The Outsiders Wiki
The Outsiders Wiki
"You know what a greaser is? White trash with long greasy hair. You could use a bath, greaser. And a good working over. And we've got all night to do it."
— Bob to Ponyboy in The Outsiders


Robert "Bob" Sheldon was Cherry Valance's boyfriend and a minor but pivotal character in The Outsiders. One night, when Ponyboy and Johnny are in the park, unwanted and alone, Bob and some other Socs come and pick a fight in revenge for the two boys picking up Bob and Randy's girlfriends after a drive-in movie earlier. Ponyboy smarts off to them, and they try to drown him in a nearby fountain. Furious and scared, Johnny kills Bob, prompting the other Socs to flee.

He was portrayed by Leif Garrett.

Character Description

Bob drank often, and seemed to enjoy it. He got in trouble a lot because his parents never said no to him and blamed themselves. But, according to his best friend Randy, deep down, Bob was a good guy, and wanted someone to set limits for him and give him some firm ground to stand on, which was exactly the same thing all the Socs wanted as well.

He was killed by Johnny when he was trying to drown Ponyboy Curtis. Randy told Ponyboy that after Bob died, his mother had a nervous breakdown.

Death

He was trying to drown Ponyboy with some of the other Socs in front of Johnny. Johnny became scared and didn't know what to do; he drew his switchblade and stabbed Bob, slicing his throat, causing blood to spill from his mouth and neck. He bled to death almost immediately after, his blood spattering onto the surrounding ground and the blade of Johnny's switchblade.

After Death

His death greatly affected Cherry Valance and Randy, making Cherry not want to visit Johnny in the hospital, and Randy calmed down and realized the futility of the fighting and conflict between the greasers and Socs. His full name was discovered by Ponyboy when looking through Sodapop's old yearbook, and because by the end of the novel, Ponyboy realizes the Socs are individuals with hardships of their own, he has no interest in punishing the Socs for his own adversities and goes as far as honoring Bob’s life in the theme he writes for English class.