“I helped this old lady, and she bought me a churro. So that was nice.”
So Many Peter Parker Personality Types... So Little Time
Since 2002, there have been three Spider-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, each with a slightly different approach to the character. All were awkward (at least when they weren’t swinging between buildings as superheroes), and each had a heavy interest in science. But we think it’s safe to say that the first two webslingers (Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) were more angst-ridden and dealt with more heavy emotional issues. They were both also fairly obvious Introverts – at least until they donned the mask and took on a new persona.
The third and most recent movie version of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) just seems to want to be liked and to do good things. The sad demise of Uncle Ben isn’t even much of an issue in his story line and is part of an origin story that happens before we meet this incarnation. (Thankfully. We’ve already seen it twice with the previous two Spider-Men.) Overall, Holland’s Spider-Man is a much more carefree character.
Peter Parker, watching the girl he likes: We better stop staring before it turns creepy.
Michelle: Too late.
When not fighting crime, Holland’s Peter Parker deals with a lot of worries that may be familiar to high school aged individuals. His love life so far seems to be limited to a heavy crush rather than a real romance. When fighting crime, he does so with youthful exuberance. He’s far more different from the previous two Spider-Men than Tobey Maguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s interpretations of the character were from each other. For this article, the focus will be on the Tom Holland version of Peter Parker.
This Peter Parker’s Personality Type
Holland’s Peter Parker wants nothing more than to jump into the fray – a prominent feature of Extraversion. His social life is weak, but it’s not because he doesn’t want one. He may not be a social A-lister in high school, but it’s not because he prefers to be alone. It’s just that as a dedicated crime fighter, he has little time to cultivate many friendships outside of class.
Peter’s eager to be accepted as a member of the Avengers, although he remains on the periphery. His banter is nonstop – not just while hiding behind a mask, like other versions of the character, but even as Peter Parker (see his back-and-forth with bodega owner Mr. Delmar in Homecoming.) He’s not only outgoing with people, but he’s also eager to enjoy all the experiences his unique powers offer him.
Watching Peter act, one gets the sense that he is responding to general impressions rather than specific evidence – a key element of the Intuitive personality trait. He’s more attuned to the overarching ideal of being a hero than the nitty-gritty of solving problems in a concrete way.
Peter believes that as long as he is trying in good faith, that should be enough for Tony Stark to bless his endeavors, regardless of his level of effectiveness. His Intuition, paired with his Feeling trait, makes him an idealistic personality who sees himself as a cog in a machine that will bring about a better, safer world.
While it might be tempting to automatically place science types in the Thinking trait category, that’s not necessarily true, as many of them exhibit the Feeling personality trait. Peter, a science type, plays it from the emotions in a big way. Instead of strategizing, he often follows his heart or rides the excitement of the moment when he acts.
Relationships are vital to him. As stated previously, he wants nothing more than to be accepted by the Avengers and forms an almost father-son relationship with Stark, which motivates much of what he does. He has passion – partially to be accepted and partially to right the wrongs of the world, from petty crimes in Queens, New York, to an intergalactic invasion. These two passions form a character whose decisions are ruled by his heart.
As hinted at in the Extraversion section above, Peter is a “leap before he looks” kind of guy. He thinks on his feet and adapts easily to the moment, even if the results are sometimes disastrous. A Judging personality type might stop and consider longer-term consequences. Not Peter. Even when he does his clumsy version of a Clark Kent superhero costume change, he doesn’t consider that if he leaves his backpack full of his civvies in a New York alley, they might not be there when he returns. Such behavior is indicative of the Prospecting trait.
Peter’s lack of foresight and less-than-organized approach can lead him to actions that sometimes do more damage than what the criminals he’s pursuing would have done if left to their own devices. Stark’s advice to him is often some version of “slow down.” Part of it may be youth and inexperience, but it also seems likely to be something more ingrained – more characterological.
You almost hear the lack of confidence in Peter’s voice. He is always looking for others to validate him – from the lady with the churro to Iron Man and Captain America. He may act confident, but it’s motivated from outside of himself rather than a sureness that comes from within. His primary motivation is to prove himself repeatedly. He cares too much about what others think. This suggests a Turbulent Identity.
In future movies, like Spider-Man: Far from Home, we may find that Peter matures out of some of the characteristics described here. After all, he’s a young fictional character, and profound personality changes sometimes happen at a writer’s whim where personality traits would likely be more enduring in real life. Until then, this is our analysis. Do you agree, or do you have a different perspective? We invite you to comment below.
When typing fictional characters here at 16Personalities, the type we present is determined only by what we’ve seen of the characters’ behavior and actions in the movies or books in which they appear. Ultimately, they are fictional and are only designed to help others better understand the aspects of personality type.
This personality typing is based on the character as portrayed in Marvel’s latest Avengers movies (Infinity War and Endgame), Captain America: Civil War, and Spider-Man’s solo outing in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Spider-Man: Far from Home has not been released as of the writing of this article.