This article is about the Netflix Series character. You may be looking for the book character.


Just 'cause Hannah fucked up her life doesn't mean she has to fuck up ours.

–   Zach to Alex about Hannah. , Tape 6, Side B

Zachary "Zach" Shan-Yung Dempsey is a main character in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why. He is portrayed by Ross Butler.

Zach is the subject of Tape 4, Side A on Hannah's list of reasons of why she killed herself.

Early Life

To be added

Throughout the Series

Season 1

He is Justin’s friend, they were walking together on Hannah’s lawn when she first saw Justin. Feeling sorry for Hannah after Marcus tried to use her, Zach tried to comfort her, but she ignored him. The next day, Zach said that he wished he had gotten matched with Hannah for the Dollar Valentine survey. Not believing him, Hannah yelled at him until he finally left. Zach's friends teased him for trying to talk to Hannah, but it is implied that his intentions were pure and he really liked Hannah.

After being humiliated by Hannah, Zach got revenge on her by stealing and throwing away all of Hannah’s notes in the Brown Paper Bag Program, notes that she desperately needed to gain comfort and confidence.

Hannah figures out that Zach was the one who took her notes, so she writes him a note in order to confront him. In her tapes, she claimed that he read her note and threw it on the ground, however, it is revealed that Zach still keeps the note in his wallet.[1]

Season 2


Zach's Mistake (Reason #7)

13 Reasons Why
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Zach is Hannah's reason number 7 of why she committed suicide.

After being humiliated by Marcus on their Valentine's Date, Zach reached out to Hannah and tried to cheer her up. Hannah was actually appreciative of this.

However when Zach tried reaching out to her again at lunch and revealed that he wanted to be her Valentine's date, he unintentionally insulted Hannah and as such she insulted him and rejected him. Out of revenge, Zach began stealing the positive notes from Hannah's bag in their English class, notes she enjoyed getting. Hannah discovered it was Zach that was the thief and wrote him a note, however after reading the note he did not apologize and Hannah believed he just threw out the note (though he actually kept it). Hannah wrote another note which was read in front of the whole class though Zach still did nothing to help Hannah and let Skye take the fall for apparently writing the note.

Physical Appearance

Zach is a tall and athletic Asian-American with short cut dark hair and dark eyes. He is typically seen in sporty wear like varsity jackets, jeans, sneakers, and snap-backs. He is also often found in his basketball uniform.


Zach is shown to be a kind hearted person and a good friend to those around him though he is also extremely cruel and uncaring to a degree. Like the other jocks at Liberty High he is somewhat shown to be a bully and disrespectful towards girls as he himself admits during his deposition that he said insulting things about Hannah. He is physically aggressive to as he threatened Tyler he would break his arm if he didn't leave him and the others on the tapes alone at lunch.

In spite of the other jocks, Zach appears to shown concern for the feelings of others as he tried to cheer Hannah up after Marcus humiliated and insulted her on their valentines date though he himself insulted her while trying to tell her she was the valentine he himself hoped for and as result led him to cruelly torturing Hannah by stealing the positive notes that she strongly desired getting which ultimately broker her spirit. Zach is shown to be selfish like a majority of the others on Hannah's list and is willing to keep the tapes a secret to protect himself and even claims that Hannah was too much to deal with and that she screwed up her own life and even though he was well aware that Hannah was calling out for help after stealing her notes for weeks, he did nothing to help her. He is shown to be in agreement with the plans to keep Clay from ratting them all out to and participated in intimidating him along with Alex and Justin.

In spite of this Zach is not completely heartless and Alex even once says to him that he is simply an entitled idiot who does cruel stupid things while on the inside has a decent heart. He even kept the note that Hannah personally wrote to him (despite her belief that he threw it out) and during his deposition admits that Hannah was indeed bullied at school and that he took part in it as well, possibly showing he is willing to admit the truth.



  • Zach seems to be the only person out of the group that seems to actually consider Hannah's feelings and tries to think twice before doing something stupid. Although this is proved controversial because Zach steals things out of Hannah's bag of what is supposed to be people saying nice things to her and takes them so that she doesn't find them, this is only after being verbally rejected by Hannah.
  • Zach kept the letter Hannah put in her own bag to see if he was doing what she thought he was, although Hannah stated on the tapes that he threw the letter away.


  1. Yorkey, Brian (writer) & McCarthy, Tom (director) (March 31, 2017). "Tape 4, Side A". 13 Reasons Why. Season 1. Episode 7. Netflix.