|“||I don't know if I regret what I did... But I do know that I regret not growing up with you and Jo.||”|
— Danny to Lacey.
|Age:||16 years old|
|Occupation:||Green Grove High School|
|Portrayed by:||Avan Jogia|
Daniel "Danny" Desai is a 16-year-old alleged sociopath. At age 11 his father Vikram Desai murdered his aunt Tara Desai while she was babysitting him, Jo Masterson and Lacey Porter. Danny was wrongly put into juvie for the crime because his father convinced him to take the blame for it. Since Danny idolized his father he confessed to the murder he did not commit and was put into custody for 5 years before he returns home. Days after returning to school, Regina Crane comes onto him sexually and claims to know why he murdered his aunt while wearing the Tara's necklace. He faces new accusations when she is murdered in her home after a party. He is determined to do whatever it takes to clear his name with the help of Jo and Rico. He is known to have idolized his father, Vikram Desai, despite the possibility that he was truly a bad man. While his relationship with his mother, Karen Desai, has been rough with neglect and trust issues. He is having trouble coping with the fact his father was presumed dead five months before his return to Green Grove, a place he never even wanted to come back to. He claims he just wants to start over.
He has made enemies with many citizens of the town, notably Archie Yates, Sarita, Tim, and Jo's father Kyle Masterson. Despite making an enemy in Jo's father, her mother Tess Masterson is warming up to the boy. Danny has developed romantic feelings for Lacey and they are now secretly dating since she broke up with Archie. He is unaware of Jo's obvious attraction to him however.
Danny Desai is portrayed by Avan Jogia.
He was best friends with Jo and Lacey since his early childhood. He seems to have had the typical family life with a loving mother and father along with his Aunt Tara who was implied to have been in the picture. However, he soon began acting strange when he was 11 years old, becoming more quiet and mute, as noticed by Jo and Lacey. One day at his house, the two contemplated why there was an abrupt change in his behavior. Lacey suggested puberty while Jo thought it may have been family problems. While they talked, Danny was watching them from an upstairs window.
When Jo and Lacey are playing on the swing set outside, he went inside his house saw his dad Vikram with a red jump rope with his Aunt Tara lying on the floor after strangling her to death while she was baby-sitting them. so he gives Danny the jump rope and has him come outside to Lacey and Jo, in a daze, and says that he had no choice and "had to" not unbeknownst to Jo and Lacey that his father is the real killer so thinking Danny actually killed her they soon end up coming across his aunt's dead body, severely traumatizing them both. Danny was soon charged with his father's crime and arrested for his aunt's murder that he did not commit, silently refusing to tell anyone why he did it until Dead Men Tell Big Tales. Nobody knows if he is truly a sociopath or not. He might be very good at mimicking emotions (like most sociopaths) which is why he can get Jo to trust him so quickly. But this is yet to be determined.
Throughout the series, Danny typically wears dark and solid colored clothes. He also wears a t-shirt or a long-sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up. At times, he is seen wearing an army jacket. He has long, luscious dark brown/black hair that is usually tied back into a low ponytail, but it's often loose at home. He has light facial scruff including a sparse goatee. His eyes are dark brown and his natural skin tone is light brown/tan in color reflecting his half Indian heritage. He's considered universally very attractive by everybody. He is in good shape, well-muscled and handsome.
Danny is confident, charismatic and convincing. He also has a very good poker face and is a very good liar. He attracts people very easily.
He is shown to be nice and friendly to his friends, but can be mysterious, since he did not want to tell anybody the real reason he killed his aunt. He shows a sensitive side at times, but its possible that that's a manipulative move on his part and he is actually not feeling some of the emotions he displays.
- Main article: Danny and Lacey
- Main article: Karen and Danny
- Main article: Danny and Jo
Jo is Danny's best friend from childhood but their friendship was ruined when he had killed his aunt when they were kids. When returning to town after five years, Danny tries to reconnect with Jo but she feels that she can't trust him. Feeling that she is the only one who understands him and knows him better than anybody, he regains her trust when protecting her from a guy that was 'having fun' with her while she was drunk at a party. She now believes in him and decides to prove that he is innocent. Jo tells him that, "I couldn't help you five years ago, but I can now." In Poison of Interest she confesses to being in love with Danny in front of the whole school, but he has no romantic inclinations towards her.
- Main article: Danny and Regina
Regina was shown to wear the same necklace as Terra Desai, and was the only person not afraid of Danny when he returned. She comes onto him sexually in multiple attempts to get him alone. After texting him the truth that she knows why he killed Tara and that's why she needs to see him, she was found murdered the next morning. In the summer finale the murder weapon used to kill her was found, and, according to the police it had Danny's fingerprints all over it. Although the weapon is highly incriminating it isn't known if he killed Regina or if he just touched the soon-to-be murder weapon.
- Main article: Danny and Archie
Archie is the ex-boyfriend of Lacey and main rival of Danny, despite bullying him in the halls. Archie believes fully that Danny murdered Regina.
- Main article: Kyle and Danny
Kyle believes that Danny is guilty in the murder of Regina Crane and doesn't trust him despite his daughter's close friendship with him.
- Main article: Danny and Rico
Rico trusted Danny due to Jo's faith in him but after feeling like he is stealing Jo from him and seeing Danny's mom Karen Desai throw Regina/Tara's necklace into the lake, doubts him and tells Chief Masterson what he knows. Rico and Danny are cordial to each other again in Docu-Trauma.
- Grief Is a Five Letter Word
- PSA De Resistance
- Sleeping with the Frenemy
- The Fest And The Furious
- Three For The Road
- We Need To Talk About Danny
- The Truth Will Out
- Poison of Interest
- Out With The In-Crowd
- Dead Men Tell Big Tales
- Sins of the Father
- Home Is Where the Hurt Is
- Danny Indemnity
- He hasn't told anyone not even the police the real reason why his aunt Tara died 5 years ago. When asked about it by Jo, he insists he couldn't tell because he was protecting her by not telling. He also implies that even if he does tell it will affect the entire town, saying no one will get over it. Later he says that he did it because she was going to ruin his family because she and his father had their problems, but it is revealed in Home Is Where the Hurt Is that he did not kill his Aunt Tara while she was babysitting him, Jo & Lacey that his father was responsible for her death and made him take the blame for his own crime his son did not commit.
- He might be a sociopath (sociopaths are very charismatic and good at mimicking emotions) although this is yet to be determined.
- The necklace Regina wore before she died belonged to Danny's aunt. He is later seen in the Pilot episode, hiding it in his room before taking it out to avoid being found. He later tells his mother that someone left it in his locker the day after Regina's murder. That "someone" is still unknown.
- He was in juvie for five years.
- When questioned by Kyle Masterson as to why he didn't respond to Regina's booty call, he said he was saving himself for someone special.
- He is very strong and a quick and clever fighter, probably skills learned in juvie (he easily beats Archie in a fistfight he contributed to in Grief Is a Five Letter Word.).
- The show has two different versions of Danny, Lacey and Jo as kids.
- He is half-Indian from his father and half-Caucasian from his mother.
- His grandmother lives in Arizona.
- Jo is in love with him and he is unaware until Poison of Interest.
- He finds out about Jo being in love with him in Out With The In-Crowd but he tells her that he could never risk their friendship and make it go to far.
- He is revealed to have shared a bunk in juvie with Charlie 5 years ago.
- He accidentally "kills" his father in self defense for Jo and himself.
- He and Lacey get back together in Home Is Where the Hurt Is after he apologizes/kisses her for acting such a jerk at homecoming.