100 Character Quirks You Can Steal from Me

October 17, 2007

Okay, well, I decided that I wanted to contribute and as part of my new commitment to writing more and being more involved in the writing of others, I thought that it might be neat if I can come up with a list of personality quirks or traits that someone might find useful in fleshing out a character. I mean, even though the plot is important, it doesn’t mean anything without a character that the reader can sink into and relate to.

Here goes.

Normal Traits/Quirks

  1. Carries a large coin which he or she is always rolling over his or her knuckles.
  2. Is a habitual sniffler even when he or she is healthy.
  3. Regularly looks up at the sky to check the position of the sun/moon and comments on it.
  4. Always knows the direction he or she is traveling in (which really annoys my wife).
  5. Corrects people when they use colloquial speech.
  6. Is never seen without a baseball cap or stocking cap (except, of course, in bed or the shower)
  7. Whistles the Scarecrow/Tin Man/Cowardly Lion song at random time and refuses to stop.
  8. Ends declarative sentences with in interrogative inflection?
  9. Is a mush mouth.  Think Boomhauer of “King of the Hill”.
  10. Is an incessant fidgeter and is always touching his or her face or head.
  11. Dots his or her i’s with a smiley face or heart (respectively or inversely for humor’s sake).
  12. Is unable to digest proteins correctly and gets very ill if too much protein rich food is consumed.
  13. Compulsively interrupts people telling stories to interject facts about the story that he or she only knows because they have been told the story before, not because they were involved with it.
  14. Makes up random lies about unimportant things for no reason.
  15. Has a weakness for rescuing stray animals.
  16. Gets physically angry when people mispronounce a certain word (e.g Illinois, precedent as president, especially as expecially).
  17. (cheat) Regularly mispronounces a certain word or uses redundant terms (e.g. PIN number, ATM machine, Hot water heater–if it’s hot, does it need to be heated?).
  18. When stressed or lying, speaks from the corner of his or her mouth.
  19. Profusely sweats even when at rest.
  20. Is unable to take advice from anyone because he or she thinks that they know it all.
  21. Uses mundane items as toys (e.g. bottle caps, straws, chopsticks).
  22. Cannot drink anything with ice in it.
  23. Is strongly susceptible to “brain freeze.”
  24. Doesn’t wash his or her hands after using the bathroom.
  25. When dining out, always tidies up the table and resets the condiments.
  26. Walks in the middle of any aisle, sidewalk, or other shared walkway causing people to have to move around him or her.
  27. Drags his or her feet.
  28. Only drinks from plastic or paper cups and cannot stand the feel of glass in his or her hand.
  29. Draws random doodles on any piece of paper in front of him or her and always carries a pen or pencil to facilitate this habit.
  30. Wears only new socks.
  31. Has several hidden body piercings or tattoos that regular clothing conceal.
  32. Always stands with his or her hands behind their back, sometimes in an “at ease” position, though he or she was never in the military.
  33. Excessively uses initials or acronyms for common AND uncommon phrases and doesn’t bother to explain them.
  34. Doesn’t eat green things.
  35. Strongly dislikes the sound of chewing and hums a quiet song while eating.
  36. Has the ability to speak in a cartoon-like voice which sounds little or nothing like his or her real voice.
  37. Is thrifty nearly to the point of obsessive or compulsive nature.
  38. Is always at least ten minutes early to any meeting or appointment.
  39. Can calculate the total of any items put in a shopping cart and tax to within $0.05.
  40. Generally submits to the ideas and suggestions of others without thinking of his or her own needs.
  41. Readily puts him or her self in the way of danger without careful consideration.
  42. Always has change in his or her pocket to give to beggars or homeless.
  43. Is always trying to recruit people to his or her religious/philosophical beliefs.
  44. Constantly quotes favorite movies and can usually identify the movie that a quote may come from.
  45. Overly honest person, always telling the truth even to his or her own detriment.
  46. Takes stupid bets/dares for small amounts of money.
  47. Has several parts of his or her body that are double jointed and bend or flex in an unnatural or uncanny manner.
  48. Writes with left hand, but does everything else right-handed.
  49. Can only see out of one eye or hear out of one ear.
  50. Is susceptible to malapropisms or spoonerisms.

Okay, well, I said 100, but that’s only 50.  I was going to write a list of supernatural or extraordinary traits/quirks, but I’m going to save that for later.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this list, and feel free to add suggestions.  I’ll put the good ones in the post and give credit for them!



  1. omg, so funny!

  2. Hey, I recognize some of those traits! 🙂

  3. Wow, what a fantastic list! Thanks for posting it… are you sure it’s okay for us to crib from it?

    Good luck with the Seventy Days of Sweat!

  4. Yeah, TOTALLY crib from it all you want. Though I was a bit razzled at the end of creating this portion of the list, I feel fairly confident that I can crank out a few more.

    Glad you liked it, and steal all you want, I’ll make more!

  5. […] Weird Stuff For this, I recommend checking out my 100 Traits weblog to get a good idea of what I mean. These are the things that MAY really make your character […]

  6. […] time for me to finish this list, or at least try to take a bite out of it, right? I said that the first 50 were mundane traits that people might have, and I intend to make the second part of the list […]

  7. […] Then of course there’s a blog post called 100 Character Quirks You Can Steal From Me. […]

  8. […] you want to add in some quirks from someone else’s brain: 100 character quirks you can steal from me and 100 character traits you can totally steal from me part II. And a phobia list with a bit […]

  9. Excellent blogpost, great looking weblog, added it to my favs!!

  10. Wow! Thank you so much for providing this! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for in developing my character for a fiction novel I’m writing! I’m especially glad to see positive quirks along with the negative. Bravo!

  11. […] about personality quirks: In every relationship, a few quirks will pop up. Some of the personality quirks you or your spouse […]

  12. Fun list! Isn’t it great how the web preserves your work forever? 😀

  13. Thanks for this, just what I was looking for. Can I share?

    • Yes, Please share away! You’re more than welcome to use whatever you want off the list. Use it to make your own!

  14. Thanks for the list! It’s really helping me out on a novel I am writing!

    • I’m glad to help! Good luck with your project!!

  15. So those aren’t all your own quirks? Darn, you sounded hot! I especially liked the sidewalk one, but since I’m a girl, and fair, I always stay on my side, but fuck, half of that sidewalk is mine and that doens’t mean that you and your friend can come on my side of the god damn sidewalk! (college…). I’ve bumped shoulders with some big ole girls now, and they always go “Oh I’m sorry!” like they didn’t even see my face when I was coming toward them. (College made me pissed off and I wasn’t trying to look pretty). Same thing for driving (on country/gravel roads). God damnit, I don’t care how big your new huge truck that you don’t need is, I see that you think since you have that huge truck, you get more room. FUCK YOU. I actually start driving more in the center (but of course still on my half) and actually almost hit them. Excuse me, I mean “they hit me”. I was on my own fucking side of the fucking road!

  16. […] traits.  You can even give your character an interesting quirk.  Check out Anthony Owens’ list for some great […]

  17. […] 100 Characters Quirks […]

  18. Good list! Great ideas, thanks!

  19. I have to laugh because at least three of these quirks completely describe my personality. That’s kinda creepy in a way. Seriously.

  20. […] post was inspired by this list of 100 Character Quirks; some of these are actually quite amusing.  While researching the topic, I also came across this […]

  21. […] I write character descriptions, I will always add some quirks I get from lists. Here is a great […]

  22. Most of the above are actually character flaws, this reminds me the usual Hollywood movie characters with ridiculous cliche quirks repeated in each Hollywood movie. How about some positive quirks that are also funny? This is the challenge.

  23. […] Character Quirks – Need a quirk or trait to help flesh out one or more then one of your characters. Take a look at this blog entry from Anthony Owens. He lists 50 Normal Traits/Quirks there. Part 2 of that list is also there listing 50 extraordinary or supernatural quirks or traits. […]

  24. Wow these are great 😀 I’m gonna steal a few of them and bookmark your blog for later consumption. Thanks for the time put into these.

    • It’s my pleasure. I’m half tempted, with NaNo around the corner, to make another list here.

  25. […] 100 character quirks. […]

  26. […] 100 Character Quirks You Can Steal […]

  27. Reblogged this on Cafuné and commented:
    Great ideas I totally use! Thanks, AO:)

    • Thanks, Chloe! I keep saying that I’m going to draft another list of these, but I haven’t done it. Maybe that’s a plan for the weekend!

      • And when you do, I’ll reblog it! I think you should totally look up “Awesome Pranks” as well; it always gives me ideas for writing, oddly enough:)

  28. Wow, just came across your list. And how long ago did you write it? Amazing. Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  29. […] have an interesting quirk for the reader to follow. If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a handy list of 100 examples offered up for the […]

  30. […] 100 Character Quirks You Can Steal From Me […]

  31. […] 100 Character Quirks You Can Steal From Me Beyond the Cliche: How to Create Characters That Fascinate 35 Weird Traits Your Characters May Have […]

  32. […] Or what little things make them relatable to the reading population? If you need some ideas, go here. He is freely giving away good trait ideas if your character needs a […]

  33. […] 100 Character Quirks You Can Steal from Me […]

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