SHS character
Charcter ben happy
Ben Kale
Aliases Ben (everybody)
Tweed, Tweed & Buttons, Nerdface, Spencer's Favorite Punching Bag (Colt)
Benny (Jill)
Mr. Popular (Denni)
Haircut (Maria)
Friendjamin (Keith)
Hero (Jessica)
Amanda (Amanda)
Brent (Ms. Lee)
Kale (Coach Kessler and Spencer Cooper)
Samurai (Hector Alonzo, Howard DeGeest)
Makeover, Big Ben (Hector)
Gender Male
Race Caucasian
Hair Brown
Eyes Blue
Age 18-19
Grade College Student
Family Mr. Kale (father)
Love Interests Heart Emily Kessler
Former Romantic Interests Heartbreak Jessica Blaire, Denni Fallon, Sam Hill (one date), Maria Gonzalez (one date), Nicole Blackwell (one date)
Friends Friends Spencer Cooper, Owen Harris, Kimi Chen, Denni Fallon, Dexter Albright, Brendan Berg, Erik Ericson, Jacob Williams, Andy Cannelloni, Zoe Davis
Enemies Enemies Jessica Blaire, Lars, Andrew Grant, Cameron Clark
First Good Chemistry
Final Series Finale
My dad never listened to my mom, okay! And they split up. So I said to myself that if anyone ever cared about me, the one thing I'd do more than anything else... Was listen.

–Ben Kale to Spencer Cooper, Faceplace Zero

Benjamin "Ben" Kale is a student currently attending Twin Branches High. He is a sweet, popular nerdy kid who, at first, gets picked on by the new bully Spencer, who eventually turns to be his best friend. Ben is promoted to a main character in A New Start. As of the Troublemakers reboot he has been demoted to a background character and is still in a relationship with Emily.

Duration:The New Girl Season 5- Season 4: Troublemakers


Ben was born as a single child to two parents in Centerscore. Growing up with an interest in science and school, Ben often competed in science and math competitions, winning medals and trophies for the divisions he competed in. His parents divorced during his sophomore year in high school (due to his father's increasing interest with his career and his decrease attention on his wife) and surprised his mother when he chose to stay behind with his dad. This decision was made with the motivation to stay with his friends. His mother proceeded to move to New York. Ben describes his parents divorce as never "being clean" and it is implied that the two of them still don't get along since Ben's mother called him to accuse his dad of selling her brooch before the divorce papers were finalized.


The New Girl

Ben started out as one of the school nerds and he did not have many friends. Ben was bullied by new school bully Spencer. Ben met Denni, however, and they started dating. The two eventually break up through the meddling from Jessica Blaire, who desired to date Ben because he was presidential material, after being dumped by her previous boyfriend, Justin. Jessica drastically changed Ben's appearance and helped him climb the popularity status, as she continued using him, while Ben remained unaware of her schemes and considered her a good girlfriend. After learning that the election polls, which stated Ben won the majority of votes, was rigged and that Jessica was using him the entire time, Ben breaks up with Jessica. Ben befriends Colt who originally disliked Ben as he thought he tried too hard and thought that his girlfriend, Denni, still liked Ben. Ben then got Colt out of trouble with the police and instead sacrificed himself which made Ben grow on Colt.

Surviving High School: The Novel

Taken place in Ben's junior year, Ben is now one of the most popular guys at Twin Branches High with his best friend, Spencer. Ben meets Emily Kessler, whom he gives the nickname "Yogurt" to, while Dominique Clark, Emily's rivalry, simultaneously had a crush on Ben, whom Ben showed no affection to. Emily attends one of Ben's party, in which the two get closer during. Ben shows Emily the software he developed and math and science trophies. He discloses to Emily that while he used to be interested in science, he no longer is and sometimes even finds his new, fun lifestyles tedious, as well. When a drunk Dominique begins to search, the two jump off of the balcony and into the water, in which they almost have their first kiss in. They eventually start dating, but decide they would make Emily's first kiss special.

As the two open up to each other about their own person tragedies (the death of Emily's older sister, Sara, and Ben's lack of attention from his father), Ben also informs Emily that he is not allowed to Homecoming because of his low grades. Now routinely going on nightly dates, Ben surprises her with a list of new grades, consisting of A's and one B, ergo allowing him to go to Homecoming. Jealous, Dominique subsequently exposes Ben and Emily's relationship to her father, knowing that he would be infuriated and force Emily to break up. Emily does so, though they later get back together, and he takes her to Homecoming. Realizing that Emily missed the Junior Nationals for swimming to go to Homecoming, Ben immediately drives Emily to the Junior Nationals and Emily wins her race.

A New Start

Emily's father still disapproves of Ben as he believes he is not masculine enough so Ben joins the basketball team and turns out to be the best player. Emily's father likes Ben because of this. Ben and Emily's relationship becomes troubled when Emily believes that Ben is trying too hard to impress her father. Emily is also annoyed that Ben will not work harder to get closer to his own father. When Ben talks to his father, Emily grows respect for Ben again. Ben then acts as Romeo in Sam Hill and Zoe's version of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Emily acts as Juliet. However, Andrew sabotages the play, causing Ben to fall of the stage and injure his leg. He then ends up in a wheelchair. Ben decides to rejoin Robotics Club when he finds out about the robot, L.Y.L.E having problems. The nerds are happy about him rejoining.

Ben is primarily absent throughout Season 7 as it takes place during the summer holidays but makes a few appearances at a party in Summer Beginnings and at the beach with Emily and Kimi in A Clash of Queens.


The 2013 reboot features a new main cast including Ben's best friends Owen and Spencer. Ben's character has been demoted to a recurring character. His few appearances have been alongside his friends and Emily. He can be seen tutoring Spencer when he decides to apply for the Steelman Scholarship and asking Emily to Homecoming. Ben later gives Spencer advice on how to achieve a perfect date with his crush, Allison, but quickly texts him out of loyalty when he learns that Allison has feelings for his enemy, Nate.

Ben's last and final appearance is in the series finale. Invited to Chris's party, Ben gets to spend one last night with all of his friends, past and present. Allison goes around the party with her cell phone and asks him to share his final sentiments. Ben comments on how many changes have been made to his appearances over the years and how regardless of how people respond to it, all he's ever cared about was having fun and making time for Emily. His segment ends with stating that his current look is his favorite, which receives an approval from Emily nearby.


Romantic Interests

Denni Fallon

For his chemistry lab, Ben is partnered with Denni and boyfriend and girlfriend Colt and Sam -- all of whom were in a conflict, which resulted from Denni's kiss with Colt. Denni is left guilty for the kiss, specifically after Sam learns about it. Ben helps Denni cope with her stress, thus developing a friendship. Denni and Ben later attend Prom together as friends.

At the start of Ben's sophomore year, he and Denni both reveal their mutual crushes to each other. While Ben is ready to begin a relationship, Denni is hesitant, preoccupied by her thoughts about Colt's missing state as well as her inflicted feelings for him. They ultimately have their first kiss at the Homecoming game and go to the dance together. Despite this, they still do not have their second kiss, let alone consider themselves dating. Contributing to his growing popularity, Ben throws a masquerade party for Halloween. There, they both plan to have their second kiss and go further into their relationship, until Denni is caught mistakenly kissing Colt, thinking he was Ben. She ultimately chooses Ben over Colt, angry that he neglected everyone to leave to San Francisco.

Finally entering an exclusive relationship, they already encounter problems. Jessica begins giving relationship advice for Ben, such as giving Jessica Denni's present and thus disregarding Denni's hurt feelings. During Hector's Christmas party, the two get into an argument, following Denni's suggestion to take a break, which Ben mistakens for their break up, especially after seeing Colt comfort her. Only moments after their argument, Jessica kisses Ben. Though he does not even kiss her back, Jessica convinces him that he was in fact the one who kissed her first, guilt tripping him. He confesses to Denni that he and Jessica kissed. Upset, she breaks up with him once for all. He is initially left heartbroken over their break up, but is cheered up by Jessica and subsequently enters a relationship with her that same day.

Throughout the course of his Sophomore year and his relationship with Jessica, he gradually sees Denni less and less; however they do chat and Denni admits to missing their friendship. That same day, an earthquake occurs and she is trapped under debris, but is rescued by Ben and Colt, her boyfriend at the time. He subsequently visits her in the hospital. Moments after discovering that Jessica was using him the entire time, he and Denni lock eyes during his presidential inauguration and they begin to develop feelings for each other again, though Ben refrains from attempting to reconcile, desiring to stay single.

Jessica Blaire

I know you probably heard some pretty bad things about her... Especially why we broke up.. and they're all probably true. But that doesn't change the fact that she and I had a real connection, at least for a while. I don't want you to think otherwise. That wouldn't be honest.

–Ben to Emily Kessler, The San Francisco Date Debacle

When Jessica's boyfriend, Justin (the school president), breaks up with her, Jessica, aware that without Justin, all of her first lady privileges would be revoked, Jessica seeks to find a new boyfriend who would be presidential material: Ben. Jessica works to sabotage Ben and Denni's relationship, while this only passes as an act of a friend to Ben. One night, Ben and Denni get into an argument about Ben's increased focus on Jessica. Denni suggests they break up, whereas Ben believes she declared they broke up. Heartbroken, Ben is comforted by Jessica, who kisses him, but leads him to believe that he kissed her. Guilty of his actions, Ben admits this to Denni, who breaks up with him for good.

Jessica continues to work on Ben's status among the students by transforming his appearance to a more attractive one and helping him earn Faceplace friends in order to make him the school president. While initially thankful for Jessica's efforts, he soon grows irritated and paranoid that Jessica is acting too controlling (which leads to the eventual downfall of their relationship). Though Ben does not win enough votes to become presidents, with the help of her friend, Steph, Jessica rigs the voting poll so that Ben does win. However, Taylor and Zoe, two of Jessica's enemies, whom were also running in the presidential election, discover this and expose this along with Jessica's true intentions to the school on the night of Ben's inauguration. Ben realizes that Jessica was using him and breaks up with her.

In the bonus chapter of Surviving High School: The Novel, Emily is jealous of Jessica because her friends say the date she had planned for Ben was nothing compared to Jessica's dates with Ben which were 'fun' and 'crazy'. When she confronts Ben about this, Ben says he had more fun with Emily in a week than with whole relationship with Jessica and that while Jessica was identified as being fun and crazy, Ben found her more unstable.

Emily Kessler

Like I said, it's just a party. You mean so much more to me. And if impressing your dad is what I need to do.. Then that's what I'm going to do.

–Ben to Emily Kessler, A New Start

Emily is Ben's current girlfriend and he was her first kiss.

While attending Twin Branches with her sister Sara, Ben does not meet Sara's younger sister until she begins her freshman year of high school in Surviving High School: The Novel. Now one of the most popular guys in school, Ben admittedly has had a hard time finding enjoyment in all of the things he used to have fun doing. First encountering Emily while he passes by her lunch table and spots her hand in a bowl of yogurt, the two hit it off when he finds her excuse of burning her hand in Chemistry amusing. Nicknaming her 'yogurt', this interaction sparks interest within Ben and he proceeds to flirt and bond with her when she attends one of his parties. Using her drycleaning as an opportunity to meet and talk to her again, Ben climbs up a tree outside her window and asks her out on their first date. The two open up about Ben's parents divorce and Sara's death and Ben decides to put effort into his academics so he would be allowed to take her to Homecoming. To avoid having to deal with her strict father, the two date in secret. After their relationship is exposed by a jealous Dominique, Emily is forced to break things off with Ben. The two remain broken up until Emily finds the courage to stand up to her father and surprises him by his locker. The couple reconciles and share their first kiss. While they initially attend the dance together, Ben ditches with her so she can compete in Junior Nationals. Cheering alongside Kimi Chen and Kevin Delucca, Ben is there to witness Emily beating not only Dominique's record but Sara's.

A month into their rekindled relationship, it is shown that while it is acknowledged by Coach Kessler, he remains disapproving of it due to Ben's reputation around school. Desperate to start over and make a better impression on her dad so they can stay together, Ben confronts her father about receiving the opportunity to do so. Leaving his own party to attend a dinner set up by Coach Kessler, Ben explains to Emily that he values her more than the parties he throws. Eventually receiving Coach Kessler's blessing, Ben also begins to grow worried about Emily's friendship with Cameron Clark. Trusting that there's nothing romantic between them, Ben requests that Emily not talk about him, as he feels jealous when she does. This causes a slight tension between the three of them until they visit a psychic and are told that their relationship is doomed to fail unless they can accept one another. Not wanting to risk what he has with her, Ben apologizes and tells her he is okay with her and Cameron being friends.

Their main struggle occurs when Ben joins the basketball team to appease Emily's father. Emily becomes annoyed with Ben when he goes out of his way to try to bond with and impress her dad in order to replace his own. Multiple arguments stem from this until Ben admits to trying to fill the father figure in his life with Coach Kessler. Ben is told I love you for the first time by Emily when they attend Paige's party. It is because of Emily's ultimatum, him not speaking to his father or her not going to his Sectionals game, that he reaches out to his workaholic father and invites him to his game. Even though he initially thought he failed in getting him to come, Emily attends the game because she was touched by how hard he tried for her.

The two of them, since this roadblock, have been inseparable. They have both been cast as Romeo and Juliet in Sam's production and Ben can be seen asking Emily to Homecoming with fireworks.


Spencer Cooper

Ben and Spencer initially disliked each other. While Ben was a nerd, Spencer was a bully, obviously making Ben an instant target. The two clashed, as Ben wanted a science club, whereas Spencer wanted a fist club for his anger problems.

The two pranked Wilson High together, which made everyone believe they were best friends, although they both denied. However, through time, the two started bonding. Ben opened up to Spencer about his parents' divorce and his dad's lack of concentration and frankly concern regarding Ben. Spencer told Ben that he understood how he was feeling, as his parents were also divorced.

Owen Harris

Similar to John Johnson's first day at Twin Branches High, Ben befriended Owen, after a rough encounter with Nate Crawford. The two instantaneously became best friends. Ben has done a variety of activities with Owen, including joining the basketball team together and Ben has also assisted Owen in breaking into Monarch Prep to visit Paige Lenx, Owen's girlfriend.


Mr. Kale

I don’t blame my mom for leaving. By the time she took off, my dad was basically living at Lowman-Howe—that’s the chemical company he works for. He’s just that kind of guy. He’d rather be in his lab than back at home. Even when he is around, he’s always at his computer or checking his BlackBerry.

–Ben to Emily Kessler, Surviving High School: The Novel

Ben and his father, Mr. Kale have a tough relationship. Ever since his parents' divorce, Ben has noticed that his father mainly focused on his career, rather than Ben. Ben has noticed that his father only listens to Ben, when he has something to say about his academics, much to Ben's dismay. Aside from that, Mr. Kale has taken multiple business trips, even once on Christmas, which greatly hurt Ben.


Colt Warren

Initially, Ben was friends with Colt, having helped him with his conflict over his recent break up with Sam for kissing Denni and convinces him that he was turning a blind eye towards Sam's feelings.

When Colt leaves to San Francisco in secret and returns at Ben's masquerade party, he kisses Denni, thinking that Denni knew it was him. Ben is hurt to see Denni kiss him, as Ben had already been attempting to advance in their relationship. He and Colt get in multiple arguments throughout the night, however Denni ultimately chooses Ben and Colt leaves to his new school, Spartan Academy.

The event leaves much tension between the two, though very few conversations between the two are seen. He briefly talks to Colt (who is now dating Denni) following the Spartan Games in attempt to become his Faceplace friend and does in fact become it. Subsequently, he and Colt rescue Denni, who is trapped under a pile of debris caused from the earthquake. Colt admits to liking him more than previously, however, get into another argument later on, regarding Ben's returning feelings for Denni during The Island Party.

In the same episode, both are tasked with rescuing a pig. Upon doing so, they are forced to steal a boat (though Ben was reluctant of Colt's idea) in order to get back to the island. They are ultimately caught. Just as Officer Monte is about to arrest Colt (who had addressed earlier on that if he was arrested one more time, he could not be bailed), when Ben takes the blame. Colt thanks him for this. Following this situation, the two are not seen to speak again.


Dominique Clark

She’s kind of relentless, isn’t she? I’m not quite sure what Spencer sees in her. If he doesn’t hook up with that girl soon and get her out of my hair, I’m going to have to stop inviting her to parties.

During Ben's junior year, he meets Dominique Clark. As opposed to Dominique, who found him attractive, Ben found Dominique otherwise, as Ben's best friend, Spencer, was attracted to her. Furthermore, Ben found her rather needy, having been chased by her during one of his parties.


Ben is first introduced as a shy and nerdy student with an ardent love for science, which came from his father. However, just after his parents' divorce, he realizes that the reason why they divorced was because of his how preoccupied he was with his career as a scientist. This causes Ben to become uninterested in the subject, as he intends to become a popular student. Meeting his previous girlfriend, Jessica, helped him fulfill this goal, as she transform his appearance to a more mainstream one and helped him earn Faceplace friends. Along with becoming popular, Ben also became rebellious, having thrown parties with illegal activity and no longer cared for his grades, however, he proved to his girlfriend that he can easily change. Also contributing to his popularity, Ben was part of the basketball team during his junior year. Up until then, Ben was primarily nonathletic.


Ben Kale's 4 faces

Ben's Looks throughout the years

Throughout all of Surviving High School, Ben has been given a total of four looks: 

  • Ben used to wear a blue polo shirt, and had dark brown hair, parted to the side, and blue eyes.
  • Ben's second appearance resembles to his first, but his parted hair is more detailed, his eyebrows are scrunched up and shorter and has a different smile.
  • In the episode The Contestants, Jessica gives Ben a makeover, completely altering his appearance; he wore a red shirt; his hair is side bang-cut and has an altered facial appearance. To the popular students, this is considered an improvement, as they brand him "hot".
  • In the September 2012 reboot, Ben gets a new look. Ben's hair is essentially the same, only with brown and red highlights. He wears a new crimson polo with white and orange stripes. His facial appearance is again altered.


When Ben first appeared in the game, in year three, he was said to be a freshman. One year later, he was stated by both his father and Howard that Ben was a sophomore. One year after this, Zoe said that Ben was still an Underclassmen meaning that Ben must have been a Junior. Thus, as of year 6, Ben is currently a senior.


  • Ben doesn't like Japanese food.
  • His mom moved to New York following his parents divorce, expecting Ben to come with her. He didn't move to New York with his mom because he didn't want to leave all of his friends behind.
  • He was on probation and not allowed to attend any of the upcoming dances until he raised his grades in Surviving High School: The Novel.
  • How he plays in a basketball game is affected by his girlfriend Emily Kessler's presence at the game - if she's there, he plays well in order to impress her. If not, he performs poorly.
  • He won 1st place in an 9th grade pre-calc division for the California Math Olympiad (and previously for 8th grade).
  • Ben has received the most makeovers out of any character, having four makeovers.
  • All of Ben's makeover's have gotten him noticed and have effected the amount of females who have fallen for him.
  • He is the deputy captain of the basketball team.
  • He once ate dog food as part of a dare.
  • He is mentioned by Kimi in High School Story when she recounts her role in getting Ben and Emily together as a couple and confirming they are still dating to Autumn.
  • Of all characters in the game, Ben has had the most appearance changes, with a total of four, as his first and third were the subject to much criticism. 
  • Ben, aside from Ashley and Kimi, is the only nerd not to wear glasses. He is, however, the only male nerd not to wear glasses. This could be foreshadowing his later evolution from nerd to popular. Coincidentally, Ashley and Kimi were both nerds who were at one point popular, as well.


Surviving High School Characters [v]

Protagonists John Johnson, Linda Carter, Zoe Davis, Emily Kessler, Owen Harris, Kimi Chen, Allison Applebee
Main Characters Ben Kale, Howard DeGeest, Paige Lenx, Taylor Vale, Brendan Berg, Colt Warren, Denni Fallon, Sam Hill, Hector Alonzo, Amanda Applebee, Autumn Brooks, Beth Morgan, Spencer Cooper, Raven Fallon, Nick Brown, Erik Ericson, Spike Chapman, Mallika Desai, Kim Johnson, Wes, Kevin Delucca, Cameron Clark, Ms. Lee
Antagonists Jessica Blaire, Nate Crawford, Adam Jay, Taylor Vale, Alexei Harp, Paula Anderson, Tom Prince, Sillas Prince, Cromwell Von Toosh, Lindsay Vale, Dominique Clark, Sal, Mr. Hart, Maria Gonzalez, Veronica Wadeye, Brinna
Background & Other Nicole Blackwell, Chuck McKenzie, Chris, Lee Chen, Skazz van Tooten, Jacob Williams, Zach Wells, Ryan Powell, Andrew Grant, Kenji Black, Dexter Albright, Jill Patterson, Hannah Holmes, Mona Stansfield, Lisa Greene, Candace See More