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"It's not just money. Part of it is, but not all. You greasers have a different set of values. You're more emotional. We're sophisticated--- cool to the point of not feeling anything. Nothing is real with us. You know, sometimes I'll catch myself talking to a girl-friend, and realize I don't mean half of what I'm saying. I don't really think a beer blast on the river bottom is super-cool, but I'll rave about one to a girl-friend just to be saying something. I never told anyone that. I think you're the first person I've ever really gotten through to."
— Cherry to Ponyboy in The Outsiders, page 38

Sherri "Cherry" Valance is a Soc girl who plays a big role in The Outsiders, making her the main female, and the supporting deuteragonist of The Outsiders.


Cherry is a 16-year-old girl who is very pretty and has long red hair,[1] and green eyes.[2]


Cherry is kinder than the other Socs and not as harsh. She sees both sides of the social levels, and is not filled with hatred or a sense of superiority; instead, her nature is sensitive, understanding and caring. She can be somewhat stubborn at times, and can even be flirtatious, as she briefly flirted with Ponyboy by saying "dreamy like you" when asking about Ponyboy's oldest brother Darry. However, she does care about her reputation.


The Outsiders

Cherry is first introduced at the movies. She and Marcia are seated in front of Dally, Johnny, Ponyboy and later, Two-Bit. Dally starts bugging her, much to her dismay while Ponyboy and Johnny start telling him to lay off a bit. She asks Dally to be nice and leave her and Marcia alone, but he says that he is never nice, and offers her a Coke. She tells him to get lost,and starts talking to Ponyboy and Johnny.

Cherry tells Ponyboy that her real name is Sherri, but she is called Cherry because of her hair coloring. She also tells him that he has an original name. Ponyboy recognizes her from school and the cheerleader, and she wonders why he is hanging around "trash" like Dallas. Ponyboy tells her that Dally is his buddy, and she apologizes for insulting him. Then, she asks about Ponyboy's brother, Sodapop, and says he is a doll and they look alike. Cherry also says that she recognizes Sodapop from rodeos, and Ponyboy remarks that she is good at barrel racing. Cherry asks why they don't see Sodapop at school anymore, to which Pony reluctantly admits that he is a dropout.

Dallas comes back and hands everyone a Coke, and tells Cherry it might cool her down. She gives him an unbelievable look and throws it in his face. Dally gets amused by this and tries to put his arm around her, when Johnny steps in and stops him. Dally is so shocked that he leaves the theatre, and doesn't come back. Cherry thanks Johnny, and says Dally had her scared to death. Marcia invites the boys to sit with them, and both decide to sit next to Cherry, Ponyboy sitting in between both girls.

Johnny asks Cherry why she isn't scared of them like she was Dallas, and she says they were too sweet to hurt anyone, and that they were acting like gentlemen. She then added that she already knew about Dallas Winston. She made a remark about how they were not innocent but also not "dirty", and Johnny defended Dallas. They started talking about Dally, and then Cherry said softly that she had an admiration towards Dallas.

Ponyboy learns that they have no car since their boyfriends had gotten drunk and left, and this made Cherry annoyed. Two-Bit comes along and starts flirting with Marcia while Ponyboy and Cherry go get some refreshments. She starts asking Ponyboy about Two-Bit and Johnny, and Ponyboy tells her the story about Johnny getting jumped. After Ponyboy tells her what happens, she defends her class and says that not all of the Socs are like that, and that is the equivalent to saying all greasers are like Dally. Ponyboy, at first, is reluctant to believe this, but soon does after Cherry says Dallas has probably jumped people. The redheaded girl also tells Ponyboy that the lives of the Socs aren't perfect and they have to work hard as well, and that they have problems that greasers have never seen. Ponyboy tells her that he believes her, and they head back to the movie and their friends.

Throughout the rest of the movie, Marcia and Two-Bit hit it off while Johnny, Ponyboy and Cherry sit quietly and enjoy the film. After the movie, the greasers realize that the girls have no ride home. Two-Bit persuaded them to let him drive them home, so they started to walk to his house to pick up his car.

As they walk, Cherry opens up to Ponyboy, telling him things that she's never told any other person before. She raves on about the differences between Socs and greasers, and other things. Ponyboy thinks to himself, admitting that Cherry is the only person besides Sodapop who could get him talking.

After a few minutes of silence from Cherry, she asks Ponyboy if he reads a lot, which he does. Cherry says she could tell, and infers that he watches sunsets as well, another true fact. She also says she used to before she got too busy and had no time. Her and Ponyboy's thoughts are interrupted by Marcia, who alerts them of a familiar blue mustang headed their way. Cherry told everyone to act normal, and the mustang cruises on by. Cherry goes back to her casual talk with Ponyboy, and asks about Darry. The other greasers and Ponyboy get into an argument over his answer while Cherry and Marcia stayed silent.

The blue Mustang makes a reappearance, this time spotting the girls. Cherry's boyfriend Bob says she can't leave because they got a little drunk. Cherry retorts saying they were more than just a little drunk and she's told him she's not going out with him while he drinks and she means it. Marcia's boyfriend, Randy, tells her that them getting drunk is no excuse for the girls to go walking around with the greasers. Tension rises between the Socs and the greasers, and Cherry then reveals that she dislikes fights. Ponyboy pulls her to the side and says he could never cut someone. Cherry says she knows, but has to go with her boyfriend anyways. She also tells Ponyboy to not get offended if she doesn't say hi to him in school because of their parents and their reputation. Before she leaves, she says she could fall in love with Dallas, and she hopes to never see him again because she will. She and Marcia get into the mustang and drive off, leaving Ponyboy shocked.

When Ponyboy and Johnny seek help from Dallas after killing Bob, Ponyboy wonders why Cherry could love a hood like Dally. He also thinks that it would be a miracle for him to love her back.

After Johnny and Ponyboy refuge in the church in Windrixville, Ponyboy recites a poem to Johnny. He tells Johnny that he could only tell those type of things to him and Sodapop, and maybe even Cherry.

Dallas comes to visit Ponyboy and Johnny in the church, and takes them out for food. While they are eating, he tells the boys that the greasers have a spy, who is revealed to be Cherry. Johnny and Ponyboy are surprised by this, and Dally tells them that she came over to the vacant lot. Some of them wanted to jump her, but they didn't because her boyfriend had been killed recently. Cherry thinks that the whole situation was her fault and that she would testify that the Socs were drunk and looking for a fight when they attacked Ponyboy and Johnny.

On the day of the rumble, Cherry is sitting in her red Corvette Stingray in the vacant lot. Ponyboy and Two-Bit are walking home at this time, and they run into Cherry. Two-Bit asks her how the Socs are going to fight in the rumble, and she says it would be all fair; no weapons, only fists. She knows this from Randy, who knows for sure. Two-Bit thanks her, and she stops Ponyboy so they can talk. She tells Ponyboy that Randy wasn't going to participate in the upcoming rumble because Bob was his longest and best friend and he is tired of all the fighting. Ponyboy accepts this. Cherry asks how Johnny is doing, and Ponyboy tells her that he isn't doing good and asks if she could visit him. Cherry declines this, and says she can't because Bob was her boyfriend and he was murdered by Johnny. Cherry explains to Ponyboy that there was a side of Bob that not everybody saw that made you want to follow him. Ponyboy knew that she saw this in Dally, and that was why she was afraid to see him and love him. Ponyboy quickly forgave Cherry, but insulted her saying he doesn't want her to see Johnny because she is a traitor to the Socs and not even loyal to the greasers, and that it doesn't make up for the fact that she gets to sit in her car while Soda has to drop out of school to survive, and that she never feels sorry for them. Ponyboy sees Cherry's face, and she is about to cry, which makes him feel ashamed. Ponyboy hated seeing girls cry. Cherry tells Ponyboy she liked him from the start because of the way he talked and because he is a nice kid, which is a rarity, and she wanted to help him and the other greasers. Ponyboy asks her if she could see the sunset well from the West Side, and she confirms this as true. Ponyboy says that she can see it well from the East Side, too. She smiles through teary eyes and thanks Ponyboy. Ponyboy noted that she has green eyes and left for home.

Cherry makes an appearance during the court trial with her parents. Cherry told the court what had happened before the manslaughter, saying the Socs were drunk, all while she was sad. In the end, she helped Ponyboy win the case, making him be able to stay with his brothers. She makes her final appearance at school, where she ignores Ponyboy.


Dallas: "This might cool you off."
Cherry: "*throws Coke in Dally's face* That might cool you off, greaser. After you wash your mouth and learn to talk and act decent, I might cool off, too."
—Cherry and Dally The Outsiders, page 24

I'll bet you think the Socs have it made. The rich kids, the West-side Socs. I'll tell you something, Ponyboy, and it may come as a surprise. But, things are rough all over.
— Cherry to Ponyboy in The Outsiders, page 0

I hope I never see Dallas Winston again. If I do....I'd probably fall in love with him.
— Cherry to Pony about Dallas in The Outsiders, page 0

So Cherry Valance, the cheerleader, Bob's girl, the Soc, was trying to help us. No, it wasn't Cherry the Soc who was helping us, it was Cherry the dreamer who watched sunsets and couldn't stand fights. It was hard to believe a Soc would help us, even a Soc that dug sunsets.
— Ponyboy's thoughts when he finds out Cherry is their spy in The Outsiders, page 0

I wasn't trying to give you charity, Ponyboy. I only wanted to help. I liked you from the start... the way you talked. You're a nice kid, Ponyboy. Do you realize how scarce nice kids are nowadays? Wouldn't you try to help me if you could?
— Cherry to Ponyboy in The Outsiders, page 0

Cherry: "GET LOST HOOD!"
Dallas: "God, I didn't know you had this problem with, with yelling in my face."
—Cherry and Dallas The Outsiders movie

Film Portrayal

Diane Lane portrays Cherry Valance in the 1983 film adaptation of The Outsiders


  • She got her nickname, Cherry, from her red hair.[3]
  • In the book, her final appearance is in the courtroom. In the extended version of the film, she is shown seeing Ponyboy at school but doesn't say anything to him, and walks away with her friends.
  • Cherry is the main female character.[4]
  • Due to the fact she still refused to see Johnny due to him killing Bob, and the fact that she did not reconsider, It is possible that she refused out of spite.

References and Citations

  1. Revealed in The Outsiders, page 21
  2. Revealed in The Outsiders, page 130
  3. Revealed in The Outsiders, page 22
  4. Revealed in The Outsiders movie