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Goofball Quiz #1: The Gilligan’s Island Personality Test

Who’s your favorite Gilligan’s Island character?

Is it Ginger – that smoky, sexy actress who always talks like she just swallowed Marilyn Monroe? Or how about Mary Ann – the down-home farm girl who makes Polyanna look like the Grim Reaper? Or maybe it’s Gilligan – the fumbling, bumbling first-mate who managed to get a whole island named after him? Not to mention a syndicated TV show.

When I was a kid, I loved Gilligan’s Island.

I loved it so much, I watched every episode about twenty times. Eventually, my parents restricted me from watching the show – I was only allowed one GI fix a week.

Boy, that was tough.

Looking back on it now, I wonder why I loved the show so much. Melissa and I watched it again recently and I was struck by how dumb it is – the laugh track, the tepid jokes, the obviously-fake palm trees.

And yet, in spite of all that, there’s something about it.

Which brings me to the quiz:

photo: Alberto G on flickr

Take out a piece of paper and write down the following: Gilligan, the Skipper, Ginger, Mary Ann, the Professor, and Mr. and Mrs. Howell.

Now, number each character in order of the one you identify with the most, to the one you identify with the least.

For example, if you’re the most like Gilligan, he gets a 1. The next choice gets a 2, and on down to the character you’re the least like, who gets a 7.

Are you ready? Set? Go!!

We’ll wait here. . . .

Okay, now that you’ve got your choices, check this out:

The reason that we love this show so much is that it speaks to something deep inside us.

And I’m not talking about our digestive tracks.

I’m talking archetypes. I’m talking about the essential symbology, the fundamental essence of the inhabitants of Gilligan’s Island.

Review your list. It is the key to your character, Gilligan-style.

Your first choice represents the most developed part of you. This is the part that is the most conscious and active in your life. Your last choice represents exactly the opposite – the part that is the least conscious and the least active.

The next step of the quiz is to read the key below.

As you read, note that there are both sunny and shadow sides to each character. (Just like on the island!)



Sunny side: Innocent and trusting. Sees the world with fresh eyes. Helpful to others. In touch with emotions.

Shadow side: Too readily absorbs others’ ideas and shortcomings. Naïve to a fault. Incapable of being proactive and stepping into leadership roles.


Sunny side: Father figure, a leader. In touch with feelings. Enjoys life, fun-loving. Quick to forgive others.

Shadow side: Can be overly intense and easily frustrated. Quick to anger. Emotions can get in the way of logical analysis.

Mary Ann

Sunny side: Positive and optimistic. Balanced and grounded.  Sweet and intelligent. Nurturing.

Shadow side: Passive, not able to advocate on behalf of self. Capable of being taken advantage of. Unrealistic.


Sunny side: A woman of the world. Sensual and passionate. In touch with creative and emotional aspects of self. Adaptable, able to switch persona when necessary.

Shadow side: Moody. Reliant on others’ approval. Shallow and superficial.


Sunny side: Logical and rational. Grounded and calm. Curious about the world and how it works. Intelligent.

Shadow side: Overly reliant on material reality. Ignorance of emotions and intuition. Excessivly skeptical.

Mr. Howell

Sunny side: Entrepreneurial. Charitable. Protector and provider for others. Loves family.

Shadow side: Elitist and snob. Puts quest for money above relationships.

Mrs. Howell

Sunny side: Enjoyment of life’s riches and pleasures. Trusting of others and able to see the good in them. Loving of self and family.

Shadow side: Dependent on others for care. Limited self-sufficiency. Gulllible.

Alrightee then! Now that you’ve been schooled, Gilligan-style, here’s what you do next:

The point of this quiz is to celebrate the parts of you that are active and effective, and to note which parts are in need of further development.

Further development would include: 1) an investigation of the shadow side of your top characters, and 2) a strengthening of the sunny side of your bottom characters.

Melissa and I took the quiz and found it to be surprisingly accurate.

My top characters were Gilligan, the Professor, and Mary Ann.
Mr. Howell was right in the middle, and the lowest three were Skipper, Ginger and Mrs. Howell.

The shadow side of the top three and the sunny side of the bottom three alert me to those areas in need of further development: enjoyment of life’s riches, leadership, and emotional expression.

Melissa, on the other hand, had Mary Ann, Ginger, and Skipper as her top three. ‘Nuff said.

Now it’s your turn!!

Who were your top three? Who were your bottom three? What does this tell you about yourself?

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21 Responses to Goofball Quiz #1: The Gilligan’s Island Personality Test

  1. Shem May 15, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    O.k. I must be totally honest. I watched Gilligan’s Island as a kid too… (what about that theme song eh??!!)

    I will have to say that it was challenging for me to do the quiz because I realized that the difference between being a kid watching TV and being an adult reading a blog and doing a psychological quiz on that TV show one loved so much. It was that it made for these two worlds to collide a bit too much. My 12 year old mind and my 40 year old mind just did not like to have to think about Gilligan and the gang in such a way.

    So I didn’t take the quiz Z, I apologize!! I know, I know, I should really ponder that. Why I didn’t, and so forth. I am sure there will be a shadow side analysis to this stance, but I will keep looking on the sunny side. I think I would just rather stay the kid a bit longer and figure out my psychology in some other way. Maybe by watching Jersey Shore or something!?

    Thanks for always keeping it real though. You make me smile!!!

    • Z Egloff May 15, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      Hey Shem,

      While the Professor side of me is tempted to analyze your non-quiz stance, my Gilligan side says: Peace, dude. Be free!

      I appreciate you honoring the purity of the show in your own psyche. And if you can figure out your psychology with Jersey Shore, more power to you. I no longer have cable, so I’ve never watched it. But I’ve heard things. 😉

      Great to hear from you, as always. Keep smiling!!


      • Shem May 15, 2012 at 11:45 am #

        I totally must clarify: I am sooooo NOT a Jersey Shore watcher. I don’t even have a TV. But what I have seen of it in the world you could spend roughly 2 minutes psychoannalyzing that tribe and come to the conclusion that the sunny side and shadow side are likely the same in that world. Enough said……

        • Z Egloff May 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

          Yeah, I wouldn’t have picked you for a Jersey Shore watcher. But I’m not surpirsed that there are some serious existential patterns in that show too. I guess neither one of us will be writing that blog post. 😉

  2. Christopher May 15, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    I loved Gilligan’s Island… waited with grand attention each week and was sad when I had to leave my island “home”. I totally identified with Gilligan…I am dating myself but we could only watch it once a week as that was all it was on on our 3 channels…I loved Mary Ann as much but that was probably more crush puppy love than anything else. My complete nerdyness was drawn to Professor next…then the same three as you…I agree ’nuff said


    … and now for the rest of the day in an endless loop in my head “Gilligan…the Skipper too, a millionaire (hah !) and his wife…a movie star, the Professor and Mary Ann LA LA LA LA LA LAAAA… thx Z…:)

    • Z Egloff May 15, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      Yay!! Another Gilligan/Mary Ann/Professor combo. Aka Gilfessor Ann. 😉

      Sorry about the endless loop of music in your head. How about this? “Here’s the story. Of a lovely lady. Who was bringing up three very lovely girls. . . .”



      • Christopher May 15, 2012 at 11:57 am #

        ugh…hated the Brady Bunch.

        • Z Egloff May 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

          Okay, so I won’t make my next quiz about the deep, archetypal nature of the Brady Bunch. Even though I’m already trying to figure out who I’d be: Alice? Peter? Anyone but Marsha!!

  3. Diane May 15, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    When I was in college ( we won’t say how long ago), I was in both a Theater Arts and an English class. Every semester, the school would have a “work of merit” to consider, and that semester it was Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. I realized that Gilligan’s Island could correlate pretty easily with that play. I won’t go into details here, but if you think about it, you’ll see what I mean. I wrote the same comparative essay for both classes, Got A’s, too. It’s those crazy archetypes again.

    • Z Egloff May 15, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Hi Diane,

      I love it! Who knows, that plays was probably creeping around in the back of the minds of the creator’s of Gilligan’s Island. Or perhaps it was the archetypes themselves that were simply manifesting in both creations. Whenever something has staying power – be it Shakespeare or a wacky sitcom – there’s gotta be something going on. I love it that you got A’s on your paper. You deserved them!! :)


  4. Alex May 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    I had to take the test twice. Being 13 has its disadvanteges. I never watched Gilligans island but intend to. The most i knew about it before i read this was the theme song. It wasnt even the real one it was Bowling For Soup’s version. So i had absolutly no idea what was going on besides the names when i took the test for the first time. My guess almost completely reversed. Sadly im not very acurate at an uneducated guess. I got Skipper/Profesor/Ginger.
    Thanks Z all of your posts are always hilarious 😀
    Alex (Georgia’s son)

    • Z Egloff May 16, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Alex!

      Great to hear from you. I’m impressed that you took the test without having watched the show. Skipper/Professor/Ginger sounds like a good combo. Let me know what you think of the show, if you get a chance to see it. Like I said, it’s really a stupid show. But when I was 7, I thought it was awesome! :)

      Thanks for commenting. Stop by again any time!!


  5. Rafe A. Ellis, RScP May 18, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    OMG – a kindred island soul… I have the theme song from Gilligan’s Island as the ringtone on my cell phone.

    1) Skipper
    2) Professor
    4) Thurston Howell, III
    5) Mary Ann
    6) Ginger
    7) Lovie

    • Rafe A. Ellis, RScP May 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      Whoops… premature post… I hate it when that happens ;0)

      1) Skipper
      2) Professor
      3) Thurston Howell, III
      4) Gilligan
      5) Mary Ann
      6) Ginger
      7) Lovie

      I just love how this silly stuff is more often than not right on target. I took the test on the up & up, making my selections before reading the character aspects. I think it’s pretty accurate for me – whatcha think?

      Thanks for the smile.

      Love you!!

      • Z Egloff May 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

        Hi Rafe,

        I love it! I would have totally pegged you for a Skipper/Professor combo. And not surprised that Lovie is last. Somehow I just don’t see a lot of her in you. 😉

        Now you have to get Debra to take it too!


  6. Georgia May 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Hahah, I was just looking at a set of Carolyn Myss archetype cards and thinking….is this supposed to be like tarot cards or what? They look like tarot cards, but the directions don’t say to lay them out like that.

    I was commenting with Alex while he did his. Now he’s reading Life in ZD before me! (ha I made a rhyme)

    I LOVED Gilligan’s Island. Although I often wondered if he had a better of choice of friends, if he would have been friends with the Skipper. That dude was always hitting him on the head and yelling at him and generally being a d to him. I’m not sure if I related more to Gilligan or MaryAnne they are similar though. hmm

    • Z Egloff May 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Hi Georgia,

      They should make Gilligan’s Island tarot cards. Now that would be awesome!!

      I agree about the Skipper hitting Gilligan – that sucked. I was surprised to see how often it happened when I was watching the show again recently. No violence on the island, guys!!

      As for Gilligan and Mary Ann, I agree that they are very similar. Gilligan is the yang to Mary Ann’s yin. Or maybe he’s yin to her yang. Either way, it’s a yin/yang thang!


  7. Tara May 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    So your class project matey is The Prof, Gilligan and Mary Ann — with the Howells and Ginger falling away into the far distance. No wonder we’re having fun with our project.

    I agree with Shem, it’s hard to remember back and reflect from my much more “mature” perspective — I chose by remembering which characters I hated as a kid, and which did I want to be like.

    • Z Egloff May 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      Hi Tara!!

      Welcome to the Land of the Goofballs. Wonderful to see you here.

      I love your quiz results! So, tomorrow our class will be treated to Gilligan, the Professor and Mary Ann’s interpretation of Emerson and Swedenborg. Lucky them! 😉

      Look forward to it,


  8. Claire May 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    So the first weird thing is — how did the Howells get so young? They were old people when I was watching GI.

    I teach at a small private college and have only four students in my class. I was thinking I was spending too much time and energy on four people, and then I realized this week that these four represent all of humanity. If I can learn to motivate and inspire these four, learn how to connect with them, I can change the world. They don’t quite match up with the GI archetypes — but I think I have a Gilligan, a Ginger, a Ms. Howell, and oh, I don’t know, maybe the last one’s a fake palm tree.

    I’m definitely married to a Professor/Skipper/Ms. Howell.

    MIne, by the way, are: Professor, Gilligan, Mr. Howell, Skipper, Ms. Howell, Mary Ann, and Ginger. Maybe I need to work on developing my feminine energy?

    • Z Egloff May 21, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Hi Claire!!

      Thanks for dropping by! Great to hear from you.

      First of all, I have no idea how the Howells got so young. It’s very strange. I think Gilligan’s Island may also be a time machine.

      And thank you for sharing the sprectrum of humanity in your class. Your revelation is fabulous – the power of learning to motivate and inspire those four people is a huge accomplishment indeed. And if you can figure out how to motivate and inspire a fake palm tree, you’ve got some serious skills. 😉

      You, like me, have Gilligan and Professor in your top three. I’ve noticed that there have been lots of Professors showing up in the top three of the people who’ve commented. Maybe because we’re all intellectual types who like to take personality tests and analyze the results? Oh wait, now I’m analyzing not only the results but the people who take the test. I need to think about that. :)

      Thanks again for your comment. Stop by again any time!


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