The Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(20th Century Studios)

All ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Characters, Ranked

It’s easy to understand why The Rocky Horror Picture Show has become a classic among fans of offbeat cinema. What begins as a straightforward tale of a stranded couple, the innocent Brad and Janet, swiftly evolves (or perhaps, devolves) into a bizarre waltz of desires at the hands of the devilishly captivating Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania. Now, Dr. Frank isn’t just about the fishnet stockings and the killer heels; he’s a scientist, and dare I say, a rather mad one. His crowning achievement? A muscle-bound Adonis named Rocky. 

Recommended Videos

In the throes of it all, we meet Riff Raff and Magenta and Columbia, a tap-dancing groupie with a heart and an unfortunate taste in men. As the clock chimes and time warps, our cast flits between love, lust, ambition, and the odd murder, always with a song in their hearts and a step in their sequined heels. The beauty of Rocky Horror isn’t just its unapologetic embrace of the unconventional but also its audacious characters. So, without further ado, here is a ranking of all the characters in all their crazy glory. 

8. The Criminologist 

The Criminologist - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(20th Century Studios)

The Criminologist is less a participant in the passionate endeavors of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and more a sardonic observer, a cultured bystander, with his ever-handy scrapbook of the evening’s “events.” He’s our anchor in the stormy sea of fishnets and platform heels. 

Without the hustle and bustle of Transylvanian exploits, he narrates with the calm poise of someone who’s seen it all but still raises an eyebrow at the spectacle. Neither entirely above it all nor immersed in it, he’s our bridge between the outrageous and the mundane. And let’s face it, anyone who can discuss the Time Warp with the gravity of discussing Shakespeare deserves a toast. 

7. Rocky Horror

Rocky Horror
(20th Century Studios)

The titular Rocky Horror may be more muscle than brain, but that muscle is magnificent. Rocky, sculpted by the whimsical, if not slightly unhinged, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, is the epitome of physical perfection, the Adonis in gold lamé shorts. While his vocabulary may be, shall we say, ‘limited,’ his expressions speak volumes—mostly of confusion but occasionally veering into the realms of terror and joy. 

In a mansion where every character seems to know more than a thing or two about love and lust, Rocky is the newborn, both literally and figuratively. He’s experiencing all the complexities of life and emotion at warp speed. And though Rocky might spend much of his existence running (sometimes from murderous pursuits), he still has those few golden moments to bask in the limelight of his creator’s affection. 

6. Columbia 

Columbia The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(20th Century Studios)

With her fiery red hair and penchant for tap-dancing at the most inopportune moments, Columbia embodies the chaotic hilarity that makes this cult classic a visual feast. Fiercely loyal to Dr. Frank-N-Furter until, of course, she isn’t, Columbia navigates the twisted mansion with an energy that’s part enamored groupie and part disillusioned lover. 

And then there’s her tragic love story with Eddie, the rock-n-roll delivery boy with a sideburns situation. Their love might have burned bright, but it was ephemeral. Like a sequin lost in the frenzy of the Time Warp, Columbia’s presence is brief but unforgettable. To be fair, in a world of muscled men and mad scientists, what’s a girl to do but put on her best-sequined hat, tap dance, and hope for the best? 

5. Magenta

Magenta - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(20th Century Studios)

Magenta is the bewitching domestic of the mad mansion, with a mane more rebellious than most teenagers and an accent as thick as the plot twists in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hovering in the backgrounds and corners with her devious brother, Riff Raff, she is as much a part of the castle’s tapestry as the elaborate drapes. Her servant’s uniform may suggest subservience, but her demeanor screams mischief. 

Those eyes, heavily shadowed in a color that might match her namesake, have seen it all—and probably instigated a fair bit of it, too. Her relationship with her brother teeters precariously between familial duty and a touch more sinister. Yet, during all the chaos, Magenta stands out not just for her loyalty to Transylvania or her ability to rock a maidservant outfit but for her playful malice in every scene. 

4. Brad Majors

Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon portray a married copy seeking help at the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the movie, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"
(20th Century Studios)

Brad Majors, or as our beloved Transylvanians call him, “a hero,” begins as the embodiment of 1950s All-American propriety. Yet, beneath that crisp white shirt and textbook bravado lies a man on the cusp of a revelation—or perhaps, a revolution. The shadowy corridors of Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion are more than a mere shelter from the rain for Brad; they’re a compelling maze of self-discovery. 

As the story unwinds, or perhaps unravels, our dear Brad is treated to an education of the most unconventional kind. From an innocent bystander to a reluctant participant in the castle’s hedonistic happenings, he metamorphoses before our very eyes. And while his exclamations of “Janet!” will forever echo in our ears, by the end, it’s clear that Brad Majors has become far more than just half of the ‘Brad and Janet’ duo. 

3. Janet Weiss 

Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(20th Century Studios)

Janet Weiss is the sweet, seemingly demure counterpart to Brad’s all-American bravado. Starting as the poster girl for 1950s modesty, she is the picture of purity with her neatly coiffed hair and modest dresses. Yet with time, it’s deliciously clear that the castle’s misadventures awaken something in Janet—an audacity that one might argue was simmering beneath the surface all along. 

From trembling damsel to embracing, with enthusiasm, the sensual freedoms of Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s domain, Janet Weiss is the unsuspecting butterfly emerging from her suburban cocoon. The true genius of Janet is that while she may sing about being a “creature of the night,” one gets the sense that by morning, she’d be just as content sipping tea in the sun. 

2. Riff Raff 

Riff Raff from Rocky Horror Picture Show
(20th Century Studios)

With hair more untamed than the wild intentions hidden beneath his stoic facade, Riff Raff offers a masterclass in the art of lurking. Serving Dr. Frank-N-Furter with a mix of subservience and barely concealed disdain, he’s always a hair’s breadth away from rebellion. It’s as if behind those deep-set eyes, Riff Raff’s constantly pondering whether to sweep the floor or orchestrate a coup. 

His relationship with sister Magenta is complicated in how only Transylvanian familial ties can be. Armed with a laser and a desire to return to the galaxy far, far away, Riff Raff emerges as more than just a mere servant—he’s a dark horse, quite literally pulling the strings. In a house teeming with larger-than-life personalities and abs to rival Greek gods, Riff Raff’s subtle machinations remind us that the quiet ones are sometimes the most formidable. 

1. Dr. Frank N. Furter 

Dr. Frank N Furter serves face and body onstage in "Rocky Horror Picture Show"
(20th Century Fox)

And, of course, there’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter—the mad scientist with a flair for drama, a penchant for corsets, and an enviable ability to rock stiletto heels. With his cascading locks and a voice that can oscillate between sultry whispers and flamboyant proclamations, he is the beating, glittering heart of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Proclaiming himself a “Sweet Transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania,” Frank is the maestro of mayhem, orchestrating an evening that’s part hedonistic romp, part science experiment. 

His ambition is to create the perfect man—and, well, can we blame him? Yet, beneath the mascara and fishnets, there’s a vulnerability to Frank. He yearns for love, admiration, and perhaps even validation. He’s the epitome of excess, living life with the volume turned up to eleven. In a world that often begs for conformity, Frank dances (and occasionally time warps) to his own beat. 

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article You Cannot Escape the 10 Best Movies Like ‘Final Destination’
Miles Fisher, Emma Bell, and Nick D'Agosto look horrified in 'Final Destination 5'.
Read Article 10 Movies Guaranteed To Define Any Childhood
Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) in 'The Princess and the Frog'
Read Article Awaken Your Inner Child With These Disney+ G-Rated Movies
Buzz Lightyear, Mary Poppins, and Gonzo.
Read Article Who Is Rictus Erectus in ‘Furiosa’?
The giant Rictus Erectus wields a minigun in "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Read Article We Have Bad News About Everyone’s Crush in ‘Furiosa’
Praetorian Jack and Furiosa sit in the cab of the war rig.
Related Content
Read Article You Cannot Escape the 10 Best Movies Like ‘Final Destination’
Miles Fisher, Emma Bell, and Nick D'Agosto look horrified in 'Final Destination 5'.
Read Article 10 Movies Guaranteed To Define Any Childhood
Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) in 'The Princess and the Frog'
Read Article Awaken Your Inner Child With These Disney+ G-Rated Movies
Buzz Lightyear, Mary Poppins, and Gonzo.
Read Article Who Is Rictus Erectus in ‘Furiosa’?
The giant Rictus Erectus wields a minigun in "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Read Article We Have Bad News About Everyone’s Crush in ‘Furiosa’
Praetorian Jack and Furiosa sit in the cab of the war rig.
Author
Faith Katunga
Faith is a freelance journalist with an insatiable curiosity for all aspects of current events, from the global economy and fashion to pop culture and travel. She watches an absurd number of cat videos on Instagram when not reading or writing about what is going on in the world. Faith has written for several publications, including We Got This Covered, Italy Magazine, TheTravel, etc., and holds a master's degree in Fashion Culture and Management.