List of stock characters
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A stock character is a dramatic or literary character representing a type in a conventional manner and recurring in many works. The following list labels some of these archetypes and stereotypes, providing distinctive examples.
|Absent-minded professor||An absent-minded scientific genius||Professor Calculus, Emmett Brown, Sherman Klump|
|Angry Black Woman||An assertive, opinionated, loud, and "sassy" black woman with a sharp tongue, often depicted as nagging and emasculating a male character||Sapphire in Amos 'n' Andy, Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty, Aunt Esther|
|Antihero||A protagonist lacking conventional heroic qualities, such as morality, courage, or idealism||Deadpool, Han Solo, Eddie Valiant|
|Author surrogate||A character sharing the traits of its author or creator||Jon Arbuckle, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski|
|Bad boy||A roguish macho||Tony Stark, Gregory House, Danny Zuko|
|Battle-axe||An old, domineering, brash and brazen woman||Agnes Skinner, Thelma Harper, Marie Barone|
|Black knight||An evil fighter antagonist||Black Knight, Nathan Garrett, Darth Vader|
|Boy next door||An average and nice guy||Marty McFly, Luke Skywalker, Peter Parker|
|Bug-eyed monster||A staple evil alien||Formics, Alien|
|Cat lady||A woman overly concerned with her cats||Crazy Cat Lady, Arabella Figg, Angela Martin|
|Con artist||A person who tricks people out of money||Del Boy, Artful Dodger, Danny Ocean|
|Contender||A competitive underdog||Rocky Balboa, Lightning McQueen, Daniel LaRusso|
|Criminal||Often a thief. Has a strange gait, slouched posture and devious facial expression. Usually wears black and white stripes.||Flynn Rider, Bernie Rhodenbarr, Cash Register Thief|
|Crone||A cruel old woman, often occult or witch-like||Baba Yaga, Wicked Witch of the West, Maleficent|
|Damsel in distress||A noble Lady in need of rescue, traditionally from dragons||Princess Peach, Princess Zelda, Daphne Blake|
|Dandy||A young man more interested in fashion and leisure than business and politics. Prominent in Victorian writings.||Dorian Gray|
|Dark Lady||A dark, malicious or doomed woman||Lady Macbeth, Miss Trunchbull, Annie Wilkes|
|Dark Lord||An evil, very powerful, often godlike or near-immortal sorcerer||Palpatine, Lord Voldemort, Thanos|
|Elderly martial arts master||A wise, powerful man teaching his powerful craft to a young student, often needs to be avenged||Mr. Miyagi, Ra's al Ghul, Yoda|
|Everyman||An ordinary individual||Homer Simpson, Emmet Brickowski, Tim Canterbury|
|Fall guy||A scapegoat||Alex Parrish, Wilmer Cook|
|Farmer's daughter||A desirable and naive young woman, also described as being an "open-air type" and "public-spirited"||Crushinator|
|Femme fatale||A beautiful but mischievous and traitorous woman||Ruth Wonderly, Poison Ivy, Salome|
|Final girl||A "last girl standing" in a horror film||Mina Harker, Laurie Strode, Sally Hardesty|
|Gentleman thief||A sophisticated and well-mannered thief||Kaito Kuroba, Sly Cooper, Neal Caffrey|
|Girl next door||An average girl with a wholesome conduct||Rachel Green, Carrie Bradshaw, Bridget Jones|
|Grande dame||French for "great lady"; a flamboyant woman, prone to extravagant and eccentric fashion; usually a stereotype of an elderly high society socialite||Constance in Gosford Park, Princess Dragomiroff in Murder on the Orient Express; Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest|
|Hag||A wizened old woman, often a malicious witch||Baba Yaga, Wicked Queen|
|Harlequin||A clown or professional fool||Till Eulenspiegel, Krusty the Clown|
|Hooker with a heart of gold||A prostitute with heart and intrinsic morality||Nancy, Fantine, Inara Serra|
|Hopeless Romantic||A loving, passionate character that often finds love at first sight, is obsessive over a romantic partner, usually views life differently, very optimistic|
|Housewife||A homely and busy mother of the protagonist family, takes care of the children and does the housework.||Morticia Addams, Jane Jetson, Marge Simpson|
|Hotshot||A reckless character known for taking risks||Martin Riggs, John McClane, Agent J|
|Idiot savant||A person with extraordinary but narrow intelligence and some form of social or developmental disability||Forrest Gump, Raymond "Rain Man" Babbitt|
|Ingenue||A young woman who is endearingly innocent and wholesome||Ariel, Snow White, Dorothy Gale|
|Jock (athlete)||A male athlete who is often muscular, but not very smart||Flash Thompson, Nathan Scott, Luke Ward|
|Knight-errant||A noble Knight on a Quest||Lancelot, Aragorn, Bronn|
|Little Green Men||Little humanoid extraterrestrials with green skin and antennae on their heads; known familiarly in science fiction fandom as LGM||The Great Gazoo|
|Loathly lady||A woman who appears to be hideous, often cursed||The Wife of Bath's Tale|
|Lovers||Main characters who deeply and truly fall romantically in love, despite the blocking effect of other characters; often moonstruck, star-crossed lovers that are strongly fraternizing with the enemy||Romeo & Juliet|
|Mad scientist||An insane or highly eccentric scientist, often villainous or amoral||Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Henry Jekyll, Dr. Moreau|
|Magical Negro||A black man with special insight or mystical powers coming to the aid of the white protagonist||Uncle Remus|
|Mammy archetype||A rotund, homely, and matronly black woman||Aunt Jemima, Mammy Two Shoes, Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird|
|Manic Pixie Dream Girl||Usually static characters who have eccentric personality quirks and are unabashedly girlish||Zelda Spellman, Bo Peep|
|Mean Popular Girl||A teenage girl who has high status at her school, but is often mean to less popular girls.||Chloé Bourgeois in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, Nina Harper in Braceface, Regina George in Mean Girls|
|Mary Sue||An idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character, often considered a stand-in for the author||Wesley Crusher, Bella Swan, Rey (Star Wars)|
|Miles Gloriosus||A boastful soldier (originally from the comic theatre of ancient Rome)||Falstaff, Baron Munchausen, Buzz Lightyear|
|Mother's boy||A man who is excessively attached to his mother||Private Pike, Howard Wolowitz, Norman Bates|
|Nerd||A socially-impaired, obsessive, or overly-intellectual person, often interested in doing well in school (academically and in terms of behavior)||Will McKenzie, Steve Urkel, Hermione Granger|
|Nice guy||A male character of wholesome morals, agreeable personality and usually modest means who may struggle with finding females willing to date him||Dr. Watson, Alan Harper, Marty Piletti|
|Noble savage||An idealized indigene or otherwise wild outsider with noble characteristics||Chingachgook, Mowgli, Tarzan|
|Outlaw||A romanticized, often charismatic or social bandit||Robin Hood, Vash the Stampede, Josey Wales|
|Pantomime dame||A pantomime portrayal of female characters by male actors in drag||Widow Twankey, Mary Sunshine|
|Petrushka||A Russian kind of jester|
|Princesse lointaine||A romantic love interest and beloved sweetheart and girlfriend for a Knight-errant||Dulcinea, Guinevere|
|Psycho-biddy||An embittered, usually psychotic, faded ex-celebrity||Baby Jane Hudson, Norma Desmond, Joan Crawford as portrayed in Mommie Dearest|
|Redshirt||An expendable character who dies soon after being introduced; this refers to characters from the original Star Trek television series, often from the security or engineering departments of the starship, who wore the red variation of the Starfleet uniform and whose purpose in the narrative was to serve as cannon fodder||Stormtrooper|
|Rightful king||A usurped, just ruler whose return or triumph restores peace||Simba, King Arthur, Pastoria|
|Senex iratus||A father figure and comic archetype who belongs to the alazon or impostor group in theater, manifesting himself through his rages and threats, his obsessions and his gullibility||Pantalone, Arthur Spooner, Grampa Simpson|
|Shrew||A woman given to violent, scolding, particularly nagging treatment||Lois Griffin, Wilma Flintstone|
|Sinnekins||Pairs of devilish characters who exert their perfidious influence on the main character||Flotsam and Jetsam, Pain and Panic, Winged monkeys|
|Soubrette||A character who is vain, girlish, mischievous, lighthearted, coquettish, and gossipy||Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls, Poison Ivy|
|Southern belle||A young woman of the American Old South's upper class||Scarlett O'Hara, Blanche Dubois, Blanche Devereaux|
|Space Nazis||Nazi-like antagonists in science fiction works||Patterns of Force, Galactic Empire (Star Wars)|
|Spear carrier||A minor character who appears in several scenes, but mostly in the background|
|Straight man||A sidekick to a funny person who makes his partner look all the more ridiculous by being completely serious.||Oliver Hardy, Bud Abbott, David Mitchell|
|Superhero||An unrealistically powerful hero dedicated to protecting the public||Thor, Shazam, Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Supersoldier||A soldier who operates beyond human limits or abilities||Captain America, Master Chief, Bloodshot|
|Supervillain||Antithesis to the Superhero||Lex Luthor, The Joker, Dr. Evil|
|Swashbuckler||A joyful, noisy, and boastful Renaissance era swordsman or pirate||D'Artagnan, Zorro, Jack Sparrow|
|Thug||A man who is violent and commits a crime||Bill Sikes, Francis Begbie, Biff Tannen|
|Tomboy||A girl with boyish and/or manly behavior||Merida, Mulan, Rainbow Dash|
|Tortured artist||A character who is in constant torment due to frustrations with art and other people||Brian Topp, Vincent van Gogh|
|Town drunk||A male in a small town who is drunk more often than sober||Barney Gumble, Otis Campbell, Matthew Scudder|
|Tragic hero||A hero with a major flaw that leads to their eventual death and downfall||Michael Corleone, Jay Gatsby, Randle McMurphy|
|Tragic mulatto||A mulatto who is sad or suicidal because they fail to fit in with white or black people||Judy Kovacs in the episode Are You Now or Have You Ever Been in the television series Angel, Eliza, Cassy, and Emmeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin, Peola Johnson in Imitation of Life|
|Tsundere||A character who is initially cold (and sometimes even hostile) before gradually showing a warmer, friendlier side over time||Grinch, Archie Bunker, Charlie B. Barkin|
|Übermensch||A (often only seemingly) perfect human being||Superman, Hercules|
|Vice||An allegorical evil part in medieval morality plays|
|Village idiot||A person known locally for ignorance or stupidity; this character often turns out to be very brave and good, and sometimes underestimated (see Wise fool)||Michelangelo, Bertie Wooster, Patrick Star|
|Villain||An evil character in a story||Shere Khan, Keyser Söze, Doctor Eggman|
|Whisky priest||A priest or ordained minister who shows clear signs of moral weakness, while at the same time teaching a higher standard||Father Callahan, Elmer Gantry, Harry Powell|
|White hunter||White big-game hunters in Africa||Allan Quatermain, Kraven the Hunter|
|Wise fool||A fool with an attribute of wisdom||Puck, Goofy, Timon and Pumbaa|
|Wise old man||An elderly character who provides wisdom to the protagonist||Obi-Wan Kenobi, Albus Dumbledore, Roger Murtaugh|
|Yokel||An unsophisticated country person||Trevor Philips, Cletus Spuckler, Dale Gribble|
|Youxia||A Chinese type of the Knight-errant||Fong Sai-yuk|
- "Oxford English Dictionary". Retrieved 2008-05-03.
- John Clute, Peter Nicholls (1993), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Orbit, ISBN 1-85723-124-4
- Kelley, Blair (25 September 2014). "Here's Some History Behind That 'Angry Black Woman' Riff the NY Times Tossed Around". The Root. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- Naeemah Clark (November 10, 2013). "Find real African American women in a beauty salon, not on reality TV". Greensboro News & Record.
- Kretsedemas, Philip (2010). "'But She's Not Black!'". Journal of African American Studies. 14 (2): 149–170. doi:10.1007/s12111-009-9116-3.
- "American Heritage Dictionary Entry: antihero". Ahdictionary.com. 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- Pandey, Ashish (2005). Academic Dictionary Of Fiction. Isha Books. p. 18. ISBN 8182052629.
- Rowling, J.K. (26 June 1997). Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. United Kingdom: Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-7475-3269-9.
- Wood, Robin (2006), Howard Hawks, Wayne State University Press, p. 30, ISBN 978-0-8143-3276-4
- Marie-Luise Kohlke; Luisa Orza (22 October 2008). Negotiating sexual idioms: image, text, performance. Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-2491-5. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- "In search of old, grand-dame style New England hotels | United States Forum | Fodor's Travel Talk Forums". Fodors.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- "Where to Stay in London - Best Hotels & Travel Guide (Condé Nast Traveller)". Cntraveller.com. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- Bean, Kitty (2007-11-30). "Grande-dame hotels unveiling fresh faces". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- "Toronto's Fairmont Royal York Hotel: The Grande Dame Walks Her Talk - Travel with a Purpose - Travel with a Purpose". Wanderlustandlipstick.com. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- Peter Graham (22 May 1998), The Planet of the Zogs, Times Educational Supplement
- De Camp, L. Sprague (1953), Science-fiction Handbook: The Writing of Imaginative Fiction, p. 28