Characters: Bloom County
Note that this list also applies to the strip's spin-offs, Outland and Opus.
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Milo BloomThe star of Bloom County from its earliest days, Milo was the group's Only Sane Man, though he could be goofy as the rest of his friends when the situation called for it. Also a dedicated journalist with a habit for
- Almighty Janitor: Has a lot of pull at the Bloom Beacon despite being the intern and later copy boy.
- It helps that the Chief Editor is a jittery wreck from trying and failing to hold off his yellow-journalism impulses, and thus spends much of his time hunched on his desk in agony as Milo tempts him.
- Characterization Marches On: See below.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Early in the strip, to the point of having a crush on Betty Crocker. He mellowed out with time but still has traces of it, such as when he is holding casual conversations while spearfishing at a small creek with a whale harpoon.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Intrepid Reporter: Parodied.
- Lurid Tales of Doom: What he publishes in most of his articles for the paper.
- Only Sane Man: For most of the strip, especially in the Meadow Party storylines.
- Put on a Bus: He wasn't in Outland or Opus. (Though he did have a nonspeaking cameo in one of the last Outland strips...as a passenger on a bus!)
- The Bus Came Back: Returns in Bloom County 2015.
- The Short Guy with Glasses
OpusAn anxious, loveable penguin and the main character for most of Bloom County and its two sequel strips (Outland and Opus). Opus is very nervous and often forced into situations he'd rather not be in; he is also a sucker for late night TV ads. He was also on a quest to find his mother for some of the duration of Bloom County and Outland, finding her at the end of the latter. But then he promptly fled in Opus when he found her insufferable.
- Art Evolution: Opus' nose grows substantially larger as the series progresses.
- Butt Monkey: Forced into doing a lot of things and treated like crap by the world a good chunk of the time.
- Breakout Character / Ensemble Dark Horse: Opus was originally only supposed to appear for a few weeks, but both the fans and Breathed himself loved the character so much, he quickly became a regular and eventually the main character. "Pear Pimples for Hairy Fishnuts" was arguably his breakout.
- Everything's Better with Penguins
- Gag Nose: His large nose has been the butt of many jokes, a sample of which can be seen here.
- Interspecies Romance: Was engaged to human Lola Granola for at least a year and has gone on dates with other human women.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: After he and Cutter John disappeared over the ocean, he returned with regular amnesia. But after a while his normal personality and memories returned but what happened to Cutter John was unknown.
- Luckily months later, a false claim that Eddie Murphy was marrying Opus' crush Diane Sawyer shocked him enough to jar his memory.
- Missing Mom: A recurring theme in Bloom County and Outland.
- My Beloved Smother: See Wanting Is Better Than Having below.
- Put on a Bus: Twice. The first time he and Cutter John were lost at sea and presumed dead and he came back with amnesia. Then later in the strip, after Bill became Fundamentally Oral Bill, he was kicked out of the Boarding House by the converted house members after Bill decried "Penguin Lust" on TV. He came back later after Bill stopped being popular and stayed ever since.
- Retcon: He used to be Binkley's pet.
- Rip Van Winkle: Bloom County 2015 starts with him waking up from a nap and being told he slept for 25 years.
- Trademark Favorite Food: He's very fond of herring.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With every single charicter except Binkley, though it's mostly one sided.
- Wanting Is Better Than Having: Opus seached for all of Bloom County and Outland for his mother only to find out she was overly controlling and tried to force him to marry a large, replusive penguin named Eunice.
Bill The CatThe second most famous character.
- Anthropomorphic Shift: Became taller and longer-limbed over time. The trope was inverted as well, as Bill also gradually stopped speaking in anything but grunts and "ack"s and suffered a major drop in intelligence.
- Back from the Dead: Thanks to Oliver cloning him from his only remains (His tongue).
- Breakout Character: Created by Breathed as the least marketable character possible, he ended up with tons of merchandise.
- The Chew Toy
- Expansion Pack Past
- Fat Cat: In any of the early strips.
- The Grotesque: Played with. Bill is an ugly, smelly, brain-dead cat, but he doesn't let this stop him from gaining fame, fortune, and women.
- Hypocrite: During his stint as a self-righteous televangelist, Bill persecuted penguins for their "penguin lust." It's later revealed that he's had his own indiscretions with a "transexual slave trader". Bill showed no remorse, and his viewers quickly forgave him,
- Kavorka Man: Especially in Outland.
- Overly Long Tongue: Which he plays as an instrument during his stint with the heavy metal band Deathtongue.
- The Unintelligible: he only speaks coherently every once in a while. Usually he says little more than "ACK."
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: He has been a lot of things, including a TV star, heavy metal frontman, dead, Meadow Party Presidential candidate, Rajneesh cultist, communist, televangelist and Donald Trump. (And that's just in the Bloom County canon...)
Michael BinkleyA wide eyed idealist and Milo and Opus' best friend. Lived with his dad Tom, who he clashed with with their polar opposite personalities. Also has a closet full of anxieties.
- Breakout Character: Went from a nerdy Klinger to one of the main characters.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Epecially early on.
- Dysfunctional Family: He often acts as a voice of reason and reluctant parental figure for his man child father.
- Future Loser
- Last Name Basis: His real name is Michael Binkley, but even his dad calls him Binkley.
- Missing Mom: Ran away with a Hell's Angel about 2 years after Binkley first appeared.
- Only Sane Man
- The Pollyanna
- Progressively Prettier: In his very first appearance he was a gawky, chubby, bespectacled, bald kid. Though almost immediately he grew his iconic giant puff of hair.
- Retcon: By the beginning of Opus, Binkley had apparently aged into a teenager, had a disastrous first kiss, and had become a Tibetan eunuch. He returned in a later comic, unaged, with zero explanation.
- Earlier than that, near the beginning of Outland he'd apparently become Bart Simpson. This was likewise dropped.
Steve DallasA scumbag lawyer with murderers as his almost exclusive clientele, Dallas is a dedicated Republican, drinker, smoker, and womanizer. He's also Breathed longest lasting character, starting with his college strip The Academia Waltz. He is the only character to have the distinction of being a main character in every single one of Breathed's strips. note Later had his personality flip-flopped to become a sensitive guy, then flipped back.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Steve's habit of having a few too many has led to incidents of this (most notably during his attempted "courtship" of Bobbi).
- Amoral Attorney
- Ax-Crazy: When he abstained cold turkey from cigarettes and tried to kill Opus.
- Back for the Finale: His personality went back to normal just in time for Bloom County's last few weeks.
- Casanova Wannabe: He very rarely scored with women.
- Character Overlap
- Cool Shades
- Hopeless Suitor: For Bobbi. And he frequently got arrested and punched in the process.
- My Beloved Smother: His relationship with his mother is ambivalent at best.
- Shout-Out: During Steve's nicotine-withdrawal lunacy, Opus hides in the bathroom. Steve attacks the bathroom door with an axe, a shout out to The Shining.
- Strawman Political: For Republicans.
- Suddenly Sexuality: In the very end of Outland Steve casually reveals he's gay, and runs away to get married to a Doonsebury character. Though with his return in Opus, he is back to his typical woman-hunting ways.
- We Want Our Jerk Back: While he was flip-flopped for a long time, the cast were just as annoyed by his overly wimpy personality.
- Write Who You Know: "Steve Dallas is, sadly, not a caricature."
Oliver Wendell JonesThe resident nerd of the area. Both a dedicated hacker and mad scientist.
- Black and Nerdy
- Black Best Friend: With both Binkley and Milo.
- The Cracker: Hacked the White House computers on a regular basis, not to mention countless others.
- For Science!: Pretty much anything he does.
- Hulk Out: When he drinks a mysterious substance and transforms into a towering hulk. The effects quickly wear off, however. Opus was pontificating with his back to Oliver the whole time and never noticed.
- Opaque Nerd Glasses
- Why Couldn't You Be Different?: His father has this attitude toward him, especially when Oliver's experiments go wrong at his expense.
- His mother is even worse, given that she's shown to dislike his hobbies of computers and science even when he's not doing much with them. She thinks he needs to me more like Michael Jackson.
Portnoy and Hodge PodgeRespectively, a groundhog and jackrabbit who sometimes hang out with Milo, Binkley and Opus. Early on, they also hung out with a couple other animals, including an unnamed bear.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Did not carry on to Outland and Opus.
- Fantastic Racism: Hodge Podge does not like pigs. So when Portnoy came out as a groundhog, Hodge did not take it well.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Hodge Podge had kids with Rosebud.
- Jerkass: The two are generally rude and selfish.
- During Bill the Cat's stint as a televangelist, Portnoy and Hodge Podge fell under Oral Bill's sway and taunted Opus for his "penguin lust."
- Shout-Out: Portnoy's name is a reference to the novel Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.
- Talking Animals
- Those Two Guys
Cutter JohnA war veteran. He relies on a wheelchair to get around. Well liked by everyone and dated Bobbi until she left the cast.
- The Ace
- The Captain: Played Captain Kirk and just captain in general during the meadow crew's Star Trek fantasies.
- The Casanova: When he wasn't dating Bobbi.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Breathed said that he got rid of Cutter because he found it hard to draw a wheelchair in the confines of a comic.
- Handicapped Badass: Got tons of women and stood up to the Russians during months of inprisonment.
- Porn Stache
Milquetoast the CockroachAn obnoxious, thieving roach.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: Being a roach, he loved to eat rotten, discarded food and other oddities. For example, before enjoying a Ding Dong, he asked Opus to rub it in the gunk under the refrigerator. In another strip, he recited a poem to himself while going to sleep.As I slumber, I think I'll number my favorite foods, short of lumber! Pickled eels! Last week's veal! Banana peels well congealed!
- Creepy Cockroach: Not so much creepy as annoying.
- Ironic Name: "Milktoast" means timid and quiet. Milquetoast the Cockroach is anything but.
- Jerkass: He delights in angering Opus.
- Made of Iron: He's squashed repeatedly throughout Bloom County and Outland, but always recovers.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: While registering to vote, he proudly proclaims himself an "Arthropod-American".
- In Outland, when Ronald-Ann delivers a class presentation on Afrocentric history, Milquetoast interrupts with assertions about bug-centrist history.
- The Prankster: In several strips, Milquetoast and his friends whisper bizarre subliminal suggestions in people's ears while they sleep. Milquetoast also squirts toilet bowl cleaner up Opus' nose while the penguin was sleeping, then manipulates Opus into feeling sorry for him.
- The Trickster
- Vocal Dissonance: For a tiny insect, he has a deep voice. In the cartoon "A Wish for Wings That Work", he has a basso profondo voice.
- Wholesome Cross Dresser: He occasionally wears drag. In the cartoon "A Wish for Wings That Work", he's decked out in a wig and dress (stuffed with Milk Duds) while looking for the Cockroach Cross Dressers in Crisis meeting.
RosebudA basselope (basset hound/antelope) who appeared late in the Bloom County run.
- Body Horror: When Hodge Podge impregnates Rosebud, her abdomen becomes enormous.
- Breakout Character: She got a whole book, The Last Basselope.
- The Comically Serious
- Mix-and-Match Critters
- Samus Is a Girl: She was thought to be a male for a long time until a 1988 storyline where they were serching for a cast member who was actually a female.
- Talking Animal
Ronald-Ann SmithA young black girl from the "wrong side of the tracks" during Bloom County. Became the main character during Outland before Opus took over and eventually disappeared from the strip entirely.
- Back for the Finale: Appeared for one out-of-character strip during Outland's final months.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She was usually very sweet during Outland, but had quite the mischevious streak.
- Companion Cube: Her doll Reynelda. Reynelda's head was blown off by a stray bullet during a neighborhood gun fight. Reynelda speaks on rare occasions, such as after Ronald-Ann's conversation with Trump!Bill and during a tea party in Outland.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappeared two thirds of the way through Outland.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She lives in poverty in a squalid, crime-ridden neighborhood.
- The Pollyanna
Bobbi HarlowA 20-something feminist teacher who was a main character during Bloom County's early years. Eventually became less and less important until she up and disappeared from the strip. Dated Steve and then Cutter John.
- Bus Crash: Was revealed to have later joined the staff on Donahue, and then cut her ear off when Geraldine Ferraro lost the vice presidency in 1984.
- Deadpan Snarker: Towards Steve.
- Demoted to Extra
- Hot Teacher
- Straw Feminist: Subverted. Didn't stop the town from treating her like one, though.
- Only Sane Woman
Lola GranolaOpus' fiance for about a year in Bloom County. Was a modern artist with a personality opposite Opus'.
- Back for the Finale: She had a brief conversation with Opus at the Bloom County wrap party in the strip's last weeks.
- Bare Your Midriff: Quite a bit.
- The Bus Came Back: She returned to Opus in a major role as Steve Dallas' girlfriend...nearly twenty years after her last appearance in any Breathed comic.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappeared right after her and Opus' annulment.
- Embarrassing Tattoo: Of Dan Fogelberg's face, apparently in a scandalous location.
- Granola Girl
- Moral Guardians: Threw a fit in Real Life over Lola's conversion to radical Islam. This led to that series of Opus comics being cut from several newspapers. The outcry eventually prompted Breathed to end the comic.
- Interspecies Romance: With Opus.
- Satellite Character: In most of her major Bloom County storylines, she had almost no interaction with anyone besides Opus. Ditto with Steve in Opus.
- She Who Must Not Be Seen: For the first few strips that featured her.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Lola's modus operandi.
Yaz PistachioBobbi Harlow's teenage niece, who only appeared in the comic in 1983.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Her last appearance was in very early 1984.
- High School Dance: Steve Dallas was recruited to be her date. Hilarity Ensued.
- Nice Hat: In most of her appearances, she's wearing a flat cap.
- Shrinking Violet: She admitted that she didn't "fit anywhere" in her high school's social scene. But she did find True Companions in the Meadow gang.
- The Smurfette Principle: She was pretty much the comic's token female for a while after Bobbi was Put on a Bus.
- Teens Are Monsters: Averted; she's actually quite friendly.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Name one name, just one name that's weirder than "Yaz Pistachio."
W.A. ThornhumpThe rather dubious President of Bloom County, Inc. Whenever he appears, he's either desperately trying to raise Bloom County's (in-universe) flagging readership or perform damage control.
- The Alcoholic: When Bloom County's staff submitted to drug tests, Thornhump's results showed that he consumed massive quantities of alcohol that day. The last panel of the strip shows Opus delivering Thornhump's six martini lunch.
- Bald of Evil
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Will go to just about any lengths to boost the strip's readership. But rest assured that you definitely won't be seeing Nude Oil-Wrestling with Olive Oyl."Tomorrow, more trash you'll never see here."
- Fat Bastard
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Literally, and predates Dilbert, too.
- Punch Clock Villain: Arguably, he's only doing his job.
- For the Evulz: He's fairly sadistic, sometimes giggling at some arbitrary, embarrassing decisions.