Where Are All the Characters with ADHD? Here!
When kids read or watch a TV show or movie, they are looking for stories that in some way reflect or validate their own experience. That’s why it is so important to provide students with media that reflect the real-world diversity found in the classroom.
We have compiled a list of characters with ADHD diagnoses (or who probably should have a diagnosis). Some of these characters are more appropriate for adults (you may regret showing your kids The Hangover), but there are options for just about any age!
We’d like to say that this is THE comprehensive list of characters with ADHD, but we are really only scratching the surface. By sharing a book, show, or movie where a main character has ADHD, you are showing your students that not only is having ADHD perfectly normal, but oftentimes the traits of ADHD can come in handy as the characters navigate the challenges they face.
Characters with an official ADHD diagnosis
Barney from How I Met Your Mother
Tracy from 30 Rock
Stiles from Teen Wolf
Jesus from The Fosters
Phil from Modern Family
Spinner from Degrassi: The Next Generation
Bart Simpson from The Simpsons
Carol Solomon from In a World …
Niki from Sister
Julie Powell from Julie & Julia
Arbor from The Selfish Giant
Juno MacGuff from Juno
Steve from Mommy
Alan from The Hangover
Bean from To Stand in the Light by Kayla Bashe
Aisha from Worm
Gingerbread in Life Is Funny by E. R. Frank
Most of the halfbloods in the Percy Jackson series
Tyler from Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa
Jessie from Motorcycles, Sushi & One Strange Book by Nancy Rue
Characters that have many ADHD traits but no diagnosis (perhaps because the term ADHD did not exist)
Helen Burns from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind (in the film, at least)
King Henry VIII in Shakespeare’s play
So, what do you think? Did we miss any of your favorites?
Elizabeth Ross, M.A., SMARTS Media Manager