Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Unbreakable

Go To

Character page for Unbreakable.

Beware of spoilers.

    open/close all folders 

The Dunn Family


David Dunn / The Overseer
Elijah Price: You could've done any of ten thousand things, but in the end, you chose to protect people. You made that decision, and I find that very, very interesting.

Portrayed by: Bruce Willis, Davis Duffield (age 20)

Appearances: Unbreakable | Split | Glass

"When I was a kid, I spent a week in the hospital getting better from pneumonia. I almost drowned. Two skinny little kids were fooling around in a pool dunking me and I swallowed some water. They didn't know it, and it almost killed me. Heroes don't get killed like that. Normal people do, right?"

A security guard who discovers he has superhuman levels of strength, stamina, and invulnerability, as well as an extrasensory ability to see the crimes people have committed by touching them.

  • The Ace: Was one for his college football team.
  • Achilles' Heel: Due to his extremely dense bones, he can't swim. This was unintentionally exploited by a criminal during David's first foray into superheroism, and two decades later it ends up finally killing him.
  • Alliterative Name: David Dunn. Possibly a nod to the frequent use of this trope in the names of comic book superheroes.
  • Badass Cape: He wears a poncho, not a cape, but it still functions as a badass superhero costume.
  • Bald of Awesome: When Bruce Willis isn’t asked to don a hairpiece, you know you’re in for something good.
  • The Cameo: In the post-credits scene of Split, patrons are seen listening to the media coverage of Kevin Wendell Crumb's crimes, "The Horde" being his new media nickname. One patron notes the resemblance between The Horde and a wheelchair-bound terrorist arrested 15 years prior, struggling to remember the man's name. The man behind her is revealed to be Dunn, and he reminds her that the wheelchair-bound man was called "Mr. Glass".
  • The Cape: He ultimately develops boundless messianic altruism typical of most Capes.
  • Civvie Spandex: He wears the slightly more dramatic green-tinted poncho over jeans, sneakers and a cap.
  • Clark Kenting: As The Overseer, he technically has nothing keeping his face from being seen other than the shadows he prowls in and the shade of the cowl of his poncho.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Often wears green clothing, and green is the color of his rain poncho, which becomes his superhero costume.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's pushing 60 by the time of Glass, but he's still just as superhumanly hard to stop as he used to be in his youth.
  • The Cowl: He's a terrifying, shadowy figure in the darkness hunting criminals.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He's a sinister-looking figure who prowls in the shadows hunting criminals, but is unambiguously heroic. One shot in Glass has him standing over a bunch of kidnapped cheerleaders looking like the Grim Reaper, only for him to break their restraints and attack the man who abducted them.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Despite marrying the woman he loves and starting a family, at the start of the movie David feels like something is missing in his life. He eventually resolves this by becoming a superhero.
    David: This morning... I think it's the first morning I wake up without feeling sadness. *brief laugh* I thought that the person who wrote this would have an answer.
  • Detect Evil: He has the ability to sense a person's evil acts by touching them. Elijah exploits this.
  • Fight Off the Kryptonite: Due to his weakness being so common, he often has to fight while being affected by it. Noticeably, both the climax of Unbreakable and the climax of Glass feature Dunn having to fight through large bodies of water that weaken him.
  • The Hero Dies: He's the main heroic character of the Eastrail 177 trilogy, and ultimately bites it at the end of Glass when the conspiracy members drown him in a flooded pothole.
  • Hero Does Public Service: In his civilian identity, he worked as a security guard and head of a private security firm. So he protects people both as a civilian and as a superhero.
  • Hero's First Rescue: He comes into his own as a superhero saving a family from a serial killer/kidnapper.
  • Heroic Fatigue: It's brought up during Glass that Dunn is pushing himself to the extreme in his search for justice, and more specifically in trying to find The Horde.
  • Hurting Hero: He's a hero set upon by a variety of traumas from his childhood, and by Glass, he's a widower mourning his wife.
  • Ideal Hero: Dunn is everything a superhero is meant to be, as observed by Mr. Glass.
  • Jaded Washout: Was once The Ace of his local college but quit, holding to a mediocre job and a crumbling family.
  • Kill It with Water: Played With. His Super Drowning Skills have led him to fear water, which leads to him being drowned when weakened.
  • Kryptonite Factor: A crucial element in Unbreakable is Elijah Price trying to figure out what's Dunn's "weakness". It's ultimately revealed to be large bodies of water, for two reasons: his larger bone density makes him sink like a stone in bodies of water (and thus drown) and because of a near drowning incident in his childhood, he's traumatized by large bodies of water (and thus he makes himself feel weak).
  • Personality Powers: It's only logical the tough, stoic, and unmovable David Dunn is superhumanly tough and invulnerable.
  • Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: His powers falter when immersed in large quantities of water, due to his trauma with large bodies of water. This ends up leading to his death.
  • Sole Survivor: He is the only survivor of a trainwreck which claimed 132 lives.
  • The Stoic: David is mainly a reserved man, rarely showing his emotions.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Due to his extremely dense bones, he can't swim. This nearly kills him in his first foray into superheroism, and is ultimately used to drown him in a puddle by the Ancient Conspiracy in Glass.
  • Super Strength: A downplayed variation; David is shown to be able to wrench open the door of his burning car to save Audrey, and in a deleted scene, is able to bench press an excess of 500 pounds. He doesn't really know about this initially, however, so he doesn't really know how much he can really lift. Glass shows he's significantly stronger than the Beast, with the latter needing to use agility to keep up in a fight.
  • Super Toughness: The guy survived a train wreck. Without a scratch. 'Nuff said.
  • Walking Spoiler: Of a sort. You can't talk about his cameo appearance in Split without revealing the Twist Ending that the movie is a Stealth Sequel to Unbreakable.


Audrey Dunn, née Inverso

Portrayed By: Robin Wright, Laura Regan (age 20)

Appearances: Unbreakable

David's wife and Joseph's mother.


Joseph Dunn

Portrayed By: Spencer Treat Clark

Appearances: Unbreakable | Glass

"You can't let bad things happen to good people, right? That's your code, right? That's the hero's code?"

David's son who believes in him and sees his father as a superhero.

  • Adult Fear: He inexplicably finds David's revolver and tries to shoot him, to prove to his mom that David has superpowers.
  • Hero-Worshipper: After finding out about David's powers from Elijah, he begins to believe that David is invincible, what with his comments about David (maybe) beating Bruce Lee with his powers. This takes a dark turn, since his dad refuses to become a superhero, and his parents' problems, he tries to shoot David, his own dad, in front of his mom just to prove that David is truly invulnerable.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Tragically subverted. While his father is unbreakable, he isn't. This drives him over the edge, and culminates in him trying to shoot David.
  • Mission Control: He becomes the "guy in a chair passing information to the hero via comlink" archetype in his young adulthood.
  • Number Two: Nineteen years from Unbreakable, he becomes this when David patrols Philadelphia as the Overseer.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: He stays in contact with his father through an earpiece while David patrols the streets of Philadelphia, doing research online and relaying it to David.

The Price Family


Elijah Price / Mr. Glass
"Belief in oneself is contagious."

Portrayed By: Samuel L. Jackson, Johnny Hiram Jamison (age 13)

Appearances: Unbreakable | Glass

"Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world. To not know why you're here. That's - that's just an awful feeling."

A comic book art gallery owner with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), a rare disease that renders sufferers' bones extremely fragile and prone to fracture. Price is a long-time comic book fan and develops a theory that if there is an individual with extreme frailty, there must be an "unbreakable" human in existence as well.

  • Admiring the Abomination: When Joseph reveals to Kevin that Elijah indirectly killed Kevin's father in the Eastrail 177 train incident, all Elijah can do is marvel at the Beast's creation, despite the latter being an inch from killing him in retaliation.
    "It's all evidence, you see? If that train crash hadn't happened, Kevin wouldn't have been left alone with his mother. If Kevin's mother wasn't allowed to continue to abuse him, then The Beast wouldn't have had to be born. What are the odds that David Dunn and Clarence Wendell Crumb would be together that day? Amazing! I created you as I created David. It just took longer: 19 years. They almost convinced me I was crazy! I create superheroes. I truly am... a mastermind."
  • Appropriated Appellation: When he was still a kid, bullies used to call him "Mr. Glass" due to his extremely frail body. He then uses it as his supervillain name.
  • Arch-Enemy: To David, describing it as his life's purpose.
    Elijah: Now that we know who you are, I know who I am. I'm not a mistake! It all makes sense! In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain's going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they're friends, like you and me! I should've known way back when... You know why, David? Because of the kids. They called me Mr. Glass.
  • Big Bad: He's actually this, having engineered disasters to find someone like David, then mentored him in becoming a superhero, so Elijah himself could become a villain in opposition, thus validating his purpose in life.
  • Body Horror: His genetic disease causes him to suffer from this. In one flashback in Glass, he sneaks on an amusement park ride, only for the force of the ride to break his arm and bend it in a horrific manner.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: His appearance in Unbreakable originally paints him as a Tragic Villain, one clearly tormented by what he decides is his true purpose in life and shows regret that many had to die for him to find his superhero archnemesis. By Glass, he's sporting Psychotic Smirks and doing an Evil Laugh, fully embracing his villainous identity... but it's all to ultimately encourage people to accept and embrace their unique gifts.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Born different and unable to form a connection with others, Elijah finds meaning in comic books that he began reading as a kid. Growing up, he even makes a career out of his passion. This leads the viewer to think that Elijah is seeking a superhero to be his mentor and/or simply to find an accomplished "mutant", the person that he wishes he were, when actually he desires a hero so he can be his arch-villain.
    Elijah: You know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world. To not know why you're here... That's... That's just an awful feeling.
    • In Glass, having been kept from fulfilling this purpose for so long by an Ancient Conspiracy working against super-powered people, Elijah's new purpose becomes dismantling this conspiracy and creating a world where super-powered people can live in public view. He succeeds, at the cost of his life.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: His role, which he's well-aware of and plays to perfection.
  • Evil Counterpart: He becomes one to David's superhero persona. Just like David, Elijah was born with a condition that made him different from everybody else regarding his physiological constitution, except that while Elijah's body is weaker than the average, David's is tougher; While David's powers is what helps him be a superhero, it is Elijah's intellect and plans that makes him a criminal mastermind. Finally, just like David, Elijah is dissatisfied with his place in life, despite achieving some of his goal. He gives a powerful speech at the end of the movie about this trope:
    Elijah: Now that we know who you are, I know who I am. I'm not a mistake! It all makes sense! In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain's going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they're friends, like you and me! I should've known way back when... You know why, David? Because of the kids. They called me Mr. Glass.
  • Evil Mentor: Just as he helps David find out more about his powers, he then exploits David's ability to detect evil to make David realize their "destiny" as each other's arch-nemeses.
  • Friendly Enemy: Despite taking him on to be David's arch-enemy, Elijah doesn't indulge in the same love/hatred that characterizes that kind of relationship; he's actually grateful and genuinely considers David to be his friend.
  • Genius Cripple: He manages to manipulate the entire cast of Glass into giving him exactly what he wants (bringing The Beast out of Kevin, having David fight him, recording the Ancient Conspiracy killing David and exposing both their existence and the existence of superpowered people) while almost never leaving his wheelchair.
  • Karmic Death: Killed by the Beast in Glass for having engineered the accident that killed Kevin's father.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Elijah is rather abrasive (as seen in the scene with a potential buyer); he also doesn't seem to have that many friends, given that he still relies on his mother to help him with his store.
  • Manipulative Bastard: During one of David's use of his power, Elijah is seen casually talking with a man (who worked in a hotel for years) so he can learn how to cause maximum damage in said hotel. It's also his knowledge of David's lack of meaning and sadness that he uses to make him a superhero.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Elijah usually wears purple.
  • Sanity Slippage: Years spent feeling like he didn't belong led Elijah to develop his obsession with finding his nemesis. He gets worse after being committed to an asylum, having all of his attempts at escape thwarted, and being heavily sedated.
  • Serial Killer: Although Mass Murderer would be more accurate, having orchestrated hundreds of deaths in his search for a superhuman, including a jumbo jet explosion, a hotel fire, and the Eastrail 177 disaster which alone killed 131 people. Further, the articles on the wall of his workshop implicate his possible involvement in many other disasters, including mudslides, sinking ships, bombings, poisoned water, traffic pileups, and more fires.
  • Thanatos Gambit: His plan in Glass was one he knew he would not survive, but fulfilled its intention of exposing the existence of both super-powered people and the Ancient Conspiracy against them to the world, which will enable more super-powered people to come out of hiding.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His role in the creation of the Horde, and by extension the Beast, was entirely unintentional, but it still resulted in the deaths of many innocent people.
  • Villain Protagonist: Of Glass. The film ultimately centers on his efforts to expose the existence of super-powered individuals to the world and outwit the Ancient Conspiracy dedicated to suppressing them, but he has no qualms about actions such as murder and terrorism.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He caused the accidents just to find somebody who is his polar opposite to justify his existence.
  • You Killed My Father: Kevin (as The Beast) learns that his father died in the Eastrail 177 incident that David survived, turns against Price, and kills him.

    Mrs. Price 

Mrs. Price

Portrayed By: Charlayne Woodard

Appearances: Unbreakable | Glass

"See the villain's eyes? They're larger than the other characters'. They — insinuate a slightly skewed perspective on how they see the world. Just off normal."

  • Good Parents: Clearly loves her son.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: If it weren't for her frequent gifts of comic books to Elijah, he wouldn't have instigated so many disasters to find someone like David.

Other Characters


Dr. Mathison

Portrayed By: Eamonn Walker

Appearances: Unbreakable

"It appears that your baby has sustained some fractures while inside your uterus... his arms and his legs are broken."


Dr. Dubin

Portrayed By: Michael Kelly

Appearances: Unbreakable

    Orange Suit Man 

Orange Suit Man

Portrayed By: Chance Kelly

Appearances: Unbreakable

Orange Suit Man: I like your house. Can I come in?
Hostage father: No.
Orange Suit Man: Are you sure?

A garbage man who is actually a serial killer, and the first person David tries to stop as his first superhero stint.

  • Ax-Crazy: He's a brutal psychopath who was in the process of murdering an entire family when David stopped him. It seems pretty clear that it wasn't his first time, either.
  • Color-Coded Characters
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: He's characterized by his bright orange overalls.
  • Serial Killer: He seems to go from house to house, taking the family hostage and killing them steadily while living in the house.
  • Starter Villain: For David Dunn.



Portrayed By: M. Night Shyamalan

Appearances: Unbreakable | Split | Glass

A former drug dealer David Dunn caught up in the act at a stadium in Unbreakable.

He later became a surveillance agent, helping Dr. Fletcher with her office's camera to decipher what's happening with Kevin Wendell Crumb's personalities in Split.

In Glass, he is a customer at David's shop, revealing to David that his encounter with him changed his life for good.

  • Creator Cameo: M. Night Shyamalan, the director and writer of the films himself, has a cameo in each one of them as this character.
  • Fast-Food Nation: As seen in Split, he seems to have a fondness for Hooters chicken wings, which makes Dr. Fletcher snark quite a bit on how it is a Nutritional Nightmare to her.
    Fletcher: Jai, what health-conscious fast food purveyor did you originally solicit to buy these chicken wings you so lovingly reheated in a minor suicidal gesture?
  • Heel Realization: David Dunn made him realize he had better things to do in life than hanging around with drug dealers.
  • Reformed Criminal: He was a drug dealer, and bumping on David Dunn made him search for a better life.


Example of: