Paper Towns

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Quentin Jacobsen

The novel’s narrator and protagonist, a senior in high school who endeavors to discover the fate of his next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, after her mysterious disappearance. Quentin begins the novel as a mild-mannered… (read full character analysis)

Margo Roth Spiegelman

Quentin’s next-door neighbor since childhood, a free-spirited girl known throughout their high school for her extraordinary adventures and elaborate schemes. Margo has an unhappy relationship with her parents and feels ill at ease in… (read full character analysis)

Ben Starling

Quentin’s best friend. Ben is goofy, frank, and often insensitive, but he is sincerely loyal to his friends and supports Quentin in his search for Margo despite having little personal interest in the mission… (read full character analysis)


Quentin’s other best friend, whose real name is Marcus. More easygoing than either Quentin or Ben, Radar is exceptionally intelligent and has a particular gift for computer science. He is an obsessive user… (read full character analysis)

Lacey Pemberton

Margo’s best friend, who Margo wrongly believes hid Jase’s cheating from her. Lacey begins dating Ben shortly after Margo’s disappearance, and bonds with Quentin as she becomes more involved in his search for… (read full character analysis)
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Detective Otis Warren

The police detective assigned to search for Margo after her disappearance. Detective Warren is well-intentioned and inspires Quentin’s trust, but is neither very effective in searching for her nor very helpful when Quentin asks… (read full character analysis)

Mr. and Mrs. Spiegelman

Margo’s narcissistic and superficial parents, who are more concerned with the embarrassment Margo causes them by running away than about her safety. The Spiegelmans call the police after Margo disappears, but elect not to… (read full character analysis)


A friend of Margo, who was a senior at Winter Park High School when Margo and Quentin were freshmen. Gus is now a nighttime security guard at the SunTrust Building, and lets Margo and… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Connie Jacobsen
Quentin’s mother, a therapist who works with troubled children. Quentin describes her as being occasionally oblivious, but she is highly intelligent and handles other people’s emotions very effectively. Mrs. Jacobsen showers affection on her husband and son.
Tom Jacobsen
Quentin’s father, a therapist like his wife. Given to introspection, he talks with Quentin about the difficulties of communicating and connecting with other people.
Robert Joyner
A middle-aged man who commits suicide in Jefferson Park when Margo and Quentin are nine years old. Margo and Quentin discover Joyner’s body while playing in the park together. Finding Joyner’s body is a formative experience for Margo, and she continues to think about him as she grows up.
Dr. Holden
Quentin’s English teacher, who talks with him about “Song of Myself” and helps him understand Walt Whitman’s philosophy of human connectedness.
Ruthie Spiegelman
Margo’s eleven-year-old sister, with whom Margo is very close. After Margo’s disappearance, Ruthie helps Quentin and his friends sneak into her room to look for the clues Margo left as to her whereabouts.
Myrna Mountweazel
The Spiegelman family’s aging dog. Myrna Mountweazel features prominently in the story Margo writes as a young child.
Radar’s girlfriend, with whom he falls in love shortly before the end of senior year. Angela is charming, beautiful, and level-headed. She does not participate in the search for Margo, but is nevertheless a regular fixture in the lives of Radar’s friends.
Becca Arrington
Margo’s friend, known for her fabulous good looks and horrible personality, who betrays Margo by having sex with Jase behind her back. Becca is cruel and vindictive, and spreads rumors whenever possible.
Jason “Jase” Worthington
Margo’s boyfriend, a baseball player from a wealthy family who she discovers at the beginning of the novel has been cheating on her with Becca. Jase helps Quentin reign in the popular kids’ pranks after Margo disappears.
Chuck Parson
A hulking athlete who has bullied Quentin since they were children.
A friend of Gus, and fellow urban explorer.
The Carpenter
A friend of Gus, and fellow urban explorer.
Juanita Alvarez
One of Robert Joyner’s neighbors, whom Margo tricks into telling her about the circumstances of Joyner’s death.
Cassie Hiney
A casual friend of Quentin, Radar, and Ben.
A casual friend of Quentin, Radar, and Ben.
A casual friend of Quentin, Radar, and Ben.
Taddy Mac
A baseball player.
Clint Bauer
A baseball player.
Margo’s friend, who tells Margo that Jase and Becca are sleeping together.
Suzie Chung
Quentin’s ex-girlfriend.
Betty Parson
Chuck’s mother, a casual friend of Connie Jacobsen.
Mr. Arrington
Becca Arrington's father.