Max Russo

Max Russo
Max Russo
Wizards of Waverly Place character
Max Russo - WOWP.jpg
First appearance "Crazy Ten Minute Sale"
Created by Todd J. Greenwald
Portrayed by Jake T. Austin (season 1-present)
Bailee Madison (female form, season 4)
Nickname(s) Maxie (by various people)
Maximillion (by himself)
Aliases Maxine Russo
(female form)
Gender Male (seasons 1-4)
Female (season 4)
Occupation Waiter (at the Waverly Sub Station)
7th grade student (season 1)
8th grade student (season 2)
9th grade student (season 3)
10th grade student (season 4)
Family Jerry Russo (father)
Theresa Russo (mother)
Justin Russo (brother)
Alex Russo (sister)
Relatives Duke Russo (paternal grandfather)
Rose Russo (paternal grandmother)
Kelbo Russo (paternal uncle)
Megan Brooke Russo (paternal aunt)
Magdelena Larkin (maternal grandmother)
Ernesto Larkin (maternal uncle)
Janieve Larkin (maternal uncle)

Maximilian Alanzo Ernesto "Max" Russo is a fictional character on the Disney Channel sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place, portrayed by Jake T. Austin. In the season 4 episode, "Three Maxes and a Little Lady", Max became "Maxine", portrayed by Bailee Madison.

The youngest of the three Russo siblings, he is the naïve younger brother, who at the beginning of the series is an underachiever (when it comes to wizard school), being far behind his siblings in his magic lessons (as seen in "Potion Commotion").



Max Russo like his brother and sister, is half-Mexican (on his mother's side), half-Italian (on his father's side), and both their Mexican side and their Italian side come into play on many occasions. Except for the fact that in the episode "Quinceañera" Max nor Justin can dance the salsa.

Max is a generally cute, witty, cheeky boy with a very imaginative and out-going personality. Like Alex, Max is often depicted as a slacker and has been known to use magic mischievously. He is very nice, naive and has a short-attention span. His mother, Theresa (Maria Canals Barrera) sometimes treats him like the baby of the family (examples: the episodes "Movies" and "Alex Does Good"). He sometimes assists his sister Alex (Selena Gomez) in pulling pranks on their brother, Justin (David Henrie).

He is the youngest of the family, which puts him at a disadvantage when being compared to his siblings, who have a head-start on him in their wizard training (although when Conscience came Max began doing wizard studies to the point of which he passed Alex in "Night at the Lazerama"). Max generally acts very carelessly, mainly because of his lack of real intelligence, though seems to be able to seem smart in his own unusual way that seems to work for him. Alex Russo is shown to take advantage of Max's lack of smarts. In the season 3 episode "Dad's buggin' out" during a conversation with Alex after he questioned the fact that she has a microwave oven in her locker, Max also asked where she puts her books right when Alex adds in "In your locker." Max then reveals that Alex told him only girls get lockers (at Tribeca Prep). It was not explained why Max has a bad habit of being or just simply acting dumb. A bit of Alex being seen in him because though Alex is a slacker with poor grades and known for her reckless use of magic (because he does not remain focused as he should he'd rather engage in activities such as videotape the restaurant just to see his dad drop things and all the customers laugh), she secretly possesses strong intelligence that she prefers to keep hidden just to be different from her brother Justin, a brainiac. Max also has a skill of getting out the truth of others through randomness, a skill rarely used unless being asked for advice or being needed for a specific situation. Both Max and his brother Justin Russo escaped a situation in the season one episode "Quincinera" when they did not learn how to dance the salsa in time for Alex's Quincinera celebration they used the body switching spell to become the ballroom/salsa dancers and performed well. This is nearly one out of few times Max has a good escape plan. Usually he comes up with nonsense or idiotic ideas such locking the doors so no one can come in and no one can leave in the episode "Wizards vs Vampires vs Zombies" when the zombies crash the prom Alex throws or throwing an unconvincing tablecloth and mustache on himself making a ghost costume so that he can save the Waverly Substation from closing for having poor pride in their restaurants "scary" appearance year after year on Halloween in the episode "Halloween". This shows that all three children hold a different type of intelligence that made them unique, with Max(along with Alex) his knack for getting out of the truth, Alex with her natural skill at magic that can allow her to slowly advance effortlessly, and Justin with his wide range of knowledge over many things that may seem like things no one else cares about (as Alex makes it out to be), yet he holds significance in varying levels, with how he argues with his sister. He also listened to his mom's advice about defending his rights to his tutor named Tutor(noting another sign of significance) in the season two episode "My Tutor, Tutor" when Alex and Justin were sabotaging Max with his wizard studies so that they can spend time with Tutor (because it is forbidden that a tutor should stick around after he/she/it has done its duty). Max claims to have "promised" their mom to get revenge on both Alex and Justin as he said when confronting them at the Leprechaun Grill. This shows Max can have some sense to stand up for himself.

In general, Max is unsuccessful at magic most of the time. Because of this, in preparing for the contest to keep their powers as a wizard, Justin and Alex focus on each other while discounting Max, believing that he could not possibly win. However, it is sometimes seen that Max may pull an upset, and be the one to keep his powers. He is shown to have a "C" in Wizard Class which makes his average much better compared to Alex who has an "F" for her poor effort and focus in wizard class, since she never tries. In the season one episode "Potion Commotion", when he gets his full powers, Max is able to cause snow to fall in the restaurant and to transport the loft the Russos live in to China and Hawaii.

At times, Max's stupidity is so potent that he is oblivious to what should be obvious and unable to discern sarcasm from sincerity. The most notable example of both is in "Hugh's Not Normous", when he failed to notice that Alex's room had shrunk and when he took a sarcastic remark made by Justin on the Wizard Stretcher about it having a tickling function instead of a stretching one seriously, in addition to taking Alex's insult of "You're on your own, jerkface!" to be a spell to repair her shrunken room. Additionally, in "Monster Hunter," Max unleashed monsters all over New York City to sabotage Justin's wizard training, failing to realize that they could cause far more damage until his disembodied conscience explicitly told him so. In the episode "Cast Away (To Another Show)", Max describes himself as "the one who does incredibly cool and serious stuff that people laugh for no reason", meaning that he takes himself very seriously and is blissfully unaware of his unusual nature towards other people. Though early in the episode, after noticing London Tipton's stupidity, Max remarks "That girl is really dumb. And that's coming from me!", indicating that he knows, however, he has his own limitations. In "Saving WizTech Part II", when Ronald flees away in a slow elevator, Justin suggests to them that they should wait for the elevator come back, this profoundly stunned and outraged Max to point of which he yells "Justin, even I know that's a bad idea!", and thus, showing that he has his own limitations to fooling around. However, in "Alex Tells the World", Max claims that his stupidity is just an act (mostly it is not) so that no one will take him seriously in the event that he slips up sometimes and exposes magic (but to very little amount of people.)

A recurring gag of the series is that Max somehow (though usually unwitting) shapeshift in some unusual form: a dog (in two separate episodes), a trash can, a monkey (off-screen in Kelbo's first appearance), and, in season four, into a little girl for several episodes.

Max is a fun wizard and sometimes uses magic irresponsibly but on the other hand he prefers to cause havoc without magic. quite and quick to use magic in a situation, like his sister, and it often leads to disaster. However, in the end he makes things right with his abilities and help from his siblings. Max is dependent on magical aids such as his wand and brother and sister's magically related help. In Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, he is shown to be able use his powers very independently, as he is constantly seen casting magic without a wand or spells. He uses an "E Wand" (similar to a Wii Remote) and has been known to break his wands by accident when put in his pocket. Another disadvantage to being the youngest is he is constantly babied by his mother. In "Movies" she began babying him because she realized both Justin and Alex were growing up very fast. She does not like him dating. In the Wizards movie, Max says his mom pinches his cheeks.

Max's self-confidence and impulsive behavior also makes him have little regards toward safety (as noticed in "Wizards and Vampires vs. Zombies", he was not afraid to stand up to the real zombies at the Zombie Prom). He is always willing to try new things and make new goals. Max usually likes to be his own person and often keeps his mind open for finding new things to do; some of which are considered career choices (considering the idea that he might not become a full wizard as an adult), though Max usually takes action without thinking about the details (he once decided to become a pilot by only going to flight school for two days). Max also has a few strange habits, such as putting marshmallows with asparagus or using his mom's dress as a Darth Vader cape. Not only does he have strange habits, he also possesses unsanitary habits. In the episode "Alex in the Middle" it was revealed that Max has orange soda and dirty socks underneath his bed. In the episode "Graphic Novel" Alex hid her Journal in Max's dirty clothes hamper with Justin stating that he never goes in there anyway. In addition, during the episode "Max's Secret Girlfriend" Max gives his girlfriend Nancy a dead lizard of his, he finds crumbs in his pocket assuming them to be either cookie crumbs or lizard crumbs, so he tastes them and said they were lizard crumbs. Max is very easily amused and often thinks differently from others ('he thinks microwave popcorn is magic'). In fact, this unusual way of thinking allowed him to outsmart (or as Alex said, "out-dumb") a genie into undoing her twisted wishes, and managed to get Juliet Van Heusen to say how she feels about Justin by saying something "random" ("Pineapples don't wear bathrobes") in conversation. This displays Max is capable of "twisting" certain scenarios for his own advantage.

Though Max is usually comfortable with himself most of the time, it has been shown that he somewhat craves attention and support from his family. In "Helping Hand", when Justin creates his original 'helping hand' spell, in which Jerry (David DeLuise) takes notice, Max tries several attempts to make his own magical project in order to gain the same attention from his father. This also may show that Max secretly wishes he can live up to expectations of his older brother. In the episode "Retest", it is said that Max is a lot like Uncle Kelbo(Due to the fact that they both share "airhead" personalities). It is also shown in "Max's Secret Girlfriend" that Max does not like being compared to his brother and sister, saying that people expect him "to be as devious as [Alex] or as smart as [Justin]".

In the season two episode "Future Harper", it is said that sometime in the future all the mortal humans know about wizards and it was most likely because Max revealed the secret. Even though Future Harper (Rachel Dratch) did not say that person's name, Max guiltily points out himself that he may have likely been the one to have spilled the secret. In the episode "Max's Secret Girlfriend", Max tells his girlfriend, Nancy, he is a wizard and takes her on a magic carpet ride. The Russo family becomes enraged. Beforehand, Max invited Nancy. When she arrives, they convince her that they are not wizards (but Amateur Special Effects Enthusiasts), even though they are, and she ends up breaking up with him for lying about everything.

In the trio episode in season 3, Max accidentally separates his conscience (Moises Arias) from himself, whom he names 'Roy'. Just as always, Max ignores everything Roy tells him and continues to sabotage Justin from becoming the family wizard, which ends in chaos. Tension is created between Max and his conscience when Max starts to do his schoolwork and chores, and Theresa neglects him by giving all the credit to Conscience. Later, Alex starts to notice Max's improvement and sabotages him by getting Conscience to go somewhere with Harper, which causes not only Max to do everything wrong, but puts Conscience in the process of becoming his own person. Alex then gets Conscience to come back and then uses a spell to put him back into Max. It is also later stated that, when Max cast a spell to set multiple monsters loose in New York City, one of which is a mummy that kidnaps Juliet, and all of the monster hunters (except Justin) are killed in action by the other ones; thus, Max is indirectly responsible for both. Max does not really care about the wizard duel, because he initially believes that he could be on the winning side, as visible in "A Wizard for a Day", Max constantly changes between Justin's and Alex's sides (much to their annoyance), and Max continues with this obnoxious behavior until "Franken-Girl", where they inform to him that he is alone. In the "Chronicles of Moises: The Voice of Reason" saga, despite constantly arguing with his conscience, Max becomes a serious and applied competitor of the family's powers.

In the episode "Western Show", when Mr. Laritate gets fired and Superintendent Clanton takes over as principal of Tribeca Prep, the students are expected to wear uniforms, in which the new environment has Max behaving normally. Max starts to act very maturely and starts applying to different colleges, which Jerry does not approve of, because he does not want to have to pay for college. However, when the gang gets transported to the Old West (as an attempt to show Mr. Laritate the old western business is not as great as he thought, so he would come back to the school), a fighting scene occurs, and the craziness changes back Max to his old self again.

In "Max's Secret Girlfriend", Alex and Harper find out that Max has been dating a girl named Nancy at school. He has been keeping her a secret because he is embarrassed by his family, and has even told Nancy that his name is "Tom Sawyer". It is assumed that he is embarrassed by his mom and dad, but it is later revealed that Max actually did not want Nancy to know he's related to Alex and Justin. To this, Max admits that he is tired of people always comparing him to his siblings, and for once, he just wanted somebody to like him for who he is and not who his brother and sister are.

In "Alex tells the World", Max is currently in the lead in the Wizard Competition, since Alex told the "world" and Justin told the "government", it was revealed that it was a test from Professor Crumbs. At first, Crumbs says Max is a fine candidate but then sees the boy caught in his own trash trap and chewing on garbage, making him realize he's not a good candidate but holds to the ruling, since Max was the only one who had not "revealed" the family's secret (something that is a bit ironic, since Max was expected to do this first.) His parents reaction to the announcement shows that no one believes in him as a wizard.

Max is absent in the season 1 episode New Employee; the season 2 episode Fashion Week; the season 3 episodes Eat to the Beat, Third Wheel, Dilinquent Justin, and All About You-Niverse; and the season 4 episodes Daddy's Little Girl, Everything's Rosie for Justin, Dancing with Angels, Wizards vs. Angels, Ghost Roommate, and Get Along Little Zombie


Bailee Madison as "Maxine" Russo in "Three Maxes and a Little Lady"

In "Three Maxes and a Little Lady", Max is turned into a little girl (Bailee Madison) when a spell cast by Justin and Alex goes awry. The attempt to change him back fails and he remains a little girl. In "Daddy's Little Girl", Jerry is completely taken in with the new "Maxine" and devotes nearly all his attention to her, which makes Alex extremely jealous and causes her to try to win back Jerry's affection, eventually going so far as to have Justin beat Maxine in a karate match, all to no avail. However, after the karate incident, Jerry apologizes and explains that Maxine merely reminds him of Alex when she was little. Maxine attends the 4th grade and the family stated that Max was part of a family exchange program. Maxine is changed back to Max in the episode "Back to Max" when Alex makes a potion, and makes Maxine drink it.

Max's love interests

  • Gertrude "Gigi" Hollingsworth (Skyler Samuels, season 2) - Max shows that he has a crush on Gigi, as seen in "Graphic Novel" (Which Gigi, obviously, does not return).
  • Jennette Brocolleti (Kathryn Foley, season 2) - Max asked out Jennette in "Alex Does Good". Justin chaperoned the date at the their family's restaurant, where Max tried to impress Jennette by acting like a big shot, therefore, treating Justin unfairly. When Justin retaliated by embarrassing Max in front of Jennette, Max attempted to use magic to turn Justin into a clown, but it backfired. Justin and Max laughed about it later, but Jennette left, feeling repulsed by Max's humor (and disturbed by his clown look).
  • London Tipton (Brenda Song, season 2) - Max flirted with her in Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana (crossover episode Double-Crossed). She thought he was strange but was impressed with his treatment of her. She kissed him on the cheek at the end of the episode. Earlier in the episode "Cast Away (To Another Show)", noticing London's extreme lack of intelligence, Max makes a comment saying "That girl is really dumb. And that's coming from me!", which is proven true to Alex and Justin, as they are surprised that there is somebody actually dumber than Max.
  • Nancy Lukey (Bella Thorne, season 3) - Max's first girlfriend in "Max's Secret Girlfriend". She breaks up with him because she thought that he was always lying to her. (The Russos pretended to be amateur special effects enthusiasts to avoid exposing magic, because Max revealed that he was a wizard, and shown her magic.)
  • Lisa Cucuy (Samantha Boscarino, season 4) - She crushes on Max after seeing him in the cover of 'Future Wizard' magazine, but then ditches him after she sees that Mason is a werewolf while on board her family's ship.
  • Talia Robinson (McKaley Miller, season 4) – long term; - In "Back to Max", Maxine wanted to join the theater to see and convince her to like Max when she becomes Max again. She is seen again in "Magic Unmasked" and appears to be dating Max. She and Max have no similarities with each other, so they decide to break up, but they immediately get back together at the end of the episode.


External links

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