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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 Block'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. (Trust Me)

Season 2

Season 3


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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