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Debuted in Bobbins:
A plucky redhead with a knack for getting into trouble and going off on bizarre tangents that have little to do with the matter at hand. Has died at least twice.
Tropes associated with Shelley:
- All Women Are Lustful: The trope may not be active in its full form in the Bobbinsverse, but, well — Shelley's erotic novels were rejected for being too racy.
- Back from the Dead: Repeatedly. It infuriates Death no end.
- Breakout Character: Went from one of the main cast of Bobbins to the star of Scary Go Round, Destroy History, New Bobbins, Bobbins.Horse and several one-offs.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Almost literally. Shelley is a qualified lawyer, and proves very good at it on the odd occasions she goes to court, but she's mostly too flaky for the role. (She may have a fear of judges.)
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: She's not all there and even her closest friends admit she's a bit nuts.
- Creator Breakdown: As detailed on the main page, her affair with Tim causes her to go through this.
- Determinator: Once she sets out to do something, she rarely gives up.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Amy.
- Intrepid Reporter: During her time on the Tackleford Cormorant.
- Magnetic Hero: Most people she meets tend to like her, and even some who are irritated by her will still come to her aid.
- Motor Mouth: Has a tendency to go on and on about whatever she's talking about at the moment.
- Ms. Fanservice: Has a love of short skirts with either tight leggings or no leggings depending on the season.
- My Biological Clock Is Ticking: After she accidentally gets pregnant by Tim, she decides to keep the baby because time is passing.
- Nice Girl: Is fairly sweet, for all her kookiness.
- No Accounting for Taste: Her taste in men is often questionable to say the least.
- Parental Substitute: To Desmond Fishman. Not a very good one, but Desmond is beyond help.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Gives up on Desmond Fishman after reuniting with him but then discovering that he's squandered his late father's fortune and fails to see what dire financial straits he's in.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: The weird and unforgettable heart of the Bobbinsverse's strangeness.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Shelley goes through phases of seeking Mr. Right. When she makes a guest appearance in the Giant Days 2017 Holiday Special, Esther, Susan, and Daisy realise that she's lonely in London, and try to guide her into this plot. It doesn't work quite right.
- Time Police: Part of a very British version in Destroy History.
- Unwanted Assistance: Amy appreciated the sentiment during her stint as her maid of honor buuut...
Shelley: Go take her maidenhead and set forth!
- Weirdness Magnet: Tends to find her way into weird supernatural shenanigans. It eventually turns out that part of this may be due to the time travelling Scout Jones trying to prevent her from getting together with Scout's father Tim. Though that was a massive Retcon, and the cause of the weirdness is quite weird in itself...
A charming local inventor and former journalist. Was mayor of Tackleford for a time before being exiled to Wales.
Tropes associated with Tim:
- 100% Adoration Rating: As Mayor, he was loved by all but his fellow inventors. Even years later, Mildred's dad still remembers his time in office fondly.
- Agent Mulder: One of the least skeptical people in the Tackleverse — perhaps because he is, really, a Mad Scientist.
- Badass Beard: Has one post Time Skip. He shaves it off in a show of solidarity with Eustace, but grows it back after Riley divorces him.
- Beard of Sorrow: Tim grows shaggy during his months in the woods.
- Chick Magnet: Over the three comics he's featured in, he manages to attract Illeanna, Unit Daisy, Amy, Fallon, Riley and Shelley — without really trying with any of them outside of the first case.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Tim's built everything, from time machines to robots. It eventually turns out that he’s been making a lot of use of his father’s notes, but even so...
- Happily Married: for a while, to Riley, following his exile to New Bobbins. She eventually exiles him back to Tackleford after he supposedly blows their house up and divorces him after he cheats on her with Shelley.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Specifically, Shelley.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Absolutely loses his mind after cheating on Riley with Shelley and having the former serve him his divorce papers, retreating to a cabin in the woods for months and inadvertently tapping into a portal to another dimension that nearly destroys the world.
- Mad Scientist: For all his easygoing charm, Tim is more than a little nuts. He's brilliant at applying advanced and often deranged science in his inventions, but doesn't always think through the consequences — and he doesn't believe in testing, because that would imply lack of faith in his own genius.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Tim is wracked with horrible amounts of guilt after cheating on his wife with Shelley.
- Oblivious to Love: Never realized Amy had a crush on him. Possibly explained in Bobbins.Horse by him being uncomfortable with her young age.
- Official Couple: With Riley for a while, then with Shelley after his marriage crumbles and he finally comes to terms with it — except that Shelley (of all people) apparently decides that he's too much of a walking disaster area to actually live with.
- Put on a Bus: Exiled to Wales partway through Scary-Go-Round and only returns for a brief cameo towards the end. He returns to Main Character status in New Bobbins.
- Robosexual: Briefly dates his own creation, Unit Daisy, before she leaves him for another robot.
- Taking the Heat: For his daughter Scout when her mistake causes their house to blow up, so she won't have that hanging over her head with her mother for the rest of her life.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He was a sexist ass during most of Bobbins. After losing Illeanna, he softens up a bit and is a fairly nice guy from then on. His appearances in Bobbins.Horse and Expecting to Fly scale back his assholishness during that period considerably.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Initially.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Rich, though the relationship turns to outright hatred over time, with the two at each other's throats when they reunite years later.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Illeana with Unit Daisy and Riley with Shelley. There may be mitigating circumstances in both cases, but not great ones.
Shelley's best friend and one of Ryan and Tim's closest. A wild party girl with a sharp tongue who tries to be the group's voice of reason. Amy eventually opens up her own antiques store after discovering a talent for finding rare stuff people want, and marries Ryan during the Time Skip between Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery, settling down a lot in the process — though she can still impress Ryan's pupils with her air of bohemian cool.
Tropes associated with Amy:
- Big Sister Mentor: To Shauna.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Is unable to tell Tim how he she feels before he ends up with Riley.
- Character Tics: Her eyes tend to narrow when she's teasing someone.
- Character Development: Goes from an irresponsible brat to the proud owner of her own business.
- Daddy's Girl: Loves her dad Len dearly, though her teen years apparently involved her keeping her wild side secret from him.
- Deadpan Snarker: And always with a delighted grin on her face.
- Happily Married: To Ryan.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Shelley.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Refuses to break up Tim's relationship with Riley, despite the latter's suspicions she'd try. Later on she reveals she's in love with Ryan but refuses to interfere with his relationship with Sarah. Luckily for her, Sarah and Ryan amicably part ways soon after and Amy closes out the strip holding Ryan's hand.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She'll make jabs at pretty much everyone she cares about, but she's got a good heart.
- Loveable Sex Maniac
- Ms. Fanservice: During Scary Go Round, getting a bath scene and wearing revealing outfits during the spring and summer months.
- Really Gets Around: To the point Shelley stops living with her for a while over it. She gets better towards the end of Scary Go Round.
- Skunk Stripe: Tends to have one of varying colors.
- Spoiled Brat: During Bobbins, Bobbins.Horse and early Scary Go Round.
- Unwanted Rescue: When Tessa and Rachel show up to save her from a dimension where she's a beloved poet.
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair: Tends to have a purple stripe in her hair, though it's also been green and blue on occasion.
A layabout with terrible luck at the start of Scary Go Round, Ryan slowly evolves into a contributing member of society. He marries Amy during the gap between Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery and now works as a teacher at Griswald's Grammar School.
Tropes associated with Ryan:
- Adults Are Useless: Averted. After finding out Jack is being bullied, he tracks down the bully, drags him in and gets the boy expelled.
- The Alcoholic: In the alternate timeline in "Case Of The Forked Road".
- Beard of Sorrow: Grows a massive one after a year with no relationships.
- Berserk Button: Don't insult his wife or threaten one of his students. He's mostly controlled about it, but he will solve the problem.
- Breakout Character: He was a minor character in Bobbins, but became one of the leads in Scary Go Round and is a major supporting character in Bad Machinery.
- Butt-Monkey: He's been brainwashed, thrown down a garbage chute, and punched in the face, had his unconscious body kidnapped by an order of satanic nuns, and had his pet die on him during said kidnapping. And that's not even getting into his love life. (See Love Hurts below.)
- Cerebus Retcon: His father being a Hobo was mostly played for laughs during Scary Go Round. Expecting To Fly casts it in a darker light, with his Dad taking him out to drink regularly and almost getting him into crime.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: He's not as daft as Shelley, but he has his moments.
- Cool Pet: Friend Bat and Comrade Bat.
- Cool Teacher: He tries to be a Stern Teacher, but his students fail to buy it. Even after they leave his class, the girls still look up to and admire him.
- Cry for the Devil: After the above expulsion. He doesn't regret what he did, but he still feels bad the kids education ended there.
- Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't: Ryan tends to react negatively to his father. This doesn't make him look bad, though, as the mild-mannered Ryan is quite polite about this, and his father is, depending which of the strips you read, at best a feckless tramp, at worst a career criminal who almost dragged the young Ryan into crime.
- Hot Teacher: His students comment on his attractiveness early on.
- Insecure Love Interest: Refuses to go after Amy at first because he feels he isn't good enough. Shelley convinces him otherwise.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: His music knowledge at times is... questionable to say the least.
Ryan: The thing you have to know about Dexy's Midnight Runners is there were dozens of em, all fighting like cats in a sack.
- Limited Wardrobe: Wore only a Captain America shirt for a while. Amy burns it to stop this and afterwords his outfits tend to change as much as everyone else's.
- Love Hurts: His relationship with Natalie, who died tragically. His other relationships before Amy weren't bad, but ended painfully.
- May–December Romance: With Sarah, who was in Secondary School at the time.
- Nerd Glasses: Wears these in an attempt to look more adult as a teacher. He wears them on and off outside of teaching.
- Nice Guy: Probably the nicest guy in the Tackleverse.
- Out of Focus: During Bobbins.Horse, due to not working at City Limit.
- Perma-Stubble: During Bobbins, Bobbins.Horse and Scary Go Round.
- The Pig Pen: Early in Scary Go Round. Shelley and Amy fix this, but there's still traces afterwards, and he eventually relapses badly; Amy pulling him fully out of this is the basis of their shared offstage Character Development into maturity.
- Remember the New Guy: Suddenly pops up as Tim's friend during Bobbins.
- Turn Out Like His Father: Subverted. His mother feared this in his youth, and he probably would have if not for Shelley's intervention, but by Bad Machinery he's a loving husband and father with zero intention of taking his father's place as King of the Tramps.
- Weirdness Magnet: Might surpass Shelley in this regard.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Lays into Riley after figuring out she's the one who set Tim up to fail the invent-off and get exiled.
- Lays into Rich in Bobbins.Horse for getting Amy drunk.
A close friend of Tim and Shelley's during their time at City Limit, albeit a slightly sleezy Casanova Wannabe, who later goes really bad.
Tropes associated with Rich:
- Animal Wrongs Group: Is part of one when he returns in New Bobbins.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Eustace's Betty and Erin's Archie.
- Butt-Monkey: Nothing ever really goes right for him.
- Casanova Wannabe: To Tim's annoyance.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Touches an extradimenisonal spire that mangles his body horribly.
- Dirty Coward: Tries to abandon Eustace to die. Erin has none of it.
- May–December Romance: Briefly has one with Erin until she sees how much of an idiot he is.
- Official Couple: With Amy, Shelley and Illeanna at different points in time.
- Put on a Bus: Twice. First when he leaves with Illeanna when she goes back home, and then when Holly fires him from City Limit. The Bus Came Back for the "In The Woods" arc of New Bobbins.
Shelley's friend roommate during Bobbins, who followed her boyfriend to the Himalayas, and turned evil — or at least destructive — after returning to the UK.
Tropes associated with Holly:
- Jerkass Has a Point: When she returns in New Bobbins, she's quick to blame Tim for the devil bears and tries to get away from him. While she's quite rude about it, she's absolutely right.
- Official Couple: With Van Dyke.
- Only Sane Man: During the early parts of Bobbins and Bobbins.Horse.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: When she returns towards the end of Bobbins, thanks to her split personality she alienates all of her friends and acts like a bitter tyrant, to the point they put together a plan to take her out.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Upon taking over City Limit.
Amy's beloved dad and the former manager at City Limit.
Tropes associated with Len:
- Dirty Old Man: During Bobbins, he had a habit of hitting on and leering at Holly and Shelley. This is quietly retconned out during New Bobbins.
- Good Parents: Truly loves and supports his daughter. The worst he does is cut her off financially, and that's strictly because she quit school.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Doesn't take Amy getting tattoos well. And takes her writing Shelley's sex Collumn even worse.
- Mean Boss: He ridicules his employees in a meeting and uses his pull to get Shelley to look after Amy.
Former secret agent and former housemate of Shelley and Amy. Later gets a job as a waitress working for Hugo, and reappears with him and a bunch of other long-forgotten characters in a rather enigmatic 2017 Scary Go Round story.
Tropes associated with Fallon:
- The Cameo: After disappearing for nearly a decade, she shows up for a cameo still working for Hugo in "The Case of the Missing Piece."
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: During Bobbins. She may seem more crazy than she is at other times, because she's genuinely involved in international espionage.
- Demoted to Extra: The only Bobbins regular not to pop up during Bobbins Now.
- Official Couple: With Tim's brother Van Dyke during Bobbins and with Ryan for part of Scary Go Round.
- Overt Operative: Zig-Zagged. She can pull off a decent disguise, but when she's not undercover she wears a Spy Catsuit most of the time.
- Resignations Not Accepted: Gets sent to an island that's a parody of The Village after attempting to retire.
- Spy Catsuit: She’s a secret agent. It seems to be mandatory.
A college student and barmaid who hates Shelley. Seemingly dies horribly, but returns many years later in the especially weird 2017 Scary Go Round story that resurrects several forgotten characters.
Tropes associated with Rachel:
- Deadpan Snarker: A fairly standard attribute of major characters in the setting.
- Deal with the Devil: Makes one to stop herself from dying. It ends poorly for her, especially after she tries to welch on it.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Her rivalry with Shelley gets to the point that she sics a biker gang on her and gets her shot and killed for the second time.
- Face–Heel Turn: After getting Shelley killed for a brief while.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Twice!
- The same biker gang she sics on Shelley goes after her once Ryan reveals what she did.
- Her own satanic nuns burn her alive.
- Nerd Glasses: Part of her usual look.
- Ship Tease: With Ryan and Tim. Neither went anywhere.
- Overly Long Name: For no particular reason, but why not?
- Kill It with Fire: How she goes out.
- Out of Focus: Started as the lead of Scary Go Round before being pushed out for Shelley.
Rachel's best friend and sometime co-conspirator.
Tropes Associated With Tessa:
- Deadpan Snarker: Towards Rachel.
- Only Sane Man: To Rachel's antics.
- Out of Focus: See Rachel's example above.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Is last seen in an order of satanic nuns, watching her best friend burn alive with a worried look on her face. She subsequently vanishes, but returns many years later in the especially weird 2017 Scary Go Round story that resurrects several forgotten characters.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Tells Rachel to fess up to what she did to Shelley after finding out about it.
Tim's ex-girlfriend he met in the supermarket. They broke up with her after Tim cheated on her with Unit Daisy and she started going out with Rich soon after.
Tropes associated with Illeanna:
- No Accounting for Taste: Tim wasn't exactly the best guy when they dated, Rich was only slightly better and both ended up cheating on her.
- Only Sane Man: For Tim.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She dosen't like Tim's scheme to literally build Rich a girlfriend and dumps Tim immediately after finding him sleeping with Unit Daisy.
Van Dyke Jones
Tim's naive but talented younger brother, who eventually went to the Himalayas and apparently went mad. It has been suggested that "Van Dyke" may be a pseudonym for "Stephen".
Tropes associated with Van Dyke:
- The Ace: He's successful with women and a talented musician.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Doesn't show up at all after Bobbins. Especially noticeable in Expecting To Fly where both Erin and Riley show up with their siblings but Van Dyke goes unmentioned and unseen.
- Nice Guy: So far as has been seen.
- Official Couple: With Holly and then Fallon.
The tech guy at City Limit.
Tropes associated with Elliot:
- Black Best Friend: To Shelley, Rich and Ryan.
- Hollywood Nerd: In early Bobbins. He grows out of this after a long absence.
- Out of Focus: He's introduced with the rest of the main cast, but is never really that important. This extends to Bobbins.Horse where he's still around, but isn't even featured on the cast page, while both Ryan and Erin, who were introduced late into the original and after it respectively, are.
Rich's grandpa. The second manager of City Limit in the course of the comics' run, taking over after Len is removed from office. One of the resurrectees in the weird 2017 Scary Go Round story that was clearly designed to answer a lot of "Whatever happened to ...?" questions.
Tropes associated with Bill:
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a bit out of touch but not a bad manager.
- Cool Old Guy: The nicest of the three City Limit editors and beloved by his staff to boot.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His moving on to a better job leads to Holly taking over the position; her reign of terror on top of his out-of-touchness leaves the magazine weak enough for her to sink it on the way out.
Tim's psychotic neighbor girl.
Tropes associated with Vicki:
Tim's daughter with Riley, who first appears as a cute child in New Bobbins, then shows up in the resurrected Scary Go Round. Then in the "Hard Yards" storyline in 2017, a massive Retcon makes Scout a key figure in the Bobbinsverse.
Tropes associated with Scout:
- Loophole Abuse: A childish version; when told not to touch Tim's invention, Scout decides that she's not touching it if she pokes it with a screwdriver. That doesn't end well.
- Parental Abandonment: When her parents split up, Scout sees herself as having been abandoned by Tim, especially when he takes up with Shelley. Ironically, this happens because Tim was trying to protect Scout from blame for the family home having been blown up. Super-ironically, the explosion eventually turns out to have been caused by a time travelling older version of Scout trying to keep the family together.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Scout's goal in the "Hard Yards" storyline.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A weird version. We first see Scout as a very sweet pre-schooler, then threatening revenge on Shelley for taking Tim away from her mother — which is less sweet, but understandable and even realistic for a child in those circumstances. Then, Erin and Eustace discover that Tim's time travelling "father" is really his disguised daughter from the future, who has been trying to avert what she sees as a personal Bad Future by methods including repeated attempts to murder Shelley, blowing up her own family's home, and inducing Tim to build an invention that nearly destroys the world.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Scout wants to use Time Travel to keep her parents together and prevent the birth of her hated half-sisters. It doesn't work, and may simply create a Stable Time Loop (and a lot of death and suffering).
Debuted in Scary Go Round:
Ryan's sister who shows up in town at one point. She starts dating Tim before eventually marrying him, joining him in his exile to Wales.
Tropes associated with Riley:
- Annoying Younger Sibling: To Ryan as a kid.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: When Tim brings Amy back as his assitant, she drives her off, fearing she'll try to take Tim away.
- Easily Forgiven: Tim forgives her for exiling him to Wales, having already pieced things together and having grown tired of being mayor.
- Happily Married: To Tim, until New Bobbins.
- Not So Above It All: Believes in aliens it turns out. Though given the universe she's in, she's probably not that out of line.
- Remember the New Guy: A worse case than her own brother. She shows up in Tim's bed and it's only afterwords we find out who she is. Especially bad given Amy's crush on Tim wasn't resolved in any fashion beforehand.
- Yandere: Manipulates events so that Tim gets exiled to Wales, just so she can have some peace, then destroys the evidence that could get him back to Tackleford.
Eustace "The Boy" Boyce
A local teen who briefly serves as Tim's assistant. Dates Esther after loosing his virginity to her in a caravan in Wales, only to break up with her 11 days into university after she cheats on him. Returns after the Bad Machinery time-skip working with Mildred's father and reconnecting with Tim. Then things get messy, and he dies through highly augmented folly, spends an indeterminate period as a horse in Hell, and eventually returns to Tackleford with Erin.
Tropes Associated with "The Boy":
- Badass Beard: Grows one to compensate for his weight gain. Tim makes him shave it off, but it eventually reappears.
- Betty and Veronica: The Archie to Erin's Betty and Esther's Veronica and later the Betty to Rich's Veronica and Erin's Archie.
- Big Beautiful Man: For a while in New Bobbins.
- Butt-Monkey: No one treats him with any real respect. Even as an adult Mildred and Tim both ride roughshod over him.
- Deadpan Snarker: At times.
Eustace: Here I got you an old fashioned sympathy drink.
Tim: Thanks Eustace... wait this is just water.
Eustace: Yeah this shows all the sympathy I have for a guy who has a steamy affair one week after being separated from his wife.
Tim: I probably shouldn't drink this.
- Formerly Fit: As an adult, he's put on quite a bit of weight. However, he becomes Formerly Fat after shedding the weight. After his eventual return from Hell, he settles down to looking solid but not flabby.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Post Time Skip, he's quite the laser technician and later makes an eldritch computer to communicate with Erin.
- Heroes Want Redheads: He chooses Esther over Erin, but ends up with Erin years later after his relationship with Esther is long over.
- Hes All Grown Up: Before and after losing his excess weight.
- Hey, You!: Everyone just calls him The Boy during Scary Go Round and Giant Days. Averted as an adult.
- Hopeless Suitor: Had a crush on Amy when first introduced. Naturally, it went nowhere.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: As The Boy.
- Love Hurts: His relationship with Esther ends badly and leaves him pining for her for the next five years. He later reconnects with Erin only to loose her after she gives up her soul to save his. He then dies trying to contact her, and goes to Hell, albeit romantically and only temporarily.
- Love Triangle: See Betty and Veronica above.
- Official Couple: With Esther until Giant Days. Later issues reveal that he ended up with Sarah shortly afterwards, but that only lasted a couple of months. Post-timeskip, he hits it off with Erin again. They finally become a solid couple in "Whatever Happened To Erin Winters".
- Together in Death: After he dies, his soul is reformed as Science, Erin's steed. This being the Bobbinsverse, death turns out not to be permanent.
- The Voiceless: As Erin's steed Science.
- Weight Woe: He absolutely hates the pounds he's put on and is surprised Erin likes him despite it.
Esther de Groot
Esther Fenella de Groot is a snarky teenager whose sharp tongue and talent for boxing hide genuine care for those around her. She turned goth at the age of twelve, after having been humiliated by an opponent in an inter-school debating competition, and remains kind of dark. She dates the Boy for a while before the two break up 11 days into university over her cheating on him. She stars in the Scary Go Round spin-off Giant Days, where she makes fast friends with two fellow students on her floor at university, Daisy and Susan.
Tropes Associated with Esther:
- Berserk Button: Do not hurt her friends.
- Brainwashed: Is brainwashed into loving the evil Bob Crowley by the man himself. The spell later breaks and she reunites with The Boy soon after.
- Brainless Beauty: In Giant Days, though it's more a lack of studying than any real lack of intelligence. She even calls herself a "Sexy Idiot".
- Breakout Character: Went from a one shot hoodlum siccing Big Lindsey on Amy to one of the main characters of Scary Go Round and Giant Days.
- Character Development: Is quite closed off when first introduced but gradually becomes more outgoing. By Giant Days, she's a regular party animal. Giant Days also has her going through this, slowly realizing her carefree ways are hurting those around her.
- Chekhov's Skill: Her "drama field" from the first Boom! issue comes back into play into issue 6. See We Need a Distraction below.
- Cool Big Sis: Acts as a second one to Lottie and a surrogate one to Daisy.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: More so in Giant Days than Scary Go Round.
- Crazy-Prepared: While baking some cupcakes for her boyfriend, she made a backup tray figuring Susan, who didn't approve of the relationship or how Esther was changing to suit it, would toss the first one. She was entirely right, though Susan saved one for herself.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially towards Milford, and towards anyone who annoys her in her university days.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Especially when drawn by someone other than John Allison.
- Genki Girl: In Giant Days.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Esther is sometimes a bit too good at the "dark" thing...
- She goes into a deep depression after The Boy breaks up with her.
- She goes through this again after her teaching assistant ex-boyfriend marks her down on a paper out of spite, leading to her contemplating whether she belongs at university and telling her father she's dropping out.
- It only gets worse afterwords as her friends are busy, Eustace refuses to speak to her and her new job to make up for not going to university is horrible... And then she finds out Sarah and Eustace are going out behind her back. It takes Susan stepping in to help things get better, leading to her patching things up with the both of them and returning to education.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She can be selfish and impulsive at times, but she truly cares about her friends.
- Large Ham: In her brief stint as an actress, though it's mostly the material. She can also get quite hammy when suffering from self-pity.
- May–December Romance: Briefly dated her TA, but it fell apart due to his Control Freak nature and their age difference.
- Ms. Fanservice: Has had a handful of discreet nude scenes in Scary Go Round and wears a handful of sexy outfits during Giant Days; her movie outfit in issue 15 is particularly notable.
- Oblivious to Love: Has no idea Ed is into her. When he tells her he loves her (he quickly tells her something else to make her think she misheard him) she looks absolutely shocked.
- Perky Goth: A textbook example. Her and Daisy's present to Susan for her birthday is a horrifying clown puppet.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Puts one on, complete with top hat, while delirious with fever.
- Power Trio: The Id to Daisy's Ego and Susan's Superego.
- Put on a Bus: Leaves at the end of Scary Go Round to go to University and her own Spin-Off.
- Ship Tease: With Ryan, though nothing comes of it.
- Shipper on Deck: For Sarah and Ryan, Susan and McGraw, and once she comes around to it, Sarah and Eustace.
- The Slacker: In Giant Days. Deconstructed as she finds herself in real trouble as a result, and only escapes failing all her classes due to the fact the exams she took didn't count.
- True Companions: With Erin and Sarah in Scary Go Round and with Susan, Daisy and Ed in Giant Days.
- The Tease:Towards the Boy, Ryan and Ed.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She and Susan will trade insults and teasing on ocasion, but they'd go through hell and back for each other.
- We Need a Distraction: Uses her "drama field" to distract clubgoers while McGraw and Daisy go to rescue Susan
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Esther lays into the girl Daisy asks out after she shoots Daisy down. This gets thrown back at her, with the girl pointing out that she does like Daisy, just not in a romantic sense, and had every right to turn her down.
- She explodes after finding out Eustace and Sarah have ended up together behind her back. The two lay into her in turn.
Shelley's brainy and practical sister. Ends up swallowing a potion that accelerates her growth and shortly after is brainwashed into marrying the evil Bob Crowley and then thrown into a portal to hell. She becomes Queen of Hell with the name "Mordawwa" (taken from an in-universe-fictional comic that may somehow have depicted her years beforehand, don't think about this too hard), then escapes back to Earth only to find no one remembers her. Like her sister, she ends up bouncing back and forth between Earth and the afterlife. She had a crush on "The Boy" but lost him to Esther, only to pick things up with him years later.
Tropes associated with Erin:
- The Alleged Car: Her car Phyillis. It eventually blows up.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Tells Eustace she loves him as he lies dying.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: As a kid, as shown in Bobbins.Horse.
- Birds of a Feather: She becomes fast friends with Susan
Erin: Who could imagine having the same taste in music would mean having nothing else in common?
Susan: Are you a mirage?
- Breakout Character: She's shown up in most of John Allison's work outside of one shots. To wit she's shown up in Scary Go Round, Giant Days, Bad Machinery, New Bobbins, Expecting To Fly, Bobbins.Horse and Mordawwa, Queen of Hell as the star.
- Calling Your Orgasms: Her reaction to Susan's Badass Cape.
- Chubby Chaser: Likes a man with a little heft, as seen with Eustace.
- Cool Horse: Her horse Science who is actually Eustace's soul reincarnated in Hell in the form of a horse.
- Deadpan Snarker: She learned from the best.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Takes all the credit for the stuff the Mystery Kids help her dig up, to their endless frustration.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gives up her soul and abliity to stay on Earth to save Eustace.
- Intrepid Reporter: As an adult.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Everyone forgets she existed after she's sent to Hell.
- Love Hurts: Eustace chooses Esther over her, fails to make a big move on her and then Erin gives up her soul and place on earth to save him, only for him to die. Finally averted as of "Whatever Happened To Erin Winters. The two escape hell and Eustace admits he loves her, leading to a Big Damn Kiss.
- She's All Grown Up: Has grown into quite the attractive woman post Time Skip. Subsequently grows up even more, into Mordawwa, Queen of Hell.
- To Hell and Back: Punches her way into the throne of hell and then out of hell. Escapes it again in "Whatever Happened To Erin Winters".
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Hasn't shown up in the Boom! version of Giant Days despite befriending the main trio and living nearby.
A fishman who Ryan meets while stricken with amnesia. He stays with Shelley, sponging off of her until she leaves for London. During the gap between Giant Days and Bad Machinery, he's reunited with his father by Shauna and Lottie. He now squats in his father's house after the old man's death, having sold off everything except his butler to pay the bills.
Tropes Associated With Desmond:
- Fat Idiot: He’s really not all that bright.
- Identity Amnesia: Has no idea where he came from until after the Time Skip.
- Impoverished Patrician: Desmond turns out to come from wealth — wealth he squanders through sheer idiocy.
- Odd Friendship: With Shauna when she was younger. She reunites him with his dad off-screen.
- Jerkass: A bit of a jerk before the Time Skip, a massive arsehole after the Time Skip. Everybody who tries to help him eventually gives up in disgust.
- Species Surname: For lack of having one at all.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Thanks to Claire, he's quite polite and courtious after some conditioning. It probably doesn’t stick, though.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Claire tries to take him in, but because she tries to get him to eat better and get a decent job rather than just sponge off of her, he tries to kill her. Before that, he tries to abandon Shelley for Shauna's family simply because he gets chips there.
- Would Hurt a Child: Well teenager, but he still tried to outright murder Claire.
Lindsay James is one of Esther's school friends, a bully and wild party girl who does what she wants. Despite this she deeply cares for Esther and some of her more brutish actions are born out of loyalty to her friend. On her 18th birthday, she had sex with a man outside a bar and nine months later gave birth to her son, who she works hard to raise well.
Tropes Associated with Lindsay:
- Big Beautiful Woman: In Giant Days, she's gone from lumbering schoolgirl to substantial but attractive woman.
- The Bully: Had a nasty habit of thrashing anyone she happened to disagree with, Erin and Amy being on the wrong end of this.
- Character Development: Single parenthood actually brings out the best in Lindsay, albeit that the transformation mostly occurs off-stage.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappears entirely from Scary Go Round, but later subverted when she pops up in Giant Days for an issue.
- Good Parents: Loves her son dearly.
- Jerkass: Wasn't all that pleasant as a teenager, but she grew out of it.
- Knight Templar: Her attacks on Erin are to keep her away from The Boy for Esther's sake.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After giving Erin a swirlie years earlier, Erin returns the favor when she tries to beat her up again after Erin drinks the growth serum.
- Teenage Pregnancy: Though she's made it work.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In her Giant Days appearance. While she initially appears to be just as wild as ever, it was really just a facade to try and relive her glory days. When alone with Ed, she helps him get over any lingering embarrassment over his almost-first-time failure.
Esther's best friend and Lottie's older sister. Comes to prominence after she hits it off with Ryan, but the two break up shortly before she goes off to University. She returns later for two appearances in Bad Machinery.
Tropes Associated with Sarah:
- Ascended Extra: Goes from Esther's other friend to her best friend and sidekick towards the end of Scary Go Round, and is the only one of the trio of her, Esther, and Lindsay to show up in Bad Machinery.
- Alone, Together: With Eustace in Giant Days.
- Cool Big Sis: Loves Lottie and tends to take her out and do things with her when she's in town.
- Commuting on a Bus: Leaves for University at the end of Scary Go Round but returns for occasional appearances in Bad Machinery. She also makes an appearance in Giant Days #13.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Going without a boyfriend left her feeling extremely horny, and when she and Ryan do get together, they go at it like rabbits.
- May–December Romance: A relatively minor case with Ryan.
- Noodle Incident: It's unknown just what she's been getting up to since university outside of a doctor boyfriend who didn't last that brings her back to town, and a trip to America that Lottie mentions.
- Passing the Torch: Passes on her Zine-making equipment to Lottie.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: At one stage... Okay, she's really just looking to get laid, but she hits it off with Ryan quite successfully (for a while).
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lays into Esther for getting mad at her and Eustace for seeing each other when Esther had cheated on Eustace.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has dyed red hair at one stage.
Local restaurateur and wannabe talent agent.
Tropes associated with Hugo:
- Black Best Friend: To Shelley and Ryan.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappears after the original run of Scary Go Round ends — although he gets a cameo in Bad Machinery, and is one of several long-forgotten characters who return, in somewhat enigmatic style, in a Scary Go Round story in 2017.
- Funny Afro: Sometimes has a small Afro which seems designed to make him look odd.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: On finding himself in a fairy kingdom he promptly freaks out and bolts, later explaining that he sees himself as a realistic man and the existence of the supernatural freaks the hell out of him.
- Limited Wardrobe: During his early appearances, he's only seen in his tracksuit. He mixes it up later on.
- Nerd Glasses: He’s a bit nerdy, and looks it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Ends up giving this to himself after sabotaging Carrot's future for his own benefit. He lets Carrot drive a truck to make up for it.
The Boy's often-obnoxious best friend.
Tropes associated with Milford:
- Butt-Monkey: He never has a girlfriend and once Eustace and Esther get together she spends most of her time around Milford taking the piss out of him.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite Eustace being a main cast member in New Bobbins, he fails to show up in present day. He has made a brief cameo in Giant Days, but that's about it.
- Jerkass: Through and through, if trivially.
- Last-Name Basis: Everyone calls him Milford and it's some time before we find out that's not his first name.
- With Friends Like These...: It's really unknown just why Eustace put up with his constant harassment. It’s probably just a teenage male thing. Paul is mostly harmless really.
Charlotte "Lottie" Grote
The hyperactive and strange younger sister of Sarah. She has a penchant for solving mysteries and wearing large puffer jackets. Is part of the main trio of girls in Bad Machinery with Shauna and Mildred.
Tropes associated with Lottie:
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Subverted. She and Sarah get along quite well. The worst she gets from her is some mild friendly teasing and a shooing during a flashback.
- The Apprentice: To Shelley during "Murder She Writes".
- Badass Cape: Wears one during "The Case of The Modern Men"
- Birds of a Feather: The reason she works as Shelley's intern.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She's a nut, but she's also an extremely capable detective and actor.
- Chaste Hero: Dosen't care at all for romance. Subverted later on with her brief relationship with Huan in "Space is the Place" and her catching the bouquet in "The Case of the Missing Piece. "
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: She's quite strange and proud of it.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Lost her dad at a young age.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in later cases.
- Genius Ditz: She's quite smart and insightful... she just also happens to be nuts.
- Genki Girl: Usually bursting with energy.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Takes the Mystery Shed burning down incredibly hard, going so far as to swear off mysteries and burn her journals and puffer jackets. She eventually snaps out of it for the most part.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Shauna and later Mildred and Claire.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Shelley during "Murder She Writes", as she's the one who actually solves the mystery.
- I Knew It!: In-Universe. She writes "Calvin is Grumpaw" on a piece of paper, revealing it with dramatic flourish when she's proven right.
- Iconic Item: Her puffer jackets. She burns them in "The Case of the Modern Men"
- Kid Detective: Like her friends. Rivals Jack and Shauna for the most competent in the main cast.
- Large Ham: Does everything with copious amounts of ham.
- Literal-Minded: Thinks Baby Sitting involves literally sitting on babies.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Spends most of "The Case of The Severed Alliance" trying to repair her friendship with Shauna, having realized that not helping her with Blossom and throwing out their friendship was a mistake.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Gets Colm arrested for the firebug's arson.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Though to a lesser extent than Esther, perhaps simply because she's too young to be piling on the white make-up yet.
- The Power of Acting: Parodied, as according to the teacher in the alternate timeline in "The Case of The Forked Road", the acting world loses one of its brightest stars when she quits playing the lead in the school play.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: During "The Case of the Missing Piece". She's unecessarily cruel to Blossom and constantly talks down Shauna's attempts to help the girl. But the Jerkass Has a Point; she correctly predicts that befriending Blossom will only blow up in Shauna's face. She does have an ego that can make her quite annoying, though.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Shelley's unerved when she takes seeing someone murdered well enough to work on solving it.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her attempts to find a lonely troll love get the poor guy blamed for a crime he didn't commit and chased by a mob.
A smart young woman and Lottie and Mildred's closest friend, solving many a mystery with the two. Born into a working class family, unilke the rest of the cast.
Tropes associated with Shauna:
- Berserk Button: Don't insult her boyfriend and don't rob from the place she works.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Grew up in poverty with a delinquent brother who constantly worried her and her mother. She also sent said brother to prison.
- Dude Magnet: Has attracted the most male attention out of the girls.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Lottie and Mildred.
- Hidden Depths: Her intellectual interests aren’t hidden, but after she accidentally falls in with a Heavy Metal band due to a misunderstanding of the term “brutalist”, she turns out to be a competent heavy rock vocalist.
- I Have No Brother: Disowns her brother after he robs Bric A Brac.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Amy.
- Kid Detective: The best of the six, closely tied with Jack and Lottie.
- Love Hurts: While she's had the most boyfriends out of the girls, all of her relationships have ended in some form of pain.
- Nerd Glasses: Wears these as a teenager starting with "The Case of the Lonely One"
- Odd Friendship:
- Forms one with Blossom in "The Case of the Missing Piece"
- Had an earlier one with Desmond Fishman, even helping him find his long lost father.
- Trauma Conga Line: "The Case of The Missing Piece" puts her through one.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- As a kid, she calls Shelley out for taking Desmond away from her.
- Calls out Lottie for Throwing away their friendship. For Lottie's part, she apologizes.
Introduced in Bad Machinery:
A local hooligan (allegedly) and the child of two well-to-do hippies, who becomes best friends with Lottie and Shauna.
Tropes associated with Mildred:
- The Bully: At times toward Sonny, though it's mostly in jest.
- Bourgeois Bohemian: The child of two wealthy hippies who does follow some of their teachings.
- Character Development: Changes the most out of the three main girls, going from a rather hot blooded girl to a still sharp-tongued but much more caring teenager.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially towards Poor Sonny at times.
- Free-Range Children: Is given pretty wide limits, though she knows how to get around the ones she has.
- The Gossip: How she and Lottie became friends.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Lottie and Shauna.
- Hot-Blooded: The first to suggest violence as a solution to their problems early on. She mellows out with time.
- Kid Detective: With Lottie and Shauna, though she's not as into it as they are. She is however quite good at it.
- Loving Bully: Towards Eustace it turns out.
- Love Hurts: Her first boyfriend turned out to have a girlfriend And dumped Mildred for putting said girlfriend behind bars for murder. Her crush on Eustace also ends painfully with her Visiting his grave.
- Only Sane Man: Becomes this to the group with time.
- Playing Both Sides: During "The Case of the Severed Alliance" She helps Shauna investigate the chamber of commerce and helps get her clues to Lottie, while helping Lottie do the same.
- Spoiled Brat: At times.
- Straw Vegetarian: Averted. She dosen't push her veganism on others.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: with Jack
A nervous boy who loves solving mysteries. Best mates with Linton and Sonny. Dated Shauna for a while before she broke up with him so she could hang out with her friends more.
Tropes associated with Jack:
- Butt-Monkey: The world isn't kind to Jack, to say the least.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Early on. He grows out of it.
- Character Development: He becomes less of a Nervous Wreck with time.
- Deadpan Snarker: Towards Linton, mostly.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Slowly goes through this in "The Case of the Good Boy" over being bullied
- Kid Detective: And out of the six, one of the most dedicated to it and one of the best.
- Nervous Wreck: Grows out of it with time though.
- Nice Guy: A pleasant sort most of the time.
- Out of Focus: In "The Case of The Missing Piece" and "The Case of the Forked Road"
- Official Couple: With Shauna until the end of “The Case of the Simple Soul” and Mimi for half of “The Case of the Modern Men”.
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: With Mildred. While she's calmed down with age, he's still very much the puppy.
- Precocious Crush: On Erin until she leaves.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Mildred.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Linton.
A boisterous boy with a mouth as big as his libido. Best mates with Jack and Sonny. Son of a local police officer and as such has a strong sense of justice.
Tropes associated with Linton:
- Badass Bookworm: He's quite smart.
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Colm's Veronica and Claire's archie.
- Black Best Friend: To Jack and Sonny.
- Casanova Wannabe: Talks a big game, but is too nervous to make a move.
- Fan Boy: Of Football.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to his brothers’ foolish.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Puberty hits him hard.
- Hot-Blooded: When it comes to mysteries.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's an ass most of the time, but also a moral and loyal friend.
- Kid Detective: Fairly good at it, if not as good as the girls.
- Love Hurts: His attempts to woo Claire end with him and Colm getting into a scrap until Colm gets dragged off by security, with Claire chasing after him.
- Ship Tease: With Lottie in "The Case of the Severed Alliance".
- So Proud of You: His dad is quite proud of what an upstanding kid he is compared to his lazy and selfish older brothers.
- Pashing For Solace: Does this with Blossom after Claire chooses Milford over him.
A sensitive boy who's Mildred's cousin and Linton and Jack's best mate.
Tropes associated with Sonny:
- Bi the Way: Is seen with a boy in "The Case of the Missing Piece"
- Butt-Monkey: Gets pushed around quite a bit by Mildred and gets laughed at for his erotic dreams. Taken Up to Eleven in "The Big Hiatus":
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: For the duration of "The Case of the Fire Inside".
- Laser-Guided Karma: A positive example. After Linton refuses to believe him about the girl he saw in the ocean and then he and Jack laugh at him for having an erotic dream about her, said girl shows up at their school and the mystery girls shower him with affection when he takes it upon himself to keep her from getting expelled due to having no one to rely on.
- My Cousin is Off Limits: Has this view with Mildred in regards to his friends. Subverted once Jack takes an interest in Mildred
- Nice Guy: A sweet boy and the least likely to razz someone.
- Out of Focus:Compared to the other boys. "The Case of the Fire Inside" is the only time he has a main role.
- What You Are in the Dark: When he finds out Ellen is a Selkie, he immediately sets about returning her pelt to her rather than have her possibly forced to love him.
A local delinquent who inserts himself to the boys' group.
Tropes associated with Colm:
- Delinquents: A junior bad boy type.
- Disproportionate Retribution: His response to Linton moving on on Claire after he broke up with her is to try and beat the shit out of him.
- Fighting Irish: Irish, burly and willing to throw down at a moment's notice.
- Hes All Grown Up: As a teen he's absolutely massive.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Claire.
- Hot-Blooded: Prefers brute force to actual detective work.
- It's Personal: With the Firebug after the case gets him locked up in a mental ward.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a brutish delinquent, yet he truly cares about Claire and rather than laugh at Sonny for talking about his erotic dream, he chastises Linton and Jack for laughing and then comforts Sonny about it.
- Love Hurts: His crush on Lottie, who's not all that interested in the first place ends with her accusing him of being an arsonist and him getting locked up in a mental ward for a while.
- Official Couple: With Claire from the end of "The Case of The Simple Soul" until he leaves for Ireland in "The Case of The Missing Piece"
- Out of Focus: After "The Case of the Fire Inside", he disappears until his major role in "The Case of the Missing Piece".
- Put on a Bus: Leaves for Ireland at the end of "The Case of the Missing Piece".
- Secret Keeper: Keeps the fact Claire was the firebug to himself.
A shy girl with a lisp who befriends Lottie after they end up in the same class.
Tropes associated with Claire:
- Ascended Extra: She starts out as a minor part of "The Mystery of the Lonely One". She later becomes a recurring character after Lottie ends up in her class as well as a major focus of "The Case of The Missing Piece".
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's kind and sweet for the most part, but do not cross her. Camille finds this out the hard way.
- Beyond the Impossible: Manages to make DESMOND FISHMAN into a good person via having his butler switch out his underwear at night.
- Cute and Psycho: Adorable but also a pyromaniac.
- Good Is Not Soft: While she's perfectly sweet to Desmond, she refuses to let him sponge off of her family. She also later uses some psychological trickery on him to turn his life around.
- Important Hair Cut: Gets one in "The Case of The Missing Piece" after Colm dumps her.
- Karma Houdini: Gets away with being the firebug scot-free.
- Nerd Glasses: All part of her withdrawn, awkward style.
- Nice Girl: An absolute sweetie for the most part, if sometimes a little irritating.
- Odd Friendship: With Desmond Fishman. With the help of his butler she's able to make him a stable, upstanding individual, at least for a while.
- Pyromaniac: Type 3. She uses controlled fires and does it strictly so she wouldn't have to worry about her dad. She stops doing it after she nearly gets Colm killed, though it flares up a bit during "The Case of the Missing Piece"
- Speech Impediment: Has a lisp. It gets better as the series goes along.
- Walking Spoiler: She's the Big Bad of "The Mystery of the Lonely One".
Introduced in Giant Days:
A medical student and close friend of Esther and Daisy. Has a sharp wit, a terrible smoking habit, and a history with McGraw.
Tropes associated with Susan:
- All for Nothing: Her attempt at political campaign management. It was all the result of a massive scam to help another, far more smug candidate win.
- Amateur Sleuth: Think Nancy Drew meets Phillip Marlowe.
- Awesome McCoolname: Susan Ptolemy.
- Badass Cape: Makes a rather impressive (temporary) one to win presidency of the Indie Society.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With McGraw.
- Berserk Button: It doesn't take much to set her off, though she's often justified. For example, a bunch of "lads" putting Esther on a sexist list and preparing to offer up her number without her consent sends Susan on the warpath. Equally, someone (especially McGraw) trying to play the white knight for her can trigger her, as she takes pride in being able to look after herself.
- Birds of a Feather: Platonic example with Erin and Esther.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Subverted. She tried this with McGraw but he rejected her. The two later become an Official Couple anyway, but their romance is clearly doomed to be a bumpy ride.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Her last act before leaving for university was to expose the daughter of the town's most powerful family as a fraud, putting a target on her own back.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's how she communicates most of the time.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Gets hit with this hard in Issue 12 after McGraw breaks up with her over putting her management of a candidate for student union president over him and said campaign turns out to have been someone else's Batman Gambit to get her to split the vote so another candidate could win.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She puts up a bitter, practical front, but she does care about her friends and is a good person.
- Large Ham: Rivals Esther for this when she gets going.
- Love Hurts: Her past with McGraw as a well as her rough breakup with him.
- Monster Clown: Gets what she describes as a "horrifying clown puppet" for her birthday from Daisy and Esther.
- Mushroom Samba: Goes through a drugless one due to a lack of sleep.
- Official Couple: Dates McGraw after their fling after the ball and her run in with the past. He breaks up with her later after she neglects him for her campaign management, but their story isn't over...
- Only Sane Man: Sees herself as this. In reality she and Daisy trade the role frequently.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Susan knows when to drop her snarky pose.
- After she finds out about Ed's embarrassing Premature Ejaculation, she visits him to see how he's doing. He instantly figures out something is up just by how nice she's being to him.
- She also goes into a serious depression after McGraw leaves her.
- Pet the Dog: See O.O.C. Is Serious Business above.
- The Pig Pen: Her laptop is apparently in such bad shape that the police have to use a controlled explosion on it.
- Private Eye Monologue: Has one in the first two issues of the first volume of Giant Days and the First issue of the Boom! series.
- Sherlock Scan: Uses this to figure out Ed has a crush on Esther.
- Skewed Priorities: She nearly tears McGraw apart for giving the girl's house a new door, accusing him of "white knighting" her, even though the girl's previous door was just destroyed in a break in and they likely couldn't afford a new one, let alone one good enough to prevent another break-in.
- Smoking Is Cool: Zig-Zagged. Her smoking is used to both make her look really cool, but it's also not portrayed as a particularly healthy or pleasant habit.
- Unwitting Pawn: It turns out that the guy who got her into the election was just using her to split the vote and push another candidate.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Esther.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Her style...
- She calls Esther out for changing herself to impress her older boyfriend.
- She also gives Ed a small but brutal call-out for his crushing on Esther despite the fact that she has a boyfriend.
One of Esther and Susan's closest friends. A naive girl who was home-schooled by her grandmother. Slowly realizes she's gay after getting a crush on a friend.
Tropes associated with Daisy:
- Badass Pacifist: She's actually extremely powerful when using yoga. She just can't bring herself to fight with it thanks to the Ghost of George Harrison telling her not to.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's sweet and will take a LOT of crap in her stride but do not cross her, As the professor on her archaeology trip learned the hard way after mistreating her the whole trip.
- Big Damn Kiss: Invoked and Subverted. She tries to do this to see if she likes boys at all with Ed, but neither of them feel anything.
- Character Development: She slowly grows into the Only Sane Man of her group.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Apparently there's a rule that every John Allison story has to have one.
Daisy: Election Night! It's just like when George Bush Jr. beat his dad for the presidency!
- The Cuckoo Lander Was Right: Turns out the advice she gave Ed while pretending to be Tami was actually incredibly sound, and gets him over Esther for a while.
- Coming-Out Story: Becomes attracted to her classmate Nadia and asks her out and spends the next two issues coming to terms with her sexuality.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Of all people, but it turns out she lost her parents at a young age and her Grandmother never recovered from it, breaking up with her husband and homeschooling Daisy as a result.
- Fangirl: Of Friday Night Lights to the point she dresses up like the Coach and Tammi for a while. She also likes Music/Enya
- Funny Afro: Her giant mane of hair is a frequent joke target.
- Good Is Not Soft: She's a sweetie, but she's also fully aware of her friends’ faults and not afraid to set a fire if it means saving them.
- Hidden Depths: Susan actually has formidable natural talent as a pool player.
- The Ingenue: She's rather naive at first. She grows out of it, though she never entirely loses her air of innocence.
- Morality Pet: To Esther, Erin and especially Susan.
- Mushroom Samba: Goes through this a lot having so far been delirious with fever, high on off-brand Polish cough medicine and taken a bunch of pills on her birthday. This turns out to be the cause for the Winter Special, with the entire thing having been a hallucination Daisy had.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Is deeply shamed about the above Mushroom Samba, to the point of confessing it to her visiting Grandma.
- Nice Girl: The nicest of the main cast of Giant Days.
- Perverse Sexual Lust: For Ingrid at first, something she's painfully aware of.
Daisy: I think I'm in lust.
- The Pollyanna: Truly believes the best of people and situations.
Susan: You can't help most people Daisy. Life is a prison we build for ourselves.
Daisy: That's so DARK Susan. I think life is like a garden, you have to look after it.
- Raised by Grandparents: Was brought up by her Granny, who she loves dearly. It turns out her parents were lost over the Bermuda Triangle when she was little.
- Sherlock Scan: Is able to figure out what Susan's been up to for the past few days just by looking in her basket at the pharmacy:
Daisy: Susan's sexing a boy!
- Team Mom: Evolves into this, taking care of Esther when she's broken up about The Boy leaving her, snapping Susan and Esther out of the Night World, and baking Ed a 7-Layer Cake with a diffrent cake each layer after learning about his Premature Ejaculation. Lampshaded when she dresses up like Tammi Taylor from Friday Night Lights
Daisy: Now honey, when I was your age...
Susan: I'm a year older than you!
- Uptight Loves Wild: The uptight to Ingrid's wild.
A nerdy friend of the girls who has a massive crush on Esther.
Tropes associated with Ed:
- Accidental Pervert: Accidentally grabs Daisy's boob while watching Esther fight the head girls:
Daisy: You are cupping something that doesn't belong to you!
- Adorkable: Especially in the Boom! series.
- Beware the Nice Ones: A nice doormat most of the time, but he will fight back if pushed too far, as Dan Parent found out the hard way.
- Butt-Monkey: Frequently, though it decreases as the series goes on.
- Character Development: He starts out as an Extreme Doormat fawning over Esther, but gradually grows a spine and gets over his crush on her, trading it in for a genuine friendship.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: A tad.
Ed: (While trying to figure out what to do about a sexist Website targeting Esther): Should we destroy the backbone of the internet and return society to the simple pleasures of the early 1990's?
- Crush Blush: Frequently around Esther.
- Everyone Can See It: His crush on Esther. Esther's the only one who doesn't cotton immediately. Played for Laughs when Big Lindsay manages to find out after one day with the group.
- Funny Afro: When drawn by John Allison.
- Extreme Doormat: He folds pretty consistently when it comes to Susan (out of fear) and Esther (out of love/lust). Taken Up to Eleven in the Winter Special where his alternate version dates Susan. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With McGraw
- Hidden Depths: Turns out to be a talented writer and editor — the film he works on with Susan and Daisy wins the Sheifield Film Festival.
- Hollywood Nerd: A textbook example.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He tries to be happy for Esther when she find a new boyfriend. The keyword is "tries".
- Intrepid Reporter: On the school newspaper, succeeding in getting the corrupt head of the student union to abdicate.
- Love Hurts: His crush on Esther hasn't really done him any good, but he just can't seem to shake his feelings for her.
Ed: Please God either make her love me, or make it so I don't love her anymore.
- His brief relationship with Amanda also counts. He finally gets over Esther thanks to her, but their failed attempt at sex only leads to his utter humiliation, and while she apologizes for telling people about it, she gently rebuffs him.
- Nerd Glasses: A big old square pair.
- Nice Guy: Probably the second nicest member of the cast. The worst he's done is have feelings for a girl with a boyfriend.
- Perma-Stubble: In the Boom! Series.
- Premature Ejaculation: His attempted first time with Amanda ended up with this. It only got worse after he told McGraw, who reluctantly told Susan, which naturally spreads to the other two girls, while Amanda tells the rest of the staff at the paper.
- Progressively Prettier: A slight example, as he looks much more attractive in the ongoing series, if still not exactly an out-and-out hunk.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Ed's life has its moments of pleasure.
- He gets a no-strings-attached one-night-stand with Big Lindsay after his disastrous first time.
- After being forced into helping Susan with her film and into doing most of the work, he get a fourth of the prize money.
- He ends his first year in a new relationship though that rapidly crashes.
- Will They or Won't They?: His relationship with Esther has progressed to this, with the two clearly having feelings for each other but not pursuing them for the time being.
Actually Graham McGraw, but he never uses his first name; an old friend of Susan's of whom she initially has a burning hatred due to their past, though they eventually get over it. Notable for his extreme practicality.
Tropes associated with McGraw:
- The Ace: When it comes to wood and metal. A pair of scissors he made were presented to Prince Charles.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Daisy in the Winter Special's Alternate Universe; she doesn't notice (and even if she did, they suffer from Incompatible Orientation).
- Badass Mustache: Has a rather impressive lip cosy. Funnily enough, he grew it as a way of escaping from an obsessive former girlfriend with a phobia of facial hair.
- Beard of Sorrow: In the winter special.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Susan.
- Berserk Button: Treating women like objects. He also gets quite ranty at the sight of poor craftsmanship.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Subverted, as he rejected Susan's attempts at a Relationship Upgrade, leading to her animosity towards him. The two later get together for a while before he breaks up with her, then they get back together...
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ed.
- Heroic R.R.O.D.: He works through his pain over breaking up with Susan by cutting plank after plank until he breaks his arm.
- My God, What Have I Done?: A subtle version, but he regrets telling Susan about Ed's "Incident", and only did so because she wouldn't let up.
- The Pig Pen: His response to getting his mashed potatoes on him is to scoop them out of his hair and go back to eating them. Usually, though, he seems fairly fastidious.
- Rated M for Manly: Parodied, but he’s kind of cool with it.
- Shirtless Scene: Has a tendency to loose his shirt, having had three of these in the span of 12 issues.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Susan in the first few issues, though he mostly responds passively to her attacks on him. This evaporates after they get together.
- Verbal Tic: Occasionally calls people “Son”, adding to his air of being old before his time.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls Susan out for putting his face on her feminist Zine as a symbol of male obnoxiousness, despite his showing nothing but support for women.
- Younger Than They Look: He looks like he's in his mid-20s at the least. He's actually 19.
The editor of the university newspaper, who takes an interest in Ed.
Tropes associated with Amanda:
- Big Beautiful Woman: Amanda is noticeably curvier than the main cast, but attracts Ed and others.
- Intrepid Reporter: Deconstructed. Her efforts to take down Parent only cause the school to clamp down hard on the paper and result in its shutting down.
- Innocently Insensitive: She spreads the news of Ed's premature ejaculation throughout the newsroom, not realizing just how much it'd bother him.
- May–December Romance: With Ed, on a minor scale.
- Small Role, Big Impact: She shows up in two issues and graduates at the end of the first year offsceen but her relationship Ed helps his Character Development along.
A “friend” of McGraw and Ed's who agrees to room with them for a year.
Tropes associated with Dean:
- Geek: Spends his free time painting miniatures and playing online games, is a bit of an authority on computers and comics, wears a fanny pack...
- Jerkass: Is a pretty huge dick, treating Esther like garbage for leaking his algorithm for finding a house (even though Ed gave it out to a LOT of people) and trashing Ed's coffee maker twice.
- Karma Houdini: Escapes from his essay scam with no consequences and dodges the angry mob after him by having a car ready.
- Properly Paranoid: Has a car ready after he's cleared of all charges in his exam-papers-for-pay scheme to escape an angry mob after him for money.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Only shows up in the last third of the first year and in three issues, but he helps Ed and McGraw get a house, while his selling exam papers and getting Ed and Esther involved is the main plot of issues 17 and 18. He shows up again later as a recurrent annoyance.
- Smug Snake: Thinks he's far more clever than he actually is. He also gladly admits to selling essays for money and is confident he won't get caught. Subverted in that case though as while he does get caught, he escapes with no punishment and has a car ready to avoid the angry mob after him.
- What Does She See in Him?: A platonic example. Esther wonders why the boys are friends with him. As it turns out, each of them assumed he was a friend of the other, and by the time they realised it wasn't the case, he'd already wormed his way into their lives.
A fellow staffer on the paper during Ed's time there and a recurrent background character.
Tropes associated with Jenny:
- Ascended Extra: Makes her first big appearance in issue 18 after minor roles in issues 9 and 11, and makes out with Ed.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Well, she seems okay for a while...
- Intrepid Reporter: Is a vital member of the staff during the Absent Parent fiasco, and later manages to bust open Dean Thomas's illegal paper ring, despite working with less creative freedom.
- Love Interest: For Ed, for a while.
- Nerd Glasses: Part of her style.
- Recurring Extra: Drops in and out of the plot as required.
A first year student from Germany who's interested in Daisy.
Tropes associated with Ingrid:
- Cool Shades: Wears these frequently.
- Foreign Fanservice: In-Universe: Daisy is incredibly attracted to her, as are the boys on the freshman tour.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A rare occasion where the recipient is another girl, in this case Daisy. Also highly deconstructed, as her high-on-life, spur-of-the-moment attitude ends up revealing a very self-centered and manipulative side that refuses to compromise with anybody who doesn't like her, or people she finds "boring." As time goes on, the relationship between Ingrid and Daisy slowly turns unhealthy due to the latter becoming an Extreme Doormat out of fear of losing the one love that makes her feel alive after struggling to come to grips with her sexuality, and the former's unwavering All Takeand No Give mindset.
- Opposites Attract: A reckless, party-happy, adaptable woman attracted to Team Mom Daisy.
- Uptight Loves Wild: The wild to Daisy's uptight.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Well, blue streaks.