"I will conquer it all with the power of my MIND!"
Also known as "the Gentleman Scientist", he is the first playable character available and the main character of the game. He'll slowly accumulate a lot of facial hair after a few days, which he can shave off and use as a component to construct a Meat Effigy, a meat-filled wooden sculpture of himself that resurrects him into a new body when he dies.
Adorkable: He may be a scientist, but he doesn't really use scientific terms to describe things. For example, he will say, "It's all piney." when he examines a tree. Another is when he is examining a hammer, and states, "Stop! It's time. To hammer things!" Dorky, but cute.
Anime Hair: His hair (along with his clothing) makes him look like he came from a Tim Burton movie. When a small explosion blows it back, it soon puffs into his earlier hairstyle.
Badass Beard: He'll eventually grow one after a few days and will continue to grow until it becomes so thick that it covers his entire body when he is facing the screen. This Beard provides a LOT of insulation against cold and, if you want to cut it, it provides beard hair, the rare ingredient for Meat Effigies.
Berserk Button: For some reason, Wilson really hates Maxwell, outright stating "I hate that guy." if you examine him. His origin trailer reveals why...
Deal with the Devil: His character intro reveals that he agreed to build a machine for Maxwell in exchange for ultimate scientific knowledge. The machine is what ended up stranding him in the Don't Starve world.
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Actually justified. His Deal with the Devil gave him ultimate knowledge of everything scientific. In spite of this, it's averted in other ways - for instance, he still doesn't know anything about geology.
The Cuckoolander Was Right: When examining a rabbit hole, he'll remark that it must lead to "the secret kingdom of the bunnymen". With the addition of underground caves to the game, it turns out he's right.
The Protagonist: Being the first playable character and the only one with an official backstory, he's generally considered this.
''"I hate spiders." "Ewwww!" "I'm going to stomp you dead!" "Gah! More spiders!" "Shoo, you nasty thing!" "AHHHHHHHH! That spider is huge!"
Lethal Joke Character: He borders on this. His only special attribute, aside from a higher starting sanity, is to grow a magnificent beard. This initially seems completely useless, making traits like Wolfgang's mighty strength or Willow's pyromaniac tendencies seem superior - but when winter comes, his beard provides much-needed insulation, making Wilson one of the only characters - with the appropriate clothing - capable of going over TWO DAYS without going to a fire. You can also shave his hair to get Beard Hair - which let you make Meat Effigies.
"Things are so much prettier when they burn."
Also known as "the Firestarter", she is the first character to unlock. Willow is a pyromaniac; she regenerates Sanity from standing near fires and has a lighter that functions as a torch that never runs out, but she has lower maximum Sanity and will automatically and randomly start fires if her Sanity gets low.
"Stupid thing needs poop." "Eat poop, stupid plant!" "Hurry up, you stupid plant!" "Stupid flowers. They're almost useless." "Stupid bird. Wake up!" "Stupid rabbits. Come out so I can eat you." "Stupid pig!" "Stupid boomerang!"
Pyromaniac: She likes fire and anything that involves fire. The bigger the flames, the better. Everything else is either uninteresting, worthless, or stupid.
Psychopathic Womanchild: Her dialogues are quite juvenile, she carries a teddy bear around (though we don't see it on her in-game), and has no qualms on burning down an entire village. Assuming that she is a grown woman (or a teenager), that is.
Vague Age: Official art makes her look like a child, but some of her lines don't look like they could come from a little girl ("These pigs have questionable taste in architecture", etc). Word of God is that she's the same age as Wilson, who's at least old enough to have facial hair.
"I am mighty! No one is mightier!"
Also known as "the Strongman", he is the third character to unlock. He is the most physically powerful of the player characters, as he deals more damage to enemies and has a higher maximum Health and Hunger. He grows more powerful if his Hunger meter is high, and grows weaker if his Hunger meter is low. He also loses Sanity faster in the dark and when near monsters.
Badass Baritone: Being voiced by a tuba, he has the deepest voice of all the characters.
Badass Mustache: He sports a magnificent mustache but for some reason (besides game balance) it never gets overgrown like Wilson's. If you attempt to shave it using a razor, he'll refuse and tell the player that it's too tough to shave it off.
"Abigail! Come back! I'm not done playing with you."
Also known as "the Bereaved", she is the second character to unlock. She is quite gloomy despite her brightly colored appearance compared to the rest of the cast. Her special ability lets her make a blood sacrifice to summon the ghost of her dead sister Abigail, who will help her in combat. She also loses less sanity from darkness and monsters.
Angsty Surviving Twin: Abigail's death has left Wendy morbid and somber. She'll sometimes compare her heart to cold objects.
Hair Decorations: She wears a red a flower on the side of her head along with another pair to hold her pig tails on the back of her head. Her dead sister also sports a red flower albeit on the opposite side of the head.
Nerf: The Character Rebalance update did this to Abigail. Rather than automatically being summoned every night, Wendy must now summon her manually, and every summon hits her with a hefty sanity penalty. However, after the update, Abigail stays with Wendy until she is damaged enough, rather than disappearing each morning.
Straw Nihilist: Has very negative views on life, presumably because of the loss of her sister.
Undying Loyalty: Even in death, her sister still lingers as a ghost and protects her from harm.
Vague Age: She is visually the most child-like character in the game, though her unique text dialogues are sometimes too deep and cryptic for a child to say.
"EMPATHY MODULE NOT RESPONDING."
Also known as "the Soulless Automaton", he is the fourth character to unlock. Despite being a robot, he still needs to eat food, but unlike the other characters, he can eat spoiled food without negative effects. He also takes damage from standing in the rain, but being struck by lighting has a chance to "supercharge" him, regenerating his health and giving him a temporary speed boost and light source at the cost of some Sanity. His base stats are lower than normal, but he can upgrade himself by "eating" Gears, increasing his maximum Health, Hunger, and Sanity.
Clockwork Creature: His inner workings mainly consist of turning cogs and gears based on his character profile.
Eating Machine: For some reason, he needs to eat food to survive and heal his wounds just like his human counterparts instead of just recharging his batteries, refueling his engines, and/or repairing his chasis like a typical robot would.
Robotic Psychopath: He is very fond of exterminating the life out of organics. Whatever they may be.
Robo Speak: His unique text dialogue mainly consists of these.
"Shhhh! No talking!"
Also known as "the Librarian", she is the fifth character to unlock. She can craft 1st-tier prototypes without the need for a Science Machine, has a higher maximum Sanity, and can craft books that give herself buffs at the cost of Sanity. However, she can't restore Sanity using sleeping items and takes a bigger penalty from spoiled food.
The Smart Girl: She is very well versed. Most of her quotes consist of descriptions, definitions and such that could've been read from a book.
"That's a nice tree, eh?"
Also known as "The Lumberjack", he is the sixth character to unlock. He starts with a talking axenamed Lucy that is more effective than normal axes and has unlimited durability. However, during a full moon or if he gets carried away cutting down trees, he becomes a Werebeaver that can't carry items, but can cut down trees, kill mobs, and mine rocks at super-speed.
Our Werebeasts Are Different: A werebeaver to be specific. As a Werebeaver, Woodie is more powerful and has night vision. If he doesn't constantly eat wood in Werebeaver form, he'll turn back to normal.
Super Mode: Cursed with Awesome with a side of Blessed with Suck. His Werebeaver form deals extra damage, does not need any tool to cut down trees or mine rocks, has night vision, and cannot actually be 'killed' (any damage simply depletes your Log meter, which can be refilled quite easily). On the other hand, he won't be able to hold any items (no Glommer Flower for you), eats almost anything (including saplings, grass and berry bushes), and he will be quite defenseless when it is over.
Also known as "the Silent", he can be unlocked if he is rescued during Adventure Mode. He has significantly lower stats compared to the other playable characters, which makes him a good character for players who are looking for a bit more challenge in the game.
Joke Character: He has lower health, sanity, and hunger than the other characters, and isn't able to properly examine things (he will just remain silent when you try). Word of God says he was introduced as a way for players who thought the game was too easy to make things more challenging.
Joke Item: He has the ability to craft balloons infinitely at the cost of Sanity, which distract monsters.
Visible Silence: His character profile's quote in the character select menu.
The Voiceless: He never says a wordnote except for a few generic text dialogues that the developers have overlooked. He just pantomimes.
"Say, pal, you don't look so good. You better find something to eat before night comes."
A mysterious man who 'welcomes' players into the world of Don't Starve and seems to be in control of it. The last level of adventure world strongly implies that he's an Unwitting Pawn of the shadows; freeing him forces the current character being played to take his place, after which he becomes playable. He has lower health and strength compared to the rest of the cast but regenerates sanity constantly and starts out with some formidable equipment. His original name is William Carter who used to be a rather average guy until he found the Codex Umbra
Chess Motifs: The pieces of the Wooden Thing are usually found in areas known as the chess or Maxwell biome, guarded by Clockwork Knights, Rooks, and Bishops. His prison in the last world also keeps this theme, and he at one point remarks that "even a king is bound to the board".
Deal with the Devil: He gave Wilson forbidden knowledge in exchange for building a machine that pulled him into the world of Don't Starve. It's unknown if he did the same thing with the rest of the cast. It might also be how he ended up there.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He is clearly very fond of his assistant, Charlie, even though she's now the Grue and attacks him on sight (the same as any other player character). If he takes damage, he'll protest that she's hurting him and try to jog her memory.
That Man Is Dead: Not stated directly but the eyes and name of William Carter slowly being removed from all shown pictures/letters implies that either his Maxwell persona or the shadows don't like his past self very much
She Who Must Not Be Seen: Characters can never see Charlie. Even when the player finds a light while getting hurt, Charlie will never be visible (since she's a game mechanic and not meant to have sprites). Woodie as a Werebeaver has night vision and is immune to the Night Monster's attacks, suggesting that she only approaches characters who can't see her, rather than fearing light.
A "Performance Artist" playing the role of a Valkyrie. She's considerably combat-oriented, having higher strength and defense as well as regenerating Health and Sanity with each kill. However, she refuses to eat anything other than meat, and she has slightly lower Sanity and Hunger.
Blood Knight: To the point that she gets healthier the more she kills.
Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Upön every öccasiön where Wigfrid vöices wörds which cöntain the letter Ö in them, every single Ö will find itself the pröud pössessör öf twö döts flöating aböve it.
This can be annöying för peöple whö have döuble-dötted letter Ö's used in their language, because her speech söunds like gibberish in their heads.
But för thöse peöple whöm this is nöt the case, thöse döts can be easily ignöred.
Jack-of-All-Trades: Wolfgang is stronger on a full stomach, Woodie is more resistant when transformed, and Maxwell constantly regenerates sanity. However, Wigfrid is the only character with bonuses to all three characteristics.
Lost in Character: This 'performance artist' will steadfastly remain 'performing' as a battle-hungry Viking shieldmaiden, every moment of every day for as long as you're able to keep her alive. Wigfrid could give Kirk Lazarus a run for his money.
A kid also known as "The Undigestible", since he has been eaten by a spider, and now uses it as a Living Body Suit. He has characteristics of both human and monster, being able to eat monster food, befriend spiders, and has slightly higher physical attributes, but not only he has the mind of a kid (and thus can't take many hits to his Sanity), everything except spiders will attack him on sight.