— Zuri's Catchphrase
Zuri Zenobia Ross is one of the main characters in JESSIE. Her characteristics are often over precocious and she has a liking for blackmail. Her original origins are not clear although it is stated that she is from Uganda, Africa. Despite living in a country where Swahili is a spoken language, Zuri cannot speak it herself, which is later revealed in an episode of Bunk'd.
Zuri is portrayed by Skai Jackson.
Throughout the show, Zuri grew up from being a sweet, adorable, kind-hearted and sometimes turns into a snitch of a little girl to a very sassy, sarcastic, clever, scheming and mischievous adolescent. She is spoiled and very often causes mischief. She enjoys talking to her stuffed bear, Chubby the bear or Chubbs, and her imaginary friend, Millie the Mermaid (deceased). She is also very lovable and has a special bond with all three of her siblings, as well as Jessie Prescott, Bertram Winkle and her parents. It also hinted throughout the series that Zuri won't be the same forever. In Krumping and Crushing, Zuri has her first crush and in one of the latest episodes, she has also accepted Millie the Mermaid's death. Zuri's least favorite sibling shown in all the episodes of the series is Luke.
Zuri is a very adorable and sweet-looking dark-skinned girl with curly black hair that she usually leaves down. She is also very skinny, yet very strong. Her fashion sense is very girly like Emma Ross (Zuri's sister). She enjoys wearing bright colors and used to love tutus (announced in Season 4). Zuri also loves bows, colorful socks, and tiaras. Like Emma, Zuri has a passion for fashion, only, unlike Emma, most of her ideas are childish. She knows how to be creative with her fashion sense. She is pretty and has a sense of humor. She gets along with Emma (most of the time.)
Emma is Zuri's oldest sister. They love hanging out with each other and enjoy each other's company. Emma braids Zuri's hair occasionally and Zuri sits on Emma's lap a lot. She helps Emma with her fashion webcast Kitty Couture by making stuff such as glitter boxes and streaks. Their relationship together is very nurturing and they love each other. Though, at times, Emma makes Zuri mad as she discovers her older sister isn't as "imaginative", as she used to be and is rather in love with the latest fashion styles. Though, Emma will go just out of her will after the day is done to go and help Zuri. Though sometimes she finds Zuri rather as, "The annoying nuisance", and Zuri messes up Kitty Couture by selling merchandise though Emma has told her once, well, twice, that she doesn't want it, they always find a way to get along. They also share a love for fashion, shown in many episodes, (for example: Identity Thieves.)
Luke is Zuri's oldest brother. She tends to blame Luke for the mess she makes during bad situations. Luke always finds a way to get her back. Quitting Cold Koala explains Zuri's relationship with Luke the most. She keeps on teasing and taunting him about Kenny the Koala, until Luke reveals why Kenny's so important to him, ending with Zuri apologizing and lending Kenny an eye from one of her dolls when he is broken. Overall, Luke and Zuri are partners in crime. They participate in many mischievous activities together, such as prank calling people on Jordan Taylor's phone (Star Wars), and always pranking Ravi (Used Karma).
Ravi is Zuri's second oldest brother. Zuri and Ravi are extremely close. They care for each other a lot. Though, whenever Zuri knows Luke isn't on the spot, she blames Ravi for her mistakes, and unlike Luke, he never plots to get her back and accepts, though he gets her back by Jessie soon finding out and blaming Zuri. Sometimes, Ravi makes Zuri rather mad. When Zuri (Jessie was in her body) said she and Jessie had switched bodies, Ravi pretended to, "play", with her though this was very serious.
Jessie is Zuri's nanny and best friend. She and Jessie have a very close mother-daughter-like relationship. In the first episode, Zuri was the person who discovered Jessie to be their nanny. Jessie gets worried whenever Zuri talks to her imaginary friends too much or doesn't do her homework at all, but Zuri still listens to her eventually. Jessie always has her back whenever she gets bullied. For instance, in the World Wide Web of Lies, Jessie defends Zuri when she gets harassed by Agatha and Axel. At other times, Jessie tries to get Zuri to listen to her, but almost every attempt fails, like in Badfellas, Zuri refuses to leave her tree in Central Park, no matter how many times Jessie forced her to do so. Also, Jessie was the only one to find out about Zuri's amazing chess skills. Overall, they have a wonderful friendship.
Zuri's butler, Bertram, seems to care about her the most out of all the Ross children, but he never shows it, unless absolutely necessary. Zuri also feels the same way about Bertram, but she loves to tease him about his weight and other things mentioned over the series. She especially likes to challenge him in various skills, as seen in Creepy Connie's Curtain Call, where she and Bertram have a contest to see who's a better butler, but Zuri's report on Bertram, following the contest, made him cry.
Stuart has a huge crush on Zuri, which she finds very annoying. She showed signs of liking him, but in Where's Zuri?, it became official that she likes him back. It is shown that Stuart liked Emma at one period and that she uses Stuart for her grades in school because he does her homework.
After JESSIE ended, she attended Camp Kikiwaka with Emma and Ravi for three years, and afterward, became a boss in Morgan's company.
- In Gotcha Day, if you listen closely, Morgan Ross mentioned that Zuri's middle name was Zenobia.
- In the Teacher's Pest, the teacher calls her by full name.
- The name Zuri means "good, beautiful" in Swahili.
- Zuri was brought home 2 months after her birthday. ("Gotcha Day").
- Zuri was originally written as a girl from Chicago named Olivia.
- Zuri enjoys listening to country music and has referenced many established country musicians including Rascal Flatts, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Tammy Wynette. (Throw Momma From the Terrace).
- Zuri is very sassy and her personality is similar to that of the title character in the "Roxy Hunter" movie franchise.
- Zuri claims to be her mom's favorite child (World Wide Web of Lies).
- It is revealed that Zuri's middle name is Zenobia (The Secret Life of Mr. Kipling).
- Zuri's middle name Zenobia was originally spelled with an "a" (Zanobia) instead of an "e".
- It is shown that Zuri is good at writing songs (Austin & Jessie & Ally: All Star New Year ).
- In an alternate future, Zuri is married to Jaden Smith. (The Jessie-nator: Grudgement Day).
- Zuri is shown to have skirts for different occasions, like Stuart Wooten, as shown when she wants to get her tattling skirt. (Kids Don't Wanna Be Shunned).
- In "Rossed at Sea Part 3", Bertram announced that Zuri is 11 years old.
- Zuri had an imaginary friend named Milly the Mermaid that 'died' when she was stabbed by a swordfish because she (Milly) owed money to a crime boss, Lenny the shark. (The Secret Life of Mr. Kipling).
- Zuri owns many stuffed animals including two stuffed pretty unicorns, a pink one and a purple one (Creepy Connie Comes a Callin'), a stuffed bear named Chubby the Bear (Identified as being a black bear only available from a shop in Whistler, British Columbia and was only available during the 2010 Winter Olympics), a white stuffed cat named Whiskers who she thinks is a 'control freak', a white stuffed dog named Mittens, a stuffed cow named Hugh Heffer, a stuffed giraffe, a stuffed panda named Pandy Warhol, a pink stuffed octopus, a white stuffed bear, a stuffed penguin, a brown stuffed monkey, a big purple stuffed dog, two stuffed dragons (a navy blue one and an olive green one), a brown stuffed spider, and a black and white dog (We Are So Grounded).
- Her favorite stuffed animal is Chubby The Bear.
- According to Emma, whenever Zuri spots something she wants, she goes for it. (Break-Up and Shape-Up).
- She ships Tessie and helped them become a couple (The Princess and the Pea Brain, Tempest in a Teacup, Break-Up, and Shape-Up).
- She loves brownies (New York, New Nanny).
- Her teacher thinks that she has a bad attitude (Teacher's Pest, Break-Up and Shape-Up).
- She loves not asking permission to do things (Jessie's Big Break).
- She loves not brushing her teeth (Jessie's Big Break).
- According to almost all the episodes she appears in, puberty is her number one pet peeve.
- She likes Power Ponies. (Krumping and Crushing).
- She showed signs of liking Stuart Wooten in Where's Zuri?.
- Whenever she does something that someone told her not to do, it's called "Pulling a Zuri".
- She states that Emma is her favorite sibling.
- Zuri farts when she gets nervous.
- She's Jessie's favorite.
- It is revealed in 'But Africa Is So... Fari' that Zuri has a private island in the Caribbean.
- Johnny Depp is Zuri’s godfather.