Tommy Jarvis is a fictional character in the Friday the 13th franchise, portrayed by Corey Feldman, John Shepherd and Thom Mathews. He appears in three of the twelve Friday the 13th films, making his first appearance in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Tommy is the most prominent of three Friday the 13th protagonists, the others being Alice Hardy and Ginny Field, to appear in more than one film. He is generally regarded as the archenemy of series antagonist Jason Voorhees. Originally, the ending for A New Beginning intended to have Tommy become the antagonist in subsequent sequels.
Outside of the films, Tommy is a main character in the comic book adaptations and novels. He is a playable character in the video game Friday the 13th: The Game with Mathews reprising his role.
Tommy Jarvis first appears in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter as a young boy (played by Corey Feldman), residing with his divorced mother and sister, with an affinity for making his own masks and make-up effects. When Jason Voorhees appears and begins killing the group of teenagers neighboring across from him, Tommy is forced to fight for his life along with his sister Trish. In an attempt to trick Jason, Tommy shaves his head to make himself appear as young Jason, which works for a time, confusing the killer. Ultimately, Tommy kills Jason by slamming a machete into the side of his head, in which splits his head upon falling down on the blade. When he and Trish embrace, he notices Jason's fingers slowly move and he begins to hack away at his body.
By the events of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, Tommy's encounter with Jason has seriously affected his psyche, and he was put in several mental institutions, none of which were able to help him overcome his fear of Jason. He is eventually put in a halfway house, but unfortunately, at this time, a series of murders begin nearby with Jason being tied to the killings. Tommy's mind continues to slip again, seeing images of Jason haunting him. Tommy (played by John Shepherd) manages to confront the hockey masked murderer, believing him to be another hallucination. But he is real and attacks Tommy, finally forcing him to take his life - only for it to turn out that the killer was a copycat named Roy Burns. But it's too late for Tommy, as the last wall of sanity has fallen with the ghost of Jason fading before his eyes. Keeping the killer's hockey mask, he puts it on and attempts to assume Jason's mantle, but he is apparently stopped and treated before things go too far.
In Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, a more stable Tommy (played by Thom Mathews), with a friend from the institution, is ready to confront his demons - or rather the demon that is Jason. Wanting to see Jason's decayed body himself, he also wants to make sure that Jason will never rise again and attempts to cremate him. But his memories of his encounter with Jason still linger heavily and he madly attacks the body with a metal fence pole when the coffin is opened. Before Tommy can cremate Jason, the pole winds up attracting bolts of lightning that unfortunately reawakens Jason as a zombie now and gives him a more powerful lease on life; he has become impervious even to being shot at point-blank range with a shotgun - though he still feels the impact of the bullets - and now possesses supernaturally powerful strength and healing factor to aid in slaughtering his victims with. Trying to make amends for his mistake, Tommy warns the sheriff who, being familiar with Jarvis, locks him up thinking he's had another mental breakdown. The piles of bodies Jason racks up only convinces the sheriff that the killer is Tommy. Time is running short as Jason makes his way to the renamed campgrounds. With a plan in mind, and aided by the sheriff's daughter Megan Garris, Tommy lures Jason into the very same lake from which the Voorhees legend started, chaining Jason to the bottom of the lake by a large stone, encircled in fire, and having part of his face chewed by the boat's propeller blades. Although almost nearly dying from Jason's attacks during the struggle, Megan rescues him from the waters and revives him with CPR much to her and the camp's children's joy; as he embraces, he finally exclaims "It's over, it's finally over... Jason's home." as the two stare off at the lake where Jason remains trapped.
Thom Mathews reprises his role as Tommy in the non-canonical Friday the 13th fan film Never Hike Alone, released in 2017. The short film takes place several decades after Jason Lives, and sees Tommy working as an ambulance driver. Near the end of the film, he picks up Jason's latest victim, Kyle McLeod, who barely survived his encounter with the mass murderer. When Jason returns and kills the two other paramedics in the ambulance, he recognizes Tommy, who taunts him before driving off. In 2020, the character appeared in the prequel film, Never Hike in the Snow, which takes place 3 months before Never Hike Alone. Tommy is set to play a major role in the three upcoming sequels.
In the novelization of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, it is revealed what happened between Tommy and Pam Roberts at the end of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; the book explains that Pam had managed to return Tommy to his senses and, when Tommy was put back in a mental institution, she helped him recover. The novel Friday the 13th: Carnival of Maniacs references Tommy, revealing he has written at least six books about Jason and Crystal Lake, with the title of one them being mentioned as My Life of Hell: One Man's Fight Against Jason Voorhees, which is described as a "whiny piece of garbage" by a character. In the mockumentary called "The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited" (included on the 2009 DVD extra) it is mentioned that Tommy was thought to be the killer in "Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives" by the local town folk. It also talks about Tommy's stay at the state mental hospital, and how due to overcrowding was sent to Pinehurst. Tommy faces Jason again in the comic miniseries Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors. When Jason attacks Dr. Maggie Burroughs' group for those who have survived Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, Tommy intervenes and reveals his intent to finish Jason off, ultimately decapitating him with the help of Jason's great-niece, Stephanie. After both Freddy and Jason are defeated, Tommy is appointed leader of the Nightmare Warriors by Ash Williams.
Tommy is a playable character in the video game Friday the 13th: The Game, making him one of five playable characters from the films, alongside Jason Voorhees, Roy Burns, Fox, and Sheldon "Shelly" Finkelstein. Thom Mathews, who portrayed Tommy Jarvis in Part VI, reprised his role. Tommy is a special character, and only one of the players who have either died or escaped can play as him, after contacting him from a randomly placed CB radio; he has the best stats out of all survivors, and when spawned, comes equipped with a shotgun, pocket knife, radio, map and first aid spray. Tommy is also the only character who can kill Jason, though several additional tasks must be completed first.
The game also features collectible cassette tapes known as the "Tommy Tapes" written by filmmaker Adam Green and starring voice actor and animator Chris Niosi as Tommy Jarvis. The tapes feature audio recordings of Tommy at various points in his life, from after the events of Part 4 and until shortly after Part 6, thus filling in most gaps between the films. They also provide an explanation for Part 5's ending where Tommy states that he only dreamed about killing Pam and had never actually done so. Tommy's claims of Jason Voorhees being the killer from the events of Parts 2 through 4 are dismissed due to the logical absurdity of Jason being alive in spite of him drowning as a child, and the murders are instead blamed on an unidentified copycat killer. His claims of Jason rising from the grave in Part 6 are further dismissed, and soon Tommy is blamed for exacerbating Jason's legend and attracting more copycats. Tommy is then sent to several mental institutions, including Glen Echo, New Orleans Psychiatric, and Smith’s Grove, before finally being committed to Springwood Mental Institution, paranoid the authorities are trying to cover up Jason’s existence; while institutionalized at the latter, he inexplicably begins lacerating himself in his sleep. The tapes also reveal the fate of Tommy's sister Trish who, unlike him, moved on from her trauma caused by Jason and went to college; she remained in contact with Tommy, but eventually stopped talking to him after he was institutionalized in Springwood.