Gordie Lachance, played by Wil Wheaton is the sensitive one in the group, who as an adult narrates the story. But he also is the one who shows the most promising future due to his story-telling talent. His older brother Dennis (who was the favorite child) died in a car accident and his parents neglect him; which is probably more damaging mentally than being beaten. His brother was the median between him and his parents. He and Chris Chambers are best friends, and are more mature than Vern or Teddy. Throughout the movie and book, there are small premontions that single Gordie out.
Chris Chambers, played by River Phoenix is the leader of the gang. He is a tough guy who comes from a bad family, and wants nothing more than to break the cycle of his family turning into criminals. Gordie knows he can break this chain, because Chris is a great leader and peace maker. He feels let down by adults because they write him off as 'another Chambers kid'. He is brother to Eyeball Chambers, a member of the town gang, and his dad is a drunk who regularly beats him.
Vern Tessio, played by Jerry O'connell is the boy that everyone teases and pokes fun at. Vern is considered a "feeb" because he is both pudgy and slow. He is also the youngest kid in the group who takes all the teasing in stride. His brother is Billy Tessio, also a member of the local gang.
Teddy DuChamp played by Corey Feldman was the craziest one in the group who enjoys thrills such as dodging trains. He was abused by his father, who is now in a mental institution, all caused by shell-shock from storming Normandy in WW2. For some reason though he still idolizes his father. He is deaf in one ear, and can barely see -(all thanks to his old man).
The adult Gordie, played by Richard Dreyfuss.
Ace Merrill played by Keifer Sutherland is the leader of the local gang. From his first appearance in the movie, the audience hates him.
The Cobras, who terrorize the boys and in the book beat the living crap out of them. Some are more timid than others though, for example the two who found the body were unsure of whether or not to tell the others. But then some like Eyeball Chambers don't seem to have a conscience.
Although not often seen, Denny (played by John Cussack) is central to why Gordie feels unsure of himself. His dad thought Gordie should have died, not Denny.
Gordie's dad, played by Marshall Bell, the source of his uncertainty.
Gordie's mom, played by Frances Lee McCain, not as verbal as the father but she still ignores him.
Milo Pressman, played by William Bronder, shows how cruel life can be.
Mr. Quidacioluo, played by Bruce Kirby, brings back the thought of how people only cared about Gordie's brother.
David "Lard Ass" Hogan, played by Andy Lindberg, shows how inticately Gordie can concoct a story.
Ray Brower, played by Kent Lutrell, was the reason for the boys taking the hike.