Characters / Happy Days

The cast and characters of Happy Days.

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Main Characters

    Arthur "The Fonz/Fonzie" Fonzarelli 
Played by: Henry Winkler

  • Accidental Marriage: With Jenny Piccalo in "Bride and Gloom." Later, it turns out that the marriage was not really valid.
  • The Ace: Turns into this around Season 4, with the uncanny ability to come out on top at just about anything. Quite an accomplishment for a high school dropout mechanic.
  • Badass and Child Duo: With Spike and in the finale, his adopted son, Danny.
  • Badass Beard: One episode has him growing one, but ultimately deciding to shave it at the end. Potsie collects some of the leftover hair to sell to a waiting crowd of girls outside.
  • Badass Boast: Fonzie: Hey, is not the uniform, its the man in the uniform and remember, the man in this uniform can break your face!.
  • Badass Biker: A family-friendly version; as his role was increased, his badassitude morphed from traditional "tough guy" to near-super-powered nice guy.
  • Badbutt: As stated above, he started out as a tough guy, but became this around Season 4.
  • Berserk Button: Fonzie is the epitome of cool but he has his triggers.
    • Wanna find out what happens when you mess with his ride, it's your funeral.
    • Calling The Fonz "Arthur" has been known to set him off every now and then. Unless it's Mrs.C of course.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Richie, Potsie and Ralph. Later to Chachi, even though they're cousins. The cousins grow especially close in the last seasons, with Fonzie serving as Chachi's best man for his and Joanie's wedding.
  • Big Damn Heroes: His specialty. If Richie or Joanie is in trouble, Fonzie will always burst in to save the day. He's done this for Potsie, Ralph, and Chachi on occasion as well.
  • The Big Guy: The strongest member of the cast.
  • Born Lucky: Downplayed, but he's very lucky.
  • Breakout Character: Fonzie's probably the most famous example of this trope, which was even originally named "The Fonz."
  • The Casanova: The guy can snap his fingers and women will run up and make out with him!
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • Ayyyyyyyyyy!!!!!
    • Sit on it!! note 
    • Whoa!
    • Correctamundo
  • Character Development: Starting in Season 3.
  • The Charmer: However many women The Fonz has dated, he treats them all with respect.
  • Chick Magnet: He can pick up women at the drop of a hat, usually thanks to a high level of confidence. One good example is when he starts to romance an airport ticket agent over the phone:
    Fonzie: What makes me think I'm so cool?
    (hangs up the phone, which rings again a few seconds later)
    Fonzie: That's what makes me think I'm so cool.
  • Cool Bike: According to The Fonz himself, his bike is what made him cool. So he's reasonably pissed when Ralph accidentally wrecks it...
  • Cool Teacher: In Season 8, he becomes the new teacher of auto mechanics at Jefferson High School.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The show would not be the same without his smug one-liners.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father ran out on him when he was only four.
  • Double Date: He and Richie with Laverne & Shirley in "A Date with Fonzie."
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Wore a beige windbreaker instead of his trademark leather jacket for the earlier episodes, because the network was convinced that his leather jacket would make people think he was a hoodlum.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Arthur. With the exception of Marion, Fonzie doesn't let anyone call him that.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Herbert.
  • Establishing Character Moment: While it's the Fonz's second scene in the first episode, he does set an example of just how he is The Ace by unhooking a bra in a single finger snap. Then goes to the mirror to guzzy himself up, only to realize that he's already perfect and then leaves. All while not saying a word.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: When Fonzie tries to admit to Richie that he was wrong, it comes out "I was wr-rró-rró- I was wrrró-rr ... I was not exactly right." He also has difficulty saying he's sorry.
  • Expy: According to Winkler, he based The Fonz off his The Lords Of Flatbush co-star Sylvester Stallone.
  • Faking the Dead: In "Fonzie's Funeral", after a notorious gangster nearly has him killed in an explosion, he and the Cunninghams devise a scheme to bring the gangster to justice by holding a pretend funeral.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: When he is frozen by Mork, he comes back by first wiggling his thumb.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • Flanderization: His superhuman power, from Season 5-onwards, as a result of his character evolving into The Ace.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The Realist.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang:
    Fonzie: Hey, Potsie! How long has it been since we hung out together?
    Potsie: Five years.
    Fonzie: Let's make a deal that we meet every five years, alright?
  • Gagging on Your Words: He is physically incapable of saying that he's wrong.
  • Girl of the Week: He's often seen with a different girl every episode, and it's implied that he typically has more than one date per night.
  • Grease Monkey: Works as a mechanic, and later becomes the auto-shop teacher at Jefferson High School.
  • Greaser Delinquents: Arguably the most famous example.
  • HeelĖFace Turn: Revealed in "Our Gang" via flashback sequences that he used to be part of a gang, before Richie convinced him that he didn't need gangs to show he was cool.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: From Season 2-on, except for a few notable occasions, he is never seen without his leather jacket.
  • The Hero's Birthday: "The Second Anniversary Show", "The Sixth Sense", "Hi-Yo Fonzie, Away!"
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Richie.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Though very protective of it in earlier seasons, he slowly opens up to most of his friends.
  • Honor Before Reason: "The Fonzarelli Code."
  • Iconic Item: His leather jacket.
  • I Owe You My Life: Potsie saves his life in one episode. All he wants in return is to 'pal around' with the Fonz ... all the time.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Subverted, The Fonz is a master of all.
  • Ladykiller in Love: First with Pinky Tuscadero in Season 4. In season 10, with Ashley Pfister.
  • The Lancer: You could not find a better example. He's the exact opposite of the clean-cut, all-American Richie Cunningham. But after Richie left, he became The Hero.
  • Large Ham: After Season 2.
  • Last-Name Basis: Refers to most of his friends this way.
  • Likes Older Women: On occasion.
  • Locked in a Room: With Richie, Ralph, and Potsie in "Time Capsule."
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: One of only four characters to remain on the show for its entire run. And, along with Howard, the only other character to appear in every episode.
  • Made of Iron: He can punch through doors, ram his head into a concrete wall unscathed, and bend iron.
  • Master of Disguise: Goes undercover in a few episodes, such as "Fonzie's Funeral", where he has to pretend to be his mother to trick The Candyman.
  • Missing Mom: His mom seems to be this, though the circumstances aren't quite clear. One episode is centered around him encountering a woman he believes is his mother. The woman manages to convince him that she's not, but after he leaves, the audience sees her look at a picture of Fonzie as a baby and sigh.
  • Mr. Fixit: Let it be known that he's the best at fixing cars (if not, he'll tell you).
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Can take on goons who are a foot taller or even twice as muscular.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Over time, he started to gain superhuman abilities, such as a definitive knowledge of martial arts, fencing, and even shark-jumping!
  • The Nicknamer: Refers to Richie as "Red", Joanie as "Shortcake", and Marion and Howard as "Mr. and Mrs. C".
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: He never lets anyone mess with his hair.
  • No Indoor Voice: From Season 2 on, see Large Ham.
  • No Party Given: Averted in "The Not Making of the President" where he supports Republican candidate, Dwight D. Eisenhower ("I like Ike! My bike likes Ike!"). Played straighter earlier in the same episode though, where he's seen to carry both Eisenhower and Stevenson buttons in order to romance the girls from both parties, switching them out as needed.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent
  • One-Man Army: The Fonz is a one man demolition squad that requires no backup in a fight. He's taken out thugs and gangsters single-handedly.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: No one calls Fonzie "Arthur" except Marion. No one.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both his parents ran out on him, forcing Fonzie to leave with his grandmother until moving in to the spare room above the Cunninghams'.
  • Parental Substitute: For Chachi.
  • Percussive Maintenance: The Former Trope Namer for this ability.
  • Potty Emergency: Implied at the end of The Motorcycle.
  • The Pornomancer: The TV Ur-Example.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In Season 2, to reflect on his growing popularity with audiences.
  • The Quiet One: In the first two seasons (mainly the first), with an all-time low of six lines in the pilot. By Season 3, this trope no longer applies to him.
  • Really Gets Around: He's known to have at least two dates every night (and that's on a slow day). From the sheer number of times Richie has come upstairs to find The Fonz with a girl, it's likely he takes a good number of them home afterwards.
  • The Reliable One: The entire Cunningham family gradually grows to trust him. This includes dispensing advice, keeping secrets, and generally treating him like a member of the family.
  • Renaissance Man: Knowledgeable on a wide variety of mechanical, social, and athletic abilities.
  • Rule of Cool: The Fonz abides by this law.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Richie's Sensitive Guy.
  • Sexy Man, Instant Harem: He can get a whole herd of woman to flock to his side by simply snapping his fingers. An Outtake showed the guys of the show mocking this characteristic by going in place of the girls after the finger snap. Well, we are talking about the Flanderized Fonzie; before this, he was just a mechanic who scored the lowest female trash in Milwaukee.
  • Show Stopper: Starting Season 3, whenever he first appeared in an episode, the audience would break out into applause.
  • Smug Super: Dishes out a Badass Boast every now and then.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: And it bugged the hell out of Henry Winkler, who hated how a show based around the Cunningham family had morphed into all-Fonz, all the time.
  • Street Smart: More so than Richie, Potsie, and Ralph, which is why he is often there to give them advice.
  • Temporary Blindness: He is victim to this, in tremendously ham-fisted fashion, especially when Richie dismantles his motorcycle to force him to rebuild it while blind.
  • Third-Person Person: "The Fonz" sometomies resorts to this.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Starts opening up more to those around him, and by the series finale, has progressed from high school dropout to family man.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Token bad boy of the show and Chick Magnet. Of course, he becomes less and less "bad" and troubled as time went on, due to the writers twigging to the fact that he was becoming a role model.
  • True Companions: With Richie, Ralph, and Potsie.
  • Two-Timer Date: He and Roger (unknowingly) with the same girl in "The Other Guy."
  • Under New Management: He and Al become co-owners of "The New Arnold's" in Season 7.
  • Use Your Head: "Hot Stuff", the episode where Arnold's catches fire has Fonzie trying to break out of the men's room (where he, Potsie, and Ralph are trapped) via this method. It doesn't work.
    Potsie: Hey, look, there's an outside wall! I wonder what it's made of?
    Fonzie: Concrete. (passes out)
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ralph and Potsie.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Cannot stand liver, won't eat it, won't let anyone put it on his plate, cannot look at it, and will leave the room to get away from it.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: "I'm ahead of my time, Cunningham."

    Richard "Richie" Cunningham
Played By: Ron Howard

     Howard Cunningham
Played by: Tom Bosley

    Marion Cunningham
Played by: Marion Ross

     Joanie Louise Cunningham-Arcola
Played by: Erin Moran

  • The Talk: She sort-of has one in "Not With My Sister You Don't" when Marion tries to explain to her how to fend off any unwanted advances from her date.
  • Wedding Day: With Chachi in the finale.

    Warren "Potsie" Weber
Played by: Anson Williams

  • Adorkable: Often scorned by his peers for being a "nerd". Lampshaded in one episode when Joanie starts being attracted to him, ignoring the other people who think he's a "nerd".
  • Advertised Extra: After Richie and Ralph left, Potsie remains on the show but his screen time is greatly reduced because the writers struggled to find things for him to do. He rarely does anything relevant in an episode (he often appears in just one scene) and is entirely absent from several. Despite this, he's still in the opening credits, even in the last season where he only appears in 6 out of 22 episodes, not including the finale.
  • Alliterative Name: Warren Weber.
  • The Artifact: After Richie and Ralph left the show. Lampshaded in the episode where Arnold returns to the show.
    Potsie: I'm still here!
  • Bound and Gagged: In "Fonzie's Funeral Part 2", along with Ralph.
  • Butt-Monkey: Often on the receiving end of sarcastic wisecracks.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: We never actually see Potsie do this on the show, but Potsie mentions at the end of "White Christmas" that he is going to finally have a decent talk with his father.
  • Catch-Phrase: Potsie used to say "man oh man, you got it made in the shade" to Richie in the first two seasons. Lampshaded during a flashback episode to their sophomore year.
  • Childhood Friends: With Richie, as evidenced by their close friendship in early episodes. Lampshaded a couple of times in later seasons.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Very often.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Look for Potsie throughout Season 8 episodes in a stream of completely random jobs, including: the announcer at a basketball game, the MC of an awards ceremony, singing at a beauty pageant, etc. before Howard hired him as assistant manager of the hardware store and pledge for the Leopard Lodge. In fact, anytime he appeared after that, it was always with Howard (much to the latter's frustration).
  • Demoted to Extra: Starting Season 8, his appearances became much less frequent. There are episodes where he doesn't even have lines and only appears in crowd scenes or special occasions. His frequent absences in Seasons 9-11 can be chalked up to him attending college or watching over Mr. C's hardware store.
  • The Ditz: More so as the seasons went on.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: Shown in some of the episodes about he and Ralph living in their apartment that he is obsessed with keeping his teeth clean.
  • Fearless Fool: He claims to fear nothing on Richie's list of phobias in "Fearless Malph", as opposed to Ralph, who is terrified of every single item on the list.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Flanderization: His stupidity.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Averted in "Potsie Gets Pinned" when he declares that he wants to marry Jennifer Jerome after just one date.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: In the later seasons, no one (especially Howard) ever seems to enjoy his company.
  • Genius Ditz: Potsie's an excellent singer and was smart enough to study psychology in college, but thinks that a pair of scissors is two.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ralph. Originally with Richie, but as Fonzie became The Lancer, Richie and Potsie rarely ever had a one-on-one conversation again. In fact, the last thing Potsie ever says to Richie on the show is a complaint about how Richie's return from the Army is derailing his place on the gang's softball team.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: If Potsie's very bad relationship with his father wasn't played for laughs, you would think he was the victim of some severe emotional abuse.
  • A House Divided: He and Ralph are oblivious to the fact that Richie is disturbed by their peculiar living conditions in "The Apartment", while he and Ralph argue over some of Richie's bad advice in "Ralph vs. Potsie."
  • I Have No Son: He mentions in several episodes that his father doesn't like to tell people that his son even EXISTS.
  • I Owe You My Life: Potsie saves Fonzie's life in one episode. All he wants in return is to 'pal around' with the Fonz ... all the time.
  • The Lancer: Was originally supposed to be this to Richie, before Fonzie became the show's Breakout Character.
  • Locked in a Room: With Richie, Fonzie, and Ralph in "Time Capsule."
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: One of only four characters to appear in every season of the show. His appearances in the last two seasons really amount to nothing more than cameos and/or guest appearances.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In one of the later episodes, Fonzie says almost this exact quote about him.
  • "Not Important to This Episode" Camp: Countless times in the last two seasons.
  • Odd Couple: The Felix to Ralph's Oscar as roommates in their apartment.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The only one who ever refers to him as "Warren" is Marion (and, on occasion, Fonzie).
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: After Howard hires him to work at Cunningham Hardware. Potsie continues to follow him home even after Mr. C's constant reminders that their time spent together was over when the work day ended. Not that Potsie ever picks up on this.
  • This Is My Side: He and Ralph play this straight in their apartment when bad advice from Richie goes too far.
  • Those Two Guys: With Ralph.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: From Richie's worldly confidant to Ralph's dim-witted sidekick.
  • Tragic Dropout: He drops out of college in "Potsie Quits School" when he cannot tolerate any more pressure from an abusive teacher. With the help of Fonzie, Potsie manages to convince his teacher (through song) that he can pass his biology test, and reenrolls back into the college.
  • True Companions: With Richie, Ralph, and Fonzie.
  • The Unfavorite: To his father, despite being an only child.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Subverted. Most of the time he doesn't even seem to care whether his father notices him or not.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: For the finale, at least. No explanation is given as to why one of the show's original main characters failed to make, at the very least, a guest appearance (Ralph didn't appear, either, but he was written off as having gone to optometry school). Anson Williams quit following the 1982-1983 season. He agreed to return for the "Welcome Home Richie" episodes, and completed a handful of others before his departure. For some reason, neither he nor Don Most was asked to return for the series finale.

    Ralph Malph
Played by: Donny Most

    Alfred "Al" Delvecchio 
Played by: Al Molinaro

  • Back for the Finale: He comes back in three episodes of the last season, including the finale.

    Charles "Chachi" Arcola
Played by: Scott Baio

Other Characters

    Chuck Cunningham 
Played by: Gavan O'Herlihy, Randolph Roberts

    Matsumo "Arnold" Takahashi 
Played by: Pat Morita

    Lori Beth Allen-Cunningham 
Played by: Lynda Goodfriend

  • Babies Make Everything Better: She gives birth to Richie Jr. in "Little Baby Cunningham", although the baby isn't given much of an emphasis on episodes, disappearing after Lynda Goodfriend left the cast in Season 10, and returning as a fully-grown toddler named Richie, Jr.
  • Back for the Finale: Lori Beth & Richie returned in the series finale Passages Part 2, where they attended Joanie and Chachi's wedding.
  • The Bus Came Back: In a couple of episodes of the last season.
  • Demoted to Extra: When Richie left to join the Army in Greenland, she stuck around, getting married to him over the phone, and giving birth to Richie's son when he was away. Eventually, she pretty much just stopped appearing entirely unless it was a special occasion, having little way to play off the others.
  • Happily Married: To Richie, as of Season 8.
  • Love Interest: To Richie.

    Jenny Piccalo 
Played by: Cathy Silvers

  • Characterization Marches On: When she was just The Ghost, Jenny was painted as Joanie's cool and "experienced" friend. However, after she actually appears on the show and emerges as a major character, they made her a delusional and ditzy Small Name, Big Ego who makes Joanie look better.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: She's oblivious to nearly everything around her that doesn't involve boys.
  • Drop-In Character: Howard and Marion are often hesitant about having her around Joanie or K.C. because she is "boy crazy."
  • Genki Girl: More perky than the levelheaded Joanie.
  • The Ghost: Before season 8, she is frequently mentioned by Joanie but never appears for many seasons.
  • Good Bad Girl: Despite being very boy-crazy, she is not a bad person.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: She was an offscreen "bad girl" friend of Joanie until season 8. Once brought onscreen, her character becomes much Lighter and Softer and she's revealed to be just a boy-crazy Genki Girl.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Very, very much so.

    Roger Phillips 
Played by: Ted McGinley

    Leopold "Flip" Phillips 
Played by: Billy Warlock

    Krystal "K.C." Cunningham 
Played by: Crystal Bernard

    Ashley Pfister 
Played by: Linda Purl

  • Love Interest: For Fonzie.
  • Put on a Bus: After Season 10, Purl left the show because Happy Days had to cut back on its number of extras. Ashley's sudden disappearance is explained by Fonzie that she had departed with her daughter to get back together with her husband.

    Heather Pfister 
Played by: Heather O'Rourke

  • Put on a Bus: After Season 10, O'Rourke's character was written out because the show had to cut back on its number of extras. Her disappearance was explained that she and her mother had gone back in search of her father.

    "Bag" Zambroni 
Played by: Neil J. Schwartz

    Bill "Sticks" Downey 
Played by: Jack Baker

  • You Know I'm Black, Right?: An entire episode revolves around how the entire town is racist towards him, much to the chagrin of Fonzie.

    Eugene Belvin 
Played by: Denis Mandel