If you have been looking for a list of character flaws, we will be going over 100 different options for you to use.
Not every character is perfect, so having a list to pull from can help you make your characters fully fleshed out and human.
Scroll through some of the options below and keep track of ones that sound interesting enough for each of your characters.
This Guide to Character Flaws in Fiction Covers:
What Are Character Flaws?
A character flaw is a fault, limitation, or weakness that can be internal or external.
Some of the flaws below can also be positives, depending on the situation and the type of character they are. Some things can be really great qualities but some can be hard to deal with, but that will be up to you.
Even if you pick a flaw or two to use, you can keep it in an ongoing list with other traits about that character. It can help keep your characters cohesive and in line with their overall traits.
Related: What is Character Motivation?
List Of Character Flaws
Ready for the ultimate list of character flaws you'll find in fiction? You can reference this list any time you sit down to write – or the next time you're working on your character development.
- Lazy: unwilling to work or use energy.
- Spacey: out of touch with reality, as though high on drugs.
- Stubborn: having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.
- Adulterous: a cheater.
- Greedy: having or showing an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth or power.
- Vain: having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth.
- Spoiled: a character flaw that's developed by being treated too leniently or indulgently.
- Stingy: unwilling to give or spend; ungenerous.
- Timid: showing a lack of courage or confidence; easily frightened.
- Abusive: extremely offensive and insulting.
- Machiavellian: cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics.
- Murderous: capable of or intending to murder; dangerously violent.
- Ungenerous: not generous.
- Apprehensive: anxious or fearful that something bad or unpleasant will happen.
- Uncaring: not displaying sympathy or concern for others.
- Afraid: feeling fear or anxiety; frightened.
- Vicious: deliberately cruel or violent.
- Cold-hearted: lacking affection or warmth; unfeeling.
- Inhumane: without compassion for misery or suffering; cruel.
- Savage: fierce, violent, and uncontrolled.
- Unfeeling: unsympathetic, harsh, or callous.
- Morally gray: operate beyond the dichotomy of good versus evil
- Neglectful: not giving proper care or attention to someone or something.
- Ruthless: having no pity.
- Malevolent: having or showing a wish to do evil to others.
- Terrible: extremely or distressingly bad or serious.
- Fanatical: filled with excessive and single-minded zeal.
- Tactless: having or showing a lack of adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.
- Intolerant: not tolerant of views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one's own.
- Stupid: having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense.
- Anxious: experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
- Judgmental: having or displaying an excessively critical point of view.
- Naive: (of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.
- Backbiting: to say mean or spiteful things about a person.
- Bitchy: malicious or spitefully critical.
- Apathetic: showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern.
- Maleficent: causing harm or destruction, especially by supernatural means.
- Uncontrolled: not controlled.
- Feral: resembling a wild animal.
- Vengeful: seeking to harm someone in return for a perceived injury.
- Controlling: determine the behavior or supervise the running of.
- Awkward: causing difficulty; hard to do or deal with.
- Inconsiderate: thoughtlessly causing hurt or inconvenience to others.
- Meek: quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.
- Obsessive: of the nature of an obsession.
- Self-destructive: acting or tending to harm or destroy oneself.
- Bloodthirsty: eager to shed blood.
- Unkind: inconsiderate and harsh to others.
- Barbaric: savagely cruel; exceedingly brutal.
- Gutless: lacking courage or determination.
- Hubristic: excessively proud or self-confident.
- Boring: not interesting; tedious.
- Weak-kneed: lacking in resolve or courage; cowardly.
- Dishonest: behaving or prone to behave in an untrustworthy or fraudulent way.
- Spiteful: showing or caused by malice.
- Sissy: a soft, timid, or oversensitive person.
- Pigeon-hearted: timid, or easily frightened
- Lustful: having or showing strong feelings of sexual desire.
- Gullible: easily persuaded to believe something; credulous.
- Violent: using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
- Humorless: lacking humor; not able to appreciate or express humor.
- Weak-willed: lacking the ability to resist influence or to restrain one's own impulses; irresolute.
- Obsequious: obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree.
- Hypocritical: behaving in a way that suggests one has higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.
- Envious: feeling or showing envy.
- Oppressive: unjustly inflicting hardship and constraint, especially on a minority or other subordinate group.
- Arrogant: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.
- Capricious: given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior.
- Remorseless: without regret or guilt.
- Juvenile: immature.
- Insane: in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill.
- Belligerent: hostile and aggressive.
- Sadistic: deriving pleasure from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.
- Clumsy: awkward in movement or in handling things.
- Crazy: mentally deranged, especially as manifested in a wild or aggressive way.
- Faint-hearted: lacking courage; timid.
- Foolish: lacking good sense or judgment; unwise.
- Treacherous: guilty of or involving betrayal or deception.
- Paranoid: unreasonably or obsessively anxious, suspicious, or mistrustful.
- Prideful: having an excessively high opinion of oneself.
- Gossipy: characterized by casual conversation or reports about other people.
- Selfish: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
- Disloyal: demonstrating a lack of loyalty.
- Manipulative: characterized by unscrupulous control of a situation or person.
- Ignorant: lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
- Bitter: having a sharp, pungent taste or smell; not sweet.
- Spineless: having no spine or backbone.
- Rigid: unable to bend or be forced out of shape; not flexible.
- Misogynistic: strongly prejudiced against women.
- Skeptical: not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations.
- Homophobic: having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against gay people.
- Cruel: willfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it.
- Possessive: demanding someone's total attention and love.
- Bigoted: obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction.
- Short-tempered: quick to lose one's temper.
- Incompetent: not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully.
- Hedonistic: engaged in the pursuit of pleasure; sensually self-indulgent.
- Cowardly: lacking courage.
- Shallow: of little depth.
- Childish: silly and immature.
Need Help With Your Characters?
Whether you're writing a hero (do you know what a tragic hero is?), a sidekick, or a background character, adding character flaws makes your cast feel relatable and more human. Get the free character sheet so you can unlock your character's full potential.