Characters: Two and a Half Men

A list of characters and associated tropes in the long-running sitcom Two and a Half Men:

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    The Harper Family 

Charles Francis "Charlie" Harper (Charlie Sheen)

  • The Ace: At least compared to Alan. Women and money just fall into his hands!
    • Broken Ace: There are some moments where Charlie's vices catch up with him (at least until he was killed).
      • In fact, the entire original premise of the show is that Charlie is one of these because Alan and Jake came back into his life.
  • Adam Westing / Meta Casting / Write Who You Know: Charlie Harper is basically Charlie Sheen without the "Sheen".
  • The Alcoholic: Gradually over time, mostly in the later seasons, where if he's home, he's either pouring himself a drink or has one in his hand.
  • Always Someone Better: To Alan.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Next to no one had a single nice thing to say about him during his funeral (Alan tried).
  • Anything That Moves:
    (after Charlie's weekend with Melissa does not end well)
    Alan: You sure you don't want to come down to my office and hump my fax machine?
  • Ashes to Crashes: Ultimately, his smoldered ashes end up on the floor of the house when Alan drops them after being startled by Walden. And again when Jenny shows up.
  • Asshole Victim: The women who attend his funeral certainly think so. Whether or not he was is up for interpretation.
  • At Least I Admit It: Whatever flaws Charlie has, he doesn't deny who he is.
  • Back from the Dead: If what happened in the finale makes any sense.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: To Chelsea. When she was suffering back pain due to large breasts he tried to prevent her from having breast reduction surgery so that she'll stay attractive to him.
  • Benevolent Boss: Most of the time to Berta, he paid her well and at the wake after his funeral, Berta says she was the best boss he ever had.
  • Big Brother Bully: To Alan, in their childhood.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Gets paid millions just for writing jingles and doesn't have to do any other actual work or support anyone else. This is one of the main reasons why Alan despises him so much.
  • The Casanova: Sleeps with a woman every other episode (if not more).
    • And it's one of the traits passed down from father to daughter.
    • Kid-anova: Was one of these in his youth as well.
  • Casual Kink: According to one of the women at Charlie's funeral, he liked being spanked while wearing her panties.
  • The Charmer: For all his flaws, Charlie actually does treat the women he sleeps with rather well. And then after the sex...
  • The Chew Toy: He does have his moments as a result of getting hit with the Idiot Ball, such as the time when he thought his ex-girlfriend's son was his own. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Character Development: Charlie may have been an immature narcissist and so forth, but he did learn how to be a better uncle and more willing to be in a monogamous relationship. Unfortunately it was thrown out the window in later seasons.
  • Chick Magnet: Alan put it best, "They just drop out of the sky for him!"
  • Comedic Sociopathy: To disturbing levels.
  • Cool Uncle: To Jake, at least originally. Maybe subverted in the series finale, where he sends Jake a check for $25,000.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the biggest, if not the biggest, on the show.
  • Death by Sex: Rose catches him showering with another woman during their vacation to Paris and pushes him in front of a train. However, this was subverted in the finale: Rose actually kept him locked up in her basement for four years.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: "Is There A Mrs. Waffles?"
  • Disappeared Dad: He decided that he didn't want to be in his daughter Jenny's life anymore and just sent child support.
  • Dreadful Musician: He can definitely play the piano well, and turns out to have a surprising proficiency for writing childrens' songs, but most of his actual jingles are so bad that it makes you wonder how he was ever able to make a living (to say nothing of a living in Malibu) off of it.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: A train, more specifically. In the finale, a piano... sort of.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: His family does nothing but insult him, his career and his lifestyle despite him being incredibly successful as a musician (The quality may be questionable, but he's still really successful.) and having every right to live his life as he sees fit.
  • Even the Guys Want Him
  • Everyone Has Standards: Charlie found there were lines even he wouldn't cross, such as in the Christmas episode where he refused to sleep with a woman that was possibly his sister. As Rose quipped, "It's a Christmas miracle!"
    • He also refuses to sleep with teenage girls, as shown with his refusal of Berta's granddaughter's (played by Megan Fox no less) advances.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • Flanderization: Charlie became an even heavier drinker and an even bigger Jerkass. Was flanderized into a hard drug user after his death, though this may have been part of a large Take That aimed at Charlie Sheen.
  • Girl of the Week: One has to wonder at times how Charlie Harper is the less-exaggerated version of the actual Charlie Sheen.
  • Handsome Lech: Charlie's the kind of guy who would be in the dictionary under "man-whore" if the word was in there. It's made all the weirder by the fact that he writes children's songs for a living.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: As he tells to Evelyn, when she asks why doesn't he like her:
    I'm not saying I hate you, but if I did, it might have something to do with the fact that you're a narcissistic bloodsucker who drove my father into an early grave, after which you married a succession of men who couldn't care less about Alan and me, which was just fine with you 'cause you... looked at us like a couple of dancing monkeys you could just haul out whenever it suited you! And when it didn't, you sent us off to boarding school or camp or that kibbutz in Israel, where we got beat up 'cause we weren't even Jewish! And now... now you show up here every chance you get to lay a guilt trip on me for not appreciating my cold, lonely, loveless childhood!
  • Instant Seduction: Mia was the only one this didn't work on.
  • It Amused Me: His reason for picking on Alan so much.
  • It's All About Me: He's so self-obsessed that when Alan was suicidally depressed all he was thinking about was how Alan's outburst embarrassed him.
  • Jerkass: A selfish, egotistical, and narcissistic womanizer.
    • Jerkass Façade: And although he would never admit it, he enjoyed Alan and Jake's company.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In particular, his relationship with Chelsea brought it out. He also really did care about Alan, Jake, and even Evelyn.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Following Charlie Sheen's dismissal from the show, the writers throw the above under a bus as well. The finale especially tries to drive the point home that Charlie really was a drug-addled, uber-violent asshole, with Alan and Evelyn frightened by the thought that he might actually try and kill them.
  • Just Friends: With Lyndsey, despite what Alan thought.
  • Karma Houdini: Charlie's jerkassery never seemed to catch up to him until he was McLeaned at the beginning of Season 9.
  • Kavorka Man: He's a millionaire with a beachhouse; it's just his personality that makes women leave him.
  • Killed Off for Real: Between Seasons 8 and 9, (presumably) by Rose. Subverted in the series finale.
  • Lack of Empathy: Whenever people around him suffer he will often laugh in their face about it. At one point, his girlfriend was having back pain due to large breasts and he tried to prevent her from having breast reduction surgery to deal with that problem. He's even been known to take advantage of people's emotional and social problems for his own benefit.
  • Ladykiller in Love: With Mia, Chelsea, and Rose. They were the only women he ever proposed to, but never married either of them (and, in the latter's case, never lived to marry).
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Subverted. It caused a lot of resentment from Alan and Evelyn. Jake was cool with it though.
  • Man Child: "You are a child! A high maintenance child!"
  • Mommy Issues: Even more so than Alan.
  • Narcissist: Charlie is always thinking of himself and has a massive ego. When others around him suffer he finds it amusing but then expects them to sympathize with him whenever he suffers.
  • Noodle Incident: Most of Charlie's sexual escapades, especially the ones before Alan and Jake move in.
  • Not So Different: Has shades of this when it comes to Evelyn. They're both narcissists, drink a lot and are promiscuous. Alan has linked some of this to a possible Oedipus Complex.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Charlie's specialty. His night usually goes like this: he meets a girl, sweet-talks her, takes her home, suggests they go upstairs, has sex with her, and is gone before she wakes up. A lot of the time, he doesn't even know the girl's name.
  • Odd Couple: With Alan.
  • One of the Kids: According to Alan - "You're a child! A high-maintenance child!"
  • One-Hour Work Week: Seriously, how often do you ever see him actually working or going somewhere related to his job? Not very often.
    • Somewhat justified, since the show tends to take place on the weekend and Charlie chose his line of work since he can do very little work for a lot of money.
  • Parental Neglect: Scorns Evelyn for this particular reason.
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Berta. Word of God is that they're best friends, but neither would admit it.
  • The Pornomancer: His talent of instantaneously bedding women borders on the supernatural, to say the least.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Literally. "Why We Gave Up Women" in Season 9 reveals that Charlie has been consigned to Hell to spend eternity in a woman's body (and a pair of testicles hanging from his lady parts).
    • Bus Crash: Charlie never left the show, but after it continued with Season 9 (following the hiatus that ended Season 8), Charlie was dead in the opening episode.
    • The Bus Came Back: And returned in the series finale, for all of about 10 seconds.
  • Really Gets Around
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: After his falling out with Chuck Lorre, Sheen's Character is killed off in a very unglamorous way and manages to undo his potental Character Development in the Trip he took with Rose at the end of Season 8.
  • Smug Snake: Mostly towards Alan, whenever he's bragging about his latest conquest.
  • Stylistic Suck: His jingles.
  • The Nicknamer: Mostly to Alan, Jake and Evelyn. Alan was "The Sponge", Jake was "Numbnuts", "Tater head" and "Pumpkin head" and Evelyn was "Satan".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Goes from caring about Alan and Jake in his own way to screwing with them just for the hell of it.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: Has an entire contact list full of hookers on his phone.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Most of the time.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: When he wasn't fighting with Alan or Evelyn, they were this.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: This is a weekly ritual for him.

Alan Jerome Harper (Jon Cryer)

  • Abhorrent Admirer: He attracts old women, like Judy's or Melissa's mother.
  • Abusive Parent: To Jake, starting with Season 6.
  • Adorkable
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • After Walden's ploy to find a woman by pretending to be someone he's not completely blew up in Walden's face, despite Alan's warnings, Alan seems to have completely forgotten these events ever happened in Season 11 and pursues Lyndsey and her fiancée's sister, Gretchen, using the false identity of "Jeff Strongman."
    • Charlie's "death" clearly did not make Alan realize that your bad deeds will catch up with you, as he (Alan) becomes completely irresponsible and immoral during the later seasons, essentially becoming the kind of person he scorned Charlie for being earlier on.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: He falls in love with Charlie's older, motherly girlfriend in one episode for this reason.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Alan is the kind of guy who has spent his whole life living by an arbitrary morality, and is now mad that he hasn't reaped the rewards he thinks he deserves for it. Yes, life hasn't treated him all that well, but a lot of that is because Alan is a spineless doormat; he is incredibly resentful against his brother, who lived in hedonistic revelry that Alan secretly wanted himself, but never allowed himself to go for because he thought that the universe would automatically reward him for his passive aggressive nice guy act. In the last few seasons of the show, however, he seems to have realized this, and consequently has relinquished all pretenses of being a Nice Guy.
    • Not So Different: Alan likes to act like he's better then Charlie because he got married and had a kid instead of having endless casual sex in various ways, but while he doesn't have as much sex as Charlie(or with as many women), Alan has quite a bit of casual sex and has cheated on women several times and done some other morally questionable stuff throughout the series.
  • Born Unlucky: Despite all his faults, one cannot deny that Alan was born with some kind of curse hanging over his head.
  • Butt Monkey: Try and name one episode where something bad doesn't happen to Alan in some way. Go ahead, try it.
    • Though things have turned around for him in the later seasons, even if he doesn't fully appreciate it. And it's implied that Alan gets to stay in the beach house forever, since Walden is in fear of spending his senior years alone.
  • The Cassandra: He repeatedly warns Walden about Rose, and is eventually proven right.
  • Camp Straight
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Judith. Ends terribly.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Just about everything is out to get him, and is merciless in execution.
  • Covert Pervert: Although he tries to act more controlled than Charlie when it comes to women, Alan is perhaps even more of a pervert.
  • The Dandy: Primps about his clothing fairly often.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Very often. Charlie's even caught him having sex with a vacuum, he admits to masturbating before dates to get the right enthusiasm out of women, and once masturbated seven times in several different locations just to use up pills before they expired (eventually getting arrested when he was caught in a movie theater).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Towards Charlie.
  • Deuteragonist: From Seasons 1-8.
  • Extreme Doormat: Has consistent bad judgement, and had to pay alimony to Judith until she got remarried.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: No matter what happens, Alan will always end up living in the beach house again, broke and without a girlfriend.
  • Fetish: Due to having the best sex with Judith when she was pregnant with Jake, Alan has a bit of a thing for pregnant women...
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
  • Flanderization: His cheapness, occasional irresponsibility, and being a leech become his new characterization around Season 9.
  • Foil: To Charlie (and later Walden).
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: No one likes him and the show gives plenty of good reasons why they don't.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely
  • Henpecked Husband: You could not find a better example (although it's more like Henpecked Ex-Husband).
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Where to begin? He and Charlie had to adapt to living with four different fathers, were dumped at a kibbutz in Israel, and left at summer camp until Thanksgiving, among other things.
  • Holier Than Thou: He looks down on pretty much everything Charlie does that isn't an age appropriate relationship. Inverted by Season 10, when Alan goes through both Aesop Amnesia and even more Flanderization, and Walden actually has to tell him, "You're better than this."
  • Hollywood Dateless: He's a very, very, very strange case. Alan finds himself having sex with a woman every two episodes or so, but his bad luck with maintaining a relationship stems from his crippling insecurity and neediness, Mommy Issues, and his tendency to gravitate towards emotionally damaged women.
  • Humiliation Conga: He cannot catch a break. In any episode where something bad happens to him (which is fairly often), more humiliation is sure to follow.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Zippy", from Berta, "The Sponge" from Charlie.
  • Jerkass: Starts to become this in the later seasons, with an overall holier-than-thou attitude, blistering cheapness, and refusal to leave the beach house. He even manages to eclipse Charlie morality-wise in some episodes.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He really does care for his family, despite having to mooch off them, and in Season 12, is dedicated to helping Walden adopt a child.
  • Karma Houdini: Manages to stay in the beach house for 12 years and, judging by the series finale, isn't going anywhere for a long while.
  • Kavorka Man: He's managed to hook up with a legion of attractive women, despite being broke, a Cosmic Plaything and not particularly good-looking, including mothers Judith and Lyndsey, Brainless Beauty Kandi, Melissa, and countless others. Nearly all of these have ended in disaster, however.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Although he's more reserved about it than Charlie.
  • MD Envy: He is a chiropractor that is constantly made fun of for not being a "real doctor."
  • Mistaken for Gay: Sometimes with Charlie, but it turns into a running joke with Walden from Season 9-on. Every woman that learns they live together seems to think they are a couple.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Played with. It's implied that Jake might not even be Alan's son; Charlie can't help but notice how much the exterminator, water deliveryman, and mailman all resemble Jake...
  • No Pregger Sex: He claims the best sex he ever had with Judith was during the time she was pregnant with Jake, which explains his offbeat pregnancy fetish.
  • No Respect Guy: If Alan is given any amount of praise whatsoever from his family, it's gone or forgotten by the next episode.
  • Odd Couple: With Charlie and later with Walden.
  • Only Sane Man: In the early seasons; now he's probably the goofiest character on the show.
  • Parental Neglect: In later seasons, both he and Judith exhibit this towards Jake. In turn, Alan was a victim of this from his own mother.
  • The Scrooge: His sponging off of Charlie (and later Walden) was eventually Flanderized into this. He was once driven to tears from having to pay for a meal.
    • Ultimately, his poverty also leads to the demise of his chiropractic business.
  • Smug Snake: In Season 11, he flaunts the fact that he is FWB with Lyndsey and best friends with her boyfriend to Walden nonstop.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: You could practically name this trope The Alan Harper. It's Up to Eleven in Season 9 and onwards, plus the series finale implies that he'll get to stay in the beach house for a while.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Goes from being a responsible, competent adult to an immature moron (during the Walden years).
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Starting around Season 7, he starts to become increasingly immoral.
  • True Companions: With Walden. They bond over having had their lives turned upside down by their divorce and finding a new place to live.
  • The Unfavorite: He's gotten flanderized into this over time, with recent episodes having Evelyn being repulsed by the very thought of Alan.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He shows brief glimmers of this throughout the entire series, but it's more obvious in later seasons.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Gets flanderized into this around Season 7-8, although how bad he acts depends on the writer. It goes from such despicable acts as cheating on Lyndsey (who actually loves him) with Melissa for meaningless sex and then getting away with it scot-free, to feeling remorse for stealing Judith's diamond earrings to purchase Lyndsey a birthday present. Really, Alan zig-zags between this status in Seasons 7, 8, and 9, but by 10, he's definitely become a Jerkass.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Played completely straight with Walden.
    • He and Charlie were this when the latter was alive and they weren't fighting about something.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: On numerous unfair occasions, most notably when he found happiness with Kandi and moving into a condo, only for Kandi to leave him a few months later, keep the condo, and have the alimony checks for Alan continue, this time for two ex-wives.

Jacob David "Jake" Harper (Angus T. Jones)

  • Abusive Parents: Alan and Judith are this to him.
    • Both seemed to at least try to provide a good life for Jake in the early seasons, but after realizing that his life would most likely go nowhere, they stopped caring.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Originally.
  • Back for the Finale: He makes a brief appearance in the finale, where he reveals that he left the army and got married.
  • Big Eater: His defining characteristic, aside from his stupidity.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: In seasons 2-4. After that he became too old to be considered a "half-pint."
  • Catch Phrase: "... Oh yeah!" whenever he's been reminded of something.
  • The Chosen One: Called this by Charlie and Alan. He was the only person who ever broke Evelyn.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments.
  • Demoted to Extra: Starting with Season 10, when Jake left to join the military and only appeared sporadically. Even before that, his role slowly started to diminish. By Season 11 he's left the show entirely.
  • The Ditz
    • Genius Ditz: He's an idiot, a jerkass and is socially inept, but he is a fantastic cook and everyone likes his cooking. He even became a chef when he joined the Army.
  • Dumbass Teenage Son: Alan and Judith both realized pretty early on that his life was going nowhere.
  • Fat Slob
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
  • From the Mouths of Babes
  • Gasshole: According to Charlie, Jake is flatulent like a whoopee cushion.
  • Gonk: In the later seasons.
  • Has Two Daddies: If you can consider Charlie and Alan as this.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely
  • Innocently Insensitive: He alternates between being this and being a deliberate Jerk Ass.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Pretty much his default thought process, especially when he gets older.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Buddy" from Alan and "Taterhead" from Charlie.
  • Jerkass: Started in Season 3, got worse as time went on.
  • Kavorka Man: In the later seasons. He's ugly, stupid and obnoxious, yet he manages to pull a threeway with two cute girls while in high school (and at the age of 16, to be exact).
  • Lazy Bum
  • Like Uncle Like Nephew: Jake had quite a bit of success with women just like Charlie did. In high school Jake had a threeway with two girls that he likely lost his virginity to, and slept with his tutor, Zoey's slutty neighbor, Missy (who had a boyfriend), his older girlfriend Tammy, and then Tammy's daughter. Charlie would have been proud.
    • If some of Jake's throwaway comments to Alan mean anything, the list might be even longer.
  • Literal-Minded: It really annoys people too.
  • Odd Friendship: With Rose.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Until Milly came along. He's alright with having a little sister though.
  • Parental Neglect: From both Alan and Judith in later seasons.
  • The Pigpen: Combine this with being stupid and an eating machine, and that's Jake in a nutshell.
  • Pet the Dog: He was genuinely sad for Charlie that he and Chelsea broke up.
  • Put on a Bus: Starting Season 11. He likely isn't coming back (barring the role being recasted), due to Angus T. Jones having decided to largely give up acting in the wake of becoming a Born-Again Christian, and limiting himself to stage work and occasional independently-produced Christian films.
  • The Slacker
  • Something We Forgot: In several episodes, Alan temporarily moves out of the house and accidentally leaves Jake behind. Although he doesn't seem to care.
  • The Stoner: Becomes a habitual pot smoker in Season 9 (thanks to Eldridge).
  • Those Two Guys: With Eldridge.
  • Too Dumb to Live: How Jake hasn't killed himself in some crazy stunt, we'll never know. The episode where he and Eldridge film Jackass-type antics takes this Up to Eleven.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass / Took A Level In Jerk Ass: Jake went from a fairly likable and witty but sloppy kid to an ungrateful, obnoxious, braindead pothead.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: What grown-up Jake has become. In his few appearances in Season 10, he seems to be getting better with his attitude towards his father (no doubt a result of enlisting in the Army).

Evelyn Harper (Holland Taylor)

  • Abusive Parent
  • Bi the Way: With Lyndsey's mom, as well as allusions to some experimentation in her younger days.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mostly towards Charlie and Alan.
  • Demoted to Extra: She only appeared in one episode in season 10, and four in season 11.
  • Evil Matriarch: Following a tremendously Hilariously Abusive Childhood, Charlie and Alan think so, and from the pieces of it we hear about, they may be right.
  • Fiery Redhead: When she wants to be.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
  • Grande Dame
  • In-Series Nickname: "Satan" from Charlie. Also called "Death" and "The Black Widow" by Alan once or twice.
  • It's All About Me: AND HOW!
  • Jerkass: Charlie and Alan see her this way, but -
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She displays glimmers of being one of these as well. Usually turns out to be related to her narcissism though.
  • Karma Houdini: Except for the occasional scolding, she gets no comeuppance whatsoever for her actions.
  • Lady Drunk: She's usually seen with a drink in her hand. True to trope, it's often from a martini glass.
  • Morality Pet: She does care about her grandson Jake.
    • Although in Season 11, she seems to have forgotten about him in favor of Jenny.
  • Mrs. Robinson: While she is usually seen with guys in her age range, she's been known to do this just as much.
  • My Beloved Smother
  • Narcissist: She is always thinking of herself.
  • Parental Favoritism: While she is by no means a loving mom, and it's barely much, she does seem to prefer Alan for being the more responsible son who settled down and had a kid.
  • Pet the Dog: She comforted Charlie after Chelsea left him.
  • Really Gets Around: She's bedded Rose's father, Lyndsey's mother, Walden, Walden's mother, Michael Bolton, Charlie's ex-girlfriend "Bill", Gloria's mother and biological father, and many, many others.

Jenny Harper (Amber Tamblyn)

    Other Main Characters 

Berta (Conchata Ferrell)

Judith Harper-Melnick (Marin Hinkle)

  • Abusive Parent
  • Alpha Bitch
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Alan.
  • Demoted to Extra: Started to become this in Season 9, although now she has officially been Put on a Bus.
  • Evil Matriarch
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • Hypocrite: She scolds Charlie and Alan for numerous things she herself has been known to do.
    • And then she left Herb because he cheated on her with his receptionist, even though she has cheated on Herb with men that he considers his friends.
  • Invincible Villain: She's determined to be the biggest bane in Alan's life, and she does it too, with almost zero backlash.
  • It Amused Me: Went from merely bullying Alan for her own needs to just thriving on any moment that will make him squirm.
  • It's All About Me
  • Jerkass: Biggest one on the show.
  • Karma Houdini: Outside getting her ego stung slightly by the odd dry one liner, she has gotten away with taking Alan for everything (though that was also Charlie's fault), as well as constantly hurling abuse at him, trying to control his life and being a full on Jerkass to him for almost a decade as well as treating Herb and Jake like crap and indirectly interfering with Charlie's life as a result. It only seems to be set in stone now she has been Put On The Bus.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: The paternity of her daughter Milly is called into question before the girl was even born (as Milly was conceived around the time Judith and Herb were separated whereupon she and Alan had a brief affair). Moreover, everyone (except Herb) can see that Milly resembles Alan a great deal, causing Judith a great amount of aggravation. The question itself is never actually answered, but it really does look like Alan is the biological father.
  • Put on a Bus: As of Season 10.
    • The Bus Came Back: In a single episode, where Walden and Alan tried to convince her to take back Herb.
    • Back for the Finale: Made a cameo in the series finale, where she reveals to Alan that Jake gave her a fair amount of his winnings from Vegas. Alan himself wound up being the only character to get nothing (from neither Jake nor a recently-revealed-to-be-alive Charlie), which essentially closes the deal on Judith's Karma Houdini status before she hangs up on Alan for good.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Although she just used this as an excuse to divorce Alan.
  • Taking the Kids: Used this as a threat from time to time on Alan. She actually followed through by taking Milly away when she divorced Herb.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While she was always a Jerkass, but mostly just in a self centered manner. As time passed she became actively vindictive, mooching off Alan and making his life a living hell at every opportunity. Her callousness became indiscriminate too, neglecting and abusing Jake, and treating Herb as badly as she had Alan.

Rose (Melanie Lynskey)

  • Ax-Crazy: God help anyone that tries to stand in her way.
    • Charlie ended up in this situation, too. Turns out she really didn't kill him, but actually intended to, and would have if a goat hadn't intervened.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Her father is just as crazy as her and starts stalking Evelyn after dating briefly. According to her grandmother, this happens when one marries a first cousin.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: More prevalent in later seasons, where she flat-out admits being a stalker and doing crazy things to the Harpers just for the hell of it.
  • Beautiful Lech
  • The Chessmaster: When Charlie starts thinking that Rose was making him sick on purpose, Alan points out that he obviously caught the flu from an unrelated incident...Yep, turns out that it was Rose who arranged for him to meet this woman who gave him the flu. Similarly, if you start thinking that no one would stage a wedding to a nonexistent groom in order to make someone jealous, or any other idea that underestimates her in such a way, the plot will prove you wrong.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Comedic Sociopathy: She has yet to be prosecuted for stalking and murdering Charlie, despite basically confessing the latter to the assembled crowd at his funeral.
  • Demoted to Extra: With Charlie dead, it's very unlikely that Rose will ever play a major role in the series again, although it has been shown that she is now stalking Walden.
  • Flanderization / Took a Level in Jerkass: She originally gave off a sweet and innocent vibe to conceal her true nature, but in later seasons, becomes a full-on Ax-Crazy bitch who takes delight in doing nasty things to get her way, and has no problem letting anyone know.
    • Killing Charlie definitely cemented this status.
  • Flower Motifs: Her clothes embroidered with flower patterns, topped with her name.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • Incest Is Relative: Her grandparents are first cousins.
  • Jerkass: In her own way, although she may not seem like it at first glance. And she did murder Charlie. But, to be fair, he did cheat on her and as Berta states, "Never cross a crazy woman." She also stalked Walden and had her ferrets attack Walden when he dumped her.
  • Karma Houdini: It's heavily implied that she killed Charlie. Plus all of the stalking over the years.
  • Love Makes You Crazy
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Odd Friendship: With Jake.
  • Official Couple: With Charlie, at first.
  • Put on a Bus
    • The Bus Came Back: In the introductory episode of Season 9 and three episodes of Season 10 (this time stalking Walden).
  • Stalker with a Crush: A self-proclaimed "Stalker with a Crush", too, towards Charlie (and later Walden).
  • Sugary Malice
  • Yandere

Kandi (April Bowlby)

Chelsea (Jennifer Bini Taylor)

Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher)

  • Always Someone Better: To Alan.
  • Bungled Suicide: He tried to drown himself in the ocean outside of the beach house after his wife left him, but apparently didn't realize the water would be so cold.
  • Butt Monkey: He's still much better off than Alan, but has started to verge into this territory recently.
  • Characterization Marches On: Around the time when Walden's beard was gone, so was his childlike personality. Alan originally had the upper hand as his "guidance" following his divorce, but by Season 10, Walden is clearly the more mature one in the house, often acting as Alan's conscience to show how far his personality has gone.
  • Chick Magnet: Seriously. Every girl on the show who has met him expressed attraction towards him in some way.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially to Alan.
  • Ditzy Genius: Started off in this zone, got better but still has the occasional moment.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Alan didn't mind kissing him, the therapist questioned her orientation after his hug.
  • Flanderization: In Season 11, he starts to develop some shades of neediness, unable to sleep with a woman without declaring his love for her.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • I Banged Your Mom: He had sex with Evelyn, despite Alan's warnings that she was a cougar.
  • Man Child / One of the Kids: Originally, but his personality has greatly matured over the past two seasons, and at this point it's clear who is the more mature one in the beach house.
  • Mistaken for Gay: It used to be a running gag, but now it's been upped to Once per Episode.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Nice Guy: A decent guy, save for being a little sharp-tongued to Alan (though it's not entirely unwarranted).
  • No Nudity Taboo: In his introduction episode.
  • One-Hour Work Week: He is the head of a billion dollar company, yet seems to have tons of free time to hang out with Alan, and is hardly ever shown working.
  • Only Sane Man / Reasonable Authority Figure: He is starting to become something like this in the beach house, in comparison to Alan, Jenny, and Berta.
  • Parenting the Husband: This situation is what led Bridget away.
  • The Stoner: Even has a drawer containing pot hidden inside his nightstand.
  • True Companions: With Alan.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: In Season 9, he was fairly sympathetic and generous to Alan, but in Season 10, he seems to have discovered most of Alan's gnomish qualities and threatens to kick him out of the house multiple times. Regardless, he and Alan know that whatever happens, they can count on each other.

    Recurring Characters 

Herb Melnick (Ryan Stiles)

Gordon (J.D. Walsh)

  • Butt Monkey: Offscreen, his life may be just as bad as Alan's: He was only a substitute for Charlie when he was dating Rose, and mentioned in an episode that he got a decent job as well as a wife within a 2-year radius, only for all of that to leave him. He's also envious of Charlie's lifestyle and easygoing demeanor, calling him a "genius."
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappeared after Season 8.

Russell (Martin Mull)

  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He can go off on some really bizarre tangents; justified since he's a hard drug user.
  • The Stoner: Misuses all of the pharmaceuticals in his midst to outrageous extremes.

Lyndsey MacElroy (Courtney Thorne-Smith)

  • The Alcoholic: Naturally, like Charlie, her drinking habits have been toned up over time. In season 12, she goes to rehab and quits drinking entirely.
  • Compressed Vice: Portrayed as an out-of-control alcoholic in ""Not in My Mouth!", with no previous indications of a drinking problem. Her alcohol issues appeared inconsequentially in the following episodes. Eventually, she was flanderized into a raging alcoholic, before going sober in season 12.
  • Derailing Love Interests: In season 11, when Alan starts dating Larry's sister, Gretchen who is just like him, Lyndsey is turned into a pathetic drunk who's obsessed with Alan, though earlier she was just barely tolerating him. In season 12, after Gretchen leaves Alan, Lyndsey reverts to her former self.
  • Flanderization: Goes from being a genuinely kindred spirit into a bitchy alcoholic.
  • Gasshole: One reason that she likes Alan is because she can fart with him around, and he won't leave her, because he won't be able to find anyone better.
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: Her explanation for appearing in a porn movie.
  • Just Friends: With Charlie, despite what Alan thought.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Relationship Revolving Door: Dated Alan consistently in season 8 until she left him for her ex-husband, then they got together again briefly and broke up due to Alan's paranoia that she was sleeping with Charlie. They got back together in Season 9 because she can fart like crazy and he won't leave her. They were engaged in Season 10 and then they broke up, seemingly for good. However, in the second episode of Season 11 she began sleeping with Alan again, but they are not in a relationship, as she has a boyfriend, Larry. Alan eventually wanted to restart their relationship and planned on proposing to her, but Larry did it before he could. After that, Lyndsey stopped sleeping with Alan. Later, she tried to restart the affair, but by then, Alan was dating Larry's sister, so he rejected Lyndsey. In season 12, when Alan is single again, they make yet another attempt to renew their relationship, which results in Alan proposing to her, and Lyndsey enthusiastically saying yes after seeing the ring. The series finale shows her attempting to find out its value (and presumably) pawn it, leaving the question open-ended as to whether she and Alan stayed together or not.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: To Alan.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: At first she was perfectly nice to Alan and seemed to genuinely love him. Then he accidentally burnt her house down.
  • Your Cheating Heart: In Season 11 she's involved in a committed relationship to a Nice Guy... and cheats on him with Alan because he's really terrible at sex.

Eldridge MacElroy (Graham Patrick Martin)

Larry (D.B. Sweeney)

  • Berserk Button: He was content with Alan having dated Lyndsey, but when Walden accidentally brought up that Alan was sleeping with Lyndsey while she was dating him...
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: To the point where he hires a private investigator (who turns out to be Rose) to get the scoop on the guy Lyndsey's been cheating on him with (unaware that it's his new best friend, "Jeff"). He thinks it's Walden, though.
  • The Ditz: He was completely oblivious to many of the slip-ups Alan made about sleeping with Lyndsey.
  • Easily Forgiven: Returns in Season 12 as a close friend of both Alan and Walden, so apparently he did eventually forgive Alan.
  • Flanderization: And in less than ten episodes, too. He started off as being simply too naïve to pick up on the fact that Alan and Lyndsey were cheating behind his back; then, he's suddenly a full-fledged Ditz who isn't bright in the least.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Subverted. He's incredibly bad at it, which is why Lyndsey is sleeping with Alan.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Inverted: He's delighted to find out that Alan has been sleeping with his sister.
  • Nice Guy: Treated Alan the nicest out of everybody on the show, despite only being around for a few episodes.