Two-Bit in The Outsiders

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  • 0:04 Entertaining Others
  • 0:28 Nickname & Description
  • 1:05 Brotherly
  • 1:35 Wild Streak
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Although Two-Bit Matthews from S.E. Hinton's 'The Outsiders' is not one of the characters primarily involved with the plot of the story, his comic relief and sense of camaraderie with the other Greasers adds to the dimension of the group.

Entertaining Others

In this lesson, we will explore the character Two-Bit Matthews from the S.E. Hinton novel, The Outsiders. Except for Darry, Two-Bit Matthews is the oldest of the Greasers, an 18-and-a-half-year-old junior in high school. Two-Bit really enjoys school, but not because he ever learned anything there. His classmates are his audience. Two-Bit keeps everyone laughing with his voice imitations and funny remarks. For Two-Bit, life is funny.

Nickname & Description

Where did he get his name? His real name is Keith, but no one ever remembers that. He got his name because he refuses to shut his mouth. Two-Bit 'always has to get his two-bits in,' recalls Ponyboy, the novel's narrator. The smart remarks to police or the Socs keep him in trouble. However, in rare moments when he is serious, Ponyboy admires Two-Bit's common sense and way with words.

Two-Bit is a stocky six feet tall, with gray eyes and long, reddish sideburns, of which he is most proud. His wide grin reminds Ponyboy of Will Rogers. He never had much discipline because his mom has to work as a barmaid to support him and his sister after his dad ran out on them.


Despite his wisecracking demeanor, Two-Bit has a big-brotherly sense of protection for his Greaser pals, especially Ponyboy and Johnny. When Johnny got hurt by the Socs 'his comical grin was gone and his dancing eyes were stormy,' narrates Ponyboy. After Ponyboy gets jumped by the Socs, Two-Bit offers to go to the movies with him so that he does not have to take the chance of being caught alone again. Throughout the story, Two-Bit sticks close by to watch out for his friends. He even takes it upon himself to give Ponyboy a lecture about the types of girls that could get him in trouble.

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