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Jeffrey Barnes


Seasons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Portrayed by: Scott Krinsky
Status: Alive
Occupation: Nerd Herder
Aliases: Thomas Jefferson (Lester, season 3)
Relatives: Unnamed Mother (inmate in Chowchilla State Pen)
Unnamed Sister (part-time stripper)
Relationships: Lester Patel (co-dependents)
Residence: Burbank, CA
Appearances: All
I broke eight and a half commandments on the way to work this morning.

Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Barnes is a Nerd Herder, specializing in Apple products. A 'space cadet' in his forties, he was a champion of Missile Command in 1983, and is older than most of his co-workers, excepting John Casey and Big Mike. He is portrayed by Scott Krinsky.

He has said he owns a ferret named Roscoe. He has also revealed that he only has eight toes, and does not pay for toilet paper, which he apparently steals from work. He is deaf in his left ear, and he claims his father is partly of First Nations descent, allowing Jeff to satisfy a minority quota at the Buy More. His mother is in prison (prisoner 27318) at the Chowchilla State Penitentiary, and his sister works as an exotic dancer, and performed at Devon Woodcomb's bachelor party.

Jeff can be seen as Buy More employee of the month in the Season Three episode Chuck Versus the Three Words. When, in the final season, he stops sleeping in his running van, he recovers rapidly from his decades of carbon monoxide poisoning and shows some actual intelligence and insight, although with lapses.

Character Profile[]

Jeff's best friend is Lester Patel, and the Buy More stories frequently involves the two scheming together. In Chuck Versus the Marlin, he and Lester were responsible for the theft of Big Mike's Marlin, which at the time contained a Fulcrum receiver.

He and Lester frequent the Bennigan's bar across the street from the Buy More, in an often futile attempt to pick up women there. Jeff is frequently shown to be a pervert, stalker, and unhygienic. He once left his underwear in the back of a company Nerd Herd vehicle, leading Big Mike to send them all out to be reupholstered.

Several episodes have shown that Jeff is attracted to Anna Wu, calling her his muse. He recorded numerous candid photos and videos of her during his time stalking her. The feeling is not reciprocated. He made a musical montage of Anna featuring several candid stalker photos.

The majority of his Buy More paycheck is spent on alcohol and spy gear. Jeff also has an "office" set up in stall 2 of the Buy More employee bathroom, in which he takes a daily nap from 3pm-5pm. His "office" was shown in Chuck Versus the Predator, and contained a toilet used as a cooler for his alcoholic beverages, along with an easy chair, lava lamp, and various wall decorations (including Lester's "Wheel of Misfortune" that he invented in the episode Chuck Versus the Seduction).

Jeff carries keys to the store, and according to Morgan, is the only employee who is old enough to know how the store's registers work, since both they and he started at the Buy More in the 1980s. When interviewing with Chuck for the assistant manager's position, he reveals he was the store's first employee.

Jeff and Lester form the band Jeffster! Jeff is the keyboardist, composer, rhythm section, and sound technician of the two-man band, and auditioned with Toto's Africa for Ellie and Devon's wedding. Though not hired for the wedding, nonetheless, performed Styx's Mr. Roboto before the ceremony in an effort to delay the wedding ceremony as per Morgan's instructions in Chuck Versus the Ring. Jeff's interest in music began as a child when he first heard Jethro Tull's Aqualung. After showing great promise as a vibraphone player in his high school's jazz ensemble, he went on to play in a variety of rock bands; Jeffster! is his current project. He claims as influences, Herbie Hancock, Greg Rollie, Rick Wakeman, and John Cage.

In Chuck Versus the Ring: Part 2, Jeff suggests burning down the Buy More as a way of preserving the employees' jobs. After Morgan then accidentally drop a detonator and blows up the Buy More, Jeff and Lester think they might actually have done it, and flee, becoming persons of interest in the case. In season 4 in Chuck Versus the Suitcase, he shows his tolerance for chemicals when Casey and Morgan tranq him - it takes 6 tranq darts and a blow from Morgan to knock him out - and bring both him and Lester back the Buy More to resume their Nerd Herd jobs to enhance the CIA substation’s cover.

In Chuck Versus the A-Team, Jeff is tested for psychic ability. When trying to find the Stephen Bartowski laptop, he predicts that it is with the CIA, which Lester dismissed as the name "Cia". The CIA did indeed have it; it was revealed to be in the NCS section of Castle. In Chuck Versus the Fear of Death Jeff and Lester almost expose a Greta agent serving undercover in the Buy More.


Jeff after he stopped sleeping in his van.

In Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips Devon discovers that Jeff has been sleeping under his car while the engine is running and rescues him. Examining Jeff, he tells him to never sleep under his car again, realizing the man is suffering from chronic CO2 poisoning. Jeff is later seen to have recovered from the exposure and starts acting differently, becoming smarter, more thoughtful, and less crazy.

In Chuck Versus the Last Details, it is shown that Jeff has a more mature and rather sweet side when he made a tasteful video contribution for Chuck and Sarah at their wedding rehearsal dinner, unlike Lester's more grotesque pseudo-artsy effort. Chuck is initially stunned when Ellie kisses Jeff for the effort, and then nods acceptance.

In Chuck Versus the Business Trip Jeff's personalty has changed so much that where instead of scheming and doing crazy things with Lester, Jeff is calmly sitting at the Nerd Herd desk reading to the shock of Big Mike. When Chuck announces the winner of the competition to be Morgan, Lester tries to stir up a rebellion amongst the staff but is stopped when Jeff talks the staff down. Chuck congratulates him on his work ethic. Lester unhappy with the change, attempts to gas Jeff with a hose connected to a car exhaust placed under the break room door in hopes of making him submissive once more. Jeff survives the attempt, and decides that whilst he wants to remain friends with Lester he needs to see the consequences of his actions and so calls the police on him and has him arrested for attempted murder.

In Chuck Versus the HackOff, Lester is sent to the same jail as Casey, and is visited by Jeff, Morgan, and Big Mike. Jeff agrees to drop all charges against Lester if he agrees not to try to poison him again. Lester says no, and is left in jail. He only changes his mind when introduced via video chat to the "new" Indian Hinjew employee that has been hired in his place - in reality an actor hired to make Lester agree to Jeff's terms.

Place in the Series[]

Jeff is a supporting character throughout the series, however, he has periodically contributed to the main plot of an episode. His most prominent role was in Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer, where he was targeted by a terrorist as the only person who could potentially reach the "Kill Screen" in the game Missile Command and retrieve the launch codes for an orbiting missile-armed satellite. In this episode, Chuck convinced Jeff to come out of "retirement" in an effort to stop the launch, but Jeff choked, forcing Chuck to attempt to recover the codes himself.

He has indirectly been involved in several other missions as well. His and Lester's theft of Big Mike's marlin in Chuck Versus the Marlin initiated much of the plot, as the entire episode centered around locating the stolen fish and the Fulcrum receiver planted inside it. In Chuck Versus the Colonel Jeff helped Devon investigate Casey's unusual behavior regarding Chuck, and expressed professional admiration for him as a stalker. Jeffster's impromptu performance at Ellie and Devon's wedding in Chuck Versus the Ring bought the team time to protect Ellie and capture Ted Roark. In Chuck Versus the Beard Jeff assists Casey in taking down one of the Ring agents, who have taken over the Buy More, while being high from chloroform.


Beginning with the second season premiere, actor Scott Krinsky was listed in the opening credits as a series regular. Krinsky was offered the role of Jeff by producer Josh Schwartz largely due to Krinsky's previous work on Schwartz's series The O.C., although he was still required to read for the role for network approval. He describes Jeff as a "lifer," who was at the store before the other characters and will be there after they're gone.


Jeff's bizarre behavior throughout the series has garnered significant attention from critics and viewers. Eric Goldman of particularly cited his approval of the writers' willingness to find strange things for Jeff to do in his review of Chuck Versus the Third Dimension, though he also found Jeff overcoming his fear of playing Missile Command again in the final moments of Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer touching.

Alan Sepinwall of the New Jersey Star-Ledger has praised many of Jeff's antics, including intentionally knocking himself out with a bottle of chloroform to "get himself right," hiring his own sister as a stripper for Devon's bachelor party, and his "office" in the men's room stall.


According to a card Jeff carries, which was seen in Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer, reading "My name is Jeff and I'm lost", the reverse has his address; 1629 Handley Avenue, North Hollywood, CA 91601.