The Wilds Wiki

Shelby Goodkind is one of the main characters in The Wilds. She is portrayed by Mia Healey.

She is a God-fearing pageant princess from the heart of Texas, whose natural optimism helps all the teen castaways stay hopeful. Despite her angelic appearance, Shelby has a lot of hidden grit and a number of secrets that she’s keeping from the others, including her identity as a lesbian [1].



Shelby was born and raised in Fort Travis, Texas. She is a daughter of two conservative, Christian parents, JoBeth and Dave Goodkind. Her father is a health instructor and pastor who leads a conversion therapy group for men at his house. She is the eldest of her three siblings.

Shelby attends Fort Travis High School and co-edits the yearbook. She is also on the student council.

Throughout the Series[]

Season 1[]

Shelby is known for her natural optimism and cheerfulness. She often suggests "ice-breakers" and games to put the other girls at ease. Shelby's also very open about her Christian beliefs, as she often break into prayers and church hymns. In her introduction to Martha, she mentions that her three priorities are: "family," "Jesus," and "pageants." Shelby forms an early bond with Martha, who she helps after the plane crash. Unfortunately, this causes tension between her and Martha's best friend, Toni Shalifoe, who didn't believe that Shelby's intentions with Martha was genuine. Tensions between the two reach an all time high after Shelby confesses that she believes that Toni's "way of life" (aka being a lesbian) "is a sin."

Despite her cheerful appearance, Shelby actually has a few secrets of her own. One of her main concerns early on was her artificial teeth, which she uses to replace her missing two front teeth. She tries to hide it from the other girls as much as possible by sneaking out to clean them in private. Her secret was eventually revealed later on, however, after Leah accuses her of having something to do with their situation, forcing her to reveal the real reason for her disappearances.

Day Twenty-Three

When talking to Toni about her fear of accidentally hurting her she mentioned "I've hurt people before, very badly." It is presumed she was speaking of Becca Gilroy's suicide.

Season 2[]

When Rachel's grief for Nora resurges, Shelby commiserates with her and tells her how she used prayer to cope with her grief over Becca.

Shelby says "I love you" to Toni for the first time, which makes Toni. Toni gets the confidence to tell Shelby she loves her too.


Shelby is naturally optimistic and kind, likely due to her Christian faith. She often suggests "icebreakers" and games as a way to cheer the other girls up.

She also carries a lot of guilt and self-loathing. Shelby said horrible things to Becca the last time they spoke, and then Becca died by suicide. She also has a lot of mixed feelings about her sexuality, due to the way she was raised and how her father reacted when she kissed Becca. Despite acting upon her sapphic feelings, Shelby still admits to the group that she thinks Toni's 'way of life' is a sin, which they do not take well. Eventually, she drops this belief.

Physical Appearance[]

Shelby is a young seventeen year old girl, and is about 5'7. Back home in Texas, Shelby blew out and straightened her hair every day [2]. In Day One, Shelby wears her hair in a high ponytail, but after Toni complains of looking at her ponytail, she is most often seen wearing her hair in a bun up until Day Sixteen, when she cuts half of her hair off due to getting a brush stuck in it. Shelby appears in the facility with a bald head, although the reason for why she is bald is not made clear.

Shelby wears dentures because she is missing two of her front teeth, a genetic condition.

She is blonde and has long hair, about to her elbows.


Toni Shalifoe[]

When they first landed on the island, Toni and Shelby argued a lot and didn’t particularly get along. Toni doesn't like that Shelby is so nice to her best friend, Martha, because she thinks she's just doing it as something to put on her resume and make herself feel better. In Day Fifteen, it is revealed that Shelby -- most likely influenced by her father -- is homophobic and thinks “that way of life is a sin.” However, in the next episode, Shelby and Toni share their first kiss, followed by Shelby running away, due to fear from remembering her dad and what she kept hidden for a long time.

In episode 9, Shelby and Toni start to get along a lot more. This might be because Toni finally understands Shelby. Later in this episode, Shelby and Toni go looking for a goat in the forest. Instead, they find a lychee tree. Shelby and Toni start to eat the lychees when Toni starts laughing because Shelby has some on her face. They then share a kiss, followed by Toni saying the famous line “you sure?”. After this, it is implied that Shelby and Toni had sex given that they spend the night at the lychee tree together.

Episode 10 is started with Toni waking up. Shelby makes it known that she is not ready to talk about what happened the previous night but reassures Toni that it is not because she didn’t enjoy it or is ashamed of it. Toni appears very calm during this interaction and we later find out this is because Toni completely trusts Shelby as she “saved her life”. Later in the episode, Fatin and Shelby share a moment where Fatin tells Shelby to talk to Toni and that she “knows sexual tension when she sees it”. Fatin then tells Shelby that her lips are sealed and she will not tell anyone about Toni and Shelby. Toni and Shelby then have a conversation about their relationship and Shelby tells Toni that she is worried that she will hurt her, as she “has hurt people before, really badly," referring to Becca Gilroy. Toni reassures Shelby by making a few jokes and the two share a sweet kiss. This is important as the kiss is out in the open, which shows that Shelby is finally starting to accept who she is and no longer cares if the other girls on the island see the two together.

Becca Gilroy[]

Shelby was Becca's friend even though other people avoided her due to Becca's mental illness. The two girls are out bowling when Becca's step-brother enters the bowling alley, and Becca confides in Shelby that when she was thirteen and he was nineteen, her step-brother sexually assaulted her. The two of them vandalize his car, even though Shelby is hesitant to go as far as Becca does.

Shelby shows Becca her pageant dresses and sings the song that Becca suggested she do for the talent section of the pageant. Becca attempts to draw on Shelby's face with a Sharpie and Shelby kisses her [3]. Shelby's father walks in right after the kiss and appears to understand what happened.

Becca tells her parents about what happened, which causes Shelby's father to become extremely upset with her. Shelby places all of the blame on Becca, telling him that Becca is the one that kissed her. When Becca shows up at Shelby's house due to Shelby avoiding her texts, Shelby places all the blame on Becca. Shelby tells her that she probably wanted her step-brother to assault her and encouraged his behavior, and says that she was only friends with her out of pity. Shelby tells Becca to stay away from her before going back into her house.

When Shelby is getting ready for a pageant, a few of the other girls told Shelby that Becca had killed herself earlier that evening. Despite this, Dave Goodkind forced Shelby to perform in the pageant which resulted in Shelby crying during her performance of “Day by Day,” the song Becca suggested that she sing. Later Shelby tells Toni, in reference to this, she hurt someone very badly. Then while talking to Rachel she recounts what happened and partly blames herself, expressing deep regret.

Leah Rilke[]

Leah is very suspicious of Shelby because she found not one but two bags from the plane wreck, which were full of life-saving supplies. Unbeknownst to them both, those bags were planted there by Alex. This leads to Shelby having to admit that she sneaks off every morning and night to clean her dentures. Later at night, Leah approaches Shelby and they make up over the incident when Leah had the rest of the girls discover that she had two plastic teeth. Leah then tells her the phrase "trainwrecks unite" to make her laugh and see that she respects her and that she is her friend. In the facility, Shelby refuses to speak to Young and Faber until she is allowed to see Leah. They hug and Shelby slips a piece of paper down Leah's back, which says: "You were RIGHT".

Martha Blackburn[]

Martha becomes close to Shelby after Shelby is kind to her and helps her when she is stuck in a current. Martha, who can't walk very well after spraining her ankle, offers Shelby her shoes so that she can search for water on the island.


Andrew is Shelby's boyfriend back in Texas. He helps her spray tan in her bathing suit before her pageants but doesn't let him touch her, as she is saving herself for God. Andrew, however, is definitely not saving himself and is having sex with other girls, as witnessed by Dot. Andrew is also a customer of Dot's, suggesting that Shelby doesn't know him as well as she thinks he does. Andrew bought a star and named it after Shelby as a gift [4].

Dave Goodkind[]

Shelby loves her father but at the same time hates him because he doesn't let her be the way she wants to be and forces her to be perfect. Her fear of his reaction after seeing her kiss Becca causes Shelby's lies saying it was Becca's fault.


Season One
Episode Appearance Status
Day OneAppears
Day TwoAppears
Day ThreeAppears
Day SixAppears
Day SevenAppears
Day TwelveAppears
Day FifteenAppears
Day SixteenAppears
Day Twenty-TwoAppears
Day Twenty-ThreeAppears


Shelby: "Okay, I do real, right? I do family. I do Jesus. I do pageants. And I'm doing this conference to offset the pageants. Some colleges might see them as retrograde when it comes to female empowerment."
-- in Day One
Shelby: "God built us to contain multitudes, Toni."
-- in Day One
Toni: "God's such a joke. Don't you know he's just a brainwashing tool designed to enslave the masses?"
Shelby: "Even if he were just a brainwashing tool, don't you ever think maybe your brain could use a good -- scrub?"
-- in Day One
Shelby: "This one time, we were on a mission trip to Mexico, and we were watching the sunset together. And because the light was just right, the sun made this beautiful green flash just before it sunk below the horizon. And I was like…”Isn’t that just the purest thing you ever saw?” You ever seen that? Green flash at sunset?"
Dot: "Oh, um, no. I haven’t had a whole lot of time for sunsets and shit."
-- in Day Three
Shelby: "Three words. Shelter building contest."
-- in Day Six
Shelby (to the girls, after revealing her homophobia): "What? Am I not allowed to have my own beliefs?"
Dot: "Not those ones."
-- in Day Twelve
Shelby: I'm a fake bitch with dentures.
-- in Day Fifteen
Shelby (to Leah): "Isn't that what we're all afraid of? That we won't be loved? That we'll be all alone?"
-- in Day Sixteen
Fatin: "Are we in the actual Bermuda Triangle?"
Shelby (reading aloud): "'Obviously, you dipshit.'"
-- in Day Twenty-Three

Notes & Trivia[]

  • Fans have affectionately nicknamed the bald Shelby seen in the facility as "Shelbald".
  • Shelby is hardly alone in terms of missing teeth. Roughly two percent of the population are born without lateral incisors. Like Shelby said, it's in the genes. [5]
  • The surviving girls have all been issued comfortable clothing for their quarantined recovery. Something interesting to note: Shelby and Rachel have been issued sweatshirts of the same color. [6]
  • Shelby hasn't been to Chicago or New York because those aren't the kind of destinations her dad prefers for their family vacations. [7]
  • Shelby's all-time high bowling score is 94. [8]
  • Shelby has already mentioned that she once took down a ten-point buck. Her dad offered to have its head stuffed and mounted, but Shelby declined. She told him it wouldn't match the aesthetic of her room... but deep down, something bothered her about celebrating the death of an animal in that way. [9]
  • Shelby's cross necklace was a gift from her mom on the day of baptism. Shelby was baptized at 14 years old-- a full immersion baptism, in front of her whole church. [10]
  • Tony Romo was Shelby's first celebrity crush. [11]
  • Shelby's star sign is Scorpio as disclosed by the actress, Mia Healey, in an Instagram story on the 5th of July, 2021.



  2. Field Note #94
  3. Day Sixteen
  4. Day One
  5. Field Note #90
  6. Field Note #93
  7. Field Note #98
  8. Field Note #100
  9. Field Note #114
  10. Field Note 121
  11. Field Note #132