The Netflix series “13 Reason Why” is based on a book written by Jay Asher. It follows the story of a high school student named Clay Jensen as he gradually uncovers the tragic details that lead his former schoolmate and crush, Hannah Baker to take her own life. Only weeks after her death, Clay finds a box of audio tapes sitting at his doorstep and he begins listening to them. It is a recording of Hannah’s voice and Jensen learns that prior to her suicide, Hannah made the recording to tell her story and the 13 reasons why she ended her life. Among the reasons, many people are named and Clay Jensen is #11. Here is an assessment of the MBTI types of the characters in “13 Reasons Why”.
Clay Jensen – INFP
Given his social awkwardness and self-professed lack of interest in chit chat, Clay Jensen falls squarely on the introverted side of the MBTI spectrum. Throughout the series, Clay frequently collided with stationary objects or got hit by projectiles because of his inattention to the external environment. His mind is often distracted and off in the clouds but he expresses a sense of integrity, and a desire to “do the right thing”. Clay’s a nice guy and everyone seems to like him. The fact that he was named among Hannah’s 13 reasons for killing herself left him and others agog since nobody would think Clay capable of hurting anyone especially Hannah. At one point, Hannah mentioned that one of the things she admired about Clay was that he was unafraid to just be himself. He displays a sense of authenticity and follows a strong moral compass.
Hannah Baker – ENFP
Hannah showcases both extraversion and introversion. She is friendly, engaging and was active within the social circles at her school. But despite this, she often felt alienated, misunderstood and alone. She developed a growing distrust of the people around her after experiencing one betrayal after the next. She would sometimes push people away when they were trying to reach out to her and sometimes she did it secretly as a test to see how much they cared. She was flirtatious but also gave off the impression that she was more promiscuous than she really was. Hannah was naive about the intentions and motivations of guys like Bryce and Justin. What she thought was a special and meaningful connection just turned out to be humiliating and scandalous betrayal of her trust. She shows flexibility and openness to new experiences such as the poetry group she joined and her willingness sacrifice her college savings to help out her parents. Hannah also displays a sense of integrity and moral obligation when she insists on calling the police after Sheri knocks over the stop sign because it could cause an accident.
Marcus Cole – ESTJ
Marcus exhibits a concern for maintaining his image and as a member of the honors board enjoys a bit of prestige and status at his school. He is outgoing and extraverted and shows no lack of confidence. When he asked Hannah out on a date, he refused to take ‘no’ as an answer and twisted her arm until she said ‘yes’. He deliberately showed up late to the date and on top of that brought his coterie of friends with him as well. It is clear that he wanted to show off and make himself look good in front of his friends at Hannah’s expense. For this reason, Cole is not likely to be a feeler as he is not only arrogant but also un-empathetic. He doesn’t seem to pick up on Hannah’s discomfort and pushes her too far to the point where she lashes out. ESTJs are typically very poor at reading people and they can become so focused on achieving their objectives that they fail to recognize the harm they might be causing in the process.
Jessica Davis – ESFP
Jessica has issues with punctuality and has a tendency to be unpredictable which probably makes her more of a perceiver than a judger. She doesn’t seem to get the puns and turns of phrases Hannah uses so Jessica is probably not a strong intuition user. Extraverted sensing seems more likely as she is fairly impulsive and can really go off the rails when she engages in recreational drinking and drug use. She seems to thrive on sensory thrills and fun times and she’s on the cheerleading team so she’s apparently athletic too. She seems to be a feeler but not an extraverted feeler. She is a bit subversive and confrontational and Fe users tend to avoid conflict as much as possible. Jessica is more effusive and volatile with her emotions. She can be very snarky and surly for no apparent reason and seems to operate according to what seems right by her and will readily cut ties and end relationships after she’s been scorned or wronged.
Sheri Holland – ISFJ
Sheri seems to have her priorities in order and is academically ambitious which suggests she may be a judging type. She is also super friendly and nice to everyone. She shows concern for others and offers Hannah a ride home from the party after noticing that something is wrong with her. Sheri seems to show a Fe preference with a slightly introverted temperament, but it’s hard to say. She could easily pass as an ESFJ. Like Courtney Crimsen, Sheri’s concern for her image and esteem in the eyes of others seems to be a large influence on her decisions. After knocking over the stop sign, she panics and leaves the scene out of fear of the trouble calling the cops might get her into. After Hannah’s tapes came out with the truth about what she did and how her actions indirectly led to the death of Jeff, Sheri tried to ingratiate herself with Clay in an attempt to ensure he wouldn’t try to expose her secret.
Justin Foley – ESTP
Justin seems like a smaller version of Bryce but with slightly more of a conscious. Justin exhibits a lot of the same confidence and typical jock persona that Bryce displays, but is not nearly as much of a dick. Justin showed the pictures of him making out with Hannah to his buddies but it was Bryce who broadcasted it to the entire school. Justin was relatively not so bad and was mostly tarnished by the company he kept. His allegiance to Bryce was understandable since Bryce was there for him when his family was not. When Bryce did what he did to Justin’s girlfriend Jessica, it was hard for Justin to reconcile his commitment to his girlfriend with his loyalty to his “brother” and so he chose to pretend it didn’t happen. Even still, this fact weighed heavily on his conscious such that he became noticeably less intimate with her for reasons she did not understand until finally the truth came out. Justin’s moral dilemma suggests he has trouble making tough ethical decisions and cares more about keeping his relationships in tact rather than do what is morally or ethically just.
Courtney Crimsen – ESFJ
Courtney Crimsen is nice to everyone. She wears a mask of congeniality that sometimes belies the inner turmoil she experiences on account of her fear of being outed as being gay. She cares too much about what people think of her and she avoids criticism by deflecting and shifting attention away from herself onto other people like Hannah. She threw Hannah under the bus after a fellow student revealed rumors he learned about the two girls. She shared salacious details about Hannah just to take some of the heat off of Courtney’s back. Courtney wanted to present a squeaky clean image and couldn’t handle the embarrassment of having the aspects of herself that she couldn’t accept getting out into the open. It is typical for ESFJs to focus themselves on their public roles and relationships at the expense of cultivating a true and authentic sense of self. Their values and beliefs are mostly shaped by what is socially accepted and considered normal.
Alex Standall- ISFP
Alex seems rather introverted although he manages to implant himself with a popular set of kids at school. Alex seems to display a similar Fi preference to that of Clay. After hearing the part he played in Hannah’s demise, Alex seems ridden with guilt and self loathing. At one point he wanders outside and allows himself to fall into Bryce’s pool and sinks as if he has resigned himself to drowning. He doesn’t though, but later on, he makes a more serious suicide attempt. Even before that, he displays a death wish when he continues to drive dangerously fast while his friends plead with him to stop. At Monet’s restaurant, Alex mentions his goal of trying everything on the menu and he also plays the guitar in the school band. All this suggests that Alex has a high preference for extraverted sensing.
Bryce Walker – ESTP
Bryce is the big man on campus so to speak. He has all the connections and resources and seems to be the life of the party. He is pure confidence and seems to relish the attention and status he holds at Liberty high. Bryce is also a jock and ESTPs are considered the most athletic of all the MBTI personality types. He isn’t dramatic or desperate for attention. He just kind of commands it naturally like a charismatic a-hole. Despite his cocky disposition, he is actually quite affable and friendly but exhibits a lack of moral character. With him it’s all about having a good time but he doesn’t seem to recognize boundaries and his sense of entitlement comes out with regards to his incidents with Jessica and Hannah.
Zach Dempsey – ESFP
Zach exhibits a good naturedness beneath his sometimes entitled and childish behavior. He’s one of the popular kids and is accustomed to getting what he wants including attention and admiration. He rolls with the rest of the jocks but seems more compassionate than they are. The kindness he showed to Hannah following the Marcus incident demonstrated that he has more empathy than the people he associates with. He tries to amuse her by balancing a spoon on his nose. He has a silly side and also seems to be a good brother to his younger sister. When Hannah rejected his attempt at asking her out, he resorted to petty childish acts of revenge, namely by stealing the complimentary notes left for her by other classmates.
Tony Padilla – ISTP
Tony sits in the cafeteria by himself reading a book. He’s incredibly down to earth and chill and isn’t seen interacting with many people besides Clay. This means he is probably an introvert. He is also seen doing mechanical work like fixing cars and he apparently likes to go climbing. Based on this, he probably has a strong extraverted sensing preference and is likely an ISTP. ISTPs are good with their hands and enjoy doing outdoorsy things despite their introverted nature. Tony tries to honor his late friend Hannah by distributing the tapes to the people Hannah intended them for. This he believed, was the right thing to do. Later on he decides that their is more that he must do beyond just what Hannah wanted. He believes a greater justice must be served by sharing the tapes with Hannah’s parents probably to ensure that Bryce is brought to justice for what he did to Hannah.
Tyler Down – ISTP
Tyler seems to be a quiet kid with a strong skill. Photography is his thing and he seems to be very good at it. He’s kind of an outsider an is not really accepted as a member of any of the school cliques or factions. There is not a whole lot known about the Tyler character except that he doesn’t really understand why he is excluded from the student alliances that begin forming in anticipation of the impending prosecutions coming their way. He is in the same boat as they but somehow what he did is too despicable. As a thinking type, his perspective is probably objectively consistent whereas the other characters seem to be making more of a feeling based distinction between them and Tyler that renders them hypocrites with double standards.
Ryan Shaver – ENTJ
Ryan could be either an INTJ or ENTJ. He demonstrates a penchant for pursuing his own ends with little regard for the ethics of his actions. He is ambitious and success oriented and the humiliation or harm he might cause to some people doesn’t seem to factor into the calculus of his decision making process. He pursues what is in his own interests and is fairly pragmatic and logical in doing so. He is the chief editor of his own school magazine and this suggests that he is very enterprising and comfortable with leadership. As a writer and poet it is likely that he is an intuition user as many creative writers are.
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