Played by: Ray Romano
- Accentuate the Negative: One early episode, "Recovering Pessimist", revolved around Ray's frequent lapses into pessimism, even after he wins a national writing award. Ray declares that the reason he's like this is because he learned from the masters...cough*Frank and Marie*cough.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: How Robert sees him.
- Attention Whore: At least in Robert's point of view:Robert: He is and always has been the center. The center of attention, the center of affection. He always gets the center chair in the kitchen, and this anger of which you speak, from the rest of these poor souls, stems from his unwillingness to share even the tiniest portion of the spotlight that shines without end... on him.(He proceeds to sit down, and Ray pokes him in the buttocks)Robert: D'OHHH! What are you doin'? What are you DOING?!Ray: What are you doing? (sarcastically) Center chair. It's my kitchen. Get your own kitchen.Robert: There you go, there you go, you see, because I only have a kitchenette and he loves it! Right, "Rub-it-in" Raymond? No house for me! No wife, no kids, no lawn, no NOTHIN'!
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Eventually, as Debra and Ray got more adversarial, they would get moments of this.
- Bad Liar: Ray is frequently called out for his bad poker face.Robert: Are you saying that Amy talks too much?
Ray: ...No, Robert, I love Amy.
Robert: Wow, are you a liar.
- Bumbling Dad: Though the kids there were initially much younger than in other examples.
- Butt Monkey: Ray didn't start out this way, but by the middle and later seasons, he had become Debra's Butt Monkey. The rest of his life is pretty charmed, though.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tied into his status as the Only Sane Man.
- Flanderization: Ray was initially only unhelpful around the house and a sometimes-incompetent father, but in later seasons he becomes a doddering imbecile.
- Former Teen Rebel: One early episode revolved around Marie's dismay in learning that the teenaged Ray held parties at their house while she and Frank were away, in which he drank and smoked. Another episode mentions Ray sneaking out of the house when he was a teenager to hang out at Bernie's house.
- Henpecked Husband: Ray personified this trope. Unlike most, however, he wouldn't always roll over — he'd sometimes snark back at Debra...but his occasional attempts at rebellion were usually quashed pretty quickly by an icy glare (or worse) from Debra.
- Jerkass: Ray's snarkery and laziness can reach these levels at times.
- Large Ham:"The fly that was flying around... Angela killed it, it fell on the table, she put it in a napkin, and then SHE AAAAATE IT!!!!!"
- Lazy Husband: His wife frequently berates him for his failings and general willingness to leave the housework to her.
- Man Child: Enforced by Marie from the time he was very, very young. Every time he grows in independence, Marie drags him right back.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Hinted at often. Finally, basically outright stated in the episode where Ray and Frank talk to Robert about his wedding invitations. Also, during the "Angry Sex" episode, Ray can briefly be seen reading a book about Zen Buddhism in one scene. It was so subtle that the studio audience didn't seem to have noticed it (or perhaps were unable to see the title of the book).
- Only Sane Man: Ray Barone was this, especially during the early seasons. He still performed this role later on, as despite being a whiny Man Child, he was still more together than most of his immediate family.
- In Real Life: Half of the show's genesis was Ray Romano wryly observing the absurdities and wackiness of his family members (the other half was series creator and executive producer Phil Rosenthal doing the same with his own family).
- Parental Favoritism: Marie made no secret of the fact that Ray was her favorite child, much to Robert's chagrin. Frank on the other hand, appeared to treat the two equally.
- Sore Loser: In "The Author", Ray finds out he lost a book deal, while Robert was promoted at work. While they weren't really competing, Ray is usually the one who comes out on top, so he doesn't take Robert's news well; he barely congratulates Robert, slams his hand on the table, and leaves the room.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: He was flanderized from being a witty, intelligent Every Man who wins national writing awards into becoming a bumbling buffoon over the course of the show.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ugly Guy to Debra's Hot Wife, with his big nose and flabby body. Some women find him average at-worst, in reality and on the show, and he even got an attractive woman hitting on him when she didn't realize he was married, but everyone in-universe usually paints this as another example of Ray's status as "Born Lucky".Debra: I can't believe I just did thirty-six sit-ups for a man whose stomach looks like a deflated clown balloon!
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: A whiny, lazy momma's boy who constantly lies to get out of sticky situations.
- Youngest Child Wins: He's favored by his mother over older brother Robert.
Played by: Patricia Heaton
- All Periods Are PMS: An entire episode concerning this has been cemented into the memory of the collective fan base.
- Anti-Hero: In the later seasons, she becomes psychotic, demeaning and vicious.
- All Women Are Prudes: A shining example. Debra very rarely gets horny — she frequently bans sex or rejects sexual advances from the desperate, horny Ray. Ray does admit to being bad in bed, and Debra used to be more open — a few episodes show her rare "open" moments.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Eventually, as Debra and Ray got more adversarial, they would get moments of this.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She becomes one in later seasons.
- Butt Monkey: To Marie. Debra only ever "won" against Marie when she was actually proven wrong, and the family covered for her.
- Control Freak: Wanting Ray to be completely under her control, telling him when he's "allowed" to relax or spend time with his friends, beating him and emotionally tormenting him when she doesn't get her way.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's very snarky, though not as much as Ray or his father.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: When Ray annoys Debra (often deliberately), he'll get a smack for it. Cue audience laughter.
- Flanderization: Her shrillness.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Often times towards Ray, especially in the later seasons.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: She's the only one allowed to treat Ray like crap, Peggy learned that the hard way.
- Jerkass: Sometimes in the early seasons. More often in the later seasons.
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: In Sweet Charity, Debra guilt-trips Ray into doing charity work at a hospital, though becomes jealous when Ray starts spending more time there than at home. Debra tricks Robert into performing ventriloquism at the hospital by complimenting his skills, in a effort to end Ray's popularity.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: Ray was rarely able to one-up her outside of being lazy and snarky. Outside of Ray though, she's frequently humiliated or her plans blow up in her face, and she's never free of Marie's berating or her in-laws in general.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Debra's plan in Sweet Charity (see above) backfires when she ends up singing in the same hospital Ray did charity work for and proves less than popular with the patients.
- Mood-Swinger: In general, with a prominent example in "The Walk to the Door", at a wedding:Ray: You win: I'm a bad person.Debra: (angry, to Ray) Oh, how do I win? You know, you- (notices the bride and groom kissing at a nearby table; becomes happy) Ohoho, they're kissing. (back to angry) You know what would make me happy? If you recognized a regret before you did it!
- Only Sane Man: Views herself as this, and even got ignored by a visiting psychiatrist in the early seasons because Ray's family was so weird. Though, as Ray points out — the Barones are family by genetics. Debra chose to be with them. "You're messed up!"
- Grouchy Frank of all people viewed himself and Debra as this, and was offended that Debra didn't enjoy his company.
- Parenting the Husband: Ray is messy, sarcastic and a lazy Man Child. Debra is hyperactive, grouchy and a control freak. This is only natural.
- Shipper on Deck: For Robert/Amy.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the first few seasons, Debra was pretty reasonable, generally didn't yell as much, and was quite playful with Ray. In later seasons...less so. Marie and Frank call this the natural progression of marriage.
- Tsundere: Type A. Her default mode is Tsuntsun, as she tends to be moody and cranky towards her husband.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Hot Wife to Ray's Ugly Guy.
Played by: Peter Boyle
- Affectionate Nickname: Marie calls him "Cicci" in their more amorous moments.
- Armchair Military: Frank and his buddies like to reenact Civil War battles.Frank: Reenactment. That's kinda like what me and my Civil War buddies do.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Frank and Marie were this to a tee.
- Badass Grandpa: Much to everyone's chagrin.
- Bald of Awesome: He's proud of his macho, tough guy image.
- Brutal Honesty: Has no problem openly insulting his wife, family members and strangers.
- Catch Phrase: "Holy Crap!"
- Cool Old Guy: C'mon, who doesn't love Frank and his one-liners?
- Deadpan Snarker. Everyone in the family gets moments of this, but Frank is the absolute king of this trope.
- Grumpy Old Man: He has a rude, grouchy disposition, and rarely shows his warmer side.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Marie claims she fell for Frank's "boyish good looks".
- Jerkass Fašade: He may have a gruff exterior, but he has a Hidden Heart of Gold (which he himself denies) and is definitely not a bad guy.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Whether you love him or hate him, you can't deny during he makes some good points in some of his rants. In "The Angry Family" Frank states the reason why Marie criticizes Debra; Marie still can't get over the fact that Debra married her son.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: This was the case in many episodes where Frank would start out by acting boorish, but then do something genuinely sweet and heartwarming at the end.
- Only Sane Man: He views himself and Debra as the "normal ones" in the family, and is offended that she doesn't see it the same way.
- Papa Wolf: Rarely but Frank will protect his family on a few occasions. He was worried in the Finale, when Raymond had trouble waking up from the anesthesia and protected Debra from the perverts at the Lodge. He even went as far as telling off Raymond in the Finale for accusing Debra of not caring about him dying.Frank: Hey, I was there and I saw your wife fall apart!! I never saw her look like that and I'll tell you, I never want to see her look like that again!!!!
- Racist Grandpa: Particularly towards groups like gays, lesbians, hippies, Koreans, and Japanese.
- Real Men Hate Affection: Though some episodes indicate it's largely an act.
- Retired Badass: A war veteran, having served in the US Army.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: He's a jerkass who constantly belittles everyone in the family, and treats his wife analogous to a slave.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: The Frank-Marie relationship was this to a tee. They argued with each other a lot...but it is heavily hinted in most episodes that they enjoy the witty banter, and really are deeply in love with each other.
- War Is Hell: Often, when the characters would complain about something in their lives, Frank would retort "You think that's bad? Try being in Korea during the war! We didn't have [Insert Modern Convenience Here], we had to tough it out!"
Played by: Doris Roberts
- All Women Are Prudes: Two of the show's funniest moments were in episodes where Marie, of all people, subverts this trope. In "Good Girls" we learn that teenaged Marie wasn't such a "good girl" and in the another episode where we learn that Frank and Marie have more sex than Ray and Debra.
- Apron Matron: The one most young tropers will be most familiar with.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Frank and Marie were this to a tee.
- Berserk Button: Don't call Marie a bitch.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Marie acts sweet and loving, but is very condescending and hypocritical. Not to mention her obsessive control over the lives of Frank, Ray and Robert in the name of keeping up her vision of a perfect, happy family, even if they actually aren't.
- Control Freak: Marie has been pulling this on the whole family for decades, using guilt to get everyone to go along with her wishes.
- Foil: To Debra.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Mentioned in an episode where she discovers that, among other books, Frank is about to throw away her high school yearbook, in which there are several pictures where Marie looks beautiful.
- Jerkass: Her treatment/criticisms of Robert and Debra can be really nasty at times, whether she realises it or not.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She often shows that underneath the smothering, she truly loves her family and just wants what she thinks is best for them.
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: On other occasions, she is shown to play up this persona to guilt people into doing what she wants. In Thank You Notes Marie tries to force Amy to write thank you notes she didn't want to write yet, which Marie initially said she wanted her to do because she said it was polite to let the wedding guests know they got the gifts. It's later revealed that she did that to make herself feel superior to everyone else, and to get a grasp on Amy.
- Jewish Mother: Not actually Jewish, but partially based on producer Phil Rosenthal's real-life Jewish Mother, and fits most of the stereotypical trope traits.
- Karma Houdini: The few episodes that have her being called out on her behavior never stick, as inevitably everyone, including Debra, forgives her and lets her back into their life.
- Mama Bear: Marie has many moments of this trope. One notable one, which doubles as a huge Crowning Moment of Awesome for her character, is the flashback episode to when Robert and his first wife got a divorce.
- Manipulative Bitch: Marie is very good at controlling the family. They're all aware of it, but they try not to think about it. Can be best summed up by a line uttered by Marie during a time the family is about to connect the dots and realize she's to blame for something:Marie: Let's all eat this food I made, and remember that this was nobody's fault.
- My Beloved Smother: Especially to Ray, but also to Robert. Her treatment of the two when they were kids has affected both of them into adulthood.
- Narcissist: She believes herself as a positive example of what every wife, mother and woman should be.
- Never Mess with Granny: You do NOT want Marie angry with you. She won't retaliate with violence, but she will find other ways to settle the score...
- Not So Different: Her and Debra. Hinted at in several episodes. Their personalities really aren't very different at all, especially in their desires for complete and utter control over Ray.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: To both Ray and Debra.
- Parental Favoritism: Marie made no secret of the fact that Ray was her favorite child, much to Robert's chagrin. Frank on the other hand, appeared to treat his sons equally.
- Pride: She takes special pride in her Italian background.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: At best, Marie's criticisms can be seen as her being innocently insensitive. At worst, she can be downright smug.
- Shipper on Deck: For Robert/Amy.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: The Marie-Frank relationship was this to a tee. They argued with each other a lot...but it is heavily hinted in most episodes that they enjoy the witty banter, and really are deeply in love with each other.
- Supreme Chef: Marie is an exceptional cook.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: See Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Depending on the Writer above — she truly does love her family, and the mean and invasive things she does are just her way of trying to make people happy without realizing she's being mean and invasive.
Played by: Brad Garrett
- Angrish: Occasionally, Robert will get angry at something and mutter gibberish as he walks away.
- Badass It's rarely shown what he does as a cop aside from routine patrols, but on one occasion he took down a robber with a Pizza. This caused Raymond who was with him on a ride-a-long, to respect his older brother's job more.
- Basement-Dweller: Was one in the early seasons. He didn't actually live in the basement, but he fit many of the trope traits.
- Beta Couple: With Amy. They were an off-and-on couple throughout most of the series, breaking up and then getting back together repeatedly.
- Big Brother Bully: His status at The Unfavorite often results in him picking on Ray, but...
- Big Brother Instinct: ...he's also protective of him, on occasion.
- The Big Guy: Being the tallest character in a main cast
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: His three loves: Redheaded Joanne (his bitchy ex-wife), Amy, (his blonde on again, off again girlfriend), and Stefania, (his Italian love interest with the curly brown hair).
- Butt Monkey: One of the show's most prominent running gags was Robert's continual status as the family's resident Butt Monkey. Marie only treated Debra more poorly.
- Character Development: During the first season, it seemed like the writers were writing the character as being borderline autistic and so quirky and neurotic that it was genuinely amazing that he was able to function at all, especially as a policeman. By the later seasons, though, Robbie became much more confident and outgoing and finally married Amy. The eighth season even had an episode where Robbie is made to confront his "crazy chin" habit.
- The Chew Toy: At some points, his misery becomes the central point to his character.
- The Eeyore: Robert comes across as this sometimes, even down to the vocal intonation.
- Friend to All Children: He gets along better with the kids than he does with the adults. To the point where Ally and the Twins imitate his food chin touch.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Robert has his Jerkass moments and often gets so crazily jealous of Ray that he actually rejoices when Ray faces setbacks. However, he is a caring uncle and still deeply cares for little brother deep down.
- Large Ham: Perhaps even more so than his brother. Just look at some of his quotes above.
- Man Child: Mainly because not only does Marie enforce on him, but Robert spent a number of seasons living at home with her and Frank and sponging off them as well. Also, Depending on the Writer, Robert's level of maturity is either above or below Ray's.
- New York City Cops: He is one, as is his best friend Judy, who work as partners on the force. They avert the "grim and gritty" stereotypes that some shows use.
- Not So Different: Robert and Amy's brother, Peter. Robert comes to realize the similarities when the family talks about Peter's problems including him being a Basement-Dweller. In the end, he helps Peter find his own place.
- Playing Gertrude: A rare male example, Brad Garrett is three years younger than Ray Romano, but he plays the older brother.
- The Unfavorite: Hence his frequent antagonism towards Ray.
Amy McDougall Barone
Played by: Monica Horan
- Ascended Extra: Started out as an occasional guest star, gradually became involved in some of the Robert-centric plots, and finally married Robert in the later seasons and became a Barone.
- Beta Couple: With Robert. They were an off-and-on couple throughout most of the series, breaking up and then getting back together repeatedly.
- Break the Cutie: In the later seasons it appears that the Barones were going to give Amy this treatment after she married Robert. Despite several bouts of anger and stress, "Sister-In Law" being one such example, she still manages to be The Cutie by the end of the series.
- Characterization Marches On: In her first few appearances, Amy's more low key and even sarcastic than she'd become. Her more outgoing, cheerful personality developed gradually.
- Cloudcuckooland: This is how Amy initially views the Barone household(s) when she first joins them.
- And conversely, this is how the Barones view the McDougall household when they come to visit.
- The Cutie: So very much.
- Friend to All Children: After Amy marries into the family, one episode reveals that Ally goes to Amy to talk because she knows that Amy wouldn't be judgmental.
- Hair Of Gold Heartof Gold: Her patience and sweetness are remarkable in comparison to the rest of the cast.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: In a pleasant surprise, she managed to be this trope without being a Mary Sue.
- The Ingenue: The most pure, innocent character as seen above.
- Not So Different: With Debra. Debra even lampshades it.Debra: I keep forgetting how much of a freakshow this family is until someone new comes along and looks at us like that.-Amy giving her most epic WTF look yet.-Debra: That used to be me! Now I'm one of them!
- Only Sane Man: It's true that she is a bit naive, but for the most part she is one of the few "normal" members of the family.
- Sixth Ranger: She officially joined the family in the later seasons.
Played by: Sherri Shepherd
Played by: Amy Aquino
- Catch Phrase: In each of her episodes after the first: "Hello, Ally's Dad."
- Phrase Catcher: Likewise, Ray's response: "Hello...Peggy."
- Establishing Character MomentPeggy: Now girls, when you're out selling cookies, and someone comes along, what do you say?Frontier Girl: "Would you like to buy some cookies?"Peggy: (bluntly) No. You say, "How many cookies would you like to buy?"
- Freudian Excuse: In "Sleepover at Peggy's" she mentions having a rocky marriage with a husband who was neglectful, condescending and verbally abusive. Eventually, Peggy got fed up with him and divorced him. She outright says that her personality developed in reaction to the experience.
- Jerkass: Towards Ray especially.
- Last Minute Hookup: With Peter, Amy's brother during one of the last few episodes of the series.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: How Raymond sees her.
- Pair the Spares: As noted above, with Peter.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: To Ray. Lampshaded by other characters who find it ridiculous:Robert: Oooh, you have an arch-enemy. What are you, a super-hero now?
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Not technically true, but she was usually called "Peggy Hitler", "The Cookie Nazi" or "Cookie Hitler Lady", especially by Ray.Ray:*continuing the Nazi comparison* Similar uniform too!
- Smug Snake: When Ray objects to Peggy forcing all the kids' parents to buy $200+ dollar dresses to Molly's birthday party, Peggy sneers at him that Ally will stick out like her father's nose. There are other examples of Peggy being this trope.
Henry "Hank" McDougall
Played by: Fred Willard
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: An interesting contrast to the rest of the cast. While outwardly polite towards everyone, he constantly criticizes the Barones on everything from their admittedly uncouth behavior to their Catholicism. For example, in "The Bachelor Party," Frank's more annoyed by Hank's passive-aggressive comments than Peter's blatantly obnoxious behavior.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Rarely if ever swears.
- Meaningful Name: He's the polar opposite of Frank...and note the names: Hank vs. Frank.
- Not So Above It All: He likes to blow up fireworks, much to the surprise of both his family and The Barones. He also mentions getting drunk at a Christmas party, prompting Frank to comment "Damn Hank, I'm starting to like you!"
- Preacher Man: Not officially a preacher, but as a devout evangelical Protestant, he certainly acted and spoke like one.
- Presbyterian, actually.
Patricia "Pat" McDougall
Played by: Georgia Engel
- Beware the Nice Ones: Used to hilarious effect.
- Cool Old Lady: Somewhat surprisingly, but very entertaining in every instance when it occurs.
- Ray even calls her cool at Rob and Amy's wedding, after she says to Marie what the rest of the family has been wanting to say for years.
- The Cutie: Not only is she this trope, but she apparently raised Amy to also personify the trope.
- The Pollyanna: Though not quite as much as we're initially led to believe...
- Stepford Smiler: A few episodes imply this, especially the smoking episode.
Played by: Chris Elliott
- Basement-Dweller: Both literally and figuratively.
- Big Brother Instinct: His main reason for disliking Robert.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Peter made it no secret that he hates Robert. So when Robert and Amy were engaged, he made every effort into sabotaging the wedding. Obviously he doesn't succeed.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: His love for comics and science fiction, his friendship with his cats, and generally loopy and eccentric behavior.
- Last Minute Hookup: With Peggy.
- The Unfavorite: Peter and Robert finally make peace with each other when they realize that they have this in common with the way their parents treat them.Robert: It's like I was the 'test kid,' Like, 'Oh! Well now we know not to drop Raymond!Peter: In my house it was 'Peter, Amy's playing the piano! Put away your cape and eat your dinner!
Sister Jennifer Whelan (Debra's big sister)
Played by: Ashley Crow
- Granola Girl: A former one apparently.
- Nuns Are Funny: Sort of. Actually, it was the other characters' belief in this trope and their reactions to her becoming a nun that led to the hilarity.
- The Unfavorite: Jennifer was this while Debra was the favorite child. Ray deduces that Debra is annoyed that Jennifer is becoming a nun because:Ray: When you were growing up, you were 'the good one.' But now she's becoming a nun, which makes her the REALLY good one!
Warren Whelan (Debra's father)
Played by: Robert Culp
- Informed Attribute: The characters kept describing Warren as being a heavy drinker, but we never really saw that onscreen.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Downplayed. He and Lois occasionally get on the Barones' nerves, but their relationship is relatively amicable, especially compared to the Barones and McDougalls.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Turns up in one episode to have a heart-to-heart talk with Debra about his impending divorce from Lois.
Lois Whelan (Debra's mother)
Played by: Katherine Helmond
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Interested in abstract art and eccentric cultural practices; she's not the most grounded person.
- Stepford Smiler: Especially in later episodes, when it's revealed that her and Warren's marriage is dissolving.
Played by: Jon Manfrellotti
- Casanova Wannabe: He pretends to be irresistible to women, but we don't see any evidence of this.
- Man Child: Debra considers him this. His obsession with sports and chasing women makes a strong case.
- Those Two Guys: Andy and Gianni often showed up together when Ray hung out with either of them.
Played by: Andy Kindler
- Those Two Guys: Andy and Gianni often showed up together when Ray hung out with either of them. He initially had this with Kevin Daniels, before Kevin's actor left to star in The King of Queens
Played by: Tom MGowan
Played by: Maggie Wheeler