Characters: Corpse Bride
Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp)
- Accidental Marriage: With Emily. Victor was practicing saying his marriage vows, and Emily thought they belonged to her.
- Adorkable: He's a bit awkward in an endearing way.
- Alliterative Name: Victor Van Dort
- Boy Meets Ghoul: Victor meets Emily, the "Corpse Bride", and they have a weird but sweet almost love-affair. Emily thinks it's marriage.
- Butt Monkey: Suffers a bit of physical abuse during certain parts of the movie, some of which are a result of his own clumsiness (such as running into a tree when being chased by Emily).
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunet: He is a Tim Burton character, and even by the land of the living standards, he's exceptionally pale.
- Expy: He looks like the grown-up version of Vincent◊, the child protagonist of one of Burton's earliest stop-motion works. This is even lampshaded in the movie.Mr Everglot: We shall continue as planned, with or without Vincent.
Mrs Everglot: Victor.
Mr Everglot: Whatever.
- Friend to Bugs: Friend to Pretty Butterflies anyway. He is introduced drawing lepidopterology sketches, and more can be seen pinned on his bedroom walls.
- Nervous Wreck: His shyness and nervousness lead him to ruin the rehearsal and make both his parents and Victoria's parents very upset with him.
- Nice Guy: An Adorkable boy who is genuinely kind to everyone.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: When he and Victoria meet, they hit it off. She admires his playing the piano, and he likes that she believes in marriage for love and Happily Married couples.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Emily's Energetic Girl.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: At the very least, he's fashionably well-prepared for someone who's about to get married.
- Undeathly Pallor: Subverted, as he's alive as ever, yet looks like he stepped out of a black and white movie. Ironically, he and Emily are on the trope's page image.
Emily (Helena Bonham-Carter)
- Badass Adorable: She looks cute, but she can take care of herself and her loved ones.
- Betty and Veronica: Victor is "Archie", and he seems to have feelings for both Emily the "Veronica" to Victoria the "Betty". Both ladies like him as well, which makes for a very complicated Love Triangle.
- Broken Bird: She's not that cynical, but her experience did make her feel depressed and lonely. Once she meets Victor, her spirits lift up and she's genuinely cheerful and happy.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She shows shades of this upon first seeing Victoria, grabbing onto Victor's arm and pulling him close while putting on a smug smile, and even declaring that she's Victor's wife while showing off her wedding ring.
- The Dead Can Dance: She can dance, and she plays the piano and sing.
- Dead to Begin With: Emily is the Corpse Bride from the title.
- Death by Origin Story: Her backstory appears in the third of the film — she was killed on her wedding day by her fiancé who was after her money. Her family probably didn't approve of the match because they were eloping together, so there was nobody to help her.
- Disappears into Light: She transforms into a swarm of butterflies and moves on.
- Did Not Get the Guy: She fell for Victor and really loved him. But she let him go and live with Victoria, hopefully to have a happy life together.
- Feel No Pain: She's completely unfazed when she protects Victor from Barkis by taking a sword to her gut. Justified, as she's obviously already dead and is no longer able to feel any physical pain.
- Friend to Bugs: She seems rather close to the maggot living in her head, despite his occasional snarking getting on her nerves. Also the Black Widow spider, who comforts her along with the maggot after Victor lies to her.
- Genki Girl: In contrast to quiet, mild-mannered Victoria, Emily is rather energetic and lively.
- Hartman Hips: One of her womanly features that hasn't been affected by decomposition.
- Horrible Judge of Character: In her backstory, when she falls for Barkis.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: That's all the poor girl ever wanted in life and the afterlife.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Emily sets Victor free of his vow to marry her, giving the wedding ring back to Victor and her wedding bouquet to Victoria.
- Meaningful Name: Her name means "Rival". She "marries" Victor and gets upset when she finds out that he's already in love with another woman.
- Nice Girl: Despite being a bit feisty and impulsive, Emily is just as sweet-natured as her rival Victoria.
- Only One Name: "Emily" is all we ever hear of her name.
- Releasing from the Promise: She releases Victor whom she considers her husband at the end of the film, leaving him free to be with Victoria.
- Revenant Zombie: This is the closest zombie category she falls into, as Emily stayed under the tree in the forest until her true love comes and asks for her hand in marriage.
- Romantic False Lead: No, she doesn't end up with Victor, a rare case where the female lead is this trope.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl to Victor's Savvy Guy.
- Secondary Character Title: Emily is the "Corpse Bride", but the real hero is Victor.
- Spirited Young Lady: She's lively, vivacious and enthusiastic, plays the piano and enjoys music. Victoria is her Proper Lady-like counterpart.
- Stepford Smiler: Type A. Behind her happy, joyful facade she's deep down sad and lonely (best shown in the song "Tears to Shed).
- Unrequited Tragic Maiden: A beautiful young woman murdered on the night of her elopement by who she THOUGHT was her true love, she who spent her afterlife heartbroken and longing to experience real true love. When she found it in Victor, he was already betrothed to a woman named Victoria, with whom he sincerely was in love.
- Woman Scorned: It's not a pretty sight when she finds out that Victor, whom she accompanied back to the Land of the Living on the pretense of wanting her to meet his parents, actually lied to her so he could sneak back to Victoria. Subverted at the end of the film, when Emily graciously allows Victor to return to Victoria.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She's blue-haired, although admittedly it likely wasn't that color in life.
Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson)
- Badass Adorable: Especially when you consider the time period she's in. She's a lovely young lady, but she shows she can take care of things.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Her parents, other than being hideous, are obnoxious jerks. Victoria is a pretty lady and she's perfectly sweet, well-behaved and genuinely good.
- Betty and Veronica: She's Betty (the good girl archetype and might come off as slightly boring) to Emily's Veronica (the girl with a more exciting streak in her character).
- Hidden Depths: Averted. She would very much like to play the piano, but she never learned. "Mother won't let me near the piano...music is improper for a young lady. Too passionate, she says."
- Impoverished Patrician: Her family is aristocratic, but they have no money.
- Marry for Love: She believes in it, but she also knows that it rarely happens in reality (in that particular fictional version of Victorian Britain).
- Meaningful Name: Her name means "Victorious". She's the one Victor really loves despite their marriage being arranged, and she ends up with him in the end.
- Nice Girl: A quiet and sweet girl, in stark contrast to her horrible parents.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: With Victor. Her first meeting with Victor is to meet him as a future husband. They like each other almost immediately.
- Plucky Girl: Especially when standing up to - and walking out on - Lord Barkis.
- Prim and Proper Bun: Her hairstyle — very Victorian.
- Proper Lady: She's very quiet, lady-like and seems to have domestic habits.
- Silk Hiding Steel: She might look harmless, but she's actually quite strong and can take care of herself.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: She's very lovely, but both her parents look hideous.
Lord Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant)
- Alliterative Name: Barkis Bittern.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He's vile and should rot in hell. He's a murderer. He killed his fiancée which was a premeditated murder, and at the end of the movie he shows he might also kill in an affect.
- Big Bad: Of the movie.
- The Bluebeard: He tricked Emily into taking her family's jewels and gold and eloping with him, then stole the treasure and killed her. He also heavily indicates an intention to kill Victoria after their marriage.
- Chekhov's Gunman: You see him loitering in the streets twice during the opening credits and at least once during the opening song. He doesn't make his official debut in the story for another fifteen minutes or so.
- Death by Mocking: After heartlessly mocking Emily about her death, he drinks poison when toasting her and dies moments afterword
- Do with Him as You Will: Kind of; while he hadn't directly wronged them the undead are all disgusted at what he had done to Emily, but they can't do anything to him while he's alive. The minute he croaks, they have at him and prepare to make him suffer, big time.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Ironically, this is brought up AFTER his official death. He gets tortured by the dead.
- Faux Affably Evil: Barkis attempts to make himself presentable and tries to put on a charmingly polite demeanor in order to wed Victoria. Even though it's clear to viewers that his intentions are no good.
- Gold Digger: He wants to get married and get the lady's wealth. The emphasis is on the wealth. He killed his fiancee to get her money, gold and jewelery.
- Jerkass: His behaviour is very unsympathetic right from the start when he insults most people present. He seems to get on with the Everglots, who are jerks as well.
- Karmic Death: Gets caught up in his Evil Gloating and drinks poisoned wine, accidentally killing himself.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Lord Barkis Bittern.
- Obviously Evil: His chin. His evil, evil chin.
- Romantic False Lead: He's Emily's former fiance, who murdered her and then tried to do the same thing to Victoria.
- Til Murder Do Us Part: He killed Emily and planned to kill Victoria as well for her family's money
- Unwanted Spouse: Victoria does NOT want to marry Lord Barkis. She is still in love with Victor and sees Barkis for who he really is.
Pastor Galswells (Christopher Lee)
- Jerkass: He's extremely unpleasant. He's a jerk mainly to Victor during the wedding rehearsal.
The Van Dorts (Paul Whitehouse and Tracey Ullman)
- Abusive Parents: If some of her comments about Victor are any indication, Nell doesn't think too highly of her son, to say the least.Nell: Oh, don't be ridiculous. What corpse would marry our son?
- Beauty Mark: Nell has a mole on her face.
- Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: William is skinny while Nell is wide enough to have trouble fitting into the carriage.
- Gold Digger: After a fashion; they are marrying Victor into the aristocracy so that they can gain access to high society that would ordinarily shun them for earning, rather than inheriting, their fortune.
- Nice Guy: When compared to both his wife and the Everglots, William is certainly the most friendly of the four parents.
- Nouveau Riche: Born into humble beginnings, but made millions in the fish industry. For better or for worse, they have yet to acquire the upper class manners to match.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: A nasty habit of William's, for which Nell often reprimands him.
- Self-Made Man: William is a very successful owner of a fish cannery.
- Social Climber: They go to the trouble of having coach with a fish ornament on top come to pick them up to take them across the street, all while talking to their son about hooking and catching an aristocratic daughter. Fish merchants indeed.
- What Happened To The Groom's Parents? After Victor goes missing, they ride around town in Mayhew's carriage looking for him. Then Mayhew kicks the bucket, leaving the carriage driverless and out of control. They're never seen or even mentioned after this.
The Everglots (Albert Finney and Joanna Lumley)
- Aristocrats Are Evil: While not really "evil" per se, they are lacking in any redeeming qualities.
- Beehive Hairdo: Maudeline Everglot's hair.
- Fat Bastard: Lord Everglot is an overweight Jerkass.
- Gold Digger: Of a different sort to the Van Dorts; they are marrying Victoria into the Van Dort family for their money.
- Impoverished Patrician: "Land-rich, bankrupt aristocracy without a penny to their name," to quote Lord Everglot as he and his wife look into a safe containing nothing but cobwebs.
- Jerkass: Both of them are extremely unpleasant.
- No Accounting for Taste: Victoria's parents have openly admitted that they don't like each other, let alone love each other. Their marriage was likely arranged too, and they seem to go about it more like a business transaction.Maudeline: "Marriage is a partnership, a little tit for tat. You'd think a lifetime watching us might have taught her that."
- Perpetual Frowner: Neither of them are particularly cheerful. Lampshaded when Lord Everglot tries to force himself into a smile.
- The Proud Elite: Their lack of money has not blunted their contempt for middle class families like the Van Dorts one bit.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Although they appear to be the same height when we first see them, Lord Everglot is standing on a stool and is only half as tall as his wife.
Elder Gutknecht (Michael Gough)
- Dem Bones: He's just a skeleton.
Bonejangles (Danny Elfman)
- Chubby Chaser: When the dead first appear in the land of the living during Victoria's wedding, he makes a remark about one of the more portly women running and screaming.Bonejangles: I love a woman with meat on her bones!
- Dem Bones: In the underworld, he's just a skeleton.
- Eye Pop: That eye that Finnis Everglot finds in his soup? That was Bonejangles' eye.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: It juts out several inches from the rest of his skull.
- Nice Hat: He wears a snazzy bowler.
- Shout-Out: He's a walking tribute to classical jazz music and singers such as Cab Calloway, as well as Danny Elfman's time with Oingo Boingo.
- Skeletal Musician: The "Remains of the Day" number shows that he's quite a singer.
The Maggot and the Black Widow spider (Enn Reitel and Jane Horrocks)
- The Conscience: The Maggot, appropriately, as he lives inside Emily's head.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Maggot, mostly, though Black Widow gets in a few as well.Maggot: If I hadn't just been sitting in it, I would say that you've lost your mind.
- Expy: As noted on the main page, Enn Reitel's performance as the Maggot is one big shout-out to Peter Lorre.
- Eye Pop: Occasionally, the Maggot will pop out Emily's right eye so he can look out her socket.
- He Went That Way: A variation. After Victor, who is fleeing from Emily and looking for a way back to the Land of the Living, smacks her away, she reveals where he's going to Emily, citing the trope word for word.
- Inappropriate Hunger: The Maggot's first appearance in the movie has him popping out Emily's eye out right in front of a confused and disturbed Victor, in response to the suggestion of a wedding feast.
- Spiders Are Scary: Averted, as the Black Widow is more cute than scary. Doesn't stop Victor from being startled.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: When it comes to Victor and his faithfulness to Emily, she and the Maggot don't exactly see eye to eye.