Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), also known as "Bones, is a forensic anthropologist who works at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and assists the FBI with murder cases. Her partner is FBI's Major Crimes Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz). Bones has a distinctive personality, which is marked by a pronounced lack of social skills and difficulty dealing with emotions. It most likely stems from her difficult childhood after being abandoned by her parents and older brother, resulting in her spending most of her formative years in foster care. Bones herself admits that she chose to become involved in the field of forensic anthropology in an attempt to discover what happened to her parents.
Apart from being a forensic anthropologist, she is also a best-selling fiction novelist. Because she is at the top of her field, the FBI sought Dr. Brennan's aid in solving a difficult case. During this experience, she realized she wished to do more outside the lab and blackmailed Agent Booth into allowing her to become fully involved in future cases.
The resulting work relationship between Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth is turbulent at times although the two are very close friends. Both clash with each other in nearly every aspect, from personality, interests to religion, with Booth being a devout Roman Catholic and Dr. Brennan a self-proclaimed atheist. In spite of their differences, case by case, Brennan and Booth do strike up something of a camaraderie, one that develops into romantic feelings on both sides although not at the same time.
Despite Dr. Brennan's difficulties in relating to other people and her complicated work relationship with Agent Booth, she is extremely well-liked by her fellow co-workers at the Jeffersonian Institute and seen as a leader to her team, who are dubbed the Squints. Though she may seem to have a strange personality, Dr. Brennan has a confidant in her co-worker, forensic artist Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), an unlikely best friend. Bone's expertise in forensics stems from a genius intellect and her attention to minute details often cracks seemingly unsolvable cases. Unfortunately, her obsession with work and academics often leave her clueless in terms of current social customs and pop culture, a difficulty only exacerbated by her association with Agent Booth. She deals with her discomfort in these situations by seeking to rationalize other people's behavior, seeing life through the filter of anthropology, sometimes with unexpected insight and other times with complete misunderstanding. Even though she seems perpetually on the outside of society and fixated on her job, Dr. Brennan does have a surprisingly good nature and finds her newfound exposure to the world slowly cracking away at her shell, giving her more perspective than she has had in the years' spent in her lab.
"If you drive one more block, I am screaming 'kidnap' out the window."
"I hate it when you make paranoia plausible, it's like sliding off a cliff."
"We're going to have to run a simulation. I need you to input the skull and give me a face."