!!'''Roseanne Connor'''
-> Portrayed by Creator/Roseanne Barr
* AbusiveParents: Roseanne's father was physically abusive to his daughters.
** The case is made several times through the show that Roseanne herself is emotionally and verbally abusive. [[spoiler: Given that the entire show is a book Roseanne is writing, this may not fully be the case.]]
* AuthorAvatar
* BigBeautifulWoman: Her curves are quite glorious. Especially when they were on full display in the dress she wore in "Satan, Darling".
* BigSisterBully: Though the "instinct" part didn't stop Roseanne from bullying her like crazy well into adulthood.
* BigSisterInstinct: Towards Jackie, especially during the two-part Fischer episode.
-->"If you ever come near her again you're gonna have to deal with me, and I am way more dangerous than Dan. I got a loose meat restaurant; I know what to do with the body."
* DeadpanSnarker
* FreudianExcuse: Roseanne's anger and control issues are the result of growing up with an abusive father. The show also implied this might be the source of her compulsive overeating.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: With Jackie.
* TheHeroine
* {{Housewife}}
* {{Jerkass}}[=/=]JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Your mileage will definitely vary.
* MamaBear: To her children, her sister, her daughter's boyfriends who she eventually all but adopts. Basically, if Roseanne considers you family or a loved one, she will unleash full fury on anyone who's wronged you.
* NeverMyFault: She had a tendency to try and deflect blame any time something backfired on her.
* ProgressivelyPrettier: Roseanne was never straight-up ugly, but she was very overweight and as a hard-working blue collar Midwestern woman, personal appearance was fairly low on her list of priorities. However, as the seasons wore on, Roseanne the actress began to wear much more flattering hair and makeup, lost a bunch of weight, and combined with her real life surgeries, her looks definitely improved.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: It varies.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Eventually becomes this with Leon.

!!'''Dan Connor'''
-> Portrayed by Creator/JohnGoodman
* AllBikersAreHellsAngels: A pretty noticeable aversion. Dan is a nice guy who works an honest nine-to-five job but loves the Harley he's had since high school and was so big into biker culture that he actually owned and ran a shop repairing and selling restored classic bikes.
-->'''Mark:''' ''(Seeing Dan's Harley for the first time)'' Nice bike. Ever think about selling it?
-->'''Dan:''' Actually, I was planning on being buried with it.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler:Dan, revealed in the final episode he really did die from his heart attack. All episodes from that point onward were just fantasies dreamt up by Roseanne for her book.]]
* BigBeautifulMan: Dan tends to attract women who explicitly gush about how handsome and sexy he is in addition to being such a nice guy. [[ClingyJealousGirl To say Roseanne is unhappy with this would be an understatement.]]
* BigBrotherInstinct: Do ''not'' abuse Jackie. He may be less dangerous than Roseanne, but he's not a threat to be taken lightly.
** He may actually be ''more.'' Roseanne will just kill you, Dan will ''hurt'' you. Repeatedly.
* TheBigGuy
* HenpeckedHusband: At times.
* Theatre/OedipusRex: Dan has very serious, unresolved issues with his father throughout the show's run. It doesn't help when Conner Sr. marries one of Roseanne's friends and has a kid with her.
* OnlySaneMan
* OverprotectiveDad
* PapaWolf: Dan is a down-to-earth, laid back, all-around nice guy. Until you harm, threaten to harm, or screw over his wife, children, or sister-in-law. Once that happens, run. Just...run.
* ParentalNeglect: Dan's mother was (literally) insane, and his father was a traveling salesman who was rarely home.
* TranquilFury: If Dan's hollering and yelling, he's just blowing off steam. But when he gets quiet, ''run''.

!!'''Becky Connor'''
-> Portrayed by [[TheOtherDarrin Lecy Goranson, then Sarah Chalke, then Lecy Goranson, then finally Sarah Chalke]]
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: The basis for her relationship with Mark.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: In the early seasons.
* CharacterDevelopment: She eventually grew out of her bratty martyr tendencies to become a genuinely helpful person. One of the most telling signs was her moving into a trailer with Mark, a purposely hard road-not so she could complain, but for the sake of starting a life outside her parents' home. Later, she decided to go back to college and continue the education she'd missed out on after marrying Mark.
* TheChick
* [[TheDutifulSon The Dutiful Daughter:]] When Darlene seemed to slip into a depression during her tomboy-to-emo transition, it fell on Becky to pick up the slack. For a while, she ended up doing the majority of the chores without getting any recognition for it, and it only got worse when she saw Roseanne give Darlene money for clothes to try and snap her out of it.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: With Darlene.
* HappilyMarried: To Mark, despite all their issues. [[spoiler: The finale reveals that she was actually married to David; Roseanne switched her and Darlene's spouses in her book because she thought those couples were a better match]].
* HormoneAddledTeenager
* {{Hypocrite}}: Sometimes. She accused Darlene of being selfish or stuck-up, but she had her own moments of this as well.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Her bratty tendencies put her in this territory.
** To emphasize, her response to her family hitting financial times yet again isn't to be sympathetic or supportive, but to get angry that there wasn't enough money for her to go to college or for her boyfriend to keep his job.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Gives one to Darlene accusing her of milking her depression. She was harsher than she needed to be, but it did convince Darlene to get off the couch and do something.
** She also gives one to Dan when his bike shop business fails, claiming that it's Dan's lack of business skill that bankrupted the family, costing her both college and Mark (who was leaving Lanford to take a better job).
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Girly Girl to Darlene's Tomboy.

!!'''Darlene Connor'''
-> Portrayed by Sarah Gilbert
* BigSisterBully: To DJ, especially in early seasons.
* BookDumb: In her early years. She became progressively more invested in her studies as the years went on.
* BrainyBrunette: She is eventually revealed to be both poetic, smart, and a talented artist. Interestingly, her sister Becky got better grades in the early seasons, and while she never lost that intelligence, she did end up having to put her education on hold when she eloped with Mark.
* BreakTheHaughty: Went through some of this in seasons 7 and 8, especially 7.
* CharacterDevelopment: In the first seasons, Darlene was a sports-obsessed tomboy who always had her hair tied back into a tight braid to give a boyish appearance. But the moment she started going through puberty she let her hair down, started avoiding sports all together, and abandoned all of her friends to become a DeadpanSnarker.
* DaddysGirl: Darlene was closer to Dan than Becky was.
* DeadpanSnarker: After puberty, Darlene goes from a tomboy to this.
* EmoTeen: Seen as this by her family during the bulk of season 4.
* GirlinessUpgrade: In the first three seasons, Darlene was a tomboy. Then she becomes a depressed Goth chick, wearing black and outright declaring her hatred of all things girly (to the point where Roseanne and Dan deliberately tease her by pretending to set up a stereotypical sweet sixteen party for her). After falling in love with David, she becomes slightly more feminine, though she never loses her love of flannels and jeans.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: With Becky.
* HappilyMarried: To David. [[spoiler: In reality, she was married to Mark, while Becky married David; Roseanne switched the couples in her book because she thought that David was better suited to Darlene, and Mark to Becky.]]
* HeelRealization: Darlene went through this over the course of a few episodes after her break-up with David. She realized she felt closer to David than anyone and how much she hurt him by dumping him, as well as how badly she treated him. It didn't help that her new boyfriend dumped her for treating him the way she treated David.
* {{Jerkass}}[=/=]JerkWithAHeartOfGold: To a lesser extent when compared to her mother.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: The masculine girl to David's feminine boy.
* TheSnarkKnight
* SoapboxSadie: In later years.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Much like her mother, she slowly becomes more cruel and mean-spirited in later seasons. She mellows out later in season 8, though.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Tomboy to Becky's Girly Girl.

!!'''David Jacob "DJ" Connor'''
-> Portrayed by Sal Barone in the Pilot, then Michael Fishman for the rest of the series
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: At times.
* CreepyChild: D.J. "Barbie Killer" Conner.
* DeadpanSnarker: In later seasons.
* HormoneAddledTeenager: Once he discovered girls, he was constantly on the prowl for booty.
* NoodleIncident: Tying in to his CreepyChild status. Becky comes down and complains about his hair clogging the drain in their bathroom.
-->'''DJ:''' It's not my hair
-->'''Darlene:''' Then who's is it?
-->'''DJ:''' Don't worry, it's dead. (''Walks off.'')
* SeparatedAtBirthCasting: Michael Fishman so uncannily resembles Roseanne Barr that they even remark on the resemblance InUniverse (even though a child looking like one of his parents is hardly remarkable in RealLife). That said, Roseanne Barr has remarked that Fishman looks more like her than her actual children do.
* TagalongKid

!!'''Jackie Harris'''
-> Portrayed by Laurie Metcalf
* AbusiveParents: Jackie's father was physically abusive to his daughters.
* BreakTheCutie
* TheChewToy
* FreudianExcuse: Her father's aforementioned abuse is heavily implied to be responsible for her promiscuity and inability to have a successful relationship. It goes from being implied to outright ''stated'' after her ordeal with Fisher and her inability to let Fred get close.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: With Roseanne.
* TheLancer
* LargeHam: In later seasons.
* ReallyGetsAround
* SmallNameBigEgo: A common thread among her many jobs was that she always tried to talk them up to make them sound a lot more important than they were. She tried to make it sound like she was the star of a high school play when all she did was raise the curtain. When she was injured in the line of duty as a police officer, she always tried to talk it up as though she took a bullet saving a baby carriage, when in reality she pulled her back after she tackled some fat naked guy and they both fell down the stairs.
* WhyDoYouKeepChangingJobs: She rotated through factory worker, police officer, truck driver, theater actor, diner owner, before finally settling into stay-at-home mom. (Though she did still help out at the diner a lot)

!!'''Beverly "Bev" Harris'''
->Portrayed by Estelle Parsons
* TheAlcoholic: Played for drama in one episode.
** Specifically though, after she is sent to Alcoholics Anonymous, she uses this as a chance to make everyone else feel bad about not being more sensitive to her "illness" and judge them for supposedly being alcoholics themselves.
* ButtMonkey: Easily the most abused character on the show, though given her treatment of her daughters at times it's almost justified.
* CompassionateCritic : She sees herself this way, but everyone hates the things she says, even when she's trying to be nice. To Jackie: "I think it's ''wonderful'' that you have ideas, because if you don't keep having ideas, how do you know when you come up with a good one?"
* DomesticAbuse: Not stated, but it's implied Al was just as cruel to her as he was to Jackie and Roseanne. Not to mention the constant cheating.
* ExtremeDoormat: To her husband, which could explain the way she treats her daughters.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Is a pathological believer in this.
* [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bitch]]: At her worst.
* MyBelovedSmother: At her best.
* PetTheDog: Had a lot of these moments to keep her from being ''entirely'' unlikeable.
* ShotgunWedding: It's revealed in season 6 that she and Al only got married because she was pregnant with Roseanne.
* SuddenlySexuality: Outed herself in the final season. [[spoiler: Though it turned out to just be a part of Roseanne's book, because she was disappointed in all the crap Bev had to take and wanted her to assert herself more.]]
* UselessBystanderParent: When it's revealed that Roseanne and Jackie's dad used to beat them, Jackie (partially defending him) points out that Bev wasn't much better, as whenever it was about to happen she'd just go into the kitchen to wash dishes and act like nothing was wrong.

!!'''Nana Mary'''
->Portrayed by Shelly Winters
* BlindWithoutEm: "If she wears her glasses, she'll be in Lanford by 9. If she forgot 'em, she'll be in Lansing by midnight."
* CloudcuckooLander
* CoolOldLady: The reason Roseanne and Jackie adore her.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Averted. She revealed in one Thanksgiving episode that she's had two of them in her lifetime.
* LadyDrunk: Though not as much as her daughter.
* OpenMindedParent: Played with. She was more of a free spirit, but Bev viewed this as a bad thing because she believed she had no stability when she was a kid, coupled with the fact that she never knew who her real dad was. Mary reasoned that the reason Bev became so straight-laced and conservative was because she was specifically rebelling against Mary's liberal tendencies. [[spoiler: Since this was during season nine, which later revealed that the entire show was a book Roseanne was writing, this is most likely Roseanne's interpretation of Bev and Mary's relationship and the reason behind it.]]
* ReallyGetsAround: In her younger days, and quite proud of it.
* VagueAge: Some of her sexual conquests seem to imply she's much older than she looks, though we're not clear on an exact number for that yet.
-->'''Ann Marie:''' How old is she? She looks good.
-->'''Roseanne:''' I dunno. I don't think anybody knows.... The only people who ever knew are dead.

!!'''Mark Healy''':
->Portrayed by Glenn Quinn
* BigBrotherBully: To David.
* DumbassHasAPoint: He noticed that, between seeing him buy a heavy winter coat and not breaking a work contract he was hired to do, [[spoiler:Dan didn't really want to move back to California and wanted to stay and try to mend his marriage.]]
* FreudianExcuse: Comes from one hell of a broken home.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: He had shades of this. David once pointed out that the only people who liked having him around were himself and Becky, which doesn't count for much since David is his brother and Becky is his wife.
* [[TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry The Glorious War of Brotherly Rivalry]]: With David
* HappilyMarried: He and Becky had their issues and their marriage was on the rocks more than once, but for the most part they were this trope. [[Spoiler: The finale reveals that he was actually married to Darlene, but they also fit this trope]].
* HiddenDepths: Quite a bit in later seasons.
* {{Jerkass}} / JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Depending on the episode or situation. Mostly the latter in the later seasons, especially during Darlene and David's wedding episode where he not only shows compassion towards the brother he bullied his entire life, but also his own pain over their crappy home life.
* MrFanservice: Mark is extremely handsome, which is part of the reason Becky fell for him. In one episode, even Darlene admits that he's "gorgeous" (although she then declares that she must "gut herself like a fish" for saying so).
* ParentalAbandonment: His parents threw him out of the house when he was 16.
* PetTheDog: Gets a few of these moments with David, especially in the later seasons.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: The manly man to David's sensitive guy.
* TookALevelInDumbass: In the later seasons, a stark contrast to his early appearances.

!!'''David Healy'''
->Portrayed by Johnny Galecki
* AbusiveParents: His mother, ''good lord''.
* BreakTheCutie: Almost as bad as Jackie.
* ButtMonkey: For a time he was pushed around quite a bit by the others, especially Mark and DJ.
* FreudianExcuse: Darlene, the first person to consistently care for him, still had a tendency to treat him badly, and then he basically lost her when she left for art school. Adding that to the emotional abuse he suffered from his mom and the disrespect he often received from nearly everyone else, it's easier to understand why David [[TookALevelInJerkass started acting more snotty.]]
* [[TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry The Glorious War of Brotherly Rivalry]]: With Mark. Also DJ, to a point.
* HappilyMarried: To Darlene (yes, really). [[Spoiler: It turns out that in real life, as opposed to Roseanne's book, he was married to Becky]].
* HenpeckedHusband: He came across as a little spineless around women in later years.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: The feminine boy to Darlene's masculine girl.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: The sensitive guy to Mark, Dan ''and'' DJ's manly man.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Wasn't quite as sensitive and sweet in later seasons.

!!'''Leon Carp'''
->Portrayed by Martin Mull
* BadBoss: Averted. Roseanne certainly ''treated'' him like one, but anyone else would've fired her after the first day.
* DeadpanSnarker: He kind of had to be to deal with Roseanne. Though really, it was give and take between them.
* HappilyMarried: To Scott.
* {{Jerkass}}: At his worst.
* StraightGay: Lampshades the hell out of this during "December Bride":
-->'''Leon''': Oh yeah! Well you just think about it, young lady. Hmm? I hate to shop! Huh, I am absolutely insensitive. I detest Barbara Streisand. And for God's sake I'm a Republican!
-->'''Roseanne''': But do you like having sex with men?
-->'''Leon''': Well it's...
-->'''Roseanne''': GAY!
* VitriolicBestBuds: Eventually becomes this with Roseanne.

!!'''Fred Oakland'''
->Portrayed by Michael [=O'Keefe=]
* ButWeUsedACondom
* DoggedNiceGuy: Had this relationship with Jackie at first. When he finally got her (mostly because he impregnated her) they both realized it was a mistake.
* OnlySaneMan: Never seems too effected by the insanity of Jackie's family, aside from occasionally being weirded out.
* TheStoic: Stood out by being perpetually laid back and calm, often making him the perfect foil for the ever-more-neurotic Jackie.
* TakingTheKids: A rare example where the couple's not even married; Fred sues Jackie for partial custody of their son Andy before the kid's even born yet. This is mostly because Jackie refused to let Fred have anything at all to do with Andy's life and Fred wanting involvement.