Characters: The Moomins
Nominally the main character of the books (though most of the books are more of an Ensemble Cast thing, and by far the one who changes and develops the most over the series. He starts out as a very young boy who rarely strays from his mother, but over the course of several books grows into an independent and self-assured troll. Sometimes timid and overly-emotional, but generally brave, friendly and polite to everyone he meets.
- Bratty Half-Pint: In the 1969 anime, and one of the many reasons why the authoress HATED that version of it.
- Character Development: As a result of growing up; the Moomintroll of the first book, The Moomins and the Great Flood, is an almost completely different character from the Moomintroll who appears in the eighth book, Moominpappa at Sea.
- Cowardly Lion: He has traces of this; usually when nothing is happening and he's only imagining the dangers, he's timid and scared — but whenever actual danger appears he faces it head-on almost without thinking.
- Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally, especially in the comic strip.
- Five-Man Band: Becomes The Leader in the second book, Comet in Moominland, a role he tends to unofficially keep.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- Green-Eyed Monster: Almost completely absent from him in most incarnations, but it's a big part of his characterization in the comic strip; he gets incredibly jealous when Snork Maiden flirts with male characters who aren't him. Which often happens.
- Nice Guy: Very much so; he's an emotional and sympathetic person who basically wants everyone to be happy and gets upset when they aren't. Little My thinks this is a weakness, telling him not to feel so sorry for everyone, but in Moominpappa at Sea it proves to be his greatest strength, as he's the only one who manages to befriend the icy Groke and thaw her out.
- Out of Focus: Has a minor role in The Exploits of Moominpappa, is absent from five of the nine stories in Tales of Moominvalley, does not appear at all in Moominvalley in November and plays a fairly minor role in the last Moomin story, An Unwanted Guest.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Very much in the books, definitely in the 1990s anime, and to a varying degree in most adaptations — he wants to see the good in everyone. He's more cynical in the comic strip, but is still basically positive-minded.
Moomintroll's mother, and basically the surrogate mother of everyone in the series. Calm, nurturing and seldom cross or upset, she usually likes to let her "children" find their own way in life, but is always ready with a comforting word and a piece of candy or two if anyone should need her.
- Closer to Earth: Much more sensible and practical than Moominpappa, though she has her moments of folly.
- Happily Married: While her and Moominpappa's marriage is long past the most passionate stage, there's still a quiet, cuddly fondness between them; they never fight or exchange harsh words, and are often seen just sitting close together and enjoying each other's company.
- Iconic Item: She's never seen without her handbag, and at times it seems almost like a kind of Security Blanket for her, as she's visibly upset and distressed when she doesn't know where it is. When, in Moominpappa at Sea, she leaves the handbag behind without a word, this more than anything is what convinces Moomintroll that everything has changed and nothing is the same anymore.
- Mysterious Past: Unlike Moominpappa, her past is never expanded upon. Her first chronological appearance is at the end of Moominpappas Memoirs when he saves her from drowning in the ocean. How she ended up there and where she came from is a complete mystery. Unlike Moominpappa, though several of her relatives have been mentioned in the books; most notably her grandmother, who was an expert with home remedies, some of which turn out to be borderline magical.
- Only Sane Moomin: One of her most consistent roles in the comic strip; when the rest of the family get carried away with all kinds of absurd ideas, Moominmamma is the one who keeps a sense of perspective.
- The Stoic: Has traces of this. It's especially prominent in the comic strip, where she'll be calmly getting on with whatever needs doing while chaos reigns around her.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Played straight in the majority of the series, but Deconstructed in the last two novels:
- Moominpappa at Sea is probably the book in which we get into her head the best, learning her fears and concerns and thoughts about everything. This is also the book where she pulls away from everyone else, withdraws into herself and escapes into her own dreams and artwork because she can't handle the hardships real life is throwing at her — and the others barely notice.
- Curiously enough, the Deconstruction is most apparent and visible in the very last novel, Moominvalley in November, in which Moominmamma doesn't even appear. She is, however, constantly referred to by the other characters and appears in the dreams and stories of the orphan Toft, who doesn't have a mother and whose expectations and hopes about her gets more exaggerated and caricature-like during the course of the novel. Finally, he has to confront the fact that the ultimate Yamato Nadeshiko that's developed in his dreams is not a real person at all and deep down he doesn't want Moominmamma to be like that.
The patriarch of the Moomin family. Kind of blustery and self-important at times, and sometimes his restless and adventurous nature get the better of him, but he's a kind and loving father and husband. He's an excellent seaman.
- Doorstop Baby: He was found in a newspaper basket outside an orphanage. The identity of his parents is never revealed.
- Happily Married: Though his wanderlust and self-importance sometimes gets the better of him and makes him go out on long solo adventures, there's never any question that he and Moominmamma love one another; they never argue and never try to change one another in any way.
- Iconic Item: His black top hat, though in the first few books (and as a child) he doesn't have it. It's more consistent in the adaptations.
- Man Child: Most apparent in the comic strip; he's often rather child-like and sometimes even childish.
- Parents as People: The biggest example of this in the series, and the trope becomes more and more apparent in later books. He's a good father for the most part, but his fatal character flaw is his self-obsession and tendency to get carried away by his own restless nature, which lead him to do inconsiderate things like run away from his family to go exploring for months at a time, or uproot their lives by taking them with him without asking if they actually want to. Its telling that Tove Janson based him on her own restless parents.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Most notable in The Exploits of Moominpappa, which largely consist of his memoirs and contains a lot of self-glorification and ego stroking.
- Walking the Earth: Did a lot of this in his youth, and occasionally gets the urge to do it again.
A tiny, but fiercely independent and often mischievous Mymble; she lives with the Moomins and is sort of their unofficially adopted daughter. She's impossible to frighten or upset and has a cheerfully morbid imagination, but can be a good friend when she wants to be. After first appearing in The Exploits of Moominpappa, she shows up in just about every book since, more or less taking over Sniff's role as Moomintroll's surrogate sibling.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: She's portrayed as a redhead in all the incarnations, except in the 1969 live-action series, where her hair is black.
- Archer Archetype: In the 1969 live-action series, she is always carrying around a bow and arrow — and though she doesn't use it for any more lethal purposes than give people the occasional scare, or shooting apples down from trees, she fits the archetype surprisingly well: Independent, practical-minded, arrogant and not at all inclined to listen to anyone telling her what to do. She even has the small, slender build (though Little My in the live-action series is huge compared to most other incarnations of her; her actress Elina Salo is only slightly shorter than the Moomins).
- Blessed with Suck / Cursed with Awesome: Her tiny size gives her a lot of problems (especially in Moominsummer Madness), but it also gives her a lot of advantages. Sometimes she's annoyed at not being bigger, but usually she accepts it; in one episode of the 1990s anime she even gets a moment's Genre Savvyness when she claims that she's too small for anything serious to happen to her.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Sometimes combined with Annoying Younger Sibling to Moomintroll, even though (going by book continuity at least) she is in fact older than him.
- Fiery Red Head: In all incarnations except the 1969 live-action series.
- Five-Man Band: The Lancer
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Handicapped Badass: It's never actually addressed in the stories that she may have any sort of disability, and the books are the only continuity where it can be inferred at all... but Little My has to have been born with some sort of dwarfism or syndrome that makes her age much more slowly than anyone else. She's older than both Snufkin and Moomintroll, but according to the revised edition of Moominpappa's Memoirs she "for some reason" stopped growing at a very young age. Moominsummer Madness is probably the book where her size gives her the most problems (and it's the only book where she expresses clear annoyance at being so little), though it's also an advantage at times. The "Badass" part comes across from the fact that she never lets her size slow her down any.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She does as she pleases, is always up to some kind of mischief, likes to be extremely morbid, and seldom considers anyone else's feelings on the matter. She is, however, reliable, and will sometimes go out of her way to help those who need it — though she goes about it in her own way.
- Little Miss Badass: Despite her small size, she's tough. Not to the point of being a Pintsized Powerhouse, but she's completely fearless and will fight (usually by biting) anything and anyone that threatens her — usually she even manages to win, or at least make such a nuisance of herself that her opponent will give up just so she'll leave them alone.
- Little Miss Snarker: Again, most prominently in the comic strip, but it's a central part of her character in every other incarnation as well. In The Dangerous Journey, she appears on one page and has one spoken line in the entire story — and it's a sarcastic remark about the protagonist Susanna.
- Miss Imagination: In the books, where she'll gleefully lapse into any kind of morbid, disturbing fantasy or story, especially if there's a chance of frightening someone with them.
- No Indoor Voice: In many of the adaptations, she's portrayed as being LOUD.
- Older Than They Look: If we go by book canon, at least. She was born before Moominpappa and Moominmamma even met and is as such older than her brother Snufkin. She still looks and generally acts like a child, though a fiercely independent one.
- Your Size May Vary: How big is Little My? Reading the books, it's impossible to tell, especially in the later books. In her first appearances she's tiny and has to be carried everywhere (or perch on top of Snufkin's hat), but in later books she's grown at least a bit larger. Just how large is difficult to pin down if you go by the text; on one page she's described as to tiny that she doesn't even leave footprints on the snow, on another she's large enough that several mice can sit on her lap. She's small enough to hide in a sewing-basket or teapot, or use the mail slot as an entrance door, but large enough to climb an ordinary staircase with no problems. According to the illustrations, she's slightly less than half Moomintroll's height, but even this seems to fluxate a little.
- And in various adaptations she tends to be portrayed as even larger. The various anime series and Moomins on the Riviera tend to keep her at roughly the same size as in the book illustrations, but in the "fuzzy felt" series she reaches up to Moomintroll's shoulders, and in both live-action series she's played by normal-sized women and as such isn't even particularly little.
Moomintroll's first friend, who for the first few books lives with the Moomins as a sort of surrogate son/brother. He's an over-emotional, self-interested Lovable Coward, and the only character in the books who desires money and wealth. In the comic strip he's always trying various get-rich-quick schemes, but few of them have any success.
- Anti-Hero: Type II
- Big Eater
- Break the Cutie: The Girl With Birds. He gets dumped. Hard.
- Butt Monkey: In the books and the anime; if something bad happens it happens to him.
- Era-Specific Personality: Underwent some drastic Flanderization for the comic strip, where his desire for wealth pretty much became his defining trait; the result being that the Sniff of the comic strip is an almost entirely different character. The Sniff of the 90s anime is in many ways a Composite Character, being mostly based on Sniff from the book but having several traits from comic strip-Sniff.
- Cartoon Creature: Looks to be half kangaroo half aardvark
- The Chew Toy
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly in the comics and the animated series, but even in the books he gets in a few bits of snark from time to time.
- Demoted to Extra: He's a major character in the first three books and a minor recurring character on the fourth, The Exploits of Moominpappa, which end with him being reunited with his long-lost parents. After this, he only makes sporadic appearances and is often left out of the books altogether.
- The Bus Came Back in the story The Dangerous Journey, where the protagonist Susanna (along with a Hemulen, Sorry-Oo, Thingumy and Bob) encounters him in the strange surreal landscape and he joins them in their search for Moominvalley.
- Depending on the Artist: What color is Sniff? Well, in both the animes he's brown, but in the "fuzzy felt" series and the 2010 movie The Moomins and the Comet Chase, he's gray... and in paintings made by Tove Jansson herself (like in the book The Dangerous Journey), he's white.
- This seems to have been noticed in the 2014 animated film "Moomins on the Riviera", when he makes a non speaking cameo at the beginning of the film, he is white in one scene then is brown in the next.
- The Drag-Along: When out on adventures he tends to spend much of the time worrying about dangers, complaining about the current situation, or refusing to go along. Ironically, whenever things are calm and uneventful he often starts wishing for adventure — Moomintroll even Lampshades this on occasion, though Sniff actually has a reason: "I'm not a lion. I like small adventures!"
- Five-Man Band: The Big Guy
- Flanderization: In the comic strip, his desire for wealth and riches is pretty much his defining character trait — at times he even borders on Token Evil Teammate. (In one storyline he decides to become "good," becoming overly altruistic and annoyingly self-righteous, leading to the traditional We Want Our Jerk Back reaction from the others.)
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
- Honest John's Dealership: Tries a number of these in the comic strip.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Primarily motivated by self-interest and not always very good at thinking of other people, but ultimately not a bad person.
- Lovable Coward: In the books and the '90s anime; not so much in the comic strip.
- Mr. Vice Guy: Greed and Gluttony
- Nervous Wreck
- Running Gag: In The Dangerous Journey, his tail keeps getting accidentally burned whenever he's near fire. Upon which he'll immediately blame whoever he's next to at the moment.
Moomintroll's best friend and Little My's brother; he's a philosophical and solitary vagabond and musician who lives a nomadic lifestyle, smokes a pipe and values freedom above all else. He keeps as few worldy possessions as possible; the only two things he owns and loves are his old green hat and his harmonica.
- Badass Pacifist: He doesn't fight, but that doesn't mean he's helpless.
- Berserk Button: Don't ever put up regulation signs or tell him that something's forbidden. He'll either explode in anger and tear down the signs, or he'll go and do the forbidden thing anyway just because he's been told not to.
- Big Brother Mentor: Plays this role most obviously to Moomintroll and (to a lesser extent) to Sniff; it seems like a lot of other citizens of Moominvalley views him in a similar way, but he's nowhere near as close to them.
- Five-Man Band: The Smart Guy
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
- Iconic Item: His hat and his harmonica. You might also count his pipe, but that's been left out of modern adaptations.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: More prominent in the books, where his introverted personality can make him seem quite gruff.
- Nice Hat: It's one of his two Iconic Items.
- Only Sane Man: Quite possibly the character with the most common sense, certainly the most down-to-Earth.
- The Quiet One: In Moominvalley in November, the Hemulen even Lampshades it, pointing out that one of the main reasons why Snufkin is so admired and respected as he is, is that he doesn't talk much unless when he has something to say.
- The Smart Guy: He's very knowledgeable, very intelligent, and has a number of really good and useful ideas. It's especially evident in the comic strip: Everyone else's plans tend to fail in the execution, but if Snufkin comes up with a plan, it works.
- The Stoic: Usually he's quite calm and level-headed, no matter what happens — if you see him get really angry or really upset, either something is seriously wrong, or someone has managed to push his Berserk Button. However, there are times in the books when stress gets to him and he reveals himself to be Not So Stoic after all.
- Walking the Earth: He's a traveler by nature and is happiest when he can roam around and visit new places.
Moomintroll's girlfriend. She's not a Moomin herself, but a Snork — a being that's almost completely identical to a Moomin except with the ability to change colors according to her mood. Extremely vain and often rather silly, but with surprising Hidden Depths.
- Brainless Beauty: Played with and ultimately subverted.
- Character Exaggeration: In the comic strip, her vanity and silliness are taken Up to Eleven, and she's often crushing on handsome men (to Moomin's dismay).
- Distressed Damsel: She's introduced as one in the books, being in danger from a plant-monster. In the comic strip she often becomes a parody of the trope, going so far as to seeking out situations where she can be in danger or bad guys who can kidnap her because it's so romantic to be in danger, and even more romantic to be saved from danger.
- Five-Man Band: The Chick
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Leukine
- Girly Girl: Quite possibly the girliest girl in the franchise.
- Hidden Depths: At first glance, she can come across as a borderline useless Load; but every so often she'll have a flash of brilliance, a moment of surprising insight or even a genuinely Badass moment.
- Kaleidoscope Fur: She can change color according to her mood, but this is downplayed in the books and left out of most adaptations altogether.
Snorkmaiden's brother. He's a thinker and organizer who likes to boss other people around and tell others what to do. The Animated Adaptation turns him into a Bungling Inventor.
- Adapted Out: Several incarnations, such as the comic strip, don't feature him at all — even the ones where his sister plays a prominent role.
- Bungling Inventor: In the 90s anime.
- Control Freak: His main character trait in the books.
- Kaleidoscope Fur: Like his sister, he can change color according to his mood, though he seldom displays this ability.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: In the Animated Adaptation.
- Doppelgänger: For Moomin in the book illustrations. In other media, most notably the 90s anime, they tend to be more easily distinguished.
Little My's older sister. Originally she was called "the Mymble's Daughter," the Mymble being her fat, jolly mother — but from Moominland Midwinter and on she became known simply as "the Mymble" or simply "mymble." She has the same positive outlook on life as her little sister, but is on the whole much calmer.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the books, not so much in other media.
- Era-Specific Personality: No character in the franchise varies more than Mymble when it comes to personality. In the books it's probably a result of Character Development; she has major roles in three books and in each one she has a different personality; in Moominpappa's Memoirs she appears as a Genki Girl who tells tall tales, while in Moominsummer Madness she's the much-harrowed Parental Substitute to Little My who still tells tall tales, but now they're used to scare her sister into behaving. Then, in Moominvalley in November she's a cheerful Stoic and the only one of the character never to angst or fall into melancholy. In the '90s anime, she's mainly played as a contrast to the abrasive Little My, and in the comic strip she's a hopeless romantic, even worse than Snorkmaiden.
- In Love with Love: Her defining trait in the comic strip; she's always falling head-over-heels in love with someone, usually someone who barely notices her. Some of her romances must have some success though, because her in-universe reputation is that of someone who Really Gets Around.
- Parental Substitute: To Little My. In Moominsummer Madness she's just been given responsibility for My and gets very enthusiastic about "teaching her to behave" — basically spending a lot of time yelling and threatening her with the Groke and various morbid catastrophies. Little My, of course, just thinks that's fun.
The self-declared "villain" of Moominvalley; he's a troublemaker and rascal who's always up to dodgy and probably illegal things. He was introduced in the comic strip and doesn't appear in any of the novels — only in the last short story, An Unwanted Guest, does he appear, as a "secret friend" of Moominpappa.
- Canon Immigrant: Though created by Tove Jansson for the comic strip, and a fairly prominent minor antagonist in other adaptations, it took ages before he appeared in a book.
- Evil Smells Bad: His name is Stinky for a reason.
- Extreme Omnivore: He can and does eat everything, up to and including the Moomins' furniture.
- Jerk Ass: He's probably the only recurring character in the franchise without any real redeeming qualities.
- Odd Friendship: With Moominpappa in An Unwanted Guest.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: He's usually just comedic, but occasionally shocks the reader by doing life-threateningly evil things, like releasing ferocious zoo animals in the hope that they'll eat the Moomins.
The biggest threat and scariest creature in Moominvalley; she's cold and unfeeling and creepy, and everything she touches freezes. If she stays in one spot for more than one hour, the ground dies and nothing can ever grow there again. She starts out portrayed as just evil and terrifying, but later books, particularly Moominpappa at Sea shows her as a pitiful, lonely person who longs for warmth, light and companionship but is unable to get them because her very nature kills all these things.
- An Ice Person: Seems to be brought on by her own inner coldness and depression. She's alone, cut off from everyone and everything, she cares about nobody and nobody cares about her. This manifests as a literal iciness; wherever she goes everything freezes.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Literally. In Moominpappa at Sea she slowly develops a sort-of friendship with Moomintroll, and at the end of the novel, when both of them acknowledge that they are friends, she no longer freezes the ground when she walks on it.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: An odd version of the trope, as the Groke doesn't consciously crave friendship per say — what she craves is warmth and light, which her own icy nature hinders her from getting. It turns out that friendship, having positive feelings for another person, is the key to thaw her out and allow her to experience the warmth she's craved for so long.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Perhaps not with a heart of gold, since she doesn't actually care about anyone, but she's not the malicious evil people think she is.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Both in English and the original Swedish (although it stands out less there, as she shares it with several other characters, and the equivalent of 'the' in Swedish is to add one or two letters to the end of a word).
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show/ Knight of Cerebus: She's the first legitimately frightening villain to turn up in the prose books, and even after she becomes more sympathetic she's a much darker concept than most of the rest of the series.
- Walking Wasteland: It's her curse; she can't touch anything without freezing it, and if she sits on one place for more than one hour she leaves a permanently dead spot of ground on which nothing can ever grow again.
Hemulens feature in most of the books and are tall, grayish cousins of the Moomins. They tend to have obsessive personalities and base their entire lives around one hobby or interest, which they fanatically pursue, be it stamp-collecting, organizing of others, winter sports or etiquette. They have very poor imaginations and are bad at relating to others, which means a lot of people find them overbearing, abrasive and annoying. However, they are well-intentioned and usually have other redeeming qualities. The most central Hemulen is probably the plant-collecting one who appears in two books (Comet in Moominland and Finn Family Moomintroll) and usually makes it into the adaptations.
- The Comically Serious: A classic, though by no means universal, Hemulen trait.
- Comically / Dramatically Missing the Point: Another classic Hemulen trait. Usually their obliviousness is played up for comedy, but sometimes it has tragic or at least potentially tragic consequences.
- Control Freak: Almost all Hemulens are this to some degree, though you do occasionally meet one who isn't.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Most authority figures in the franchise tend to be Hemulens, and while the occasional Hemulen judge, head of orphanage or police chief can get too strict or annoyingly uptight, they are all honest and genuinely want what's best for everyone. They can usually be reasoned with once they've finished blustering.
- Spell My Name with a "The": A double case - the "-en" at the end is the definite article in Swedish, so "the hemulen" basically means "the the hemul".
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Male Hemulens tend to wear frilly dresses rather than trousers. Nobody really knows why; it's just one of their quirks.
A friend of the Moomin family and sort of a Distaff Counterpart to Snufkin; she shares his calm, patient and philosophical nature, as well as his view that it's not good to have too many worldly possessions, but she's less solitary and not as restless.
- Big Damn Heroes: In The Dangerous Journey, just as the protagonists are in dire peril, Too-Ticky shows up in a hot air balloon and flies them all to safety.
- Deadpan Snarker: On occasion, very deadpan.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Snufkin. The two seldom appear together, but fulfill similar roles as she older, wiser friend, with a calm and philosophical outlook on life. Also, in the comic strip, she is a clear one to Moominpappa's childhood friend Hodgekins, as she takes on his role in the storyline inspired by The Exploits of Moominpappa.
- Only Sane Woman: Like Snufkin, she's much more down-to-Earth and sensible than most of the cast.
- The Stoic: Even moreso than Snufkin, as she seems to completely lack any kind of Berserk Button.
- Wrench Wench: Not in the books, but in some of the adaptations, including the comic strip.
The Moomins' neighbor, a "proper lady" who finds the Moomins' bohemian lifestyle distasteful. She is an obsessive Neat Freak who has three children and is always conscious of what happens in "finer families."
- Canon Foreigner / Canon Immigrant: She debuted in the comic strip and makes it to most adaptations. In the books there are three (possibly four) characters who are named "the Fillyjonk," who share certain character traits with her but don't seem to be the same character.
- Heroic BSOD: The Fillyjonks in the books tend to be prone to these. Most notably in Moominvalley in November, where the Fillyjonk has a near-fatal accident while cleaning house and suffers a complete nervous breakdown which she spends the rest of the book recovering from.
- Neat Freak: In the comic strip and the 90s anime in particular.
- Nosy Neighbor: Characterized as such in the 1969 live-action TV series; she's always peeking in through windows or hiding behind hedges and shaking her head at the antics of the Moomin family.
A young witch-in-training who lives with her grandmother in the forest and — to said grandmother's displeasure — becomes a good friend of the Moomin family.
- Canon Foreigner: Appears only in the animated series.
- Cute Witch: She certainly does not have her grandmother's looks!
- Nice Girl: Alicia is friendly, polite and helpful to a fault, even though this isn't considered "proper" witch behavior.
Alicia's grandmother, a more traditional "Wicked Witch" who tries to raise her granddaughter into becoming a proper witch. Antagonistic at first, but does eventually become more friendly.
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Pretty much her standard attitude.
- Canon Foreigner: Like Alicia, she only appears in the animated series.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She takes pride in being an antisocial Wicked Witch, but she isn't actually evil. She does love her granddaughter and only wants what's best for her.
- Wicked Witch: Tries her best to be this at all times.
Sorry-Oo Le Miserable
A small, shy and melancholic dog who dreams big and impossible dreams. He appears in books, comics and spin-off materials, almost always in a different role, with different relations, and different impossible dreams, but his basic timid and melancholic personality always stays the same.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Not in the regular, stereotypical "dumb dog" way, but he tends to berate himself for being an idiot when he realizes how impossible his dream was all along.
- Dog Stereotype: Averted. He is a tiny dog, but has none of the stereotypical bravery or agression associated with tiny dogs.
- Lovable Coward: He's not brave at all, and is very aware of this. A minor Running Gag in the 1969 series is that he'll run and hide whenever something spooks him, and has to be convinced to come out... only to get spooked again almost immediately.
- Savage Wolves: A victim of this trope in Moominland Midwinter, his major appearance in the books. He spends the entire book Howling to the Night, longing and dreaming about joining his "brothers," the free and wild wolves, but when he finally does meet a pack of wolves he discovers that they're not friendly and not interested in him as anything except a quick and easy meal.
A very depressed and rather paranoid character who thinks everyone is either making fun of her or laughing at her behind her back. In the comic strip (and several other incarnations) she is depicted as the Moomins' housekeeper, and occasionally the owner of Sorry-Oo. In her sole appearance in the novels, in Moominsummer Madness, she is basically just a random forest creature swept along on the adventure, who eventually becomes a star actress.
- A Maid And Her Dog: With Sorry-Oo, in some incarnations.
- Drama Queen: To varying degree depending on the incarnation. In the comic strip she's more deadpan, while in the books she's a lot more inclined to play martyr and scream out how awful everyone is to her at the slightest provocation. The 1969 live-action TV series takes this trait Up to Eleven; she pretends to faint (and "momentarily wakes up" in order to declare herself totally innocent in a related matter before "fainting" again), she announces her resignation and storms out several times, and about 75% of her dialogue consists of loud self-pity.
- The Eeyore: The biggest example in the franchise; her basic mood is depression and paranoia.
- Maid: Her role in almost all the incarnations except the novels — though she does appear to be the Moomins' housekeeper in the final Moomin story, An Unwanted Guest.
Thingumy and Bob
Two small, unseparable creatures who speak their own strange language (in the original Swedish, they add the suffix "-sla" to most of their words, while in the English translation they speak mainly in Spoonerisms) and who stay with the Moomins for a time. They're both female, even if their English names would imply otherwise.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Like small children, they have their own (and rather self-centered) view of right and wrong, and don't seem to understand that the rest of the world doesn't share this view. They do, for example, see nothing wrong with stealing whatever they want.
- Spoonerism: In the English translation, they communicate using these.
- Those Two Girls
- The Unintelligible: Treated like this in-universe in the beginning, as only the Hemulen understands what they're saying and has to translate for the others (and even he misunderstands them frequently). The audience can usually make out what they're saying with no problem, though.
A small, timid girl who was frightened so often and so thoroughly by her mean aunt that she turned permanently invisible. Brought to the Moomin family by Too-Ticky, in the hope that they could make her regain her confidence so she could become visible again.
- Character Development: Uniquely, her development has a visible indicator: The more confidence and development she gains, and the more she manages to free herself from her Shrinking Violet persona, the more of her becomes visible.
- Invisibility: Presented here as something that happens to people who are too timid.
The protagonist of the story The Dangerous Journey and the sole actual, normal human character to appear in the franchise. She is a bespectacled little girl who wakes up one morning, bored and annoyed with the world at large, who is swept away on a strange and dangerous adventure when her spectacles are mysteriously swapped out for a pair of magical ones. When she puts them on, the world around her transforms into a nighmarish but wondrous place, in which she ends up going on a journey along with Sniff, the Hemulen, Sorry-Oo, Thingumy and Bob, in search of Moominvalley.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Declaring her hatred for and frustration with how boring everything is, she wishes everything was different and she could experience something dangerous. She gets both those wishes granted, and it's scary.
- Break the Haughty: Starts out bad-tempered and angry at everything — and then when she puts on the magic spectacles her aggressions take on a life of their own and twist the world around, turning her cat into a horrible beast and the world into a nightmare, and her own reflection (as seen in a pond) into a slimy, creepy monster. When her anger vanishes she starts encountering friendlier creatures in the new strange world, and she even apologizes for having turned the world into such a gruesome place.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: She has a pet cat, and though in the beginning of the story she's annoyed with it like she's annoyed with everything else, she does love it very much and is overjoyed to be reunited with it at the end of the story.
- Unfazed Everychild: Though it does seem that her adventure is largely shaped by her own subconscious, and the dangers and terrors she faces represent her own darker side.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Like Indiana Jones, she hates snakes.
The primary protagonist of Moominvalley in November, an orphan (in the original Swedish referred to as a Whomper, but in the English translation simply called a "boy") who tells himself stories of the Moomins every evening and finally going off to Moominvalley to meet them — only to find the house empty and the Moomins gone.
- Author Avatar: Gender and age aside, Toft pretty much is Tove Jansson, trying to find back to that happy Moominvalley but not managing. His particular longing for Moominmamma makes sense in-universe (he's an orphan who wants a mother), but makes even more sense when you learn that Tove Jansson's own mother, the real-life inspiration for Moominmamma, had recently died when the book was written.
- Berserk Button: For most of the book, anyway — don't ever imply that you know the Moomins better than he does, or that Moominmamma is less than perfect. Part of Toft's Character Development is to come to terms with how the family he's constructed in his head aren't necessarily how they are in real life; particularly he has to face that the Yamato Nadeshiko persona he's invented for Moominmamma isn't a real person, and so he loses this particular Berserk Button towards the end of the book.
- The Storyteller: Granted, he tells the stories mainly to himself, but they have a tendency to grow and become a lot more real than he'd intended them to. The story he wants to come to life, though, the one of the Moomins returning to the valley, remains out of his grasp.
- The Quiet One: He's small, unassuming and doesn't speak much; he tends to be ignored a lot but doesn't have any problems with this.
Exclusive to the comic strip, Shadow is a small, unassuming creature who in the strip's early years can often be seen following Moomintroll around. Usually just there to provide the odd Funny Background Event, unnoticed by the other characters and unmentioned by the narrative, he occasionally gets to step into the foreground and play a part in the story. In actuality, "Shadow" is two separate characters, White Shadow and Black Shadow; Black Shadow basically being White Shadow's stand-in.
- Expy / Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Black Shadow for White Shadow. They look and act exactly alike, except for the fact that White Shadow has a white belly while Black Shadow is black all over. Black Shadow is literally called in, mid-story as White Shadow's substitute; White Shadow is getting married, so he calls up his cousin Black Shadow to take his place in the story. From thereon, the two will appear interchangeably, but almost never together.
- Funny Background Event: The majority of a Shadow's appearances consist of these, unless he's just standing around, or it's one of the rare instances where he gets to play a role in the plot.
- God-Created Canon Foreigner: They were created by Tove Jansson herself, but never showed up in any of the books or anywhere but the comic strip — until the 2014 movie The Moomins on the Riviera, which adapts one of the early comic strip storylines.
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