Ambiguously Jewish: Jay. The closest to resolving this ambiguity occurs in "Every Doris Has Her Day", when Jay visits the orphanage he was adopted from and asks if he was Jewish. The priest answers, "Well, what do you think?" Jay crows, "I knew it!" and immediately launches into a fake Hebrew song.
Balloon Belly: Jay. He balloons himself by turning into a giant blueberry when he steals a certain stick of gum from Willy Wonka, is shown having one in a picture inside Alice's diamond locket, and from eating a giant bagpipe-playing potato.
In another episode he becomes morbidly obese after an image consultant advises him that the public loves people who are "big and jolly" like Santa Claus and Rush Limbaugh. It then cuts to Jay getting liposuction for over a year.
Character Development: For the second season, Jay's character design was tweaked to give him a friendlier appearance, and most of his harshness and down-and-out traits from the first season were taken away, giving him a warmer, more likable personality.
Cosmic Plaything: The universe really has it in for Jay. In the episode "Lady Hawke," when he was sent to go on the balcony so that Jeremy and his sister, Olivia, could have a private discussion, the weather suddenly turned stormy and a strong wind blew off the towel he was wearing. When Jay finally got back inside and it was Jeremy's turn to wait on the balcony...the weather immediately cleared up and became sunny and beautiful.
Informed Deformity / Informed Flaw: One of the shows running gags is that Jay is considered almost monstrously ugly by most people, as well as being enormously heavy due to his informed obesity problem, despite being relatively average looking, and while he is slightly overweight, his short stature means he couldn't possibly weigh more than 250 pounds.
Freight Helicopter Pilot: I don't understand. This thing is supposed to be able to pick up a tank.
Kavorka Man: Despite the running gag of women finding him hideous, he has had a surprising amount of luck with women INSANELY out of his league, most notably Alice, and Jeremy's sister Olivia.
"I am a movie critic by trade, and until recently, I got paid to tell you people which movies merely stink and which ones you shouldn't screen near an open flame. Well, I'm putting the burden of lousy movies back on you. It's very simple: if you stop going to bad movies, they'll stop making bad movies. If the movie used to be a TV show, just don't go. After Roman numeral II, give it a rest. If it's a remake of a classic, rent the classic. Tell them you want stories about people, not a hundred million dollars of stunts and explosives. People, it's up to you. If the movie stinks, just don't go."
Straw Critic: Jay. In a minor subversion, however, he's essentially a decent guy; in his defense, most of the movies he has to review are horrible. Still, he does attack some noteworthy films and/or performers — he once sucker-punched Mister Rogers! — and this is one reason he's so unpopular with the public.
On Oscar-winner Haing S. Ngor in The Killing Fields: "If you ask me, he should have gone to the acting fields."
Throw the Dog a Bone: After putting up with so much crap from his job, his parents, women, the general public, and the universe at large, Jay manages to get a steady girlfriend in Alice at the beginning of the second season.
More generally, if the Cross Over with The Simpsons is canon, then Jay has a long string of awards. He's also had actresses come on to him in the hopes of getting good reviews, and he's also had off-screen meetings with various celebrities, which suggests that he's well-thought of in the film world, at least. He also seems to make a pretty comfortable living in general.
Soap Box Sadie: Didn't want to attend a debutante ball because it violated everything she stood for. After being forced to go, she eventually rushed the stage to chastise the ball as "a tasteless contest to see who can waste the most money."
Spoiled Sweet: Despite coming from a WASP family, Margo is very kind, down to earth, and the only member of her family to generally show care for her older brother.
Tomboy: Her mother threatened to kill her horse before she would attend the girly debutante ball.
Bungling Inventor: He's shown to have invented device called the Fishmobabywhirlamagig. It drops a never ending stream of fish onto a conveyor belt, which drops them down a chute into a pipe organ. This causes the pipe organ to play music, which makes a swing ride full of babies spin. The exact use of this device is only known to him. He may or may not have also invented something called the "Badger Blaster."
Closer to Earth: Subverted. Franklin is completely insane, but he's also a generally pleasant and upstanding guy.
One Head Taller: Inverted. Ardeth is taller than Jay and she doesn't even like him.
The Resenter: Towards Jay and their marriage. This doesn't affect her parenting of Marty, however. She even goes as far as to admit to Jay's face that they've both raised a great son after Marty becomes the talent-show star with his belly virtuoso act, implying she doesn't completely resent Jay.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has shown instances of this. One example is when Alice had problems enrolling Penny in preschool, Duke builds his own preschool for Penny to attend. Though in all he did this on a dare. He also becomes dismayed to the point of desperation whenever Jay temporarily leaves the network.
Must Have Nicotine: Doris is hardly ever seen without a lit cigarette in her mouth. Duke once snatched one out of her mouth in an attempt to make her quit smoking, only for a new lit one to immediately pop out of it, with a cash register "Ka-CHING!" sound effect. He repeated the act a few more times, only for the same result to happen every time.
Doris: I can do this all day.
Voiced by Park Overall
Betty and Veronica: Alice was the Betty to Olivia’s Veronica for Jay's Archie in "Lady Hawke."
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Jay tries to anonymously slip money under Alice's apartment door to prevent her from getting evicted (he actually mistakenly slipped the money in the apartment of the "crazy postman" across from hers). Alice finds out about it and is not pleased about being given charity. Jay then offers her a job to be his personal assistant. At first she doesn't want to take the job because he feels sorry for her, but then decides to take it.
Girl Next Door: She has a plain but sweet appearance. Her personality is also very warm and pleasant.
Burn Baby Burn: Said word for word as the Sherman Estate goes up in flames due to Franklin leaving the stove on in one episode
Butt Monkey: Is often subjected to Franklin's whims, such as being smacked over the head with a guitar while Franklin was acting as El Kabong. He's also had to clean Jay's clothes from time to time, which is presented as a punishment in itself.
Replacement Scrappy: She not only replaced Doris as Jay's Makeup Lady and Alice as Jay's girlfriend, but she pretty much replaced the entirety of Jay's supporting cast, with the exception of Vlada, and even he only appeared in the fourth of the ten webisodes. Jennifer is far less developed as a character than Alice, Doris, or any of the other characters, although that could be somewhat attributed to the inherent limitations of the new format. invoked