Calling the Old Man Out: "To Clay in "Nature". You become a bad person when you drink!", and after Clay applies no medical treatment on him for several days Orel says, "I hate you dad." To which Clay replies, "Hate away, sister, hate away."
Horrible Judge of Character: He has no idea of how bad a kid Joe is until he starts beating up two presumed gay boys. He has no idea how crazy Miss Censordoll is, and he had absolute no idea on how horrible his father is until the hunting trip.
Ignored Epiphany: He's spanked into forgetting his Gnostic Epiphany in "Grounded", when he rejects the church doctrine of a Fluffy Cloud Heaven, and the idea that you have to be in a church to worship the lord. It's also ironic since they are Protestants, and Martin Luther started protestantism with the idea that one doesn't have to be in a church to worship the lord.
Attention Whore: Years of being smothered by his fanatical mother warped Clay into serious case of this.
Backstory: "Passing" and "Help" do a great deal in showing how Clay turned into what he is.
Catch Phrase: Before every Spoof Aesop spouted by Clay, he would find Orel and say a sentence that ends with "In my study." Cue gulping.
Dead End Job: Clay constantly complains about his dead end job, which we are led to believe is some droning office monkey type job. We find out in the second to last episode that Clay is actually the mayor of Moralton. Even Orel is surprised at the discovery.
Depraved Bisexual: Clay appears to only love attention, loving anyone who will show him any amount of it, regardless of who he will hurt in the process. It's this, combined with his abusive nature towards Orel that causes Daniel Stopframe to ultimately reject him.
Faux Affably Evil: The guy almost constantly has a pleasant demeanor, which is just a mask because he's drunk pretty much all the time. In "Nature" his true colors are revealed when he sobers up. Even before this, how he can be so calm beating his own son, having to be TOLD Orel didn't do anything wrong since beating him is an impulse for him, his drunken demeanor makes him all the more horrible.
Fisher King: Let's face it, once his reveal as Mayor was shown. It's answered a lot of why Moralton is so messed up.
Heel Realization: "Numb" reveals that he not only knows that he's a monstrous wretch, but he knows exactly why he is what he is. However, despite understanding that his self-destructive behavior also hurts the people he loves, he's unwilling to change his ways, making this an Ignored Epiphany.
Start of Darkness: When his father begins ignoring him after his mother's death. Even then, he turns out a half-decent guy, but then Bloberta introduces him to alcohol. Given how quickly he takes to it, the alcohol probably let loose all those years of pent-up frustration.
Took a Level in Jerkass: He was a considerably worse father after Nature, nearly disowning Orel. Or to look at it another way, Nature caused the audience (and Orel) to see just how terrible of a person he'd been throughout the whole series, sending his parenting into a retroactive Dude, Not Funny!.
Understanding Boyfriend: Bloberta always wanted one, tried to get one through multiple affairs, all of whom used her for an ulterior motive and had the series continued, she would have finally gotten one, when she began her affair with Officer Papermouth. Unfortunately the show as cut before this could happen.
Chocolate Baby: One reason why Clay didn't get along well with Bloberta was because Shapey didn't look anything like him. It was strongly implied in the second and third season that Coach Daniel Stopframe is his real father. The Beforel Orel Special confirms this.
The Voiceless: Shapey's "dialogue" is virtually incomprehensible screaming. Subverted in the third to last episode, where Shapey quietly tells his mother that when he's thirsty, he feels like when he's alone.
Voiced by: Dino Stamatopoulos (Younger); Joe Unger (Older)
Abusive Parents: Not that it excuses it, but Clay was a spoiled brat who was responsible for his wife's death, and even then Clay's birth resulted in Angela becoming religiously fanatic about him, her "miracle baby". Following Angela's death, he immediately started then stopped hitting Clay because he felt Clay wasn't worth the effort. A flashback in Beforel Orel indicates that he did shun his son, and that he realized that it permanently screwed Clay up.
Badass Grandpa: Especially when he stops Orel from murdering his half-brother.
It seems the Beforel Orel special is finally going to explore what their relationship would have been like, only it focuses on a younger Orel just before Shapey was born.
My God, What Have I Done?: In Beforel Orel when Clay rejects him in front of the police station after saving Shapey, there's a heart wrenching scene as he has a flashback to the moment he decided Clay wasn't worth it (and Clay would act out to such a degree that Arthur couldn't help to because Clay associated abuse with affection). He sees Clay as the bitter, spiteful man that his negligence helped shape.
Reverend Putty (on the radio): "We need others in our lives as a constant reminder that we're not the center of the universe. Because there's only one person who's reserved that particular section of the cosmos. And you know who that is, ladies..."
Not so Above It All: Miss Censordoll, after Orel gets her favorite food (eggs) banned from the town, as far as Censordoll going to the Moralton black market to get her eggs like the rest of the townspeople.
Straw Hypocrite: Even more so than the citizens of Moralton. Oral campaigned to get eggs boycotted, she went along with it because she felt it would help her image, even though she loved eggs to the point of obsession (and also because she figured she could secretly keep the mayor from ever banning them). When Oral succeeded, she was forced to buy them illegally. Word of God stated that if the series continued on, she would've been a practitioner of voodoo.
Even Evil Has Standards: He's by no means a good person, but even he eventually sees Clay for what he is. Also he was visibly repulsed by the Satanists and their hedonistic ways to the point where he actually mouths "What the f**k?"
Gender-Blender Name: His name is Daniel. But it's pronounced like the feminine Danielle. Doesn't help that in "Numb" a note from him has him spell it the feminine way.
Karma Houdini: Not only does Clay never finds out he fathered Shapey with Bloberta but he was never caught for starting the fire that almost destroyed Moralton in "In God's Image".
Parental Substitute: In the series finale, he spends time with Orel as a father figure, and they genuinely have fun. Clay instantly misconstrues this as him and Orel having an affair.
Defeat Equals Friendship: At the start of the series, Putty clearly barely tolerates Orel's devotion toward him, occasionally graduating to outright hatred but interspersed with attempts at genuine advice. At his Despair Event Horizon, Putty finally gets a date with a woman, only for the woman to reveal she's actually his daughter. Putty is convinced that everything in his life is a sham, even mockingly letting Orel stand at the pulpit to talk about God's love. Orel then discusses that God's love comes in faith, friendship, and family, but not often in all three. Putty's moved into his Heel-Face Turn, and genuinely tries to help Orel thereafter.
Pet the Dog: Upon realizing that his entire congregation is miserable, including Orel, takes it upon himself to cheer them all. He also tells his daughter that he disapproves of her crush on another girl, solely because the other girl was using her.
Snark Knight: Amongst his fellow Fundamentalist. He knows full and well all f'd up the town is.
Depraved Homosexual: Utterly subverted. While she has all the surface traits (she gets Orel his first job at her porn store, and has several fetishes heavily implied), she deeply cares for everyone in her life, even people she knows are just using her.
Ascended Extra: She's merely a background character often seen at Church and occasionally in Moralton throughout the whole show. It isn't until "Sundays" we actually learn about her (which features most of her appearances).