[ESFP] ESFP Characters in Fiction

ESFP Characters in Fiction

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This is a discussion on ESFP Characters in Fiction within the ESFP Forum - The Performers forums, part of the SP's Temperament Forum- The Creators category; Does it bother anyone else that ESFPs are generally the comic relief in fiction? Both books and movies alike. I ...

  1. #1
    ESFP

    ESFP Characters in Fiction

    Does it bother anyone else that ESFPs are generally the comic relief in fiction? Both books and movies alike. I might be biased, because I obviously look at my own more than any other MBTI type, but it seems to me, that if someone is shallow, irresponsible, and a kind smiley prankster, it means they are ESFP. There might be some characters, that are typed differently elsewhere, nevertheless...

    Notably:
    Homer Simpson - Simpsons
    Philip Fry - Futurama
    Joey Tribiani - Friends
    Sookie St. James - Gilmore Girls
    Serena Vanderwoodsen - Gossip Girl
    Jonathan Carnahan - The Mummy
    Samantha Jones - Sex and the City
    Random Weasleys - Harry Potter

    There are plenty.

    I've actually found a list with a bazillion characters in fiction sorted by MBTI, and there are a couple better developed ones. Which well-developed ESFPs in fiction are your favorites?

    This is the list: Character List - Funky MBTI in Fiction
    Amy thanked this post.



  2. #2
    ESFP

    The ones I actually like as characters, and think have more essence to them:

    Finnick Odair - Hunger Games
    Ron Weasley - Harry Potter
    Sirius Black - Harry Potter
    Theon Greyjoy - Song of Ice and Fire
    Xena - Xena Warrior Princess
    Éomer - Lord of the Rings
    Steve Harrington - Stranger Things

    They aren't all likeable, but they are more complex, and defy some of the stereotypes.

  3. #3

    I'm not sure I would agree with all of the list (I would say that Princess Anna is INFP and Calvin is INTP), but I am a huge fan of

    Harley Quinn
    Jesse Pinkman
    Hoban Washbourne, Kaylee Fry, Mal Reynolds
    Amy Pond
    Merida
    Matt Murdock

    I would also say that Darth Vader is ESFP



    The biggest stereotypes for people who look at MBTI and Dungeons/Dragons Alignment together seem to be

    Judging = Orderly = Lawful
    Perceiving = Disorderly = Chaotic

    Feeling = Cares about people = Good
    Thinking = Doesn't care about people = Evil

    so the blatantly Lawful Evil Darth Vader of the original trilogy is assumed to be ESTJ, and the blatantly ESFP Anakin Skywalker of the prequels is assumed to be Chaotic Good.

    Thing is, even in Attack of the Clones, the blatantly sensitive and spontaneous Anakin already shows the same authoritarianism ("People don't always agree" "They should be made to") and ruthlessness ("Not just the men, but the women and children too. They were animals, and I slaughtered them like animals") that Darth Vader is famous for.

    I wouldn't say he went from being a Chaotic Good ESFP to a Lawful Evil ESTJ, I'd say he was Lawful Evil ESFP from beginning to end.

    Lawful Perceiver = authoritarian about what s/he needs to do, spontaneous / flexible about how to do it
    Chaotic Judger = antiauthoritarian about what s/he wants to do, organized / rigid about how to do it

    Same for Don Salvatore Maroni from the first couple seasons of Gotham. He ran a tight ship, but when his boys were doing their jobs, he wanted to be their best buddy. And when he found out that Penguin had betrayed him, Maroni took it very very personally.

    ... Plus, with these two role models in mind, I'm actually writing my own Urban Fantasy about a Lawful Evil ESFP narrator.
    Memory of Talon and Dora thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    ESFP

    @Simpson17866 I agree that not everyone on the list will actually be ESFP. There are inconsistencies everywhere, and even with some of the most popular and real people, there is no consensus. It will be more pronounced with fictional characters, because not all of them are written with character consistency.

    You make a good point with Anakin/Darth Vader. Most people imagine the 'bubbly' ESFP stereotype. However, by far not all are like that. There are plenty walking this earth who are not obvious. And an ESFP that is looping will be authoritarian, and will force others to accept his truth, if they don't volunteer to do so.

    You've nailed it with with the feeler versus thinker prejudice. But there is any amount of villains that are feelers. I can imagine a spurned Fi reacting as "You have hurt my feelings. Now I will show you what real pain is! I will make you feel like I feel."

    I have mixed feelings about Matt Murdock. I've seen up to about mid-second season, but I sometimes feel he's a selfish, entitled prick (which is not necessarily inconsistent with ESFP).

    Somehow, it's easier to value the tragic characters for complexity, than it is to notice this in healthy types. People have a tendency to show why someone is broken, so they will show the character's introspective side, to if not justify, then at least explain why they are the way they are. Nobody ever bothers with the healthy ones. On the list, it's Theon who is truly tragic. He has been wronged, both by the Starks, and by the Greyjoys (and let's not even mention Ramsay Snow), but he has very little redeeming qualities that help other sympathize with him. The sad part is, I can perfectly understand his motivation. I see what led him where he is and why. But I can't get past the cowardice. Maybe not so much because he is, but because deep down I don't know if I'd be better, and never will unless I face relatable situations.

    ESFPs' Se is the goofy, or competitive, or adrenaline junkie side. However, Fi is often serious.

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Dora View Post
    You've nailed it with with the feeler versus thinker prejudice. But there is any amount of villains that are feelers. I can imagine a spurned Fi reacting as "You have hurt my feelings. Now I will show you what real pain is! I will make you feel like I feel."
    Plus the heroic Thinkers. I think it's actually easier for people to accept an extreme Evil Feeler than an extreme Good Thinker.

    I'd take that more personally, but I'm a Thinker.

  7. #6
    ESFP

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpson17866 View Post
    Plus the heroic Thinkers. I think it's actually easier for people to accept an extreme Evil Feeler than an extreme Good Thinker.

    I'd take that more personally, but I'm a Thinker.
    If it was me, I'd take it personally too I have an ESTJ sister, and she's a sweetheart! I'm also pretty sure that Huckleberry Finn is an ESTP.

    As an INTP, you have really cool ones right on top - Spencer Reid, Peter Parker, Yoda, and Tiffany Aching, as well as Death from the Discworld novels. Those are all good characters.
    Simpson17866 thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Dora View Post
    The ones I actually like as characters, and think have more essence to them:

    Finnick Odair - Hunger Games
    Ron Weasley - Harry Potter
    Sirius Black - Harry Potter
    Theon Greyjoy - Song of Ice and Fire
    Xena - Xena Warrior Princess
    Éomer - Lord of the Rings
    Steve Harrington - Stranger Things

    They aren't all likeable, but they are more complex, and defy some of the stereotypes.
    Finnick makes me smile! Especially in the deleted knot scene.
    Memory of Talon and Dora thanked this post.

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Dora View Post
    If it was me, I'd take it personally too I have an ESTJ sister, and she's a sweetheart! I'm also pretty sure that Huckleberry Finn is an ESTP.

    As an INTP, you have really cool ones right on top - Spencer Reid, Peter Parker, Yoda, and Tiffany Aching, as well as Death from the Discworld novels. Those are all good characters.
    INTP is actually a weird one because we don't normally get connected with great heroes or villains. Spider-Man's the biggest exception, but people who talk about INTP villains assume that an INTP wouldn't have the initiative to be truly dangerous.

    I on the other hand am convinced that Agent Smith is an INTP (and a Lawful Evil one, to break that other stereotype), and am likewise using a Lawful Evil INTP cult leader as the antagonist for some of my next books.
    Dora thanked this post.

  10. #9

    And I just remembered how much I love Princess Rapunzel as a Lawful Good ESFP: people assume that she's N because she imagines how much she wants something she doesn't have instead of settling for what she already has, but it's really the experience itself that she wants, rather than some philosophical construct of the experience representing something beyond itself.
    Ryosuke93 and Dora thanked this post.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Dora View Post
    Somehow, it's easier to value the tragic characters for complexity, than it is to notice this in healthy types. People have a tendency to show why someone is broken, so they will show the character's introspective side, to if not justify, then at least explain why they are the way they are. Nobody ever bothers with the healthy ones. On the list, it's Theon who is truly tragic. He has been wronged, both by the Starks, and by the Greyjoys (and let's not even mention Ramsay Snow), but he has very little redeeming qualities that help other sympathize with him.
    Theon comes off to me as an ENTJ/ESTJ.

    It's not until Ramsay breaks him that we see Theon in a state of emotional frailty. Before that, Theon is level-headed, keen, arrogant, and strong. He always desires more, and yearns to be great or at least equal to those he reveres. His thinking and intuitive functions really come out when he plans on doing more than raiding the Northern coast and remaining in his sister's shadow. He formulates a plan to get Winterfell. Of course when he is broken, we find all of his insecurities. While he managed to drown his sentimentalities beneath the zealousness of his goals, when he breaks we see the truth that he would never have admitted on his own: He just wanted to belong in Winterfell, and have Ned see him as a real son and not as a ward.


     
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