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Norman Bates

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Norman Bates
Norman s3 pic
Portrayed by: Freddie Highmore
First appearance: First You Dream, Then You Die
Born: 1996
Age: 18
Status: Alive
Home: Bates family house, White Pine Bay
Arizona (former)
Occupation: Student
(former, White Pine Bay High School)
Motel Manager of Bates Motel
Relatives: Norma Bates (mother)
Sam Bates (father, deceased)
Dylan Massett (half-brother/cousin)
Caleb Calhoun (uncle)
Francine Calhoun (grandmother, deceased)
Significant Other/s: Bradley Martin (hook-up)
Emma Decody (girlfriend)
Cody Brennan (friend, love interest)
Blaire Watson (slept with, deceased)
"Who am I, mother? Who am I and what do I do?"

–Norman to Norma, Presumed Innocent

Norman Bates is a smart, quietly funny, handsome and sometimes shy eighteen-year-old boy with an intensely close bond with his mother, Norma Bates. Norman is resistant to starting over in a new town, but changes his mind as he begins to spread his wings. Norman slowly transforms into the iconic character depicted in Robert Bloch's popular novel and Alfred Hitchcock's film adaption of that novel, Psycho.



Norman lived in Arizona with his parents, Norma and Sam Bates. Norman killed Sam after Sam beat Norma, but didn't remember the event after, and Norma made it look like a freak accident where a shelf fell on Sam.

Season 1

After Norman found his father's body crushed under a shelf in their garage, the two remaining Bates moved to White Pine Bay. There, they planned to start a new life and run an old motel together. Soon after their move, Norman was befriended by Bradley Martin and Emma Decody.

The former owner of the motel, Keith Summers, believed that the property was rightfully his, so he raped Norma in her house one night. Norman saved her, but she still killed Summers out of rage. Norman and Norma covered up Summers' death the best they could, but were still suspected by the town's sheriff, Alex Romero. (First You Dream, Then You Die)


One day, Dylan Massett showed up at Norma's doorstep, saying that he has no other place to stay. That night, Dylan got a call from Norma, who was programmed in his phone as "The Whore". Norman saw this, and a fight ensued between the two. Norman was easily overpowered by his older brother, who threatened to hurt him "bad" if he ever struck again. Nevertheless, Norman grabbed a meat tenderizer and swung it at Dylan, who evaded it and gave Norman a black eye.

Norman kept two items from the cover-up of Summer's death: Summers' belt (as a "momento") and Jiao's diary (found under the carpet of room 4). While Norman and Emma worked on a school project together, she found the diary in his room. She later did some research and found one of the locations depicted in the diary, and as they agreed to investigate, Emma kissed Norman. They eventually discovered a large marijuana field (the one where Dylan later works at), and they were chased away by two armed guards. (Nice Town You Picked, Norma...)

Sleep-deprived, Norman hallucinated images of his teacher, Miss Watson, tied up, and then passed out in the classroom. Norma visited him at the hospital and then took him home early. At home, Norman looked under his bed and realized that Keith's belt, his "memento" from the attack, was missing. He admitted to Norma that he had kept it, worrying her. She later told him that Deputy Zack Shelby secretly took the belt in order to protect Norma and her family. Norman warned her that Shelby is shady, but she ignored his warnings. Norman and Emma decided to continue looking into the mystery of the sketchbook. That night, Norman saw Norma in his room, telling him that he had to retrieve the belt from Shelby. He broke into Shelby's house and accidentally stumbled upon Jiao, the girl who drew the sketchbook. (What's Wrong With Norman)

Norman heard Shelby entering the house, and tried to escape in a panic. Dylan distracted Shelby, buying Norman time to escape. Norman later denied breaking into the house when Dylan asked him about it. Norman told Norma about Jiao and the belt, to which Norma replied that Norman "sometimes sees and hears things that aren't there". Norman then went fishing with Shelby (despite not wanting to go) but the trip was cut short when Shelby left to investigate the discovery of Keith's severed hand in the lake. Norman told Dylan about Keith and Jiao; Dylan promised to help him, and they bonded. Bradley sent Norman a text, and Dylan advised Norman to go visit Bradley at her house. They ended up sleeping together. (Trust Me)

After Norma was arrested for the murder of Keith Summers, Norman bailed her out. Dylan proposed that Norman should live with him. Emma and Norman found the girl from Shelby's basement in Keith Summer's boat and took her back to the motel. Norma didn't believe Shelby was guilty until Jiao identified him as the man who was assaulting her. (Ocean View)

Dylan and Norman found Summers' belt and disposed of it in the harbor. After Shelby found Jiao at the motel, he held the Bates family at gunpoint and assaulted Norma, which caused Norman to angrily attack him. Dylan killed Shelby to save the family and Norma revealed the truth about Norman's father's death to Dylan: Norman killed him in a fit of rage by hitting him over the head with a blender after seeing his father beating Norma and had absolutely no recollection of it. She told Dylan that Norman needed to be protected. (The Truth)

Norman grew close to a stray dog, whom he named Juno. He headed to Bradley's house to declare his love for her, only for Bradley to tell him they are not meant for each other. Enraged, he headed home and witnessed Juno being hit and killed by a car, leaving him devastated. (The Man in Number 9)

Emma's father, Will, taught Norman taxidermy after Norman took his dead dog to him. Upon the school principal's request, Norma had Norman meet with a psychologist, who suggested Norma may have control issues over her son. (A Boy and His Dog)

Norman and Emma decided to go to the winter dance as friends. At the dance, Norman repeatedly eyed Bradley, which caused a heartbroken Emma to leave and Bradley's boyfriend to punch him. Finding Norman walking in the rain, Blaire Watson offered him a ride in her car and brought him to her house, where she cleaned his face. She then went to her room to change leaving her door open. A hallucination of Norma convinced Norman that Blaire Watson was seducing him and told him what he must do. He soon rushed home and he told Norma that Blaire Watson was going to drive him, but the next thing he remembered was running home. In her room, Blaire Watson's corpse is shown on the floor with her throat slashed and in a pool of blood. (Midnight)

Season 2

Four months passed since Blaire Watson's death. Norma started to worry about Norman, who was spending his time practicing taxidermy and obsessing over Blaire Watson and her unsolved murder, including frequent visits to her grave. During one visit to the graveyard Norman saw an older man at Blaire Watson's grave and took a photo of him assuming he could be her killer. He showed the photo to Sheriff Romero, who took the opportunity to ask Norman about his whereabouts on the night of her killing. After Bradley murdered Gil she snuck over to Norman's house to ask him for help. (Gone But Not Forgotten)

Norman hid Bradley in the motel's basement where she confessed to Gil's killing. When a stoner named Kyle was arrested after his semen was found in Blaire Watson, another unidentified semen sample was also found. To bond with Norman, Norma signed them up for the community musical. A problem arose as, at the same time Norman was supposed to be driving Bradley to a bus stop to flee town, he had a rehearsal. Norman therefore had Dylan take her instead. (Shadow of a Doubt)

While helping out with the community musical, Norman made a new friend, Cody Brennan. When Dylan defended Caleb to Norma, she claimed that he repeatedly raped her during their childhood. Norman tackled Dylan to the ground until Norma intervened by ultimately revealing that Caleb was Dylan's father. (Caleb)

In the aftermath of Norma's revelation, Norman's imagining of her rape by Caleb put him in a blank trance and led him to Caleb's motel room. His fractured psyche caused him to lash out at Caleb in Norma's persona. Caleb hit him and left the motel room. Cody picked up Norman, who initilly came out of his trance, but didn't remember anything. (Check-Out)

Norman admitted to Cody about having had similar blackouts in the past. She took Norman to her secret tree house, where they had sex. (The Escape Artist)

Norman and Cody encountered Gunner and Emma on a day out at the lake. The four of them went swimming, and Cody, Gunner, and Norman decided to swing into the water on a rope. After Emma nearly drowned while attempting this, the swim ended as Norman berated Gunner. Norman had another blackout while with Cody. A worried Cody told Emma, who informed Norma when Norman was about to get his driver's license. Worried, Norma prevented him from getting his license by revealing this fact (as it would be unsafe for him to black out while driving). Norma drove Norman home, and he made her pull over to let him out. He angrily told her that he was walking home, and she accepted this. He went to Cody's house and their heated discussion woke her father, who became abusive with her. Norman accidently pushed him down the stairs to their basement, breaking his neck and killing him. (Plunge)

Norman was questioned about Mr. Brennan's death and his DNA was taken for processing. Before she left to go live with her aunt in Indiana, Cody told Norman that Norma was hiding something from him and he must get answers from her. Norman was released as the death was ruled an accident, but Romero later learns that Norman's DNA matched the semen found earlier from Blaire Watson's body. (Presumed Innocent)

Norman became distant with Norma. He yelled that their relationship had changed and would never be the same. While Norma was with George, Norman was abducted by an intruder. (Meltdown)

Nick Ford's henchmen kept Norman in a hot box in a field. While trapped, Norman's sanity slipped, causing him to envision his mother promising to protect him, and he recalled the blackout he had at Blaire Watson's house: he sliced her throat while they engaged in sex. Romero informed Norma that Norman had sex with Blaire Watson, and Norma told him that Nick Ford kidnapped him. (The Box)

Dylan and Romero went looking for Norman and were alerted to his shouting from the hot box. He was transported to hospital where he told his mother about his "dream" of killing Blaire Watson. She told him to rest and not think about it. Romero insisted on giving Norman a polygraph test. At home, Norman prepared a list of things he checked off after completing – packing up his taxidermy hobby, telling Emma about Norma's rape and Dylan's paternity, and dancing with his mother. Meanwhile, he took a gun and bullets from his mother's drawer. Norma found him wandering in the woods with the gun and she was able to talk him out of killing himself. Wanting to flee the country with her sons, she ultimately allowed the polygraph, wherein Norman was asked if he killed Blaire Watson. His mother's persona re-emerged and he answered "no". He passed the polygraph with a knowing smile to himself. (The Immutable Truth)

Season 3

After spending the summer with his mother at the motel, Norman returned to school as a senior, but ran home after hallucinating Blaire Watson. Because of this, Norma decided to homeschool him. Dylan confronted her about letting Norman sleep in her bed, and, as a result, she set some boundaries which displeased him. She also decided to make him motel manager. Although Norman took an immediate interest in the motel's new guest, Annika, he decided to finally ask Emma out. That evening, Norma caught him spying on Annika showering through an open bathroom window. She berated him and he promised not to do it again. When Annika asked for directions into town, Norman offered to show her the way and while driving she told him about her work. He told her where to take a turn. Later, as Emma left the motel to return home, Norma arrived back with Annika's car but she was nowhere to be found. (A Death in the Family)

Norma became curious when Annika failed to return home, especially after Norman had lied about not being with her and Emma stating otherwise. Norman and Emma went on their date and discussed sex as an important step into adulthood. (The Arcanum Club)

Norman became increasingly frustrated that his mother didn't trust him and blacked out, submerging himself in a bathtub, hoping to recall the events before Annika's disappearance. Norma saved him, then locked up the motel as Annika arrived to die in her arms from a gunshot to the abdomen. She gave Norma a USB drive before dying, telling her to use it for her and Norman. (Persuasion)

Hearing the noise of the ambulance and police cars, Norman wandered down to the scene and believed he had something to do with it, but Norma reassured him he didn't cause it. Norman grew more suspicious over Annika's death and the secrecy between his mother and brother and Emma attempted to calm him by inviting him on a picnic, which she cut short when he mentioned Norma's suggestion that they shouldn't have sex. Norman later arrived at Dylan's cabin and finding Caleb with him threatened to tell his mother. (Unbreak-Able)

Norman awoke in his bed the following morning to find Emma in his room. She told him he blacked out and Norma asked her to stay with him while she went out. When Dylan returned Norman told him that he had to tell Norma about Caleb. Later, Norman approached Norma as she was about to prepare dinner and asked her if she was wearing the same dress when he last saw her and said her blue and white dress was his favorite. He went up to her room and rummaged through her closet until he found the dress and caressed it. Norma called him for dinner and he hid it between the mattress of his bed. When Dylan realized Norman didn't tell Norma about Caleb, he talked to Norman who told him he's sorry. He also urged Dylan to come clean to Norma and this caused Norma to storm out of the house. As she got into the car, he screamed to her. (The Deal)

In a fury, Norman started thrashing the kitchen, throwing various items at Dylan and screaming that Norma wasn't coming back. Dylan tried to calm him down and ended up punching him. Norman was put to bed and Dylan reassured him that Norma would come back. Later, Norman called out for Norma, got out of bed and went towards his mother's room. Upon entering, he saw butterflies fluttering in the window and the wall began to crack. Suddenly, he awoke in bed. As he worked on a dead bird down in the basement and admonished Juno, the bird suddenly started flapping its wings and he crushed it, before putting his head down beside it. Dylan and Emma found him in a trance-like state and were really worried. As they brought him back upstairs and he said that he wanted his mother, they decided to put him to bed in Norma's room. Dylan later awoke to hear rattling coming from the kitchen. Going to investigate he found Norman dressed in Norma's nightgown preparing food. 'Norma' told Dylan that Norman was sleeping and to go wake him up so that he could eat, which caused Dylan to be concerned. Norman was put back in bed and when Emma left, Dylan lay down beside him and fell asleep. When Norma returned, she told them that they were going to see Caleb. Upon their arrival, Caleb emerged from his van and broke down in front of his sister and started hugging her, as Norman stared with anger on his face. (Norma Louise)

Norman accompanied Norma when she went to get her phone repaired. When she received a call from James Finnigan, Norman answered the phone. James later called to the house to see Norman and to find out more about him. Norman asked him what it was like to sleep with Norma and this made James believe that Norman's feelings for his mother were much deeper. Norman suddenly snapped and attempted to choke James for saying "such an ugly thing" but James managed to escape and ran out of the house. Norma found Norman in the basement and comforted him. Later that evening, Norman emerged from the basement to find Caleb there and prevented his uncle from sitting next to Norma at the dinner table by sitting next to her himself. That night, as Norma slept Norman entered her room and rubbed his hand over her thigh. (The Last Supper)


Norman is a bright young man and appears polite around others. He is also protective of his mother and feels guilty about dissapointing her. He has lots of anger and occasionly lashes out at Norma or Dylan, but always comes to regret it due to his close and emotional bond with his mother.

Psychological Issues

Honey, sometimes you hear and see things that aren't there.

Norma Bates to Norman Bates, Trust Me

Norman occasionly goes into a fugue state, during which time he attacks those who threaten Norma. He will then black out and not remember the event. For example, when Sam Bates beat Norma, Norman struck Sam in the head with a blender, but doesn't recall the ordeal. Norma made it look like a freak accident where a shelf fell on Sam. Another example is when Dylan Massett disrespected Norma. Norman tried to bludgeon him, but Dylan punched him. He didn't remember it and Dylan ended up telling him what happened. In the episode What's Wrong With Norman, while Norman is in bed, he sees a visual and auditory hallucination of Norma advising him to go search for Summers' belt at Deputy Shelby's house. While Norman really believes Norma told him to do so, Norma tells Norman in Trust Me that sometimes he imagines stuff that doesn't actually happen. In the episode The Man in Number 9, Norman is seen talking to himself as if in a dialogue after an argument with Bradley which is a sign of a psychotic episode. In the episode Midnight, Norman experienced a blackout between the time Miss Watson drove him to her home and he sees her undress herself inside her room and before the time he is running home from the rain. In addition, Norman had possession of Miss Watson's pearls but he doesn't remember acquiring it. All these evidence suggests that Norman is psychotic as he experiences many auditory and visual hallucinations and is unable to recall specific events beyond what is normal forgetfulness. In Norman's case, he does not remember his violent encounters almost immediately after they occur.

In the episode Check-Out, Cody drives Norman to Caleb's motel so they can beat him up. Norman recalls in his mind the time Norma confessed her brother used to force her into sex as a child. Norman then has a visual hallucination of Norma getting raped by Caleb. At the end of the episode, Norman heads to Caleb's place and takes full possession of Norma's character. In his Norma-mode, Norman accuses Caleb of raping him and says, “I was your little sister you should have protected me.” Norman's embodiment of his mother indicates that Norman possibly has Dissociative Identity Disorder as well.



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