open/close all folders
The patriarch, whose activities include watching most sports, playing golf (or trying to and failing miserably), losing at chess to anyone who will play him, setting himself on fire while barbecuing, regularly reformatting the hard drive on the iFruit by accident, and obliviousness to his own incompetence, a trait he has passed onto his children. He works a white-collar job as a pencil-pushing dilbert for a Mean Boss.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When asking for his job back. It was more that Pembrook made him, but Roger was still willing to do it.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In a few strips, Roger ends up ranting about the costs and finances regarding something (including starting a website and selling seasonal greeting cards), with him often insinuating that if he were there, he'd be making a fortune. Unfortunately, he often does this within earshot of Jason, who often uses Roger's rants as a means of starting a money-making scheme.
- Big Eater: Lampshaded in one strip when Roger has Peter grab the end of one belt and pull it until he was apparently outside on the house on the road. Roger reveals to Andy that he bought an elasticized belt for Thanksgiving with excitement and Andy sarcastically saying "Oh, joy."
- Bumbling Dad: An extreme example. Roger is almost literally Too Dumb to Live, and would have died several times if the comic were of a more realistic bent.
- At least not in the early years, where he's actually more of a clueless dad and actually admits to not knowing some stuff and being terrible at it. (Such as, for example, not knowing how to use computers at all. Silly example nowadays, but back in even the late 80s, it's more realistic than you might think.)
- Characterization Marches On: Not many people remember that Roger's first act in the comic was to beat Andy at chess. (He had actually done so several times before he was made to be possibly the worst player ever, with the not-too-subtle implication that the only people he even stands an actual chance at winning in internet chess are three year olds and preschoolers.)
- He still comes close sometimes, but his wife is a sore loser who will often threaten him with sleeping on the couch if he wins.
- In one strip, Jason hacked into his father's computer to give him 15 queens and one king, and the computer 15 pawns and one king. Roger still lost (somehow).
- Comically Small Bribe: Roger has no concept of an appropriate tip, instead tipping the paperboy with a nickel and then wondering why the paper always ends up on the roof or in the rosebushes.
- He'll even do this to his own son. Several times he (somehow) convinces Peter to caddy for him in a round of golf, only to tip him incredibly insultingly at the end. to wit:Roger: Peter, you really came through for me today. You carrried my clubs... gave me advice... found all but three of my balls... a man couldn't ask for a better caddy; let's not ruin it now.Peter *holding a golf club threateningly, raging*: FIVE CENTS A HOLE?! ARE YOU NUTS?!
- He'll even do this to his own son. Several times he (somehow) convinces Peter to caddy for him in a round of golf, only to tip him incredibly insultingly at the end. to wit:
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Says this to Jason when he calls him "poor unemployed Dad", only for Jason to clarify that he means "poor" in finances.
- Doom It Yourself: The inevitable result of his attempts at home improvement projects.
- Epic Fail: Flooding the house with a dishwasher.
- Also his managing to have fire erupt underneath a grill during his usual attempts at grilling due to putting the charcoal on upside down. Jason even lampshaded this.(Roger attempts to light the grill, only for it to barely smoke when he lights it)
Roger: Dang it... (picks up charcoal, which is burning on the bottom) I put the stupid charcoal in upside down.
Jason: (observing the flames burning through the bottom of the grill) For anyone else, I'd declare this impossible.
- Also his managing to have fire erupt underneath a grill during his usual attempts at grilling due to putting the charcoal on upside down. Jason even lampshaded this.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Just about anything he attempts usually results in an Epic Fail due to his tight grip on the Idiot Ball.
- Grilling Pyrotechnics: A Running Gag with him.
- Henpecked Husband: Andy's not the nicest wife. Even if Roger isn't too romantic or does something idiotic, Andy often does something to him that is downright cruel.
- This attitude is also shown at work where it's shown that he is incapable of saying no. As a result he was a clown at his boss son's birthday party, and salesmen show up every other day.
- Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": Trope Namer, inspired by Roger's novel-writing Story Arc "His Code Name Was the Fox," which portrayed him as a Marty Stu in a bad Tuxedo and Martini spy novel that he wrote.
- Idiot Ball: Although Roger has done his stupid parts, the biggest stupid decision he ever made was when he tried to fix the furnace. Due to not quite remembering what the heating guy said, he turned the safety cut-off to the off position, put a lit match on a stick, and covered his face with his free hand while placing said lit match into the furnace. Things literally blew up in his face, creating an explosion powerful enough to leave an outline of him on the wall while shaking the foundation of the house. When most people hear a loud hissing in the basement next to the furnace, they don't immediately assume there's a snake hiding somewhere.
- Man-Made House Flood: See Epic Fail.
- Must Have Caffeine: To the point that he has shuffled around the kitchen moaning like a zombie, and has at different times tried to drink the jar of coffee beans and the answering machine.
- It was even the subject of an arc in the story, where Andy tries to have him go without coffee without a day thinking he is addicted to it. Predictably, it really just shows that Roger truly can't function without coffee such as zoning out while Andy is trying to talk, not actually knowing that Jason is pouring raw macaroni and vinegar instead of cereal and milk, tripping down the basement steps because he mistook the basement door for the front door, and going through a productive and successful work day...only to find around noon that he was in the wrong building.
- Not Me This Time: In one arc, Andy blames Roger for messing up their computer with soda and a hair dryer. Despite Roger's protests that it wasn't even him who did it, he is punished for it. Turns out, it was Paige and Jason Fox who did it (albeit completely by accident).
- One-Hour Work Week: Although many strips show him going to or leaving work, very few have shown him actually at work. Probably because all we know about his job is that it's really boring.
- Ridiculous Procrastinator: Roger frequently waits until the last minute in regards to chores or taxes. He once even bragged to Peter about having completed his senior thesis in the night before it was due.
- Talking in Bed: He and Andy do this frequently.
- Technologically Blind Elders: Roger is described as still trying to catch up with the technology of The '70s. In a comic strip that gleefully uses Comic-Book Time, it only gets worse (at one point he buys the Windows version of a program instead of the Mac, and doesn't understand why it won't work because there's a window in the room).
- Took a Level in Dumbass: He started the strip as slightly clueless and harried, but neither stupid nor incompetent. Come the strip's second decade, he's pretty much a total moron.
- Walking Techbane: Roger has proven completely incapable of operating a computer since the strip's first year. This is a man who once got completely wrapped up in dot-matrix printer paper; who crushed 3½ inch diskettes trying to put them in; who thought "backing up the computer" meant pushing it off the desk. He has deleted the entire hard drive of a computer in two clicks, while trying to open a word processor. He has destroyed various other forms of electronic equipment as well, and even managed to flood the house using the dishwasher.
Andrea "Andy" Fox
"It struck me that if I weren't around, this place would collapse in a day or two. It's a nice feeling. Sort of."She writes columns for the local newspaper and is the only family member exempt from Small Name, Big Ego syndrome. Originally, that was all the personality she had; later she became a health-food nut, leading to Lethal Chef tendencies, and grew prone to addictive behavior (such as getting hooked to Jason's First-Person Shooter, Beanie Babies, and the movie Titanic).Andy also has a love-hate relationship with her mother, because everyone likes her more than they do Andy, including Roger. Her introduction was a major watershed for the character because it was the first time Andy had a character.
- Aesop Amnesia: The first story arc to feature Andy's mother apparently had her getting over her feelings of inferiority and burying the hatchet. Several years later, Grandma's second story arc has pretty much the exact same plot, except focused on Thanksgiving rather than Christmas; Roger even lampshades this by saying that he thought Andy made peace with her mother last time.
- Always Someone Better: Her mother.
- Character Development: Mentioned above.
- Characterization Marches On: Early strips had her as a Clingy Jealous Girl who was convinced Roger was having an affair, and combing over his clothes in search of evidence. Later strips made it clear Andy was the only woman on Earth who would put up with Roger, and she never let him forgot it.
- Convenience Store Gift Shopping: Unlike her husband this is on purpose as part of her role as a Moral Guardian. On at least one occasion she's gotten her kids thesauruses for their Christmas presents.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Andy can cook competently, she just prefers to make "health food" instead of using normal ingredients. It sometimes borders on Lethal Chef territory, such as the arc where she burns Thanksgiving dinner in an attempt to try and outdo her mother, whom everyone thinks is perfect. They ended up having pizza.
- Disproportionate Retribution: She punishes Peter for two weeks just because he saw two R-rated movies. However, she later lets him off after one week was because keeping him in the house was proving a punishment to the rest of them. He was that annoying.
- Flanderization: Andy went from a simple caring and concerned mother to the Moral Guardian of the strip who serves her family earth-friendly fare like braised zucchini every meal, keeps the thermostat so low that it flash-freezes the steam from a cup of coffee, and throws a fit if she catches the boys playing a violent video game.
- Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Andy is prone to this, with examples including Beanie Babies and Nintendogs.
- Gender-Blender Name: It's rare, but some people named Andrea do go by Andy for short.
- Grammar Nazi: As an English major, she's prone to correcting others' grammar, sometimes going off on rants about it. In one shining example, she rants about someone on TV saying "realtor" wrong, after which Jason says "Wow, you're really going nucular." just to get a rise out of her.
- Granola Girl: Exaggerated; see Cordon Bleugh Chef above.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: In one arc, she bought a DVR called a MomVo, which drastically monitored what the family watched, programmed to replace the usual mindless shows they watch with "quality programming" (it wouldn't let Paige watch Newlyweds and suggested Masterpiece Theatre, for instance) whether they liked it or not. The story ends with Andy returning the MomVo because it wouldn't let her watch her soaps.
- If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You: A mentality that reaches absolutely stupid levels at times, including making fruit salad without using what most people consider fruits.
- Manipulative Bastard: At times she comes across as being more manipulative than Jason. A notable example is when Roger is returning home to watch the score counts for the week before the Super Bowl, and Jason is apparently playing video games in front of the TV set, giving Roger a hard time trying to even access the TV. It's later revealed that she orchestrated all of this from the start to prevent Roger from seeing the scores.
- Moral Guardian: Andy is a rather preachy example of this in-universe. She also took offense to Donkey Kong not wearing any pants.
- Not So Above It All: Who says she can't have fun like her kids do?
- One-Hour Work Week: During the time that the strip established her as a columnist, she was almost never shown to be actually writing columns. Her writing job has since been, well, written out of the strip since the late 1990s.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The only person who consistently refers to Andy by her real name, Andrea, is her mother.
- Sweet Tooth: Leads to many of her "Not So Above It All" moments
- Women Are Wiser: Typically, not counting the occasional moments where Roger is the more rational and mature one.
"I'd roll my eyes, but those muscles are tired."A high-school junior with an inability to be attractive to girls and a complete love of food; he is often characterized by his bottomless stomach and being Bill Amend's punching bag. He often fantasizes about the sports or rock star he'd like to be, though when he tries out for school teams the results are dismal (in one gag, his name is pre-printed on the athletics department's dismissal sheets, leading him to have been cut from the girls' gymnastics team); essentially, he's an athletic Non-Action Guy. Other than that, he's a pretty traditional big brother, teasing Paige and playing sports (unsuccessfully) with Jason. And yet, he still manages to have more athletic ability than his father...
- Berserk Button: Never, ever make fun of Denise's blindness. However, Denise was appalled at the way Peter deals with it.
- Big Brother Bully: Sometimes to Paige and Jason. His bad attitude towards Paige comes mostly from his conviction that as a high school junior, he's supposed to pick on freshmen students such as his sister.
- Big Brother Instinct: Not usually apparent, but he can be protective of Jason and Paige. Once, he beat up a guy with lecherous intentions to his sister, and another strip had him run to rescue Jason after he called for help when his Aquaman costume became waterlogged.
- Big Brother Mentor: In his more mature moments.
- Big Eater: He and Roger frequently tag-team on Thanksgiving to see who can eat more:Peter: Plate 599 and feeling fine.
- As for which one is the reigning champion, it should be noted that on a particularly gluttonous visit to a fast food restaurant, Peter is moaning in pain with the rest of the family... while Roger notes with sudden interest that the restaurant serves both apple and cherry pies.
- Speaking of Thanksgiving, he also managed to eat two Thanksgiving dinners (one with his family, another with Denise's family), with Roger congratulating on deciding to do both, while Andy, shocked that he would actually have two thanksgiving dinners, half asked and half exclaimed if he was insane.
- His status as this also cost his family any food they would have, with them being lucky to get even a small amount of food if he allowed it. One strip in particular had them going to a buffet line and they let Peter be first of his family. Predictably, he ended up cleaning up the entire buffet booth before his family could even get the chance to pick their meal, resulting in Roger irritably vowing that the next buffet they attend, Peter's going last.
- It also got himself into trouble as well. As noted in the Burger Fool trope below, Peter, whenever he works at the local theater, would sometimes eat food while working at the Snack Bar:Roger: Why the long face?Peter: I got my first week's paycheck today. I'd forgotten how much that stupid movie theater deducts. This thing is hardly worth cashing.Roger: Welcome to the wonderful world of taxes.Peter: Taxes? The taxes are nothing.Roger: (looks at check) How many tubs of nachos did you eat?!Peter: It was a slow day! I was working the snack bar!
- Peter has been like this since he was a baby. One baby picture chronicled the first time he was given solid food aka "The Night of a Thousand Jars". Andy says that was preferable to the 23 hours a day he would spend nursing.
- Butt-Monkey: The rest of the family often gets these moments, but - with the exception of Roger - Peter seems to have the most Butt Monkey moments.
- Book Dumb: He predictably does not do well at school, only very rarely achieving an A, and even then, sometimes he misinterprets how he got the letter grade by something other than studying (such as a t-shirt). He also seems to have a very hard time reading getting through some books almost to the point of exaggeration, with one comic even going so far as to have Peter take until nighttime, while sitting at his desk reading, to even finish reading one page.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Suggested several times that he's much smarter than he acts and is often one of the only characters (other than Marcus) who can follow Jason's line of thought.
- Burger Fool: Although not a fast-food job, Peter's job at the local theater counts. He's constantly made to wash the bathrooms, once had to wear a Garfield costume to promote the movie, and all in all receives very little pay (including deductions for all the food he eats while working).
- Character Development: Peter started in the strip as being a bit of a Jerk Ass at times, but was eventually reverse-flanderized into being the Straight Man.
- Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: At least twice, Peter has cut himself pieces of pizza that made up at least half the pizza. Another time, he showed Roger a chart for how to cut the turkey: one slice each for the rest of the family, and the entire rest of the turkey for him.
- Dagwood Sandwich: One of his favorite foods. "Paige, pass the salt and a ladder."
- Dreadful Musician: It's repeatedly shown that he's horrible at singing and playing guitar, particularly when the guitar is turned Up to Eleven.
- Drives Like Crazy: This led to a Crazy Awesome moment when Jason needed to reach light speed in order to Time Travel because of Eileen (long story), giving us the following conversation:Peter: So where do I come in?Jason: I've seen how you drive on the freeway.Peter: You're talking nine digit numbers. I've only flirted with four.
- And another:Andy: Peter, Mrs. Humbarger says she saw driving down the street like a runaway missile.Peter: No way! Impossible! She couldn't have!Jason: We were going much too fast too be seen.
- There was also the time Paige was watching Jason play Carmageddon and she comments that this looks oddly familiar. Cue Peter coming in, asking if anybody wants to go to the mall.
- A Sunday strip had Jason make a Hot Wheels track based on a recent car trip with Peter. It had jumps and loop-de-loops.
- And another:
- Drunk with Power: He once locked his brother and sister in the basement of their own home for not bowing down to his will when Andy and Roger left him in charge.
- Engineered Public Confession: Thanks to Jason rewiring his phone contacts, Peter unknowingly called Andy and admitted to her that when they are out of town, he'll attend/host a party (He was trying to call Denise), an action that was said to have gotten him grounded for one decade, a punishment that might be potentially increased if he harmed Jason in revenge.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: A rare non-video game example. Zig-zagged in one arc where he gorges himself on all-you-can-eat pizza night; he is rotund for a day, but returns to skinny a day later. One strip mentions he actually has body image problems because of this; despite everything listed in Big Eater he has no obvious fat or muscle tone and considers himself ludicrously skinny.
- Incredibly Conspicuous Drag: One Sunday strip had what appeared to be Paige doing her make-up and getting dressed, but it was really him. He dressed up as Paige to try to sneak out of the house while grounded and was immediately caught. He wore his hat under the wig.
- Insane Troll Logic: He breaks up with Denise because he thinks just dating one girl through high school will make him socially underdeveloped. A heart-to-heart with his mother wakes him up to just how foolish "dating for the sake of dating" really is, and he gets back together with her.
- Jerk Jock: Well, he tries hard to be one. Of course, he tries hard to be good at sports, too. He's not.
- One strip averts this and also doubles as a Brick Joke from one years before where he decides to take up golf (with his "putting" sending the ball flying through the house) and at present is playing golf with Roger and putting for an Eagle whereas Roger begs him not to play golf with him anymore because he's gotten too good.
- Kafka Komedy: As he's the Butt-Monkey, he sometimes gets put through this. A notable example is an arc where he punches someone in the nose for making a joke about Denise. He is given detention and probation for it, and when he gets home accidentally spills the beans to Andy when she wanted to let him know the school found his lost wallet.
- Klatchian Coffee: Any of Peter's "stay awake" drinks, one of which was "coffee-tea" (tea brewed with coffee rather than water). Paige ended up wigging out after drinking a dozen cups of it.
- Even he admits that as "the king of caffeine," he would never drink a dozen cups of it (and Paige did drink that much before even asking him how much she'd need). This is coming from a guy who orders quintuple espressos and 32ple blends of regular coffee.
- Limited Wardrobe: He's always shown wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, pants and a baseball cap. This has been parodied at least twice, including one arc that showed baby photographs (with baby Peter wearing a baseball cap) and another time when Jason received Peter's hand-me-downs.
- Interestingly, an early strip shows Paige "borrowing" Peter's clothes, reveling that he has a fairly diverse wardrobe (although Paige finds it lacking in pastels). He also has been shown at church in a suit.
- Loony Fan: Of Bruce Springsteen; an early strip had him become estatic about being able to touch the Boss's sweat.
- Morality Pet: Peter cares greatly for Denise, who is blind. He's also protective of her, and punched a classmate for making a joke about her.
- Paige and Jason too. He's not above picking on them himself, but if someone else does it...
- Must Have Caffeine: Most certainly inherited from Roger.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Says this in one strip.
- Nice Hat: His blue and white baseball cap with an "A" on it (supposedly a reference to Amend's alma mater, Amherst College). Peter says it's his trademark.
- Oh, Crap!: Actually says "crap" when Jason vows revenge on him. When he's called before the principal for punching a student who insulted Denise, he calmly accepts his severe punishments, but freaks out when the principal mentions calling his parents.
- Only Sane Man: Has his moments. A notable example is an arc when Andy becomes doped up on allergy medicine, he seems to be the only one of the kids who cares.
- He's usually the first one to point out his Mother's hypocrisy and tell her when she starts going too far.
- Paranoia Gambit: Being the target of a "Jason Vow of Vengeance" causes Peter to completely freak out and spend the day subjecting himself to ever-nastier hiding places (winding up grounded in the process). That is Jason's vengeance.
- Precision F-Strike: Peter, when Jason vows vengeance on him for breaking a model. Peter's response? "Crap." Counts, as it's one of the few times that sort of response is used.
- Ridiculous Procrastinator: Peter often procrastinates for assignments, often being well behind schedule the first week of school. He also seems to get tips on how to pull an all-nighter from Roger.
- Straight Man: Was un-Flanderized into this.
- Sleep Learning: Peter has tried this with varying degrees of success. One time, he had so many books under his pillow that he woke up with his neck horribly twisted. Another time, he listened to The Odyssey on CD while sleeping, and ended up with a dream sequence that was a pastiche of it.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Not so much anymore, but back then he'd boast about his brilliance, athleticism, and masculinity; none of which he really has.
"I suppose I should be flattered that the universe has it out for me."
"DID SOMEONE SAY 'MALL?!'"A freshman in high school. Like her brother, she seems invisible to the opposite sex—with the sole exception of supernerd Morton Goldthwait. She does many typical female teenage things, spending her time chatting with friends about cute boys and makeup and other inconsequentialities. She is also an even more Lethal Chef than her mother. Finally, she has a sibling rivalry with her younger brother Jason.
- Big Eater: She has her moments of this too, usually connected to her Sweet Tooth.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: A prime example. Her life revolves around boys, shopping, and complaining.
- Characterization Marches On: During Peter's Tyrant Takes the Helm stint, he forces her to bake cookies for him. Later on, it's made clear that she isn't capable of making cookies Peter would want to eat, and he knows it.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Paige will frequently beat up Jason for even his most benign pranks. The best example is in one Sunday strip, where she sprays Jason with a hose because he did that to her. The catch was that he did it in summer while she did it in winter resulting in Jason being covered in ice.
- Epic Fail: When asked to donate old clothes for charity, she boxes every outfit she has, reasoning that her mom will have to A) allow her to make a major shopping spree, or B) let her stay home from school. She didn't consider the possibility of being sent off in old maternity clothes.
- Lethal Chef: Even more so than Andy. She's baked cookies with Diet Pepsi because she couldn't find the baking soda, and her idea of cleaning turkey is putting the turkey in the oven while the "clean" button is on. One instance had her burning her cookies so badly that Roger actually used them as a substitute for charcoal briquettes after Andy "directed him towards a stash" when they ran out. Previous strips indicated that she was pretty good at cooking, or at least baking, as Peter Fox forced her to bake cookies for him when he let his position as man in the house get to his head.
- Heavy Sleeper: She actually sleeps up until dinnertime some days.
- Jerkass: There are times where Paige returns the favor to Jason.
- No Indoor Voice: As Peter puts it, she just likes to yell.
- Oven Logic: One story arc has Paige trying to cook Thankgiving dinner. She is told to clean the turkey, and does so by putting it in the oven and hitting the "clean" button.
- Paranoia Gambit: Similar to Jason's Vow of Vengeance Arc, Paige ends up threatening to invoke vengeance on Jason for something Quincy did, so Jason ends up hiding in the garbage, not realizing that that's exactly what Paige planned.
- Pom-Pom Girl: And very enthusiastic for being a junior to junior varsity squad.
- School Play: In one story arc, Paige stars in the school production of Antony and Cleopatra. Unfortunately for her, Morton Goldthwait is Anthony.
- Sorry, I'm Gay: She briefly considered giving this as an excuse not to date Morton.
- Sweet Tooth: Like her mother, only more so. Her idea of "one scoop" of ice cream is to dig out the entire gallon with the scoop. She also once unrolled Ho-Hos, filled them with chocolate syrup and sugar, then rolled them back up.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Paige normally has very bad luck when trying something new or finding a date to dances, but she does have her moments. She once went to a dance with a genuinely nice boy who liked her back (though he was never seen again), and besides the fact that Morton Goldthwait was the other main lead, it's implied that her starring role in Antony and Cleopatra went off without a hitch.
- Took a Level in Badass: A notable instance of this was when she managed to tell off two party crashers at Peter Fox's Halloween party who attempted to kill or otherwise harm him because he simply didn't have beer at the party.
Paige: I guess being normal is just too hard for some people.A 5th-grader, super-duper nerd who, among other things, programmed a virus that destroyed the Internet. He entertains a variety of get-rich-quick schemes which never get anywhere, is Paige's Annoying Younger Sibling (which inevitably ends with Jason getting beat up), and spends a lot of time on video games or the Internet, eventually became hooked to "World of Warquest." He also has a thing for fellow nerd (but not social outcast) Eileen Jacobson, though he would never admit it.
Jason: No, too easy.
Jason: No, too easy.
- Author Avatar: Since Amend is a major nerd, he often projects his nerdiness onto Jason, as confirmed in a compilation.
- The B Grade: Jason reacts this way to A++ grades, since he usually does far better.
- Big Eater: Shown in a few strips. A notable one was during a Halloween party where, while wearing a Jabba the Hutt costume, the food and punch mysteriously disappear and everyone starts looking at him.
- Blackmail: Jason often blackmails Peter through his reckless driving. In one strip, he has Peter buy him a meal at a fast-food place for not stopping well enough at a stop sign.
- Breakout Character: In early stories, all three Fox siblings got pretty much equal time. The strip eventually shifted to focus more on Jason than on Paige or Peter.
- Butt-Monkey: Has probably been physically injured more times than any other character in the strip, mainly due to Paige - who's both bigger and stronger than he is - being his favorite target.
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: He has moments of this, such as declaring that he wants to be a paranormal investigator when he grows up, just like Mulder and Scully from The X-Files (Andy snarks that he's already clearly an expert at determining what's real and what isn't).
- Can't Spit It Out: He can't admit he likes Eileen, even to himself.
- Characterization Marches On: In a story arc from the second or third year of the strip's run, Jason is upset that Quincy ruined one of Paige's sweaters, makes a sincere apology to Paige, and even goes out of his way to try and replace the sweater.
- In another example, he puts off doing homework to work on his comic. In most other cases, he's obsessed with doing schoolwork and complains whenever he doesn't get enough.
- When they got their first iFruit, Jason absolutely detested the thing and had a sort of love-hate relationship with it(with the machine even sometimes threatening him if he doesn't hug it). He's taken a liking to iFruits since then, which is especially pronounced in the Steve Jobs tribute comic.
- Complexity Addiction: For all his genius, he tends to go for the more wild and complex solutions to problems when the rest of the family easily sees the much easier way to handle it.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: He tries several ludicrous schemes to make money (such as thousand-dollar snow dinosaurs) despite the fact that he has effortlessly built machines and coded programs that could have made him millions had he simply sold them. His problem seems to be that he has the knowledge of an adult, but the wisdom and idealism of a ten-year old boy.
- He once tried to form a one-man corporation, but all he had to show investors was "a dinky little program I wrote for fun." Unfortunately for him and them, the Darth Jason virus did not "kill off interest," it "killed off the Internet."
- Epic Fail: In one strip, he accidentally launches rockets into the ground by putting the engines in upside-down, then has to deal with the second phase. While he and Marcus run away, Jason even says, "Why can't my successes ever be as spectacular as my failures?"
- Evil Sounds Deep: Jason says that the reason he often has Marcus always root for the Rebellion while he roots for the Empire is because he sounds like James Earl Jones, the voice actor of Darth Vader.
- Freudian Excuse: As a baby, he was apparently terrified of Paige's stuffed bear. Paige gleefully tormented him by waving it in front of his face every chance she got. When she's through waxing nostalgic over it, Andy points out that this is probably why she's become Jason's favorite target. It's also seen that the start of his making Paige his revenge target was when he finally decided to get over his fear of Paige's stuffed bear (by using bear-traps for teddy bears).
- Gasshole:Jason: "Never send to know for whom the belch tolls; it tolls for thee."Paige: "Bell," you moron. It's "for whom the bell tolls!"Jason: BRAAAP! I believe you stand corrected.Paige: You know, my friends at school think I make these stories up.
- Gender Bender: In a parody of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Jason transforms into a mini-Paige. It was All Just a Dream.
- He had another one where he turned into a mini Lara Croft.
- Girls Have Cooties: As a 10-year-old, he still believes this... to such an extreme that he's repulsed by video games with female protagonists. Thanks to Eileen, he's slowly turning around.
- Heel Realization: He initially doesn't believe he should have to contribute money to help hurricane victims, but his reflection in a mirror mockingly agrees, telling him that his need to laugh for 30 minutes outweighs those of people who lost their homes. He then realizes that he can't defend not helping in some way, and decides to make a donation.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Too many times to count.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Jason loves making these. Once, when asked to bring Roger coffee, he coughs into the mug and explains that "I am the coffer, so this mug is the coffee."
- Another time, after Jason saw Avatar, he dreams that he becomes a Na'vi with the ability to connect his mind with that of a computer - which wanted him to "write some object-oriented code". He describes it to Peter as his "Javatar" dream.
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: In-universe, Jason's response to the "mainstreaming" of Tolkien geekdom due to its highly successful film series. Although for him, it's not so much "It's Popular, Now It Sucks" as much as "It's Popular, Now Nerds Won't Be Special." The series gave the title to one of the book collections, "Orlando Bloom Has Ruined Everything", the cover depicting Jason and Marcus sitting in a theater surrounded by googly-eyed girls. In other words, he was a hipster before it was cool.
- Jerk Ass: Mainly to Peter and Paige.
- Just One More Level: This trope is often present in-universe as a plea when Jason is playing video games and Andy wants him to do a chore or go to bed. Also subverted once when Jason says he'll go to bed right after he finishes level 47 on a game... conveniently leaving out the fact that he's currently on level 13.
- Karma Houdini: Despite being the strip's biggest Butt-Monkey, Jason still gets away with a lot of things. note
- Last-Second Showoff: He takes a class test by spending an hour sitting and napping. When the teacher announces there's one minute left, he frantically scribbles everything down. According to him, he does this because final exams deserve to have a bit of pressure.
- Limited Wardrobe: As of 2010, he strictly wears a blue t-shirt, cargo pants and white sneakers.
- Literal-Minded: Jason sometimes invokes this intentionally such as modifying all the comic strips in the paper to what their names are (such as drawing shells on the kids heads in Peanuts) and playing shot put with all of Andy's records that have flight-related names (such as Led Zeppelin).
- Little Professor Dialog: Usually. Although he once looked through a thesaurus so he could insult Paige without her knowing it.
- Nerdgasm: In-universe, his response to seeing a beautiful foldout of a computer.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Played with. After Jason reads a study that states just that, he tries to be as un-nerdy as possible, only to revert when Peter starts acting nerdy in an attempt to get girls.
- Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork:
- Will do his sibling's work for fun. And can even do homework on autopilot. The most extreme was when his math teacher assigned the chapter review as homework without saying which chapter, so he did all of them. In several textbooks, up to advanced calculus.
- Played straight most of the time. Played with in one arc where Jason tears his hair out trying to figure out an extra-credit math problem and finally admits defeat only to discover later on that it had a typo.
- Nerds Speak Klingon: Yes, he does. In one strip he goes to a Star Trek movie in Klingon cosplay and demands fresh gagh from the beleaguered movie worker. Another strip has him ask Peter to check whether he's memorized the Klingon-English dictionary.
- Opaque Nerd Glasses: And he never takes them off, meaning we never see his eyes.
- Parental Favoritism: Jason is the 'younger child' example of this, mainly because he does so well at school (to the point where Roger took Paige telling him she got an A on a test to the fact it was Jason). Another example is in a strip where Jason gets Peter into trouble by reprogramming his cell phone so he called Andy when thinking it was Denise:Andy: Leave him alone, Peter, or you'll be grounded for two decades.
- Jason does occasionally get beaten up by Peter or Paige. The more magnificent pranks he pulls against them leave him safer.
- Playing Sick: Inverted in one strip: He faked a note from his mom stating that he was well despite clearly being ill so he could stay in school or at the very least stay for the Math test. The teacher doesn't buy the note and demands that he stay home.
- Revenge: Shown to be the main motivation for making Paige his favorite target. See Freudian Excuse.
- Ridiculous Exchange Rates: Jason gets paid $10, adds it to the money he had under his mattress, and announces that he's a millionaire in Turkish lira.
- Ridiculous Procrastinator: Inverted. He usually manages to get all of his assignments and final exams done by the start of school, often leaving him depressed.
- Snowlems: Jason regularly builds snow dinosaurs.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: The Wise Guy to Peter's Straight Man.
- Spanner in the Works: Jason finds it impossible to beat one guardian monster in a video game, as it instantly squashes his character every time he tries. Paige, who almost never plays video games, takes the controller and gets by the guardian by simply walking around him.
- Teen Genius: He's 10, but close enough. He's so smart, that he can even do college-level calculus!
- Token Evil Teammate: The most selfish and least ethical of the entire Fox family. Plus, unlike the others, he's actually committed felonies (albeit in a strip that runs on Negative Continuity).
- Troll: In the arc that introduced Miss O'Malley, we learn that Jason loved to torment his old teacher Mrs. Grinchley by going above and beyond in regards to schoolwork note . Miss O'Malley responds to these acts by giving him extra credit, which annoys Jason to no end.
- TV Genius: He is academically and technically skilled but rather lacking in scruples and common sense. A rather sterling example comes in one Sunday strip where we see a diagram Jason's worked out for a catapult-like device to launch himself and Marcus into Paige's room so they can ambush her with squirt guns. As they panic ("Wait, she closed the window!" "Aagh! The rope's slipping!"), Peter muses on how somebody can be so smart and yet so stupid.
- The Unfavorite: Even Jason has his moments in this trope: One instance was when Paige announced that someone just got an "A", and Andy, thinking Paige got the "A," baked a plate of cookies to celebrate. Paige then tells Jason (who is currently shouting that Paige was referring to him) that its not her fault if Andy guessed wrong as she's enjoying the cookies.
- He's also quite annoyed when, despite scoring much better than his siblings, his mother has a disinterested reaction to his grades staying the same compared to Peter and Paige's rising, until she offhandedly remarks that they went up slightly.
Other Fox household residents
QuincyJason's pet iguana. He's very cute for a lizard, and takes everything with reptilian aplomb. (Unless Jason is throwing him at Paige, at which point his expression becomes appropriately panicked.) Unlike most comic strip animals, Quincy is usually played straight, without any Funny Animal behavior or thought balloons. He sometimes gains these characteristics in order to poke fun at the trope. On occasion, Jason will put on big clothes, put Quincy on his head and pretend to be somebody, like Quincy's "mother", to annoy everybody else.
- The Chew Toy: He's been thrown across rooms, electrocuted, and has apparently swallowed a dart, which are all played for laughs. Subverted in one arc where he almost chokes to death on Paige's shoelace.
- Head Pet: Occasionally.
- Hidden Depths: Wants to be a man-eating dinosaur, as revealed in 2009. A 2014 strip◊ showed him dreaming about being a fire-breathing dragon from Game of Thrones.
- The Voiceless: If any of the dream sequence arcs use this type of character, chances are that said character will be portrayed by Quincy.
- Talking Animal: That being said, there were only two instances where Quincy talked (not counting when Jason tries to disguise himself and Quincy as someone or something): Once Quincy tells Jason to listen to his mom regarding cartoons not being real, and the second was at the very end of an Odyssey-style Dream Sequence (caused by Peter's attempts at Sleep Learning the Odyssey), where he is playing Penelope and says "Hug me... Kiss me... Love me..." which resulted in Peter waking up earlier than usual out of disgust.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Scared of cats.
The iFruitA later addition to the Fox household, specifically, a computer Andy bought in the middle of the daily strip's run. It had a mind of its own and was able to speak and interact with the other characters.
- Catch-Phrase: "Welcome to iFruit. Hug me." It dropped this fairly quickly, however. However, it has reverted to saying its catchphrase when powered up for the first time in almost a decade for the Steve Jobs tribute strip.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
- Faux Affably Evil: When it demands something from another character, it tends to make a passive-aggressive threat (such as hinting that Jason's saved games might accidentally be deleted if he doesn't do what it wants).
- Servile Snarker: Mainly to Roger.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Jason.
Classmates of the kids
Denise RussoPeter's blind girlfriend. She was introduced in a 1990 Story Arc.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She hasn't appeared at all since the early 2000s, although there was never a story arc wherein she and Peter broke up. Her disappearance was actually addressed in the FoxTrot FAQ.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She's often worried about other girls getting interested in Peter. Apart from "The Reason You Suck" Speech example, she demands to know that he'd never even consider cheating her.
- Deadpan Snarker / Disabled Snarker
- Disabled Love Interest: Is a longer-term girlfriend than most examples of this trope, although see Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
- Hypocritical Humor: During one story arc, she chastises Peter for giving a guy a bloody nose. When she finds out the guy was making fun of her, she chastises Peter for only hitting him once.
- Morality Pet: To Peter
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Once lists all of Peter's negative qualities and says she never has to worry about another girl taking him.
- Satellite Character: Averted. Although Peter is the one she interacts with the most, she has also interacted with other members of the Fox family, and even had a week-long arc that focused around her and Paige and another week-long arc that focused on her and Jason.
- Umbrella of Togetherness: Denise is muttering and cursing until it starts to rain, to which she squeals with delight. Peter comments on their newfound closeness; "Wow, good thing you brought this umbrella."
- What the Hell, Hero?: During their temporary breakup, and after Peter punched a classmate for insulting her blindness. Though in the latter case, it turns out she was outraged that he just punched him.
NicolePaige's best friend with similar interests. Steve (see below) and Nicole are generally the ones to encourage Paige or Peter to do something risky or questionable, but that's a function of the way the strip is set up; it wouldn't be An Aesop if Paige were the one to suggest shoplifting and Nicole stayed on the straight-and-narrow.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She doesn't appear much nowadays.
- Global Ignorance: In one arc, Nicole was once asked to locate Iraq on a world map without country names. However, it comes to light that Nicole not only can't locate Iraq on the map, she can't even locate the United States. Eventually, Paige locates Iraq on her first try by pointing at the only place Nicole didn't try.
- Satellite Character: She pretty much existed only to interact with Paige, and rarely interacted with any other characters. A notable exception is one Story Arc where she and Paige get invited to Morton's Halloween party.
Steve RileyPeter's best friend. Probably had more mentions from Peter than actual dialogue.
- Big Eater: Just like Peter.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He hasn't apppeared much in recent years.
- Flat Character: Similar to Marcus, he's pretty much a clone of Peter.
- Satellite Character: Never interacted with anyone except Peter.
Morton GoldthwaitA freshman who has an eternal crush on Paige. Jason hero-worships him for the same reasons Paige detests him.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Paige. However, Paige treats rejecting him after he asks her out as a tradition.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Like the other high school characters, he doesn't appear as much nowadays.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Paige.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: At Science Camp, which he regrets when he finds out Jason is Paige's brother, though oddly enough Jason was actually planning on setting them up as payback before he knew.
- Drunk with Power: See the above, though given the treatment he gets at school, it's understandable.
- Hollywood Nerd: Glasses? Check. Unpopular with the ladies? Check. About as nerdy, if not more so, than Jason? Check and mate.
- Jerkass: He is extremely arrogant and was mean to Jason at Science Camp.
- Nerd Glasses: Also of the Opaque Lenses variety.
- Shorter Means Smarter: He's about the same height as Jason.
Marcus JonesJason's best friend. They share similar interests, but Marcus never really got that much in the way of character development. A lot of the tropes that apply to Jason also apply to Marcus.
- Always Someone Better: An early arc had him beat Super Mario Bros. before Jason did.
- Black Best Friend: Being a best friend of Jason's, he doubles as Black and Nerdy.
- Flat Character: Pretty much a clone of Jason in terms of personality.
- Only Sane Man: Mostly because he's a flat character, he's more likely to play Straight Man to Jason than the other way around. Granted, he's only rarely questioned Jason's ideas and antics.
- TV Genius: Tends to go along enthusiastically with any of Jason's bad ideas and often actively encourages them.
- The Whitest Black Guy: Wasn't much help when Jason needed insight into black culture while drawing The Boondocks strips; he didn't even know that Mos Def is a rapper.
Eileen JacobsonLike Calvin and Hobbes' Susie Derkins, she is more likely to get the drop on Jason than the other way around.
- Always Someone Better: As good as Jason's grades are, Eileen's tend to be slightly better at times, and it drives him crazy.
- Characterization Marches On: In her first few appearances, she was portrayed as an excitable, guileless, somewhat-naive girl who drove Jason crazy completely by accident, a far cry from the mischievous, snarky Eileen that more people are familiar with.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She got a non-speaking cameo in 2008 and didn't appear again until 2011. But at least she eventually returned, unlike most of this strip's secondary characters.
- Deadpan Snarker: In reaction to Jason. Some prime examples come from the arc in which Jason is upset that he didn't get a mushy Valentine's Day card from her, then spends weeks trying to cover up anything that sounds like him liking her. In one strip, he says that he came to a realization that he was wrong after seeing the movie Titanic (1997):Eileen: [You realized] that you should just ignore what other people think and follow your own heart?Jason: No, no we should just secretly communicate by semaphore.Eileen: More and more I see the wisdom in keeping our relationship hidden.
- Friendly Rivalry: With Jason, in the purely academical sense.
- Official Couple: Subverted. She and Jason try, but it becomes clear within weeks that Jason just isn't mature enough for a relationship yet. They manage to still remain friends, however.
- One of the Boys: Whenever the strip centers around the premiere of a major sci-fi/fantasy/superhero blockbuster, she's always seen going to the premiere with Jason and Marcus - In costume.
- Youthful Freckles
Phoebe WuEileen's best friend, she meet Eileen, Jason and Marcus at Science Camp.
- Asian and Nerdy: She's Asian, as well as one half of the winning team for the scientist team at Camp Bohrmore, which is a camp for science nerds.
- Flat Character: Granted she only had two arcs so it's understandable.
- Genre Savvy: During the second arc she figures out it's Eugene just from watching TV mysteries: The culprit is always the secondary character who's introduced early on and then forgotten.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Nice and humble to Eugene's raging egotism.
Eugene WuPhoebe's twin brother and an egotistical genius who makes Jason look humble by comparison. Introduced in the same arc as Pheobe.
- Asian and Nerdy: Asian like his sister and just as much of a nerd as Jason and Marcus.
- Cain and Abel: With his sister Phoebe
- Chekhov's Gunman: His role in his and his sister's second arc, and the reason why she realized he was the culprit.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: See Phoebe's entry
- Speak of the Devil: During the second arc with him and Phoebe his only appearance before The Reveal is showing up when Jason and Marcus come to the conclusion that if Phoebe's here, so is Eugene.
- Small Name, Big Ego: As mentioned above he somehow manages to top Jason in this department.
- Smug Snake: He's quite full of himself, especially regarding his failed plan in his second arc. The first arc shows him gloating, only for his teammate to complain about a mistake he made.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Marcus and Jason vote for Eileen and Phoebe's project over his, costing him the victory.
PierreA young, suave Frenchman who regularly shows up in Paige's dreams. By all appearances, he seems to be an amalgamation of what Paige would consider to be the traits of an ideal boyfriend.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He hasn't appeared in years.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Well, duh.
- Funetik Aksent: He has a deep and pronounced French accent, such as prounouncing "the" as "ze."
- Gratuitous French: Speaks like this in Paige's fantasies.
- Imaginary Friend: He shows up in Paige's dreams.
- Imaginary Love Triangle: When both he and Juan Carlos try to court Paige, the dream being the result of her having trouble deciding whether to take Spanish or French when school starts.
- Left the Background Music On: Variation: In one strip with Paige dreaming of him (in a manner similar to Rapunzel), she is monologuing with Pierre as he comes up, and was about to kiss him... only for him to uncharacteristically say "Let's go with U.S. Presidents for $400, please, Alex." Cut to Jason watching Jeopardy! while Paige was napping.
- Lover Tug-of-War: Engages in this with Juan Carlos in one strip, as a parallel to Paige's struggles in picking French or Spanish as her language class.
- Phrase-Catcher: "Ooh, Pierre." This once resulted in a coincidentally right answer when Paige was Asleep in Class and her teacher asked her to name the capital of South Dakota.
- Relationship Sue: Invoked and justified, because he's a dream.
- The Rival: To Juan Carlos.
- Romance Novel: Both he and the dreams themselves seem to be parodies of this, or at least of the covers.
- Rule of Funny: Some of the more lavish stuff he does (his massive Paige art gallery, for instance) can only be put down to this...
- Rule of Romantic: ... Although, from Paige's perspective, it's this.
- Wish Fulfillment: He's basically Paige's subconscious attempting to fulfill her desire for a steady relationship as well as her less-realistic desire for the perfect suitor.
The CartoonistWhenever one of the characters is reading a newspaper and there is a close-up of said newspaper, it usually features a headline mentioning this guy and the latest incredible feat he has accomplished or is currently undertaking.
- Author Avatar: While Jason inherited all of Amend's nerdiness, this character is pretty much Amend himself.
- No Name Given: Typically, just called "cartoonist", although a few headlines referred to him by name.
- Ridiculous Procrastinator: One strip had Jason commenting that the cartoonist has to pay a fine to his bosses the next time he is late with his strips. The punchline is that he is two to three decades late (Paige: "Hey guys! Did you hear about Watergate?")