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Played By: Kate Winslet
- Deadpan Snarker: She usually responds this way to the inanity of her middle-class life and hypocritical circle of 'friends'.Mary Ann: [about Ronnie] He should just be castrated. Just snip, quick and easily.
- Hollywood Homely: Despite being portrayed by Kate Winslet Sarah feels intimidated by Brad's wife, who is described as a knockout. Then again, her competition is played by Jennifer Connelly.
- Immodest Orgasm: When having sex with Brad, she tends to be very vocal.
- Sexless Marriage: With Richard, who's retreated into an obsession with a porn star.
- Your Cheating Heart: She has an affair with Brad while married to Richard, who has turned away from her and eventually runs off with a porn star he was obsessed with.
Played By: Patrick Wilson
- I Coulda Been a Contender!: He was a quarterback on his High School football team, and also watches teenagers skate while longing to relive his happier youth.
- Sexless Marriage: With Kathy. She's increasingly emotionally distant and doesn't seem all that interested in him.
- Your Cheating Heart: He begins an affair with Sarah while married to Kathy.
Played By: Jennifer Connelly
Ronald James McGorvey
Ronald James McGorvey
Played By: Jackie Earle Haley
- Ambiguous Disorder: Aside from his pedophilia, he talks in a stilted manner, has a tendency to stare and can't make small talk without it sounding Creepy Monotone.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Ronnie loves his mother and goes along with her attempts to 're-normalize' him just to please her.
- Groin Attack: Castrates himself in the end.
- Looks Like Orlok: Has a receding hairline and a very gaunt, pale face with Creepy Blue Eyes, which makes him look stereotypically creepy.
- Pedo Hunt: Is subjected to one by Larry.
- Reluctant Psycho: Zigzagged. While he hates his pedophilic urges and wishes he was interested in women his own age, he does nothing to actively suppress those urges, such as avoiding playgrounds and pools which are frequently visited by children. He loses control during his date with Sheila and has her drive to the playground so he can masturbate in her car.
Played By: Noah Emmerich
- The Atoner: For shooting and killing a teenager with a fake gun.
- The Bully: Toward Ronnie, whom he targets in an ill-conceived attempt to busy himself. He vandalizes Ronnie's home and confronts him at night. May calls him out on this.
- Jerkass: His PTSD over having shot a child while on duty, self-loathing and insecurities pile on top of each other, causing him to become one.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He realizes with horror what the extent of his harassment has done, upon seeing that Ronnie has castrated himself following his mother's death.
- Pedo Hunt: He takes it upon himself to harass Ronnie.
- The Resenter: He starts feeling this way toward Brad who almost immediately becomes popular with the team and has a friendlier attitude.
Played By: Gregg Edelman
Played By: Phyllis Somerville
- Mama Bear: She loves her son, and is willing to stand up to anyone who threatens him.
Played By: Mary B. McCann
- Alpha Bitch: She's extremely judgmental of others and belittling toward her 'friends'. She reacts aggressively whenever someone disagrees with her opinion.
- Gossipy Hens: Part of what makes her the Alpha Bitch, she's a judgmental gossip.
- Think of the Children!: Her whole schtick that allows her to keep the moral high ground.