The Outsiders

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Ponyboy Curtis

At 14 years old, the youngest Curtis brother and greaser. Ponyboy is intelligent and sensitive and has certain un-greaserlike characteristics: he likes to go to movies by himself, does well in school, and appreciates sunsets(read full character analysis)

Darry Curtis

The oldest of the Curtis brothers. Darry is 20, hardworking, and rarely shows his feelings. After the boys' parents died, Darry passed up a college scholarship and took responsibility for raising his younger brothers. Darry… (read full character analysis)

Johnny Cade

The second youngest of the greasers. Johnny is 16, a close friend to Ponyboy, and beloved by the entire gang. He comes from an abusive and neglectful home, and he spends as little time… (read full character analysis)

Dallas Winston

A tough, hardened greaser. Dally grew up on the streets of New York and learned early to depend upon himself. He has a long criminal record and is prone to risk-taking, yet he is also… (read full character analysis)

Cherry Valance

A Soc and Bob's girlfriend. Cherry is open-minded, sensitive, and courageous. She befriends Ponyboy early in the novel and helps him to see that Socs are people, too. After Bob dies, Cherry plays a… (read full character analysis)
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Minor Characters
Sodapop Curtis
The middle Curtis brother. Sodapop is handsome and fun-loving. A high school dropout who enjoys working with cars and has a job at a gas station, he is a compassionate and supportive sibling to his two brothers. He often finds himself in the middle of their fights.
Two-Bit Mathews
The oldest of the greaser gang. Two-Bit is quick-witted and is always telling jokes. Ponyboy appreciates that Two-Bit treats him as an equal.
Steve Randle
Sodapop's best friend. Steve works with Sodapop at the gas station and spends a lot of time at the Curtis home. Ponyboy feels that Steve regards him as a child and a tagalong.
Bob Sheldon
The leader of the Socs and Cherry's boyfriend. Bob is a tough, intimidating boy who gets killed by Johnny when he and his friends attack Johnny and Ponyboy. Over the course of the novel, Ponyboy learns that Bob had his own troubles and difficulties growing up.
Randy Adderson
Bob's best friend and Marcia's boyfriend. Randy is a Soc who participates in the attack on Ponyboy and Johnny. In the aftermath of Bob's death, Randy becomes introspective, befriends Ponyboy, and works to end the violence between the Socs and greasers.
Marcia
Cherry's best friend and Randy's girlfriend.
Sandy
A greaser girl and Sodapop's first love, she breaks Soda's heart when she moves to Florida to have a baby that isn't his and refuses his offer of marriage.
Buck Merril
Dally's friend and rodeo partner. He is a tough guy known for throwing wild parties.
Tim Shepard
Leader of the Shepard gang, a gang friendly to, but tougher than, the greasers. Tim is a good friend of Dally's.
Curly Shepard
Tim Shepard's younger brother.
Mr. Syme
Ponyboy's English teacher. He gives Ponyboy a second chance when his grades are slipping. An essay he assigns to Ponyboy and his gang turns into the novel itself.
Jerry Wood
An elementary school teacher whose students are saved by Johnny and Ponyboy in the church fire. Jerry accompanies Ponyboy and encourages Ponyboy to see himself as a hero, despite the details Ponyboy shares about Bob's death and Dally's criminal past.
Mrs. O'Briant
An elementary school teacher whose students are saved by Johnny and Ponyboy in the church fire.
Mrs. Cade
– Johnny's mother.
Paul Holden
A former friend of Darry's from high school, he's gone to college and fights Darry during the rumble.
Jerry Wood
A bystander who saw what happened when Ponyboy and Johnny ran into the burning church.