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Main Article Theories about
Tom Friendly
Main Discussion
 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
  6. Responding to another theory (use discussion page instead).
  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

Tom with and without his fake beard.

Role and rank

  • Was responsible for the Others' "public relations."
  • He was not one of the original "Others", born on the island or brought there as a young child. This would explain why he didn't seem to have particular duties but just acts as an general assistant to those who do have assigned duties. (alb)
  • Unlike Juliet, who was apparently brought to the Island because of her medical talents, Tom was most likely not any kind of doctor, considering he didn't like the sight of blood and he looked as though he was about to vomit during Ben's surgery.
  • Seems less manipulative of and more amiable with the losties than Ben and Juliet following his 'de-bearding' - could have been a fairly low-ranking Other, only making appearances at the request of Ben due to the losties' familiarity with him.
  • Appeared remorseful or confused when Jack listed the reasons he thinks the Others are going to kill him (kidnapping Claire, killing Scott, hanging Charlie, kidnapping the kids). He may not have been aware of some of these acts or may have disagreed with them but was powerless to do anything about them.
    • Tom was seen pointing out cameras in a room where he takes Jack to see Kate, indicating he may have been helping Jack, probably in concert with Juliet. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
    • It is highly doubtful he was remorseful or confused as to the kidnapping of the children considering that he was part of the team who kidnapped Walt. There was no chance he disapproved of it since he showed complete and total loyalty to Ben.
      • It is common for people to appear loyal to their superiors in order to maintain their status.
  • Tom was not very bright and seemed to have only an average education. He is not a specialist in anything, which means that he was probably not recruited.
    • Not necessarily, he could have been downplaying himself. In "Stranger in a Strange Land," he asked Jack about his "glass house" and offered "to give him some stones." In a clever way, he was referring to the saying "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." He was pointing out to Jack that the Losties were no better than the others and had killed many of them.

DHARMA connections

Tattoo on his chest that could confirm a long time relationship with the DHARMA Initiative
  • In "A Tale of Two Cities" he said that it only took two hours for the polar bears to figure out the cage feeder puzzle. The polar bears escaped during the collapse of the DHARMA Initiative, so he was part of it. (Official Lost Podcast transcript/October 30, 2006)
    • He may have origanlly been a member of the DHARMA Initiative, as a zoologist and joined the hostiles just like Ben.
  • Tom may have been ex-Dharma. In The Hunting Party he quotes Alvar Hanso and on Hydra Island he knew how long it took the bears to figure out their cages.
    • The Hanso quote, upon reflection, is mocking. Tom follows it with, "You know the other one about curiosity, don't you?" Tom was originally a hostile, non-DHARMA, and is referencing the deaths of the curious DHARMA types who trespassed on the island.
      • While possible, Tom doesn't seem to have the role or rank of someone who has been on the island that long. He is always in a position of following orders : Coleen leads the attack on the sailboat Elizabeth and Ryan leads the attack on the beach : both times Tom is simply chosen for the team but not in charge. More likely he was recruited like most of the Others; neither DHARMA nor a Hostile.
        • However, Tom was off island to see Michael. Richards states that information about getting off-island is priveledged. He has been off before, as he says to Michael.
        • He also did lead missions ie.Taking Walt, and telling the losties where the line was and where exactly not to cross
  • Probably worked at The Hydra since he knew exactly how long the bears took to solve the puzzle.
  • Tom may have been a low level DHARMA employee, perhaps a Work Man.
    • In "LaFleur", a DHARMA mechanic with the name of Tom is shown. Sawyer asks him where to find Juliet when Amy was giving birth. He looks very much like a 30 years younger Mr. Friendly.
  • Tom was a member of Geronimo Jackson. On the cover of 'Magna Carta', he is the guitarist standing wearing a purple shirt and brown jacket. This man's face structure and large frame very much resemble Tom's. Geronimo Jackson mysteriously went missing in 1971 shortly after the DHARMA Initiative was founded at the University Of Michigan. The band was formed by Keith Strutter in Detroit, very near U of M, where they may have played at or attended classes, thereby possibly knowing the DeGroot's. When the DI set up on the island the band members were invited to go along. This may explain the Geronimo Jackson fan base present on the island as evidenced by them having a rare copy of their album in the Swan station, wearing T-shirts, and having a Tour poster on the wall of the cafeteria.

Character connections

  • His full name was "Thomas Hobbes" in accordance with the pattern of naming characters after social contract philosophers. (Thomas Hobbes was a contemporary and rival of John Locke).
    • Since the name "Mr. Friendly" was actually used originally in the script, his name could in fact be Tom Friendly
    • Another possible surname is "Aquinas," or something similar. Thomas Aquinas was a very influential Catholic philosopher.
    • The philosopher Thomas Hobbes was most likely not only gay but also into young men, much like this Tom. This further confirms a connection to the character's potential namesake.
    • He is specifically refered to as Mr Friendly in the episode Meet Kevin Johnson.
  • He is like Squealer from Animal Farm, who is totally loyal to Napoleon and represents propaganda.
  • Wore the beard so as not to be recognized from previous encounters before the crash. This would also explain why he was not sent to either crash site by Ben, seeing as the others appear to have a great deal of information on the survivors.
    • Specifically, wore the beard so as not to be recognized by Michael. Michael was the only character present every time Tom wore his beard (on the raft, at the line, at the decoy village, and on the dock); Tom never bothered with his beard when other Losties, such as Claire, were present. Thus, Michael knew Tom from some event in the past, which is also why Ben was upset with Tom for removing his beard. But Michael didn't say anything, fearing losing his chance to leave with Walt; so Tom's past remained hidden.
      • Wearing the beard so as not to be recognised by Michael could be very likely. An upcoming flashback in Season 4 seems to point to this. Season 4 Spoiler
  • He was at The Pearl, watching the losties in the Swan, and he pretended to be Walt over the computer to lure Michael away to be captured.
    • Well anybody could have done that (why Tom?)
      • Tom was, supposedly, at The Pearl around Day 49, when Michael received the first message from "Walt". In addition to the orders to cover the hatch door with the Beechcraft wreckage, he could have been given additional orders to contact Michael.
  • He gave Locke the tape with Ben's recording, to help overthrowing Ben in agreement with Richard, and to help the Losties (Ben calls for him when he realizes the tape wasn't returned to Juliet). He also met Juliet and Jack to tell them the Others would attack in a couple of days (they couldn't have learned this from the tape, as they hear it for the first time when Sawyer plays it)
    • He may have just called for Tom because Tom was part of the team going to the beach. Furthermore, Juliet was informed of the plan with Ben before she left, so she already knew that the Others were coming.
    • The Juliet knew the plan theory fits well with Jack sending Rousseau to get the dynamite, and Karl gave the Losties the heads up about the raid being moved up a day. Tom was not involved with the warning.
  • Tom is actually Sawyer. Sawyer is very well-read and chose the moniker for the literary reference. Sawyer stayed on the Island in 1977 and ended up joining the Others after DHARMA was removed. Tom is not gay, and any references in the show that imply he is are deliberately ambiguous, the result of the writers' misdirection. Tom wears a beard upon initially encountering the Losties because he doesn't want to be recognized by himself. The fact that Tom is eventually killed by Sawyer, his younger self, is fulfillment of Duckett's last words after being shot by Sawyer, that "It'll come back around."
    • Sorry to shout you down, but this is massively unlikely. Apart from the season 4 flashback providing a less-than-ambiguous reference to Tom being gay, there seems to be a whole big deal about making sure different time-versions of the same person don't meet themselves. Although Sawyer (let's keep your example for argument's sake) can theoretically exist in 2004 as a 35-ish year old and also as a 65 year old who was 35 when he time-travelled back thirty years and stayed there, the paradox caused by the two Sawyers encountering one another could be catastrophic. In one of the Pierre Chang videos (possibly the Comic Con, which I know isn't canon, but bear with me) Dr Chang freaks out that there are two rabbit 15s in the room at the same time and shouts that they have to be kept apart. Clearly something bad could happen if they met. Also, I'm pretty sure that young Sawyer might recognise his future self and unless Tom's a real strong believer in WHH he would surely try and stop young Sawyer from shooting him if he remembers doing it 30 years previously. Also, Tom isn't thirty years older than Sawyer. M.C. Gainey is actually twenty years older than Sawyer and although he could be playing older he's no way 65. Which is a shame because otherwise I quite like that theory.
      • Dialogue is appreciated! All of these points are valid, but counter-points exist. First, re-watch the season 4 flashback, and I think you will find the gay reference isn't as obvious as you think--Tom kisses a man on the cheek as he leaves the hotel room, but the man is Italian and it could be a cultural thing. Also, other characters have met themselves in a different time: for example, Miles has seen himself as a baby. And Pierre Chang's videos have been misleading before, like the one from last year's Comic Con indicating that Daniel was videotaping him when LaFleur (Sawyer) walked into the room--this never ended up happening in the show, and Chang has been revealed to not have all the information we think he should have, like in the Incident in the season 5 finale. As for Tom not looking 30 years older than Sawyer, if he's lived on the Island for 30 years, his aging process may have been slowed down--haven't we seen other characters (Ben, Richard) on the Island appear to age very slowly, or not at all? The only point that gives me pause is the fact that Tom would have known that Sawyer shoots him (because he IS Sawyer and so would have his memories and know what he did in 2004), and so he probably wouldn't have put himself in that situation on the beach, allowing himself to be shot. My theory is that Sawyer may be a "variable," and his behavior may not be predictable and may change from one iteration of time to another, as Faraday discussed in season 5's "The Variable." Or, there could be another reason that he believes he needs to die, to save the Island, or Juliet, or some other reason we don't know about yet that would make his sacrifice really poignant, like he needs to do it in order to save his daughter. Otherwise, the similarities between the characters are fairly obvious when you think about it: their names, size and physical appearance, preference for loose clothing and unbuttoned shirts, their longer, shaggy hair styles, their slight southern accents, their aversion to blood, etc. And so far it's the only plausible explanation that I've heard so far for why Tom initially wore a beard and disguise upon first meeting the Losties.
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