We don’t know much about Tino from My So-Called Life–except that he gives his leftover Chinese food willingly, but what is Tino really like? There is no known photo of him (not even a crude, blurry one has surfaced on the internet), but it’s as though we’re on the cusp of truly understanding his elusive nature. Between the clues given to us by Rayanne and Jordan, Tino is closer within our reach than we think.
Although Tino is presented as the end all, be all–some sort of mythical god of coolness–his cachet begins to diminish as the series progresses. For example, in the episode “After the Break Up,” Jordan’s attitudes toward Tino reveal a frustration that was never quite so prominent in their friendship’s history. The dismantling of Frozen Embryos unmasks Tino’s selfish underbelly, with band mates throwing out derisive comments like, “What are you, the new Tino?”
While Tino is someone to be adored, to have unequivocally on your side, his egotism and cloud of arrogance seems to be preventing him from gaining the most from his rapports at Liberty High. Jordan, who has clearly used Tino as his model for how to be, is the most likely version of this ambiguous social figure (either that or the guy who always hangs around Jordan and says, “There’s Rayanne Graff and that weird girl she’s always hanging out with”).
Based on the up and down perceptions of Tino throughout the show, what we can glean for certain is that he’s likely an attractive schizophrenic with questionable hygiene habits and a penchant for acquiring free food. Oh, and he’s probably a fairly decent vocalist who could croon his fair share of women into bed.