What fictional characters do you relate to as an ENTP?
Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also use the system to type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most interesting and iconic characters are ENTPs, and today we’re going to talk about seven of them that I think real-life ENTPs will find very relatable.
One of the other great things about looking at character personality types is that it can help us to better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional ENTPs can serve as examples for what real-life ENTPs can be like, and also show how much variation there can be between individuals with the same type.
There’s debate about what kind of Intuitive type Calvin, from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, is but there’s no debate over whether or not ENTPs find him relatable. For example, in response to a question on the ENTP sub Reddit “Was Calvin one of us?” one ENTP commenter wrote, “Clearly. Reading Calvin and Hobbes usually triggers religious experiences in ENTPs. It’s like LSD. Don’t ask me to explain it, I can’t.”
I’m sure many ENTPs looking back on their childhoods can identify with Calvin’s frustration as a deep thinking kid with loads of ideas he can’t really implement in the real world (or which he gets in trouble for trying to implement). He’s very forward focused (a trait many Intuitives share) and argues that “exploring and discovering and playing” should be even more important than school especially since as soon as you get done with school you have to work until you die. I doubt many other kids are thinking about things like that at 6 years old, or building snow-chickens chopping off snowmen’s heads.
I’d never actually watched an episode of House, MD until writing this (I’ve now seen Season 4, Episode 4 because a clip on YouTube caught my attention), but he comes up so often when people are talking about fictional ENTPs that I didn’t want to leave him off this list. There’s quite a debate about whether he’s an ENTP or INTJ (click to read an argument for ENTP). For the purposes of this post, though, it doesn’t really matter what his type is. What matters is that plenty of ENTPs identify with him so much that they think he could share a type with them.
ENTPs tend to relate to House as a character who’s only motivated by what he finds interesting, is constantly thinking about possibilities, and is always trying to figure things out. I’ve seen him compared to Sherlock Holmes in his deductive reasoning style, which makes sense if he’s an ENTP since Sherlock, as an INTP, would share the same Myers-Briggs functions. Some ENTPs also talk about identifying with House’s less pro-social traits, including a tenancy to be manipulative and intellectually aggressive.
Captain Jack Sparrow is one of those ENTP characters who seems crazy, but is actually astonishingly clever. He loves wordplay and witty banter, and is often able to confuse or charm his way out of sticky situations. For a more complete break-down of his ENTP characteristics, click here.
Jack is a perfect demonstration of how an Extroverted Intuition-dominant type can generate endless boatloads of zany ideas. And because this exploitative, idea-generating function is paired with logical (though less visible) Introverted Thinking and people-reading (though immature) Extroverted Feeling, some of those crazy ideas actually work out for him. I’m sure many friends of ENTPs have looked at them with the same puzzled expressions Jack gets from other characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean films as they wonder how he can possibly be such a successful pirate when he seems so scattered.
For this post, I’m talking about Q from Star Trek, though I’ve heard Q in James Bond is also an ENTP. This character is a great example of the ENTP trickster (a role so often associated with them that it’s almost a sub-type when talking about fictional characters).
While human ENTPs aren’t all-powerful like Q, they can often identify with the way he likes to mess with people and see what happens. And I think ENTPs will also identify with the part of Q that works to make sure his favorite humans aren’t too badly damaged by his experiments. He does care, just not in a usual way. Of course real-life ENTPs (usually) play the trickster in much more subtle ways than transporting people to a mock World War III-style courtroom, but you get the idea.
Why is it so hard to find ENTP fictional characters that are female? There’s more than enough ENTP men to fill this list, but it’s hard to find fictional women that people agree are ENTP. Even River is more often typed as an ENTJ than as an ENTP. Still, she’s a good example of a relatable NT-type character and since I’m pretty familiar with the seasons of Doctor Who she appears in she gets to make the list.
I saw one comment on Pinterest which said River is “a classic ENTP in every way! Brilliant, innovative, clever, and a bit reckless.” At risk of inflating the egos of every ENTP reading this post, I think that’s a pretty good description both of River and of ENTPs in general.
I doubt there’s anyone who doesn’t type Tony Stark as an ENTP. There aren’t many other fictional characters more representative of a certain personality type than Tony is of ENTPs. Even Personality Hacker, which rarely talks about fictional characters’ types, uses Tony as an ENTP example.
Real-life ENTPs will identify with the way Tony’s mind works, how he takes in information, and the ways he makes decisions. ENTPs lead with a perceiving/learning function called Extroverted Intuition (or “Exploration”), which helps them bounce from one idea to the next quickly and experiment with different possibilities. Their co-pilot Introverted Thinking (or “Accuracy”), which is their judging/decision making function, focuses on the purest, most accurate form of information they can get. Couple that with tertiary Extroverted Feeling, which is good at reading other people, and you get the perfect type to use when writing innovative inventor characters who are also charismatic geniuses.
It’s been a while since I’ve read Game of Thrones and I haven’t watched the show, but I’ll try to do Tyrion’s character justice in this short post. For a more in-depth explanation of why so many people think he’s an ENTP type, click here.
ENTPs can relate to Tyrion’s interest in exploring possibilities and having abstract, symbolic discussions. To quote another article typing him as ENTP, “He freely engages reality hoping to discern some greater purpose in it, often exploring experiences for their own sake, while adopting them into his broader worldview.” All these traits are key attributes of Extroverted Intuition. Of course, there’s much more to his character than that and he’s not a “head in the clouds” type. He also demonstrates why David Keirsey called NT types the “Rationals.” One example is when he becomes The Hand of King and we get to see his political savvy.
What did you think of this list? If you’re an ENTP, which fictional characters do you relate to best? Is there anyone you’d add to or take off of this list (and can you think of any ENTP women in fiction)? I’d love to hear your thoughts!!