List of New Girl characters

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New Girl is an American television situation comedy created by Elizabeth Meriwether. The show, set in Los Angeles, depicts the interpersonal adventures of offbeat teacher Jess (Zooey Deschanel) after her spontaneous move into a loft with three men, played by Jake Johnson (Nick), Max Greenfield (Schmidt) and Lamorne Morris (Winston); Jess's best friend Cece (Hannah Simone) and old-turned-new loftmate Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.) also appear.

Summary of character appearances
Character Portrayed by Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
Jessica "Jess" Day Zooey Deschanel Main
Nicholas "Nick" Miller Jake M. Johnson Main
Schmidt Max Greenfield Main
Coach Damon Wayans, Jr. Pilot N/A Special guest Main Special guest
Cece Parekh Schmidt Hannah Simone Main
Winston Bishop Lamorne Morris Main

The series also features a number of recurring and guest characters.

Main characters[edit]

  • Zooey Deschanel as Jessica "Jess" Christopher Day, a bubbly, offbeat teacher in her early thirties who is originally from Portland, Oregon. After discovering in the pilot episode that her live-in boyfriend, Spencer, is cheating on her, she moves into the guys' apartment where Nick, Schmidt, and Winston help her move on from her break-up. Following failed relationships with a fellow teacher (Paul) and a successful middle-aged man (Russell) and getting fired from her teaching job, she starts a casual relationship with a doctor (Sam).
  • Jake Johnson as Nicholas "Nick" Miller, a perennial slacker and grumpy young man who is originally from Chicago. He is introduced as a law school drop-out who supports himself by working as a bartender and still struggles from a break-up with his long-term girlfriend, Caroline. After a failed relationship with a tough lawyer in the middle of season 1, Nick tries to rekindle his romance with Caroline and almost moves in with her at the end of season 1.
  • Max Greenfield as Schmidt, an overly confident Jewish ladies' man who is originally from Long Island, New York. Schmidt met Nick and Winston in college while attending Syracuse University, when he was overweight. Since then, he has worked hard to be seen as physically attractive and cool. Because of this, he often says offensive or cocky things, as a consequence of which he must put money in the "douche-bag jar" of the apartment. Schmidt is a successful marketing associate in a female-dominated office and is known for his numerous flings with women. In the second half of season 1, he starts a casual relationship with fashion model and best friend of Jess, Cece, which later on becomes a serious relationship. However, in the season 1 finale, he ends his relationship with Cece because he feels she may no longer want to be with him. At the end of season 2, he rekindles a relationship with his college girlfriend Elizabeth, but after Cece confesses her feelings for him, he is forced to choose between them in the season 2 finale.
  • Lamorne Morris as Winston Bishop, a tenacious and somewhat eccentric former basketball player from Chicago and Nick's childhood friend. Losing his post as point guard for a team in the Latvian Basketball League, he returns to America and moves back into the guys' apartment in the second episode. During season 1, he struggles adjusting to his new life. After dabbling in a few odd jobs, he finally gets his break as a research assistant to a sports radio show host. He also gets back with Shelby, an ex he had treated neglectfully in the past. He later trained as police officer and is dating his tough, but kind-hearted colleague, Ally.
  • Hannah Simone as Cecilia "Cece" Parikh, a street-smart and snarky fashion model of Indian heritage. She has been Jess's best friend since childhood. Initially skeptical of Jess's new roommates, Cece becomes interested in Schmidt and tries to keep her fling with him a secret. With their secret relationship revealed at the end of season 1, she decides to move on, yet still had feelings towards him. In season 2, she discovers that she has limited time to conceive a baby and decides to enter an arranged marriage with a man called Shivrang. However, she calls off the wedding in the season 2 finale after realizing that she is still in love with Schmidt and has no feelings for Shivrang (who also turned out to be in love with someone else). At the start of season 3, a confused Schmidt misleads her as he attempts to carry on two distinct relationships. However, she soon discovers the truth and is left to recuperate after the break-up.
  • Damon Wayans, Jr. as Ernie "Coach" Tagliaboo (pilot and season 4; special guest seasons 3 & 5), a cocky and driven, yet sometime awkward former athlete who now works as a personal trainer. He is one of the roommates when Jess first moves into the loft in the pilot, but he moves out before the second episode for then-undisclosed reasons, allowing for Winston to take his place. Because the three need a new tenant, Coach returns to the loft in season 3's "Coach" and stays for the entire season, and in season 4 is promoted to series regular.[1] At the end of season 4, Coach moves to New York with his girlfriend May and is once again not present in season 5.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Dermot Mulroney as Russell (seasons 1–2), Jess' ex-boyfriend, who is the father of one of her former students. He is a businessman whose maturity clashes with the group's arrested development. Nick admires and looks up to him in a way that makes Russell feel uncomfortable.
  • Rachael Harris as Tanya Lamontagne (seasons 1–2), the vice principal of Jess's first school.
  • Kali Hawk as Shelby (seasons 1–2), Winston's ex-girlfriend. They dated before he went to Latvia and start again soon after he joins the loft.
  • Gillian Vigman as Kim (season 1; guest seasons 3 & 5), Schmidt's boss.
  • Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Caroline (season 1; guest season 3), Nick's on-and-off girlfriend. When the series begins, he is still crushed because of their breakup. Near the end of season one, they almost move in together and she returns again in season three, jealous of Jess' relationship with Nick.
  • Justin Long as Paul (season 1; guest season 4), a music teacher at Jess's school and Jess' ex-boyfriend. Quirky and emotional, the group criticizes him as a male version of Jess.
  • Michaela Watkins as Gina (season 1; guest season 4), Schmidt's no-nonsense boss. In season one, Winston babysits her son.
  • Lizzy Caplan as Julia (season 1), Nick's ex-girlfriend. She does not like that Jess lives in the loft with Nick.
  • Rob Reiner as Bob Day (season 2-present), Jess' father. Though he admits to having many similarities to Nick, he is very protective of Jess and disapproves of their relationship. In season four, he becomes engaged to one of Jess' former schoolmates.
  • Merritt Wever as Elizabeth (seasons 2–3), Schmidt's low-key ex-girlfriend. They dated when Schmidt was in college and later reconnect. After finding out Schmidt was dating both her and Cece at the same time, Elizabeth dumps him.
  • Brenda Song as Daisy (seasons 2–3), Winston's ex-girlfriend. After they break up, Winston takes her cat Ferguson as his own.
  • Satya Bhabha as Shivrang (season 2), Cece's strait-laced ex-fiancé. They agree to an arranged marriage yet mutually break it off at the last minute.
  • David Walton as Sam (seasons 2 & 5), Jess's doctor ex-boyfriend. They go in and out of dating casually and more seriously.
  • Nelson Franklin as Robby (seasons 2 & 5-6), Cece's ex-boyfriend. Laid-back and nice, he represents a contrast to Schmidt, who hates him but later tries to ally with him against Shivrang. Later, he confesses to have feelings for Jess
  • Olivia Munn as Angie (season 2), Nick's stripper ex-girlfriend.
  • Carla Gugino as Emma (season 2), the Vice President of Schmidt's company, with whom Schmidt has a brief sexual relationship.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis as Joan (season 3–4; guest season 2), Jess' mom. She and Bob are divorced and she shares some quirks with Jess. She also flirts with Nick.
  • Steve Agee as Outside Dave (season 3–present; guest season 2), the homeless man who lives outside of the apartment building and often interacts with the main cast members
  • Curtis Armstrong as Principal Foster (formerly Dr. Foster) (season 3–present; guest season 2), First appeared as a doctor before he resurfaced as the eccentric principal of Jess' new school. Despite his apparent incompetence and frequent oddness, he and Jess have a congenial relationship.
  • Angela Kinsey as Rose (seasons 3–4), a friend and colleague of Jess.
  • Brian Posehn as Biology Teacher (seasons 3–4), otherwise known as Lorenzo, he works at Jess' new school. Odd and incompetent, he at one point shares a classroom with Jess.
  • Linda Cardellini as Abby Day (season 3), Jess' older sister. She is much harder-edged than Jess and often embarrasses Jess and Cece.
  • Jessica Chaffin as Bertie (season 3), Winston's odd bus driver girlfriend. They start dating after she finds his cat Ferguson and the rest of the group is perplexed about Winston's involvement.
  • Julian Morris as Ryan (season 4), the British new science teacher of Jess' new school and her new love interest.
  • Greta Lee as Kai (season 4), Tran's granddaughter who eventually becomes Nick's girlfriend.
  • Zoe Lister-Jones as Fawn Moscato (season 4), Schmidt's love interest.
  • Meaghan Rath as May (seasons 4–5), Coach's girlfriend.
  • Rebecca Reid as Nadia (season 5–present; co-star season 1; guest seasons 2 & 4), one of Cece's roommates, who is also a model. She often inadvertently insults Jess, comparing her to a monkey mascot popular in her native Russia. She also briefly had an awkward sexual encounter with Schmidt.
  • Nasim Pedrad as Aly Nelson (season 5–present; guest season 4), Winston's officer partner.
  • Nora Dunn as Louise (seasons 4-5), Schmidt's mother.
  • Peter Gallagher as Gavin (season 5), Schmidt's father.
  • Megan Fox as Reagan (season 5–present), a gorgeous, straight-shooting pharmaceutical sales rep who comes to town on business and shakes things up in the loft when she rents out Jess' room while she is sequestered on jury duty (during Zooey Deschanel's parental leave).

Guest characters[edit]

  • June Diane Raphael as Sadie (seasons 1–3), a gynecologist and a friend of Jess and Cece. She is a lesbian, and has been married for over five years to Melissa (Kay Cannon). Sadie was nine months pregnant with their first child at the end of season two.
  • Jeff Kober as Remy (seasons 1–2), the creepy landlord of the apartment building.
  • Eva Amurri Martino as Beth (seasons 1 & 3), Schmidt's colleague and rival.
  • Stephen Amell as Kyle (season 1), Cece's ex-boyfriend.
  • Jeanne Tripplehorn as Ouli (season 1), Russell's ex-wife.
  • Phil Hendrie as Joe Napoli (season 1), sports radio host and Winston's boss.
  • Dennis Farina as Walt Miller (season 2), Nick's deceased father. He was a conman and had a complicated relationship with Nick.
  • Dylan O'Brien as The Guy (season 2), a guy who Jess met at her prom. He almost took his virginity in a playground castle but they got stuck. When the firemen were trying to rescue them, he told Jess that he might be gay.
  • Taylor Swift as Elaine (season 2), Shivrang ranaway with her at the wedding.
  • Ben Falcone as Mike (seasons 3–4), another bartender at the bar.
  • Jon Lovitz as Rabbi (season 3), Schmidt's Rabbi. He dislikes Schmidt intensely.
  • Anna George as Priyanka (season 5), Cece's mother.
  • Sam Richardson as Dunston (season 5), a not-particularly-bright, very clumsy police officer who gets paired up with Winston.
  • Sonequa Martin-Green as Rhonda (season 5), Winston's prankster ex-wife.
  • Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta (season 6), A detective in the NYPD whom Jess encounters when he commandeers her vehicle in pursuit of a suspect. His appearance is part of a crossover event with Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • Chelsea Peretti as Gina Linetti (season 6), a receptionist within the NYPD whom Jess encounters to sort out paying for damages to Schmidt's mom's car. Her appearance is part of a crossover event with Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle (season 6), a detective with the NYPD who runs into Nick and Winston in the subway when they're busking for train fare. His appearance is part of a crossover event with Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • Andre Braugher as Raymond Holt (season 6), the captain of the 99th precinct in Brooklyn who Jess gets advice (and soup) from when venting about her dislike of the city. His appearance is part of a crossover event with Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Other characters[edit]

  • Ralph Ahn as Tran, a silent elderly Asian man. Nick meets him in a park and sometimes goes to him to vent and ask for advice, despite his apparent silence.


  1. ^ Gelman, Vlada (May 5, 2014). "New Girl Ups Damon Wayans Jr. to Series Regular". TV Line. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 

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