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Writer’s Idea list of 400 Character Traits and Quirks for Characterization Inspiration

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Today, I was bored, and I created this super-duper list to help students or writers who might need ideas or inspiration on creating their characters.

1. loves to cook – burns everything
2. is obsessed with a movie star
3. works in the coffee shop
4. is only one month sober
5. translates everything
6. gets back at people who don’t deserve it
7. wears blue jeans
8. interested in sled races
9. tired all the time
10. is an executive secretary – spell checks and re-words everything
11. named their snake “burrito”
12. is a backseat driver
13. has a police baton – keeps it by the front door
14. has stage name but isn’t in the business
15. never had a sleep over as a child and still wants to have one
16. is a heart surgeon
17. is either depressed or extremely happy – no in between
18. is a guitarist but plays terribly
19. won’t go outside except to get the mail
20. their ex-boyfriend/girlfriend is now their best friend
21. loves their mother
22. is very supportive
23. hard to please
24. doesn’t like camouflage patterns
25. always sneaks away
26. obsessed with things matching
27. super charismatic – everyone likes them
28. plays Mozart nearly all the time
29. is very perceptive
30. volunteers for everything
31. carries surgical gloves for germs
32. is a police interrogator – so questions everything
33. is very boisterous and loud
34. has a heart-shaped face – tells everyone about it
35. often cheating however they can
36. is a police dispatcher so is worried about crime and safety
37. their best friend is always angry
38. is a car service driver, like Uber or Lyft
39. has a soundproof house
40. wears dorky sweaters
41. is very self-conscious
42. is a translator
43. looks forward to strange things
44. is rarely serious
45. is balding so shaves their head – angry about the hair loss
46. loves to eat roast beef – it is the only lunch meat fit for consumption
47. is inexperienced
48. hates air-conditioning
49. wrote a bestseller years and years ago, living off the profits
50. sleeps with cats – can’t sleep without them
51. is seriously old fashioned
52. likes head-banging
53. can produce ball of fire
54. wants their own plot of land
55. has a furry steering wheel
56. is into anything taboo
57. loves John Lennon
58. wants to be a secret agent
59. easily mesmerized
60. wants to visit Brazil
61. only drinks fresh water from springs
62. lives in a log cabin
63. so many plants it is like a jungle
64. is kind of a screw up
65. is a cameraman
66. wants to move to South Dakota
67. is confusing to talk to, can’t get their point across
68. most people think they are a pain in the butt
69. owns their own landing strip
70. feels like they are living their own comic strip – imagines everyone as characters
71. has a cat named Butch
72. doesn’t sleep every night
73. had a brain tumor removed and now has a special power
74. is a villager living in a big city and never adapts
75. pesters their siblings even though they are an adult
76. wants to be a singer but has a terrible voice
77. sits on the table, not a chair
78. gives all their friends strange nicknames
79. no body really likes them but their sister is loved by all
80. wears an ancient sweatshirt
81. has a psychologist
82. is very optimistic
83. squinting all the time but is against wearing glasses or contacts for “personal reasons”
84. falls asleep often
85. skepticism about everything
86. struggles with everyday chores/life
87. their daughter is a criminal
88. encourages crime
89. was miracle healed
90. must have an awesome sound system
91. is very insightful
92. is very nonchalant
93. eyes always look surprised
94. loves hanging out on the sand dunes
95. is a nonbeliever in any kind of religion
96. only wears boxer shorts
97. wears body armor
98. works in an operating room
99. lives in motel room
100. is a welder
101. falls in love often
102. gets smashed every Wednesday
103. has a set of antique bleachers in their back yard
104. lives in the penthouse
105. usually reeking because they eat too much garlic
106. has a butler
107. refuses to wear deodorant
108. complaining all the time
109. always searches out rough terrain for his jeep
110. is on probation
111. bums around, is lazy
112. acts hyper or is on stimulants
113. teenage angst in overdrive
114. is a car salesman
115. holds a grudge against his grade-school teacher
116. thinks their mom is a miracle worker
117. has a teddy bear
118. hates most people
119. has an apple tree and they eat off it daily
120. stumbles a lot
121. a halfway decent person
122. l0ves ventilated clothing
123. takes photographs of everything
124. is a guardian angel
125. lives one the Missouri River
126. worried about blasphemy
127. is a florist
128. intimidates people
129. arguing with everyone over dumb things
130. is usually stoned
131. voice like thunder
132. reborn christian
133. is a closed book – nobody can read their personality
134. owns a hardware store
135. is a prizefighter
136. romanticizes their teenage years
137. smuggles huge amounts of snacks into the movies
138. loves the story of sleeping beauty
139. uses a microphone all the time
140. carries scissors in their pocket/purse
141. gets confused when driving
142. tries to shake off people who aren’t even following them
143. wears an old sports coat
144. doesn’t have a green thumb – kills every house plant
145. a rich person who tries to look poor
146. is into mechanics -tries to build things but not good at it
147. is overly scrawny
148. sucker punches people
149. visits every roadhouse they see
150. was highschool valedictorian
151. doormat says go away
152. often glaring
153. slurred speech even when not drunk
154. is a happy camper – loves the outdoors
155. has arthritis
156. is a healer
157. wants to see the Tower of London
158. is full-figured
159. doesn’t like any teasing ever
160. is easily exhausted
161. eyelashes are gone
162. usually unimpressed
163. lives on the first floor
164. last-minute for everything
165. is addicted to drugs
166. always looks for something to use as leverage
167. carries a calling card
168. quick to judge
169. is a commentator – talks about things going on
170. their only surviving parent lives alone nearby
171. uses the “stare down” tactic all the time
172. only wears navy blue
173. owns a florist shop
174. was a sweepstakes winner
175. wants to be called the vanquisher
176. is slightly or very overweight
177. immaculate living space
178. tries to outrun people
179. watches for ufos
180. skinny-dips in the neighborhood pond at night
181. works as a magician
182. hardheaded
183. is a hospital orderly
184. miraculous healer
185. was adopted
186. hates voice mail
187. happily divorced
188. is looking for their soul mate
189. is an adrenaline junkie
190. has a front yard full of weeds
191. always hopes for a heavy snowfall
192. taunts people
193. wants to be on the swat team
194. lives in a hotel room
195. thinks Vulcans are real
196. lives on the front porch
197. was caught in a drug bust
198. eyebrows are long and bushy
199. thinks they are all-knowing
200. depending on someone else
201. uses the speakerphone no matter where they are
202. talks too loud, almost deafening
203. owns a coffeehouse
204. is pretty boring
205. seventeen cats
206. is very thin, looks like they are starved
207. stringy hair
208. likes trance music
209. is into comforting people who are down
210. goes to Vegas every month
211. wears too much makeup
212. wants to dance in a real ballroom
213. is overly sassy
214. lives in an art studio
215. easily engrossed
216. does background checks on everyone
217. was once in the air force
218. believing in myths
219. plays simon says with every kid they see
220. has a cluttered living room – books everywhere
221. is very graceful
222. hates dating
223. visits a psychic medium
224. is rather sickly
225. likes wrestling
226. wears camouflaged clothes
227. is a neurosurgeon
228. mystery reader
229. swollen nose and red splotchy skin
230. conjures up things
231. street smarts
232. is very experienced
233. is really greedy
234. tasteless in fashion
235. plays Santa every year for charity at an orphanage
236. says they are from nowhere
237. very compulsive
238. has backstage season pass
239. is a website designer
240. doesn’t give a hoot
241. a nonbeliever in everything
242. keeps a sawed-off shotgun by the couch
243. eyewitness to a crime
244. high-priced call girl
245. not very subtle
246. uses the word swanky too much
247. frequent dizziness
248. likes haunted houses
249. is glamorous
250. is very unreliable
251. wants to visit the red sea
252. hangs around but keeps quiet
253. wheelchair
254. thinks they are highly seductive
255. usually at a loss for words
256. hates snuggling
257. is stocky but considers themselves tall
258. has a barbed wire fence around their yard
259. calls his house his headquarters
260. embarrassed a lot
261. never gets a sunburn – sunroof
262. has a habit of nagging
263. purple-haired
264. nervous demeanor
265. dislikes fans – wind blowing on them
266. wants to make the headline news
267. wears only one sleeve rolled up
268. often reassuring people
269. smacks people with gloves when offended
270. breaks down a lot, cries often
271. argues often
272. is very put together
273. works as a paramedic
274. flirts with everyone
275. doesn’t go to the doctor
276. won’t take a shower
277. will not use e-mail
278. has very little muscle
279. thinks they are psychic
280. makes strange noises
281. obsessed with taking turns
282. has a vampire or werewolf obsession
283. makes their living by begging
284. is really foolhardy
285. shady background
286. is a truck driver
287. has tantrums like a two-year-old
288. condolences for unusual things
289. very kindhearted
290. drives an ambulance
291. Disneyland fan
292. any kind of suffering is interesting
293. vacuuming obsession
294. lives in the Caribbean
295. has a minibar in the house
296. has a strange family name
297. is an auto mechanic
298. has an obsession about roller coaster accidents
299. thinks that jaguars are awesome
300. pitcher on a baseball team
301. loves to eat banana splits
302. drives a toyota
303. their stepfather is in prison
304. is easygoing
305. used to be a soldier
306. practices sneaking
307. is a security guard
308. restocks vending machines
309. easily bothered, hot tempered
310. carries a flashlight
311. has a legal guardian who controls them
312. drives with their high beams on
313. is kind of a pervert
314. is a keyboardist
315. works on campus
316. has an accent
317. takes advantage of people
318. wants to switch to another social group
319. only wears black
320. sits cross-legged
321. hates stickiness
322. loves listening to Bob Dylan and nothing else
323. has a dog named Clyde
324. gloats about success
325. uses tarot cards daily
326. eating disorder
327. their personal space is off-limits
328. is in search of paradise
329. is in a rock band
330. is flirtatious
331. is very sarcastic
332. looks like a criminal but is very honest
333. avoids interstate highways
334. only eats health food
335. works for a radio station that is going out of business
336. drunk every day
337. drives a mustang
338. modern-day Romeo
339. writes chain letters
340. is worried they might be senile
341. mimics people
342. hangs out at the basketball court
343. is kind of a sucker – easily falls for deception
344. takes inventory of everything
345. has deja vu a lot
346. only reads paperback books
347. hates anyone from Sioux Falls
348. wears sagging pants
349. hates carelessness with a fury
350. is a divorce lawyer
351. holds up little finger
352. easily misguided
353. snubs gasoline, has electric everything
354. is a foreigner
355. is interrupted often
356. is a restaurant owner
357. reschedules a lot
358. is well respected
359. is sick of politics
360. has an identical twin
361. used to be an addict
362. is a guardian angel
363. expert at everything
364. is a terrible racist
365. is basically a good person
366. no intuition
367. married to a fireman
368. always looking for the inside track
369. takes afternoon naps
370. is isolated and likes it that way
371. poor upbringing
372. really needs a chaperone
373. loves dinnertime
374. sweats a lot
375. like anything that is ginger flavored
376. typically irrational
377. is a savant
378. is a drug cartel
379. is an early bird
380. annoys all the townspeople
381. always wants to know who is to blame
382. nasally voice
383. drives a run-down car
384. reluctant to leave the house
385. swearing
386. wants to be someone’s savior
387. is an organ donor
388. works for a record company
389. runs up the stairs
390. is a songwriter
391. is long-winded – talks a lot
392. raised in shantytown
393. wants to be infamous
394. has a king-sized bed
395. hates waiting rooms
396. works for minimum wage
397. from a small town
398. never misses dessert
399. stared in a feature film
400. electrocutes people at jail
401. uninterested in gossip
402. goes to every high-school baseball games
403. carries a violin bow but doesn’t play
404. wears only secondhand clothes
405. distracted
406. worries about legal action
407. can see people’s heart line
408. a drug dealer
409. only wants the short story
410. loves to sleep over
411. tells lots of funny stories
412. snores and hopes it is really loud
413. wants to be a famous person
414. has only one freckle
415. is a math teacher
416. practices meditation
417. lives beside the liquor store
418. is a natural performer
419. wants to be a rock star
420. infatuation with co-worker
421. only goes out at night
422. works in the lumber yard
423. likes things that are inspiring
424. has flash backs from LSD
425. always reading
426. is usually freezing
427. easily flustered
428. is dumbfounded about the internet
429. is frumpy
430. works at a clothing store
431. messes around on their spouse
432. from North Dakota
433. is very open-minded
434. creates a magic shock wave
435. break up after a month-always
436. makes no sense
437. is frail