Rico Suave Jr. is the manager of Rico's Surf Shop, an outdoor concession stand located on the beach near the Stewarts' home. He most commonly interacts with Jackson, who is his employee, despite the fact that Rico is a few years younger. In the second season he also attends school with Miley, Lilly, and Oliver. He generally acts as the main antagonist in the series and is the only major character not to know Miley's secret. However, since he has shown awareness that Robby Ray Stewart is the former country star Robby Ray, the publicly acknowledged father of Hannah Montana, it could be inferred that he now does know. Rico is played by Moises Arias.
Rico comes from a very wealthy Latino family. His billionaire parents are often mentioned but never seen (though in one episode, the sound of his mother's voice can be heard on the phone, while in another his father appears in a photograph and is revealed to bear a striking resemblance to him). He has a sister, an almost identical brother named Mateo (Mateo Arias), a cousin named Teresa, and an identical Australian cousin nicknamed "Angus" whose real name is Alejandro Núñez Gonzalez Uberto Si-Fuéntes (Moises Arias). He also has a grandmother who tried to help Rico get the recipe for Jackson´s and Oliver´s cheese jerky.
Rico is manipulative, arrogant, and spoiled. Therefore he has no friends. His self-centeredness leads him to constantly look for ways to increase his revenue, even at the expense of taking it from others. (He sees everyone else as a direct competitor and becomes extremely jealous whenever someone makes money.) His catchphrases include his greeting "Hey-Oh!" and a diabolical laugh ("Mwah-ha-ha!"). He owns the North American rights to them.
Rico is very gifted academically. He skipped a couple of grades in school and is in the same grade as Miley, Lilly, and Oliver, even though he is several years younger. Studying is easy for him because he has a photographic memory. He is especially good at biology and mathematics, once finishing a biology mid-term exam in less than one second, with still enough time to recheck all of his answers.
It is revealed that Rico sometimes suffers from personal insecurities from his big ears and buck teeth. As a result of a Napoleon complex, Rico uses his money, brains, or influence to put other people down or blackmail them into doing something they do not want to do. He also tends to pursue relationships with girls much older than himself in order to increase his social standing. He bribes both Miley and Lilly in this way.
In the episode "Cheat It," Rico runs a sauna company called "Señor Steam" which Robby patronizes.
Episodes that especially deal with Rico's character development include "Me and Rico Down By the School Yard" and "Get Down, Study-udy-udy."
Rico and Jackson are almost always at odds with each other. Rico being Jackson's boss takes every opportunity to make his employee miserable. Howeverm underneath their surface hatred of each other, they are friends. Rico even admitted to Jackson once that he was the closest thing to a best friend that Rico had. In "Wherever I Go", Rico, because he cares about Jackson, fires him to force him to get a real job which Jackson fails in doing as he has no real skills. Rico, who almost calls Jackson his best friend but can't say it out loud (which Jackson reciprocates), gets Jackson a real job as a video game tester because he cares about him.