Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, born Joy Ruth Keenan is a forensic anthropologist and works at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
She works with her husband Special Agent Seeley Booth to solve cases which require her expertise. He nicknames her "Bones", referring to her job as a forensic anthropologist. She hates this at first, but eventually comes to accept. They seem to have a fairly comfortable working relationship, despite the differences in their personalities.
Temperance's character is very loosely based on author Kathy Reichs. Portrayed by Emily Deschanel, Brennan is a strong female lead. Although the character is named after the heroine in Reichs' crime novel series, her characterization was based on Reichs herself rather than the books' protagonist.
Along with her work at the Jeffersonian, Brennan is a best-selling novelist and writes about a fictional anthropologist, Kathy Reichs. In the series' pilot, Brennan says that the closest other forensic anthropologist is in Montreal. Temperance Brennan mostly confides in her best friend and fellow co-worker, forensic artist Angela Montenegro. Aside from Angela, Dr. Brennan has a band of 'squints' (a term given by Agent Booth to describe what scientists do - "they squint at things"), specifically entomology expert Dr. Jack Hodgins, Dr. Camille Saroyan, a forensic pathologist who is Dr. Brennan's boss, and formerly (through Season 3) Dr. Zack Addy, a bone trauma expert who was also once Dr. Brennan's graduate student.
Brennan was inspired to be an anthropologist by the film "Mummy" as revealed on several episodes.
Brennan graduated from Northwestern University and is a licensed hunter (she has licenses that allow her to hunt in four unspecified states). She claims that she hunts only for food, though in later episodes, she becomes a vegetarian.
Brennan is an utmost scientist, surpassed in emotional detachment only by her assistant (in first two seasons) and later coworker forensic anthropologist Zack Addy.
Her scientific approach to life results as her being an atheist, highly critical toward any religion, and at the same time she believes in the death penalty. Her being an atheist and judgmental about religion lead to more than one argument with Booth, who is a Roman Catholic and arguably defensive of his faith.
Brennan's character develops in the second season where she refers to the rest of the team as "our squints" even though the term "squints" is predominately used by Booth when he describes the team, Brennan included.
Bones' emotional detachment results in a lack of social skills, so she either has trouble understanding jokes or comments related to male-female relationships, or she just chooses to ignore it. Her portrayer in the television series, Emily Deschanel, commented that "Bones" Brennan "is a lot younger and different" from the Brennan in Kathy Reichs' books. Deschanel remarked, "Not that there aren't certain similarities, but it's a kind of a mesh." According to Deschanel, she and the show's creator Hart Hanson discussed that her character "almost has Asperger's Syndrome".
Despite Bones's extensive knowledge of anthropology, she is quite unaware of pop culture, and her coworkers, particularly Booth, likes to tease her about it. A running gag on the series is someone making an obvious popular culture reference and she blankly states "I don't know what that means," and she is somewhat excited on the rare occasion that she does understand them; for example, in "The Maggots in the Meathead," Bones excitedly explained guidos, GTL (Gym Tan Laundry) and other "tribal" features of Jersey Shore denizens after mistaking the reality program for a documentary on television. 
Brennan, due to her lack of social skills, insults most people she comes across without realizing it, and she constantly derides religion; she once stated that god was fictional within feet of an elderly priest. She also insults colleagues by claiming her working environment or field of study are superior to theirs, or that study done in her area of expertise is more likely to result in a cause of death than work done in theirs. An example of this is that in "The Salt in the Wounds", Brennan got angry at Camille because she didn't remove the flesh from a corpse so Brennan could examine the bone. The main point of tension was that Brennan honestly believed that Camille couldn't find cause of death from the corpse, whereas she could from the bones. When later proved wrong she reluctantly apologized; this is notable as she rarely apologizes. Usually, she either believes she is right or feels that what she says is not insulting.
Dr. Brennan also displays an exceptionally strong sense of integrity. In "A Night at the Bones Museum," Booth comments to Assistant Director Andrew Hacker that one of the things that "makes her Bones" is that she does not feel pressure to do or say anything she does not want to and that no one can force her to.
Brennan works at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington D.C., and is paired with Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) to work on cases that require both their expertise. He nicknames her "Bones," referring to her job as a forensic anthropologist. The pair are married, and live together with their daughter.
Though originally the pair denied a romantic relationship, she and Booth tended to spend more and more time together outside work as the series progressed. The two have "intimate" conversations about their past and present, and they often had lunch or dinner together. Also, Booth taught Brennan how to skate, and traveled with her to England and China. After several near-misses, the two finally became intimate one night after a crisis, resulting in Brennan conceiving the couple's first child, a daughter they named Christine after Brennan's deceased mother. The couple purchased a house together, and eventually married, after a long, bizarre waiting period due to a serial killer's (Pelant) threat to kill five innocent people if Booth married Brennan or told her why they weren't getting married.
Along with her work at the Jeffersonian Institute, Brennan is a best-selling novelist and writes about a fictional anthropologist, Kathy Reichs (this is a nod to the real-life Kathy Reichs, who writes about a fictional anthropologist named Temperance Brennan). Due to her book sales, Brennan is a very wealthy woman. She was told by her publisher that she would never have to work again, but she stays at her job at the Jeffersonian out of choice and love for what she does. I
In one episode, The Man in the Morgue, it is said she is trained in three types of martial arts. In Aliens in a Spaceship, it mentions that Dr. Brennan was currently studying karate. The known list of Brennan's diverse talents is expanded in Double Trouble in the Panhandle, as it is revealed she is a trained amateur highwire performer. Also of note are Brennan's intimate knowledge and understanding of forensic anthropology and kinesiology, often being compared to the police detective Columbo for her seemingly unintelligent appearance toward suspects, which have given her an aptitude for gaining clues from the body movements of other people (The Woman in the Garden,The Truth in the Lye,The Girl with the Curl) and contribute toward her martial arts prowess, and she even advises Booth once how to win his fight against another Ultimate Fighting contestant in The Woman in the Sand.
In Mayhem on a Cross, a specific instance about Dr. Brennan's turbulent time in the foster care system is revealed. She was locked in a trunk for two days for breaking a dish. According to Brennan, she was warned of the consequences in advance. However, the water was simply too hot to safely use and the soap slippery and thus the dish was dropped. When Brennan reveals this information to Dr. Sweets and Booth, she becomes extremely emotional. This creates an emotional connection among the three of them by metaphorically "sharing scars." Although all three continue to hide it, they become much closer.
The first season establishes Brennan's character and background. She chose her field of research in order to find out what happened to her parents, who vanished without a trace when she was fifteen - leading to an unpleasant time in the foster care system before being rescued by her grandfather.
This is revealed early in the first season, but later contradicted in the last episode of the second season, when in a conversation with her father Brennan says she always thought she didn't have any grandparents. It has been revealed she has one living brother, Russ. When she was fifteen and Russ was nineteen, their parents went out in their car one day to run errands and never came back.
In the first season finale, it was revealed Temperance Brennan's birth name was Joy Keenan. Her parents were bank robbers who were forced to change their names and go into hiding when they testified against other robbers in their group. Brennan discovers her mother's remains, which had been held at the Jeffersonian ever since she arrived, and finally solves her murder. She also reunites and reconciles with her older brother Russ (formerly Kyle Keenan).
The season-long plot involves Brennan's developing relationship with a FBI agent as well as the return of her father and brother. In Judas on a Pole, Brennan's father, Max, surfaces when she and her team investigate a murder he committed to protect her and Russ.
Max disappears as quickly as he surfaced and takes Russ with him. Her father visits her several more times over the course of the season but manages to evade capture each time. In the final episode of the second season, he allows Booth to arrest him because he realizes each time he runs away, he cuts himself off from his daughter, which makes her feel abandoned once again.
He states he has set Russ up with a straight job, but refuses to tell Temperance where her brother is living because he is violating the terms of his parole. Also in the final episode of Season 2, Brennan agrees to become Angela's maid of honor. After Zack turns down the offer of being best man for Hodgins, Booth steps into the role.
The episode ends with Brennan and Booth standing before the priest after Hodgins and Angela run off together without being married. In Season 3, Angela speculates this has caused a rift in the friendship of Brennan and Booth because of the symbolism (a man and a woman at the altar); however, Brennan seems to be more upset Booth did not advise Zack against going to work in Iraq.
Brennan's father is accused of murdering the Deputy Director of the FBI and goes to trial in The Verdict in the Story. Through her testimony and trial strategizing, Brennan helps him be acquitted of all charges. Due to the fact her partner, Special Agent Seeley Booth, arrested her father Max Keenan, Brennan and Booth are sent to therapy throughout the season with psychologist Dr.
Sweets. As the season progresses, Brennan and the Jeffersonian team attempt to catch a serial killer known as the Gormogon, who eventually recruits Brennan's former grad student and current "squint" Zack as his apprentice. Brennan must also deal with the "death" of Booth, who took a bullet meant for her.
He later is revealed to be alive, and Brennan tries to figure out why she was never informed. Brennan learns she was supposed to be told by Dr. Sweets, but Sweets didn't tell her so he could observe how Brennan acted in the face of Booth's death. She also changed her mind about having a baby after taking care of one, showing a more compassionate side to her personality.
Dr. Brennan had a strange moment with Dr. Sweets's first girlfriend, April, who was seeking advice from another woman in a stable relationship. April thought it was strange because she is 27 while Sweets just turned 23, and asked if there was an concerns about the age difference between Bones and Booth (which is 5 years).
Though she told April they were not together, it's unsure if she trusts her.
There are more hints of romantic feelings between Brennan and Booth in this season, and it's been teased by creator Hart Hanson that this is the season that they "finally end up in bed together." Their relationship became slightly strained when Jared Booth, Seeley's brother, was introduced (Seeley took exception to his brother's interest in Bones). In the episode The Princess and the Pear Brennan notes that Booth tends to be "needlessly protective" sometimes and she doesn't know why, to Agent Perota, after Booth instructs Perota not to let her go into the field alone.
Brennan is unhappy to see her father has obtained a job at Jeffersonian for a time, staying as a convicted criminal. Sweets claims this is because Brennan feels though her father is here now, she can only remember the times he was not there for her in her past. Upon a request from Max, Booth successfully convinces her to accept his presence at the Jeffersonian.
Brennan is shown to have exceptional knowledge in the art of sword fighting when she and Sweets are injured after their car is run off the road and subsequently attacked by a Black Knight.
In the episode "The Girl in the Mask" she speaks basic, albeit flawed Japanese.
In the episode "The Finger In the Nest", she's shown to love dogs, as she tries to adopt a dog. Later in the episode, she nearly cries after the dog is put down, after an order from the court.
Temperance Brennan is revealed to want to have a child in the season four episode, The Critic in the Cabernet. She decides she would like to use Booth's semen. Booth gives his approval, but eventually changes his mind after he hallucinates advice from Stewie Griffin to either be involved or don't do it at all. Brennan agrees to not have a child, or at least to wait. She discovers Booth has been seeing things frequently and takes him to the hospital where it is discovered he has a brain tumor. As he's being rolled into surgery, he lets her know if he dies, he wants her to use his sperm to have a baby. The season ends with an "alternate reality" episode, which in actuality is Brennan reading what she is writing to Booth while he is still unconscious. In this alternate reality, Booth and Bones are married and own a club, where most of the other characters work. The episode ends with Booth waking up, and asking Bones "Who are you?" and Bones looking surprised and upset. In an interview with Hart Hanson it was revealed that Booth doesn't have amnesia but rather he can't remember if she is the Brennan from the alternate reality episode 'The End in the Beginning' or if she is his partner 'Bones'.
This season starts six weeks after the end of Season 4. In the six weeks between the two seasons Brennan disappeared to Guatemala so she wouldn't have to confront Seeley Booth about the emotional issues and emotional trauma they went through at the end of Season 4.
Brennan begins to show more character development than ever in the fifth season. Though she is still hyper-rational and still doesn't understand some common parts of pop culture (in the episode "A Night at the Bones Museum", it is revealed that Brennan does not know who Britney Spears is), she has begun to display emotion more and more. She makes jokes and attempts humor, acts casual, and shows competitiveness more often, and wears more feminine clothing on more occasions. She engages in more speculation and guesswork, and seems more excited, eager, and enthusiastic about both anthropology and social situations. She seems to be able to distinguish differences between accuracy and the truth (as commented by Doctor Gordon Wyatt in "The Dwarf in the Dirt"), and sometimes even does things that she sees as irrational (such as donating money to help Angela save a piglet in "The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken"; this issue had caused a temporary falling-out between the two best friends for much of the episode). She also reveals that the only nickname/pet name she's had is her current one, "Bones", given to her by Booth early on in their friendship, first seen in the pilot.
Brennan is also much more sensitive to the feelings of others, Booth in particular. She expresses more concern for him than ever before, and does not shy away from him in the way that she used to, doing him many important favors with little or no persuasion. In "The Dwarf in the Dirt", it is revealed that Brennan notices minute details about Booth's habits, such as the hand he uses to hold his coffee mug and the foot he leads with when climbing stairs; Brennan says to Wyatt about Booth at one point, "I can't think of anything I wouldn't do to help him." This episode reveals that Wyatt, Sweets, and Angela all believe that Brennan and Booth are in love with each other. Brennan also continues to show her improved sensitivity to Booth's feelings when his grandfather comes to stay in "The Foot in the Foreclosure." While Brennan often made poor first impressions with others in the past due to her hyper-rationale and lack of social skills, she handles her meeting with Hank Booth very well and makes an extremely good impression on him, as seen by several compliments he makes toward her throughout the episode. Hank tells Brennan at one point that Booth "is a strong man, but he's gonna need somebody; everyone needs somebody." He tells Brennan not to be scared, and asks her to promise to be there for Booth (which she readily agrees to). Brennan is also more sensitive towards other people as well; when Hank confesses in guilt to Brennan that it was his fault that Booth's father abandoned Seeley and Jared years ago (upon seeing their father beating Hank's grandsons, Hank told his son to "get out," which caused the latter to leave and never come back), Brennan comforts him and reassures him that he is a good man. She also shows rather uncharacteristic emotion in "The Goop on the Girl" when the victim's mother is forced to bury her son alone; with tears in her eyes, she expresses desire to attend the funeral of Holden (the victim) so that his mother won't be alone, as no one should be alone at Christmas, even expressing that it is "heart-crushing", perhaps in remembrance of the fact that her parents left her and her brother during the Christmas season. This display of emotion prompts Booth to state that he thinks that Brennan has a bigger heart than people give her credit for.
In the 100th episode Booth tells Brennan that he "wants to give us a shot" as a couple. Bones, scared and emotional, retreats back into her customary world of logic and rules, turning him down. However, she still wants to continue working together. By the end of the fifth season, Brennan begins to feel like she has gotten too far away from her original love of anthropology. It ends with the team heading their own separate ways. Brennan and Daisy go to the Maluku Islands in hopes of discovering the origins of humankind.
This season starts seven months after the end of season five. Brennan and Daisy, who have found nothing in Maluku, return to Washington DC to help Cam save her job. She meets Booth at the coffee cart, as she promised and together, with the rest of the team, they save Cam's position at the Jeffersonian.
Brennan has many more psychological issues in this season than in the others. In "The Doctor in the Photo" she even hears and sees things. In the same episode, Brennan tells Booth that she made a mistake in rejecting him the season before. Booth, now in a serious relationship with Hannah, tells her that he loves Hannah but he hates hurting Brennan.
Booth and Brennan seem to have made up by the next episode, but there is an unspoken and well hidden jealousy in the air between the two.
In "The Daredevil in the Mold", Booth proposes to Hannah and breaks up with her after she rejects his proposal. Brennan is there for him and they have a night of drinking at the Founding Fathers. Booth and Brennan later talk and conclude that one day, when she's strong and he's not angry, they will give a relationship a try.
In the episode, "Hole in the Heart", after Vincent Nigel-Murray is killed, Booth asked Brennan to spend the night at his apartment due to the emotional blow of Vincent's death. Vincent was known to be Brennan's favorite assistant and she is emotionally distressed due to his death and that his final words were "Please don't make me go" while looking at her as he is dying from being shot from a sniper. She ends up sleeping in the same bed as him. She tells Angela of the encounter and, while this conversation is unseen, it heavily implies that Booth and Bones had sex. This is confirmed in the season finale when Brennan tells Booth that she's pregnant with his child.
At the beginning of Season 7, Brennan and Booth are officially a couple. They also are switching time between their apartments. Booth wants to move into a new house which would have enough room for them and the baby. However Brennan thinks that he should move into her apartment because she believes that she is more financially secure and it's bigger.
It causes a minor argument between them but they make up and decide to move into a new place. In the next episode, Booth gets upset when Brennan didn't tell him about an ultrasound in which she found out the baby is a girl. Booth tells Brennan to step into his shoes and see what he sees and know how he feels about being left out of the whole parenting process. By the end of the episode, she apologizes and shows Booth the ultrasound video, which he is happy about.
While she still has issues understanding people, she gains a better understanding of Booth's feelings. In episode 7, "The Prisoner in the Pipe", Brennan goes into labor inside a prison just as she discovers who killed in an inmate there and Booth rushes her out with the intention to take her to the nearest hospital, but they both know she won't make it in time. This leads them to driving to an inn close to the prison.
At first, they are rejected and are told to leave, but after some desperate pleading from an agonized Brennan, the two of them are led to a stall where she gives birth to their daughter, Christine Angela Booth (named after Temperance's mother, Christine Brennan, and Temperance's best friend Angela Montenegro). Some time after the delivery, Temperance and Seeley both go back to their home where they celebrate with their friends from the Jeffersonian, who brought dinners that would last a few nights as well as a few baby supplies.
In "The Past in the Present", Brennan becomes the prime suspect in the murder of her schizophrenic friend, Ethan Sawyer, after supposedly threatening to kill Christine. Max advises Brennan to get off the grid and go into hiding, but she and Booth do not follow up at this suggestion. However, at the end of the episode, after Christine is christened in a Catholic church, it is revealed Brennan decided to take her father's advice and flee with her daughter until her name is cleared. Just before Brennan flees town with Christine, she tells Booth she loves him and not just because of their daughter.
After she returns to Booth in the start of season 8, Dr. B stays with him. They have a solid relationship for a while. After solving numerous tricky murders, the man who framed Bones, Pelant, is back.
Brennan proposes to Booth, but Pelant secretly forces Booth to turn her down, or he will have blood on his hands.
Brennan begins the season not understanding and there is a no distant between the two, but Brennan talks to Booth's former pastor/now bar owner friend who reassures her of Booth's intentions. After they kill Pelant , Booth and Bones decide to renew their engagement and in The Woman in White they get married.
While the character shares the same name and occupation in both the books and television series, her characterization in Bones is vastly different. Brennan is "very focused," and hyper-rational, she is very defensive and protective of evidence, and she deals with the 'horrors' of the crimes she investigates by focusing on the facts only. In the Pilot, Angela voiced perhaps the reason why Brennan comes off as distant is because she "connects too much."
Despite her extensive knowledge of anthropology, she is quite unaware of pop culture and her coworkers, particularly Booth, like to tease her about it. A running gag on the series is someone making an obvious popular culture reference and she blankly states "I don't know what that means", and she is somewhat excited on the rare occasion she does understand them. In contrast to the novels, Brennan of Bones lacks social skills and has trouble understanding jokes and sarcasm.
Her portrayer in the television series, Emily Deschanel, commented Bones' Brennan "is a lot younger and different" from the Brennan in Kathy Reichs' books. Deschanel remarked, "Not that there aren't certain similarities, but it's a kind of a mesh." According to Deschanel, she and the show's creator Hart Hanson discussed that her character "almost has Asperger syndrome".
Brennan is an atheist, critical towards religion and believes in the death penalty. This has led to more than one argument with Booth, who is a devout Roman Catholic and quite defensive of his faith. Brennan's character development is shown in the second season where she refers to the rest of the team as "our squints" even though the term "squints" is predominately used by Booth when he describes the team, Brennan included.
In the season four episode "The Critic in the Cabernet" Brennan shows a desire to have a child. She also shows sadness, compassion, fear and friendship due to the fact Seeley Booth needed immediate surgery. She went into the operating room with him, to be at his side, at his request. She also shows her commitment and deep emotional feelings towards Booth as she is holding his hand as they go into the operating room together and in the following episode "The End in the Beginning" she is writing about love while sitting at Booth's side waiting for him to wake up from the coma.
In season 6, Brennan begins to show more affection towards Booth, who is dating Hannah, but realizes she has missed her chance in the episode "The Doctor In The Photo". When Booth and Hannah break up, Brennan does not act on her feelings until "The Hole In The Heart", when intern Vincent-Nigel Murray is killed by sniper Jacob Broadsky. Traumatized and shaken up, Brennan goes to Booth for comfort in the middle of the night. However, the following morning, Brennan and Angela have a conversation that implies she slept with him. She confirms this in the season finale, "The Change In The Game", when she tells Booth she is pregnant with his child.
In season 7, episode 2, Brennan also shows she has a hard time seeing things through other peoples' eyes, demonstrated when she reveals that she learned the sex of her baby (a daughter) without Booth, not understanding that would upset him. However, Brennan also shows she has a desire to understand other peoples' perspectives in the same episode when she starts acting a little like Booth, going as far as to attack a suspect when she thought he was assaulting a woman. At the end of the day, she apologizes to Booth, who casually forgives her. After the birth of their daughter, Christine Angela Booth, Brennan shows to have a strong maternal love for her, going as far as to stand up to Seeley when Brennan misinterprets a remark he made about Brennan's discomfort with her post pregnancy body.