- ❝ Yeah, you know I hate parties. You go there to socialise, end up standing around in a bunch of smoke and noise, screaming at people that you "like" and then you wanna leave but you can't cause you can't find the people you're supposed to drive home and, I don't drink and I dance like a white guy. But if you wanna go, maybe...? ❞
- —Brandon to Emily[src]
A largely virtuous and ethical character, Brandon gained numerous admirers throughout the course of the series. He attracted the romantic attention of many women, and earned the respect of several friends — notably Steve Sanders and Dylan McKay. Brandon's sister Brenda was also shown to harbor a particular fondness for his character at times, openly telling him at one point that he truly was her best friend. In response, Brandon stated that he hoped he always would be. Brandon was the last Walsh to leave his family's iconic home in Beverly Hills. Brandon, akin to Andrea, would always hold a high standard of morality, at times coming off as moral righteousness or superiority, but would learn from these mistakes and admit his wrongs. Additionally, he would become frustrated with himself and be surprised whenever he did make a mistake, as he would be extremely disappointed in and hard on himself.
Brandon also looked for a deep connection in romantic relationships, falling for girls often, but not necessarily falling in love easily. A few exceptions to this during high school were the competitive ice skater, Tricia, and Emily Valentine, with whom he would later reconnect briefly. Through all of this, and the unfamiliar extremes Beverly Hills conflicts presented the boy scout with, Brandon relies on his close bond with his twin sister, Brenda, in many ways the most enduring friendship he experiences on the series, as Brandon is rarely vulnerable or seeking support from his other friends.
After moving from Minnesota to California, Brandon and his sister Brenda enroll at West Beverly Hills High School, where they would meet several new friends. After his initial difficulties with Beverly Hills, Brandon became loved by many and liked by all. When one of his drinks was spiked at a party, he briefly experienced a problem with drinking which led to the demise of his first cherished car (which he called 'Mondale'), and a night in jail.
During the summer before his junior year, Brandon left his job at the Peach Pit to work as a cabana boy at the Beverly Hills Beach Club in an effort to buy a new car. He left Peach Pit with little notice, but luckily Nat found Courtney at the last minute to fill the void. Brandon spent the summer months saving up his money while meeting several characters, getting in between Jerry Rattinger and his mistress, Sandy. He also helped Dylan get through a rough patch, but suspected him of stealing some electronic equipment from the beach club. He returned to Peach Pit at the end of the summer after a camping trip with the core eight.
When school starts, he became besotted with the new girl in town, Emily Valentine, and after a brief competition with Dylan over her, the two began dating, eventually breaking up after she slips U4EA in his drink at a club. Emily became obsessed with Brandon, stalking him with phone calls and gifts left on his doorstop. When she attempts suicide, she was checked into a clinic and Brandon went to visit her. During the year, Brandon confronted his cousin, Bobby Walsh, who was in a wheelchair because of a skiing accident in which Brandon felt responsible. Bobby never blamed him, however. He also briefly fell for an ice skater, Tricia Kinney, before she had to leave Los Angeles to continue her career.
Brandon returned to work at the Beverly Hills Beach Club for a second summer as the turmoil surrounding Dylan and Brenda's doomed relationship continued. However Brandon found his own companion in Brooke Alexander, though he would later break up with her over political differences and racial issues. When Brandon started his senior year, he was pursued by a freshman named Nikki Witt, who was infatuated with him. Brandon was not interested in the beginning due to their age difference, but soon softened and began dating her. They shared a nice, drama-free relationship until Nikki's ex-boyfriend, Diesel Stone, showed up and tried to pull her back into her old life. Brandon and Diesel eventually locked horns and Brandon punched Diesel out, but this event would signal the end of their relationship.
Nikki would return to San Francisco now that Diesel was out of the picture. Brandon later developed a serious gambling problem by betting with Duke Weatherill, Nat's friend and bookie. However, after Brandon got in over his head and Duke started making threats, Nat bailed him out of the situation on the condition Brandon would never bet again. After Donna Martin got caught with alcohol at the prom, she was forbidden from graduating by the school board. Brandon organized a mass walkout after Gil Meyers encouraged him to do something memorable and the entire senior and junior classes marched on the school board. They were successful and Donna was allowed to graduate with the rest of the class. Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Kelly, Steve, David, Donna, and Andrea later shared a final night together as classmates before defacing the Hollywood sign.
As the summer wound down, Brandon spent time at a beach house with Steve, Celeste Lundy, and Jill Fleming. Jill was a strong, independent woman from New York who bonded with Brandon and confided in him about her rape during her stay before returning to New York. Brandon began attending California University with the rest of the gang as their college years got underway. As the year began, Brandon soon found himself assigned by a sociology professor, Professor Randall, to tutor a basketball player, D'Shawn Hardell.
He also began a flirtatious relationship with Lucinda Nicholson, who unknown to Brandon, was married to Professor Randall. D'Shawn, who had noticed Brandon and Lucinda getting flirty, told Brandon that he was supposed to take the test for him or he would tell Professor Randall about them. Brandon refused D'Shawn and told Lucinda to back away before getting in his car and leaving Los Angeles. Brandon ended up in San Francisco, where he ran into Emily Valentine on a railway car. The two became romantically involved during his brief stay before Emily left for Paris, France to attend the Cousteau Institute on her way to becoming a marine biologist.
When returned to campus, he was shocked to find that Professor Randall had figured out the chemistry between Brandon and Lucinda all on his own. When Steve got in trouble for stealing Randall's baseball, Brandon threatened to expose Randall's favoritism of athletes is he didn't drop the charges. Randall left the university. Brandon then began seeing Lucinda on a regular basis, but was hounded by school's top reporter, Josh Richland. To deflect Josh's attention and cover up his relationship with Lucinda, Brandon pretended Kelly Taylor was his girlfriend on a task force retreat. However, when Lucinda made a pass at Dylan in order to get his financing for her documentary, Brandon ended their relationship. Dylan also found that Brandon and Kelly kissed on the retreat. He took a swing at Brandon, but Steve caught the blow. As the year ended, however, Brandon went to Washington, D.C. on task force business and had to fend off Lucinda and Clare Arnold before Kelly flew to Washington and surprised them. Brandon and Kelly slept together for the first time.
Brandon spends the entire summer with Kelly Taylor and hides their relationship from everyone except for Jim and Cindy Walsh. When Dylan returned from the road drunk and disheveled, Brandon tried to break the news to him, but was unable to find the proper words when he saw how bad of shape Dylan was emotionally. However, Nat accidentally let it slip to Dylan, who caused a scene at a benefit given by Felice Martin. Brandon and Dylan had heated words over Kelly and the friendship between the two of them was strained. Brandon was also reunited with an old friend from Minnesota, Valerie Malone, who moved into the Walsh house. Brandon was then pulled into student politics as the running mate of Josh Richland. They were underdogs, but Brandon's speech about student politics to the student body gave them a boost. When a campaign manager, Alex Diaz, tried to imply Brandon took D'Shawn Hardell's exams for him, it backfired and gave Josh and Brandon even more votes. On the night of the election, the duo surprisingly won, but Josh was killed in a car accident, leaving Brandon to hold the office alone.
Alex Diaz then contested Brandon's appointment, stating the rules of succession were not clear and had never been challenged. Brandon continued to call every Senate meeting to order while the university considered Alex's protest. Brandon was eventually sworn in as student body president and had to deal with many issues while in office. After the ordeal with the Senate was resolved, Brandon had to deal with the return of Emily Valentine simultaneously occurring with Kelly getting badly burned at a rave thrown by Steve Sanders and Griffin Stone. Brandon and Emily bid each other farewell before Emily walked out of his life for good. However, Kelly had been emotionally damaged by the fire and was taken advantage of by The New Evolution, a cult headed up by Abnormal Psychology professor Patrick Finley. Despite many protests by Brandon and some confrontations with Finley, Brandon couldn't get her to listen to him.
Desperate for help, Brandon turned to Dylan, who went undercover with The New Evolution and found out they were only out to gain as much monetary assistance as they could. Dylan set it up so Finley would tell Kelly to sleep with him, but Brandon had a plan in effect. With a tip from Milton Arnold, Brandon located Professor Finley's former teaching assistant, Greg Jarret, who informed Kelly of the real intentions of the New Evolution. She then left them and came back to Brandon. Brandon spent the rest of the season battling with Dylan over Kelly's affections and simultaneously saying goodbye to his parents, Jim and Cindy Walsh, as well as Andrea Zuckerman and Jesse Vasquez, all of whom left town. After Kelly chose neither Dylan nor Brandon, Brandon drank his sorrows away at a party in Palm Springs before catching a bus home with Dylan McKay.
Brandon works at a newspaper out of state over the summer. Upon his return he starts working at the California University newspaper, The Condor. There, he clashed with the editor, Susan Keats, a feminist that refused to date co-workers. However, Brandon eventually wore her down and they began dating. Meanwhile, Dylan McKay had started a vendetta against Anthony Marchette, the man who supposedly killed his father, Jack McKay. Brandon was able to find some information on Marchette for Dylan, who began romancing Marchette's daughter, Antonia Marchette. Brandon and Susan did many double dates with Dylan and Toni, all the while Brandon trying to get Dylan to drop his vendetta for Toni's sake. Eventually, Dylan and Toni got married, but the night after the wedding, Brandon received a call from Bruno, who warned Brandon that Marchette was going to kill Dylan. Brandon tried to get to Dylan before the hit went off, but in all of the confusion, Toni was killed by bullets meant for Dylan. Brandon and all of their friends attended Toni's funeral before Brandon and Dylan exchanged heartfelt goodbyes.
After Dylan left, Brandon and Susan began having some issues, with Susan insecure over Kelly Taylor's presence in their lives and Brandon insecure over Susan's ex, Jonathan Casten, returning to Beverly Hills to win Susan over. However, after Jonathan left town following a Susan Keats right hook, Brandon and Susan strengthened their relationship by getting stranded on a ski run, meeting Susan's overbearing parents, reuniting Nat with his old flame Joan, and planning a trip across America for the summer. However, after Brandon turned down an offer from a major newspaper in Boston at Susan's request for a summer trip, Susan took a job working on the Presidential campaign in Washington, D.C., despite Brandon's objections. They broke up and Susan left Los Angeles. However, before Brandon left for his trip, he and Steve were able to chase down Colin Robbins, who was a wanted fugitive, and aid in his trip to prison. Brandon and Kelly later shared a tender moment after learning Dylan and Brenda were together in London.
After traveling all summer with Steve Sanders following his breakup with Susan Keats, Brandon's car broke down in a small Texas town, where he met a local woman named Mariah Murphy. After spending time with her, Mariah became inspired to leave the town and travel to New York to try and become an author. After returning home, Brandon warmly welcomed Kelly and attended the Beverly Hills Beach Club reunion. Later, leading up to the wedding of Nat Bussichio and Joan Diamond, Brandon had a one-night stand with Joan's daughter, Lily Diamond. However, Brandon was surprised to learn that she was a stripper going by the name of Tiger Lily. After Lily informed Brandon that she was a free spirit and left town, Brandon became romantically involved with Tracy Gaylian, the news anchor at the California University news station.
Brandon, still burning from the breakup with Susan, was reluctant to enter a serious relationship. However, they continued to see each other. When Professor Cory Randall returned to the university, he busted Steve Sanders for plagiarizing one of Brandon's old papers. While Steve pleaded guilty and got academic probation, Randall made a case against Brandon for collusion by fabricating evidence against him. Thanks to Steve and Clare, however, Randall was exposed and Brandon won the tribunal. After Donna had been stalked for weeks, the stalker was revealed as Evan Potter, a camera man at the university television station. Brandon had a hand in getting Evan caught after he and Donna were the last two hostages left. As the year went on, Brandon and Tracy began to have problems, mostly due to the presence of Kelly.
Although Brandon tried to do the right thing and move forward, he was never in love with Tracy. He eventually ended it after Mariah visited him and nudged him towards Kelly over Tracy. He and Kelly kissed and then Brandon broke it off with Tracy. Valerie, intent on seeing Brandon away from Kelly, had a New York friend send Kelly a telegram from Dylan, asking him to meet her at the airport. Brandon and Kelly survived Valerie's manipulations, but Kelly got pregnant and had a miscarriage, strengthening hers and Brandon's bond. As the year came to an end, Brandon prevented Valerie from committing suicide and the gang graduated college to begin the next step in their lives.
Brandon went on a Hawaiian vacation with Steve, Valerie, David and Donna, only to run into Tracy after Kelly had fought with Brandon over him holding onto her keepsakes. The gang also met Noah Hunter, who stood up for Donna when her boss was chewing her out. They spent a good time there and Kelly eventually joined them. After they got home, Kelly was shot in the airport parking lot by two thugs stealing a car, landing in Brandon's arms. The gang rushed her to the hospital , where she was saved by Dr. Sturla, who performed emergency surgery on her. However, she had complications, which led to her having temporary amnesia. When she woke up, she seemed more interested in newcomer Noah Hunter, but he was more into Valerie and told her to work her life out before she abandoned Brandon so easily. As Kelly's memories started coming back, they differed over the indentity of the perpetrator, who Brandon identified in a lineup to Detective Woods.
Brandon was offered a job in Seattle, but after advice from Noah, he decided to stay in Los Angeles and start his own paper with Steve's help called The Beverly Beat. Steve was the publisher and they hired Terri Spar to work with them. When Donna Martin found a sweatshop operation in the city, she worked with Brandon and Steve to expose the story. However, things got complicated when it turned out Rush Sanders was one of the owners of the sweat shop. They ran the story to expose him. Brandon and Kelly got into a bit of a rut, with Kelly getting bored with their unchanging daily routines. In an effort to spice up the relationship, they began having sex in different places. Brandon and Kelly later came across Erica McKay, who had returned to Los Angeles and had begun working as a prostitute for a pimp named Riggs, who pulled a knife on Brandon. They reached out to help her with the help of Pam Ahern, but Erica took advantage of them and robbed Brandon's house. Brandon and Kelly later picked her up again and took her back home.
After Brandon wrote a story on Erica's life, for The Beverly Beat, assistant DA Debra Mills showed up and wanted to make a case against Riggs. She ordered Brandon to reveal his source or he would go to jail for obstruction of justice. Brandon refused to reveal Erica as his source. Erica later set Riggs up and got him arrested on a different charge, thereby getting Mills off of Brandon's back. She then went to go live with Dylan and Brenda in London. After Kelly recommended Brandon hire Emma Bennett, he soon began an affair with her. After Emma began harassing Brandon, Steve briefly took the blame before Kelly found out via Emma. She moved out of the house and back into the beach apartment. Brandon spent several weeks trying to get her to forgive him, but she had moved on with Jeff Stockmann temporarily. She eventually forgave him and the two reunited.
Brandon only appeared in a few episodes in season 9 as Priestley was leaving the show. All appearances ultimately lead up to him severing his relationship with Kelly and eventually accepting a job across the country and moving away from Beverly Hills.
- Main article: Brandon and Andrea
While Brandon and Andrea never dated, she harbored a crush for him during their high school years and was frequently jealous of his flavor-of-the-week girl. They had a somewhat hostile and flirty relationship in the early years during their work on The Blaze, the high school paper, with Andrea calling him 'Ace' and Brandon calling her 'Chief' (nicknames that got their start with somewhat bitter intentions but turned into affectionate terms of endearments).
Brandon never considered dating Andrea, but in the time the Walsh family thought they were going to move back to Minnesota, Andrea tells Brandon she wants him to be "her first" and the two arrange a rendezvous which never happens as they keep getting interrupted before Jim ultimately decides not to move the family.
Brandon also gets a little jealous when Andrea is dating someone else - going so far as kissing her and telling her to break a date with her summer boyfriends which she refuses to do. The two are never seriously romantically involved but they do maintain a close friendship throughout the series and Andrea frequently refers to him as her best friend and goes to him with her problems. Brandon is one of the first people she confesses her pregnancy to in season 4 and he supports her through her decision.They were so close that Andrea named Brandon godfather of her daughter Hannah. The two remain friends even after Andrea leaves Beverly Hills and whenever she comes back for reunions or parties, he was always happy to see her.
Nikki provided Brandon with his first steady on-screen romance, subsequently becoming his first serious girlfriend in Beverly Hills. Meeting in Season 3, Brandon and Nikki dated from the beginning of the school year until Christmas, separating when she moved home to San Francisco. They were introduced through several occurrences of bumping into each other at school. Via a mixture of charm, humour, and friendly conversation, they gradually became more interested in one another. Though Brandon initially resisted her upon learning of their age difference, Nikki—aware that their attraction was mutual—maintained interest, eventually winning his affection.
Brandon met Emily Valentine at the start of his junior year. On Emily's first day and she runs into, and makes dates with, both Brandon and Dylan. Brandon and Emily soon start dating; their first kiss was at the Peach Pit on Halloween. Emily convinces the gang to visit an underground club where she takes U4EA and spikes Brandon's drink with the same drug. Afterwords, Brandon breaks up with Emily. She can't accept it an starts stalking Brandon, sending him cakes and making prank phone calls. After some bitter interactions, Emily douses a West Beverly homecoming float with flammable liquid. Brenda and Dylan arrive to the scene, and after seeing the lighter in Emily's hand, Brenda talks Emily down. It is soon revealed that Emily has been institutionalized, and Brandon visits her at Christmas.
In the fourth season, Brandon feels troubled and goes on a search for Emily. He bumps into her on a streetcar in San Francisco and they share Thanksgiving weekend together. The couple declare their love and passion, but eventually Emily reveals that she is moving to France after Thanksgiving. They say goodbye and it is revealed in the fifth season that she never called him when she arrived in Paris. In the fifth season, Emily calls Brandon to ask him to meet her at the airport, supposedly for a short stop over visit. They eventually share a kiss, even though Brandon is with Kelly. Brandon realizes he still has feelings for Emily but things get complicated when Kelly gets burned in a house fire. Emily, acknowledging that Brandon is in love with Kelly and that she needs him, encourages both Kelly and Brandon to find their way back to one another.
- Main article: Kelly and Brandon
Shortly after his arrival in Beverly Hills, Brandon meets Brenda's friend, Kelly, who finds Brandon cute. She is flirtatious with him, although he doesn't show interest, but decides to actively pursue him by arranging a date with him at the Spring Dance. However, Brandon wasn't interested as he viewed Kelly as a sister-figure due to her friendship with Brenda. He also did not want to hurt Steve. In freshman year of college, Brandon finds himself romantically interested in Kelly for the first time. At this point, Kelly has begun to outgrow her teenage roots, becoming less self-absorbed and revealing a more sensitive and mature side. This was put on display when Kelly paid Brandon a surprise visit during a trip out of town, and—in contrast to her previous approach—expressed her affections in a very discreet and gradual manner. Brandon, who had lately become closer to Kelly than ever before, was effectively touched by her actions. From that point onward their relationship evolved from simple attraction to a genuinely loving bond. In addition to her relationship with Brandon, Kelly has had long-standing ties to his family. She receives motherly affection from Cindy, and shared a close friendship with Brenda. Just before Kelly could become a Walsh herself, however, she and Brandon chose to calmly cancel their wedding and part on friendly terms as Brandon leaves California.
List of romances
- ❝ First there was the Olympic ice skater. I was crazy about her, unfortunately, she liked skating a lot more than she liked me. Then there was the girl I met at the Beach Club — I thought she was perfect 'til she turned out to be a total bigot ❞
- —Brandon romantic history presented to Emily
Brandon had several romantic interests in the 9 years he lives in Beverly Hills, 90210. In the first couple of years, he mostly had brief romances with girls, as was the case with Sheryl, his old girlfriend from Minnesota.
- ❝ Ever get the feeling the entire world is flying in first class and you're stuck with a folding chair in the baggage compartment? ❞
- —Brandon to Andrea[src]
- ❝ Steve let me put this in very simple terms: I don't waltz, I don't rumba, I don't fox trot, I don't boogie, I don't dance, I don't even like being in the same room with people who are dancing ❞
- ❝ What is it with me Nat? Everytime I get involved with a woman, it just falls apart. I must have bad relationship karma or something ❞
- —Brandon after Nikki breaks up with him[src]
- ❝ I don't know, maybe I'm the wounded bird. Out of all of those women, I never told any of them that I love them ❞
- —Brandon to Emily[src]
- ❝ I'm the student body president; I am not Batman ❞
- —Brandon to Kelly[src]
- He's a Scorpio
- Brandon never met his paternal grandfather, due to the rift between Jim and his father
- Named his first car Mondale after the 42nd vice president and 1984 presidential candidate, Walter Mondale