Ryan King (Matthew Perry)
The main character, Ryan is a sports talk radio host who has recently lost his wife in a car accident. In the first episode, he is trying to get back to work, but his boss will only take him back if he joins a support group for people who have suffered losses in their lives.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between him and Simone. They Do.
- Benevolent Boss: Played With. He does have a friendly relationship with Carrie, but seems to enjoy too much bossing her around. His invading her life in the second episode got so bad she had to put her foot down.
- Berserk Button: Do not text while you drive in front of Ryan. He'll hit you with fruit. He also doesn't like it if you mess with the support group's dynamics.
- In the first case, it's because that's how his wife died.
- Big Brother Mentor: For Owen.
- Brutal Honesty
- Chick Magnet: Has some Ship Tease with most of the women who show up in the show.
- Dead Person Conversation: Sometimes talks to his dead wife.
- Deadpan Snarker: Well, it's Matthew Perry.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: In-Universe, people keep mistaking Ryan for Rachel Maddow.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Mr. K seems particularly interested.
- Five Stages of Grief: Looks to be permanently in stage one, but goes through some of them as an one-episode Aesop.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Was this at first to Fausta, apparently.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has this dynamic with Anne. He and Steven are a straighter case.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has very little tact and is somewhat egocentric, but goes out of his way to help his friends.
- Metrosexual: Has some tendencies towards this.
- Not So Above It All: Tries to stand away from the group's most crazy stuff, but often ends up joining in whatever hijinks are happening.
- Odd Friendship: Between him and each member of the group in their own way; especially with Anne, Owen, and Mr. K.
- Only Sane Man: Occasionally steps into this role.
- Ship Sinking: For the first episodes, it looked like Ryan and Lauren were being set up as the show's Official Couple, but then we find out that she has a boyfriend, and, as of episode eleven, they're engaged.
- Ship Tease: Between him and Lauren, him and Carrie, and him and Simone.
- The Snark Knight
- Stepford Snarker
- Two Guys and a Girl: Along with Steven and Amy.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between him and his friend Amy. Since he's not ready by then and she doesn't want to be the next girl after Janie, she decides she'll wait for him.
Lauren Bennett (Laura Benanti)
The group's leader. Has a sweet and caring personality, but not much in the way of actual training
; tries to help in any way she can, though. She is the one who convinces Ryan to join the group for good.
- Arch Rival: In Margaret Hotchkiss who is apparently both more beautiful and better at helping people.
- Brainy Brunette
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder
- Even the Girls Want Her: Due to Florence Nightingale Effect.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: Everyone in the group has/has had a crush on Lauren. It was the same with people on Weight Watchers. Wyatt just brushes it off when it happens.
- Formerly Fat: It shows sometimes.
- Hollywood Psych: Justified because she doesn't have an actual degree in psychology; the only experience she has is being a speaker for Weight Watchers. Often Played for Laughs, but she tries very hard.
- Insistent Terminology: It's a Holiday/End of the World Party.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Ryan's Red.
- Ship Sinking: It looked like Ryan and Lauren were being set up as the show's Official Couple, but then we find out she has a boyfriend, and, as of episode eleven, they're engaged.
- Stepford Smiler: Has a bad case of text anxiety, for the first few episodes was stuck with a job she didn't like, and, despite having a very Nice Guy for a boyfriend, is afraid of commitment, but tried not to let it show to her patients. Seems to be moving out of it, though.
- Ship Tease: With Ryan until the sinking but "Go For The Gold Watch" introduces a tease for Lauren and Steven.
- Team Mom
- You Mean Xmas: Tries to enforce something like this on the Holiday/End of the World Party, but Ryan and Fausta aren't buying it.
Anne (Julie White)
prosecutor whose partner has died of a heart attack. Has quite the foul mouth.
Yolanda Mitsawa (Suzy Nakamura)
An anesthesiologist whose fiancé left her. Is a very anxious and awkward person who thinks everything is too sexual (including jazz and cats.)
Owen Lewis (Tyler James Williams)
A Deadpan Snarker
whose brother went into a coma after a skiing accident. Starts out as The Quiet One
, but gradually comes out of his shell
after Ryan joins the group.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Sonia and Fausta have already expressed interest in his naked form. He's really disturbed.
- Ashes to Crashes: Ryan makes him believe he's just broken the urn with his wife's ashes. It's actually a comeback for the Practical Joke he played on him earlier.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Though he doesn't show it a lot, he appreciates his friends, and stands up for them when his mother tries to get him to leave during Thanksgiving dinner.
- Big Brother Mentor: Ends up seeing Ryan as one.
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Shares this role with Anne.
- Deadpan Snarker: Between him, Anne and Ryan, the sessions are usually a snark fest.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Apparently, he's Lauren's body double.
- Momma's Boy
- My Beloved Smother: Owen's mom is a mild version, but she seems very controlling of her son.
- Only Sane Man: Best candidate for that, though he also shows every now and then he's Not So Above It All.
- Practical Joke: Liked to pull this on his brother's; pulls an epic one on Ryan in Videogame, Set, Match, and also on Danny in Win at All Costas.
- The Quiet One: Talks very little in the first episode; after he opens up to Ryan about his brother's condition, Lauren mentions he had been coming to the sessions without sharing anything about his incident.
- Real Men Wear Pink: It takes a lot of confidence to wear a wedding dress. The dress store salesclerk thinks it's hot.
- Stepford Snarker
Mr. Benjamin K (Brett Gelman)
A Cloud Cuckoolander
with a Mysterious Past
that gives some really creepy vibes to everyone else in the group. Acts like a Stalker with a Crush
- Ambiguous Disorder
- Ambiguously Gay
- Brutal Honesty: Every now and then.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Might be a case of this, since he's designed the Curiosity rover sampling arm.
- Former Child Star: Used to be one, albeit briefly. This may or may not be the tragedy that drove him to group.
- Cloud Cuckoolander
- Disproportionate Retribution: Gives Steven a Glove Slap and flips his car for taking fifteen minutes out of Ryan's radio talk show.
- Later on, does the same thing to Ryan's Porsche at Steven's instigation.
- Ear Worm: In-Universe, Electric Night. Becomes part of the episode's soundtrack.
- Glove Slap: On Steven.
- Hidden Depths: Was responsible for designing the Curiosity rover's sampling arm, much to Ryan's surprise. He also sings very well, and is able to write a song on the spot.
- Idiot Savant: Goes by social rules no one understands, is so creepy and weird people of the group try to avoid his company, but was also the designer of the sampling arm of the Curiosity rover's, is able to make graphics and carry out philosophic conversations quite easily, is able to flip a car, and doesn't flinch at Bob Costas's handshake.
- Mayan Doomsday: His belief on it starts the End of the World party in The World Ain't Over 'Til It's Over.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Keeps referring to Yolanda as such. That said... when Yolanda is on a single's cruise and isn't succeeding in the least, K ends up boarding the cruise to help find her a date.
- Naked People Are Funny: Goes running around in Ryan's university in his birthday suit for Ryan's birthday's Scavenger Hunt.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: In-Universe, that's how people react to him.
- No Sense of Personal Space
- No Social Skills
- Noodle Incident: No one is quite sure what happened for Mr. K to be in the group, because they're all afraid to ask.
- Odd Friendship: With Ryan, and, sometimes, Owen.
- One-Letter Name: Finally averted as of Comeback Player of the Year, where his first name is revealed to be Benjamin.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Him acting normal is considered a red alert sign.
Ryan's boss. He's the one who convinces Ryan to go to group therapy. He is also more than a bit weird himself.
Sonia (Sarah Baker)
A nurse who joined the group when one of her too many cats
died. Is firstly presented as somewhat shy, but shows more backbone as the series go on.
- Berserk Button: Do not badmouth cats around her. Also, do not lose the group cat, or imply somehow that a cat's life is not as valuable as a person's life. She also doesn't like when people call her a Crazy Cat Lady.
- Brutal Honesty
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Her case is not as serious as Mr. K's, but has an unhealthy obsession with cats, fully believes she can speak "cat", and also has No Social Skills.
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Tries to get Yolanda to refuse to take a drugs test so as not to ruin her cool persona.
- Crazy Cat Lady
- Hello, Nurse!: Discusses the concept on chapter seven.
- Hidden Depths: In The World Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, demonstrates to Wyatt how to propose by practicting on Yolanda. She does it so well that Yolanda actually agrees to marry her.
- Odd Friendship: With Yolanda.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Yolanda's Blue.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Has a tendency to narrate her winks.
- Ship Tease: With Danny and Yolanda.
- Stalker with a Crush: Has some tendencies, but isn't as bad as Mr. K.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Mr. K seems to think she, Yolanda and Fausta are going to go to hell.
- Those Two Guys: A decent way of describing the friendship between her and Yolanda, especially once the two become co-workers.
Carrie (Allison Miller)
Ryan's Sassy Secretary
. Often has to put up with her boss and Steven's antics.
- Better as Friends: Never spoken out loud, but that's apparently how things stand between her and Ryan.
- Betty and Veronica: Plays the Betty to Hannah's Veronica to Ryan in episode thirteen.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: She's the Light Feminine to her friend Hannah's Dark Feminine.
- Hollywood Homely: Not overtly, but the show sometimes presents her as someone Steven and Ryan won't even take into consideration. She's played by Allison Miller! Other occasions present it more as them treating her as a close friend/one of the boys rather than a sexual/romantic conquest.
- Nice Girl: Sure, sometimes she does feel annoyed when Ryan's acting his craziest, but here is a girl who is always around when her boss needs her, often goes way beyond her call of duty to help him, and, like Ryan states in episode thirteen, has been there for a him ever since Janie died.
- Only Sane Woman: Between Ryan and Steven, she's got her work cut out for her.
- Sassy Secretary
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Episode thirteen.
- Ship Tease: Has some with Ryan and Steven.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Has some with Ryan.
Fausta (Tonita Castro)
A Latina lady who is grieving the death of her father and brother.
- Brutal Honesty: Seems to think not understanding English gives her a free pass.
- Comically Missing the Point: Just won't realize that Anne is lesbian.
Anne: ¡Soy lesbiana! I looked it up just for this.
Fausta: [Laughs] No, no, no. Wrong word, lesbiana. One day, I tell you what this means.
Ryan: I feel like she's trying not to understand.
- Funny Foreigner
- Gratuitous Spanish
- Shipper on Deck: For Ryan/Lauren, but it's Played for Laughs.
- Spicy Latina: Seems to think of herself as this. The others disagree.
- Stepford Smiler: Seems to be one of those, but it's ultimately Subverted. Before the tragedy she's going through, she can either choose to smile or cry, and she chooses to smile.
- Team Chef
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Mr. K seems to think she, Sonia and Yolanda are going to go to hell. Apparently thought this of Anne, since she doesn't invite her to her niece's birthday party, but they've gotten over that by now. Also thought this of Ryan at first, but apparently got over that too.
- In the case of Anne part of it was also an awareness that Anne wasn't ready to smile at something like a birthday party especially since she had set up a table for 'those who can not be here with us'. She points this out when Anne sits at that very table.
- You No Take Candle: Her understanding of English is limited.
- You're Drinking Breast Milk: The secret of her cakes.
Danny (Seth Morris)
A discharged soldier whose wife had a son with another man while he was on deployment. Faces all his problems by drifting away in his imaginary city, Harborville.
Terrell Owens (Terrell Owens)
A future Hall of Famer wide receiver. He has something of a friendly love-hate relationship with Ryan. In the pilot, he gets tackled by Ryan. Half a season later, he ends up flipping Ryan's car with Steven and Mr. K.
As of of last handful of episodes of season one, he ends up as Ryan's temporary secretary.
- As Himself
- The Cameo: Though in this case, it may be a case of becoming a recurring character since he's shown up in no less than three episodes so far.