The father of the family, Pete is a teacher at a fairly bad school and frequently suffering from the offscreen antics of his pupils, as well as the school's Jerk Ass of a headmaster.
Anti-Hero: Pete is by far one of the more moral people in the show, but will bend the rules from time to time.
Beware the Nice Ones: Pete is by far one of the nicest members of the family, but he is not above a rant or some well-directed anger if sufficiently pissed off.
British Education System: Pete's a teacher; he's actually portrayed in a relatively positive light. Though that said, he has caused two school complaints (it's worth noting one case was something he had no idea about and another was simply the result of somebody seeking to cause trouble)).
Happily Married: To Sue. Most of the conflict comes from their united front against the kids, rather than any friction between the two of them.
Iron Butt Monkey: Ben has cracked two of his ribs, broken his nose, catapulted a sharpened chopstick deep into his buttock and stuck a peanut in his ear. In the show itself, he's had fruit thrown at him a couple of times.
Like Father, Like Son: He considers the sensitive Jake to be this, and worries that he'll get picked on like he did growing up. Sue disagrees but Pete turns out to be right when its revealed Jake is being bullied.
In the final two seasons when Jake has matured into a 'cooler' teenager, surprisingly it'sBen who takes after Pete more as they bond over feeling weird and rather geeky.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He rectifies a eulogy to mention a deceased man's gay partner and the fourteen years they spent together. While the people at the funeral mostly praise him for this, the partner does not, claiming that he asked the previous writer not to mention it and that he would rather stay out of the limelight so the mourning is not overshadowed.
That Came Out Wrong: When asked whether he fancied a woman who kissed him when he was drunk, he said that while drunk he may have done, but he might as well have fancied every woman in the room. Sue is not impressed and Pete mutters this word for word.
The mother of the family, and wife to Pete, who juggles demanding 'part time' work, her ill dad and three children.
Always Someone Better: Sue has a one-sided rivalry with the irritatingly pefect Barbara from next door, but she always denies it.
Anti-Hero: Sue, along with Pete, is one of the more moral members of the family, but is not a person you want to piss off.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When she reads Angela's draft of her first novel in series 4, she reads out a paragraph that has Angela accusing her of abandoning her mother, being a drug pusher (in terms of love) and spells the word mother as "mom". Thankfully this isn't brought up when Sue confronts her over it, though she does mention that the bike Angela got was better than hers.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: After it's revealed Pete kissed another woman, she's angry but appears to realise that the Brockmans are fairly well off compared to Angela, before she subverts this trope once the kids are out of sight. Double Subverted when Karen is hit by a car and she realises the grudge is insignificant.
Butt Monkey: Sue may get a break every now and then, but she's easily one of the worst suffering members of the cast. To start off, her mum died a year before the series starts, then her father needs care and she's left doing it because Angela left the UK. When it looks like Angela's going to stay in the UK and care for granddad, Angela buggers off again. Over the course of series two, her father begins losing his mind. Then, towards the end of the show, her father can't remember who she is without medication and Angela won't help support her in looking after him in his last few days.
Cain and Abel: Rare female and fairly nonviolent version with Angela as the Cain, although Sue has kicked Angela up the arse at least once.
Control Freak: Not at first, but as of Season 5, Sue becomes much more interfering with her family's lives, and repeatedly complains about Stacey talking to Karen about clothes and fashion.
The Fun in Funeral: Not on purpose- whenever she goes to one a funny memory of her deceased mother pops back up in her mind, and has ever since her mother's funeral.
Anti-Hero: Jake is not above running away from policemen or making friends with a big guy so that the big guy will beat up a particularly nasty bully.
Beware the Nice Ones: See Anti-Hero. He is generally a nice guy and does his best to support his parents and siblings (especially in early seasons) but he has his moments.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Drinks too much for the first time in the Christmas Special (well, before it starts) and throws up in somebody's bin, leaving him with a hangover on Christmas morning. It's implied he wasn't used to it due to not having built a tolerance.
Character Development: Starts off as a quiet and sweet natured worrier, who suffers from bullying and often acts as the only calm spot in his otherwise crazy home. Come Season 3 and 4, he is moody, difficult and apparently dating a pole dancer. Justified as he is hitting his teenage years and such changes are common. By Season 5, he's calmed down just a little.
The Everyman: While Ben and Karen are portrayed as extremely challenging, Jake is by far the most normal of the three children. Lampshaded by Pete in series 5.
Genre Savvy: Along with Pete, he works very hard to keep Angela and Sue apart.
Like Father, Like Son: Pete considers him this, though Sue disagrees. For most of the show Pete does have a point as they're both sensitive, rather geeky, badly bullied, struggle with girls and frequently play peacemaker. However he's noticeably 'cooler' in the fourth and fifth seasons and the similarities between Pete and Ben become more apparent.
The Quiet One: Is this in his chaotic household. Season 2 has his exhausted parents arguing over who gets sit next to him on the plane.
Jail Bait: Gets this as a nickname when it's revealed that he's dating a 19-year-old poledancer and pretending to be seventeen. She's not actually 19, she's 16.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In later series. After spending a lot of time snarking at his family, he'll happily defend them after Angela gets bitchy, and even manages to get her to help Granddad.
Manipulative Bastard: A rare, more heroic example. He manipulates Angela into helping Granddad in his last days by donating money to Sue and Pete.
Nice Guy: In earlier series he counsels Karen about bullying and works to keep the peace between his mum and aunt. Downplayed when he's older and becomes more moodier.
Wise Beyond Their Years: In Season 1 and 2. How many eleven year olds do you know worry about bird flu? Even after ageing up, he's worried about the Eurozone crisis affecting his post university life (instead of just increased tuition fees as most students now are).
Your Cheating Heart: Hinted he cheated on his unseen girlfriend in Season 5, (possibly with more than one girl), though the show never addresses it further.
Adorkable: Has his moments, particularly when he pretends to climb Everest backwards without wearing a jumper and he's really on the stairs. Taken Up to Eleven when he's preparing for his role as Spartacus for a musical about the eponymous history figure.
Blatant Lies: It's all part of his character, but as time's gone on it's become less prominent. It gets mild Deconstruction along with his Iron Butt Monkey status, see that trope further down his section to see why.
Character Development: Goes from being the most thoughtless, difficult of the three kids to an affectionate, well-meaning, Adorkable teenager. (Though his zany science experiments stay). By Season 5 he's taken over Jake's spot as the nice child of the family.
Crazy-Prepared: When he and Pete go camping, he ends up setting traps for food even though it isn't necessary. Then again, he also forgot the food they meant to bring in the first place.
For Science!: Ben views himself as a scientist in the making.
Genius Ditz: Ben is actually very clever, and is brilliant at chess. However, his ...[tendenciesto dooddthings get in the way of this a lot. That and he's only eleven/twelve. He grows out of the "ditz" part later.
Hidden Depths: Series 5 reveals that Ben is very shy, easily gets stage fright, has a fear of failure and worries that eventually his parents will want to no longer do things with him (though not in a Momma's Boy context). He also shows that when push comes to shove, he cannot kill an innocent animal.
Iron Butt Monkey: Injured the most out of all the children, for fairly obvious reasons. Thankfully most of it is offscreen. This gets mild Deconstruction as the hospital he frequently goes to begins to suspect abuse on the part of Sue and Pete, and this isn't helped by Ben's exaggeration. It's not followed up on, thankfully.
As a foil to habitual liar Ben, like telling Grandpa that he couldn't possibly look after the kids while Sue and Pete are away because "he set fire to his kitchen! He isn't safe!"
She doesn't even try to lie during 'Cheat'.
And then subverted while the family are playing "the lying game" (where the biggest liar wins). She says "I like Auntie Angela"... whilst Angela is in the car (and, naturally, Angela assumes she isn't playing the game).
Competition Freak: Shows shades of it early on, such as making her own badge saying "Best in the class" and wearing it at school. By Season 5, the family all react with positive dread when it turns out Karen only got third place in a swimming contest.
Creepy Child: Used to be this but as time's gone on it's become less notable. It's not gone completely, though.
Outnumbered Sibling: Is the youngest Brockman child and only girl, though ironically, it's Sue who seems to feel the dynamic more than Karen, and yearn for "girly days" away from the boys. Karen herself seems able to hold her own as an outnumbered girl just fine.
Precision F-Strike: A fairly good example from a nine year old girl (for a show broadcast just after the watershed).
Bait the Dog: When she hears the news that Granddad's memory has gone, she gets the first plane she can from the States. When she assumes that she's done this for nothing, she refuses to help the Brockmans pay for Granddad's treatment and says she wants nothing more to do with the whole affair until it's done.
Smug Snake: Often does her best to appear superior to Sue, such as when Sue suggests they turn over a new leaf, Angela replies, "Sue, I've turned over two new pages. In fact, I've turned over a whole novel." before sauntering off.
Sue and Angela's father, who is now living without his wife after she died a year before the series started.
Black Comedy: He and a friend refer to their nursing home as "Colditz".
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A lot of his irrational or angry behaviour is due to his memory problems and the confusion that results. He's also very fond of the kids but can't handle them for too long (to be fair, given how dysfunctional they are he does a good job).
Mood Whiplash: Any scene with his dementia and Sue struggling to cope often cut to the kids and their usual antics, and vice versa.
Noble Bigot: Slightly racist towards the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese. With the former it's because he fought in the Korean War, with the latter it's because they were enemies of the allies in WW2, when he was growing up.
Put on a Bus: Went to an old peoples home towards the end of Season 2, though he has appeared twice since, in both the Christmas specials.
Reality Ensues: Sadly, he goes on to forget that Sue is his daughter. Granted, he hadn't been on his medication and he may well do so again, but he may well not remember again with his own memory.
Retired Badass: Fought in the Korean war and proudly mentions it, somehow finding a Chinese soldier's jawbone along the way.
Screw Politeness Im A Senior: He's surprisingly foul mouthed for a man his age, though this is somewhat justified when you take into account the fact that he fought in the Korean War. Lampshaded when Ben retells a tale ending with "a prozzie spitting in his rum" and Pete mentions that leaving him alone with Ben was not the best idea.
Throw the Dog a Bone: In the Season 3 Christmas special, Pete takes pity on her when one of her boyfriends sends her a really harsh text, saying that nobody should get something that harsh and that it's Christmas.
Too Dumb to Live: Nonlethal example, but her idea for curing her vomiting problem was to drink a bottle of red wine on top of some trifle she ate earlier, not to mention her idea to come to a party with serious vomiting problems.
Sue's new boss in Series 2.
Affably Evil: Takes Sue and the gang out for lunch while secretly scamming them.
The next door neighbour of the Brockman family, she is described as being perfect in pretty much every way.
Beware the Nice Ones: [[spoiler:She eventually snaps at her husband after he cheats on her one times too
Broken Ace: Barbara has suffered constant verbal abuse from her husband, who has been cheating on her and doesn't seem that remorseful. This causes her to snap.
Broken Pedestal: Everybody had hyped her up to be a perfect person and neighbour, but ultimately all this fell apart when it turned out that she ended up beating her husband.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Fully averted, as everyone treats her beating her husband very seriously, though they initially thought it was the other way around and are a bit surprised when they hear this.
Good Parents: From what we see. Even when she's busy shouting with her husband, she sends her kids away to her mother so they don't get caught up in the mess.