In every adaptation and portrayal of Carrie, she is shown as an outcast, loathed and taunted by her fellow students and constantly scolded by her religiously-fanatic mother, Margaret White. At the late age of 16, she has her first menstrual period in the showers at school, and is harassed by the other girls. This triggers her telekinetic powers, and sets in motion the disaster that takes place at the high school prom.
Carrie is slightly chunky around the middle, with dirty-blonde hair that is long and flat. With pimples on her neck, back, and buttocks, she is ugly and repulsive. However, she apparently used to be a pretty girl when she was younger.
Her telekinetic powers are present throughout her life, usually evident in childhood incidents. She had closed a window and had dangled her own bottle above her crib when she was a baby. When she was three years old, she witnessed her teenage next-door neighbor sunbathing and asked her mother about the girl's breasts. Her mother scolded and physically abused Carrie for asking about such a matter. While she was inside her house, Carrie brought forth a hail of ice that smashed the bungalow. The chunks of ice were followed by a shower of rocks that plummeted onto the property, damaging it heavily while a table was almost sent toppling through the window.
At the age of 16, after many years of the telekinesis remaining dormant, Carrie is in the shower after a physical education class when she has her first menstrual period. Already an outcast, Carrie is tormented by her peers, and taps into her telekinesis again. Now aware of her power, Carrie begins to practice and harness the power.
When she is asked to the prom by Tommy Ross, Carrie attempts to say no, even though she has a crush on him. Eventually, she says yes, and is nervous but happy. Her mother attempts to stop Carrie from going, but Carrie insists on trying to fit in, not wanting to be weird anymore. She makes her own dress, and is described as being beautiful as Tommy Ross escorts her to the prom.
At the dance, she gradually comes out of her shell, and even makes jokes while she converses with other promgoers. As she is accepted by the crowd, she begins to enjoy herself for once. Carrie and Tommy get elected the prom's king and queen. But then, a bucket of blood gets poured on Carrie by Chris Hagensen. Carrie runs out of the gym, and cries. She soon thinks of an idea. She will teach them a lesson. She will turn on the sprinklers with her telekinesis. She can turn in on easily. Walking back to the gym, Carrie suddenly slams all the gym doors shut. The sprinklers get turned on, and fires get start. People run for help. Most of them die, and some escape through the emergency exit. Carrie White destroys the senior prom.
In the original movie adaptation by Brian De Palma, Carrie was portrayed by Sissy Spacek. Carrie is seen as a shy but beautiful young woman. She has an acne-free face, and reddish-blonde hair that is long and straight, as well as having a small, slim body.
There was no evidence to show that her telekinetic powers were present in her life before, instead only being triggered by her first period. Her first shown telekinetic occurrences included toppling her principal's ashtray in his office, and sending a taunting child swerving off his bike and injuring him. Later, while in her room, she accidentally shatters a mirror that she was looking at, unlocks her door from a distance, and pieces the mirror back together.
When Tommy Ross asks Carrie to the prom, Carrie runs away and hides, but is found by Miss Collins. She comforts Carrie and convinces her that she is pretty, brushing her hair out of her face to reveal her smile. Carrie accepts the invitation, and rebels against her mother's wishes when she throws her mother down against the bed to prevent interference.
At the prom, Carrie is dazzled, and begins having the most wonderful time of her life, climaxing to the point that she is crowned as the Prom Queen, basking in the applause of the crowd of peers.
T.V. Movie (2002):
The television portrayal of Carrie was similar to the original novel, with the exception of her appearance. She was shown as having brown hair, a pale but clear complexion (although she says that certain foods, such as cake, give her pimples), and a small, slim frame. In this version Angela Bettis plays Carrie.
Like the novel, her telekinetic abilities were present when she was a child, giving only one example: her shower of flaming rocks. Aside from that, her only other telekinetic occurrences happened after her humiliation in the showers at school. However, more examples occurred in this film that never took place in either the original novel or film, such as Carrie's sudden stress in class. After watching Tina Blake, Sue Snell, and Helen Shyres pass notes and stare at Carrie, she falls into a bizarre trance, during which she bends her metal ruler and cracks her desk in half with her mind.
After researching her power, she begins practicing with it, attempting to control and intensify it.
When Tommy Ross asks her to go to the prom with him, she begins stressing right away and tries to run out of the library, but he follows her. When she reluctantly agrees, she begins cheering up slightly. Her mother, on the other hand, is completely against the idea. At dinner, Carrie uses her power against her mother, blocking the doorways after arguing with her and preventing Margaret from storming out. Carrie begins taking control of the situation, standing up for herself for once.
Come prom night, Carrie dons her self-made dress, and sends her mother sliding out of the room when she comes in to interfere. Carrie's stress and paranoia grow to the point that she believes Tommy will not come, lifting everything in the room with her mind. When Tommy knocks on the door, she drops everything, crashing it all down to the floor in nervousness.
As the two of them arrive at the prom, Carrie is greeted with open arms, complimented and accepted by the crowd of students and teachers. She actually begins to enjoy herself, and is even more excited when she is elected Prom Queen. While on stage with Tommy, she drifts off into a daydream in which she and Tommy share the dance, leading to them kissing