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Peter Petrelli
Portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia
First appearance Genesis
In-story stats
Known abilities Empathic mimicry
Known powers mimicked:
Rapid cell regeneration,
Space-time manipulation,
Induced radioactivity,
Enhanced strength,
Nickname Pete
Age 26
Home New York, NY
Occupation former home hospice nurse
Significant other formerly Simone Deveaux
Parents Angela Petrelli, unnamed father
Sibling Nathan Petrelli (older brother)

Peter Petrelli is a former home hospice nurse from New York City. His brother Nathan and mother Angela also live there. Peter discovers he has the ability to mimic the superpowers of others.



Born in 1980, Peter Petrelli was the younger son of Arthur Petrelli and Angela Petrelli. After he graduated from the nursing school, he decided to become a full-time nurse, which is disapproved by his parents.

After Mr. Linderman sent people to attack his politician brother Nathan Petrelli and his wife Heidi, he believes he dreamt the Nathan's accident as or before it occurred, and talks about his dream with Nathan, while Heidi is in surgery. Peter decides to give a deposition against Linderman and his organization, who were responsible for the car wreck. As Peter prepares for his deposition, he is informed by Nathan that their father has died of a heart attack.

The Exploding Man

Peter began having amazing dreams that he can fly. Later, he stands on top of a building, throws himself off, and is met by his brother Nathan, who can also fly. Peter eventually learns that his power is actually the ability to absorb the powers of those he meets. Peter visits Mohinder Suresh, looking for the author of Activating Evolution. While Peter and Mohinder are on a subway train, time freezes, and Peter has a visit from a Japanese man, who tells him that Peter must "save the cheerleader, save the world".

When he meets Isaac Mendez, Peter finished a painting depicting a dead and mutilated cheerleader. Peter realizes he must save this girl, and upon seeing another painting, heads to a homecoming, in Odessa, TX. There, he meets Claire Bennet, and manages to stop her from being killed by a mysterious stranger. He falls off a building and breaks several bones, although he quickly regenerates, mimicking Claire's power.

Outside the sheriff's department, Peter collapses and has a vision of himself bursting into red flames and exploding in the middle of the city. Peter meets the invisible Claude Rains, who helps Peter discover that he can access the powers he has absorbed by thinking of the person from whom he absorbed the ability.

Later, Peter visits Isaac's loft again, and confronts the painter about his association with Mr. Bennet. A fight ensues, and Simone is accidentally shot. Then, Peter visits Mohinder's apartment, but is confronted by Sylar, who begins to cut off the top of Peter's head. However, Peter heals his wound, fights Sylar, and dies when struck with a shard of glass in his brain. He revives when Claire removes the shard. At Kirby Plaza, Peter absorbs Ted's power, and has difficulty controlling it. Peter has a final confrontation with Sylar. They trade blows, and Peter's hands begin to glow dangerously. He tells Claire to shoot him, but Nathan appears, picks up his brother, and flies away into the sky where Peter explodes.

Lost in Ireland

At a shipyard in Cork, Ireland, three thugs--Ricky, Tuko, and Will--search for a shipping container which they believe to contain iPods. Instead, they find a half-naked Peter handcuffed inside the empty container. They ask him where the merchandise is, to which he replies that he doesn't know. Tuko tries to strike him, but Peter defends himself by shooting an electrical bolt from his free hand, hurling his attacker to the ground. The other thugs draw their guns on him and ask him who he is, but Peter doesn't know.

Will throws a bucket of water on Peter to wake him, which Tuko follows by punching Peter. Peter wonders where he is, and Tuko punches him repeatedly. Ricky asks Peter where he stashed the iPods, but Peter tells him he hasn't taken anything.

The door to the room Peter's in opens, and a woman enters. She tells Peter she likes his necklace and wants to know what it means, but Peter wants to known just as much as she does. She asks him his name, but he doesn't know. The woman introduces herself as Caitlin, Ricky's sister. Caitlin tells Peter he has to remember something, but Peter only remembers Ricky, Tuko and Will finding him. He tells her that the "electrical spark" that knocked Tuko down came from his hand. As she cleans his face, she finds that all the cuts from his beating have healed, which leaves them both wondering.

Alone in the room, Peter tries escaping his bonds, which results in him phasing through the ropes. Peter grabs a shirt and is about to climb out a window when a bunch of thugs walk in and start to attack Caitlin. Peter throws another electrical spark to knock out one of the thugs and then uses telekinesis to disarm another. He punches a third thug, launching him across the room.

Caitlin asks Peter if he is going to say anything about the things he did, but Peter just tries to blow it off like he didn't do anything. Ricky returns and explains that the guy Peter put through the wall was the son of McSorely, an organized crime boss. Peter says next time he will leave him alone with Caitlin, but Ricky gets angry and tells him not to mouth off. Ricky tells him they will do a job so they can give McSorely a lot of money and get him off their backs, but Peter tells him he is no a thief. Ricky then pulls out a Box and calls Peter by his name. According to Ricky, the box contains everything that Peter had on him when they found him. Ricky tells Peter that if he does one job for them, they will give him the box and he can leave.

Peter makes a deal with Ricky. If he helps the gang steal a vault out of an armored truck, Ricky will give him the box. However, as the two agree on this, Peter inadvertently hears Will's thoughts, and discovers that he plans to steal the money from Ricky and the others. When Peter attempts to warn Ricky, the mobster reveals a crest tattooed on his arm. It's his family crest, and he, Tuko, and Will have one. He tells Peter he trusts Will a lot more than he trusts him. When the night of the robbery arrives, Peter and Caitlin arrive, separate from the others. Peter goes towards the guards, and begins yelling at them, distracting them from the fact that Ricky and the others are behind them, pointing guns at their heads. While keeping the guards at gun point and attempting to steal the safe box, one of them hits an alarm, causing Ricky to knock him out. As they're about to get caught, Peter moves a truck crashing towards the guards. He gets back in Caitlin's car and escapes.

Back at the bar, Ricky is rejoicing in the amount of money stolen. However, Will pulls a gun on him, demanding the money. Peter comes out from the back room, and notes that he was right about Will the whole time. Will shoots Peter, and is about to take the money, when Peter stands and pins Will to a wall using telekinesis. Peter's body pushes out the two bullets from the entry wounds, and he begins to strangle Will with his telekinesis. However, he is brought to his senses by Caitlin, and releases Will.

Later, just as Caitlin finishes tattooing the crest onto Peter's arm, Ricky comes over and declares Peter family, and says that they shouldn't keep any secrets from each other. He places Peter's box on the table, and leaves. As Caitlin tells Peter to open it, he expresses his concerns of who he was before he lost his memory. He explains that he wanted to kill Will, and almost did. Caitlin tells him that he's a "good soul," and that if he's happy being their with them, that he should forget about his past for the time being. The too begin to kiss, leaving the box unopened. As they do so, unknown to both of them, Peter's new tattoo begins to change, turning into the symbol before disappearing.


Much mystery surrounded Peter's status and powers, or lack thereof, early in the series. While every main character was said outright to have a power in press releases, Peter was simply billed as "trying to convince his brother he can fly". Later, after his brother flew, Peter himself displayed the ability to levitate not long afterward (Don't Look Back). Peter is actually an empathic mimic who duplicates the powers of others. His crude levitation sketch shows that he gained Isaac's ability to draw the future, but without needing to be induced by drugs (Don't Look Back). Later, Peter visits Isaac and finishes Isaac's painting without the aid of heroin or any other drug (Hiros).

Early on, Peter's duplicated powers typically only lasted while the person he was mimicking was nearby. He was unable to fly when not in the presence of Nathan, and he became visible when Claude walked away from him, but he was still able to use Isaac's precognition the day after he met him (Don't Look Back). In Distractions, he duplicated Claire's power of regeneration, even though he had not been near her for weeks; this was the first time he ever consciously "recalled" a mimicked power.

While Peter's crude stick figure drawings originally seemed to indicate that he could duplicate only someone's powers, and not their skills, the painting he completed at Isaac's studio seems fairly well done (though not of the same style). This could indicate that his ability is maturing and developing, much like the others with powers.

Powers Mimicked

Prior to having his power stolen by Arthur Petrelli, Peter was able to duplicate the abilities of other evolved humans; after he acquired the ability, he did not need to be in the person's presence. To date, Peter had conclusively duplicated the abilities of:

See also: Powers Mimicked by Future Peter

Powers Exposed

Other evolved humans had been within Peter's proximity, exposing him to their abilities. However, Peter never exhibited these abilities:

In the original timeline, Peter was exposed to Sylar's enhanced memory. (Homecoming) However, Hiro Nakamura went back in time, preventing Sylar from obtaining it in the first place. (Once Upon a Time in Texas)

See also: Powers Exposed to Future Peter




Memorable Quotes

"I've been up here all night thinking about this, thinking about my destiny."

"What are you doing, Pete?"

"It's my turn to be somebody now, Nathan!"

- Peter, Nathan (Genesis)

"Saving you ...did I save the world?"

"I don't know, I'm just a cheerleader."

- Peter, Claire (Homecoming)

"Charles Darwin bred pigeons when he was working out his theory of evolution--married up various permutations to get maximum potential."

"What do you mean by that, 'maximum potential'?"

"I think he meant you, friend."

- Claude, Peter (Unexpected)

"Haven't I killed you before?"

"Didn't take."

- Sylar, Peter (How to Stop an Exploding Man)



  • In an interview, Tim Sale said, "Peter's [likeness] is kind of easier to caricature because he's got that silly hair and that kind of knife-like face."
  • Both his first name and last name, Peter and Petrelli, come from the Latin term petra meaning "rock".
  • In an interview, Jason La Padura said that Peter and Nathan were originally written to be twins.
  • According to the official site for the Season One DVD, Peter's AIM screen name is ppetrelli07.
  • In the commentary for .07%, Andrew Chambliss says that Tim Kring's early drafts of the pilot call Peter "Harrison", "Ethan", and other names. His last name was Campbell, and he was supposed to be in his mid-30s.

See Also