Characters: Happy Endings
Played By: Elisha Cuthbert
Jane's ditzy younger sister and the youngest (and most clueless) member of the group. She was once engaged to Dave but abandoned him at the altar but as of season 3 they start dating again. But then, they break up again at the end of that season..
- Amicable Exes: with Dave until they start dating again. Then they break up again at the end of season 3. Amicably.
- Big Eater: Possibly the only character in the show who has an appetite bigger than Max.
- Characterization Marches On: Alex originally didn't have any defining character traits, but she's gradually turned into the cute ditz.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Set off events which meant the whole group was pranking one another because she's "Not as dumb as I am", by pranking her boyfriend with guns for food.
- The Chick / The Heart: Has twice led charges for the group 'For Love!'
- Cloudcuckoolander: Yeah, she's out there. Claims to have pig friends, for one thing.
- Comically Missing the Point: Often does this.
- The Cutie: Is cheerful and optimistic, more so than any of the others.
- The Ditz: In a webisode, she’s incredulous that the aliens Michael Jordan played with in Space Jam were actually cartoons.
- Dumb Blonde: Although she notes she's a bottle blonde.
- Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: Temporarily becomes smart in one episode. Ends up going back to her old ways when she finds that hanging out with other intellectuals isn't all that fun.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric (shares this with Jane)
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Jane and Alex are normally on the same page but when they fight it gets bad, as seen in the Season 3 episode, The Incident.
- Guilty Pleasures: Alex loves cliched and formulaic Rom Com movies.
- Horrible Judge of Character: See the episode where she's looking for a new roommate.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Felt incredibly guilty about leaving Dave at the altar. Recurs throughout Season 1, whenever she's reminded of the pain she's caused him. They both manage to get past it though.
- She also got this way after chopping off some of her hair to try to protect herself from Max's prank (which ended up being pointless). Or at least she's pretending to be.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe example as a lot of people continue to remember her for leaving Dave at the altar long after the pilot.
- One-Hour Work Week: Owner and seemingly sole employee of a store that she spends hardly any time in.
- Runaway Bride: How she was first introduced.
- Sibling Yin-Yang Not too bright, very nice and easy personality contrasting with Jane's intelligent if ruthless approach to things.
- Smart Ball: one episode sees her get smarter after doing extensive reading...only to revert to her dumb but sweet self at the end.
- Strong Family Resemblance: With Jane.
- That Came Out Wrong: Occasionally does this. Sometimes she notices.
- Too Dumb to Live: To prove a point to Dave, Alex tried using her apartment chimney. She ended up setting the place on fire.
- Took a Level in Kindness: She was a bully in elementary school, but grew out of this behavior.
- We Want Our Ditz Back: In one episode, she becomes fairly smart which makes Dave and Jane feel threatened. They even try to coax her back to her old ways.
- Woman Child: She was the flower girl ay her sister's wedding, a role usually reserved for five-year olds.
Played By: Eliza Coupe
Brad's wife and Alex's older sister. She was something of an irresponsible party girl in her college days, but matured into a competitive, driven, career-minded perfectionist.
- Always Someone Better: Turns out, she has an older sister that makes Jane look like Alex whenever she's around.
- Bi the Way: As Brad found out when Jane's ex-girlfriend comes to town.
- Experimented in College: Penny says she dated a huge number of girls and called it 'just a phase.'
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Competition Freak: Demonstrated in 'She Got Game Night' and 'Deuce Babylove 2: Electric Babydeuce.' After she and Brad defeat Max and Alex in a tennis match, she takes Alex's racket and begins to smash it agains the court, saying 'You don't deserve this!'
- Control Freak
- Former Teen Rebel
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric (shares this with Alex)
- Freudian Excuse: A lot of her present day and past actions were seemingly motivated by an attempt to match or outshine her older sister who, when she's around, turns Jane into Alex.
- Guile Hero: When she's using her powers for good.
- Manipulative Bastard: when she's not.
- Happily Married: To Brad.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: she wears the pants in the relationship.
- Ms. Fanservice: Though all the women (and men, for that matter) on the show are rather attractive, Jane most fits this trope, from constantly baring her legs to being unabashed in her sexual desire for her husband, to the completely naked (though censored) scene she gets in the Season 3 opener.
- Sensual Slav: The Serbian heritage is played up much more with her, even though it’s Alex who still has the maiden name.
- She's Got Legs: Lamphshaded, both Max and Alex (when she's carrying the Smart Ball for an episode) note that Jane almost never wears long pants so she can invoke this trope and get outside validation, which she says she needs a lot of.
- Significant Birthdate: Christmas.
- The Smart Guy: together with her husband Brad.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: She's ridiculously good at those.
- Strong Family Resemblance: With Alex.
- Token Evil Teammate: The show casts her in lovable villain mode a surprising number of times.
- We Want Our Jerk Back: one episode had her mellow down significantly, much to the eventual chagrin of her friends who found her new personality too lackadaisical.
- Where Da White Women At?: Apparently Brad's not the only black guy Jane's dated.Jane: Why are you having private messages with Megan? What are you writing that I can't read?
Brad: I am writing "none of your business." I don't ask what you're writing to Jamal, or Malik, or Ladwinian!
Played By: Zachary Knighton
Alex's melancholic ex-fiance who as of season 3 start dating again, who quits his boring office job to start a food truck business. Tries to be "the cool guy" of the gang but usually fails.
- Amicable Exes: with Alex. Until they start dating again. Then they break up again at the end of season 3. Amicably.
- Apologises a Lot
- Beard of Sorrow: Seems to have one in early episodes after getting jilted, but it eventually just becomes part of his look.
- Camp Straight: less so than Brad, but it's there.
- Catch Phrase: "Let me back up..." after a bad opening to an explanation, then again after the explanation fails, then at last being cut off as he leads into some anecdote about his childhood. His father shares the same phrase.
- Character Tics: slaps Max after high-fives.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life
- Distracted by the Luxury: Sneaks back into the apartment he shared with Alex… because her bathroom is nicer than Max’s.
- Dreadful Musician: he's a singer-songwriter. A really bad one.
- The Eeyore: he's a wee bit prone to depression.
- The Everyman
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
- Hypocritical Humor: despite his obsession with being cool, he's basically the opposite of that, as his friends often point out.
- The Leader / The Hero: However, Penny lampshades his atypical nature of this trope by pointing out "Dave, for a leading-man type, you partake in some really outlandish behavior".
- Limited Wardrobe: Dave seems to wear exclusively v-necks.
- One of the Kids
- Not So Different: Not as dumb as Alex, but he's still not particularly bright either. This is really highlighted in the episode that Alex becomes smart and Dave looks progressively dumber by the minute.
- In one episode, he calls Alex out on being too impulsive. But as other people point out, he's also pretty impulsive as well.
- Properly Paranoid: Is prepared for most of Max's pranks except for faking his death.
- Pungeon Master: The proprietor of Steak Me Home Tonight pretty much has to be.
- Running Gag: Tends to explain things by going way too broad, saying 'Let me back up'. Eventually its revealed his dad does the same thing.
- White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: although he's apparently 1/16 Navajo.
Max Blum A.K.A. Joseph Reynolds
Played By: Adam Pally
Brad and Dave's friend since college: lackadaisical, sarcastic, gay and perpetually unemployed.
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: In the first season, toned down in the second and seemingly averted in the third where Max begins looking for a steady boyfriend.
- Badass Boast: Attempts several of these in the prank episode, but keeps failing to say his own name correctly.
- The Bear: Lampshaded in Ordinary Extraordinary Love.
- Big Eater
- Breakout Character
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fat and Proud: Averted.
- Fat Slob
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
- Get Rich Quick Scheme: a lot, due to his unwillingness to take up a full-time job.
- Guilty Pleasures: Max reads Japanese Tiger Beat.
- Guys Are Slobs
- I Call Him Mr Happy: apparently his "underpants monster" is called Chad.
- Informed Judaism
- Nice Jewish Boy: Loves his parents and they love him, before and after he belatedly comes out to them.
- It's All About Me: Is pretty self-centered most of the time. But deep down he does care about his friends.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold / Jerkass Façade
- The Lancer
- One of the Kids
- Perma Stubble
- Perpetual Poverty: due to perpetual unemployment.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Penny.
- Refuge in Audacity: Lots of his actions. Such as faking his own death as a prank.
- The Slacker
- Straight Gay
- Twofer Token Minority: gay and Jewish.
- Why Did It Have To Be Spiders?: It's his third biggest phobia behind public speaking and drag queens with no makeup.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: although he does eventually become a limo driver for some time. He's usually either unemployed or with a job that as Brad puts it, shows that 'Max leads the league in having jobs you didn't know were jobs.'
Played By: Damon Wayans, Jr.
Jane's easygoing (and somewhat effeminate) husband who has a Those Two Guys vibe with Max.
- Camp Straight: “So what, now a brother can’t twirl?”
- Catch Phrase: Often issues a quick, high-pitched "What?" in response to a racist or otherwise offensive comment in conversation. This is typically ignored by the other characters, who continue to discuss amongst themselves.
- Character Tics: Brad dry heaves when he sees someone ready to throw up.
- The Charmer
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Can get jealous pretty easily when it comes to his wife. To be fair, Jane's not that much better.
- The Dandy / Sharp-Dressed Man
- Desk Jockey
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine (shares this with Penny)
- Guilty Pleasures: Brad loves cliched and formulaic Rom Com movies.
- Happily Married: To Jane.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side
- The Smart Guy: shares this role with Jane.
- Token Minority
- Unconfessed Unemployment: For a while in the second season finale. Inverted in the third season premiere where he pretends to be jobless.
- Work Hard, Play Hard
Played By: Casey WilsonA friend of Alex, Jane and Dave since childhood, as well as Max's ex-girlfriend (he refers to it as his "first gay relationship"). She's constantly on the prowl for the right guy but tends to scare potential suitors away with her slightly manic personality.
- Adorkable: Possibly the biggest dork on the show, which is really saying a lot.
- The Beard: Acted as one with Max to fool his parents into thinking he was gay. Something she wasn't particularly fond of.
- Brainy Brunette
- Butt Monkey: Her relationships are constantly failing, she's often the butt of everyone's jokes, her birthday's cursed, and she keeps hitting her head.
- Buxom Is Better: often noted in-universe.
- Catch Phrase: "Ah-mah-zing".
- Drunken Master: When Penny gets really drunk, she can speak fluent Italian.
- Friend to All Children: Sees herself this way, which is why she’s taken aback when two kids she’s babysitting prefer lackadaisical Max.
- Fag Hag: Penny wants to be this to Max. Because of the whole Straight Gay thing it doesn't really work out.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine (shares this with Brad)
- Genki Girl
- Heroic BSOD: Enters one when she goes on a cleanse.
- Insult Backfire: Thinks the nicknames her co-workers give her are meant as compliments. It takes a while for her to realize that "old spinster", "un-dateable", and "train wreck" may not be forms of praise.
- Large Ham: Is very loud, outspoken, and often overreacts.
- Like Mother, Like Daughter
- Last Het Romance: for Max, or according to him, first gay romance, as Penny acts like a Camp Gay man.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
- Ma'am Shock: First in the pilot, when she responds to being called ma'am by saying she's going to "go bawl my eyes out, and then I'll be back to physically fight you.". In a later episode, she has a more subdued but still surprised reaction when a waiter calls her ma'am.
- Mistaken For A Nazi: In the episode that she dated Hitler. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Not What It Looks Like: Often the victim of this.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Max.
- Running Gag: Penny is constantly hitting her head on something. In one episode, she's actually prescribed a helmet by her doctor because of this.
- Statuesque Stunner: may be considered this at 5'8''.
- Verbal Tic: Really fond of abbreviations, or “abbrevs”.
- Weight Woe: The plot of one episode revolved around her dieting, which she couldn't keep up for long.
Played by: Stephen GuarinoThe gang's "offensively stereotypical gay" friend.
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: averted; he gets married to his boyfriend Erik in season 2.
- Camp Gay
- Catch Phrase: (sung) Draaaa-maaaa!
- Drama Queen
- Foil: to Max, who is as far removed from DRAMA! and gay stereotypes as possible.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Considerably nicer in his season 3 appearances than he was when introduced in the second episode.
Played by: Seth MorrisA friend of Max's who is weird and psychotic but it occasionally called upon for various favors.
Played by: Megan MullalyPenny's upbeat, creative mother. She has been thrice divorced and is a travelling lounge singer.
- Blithe Spirit
- Cool Old Lady
- Genki Girl
- Good Parents
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A rare older example.
- Parent with New Paramour: Currently dating Dave's father, "Big" Dave.
- The Pollyanna: She's always looking on the bright side of things.