|“||Hello, everyone. I'm Jerome, and I am proudly one of the legal guardians of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, and in the short time they have been under my care, I have been impressed with their intelligence, their fortitude and their charm, at least during the hours I was awake. They're noble children, like their parents. Therefore, if they're interested in a large cardboard box with air holes poked in it, I'm going to do everything I can to make sure they get it!||”|
— Jerome Squalor, "The Ersatz Elevator: Part Two"
Jerome Squalor is the wimpish husband of Esmé Squalor and the sixth guardian of the Baudelaire orphans alongside his wife, who was secretly in love and in cahoots with Count Olaf. He makes his first appearance in book the sixth: The Ersatz Elevator.
- 1 Background Information
- 2 Personality
- 3 Biography
- 4 Netflix Series Divergent Canon
- 5 Quotes
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Family
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Sources
Jerome was dear friends with Beatrice Baudelaire at an early stage in his life. He was sent a letter that warned him not to marry Esme, though he received it and ended up doing so after one night.
He is a timid yet trusting, generous and kindhearted man. For example, he wanted to give money from the In Auction to a family with children who were too poor to afford an apartment after both parents lost their jobs. However, as expected, his shallow wife refused because her argument was that if they gave money to poor people, they wouldn't be poor anymore.
Since he dislikes confrontation and is extremely cowardly, he never challenged Esmé even when her actions could harm the Baudelaire children. This was why he never had the courage to stand up for them. Jerome avoided disputes with his wife as well because he hates arguing with her (as well as arguing in general), and instead follows her instructions in defeat. In this sense, Jerome is a pushover and a walking doormat.
During an outing at Café Salmonella, Violet stated that arguing is sometimes useful and necessary while trying to encourage Jerome to grow a backbone. Sadly, he replied that he could not think of a single argument that provides such a purpose. He told her and her younger siblings, "Someday, when you're older, you'll understand." He likely referred to the idea of sacrificing one's own happiness to satisfy someone else, although the Baudelaires despised the idea of him getting the short end of the stick all the time.
Jerome is also far less of a follower of fashion and stylish trends than Esmé and dislikes the idea of buying superfluous items simply because they are "in" (in style). Regardless, he goes along with Esmé's fashionable requests since she is pushy and he does not want to argue. He wanted to give Violet, Klaus, and Sunny a toolkit, an almanac, and bronze square for biting, respectively, but Esmé did not agree because those items were "out" (out of style) and insisted on purchasing "in" pinstripe outfits instead.
He was a friend of Jacques Snicket and bought the penthouse apartment in 667 Dark Avenue at his suggestion. Jacques attempted to warn him not to marry Esmé, but the letter he wrote containing that message was intercepted by the hook-handed man. The twos had only known each other for one day when they got married.
Although Jerome is rich and successful, his position and wealth is abused by Esmé to gain access to the Baudelaire children.
The Ersatz Elevator
Jerome makes his first appearance in The Ersatz Elevator as the Baudelaires' sixth guardian (around May 14th in the TV series). While he was very kind to them, he found it hard to believe that Gunther was actually Count Olaf and refuses to take any sort of protective action, suggesting that they were probably xenophobic. The Baudelaires barely spent any time with Jerome and Esmé because their penthouse was so large that it was difficult to find either one of them.
While eating dinner at Café Salmonella, Jerome admits he can't stand the taste of salmon but didn't see the point in arguing with Esmé's choice. This is because he believes that arguing is neither useful nor necessary. Violet asserts that it's sometimes useful to argue and Klaus points out that arguing with Esmé would have meant he could have had a meal he enjoyed. Jerome dismisses their point of view by saying that "someday, when you're older, you'll understand." As stated previously, he could be implying that when a person cares about another, they have to think of them before themselves even if it meant sacrificing their own happiness.
At the end of The Ersatz Elevator, when he finally discovered Count Olaf's ruse and Esme's treachery, Jerome offers to take the Baudelaire orphans to a safe place, but they refuse since their friends, the Quagmires, were still being held captive at the time. The Baudelaires ask Jerome to help, but he refuses, saying he is not brave enough and he does not wish to pursue a dangerous man like Olaf. Jerome kisses each Baudelaire child on the forehead before he walks away, once more leaving them in Mr. Poe's care.
Between The Ersatz Elevator and The Penultimate Peril
After the events of The Ersatz Elevator had taken place, Jerome began to feel remorseful for abandoning the Baudelaire orphans when they needed him most. When he hears about what happened in the Village of Fowl Devotees, he begins to search for them, but he was unsuccessful.
Inspired by Esmé and all of the plots he discovered while searching for the Baudelaires, he began conducting his research about injustice. Eventually, he writes his own book about the subject called Odious Lusting After Finance (initials spelling OLAF), which "chronicles the history of greedy villains, treacherous girlfriends, bungling bankers, and all the other people responsible for injustice."
The Penultimate Peril
Jerome reappears in The Penultimate Peril at the Hotel Denouement accompanied by Justice Strauss. He was relieved to see the Baudelaire orphans again and tells them how apologetic he was for abandoning them and that he never forgave himself for that. He then informed them about what he had been up to since. Violet says the two have been "noble enough" before she and her siblings embraced them both.
Jerome and Esmé crossed paths once again at the hotel. When Esmé disagrees with Olaf, Jerome thinks she will become a "noble person again" until she replies, "Let's not go overboard. Just because I'm dumping my boyfriend doesn't mean I'm going to be a goody-goody like you. Justice is out. Injustice is in. That's why it's called injustice."
When the Baudelaires were accused of killing Dewey Denouement, he defends them by saying that he was sure they are not murderers and that he has always found them to be polite and kind. During their trial, he submits his book to be used as evidence against Olaf. However, Count Olaf sneakily kidnaps Justice Strauss while everyone else was blindfolded and uses the book Jerome wrote as kindling to set fire to the hotel. Jerome is last seen on the first floor where the Man With a Beard But No Hair has his hand on him. It is unknown if Jerome had survived the fire.
Netflix Series Divergent Canon
His role in the TV series is mostly the same, although in The Penultimate Peril episodes, his role is more of a cameo than a support figure like in the book since he barely speaks to the Baudelaire orphans. Instead, Justice Strauss takes the lead and she winds up being the author of Odious Lusting After Finance, although she had some help with her research from Jerome.
During his appearance in The Penultimate Peril, it is revealed that Jerome is bisexual and in a relationship with Charles.
He is portrayed by Tony Hale.
- "Well, I don't want to argue. If you've made up your mind, then you've made up your mind. I'll tell Mr. Poe to find you another guardian. You children are very dear to me, but I don't have your courage. Your mother always said I wasn't brave enough, and I guess she was right. Good luck, Baudelaires. I think you will need it."
- "It must be something I drank."
- "Hello, everyone. I'm Jerome, and I am proudly one of the legal guardians of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, and in the short time they have been under my care, I have been impressed with their intelligence, their fortitude and their charm, at least during the hours I was awake. They're noble children, like their parents. Therefore, if they're interested in a large cardboard box with air holes poked in it, I'm going to do everything I can to make sure they get it!"
- He is one of the multiple characters with the initials J.S. The initials were mentioned multiple times in the series, but it was never revealed to which character(s) the initials were actually referring to. 
- Years ago, Geraldine Julienne wrote a letter to Esmé telling her that Jerome was not married and he visited the Veritable French Diner every morning.
|Jerome Squalor||Esmé Squalor||Mr. Spats †||Mrs. Spats †|
|Charles||Jerome Squalor||Esmé Squalor||Mr. Spats †||Mrs. Spats †|