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Played By: Ricky GervaisThe incompetent General Manager of the Slough offices of Wernham-Hogg. He fancies himself a popular jack-of-all-trades, when in reality he is a needy, lonely and selfish man.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Begs for his job.
- The Alcoholic: Drinking seems to be his solution to everything. It's implied he's insecure about it when Dawn jokes that he drinks, "every lunchtime", as well.
- Attention Whore: Watch him seethe whenever anyone is getting more attention than him.
- Bad Boss: Despite trying to act like A Father to His Men, he's more than willing to sell his employees out to help himself get a promotion.
- Casanova Wannabe: Until the finale. Although Life on the Road shows even that didn't last.
- The Cameo: Appears in the cold opening for a Season 7 episode of the American Office where he briefly meets Michael Scott (and they naturally click).
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Not that it stops him trying. And trying.
- Character Tics: Adjusting his tie.
- Covert Pervert: Jennifer catches him checking out her legs just as Finchy makes a comment over the phone about his wandering eyes.
- Dreadful Musician: Zigzagged his guitar playing is pretty good but his lyrics make the songs cringe-worthy.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the Christmas Special, he's a bit wittier and actually funnier, at least whenever he's just being himself instead of performing for the camera.
- Dirty Coward: Will sell employees out to save his arse financially. Not to mention his ass-kissing to Finch for fear of losing a friend. Although he subverts it in the Series Finale where his date is concerned.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Whenever he tries to get out of making an off-color comment, he just says something even more offensive.
- Don't Explain the Joke: One of the reasons he fails so consistently at telling jokes is that when he notices nobody is laughing he feels the need to explain what the joke was about. Because obviously the joke was a gut-buster so they must just not understand it and it's totally nothing to do with being a bad joke or terrible delivery or attempting to joke at entirely inappropriate times or anything like that.
- Everything Is Racist: Parodied, with a strong dose of Hypocritical Humour, in the very first episode. David introduces Ricky the temp to Sanj:David: This guy does the best Ali G impersonation. 'Ay!' (laughs) I can't do it . . . Do it.Sanj: I . . .David: Go on.Sanj: I don't, I . . .David: Oh, sorry, no, it's not you. It's the other one.Sanj: The other . . . the other what?David: Erm . . .Sanj: (smiling) "Paki"? (laughs slightly)David: Ah. —That's racist. (wags a disapproving finger at Sanj and walks off.)
- Fat Bastard: He tries unconvincingly to suck in his beer gut when Jude walks in after the motivational speech when changing shirts.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- Friendless Background: He doesn't seem to have any friends. He considers Finchy his 'best friend' but Finchy sees him more as a lackey and a target for his jokes. Ironically, he treats Gareth very similarly to how Finch treats him.
- Get Out: Says so during his attempt at reverse pyschology during the motivational speech.
- Hypocrite: See above.
- Another example is when he has no problem mocking Malcolm's bald-patch only to get heat up about the Mr. Toad comments.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: The reason he's an Attention Whore.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When Chris makes a disparaging wisecrack about David's date, David decides that he's having none of it.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Lack of professionalism aside, he does have a point about Neil sort of 'marking his territory' when he plays games in the main Wernham Hogg office despite telling Dave not to. The Jerk Ass part is that Brent is even worse when it comes to this and that it altogether comes down to resenting the fact that Neil just so happens to be 'better' at showing off than David.
- Laughing Mad: He doesn't think it's a sign of insanity but when he laughs during his motivational speech in an attempt to get the audience to join in, it does come across as this trope especially as he starts with a fake laugh and the laughter completely takes him hostage as he continues.
- Manchild: He doesn't take responsibility and responds to Neil's bollockings like a petulant schoolkid.
- No Social Skills: He's not nearly as witty as he thinks he is, and his attempts at being funny tend to be crushingly embarrassing. Elsewhere, he gives Dawn a serious dose of Too Much Information when he confides to her after a bathroom break that he'd just been checking his testicles for lumps.
- Pet the Dog: He seems to feel genuinely bad when he makes Gareth (of all people) cry.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Forgets to pay his staff.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Is deluded about his banter, managerial skills and how young he looks.
- Sucks At Dancing: David, with his cringe-makingly memorable attempt at sexy dance moves at an office party, which boil down to spasmodic and random windmill arm movements, grunting his own tune, and gyrating.
- Unreliable Narrator: He considers himself a victim of this in the Christmas Special, in a drunken rant with his date where he claims the documentary makers "stitched him up" by editing together a cut of the show that deliberately emphasised the bits of his personality and life that make him look like a complete tool and downplaying his redeeming qualities. Interestingly, the Christmas Special ended up making him look a bit better.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Until the finale.
- Verbal Tic: Especially during interviews, "....yeah?". He also says "fact", a lot to emphasis a point. He also says, "guilty", and "just a bit", when responding to questions.
- White Man's Burden: Sees himself as more enlightened than the average Englishman and makes sure everyone notices how politically correct he is.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He thinks he's in a TV show about an effortlessly cool boss who everyone loves, and that he's the boss in question. He's right about the "being in a TV show" bit at least.
- Afraid of Blood: He faints at the sight of it.
- Black Best Friend: Dom is reluctantly this for Brent, to the point where his first appearance is so that Brent can convince his HR manager that he's not racist.
- Cannot Talk to Women: Zigzagged. While Brent is comfortable around a few of his female co-workers, he gets very anxious around women he's attempting to pick up.
- Casanova Wannabe: Tries to pick up two average looking middle-aged women who are only after his minibar, not the man himself.
- Cerebus Retcon: In Life On The Road, Brent admits that he had a nervous breakdown when he was made redundant, went into rehab and has been in therapy ever since. It's also implied that he may suffer from bipolar disorder.
- Character Development: Even more so than in the Christmas Special. Brent learns to accept that he may never be famous and manages to find contentment with his lot in life.
- Embarrassing Tattoo: Due to backing out of a tattoo halfway through getting one, Brent now has "Berk" tattooed on his arm.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: His new band barely tolerate his presence, with their only interactions being rehearsals and performances. It gets to the point where Brent has to bribe them to come out for a drink with him.
- Innocently Insensitive: Brent's attempts to show his social consciousness only come off as even more offensive.
- The Gambling Addict: His solution to any setbacks in his tour is to spend more money.
- Never Grew Up: Lampshaded. He revived his old band, but due to his bandmates all moving on with their lives, Brent has recruited a bunch of 20-somethings. The age difference is glaring.
- N-Word Privileges: He drunkenly called Dom "his nigger" when walking to his hotel room, which Dom tried several times in vain to discourage him from saying.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy: When the band's tour doesn't profit as well as he'd hoped, Brent just takes more and more money from his pension to cover it. His sound engineer finally tells him to just cut his losses and keep things simple.
- Too Dumb to Live: Keeps spending money on the tour and calls Dom the N word.
- The Team Benefactor: Funds his own band and tour, at great expense to himself.
Played By: Martin FreemanA witty sales rep at Wernham-Hogg. He's in love with Dawn and, like her, feels he's wasting his life at Wernham-Hogg.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: In the Series 2 finale, he admits his feelings to Dawn, although it is silent due to him turning off his mike. She seems to turn him down but gives a consoling hug.
- Berserk Button: Downplayed, but disrepecting Dawn seems to be his. He looks visibly angry when Lee makes crude remarks about her to the warehouse lads and he begins being more snarky towards Finchy when he does the same, when previously he was ignoring him.
- Blatant Lies: "If there's one thing I'm not, it's immature."
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Well, not so much lazy as just too pessimistic to push himself.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
- Nice Guy: Although immature, he's more laid back and genuinely friendly than Gareth or David Brent. Probably why Dawn and Tim end up hooking up in the finale.
- The Gadfly: Mainly to Gareth.
- The Prankster
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: Dawn comes around to Tim after he seems to have given up at the end of the Christmas special.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Dawn. They do.
Played By: Mackenzie CrookThe power-hungry 'team leader' and ambitious Number Two to Brent. Delusional and pretentious, he often acts as Tim's nemesis.
- Butt-Monkey: The butt of Tim, Dawn and Rachel's pranks. Not that he doesn't deserve it due to his attitude.
- Casanova Wannabe: Brags about having loads of office romances. Any time we see him flirt with a female co-worker, this statement becomes a little less convincing. Although he's quite the Kavorka Man in clubs due to the different environment.
- Control Freak: Regularly tries to maintain order in the office, but just comes across as a buzzkill.
- Did I Mention I Am Heterosexual Today: He keeps insisting he has had sex with plenty of women, but doesn't get together with anyone in-series because he doesn't like "sloppy seconds". Needless to say, women don't seem to find this attitude likeable.
- Does Not Like Spam: He hates jelly, because he "doesn't trust the way it moves".
- Establishing Character Moment: The first thing we see him do is whack Tim across the back of the head with a newspaper and shout "Wazzup!" right in his ear. Gareth then follows this up with a series of unfunny jokes, establishing himself as the most annoying person in the office.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
- I Resemble That Remark!: Gareth's reaction when Tim compares his "team leader" title to a school kid being made milk monitor.
- Insistent Terminology: He constantly refers to himself as the Assistant Manager, in spite David making it clear that he's actually the "assistant to the manager" (making him effectively a glorified secretary)
- Kavorka Man: Despite his goofy looks and awkward personality Gareth does get with women, albeit the kind he meets at clubs.
Played By: Lucy DavisThe Wernham-Hogg receptionist, she's in love with Tim but is trapped in an unhappy engagement.
- Betty and Veronica: Tim is Archie, she's the Betty and Rachel's the Veronica.
- Broken Bird: Her engagement with Lee is what makes her broken.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Ultimately choses Tim who's happier with her dream of being an artist.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
- Meaningful Name: Dawn is a ray of sunshine in Tim's otherwise boring life.
- Sexy Secretary: Not overt.
- What Does She See in Him?: Why she sticks with Lee is anyone's guess, has a lot to do with feeling trapped.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Tim. They do.
Keith 'Big Keith' Bishop
Played By: Ewan MacintoshA large, stoical accounts rep.
- The Big Guy: Which the almost as fat David Brent never fails to notice.
Chris 'Finchy' Finch
Played By: Ralph InesonA "bloody good" outside sales representative, he is probably the only character in the series who is genuinely mean. He is brashly confident, openly sexist, rasping-voiced with a natural flair for bullying others with swift, humiliating putdowns, Brent being his usual target. David describes him as his "best friend" but actually acts more like a lackey, laughing at his jokes and attempting to impress him to feel popular.
- The Alcoholic: Not as much as David but he does go to Chasers an awful lot.
- The Bully: He insults anyone he can. Frequent targets are women, the educated and David.
- The Big Guy: At 6'3", he towers over almost anyone.
- Deadpan Snarker: Deconstructed Character Archetype: His snarkiness earns him no friends except David who laughs with his jokes even though he doesn't get them.
- Evil Is Petty: Losing a pub quiz is a big deal to him.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Everyone, maybe even Lee, probably dislikes him but he doesn't seem too bothered unlike David.
- Jerkass: Is rude to pretty much anyone who isn't Neil.
- Jerk Jock: Brags about his ability to throw things after getting beat at Trivia Night and is a tall, confident bully.
- Kavorka Man: More repulsive in the personality sense but on-screen he's scored with Lorna and Trudy, possibly due to the confidence thing and being 6'3". Although his other conquests are implied to be exaggerated.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Very sexist and makes some homophobic jabs too, particularly at David's expense.
- Shutting Up Now: Usually an unstoppable snark machine, Chris goes too far when he makes an unpleasant remark in the Christmas special about David's date, and David's response causes Chris to resort to this.
- Villainous Breakdown: After losing the pub quiz, he loses his sense of humour and becomes outright nasty.
Played By: Stirling GallacherBrent's immediate supervisor in Series One, nicknamed Camilla Parker Bowles by him, is a serious-minded professional, and Brent's behaviour and comedy-driven style of management are shown to be puerile and ineffectual by contrast.
- Closer to Earth: When it comes to racial and social issues when she tells off David for telling racist jokes about a black man's cock.
- Benevolent Boss: Surprisingly inhumanly patient with Dave and his incompetence and she and Neil only fire him when he dares them to.
- Consummate Professional: A serious minded boss compared to Dave's shenanigans.
- She's Got Legs: Finchy doesn't even need to be in the same room to know when Brent's checking them out.
- Straight Man: Devoid of any quirks.
Played By: Patrick BaladiBrent's counterpart at the Swindon branch, his immediate superior. He is young, charming, professional and energetic, a more competent manager than Brent, and has a better relationship with staff. Brent is hugely resentful and jealous of him, and makes occasional, often childish attempts to either undermine or rival him. He grows increasingly exasperated with Brent's incompetence, poor judgement, and failure to do his job properly.
- The Ace: Neil is successful at everything he puts his hand to.
- Benevolent Boss: Downplayed Trope, he is harsher than Jennifer but he does try to look out for employees well being when he's surprised that David Brent forgot to pay his staff. He also displays little pleasure in sacking David, trying to spin it as a, "generous redundancy package", rather than, "You're fired because you suck as manager". There's also the recognising Tim's potential as manager as well.
- Deadpan Snarker: Gets in a few good jabs at David's incompetence when he says, "You'd rather be popular, than steer the ship in the right direction".
- Decon-Recon Switch:
- Starts out as a deconstruction of the rival archetype who is usually portrayed as more successful than the protagonist, but also happens to be smug and unlikable. Not only is Neil a success, but he has much better people skills than Brent.
- Then in the Christmas Special we find out that Neil enjoys making crude jokes with Finch, showing that he does have a nasty side, just not a particularly big one.
- Evil Counterpart: Maybe not 'evil' so much as 'successful'.
- Foil: Unlike David; Neil puts his job first, doesn't force anyone to be his friend or listen to his personal issues and he doesn't chase the spotlight.
- Bitch In Sheeps Clothing Has A Point: Although we as the audience are expected to side with David, most of Neil's points against David are valid and it is his job to make sure David is running the place correctly.
- Hero Antagonist: It's hard not to see Neil's point of view; he might be an 'enemy' to David, but he doesn't want to be and only wants to keep the workplace running which he can't do when Brent is being so blatantly incompetent.
- Meaningful Name: 'God' and 'Win' to emphasize his superiority over David.
- Not So Different: Really, he isn't much different from David Brent. They both put a great deal of effort into being liked, but Neil is just much more savvy and successful.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the Christmas Special, he is much more openly disdainful of David than he ever was before. However, it's worth keeping in mind that a former employee has been dropping in to disrupt the working day for three years. Less understandably, he's friends with Chris Finch. On the DVD commentary Stephen Merchant suggests that Finch's nastiness rubbed off on Neil, while Ricky Gervais believes that Neil was never all that nice to begin with. Though this nastiness may also be to do with David Brent not doing his job properly and making life difficult for Neil consequently.
Played By: Joel BeckettDawn Tinsley's fiancé who works in the company's warehouse. She met him in school and they have been together ever since. Whilst not mean, Lee is somewhat dull, humourless and casually critical of her ideas of being an illustrator. His idea of an amorous proposal was a four-word notice in the newspaper — "Lee love Dawn. Marriage?". It is clear from an early stage that she stays with him out of a fear of loneliness rather than real love. Lee is laid-back, loyal, and also more physically imposing than Canterbury, that is the reason Tim finds him intimidating. Lee has a somewhat violent temper, which is shown when he holds Canterbury against a wall, simply for starting to dance with Dawn.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Very possessive of Dawn.
- Disposable Fiancé: Finally (and mercifully).
- Jerk Jock: More understated than Finch however.
- Kick the Dog: The second series confirms that he's not a good person by showing him manhandle Tim in a moment of paranoia, then grope Dawn in front of his mates.
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: Not so much 'wacky' as 'coldly pragmatic'. He placed an advert in the newspaper for Dawn, but as he was paying by the word, the proposal was phrased as "Lee love Dawn. Marriage?"
- Not to mention 'thrifty'.
Played By: David SchaalThe misogynistic, sexist warehouse manager at the Slough Trading Merchant and Lee's supervisor, who is seen as being very slack and has little respect for any one who works outside of the warehouse, particularly management.
- Bald of Evil: Is bald and not very nice.
- Jerkass: Is Conservative about women and disrespectful towards management.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He delivers a brutal putdown towards an insufferable pregnant woman.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's incredibly sexist, homophobic and misogynistic.
Played By: Oliver ChrisA temp worker in Series 1.
- Flat Character: He's so demure it actually makes him seem a bit dull compared to the larger-than-life main characters.
- Name's the Same: Shares his surname with his US counterpart Ryan Howard.
- Sequel Non-Entity: Justified, as he was a temp.
- The Smart Guy: Went to university and has encylopedic knowledge.
- Straight Man
Played By: Sally BrettonAn intern in Series 1.
Played By: Stacey RocaA Swindon transfer that Tim and Gareth both take interest in.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Tim's not Bad-bad, but he does delight in pranking both his boss and co-worker, sometimes without provocation.
- Everyone Loves Blondes
- Dude Magnet
- Informed Attractiveness: Tim, Gareth, Keith and even Lee all think she's drop-dead gorgeous, despite not being any more or less attractive than the other female staff.
- Love Triangle: Is involved in two:
- Precision F-Strike: After Tim drops her, Gaerth tries swooping in and gets told to "Fuck off".
- Putona Bus: She disappears after Tim dumps her.
- Romantic False Lead: Obviously
- Satellite Love Interest: She's just there so that Dawn can be jealous and Tim can fight with Gareth some more.
- Sequel Non-Entity: Does not show up in the Christmas Special
- What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Unless you get paid to flirt with Tim and rebuff Gareth, we have no way of knowing what she does.
Played By: Sandy HendrickseDavid Brent's blind date.
- False Soulmate: David Brent reveals in the English version that he's currently single, so they clearly didn't last.
- Meaningful Name: Her name's Carol and she appears in the Christmas Special
- Opposites Attract: Carol's attractive, sensitive and an all-round pleasant person to be with. David Brent, well...
- Satellite Love Interest: Her character isn't explored fully, due to appearing in the final episode.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She gets to see the more likeable side to David and quickly warms up to him.
- David's "good" quality is justified when he stands up to Finch for her.
Played By: Elizabeth BerringtonSelf-absorbed and obnoxious pregnant woman who shares Tim's desk after Gareth becomes manager.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: She claims she often gets unwanted attention from male coworkers, but can't understand why. Nor can Tim.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: At the Christmas party she's on the receiving end of one, delivered by Taffy of all people.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Anne pretended that her son was seriously ill in order to jump the queue at Disneyland.
- One Drink Will Kill the Baby: A variant of this. She hectors the warehouse guys for smoking near her at the party, which leads to the above.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Gareth. She was specifically introduced to be someone even more annoying than Gareth to sit near Tim.