Characters / The IT Crowd
Ich. Bin. Ein. Nerd.
Portrayed by: Katherine Parkinson
Reynholm Indutries' IT Department's "Relationship Manager". An ambitious career woman whose dreams of climbing the corporate ladder are always foiled by either her co-workers' antics, her tendency to compulsively lie about her abilities, or her complete lack of understanding of anything relating to computers.
- Accent On The Wrong Syllable: The way she says "COMputer".
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: When she thinks she's won Employee of the Month and it turns out, everyone just thinks she's dead. Happens again when she actually wins Employee of the Month.
- All Women Love Shoes: Jen loves shoes so much that it's literally all she can say when she sees a pair that she wants until she can get her hands on them.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Has some of this going on with Roy, mostly in series 1.
- Birds of a Feather: Beneath her delusions of being a promising young up-and-comer, Jen is actually quite similar to Roy in terms of personality and temperament. The two of them get along very well as a result, and occasionally have minor Ship Teases with each other.
- Blatant Lies: Her Establishing Character Moment has her bluffing her way through a job interview with Denholm by stating that she's good with computers. Despite her claim, she can't even pronounce the word "computer" right.
- Butt-Monkey: Not nearly to the same degree as Roy, but Jen tends to find herself publically humiliated and prevented from moving up in the corporate world at least Once an Episode.
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: For Moss, Roy and Richmond.
- Comic Trio: Alternates between being the clueless leader and the ignored voice of reason.
- Consummate Liar: Jen seems to be incapable of getting into a conversation with anyone not named Moss or Roy without weaving an enormous web of lies about herself. She's generally quite good at convincing others that she's telling the truth, but almost always ends up getting exposed when she's actually forced to demonstrate whatever skill she lies about possessing.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: While Jen is able to function in social situations much better than either Moss or Roy can, she's an incredibly compulsive liar, and can rarely get through an exchange without burying herself under a mountain of lies and false promises that she has no chance of keeping. Her entire job at Reynholm Industries is the result of her lying about her skill with computers, and generally every plot that she instigates throughout the series is the result of her lying about herself in order to impress someone else.
- Dude Magnet: Has a different boyfriend almost every episode.
- The Face: She's set up as this in the beginning, anyway, but as it turns out she's almost as weird as the people she works with.
- Female Misogynist: While Jen is a self-professed feminist, and regularly expresses disgust at Douglas' inappropriate and disrespectful behavior towards women, she tends to be very bitter and hostile towards other women whenever she's actually made to work with them. Roy outright describes her as "One of those women who hates other women." She's also completely willing to compromise her beliefs if her career is on the line, such as when she backpedals on her declaration about an erotic calendar featuring female employees being sexist and exploitative after she realizes that she'll be the one who suffers if it doesn't end up selling well.
- Fiery Redhead: Very easily angered and annoyed.
- Hidden Depths: Her office steadily becomes more and more decked out in cutesy Japanese paraphernalia as the series goes on, an interest that is otherwise not gone into.
- Informed Deformity: Occasionally stated to be quite ugly, to the point where the closeted gay man she was dating claimed to have only been dating her because she looked like a man.
- Jerkass: Not nearly as callous as Roy, but she's still an incredibly shallow person who actively seeks out flaws in other people. She may have a Hidden Heart of Gold; she grows to care lot about Roy and Moss, even turning down a prestigious job offer from another company because they can't cope without her. She also tries to help Richmond become less of a shut-in, even though Richmond is often creepy and unsettling.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Constantly, though she's just as likely to break up with perfectly nice guys over an insignificant "flaw" that they possess, such as having a full name that sounds like "pedophile" and looking like a magician.
- Nerd Nanny: She takes care of Moss and Roy. In the episode where she leaves the IT department, they start to lose it in less than a day.
- Nice Mean And In Between: The In-between. She's not as nice as Moss but a bit nicer than Roy.
- No Periods, Period: Averted. She gets one, then Moss and Roy "synchronise" with her. ...and then the rest of the world's IT workers synch in as well.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Jen firmly believes herself to be a charismatic and driven young professional. In reality, she's generally incompetent, quite lazy, and is only charismatic in comparison to Moss and Roy, an extremely low bar.
- No Social Skills: Not quite. While she can actually function decently in social environments, pretty much every episode features her walking herself into different awkward situations due to handling them poorly.
- Not So Different: Despite her insistence that she's a young go getter, she's just as lazy and only slightly more sociable (and even more amoral) than Roy is.
- Only Sane Man: Comparatively at least, though her outrageous level of tech illiteracy and massive ego frequently push her out of this territory.
- Otaku Surrogate: Later on in the series after she starts to settle into the IT department, her office becomes covered in Japanese memorabilia.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Grows into this with Roy over time. While there are a few hints of romantic chemistry, nothing ever comes of it and they instead share what could be called the most normal friendship on the show.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: See Catch-Phrase. Her first instinct upon being publicly humiliated/outed as a liar is to call for a taxi and attempt to flee the scene.
- Selective Obliviousness: Deliberately avoids developing any further understanding about computers or the workings of the IT Department due to her belief that doing so will cause her to forget other "more important" things.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Convinced she's on the verge of a career breakthrough despite spending most of her time bumming around with Moss and Roy and not even knowing how to pronounce the word "computer".
- Smoking Is Cool: Averted; she is an on-off smoker and complains smoking isn't "fun" like it used to be.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only recurring female character on the show. Justified in that none of the male characters are capable of maintaining relationships and she herself is shown to seek out rivals in other women.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Very prone to this.
- Team Mom: Best shown when Jen leaves to pursue another job interview, Moss gets electrocuted and concussed, while Roy becomes shirtless, homeless and forced to live in a box; all in the space of two hours!
I like being weird. Weird's all I've got. That and my sweet style.
One of Reynholm Industries' IT Department's two programmers. A socially-inept-yet-good-natured uber nerd and all-around weirdo who still lives with his mother. Possesses a genius intellect and creative mind that are hindered only by every other aspect of his character.
- Adorkable: One look at him is all you need as proof.
- Ambiguous Disorder: The lack of inflection in his voice, incredible technical ability alongside nonexistent mundane ones and general lack of understanding of normal human interactions put him in this territory. Then again, from what little we see of his mother, he may really just be that coddled.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The majority of his inventions are incredibly intricate and well-made yet also completely pointless, such as a step ladder for moths to get out of a bath.
- Becoming the Mask: A recurring problem of his is becoming too dedicated to the roles he has to play, such as when he pretended to be Jen's husband for a high school reunion.
- Beware the Nice Ones: "I've got a gun! I've got a ruddy gun!!"
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Nice though he may be, he can be incredibly mean-spirited and petty, most frequently to Richmond.
- Black and Nerdy: He even has a side-parted afro. That said, his blackness is rarely if ever referenced. Incidentally, Richard Ayoade is half Nigerian and half Norwegian.
- Brainy Brunette: Has dark, curly hair and is hands down the smartest character on the show.
- Breakout Character: Easily the most iconic character from the show.
- Character Development: Subtly done, but still there. Moss begins the series completely oblivious to the fact that his relationship with his mother is seen as weird by most others. By the end of the series, he shows regular frustration with her intrusiveness and seems to want more independence away from her.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His brain simply does not work like and ordinary person's.
- Collector of the Strange: Moss collects wires.
- Comic Trio: Generally always plays the dumb follower to either Roy or Jen, but occasionally assumes the role of ignored voice of reason when the other two become too caught up in themselves.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's easily the most capable of the trio, though he's also generally clueless.
- Ditzy Genius: An absolute genius in practically all things technological, a complete idiot in everything else.
- Drink Order: White Russian. Too bad nobody knows how to make it. Moss himself at one point admits to not knowing how to make one when asked, implying that he only orders it to sound cool.
- Gadgeteer Genius: To an almost absurd degree.
- The Ghost: His mother is often mentioned, but never seen or even heard by the audience.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Mother-flippin'" seems to be reserved for when he's really mad. When Roy tries to make him to make him say a proper swear word, the worst he can manage is "ploppers".
- He Cleans Up Nicely: Even with his ridiculous hairdo, Moss is in much better shape than Roy and can generally look very good when in a nice suit, which is commented on by Jen.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Roy, who he claims to be his wife.
- Hollywood Nerd: An over-the-top TV nerd providing a nice contrast to the almost depressingly realistic Roy.
- Innocently Insensitive: Almost always responds to Jen's problems with blunt answers emphasizing why they're her fault while at the same time genuinely meaning to be helpful.
- Manchild: He is a man in his thirties who acts and speaks like a 4 year-old most of the time, doesn't swear, still lives with his mother and sobs uncontrollably when confronted by bullies half his age.
- Momma's Boy: He still lives with his mother and remains almost disturbingly close to her.
- My Beloved Smother: Although he later starts to express an annoyance at her constant intrusions into his life.
- Nerds Are Virgins: He faints at the mere mention of the word "bra", though he's implied to have had a steamy encounter with a beautiful woman attracted to his skill at quiz games. He also might have slept with Jen in the series one finale, but it's never made clear, and the office therapist is smitten with him.
- Nice Guy: While he lacks any sort of tact, he's a far nicer guy than either of his friends.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The Nice, most of the time.
- No Social Skills: To a ridiculous degree. Roy seemed to have been the only person he spoke to besides his mother before Jen showed up.
- Suddenly Always Knew That: Occasionally displays extraordinary (like detecting any substance by smell) or out-of-character (mostly, acting cool) skills. Generally hand-waved by him having recently read up on them on a website.
- The Stoic: Beyond raising his voice, he rarely emotes, and his face almost never leaves a completely neutral expression.
- Token Good Teammate: Though he's still a huge jerk to Richmond, Moss is far nicer than either Roy or Jen.
- TV Genius: Occasionally builds outrageous inventions out of nowhere.
The same reason I do everything, Jen; to have sex with a lady.
One of Reynholm Industries' IT Department's two programmers. A bitter, slovenly and unmotivated man who devotes much more time and effort toward finding ways to avoid having to do work than he does actually doing his job. Possesses the mentality of a horny teenager, making him considerably more mature than Moss.
...I'm not wearing makeup!
A strange and mysterious goth who lives in the basement of Reynholm Industries. While technically a member of the IT Department (if only through proximity), he spends most of his time locked in a secret room due to Moss and Roy's dislike of him. Jen is slightly more tolerant, allowing him to tag along with the main trio on occasion.
Pucker up boys. It's hammer time!
The son of the former head of Reynholm Industries who takes over the company after his father's suicide. A thoroughly corrupt and idiotic man with a flair for theatrics and philandering. Oddly fixated on spending time with the IT Department, causing him to be a frequent source of annoyance to the main trio.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Towards Jen, though considering he's tried to drug her in the past, it's understandable. He also doesn't seem to have any interest in her beyond the fact that she's both a woman and his employee and therefore someone that he believes he should be allowed to have sex with. He can't even consistently remember what her name is.
- Affably Evil: While he's incredibly corrupt, he's a fairly pleasant guy to be around, though he's quite annoying.
- All Men Are Perverts: Will do absolutely anything to sleep with women.
- Anything That Moves: His standards are even lower than Roy's.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Very easily distracted. "Ooooh! A gun!" comes to mind.
- Bad Boss: Though he actually seems to like his employees, he's just ridiculously insensitive and corrupt.
- Benevolent Boss: Sees himself as one of these. Most of his actions are motivated by his attempts at acting like one.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Heavily implied to have killed his wife at various points across the series.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Almost hilariously corrupt in every sense of the word.
- Cyborg: Gets himself a robot(technically "bionic") hand after his real one gets amputated due to getting an infection from his tattoo that he himself learned how to do. It's strong enough to break glass.
- Depraved Bisexual: Tries to rape Moss and Roy after he becomes heavily sedated. His original target was Jen, but he doesn't seem to mind at all.
- The Ditz: He's hands down the dumbest member of the cast, despite holding the most power.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Believes himself to be this with Roy. He's not.
- Hidden Depths: Genuinely tells Roy that he admires his bravery and wishes him luck when he misinterprets Roy mistakenly wearing lipstick as being him making a controversial social statement.
- Hopeless Suitor: Occasionally acts as one towards Jen, though he doesn't seem to be particularly committed to it.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Becomes a prominent character (and the only addition to the main cast after the original three) to the point where, until the belated release of The Internet is Coming, he was the focal character of the final episode. He wasn't introduced until the second series.
- I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Keeps going after Jen, despite her making it clear several times that she has no interest in him, seemingly because he finds her resistance alluring.
- Incoming Ham: He's the page image! "FFFAAATHEEERRR!"
- Innocently Insensitive: Sincerely believes himself to be a beloved Benevolent Boss with a glowing reputation and a great rapport with his employees. He's just so fundamentally corrupt, selfish and bigoted that his attempts at actually being the person he believes himself to be always result in him furthering his reputation as a Bad Boss.
- It's All About Me: An interesting case. While he genuinely seems to want to show his appreciation for his employees fairly often, these efforts are foiled by his general selfishness and lack of real interest in them. Notably, while he occasionally acts like a Hopeless Suitor towards Jen or a wannabe buddy towards Roy, he's so self-involved that he can't be guaranteed to remember either of their names. He's more into the idea of being close with his workers than he is in actually being close with them.
- Jerkass: Self-absorbed, corrupt, misogynistic and childish.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He genuinely seems to consider Moss and Roy to be his friends. When he thinks Roy is wearing lipstick to stand up for what he believes in, Douglas applauds his bravery.
- Kavorka Man: He's had plenty of women despite his awful personality. It helps that he's loaded.
- Large Ham: "GOD DAMN THESE ELECTRIC SEX PANTS!"
- Manchild: Surprisingly even more so than Moss. If Moss is a coddled Momma's Boy, then Douglas is a sheltered Spoiled Brat.
- Metaphorgotten: "Well, I'm the boss. Head Honcho. El Numero Uno. Mr. Big. The Godfather. Lord of the Rings. The Bourne... Identity. Er... Taxi Driver. Jaws. I forgot the question quite a while back. Who are you, again?"
- No Indoor Voice: Shouts nearly every line he has. One he doesn't, he'll still try to overact as much as possible.
- No Social Skills: Despite being far more successful than the IT department he's hardly any better at understanding how the world works. He compensates for his lack of understanding of most things by being the loudest person in the room at all times.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Often sports a pink necktie and kerchief, or exercise spandex...
- Straw Misogynist: His cartoonishly backwards and inappropriate opinions about women are a frequent source of humor. In-universe, he is a frequent target of criticism by various feminists publications, all of which goes completely over his head (he believed he was given the "Shithead of the Year" award by one such organization as recognition for being a feminist icon, for example).
- Til Murder Do Us Part: Heavily implied to have killed his wife.
- Too Dumb to Live: Constantly falling for pyramid schemes, puts a gun in his mouth and fires them repeatedly to see if it was loaded, thought a briefcase was a computer and considers Roy to be the picture of the trendy modern man.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: "SPEAK, PRRRRIEST!"
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: His father was awful and horrendously corrupt, but at least seemed sort of competent at his job. Douglas is manic, unpredictable and constantly forces his employees to do things they don't want to do. Despite this, he comes off as much more well-intentioned than Denholm ever did.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Gets his hand amputated after it's infected by the tattoo that he himself learned to make. He gets a robotic replacement that looks exactly like his original hand. It's strong enough to break glass, which he uses for his own amusement.
I hope it doesn't sound arrogant when I say that I am the greatest man in the world.
Douglas' late father and the original head of Reynholm Industries. Compensated for being slightly more competent than his son by being an even bigger tool. Commits suicide in the series two premiere in order to escape retribution for his corrupt business dealings.
- Affably Evil: Seems kind enough to his employess but gives off the vibe that he considers himself superior to them, and has been draining money from the pension for quite some time. It's implied he went to Hell, as he briskly pushes Hitler out of view when trying to beckon Douglas to the other side.
- Bad Boss: Fires the entire fourth floor and current security team because they couldn't work as a team.
- Beware the Silly Ones: His video message to Douglas, meant to be viewed in private, begins rattling off a startlingly specific and corrupt method to drain money from his company. When Douglas is dying, he sees Denholm waiting for him at what he says is Heaven...then pushes Hitler out of the frame to convince Douglas to come to him.
- Catchphrase: Has a tendency to say "brilliant!" in the same tone of voice quite a bit.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: The opening shot of the series is an image of him, which the camera pulls back to reveal is a portrait of himself, while he is doing the same pose in real life. Also laughs at cups of tea, wears earplugs for no reason, and eats an apple for the majority of his video will.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Has had a "suck fund" taking money from the company, set up by an accountant who'd recently been released from prison.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Has a habit of reusing the same words and phrases in a single sentence, making him sound like he's rambling and forgotten what he meant to say. Even he looks confused by it on one occasion.
- Driven to Suicide: When the authorities arrive to inquire about irregularities in the pension, he calmly commits a...
- Disney Villain Death: Asks his assistant to make him a cup of tea, then calmly walks out of the window, plummeting to his death.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Immediately calls off his revived friendship with Richmond after the latter calls him by his first name (which he'd invited Richmond to do), re-sentencing him to his position in the basement and calls him a goblin.
- Hidden Depths: In the final episode of the first series, we see him quickly abandon the crowd he's with in favor of dancing with the I.T. workers, which he continues to do all night. Douglas tells the crew that his father was especially proud of his I.T. department.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He treats his I.T. employees with dignity and remembers their names, leaves his company to his estranged son, giving him advice on how to get rich off of stealing money from it, and is even shown being genuinely friendly with Richmond in flashbacks.
- Large Ham: Though not quite to the same degree as his son, Denholm was still a very theatrical and eccentric man.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Unpredictable and frightening to his employees.
- Posthumous Character: He occasionally factors into plots even after his death, and even occasionally reappears in the form of various video wills.
- Self-Disposing Villain: Kills himself in the second season to avoid arrest siphoning money from his company.