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What are you waiting for? GO!
I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.
~ Ponyboy Curtis
Can you see the sunset real good on the West side? You can see it on the East side too.
~ Ponyboy Curtis

Ponyboy Curtis is the main protagonist in the book The Outsiders. He is played by C. Thomas Howell in the 1983 film.


Ponyboy is a fourteen-year old greaser who lives with his two older brothers, Sodapop and Darry on the lower-class east side of Tulsa, Oklahoma. His parents were killed in an automobile accident just eight months before The Outsiders story takes place. Ponyboy, like Sodapop, is under Darry's legal custody and must stay out of trouble in order to remain with him.


Ponyboy is the youngest of the greaser gang. In the novel, Ponyboy has light-brown hair and greenish-gray eyes. He has a good build for his size and is a fast runner. At the beginning of the novel, Ponyboy's hair is long and squared in the back, but after his haircut in Windrixville, his hair is short and bleached blond. He is described as good-looking and resemblant of Sodapop by several characters, though he disagrees. In the film, Ponyboy's appearance is fairly similar to his novel appearance, with the exception of his hair, which is much darker than in the book.


Darry characterizes Ponyboy as lacking common sense, which Ponyboy agrees with. He is smart at school, but sometimes he just doesn't think properly. These occasions get Ponyboy into trouble that he could avoid. This aspect of his character evolves throughout the story into maturity.

He is fairly quiet, and only opens up to a few people. He spends a lot of time alone. Cherry Valance describes Ponyboy as sweet and dreamy. He often lives in his own world of books, movies, and sunsets. He is more compassionate than some of the other greasers, pitting the socs several times in the novel and questioning the purpose of fighting between the two social classes. He is also willing to help others, as shown when he runs into the burning church to save the schoolchildren, or when he picks up broken glass bottle pieces off the ground so that a car doesn't get a flat tire.