Kaitlin "Katie" Greenbriar
The protagonist of Gone Home, Kaitlin is a 21-year-old college student who returns to her family home after a year abroad in the middle of a stormy night to find the house empty, apparently ransacked, and filled with mysterious notes from her younger sister. The game details Katie's investigation of the house and what happened to her family in the year she's been gone.
- Cool Big Sis: How Sam sees her
- Decoy Protagonist: The story begins with the impression it's about her returning home, immediately it becomes clear she's not the real star.
- The Generic Girl: While we get a few glimpses of her personality through postcards and such, she's basically a cipher.
- Only Sane Woman: Seems to be the only member of her family who isn't screwed up in one way or another.
- Plucky Girl: The impression one gets of her from her phone call to her parents and the various postcards found around the house. We don't get to know Katie as well as Sam, but from what we can tell she's adventurous and responsible, but with a slight goofy streak.
Samantha "Sam" Greenbriar
Katie's 17-year-old sister. Unlike the apparently more popular and conventional Katie, Sam's always been a bit of a loner and an outcast. Much of the story revolves around Sam's struggles in the year Katie was away, as revealed in the many journal entries Katie finds throughout the house.
- The Daria: Perhaps the best example being the health class assignment of hers you can find, which reads like a spot on pastiche of the glimpses we get of things the genuine article wrote in the show (cf. the Melody Powers stories).
- Non P.O.V. Protagonist
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Seems to consider selling off everything of value in her family's home a fair trade for her parents' passive-aggressive homophobia.
- Straight Gay: Characterized as being bookish and socially withdrawn, Sam doesn't fit traditional lesbian sterotypes as much as the tough, army-focused Lonnie.
- The Unfavorite: One of the very first things you see in exploring the house is Kaitlin's prominently displayed trophies in the foyer, on the flip side Sam seems to be frequently marginalized and her interests/feelings ignored.
- One possible reason for this is that she takes after her father more, and he doesn't like himself much.
Terrence "Terry" Greenbriar
Katie and Sam's father, a failed author who now writes mindless reviews of hi-fi equipment for a magazine.
- The Alcoholic: Irish Whiskey and Vodka being his preferred methods of self-medication.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: A lot of his issues seem to stem from his author father's decided lack of approval or respect for his son as a writer. Interestingly, this seems to carry on to his relationship with Sam with whom he shares a distant relationship despite having a great deal in common with her.
Janice "Jan" Greenbriar
Katie and Sam's mother, an ecologist struggling with an unhappy marriage and a daughter she doesn't understand.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Gets seduced by an attractive male subordinate into recommending him for a promotion only to find out he was doing it so he could afford to marry his girlfriend and start a family.
Yolanda "Lonnie" DeSoto
A girl at Sam's new school, Lonnie is a social misfit and punk and Sam finds herself captivated by her.
- Butch Lesbian: A member of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, an organization for youths who wish to train to join the army before they are of legal age.
- Military Brat: Her father was apparently a soldier and she desires to follow in his footsteps.
- Riot Grrrl: Introduces Sam (and a goodly portion of the audience) to the joys of Bratmobile.
- Rule-Abiding Rebel: As pointed out In-Universe by Sam through one of her journal entries, her career choice clashes pretty badly with everything else about her.
- Wrench Wench: Works on motorcycles with her dad and her desired MOS is tank mechanic.
Terry's recently-deceased uncle who willed him the mansion in which the Greenbriar family newly resides. His mysterious reputation in Boon County has caused the mansion to be labeled "The Psycho House"
- Big Bad: Most of the bad stuff that happens in the game can be laid directly at his feet, though it takes some digging to figure out exactly why.
- Creepy Uncle: Everyone in town thought he was creepy. Along with all the secret passageways in his home, the alleged ghost sightings in the house, and the dark implications of his actions, he seems downright sinister.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Sam and Lonnie believe his ghost is haunting the house and claim to have seen some weird stuff going on, but it's just as likely that the house's screwy electrical systems are to blame. It's also slightly implied that the upturn in Terrence's fortunes might have been caused by the amateur exorcism they performed under the stairs but maybe it was just a coincidence.