Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Repeatedly. Sometimes it's fully warranted, as when he drops everything he's doing to fixate on a Very Big Problem (as with spotting a serial killer or bank robber), but still... what must that girl think when he tries to hit on her and has just given her a line and she's just gotten out a few syllables of "Well, you haven't given me the chance (to tell you my name)" when he bolts off to talk to a man standing in line?
Also has it with Gillian in season 3. Fun drinking game? Count the times Cal invades Gillian's personal space just to see her get irritated.
British Footy Teams: In one episode, Cal is seen wearing a claret and blue scarf, the colours of West Ham United. See, not a glory hunter.
Berserk Button: Never, ever threaten his daughter Emily. Never appear to threaten his daughter Emily. Never go anywhere near his daughter Emily. Never let Emily kiss you. See Papa Wolf and Overprotective Dad.
Also, don't threaten Foster. It's one of the few times we see Cal showing Tranquil Fury.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The only reason Cal isn't locked up for some of the stunts he's pulled is because he is a brilliant scientist and usually right.
Lampshaded in "Rebound" - Cal actually wears bunny slippers in a scene.
Consummate Liar: If he ever used his powers on himself, the universe might implode.
Gillian sees through him every now and then, and Torres has been getting in on the act, too.
Emily's beginning to pick up on her dad's talent for spotting deception, mainly in him.
Crazy-Prepared: Cal has in his office a safe containing at least three pistols, one shotgun and several cases of ammunition.
Reynolds: Damn, Lightman. You're not messing around, huh?
Dark and Troubled Past: Hoo boy. Mother committed suicide and Cal blamed himself, father was a drunk who knocked Cal and Louise around. Cal has had a mysterious stint fighting the IRA in Belfast, is former MI6 and was an interrogation specialist in the Yugoslav Wars, and was a deception expert for the CIA during The War on Terror. All of which has come back to haunt him.
Jerkass: It's hard to understand how Cal's still employed with the way he tampers with investigations. Looking at the way he treats virtually everyone in his life (even the people he supposedly likes), it's a wonder Cal hasn't been shot more often.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: . . . and then you watch him being a father to Emily or teasing Gillian, and we realize that he does have his good points.
Jerkass Woobie: . . . and when he finally opens up and admits his failings and feelings, you just want to hug him. A particularly poignant example is the opening sentences to his (as yet still-unwritten) book:
"Let me be clear. I understand very little, least of all the people closest to me."
Ladykiller in Love: Hits this with Gillian in "Killer App", where he admits to Emily that yes, he's in love with Gillian.
Overprotective Dad: Oh god, yes, even though he consciously dials it down. When you can read your daughter's every word and expression, you either let her make mistakes or lose her like you lost her mother.
Showy Invincible Hero: Most of the time, though this is slowly being deconstructed. Most recently, it was pointed out in "Funhouse" that getting himself admitted to a mental institution might have done him more harm than good, and it's Loker who actually breaks the case.
Twerp Sweating: Cal's treatment of Emily's boyfriends might be one of the funniest examples.
Will They or Won't They?: With Gillian, who is the "good girl" in contrast to his usual bad-girl type. Definitely reached Most Important Person status, and made explicit in "The Whole Truth" when Cal says to Clara in regards to what Gillian is to him, "she's my Leo" (i.e. the person whom I trust above all others, even with my death).
Cal's partner and co-owner of the Lightman Group, a trained psychologist.
Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Zoe, Poppy, Helen, and Clara's Veronica, regardless of the state of her marriage.
Berserk Button: Do not shut her out of business decisions, and do not fuck with her when she's happy.
Beware the Nice Ones: Though she doesn't stop a group of thugs from breaking into her house and tying her up, she takes a frying pan to the head of one of the thugs from out of nowhere. Foster is a ninja.
Another example is the scene in "Killer App" when she loses her shit at the guy who killed one of her patients. She screams at him and shoves him around - for Foster, that's saying a lot - but it's really the implied threat regarding her made by Cal at the end of the episode that hits this trope.
Cal: I've recommended you be sent to a mental hospital.
Zach: Why would you do that for me?
Cal: You framed an innocent man, you hacked my computers, you hurt a very close friend of mine, and you murdered a wonderful young girl. Now, prison will only take your freedom. But that hospital, the pills they'll give you? They'll take your mind. And make no mistake, Doctor Foster will make sure of that personally.
Manipulative Bitch: Not nearly as bad as Cal, but subtle and manipulates people's emotions easily, such as relating to the victim with a story about a false brother. Loker thinks she is the best at lying of them all.
Ms. Exposition: Usually the one explaining to Loker/Torres/the clients/the audience what Cal's yammering on about.
Selective Obliviousness: Gillian really doesn't want to know the truth about her husband. Unfortunately, she finds out he's cheating on her with his drug sponsor and he's relapsed. Their divorce goes through in "The Core of It".
She Cleans Up Nicely: Twice, first in "The Core of It", when she comes into work in a hot pink dress to celebrate her divorce going through, and then in "Fold Equity", when she "embraces the Vegas". Yowza.
Sweet Tooth: Numerous times in the show, but the pilot is probably the best example:
Cal: What is that now?
Gillian: Orange slushie.
Cal: How *old* are you?
Team Mom: Though not, unfortunately an actual mother.
Will Not Tell a Lie: Gillian doesn't claim to never lie, but her sense of morality and ethics won't let her. It's deconstructed in two episodes:
Sweet Sixteen: Gillian's Dark Secret is exposed; she lied to Cal for seven years to keep him from investigating a case. The bad guys had threatened his family, and Gillian made a Deal with the Devil to keep them safe.
Cal: So all that talk about you being a bad liar is just an act. That's a lie.
Gillian: Depends on the lie.
Dirty Loyal: Cal asks Gillian to lie to IAB for his sort-of-girlfriend, Detective Wallowski, even though she knows that Wallowski is corrupt and she's duty-bound to tell the truth. Gillian does lie, but we have yet to see if there will be consequences.
Break the Haughty: In season three, Loker seems to have thrown in the towel in regards to the Lightman Group, having no respect for Cal because Cal constantly demeans him. The way Cal treats Loker is explicitly likened to the process used to create a sociopath.
Brutal Honesty: He's introduced in the pilot as never telling anything but the complete truth, even if that means offending his coworkers (which he does).
Clueless Chick Magnet: Loker to Emily Lightman. He's interested in protecting her and being polite, while she thinks he's into her, or at least pretends to. Also, humorously, to a third grade teacher in one episode.
Will Not Tell a Lie: Claims to at the beginning. By mid-season one, he's already lied in the course of an investigation.
Will They or Won't They?: With Torres. As of "Darkness and Light", they kiss, and it's implied something else happens, but Loker is promoted to Torres's boss, so they can't see each other. She seems pretty freaked out by this development, so expect it to continue.
A "natural" deception expert, hired by Cal and Gillian in the pilot to be his new protege.
Abusive Parents / Alcoholic Parent: Her father, who used to drink heavily and beat his daughters. According to Cal and Gillian, one of the two hallmarks of a natural is an abusive background: if a child raised by abusive parents doesn't know when they have to be avoided and/or placated, and some idea as to how to achieve the latter, they suffer even more. Pavlovian conditioning, or as Tropers would call it, Power at a Price... of a SNAFU childhood. Of course, Cal exploits her abusive past to solve certain cases.
Bi the Way: "Experimented" with a relationship with an older woman. May not be a straight example, as she refutes Loker's assumption that she's gay and/or bi—but then again, doesn't seem at all ashamed of it either. Even a little fond.
Freudian Excuse: Ria has daddy issues, which lead her into getting drunk and trying to seduce Cal in "Delinquent".
Becomes a Crowning Moment of Funny when his reaction is to shove her into a cold shower, hard, and she realized what she just tried to do. Then, again when he later describes the incident as her trying to stick her tongue down his throat.
Spicy Latina: Averted - a lot of male villains tend to want to see her this way, but she's actually the most rational and down-to-earth of the team.
Token Minority: Averted. With two of the five major characters being minorities, it's hardly token.
Will They or Won't They?: With Loker. As of "Darkness and Light", something happens, along with a drunken kiss, but they can't continue the relationship now that Loker has been promoted to her boss. Expect it to continue.
Cal's ex-wife, an attorney for the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
Drop-In Character: Shows up every so often to deal with something involving Emily, consult on a case (or hire Cal and Co. to consult for her), and sleep with Cal after spending the episode trying to convince herself (and the audience) that they're through.
Working with the Ex: They work very well together. Now they just need to stop sleeping with each other.
Cal and Zoe's teenaged daughter.
Bratty Teenage Daughter: Mostly averted. Emily seems to be notably calmer than both her parents, and only gets into trouble in a few episodes. She's downright sweet and mature for a sixteen-year-old on television.
The Conscience: For Cal. Zoe and Gillian both admit that, when all their attempts at getting Cal to open up fail, Emily is the one he'll open up with.
Put on a Bus: In "Darkness and Light", he follows Cal to an undercover meet, gets shot three times, presumably lives, and all we ever hear about him in season three is that Cal's "severed his ties to the FBI".