Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Better Off Ted

Go To

    open/close all folders 

     Main Characters 

Ted Crisp
"The company does all sorts of crazy things, that doesn’t mean we have to be crazy too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go seduce a 55 year old man."
Played by: Jay Harrington

Theodore Margaret "Ted" Crisp is the successful and yet conscientious head of research and development at Veridian Dynamics. He has been a single father to his daughter Rose, after a hostile break-up with his wife Stacy (who left to "save the world"). He frequently mentions his strained relationship with his father, who has always been disappointed in Ted for pursuing academic interests rather than following in his footsteps to become a plumber. Ted has a somewhat liaison-like position between the workers and the management of Veridian smoothing out the demands and expectations made on the other.

  • Benevolent Boss: To Phil, Lem and the rest of his underlings. They all prefer to speak to Ted rather than go to Veronica or Chet.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: As noted by Veronica.
  • Chick Magnet: He's a good-looking, pleasant guy and doesn't have trouble getting girls. Keeping them is another story.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Much is made of Ted's looks.
  • Internal Reformist: He tends to be the one pushing for kinder company procedures within Veridian.
  • Nice Guy: Chronically. He is nice to people for the sake of being nice, though he's also a bit obsessed with everyone liking him.
  • Only Sane Employee: His job is explicitly to wrangle every Bunny-Ears Lawyer in his department and utilize their talents to accomplish their goals.
  • Only Sane Man: The other main cast consists of the borderline sociopathic Veronica, the socially awkward and eccentric Phil and Lem, and Linda, who steals creamer/throws bagels at vents.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His Dad disapproved of his interests and eventual career choice. Though he tries to forget it, there's at least one episode that involves him breaking test protocol to get him a good gift for Father's Day.

Veronica Palmer
"I’m different than other women, Ted. And by different, I mean better."
Played by: Portia De Rossi

Veronica Palmer is Ted's boss. Though she once had an "office affair" with Ted, she prides herself on her ability to detach herself emotionally from her employees, actively cultivating an image of being emotionless, devoid of conscience, and willing to do anything to advance herself and the company (Phil at one point describes her as a sociopath). Despite this, she does use Ted as an advisor on some of the more "touchy-feely" parts of her job, and often surreptitiously aids him and her other employees when needed.

  • Action Girl: One need only see her fight in "Swag the Dog" where she goes at a soon to be ex-board member with a handsaw and a two by four to see this in action.
  • Consummate Liar: To the point where Phil and Lem have to reprogram a lie detector so it will specifically work on her.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Mainly towards Linda, who she initially views as just another underling but eventually forms an unsteady friendship with.
  • Ice Queen: She even states in one episode that she likes being unapproachable so that she won't be bothered by the "drones" (other employees).
  • Informed Attractiveness: Many characters (herself included) comment on her beauty.
  • It's All About Me: She's a very self-centered woman, though she defrosts somewhat over the course of the series.
  • Lack of Empathy: She can't even really understand her own feelings, let alone anyone else's. She describes guilt as "itchy", and thinks sugar is an emotion.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Which she stole from Linda. Apparently wearing it scares people away.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Parodied.
    Veronica: If it wasn't for the modeling contracts and the comfort of college boys, I don't know how I would've made it.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Within Veridian.

Linda Zwordling
"Can't we develop one product that doesn't end up being used to kill people? Even our fat-free cinnamon roll led to that new sticky bomb."
Played by: Andrea Anders

Linda Katherine Zwordling is in the testing department at Veridian. Originally from Wisconsin where she used to work in cheese-making, she seems to desire a relationship with Ted, but is frustrated by his "one office affair" rule (though this is finally resolved in the series finale). She refuses to compromise her principles and is often the team's moral center. She always speaks her mind, and doesn't seem to mind offending people.

  • Centipede's Dilemma: Her first week at Veridian, she was so nervous she couldn't even laugh properly.
  • The Heart: Easily the most moral (or at least moral-appearing) employee of Veridian.
  • Not So Above It All: In "Battle of the Bulbs", she states that even though she hates the company, it felt really good when they validated one of her ideas. This is also true of her relationship with Veronica, where she tries to prove she can be immoral too.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: She values her morals and principles above money...most of the time.
  • Token Good Teammate: Within Veridian.
  • Totally Radical: Occasionally. Mostly when talking to younger people.

Phil Myman
"I'm thinking confidence may be one of those things people can't tell if you really have, or are just pretending to have, like the female orgasm."
Played by: Jonathan Slavin

Dr. Philip "Phil" Myman is an emotionally sensitive man who is also one of the laboratory scientists in Veridian's Research Department. He is usually working or hanging out with Lem, who works with him on almost every project. He generally does whatever he can to be accepted and avoid conflicts.

Lem Hewitt
"We can't leave work in the middle of the day. We're not Somali pirates."
Played by: Malcolm Barrett

Dr. Lem Hewitt is one of the laboratory scientists in Veridian's Research Department. He is best friends with his lab partner Phil, who works with him on almost every project. Lem is just as conflict averse as Phil, and seems just as willing to roll over and take whatever abuse the company has to offer. Lem and Phil usually work on inventions that border on the fantastic or impossible, like hover boots, "cow-less" beef or a cure for baldness that grows hair on anything it touches, like Ted's desk. Phil and Lem are best friends, so close that they often protect each other as a spouse or parent would.

  • Absent-Minded Professor: He cleaned out a coffee mug with hydrochloric acid and left it sitting out where Phil almost drank it.
  • Black and Nerdy: One of the nerdiest. He even wears the glasses just to make himself look smart.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Better about his shyness than Phil (he's had two or three girlfriends over the show's run), but still gets nervous when confronted by, say, Linda's "lady shoulder".

     Recurring Characters 

Rose Crisp

Played by: Isabella Acres

Rose Crisp is Ted's daughter. She often asks Ted questions that make him question Veridian's unscrupulous policies and practices (such as cryonically freezing Phil), acting as his moral anchor when he sometimes is pushed to put the needs of the company over his own conscience and friends and steering him back in the right direction. Despite this, Rose bonds with Veronica in an early episode and is later "manipulated" by both Veronica and Ted on occasion.

  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally; when asked if she did her homework, she gave a noncommittal answer, and when asked what 7×8 was, she only said "Yes, that was one of them."
  • Missing Mom: As Ted explains, her mother left to go save the world. When Rose does get to stay with her for a brief time, she gets extremely spoiled (such as having ice cream for breakfast.)
  • Morality Pet: Keeps Ted from getting too caught up in the company's evil-ness.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Veronica put her hair into one while she was watching her for a few hours. Rose commented that it felt funny. Veronica said that that would go away in a couple years.
  • Shipper on Deck: Likes Linda and wants her dad to go out with her.

Dr. Bhamba

Played by: Maz Jobrani

Dr. Bhamba is one of Veronica's employees. He is portrayed as an enemy of sorts to Lem and Phil, although at times they are seen working in the same lab room. Bhamba has, according to Lem, among other things, made warfare exponentially more horrifying.

  • Affably Evil: He's a very nice and jovial guy while also being horrifyingly sociopathic.
  • Mad Scientist: Heartily embraces this as the company's lead bio-weapons expert.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Among Ted's team of scientists, he is the most happily amoral and contributes almost exclusively to warfare.



How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: