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Characters: Dilbert

Dilbert's home

Dilbert

An Unlucky Everydude who would be the Only Sane Employee if he hadn't stopped caring about his work years ago. Failure Is the Only Option when it comes to his attempts at dating.

Dogbert

Dilbert's anthropomorphic dog and foil. An Evil Genius, Heroic Comedic Sociopath and The Barnum who constantly exploits everyone with consummate ease. He is bent on Taking Over The World and succeeded a few times, but relinquished his power because Victory Is Boring.

Ratbert

Rat adopted by Dilbert who just wants to be loved. Demoted to Extra after the strip started focusing on Dilbert's workplace.

Bob the Dinosaur

The Artifact from before the strip began devoting itself to office humor. Used to have a mate named Dawn and a son named Rex, but they fell prey to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.

Dilmom

Dilbert's mother.

Dilbert's company

Pointy-Haired Boss

His own namesake trope pretty much sums it up. Dilbert's nameless boss is dumb, sometimes descending to ditz levels, and utterly sociopathic.

Wally

The poster child for Dismotivation, Wally is The Slacker and happily exploits his Ultimate Job Security to the fullest extent.

Alice

Workaholic who responds to the hopelessly clueless of the workplace with her "Fist of Death".

Asok

An intern from India, Asok is The Pollyanna and a Bollywood Nerd. Basically, he has genius-level IQ (and psychic powers), but is na´ve when it comes to the company's bureaucracy and incompetence.

  • Bollywood Nerd: Possibly the Trope Codifier, at least for American audiences.
  • Improbably High IQ: Claims 240
  • The Intern
  • Na´ve Newcomer: Was introduced as one.
  • The Pollyanna
  • Psychic Powers: In the Noughties a Running Gag developed that his time at the Indian Institute of Technology had left him with telekinesis and the ability to make people's heads explode by thinking about it.
  • Suddenly Sexuality:
    Dogbert: "The supreme court of India recently voted to uphold a law making it a crime to be born gay. To commemorate that hopelessly ignorant decision, Asok the Intern is now officially gay. Okay, we're done here."
    Asok: "Good, because I have a lot of gay stuff to do."
  • Token Minority: Adams has said Asok was an attempt at an aversion - he worried that adding any ethnic minority character would provoke backlash because all his characters have amusing flaws and people might regard those flaws as being a stereotype - so Asok's flaw was 'inexperience', which was obviously temporary. Naturally, due to Fan Dumb, he was still blasted as a negative stereotype to start with.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Asok seems to think he works at a normal company.

Catbert

The evil Director of Human Resources.

Carol

Not so much a Sassy Secretary as a Bitter Secretary Who Hates The World, Everyone In It And The PHB In Particular. Constantly messes with the PHB, sometimes plotting to kill him, while doing her job in the most haphazard way possible.

Loud Howard

A minor character appearing in a few strips he became an Ascended Extra in the TV Show. His main distinguishing feature was that he was extremely loud.

Tina the Tech Writer

Introduced as a Straw Feminist (her introductory strips literally dared readers to become as offended as possible), she is now mostly played as simply The Chick, in contrast to Alice.

  • The Chick
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Tina is portrayed as unreasonable when she's interacting with Dilbert, Wally, or Alice. When she interacts with the PHB, however, Tina is played as the sane one.
  • Foil: For Alice.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Her main schtick, especially in earlier strips.
  • Insistent Terminology: Tina will tell anyone who regards her as an Office Lady (that's pretty much everyone, by the way) that she's an "experienced technical writer".
  • Never My Fault
  • Straw Feminist: Although not the stereotypical man-hater type. Instead, Tina is an illogical hypocrite who uses sexism as a scapegoat. Although this was her original defining character trait, it has since mostly fallen by the wayside.
    • Adams then made "Antina" (anti-Tina) as a response to people who thought Tina was a swipe at feminism. Antina was everything Tina was not - which immediately drew complaints that Antina was a swipe at Butch Lesbians. It's interesting to note that Antina was one of the very, very few times Dilbert's tie drooped downward.

Ted The Generic Guy

A personality-less employee used in situations which would otherwise require a one-off character. Has thus been fired and killed a number of times, but it never sticks. Scott Adams has joked that there must be more than one Ted in the company.

The CEO

A guy with a tall bald head who makes the PHB seem like a kind person in comparison. There have been several different CEOs in the series with the same appearance and personality, making him an upper-management version of Ted.

  • Unexplained Recovery: He once misunderstood Dogbert's advice to take a poison pill and consumed a literal poison pill, killing himself. He showed up again good as new with no explanation a long time later.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Stupidity: The Pointy Haired Boss claimed that a good manager will always hire people smarter than them and Dilbert pointed out that that must mean the CEO is the dumbest person in the company.
  • You Have Failed Me: Once tells the PHB these exact words over a blog that was proving an embarrassment to the company.

Other

Phil the Prince of Insufficient Light

An Odd Job God who rules Heck and punishes minor sins. Also the PHB's brother.

  • The Artifact: He generally had more to do before office humor took over.
  • Ascended Fanon: Fans used to ask if Phil and the PHB were related because they looked similar. Adams liked the idea and made them brothers.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Has done this to people many times. One of his crueller punishments to people at Dilbert's company is to do nothing whatsoever.
  • Executive Meddling: Adams wanted to add the Devil to the cast as an annoying character, but his editors vetoed that idea, so he came up with Phil. Adams would later admit that Phil is a much funnier concept than what he originally had in mind.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "I Darn you to Heck." This is, indeed, distinct from hell in more than just name; while hell is, well, hellish, heck is mildly unpleasant, such as being forced to sit in a mostly empty room with no magazine and a temperature slightly above comfortable.
  • Odd Job Gods

The World's Smartest Garbageman

An extremely intelligent man who seems to be something of a mentor to Dilbert.

Liz

Dilbert's first and only steady girlfriend, a materials engineer who meets Dilbert at a co-ed soccer game. She appeared in the comic from 1994 to 1996.

  • Deadpan Snarker: Very much so.
  • Flat Character: The major reason Liz's existence was so short-lived; Adams couldn't figure out quite what to do with her.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Liz is a materials engineer who frequently speaks to Dilbert in science jargon.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Girlfriend: Dilbert once claims that their relationship violates the laws of the Universe.
  • Will They or Won't They?: In August '94 Adams started a reader poll asking whether Dilbert should go all the way with Liz or not. Female fans were practically unanimous in their voting that Dilbert should do the deed, but male fans were split. Half said he should, while half reported they used Dilbert's luck in relationships as a measurement for their own nerdiness, and they thought "Dilbert shouldn't get lucky before I do." Surprised by the polarized reaction, Adams decided on an ambiguous answer. This strip resulted. The 'down' tie was meant to be a code that Dilbert and Liz had sex, but the way it's presented is that any fan can draw the conclusion they prefer.


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