The Characters in "Napoleon Dynamite"

by Leslie Nierste

"Napoleon Dynamite", is a 2004 film featuring a number of unusual characters. The plot centers on Napoleon Dynamite, who lives in a small rural town with his grandmother and older brother. Napoleon, amidst dealing with an unusual family and life as an unpopular kid in high school, decides to help his friend Pedro run for and win class president.

Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon is a well-intentioned, near-sighted and unpopular high school student with an affinity for warrior stories and imaginative animals. He has a crush on one of the more popular girls at school, Trisha, who is sincerely embarrassed by his advances. He helps Pedro campaign for class president. Napoleon later saves the day during the school presidential campaigns; when Pedro realizes he did not prepare a mandatory skit, Napoleon walks onto stage and dances, amazing the entire school and winning Pedro the election.


Kip is the 32-year-old somewhat wimpy brother who lives at home with Napoleon and his grandmother. He is Internet chat room-obsessed and spends a great deal of time chatting to look for "babes." He also trains to become a cage-fighter

Uncle Rico

Uncle Rico shows up after Napoleon's grandmother is injured to take care of Kip and Napoleon. He would rather re-live his glory days as a football star than commit to the present. He even goes so far as to buy a time machine so he can return to his past but only ends up electrocuting himself. Uncle Rico is a get-rich-quick schemer with a knack for messing up Napoleon's life. At one point, he plasters Napoleon's high school locker with advertisements for a breast enhancement pill for publicity, which only strengthens Napoleon's unpopular status.


Pedro is the new kid in school at the beginning of the film. He is a shy immigrant from Mexico and must adjust to rural American life. He quickly befriends Napoleon, who later convinces him to run for class president against the most popular girl in school, Summer. Pedro deals with confidence issues throughout the movie but eventually triumphs as he wins class presidency.


Deb is a quirky shy high school student who has a quiet crush on Napoleon. She is an innovative entrepreneur, selling homemade boondoggles and glamor shots to save for college. She has her own style of fashion, at times sporting sideways ponytails or dresses with big puffy sleeves.


Grandma is a spunky old lady and Napoleon's primary caregiver. She is a thrill seeker and injures herself early in the movie riding ATVs over nearby sand dunes.