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The quirky INTP personality type is definitely rare in the real world, but scriptwriters and book authors love including these characters in their work.
They make for fun characters that often end up saving the day. In fictional characters, INTP traits such as independence and the ability to come up with creative solutions make for great entertainment.
The popularity of this character type in entertainment is understandable. Who doesn't love watching someone who appears as an outsider and is highly underestimated come through to save the day? No matter what personality category we are in, watching the presumed underdog win is always a thrill.
Let's take a journey into discovering some of the most popular INTP fictional characters.
What is an INTP Personality?
The psychiatrist, Carl Jung, believed that everyone could be categorized into one of 16 different personality categories. A mother-daughter team took his teachings and created the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory.
This has become the most widely-used personality indicator in the world and is used by employers, colleges, and even the military today. You can get a quick overview of this test in this beginner's guide.
The letters INTP stand for:
Introversion – The individual is more involved in what is going on inside themselves than in the world around them.
Intuitive – These individuals notice patterns and are more interested in abstract thoughts than in only what their five senses pick up.
Thinking – Decisions are made based on pure logic and how others might be affected emotionally is often overlooked.
Perceiving – This individual doesn't like restrictions and would rather have the opportunity to explore options as they arise.
The INTP personality is nicknamed “The Thinker”. That is because these people may not talk a lot, but their minds are always reeling.
They are constantly questioning and are among the world's greatest mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers. If you are looking for someone who can come up with original ideas that are outside the box, look for an INTP.
These individuals are often thought of as quirky because they have no wish to fit in or adhere to society's norms.
They make their own path in life and value their independence more than anything else. It helps that they are open-minded and willing to take any detour that is indicated along their current path to seek the truth.
As with all personalities, the INTP also has faults. These individuals can be easily distracted by new thoughts or ideas. They don't often consider the feelings of others and can come across as blunt or rude unless you understand them.
They often have issues with authority figures because they hate restrictions, including having to stick to a schedule of any sort.
Give these individuals their independence and allow them to seek the knowledge that feeds their curiosity, and hang on. If they allow you to come along on the journey, you can expect a wild ride that is anything but boring!
Some real-life examples of people with an INTP personality are:
23 Famous Fictional INTP Personalities
Obviously, fictional characters can't be officially tested for personality, but writers tend to use personality profiles to make their characters come alive.
The following characters all exhibit strong INTP personalities in one way or another:
1. Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is one of the best examples of the INTP personality. His constant analysis allows him to take the clues he notices and apply the possibilities his mind comes up with to solve mysteries.
He appears rude to many because he puts aside many of society's automatic niceties in favor of being direct. His great need to know the truth keeps him going, even when it appears he won't be able to solve a case.
2. Frank Columbo
It's no surprise that this 70s detective makes the list of INTP characters. His hard-drinking womanizing defies normal standards of behavior.
His need for independence is so strong he can't work with a human partner, and even his canine partner, a basset hound, breaks the stereotype of a police dog.
His appearance shows he doesn't care about what others think. He speaks directly and never appears to be disturbed by events going on around him.
3. Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones shows the typical need for exploration of the INTP personality. He prefers adventures he can undertake on his own and simply tolerates company from others when necessary.
He never stops questioning or seeking the truth and is willing to go off on a tangent when things indicate a change of plans. His unruffled behavior is a classic INTP trait.
4. Luna Lovegood
Luna is the perfect example of how the INTP is often looked upon as strange. She is also the perfect example of how this personality is so often underestimated. She is very observant and often notices details and makes connections that those around her miss.
She can easily think outside the box and comes in to save the day with her knowledge and well-thought-out ideas. Nothing ever appears to disturb her kind, calm personality.
Yoda is a deep thinker who, when he speaks, gives logical advice that is free of emotion. He is a good example of the INTP trait of believing that anything is possible and you don't give up. His famous line of “There is do or do not. There is no try.” is very indicative of this personality type.
Yoda is also never afraid to go wherever circumstances indicate, even if it is outside the original plans. His calm demeanor brings a measure of peace to those around him.
6. Velma Dinkly
Velma often misses the human emotions in those around her. She is often underestimated but has a brilliant mind that is always working to solve problems. She is always searching for clues that will lead her to the truth in all situations.
Her willingness to go into situations that are unknown typifies the INTP personality. After all, that is often where the real answers can be found.
7. Meg Murry
Meg Murry, from A Wrinkle in Time, is always struggling with authority. Her rebellious nature often makes others miss just how brilliant her mind is.
Her sense of internal values is strong, however, and it is those values that she is true to, not those that society tries to impose upon her. In the end, it is logic combined with innovation that gets her through.
Neo, from The Matrix, exhibits the absolute need to know the truth that is so deeply ingrained within the INTP personality. He is willing to go against the grain and take the red pill because he doesn't just want to know the truth, he needs to know it.
This allows him to go against authority, think quickly, and follow where the truth led him. Like many INTP individuals, he understood that sometimes you need to navigate the bad in order to realize the good.
9. Winston Smith
In 1984, Winston Smith was the rebellious hero who was willing to put aside what was expected of him and seek the truth.
He has an extremely intelligent mind that never stops analyzing all the input. He is consistently underestimated but his willingness to risk the unknown allows him to see what others can't.
10. Butee Lutien
People often underestimate the quiet Butee Lutien in The Hunger Games. They don't realize the intelligence that lies under his calm, unfrazzled demeanor. His always-active mind allows him to become a fierce competitor.
He's able to take the most unexpected components and turn them into solutions to any unexpected problems he encounters. This ability to think outside the box and make alterations at the drop of a hat makes him a definite INTP.
11. Violet Baudelaire
Vilet's calm demeanor regardless of the situation allowed her to keep those around her on track. No matter what unexpected events were thrown into her path, her quick mind allowed her to find the most unexpected solutions.
Her independent spirit made it possible for her to take care of her siblings when the adults in their lives were unreliable. She never allowed emotion to come into play when logic would suit the situation better.
From the start, we see Alice's rebellious nature as she tries to get out of performing as she is expected to do. Even more so, we soon see the typical INTP curiosity take control as she follows the White Rabbit down into uncharted territory.
She is continuously questioning the things she finds around her. She also show the INTP willingness to adapt to whatever situation she finds herself in and then uses logic to get out of any jams.
13. Elliot Alderson
In Mr. Robot, Elliot Anderson takes the INTP curiosity as far as it can go. He is an outsider who connects better with machines than he does the humans around him.
He finds it extremely easy to connect what he finds in his environment with what he already knows, making his analytical mind able to see connections that most people miss.
This allows his brilliant mind to shine, even when those who must interact with him find him difficult to understand.
14. Abed Nadir
Those familiar with Community and Abed Nadir, quickly learn to love the endearing quirkiness of this character.
Abed gets quickly bored with routine and is consistently exerting his independence. He uses the analytical mind present in all INTPs in a way that many with this personality avoid… the understanding of people.
As he uses his power of analysis in this area, he uses his intuitive nature to figure out how people will react and adapt his actions for the greatest outcome. This ability often helps him with communication.
L, from Deathnote, first sows his independence by the use of a single letter as a name. His appearance is often disheveled, which gives others the impression he isn't someone to be taken seriously, but they soon discover he has an intelligence that is equal to the best of them.
He uses his power of deduction to figure things out and his lack of emotion and tact causes him to come across as rude more often than not.
16. Kakashi Hatake
Kakashi Hatake is one of the most independent characters in Naruto. His extreme need for independence makes him avoid a leadership role that his intellect would work well in.
His decisions are based purely on logic, making him appear unfeeling because he doesn't take into account how others will feel emotionally when he acts on his decisions.
He uses pure reasoning when making decisions. His total unwillingness to control and lead others makes him also unwilling to follow others simply because they are considered to be in charge. This causes problems with authority many times.
In Seven Deadly Sins, the character Gowther often ends up offending others. This isn't intentional and is based on his use of logical reasoning and bluntness in presenting the facts as he sees them.
He is one to question the possibilities that may exist, seeking to find hidden truths and understanding of life in general. If plans change, he changes with them, unafraid of what might be down the path he hadn't seen coming.
Jasmine shows the INTP trait of mistrust of others better than most INTP characters. She is also a great demonstration of this personality's habit of staying in the shadows and observing the situation first. She is often underestimated but uses her natural trait for meeting challenges head-on to great advantage.
This allows her and other INTPs to often have the element of surprise when confronted with a problem. They don't believe in hiding behind a false mask, but instead come out strong and direct.
19. Spencer Reid
Spencer Reid, the youngest member of the Criminal Minds team, is super-intelligent. He is always thinking and allows him to collect facts that help him take what he knows and make it make sense. He is a great example of the easy distractibility of the INTP mind.
He often starts out talking about one thing and, before you know it, he has wandered off onto a half dozen other topics that he has made a mental connection to.
One thing he lacks is the ability to fully understand the emotions of others, but his internal need to learn makes him always willing to try.
Ariadne, from Inception, loves puzzles and seeks to use her great power of reasoning to solve them. She is often the one spot of calm when all around her is pure chaos. She is a very creative thinker and loves to get to the truth of every situation she encounters.
Her communication style is very straightforward, letting everyone know exactly where they stand with her. Her independent spirit allows her to go in whatever direction she finds interesting at the moment.
21. Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko couldn't care less about what society expects of him. He takes his INTP need for independence to the extreme. His use of logic in regard to how he approaches things is also the one thing that causes others to see him as rude very often.
In the end, however, he is able to get answers to all he seeks by using logic and his great analytical brain.
22. Nine Ball/Leslie
Nine Ball, from Ocean's Eight, is one of the few criminals on this list. She is a great example of throwing away society's rules and following her own internal code of what is right and wrong.
It also shows her disdain for authority. She is someone who uses creativity combined with intellect to find solutions to problems. She is also one who loves experimenting and exploring all the possibilities that might exist.
When we first meet Chidi in The Good Place, his intellect is apparent. Nobody questions that he is intelligent when it comes to books, but he lacks an understanding of human emotion.
The INTP need for continuous learning is evident in the length of the book he has been researching and writing for most of his life. He is a great philosopher who is always asking why and trying to find the hidden truths he knows exist in the world.
Final Thoughts on Fictional INTP Characters
If you are lucky enough to come into contact with the rare INTP in real life, grab the chance to get to know them.
It may not be easy, but hang in there. Until that time comes, enjoy the fictional characters on this list! And if you are an INTP yourself, you will find them easy to relate to.
For even more fun, check out our article on fictional characters with ENFP personalities. And if you want to find out your own personality category, take a test and start getting a deeper look into your own personality.
Learning about who we are is the first step in understanding others and the world around us.
And if you're looking for more articles on people and characters with different personalities, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 31 Famous Fictional Characters with ESTP Personality
- 21 Famous Fictional Characters with ISFP Personality
- 20 Famous Fictional Characters with ISTJ Personality
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.