Rusty Cartwright aka "Spitter" is the lead male protagonist of the series. He is the younger brother of Casey Cartwright. After being accepted into Cyprus-Rhodes University, Rusty decides that he no longer wants to be the stereotypical geek and wants to have fun. He decides to join Kappa Tau Gamma and becomes the little brother of Cappie. By the end of series, he becomes the president of his fraternity and the boyfriend of Ashleigh Howard.
Chapter 1On Rusty's first day at CRU, he meets his bible-loving and competitive roommate, Dale Kettlewell. Being extremely disappointed with the first college party he and Dale go to, which is filled with nerds, Rusty decides to join a fraternity. He goes to the Zeta Beta Zeta house to seek advice from his sister about rushing. It's there that Rusty learns that his sister never told any of her sorority sisters that she even had a brother. When they finally do talk, Casey tells him that he is not fraternity material and that the fraternity and sorority world is her life, not his. Regardless of his sister's opinion, Rusty decides to go to rush and meets Calvin Owens. Calvin tried to help Rusty relax and impress the fraternities. When they arrive at the Omega Chi Delta house, Rusty meets Casey's boyfriend, Evan Chambers. Rusty had no idea that Casey had a boyfriend and Evan did not know about Rusty until the day before. Rusty ended up impressing Evan when he told him that he wanted to join a fraternity to experience brotherhood, which caused him to invite Rusty and Calvin back later that night to party with him and his brothers. Rusty and Calvin would then go to the Kappa Tau Gamma house, where they would be the only ones not kicked out since the two of them knew nothing about the frat and the prohibited rush party they hold. It's there that Rusty meets Cappie, who unknown to him is Casey's ex-boyfriend. Cappie tries to get Rusty to do a tequila shot off a girl at the party, but Rusty, who never had tequila before, ends up spitting the shot in the girl's face, earning him the nickname, Spitter. Not wanting to insult Evan, Rusty goes back to the Omega Chi house and witnesses Evan cheating on his sister with Rebecca Logan.
The next day, Evan tries to get Rusty to not tell his sister about his cheating by promising him a bid to Omega Chi. After receiving a bid from Omega Chi and Kappa Tau, Rusty gets advice from Calvin, who tells him that he may want to keep Evan's secret since he and Casey aren't close to begin with, and Dale, who tells him to tell Casey the truth since they're time in college together could be the only time for them to actually build a relationship. Rusty then goes to Casey and tells her the truth, but she refuses to believe him and even goes as far as to accuse him of lying. Rusty then goes to Doblers and informs Evan that he told Casey the truth. Evan, angry, starts a fight with Rusty, which Rusty ends by hitting him in the face with a pledge paddle. Rusty is thrown in jail, but bailed out by Casey. Rusty is disgusted by her decision to stay with Evan. She angrily tells him not to judge her, saying that her social life is her world and that leaving Evan would make her a "social piranha". This lightens the mood, as Rusty corrects her saying it's "pariah". The two then decide that they're going to try to better their relationship and be part of each others' lives. Rusty goes to KT and talks with Cappie. He tells him that he wants to be pledge KT, but Cappie tells him that he's too late. Cappie then changes his mind after Rusty tells him that he was in jail for hitting Evan in the face with a pledge paddle. Rusty would then become Cappie's little brother.
Rusty learns the hardship that comes from balancing the challenging classes of his major and rushing for Kappa Tau. Despite not being the standard frat guy, Rusty earns praise from his house for winning the beer pong tournament against the Omega Chi pledges and saving the KT homecoming party by fixing the Vesuvius and making it to rain beer creating KT history. Rusty also gets his first girlfriend, a ZBZ pledge named, Jen K. Rusty loses his virginity to Jen K and falls in love with her. Rusty is the first to learn from Calvin, himself, that he is gay. Calvin, happy with Rusty's acceptance of him being gay, is satisfied with knowing that he at least has Rusty as a brother, not knowing how well his Omega Chi brothers will take the news. Rusty also learns from Casey that, before Evan, she was involved with Cappie.
As winter break approaches, Rusty's happiness would end when an article revealing secrets about the Greek system, including the conflicts with his sister's relationship with Evan and him using a cheating telephone hotline for his midterms. Things get even worse, when Jen K reveals to him that she wrote the article. Even though Jen K didn't use any names in the article and Rusty still loved her, he decides to break up with her because he feels that she put her need to be a successful journalist before them.
As Rusty is waiting for his shuttle to the airport so he can go back home, Cappie essentially kidnaps him to cheer him up by partying with his KT brothers. Later, a very drunk Rusty would walk into Cappie's room to see Cappie and Rebecca sleeping together. In the morning, Casey finds Rusty waiting for a bus and offers him a ride home. The two then leave CRU and head back to Chicago.
When Rusty returns from winter break, he is still not over his break up with Jen K. After trying to return her hair pin that she left in his dorm room, he learns that Jen K has moved on as he interrupts her while she's with another man in her room. His spirits are later lifted when Calvin considers rushing Kappa Tau after the cold reaction he gets from his Omega Chi brothers when they learn that he's gay. But, his excitement is short-lived after Calvin chooses to stay with Omega Chi.
Rusty learns that his relationship with his pledge brothers is strained. His pledge class reveals that they're envious of his achievements in KT since they make the rest of the pledges look bad and that he seems to hang out with the active members more than them. After hearing them out, Rusty improves his friendship with his fellow pledges. Rusty's friendship with Calvin also becomes strained during the prank war between Omega Chi and Kappa Tau. Rusty gets angry at Calvin after he attempts to make peace with Omega Chi and the rest of Omega Chi duct tapes him to a wall, mostly because Calvin didn't stop his brothers from doing it. Calvin then gets angry at Rusty when KT counter-attacks by putting a large number of farm animals in the Omega Chi house.
Rusty also enters a purely sexual relationship with a girl named, Tina. While his KT brothers, tell him he should be happy about this, Rusty feels that this kind of relationship is not for him. He struggles telling her that he doesn't want to see her anymore, but with help from Heath and Beaver he does through a text message. Tina tells him that she's fine with ending things, but that she also has crabs.
Rusty becomes thrilled knowing that his parents, who came to freshmen parents' week, know that Kappa Tau is a party-loving fraternity, instead of a service fraternity that he originally told them. He also stands up to his parents for Casey, who they've always seemed to look down on for joining a sorority instead focusing on her studies. He tells them that Casey is a great role model for him and that he thinks she is inspiring.
When spring break arrives, Rusty leaves with his KT brothers for Myrtle Beach. While there, Rusty has a horrible time due to having no clothes, being sunburned, and not being able to use his fake ID. Rusty decides to leave early and runs into Calvin, who hasn't spoke to him since the prank war, at the bus station. When their bus breaks down, Calvin and Rusty decide to walk to the next town. When they can't rent a car due to being under 21, they get Dale to give them a ride back to CRU. With a little help from Dale, Calvin and Rusty resolve their issues and make up.
Rusty tells Andy the secret to getting in Kappa Tau. Later Andy dates the girl Rusty liked and is Rusty's little brother. Despite Rusty liking Jordan the 3 are friends. During a ZBZ alum wedding, Rusty and Jordan kiss. When Andy found out he leaves Kappa Tau and then later on Rusty dates Jordan.
Rusty Cartwright deals with KT having only one pledge, Peter Parkes. Peter is an alumni's kid.
At the homecoming party, he gets so drunk that he doesn't remember anything the next day when he wakes up under a pile of trash with lipstick on his face and a pierced nipple. He spends the day retracing his steps to find out who he kissed only to hit a dead end. Eventually, he finds out that it was Ashleigh that he kissed but she tells him that she doesn't return his feelings. In the season finale, Ashleigh finally decides on her feelings about Rusty and with Casey's blessing, begins dating him.
Rusty's leadership is shown when he takes initiative after the Kappa Tau house has been demolished and encourages the brothers to go attend their finals to get the house GPA up while he looks for a new house over the break. Cappie names him his legacy and passes his presidency onto Rusty.
With both his parents being professors, Rusty's parents were always proud of Rusty for his success in academics. Their pride in Rusty was so great that Casey saw Rusty as the favorite child. Rusty didn't want his parents to know that Kappa Tau was a normal, party-loving fraternity so he lied to them and said KT was a service fraternity. Due to Casey, his parents figured out that KT was not a service fraternity. They decide to let him stay in KT after Rusty told them that he would still focus on his academics because they mattered to him as much as they valued academics. Rusty's mother told Casey that since he came to CRU, that she was happy that some of Casey's stubbornness rubbed off on Rusty.
Casey Cartwright (Older Sister)
Before the start of series, Casey and Rusty were never very close as they lived in two different worlds. Casey seemed to be extremely embarrassed by her brother. When Casey came to CRU, she never mentioned her brother, Rusty. She certainly wasn't excited when he decided to come to CRU, but was willing to put up with him and occasionally meet for a monthly brunch to catch up. After Rusty revealed to her that Evan cheated on her and "defended her honor" by hitting him in the face with a pledge paddle, the two of them agreed to better their relationship and become part of each others' lives. They started coming to each other for advice and consoled one another when horrible things happened to each of them. Rusty told Casey and their parents that he looks up to Casey and is inspired by her when it comes to her being able to balance her social life with ZBZ and her academics.
Jen K was Rusty's first girlfriend and first love. Jen K first met Rusty while delivering ZBZ crush baskets to the KT house. After seeing how sad Rusty was about not getting a crush basket, she put his name on one of them. She would later help Rusty steal the Remington Herzog Atmospheric Destabilizing Module. Rusty then learned that the basket he received was not really his. Jen K admitted that she put his name on the basket and that she likes him. After the Vesuvius made it rain beer, Rusty kissed Jen K. The two of them fell in love and Rusty lost his virginity to Jen K. After Jen K wrote the article about the Greek system, Rusty broke up with her feeling that she cared more about her success as a journalist more than their relationship. Rusty would later ask Jen K out again near the end of their freshmen year. They both realized that had nothing to talk about anymore and Rusty realized that although he loved Jen K, she was not the one.
Rusty originally dated Tina's Room mate but became obsessive as he missed being in a relationship He apologised to her but she wouldn't give him a second chance. Later on Rusty and Tina were "fun-buddies". When Rusty broke off their arrangement via text with help from Heath and Beaver, she texted him back telling him she had crabs.
Jordan was a girl in his art class who later rushes ZBZ. She briefly dated Andy and then dated Rusty. She moved to New York. (Season 3)
On their first meeting, Rusty found her physically attractive, but was turned off by her because she answered all his questions with one word answers. On the other hand, Katherine thought their first date was a complete success and that Rusty was "smooth". With some convincing from Casey, Rusty went on a second date with Katherine and took her to the KT Valentine's Day party. They were each others' first Valentine's Day dates. Rusty would realize that they had a lot in common since they were both academically focused Greeks. Rusty then learns that Katherine only answered all his questions with one word so he would talk more and so she could learn more about him. They hit it off so well that Katherine decides to lose her virginity to Rusty. Rusty ultimately decides to not have sex with Katherine because he felt that he wasn't special to her and that them having sex was simply a transaction to her. To Rusty's surprise, Katherine wasn't angry at him and wanted to continue dating him. Rusty struggled to decide between her and Dana, but at the '80s Party after looking into her eyes he realized that he wanted to be with Dana.
Rusty and Dana met during their freshmen orientation. While Rusty didn't giver her a second thought, Dana developed a crush on him. He would not see her again until after he won an academic grant, but when she congratulated him; he had no idea who she was. She became completely disgusted with him after he made a joke about getting two girls during the ZBZ's nerd auction and for forgetting her name again. Later, Dana was appointed his assistant on making his wire. They dated and went to Spring Break together and broke up at the beginning of Season 4 because Dana put her name down as a co-inventor of the self-healing polymer which Rusty was not comfortable with because it was his invention. She also said bad things about his wire in front of the funders of the project.
Rusty: "Nothing's wrong with you at all. In fact, you're gonna do amazing things with your life."
Ashleigh: "How do you know that?"
Rusty: "Because...you're a human magnet and people are drawn to you."
Ashleigh at first had no idea that Rusty even existed till he came to CRU due to Casey telling her that she was an only child when they were freshmen. Soon Casey would start having Rusty ask Ashleigh about advice regarding sex because she was too uncomfortable about talking about her brother's sex life. Ashleigh told Rusty that girls can enjoy a purely sexual relationship just as much as men can, when Rusty was Tina's "fun buddy".
Later when Rusty tells Ashleigh that the KT spring formal was canceled and how excited he was for it because he missed his high school prom, she told him to come to the ZBZ spring formal and offered to find him a date. When Ashleigh couldn't find him a date, she took him as her date. She got irritated with him and felt uncomfortable after Rusty kept putting his arm around her to prove that he wasn't on a pity date. She was more understanding after he told her that Evan told him that he was a pity date. Seeing Evan and Frannie laughing at him, Ashleigh kissed Rusty and Rusty dipped her and kissed her again. When Rusty took her home, he jokingly said that it would never work between them since she is Casey's best friend. Ashleigh kissed him on the cheek and told him that whoever he ends up with will be very happy.
Ashleigh and Rusty become even closer when they have the same marketing class together during the second semester of her senior year and his sophomore year. She tried to help him with his love life. She first had a ZBZ nerd auction to help him get a girl in their class. Things didn't end well, when he made a joke about getting two girls, which reminded her of Fisher. She bad mouthed him to all the girls at the auction. She would apologize later. She later helps Rusty decide between being with Dana or Katherine.
After graduating, Rusty gets Ashleigh a taxi whistle since she's going to New York. Calvin saw this as the first sign of Rusty developing romantic feelings for Ashleigh. After Ashleigh returns to CRU and has a fight with Casey, she goes to Rusty's apartment because she had no where to go. She told a very drunk Rusty about how she felt that something was wrong with her because she couldn't get a job and how she was considering being with Simon only because he could take care of her. Rusty told her that she'll do amazing things with her life because she's a human magnet and people are drawn to her. She kisses Rusty, but stops after he yells when she touches his recently pierced nipple, which made her realize who she's kissing. Rusty would blackout and completely forget about the kiss. She considered being in a relationship with him, but Rebecca advised her against it. The two would become roommates because of her fight with Casey. On Calvin's 21st birthday, Rusty figured out that they kissed and confronted her about it, saying he felt that there's something between them. After talking to Casey, who told her that she can't be involved with him unless she's sure of her feelings; Ashleigh tells him that there's nothing between them and she kissed him because she was drunk. In the series finale, after Rusty gave Ashleigh a name plate for her desk, Calvin realized that he still had feelings for her. Calvin then told Ashleigh about Rusty's feelings and she admitted that she still has feelings for him, but wouldn't act on them because of her promise to Casey. Later, after Casey gave her blessing, Ashleigh moved out of Rusty's apartment and admitted her feelings to him. The two kissed and became a couple.
Rusty and Dale are best friends. They've been roommates since their freshmen year. Due to their shared interest in science, they get along well together. Dale at first tried to convince Rusty to not rush a fraternity, but ultimately came to accept his choice and even came to accept the Greek system and rush Omega Chi during Season 4. Their friendship has been strained though due Dale's competitive nature concerning their academics, specifically when Dale decided to look at Rusty's research when the two of them were competing for a grant.
Rusty and Calvin are best friends. Though they are in rival fraternities, they still see one another as brothers. Rusty was the first person at CRU that Calvin told that he was gay to. Their friendship is very similar to that of Cappie and Evan's and has been tested, but they managed to not let their houses end their friendship.
Even though Cappie is only his fraternity big brother, Rusty looks up to Cappie as a real big brother. He always comes to Cappie for advice, usually when the problem has to do with women.
Rusty hates Evan for the way he treated his sister. Evan's feelings towards Rusty are mutual due to Rusty constantly insulting him even when Casey forgave for his cheating and for hitting him in the face with a pledge paddle.Despite this, Evan helps him find out about his wire in season 4.
Rusty's little brother until he quit the fraternity. He was friends with Calvin from high school and was a football player. He dated Jordan who cheated on him with Rusty. When he found out, he quit the fraternity.
Rusty's little brother. Spidey is the KT's only pledge in season 4 due to the fact they are banned from rush but as Spidey is a legacy, he is permitted to pledge . His father, Lasker Parkes, created the program Joshua Whopper, which kept the KT's academic standards up. Rusty and Peter steal a goat together and then Spidey chooses Rusty as his big brother as he's cool and a nerd, something he wants to be too. For a while, Peter was under suspicion for the attacks against the Kappa Taus because of his intelligence and inside knowledge from his father. At the end of season 4 despite Spidey begging him not to his father rips down the KT house.