Ponyboy Michael Curtis A 14-year-old boy who is the narrator and main character in The Outsiders. His parents have been killed in an automobile accident, and he lives with his two brothers.
Soda(pop) Patrick Curtis Ponyboy's 16-going-on-17-year-old brother. He is a high school dropout and works at the local gas station. He is "movie-star" handsome.
Darrel (Darry) Shayne Curtis The 20-year-old brother and legal guardian of Ponyboy and Soda. He works too hard and too long, and would be in college, if life had turned out different.
Dallas (Dally) Winston A fellow greaser, who is originally from New York City. He is a bit tougher than the others in Ponyboy's gang, and at 17 he has already seen the inside of a jail.
Johnny Cade The "gang's pet." He is 16 years old, physically small, and comes from a physically and verbally abusive home. Dally is his hero.
Steve Randle Soda's best friend and fellow greaser. He is 17 and works at the gas station with Soda.
Keith (Two-Bit) Mathews The oldest of the gang, except for Darry, and still a junior in high school at age 18. He is the wisecracking comedian of the gang.
Sherri (Cherry) Valance A cheerleader and the girlfriend of Bob, the Soc who is killed. Cherry and Ponyboy meet at the drive-in and become friends. Cherry is attracted to Dally, and becomes a spy for the greasers.
Marcia Cherry's girlfriend at the drive-in. She gives Two-Bit her phone number, but he throws it away.
Bob Sheldon The Soc who originally attacked Johnny, and then attacks both Johnny and Pony in the park. Johnny Cade kills Bob during an altercation when some Socs try to drown Ponyboy.
Randy Adderson The owner of the blue Mustang that haunts Johnny. He is Bob's best friend and fellow Soc.
Tim Shepard A fellow greaser, but not a member of the main characters' gang. His greaser gang is rougher, and the members are termed "future convicts." He is both Dally's main rival and friend.
Jerry Wood The overweight man at the church fire. He rides along with Pony in the ambulance and calls the boys heroes. Pony confides everything to him, and he still calls them heroes.
Buck Merril Dally's rodeo partner, a man in his mid 20s. Johnny and Pony find Dally at Buck's party. Buck loans Dally his T-Bird.