The Losers Club is a group of seven preteen misfit children who all lived in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. They are the main characters and protagonists of Stephen King's best selling novel IT, published in 1986. The group is first formed in the summer of 1958 and is led by Bill Denbrough. Six of the seven members reunite in Derry 27 years later in 1985 on the strength of an old and nearly forgotten promise.
The Losers Club form in the summer of 1958. The members include Bill Denbrough a stutterer, Eddie Kaspbrak a Hypochondriac, Ben Hanscom an overweight boy, Richie Tozier a jokester, Stan Uris a Jewish boy, Beverly Marsh a lower middle class girl, and Mike Hanlon, one of the only African American boys in town. They eventually refer to themselves as "The Losers Club" due to them all being victims of bullying and rejection from their peers. As the summer draws on, The Losers Club realize that they have each had an encounter with a seemingly omniscient, shape-shifting demonic entity that takes the form of whatever they fear the most. Ben as a mummy holding balloons, Eddie as a leper offering him a blowjob, Bill as Georgie's ghost, Richie as a werewolf, Stan as two drowned boys in the local standpipe and Beverly as a fountain of blood spurting from her bathroom sink. Mike also later tells The Losers Club that he was attacked by IT in the form of a flesh-eating bird and they realize through Mike's picture book that IT has been around for centuries.
The Losers Club begin to suspect that IT has some level of control over Derry due to the number of unsolved disappearances and violent tragedies that go around unnoticed or seem to be forgotten by the majority of adults in the town. Due to the unknown origins of the monster, The Losers Club refer to the creature simply as "IT" and link IT with a series of recent gruesome child murders, including that of Eddie Corcoran, who is killed by the monster in the form of the creature from the Black Lagoon. After further encounters with IT in the form of Pennywise and various other manifestations, The Losers Club construct a makeshift American-Indian smokehole which Richie and Mike use to hallucinate IT’s origins. In doing so, they discover that IT came to Derry millions of years before in an asteroid-like impact and that around every 27 years, IT awakens from a hibernative state underneath the town, usually after some kind of terrible event or tragedy, to feed on and devour children for a period of 12 to 16 months.
The kids return to the house on Neibolt Street where Eddie, Bill and Richie had previously encountered IT and IT attacks them in the form of a werewolf. Beverly shoots silver slugs from Bill's slingshot at the werewolf, injuring IT and causing IT to flee back to the sewers.
Meanwhile, Bill discovers The Ritual Of Chüd, an ancient ritual that allows him to enter The Macroverse to confront IT. During the ritual Bill encounters Maturin, an ancient turtle and the creator of our universe, which it vomited up following a stomach-ache, who explains that IT can only be defeated during a battle of wills.
Bill enters the monster's mind through The Ritual Of Chüd and discovers that IT’s true form is a mass of destructive orange beams which IT refers to as "Deadlights". With the help of Maturin, Bill is able to defeat IT and send it back into slumber. After the battle, The Losers Club get lost in the sewers until Beverly has sex with all the boys to bring unity back to the group. This also is used as a metaphor to represent the Losers leaving behind childhood and entering adulthood. The Losers Club then swear a blood oath to return to Derry should IT ever return in the future.
The Losers eventually all drift apart and go their separate ways in life. Their memories of IT, each other and the most significant and traumatic events of the summer in 58 slowly fade away.
In 1985, when a string of mysterious child murders occurs in Derry once again, an adult Mike Hanlon, now the town's librarian and the only one of the Losers to still remain in Derry, calls up the six former members of the Losers Club and reminds them of their childhood promise to return should the killings ever start again.
Bill Denbrough is now a successful horror writer living in England with his actress wife, Audra. Beverly Marsh is a fashion designer in Chicago and is married to an abusive man named Tom Rogan. Eddie Kaspbrak has moved to New York City, where he runs a limousine rental company and has married a hysterical, codependent woman similar to his hypochondriac mother. Richie Tozier lives in Los Angeles and works as a disc jockey. Ben Hanscom is now thin and a successful architect, living in Nebraska. Stan Uris is a wealthy accountant residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prior to Mike's phone calls, the Losers had almost completely buried all the horror of their encounters with IT. However, all but Stan reluctantly agree to return to Derry. After Mike's phone call, Stan is so terrified of facing IT again that he slits his wrists in the bathtub, writing "IT" on the wall in his own blood. Tom refuses to let Beverly go and tries to beat her, but she lashes out at him before fleeing, causing him serious injury. The five return to Derry with only the dimmest awareness of why they are doing so, only remembering something terrible and their promise to return no matter what.
The Losers meet for lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, where Mike reminds them that IT awakens once roughly every 25-27 years for 12–16 months at a time, feeding on children before going back into deep slumber again. While they share stories about their interim lives since they left Derry, the group returns to the strong bond that defined their previous friendship and love for each other. When they open their fortune cookies at the end of dinner, IT strikes, causing horrible hallucinations to plague them. The group decides to kill IT once and for all. At Mike's suggestion, each person explores different parts of Derry to help restore their memories. While exploring, Eddie, Richie, Beverly, and Ben are faced with manifestations of IT (Eddie as Belch Huggins in leper form, Richie as a Paul Bunyan statue, Beverly as the witch from Hansel & Gretel and Ben as Dracula).
They descend into the sewers and use their strength as a group to "send energy" to a hospitalized Mike, who fights off a nurse possessed by IT. They finally reach ITs lair and find IT has taken the form of a giant spider. Bill discovers It has captured his wife Audra. Bill and Richie enter ITs mind through the Ritual of Chüd, but they get lost in It. To distract IT and bring Bill and Richie back, Eddie runs towards IT and uses his aspirator to spray medicine in ITs eye and down ITs throat. Although he is successful, IT bites off Eddie's arm, and Eddie bleeds to death almost instantly.
IT runs away to tend to its injuries, but Bill, Richie, and Ben chase after IT and find that IT has laid eggs. Ben stays behind to destroy the eggs, while Bill and Richie head toward their final confrontation with IT. Bill fights his way inside ITs body, locates IT's heart and crushes it between his hands, killing IT once and for all. The group meets up to head out of IT's lair, and although they try to bring Audra and Eddie's bodies with them, they are forced to leave Eddie behind. They make it to the surface and realize that the scars on their hands from when they were children have disappeared, indicating that their ordeal is finally over forever. The Losers plan to return home and gradually begin to forget about IT, Derry and each other. Mike's memories also begin to fade, as well as many of the records he had written down previously, much to his relief, and he considers starting a new life elsewhere. Ben and Beverly realize their love for one another and become a couple, leaving Derry together. Richie returns to California. Bill is the last to leave Derry. Before he goes, he takes Audra, still catatonic, for a ride on Silver, which magically awakens her from her catatonia from the power of belief.
In 1960, a group of kids, form the "Losers Club," a group of social misfits who meet and form a tight-knit friendship. Each of the children individually encounter the mysterious, child-killing clown haunting their home town of Derry, Maine. The monster, which the group later collectively names "It", usually appears as the thing the child victim most fears before taking the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Their separate encounters are later fortified when they all witness Pennywise reach out from a photograph (threatening to kill them) in an album owned by Mike.
Spurred by Bill's desire for revenge on It for killing his younger brother Georgie, the Losers resolve to locate It's home in the sewers and destroy the threat to Derry once and for all. Henry Bowers, the psychopathic neighborhood bully, and two of his friends, Victor Criss and Belch Huggins, follow the group into the Barrens and into the sewers, in a bid to ambush and kill them as revenge for an earlier rock fight. During their trek through the sewers, Stan is pulled away from the group by Henry and Belch and Henry pulls out a switchblade. Victor has been ordered to ambush the other losers from another side but is killed by It.
As the remaining losers come to the middle of the sewers, they discover Stan is missing. Belch restrains Stan as Henry prepares to kill him with the pocketknife, but Pennywise (in the form of the "deadlights") bursts through a sewage pipe and kills Belch while Henry and Stan watch in horror. As It makes its way out of the pipe, Stan flees and Henry's hair instantly turns white from the sight of It's true form. It spares Henry's life and continues searching for Stan.
Stan meets up with the losers and warns them that It's true form has something to do with living white lights that instantly kill anyone who looks directly at them and which is far more reprehensible than Pennywise. They are to avoid looking into It's "deadlights." It vanishes, and smoke fills the chamber. The seven form a circle, although It attempts to distract and break them apart by simultaneously appearing as Georgie, Beverly's father and a werewolf. It, in the form of Pennywise, attempts to eat Stan alive, but Eddie stuns It with his asthma inhaler. Beverly cracks the monster's head open with a silver slug fired from a slingshot, revealing the bright deadlights underneath. However, before the children can kill It, It somersaults through the air and escapes through a drain in the floor. The group grabs It's arms, only for the glove to rip off, revealing a larger 3-fingered claw that disappears. After arguing and deciding It is dead, the group exits the sewers and make a promise to return if It evers resurfaces.
In 1990, Mike Hanlon, the only member of the Seven who never left Derry, summons the rest of the group back to their home town. Stan commits suicide rather than face the fear of facing It again. However, this is left ambigious as the tiles in the bathtub in which he is found are smeared with blood spelling "IT", which may have also suggested It murdered Stan. No one knew about this after Mike tells them in the library.
As the remaining six congregate in Derry, each has another frightening encounter with It. Henry Bowers, who had been placed in a mental hospital after accepting blame for the child deaths in the early 1960s, escapes under the influence of It (which took the form of the deceased Belch) to take revenge on the remainders of the Seven. After escaping, Henry attacks Mike at the hotel where the Seven are staying and stabs him, after which Henry accidentally and fatally stabs himself during a grapple with Eddie and Ben that saves severely wounded Mike's life. With Henry dead, It is left to complete the task of killing the Losers on its own.
At the hospital, Mike gives Bill the two silver slugs they made to use against It when they were children. Bill gathers the others and declares the slugs are "representatives" of Mike and Stan, thus the "Seven" are now reunited and ready to confront it. Bill's wife Audra follows him to Derry and is captured by It who hypnotizes her by using the deadlights. Bill, Beverly, Richie, Eddie, and Ben return to the sewers and rescue Audra, who has become catatonic. They make their way to It's lair where they discover It's true monstrous, spider-like form.
During the climax, Bill, Richie, and Ben are paralyzed by the deadlights located on It's abdomen. Eddie is grabbed and mortally wounded by It before Beverly shoots out the deadlights with her slingshot and one of her silver earrings. The others tend to Eddie, but he dies in the middle of his last sentence, then the others kill It by disemboweling it and ripping out its heart. After that they try to take Eddie out and save him. This does not work, so they leave him in the sewers dead. After that thay all forget about this and each other, except for Ben and Bev, who get married. They all forget Eddie and Stan and move on.
Richie returns to his showbiz career which extends into movies, and partners with a man who acts and behaves much like Eddie. Ben and Beverly fall in love, marry and are expecting a child. Mike is released from the hospital and remains in Derry, but considers whether he ought to move now that Derry no longer needs a "lighthouse keeper" to watch over the town for the monster's return. Bill helps Audra to come out of her catatonia by taking her on a seemingly suicidal bicycle ride impersonating the Lone Ranger, which is something he had done years earlier to help revive a young Stan, who was frozen with fear. As the film closes, Pennywise's evil laugh is heard one last time.
The film opens in October 1988 with Bill Denbrough and his seven-year-old brother, Georgie, making a sailboat out of a sheet of paper from Bill's notebook. Georgie, as his older brother is bedridden, then has to go to the basement to retrieve the paraffin, in order to make the boat float. There is a tense scene in which Georgie stares, in horror, at a pair of red eyes glaring at him. But, as he shines his torch at them, they are revealed to be a pair of two light bulbs. After Georgie and his brother coat the boat with paraffin, Georgie takes the boat out onto the flooded street, chasing it with glee until it accidentally sails down the gutter. As Georgie peers into the drain, he meets a strange being who introduces himself as "Pennywise the Dancing Clown". Pennywise claims that the storm blew him and the whole circus into the sewers, and offers Georgie a balloon and a visit to the circus. When Georgie reaches in to try to get the boat back, Pennywise grabs his arm and bites it off in one fluid motion of misshapen, nightmarish teeth; Georgie tries to run away, screaming in terror but is dragged into the sewer, crying for Bill, to his death, traces of blood swirling in the rainwater on the street in his wake. The title card appears with eerie voices in the background.
Eight months later, in June 1989, it is the last day of term at Derry High School. Bill and his friends Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, and Stan Uris get picked on by older bullies Henry Bowers, Patrick Hockstetter, and Belch Huggins. At the same time, Beverly Marsh, a young girl who has a sexually abusive father and is bullied mercilessly by girls led by Gretta Keene for being a "slut", runs into a kind, overweight new boy named Ben Hanscom, who is secretly in love with her, and will later write her an anonymous poem on the back of a postcard.
While making a delivery to a local butcher shop for his grandfather, home-schooled Mike Hanlon encounters Pennywise, seeing the nightmarish horror of people seemingly burn to death before his eyes, before nearly getting run over by Henry and his gang. When he looks back to the door, the illusion is gone, and the butcher's shop has returned to normal. Bill, still haunted by Georgie's disappearance and the resulting neglect from his grief-stricken parents, discovers that his brother's body may have ended up in a marshy wasteland connected by the sewers, known as the Barrens. Ben Hanscom heads to the library. He writes a poem for Beverly on a postcard “Your hair is winter fire, January embers, my heart burns there too”. He finds a book on Derry's history, learning the town has been plagued by mysterious unexplained tragedies and child disappearances for centuries. He is lured into the basement by Pennywise in the form of Easter eggs, where he is chased by a headless boy who had died from the gas explosion Easter egg hunt, whom he narrowly escapes. Pennywise also goes after Stan in the form of a living painting with misshapen eyes and a horrifying mouth, permanently traumatizing him.
Henry, Patrick, and Belch, along with Victor Criss, ambush Ben and torture him, with Henry attempting to carve his name into Ben's belly with a knife. Ben escapes and flees into the Barrens, at the same time that Bill, Richie, Eddie, and Stan discover the sneaker of a missing girl named Betty Ripsom whilst still searching for Georgie. Patrick is in the sewers looking for Ben, when he sees a hoard of zombies. Terrified, Patrick flees, but he runs into a dead end, and is cornered and killed by Pennywise. Ben, bloodied and bruised, stumbles across Bill and the other boys, who take Ben to the local pharmacy to help him, where they meet and befriend Beverly, who distracts Mr. Keene to help the boys steal medical supplies when it turns out they don't have enough money.
On his way home, Eddie is attacked by Pennywise in the form of a rotting leper while passing the abandoned house on Neibolt Street. When Beverly returns home she opens her bag to find the post card with the poem that Ben had written for her, she locks herself in her bathroom and reads it. Beverly hears the voices of several missing children, including Patrick and Betty, coming from her bathroom sink. Curious, she lowers a measuring tape into the sink, watching it descend for a long while, horrified to see it come up covered in blood and hair. Suddenly, tendrils of her cut hair shoot up from the drain, choking Beverly and hauling her closer and closer to the sink. She tries to pull away, and a fountain of blood bursts forth, soaking her and the entire bathroom in dripping crimson. Her father comes in to investigate her screaming, and sees her curled up in a corner, muttering and shaking. He can't see what's so deviously wrong, and Beverly realizes that he is blind to the blood on the walls. Later that night: Bill is lured into the basement of his house at night by what he thinks is Georgie, but is really a disguised Pennywise. The group, who now refer to themselves as "The Losers' Club," each come to realize that they are being terrorized by the same creature. They then discover Henry, Belch, and Victor bullying Mike and chase them off with an epic rock war before befriending him.
A few weeks later, while meeting up at Bill's garage, the group deduces that Pennywise is using the sewers to move around unseen. But as the projector moves around the slides, Pennywise begins to appear in place of a family member, and teleports into the room, crawling out of the screen as a gargantuan version of himself, and attempts to kill them, but fails. After narrowly escaping the attack by Pennywise in Bill's garage, the Losers Club go to the house on Neibolt Street where Bill deduces "It" to be hiding. The creature uses its shape-shifting abilities to separate the group and attempts to pick them off. Richie is terrorized by a room of horrible clown-dolls, one of which is of himself, in a coffin. He barely escapes in time, and he and Eddie come across the illusion of the still-living, half-devoured corpse of Betty Ripsom. Eddie breaks his arm by falling through a hole upstairs. It emerges and prepares to eat Eddie, but Bill and Richie intervene. After taunting Bill about Georgie, Pennywise tries to kill him and Richie, only to be brutally impaled through the head by Beverly with a fence post. The clown slashes Ben before fleeing down the well of the Mansion. After the encounter, however, the group begins to splinter, And Eddie, whose arm badly broken, is taken to the hospital by his mother and is said not to hang out with them anymore, with only Bill and Beverly still resolute in fighting It. Eventually, he fights against this, attempting to repeat what an intern at the chemist told him about his medication when his mother tells him he's getting over an illness; "They're GAZEBOS! They're bullshit!" (He meant to say 'Placebo').
One day in August, Pennywise returns Henry, who is already gradually losing his sanity, his lost switchblade in the mail, compelling him to go intercept the Losers after murdering his abusive father. Meanwhile, Beverly's father finds Ben's anonymous, romantic poem to her, and attempts to rape her, but is incapacitated when Beverly hits him in the side of the head with a toilet cover, killing him instantly. But then she is suddenly ambushed and kidnapped by Pennywise. Bill uses the opportunity to reassemble the Losers and mount a rescue. Beverly awakens in the sewers and attempts to escape, but is caught by Pennywise, who renders her catatonic with his Deadlights. At Neibolt House, Henry arrives and tries to kill Mike first, but Mike manages to push him down the well, where he plummets into the darkness below. Pennywise traps Stan in his worst fear and tries to eat him, but fails when the other Losers intervene with his plan. They then find Pennywise's Lair, where they find Beverly, in her catatonic state and floating in suspended animation, with the bodies of the other missing children kept in a similar form of suspended animation. Ben kisses Beverly, which restores her to normal.
Pennywise tries to trick Bill by posing as Georgie, but the deception fails when Bill shoots "Georgie" in the head with the bolt gun and tells him "You're not Georgie". After a brief battle with the Losers, Pennywise takes Bill hostage and offers to spare the others if they let him go and eat Bill in peace. Richie begins stating all the reasons they should leave Bill and save themselves, but then grabs a bat and says "And now I've gotta kill this fucking clown." The Losers no longer fear "It" anymore, and begin fighting as one fearsome unit. After a brutal battle, they all defeat Pennywise, who descends back into the well and goes into hibernation. The suspended children, the ones who've been missing for years as Pennywise's victims, float back down to the ground. Bill's friends comfort him as he cries, emotionally breaking down from accepting Georgie's death. One month later, Beverly informs the group of a vision she had of them being visited by Pennywise 27 years later, and the Losers form a blood oath in a circle, promising that they will each return to Derry should Pennywise resurface to kill him for good. After departing one by one, Bill kisses Beverly.
After an attack on a young gay couple, It is awakened once more. Having remained in town, Mike Hanlon calls back the rest of the Losers who lack any memory of their childhood. However, Stan Uris commits suicide rather than return. As they return, the Losers memories gradually return, only to be terrorized by It when they gather at a Chinese restaurant, forcing Mike to admit the truth. After the rest of the Losers flee, Mike reveals to Bill Denbrough that he sought information from the local Native Americans who had revealed to Mike the origins of It on Earth and the Ritual of Chüd to defeat It.
With Beverly Marsh having had nightmares revealing that the Losers would die if they don't defeat It this time, the rest of the Losers agree to stay and fight. To perform the Ritual, the Losers each gather tokens representing memories important to them, particularly ones from the time when they were separated after their first disastrous fight with It. However, It torments each of the Losers separately, including killing a young boy right in front of Bill. Richie Tozier decides to flee town while Henry Bowers, who survived being shoved down the well by Mike, attempts to kill the Losers on It's orders. Though Henry succeeds in injuring Eddie Kaspbrak, Eddie wounds Henry in return and drives him off. Henry next tries to ambush and kill Mike, but is killed by Richie who returned to help after remembering a speech Stan once gave at church.
The Losers return to the sewers to face It, traveling into the meteor crater where It originally landed on Earth. Though the Losers perform the Ritual, it fails and It traps each in nightmarish scenarios which they escape by facing their greatest fears. Eddie is mortally wounded protecting Richie and dies, but the Losers finally manage to defeat It by belittling the monster, causing It to shrink into a baby clown which allows them to rip out and crush It's heart. The surviving Losers are forced to leave Eddie's body behind in It's collapsing lair as they flee. After It's death, the scars from their blood oath disappear, signifying the end of the Losers ordeal.
In the aftermath, Beverly and Ben Hanscom start a relationship, Beverly having finally realized that it was Ben sending her love poems. Mike, now no longer needing to keep watch over Derry, decides to leave town and finally start a new life. The Losers each receive a posthumous letter from Stan revealing that Stan knew he'd be too scared to face It and would only be a liability. Thus, Stan took himself off the board to give his friends a fighting chance. Stan urges the other Losers, who all retain their memories this time, to live life to the fullest once It is gone.
- Bill Denbrough (leader) (1985 & 1990s & 2017 & 2019)
- Ben Hanscom
- Stan Uris (deceased)
- Mike Hanlon
- Eddie Kaspbrak (deceased)
- Richie Tozier
- Beverly Marsh
- It (deceased)
- The Bowers Gang (deceased)
- 11/22/63 (only Richie and Beverly actually appear while Bill, Ben, Stan, Mike, and Eddie are mentioned briefly)
- Dreamcatcher (only the names of the Losers are shown on a sign at the site of the Standpipe)
- Insomnia (novel) (only Mike Hanlon appears).
- IT (1990 miniseries)
- It (2017 film)
- It: Chapter Two (2019 film)