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Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, respectivelyA bizarre, incestuous married couple who manage the local shop, on the remote moors surrounding Royston Vasey. They pride themselves and the town on being "local", and fear corruption from the outside world. Edward is a vicious psychopath who will let nothing get in his way to ensure the town stays local, and with the help of the childlike, sheltered naive Tubbs, he wages war on those who would connect Vasey to the rest of the world.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Tubbs seems fearful of any man who enters the shop doing this.
- Bad Samaritan: You do not want to encounter Edward when your leg is caught in a bear trap, chances are he's set it for you.
- BrotherĖSister Incest
- Catchphrase: "This is a local shop, for local people! There's nothing for you here!"
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander / WomanChild: Tubbs
- Evil Plan: To stop New Road in series 1, and to find a bride for David in series 2.
- The Family That Slays Together
- Forced into Evil: Tubbs doesn't seem to understand what she's ordered to do.
- The Grotesque
- Large Ham: "HELLO HELLO, WHAT'S GOING ON, WHAT'S ALL THIS SHOUTING? WE'LL HAVE NO TROUBLE HERE."
- Old Dark Shop
- Serial Killer
- Surprisingly Sudden Death
- Siblings in Crime
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Tubbs is quite prone to doing this.
- That Came Out Wrong: "WE DIDN'T BURN HIM!"
- Villainous Incest
Mark GatissDavid is Edward and Tubbs' son, who inexplicably turned out normal and left to study in London.
Harvey and Val Denton
Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss, respectivelyTwo people with a passion for breeding fancy toads and extreme house cleanliness, Val and Harvey are made for one another. Unfortunately, their strange habits and incredible intolerance to anything outside their precious routines make them impossible to live with. When their nephew Benjamin comes to stay for one night, he finds he can't do anything that doesn't violate one of their endless house rules.
- Animal Motifs: Toads.
- Berserk Button: Harvey hates the "f-word" (frog.)
- Control Freak
- Creature of Habit: Their obsessive routines, lists and timetables make them unbearable to live with.
- Fan Disservice: "Nude Day".
- Gonk: Harvey strongly resembles a toad, which has given him a strange obsession with them.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Harvey flies off the handle if you insult toads, do something that causes a mess, or give him reason to believe you were masturbating.
- Happily Married
- Neat Freaks
- Spring Cleaning Fever
- Stepford Smiler: Val.
- Super OCD: Colour coded towels and a brush for every task!
- Terrified of Germs: Which is why they keep their house unnaturally clean.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Madame Palm and her five lovely daughters", "Shaking white hot coconuts from the veiny love-tree", and so on...
Chloe and Radclyffe Denton
Megan and Rosy De Wolf, respectivelyVal and Harvey's twin girls, who often seem to know much more than two young children should.
- Aerith and Bob
- Ambiguously Brown: They've very tanned in the 2017 series. Which is strange as it's implied they never leave the house anymore.
- Creepy Children
- Creepy Twins
- Emotionless Girls
- Expy: They're obviously based off the twins from The Shining. It's even more obvious in the 2017 series where they are now brunettes instead of blonde.
- Psychic Powers
- She's All Grown Up: They return in the 2017 series, now in their 20's.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior
- Twin Telepathy
Reece ShearsmithUnlucky would-be hiker Benjamin makes plans to stay over with his Auntie Val and her family for one night so he can go and meet his friend for a ramble in the moors. He ends up staying over the course of two series, unable to escape the Denton's clutches.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Harvey thinks Benjamin does this in his house constantly. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest he's even done it once.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After two seasons of absolute HELL in Royston Vasey, ranging from being imprisoned in hibecause he liked her and struck an unusual chord for her.
Steve PembertonA tyrannical Restart Officer who uses her position as an outlet to vent her hatred of "dole scum". She has absolutely no interest in actually getting anyone back to work, and is more concerned with useless workshops and whether or not her pens have been returned at the end of the day. She has a Hair-Trigger Temper, and can turn violent if challenged. Despite treating everyone on her Restart like morons, she's not too bright herself, and resents Ross for his education and superior vocabulary.
- Ambiguously Gay
- Break the Haughty
- The Bully
- Burger Fool: she has to work at Burger Me in a suitably humilating uniform after getting fired.
- Butch Lesbian: During her time in prison, and perhaps outside it.
- The Caligula
- Companion Cube: The pens are all she's got.
- Evil Is Petty: "Iím extending your restart by a month, and then Iím sending you on a whole series of meaningless courses, and then youíre going to come back here and Iím going to re-re-start you!"
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- Iconic Item: Pauline's obsession with pens is perhaps her most famous trait. Probably because they represent her job and how much she depends upon it for her self-worth.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!:Pauline: Just who do you think you're talking to?!C.C. Smith: Well according to my report, a psychotic 50-year old lesbian!Pauline: How dare you! I'm 48!
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: To an egregious degree.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Pauline ends up getting fired and on unemployment benefits herself. She also has to beg Ross for an appeal, which she made him do previously.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Pauline once prevented Mickey from going to an interview because it clashed with his Restart (which has mandatory attendance). Her reason was he hadn't covered the "Getting An Interview" portion of the course.
- Old Maid: Ross uses this against her by calling her too old and then adding Miss dismissively, thinly-veiled as an act by his role as interviewer.
- Pet the Dog: Has a soft spot for her braindead minion, Mickey after he breaks through her wall of emotional apathy and gives her the only pen that is really hers to keep.
- No Sympathy
- Smug Snake: She's really not as clever as she thinks she is, and it gets her into a lot of trouble. It's what helped Ross see through her and get under her skin in front of the entire class, when she haughtily asked for one of those so-called scum to evaluate her as a candidate.
- Strawman Political: Pauline represents right-wingers who think all unemployed people are indolent, stupid and making a career out of leeching off the state.
Reece ShearsmithAn attendee of Pauline's restart, he is often the target of her bullying, as his good education and self esteem annoys her.
- Friendless Background: The only entry in his address book is "Mother".
- Jerkass: Not at first, but he morphs into a colder, more arrogant unlikeable character over the course of his story arc.
- Undercover Cop Reveal: After five episodes, The Reveal occurs. As a member of the social services, he has the evidence and jurisdiction to have Pauline fired.
Mark GatissAnother attendee of the restart, childlike, braindead and unemployable Mickey is Pauline's good-natured lackey.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: He's unable to concentrate on anything beyond a few seconds.
- Gonk: Even by Royston Vasey standards, Mickey isn't easy on the eye.
- Manchild: Mickey seems to have the cognitive abilities of a 4 or 5 year old, as well as having the same interests in diggers and drawings done in crayon.
- Morality Pet: For Pauline after the final episode of Series one where he brought her a gift just because he liked her and struck an unusual chord for her.
- The Pigpen
- Too Dumb to Live
- Undying Loyalty: To Pauline.
Reese ShearsmithAnother restart officer and Pauline's nemesis.
- Eviler Than Thou: A middle-aged, overweight Ambiguously Gay woman with anger issues and dodgy lipstick, Cathy is basically Pauline with the small amount of humanity stripped away.
- Foe Romance Subtext: With Pauline. They even end up passionately kissing in the stage show.
- Sadist Teacher
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: She manages to do this even after Pauline's time as restart officer, running the course in a much more abusive and dehumanising way than before.
Mark GatissRoyston Vaseys' resident butcher and self-proclaimed "Purveyor of fine Meats". His status as a respectable businessman has earned him some considerable standing in the community, but there seems to be a dark undercurrent to his business practices...
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Mrs Briss is revealed to be a Jersey cow.
- Evil Tastes Good: The reason why he was able to get all the pillars of Vasey in on his racket. They just can't get enough of the Special Stuff.
- Extreme Omnivore: He seems to consider sheep's eyes a tasty snack. But he doesn't go so far as to sample the Special Stuff... someone has to stay in control.
- Faux Affably Evil: With his quaint shopfront, muttonchop sideburns and wide smile, Briss seems to cultivate a jolly, amiable image, but this veneer is paper thin and it's not too difficult to see the sociopath lurking beneath.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Briss is, for all intents and purposes, a very dangerous drug lord who happens to deal in meats instead of narcotics. It's not revealed if the Special Stuff produces a high, but is apparently so delicious it's highly addictive.
- Insistent Terminology: The illegal and appallingly immoral food he sells under the counter is only ever called "The Special Stuff". What is actually is can only be speculated on.
- I'm a Humanitarian: A common misconception. His Special Stuff is not human meat, it's something much, much worse.
- Really 700 Years Old: According to the character biography in Series 1, Briss says that his age "spans great oceans of time".
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: He is protected by the police, the council and many other powerful individuals, as he supplies them all with his product.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Briss rarely raises his voice above a slightly fey whisper. When he shouts you know it's Serious Business.
Reece ShearsmithAn enbittered, volatile and unhappy man working in a lower-level position in a plastic-moulding firm in Vasey. His best friends are colleagues Mike and Brian, who have been promoted far ahead of him and secretly only keep him around because he's an old schoolmate of theirs. Geoff constantly alienates them by playing cruel practical jokes like faking his own suicide, pulling a gun on them over trivial matters and utterly failing to tell a joke. Despite this, he has ambitions to be a stand-up comic in London, and leaves Vasey to persue his dream in Season 3.
- Attention Whore: He constantly derails his friends' conversations, and shows only a superficial interest in Mike's upcoming wedding, even though he's obsessed with being his Best Man.
- Boisterous Weakling
- Berserk Button: When you tell a joke around Geoff, make sure you tell it right.
- Cannot Tell a Joke - one of the many reasons he's...
- The Friend Nobody Likes
- Giftedly Bad: His stand-up routine, and any informal attempt he makes to be funny. Of course, he thinks he's a natural.
- Green-Eyed Monster
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- High Hopes, Zero Talent: His stand-up comic ambitions in a nutshell.
- Jaded Washout: He's repeatedly shown as being a feckless and an incompetent employee, to the point where the firm is trying to get rid of him in Season 3.
- The Load: To Mike and Brian, especially when they get lost in the woods.
- Psychopathic Manchild: He is oddly childlike, which probably explains why he finds adult life so frustrating.
- The Resenter: He resents EVERYONE, but especially Mike and Brian, who lead full, happy lives compared to him.
- Straw Loser
- With Friends Like These...: When your so-called "best friend" is threatening your life with a gun because you can't remember the punchline to a joke, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate the friendship.
Mark GatissThe long suffering and ever kind vet of Royston Vasey. Unfortunately he has a habit of accidentally killing any animal he happens to go near.
- Accidental Murder: Even when he's NOT called to attend a sick animal (just ask that poor Jack Russell who was accidentally caught on the back of his bike...)
- Break the Cutie: Every animal that he accidentally kills takes its toll and he slowly breaks down throughout the series.
- Expy: Definitely based on James Herriot, wellington boots and all.
- Friend to All Living Things: Until he kills them...
- Catch-Phrase: "Please sit down, I have some rather upsetting news...."
- Kindly Vet: He's perhaps the nicest character in all of Vasey. He is also an excellent vet in theory, but his cursed nature leads to one appalling incident after another.
- Back for the Finale: He returns in the final episode of the 2017 series where it's revealed that he was the one behind the photobooth.
- Catch-Phrase: "You're my wife now!" and "Hello Dave!"
- Evil Is Hammy: He's one of the evilest characters (which is saying a lot) and also one of the most flamboyant and theatrical.
- Evil Plan: To turn people into circus animals. Even though it would just be easier to just get some ordinary circus animals.
- Humanoid Abomination: Whatever he is, he isn't human. And that's about all we know about him.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: "You're my wife now!"
- Karma Houdini
- Kubrick Stare
- Monster Clown, and one who owns a Circus of Fear at that.
- Not a Mask: He's not a white guy in blackface, that's his actual face.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Calls people by the wrong name and flat-out ignores what people say to him. This is his way of confusing them enough to hand over their personal items and/or capture them.
- Phony Psychic: Oddly enough, even though he's a Humanoid Abomination who's Really 700 Years Old, his psychic act is an obvious and not even remotely convincing fake.
- Really 700 Years Old: When he goes through his Book of Wives in Season Three, some of the photos are clearly old, sepia ones that heavily imply that he's a lot older than he appears. There are more on the wall of his room, too.
- Speaking Simlish: Sometimes lapses into a weird, menacing babble.
- Slasher Smile
- The Spook
Herr Wolff Lipp
Steve PembertonAn effeminate teacher on an exchange trip from Duisberg who is also a predatory pederast with a fondness for school-age teenage boys. He's unhappily married to Lotte, who is disgusted by his perversions. He's tragic and pathetic rather than stone-cold evil, and the horrible things he does seem to be motivated out of loneliness and a desire to find love. He also may be a vampire.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To everyone he persues through the course of the show.
- All Gays Are Pedophiles: He's is exclusively interested in teens who look to be around 16 or so, but it flies very close to this.
- Black Comedy Rape
- Camp Gay
- Catch-Phrase: "Alas Klar."
- Depraved Homosexual
- Dodgy Toupee: Justin pulls it off after Lipp throws scalding coffee in his face to knock him out.
- Double Entendre: He's barely capable of getting a sentence out without making one, much to his chagrin.
- Funny Foreigner
- Gonk: Steve Pemberton achieved his look by taping his lower eyelids down and stuffing his top lip.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: He hates his status as a Flat Character who's only good for Double Entendres and wants to break free.
- Lover and Beloved: To be part of this type of relationship is his dream.
- Meaningful Name: "Wolff" for a sexual predator is rather fitting.
- National Stereotypes
- Queer People Are Funny
- Punny Name
- Sissy Villain
- Slipping a Mickey: That Duisberg coffee looks suspicious.
- Stalker with a Crush
- Transparent Closet: He confesses his sexuality to Justin, who tries his hardest to feign surprise.
- Unwanted Spouse: To Lotte. It's mutual.
- Villain Decay: His first story arc showed him as an immoral, sociopathic rapist who buried Justin alive just so he could keep him as a lover for his return to Vasey next year. His next appearance was the Christmas special, while he was still predatory, he was much more pathetic and sacrificed himself to save the boy who spurned him. Finally, in the movie he's shown as more of a sympathetic person who struggles against being written as a Flat Character. He also finds out he's great with kids (really!) and ultimately saves Vasey from destruction.
Reese ShearsmithFounder of the Legz Akimbo- "Put yourself in a child" travelling theatre troupe, Ollie fancies himself as a gifted writer/performer of important works tackling issues like homosexuality ("Everybody Out!"), teenage homelessness ("No Home 4 Johnny") and disability ("Vegetable Soup"), but of course they are all badly-researched, unrealistic and laughably over the top. Phil and Dave, the two other members of the troupe can't stand Ollie because of his histrionic personality, bad temper and egotism. He is also incredibly bitter, especially concerning his ex wife.
- Attention Whore
- Bad Boss: He's the leader of the troupe, and absolutely loathed for good reason.
- Berserk Button: LESBIANS.
- Condescending Compassion: One of the reason his plays are so insulting is they're always about minority groups of people who Ollie feels superior to.
- Control Freak: One of the reasons he's so unbearable to work for.
- Crazy Jealous Guy
- Critical Research Failure: It's clear from all his plays he has nothing more than a glancing knowledge of anything he writes about.
- Giftedly Bad
- Green-Eyed Monster: It's not pretty when Phil announces he's leaving the troupe for a real acting gig on TV.
- It's All About Me
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: He's incredibly patronising to many people, but especially to school kids.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Ollie tries to be right-on, but he often lets his secretly bigoted views slip. He has a special hatred of lesbians because his wife left him for another woman.
- The Resenter
- Sissy Villain
- Stylistic Suck
- Small Name, Big Ego
- Totally Radical: Any time he tries to relate to children.
Steve Pemberton (voice only)Owner and driver of "Bab's Cabs", Barbara is a chatty and friendly cabbie who likes nothing more than to regale her customers with the latest news of her gender transitioning in graphic detail. She finally gets what she calls "the chop" at the end of Series One, but unfortunately her surgeon is Mr Chinnery, and the outcome isn't so good.
- Artistic Licence Biology: She is apparently able to get pregnant and bear children.
- Hairy Girl: Not a fan of hair removal, Babs proudly displays a thick thatch on her chest.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Barbara is cursed with a very masculine body, copious body hair and a gruff, gravelly voice.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Not to be confused with the Musical Theatre star Barbara Dixon.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She's looking for love and finds it in the arms of David, the Tattsyrup's horrifying son.
- Too Much Information: She loves to chat about the various challenges and tribulations of transitioning, not recognising that it makes her passengers squirm with discomfort.
- Transsexual: Barbara is a Male to Female transgendered person, but after the ambiguous results of her operation, she's not sure which category she falls into.