Jessica Christopher Day or more commonly known as Jess, is the main character of New Girl. She is a bubbly young woman who just turned 31, trying to find herself after a shocking breakup with her boyfriend, whom she caught cheating. She has been a teacher since 2006 and she loves to play the handbells. Jess enjoys crafting, but doesn't have much time for it anymore. She also writes Nancy Drew fan-fiction. She needed a new place to live due to breaking up with her boyfriend, so she moved in with three men named Nick, Schmidt and Coach. Her best friend is a model named Cece. Following Coach's departure, she now lives with Winston instead.
Nick Miller is an socially inept, extremely wanna be sarcastic , and hilarious bartender from Chicago who is extremely good at fixing things . He lives with Jessica Day, Schmidt and Winston. Cece implies that he has a huge crush on Jess. He was dumped by his long time girlfriend Caroline and made her jealous after pretending that Jess was his girlfriend. Nick also tends to moonwalk out of awkward or unusual situations.
Winston is a competitive and tenacious former basketball player from Chicago and Nick's childhood friend. Losing his post as point guard for a team in the Latvian Basketball League, he returns to America and moves back into the guys' apartment in the second episode. Terrible at many things, he often acts as the group's scapegoat. Winston recently joined the police services, and likes to spend his spare time with his cat, Ferguson.
Schmidt considers himself 'top dog' and runs the loft. He has OCD, therefore prefers to do all of the decorating, cooking, and cleaning to his standards. He is also very narcissistic about his appearance; he keeps a binder of photos modeling his own suits and owns a vast collection of hair product. Throughout the show he makes references to his Jewish heritage. He is a Sagittarius, a fact he brings up every so often when describing certain parts of his personality. He is also known to make rude and arrogant comments which motivated the group to keep a special dollar jar dedicated to him.
Cece is a model, and also the best friend of Jessica Day. She has also become the on-off love interest of Schmidt. She is loving and protective of Jess, but blunt, and gives good dating advice. Her father died when she was twelve, and her relationship with her mother was strained in her teens as both were headstrong. Her parents are of Indian descent, but Cece was born in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys going to clubs and dancing, but she eats healthy and exercises to maintain her appearance, as she enjoys her career as a model and takes her job seriously.
Coach (real name Ernie) is a roomate who returned to the loft after leaving 2 years prior. He lived with Nick, Schmidt and Jess until deciding to move out when he got a serious girlfriend, after which he was replaced by Winston, who had just returned from playing basketball abroad. However, now that he has broken up with his ex-girlfriend, and Schmidt has decided to rent the apartment across the hall on his own, Coach has moved back in with the gang. Coach is a former athlete who now works as a personal trainer, and he doesn't know how to talk to women. He is also known to have anger management issues.