up with Charlie.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: It has been confirmed that he will be the main antagonist of the fourth season, making him a heavy contrast to every other antagonist in the series, in particular Bryce and Monty who were jerk jock bullies who hurt people and tried to get away with it. Winston is an affable gay guy with a sympathetic motive of wanting seeking justice for his love interest, Monty after he was killed and framed by Clay and his friends.
- Foil: To Clay. Both fall in love with a partner that tragically died before anything could come of their relationship. Both seek justice against the people who wronged them following their death. Both of their arcs end with them seeing an hallucination of said partner, with them realizing that they never got to truly know them but in actuality loved their idealized version of them which encourages them to finally move on. The only difference is that in Hannah's case, she was a victim of rape which was a major factor in her suicide, while with Monty he was the rapist and was killed out of a direct consequence for his action.
- Love Martyr: He still loves Monty and is willing to sleep with him even after he beat the crap out of him.
- Loving a Shadow: Out of all the characters, he probably has it the worst in falling in love with people he hardly got to know. He decides that he's madly in love with Monty after only a few brief hookups and sets out on a quest to clear his name despite Monty already being dead. He decides to drop his "investigation" after coming to the realization that his ideal version of Monty isn't grounded in reality, and the two possibly never would have been together even if Monty didn't die.
- Nice Guy: He seems to be a truly genuine guy. Even after Monty lays a vicious No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on him. He doesn't out Monty or call the police, and is the only one to speak in his defense when Ani frames him for killing Bryce.
- Spanner in the Works: He's the only one at the end of season three who knows Alex killed Bryce and the gang worked together to frame Monty to protect him. When he moves to Liberty High in season four, everyone is on-edge around him on account of his being the only one who could expose the truth once he gains sufficient evidence. He decides not to in the end.
- Turn the Other Cheek: He quickly accepts Monty's apology for beating him up, and invites him over for a second hookup. He also decided in the end not to rat out Alex for Bryce's murder.
Introduced in Season 4
Portrayed By: Jan Luis Castellanos
- Avenging the Villain: His main goal in season 4 is to find Bryce's real killer and clear Monty's name.
- Ax-Crazy: He's a violent and sadistic Jerk Jock who's go-to method of interrogation is beating the shit out of people until they talk.
- Berserk Button: Being called "stupid" seems to be one for him. Even when Jess calls him such in a flirty, joking manner he makes a point to tell her he isn't.
- The Dragon: He's the muscle behind Winston's plan to expose Bryce's real killer.
- For the Evulz: Toyed with. His torturing Clay with Monty's phone, is done out of his and Winston's belief that Clay killed Bryce. However the guy gets a lot more pleasure out of it than just going along with Winston's plan.
- Heel–Face Turn: He gives up on his quest to avenge Monty after Justin dies and even apologizes to Jess for what he put her through.
- Jerk Jock: Following in the traditions of Bryce and Monty, the kid is unpleasant, messes with the already mentally frail Clay and openly worships the memory of a deviant rapist like Monty.
- Loving a Shadow: His relationship with Jess. He becomes incredibly possessive of her, though it becomes clearer and clearer to him, Justin is the real great love of her life.
- Second Love: It's heavily implied that he'll be Jess' in the series finale. While they don't end up together, Jess doesn't turn him down when he asks if she wants to try dating again. Instead, she just tells him to ask again in a month, after she's had more time to grieve Justin.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Ok that's a little harsh, but the group rallies behind him after a racist security guard both assaults and tries to arrest him, even though doing so could get them out their hair about the Bryce/Monty coverup.
- Undying Loyalty: To Monty, since he was the one who encouraged Diego to play football despite Diego's belief that "Dominicans don't play football."
Estella de la Cruz
Estella de la Cruz
Portrayed By: Inde Navarrette
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Not daddy, but despite how, or maybe because of, how Monty felt about Tyler, Estella finds herself developing feelings for Tyler, who in kind reciprocates them.
- Morality Pet: It's implied that Monty did love her and was a good brother to her, and despite her unable to reconcile the atrocities he committed, she tearfully admits, she loved him back.
- Nice Girl: She's friendly, sweet and has a good heart.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: She is nothing like her older brother, being a kind hearted, openly friendly, if shy young woman.
Portrayed By: Yadira Guevara-Prip
- Instant Seduction: We never learn what Zach suggests Clay whisper in her ear, but she lays him immediately after hearing it, as promised.
- Nice Girl: She’s very understanding of Clay and doesn’t judge him for his inexperience with sex.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She helps Clay lose his virginity once at a party and isn't even mentioned afterwards.