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     Cage/Fish and Associates 

Ally McBeal

Title character of the show, and a litigator at Cage and Fish. Becomes senior partner in Season 5. Played by Calista Flockhart.

  • Action Girl: Rare, but it happens. Assaulted someone at a supermarket, no less.
  • Birthday Hater: The closer her birthday was, the bigger her depression. She could never enjoy her day and celebrate, and had even trouble to civilly accept best wishes.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: And an actual lawyer, to boot.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Commented by Jenny (who's kooky herself) that Ally is more bizarre than she is.
  • Crossover: Starred in one with The Practice, as herself.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Ally is quirky and dorky and she sometimes sees unicorns, dancing babies or hears music in her mind. Many men on the show find her quirks charming and fall in love with her. It helps that she's also very pretty.
  • Fainting: Emotional variety, whenever she sees a girl she likes.
  • Fanservice: The short skirts.
  • Freudian Slip: Ally just can't get away from these.
  • Hallucinations: Frequently does this.
  • It's All About Me
  • Miss Imagination: Big time.
  • She's Got Legs: And the skirts.
  • Sweeps Week Lesbian Kiss: Engages in one with Georgia. Later, does another with Ling.
  • The Unfair Sex: Richard calls out Ally on believing this trope, as she was okay with a bride having an affair before a marriage, but not the groom.

John Cage

One of the two initial senior partners at Cage and Fish. Played by Peter MacNicol


  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: His legal defences are brilliant and he wins majority of his cases, and he's downright odd.
  • Character Tic: He has an absurdly high number of them — his nose whistles, stammering "Poughkeepsie", his face above his lips shakes when he thinks about women's "moustaches", he has to be barefoot when preparing his closing arguments, he smiles intensely (a part of his therapy), has a personal song, he hangs in his office as a bat, he has to have a fresh toilet bowl, he has a secret small room in the office (don't ask where), and so on.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Women who feel attracted to him find him adorably weird.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Biscuit". It's a very old nickname from school. Elaine would use it from time to time.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Nelle suspects this because John had yet to sleep with her.
  • Mr. Imagination: He and his Barry White fantasy. Also had an Imagine Spot with Nelle the happy housewife and some kids.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Richard.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: With Nelle in Seasons 2 and 3. The puppy.
  • Verbal Tic: The nose noises and stammering "P-P-Poughkeepsie".
  • Weirdness Magnet: The firm's lawyers and clients themselves are weird, but John always seems to draw in the crazies.

Richard Fish

The other initial senior partner at Cage and Fish and Ally's classmate, who offers her a position at his firm. Played by Greg Germann


Elaine Vassal

Gossipy and nosy secretary at Cage and Fish. Played by Jane Krakowski.


Billy Thomas

Associate at Cage and Fish, former boyfriend of Ally, and husband of Georgia. Played by Gil Bellows.


Georgia Thomas

Associate at Cage and Fish, wife of Billy. Played by Courtney Thorne-Smith.


Nelle Porter

Associate at Cage and Fish, joined at the beginning of Season 2. Played by Portia de Rossi.

  • Beneath the Mask: Can actually be very sweet and loving beneath her cold exterior.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Just as eccentric as everyone else, but she was the firm's most productive associate and was specifically brought in as a "rainmaker", to generate new business.
  • Ice Queen: She was called "sub-zero" for this reason. She doesn't even stick her hand all the way out for a handshake. It changes as the series progresses.
    • Defrosting Ice Queen: Season 4 really starts this for her, starting when she spends the day with a doctor going to jail for euthanizing a client.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Sub-zero" because she's so icy and unapproachable.
  • Kick the Dog: Nelle leaves the firm in Season 3, and tries to steal the clients by manipulating Elaine. It doesn't go well for Nelle.
  • Pet the Dog: Nelle has a few, but ultimately the largest is when she helps Elaine fulfill her dream to become a Broadway star.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: With John. She's the pitbull.
  • Rich Bitch
  • Woman Scorned: Leaves the firm in Season 3, but comes back later.

Ling Woo

Associate at Cage and Fish, started as a client of Nelle's before she was hired a few episodes later. Friend of Nelle's. Played by Lucy Liu.


Mark Albert

Associate at Cage and Fish, hired during the end of Season 3 following the death of Billy. Series regular in Season 4. Played by James LeGros.


Coretta Lipp

Associate at Cage and Fish. Guest starred in Season 4, became a series regular in Season 5. Played by Regina Hall.


Jenny Shaw

Associate hired by Ally at the beginning of Season 5. Glenn's former girlfriend. Played by Julianne Nicholson.

  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Endearingly Dorky: Jenny Shaw is a dorky young lawyer and essentially Ally lite. Ally considers her adorable and sees her as her own younger version. She's clumsy and weird, has freckles and slightly sloppy bob haircut.
  • Put on a Bus: Written out in the middle of Season 5.

Glenn Foy

Associate hired by Richard at the beginning of Season 5. Jenny's former boyfriend. Played by James Marsden.


Raymond Millbury

Associate hired at the beginning of Season 5, played by Josh Hopkins.

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     Other Characters 

Vonda Shepard

Singer at the piano bar the lawyers frequent. Played by herself.


Renee Raddick

Ally's roommate and intially a D.A. later forms her own firm. Often sets Ally up with many different men. Played by Lisa Nicole Carson.

  • Absentee Actor: Disappeared after Season 4 due to the actress suffering from bipolar disorder.
  • Alliterative Name
  • Big Breast Pride: Deconstructed. Renee favours plunging necklines that show off her assets, but it turns out that this is in reaction to her having been bullied as a teen for being an early bloomer - essentially, she flaunts her body to prove that no one can make her feel ashamed of it. However, for the same reason she gets very uncomfortable when someone pays too much attention to it.
  • The Cast Showoff: Less so than Elaine, but frequently sings. Still subverted, as her singing is incorporated into the plot.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
  • Friendly Enemy: Being a D.A until Season 3, she's often speaks against Cage and Fish's clients. Still goes out to the bar with them after work, and lives with Ally.
  • Only Sane Woman
  • Really Gets Around: She gives Elaine a run for her money.
  • Sassy Black Woman
  • UST: With John in the first season.

Larry Paul

Lawyer introduced in Season 4 when Ally mistakes him as her therapist. Ends up dating Ally, played by Robert Downey Jr..

  • Absentee Actor: Written out after Season 4 ended due to Robert Downey Jr. having drug addiction problems
  • Endearingly Dorky: Larry Paul often comes off as a Cloudcuckoolander who snarks adorably and charms practically every woman he meets. He wears scarves and geeky glasses. He's a fun dad who can ride a monocycle. Ally considers him her soul mate.
  • Official Couple: With Ally.
  • Two First Names

Whipper Cone

Judge and on-again, off-again lover to Richard. Played by Dyan Cannon.

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