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ISFJs are known for their steadfastness and dependability. Healthy ISFJs are supportive of their loved ones, traditional but not closed-minded, and sensitive to the feelings of others. Despite being introverts, ISFJs can be quite socially oriented and they care deeply about what others think. Here are ten of my favorite ISFJ characters in books, TV shows, and movies:
1. Molly Hooper, Sherlock
Watson: Well? Is he clean?
Molly: Clean?! [walks over to Sherlock and slaps him three times] How dare you throw away the beautiful gifts you were born with! And how dare you betray the love of your friends! Say you’re sorry.
Like many ISFJs, The ever-dependable Molly Hooper is grossly under-appreciated by INTJ Sherlock Holmes, but she’s reticent to stand up for herself and say anything about it. ISFJs with an underdeveloped sense of self-worth can be quite “mouse-like” and Molly fits this description to a tee. Still, she grows considerably over the course of the series and is an indispensable part of the team. Sherlock may not appreciate her, but his job would be a whole lot harder without her.
2. John Watson, Sherlock
Sherlock: You’re a doctor. In fact, you’re an army doctor.
Sherlock: Any good?
Watson: Very good.
Sherlock: Seen a lot of injuries then? Violent deaths?
Watson: Well, yes.
Sherlock: Bit of trouble too, I bet.
Watson: Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime. Far too much.
Sherlock: Wanna see some more?
Watson: Oh god, yes.
ISFJs are not exactly known for their nerve, but I’ve noticed that they have this daredevil living inside them that occasionally likes to break out and play every once in a while. John Watson’s inner daredevil is just a little more irrepressible than others. His military experiences leave him craving more adventure and excitement, so naturally, he’s thrilled when Sherlock comes along and offers that to him. Like most ISFJs, John is forbearing and doesn’t mind playing second fiddle to Sherlock, but unlike Molly, he won’t let Sherlock walk all over him.
3. Joan Watson, Elementary
[Emily gives Joan a subscription to an online dating site.]
Joan: I meet people, you know. My life is not that weird.
[Sherlock texts her a crime scene picture]
Joan: Ha! Staged suicide, obviously. Nobody sticks their head in the oven anymore.
Joan: Shut up, please.
ISFJs are not known for their intellect, but many of them are incredibly bright, as evidenced by the first three ISFJs on this list. In Sherlock, Watson, however smart he may be, struggles to keep up with the brilliant younger Holmes brother. In Elementary, Joan is every bit Sherlock’s equal in deduction. Joan also displays very healthy personal boundaries, which is something ISFJs typically struggle with. She’s the perfect partner in crime.
4. Burton Guster, Psych
People will say our intense love of bunnies is creepy at our age, but history will prove them to be heartless bastards.
Gus is the comforting peanut butter to Shawn’s whacked-out, sugar-high jelly (which here means ENTP). Shawn forces Gus out of his comfort zone on a regular basis and Gus provides Shawn with a sense of stability. He’s the one who holds down a reliable job, tries to keep the pair out of trouble, and tries to maintain some sense of normalcy in their crazy life together. I love this dynamic duo, but Gus will always be my favorite of the two.
5. Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings
I made a promise, Mr. Frodo, a promise. Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee. And I don’t mean to. I don’t mean to!
As you’re probably starting to figure out, ISFJs are usually cast as the sidekick in most movies and television shows, but on the bright side, they are often more beloved than the hero. Such is the case with Samwise, who is the epitome of selflessness, courage, and steadfast friendship. Frodo may be the ring bearer, but without Sam, the entire mission would have failed spectacularly and Middle-earth would have been lost to the forces of Sauron.
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6. Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter
It doesn’t matter that Harry’s gone. People die every day! Friends, family. Yeah, we lost Harry tonight, but he’s still with us, in here. So’s Fred, Remus, Tonks, all of them. They didn’t die in vain. But you will! Because you’re wrong! Harry’s heart did beat for us, for all of us! It’s not over!
In many ways, Neville is Sam’s counterpart in Harry Potter. Neville is a kind and loyal friend, overlooked and undervalued. In the seventh book, he comes into his own and kills Nagini, playing a critical role in ending Lord Voldemort’s reign. I also think it’s interesting that Neville ends up with Luna Lovegood (INTP). ISFJs seem to be paired, romantically or in friendship, with NT types a lot.
7. Dobby, Harry Potter
Dobby is a free elf and Dobby has come to save Harry Potter and his friends!
Another great ISFJ in the Harry Potter world is Dobby, the self-harming house elf who finds his sense of worth and purpose. Dobby is incredibly loyal to Harry and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save Harry and his friends from the Malfoy mansion in The Deathly Hallows. He grows so much between the second and final books, from a self-recriminating servant to a memorable hero. Worth noting is the fact that this personal journey is not something that happens to him, but something he seeks out himself. When we first meet him he is doing the unthinkable–disobeying his master to do the right thing. Breaking the rules isn’t something that comes naturally to ISFJs, and Dobby should be doubly commended for it.
8. Matthew Cuthbert, Anne of Green Gables
Anne: Please, Matthew. You need help. We’ve got to get a doctor.
Matthew: I’ve worked hard all my life. I’d rather just drop in the harness. I got old; I never noticed.
Anne: If I’d been the boy you sent for, I could have spared you in so many ways.
Matthew: I never wanted a boy. I only wanted you from the first day. Don’t ever change. I love my little girl. I’m so proud of my little girl.
Matthew is the kinder, gentler Cuthbert sibling–the one who makes INFP Anne feel instantly at home at Green Gables. Matthew is quiet and gentle and provides a sense of warmth and stability to orphan Anne. We never learn much about Matthew’s backstory in the 1985 miniseries, but it’s clear that he is a simple soul with a good heart.
9. Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Green Gables
I’ve love you ever since that day you broke your slate over my head in school.
And finally, we come to the two ISFJs on this list who are not sidekicks! Gilbert is the string that keeps Anne from floating away in the wild skies of her overactive imagination. Though their relationship gets off to a bumpy start, as they mature, Anne and Gilbert find that they’re quite simpatico. Gilbert is kind and very supportive of Anne’s dreams and aspirations, but he’s not afraid to tell her when he thinks she’s being unrealistic. At one point, he gives up his teaching position at Avonlea school so that Anne can be close to Marilla. Gilbert is nothing if not a gentleman.
10. Steve Rogers, Captain America
Tony: Is no one going to comment that the Cap just said, “language”?
Steve: I know! It just slipped out.
Steve Rogers is a man out of his time. He has a very strong sense of duty, loyalty, and commitment to justice, so much so that he’s volunteers to fight in World War II even though he’s small and weak and would probably be the first one killed on the battlefield. His old school patriotism eventually lands him in the twenty-first century, waking up in a world he doesn’t recognize. Still, he fights for what he believes is right, never afraid to sacrifice his own comfort and safety for the greater good.
See my favorite characters of other types: