MBTI: Dexter- ISTJ


So wrong it’s right. Or should it be the other way around? Surely, a character that’s as well prepared, cunning and devious to match has to be a type more complex, right?


Dexter is all Si and I would say it’s just good writing that it seems he would be anything else. At least in the earlier seasons.

Dexter is the guy that has a contingency plan for his contingency plans. He’s cold and emotionless, with a thin veneer of a personal life to cover up his real personal life.

He has a hard time interacting with others and he tries his hardest to stay under the radar so that he can continue his night time activities by murdering criminals that evade conviction by the legal system.

All in all, he was hard to type.


...But not catch, because he stands next to the bodies with the murder weapon.

…But not catch, because he stands next to the bodies with the murder weapon.

Everybody feels like they can relate to Dexter to a point. “I don’t know what to say and don’t want to talk to Bob. I just want to come in and do my job but all these people here want to pretend we like each other. Nobody here really knows me.”

Things like this run through everybody’s mind from time to time and while most of us aren’t serial killers (It’s about 1%), we can all relate to the fact that nobody knows what’s really going on in your head and if they did know, they probably wouldn’t like you as much if they like you in the first place. “Just gotta keep smiling until I clock out. Then it’s time to do what I really wanna do…”

For this, look no further than the everyman, the ISTJ.

"Just a normal guy, doing normal things, nyuck nycuk nyuck!"

Art by Patrick Brown

While so much of the population is ISTJ, it seems like Dexter should be a more rare type, doesn’t he? The description after the jump all sound like INTJ to me.

Yet look a bit closer and Dexter is really just doing what he was raised to do by Harry, his surrogate father. He took Dexter in, realized “what he was,” and decided to direct his psychopathic urges in a way that would satisfy Dexter’s needs while simultaneously getting rid of criminals that had gotten away. “Harry’s Code” as Dexter calls it, is really just another term for Si in a way.

Dexter’s Introverted Sensing is what guides him through his day-to-day routine to help him fit in, and keep his “dark passenger” at bay. And the above-mentioned about having a “contingency for his contingency?” That’s not really as true as I thought upon initially watching the show back in 2008 or so.

He really just has the Code and when Dexter doesn’t listen, he begins to fall apart. He has no real back-up plan, just a highly extensive routine to help him survive his world and pretend to be “normal.”


Men and their tools! Amirite? Amirite?

He’s also highly aware that he’s abnormal while rarer types in reality think they’re different (just like everybody else) yet don’t know they’re weird in other ways. Dexter on the other hand, lives his entire life in one giant lie. In his narration, he often speaks of having no feelings or even a soul.

Much of this is because his upbringing allowed him to acknowledge that what he does is not normal. He therefore sees himself separate from the majority of humanity, only relating to the few he considers to be like himself.


“Yep, just a normal guy doin’ normal things! Nyuck nyuck nyuck!”

Another type, say INTJ for example, the closest other type Dexter could be, would be much more prone to distancing themselves from something they found unsettling or uncomfortable for them, along with being much more introspective. But Dexter just does. In the beginning at least, Dexter doesn’t question anything, he has his ways, and his only problem is figuring out who the “rival” killer in town is and go along without giving himself away.

As long as he does that, he has no issue with his lifestyle and absolutely hates change; every kill (when worked in his favor) involves the “typical” pattern of a real life serial killer- the thinking/planning stage, the stalking phase, the act of killing, then the cooling phase.

Dexter exhibits all of this routinely as much as his schedule will allow and sets his kill room up with plastic and a various assortment of “tools,” dumping the bodies in the same spot.

"That chair is...out of place...and it's killing me..."

“That chair is…out of place…and it’s killing me…”

While it could be argued that this routine is necessary for him to avoid suspicion, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s happy with things the way they are. The only thing that threatens his happiness is the change of home, family, a different pattern. He’s broken down more and more throughout the seasons as he finds Harry to be less and less of a hero, and more and more of a human being with many flaws.

Another type may have questioned their mentor’s ways earlier in life or been more accepting to the idea that their deceased father was still capable of fault, but this crushes Dexter into thinking he has no idea who his father was at times.

For more MBTI and Dexter, check these articles out-


Dexter Cast


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