Nicole Trager is the mother in the Trager house, and a psychotherapist who brings Kyle home with her. It is Kyle's bond with Nicole that is most meaningful to him as his family. She is not ever able to truly treat him as a patient, he is from the beginning a son for her to care deeply about. She helps Kyle with his adjustments to a social world and helps him through many of his other puzzles and difficulties. Their bond almost costs Nicole her psychotherapy license.
Her relationship with her husband Stephen is close and confiding. They support each other in an ideal way, and have been faithfully married since youth. Nicole has set a trusting and therefore lenient standard for their two children. Friendly sarcasm is the family manner, with Nicole tolerating more than joining in the banter. She does not always cook, since she has a professional practice and an office; but the family always eats together, whether sitting down at a table for dinner or standing around in the kitchen for breakfast. We do not see her cleaning house or doing laundry, but somehow it is done to perfection.
- Lori Trager - older daughter, in high school at beginning
- Josh Trager - son, starts high school during first season
- Kyle - foster son, then adopted in season 2
- Jessi - foster daughter in season 3
After Kyle is taken to the Juvenile Detention Center, the director Lou Daniels calls Nicole because of her reputation for accepting difficult cases. After she comments that John Doe is not a good name, Lou suggests his brother's name. Kyle immediately responds to the name. Besides there being no records for Kyle and no missing persons like him, Lou shows her that Kyle has no belly-button. Because there had been a fight with another boy, Lou lets Nicole take him home while the police are looking for a missing persons report.
Her husban Stephen supports her decision at first, though their kids, Lori and Josh, are not happy about having a mental case around. Lori ignores Kyle instead of watching him, and Josh makes unpleasant comments, especially about having to share his bedroom. When he can still barely speak a word on his own, Kyle confides to her that he is afraid of "ev-ry-thing" and says 'Help, me, Mom." Nicole promises to take care of him, "no matter what." She proposes to the family that Kyle remain with them for a little while longer, and after some convincing, they agree.
A week later, the family is woken up very early in the morning by Kyle who raided the refrigerator and learned Chinese from a Kung-Fu movie. Nicole learned from Kyle that he hadn't slept in the entire week that he'd been with them and was baffled by that. That morning, Det. Breen visited the house to ask Kyle questions about where he came from, however Kyle could not answer them. Nicole then took him to a doctor's office where the doctor prescribed him some sleeping pills. As they left the office, Nicole and the doctor saw Kyle solving a large jigsaw puzzle within minutes. During the day, Nicole gave Kyle some paper and asks him to draw whatever he remembered. All he can remembered is the forest so he drew that, but Nicole noticed distinct black lines on the edges of his drawings. Nicole and Stephen were awaken as Lori attempted to sneak out of the house but they see Kyle, who explained that he went outside to speak to Amanda Bloom. The next morning, the Tragers saw Kyle sitting on the lawn, convinced by Josh that he was an alien, stating that he was waiting to go home. That night, the Tragers assumed Kyle would be very tired but Nicole and Stephen agreed to take turns guarding the room to be sure Kyle doesn't leave. Unfortunately, Stephen woke up too late and wasn't able to make it in time for a big meeting. He argued with Nicole that he didn't want Kyle in the house. Nicole returned to Josh's room to find Kyle was gone. The Tragers contacted the police who could not find him. Nicole realized that the only place Kyle knew was the forest and they headed there at night. They found Kyle who was standing on a large log "waiting for his family to find him." Stephen responded that they have. They took him home and Stephen led Nicole into the bathroom where Kyle was sound asleep in the bathtub listening to white noise on the radio.
A few days later, Stephen agreed to take Kyle to work with him just before Nicole relieved a phone call from Detective Breen. Breen explained that a body was found in the forest right near where Kyle was first found and where he was when the family found him days ago. Breen showed up at the house and showed Nicole pictures of the dead body and a picture of a security card with a mysterious logo on it. Breen also explained that he did not believe that Kyle was a suspect because the killer would likely have scratches on his hands, but Kyle was found without a scratch on him. Nicole thought that Kyle might have been a witness and that this experience traumatized him so much that he developed his amnesia. Later that day, Nicole showed Kyle the pictures of the key card but Kyle did not recognize them. At night, she and Stephen asked Lori to take care of Kyle the next morning to which she reluctantly agreed. The next night at dinner, Nicole asked the children what happened during their days. Lori lied and stated that she took Kyle to work with her and Josh lied and stated that he got an A on a test. But, Kyle didn't know how to lie and blurted out that he didn't go to work with Lori and that he took the test for Josh. Lori explained that she lost her job and couldn't take him. Lori and Josh both became very upset at Kyle who exited the dinner table and had a talk with Stephen. Meanwhile, Nicole spoke to Lori about boys and doing the right thing. The children make up. The next morning, Nicole and Stephen took Kyle to Stephen's workshop which had been converted to Kyle's room with a bathtub and a bulletin board to put his pictures up on. As Stephen and Kyle head to eat breakfast, Nicole began to set up. Nicole took the pictures Kyle had drawn of the forest and began to piece the black marks together. The marks resembled the mysterious logo found on the key card.
A few days later, Detective Breen returned to the Trager house and questioned Kyle about why he drew the picture of the logo. Kyle explained that he didn't know. As Breen leaves, Lori attempted to sneak to the pool but Nicole and Stephen pressured her to take Kyle and Josh with. Nicole and Stephen then headed to Beachwood High School where they attempted to enroll Kyle into school. The principal, Mr. Hooper, did not want him in the school and felt a Special-Ed program would be better. Stephen argued that it was the school's responsibility to make sure Kyle was suited in. Days later, Lori and Josh wanted to go to a party, but Nicole did not want Kyle to go with. Stephen, however big footed her and let Kyle go with. Later that night, Nicole and Stephen discussed how if they want Kyle to be as well adjusted as Lori and Josh that they have to let him have as much responsibility as them.
School began the next week and Nicole escorted Lori, Josh and Kyle to Beachwood High School. Nicole went into the school to speak to the principal and get Kyle adjusted. The principal explained that he had to test Kyle the standard 10th grade placement exams through the entire day. Nicole left school to head back home where she awaited Stephen to return with sushi. As she spoke on the phone with him, she heard glass break. She told Stephen she believed someone was breaking in, he yelled for her to get out of the house. As she opened the front door, Tom Foss greeted her. Stephen returns home and enters into Kyle's bedroom with a baseball bat to found Foss and Nicole having a conversation. Nicole explained that Foss was the new security guard assigned to their neighborhood from their security company. Foss asked some slightly odd questions about if their foster situation with Kyle was working out well. He left the house and told them that he would be around more often. Stephen and Nicole, slightly afraid of Foss, called up their security company where a man ran a background check on Foss stating that he was a very good employee. The couple then received a phone call from the school. They headed to the school just in time to see Kyle breaking up a fight between Josh and a bully named Toby Neuwirth. The principal explained that Kyle left the classroom where he was supposed to take tests and that there was no place for a student like Kyle at Beachwood. Just then, Lori's math teacher Mr. Miller busted into the room and asked Kyle if he solved a Grad-School level math problem that was on his board. Kyle said he did, but didn't know how. The teacher argued that Kyle had to be a student at Beachwood so he could work with him. Kyle also told that he spent the entire day in the library reading encyclopedias. The principal gave him the tests and Kyle finished all the tests in a half-hour. The principal offered him a private tutor but Kyle declined, realizing that he wanted to learn "why people do what they do".
Lori's birthday was a few days later in a huge rain storm. Nicole made blueberry pancakes in honor of this and periodically spoke to the children who were playing video games. She also spoke to Kyle who explained he was having bad dreams and seeing a scary man through a window in them. Kyle was visibly getting very upset that he couldn't remember anything but Nicole still believed that the wait-and-see method was the best. Kyle returned to give Nicole a picture he drew of the man he saw. Stephen told Nicole that he found blood on the window outside Kyle's window and they believed that the person Kyle drew ws that person. Stephen gave Tom Foss the picture Kyle drew. Meanwhile, as Josh remained taunting Kyle about being an alien, Kyle became very angry and yelled at Josh. Nicole told the children to go upstairs while she calmed Kyle down. Lori told Nicole that Kyle found an odd number on a Ouija board and Nicole told Lori how overwhelming sex could be if she was not prepared. Lori agreed, prompting Nicole to believe that Lori was not a virgin, she explained this to Stephen who reacted in outrage. Foss returned to the Trager household and told Stephen and Nicole that the blood on the window came from Lori's boyfriend, Declan McDonough who had been in the house the whole day. Nicole let a calmed down Kyle put candles into Lori's birthday cake and Lori let Kyle share her birthday until he could remember his own. The next morning, Nicole and Stephen were reading the paper when Kyle noticed a picture of a missing professor, William Kern. Kyle exclaimed "that's him!" and notices that he was the same person from his dream. Nicole decided to call Detective Breen.
As school continued, Kyle joined the basketball team which excited Stephen very much. As Nicole spoke to Stephen about not putting too much pressure on Kyle to succeed, she revealed she had been doing some research on Professor Kern. Kern studied brain development which prompted Nicole to think Kern was Kyle's teacher at the University of Washington where he taught. Stephen however quickly dismissed this realizing that there was no evidence leading to the belief that Kyle ever knew Kern. The night before the championship game, Nicole and Stephen were watching the news where it was revealed that the police had concluded that the body found in the forest was Professor Kern. Nicole attempted to contact Detective Breen who did not respond to her calls. The next day, the family went to Kyle's championship game where Kyle responded to the coach's taunting of Declan by sitting out the rest of the game. The rest of the team followed and Beachwood was forced to forfeit. The next morning, Nicole told Kyle about the development of Kern's body. She then headed to Breen's office where they spoke and Breen revealed that a man was found dead with the gun used to kill Kern. They believed that this was the man who had killed him. Nicole was quite confused.
Days later, Kyle began to have more flashes of the past. Nicole realized that there was a possibility of getting some more out of him and hired a hypnotherapist. The therapist took Kyle to a place in his mind and Kyle described a scene where Tom Foss, the security guard, shoots Professor Kern. The therapist then made Kyle go deeper into his mind and Kyle began to mutter gibberish. Nicole and the therapist speak about how she believed that Foss was a symbol for someone else in Kyle's past. That night, Lori told her that she and Declan were going up to Whitman College to check it out for the day. She wished to bring Kyle with and Kyle quickly agreed. The next morning, Stephen told Nicole that he got Foss removed from their area of security. Nicole was quite glad, but Foss showed up to the house to tell Nicole how much he admired her. Later, as Nicole listened to Kyle's gibberish on a tape recorder, Josh entered the room and mentioned how it sounds like he's talking at another speed. Nicole understood this and slowed down the tape. Finally, she began to hear audible letters and numbers. She and Stephen dissected what Kyle was saying and realized that it was coordinates. Stephen then told Nicole that he looked up the spot on "View It Earth" and it was blocked from view. The next morning, Stephen called Lori and told her that he knew she's at the University of Washington, not Whitman and he wanted her to come home immediately. Lori then mentioned finding a picture of a person who looked exactly like Kyle in 1985 but the man, Adam Baylin, had been missing for 20 years. She also said that they found a coordinate location that they wanted to head to. Stephen recognized the location as the same one that Kyle muttered in gibberish and told her to not go there and come home. After they arrived home, Nicole and Stephen want to punish Lori and Declan for taking Kyle to the location against their orders. Kyle stood up for them saying that it was his own fault and that the location was just a lot of trees, nothing special.
Days later, Nicole and Stephen spoke about how Stephen did not trust Declan. Nicole, however, did and believed he was a good person. They also received Josh's report card, something he had been stressing over for weeks. It turns out that he did not do as bad as he thought he had which made Nicole and Stephen quite happy. That night, the kids went to the Beachwood carnival where Kyle suffered a seizure and faints. They took him to the hospital where the doctor did another MRI on Kyle which claimed he had normal brain activity. Nicole was clearly surprised based upon his first MRI saying he had very much activity. She went to visit Kyle and told him how she apologized for not being able to help him remember. Kyle told her how she's made him feel at home, loved and like a family and how much he appreciated it. Just then, Lori, Stephen, Josh and Detective Breen arrive to the room with a startling new development. David and Julie Peterson arrived at the hospital room calling him Noah and saying how happy they were that they found him.
The Petersons disclosed how Kyle disappeared from them five years ago and how they had been searching for a very long time. They also told how they were going to do a DNA test the next morning verifying paternity. They give the Tragers a photo album of Kyle/Noah's life before he disappeared. The Tragers gave him the photo album but Kyle reacted hostilely. After he returned home, he questioned the Petersons on who Adam Baylin was, who Professor Kern was and if they recognized the symbol from the key card. The Petersons did not know any answers. The next morning, Kyle, Josh and Lori attended Amanda's confirmation. When they returned, Nicole told Lori and Josh how Kyle may not be staying with them for a lot more time. Stephen then arrived and told how the DNA was a match from David Peterson and Kyle. Kyle entered the room and explained how he was not going with them and ran out the door. As the Tragers and the Petersons prepared to leave without seeing Kyle that night, he returned. Kyle explains how he has finally remembered his past. He told of a vacation they had when he was young with much detail. He then said that he would be ready to leave the next day. Nicole said that he would have to find a new psychologist because the Petersons lived in Connecticut. The next day, as Kyle attended a going away party, Nicole and Stephen packed up Kyle's things while Josh rushed out of the house upset. Stephen who was also upset complemented Nicole on what an amazing job she did with Kyle. Kyle bid goodbye to the Tragers and Declan as he enters the Peterson's car. He also mentioned to Declan that he left a box for him in his room. Alone, Nicole began to sob at her loss while looking at a picture from Lori and Kyle's birthday.
Nicole was seeing a therapist to console her about Kyle's leave, but she progressively got worse. Nicole had stopped working and had to go a a mini-vacation to San Fransisco to try to forget her problem.
Nicole finally realized how she was neglecting her family and decided to return to mothering just in time for Kyle to return. Brian Taylor spoke with Nicole and Stephen pretending to be the Peterson's lawyer, stating that they died in a car accident and that Kyle was not officially theirs.
Nicole attended the school bonfire as a chaperoned where she witnessed Kyle's miraculous escape from a burning building. Nicole told Kyle not to leave the smoky jacket lying around if he didn't want someone else to discover his secret.
Later, Nicole was shocked to hear that Stephen's company was bought out and that he was out of work. She stood by her husband until he got a new job: Madacorp.
Nicole ran into Emily Hollander and accidentally spilled her coffee on her. Emily pretended to recognize her from a lecture at UW and asked her if her sister Jessi could have private sessions with her. Nicole eventually agreed.
Nicole continuously had sessions with Jessi, in which Jessi was supposed to get close to Kyle, but instead got close to Declan. Nicole witnessed Emily's harsh attitude against Jessi at the alterni-dance and asked Jessi about it at their next session. Jessi said she was scared of Emily. Nicole told Emily what Jessi said, and Emily said she was pulling Jessi out of the session. Nicole promised to call Social Services of Jessi missed even one session.
Emily regretfully continued to take Jessi to sessions, where Jessi revealed that she drew just like Kyle. Nicole was stunned. Later, Nicole was disappointed upon hearing that Stephen had gone on the business trip with Emily without telling her that she was on the trip as well.
At the charity event, Nicole, Stephen, and Lori sat and cheered for the Trager children until Stephen was called into work. Nicole was told by Josh that Andy had cancer, and he asked her not to tell Andy. Still, Andy found out. Later, Stephen called to ask her how long it took to get a test group for a product. She was once again disappointed to hear that Emily was working there as well.
Nicole put the whole family on lock-down after finding out that Jessi had escaped, but Kyle went to look for her anyway. Tom Foss decided it was time to tell the Tragers the truth, and Kyle answered any more questions they had. Kyle and Stephen then decided to destroy Madacorp's computer server, and Nicole was put in charge of watching the kids during the Madacorp open house. When Stephen didn't call in an hour, Nicole snuck passed the guards and into an elevator just as a distraught Jessi ran in. Nicole convinced Jessi to help Kyle like he had helped her, which caused the blackout and revealed Ballantine's illegal activities.
Nicole decided to support Carol Bloom for putting her daughter in lock-down, forbidding Kyle from seeing her. Nicole also pressured Stephen to take a teaching job at the University of Washington. She and Stephen grounded the children for disobeying them, even though she agreed with their actions.