Atlantic City Residents
The daughter of a drunken war veteran whom Richard meets at the American Legion, and now his love interest. Played by Wrenn Schmidt.
- Abusive Parents: At least emotionally, if not physically.
- Alcoholic Parent: Her father is a Shell-Shocked Veteran of the Philippine-American War who drinks to forget his son's death in World War I.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Averted. She has said she's had enough tough men in her life and she doesn't want any more. And while Richard Harrow has been associated with gangsters and undoubtedly qualifies as a badass, he sports the personality of a Shrinking Violet (and Julia doesn't know about his crimes).
- Beast and Beauty: Well, Richard isn't really a beast, but still fits this trope.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Not as obvious as some examples, but she is noticeably if calmly livid when she catches Gillian trying to abduct Tommy from school.
- The Caretaker: Has been acting as such to his alcoholic father since her brother's death.
- She eventually becomes one for Tommy too.
- Deadpan Snarker
- I Can't Dance: Played with. Julia leads Richard to the dance floor at the American Legion Hall in an effort to save him from embarrassment but once there she confesses she doesn't know what she is doing and Richard leads her.
- Innocent Bigot: She has pains to not be this while in the presence of Richard. His response is not to worry and "say anything you want".
- Love Interest: Richard's, triggered by a Meet Cute ocurrence, after her father is helped by Richard.
- Military Brat
- Missing Mom
- Morality Pet: For Richard.
- Nice Girl
- Old Maid: Spinsterhood is looming over her. At 25, she is already nearly unmarriageable by 1923 standards, and she has little prospects of having a relationship since most men would avoid her just so they don't have to deal with her dependent mean, alcoholic father. This lends credibility to her being so receptive of Harrow's interest.
- Parental Substitute: For Tommy.
- Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: Played for Drama. Her father finds them holding hands, and starts verbally abusing Julia and Richard, which ends with Richard forcing him to apologize by choking him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happened to her after Richard's death. She's neither seen nor mentioned in season 5.
- Abusive Parents: He is one, at least emotionally.
- The Alcoholic: So much that by season 4 he's dying of cirrhosis.
- Alcoholic Parent: Drinks because of his own war service and his son's death.
- Berserk Button: His son Fred was killed in World War I. So he doesn't take it well when he sees Tommy playing with Fred's old toys.
- The Cynic
- Dad the Veteran
- Defeat Equals Friendship: To Richard.
- Despair Event Horizon: Has been wallowing in one since his son's death. By the end of Season 3 he appears to be pulling himself out.
- Determinator: When he gets into a fight, he doesn't give up.
- Dirty Communist: Gets accused of this a lot, although he's actually a socialist. Richard knows the difference though.
- Hollywood Atheist: Paul is as cynical about religion as he is about everything else.
- In Vino Veritas: Inverted. It's not until "Margate Sands" when we first see a sober Paul and he is a 180º from his usual self: understanding, well-spoken, and authoritative without being a yelling mess.
- Jerkass: And how! He constantly insults everyone around him, including his daughter, and in "A Man, a Plan", it's shown that he'd rather die than apologize to her. But:
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He seems to love his daughter (but he has a funny way of showing it) and he eventually warms to Richard.
- Parental Substitute: As part of his Character Development, Paul understands that Tommy needs his help and allows him to live in his dead son's room by the end of Season 3.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran
- Took a Level in Kindness: As of Margate Sands, where he seems to accept Richard when he recognizes him as a fellow soldier just home from a war. He even tells Richard that this is his home, and puts Tommy in Fred's room.
- In Season 4, he is seen battling for custody of Tommy. He also cuts back on his drinking, and welcomes Richard when he comes back and urges him to reconcile with Julia.
- Your Days Are Numbered: In season four he's told that he has about a year to live due to cirrhosis of the liver.
Hostess and manager of the Atlantic City restaurant Babette's Supper Club. Played by Tracy Lynn Middendorf.
- The Bartender
- Body Horror: She says nonchalantly that she uses tapeworms to keep her figure. Given the time period and her testimonial presence it's unclear if it was a joke.
- Iron Lady: Commands respect; friendly but firm, she shoots down Gyp's advances joking that she is too tough for him.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Not mentioned at all after the events of "The Pony".
- Life of the Party: The "it comes with the job description" hostess variety.
- Mysterious Woman
- Nice Hat: You'll be hard-pressed to find a scene where she does not wear it.
- One of the Boys: She always dresses in male clothing, even when not working.
- Only Known by Their Nickname
- Out of Focus: She seems to be aware of Nucky's organization if not an outright ally of him. And that's all we can say about her.
- Self-Made Woman: Manager of her own club, which is not a Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club despite being a usual hangout.
- Uncertain Doom: It's unknown if she's killed when Rosetti blows up her club. Her fans are understandably worried.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: As of the end of Season 3. Chalky taking over her site all but states that she's dead.
- Bad Boss: To Margaret, and after she leaves, to her replacement.
- Fake Nationality: Played by a swiss actress.
- French Jerk
- Grande Dame
- Gratuitous French
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: She asks Margaret to use her influence on Nucky to get a lower rent for the shop, but then has to give her one of her most expensive dresses for free as a payment.
- Last-Name Basis: She makes Margaret call her Madame Jeunet. Nucky is amused when he founds out because to him she is just "Isabelle".
- Old Maid: She is "a woman alone".
- This Is Your Name On Foreign: She addresses Margaret as "Marguerite".
- Cool Old Lady
- Determined Widow: She finances her political activities with the money left to her by her late husband, an oil tycoon.
- Grande Dame
- Last-Name Basis
- The Mentor: To Margaret.
- Moral Guardian: Subverted. She is one when it comes to alcohol, but can be considered a proto-feminist.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Blame the times.
- Pretty in Mink
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Margaret confesses to her that a "powerful" man has made her a proposition, but that he won't marry her. Instead of riding a high horse, McGarry tells Margaret that she is free to do what she wants, but advices her about birth control so she does not find herself with a third child and abandoned.
- Asshole Victim: A non-lethal example.
- Fat Idiot: When he reveals he's been ruined by Ponzi, Nucky scolds him for investing everything he had on an obvious scam.
- Five-Finger Discount: Every time Annabelle sleeps with him, she takes whatever he has in his pocket, amassing $4,000 without him seeming to notice. This scheme backfires, however, as Prince finds her stash (if he wasn't aware of it the entire time) and "invests" it into Charles Ponzi's pyramid scheme.
- It's All About Me
- Paid Harem: Annabelle. As soon as he loses his money, she leaves in a fit of rage.
- Ponzi: A victim of the Trope Namer, to whom he loses his whole fortune.
- Villainous BSoD: After being conned out of all his money.
- Analogy Backfire: His allegory of Hell and Heaven both as people sat next to a large table, with the food too far to take it and only very long spoons to help themselves is bought by Margaret, but goes straight over Nucky's head.note Couldn't they bend their arms?
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Compares Teddy to "the cruel Jews [...] who taunted Jesus when he was on the cross".
- Demoted to Extra: In Season 3.
- Hiding Behind Religion: All he does can be summed on him shaking Margaret for money.
- Holier Than Thou
- Noodle Incident: Nucky addresses him by his given name and a nun claimed that they are "apparently close", but nothing more of their relationship is known.
Atlantic City Visitors
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Nucky makes him one in "You'd Be Surprised".
- Broken Pedestal: Nucky means the world to him, but Eddie, one of his few friends, gets strongarmed anyway for the sake of Billie.
- The Cast Show Off: Stephen DeRosa is an established Broadway actor and it shows; Eddie Cantor sings the Crowning Song Of Awesome of the season 1 finale and in "Resolution" his number also serves to introduce Billie Kent.
- Catchphrase: "Ooooh, nooo!"
- Camp Straight: While as in history, he's presumably straight, he has rather flamboyant vaudeville mannerisms.
- Deadpan Snarker: When he is not amused.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: His most acclaimed numbers are about liking stupid women. He also gives liquor and cigarettes to a very pregnant Lucy.
- Historical Domain Character
- Living Legend: Even Van Alden, who has never been to Vaudeville, knows his name.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "You'd Be Surprised", for probably the first time, he drops his flamboyant persona, first when having a friendly discussion with Nucky, and even more so after Nucky betrays their friendship and has him intimidated into doing a show.
- Pet the Dog: In spite of being a major star, he stops by Lucy's dingy apartment and hangs out with her in an attempt to cheer her up.
- Plucky Comic Relief
- "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Invoked. See Deliberate Values Dissonance.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In "You'd Be Surprised", though honestly, it's half Mood Dissonance between the campy, smiling Eddie we're used to seeing, and half resentment at being strongarmed into doing the show by Nucky.Eddie: (to Billie) Lucy Danzinger - ever heard of her? The next one won't know a goddamn thing about you, either.
- All Women Are Prudes: She dresses conservatively and only has sex with the lights off.
- The Dog Bites Back: Rose is not okay with Nelson getting Lucy pregnant and intending to keep her baby and pass it off as theirs, no matter how desperately she wants a child. She slaps and bites him in a confrontation after Abigail's birth, and two episodes later, serves Nelson with divorce papers.
- Extreme Doormat
- The Fundamentalist
- Law of Inverse Fertility
- Women Are Wiser: Though a conservative Christian, she has the common sense to put her beliefs aside when the situation requires. She considers surgery in order to cure her sterility and she takes care of Lucy right after she gives birth instead of trying to blame her for her husband's infidelity. She also has an easier time displaying her emotions and showing preoccupation for her husband's well being, in contrast to her spouse's icy demeanor.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- The Millstone:
- In Season 1, Baxter and his date find the Sole Survivor of the Woods Massacre, forcing Nucky to send Jimmy away.
- In Season 3, Baxter stops Nucky on the Boardwalk, but is so insufferable that Nucky sends Billie ahead to spare her and she dies in the explosion of Babette's as a result.
- In Season 4, Baxter treats Chalky in a jovial but demeaning way within sight of Valentin Narcisse.
- Really Gets Around / Paid Harem
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Killed by his own men for his willingness to make peace with the British.
- British Stuffiness: Although he is Irish.
- Composite Character: See No Celebrities Were Harmed.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Holier Than Thou
- Large and in Charge
- The Mentor / Evil Mentor: Even if he didn't turn Owen 'evil', he definitely made him dangerous.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He is shocked when Owen returns to Ireland with Nucky and an offer to supply Thompson machine guns to the rebels... just as the war is winding down.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He resembles Éamon de Valera in appearance and personality, and Seán McGarry in name and fate. De Valera also fund-raised for the IRA in the United States (where he had been born).
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives one to Nucky when he arrives in Ireland with a load of tommy guns to trade for whiskey, practically demanding to reignite the fight against the British as a truce is about to be proclaimed in order to recover his own criminal empire, not caring how many lives will be lost. He also berates Owen for bringing Nucky to him.
- Stealth Insult: Very fond of them.
- Audience Surrogate: Alternately turned on and weirded out by Gillian. This should sound familiar to most of the male audience members.
- Berserk Button: He got in a fight because he didn't like how other guy was treating a girl and has a body scar as a result.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Posthumously and a lot of episodes after he's killed, "he" brings Gillian down.
- Death by Sex: Gillian kills him after sleeping with him for the last time.
- Deadly Bath: He is drugged and drowned in a bath by Gillian, in order to pass his body as Jimmy's.
- Dumb Blonde
- The Drifter: The story of his life. He moves from town to town doing menial work and has only money for the week. He claims to have been all over North America.
- Innocent Bystander
- Nice GuyGillian: You really are a rather decent person, aren't you?
- Replacement Goldfish: Of Jimmy, for Gillian, who even calls him "James". Taken to the extreme when she kills him and uses his corpse to stage Jimmy's death.
- We Hardly Knew Ye
An employee of supermarket chain Piggly Wiggly that is assigned to open a store in Atlantic City in Season 4 and develops a relationship with Gillian. He is actually a Pinkerton agent hired to expose Gillian as a murderer. Played by Ron Livingstone.
- Accent Relapse: One of the first clues about his deception occurs when he doesn't keep his Southern accent during a phone call when Gillian doesn't seem to be at hearing distance.
- The Charmer
- Love at First Sight: He claims to have filled for divorce the day after meeting Gillian. Subverted. He was manipulating Gillian to get the truth out of her.
- Manic Pixie Dream Guy: Appears out of nowhere and imbues Gilliam with a new joie de vivre. But see above.
- Nice Guy: Subverted: it's just a part of his act.
- Pinkerton Detective: He's employed by the agency.
- The Reveal: He's actually a Pinkerton agent investigating the death of the young man Gillian passed off as Jimmy.
- Southern Gentleman: Subverted as well, it's all an act.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome
A Boston businessman who Nucky looks to make a deal with in preparation for the end of Prohibition. Played by Matt Letscher.
- Always Someone Better: The show emphasizes how, with his numerous children, clear legacy and status as a legitimate businessman, he's everything Nucky longs to be.
- Call-Forward: "It only takes one generation" to success, according to him.
- Covert Pervert: Implied at least.
- Historical Domain Character: The patriarch of a clan who will later make an indelible mark in American politics.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Quite patronizing or condescending, but he's not wrong when pointing out that, despite all his money or power plays, Nucky Thompson has nothing he could call a legacy.
- Loophole Abuse: Implied. He claims to have never breached a law, regardless of how unsavory some of the people he deals with are.
- Smug Snake
- Smug Straight Edge: He constantly tries to shame Nucky for his drinking and criminal activities.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Season 2's John McGarrigle. Both are influential men from out of town that deal with Nucky because they need him (less so in Kennedy's case), yet act with an air of superiority towards him for not conforming to their idea of what a prominent Irish or Irish-American should be.
- The Teetotaler: He doesn't drink because he wants to counter the stereotypes about the Irish.
Chicago and Cicero residents
A Norwegian nanny that Van Alden hires to look after his baby when both Lucy and his wife leave him. She is instantly smitten with him and agrees to leave with him for Cicero where they live as a married couple. Played by Christiane Seidel.
- Democracy Is Bad: Thinks that people "should just do what they are told".
- Europeans Are Kinky: She's a 180º compared to Rose.
- Fake Nationality: Seidel is German-Danish.
- Fan Nickname: Bork.
- Fiery Redhead
- Lady Macbeth: To Van Alden.
- Magical Nanny
- Mysterious Past
- Mysterious Woman
- Outlaw Couple: With Van Alden, although their relationship is professional. At first.
- Parental Substitute: To Van Alden's daughter by Lucy, Abigail, who she refers to as her own child.
- Sarcasm Fail: Her poor grasp of English makes her susceptible to failing to recognize sarcasm.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: In "You'd Be Surprised" she attacks a federal agent with a meat mallet because she thinks has come to arrest Van Alden. Poor guy only wanted to complain about an iron that Van Alden had sold him. Oops.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We don't know what happened to her and the children after Van Alden died.
- Undying Loyalty: In season 2 and 3, it seems that she has this towards Van Alden; she's willing to become a fugitive for him and kill a Prohibition agent to defend him. However, by season 4, she grows dissatisfied with their "marriage", and in season 5, she cheats on him with Eli and taunts Van Alden with it.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Implied when she convinces Van Alden to remain in Cicero.
- Your Cheating Heart: She has sex with a drunk Eli in season 5.
- Action Girl: She taught Richard to shoot, and is the only person capable of ambushing him. When Richard is incapable of shooting his dying boyhood dog, she does it.
- Affirmative Action Girl: With Margaret nowhere to be seen and Gillian and Julia locked on a passive court battle for Tommy's custody, Emma fills in as a more proactive female character in the first half of Season 4.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Richard in "Acres of Diamonds".
- Women Are Wiser: In a way, she's living the life of Richard if he had never gone to war.
- Determined Widow: Her husband died shortly after she became pregnant.
- The Ghost: Mentioned in Season 1, discussed in Season 2, shown in a photo in Season 3 and finally appearing in Season 4.
- Hyper-Awareness: Either that or Richard just can't fool her.
- Pregnant Badass: She is in her 5th or 6th month in her debut.
- Ambiguously Gay
- Con Man: Ends getting paid $80,000 for assassinating a man that actually kills himself.
- Consummate Liar: Goes through life Playing Both Sides and outlying adept people like Nucky and Daugherty.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Faux Affably Evil: An extremely polite, courteous and soft-spoken Southern Gentleman, a combination he uses to advance his schemes.
- Historical Domain Character
- Knowledge Broker
- Laser-Guided Karma: Is arrested in Season 4 when the authorities suspect that he had perjured himself.
- Manipulative Bastard
- No Honor Among Thieves: He jumps ship as soon as Daugherty's starts to go down and is more than willing to sell out his boss. For the right price.
- Only in It for the Money
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Means loses his cool, loquacious self in "Havre de Grace" when he is arrested by Capitol Police agents.
- Opportunistic Bastard: Gaston Bullock Means is a shameless manipulator and back-stabber who acts only to swindle as much money as he possibly can out of whomever he's currently conning. Means spends most of his time in season three Playing Both Sides on the Nucky Thompson and DA Daughtery power struggle, waiting to ally himself with whichever one comes out on top. In season four, he again pretends to be on Nucky's side only to sell out information about him to the FBI to save his own ass. Even when he's being raided by the CIA he spends his remaining seconds trying to extort increasingly exorbitant amounts of money out of Nucky for information on The Mole in Nucky's organization.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Just for example, instead of "your shoelace is untied", he says "I believe your left shoelace is in a state of dishabille."
- Wild Card
- Bald, Black Leader Guy
- Bald of Awesome
- Born into Slavery: Implied. He was born before the The American Civil War in Georgia, where he witnessed nine year-olds "getting married" in the main street.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Disability Superpower: He's blind, but he has very good hearing.
- The Ghost: Chalky mentions him in Season 3's "Spaghetti and Coffee" but doesn't appear before in Season 4's "Havre de Grace".
- Handicapped Badass: Blind and about 80 years old, but he still nails a guy with a shotgun.
- The Mentor: To Chalky. Likely a Parental Substitute too.
- One-Shot Character: He appears in "Havre de Grace" only.
- Properly Paranoid: After Chalky comes to his home begging for help, he reminds him that he told him to trust no one, white or black. He also hears Daughter Mairland leaving in the middle of the night, and deduces that his man Weems has not gone to Baltimore as he claimed, but to sell Chalky to Narcisse.
- Screw Politeness, I'm A Senior!
- Rags to Riches
- Retired Badass: Lives a quiet life after having been a gangster kingpin.
Arnold Rothstein's wife. Played by Jennifer Ferrin and Shae D'Lyn.
- Blackmail: When someone steals from Arnold's secret account in the bank Margaret works at, she blames her, and threatens to take her and Nucky to the press if she is not given that money.
- The Ghost: Technically averted because of her cameo in Season 2. Still, she was only mentioned to exist in seasons 1, 3 and 4. People who missed her first scene should be excused to think of her as The Ghost.
- The Other Darrin: Played by Ferrin in Season 2 and D'Lyn in Season 5.
- Stepford Smiler: Implied to have been one during her marriage.
- Woman Scorned: Is aware that A.R. had plenty of paid concubines while they were married, to the point of assuming Margaret was another one of them.
A prisoner in the Maryland chain gang Chalky ends at in Season 5. Played by Warner Miller.
- Angry Black Man: Chalky has a thing for attracting these, it seems.
- Evil Scars: He has a dent in his forehead, courtesy of a mule when he was a kid.
- Great Escape: Because of the fewer episodes allocated to Season 5, it happens right in the premiere he debuts in.
- Holier Than Thou: While taking two women hostage, he yells at them to not "lie before the Lord".
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He pretends to be stupid around the prison guards. It's also likely that the scene where he asks Chalky to explain him how a telephone works is actually him sizing how learned Chalky is.
- Prison Escape Artist: Not only does he manage to escape after inciting a riot, he does it with a gun.
- Sherlock Scan: When he gets sick of the hostage women telling him that their husband/father will come any minute, he goes on a long tirade about how no man has lived in that house for a long time (there is no male clothing in the drawers, no shaving razor in the bathroom, etc).
- Spy Speak: The silly song he sings in the prisoner cart, where he speaks of "Juba" being "everywhere" and getting only scraps, and instructs him to "kill that yellow cat". "Yellow cat" is slang for a slaver, going back to the early 19th century.
- Unknown Rival: When he was a minor in 1921, he carried blocks of ice for a party at a white owned house, and got no tip even though he was instructed to place the ice next to a safe. He still helds a grudge over that, while the people at the house could not care less.
- Villain Ball: Insisting on robbing the house he was belitted in as a child, then making moves on the teenage daughter which triggers Chalky to attack him because she reminds him of his own daughter, Maybelle. He keeps trying to choke the girl even after Chalky hits him with a hammer in the head, prompting him to finish him with a second blow to the back of the head.
- Where Da White Women At?: When he takes the house, he seems only interested in the money at first. But as the hostage situation becomes longer, he begins to show an interest in the white mother and daughter in there.