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"Some people play tennis. I erode the human soul."The wordy, intellectual, and cynical half of the Penny Arcade duo, when the characters of Gabe and Tycho first diverged Tycho was something of the Straight Man to Gabe's more wild enthusiasm. However, he quickly developed into a character as strange if not stranger. Tycho is known for his love of literature and wordplay, his overwritten fantasy series Epic Legends of the Hierarchs: The Elemenstor Saga, his "love" of animals, and his deep knowledge of horrors that man was not meant to know.
- Author Avatar: For Jerry Holkins, but was not originally intended as such.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Has several times shown the desire for other animals.
- Cain and Abel: Has a VERY adversarial relationship with his brother, though he does also a loving semi-paternal bond with his niece Ann.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very blunt and very sarcastic.
- Fetish: Has expressed attraction to numerous things: giraffes, ostriches, jellyfish, and whatever's at ColdTurkeys.com. More specifically, he's said he's attracted to long, slender necks, of the sort you can't usually find on humans. He's also implied to have an outright fetish for literature since he seems to think of literature-related mods (such as quill physics) as titillating as other people do nudity mods.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: A noted atheist... despite the fact that Jesus plays Mario Kart with Gabe regularly.
- Guest Fighter: One of the opposing players in Poker Night at the Inventory.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Gabe, obviously.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Mainly perpetuated by his mother, but his father isnt the nicest guy either if his scant few appearances are anything to go by.
- Humanoid Abomination: Maybe, maybe not. He seems to enjoy cultivating that appearance, and his eyes subtly glow red when he's particularly angry, not to mention his infamously disturbing speech in "I Hope You Like Text"... This may or may not be caused by demonic possession if an early strip from 1999 is to be believed.
- Insufferable Genius: Has traits of this, despite not having any higher education than high school. He is very intelligent, but absolutely insufferable about it.
- Jerkass: He's incredibly smug and insensitive, and will put his own needs above others.
- Killer Game Master: Attempting to impart his wisdom onto Gabe, nonetheless.
- Though it turns out he hasn't actually run a game since junior high because of his Killer Game Master reputation.
- Lie Back and Think of England: Tycho describes his coupling as "dutiful" and "terrified".
- Named After Somebody Famous: Tycho Brahe was also a 16th century Danish astronomer.
- Nightmare Fetishist: He longs for the day when games include Starfish Aliens and Eldritch Abominations as romance options. We're not told "what" his heart's desire is... just that acquiring it would be enough to damn Jesus to hell.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes turn red when he gets really angry. Its implied in an early strip that he may have brought something back with him from the dream world after having two consecutive nightmares about hell.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Frequent. In the Penny Arcade card game, there is an attack of his that deals damage based on the number of letters in a given card. In-universe, he has an enormous affinity for words and grammar, to the point where Gabe letting him babble about Bookworm Adventures is his christmas present.
- Occasionally lampshaded in the news posts where he calls it "faux erudition", implying that he is excessively wordy on purpose.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: As pointed out by Gabe in one strip where the Duo briefly broke up.Gabe: If you could write a single sentence without the word "fuck" in it, maybe we could get some mainstream exposure up in this piece!Tycho: Go fuck yourself!
- Sophisticated as Hell: Especially apparent in The Rant.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Not exactly, but as Red Eyes, Take Warning shows, there is probably something REALLY dark inside him.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Very susceptible to this. To a point he'll even go mad playing a homemade RPG created by Gabe's eight-year-old son.
Johnathan "Gabe" Gabriel
"I don’t know why they call them “Chip Clips.” I mean, everyone just puts ‘em on their wang. Why don’t they just call them “Wang Clips” or “Wang Hangers” or something?"The idealistic, immature, and scatterbrained half of the duo, Gabe's enthusiasm and inability to think things through makes him the perfect Wise Guy to Tycho's straight man, though these roles are often reversed as he possesses a degree of common sense that Tycho lacks. Obsessed with immature humor, male genitalia (mostly his own), and Star Wars, he harbors homosexual tendencies, not so much repressed as simply unrealized and usually centering around Spider-Man. He is independently wealthy from his Doctor Raven Darktalon Blood series.
- Author Avatar: For Mike Krahulik, but was not originally intended as such.
- Actually Pretty Funny: When Tycho makes an Incredibly Lame Pun related to sawing Kris Straub in half so they can have an even number of players, Gabe exclaims "Damn son, there's that gallows humor!"
- Ambiguously Bi: His fantasies about Spider-Man and Patrick Swayze tend to point this way. Not to mention his weird on-off Ho Yay with Apple fanboy Charles.
- Ax-Crazy: He's prone to violence and seems to not feel too guilty about it.
- The Beastmaster: A pet dragon, a phoenix, unicorn, and several Pokémon to his name. At one point he also managed to aquire a flock of Pikmin that proceeded to trash the apartment and kill Tycho. And his roster may grow at any time...
- Bottom of the Barrel Joke: Gabe loves himself some low-hanging fruit when it comes to humor. At one point Tycho had to step in, because Gabe wanted to make a comic about spawn camping which would have a terrorist waiting to murder newborns in a hospital.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Legal representative for France. It... didn't go well.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The Cardboard Tube Samurai is Gabe. Therefore he can slice things up with a perfectly round tube. He can actually cause nosebleeds by hating someone, which may be caused by the fact that Darth Vader might be his dad. Oh, and he got a blood infusion from Spider-Man. Hell, in the very first comic, he gained psychic powers.
- Game Master: "Your party stands before the Cave of Tits."
- Ironically, despite his anti-RPG sentiments in the early days of the strip, he arguably spends more times with tabletop games these days than Tycho does.
- Glass Eye: Lost his original in a Warcraft-related scuffle.
- Handy Feet: He's pointed out to have monkey-like feet in one strip.
- Hidden Depths: Very seriously into Country-Western dancing, specifically line dancing.
- Noodle Incident: Exactly what led to the loss of his eye during a Warcraft 2 match is never revealed, but it has far enough reaching consequences that it meant he and Tycho had to make a pact to not play any future Warcraft games against eachother.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Combines a selfish immaturity with a sociopathic violent streak.
- Psychic Powers: Only comes up once, but he used the unreasonably long load times for the late 90's FPS SIN to harness his latent psychic powers.
- Refuge in Audacity/Vulgarity
- Violence Is the Only Option: Gabe's knee-jerk reaction to nearly everything. He once curb stomped Tycho to death because he thought there was only one copy of Puzzle Quest left in the store, and tore out Tycho and Charles's throats with his teeth when he panicked over the proper pronounciation of "Gif".
Anne Claire "Annarchy" BraheTycho's young niece who shares her uncle's intellect and love of gaming, but only a little of his depravity. Despite her age, she played Final Fantasy on the Famicom... in the original Japanese. Is not to be trifled with.
- Badass Adorable: There's a reason her online handle is Annarchy.
- Bare Your Midriff: In the earlier strips.
- Granola Girl: With the admirable conviction of a pre-teen who just discovered vegetarianism and who's parents hates it.
- Little Miss Badass
- Little Miss Snarker: Can trade barbs with her intelligent, caustic uncle.
The Fruit Fucker 2000A small robotic juicer that works by having violent sexual intercourse with pieces of fruit.
- Black Comedy Rape: Gabe has described it as "a literal rapist", although its only actual victims have been oranges and zombies (and one pear) so far. It has been shown acting... creepily towards the protagonists' wives, however.
- Humongous Mecha: Fruit Fucker Prime.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Can, if necessary, activate Code Omega. We don't see what this entails, but it's enough to turn a horde of zombies into chunky salsa.
- Something Else Also Rises: The antenna on top of its head.
- Badass Beard
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Likes to just sort of hang around on Earth and play games and go to the mall.
- Mundane Utility: His d20 is made from a piece of the true cross. Apparently, he only uses it "for really important rolls."
- Nice Guy: Though he has an unfortunate tendency to Type Kill in shooters, though this has all but gone extinct since the advent of headsets, and also loves to gloat when winning at Mario Kart.
- Pals with Jesus: Gabe mostly. He's friendly with Tycho, but its difficult to bond with someone who doesn't think you exist.
- Up to Eleven: Whatever Tycho's deepest desire really is, Jesus states that aquiring it would damn even him.
CharlesOriginally known as Chuck, an anti-Apple strawman, he had a great fall and was retooled as the hipper Charles. Lives across from Gabe and Tycho and occasionally visits to talk about Apple-based matters.
- Catch-Phrase: "Shut your pie hole!"
- Came Back Strong: He was originally a dorky cipher the authors used to mock Mac gamers, but when Halo was cancelled for the Mac, Chuck attempted to kill himself by jumping out the window. The reconstructive surgery not only made him look cooler, but also changed his personality to the much more suave Charles.
- Hypocritical Humor: Constantly mocks the main characters for their nerdiness, despite his own fanboyism for Apple products by far outstripping even Tycho's and Gabe's dedication to any one company.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Gabe. Tycho once described Charles as emitting a kind of "anti-Gabe force".
- Strawman Political: As Chuck.
Jerry's and Mike's FamiliesComic versions of the real-life spouses and children of Jerry and Mike. Usually deployed for strips that are inspired by things that happened to the creators away from their offices and in the world at large.
- Rule of Funny: They tend to fade into the background unless they're needed for a specific comic premise.