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For the Tom from Back to Before, see Tom

"Not Jake. Leave Jake alone. Leave my brother alone. I'll... look, I'll never trouble you again. I swear it. Just leave Jake alone."
―Tom to Temrash 114[src]

Tom Berenson was Jake's older brother. He spent four years as a host body for the Yeerks, first to Temrash 114 and then later to another Yeerk. Despite his freedom being Jake's primary reason for joining the war, Tom never regained his freedom and was killed during the final battle by his cousin Rachel under Jake's orders.


Free Life[]

"I had always trusted him. He wasn't like a lot of guys who pound on their younger brother. We were always kind of close."

Tom Berenson was born in 1981[2] to Jean and Steve Berenson.[5][3] The older brother of Jake, the brothers were close and they often played basketball together.[1] His father was a pediatrician[6] and his mother was a writer,[1] and they lived in a well-off neighborhood[7] in California.[3] Tom was raised Jewish, with dinners as a family involving prayers[8] and no television.[1]

While in junior high, also known as middle school, Tom joined the basketball team and became known as legend. Upon entering high school, Tom joined the team and became one of its high scorers.[1] While Tom had paternal cousins, he was not particularly close enough with them.[9]

Infested by Temrash 114[]

Becoming a Host[]

In 1996,[10] Tom developed a crush on a girl who was a full member of The Sharing. Tom then decided to join The Sharing as well; however, after sneaking into a full members meeting to follow his crush, he accidentally witnessed the Andalite body of Visser Three. Tom was then quickly captured by the Yeerks and forcibly infested, becoming the host body for Temrash 114.[11]

Tom tried to fight Temrash, but was not powerful enough to give Temrash much trouble. Tom eventually promised to give up his resistance if Temrash ensured that Jake would not be infested, although Temrash declined the deal due to the fact that he could retain control of Tom without much difficulty. Temrash had Tom join The Sharing as a full member and climbed up the ranks of the Yeerk Empire.[11] Temrash also had Tom quit the high school basketball team to free up their time.[1]

Warning Jake[]

"I was looking at Tom, and he was smiling at me. But then his face kind of twitched. His head started to pull to one side, like he was trying to shake his head only he couldn't quite do it. For just a split second there was a look in his eyes — scared or... or something. He was looking right at me, and it was like some different person, some scared person, was looking out of those same eyes. [...] I knew what I had seen in Tom's eyes — he was trying to warn me. Somehow he had managed to gain control of his face for just a second before the Yeerk in his head had crushed him. Tom — the real Tom, not the Yeerk slug in his brain — had tried to warn me."

In 1997,[12] Tom listened as Temrash 114, controlling his body, spoke to Jake about how The Sharing was fun but that there was more to it once one became a full member. When Jake inquired how to become a full member, Tom began fighting to retake control over his body in order to warn Jake, and was strong enough to cause Temrash to briefly lose control over Tom's facial muscles. While Temrash quickly reasserted his control over Tom, unbeknownst to both Temrash and Tom, the incident was enough to tip Jake off that Tom was under Yeerk control.[1]

Temporary Freedom[]

"No. No, you filthy creep. You aren't going to win this time."
―Tom to Visser Three[src]

A few days later, Temrash 114 went to the Yeerk pool to feed, which resulted in Tom being placed in a cage along with the other involuntary hosts, where he began to shout at the Hork-Bajir-Controllers. When a group of animals attacked the pool and freed the hosts in the cages, Tom aided them in freeing the other hosts and headed to the stairs in order to escape. When they were surrounded by Taxxons, Tom swung his fists at them. During the climb up however, they were trapped by Visser Three, who had morphed into a fire-breathing monster with eight heads and eight legs. Tom then lunged at the Visser, although Visser Three was able to easily swat Tom away, causing him to fall from the stairs. While his actions resulted in the others escaping successfully, Tom was recaptured by the Yeerks and was reinfested by Temrash.[1]

Infested by Another Yeerk[]

Mysterious Phone Call[]

"I am the Yeerk who controlled your brother. [...] Yes, Tom was my host."
"Then... he's..."
"Free? Ha ha ha. You're even stupider than your brother. No, your brother's body has been given to a new Yeerk. Someone with a lower rank."
Temrash 114 and Jake[src]

Due to Temrash 114's rapid ascension through the ranks of the Yeerk Empire, he was slated for promotion by being given the Governor[11] of California[3] as his new host body. As a result, Tom was given to a new low-ranking Yeerk to serve as his host body. A few days later, a phone call was made to "Tom". When "he" answered, the mysterious voice on the other end revealed that it knew Tom was a host and told him to keep fighting.[11]

Gaining Morphing Powers[]

"My people want it, too: the morphing power."
"You said you're already morph-capable."
"I am. And not just this body, by the way, but me. I've subjected my own true Yeerk self to the cube. You want to know what's funny? I can morph Tom. That's right, I can morph into my own host body. Cool, huh?"
Tom's Yeerk and Jake[src]

Tom spent the next three years as a host to this new Yeerk as it slowly climbed through the ranks.[13] In 2000, after his Yeerk successfully acquired the morphing cube from the Animorphs,[5] Tom's Yeerk used the box on Tom's body, rendering him morph-capable. Tom's Yeerk acquired a jaguar and a cobra through Tom's body. Tom himself was then acquired by his Yeerk after it used the box to grant its own body the ability to morph.[14]


"Tom was dead. And I wondered how I was ever going to explain it. I had ordered my cousin to execute my brother. How would I ever explain that? All these years I'd fought to keep us all alive, to stop the Yeerks, always with the hope that someday I would save my brother, that he would come back, that he'd be Tom again. That was why I'd enlisted in the war to begin with. I was going to save Tom. Tom was dead. The Yeerk in his head was dead. And Rachel."

Shortly after, Tom's Yeerk and his band of morph-capable Controllers gained possession of the Blade ship and attempted to destroy the Pool ship in order to kill both the Animorphs and Esplin 9466. However, Jake had Rachel hide out on Tom's body as a flea, having ordered her to kill Tom in order to end his Yeerk's machinations. Noticing Rachel after she demorphed, Tom's Yeerk morphed into a cobra using Tom's body. Rachel, in grizzly bear morph, managed to get the cobra in her mouth and bit down on it, killing both Tom and his Yeerk before she was killed herself by the morph-capable Controllers.[3]


This section requires expansion


  • Throughout the entire series, Tom has never spoken to any of the characters freely. With the exception of his brief moment in the very first book and a memory Temrash 114 showed Jake in the sixth book, all of Tom's lines have been spoken by the Yeerk in his head.
  • In the TV series, after Tom's Yeerk received the call from Jake, Tom is able to resist enough to cause his Yeerk to lose slight control of his right hand.


Elfangor eye closeup andalite chron "Someone took a picture of me? Not cool. Do you see what I'm wearing? I'm Spandex-boy. Totally not cool."

The image gallery for Tom Berenson may be viewed here


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Invasion
  2. 2.0 2.1 #1 reveals Tom is of legal driving age, putting his age at 16 minimum. As the first book is set in 1997, this puts his birth year c.1981.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The Beginning
  4. Killed by Rachel while in cobra morph
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Ultimate
  6. The Conspiracy
  7. The Predator
  8. The Alien
  9. The Threat
  10. Jake mentions in #1 that he and Tom stopped being as close since "last year or so" after Tom joined The Sharing. As #1 is set in 1997, this puts Tom's infestation at 1996.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 The Capture
  12. The Andalite Chronicles is said to take place 10 years after the 1966 Yeerk exodus of The Hork-Bajir Chronicles and 21 years before Elfangor met the Animorphs. This places it in 1976, meaning the Animorphs met Elfangor in 1997.
  13. The Illusion
  14. The Answer