Characters: Maid Marian and Her Merry Men
Maid Marian And Her Merry Men was a children's Sit Com made by The BBC, based on Robin Hood and written by Tony Robinson, who also played the Sheriff. Considered by some to be Blackadder's Younger Cousin series.
- The heroine and titular character; a passionate revolutionary who wages a constant war against tyranny and injustice — or at least tries to, in spite of the well-intentioned "help" she gets from her rather incompetent band of Merry Men. She's probably the smartest character on the show, frequently functioning as the Only Sane Woman, though even she can get some strange ideas when it comes to what outlaw heroes are supposed to do.
- Action Girl: Not quite as action-y as she would like to be; she spends more time organizing charity events than freedom-fighting. Nevertheless, she is very competent and skilled, and can more than hold her own in a fight.
- Deadpan Snarker: She gets really creative when thinking up insults.
- Flanderization (Started out as a well blanced Type B Tsundere but by season 4, she was always angry about something.)
- The Hero: A unique take on Maid Marian of legend, in that she is the clear hero of the show and the leader of the outlaws.
- Important Haircut: Gets one in the last season, because her actress Kate Lonergan had her hair cut for a stage play she was in between seasons three and four, and there wasn't time to grow it back.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has entirely noble intentions but is quite snarky due to everyone she knows being an idiot.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine girl to Robin's feminine boy.
- Nice Hat: In Series Two.
- Only Sane Woman: Though not completely without her quirks or follies, she generally takes on this role.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Her allies aren't the brightest bunch.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: She has traces of this, though the world lets her down every time.
Robin "Hood" of Kensington
- The biggest hero and most ruthless outlaw in all England — or so people think, thanks to various mishaps and misunderstandings. In reality, Robin is a vain and cowardly fool who worked as a tailor before circumstances forced him into the life of an outlaw. He is (at least in Marian's eyes) the stupidest and most useless of the Merry Men, though he does occasionally make himself useful; for example, it was his idea that the Merry Men all dress in green so as to "co-ordinate with the trees."
- Born Lucky: He's obscenely lucky and frequently receives credit for things he didn't do.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's legitimately skilled at textile work, which is his actual job.
- Camp Straight: He's very effeminate but shows interest in the ladies.
- The Cast Showoff: Actor Wayne Morris is a good singer, so it follows that Robin sang a lot of the songs on the show.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He does have his moments, though they're rare.
- The Dandy: Very fashion-conscious and always tries to look his best. Interestingly enough, this seems to build up under his reputation as a great hero, as he is pretty good at dressing up to make himself look dashing and suave.
- The Face: His actual function on the team. He's handsome, charismatic and has a naturally inspiring presence but is otherwise useless and relies on the efforts of the rest of the group to accomplish anything.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Only the other Merry Men see him for the foolish coward he really is; to everyone else he's the greatest hero in the land. Partly this is pure accident and partly because he thinks it's a cool image to cultivate.
- The Fool: Extremely naive and gullible; he wouldn't have lasted five minutes as an outlaw if it hadn't been for a near-unbeatable combination of dumb luck and Marian's quick thinking.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his selfish and self-centered nature, he's really quite soft-hearted and kind, even towards his enemies.
- The Lancer: A pompous fool who gets all of the credit, in contrast to the competent but ignored Marian.
- Large Ham: He's quite the thespian.
- The Load: His contributions to the team are pretty minimal, and he's frequently a hindrance.
- Lovable Coward: Despite his reputation as a fearless hero, he would rather just run and hide when danger approaches.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine boy to Marian's masculine girl.
- The Munchausen: With a heavy accent on Miles Gloriosus.
- Non-Action Guy: While he occasionally pulls his weight, he tends to cower during conflict.
- Small Name, Big Ego: It's not uncommon for him to let the praise of the people go to his head and begin thinking he's as awesome as everyone says.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Robin is the only character in the show to avert the Limited Wardrobe trope; especially after the first series. He has a lot of different outfits and seldom wears the same one two episodes in a row. Probably Justified in that he is a tailor by trade, and is repeatedly shown to be very fashion-conscious.
- Upper-Class Twit: He wants to be one, he's adopted the mannerisms of one, he tries to dress like one, and he's borderline obsessed with royalty and the upper class... but even before he became an outlaw, he was very much a commoner.
- An Affectionate Parody of Little John; Little Ron is the smallest but scrappiest of the Merry Men. He's known for his violent outbursts, and basically joined Marian because it seemed a good way to get into more fights.
- Bad Ass: Of all the Merry Men, Little Ron is the most Badass; he's completely fearless and can beat up just about anyone.
- The Big Guy: The best fighter on the team by far.
- Fearless Fool: Little Ron owns no fear or respect for anything and is usually the first to charge into danger (though he does occasionally get confused and charges in the wrong direction).
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take a lot for him to lose his temper and attack...
- Hidden Depths: ...though occasionally he can be incredibly sneaky and subtle, pulling off some impressive Batman Gambits in order to reach his goals.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: As demonstrated when he was entering a song contest. He still came in second place, though, sine Rabies was the head judge.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: He's the most effective fighter in the group, and has on several occasions simultaneously taken on two or three people twice his size, and won with no difficulty.
- The Worf Effect: Invoked in the episode The Beast of Bolsover, where the titular "Beast" defeats a charging Little Ron with no apparent effort, causing the rest of the Merry Men to quickly agree that none of them has a chance.
- All-Knowing Singing Narrator: Not in every episode, but in a notable number of them, Barrington will be in the opening scenes performing an expositionary song or rap.
- The Cast Showoff: Like Wayne Morris, Danny John-Jules is a good singer, which is probably why Barrington gets the most solo songs.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not quite on the level of Marian or the Sheriff, but he's definitely on a solid third place.
- Fourth Wall Observer: Even outside his narration songs, he'll sometimes cast an aside glance to the camera and make an offhand comment towards the viewer.
- Hey, It's That Guy! (Danny John Jules)
- Jive Turkey: Especially in the early episodes, but it's definitely present in the later ones as well.
- Nice Hat: He's never seen without it.
- The Smart Guy: Though he generally reserves his brains for quipping.
- The biggest, strongest and slowest Merry Man, Rabies is much like a naive child in an adult man's body. He's usually two steps behind everyone else and seldom has any idea what's going on, though he will occasionally display a bit of Simpleminded Wisdom, even if he mostly doesn't use it in any particularly practical way.
- The Chick: With elements of The Big Guy. He's the most openly sensitive and kind of the group.
- The Ditz: Opinion varies on whether Rabies or Robin is the stupidest of the Merry Men, though Rabies is more frequently at loss as to what's going on.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Happens occasionally.Marian: There's no such word as "can't," Robin!
Rabies: ...Yes, there is!
- Dumb Is Good: There's no denying that he's probably the sweetest and kindest character on the show.
- Dumb Muscle: Not much of a fighter, and is completely outclassed in this respect by Little Ron and even Marian, but when it comes to pure physical strength he's second to none.
- Gentle Giant: Extremely big, freakishly strong, and really a big softy.
- Lazy Bum: Often shirks work and is the most likely to fall asleep on the job. The very last episode of the series, Voyage to the Bottom of the Forest, even had Marian and Barrington sing about it:Well, you're so lazy (lazy, yes you are)
You drive me crazy (laziest by far)
Every time I look at you, your eyes start to close,
You sleep for days on end and then go back for a doze,
You even fall asleep when you're blowing your nose,
'Cause you're so lazy.
- The violent and unstable monarch of England, who has No Indoor Voice, no manners and no gratitude. He spends a good deal of his time tyrannizing his people, his employees and just about anyone else he can think of, and the remainder of the time yelling at them — with perhaps a the occasional minute devoted to wondering why nobody likes him.
- Axe Crazy: Though he's more roar than bite, he's such an awful lot of roar that even his amount of bite is considerable.
- Bad Boss: Just ask the Sheriff.
- Big Bad: A parody of the trope. He's the tyrannical king who oppresses the people, and traditionally the Big Bad or the Robin Hood mythos, but in the context of the series comes across more as an overgrown schoolyard bully. His worst behavior and revenge are usually directed towards the Sheriff.
- The Caligula: A kid-friendly example.
- Jerk Ass: It appears to be a family trait.
- Kick the Dog: All the time, especially if the "dog" is the Sheriff, though sometimes, if he's in a good mood or if it's funnier, he'll just Poke the Poodle or even Pet the Dog.
- Large Ham: Forbes Collins clearly has great fun with this role.
- Surrounded by Idiots: One of the reasons why he's always so angry.
The Sheriff of Nottingham
- King John's devious, scheming and much put-upon stooge; he basically acts not only as Sheriff and tax collector but as the King's personal servant and attendant as well. He is without question the most intelligent and competent bad guy in the series, but thanks to a huge unlucky streak and the Merry Men's ability to pull off schemes at the very last minute generally ends up losing.
- Author Avatar: A villainous Butt Monkey example, but there is clearly a lot of Tony Robinson (who of course created and wrote the series) in the character.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh, how much.
- Dirty Coward: His biggest Achilles' Heel; he'll back away from any fight he's not one hundred percent certain to win.
- The Chew Toy: He's the most abused character in the series, bar none.
- Embarrassing First Name: Arnold, as revealed in the season three episode, Keeping Mum.
- Faux Affably Evil: He can be very polite and charming when he wants to be, but he'll always drop the act almost immediately after he's gotten what he wants.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To King John — though hypercompetent is perhaps pushing it a little.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "...Wait a minute! Wait a [random adjective] minute!"
- Nice Hat: He's very fond of his hat, as it was a gift from his aunt Marjorie.
- Only Sane Man: He is to the bad guys what Marian is to the good guys. Though they're antagonists, they do occasionally find some common ground in reacting to the stupidity of everyone else.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In later seasons.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Even moreso than King John.
- Villain Protagonist: In several episodes, particularly in the later seasons.
Gary & Graeme
- Two guards at the King's Castle (at times it seems like they're the only two guards employed by the King) who function as the Sheriff's bumbling Sidekicks. They both have cheerful and sunny dispositions and are far more friendly and affable than him.
- Affably Evil: More affable than evil, really. They'll cheerfully and without regret aid in oppressing the villagers, stealing, cheating or lying, carry out executions for small offenses (and argue about whose turn it is to get to swing the axe), but they're always friendly and smiling, completely lacking in malice.
- Anti-Villain: With a side-order of Punch Clock Villain. Unlike the genuinely-nasty Sheriff, they really are just doing their jobs.
- The Ditz: Not the sharpest knives in the drawer, even by the standards of this series.
- The Dividual: Though not actually related, they have a bit of a Twindividual thing going on; they are always together and almost identical in behavior and mannerisms.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Because Dumb Is Good.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Prone to these when they're left alone (and even sometimes when they aren't, despite the Sheriff's constant orders to shut up); they'll go off on the oddest tangents.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Occasionally forming a not-too-successful Terrible Trio with the Sheriff.
"Rotten" Rose Scargill
- Marian's old schoolmate and former best friend. Their friendship ended when Rose "stole" Marian's boyfriend, beginning a feud that ended with them both getting expelled from school. Rose is almost as cunning and sneaky as the Sheriff is, though even more selfish; she will do almost anything for even the slightest personal gain. She describes herself as Robin's biggest fan.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She puts on a big show of sweetness and friendliness in front of people but will think nothing of stabbing them in the back once they take their eyes off her.
- Brainy Brunette: With the possible exception of the Sheriff, Rose is probably the smartest of all the villains.
- Jerkass: Of the recurring villains, she probably has the least redeeming qualities — even King John can on a rare occasion Pet the Dog just because he's in a good mood, but Rose always has a selfish motive and never does anything for anyone unless she's also secretly using them.
- Manipulative Bitch: Her greatest talent is to manipulate and use people.
- Rival Turned Evil: She was Marian's rival back in school.
- Stalker with a Crush: To Robin.
Guy Of Gisborne
- King John's spoiled, bratty and completely brainless nephew who was sent to live with his uncle by his mother, who had decided it was about time he went out into the big wide world and lived a little. He is the only person on the show the King does not dare to mistreat, for two reasons: His mother pays quite handsomely for the expenses, and if she found out that her son wasn't happy, she would do "that nasty thing with a pencil" to King John.
- The Ditz: The fact that he manages to make Gary and Graeme look sensible and intelligent should tell you all you need to know.
- Man Child: He's in his late twenties, but he acts like he's five.
- Momma's Boy: His very first scene in the series features him with his head on his mother's lap and complaining about how scary it is to have to leave her.
- The Prankster: A version of this; he loves pulling pranks, though they're always extremely simple, often based on some Incredibly Lame Pun, usually directed at the Sheriff and/or King John, and always repeated ad nauseum because thanks to his mother's demands his victims can't stop him from pranking them, nor can they refuse to fall for the same trick for the fiftieth time.
- Royal Brat: He has a much sunnier disposition than most examples of the trope and is unusually good-humored about set-backs (in some episodes he even almost, almost comes across as Spoiled Sweet), but he's got the entitlement and insensitivity, constantly demanding special treatment and threatening to "tell Mummy!" if he doesn't get his way.
Much, the Mini-Mart Manager's Son
- A smooth-talking Con Man who can sell you anything as long as you can pay for it — if it exists, he can get ahold of it (or at least a reasonable facsimile of it) for you. If it doesn't exist, he'll sell it to you anyway and then be gone long before you discover that he's tricked you.
- Catch Phrase: He's got two. "I'm only an outsider, right, and shut me up if I'm speaking out of turn" whenever he's about to make an extra daring suggestion, and "Cost ya, mind," said after every sales pitch.
- The Charmer: There's no denying he has a way with the ladies — Rose is instantly smitten and Marian, while initially skeptical of him, quickly warms up to his charms.
- Con Man: He'll do business with anyone — and he'll cheat anyoyne too.
- Honest John's Dealership
- Lovable Rogue: Complete with a Cockney accent.
- Ship Tease: With Marian.
- Snake Oil Salesman
- Wild Card: He'll do business with anyone, long as the price is right.
- A new recruit for King John's guard and part of the "government training scheme"; in fact he was the only one who let himself be recruited. He fits in remarkably well with the rest of the guards and is often praised for his intelligence and his brilliant ideas. He's four years old.
- The Ace: Treated as one in-series by Gary, Graeme and King John, fulfilling the role of Always Someone Better to Guy. Only the Sheriff sees how absurd this is.
- The Smart Guy: Parodied. He's hailed by Gary and Graeme as a great ideas man, but his ideas are all based around kid logic — such as frightening the enemy into submission by showing them a scary drawing of a witch or putting fake bugs in their beds, or climbing up a tree to pour water on their heads so they'll have to go home and change out of their wet clothes, "and they aren't allowed out again 'til they've had a bath and been rubbed down with a big warm towel."
- The Voiceless: He doesn't have a single spoken line. Presumably, he speaks off-camera, since Gary and Graeme relate his ideas to the King and the Sheriff.
- Possibly the most prominent of the inhabitants of the village of Worksop, Gladys is the resident Wise Woman (though she's the first to admit she's under-qualified) who occasionally dabbles in witchcraft. She's an old friend of Barrington, who calls her his "main man," and has picked up quite a bit of his slang. Or maybe it's the other way around?
- Cool Old Lady: She's a doddering and confused old woman who isn't the smartest, but she's laid-back, helpful and even resourceful. Of all the villagers, she's probably the most likely to actually be useful to the Merry Men.
- Jive Turkey: She has definite traces of it anyway, especially when talking to Barrington.
- Witch Doctor: Played with in a couple of episodes; for the most part she's just portrayed as a Lethal Chef, but a few of her recipes actually do have magical properties, such as the Sleepy Seed Cake — a great cure for insomniacs but with weird side-effects like turning the eater into a clone of Paul McCartney.
- Along with Gladys, Snooker is the main peasant character in the show, and acts as a sort of leader and spokesman for the villagers, in many ways being the "voice of the common man."
- Generic Guy: For the village of Worksop, anyway; despite being the villager who gets the most screen time he's remarkably unremarkable.
- The Fool: Like most of the villagers.
- Punny Name: His name was revealed in the end of the third episode for the sole purpose of a joke, when the Sheriff (as a mocking reward for a favor he'd done him) gave him some wooden balls, some sticks and a wooden triangle and told him that he could become rich and famous if he made a game out of it and named it after himself.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: If the plot demands a villager with a specific job (a shopkeeper, a driving instructor, a takeaway chef, etc.), that villager will be Snooker. Nobody ever comments on this.
- A young village girl who featured in the first season. She's definitely smarter than your average villager, and is fully aware just how stupid the others are.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of her dialogue consists of biting comments.
- Grumpy Bear: She's usually in a foul mood whenever she's on-screen, mostly because someone else is being stupid or overbearing.
- No Name Given: She's the only character in the show who is never named; the credits only refer to her as "Little Girl." (Then again, given the intelligence level of the villagers, that may very well be her actual name.)
- Rumor has it that Tony Robinson was originally going to call her "Chlamydia" or "Cystitis," but wasn't allowed by the BBC.
- A young village girl who featured in the second season, and probably the most intelligent of all the villagers. She's a good friend of Marian.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's got a snarky remark for every occasion.
- Only Sane Woman: She's the only character in the show who will occasionally play this to Marian.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: She looks and acts much like a slightly older, less grouchy version of Little Girl.
- She herself got a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in the third season, named Haley.