- "Archer" redirects here. For the TV series of the same name, see Archer (TV series).
|First appearance||"Mole Hunt"|
|Voiced by||H. Jon Benjamin|
Duchess (official ISIS code name)
Butler the Butler
Urdu (1 phrase)
|Occupation||ISIS agent/Drug Smuggler/Bartender/Chef|
|Skills||Krav Maga, edged weapons, firearms, honeypot, scuba, lacrosse, hand-to-hand combat, infiltration, undercover (allegedly), archery, drink mixing/knowledge, escape car driving, asset acquisition, some explosives|
Malory Archer (mother)
Abbiejean Kane-Archer (daughter)
Ron Cadillac (stepfather)
Lana Kane (child's mother/girlfriend)|
Katya Kazanova (late/ex fiancé)
Linda Belcher (wife/ex-wife?)
- "I am the perfect gentleman."
- —Sterling Archer[src]
Sterling Malory Archer, better known simply as Archer, is the world's deadliest spy and the main protagonist of the eponymous show. His voice is provided by H. Jon Benjamin.
Malory Archer, Sterling's mother, speculates that Sterling was conceived shortly before she participated in Operation Gladio. The list of Archer's possible fathers include Nikolai Jakov, Len Trexler, and Buddy Rich, as well as an unnamed young Italian man who was gunned down in the streets of Italy and had "blue eyes, full lips, and thick wavy hair". ("Lo Scandalo")
Sterling Malory Archer was born in Reggie's Bar in Tangiers, in northern Morocco, Africa, when his mother, Malory Archer, was birthed by Woodhouse. Woodhouse handed Malory a rattle made of sterling silver for the baby. Malory liked the name Sterling, and decided to name him that. Woodhouse suggested that his middle name be "Reginald", after Captain Reginald Thistleton (a deceased friend of Woodhouse's that served in World War I, with whom Woodhouse may or may not have been infatuated), but Malory decided that Reginald sounded "too gay", instead naming him after herself. Malory offered Woodhouse the job of taking care of Archer. Woodhouse traded his bar for a boat, sailed Malory and Sterling to Lisbon, got Malory to an OSS safe house, sold the boat, and used the money to take Sterling back to the U.S. ("The Double Deuce")
Sterling spent the first five years of his life being raised by Woodhouse and only seeing his mother a few times per year, such as on Christmas. This made him have an extremely negative view of his mother as a young child. It got to the point that when she came home he stated he had no mother and said he hated her.
At some point as a child, Malory moved without telling Archer's boarding school, leading to him to take a train home alone and eventually ending up in a police station. Malory had to pick him up and continues to view the situation as not her fault, stating that he could have picked up a phonebook. ("Job Offer")
Archer celebrated his sixth birthday while his mother assisted in overthrowing the government of Guatemala (in reality, the CIA overthrew Guatemala's government over June 18-27, 1954). A man who might be his father visited him and gave him a stuffed toy alligator as a gift since at that time he loved them. ("Once Bitten") This love would at some point become a chronic fear. ("Pipeline Fever")
One year on Halloween, Archer lost a card game to Malory, losing all of his Halloween candy. This incident caused Archer to have an extremely negative view on gambling for many years to come. It is also implied that this incident is the first time he drank alcohol. ("Jeu Monégasque")
Archer lost his virginity at age 12 to his female Brazilian au pair, who was seemingly unaware of the American age of consent. At his tenth grade sports banquet, Archer was caught having sex with his coach, Mrs. Mupherd. Malory considers this to be the most embarrassing thing Archer has ever done. Archer states that she came onto him and so it was not his fault. ("Blood Test")
During his freshman year, Archer was given a swirly by Ivy and Trent Whitney in a toilet that Whitney had pissed in. Archer spent five weeks in the hospital; he had aspirated water in his lungs, and gotten pneumonia from it. This incident caused him to miss out on varsity. ("Deadly Prep")
He spent up to 15 years at boarding school, despite American schooling taking 13 years. His hobby was lacrosse and flashbacks have indicated he had few to no friends. ("Job Offer") At age 18, he was regarded as the most recruited lacrosse player in America, although an incident with a crazed stalker gut-shooting him cost him both his lacrosse career and a possible scholarship to Johns Hopkins University (although it is implied this would not have happened anyway because of his poor SAT scores). ("Once Bitten") A picture of Archer shows him graduating from Georgetown University, ("Placebo Effect") implying he is at least smart enough to receive a bachelor's degree in an unknown major (although according to his mother, he flunked out of college).
As a child, Archer idolized Burt Reynolds, often dressing up as him and continually watching his movies.
Upon growing up, Archer attempted to join the army, but failed. Instead, he began work as a spy at his mother's agency, ISIS, quickly climbing the ranks as their top spy thanks to both his genuine skill and his mother's preferential treatment. Archer has the less than masculine code name of "Duchess" (taken from his mother's beloved Afghan hound, though Malory denies this) and had an on-again, off-again relationship with fellow agent Lana Kane for several years, which makes their working environment tenuous and difficult. ("Mole Hunt")
Archer developed a genuine friendship with Lucas Troy (who unknowingly was in love with Archer) but they broke off their friendship when Troy quit to work for ODIN. Troy secretly anally raped Archer while on a mission to tap a Cuban embassy. This would not come to light until Luke's deathbed confession many years later. It is unknown if the rest of the group is aware of this. ("The Wind Cries Mary")
Issues with Archer's Expense AccountsEdit
Sterling is being "tortured" by Crenshaw. However, because of Crenshaw's lack of intimidation (and his constant changing of accents), Archer does not take it seriously. Malory angrily ends the exercise. When Crenshaw shocks Sterling's foot with the golf cart battery he is holding, Malory simply smiles.
That night, Archer had sex with a flight attendant. The flight attendant had a dog named Abelard, and dogs are normally not allowed in Archer's house. However, a drunken Archer stated that Abelard's barking sounded like Puttin' On the Ritz, and insisted that an exception to the "no dogs" rule be made. When Archer awoke the next day to see Abelard at the foot of the bed, Archer immediately kicked out the flight attendant despite promising her breakfast, and told Woodhouse that he'd better clean up all the dog hair or Archer would rub sand in his eyes.
However, does not have a total lack of compassion. When he believes that he may die from breast cancer, he demonstrates considerable regret at his treatment of his ISIS co-workers: buying roses for Pam and Cheryl, apologizing to Brett Bunsen for horribly beating him while he was making amends to his co-workers, thanking Woodhouse for raising him and promising to treat him better and later stating to Lana Kane that he still loves her (also, in the season 4 finale he gives Lana the last set of scuba gear and tells her he loves her before drowning, later being resuscitated). Archer also bonds with "the wee baby Seamus" over the course of the episode as he considers him the closest that he will ever get to having a child, going so far as to have "Seamus" tattooed on his shoulder in recognition of that affection. Additionally, he establishes a friendship with fellow cancer patient Ruth and even visits her in the hospital. She can be considered his second friend he has ever had after Lucas Troy. He later takes vengence for her death by decimating the local Irish mob responsible for the fake chemo drugs even going so far as to coldly execute the disabled wheelchair bound Boss of the gang by shooting him in the face. "Honeypot" offers another example: when Archer finds himself in a bar that hosts cockfights, sitting next to him is a big Dominican man who is weeping over the death of his slain rooster; the next time we see Archer, he's covered in dirt and carrying a shovel, and when asked where he's been, he says he was "way the Christ out in the Everglades helping some Dominican guy bury his rooster". This becomes even more heart-warming in hindsight after the second-season reveal that alligators are one of Archer's three biggest fears. In "Heart of Archness: Part I", he saved Rip Riley from being attacked by a shark by pulling him out his destroyed seaplane (although Archer is the one who destroyed Rip's seaplane), bandaging his head and giving him CPR, even abandoning the liquor bottles he was holding. In "Coyote Lovely" he refused to leave two border patrol officers to die in the desert even when being presented the chance of sleeping with a beautiful woman. In "The Holdout" he was kind enough to track down the wife of a former Japanese soldier who hasn't talked to his family in decades and even told the impatient CIA officers to give them a minute as he watched the soldier tearfully talk to his family.
Archer's compassionate, more-selfless side began to emerge during Lana's pregnancy: he extensively researched human pregnancy and possible complications, and he even got certified as a doula. He also began to display a desire to help Lana raise her child, knowing personally what not having a father figure in one's life can potentially do to a child's development, even though he believed at the time that the child was someone else's. This display of intense personal loyalty is what slowly began to mend the rift between him and Lana created by years of arrogant assholeishness on his part. He also expressed hope that Lana would be a better mother to her child than Malory had been to him so that the baby would turn out to be less dysfunctional. He also displayed great care and concern by helping to get Lana settled while she gave birth, and even tried to handle observation of the baby's crowning when left alone through use of a mirror. Lana later revealed that the baby, Abbiejean, is Archer's biological daughter: Lana used his frozen semen at the sperm bank. Archer has also shown considerable concern and childlike compassion for Cheryl's pet ocelot, Babou.
Archer's personality completely flips around his daughter, becoming almost unrecognizable. He is a genuinely caring parent and constantly thinks of her well-being, protecting and caring for her and is always aware of her needs. He is stubbornly protective of her in the face of his mother, shielding her from the childhood he endured under his mother's care. He also begins to speak out against his mother's critiques regarding his and Lana's parenting style. He has several times gone against her in regards to raising Abbiejean such as her saying Abbiejean was fat. He takes offense at her statements about Abbiejean seeing her as unworthy of giving advice. One instance being when he threatened to have Malory arrested if she gave baby A.J. diet pills in response to Malory commenting on how fat she was (and not for the first time, either). He is forced to leave his baby with Malory on several occasions though he regrets doing so. This shows an increasingly independent side to Archer, who no longer seems to fear his mother's wrath and a slow fading of his reverence for her. Over time he recognizes how his mother's parenting has severely affected his life and has sworn several times to be a better parent to Abbiejean along with promising to help Lana raise her. He has on several occasions completely stonewalled Malory when she tried to parent A.J. He is a good if inexperienced father, often grudgingly taking Lana's advice on caring for his daughter. Archer's largely half-assed and laid back demeanor when dealing with life-or-death situations changed drastically to a far more serious tone. When he believed Abbiejean to be in legitimate danger, he became grounded, serious, and downright murderous toward the man who threatened to harm her, even stating that for threatening his daughter he would personally beat him to death with his bare fists right then and there. This statement firmly cemented his attitude toward his child. Though it turned out to be an extremely elaborate ruse by Lana, Archer showed a fiercely protective and paternal side to his personality that made him take far less risks and his daughter's safety was his number-one priority, which shows how much he has changed.
The end of Season 6 saw this new attitude go in a new direction. As the team was fired by the CIA and now penniless, Malory wants to find a way to work for them again. Archer responds with an inspiring speech about how they have been outsiders by nature and should hold true to that, especially since their last mission with the CIA left Ray mortally wounded. The others could be seen supporting him, and even smiling when they hear he knows how they can make money in this next stage, leading to speculation that Archer will lead the team in their new lives in Season 7. This shows how his attitude towards his teammates has almost completely flipped from season one.
Numerous hints throughout the series suggest that Archer has Asperger syndrome: he is often the only character to count bullets during gun fights, including multiple automatic weapons; this, coupled with his ability to identify the make and model of firearms, allows him to ascertain when enemies are reloading. He is able to identify the make and model of a blender in "Fugue and Riffs" just by hearing the sound it makes through the phone, and he has an unusual affinity for animals and is able to 'converse' with animals, such as Abelard, Babou, and Kazak. Archer also shows an inability to pick up on social cues and a lack of empathy on the cognitive level, rather than being void of it entirely, and seems to be unable to dress himself without help from Woodhouse. Another characteristic is his voice, which stays very monotone and changes only in response to strong emotions, particularly rage. The possibility of Archer being on the autism spectrum is directly addressed in the episode "Coyote Lovely"; when asked if he is autistic, Archer seriously considers the possibility. In "The Holdout", Archer states that the reason he wanted the office to stay the same was that he's not a big fan of change(s). He also has displayed an encyclopedic knowledge of certain subjects ranging from weapons design to obscure aspects of World War II military history while remaining somewhat unaware of general knowledge of the same subject. Archer is also quite well read and intelligent despite his outward demeanor and mannerisms, another trait that is typical of verbal individuals on the autism spectrum, which is that he has difficulty with displaying his more intelligent aspects due to social awkwardness and difficulty with acceptance among his peers due to his interests being somewhat unusual.
- Jason Fitzgerald served as the model for Sterling.
- Archer also resembles Bond-actor George Lazenby.
- Archer slightly resembles the actor John Travolta.
- Coincidentally, John Travolta played a FBI agent in Face/Off, whose last name is "Archer".
- Archer frequently uses a red ping pong paddle during intercourse. His mother used to spank his bare bottom with a similar paddle. Some famous sadists, such as the Marquis de Sade and Aleister Crowley, were also severely beaten on their bare buttocks in their formative years, which some (including themselves) theorized as being influential in their later fetish for this behavior.
- Though highly proficient with multiple types of guns, Archer's preferred firearm is the Walther PPK, which he has needlepoint accuracy with. He has an odd habit of carrying it everywhere he goes, even into a bath ("Jeu Monégasque") or a stuck elevator ("Vision Quest").
- As of "Sitting", Archer has been shot 34 times, although technically 35 including being shot with a bean bag round.
- In "Heart of Archness: Part I", Archer somehow acquires ammo for his previously emptied weapon in the prior episode "Double Trouble", incurring discontinuity. Similarly, Katya Kazanova in this exact same scene somehow moves from the top of Krieger's Van which wasn't previously fully crushed in the prior episode, and in "Skin Game" in this same scene is suddenly on the other side of the van being dragged away by Krieger without Archer and his full situational awareness not noticing.
- His ringtone is usually "Mulatto Butts", but in "The Wind Cries Mary" he has personalized calls from Lana Kane to play "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins, a reference to his recurring joke on her that she is in the "Danger Zone" because of her obsession with him, as well as it being one of his favorite songs.
- Archer is fond of creating elaborate voicemail pranks, in which the recording is designed to trick people into believing he has answered his phone.
- He is abusive to anyone of lower social status or rank than him (such as Woodhouse). This is probably taught by his mother, who is even more derisive than he is toward such people (except to Woodhouse, to whom she does show respect based on their prior history).
- Archer was shipped off to boarding school by Malory as early as kindergarten, and remained for as long as fifteen years (two years longer than grades would allow). This apparent abandonment by his mother is often a sensitive topic for him, which he tends to color as a more positive experience than flashbacks and recollections tend to portray.
- He was shown to have spent time in the United States Marine Corps.
- In his adult life he continues to have very few friends. In "Heart of Archness: Part III", he tells Lana she is his only friend. The only other close relationship shown is with Lucas Troy, whom Archer did not know had raped him while harboring a homosexual attraction to him.
- Archer favors the use of night-vision goggles during missions, despite being repeatedly blinded by them due to exposure to bright light.
- He is known to faint. Malory has remarked: "You would think he was a half fainting goat". His condition could possibly be due to vasovagal response, which is known to cause fainting episodes in stressful situations; as seen in the episodes "Dial M for Mother", "Stage Two", "The Man From Jupiter" and "Skin Game".
- Archer frequently uses the name "Randy" for his assumed personas in the field ("Drift Problem", "Live and Let Dine", "Sea Tunt: Part II"), only changing to "Rando" when the frequency of his usual choice was called into question.
- The acronym AJTTOTD he uses on his Twitter account is "Archer's Just The Tip Of The Day," which was a recurring joke in "Mole Hunt".
- He has $480,810 in his ISIS 401(k), though he was unaware of it.
- In the first episode, "Mole Hunt", he had multiple scars on his chest and body. These have since disappeared, with the exception of the bullet wound through his foot.
- Archer is rarely shown drinking non-alcoholic drinks. He has an incredibly strong tolerance to alcoholic intoxication rivaling that of Pam Poovey, managing to for the most part avoid hangovers altogether. This builds his liver to such a point that some drugs, such as tranquilisers, barely affect him, although not to the extent of his mother's ability.  This does not mean he is incapable of intoxication however, as he has appeared deeply intoxicated and hung over on few occasions.
- The freelance spies and spies from other agencies consider him the "World's Most Dangerous Spy." Notable as they don't state that he is even a good spy, just most likely to kill them.
- Archer is an excellent lacrosse player, having played it extensively in his boarding school days.
- Archer had breast cancer that is currently in remission ("Stage Two", "Placebo Effect") due to his careless behavior around radioactivity. He was also told that family history and a history of alcoholism were potential risk factors. Malory had been diagnosed with breast cancer as well (although this was later shown to be a false positive), and both of them show symptoms of alcoholism.
- Archer has two tattoos, one on his right shoulder blade reading "Seamus," and one on his left shoulder blade reading "Dicky" which he got in "Stage Two" and have been seen in multiple episodes since.
- Archer has developed minor tinnitus due to his fellow agents firing guns near his ears ("Movie Star"). As the show progresses, he continues to have guns fired next to the same ear and is exposed to multiple explosions which cause further damage to his eardrums and worsen his tinnitus ("Stage Two", "White Nights", "Heart of Archness: Part II").
- He has written How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written.
- His hero since he was a small boy is Burt Reynolds. Archer makes a strong effort to imitate Reynolds' various movie and television personas in his daily life. In particular, Archer favors Reynolds' performances in White Lightning and Gator, and constantly expresses his wish to see a third movie to the series.
- He has a surprising fondness for cats, such as Cheryl's pet ocelot Babou and a captive tiger in El Contador. He also claims to love dogs (with the exception of his mother's dog). However, despite this supposed love for dogs, he has a firm "No Dogs" policy regarding his apartment (as seen in the pilot).
- Archer always refers to Malory as "Mother", never "Malory" or "Mom".
- Archer is an avid reader of novels, movies, and political fiction, and constantly references them in conversation. He seems to have an extensive knowledge of trivia, particularly film, television, and literature.
- He is known to have had sex with many of his female co-workers, including Lana, Cheryl and Pam, the last of which he had a brief friends-with-benefits agreement with.
- He knows a lot about mixing drinks, and is somewhat of a snob about them, constantly criticizing bartenders. He is pretty good at mixing them himself and improvising drinks in odd situations, although at home he generally has Woodhouse make drinks for him. He usually has bloody marys for breakfast.
- Archer is highly skilled in hand to hand combat, as well as fighting with improvised weaponry. He is also an expert escape artist. In particular he can fight in handcuffs or get out of them.
- He often wears black turtleneck sweaters on missions, a style which he claims he invented, and becomes extremely annoyed when he sees other spies, especially ODIN goons, trying to wear them.
- Archer was for a short time married to Linda Belcher, during his amnesia-induced time as Bob Belcher. He proposed twice to former KGB agent Katya, though both times ended without them being married. He proposed to a pregnant Lana in White Elephant, though she blew him off.
- In Arrival/Departure, Lana gave birth to their daughter, Abbiejean Kane-Archer, who Lana made possible by using Archer's sperm.
- He appears to be the only one to notice the mish-mash timeline the show goes through, frequently asking "What year is this?!" and receiving no answer from the person asked. When around others who note the same thing, he replies with "Right?!"
- Nightcrawler AKA Kurt Wagner is his favorite creature with a prehensile tail, his second favorite being Didelphis Virginiana, more commonly known as the Virginia Possum (Un Chien Tangerine).
- It's mentioned multiple times that he seems calm and seems to enjoy needling his co-workers or antagonize his enemies, possibly worsening the situation. Finally, in Drastic Voyage Part II he explicitly states that he honestly believes he can't die, showing an unnerving lack of concern for mortality.
- Archer has a cleft chin (a trait which is dominant over non-cleft chins). His mother does not have one, so the only other person he could've inherited it from is his father. Len Trexler and Buddy Rich also do not have cleft chins, however Nikolai Jakov does. This means that Nikolai Jakov is the only one of the three men who could actually be Archer's father. But in Lo Scandalo, Malory describes an unnamed Italian man with similar features to Archer who could also be his father, though she does not specify if he had a cleft chin.
- "I swear, I had something for this." - many episodes
- Are we not doing phrasing anymore?
- "That is classic her." - many episodes (referencing Malory's overly selfish/sexual behavior)
- "Do you not?"
- "Lana. Lana! LANAAA!!!"
- "Danger zone!" (often whispered)
- "[Bleep] you, Space!"
- "[Bleep] you, Switzerland!"
- "[Bleep] you, Jungle!"
- "Just the tip!"
- "Duh, and/or hello!"
- "Can't, or won't?"
- "Well, obviously!"
- "Oh man! Whoo! I am awesome!"
- "Obviously, the core concept."
- Katya: "Does she hate what I am?"
- Archer: "What you are meaning the one woman who can free her child from the psychological prison she spent a lifetime erecting?!" - Skin Game
- "A little of Column 'A', a little of Column 'B'."
- "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."
- "READ A BOOK!" - when Archer is knowledgeable about something and others do not show the same knowledge
- "What's a gill?" - Blood Test
- "I am commandeering this airboat!"
- "Ah, ah, ah, Pam. I will end you."
- "Seriously are we done with phrasing?"
- "Because I wouldn't be caught dead in a sweater vest."
- Variations of "dammit" and "goddammit!"
- "Keep it loose"
- "Oh my God these ODIN dicks...Where'd you get your turtleneck? The turtleneck store? Ha ha ha"
- "Fan...tastic...What? (Lana: "What are you doing?") Oh you know just living the dream, Lana."
Gallery of ImagesEdit
There are 239 images of Sterling Archer on this Wiki, visit the Sterling Archer gallery to view all the images and screenshots. Here is a sample of four images from the gallery: